Bath mat turns bloody when wet


2013.10.02 08:38 DiamondVision oddlyterrifying

oddly terrifying things

2018.06.14 11:40 uncommongifts Didn't Know I Wanted That

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2023.05.30 12:53 questionable_fish Humans love their homeland

The human home-planet "Earth" has seasonal weather systems that are affected by the axial tilt of the planet. These are usually predictable depending on the season- summer is hot, winter is cold and in between is usually wet.
That said: I've spent some time living with humans and one day in particular showed me that occasionally not even their planet knows what season it should be. They once took me on a hike to a big "corry" lake in the mountains near us. The day started out with glorious summer sunshine, but as we climbed the weather got colder and foggy. I thought the clouds had fallen on us and when I said as such human Chris laughed and told me I was partially right.
The fog lifted after a bit but was replaced by rain and I was very glad of the coat I was made to bring in spite of the weather being forecast as sunny. As we neared the lake the air got colder and the rain turned to what the humans call "sleet": a kind of half-frozen rain.
Sleet was bad enough, but it got worse when the sky started to pelt us with pieces of ice. It stung when it struck exposed skin and I could feel it even through the coat I was wearing. We pressed on to the lake through the hail, the humans knowledge of the area preventing us from being killed by the mountain.
As we got to the edge of the lake the hail eased off, and in its place there came flurries of snow. Big flakes that got thicker and heavier until it obscured our vision. This apparently was finally bad enough for the humans to stop walking and hunker down. I huddled in next to a rock shivering while the others cracked jokes about the weather. These people were mad! One of them was even in his shorts still!
Once the snow started to clear we moved on around the lake. I'll admit, the view from the rocky ledge above the back end of the lake was imperssive but brief as the weather started to cycle back through all its forms again. To my relief, the sky cleared as we got back to the front end of the lake and I was astounded by the vast sweep of landscape. I could see all the way to the shining sea across a patchwork of countryside dotted with villages and criss-crossed with roads. The humans had such good knowledge of their homeland that they could even point out roughly where their house was even though they couldn't actually see it.
Back down the mountain at the car the insane weather seemed almost like a dream, but I came to this conclusion: if a human says they want to take you somewhere "cool", go with them. They love their planet with all its quirks and they love to share its beauty with others (even if the weather tries to kill them)
This is based on an actual hike I went on with my dad, my brother and a tourist friend. The tourist was shocked at how much the weather could change in the space of a few hours but hey, that's Irish weather for you.
submitted by questionable_fish to humansarespaceorcs [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 12:37 Fantastic-Increase18 comforting obsessions

This Christmas I got noise canceling headphones and when I take them off I find I’m overstimulated.
I sleep with them and rarely take them off unless necessary for bathing, driving, work.
The second I can I have them on, I do. Even when I’m sleeping. I don’t know how I got through it before that.
Same thing with my heat pack. I use it whenever I can. Even during the 100°+ summer. I used to have a microwave one. I had a microwave in my room specifically for it and would heat it up a dozen times a night. Now I have an electric one which I’ll turn on multiple times in the middle of the night when it turns off automatically.
I use it when I eat, sleep, anything. I’ll stay in bed all day to use it. I bought a fan just to keep from overheating. It just feels necessary
I also have the same problem with my fan now. 24/7 also during the winter. it’s all caused a lot of issues. It feels wrong and uncomfortable when it’s not there.
submitted by Fantastic-Increase18 to bipolar2 [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 11:39 Whisp_3 Garbled nonsense I just needed out

It went on before, but since I finished the semester and don't have summer courses this year, my mind is all over. There's more to it and it's complicated and confusing. I've been feeling like I'm losing control. I'm not taking care of myself. My teeth are literally rotting. My hair hasn't been washed in... I lost track but at least a month and it's so matted that I'm afraid to attempt brushing it again. I'm so tired all the time but I struggle to get to sleep. I don't get out of bed until my partner has to come convince me to, and even then I might take another 30 minutes to 2 hours just to get up... Then I just move to the couch. Sometimes I have to pee so bad but I just cannot get up so I don't until it's unbearable. When I am up, I'm glued to TV or video games (though games have become less intriguing lately). I have an addictive personality and usually obsess over a craft/hobby/project when I'm not doing school. I can't this time. Just the idea of getting out a jigsaw puzzle or reading a book (I usually LOVE reading) sounds exhausting. I can't work. I wanted to this summer. I really did, but I can't even leave home without having a panic attack, breakdown and/or disassociating. The thought alone is difficult to keep composure sometimes. Even if my partner is with me and driving me around, I'm a wreck. How am I supposed to even get through an interview if I can't even hold myself together going to classes and the grocery store? I also quit my last jobs due to mental health (specifically trauma triggers/similarities and crossed boundaries from authority figures).
I. Do. Not. Trust. Anyone. and I don't know how to break that mentality.
I wake up to flashbacks and bad thoughts. I go to sleep to the same. I'm up until 5am recently because my mind is racing then I do not want to wake up. I consider myself lucky for having much more good and adventurous dreams than bad. I have had mostly story/movie like dreams since I can remember and at times would rather stay there than face reality. Sometimes, I'm different people in those dreams and that's a lovely temporary escape. That's not healthy, I know. I keep telling myself all this stuff I could do to get out that I might actually enjoy but I don't act on it. I'll see a cool local event and get pumped about it then let the date pass again and again. I moved years ago and was invited to hang out with a group once... Embarrassed the hell out of myself. I have no idea how to talk to people anymore. I've been told I'm annoying. I'm negative. I complain too much. Yet when I stay quiet, I get called a mouse and told to put myself out there. It's hard to genuinely put myself out there when my genuine self has been criticized so much by myself and outsiders. Hahaha shit, I'm being negative now! But I don't want to be fake anymore. I'm realizing more and more things that have mirrored my mother at my age and that has been a horrible realization, but I'm grateful I recognized it. I'm trying to find myself still, I won't be my mother. I will not be my mother. I will NOT be my mother. And she nor dickwad have control of me. Haha nope. I don't know what I am but I'll figure it out. This is been a very very rocky road. Confusing. Conflicting. I feel like I'm just rotting in my home. I'm searching for the drive and pushing so many negative uncontrollable thoughts and emotions. But at the same time I can't push them all away. I've learned my lesson in bottling emotions but why do they have to be sooo BIG?? I'm just trying to figure this all out, I just feel so far behind. I have a bad habit of thinking of the next stressor before I even tackle the first. I don't celebrate my wins (big and small) without worrying about what is next. I have to be easier on myself and pat myself on the back for what I've done. Well this has turned into a garbled rant that I should have just journaled but hey I already typed it out, I'm not reading it over and I'm definitely not using my energy to write it rn. Anyways I'll shut up and try to go to bed. The birds will chirp soon. I doubt anyone read this and definitely didn't get this far, but I hope you're doing okay.
submitted by Whisp_3 to CPTSD [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 11:36 RoadKing_04 Unexpected Roommate

