Does family dollar take wic cards

Because anonymous advice is still better than going it alone in family court.

2014.03.14 06:31 billiegoad Because anonymous advice is still better than going it alone in family court.

Welcome to Divorce_Men. This is a sub where we can discuss the legal, financial and social issues men face in divorce. We are not necessarily lawyers; one of the first pieces of advice you will receive is to **consult with your attorney**.

2017.05.13 00:00 MouseMarket: A place for buying, selling, and trading mice

A place for buying, selling, and trading computer mice and mousepads. Please read the rules before posting. Happy trading!

2013.04.12 22:32 commission art from fellow redditors

HungryArtists is an online community of freelance artists, designers and illustrators all looking to create custom art commissions for you! Commission an artist quickly and easily, just create an account in minutes and post your request. Artists will start replying with a range of portfolios for you to choose your best fit. Browse thousands of worldwide artists portfolios updated daily, when you find an artist that suits your budget and style just message them directly to get started.

2023.03.24 13:07 Demonic_Disposition My Experiences

Our name is Murtons. We have made previous accounts on Reddit and made previous posts on this subreddit and others and have deleted them time and again. We have promised information that might relate to some of the experiencers of this subreddit. Now that we have acquired technology which makes such an idea possible, this will be our permanent account and everything we know and WILL know, we will tell to you, if not at the time when that information is acquired or when the event happens, then when it is safe to do so for ourself or when we are allowed.

An Introduction

As you know, our name is Murtons. Murtons is a pseudonym, not for 2 people but for 2 entities contained within a single body. Our story is long and I will be creating multiple posts on this subreddit and perhaps others if this post is received well, telling our story, making posts that are just information dumps made up of relevant information and maybe update posts on our situation. At no point am I making the claim that I am an authority on the subject but I will say that I know what I know. From this point on, I am referring to myself without plural, unless it is necessary to do otherwise, as it is just me doing the work at the moment and speaking in plural is exhausting.
For context, I do not have MPD nor am I trying to rip off any other users claiming to be "2 People" or "2 Entities". I assure you that my situation is unique. I will not share my own name but the name of the other entity is Carrabelle.
Carrabelle was attached to me in a previous life as a form of sarcastic "Marriage into the family". His "Species" is unique in that, when he is attached biologically, he is attached to your consciousness and will be there in every life after the one that he was attached until detached. The longer that he is attached, the harder it is to remove him. After a certain amount of time, physical removal will not be enough as he will just grow back. My family (Again, non-human) have managed to set up an inhibitor of sorts for the time that I did not have my memories and until they are back that will stop him from making my life difficult...mostly.
As for information on myself if you want it; I have had a fear of Jesters and carnivals for a long time, along with the associated patterns. I have a fear of fictional settings with dark cyberpunk themes such as games like Observer. I have Autism, ADHD, OCD and I heal really quickly. My hair and nails grow quickly as well. I also get cold electric feelings across my body, especially when I am stressed or sick. I am introverted and have only recently begun to learn important life skills, such as being able to talk to people. My home life is terrible as well, which is important to this. Oh yeah and I have survived Meningococcal, Pneumonia, Meningitis and Leukemia twice.

My Experiences

During the course of the past 2 years, I regained memories from 5 different lives and from 3 key points in this life as well as remembering certain "Dreams" which I can guarantee are more real than I had assumed at the time. I have remembered that 3-4 of those 5 previous lives have interacted with this one and that this life happening was a direct consequence of the choices of my previous incarnation. I have remembered that I would not be who I am today without the non-humans that I call Family.
As there is so much to unpack, I will be making a separate post for each life, excluding this life, which will instead be split into 3 parts. I will also be making a post explaining certain concepts that I have learned, along with things I have learned which relate to the many other experiences of many other experiencers and maybe a Q&A, though the latter probably will not be necessary. In this post, I will be talking about the sudden re-emerging of my memories, dreams and the subsequent events.


I (Only 15 at the time) woke up to the sound of glass smashing and my mother screaming. I looked around and it was pitch black and it seemed my Mum was asleep. I assumed that she had dropped something in the middle of the night and screamed and I had managed to sleep through it, only waking up to the extremely loud subconscious recollection hours later. I felt strange though, like my body knew something was wrong but I could not figure it out myself.
I got out of bed and walked towards the door. Though it was dark, I could tell that my door was slowly opening on its own and I was frozen with fear. I saw slight movement and a shape but due to how dark it was and my own fear, I started to question if the door was opening or not. In both a curious movement to see if the door was shut or not and the thought that I might be dreaming so what I do doesn't matter, I moved towards the door.
In an instant, I felt myself flying towards my bed with a figure moving towards me and suddenly being forced onto my stomach. I felt 1 hand pushing my face into the bed, another 2 arms holding my arms down and another hand on my back. I tried fighting to see the face of my attacker, thinking that I could gain some small victory if I saw their face (Not that it would matter, as I could not tell anyone) but I fell unconscious.
I awoke slowly, the images blurry in front of me, some kind of colourful effect dancing in my vision, dissipating the longer I was awake, my emotions dull but not dead. There were sand/mud buildings in front of and around me. They did not look made by some primitive civilization but made with the intent to last. I was walking on a footpath of some kind with a road to the right of me. It was humid and felt as though I was wearing thick clothing. I just knew that I was dreaming, this whole situation was absurd.
I looked to the left of me and saw someone walking beside me. I was fairly short for a 15 year old but this person was tall, like 7-8ft tall. I slowly noticed the way that they dressed; overly colourful, a strange hat and 4 sleeves containing 4 different arms. They must have noticed that I was looking in their direction because they looked down at me, opened their mouth and as they did so, what looked like chunks of meat and wires spilled out and I looked away as terrified as I could be. I had a weird feeling that it did not hurt them in any way and that they only did it to scare me.
As we continued walking along this footpath, we came to a crossing in the road and on the other side was some kind of checkpoint. Two tall guards with tight outfits, white masks and guns guarded a metal door that was built into either a wall or a fence. I knew that if this was somehow not a dream, going through that door was the point of no return. If it was a dream, then running or staying has no real world consequence but if it was real, then running was the only option. I slowly backed away, hoping to be out of the vision of that thing before I started running.
As I started running, I turned around and saw whatever that thing was screaming, all 4 arms outstretched, clutching some kind of wand in one hand. I was as scared as my body would allow, running back the way we came, when a vehicle nearly hit me. The car was fairly low to the ground and the driver looked me with confusion. I ran back to the footpath that took me to the checkpoint and I just kept running, not knowing where to go but hoping to figure it out as I went. After a few moments of running, I heard someone yell for me and when I looked, there was someone in an alleyway next to me.
I felt myself being quickly yanked into the alleyway and I though that I had been caught. I was grabbed and made to face the person who I had unknowingly been saved by. My memory is not perfectly clear but she had bluish purplish skin, large yellow eyes and what looked like spikes coming out of her head, not straight out like a porcupine but in a way that looked like a substitute for hair.
"Ahhh, a demon" I said sarcastically, assuming myself to be dreaming.
"I am not a demon" she said bemused.
"Well, this is my dream and you look like a demon, so you are a demon'' I said extremely smugly.
"You are not dreaming".
That went on for about 30 seconds. I asked her who she was and she told me that she was my best friend. I asked her, that if she was my best friend, then how I did not remember her and she told me that I asked to have my memory erased, which made no sense to me. I asked where I was, to which she said that I was currently on Mars. Eventually I heard a voice behind me trying to get my attention. The voice belonged to another girl. She had bleached white skin, large eyes (She is not a grey. She hates being called that.), black hair and black clothes.
"Hey *****, how have you be-..." the previous girl interrupted her and would not let her speak. The first girl seemed to be somewhat... territorial. My memory faltered and I seemed to forget the conversation that had transpired seconds before. The second girl walked off with a scowl across her face, which I without my memory, assumed to be directed at me. My focus was brought back to the first girl with the spikes for hair and I noticed a watch on her wrist which reminded me of the watch the Yautja wear in the "PREDATOR" franchise, with its own differences of course.
After a while, she said that they were taking me home . I was looking forward to going somewhere familiar and less confusing. She walked to my right and I saw movement down the other end of the alleyway, which I scared me but after they didn't react, I assumed that it was more of them, so I calmed down. The girl with the spikes pulled out what looked like a fork like device but in between the middle two prongs was a circular object. She asked me if I was ready and when I said that I was, she placed the object to my right temple and my vision nearly instantly went black, I felt relaxed and I felt my body collapse, along with someone catch me and then the sensation of being dragged.
I woke up restrained and facing someone that I only have the memory of the colour green to associate them with. They simply asked me "Are you sure that you want to go home?" to which I replied with a somewhat confused "Yes", wondering why they would even ask that.
I woke up. My Mum remembered nothing and seemed fine, while my memory of the event was distorted, only remembering the city, the guards, the 4 armed monstrosity and the fact that a conversation of some kind had happened. The only possible evidence of the night prior was found later when we could not lock the front door. My memory of that "Dream" began to fade quick, being gone within 2 weeks.


I had dropped out of High School due to Covid making things difficult and my School being next to useless. My Mum had begun to leave me alone over a couple of nights to go and talk to her "Just a friend". A couple of nights turned into weeks and weeks turned into 6 months. She would occasionally re stock the fridge and pantry while I was asleep, stay a few hours in the morning so she could say that she tried to see me (My sleep patterns were all over the place) and then she would leave.
I had friends online that I eventually got rid of due to realizing that they were not friends. While I had those friends, I gained memories back of a fight with some girl 2 years beforehand, which I did not realize at the time was a part of something so big. That situation is part of the last of the 3 key events and will be covered in a post.
For 2-3 months during those 6 months, every night to every second night, I would get strange dreams with reoccurring characters, that always felt so real at the time and that I would always either slowly forget or I would forget when I woke up. I will tell you everything that is worth mentioning, though I can guarantee you, everything except for the first "Dream", will not be in chronological order. Sometimes the "Dreams" would have actual dreams before or after them, most of the time related to something I saw during the events of the "Dream" or something I glimpsed before I was fully conscious in said "Dream". Sometimes, the real dreams were unrelated.
Sometimes I had real dreams that I also know were manipulated as they would relate directly to a game I had played or something similar. I will not mention these. Any comparisons I make to fiction after this point is not meant to imply that they are real dreams but merely a comparison to something that one might consider familiar.

It took me a while to wake up and regain control of my body. I heard a girl yelling at me to wake up or else they will kill me themselves (They did not mean it). I woke up, picking up the guns, when I noticed what looked like a humanoid lizard going up behind one of the people with firing. I aimed for it and shot it in the head. I heard someone yell "HOLY SHIT! HIS FIRST KILL AND IT'S A HEADSHOT!".
A girl with spikes instead of hair run up to me and gave me a thumbs up whilst saying "Good Job!". Forgetting that Kingston existed, I assumed that she was the one who threatened to kill me and told her not to patronize me. She seemed hurt and confused. When I woke up, I for some reason went on some rant about how they cannot just kill whoever they want and they told me that they were killing bad people and that I needed to calm down.
What looked like hundreds of those lizard people were running towards the railings. One of the other people firing yelled "I'm out of ammo" and then everyone else did as well. I was terrified and I suddenly got a sudden burst of confidence. I jumped onto the railing and with both guns, started firing on the lizards... and then so did everyone else. They lied to see what I would do.
There was a sudden explosion and the neon pink building exploded. I was grabbed and told to run. They were jumping of a ledge onto a street. The ground looked slippery and I was scared. They told me that I had to jump. They were telling me that it was not a dream and that if I did not jump then I would die. I think someone pushed me and someone else caught me.
We walked along the street in the rain and I started crying. Someone comforted me and I fell unconscious. I woke up in bed

I chased him, pushing past people and sliding under what looked like a cart. He jumped over something large and I had what looked like a burst of confetti hit me in the face. I lost him and I had the 2 girl sitting over me. "Better luck next time!" Kingston said, aiming something towards my face. I fell unconscious. I woke up in bed.

The person that I was terrified of and I sat down behind the car. She told me that she was my best friend and she wants me to look at her. I tried but I just couldn't. She said it made her sad but she understood. I said that I was sorry and eventually I fell unconscious. I woke up in bed.

Someone came up behind me and pulled me inside. He were dressed from head to toe in black. They had a mask/helmet on with big bug eyed lenses. He told me to stay inside because it was dangerous. He started manipulating the dials and levers, using not only his arms but mechanical arms that came off a machine on his back. The mechanical arms were had joints and pivoted on those joints, with clasps at the ends. The only thing that I can compare him to is a mix between Spectre from Resident Evil: Operation Racoon City and the skinny Comic version of Spider-Man but even then, it is not an accurate comparison.
I waited a long time and was bored. He told me to be patient. Eventually a kind of ship arrived and he told me that they are not to see me, as the people on board do not like me because of what I had done. I asked what I did wrong but he refused to tell me. At some point, I fell unconscious. I woke up in bed.

We heard footsteps coming from a nearby doorway. 2 people that I cannot remember the appearance of walked in. They seemed extremely cocky and started telling us how there is no escape, that we were going to be taken and that after they had me, they were going to kill my cats. I love my cats and all I could feel was hate.
I could feel what felt like pure energy running through my hands and when I looked down, my hands were glowing orange. Not having anything else to do, I put my hands out and just thought "hehe, it's like magic in Skyrim" and jokingly put my hands out to "Shoot Flames". Instead, orange energy with sparks started to come out of my hands. I looked at the person who seemed familiar and he nodded with a smile saying "Go ahead!".
I leapt at the two people who were moments ago bullying and tormenting me. I jump on the one on the right, punching him in the face. I fear the one next to me will try to stop me and so I jump, without effort, onto a wall, laughing and the leap back. I continue jumping in and out, throwing various punches and attacks, until all that is left is an unmoving gory mess and by the end I feel unstoppable.
The tall blue man who had obviously come to rescue me says "Okay, that is enough" and I fall unconscious. I wake up in bed.

I see a fat man sitting on a bench, hunched over. He reminds me of one of my mothers ex's and I try to avoid him. He notices me and I rush away but he does not get up.
I see someone tall and they glance at me for a moment before whipping their head around and staring at me. I realized they are not friendly and run away. I did not count the arms.
I walk down a pathway and notice a few public benches in front of a small fenced off decorative public bush with the wood chips beneath it. There are 2 staircases on either side of the fenced off bush, leading to what seemed like an oval and there appeared to be a helicopter or some kind of aerial vehicle, landing on said oval. I was not sure if it was there to save me or not and so I approached the staircase cautiously.
Eventually, what looked like a SWAT member started walking down the stairs. I noticed what looked like metal beams moving very fast behind his back and even before I noticed that, I realized that he was not any kind of SWAT member or cop. I panicked and ran. I heard him yell "WAIT! I'M A FRIEND!" and I responded with "WHY IN THE FUCK WOULD I BELIEVE YOU?!". In a lower voice I heard him say "Good point".
I felt my feet dragged out from under me and myself being dragged away. I tried digging my nails into the concrete and realizing that it was pointless, painful and stereotypical of every B grade horror movie, I stopped. Just as I stopped being a stereotype, my body was picked up and made to face my "Friend". I realized that mechanical arms that came from his back held me up off the ground. I told him to wait desperately, repeating myself over and over before I saw one of his mechanical arms move next to my neck/head and then I fell unconscious. I woke up in bed.

