Call of duty cold war gun


2021.08.13 18:25 Standard_Level_2168 CallOfDutyColdWar


2017.04.22 22:29 turdthethird Call of Duty: WWII

Call of Duty: WWII Reddit by SledgeHammer Games, Published by ActiVision ( /CallOfDutyWorldWarTwo ) is The true fan built sub for the fans by the fans for CoDWWII 2017 delivering the latest news, videos, art, interviews and a hub for discussion and sharing of content relevant to the game. WWII developed by SHG and published by Activision. Game discussion, news source, streamers hub for WWII. Finally we have a new World War 2 game and it looks great! Join in on the fun!

2020.08.10 21:12 Howie_M Call of Duty: Black Ops COLD WAR

Say whatever you want about the game without any fear of getting banned. ColdWarCallofDuty is the Official fan-recognized community subreddit focused on the title. The subreddit has the top tier design you expect of an AAA First Person Shooter, demolishing the competition. Share your content, discuss, make new friends. Call of Duty: Black Ops COLD WAR is a first-person shooter video game developed by Treyarch and Raven Software and published by Activision.

2023.03.26 19:31 Vinod_cr7 Just a friendly reminder to the people who are interested to purchase Mythic qq9 draw. Do not buy the mythic draw early and wait for 2-3 days incase they give discount. As you can see in below image, some players had bought the entire draw and later they found out there's 11% discount.

Just a friendly reminder to the people who are interested to purchase Mythic qq9 draw. Do not buy the mythic draw early and wait for 2-3 days incase they give discount. As you can see in below image, some players had bought the entire draw and later they found out there's 11% discount. submitted by Vinod_cr7 to CallOfDutyMobile [link] [comments]

2023.03.26 19:30 AutoModerator Top 10 Call of Duty Maps That Are Based on Real Places

submitted by AutoModerator to whatchagain [link] [comments]

2023.03.26 19:29 RubyRedYoshi The science compendium for seedlings and plants

Hey everyone! I wanted to take a block of time to write out some of the knowledge I've gained through growing hydroponic strawberries, gardening, trees, and so on. I'm sure many of you already know a good chunk of the upcoming information, but this is to put it all in writing in one place, or for those who maybe don't know the science behind it. Fair warning, this will be a very long post.
There's been a few times I've been asked "Why are my plants suffering" in one form or another (mostly on Hydroponics). Relative to here, this typically would be in the seedling phase and less so in the soil phase of our plants lives. Alternatively, I've also been asked how to optimize input metrics. This also ties into the former question.
Plants care about a variety of input factors. The major ones I'll mention are: Light, temperature, humidity, food (fertilizer), soil composition, and water (media type factors in). These aren't the only factors, but these are the most relevant to this board.
Getting right into it,

Plants require photons to undergo photosynthesis. This is a fancy way of saying they need light to eat carbon. All plants have a maximum light saturation amount (though are fine if the light provided is higher) as well as a minimum required amount per day of light they need. This will vary by crop type as well as variety type within a specific crop, though less so with varietal changes as opposed to different crops.
Plants fall into one of three sub categories for light: low light, medium light, high light. For all light crops, the units of measurement we like to use are mol / m2 / day. This is a measurement of the quantity of photons from the visible light spectrum (700-400nm wavelength) which have hit a given part of the plant over a day. Slightly digressing a bit, I'll talk about artificial light first as the above units of measurement make sense by doing so. Then I'll tie this back into the sun.
When looking at artificial lights, many vendors list micromol / m2 / sec values at given heights. As an example, if you click on the second subpicture, you'll see it shows a "PPFD Map" at 8", 10" and 12" heights. Notice that for each map where the height increases, the numbers within the grid decrease. This is because light intensity drops following an inverse square law against distance. Light likes to spread out the further away from a source it is. When we talk about artificial lights, we're talking about a few (tens to a hundred) watts of power. The sun by comparison is 3.68 x 1026 watts! You'll also notice that as you move further away from the center of the light fixture, the numbers drop. This is because light spreads out in a cone shape away from its source (assuming there's reflectors built into the light fixture), otherwise light is omnidirectional from its source.
What this summarizes to is from artificial lights, each individual diode outputs a certain number of photons. Photons which then hit a plant are additive from all sources of light. There's more overlapping cones in the center of a light fixture than there are at the end of a fixture, and there's more light diodes closer to the plant in the center of a fixture as compared to the end of a single fixture.
Back to the light requirements, low light requiring crops such as microgreens and lettuces like to receive 8-15 mol / m2 / day of light. Medium light crops such as soft berries: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc. like to receive 17-25 mol / m2 / day of light, and high light crops like tomatoes, peppers, corn, etc. like to receive 30+ mol / m2 / day of light. Again, all crops are fine with receiving more light. For artificial light we don't provide much more since artificial lights require electricity to operate.
Now, to convert between the two aforementioned units of measurement: micromol / m2 / sec mol / m2 / day, we first take the former (lets say we start with a value of 500 micromol / m2 / day for this example) and multiply it by 60 seconds, and again by 60 minutes.
500 x 60 x 60 = 1,800,000 micromol / m2 / hour
Then we need to multiply 1,800,000 by the number of hours the artificial light fixture is on for, let's say for example it's 15 hours.
1,800,000 x 15 = 27,000,000 micromol / m2 / day
Finally we need to multiply by 10-6 as this is the units difference between micromol and mol.
27,000,000 x 10-6 = 27 mol / m2 / day.
This means a light outputting 500 micromol / m2 / second at a given height and turned on for 15 hours each day would be fine for growing low and medium light crops. Either moving the light a bit closer to a plant, or keeping the light on for longer would make it suitable for high light crops. But this brings me to another sub point within light, photoperiod.
All plants have optimal photoperiods. Simply put, this is the duration per day a light is on and the plants are photosynthesizing. The best analogy I've heard is to imagine your plant is running a marathon while being bathed in light. Just like us, we need to eventually stop and rest. Nighttime allows for this, so you don't want necessarily to bathe your plant in light for too long each day (there's some caveats to this with some crop and variety types, see Alaskan cabbage for example).
Now as for the sun. Here's a neat calculator for the sun's micromol output at a given time of any day. You will need to fill out all of the boxes accordingly (and they don't have to be ultra precise) for where your location is. If you run the numbers for Winnipeg, you'll find that on a clear June 21st day, the sun outputs 70+ mol / m2 / day of light over the whole day, while on a clear December 21st day it's closer to 8 mol / m2 / day. This also will tell you when the sun would provide enough light for the varying crop types over a given day. Once we get into October through to late February, there's not enough photons regardless of temperature outside for some crop types! The best part about the sun is because it's so powerful, it doesn't follow the same setbacks as artificial light. Remember the PPFD map earlier where those values dropped fairly substantially on the 2" increments? The sun is so powerful that a 7' tall cornstalk outdoors would see no measurable difference in the quantity of photons from the top of the plant all the way to the bottom. As a side note, any plant or structure that shades out whatever it is you're trying to grow will reduce photon count to near 0 while in shade. You can factor that in to the calculator above.
That's an important point to make as well, the whole plant needs its daily minimum. If the lower portions of a plant (think a 18-24" tall tomato plant before planting in the garden) don't get enough light, the plant will kill off the lower leaves once higher ones are out and closer to more photons. Leaves are the most effective at photosynthesis, but the entire plant above ground needs to meet minimum light each day.
Another factor to consider is your windows. Low-E glass, greatly reduces the amount of photons from the sun coming into your building. A telltale sign of your plants not receiving enough light is if they are leggy in appearance (they get tall but skinny at the same time, maybe they fall over, and don't have a lot of leaves while doing so).
Obviously, starting peppers and tomatoes in February / March doesn't allow us to put them outside for the sun, so artificial lights may be needed. If the next question you ask is along the lines of "which light is a good light to use?", any grow light will work fine if you're not looking to optimize growth at a commercial level. What you ideally want is a light with high efficiency denoted by mmol / watts. LED lights can approach 3-4 mmol / watt, and all this means is how many photons that fixture puts out against how much electricity is needed. The higher the number, the more light you put out with the same amount of electricity. Ideally if you see a good enough grow light on sale, it should work fine.
For further reading, you'll want to check into light spectrum and photomorphogenesis, but this goes into optimizing artificial lights which aren't as necessary if you plan on growing under the sun at all.

Temperature and humidity
This won't be as long of a section as light. Plants usually fall into two temperature categories. Lower temperature crops such as lettuce and day neutral variety strawberries like to sit around 20 degrees during the day, and go down to 10 degrees at night. Higher temperature crops such as tomatoes, peppers and corn like to be well into the 20's (some varieties into the 30's) and down to about 16 degrees at night. This is more for when they begin their fruiting phase as otherwise you should follow the directions on the back of the seed packets, or from the nursery. Unless you're looking at climate controlled grows, mother nature will give us what she gives us! This is also another reason we see people not planting in their gardens until June, and it's because of the night time temperatures potentially still being too cold for some plants (nevermind possible frosts).
Humidity is an important factor as well as this directly impacts a plant's rate of evapotranspiration. Evapotranspiration is the rate at which a plant consumes water, and by extension nutrients. The lower the humidity is the more a plant consumes. If the plant consumes too fast, you'll run into nutrient problems! Optimal humidity for most plants is between 40-60% (more varieties are closer to the 60% mark), though some require even higher nighttime humidity values. When starting from seed in February / March, ensure your plants have enough humidity in the room, as our winter indoor humidity levels are often too low! This transitions nicely into -

Nutrients (food)
There's very long writeups on this topic. I won't make this section a novel (but I might get close to it)! For nutrients, there's a few that matter:
Primary: (N)itrogen, (P)hosphorous, (K)Potassium, (S)ulphur
Secondary: (S)ulphur, (Ca)lcium, (Mg)Magnesium
Micronutrients: (B)oron, (Zn)Zinc, (Co)pper, (Mn)Manganese, (Fe)Iron, (there are more than just these five, though research is ongoing as to which ones and in what quantity)
--Note, Sulphur depending on plant type is either a primary or a secondary nutrient.
There's a law of minimums involved which says whichever nutrient is the lowest available, the plant will grow to capacity of the lowest available element.

Out of the three main primary nutrients,
Nitrogen is needed to increase above ground plant tissue growth. The more of this you have (to a point), the faster your plants will shoot out new leaves, stems, branches, etc.
Phosphorous has a few roles, but the big one is to spur new root growth. When sprouting from seed, after the plants start growing their first true leaves (the one after the initial two out of the "ground"), phosphorous is a good nutrient to being feeding to plants to encourage initial root growth.
Potassium has a critical role in aiding nutrient movement through the plant. In essence they're like the red blood cells if a plant had red blood cells! Potassium also encourages flowering and helps to increase yields from flowering plants.

One thing I want to emphasize on the nutrients is the "primary, secondary and micro" titles are potentially a bit misleading. These are not named in order of importance, but rather in order of quantity typically consumed. The quantity of manganese you'd potentially add to a garden would be vastly lower than the quantity of say potassium over a given time period. I can not recommend fertilizer blends to you as there's a whole host of factors you ideally want to consider first. That said, if you're not looking to really dive into the details, a 20-20-20 or equivalent is fine (mostly) so long as you follow the directions on the label. Composting is a parallel option as this is more for soil amending rather than fertilizing. That said, for example, dead leaves from last year as well as blades of grass will hold nutrients from the prior year, and those nutrients over time are broken down and recycled back into the new growth. The breakdown in soil is called "organic matter". Organic matter requires microbes and bacteria to further break down into rich topsoil and nutrients. Fortunately, soil has these microbes and bacteria! You absolutely want to have some organic matter in your soils!
One excellent nutrient resource I've found is Haifa. They've got tons of articles on fertilizers, feeding schedules, some plants even have pictures of what the various deficiencies look like. I'd highly recommend them as a resource.
Another thing to keep in mind is potting soil, coco coir, or any other starting media that's not actual dirt from the ground outside is substrate. These initial medias either don't have any or have very little fertilizers in them. They are not meant to sustain plants for long without further fertilization applications. If you start plants months in advance of transplanting into your soil garden without using soil, you will need to fertilize in the time period prior to planting. Even with soil you may want to fertilize, but this again takes me into the next topic.

This is again potentially another very long topic. In the interests of again keeping it not novel length, I'd always recommend sending in some of your soil for analysis. Farmers Edge is one lab in Winnipeg which will run soil analysis, but they're not the only one. Depending on which package you opt for (and in my personal opinion, the first one should always be the complete so you know all there is nutrient wise to test for), you will receive an analysis showing how much of each element you have in your soil at the time of sampling. You'll also see how much salt, organic matter, pH, and more is in there. Once you know what's in your soil, you can then look at different fertilizer blends to more properly amend your garden.
Most garden plant roots stick in the top 12" of soil, so it's usually not necessary to test below 12". You likely don't need to test below 6", though I'm not a soil scientist so don't take my word as gospel here!
Here's where the complexity comes in! The first thing to look at is soil pH. Why? Because pH affects nutrient intake. And to add to this, nutrients themselves compete with each other for uptake! Some nutrients are cations (nutrients with a positive electrical charge), and some are anions (negative charge). Cations like calcium, boron, and iron (there's more) compete with each other for intake, and the same is true for anions against each other. It's also unfortunately not easy to permanently raise or lower soil pH as it would take a lot of acid or base to do so over many many many years. The best way to go about setting your pH is to add soil with values closer to ideal. Ideal pH for most plants are typically around a pH of 6.5 +- 0.5 (there are exceptions, blueberries are a good example here of liking even more acidic soil). That said, plants can still grow somewhat out of the ideal range relatively fine, but knowing what's going on and how to help amend based on your soil results will help a long way!
The next thing to look at is sodium levels. Sodium is one element that plants do not like. Again using a line I heard years ago, think of when we eat a salty pizza. You get thirsty. Sodium has the same idea going on in a plant where the cells can't handle sodium and die off. Too much sodium in your soils will lead to negative effects. Fortunately, rain over time will wash salts to a lower level in the soil, but there's also research suggesting Humic Acid works well in reducing sodium in your soil. It will also reduce potassium, so keep that in mind if you choose to use humic acid.
Another metric on the soil analysis results will be organic matter. If needed, adding compost or pete to the garden will raise total organic matter metrics, you ideally don't want to be too much below 5%. Just keep in mind these "soils" will have their own nutrient values and pH!
One of the better ways to fertilize your garden (if using synthetic fertilizer) is through drip line fertigation. This keeps the water close to the ground so winds don't blow off your solution, and you're able to dissolve powdered nutrient solution into the water. It's certainly not the only way however. Should you choose to go this way, many of the big fertilizer companies (PlantProd is one example) and their local resellers will provide guidance on the blend, quantity and distribution rates. They will also ask for a soil analysis which you can provide.
There are many PDF's and maps available through Manitoba's Ag department online which show not only soil composition but nutrient quantities over large areas. For example, the Red River Basin typically is high in calcium on account of all of the limestone in the ground. Your local area may be different, but areas with limestone do not typically need to add calcium to their gardens. The Red River Basin also typically (but not everywhere) is low in manganese which usually means we need to amend our growing areas.

The obvious point is to make sure you water your plants but don't overwater them. Again unless you're doing a climate controlled grow, mother nature gives what she gives. However for seedlings, many don't like to constantly have wet feet. There are exceptions to this rule based on plant type, but make sure you read up on what plants like what. Substrate (potting soil) is designed to not hold as much water as clay soils such that the seedling roots don't constantly sit in wet conditions. When you do water, you ideally want to thoroughly water the plant so water saturates the entire media. Don't constantly shallow water.
Beyond the obvious however, there's two other things I want to mention. The first is what water does to the nutrients in the soil. When it excessively rains, salts in the soil (things like sodium, potassium, calcium) will be pushed further into the ground away from the roots of a plant. Even in calcium rich soils, you could see calcium deficiencies because of excessive rain (this happened last year - 2022). Alternatively when its a drier year, salts are pulled more towards the surface and are then more concentrated around the roots of a plant. This is one of the reasons to not overwater a plant as you not only potentially drown them, but you push their food further away from their roots.
Secondly, what's in your water other than the pure water itself (H2O) will end up in your soil. If your water source is well water (for example) and you have high sodium concentrations, you will drive up the sodium concentrations in your soil with each successive watering you do. The lower the concentrations in your water, the longer it takes to build up. Rain is also mostly pure, and will wash concentrations down over time. There's a Sodium Absorption Ratio formula that comes into play for how much sodium is too much sodium? If the end result is under 3, it's fine. Anything over 9 is not suitable for long term agricultural watering. Note that this ratio breaks down when your three elements are all very low numbers. For those in the city of Winnipeg, the city conducts general testing typically once a year. Water high in calcium carbonate will also further drive up the pH of your soil. Water can be sent in for testing the same as soil. ALS laboratories near the corner of highway #1 and highway #59 in Winnipeg is one outfit that tests water, but again, they're not the only option.

I want to reiterate, there's a lot more information around these topics that I didn't include in this post. It would take weeks to really dig into any of them. As well, there are other more organic methods other than synthetic fertilizers which can be used for soil gardens. I mention synthetic fertilizers as part of my growing world deals with strawberries in hydroponics. Another example would be humidity and why it plays such a critical role. Specifically its related to which nutrient elements are mobile and immobile elements and how they are transported around in the plant based on humidity, and how humidity and airflow or lack of it can cause or alleviate Edema.
I hope that some of you find this post informative, and potentially helpful in growing your gardens!
submitted by RubyRedYoshi to ManitobaGardening [link] [comments]

2023.03.26 19:29 Ok_Night_8811 Any advice ladies? I think I’m pregnant!

Hi all!
So me and my partner are trying for second child after first is nearly 5 and we both feel it’s the right time!
We had unprotected sex 12/3 (12th march not December 12th!). My last period was from 6th-9th march. I have irregular periods and always have since I started. I could have 2-3 a year! So I guess I’m not “due on” for approx another week or so?
Anyway, since then my breasts are extremely sensitive. They feel exactly how they felt when I was first pregnant with our son. They feel heavier and my nipples are very sensitive and erect (not just cold). I can literally feel them in my bra. I showed my boobs to my sister on ft (we’re close lol she’s my bestie) and she agreed they look bigger. I’m feeling nauseous to the point where I can’t eat. I’m burping sick and bile up most mornings if that makes sense? I have heartburn and indigestion which was a massive part of my first pregnancy. So given all these massive indications of pregnancy I took a test.
Oh and I don’t normally get PMS symptoms as I don’t really have periods as I explained so it isn’t that.
The test came back negative and I was a little disappointed I’m not going to lie. Given that I haven’t actually MISSED a period yet I guess I’ve jumped the gun a bit?
Any tips/advice? Thanks!
submitted by Ok_Night_8811 to amipregnant [link] [comments]

2023.03.26 19:29 Accomplished_Roll837 [COD] For what its worth!