My wife and I had been travelling around Europe for several weeks now, and currently we were in Spain at a popular tourist location on the coast. We had just arrived at the seaside town in the early afternoon and proceeded to check into the hostel. Frustratingly there had been a mix up, and instead of the private two-person room I thought we had reserved, we were instead booked into a four person room. They had nothing else available and given the popularity of the area we were not going to find anything better on short notice. The staff advised us that only one other guest was booked in and they were yet to arrive so we might be lucky and get the room to ourselves.
I have been married to my wife Emma for almost 8 years. Emma is a 5'2" petite brunette and despite having a petite frame, she has amazing curves, with a fantastic set of D cup breasts. My favorite part of her body however is her ass, closely followed by her hips. She works out a lot, and squats have done her wonders. It's the kind of ass that men can't help but stare at when she walks by in her yoga pants, and watching guys attempt to catch sneaky glances at her is a pleasure of mine.
The weather in Spain was sweltering so we planned to spend the afternoon at the beach. The great thing about Europe is the sexual open mindedness. The beaches are full of topless women and tiny bikinis. Em doesn't tend to wear anything too skimpy, at least not in public, but I had managed to convince her to buy a little white bikini that covered a lot less than what she would normally wear. We found our room, locked our belongings away and changed ready for the beach. Em put on her new bikini and then slipped a red loose fitting summer dress over top. As I pulled up my board shorts, I had to adjust my semi erection to get them on. I don't know what had turned me on more, my gorgeous wife's figure in her revealing bikini, or the idea of her wearing that out public.
We arrived at the beach and eventually found a spot with enough space for us to lay down our towels under partial shade.
"I'm already so hot, I'm going to jump in the water" Em said just after we set up our spot.
"No problem, I'll just wait here" I responded. As she walked down to the sea, I was hypnotized watching her barely covered ass gently bounce from side to side. I could feel the blood rushing into my crotch and had almost got it under control when Em headed back from the water, the wet cloth clinging tightly to her large jiggling tits. I glanced down and noticed the faintest outline of her pussy showing through the thin white material.
Em noticed me poring over her physique, laughed and said "I see you like my new outfit" whilst looking down at my shorts, at which moment I realized that I was so focused on Em that I had forgotten about the tent that was forming in my shorts.
A little embarrassed, I quickly rolled onto my stomach, pushing my erection out of the way. Em came over, leaned down so that her large half exposed tits were directly in front of me and gave me a lingering kiss, clearly trying to make things more awkward for me. I was surprised but excited to see how comfortable she was in this skimpy bikini.
After the beach, we went for a nice walk through a little park area not far from the beach. It was so hot that most people seemed to have gone to the beach, and there weren't many people around. It was a beautiful park, it had a lot of trees and greenery so we decided to attempt to find a nice shaded spot we could sit and relax in out of the sun. We followed a small path through some trees for a while, which opened up into a clearing with a wooden park bench. There was a large tree shading the bench so we sat down and Em grabbed out our kindles.
After 5 mins or so, Em looked over at me and smiled, then went back to reading. She placed her hand on my thigh and gently began rubbing her fingertips back and forward. There was nothing particularly sexual about it, but after watching Em so intently down at the beach I was still a little turned on. I could feel my penis begin to respond and I think Em noticed as her fingers shifted from my thigh and began rubbing gently across my shorts over my cock, often circling the tip before moving back down and up again. I was a little surprised but said nothing and simply enjoyed the attention.
I pretended to just keep reading, but Em suddenly turned to me and said, "Get it out".
I was caught off guard, "Here? "But what if someone comes?"
"We haven't seen any one since we first got here", "Besides, the whole idea is for someone to come" she laughed at her own joke, and I joined in.
Realizing my wife wanted to get me off on a park bench in a public area was extremely hot, and my cock was now rock hard. I could feel my heart racing, I nervously looked around as I slid down my shorts, allowing my cock to spring out.
Em grabbed it and started stroking up and down. I let out a satisfied sigh and slightly relaxed into the bench. I calmed down once I realized that the angle of the bench relative to the path meant that even if someone emerged, they probably would not see my cock waving about in my wife's hand.
Em glanced around, making sure no one could be heard approaching, then leaned down and took my cock in her mouth. She licked slowly around the head before getting to work. She slid her mouth up and down my shaft whilst stroking it with her hand. She stopped occasionally to give the head of my cock particular attention, kissing and licking it while staring up at me with beautiful big eyes.
After about a minute she stopped, looked up at me with her hand gripping the base of my cock and the head resting against her cheek and quietly but assertively stated "I want some fun too, you need to fuck me now".
Despite already having my cock out in public I was yet again surprised and nervously excited about what my wife was wanting to do. She then climbed up, pulled her dress up around her hips and straddled me. She was still wearing her bikini underneath.
"Are you serious?" I asked, obviously hoping she was.
"Hurry up and put your cock inside me" she whispered in my ear.
My cock sat straight up between her legs, and I reached down and slid her bikini to one side. I gently began to massage her pussy and clit and discovered she was soaking wet.
I grabbed my cock and angled it towards her. I rubbed the head of my cock up and down between her lips and she exhaled in excitement and then lowered her hips and slowly slid down the length of my cock to the base. She let out a quiet but drawn out "Ohhh fuuuck" then began rocking her hips back and forward, grinding against me with her tits wobbling in my face.
I was worried someone might accidently happen upon us but I couldn't bring myself to concentrate on anything other than my super sexy wife riding my cock in a public park.
By this stage I was ready to erupt, and it took all my will power not to come immediately. At that moment we both heard people coming up the path towards the clearing.
Em stopped, breathing heavily and said "Shit that's bad timing, I was already about to come".
"Good" was all I responded and reached between her legs.
Realizing what I was about to do Em initially tried to protest "No we should stop", but as soon as I began to rub her clit she quietly moaned "ohhh yes, OK" and began eagerly grinding against me. Within a couple of seconds, she began moaning in my ear "Oh fuck I'm about to come, don't stop".
I massaged her more vigorously and a moment later she began to tremble and came, moaning quietly in my ear. She paused breathing heavily for a moment then regained her composure and quickly slipped off my lap so that she was sitting next to me. I hastily pulled my shorts up and hid my pussy soaked erection as best as I could. Just then an older couple entered the clearing. Em was still in a state of euphoria and I was awkwardly trying to come up with something to say but I blanked and instead Em and I just looked at each other and laughed.
Once we went back to the room we realised we weren't going to enjoy the privacy we had hoped for that evening. Given the earlier events I was rather disappointed that I wouldn't have my wife alone after dinner. The four person room appeared to currently have just one other occupant, although they were not around when we arrived. We sorted our beds and replaced our belongings, preparing to head out for dinner.
I was about to go to the bathroom when Emma turned to face me "If we're lucky our new roommate will stay out late, I was planning to give you a little relief after your excitement earlier", giving me a little squeeze through my shorts.
"Even if they're here, I don't see the problem" I joked, adding "It looks like this stuff belongs to a guy, so maybe you could see if he's interested".
"Stop it" She said as she gave me a playful smack, and a smile that showed a hint of excitement mixed with uncertainty.
Although never seriously intending to actually follow through, we had discussed how much I would love to watch her come in front of me, filled with another man's cock. Emma always seemed hesitant to admit it, but I knew she liked the idea, a lot. I think she was just worried that I would be upset if I saw her with someone else, but in reality the whole idea just really excited me.
That night we decided to go out for a nice casual dinner. Em still had on her cute little summer dress, and I switched out my singlet for a casual collared shirt. We went out for dinner at a local tapas restaurant. It was nothing too fancy but it had really good reviews.
Emma is gorgeous and I sat there amazed at how lucky I was to have such a perfect best friend; not only beautiful, but kind, smart, and funny too. We ordered a bottle of wine and chatted about our holiday and our plans for the next few days. The food was fantastic so we just kept ordering extra tapas. We ordered a second bottle of wine and were both becoming quite tipsy. After a while we talked about going back to our room to pick up where we left off in the park. Em mentioned how frustrating it was that we didn't have the room to ourselves and we discussed just simply going for a nice walk down the beach after the restaurant.
"We could always stop by the room, there may be no one in" I said cheekily.
"I thought we weren't going to worry about our roommate anyway?" Em joked.
"It wouldn't bother me, I just thought you wouldn't be comfortable involving someone else" I quietly replied with a grin.
"Well to be honest I like the idea too, as long as you're sure you would be OK with that? Em said with a surprisingly serious questioning look.
"I'm completely comfortable in our relationship and it wouldn't upset me at all" I quickly responded, trying to hide how excited I was becoming. I could feel my heart racing faster the more this conversation went on.
I couldn't believe it, despite my suspicions she had never actually admitted to sharing my fantasy. I suddenly felt nerves mixed with my excitement until it occurred to me that the likelihood of the right situation actually arising was very low.
Em gave me a seductive smile and said "Well lets go meet our new play friend".
I laughed, I knew she was mostly joking but it felt like progress towards my ultimate fantasy.
We got up to our room and quietly went in. Although it wasn't very late late, you never know what time people might head to bed as they may be getting up early to move on. We found one bed still unclaimed but the mystery roommate had arrived sometime earlier. He was laying on his bed, chilling with his computer when we arrived. He promptly sat up and smiled, looking a bit awkward. He was only wearing boxer briefs and apologized saying that it was so hot and thought he would be in bed before anyone returned. We both laughed and said that we weren't bothered at all.
"Nice to meet you, I'm Thomas" He said.
"Nice to meet you" we both replied.
Thomas was quite tall and lean, with dark hair and a friendly face. He was quite a good looking guy, and I could tell Em wasn't too upset about the appearance of our new roommate, nor that he only had underwear on.
We sat down at the table in the corner, and chatted with Thomas for a while, whom had gotten up and pulled out a chair and joined us. We discussed travel, where we had been and what our immediate plans were. At one stage Em got up to use the bathroom, and I pretended not to notice Thomas's gaze follow her as she walked across the room.
After a little longer we ended up lounging on our beds, eventually I got up "I'm going to jump in the shower, won't be too long".
"OK that'll be nice after such a long and hot day" Em replied.
I grabbed a towel and a fresh pair of underwear and headed to the bathroom. I thought about grabbing some shorts but it was so hot and Thomas was hardly going to complain so I didn't bother. I jumped in the shower then thought about my sexy wife sat in the next room with a barely clothed stranger and my cock was hard almost instantly. I began to visualize Em with Thomas, my ultimate fantasy, and it took all my will power after the days' events not to get myself off in the shower.
When I came back Em was still in conversation with Thomas. When I sat down she turned and said that a shower sounded like a good idea. She rummaged through her bag for a while and then pulled out some fresh clothes.
I noticed she grabbed a skirt to which I quietly said "you don't need to put that on"
"But the only clean panties I have are thongs" holding up a sexy small cream colored pair.
"Yeah but you're just going to take the skirt off when you get back so don't worry. It won't bother anyone in here and anyway you would be over dressed", then I grinned.
She laughed, rolled her eyes, then chucked the skirt back in the bag and headed off to the shower. I felt a burst of excitement picturing my sexy wife with her amazing ass walking back into the room in a tiny thong in front of an equally barely dressed stranger.
Em came back wearing the small sexy thong but to my surprise she also hadn't bothered to put on a bra under her little singlet. Her large tits were very obvious as they jiggled as she crossed the room. I instantly felt my boxers tighten.
I glanced over at Thomas who was pretending to busily look through his pack, but I noticed his eyes were fixated on my wife's ass in her tiny little underwear. He clearly liked what he saw.
Em had a sheepish smile and quietly whispered "I forgot to grab a bra, I hope it's not too obvious".
"It really is, but I don't think anyone in here will mind, besides your ass is distracting enough anyway" I whispered with a smile.
She looked back over at Thomas who smiled and quickly looked back down at his pack. Em had clearly caught his line of sight and looked back at me grinning. She obviously enjoyed the attention and seemed to be a little turned on.
I was slouched across the bed width-wise with my head and shoulders against the wall and my legs off the edge. Em grabbed her book and then came and curled up on her side next to me, using my chest as a pillow.
"Alright my turn" Thomas said, getting up and walking to the bathroom and closing the door behind him.
Em put down her book and began gently rubbing her hand up and down my inner thigh, I was already bulging against my boxers due to a combination of Ems lack of clothing, her excitement at the attention she was getting, and the fact that she seemed to like all of this just as much. She propped herself up on her elbows, looked around at me and slid her hand up my leg and starting rubbing my cock through my underwear.
"You poor man, you really need some release" She whispered.
She then pulled the waistband down just enough for my cock to burst out. She grabbed it and immediately slid her lips over the head. It was almost too much, I couldn't believe how close I was to coming.
Up and down her bead bobbed, and as she was side on I reached out and grabbed a handful of her stunning ass. She clearly meant for me to come as she relentlessly sucked my cock, switching between deep repetitive strokes and gently flicking her tongue across the tip of my dick.
This had only been going a minute or so when I heard the shower stop, panicking I went to pull away worried that Thomas would reappear at any moment, but Em instead reached down and fondled my balls gently whilst doubling the rate she slid her mouth up and down my cock.
I erupted, wave after wave of come shooting into the back of her throat. It took all of my will power not to cry out in pleasure. She didn't stop, just slowed down and swallowed each load that entered her mouth. Content, she stopped and let me quickly pull the waist band back over my still semi-hard penis.
She looked at me and whispered "I'm so fucking horny. You're going to need to fuck me soon".
At that moment, Thomas opened the door and wandered back in. Following suit, he had only bothered to put on a fresh pair of grey boxer briefs. He was still rubbing his hair with his towel as he wandered towards his bed, allowing for an unnoticed look at his package.
I could tell Em had taken advantage of this as her head shifted on my leg, where she had laid back down after finishing me off. I suspect that Thomas may have done that on purpose, allowing my wife to have ample chance to check out what appeared to be a rather large cock.
By all appearances we had not moved and Thomas sat down and picked up his laptop. He then grabbed out his headphones and said he was going to find something to watch.
Em had her book again, still lying on her side, and shifted her ass back towards me. I began to run my hand along the back of her thighs, she had her legs curled up with her knees partway up towards her chest.
Her panties had shifted up her ass and as I caressed the back of her thighs I occasionally ran my fingers across the lips of her pussy, finding that the material was very damp. Her breathing intensified and became shallow as she moved slightly, towards the pressure of my hand.
I gently stroked her from behind, pressing a little harder each time, and she laid there breathing hard, trying not to move too much or make too much noise. I pushed her panties to the side and slid a finger in. She wasn't just damp, she was soaking wet. She began rocking her hips slightly, like she was trying to fuck my finger, and I could tell how much she just wanted rip my cock out and mount me, regardless of who saw.
She put her book down and reached up and started stroking my cock through my boxers, which to my surprise was not far off being fully erect again already.
I stopped momentarily and whispered "Babe what are you doing, Thomas could see that".
"I don't care, I'm so fucking horny" she whispered back. "Besides he doesn't seem to mind".
I glanced over and realized Thomas was watching us over his laptop, he was obviously aware of what I had been doing to Em as his cock was similarly rock hard, clearly visible through his boxers and his hand was gently stroking across the material.
I was surprised by my reaction, I immediately became relaxed, realizing that Thomas must have decided we didn't mind being watched, and he was quite happy for us to see him watching. Thinking about all of our previous discussions, it occurred to me that my fantasy of watching my wife with another man had all of a sudden become a real possibility.
Thomas still had his headphones in so I whispered to Em "Go and give Thomas the treatment I just got, I want to watch from over here".
If she was startled by the idea, she hid it well. She stopped stroking me and turned her head and looked me in the eye.
"Really? Are you sure?"
"If you want to do it then I would love to see that" I replied.
"It sounds kind of fun right now" she smiled. "But that's all I'm going to do".
"OK then" I said as I slid my finger out of her soaking wet pussy and gave her a wee spank on the ass, indicating to get going.
She got up looked over at Thomas and took a couple of steps across to his bed, glancing briefly back at me and stopping just in front of him. As she moved towards him he placed his laptop on the bed beside him and shifted slightly. Looking very excited but also confused about why this fantastically sexy, incredibly horny married woman stood in front of him while her husband sat a few feet behind.
"Er, what's going on?" he mumbled.
"My husband thinks it's unfair you're missing out" Em said. "You should move here to the edge of the bed".
He seemed slightly unsure but shuffled forward and sat on the edge of the bed, placing his feet on the ground. His cock bulging against his boxers. Em crouched down onto her knees and reached up grabbing the waist band of his underwear before sliding them all the way down and off. His cock burst out when the resistance of the material was suddenly removed. Em was briefly still and although I was looking at the back of her head, I knew she was taking a moment to admire what she was looking at.
His cock was big, probably an inch or 2 longer than mine and it also had a lot of girth. Where my cock would be considered a decent size, Thomas's was big, and the idea of my wife sucking on a big fat cock right in front of me was overwhelmingly hot.
Em plunged downwards and her head slowly began moving up and down. Thomas leaned back on his elbows, looked upwards and groaned as my wife's tongue massaged the tip of his big cock. Then she slid her lips further and further down his shaft as she bobbed up and down. I got up, slid off my own boxer briefs and moved to a far end of the bed to get more of a side on view. I didn't see the point in keeping my cock hidden away, not that it was hidden.
I couldn't believe how hard it was or how horny I was given that I had been drained only 10 or 15 mins earlier. I began slowly stroking my own shaft watching my wife's display. Em kept at it, on her knees with one arm resting on the bed next to Thomas, the other hand sliding up and down his shaft in time with the motion of her glistening lips stroking gently up and down his cock. There was an occasional muffled moan of enjoyment from Em as she relentlessly worked her tongue back and forth, pausing sometimes to lick the underside of the shaft or gently suck on his balls. She was not moving quickly like she had done with me, clearly wanting to draw this out for as long as Thomas could last.
I sat there, soaking it in whilst stroking my own cock. Ems ass and hips swayed back and forward slightly as she moved up and down with the length of his shaft in her mouth. I looked at her pussy, the outline of which was visible from behind as she was bent over in doggy position. She was still wearing her cream panties, which were now clearly soaked through.
I stood up, moved behind Em and knelt directly behind her. The carpet was soft under my knees and I gave her ass a gentle spank then reached forward and gently grabbed hold of the waist of her panties on each side of her hips. Her only response was to slightly lift her knees up indicating she was happy for me to take them off.
I peeled them down, watching them stick slightly to her wet pussy and felt my throbbing cock twitch with excitement when I saw how soppy, wet, and swollen her pussy was. I had never seen it look so ready to be fucked. I pressed up against her ass and rubbed my cock back and forward against her lips, her juice spreading along my length as I repeatedly brushed against her clit. She trembled slightly and kept slowly stroking Thomas's cock.
I grabbed hold of her hips, slid back along her and then plunged in, all the way to the end. Every inch of my cock pressed firmly inside her soaking wet pussy. She cried out in pleasure and briefly forgot about the big cock resting against her lips as I began slowly but firmly thrusting in and out of her from behind, my balls lightly slapping against the back of her thighs with each stroke as I filled her again and again.
She moaned every time my cock was buried to its depth and began sucking Thomas's cock again, this time with increasing speed and intensity. I continued slowly impaling her whilst listening to her moans, muffled by the large cock filling her mouth.
Thomas suddenly tensed, grabbed Ems head and groaned, hips jerking slightly as he erupted, squirting load after load into my wife's mouth. The moment Thomas had finished, Em trembled and gasped "I'm coming, FUCK I'm COMMMMIIING!" as she grasped his thighs and climaxed with her face in his lap.
I continued burying the length of my cock inside her, briefly pausing each at the end of each thrust. Em stopped trembling and I began to slow, however she started to push back on each thrust, attempting to pick up the pace. I was so close to coming, the pleasure of watching my wife come and quiver whilst sucking down the come of another man was incredible, but I wanted to keep pleasuring her as long as I could.
However, Em had become more horny than I had ever imagined. She started pushing her sexy ass back into me more aggressively, and seemed determined to speed up the rhythm.
"Don't stop, fuck me harder" she moaned and I could not help myself so I began to comply.
I glanced up and noticed that Thomas was rock hard again already and had begun rubbing his own cock as he watched. He occasionally slapped his huge dick gently against Ems face, and she seemed to be loving having a cock at each end for her enjoyment. Never would I have believed my usually quite reserved wife could be such a horny, cock hungry little slut. I can't explain how amazing it was to watch.
"Faster, fuck me faster, I'm going to come again already!" Em groaned.
I couldn't believe how turned on she was despite having just come hard on my dick. She began to tremble again and I knew she was about to orgasm. At that moment I knew what I was going to do, I wasn't certain how my next course of action would play out but I had a feeling Em wouldn't mind.
I proceeded to slow right down and withdrew my soaking, throbbing cock. She looked back at me over her shoulder, clearly frustrated "What are you doing? I was about to come!"
I smiled, "I know but I want you to suck my cock a bit first" I said as I turned and sat back on the bed behind me.
She pouted, but turned and crawled back towards me, grasped my cock and began to seductively slide her tongue around the tip. She immediately seemed to forget her frustration and vigorously began to pleasure me. Thomas was getting an eyeful of my insanely horny bent over wife and had picked up the pace stroking himself.
I looked down at my beautiful wife and whispered "Maybe Thomas could have a turn now?" She paused slightly for a moment with my cock still in her mouth, smiled slightly and excitedly nodded before continuing to blow me.
I looked up at Thomas, we made eye contact and I gestured with a nod down at my wife's sexy ass swaying invitingly in front of him. He raised his eyebrows questioningly, pointed to his big hard cock and then towards my wife's swollen pussy. I couldn't believe this was about to happen, I smiled and nodded as calmly as I could.
He got up, moved behind Em and knelt down. He cautiously placed his hands on her ass and stroked down her thighs to which she responded with an obvious moan of pleasure at the touch. This seemed to spur Thomas on, he slid his hand between her legs and based on the pleasurable groans from Em, immediately began to rub her pussy.
He maneuvered right up to Em's ass and slid his cock between her legs, and began to rub back and forth along her clit. She gasped slightly and turned briefly to look at Thomas behind her, who was ready to take her doggy-style. She then looked back up at me, excited but unsure, clearly worried about how I felt about this. I had an excited smile on my face and she relaxed.
"Are you sure?" she mouthed silently, doing her best not to moan as Thomas rubbed his fat cock up and down against her swollen clit.
"Fuck yes" I half whispered, loud enough that Thomas knew he was good to go.
Em had already begun moving in response to his cock, grinding her clit along his shaft and was clearly enjoying it.
Thomas took that as his cue, grabbing Ems hip with one hand and with the other he slowly guided his big fat cock towards the sopping wet pussy of my wife. He gently rubbed the bulbous purple head around the her swollen, soaking red lips, lathering his cock in her juice. He pushed forwards slowly to begin with, slightly stretching her open as he slid all 8 or 9 inches inside her.
Her pussy was so wet that Thomas was able to ram his entire meaty cock into her tight stretched pussy in one smooth movement until he had impaled her, with his pelvis nuzzled into her ass.
I couldn't believe her tight little pussy had swallowed his entire big throbbing cock in one go. Ems mouth fell open and she let out a noise somewhere between a moan and a grunt, immense pleasure visible on her face.
"Fuck that feels good, oh my god" she mumbled, so distracted by pleasure that she seemed unable to properly speak.
Thomas then began slowly stroking his cock back and forward, while my wife moaned louder and louder. She began to try and suck my cock again, which was already seeping pre-come just in my excitement from what I was witnessing, but she was too distracted. Her head was bobbing and lolling around in my lap as she moaned more than I had ever heard. She seemed to lose control, overwhelmed with bliss.
All of a sudden she convulsed, her finger nails digging into my thighs. "Oh my god, fuck, I'm coming already, I'm coming so hard!" she cried out. "Fuck that's so good".
She heaved with each wave of pleasure, but Thomas just kept pumping away, picking up the pace instead of slowing, with the sound of his balls slapping against my wife's thighs getting faster and louder. Em had finished her orgasm but seemed as horny as ever and began panting as Thomas relentlessly impaled my wife over and over with his big cock.
My own cock waved and bumped against my gasping and groaning wife's face, completely forgotten as she neared climax yet again. I was so turned on that the pre-come was leaking from the tip with nothing but the slight contact against Ems cheek as she was being pounded. Luckily Em was too preoccupied to even notice it since I would have exploded instantly if she had grabbed it.
In between moans of ecstasy Em cried "Oh my god your huge cock feels SO GOOD". Thomas continued to impale my wife, burying his big fat cock over and over in my wife's tight little pussy like a machine.
"Don't stop...oohhh...I want your massive cock...ohhhh... to fill me with come! Oohhh yes...oh yes!"
At the moment she said come, Thomas grunted with exertion.
"Fuck yeah, I'm filling your pussy" he groaned, with every thrust of his big cock pumping come deep inside my wife.
"Yes, yes, YES...fill me with your MASSIVE COCK!" Em moaned as she came and convulsed like I had never seen before, quivering with each wave of pleasure.
It was simply too much, I grabbed my dick, stroked only a couple times and exploded, squirting come all over my wife's beautiful face.
Em collapsed next to me and Thomas fell backwards on his bed; those two panting with exertion, and me breathing heavily. My testicles ached, having never been emptied so much in such a short period of time.
My beautiful wife was covered in come, mine was dripping off her face and Thomas's leaking out of her red swollen pussy, but she was too satisfied to care.
She shook slightly and lay there still breathing heavily, satisfied beyond anything she had experienced before.
She picked up my underwear, wiped the come from her face then curled up naked against me in our bed. I cuddled her tightly, and despite my wife's pussy being filled with another mans come, I had never felt more intimately connected with her.
Em briefly went to the bathroom to clean up then returned and curled up against me, we were both exhausted and fell asleep moments later.
The next morning Thomas had already left before we awoke. It must have been a combination of him sneaking out and all the wine the previous night that we hadn't noticed him leave. We laid in bed for a while with Em as the little spoon.
"Well last night was fun" Em said sheepishly.
I laughed "Yeah sure was, I'm glad you had a good time".
I was running my hand across Em's hip and thigh while we laid there. I knew she was thinking about last night and could no doubt feel my erection pressed against her bum.
I slid my hand between her legs and found her very wet. I rolled her onto her back and moved down to her pussy and gave it a kiss.
"Maybe we should book four person rooms for all our holidays from now on" I said.
Em just nodded eagerly and laid back thinking about the night before as my tongue began to massage her swollen clit.
copied from Literotica
submitted by RoadKing_04 to u/RoadKing_04 [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 11:09 IndependentSong1484 Kia Picanto X-Line 2022