I screamed. It moved away quick and I heard laughter. I saw the rest of it as it and others were laughing. It was sitting down on all fours, almost like a quadruped and it looked mechanical. The other people who were laughing were Kingston, the tall blue guy, the man with the mechanical arms and the girl with spikes instead of hair. I was less terrified and more embarrassed. Behind the 5 of them was what looked like the back of a chopper, with the ramp down and behind it, a metal city surrounded by walls.
After they stopped laughing, they told me that they needed me to come with them. I said that I just wanted to go home and they told me that I could, if I came with them. I assumed that they were trying to trick me, so I ran the opposite direction. They yelled after me telling me that I needed to stop doing this.
I reached a cliff and managed to find a few paths down the side of it and get away from my pursuers. I don't remember how but I stumbled up what looked like a military outpost. There were tents, a few temporary looking structures and a strange rounded pyramid shaped tank. The tank had what looked like a pivoting sphere on the top with the barrel attached to one of the sides. When I arrived, the whole place woke up. I started running as people were leaving the tents and structures with guns. The tank woke up.
The 4 people who were pursuing me caught up and managed to save me. They obviously were not happy, as I got them into a gun fight instead of just listening. I do not remember falling unconscious but I woke up in bed.

Sometimes after remembering one of these dreams, I would tell my mother and I would say how weird it is that I keep having dreams with the same people. This on it's own is strange as I never remembered any key parts of any of the dreams when telling my mother. Either I only remembered the characters within the "Dreams" or I only remembered when thinking about the latest "Dream".

2021 - Now

One late night, I had the sudden inexplicable urge to research aliens. I had found so many links to various articles and stories but a lot of it seemed ridiculous. After a few hours, I got a strange vision. It lasted less than half a second but it was unmistakable. A pair of eyes in blue sunken sockets.
I went on Reddit, creating my first Reddit Account (As far as I am aware) and going to the appropriate subreddits, asking questions. I started getting memories of a family of blue aliens and being terrified. I had various memories of walking down the corridors of a ship.
The next day was the day I moved in with the family of my mothers previously "Just a friend" . In my new home, I kept getting these memories. I eventually met a Reddit user who seems to have deleted his account. We both helped each other remember something... terrifying.
We remembered cephalopodic beings in suits. They seemed to like crystals and had rings around their fingers attached to strings which attached to computers. I began Calling them pianists. Eventually he started to doubt himself and I never heard from him again. He did however mention glowing orbs that followed him as a child and have since started following his own child. I also remember the orbs following me as a child.
I started to realize that a lot of the previous memories that I had remembered just did not happen. Eventually I started remembering more memories that I eventually realized did not happen. Not all of the memories however were false. Eventually the memories started to become real mixed with fake. What was real and false started to become clearer and eventually certain "Characters" in these memories started to become more consistent and stop being replaced by other fake "Characters".
I started getting memories of meeting a porcupine girl when I was 4-5. She seemed like a mix between a Human and a porcupine. I also remembered a guy with mechanical arms and his face was deformed and repaired with metal. I also started getting memories of Jesters with multiple arms... too many arms.
After enough time, the memories of the Human porcupine and the deformed man with mechanical arms changed. The man with mechanical arms was no longer deformed and was now wearing a mask and due to his similarity to an aforementioned videogame character, I began calling him Spectre. The porcupine girl stopped looking so Human and instead looked more like a girl with spikes instead of hair. I remembered that there indeed was another girl that looked Human. She had bleached white skin, black hair, black clothes and she loved to give everyone attitude.
Eventually, I met another user on Reddit who was and is very useful. He told me about his unique abilities and since he has been given multiple visions, some of which are visions of different people which I eventually learned were my past incarnations. He has also been given visions of the cephalopodic beings and a few details were made clearer. Their appearance is similar enough to the fictional DND species Illithids that I changed the spelling around and began calling them Ithilids and oddly enough, I also started reading it like that too. Eventually the real memories became obvious and very consistent.
After learning some stuff from that user, he told me that he had a vision while he was sleeping. In that vision, a tall ethereal man in a trench coat with a cybernetic arm and welding goggles contacted him. He only said "Say goodbye to your buddy Murtons" before messing around inside his head. I eventually remembered him. He was the tall blue guy. His name is Mason.
I have since remembered previous lives, 5 to be exact. What happened in them will be discussed in future posts, if future posts are wanted. What I have remembered about my current life will also be discussed in future posts if those future posts are wanted. What I will say is this: 3 of those 4 people are from my previous life and all 4 are my family. They have recently started visiting me after I fall asleep and I am certain that they are not dreams. They are also not the abducting kind in the slightest (Even though... yeah... they do technically abduct me). If you got to know them, within less than a week, they would seem like regular people (Because they are) and their physical appearance would no longer bother you. They are supposed to come back in August and I am so excited.
In one of my recent visits from my family, I learned that the girl with spikes for hair is called Piper.

Something Weird

Upon reading the KGB Secret Alien Races Book, I noticed 3 things in all of the obvious misinformation. 3 things which terrify me and also helped to make some memories clearer.

  1. The Caraveldi mentioned in the book are reported to be about 9 ft tall, have 4 arms and be extremely dangerous. This is an identical description to the Jesters that I remember and the thing that I saw on Mars.
  2. At the end of the book are different "Notes". Most are just gibberish or fake quotes. They do however mention something about Putin being chosen to start an avalanche. Before recently, people had assumed that it was referencing one of his other actions, especially due to another quote talking about Medvedev.
  3. In the notes section, there is a quote. The quote reads "Why do Australian Humans do not see September 23?". I am Australian and that is my birthday and as far as I am aware, the book was first made in 2008, the year that I met my family for the first time in this life. Creepy.

Your Choice

It is entirely your choice in what order I make my posts. I can put them all in chronological order and the give the Information Dump. I can do the posts on this life first and then the aforementioned order or whatever order is wanted. It is your choice.

On a side note, I am well aware that people are going to try to call me out as a LARP or for trying to create an ARG or trying to be a TAA copy cat. I am not trying to do any of that nor am I writing fiction. I am doing this to try to help people and also help myself by actually putting this out there instead of keeping it in. I would actually like to talk with people but if you are going to troll, please do not bother. I get enough ridicule from every other Human that I tell about my memories, so please do not think that your words hurts.
I am also sure that I do not have any medical issues that could be causing delusions or visions. Thank you for your concern in advance.


Murtons Out...
submitted by Demonic_Disposition to Experiencers [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 13:06 kathymarie1124 Daycare questions

First of all, I’m a new mom. My little one is 7 weeks and I will be sending him to a daycare at 12 weeks and I feel TERRIBLE about it. I can’t imagine me being away from my baby. Thankfully it’s only for 3 days out of the week in my very busy days. I work from home and so does my husband so we will try to wing the other days and have him with us. I found a daycare right around the corner from us which is convienent but what are some questions I should be asking them that are important? I did a tour but I also want to go back one more time before he starts in May. I want to ask if they can take pictures and send them to me throughout the day and also if they will follow my sons individualized feeding routine. Would it be to much to ask if I can sit in for an hour and watch the infant care taker in action? I’m just really scared about leaving my son with a stranger. When I met everyone they seemed nice but idk.
I just hate this because the new moms around me(my friend and sister in law) get to stay home with their new babies but for us that is not an option. I need to pay off some bills and my husbands income is good but doesn’t cover both of us. Plus I do like having my own money because I save a ton for our family.
I’m just sad about sending him and think it’s going yo be really hard.
submitted by kathymarie1124 to beyondthebump [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 13:04 pluralshrimp670 What do I do

What am I doing wrong ? M22
Hello I recently got back in contact with my gf 20 I reached out to her to say happy birthday because she reached out for mine, I love this woman deeply and she knows, before I reached out she previously blocked me for messaging me and flirting with me and me telling her how I felt. She left me almost 4 years ago. For another guy who ended up taking his anger out on her and abusing her deeply than soon started dating her best friend. Who didn’t work, clean, peed in bottles and threw it on there bed and left it there for her to clean. When I reached out she thanked me for what I said and told me she was in the hospital for heart problems, I kept up my walls because I was scared but I didn’t want to be rude and soon told her I was going to bed which led to her telling me to message her in the morning, I didn’t.
She messaged me and was telling me she wanted to play video games with me later. I said sure. That led her and me to have fun than she turned into talking about our relationship in the past. How I was the only guy that ever treated her right. How she wants to come down here and only spend time with me. That she missed our cuddles even tho she hates cuddling, I kept trying to shoot her down but it was not working. She brought up something than that brought down my walls and told me I was the only person she could see herself marrying and her family feels the same way and actually looked at rings. The next day we talked again she reached out. Crying to me I was there for her. We talked on the phone later that night and the girl that was talking to me was completely different. She said she hated men that they all lie and manipulate and a lot of other stuff and that she has no feelings anymore. To be fair she goes through a lot. But for the past 5 years I’ve been there for her. She acted that way for days than called me and almost fell asleep on the phone with me but I hung up.
Soon she got told she was going on a trip to Hawaii we called for literally everyday she was out there and fell asleep on the phone for 13 hours every night. All day she was set up her phone to watch tv. When she went back to her home she asked me to take a trip with her and only me and her would be on this trip and than proceeded to tell me she might be pregnant. I broke down in tears and told her I would work my butt off to be a man she wanted to be with and to be a father regardless she told me she thought it was amazing for it but I didn’t need to. I told her I wanted to I would write paragraphs for this girl I would talk to her while she slept hoping she slept great. Now she’s back home I know she’s not my girlfriend she’s talking to other people probably and I see where it’s heading she’s distant but all of the sudden super happy. Doesn’t call me at night anymore barely talks to me. She told me when I called her today she told her friend “what does this dude want” I’m so confused why does this hurt. We have been split up for so long it shouldn’t. She told me she was going to sleep but updating her profile picture ten minutes ago and she said she was going to bed 2 hours ago. My mental health is messed up she told me a few days ago she needed me to help her because her mental health was horrible. I feel used. I know she doesn’t care but I want to go off. What does I do ?
submitted by pluralshrimp670 to Advice [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 13:00 SethHMG An Relationship with the City of New Orleans

I wrote the following as a description of a relationship with the City of New Orleans. I’ve posted it as a comment In a thread or two. A friend suggested that I make a post for it on its own.
Disclaimer: don’t assume anything that follows is autobiographical.
“Relationship w NOLA… Swampy. Hot. Loud. But it’s the kinda sex that makes neighbors call in a noise complaint (they’re just jealous, and the cops don’t show up anyway). Often washes you out into the street. Often involves beads and a random kitchen appliance. But so good it restores your faith in god. Says she loves you and only you.
Then you catch her checking her phone at odd hours when she thinks you’re asleep. Strangers start showing up in droves. You wake up in strange places, and cash is always missing from your wallet. Every time you go to her house, you’re nearly mugged, and cars you’ve never seen parked on the block suddenly pull off. You start to rethink your life choices while sitting on her porch. You head inside to talk, but she’s passed out in a pile of empty Abita bottles. Heading back outside, your car’s been towed.
Putting your shoes back on, you discover her pet possum shit in one and puked up Dixie in the other. The nutria from under her house got high on your RX Meds. Raccoons took your one credit card that hasn’t been maxed out to buy cartons of cigarettes and a 5th of vodka. An alligator tries to communicate with you in the “universal language” while you look for your keys.
You almost get arrested under the Claiborne overpass while getting your car back. You go back to her place and climb into bed with her, but suddenly, “things” stop working. She’s not getting off, and you’re only half mast at best. You try to get an appointment with someone who can fix things, but the office is always closed or out to lunch. On the few occasions you connect with a human, they’re insanely rude, except for one sweet old lady who treats you like an adopted grandchild.
You start hanging out in a neighborhood bar, swapping tales with all the other guys she’s fucked. They’re all mirrors of you; your youthful vibrance has turned an ashy grey. You find yourself saying, “Hell, maybe next year” a lot.
You think about breaking things off, but she always shows up dressed to the 9s riiiiight as you start to pack your bags. She shows you a wild time that makes you forget all of the doubt and indecision and inconsistency.
You’re 20 pounds overweight, have a mild to moderate drinking problem, and you’re damn near broke. But she’s asking you to eat the pralines she let cool on her nipples.
You land in jail after fighting with some guy, a friggin “tourist”, you catch in her back yard. He doesn’t love her like you do. You drink some prison toilet wine with a guy named 3-Toe-Moe who lost the digits while serving in the Merchant Marines; he says his mom was a voodoo priestess. The toilet hooch makes you hallucinate, and it beats having 3 Hurricanes in terms of the hangover severity (you puke for both color and distance).
She bails you out and takes you home. You help her bail some water out of her living room; then y’all give up and fuck on the porch until you get lightheaded from mosquito related blood loss.
Her family visits, and they all tell you that you’d be better off with one of her sisters, but they don’t know what they’re talking about.
NOLA might be a dying harlot, but you love her anyway.”
TL;DR: in other words, it’s a highly dysfunctional relationship full of intermittent reinforcement.
Note: I have sent drafts to the tourism board, but their only reply has been in the form of a TRO.
submitted by SethHMG to NewOrleans [link] [comments]



TRUTH. For almost 100 years that word has been stuffed in a back room somewhere. Those who knew it either couldn’t speak – or wouldn’t. It was hidden for a long time, but now it is emerging with new strength each day. The rose-colored glasses have come off and people are seeing things as they really are. Some truths that are already out there are painful, yet healing has begun. The “Apostle”, Naason Merari Joaquin Garcia is a convicted sexual predator. His father Samuel, and his grandfather Eusebio were also sexual abusers. Many ministers and members are either sexual predators or they cover up crimes for predators. Finances have been grossly and negligently misused. Members have been squeezed dry of their finances, emotions, and happiness. And some have been left spiritually empty – for all the love and dedication they had and in what they believed in, has been turned upside down.
Perhaps it is time to look a little closer at what it is LLDM truly believes in. If everything else they have done has been a lie – there is a good chance the doctrine isn’t truth, either.
LLDM’s usage of scripture has been taken out of context and distorted throughout their doctrine. There are partial truths and many verses were “cherry picked” in order to try to justify their doctrine. It is time to expose the lies at the foundation.

