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A place for new chess players to hang out, ask questions, discover tactics, get advice from others and learn more about the game: This is the chessbeginners subreddit.
If anyone else is like me then when playing Final Fantasy VIII, they LOVE to assign specific GFs to specific characters, they feel that they fit best with. Over the years and through multiple times playing this game, I’ve always come back to doing this and given it a LOT more thought than I care to admit, to see if I was wrong about any or if one meshes up better with another character. As such, I figured I’d finally publish my list for anyone who either wants to use it or who wants to challenge my perspective and thinks I’m wrong about one of them. This will run a bit long, but it’s meant to be fun and comprehensive, so enjoy how much I’ve nerded out on this game for your benefit, lol.
Quezacotl – I associate Zell with ThundeWind, mainly due to the second GF I decided to give him and his energetic personality. In my opinion, the first 3 GFs should be divided amongst the first 3 characters, and everyone should have at least 1 by the end of disk 1. The next 2 are much stronger fits, which explain why this one is assigned to Zell as his first GF, along with his other GF below. If I had to connect it to something else though, I’d point out how Quezacotl’s wings and body look tattooed like Zell’s face and how if someone is going to goof off slightlyduring battle to turn enemies into collectable trading cards, it’s definitely going to be Zell.
Shiva – Many would say Squall because of his personality, but I disagree which I’ll explain further below. I associate Quistis with Ice/Water, and Shiva even kind of looks like her with the yellow pigtails. Seeing as how it’s obtained from the computer in her classroom or gifted to Squall for the exam by her, it should go back to her as her first GF. Since she’s also Squall’s support during the exam when obtaining Ifrit, it makes perfect sense she would have the trump card as his support and teacher, in the event he got in trouble. It’s refine ability also pairs well with another GF we’ll give to her further down, due to the fact it refines both Ice and Water magic and groups them together.
Ifrit – Many people want to pair this with Zell, but I think that’s wrong. It’s basically a flaming lion with horns. Who better to give it to than to Squall? After all a lion is his motif, it was the first part of his SeeD exam and the first GF he obtained on his own, that wasn’t given to him. I also personally associate Squall with the element of Fire. After all, he uses it in Kingdom Hearts which came out shortly after this, one of his swords is called the Flame Saber and pretty much every promotional image of the Gunblade or Greiver symbol has it on fire. Sure, Squall’s personality might by icy, but if you pay attention, he’s a mirror of Seifer. They use the same weapon, so preferring the same magic type, makes perfect sense. It also serves as an excellent juxtaposition against Edea’s Ice. In addition, Ifrit’s compatibility item Red Fang, is needed for Squall’s Gunblade, Twin Lance. Finally, to obtain Rinoa’s card, Squall also must lose Ifrit to General Caraway and to get it back, he has to beat the only other Headmaster we meet, Martine: fitting for both the leader of our party and Rinoa’s love interest and Knight. Finally, it has the ability to refine ammo, which even though we don’t use it in game, would be necessary for Squall’s Gunblade.
Siren – I initially had the hardest time with this one and Carbnucle, as one had to go to Rinoa and the other to Selphie, both because it fits thematically and for balancing issues as I want everyone to have at least 1 GF by the end of the first disk. Despite the angelic appearance, and the fact it’s a musician and singer like Rinoa’s mother, I chose to give this one to Selphie as her first GF. In the game, Selphie shows more musical interest than Rinoa does, and the GF is obtained in Dollet, shortly after meeting Selphie and as part of her field exam. As such, I felt it should appropriately go to her. Finally, its ability to refine life magic fits in well with Selphie’s White Mage role in the game.
Brothers - Irvine seems like an Earth elemental sort of person to me and the Brothers are found right next to Galbadia Garden, shortly after acquiring Irvine. Seeing as how the tomb is also a requirement for the assassination mission, other Galbadia students failed to conquer it, and how the motto of Galbadia Garden is "Keep on Rockin'", it seems only fitting for him to claim them as his first GF. In addition, their attack is called Brotherly Love which fits in with Irvine being the only character to remember his family from the orphanage. They also perform a move called Mad Cow Special during their boss battle, which aligns with Irvine being a Cowboy. Finally, to obtain Irvine's Triple Triad card, you must lose Brothers first, and if you refine the card, you gain Dino Bones which are necessary for Irvine’s ultimate weapon, while also being Brother's compatibility item. In other countries this GF is also named Taurus, after the zodiac sign of the bull, something cowboys are known for riding.