For what it's worth!!!
I'm 50 years old and been playing this game for most of my adult life, ever since Call Of Duty came out back in the good old days it has been my one true hobby and passion, but....nowadays as a PC player I feel absolute disgust and sadness when I waste my time with my favourite past-time, the flagrant cheating on this game coupled with server timeclock sync errors mixed with the stupidly OP aim-assist on controller players who still use third party hardwares like the Cronus Zen and to top it all off the whitelisting by Activision of Twitchers and Youtubers who blatantly CHEAT and use apps like Phantom Overlay and other CHEAT apps to mislead the matchmaking engine so they can make media is ruining the game that so many love to play.
When are you going to fix things?...Because all I feel is that you just want to make money off honest people, Twitchers and Youtubers proliferate and normalize the use of CHEATS which you allow in exchange for free publicity.
I wait for the day that aim assist is completely nerfed and fix your servers it's shameful that you get killed because of sync issues between PC's and Consoles, get rid of match making and allow to choose crossplay or no-crossplay, and ban some cheaters because it's obvious that Ricochete is not working!
submitted by Accomplished_Roll837 to CallOfDuty [link] [comments]

2023.03.26 19:21 UkraineSucksBalls Russian Forces killed Stanislav Kaplunovsky (call sign 'Zhivoi') in the area of operations of the SMO. Kaplunovsky was a committed UKR nationalist who fought even in the First Chechen War against Russia, with the likes of Shamil Basayev. Denazification continues.

Russian Forces killed Stanislav Kaplunovsky (call sign 'Zhivoi') in the area of operations of the SMO. Kaplunovsky was a committed UKR nationalist who fought even in the First Chechen War against Russia, with the likes of Shamil Basayev. Denazification continues. submitted by UkraineSucksBalls to RussianWarFootage [link] [comments]

2023.03.26 19:21 Snoo-85259 Had the most bizzarre "phone screening" just now.

At 11:00AM today which is a SUNDAY, I get a phone call from a stranger. Naturally I don't pick up, and someone leaves me a voicemail. I was still napping so I figured I will check my phone later, but I also hear the notification letting me of a new text message. I check, and in the exact wording and grammar, it says "Hi OP.this is tom Calling u regarding rph Position." "reach out to me at number"
I've never received such a poorly written text message on a professional level, so it was an hard red flag, and I decided not to return the call. However, at 12:30 PM, this person called again! For a moment, I hesitated, but I figured maybe he was just in desperate need of coverage, so I made the mistake of picking up the phone. He hung up abruptly but immediately called again. When I picked up the call this time, I was connected to 'Tom.' Without any introduction, he said, 'Hey, it's Tom. Are you available on Tues/Thurs/Friday?' in a rushed manner. I was totally taken aback as this is not how I imagined the conversation would start.
I said I was flexible with my schedule but would need to know other details to confirm as I didn't know anything about this guy nor the pharmacy. Of note, he found my resume on a job board which I must have posted months ago, and just cold-called me. He then asked me when the earliest day I could come in to work was. I told him I was not available to come in until next Thursday, but I would need to know more about his store before making any commitments since I have no prior information about this store and what this job entails. He abruptly cut me off and told me it's just like any regular retail store, providing virtually no details about the kind of service they provide, hours of operation, or the number of staff on site. I also ask for the location, and he just vaguely describes where it is, instead of telling the store name???
He again asked, 'Can you cover Tues/Thurs/Fri? I have a thing with my wife I am working on, and I need those days off.' At this point, I had had enough and told him I would review this and get back to him, but he was free to pursue other candidates if he wished. He responded by asking exactly WHEN I would get back to him, stating that there were other candidates waiting to hear back. I told him that if that was the case, then I might not be the most suitable person for this role. He then changed his tone and offered me more hours, but I told him I was not looking for additional hours and had limited availability. I was so fed up at this point, didn't even want to continue the conversation, so I told him to move on to the next candidate, and he said hung up. By far this is the worst "professional" conversation I've had in my career history. Needless to say, I looked for this place on google map, and the review says 'tom' had cussed out a patient when he asked if the prescriptions are ready. How bizzarre.
submitted by Snoo-85259 to pharmacy [link] [comments]

2023.03.26 19:20 IWannaManatee Mods that add quests or bounties for Trolls mainly? Perhaps other non-undead monsters as well.

I want to do a playthrough where a normal guy becomes a monster slayer, heavily based on Goblin Slayer, by using strategies and knowledge of how my chosen monster behaves to kill them more efficiently, instead of relying on magic. Also inspired by Trollsbane, but less so since I'm going with One-handed + Block for damage.
I'm thinking of extending my slaying from Trolls to other monsters as well, aside from the undead since I don't really want to. I have some serious Vampire and Draugr burnout from my previous playthrough.
My current set up for this (not counting core mods for mechanics and base stuff, like EnaiRim and Swift Kingdom, NordWarUA AiO, etc) is:
Any help is greatly appreciated !
submitted by IWannaManatee to skyrimmods [link] [comments]

2023.03.26 19:19 Capital-Ant2812 Please give me feedback and critique this

The first rays of sunlight splashed on my face waking me up for the day. But I didn’t want to get out of bed. The alarm finally sounded and I quickly turned it off. “Just five more minutes,” I muttered.
“Mark, wake up, it's time for breakfast. Mark? Mark get your butt down here before I come up myself.”
I got up so fast I almost fell flat on my face. “Mom, I’ll be there in 20 minutes,” I yelled, panicking. “I need to brush my teeth and take a shower.”
“Hurry up then,” she responded.
Thank god. She can be really scary when she’s angry.
I turned to face the dashboard in front of me.
“Assistant, turn on the lights and tell me the weather,” I ordered. Unfortunately, I had no response. Oh right, that broke yesterday. Now I have to pay to fix it. I should hurry up and shower. So I headed for my own bathroom. After brushing my teeth I stripped and threw my clothes in the laundry bin. I have to buy more detergent for the washing machine. Why do I have to pay for so many things today?
Cold water caught me off guard in the shower. Unfortunately, I forgot we haven’t paid for this month’s hot water. So I was in a rush to wash up because I hate bathing in cold water. I toweled off and opened my drawer. I grabbed a fresh pair of boxers, a t-shirt and I wore my school uniform on top. It was a black blazer with blue highlights and black plants with black shoes. It had the initials FT for Future Tech, the school I’m enrolled at. However, there was a gold pin that only I had the right to wear with a V imprinted on it for Victor. It was proof that I was number one in my school. It was also like a homing signal for bullies.
After turning on the lights I could see my room clearly now. My hoverboard was strapped to the corner of the wall. My bed was in a mess with sheets and pillows spread all over. My virtual reality set along with my computer was arranged together at my left. With my hoverboard and backpack I walked out the door.
Delicious aromas from my mother’s cooking attacked me when I walked into the kitchen. I smelled eggs, bacon, and pancakes. A big pitcher of orange juice was also on the table along with several clean plates for eating.
“Hello, Mom,” I said. “What’s the occasion? This is a nice spread.”
My mother turned around and sort of smiled. She wore a green shirt with blue sweatpants that had food stains all over. My mom was beautiful. She was caucasian with brighter skin than mine with blue eyes and blond hair. My dad was African American so my skin was a bit darker. However, I inherited her eyes that were brighter than any diamond and her beautiful blond hair. She was 45 but looked 30 and I was lucky to have her.
“So, now you want to get out of bed. I just got paid so I wanted to whip up something special. Eat up because I predict it’ll be a while before you can eat like this again. I’m almost done here, go and eat with your father.”
I gave her a hug and walked to our dining table and sat right next to my father. He’s six feet tall, with strong arms and had a big beard he was super proud of. He was almost 47 but still looked 30 just like my mother. He had a suit and tie on for work and had a plate of pancakes, eggs, and bacon. I did the same and my plate was filled with a heap of delectable delicacies.
“Hey, son, how are you doing?” my dad asked in his deep voice.
“ I’m doing fine,” I said in a garbled voice because I was stuffing my mouth with pancakes.
“So, how’s work,” I asked.
“It’s been fine. I'm receiving a pay raise this week,” he said.
“Really?” I almost jumped out of my seat. “That’s great. Recently, some things haven’t been working. I ran out of detergent, my Assistant isn’t working and the hot water stopped running. But don’t worry I’ll pay for all of that stuff by myself. And if there’s anything you need help with-”
“Mark!” my mom cried out.
Oh crap.
“You’re only 16 and you’ve been taking those illegal jobs. What if the government finds you and arrests you. They could imprison you and us or worse. And what about your friend Thomas. Does his mom know about it? Should I contact her?”
“Mom! We need the money and so does Thomas. It's risky but we’re smart enough to not get caught. “
“Mark,” my father said.
“We know that it's difficult for folks like us to make sufficient money to live in District 3. But we moved here despite the difficulties to offer you a better education and better environment.”
“I know!” I yelled.
“But I bet 250 years ago it wasn’t this hard to just live as a normal citizen!”
“They say that the descendants of the Enhanced still live,” my father countered. “They still live in our society planning the destruction of the rest of the world. The people are scared. The government is paranoid. If they discover someone with powers they’ll be hunted down. If they discover if you are associated with one without reporting you could be executed. And if you’re caught in unauthorized territory they’ll execute you.”
“Is that what you want?” my mom demanded.”For both our family and Thomas’ to die! I can’t lose anybody else.”
It kills me to see my mother cry. It also killed me to have to lie to my family. They do so much so I can go to one of the best schools in the country so I can get a good education and a high class job. And live a cushy and luxurious life but I know just how much debt they have even if they don’t know I do. And Thomas’ family is doing even worse than us.
“I’ll stop then and I’ll go to school. Today is our mandatory physical check-up. I’ll meet up with Thomas but don’t worry we won’t do anything illegal.”
My parents both looked at me with total distrust in my eyes.
My mom finally caved in. “Fine, make sure you’re prepared and take the train to school. Make sure you’re careful and follow all instructions!”
“Don’t worry mom,” I grumbled. “It's not like any of us have superpowers anyway.”
I finished my food, grabbed everything I needed and rushed out the door.
Living here is expensive but it sure is amazing if you can succeed.
Even if the world was almost destroyed 250 years ago we sure were able to come a long way in that time. It was great enough that me and Thomas’ parents would try so hard to be able to live here.
At first glance it was beautiful like a dream. Sector 3 was one of the best Districts except 1 and 2.
It buzzed with life with people on their way to work and wherever they needed to go. Cars hovered over the ground at speeds of 20 to 30 miles per hour.They made a sort of buzzing noise that was music to my ears. The smells of food cooking in fancy restaurants attacked my nostrils hoping to draw my attention and buy their food. Good thing I had a hearty breakfast because I don’t think I could afford any of them right now. Teenagers like me hung out with their hoverboards doing all types of tricks that could easily backfire in a nearby park. They had neon colored hair, mohawks along with other choices in fashion that my school and I just don’t agree with. Other businesses such as hospitals, hair salons, movie theaters also seemed to attract crowds like a magnet. I even passed by the hospital my mom worked at. It was a huge dark skyscraper with a spacious parking lot with its name Healing Haven Hospital in bright colored letters at the top.
Sector 3 was a great place to live if you could afford it. Although If you looked hard enough you noticed the people that failed to make ends meet. In the slums people slept in man made houses of trash and boxes. Others smoked and did drugs which was kind of illegal. Either they weren’t caught or the soldiers didn’t care enough to check. Children wearing dirty rags who were so skinny you could count their ribs rummaged through trash and fought over any spoils. It wasn’t fair that this greedy government would place laws and taxes that would force them to suffer this horrible fate. I need money whether or not it's legal as long as it can keep my family fed and happy.
15 minutes after I left the house I finally reached the train station. I got off my hoverboard and got in line and thankfully it wasn’t that long. When I reached the doors, I almost had a heart attack. Guarding the door where two sentinels armed to the teeth carrying large guns and dressed in their signature white bulletproof armor.
“Pay up please,” the one on the right said as he stretched out his hand. He held a device that would collect the money you need to take to ride the train.
“Okay,” I agreed with a nervous voice.
I took out my own phone and paid. I was able to get a seat on the train I was keeping all to myself with no troubles.
After we started moving I finally was able to let myself relax. I thought I was this close to being arrested before I could do anything illegal today.
Sentinels are usually stationed in places such as banks and homes of important people like governors. But this is the first time I’ve seen them deployed at a train station. I remember when I wanted to be one when I was a kid and go to District 2 to make lots of money but my parents made me give up that dream. District 2 specializes in military and security. That was where soldiers trained and lived. Higher Ups also had access to a luxurious life in a fancy mansion and more money than what they actually needed. This is where the hovercrafts that soared the sky providing surveillance were built and maintained. Where Epizon’s forces that would protect our country from its threats could prepare for any possibility. Prepare for what I always ask. Most of the world has been destroyed. Africa has never shown any hostility to us. No, they’re just here to enforce this tyrannical government and eliminate any that may possess abilities.
I grabbed my headphones from my backpack and played my favorite songs. At least I can enjoy the view.
It was like I was flying as the train soared through the sky on a railway that snaked throughout the city. Never actually touching since the train was connected through powerful electromagnets saving both energy and money. The city looked even more impressive when you had a bird’s eye view.
Couples and families enjoyed picnics on tables at the Liberty State Park. People walked in and out of the Interpretive Center where history from about 300 years was taught. It still had memorials dedicated to remembering events like what happened centuries ago at 9/11. Now there’s a huge memorial dedicated to those who fought to save us from the Enhanced. It's still so hard to believe that people with super powers exist. I’ve learned about them in history class but they seem so unreal. I’ve never seen somebody shoot fire or fly so either the military is really good at their job or this is all made up.
District 3 of the great utopia Epizon. Named after the Greek word for survivor. When the continents Australia, Europe, South America, and Asia were destroyed in World War Three. By the Enhanced who gained powers that almost destroyed the world. Thankfully, the remnants of North America were able to stand up and defeat all the Enhanced people and create the amazing paradise we live in.
It sounds so unreal it has to be propaganda to control the Sectors.
We flew over the Hudson River Walkway. It was my favorite view on the train ride because I loved the way sunlight would reflect off the pristine turquoise waters. It's a shame we don’t really get to swim or fish though. That’s probably for the best.
The rest of the train ride went fast and before I knew it I was at my stop. I grabbed my hoverboard and raced to school because the Victor can’t be late.
While this District has its downsides it could really get a lot worse from here. However, District 1 was the real paradise. It was where the most important people with the most standing lived. The President, his wife, and other high ranking government officials lived there. In enormous mansions separated by acres where all the other people who enforced laws and taxes that made it difficult for my parents to live and provide for us.
But District 3 was the best place where people who are more fortunate like me could live. As long as you were skilled enough and worked hard enough. My mom was a somewhat prominent doctor at one of the biggest hospitals in this District. District 3 specializes in a lot of fields but the one it specializes in is medical science. Medicine, prosthetics, you can get the best of them from here. And my dad was vice president at a company that released some of the best virtual reality games. Entertainment is just as important as health in Epizon. Which meant I sometimes received popular games before everyone else. I remember so many times my parents and I would play together exploring outer space, fighting monsters. My parents are so cool, right?
You’d think that our life would be a little more luxurious and it was. Unfortunately, the selfish government increased taxes and fees from school started to pile up. As the victor in sophomore year I was exempt from those rules as long as I remained Victor. But my parents have yet to completely finish paying all those debts.
It's dangerous to get lost in your thoughts when you’re traveling 3 feet off the ground at 15 miles per hour on a hoverboard because you might end up running into a moving car. Thankfully, I managed to stop just in time.
“So, the Victor almost crashes to a fatal stop. It would be sad, you know. I’d hate for my best friend to die like that.”
I knew that voice.
I turned around and noticed that mischievous grin with sharp teeth I was so familiar with. With his strong red eyes and messy black hair he could’ve been a criminal. Well he technically should be but we’re too smart to get caught.
“Thomas, how’re you?” I asked as I got off my hoverboard.
“Oh, nothing, just waiting for you,” he replied. “I knew you’d show up here to catch the levitrain.”
He gave me a hug and somehow managed to pick me up and spin me around like something a kid would ask their parents to do.
“How’re you doing my best friend? Did you actually get a huge extravagant meal because I just did. My mom just got paid and she didn’t save a single epi.”
“Yeah, I actually did and so I can actually keep my breakfast and not throw up let me down.”
“How’re you so strong anyway? I know you work out but are you seriously that strong. Don’t tell me you actually have super strength.”
“I hope I don’t. Life sucks as is but it would get even worse if I suddenly awakened superpowers.”
I feel the same. It’s rough but we can make it better.
We always managed to read each other’s minds.
“Are you ready for these physicals?” I asked.
“I’m so sick of those things,” he replied. “Oh, it’s time for us to cross.”
We both got on our hoverboards and raced towards school.
“Don’t worry about it, you're strong and you’re pretty muscular,” I assured him. “But, I hope you’re not strong enough to throw a car or something.”
“Don’t worry about it, I've already tried. Nah, I’m kidding.”
“So, are we doing that job today,” Thomas asked with a mischievous grin.
“You know it,” I said.
Now you have to admit our school was pretty impressive.
First of all, it was gigantic. It sort of resembled a castle but really high tech in blue, red, and white colors. In the middle FutureTech was printed in red and blue and was highlighted in white. The dorms were on the left side. And the rest of the other facilities and equipment was in the other half. This was FutureTech, a place which was probably the best school a student could ask for. Less than 20% of those who apply here make the cut. And the majority of them were rich kids who could afford to pay the tuition. Me and Thomas barely made it and it was really tough. But we both worked hard and eventually I became the Victor. One of the perks of being a Victor that must’ve been in place for people like us was that the Victor could choose anyone who didn’t have as much money as the others to be their second in command. They would be exempt from the tuition and other crazy rules. Did you know you have to pay a security fee after a year?
But those only applied if the other guy had good grades and a clean track record. But only as long as I’m the Victor and if either of us do anything that breaks the rules we’ll both be kicked out. Talk about pressure.
But this was the best place to learn anything really. Law, business, art, engineering and other sciences. And it could all be done here.
The school had defenses in place to protect the lives of students and staff. An electromagnetic barrier surrounded the entire establishment. Stretching out a few acres across outside the building. If you wanted to get in you had to get through the one gate in the front. At the gate there were security cameras, x-rays, and 10 armed Sentinels just for extra security. The security was just as intense inside making it nearly impossible to do anything that violated the rules. They didn’t waste a single epi.
“Man, the security of this place is unnerving as always,” Thomas complained.
“It never fails to show me just how out of place we are.”
“Of course the security is advanced. The children of really important people receive education here. This helps them make sure they aren’t kidnapped. I do agree it's unnerving but at least it’s secure. Besides you and I both deserve to be here”
We walked through the sliding doors and saw just how beautiful the school was inside.
The place was illuminated by golden lights. Robots made clunky noises while drones wizzed over my head. I could barely hear myself think over the voices of other students. Girls argued over petty things like their hairstyles and whose boyfriend was better. While boys competed to see who’s stronger or more handsome. Rainbow colors flashed from the lab to the right. Future doctors practiced their skills on mannequins in the lab at the left.
“Hey, look, it's the Victor!”
Soon, the whole school had their eyes on me.
Girls and boys waved and applauded. Even the ones on the second floor whooped and jumped around. Not everyone felt the same though. Some students snickered and sneered while others glared with hatred and jealousy. Even when you work hard to be at the top not everyone will appreciate it.
“You’re popular,” Thomas remarked.
“Too bad not everyone is a fan. You still got the ladies cheering for you. You think you could give them a good word about me?” Thomas joked.
“You know that’s not how it is. We’re on different levels in society. I lose my title as Victor and I fade into the background.”
“Besides, you're smart and strong. Try hard enough and you could get a girlfriend. Just don’t let anyone catch on to our extracurricular activities.”
“Look at that smug smile on his face,” a voice rang out.
“It must be nice to be the Victor's lap dog. I could use that so explain why it is getting wasted on that idiot.”
“ He thinks he’s so strong and mighty just because of that stupid pin. Wait till I get my hands on it, fool.”
“He should watch out. It’d be unfortunate if an accident were to happen. No one would miss some commoners who couldn’t support themselves without that Victor title.”
“Who is that?” Thomas demanded.
“If I find out who they are they won’t have to worry about creating any accident.”
“Chill out Thomas. None of them have the guts or smarts to try anything. Besides, together there’s nothing they can do to either of us.”
“You’re right. We have brains and muscles,” he said as he flexed his arms.
I don’t blame some of them though. Kids who weren’t super wealthy but still made it could use the privileges I got from this title. There were also the selfish rich kids who had more money than they really needed. But I couldn't bear to see someone work hard to achieve something they couldn’t. It makes me so sick sometimes. Our parents do our best just to put a roof over our heads and pay taxes. But I became Victor and that’s a problem. I apologize but I’m not giving it up anytime soon.
“ So what’s first on Victor's schedule?”
“First, we have History class. Then, I have to give a report on quantum physics. Then we have lunch right before the physicals.”
“Well, while you’re doing your fancy report on quantum psychics I’m doing one on the state of this Sector. There’s so many children and families without homes. If I simply beg them nothing will happen. I’ll convince them why they should lend money and support to those who really deserve it. They can train adults to help reinforce the Walls. Add them to the military. Children can also be useful for things. Think about all the new medications they could try by using sick children. They could also put extremely smart children to work in engineering. Even the government can’t ignore the potential of children if given the right environment.”
Good old Thomas is always thinking of ways to help those in need. He takes every advantage and tool he can if it means he can improve the lives of his mother’s and others. More reason for me to fight to stay the Victor.
“Thomas, I have a question.”
“What is it?” he asked.
“Let’s say if you can do what you plan. What if some of those who you’re helping have powers?”
Thomas' face darkened as he stopped his stride.
I hate to do this to him but what if some of those he’s trying to help are Enhanced. People who have done nothing wrong superpowers or not don’t deserve to be hurt out of fear and hatred. Especially if it was because my best friend was only trying to genuinely help.
“I’m not sure. I can already imagine what the government would do if they got their hands on Enhanced people. But if I can only help people with no powers who actually need it. Am I wrong to try even if it could hurt others?”
submitted by Capital-Ant2812 to writers [link] [comments]