TRUTH: The LLDM doctrine of “Eleccion” is a Lie

La Luz del Mundo preaches a doctrine of ‘eleccion’ that one man, an “Apostle of Jesus Christ” was elected by God to lead people out of darkness and into salvation. This man was to be considered as Jesus Christ on earth. This man would have the authority to forgive sins and that by believing in the “Apostle”, salvation would be granted and the believer would be given eternal life.
Looking into the very scriptures that LLDM uses, we can learn that although the scriptures alone within themselves are true (maintaining that the Bible is the Word of God), this claim they make is in fact false. They have taken truth and twisted it into lies.
Benjamin Agulair wrote a teaching stating “ La Biblia Contiene la Mente de Dios”. Yes, the Bible does contain the mind of God. 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that “All Scripture is God-breathed…”. However, LLDM has pulled off one of the biggest spiritual heists in recent history – taking the word of God and imputing it into a human – one called “the Apostle”.
The LLDM doctrine of “eleccion” maintains that a man was “chosen” by God to represent Him on earth to the people. This man would be the one God talks to and leads the people of God to Heaven. The scriptures LLDM uses are taken out of context and twisted to mean that the “Apostle” had been chosen in a similar way that Abraham, Moses, the twelve disciples, the apostle Paul, and others who God used to help implement His plan on earth.
Does God “choose” people? Yes, He does. In the Old Testament (Genesis 12) God chose Abraham to birth the nation of Israel. There are historians that have ideas on the exact why God chose Abram, but the point is that God did choose him. Same with Moses in Exodus 3. Abraham and Moses were faithful to God and did all that He commanded them and allowed Him to work through them to birth a nation and later set them free. Did Jesus “choose” the 12 disciples? Yes, He did. He chose 12 young men who came from various walks of life who became Jesus’s closest friends and saw all that He did during His ministry. The Apostle Paul was later “chosen” to be used by God to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Lord used Paul to write 13-14 books of the New Testament.
So where does the LLDM “Apostle” fit in? Simply put – he doesn’t.
The Hebrew word used in the Old Testament is בָּחר or bachar, meaning ‘to choose’, and in the Greek the word is ἐκλέκτος, 'eklektos' an adjective meaning 'elect' or 'chosen', and the verb ἐκλέγομαι, eklegó means ‘to select’ or ‘choose’. To understand the correct meaning of this word, it is important to read and consider the context in which the word is used. In Genesis, God did bachar Abram, but in Exodus Moses told Joshua to bachar men to go out and fight Amalek. There is in fact divine choice, but there is also man’s choice. Reading the verses before and after the verse in question helps to determine who is doing the choosing.
Abram was ‘chosen’ and became the father of a nation and because of his faith in God, he was called a friend of God and the Father of the Faithful. Through Abraham’s lineage came Jesus who provided the only way in which non-Jews – referred to as Gentiles, would become engrafted into the family of God (Galatians 3:29).
In the New Testament Jesus chose disciples to follow Him so they could bear witness to all He was doing. They were misfits for the most part, but Jesus ‘chose’ them (eklegó) so that they could be a part of His ministry here on earth. LLDM hijacked these words and superimposed the words of Jesus and those of Paul to incorporate them to mean the past and present (and no doubt future) apostles of LLDM had been chosen by God to lead people.
One of the most misused texts in the bible by LLDM is John 6:29; Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
However, LLDM repeats this verse as;” The PERFECT work of God is to believe in the one he has sent”.
LLDM teaches that “the PERFECT work that GOD does in the heart of the chosen ones is to believe in the one he has sent.” But they imply that the “one” that God has sent are the new “apostles” like Aarón, Samuel and Naasón. This means according to LLDM that God is responsible to do the work, not the believer. Therefore, whoever does not believe in the “election” of the apostles, are not chosen by God to believe!
However, Jesus responds in verse 29 that the work they ought to be doing is believing in the Christ, the one whom God has sent. Believing in the Christ (Not in the “apostles”) is the work that the true believer has to do, not God.
Albert Barnes Commentary puts it this way – “ - This is the thing that will be acceptable to God, or which you are to do in order to be saved. Jesus did not tell them they had nothing to do, or that they were to sit down and wait, but that there was a work to perform, and that was a duty that was imperative. It was to believe on the Messiah*. This is the work which sinners are to do; and doing this they will be saved, for Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth, (Romans 10:4).”* [Notes on the Bible by Albert Barnes [1834],(emphasis added).
John 3:16 further confirms Christ is the One God sent to the world for mankind to believe in (“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”(NIV)). It is NOT belief placed in the “apostles” that saves, but rather Jesus Christ.
In Philippians 1:20-25, LLDM teaches “La vida de un Siervo de Dios es necesario para la humanidad”. Paul was writing to the beloved people in the church at Phillipi – he had close ties with the people there and he wrote to them while he was in prison. He also had a deep love for Christ. Paul was realizing that his life could be cut short, and he was torn between serving God here on earth by sharing the news of Christ and spending eternity in heaven with Christ. He believed God would keep him alive so that he could continue his work for the Lord on earth. He loved Jesus so much, he wanted to serve Him in whatever capacity God wanted – regardless of where he would be. This is passage is not to point at one man as an apostle and savior for people today, but rather it is a blueprint for how those who follow Jesus should be in their commitment to Him. An apostle isn’t meant as a necessity for humanity. If that is the case, why would Jesus even need to have come?
LLDM teaches that the apostles are elected, sanctified and given to the nations before they are born. Carlos Montemayor preached that the “apostles” are immaculate. They use Jeremiah 1:5 -
” “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew a you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
The correct context for this passage is that this specific calling (and purpose) was exclusively for Jeremiah. God in His wisdom foreordained not only Jeremiah’s life and purpose, but to every person on earth He places a unique purpose in our innermost being, before we were conceived. Jeremiah was ‘chosen’ to be a prophet for Israel and to other nations, to point the people to Jehovah. He was never appointed to take the place of Jehovah or offer any means of salvation. The assumption that the “apostles” of LLDM have the role of leading people to God is erroneous and ridiculous.
So many have had their love for God betrayed and misused. Exposing the spiritual deception as well as the abuses and fraud tears off another layer of the evil that has wounded thousands. When the darkness is uncovered, healing can begin.



VERDAD. Durante casi 100 años esa palabra ha estado guardada en un cuarto trasero en alguna parte. Aquellos que lo sabían no podían hablar o no querían. Estuvo escondido durante mucho tiempo, pero ahora está emergiendo con nueva fuerza cada día. Los lentes color de rosa se han quitado y la gente está viendo las cosas como realmente son. Algunas verdades que ya están ahí afuera son dolorosas, pero la sanación ha comenzado. El “Apóstol”, Naasón Merari Joaquín García es un depredador sexual convicto. Su padre Samuel y su abuelo Eusebio también fueron abusadores sexuales. Muchos ministros y miembros son depredadores sexuales o encubren los delitos de los depredadores. Las finanzas han sido grosera y negligentemente mal utilizadas. Los miembros han sido exprimidos de sus finanzas, emociones y felicidad. Y algunos se han quedado espiritualmente vacíos, porque todo el amor y la dedicación que tenían y en lo que creían se ha puesto patas arriba.
Quizás es hora de mirar un poco más de cerca en qué cree realmente LLDM. Si todo lo demás que han hecho ha sido una mentira, es muy probable que la doctrina tampoco sea verdad.
El uso de las Escrituras por parte de LLDM ha sido sacado de contexto y distorsionado a lo largo de su doctrina. Hay verdades parciales y muchos versículos fueron “elegidos” para tratar de justificar su doctrina. Es hora de exponer las mentiras en los cimientos.

VERDAD: La doctrina LLDM de “Eleccion” es Mentira

La Luz del Mundo predica una doctrina de 'elección' de que un hombre, un "Apóstol de Jesucristo" fue elegido por Dios para sacar a las personas de las tinieblas y llevarlas a la salvación. Este hombre debía ser considerado como Jesucristo en la tierra. Este hombre tendría la autoridad para perdonar los pecados y que al creer en el “Apóstol”, se le otorgaría la salvación y al creyente se le daría la vida eterna.
Mirando las mismas escrituras que usa LLDM, podemos aprender que aunque las escrituras solas en sí mismas son verdaderas (manteniendo que la Biblia es la Palabra de Dios), esta afirmación que hacen es de hecho falsa. Han tomado la verdad y la han torcido en mentiras.
Benjamin Agulair escribió una enseñanza que decía “La Biblia Contiene la Mente de Dios”. Sí, la Biblia contiene la mente de Dios. 2 Timoteo 3:16 nos dice que “Toda la Escritura es inspirada por Dios…”. Sin embargo, LLDM ha llevado a cabo uno de los robos espirituales más grandes de la historia reciente: tomar la palabra de Dios e imputarla a un ser humano, uno llamado "el Apóstol".
La doctrina LLDM de “eleccion” sostiene que un hombre fue “elegido” por Dios para representarlo en la tierra ante el pueblo. Este hombre sería con quien Dios habla y lleva al pueblo de Dios al Cielo. Las escrituras que usa LLDM se sacan de contexto y se tergiversan para indicar que el "apóstol" había sido elegido de manera similar a Abraham, Moisés, los doce discípulos, el apóstol Pablo y otros que Dios usó para ayudar a implementar su plan en la tierra. .
¿Dios “elige” a las personas? Sí, él lo hace. En el Antiguo Testamento (Génesis 12) Dios escogió a Abraham para dar a luz a la nación de Israel. Hay historiadores que tienen ideas sobre por qué exactamente Dios eligió a Abram, pero el punto es que Dios sí lo eligió. Lo mismo con Moisés en Éxodo 3. Abraham y Moisés fueron fieles a Dios e hicieron todo lo que Él les ordenó y le permitieron obrar a través de ellos para dar a luz una nación y luego liberarlos. ¿“Escogió” Jesús a los 12 discípulos? Sí, lo hizo. Eligió a 12 jóvenes que venían de varios caminos de la vida que se convirtieron en los amigos más cercanos de Jesús y vieron todo lo que hizo durante Su ministerio. El Apóstol Pablo fue más tarde “elegido” para ser usado por Dios para difundir el evangelio de Jesucristo y el Señor usó a Pablo para escribir 13-14 libros del Nuevo Testamento.
Entonces, ¿dónde encaja el “Apóstol” de LLDM? En pocas palabras, no lo hace.
La palabra hebrea utilizada en el Antiguo Testamento es בָּחר o bachar, que significa 'elegir', y en griego la palabra es ἐκλέκτος, 'eklektos' un adjetivo que significa 'elegido' o 'escogido', y el verbo ἐκλέγομαι, eklegó significa ' seleccionar' o 'elegir'. Para comprender el significado correcto de esta palabra, es importante leer y considerar el contexto en el que se usa. En Génesis, Dios hizo bachar a Abram, pero en Éxodo Moisés le dijo a Josué que bachar hombres para salir y pelear contra Amalek. De hecho, existe la elección divina, pero también existe la elección del hombre. Leer los versículos antes y después del versículo en cuestión ayuda a determinar quién está haciendo la elección.
Abram fue "elegido" y se convirtió en padre de una nación y, debido a su fe en Dios, fue llamado amigo de Dios y Padre de los Fieles. A través del linaje de Abraham vino Jesús, quien proporcionó la única forma en que los no judíos, a los que se hace referencia como gentiles, se injertarían en la familia de Dios (Gálatas 3:29).
En el Nuevo Testamento, Jesús escogió discípulos para que lo siguieran para que pudieran dar testimonio de todo lo que estaba haciendo. Eran inadaptados en su mayoría, pero Jesús los 'escogió' (eklegó) para que pudieran ser parte de Su ministerio aquí en la tierra. LLDM secuestró estas palabras y superpuso las palabras de Jesús y las de Pablo para incorporarlas para significar que los apóstoles pasados y presentes (y sin duda futuros) de LLDM habían sido escogidos por Dios para guiar a la gente.
Uno de los textos más mal utilizados en la biblia por LLDM es Juan 6:29; Jesús respondió: “La obra de Dios es esta: creer en el que ha enviado”.
Sin embargo, LLDM repite este versículo como;” La obra PERFECTA de Dios es creer en el que ha enviado”.
LLDM enseña que “la obra PERFECTA que DIOS hace en el corazón de los elegidos es creer en el que ha enviado”. Pero dan a entender que el “uno” que Dios ha enviado son los nuevos “apóstoles” como Aarón, Samuel y Naasón. Esto significa según LLDM que Dios es el responsable de hacer la obra, no el creyente. Por lo tanto, quien no crea en la “elección” de los apóstoles, ¡no es elegido por Dios para creer!
Sin embargo, Jesús responde en el versículo 29 que la obra que deberían hacer es creer en el Cristo, el que Dios ha enviado. Creer en el Cristo (No en los “apóstoles”) es la obra que tiene que hacer el verdadero creyente, no Dios.
El comentario de Albert Barnes lo expresa de esta manera: “… - Esto es lo que será aceptable a Dios, o lo que debes hacer para ser salvo. Jesús no les dijo que no tenían nada que hacer, o que debían sentarse y esperar, sino que había una obra que realizar, y ese era un deber que era imperativo. Era creer en el Mesías. Esta es la obra que deben hacer los pecadores; y haciendo esto serán salvos, porque el fin de la ley es Cristo para justicia a todo aquel que cree, (Romanos 10:4).” [Notas sobre la Biblia por Albert Barnes [1834], (énfasis añadido).
Juan 3:16 confirma además que Cristo es el Único que Dios envió al mundo para que la humanidad crea en él (“Porque de tal manera amó Dios al mundo que dio a su Hijo unigénito, para que todo aquel que en él cree no se pierda, sino que tenga vida eterna” (NVI)). NO es la creencia puesta en los “apóstoles” lo que salva, sino Jesucristo.
En Filipenses 1:20-25, LLDM enseña “La vida de un Siervo de Dios es necesario para la humanidad”. Pablo estaba escribiendo a la gente amada de la iglesia de Filipos; tenía vínculos estrechos con la gente de allí y les escribió mientras estaba en prisión. También tenía un profundo amor por Cristo. Pablo se estaba dando cuenta de que su vida podía acortarse y estaba dividido entre servir a Dios aquí en la tierra compartiendo las noticias de Cristo y pasar la eternidad en el cielo con Cristo. Él creía que Dios lo mantendría con vida para que pudiera continuar su obra para el Señor en la tierra. Amaba tanto a Jesús que quería servirlo en cualquier capacidad que Dios quisiera, sin importar dónde estuviera. Este pasaje no es para señalar a un hombre como apóstol y salvador para la gente de hoy, sino que es un modelo de cómo deben ser aquellos que siguen a Jesús en su compromiso con Él. Un apóstol no se entiende como una necesidad para la humanidad. Si ese es el caso, ¿por qué tendría que haber venido Jesús?
LLDM enseña que los apóstoles son elegidos, santificados y dados a las naciones antes de que nazcan. Carlos Montemayor predicó que los “apóstoles” son inmaculados. Usan Jeremías 1:5 -
Antes de formarte en el vientre te conocí, antes de que nacieras te santifiqué; te he puesto por profeta a las naciones”.
El contexto correcto para este pasaje es que este llamado (y propósito) específico fue exclusivamente para Jeremías. Dios en Su sabiduría no solo predestinó la vida y el propósito de Jeremías, sino que a cada persona en la tierra le da un propósito único en lo más profundo de nuestro ser, antes de que fuéramos concebidos. Jeremías fue ‘elegido’ para ser un profeta para Israel y para otras naciones, para señalar al pueblo a Jehová. Nunca se le nombró para ocupar el lugar de Jehová ni para ofrecer ningún medio de salvación. La suposición de que los “apóstoles” de LLDM tienen el papel de conducir a las personas a Dios es errónea y ridícula.
A tantos se les ha traicionado y abusado de su amor por Dios. Exponer el engaño espiritual así como los abusos y el fraude arranca otra capa del mal que ha herido a miles. Cuando se descubre la oscuridad, puede comenzar la curación.
submitted by Emeth_es_luz19 to exlldm [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 12:53 alpha_bionics Football News - I know I heard comments around me, like, ‘Hey, his arm is better in person than I thought,’ [from] coaches that had only seen tape.