Diablos – This GF is a gift from Cid, and as such I think it pairs best with Squall, as a gift from one SeeD Commander and Sorceress’s Knight to another. Diablos also specializes in time refinement magic, which I feel aligns perfectly with both his sister, Ellone’s abilities, and that his is destined to fight against Ultimicia who is trying to enact Time Compression. It’s also the only GF you can obtain as Laguna which kind of adds in a generational aspect to it. Finally, I think the concept of the magic lamp makes for a really cool Bootstrap Paradox. Perhaps Squall lost it at the end of the game and Edea gave it to Cid, to give back to him.
Carbnucle – As I said I initially had trouble with this and Siren for Rinoa and Selphie. Ultimately though, I decided to give this to Rinoa as I feel it fits better than Siren. Carbnucle is obtained in Deiling City, her hometown from the Iguions sent to kill her by Edea. As such, I feel it’s only appropriate that she get this as her first GF, as it has the ability to protect her from magic, through Reflect. Seeing as how it also came from Edea and Rinoa end up being a sorceress, this seemed to fit well as her other GF. In addition it has the ability to refine recovery medicine and it’s card is held by the Card Club Member, the Queen Heart, matching with her last name.
Leviathan - As mentioned above, I matched Quistis with the element of Ice/Water. Leviathan is held in Balamb Garden by Norg, one of her former bosses. To me that says it should go to another faculty member of Balamb Garden, so either Squall or Quistis. Squall in my opinion has much better GFs that align with him, but even without that fact, Quistis is still a stronger candidate. After all, it pairs perfectly with Shiva above, as Shiva refines water magic, not Leviathan. This GF is also responsible for support magic and GF Recovery medicine which seems fitting for your former teacher, making sure both you and your GFs stay healthy. In addition, the Levithan card is held in the training grounds by the Card Club member immediately following her, Joker, and if you refine it, you get Doc's Codes which pairs well with the fact she gained the Card Club Master King position from Dr. Kadowaki.
Pandemona - As I said at the start, I associate Zell with ThundeWind. Pandemona is obtained in Balamb Town, Zell's hometown where he is idolized and seen as a bit of a hero. It's drawn from Seifer's sidekicks on the disciplinary committee that Zell is always getting in trouble with and as such, it seems poetic to me that your sidekick gets to stand up to his bullies, save his hometown, and steal their GF in the process. Finally, the Pandemona Card is also held by hotel owner involved in Zell's Love Quest with the Library Girl, as that’s their “love spot” in the compatibility quiz and where she awards him with a Combat King magazine.
Cerberus - Cerberus is found in Galbadia Garden during the Battle of the Gardens. From what we can tell they had likely started experimenting with GFs. As such, if it's going to go to someone in our party, it should likely go to the only person from said Garden, Irvine. Giving Irvine Cerberus, also mirrors the only other non-SeeD member Rinoa, having both a dog and the only other non-combat GF, Carbnucle. Finally, the Cerberus card modifies into Lightweight, an item drop from another GF related monster, we'll be assigning to Irvine further down, helping tie his GF choices together.
Alexander - Rinoa best fits with the element of Holy in my opinion. After all, she has angel wings on her back, as part of her limit break, and even her on ultimate weapon. She's also constantly surrounded by white feathers and shooting stars throughout the game and in promotional images. Not to mention this Gf is acquired as Ultimicia is defeated in Edea and transfers her powers and consciousness into Rinoa, so it seems only right that the GF should be transferred as well. Besides it's a robotic castle that looks like a knight and I'm sure Squall wouldn't mind the extra help. Alexander can also take transform other spells into the most powerful forms of magic and naturally learns revive, which is fitting for our new sorceress. Finally, the Alexander card is also held by Piet up at the Lunar Base where Rinoa is possessed, unleashes Adel, and shortly after also obtains Adel’s powers, tying further into the fact it should go to a sorceress.
Doomtrain – This one should be obvious. There’s one person in the game who constantly talks about trains and their love for them and that’s, Selphie. A demonic train who inflicts your enemies with poison and every negative status effect imaginable is right up her alley. If we also divide the elements of the game, Poison is left for Selphie, which is fitting as she’d easily be the one most likely to kill you with it. Plus, Doomtrain’s refine ability allows you to refine forbidden medicine which also fits in with Selphie’s White Mage role. To add in a nod to Selphie’s other GF’s the ring is also obtained under a statue of a girl holding a harp like Siren and the Doomtrain card is obtained from the pub owner in Timber, the same exact location, another GF related card below is found.
Bahamut - Known as the Great GFs according to Squall. This is the King of GFs and as such I feel it’s only proper that it should go to him. After all, his father played Zefer in the movie, The Sorceress’s Knight, and before you face Bahamut, he throws multiple Ruby Dragons at you, so in a way it’s a bit poetic that Squall should obtain the dragon GF, while being Rinoa’s Knight. In addition, Ultimicia also has Tiamat as her ultimate monster before Greiver is pulled from Squall's mind, so it seems only fitting Squall should have its counterpart. The fact you can also obtain the highest magic in the game from him through his refine ability and that he serves as the test to make your way to Eden, only cements this choice further. Finally, his move Megaflare matches up somewhat with Ifrit, as in games where Flare has an element, it's fire.