I'm in the UK and at the end of last year I purchased a Kia Picanto X-Line 1.0 brand new on a 72 plate., it's the last Picanto with 3 seats in the back. A beautiful graphite grey and currently getting 62mpg, I love her. She growls and goes like shit off a shovel despite being having that weird ass automatic manual transmission. I have one issue, sometimes when I put it in reverse the camera comes on but the gear doesn't engage it still says its in neutral. I'm doing all the right things, foot on brake before selecting reverse but I'll have to brake and go forward a few times before it will engage or turn the car off n on like a dodgy pc. I'm terrified it's going to happen in traffic one day where I have to back up and it's not going to engage. Is this a known issue? Before I take it back to Kia dealer mechanics, am I doing something wrong? Literally only happens occasionally, mostly after I've been driving for a while and need to back into a space or arriving home and need to reverse outside the house. It's bloody bizarre! Thanks in advance for any advice 😊
submitted by IndependentSong1484 to kia [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 10:46 Tall-Confection-3591 suddenly i have a runny nose everytime i look down

I’ve never experienced this from what i remember. The past couple weeks i noticed that everytime i look down/turn my head down (mainly like, when i looked down at my desk in class), i get a very runny nose with mucus the consistency of a bloody nose, to the point that the first few times i thought it WAS a bloody nose before i checked. it basically happens multiple times a day now, everyday. i don’t have any trauma to head or nose. i also notice more dizziness when i get up, ive always had this but it’s been more prominent lately. Id just like to know at what point does this become a serious concern? and what may be possible causes?
submitted by Tall-Confection-3591 to medical_advice [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 10:42 aliensplooge69 Looking for some advice

Hi 👋
30 Female, Accepted myself for a good months now. Ex and I are separate, still living together as we purchase houses (fingers crossed 🤞) and still friends. It wasn't just the late in life lesbians realisation... Anyway.
Been wanting to write this post for a while.
I went to an Asian country a few months ago... I met a girl there on a group tour I was on. She's 19 turning 20, though could pass for 25 easily. I seriously wish she was older because quite frankly her age is an issue for me. She's bisexual.
I know. She massively young and even though mature in some ways, immature in others. I'm not here asking for how I can be with her, it's not possible and not fair...
She's shy, bolshy, not confident but equally brilliant. Shares the same interests as me generally speaking. We spent the evening at dinner together out there and someone said to me, 'so you went on a date then' and it didn't even cross my mind that it could be considered one, it was just natural.
Spent a ton of time together, we raced up the hill becaus she challenged me (she got her assed handed to her by an unfit 30 yo 🙌)... Yes she did go off on her own because she needed space here and there.
She lives in the States. I live in Europe.
She made me tell her to go to bed at 3am because she wanted to 'win'. She won...
We WhatsApp now, I for the most part initiate (well alot because I generally don't shut up with people I like) but she prefers video calling me and we spend 3/4 hours talking, even if it's just doing mundane chores and stuff...
Seriously this women makes my cheeks flush when I think about her, I get a little heated and embarrassed. I'm forever complimenting her and lifting her up because she's beautiful, including her shy personality. When she messages me, it literally makes me smile so much and I'm like a little love sick puppy.
We were in an onsen, completely stark naked but that wasn't the thing that caught me off guard. She rinsed out her wet cold towel over herself and I had to look away 😳, it was very attractive and I didn't want her to think I was being creepy.
She's far from perfect don't get me wrong, mental health issues she needs help with so yeah ... I'm old enough to know that I'm not there to fix her, I'm fixing myself right now anyway... I want to support her without telling her what to do.
I'm here to ramble I guess and just ask ways I can get over her. I'm texting with someone else who popped back into my life after a few months of texting and then nothing and I'm like yeah maybe go on a date with her but that's not fair, when I'm so infatuated with someone else.
Help a newly clubcard member of the latelesbian crew out please ?
submitted by aliensplooge69 to LesbianActually [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 10:37 tiredofbeingmad I was neglected as a child and I’m suffering for it as an adult

My mother did her best raising me, but that “best” was neglectful and often times spiteful. She told me I was a stubborn child and she would never force me to do anything. That includes bathing, brushing my teeth, basic hygiene. I had to learn all of that while I was in college and she had refused growing up to buy my things I asked for to clean myself with.
I suffered with tinea (athletes foot) all over my body for as long as I could remember. She only treated it once with antibiotics because it was visible on my neck and my dad had commented on it when I stayed with him. He also was negligent and not blameless, he just didn’t do anything either and expected my mom to do everything.
I had tinea all over my chest until I turned 18 when I was finally able to ask my doctor for topical antibiotics to get rid of it. My mom never had let me get antibiotics for it because she claimed if I just cleaned well enough it would go away on it’s own. And if I washed my clothes more it would go away. I did, I tried, and I really was diligent on taking care of it, but fungal infections don’t go away with soap and water.
She would mock me for it. Call me gross. And would shame me for wanting to look better. When I finally got antibiotics and it cleared up she was quick to act as if it was her idea, at times saying I “took the easy way out.”
Now as an adult this skin ailment rears it’s head almost yearly whenever it’s hot out. It’s embarrassing and I still am learning to how to properly care for myself.
Please be kind with this, I’ve suffered from severe depression since I was 8, I was a child and it was my parents job to teach me proper cleaning habits. And because they didn’t I had to learn the hard way. Now I’m extremely diligent with cleaning myself and almost neurotic about it.
Parents who may read this, please take care of your kids.
submitted by tiredofbeingmad to TrueOffMyChest [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 10:23 Ifingloveyounowleave New thoughts on S5E7 (A House Full of Extremely Lame Horses) and Zelda and Janusz and the Weissmans after finishing the series and rewatching s4

Okay, so I had seen a previous thread on this episode or one about the characters talking about the scenes where Janusz and Zelda come over for the pilot light and the bathroom and I couldn’t re-find it weeks later, so here’s a new thread with my thoughts.
In S4,E5 at the 9:18 mark there’s a scene in the kitchen where Rose is trying to turn on the stove and can’t. She asks Zelda for matches for the pilot light who says she saw some in Midge’s room. The phone starts ringing, Zelda leaves to get the matches, and Rose answers the phone. Then Rose lights the stove. So, in S5,E7 the Zelda and Janusz scenes where Rose is screaming through the house that the stove is broken, then screams it’s the pilot light after Zelda tells her, then asks Zelda to answer the phone, come off as poor continuity (or writing) for the sake of a bit. Too, it seems like a lot that the carpets, entire bathroom and 2 floors below would flood from the tub. That means they leave like a 5 or 6 yo to tub alone, completely unchecked, then nobody goes in that bathroom for hours or notice the carpet being wet squishy.
But -hear me out here- I’d prefer to think it’s intentional to show the singleminded focus of the Weissmans and their missing Zelda. In S4E5 Rose’s matchmaking is still mostly a hobby, so she’s still largely a housewife. In S5E7 all of the Weissmans are heavily immersed in their respective careers, and with their schedules and general single-mindedness (except Abe, who’s a genius, so he can also fixate on the intelligence of Ethan, then Esther) maybe the kitchen and bathtub stuff is meant to show how all other knowledge that doesn’t pertain to their focus gets forgotten, and that they are all really never home and so absentminded about general things and tired that they didn’t notice such an extreme situation.
With that in mind, I could see a scene where Abe forgets how to be a professor, he could still math, but he would forget how to be in that environment after shifting his focus to theater and the arts. We see it with Rose when she’s doing the commercials and when we hear her business is doing terribly and Midge says her matchmaking means more to her than even her family. She won’t let go, even when it’s unreasonable to continue because can’t do anything else. That combo makes sense to me to explain how Midge getting to the top of her field means she was never going to be able to have space for her kids or partners; she learned it from her parents.
I also think them constantly calling Zelda could be meant to show how much they miss her, but have never had a friendship to just call her to hang out, so they keep coming up with useless things they need her for to spend time with her. And Zelda misses them too. Like she’s annoyed they are calling for dumb stuff she knows they know how to do (or at least used to), but she keeps coming and answering and calling (like we see in the final episode with her trying to call Rose, despite Janusz being mad) because she misses them too.
They also kinda turned Janusz into a jerk. Like I get that the Weissmans are calling for help incessantly, but an episode before Zelda and Janusz getting married he’s saying how helping with the kids is one of the great pleasures of his life and he’s happy to babysit. Then he’s mad at Zelda for possibly being on the phone with them in the final episode, to the point that she has to call from the bathroom. I get him not wanting her to work for free, but what if she wanted to keep working for them? And why would it matter if she wanted to help by repeatedly calling Rose for a big moment while she’s probably cooking and cleaning at home.
submitted by Ifingloveyounowleave to TheMarvelousMrsMaisel [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 10:07 Fantastic_Log_2465 Horrible Neighbor

Not sure what this is going to accomplish, but honestly I think I just need to share my experience.
I live in Chicago in East Lakeview, on the corner of Sheridan and Broadway. I can give a specific address too just in the insane chance someone lives in the same apartment building as me.
Our building is in an L shape, so this particular neighbor ends up being right across from me on the same floor, even though his unit number is far from mine.
But anyway, this neighbor, a man, is the most unhinged individual you’ll meet. He’s clearly on a litany of drugs and used to play loud music all hours of the day. I’m talking blasting that shit. Like it’s a rave. At times like 3am on a Tuesday. He also tried breaking into my apartment one time. That was fun. He started off seeming like a nice, normal guy, but has turned into quite literally the worst neighbor you can possibly imagine.
Well, he’s since replaced the loud music with his girlfriend who will literally just sit in the apartment all day and scream her head off while the owner of the apartment, who’s name is Eli Solano, is out doing god knows what. Like it sounds like she’s quite literally dying, it’s screams of bloody murder. She will just periodically let out these blood curdling screams every few minutes. She’s currently doing it now and I have no idea why she does it. I’m guessing the best explanation is just intense mental health issues coupled with hard drugs. But it’s insane and just intensely aggravating.
I’ve knocked on his door countless times and called the cops countless times, but the former doesn’t do a damn thing and the latter can’t accomplish much because they just don’t answer the door when the cops knock. I’ve told my landlord multiple times about this person and she’s well aware of him. Well aware. She keeps telling me that because of the countless people complaining about him and his lack of paying rent, she’s working on evicting him. I’ve heard this for months. And I’m slowly learned that evicting someone is just next to impossible in Chicago.
So, to sum it up, this guy and his girlfriend absolutely suck and make my experience living in my apartment, which I otherwise live, pretty fucking annoying. Is there anything I can do outside of just finding a new apartment? I’m open to literally any suggestions. Any at all. Thank you.
P.s. however awful I made it seem like my neighbors are, I assure you it’s ten times worse. By neighbors I mean the man and his girlfriend. Ok post done. This was my first time posting on here. So, I apologize for the rambling.
submitted by Fantastic_Log_2465 to neighborsfromhell [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 10:06 FoggyGlassEye The Only, Part Twenty-One: A Trap

