Capital crossing apartments in suitland md


2023.06.03 17:17 Proletlariet Spyro

Hold your horns, here comes Spyro!
Spyro the Dragon is, as the name suggests, a young dragon. Over the course of the series, he goes on many adventures. That's basically everything.
This RT only covers the classic timeline, and not The Legend of Spyro or Skylanders.

Dragon Breath

General Strength
Fire Breath
One of Spyro's most notable abilities is breathing fire. Metal enemies are resistant to fire, but can be defeated by charging, while enemies that are too big to be charged can be knocked down with a fire attack (as seen here)
Ice Breath
Originally, Spyro could only breathe frost with a superfreeze powerup, or altering the magic that lets him breathe fire, but in later games he gained the ability to breathe it naturally.
Electric Breath
Originally, Spyro could only use electric breath (also known as "lightning breath") with a powerup, but later gained the ability to breathe it naturally. It's effective on metal enemies and objects
Wind Breath
Spyro has the ability to breathe out powerful gusts of wind.
Water Breath
Spyro has the ability to breath out a spray of water. Unlike his other breath attacks, he cannot injure enemies with this, only push them back

Magic and Equipment

With a fairy's kiss, or another special powerup, Spyro temporarily gains the Superflame ability. This allows him to breathe fire which is more powerful than his regular flame breath. It can either be breathed like normal, or be shot like a projectile, depending on the game.
Spyro can supercharge on special supercharge ramps (or with the help of special gates), allowing for a much faster and more powerful charge. Spyro runs so fast in this form he burns with red, then purple fire, and can smash a type of chest which he is incapable of charging through normally
Wing Shield
Spyro has the power to shield himself with his wings and reflect attacks. It can reflect blunt objects but not piercing attacks
Shadow Amulet
The Shadow Amulet is a powerful artifact which can refine and focus Spyro's magic


Sparx is the dragonfly that follows Spyro, helping and protecting him, usually by collecting gems for him. His color changes depending on his health. He can also point in the direction of nearby gems.






Blunt Force
Swallowing and Spitting


Hockey Skill
Combat Skill
Misc Skill
"I thought that dragons had all been dead for a thousand years, or something."
"Well, the rumors about our extinction were slightly exaggerated."
submitted by Proletlariet to u/Proletlariet [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 17:10 Proletlariet Duke Nukem

It's time to kick ass and chew bubble gum... and I'm all out of gum.

Duke Nukem

The story is simple- hostile aliens are invading earth, and the world is powerless to stop them. Humanity must put its faith in one man, a macho dude with heavy weaponry, foul-mouthed quips, and brass balls to save the day by blasting the shit out of every one of those ugly aliens. That man- that legend- is Duke Nukem. Hail to the king!
In the Duke Nukem Forever tie-in comic, multiple people swap stories about Duke Nukem. While these are heavily implied to be real in-story, these will be marked as [Story]




The Mighty Foot
It's good to be the king.
submitted by Proletlariet to u/Proletlariet [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 17:06 micktalian The Gardens of Deathworlders: A Blooming Love (Part 18)

Part 18 A Delicate Situation (Part 1) (Part 17)

"Aho, Zim, ni je na?" Msko was the first to notice and greet the relatively short, stout, and furry being that just waddled into The Hammer’s Control Center.

"Ah, Administrator Zimuzari, I am honored you could join us." Atxika's eyes quickly shot up from the holographic display being projected from the table she was leaning on and landed on Kyim'ayik colony leader. "Have you had an opportunity to read through the initial report we sent you?"

"Hello there, Mkso, Admiral Atxika. It's…" The reddish-brown ball of fur paused his adorable squeaking, half covered his mouth with one of his paws, and let out such a tremendous yawn that Atxika could see both the massive front incisors as well as the not quite as large, but still impressive, set of canines behind them. "My apologies, I woke up less than half an hour ago. But it is good to see you both, as well as an honor and privilege to join you in your Command Center, Admiral."

"The honor and privilege are mine." Atxika bowed slightly with her pleasant smile still wide. "And I would like to apologize for waking you. It will still be a few days before we arrive at our destination and this strategy meeting could have waited."