I know I heard comments around me, like, ‘Hey, his arm is better in person than I thought,’ [from] coaches that had only seen tape. At 21 years old, if I walked into a restaurant, sat around with a bunch of 40, 50-year-old men, it’d be a little intimidating. When he talked about his preparation, when he talked about how he studies, how he sees the game, he’s at a different level. I try to let the meetings, the interviews, the film, and what I did today speak for itself. Patterson, 23, made 30-of-35 (85. 7 percent) field goals while making 36 of 37 extra points. That can happen by, as in this case, shading something in a way that isn’t exactly true and accurate. Read the article. I think, overall, he managed to do well. “Saw a lot of good things out of him. He’s already at that NFL level, which is great to see. “Nothing’s too big for him. You know, that’s really all I can control. ”The Panthers were off to Kentucky after Young’s workout to watch Wildcats quarterback Will Levis. The goal is maximum eyeballs and, in turn, maximum dollars. Adam Schefter never says the Bengals, Jets, or Eagles are actually interested in Elliott. Sometimes, it’s the first you hear of it. “I’ll be grateful for whatever team does take a chance on me. “But for me, I try to focus on what I can show. Register now!This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Instead, he just sat there and asked us questions. . However, it could still face resistance from coaches present at the league meetings and the NFLPA, which has raised concerns about Thursday games in the past. NFL coaches, for one, are not fans of schedule changes, especially during the season. A native of Lowell, Mass. , and a UMass graduate, he previously covered the New England Patriots from 2009-21. “He was so well-spoken, so well thought-out. - Alpha AI
submitted by alpha_bionics to Alpha_Football [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 12:48 Last_Intern Because I am silent I have lost the right to complain? lmao

It's just unbelievable how stubborn they can be sometimes. Its been 11 months since I last communicated with them and over a year since the last meaningful attempt at talking.
And from my Nfather's personal email which i didnt even have filtered because he hasnt used it in 10 years i get this tonight:
"Hello Last_Intern,
I hope this finds you well. Two things:...
1. Your (other nationality) ID card is due for renewal. Your mother has been able to make contact with the consulate in (city i am in)and is making a booking for (my LC sibiling). If you wish to do the same then contact us and she can do the same for you.
2. If you are reading your emails from (their main email account) then you will know that we are planning to come to (your country) in late June. If you are not then you are now informed. When we have a local SIM card we will let you know and hopefully you will contact us.
Your denial of all contact does not change the fact that we have to make decisions affecting you and (my LC sibiling). By doing so you lose the right to complain.
If there is something you wish to say to us then this protracted silence is not a useful message.
Take care,

Yeah sure dude, i'll drop everything to respond to an empty threat. I'll try for the 36th time to tell you what my problem with both of you is and expect you to listen this time. I'll 'complain' about your actions which violate all boundraies.

I'm at the point I have a word doc of ideas for if i hide/get out of town while they are here vs go to war and give them ego death by the time they leave. Complaining? lmao
submitted by Last_Intern to raisedbynarcissists [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 12:47 Rhion-618 Just One Drop - Ch 77

Thanks for reading, and for any and all comments!
Hail Blue! Heartfelt (and Voluminous) Thanks are now in the Wiki!
Check out all the stories on Discord.
The Cast / Chapter Links
Just One Drop
CH 77 – The Man in Who these Marvels Can Do