2023.03.26 19:19 Jootkingdom “Tobirama doesn’t hate the Uchiha he literally had an Uchiha on his team” is the equivalent of saying “im not racist I have black friends”

Tobirama literally considered the Uchiha on his team as “one of the good ones” like cmon? Even the Uchiha wasn’t Causing no problems in the village but he still made these anti-Uchiha laws against them even moving them to a place not inside the village. Imagine ur clan getting treated because of something 100 years ago and he’s called the “best Hokage” for making its society but u don’t have to treat a group of ppl bad based on a war.
submitted by Jootkingdom to Naruto [link] [comments]

2023.03.26 19:18 StepwiseUndrape574 Mexican Drug Cartels Apparently Think Skilled GTA Online Players Make Great Meth Mules

I have no personal frame of reference for this opinion, but I imagine being a drug runner for the Mexican cartel (or any cartel) is loads more fun in a video game setting than in real life. The latter pays more I'm sure, but the stress, risk to life and limb, and persistent threat of jail time have me convinced to stick with legal employment. Not so for some GTA Online gamers who thought it a good idea to become meth mules.
It sounds wild (because it is), but apparently drug cartels sometimes use online multiplayer video games as a source for new blood. Back in October of last year, for example, Mexico's assistant public safety secretary, Ricardo Mejía, said a cartel recruiter purchased bus tickets for three teenagers between 11 and 14 years old.
The recruiter found the teens on Garena Free Fire, a popular online game, and offered them each $200 per week to serve as lookouts for the cartel. Authorities detained the teens before they boarded the bus, but Mejía told ABC News that other cartels have also recruited drug mules and lookouts through video games, including Call of Duty, Gears of War, and Grand Theft Auto V.
Now three months later, Forbes says it discovered that US officials have evidence showing GTA Online is also used as a recruitment tool for drug cartels.
It's not clear how long this has allegedly been going on, but according to the site, border agents stopped and inspected a Jeep Cherokee in Arizona last November and found almost 60 kilograms of methamphetamine. The driver, Alyssa Navarro, said a man named George first contacted her in GTA Online, through which they got to know each other over time.
Those in-game chats later pivoted over to Snapchat, where George raised the idea of being a runner, albeit for electronics to be sold in Mexico. Navarro claims she was offered up to $2,000 per trip, depending on the size of the load.
The only problem for Navarro is that the cartel allegedly hid meth in the Jeep's fuel tank. Authorities have charged Navarro with conspiracy to import and sell meth, and also possession, charges for which she has pleaded not guilty.
It remains to be seen how that case will turn out. Suffice to say, though, if someone online propositions you for an offer that seems too good to be true—or is outright illegal—it's best to politely decline.
submitted by StepwiseUndrape574 to gta5_moddedaccounts_ [link] [comments]

2023.03.26 19:18 ImATree2 It's the Murloc life for me: Chapter 12

Chapter 12: Oracle, Leader, Anesthesiologist
“I’ve studied the murlocs, and there’s one thing I know for sure. They’re smarter than the other races of Azeroth think - smart enough to not let anyone know.”
~ Mrgglr
I gave one of my pouches a pat, making sure it was still secured to my belt. The Sea Crawler eggs had hatches yesterday during our journey. It had caused a slight delay while I made sure the larva were hatching properly and had enough food to curtail most of the cannibalism common when a clutch hatches.
Now the couple dozen tiny larva were scuttling around their pouch, trying to poke their way through the fiber. I open the top and dropped in a handful of ripped-up shrimp I had acquired at our previous stop. With the pouch settled on my hip, I could feel the feeding frenzy taking place within.
As the village came into view in the distance, Glrrm broke the silence that had dominated the last leg of our journey.
“It looks like the village is still standing, so that’s good.”
That got a small chuckle out of me. “I had complete trust in Brrglrm to not burn it to the ground. It looks like that trust was not misplaced.”
Glrrm responded, a smile stretching across his face. “Yes, complete trust. That’s why you refused to bet on it with me.”
I smiled in return, speaking in an even tone. “I simply felt doing something as frivolous as gambling on my apprentice’s abilities was unfitting. If Brgllrm found out she would lose respect for me.”
“Right…” Glrrm said as he sped up, turning around to face Mrgglr with a large smile. “Or maybe you just didn’t want to risk giving up your stash of mealworms.”
That… I didn’t expect him to ask about that. “How do you know about that?” I said in a confused tone.
“I saw you pocket a handful of them before we left from that mound near the forest. I had always wondered why you collected all those food scrapes after meals. Thought you did some magic thingies with them, but no, you just wanted some snacks.”
“It kind of is a magic thing. I’ve been trying to connect more with earth since we settled on the shore. I can’t rely on my training in water to help much, so I have been trying new techniques. Working with dirt helps me understand it better.”
Glrrm’s face scrunched up in thought and he said, “What, so you dig a hole and can throw around boulders now?”
That elicited a series of small chuckles from me. If only it were that easy. “Oh no, not even close. I haven’t even contacted any earth elementals, so I can’t move so much as a pebble right now. But the more I understand what the earth wants, the closer I am to forming a pact.”
Glrrm went quiet after that, considering my statement. We once again slipped into silence as we reached the shallow waters leading to the beach. The beach was strangely absent, with no one present to welcome the oracle and chieftain. Surely someone had seen them approaching, especially with the heightened vigilance the gnoll attacks created.
As Mrgglr placed his bags on the sand and stretched, Glrrm pointed inland. “I think something’s happening in the village.” He said.
Looking at where he was pointing, there was a large gathering of people in the village. There were much more than usual for this time of day. It looked like most of the village was standing about, clustered around… my hut?
While we made our way into the village proper I ran scenarios through my head. Most of the people there should have been out hunting or gathering at this time of day. The only reason so many people would abandon their tasks was for an emergency, and the most likely emergency I could think of was an injury.
If someone did get hurt, Brgllrm should be able to deal with it. She had been learning about healing and watching me work for the past few months, absorbing my lessons like a whale swallowing swarms of krill. It was amazing to watch her take in a concept and then utilize it immediately after. I had made so many mistakes when I started working with my father and that was raising Sea Crawlers. Brgllrm was learning how to save lives and was already better than many of the healers I had met on my travels.
A cluster of the crowd broke off and started running toward us when we stepped off the beach. Before I could ask any questions, a dozen shouting voices cut me off. I had trouble making sense of what anyone was saying with how they were speaking over one another.
After a few seconds without any sign of the crowd settling down, Glrrm raised his hand and let loose a loud, sharp yell of “Quiet!”
I then took the opportunity to ask my question while they were still silent. “What is happening at my hut?” Then when I saw at least three people start to answer my question, I quickly added “One person only, please.”
A few seconds passed in awkward silence as the group looked around at each other. Eventually, a young man stepped in front of the crowd and reached out to clasp my arm. “We’re glad you’re back Oracle Mrgglr, me, and everyone else in the village.”
Returning the gesture, I squeezed the man’s forearm. “I am sure you all did well without my supervision. But what is the current commotion?”
“Oh, yes that. Lrsh got attacked by a bear while she was out gathering those berries the tadpoles love. Glrmgrlr managed to chase the bear off and drag her back to the village on a stretcher, but she was losing a lot of blood.”
A bear? That was… not too weird. The beasts usually stayed within their territories in the more inland forests but were known to occasionally make their way to bodies of water inhabited by murlocs. It was especially bad during springtime with all the extra fish spawning. I had once heard a story of a river that was visited by not one but two bears in one day. Luckily they just swiped some fish from the river and left, but the tadpoles were still left rattled by the experience.
“Did Lrsh survive?” I said with a worried tone. Lrsh was a sweet woman and only 17 this year. It would be a shame to see such a promising young lady sink to the deeps before her tide had receded. Having to oversee her funeral just 5 years after her coming-of-age ceremony would be devastating.
“We don’t know. That’s why everyone’s hanging around your hut. Brgllrm is trying to save her, but I don’t see what she can do. Has she received the blessing of the spirits yet?”
“I do not believe so, at least not in the same form as my gift.” I turned to Glrrm and gave him a nod. “I have complete faith in my apprentice’s abilities, but it is my responsibility as both her master and Oracle to lend a helping hand, especially in such dire circumstances. Let us move with haste.”
I led Glrrm and the group to my hut, the crowd parting to let me through. As I started to climb up the ladder Brgllrm stuck her head out the front door. Before I could call out to her, she yelled “Hey! If you’re all going to just stand around I need someone to help me up here! Find someone who knows how to… oh. Hello Mrgglr. You’re back?”
“And you are busy. Help me up and I’ll see what I can do to assist.”
“Right, yes of course.” She reached down and steadied the ladder, stopping it from wobbling while I climbed it. “I still need someone who can stitch!” she called out to the gawkers on the sand.
I straightened myself on the solid planks of wood and gave my apprentice a cursory examination. She was covered in sporadic splatters of blood, its crimson-red hue and flowing state spoke to the recent nature of its acquisition. Aside from her morbid decoration, Brgllrm looked much like how she did when I left for the council. She still possessed a truly ridiculous number of pouches on her belt and was currently rooting through them one by one, pulling out all manner of things both useful and impractical.
The retrieval of a stalk of silverleaf from a side pouch accompanied a turn as Brgllrm walked back through the doorway. “We’re lucky you got back in time. I tried my best but Lrsh was absolutely shredded. I’m pretty sure her leg is a lost cause, and she has bled like 3 handfuls of blood since she got here.”
Moving into the interior, I immediately noticed the heavy metallic scent of blood. The source was obvious as Lrsh was laying on one of the patient beds against the wall. A trail of dried blood led from the entrance to the bed, and the cloth Lrsh was wrapped in was stained a reddish-brown.
While I took in the gruesome sight, Brgllrm had made her way over to my tool rack and retrieved a grinding stone. She placed the silverleaf in the concave stone and started crushing the herb.
“Have you given her any other medicine besides the silverleaf?”
“No, I’ve been too busy trying to stem the bleeding. But she’s starting to wake up, so I thought she could use something to calm down.”
Brgllrm handed me the grinding stone and I set it down next to Lrsh’s face, making sure the fumes were finding their way to her. Then I started on a thorough examination, taking care not to disturb the wrappings around her right leg.
I had thought that Brgllrm was just exaggerating Lrsh’s injury due to her inexperience. No matter how gifted she is, the horror of a dying patient couldn’t be understood through stories alone. Everyone I had worked with had a story of their first time seeing torn flesh, and they usually didn’t say “and so I acted calmly.” Panic was the typical reaction. I even freaked out during my apprenticeship during my first real patient, although in my defense their legs had been slightly crushed by a collapsing cave.
But even with the wrapping still on I could tell this was no light injury. Her leg was a mess, and the only thing I could think of was how lucky she was to survive this long, especially without any magical assistance. Brgllrm had done a stellar job at dressing her wounds and keeping her relaxed. But she would have most likely died from blood loss or infection. Her injuries were just too severe. Even with my magic, it would be rough, and her body might not have enough energy to keep up with the healing.
Once the silverleaf had done its job and Lrsh’s face relaxed into a neutral expression, I started drawing upon the power of the waves. The totem hanging around my neck started to rattle, glowing a faint blue and rising into the air in front of my face. Placing a hand on Lrsh’s head, a wave of blue light spread across her prone form, her breathing becoming steady as the numbing effect reached her legs.
When her whole body had been enveloped, I turned away from the bed and spoke to Brgllrm. “Would you retrieve a clamshell’s worth of seawater from the spawning pools and any food you can find? Only things that are simple to eat.”
With a nod, she left the hut and I could hear her yelling at the crowd outside. Shaking my head I returned my attention to Lrsh. One of the positives I could find was that she appeared relatively healthy aside from the massive bear wounds. There was none of the sunken cheeks and spindly limbs I had seen in a few of the villages that were hardest hit by the Gnolls. It is hard to find enough to eat when a majority of your hunters and gatherers were killed or taken away.
I walked over to my collection of clamshells and picked up one with a small leaf carved on the top. Opening it up I collected a few sprigs of peacebloom and added them to the silverleaf paste. They were a bit scuffed up but usable, and I couldn’t blame the gatherers for not knowing how to properly harvest medicinal herbs. That was supposed to be my job, but with everything going on I hadn’t found any time to do it.
I placed the shell back in its place and sat down next to Lrsh. As I mashed the bright white flowers into the paste, I realized something. This is quite possibly the worst time to announce the muster.
In the few hours since Mrgglr had returned from the council, he had been acting a bit weird. He wouldn’t answer any of my questions about what had happened, with every question being deflected or garnering the response of “It was interesting”.
Then there was his demeanor. For all the time I had known Mrgglr, he held himself in a certain way. He was old no doubt, often hunching over and leaning on his staff. But there was a sense of power and confidence most other murlocs lacked.
Now he seemed worried. He spent time staring into space and muttering things to himself instead of paying full attention to the patient. I had never seen him like that. He had always imposed upon me the importance of being focused on the task at hand. Sure Lrsh wasn’t dying outright, but that didn’t mean he could just space out.
I would have stuck around to get some more insight into whatever is bothering him, but he told me to leave. Well, technically he suggested I take a break and find some food for Lrsh. But I could understand the subtext. He wanted some alone time to think. He was using a smart method, having to take care of a patient would give him an excuse to not leave the hut and refuse requests an oracle would normally be obliged to help with.
I was also just exhausted. Lrsh had been found fairly early in the morning. Noon hadn’t passed yet when she was dragged into the village and placed on a stretcher. Now the sun was waning and would set in an hour or two. It wasn’t the longest or most arduous day I ever had, but those experiences came from back on Earth. Shockingly, there is a large gap in endurance between an adult woman’s body and what is basically a teenager murloc’s one.
The beach was my go-to place when I felt overwhelmed. The rhythmic lapping of the waves against the shore was nice. It helped me recharge after a long day of listening to Mrgglr and occasionally doing menial tasks. Ah apprenticeships, I’ve missed you.
While relaxing, my walk on the beach didn’t result in the discovery of anything noteworthy. I hadn’t expected to find treasures just laying in the sand, but there weren’t even any nice shells to pick up. But I wasn’t disappointed. I had no real need for wealth right now. It’s not like I’m looking to get romantically involved anytime soon, so gifts are something I exclusively receive. Luckily I haven’t received any special gifts yet. Mrgglr said it is frowned upon to court someone as young as me, but not unknown, especially with talented youth. So it turns out that’s something I have to be on the lookout for.
Although it is also apparently socially acceptable to feed them to hungry marine life. Something about being strong enough to command the beasts of the waves and the respect of the Deep Mother. Silver linings and all that.
Making my way back to Mrgglr’s hut, I could see faint flashes of green and blue-tinged light coming from the entrance. Stepping in, Mrgglr spoke immediately. “Are you feeling better, Brgllrm?”
“Yes.” I responded succinctly. The importance of clear and simple speech was one of the first things Mrgglr had taught me when working on high-risk patients. Time spent on ass-kissing was time wasted.
“Could you come over here, please?” He said without any hint of inflection in his voice. As I crossed the relatively small room, I noticed his eyes were closed.
When I got within a few steps he motioned for me to sit on the floor across from him. Lrsh’s breathing had gotten much better, a far cry from the erratic and haggard breaths she took when I first got her into the bed. Also, Her wrappings were actually clean, lacking any of the bloodstains my attempts inevitably acquired from her wounds. Whatever Mrgglr did worked quickly.
After I had sat down, Mrgglr started talking in an even tone. “I learned some important information at the council. A plan has been created that will affect everyone in the village. But it is frightening, even to me.”
I started to nod, more for myself than Mrgllr as he still had his eyes closed. “And you don’t know how to tell everyone without causing a panic.”
Mrgllr responded after a short exhale. “Not exactly. I possess some experience with calming crowds in these exact scenarios.”
“Then why are you talking to me now?”
“Because you are my apprentice. It would be unbecoming of me to blindside you with this knowledge. You also have a part to play in alleviating the worst fears conjured up in people’s minds.”
“I don’t remember social engineering being part of the deal when I started this apprenticeship thing.”
There was a pause as Mrgglr parsed my sentence. “How do you come up with these words? Social engineering? Social is understandable, but you have never built a hut before. How do you know about engineering?”
I shrugged, unwilling to give a concrete answer. He wasn’t seriously asking the question. Its use was rhetorical, a way to express some of the surprise my vocabulary could elicit. People don’t expect someone as young as me to know half of what I do. To be fair, most of my knowledge wasn’t learned in this world. It was still annoying to be talked down to.
“It is quite simple. When you became my apprentice you gained certain responsibilities. One of those responsibilities is to assist me in the completion of my duties. I need to keep people calm, therefore you must as well.”
“I know, I know. What do you need me to do?”
“Nothing. Or more precisely, I need you to change nothing. Act like everything is normal.”
“Reassure people with my presence. A bit basic, but good nonetheless. I’ll make sure to talk you up a bit, really hammer home how capable you are.”
“I can never keep up with how the youth are speaking.” He muttered under his breath before responding to me. “That would be ideal. Organizing some village-wide activities would help as well. Sitting around and waiting will give people time to foster negative emotions. Idle fins are the naga’s playthings after all.”
I leaned back in a large stretch. “You make it sound like everyone is going to go crazy when you tell them what happened. It can’t be that bad, right?”
Mrgllr looked down at his staff when he responded. “It can be that bad. War has come, and there are no oceans left to run to.”
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2023.03.26 19:18 VenlilSupremacist NoP: A Change of Pace: Chapter 7