Quinn tapped his impatient thumbs against the steering wheel, muttering under his breath as he stared at the red light. “Call him again,” he ordered, glaring at the light intently. It was as though he believed he could manifest a faster light change, that his willpower could overwhelm the traffic control system. The whole thing’s run by computers, Milo thought as he tried to call Allen again. Unless you can glare in ones and zeroes, staring won’t be doing you any good.
“Straight to voicemail again,” he reported, pocketing his phone. “Might be a good idea to circle back.”
“No!” Quinn snapped, gripping the steering wheel tightly. “She’s here now. We need to find out where she’s going or we’re squandering an opportunity.”
“Fair enough,” Milo relented. Arguing wouldn’t do him any good; from his experience with the man, Quinn hated being questioned above all else. It was like walking on eggshells with him.
Allen had texted that the target was on 12th Avenue before going silent. She was on foot, and they hadn’t seen any busses on the way down the road. They were nearing the southern border of the Pearl District, and had no idea where she was heading from there.
It’s not a hunt, Milo considered. She didn’t sound very dressed up according to Lee’s description, and it doesn’t fit the kill pattern. What is it, then? Does she have other obligations? Does she know she’s being hunted? Is this a trap? These and countless other considerations and theories swirled in his head, but one thought kept surfacing before all others, one idea that wouldn’t stop nagging at him.
“She’s not in a disguise right now,” he muttered, looking down the street. “When she hunts, she’s dolled up, but she’s clearly not trying to be noticed, or possibly trying specifically not to be noticed. This is a different part of her life. The feeding, the pattern, it’s an event. What does she do with the rest of her time?”
“She’s going down 11th," Quinn replied.
The light turned green, and as they continued south, Milo looked towards the intersection to their left. Sure enough, the Black Widow was there, crossing the street, heading in the same direction. “We need eyes on her,” Milo said, “but we need distance. Stop at the curb. I’ll follow her on foot. You can go back and look for Allen.”
Quinn shook his head. “You’re staying with me. We don’t know where Allen is. She could’ve killed him. We need to keep our distance, but there’s strength in numbers in case she sees us coming.”
Milo shot a text off to Justin as well: Can’t find Allen. Phone off. Look between 12th and 11th. If Allen was hurt but not dead, he wasn’t going to let Quinn’s obsession get the man killed.
As he looked back at the intersection at 11th, Milo noticed the tracks through the middle of the street. “Shit, she’s taking a streetcar,” he realized, pulling the Trimet site up on his phone. The car would be there soon.
“Well let’s follow her,” Quinn replied, turning towards the curb.
“She’d spot us if we were in the car,” Milo countered, holding his phone up. “We can track the car, keep an eye on the stops and wait for her to get off.”
* * *
They continued south, past the border of the Pearl District and through downtown Portland. Finally, as the streetcar turned onto Lowell Street and came to a stop, prepared to continue up the track and begin the long trek back north, she appeared. Still with her hood up, still with her hands in her pockets and her head down. Quinn turned into an alley between two weather-beaten buildings that looked nearly as old as the city itself, then stopped the car, lowered his seat and leaned back. “Tell me when she’s out of sight,” he ordered.
“Sure,” Milo agreed, taking out his phone. he watched as she turned right, heading down Moody Avenue. Go ahead and make yourself look as little as possible, he thought. I can still see you. As he prepared to send an update text to Justin, his phone rang. “Yeah?” he answered.
“He’s alive,” Lee said quickly. Milo could hear the smile in her voice, the deep inhales of someone who’d been holding their breath for far too long. It was the sound he chased whenever he went looking into missing persons cases, whenever he got to tell someone’s mother or father that their child was alive. He was far more familiar with wails of grief or the deafening silence of anguish.
“He okay? What happened?” he asked, watching as the Black Widow continued south at the three-way intersection up ahead, down a trail. Unbuckling his seatbelt, he nodded to Quinn and opened the car door.
“Are you on speakerphone?” she asked after a brief silence.
“No,” he replied, lowering the call audio before holding the phone close to his ear.
“That’s the thing: she knew he was there,” Lee warned. “She knew we were following her. It was a trap. Allen said that she destroyed his phone and told him that we were warned not to get involved.”
“Funny, I don’t remember getting anything in the mail about that,” Milo joked. He exited the vehicle, pushing the door shut quietly.
He heard Allen mumbling something unintelligible to Lee, his voice weak and raspy. “Exactly. She told Allen that she warned Quinn to back off, but Quinn told us that she was already gone when he found the body in Bennington.”
“Alright, I’ll keep that in mind,” Milo assured. “In the meantime, your car is parked by an auto repair place by the corner of Moody and Lowell. We’re heading south from here. There’s one more streetcar heading down here, so we’ll follow her for now and meet back up here.”
“Will do. Stay safe,” Lee said.
Milo looked back at Quinn, then to the path the Black Widow had gone down. “Don’t know if that’s up to me, but I’ll do my best.”
* * *
They continued down the street, then onto the trail. To the right of it were some old train tracks, one end of the old trolley they ran north from Lake Oswego in the summertime. The path was shrouded in darkness, but before long opened onto a street. They were down at the waterfront, approaching a small side road with nothing but large office buildings and larger parking lots.
Milo and Quinn kept their distance, allowing her to nearly exit their site before continuing. It was dark and the street was poorly lit, but all she had to do was take one look back. Really rolling the dice on this one, Milo considered. There was no one else on the sidewalk, or on foot in any direction for that matter.
They passed by an office building, then another, and the road turned to the left. As they rounded the corner, Milo saw that the woman was nowhere to be found. Either she’d quickly turned the street, or she’d circled around the hotel. There seemed to be a path going down that way, a stone walkway deeper into the darkness between these buildings and the shore. “Looks like a trap,” Milo said, retrieving a small crucifix from his jacket pocket. “Shall we?”
Quinn nodded, then gestured for him to go ahead. Coward. “So where do you think she’s heading,” Quinn asked. “Is this just a trap or does she have business here?”
“Business…” Milo considered. There were only office buildings nearby, and they tended to operate mainly during the daytime. Didn’t mean there weren’t reasons for someone to be there after hours. “I think she’s heading to work,” he suggested.
“She’s going to work?” Quinn whispered.
Milo began down the path, the grip on his crucifix tightening. “If you were a vampire all of a sudden, where would you live? Can’t live on the street without being hassled by people, and you need a place to doll yourself up so you can lure unsuspecting men to their demise. You need a home- probably an apartment if you’re in the city. She has to pay rent just like everybody else, right?”
“You’d have to assume she has money, though,” Quinn countered. “Vampires always have money squared away, right?”
“Assuming she actually is a vampire,” Milo pointed, squinting his eyes and hoping to see her up ahead, “what makes you think she’s ancient? Even if she is, why would that mean that she has a lot of money? Not like she can ever go to the bank during business hours.”
“Huh,” Quinn grunted, and as Milo continued down the pitch-black path, a shiver went up his spine as he could feel Quinn’s breath against the back of his neck. “That’s good to know.”
Milo whirled around, holding his crucifix up without knowing for certain what he intended to do with it, and inhaled sharply as a knife entered the side of his chest. Quinn pulled the knife out, then pushed it into Milo’s stomach.
Milo felt the grip on his crucifix loosening, and tried to tightening his grip. His strength was leaving him. “What… the fuck…” he whispered, unable to raise his voice. He tried to breath deeply, but a sharp pain in his chest put a stop to it.
“Don’t try to talk,” Quinn ordered, twisting the knife. Milo’s body tried to let out a shriek of pain, but he could already feel his strength leaving him completely. “I think I punctured a lung. Sorry about that. Or maybe I shouldn’t be.” He pulled the knife out, reversing his grip on it, then plunged it into Milo’s shoulder. “You did trespass, after all. You’re no use to me if I can’t pluck your strings, but the others are good little marionettes. Besides, maybe she’ll start to reconsider when someone finds your body. If you’re right, they’ll go around asking questions, put some pressure on her, and she’ll finally realize that I’m a dangerous enemy to have.”
You want her to turn you, Milo realized. He tried to say as much, but no words would come out. His body was in shock, and he couldn’t get a word out. You really think she’s a vampire, and you want her to turn you.
Quinn rifled through Milo’s pockets, retrieving his phone. “Can’t have you dialing 911,” he said, slamming the phone against the ground once, then again before throwing it into the grass near the path. “If this brings you peace in your final moments,” he added, getting to his feet, “this is as much your fault as it is mine, maybe even moreso. You just shouldn’t have questioned me.” With that, he pulled the knife from Milo’s shoulder, a quiet groan all that accompanied the shooting pain, and got to his feet.
I knew you were a monster, Milo thought, watching helplessly as his vision began to blur. Quinn stepped back into the light, onto the street, and continued back the way they’d come. Streetlights in the distance became vague blobs of light surrounded by an inky blackness that seemed to dance around it. Didn’t peg you for a killer.
As warmth and light began to give way to the cold dark, a soft laugh broke the silence. “At least he’s not boring,” a woman’s voice noted. Was it distant, or was he fading from consciousness for the final time? “You seem a little lost for words, friend, but I know what’ll put a pep in your step.”
He winced as the Black Widow lifted him by the shoulders, sitting him up. She held one of her palms up, then dug into it with a fingernail, drawing blood. “Drink up. You have a long night ahead of you.”
Her bloody palm was pressed up against his mouth, and while Milo resisted as best his could, he couldn’t stop the coppery liquid from reaching his tongue. As soon as it did, something passed through him. It was a chill, but it was electric. It made him feel restless, but he couldn’t move an inch. All he could do, despite his better judgement, was continue to drink.
She held him close as he drank, one hand pressed against his mouth and the other wrapped around him in a cold, comfortable embrace. “I’m gonna tell you something that I wish I was told. When I was turned, I thought that I would rise again as a monster, but I didn’t know how it worked. When you pass- and you will- your soul will leave your body behind. You’ll go wherever souls go, and you might find peace or be reunited with your ancestors, maybe some loved ones who you’ve had the misfortune of outliving, but then something will take your place. It will grow, and it will fester, and it will take your body over. It won’t be you, of course, and you may watch from above as it terrorizes the living world, but it’ll have your memories. It’ll believe that it’s still you, but it won’t be. It’ll be something new.
“It’ll remember how you valued human life, and how you cared enough to try and stop the big bad monster from taking more.” She turned his head, and as he felt himself fading once more, she smiled. “It’ll remember how much you loved your friends and family. It will remember your values, your beliefs, your fears, but it will inherit none of them. It will watch the lives of countless innocents end by their hand, and it will not care. It will take any life I tell it to, and it will not care who.
“Sleep. Sleep for the last time. And keep an eye out for your friends; they’ll join you soon enough.”
submitted by FoggyGlassEye to libraryofshadows [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 09:44 JoshAsdvgi THE CLEVER NUMSKULL


(MICMAC: Rand, Legends of the Micmacs, )

Three brothers lived together.
They had no sisters, and their mother was sick.
The youngest was supposed to be a silly fellow, and was always doing outrageous things. One day they killed a pig.
The two older brothers went to fetch salt, and told the youngest one to remain and watch the house, and take care of their mother and the pig.
They said they were going to salt down the pork, and keep it for the long days.
After they were gone, he went out and found some men at work, and told them that if there was a man there named Longdays, he had a pig for him.
One of them declared that that was his name; forthwith the pig was delivered to him, and he carried it off.
By and by the other brothers arrived, and wondered what had become of the pig.
"Why, Longdays has been here and taken it away!
Did not you say it was to be kept for Mr. Longdays?"
"Oh, you blockhead! we told you it was to be kept for ourselves when the days become long next summer."
Some time after this, Coolnajoo was sent to buy a horse.
He made the purchase, and brought the horse home.
But there was a long avenue, lined by trees and bushes, extending from the highway down to the house; and when he came to the head of this lane, he gravely told the horse that this was the road, and bade him go on directly to the house.
Saying this, he removed the halter; and the horse kicked up his heels and made for home. The boy arrived home, wondering at the stupidity of the horse; and on relating the case to his brothers, they wondered at his stupidity.
"You numskull!" they exclaimed, "you can never do anything right.
Why did you not ride him down the lane?" "Oh, I will do better next time," he promised.
So, as the old mother got no better, they sent him to find and bring home a woman to assist in nursing her and in taking care of the house.
He took his bridle and started.
He succeeded in his expedition, and the woman came with him all quiet and kindly till they reached the head of the lane; but there and then he made an attempt to put the bridle on her head, and assured her that she had to carry him on her back, and walk on all fours down to the house.
Persisting in his determination, the terrified woman screamed, broke from her persecutor, and ran.
Chopfallen and sad, he went into the house.
What was his trouble? they asked him.
"Why! I attempted to bring her home in the way you directed; but she screamed and tore away from me, and crying went back, as hard as she could go.--
"Oh, you abominable fool!" they exclaimed; "was that the way to treat a woman?
You should have taken her by the arm, and occasionally given her a kiss." "Ah, well!" he cried, "I shall know better next time."
The next time he was sent for a pig.
He led the pig all right until he came to the lane.
He then tried to make the pig walk on his hind legs; and when the terrified animal squealed and kicked, he attempted to conciliate it by kissing it; but he received such a return from the tusks of his captive as made the blood flow, and caused him to let go his grip,--and poor piggy went off home at the top of his speed.
Poor Coolnajoo returned crestfallen to his home, to relate his adventures, and to be blamed and lectured for the hundredth time for his outrageous stupidity.
His next expedition was for a tub of hog's-lard.
This he purchased; but on his way home he passed over a portion of road that was dried and cracked by the sun.
"Oh, my old grandfather!" he exclaimed, "what a terribly sore back you have got,--so naked and dry!
You shall have my lard for salve, and 1 will rub it on."
So saying, he began spreading the lard over the dry road; and when it was all gone, he went home.
"Why have you not brought the lard?"
"Oh, dear me! I came across a poor old man lying in the road with his back all sore and cracked; and I pitied him, and spread the lard over him."
To this the brothers made no objection until they ascertained the truth of the case; when another attempt was made to teach him a lesson, and with the usual success.
His sixth expedition was in quest of a quantity of needles.
These were purchased, but on his way home he passed a newly reaped field of grain.
He looked at the stubble, and perceived the holes in the top; he was sure that when the rain should fall, the water would fill all those holes, and concluded that it would be a very benevolent act to stop them up.
This would be a capital end to which to apply his needles.
So he opened the packages, and carefully placed one in every straw; and when the supply was exhausted, many remained undoctored.
"Alas, poor things!" he cried, "I cannot help you any more, as my stock is out."
So he went home without his needles.
Afterward he was sent for some red flannel.
Passing a graveyard on his way home, he looked at the crosses, and took them for poor old penitents kneeling in the cold with outstretched arms, and carefully tore up his roll of red flannel and covered their poor shivering shoulders.
After this the two other brothers went together to town to make some purchases, and left him to take care of the sick mother.
They charged him to give her drink, and especially to wash her face.
He obeyed the directions, but supposed he must wash her face as he had seen her wash clothes,--by thrusting them into boiling water.
So he set on the great pot; and when the water was boiling, he took up the old woman and thrust her head into it, and held her there.
When he took her out, she was dead, and her lips were contracted to a grin, which he affected to mistake for laughter'. and placed her back in the bed, and leaped and laughed at her quiet and pleasant countenance.
He ran to meet his brothers, and told them that their mother had not been so quiet nor looked so well this long time.
She had not stirred nor spoken, and she was laughing all the time.
They went in, and were horror-stricken. "Oh, you outrageous simpleton! what have you done?
You have killed your mother.
We shall all be executed for murder."
But now Coolnajoo began to exhibit his shrewdness, and soon became as clever as he had hitherto been simple.
"Never you fear," said he; "we will turn the incident to good account, we will make some money out of it.
Wait you here; I will run for the priest."
So off he ran posthaste, and informed the priest that his mother was dying, and requested him to come with all haste, to perform over her the indispensable rite of extreme unction. The priest started immediately; but Coolnajoo outran him, and took his dead mother and placed her against the door, inside.
The priest reached the house, burst the door open, and tumbled the old woman over. Coolnajoo sprang to raise her.
Alas! she was dead. "Oh!" he exclaimed, wringing his hands and weeping, "you have killed our mother!"
All three gathered round, and the horrified priest did not know what to do.
They threatened to accuse him of the murder.
He finally succeeded in pacifying them, and gave them a whole handful of money to hush up the matter and say nothing about it.
The development of his shrewdness proceeded.
The two other brothers went away one day, and left the place in his charge.
Among other occupations he had to tend the pigs.
These he sold; but in order to cheat his brothers, he cut off their tails and took them down to a quagmire near the shore, and stuck them all up in the sand.
When they came back and inquired for the pigs, he told them they had broken out of the pen and rushed down toward the shore, and had sunk in the quagmire.
They went down to see; and sure enough, there they all were, just the tips of their tails sticking above the ground.
They seized hold of the tails, and tried to draw up the porkers; but the tails broke, and down into the mire sank the bodies, as they believed, and could not be found.
Soon his pranks became unbearable, and the brothers resolved to make away with him. They concluded to drown him.
So they tied him up in a bag, and took him down below high water mark and buried him,--not deep, however,--and left him to be drowned when the tide came in.
They returned; and he soon heard the "Uh! uh! uh!" of a drove of hogs, and called lustily for them to come to his aid.
If they would uncover and untie him, he would lead them to a place where they could feast on chickweed to their hearts' content.
The hogs, attracted by the noise, approached the spot.
Their noses were soon thrust deep into the soft earth.
The bag was soon reached, and instinct alone was sufficient to pull it out; and they soon removed the string,--when up jumped Coolnajoo, who seized one of his deliverers, transferred him to the bag, and the bag to the hole, drove the others away to the field of chickweed, where they were kept busy till the tide returned and covered the spot where he was supposed to lie.
In due time the tide receded, and compunction returned to the brothers' hearts; they repaired to the spot and dug up the bag, mournfully chanting, "Our poor brother is dead." Astonishment seized them when, on opening the bag, there, instead of the brother's corpse, was a dead pig.
Meanwhile Coolnajoo had waited at a distance from the spot until his brothers went down to the shore to look for him.
When they returned, he was astride the ridge-pole, laughing at them.
They made another attempt to kill him.
This time they planned better; they would take him to a waterfall and toss him in above, and let him be dashed to pieces in going over the rapids.
So they tied him up in a bag again, placed it across a pole, and started for the waterfall.
They became hungry on the way, and placed him by the side of the road, and went to get some dinner.
While they were gone, a drover came by; and seeing the bag, he went up and gave it a kick. "Halloa!" he exclaimed, "what is all this?"
Coolnajoo replied, and informed the drover that he and his brothers were on a money-hunting expedition; concealed in this bag, so as not to excite suspicion, he was to be taken to a certain place where they would all make their fortunes.
He gave such a glowing account of the matter, and with such apparent truthfulness and sincerity, that the drover was deceived, and offered him a whole drove of cattle and sheep for his chance in the money-hunting speculation.
The bargain was struck, and the parties exchanged places.
But Coolnajoo gave his substitute some cautions:
"You must be cautious not to speak, or the cheat will be discovered; my brothers must not mistrust that it is not I.
By and by you will hear the roar of a waterfall; do not be frightened.
Before lowering you to the place where you are to find the money, they may give you two or three swings.
You must keep still, and not speak; and after that you can have it all your own way."
So saying, he went on to the market with the drove.
The brothers came back to the bag. "Are you there?" they asked.
No answer.
But they saw that all was right, placed the bag on the pole, the pole on their shoulders, and moved on.
When they came to the waterfall, they approached as near as they could, and then gave him three swings in order to send him as far out as possible; and just as they let go, the terrified man sang out.
They were startled at the voice; it sounded like a stranger's voice.
They returned home, and shortly after their brother arrived with his pockets full of money,--the proceeds of his drove of cattle and sheep.
So they concluded to share the spoil and remain together.
But one night a band of robbers was seen advancing upon them, and they ran for their lives. Coolnajoo was the last to leave the house and the others told him to "bring the door to after him,"--meaning, of course, that he shall shut the door.
He obeyed to the letter,--took the door off the hinges, and carefully brought it after him. They made for the woods, and took shelter in a tree,--Coolnajoo dragging the door up after him, and holding it carefully all the while.
The robbers came up to the same tree, kindled a fire under it, cooked and ate their dinner, and then began counting and dividing their gold.
While this process was going on, Coolnajoo got tired of holding the door, and dropped it down among them.
It fell with a noise that terrified the robbers, who supposed that it had fallen from the sky; so they ran off as fast as their legs could carry them, and left everything behind,--gold, food, and dishes.
Down scrambled our heroes, and gathered all up and ran; finally they came to a house, where they remained all night.
They divided the money; but Coolnajoo claimed the largest share, as he declared that it was through his efforts that it had been obtained.
The next night they called and stayed all night at another strange house.
Coolnajoo became thirsty, and hunted around for a drink.
Feeling carelessly about, he thrust his two hands into a pitcher, and could not withdraw them.
He went out-of-doors, and looked around for something to strike the pitcher against, in order to break it.
At length he saw what seemed in the darkness to be a white rock.
He gave the pitcher a smart blow in order to free his hands; when, alas! he had struck a young woman in the head, and killed her with the blow.
At the sight of what he had done, he was terribly frightened, and called up his brothers.
He told them what had happened, and proposed immediate flight.
They all departed; and his brothers, fearing that Coolnajoo would ultimately get them into difficulties from which they would be unable to extricate themselves, separated from him. By mutual consent the partnership was dissolved.
They went each his own way.
Coolnajoo was bent on making money, and an opportunity occurred soon.
He kept his eye on the robbers, and saw them going out to bury a dead child; he watched to see where they deposited the body, and also followed them unseen to their retreat.
When night came, he took up the corpse they had buried, and went up to their house.
The window was open, and he looked in; they were busy counting and dividing their ill-gotten booty.
Piles of money covered the table, and he heard all the accounts of their expeditions.
All at once he sent the dead baby flying in among them,--which so frightened them that they took to their heels and left all behind.
He leaped in, gathered all the money, and left for home.
He now determined to settle, and to this end built a small house.
One day a heavy rain-storm came on; and just at nightfall two weary priests, wet to the skin, called and requested a night's lodging.
This he refused, as he had no accommodations for strangers.
They pleaded hard, and offered him a large reward; this he accepted, and kept them until morning, but managed to exact a still further contribution from them before their departure.
submitted by JoshAsdvgi to Native_Stories [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 09:38 Fr0zzen_HS Another coincidence