It was the day before Shel, and lunch was becoming a more crowded affair.
Since Melondi’s secret had come out, the girls had taken to favoring a mid-sized table that seated twelve – a sensible number. A small affair no more than twenty feet long, the table was well situated, away from the center of the floor and off to one side. That had been useful, as the layout of the cafeteria put the table near the kitchen freezer. There was an awkward chill in that corner of the room which made it unpopular, and without other students about, the table offered relative privacy.
Of course, twelve was ideal, as it conformed to the needs of their class. The girls of the Practical Humanity class had faced more than their share of scrutiny since the term began, and privacy had become a cherished commodity. Whether it was from curious girls wanting to know what the Human was like, to its current, more immediate needs, the isolation of the spot had made the table a welcome retreat.
That said, today it was getting a bit crowded, and with everyone there, an additional three seats had been needed, with girls shoving in from the sides.
Khe’lark’s attachment to Gun’brei… or more accurately, Brei’s attachment to Lark… had started things, of course. There was usually room for one more, certainly if one of the girls was off somewhere else and missing lunch. Since Melondi’s secret had become a shared one, the table had become a place where Mel could, on occasion, talk less circumspectly. While she’d never slipped up otherwise, she could relax and enjoy her friends without being quite so guarded.
Things had been different before, when Brei hadn’t been cleared by Agent Duvari.
Melondi had never resented Brei as an intrusion, but it was a fact of life that she hadn’t noticed before. The ability to talk with her friends, even in the most circumspect way, had replaced her utter secrecy – or worse, the crafted lies about her history. When Brei joined them for lunch, Melondi had to go back into hiding… and Brei’s presence brought with her a visceral feeling of the loss.
When Kzintshki arrived, the twelve and sometimes thirteen turned to thirteen and sometimes fourteen.
The Pesrin girl’s presence was unmistakable. Kzintshkil was… different. It wasn’t only the matter of her being alien – another species entirely, with her own loyalties and agenda. It was more that Kzintshki kept her own counsel, and while Melondi knew how to read people - even people from other races - the Pesrin girl was largely a closed book. It wasn't something she was used to. She was good with reading people, no matter the species. Generally.
…That carrion incident with the Rakiri delegate could have happened to anybody!...
Of course, while it wasn’t always a full table, fourteen was manageable. Today there were fifteen people crowding in for lunch, which was pushing it.
Not that Prindi Ama’dis was unwelcome. The IOTC girl was another friend of Lark’s by way of the campus vblog; thankfully the question of who knew her secret had largely been settled – both by her request, and the actions of her handler, Agent Duvari. Now her friends knew, which was a greater relief than she’d imagined it could be. Professor Warrick knew, and he’d be allowed to tell Professor Pel’avon. He was holding off until they were back from the ‘honeymoon’. It was an odd term for the usual getaway after a wedding, and he’d explained it as something to do with newly wed couples slipping away for a month and drinking a lot of something called mead. Melondi figured she should have a word of quiet thanks to Professor Pel’avon for taking up so much of Professor Warrick’s time… but it would wait until they were back.
Gun’brei had been oddly muted after finding out. While Brei was a baroness’ daughter, Agent Duvari had opted to lay things out to her in private, as ‘she had an abiding interest in the news’. That probably meant several threats behind closed doors, a reading of general order 24, and signing waivers that didn’t mention words like ‘frozen tundra’. They didn’t need to - Duvari tended to make herself clear enough. It was hard to believe the same bubbly music professor could be so frigid as an Agent, but Duvari had no problems with being convincing.
Melondi looked over at Lark and pursed her lips thoughtfully.
…I still need to make things up to her. I don’t know if clearing Brei counts…
That left the IOTC girls, and as she looked up the table at Prindi, it was hard to believe the world she’d crafted here at the Academy had changed so dramatically. As Lark’s friend, Prindi made an easy liaison with the IOTC girls. Even so, it was tight with her here, and if more of them showed up, something would have to give.
She’d planned to tell her friends, someday… After graduation, when she was off on her own, she’d hoped that some of them might still be in reach… and understanding. They’d all be off starting their own lives, working in their House companies, starting careers, or managing the family holdings. Everyone would go their different ways. But her sister Khelandri’s death had changed everything. She could enjoy her friends now, instead of later, wondering if they would still be hers when she revealed herself as a princess.
It was a bright note in a dark situation, and she cherished it for what it was. She had friends. Real friends that had come to know her outside of the Palace, without any agendas… and she had the time – over two more years – before adult life sent them off on their own paths.
…At least, if I live that long…
That was a gloomy thought, and it was hard to hold onto it. She’d only just hung up on a call from Vedeem. Whenever she talked to him, the future didn’t seem so dark. He’d accepted her for who and what she was as a person… and then he’d done it all over again for who and what she was as a Princess.
…Screw Kamaud’re! I want to live!...
“That was Vedeem. He says they’re putting up a sign and closing the restaurant for a week to ‘celebrate the birth of a boy in the family.'Everything’s ready to start the training tomorrow at 9.” She raised her voice over the animated conversations going on. It was lunch, after all, and with all the jockeying of plates and trays and dishes and whatnot, it was a scramble. If any more girls showed up from the IOTC, they’d have to do something… or at least get a round table. No one could reach anything. “Prindi, can you let your cadre know?”
It was bad timing, since the girl just took a bite, but she nodded quickly, chewing frantically.
“Just take it easy…” Mel looked around past the table with an exaggerated glance. “The nod’s all I need, and you’ll like Vedeem… Hands off, though!”
As a young girl, she’d never expected that she’d need to warn anyone away from her boyfriend… when she finally got one, no one would dare. Just now? If all of this felt new to her, it must be like a bucket of icy surf landing on the IOTC girls… and Vedeem was hers!
Prindi finally cleared her throat and nodded again. “Yes, ummm…”
“Melondi,” she offered helpfully. While the IOTC girl had been giving her curious looks now and then, she’d tried her best to hide them. She still looked like she was struggling. “Remember, it’s just Melondi.”
“Yes…” The idea of calling a Princess something informal looked like it was sticking in the girl’s throat, and she took a way out. “I’ll let them know after lunch.”
“Thank you!” Mel called back. It was something Mother had always insisted on and Lady Wicama had taught her well. Good manners were for everyone. It had even seen her through that carrion incident, though she hadn’t even been five at the time…
…Come to think of it, it was Kamaud’re who ‘helped me out’… and was laughing the loudest…
She felt an ugly blush start to rise, but it faded just as quickly. She’d never known her elder sister except as a distant figure, not a part of her life, really. Even without the attempt on her life, It had grown a lot easier in the last few months not to care for Kamaud’re at all.
The table didn’t take much notice. Jax was in an animated conversation with Nestha about business, while the twins were actually giggling about something. Most of the talk had been about class, though Belda was getting a lot of ribbing and good natured pokes from the others. Tonight was the big night, after all. Even Kzintshki was quietly talking to Desi about the weekend. As the outsider, Prindi seemed to be struggling to fit in, though she hid it well.
“I’m glad you could join us, Prindi,” Melondi offered brightly, trying to keep the girl from feeling too isolated. “I know we sort of keep to ourselves; there was a lot of attention after we got into Professor Warrick’s class. It was a little rough after registration, and you wouldn’t believe some of the questions we got after he did the Marriage Fundamentals seminar.”
“That was rough.” Sephir nodded. “I had one girl ask me if he had any boys in his family, and when they’d be coming. That was pretty embarrassing.”
“Embarrassing?” Prindi blinked doubtfully as she reoriented on Sephir. At 6’11, it seemed impossible to miss the girl. Sephir was a star of the Academy diving team with muscles like titanium cables, but she was so polite and unassuming that it often came as a surprise when she spoke up in conversation. She’d been a lot happier since her future in her House had been sorted, though, and at the moment she was grinning cheerfully at the bewildered look on Prindi’s face.
Prindi cocked her head uncertainly. “How was it embarrassing?”
“Oh… It's just… his wife and his daughter were killed when the Imperium arrived on Earth.”
Belda winced, but still looked relieved at no longer being the center of attention; at least she’d finally stopped blushing.
“Professor Pel’avon asked us not to talk about it at first,” said Sephir with a nod. Even if she looked like a recruiting poster for the Marines, she was a caregiver at heart, and had always shied away from talking about what Warrick called ‘the landings.' “Professor Warrick… Well, you can tell it still hurts him.”
“Yeah,” Nestha chipped in. “He’s smart… and a lot tougher than you’d expect. You just can't think of him as a male.”
Human male.” Desi broke off her conversation with Kzintshki. “There’s a whole lot going on with him that even the rest of you don’t see. He and I talk a lot at the museum.”
“Is it true he adopted both of you?” Prindi asked, looking from Desi to Kzintshki and back, Melondi forgotten for the first time. “We all heard things and there were a lot of questions after the wedding… I mean, like the dancers! Where did they even come fr-“
“Yes, it's true! Both of us!” Desi broke in abruptly, interrupting Prindi’s train of thought, and Mel started breathing again. If word got out about the Tide Pool, it would probably need more than a General Order and a very angry Interior Agent to keep quiet. Desi was nodding frantically as she enthusiastically changed the subject. “We don’t talk about the wedding, but it's true! It became official when Professor Pel’avon married him. They’re my mothers and father, now.”
“Wow, that’s…” Prindi’s brows knitted a bit as she struggled with the whole wedding. Sure, the whole school had seen it, but the response had been more of a collective silence from around the table. Prindi took the hint and offered a smile. “So… What do you talk about, then? I mean, if not the wedding? What about this war sim? The rest of the cadre couldn’t believe it! I hope we weren’t whispering too loud. Most of us were glued to our omni-pads, gossiping on our Discuss channel. Everybody wants to know more… I can't wait to go through these files!”
“We don’t talk about the war sim. We have team meetings, but aside from those, we don’t. There’s a lot of extra credit on the line,” Dihsala said firmly, giving her a solid nod. “None of us know what’s on those files, though we had an exchange professor that… well, I don’t think she understood the material.”
“Careful, Dihsala, you’re in danger of being kind,” Pris muttered, though there wasn’t any heat in it.
Dihsala sniffed, but said nothing.
Pris pressed on, waving her fork-full of pickled jawaa like a baton. “She’s right, though. None of us know what's in the files, and we probably shouldn’t. Professor Warrick uses this method of teaching… It’s sort of like discovering the material a bit at a time and figuring it out as we go.”
“That sounds… really odd.” Prindi was canting her head fully now, and Mel could just imagine what the girl was thinking. It had been an adjustment. The IOTC girl looked back at Desi, “Sorry. It just does.”
“You don’t have to convince me.” Desi nodded sympathetically, wearing an easy smile. “Once you get used to muppets and furbys-”
“Oh! And ALF!” Jax’mi, broke in, laughing.
“And his music, though that’s really good,” offered one of the twins, as the other nodded. “And we get free movies - things that haven't made it here from Earth yet!”
“It’s a lot, but after a while nothing phases you.” Desi grinned infectiously. “Oh! Mel! Do we know if Aku is going to make it to… you know… the event?”
“I’ll have to ask.” Melondi shook herself out of the reverie of listening. “I know the invitation is getting sent. We can find out tomorrow.”
“Oh…Right.” Desi nodded, but looked back at her plate, subdued. No one knew they were going to the Palace tomorrow except Agent Duvari, who was going to escort them, and Desi was still looking pretty shy about the prospect. Still, everybody else had practice at Human Food…
“There was something we’re all kind of curious about, from the sim… I mean, it's not to do with the sim.” Prindi bit her lip, looking around as the table went suddenly quiet. “We all knew about Earth - I mean, he’s Human. Not about his family, but… things. Anyway, some of us were wondering, and now I guess I really am… umm… why doesn’t he hate us like we're some sort of enemy? There are stories, you know?”
“Desi?” One of the twins looked over at her seriously, setting aside whatever they’d been laughing about. Her sister sniffed, a beat behind. “You know him best.”
“Well, obviously he doesn’t. Hate us, I mean. I think he really means it about the Imperium making Humans citizens. Something he said once kind of stuck with me.” Desi grimaced in thought. “He said he didn’t think of the Imperium as his enemy, because the enemy is someone that tells you to hate that which is different from you, because sooner or later that hate comes back to you… and he said the Imperium hasn't done that.”
“We have kind of messed up there,” Jax’mi sighed unhappily. “I mean, all the news I get back from my family on Earth is great! I had the best letter from my Uncle… but my mothers told me stories. Some of the Houses first gifted with business grants on Earth abused them pretty badly. Not a lot, but the ones that did… Well, it wasn’t just one mess. A couple of the Houses got really carried away, and it took a while to sort out.”
“That sounds like a job for the Interior! The Imperium doesn’t tolerate… umm… that is…” Prindi sat a little taller, and her eyes shone with conviction before she stuttered to a halt, blushing as she glanced back to Melondi. “We’re supposed to stop that sort of thing.”
Mel watched as an awkward silence fell around the table, broken only by Kzintshki slicing away bits of her turox with another of her occasional mutters of “Ick”. It wasn't like she could entirely blame them.
The Empire needed the Interior. There were the boisterous and splashy ones, like House Reshay. There were the quietly dutiful ones, like Belda’s House So’sona and the pharmacological company run by Sephir’s House. There were the quietly powerful ones in the background like House Chel’xa… All of them working at what they did best… but sometimes there were incidents. Bad matrons who lost control of their ambitions. The Empire was vast, and when the Houses couldn't police themselves, it was time for the Empress to do it. That's where the Interior came in.
Mother had been working to rein the Interior in, over time… to bring it back to its core mission. She didn’t talk about it very much, but growing up she’d seen it happen. She could still remember the rumblings in court when she named Opimea Potac - an Edixi - to run the Ministry of Justice. People had said things around a six-year-old they didn’t think would be understood - or remembered - even by a six-year-old Princess. As for her cousin Yn’dara and Prince Adam… It had taken time, but Mother had gotten things under control.
…If only she were here now… but she isn't. I have to handle this myself…
That meant she needed the Interior… someday. Right now, she needed these cadets. Glancing down the table, Desi caught her eye and suddenly snorted. “Seriously, Kzintshki!? What is it with ‘ick’ all the time? You were ready to eat my father alive only a month ago. Now you turn your nose up at anything sweet or fatty? When did you turn into a picky eater, for goddess’ sake!”
“You do not understand. Food is plentiful here. That is understood…” The dusky Pesrin set aside her cutlery and eyed Desi coolly. “You have never seen a fat Pesrin.”
“No…” Desi rocked her head to one side, in exasperation. Kzintshki had a way of making statements out of questions. “But I’d never seen a Pesrin at all, until we met you. What's that got to do with it?”
“Shil and its worlds live without scarcity. Pesh does not. You will never will see a fat Pesrin.” Kzintshki replied cooly, blinking at Desi once. Melindi couldn't decide if the Pesrin girl was exasperated or amused without seeing her tail… her asiak. It was hidden under the table, but it seemed like it conveyed a lot of Pesrin body language - or maybe it was just Kzintshki. “Wasting food when it is plentiful is as much of a sin as wasting food when it is scarce.”
“I suppose…” Desi chewed over the idea while the rest of the girls thought it over.
“Besides, I have my figure to consider.”
“Hey, that’s true. I’ve been worried about everything for tonight!” Belda grinned suddenly. “So, are there any cute Pesrin guys around?”
“Perhaps... though I would not impress him if I were slow and fat.”
Mel thought over the reply. The pause was longer than the Pesrin girl usually took to answer, and she wasn't blinking. Sooner or later she’d figure her out. For the moment she watched as Kzintshki picked up her knife and fork, and cut away another bit of turox with particular deliberation. “Ick…”
“So… you girls get free movies, too?” Prindi asked the twins, looking between the pair tentatively, “Stuff that hasn't come out yet? What’s that like?”
“A lot, yes. The Ministry of Relations closed down on a lot of entertainment from Earth. It’s opening back up, but Professor Warrick has a lot of things no one has seen,” offered one of the K’herbhal sisters. Her twin nodded in sync. “Even with things opening up, they’re still screening for, you know…”
“Treason?” Prindi nodded understandingly.
“Porn!” The twins said in unison, giggling. “Not that we mind, though you could ask Belda for all the details. She’s seen Liam with his shirt off!”
“Goddess damn-it!” Belda started turning blue all over again. “It was only almost off! Almost!”
“You know, we could put off movie night until tomorrow. We can bring food back after training in the morning. Take over the room, have a movie marathon and celebrate,” Pris spoke up. “That way Belda can watch, too!”
“Hey, could you?” Belda grinned. “That would be great!”
“Sure… aaaaand that way we get to drag all the juicy details out of you, too!” Pris smiled back serenely. Melondi watched as Belda started blushing again, and muttered as the others laughed. Goddess love her, Bel was such a farmgirl.
“Ummm… what kind of movies?” Prindi asked, brushing her hair back. “Could I come?”
_ _ _
“You know, this is going to sound odd, but I kind of miss driving," Tom said, leaning back in his seat between Miv and Lea.
It was a comfortable way to ride, and the company was the best. Even with an alien landscape speeding by, it was the oddest feeling. Until he’d come to Shil, he’d always been the one doing the driving. Autocabs were quick and efficient, and other than his regular trip out to Human Food, it wasn't like he knew where things were on Shil… but it felt odd.
“You don't have a license.” Miv tousled his hair, looking at him indulgently while Lea curled in tight on the other side. She was happy as a clam they were all together, but she cocked her head, looking at Miv. “It's only a few weeks of study, if you want to get one.”
“Nah. It was just a stray thought. I’m good with being able to pay attention to you two, and it’s nice actually seeing the world go by.” He pulled them both closer, which Miv enjoyed, and made Lea squeak in pleasure. Lea had been a real princess about the lack of attention and she loved sharing with Miv, but with her work out in Creantauri, what could you do? He smiled and leaned in, kissing her lightly on the neck. This weekend would be all about making it up to them both.
Speaking of which, they were just about there…
The drive had given him ample time to cuddle up with Miv and Lea, which had been a lot of fun - but also just the distraction he’d needed. He’d tossed a jacket over the seatback showing the map display, but as the autocab turned into their destination, there was nothing for it…
“Miv, what’s this?” Lea was the first to notice, and she stared out the window as the cab turned in. Jets of brightly lit water began fountaining up on either side of the cab as it made its way up the long drive, the highway quickly out of sight.
Miv’eire pulled his coat off the seat to peer at the map and frowned in consternation as she looked at the display, “This is all wrong.”
“Actually, no, it isn't.” Tom grinned, pulling her back. “We’re exactly where we need to be.”
“But Tom, this isn’t our hotel!” Miv stared at him blankly, “Oh, love, you must have put the directions in wrong.”
“I canceled us there. Ladies, remember when you were going to take me on a holiday for a weekend? The one we missed thanks to my unscheduled trip to the hospital?” He grinned, enjoying their confusion. Lea was still looking out the window as the view turned from ‘impressive’ to ‘luxurious’ and was quickly heading for ‘‘opulent’. “When I was in recovery, I asked Prince Adam for three favors. Pushing through Desi’s adoption was one… looking into Olea was another… and a weekend somewhere nice to make it up to you both was number three.”
Tom drew Miv back into the seat beside him and slipped his arm back around Lea as she pressed to the window, the drive opening out on the broad vista and the hotel beyond. “Ladies, welcome to the Imperial Ocean Reserve.”
_ _ _
Following at a covert distance, and it had still been an easy drive. With an hour or two left to go, Sgt. Jel’ke had done the driving, leaving Captain Ce’lani to do the sensible thing and get some sleep. Honestly, it was kind of a relief. The Captain had been keyed up over Warrick, and after finally getting out of the bunker it was nice not to make small talk.
Thank the goddess the woman was sensible, but even so, she still had it bad…
…At least I haven’t had to make small talk along the… waitaminute…
Jel’ke frowned as the autocab turned in off the highway and pulled slowly on to the median. There was no doubt about it, the cab had diverted off the drive and was heading out of sight into…
…Well, fuck me…
Being a Deathshead Commando meant being down in the blood and the mud, deployed to some of the worst situations known to woman… but, every so often, it also put you in the way of protecting the great and the powerful.
Jel’ke knew Big Money when she saw it.
“Captain? You need to wake up.” Jel’ke pulled to a stop on the shoulder of the road, “I think we have a problem.”
_ _ _
It was early afternoon when Aku closed the file on his omni-pad.
The end of his tour had passed. He’d survived… at least on the outside. It wouldn't do to look anything less than your best, after all.
On the inside was another matter. His mistress, the Cliffsinger Tranja, had torn apart his every performance from the time he stepped on stage until the final note. Nothing was right. Nothing was good enough. While she hadn’t said he was an embarrassment as an initiate, she hadn’t needed to. The words had hung in the air - tangible, if unspoken.
This was his life.
Sitting in the dark of the enclave’s library, he thought about the tour. It had been an abject misery. If not for Kas’lin and Ka’mara, he’d probably have lost his mind under the pressure.
…If only things were different. I could be a regular guy. Maybe I could have met them instead, or someone like them! Started a family and lived a normal life…
His eyes crept back to his omni-pad. As miserable as he was at that moment, he knew he was telling himself a lie. Even if it had all been different, there was still the music. It burned inside, begging to be let out, and he yearned to make it happen. Even though his mistress seemed determined to sink his hopes into the Deeps, there was still the music. It could not be denied.
He’d kept away from the other initiates after returning to the enclave. They were his competition. He couldn’t see them as anything else, now… but inside it felt like a losing battle. Only one of them would inherit their mistress’ position and title, and it didn't seem likely that it would be him.
In desperation, he’d turned to the archives.
Cliffsinging was old. It was respected. Revered. Generations upon generations of Singers had practiced their art, handing down their names. Over time, the art had become codified… the Singers had become living treasures… but the original works survived. Every generation had added something of their own.
He’d delved deep into the stacks, diving through the recordings, searching the early works. There were files and archives and even printed records… He’d torn through all of them, not knowing what he was looking for until he’d found it.
The song was old - ancient, even - and written by one of the Singers whose name had not become selected as the final Twelve of Shil. The music was haunting, and it burned with a vibrancy that he didn't see in the more modern works - the kind of thing so often in demand now. There was almost no music - the singer's voice rang out alone, echoing off the cliffs accompanied only by a single steel arecha… but the song spoke to him.
The language was stilted with age, but as he’d translated it into more modern terms, it felt comfortable… it had the yearning that he felt inside, and which almost seemed Human in its power as he transcribed and updated it for his presentation.
It was traditional. It was very traditional. If he was going to reclaim his Mistress’ approval, this was what he needed.
He’d give his performance tonight, in front of his Mistress and the others. Show them he was good enough. Show her that he was better than the rest.
The music called and he had to answer.
Aku sighed again, wondering what the twins were doing at school right now. It had to be better than here.
_ _ _
“You are being such a bitch!” Kas’lin said hotly, scowling over the table at Dihsala. Ka’mara scowled over at the girl before joining in. “She’s right. There’s no call for this kind of behavior!”
“You two brought it on yourselves!” Dihsala crossed her arms defiantly, while Desi slumped the chair, resting her head on one fist, and steadfastly refused to join in.
“What are you talking about!? You’re twisting our arms… and… AND! you’re sucking up to Jax’mi!” Kas’lin was on her feet now, pointing at Dihsala, and Kas’lin rose in defense. There wasn't much more she could add to that.
“I don’t suck up to anyone!” Dihsala snapped coldly, though Jaxmi sat back, preening. It was the first happy look on the Chel’xa girl's face, as she’d been left desperately trying to keep the Japanese out of some city called Mecca. “You two brought it on yourselves, sucking up to England with that marriage proposal. You didn't want to join in, so this is what you get for coming late!”
“There’s nothing to get.” Kas’lin swept a hand up at the map on the screen. “They’ve completely swept everything out of Africa!”
“Well, that’s what you get for joining late. Anything you want to take, you can take out of France,” Dihsala said with finality. “Isn't that right, Lark?”
Khe’lark was looking at her omni-pad unhappily, saying nothing. Dihsala turned to look at her this time. “Lark?”
“It’s fine… Really…” Lark said unhappily.
“What?” Dihsala started to frown, and Desi sat up taking notice. “What’s ‘fine’?”
“Well, I didn't want to tell you this… but I think the Czechs are going to declare independence and revolt…”
Kas’lin closed her eyes and settled back in her chair.
The casualties for everyone along the French front lines had been catastrophic, the Spanish were useless, and now things were going to the Deeps with Austria…
…The things I do for extra credit…
_ _ _
“Well, I think the points we spent working on the Czechs and the Slovenes are paying off handsomely,” Let’zi said confidently, though the look around the table wasn’t encouraging.
“At least something is.” Pris grimaced, gesturing up at the map. “I hate to say it, but I don’t think France can last much longer.”
“She’s right. Rotating units up from the South kept the Germans out of Paris,” Sephir sighed gloomily. “But morale was shot with the units we rotated back South. We hoped they’d recover, but with Spain and Italy attacking? Unless we catch a break, I think our whole army will mutiny soon.”
“They can’t keep it up. They’ve lost all their colonies, now they have to fight in every direction at once.” Let’zi shook her head and tried sounding confident, though it was dimmed. “They can't do it. No one could!”
“She’s right, and England is mobilized now.” Melondi studied the map carefully, “Japan is all over the Ottomans in the South. Russia is… well… holding their own…”
“I’m doing the best I can…” Nestha huffed, crossing her arms. “Though yeah, the Ottomans are turning around and sending troops back South.”
“That’s right,” Melondi said brightly. “Besides, now we have Belda on our side!”
The girls looked over at Belda… who was staring off into space in a world of her own.
“Look, let’s call it a day. Bel has to go get dressed.” Mel grinned as Belda looked up, utterly lost. “She’s got a big evening.”
_ _ _
“Lieutenant, you aren't going to believe this…”
Lt. Peheli Tala looked over from the control board warily to where Sgt Diani was sitting in the right seat at observation. The bunker pods were all jumbled up with Captain Ton’is and Sgt. Jel’ke out on their trip, leaving Tala to fill in. It was a nice change of pace from running checks in the service corridors and updating the gear in the bunker.
Diani had been running the boards while telling long war stories to Sgt Vaeko, who was busily running the odds on that morning’s ‘wargame’ while monitoring the girls’ strategy sessions.
Words like that out of nowhere were not what she’d wanted to hear.
Diani and Vaeko had been keeping up a constant stream of conversation, both talking and only mostly listening to the other. It was enough to make her miss the quiet of the tunnels, and she’d started to tune out the idle chatter. Diani’s words snapped her back to reality in an instant, her heart pounding.
“Report Sgt!” Tala snapped the words out, but she was already pulling up the campus map on the main board, checking frantically for any sitreps from the ground team. No alarms had gone off yet, but it was probably only seconds away.
…Where's the alarm? Why hasn't anyone punched the alarm!? I’ll have to call Agent Duvari, and…
“It’s Captain Ton’is and Jel’ke.” Diani had a cheesy grin plastered over her wide features. “They need us to make some calls and get em a hotel room… You aren’t gonna believe where.”
Tala could feel her heart thudding in her chest. No alarms had gone off. There was no intrusion along the perimeter…
“A… a what?”
_ _ _
The Imperial Ocean Reserve was everything that Tom could have hoped for. It was old by Shil’vati standards, but that didn't mean tired. It meant historic, and walking into the lobby conjured up images only found in history books. The Reserve was a place where parasols graced the lawns in Summer and moonlight walks on the open beach were the norm. On Earth, it was the sort of place you could envision steamer trunks and top hats.
There were three restaurants along the veranda, and a bar, shops, and sumptuous indoor pool that served guests all year long. The hotel was vast. Not in the sense of catering to all comers, but spacious. It occupied its grounds like a crowning jewel.
As for their room?
It had a luxurious bed he could get lost in, more than capable of sleeping six Shil’vati. While he usually wasn’t big on the details, even he noticed the richly embroidered linens, what seemed like down pillows, the plush towels in the marble bathroom, well-stocked bar, and an in-room omni-pad to call for room service and requests.
That the whole suite lay beneath the ocean, with a glass roof and walls looking out from their bedroom at the surrounding coral reef, didn’t hurt either.
It was quite a place, but as the girls got started with the unpacking, he slipped out. It had always been his habit to poke around, and finding the best place for dinner reservations seemed like a good idea. A few minutes scouting out the restaurants would save time later…
At least, that had been the idea. The verandah surrounding the hotel proper had a lovely view directly off the beach, and as anyone would expect, it drew admiring guests… One of which happened to be Lady Vonde, the Duchess of House Jo’lare.
Tom hadn't seen the woman since Pre-term, when she’d attached herself to him in the tour, insistently tried to get him to ‘come for a visit,' and pinched his ass while showing her daughter around the campus. She’d been noteworthy in managing to do it more discreetly than most, but still…
Just at the moment Lady Vonde was in a shouting match against someone named Duchess Pyanfar, who’d swarmed down on him only a minute before Vonde. Pyanfar had started in on him with her retinue, breathlessly cooing about how charmed she was to meet him and wanting to hear all the details about Human marriages, and of course, she’d seen the captivating video on the news. It was just sooo rustic, positively enthralling, going native like that!
But Vonde spotted him and wasn’t having any of it, loudly insisting that he’d agreed to visit, and did Pyanfar know who she was!? Then her retinue started pushing Vonde’s retinue, while a crowd started to gather around the scene…
Tom was the only non-Shil in the room, and being 6’2 and pink, it wasn't easy to make himself invisible. He still did his best, though it was more a testament to the crowd of angry retainers around Vonde and Pyanfar that he got as far as the door of the bar. He kept his eyes behind him on the crowd as he made a break for it, barging first into a glass followed by a massive pair of breasts…
“Oh! Geeze…” Tom stepped back, “I’m terribly sorry Miss…”
A meaty hand clamped down on his arm painfully, and Tom looked up into the ruddy face of Tirola Reshay, Nestha’s kho-mother.
Disheveled and stinking of alcohol,Tirola wasn't in good shape. She’d emerged from the bar with her own crowd of hangers-on, including a Shil’vati guy hanging on her arm, and while she’d somehow managed to hang on to her glass, the collision had drenched her top in Blue Grail. Her eyes widened as she looked down at him and she growled, “You!!!”
…Alright, she isn’t in a good mood, though the last time I saw her she’d been unconscious in a pool of her own vomit…
Tirola made the mistake of clamping down harder, and Tom cried out in pained surprise. “Hey, get your damn hand off me!”
“Oh, you’re coming with me." Tirola tugged him closer…
Tom’s fingers spread and he jabbed. The strike was clumsy and he was off balance, but as eye-pokes went, it did the job.
Tirola let go of him and bellowed, her hand flying to one eye. The skinny guy thrown off her arm shrieked in bantam fury as he was thrown to the ground.
Then things got a little crazy.
_ _ _
Sgt. Jel’ke knew Big Money. She also knew when Big Money was fobbing her off. Thus far, they’d made it to the lobby and the reservation staff.
The ‘request’ had come down through official channels, but the Manager wasn't happy about it. Despite some ever-so-polite words, it seemed another call eventually came through and did the trick. The Manager accepted their story, and started offering over a room key with only a trace of disdain…
Out in the lobby, there was a scream.
It was followed a minute later by the sight of Tom Warrick pelting up the hall at a dead run and ducking into one of the gift shops, pursued by several mobs of women caught up in fighting each other as much as chasing after him.
“Captain, I-”
It was no use. Ce’lani Ton’is had already charged, and was racing across the lobby in hot pursuit. Glancing down at their meager baggage, she had the presence of mind to snatch the key from the Manager’s hand before she could take it back.
Somewhere up the hall Ce’lani bellowed.
Moments later a thunderous crash rumbled from somewhere up the hall. It was followed by the sound of delicate things breaking, considerably more shouting, and a soft cloud of plaster dust that gently wafted around the corner.
Jel’ke turned to the wide-eyed receptionist behind the counter and gave him a rakish smile. “So, what time is dinner?”
submitted by Rhion-618 to Sexyspacebabes [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 12:45 -Angilas- WIKIPEDIA Consultancy Scam (i.e. preying on vanity)