Cactuar - Cactuar has no clear ties to any of the characters at first glance, however a cactus fits in with Irvine’s whole cowboy & western motif if you think about it. I also noticed at the start of its summon animation, when it jumps in front of the stylized sun, that image of the rays is nearly identical to the circular pendant Irvine wears, and if we look at the bottom of his necklace, it resembles the 3 quills on Cactuar's head. His name is also taken from the word pretender in other languages, which I feel aligns with Irvine, pretending to not know the others until later in the game. Finally, it attacks by shooting 10,000 needles, something fitting for the only person with a gun.
Tonberry - Tonberry at first glance doesn't display any obvious ties to our characters, however if we dig a little deeper, we can see a connection. If we go to Trabia Garden, a cadet mentions the Tonberry GF in his sleep. We also know that as a child, another member of Trabia Garden, Selphie, obtained a GF during an outdoor training session, that she found inside a monster, after defeating it. If we happen to find a secret Timber Mechanics magazine, it adds an entry on the computer which shows a younger Selphie taking a trip to the Centra Ruins as a child. If we connect the dots, this leads me to believe that IF it's one of the GFs we encounter in the game, Selphie's childhood GF was likely Tonberry. In addition Tonberry has numerous shopping related abilities such as, Sell High, Familiar, Haggle, and Call Shop, that all pair thematically well with Selphie’s other GF, Doomtrain, and his Junk Shop ability, tying everything together. Tonberry King even attacks you with Junk while you’re battling him. Plus when it comes down to it, who else do you realistically get cute and borderline psycho killer vibes from? Finally, while you obtain the Doomtrain card from the pub owner in Timber, you can get the Tonberry Card from the drunken drifter nearby, further tying them together.
Eden - The ultimate GF. The only 2 people it could logically go to is either Squall or Rinoa. Of those, I think Squall is a better fit as you obtain it from the 2nd most powerful monster in the game, and if you miss it, it's obtained from Tiamat, Bahamut's counterpart. It's also a mobile garden after all, and who better to go to than our protagonist and the creator of both Garden and SeeDs. Eden also contains a few angel wing motifs throughout its design which adds in a nod to Rinoa and nice thematic imagery with Squall being her knight. Finally, it has an attack called Eternal Breath which alludes to time, and the fact both Squall and his archenemy Ultimicia are bound to it. It's refine ability also allows you to teach all other GFs abilities which is appropriately fitting for the Garden Commander.
Additional Notes – Some may ask why Irvine and Selphie got 3 and everyone else except for Squall got 2. This is mainly due to Cactuar and Tonberry as there’s really no one they pair better with in my opinion than Irvine and Selphie. If you want an in-universe reason though to keep with the theme, I feel because Trabia and Galbadia are not as experienced with GFs, Squall may want to help get them up to speed. This does not need to be done for Rinoa cause by this time she’s a Sorceress. I think it also works well as those 2 are our B couple in the game. It could also be cause the other 3 have been using GFs longer, so by giving it to them, it could help Squall, Zell, and Quistis slightly combat the effects of memory loss.
Rinoa and Irvine got the support GFs cause they’re not SeeD and cause I saw Squall wanting them to practice before they were allowed more powerful summons. The exception to this was Brothers and only because necessity demanded it with Irvine being involved with the assassination mission against the Sorceress. It was also nice to be able to give Irvine a dog, since Rinoa already had one.
ThundeWind and Ice/Water are paired up in this game with Quezacotl and Shiva, so I did the same with Zell and Quistis. I feel these fits well as they’re the original Balamb SeeDs along with Squall, while Selphie is technically a transfer. This means the Final Fantasy trifecta starting elements of Fire, Thunder, and Ice are divided amongst the original Balamb Members.
So that’s everything. If I messed up on something, missed something I could’ve added, or someone else fits better with a specific GF, feel free to comment below and give me your analysis.
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In the 1950s, Alice and Jack live in the idealized community of Victory, an experimental company town that houses the men who work on a top-secret project. While the husbands toil away, the wives get to enjoy the beauty, luxury and debauchery of their seemingly perfect paradise. However, when cracks in her idyllic life begin to appear, exposing flashes of something sinister lurking below the surface, Alice can't help but question exactly what she's doing in Victory
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I want to preface this post by saying I LOVE LOVE LOVE Yellowjackets. Even Season 2 (I'll get to that shortly). That Misty Musical scene when she's in the water pod made the whole season for me!