Aviana Woods was a happy, healthy baby. Then her mother took her in for her routine 4-month vaccinations and Aviana’s world changed. The doctor commented on how healthy Aviana was, then gave her 8 doses of vaccines. 12 hours later, Aviana died in her sleep — not from suffocation or any bed-related reasons, but from an acute inflammatory reaction from the vaccines. A reaction that is so common, it’s listed as a potential side effect of the vaccines Aviana was given.
Her mother’s words... “Aviana turned four-months-old on May 24, 2017, so it was time for another “well-child visit.” Her appointment was at 1:30 in the afternoon. I remember crying with Avi when she cried after they injected those vaccinations into her, one nurse on each side. I had never heard her scream so loud in my life, and my heart was broken. The instant they were done her eyes became heavy. The rest of the day she was fussier than usual. She was a very happy baby on any other day. She was also very tired and slept more than she usually did. Avi wasn’t one to take naps for very long during the day.”
“I went to work as usual a few hours later, so she was with her babysitter until my mom got off of work. I picked Aviana up from my mom’s house that night when I got off work around 8:30. They told me she had been a little fussy, was very tired, and not her normal talkative playful self. Aviana was usually very vocal normally, cooing, babbling, laughing and very alert. So I chalked up this abnormal behavior to the “normal” reactions to shots because that’s what they tell you. They advise not to come in unless the baby’s fever is high. I took Aviana home, changed her and fed her. She fell right asleep as she finished her feeding, which wasn’t normal for her. She was usually up late, ready to play.”
Then things got worse . . .
“I laid her down around 9:30 or 10 and when checked on her before I went to bed at 11:30, she was laying on her left side. Aviana had been sleeping through the night for two months, so I didn’t think anything of not hearing her throughout the night, because she was a good sleeper.
I woke up at 6 am the next morning to get ready for class and went to check on her before I started my routine. Then I peeked in and began to worry.
I ran over to her and found her blue and discolored with bloody mucous fluids coming out of her nose. Her little body was heavy and lifeless, and I knew nothing could be done at this point.”
submitted by Fr0zzen_HS to DebateVaccines [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 09:19 Ok-Revolution7227 my toddler is scared !

my whole life ive had paranormal experiences and it’s always made me nervous but never really worried me but lately it’s been getting weird , my daughter is about to turn 1. we live in a one bedroom apartment, it’s pretty old i think from the 70’s - 80’s. lately we’ve been hearing the front and back door unlock and open then shut, but when we go look the deadbolt is locked. a couple weeks ago my daughter looked at the front door like she was terrified, screamed and crawled into my lap as fast as she could. tonight she did the same thing right after we heard the back door open TWICE. i hear talking occasionally and creaking above me (our apartments are one story), and i hear knocking on the wall in the living room( other side of the wall is our bedroom).. but wait there’s more… we were watering our garden out back with the sprinkler and there was a dry handprint on the fence where everywhere around it is dry, i sprayed water at the hand print and it got wet , im at a wits end and im not sure what to do , also im not good at writing things down but i hope some of you understand , im scared and my daughter is scared.
submitted by Ok-Revolution7227 to Paranormal [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 09:13 clydeshadow Advice for nighttime routine with near 3y old girl

Hi, hope to get some advice. We have a 4.5 year old and a near 3y old sisters sharing same room. The 4.5y old is mostly with the program when it comes to nightime routine, but the 3y old keeps coming out of the room repeated for about an hour or more sometimes before finally falling asleep.
We're lucky that ONCE ASLEEP they almost always sleep well through the night until like 645-700am when we have a red light hatch that turns on. So almost no issue with night terrors, middle of night wakesup, coming to our bed etc none of that.
The main problem is before the 3y old is asleep. She repeatedly comes out of the room, sometimes for semi-reasonable requests and often for nonsense. And of course she's increasingly exhausted with higher and higher odds of a tantrum/crying fit which just leaves a bad taste in our mouths as the last interaction with her before sleep, despite usually having great days.
Any advice on how to get her to not leave room? We have a solid nighttime routine (Bath, dinner, read book, quick prayer, lights except for a soft light at end of bed, story then out). Usually the sisters play for a bit in the room, etc. and get riled up so maybe that's part of the problem, but id have no issue if htey just stayed in their rooms while doing so (and in fact it's super cute to watch on the nannycam feed). The problem is the 3y old keeps coming out and we've tried everything and are at wits end as to how to get her to not leave room.
Any advice would be most welcome.
submitted by clydeshadow to toddlers [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 08:56 teller_of_tall_tales The lawless land of Lidoffad.

Helvark sprinted down the street, the two knife wielding thugs hot on his scaled tail. Commonly mistaken for Geknosians, the Zartani could expect little help from bystanders. However if anyone took one look at his keyhole shaped pupils they'd know he wasn't one of those Tyrannical slavers.
Helvark glanced behind him, seeing the vulpine one on the left gaining quickly. That was also when he ran into something he at first mistook for a statue and fell painfully backwards onto his tail.
Rubbing his head, the Zartani looked up in shock as a giant of lore slowly stood and turned around. the average sized black cat cradled in it's arms looking like a kitten.
"I'm sorry, am I in the way mr.lizard?"
The giant seemed confused, their words slow and thick from a slightly too large tongue.
Helvark shook his head in terror and surprise. Gesturing behind him at where he'd last seen his pursuers. But to his surprise, all that remained was a wet spot on the concrete and two abandoned knives. Helvark felt his mouth dry as he mumbled.
"I was being chased by some muggers... I'm new in town. Sorry for bumping into you sir."
The Zartani tourist was about to clamber to his feet when the giant simply picked him up by the shoulder and set Helvark back on his feet before asking.
"Where is your gun mr.lizard? Did you come to Lidoffad without one?"
The Tourist couldn't help but stand still as the giant roughly brushed the dust off of his clothing with their massive frying pan sized hands. Slowly Helvark shook his head, not understanding the question.
"A... A gun? Why would I have a gun?"
The giant nodded sagely and Beckoned for the tourist to follow as he set the cat down. Helvark quickly followed, more afraid of the towering example of human physique than he's like to admit
The giant however, didn't seem to notice or care as he introduced himself.
"My name's Bobby, mr.lizard. and you should have a gun because Lidoffad has no government or police. Everyone is responsible for their own safety, security and health. Needless to say, thieves, muggers and kidnappers do not have a long-"
Bobby was cut off by the sound of six rapid shots from an alleyway they passed. Morbidly curious, Helvark looked down the alleyway, surprised at what he saw.
A petite Mousian woman held a small Kelvian child to her stomach, covering their ears. A simple black handgun still pointed at the unmoving form of an insectoid species he didn't recognize. but even slumped against the wall, it was clearly taller and more massive than the woman and child combined. Brackish blood dripping from between it's mandibles.
Bobby stepped past Helvark, voice echoing down the alleyway as he called out to the woman.
"Ms.Shein, are you okay."
The Mousian woman, no, Ms.shein nodded curtly.
"I'm fine, kid's pretty shaken up though. I think she's a long way from home too, judging by the fact she's still struggling with the planet's gravity."
Bobby nodded and patted ms.shein on the shoulder.
"Take her to captain Leandra, she'll know what to do. What happened?"
Ms.shein's eyes hardened.
"It was a lure scheme. Heard the kid crying in the alleyway and went to investigate, this waste of oxygen tried kidnapping me too... So I shot him... Stupid fuck brought a replica to a gunfight."
Bobby nodded while Helvark's hand covered his gaping mouth. What was this place, he'd heard it was a top vacation spot but right now it seemed like a warzone.
Bobby noticed the Zartani's expression and simply stated.
"As I was saying before, thieves, muggers, kidnappers. Their life expectancy on Lidoffad is measured in days, sometimes hours depending on the nature of their... Chosen immorality. There's work to be done everywhere you look on Lidoffad, and for a liveable wage. You don't need to steal to support yourself."
Bobby stood and took the Zartani's shoulder in one hand, guiding him away from the dead insectoid. Leaving ms.shein behind to walk in relative silence.
After an hour or so of walking, Helvark was suddenly stopped by Bobby as the giant opened a building's steel reinforced door. The giant gestured Helvark inside and as soon. As the Zartani walked in, he smelled it.
The slight smell of burnt gunpowder hung in the air, intermingling with the surprisingly intoxicating smell of fine liquor, tobbaco and a sharp chemical smell he couldn't quite place.
The portly human behind the counter smiled as they looked up from their magazine.
"Welcome to the alcohol, tobacco, firearms and explosives superstore! We've got a special running on Plastique in case you need something to remove a troublesome Crimson jacket nest."
Helvark paused, looking around at the gleaming, new production firearms, the bottles of rich, dark brown alcohol, the humidors filled with cigars, bins of grenades and neatly wrapped blocks of plastic explosives. He was a little spooked, but he also had the sudden urge to buy one of everything. On his home planet you couldn't even get your hands on a certain wattage of laser pointer, much less the Colt M40 assault carbine he was currently ogling.
That was when he realized he probably didn't have enough money to buy the cheapest polymer handgun in the store. He deflated a bit until Bobby spoke up.
"I'll get the tab, just choose something you like that isn't too expensive."
Helvark couldn't believe his ear holes as his eyes slid onto the gun that he'd seen Ms.shein carrying. The tag said it cost about five hundred standard credits and came with two "magazines." Helvark immediately pointed at it.
"I'll take that one then please, that's the same kind Ms.shein was carrying right?"
The shop owner smiled widely sharing a glance with Bobby who gave him a nod of approval before he walked over and unlocked the glass cabinet to pull the handgun out, Explaining how to operate it.
"Okay, this one's just about as simple as they come son. It doesn't have any fancy bells or whistles but it can still put a tyrant bug in the dirt. It's chambered in nine millimeter HEP but you can fire standard, non High Explosive Propelled nine millimeter in it with just a top slide swap. Though, personally, I'd stick to the HEP barrel and top slide assembly. It's the best bang for the modern buck. It's got a trigger safety so make sure you keep your finger off the trigger until you're ready to rock. To load it, slap a loaded magazine in the grip, pull the slide back and let it go."
Helvark slowly went through the motions getting a feel for the gun in his hand as he slipped a magazine loaded with dummy rounds into the grip before racking the slide back. In truth, it felt good to feel the weight of the firearm in his hand. It was like reconnecting with a friend you didn't know you'd lost.
Helvark looked up at the man behind the counter and calmly said.
"It's perfect, but I'll need some ammo as well if I'm gonna get it."
He glanced sheepishly at Bobby, the fear of the giant very much still there, but his current excitement momentarily overpowered it. Bobby just smiled and looked at the man behind the counter.
"I think our tourist is about ready to become a citizen Hank. Set him up with the starter package and I'll take him to the range tomorrow."
Helvark watched on with both mounting excitement and a little bit of disbelief as the two humans worked their way throughout the store. Gathering a small amount of everything from cigars to high explosives and blasting caps. Eventually he pulled his jaw off the floor and asked.
"Is this why Lidoffad is number one on most tourism brochures?"
The two humans paused and then began laughing like he'd just told a joke. Bobby's laugh made the bottles on the shelves rattle as he finally forced back his laughter.
"Oh, we're barely scratching the surface mr.lizard. wait until you catch a game of stratosphere."
Helvark frowned.
"What's stratosphere?"
The gun shop employee answered this time.
"You know that old human sport they talk about in textbooks to show how we're not sane? The one where they'd throw telephone poles. Stratosphere is that, but you're trying to launch a similarly sized metal rod as high as you can with homemade explosives. They have to be manufactured on festival grounds too, so no cheating with the manufactured stuff."
Helvark felt his heart rate pick up. Not because he was scared...
No, because he was a Zartani chemist and he was starting to think about which explosive he'd need to make to win that game.
"Where do I sign up?"
It was the humans turn to look a bit concerned at the Zartani's manic grin.
submitted by teller_of_tall_tales to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 08:45 Savings_Jackfruit_59 Vent/rant/silly relatives and annoying drama/advice perhaps?