First - Previous - (Soon to be Released)

Memory transcription subject: Rivis, Venlil Logistics Technician
Date [standardized human time]: September 2, 2136.
Today was the day’, as humans would say.
I informed Kilet of Zoey’s arrival last paw, thinking it would be better for her to meet two venlil rather than just me. Her reaction to our dispositions might prove interesting. My left eye glanced towards Kilet as we walked side by side. Traveling in our own form of a mini-herd. I became acutely aware of something he was saying as I zoned back into the conversation at paw.
“-ou excited, Rivis!? Your partner is coming any claw now!... What’s up with that expression? You don’t look excited.. Did you and Zoey get into an argument or something?”
Kilet, I wonder how excited you’d be at the idea of meeting a human had I not forced you to join? Most likely still terrified to go out at the prospect of seeing a human.
I began to wag my tail a bit, displaying happiness as my ears swiveled to face Kilet. Cocking my head a bit to the side I tightened my vocal chords to give me a bit more of a ‘happier’ tone. “Of course I am, Kilet! I’m just thinking, I had a long paw, didn’t get much sleep, y’know?”
Kilet’s tail signed ‘understood’ as the giddy venlil practically bounced on his feet. “Well that’s good! It wasn’t so long ago you were yelling at me to get more sleep. Looks like you need the same advice! Though, I’m sure that’ll have to wait for a few paws. When Miles gets here I doubt I’ll do anything besides talk his ears off!”
That’s good, Kilet, learn about the nuances of people different than you. Many other venlil should. No, many other species should.
I gave a light hearted chuckle that sounded more like a series of squeaks. “Well, I suppose you’re right. Zoey won’t get finished up at the government building for at least a few more claws. What would you like to do in the meantime?”
Kilet stopped, thinking for a moment before his tail began to sway with a hint of excitement. “Well, seeing as we’re both meeting our humans for the first time, why don’t we try some of their food! I heard there’s a new human sweet stand near the center of the Capital! It’s got a lot of great reviews!”
I let the idea mull itself over in my head for sometime. It couldn’t hurt to try some of their food, perhaps it would let Kilet relate a bit more to Miles when they meet. As for myself, the topic of a human 'churro' could be used to 'break the ice'.
“That sounds alright, why not lead the way? Do you know what sort of things this food stand sells?”
Kilet’s ears swiveled absentmindedly, a trait he had whenever he was trying to think about something. “Just some standard human candy, but there is one dessert there that everyone says is a blessing from the stars! It’s called a ‘churro’. It's like a fried doughy stick, covered in a spice called ‘cinnamon’ and regular sugar! I’ve kinda been wanting to try one for a while..”
It sounds so basic, why would this be considered a ‘blessing from the stars’?
“Hm, well, I suppose we’ll see for ourselves.”
Kilet and I walked side by side, though he was slightly ahead as he took the lead. We opted to walk there instead of taking a transport tube since we had too much time on our paws anyway. We didn’t talk too much as we walked, each of us content to reside in our own heads for a bit.
Rounding a corner, we came upon the central area of the Capital, a large park standing before us with several other venlil sitting, relaxing, or busking, a few pups running about and playing. I would guess this is what a ‘perfect day’ might look like to humans. Tranquil and peaceful. Kilet led us to the ‘famous’ stand, though the line was moderately long. I spent the time in line people watching. Observing the ecstatic venlil milling about. Talking, laughing. A nice cooling breeze flowing through my coat. My right eye glanced at Kilet. His subconscious movements, facial expressions and tail movements displaying signs of serenity.
Everyone around me seemed to be happy, so I should be too.
Getting dragged out of my thoughts, the stand-owner hailed the two of us over. My ears swiveled to face the male running the sweet-stand.
“Excuse me, we’d like one churro each, please!”
Kilet’s soft voice barely rose above the bustling noise around us, but it didn’t seem to matter, the venlil stand-owner opened a display case, and slid out two lightly brown star-shaped sticks. The sheer amount of spice on it perplexed me.
How in the speh are you supposed to even taste the dough with all that spice on it!?
Kilet moved to snag the churros in paw, and as I did, I pulled out my pad. Allowing the cashier to take it and place the charge to my account, Kilet shot me a quick glance of surprise. I stood a bit straighter as my tail swished to and fro in a display of happiness and pride.
“My treat, Kilet.”
The white coated venlil playfully punched my shoulder, my ears swiveling to face him as I took my pad back from the cashier, stepping out of the way for others.
“Aww, I always knew you were a nice guy, Rivis! Here, let's eat them at the same time!”
Together, we raised the churros to our maws as Kilet began a slightly juvenile countdown.
“One.. Two.. Three!”
Together we bit down on the churro, its crunchy texture didn’t surprise me, but the overwhelming sweetness of the pastry quickly made itself apparent, but as I chewed.. It felt almost fluffy. A crunchy, yet fluffy deep fried pastry. This ‘cinnamon’ spice as humans called it melted beautifully with the sugar. Swallowing my bite.
This IS divine..
Stealing a glance at Kilet, I observed him as he ravenously finished the rest of his stick. Barely taking the time to savor it. A genuine chuckle radiated from my throat as I casually took another bite of my own stick, meanwhile Kilet licked the remaining spices off his paws.
“I could go for another one of those.. Or twenty..” Kilet glanced over to me, clearly taking note how slow I was eating mine. “How can you eat it so slowly?! The churro demands that you eat it immediately, then regret it and buy another one to savor that one!”
His playful tone prompted a sarcastically slow bite from me. As if taunting him with equal measure of cheekiness.
Kilet let out a huff of disappointment, or feigned anger. “Alright! Fine, Fine! Eat your churro the wrong way, I don’t care! Though, you have to admit, it was the best thing you’ve ever eaten, right!?”
Suppressing a chuckle, I nonchalantly waved my paw to dismiss the overeager venlil. “Sure, sure, Kilet, it was pretty good.” Pulling out my pad and reading the time. I did a bit of quick math in my head trying to figure out how much time we had left to spend. “I imagine if we take the scenic route through the city, by the time we get to the government building Zoey should be almost done.”
“Sure, sounds like a plan, Rivis!”
Kilet began to walk along a popular trail that takes one though the sights of the city. I followed behind. The walk was pleasant. Neither of us spoke much, a silent agreement hanging in the air to simply enjoy the serene, cloudless paw. My thoughts drifted to a myriad of things.
What did I plan to ask Zoey?
Would she understand if I did tell her?
The whole point of this was to figure out if she could or couldn’t.
What’s the best way to word it?
Was there a ‘best way’ to explain something like this?
Humanity had so far been pioneers of acceptance and empathy, but how much of that was mere posturing? How much did they truly practice what it was they preached? I steeled my nerves as a plan formed itself in my head.
Just as I finished my plan, a long sigh from Kilet drew my ears and left eye to him as we neared the steps to the government building.
“Rivis.. You’re not gonna believe this!” His tone seemed thick with disappointment, and anger, but mostly frustration.
“What’s the problem, Kilet?”
“It’s Miles! He just sent me a message.. His ‘Commander’ took away their shore leave! APPARENTLY it’s because of some big upcoming mission! That’s a load of speh! How can they tell him one thing, then a second later just do the other thing!”
“Well, you mentioned he is in the military, when one signs up for the military the priorities are always mission first, people second. Not much new there. I’m sure once his mission is over he’ll be able to visit. What’s got him so occupied that they canceled their time off?”
With a shrug Kilet let out a second sigh, looking more defeated than angry. “He can’t tell me, Operational Security and all that… Speh”
While I didn’t feel particularly bad for Kilet, it was unfortunate he wouldn’t be exposed to his partner sooner. I did want to see how he grows with human presence.
“That’s a shame, Kilet, I’m sorry to hear that, I hope it’s nothing dangerous, but he’ll likely be fine. Would you still like to wait here for Zoey?”
The disappointed Venlil only gave a shrug as a response, his posture changing to a more somber one the longer he let the information sink in. “I think I might just be a downer for you two right now, besides.. I don’t know how long Miles’ mission will last. I think I’d like to go home and spend the rest of the paw talking with him. Who knows when I’ll get the next chance, y’know?”
My tail signed ‘ok’. Reaching out I attempted to comfort him, placing my paw upon his shoulder, much like how I did when I recommended he sleep more. “It’ll all work out, and don’t worry. I understand completely.” I let my tone take on a softer note. I hoped he’d at least appreciate the alleged sentiment.
Kilet took another long breath in, thinking for a few moments before raising his head, his ears swiveling to face me. “Thanks, Rivis. I’m gonna head home and talk to Miles while I still can. I’ll meet up with you and Zoey at some point.” His voice rose a bit in spirit as he turned to walk towards the transport tubes.
I pulled my paw from his shoulder, turning to face the entrance to the government building. “Sounds like a plan, Kilet.” Mirroring his words from earlier. I heard no response from Kilet besides the soft sounds of him moving to the tubes. Now alone, my eyes fixated on the doors in front of me. It’d only be another half-claw before Zoey was done.
Memory transcription subject: Zoey Amara, Human Psychologist
Date [standardized human time]: September 2, 2136.
Placing the final box down in my office I took a step back, appreciating all my hard work. My eyes scanned the modest space, a little disorganized, but everything was still packed up. I had a nice desk, a very nice swivel chair, a couch for anyone to sit on, and the best part.. A window facing out towards the sun! Thankfully I installed the blinds just in case eternal sunlight got bothersome.
I’d have time to really make my office ‘homey’ after a few ‘paws’ as my fuzzy friends would say. Speaking of friends. I bet Rivis has been waiting an eternity for me! Better get-a-move on.
Exiting my office I placed the full face mask on that had been given to me just prior to leaving Earth. It was pretty uncomfortable but nothing I couldn’t manage. Plus I didn’t have to wear it in the building. Only when meeting patients or going out! I practically hopped down the stairs. My body brimming with excitement as I finally got some ‘me time’ to explore Venlil Prime!
Practically throwing the doors open to the city, my eyes scanned the surrounding area, It was pretty late in their paw. Hardly any venlil were out and about. My head turning on a swivel as I gazed at anyone that may look like Rivis. It took a few minutes, but finally near the bottom of the steps I spotted a dark furred venlil. He seemed to be sitting on a bench and reading their pad. Casually making my way down the steps, I purposely moved so I’d be in his peripheral vision so I don’t spook him.
“Heeeey, Rivis?” I asked, unsure if this was the venlil I'm looking for.
The venlil raised their head. His left eye focusing on my covered face in earnest as I noticed his ears turn to face me almost immediately.
SO damn cute!
The venlil put his pad into a satchel slung from his shoulder. “Yes, and you’re Zoey?” He extended a paw out in greeting.
It took me a second to realize he wanted to shake hands! Slowly I extended my right hand, gently gripping his paw. “That’s me! Jeez.. I gotta say.. Your paws are so soft! I mean I knew you guys looked adorable from the photos and the escorts today, but actually touching one! Ugh, it’s a dream come true!”
He pulled away after a moment of contact. “Likewise, Zoey, I’ve been dreaming of something like this for a long time as well.” He stood slowly and gestured to the city around us. “So, what do you think of the Capital?”
My mind raced with all the possible words I could use, but nothing stuck, it was amazing, gorgeous, beautiful, serene, peaceful.. I always imagined if a city on Earth had to be paradise.. It’d look like this. “I.. Don’t even know where to start.. It’s amazing, I love it already! The peace, the fresh air! It’s perfect, Rivis, absolutely perfect! Heh. Well..minus me being a terrifying monster part, but time will fix that!”
Rivis’ tail made a few quick movements, not just swaying back and forth, they looked deliberate.. My head turned slightly to observe his tail. I only managed to sneak a peek at it for a second before he called me out.
“My apologies, Zoey, I forget you don’t know our tail language.. I was simply saying that it’s good you like it here so much, there is nearly an endless amount of things to keep you occupied here in the city, and likely even more outside it.”
I tried to imagine what I could do here on Venlil Prime, but I had absolutely no idea! This was an alien species’ homeworld with a different culture, different beliefs, different.. Everything! I let out a sigh of relief at having Rivis as such a capable tour guide. “Oh, I’m sure! SO! What should we do first? Food? Theater? What sort of things do you like doing, Rivis!?”
Rivis fell silent for a moment, thinking about what he should show me first. I nearly started bouncing up and down from anticipation alone!
“Well, I believe a good place to start would be our media, it’s late out now, and most places will be closing in the next quarter claw. Next paw will provide quite a few more chances for exploration. If you are not working tomorrow, why not stay the ‘night’ with me?”
I could feel a smirk start to grow on my masked face. Obviously Rivis didn’t know what asking a girl to their house meant, but still, it was endearing all the same. It also displayed an unusual sense of trust. At least unusual for right now.. Almost every other report shows that venlil have a commonly negative reaction when first meeting humans, yet, Rivis seems entirely at ease..
“Already trying to charm me, eh? Inviting a girl you just met over, what could that possibly say, hm?”
Rivis was silent for a moment, almost as if he had to take himself out of reality to think of a reply. “That’s not what I meant, Zoey, I am simply offering for you to observe our most popular shows and browse my pad.”
“Hmmmm, not bad, not bad. I think we could do that. I have to ask though.. You haven’t reacted at all like most venlil i’ve read about from the earlier days of the exchange program. You seem pretty calm, not that I’m complaining!”
I watched as the dark-coated venlil’s eyes moved about the area, his tail lapping against the bench in silent thought. He remained quiet for several seconds. I knew Rivis spoke differently, had different beliefs, is different, but whether or not he chooses to tell me, that’s his choice.
“I don’t think this is the right place to discuss this, Zoey. Please, come to my home.”
Again, he spoke in that flat expression. Flat tone. Wordlessly, I nodded my head. Rivis stood, leading me to the transport tubes. I had to duck in order to enter the cramped space, but found a seat next to Rivis. Thankfully there were few venlil riding. Though, the few that were in the same tube as me almost immediately had looks of fright written all over them. I spied several venlil communicating with their tails. I tried to look down to the floor, making myself seem small.
Sorry guys.. I’m not a threat! I promise.. Just lemme visit with a friend and I’ll be out of your wool..
The remainder of the ride Rivis was silent, as was I. Not wanting to spook any other venlil with my sudden voice. All things considered, it was a short ride. As we stood, Rivis led me out of the tube. From the corner of my eye I saw several of the venlil still inside immediately relax, some even sighing from relief. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t sting a little bit, but I knew the risks of coming here.
Just a little time, Zoey! That’s all, don’t get too beat up about it! They’ll come around..
Rivis led me to a rather nice looking apartment complex. I had to crane my neck up to see the full height of the building.. An odd hexagonal shape, much like the other large buildings I’ve seen around the city. I watched as my dark furred friend opened the door. Stepping in, I followed him. Immediately my eyes were met with an immaculate apartment. Clean.. Nice smelling, not a lot of decoration. Yet everything that was here was perfectly folded, perfectly maintained.
“Damn, Rivis.. This place is amazing! You take great care of it! I almost don’t want to sit down and mess up your couch.”
“Thank you, I try to maintain my area, it helps me think.” He responded with a similarly flat tone.
I moseyed my way over to the couch, sitting down. Turning my head to the left I watched as Rivis seemed to be preparing something in the kitchen area.
“Sooo. Is this a better place?” I asked, narrowing my eyes behind the mask, awaiting his response. Curiosity leaked into my head. Something was different about him.
Rivis sighed, and glanced up, looking at me straight on, like a human would. “Can you remove your mask?”
My hands moved to the clips holding my two-piece mask on, yet they hovered there for a second “You sure you want to see, Rivis? A lot of venlil freak out when they see us.”
“I’m sure, Zoey, I won’t be startled.” His neutral expression remaining unchanged.
Nodding once I unclipped my mask, pulling my hair out from my hoodie. I let my long brown hair flow down my shoulders as I trained my hazel eyes directly on Rivis. His facial expression didn’t change. Nothing changed, he just.. Looked at me.
“Well? What do you think?” Part of me was curious to know if the velil thought any part of a human was attractive or pleasant to look at.. We certainly thought that of them.
“I think.. Something tells me I should be afraid, Zoey, but I’m not. Something is telling me your eyes are looking directly at me, it’s marked me as your prey, but I don’t believe that. Nothing about you has told me you’ve come here to hurt me. Though, this isn’t atypical for me. I know why I’m not afraid, Zoey.”
I raised one of my eyebrows, continuing to cast my gaze over Rivis’ still form. “What do you mean? I need you to explain a little so I can understand.”
“I have Predator Disease, Zoey. I do not think like the other venlil. I don’t have their emotions. I don’t feel their fear.” He flatly stated.
Predator Disease.. That blanket term for a thousand different mental conditions…
My own mind began to work itself into a rhythm. I knew this, I’ve treated this. I can handle this. The venlil might be a different species, but our sapience is similar. Perhaps our mental illnesses are too. Taking a deep breath I folded my hands together, and crossed my leg. Nodding along with Rivis’ words.
“What sort of thing describes how you think, Rivis?” I made sure to keep my tone level, and try to match his energy. The last thing I wanted was to appear hostile or too inquisitive.
He was quiet for a long time.. Clearly thinking about how he could word this. I kept quiet, and waited for him to be ready, to describe it in his way.
“I find it difficult to care about others, or the herd. I focus on what improves my life, and try to ignore what doesn’t. I will try to go to any length to achieve this.” He set the salad knife down, fully training his focus to me.
“What kinds of things have you done to do this?” I cocked my head to the side. Making sure to put on a curious, yet understanding expression.
“Recently, I’ve been maintaining contact with a work colleague, feigning sympathy in order to maintain the appearance that I am not antisocial, merely overworked.” He bluntly stated, not a hint of remorse in his words.
“Why would it matter if you’re antisocial?” I asked, keeping mental notes of everything we cover.
“The venlil are paranoid about predators. Due in part to the war with the arxur, and natural biological instincts they have not evolved out of. If a venlil displays characteristics of something they’d say is ‘predator-like’, then I would either be executed or ‘re-educated.’ I read the Tarlim case. I have no desire to undergo the tortures at those facilities, Zoey.”
“I see, so you keep up appearances to avoid suspicion, how have you gone unnoticed this long? I assume you’ve been like this for as long as you can remember.”
“I observed those around me, at first I was merely copying the actions I saw. I didn’t understand that my thoughts weren’t the same as theirs. I suppose I was lucky, my mother and father worked often. There was little time to truly observe me. When I was nearly half-finished with schooling. I realized I was different and had to hide how I was. That has been life since.” He stated matter-of-factly, as if nothing were wrong about being forced to hide yourself for fear of death.
“Why tell me? Why not tell Kilet?” I was pretty sure I knew the answer, but wanted to allow him to say it.
“Because, you, and the rest of humanity proved that predators were not evil, not something to destroy on sight. If I told Kilet, he would likely report me, thinking he was doing the right thing.”
“Mmmhm.. But he’s joined the exchange program as well, surely he’s changed a few of his opinions on predators.” I lightly tapped my fingers on the couch, creating a rhythm to keep my mind on track.
“Kilet did not join of his own free will. I took him to get inebriated and purposely signed him up. I wanted to see someone who possessed such an acute fear of predators change their views. I wanted to see them go from hatred, to acceptance.” Again, he stated this as if there was nothing wrong with the things he's done.
So.. He manipulates his friend, doesn’t seem to care much about others, is very self driven, and is able to justify his reasoning so long as it suits him.. I think I’ve seen this before..
“Why? You understand manipulating friends, people who trust you, is wrong, right?”
The venlil in the kitchen fell silent for a long time.. I watched him close his eyes to think about his answer.. His tail swished lightly against the floor and ears flicked in random directions. I couldn’t understand their sign language, but anyone could see he’s wracking his brain for an answer.
“Yes, I understand that other venlil would find such actions deplorable. I understand that society would deem it predatory. I did it, because I want to know if enough time passes, if the venlil become accustomed to humanity. Will there be a chance for venlil like me to live? Am I to be put to flame simply because of how I think? How I feel?”
“You manipulating friends to get your way though, that just proves their point, Rivis. Even if it is the wrong point.”
“There is no other way I can know! How can I know that real change is possible unless I see it!?” He slammed his fist against the counter. Making a loud thud
I nearly jumped from my seat, hearing the venlil shout. Realizing this just got a lot more delicate, I did my best to remain calm, neutral, and not startle or anger him any further than he already is.
“Rivis, I understand it’s frustrating. I don’t want to diagnose you with a human term, but everything you’re describing to me sounds like you have psychopathic tendencies. That can make thinking and acting clearly very difficult. I don’t blame you, I think you’ve done very well to manage this far. Humans who have this disorder can be.. Dangerous, but also sometimes not. A lot of company executives or important figures have this disorder. Would you like me to explain it?”
Rivis took a long breath in, and a long exhale out.. His mind likely churning the new term around.
“Tell me, Zoey.” I thought I heard a hint of hope in his words, something he can hold on to.
“Essentially.. Its popular definition is a distinct lack of emotions, some used to say you couldn’t feel them at all. Leading to the person to be incredibly self-centered. At worst they are described as having no remorse for murder. So long as it suits their goals. That’s the common fear.. Though many studies conducted somewhat disprove those. Sometimes psychopaths can have a far stronger reaction to emotions than others. Where the deviation from ‘normal’ and psychopaths is their ability to gauge what outcomes will give regret. They cannot properly understand that an action will lead to negative impacts. Some studies also say that psychopaths can create emotional connections to those closest to them in their life.”
Rivis leaned against the counter. His ears flattened to the back of his head… It was the most emotive I’ve seen him all day. His eyes darted aimlessly. His tail stopped all motion.. He stood there in silence. Simply processing, trying to understand, trying to relate.
“And.. These humans, are they accepted? Are they feared? What happens to them? How would I form these attachments? How am I supposed to think, Zoey?” His voice was quiet, and somber. His eyes glued to the ground.
I couldn’t tell if he was trying to manipulate me by feigning sadness, or if this was a legitimate experience. One of the rare ones he's probably had. I took a breath, collecting my thoughts as to how I could best explain this.
“You can’t magically will your brain to make different connections, Rivis. There won’t be a cure for it, but what you can do is mental exercises to try and force yourself to think more how you want to act. A lot of the problems with humans is we’re taught to believe whatever we want is right.. However we want to act, think, so long as it’s not against the law is okay.. The problem with that upbringing and psychopaths is they have no desire to conform their thinking process. However, you, Rivis, were given the option to conform, or.. Well you know the alternatives. I’m not saying you shouldn’t want to conform, because forming these emotional connections is part of what life is about. Going on without experiencing them is a shame.”
Rivis moved from the kitchen, and stepped closer to me. Sitting in a chair opposite the couch, I could see the muscles on his jaw clench and relax over and over. The steady rise and fall of his chest.
“So.. How should I train this?” He asked flatly, but with a small hint of desperation.
“Well.. You’re motivated by your own goals, and self-preservation. It won’t be easy to unlearn how you think, but with enough patience, and by using your current thought process to your advantage. You can do it. You have to take the concept of making friends, treating them honestly, treating them well, and being what is considered by society a ‘good person’ and make that important to you. Convince yourself that it will improve your life. Strive for it, and work towards it, over time, you should notice that gradually, you won’t need to fake emotions. You’ll know how a situation should make you feel. Rather than faking it, you create it yourself. That’s what I would do, Rivis. Please.. Don’t think this is a cure either. As far as I’m aware there is no cure for this, It’s just who you are, but that doesn’t mean it has to be bad. Also, it could be different for Venlil! I mean you’re an entirely different species.”
“Of course.. It could be different, it might not even be what you describe at all, but so far it is strikingly similar. I don’t know if conforming is the correct answer. I simply want to be accepted. I am a functioning member of society. I work, I pay taxes, I contribute. Am I evil, Zoey? Does this difference between me and others make me a monster? The same kind of monster they thought you were. I am not irrational. Are they afraid I’ll one day find it in my best interest to murder a score of people? They think just because I won’t feel regret that I also don't understand it’s wrong to do that! They don’t understand that I am not willing to throw my life away. How would execution benefit me, Zoey? Why can’t they see it?”
All I could do was nod my head. I didn’t grow up here, but with how psychopaths on Earth turn out. Maybe it was for the best that Rivis was forced to hide himself. Learn the value of restraint, and get a keen sense of what would expose him.. As shitty as that sounds it probably saved his life… At least now he understands how to act in society. Even if it’s just a front.. For now.
“How you think doesn’t make you evil, Rivis. Actions you choose to take can make you good, or evil. You won’t be consumed by a spirit and one day wake up covered in blood. Every action you take is your choice. How you rationalize it, is your choice. You know what’s right, and what’s wrong, and I know Humanity will accept you, just as if you were anyone else.”
I stood up from the chair, walking slowly to the venlil seated across from me. Lowering myself to a knee. I closed my eyes, wrapping my arms around his cuddly wool. Pulling him into my embrace. He was rigid, completely still.. As if unsure how to act, how to respond. Slowly, I felt him wrap his own arms around me. Lightly pulling me deeper into his warm coat. The steady beat of his heart pounding against my own.. Whether or not this was real, fake, or an attempt. I didn’t care. At the very least I could do for him what I do for all my patients, support them.
“Zoey… you’re not scared of me, Right?”
“Of course not, Fluffball.”
First - Previous - (Soon to be Released)
Thank you everyone for reading Chapter 7. This one was a bit of a struggle to write up. I hope you guys are getting just as much enjoyment out of reading this as I am writing it for you! This story couldn’t happen without yall. I’d like to give my usual thanks to Space Paladin for their original universe! As well as a shout out to the fics that inspired me to start this! As always link at the bottom. The final thanks, naturally is reserved for my lovely proofreader(s)!
End of the Line
Foundations of Humanity
Nature of a Giant
Lost and Found

