Kaiser permanente mountain view medical offices
WAMC/School List: 515 (126/131/127/131), 3.95/3.94
2023.05.28 23:15 ricewinechicken WAMC/School List: 515 (126/131/127/131), 3.95/3.94
Hey all! I was hoping to get feedback on my tentative school list, in preparation for the 2023-2024 admissions cycle. I'm also worried about how unbalanced my MCAT exam score is, so any constructive feedback on how it may be perceived would be appreciated. Thank you so much in advance! MCAT exam score:
515 (126/131/127/131) Cumulative GPA:
3.95 Science GPA:
3.94 State of residence
: Connecticut Ethnicity:
ORM, East Asian female Undergraduate institution:
T15 historically women's LAC located in Massachusetts. Also attended a boarding school in high school located in MA. Undergraduate major:
Data science Year in school:
Just graduated Shadowing experience and specialties represented:
Clinical experience, volunteer or paid:
- Primary care -- 20 hours over 1 month
- Hematology-oncology -- 80 hours over 1 month
- Total: 100 hours
Non-clinical volunteering experience:
- Patient transport volunteer -- 96 hours over 3 months
- Free clinic volunteer -- 576 hours over 2 years
- Total: 672 hours
Research experience and productivity:
- Soup kitchen volunteer -- 360 hours over 2.5 years
- Total: 360 hours
- Neuroscience lab since high school -- 2,538 hours over 6 years (part-time over the summer and during breaks)
- 2 first-author publications
- 2 poster presentations
- Independent public health research project -- 600 hours over 2 years
- 1 first-author publication
- Plenary talk presentation at national statistics conference
- Total: 3,138 hours
- Residential hall president -- 1,620 hours over 3 years
- Data science club president -- 288 hours over 1 year
- Residential hall treasurer -- 72 hours over 1 year
- Data science club secretary -- 396 hours over 3 years
- Total: 2,376 hours
Awards and honors:
- Dining hall worker -- 192 hours over 1 year
- Total: 192 hours
Tentative school list:
- National statistics honor society
- School consortium statistics prize
- 1st place in school consortium data science competition
- Nominated for school community award two years in a row
- 1st place in national statistics competition
- Merit scholarship all four years
- Yale School of Medicine
- University of Connecticut School of Medicine
- Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University
- University of Massachusetts T.H. Chan School of Medicine
- University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine
- Albert Einstein College of Medicine
- Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine & Science
- Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine
- George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences
- Georgetown University School of Medicine
- Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine
- Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine
- Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University
- Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine
- New York Medical College
- Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine
- Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University
- The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
- Tufts University School of Medicine
- University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
- Wake Forest University School of Medicine
- Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine
- University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
- Emory University School of Medicine
- Boston University Aram V. Chobanian & Edward Avedisian School of Medicine
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2023.05.28 22:08 CIAHerpes My father always kept the shed locked. Today, I found out why (part 1)
Growing up, I remember it all vividly: any time my friends or I got too close to the shed, my dad would come out hollering and yelling, telling us to stay away from there and that it was no place for kids. He told me he had expensive tools and dangerous chemicals stored there. As a child, I didn’t question it. It was just one of those things. In my mind, I had been born into a world where the sun rises in the east, breakfast is the first meal of the day and the shed stays locked. They were all true, self-evident and simply the way things existed in my young mind.
But as I grew older and eventually moved off to college, I began to question the shed more. My father still wouldn’t let me look in there. In fact, he kept the sole key on his person at all times. Even when he slept, he would keep the key in his pocket.
Then, during my second semester at the nearby state university, I got a call that every son or daughter dreads. I was attending a lecture on anatomy when my phone lit up, ringing silently in the great, crowded hall. Looking down, I saw it was my brother’s number. I went outside, lighting up a cigarette and answering it.
“Hello?” I said. “Gil?” My brother answered immediately.
“Luke, thank God you answered,” he said. “It’s dad. He’s being taken to the hospital. He had some sort of medical emergency. Can you meet us there? In maybe twenty-five minutes?” I said I would, hanging up. I grabbed my stuff in the lecture hall and made my way to my car. Twenty-two minutes later, I pulled into the hospital.
It was too late, however. My father had died of a heart attack on the way. He was declared dead on arrival.
We ended up inheriting the house. Our mother had died of breast cancer ten years earlier, so Gil and I were the last two of the Mortin bloodline. My brother was a good guy, though somewhat of a waste case, constantly smoking weed and dropping acid. He had a tendency to travel out far across the country without notice, moving around to see nature or go to music festivals. That is, when he had the money. And since he worked as a freelance writer, he was often broke.
He really wanted to get at the money dad had left us. He wanted the money from the house most of all. He told me repeatedly that it would be enough to tide him over until he got a footing in the writing industry, that he just needed to make a name for himself and then the money would start rolling in. He had his heart set on it. He would write anything that he could make money off of, from horror stories to romances, short stories to novels, even technical manuals or freelance journalism articles. As we walked to the house together for the first time in months, he repeated this mantra to me again: “Just enough to tide me over, Luke…”
“I think you’re probably going to burn through the money that Dad left you,” I said. “Why don’t you get a real job and just write on the side?” He gave me a sideways look.
“Did you see Hunter S. Thompson getting a ‘real job’ while just writing on the side?” he asked. I nodded.
“Yeah, he was a journalist…” I began as we walked into the house, but we both stopped simultaneously when we saw what was on the coffee table. It was all of Dad’s possessions he had when he died. They were placed neatly in a line- his wallet, his phone, his car and house key, some cash, and last of all, a little shed key on a thin, leather chain.
“What do you think is really in that shed?” I asked. Gil looked at me, pale and wide-eyed in the dark living room.
“I don’t really… I don’t know if I want to find out,” Gil said, whispering as if he were in a church- or a funeral home. I put my hand on his shoulder and shook him gently.
“Of course we need to find out,” I said. “You and I own this property now. We should go look right now.” He breathed in sharply.
“No, no, don’t be an idiot,” Gil whispered. “It’s dark now. In the morning, we can go together. In the morning. You have waited twenty years to find out, I think you can wait a few more hours.” But there was something pleading in his voice, something scared and child-like. It reminded me of when I was scared as a little boy at bedtime, telling my dad there were monsters in the closet, and he would go to open up the door, and I’d tell him to stop, that they’re going to hurt him if he opens that door. But he would open the door and there would be no monsters in there. Surely, it was the same here. Gil would see, and for that matter, so would I. There were no monsters in there.
This all happened from yesterday to this morning. We ended up leaving that place together a few hours ago, bloodied and bruised and injured, after being trapped inside all night.
The day before it started, Gil stayed up late downstairs, watching TV and smoking a joint. He made himself a night-cap from my father’s liquor cabinet, pouring some Jack Daniels and ice in a cup with some Coke and sipping it slowly. I stayed with him for a while, talking.
We talked about the good times we had with Dad, about going hiking with him at the Green Mountains, or traveling to New York City with him to see the museums. I thought about how much I really missed him, and a knot formed in my throat. I quickly blinked my eyes to try to get the tears to go away.
Eventually, I went to sleep in the guest bedroom. Gil stayed downstairs, sleeping on the couch in front of the TV. I heard the faint hum of it from upstairs, the canned laughter of whatever comedy he was watching, the acerbic tone of the lead characters as they delivered one witty joke after another. I fell asleep to it, the voices blending into a sarcastic, hissing whisper in my ear.
And then I was floating, bodiless, looking down on a dark cornfield with ravens staring at me. The voice was bodiless, too, sounding like it came from right behind me, but when I turned, nothing was there.
“In the halls of our fathers, everyone is dead,” it whispered mockingly. “You’ll be dead soon too, if you get curious. Some doors are locked for a reason. Some doors should stay locked.”
I woke up suddenly. Something was wrong. I heard Gil yelling. I fumbled around in the dark for the lamp, groggily checking the time. 4:17 AM. Flinging the comforters off, I ran downstairs.
Gil was sleeping on the couch, still as a corpse, and quiet as one too. I looked around confusedly. Where was the screaming coming from? I followed the noise out back. I looked at the shed, and my blood ran cold as I heard another long cry come from inside. I walked across the dirt yard in my slippers, not wanting to get any closer but walking forwards nonetheless. Part of me wondered if I was still dreaming, but the chill air against my sweaty face felt real enough.
The screaming from the shed was not in words. It was a long, drawn-out, painful shriek. It was the shriek of a mother who just lost her only child in a war zone, or the yell of someone doused with gasoline and burned alive, but amplified into an ear-splitting cacophony. I had the key in my pocket. I reached for it with shaking hands, pulling it out, slowly approaching the shed.
Then someone grabbed my shoulder. I jumped, whirling around with clenched fists, ready to fight. Then I saw it was Gil.
“You nearly gave me a heart attack,” I said through clenched teeth. “What the hell is wrong with you?” He put his finger to his lips, the universal signal for silence. Then he leaned close to my ear and whispered.
“If you open that shed now, we will both die,” he said quietly and calmly, as if he were just stating the weather for tomorrow. “Put the key away and go back to bed. You never want to open it in the dark. Never.”
“What do you know about it?” I whispered back, shooting glances over my shoulder at the shed. The screaming still came, though slower now, maybe one heart-rending shriek every minute or so. Part of me was glad there were no neighbors for half a mile in each direction, and that made me want to laugh. There was probably some horrific animal in there that would rip me apart if it got the chance, and I was thinking about noise complaints.
“Tomorrow,” Gil repeated, gently taking my arm and leading me back into the house. I sat next to him in the living room, pouring myself a gin and tonic, sipping it slowly as the screams from behind the house mixed with the canned laughter of the TV show, wondering what kind of man my father really was.
I woke on the couch, an empty glass falling out of my hand onto the cushion. Light streamed in through the windows. Gil was nowhere to be found. I looked back and forth, then heard the sizzling of food from the kitchen.
Stumbling in, I saw he had prepared a massive breakfast of bacon, sausages, corned beef hash, eggs Benedict with Hollandaise sauce, Texas toast, orange juice and coffee. He was smoking a joint with the windows opened, occasionally sending a grim look out the back of the house towards the shed. I sat down, pouring myself some coffee and grabbing milk and sugar to mix in.
“Who is all this food for?” I asked. He kept staring out the window. “Hey!” He turned suddenly, his face looking pale and drawn.
“I said, who is all this food for?” I repeated. He looked around, smiling.
“Just for us. Why not? I figure you will need the energy today, and so will I,” he said cryptically. He sat down across from me, pouring himself coffee and orange juice and grabbing a plateful of meat, toast and eggs. I did the same, giving him occasional glances.
“What did Dad tell you?” I asked, pouring maple syrup on my sausages and bacon and chugging an entire cup of coffee in one long swallow. It burned my throat, but the rising heat and caffeine made me feel instantly better and more awake. Gil sighed heavily.
“Not much, to tell you the truth,” he said. “He was really drunk one time when you were away at college, a couple months ago. He was drinking more and more before he died, like something was weighing on him, something he wanted to forget. Well, anyway, I was sitting down here with him, watching those documentaries he used to love with him, and during a commercial, he just started talking about the shed.
“‘Now boy,’ he said to me, ‘I know you probably have a few questions for me. I probably should have told you and your brother about it a long time ago, but it is something I don’t like to talk about. Out of sight, out of mind, I guess. I think talking about it tends to wake it up.’
“‘Wake up what?’ I said. Dad was quiet for a long time, just staring at me. Then he leaned close to me and whispered something strange.
“‘The stairs,’ he said. ‘They’re not normal, son. Sometimes they go down below the shed to a… Well, I guess it is just an empty sub-floor. Just a plain, swept dirt basement below the shed. But I never built any such sub-floor, and it wasn’t here when I bought the house, and it isn’t on the plans either. If that was it, then who would care? Hah, a free storage place, people would be happy, right?’ I nodded, grinning back at Dad. He seemed to have a glimmer of his old self for a second, happy and free. But then his face darkened again.
“‘But lots of times, boy, those stairs do not lead to a sub-floor. One time, they led down to a white room covered in blood, with bright fluorescent lights flickering all over the walls and ceiling. And there was a little girl down there, dancing among all the blood, jumping and twirling in her little blue dress, little ballerina slippers on her feet, and all the skin on her face peeled off. She was just a bloody, grinning skull. And when she saw me on the spiral steps in the corner, she stopped dancing and just stared. The lights began to turn off, everything went dark, and I ran, my boy, I ran faster than I have ever run in my life. I felt little hands grabbing at me as I made my way up the last stair and slammed that shed door behind me. I locked it as something fought to get out, something that felt far stronger than any child. And that was just one time.
“‘It’s worse at night. That’s when the real dangerous ones come out. I don’t know how the stairs work, son, and I don’t think I ever really want to. Maybe if you’re lucky, you’ll never have to deal with them. Maybe I’ll find a way to destroy them before I die. Aye, maybe…’” Gil stopped speaking, deep in thought and remembrance. I took another sip of juice and ate some bacon before responding.
“So you’re telling me Dad went batshit crazy before he died?” I asked. Gil shook his head quickly.
“He wasn’t crazy, Luke,” he said simply. “At least, I don’t think he was. If he was, the stairs probably made him that way. Do you really think that you were just hearing a fox or something caught in the shed last night? Those screams sounded human. We both know that was something unnatural. But I wouldn’t worry if I were you. If you need proof, we’ll have plenty after today- assuming you still want to go into the shed.” And after we finished eating, with no fanfare or delay, we did. I grabbed the key, and Gil and I went out side by side, scared but not showing it, ready to finally see for ourselves the mystery that had haunted our family for decades.
We walked through the hard-packed dirt yard, looking down the grassy field behind the house to the rolling hills that stretched as far as the eye could see. They began to grow blue, pale and fuzzy near the horizon. It was a beautiful place to live, and hard to imagine something so evil might be right in the middle of it.
The shed loomed up ahead of us, boards tightly hammered together and freshly painted a dark red color. The shingles on the small roof all looked relatively new, and the door was expensive and sturdy. I stood in front of the door, listening for the sounds of any movement, but there was nothing. I fumbled in my pocket for the key, pulling it out, looking at Gil who stood close by my side. Then I shoved it in the lock and opened the door.
The shed was dark, as if a curtain of shadow fell across the open door. I stuck my head in, feeling around the side for a lightswitch. And that was when something grabbed my hand. I screamed, ready to pull my hand out and run, and then I felt the lightswitch on the wall. I flicked it on quickly. There was no one in there. Shaking, I turned to Gil.
“Something grabbed me,” I whispered. He nodded, unsurprised. Then we walked in the shed together.
The walls inside were all covered with plates of sheet metal. Every square inch of the shed was reinforced with steel, including the roof, which had a flat pane of metal going straight across the shed, welded to the four that covered the walls. Only the floor was unprotected. It was just a plain dirt floor with a hole in the center.
Looking closer at the protective structure of the shed, I saw deep claw and gouge marks raking the metal’s surface, even those on the bottom of the ceiling eight feet above the floor. Something had clearly been in here and wanted very badly to get out.
I inched closer to the hole in the floor, which took up most of the floor of the shed. It was at least ten feet wide. Looking down, I saw spiraling steps, descending in a clockwise fashion as far down as the light extended. I found a small rock on the ground outside, came back in and dropped it down the center of the stairway. I listened for it to hit bottom, counting the seconds on my watch. After about thirty seconds, I realized it wasn’t going to. Maybe it was too far down to hear when the stone connected.
I looked over at Gil. He was standing as near to the door as he could get, looking like he would rather be anywhere else in the world. I gave him high marks for courage, though. There was something wrong in here, and I could feel it. Outside, it was warm and a fresh breeze blew the smell of flowers and pines through the yard. But in here, it was cold and oppressive. A freezing chill seemed to come from the hole in the floor, spiraling up with the stairs and running over my body, sending a feeling like ice running up and down my back.
“Do you want to go first, or should I?” I said, gesturing to the hole. Gil stared at me as if I had gone mad, his eyes widening.
“Why in the fuck should either of us go?” he said, raising his hands and using them to gesticulate wildly as he often did when he was upset. I shrugged.
“This is our property now,” I said. “We need to at least know what’s on it, don’t you think?” But there was another reason too. It was sheer curiosity, and a desire to prove to myself that there was nothing supernatural going on here, no monster in the closet, just the overactive imagination of an old man. Gil sighed.
“Fine,” he said. “I’ll go. Go grab two flashlights and Dad’s gun. Maybe some extra batteries. Some extra magazines too. Better safe than sorry, after all…”
We both went inside the house together, leaving the shed door wide open, and that was when, I believe, something got out. And then the killings in town began.
We descended the stairs slowly. They were stone, slick in some places. There was no guard rail or any protective barrier, which made my heart beat a little faster. I liked something to hold onto. If I took a tumble on these stairs, I might keep falling forever.
We heard strange sounds from below periodically, but when we shone our lights down there, we couldn't see anything. Echoes rose around us, sounding at one point like kids playing a game of hide and seek, at another like the howling of a wolf. Strange squeaks and clicks would also arise intermittently from the shaft below us, and then stop as quickly as they had started.
The noises got louder as we descended dozens of stories, then hundreds. It seemed like the stairs would just keep going on forever, until we hit the mantle of the Earth and got burned up. Then a door appeared, painted a chipped blue with a fading daisy on the center of it. I looked at Gil, then swung it open.
Beyond it, a hallway with fluorescent lights extended as far as the eye could see. Countless rooms went off it to the left and right. The lights flickered on and off, sending portions of the hallway into darkness. The floor was falling apart in many places, with strange molds and fungi growing out of the wood. White and black molds battled for space, forming huge colonies that were bigger than my shoe. I walked forward, putting my weight gingerly on the floorboard. It creaked slightly and felt wet under my shoe, yet it held my weight.
“Come on,” I said to Gil, who followed closely behind. As soon as we had walked a few steps down the hall, the door slammed shut by itself behind us. I jumped and turned, pulling out the gun reflexively. Gil put a hand on my shoulder, pushing the gun back down.
“It’s OK,” he said. I was breathing hard, my heart hammering in my chest. Maybe that was why I didn’t hear the counting at first.
But as we walked down the decayed hallway, the lights turning on and off above us with every step, I realized that someone was counting, and it had been going on for a while. It sounded like the voice of a little girl.
“Forty… thirty-nine… thirty-eight…” she said, counting off the seconds. I heard giggling from the rooms around us, but I couldn’t see anyone. We kept walking forward, but that counting was getting on my nerves- not least because I couldn’t for the life of me tell where it was coming from.
We checked the rooms to the left and the right. There were broken tables, old office equipment and chairs in nearly all of them. Some of them had fish tanks, but instead of fish, they had plumes of multi-colored molds growing over the top of them, or, in one case, a dead and dried-out turtle.
“...one… ready or not, here I come!” the girl’s voice screamed gleefully, and that was when all the lights went out at once. We quickly fumbled for our flashlights, turning them on at the same time. I had the gun in one hand crisscrossed with the flashlight in the other, a trick I had seen used in cop shows. Gil had a ten-inch bowie knife in one hand, which he had just removed from the massive scabbard he had it in around his leg. In his other hand, he held the flashlight, which he frantically shone back and forth, up and down.
“Geez, calm down with that thing,” I said. “You’re going to make me dizzy.”
“Something’s coming,” Gil whispered, a note of dread in his voice. “Don’t you hear it?” I stopped, listening hard. Indeed, I heard footsteps nearing, small suppressed giggles, the swishing of a dress. My flashlight illuminated a pale face, a little boy sneaking a peak out of the nearest room. He was filthy, covered in black soot with torn clothing and what looked like blood caked into his hair. He looked up at us quickly then withdrew into the room. For the first time, I felt genuinely scared. Now we could be certain we were being watched.
“Hey!” I whispered, running into the room after him. Gil followed close behind me. The footsteps seemed to be right next to us now, but I looked around, not seeing anyone. Then a blur of movement passed by as a little girl ran over to the little boy, where he was curled in the corner under a broken folding table, crying and shaking with terror.
“Found you!” she said. I shone my light directly at her back, seeing a pale blue dress, but I couldn’t see her face.
“Get away from that kid!” I yelled. She ignored me, bending down quickly, and before I knew what had happened, she had ripped the boy’s throat out with her teeth. She turned to look at us, and I saw that her face had been cut off, and now only a grinning skull remained. It was covered in a thin sheen of blood, and two tiny white pinpoints of light seemed to glow inside the empty sockets of her eyes. With her teeth full of flesh and gristle and fresh rivulets of blood running down her skeletal mouth, she continued to cry, “Found you! Found you! Found you!”
Without hesitation, I shot her in the shoulder. She fell back a half-step, turning to look at me with that skeletal grin, then spun around and continued eating the little boy. He was still alive, choking on his own blood, his huge eyes moving over to me as he died, as if accusing me of being the cause of all this. The sound of his last gurgling breaths were the only sounds now. I shot her again, but she wouldn’t go down. A blossom of blood began to spread outwards on her back where I had shot her, but she showed no pain. Gil grabbed my shoulder tightly.
“We need to get out of here,” he said through gritted teeth. I nodded. We ran back to the door we had come in through, but it was locked tight. The lights were still off. I told Gil to take a step back, then tried shooting at the lock. The bullet ricocheted crazily as if I had shot a reinforced army tank rather than a plain wooden doorway. Next we tried kicking it open, but it was as if it were fused to the wall.
I turned to look at him, and the truth passed between us in a glimpse. To get out, we would have to go farther in, where there were likely even worse things waiting for us.
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2023.05.28 20:47 spartachilles Midterms of 1938 A House Divided Alternate Elections
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Rising to the presidency under hotly contested circumstances by rallying the government to legally depose President Howard P. Lovecraft due to his infirmity, the first days of the Hayes presidency were far from smooth. Despite having held office for just 28 days, President Lovecraft and his inner group of supporters had spread their tendrils widely throughout the government, rushing quickly to appoint as many like-minded individuals as possible to positions of power within the government. Even after forcing the resignation of the whole Lilienthal clique the day before swearing his oath of office, President Hayes found himself preoccupied for weeks with comprehensively rooting out the Formicist movement from the federal government and finding enough of his own allies to fill in the many gaps left behind after the Formicist anthill had been scoured. Especially as the vast majority of the Formicists given positions of power in government had been white men, Hayes was particularly lauded for his appointment of substantially more women and people of color than any of his other predecessors. Perhaps nothing else more symbolized his commitment to equal rights than his choice to fill in the vacant office of Vice President, the widely celebrated union leader and Florida Senator Asa Philip Randolph.
Sensing more enemies lurking in the dark than just those in the Formicist movement, President Hayes was also quick to meet with Representative Samuel Dickstein, the longtime chair of the House Un-American Activities Committee. Feeling that their work had been neglected by the Dewey administration, Hayes worked with allies in Congress to ensure an appropriation of more resources to the Committee. The result was a reinvigoration of the White Scare that had followed the Cape Cod Invasion in the earlier decade, with high-profile hearings once again delving into the unsavory history of the DuPont chemical company and making new inroads into areas such as the film industry. Perhaps even more incendiary was Attorney General O. John Rogge’s string of prosecutions of figures implicated in Smedley D. Butler’s Business Plot allegations such as business executive Grayson M.P. Murphy and even former General James G. Harbord. Completing the circle was Secretary of Education George S. Counts, returned to his office after a brief interruption during the Lovecraft presidency, who initiated a nationwide endeavor for a standardized curriculum surrounding the history of Grantism designed to achieve a “social reconstruction”
underscoring the “moral equality of man”
and critical of societal institutions “inimical to the underlying principles of democracy.”
Once his position had been secured, Hayes hoped to spend the next years of his presidency agitating for the final realization of President Dewey’s Great Community and perhaps even to drive it into further adoption across all facets of American life and the economy. However, another issue would instead come to consume his presidency. Starting as all things do in the Balkans, the disintegration of the Triple Monarchy of Austria-Hungary-Croatia
led to a European crisis
after the Kingdom of Italy occupied territory claimed by the German Empire. With the pleas of the International Court of Justice falling on deaf ears, the conflict rapidly spiraled into continent-spanning war
after successive escalations by the powers of Europe. Even the socialist Republic of Spain, which had professed neutrality as the war broke out was near-simultaneously consumed by a civil war mimicking the patterns of the wider European war. But it was not only Europe that was thrust into the flames of war, Asia too exploded into open conflict
in the summer of 1938. After long-rising tensions finally reached a climax, the Japanese Empire launched an unsteady attack that rapidly transformed into a full-scale invasion of China replete with horrific war crimes and massacres of civilians.
Hayes’ position on foreign affairs was nothing if not clear, furiously denouncing the “military madness and tyranny”
of the French-Italian Pact of Steel and particularly attacking their sponsorship of the Nationalist rebels in Spain as an assault on global socialism. Likewise, Hayes echoed the sentiments of the late President Bliss in denouncing Japan for “sowing the dragon’s teeth of militarism”
. Yet President Hayes did not solely content himself with words, and made several bold moves to counter the threat he saw in international Integralism. After the sinking of two passenger liners carrying American civilians by French naval forces, Hayes successfully extracted an indemnity from the French government to compensate the victims and threatened to impose an embargo of ever-valuable coal and iron if further transgressions were made. Holding a strong affinity for the socialist government of Spain that was under siege by the Nationalist revolt, Hayes also openly fostered the formation of American volunteer units to fight on behalf of the Spanish government, though his efforts to send material aid failed at the hands of Solidarists and Federalist Reformists reluctant to provide such aid to a radically socialist government. However, such skepticism did not extend to the longtime American ally of China (perhaps in part thanks to deeply established commercial ties), prompting the authorization of arms and supply shipments to China through the British port of Guangzhou as well as substantial embargoes on the flow of the same going to Japan. In order to disarm the threat of large-scale strikes posed by longshoremen leader Harry Bridges and mine workers leader John L. Lewis, Hayes met with both and, using the panache of a former union man still extraordinarily popular with the rank and file, credibly threatened to get both of them voted out of their union presidencies if they did not cooperate and thus secured the free flow of goods out of Pacific harbors.
Of course, these issues of foreign affairs did not totally consume the domestic politics of the nation. In August of 1937, the Council of Censors published its first annual report on the operations of the government, producing a document harshly detailing millions of dollars that had been misspent or unaccounted for in federal appropriations and noted dozens upon dozens of instances of incompetent management among the civil service in the administration of the Great Community. Hoping to forge his own identity as the Speaker of the House even after his Formicist allies had been overthrown in the executive branch, Walter Rautenstrauch thus pushed the first substantial civil service reform bill in 50 years through the House of Representatives, designed to enact stringent requirements on newly created positions across the Departments of the Treasury, Commerce, and the Interior. Although the bill passed through the Senate thanks in part to public pressure from the Council of Censors, it earned a controversial veto as President Hayes attacked it as an antidemocratic measure designed to lessen control of the people over the government. Economically, the country showed signs of recovery from the depths of unemployment seen earlier in the Depression, but this coincided with increasingly rampant inflation as prices began to skyrocket across a wide variety of goods in the market as well as an increasingly staggering national debt. Yet with the House of Representatives largely deadlocked and the Senate determined to preserve the Great Community, little change was made to the economic policies of the nation aside from the nationalization of the merchant marine after several Federalist Reformist Representatives under the leadership of Royal C. Johnson crossed the aisle on the basis of preventing war profiteering and ensuring national defense. Also notable was the long-awaited referendum on the future of the Congo, in which independence won by a large margin, though Hayes moved to push the future independence of the territory back by another ten years in light of the dangerous international situation.
But as Americans once again head to the polls, several new incidents have brought foreign affairs to the fore of the national election. Following the brutal Battle of Nanjing, the USS Asheville was sunk by Japanese aircraft during an evacuation mission of American nationals and many of the remaining survivors were strafed by gunfire in the open water, among a litany of other acts of violence and brutality perpetrated on American civilians. Furthermore, reports streaming into the country from China detailed crimes against humanity perpetrated on an unimaginable scale by the invading Japanese army. Meanwhile, the House Un-American Activities Committee shocked the nation by reopening the previously cold investigation into the Cape Cod Invasion, announcing that the State Department turned over new documents suggesting that Ulysses Grant III and other ringleaders of the attempted overthrow of the democratic government had had extended communications with the Italian foreign ministry, leading many tabloids to conclude that Mussolini had himself sponsored the effort to return the Grant dictatorship to America. Thus, while weighing these new developments against the myriad other considerations surrounding the ongoing wars abroad, the American people now must decide how to react. As President Hayes has put it while stumping for the Social Democratic Party, “shall we ignore the call of our homeland, of liberty-loving Spain, of outraged and devastated Belgium, of heroic Britain and China, of starving Croatia?” Social Democrats
On domestic issues, the Social Democratic Party is remarkable for the unity fostered by President Dewey and his Great Community. While there remains much debate on the extent of government control over the economy and the mechanics of how they should be transferred out of private control, virtually the whole of the Social Democratic Party agrees that the nationalization of monopolistic industries such as the electric power, natural gas, and utilities industries are the most immediate priorities for extending worker control over the economy and putting an end to exploitative practices by business. Although largely content with the current regime of large deficit spending, dovish monetary policy, and a hefty taxation scheme, Social Democrats have continued to press for expansions to the land value tax in particular as a means to raise additional revenue to address the national debt while combating the pernicious effects of land ownership. Additionally, thanks to the advocacy of President Frank J. Hayes following many other predecessors, the Social Democrats have mobilized in favor of a system of universal sickness insurance to continue the extension of the expansive social safety net implemented with President Dewey’s Great Community. Blaming the greed of private businesses for the recent uptick in inflation and claiming that they have used the economic recovery as an excuse to extort average workers, President Hayes and the Social Democratic Party have called for the implementation of price controls on basic necessities and essentials of life if the inflation continues. However, while broadly unified on the matter of domestic matters, the same cannot be said of foreign affairs, where there remains an acrimonious split in the party.
are those who broadly support the struggle of the Spanish Republic, the Chinese Republic, and the Anglo-German Grand Alliance against the Integralist powers of France, Italy, and Japan. Framing the ongoing world war as a struggle of the forces of liberty and labor against the military tyranny of the Integralist ideology, the interventionist Social Democrats believe that action must be taken against France, Italy, and Japan lest Integralism once again threaten the United States. To this end, the interventionists have wholeheartedly backed the theory that Mussolini’s Italy were the backers of the Cape Cod Invasion that sought to restore Grantist rule to America, and point to the little-disputed French and Italian support for Nationalist Spain as evidence. Thus, under the leadership of notables such as New Jersey Senator Upton Sinclair, Montana Senator Jerry J. O’Connell, and Minnesota Representative John Bernard, the interventionists have come to support the rearmament of the United States, the sending of arms and material aid to Spain and China in particular, and even the entry of the United States into the war if it proves necessary. Some interventionists, such as Californian Robert A. Heinlein, have even gone so far as to claim universal military training as a fundamentally socialist concept that could be incorporated into a wider scheme of national service. However, many of the Social Democratic interventionists remain uncomfortable with the idea of allying the nation with the authoritarian monarchy of the German Empire, especially due to its repression of left-wing elements, but see it a necessary and lesser evil due to the less expansionist and ideological tendencies of the Kaiser. Broadly speaking, the interventionists tend to be more moderate than their isolationist counterparts, supporting a more limited vision of worker control of the economy and social spending, though there remain some radicals deeply committed to the international preservation and spread of socialism.
meanwhile have harshly denounced international conflict as the “fruit of the perpetual economic warfare of capitalism”
and insisted on the strict neutrality of the United States through the enforcement of an embargo on all belligerent powers with no further distinction to avoid sponsoring any type of warfare. Under the leadership of Connecticut Senator Devere Allen, New York Governor Norman Thomas, and Wisconsin Governor Daniel Hoan, the isolationists have attacked any efforts at the militarization of American society, believing that it will inherently lead to the oppression of the working class and return of dictatorship to the country. More than anything else, the isolationists have harshly denounced the thought of entering the war by alleging modern war to be inherently suicidal and causing an incalculable strain on the working class. Moreover, those within the isolationist camp have strongly questioned the underpinnings of the interventionist argument, arguing that Germany is as much of an enemy to the working class as the Integralists and questioning the commitment of Chiang Kai-Shek to any socialist ideals. Perhaps the most controversial position has come from civil rights activist W.E.B. DuBois
, who has argued that an intervention against Japan would merely foster a return of European colonialism in Asia. However, with most of the Social Democratic isolationists having an affinity for pacifism, few are content with simply letting the world war play its course. Instead, the isolationists concur that the American government and the wider socialist movement must agitate for a general strike by workers of all the belligerent powers to bring an end to the war, and perhaps realize worldwide socialist revolution. In general, the isolationists skew more radical than the interventionists, often favoring the inflammatory Declaration of Principles authored by Devere Allen that supports wide-reaching nationalizations of much of the economy. Solidarity
While Solidarity has long held members of both conservative and progressive stripes, the differences between them has become largely diminutive in the face of the sweeping leftward march of President Dewey’s Great Community. Attacking the fiscal policies of the Social Democratic Party as reckless and irresponsible, Solidarity is unified in the demand for federal spending to be drastically cut as a countermeasure against explosive inflation of prices and to avert the looming possibility of a sovereign debt crisis. Moreover, Solidarity argues that the overly expansive size of the federal government under the Social Democratic administrations has lent itself to the rise of governmental corruption and labor racketeering, and thus has come to largely favor civil service reform. Still cognizant of the risk of a return to economic crisis, Solidarity remains supportive of a dovish monetary policy designed to expand the money supply and thereby avoid a slip back into the deflation of the Great Depression, and many of its progressive members favor reasonable antitrust measures and other regulations to prevent the exploitative industry practices. Although the distinction has been encroached upon the Social Democratic Party under Presidents Dewey and Hayes, Solidarity also has a reputation as the strongest defender of civil rights in American politics, with many of its populations favoring greater action to end discrimination in private business and ensure the equality of African Americans and women in American life. Much like their Social Democratic peers, Solidarity has also been beset by a growing rift between two camps of thought on foreign affairs ever since the dream of international arbitration died alongside its champion former President George Foster Peabody in the midst of a world war.
are those that support the struggle of China against the invasion by the Japanese Empire and the Anglo-German Grand Alliance against the invasions by France and Italy. Believing the Integralist powers to be aggressors impossible to reason with who have destroyed the world peace so painfully architected by their party two decades ago, figures such as Connecticut Governor Raymond E. Baldwin, House Leader Charles Phelps Taft II, and former presidential nominee Wendell Willkie see little alternative but to take drastic action to preserve the world order. The interventionists, feeling an affinity towards the democracy of the United Kingdom, have also been quick to frame the conflict as one between the democratic way of life and the aggressive authoritarianism of the Integralist ideology. Thus, they favor a measured rearmament plan to prepare the United States for an eventual conflict, as well as policies designed to contain the war-making abilities of France, Italy, and Japan. Although some hold a distant hope for being able to arbitrate this world war in much the same way as the last, most of the interventionists have become convinced that an American intervention into the war, particularly in Europe, will be necessary to avoid world domination by aggressive Integralist powers antithetical the civil liberties and democratic values which Solidarity has cherished since its foundation. While expressing some hesitancy to the idea of intervening on behalf of the German Empire after its recent dissolution of the Reichstag, the interventionists have a greater faith in the German commitment to the restoration of the Hague system of international affairs and believe that they may be able to pressure for the reintroduction of democratic government in the country. Unlike the Social Democrats, the Solidarist interventionists are skeptical of the socialist Spanish Republic and largely reluctant to commit to supporting it. On the whole, the interventionists tend to be more progressive than their isolationist colleagues, favoring a greater degree of regulation in the economy and more willing to compromise with the Social Democrats to preserve the Great Community.