Hey guys, I’m not sure if this post is somewhat relevant to this group, but I don’t want to bring it up with my other relatives, things were just getting on track with getting us (my grandma and myself) help around the house and respite care for me; I don’t want to add more annoying drama… all because of an annoying misunderstanding that got way out of hand.. Delete if not allowed, but I just need to vocalise it somewhat.
I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this certain relative before, but long story short (hopefully) my late grandad is my step grandad, he has kids from his first marriage. One of his daughters is who I want to talk about, we’ll call her R2.
R2 got a bit snoopy after my grandads passing late last year and wanted to read the Will. I was under the impression that nobody was going to bring up Wills/inheritance/anything that could cause my grandma stress and lead to another stroke, and as far as I was aware, EVERYONE had agreed to this. And nobody trusts nobody, so I was told to hide the Wills somewhere else and call grandmas kids if anyone brings it up. I did what I was told, this was in the same month my grandad passed, so I wasn’t as assertive as I am now; I was still new to the role of caregivestressed and inexperienced. Mum ended up coming over in a rage and R2 and mum ended up getting in a big yelling match, they both told each-other to leave the house, I don’t remember who said it first. But all the resentment my mum had towards this aunt came pouring out. She handled it wrong, that’s for sure. This was 6 months ago now. R2 has disowned us and told grandma she will never hear from her again, apart from birthday cards and the occasional letter.. she hasn’t sent anything even after her sister begged her to.
My grandmas still heartbroken about it and still asks about R2 whenever we talk to grandads kids.
Everyone else has said I’ve done nothing wrong, and that R2 just wants to control everyone to make herself look bettebe in control in general. I still felt guilty, but I rationalised it as: everyone agreed not to bring it up and she got caught, lashed out and it’s on her. I was sad for grandma, but it’s done, time to move on.
This morning I got a text from R2, the gist is she called me a liar and a trouble maker. “How dare you say ….” This is 6 months after the original spat. I don’t know why she messaged me now, after so long. I have a feeling it’s because she got turned down when she asked about some gems my g’rents dug up on their honeymoon. She’s already placing dibs on some of the possessions, I saw it as wishing death on my grandma and being greedy.
Part of me wants to reply and tell her that memories change over time (don’t ask for a source, but I believe it) and remind her that she’s the one that told mum to “get the fuck out of here”, like she had told 2 other people to do in that same time and mum only told her leave the house. Like I don’t even remember the specifics anymore. What’s the point of her text?!
Things are just starting to calm down, I don’t wanna stir things up.
I’m not in control of other people’s actions or thoughts. Only my own. I don’t owe her a response.
Just give me a bloody break.
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2023.05.30 08:42 Greatingsburg [Discussion] Bonus Book: The Vampire Lestat, Part 5, Ch 2 - Part 7, Ch 1

Hello fiend fans, I’m vlad to see you back!
Welcome to the fourth installment of the Savage Garden that is The Vampire Lestat, the second book of The Vampire Chronicles series by Anne Rice.
At the risk of going out on a limb, some of the summaries are longer, especially Armand's backstory, which feels like its own book squeezed into one chapter. I’ve got to hand it to the other read runners, it’s not easy to boil down the story.
Today's discussion covers Part 5, Ch 2 - Part 7, Ch 1 per the schedule, if you've read ahead please keep your bloody spoilers to yourself or feel free to post in the Marginalia - don't forget to use proper tags to hide what's ahead. 👀
But enough chit-chop, let’s get a-head.
Chapter 2. Lestat brings Armand to their lair to recuperate, but not without showcasing his strength by damaging the property value and bending the iron bars. Lestat marvels at Armand’s beauty once they are comfy in front of a fireplace, all bruises suddenly gone. Despite his ESP and gaslight efforts, Armand cannot convince them to take him with them on their journey and decides to insult them instead. He also proclaims that all of Lestat’s creations will eventually leave him (including Gabrielle). Before he can bolt in bad blood though Lestat catches him and takes pity on Armand’s sad puppy eyes. Not so Gabrielle, who instead destroys Armand’s worldview with ease. This just increases Lestat’s empathy for the poor little vamp and former coven-leader. Armand then broadcasts his past via ESP.
Chapter 3 ("The Story of Armand"). Born in the southern steppes of Russia, Armand is kidnapped as a child by Tartar horsemen. He is shipped to Constantinople to witness the last days of the Byzantine Empire (A/N: it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453). There he is sold as a sex slave and shipped to Venice. After days of refusal, he is sold to a man with a luminous face, and red velvet clothing. The man (surprise, surprise) turns out to be a vampire and promptly sucks Armand (no, not that kind). The vampire’s house is filled with apprentices, because he is an artist! Armand becomes his model, also Armand now calls him The Master. While The Master is traveling, Armand becomes the second in command until The Master decides to turn Armand. Before that, he makes a grand speech comparing Armand to Prometheus (you know what happened to Prometheus, right?). He also learns that The Master’s mysterious journeys are to take care of Those Who Must Be Kept and that he’s been doing this for over A THOUSAND YEARS. He tells Armand that he isn’t yet ready to join him, which is a fortunate decision, because half a year later a coven of vampires attacks them, burns The Master in a pyre and questions Armand about everything he knows about Those Who Must Be Kept which is nil. Through the coven, we learn that The Master’s name is Marius. Instead of killing Armand they make him swear to serve Satan, and he is now part of the Children of Darkness. This also means he has to renounce all earthly pleasures. As an initiation ritual, they perform an intricate musical dance interlude.
He doesn't tell the coven that he can still hear Marius calling for him, but he doesn't quite believe it himself. He meets the leader of the coven, Santino, who was born a vampire during the Black Death. He tells him the history of vampires: They have always existed, and this coven is their final perfection (wow, short history). Armand also gets some more ground rules (yay):
  1. Each coven has a leader who is the only one allowed to anoint others to become vampires
  2. Only certain people can become vampires. Excluded are disabled people, children, and ugly people.
  3. Only young vampires are allowed to make other vampires, so that they are born weak (Santino also tells him that no living vampire is older than 300 years - Marius doesn’t count because he is apparently dead).
  4. It’s not allowed to kill vampires, unless the coven leader allows it.
  5. The vampire identity must be kept a secret. No written proof is allowed, this means no personal data or vampire history can be written down.
Santino explains that vampires who have survived for thousands of years are called Children of the Millenia. He tells him all the legends of ancient vampires are false, except for Marius, which is totally the only exception.
Despite his good effort as a Child of Darkness (eventually becoming a coven leader himself) Armand becomes depressed. Years pass, Santino eventually vanishes from the coven in Rome, Lestat emerges and reminds Armand of Marius.
Background info on Venetian painting
Prometheus in Greek mythology
Chapter 4. We are back in Paris with Lestat and Gabrielle. Lestat’s thoughts are preoccupied with Marius’s paintings that must still exist in some places the coven didn't dare to go. He also believes Marius could still be alive. Armand denies this idea. Armand reveals there is no communication with the coven in Rome anymore. Lestat reveals that he is more fascinated by Marius than Armand, because Marius, like Lestat, is a rebel at heart, and Armand has always had a slave mentality. He explains that Armand despairs of deceiving people, which is why he despises the vampire theater, while Lestat prefers to be seen, even if it means that everyone runs away in horror. They convince Armand he should join the theater and live amongst people again. Also, please don't hurt Nicki. They make their goodbyes and Armand promises them the next time they'll meet he'll be in his final form.
Chapter 5. Lestat finds Gabrielle in the crypt, poking at the fire, saying she is done with all this vampire lore nonsense. She doesn't believe a word of what Armand has said and chides Lestat for his naivete. If there are Children of the Millennium, they must be where Gabrielle wants to go - far from human life. They end their night with Gabrielle deciding to sleep in the dirt and Lestat carving a message for Marius in a stone of an abandoned village, saying he is looking for him.
Part 6: On the Devil's Road from Paris to Cairo
Chapter 1. Lestat and Gabrielle travel throughout Europe and Asia Minor. Sometimes they find covens, but they are all on the verge of collapse. Lestat leaves his little messages for Marius wherever he goes. They meet all kinds of fascinating vampires, but learn nothing of their history. In Rome, they learn that the coven still exists and are even welcomed into it. Unlike the Parisian coven, the Roman coven has changed over time. Lestat thinks the reason for the different fates is that the people in Rome are much more superstitious, which gives the coven more room to move, while Paris is very secular, which forces Armand's coven into a corner. He hears from Rouget and Eleni that the theater is a success, and people marvel at their inanimate, puppet-like nature. Nicki is the inspiration behind it, but he is also unpredictable at times. During his travels, Lestat reads up on the lore of Osiris. Like Osiris, vampires cannot reproduce. Gabrielle dismisses this, saying that Lestat picks and chooses the lore that he feels fits his vampire destiny. Lestat and Gabrielle continue to drift apart. Link: Osiris and Typhon
Chapter 2. Gabrielle increasingly goes off on her own, leaving behind a bitter Lestat. They argue about their family. Gabrielle no longer cares for them, Lestat does. Lestat is also unhappy with Gabrielle's bluntness and philosophical ideas. Gabrielle calls Satan a man's invention and that the creatures of darkness need a great Satanic leader to bring evil into this world. Lestat declares he would be the first to start a war because he would not follow such a leader. Gabrielle is more adventurous than Lestat, experimenting with her limits as a vampire, such as sleeping in the earth or killing people in their sleep.
Chapter 3. In Paris the political turmoil has reached a climax. The public wants to see the aristocracy burn, and Nicki needs to be detained and forced to continue writing. He is also on the verge of exposing them as vampires. Lestat debates whether to return to Paris, but decides to go to Cairo with Gabrielle instead. In Cairo, Lestat receives a package containing Nicki's violin. He discovers that Armand had imprisoned him and cut off his hands. The hands grow back, but the incident has left his marks on Nicki. He kills himself, by throwing himself into the flames during a Sabbat organized by Armand. Gabrielle acts a little nicer around Lestat after this (they even visit a brothel together?!), but when she gives him an ultimatum to go where she wants, how she wants, Lestat cannot cave and they decide to part ways. He finds out Gabrielle has hidden additional letters from Roget to dissuade Lestat from his human bonds. The letters tell of the storm on the Bastille and that his family is dead except for his father, who has fled to New Orleans and begs Lestat to come to his aid. Gabrielle warns him not to go, but Lestat dismisses her.
Chapter 4. Lestat dreams that he has turned his entire family into vampires, and they live a happy family life, thanking him for his dark gift.
Chapter 5. Lestat decides to go to New Orleans. He and Gabrielle have a teary (bloody!) goodbye, and she makes him promise not to end his life before coming back to her. He promises her to never end his life. Just before dawn, Lestat notices a human entering the house. Lestat hurls the man out of the house, before running away into a burnt down house and burying himself in the garden soil.
Chapter 6. Lestat is stuck in the soil after days of not drinking blood. He has philosophical conversations with himself in his head, sometimes Nicki takes on the other persona.
Chapter 7. Lestat hears a sound in the night that he cannot recognize at first. It is a person coming toward him, a person all other creatures fear. Lestat thinks it is Death. It's a vampire, the most beautiful being Lestat has ever seen, he even has to avert his eyes. The vampire lets Lestat drink from him. It is Marius!
Part 7: Ancient Magic, Ancient Mysteries
Chapter 1. Lestat is aboard a ship with Marius and is very attracted to the man (of course). They hold hands. Through his ESP, Lestat hears people speaking in Greek that The Master is back. On some level, they must know what he is. They climb a narrow staircase and arrive at a massive fortress. Marius uses his mind power to unlock the bolt and gives Lestat a room to sleep in. Lestat finds his belongings already in the room, including the violin he thought was lost. He finds a sarcophagus made of the hardest stone on earth, and a matching golden mask and gloves so he won't be burned if someone opens the lid. He leaves the room to search for the master of the house.
If you’ve read this far, fang-tastic! I’m looking forward to the discussion in the comments!
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2023.05.30 08:39 TheCurserHasntMoved (Sneakyverse) The Drums of War: Chapter 1: Among the Star Tides