But I feel like this sub has recently gotten a little aggressive towards people who point out flaws which are very clearly there: (Why did all the adult women start hunting Shauna when they said a day earlier Lottie was being crazy, specifically Nat and Misty; How did Walter get all the bank and phone information of, according to the timeline, deaths that only happened about a week earlier; How did Lisa and Callie show up at the hunt at the exact same time and right as Shauna was about to die; Why did a police officer submit to Walter's blackmail when he could have just arrested him right there and told his whole story, as a police officer, which is much more credible;).
One of the biggest flaws that people have been ready to point out is Nat's death. I believe it is , too. I understand that it's supposed to be juxtaposing Javi's death, it's just not done well. There was like still a foot between Nat and Misty when Nat jumped in front of Lisa AND Nat's jacket was like an inch thick AND did Misty have that the whole time?
But I don't even care about the flaws. Let people enjoy things they enjoy, right? And I'm certainly still enjoying it. Still one of my favorite shows, Buzz Buzz Buzz!
For me, the problem is, as someone who grew up during the LOST era, this show is exhibiting signs of Mystery Box syndrome. It's introducing more characters and mysteries at a rate than it can solve the old ones.
We already started with a plethora of mysteries (Dark Tai; Cabin Man**; man with no eyes; Who is the Antler Queen; What are the “real” dark things they’ve done; what does the symbol mean; is it supernatural or not; how will they get found; and many more).
**Yes I’m aware cabin man will be in the bonus episode, but a main plot point shouldn’t be in a bonus episode months away from the actual season.
Season 2 not only doesn’t answer any of those questions, but adds a lot more (why is Lottie seeing visions again now; Who is Walter, really; will Tai’s wife get out of the coma; Will Lisa tell on them; Will there be a battle against Coach Ben; and a lot more;)
I know the common response to qualms like this is that 'they have a 5 season plan and we just need to be patient' but LOST had 6 seasons and left a ton of stuff unsolved. When the rate of introducing new mysteries is greater than the rate of solving mysteries, they're gonna end up just not resolving some plot points. And I think that'll be disappointing for such a great show.
I say this because, as a lover of Yellowjackets, I think there's merit in criticizing the thing you love, so that they can learn from it and make these last 3 seasons even better.
Idk, that's my 2 cents. Hope you all have a great day!
Multiple jobs is increasingly the norm to get by, widening wage gap, necessity to get an expensive degree to make it, uproar about immigration...
I don't hear anybody on a state or federal level talking about it. Unions play a bigger role in northern states, but seem to be maligned in Texas. Unions are supposed to protect local jobs and won't hire undocumented immigrants. They bargain for fair wages and keep employers honest. A lot of unions also manage healthcare and benefits for their members, provide representation and mediation with the employer, etc... Some trade unions offer training and certification programs and job placement... Why is a Union a bad thing in Texas?
Where do (Texas) politicians stand on the upcoming UPS / Teamsters contract? There are tens of thousands of UPS employees in Texas, and Texas businesses/residents depend on services. It seems like a big deal and I haven't heard much talk about it.
It isn't even that bad, my dad a good dude normally. But the amount of anger he has when the smallest thing goes wrong. Rn he probably gonna scream at my sister for missing her train. It won't even affect him she will be home a little later. Like dude stfu She 15. Let her live u sadass mf Same with my mother, however she like that against me. I've told her. I can't clean my room because I'm so depressed i cant even get out of bed. Na she won't have that. All I hear is screaming and that I'm disgusting for living in that room. And she a rasist asshole to, they won't accept my friend as trans either and just say wrong all the fucking time. She don't like my gf because she quiet. My dad loves her but I know my mom don't. Like rn I wanna scream my mother in the face and beat the shit out of my father idk why he just makes me furious FUCK
The landscape changed as Gary prowled through it. It started as the farmland he remembered so well. Small copses of trees began to appear as he moved around, hunting. Between them, individual trees began to appear. The buildings, small houses and sheds, mostly, thinned out as the trees grew thicker. The ground grew steeper and mountains rose around him.
Before long, he was prowling the slopes of a narrow wooded valley. He could see ixlets darting through the woods around him. He glanced down the slope and saw a mix of greasers and Taliban, moving through the trees.
He moved further down the valley, towards the Taliban and greasers. They ignored him, except to keep their distance. That suited Gary just fine, as he was after a different prey.
Down below the greasers, the landscape changed again. The trees thinned out and vanished, replaced by rocky, windswept tundra, dotted by small lakes. He found a ruin there, massive gray stones emerging from the ground.
He moved past the ruin. Trees appeared again, but instead of oak and ceder and ash, he found mangroves and pines and huge ceibos. They came together, getting denser and denser until he stepped out onto a large rock and could see the town of Esteli spread out before him.