"A silly little man"
submitted by VenlilSupremacist to NatureofPredators [link] [comments]

2023.03.26 19:17 Gomihyang The Ancient Library

One of the most ancient libraries was one that fell from the first city of Theocra. The gods from before the beginning of time had written many books in Theocraese but the library held every book in existence. They also created many mantras in Theocraese / Theocran that have to be channeled into the land of the living that need to work. The Theocran library during the fall had caused many Theocran books to be spread across the underworld, and they were all carefully restored and put into a single ancient library.
Unfortunately, one day the goddess Nui was kidnapped and her husband showed his anger as the god of war. The kidnapper god held her hostage inside of the ancient library because he thought the khan would not be willing to use violence and risk damaging the ancient Theocran books, but he was wrong. He dropped chemical weapons down onto the Khan’s men, and poisoned rivers with nerve gas. The Khan was so determined to kill the other god that in his rage he ignored the nerve gas poured onto his face as he climbed, and with red eyes and anger that could be felt from a mile away, he grabbed the head of the new god and crushed it in a single hand. However, the chemicals caused a fire and the Theocran books began burning.
The celestial maiden who was in charge of keeping the library safe attempted to put out the fire, but she was not able to stop the huge and raging fire that burned the library. The books burned and fell on top of her and the huge ancient library tower came falling down to ashes with the celestial maiden inside.
However, once she rose from the ashes of the burned ancient library she began reciting sacred books word for word, including page numbers. Like a walking audiobook, she began walking around the Steppes of Elysium reading back books like a recording. In the end, she preserved the library orally and was known as The Library Woman. The Library Woman can be called upon for those who want to discuss philosophy, research, hear the latest issue of a magazine, or get a refresher on Quotes From Chairman Mao. She instructs men in all languages, even those that are spoken in the astral planes and the lost language of Theocra. The spirits of the hell who need to document certain books are able to recreate any desired text by having the library maiden blow on a blank book of empty pages.
submitted by Gomihyang to Lavenderism [link] [comments]

2023.03.26 19:17 throwawaydemihelpme I feel like it's all over for me (aka "please someone talk me off of this metaphorical ledge").

Please bear with me, here. I apologize if this is long-winded, but more than anything I really need to get this off my chest because of how hopeless I currently am feeling. I'm lost in the darkness, so if anyone can help shed some light, I would be very grateful. Here's my story...
I (24m) have always been only attracted to friends I've known for at least many months, if not longer. My first relationship ever was in high school with my best friend of almost a year. I developed feelings for her slowly over time, and same with her for me. We already had that emotional connection in place; after all, we were best friends and talked all the time. Having emotional compatibility already that strong made things all the more worth it once we finally began dating. We dated for almost 2 years, but unfortunately things didn't work out.
I was always introverted but I began to grow out of my shell in college. I met a lot of new people and made quite a few friends. I prefer fewer close friendships than many superficial friendships because I really appreciate having strong connections with everyone in my life. As for dating... I tried, I really did. The unfortunate curse I was bound to was falling for my female friends I had made after months of knowing them. I don't experience romantic and physical attraction like most people do, and I'm sure that's something very relatable to everyone on this sub. Some of my guy friends would joke around, pointing out women around campus and saying how hot they were. I never saw it, because I can't find anyone "hot" until I know them well.
As mentioned previously, I tried dating through apps as well as approaching women in shared classes and student organizations. The results, however, were always the same. I wouldn't feel anything for the woman I was dating because I barely knew her, while it felt she was infatuated with me. Because of this, I would get cold feet after a month. The question always was "would I eventually develop feelings for this person?" and the answer was always shrouded in mystery. The longer you date someone, the more they become attached to you. How could I possibly continue to date someone when I ran a great risk of demolishing them months down the line if I still didn't feel anything for them? I'd be a terrible person for that. I would have led them on, causing them to think I was into them, when really I didn't know if I was or not and was just stringing them along.
Because of this, I would get cold feet and break things off after a month. One particular time I did this I remember vividly; I could tell she was super into me, but she was moving way too fast, and I didn't want to risk destroying her. After a month I had to call it off, I felt like I had no other choice, I didn't know if my feelings for her would ever develop. She was visibly devastated when I told her, sobbing and looking away from me the entire time. After that, I didn't think I could do it. How could I try to date someone when the risk of me hurting them was too damn high? It was selfish for me to do that to someone. If anyone were to get hurt, I'd rather it be me.
I took a year off from dating at that point. What I did do, however, was confess to one of my close friends. We had known each other for over a year at that point, and our chemistry was undeniable to me. It felt that we understood each other like the back of our hands. I was expecting rejection, and that's what I received. It was alright, however; I didn't allow it to affect our friendship.
My senior year of college I once again tried dating apps. I met a girl and we went out for over half a year. I never felt like I was in love with her, I didn't feel like I could be my true self around her. I felt like I was living a lie. The biggest problem is she wouldn't open up to me. She promised me she would eventually, but it never happened. I couldn't feel anything for her, so in the end, it didn't work out.
I graduated college in no better place than I started. Many dates and short-term relationships had gone and passed, and although I was clearly receiving interest, I just couldn't return it because I didn't feel anything for them.
A few months ago, my absolute best friend of 6 years became single and was going through an extremely tough time, both emotionally and mentally. I was there for her as much as I possibly could be, and although our friendship had already been super close, it just became even closer. I had suppressed my feelings for her for years (I was determined to be the very best friend she could ever have), but given the sudden change in circumstances with our friendship, they began to overflow. It all came crashing down a few weeks ago, when I could no longer hold it in, and told her how I felt about her. Her response was that all her family and friends would tell her we would be good together, and that she had never had such a strong emotional connection with someone in her life, but unfortunately she didn't think she could see me in a physical sense. I asked her on a date and she said she'd need time to consider it, but I sincerely doubt she's seriously thinking about it.
Neither of us have allowed it to affect our friendship. We're still hanging out all the time as usual, and she's still coming to me about problems with guys she's meeting (lol). What would once be an occasional few texts back and forth every day or every few days had turned into us texting each other back and forth, 100+ times a day. That's also what was making it so tough for me; having the person you care most about in the entire world talking to you all the time can really increase your feelings for them exponentially.
My love for her is unconditional, and I told her that I wanted nothing else but to see her find happiness, since she's struggled for almost her whole life with mental illness, compounded by toxic relationships. She's never truly been happy. While I cherish each and every moment we spend together, the fact that we're texting each other as if we're in a relationship is messing me up. I would gladly do anything for her and give her as much emotional support as she needs, but at a point it becomes suffocating. I'm currently emotionally tied up with her, rendering me unable to even think about developing anything with anyone else. On top of that, once she eventually finds someone good for her, we'll likely barely talk much at all throughout the day. I just want her to rip the bandaid off and find someone soon so that I can move on from my feelings. We are closer now than we have ever been before, but I can see the writing on the wall, it's not going to last.
What has me feeling more hopeless than anything else is that a lot of my friends have drifted apart slowly over time after finishing college. Making friends is incredibly tough once in the professional world. And in a world where instant gratification, sex, and dating apps run everything, I don't know if I'll ever find love again. I've only fallen in love with 3 people before in my life, all of whom I had known for months before my feelings began to develop for them. The prospect of going out and looking to make friendships for me to develop feelings after months, and then continue to get my heart crushed over and over again, has me hanging off a metaphorical ledge. The fact is that very few people will ever consider dating someone who has been their friend for that long, but that's the only way I'll ever feel anything for someone.
I have my dream career, dream friendships, dream family, dream everything you could imagine. Everything except a relationship. Friends have suggested I find a FWB to gain some experience, but I just can't do it. I won't feel anything for them, so I won't be physically attracted to them. I can't hook up with people.
What do I do? How do I make friends who will consider dating me once we've formed a strong emotional connection and not anytime before?
I feel lost, like I'm in a world that doesn't understand me. I feel like I don't belong here. I don't get how people can be intimate with another person they don't even know. I don't care how "conventionally unattractive" you are; I will find you the most attractive person in the entire world once we've forged a strong emotional connection.
Can anyone help me? Thank you.
submitted by throwawaydemihelpme to demiromantic [link] [comments]

2023.03.26 19:14 vintagestagger [WTS] Noveske CHF 16" FSB Barrel, Radian Raptor, BCM 14.5" BHF ELW Barrel, GEISSELE ODG Buffer Tube, LMT Chrome Piston Bolt Carrier, B&T Rotex IIA Blast Deflector, LMT AXLE Trigger, KAC Bolt Carrier, GEISSELE and Centurion Arms Micro Mounts, Leatherman Free P4, Uppers, and MORE!

Lots of good stuff here, so please take the time to look through everything in the post! I'll be more than happy to combine shipping and offer deals for multiple items purchased by a single buyer. Thanks for looking!
Noveske CHF Chrome-Lined FSP 16" Recon Barrel, BRAND NEW
-16" Mid length, Pinned Front Sight Post .750 Gas Block
-"Cut from M249 Machine gun barrel blanks" (Cold Hammer Forged 4150 CMV, Chrome Lined)
These are extremely accurate, incredibly durable barrels! Asking $475 $449 $429 shipped!
Geissele Super Precision T1/Micro Mount - Black
For use with Aimpoint Micro footprint pattern optics.
Excellent/LIKE NEW Condition. Asking $69 Including shipping.
Selling a BRAND NEW, Non-Blem Geissele OD Green anodized carbine receiver extension. Asking $65 Shipped!
Centurion Arms Aimpoint Micro T1 / T2 Pattern Optic Mount.
Excellent Condition. Includes screws, additional mounting plate, Allen Wrench, Original Box. Asking $55 Shipped!
Leatherman Free P4 Multitool, BRAND NEW
Never Carried or Used, includes sheath, original box/manuals. BNIB, Asking $145 Shipped
Radian Raptor Ambidextrous Charging Handle - Black, BRAND NEW
Unused, in original packaging. Looking for $79 shipped!
BCM 14.5" BFH Enhanced Light Weight Barrel w/ BCM Low Profile Gas Block, BRAND NEW
-BFH (Cold Hammer Forged)
-Chrome Lined
-ELW (Enhanced Light Weight)
-5.56 NATO Chambering
-Mid Length Gas
Factory assembled by BCM with BCM Low Profile Gas Block and Gas Tube. Take-off from factory upper, Never Fired.
Price directly from BCM for everything apart of this assembly would be $423.44 with shipping and tax at checkout, and the barrel itself is typically/currently out of stock. Asking $375 including shipping!
Yankee Hill Machine Assembled Upper Receivers (1 LEFT)
Both are New and Unfired. Asking $105 $99 Shipped!
Nikon P-Tactical 3-9X40 Rifle Scope w/ Lens Caps, 5.56/.223 BDC Reticle
Really nice budget rifle scope in EXCELLENT Condition, 1" Tube. Glass is pristine. Features 5.56/.223 Bullet Drop Compensation Reticle effective to 600 yards, and includes Bikini-style lens covers. Asking $195 Shipped! PENDING SALE
LMT AXLE Two Stage Trigger
Asking $115 Shipped!
KAC Legacy/MOD 1 - Full Auto Bolt Carrier, Phosphate/Chrome Lined
Carrier only, very clean and looks to have been used very little. Fit and finish is excellent inside and out, and gas key staking is fantastic as is to be expected of Knight's Armament. Chromed inside bolt channel is extremely smooth/well finished, practically flawless.
Asking $150 $145 Shipped!
LMT Chrome Piston Bolt Carriers
Top: LMT G2 Full Auto Hard Chrome Piston Bolt Carrier, New (SOLD)
$250 $245 Shipped! SOLD
Bottom: LMT Non-G2 Full Auto Hard Chrome Piston Carrier, Lightly used. I am the second owner, unfired by me.
$245 $235 $229 $219 Shipped!
B&T Rotex-IIA Blast Deflector w/ Glass Breaker, BRAND NEW
-Rugged Bead-Blasted stainless steel finish
-Flawless Swiss Manufacturing
-Rotex-IIA Interface, Compatible with B&T APC223/308 Muzzle Devices and Legacy Surefire Muzzle Devices.
-Built in Glass Breaker up front
BNIB, Looking for $219 Including Shipping!
I accept Paypal F&F, Venmo, Cashapp, Zelle. All prices include shipping to Lower 48. Feel free comment or message me with any questions you may have!
Thank you!
submitted by vintagestagger to GunAccessoriesForSale [link] [comments]

2023.03.26 19:13 lepak1corner Long post. Lost my mom 2 weeks ago. Heartbroken, helpless, angry and lost.