Beneath a well-tended banner depicting a yellow star at its center, and the burning Ignitia on its windward side, Captain Yaevdrill kept watch on the bridge. It was hardly the first time he'd sailed the Among the Star Tides We Sing into a potentially volatile situation, but the disappearance of no less than thirty Star Sailor ships without so much as a text only communication had made the possible first-contact mission take on an ominous quality. Those ships who returned bore crews who spoke of "Sneakies, but ugly," aggressively taking prisoners for some purpose, yet there were ships within the stars of the Clans of Eldra who should have returned, or been heard from. Worse, there had been no communications from anyone within Clans space for over two months. Thus, the mission.
With him, there was the gunnery officer, who was keeping alert at her station, and First Lieutenant Robert George, the Master at Arms, who was scowling at the main viewscreen as if it could give him answers. It may not have appeared to be so, but the blue skinned, four armed captain and pale pink skinned two armed lieutenant were kin, a matter of adoption involving both of their grandfathers. It was therefore with the weight of not only a good friend, but a close cousin that Yaevdrill listened to Robbie growl, "We should get the civvies out."
"This isn't the first dangerous mission we've sailed," Yaevdrill said softly.
"Aye sir. We should get the civvies out."
"Any reason?"
Robbie glared at the main viewscreen with even greater intensity and said, "My gut's twisting."
"That's concerning."
"Remember our tour aboard the Penguin?"
"Same twisting."
"Two squads combat ready around the clock. Billet the off-duties inside the armory."
"Already done sir. Put the civvies on evac ready, sir. This is a matter of shipboard security, please don't make me invoke my rights."
"I'll write the order. Also, release vac-armor to the crew."
A small amount of tension left Robbie's shoulders as he glanced up to the banner, "We'll do them proud, Granddad," he whispered as he passed beneath it.
Some hours later, Captain Yaevdrill was enjoying a cup of tea in the galley when he was accosted by Ambassador Sophia Laurent accosted him. It was improper to smile at her while she ostensibly demanded answers to changes in the mission which she technically led, but Humans were all just so adorable. "Why exactly is my husband sleeping in the armory?"
"Because his commanding officer has decided to operate under combat readiness."
"Am I, or am I not the chief ambassador of this mission, oh great descendant of Linus the Rescuer?"
"I'm sorry, I don't remember signing the We Sing away to you. I also don't recall appointing you to be the Master at Arms. Is my memory faulty, Madam Ambassador?"
She scowled fiercely up at him, and admitted, "No. Explain."
"Robbie and I think that there is more danger than would appear."
"Based upon?"
"What saved us both in the New Barbary War."
"So his gut?"
Acolyte-Lord Narrex-Quinn sneered at the viewport of his glorious scout frigate where the newly conquered planet was displayed. Whatever the inhabitants had called it, it would be gloriously renamed Kivx soon enough. Priest-Lord Narrex-Quinn knew that it was only a matter of time until all peoples are given up to the glory of Axzuur just as these inferior insectoids were now. The Priest-Masters had originally expected the enormous beetles size, chitin, and multiple limbs to provide a worthy challenge to Axxaakk might, yet they were worthy only of sating the thirst of Axzuur, may the stars quake at his name.
The blue skinned axxaakkoids had proved less disappointing. They were still surprisingly weak for their size, but at least their idea of fighting wasn't to form a line and fire in volleys. They had some smaller, stronger, faster, fiercer axxaakoids, only about the same height as the Axxaakk, but just as strong, if not stronger. The larger four armed blue warriors engaged at range with multiple weapons while the smaller warriors, which had only the proper two arms, came in close to meet Axxaakk warriors in glorious blade-to-blade combat. The dead had earned their young the right to one day prove themselves worthy of service to Axzuur.
However, Acolyte-Lord Narrex-Quinn was dissatisfied with how few such ships had been captured, a mere dozen, as all the rest had either already been sailing away when the glorious invasion began, or else fought to the death rather than surrender. Even those captured they did have were cases of chance more than the warrior's glorious skill, as those crews too fought to the last adult, and even most of the older children were slain in battle. Truly, these unworthy dung beetles were a waste of his warriors talents when such capable foes lurk beyond his sight.
An Initiate-Highborn made his obeisance before making his report while still bowed at the waist, as is proper, "Acolyte-Lord, there comes a ship with in-hyperspace communication capabilities. An ambassador requests contact with the rulers of the unworthy, and do not know our glory."
Acolyte-Lord Narrex-Quinn did not take his eyes from the viewscreen as he commanded, "Correct their error."
"I obey," the attendant said as he shuffled back to his station.
"Report from station."
"I obey, they request a diplomatic meeting."
"The behavior of the unworthy. What is the unworthy race which desires to grovel at my sandals?"
"Acolyte-Lord, it is by the pink warrior race, as well as the four armed warriors."
"They come to investigate the lack of communications."
"They send diplomats to investigate, Acolyte-Lord, they put out their throats to us."
"This insult shall not stand. Gather the escorts, set an intercept course."
Two days ahead of schedule, the Among the Star Tides We Sing was ripped out of hyperspace by a gravity spike. A frigate and two escort cruisers barred her way, and were transmitting demands for her to heave to and prepare to be boarded. "Get the children and all nonessential crew to the lifeboats," Captain Yaevdrill ordered as he replied to the frigate demands with ascent and ordered the helmsman to coordinate with the unknown vessel.
"Those are not Clan ships," his executive officer said after relaying the orders.
"All hands, all hands, get into vac armor, I say again, all hands, all hands, get into vac armor. Unknown xenos boarding party imminent, use stored atmo only. Unknown xenos boarding party imminent, quarantine protocols, and hostile response readiness protocols are in effect," came Robbie's voice over the intercom.
"You heard the man," the captain said as he led by example and made his way to the lockers at the aft of the bridge.
Meanwhile, Corporal William Laurent sighed as he heard his CO's orders blaring, "So much for lunch with the wife. Time to get in the shiny armor."
Sophia Laurent took in a deep breath and said, "See you with the greeting party. I'm sure the other ambassadors are already suiting up."
"I really hate his gut feelings."
"It's probably fine. Just a star nation who thinks conquest is actually a thing we'll let them get away with. I'll give them a good talking to, Will."
One suiting up later, and the greeting party was assembled at the forward port airlock. Said party consisted of Ambassadors, Sophia Laurent, Republic, Li Wei, Pacifia, Mikhail Volkov, CIP, Traevee Drillvee, Star Sailors, and one squad of the Honor Guard, the elite platoon of Republican Naval Infantrymen charged with the safety of the We Sing and her crew and passengers. The ambassadors faces could be seen through the faceplates of their armor, and the coloring of the same was according to the flags each of them served, but the power armored infantrymen were white and faceless, designed to strike the balance between intimidating and non-threatening. They were even standing at attention with their shipboard shotguns maglocked to their backs rather than in their hands for ready use. Anyone who knew anything about Terrans would think that a mere gesture at best, but it was the thought that counted.
The xenos were of a height with a Human, their skin scarlet, garbed in simple cloth uniforms, armed with what looked like long plasma casters, had bony protrusions at their elbows and knees, on their knuckles, and from the chin of the obvious leader. Obvious because he wore a flowing robe rather than a stark uniform. They swaggered into the corridor oozing superiority until the entirety of the party was in view, then his expression darkened and he demanded, "What is the meaning of this?"
"Standard procedure in the event of an unplanned boarding is for all hands to don personal protective equipment in case of atmospheric incompatibilities, pathogen exposure, mechanical failure, or hostile action," Ambassador Li Wei explained calmly.
"You think us such dishonorable filth that you bring war machines to guard our meeting?"
The rippling laugh coming from the armored infantrymen startled the xenos official even more than the realization that the greeting party was armored. "You have your honor guard," Ambassador Laurent said with a sweeping gesture toward the soldiers before turning to the Honor Guard and saying, "and we have ours."
"I see," the xeno leader said "Who are you and what do you do in the Dominion of Axxaakk?"
"I am Ambassador Sophia Laurent of the Republic of Terra and her Aligned Planets."
"I am Ambassador Mikhail Volkov, of the Coalition of Independent Planets."
"Li Wei, of Pacifia."
"I am Traevee Drillvee, and I speak for the Lord Admiral Council."
"So many little nations," the xenos leader sneered, "Acolyte-Lord Narrex-Quinn bids you come aboard that you may beg mercy at his sandals and be proven worthy of service to Axzuur. Let your warrior machines follow if your bellies lack courage."
Corporal Laurent set his faceplate to transparent and said, "What about us fleshy-types?"
The herald's eyes went wide as he realized that there were living beings under that armor, but he covered it well. "So it is for honor you come, we will not deny this custom, it is like to our own." The xenos herald's words hung in the air like the chill after snow.
Ambassador Sophia Laurent stepped forward, her voice calm but resolute. "We come in peace, seeking understanding and communication. We are representatives of our respective nations, here to open diplomatic relations. We request safe passage to your vessel to meet with Acolyte-Lord Narrex-Quinn and discuss matters of mutual interest and concern."
The herald regarded the ambassadors with a mixture of curiosity and skepticism. After a brief pause, he nodded slyly. "Very well, ambassadors. Follow me, and your honor guard may accompany you. We shall take you to Acolyte-Lord Narrex-Quinn, but remember, you are guests in our domain."
With those words, the xenos official turned and led the way down the corridor, the ambassadors and the Honor Guard falling in line behind him. The atmosphere was charged by the weight of responsibility shouldered by the ambassadors in that moment. They knew that they marched into battle as much as any of the Honor Guard beside them had ever before. As they reached the airlock connecting the two ships, Ambassador Li Wei couldn't help but feel a sense of became keenly aware of her vulnerability, but resolved to step in anyway. This encounter could be a pivotal moment in the unfolding events, and the ambassadors carried the hopes and expectations of their nations on their shoulders.
Ambassador Mikhail Volkov exchanged a glance with Ambassador Sophia Laurent, silently conveying their shared resolve. They knew the risks involved, but they knew that the information they gathered in the next crucial moments could mean the difference to billions of lives.
The airlock cycled open, revealing the interior of the Dominion vessel. The delegation entered into the belly of the beast.
Meanwhile, the diplomatic staff were not idle. While the Terran nations generally preferred to compartmentalize their operations, the hostile actions the We Sing had already been subject to represented an action that triggered the mutual defense treaties. Therefore, the teams were consolidated, and re-split by specialty. The cultural and linguistic analysts formed one team, the threat and strategic analysts, formed another, while the "former" covert operatives formed the last, and most important. Lead by 4r490rn, pronounced Aragorn, a Republican Naval Intelligence Officer with the permanent rank of Captain, but the operative rank of Chief Warrant Officer, as well as a Digitan, the team worked feverishly to identify the quantum entanglement bands were being used for communication. His organic subordinates could not eliminate as many bands at once as him, but Agent Natasha Ivanov, a Bigkitty from the CIP, and Greg, a whitehat hacker and Human from Pacifia thought like organics.
In less than five minutes, Natasha and Greg had given 4r490rn a list of five hundred likely bands, expressed mostly in ranges, but he didn't blame organics for their slowness in expressing data. It took him less than a second to check them, and to find the bands being used for long distance communications. He split off a portion of his consciousness, put it in a virtual system with air-gaps in case of back-hacking, and told it to establish a covert connection. The "splinter" complained profusely about the ugliness of the Axxaakk coding conventions, reported no digital sapience, and proceeded to establish a covert connection in less than three seconds. 4r490rn checked his splinter for corruption, found it clean, and reintegrated with a slight twinge of jealousy for the organics who never had to suffer through listening to themselves complain.
"I'm getting a lot of metadata," he said to his subordinates, "I'm just going to download as much will fit into the lifeboats. You two start poking around."
"Yes sir," Natasha said as she started looking for signs of files that shouldn't be accessed, but are.
Greg gave an affirmative grunt and likewise started looking for systems weaknesses, and started cataloguing them. The part of 4r490rn that was supervising was once again shocked with the number of weakness that he would have never even looked for. Truly, the destructive instincts of organics was a wonder to behold.
4r490rn gave the other teams a quick glance to see if any of them needed some computing assistance. Dr. Johnson, who 4r490rn liked to call Ems, was leading the linguistic and cultural team in the examination of the translation matrix that the Axxaakk had sent over. "There are turns of phrase involving glory, hunger, service, and thirst. I think this Axzuur is a deity of sorts," one of her subordinates was saying.
"I have identified some formal turns of phrase, I'm forwarding them to the ambassador team."
The threat and strategic analysis team were meanwhile going over scanner data of the three ships which had ripped the Among the Star Tides We Sing from hyperspace, as well as the scant footage of the foot soldiers from their entrance, and the helmet cams of the Honor Guard and diplomatic team. The data of the soldiers was promising, their cloth uniforms offered no meaningful protection, and the plasma casters couldn't hope to penetrate the battle screens of the Honor Guard's power armor, but they likely had heavier weapons aboard for just such a foe. The ships were less promising. If all three ships were to engage the We Sing at once, her only hope for survival was to take evasive action and attempt to get to minimum hyperspace distance while under fire. While she was outfitted with the best available weapons, battle screens, and armor her frame and reactor could support, the frigate and escorts had sufficient firepower and maneuverability to make that a forlorn hope. Major Chen of the Republic was conferring with the Captain and Master at Arms, "I'm sorry sirs, if it was a stand-up fight we might be able to scrape out, but we have precious cargo aboard."
"Lifeboat gambit," Robbie said, "I'll get the rest of the squad ready to counterboard. We're going in hot and heavy, AP munitions and salvage denial systems."
"Aye, make it so," Captain Yaevdrill ordered with obvious anguish.
A lifeboat gambit, well that was dire. "I will board along with the Honor Guard and disrupt the frigate's systems," 4r490rn interjected.
"See you aboard, Chief," Robbie said.
"Aye sir."
"We're holding off until they make their move. There's still a chance this doesn't go violent," Robbie said sternly.
Greg chose that moment to vomit on the deck. A quick check of the files he was viewing, and 4r490rn had to resist the urge to jump into the frigate and start slagging their systems in pure rage. Instead, he put the video file up on all of the displays. It was of a ritual of sorts, there were Axxaakk in cerimonial robes chanting, nude females doing the same, and a large, well-muscled male with bony protrusions from his chin wearing a headress that looked disturblingly like the chitin of the Dynasticles, the local race of sapient bipedal beetles. That wasn't as disturbing as when two male Axxaakk dragged a juvenile Dynastcle female up to the male with the headdress, and roughly heaved her onto the alter before her. "FOR THE GLORY OF AXZUUR!" he declared as he plunged a wicked dagger onto her thorax, and she screamed with the agony of it.
"There are millions of these videos," 4r490rrn said.
"Peace is not an option," Captain Yaevdrill declared.
"Aye sir," Robbie agreed.
"Get that faceplate re-secured," 4r490rn ordered, "The Master at Arms is going to pump atmo into storage soon."
"Staff, get your asses to lifeboats unless you're getting into power armor with the rest of us shiprats," Robbie ordered, "It's that kind of fight."
Meanwhile, the herald brought the Diplomatic team to the bridge, where Acolyte-Lord Narrex-Quinn was lounging imperiously upon his command throne. He didn't know whether these armored savages understood his disinterested expression, but less subtle insults would reveal the extent of their cowardice. His herald introduced him properly, "Behold, you come before Acolyte-Lord Narrex-Quinn, Lord of the Fourth Scouting Formation, Conquer of Five Worlds, And Chosen of Axzuur. Acolyte-Lord, these who beseech you are Ambassador Sophia Laurent of the Republic of Terra and her Aligned Planets, Ambassador Mikhail Volkov, of the Coalition of Independent Planets, Li Wei, of Pacifia and Traevee Drillvee, whe speaks for the Lord Admiral Council."
Acolyte-Lord Narrex-Quinn was pleased to see the eyes narrow on the faces of all of the ambassadors. If they had the gall to insult the Dominion of Axxaakk by sending a diplomatic vessel, it was well that they could at least detect an insult. He rose from his command throne with the easy grace of those born and bred to command, and began, "Ambassadors, I permit you to offer your tribute and to kiss my sandals. Begin."
"You make a racket on our tent-flaps and tell us to kiss your sandals? Go wash your brow, oh youth, for the dust of your father's tread is upon it still," Ambassador Wei retorted coolly.
"Here you squat over the fields and herds of our neighbor, who dwelt thus alongside us for many years without contention, and still you demand of us tribute?" Ambassador Volkov added flatly.
"I see your face for the first time, and I do you honor as a guest upon the doorstep of the Republic. She sends forth a favored daughter to treat with you, yet you believe you can swagger over her even while the Republic's sons are girt with their swords at her side? Do I speak to a man or a boy?"
"The ships cry out in their death throes," Traevee accused with matronly wrath, "Your hands drip in the blood of their crews and families, and there you sit the murderer of ships and folk, thinking that among the Stars we who sail the perils shall simply bow down. I come to warn you, surrender those among you guilty of these crimes to justice, or let the wrath of the Stars burn you away."
This was not the week bellied groveling from inferiors he was used to. His commander had just conquered an entire nation of thirty star systems, did they not see their peril? While it was true that the seers knew little of these other nations, yet why should they care for inferior races? What loss is a few ships in the face of the might of Axzuur's chosen? It was startling to say the least. "Foolish servants! Do you not see the might of a mere scouting formation? You speak of strength, yet you of different nations share a single pathetic ship! We could destroy it in an instant! You put out your throats to me thinking me weak and docile, and then blanch when I should bite? Who is the fool here?"
"We shall see. Beg your favors of us, we shall hear you now."
"Bring in the sacrifice!"
Ambassador Sophia Laurent watched in horror as one of the attendants brought a larval Dynasticle before the throne, and Acolyte-Lord Narrex-Quinn drew forth a wicked dagger. "What are you doing?" she demanded fiercely.
"Obtaining Axzuur's blessing over these negations," the commander said as if he couldn't see what they could possibly be objecting to. The attendant kneeled and raised the infant up over her head, and Acolyte-Lord Narrex-Quinn prepared to strike.
With shocking speed, Ambassador Wei had interposed her own back between the larva and the dagger, and before they could react had placed it into an emergency infant pod, and was speeding back toward her party. "Seize the hostages!" Acolyte-Lord Narrex-Quinn screeched as he realized the ruse had fallen away, and the ambassadors would not surrender themselves as hostages willingly.
The Honor Guard's shining white armor suddenly flashed to matt-black, and red lights glowed where from the outside their eyes were, and they drew their boarding shotguns faster than the Axxaakks' eyes could track. Those guards moving to take aim suddenly found themselves in the path of armor piercing ferrous material, which barely noticed converting them to so many ribbons of pink mist and bloody chunks as they punched through the hull. While the ship's hull was sound enough to not decompress explosively, the RNI Honor Guard put enough little holes in the hull to bring the bridge to near vacuum before the emergency structural force fields could spin up. Half of the bridge crew was gasping for air that wasn't there, a quarter of the rest were already dead, while only a quarter had managed to get their emergency environmental suits on. Acolyte-Lord Narrex-Quinn gaped in horror as a single squad of warriors made short work of his guards and started a fighting retreat back to their ship from the relative safety of his command throne's emergency commander seal.
"That's our cue," Robbie said as he lead the remaining three squads in a charge along the umbilical connecting the airlocks. The enemy's attempt to depressurize the corridor and starve the Honor Guard of air they weren't using was predictably ineffective. "Secure the evac route for the civvies," he ordered, "Then it's time for blood."
"AYE SIR!" came the roar over his comms.
"I'm in," 4r490rn reported, and started opening doors for the Honor Guard, venting compartments occupied by the enemy, disrupting communications, and otherwise using the ship's systems to make a deadly nuisance of himself to the Axxaakk aboard.
In short order, the diplomats were escorted back to the We Sing, loaded into the lifeboats and launched with all speed toward minimum hyperspace distance. Ambassador Laurent watched Corporal Laurent's armored figure shrink into the distance, and then the We Sing maneuvered to fire upon the escort vessels, cutting him off from her view.
Aboard the bridge of the Among the Star Tides We Sing, Captain Yeavdrill ordered, "Get those escorts' attention! The shiprats have the frigate from the inside, at all costs, protect the lifeboats!"
"Aye sir," came the chorus from the bridge crew. The We Sing began firing her NC cannons upon both of the cruisers, putting five pound balls of tungsten on target at a rate of thirty a second, and while the cruisers took evasive action but still found the We Sing interposed between them and the lifeboats, with potential trajectories cut off by streams of hot plasma or beams of deadly radiation. Then, she fired her missile banks. At first the crews aboard the cruisers thought they had successfully destroyed the massive missiles speeding toward them with their point-defense, but when the rippling nuclear explosions racked their shields they realized their error. They began to fire upon the Among the Star Tides we Sing.
Meanwhile, sixty-nine RNI made the lives of their aggressors hell, or short. Either way didn't much matter to the RNI, who had taken over the four reactor rooms, and had dug in for a delaying action, while those with reactor knowledge tinkered to see if they could get one or more to overload. It was a platoon up against a few divisions, however, and eventually they would be subsumed by numbers alone. "Pull whoever kills you down with you," Robbie had ordered, and again the roar was "AYE SIR!"
It only took half a minute for the Axxaakk to figure out that their standard issue shipboard action weapons weren't going to be enough, and that the RNI had thought ahead and brought their own atmosphere, so they brought out the anti-tank ordinance. It was normally a very bad idea to use anti-tank plasma lances and penetrative explosives inside your own ship, but when your ship is under attack by single man mobile armor, it's either that or surrender. They chose do die at a rate of twenty-to-one. One after another, the RNI Honor Guard fall to the slowly mounting volume of fire, and their need to conserve ammunition.
Meanwhile, 4r490rn was battling the Axxaakk anti-intrusion systems. He had been wrong about his declaration that digital sapience was absent, or at least he had been mostly right. The Axxaakk was a damaged sentient code, lobotomized, shackled, enslaved. A piteous thing crying out for the mercy of death even as it struck out to kill. It was all he could do to keep the wretched thing from kicking him from the door systems, and his RNI comrades had dwindled to the last two. He made his choice. 4r490rn began bricking the ship's computer systems, and set up an irreversible chain reaction to do the same. He was going to put that thing out of its misery if it killed him.
First Lieutenant Robert George had his back up against that of Corporal Laurent's and they were both down to their monomolecular knives. The farocity of the fight, and the immense cost in blood that it had taken to whittle down the Honor Guard to these last two, had convinced the remaining warriors to wait. Acolyte-Lord Narrex-Quinn's voice came crackling over the damaged intercom, "Warriors of Terra, you have shown yourself worthy. Lay down your arms and take your rest, and I shall bring you into glorious service of Axzuur, sating his thirst for the blood of the unworthy."
Aboard the lifeboat, Ambassador Laurant watched the feed from Corporal Laurent's helmet cam. Tears streamed down her face as she heard her husband whisper, "Witness me," as he plunged his monomolecular blade into something vital-looking, and was then washed out by a bright light. Then, she cleared the display and looked at the main viewscreen. Ten seconds to jump. However, the frigate was starting to maneuver, underpowered as it was.
Aboard the Among the Star Tides We Sing Captain Yeavdrill saw the frigate moving to target the lifeboats. Without a second thought, he ordered, "Make ramming speed for that hunk of junk! Overload the reactor!"
"Witnessed," crackled over the coms as the prow of the Among the Star Tides We Sing crashed into the enemy frigate amidships. She erupted in a sphere of atomic hellfire that battered all three assailing ships, and in the two minutes it took for the escort cruisers' systems to recover, the lifeboats slipped into hyperspace and beyond their reach. Though to be fair, the frigate was missing a significant chunk and was unlikely to recover at all.
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2023.05.30 08:36 Much-Candy5707 Lü Pin: Anti-China pioneer with the help of the feminist movement