instead believe that the collapse of the Hague system is the ultimate proof that the United States should turn inwards and avoid foreign entanglements. Rejecting the idea that America is responsible for the preservation of democracy abroad, the isolationists believe that the interventionists are merely intent on drawing the country into a bloody and expensive war that may well invite the very tyranny they claim to be opposing. Instead, as typified by leaders such as Michigan Representative Arthur H. Vandenberg, Ohio Representative Robert A. Taft, and Florida Representative Zora Neale Hurston, isolationists instead support a strict program of embargo on all belligerent powers designed to show no favoritism to either party and ensure that further incidents such as the sinkings of the USS Asheville or the SS Scharnhorst are avoided. Thus, they argue, the country would be able to avoid being drawn into the war and focus on maintaining its prosperity and addressing its many domestic issues. Moreover, they believe that if the United States is able to steer clear of the raging international conflict, it might naturally emerge in a dominant international position after the war has run its course. The isolationists also distrust broad rearmament programs, believing that wantonly strengthening the peacetime military could result in a return of Grantism and military dictatorship in the country. The isolationists tend to be largely conservative, taking a harder line against government spending and believing in a restrained role of government in regulating the economy. Federalist Reform
Broadly dominated by its New Nationalist wing, the domestic platform of the Federalist Reform Party remains largely centered around the ideas pioneered by its thought leader Charles Edward Merriam though there remain some more conservative skeptics. Although much like Solidarity the party sees the deficit spending of the Social Democratic Party as fiscally irresponsible and philosophically disagree with the nationalization of industry, the Federalist Reform Party holds a markedly different view on the relationship between the government and the economy. United around a belief in the need for a strong executive to successfully regulate the economy and push forward their governmental initiatives, the Federalist Reform Party supports cooperation between government planning experts and the private sector to avert cutthroat competition, direct the economy towards more profitable investments, and regulate the excesses and failures of the market economy. They also support a more limited program of public works spending to help stimulate the economy under the framework of a balanced budget. Blaming President Dewey’s removal of the country from the gold standard for the recent inflation, the Federalist Reform Party has called for more hawkish monetary policies if not an outright return to the gold standard to help control inflation in conjunction with a balanced budget. Hoping to strike a middle ground between a respect for labor and controls against radical leftism, the Federalist Reform Party generally favors the maintenance of many current union protections while also calling for a criminal syndicalism law that would outlaw the advocacy of the use of violence to effect political or economic change. Yet perhaps one of the party’s most defining traits is its stringent denunciation of corruption in government, calling for it to be comprehensively rooted out through civil service reform and anti-corruption efforts while blaming the Social Democrats for fostering the growth of graft and crime from within the government. Unsurprisingly, the Federalist Reform Party has also become bifurcated along the lines of interventionism and isolationism in the face of the global war.
of the party see it as in the nation’s best interests to intervene in the world war on behalf of the Anglo-German Grand Alliance and the Chinese Republic. Displaying a more coldly practical perspective, the interventionists, led by figures such as House Leader Harry Hopkins, former Senator Harold L. Ickes, and newer faces such as W. Averell Harriman have noted that the deep commercial and financial ties between the United States and the United Kingdom, Germany, and China leave it little choice but to intervene in the conflict. Moreover, they argue that if France, Italy, and especially Japan are left to succeed in the world war, they will surely pose a direct military threat that America will sooner or later be compelled to confront. Instead, they believe that the United States should intervene sooner rather than later to ensure that it can better project its influence in whatever new order may result after the end of the war, and have particularly taken aim at the threat posed by Imperial Japan with its formidable navy. Although holding few of the reservations that the other parties do about committing to open war, the interventionists agree that the country is woefully underprepared for an international war after years of military neglect by the previous presidential administrations. Thus, they have pragmatically suggested that the country rely on providing material aid to its future allies while embargoing its anticipated enemies and embarking on an ambitious rearmament program. The cornerstone of such a rearmament program would be the implementation of universal military training compelling all young men into a period of military service in preparation for an eventual war, a program which they hope to maintain in the long term due to other claimed benefits such as the installation of a spirit of discipline and nationalism. Having a certain affinity for more authoritarian government, the Federalist Reformist interventionists have not shied away from aligning with the German Empire, but have been rather critical of the alleged corruption of Chiang Kai-Shek’s China and have ruled out entirely the idea of intervening on behalf of radical socialism in Spain.
of the party, largely ruled by Chicago Tribune publisher Robert R. McCormick but also supported by Congressional figures such as Hamilton Fish III, have argued that America has nothing to fear from the global war should it pursue a prudent policy of national defense. Much like the isolationists in the other parties, they have largely called for an embargo on all belligerent powers to avoid offending any particular side or otherwise drawing the country into the war. Yet much unlike the other isolationists, they have nonetheless strongly supported a national program of rearmament and universal military training under a policy of armed neutrality to guarantee the nation’s security and safety from foreign threats. This, they argue, is the best course to ensure that the country is not attacked or otherwise forced into the war. Disagreeing with the assessment of their other Federalist Reformist peers, the isolationists argue that the United States has nothing to fear from any foreign power due to its naturally defensible position with oceans separating it from any dangers. Likewise, they argue that commercial bonds can easily be reforged either with fellow neutral nations or with the victorious powers. On the whole, many of the isolationists are also conservative skeptics of the New Nationalist movement who favor less government intervention in the economy and blame overly powerful unions for the nation’s economic woes. While the political scene has become rife with fiery condemnations for opposing opinions on foreign affairs, the Federalist Reformist isolationists have acquired a more unsavory reputation than their counterparts in other parties. Still lurking within the party are those remaining hardliners and outright Grantists who openly sympathize with the Integralists and have pragmatically backed the isolationist position in the hopes that France, Italy, and Japan can continue to press their advantageous position to victory. With figures ranging from radio priest Charles Coughlin to former Georgia Senator Eugene Talmadge, their political views range from populism bordering on the Social Democratic platform to archconservatism, but they remain united by their admiration for Integralists such as Mussolini and their stringent isolationism. View Poll
2023.05.28 20:37 swingerlover THE ANCIENT HISTORY OF LOVE SPELLS #lovespell #lovespells
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The erotic attraction spells also known as love spells, can be traced from the syncretic magic custom of Hellenistic Greece- which included the Hebraic and Egyptian features as recorded in texts like the Greek Magical Papyri and also on amulets as well as other artefacts that date up to late third century A.D. The magical rituals continued to impact on private custom among German society, in Gaul (for Celtic people) and Roman Britain. Erotic magic exhibited gender responsibilities in classical Greece and dropped the contemporary misconceptions on gender lines and sexuality. According to the University of Chicago’s Christopher Faraone- a classical professor, there was a clear distinction between magic practiced by both genders with men practicing Eros and women Philia.
Indeed, the two kinds of spells can be linked to gender responsibilities in Ancient Greece. Because women depended on men, they used philia. From ancient times, women weak and utilize any means possible to maintain their spouses. At the time when men had the liberty to leave their wives as they wished, the use of philia was necessary. With that, most women chose to use it as a way to maintain their beauty and as a source of peace of mind. Make Men Faithful
Women used philia magic to make their men faithful and stick to them. Elementary beliefs on sexual attitudes in Greece were rejected by the discovery of the philia love spells
, rituals, and potions. Rather than applying it as a means of getting sexual pleasure, women used the spells as medicine or therapy. Women used philia spells to try to conserve their beauty and remain appealing. This can be related to general medical usage by women. In ancient Greece, most women used spells as a kind of therapy. Despite the form of spells and whether they worked or not, there was something special about them- they made the users feel more contented with their situations and have the feeling that they have some powers over the prevailing situations. In that case, magic works just like regions. In a nutshell, prayers and spells have a lot of similarities in that both bring the tranquility of mind and they both use something spiritual to command something that is presently unmanageable.
For men and prostitutes, Eros spells were mainly used to serve an entirely different role in ancient Greece. They were mostly applied by men to introduce lust and enthusiasm into women, directing them to accomplish the men’s desires. Without some kind of powers like that exhibited by spells, women felt insecure that is why they would strive to seek the affection producing spells. While men experienced a free life where they chose what they wanted to do, women on the other hand were relatively restricted. For instance, they were required to serve only one husband and home. This prompted women who were not practicing prostitution to apply eros magic to meet their sexual demands. Women in love Magic. Malleus Maleficarum of 1487 best illustrated the view of women
in the Renaissance. The introduction part of the text presents the sexuality of women with respect to the devil. In his book, Heinrich Kramer wrote, “All witchcraft originates from sexual desire, which in women is unquenchable.” At this time, men of the Renaissance fretted the sexual capability of the opposite gender. They linked it to the devil and thought of them as sexual associates to demons. The book, Kramer narrates a case where a witch got her powers by summoning the devil to get into sexual relations. By the use of her sexual powers, she acquires power, therefore, viewed as evil and a threat. To confirm this, in most of the witchcraft prosecutions submitted before the Holy Office (in Roman Inquisition), women were accused using their own sexuality to bind their lusts and sexuality.
From Ancient experiences and stories, it is evident that Love Spells
had a great impact on love matters. Like today, it was respected and feared by people. Also, it was used by others to fulfill their sexual needs where possible. Love spells are deeply rooted to the lives of most people. Therefore, even in the contemporary world, many people can still relate to it. Although there has been a lot of transformations in terms of lifestyle and the view of people on supernatural powers, love spells can’t be underrated.
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originally posted at, and permission to repost from: https://izabaeldajinn.com/2020/07/the-ancient-history-of-love-spells
2023.05.28 18:47 bubblebassth Had a bad few months and failed a class due to missing work... is it plausible to petition?
Hello everyone. I am a student who failed a class this past semester due to not submitting my work.
In a long story in sequential order (by week), I had the flu, then I was sent to the ER due to swelling/difficulty breathing the week afterward. At the ER it was deemed that I had an infection in my mouth, so I was scheduled for an emergency oral surgery. The weekend following that surgery I was sent to the ER again because of chest pain, difficulty breathing, and vertigo. At the ER, they analyzed my blood. The doctors just told me to manage my pain medication intake (I was on narcotics) in case my symptoms were due to overdose. By the end of the week I had developed another infection and needed to return to the dentist.
Throughout all this, I had missed four exams that I needed to make-up, along with around 10 assignments. I spent the next two weeks dedicating my time to studying for my exams and trying to make up my assignments (to which I failed all of them). I informed all but one professor about this, which was a big mistake on my behalf.
After the two weeks, I suddenly got headaches, fatigue, and bodily pain (which is still occurring). I called our school’s medical office to ask to get swabbed for a potential infection, but they said that it’s probably just a virus and that I should rest for a few days. At that point, it was the end of the semester and classes were over, so I took the rest of the week to rest but the symptoms weren’t going away. I was still trying to makeup my assignments but I didn't finish them all.
I told my academic dean about this and and she asked me to send her a list of the assignments that I had not finished yet because I said I wasn't sure if I would finish them in time. I ended up getting approval to postpone all my final exams, however I did not submit my assignments in for the one class that I did not update my professor on (this was me being stupid— I didn’t tell him any of this because when I had to make up a lot of labs in his class due to having the flu, I heard him snickering to his coworkers when he saw me make-up my lab for the 3rd time, and I was so tired and frustrated that my professors viewed me as a bad student). As a result, I got an F in that class.
I asked to petition my grade, but my dean responded that it would be extremely difficult for me to get approved for a retroactive incomplete because I didn’t request for one before the grade was put in. But what frustrates me is that I was sick and was unaware that I myself could request a temporary incomplete— I thought it was through the dean only (hence why I sent my assignment list to her).
I didn’t do too well first semester, and now that I have an F on my transcript I am going to be removed from my scholarship. I’m really stressed about this because I use the money from my scholarship to pay for my brother’s speech therapy and his health needs, and I don’t know what to do anymore.
Edit: A week before the grade was input, I went to the ER to get checked out, and all they said was to schedule an appointment with my PCP. There wasn’t availability until two weeks later. It was there that I was diagnosed with migraines and that I possibly have anemia (they don't exactly know what type because my iron and hemoglobin are normal). When my blood panel was done a month ago, I had similar readings but the doctor didn’t tell me this when I expressed concern about it, which is even more frustrating.
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2023.05.28 18:01 jjfajen Apex Predator (Part 46)
Memory transcription subject: Daniel Price, UTC Special Forces
Date [standardized human time]: September 8, 2140
I was roused from sleep by Colton. Groggily I checked my watch, it had been four hours. Rubbing my eyes I groaned, “Is evac here yet?”
“No, we’ve got an issue. Get up. I’ll grab Jath and Tassev, you get Usli and go to the common room. They’ll fill you in. It sounds like the situation up top has gone to shit.”
Once I was up I lazily grabbed my backpack and parted the partition of the ‘room’ to begin my search for Usli. It wasn’t hard, following the sound of Yotul children I found him being dogpiled by them in a sectioned off area that must have been a playroom of some description.
“Come on Usli, everyone’s meeting in the common room. Apparently there’s a situation.”
“Awww”, several of the young Yotuls cried out in unison.
Usli shook some of them off and got to his feet. “Alright kids, fun’s over.” Kicking his leg he shook off one particularly stubborn child. “Get off! There will be plenty of time to horse around later.”
Clinging to Usli’s back one kid asked, “What’s a horse?”
Usli leaned in towards me, “You see what I have to deal with?”
I could hardly contain a chuckle as I pried the last straggler from him. “I see you’re popular. Did they let you get any sleep?”
“No. They are just full of questions. ‘Do you live with predators? What is space like? Have you killed anyone? Ooh what’s that shiny bug in your pack? Do your Arxur ever eat anyone?’ And then when they’re out of questions they drag you around showing you their favorite rock or their favorite dolls, or-”
I could no longer contain my chuckle as I burst out laughing, "Cut them some slack. You’re probably the coolest Yotul they’ve ever met.”
He let out an amused huff, “Easy for you to say when they’re not keeping you awake. They’ve barely bugged you guys and haven’t even bothered Jath or Tassev at all”
One of the children ran up behind us and grabbed a hold of the backpack in my hand. “Is this your toy,” he asked, grabbing a hold of Lily.
Yanking the backpack up I hoisted the kid off his feet up to eye level and tersely replied, “Don’t touch that!”
He immediately let go and fell on the ground stunned as we continued walking. Looking over to Usli I saw he was barely suppressing a chuckle, holding his hands tight to his snout. I gave him a playful jab with my elbow before sighing, “Oh you shut up, let’s see what’s going on.”
Entering the common area we found everyone was huddled around the radio again. As the dials were adjusted we were privy to what sounded like numerous commands and battle updates.
“What’s the situation,” I asked.
Ugo, the elderly Yotul who we now knew was something of a de facto leader of this enclave, answered, “The Federation is not content to see us freed without a fight. Just as the humans won control in orbit, a Krakotl fleet arrived in the system. The battle is ongoing, but we cannot tell who is winning.”
Shit. If we hadn’t found these guys there’s no doubt we would have been overrun with our evac being delayed. It was inevitable that the Federation would contest us in space eventually. Our overall strategy forced them to pick and choose which systems were better abandoned and which were worth defending, and it looked like Yotul Prime was the latter.
“Have confidence,” I reassured him. “The First Fleet should have more than enough firepower to deal with whatever the Federation throws at them.”
“And if they don’t? Our food stockpile can’t cover the extra mouths to feed, let alone your uh, dietary requirements.”
Colton entered the scene with Jath and Tassev in tow, “Then we’ll send another fleet. Kicking the Federation out of Yotul Prime is high on Command’s Christmas list. You guys are the only species that even tried to reach out to us after the bombing. That’s not something we intend to forget.”
The sound of wood scraping the floor grabbed our attention. It was Amja, who was pulling a small table with one hand and carrying a bundle of paper in the other. “There is another issue.” She stopped and layed the paper, which looked like a map, over the table. “With the distraction, they’re going to evacuate the Governor.”
“Oh not this again,” Ugo lamented.
“This is our last chance to take him down. If he escapes now we’ll never find him.”
“How many times do I have to tell you, there is nothing to gain in pursuing him. The planet will be ours again soon anyways. You’ll just get yourself killed, and for what? Revenge?”
Amja snapped back, “No, justice! He needs to answer for what he’s done these past years. If he slips through the cracks now our people will never have closure. And this time is different.” She looked over to us, “We have them.”
“Hold on,” I said. “ My team didn’t sign up for a suicide mission. The planetary distress beacon was our objective, and it is neutralized; in no small part due to your help. We are thankful for that, but I can’t justify putting my men at that kind of risk.”
“It’s not a suicide mission. The Ossuaries can get us close to the old Chancellor’s Manor where the Governor’s headquarters is. Everyone is in the bunkers right now, so at worst we’ll only encounter the odd exterminator until we reach the manor.”
Ugo interrupted, “And then his guards will cut you to ribbons! We’ve been over this!”
“Not if they are evacuating,” Amja replied. “Yes, they will be on alert, but they won’t be guarding the whole perimeter. We can slip in and nab the Governor before he has the chance to flee, but that’s not all.” She unfurled more sheets of paper. These appeared to be copies of communications. “The manor is full of documents and records. Lists of collaborators, records about those they took during the Depurations, even what they did with the humans left behind after the invasion. The Kolshians won’t leave information like that for us to find once this is all over. They’re probably burning them as we speak. We need to act now.”
“We have to do this.” Turning back to us she pleaded, “I know it is a lot to ask, but please.”
As much as I’d like to knock this Governor down a notch, that wasn’t enough to risk my team over. But the documents on the other hand caught my attention. Records of Federation’s wrongdoing would be an invaluable propaganda tool for the UTC, and help us legitimize whatever government was set up on Yotul Prime after we were done here. Not to mention the possibility of helping people the Federation had taken or captured. I looked to my team and I could see by their expressions what my answer would be.
“The coast is clear,” Amja said, pushing the manhole cover to the side. Sirens were still wailing in the distance, but there was no movement on the streets of the capital. Immediately I was taken aback by the sight of dozens of mangled Yotul strewn across the street and sidewalks.
“Christ,” Colton muttered under his breath. ”This isn’t our doing? Right? They said cities wouldn’t be targeted for bombing.”
“Not directly,” Amja replied. “These poor souls are victims of a stampede. That’s just how it is. Their deaths are on the Federation, not you. If they took your offer of surrender then these people would still be alive.” She then noticed Jath kneeled down over one of the unfortunate Yotul. “Hey! Now is not the time for snacks.”
“I was checking for vitals!”, Jath growled back.
“Jath is our medic,” I said.
“What?!” Amja was taken aback by my statement. “You trust an Arxur to treat your wounded? To be near you at your weakest with blood in the air?”
“I do,” Usli rebutted. “And I trust Tassev to have my back in a firefight too.”
“That’s- it’s just… nevermind.”
Jath rose to his feet somberly, an indication that the emaciated Yotul lying at his feet was indeed dead. “We need to keep moving.”
The streets were utterly deserted. Making our way mostly through back alleys Amja commented on this fact. “Something’s not right. We should have seen at least one exterminator patrol by now.”
It was soon apparent why as we came to the perimeter of the manor grounds. Numerous vans labeled EXTERMINATOR were parked haphazardly going all the way down the boulevard.
“Those bastards,” Amja cursed. “They aren’t patrolling because the Governor has them supplementing his own security!”
“So what’s the plan,” I asked.
“We stick to the plan. He likely doesn’t trust them enough to have them mingled with his normal security inside the manor. In that case all of the exterminators will be outside, if we can sneak our way into the building they won’t be an issue.”
“And those second story windows will make the perfect vantage point to keep them out once we’re in,” Colton observed.
Once again Usli’s drone was a godsend. The bright silver suits of exterminators made them easy to pick out from the well manicured surroundings of the manor. After climbing over the exterior wall we were able to use the decorative foliage to our advantage, concealing our movement as we approached the manor proper. The best entry point Usli could find was a greenhouse that connected to the main building. Approaching the structure we could see one Yotul standing guard at the door. Shooting him wasn’t an option, Even Colton’s suppressed rifle would make too much noise to not alert someone else in the compound. Someone would have to sneak up behind him and silently take him out. I opted to take up this task, but it would not be simple. He would see me in his peripheral vision if I was anywhere except directly behind him when I struck. This was complicated by the fact his back was to a wall.
“Usli,” I whispered. “Remember when we went on that float trip and there were mosquitos everywhere bugging us?”
“Bugging you more like, they only annoyed me when they got in my eyes and ears.”
I gestured towards the guard, “When I’m in position, give him a taste of that.”
Connecting the dots he nodded and I slowly crawled to the spot I had in mind. The greenhouse was rounded on the end towards us, and the door was located on the left side. I snuck around towards the right side and got into position prone right up against the side just where the curve concealed me from the guard’s view.
On cue I could hear the guard grunting in irritation. After the sounds of him slapping himself on the head came more frustration, “Damn bug, go away!”
Peeking around the bend now that his full attention was one the drone, I waited for the perfect moment. Finally the irritated guard turned so that he was facing directly away from me. Springing into action I ran forward, knife in hand. He turned at the sound of my approach but it was too late, I tackled the marsupial to the ground, pinning him with my bodyweight. I grabbed his snout with my left hand, ensuring he couldn’t scream for help. And thrust the blade into his throat with my right. The muffled cry of the Yotul beneath me waned into a sickening gurgle as his frantic, fearful eyes glazed over and his resistance ceased. I sat on top of him for a moment in a daze before the feeling of warm blood on my hand snapped me back to reality. On autopilot I removed the knife and wiped the blade off with the dead Yotul’s uniform before turning to gesture for my team to move up. The door was locked, but the guard conveniently had a key on him. Inside we found no resistance as we entered the main building.
Shooting a bird wasn’t something I had any real qualms about. There was something detached about the action of pulling a trigger to end one. But stabbing a Yotul, to overpower it and watch the life leave its eyes…To feel its blood soak my hands? It was different. I knew his death was necessary like all the others, but in the back of my mind I couldn’t shake a feeling. When I shot a Krakotl it felt akin to our target practice with wild pigs. Killing the Yotul on the other hand? It felt like I killed a person. I didn’t linger on these thoughts for more than a moment. We had a job to do.
We dispatched two more guards inside in a similar manner as we moved up to the second floor and towards what Amja’s floor plans denoted as the Chancellor’s Office. Colton took point dispatching these guards. While Jath or Tassev would seem like the obvious choice for the task, we wanted to slit throats, not tear the guards in half. We came to an open space that looked similar to a ballroom. The second floor formed a balcony that overlooked the dance floor. Here the hallway split to hug the walls on either side with ornate chandeliers hanging in the open space between the walkways. At the opposite end from us was a trio of Krakotl who opened fire the moment they could make us out over the chandeliers. Bullets whizzed by us as we hit the deck and tried to return fire, but it was difficult. The chandeliers provided little more than concealment, glass shards accompanied the bullets flying all around us. Amja crawled to the point where the walkway split and rolled to the right, hitting one of the guards who let out a pained squawk. She tried to crawl back into concealment but took a bullet to the shoulder as the birds returned a hail of gunfire in her direction. Trying to draw them off, I let out a burst of gunfire in what I thought was the direction the squawk came from as I ran to the left side of the split.. They shifted their fire towards me, but unable to pinpoint my position, missed their shots by mere inches. Looking to my right I could see Amja holding her shoulder with her left hand while her right arm laid limp on the ground.
“Jath!” I yelled out, “Amja’s hit!”
He crawled forward towards our position, hugging the ground to avoid the exchange of gunfire that flew above. Amja looked to me and pleaded, “N-no, I’m fine. Just- f-focus on them.”
“We’re not leaving you to bleed out there.”
She adjusted herself to see Jath’s approach from down the hall and looked back to me with newfound terror in her eyes. She spoke lower and faster, gasping between breaths “I d-don’t, I don’t. Not with h-him. No!”
“There’s no time to argue. Trust us.” I turned around to see Jath closing in. Amja closed her eyes and winced as he grabbed her by the leg and pulled her back into the hallway.
The situation wasn’t good. The only thing keeping those two from being shot was the fact they couldn’t be seen through the chandeliers. It was as Jath rounded the corner into a side room that I made a realization: if it wasn't for the chandeliers, the guards would be in a more exposed position than we were. Without them we had the advantage.
“Colton! Drop the chandelier!”
Within moments the roof anchor of the first chandelier was shot out. With an ear splitting crash it shattered on the floor below, quickly followed by the second. The birds were caught off guard by the destruction of their only concealment. The one Amja had shot was already down and another was clutching the sides of its head, giving us ample time to pick off the more composed bird first before finishing off the other, all before they could return accurate fire.
“Move up,” I yelled, not wanting to waste any of our momentum. I took the right side while Tassev took the left. The moment I was in position, several rounds were blind fired through the door from within. I swung the door and Tassev threw a flashbang in. As it flashed multiple times more gunshots rang out, firing every which way. When the grenade ceased Tassev barged in and I followed behind. Directly in front of me stood a blue cephalopoid figure. One of the tentacles that formed its arms was stretched in front of its eyes while the other flailed wildly with a gun in hand. Without hesitation, Tessev lunged for the gun wielding appendage. I ran to the side to get a clear shot on the Kolshian and barked commands for him to surrender, not that he could hear me considering that his equivalent of ears were probably bleeding. He thrashed in every direction as Tassev finally wrested control of the gun via liberal application of his claws. Seeing that Colton had come in behind us and could keep lethal cover on our target, I opted to bash the Kolshian’s head with the butt of my rifle. The dazed alien fell to the ground and we were finally able to restrain him. The office was huge in comparison to similar rooms in the manor. This had to be the room we were looking for. Colton vaulted the desk on the far end of the office, peaking through the window before tearing down the curtains.
“Where’s Usli,” I asked.
“He’s with Jath treating Amja,” Colton replied. He returned his gaze outside for a moment before readying his rifle, “Shit, we’ve got exterminators incoming.”
I looked to Tassev, “We need to get everyone in this room ASAP.” He nodded and rushed out the door.
Walking to the window I asked, “How many?”
“Twenty and counting,” Colton replied. “A few guards with firearms as well.”
“You need covering fire?”
“No, just finish off the ones that get through.”
With that he opened the window before laying down judicious fire on the oncoming hostiles. It was at this moment that Tassev returned with Amja in his arms.
“Put her down over here,” Jath ordered, swiping away stray books and debris that littered the floor.
“What’s her condition,” I asked.
“The bullet entered from the top of the shoulder blade and is now lodged in her abdomen. I don’t have the tools necessary to remove it and she can’t move her right arm, but it didn’t hit anything vital.”
Amja winced as she was propped up against the wall. She was obviously still fairly shaken as her gaze drifted to the Kolshian tied up opposite of her. Her eyes narrowed as she weakly pointed at him with her still functioning hand, “T-that’s him.”
"That's the Governor?" I queried.
Before she could respond, Usli stomped towards the Kolshian, his hands balled into fists, “Good. I was hoping to get a piece of him.”
“Not now,” I cautioned. “We’ve got exterminators plus anyone else in the building closing in on us.” I swept a computer and monitor off the top of the heavy wooden desk behind Colton. “Tassev, help me push this thing to the door for cover. Usli, I need you to tell us exactly how many hostiles make it in the building. Move it!”
The sound of the desk dragging against the floor was only drowned out by the sound of Colton's gunfire occasionally followed by an explosion of what must have been exterminator fuel tanks. Tassev finished the construction of our makeshift machinegun nest by resting his gun on its bipod looking down the unobstructed view into the ballroom and the hallway across. The perfect fatal funnel for us to defend.
submitted by jjfajen
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2023.05.28 17:58 Tenebo [ARMA3][MAIN REPO] Operation: Coup le Dance - 24/06/23 19:00 UTC
Calendar Details:2023-06-24 19:00 Arma 3 Main Repo Coup le Dance
Where? PA Arma 3 Server
When? 19:00 UTC Join the discord!
Get the mods through our html link, on the discord (in the "arma-info" channel)
When should I update the mods? As soon as you can, PM mods with issues. Recommended reading: http://ttp3.dslyecxi.com/
If you have any issues with any of them, or anything really. Do not hesitate to contact me or any of the other helpers on Discord. Discord is the easiest way to get a hold of me. Warning Order
. Event trailer
Situation: General Charles Le Tour
has been freed from imprisonment and his loyal officers are now actively plotting to overthrow the government
The Northern Brigade
, which was once the fallen general own brigade, has been placed under house arrest, while the Southern Brigade
, led by what many see as Charles rival, has been tasked with assisting the government to maintain safety against a growing threat of rebellion. However, the government is unaware of the Southern Brigade's true loyalty.
The country is currently under a curfew, with the Gendarmerie
and Republican guardsmen
patrolling the streets and army personnel is setting up roadblocks around the capital. The smoke is thinking, and where there is smoke there are flames.
Main Objectives: Map of AO
- Respawn at the battalion FOB, in waves, 30 second.
- Vehicles will arrive at the battalion FOB after getting respawned.
- Advance bandages and wound reopening are enabled.
- Advance medication is not enabled.
Slotting: Use this in your slotting comment: IGN: SLOT: Alpha MG Leadership roles will be given in priority to players who have been in at least 3 events at PA.
CO, squad leaders and special roles (All roles in bold letters) should join the TeamSpeak 30 minutes before the event starts for planning the mission. If this is your first event with us we would also like to ask you to join 30 minutes early for a quick introduction to PA.
CO and NCO has the ability to request support from Tanakya Charlie
CO and NCO has also the ability to request refuel and rearming from the train section
The designated driver in the squad has the engineering trait and can provide lightly repairs in the field.
may choice to remove their primary weapon and work solely as medics
if they see the need for it. In this situation they will not be a target in the eyes of Opfor
, the medic
may choice to bear their sidearm in this situation to defend their wounded patients. Misusing this is breaking the rules of war and will have consequences.
may choice to pick up their primary weapon again if they will continuum on after as combat medics
Likewise, is the ambulance
protected under the laws of war, and will not be a target of Opfor
. The medics
may use the ambulance
to transport themselves from or to a location, or transport wounded personal out of the battle zone. Following the laws of war;
o You cannot use the ambulance
to transport troops
to the AO, you can only use it to transport wounded out from it.
o You cannot use the ambulance
to transport prisoners
Breaking these rules will have consequences.
This list is not guaranteed to be up to date! Quickly look through the comments to ensure your slot hasn't already been claimed.
|Platoon Charlie Alpha ||Player ||Loudout |
|Charlie Alpha Niner || ||M151 “Mutt” Jeep |
|Platoon CO ||Tricky ||FAMAS F1M203 + LR |
|Platoon NCO ||Cancha ||FAMAS F1 M203 + LR |
| || || |
|Medical Team || ||Hilux Ambulance |
|Medical Officer ||dUMPLINGbOI ||P90 + Doctor |
|Medic ||User ||P90 + Regular Medic |
|Medic ||[LOCKED] ||P90 + Regular Medic |
|Medic ||[LOCKED] ||P90 + Regular Medic |
| || || |
|Charlie Alpha One || ||M939 Guntruck |
|Squad Leader || ||FAMAS F1 M203 + LR |
|Scout, 1.FTL ||TomoKIN ||M14 |
|Light Support Gunner ||Kao ||FN Minimi |
|Rifleman || ||FAMAS F1 |
|Rifleman || ||FAMAS F1 |
|Anti-Tank Gunner, 2. FTL || ||FAMAS F1 + RPG-7V2 |
|Anti-Tank Helper || ||FAMAS F1 |
|Light Support Gunner || ||FN Minimi |
|Rifleman || ||FAMAS F1 |
|Rifleman, Driver || ||FAMAS F1 + Engineering |
|Rifleman, Gunner || ||FAMAS F1 |
| || || |
|Charlie Alpha Two || ||M939 Guntruck |
|Squad Leader ||[LOCKED] ||FAMAS F1 M203 + LR |
|Scout, 1.FTL ||[LOCKED] ||M14 |
|Light Support Gunner ||[LOCKED] ||FN Minimi |
|Rifleman ||[LOCKED] ||FAMAS F1 |
|Rifleman ||[LOCKED] ||FAMAS F1 |
|Anti-Tank Gunner, 2. FTL ||[LOCKED] ||FAMAS F1 + RPG-7V2 |
|Anti-Tank Helper ||[LOCKED] ||FAMAS F1 |
|Light Support Gunner ||[LOCKED] ||FN Minimi |
|Rifleman ||[LOCKED] ||FAMAS F1 |
|Rifleman, Driver ||[LOCKED] ||FAMAS F1 + Engineering |
|Rifleman, Gunner ||[LOCKED] ||FAMAS F1 |
| || || |
|Charlie Alpha Three || ||M151 “Mutt” Jeep |
|Squad Leader ||[LOCKED] ||FAMAS F1 M203 + LR |
|Scout, 1.FTL ||[LOCKED] ||M14 |
|Light Support Gunner ||[LOCKED] ||FN Minimi |
|Rifleman ||[LOCKED] ||FAMAS F1 |
|Rifleman ||[LOCKED] ||FAMAS F1 |
|Anti-Tank Gunner, 2. FTL ||[LOCKED] ||FAMAS F1 + RPG-7V2 |
|Anti-Tank Helper ||[LOCKED] ||FAMAS F1 |
|Light Support Gunner ||[LOCKED] ||FN Minimi |
|Rifleman ||[LOCKED] ||FAMAS F1 |
|Rifleman, Driver ||[LOCKED] ||FAMAS F1 + Engineering |
|Rifleman, Driver ||[LOCKED] ||FAMAS F1 + Engineering |
submitted by Tenebo
to ProjectAwesome [link] [comments]
2023.05.28 15:07 YukiteruAmano92 There Will Be Scritches Pt.97
---2680 Terran Calenda33 years BF---
I streak through the skies of Gangsri Gsar at a multiple of the speed of sound, looking down on the snow capped mountains that give the planet it’s name.
The setting sun is to my right and the creeping darkness of night to my left.
It’s so utterly freeing
to have the yoke of my craft in my hands and an endless sky to fly through!
I can’t imagine
having to go everywhere by safe, AI driven capsules!
This tiny craft and the lessons to pilot it are the best investment I ever made
Of course, had I not had more valuable
skills, that training almost certainly would have had me conscripted to the Fighter Force.
Apologies to whatever poor sod
took my place!
The nav is trying to send me on a detour around the Sisters, A Lcag and ’Og Ma, 15km and 12km tall, respectively.