Sorry, long post ahead, but I just have to let everything out, from what happened, to my anger, to how I'm feeling now.
I suddenly lost my mom about 2 weeks ago, on the 11th of March. She was 58 (and would have turned 59 in 3 months), and I'm 31. I'm the youngest kid in my family so she doted on me the most and I was very close to her, so this hurts even more.
She had lymphoma for about 30 months leading up to this and went through several rounds of treatment. While her condition was serious, it was by no means immediately life-threatening and she should have had way more time (years). What makes this more painful is she didn't lose her life because of her lymphoma.
She was admitted to the hospital in January to start on a relatively new treatment involving stem cells (CAR-T therapy), and had been in the hospital ever since up till the point she passed on, in order to manage any potential side effects (it's common for your immunity to be extremely low for a couple of months after this treatment). The treatment is supposed to be curative so we were all hopeful that she'd soon be home and live a regular, long life.
After she received the treatment, she began feeling weak and drowsy, but nothing overly serious (at least that's what we thought). The hospital also gave her morphine and fentanyl regularly to manage some pain that she had. She also caught pneumonia (very common post-treatment), but things seemed to be under control.
About a month after the treatment, she suddenly had difficulty breathing and her oxygen rate plunged very low. My father was thankfully there, and alerted the ward doctor who quickly intubated her. She was then sent to the ICU for monitoring. After running a series of tests, she was extubated a day later and then sent back to her regular ward, with the doctors saying they couldn't find anything wrong and she should be fine now.
My dad and I spent some time with her on the night she got sent back to her ward and she was pretty much fine. She asked me to get her a cold drink and I said I would get her one the next day (it was 11pm so the hospital asked my dad and I to leave for the night and come back the next day).
I never got the chance to get her that cold drink, because I suddenly got a call from the hospital at 6am saying her heart stopped and they were resuscitating her. They eventually managed to, but it took 20 mins so she had irreversible brain damage. She was in a coma for the next 2 weeks and eventually passed on the 11th of March.
I'm devastated because I was just talking to her a few hours before it happened and things were totally fine. I'm also extremely angry with the hospital because I feel like this was due to negligence, and I have so many questions and feel so helpless.
I know these what-ifs don't change anything, but I can't help but wonder. No one from the hospital has given us a straight answer as to why her heart stopped, although one of the doctors hinted that the signs point to an opiate overdose. Shouldn't the doctors and nurses have better managed the quantity of painkillers given to her and watched for signs of potential overdose? Also, we found out that she was left alone for 10 mins before the nurses discovered her heart had stopped. Shouldn't they have monitored her closely considering that she was just released from the ICU? Also, shouldn't the ICU doctors have kept her longer for observation rather than releasing her to the general ward just a day after her breathlessness incident, especially since they didn't have an answer as to why it happened in the first place?
Unfortunately, public hospitals and doctors in my country are 'protected' by the government, so while I lodged a complaint and requested a full investigation, realistically no one is going to be held accountable.
I'm absolutely crushed. While I was mentally prepared to lose her after a couple of years assuming the treatment failed (what I figured to be the worst case scenario), I never ever thought I'd lose her this quickly. I'm also devastated for my father since they've been married for 41 years and haven't been apart for a single day since getting hitched, so he isn't taking this very well either.
I'm also extremely heartbroken that although my mom got to see some big milestones (namely my wedding, getting a new job, and getting my own place), she'll never see other major milestones, like getting to see at least one grandkid. The 'smaller' things too: I'll never taste her cooking ever again. I'll never go on a vacation with her ever again. I'll never hear her voice ever again.
I miss her like crazy and I'm flooded with emotions - anger, heartbreak, shock and a bunch of other things. It sounds crazy but I also find myself getting jealous whenever I see an old lady, knowing my mother never got the chance to grow old. I know I should be thankful since a lot of people lost their parents at a way younger age, but I'm still overwhelmed with grief. Sorry for the long post, I just had to get all of this off my chest.
submitted by lepak1corner to ChildrenofDeadParents [link] [comments]

2023.03.26 19:13 ErnestoSMI Mi experiencia jugando Cyberpunk2077

Llegué a este juego 2 años tarde…
Compré este juego en agosto del 2021. Tardé año y medio en meterlo en la consola. Sabía lo mal que estaba en ese momento y por eso no lo jugué recién comprado. Se quedo en mi estantería, esperando, sigiloso, paciente, hasta que llegó su momento.
Cuando me enteré que ya no saldría ningún parche nuevo, supuse que estaba listo para jugarse en mi flamante PS4. Claramente pensé mal. Funciona y es jugable, pero me encontré muchos problemas de optimización y me dio pantallazo azul muchas veces.
Hablemos un poco más del juego, contaré lo que vi detrás de esa capa de bugs y cosas incompletas.
La historia principal es bastante rebuscada y compleja. Me costaría mucho hacer un resumen decente. Aparte no me gusta hacer spoilers. Sólo puedo decir que Keanu Reeves se roba el juego.
Johnny Silverhand (Keanu) es un personaje de primera. Te puede caer bien o mal, pero tiene mucha personalidad. Dependiendo del final que elijas tiene un mayor desarrollo. Durante la trama es un buen Pepe grillo para V, nuestro protagonista.
Iniciando el juego elijes el físico de V. Tienes muchas opciones y lo creas a tu gusto. Funciona de preludio a la personalidad de V. No ves en todo el juego el físico del personaje, pero lo que construyes es su identidad. Las elecciones que tomas son cuestionadas constantemente por el juego. Lo hacen por medio de Johnny Silverhand y por las consecuencias que enfrentas. Por medio del dialogo se ponen sobre la mesa temas filosóficos. ¿Qué nos hace llamarnos seres vivos? ¿Qué es la conciencia, el alma, para qué vivimos? ¿Cuál es nuestra misión en esta vida? Aunque el juego no pretende responderlas son los temas que guían la historia principal y las secundarias.
Hay pocas misiones secundarias interesante en el juego. No jugué todas, pero las que hice les faltaba sabor. Mucho dialogo, algo de paja y les faltaba acción para ser un shooter. Tampoco esperaba una misión de Call of Duty en cada una. Podían pasar 2 o 3 horas de misiones secundarias sin necesidad de sacar un arma o sentir tensión. Las hice para tener la oportunidad de elegir entre todos los finales y por mi interés en los personajes secundarios.
El gameplay del Cyberpunk2077 es divertido. Cuando me enfrenté a muchos enemigos lo disfruté. Muchas opciones de armas y cada una es diferente. El problema está en los árboles de habilidades, la intención es hacer un “especialista” en alguna rama, pero no importa mucho que te subas. Haces el mismo daño y el panorama no se amplía como yo esperaba.
Porque tengo una pésima puntería, me enfoque en usar la opción del sigilo. Suelo ser muy malo para encontrar el mejor camino a no matar o sólo noquear a alguien. Ya que el diseño de niveles es muy bueno y la inteligencia de los enemigos es muy mala, hacen muy fácil esta opción. Pude hacer bastantes misiones sin ser detectado o entrar en combate. Sí es gratificante, pero soy consciente que está roto el sigilo.
Donde más se podían ver las fallas del juego fue en las misiones secundarias. En la mayoría se veían errores, no cargaban zonas completas o simplemente daban pantallazo azul. Las pocas misiones secundarias interesantes, por los diálogos o por la trama, eran las más afectadas.
Lo que más me disgusta es que nos dejaron abandonados a los jugadores de PS4, sin DLC, sin terminar el juego, sin una experiencia completa.
Puede parecer que no me gustó el juego, pero sí me divertí bastante, la pasé muy bien. Lo que estoy sacando en este texto es mi decepción con CD Proyekt Red. Jugué los 3 juegos de The Witcher y me volví un gran fan del brujo. Mi enojo no es contra Cyberpunk 2077. Lo es contra el poco interés con los jugadores y sus empleados, querían acaparar el mercado y el mercado se los comió a ellos.
Sé que venderán mucho y no hay nada que pueda hacer yo. Sólo nos habla de cómo las corporaciones y el dinero corrompen y no dejan espacio a lo humano. Justo como nos dice un tal Johnny Silverhand.
submitted by ErnestoSMI to u/ErnestoSMI [link] [comments]

2023.03.26 19:12 Standard-Scene5606 I'm 36 years old, make $167k as a Product Manager in a MCOL city, and this week I worked on my estate plan