"No, no, no, that's alright." Zim quickly replied with his species' high pitch and chirpy version of galactic common while stretching out and flicking his long, shiny whiskers as he approached the military leaders. "I've already gotten about nine hours of sleep. Skipping the last hour or two has killed me yet! And I’d rather get started on this sooner rather than later.”

Admiral Atxika had to put in real effort to prevent herself start cooing at the delightful manner with which Zim made his way over to the holo-table and climbed the stool-like chair designed for his anatomy. The long, wide, and flat tail distinctive of the Kyim'ayik was lifted just off the ground and stretched far back to balance the rest of the being’s body weight while the relatively short hind legs carried him along in an awkward, though comfortable, bipedal gait. With the limited range of motion in the squat, fuzzy man’s leg-like arms as he stretched, it was clear his species was more intended for quadrupedal locomotion. Despite that fact, the posture of the Kyim'ayik Administrator while he walked was far more similar to her own, or a human’s, than what she had remembered from her previous interactions with the species. However, as Zim stretched out his back to its full length, adding good chunk to his overall height, and began climbing the stool so he could have a proper view of holographic display, Atxika was suddenly reminded of a domesticated species of vermin-hunting musteloid from her species’ homeworld that were quite popular pets. Even though she knew this furry little man was a well respected guest on her ship, and a being from an Ascended species, she couldn’t get over how adorable he was.

“I hope you didn’t wake the misses.” Msko commented with a sarcastic tone while shooting the beaver-otter a cheeky wink.

“Nah, that woman could sleep through an atomic detonation.” Hearing the galactic common word for ‘atomic detonation’ be said with such an endearing squeak was pushing the Admiral to the absolute limits of her self control.

“I can have some food and refreshments brought, if you like.” Atxika interjected while doing her best to keep her smile from growing too wide and showing all of her teeth.

“Oh n-” Zim was about to politely decline before Msko interrupted him with a bit too much energy.

“Yes, please!” The War Chief blurted out. “That restaurant Tens took me to in your Amenities Section was amazing! I knew this ship had a huge manufacturing capability, but I didn’t realize you’d have freshly grown food.”

“I’ll have the private command facilities prepare something.” The Admiral quickly replied to ensure that Zim couldn’t refuse. “How does a zetloxoni platter sound?”

“What are-” Zim began to ask before Atxika realized her mistake and explained.

"Zetloxoni are fish fillets, rolled in a semisweet and highly nutrient-rich grain, and occasionally topped with more fish or other ingredients." The Admiral replied while typing into the display to bring up a holographic representation of the sushi-like dish she was describing. "This is what I was thinking."

"That actually looks amazing!" The Kyim'ayik ears suddenly perked up and eyes grew wide with delight.

"Wonderful! It's settled then." Atxika pressed in a few more commands to place the order then tried to redirect the conversation to reason for the meeting. "I find it is often easier to address delicate situations with a clear mind and full stomach."

"Delicate?" The squeaky reply carried a noticeably sarcastic tone as Zim shifted his attention towards the holographic representation of a planet and saucer shaped ship orbiting it. "That looks like Arnehilians. Ain't nothing delicate about the Grays, except maybe their physical forms."

"Well, they're definitely Arnehilians but…" Msko interjected with a hesitant tone that caught his Kyim'ayik friend off guard. "We don't think they're Grays."

There was a second of confused silence as Zim stared into the War Chief's eyes to see if this was a joke. Before Nishnabe could bring himself to explain, however, Atxika chimed in to give the proper explanation.

"What I am about to say is Level 8 classified information from Military Command and should be treated with the appropriate amount of secrecy. Do you understand?" After an incredibly professional and understanding nod from the Administrator, the Admiral continued. "We have confirmed the existence of a non-aligned, neutral-standing collective of decentralized Arnehilian groups who refer to themselves as, quote, 'the Greens', or the Free People of Sundered Arnehil. According to all reports, they are an ecologically-minded, nomadic, agricultural society who regularly travel in such a way as to avoid any means of tracking or detection by their… less peaceful cousins. However, there are a few who regularly check in with Military Command to avoid potential confrontations. There have been no indications that any of their groups discovered so far are violent, nor even capable of galactic standard levels of self-defense."