He continued on, into the narrow streets. The buildings crowded together, wall to wall. There were signs everywhere; for the shops that dotted the streets, for American companies that selflessly graced the slums of Nicaragua with their business, for local brands, for strip clubs and bars.
The people crowded the streets, competing with the tiny cars and occasional donkey. Gary moved on.
The streets changed. The crowds changed, too. They had darker skin and wore less clothes. Trikes began to appear, enclosed three-wheeled ramblers built around a motorcycle frame. A sign pointed him to Clara Town in English.
This time, Gary paused. He remembered this place. Monrovia, Liberia. On the west coast of Africa. His first contract for the Agency had brought him here. The spook he was here to protect had been a stupid little shit that had ruined his own operation and gotten them into a gunfight. He'd met Drake here, as well. The younger man's bright pink hair had stood out to Gary, a massive cross-section on his gaydar.
He remembered being holed up in a run-down hovel following the fight. Everybody was injured, but nobody had died. Gary was down to two mags, one of them in his rifle and the other half-empty in a pouch on his chest. Drake had offered him a blowjob for the half-empty mag, confirming Gary's suspicions about which way he swung. Gary had handed it over without a word, but as they rode away in a beat up minivan driven by one of their assets, he'd leaned over and asked Drake to pay up, half jokingly.
Well, maybe a quarter jokingly.
That had been a bad day, but far from the worst he'd seen. And not someplace he would find the bugbear.
"Where the fuck are you, ya foggy little goblin?" Gary muttered. This place felt wrong. He remembered what Inanna had said, somewhere else.
"...They're not intelligent, though they can speak."
Gary glanced around. This place... This was not a place of fear. This was a place of a curious, entertaining memory. Frustrating, at the time, and painful as well. But not frightening. Not like those fields where he'd killed the boys.
The bugbear wasn't here, he realized. It hadn't been any of the places he'd been. Instead, it had been sending him away from it. Sending him to places where he'd hunt the thing, while it...
Gary knew where to go.
He pictured the park and began to walk.
He tried to work it out. He was in his own head. He needed to get out, to get back to the real world. He reached out with his magical senses, feeling the world around him. It felt... Delicate. As if it would fall apart at a simple touch. Experimentally, he reached out with a bit of magic. The buildings on one side of the street crumbled.
He pushed out harder, reaching out all around him, tearing the world apart with magic, until he floated in a deep void. From here, he could feel the real world. It was up. He turned his face in that direction and flew.
---- Inanna Williams, Fucking Shit Balls, Motherfucking Cock Sucker
She would not
call Jerry. Or Yarm, or Sookie, or anyone else who might be awake right now. But she was getting pretty fucking disgusted with this thing. Suzanne crouched below one of the picnic tables as Inanna held her sword in her hands and kept herself between the bugbear and the girl.
Her sword blazed with fire, of course. Drawing flame from metal was one of the simplest acts of magic, an effect easily imbued into any artifact. And the weapons forged by Grandfather were works of art, pristinely forged and crafted and eager to soak up any enchantments they could. The flames were good, they helped. They weren't the problem.
Keeping magic suffused through her body was the problem.
She'd already moved around more magic today than she had in the last week. The effort had exhausted her. She barely had the strength to hoist her sword. And she was making a continuing effort to keep enough magic in her body to actually hurt the bugbear.
She didn't know how long she could keep this up.
The bugbear lunged again and she whipped her blade up, tip menacing the thing. It growled and hissed and spat, but it had already learned what pain that weapon could inflict.
Inanna glanced over to where Gary had collapsed, only to realize he was not there. His sword and shield lay on the ground, but Gary was gone. She carefully flicked her eyes from the bugbear to different areas of the park, searching for him. She saw no sign of him whatsoever. Gary had vanished.
A grin split her features.
"You are in for a world of hurt, you ugly motherfucker," she said menacingly. The bugbear ignored her, of course. It was a beast, after all.
---- Gary Johnson, Fucking Pissed
He didn't even bother with his weapons. He remembered Inanna's words, and the effect Percy's punches had on the thing. He pulled in his shield, burying it just below his skin. He poured more magic into it, thickening it, strengthening it.
He could feel the tension of the shield as he crept off into the shadows. The bugbear was menacing Inanna, who menaced it right back with her big ass sword. She looked exhausted, like she might fall over at any minute. Too much magic use, Gary thought. The rituals had each taken a toll on her, and he knew how difficult teleporting someone who wasn't touching him was.
He snuck around behind the thing as Inanna said something he didn't catch. He idly wondered why she hadn't called Jerry, but the answer presented itself before the question had even been formed. It was pride, of course. She could not bring herself to ask for assistance defeating something she'd dismissed as 'not particularly tough'.