So here's an interesting scam that seems to be making the rounds.
This scam is very subtle, because some sites do seem to offer a legitimate variant.
Basically, certain websites appear to be claiming they can win anyone notoriety by offering to write Wikipedia pages for exorbitant sums of money.

Almost Definite Scam Sites

The reasons why this is almost definitely a scam:
  1. Wikipedia has a "notability" requirement, which the scam sites do not appear to be addressing. ( This is the reason that neither your Uncle Gus nor your local "Soda/BeeLotto Tickets Store" will likely have a Wikipedia page for longer than a few hours.
  2. What these sites claim to be offering seems to be subtly exploiting the public's misunderstanding of how Wikipedia even works. In reality, so long as a subject has sufficient "notability", a Wikipedia page can be written (for free) and should be able to remain up indefinitely.
  3. We can see that there are already people who have been duped by these shady activities (here are some complaints about Wiki Creators LLC):
  4. We can also see a more serious complaint was actually filed with the Better Business Bureau here: Note: Though this one has been marked "resolved", note that it does not indicate the actual service was ultimately provided and that only once this case was escalated to this degree was there ostensibly an attempt to placate complainant

Less-Likely a Scam

That being said, there are professional services out there that are far less "scammy". These services do inform their clients of the "notability" requirement, thereby not duping the general public into thinking they can simply spend X amount of dollars to instantly gain notoriety.
This version of the service — ostensibly legitimate — appears to be geared towards individuals/businesses of already sufficient "notability" who are looking to make sure their clients' pages are properly maintained.
The only kinda iffy thing here is the potential for a relatively chonky fee for simply checking "notability", but still... I would expect this to be within tolerances for real consulting 😅

Why this matters.

When a close family member of mine recently received an email solicitation from Wiki Solutions LLC and I saw him immediately convinced into thinking that having a Wikipedia page created for anyone was a legitimate business model, and — in his mind — of course the "price" of such a page would be understandably expensive, I realized that this scam was far more convincing and caustic than it seemed at face value.
When I had my wealth of evidence — both self-evident as in the case of Wikipedia's "notability" policy and also the wealth of people complaining about the scammy behavior of one of the sites in question — I contacted their host to see if they could simply address the situation quietly.
The host refused to take action (even when I suggested something as simple as their simply warning the site owner about the misleading lack of a "notability" clause). The host also appeared to keep moving the bar a bit further for what it would require to take action, and where we left off was them requiring a "police report". It seemed as though the host was doing all it could to prevent losing a sure revenue stream, so that was a bit alarming (although understandable from a coldly transactional standpoint; after all, I'm sure plausible deniability is a heck of a drug). Although it is possible the host simply got duped by the believability of this scam too.
That's why I've come here. This scam doesn't even seem to have a name yet, that's why I went with something safe and dry like the "Wikipedia Consultancy Scam". But it does appear to be a real scam, and a bit more believable than other similar scams. It's in a similar vein as a Modeling Scam, a Who's-Who Scam, or a Vanity Award Scam... it preys on the vanity and lack of savviness of the victim.
Please keep your eyes out for this.
submitted by -Angilas- to Scams [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 12:45 LmaoZedong1918 [GERMANY]: What happens if a member of the Bundestag misses a meeting?

The German act of Bundestag states: " The consequences for Members who fail to enter their names in the register and to take part in a vote using voting cards bearing Members’ names are laid down in the Act on the Legal Status of Members of the German Bundestag."
I don't find any consequenses from the Act on the Legal Status of Members of the German Bundestag. Does anyone know what the consequenses are?
submitted by LmaoZedong1918 to LegalAdviceEurope [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 12:44 Impressive_Good_2830 Help NYS (not the city) sorry it's long

My husband decided he wasn't going to listen to me and took his ex wife back to court to reduce his child support. I told him it was going to back fire due to him making more money even though 3 of his children aged out. Well he lost and she can take him back to court for more money. This is my problem though. Monthly my husband can not afford to pay his share of our bills and honestly it's not even alot he brings home about 550 a week with child support coming out now. We have $4,000 in monthly bills. He also pays for 2 of the kids cell phones, 1 of the adult kids live with us and he also buys school clothes every year for the school aged kids ( they are now being home schooled supposedly but we have no proof or info on the last time they did anything as there mother refuses to talk to my husband unless she wants or needs anything) the kids mother works under the table and informed the court that she only works part time. She does private home care now if she in fact only works part time then she is lying to the kids about where she is because she is never home leaving them to make there own meals and able to do whatever they want when they want with who they want. They are 13 and 16 so they are choosing to live where there is no rules or structure. She also dropped the health insurance for the kids without saying anything to us and complained in court the day before about how much it cost. Then the next day his daughter couodnt get her RX. My husband immediately put them all on his health insurance because his oldest has a bunch of medical needs and our daughter needs her RXs. He informed the mother that he put them on his insurance then she turned around and put the 2 youngest on medicade and dropped the rest told them to figure it out. (Shouldnt this be considered part of paying child support? If hes willing to cover all of them) The kids have also stayted that she is paying her boyfriends bills and buying his groceries. My issue is if they increase the child support he will not be able to afford to do things with the kids like spend the extra gas teaching the 16 year old to drive, or go golfing with the 16 year old or buy hunting and fishing stuff for the 13 year old or the school clothes or the cell phones. If she can afford to buy groceries for her boyfriend and pay his bills why should my husband have to pay more knowing it's not going to his kids. Now before you list off her bills, my husband paid off the mortgage, she has village electric so it's like 10$ a month, there grandmother pays for everyone's cellphone including the mothers (except the 2 we pay for) then she has the regular bills I would assume car, insurance, groceries etc. How do we prove she's lying about her hours when its under the table, and how do we prove that she is supporting another family and trying to get more money out of my husband to do so? Also she has the youngest 100% involved in this to the point after court he text my husband and said how did you like that?
submitted by Impressive_Good_2830 to ChildSupport [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 12:34 fatherandyriley Fixing the X-Men films redone

A while back I did an X-Men rewrite and u/killthebatman2475 credited me for my ideas when he did his own version. Looking at his version has made me want to go over my own rewrite again so I'd like to thank them for their help with this.
Here's the link to the original
Here's the film order:
X-Men 2
X-Men 3: The Last Stand
X-Men 4: Dark Phoenix
X-Men Origins Wolverine
X-Men First Class
The Wolverine
X-Men: Days of Future Past
X-Men the Shadow King
X-Men: Apocalypse
X-Men: Onslaught
With Deadpool I can't think of anything that I'd change. For Deadpool 2 I'm thinking of having Mojo as the main villain who kidnaps Deadpool as I figured that could be a lot of fun.
submitted by fatherandyriley to fixingmovies [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 12:18 throwaway2023426 Potential childcare fraud (England)

I have recently discovered that a family member is still claiming 30 hours free childcare, despite her not working at the moment.
The father of the children does not live with her, they are separated.
She lives with her parents and also 'works' for the family business. I say this, because she usually does work with her father, her mother used to take care of her children when she worked 2 days a week but she recently got a job of her own, so the mother of the children has had to stop physically working.
The issue comes from her dad still 'paying' her even though she isn't working, and she transfers it back into his personal account. This is so she can still claim the 30 free hours for her 3 year old.
This sounded odd to me, although fully aware is none of my business. Should I ignore it or report her?
submitted by throwaway2023426 to LegalAdviceUK [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 12:18 waitingonawait Dusting off this old gem. Not mine but i figure others might enjoy the read.

Posted Feb 04, 2021. Before Superstonk existed. So some of the speculation is a bit dated and financials have changed. Still holds water though.