I look at the gap between them and at the 90 second detour my screen is instructing.
…” I smirk, as I plough straight forward at full speed.
The sheer rock face of A Lcag passes less than 200m on my right and ’Og Ma the same on my left.
10% of a yak racing track might sound
like a lot but it really isn’t when you’re traveling this
Passing out the other side of the Sisters, the ocean comes into view and, with it, so does one of the very
few sea level cities on this planet.
Most places where the mountains meet the sea, they plunge straight into it with nowhere to build.
Here, the alluvial plain, deposited by the same river as runs through the heart of Lhasa Gsar, allows for the existence of the city of Chuchen Zhingkha.
I reduce my speed significantly.
I hail my destination “This is private craft Dzha10759Ka82, requesting permission to land, transmitting clearance code now.”
“Stand by… You are clear to land, private craft Dzha10759Ka82.”
I begin my descent, hovering down as I line myself up with the landingpad that my HUD is highlighting for me.
I set down and immediately see the irritated bodylanguage and expressions of the nearest pair of MPs.
I ready my holo as I swing open the door of my tiny personal craft.
…!” says the closer one, angrily, as he approaches, his open faced helmet showing me his scowling face “…I don’t care who you are, you’ve got to clear that pad, right now
! We’re expecting
“Dr Lhamo ‘Crane’ Yeshe, special consultant to the UTC Intelligence Service Office of Lhasa Gsar…” I say, casually turning my screen around to show him my ID app.
He’s stunned into silence for a moment before he checks my screen.
“…Am I not who you were expecting?” I smile with an (I
feel) not unjustified quantity of smugness.
“I… was expecting someone… older… looking…” he says, adding that last
word after apparently checking my age and finding that I am, in fact
, 35 and just so
babyfaced I regularly still need to prove my age when purchasing alcohol!
“Yes, well, regardless of what you were expecting
, would you care to show me inside?… It’s chilly
out here, in spite
of the low elevation!”
The pair turn, without apologising, and begin walking toward the nearest building.
As we approach, a man who looks very
out of place on a military barracks emerges from the door and, spotting me, makes a beeline.
“Dr Yeshe, I presume?… Formerly professor of theoretical xenopsychology at Lhasa Gsar University?” asks the weedy European man in accented English.
“I am. Though, I think we can dispense with the word ‘theoretical’, these
days(!)” I smile, extending my hand and speaking in English.
He takes my hand and shakes it as he says “Dr Otto ‘Alpenstock’ Kleinfeld, a pleasure to meet you! Thank you so much for making the journey!”
“Thank you for the flattering assessment of me as the best person on world for the task…” I smile “…Please… lead on
, Dr Kleinfeld.”
The little man leads me inside. The MPs (thankfully) do not follow.
“So… you have read the brief?” he asks.
“Enemy pilot, seems to have stolen a fighter craft and flown it hear to surrender to us. Has a device, inferred to be a personal holo, that can translate his language into English but can’t manage Tibetan. Says he has information on the current position of a GU fleet that he’s willing to trade to us on the condition that we neutralise it with minimal casualties. When asked his reasoning, he answered that the Admiral was knowingly on his way to engage with a dreadnought blockade… which he
regards to be a suicide mission. He believes he can give us the information necessary to take the fleet by surprise and surrender it with minimal loss of life. You want me to assess whether he thinks
he’s telling the truth, whether he might have been fooled
into thinking he’s telling the truth and what it might be worth promising him for the information he claims to have. That about the size of it?”
“Yes… very good.” chuckles the man, nervously, as he pulls out his holo “I just have a checklist to run down with you before you can undergo decontamination… Have you had symptoms of illness any time in the last six weeks?”
I smile “I think I can save some time there, Doc… tell me the author of that checklist, would you? Should be down at the bottom… fine
The man frowns but scrolls down and squints.
The penny drops as he says “Dr L ‘C’ Yeshe… et al…” and looks up at me, a little defeatedly.
“Shall we assume I wouldn’t have bothered making the journey if I were to answer negatively any of the things I should answer positively, or vice versa… on the list that I was the lead
author of?” I ask, trying and failing not to sound patronising.
He slumps before answering “I suppose I’ll just fill this out for you myself then… We’re here…”
He directs me through a door, into a darkened room.
To my left is the backside of a one way mirror.
Tentatively, I walk toward it, bringing into view the xeno defector.
The first thing that strikes me… is just
I’m 175cm but that
guy’s as tall as me, sitting down
Some quick mental maths tells me that he’s got to be more than 2.5 metres
The next thing I realise is the fact that he has no nose… where it should be is instead just a smooth, flat patch of pale, purple-blue skin.
The longer I look at him the more uncanninesses I find in his appearance; one too many fingers on each hand and thumbs on the wrong side, eyes too large and a vivid orange colour with no pupils that I can see, ears the wrong shape, limb proportions slightly off, body too slim…
And… yet… despite all that…
Certainly no pinnacle of masculinity
(in any way besides
his imposing stature) but handsome
none the less!
The kind of handsome you could see being cast as the love interest in a 24th Century scifi romance film(!)
He’d be the prince of a space kingdom, son of an eeeeevil
space king, who unwillingly
goes along with his father’s dastardly plans until meeting the beautiful
Human heroine, in the second act, who causes him to have a change of heart, in the third(!)
Maybe I should take up screenwriting
, after the War(!)
Of course, I know better than almost anyone not to share even a fraction
of my little daydream with the room at large, having helped write the book
on xeno interrogation procedure!
“Alright then… shall we start…?”
One of the Terrans enters what I infer to be the decontamination chamber, adjoining this room.
She raises her arms above her head and is sprayed with a liquid substance, following which the chamber is illuminated by harsh
, bright light.
She stands in the sterilising rays for what seems like a dangerous
amount of time before the internal door finally opens.
“Heh lother. Itsnaiss tu miitchu, Wii Ngkoman Der Ngngomg, mai neimz Lhamo.” she says.
If I didn’t already know what she was
, I could walk past the woman in the hallway of a space station and think nothing of her except, maybe
, to notice that she’s rather pretty
… in spite
of that strange, prominent sense organ in the middle of her face(!)
The language she speaks is what I recognise as her kind’s lingua franca and not the other one that I’ve heard, since landing, with a completely different cadence and tonality. Apparently
, the Terran's have thousands
of languages… though, I don’t believe that personally.
Probably, they have thousands of dialects
of a few dozen unique languages
! That seems more realistic to me.
My assessment of what she spoke to me is proven correct when my holo is able to translate it into ngGollogng for me.
“Greetings. It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance, [untranslatable rank: ‘Wing Commander’. Meaning: one who orders and is obeyed while flying] Ngngomg, my name is Lhamo.”
Irritatedly, I correct her “Ngngomg is my personal
will address me by my tribe
She looks at my holo as it turns my words into her language.
When she seems to have understood, she closes her eyes and dips her head.
“Apologies, [Wing Commander] Ong… that is my mistake.”
I narrow my eyes at the woman as she sits on the far side of the wide table, the weighty *thud* of her body meeting the surface hinting at the powerful
density of her body.
She’s… much more polite
than I expected a deathworlder to be!
I truly expected to have to endure days of torture before they’d finally listen to me but… unless they consider being locked in an interrogation room for hours on end to be a form of torture (which isn’t out of the question, given how much they purportedly revile boredom
), I’ve endured none
The woman places her hands, palm down, on the table in front of her.
Her thumbs point inward, toward
She curls her mouth without baring her teeth and says “I would
shake your hand, [Wing Commander], but it is probably best if you and I do not touch
… Do not worry about airborne
microbes… this whole room acts as a fume hood… It is extremely unlikely that anything I breathe out over here is going to make it over to where you
I don’t answer.
“So… I understand you have some information you want to give us, [Wing Commander]?”
…” I scowl.
Seeming confused she looks to my face and says “You do not
Angrily, I stand, towering in comparison to the little deathworlder, and slam my palms down on the table “I don’t want
to! I don’t want
to be a defector!”
She raises her hands, defensively, but… not toward me
Her eyebrows are both raised, her eyes wide, her jaw set and her skin pale as she faces the mirror.
It takes me a few moments to realise that she must be worried that they’ll storm in here and subdue me, given my outburst.
I feel my attitude toward her soften… she wasn’t even slightly worried for herself
… she probably doesn’t actually need
to worry for herself but… still
Satisfied that she has conveyed her wordless message to the spectators, she returns her attention to me and says “Why not tell me, in your own words, what lead you to were you are right now?”
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Next First Dramatis Personae
submitted by YukiteruAmano92
to HFY [link] [comments]
2023.05.28 15:01 Teguterror An Honest Dominion Ch. 10
There is some violence in this one. Struggle snuggles are briefly mentioned, but nothing descriptive. There is nothing bad enough to warrant a NSFW tag.
The Nature of Predators is made by u/SpacePaladin15 Previous
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Memory transcription subject: Varce, Cattle Farm Δ12 Date [standardized human time]: January 1, 2137
Delicious, succulent piles of meat laid before me. Fresh yellow blood still dripped from fatty livers. Chitin appendages were begging me to crunch into them. Stacks of scrumptious eggs oozed with slime, undoubtedly laid last night. I could barely contain myself as we all sat down to begin our morning breakfast.
Tarth, being the greedy Arxur that he is, started begging. “So. Your sharing, right? I mean, you do have three days worth of food in front of you.”
I gave him a curt “No” as I began digging into my mountain of food. Al and Kyra snickered at the abrupt rejection. The tender liver broke down into small fragments as my teeth sunk through it. My starved brain exploded with endorphins as the rich, flavorful food slid down my throat. Every drop of tangy blood felt like absolute bliss, seasoned by near crippling hunger. I was so enraptured by the delights before me, I barely even noticed Al watching me with a stupid grin.
I looked him over. “What?”
He broke out snickering. “Sorry. I can’t help it. I don’t quite have a word for it, but it’s nice to watch you enjoy yourself so much.” Eh. Weird human stuff
. I continued to feast on a crunchy appendage when my human callously stole an egg from one of my plates.
I snapped at him. “Hey! Put that back. You’ve got your own eggs.”
He continued to smile like an idiot. “Open your mouth.”
I humored him, albeit somewhat annoyed. Once my mouth was agape, he tossed the egg he was holding onto my tongue. My jaws slammed shut with a pop.
Al excitedly did a little cheer. “Aw. That was awesome.”
Tarth tried to get in on the action. “Do me now.”
Before I could say anything, Al responded. “No. You’re not getting any of Varce’s food.”
Tarth replied with an overly dramatic head turn. “I see how it is.”
My division sat around the “kitchen” after a long morning of work. All of our equipment had been cleaned and stowed for the time being. Al’s injury brought his productivity to a crawl despite his best efforts. He couldn’t cut, carry, or clean with just one arm so he mostly just acted as moral support. He answered any human questions that were in my inbox, but it had been almost a month since the guide was put out. Barely anyone had any interest in humans at this point.
I sat with my back against the wall while casually scrolling through my news feed. My human was sitting to my left with his head propped against my ribs. He was focused on my screen as I had various images slide by. We were looking for any updates on the situation with the UN armed forces.
Apparently, a few thousand humans were being reported to be under federation custody. A planet with a human shipyard was captured by prey. I’d hazard a guess that not many of those humans are still alive, though I wouldn’t say such a thing with Al around. While he has made it thoroughly clear that he is team Arxur, he still cares for the well being of his own species.
Al let out a slow exaggerated sigh as he slumped further into me. “Hey Varce. Do you think humans are going to survive?”
I considered lying, but decided against it. “Probably not. You did say some ark ships got sent out though. So there’s that.”
“I’m probably going to be the last living human in this part of the galaxy here pretty soon.” He strummed his fingers against my knee. “It’s… A really weird feeling.”
I took one of my hands away from my holopad and ran it through his blonde hair. I looked at his blue eyes for a moment before returning to the holopad.
“For what it’s worth. You’ll always be welcome to stay with me.” A small condolence, but it was what came naturally.
After about a half-hour, a live broadcast forced itself onto everyone’s holopad, including mine. The image displayed 23 restrained Arxur on their knees with armed guards standing behind them. Chief Hunter Shaza entered the screen and stood at a podium.
She looked over them before speaking. “Today I will pass judgment and punishment onto these Arxur before me. Due to their negligence and incompetence, a total of 508 captive humans have died with an unknown amount of humans dying while being captured. In addition to this, 35 loyal Arxur have died along with an additional 112 being wounded.”
Al and I looked to each other in concern. That was upwards of a quarter of the humans that we had captured in total. What the hell happened?
Shaza continued. “First, you three that were in charge of testing and approval of the tranquilizers used on humans. You falsified data and gave approval to a tranquilizer that has led to deaths in almost every cattlefarm. These tranquilizers were used by human capture parties and resulted in an unknown number of human fatalities that could have been used for trading. Your sentence is death.”
She pulled a ceremonial sword from out of the podium and walked behind the three. She took a swing at the first ones neck and cleanly passed through. However, she over swung and got the tip lodged into the skull of the second one. The second one violently spasmed and screamed as he tried to get away. He fell to the floor when Shaza jammed the blade further into his brain. She extracted the sword and cut down the third with no issue. She walked back to the podium, sat down her sword, and continued with her judgment.
“Vice Admiral and Human Welfare Officer of Cattlefarm Δ9. You disregarded any recommendations about human nutrition and fed them raw herbivore food. Then, when it was discovered that the herbivore food is toxic to humans. You continued to feed them herbivore food and ate the water bug meat that was sent to you. All 225 humans under you care have died due to the toxicity of the herbivore food. Your punishment is death.”
Shaza walked to the two with sword in hand. She carefully swung at each of their necks, being sure to not over-swing again. She walked back to her podium and readied herself to speak again.
Al spoke up while his eyes were locked on the holopad. “She’s nervous. I mean, she was a little nervous before that fuck up. Now she’s even more nervous. I think it’s a safe bet that Prophet Descendant is watching this.”
Shaza scowled this time. “Vice Admiral, Master-at-arms, and Human Welfare officer of Cattlefarm Δ2. You three disregarded all security recommendations and placed all 241 of your humans in a single cage. They crafted weapons known as shanks and killed guards. They then claimed the guard’s firearms and ultimately immolated themselves in the facility. This resulted in the deaths of 35 Arxur, severe injury of 112 Arxur, and the loss of an estimated 800,000 pounds of food and breeding stock. Your punishment is death.”
With sword in hand, she walked behind them. She held the tip of the weapon with her off hand and drove it through. The metal stuck out of the first one’s upper abdomen. His liver was most certainly cut open. She violently yanked out the blade and repeated the process two more times. She left them to bleed out and returned to the podium.
Words could not describe to sheer anger on her face as she addressed the last 15 Arxur. “You disgusting degenerates of Cattlefarm Δ6. A total of 34 human females committed suicide while under your custody. If we find more evidence, I promise more will be executed by my hand. 34 human females are dead because you forcibly mated with them. You destroyed all video evidence, so you knew exactly what you were all doing. Your punishment is death.”
She walked away from the podium without her sword this time. She strolled past the line of corpses and looked over the first Arxur. Shaza turned to the closest guard and took the rifle from their grasp. She placed the muzzle of the weapon into the lower center of the creep’s back. She pulled the trigger with a splatter of blood. She destroy his spine and ruptured his intestines. He wouldn’t be going anywhere while he had his slow death. Shaza repeated this over and over until all 15 of them were crumpled on the ground slowly dying. She returned the rifle to the guard and took her position on the podium.
She stared into the camera. “This fleet functions because I have confidence in those that operate below me. When there are errors, I expect those to be reported to me. The people here lied and hid things from me. Those that reported incidents to me still have their heads and positions because they did not betray my trust. As Chief Hunter, all of you are my responsibility. All I ask is that you do not violate my trust. Now get back to work.”
With that said, the live stream ended. Everyone in the room was dead silent after witnessing the execution. I wasn’t really certain on how to process what I just witnessed. Especially that last group. What would even bring an Arxur to even consider doing something like that with a human? I wouldn't be surprised if they did that kind of stuff with their prey too. Putrid fucking animals.
Al interrupted my train of thought when he started talking. “Those that self reported didn’t lose their positions? That’s a load of shit. She totally tried to boot you. What a fucking liar.”
My holopad began pinging me with an incoming video call from my vice admiral. I accepted it without hesitation and was presented with an image of vice admiral in his stateroom. He raised an eye ridge before speaking.
“Human Welfare Officer Varce and Hall” Al nodded his head in submission. Oh right, he’s more or less cuddling with me right now. Not a great look.
“Did you see the live execution just now?
I replied. “Yes vice admiral. It appears you’re suspicions were correct. Though I wish they weren’t.”
“Over 500 captive humans dead. If you’d like, you can pat yourself on the back.” The hell is he implying?
“I’m sorry sir. I don’t think I follow.”
“We just got a view of what would have happened at all of the cattlefarms had it not been for you and Hall. I just felt it appropriate to congratulate you on all of the humans you effectively saved.”
“Huh… That’s one way to look at it sir.”
The vice admiral gave me a grin. “Don’t sell yourself short. If you hadn’t become my Human Welfare Officer, I might have been in that line up. I’ll have you know that I strongly prefer my head attached to my body. Could you imagine the disaster that would have happened if that idiot had been in charge?”
Al forced himself into the conversation. “Speaking of. How’s the brig treating the spoon smuggler?” Spoon Smuggler? The shithead? Why the hell does Al know about what happened to that moron when I don’t even know?
Vice admiral continued. “The half rations are thinning the troublemaker down. I’ve yet to find an unfortunate ship to pawn him off onto. I am however, considering the possibility of sending him to work on a waste management ship.”
Al started giggling. “Do it. That sounds hilarious.”
I re-entered the conversation. “I second the waste management idea.”
Vice admiral decided to wrap up our conversation. “As much as I’d like to rejoice over the fact that I’m alive. I have much work to do still. So have a good day Officer Varce. You as well Hall.”
With that said, the call cut out leaving me with my human. Over 500 captive humans dead. Their care was in the hands of the Dominion. And well… We failed them. They suffered abuse and mistreatment at the hands of Arxur. They were treated like cattle. Some even worse… I understand why Arxur go through the struggles that we do. We have more people then meat. It’s simple math… But this is just outright wrong. They were given the supplies they needed. It was just the torture and death of sapients for the sake of it. What is wrong with some of these people. Sure, humans aren’t as impressive as an Arxur physically, but that doesn’t mean they’re some mindless prey. Ouch!
I looked down to my human who was pinching the softer scales around my armpit. “What was that for?”
Al smiled at me. “You were spacing out there. I figured I’d drag you back to reality.”
I sighed a little. Might as well not dwell on the human thing.
“How did you know what happened to the ‘spoon smuggler’? I thought he just disappeared.”
Al continued to tug at my loose skin. “The guards told me. Unlike you, I make a point of rubbing elbows with the folks around here. I know all of the gossip and rumors.”
A perk of being born a social predator I suppose. I’d tire of the endless chitchat long before any human would. I wrapped my left arm around the goofy human’s neck and brought him into a loose choke hold of sorts. My other hand grabbed at his hair and pulled at it lightly.
I put on the best sarcasm voice that I could. “Are you suggesting that you are better at social interactions than me? I’ll have you know that I am an Arxur, the apex predator of the universe. I’m perfect at everything all the time. To even suggest otherwise would be peak foolishness. I-”
Al started to poke at my muzzle with his good hand. Naturally, I retaliated by “biting” down on his hand to keep it still.
“Eww. You have no idea where that thing has been. Seriously. I only have one functional arm right now, so what do you think I’ve been using that thing for?”
I promptly spit out the filthy appendage. It was nice to see him enjoying himself. With all the death that’s going on right now, I’d imagine that he’s probably really stressed out.
I released his head. “So. How are you holding up?”
“I’m doing as well as I could hope to.” He softly rammed his head into my ribs. “Thanks.”
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2023.05.28 14:27 Pitiful_Assumption35 Hazards and lost person behavior in the Talamanca region
Analysis of Search Incidents and Lost Person Behavior in Yosemite National Park
Referenced from Lost Person Behavior
by Jared Doke. Yosemite National Park
is an American national park in the state of California.
Crampton (1988) described a continuum of being lost with two distinct degrees of lostness.
The 1st, and arguably the most serious, is defined as “unknown lost”.
This occurs when a person believed that they knew where they were, when in fact they didn't.
This could happen to a hiker if they arrived at a diverging trail and took one path, but misidentified the one they should have otherwise taken.
The hiker may continue on in a denial process, fitting the terrain to their expectations, rejecting any discrepancies.
Eventually, they will have realized the mistake they had made, and only then can they take action to correct their errors.
Lost people generally have two goals: to try to find their way or to try to be found (Cornell and Heth 1999).
Yosemite National Park is unlike any other place on earth. It has its own distinct geology,
One must first understand the environment, hazards, and underlying processes that influence a lost hikers' decisions.
The geology, geomorphology, climate, weather, hydrology, vegetation, fauna, history, park visitation, and potential hazards are all relevent here.
The data indicates that people don't get lost at random locations, rather they get lost after they arrive at pre-known locations.
In Yosemite Valley these “hot spot” areas exist at the Yosemite Valley rim, Glacier Point, Sentinel Dome, the Badger Pass Ski area as well as a few trailheads.
Conversely, lost hikers are also found at pre-known locations as well.
The same significant “hot spot” areas.
On the Pianista trail, River 1/508 would be an example of a well known location.
Where a diverging trail exists, is after crossing river 2, there is an open paddock.
- The prevalance of hikers becoming lost -
In Yosemite Valley, 45% of hikers, whilst present on the trail, had identified themselves as being lost or agreed that they didn't know where they were.
This figure should probably be higher, but hikers are often too embarrased to admit to being lost.
- Contributing factors that caused hikers to become lost -
Main Contributing Factor n %
Lost Trail Accidentally 16.9%
Failed to research the trail and identify a planned route 11.7%
Miscalculation of time or distance of trail 9.4%
Left Trail Intentionally 5.6%
Insufficient Information/Error in Judgment 5.6%
Snow on Ground 5.2%
Wrong Trail Taken 4.7%
Fatigue/Physical Condition 4.2%
Steep Terrain 2.8%
Emotionally Upset 2.4%
Ground Level Fall 1.9%
- Successfulness of lost mitigation strategies -
For the most part, the lost incidents had a favorable outcome.
Of the 213 incidents, 68% resulted in the lost person/group being found uninjured and 23% were resolved by self-rescue.
10 incidents concluded with the subject being found injured, 9 subjects were found deceased, and 2 were found with medical problems.
Types of lost mitigation strategies used
In Yosemite, lost hikers who were in an active state of lostness typically attempted to follow a linear feature, in order to reorient themselves, or to become found.
Route Traveling 41.9%
Staying Put 25.7%
Random Traveling 5.4%
View Enhancing 4.1%
Route Sampling 2.7%
Direction Traveling 2.7%
Doing Nothing 1.4%
The goal of Yosemite's PSAR program is to “help visitors avoid the need to be rescued by providing education about the hazards of hiking, and the time and equipment necessary to complete a planned hike
One of the most promising aspects of this report was the realization that watersheds may be used to predict the found locations for lost subjects.
A watershed is an area of land that drains all the streams and rainfall to a common outlet such as the outflow of a reservoir, mouth of a bay, or any point along a stream channel.
Watersheds are often used to draw search segments because ridges and streams provide natural borders for searchers in the field.
Kris and Lisanne very much underestimated their hike. It wasn't a pleasant afternoon trip, it was described as a walk in the park.
Alot of people posted to forums after this incident, and it's interesting to read the most revevent statements from 2014 that were the most accurate and well thought out:
"I've studied this case a great deal, and I think it's very possible that Kris and Lisanne didn't know that once you reach the summit, you're supposed to turn around and go down the way you came up. The El Pianista trail does not end at the summit"
"I believe they thought you're supposed to follow the trail down the other side of the mountain, and they probably also thought that it would take about as long to get down that side as it took them to get up the other side - about three hours."
"They might not have even been truly lost when they made their first 9-11 calls; they may have gotten lost only later in the evening, by travelling desperately in low light and darkness in an attempt to avoid spending the night in the jungle, perhaps leaving the trail to take "shortcuts."?"
"It is important to note that there are many paths made by the indigenous Ngobe tribes people, leading away from the official path, even locals and tour guides get regularly lost there and there are no signs that are indicating which path is the right one."
"These paths are well known for being incredibly dangerous (narrow, steep ascents/descents, slippy mud track and dangerous rope bridges) and are even avoided by the indigenous tribe at all costs."
"At this point it was already unlikely that they would meet another person there, since every local knows that they are otherwise risking their lives, by deviating onto these less traveled pathways."
"Oh, it's VERY possible to get lost on the El Pianista, and I'm speaking from experience! I hiked this same trail and got lost just 3 weeks ago while on vacation - signs at the base next to the restaurant even say it's prohibited to hike unless for scientific purposes. You have to cross two streams, and halfway up the trail it becomes practically nonexistent - once I got to the top, about a 3 hour hike without seeing one person, I lost track of the trail and lost my mind within seconds, and began running downhill completely lost - All the vegetation made it impossible to walk at times, I had to climb, crawl and scoot downhill for Two hours before I eventually wandered into someone's property and yelled for help."
"People do get lost. Sometimes fog can blanket the area and there's no visibility. A heavy rain can wash out trails. There can be confusion with game trails, because they are pathways that give the hiker the false impression that they are navicable."
Off The Beaten Path – Cerro de la Muerta
Consisting of steep, narrow curves and countless potholes, the mountain roads would be somewhat less hazardous if not fully submersed in fog. Due to its altitude, Cerro de la Muerte temperatures rise and fall to both day and night extremes.
Before Costa Rica had a lot of roads, people braved the treacherous mountain trails barefoot, on treks lasting three or four days, to secure supplies for their homes and livestock.
For many, Cerro de la Muerte was the worst part of a journey, many people didn't survive it.
With temperatures often below freezing, many travelers died of hypothermia along the trail or got sick and died of pneumonia later on, assuming they survived the frequent landslides and didn’t fall off any of the cliffs etc.
Sunburn danger here is higher than normal, owing to the thin clear air.
The road is usually open all year round, but flash floods, landslides, narrow curves, and steep cliffs make the pass extremely dangerous. There’s a reason this place is called the Mountain of Death.
Higher mountain peaks extend along the Cordillera de Talamanca, the region that the Pianista trail leads into.
Montane streams in the tropics are among the most extreme fluvial environments in the world. A combination of steep slopes, high mean annual rainfall, and intense tropical storms generate an energetic and powerful flow regime.
Much of the range and the area around it is included in La Amistad International Park, which also is shared between the two countries.
The highest peaks are present within Costa Rica and Panama.
Much of the Caribbean areas of this range are still unexplored.
Rapid runoff production generates flashy, frequent, short-duration floods and occasional high-magnitude floods associated with hurricanes and other tropical disturbances.
During the peak wet season, strong hydraulic forces are present within the stream channels.
The Changuinola is a river network with well-developed downstream hydraulic geometry.
Many alluvial rivers develop systematic changes in slope, channel geometry, and grain size, from their headwaters to the coast, in response to changes in discharge and sediment yield.