Gary got to within tackling distance and then brought his wet blanket back up and threw it over the monster. Its blurry form solidified, the pale white face and dark body coming into focus. Its limbs were long, with long claws on each finger. Its elbows and shoulders were bulbous, its chest sunken, its hips protruding. It noticed, of course. It snarled at Inanna, but before it could strike, Gary rushed it, his temper cheering at the thought of getting his hands on the thing.
It spun at the sound of his feet pounding on the grass, so Gary swung a textbook perfect punch right between its eyes. The blow clotheslined the beast, flipping its feet forward, tossing it on its own head and neck with a sickening crack that would have killed any mortal.
Razor sharp claws lashed out at him as he threw himself on top of the thrashing monster. They scratched at the top layers of his skin, but the wounds closed and they couldn't penetrate past his shield.
He used his left hand to interfere with the claws, getting his forearm onto the bugbear's and pressing down. With his right hand, he pounded at the beast's face, over and over. Each blow crunched into the thing with the force of a freight train, the unfocused magic in his body turning itself into raw physical power.
The bugbear roared in pain and rage, so Gary opened his mouth and roared right back. The beast slipped its arms free and jammed them into Gary's sides, but he ignored them and got his left hook working the thing as well.
Snarling in rage, he snatched his knife off his chest and brought it down into the thing's throat. Its roars turned into a wet, gurgling sound. Gary pulled the knife out, then thrust it into its belly and ripping up, the force of the move shattering ribs and spraying Gary with a black ichor.
He growled deep in his chest, pulling the knife back out and slamming it into the bugbear's neck again, this time from the side. He left it there and resumed punching it, slamming his fists down with enough force to shatter the bones in his hands, leaving them just enough time to heal between blows.
He struck the beast over and over and over, ignoring the pain in his hands, focused only on hurting the thing. He kept going long after it stopped fighting back, stopping only when he felt a small hand on his back. He spun, his eyes wild and angry, but it was only Inanna there.
"You got him, Yarm," she said wryly. Gary stared, uncomprehending at her for a moment. Then it clicked. He barked a short laugh out and rolled off the thing, sitting on the grass next to the unmoving body.
"Is it dead?" he asked, his chest heaving from the exertion.
Inanna held a hand out towards the bugbear. "Yeah, it's dead."
"Good," Gary said. They sat in silence for a moment.
"The girl all right?" he asked.
Inanna nodded. "Yup." She looked over her shoulder and called out, "It's okay, hun. You can come out, now." A tiny figure moved hesitatingly towards them, stopping at the dead body of the bugbear and looking down at it.
"It's dead, darlin'," Gary said. "Nothing but a bag o ectoplasm, or whatever that black stuff is."
"Ectoplasm," the girl said quietly. Gary nodded and looked back at Inanna.
"Did you just call me Yarm?" he asked. She chuckled. "You reminded me of him just then. You were fighting like him."
"Heh," Gary said. "Balls to the wall, unchecked aggression."
"Yup," Inanna agreed.
"Don't tell nobody, but I gave a bit of thought to dropping trou and squeezing out a stink pickle on the thing's face. Just for a second, mind."
Inanna laughed. "Why didn't you?" she asked. Gary shrugged. "No point. It's long past caring what I do to it."
"Now there's the Gary I know," she said. Then she looked at Suzanne and frowned. "The Washingtons are dead. She's got nowhere to go."
"I might have a lead on that," Gary said. "In the meantime, she can come stay with me."
Inanna scoffed. "You'll adopt her within a month," she said. Gary just shrugged. "Maybe. Like I said, I got a lead."
---- Liam MacReady, On His Day Off
Liam answered the door to reveal an older guy standing there. He had a big, bushy beard that was mostly gray, a leathery face, and a figure that suggested a lot of time in the gym. He had a veteran's air about him, too, Liam noticed. It was in the the insouciant sloop of his shoulders, the stiffness of his lower back, the way he stood with his hands on his hips.
"Can I help you?" he rumbled.
"Liam MacReady?" the man asked, his voice tinged with a backwoods twang. Liam nodded, so the man held out a leather mitt. "My name's Gary Johnson. I'm with the Divine Crisis Management Group. I have some records here that say you applied to become a foster parent about two years ago, is that right?"
Liam frowned even as he shook the man's hand. He had a firm grip, but he didn't try to crush Liam's hand. Which was good, because Liam had mastered that particular show of dominance long ago.
Still, he didn't like this. "Why you looking into me, bro?" he asked.
"There's a little girl, goes by the name of Suzanne," Johnson said. Liam's hard look evaporated at the mention of the little girl he'd tried to take in.
"I know that look," Johnson said in a softer voice. "I got a daughter of my own. Can I come in?"