"I thought those rumors were just misinformation or propaganda." Zim was now much more earnest as gazed upon the holographic saucer floating above the planet. "And you say they're even ecologically-minded?"

"Our drones haven't detected any significant environmental disruptions." Msko sounded far more nonchalant about this situation than his long-time friend was expecting. There was no aggression or anger in his movements as he indicated towards a highlight portion of the holographic planet floating above the table and prompted the display to project a new hologram. "Their settlement is using solar and wind energy to operate their infrastructure and accumulate power reserves. From what we can tell, they're only a week away from finishing their agricultural harvest and two weeks away from their power reserves being fully recharged. If we had been delayed a month, there's a good chance we would have missed them completely."

“What kind of resource impacts would I have to account for?” The Administrator quickly followed up.

“Maybe a couple hundred tons worth of basic elements and organic matter.” It was clear Msko had already scoured everything and couldn’t find any reason to be concerned. “But the drones' sensors can’t detect any real difference between now and six months ago. Like I said, if we were delayed a month, we might not have even known they were ever there.”

"I see…" There was a moment of pause as Zim stared at the highly detailed holographic representation of a temporary settlement located only a couple dozen kilometers from where he had been planning his own colony.

The two military officers remained silent to give the Kyim'ayik Administrator all the time he needed to think about what he had just been told. Each species, without exception, had some unique form of architectural design and aesthetic, and the variety of buildings Zim was looking at were no different. The extensive use of cheap, easy to produce polymers, the simple, module construction, and rounded, nearly circular, aesthetic to all of the building were all clearly Arnehilian. However, there was something humble, almost intentionally so, about the lack of silver-metal detailing combined with the way the structures simply flowed into the untouched trees around them. Rather than a budding slaver-colony run by beings who thought themselves entitled everyone and everything, this looked like the respectfully maintained dwelling of a temporary guest who wished to remain discreet. Though the Administrator knew his duty to his people would normally demand he evict these uninvited squatters from his land, he couldn’t help but feel something almost kindred in what he was seeing.

"Have you made contact with them yet?" Zim flatly asked, though he could already guess the answer. "Do they know we're coming?"

"No and no." Atxika promptly answered, while letting her smile fall into a more professional expression. "Their ship is inactive, seems to be in a state of disrepair, and is currently in a free-floating, low orbit. According to our scans, their ground-based sensor systems are incapable of detecting our reconnaissance drones. However, they would absolutely notice our fleet entering the system."

"Well, we don't wanna scare them." Zim finally squeaked out with a slightly giggle that sounded more like a chirp. "Reptiles always freak out when you startle them."

It had been nine hours of working in the greenhouse when Mayor Harideth noticed the young dark gray-skinned, olive-drab clad messenger running towards him at full speed. Though he had known this young woman her entire life, she was a member of her community after all, he had never seen her running this fast. It wasn't the speed of her approach that made him stop what he was doing, rather it was the unadulterated fear plastered across her face. As Nalhilum sprinted down the path between the vertical hydroponic racks, a few of the Arnehilians in the greenhouse took notice, though didn't stop their work. When the young woman came to a sliding halt just in front of the Mayor, it looked like she was about to keel over from exhaustion and stress.

"My dear, please." Harideth had a genuinely concerned expression on his scaly face as he quickly moved to brace the young woman and prevent her from falling over. "You are too young to give yourself a heart attack running like that. Whatever is happening, you don't need t-"

"Mayor, we've been detected." The dread that came out of Nalhilum's voice and the tears in her eyes as she looked up at her community leader shattered the man's soul.

"Do not fear, Nalhilum, my dear. Please sit and rest. We will be fine. I promise." Harideth helped the young woman slowly lower herself into a seated position, plucked a just-ripe fruit from a vine he had been tending, and handed it to her before turning towards the closest other people in the greenhouse. "Maricha, please see to Nalhilum and ensure she recovers. I am needed in my mayoral duties immediately."