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2023.05.28 10:30 deathB4dessert Forged in Valhallah Chapter 1 (SkyKnight series, book 5)
Behind the larger moon of Nebo, the large hulking mass of ship named Glazier, was holding its geostationary orbit as the battle commenced below on the planet of Valhallah. Injured and inactive Marines, Sol Stellar Infantry, and Vaalorian Navy personnel walked the halls of the great ship, or were held in the Medical bay. Medical suites were filled to capacity and overflowing with casualties. Injured Vaalor and Humans were everywhere. Several Cariolinous could be found to be bandaged or missing bits or limbs. Blaine woke to the sound of a medical examination table beeping away in the background, and instantly regretted moving his head, which pounded like a bass drum. “OOooh, fuck! My head! What the fuck happ- UNJHH! Mmmff, fuck! That’s not good!” He said, looking down at his ribs which were bandaged and bloody. Looking around, he noticed he was alone, and so tried to heal himself. The flames ignited around his palms; and as he focused, a rib snapped back into place, almost rendering him unconscious. He cursed under his breath, and was about to try again, when Constance walked in. “Ahh! Captain! You’re awake! Good! Good… So, you’re not going to jump up and break my wrist so you can get back into the fight, are you? I must say, I’m no longer interested in trying to stop you. But, my sister is.” She said, looking him over. “What? Why would Glam want to stop me? She was all for getting away from the Aquila, when we were on our way here…” Blaine asked, puzzled. “She’s a mommy, now.” Constance said. “Oh.” Blaine croaked. “Are you sure you should be sitting up? You don’t sound too good. You do understand, you got lucky. You caught a round just as you came onto the shuttle, and therefore the others were able to slow the bleed long enough for you to make it aboard the Glazier. We were able to stabilize you with some donor blood, luckily enough. There’s two universal human donors on this craft right now, but there was three. Contingency Captain Richter was killed in action yesterday.” Constance said. Blaine groaned again. “Fuck. I’m gonna miss that asshole.” He said, a heavy weight seeming to slam into his heart. “You knew the Contingency Captain well, I assume?” Constance said, trying to gauge his mental state. “We were in a lot of situations together. We used to refer to him as ‘the human earthquake’. He was a demolitions specialist, Ms. Helsbane.” Blaine said. “How many made it out of Zubrim?” “Well, thanks to your quick efforts, Zubrim was lost without many casualties. We expected more. Twelve Sihn Rifles and all of Zubrim Air Defense made it out. General Sihn is alive and well, and you even saved two Seals. Marconia Traviar, and Ah’lahn Capia, both Seals of their own respective SkyKnight contingents. Here… you read the report. I expect you’re not going anywhere for a few days…” Constance said, and handed him a qwikslate. “Your translator is working flawlessly, Constance. Thought I’d say…” Blaine said, as he accepted the qwikslate. “The translator is off. I spent the last three months learning English. How am I doing?” Constance said, smiling expectantly. “Really freaking good! That’s really impressive! Three months?!” Blaine said, astonished. “I’ve always been a fast learner.” Constance mused, happily. “That’s good…” Blaine said, distracted by the qwikslate. “I’ll… um… Leave you to it, then?” Constance said, and walked out, not waiting for an answer. “Yeah…” Blaine said, not paying attention. He tapped the qwikslate screen, and looked at the HUDvid recordings for Zubrim, and Operation Black Watch. He played through several recordings, taking in separate angles of the battle, trying to recreate a 3-d picture in his mind of the chaos. He rewatched his HUDvid, and realized what had really happened. As he’d run from the crash site to the Fort, he’d unknowingly passed within a hundred yards of the Mahl front lines. They had seen him, but he’d been too busy with trying to reach the Fort to notice. His HUDvid had recorded their positions, however. Five rows of at least a hundred Mahl warriors, had watched him limp passed, within a mere twenty yards of them. They hadn’t reacted, or broken cover at all. But, they had obviously taken notice of him if his HUDvid was to be believed. Blaine realized then, that these were no ordinary Mahl. These were well trained and disciplined warfighters, and they were leagues apart from the Mahl that had attacked Sol, in both space and capability. They were well armed, with plasma rifles and several recognizable firearms in their midst. Some of them, American made. Blaine saw the rifles from his homeland, and felt a pang of guilt and hatred in the same moment. He found new drive in that moment, and reignited the blue flames, trying again to fix his shredded insides. He felt things twist and knit, and a feeling of intense nausea welled up within him. Finally, he could handle the nausea no more, and he extinguished the flames and promptly vomited bile. Laying back against the bed, he felt his mind wander, and fell unconscious again. Sometime during his slumber, Constance came back in to check his bandages, and almost lost her mind when she saw the healed wounds. She remained silent, but quickly left and returned with Captain Krinski, and Glam. They waited in the medical suite until he woke up. “Mmmuh, Mornin’ Cap’n. What’s up?” Blaine said, coming around groggily. “I muzt know… how? Jhoo are healedt! Just jyesterday, jhoo ver on Deat’s doorshtep! How are jhoo alife?” Anastasia said. “Uhh…” Blaine said, hesitantly. “Look, I don’t care if whatever you did was illegal. We have a lot of injured who could benefit from the technology.” Constance said, eagerly. “Uhh… It’s… not technology?” Blaine said, hesitant still. “Then what is it?” Constance begged. “I need to know! There are people who need this, desperately!” “Spirit Fire.” Blaine said, looking at Glam. “Like, what happened to Fern when he died?” Glam said, curious. “Kinda. Spirit Fire cannot be wielded by the dead. But, the dead are the source. It is the power to heal, or destroy by fire. And it’s extremely rare. My great grandad could barely do what I can, and it’s got serious side effects…” Blaine said. “How does it work?” Constance said, desperately still trying to bottle it for later use. “The Ancestors choose an individual to heal others, by the energies of the Ancestral Eather, through the conduit of the chosen individual. Depending on the physical strength of the individual( I presume), the power can be super-strong, or mild. The energies are specific to the one being healed and the virtuosity of the act. What’s more, the energies can cause women to become fatally attracted to the individual if it’s a man, and vice versa. Also, healing oneself can be a horrible experience, let me tell you!” Blaine said at length. “Now, promise me on pain of death, that you’re never going to tell anyone. I’m serious!” He added, with a glare. “Y-yes! Of course!” Constance said, taken aback. “I don’t belief jhoo, Captink. Show meh. Or, I vill hafv jhoo trown in shainz, for lyink tooh jyur feddow vorfighterz!” Anastasia said, snarling slightly. “Captain, I believe him-” Glam said, trying to intervene before things went awry. “VELL, I DON’T! Andt ziss is shtill mine craft! VHAT DO I HAFV TOOH SAY OR DO, TOOH MAKE ZHAT CLEAR, CAPTINK?!” Anastasia roared. Three Brasscar stepped into the doorway, all sporting tasers, at that moment. “Uhm… This is going to get a hell of a lot more complicated the more people you involve, Captain. By the very nature of what they might see or experience! You do understand that if I am telling you the truth(which I really am), that you cannot keep it a secret with so many involved, right?” Blaine replied. “Corrinda, Please brink zeh Corporal in? I’m churr Captink Preiss vill not argue againsht healink hiz own crroo…” Anastasia said to one of the Brasscar. “Yes, Ma’am. “ Collinda said, and went to retrieve the aformentioned individual. “It doesn’t matter, then, if you end up getting me killed. Fine… So beit.” Blaine sighed, and sat up. At the same moment, Collinda walked back in carrying a very gravely injured Japfey on a stretcher, aided by yet another Brasscar. Blaine stood up and walked unsteadily to where the two Brasscar held the stretcher between them. “Corporal… You can’t tell anyone, clear?” Blaine said, as Corporal Japfey looked up at him with a wan smile and a distant stare. “Sure, Cap! I’ma butterfly!” Japfey said, his eyes crossing slightly. “And I’m a lepidopterist.” Blaine chuckled. He focused on the blue fire, and heard seven separate gasps as everyone collectively drew a deep breath of astonishment. Japfey shook his head, and looked around him. “Cap? The fuck, Sir? What’s going on?” “I’ll let you read the report and watch your HUDvid, Corporal. After which, you will speak of it to nobody. Is that clear?” Blaine repeated. “Y-yessir! I’m just slightly confused- how did I get here, and how did you get better? I watched your drop, remember?” Japfey said, stunned. “Watch the HUDvids, Japfey.” Blaine said, wearily. “Satisfied, Captain Krinski?” “I’m… Yah, Captink. I ahm satisfiedt. Jhoo may leave unhinderdt, andt ooll here are svorn tooh secretsee, jah.” Anastasia said, still in shock. “But-” Constance began. “No… C’mon, Sis. There’s other ways.” Glam said, realizing that what Blaine had been saying about his life being in jeopardy wasn’t just idle chat. Glam guided Constance out, who was still struggling to keep Blaine in her sight. “But, Glamrica! He could… Stop, dammit! I can walk on my own, girl!” Constance protested. “Then DO SO! The Captain needs to leave, and get some rest on his own ship, for HIS safety!” Glam snapped at her, shoving her out of the room. “Jess… for jyur safety, Captink… Please return tooh zeh Aquila.” Anastasia said, suddenly realizing the implications as well. “Yess’m. Are any others of my crew on board, Captain Krinski?” Blaine asked, as an afterthought. “Jess. Narah Sihn arrived ziss mornink. She’s vell, just berry scaredt. Her Fadder didn’t make it tooh zeh Imperial Palace, and zerr is no vord on his veraboutz…” Anastasia said. “Vy? Vhat is zoh important about zhat?” She added as Blaine made a beeline for the door. “James.” Blaine said, walking out. He searched the Medical suites first, finding them full of injured personnel. His heart ached to help them, but he knew the cost was too high to do so. Moving quickly, he found Narah staring blankly at a wall in the second to last Medical suite on that wing of the bay. He touched her gently on the shoulder, and smiled when she turned to look at him. Narah jumped up and wrapped him in a hug, so quickly it startled him. She held him like a vise, and started to cry silently. Then, stepping back from him and letting go reluctantly, she voiced her desperate fears. “He’s missing, and nobody knows what happened! One minute they were flying along, and the next they just disappeared off of the comlsink and tracking scopes! Nobody has heard a single thing from them since, and no demands from any would-be kidnappers! It’s like they just…” Narah stumbled through, and sniffled. “Disappeared. I understand. Get me a suit, and a dropzone.” Blaine said, his eyes flashing reddish behind the normal soft brown. Narah didn’t argue, nor did she wait for confirmation of what she thought she’d just heard. Without a second’s breath, she was running full-out for the shuttle bay, and skidded to a halt at the S.U, Aquila, before smashing the code into the doorway keypad. She grabbed his rifle, a fresh Seraphim suit, and his sabre, before stopping momentarily to stare at the particle beam cannon on the floor. She shook her head, looked at it again, and then shook her head again, before rushing back out the door and barely stopping to close it again. Again, she tore off towards the Medical suite she had just left, and found Blaine staring at the same wall she had just been. “Uhh, Baby? I.. I’m not sure this is smart. I just… Maybe we should bring Rosey.” She said, looking at his feet, shamefully. “Maybe. Let’s not until we know. Where is Lisa, or Jupiter?” Blaine said. “Lisa is on board, with Hector. They should be in the Galley, right now.” She said. “Nav Officer Renhardt… She’s MIA, too!” “What? Wasn’t she flying the shuttle that brought me?” Blaine said, suddenly questioning just how long he’d been asleep. “Yeah, silly.. She… She went out after James and Daddy went missing, to try and find them. She’s a great pilot, but I don’t think she’s really qualified as a Spacejumper.” Narah said, hesitantly. “Can you take these? They’re getting heavy.” “Sorry.” Blaine said, taking the suit. “Then I'm going to need the Ortiz clan. Monster is always good to have in a fight. And Lisa can fly the shuttle and shoot, so we’re good for now.” “I’ll send her a.. Text?” Narah said, looking at him with a puzzled expression. “Yeah, a text would be a great idea.” Blaine confirmed, missing her query but answering it all the same. Narah stood in a corner with a qwikslate, typing like mad, while Blaine suited up minus the jetpack. This he carried with his rifle in one hand, and the sword in the other. Narah looked up from her qwikslate as he finished, and nodded. “Good. Let’s go shoot this goose, babe! I has a lot o’ questions what need answers.” Blaine said. Narah let out a short cackle, and smiled. “Yeah. Let’s shoot the goose! What’s a goose?” “Not important. C’mon…” Blaine said, putting an arm around her and guiding her towards the door. “Just what do you think you are doing, Captain?” Brashi’i said, standing in the doorway. “Where the absolute fuck did you appear from, and how do you guys keep doing that?! You and Jupiter both! And you, Narah! Just all of a sudden, Pop-goes-the-weasel, and you’re in my face!” Blaine said, finally letting vent to something that had been frustrating him for several weeks. “You really don’t know how well that neuro-link device works, do you? It literally retrained our bodies to walk much more quietly, after we took turns running through one of your sims. What do you think I was doing, when I was in the sim?” Brashi’i waved him off. “Well.. then you’re going to love learning this next trick… Love you!” Blaine kissed her on the cheek and Brashi’i promptly fell unconscious. “What was that? What did you just do to her?!” Narah squeaked, looking at the crumpled heap of woman on the floor. “Quickly, quickly… she’s not gonna be out for long…!” Blaine bustled her out the door. “But-” Narah said. “Goooo!” Blaine chided her. “It’s ‘the kiss of bliss’... a Martial arts technique I learned when I was a kid. She’s going to wake up in a few seconds!” “Fine! But don’t you ever-” Narah said, as he hustled her towards the Galley. “Shh! Hi! Yep! Just a human… Nothing to see here…” Blaine said, pushing her on, as people turned and stared at them. “Blaine… I’m not joking.” Narah said, stopping right in front of the Galley. “Neither am- OOF!” Blaine started to say, only to be lifted bodily from the floor by a hefty punch to his ribs. “What the fuck, you asshole! You just fucking punched a commanding officer in the chin, you human pile of gutless crap!” Brashi’i screamed from behind him as he collapsed. “dammit… Hi, Baby!” Blaine said, smiling through the pain. “Don’t you ‘Hi Baby’ me, you slippery fuck! Or I’ll punch something you can’t heal!” Brashi’i spat, turning blue as her rage welled within her. “Huuhhh…. GASP- I didn’t punch you… mmmnnngh… I pushed a vertebrae out of place, rendering you instantly unconscioussss… fuck! Why the ribs? Why always the ribs?!” Blaine said through tears and intense burning in his lungs, rolling slightly back and forth on the floor. “Whatever you did, IT FUCKING HURTS! You really thought I’d just let you walk out, no whatever and not a by-your-leave? You must be fucking crazy!” Brashi’i screamed, her fists still curled into tight balls and her face the image of twisted fury. “Yes. Precisely. Because, in fact, sweety… grunt… Enough time has already been wasted with being down. Which is why I’m not stopping, for fuck-all.” Blaine said, standing back up, still clenching his ribs. “And I’ll do it again, if you’re gonna try an’ stop me, Brash…” “Stop you? I just wanted to know what you were doing! Narah is on suicide watch until her father is located and retrieved. Or did you not know?” Brashi’i said, still snarling at him with intense venom. “Why would she want to kill herself? We’re literally going to get him?!” Blaine blurted out through the throbbing of his bruised ribs. “Why not say that, you stubborn fool! Why just knock me out, and run?” Brashi’i said, still breathing heavily. “Because..” Blaine wheezed, “I don’t have time for all of this crap!” “What the fuck is five more minutes gonna cost you?” Brashi’i spat. “Maybe my sister’s life, Brash. So, one more time… Get the ever loving fuck, out of my way!” Blaine said, finally catching his breath. Brashi’i said nothing, but stepped aside symbolically, using one hand to gesture forwards passed her. “Thank you! For Chrissake…” Blaine said loudly, and turned around to find Lisa and Hector staring at him, in utter amazement. “When and where, Caballero?” Lisa asked, seeing he was in no mood for small-talk. “Now. Shuttle.” Blaine said, nodding at Hector. Hector smiled and winked back. “On it, Cap!” Hector said, and dragged Lisa towards the shuttle bay. “Anything else, or can we go?” Blaine said, looking around at the crowd that was gathering to watch. With a lot of muttering and sheepish looks, people stepped back and made a thoroughfare for them, towards the shuttle bay. Blaine sighed, grabbed up his equipment, and walked the shame mile. Narah quickly caught up to him, and took his jetpack to carry for him. Blaine was grateful for the relief of pressure on his aching ribs. A shout sounded behind them, as Brashi’i vented her anger and strode into the Galley. “You ok? I heard the thump off that hit!” Narah said, trying to comfort him. “I’ll be fine! She used the wrong hand- probably the reason for the scream. Remind me to fix that for her if we make it back?” Blaine said, jokingly. “Yeah, right after I break my fist on her mouth.” Narah said, giggling. Blaine chuckled. “Damn, bloodthirsty, aren’t we?!” “Well, she did just try to stop us from getting my Dad. Thanks for not taking no for an answer, by the way…” Narah said, smiling at him. “I wouldn’t have, anyways. You know how I feel about our family… Now, imagine that I’ve felt that strongly about my sisters since we were little. You had nothing to fear… I was going with or without her permission.” Blaine said, and increased his pace. “So, this isn’t about my Dad?” Narah said, crestfallen. “I didn’t say that. I said that I have more than just him as personal investment, in this situation.” Blaine said. “Good save.” Narah said, smiling again. They walked onto the shuttle, and sat down, as Lisa negotiated their departure. This was made more complicated by the fact that they didn’t have any official orders or flightplan. Lisa finally got them clearance, by threatening diplomatic tensions between Humans and Vaalor. She turned off the comslink, and spoke solely to the four present. “We are flying into a shitstorm, with no backup, I’m pretty sure. Since that’s the case, I need to know, Cap- how much is this worth to you?” Lisa asked. Hector rolled his eyes, but stayed silent. “I’d shoot the President, to make it happen.” Blaine deadpanned. “My resolve knows no end.” “Ok… That’s good enough for me! Hang on… We’re in for a ride!” Lisa said, and dove for atmosphere. The walls of the shuttle began to heat up and glow, as they dropped through the atmosphere. Blaine felt as the shuttle began to shake from the buffeting, and Lisa pulled up on the yoke. “RRRrrr-you-son-of-a-bitch! Rah! Come about!” she grunted, as she pulled. The shuttle slowed, and started to become more aerodynamic. Lisa cruised to the coordinates that Narah gave her, and they came to a hover at 1500 feet. “We’re here…” Lisa said, and set the hover function to auto and stood up, stretching. Blaine stood up, and readied his rifle. Opening the door, he was met with a faceful of wind, and nearly sucked from the craft. He looked around at Lisa, with a smirk, and engaged his suit’s magnetic system. Looking back out the door, he asked, “You sure this is it? We’re a thousand feet up, at least!”
Lisa looked at him, and shook her head. “I can’t hear you!” “Helmets!” Blaine shouted, donning his. The rest of them pulled on their helmets, and the silence was shocking to behold. Everyone started talking at once. “We’re in the right area, right?” Blaine said. “Whoa, so quiet!” Narah said. “Middle of the fucking air! Narah!” Lisa shouted, crossing her arms. “God, thank you! I fucking hate HALO jumps!” Hector sighed. Unfortunately, all that was heard, was a cacophony of insane noise. “What?” everyone said at exactly the same time, which had the strange effect of sounding like a Beachfront quartet. This had the women giggling, and the men chuckling too! “Ok.. so… Are you sure this is the spot, Narah?” Blaine asked, as he got his mirth under control. “Yep. This is the marker from the computer. I didn’t change anything. We’re exactly where their beacon was last, before it disappeared. Lisa, spin us around slowly. Let’s get a good view of how this place looks.” Narah said, nodding. Lisa did as she was told, and sat back down in the pilot's seat. She disengaged the hover function, and started to rotate the craft. This caused the shuttle to slide forwards slightly, and suddenly the scenery changed. Instead of a windswept 1500 foot altitude without a bottom, they were a mere 50 feet up and maneuvering between trees in a tropical forest. “OH SHIT!” Lisa cursed, and quickly brought the yoke up as high as she could pull it without dislodging it. The shuttle shot straight up, and soon they were hovering over the top of the Amazon Rainforest on Earth, according to their instruments. More specifically, somewhere outside of Anza De Esparanza, Brazil. “What the… fack?” Blaine said, as a brightly colored Scarlet Macaw landed on the shuttle deck, and squawked at him. “Huh? Am I missing something?” Narah said. “Lisa, take us back! I need to check something!” Blaine said, a sudden realization dawning upon him. “Ohh, kay?” Lisa said, and hesitantly set the shuttle back towards its previously known position. They slowly maneuvered back through the trees, and then suddenly they were on Valhallah, again. Blaine smiled and shouted for joy, realizing the implications. “You wanna fill us in on what just happened, there? Or, should we just guess?” Lisa asked Blaine as Narah’s eyes got wide as saucers. “A laminar wormhole! A literal fucking laminar wormhole! BETWEEN EARTH AND VALHALLAH!” Blaine said, his face wreathed in smiles behind his visor. “Are you saying-” Lisa said, slowly catching on. “THAT THE LEGENDS ARE ALL REAL! THEY’RE HISTORY!” Blaine said, closing the door and smiling like a madman. “So, Thor, Meremere, and all that?” Lisa said, suddenly looking stunned. “Yeah, Thor, Moljnir, and all that!" Blaine confirmed. “So, if it’s a laminar wormhole, where is James, and where’s my Dad? Narah said, bringing everyone back to the reality before them. “They should be on one side, or the other. Your guess is as good as mine as to where. However, what’s bothering me, is why didn’t they just fly back through? James would have turned back!” Blaine said, at a loss for answers. “Just like you did. So.. Lisa? Take us back through, but keep the shuttle at 3000 feet, so that we can have time to deploy our wings.” Narah said, before sitting back down. “What’s on your mind, hun?” Blaine said, sitting down next to her. “Recon.” Narah said, stone faced. “Right. Well, where we came through at, I’m sure we hit a tree the first time. Perhaps we should start at the base?” Blaine suggested. “Good idea. Lisa, change of plans… I want you to get us as close to that tree we hit coming in, without landing right at its base, I want to make landfall.” Narah said. Lisa looked at Blaine. “What, you want permission?” Blaine said, smiling garishly at her. “Right. Back through. Don’t mind me if I change my pants afterwards! You SA’s are crasee!” Lisa said, and flew the shuttle back through the wormhole. “There’s a clearing over there… I’m gonna put down there.” “Ok, gear up, expect predators!” Blaine said, belting on his sword and grabbing his rifle. “What kinds?” Narah said. “Snakes, spiders, Caiman, Crocodiles, Jaguar, Ocelot, and Puma, to name a few. Big cats, and venomous snakes. Spiders as big as a dinner plate.” Blaine said. “I hate spiders, homie!” Hector said, staring at Blaine and turning pale as a sheet. “I fuckin’ hate ‘em!” “Then, keep your eyes peeled, don’t walk through any webs, and don’t panic if you see one. They’ll only chase you if you run.” Blaine assured him. “Ok… I’m good… Ok…” Hector said, nodding and psyching himself up. “Good. Don’t touch flowers. No matter how pretty.” He said, looking from Narah to Lisa. “Why?” Narah asked. “We’re in the rainforest. Everything here is trying to kill and eat something else. Nothing is safe. Even things that might seem so.” Blaine said, seriously. “Ok… So, what should we eat if we’re here for a while?” Narah said, being sensible about her questions. “Only what I hand you. Don’t eat or touch anything else, especially if it’s brightly colored.” Blaine warned her. “Why?” Narah asked. Blaine looked skywards for patience. Lisa came to his rescue. “Everyone knows bright colors mean venom or poison. Especially in the rainforest. With rare exception.” “Oh. You know, that’s not the case on Valhallah. Or my planet.” Narah said. “That’s why I asked.” “What’s your planet like, Narah?” Blaine said, trying to distract from the hike they were now embarking on. “Crazy enough, it’s a lot like yours. Just, venomous plants and animals are usually also trying to hide, whether predator or prey. Reds are normal. Yellows and greens, too. Most of the brightly colored plants only become so when fruiting. And most are not toxic. It takes an expert eye to be able to discern… What are you doing! You said not to eat anything brightly colored!” Narah suddenly shrieked, as Blaine peeled a banana. “Yes. I did. I also said don’t eat anything that I don’t give you. This, is a fruit known as a banana. It’s actually edible. Just, be careful when you pick them. See?” Blaine pointed to a large spider crawling across a banana leaf. “I’ll have to keep that in mind…” Narah said, as she stared at the slowly moving spider. “What’s that?” “One of the most deadly spiders known to mankind. Its bite would probably be harmless to you, but to us, it’s a very excruciating way to die, and very embarrassing as well. Basically….” Blaine said, before whispering in her ear. “Oh! That’s… both horrible and strangely … it kinda turns me on!” Narah said, smiling. “It’s not as nice as you think. It’d be like popping a bean, and never being able to rub it relaxed again, until you finally die from a heart attack. Us humans are naturally afraid of spiders, because of spiders like that.” Blaine said at length. “Yeah, sounds a lot worse when you say it like that.” Narah said, frowning. “Hey! That’s Archangel armor!” Blaine was suddenly right next to her, peering through the woods towards where she was pointing. A single scale stuck from a tree branch. Blaine looked down, and around the area across the ground. A large four-clawed bipedal print, told Blaine the worst was to fear. “Mahl.” Blaine said, as Lisa followed his gaze. “Oh, Christ!” Lisa said, terrified. “I thought they didn’t land on Earth?” “They didn’t, or these woods would be crawling with Brazilian and UN forces. No, this is a loner.” Blaine said, looking at the trail they left behind. “I’ll tell you this… James is being smart. She’s obviously being dragged. Your father is walking… With a limp, but walking.” He said, pointing to the trail leading from the tree through the underbrush. “How’s she being smart? She’s letting herself be dragged off by that brute! Why not just rip his arms off and beat him with them? She obviously can…” Narah pouted. “Precisely! She’s not! Which means there’s a good reason. Either she feels bested, or there’s a larger game afoot!” Blaine said, gritting his teeth and causing a vein to pop in his temple. “So, what do we do?” Narah asked. “Follow. In dead silence.” Blaine said, looking at her severely. Narah nodded, and followed him. They walked for the rest of the day, silent and slow. Blaine stayed in the lead, following the trail ahead. The Mahl stopped a couple of times, each time for water. They came finally to a tree, where the trail dead ended at it’s base. Blaine waited for the rest to catch up, and then smiled at Narah. Narah scowled at him puzzled at why he’d seem so happy at losing the trail. “Look up.” Blaine said quietly, grinning at Narah and the other two. A deep guttural growling roar, issued from a ball of fur halfway up the tree, sporting two others who were wearing Seraphim suits. “Hi, bonehead! I’m Blaine. You’ve got something that belongs to me. How’s about you give them back, and I don’t … make a mess…” Blaine said cheerily, smiling and waving to the Mahl. “GRRrrr, WHY SHOULD I?!” The Mahl said in a deep voice, which almost matched his growl. “Because! I’m allowing you to keep your arms. That’s more than she will do.” Blaine said, pointing to James. James smiled, and twisted around, grabbing the Mahl by his arm. “Ready, Freddy?” She snarled. “James! Wait-” Mordecai said, terrified. The Mahl made as if to bite her head off, and James changed. Her hair stood on end, and her face twisted grotesque. The Mahl stopped momentarily, looking at the savagely frothing woman in his claws, and suddenly had second thoughts about thinking her a mere weakling. That, didn’t matter, however. James ripped the Mahl’s head off of his shoulders, and spat down the creature’s esophagus. Then, they all came crashing out of the tree. Landing hard, Mordecai groaned as he lay still. James landed catlike, and ripped the offending Mahl’s bodily remains to dreg shreds, with her bare hands. Then, she roared, and passed out face first into the loamy soil of the rainforest floor. Blaine ran to Mordecai’s side, and looked him over. The elderly man had a broken wrist, and a large gash across his brow. Furthermore, he was completely unconscious. Blaine wasted no time, the blue flames glowing brightly in the failing light. Narah was at his side before he had finished, and watched, with tears in her eyes. “What about James?” Narah said, looking at Blaine as he finished and extinguished the blue fire. “Well…” Blaine said, and squatted next to her. He opened her eye, and checked the reactivity. He then became visibly worried. James wasn’t reactive at all. It was like her mind was empty. Like her soul had left her body. Blaine whimpered, as he held her hand to his lips. He looked around, like a scared child, and then closed his eyes. Blue light lit up the undergrowth, and blinded Lisa and Hector as they slowly walked closer. “SOB… GASP! Not yet, kiddo! Not yet!” Blaine’s voice could be heard from within the giant blue-white halo. “Please!” “Uhhn… Bean? Wha? OH! Fuck…” James’ voice could be heard saying. The light subsided and left Narah, Lisa, and Hector blinking furiously and rubbing their eyes. Blaine could be heard crying, as he hunched over, but nobody could see well enough to understand why for several minutes more. Then James slowly rolled over and stood up, weakly. “Bean… It’s ok… C’mon! We gotta go! It’s getting dark again!” She said, panic rising in her voice. “I…I-I thought… Yeah. Let’s go….” Blaine said, tears rolling down his cheeks. They ran flat out, for several minutes, before Blaine shouted at them. “STOP! We need to set camp! Don’t run in the woods at night!” “Scrape a clearing! I’ll get some firewood, and you, go get a bunch of banana leaves. You do know what those are, right Narah?” James said, helping as much as she could. “Yeah, I know what they are. I’ll be right back.” Narah said, and disappeared into the undergrowth. “Uhm.. Cap?... Do monkey’s eyes glow?” Hector said, as he stared into the gathering night. “No. Why, Monster? Find a monster?” Blaine said, and chuckled at his joke. “Nah, for reals, Cap! Look!” Hector said, pointing at two reddish orange orbs in the undergrowth. “Whoa! Hector! You found our monster, alright! It’s the apparatus that is creating the wormhole!” Blaine said, noticing where they were. “See? There’s the broken tree we hit earlier, Narah… Narah? Sweety?” Blaine looked around, worried. Then, he heard a muffled squeak which sounded oddly familiar. “I’m comin’ hun!” Blaine bellowed, and tore off through the cycads and the bromeliads. He found her being wrapped up by a massive anaconda, and drew his sword. Swinging deftly, he struck the creature clear to its spine with a fatal blow, directly behind the snake’s skull. He then roared mightily, as he peeled the massive jaws from Narah’s shoulder. Sobbing in terror and desperation of breath, Narah wriggled free of the snake’s coils, and slithered her way back several feet from it, wiping her skin like she was covered in some slimy sludge. Her heart raced, and she sobbed harder as she stared in terror at the thing that had just held her in its coils and tried to crush the life out of her. James ran up, and realized what had happened. She walked over to Narah and sweetly said to her as she helped her stand, “I’m so sorry! Come on! Let’s get you away from here!” The two quickly walked back to camp, James taking the chance to see to Narah’s wounds. Blaine sliced a huge chunk off of the snake, and carried it back to the fire he’d been starting just previously. Building up a pile of wood, he concentrated on the crimson and gold flames, and then the pile leaped to life with flames flickering merrily. The smell of cooking flesh, mixed with the day’s happenings, drew the six individuals to partake without argument or aplomb. Smiles were in short supply, but were certainly easier to manage with meat to fill their bellies. Narah was still clammy, and therefore wouldn’t let anyone touch her. Blaine made a joke about who would have died first, the snake or Narah, and Narah smiled at his attempt to cheer her up. “Maybe we should just sleep in the shuttle.” Blaine suggested. Nobody argued the logic, and so around an hour later, they were all back inside of the shuttle. They fell asleep, unaware of the several sets of beady little black eyes that watched them from the topiary level of the forest. Mahl clung to trees all around the clearing, hanging upside down from the vines and Burna trees. They didn’t make a sound, and simply watched until morning light, before disappearing into the jungle treetops, silent as a wraith. —----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Brashi’i sat with her thoughts, mulling over her feelings on the previous day's activity, and wondering about the man she’d let go. Had he left and simply decided to not come back? Or, was there another, more sinister reason for his absence? She sipped her strong drink, and sighed to herself. If he was gone, then he would move heaven and earth, to come back to them. That much, she was certain of. A voice like a thunderstorm, pulled her from her revelry. “Vhat troubles jhoo, Madam Zeal? “ Anastasia said, as she sat down next to Brashi’i. “Nothing, Anastasia. I’m fine.” Brashi’i replied, haggardly. “I’m just worried about my crew.” “Vee hafv naht oolvays seen eye tooh eye, Brashi’i. Zhat does naht mean zhat I do naht vorry, tooh. I hafv mine own reasons, tooh vhant Captink Preiss tooh return unharmedt, jah?” Anastasia said, winking at the bartender. “I understand. Still, I’d rather not talk about it, kay?” Brashi’i said, delicately. “Zhat is fine. I vos only tryink tooh be friendly, Madam Zeal.” Anastasia said, accepting her drink from the slightly surly bartender. “Tank jhoo, Frankie.” “I have no idea what happened to them, where they went, or how to get them back. They vanished in the same place exactly, as Ensign Price and the General.” Brashi’i muttered, as a patron walked passed them. “Jyur man…. Zeh Captink… He is naht a childt. He vill be fine. Jhoo vill see!” Anastasia reassured her. “I know… It still doesn’t make it easier. Enjoy your drink, Captain. Good night.” Brashi’i said, downing the rest of her drink and leaving.
submitted by deathB4dessert
to HFY [link] [comments]
2023.05.28 08:32 SignificantAd2222 Cmv: at a certain point in treatment the wishes and wants of a patient should supersede the doctors.
I’ve made one post something like this before and I was convinced otherwise. It went…
Because doctors do such a bad job at treatment I approve of universal healthcare. I partially changed my mind there. But still had some lingering doubts. This was months ago.
Today I was going to a random job for contract work and ran into this girl and was just chatting with her and she brings up her medical history. I hadn’t said a thing about mine. She has the same diagnoses as me and more. Man I felt bad for her and it put some things in perspective for me.
The thing is I’d never met anyone like me before. Usually when I speak of medical issues most don’t understand chronic long term problems with being under a doctors care. That’s what convinced me. If your the only one with an opinion most likely you yourself are wrong.
But here was a girl of 23 talking about problems I’d been going through for a decade and it hit way too close to home.
- She spoke of doctors not wanting to treat her. They feared for her liability. She had a really rare diagnosis on top of everything else I had. Everyone refused. Except Kaiser where her dad worked. Even then only infectious disease would try and she had to sign a bunch of liability waivers far beyond the norm because all treatments were experimental.
A- my iteration of this. Even months ago when I made that post o was saying my doctors will not treat due to comorbidities and the thing I hear above all else is “my liability, I can’t help, not my job, I’m not comfortable,go ask X physician”. I’ve never met someone else who had the same complaint. Everyone else says their doctors are amazing.
- She spoke of all the times she had been to the hospital for weeks and months on end. The process there is always slow. Nothing happens fast. Unless your literally dying that moment. The medicine they gave that had terrible S/S. But mds don’t particularly care…. It’s indicated and therapeutic. It doesn’t matter if your so loopy you can’t walk or it causes bone pain.
A: my version. I’m non compliant as hell. I tell my doctors this is out of self preservation. The stuff they give me… autoimmune medication, anti rejection drugs, steroids, were doing all the above and the first time I took them outside the hospital walked into work. They thought I was on drugs…. Lucky me I had all 15 of my prescribed meds in my backpack so o could show them. Or other times when I took steroids and gained 20lbs in 2 weeks and walked like an old man…. My bones hurt. Years and years…. I finally just stopped taking them told my doctor no and they bitched, yelled, called me no compliant…. I told them you take it first go through that then I will. Doctors cannot put their money were their mouth is. They don’t mind inflicting on someone else… but I doubt they would go through this themselves.
3: she spoke of her finances. How so many hospital visits had wrecked them. How she could never build a safety net. She was always broke. How she wouldn’t bother advancing in her career because there way no medical support and she didn’t think she would make it through the course. How she only had 20-30 more years to live so fuck it. No point.
A: my version for the last 10 years. Always broke. Had a 1.2 gpa in college. Kicked out because I couldn’t stay awake/too many days out at the hospital for blood transfusions or whatever. I finally bought modafanil online 10 years later and graduated with a 3.9 gpa. I could stay awake. I went to the hospital 4x during my 13 month program they wanted so badly to hold me back terms but I studied in the hospital did well on tests and threatened lawsuits. I would not graduate if I was held back. There was no physician support. Just mine. I told her that. They are useles. You need to take some initiative.
Quality of life: it’s sad. At her age I didn’t think of that. I just ignored shit and kept going. But there she was parroting my lines back at me. Her illness had become her world. Outside her daughter…. She was so limited in what she could do. She looks healthy to me. But it’s all internal… I always hear that when nurses or doctors read my history (unless I’m in something really acute) that I’m too young for this and I look really strong and energetic. I am till I’m not. Ditto for her.
Die to length restrains I need to cut short but there was so much more… I never told her anything about my own history. But she was so happy to have someone finally listen. I’m willing to bet my life quite literally that her doctors never do.
To reemphasize… having met some one like me for the first time. And her mother who picked her up. Who had the same thing , made my opinion stronger in the sense, but also changed how I view it. This sub and other showed me that for general medical everything is not perfect but workable. I can believe that. What I am looking to see if my mind can be changed on is that at a certain point when doctors will not treat due to liability and the patient is somewhat functional but not on hospice, because of concerns for quality of life patients should have the right to override their doctors in treatment and create the aims of it with only the advice of their doctor. Absent liability to them from patient and family.
submitted by SignificantAd2222
to changemyview [link] [comments]
2023.05.28 07:13 Down_or_Up I think my wife is going to die soon.
Forgive me for posting on an alt. My main has too many friends and I'm someone who generally doesn't air my problems with others. I'm usually not even one to post stuff here and instead find myself lurking but I really wanted to get this all off my chest. I don't know that I'm really asking for help or advice or anything, but more just dumping my garbage anonymously here so that I can just get it out a bit. Although I'll try to read comments too.
I've been with my wife about 12 or 13 years now, married for 3. She's been an alcoholic the entirety of our relationship. When we first met and started hanging out we actually didn't drink a ton together, but I came to the realization she had a problem when every time she did drink she got totally hammered to the point of unconsciousness. At the time I had roommates and we partied a ton, so it wasn't something that even had the dots connect much, and we lived a city apart, so only saw each other a few times a week and rarely in scenes where alcohol was involved. Still - there were signs and I knew something was up.
Flash forward she has a falling out with her sister, she needs to move, and I have space. She moves in and her drinking issues become.... obvious. Any time she drank it was drink to the point of unconsciousness, wake up, drink until passing out again. Often lasting days. She had other health issues that came about this time, eventually lost her job and ended up on disability.
I took full custody of my child from a previous relationship and we moved into our own place, just the three of us. Her drinking spiraled further and further, often resulting in me wondering if I'd come home to find her dead. Eventually I kicked her out. Stuff happened, she eventually went to rehab 2 times and got sober, worked programs, and life was good for 7 years or so with one minor relapse in there when her brother died, but that entire episode lasted about 3 days and she immediately jumped back on her sobriety programs hard when she slipped.
The last 2 1/2 years have been... HARD. As my kid got into his late teens he and her butted heads a ton, she has continued to feel a lot of stress from others in her family, the death of my mother whom my wife was quite close with, additionally her grandfather moved in with us for a few years and she became his sole caretaker which is very difficult to do when you have your own medical disabilities and problems and the guy you are taking care of is 95 and a bit misogynistic. Still, she loved her grandfather dearly and when he passed away it was another huge blow.
He died almost 2 years ago and since then she has been drinking again. The last year my son was home before he graduated highschool she often drunkenly targeted him, creating fabricated stories about things he didn't do but she said he did. Trying to make him the bad guy in order to divert from her drinking. This caused a big rift between the two of them (when previously they were extremely close). My son is off doing his own thing now and doing quite well. My wife has continued to drink though, with bouts of incredibly heavy drinking for up to 5 or 6 days straight of drinking until she passes out and staying basically in that state for the whole time. Then followed by days or weeks of detox.
We've done 3x different rehabs for her this last year, but when she is finished she doesn't continue working steps or programs and just white knuckles after until she slips again, weeks or months later. She's gone to the hospital 4x as well for this, and generally lies to the doctors telling them it's migraine related (part of her disability) because they end up loading her up with a cocktail of drugs that help get her over the hump of detox some. The last time this happened she refused the hospital for 11 days after she stopped drinking, detoxing at home. When she finally went to the hospital she was hospitalized for 9 days because her body was so completely wiped out of everything it needs to keep running. She was having organ problems and all of her electrolyte and sodium levels were non existent.
Here's where we are now though... I'm preparing to retire and our shared dream for years was when I was ready to retire we would buy a house about 2500 miles away in our favorite place in the country. We bought that place about a month ago (about 2 months removed from the incident I shared above). I've put in notice for my retirement, my last day is July 31st. In the meantime the plan was for my wife to go to the new location part time, help get everything set up, and I would join her out there for a week each month while she would come back here a week each month. However 2 weeks ago when I left after just such a visit she stopped and got liquor on the way home after dropping me off at the airport. She completely missed her visit back here which was supposed to be last week and involved a wedding, birthday party and a doctor visit that she shouldn't have missed.
This has led to her basically disappearing. She will text me a tiny bit every few days, I've gotten a couple short phone calls with her but she sounds terrible. It was bad enough that I hadn't heard anything for multiple days that I called the emergency number for a welfare check with the police/paramedics where she let them evaluate her but wouldn't go to the hospital and then kicked them out and locked them out of the property. The police officer I spoke with on the phone was very worried about her when discussing this and said she looked really bad. This was back on Tuesday. On Thursday we spoke again on the phone and it sounded like there was zero improvement and that she was still detoxing hard. I can tell she hasn't gotten more alcohol, since she hasn't left the house. I'm positive she is detoxing.
The biggest issue here is last time was the worst I had ever seen it, and she needed my help to get to the hospital since she was so weak she couldn't get to a car. I haven't heard from her again since Thursday. She hasn't answered any texts, not even opened them to view, and hasn't answered or returned any calls. I know she was alive earlier today, at least, since sometime yesterday her phone battery died since it was sending calls straight to voicemail and this evening it is once again ringing. However her plugging in and turning on her phone didn't result in her checking any texts, so she still hasn't seen any of my attempts to reach out.
I'm not able to get back out there until 6/15 which is a long time from now to keep going like this. I'm afraid she'll be gone by then if she isn't already. I can call for another welfare check, but that won't help if she keeps refusing to let anyone help her. So I'm a bit at a loss and not sure that there is anything I can even do here. I know the three Cs, I know I can't actually fix any of this and I know it's not my fault, but there's still this overwhelming sense of watching a freight train come right for our lives and there isn't anything I can do but stand on the tracks and watch it come.