Possible trigger warning: Discussion of chronic illness, death, and suicide
Section One: Assets and Debt
*Note: My husband (M) makes around $180k but we have separate finances so all income, debt, and expenses listed here are mine, unless otherwise noted*
Retirement Balance:
· My poor 401k has taken a beating in the last year or so; it’s currently sitting at about $338k despite recently increasing my contributions significantly
· I contribute 16% to my 401k and my employer contributes 8%
· I receive a small pension from my employer; they contribute 3% of my pay per year to this fund but it doesn’t perform well and I’m not including this in my retirement planning
Equity if you're a homeowner:
· M and I purchased our home in early 2020 for $615k, right before the housing market went WILD
· We put down $100k (which was from sale of previous home), and our rate is 2.99%; we refinanced in 2021 and took out $50k equity for bathroom renovations and kept our same interest rate (thankfully!) so current mortgage balance is $515k
· Our home is now worth approx. $950k so we have about $435k in equity
Savings account balance:
· My personal savings is really low right now at $3k
· M and I have a joint savings account we use for home expenses and a 529 for our child, A, who is currently 7; I’m hoping to increase our 529 contributions soon
Checking account balance:
· Currently $137; I keep this pretty low and just use it to pay for day-to-day expenses after all my bills are paid
Credit card debt (and how you accumulated it):
· $19k in total, across 4 credit cards
· It makes me physically ill to type this out, but I am actively paying it down using my remaining funds after expenses are paid each month
· This debt accumulated over a number of years and was largely due to expenses/inflation drastically outpacing my income
Student loan debt (for what degree):
· $0
· I had a private student loan for part of my MBA but I paid it off in early 2022. I’m really fortunate that my company pays up to $10k per year for education so my undergrad and most of my graduate degree were covered under that program
Other debt:
· $6k for an unsecured loan I used to pay for a surgery that wasn’t covered by my insurance
· $15.5k remaining on my auto loan
Section Two: Income
Income Progression:
· I got my first job at a fast-food restaurant when I was 13; I worked all through high school, sometimes two jobs at once, to pay for all my clothing and school supplies. My parents provided food and housing but everything else was up to me
· I started working at my current company when I was 18 years old; my starting salary was $19k per year. My mother kicked me out the month I turned 18 so it was a really hard year, but I learned a lot about self-reliance
· Fast-forward to the last few years: I made $85k in 2019-2020, $95k in 2021, and $100k in early 2022
· I started my current role at the end of 2022 and my current base salary is $140,000; I receive bonuses which bring my total cash compensation to approx. $167k annually
Main Job Monthly Take Home:
· My net pay is approx. $6230 per month
Pre-tax deductions are-
· $22 Dental insurance
· $154 FSA contribution
· $150 Medical insurance (for me only; M has A on his insurance due to my MS expenses)
· $995 401k contribution
· $11 Vision insurance
After-tax deduction-
· $20 charity; employer matches
Side Gig Monthly Take Home
· None right now; in the past I have delivered for Uber Eats, mainly for the tax write-offs
Any Other Monthly Income Here
· None
Section Three: Expenses
Monthly expenses:
· $1500 Mortgage payment (this is my half; M pays the other half)
o This includes homeowners’ insurance and property taxes
· $150 contribution to a joint savings account with M
· $150 contribution to savings account & 529 plan for A
· $335 auto loan payment
· $311 surgery loan payment
· $370 minimum payments for credit cards
· $112 term life insurance payment
· $350 electric/gas/watetrash/internet (this varies each month but $350 is avg.)
· $89 cellphone (just mine; M has his own plan with another carrier)
· $3 Apple storage
· $48 gym membership
· $10 Uber Eats subscription
· $80 pet expenses (my half, split with M; this covers food, meds, etc.)
· $60 auto and jewelry insurance
· $72 A’s private soccer lessons (my half; split with M)
· $100 A’s regular soccer team expenses (my half; split with M)
· $700 groceries/restaurants (my half; split with M)
· $60 gas for my car (blissfully low since I work from home and A’s school is close to us)
· $0 for Netflix and HBO-Go; we have friends & family who kindly share with us
· $65 for pest control (scorpions are bad here) *
Quarterly expenses:
· $90 HOA fees (split with M, this is my half)
· $120 monitored home alarm system *
Annual expenses:
· $99 Duolingo
· $129 Amazon Prime
· $450 professional memberships (related to various certifications I hold)
· $99 annual fee for travel credit card; airfare savings more than make up for it
· $30 PTSA membership fee
*Since M covers A on his health insurance, I pay for the pest control and home alarm system since it ends up being about the same cost
Day 1-Sunday:
7:00 AM: Slept in a little and it was glorious. Got out of bed, took my morning meds, chugged some water, and headed downstairs to check on A. He was already up for the day and he was watching a kids’ show on Netflix with M
7:15 AM: Made a green tea for my caffeine fix using half bottled, unsweetened green tea and half water to dilute it a little bit. Made breakfast for A; he wanted half a bagel with cream cheese and some green grapes. No breakfast for me since my morning fatigue med suppresses my appetite and I usually don’t start to get hungry until late morning or early afternoon.
7:30-8:15 AM: Hung out with A while he ate his breakfast, then I got dressed and headed to the gym
8:30-9:30 AM: Took a really fun cycle class where the instructor works with a live DJ. It makes it a really cool environment with great music, which makes the hour fly by
9:45 AM: Home from the gym, took a quick body shower and threw a load of laundry in the washing machine. Made some avocado toast with Ezekiel gluten-free bread, goat cheese, and eggs. I recently removed cow’s milk from my diet and I’m trying to also limit gluten; they’re both really reactive for my body so as much as I love ALL THE CHEESE and bread and pasta and ice cream, I know that reducing them may help with some of my MS symptoms. Sigh.
10:25 AM: Moved the laundry to the dryer and started the next load, then played Minecraft Dungeons with A for 30 minutes. He is an only child, so M and I play games and do various activities with him a lot. It’s sometimes hard when I’m really fatigued but I truly cherish all the time we get to spend playing with him and doing things he enjoys. I know I’m going to miss it when he gets older and decides he’s too cool to hang out with his parents.
11-11:30 AM: I only took half of my fatigue medication today, so I am dragging. I try to give my body a break from that medication once per week because I don’t want to become dependent on it. Unfortunately, I am exhausted on those days where I take a smaller dose or skip it. I made a chai tea latte with almond milk to try to get a caffeine boost (spoiler alert: it did not work). Talked on FaceTime with my mom and my little brother, who’s deployed overseas right now. Did light makeup and put my hair in a half-up/half-down thing while I was talking to them. I got dressed in comfy jeans, a coral-colored sweatshirt, and pastel Birkenstock sandals. M, A, and I left to go meet M’s family for lunch to celebrate M’s brother’s birthday.
12-1:30 PM: Had a really nice lunch with M and his family; I adore them and feel abundant gratitude for having in-laws I really like and enjoy spending time with. I wasn’t super hungry since I had a late breakfast, so I ordered some beef sliders and then drank 2 honey blonde ales. M’s family kindly treated everyone to lunch so no cost to us ($0).
1:30-3 PM: Took a little nap to sleep off the honey ale, while A and M hung out downstairs. Got up from my nap and made a snack for A of grapes and some chips. I munched on some grapes and gave myself a silent talking-to for overdoing it at lunch. Took my afternoon meds.
3:00-5:30 PM: A and I played outside with the dogs, throwing tennis balls for them to fetch and tossing a frisbee back and forth. We also practiced some soccer stuff. I did my daily French lesson with Duo Lingo, picked up the yard (dog owners-you know), and then A and I picked some fresh lemons, oranges, and tangelos from our citrus trees. We are really fortunate to have a huge backyard with tons of fruit trees and other plants. I washed all the fruit we picked, then used it to make a centerpiece for the kitchen island. We played some Mario Kart and another round of Minecraft Dungeons before getting ready for dinner.
5:30-6:30 PM: We had a quick dinner of leftover pizza, chicken wings, and salad. I cleaned up the kitchen while M did the dishes. M and I played a card game (Pinochle) while A took a shower and got his jammies on.
6:30-7:45 PM: M, A, and I finished watching “Rock Dog” on Netflix-it was cute. I packed A’s backpack and snacks for school tomorrow. It’s his first day back after Spring Break but he really enjoys school so he’s excited.
7:45-8:15 PM: Read stories with A for half an hour before he fell asleep. He wanted to know how to say some silly phrases in French, so we practiced that for a few minutes before I headed to my room to get ready for bed.
8:15-10 PM: I did my nighttime routine-brushed the dogs’ teeth (they both enjoy it and follow me to the bathroom at night when they know it’s time) and did my skincare routine. I have been loving products from The Ordinary and the granactive retinoid emulsion I use at night has been a game changer for my skin. I scrolled Reddit for a while before passing out.
Daily total: $0
Day 2-Monday:
3:30-5:00 AM: Woke up in the middle of the night after having a really stressful dream and could not get back to sleep. Scrolled Reddit and checked personal e-mails and texts until I finally fell back to sleep at 5 AM.
6:30 AM: Woke up after snoozing my alarm repeatedly. I checked my work e-mail and Slack messages to get caught up for the day; my team are all on the East Coast so they’re three hours ahead of me. Took my morning meds and drank a bunch of water.
6:45-7:45 AM: Went downstairs to grab my daily green tea and checked on A, who was doing a quick workout with M. A is very much into fitness right now and loves participating in whatever workouts M is doing. Made breakfast for A (bagel and cream cheese and grapes again), put away two loads of laundry, fed the dogs, showered, got dressed (pastel sweatshirt and yoga pants), helped A brush his teeth and get ready for school, picked up the yard again, and made an almond milk smoothie for my breakfast with pineapple and some of the citrus we picked yesterday. Before we headed out the door for school, A spotted a little rabbit sitting in our back yard, so we kept the dogs inside the house and gently chased the bunny out our gate to the front yard. I’m sure poor Peter Rabbit was terrified, but we didn’t want the dogs to get him. I realized that I have grown up to be Farmer McGregor!
8-11:30 AM: Dropped A off at school and sent a Venmo payment to A’s soccer coach for his soccer lesson later today ($35). Called my cellphone provider to inquire about an incorrect charge on my bill (they refunded it-$10), called my pharmacy to refill two prescriptions, and hopped on Amazon to order a new sports bra, some vitamins for the dogs, and some fancy gold sprinkles for cupcakes I’m making at the end of the month ($71.23). My first morning meeting got moved to later in the week, so I got caught up on all my e-mails, helped a coworker with some questions she had, and made a to-do list for my work tasks today.
11:30 AM: I made a quick lunch (breakfast?) of a breakfast burrito and finished an episode of “How to Get Away with Murder”; I am OBSESSED with this show and kicking myself for not starting to watch it until recently! I ate 2 cookies for good measure and headed back to my home office.
12-5 PM: Attended some meetings, prepped a presentation for tomorrow, and did other admin work. I talked to one of my sisters about issues our other sister is having while I emptied the dishwasher. I also completed my daily Duo Lingo lesson and typed up some of my Money Diary. Took my afternoon meds.
5-7 PM: M and A got home from A’s private soccer lesson and we heated up dinner (more leftovers) and ate quickly before A and I headed back to the soccer center for his regular practice. A was a rockstar and put so much energy into practice, as usual. I completed another Duo Lingo lesson while watching him practice.
7:15 PM: Home from soccer, ordered Dairy Queen delivery through Uber Eats ($26.73). It was a special treat for A since he did so well at his soccer practice and soccer lesson today. Am I going to feel terrible tomorrow after consuming so much dairy? Probably. Is it worth it? We shall see!
7:30-8:30 PM: A took a quick shower then M read him stories and put him to bed. I did my nighttime routine, watched another episode of “How to Get Away with Murder”, and then it was lights out.
Daily total: $132.96
Day 3-Tuesday:
4:45 AM: My alarm goes off and I begrudgingly crawl out of bed. I drink some water, take my morning meds, and make my green tea, before getting dressed for the gym. It’s still dark outside and it’s raining like crazy so my motivation to go to the gym is waning.
5:30-6:30 AM: I took a cycle class at my gym, with a different instructor and format than the one on Sunday. It wasn’t as challenging as the other cycle class, but it was also super early, so I am not complaining.
6:30-7:45 AM: Head home from the gym, shower, get dressed (a gray t-shirt and yoga pants), and hang out with A while he eats breakfast (bagel with cream cheese and some grapes again). I responded to Slacks from my team and checked my calendar for the day while I made another green tea. After A was done eating breakfast, we played some Minecraft Dungeons together. He doesn’t usually get to play video games before school, but he got himself dressed and ready to go in record time, so I didn’t mind making an exception.
7:45-8:15 AM: Dropped A off at school and headed home to finish getting ready for the day. I put on some light makeup and dry shampooed my hair so I would be presentable for the multiple meetings I have today.
8:30-11:15 AM: Took a bunch of meetings, two of which I thought would be really tough but ended up going well. Made a brunch of Ezekiel toast with peanut butter and strawberry jam and ate that while I typed up more of this Money Diary before my next round of meetings began.
12-4:30 PM: Lots of meetings and work to do in between them. I took a quick snack break and ate 2 cookies while I did today’s Duo Lingo lesson. I also took my afternoon meds while I had a break between meetings. I’m thankful for modern medicine but I would be lying if I said it’s not a pain to manage so many pills at different times throughout the day.
4:30 PM: Signed out of work for the day and-you guessed it-played some Minecraft Dungeons with A and M. A finished all his homework at school so we let him have some extra video game time before dinner.
5-8 PM: We had dinner (grilled chicken, quinoa, peas) then A and I had a dance party in the kitchen while I cleaned up from dinner. I snuck a leftover brownie and treasured every bite. We all watched a movie together then I read stories with A and put him to bed.
8:30-10 PM: I did my nighttime skincare routine, brushed the dogs’ teeth, scrolled Reddit for a while, then lights out.
Daily total: $0
Day 4-Wednesday:
5:45 AM: Woke up to the sound of a furious rainstorm outside. I live in a very dry climate so getting rain always feels like a luxury. I remembered today is the day I can begin making dining reservations for an upcoming trip to Disney World, so I log in to my Disney account and start looking at options. I’m surprised and delighted to get 3 different reservations I was hoping for right away. The last time we went to Disney World in 2021, I had to check daily for reservation openings, and I ended up just paying for a service that monitors restaurant availability in order to get the reservations we wanted. I was not expecting it to be so easy this time around! I had to pay to hold our reservations ($344.79) but will end up splitting them with my sister and her partner, whom A and I are going on the trip with. I have funds set aside in a travel sinking fund so using some of that for this expense. Note: A doesn’t know we are going on this trip and my sister, and I are planning to surprise him the morning we leave. I cannot wait!!!
6:00-7:45 AM: Made breakfast for A (Cheerios today) and got him ready for school while I drank my green tea. I got dressed (striped sweatshirt and yoga pants) and put on some light makeup since today’s schedule is pretty meeting heavy. I took my morning meds and started responding to Slacks, then checked my calendar to ensure I wasn’t added to any new meetings since yesterday afternoon. I started mentally preparing for a meeting I know is going to be difficult today. I try to treat everyone with kindness but there is a person I have to meet with today who does not seem to share that same value. Oh well, c’est la vie.
8:00-10 AM: After dropping A off at school, I got fully logged in for the day and jammed through all my e-mails and morning meetings. I took a quick break to work on the Money Diary and do today’s Duo Lingo lesson. I made a chai tea latte with almond milk and it went down a treat.
10-10:30 AM: Break between meetings so I used the time to empty the dishwasher and start a load of laundry. The rain finally petered out, so I picked up the yard and checked the mail while listening to a true crime podcast.
10:30-1:30 PM: More meetings, one of which was really fun! I really like my team and I appreciate that we can have a good time together, even when our work is stressful. Between meetings, I found a dermatologist with good reviews and called to make a Botox appointment. I paid a deposit to hold my appointment ($50); it will be deducted from the cost of my service. I’ve been hesitant to start getting Botox since I’m bad about keeping up with beauty routines, but I just need to do it and force myself to maintain it. I ate a quick sandwich with some turkey and grainy mustard on Ezekiel bread.
1:30-4:30 PM: Took my afternoon meds. Did some admin work, tried pulling a report in Snowflake but couldn’t wrap my brain around fixing the syntax errors so I called it quits for the afternoon. I really need to carve out time for SQL practice each day; my brain is not naturally good at coding and it feels impossible that I’ll ever get more comfortable with it. M and A got home and we celebrated A’s progress on his reading comprehension grades. He is extremely gifted with math and spelling but he has struggled a little bit this year with reading comprehension, so we try to really celebrate any growth he shows in that area. I downloaded some songs from iTunes ($5) and listened to those while I worked.
4:30-5 PM: I put together my to-do list for tomorrow, did one final sweep of Slacks and e-mails, and logged out for the day. A and M played Minecraft Dungeons for a few minutes while I finished working.
5-7:30 PM: M smoked a prime rib today, which we had for dinner, along with salad and leftover quinoa. A and I tossed around a football while M finished cooking the meat. I ordered invitations for A’s birthday party next month ($36, split with M so my total is $18). He is all about Minecraft right now so naturally that is the party theme he chose. I vacuumed the downstairs floors and cleaned the kitchen then we finished watching the movie we started last night. I ordered some clothing for myself and used a small credit I have from the store to bring down the total cost ($120.81).
7:30 PM: M put A to bed and read stories with him while I brushed the dogs’ teeth and did my nighttime skincare routine.
Daily total: $538.60
Day 5-Thursday:
4:45 AM: Woke up when M’s alarm went off; looked at my phone and saw how early it was then promptly fell asleep.
6:05 AM: Woke up to my alarm and dragged myself out of bed. I have a meeting at 7 AM my time so I need to get moving a little earlier than normal. M is taking A to school today so I get dressed (gray shirt, light pink Vuori pants), take my meds, put on some light makeup, and start checking Slacks and e-mails.
6:45 AM: A is still sleeping so I wake him up for the day. The dogs are so excited to see him so they accompany me to his room and jump up on his bed for kisses. I help A pick out clothes for the day and leave him to get dressed while I make his breakfast (Cheerios and grapes today).
7:00-7:30 AM: I log in to work and attend the early morning meeting; it’s a frustrating conversation and nothing gets accomplished, so will have to follow up with the stakeholders early next week.
7:30-8:00 AM: I make a Chai tea latte with almond milk for myself, fill A’s water bottle, and do a final check of his backpack to make sure he has everything he needs. I always pack A’s backpack each night with snacks, his homework folder, and any library books he needs to return the next day. It makes mornings a little less hectic and sets the tone for a less-stressful day for us. I kiss A and M goodbye as they head out the door, then go back to work. I had signed up for a short cycle class later this morning but I am not feeling it today; I cancel my registration and promise myself I’ll do a workout at home later in the day (spoiler alert: did not work out later).
8:00-10:00 AM: I listen to a podcast someone mentioned in their Money Diary (“I Will Teach You to be Rich”) while I do some admin work and put away the laundry I started yesterday. I have back-to-back meetings later today so trying to get any household and admin things done first so I can fully focus on those calls. I ate a quick breakfast of a tomato, goat cheese, and egg scramble with two pieces of Ezekiel bread toast.
10:00 AM-1:00 PM: Attended back-to-back meetings and coordinated follow-ups for our team as needed. My previous roles were always very meeting heavy, but a lot of those meetings felt pointless; I like that in my current role, people tend to only meet when it’s really necessary, so we get more out of the time we have together. Took my afternoon meds.
1:00-4:30 PM: Finished work for the day, had a brownie and a Dilly Bar made with coconut cream for snacks. I have definitely noticed a correlation between my level of stress at work and how much sugajunk food I eat. I stepped outside for a few minutes to get some fresh air and check the mail. I received my Disney redemptions gift card for $77 from my Chase Disney Rewards credit card. I browsed the Shop Disney website and debated buying some Snow White themed “Minnie ears” for the upcoming trip, but I already have a few pairs I will bring so I decided to hold off on buying it. I did purchase a new Magic Band + for the trip ($26.96). I got it at a discounted rate since we have an upcoming reservation on-property. While the Magic Band isn’t required, it does make life easier since you can use it as your room key, to purchase food and other items in the parks, etc. I had previously bought one for A which I plan to give to him when my sister and I surprise him the morning we leave for the trip. I completed my Duo Lingo lesson for the day and got about 90% of the questions correct! I feel like it’s starting to “click” and I’m making good progress.
4:30-6:00 PM: M went to see the new John Wick movie, so A and I decide to order burgers and fries via Uber Eats for dinner ($27.35). M usually cooks dinner each night and while I know how to cook and can make basic things, I was really tired so I took the easy route. While we waited for dinner to arrive, I helped A with his homework and hung out with him while he played Minecraft Dungeons for a few minutes.
Daily total: $54.31
Day 6-Friday:
6:30 AM: I slept in a little this morning since I have no meetings until later today. I checked my Slacks and e-mails in bed for a few minutes, then took my morning meds and headed downstairs to make my green tea. A is already up and dressed so we hung out for a few minutes and then got his breakfast ready. He wasn’t very hungry this morning, so I let him have a granola bar and grapes instead of a bigger meal. Every single morning, he tells me he isn’t hungry and I remind him he needs to eat something or he will be hungry and distracted once he gets to school, so this is a well-rehearsed conversation for us.
7:00-8:00 AM: A ate his breakfast then finished getting ready for school while I took a super quick shower and got dressed (a blue sweatshirt and workout shorts). I only have one meeting today so I decide to skip makeup and hair and just put on my moisturizer and some lip balm. I drop A off at school and get fully logged in for the day.
8:00-9:30 AM: I chat with my team on Slack about some data analytics we got asked to provide today; I feel very grateful to work with smart people who view things differently than I do. It challenges me to think outside of the box and I feel like I’m constantly learning new things. M and I decide to increase our contributions to A’s 529 account, so I update my budget binder to plan for $100 per paycheck to his account instead of the $75 I have been doing. M puts in the same amount each pay period. Note: I know there are so many online budgeting tools I could use but I really love having a place to write it down and make it a little more fun by using different colored pencils for different categories.
9:30-11:00 AM: I had an awesome meeting with someone I mentor; part of it was career-related and part of it was just catching up on life. We make plans to meet again in two weeks and I’m excited to talk to her again. After the meeting, I quickly catch up on admin work and e-mails.
11:00 AM-12:30 PM: M and I worked on our estate plan. It’s been on my mind for a while because of my MS and we recently lost a loved one at a very young age so we decided to finally get this done. We utilized a free legal service through my company’s Employee Assistance Program, which walked us through filling out the different documents we need. We created a trust and will to ensure A and our dogs go to the guardians we’ve chosen for them and specified how we want our assets and property to be divided up. We also put together a living will/healthcare power of attorney for me, which was way more emotional than I anticipated. I’m on a high-efficacy treatment but MS is progressive and as of now there is no cure. I’m doing what I can to stave off my disease progression, but I want to specify my wishes regarding my long-term care in case I ever become incapacitated (physically or cognitively). Assisted suicide isn’t legal in my state but I let M know that would be my preference if my disease progresses to a certain point; maybe by then it will be legal here and if not, we can go to a state where it is legal. I know it was difficult for M to talk about this but I feel better knowing he understands my wishes and is willing to do what I ask.
12:30-1:30 PM: After the estate planning conversation, I needed an emotional palate-cleanser, so I scrolled Reddit for a few minutes and made a quick lunch (breakfast) of scrambled eggs with goat cheese, tomatoes, salsa, and guacamole. I called my sister and caught up with her for a few minutes and then went back to work to wrap up some admin tasks. Took my afternoon meds.
1:30-3:00 PM: I reviewed some proposed documentation to provide feedback, listened to another episode of “I Will Teach You to be Rich”, and watched a how-to video for SQL database creation. I placed an Amazon order for some health and beauty items ($58.59) and talked to M about the plans for tonight. The PTSA at A’s school is hosting a family game night so we chatted about what time to go and whether we should eat dinner first. I am currently running for a position on the PTSA Board at his school and I love events like this so I’m looking forward to it.
3:00-3:30 PM: M picked up A from school and they did some soccer drills in the backyard while I finished work. I also did my Duo Lingo lesson for the day and confirmed my reservation at a local restaurant tomorrow morning. My family and I try to get together every few weeks and tomorrow morning we are meeting there for an early breakfast.
3:30-4:30 PM: It has been a long, stressful week and my work is done for the day so I log off a bit earlier than usual. I check the mail, pick up the yard, and relax for a little while before it’s time to leave for the family game night.
4:30-6:30 PM: We ate a quick dinner of leftover pizza and salad then headed to the family game night. A had a really nice time playing the different carnival games and hanging out with his friends.
6:30-8:00 PM: We played Minecraft Dungeons for a while, M mixed a delicious cocktail for me, then M put A to bed while I did my nighttime routine.
8:00-10:00 PM: M and I watched a movie together then lights out.
Day 7-Saturday:
6:30 AM: Woke up with my alarm, took morning meds, and headed downstairs for green tea and cuddles with A. We watched some cartoons on Netflix then A and I started knocking out our Saturday morning chores while M was at the gym.
7:30 AM-10:00 AM: A and I went with my family to breakfast and it was delicious. A ordered pancakes and sausage and I had a delectable avocado eggs benedict dish and a cold brew with almond milk. My stepdad paid for everyone which was really nice ($0). After breakfast, my family came back to our house for a few minutes. We showed them our garden since A is really proud of the progress his fruit trees and veggie plants are making. M went grocery shopping for the week (my half was $90).
10:00 AM-1:30 PM: My family left and M, A, and I spent a couple hours just hanging out, playing some video games, doing laundry, and having lunch. I dropped off a return at the local post office (will be $35 once refunded) and put some gas in my car while I was out ($30).
1:30-4:00 PM: A had a soccer game in the afternoon; his team lost but he played pretty well and received good feedback from his coach. M headed to a friend’s house for a party and A and I went home. I did more laundry and played outside with A and the dogs since it was a nice, warm day. I placed an Instacart order for some candy for A’s Easter basket and a couple other items I forgot to have M grab at the grocery store ($40.78). A and I drew and colored for a while then made paper airplanes.
4:00-8:00 PM: A and I played some Minecraft Dungeons then had a dance party in the kitchen while I made dinner for the two of us. We had gluten free pasta with meatballs, garlic bread, and peas. After dinner I cleaned up the kitchen and more dancing ensued. We watched some TV and then put away A’s laundry and made the beds with the bedding we washed today.
8:00-10:00 PM: A and I watched some TV and I let him stay up later than usual since it’s a weekend night. A fell asleep around 9:30. I did my nighttime routine and scrolled Reddit until 10 or so when M got home from his friend’s house, then lights out.
Daily total: $160.78
At the end of each day please tally up your daily expenses. Then at the end of your diary please tally up all expenses in the following categories:
Food + Drink: $184.86
Health + Beauty: $108.59
Clothes: $120.81
Transport: $30
Travel: $344.79
Other: $156.19
Total: $945.24
Lastly, reflect on your diary!
Man, I have so many thoughts on this diary. I’m in this kind of weird space where I want so badly to pay off my debt because I have a lot of shame associated with it. On the flip side, I want to travel and enjoy the time I have right now because I don’t know if my health will permit that in the future. Overall I spent less on food than I usually do, partly because our families generously treated us when we went out with them. I feel grateful to make enough money to start paying off my debt more quickly, even though I have a long way to go. I’m also proud of how far I’ve come from the terrified 18 year old who didn’t know how I was going to pay my rent and still eat each month. If you made it through this super-long diary, thanks! I’d love to hear from anyone in a similar place with their health regarding how you balance responsible finances with having fun and enjoying your life.
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2023.03.26 19:12 Ytumith I just had the most fun gaming experience in the last four hours and wanted to share:

This story starts out fairly simple but becomes ridiculous later on.
The crew assembled when Captain Ashford, a concealed pirate lord, made his way over a desert planet on the homebrewed solar system called "Feller's Bastard Star". It named after a long gone "Feller" dynasty which aimed to build a solar collector base around the entire star, speak Dyson sphere in our language. In the downtrodden, rude language of imperialists this fringe-world and project that was never finished is just called "Bastard Star" because it's half station, half star.
This system has mostly desert worlds, specifically Feller 2, which is in turn the megalomanic project of a Waaghboss Ork who steals spacecraft from any faction and crashes them into the sand world. His goal: Create the ultimate "Rokk" in the size of a planet.
Something about this solar system breeds megalomaniacs.
This ork warband has captured three of the four party members. Captain Ashford however is so far unaware of the orks and the rest of his soon to be crew. His goal is another: Having fetched a star ship key from the black market, he sees his great chance of fame and glory. The hasty xeno merchant gave him the coordinates and rushed away on it's merry way. Captain Ashford followed this course, and happened upon a sandy world through which he wandered and at times crawled.
Slying away from ork patrols, he finally arrives at a small ork camp. A slave camp in which all other crewmen and some alien slaves are "storaged" along with a pile of their former possessions.
The Voidmaster Log Malakai in particular is not happy about his situation and breaks a cage beam with the strength of his machine arm, drawing the full two brain cells of possible attention from an ork guard. Thinking quickly, Adeptus Mechanicus Explorator Carthus Lambda-2 assembles a primitve thrown weapon from his prison bed by throwing the entire prison bed at the ork.
This is when Captain Ashford strikes and eliminates the ork with a plasma blast from behind. The goop sprouting carcass topples over, dropping a comically large radio.Navigator Seth Almagam, called "Grim" due to his strange antics, who was also previously captive uses the radio to confuse ork command which is as simple as shouting something and dropping the device.
They proceed to team up and free a small group of eldar warriors from their cages, who in turn temporarily ally with them to break free from the slave camp. Using the radio of the ork guard, they make ork command believe that the eldar have broken free, which is true after all.
As Game Master and Reader, we can not be sure which plan Ashford had with blaming it on the eldar, but we can only assume that a profound rivalry to the ancient alien empire exists.The great bail-out happens as planned.
Grotzs are being shot and scared to death by the Navigator. Using Micro Grenades, a more well-armored ork guard explodes inside his own metal casing. Finally, the angry Explorator Carthus finds his trusty servo-skull "H.U.B." integrated into a shoddy ork turret and wired with it's hover exhausts to orkish sensor machinery.The Ork mechanic who wired the skull up to the turret had added a small sign for the skull to read: It depicted a human and an ork, and the words "shoot" "not shoot", which the servo skull obviously ignored.
Freed from the orkish slavery, HUB returned into service of Carthus and helped him take aim on another ork turret. In a swift scoped attack, the ork gunner is missed- but enough time is bought for the Navigator to teleport behind him and drop a final load of micro krak-grenades into the turret.
The eldar have by then been forgotten and are only mentioned briefly by another player in the second session- entering not only game mechanical but also contextual stealth successfully. We might see them again later.
For now, the crew has stolen an Ork Truck, which is when the hastily imported Rulework of another table top game "Gaslands" came into play. The truck itself is a puzzle and trap filled one-page-dungeon of it's kind. Playing bluegrass on the table top audio, the GM explained the "features" of the truck:
Fully build in hot-air cooler, red button, speed holes, comfort-tinted frontal windshield to withstand both the radiation of the sun and oncomming rock walls.
A drawn control panel is shown to the voidmaster who was decided to be the driver for the time being due to his over average agility score. Due to the orkish nature of vehicle design, only the co-pilot has an actual view to the front, making this a dungeon puzzle for one player and a ralley simulator for the other.
This control panel contains levers, pedals and a red button. Of course he started slow, after all the GM had just explained the Gear and Hazard system of Gaslands. (You can only make narrow turns or swerving manouvers in lower gear without entering dangerous maneuvering)
On the back of the truck, Grim the navigator and carthus the tech priest hold position and act as gunners with their starter equipment.
Then curiosity won and the big red button is pressed. Tune up table audio to a more apt rock and roll theme. The ork truck is accelerated with the condensed chemical brutality of whatever it is that orks consider fuel. Blue flames burst out of perforated mufflers, bending them in uneven angles.Sand is catapulted to the back, and the device cranks up into fifth gear. Parts of the quickly hand sketched control board explode, giving the player only estimations of the current gear that the vehicle is in. The crew on top, who need to hold their guns and balance, obtain a negative modifier on ballistic checks.
And of course hordes of orks on buggies and carts chase after them, jumping over cliffs and ramps, the entire madmax fetish of the GM comes into play.
The chase through scrapfields and cactus oasis reduces the loot with each failed handling skill, finally Grim, of all players, is overtaken by greed and decides to stop shooting orks and holds on to the looted bags of xeno tech that is shaken with each turn and driven maneuver.
As the designated driver Lok makes turns left and right, and experiments with the levers, he finds out that the levers are for turn signals. The right one being a flashing red light, the left one an indirect command for a gretchin to hold a red signal torch out of a hatch on the side of the vehicle.
Because in the fast pace of combined puzzle and Gaslands-chase, the turn signals are frequently ignored. This angers the gretchin who visits the cockpit through a small hatch and realizes that he is being stolen by humans along with the truck.
Stressed, the voidmaster tries to intimdate what greenish goblin: "Shut up!" But fails his intimidation throw and the gretching returns into the inner workings of the machine."Now where was this safety fuse?" He asks loudly. All players realize that this little gremlin is about to sabotage their escape- the captain yells "We have a blind passager!""I am not blind!" The gretchin complains.Dropping a photonic grenade into the same hatch that the little xeno went into the captain asks "How about now?"A flash emerges through the bolted cracks and rims along the engine casing.This is when I decided to write down the story because I was laughing.
Captain Ashfords recognizes an ork truck with two heavily armed "boys" emerge from a nearby dune and orders the tech priest, whose name he at that point does not even know yet, to take them out.A bonus on the ballistic check, but also an astonishing righteous fury hit vaporize the front wheels of the attacking vehicle, sending orks flying. Another proof that a lasgun is more than a flashlight if aimed correctly.One ork manages to fire a shot at the heroes' car mid-air but is then run over by another chasing buggy as soon as he contacts sandy desert ground. The other ork lands headfirst on the chasing buggy and gets back up, thrilled by the "WAAAGH!" of his orky brethern.
Finally, the chase climaxes as they reach Captain Ashford's bounty: A dictator class cruiser, buried for thousands of years in the sand, from a time when the system was inhabited by humans. They manage to rush their stolen truck into the frontal torpedo tube of the ship's prow. Looted since millennia, there is no weapon installed and instead they crash right into the hallways of the ship. Orkish pursuers at times do not make the hawk-jump and crash into the prow, atomized by their speed and imperial ceramic armor.
With only two scrap-made carts on their tails, the crew escapes into the depths of the cruiser and shakes them off, advancing on foot. The previously stunned engine gretchin is now enthralled to their group.
Finally they reach the ingition altar, and the key is inserted.It follows a puzzle that is difficult in ways that average players would never comprehend. An active listening challenge, in which nothing else but the uberduck text to speech voice of the voice labled as the "burgerking rapper" is giving them a comprehension summary task. It explains the perils of the previous crew in what is, and I man up to this because I am responsible, a slight joke on cost of the Jamaican accent, which is fairly hard to understand on it's own. But if you throw in a mix of shadowrun "chummer" lingo, German and obscure 90's hip hop references you end up in a wall of spoken text that rushes over you and leaves only a state of absolute confusion.
Excusingly the GM proclaims that thousand year old low gothic is hard to understand.
After successful tech use the techpriest manages to obtain all the voice files. Of course the GM saw this happening and adds voice files into the selection of player-replayable files, that are mild taunts against the tech priest, even more obscure references and a rap that decries the imperial navy as loosers and proclaims servitor pirates to be the winner.
Finally Grim the navigator, of all people, manages to use what little buzzwords he can understand and ties together a story of what must have happened: The previous crew was killed or went missing, servitor crew was frozen in stasis and the ship went into hibernating. The entire ship belonged to pirates, making captain Ashford drop his facade and openly proclaim that he is a freebooter.
This is the start of the "Arcadia's" adventure along the fringes of sector Koronus and a great feud between a Warghboss and a reaver pirate captain.
Long story short: If you make a devils bargain with the GM about getting a very good starter ship, you will still have to fight for it.
submitted by Ytumith to 40krpg [link] [comments]

2023.03.26 19:11 prossnip42 Far Cry 2 is considered by many the "Black Sheep" of the series and i couldn't disagree more

Far cry 2, more so than any Far Cry game even to this day is the only one i am comfortable calling an immersive sim. The darker, more grittier tone in both the game's graphics and the story, the way the environment interracts with your weaponry, the fact that you have to physically pull out your map and shift through multiple views to see where you're going, the smuggled guns jamming, the survival mechanics, the way factions interract with your if you're on good/ bad standing with them, the way townsfolk and mercenaries react depending on what level of respect you have, it's a level of immersion that honestly no Far Cry game has been able to copy since, not even the great ones like 3 and 5.
Even though i enjoy the other Far Cry games 2 will always have a special place in my heart and when 3 released in 2012 i was kinda disappointed that they took it in such a wildly different, one may even say mainstreamed direction
submitted by prossnip42 to farcry [link] [comments]

2023.03.26 19:11 NonlinearBanana How to figure out if this is a migraine, meningitis, or something else?

Strap in. This is a long one.


One day in 2012, I (then-28m, Caucasian, 5'11", 240-ish lbs, living in the western U.S.A.) came down with a splitting headache. I would describe the headache as though my brain was trying to push out the sides and back of my skull, but I'm very bad with such descriptions even in the moment. I had had occasional unexplained headaches for years, so I thought nothing of it at first. However, OTC painkillers were not even touching this one. It was soon accompanied by nausea and then quickly by vomiting. I also had chills and a mild fever (about 100 F ~ 37.5 C). I then noticed that the headache would become a LOT more intense when standing up or adjusting my bodyweight in certain ways. With all these symptoms, I decided that I needed professional help. I drove to the nearest hospital I knew of and presented myself to the Emergency Department.
The doctor made it a mission to figure out what was happening to me. He ordered every test under the sun. Most returned nothing unusual, but then he said he had good news. One of the tests was a lumbar puncture, and the resulting sample of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) had been tested and found to have an elevated white blood cell (WBC) count. This, he told me, meant that I had viral meningitis.
I asked what's the bad news. He said there's really nothing they can do to help it go away, but they can admit me to the hospital for a few days so that I can have an IV to keep hydrated (I was vomiting up everything I would try to consume, even small amounts of water) and IV meds to keep the pain under control until my stomach would deign to accept more conventional forms of nutrition. They probably also didn't feel great about releasing me since I lived alone and had no support system. Anyway, the doctor assured me that the condition would go away on its own within a week as long as I kept hydrated.
The next week played out exactly as he said, except that I had to come back in a couple days after my release. It turned out that the lumbar puncture had been screwed up, so they needed to do a blood patch. I spent most of the day at the hospital in pain on my 29th birthday waiting for the anesthesiologist. (apparently the anesthesiologist was very busy because it was the first snow day of the year and he was treating one or more idiots who had lost fingers by messing around with their snowblowers for the first time)
This whole episode got filed in my brain under "medical things that happened" and I tried my best to forget about it. I did not have a primary care physician with whom to follow up, and I was not taking any prescription meds at the time.


One day in 2014 I (now 30 years old) came down with a splitting headache. Nausea, vomiting, chills, mild fever, and the intensifying when standing were back as well.
I said a silent prayer of gratitude that I knew exactly what was going on, and I drove myself to the hospital (a different hospital from the 2012 episode, but still in the same general area). I gave them my symptoms and a briefly-rehearsed speech about how I had had this before and knew what it was, and I'd appreciate it if they would just do a spinal tap and check for viral meningitis.
The doctor gave me the side-eye but said he would do the puncture. When he took the sample, he made it a point to tell me that my CSF looked clear to the naked eye, and it would probably look cloudy if there was a bacterial infection. I just thought No kidding, I said viral, not bacterial, meningitis. I didn't bother arguing.
He came back maybe an hour later and said he was very surprised but they did find white blood cells in my CSF, so he would give me the diagnosis of viral meningitis and admit me to the hospital. They gave me the same protocol of care as the hospital in 2012 did. I still lived alone at this point, and I still did not have a primary care physician with whom to follow up, and I was still not taking any prescription meds.
Over the next several years I get married, move out of state, and start taking tremfya for newly-diagnosed psoriasis. I now hardly ever get headaches unless I didn't get enough sleep the night before. In December of 2019 I establish care with a primary care provider.


One day in June of 2020 I came down with some generic viral infection. It felt like a cold. I slept on the couch this week so that my coughing wouldn't keep my wife awake at night.
But after four days of this, it wasn't getting better. I had had a mid-tier fever all week (about 101.x F iirc). Friday came, and I started getting a headache. Then I started feeling nauseous. I then noticed that when I stood up the headache started pounding harder. Aw crap, here we go again I thought.

"Urgent" care

I came up with the "brilliant" idea of going to an urgent care instead of an Emergency Department. I figured they might be able to help me get admitted somewhere or otherwise propose a more expedient way of getting taken care of than to go through the usual Emergency Department rigamarole and expense.
When I presented to the urgent care, the nurse there listened to my story and kindly told me the only thing they could do for me is to call an Emergency Department to let them know I was on my way, and that she insisted I go straight there. I sighed and drove to a hospital down the street from my house.

Emergency #1

My temperature was under 100 F by now.
I had my speech well-rehearsed by the time I got to see the doctor. He listened to my story and then pressed on my cheeks (I assume he was looking for the Brudzinski cheek sign). When I did not demonstrate the expected response, he declared there is no way I have meningitis and that I just have some infection.
He gave me the usual migraine cocktail (bendaryl, toradol, and something else I forget) and some IV fluids and a prescription for amoxicillin, then sent me home with instructions to follow up with my primary care provider on Monday.

Emergency #2

That night I vomited everything I had ever eaten, or close enough as makes no difference. This was before taking the amoxicillin. I took the amoxicilin, and the pain continued to get worse. The vomiting worsened as well. I was desperate, so I went back to the Emergency Department of the same hospital.
This doctor (I don't remember his name, so I'll call him Dr. X) listened to my prepared speech but interrupted me to tell me that, even without doing any tests, he could already tell I do not have any form of meningitis because my neck movement is too "supple".
Ok, whatever. I honestly don't care what the diagnosis is; I care that the treatment works and that it fixes the problem or else enables me to be comfortable enough through the rest of the ordeal.
Dr. X concludes that my headache is from dehydration, which is from vomiting, which is from the cold virus I had been fighting for a week. He gives me the same IV migraine cocktail as before, some IV fluids to re-hydrate me, and sends me home. I tried objecting that this isn't going to fix the underlying problem and I'll just be miserable again in a few hours. He says that if that happens I can come back. I said if this keeps happening, I'm going to be visiting the Emergency Department three times a day for the next week, and that that's not a reasonable solution. He disagrees and thinks I'll be feeling completely better by tomorrow morning.

Emergency #3

I go home. To the shocked Pikachu face of no one but Dr. X, I am back to feeling as miserable as ever after just a few hours when the migraine cocktail wears off. At this point I am basically unable to function. I can't even drive myself anywhere (note: my wife is disabled, so she doesn't have a driver's license; and even if she did, we only have one car which she can't drive because it has a manual transmission). I can't even call an ambulance because it would just take me to the nearest hospital, which I do not want to go back to.
So I Ubered to the next hospital, which was about 15 minutes away. Side note: I still feel bad for that Uber driver. When he saw where he was pulling up to, he asked "'re visiting someone here?" I just said "No", got out of the car, and immediately vomited on the parking lot next to the car. I couldn't even make it six steps to the trash can. Especially given that this was June 2020, just as the world was starting to get really freaked out about covid, and well yeah I still feel bad for this guy.
I presented myself to the Emergency Department and get seen. I tell the doctor everything, immediately following up with an impassioned plea to please please please do a lumbar puncture. He agrees. He checks for Brudzinski's and Kernig's signs, which I don't display, but he says he'll still do the spinal tap. My temperature is in the 100.x range now.
They do an MRI, a CT scan, a lumbar puncture, blood work, and probably a few other things. As happened in the previous episodes, all tests show normal except the CSF has white blood cells. He says the WBC count is lower than he usually sees in meningitis patients, but he also says that this could be because I took amoxicillin earlier. He admits me to the hospital with a diagnosis of viral meningitis.
I was kept in the hospital's covid wing for the first day while they waited for my covid test to come back. It was negative, and to this day I still have never tested positive for covid, which I'm grateful for.
During my stay, I see the hospital's specialist (I forget which specialty), who suggests that I might have Mollaret which is a recurrent viral meningitis due to HSV-2. It seems consistent with my story, but when he tests me I don't have HSV. Essentially, they released me from the hospital once I was able to walk and keep down solid food, but they also scheduled follow-ups for me with a neurologist in case it's migraine-related and with an infectious disease (ID) specialist to talk about meningitis and Mollaret. They also suggest that I follow up with my dermatologist and try to find a psoriasis treatment that does not suppress the immune system.


I follow up with my Primary Care Provider after getting out of the hospital, but she had nothing useful to say. Just to go talk to the specialists.
I followed up with neurology. He said that my situation sucks, but it's clear that I had meningitis. He asked around with his coworkers and no one there had any experience with meningitis or Mollaret, so he couldn't help me. Essentially, he said "talk to an ID specialist."
I followed up with ID. This doctor saw me, heard my story, read my chart, and said, essentially, that she doesn't think it's meningitis at all and she would need to see my test records from the incidents in 2012 and 2014.
I spent quite awhile tracking them down, but I did manage to get them and send them to her. On the next appointment (over Zoom because covid is in full swing by now), she explains that she doesn't consider it meningitis unless the CSF sample has a WBC count of at least 100. My WBC counts for the three episodes so far are, in respective chronological order, 45, 67, and 14. I suspect that the last one might have been higher if I had gotten one of the first two doctors to take the fricking sample instead of jerking me around with talk of "dehydration," but of course there is no way to know for sure.
I tell her that my understanding is that a "normal" WBC count is 0 to 5, so--even if this isn't the most serious full-blown case of viral meningitis ever--there is clearly something going on, since my symptoms are strikingly similar to meningitis and the WBC count is elevated even if not as elevated as she would like to see.
She brushes me off and says I don't know what I'm talking about and that this issue is clearly not related to my spinal fluid, it is definitely just a migraine, and I need to see a neurologist. However, she does suggest that if it happens again, I should ask them to do a varicella PCR test, since I had chicken pox once as a child and she might be more inclined to believe it's a viral problem if they found a virus to blame.

Aftermath and Questions

So I've been thinking about this whole ordeal lately because it's now been a few years and I've been sick a few times in the past year, and every time I get so much as a sniffle I start panicking wondering if I'm about to go through it all again. At this point, it feels like "when" and not "if" it happens again. I wasn't freaked out about it after the first time because it seemed like a fluke and I got well taken care of anyway. I wasn't freaked out after the second time because twice is a coincidence and again I got well taken care of. But three times is a pattern, and this time I was not well taken care of, so now I am freaked out.
I am going to state three thoughts here, but please note that I am not asking for a diagnosis or even for answers to these questions--I am just stating these thoughts so as to explain why I am confused and what my current thoughts are.
My first thought is, obviously: What is the condition that I have suffered from in these three episodes? If it really is viral meningitis, then why do I fail to exhibit Brudzinski's and Kernig's signs? Why is my neck movement so "supple"? And why is my CSF WBC count below 100? On the other hand, if it's just a migraine, then why do I exhibit symptoms like chills and fever that are not normally associated with migraine? And why is my CSF WBC count elevated at all? And why does it come in week-long hellish episodes with years of total normalcy between? (this is how I would expect a virus to behave, not a chronic condition like migraines)
Second: I could live with not knowing exactly what my condition is, if only I had a way to get a hospital--no matter which hospital nor whoever happens to be working that day--to take me seriously and fricking help me instead of just calling it dehydration and sending me home.
Third: I'm very frustrated with the doctors. Neurology just says "it's meningitis; go talk to ID" while ID just says "it's a migraine; go talk to neurology." I wish I had the means to take the two specialties and lock them both in a room and force them to arm wrestle or something until they can agree on a plan both for preventing this from happening in the future and for getting me the help I need when it does happen next.
Like I said, I know I won't get those answers here, but honestly I would appreciate anything, like literally any suggestions or information or comments that might help me understand this better or reduce the odds of it happening again or help me handle it better when it does happen again. Thanks for reading.
submitted by NonlinearBanana to AskDocs [link] [comments]