In the few seconds it took for the worker to be at the young woman's side, she had already begun nibbling on the sweet treat, savoring it as this was her last opportunity, and the Mayor had given her a gentle kiss on the forehead then began running out of the greenhouse. Though Harideth felt he had a personal duty to stay at his messenger's side until she had fully recovered and ensured she wouldn't need further assistance, he had a greater duty to his community as a whole. Despite feeling the same fear that he saw in Nalhilum’s eyes, and wanting to ball up and hide with every fiber of his body, he charged as fast as he could towards the town hall building. Though he knew running this fast was not good for his health, especially in his old age and after working all day, the only thing on the Mayor’s mind was the safety and future of the people who trusted him with their lives.

“Please don’t let it be the Oppressors.” Harideth muttered to himself as he ran as fast as his legs could take him. “By the Gods of Old, please don’t let it be them.”

For nearly a millennium now, his people had been free of those who flew the red and gray flag and, despite the many hurdles and setbacks, they had found their own form of happiness. After the Dynastic family who had kept his working-class ancestors in literal chains had been dealt a devastating blow when their capital ship was overrun by a group of abducted, pre-Ascension beings, it sparked a revival of the Free People’s ideology in the slave population. Stories of people living together in mutual aid, love, and respect once only told in hushed whispers were shouted from the rooftops as most of the surviving members of the Dynasty were thrown from them. Once all of the slaves of the other species were freed and on their way back to their respective homes, the budding groups of Greens scattered into the interstellar winds to avoid reprisal from other Dynasties which were sure to want revenge. There was even a dream that they would find other groups of Free Arnehilians living among the stars.

It was a blessing that their rebellion had initially gone unnoticed by the rest of the Arnehilian Dynasties and the greater community as that gave his ancestors time to disperse beyond the ability to be completely tracked down. Even if a few scattered communities eventually met their death or worse, the end of their freedom, there would be some who were able to survive and thrive. Though Harideth had assumed his nomadic village may eventually run into someone, he put a great deal of effort into minimizing that potential. In fact, he chose this very planet as their temporary stopping grounds specifically because it was far out of the way of most civilizations and people. After spending nearly a full season on this beautiful world, he had even started to grow attached to it and was looking for an excuse to postpone their migration in order to facilitate repairs to their ship. Being detected after so long, and with only a few weeks until they would have been ready to leave on their own, was something the Mayor could have never been prepared for.

“Make a hole!” A person wearing a dull green cap shouted down a rather cramped corridor that Harideth was barreling towards at full speed before quickly pulling back and nodding towards the man as he passed.

“Thank you, Chuzikum.” Harideth faintly mouthed while darting past the person and into the now cleared passageway that led outdoors.

Finally outside, the man only slowed his sprint to turn a few corners and avoid running into the few unwary people who had failed to notice him coming. He was less than a hundred meters away from the town hall building housing his destination, the command and control room, and he couldn’t stop now. Regardless of how hard his heart was beating, how much he felt his body overheating from the strain, and how much he wanted to just collapse, he couldn’t fail his people. As the building got closer and closer, Harideth tried to think through all of the possibilities of who it could be that had detected them. Though none of the options that came to his mind were particularly pleasant, from Bendari pirates to Qui’ztar law enforcement or even the Oppressors themselves, he was already trying to work out contingency plans as he finally approached the already open door and his assistant waiting for him beside it.

“Please close the door behind us, Marlati.” Harideth’s request was just barely audible as he crossed the threshold of the door and was quickly followed by his assistant who did as she was asked. “Who is it and what do they want?”

“The communication signal we are receiving registers as the Qui’ztar Third Matriarchy, Mayor Harideth.” Marlati quickly and quietly replied as she followed the man towards the command and control room.

“Oh, thank the Gods.” The Mayor stopped mid step and placed a hand on the wall next to lean and catch his breath for a moment. “This could still be very bad, but it could have also been so much worse.”

“Um, sir?” The Mayor’s assistant watched him with a hint of concern as she could see how much he was overheating. “Would you like me to get you a cooling pack?”