Thanks for reading I guess. Sorry if this comes off as a huge bummer.
submitted by Down_or_Up
to AlAnon [link] [comments]
2023.05.28 05:10 BrownTown427 Inside The Doctor's Office - Episode X: The Impurity Of Decision Making
In the last episode, we saw Dr. Logan Wright meet quite the colorful cast of individuals. From WWE superstar Logan Paul to the beautiful bird known as Logan Flight, the Symposium of the Logang was certainly a fascinating place to be. And now, with IWF superstar “Lumberjack” Logan Lawrence motivating him to stop being so passive, FBE’s Resident Doctor looks to be on the Wright path towards becoming the most focused man he can… without the distractions of his demons…
Blitz XX: Paddy Murphy vs. Dr. Logan Wright
We’ve reached the ten minute mark of this match, and after Paddy drills the Doctor with a To Cork and Back, he starts rising to his feet. However, from the outside, we hear Sensei trying to drill something into his student:
“Paddy-san… Rememberuhhh… Target the headuhhhh…”
With that last piece of advice resonating in his own head, Paddy starts getting ready for perhaps the final sequence of the match, a Give It Some Welly ready to be hit. However, Logan also happened to hear the wisdom from Sensei, dodging the big boot to the face. He gets behind Murphy, quickly dropping him with a Relax and Eat Some (German) Soup-lex. Instead of going for another move however, Wright’s gaze shifts to the outside. He exits the ring, staring a dagger through Sensei:
“Why exactly did you tell him to target my head?”
Sensei backs up a bit, but as he does so, a crumpled up piece of paper he was holding falls to the floor. He tries to pick it back up, but Wright beats him to it, revealing it to be…the stolen medical form from his office… the information regarding his head pains. Wright looks at the paper, a calm expression on his face initially, but slowly, he loses his cool. His hands ball up into fists, his face turns a bit red…and he mouths to Sensei:
“You shouldn’t have taken that.”
Wright gets back into the ring, and though Paddy has risen to his feet by this point, Logan drops him with the Whiplash sling blade. FBE’s Resident Doctor stares at his currently downed opponent, and realizes it’s time for a medical procedure…how about a Facial Reconstruction! Wright begins stomping on Paddy’s face, knocking him unconscious, before finally putting an end to the assault with the PDF Kamigoye.
Dr. Logan Wright def. Paddy Murphy via pinfall
As the ref raises Dr. Logan Wright’s hand, the crowd begins…booing? Wright looks around, confused at the negative reaction. I didn’t cheat, I just found a way to win the match. I didn’t do anything wrong… did I? As he heads into the backstage area, he’s quickly approached by a young-looking intern, a microphone in his hand:
Reporter: “Hello, my name is Ryan St. Brown, and I’m with the-”
Logan Wright: “Hang on, your last name is St. Brown? Are you related to Amon-Ra by chance?
Reporter: “No relation.”
Logan Wright: “That’s disappointing. But go ahead, ask your question.”
Reporter: “We just saw you pick up a strong victory over one of FBE’s fan favorites in Paddy Murphy. However, at the end of the match, you clearly looked more agitated than usual, and some would say you used more force than was needed to win-”
Logan Wright: “Are you one of the people saying that?”
Reporter: “Well, I…uh…”
Logan Wright: “Look, I like Paddy and Sensei. But at the same time, they took privileged medical information from me. Sure, maybe I shouldn’t have used that PDF at the end…but should I regret using one of my standard maneuvers to win a match? No, and I don’t. Next question.”
Reporter: “Ok, fair enough. You’re doing well in the Shining Light League right now, and I have to ask: if you were to win the whole thing, who would you challenge?
Logan Wright: “I don’t like dealing with hypotheticals. I much prefer diagnosing current problems with all the information at my disposal. So I’m not answering that.”
Reporter (muttering): “Man, you’re a lot more boring in person than I thought you would be. Your answers suck.”
This comment draws the ire of Wright, who moves closer towards the reporter.
Reporter: “What? Prove me wrong. Give me a message that’s actually worthwhile, and I’ll be more than happy to rescind that comment.”
Logan Wright: “I know you’re just looking for a soundbite to try and further your career, but you’ve got my attention. Ask away.”
Reporter: “Are you the best pure rules competitor in FBE?”
Logan Wright: “You’re damn right I am. They call Inferno Baba Blitz? They ought to call me Da-Da Blitz, because all these wrestlers gunning for my title… THEY’RE CHILDREN COMPARED TO ME!”
The reporter gives a sly smirk as he walks away, having gotten what he needed. Meanwhile, Wright finds a nearby chair to sit on, putting his head down. However, his moment of silence is soon interrupted by a familiar voice:
Jared Gallagher: “Weird night for you, eh?”
Wright looks up to see his once-cameraman and friend moving towards him. However, with the doctor’s tumultuous year, their relationship became more strained, not having spoken for a while…until now.
Logan Wright: “That’s one way of putting it.”
There’s a bit of an awkward silence for a few moments, as neither man initially wants to speak. Eventually though, Gallagher gains his composure:
Jared Gallagher: “Look, I know you probably don’t wanna speak to me-”
Logan Wright: “Then maybe you should stop talking.”
Jared Gallagher: “Ok fine, but let me ask you something first: what were you doing with that last remark to the reporter? It wasn’t as cool as it likely sounded in your head.”
Logan Wright: “I was doing a play on words, what’s confusing about it?”
Jared Gallagher: “Yeah, but you do realize “Baba” translates to “father” too? So instead of being clever, you were essentially just rehashing Inferno’s nickname.”
Logan Wright: “Fuck.”
Jared Gallagher: “Forget about that though, I wanted to talk to you about something else. I heard from a little birdie that you were taking advice from Logan Lawrence.”
Logan Wright: “Logan Flight ratted on me? I knew he couldn’t be trusted.”
Jared Gallagher: “That’s not the birdie I meant…you know what, forget it. I just want you to understand that being overly aggressive isn’t the key to success. You’ve already been good up to this point, don’t lose your true self by being more of a jackass.”
Logan Wright: “Yeah, being good is fine…but I don’t wanna just be “good” anymore. I wanna be great. I want to prove myself as the pillar of something, and pure rules is the best chance I have at that. But relax, I don’t wanna just be an asshole for the sake of being one either.”
Jared Gallagher: “Ok, that’s fine. But if you want to improve… What's your next move? Gonna do some training with the rest of the Ark? Maybe ask your medical colleagues for some more dieting tips?
Logan briefly thinks about the suggestions, before he remembers something that Sensei told him…
Logan Wright: “No, I have a better idea… I’m going to Nepal.”
And with that, Dr. Wright starts heading towards the exit, a smile on his face, while Jared Gallagher is just left confused. He never even said why he was going there, what in the world is he doing…
One Week Before Unbreakable V: Kathmandu, Nepal
After a long trip, Logan Wright has finally made it into the heart of the Himalayan Mountains. He gets out of the car, paying and thanking the driver who escorted him from the airport to get to this point. He reaches into his pocket, grabbing the “business” card that led him to this location. He stares at it for a few moments, glancing up and down to make sure he’s in the right place. Yep, this is the one…
In front of Dr. Wright stands a worn-down house. It's small, with what looks to be only one story, and the white color is wearing away like the wooden beams supporting it. There’s a window near the front door, but a set of blinds are covering it up. As Logan approaches the entry-way, he smells a distinct odor of soup. Taking a breath, he knocks on the door. As he does so, a crash of glass can be heard on the other side, and there’s some momentary yelling before a tired-looking individual opens the door.
???: “May I help you?”
Logan Wright: “Hello, my name is Logan Wright. I’ve been informed that an incredibly wise teacher of medicine and healing resides here…”
???: “You’re correct, but he’s not seeing anyone today. Come back another time…”
Logan Wright: “Wait, I really need this. And I think I know one of his friends, they pointed this place out to me.”
???: “What’s the name of this friend?”
Logan Wright: “He’s known as Sensei-”
“LETT HYMN INN!”
This yelling from inside the house startles Wright, and the man at the doorway sighs, motioning for Logan to come in. As the doctor does so, he glances around the house, immediately noticing the kitchen area. Sitting at a table there is an older gentleman, with a pair of glasses on and a cane at his side, Logan quickly realizing he’s blind. The man from the doorway points for Logan to sit down with him, and Wright obliges, positioning himself in the chair next to the old individual.
Logan Wright: “Hello sir, it’s a pleasure to meet-”
???: “HALLO! IHT IST VAIRY GNEISS TWO MEAT YU! MI NEIGHME IST BLOGAN BITE!”
Wright briefly cringes at the yelling of the individual, looking back with a confused look on his face to the figure near the door. He notices a nametag on the figure he hadn’t seen before, reading “Bibek”.
Bibek: “Yeah, don’t worry about that. He’s blind and almost deaf, he needs to speak loudly to make himself sure he’s actually talking. Oh, and he said, “Hello, it is very nice to meet you. My name is Blogan Bite.”
Logan Wright: “Wait, why are you translating for him? He’s speaking directly to me, I know what he’s saying.”
Bibek: “Oh, just so the readers of this episode actually have a clue as to what’s going on.”
Logan Wright: “Wait what readers… oh, we’re doing another fourth wall break, gotcha.”
Blogan Bite: “Y HOV U CUHMM HEAR?”
Bibek: (“Why have you come here?”)
Logan Wright: “I’m looking for some advice. For a while now, I’ve felt an inner conflict in my emotional state and my moral compass. I want to be more aggressive, to try and be the best…but I don’t want to abandon the roots of my existence that helped shape me into who I am. Do you have any advice?”
Blogan Bite: “HYMMMMMM…. A TUFF PRAHBLIM INN DEED!”
Bibek: (“Hmmm… A tough problem indeed.”)
Suddenly, Blogan reaches towards his side, reaching into a bag. He shakes it around for a bit, before pulling out something from inside. He triumphantly slams it onto the table, before pushing it towards Dr. Wright. Logan looks at it for a few moments, an incredulous look on his face.
Logan Wright: “Why exactly are you… what is… what do you expect me to do with a copy of Fire and Ice by Robert Frost?
Blogan Bite: “HEE IST UHHH GRATE POE EHT! TAKEUHHH INN SPUR AYE SHUN FROMM HYMM!”
Bibek: (“He is a great poet. Take inspiration from him.”)
Logan Wright: “So… let me get this straight: your solution to my problem is…writing fucking poetry?”
Blogan Bite: “WASH YUR LANGWAGEE JUNG MANN! POEHHH TREE IST UHHH BEUTUHFULL THYNG!”
Bibek: (“Watch your language young man. Poetry is a beautiful thing.”)
Logan Wright: “Yeah but…surely there’s something that’s more suitable for my situation?”
Blogan Bite: “EYE ARM UHHH FRAYED KNOT! TEH BAHG HAHS SPOKANE!”
Bibek: (“I am afraid not. The bag has spoken.”)
Logan Wright: “Wait, do you just reach in the bag and randomly pull out an object for everyone that comes in?”
Blogan Bite: “OFF COORS! WATT ELSUHHH WOOD EYE DOO?”
Bibek: (“Of course. What else would I do?”)
Logan Wright: “Ok, I think we’re done here. Thank you for this… attempt at a recommendation. You’re truly one of the people I’ve ever met.”
As Logan gets up, Blogan extends a hand. Reluctantly, Wright shakes it, before heading to the doorway, acknowledging Bibek, and leaving the worn-down house. As he heads towards the street, he’s just left to ponder what transpired. That was dumb… traveling thousands of miles instead of just doing training was rather pointless. But as he gets in the car, ready to go back to the airport, another set of thoughts come over him. You know what…maybe I can make the best out of this situation…maybe writing poetry actually can do me some good…
Day Before Unbreakable V: Dr. Wright’s Office
With just 24 hours until Unbreakable, Jared Gallagher and Charles Crandall figure Wright is busy with training, or if nothing else, his medical work. However, they’re surprised to receive an invite to his office, and though Gallagher tries to ask him what it’s about, he gets no answer. It frustrates him, but he figures it must be important, so after grabbing a quick bite with Charles, they head over to the office. By this point in time, Crandall is fairly quiet, his eyes becoming increasingly purple for longer periods of time and Wrogan slowly and quietly influencing his personality, but the time to reveal that isn’t here…yet.
When they reach the hall outside the office, they’re surprised to see Logan standing in the doorway, a smile on his face. He invites them in, even having an assortment of pastries and desserts on the table for his friends to snack on. While Jared is quick to grab a danish, he’s also quick to raise eyebrows at this behavior.
Jared Gallagher: “Logan, what is all this for? This feels…too nice…
Logan Wright: “What, a man can’t just happen to invite his friends over for some delicious treats?”
Jared Gallagher: “You’re not fooling anyone man, just tell us why we’re here.”
Logan Wright: “Ok fine, you got me. The reason you’re here today… I wanted you to be the first screenings of my first-ever poem!”
Though Crandall is wearing sunglasses, he and Gallagher are quick to shoot each other a glance of confusion.
Jared Gallagher: “What?”
Logan Wright: “That’s right, when I went to Nepal, the man I met recommended I write poetry to ease my tensions and help me become a better person. I thought he was insane, but as I started to write, I realized…he may be right!”
Jared Gallagher: “That’s…but…I’m so confused. You didn’t even get any real training or medicinal techniques? You just got…told to write? What even is your topic?”
Logan Wright: “I’m glad you asked, old chum! I’ve entitled this poem…
An Ode To Jay…
In the garden lived a bird
Who truly loved to sing
It was a beautiful mockingjay
And through the air, its voice did ring
The bird was beloved
And believed to be a Hero
But little did the world know
Of its painful little ego
This bird fought and fought
It did everything to grow
But when abandoned by friends
It was a true low blow
Once upon a time, the group was
United, and forever in-sync
But when the Jay hit the bottle
Oh, did their PROSPECTS ever so sink
And the bird has recovered
It has regained its feathers
But little does the jay know
Of the impending, harsh weathers
For the jay may spread its wings
And fly in the dark
But it doesn’t know
Of its impending, dangerous arc
This bird will fly, and
It truly wants to win
But the true challenge is here
For the Doctor is in!
As Wright finishes his last line, his theatrical reading of the lines now finished, he finally turns towards his faithful audience. He’s met with a blank look from Charles Crandall, the sunglasses still firmly covering his eyes. And Jared… his mouth is agape, trying to process what he just heard.
Logan Wright: “So… what did you think?”
Jared Gallagher: “I… what… how… why… I don’t know what to say.”
Logan Wright: “You can show your appreciation by clapping, I worked really hard on that.”
Jared Gallagher: “I could… but let me get this straight… This is how you’re handling your upcoming rematch with Jay? Making a poem that only we’ve listened to, and not trying to find a way to, I don’t know, not finish the match in a time-limit draw?”
Logan Wright: “Forget about that, tell me if I should improve the language I used and how the poem flowed together. I could probably stand to write a poem for the tag team title match as well.”
Jared Gallagher: “Logan, Logan, Logan… Ok, if you want to live in this strange world of yours, go ahead. The poem was fine, but you weren’t exactly subtle with it, especially at the end. Like I get you want to beat Jay, and I know you were mad with what he said about you in the past…but really, finishing the entire thing about the Doctor being in? That doesn’t even make sense with the vibe you established.”
Logan Wright: “Fair critique, I’ll keep that in mind when I continue writing these.”
Jared Gallagher: “Come on man, it’s cool that you have a hobby, but I know just how much you cared about wrestling. Please, just step away from the paper and train while you still have a little bit of time left before tomorrow. I know we’re not as close as we once were…but if nothing else, do it for the rest of the Ark. Do it out of spite against Wrogan. Do it to prove that you’re not completely crazy, and that you deserve to be where you are in life.”
It’s with this line that something seems to click in Logan’s head. He looks towards Jared, nodding his head, and he moves towards his desk. He stares at all the notes and rough drafts he had been working on for his writings, a frown coming over his face.
Logan Wright: “I wish I was normal… I wish I didn’t go through these personality changes every other day. You’re right Jared…You’ve always been right. Wrestling needs to come first, and I have everything I need to stay energized. I don’t want to be passive, I don’t want to be aggressive…I just want to live. And tomorrow…things are going to get fun.”
Gallagher smiles at Wright being reinvigorated, and the pair share a quick hug. Upon Jared and Charles leaving, Dr. Wright takes a quick look in his mirror, and smiles at the expression of confidence now piercing through his eyes. He grabs his coat, turns off the light, and so begins a long and tedious night at the gym…
Night of Death Before Impurity:
The Finals are here… and Logan Wright is in them. After weeks leading-into months of this Shining Light League Tournament running center-stage on Blitz, the Doctor has gotten to where he wanted to be…where he needed to be. As he sits in the locker room, getting himself mentally prepared for the tall task that comes with facing DTJ’s Hunter Maguire, he sees in his peripheral vision someone entering the room. He glances up, smiling to see Jared coming to visit.
Jared Gallagher: “Hey champ, how we feeling about tonight?”
Logan Wright: “Whatever happens tonight…well, what I know will happen tonight… is PURE-ly destiny.”
Jared Gallagher: “Not your best joke, but glad to see you’ve been in positive spirits recently.”
Logan Wright: “Yep, tonight has to be the moment where everything pays off…it just has to…”
Jared Gallagher: “It will… I believe in you. And if you don’t mind me asking…who would you want to face at P.U.R.E. if things go your way?”
Logan Wright: “You know I can’t answer that right now, I have to get the job done first.”
Jared Gallagher: “Fair enough, fair enough. I should be heading off…go get em’, champ.”
With that, Gallagher leaves the room, and Wright rises to his feet. He looks at his arms, then his legs, then finds the mirror. He stares into his soul…Come on out Doctor…It’s operation time…
Post-Match Press Conference
Dr. Logan Wright did it.
As he’s now backstage, being greeted with a bottle of champagne that was ordered for him, Logan is still trying to ponder what just took place out there. From the match itself… to the seconds after the match realizing he won… to the return of the legend Petite Jupiter, handing him the trophy…
It’s all absolutely surreal, and Logan is at a loss for words. However, as he gets word that reporters are waiting to get a word from him, he quickly gathers his composure. He takes a big swig from the champagne bottle, before heading into the room, waving to the assortment of familiar and different faces. He moves towards the stage, taking a seat and getting the mic setup, ready to hear questions.
Reporter #1: “That was a hell of a match you had, Dr. Wright. What’s going through your head right now?”
Logan Wright: “Honestly, half of it is just my brain screaming and the other half is random gibberish. I can’t fully process either, but when I feel this way… I’m fucking pumped. But I do wanna quickly say… I respect you Hunter, I really do. You’ve been a tough opponent twice now… but that’s all the positives I can really say right now. Fuck DTJ.”
Reporter #2: “We just witnessed the return of Petite Jupiter, and the fans certainly loved it. But what did you think about it? Did you feel as though he was stealing your thunder by returning immediately after your big moment?”
Logan Wright: “Look, I know you’re looking for a soundbite, and I caved in several weeks ago to that one reporter. I’m not gonna do that here though. I faced Petite Jupiter in 2021, and I know just how good he is. He deserved to get that electric crowd reaction, and I couldn’t have asked for a better person to hand me the beautiful Shining Light League trophy.”
Reporter #3: “But now Dr. Wright, I think we all have a question on our minds. In addition to that trophy, you have the chance to pick your challenger for P.U.R.E, and that’s a lot of power. So if you can tell us…who are you gonna be facing?
Logan smiles at the question, fully expecting it to have been asked. He glances around the room, noticing Kaze Tanaka, Code Blue, Cactus Mike, and Jared Gallagher all standing at the back. He nods at them, before getting the mic, ready to make the announcement:
“In my time in FBE, there have been times where I’ve felt…insecure. Insecure about my talent, insecure about if people actually liked me or not, and insecure about my failures especially. But 2023… let’s just say it’s been a great Spring of Stethoscopes so far. You all know I’ve held the Pure Championship for about four months now, and I’ve faced my fair share of great individuals. But this second title run… it’s missing something. My past, in particular my 2021, was riddled with failures against veterans of this company. Losses to Inferno, to Nate Matthews, to Petite Jupiter… wins were hard to come by. I turned things around in 2022, but even then, my 1st Pure Title reign came to an end at the hands of FBE’s Resident Bastard. It feels like it’s just inevitable, and a running gag…
…But nowadays, I look at myself differently. Other people look at me differently. I’ve grown into what I wanted to be, what I hoped I would be… hell, I’ve even been dubbed as being somewhat of a “Final Boss.” I don’t want to get too egotistical, but not having lost since January… man, the ship I’m on, that being the Ark of course, is on a perfect path. But sometimes, it’s better to go for a different path, a path that stands out…to maybe make history…
So with that, this decision has drifted in my mind, and I’ve weighed all my options carefully. I’ve considered juniors and heavyweights. I’ve considered people from my past or completely fresh opponents. I’ve considered people who would die to win the Pure Championship, or even those who have disrespected it, to show them what it’s all about. But after a while, something finally clicked in my head. I’ve tried to forget that previously mentioned “can never beat a veteran legend” stigma, but until I get a decisive win, it’ll always float right alongside the ocean that contains my thoughts and dreams. So I will be challenging a long-time competitor of FBE, a man who has wrestled here for many years…
But the question of who was certainly a fascinating one…for about a minute. For once this name came to me, it never escaped. This man has held his share of championship gold, This man knows a thing or two about being dubbed a “Final Boss.” And this man has quite the past experience against the Ark… except with me. And to this man, I officially extend the challenge…if he's willing to accept it...
The stage is set…the main event of P.U.R.E…for the FBE Pure Championship…The match you reporters and all the worldwide fans of FBE will get to witness is…
Doctor Logan Wright vs. Apeirogone
submitted by BrownTown427
to FantasyBookingElite [link] [comments]
2023.05.28 05:00 Kazevenikov Cryptid Chronicle - Chapter 30
A special thanks to u/bluefishcake
for the wonderful original story and sandbox to play in.
A special thanks to my editors LordHenry7898, RandomTinkerer, Swimming_Good_8507, CatsInTrenchcoats, and KLiCKonthat.
And a big thanks to the authors and their stories that inspired me to tell my own in this universe. RandomTinkerer (City Slickers and Hayseeds), Punnynfunny (Denied Operations), CompassWithHat (Top Lasgun), CarCU131 (The Cook), and Rhion-618 (Just One Drop)
Hy’shq’e Ay Si’am (Thank you noble friends)
Chapter 30: A Promise Kept
Kalai stepped off the shuttle to the Vaida’s headquarters and into a running tackle-hug from Sitry. “Oh Kalai, I could kill you right now
! You got to see the Great Barrier Reef in person, you bitch!” Sitry’s cheerful voice was muffled from where she was still buried in her chest. Kalai staggered backwards a pace or two, happy to be back from her whirlwind adventure around Earth with her father.
Naranjo and Papa Rhaxiid were there on the platform to welcome her back too, but their welcomes were more sedate.
“Not to mention you got out of work for half our damn trip. Ugh, it’s so
not fair!” Naranjo huffed as Kalai gave him a sisterly hug.
Papa Rhaxiid reached up and chucked her chin before turning to lead the way back inside from the forested platform. “Welcome back, sweet-sprout, we’ve missed you. Come on, we’ll get you settled again and off to work. There’s quite a bit you need to catch up on if you want your credits.”
The chuckles from the twins behind her were full of sibling malice, but she knew how to shut the pair of them up. “Papa Rhaxiid? I’ve got the paper on Biodiversity in the Reef you asked for, along with the dissection report and stomach content analysis of the tuna we caught. I want to put the finishing touches on it and do a final proofread first before I send them to you.” The man turned and gave her a warm smile as they entered the building.
“Good, why don’t you go take your things back up and say hello to Andy? I’ll give you an hour and a half to get freshened up, then I want you to report to Aquarium 12 with Dr. Sor’ansa. You can put your snorkeling practice to work there.” Papa Rhaxiid walked the three of them to the residential elevator. “I’m heading back to my office. Andy’s been requested by Maetro Pae’ella to work the kitchens for something called ‘Bison burgers'. Apparently it’s a type of indigenous bovine that the eastern Bands raise. That and something from Europe called ‘French Fries’.”
Kalai couldn’t help but get excited as she and her siblings piled into the elevator back to their little shared apartment. Sure the food she’d had all over the place was good, but so far nothing had been able to compare to Andy and his Salishian cooking.
“Nerd, I can’t believe you cheated and did work on your vacation." Naranjo broke the silence of the elevator after a little bit and stuck his tongue out at her.
“Spit to windward
, you vain little weed. Don’t hate me because I’m awesome.” Kalai’s riposte caused Naranjo to fold his arms and huff. Sitry simply ambushed her with an ear flick.
The elevator door opened to their floor before Kalai couldn’t bear the silence from Sitry any longer. “So, did you bag him yet, you lucky bitch?”
“No she hasn’t!” Naranjo’s singsong mockery of his sister interrupted Sitry’s response. “Papa hasn’t let Sitry even NEAR Andy without one of them around!”
“Rub it in, you snitch, besides, he did
kiss me first,” Sitry preened happily as she playfully shoved Kalai’s shoulder.
Kalai pretended to stumble and almost caught Sitry’s foot, but she was just a hair too slow. “Yeah, and then you gave him a black eye, you clod.”
“Will you let it go? It was an accident
“It’s not even the only one he got either." Naranjo’s interjection stopped her right in front of their door.
“Wait, what? Who hurt him this time?
” Kalai let her bag thunk to the floor as she turned to look accusingly between Sitry and Narny.
Sitry folded her arms and her ears twitched back as she shot a dark look at their door. “He ‘fell down’ yesterday while out at one of the Hatcheries we gave to the Hwatcoms. Mrs. Toloui nearly had a fit! She said she could smell another human on him and that he was covered in blood!”
Narny nodded primly as Kalai tried to process what they were telling her. “WHAT? Did she call out the militia? Track down whoever hurt him?”
“No, and he refused treatment and insisted that no one did it to him! When papa tried to talk to him, Andy said some stupid human macho shit about pain healing and birds liking scars. I don’t know, sometimes humans… they’re frickin’ insane!”
The door shot open and there stood Andy. His left eye was an angry puffy yellow and blue mess, and there were three points on his lips where a dark cinnabar line marked a crack. Kalai and her siblings stood in wide eyed shock at his sudden appearance and the only sound was the music emanating from the common room behind him.
Andy looked up and down at the three without saying a word. He cocked an eyebrow and snagged Kalai’s bag before any of them could react and cleared the doorway for them.
Kalai sputtered at the impropriety but Naranjo and Sitry just shrugged and walked in after Andy. “Femboys, am I right?” Narny whispered to Kalai as he passed. Kalai followed behind and was greeted by the white fluff-ball, Puck, who hopped up and down, whining for attention. She bent down and started scratching his ears and back. While Puck rubbed up against her hands, Andy settled back down at the table where his omnipad was hooked up to a keypad. Her heart started to sink a bit and Kalai shot Sitry a jealous look before the music came to a sudden halt and Andy interrupted the beginnings of her pity party.
“Ok, Kem’ira, I got the pics now and I’m telling you to declare yourself
to the farmers first
! I guarantee if you tell them you’re with the new DNR and you’re there to kill all the Scotch Broom in their pasture lands, they’ll stop trying to shoot you for trespassing!”
Kalai’s mood jumped up a bit. It’s not that he doesn’t care to see me, he’s in a meeting!
“No, no I’m not coming out to talk this over with them, I’ve got my own work to do! Either you start talking to folks like I showed you how, or ask the militia to give you one of their armored catsuits to wear under your uniform… Uh-huh, good luck." Andy hung up on the call and leaned back as Puck scampered over and hopped up in his lap.
Andy rubbed his temples before shaking his head. He seemed to relax a bit and Puck slid off to follow Sitry to the kitchen. Andy looked over and gave Kalai a happy smile that made her flush. “Welcome back! So how was the land down under? That tuna was fan-frickin’-tastic, if you aren’t sick of seafood I’ll do something fancy with it tomorrow to celebrate your coming back. Can’t tonight though, I got volun-told to be head chef tonight and I… Oh damnit! I’m late! Come to dinner, burgers and fries Indian style tonight. Gotta run!” With that, Andy went dashing out the door with Puck barking and scrambling along after him.
Kalai felt her heart sink back down again, as he left. “Andy I-” She started but he was gone.
“Yeah, it’s been like that for the whole week. The only time we get to hang out is dinner.” Sitry commiserated as she took Kalai’s bag into their room. “On the other hand, we might get to catch up during the family meal tonight.” The dinner was delicious, though a bit weird. It tasted alright, but there was a certain aftertaste on the sandwich that just didn’t sit right with Kalai. She just couldn’t put her finger on it. The french fries more than made up for it though, and Mama Sakalbi had to hold a science trivia contest to see who got the last little handful.
Kalai and Narny were already silently plotting with each other for their revenge against their sister who had won and refused to share the last few matchsticks when Andy finally joined their table. He was sweaty and he smelled of woodsmoke and french fries. Kalai jumped up and offered him a seat next to her with a nervous smile. He took it gratefully and seemed to sag a bit as he gulped down a glass of water.
“Andy, I think you may be finding your calling as a culinary ambassador,” Mama Aftasia beamed. “A toast to the chef!”
Andy gave a shy smile and looked down as Kalai and the rest of the family gave a hearty ‘Here, here!”
“It’s a simple enough recipe; it’s just using bison instead of cow, that’s all, and I don’t know anyone who’d turn down hand cut fresh fries. It’s kind of hard to screw up.”
“Young man, you are speaking to a woman who found a way to take cold water and dried wumpa flakes and wind up with a Class-4 fire. Cooking has always seemed like ‘blight mysticism’ to me, and these foods? These flavors? Nothing short of a Greenwood miracle in my opinion." Mama Aftasia continued her praise of Andy, which only caused him to shrink even lower in his seat.
“To be honest, I like your salmon better,” Kalai said, and the whole table went silent. Kalai held her ground though, and was rewarded with a tired but genuine laugh from Andy that brought him back out of his shell.
“You know, I do too. My Clan were fisherpeople, not buffalo chasers.” Andy gave Kalai a cheeky grin, which she returned happily, her heart glowing. Mama Aftasia and Mama Sakalbi both blinked in bemusement at Andy’s statement while Sitry just giggled.
“Speaking of which, Andy, I received a call from Elder Alex Hwatcom.” Papa Rhaxiid’s change of subject instantly perked Andy up, and he stared silently, waiting. “He extended an invitation to our family to attend his family gathering this Friday-”
“Alex said that? He used those words?” Andy shook his head in shock as he interrupted Papa Rhaxiid. The table went quiet and everyone held their breath as they looked between the two men.
Papa Rhaxiid adopted as good an impression of the human Elder as he could. “I’d like to extend an invitation for you and your family to be guests at our family gathering this saturday up at the White… something… lodge-”
“The White Ram Lodge?” Andy sat forward, interjecting again as the color drained from his face.
“Yes, that’s the one! I asked if we could bring anything since the last time they hosted us they put on that wonderful spread. He said if we could bring a few salmon for the family, that would be wonderful.”
Andy leaned back and took another sip of ice water before holding the glass to his blackened eye. “Alex Hwatcom… just invited you… to a gathering… and he told you to ‘bring a few salmon’? Do you realize what a huge honor this is?”
Rhaxiid looked from his wives to his children with mild concern. “Um, I thought it was only dinner, but your reaction tells me there’s more significance to this than I originally thought. I was thinking about our stocks of adult Sockeye, but then I remembered in his story how important King Salmon are. Of course, I’d like to defer to you for the choice since you know these animals and the cultural expectations with this invitation better than we do.”
Andy was silent for a moment before he put the glass down. “I’d recommend a ‘hard no’ to all your clone stock!” Now it was the Vaidas’ turn to be shocked, as each of Kalai’s Erbian family’s jaws dropped in synch. Before anyone could say anything, Andy continued, “You need to bring wild-caught. Farm-raised salmon wouldn’t… well we can tell, and you can taste the difference between them. We need to go fishing!” Kalai leaned towards Andy slightly as he lowered his head and started mumbling to himself. She was just able to make out what he was saying to himself as Mama Sakalbi and Mama Aftasia began whispering to each other. “...need to get the Gillnetter out of storage, check what’s running and select the mesh. I’m gonna need a deckhand too.”
Kalai reached a hand out but stopped short of touching him. “Andy?”
He popped up and spoke for the whole table to hear. “I need a shuttle to the mainland and a waiver against the fishing ban. I’ve got to get my boat and the drum ready for sea ” Rhaxiid and Aftasia sputtered in confusion, but Mama Sakalbi had a shadow fall over her, and her ears pulled back.
“Do you mean to say you want to go out on the water? Risk the ecological balance for… dinner?”
Andy looked Sakalbi dead in the eye and gave her a firm nod. “Why don’t you come out and see how we did this before you got here. Think of it as a chance to see the way we’ve fished for the last hundred or so years, and then I can explain the way we used to fish before that.”
The offer snapped Rhaxiid out of his confusion and he brightened. “A learning experience? Wonderful, we’ll make a day of it!” His hands shot out to grab both his wives’ and Kalai could feel the vibrations in the floor from where he was excitedly tapping his feet.
“If you don’t mind hard, smelly work. Uncle Willy always called it ‘the worst desk in the prettiest office.' It’ll be a bit cramped, but I’ve got room on the boat for a few guests and observers; four I think would be ok. She’s a working boat, not a pleasure cruiser,” Andy explained. That sent the whole lot of them excitedly talking among themselves.
Kalai was about to lean in to talk to Mama Aftasia, but Andy caught her attention first. “I don’t suppose you’d want to go back out on the water, given you just got back from pleasure-boating-”
Kalai’s heart nearly jumped out of her chest. “I wouldn’t miss it for my own colony planet!”
Kalai stood on the pier, bundled in her thermal sailor’s coat. It was still dark and the wind blew from the north in a cold little morning breeze. Kalai took a deep breath and reveled in the smell of the fresh sea air. The soft chattering of Mama Sakalbi’s teeth broke the silence. “It’s a bit chillier than it said it was going to be.”
“The water always does that. It’s never as warm as the lubbers say it’ll be,” Papa spoke as he handed her back her thermos of hot chocolate.
Papa stood next to Kalai and nudged her with his elbow. Even in the dark, Kalai could see him smile up at her and jerk his head at the shivering Erbian. He was also wearing a thermal sailor’s coat, and his hands were stuffed in his pockets to keep them warm, just like Kalai’s. “Landswoman,” he whispered to her and the two of them shared a knowing smile. It was strange, but welcome when she'd told Papa about her upcoming day fishing with Andy, and he’d politely requested to join them. Papa Rhaxiid had graciously given his spot up to accommodate her birth father. Narny was all for it until Andy had explained what they were going to do, but then surrendered his challenge to the fourth guest space, not wanting to go anywhere NEAR anything that could see him come face to face with a Lion’s Mane Jelly. Sitry had done a happy little dance when she found out, but only yesterday had come down with Thistle Fever, and was bundled off to bed by her parents. It left Kalai, Mama Sakalbi, and Papa to accompany Andy on his fishing trip.