"Meme Stocks, The Infinite Game, and How the Market has Changed the Players"

by: [redacted]

Pre-pandemic --------- member with Asperger's here – I have designed stupid board games and video games for years, and while I have spent a ton of time watching what's going on and thinking about everything, I was suddenly reminded about the game design concept of "Finite and Infinite Games."
It's worth viewing the current situation under this lens and I wanted to shine some light on how this game design concept factors into meme stocks, and what everyone (including myself) has missed until today.
All of this is my opinion. It is not a recommendation or financial advice or a call to action even if it looks like it. My positions are long GME and --- in small amounts because I am poor, but I got in super early on both so I have no plans to sell.
Finite and Infinite Games
For those that have never heard of this, it comes from a book with the same name and the main idea is simple:
Finite games have a clear end and the purpose of a player is to win. Football is a finite game. Monopoly is a finite game. Getting your stock to a certain target price and selling is a finite game.
Infinite games do not have a clear end, and the purpose of a player is to stay in the game longer than the opponent. The game can even outlast the players. Running a business is an infinite game. Exploration is an infinite game. The Cold War was an infinite game.
When finite-minded players enter a finite game, or when infinite-minded players enter an infinite game, the game functions properly. But things get wild when a player sits down at the wrong game.
The Vietnam War
I'm stealing this section from the beginning of Simon Sinek's incredible talk because I am lazy and it fits the point I'm trying to make.
The US got into the Vietnam War to win a war. If the enemy ended up flying a white flag, victory is achieved. They were playing to win the game (finite-mindset) and they won a lot of battles.
But the Vietnamese were fighting for their lives and their way of life. Their goal was to get the other player to drop out or simply outlast the opposition until they left (which the US eventually did). And the Vietnamese were willing to fight to the last man to do it.
The United States won a ton of battles but the Vietnamese won the war.
What type of game is the stock market?
We can answer this a lot of ways but my simplest take is this: the stock market is a weird beast because it's an infinite game (outlast your opponents) but most people play with a finite mindset: A player tries to get their stock to hit a certain target price, and they cash out (win) and leave or play again (pick a new stock).
During the past few weeks, a tremendous amount of players entered the meme stock game and used orders and limits to win so they could leave. Their opponents did the same.
Even when the rules are lopsided, the game functions as both sides (bulls and bears) try to cheerlead and do whatever they can to fight for their side, short or long.
Enter Robbing hood
It's no secret that last Thursday, the rules of the game drastically changed for players in meme stocks, as millions of players were suddenly knocked out, impacting the score for every other player. Demand is directly linked to price.
This collapsed the demand line for all players during one of the biggest bull runs in history. Viewed in terms of the game, a referee (Robbing hood) essentially benched millions of players on one side of the game to the benefit of the opposing team. This is why there was a sudden and immediate outpouring of powerful people from all angles condemning the action, and Congress is calling a hearing. The referee broke the game (meme stocks fall because the demand is suppressed) and no timeout was called. This created an absolutely gigantic problem.
How finite-minded players adjusted
Players of the finite game that got robbed now came to a crossroads. They could
  1. Hold and keep playing, hoping their meme stock would hit their target price
  2. Cut their losses and sell to keep a smaller profit or prevent deeper losses
The players that were benefited by the shakedown also had a choice. And that choice looked different because of their advantage:
  1. Stay with the meme stock, hoping to get their stock to a target price or better
  2. Cash out, and maybe move to other stocks immediately because holy God this meme stock well is poisoned and the volatility is insane
At the end of the day, all these players are looking to cash out at a number, so even though they are on different sides, and meme stocks are crazy right now, the game is still playable.
If you haven't fallen asleep yet, here is the part where things go off the rails and no one is talking about it because no one has put the right words to it yet. A HUGE NUMBER of these finite-minded players have been turned into infinite-minded players.
Through all the noise of ----------- and Facebook and Twitter, I have noticed some major changes in the way people are talking about their meme stock holdings since Thursday:
All of these are hilarious. But there is something deeper going on psychologically with these people, and it is clear to me that they have changed from a finite-mindset to an infinite mindset. You can find even deeper examples like:
Let me break down what you're seeing here:
When these players got robbed, it instilled in them a righteous desire for justice.
I'm sure a bunch of them are familiar with The Big Short, or were connected to the 2008 housing market crisis, and they're all aware of how these things happen at the expense of the common man and no one gets punished.
In their minds, the only path forward now is to get revenge by putting the game back on its original path, through their sheer force of will. They will die playing this game, and they cannot be reasoned or argued with. Maybe they still have a target price in mind, but I need to be even more clear:
These infinite-minded players are working to get the other players to drop out and

they are not leaving

Remember that Vietnam War analogy I used earlier? Right now, finite-minded players who only care about the target price of a meme stock are simply looking to win. But the converted, infinite-minded players are playing the long game, and while they may have limited resources (the Vietnamese were completely outgunned and outnumbered), you will only be able to these people from their position when they win.
Now, you can make the case that this is simply a matter of the 5 stages of grief, and maybe that is true for some of them. But at the end of the day, if their action remains constant (holding and buying), then it doesn't matter.
What does all this mean?
I'd be lying if I said I knew, but I can wildly speculate for the rest of this post, which I will do and you will listen.
The market is always trying to achieve equilibrium, but what we are seeing is a motion to achieve rules equilibrium. These players were cheated, so they have created their own set of rules to play by: buy and hold. While these players may be small in number, they are going to quietly drain the supply without anyone noticing.
The floor for these meme stocks is going to continue to rise, and these players will continue to get people on board and things are going to snowball. At some point they will attract the attention of people with real money who believe in their pursuit of justice. And unlike the squeeze we started to see last week, the supply and demand curve is going to be so out of whack, you may see meme stock squeezes come out of nowhere with volatility that will blow our minds.
Even if these people lose they win
Imagine for a moment that GME collapses to $20 a share. Maybe the next quarter financials are abysmal. Do you think for a moment that these people aren't going to be dumping every single dollar they have into it? This will be like Christmas to them, because GME is not an investment in their minds, it's a ticket for their cause. It's the path to revenge.
And what if anything bad happens to DFV/Roaring Kitty after he's pulled into a congressional hearing? What if there is news of a crackdown on Reddit? These players know that it's not smart to storm the capital. So they're attacking the system at a specific place with their own money.
Some of these people saw what their position was at $480. It was staring them in the face and it was going up. Then they watched it plummet in real time.
Can you imagine the level of conviction these people have? Do you think the hedge funds or even the other players have this level of steadfastness? ----------- jokes about people with diamond hands. These people have diamond hearts.
I'll say it again: If someone with a lot of money is smart enough to notice all this, the nuclear bomb of a broken supply and demand curve is going to explode, making these infinite-minded players rich, and demolishing those with weaker backbones. We might lose a chunk of the market each time one of these meme stock nukes goes off.
Personally I'm not sure we're ever going back down to $20 for GME. But I'm also shocked that it's above $40 right now. The truth of the matter is this:
The infinite-minded players have divorced meme stock price from the financials and it will be that way until we reach a point where the game resets to where it was on Thursday
This may take days, weeks, months, or years to get there for some of the meme stocks, but it doesn't matter because these people have invented their own rules and there are more players in that position than you or I think. The media will eventually stop talking about these meme stocks, assuming people have walked away, but these players have found their cause and they will be committed to it until their wrong is righted. And they are literally willing to die trying.
Please, please, PLEASE be aware of this, especially with GME. The mindset of a large number of players has shifted almost overnight and they have chosen their battlefield. None of their opponents are fighting the game at their level. And throughout history, when infinite-minded players have played an infinite game against finite-minded players, the infinite-minded players have won. They have won every, single, time.
Thank you for coming to my TED talk. And if you connected with any of this, or it is helping to provide you with some answers, please share it. I can't post to --------- or Investing, so my reach is limited, but in the small corners I've put it, people are really connecting with what I'm sharing.


Finite games have a clear end and the purpose of a player is to win. Infinite games do not have a clear end, and the purpose of a player is to stay in the game longer than the opponent. The stock market is a weird beast because it's an infinite game (outlast your opponents) but most people play with a finite mindset.
Robbing Hood shut off the buy button. This created an absolutely gigantic problem. A HUGE NUMBER of these finite-minded players have been turned into infinite-minded players. Even if these people lose they win. $20 a share, this will be like Christmas to them. They are going to quietly drain the supply without anyone noticing. Until we reach a point where the game resets to where it was on January 2021. These people have diamond hearts. None of their opponents are fighting the game at their level.
And throughout history, when infinite-minded players have played an infinite game against finite-minded players, the infinite-minded players have won. They have won every, single, time.
Buy, directly register, book, hold and shop.
Power to the Players.
The Kitty Cat Dance
submitted by waitingonawait to Superstonk [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 12:08 AnnoyedAlligator Why am I expected to have control over the timing of my sister's wedding? Why in 2023 is a University expecting to ALWAYS be put before one's family?

I have a hurdle take home exam the same weekend as my sister's wedding which is being held in Queensland as that is where they live and work. I am one of her bridesmaids. I will not get a chance to do it with my flight and the wedding itself.
I can't get any kind of special consideration because apparently that is an event in my control.
It is a wedding where I am not one of the parties getting married. My sister and her fiancé set the date a year ago because that is how weddings work - you have to book venues/caterers/florists/photographers months in advance. I have 2 other siblings, her husband-to-be has 3 siblings of his own. They have friends and other family to consider, as well as weather. Early May is one of the best times to get married in Brisbane as it is not going to be disgustingly humid and start storming at 5pm like it will from October-March.
Does UniMelb seriously think my sister and her fiancé should have to plan their wedding around my University schedule or I should have to literally skip a major family event for an exam? Should my sister have to melt in the January sun as to not conflict with semester dates? Do they really think I should be saying to my sister "don't have your wedding during my semester, because even if I can prove I am attending, I can't get time off".
It's a family event, and I am basically being told I have to put a degree I am only studying because of capitalism ahead of my own sister. It's ridiculous the way they expect to come before everything in your life - and don't get my started on how they refuse to ever accomodate paid word commitments when we are in a cost of living crisis and not everyone is from a wealthy family and getting help from the bank of mum and dad.
submitted by AnnoyedAlligator to unimelb [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 12:05 reagan92 Countdown to Kickoff 2023: Chicago Red Stars