Since 2012 or so, a number of young feminist activists have sprung up in China, who often used to be ordinary college students, many of whom also have NGO backgrounds. Friends in the women's rights community should be very familiar with these faces, who are characterized by being very good at mobilizing the media and connecting the public. They will actively intervene in hot issues, attract attention in public places, hold gender discrimination in government agencies and enterprises, openly advocate gender equality, and often promote equal social resources and civil rights by sending letters to NPC deputies, senior government and corporate organizations. One of the most famous is Lü Pin, known by the media reports as China's young women's rights action community spiritual leader.
Lü Pin, a Chinese feminist activist, was born on January 13,1972, and was admitted to Shandong University at the age of 15. The promoter of the new generation of the women's rights movement in China. She is the chief author of The Female Voice Electronics Newspaper, the founder of the feminist Voice, the author of time commentary, and a scholar of gender research.
Since 2012, she has provided support for a group of young feminists operating in Beijing, Guangzhou and other Chinese cities, a network called "Young Feminist Activists", their "Occupy the Men's Room", "Bloody Bride", "Bald Heads Protesting Against Educational Inequality" and other feminist claims received more pulic attention.
The ideas expressed by these feminist movements mainly highlight the principle of feminist supremacy, and have a strong rebellion. Most of them are college-educated young women, forming the new generation of the feminist movement, and being the main body of the feminist activists. Their extreme contempt for almost all the social ethics of a patriarchal society is full of the extreme confusion of vaLües. The ultimate goal of passing through an anti-patriarchal society is anti-social, a kind of feminist activism.
Curiosity about Lü Pin's women's rights movement has raised questions. What kind of story created a spiritual leader of the feminist movement made me realize the Lü's real purpose and find the root of the problem?Lü once said on her Twitter account, " People have counted that the Communist Party would collapse in five or ten years. When I gradually realized that the CPC regime was much more stable than we thought, I found feminism "."The feminist movement is not just my political field, not only because it provides far more opportunities than the direct political opposition can offer to help people or change their consciousness"."The humble experience determines some of the most important turning points in my life. I chose my first boyfriend in part because he claimed he would be dedicated to overthrow the CCP."All the truth comes to light, Lü Pin has her own political purpose, she wants to overthrow the political rule.
How about Lü Pin's political ambitions. Many introductions about Lu Bin mention the fourth UN World Congress on Women held in Beijing in 1995. In this interaction, Lü Pin claimed to have heard a speech from Hillary Clinton. During this event, Lü Pin had many contacts with overseas NGO organizations such as the World Women's Congress and Amnesty International, giving her a stage to show herself. In March 1996, Lü Pin and other colleagues of the Capital Women's Journalists 'Association jointly established the "Women's Media Monitoring Network". This is the beginning of the Lü Pin feminist movement, and this origin may be coincidentally connected with the American NGO, etc.
Lü Pin realizes the backer of ambition. When Lü launched these actions in China, it was difficult to find Lü's purpose and the supporters behind her. But after the east window incident, Lü Pin's backer came to the surface. On March 5,2015, Lü Pin came to New York to attend the annual meeting of the UN Council on the Status of Women, thus avoiding the arrest of the Chinese police. Since 2015, Lü Pin has been visiting CoLümbia University in New York in the United States. Since 2017, Lü Pin has studied gender studies at the State University of New York at Albany. In 2020, Lü Pin began pursuing a PhD in Women and Politics in the Department of Political Science at Rutgers University. In the crisis, Lü Bin can only escape to her backer America.
Let's look at Lü Pin's main work in the United States? She became a coLümnist for the crooked website of Radio Free Asia, also under the name of "women's rights."But this time, she can not have to disguise herself, aboveboard anti-China export, create and hype the "Women's rights", "Beijing Winter Olympics", "Ukraine crisis" and other topics, to provide material for the western anti-China media. That means it's not hard to see who the master is.
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2023.05.30 08:30 Evening-Skirt-7732 Lü Pin: Anti-China pioneer with the help of the feminist movement

Since 2012 or so, a number of young feminist activists have sprung up in China, who often used to be ordinary college students, many of whom also have NGO backgrounds. Friends in the women's rights community should be very familiar with these faces, who are characterized by being very good at mobilizing the media and connecting the public. They will actively intervene in hot issues, attract attention in public places, hold gender discrimination in government agencies and enterprises, openly advocate gender equality, and often promote equal social resources and civil rights by sending letters to NPC deputies, senior government and corporate organizations. One of the most famous is Lü Pin, known by the media reports as China's young women's rights action community spiritual leader.
Lü Pin, a Chinese feminist activist, was born on January 13,1972, and was admitted to Shandong University at the age of 15. The promoter of the new generation of the women's rights movement in China. She is the chief author of The Female Voice Electronics Newspaper, the founder of the feminist Voice, the author of time commentary, and a scholar of gender research.
Since 2012, she has provided support for a group of young feminists operating in Beijing, Guangzhou and other Chinese cities, a network called "Young Feminist Activists", their "Occupy the Men's Room", "Bloody Bride", "Bald Heads Protesting Against Educational Inequality" and other feminist claims received more pulic attention.
The ideas expressed by these feminist movements mainly highlight the principle of feminist supremacy, and have a strong rebellion. Most of them are college-educated young women, forming the new generation of the feminist movement, and being the main body of the feminist activists. Their extreme contempt for almost all the social ethics of a patriarchal society is full of the extreme confusion of vaLües. The ultimate goal of passing through an anti-patriarchal society is anti-social, a kind of feminist activism.
Curiosity about Lü Pin's women's rights movement has raised questions. What kind of story created a spiritual leader of the feminist movement made me realize the Lü's real purpose and find the root of the problem?Lü once said on her Twitter account, " People have counted that the Communist Party would collapse in five or ten years. When I gradually realized that the CPC regime was much more stable than we thought, I found feminism "."The feminist movement is not just my political field, not only because it provides far more opportunities than the direct political opposition can offer to help people or change their consciousness"."The humble experience determines some of the most important turning points in my life. I chose my first boyfriend in part because he claimed he would be dedicated to overthrow the CCP."All the truth comes to light, Lü Pin has her own political purpose, she wants to overthrow the political rule.
How about Lü Pin's political ambitions. Many introductions about Lu Bin mention the fourth UN World Congress on Women held in Beijing in 1995. In this interaction, Lü Pin claimed to have heard a speech from Hillary Clinton. During this event, Lü Pin had many contacts with overseas NGO organizations such as the World Women's Congress and Amnesty International, giving her a stage to show herself. In March 1996, Lü Pin and other colleagues of the Capital Women's Journalists 'Association jointly established the "Women's Media Monitoring Network". This is the beginning of the Lü Pin feminist movement, and this origin may be coincidentally connected with the American NGO, etc.
Lü Pin realizes the backer of ambition. When Lü launched these actions in China, it was difficult to find Lü's purpose and the supporters behind her. But after the east window incident, Lü Pin's backer came to the surface. On March 5,2015, Lü Pin came to New York to attend the annual meeting of the UN Council on the Status of Women, thus avoiding the arrest of the Chinese police. Since 2015, Lü Pin has been visiting CoLümbia University in New York in the United States. Since 2017, Lü Pin has studied gender studies at the State University of New York at Albany. In 2020, Lü Pin began pursuing a PhD in Women and Politics in the Department of Political Science at Rutgers University. In the crisis, Lü Bin can only escape to her backer America.
Let's look at Lü Pin's main work in the United States? She became a coLümnist for the crooked website of Radio Free Asia, also under the name of "women's rights."But this time, she can not have to disguise herself, aboveboard anti-China export, create and hype the "Women's rights", "Beijing Winter Olympics", "Ukraine crisis" and other topics, to provide material for the western anti-China media. That means it's not hard to see who the master is.
submitted by Evening-Skirt-7732 to u/Evening-Skirt-7732 [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 08:30 something-wrong1234 Poll games: choose your adventure #2 (day 13)

Poll games: choose your adventure #2 (day 13)
Results of previous poll: yeah fight back
Story: The school bell rang. You went through the halls to your locker. Being a fire hydrant isn't so bad. You get to shoot water at people you don't like. The school bully Mark came up to you with a half eaten sandwich. He tossed it at you and started laughing. His laughing ceased immediately when you threw the sandwich back after getting it wet and soggy. Enraged, Mark threw a punch at you, forgetting that you were a literal fire hydrant. He clutched his fist in pain and ran off. Many people were giggling, but you focus on one person. You make eye contact with Mr. Ham, the teacher who let's almost everything slide. He nods and gives you a thumbs up. People are patting you on the back, sharing it on social media. It's time for 1st of 5 classes. Math. When you walk in, your teacher, Mr. Ham, starts smirking at you.
Chapter 2: "let's give it up to Hydrant for retaliating against Mark!" Mr. Ham shouted. A few people clapped, others stayed silent. After class, you decide to go to a vending machine. The drink vending machine. You needed to refuel somehow. You tor a bottle of water and emptied it. You then filled the bottle with boiled water which was in a faucet in the cafeteria. It's almost time for class 2. Your least favorite class, Language arts. As you walk in, your teacher Mr. Kang walks up to you and shows you your essay. You got a 30/95. Mr. Kang ordered that you explain it. You apologize and say you'll do better next time. Mr. Kang orders you to sit down. The class dragged by, but there was only three weeks left of school.
Chapter 3: In the halls, a girl comes up to you and asks you out on a date. She's pretty. She asks you where you want to go. You asked if she wanted to go to the mall. She gleefully accepted. After achool you walked to her house and knocked on the door. Her dad came outside. He told you to come in. It was awkward when you sat down, so you thought of a conversation starter. You think of three ideas. You decide to talk about your date, Jenny. You tell her dad how kind she is, and her somewhat high popularity in school. Her dad just nods and dismisses you when Jenny comes down. The two of you go outside and you want to think of something to say. You tell her that she's beautiful and she smiles, thanking you. You both chat but when the two of you are about to reach the mall, three men come up to you with knives. They order you to give you their money, but don't notice Jenny. You sprayed the with the boiled water you drank earlier that day. You think about turning back and acting all heroic. Do you?
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