The water brushed against the shore behind them quietly. In the gloom, Kalai could just barely make out the outline of the nearest island mountain, but only because the stars had disappeared behind it. It was almost four in the morning, but Kalai had managed a catnap on the shuttle to the empty little lot that had been the boat launch. Aside from the water, the world was silent. Even the breeze made almost no noise and a sense of peace surrounded them. Everything was so calm, Kalai felt like she didn’t have a care in the world.
In the distance, a low rumbling sound of a motor rose from being almost imperceptible to a rolling drum of thunder. From around the point, two green floating lights sped through the darkness, and a spotlight turned on. The beam of light moved jerkily until it came to rest on the pier where they were standing and Kalai started waving her arms. Sakalbi’s omnipad rang, and Andy’s voice shouted over the speaker and the background noise for them to shine a light on the edge of the pier to help him park the boat.
Kalai and Papa moved closer and turned their omnipad flashlights on and waved them as the boat swung gracefully around and glided in alongside them. Kalai caught the rope that flew over the railing of the boat and she heard more than saw Andy moving around on the deck as she tied off on one of the mooring cleats. Several lights clicked on and the deck was bathed in light enough for Kalai to get a clear view of the boat they’d be spending the day on.
Andy hadn’t lied. Kalai saw that this little vessel was a working boat with no frills at all. When he’d told her they’d be going fishing, she’d envisioned something like the charter boat papa had taken her on out of Nantucket. Sporty, fast with a nod to comfort and function. This was not that at all. A giant wheel as wide as Kalai’s outstretched arms that looked like a sideways spool of thread was secured to the deck amidships and dominated the deckspace. Wrapped around it was a fluorescent green tangle with a line of oblong white and yellow corks and rope. There was a covered hatchway sitting behind the drum in front of the raised step to the enclosed cabin. Two large windows let the light out to two children’s bunks, a little table with a booth seat and a raised captain’s chair in front of the helm and engine controls. Andy shut down the engine and that peaceful stillness returned.
“Oway there!” Kalai called, “ship oway! Request permission to come aboard.” Kalai gave the traditional greeting of a Shil’vati sailor.
“Permission granted! Anyone need a stepstool?” Andy finally stepped into the light and Kalai got a look at him. He was wearing a hooded sweatshirt and the same bright orange coveralls she’d seen the fishmongers wearing on their date.
“I wouldn’t mind a hand, Mr. Shelokset.” Papa He’osforos braced a foot on the railing of the boat and Andy pulled him up.
“Just call me Andy, Doc, and welcome aboard. Jackie should be along any minute now with the day’s groceries, and the cabin’s out of the cold. You can get yourself set wherever you find comfortable.” Papa nodded and disappeared around the other side of the wheel moving towards the bow.
Kalai helped Mama Sakalbi into the boat next, and she quickly ducked into the cabin that took up the entire stern section save for a little ledge that ran along the outside. Andy gripped Kalai’s hand and she smiled as he pulled her deftly aboard. The boat rocked a little on its mooring, and Kalai almost fell into Andy, who wordlessly put his arms around her waist to catch her as she lost her balance. She flailed for a moment before she steadied herself against him.
“Gotcha,” Andy smiled, and Kalai could see him flush almost as much as she could feel herself doing as their noses almost touched. Those big dark brown eyes surrounded by white orbs drew her in and she felt she could lose herself in them. Kalai started as Andy danced her around him and moved her towards the cabin door.
“It might be a little cramped for you in there, but the Mary Jean wasn’t built for pleasure boating, she’s a working girl. Sit tight, I gotta check a few things in the back.” Andy patted the railing affectionately before he hopped up and scooted along the outside of the cabin towards the stern. Kalai couldn’t help the little longing groan that came out as he left her there on the little tiny quarterdeck. Her heart was hammering in her chest as half formed fantasies danced at the edges of her mind.
“I saw that, little minnow.” Papa’s voice was soft, but his tone and the sudden broken silence nearly gave her a heart attack.
Kalai could only stammer as her father stared at her with a cocked eyebrow. A thump from the cabin window behind saw an amused Mama Sakalbi daintily sipping at her thermos with her ears twitched forward in interest, staring out at her. “Papa I… he-”
Papa moved carefully around the covered hatchway to stand next to her, leaning back against the cabin window and heaved a sigh. “I must say I’m surprised. This lovely man’s got good clean lines and is very well cared for. It speaks well of his Skipper.”
It took a full minute for Kalai’s brain to process that he was talking about the boat and not Andy. “And the way Andy brought him in smooth in near complete darkness? It gives me confidence in his abilities.”
Kalai breathed a silent sigh of relief and exasperation. Although she was happy to be spending more time with her father, bringing him on what she’d hoped would be a sailing date wasn’t exactly what she’d had in mind for ‘family time’. He wants me to find a nice young man and spend time with him on a boat, but the first chance I get Papa decides to clam-jam me.
From up on shore, the sound and lights of a large human vehicle screeching to a halt heralded the last of their party to arrive. Kalai heard the clomping footsteps coming down the pier and moved to the railing to lend a hand.
“Ahoy Mary Jean! Raggedy Andy, you there?” Kalai stared with wide eyed surprise to see a human female, loaded down with plastic bags and sporting two human weapons on her shoulder. The two of them locked eyes, and while Kalai didn’t understand everything the girl shouted in surprise, she had caught and understood the phrase, “What the fuck?”
“Easy now, they’re my guests, and the one inside is the boss!” Andy appeared on the pier instantly before either Kalai or the woman could react further.
“Ya didn’t tell me we were having pur-” The woman glared at Kalai and her father. She had switched to Vatikre thankfully, but her tone was hostile as she dropped everything but her weapons. “I mean, hwun’eetums, aboard. A gal could get the wrong idea pretty quick in the dark when there’s no warning.”
“Knock it off Jackie. Let’s get the grub aboard and shove off.” Andy picked up some of the bags and took the guns as Kalai offered a helping hand over the railing. “Oh, Kalai, this is Jackie. Jackie? Kalai. That’s her dad over there, Doc He’osforos. He saw and treated Kay Tee a few years back.” Andy jerked his head towards the direction of Kalai’s father as she held out a hand to the human girl. On a quick inspection, she appeared to be about the same age as her and Andy. She had a round face and was about as dark complected as Andy was. She was shorter, only a few inches taller than Papa, but when Jackie grabbed Kalai’s hand to hop up onto the rail, she could feel the strength and the compact muscle hidden by the baggy sweatshirt and pants.
“Wait a minute, did you say Mini-Me over there saw Kay Tee? You’re fuckin’ with me!” Jackie stumbled a bit as she hopped down onto the deck with a loud thunk and advanced on Papa who shrank away at her advance. “You saw li’l Kay Tee? Where the fuck is he? Is he alright? Is he still fighting the good fight?”
“Last I saw, yes, he was ‘fighting the good fight.’” Papa looked over at Andy with a slightly worried expression. Andy smacked the girl in the back of the head, causing her to flinch and she opened the door to the cabin for Andy to go inside.
Jackie rubbed the back of her head and laughed. “Well that’s a little bit of alright, innit? Maybe today’s gonna be a good day after all!”
“Jackie, get suited up and get on the bow. I need a good pair of eyes on the roller horns,” Kalai heard Andy shout from the cabin, followed by a whole lot of thumping and banging from cabinets being opened and closed.
“You got it, ol’ man. We going to your place or mine?” Jackie sidestepped in and opened a tiny little closet and pulled out a set of rain gear that was identical to what Andy was wearing. Kalai collected herself and stood in the doorway next to her father as they both leaned in.
“Mine; Chuck said the Yaw’much are running from the South. We’ll do a set nor’west of Lummi in the Rosario and see if we can get some Fraser Kings,” Andy replied as he turned the engine back on and the vessel roared to life.
“Chuck? Isn’t that one of your cousins? I didn’t know he could keep track of the movements of Salmon, may I ask how he does it?” Mama Sakalbi perked up as she pulled a set of earplugs out of a pocket and inserted them.
Andy prevaricated a bit, looking from Jackie back to Sakalbi then to Kalai and Papa. “I’d rather not answer that-”
“Breakin’ the law, breakin’ the law! Breakin’ the law, breakin’ the law!”
Jackie began singing a human song, and Andy threw her the dirtiest of looks as she finished getting into the orange coveralls. Mama Sakalbi sputtered as Andy shrugged apologetically.
“Make a hole!” Jackie called, and she and Andy came back out as Kalai and Papa made room for them. Andy hopped back onto the dock to cast off while Papa ducked into the cabin.
“Can I help?” Kalai offered as Andy shoved the vessel off and leapt the gap over the black water below.
“You want to be useful? Come forward! I could use an extra set of eyes!” Jackie called back, and Kalai felt a slap on her shoulder from the boisterous human woman.
Andy stood at the helm, watching Jackie and Kalai as he leaned to get a better view of them past the Net drum. The bow was lifting up again, and the gentle little swells became like speed bumps, jostling them up and down in a predictable bouncing rhythm.
“Are you sure you couldn’t slow down, Andy? It’s a bit rough, don’t you think?” Sakalbi was hanging on to the table and her thermos with a worried expression on her face.
“I could, but we’ll miss the morning set. We want to bomb out the buoy right when the tide changes. If we’re lucky, then we’ll get around seventy or eighty by slack tide this afternoon and call it a day.”
“How do you know where to fish?” Dr. He’osforos was making a good show of standing and maintaining his balance with his hand on the booth.
“Well, there’s two ways you know. The first is you fish the spots your family’s fished since time began. Every family has about two or three different secret spots that we know there’s fish in, and we’re pretty defensive about their locations. The second is by smell. Right now it’s the tail end of the King season, and you can smell them in the water.” Andy turned and saw the incredulity etched on the faces of the two aliens.
“No, I’m serious! King Salmon slime is really pungent, and you can smell them when they’re close to the surface. We get to the fishing spot and take a deep whiff. If we smell them, we’ll set the nets.” Andy laughed at the disbelief on their faces as the GPS on his omnipad beeped and he turned to sail around the last buoy and head for the fishing ground.
“I’ve never noticed that in any of the Kings we’ve raised-”
Andy suppressed a laugh as they caught a larger swell as they left the lee of Lummi Island. Andy reveled in the feeling of weightlessness as the deck rose up and fell out from underneath their feet, leaving everyone suspended for a moment in midair before falling back down. A massive spray of water rose and washed over the deck, drenching Kalai and Jackie, who were still forward. “Cloned and farmed Kings don’t have that same smell. Wild ones smell and taste different, I’m telling you!” Andy pulled back slightly on the throttle as they climbed the next swell. “Brace!” he called as they climbed and fell once again.
There was a look of fear on Sakalbi’s face as she gripped the table for dear life, but to Andy’s surprise, the Doctor looked completely unfazed, and was handling the rise and fall of the deck like an old salt. “You look like you’ve done this before, Doc.”
“I’ve done a stint or two at sea before,” he spoke, in the same tone Andy would have used when trying not to sound too confident, and Andy smiled.
“Kalai keeps talking about loving the sea and sailing. Did you teach her to sail?”
“Yes, me and her mothers. When they were home, we would take the family yacht out in the Vaascon Straits and sail around the Occidiens. Kalai practically spent all her early childhood on a sailboat.”
“And almost every waking moment on one in Junior Academy. I swear you couldn’t dig her out with a trowel when she wanted to go sailing,” Sakalbi managed to add in a word as the boat slowed, and the dramatic rise and fall of the deck slowed with it.
“What about you, Mr. Shelokset, did your father teach you to sail too?”
“I was too young before he passed. My Great Uncle Willy taught me after I came home, and Grandma took me out to the family fishing sites when she wasn’t busy with the Council. For the first two or three years after they let us come home, fishing was the only way to feed our families, but the Militia and the Cambrians would try and sink our boats or arrest us whenever we tried to go out.”
“And that’s why you’re so good at maneuvering your vessel in the dark with no instruments?” Mrs. Vaida had folded her arms, and her voice twinged with that imperious tone she’d had when they’d first met.
Andy huffed a dry laugh. “I did what I had to for me and my people and to survive, Ma’am. I don’t like breaking the law or dodging lasers and gunfire, but there’s a lot of poor families that need to eat.”
The GPS beeped, and Andy gave Mrs. Vaida a slightly defiant look to counter her furrowed brow. “We’re here,” he said as he threw the engine in neutral and opened the cabin door.
Andy walked out and took a deep breath, but all he could smell was the net and the exhaust from the engine. “HEY JACKIE! WE SMELL MONEY?” Andy yelled out as he took stock of the sky. The first signs of sunrise were chasing all but the morning stars away and a light fog was rolling in from the north.
“FUCK YEAH I CAN SMELL ‘EM, ANDY! LET’S BOMB OUT AND GET BREAKFAST GOING!” Jackie looked slightly manic as she smiled brightly. Kalai, on the other hand, looked wet and miserable as she shivered, arms wrapped around herself. Andy gave his cousin a disgusted look as he pieced together what had happened. Every deckhand learned when to duck behind the raised bow and the roller horns that guided the nets so as not to get a faceful of spray when cutting through a swell. It was also a classic hazing trick for Senior Deckhands to let Junior Deckhands learn this the hard way.
Andy moved forward to stand in front of the two of them. Kalai was trying to squeeze her coat dry, but Andy knew it wouldn’t do much good until the sun came out. Jackie at least had the sense to look a little remorseful. “Kalai, why don’t you go sit in the cabin and get out of that wet coat. It’s cold enough out here even for us-”
“No way, Andy. Junior deckhand Kally here wants to impress you and get her dainty soft hands dirty! She’s been bragging about being a sailorwoman and wants to learn to fish ‘your way!” Jackie gave Kalai’s shoulder a wet slap as the poor alien woman went blue. Out of cold or embarrassment, Andy couldn’t tell.
All Andy could do was shake his head and huff. “Ok then! Secure the buoy and sling on my mark. I’ll get us in position!” Andy couldn’t help but chuckle as he heard Jackie start ordering Kalai about. Andy went back into the cabin and looked in the closet/bathroom to see if there was anything hanging up that he could give Kalai. There was only the one rain slicker and a few of Andy’s old sweaters from when he was a lot smaller. Well, looks like I’ll just be cold today. He quickly stripped out of his sweatshirt and grabbed the slicker before throwing a switch on the main control. Dr. He’osforos and Mrs. Vaida threw him quizzical looks as he went back outside wearing less than when he came in. He was down to a sleeveless shirt and his coveralls, and the morning breeze cut right through him and he braced his jaw to keep it from chattering.
“We’re ready to go- Andy, why are you practically naked from the waist up?” Kalai was staring wide eyed at him as he approached her and Jackie was on the bow. Jackie had everything ready; the buoy line was strung through the horns and ready to toss out. A giant orange and blue beach ball sized float hung at the end of the line to mark the end and make it easier to pick up later.
“Trade me your coat for these. If Jackie’s putting you to work, you’ll need these to keep warm.”
“I’m alright, I can-”
“I’m the Skipper of this boat, and I’m ordering you to take off that wet coat and put these on; and Jackie?” Andy gave his cousin a long and piercing look. “Give her the elbow gloves, not the halfsies.”
The scoff and the muttered Salishian profanities meant he’d read the next prank she’d had in mind right. She was planning on giving her the cloth gloves with only the palms and fingers coated in rubber. While perfectly fine for fishing, Andy knew they tended to get soaked through very quickly and did nothing to keep jellyfish stingers and fish slime off your hands. Kalai sputtered for a moment before she complied gratefully and she accepted the dry clothes and rain slicker.
Andy saw Jackie give him a strange look before looking back at Kalai, but he paid it no mind. He walked back to the controls on the drum and switched off the hydraulics, placing the mechanism in neutral. “SLING IT!” Andy called as he took the small jerry rigged steering wheel and threw the boat in reverse. Kalai jumped as the line started unspooling the net into the water at a rapid pace.
Andy set an ‘S’ bend in the quarter mile long net, zigzagging backwards until they came to the end of the line. Andy stopped the boat as Jackie tied off the other large buoy and tossed it over the side, unstringing the cork-line from the roller horns in the process. He pulled hard over and put a bit of distance from the net before shutting the engine down. The line of white and yellow corks marking the net bobbed lazily with the swells as silence settled over the water again. The waves rocked the boat gently as Andy found his sea legs again.
“Alright, I’ll get breakfast going. Jackie, Kalai? Post the watch for seals,” Andy called as he walked back into the cabin to fire up the tiny little gas stove.
Sakalbi, having found the confidence to stand at last, poked her head out of the cabin and stood on by the hatch to the fish hold. “Seals? Why would you need to watch for seals?”
Andy grit his teeth and looked over from where he was cracking open and scrambling eggs. “They’re the spawn of Satan and we hate their guts!” Andy bit out. Jackie came back and pulled the two shotguns and a pair of binoculars from the closet. Andy reached over to a side cabinet and pulled out a box of shells for them. Both his boss and the Doctor’s eyes got wide.
“Seals are the enemy of our blood. Were it not for the invasion, our unending war against these vermin would continue to this day!” Jackie growled as she loaded one for herself and rested the other on Andy’s seat at the helm.
The look of growing horror on Sakalbi’s face towards their facetious declarations caused Andy to chuckle a bit, before launching into an explanation. “We’re not fans of the species because they’ll wait until a fish gets caught in the net and then they’ll steal it, costing us a fish AND ripping a big hole in our nets that we then have to take time to repair. We use the shotguns and buckshot to give them a nice welt and convince them not to hang around, because they’ll wait up on the surface and watch the buoys, just like us. A single seal can and will take between five and ten fish. The worst is when they start getting full, they’ll just bite out the bellies of a salmon in the net. We can’t really do anything with that fish once it’s ‘seal-bit’. So yes, as fishermen, we hate them.”
“Learned opportunism in apex predators as a response to human activity… I think I’ll go see this behavior for myself!” Sakalbi practically rushed out the door towards the bow where Jackie was sitting on the roller horns explaining to Kalai how to spot the bastards, leaving Andy alone in the cabin with the Doctor while he cooked breakfast for them all.
Dr. He’osforos sat down heavily in the booth and pulled out his omnipad. “I’ve had a word with my friend in the Interior. She’s pulled the warrant for your brother, and I’ve withdrawn the charges I filed.”
Andy froze and turned around slowly. The only sound was the sizzle and pop of the eggs and chorizo that he’d added to them in the skillet. “You mean… it’s done? He can come home?” A wave of light headed euphoria swept over Andy and he swayed with the gentle rocking of the boat. “I will pay you back, Doc-”
The doctor held up his hand and stopped Andy. “We’ll call it even, but there’s something… I was able to get my hands on this,” Andy watched as the doctor swiped something towards his omnipad and it dinged. “What is it if I may-”
“Are you really asking an Indian to tell you a story? Because it’s going to be a long one if you are.” “I’m Sevastutavan, young man; we invented long stories.”
Andy froze and stared at the screen of his omnipad. The Vatikre was heavily accented, and Andy had a bit of trouble with the unfamiliar accent, but centered in the frame in a hospital room, sitting in a wheelchair, was a Salishian boy. Andy blinked in surprise as he stared at the screen. “Is that-”
“I am Ikw’is’hi’ehlah, and this bearer is… of the Orca Clan Sheloksets. I drove our Haida enemies onto the rocks and took many heads when they attacked our winter village on Orcas Island. I signed the Treaty with the Great White Father and I fought against the slavers of the south-”
Andy wanted to grab the omnipad but the smell of overcooking eggs brought his attention back to breakfast and Andy stirred and scrapped the food quickly, trying to save it.
“I asked her for any materials she could give me on your brother. Pictures, recordings, anything. This is what she gave me. It's the last known recording of your brother during an interrogation conducted by a Navy Commissar prior to his escape. It seems he made friends with a Pod of Deaths Head Commandos. Quite a bit of the recording has been redacted, but… there are portions of it where he talks about his family and his history. I thought you might like to have it.”
Andy hurriedly pulled out paper plates and a slice of bread for everyone and scooped a heaping portion of the chorizo eggs onto them. He handed the doctor his before leaning out the cabin door. “Slop’s on, come and get it!”
Andy sat down after moving the shotgun out of the way and started the video over again as the three women came back to grab their plates and lost himself watching his brother start telling his story.
“What’s that?” Andy heard Kalai ask over his shoulder, and he paused the video.
“That’s my brother! That’s Kay Tee!”
“Holy shit, what?” Jackie nearly shoved Kalai into Andy as she jammed her bread slice down her gullet and crowded in to see the screen.
Andy started the video over a second time and they watched in silence. “God, that brings back memories. Back when mom was still alive and before we broke up the warband. I can’t believe that slippery little punk ghosted a pod of Commandos for two fucking years! Holy shit, that’s badass!”
Before Andy could say anything, Sakalbi started coughing and brought the binoculars up. “Uh, Andy? Jackie? What do we do about sharks?”
Jackie looked at Andy in confusion. “Sharks? There’s nothing but Dogs around here.”
“Well those are shark fins and they’re charging the net!” Sakalbi pointed and Andy looked up to see dorsal fins charging the center of the net.
Andy looked at Jackie and spoke the same words in tandem, “Oh shit!”
To be posted 6/4/23
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2023.05.28 04:51 Junior_Button5882 11 Terrifying-But-True Horror Stories Reported in the News - From fatal exorcisms to unexplained deaths and devil worship—these are some real-life nightmares.
A terrifying movie
gets your blood pumping in the moment of consumption, sure—we covered our eyes in Squid Game
with the rest of the world. But for the most part, you rest easy afterward knowing that what you've witnessed is fiction, deliberately spun up to creep you out. When the real world gets eerier than anything Stephen King
could dream up, that's
when you have every right to get a little scared of the dark.
Once in a while, a story of a dreadful disappearance, demonic possession, or devil worship will land in the local paper instead of a pulpy old paperback. We've rounded up the most unnerving real-life tales below. In honor of spooky season, here are eleven we can't stop thinking about.
The Axe Murder House
The Villisca Axe Murder House in Villisca, Iowa is a well-known tourist attraction for ghost hunters and horror lovers alike. The site of a gruesome unsolved 1912 murder, in which six children and two adults had their skulls completely crushed by the axe of an unknown perpetrator, was purchased in 1994, restored to its 1912 condition, and converted into a tourist destination. It costs $428 a night to stay
at the old haunted home, where visitors always report strange paranormal experiences, such as visions of a man with an axe roaming the halls or the faint screams of children.
But in November of 2014, the haunting took a darker turn. Robert Steven Laursen Jr., 37, of Rhinelander, Wisconsin was on a regular recreational paranormal visit with friends when true horror struck. Per VICE
His companions found him stabbed in the chest—an apparently self-inflicted wound—called 9-1-1, and Laursen was brought to a nearby hospital before being helicoptered to Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha.
The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said
Laursen suffered the self-inflicted injury at about 12:45 a.m., which is around the same time the 1912 axe murders in the house began.
Laursen recovered from his injuries, but has never spoken publicly about what occurred that day. For Martha Linn, the owner of the home, the incident was very upsetting. "It's publicity, but it's not exactly the kind of publicity you desire to have. I don't want people thinking that when they come to the Villisca Axe Murder House something's going to happen that's going to make them do something like that.” The house remains open for tourist visits and overnight stays today.
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The Haunted Doll
When you think of haunted dolls, it’s likely the creepy old Victorian-looking porcelain kind that springs to mind. None of which you probably have laying around. Still, don’t get too comfortable around any kids toys too soon, though: a Disney’s Frozen
Elsa doll that was gifted for Christmas 2013 in the Houston area made headlines earlier this year when it seemingly became haunted.
Per KPRC2 Houston News:
The doll recited phrases from the movie Frozen and sang “Let It Go” when a button on its necklace was pressed.
“For two years it did that in English,” mother Emily Madonia said. “In 2015, it started doing it alternating between Spanish and English. There wasn’t a button that changed these, it was just random."
The family has owned the doll for more than six years and never changed its batteries. The mother says the doll would randomly begin to speak and sing even with its switch turned off.
The family decided to throw the creepy doll out in December of 2019. Weeks later, they found it inside a bench in their living room. “The kids insisted they didn’t put it there, and I believed them because they wouldn’t have dug through the garbage outside,” Madonia told KPRC2 Houston News.
At that point, Elsa ceased to sing the English rendition of “Let It Go” altogether, speaking only Spanish when pressed. The family then double-bagged the bizarre doll and placed it at the bottom of their garbage which was taken out on garbage day. They went on a trip shortly after, but when they returned, Elsa too had come back, and was waiting in the backyard of their home.
This time, the family mailed Elsa to a family friend in Minnesota, who taped the haunted doll to the front bumper of his truck. It doesn’t seem to have made its way back to Houston yet, as per Madonia’s latest February Facebook update
on the creepy doll.
A Deadly Exorcism
In August 2016 in North London, 26-year-old Kennedy Ife began acting strange and aggressive following a pain in his throat. He reportedly bit his father, threatened to cut off his own penis, and complained of a python or snake inside of him before his family restrained him to a bed with cable ties and excessive force.
As the BBC reported
“The family then set about attempting to ‘cure’ Kennedy through restraint and prayer over the next three days, the court was told.”
His brother, Colin Ife, told
“It’s clear that thing was in him, what we believed was a demon because it was not natural. It was clearly trying to kill him,” he said.
“We had to restrain him for himself. It was clear if we didn’t restrain him, he could have tried to harm people in our family.”
Kennedy Ife had been bound to his bed for three days without medical attention when his brother called emergency services, explaining that Kennedy Ife was complaining of dehydration. He appeared to have developed breathing issues, and was pronounced dead at 10:17 a.m.
As The Independent reported
While police were at the house Colin Ife allegedly carried out an “attempted resurrection” by chanting and praying for Mr. Ife.
All seven of Kennedy Ife’s family members were accused of manslaughter, false imprisonment, and causing or allowing the death of a vulnerable adult. A post-mortem examination revealed over 60 wounds including a possible bite on Kennedy Ife’s body, and his father, Kenneth Ife, along with four of his brothers, sustained injuries as well.
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The BBC reported
Kenneth Ife told jurors he ordered his sons to take shifts and use "overwhelming force" but denied that an "association with cults, occults and secret societies" played any part in the death.
After a four day jury deliberation
, all seven family members were cleared of charges on March 14, 2019.
📷Witches prepare themselves for a journey by broomstick to the Black Mountain, circa 1650. From a 17th century Dutch copperplate by Adrianus Hubertus.Hulton Archive
Dead Animals in the Walls
When the Bretzuis family decided to insulate their home in Auburn, Pennsylvania in 2015, they discovered that it had already been—with scores of dead animal carcasses.
As Fox reported
The dead animals were wrapped in newspapers from the 1930s and 40s and were among half-used spices, and other items.
After removing the items they sent hundreds of artifacts and carcasses to an expert in Kutztown.
The expert attributed the rotting animals in their walls to Pow-wow or Dutch magic, a ritual originating in the culture of the Pennsylvania Dutch to treat ailments and gain physical and spiritual protection. The Pennsylvania Dutch were a group of German-speaking settlers to Pennsylvania in the 1600 and 1700’s, and are often of Lutheran, Mennonite, or Amish faiths.
The Washington Post notes
on the magic:
Many of the spells deal with the care of livestock, finding water, or the treatment of minor ailments, reflecting the conditions and concerns of early American settlers.
But powwow also has within it a tradition of darker spells, and even of such things as conjuring demons.
One notable ritual in their tradition is this hex
to create loyalty in a dog:
To attach a dog to a person, provided nothing else was used before to effect it: Try to draw some of your blood, and let the dog eat it along with his food, and he will stay with you.
The mold found on the rotting carcasses in the Bretzuis home has caused illness among the family members, and they say that the odor hasn’t gone away.
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Florida Devil Worshipping
Friends noticed that Danielle Harkins, a 35-year-old schoolteacher near St. Petersburg, Florida, started acting strangely in June of 2012, developing an interest in demonic rituals.
Soon after, she was arrested for abuse of seven of her former students, as the Tampa Bay Times reported
Danielle Harkins told the kids they needed to rid their bodies of demons as the group gathered before dusk Saturday around a small fire near the St. Petersburg Pier. They should cut their skin to let the evil spirits out, police said she told the children. Then, they needed to burn the wounds to ensure that those spirits would not return.
When Harkins held a lighter to one teen's hand, wind blew the flame out, police said. That prompted her to douse his hand in perfume before setting it on fire. The boy suffered second-degree burns, police said.
Another teen was cut on the neck with a broken bottle, police said. Harkins used a flame to heat a small key, which she then used to cauterize the wound.
The police were notified because a friend of one of the students who participated in the ritual raised alarms. However none of the students themselves told their parents about the event or would comment following the arrest of Harkins for aggravated battery and child abuse.
Investigators said they've spoken to Harkins, but she didn't spell out what type of religion would require such drastic measures.
"She hasn't informed us exactly what she was trying to accomplish with this," Puetz [of the St. Petersburg Police Department] said.
The Death of Elisa Lam
Elisa Lam was last seen on January 31, 2013 in the lobby of the Cecil Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. She was vacationing through the West Coast, documenting the trip on her blog, and checking in with her parents every day. On January 31 those calls stopped. Lam had vanished. Soon the police were involved and her parents arrived to help with the search.
They had nothing. That February, LAPD released elevator surveillance footage of Lam before her disappearance. The footage shows Lam behaving strangely in the elevator, appearing to talk with invisible people, peering around the corner of the door, crouching in the corner, and opening and closing the door. But what exactly is going on in this video raises more questions than answers. Theories range from psychotic episodes, to demonic possession, to unknown assailants just out of the camera's view:
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Around that time, hotel guests started reported weird things happening with the Cecil Hotel water supply. As CNN reports
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"The shower was awful," said Sabina Baugh, who spent eight days there during the investigation. "When you turned the tap on, the water was coming black first for two seconds and then it was going back to normal."The tap water "tasted horrible," Baugh said. "It had a very funny, sweety, disgusting taste. It's a very strange taste. I can barely describe it."But for a week, they never complained. "We never thought anything of it," she said. "We thought it was just the way it was here."
On the morning of February 19, a hotel employee climbed to the roof and used a ladder to investigate the hotel's water storage tanks. That's where authorities found the decomposing, naked body of Lam, whose personal items were found nearby. After an autopsy, her death was labeled accidental. NBC Los Angeles reported at the time
about the strange circumstances in the hotel's past:
The tank has a metal latch that can be opened, but authorities said access to the roof is secured with an alarm and lock.The single-room-occupancy hotel has an unusual history. "Night Stalker" Richard Ramirez, who was found guilty of 14 slayings in the 1980s, lived on the 14th floor for several months in 1985. And international serial killer Jack Unterweger is suspected of murdering three prostitutes during the time he lived there in 1991. He killed himself in jail in 1994.In 1962, a female occupant jumped out of one the hotel's windows, killing herself and a pedestrian on whom she landed.
In February 2021, a Netflix doc
called Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel
explored Elisa's tragic case and the history of the "cursed" Cecil Hotel
An Exorcism in Indianapolis
Last year, the Indianapolis Star published a lengthy report
on a family terrorized by three children allegedly possessed by demons. The account of Latoya Ammons and her family tells disturbing stories of children climbing up the walls, getting thrown across rooms, and children threatening doctors in deep unnatural voices. It would seem like something straight out of a movie–a work of fantasy, except all of these accounts were more or less corroborated with "nearly 800 pages of official records obtained by the Indianapolis Star and recounted in more than a dozen interviews with police, DCS personnel, psychologists, family members and a Catholic priest."
One of the more chilling sections of the report includes a segment about the possessed 9-year-old:
According to Washington's original DCS report—an account corroborated by Walker, the nurse—the 9-year-old had a "weird grin" and walked backward up a wall to the ceiling. He then flipped over Campbell, landing on his feet. He never let go of his grandmother's hand.
Another segment of the piece reads:
The 12-year-old would later tell mental health professionals that she sometimes felt as if she were being choked and held down so she couldn't speak or move. She said she heard a voice say she'd never see her family again and wouldn't live another 20 minutes.
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In September of 2014, a Utah teen returned to his home to find his parents and three siblings dead. "In a notebook, a 'to-do list' had been scribbled on the pages ... The list looked as if the parents were readying to go on vacation—items such as 'feed the pets' and 'find someone to watch after the house' were written," The Salt Lake Tribune reported
. It appeared to be murder-suicide, but there was no suicide note, no prior indication that they would do this, no explanation. Police could not figure out why two parents would kill themselves and three of their four children.
For a year, no one knew exactly what happened to the family, or what would drive the parents to do something so unthinkable. In January, police released more chilling details in the case. According to accounts from family members and an investigation by police, the parents were driven by a belief that the apocalypse was coming and an obsession with a convicted killer. As the Washington Post reported
Friends and family told police that the parents were worried about the "evil in the world" and wanted to escape a "pending apocalypse." But most assumed they just wanted to move somewhere "off the grid." Investigators also found letters written by Kristi Strack to one of the state's most infamous convicted killers, Dan Lafferty, who was convicted in the 1984 fatal stabbing of his sister-in-law and her 1-year-old daughter. According to trial testimony, he killed the victims at the order of his brother, Ron Lafferty, who claimed to have had a revelation from God. The story became a book called "Under the Banner of Heaven."Police said Kristi Strack became friends with Dan Lafferty, and she and her husband even visited him in prison.
The Phone Stalker
In 2007, ABC news documented
a series of cell phone calls to families with terrifyingly specific death threats. The unidentified callers knew exactly what families were doing and what they were wearing.
The families say the calls come in at all hours of the night, threatening to kill their children, their pets and grandparents. Voice mails arrive, playing recordings of their private conversations, including one with a local police detective.The caller knows, the families said, what they're wearing and what they're doing. And after months of investigating, police seem powerless to stop them.
This went on with the Kuykenall family for months, who reported a caller with a scratchy voice threatening to slit their throats.
When the Fircrest, Wash., police tried to find the culprit, the calls were traced back to the Kuykendalls' own phones -- even when they were turned off.It got worse. The Kuykendalls and two other Fircrest families told ABC News that they believe the callers are using their cell phones to spy on them. They say the hackers know their every move: where they are, what they're doing and what they're wearing. The callers have recorded private conversations, the families and police said, including a meeting with a local detective.
After moving into their $1.3 million dream home, a New Jersey family started receiving creepy death threats from someone who identified themselves as "The Watcher." As CBS News reported
earlier this year:
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Since moving in, the owners said they have received numerous letters from the mysterious person. "The Watcher" claimed the home "has been the subject of my family for decades," and "I have been put in charge of watching and waiting for its second coming," Castro reported.The new owners have several children, and other letters asked, "Have they found out what's in the walls yet?" and "I am pleased to know your names now, and the name of the young blood you have brought to me."
The family was forced to flee from their home and later filed a lawsuit against the previous owners.