Liam thought about it. A cop would ask him to step out, not ask to come in. Unless he wanted to search for something. But Liam could kick him out if he started poking around. He pushed the door open wider and stood to the side.
Johnson walked in. He didn't poke around, but went straight to the living room and waited for Liam to join him. Liam closed the door and walked into the room, taking his favorite chair and gesturing at the couch for Johnson to sit. He did.
"So what's this about Suzanne?" Liam asked.
"Can you tell me how you know her?" Johnson asked.
Liam threw up his hands. "Brother, can we just get to the point?"
"This is the point, Mister MacReady," Johnson said. "I need to ask you some questions about her."
"When'd you serve?" Liam asked.
"Eighty-seven to oh-seven," Johnson answered without hesitation. "You?"
"Oh three to twenty-ten," Liam answered. "Second Ranger Battalion."
"Fifth Group," Johnson said. Liam quirked an eyebrow. "Green berets. Choice gig, that."
"Kinda sucked, to be honest." Lian chuckled at his answer.
"So how did you meet Suzanne?"
Liam rubbed his chin, thinking. After organizing his thoughts a bit, he spoke.
"Dated a girl a couple years ago. Suzanne's mom. She was a train wreck, but it took me a while to realize it. The girl..." Liam chuckled again.
"She was scared of me at first. I got these burns," he gestured to the side of his face, "In Kandahar. Don't do a lot to make me pretty, you know? But she warmed up to me in time. Sweetest little thing, she was. I never really thought of myself as a parent, you know? Always had too much going on, what with work and the club. But I loved spending time with that girl.
"I'd have dumped her mom's druggie ass much sooner, if not for her. When I finally had enough of her shit, I called CPH. Left an anonymous tip. I put in my application to be a foster parent, knowing that they'd rather her go with someone she knows. But they denied me. The club, me being single... I guess I can't blame them."
Johnson had been carefully watching Liam's face as he spoke, and Liam felt a strange sensation in the air. The temperature had dropped, and the hairs on the back of his neck were standing up.
"You gotta good heart, Mister MacReady," Johnson said.
"Uh, thanks, I guess," Liam responded. Johnson pointed at Liam's kutte. "What's the missing rocker?" he asked.
Liam looked down, noticing the threads still hanging out. "Master-at-arms," he said, touching it with one blunt finger. "I stepped down back when I was trying to become a foster parent. Freed up more of my time, you know?"
"Would you like to see Suzanne? Spend the afternoon with her?"
Liam leaned forward, his interest thoroughly captured. "Yeah. You can make that happen?"
Johnson raised a finger. A few seconds later, Liam heard a knock on the front door. He stood and walked out there, to find a bookish-looking man in a suit and bowtie standing there. He was flanked by two more figures. One was a short, brunette knockout. She had a middle-eastern cast about her, curves like a scenic railroad track and tits that could stop all conversations within a dozen yards. But she wasn't the one who caught his eye.
"Mister Liam?" Suzanne asked. Liam's face lit up in a wide grin as he knelt down and threw his arms out.
"Hey punkin!" he cried as she rushed into them. He hugged her carefully for a long moment.
"Mister MacReady," the nerdy guy said. "I know about the troubles you had applying to become a foster parent. There's nothing we can really do about that, it's a state matter. But we have lawyers in all specialties, including family law. I'm confident we can arrange a private adoption. We've already contacted her mother at the MCI women's facility, and she's agreed to relinquish custody."
Liam stood, still clinging to Suzanne, who gripped him tightly.
"Why?" he asked.
"We want her to be with someone who loves her. And Gary is quite sure that's you."
"Uh..." Liam wasn't good with this kind of stuff. "Yeah," he said. "Yeah, that's me." Johnson stepped past him and all three of them stepped off the stoop.
"I'll be back around nine," Johnson said. He handed Liam a pair of cards, which he took and carefully examined over Suzanne's shoulder. Both were for the same company he'd mentioned earlier. One had his name on it, and the other had a woman's name.
"Call the woman, Astrid, when you're ready to move forward on the adoption," Johnson said.
"And the other?" Liam asked.
"Call me if you ever find yourself willing to give up the outlaw life and work a steady, good paying job," Johnson told him. He met Liam's eyes and then nodded.
"I missed you so much," Suzanne said as Johnson followed the other two out to a black Humvee parked by the curb. Liam grinned so wide his face hurt.
"I missed you too, punkin," he said.
I’m feeling a bit of FOMO recently. I’ve seen posts about ConQuest that’s happening near me. However, because I had a cold and exams week’s coming up (not to mention volleyball training, damn responsibilities keep piling up), I can’t meet my favorite oshi irl.