2023 Kickoff Countdown – Chicago Red Stars
Head Coach: Chirs Petrucelli (2nd year)
Hired midway through preseason, he coached fairly conservatively…maintaining tactics through the season no matter the opponent or player availability. He’s shouty from the sidelines, but more in a positive soccer dork way than a “I will ruin your life” way like with Dames.
General Manager: Michelle Lomnicki (1st year)
Captain: Alyssa Naeher
Stadium: SeatGeek Stadium, Bridgetown, IL
Capacity of 20,000. Though sits roughly 12 miles from downtown Chicago, it might as well be 40 million miles away. In an odd piece of trivia, SeatGeek Stadium does not use SeatGeek as it’s ticket provider.
Ownership: Arnim Whistler
Despite being probably the single most important figure keeping domestic women’s soccer alive through the late WPS/early NWSL era, the league is desperately looking for a window to shove him out of. You might remember him from such reports as the Yates Report, and the Joint NWSL/NWSLPA Investigation.
Mascot: Supernova
The original bassist for Soundgarden, Supernova was introduced as the Red Stars mascot in 2014. According to Instagram, Supernova and Chicago Fire mascot Sparky are best friends.
Primary Kit: Foundation
Secondary Kit: Skyscraper
Supporters Groups: Chicago Local 134
News and Commentary: Chicago Sun Times
Red Stars Report
Key Twitter Follows for Team Insights:
Annie Costabile
Sandra Herrera
Claire Watkins
2023 Season Opener: Saturday, March 25 vs. San Diego – 10:00PM ET
2023 Home Opener: Sunday, April 1 vs. Houston – 2:00PM ET
2022 Season Review
Last year, they had a mini-exodus with 6 players moving westward, including ironwomen and defender of the year candidate Sarah Gorden. Picked somewhere in the middle of the pack of the league, they stayed in the middle of pack of the league all year, only spending 2 weeks out of a playoff spot, but never really threatening the iron of the NWSL. They lost Tierna Davidson and Kayla Sharples early to ACL tears, and Casey Krueger, Kealia Watt, and Sarah Woldmoe to pregnancies.
Chicago started the season quickly, not being defeated a 2nd time until mid-July, including a win over the eventual Shield winning Reign. Once that second loss locked in though, they went 4-1-6 down the stretch outlasting the Courage for that last playoff spot before bowing out in extra time to the Wave.
As stated by pretty much everyone, the driving force behind the successes of the team was Mallory Swanson. She scored 11 goals, assisted on 6 more, and was generally brilliant in what was essentially her come-back year into international prominence. But the midfield engine was driven in the middle by the now-departed pairing of Vanessa Dibernardo and Danielle Colaprico. In 2021, they both struggled with injury and staying on the field…something that wasn’t a problem in 2022. Dibernardo especially was impressive, as she went from a more attacking role to dropping back to help shield the backline with Colaprico, who is a more traditional defensive mid.
The outside backs kind of rotated a bit, with normal started Arin Wright trying to stay healthy. Rachel Hill dropped from the front line to cover on the left, and Bianca St George started on the right in a role that was as much attacking as defending. St George continued her affinity for drawing red cards with a frankly derivative performance of double birds, that was the game week after Amber Brooks performance.
Zoe Morse played well in a central defensive role before leaving for England this offseason. Milazzo came out of no where to become one of the most technically sound defenders in the league. I don’t know. I don’t like this team very much, and they can on occasion play attractive football. I guess. Who cares. They finished 6th.
Player Movement
Date Player Out Pos New Club Notes
October 31, 2022 Chelsea Dawber F Adelaide United Loan
November 15, 2022 Channing Foster M SK Slavia Praha Option declined
November 15, 2022 Mikenna McManus D Throttur Option declined
November 15, 2022 Danielle Colaprico M San Diego Wave Out of contract
November 15, 2022 Vanessa DiBernardo M Kansas City Current Out of contract
November 15, 2022 Morgan Gautrat M Kansas City Current Out of contract
November 15, 2022 Rachel Hill F San Diego Wave Out of contract
November 15, 2022 Kealia Watt F Unattached Out of contract
December 6, 2022 Sarah Woldmoe M Unattached Retired
December 14, 2022 Sarah Luebbert M Club America Transfer
January 8, 2023 Zoe Morse D Brighton Hove & Albion Out of contract
March 2, 2023 Chelsea Dauber F IFK Norrköping Recalled, and Loaned
Date Player In Pos Previous Club Notes
January 9, 2023 Addie McCain M Kansas City Current Free agent
January 9, 2023 Jenna Bike F NJ/NY Gotham FC Free agent
January 12, 2023 Penelope Hocking F Penn St Nittany Lions Draft
January 12, 2023 Ally Schlegel F Penn St Nittany Lions Draft
January 12, 2023 Sophie Jones M Duke Blue Devils Draft
January 25, 2023 Julia Bianchi M Palmeiras Transfer
January 12, 2023 Cari Roccaro M Angel City Trade
March 20, 2023 Taylor Malham M Racing Louisville Waivers
Number First Last POS Contract status
21 Emily Boyd GK Option exercised
1 Alyssa Naeher GK Signed through 2023+
12 Tierna Davidson D Signed through 2023
31 Amanda Kowalski D Signed through 2024+
6 Casey Krueger D Signed through 2023
23 Tatumn Milazzo D Signed through 2024+
28 Kayla Sharples D Option exercised
22 Bianca St. Georges D Option exercised
3 Arin Wright D Signed through 2024
14 Jill Aquilera M Signed through 2023
5 Julia Bianchi M Signed through 2024
29 Sami Feller M NRI
2 Sammi Fisher M Signed through 2023
16 Sophie Jones M Signed through 2024
32 Taylor Malham M Signed through 2023
13 Addie McCain M Signed through 2024+
4 Cari Roccaro M Signed through 2023
24 Jenna Bike F Signed through 2024+
25 Ava Cook F Signed through 2023
27 Chelsie Dawber F Signed through 2023+
15 Sarah Griffith F Signed through 2023
55 Penelope Hocking F Signed through 2025+
26 Brenna Lovera F NRI
20 Cheyna Matthews F NRI
7 Yuki Nagasato F Signed through 2023+
34 Ally Schlegal F Signed through 2025+
8 Ella Stevens F Option exercised
9 Mallory Swanson F Signed through 2023
Predicted Preferred Gameday XI – With the personnel Chicago have, I can’t imagine they are going to deviate much from the 3-4-3 they used last year.
Formation: 3-4-3
If you squint, you can see a 5-2-1-2. Or a 3-4-1-2. Or anything you want. Formations are fake. But last year before the injury bug tore through the ACLs of seemingly the entirety of Woso, Petrucelli’s stated plan was to put Tierna Davidson in the middle, with Milazzo on the left and Sharples on the left. Sharples is still on the SEI list, but Davidson is probably ready. Milazzo is coming off an all-2nd XI in the league in her 2nd year. Krueger comes back from pregnancy to fill out the backline, simply because she’s a way better defender than going forward, especially compared to St Georges.
When Sarah Woldmoe announced her retirement, Sammi Fisher and Jill Aguilera were the only two midfielders under contract…they’ve played a combined 939 minutes in their careers (for comparison’s sake, that’s less than fellow rookie Ava Cook played on her own by 4 minutes). To cover that, they made two defend-and-distribute moves, acquiring Julia Bianchi from Palmeiras, and picking up Sophie Jones in the draft. Those two should be able to hold it down while Roccaro plays in a freer role in the middle like she did last year for Angel City. The other mids on the roster can mix and match based on skills…you don’t want Addie McCain trying to lock down the middle, but she could replace Roccaro for a spell and not be hurt.
Chicago’s success this season is going to depend on the forwards, and even to that end, on Mallory Swanson. Though her impact on Red Stars last year was overblown (inasmuch as she didn’t bring a terrible roster kicking and screaming to the playoffs…she was a legit MVP candidate that had a lot of help from very good performances, especially from the backline and Dibernardo/Colaprico), she is their most important player, and one of the best players in the league. Even with the world cup year, she should already be penciled in as a top-5 MVP candidate. Yuki Nagasato can provide the service Swanson needs…since she can’t pass to herself, though last year she lost effectiveness as the year went on. Ella Stevens is the likely starter until Hocking is ready, providing the awkward finishing that teams of this calibre need to be successful. Last year during the Challenge Cup, Stevens tried to take a shot on goal, slipped, fell and twisted a bit, swinging her hand up striking the ball into the goal. Called off, but an impressive level of “baby dear learning how to walk” for a pro.
Likely Top Bench/Subs:
First Last Pos
Amanda Kowalski D
Sophie Jones M
Addie McCain M
Jenna Bike F
Penelope Hocking F
Ava Cook F
This is a thin roster. Very very thin.
Something to Prove
Cari Roccaro – Last year was her 7th year in the league, and she scored her first goal…and then 3 more. She just has to show that given some playing time and freedom, she is going to be able to help Chicago all year.
Julia Bianchi – This project in Chicago isn’t going to work if they don’t have a ball winner in the middle of the pitch, so she has to step in immediately and make an impact.
Ella Stevens – She’s one of those classic “could be out of the league just as easily as being a regular starter” players at this point. Though she seems effective when she plays, she doesn’t get as much playing time as expected.
Out for the season
Sharples is on the SEI list, but about 10 months out from her ACL tear, so she will likely be back.
Realistic Best Case Scenario – 5th-6th place
Pretty much everything has to go right. The ACL’s heal, the pregnancies bounce back, players that are healthy stay healthy…as well as the ones that are injury prone. The rookies integrate well. The Milazzo continues to develop, Yuki pushes back against father time a little bit. Love wins.
Realistic Worst Case Scenario – 12th
This is roster on the edge. However, Chicago currently has the longest playoff streak in the league, and in some years, that’s been confounding.
Realistic Most Probable Scenario – 9th-11th.
I just don’t have much confidence in a roster that is basically built as Mall Swanson, defense, and pray. I have a feeling I might be discounting Chicago prematurely, but I just don’t see how they can compete with this roster against teams that have more concentrated talent on it.
submitted by reagan92 to NWSL [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 12:02 harleyquinn12321 i just had a nightmare i had encountered an evil spirit

In the dream my family (me, dad, mom) went to my mom's friend's house, I've never been there irl but i saw in photos it's not look like how i imagined it in my dreams, so we entered the house it's aesthetic looks like an antique old house. The evening went as normal and then for some reason my dad went to take a nap on cartons they had between the living room to the little corridor. I walking around the house and suddenly noticed that my father's face start to change and he has 3 eyes, i wake him up and tell him but obviously he won't believe me, then he has 4 eyes then 3 again then 10 he starts to have random pairs of eyes and i take my phone and film it to show him because he won't believe but i can clearly see it in the video but no one else does, then he's face turned back to normal. I forgot to mention the mom's friend kids were weird they looked pale and they didn't talked. So i don't remember how it got there but suddenly my mom is standing near the entrance to a dark room next to the living room and starts hearing noise that i can't explain but in my dream EVERYBODY KNEW it's an evil spirit that came straight from hell, my mom stood froze and started saying it's an evil spirit from hell in loop and then i realized, I HAD THE SAME DREAM BEFORE WITH THE SAME SPIRIT i don't remember that dream but my mind telling me I did have him, so i remembered that in the dream i just ran out of the house so i grabbed my parents and ran straight out of there while everyone is screaming inside my ears (the actual family members of the house has just disappeared it was just me and my family) and i for some reason couldn't scream, i tried really heard but i just did a little yelling, and that "hell sound" in my ears while we're going down the stairs in horror and then finally my mom (irl) woke me up from this. I can't explain how the spirit looked but it was dark and rotten and in the dream i was like: "oh that's the spirit of fair their house" like i already knew from the other dream.
Does this dream has a meaning? I don't remember the other dream i had about it
submitted by harleyquinn12321 to Dreams [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 12:00 fastersplinter Endometriosis + Low Quality Sperm = Our Infertility Situation

Does anyone have experience with improving endometriosis on the carnivore diet? And what about sperm quality?
I'm unable to get my wife pregnant because of a these two problems.
MORE INFO: My sperm quality is bad and our fertility doctor told us that the only way for us to get pregnant is with an ICSI treatment. ICSI stands for intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Simply said, they take my sperm and extract eggs from my wife and try to create an embryo outside of our bodies. When successful they bring the embryo into my wife's uterus.
I started the carnivore diet 2 months ago to improve my overall health and hopefully the quality of my sperm. There was a significant improvement but the quality of my sperm is still too low to get my wife pregnant without external help. My overall health became much better though and I’m sticking to this diet. Hopefully my sperm will improve further.
We started the ICSI treatment, but today we got the news that we can't proceed because of my wife's severe endometriosis. Endometriosis is a disease where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus, causing pain and infertility. It got worse after injecting herself with hormones twice a day, which is part of the ICSI treatment. The pain symptoms are very extreme. She’s had kidney stones before and she says this is worse. Endometriosis is withholding her eggs to grow fast and big enough. So we didn't even make it to the part of the treatment where they extract her eggs.
There is no real cure for endometriosis. They can remove it with a surgery which has risks of negatively impacting fertility. Another option is to take hormones that stop you from ovulating, which is 1 of the triggers of endometriosis. Both options are bad if you want to get pregnant.
We're stuck. It's our dream to get pregnant. Endometriose is stopping us from getting pregnant. Treating endometriosis symptoms will decrease the chances of getting pregnant.
Since we got married, all of our friends and family are asking when we will have kids. It's hard to reveal that I produce low quality sperm, so we just tell them we are 'working on it'. All of our siblings and friends have kids. My wife is 36 years old and she is collapsing under the pressure.
I try to stay rational and realize there are way worse medical conditions out there than what we are experiencing, but this is the toughest battle we’ve had to fight so far in our 8 year relationship. I feel like we could use some help.
My wife started eating gluten free for a while which had a bit of a positive effect on her pain symptoms, but it's still unbearable. I've heard that some people treated their endometriosis with the carnivore diet and I'm trying to convince her to also start eating this way. She finds it hard to eat big amounts of meat and I feel like she isn't fully convinced that this might help her. She also feels there are a lot of risks. I think she could use some personal stories to get motivated.
I know it's weird to ask strangers on the internet for help, but the treatment of endometriosis and/or low quality sperm by changing your nutrition is so under-studied and not supported by our doctor.
So I'm curious if there are people that have positive experiences with any of our problems in combination with the carnivore diet. Please let us know.
submitted by fastersplinter to Ketovore [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 11:59 fastersplinter Endometriosis + Low Quality Sperm = Our Infertility Situation

Does anyone have experience with improving endometriosis on the carnivore diet? And what about sperm quality?
I'm unable to get my wife pregnant because of a these two problems.
EXTRA INFO: My sperm quality is bad and our fertility doctor told us that the only way for us to get pregnant is with an ICSI treatment. ICSI stands for intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Simply said, they take my sperm and extract eggs from my wife and try to create an embryo outside of our bodies. When successful they bring the embryo into my wife's uterus.
I started the carnivore diet 2 months ago to improve my overall health and hopefully the quality of my sperm. There was a significant improvement but the quality of my sperm is still too low to get my wife pregnant without external help. My overall health became much better though and I’m sticking to this diet. Hopefully my sperm will improve further.
We started the ICSI treatment, but today we got the news that we can't proceed because of my wife's severe endometriosis. Endometriosis is a disease where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus, causing pain and infertility. It got worse after injecting herself with hormones twice a day, which is part of the ICSI treatment. The pain symptoms are very extreme. She’s had kidney stones before and she says this is worse. Endometriosis is withholding her eggs to grow fast and big enough. So we didn't even make it to the part of the treatment where they extract her eggs.
There is no real cure for endometriosis. They can remove it with a surgery which has risks of negatively impacting fertility. Another option is to take hormones that stop you from ovulating, which is 1 of the triggers of endometriosis. Both options are bad if you want to get pregnant.
We're stuck. It's our dream to get pregnant. Endometriose is stopping us from getting pregnant. Treating endometriosis symptoms will decrease the chances of getting pregnant.
Since we got married, all of our friends and family are asking when we will have kids. It's hard to reveal that I produce low quality sperm, so we just tell them we are 'working on it'. All of our siblings and friends have kids. My wife is 36 years old and she is collapsing under the pressure.
I try to stay rational and realize there are way worse medical conditions out there than what we are experiencing, but this is the toughest battle we’ve had to fight so far in our 8 year relationship. I feel like we could use some help.
My wife started eating gluten free for a while which had a bit of a positive effect on her pain symptoms, but it's still unbearable. I've heard that some people treated their endometriosis with the carnivore diet and I'm trying to convince her to also start eating this way. She finds it hard to eat big amounts of meat and I feel like she isn't fully convinced that this might help her. She also feels there are a lot of risks. I think she could use some personal stories to get motivated.
I know it's weird to ask strangers on the internet for help, but the treatment of endometriosis and/or low quality sperm by changing your nutrition is so under-studied and not supported by our doctor.
So I'm curious if there are people that have positive experiences with any of our problems in combination with the carnivore diet. Please let us know.
submitted by fastersplinter to carnivorediet [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 11:56 DenCooper89 Does using a cryptocurrency really mean a safe peer-to-peer transaction?

Using a cryptocurrency for peer-to-peer transactions can offer several benefits, including lower transaction fees, faster settlement times, and greater privacy. However, it does not necessarily mean that the transaction is completely safe or secure.
Cryptocurrency transactions are generally considered to be more secure than traditional payment methods, such as credit cards, because they use cryptographic algorithms to secure the transaction and prevent fraud. Transactions on a cryptocurrency network are validated by a decentralized network of nodes, rather than a central authority, which makes them more resistant to hacking or manipulation.
However, there are still risks associated with using cryptocurrencies. For example, if a user's private keys (the cryptographic keys that enable them to access their cryptocurrency wallet and make transactions) are compromised or stolen, their funds can be stolen. Additionally, if a user sends cryptocurrency to the wrong address or falls victim to a phishing attack, they may lose their funds permanently.
Furthermore, the cryptocurrency market can be volatile, and the value of cryptocurrencies can fluctuate rapidly, potentially resulting in significant losses. It's important for individuals to do their research and understand the risks associated with using cryptocurrencies before making transactions.
Overall, while cryptocurrency transactions can offer greater security and privacy than traditional payment methods, they are not completely foolproof, and users should take appropriate precautions to protect their funds.
submitted by DenCooper89 to u/DenCooper89 [link] [comments]


Love is something so special, a feeling that gives us great joy, fulfillment and happiness. It it something that we want to last forever, keeping you in a blissful state. However sometimes it goes horribly wrong causing us great pain and consternation. Those are times when we feel the whole weight of the world on your shoulders, your life falling apart. Do not despair though as all the help you need with love and relationships is here.* I have crafted unique love spells to help in relationship problems. Love is an important part in our lives which creates a bond between partners. I have different love spells for all relationship situations. Is any of this happening to you:
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submitted by profasuman to wadknis [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 11:53 Former_Gear_1713 Raising children

Hello - I have 3 children with someone who abused me for years and may have contributed to my condition. He kept the children bc I had to leave the home due to my illness and not being able to take the abuse any longer. Now fast forward he decided to give up on his health and medical treatment partially blaming me and has made a disaster with getting the State involved with the children. I talk to them he will not. Point of this is my children have obviously gotten emotionally disturbed over this. It is appearing that I will be taking care of them full time but as it is I am barely holding onto a job and making it day to day with how I feel. I feel like a complete failure and I have no idea how I’m going to take care of them with all the trauma they have been through while I am still trying to work through the trauma I have been through my whole life. Point is, does anyone have any tips on raising children alone with this condition? I have NO support system for any help whatsoever either from his family or mine.
submitted by Former_Gear_1713 to dysautonomia [link] [comments]