Issei the Cannibal
In 1974, 24-year-old Wako University student Issei Sagawa allegedly followed a German woman to her home in Tokyo, Japan, broke into her apartment while she was sleeping, and attempted to cut a piece of flesh off her body to consume. When she awoke, she reportedly fought him and he was later captured by the police. According to a 2012 Vice
documentary that covered Issei's bizarre story, he was mistakenly charged with attempted rape and his wealthy father paid the victim a settlement outside of court to have the charges dropped.
Seven years later, in 1981, he allegedly committed a murder in France—shooting and eating a fellow University student, Renée Hartevelt. Issei creepily documented the entire experience with photographs and he was captured by authorities once again while attempting to dump the rest of her body in the Bois de Boulogne lake. He was deported back to Japan and committed to a mental institution. For reason unknown, his psychologists in Japan declared that he was sane. Furthermore, a legal technicality involving the French government refusing to turn over the documents from his case meant that his murder charges were dropped completely. He checked himself out of the mental hospital and has reportedly been walking the streets as a free man ever since. Issei has even become a controversial celebrity, writing over 20 books. According to Japan Today
, he most recently fantasized about an unnamed TV actress, saying: "I'll catch a glimpse of her thigh and think, 'That sure looks tasty.' But I don't feel like I actually want to eat it. As I accomplished the act of cannibalism once, there's no meaning to maintaining the desire for it anymore. In my book, I wrote that it [human flesh] was tasty, but that was not really true; I'd much rather eat Matsuzaka (Kobe) beef. But because I'd desired to consume human flesh for so long, I'd managed to convince myself that it would necessarily be delicious."
Issei Sagawa was also referenced in the Rolling Stones song "Too Much Blood," with the lyrics reading: "And when he ate her he took her bones/To the Bois de Boulogne." He is currently
73 years old and continues to live in Kawaski City, Japan. To this day, no one knows why France did not allow Japan to give him a trial.
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2023.05.28 03:00 SocialDemocracies Hundreds of Thousands Have Lost Medicaid Coverage Since Pandemic Protections Expired (New York Times)
Hundreds of Thousands Have Lost Medicaid Coverage Since Pandemic Protections Expired (New York Times)
Link to article: https://web.archive.org/web/20230527084332/https://www.nytimes.com/2023/05/26/us/politics/medicaid-coverage-pandemic-loss.html
Hundreds of thousands of low-income Americans have lost Medicaid coverage in recent weeks as part of a sprawling unwinding of a pandemic-era policy that prohibited states from removing people from the program.
Early data shows that many people lost coverage for procedural reasons, such as when Medicaid recipients did not return paperwork to verify their eligibility or could not be located. The large number of terminations on procedural grounds suggests that many people may be losing their coverage even though they are still qualified for it. Many of those who have been dropped have been children.
In Arkansas, more than 1.1 million people — over a third of the state’s residents — were on Medicaid at the end of March. In April, the first month that states could begin removing people from the program, about 73,000 people lost coverage, including about 27,000 children 17 and under.
Among those who were dropped was Melissa Buford, a diabetic with high blood pressure who makes about $35,000 a year at a health clinic in eastern Arkansas helping families find affordable health insurance. Her two adult sons also lost their coverage.
Like more than 5,000 others in the state, Ms. Buford, 51, was no longer eligible for Medicaid because her income had gone up. A notice she received informing her that she did not qualify made her so upset that she threw it in a trash can.
But a majority of those who lost coverage in Arkansas were dropped for procedural reasons.
Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders of Arkansas, a Republican, has framed the unwinding as a necessary process that will save money and allow Medicaid to function within its intended scope.
“We’re simply removing ineligible participants from the program to reserve resources for those who need them and follow the law,” Ms. Sanders wrote in an opinion essay in The Wall Street Journal this month. She added that “some Democrats and activist reporters oppose Arkansas’s actions because they want to keep people dependent on the government.”
What has played out in Arkansas so far offers evidence of the widespread disruption that the unwinding process is likely to cause in households across the country in the coming months, forcing Americans to find new insurance or figure out how to regain Medicaid coverage that they lost for procedural reasons. The federal government has projected that about 15 million people will lose coverage, including nearly seven million people who are expected to be dropped despite still being eligible.
Among the biggest looming questions is how the process will affect children. In Florida, for instance, a boy in remission from leukemia and in need of a biopsy recently lost his coverage.
Researchers at the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families estimated before the unwinding that more than half of children in the United States were covered by Medicaid or CHIP. Many children who lose coverage will be dropped for procedural reasons even though they are still eligible, said Joan Alker, the center’s executive director.
“Those kids have nowhere else to turn for coverage,” she said. “Medicaid is the single largest insurer for children. This is hugely consequential for them.”
In Arkansas, many of the children who lost Medicaid were “the poorest of the poor,” said Loretta Alexander, the health policy director for Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families. She added that losing coverage would be especially harmful for young children who need regular developmental checkups early in life.
Other states have also removed a large number of Medicaid recipients for procedural reasons. In Indiana, nearly 90 percent of the roughly 53,000 people who lost Medicaid in the first month of the state’s unwinding were booted on those grounds. In Florida, where nearly 250,000 people lost Medicaid coverage, procedural reasons were to blame for a vast majority.
Debra Miller, 54, of Bullhead City, Ariz., lost Medicaid coverage in April after her roughly $25,000 annual salary as a Burger King cook left her ineligible. Ms. Miller, a single mother with diabetes and hypothyroidism, worked with an insurance counselor at North Country HealthCare, a network of federally funded health clinics, to enroll in a marketplace plan with a roughly $70 monthly premium.
“It’s a struggle because it’s a new bill that I haven’t had before,” she said. Her new plan, she added, does not include vision insurance, leaving her worried about paying for eye appointments she needs as a diabetic.
Ms. Buford said that for some people in Arkansas, marketplace coverage would be too expensive.
“You have a car, mortgage, kids, food,” she said. “You really don’t have that much left to pay that much for health insurance.”
Ms. Buford said that her job helping others find health insurance in underserved areas was a calling inspired by watching her grandmother struggle to afford her medications and rely on food pantries. Ms. Buford went to a community college near her hometown so she could take care of her sick father, who passed away in his 40s. “I love my job because I’m able to help people,” she said.
Now that she has lost her Medicaid coverage, Ms. Buford said she hoped to find an affordable marketplace plan in the near future. The family plan offered by the clinic where she works is too costly, she said.
“I’m grateful for what I have because someone else doesn’t have what I have,” Ms. Buford said. “I just wish I could have kept my Medicaid.”
'Enormous Policy Failure': States Throw Hundreds of Thousands—Including Many Children—Off Medicaid (Common Dreams)
Link to article: https://www.commondreams.org/news/states-hundreds-of-thousands-medicaid
With a green light from the federal government, states across the U.S. have thrown hundreds of thousands of low-income people off Medicaid in recent weeks—and many have lost coverage because they failed to navigate bureaucratic mazes, not because they were no longer eligible.
More than a dozen states, including Florida and other Republican-led states that have refused to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, have begun removing people from Medicaid as part of the "unwinding" of a pandemic-era federal policy that temporarily barred governments from kicking people off the program.
In a bipartisan deal late last year, Congress agreed to cut off the pandemic protections, giving states 12 months to redetermine who is eligible for the healthcare program that covers tens of millions of Americans.
The process differs in each state, but Medicaid enrollees are typically required to complete paperwork verifying their income, address, disability status, and other factors used to determine eligibility for the program.
While some states have undertaken public outreach campaigns to ensure Medicaid recipients understand what they need to do to continue receiving benefits, most enrollees across the country "were not aware that states are now permitted to resume disenrolling people from the Medicaid program," according to new survey data from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF).
As a result, The New York Times reported Friday, "many people lost coverage for procedural reasons, such as when Medicaid recipients did not return paperwork to verify their eligibility or could not be located."
"The large number of terminations on procedural grounds suggests that many people may be losing their coverage even though they are still qualified for it," the newspaper added. "Many of those who have been dropped have been children."
Early data released by the state of Florida, for example, shows that more than 205,000 people in the state lost coverage for procedural reasons after April eligibility checks.
"We knew this was coming. But we still treat these burdens like they're unavoidable natural disasters," said Pamela Herd, a professor of public policy at Georgetown University. "We need to be much more explicit about these failures because we're making a choice to allow this."
Joan Alker, executive director of the Georgetown Center for Children and Families, said she is "very worried about Florida."
"We've heard the call center's overwhelmed, the notices are very confusing in Florida—they're very hard to understand," said Alker.
In a recent letter to Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, a 2024 presidential candidate, more than 50 advocacy groups demanded a Medicaid redetermination pause, pointing to "reports of Floridians being disenrolled from Medicaid without having received notice" from the state's Department of Children and Families (DCF).
"One of these individuals is a 7-year-old boy in remission from Leukemia who is now unable to access follow-up—and potentially lifesaving—treatments," the groups wrote. "Families with children have been erroneously terminated, and parents are having trouble reaching the DCF call center for help with this process. Additionally, unclear notices and lack of information on how to appeal contribute to more confusion."
"We are deeply concerned about those with serious, acute, and chronic conditions who will continue to lose access to their lifesaving treatments during this time, along with people who risk substantial medical debt, or even bankruptcy, as a result of coverage loss," the groups added.
What if instead we just gave everyone health insurance coverage??!! https://t.co/hSOQKYU7JY — Ady Barkan (@Ady Barkan) 1685130002
The Times highlighted the situation in Arkansas, which is led by Republican Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders—a supporter of Medicaid work requirements and other attacks on the program. (Work requirements were briefly tried in Arkansas in 2018 and 2019, with disastrous consequences.)
"In Arkansas, more than 1.1 million people—over a third of the state's residents—were on Medicaid at the end of March ," the Times noted Friday. "In April, the first month that states could begin removing people from the program, about 73,000 people lost coverage, including about 27,000 children 17 and under."
An Arkansas law requires the state to complete its Medicaid eligibility reviews in six months instead of 12.
In a Wall Street Journalop-ed earlier this month, Sanders wrote that her state is booting people from Medicaid at "the fastest pace in the nation" and claimed those being removed are "ineligible participants"—ignoring evidence that many being stripped of coverage were technically still eligible.
The U.S. Health and Human Services Department has estimated that upwards of 15 million people nationwide could lose Medicaid coverage during the redetermination process.
"This is such an enormous policy failure—profoundly cruel and will contribute to furthering inequities," Dr. Cecília Tomori, a public health scholar at Johns Hopkins University, wrote Friday.
While some who lose Medicaid will be able to access insurance through an employer or the Affordable Care Act marketplaces, KFF found that more than four in ten people with Medicaid as their only source of healthcare "say they wouldn't know where to look for other coverage or would be uninsured" if they were removed from the program.
"This is about to happen to a lot of people," warned Larry Levitt, KFF's executive vice president for health policy.
The Times pointed to the case of 54-year-old Arizona resident Debra Miller, who "lost Medicaid coverage in April after her roughly $25,000 annual salary as a Burger King cook left her ineligible."
"Ms. Miller, a single mother with diabetes and hypothyroidism, worked with an insurance counselor at North Country HealthCare, a network of federally funded health clinics, to enroll in a marketplace plan with a roughly $70 monthly premium," the Times reported.
Miller told the newspaper that the new plan is a "struggle" both because of the new monthly payment and because it doesn't include the vision coverage she needs and now may not be able to afford.
The Congressional Budget Office estimated earlier this week that states' Medicaid eligibility checks will likely leave 6.2 million people without any insurance at all.
Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
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2023.05.28 02:02 guru_zim Fujifilm gets govt. contract for iPSC cells 5/26
Induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) derived human neurons and astrocytes. (Brand-Name)
- Original Set Aside:
- Product Service Code: 6505 - DRUGS AND BIOLOGICALS
- NAICS Code:
- 325414 - Biological Product (except Diagnostic) Manufacturing
- Place of Performance:Rockville , MD 20850USA
(i) This is a combined synopsis/solicitation for commercial items prepared in accordance with the format in Subpart 12.6 as supplemented with additional information included in this notice. This announcement constitutes the only solicitation; proposals are being requested and a written solicitation will not be issued.
(ii) The solicitation number is 75N95023Q00352 and the solicitation is issued as a request for quotation (RFQ). The anticipated award date is May 31, 2023.
This acquisition is for a commercial item or service and is conducted under the authority of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 13—Simplified Acquisition Procedures; and FAR Part 12—Acquisition of Commercial Items, and is not expected to exceed the simplified acquisition threshold.
THIS IS A NON-COMPETITIVE (NOTICE OF INTENT) COMBINED SYNOPSIS SOLICITATION TO AWARD A CONTRACT OR PURCHASE ORDER WITHOUT PROVIDING FOR FULL OR OPEN COMPETITION (INCLUDING BRAND-NAME).
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Office of Acquisition (OA), on behalf of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), intends to negotiate and award a purchase order without providing for full and open competition (including brand-name) to FUJIFILM CELLULAR DYNAMICS, INC., 465 SCIENCE DR., MADISON, WI 53711, 608-310-5100 for Induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) derived human neurons and astrocytes.
This acquisition is conducted as non-competitive for a commercial item or service and is conducted pursuant to FAR 13.106-1(b)(1).
The rationale for the brand-name justification is based on vendor previous supply of iPSC derived human neurons and astrocytes. NCATS has extensively characterized them in current assay protocol with a robust HTS compatible neuronal spheroid model using iPSC derived neurons (glutamatergic, GABAergic, and dopaminergic) and iPSC derived astrocytes for robust cultures for investigating viral infection.
(iii) The solicitation document and incorporated provisions and clauses are those in effect through Federal Acquisition Circular (FAC) Number 2023-02, with effective date 03/16/2023.
(iv) The associated NAICS code is 325414 Biological Product (except Diagnostic) Manufacturing and the small business size standard is 1,000 employees. This requirement is not set-aside to small business.
(v) The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the nation’s leading medical research agency and the primary Federal agency whose mission is to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability, conducting, supporting and making medical discoveries that improve people’s health and save lives.
NCATS is one of 27 Institutes and Centers at the NIH and its mission is to catalyze the generation of innovative methods and technologies that will enhance the development, testing and implementation of diagnostics and therapeutics across a wide range of human diseases and conditions.
The NCATS DPI plans and conducts collaborative research projects across the preclinical phases of the translational science spectrum, using both internal and contract resources to advance them.
The NCATS DPI ETB’s goal is to uncover new small molecule therapeutics and advance the process of therapeutic development through a model of collaborative research. For each collaboration, external disease experts team with the ETB’s drug discovery teams, who provide access to small molecule screening, medicinal chemistry and informatics expertise.
Moreover, NCATS has become a key partner in the Antiviral Program for Pandemics (APP), a multi-agency initiative that includes National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), to accelerate antiviral development through early discovery and preclinical development of safe and effective oral antivirals. The initial priority for the APP is to develop treatments for SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses, with the program expanding to address other virus families with pandemic potential. NCATS will apply its proficiency in drug discovery and development and its cutting-edge technologies to fill critical needs of the APP, such as (i) target validation, (ii) high-throughput screening (HTS) for drug starting points, (iii) medicinal chemistry for lead optimization, and (iv) preclinical, investigational new drug (IND)-enabling development
The APP is tasked with identifying and developing antivirals for a variety of viruses of outbreak and pandemic potential, including a number of neurotrophic viruses (e.g. encephalitic bunyavirales viruses, flaviviruses, alphaviruses). NCATS has developed a robust HTS compatible neuronal spheroid model using iPSC derived neurons (glutamatergic, GABAergic, and dopaminergic) and iPSC derived astrocytes for robust cultures for investigating viral infection. NCATS has developed this model specifically using FujiFilm/CDI iPSC derived neurons and astrocytes.
Thus, NCATS DPI ETB requires Induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) human cell-derived differentiated cells for high-throughput screening (HTS) for fluorescent imaging plate reader (FLIPR) and functional screening as well as viral infections.
(vi) The Purchase Description (PD) with a description of the products to be acquired is included as an attachment to this Solicitation.
The Early Translation Branch (ETB), under the Division of Preclinical Innovation (DPI), within the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) seeks to purchase Induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) derived human neurons and astrocytes for high-throughput screening (HTS) for fluorescent imaging plate reader (FLIPR) and functional screening as well as viral infections for use in DPI- Antiviral Program for Pandemics (APP) Biology Antiviral Drug Development IDDA DPI (8051491).
(vii) The Government anticipates award of a firm fixed-price purchase order for this acquisition, and delivery shall be within thirty (30) days after receipt of order (ARO), FOB Destination to 9800 Medical Center Drive, Rockville, MD, 20850 between the hours of 8:00 am and 5:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except on Federal Holidays).
(viii) The provision at FAR 52.252-1, Solicitation Provisions Incorporated by Reference (Feb 1998), applies to this acquisition. This solicitation incorporates one or more solicitation provisions by reference, with the same force and effect as if they were given in full text. Upon request, the Contracting Officer will make their full text available. The offeror is cautioned that the listed provisions may include blocks that must be completed by the offeror and submitted with its quotation or offer. In lieu of submitting the full text of those provisions, the offeror may identify the provision by paragraph identifier and provide the appropriate information with its quotation or offer. Also, the full text of a solicitation provision may be accessed electronically at these addresses: https://www.acquisition.gov/browse/index/far https://www.hhs.gov/grants/contracts/contract-policies-regulations/hhsaindex.html
(End of provision)
The following provisions apply to this acquisition and are incorporated by reference:
- FAR 52.204-7, System for Award Management (Oct 2018)
- FAR 52.204-16, Commercial and Government Entity Code Reporting (Aug 2020)
- FAR 52.211-6, Brand Name or Equal (Aug 1999)
- FAR 52.212-1, Instructions to Offerors—Commercial Products and Commercial Services (Nov 2021)
- FAR 52.212-3, Offeror Representations and Certifications—Commercial Products and Commercial Services (Dec 2023)
- FAR 52.214-34 Submission of Offers in the English Language (Apr 1991)
- FAR 52.214-35 Submission of Offers in U.S. Currency (Apr 1991)
- FAR 52.225-25 Prohibition on Contracting With Entities Engaging in Certain Activities or Transactions Relating to Iran—Representation and Certifications (Jun 2020)
- HHSAR 352.239-73, Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Notice (December 18, 2015)
The clause at FAR 52.252-2, Clauses Incorporated by Reference (Feb 1998), applies to this acquisition. This contract incorporates one or more clauses by reference, with the same force and effect as if they were given in full text. Upon request, the Contracting Officer will make their full text available. Also, the full text of a clause may be accessed electronically at these addresses: https://www.acquisition.gov/browse/index/far https://www.hhs.gov/grants/contracts/contract-policies-regulations/hhsaindex.html
(End of clause)
The following clauses apply to this acquisition and are incorporated by reference:
- FAR 52.204-13, System for Award Management Maintenance (Oct 2018)
- FAR 52.204-18, Commercial and Government Entity Code Maintenance (Aug 2020)
- FAR 52.212-4, Contract Terms and Conditions—Commercial Products and Commercial Services (Dec 2022). Addendum to this FAR clause applies to this acquisition and is attached.
- FAR 52.225-2 Buy American Certificate (Oct 2022)
- FAR 52.225-13 Restrictions on Certain Foreign Purchases (Feb 2021)
- HHSAR 352.239-74, Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility (December 18, 2015)
The following provisions and clauses apply to this acquisition and are attached in full text. Offerors MUST complete
the provisions at 52.204-24 and 52.204-26 and submit completed copies as separate documents with their proposal.
- FAR 52.204-24 Representation Regarding Certain Telecommunications and Video Surveillance Services or Equipment (Nov 2021)
- FAR 52.204-26 Covered Telecommunications Equipment or Services-Representation (Oct 2020)
- FAR 52.212-5, Contract Terms and Conditions Required to Implement Statutes or Executive Orders-Commercial Products and Commercial Services (May 2022)
- Invoice and Payment Provisions with and without IPP (Mar 2023)
The following clauses is attached and in included in full text:
- FAR 52.225-2 Buy American Certificate (Oct 2022)
(ix) The Government plans to award a fixed-price purchase order resulting from this solicitation. The resulting award will be made to Fujifilm Cellular Dynamics, provided it is technically acceptable and at a fair and reasonable price. If multiple quotations are received, the Government may perform a comparative evaluation of responses in accordance with FAR 13.106-2(b) to select the contractor that is best suited and provides the best value, considering the evaluation factors in this solicitation. The evaluation shall compare: Technical capability of the item offered to meet the Government requirement in accordance with the requirements specified in the Statement of Work, Price, and Past Performance as defined under FAR 13.106-2(b)(3). An award will be made to the vendor whose quotation is most advantageous to the Government.
The government reserves the right to select a response that provides benefit to the government that exceeds the minimum; the government is not required to select a response that exceeds the minimum; responses may exceed the requirements; each response must meet the solicitation requirement statement at a minimum; and the government is not requesting or accepting alternate proposal(s).
(x) The Offerors are to include a completed copy of the provision at FAR 52.212-3, Offeror Representations and Certifications-Commercial Products and Commercial Services (Dec 2022), with offers. If the offeror has completed FAR provision 52.212-3 at www.sam.gov
, then the offeror does not need to provide a completed copy with its offer.
(xi) The clause at FAR 52.212-4, Contract Terms and Conditions—Commercial Products and Commercial Services (Dec 2022), applies to this acquisition. Addendum to this FAR clause applies to this acquisition and is attached.
(xii) The following additional contract requirement(s) or terms and conditions as determined by the contracting officer are necessary for this acquisition and consistent with customary commercial practices.
The acquisition and supply of all human specimen material (including fetal material) used under this contract shall be obtained by the Contractor in full compliance with applicable State and Local laws and the provisions of the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act in the United States, and no undue inducements, monetary or otherwise, will be offered to any person to influence their donation of human material.
(xiii) The Defense Priorities and Allocations System (DPAS) are not applicable to this requirement.
(xiv) This synopsis is not a request for competitive proposals. However, interested parties may identify their interest and capability to respond to this notice. Responses to this solicitation must include sufficient information to establish the interested parties’ bona-fide capabilities of providing the product. The price quote shall include: unit price, list price, shipping and handling costs, delivery days after contract award, delivery terms, prompt payment discount terms, F.O.B. Point (Destination or Origin), product or catalog number(s), product description, and any other information or factors that may be considered in the award decision. Such factors may include past performance, special features required for effective program performance, trade-in considerations, probable life of the item selected as compared with that of a comparable item, warranty considerations, maintenance availability, and environmental and energy efficiency considerations
Responses to this solicitation must include sufficient information to establish the interested parties’ bona-fide capabilities of providing the service. The quote must be for a firm-fixed-price total amount inclusive of all costs and fees and include. any other information or factors that may be considered in the award decision.
The Unique Entity ID from SAM.gov, the Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN), and the certification of business size must be included in the response. All offerors must have an active registration in the System for Award Management (SAM) www.sam.gov
All quotations must be received by 9 a.m., Eastern Time, on May 31, 2023
, and reference Solicitation Number 75N95023Q00352.
Responses must be submitted electronically to Renato Gomes at [email protected].
Fax responses will not be accepted. Attachments:
- Purchase Description
- FAR 52.204-24, Representation Regarding Certain Telecommunications and Video Surveillance Services or Equipment (Nov 2021)
- FAR 52.204-26, Covered Telecommunications Equipment or Services-Representation (Oct 2020)
- Addendum to FAR 52.212-4 Contract Terms and Conditions—Commercial Products and Commercial Services.
- FAR 52.212-5, Contract Terms and Conditions Required to Implement Statutes or Executive Orders–Commercial Products and Commercial Services (Mar 2023)
- FAR 52.225-2 Buy American Certificate (Oct 2022)
- Invoice and Payment Provisions with and without IPP (Apr 2022)
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2023.05.27 23:35 Timeraft [F4A] Mutated Cyborg Witch forces a mechanic to help her Pt:2 [Sorta dominant][No longer mean][Gorgon][Chill vibes][Post-Dystopia][CW: mentions of violence, child soldiers and a PTSD attack][Good to Monetize and modify][Reverse comfort?][Strangers to ?]
In a magic/cyberpunk dystopia ruled by four sorceress queens the listener was just a regular person trying to get by. Unfortunately a renegade witch needed some help, and didn't take no for an answer.
A few years later the dystopia is gone. The world is healing. The listener has a better job and a larger shop. One night there's a knock on the door, a familiar face has come around for a visit.
Sequel to this: https://www.reddit.com/ASMRScriptHaven/comments/y7psfp/f4a_mutated_cyborg_witch_forces_a_mechanic_to/
Distant prequel here: https://www.reddit.com/ASMRScriptHaven/comments/1206chh/f4m_trying_to_break_your_deal_with_a_witch/
Cyborg witches agree, the best way to avoid dystopia is to swing by my Ko-Fi!:https://ko-fi.com/timeraft
I just finished all my commissions so DM me if you're in the market for one!
Dialogue in plain text SFX in bold Context in italics Bold italics indicate context that changes the audio The witch knocks on a glass door to a small cybernetics shop. She’s changed a lot since the last audio. Most of her implants are gone along with her arm, replaced with scars. She's wearing a “spring outfit” , a sundress and a big floppy hat that hides her snake hair. Their voice is calmer and more nervous
Hey, are you still open? I know it's late.
Can I come in?
You have a really nice shop here. It's very homey. A lot bigger than your old one
I’m sorry but do you maybe remember me?
I don't know if you recognize me. It was dark and I- well I was probably really frightening to look at.
About five years ago I broke into your garage and forced you to repair my cybernetics. I threatened you with violence if you didn't comply. You remember me now?
Let me officially introduce myself. My name is Janet, Janet Farsons. Laughs
I know that's not a very “magical” name, but I was the witch from that night.
I’m in the city to testify at the tribunals for the old regime and I saw an ad for your CO-OP on the tram. It had the faces of some of the technicians and one was you. I remembered your face from that night.
I used that spell I put on you to track you down. Do you remember? The one that warns me if you’re in danger. I know that's really weird but I
-I wanted to see you again.
This place is really nice, did you grow up in this neighborhood?
That's nice, it suits you. This city is so beautiful, I never realized that when I was stationed here. The way the city lights reflect in the bay, The dark blue and purple tint of the street lights, the fact that no matter where I am I can hear music off in the distance. It all gives me chills. I’ve been trying to get the courage to go out on the town one night.
I was born in a small fortress city in the northern plains. It was always too cold. I never liked it there. It wasn't alive, like it is here. Everyone there hated everyone else.
I’m sorry, you didn't ask for my life story. I came here because I wanted to apologize.
I broke into your house and threatened you. I wasn’t who I am today. I was a dangerous person. I don't think I would have killed you, but something like turning you into stone or taking your voice away forever. Guilty pause
Those were things I was legitimately considering.
I was desperate and hurt, and I acted like a feral animal. I did terrible things that night, both before and after I arrived at your place. That militia guard who was on the corner that night- I’ve heard he was a violent mean man who abused his power, but I can't justify what I did to him. I wasn't kidding about the fates worse than death.
That night you showed me kindness I didn't deserve. I had no right to extort you like I did. I’m really truly sorry, but I know that doesn't mean anything.
Is there anything I can do to make amends?
Heh, yes I suppose I can sit for a while. You’re a good person, lending an ear to somebody like me. Pulls the chair out and sits at the bench.
I didn't run away because I was rebellious minded or anything. For the most part I was a model soldier. It was just….
Well it was just that. I got attached to a unit of conscripts that were very young. They were basically children. The officer told them I’d keep them safe, but I couldn't. We got wiped out. I only survived out of luck.
Then a few days later they took me, and attached me to another unit. They were even younger. I was going to be leading literal children to their deaths. They gave the same speech about how I’d keep them safe, but it was obviously a death run mission. I couldn't take it.
I snapped right there. I killed the officers on the spot. Then I fought my way out of the base like some kind of animal. The curse of Pallas activated, but well being a gorgon just made my job easier. I tore through the place like a storm, anybody that had the power to stop me was out on the frontlines.
I found a cell of rebels outside of the base and hid with them for a while.
A guy from the underground managed to give me some more implants to keep the curse under control, but then the security witches found us before he could finish. They killed him but I managed to escape.
I suppose I'm good at that, surviving stuff that kills everyone around me. pause
After I left you I jumped the city walls and found my way to the castaways. They were closer to the city than I had thought. The war was going way worse than even I realized. I turned myself in and offered them all the info I had. I thought they would just kill me, but they took me away and gave me medical attention. They found some alternate force that can break curses without magic, that's how they’d made so much progress. I spent the last months of the war in physical therapy.
I’ve been getting counseling too, I’m slowly becoming human again. My therapist told me not to see it in those terms, but that's what it feels like.
Have you been ok? Since that day?
I see your curse mark is gone. I’m glad. Did it ever get activated? yes
And did you do what I told you?
My curse is gone too if you hadn’t noticed. My eyes don't turn people into stone anymore. And my skin isn't always breaking out in scales. I kept the snakes though. They laugh and take off their hat revealing that they still have hissing snakes in their hair.
I got a little attached. I got used to being able to use them to look behind my head. And well, I mean they’re kinda cute right?
I even named them. They excitedly show them off but get embarrassed halfway through.
This one is Damien, this one is Clara, Then we got Sharon, Carter , Tony and….
Sorry I got all rambly.
I usually hide them in public though. Sometimes I get self-conscious. This is actually the first time I felt ok wearing a dress. Normally I hide the scars from my old implants.
Do you like it? I really like the flowers.
Thanks, I do genuinely feel really pretty today. I haven't felt this way in a long time.
It's amazing how much everything has changed since that night isn't it? It seemed like the four queens were unstoppable, like they’d be around forever. And now it seems like it was just a bad dream.
Once they led armies, ruled by decree, some of us even worshiped them, but nobody walks under their banners anymore. Like the wind just blew them away. Two died in the war, one committed suicide to avoid capture and the last is on trial.
Your old boss, the queen of cups.
I’m a witness at the trial. I saw her at the stand yesterday. She was a mess, she’d obviously been crying and seemed completely bewildered by everything. It was pathetic. I can't believe we lived in such fear of somebody like that. She gave a whole spiel about her time in the old days, what led her to develop that lust for power.
A real sob story, but I saw her for real. She’s just empty, a shell of a person burned out by a lust for power. It chills me. I always thought there’d be some big epic confrontation y’know?
They talk about dystopias, but they never mention what comes after. What kind of world do we make now? Can we avoid the mistakes of the past?
I suppose that's out of my hands, er hand I suppose.
I was wondering. Do you have any cybernetic arms for sale? They confiscated mine after the hostilities ended.
I want something simple and industrial, nothing fancy. Do you perhaps have anything on hand? I promise I’ll pay this time! Listener shuffles around and gets a couple out
That's a pretty good selection.
Hmmm let's try……
That one With help from the listener they put it on (Electrical sounds) They try it out and seem to like it
Not bad, not bad. It kind of reminds me of my old one…. Panicking (The arm triggered some bad memories.)
Take it off, take it off! Oh my god please take it off! They do so the speaker slowly recovers
I’m so sorry I’m so sorry
I guess I wasn't ready. Having the arm back took me back to a place I didn't want to go.
I’m sorry I should leave. I’m probably bringing you someplace bad too.
No I don't really know where I’m going, I’ll probably go back to the room the tribunal put me up in.
No, I mean I don't have a curfew or anything. I already testified why?
Well yeah I do want to explore the city, are you offering to show me around?
Are you sure? Like sure sure?
Alright let's go. Let me remove that tracking spell first though. Let me touch your face.
You want to keep it? What? Why?
Heh, it wouldn't make me feel safe personally, but if it makes you feel ok then who am I to judge.
Come here, let me recharge it. They kiss the listener on the cheek.
Can you take me somewhere really tranquil? Someplace that has a really good view? Someplace where I can just have one moment of perfect peace? Door opens they leave together
Thank you. For everything.
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2023.05.27 23:02 BigPlunk Whether you go looking for positivity or negativity in the world, you will find it. Cynicism is a choice and there are some proactive steps you can take to lead a more positive, happy, and fulfilling life. (x-post)
Social media and particularly large portions of Reddit promote a jaded, cynical, and pessimistic viewpoint. If you find yourself hating on yourself, others, or the world, try unplugging from Reddit and social media as an experiment and see how you feel. The same is true for the 24x7 news cycle.
Alternatively, try curating your subreddit subscriptions to only focus on healthy, funny, positive, supportive, inspiring, and positive subreddits, and trim away the cynical and politically charged subs. Run that as an experiment for a month and see how you feel. randomactsofkindness
are some great examples to get you started.
Similarly, the people you spend the most time with will influence how you think and feel. If you're running with a doom and gloom crowd/circle/primary influence, you will see the world through ash-colored glasses.
Maybe you have cynical, angry parents and can't get out from that, or other negative people you find yourself unable to free yourself if at this moment. Many of us have been there. But there are still ways to find happiness and refuge from the negativity.
Find the kind and optimistic people at school, work, within your extended family, friends, and in extracurriculars if you have them. They're out there and should be fairly easy to identify.
Talk to a school or community counselor or a private one if you can. Talk to a good coach/mentor if you have access. Talk to a social worker and ask for resources to help you find positivity in the midst of a tough home life.
Try to connect with nature if you have access to it. Sitting and staring at the beauty and simplicity of nature and just being present with gratitude for it can do wonders for your mental health and perspective if you have access to and enjoy nature. But find whatever place that brings you peace and joy. Maybe it's nature. Maybe it's a coffee shop or the school library or public library or a music venue or a park bench in the city or on a bike or on a mountain or a favorite childhood spot. Identify the place(s) that bring(s) you the most comfort and happiness just by being there.
On the subject of gratitude, it is an amazing antidote to pessimism, worry, cynicism, and despair (not clinical depression where medication/therapy are indicated, but I'm talking about the general blues and cynicism/environmental pessimism). If you look hard enough, there is always something to be grateful for.
Gratitude is a conscious choice and one you can choose to make every day. It is impossible to hold opposing emotions in the body at one time. You can't be grateful and angry at the same time. Nor can you be anxious and grateful or resentful and grateful at one time.
You can have gratitude for simply waking up in the morning and having the opportunity to experience the rollercoaster of life another day in a very limited window of opportunity. You can have gratitude for a friend or family member or teacher or colleague that really has your back. You can have gratitude for a blue sky and a warm breeze or the taste of your morning coffee or the feeling of your warm shower or bath. You can have gratitude for the sound of a bird singing, someone laughing, a funny movie, the comfort of your bed or pillow or couch, or a personal or professional win. If you look at the world through the lens of appreciation and gratitude, I'm not suggesting you can overcome clinical depression or other severe mental health issues, but I am saying it is a step towards optimism and away from cynicism and will at a minimum make your life just a little bit better than it was. You can also try combining a mindfulness meditation practice with gratitude, just sitting there with your eyes closed in a peaceful place, thinking about all the people, events, places, and other things you're grateful for. Just 5 or 10 minutes of this do wonders for your mind and body.