Also, Midjourney v5.1 is being discussed all around. I’ve seen images that come from this AI. THEY’RE SO f***ING INCREDIBLE! Like man, I gotta try it out! But my broke ass just said, you need a subscription to do that. I have so many ideas floating in my head, but all I get is a paywall and 25 free generations (which of course I’ve run out of).
I’m so done with all of this. I wish I could fulfill them both, maybe I’ll be happier when they happen to me. Man, why is everything so hard? I hardly ever write rants without ever saying “I wish I could kill myself” in the end. Even if I don’t, I wish I could do it in silence. But still here I am, writing another vent post no one would care.
I have had enough.
Ridiculous, I know, 27 should be somewhere near the beginning and I am very ready for my time in VFX to end. The more time goes on you realize you are either a slave driver or a slave being driven in this industry. And for what? So we can release another half baked marvel show? So we can remake a disney film in live action that looks worse, feels worse and is far less enjoyable than the animated original? Someone tell me, because as far as I have been feeling the film industry is in its death throes. Each time we release another half finished movie/show that wasn’t given the time or love the artists could give it, I can hear the agonal breathing through the screen. And hell now we don’t even have to pay western rates, we can outsource it all to india! CHEAP, FAST, and above all without the conditions we are forced to give western artists. If you think the love and labor they put out is any less, you could not be more mistaken, but take the hellish overtime you find commonly in VFX in all places and crank it up to 11.
And is this right? How can this be right? We always want the latest season of our favourite show sooner than it can air but at what cost? The fact that major VFX companies have to put anti slavery statements on their websites says it all really.
When I worked in production in VFX I was the slave driver for all the artists under me, regardless of where they were based. You are the enemy of everyone, the client wants it faster and the artists need more time to finish the work. So you’re in a game of tug of war. But hell who the fuck is going to tell the clients they are wrong? How can you object to anything they say or do when they can always take the work away? When a bid brief is entirely turned on its head, and the client has already agreed to pay one amount, but they’ve entirely changed the work needed for the brief. Who’s going to tell them? The answer is no one, and this can often be caused by their complete lack of understanding of VFX. Or on the other hand they just aren’t willing to pay for what the work is worth. If you refuse to pay for a product’s worth in any other industry, you do not receive the product. Why is it then that big studios think they can throw this whole concept out in VFX? Because someone else can do it, because you are considered replaceable, not as a person even, but as a whole studio. If you aren’t willing to create ant-man 6 on a shoestring budget, someone else will. They prey on an employee’s love for the franchise and a studio’s need to find work.
Moving into tech and away from prod, it becomes apparent that you are now a slave to be driven. Chronic overtime? Check. Passive aggression from stressed out overworked production teams? Check. Every single piece of work appended with - URGENT, NEEDED RIGHT NOW - CHECKMATE.
When you work in an industry that screams fire every time there’s a new ticket, or download, or turnover you start to see that none of it is urgent. No one is coding, no one needs to stress out this much over a tv show or film. And honestly at this point I don’t fucking care how the show ends, because I’ve quit watching.
I (17f) would like to get into babysitting, but online resources are failing me. all babysitter websites require you to be 18 years or older to apply. I'd like babysitting to be a summer job for me, as well as my first "real" job. I haven't worked anywhere else before, save for a few dog sitting jobs I did where I established my own rates, but I only got two customers over a year's time. when I did dog sitting/walking, I made business cards and passed them out to every house in my neighborhood. At the time I was 14, so I limited my clients to those within walking distance of me.
now I am 17, have my driver's license and my own car, and am actively searching for a job so I can start saving up for college ideally. I know that teens usually get paid less for babysitting, but "less" is still generally more than what a lot of "first job" positions near me pay. I'm thinking a minimum of $15 an hour for one kid, and tack on another $5 for each additional child. I am CPR and first aid certified for both adults and kids, so I'm hoping that will give me a boost in qualifications. I can also prepare basic meals (eggs, box Mac and cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, etc) and can learn to prepare things with the children's dietary requirements, and my hours are pretty flexible. my issue is that I don't know where I should start looking for clients. should I post an ad on Facebook for my area? and how would I even go about doing that? as I mentioned previously, the websites that operate in my area don't allow you to apply as a babysitter until you are 18 (I understand why, it's probably an insurance thing). also, I don't know if it's better to put out an ad for myself, or look for someone who posted an ad asking for a babysitter, or both. I could do the business card thing again, but that seems difficult to distribute effectively. I figure, with the internet, people who need a sitter will search for one online, meaning that by posting an ad I can avoid the issue that I would have with business cards, where I might give one to someone who isn't in need of my services.
any advice, especially regarding my rates and where I should start looking for a client, would be appreciated greatly. also, "my area" refers to, generally, the Richmond, VA area and surrounding counties, in case anyone knows of resources that operate in that area that I could use.