Find movies, shows, online videos, and music that make you laugh, inspire you, make you feel connected to others, and make you feel hopeful. Listen to someone speak who is pathologically, passionately, authentically kind, and accepting of others.
Go watch old Mr. Rogers clips as an example of this (he, among others was my shining light through my rocky childhood and broken home, but you have to find your own version). Simon Sinek is another personal favorite of mine for inspiration and positivity (I can suggest others if you need). There are so many caring, loving, kind people that you can listen to from anywhere with an internet connection that will make you feel better about life and yourself simply by listening.
Self-love is another antidote for cynicism. If you're saying and doing self-hating and sabotaging things, you're going to compound cynicism and pessimism in a vicious cycle. Taking regular time to do something kind for yourself where you can find peace and joy, even for just a few minutes is critical. You have to take an active role in loving yourself and treating yourself in the same way you would care for someone you love very much - someone you only want the best for.
You know what you like and enjoy and need. Write down a list of those things that bring you joy and peace and gratitude and try and do one or more daily. You can write down things that are quick (5 to 10 minutes - texting a good friend, reading a few pages of a good book, listening to music, meditation, deep breathing, massaging the tension out of your jaw bones, etc.) and things that take longer (e.g. going on a hike, going for a swim, watching a comedy, listening to a positive podcast, going for coffee or an adventure with someone you care about).
Research open vs closed mindsets or growth and fixed mindsets. I love the book 'Mindset' by Carol Dweck, Ph. D. Also look into the term "neuroplasticity" and see how the brain can be changed and rewired by disrupting negative thought patterns. This is why cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is so effective at treating many mental health issues.
On that note, check into CBT. If you find yourself super cynical and you have the means, try a few CBT sessions as an experiment. If you don't have access to CBT counseling resources, then watch videos online, listen to audiobooks and podcasts about it and look into how you can challenge your beliefs and negative thought patterns using evidence from your life and externally.
Before suggesting that maybe I have led an easy, privileged life, and maybe it's easy for me to say all of this because my situation isn't as shitty as yours or others, let me first assure you that I've had a life wrought with trauma, abuse, neglect, tragedy and significant adversity. Mine might be different or less or more severe than yours, but that uniqueness is part of what it means to be human. I've gone through life without much in the way of support from my family. All of the tips above have come from a place of adaptation to my own unique situation and the belief that I deserve happiness and joy and peace, no matter how bleak things might have seemed.
Try giving a bit of your time to helping others in big or small ways and see how you feel. Pay someone a compliment, even a stranger (just be kind and authentic). Volunteer for a good cause, even once in a year, and see how you feel. Do something nice for someone who is not expecting it. Use your own experience to teach and help others where you can. Cut your neighbors' grass or shovel their driveway and don't tell them it was you. Say hello with a smile to one or two strangers when you're out for a walk. Check-in with a friend to tell them you are thinking about them and we're wondering how they were doing. Be the shining light for someone else as an experiment. Make someone in your life feel loved and appreciated.
Notice how I keep saying "experiment" and don’t tell you that anything above is your sure-fire way to find happiness and optimism? That's because you have to be proactive, try different things, observe the results (i.e. positive or negative changes in your mood and attitude and mental and physical health), and find what works best for you and your unique situation. What has worked for me, might not work for you. We are all so different (but also similar in so many ways).
Recognize that you deserve hope, connectedness, optimism, joy, love, and peace, no matter what is happening in the world or in your life. We all have limited time to experience life. It isn't about avoiding adversity, change, difficulty, tragedy and loss, conflict, trauma, abuse, neglect,etc. For me anyways, it's about finding joy and love and positivity and optimism by looking for it and trying to create positivity for others where I can and leave this world just a bit better than it was when I came into it.
Take a look at my comment history. I am not all sunshine and roses every day. You'll find plenty of posts with me pissed off or outraged about many things and that I have super strong views about certain things (which you may or may not agree with and that’s okay). I do not profess to be a 24x7 optimist, not by a long shot. I struggle to find positivity and joy at times, like everyone. I get caught up in online drama and conflict sometimes. I say unkind things in anger and have a short fuse at times and I regret that and am sorry for it. I too lose optimism and hope sometimes.
But this LPT isn't about being blameless or perfect. Those things are not possible. It’s also not possible to feel like an optimist 24x7. It's really just about recognizing that you deserve and have the power to find and create optimism and positivity in your life if you're willing to be proactive about it, create the right environment, and have the right mindset.
If you read this and you're stuck on where to start or are struggling and just want to vent, respond to this thread or shoot me a DM and I'll do my best to respond and support you if I can. I'm not selling or promoting any services or products here. I honestly hoped to reach just one person who needed to hear this today and that it might put a bit of positivity into the world. I hope it brings you some value.
EDIT: Your mindset is the sum of the people you spend time with and the information you take in as well as your own life experience. If you spend your time taking in negative information and being around negative people, you will find yourself feeling and thinking more negatively. The same is true if you take in positive content and be around positive people and places.
submitted by BigPlunk
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2023.05.27 21:36 lucasAK2004 Operation Snow Eagle: Chapter 12
This one took a bit longer to write, mostly because it's longer and I was working a bit on chapter 13 as well. I hope you guys enjoy. Criticism and grammar corrections are appreciated.
Chapter 12 Patrick stood in front of the large building that sat at the center of the compound. He guessed that it had to be at least three stories tall and had a large garage door that was wide enough to fit a small jet. Whatever sat inside was the biggest mystery about the Da’Kar, the question they had been asking since they were first found on Earth; How had these interlopers arrived here with seemingly century old technology? It was quite an amazing opportunity to be among the first humans to find out, so when he was given the opportunity he volunteered his squad.
The mission itself was fairly simple, accompany an envoy for a week in Da’Karen territory. Of course they weren’t alone, a squad of marines were assigned to the other diplomat plus a translator for each of them.
The twelve of them stood by in front of the large building, just waiting for the order to go in. Tanner especially seemed excited for what lay beyond, quite frankly they all were. Soon enough a familiar Da’Kar approached them, it was the one named Chilluukik; He was some kind of noble or scientist, Patrick didn’t really know which. “Goodmorning, it is a pleasure to meet all of you as well as see a few that I’ve previously met.” Chilluukkik said that last part while gesturing to Patrick and his squad.
Patrick's diplomat, a woman named Sophie shook Chilluukik’s hand softly and introduced herself. “Sophie Lacelle, and this gentleman right here is Edward Teach.” After Sophie, Edward also shook the Da’Kar’s hand. “And I am Chilluukik, I am the head scientist here at this outpost.”
The garage-like door proceeded to open and everyone was invited inside. The room seemed rather plain at first glance, typical storage-like barebones deal but Patrick noticed how the location was actually defended. Two fortified positions were built on each side where Da’Karan soldiers were entrenched. They seemed to have larger versions of the steam rifles usually seen with their other troops. These rifles were bolted down into the floor and attached to much larger tanks. With no cover possible, it would be like walking in front of a second world war German machine gun nest.
In between them, a reinforced metal door was the only other notable thing in the room. Chilluukik grabbed everyone's attention and made them all move to the side. The secondary metal door opened with a wince, metal grinding on metal, revealing an archway with an eerie blue glow emanating from it. Chilluukik stepped in front of the device and faced the group.
“Come, right this way.”
Without another word the Da’kar stepped through the archway, sinking into the blue hue and disappearing without a trace. A marine was the first to follow, leading his group through the archway. Patrick was close behind, he paused a moment before stepping into the haze. A strange sensation flowed over his body, as if he were submerged in water; instinctively he held his breath as he stepped through.
It took a moment or two for his eyes to adjust to the dim lighting but soon it was clear that he was no longer in the same room he was in just a moment ago. Cautiously he took a breath, the air was thin and stale. The room they were standing in was some kind of workshop, strange tools were placed haphazardly around and there seemed to be machines all around with many intricate gears. Chilluukkik stood patiently as everyone passed through the arch, once everyone was through he addressed the group.
"Welcome to Charsier, the capital city of the Da’Kar. You are currently standing in my lab where I spent many years developing that portal you just walked through."
Now everything about their sudden appearance on earth made sense, for all intents and purposes the Da'Kar really did appear out of thin air. Patrick's mental list of strange things that have happened in the past month or so just kept growing. At this point the idea of a portal let alone actually going through one barely phased him. Tanner however, was awestruck as he usually was when it came to dealing with the Da'Kar. At least someone was enthusiastic about this whole ordeal. Edward stepped forward and spoke.
"Are we currently underground? It's somewhat hard to breathe, and the air seems stuffy."
"Yes, Charsier is almost entirely carved out of a mountain. Most of the city is underground, only military personnel are permitted to surface on a normal basis." Chilluukkik answered.
Edward thought on that for a moment, he opened his mouth as if he was going to say something but he hesitated. Instead he settled with a single word response. “Impressive.”
Chilluukkik clasped his hands together and spoke before any other questions could be asked. “We best not waste time, there are a lot of things to do today. Mainly you are all going to meet the matriarch and the council, but first I would like to go over a few things that you must abide by. First and foremost the proper greeting especially to those in power should be a bow, we are not accustomed to the physical greeting that is your ‘handshake’. Second, as you are strangers to our land it is best to avoid interacting with the general populace to avoid creating any unintended offense. If you must, it is best that you consult your guide that each group will be assigned before interacting. Lastly, it is not recommended to stray away from your guide as many of our cities can be labyrinth-like and it can be very easy to get lost even if you become familiar with an area. Are there any questions before we move forward?”
The room fell silent, Chilluukik waited a few moments before continuing but no one spoke up. He awkwardly cleared his throat and spoke again.
“Excellent, follow me so we can get you all situated.”
Chilluukkik led the group out of the tight lab and onto some kind of underground street. There were a number of Da'Karen guards on a perimeter, blocking and redirecting any civilians trying to pass through. Surprisingly very few actually stopped to ogle at the group of strange beings, most were just content with minding their own business and going on with their day. Though the occasional glance was fairly common.
Patrick took note of how gloomy the atmosphere of the city felt. Perhaps it was just this section but everything seemed to be built for more practicality than any kind of visually pleasing architecture. Though Patrick supposed that maybe this city was quite beautiful to the Da'Kar. Dim, damp, and tight must be all the rage in that case. It wasn’t really the best explanation he could’ve come up with.
A tram sat in the middle of the street awaiting to transport them to a different location in the city. The group gathered infront of the tram and a guard opened one of the side doors, allowing everyone to file in. The step onto the tram was larger than strictly comfortable, of course it hadn’t been designed with a human’s smaller stature in mind. That being said the tram was quite roomy and comfortably fit everyone inside.
The sudden acceleration of the tram surprised Patrick, a few of them who weren’t paying attention even stumbled a bit at the impromptu movement. Their ride was short lived however, only lasting a minute or two. The sight that met them once they stepped off the tram put the previous tunnels to shame. Designs and patterns were carved into the walls, neatly trimmed moss adorned the ceiling, and there was nearly double the space. Chilluukik grabbed the attention of the group and stuck a hand out to a grandiose doorway.
“Welcome to the imperial palace! It is the largest single structure in the entire city. The palace holds all the council members and the matriarch as they all have to be ready at a moment’s notice in the case of a national emergency. It is also where you all will be staying while you are in Charsier. Unfortunately I must ask that all soldiers surrender their weapons to the armory while on palace grounds as only the royal guard may be armed in the building.”
“What’s the point of an armed escort if they can’t even be armed?” Edward grumbled. Sophie leaned over to the American diplomat to comment. “I’m sure the royal guard will offer plenty of protection. Besides, cooperation shows trust between our governments, no matter how little.” Chilluukik glanced at the two, their conversation wasn’t exactly quiet. Nonetheless Chilluukkik continued the tour, seeming to ignore Edward’s comment.
They were led into the building and took a hard left to a hallway with several armed guards. At the end of the hallway was a reinforced steel door where an older Da’Karen soldier waited. Chilluukkik exchanged a few words with him in their tongue before turning to the group, specifically addressing Patrick’s squad and the marines.
“This is Quarter Master Arluirik, he will be in charge of storing your weapons. Don’t worry, once you leave they will all be returned to you.”
Arluirik took a bow as soon as Chilluukik was finished speaking and approached Patrick. Patrick sighed and turned to his squad. “Condition four, drop flaks as well, there’s no reason for us to be all armored up right now.” Patrick’s squad began unloading their rifles and taking off their combat gear; However the marines opted to just give up their rifles. Arlurik and another Da’Kar collected the weapons before bringing them behind the steel door. As soon as the steel door was sealed, Chillukik began walking back to the main entrance to which everyone followed.
“It is time that you meet the matriarch, as she does not speak your language, I will act as your translator for this meeting.”
Sophie spoke up. “We do have our own translators. While your assistance is appreciated, it’s a bit redundant.”
Chilluukkik sighed, though Patrick couldn’t tell if it was from annoyance or maybe something else. Da’Karen mannerisms would be something he’d have to pick up on and learn, especially considering the circumstances. “I would prefer that I be the translator. I’m sure your translators are plenty proficient, however I personally want to make sure that there is no confusion or misunderstandings. She is the single most important Da’Kar after all.”
“We’d rather not step on your toes then, we’ll proceed how you wish.” Edward responded.
Chillukik stopped the group in the middle of the entrance hall, for a few moments they stood in awe of the structure around them. Several ornate pillars lined the walls, five gold crests hung high above an archway that was guarded by tens of soldiers, the floors were of polished marble, and the lights shone brighter than anywhere else they had seen in the city. Chilluukik moved the diplomats to the front of the group while everyone else stood behind them shoulder to shoulder.
Once everyone was in position, Chilluukik nodded towards one of the guards. A moment later, said guard shouted something causing all of the Da’Kar in the room to snap to attention. Both Patrick’s squad and the marines took the que, going to attention themselves. A figure flanked by two guards appeared in the archway, they slowly walked across the hall to the two diplomats. Patrick could only assume that she was the matriarch, as she was dressed in an extravagant gown and sitting atop her head was a gold crown encrusted with a single blue gem.
As soon as the matriarch got about a meter away from Chilluukik, he took a bow and stepped to the side. The matriarch then approached the diplomats and they exchanged bows. She spoke in her alien tongue and a moment later Chilluukkik spoke up with the translation.
“Welcome to Charsier, we are happy to have you here. I am Shilluukkik, if there is anything you need during your time here let me know. You are our honored guests.”
Sophie was the first to speak. “Thank you, it is an honor to meet you madam. I am Sophie Lacelle, the representative from the nation of Canada.”
“And I am Edward Teach from the United States of America. It’s a pleasure ma'am.”
Arluirik and his assistant placed the human weapons on the table. Most of them were similar to the ones obtained from the crashed flying machine, however one looked very different. It was considerably larger and even had a handlebar attached to the side of the barrel. Che’quea picked it up to inspect it, it was almost twice the weight of the other rifles. He noted that it shared a few similarities with the mounted gun they also had captured.
“Was there any trouble with them handing over their weapons, Arluirik?”
“No sir, a few of them even dropped off their armor.” Arluirik held up a helmet with the distinct human pattern on it. Che’quea placed down the weapon and grabbed the helmet. Despite its relatively small size, the helmet had some heft to it. Whatever strange material it was made of was very dense, though he doubted that it could stop very much in terms of projectiles. Che’quea ran his fingers across the fabric cover, it was unlike any cloth he had seen before and was very finely woven.
“I want a detailed sketch of this pattern, I believe it is some sort of camouflage. We won't be able to replicate the material but perhaps we can use this pattern.”
Che’quea placed the helmet down and pointed to the large rifle. “I want that to be analyzed the best you can without damaging it, the humans should be busy for at least several hours so take your time and get every detail. Learn what you can about this equipment, I want a report before the day is over.”
“It will be done sir.” Arluirik saluted Che’quea then waved over several other officers and they got to work. No matter how the situation went with the humans they were going to get something out of it, even if it was a few drawings.
Yesterday played through Patrick’s mind. While at first he was amazed by all the things he saw and the people he met, it started to get menial after the first few introductions. The whole day was just a bunch of formalities that he just didn’t really care for. Meeting the council was the worst of it, he couldn’t even remember a single name there if his life depended on it. Near the end of the day the Americans had split off from them and they went to meet their guides. The one his group was assigned was a young Da’Kar by the name of Sruri.
Apparently she worked under Chilluukik for a time but decided to pursue a different career around the time the portal opened. Patrick didn’t know the details but it did make him wonder why she left. It wasn’t really his business, perhaps she just didn’t like being a scientist or whatever she did. When they first met here she seemed to be very reserved, only speaking a few words at a time. Now that the initial meeting was over and it was a new day she had opened up a bit.
The tram lurched to a stop, dragging Patrick from his thoughts. Wolf, their translator from the US air force, spoke up. “Sruri says that we’ve arrived.” Everyone stood up and filed out of the tram. They were deep within Charsier, the tight tunnels were almost suffocating. Crowds of Da’Kar stood next to a train stop, barely heeding the group of humans any attention. It reminded Patrick of human cities where everyone just wanted to mind their own business and get on with their day.
In fact, the only one who seemed interested in them was a child who couldn’t stop staring. Patrick gave the child a soft wave and smiled. The kid shyly hid behind what Patrick assumed to be one of their parents. He must have been a strange sight to them, perhaps he had scared the child by mistake. The supposed parent took notice and looked over at Patrick, as soon as their eyes met his the Da’Kar quickly looked away. It was strange, all the civilians seemed very jumpy whenever they were around. Patrick thought back to what Chilluukik had said about not interacting with people who weren’t directly involved with diplomatic proceedings. David leaned over and whispered to Patrick.
"I can’t say I like the kind of looks we’re getting.”
“It’s best to just ignore it. People will be people, alien or not.”
David leaned back and looked forward as the train pulled in. The doors opened and people started flowing in. By the time Patrick’s group had made their way inside, the train was completely packed. If he didn’t feel claustrophobic before, he certainly did now. A loud yelp sounded out quickly followed by Martin speaking quickly.
“Ah shit, I think I stepped on someone’s tail. Wolf tell them I'm sorry, it was an accident.”
Just as the door closed, Patrick got forcibly squeezed between Tanner and some poor Da’Kar. Any attempt from the civilians to avoid the humans was now futile, it was an uncomfortable situation for everyone. Hopefully it wasn’t going to be a very long train ride, Patrick was getting hot and he could only imagine how the Da’Kar felt with all that fur. After a few minutes, Patrick felt something tugging on his shirt. He turned his head to see a familiar Da’Kar child trying to get his attention. Curiosity must have gotten the better of them, they spoke something.
Patrick felt somewhat bad about not being able to understand or even reply to the kid in any meaningful way. He thought for a moment before ruffling through his pockets for something that might interest the kid. Patrick pulled out a pen and a notebook. He opened the notebook and showed the kid how it worked. The kid’s eyes widened as he saw Patrick draw a few lines. What really seemed to excite the kid was when he handed the items over so the kid could try it themselves. Patrick watched the kid draw to their heart’s content, it was something to take both of their minds off of the train ride and pass the time.
Before Patrick knew it, the train had begun to slow as they neared their destination. The kid’s tail drooped and he wore a disappointed look. Timidly, they went to hand the notebook and pen back but Patrick stopped them. Patrick gently pushed the items back to the kid who now seemed confused. “Keep it kid, I think you’ll enjoy it a lot more than me.” The kid took a few moments to process Patrick’s intent, when it finally clicked the kid jumped with glee and hugged Patrick. He got a few looks from the Da’Kar in the train, however they seemed more surprised than the sour glances they had previously been giving him.
“What did you do to make him so happy?” Tanner asked.
“Hearts and minds, I gave ‘em a little gift.” Patrick smiled back. The doors opened and the pressure was finally released. Stepping out of the train, Patrick noticed that the air wasn’t nearly as stale as it had been in Chasier. Every breath was almost fresh and refreshing. They had only been on that train for maybe thirty minutes, perhaps now they were closer to the surface. The train station here seemed a lot less packed as well, Patrick was thankful for that much at least.
“Wolf, could you please ask Sruri where we are now?” Sophie asked. Wolf relayed the translated question to Sruri to which she answered with a brief response.
“This city is called Strulkurig, apparently it’s a very important city to them.”
Initially, the city seemed very similar to Charsier; Long tunnels stretched for seemingly miles. However, after just a few minutes of walking they arrived at an opening to a gargantuan cavity. It was in the shape of a dome, reaching nearly a mile across. At the top there was a large hole leading all the way to the surface, and at the bottom was a lake that took up most of the cavity. The vast majority of the city seemed to be built into the walls of the cavern, only slightly built onto the lake itself. Large metal supports lined the walls, assumedly to ensure the structural integrity of the walls. The amount of engineering that went into all of this must have been immense.
Sruri began speaking and a moment later Wolf started with his translation. “Most of the cavern is natural, the location was ideal to provide a central water source to the other cities. In fact, eighty percent of the water the Da’Kar uses is sourced from this spring.”
“And how many cities draw their water from here?” Sophie asked.
“Nine, including Strulkurig. The reservoir is extremely deep and is naturally replenished via surrounding groundwater.”
Patrick could see how important that this city remained protected. If that water supply was contaminated or poisoned it would be catastrophic for the Da’Kar. The fact that they were allowed into Strulkurig at all showed quite a bit of trust. Though Patrick couldn’t help but think that all this openness was an effort to draw their attention from something else. All this effort to build their cities underground, and for what? The Da’Kar were hiding something, or perhaps they were hiding from something.
Their first stop of the day was a ration center. It looked like any other cafeteria from earth. though instead of a wide selection, premade rations were handed out. The amount of food per meal seemed like the bare minimum, just enough to survive on. Sruri walked over and grabbed one before showing it to the group. Wolf was quick with the translation, he seemed to be getting better at the language. “She says that this is a standard civilian ration, about one thousand calories and each person gets two per day. Each ration is carefully constructed to sustain the nutritional needs of the average Da’Kar adult. However, there is rarely enough for everyone. It’s not uncommon for them to turn down many when the day’s rations are depleted.”
Patrick looked to the line that extended out of the building, there was a concerning amount of children in that line waiting to get their rations. It made him uneasy knowing that many of those children wouldn’t even get to eat, especially the ones farther back in the line. It was already clear to Patrick that whatever the Da’Kar were going through, they needed the support from humanity. Tanner began to pull out some of his MRE’s but Patrick stopped him.
“Put it away, you can’t feed all of them. After this mission the supplies from the US will come in, then there’ll be enough for everyone.”
“What if they don’t make it that long? Half of these people are practically skin and bone.”
“There’s nothing we can do at the moment and I need you to be on your top game for the rest of this mission. Save your food for yourself.” Patrick commanded sternly.
Tanner begrudgingly stuffed the food back into his backpack. They were there for only a few more minutes before departing to their next location. Throughout the day they went from place to place, each looked more sorrowful than the last. What really broke Patrick was when he saw kids working in factories, they couldn’t be much older than the kid he met on the train. Patrick couldn’t imagine what could have led to the Da’Kar using these methods. They were either really desperate or had some really messed up morality. The one saving grace about it was that they seemed to take the kid’s safety as priority, having an adult supervisor watching over them constantly. Though, that still didn’t excuse child labor. If it was up to him, Patrick would give all the resources his country could offer to get these kids out of the factories.
Patrick laid in his bed, it had been almost an hour but he just couldn’t sleep. It was still pretty early in the morning but he figured that he wasn’t going to get much rest anyways. He slowly slipped out of the Da’Karen bed, it was large and square in shape. The one thing that made his stay in the Da’Kar world bearable, there was plenty of space to sleep. Patrick pulled on his uniform, making sure to be especially quiet as to not wake his squadmates.
The apartment building was just as quiet, it seemed like it was too early even for the Da’Kar. Patrick stepped outside, taking in the fresh morning air. Unlike most other Da’Karen cities, Khomtotm was mostly above ground. Patrick certainly wasn’t complaining, for almost a week they had been exclusively underground. He strolled down a street that had a thin layer of snow that had fallen throughout the night. The air was still and cold, if he closed his eyes he could almost imagine that he was back home. He walked until he arrived at an overlook that gave an amazing view of the relatively flat lands nestled by a massive mountain range.
Looking to the left, far in the distance, Patrick could just barely make out the structures Charsier. Panning right, he could see Strulkurig with its few surface buildings that surrounded the hole. Finally he looked over to the right towards Eathlond. Patrick had remembered that the Americans would be there today, as that was the last city they were going to visit. Patrick had to do a double take as he saw large black plumes of smoke emanating from the city.
He knew the Da’Kar relied heavily on steam but he had never seen steam engines produce that amount of exhaust. His heart began to pound as he thought he could identify several fires throughout the city. Patrick stepped away from the overlook and began walking back to the apartment building. Then as he thought more about what could be going on in Eathlond, he ran. It could be some kind of misinterpretation but he didn’t want to take that chance.
submitted by lucasAK2004
to HFY [link] [comments]
2023.05.27 21:07 penmaster3000 Rival Schools 2 - Story Info
Collected all of the story info from official sources so they could be separate from the fandom pages.
About the same number of students will be selected through written examinations and interviews as the number of students who advance internally from junior high school. Exams emphasize extracurricular evaluation such as interviews rather than grades, and conduct entrance examinations that respect the individuality of students. The educational policy is to "raise students with a free school atmosphere." It is the policy of the school that students should be free to lead school life without being bound by school rules.
Gorin High School is characterized by its six years of integrated education, centering on the sound development of young people through sports, with the goal of "cultivating healthy minds, strong bodies, and Olympic athletes." Sports are prioritized in everything, so the deviation score at the time of admission is almost irrelevant, and the admission is determined by athletic ability and aptitude. There are many students who enter from high school, and it is composed of junior high school players who are national level and talents found by skilled scouts scattered all over the country.
Gorin College of Physical Education
The university department of Gorin Academy was newly established this year. With facilities that overwhelm other physical education colleges and a large number of students from the high school, it is already attracting the attention of people involved in various sports. Like the Gorin High School, the goal is to produce world-class athletes, but with a view to training sports doctors and trainers to support the athletes, the School of Sports Medicine and the School of Exercise Physiology have been established and integrated.
A distinctive feature of our school is that it has established a policy of ``elite education that is world-class in culture and sports''. Many of the students enrolled here are basically Americans living in Japan, and many of them come from the upper classes. Many sons of embassy officials and elite military officers enter from Japan, and many of the sons of politicians and the upper class enter from the United States. It is a high school with tradition and formality.
In the past, in order to nurture fine Japanese boys, the time was divided between study and martial arts. But now it is changed to "classes to train the spirit" in order to cultivate "people who do not deviate from the way". The school is adjacent to an industrial area, and the quality of students used to be good a long time ago. But as the industrial area becomes obsolete, the number of enrollees is decreasing year by year.
Seijun Girls' Academy
A high school established mainly by a certain conglomerate with the intention of ``nurturing Yamato Nadeshiko who have acquired ancient Japanese traditions''. Partly because of that educational policy, many of the students who enroll come from prestigious and good families. In today's world, where free school culture and student autonomy are valued, there are many strict rules that can be said to be outdated. (Firstly, students who break the school rules do not enter the school, so there are no complaints from the students against the strict school rules.) Except for special exceptions, it is basically a boarding system. The school building and student dormitory are built on a small island located in the center of a beautiful lake, and it is a thorough policy that permission from the president is required to go out for reasons other than returning home during summer vacation, winter vacation, and year-end and New Year holidays.
The school's motto is "A healthy body and mind make for great performance". Classes are divided into 10 classes, from A to J, according to the ability of the individual, since the contents of the lessons are changed according to the ability of the individual. (The higher you go, the smaller the number of pyramids.) It is a boarding school and students are not allowed to return to their homes until they graduate. Even in the dormitory, the study schedule is decided, and it is designed to lead a disciplined life.
Batsu Ichimonji (Taiyo)
A hot-blooded, quarrelsome PE devotee, Batsu has a strong sense of justice. He is an expert street fighter. People tend to think he's rough, but he has a rarely-seen gentle side. Previously, he searched for his kidnapped mother and confronted Justice Academy led by his real father Raizo. This time, as he lives a peaceful student life as a second-year, a brawl occurred at a school competition event (Tai-P Battle), and as he discovered the truth of the incident, he was involved in a fight.
Hinata Wakaba (Taiyo)
A bright, high-energy girl, Hinata allied with Batsu to solve the year-old mystery of the disappearances. Gifted in martial arts, she is a karate master and expert in all sports. This time, she finds herself caught up in the fight as she investigates the brawl between the Batsu and Tai-P.
Kyosuke Kagami (Taiyo)
This mysterious, cool-headed boy cooperates with Batsu while hiding a secret. He possesses magnificent fighting techniques and makes sport of his opponents. He is a friend of Batsu and Hinata and is also the chairman of Taiyo Acadmey's disciplinary committee. He is Hyo's younger twin brother, and once helped Hyo's conspiracy. This time, like Hinata, he gets involved in the incident while acting together with Batsu.
Shoma Sawamura (Gorin)
Belongs to the baseball club of the sports school and Gorin high school. A short-tempered and competitive power slugger, Shoma's scrappy sense of justice causes a confrontation wherever he goes. Natsu is his good childhood friend. In his second year, he became a member of the first team of the baseball club and is now training hard to become a regular player. This time, he saves Momo from being attacked by someone, which causes him to fall out with Natsu...
Natsu Ayuhara (Gorin)
She belongs to the volleyball club of the sports school, Gorin Academy. Natsu is an excellent volleyball player with a powerful attack. She is competitive, smart, and determined to protect her teammates. She is also Shoma's cherished childhood friend and recently she has begun to be aware of him as a man. She fights with Shouma when Momo appears, but she is actually worried about him.
Roberto Miura (Gorin)
Belongs to the soccer club of the sports school, Gorin Academy. Usually cool, Roberto turns hot-blooded when playing soccer. A masterful goalie, he only fights for the sake of friendship and always helps someone in need. Takes on the role of being the caretaker for Natsu and Shouma. This time, he's going to act together with Shoma, who had a fight with Natsu.
Boman Delgado (Pacific)
American and compassionate Christian. A counselor in training, Boman tries not to lose his temper because he knows he could really hurt someone. When he does fight, there is no stopping him! He struggles to save Pacific High School after Roy and Tiffany left. This time, in order to investigate the brawl in the Tai-P game, the cross-border duo of the Chairperson and Ran explore the incident.
Chairperson Incho (Taiyo)
Incho is very popular and trusted by all her friends. She has a strong sense of responsibility, though only passing ability in martial arts or sports. The class president of the class of the Batsu. Join forces with Boman and others from Pacific High School to investigate the brawl during the Tai-P game. On the way, Kyosuke and Hinata join up in place of Batsu, who has disappeared.
Ran Hibiki (Taiyo)
Belongs to Taiyo Academy Newspaper Club, Ran hopes one day to be a journalist. She is high-spirited and rushes to cover any event that makes good copy. Her favorite phrase is "This is a scoop!" with her camera in hand. This time, she's a super special deal by accompanying Counselor Boman as he investigates the Tai-P Battle brawl commotion! Aiming for the scoop.
Eiji "Edge" Yamada (Gedo)
Cowardice is super Yankee. His uncontrolled manic streak keeps Edge on the brink of total violence. He follows his leader Daigo's instructions. Although he managed to advance to the second year, he felt somewhat bored without Akira and Daigo. This time, it will be about attacking other schools according to the orders of Daigo, who has returned, but gradually distrusts Daigo's excessive behavior.
Gan Isurugi (Gedo)
Gan has extraordinary power, which he is very proud of. A gigantic delinquent who is bold and reliant on everything. He teams up with Edge frequently. He loves food and can eat five cheeseburgers at every meal. He loves onigiri and is also a ghost member of the sumo club. Like Edge, he will attack other schools as Daigo's vanguard.
Daigo Kazama (Gedo)
General bancho of Gedo High School. Big boss Daigo is very strict, though warm-hearted. He has a strong sense of duty. He is also a very charismatic leader who never fights dirty. He is Akira Kazama's older brother and was kidnapped by Justice Academy in the previous game. Afterward, he embarked on his training journey to make up for his weakness. A year later, Daigo finally shows up at Gedo High School, but he's different from what he used to be; someone who respects humanity and righteousness and doesn't like unnecessary fights... "Bring all the schools in the neighborhood to their knees!"
Hideo Shimazu (Justice)
A Japanese language teacher at Justice Academy. A Shimazu-style karate expert, but he is usually a serious and gentle teacher, and his students have a lot of respect for him. Hideo's job as a teacher has led him into some unsavory dealings. He joins Kyoko and Hayato to investigate the attack on Raizo, the principal of Justice Academy.
Kyoko Minazuki (Justice)
A health teacher and brainy and energetic nurse at Justice Academy. Kyoko's medical training as a surgeon and osteopathy expert makes her deadly in combat. She is investigating the Raizo attack case together with Hideo.
Hayato Nekketsu (Taiyo)
A red-blooded PE teacher at Taiyo High School, Hayato is secretly helping his students. He makes his own justice with his bamboo sword. At first, he was investigating the Tai-P battle brawl incident alone. But he joined the heroes investigating the Raizo attack incident. After feeling a disturbing aura in the background, they decided to investigate together.
Akira Kazama (Seijyun)
A high school girl who likes to ride a motorcycle. A former Gedo student, she now attends Seijun with her best friends Zaki and Yurika. Akira thinks her brother Daigo is acting strangely. Previously, she disguised herself as a boy and went to Gedo High School to find her brother, but when she became a sophomore, she transferred to a girls' school. She doesn't have many friends yet, perhaps because of the sudden change in environment from a boys' school to an all-girls school. This time, she finds that her older brother is acting strange after returning from his training, so she acts with her friends, Yurika and Zaki.
Aoi "Zaki" Himezaki (Seijyun)
Sukeban for Akira and her classmates, Zaki helps Akira investigate Daigo's unusual acts. Zaki used to lead a 5,000-girl gang. She is extremely suspicious of strangers. On the way, she heard a rumor that Gedo High School, led by Daigo, was going to attack Seijun Jogakuin. Her high popularity can be seen in the scene where 5,000 people from the women's team, who were her friends in junior high school, came to rescue her.
Yurika Kirishima (Seijyun)
She is Akira's classmate and the one and only best friend. She plays a variety of instruments, including the violin. Yurika has outstanding musical ability and uses her violin as her primary weapon. She helps her brother Kuro fight, but at heart she wants him to stop. Akira is worried about Daigo, so she and Zaki help out, but...
Momo Karuizawa (Gorin)
A new student at the Gorin Academy sports school. She belongs to the tennis club, and she specializes in powerful plays that don't suit her body. Momo tags along with Shoma. Though she is backing Kuro's evil plan, it's only because it seems like fun to her and she likes Kuro. A certain incident triggers her to haunt Shouma, but...
Nagare Namikawa (Gorin)
Member of Gorin University swimming club. He is an alumnus of Gorin High School and currently visits as a coach of the swimming team. He is usually quiet and hides his feelings, but his personality changes completely when he is in the water. He happened to come to the school, where he met Roberto and others and acted together.
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