“Oh, no, that’s alright.” Harideth stood back up straight and continued towards his final destination, though a bit slower than before. As he turned back to his assistant, he gave a compassionate nod of approval. “You are too kind, my dear. This is just a…” The man’s voice trailed off as his thoughts began to concentrate on a plan of action.

“A what, sir?” Marlati nervously in a manner which caused the Mayor to look back at her. “I’m sorry sir, but this is the first time this has ever happened in my entire life.”

“First time for me too, Marlati.” Harideth admitted with a hit of nervous laughter. “But I do know enough about the Qui'ztar to not be issuing an immediate emergency evacuation order.”

“That’s not very reassuring.” Though the whine that just came his assistant would have been grating in any other circumstance, she was right and the Mayor knew it.

“That is the name of the game you help some of the children play, something of the magical planets?” Harideth stopped at the door to the room which separated him from his responsibilities as a Mayor.

“Adventures of the Magical Worlds, sir?”

“Yes! I believe there is a moral alignment chart in the rules somewhere.” Though it was clear that his assistant didn’t quite know what he was getting, it became incredibly obvious as he explained. “If I remember correctly, everything I’ve read about the Qui’ztar would put them roughly in the ‘hierarchical neutral’ category.”

“Ah…” The assistance was quite hesitant as she knew what that actually implied. “That still isn’t very reassuring.”

“They’re here to do a job. And as long as we comply and don’t get in their way, we’ll be fine.” The Mayor was doing his best to hold up his mask of confidence and not let this young feel what he felt.

“And what if their job is to kill us?”

“Then they wouldn’t have made their presence known. They would have simply shown up and sent us all to the next life.” However morbid that statement was, it actually did give the Marlati a small sense of real relief in the fact they weren't already dead as the door to the command and control room opened and the pair slowly walked in.

"Sir! Thank the Gods you're here!" A communications specialist shouted from his seat in front of a terminal towards the Mayor as he quickly approached.

"Of course, Telucima, I wouldn’t make you talk to them all by yourself." Harideth tried to crack a joke to the young woman behind the terminal in a vain attempt to calm her obviously flustered nerves. Though Telucima’s dark gray skin was never as shiny as a royal's, her face was especially dull and pale at the moment and the Mayor couldn’t help but empathize with her. “Now, please, give me your report. What do we know?”

“Well…” Telucima made a gulping sound as she swallowed some of the semi-poisonous saliva that had been building up in her mouth as a fear response. “There is a fairly substantial colony fleet headed our way being escorted by the First Independent Fleet of the Third Qui'ztar Matriarchy. They have stated that we are inhabiting an unregistered settlement on a planet that has already been claimed by the Kyim'ayik. However, they have not yet made any demands, claimed our settlement is in violation of any laws, or even made any threats. I am absolutely sure they know who we are, but they didn’t explicitly identify us in their message. I’m not exactly sure what it is going on, but the signal strength and delay indicate they are still a day or two away.”

“Interesting…” The Mayor commented with a more curious than scared tone while rubbing the top of his head in contemplation. “No demands, threats, or attempts to justify the use of force through galactic law… Is there any way we could get a real-time communications link established?”

“Sir? You want to talk to them?” Marlati could barely contain her fear as she interjected. “I thought every species hated us, and you want to talk to them?”

“They hate the bastard Oppressors, Marlati, though maybe not as much as we do.” Harideth knew this would be his one and only chance to make a good impression on what could otherwise be their impending doom and he was doing everything in his power to muster the inner courage needed for this conversation. “They may not know the difference between us and… them… yet. But something tells me they might.”

“Sir,” Telucima had redirected her attention back to her terminal and was running through the system to facilitate the Mayor’s request, “I can establish a quantum link, though it would require me to activate the relay on the ship. If there are any oppressors nearby, there’s a chance they could detect our presence and attempt to use the trace to track us down.”

“Do it.” The Mayor ordered with a tone that implied he knew the risks. “I want to see if these Qui’ztar would be willing to allow us to stay for the few weeks required to complete our harvest. Worst comes to worst, we’ll have to start packing everything up early and delay the repairs for another season.”

The next few moments were nearly silent aside from the sounds of a tapping keyboard and the occasional digitized ping from the terminal. Telucima had begun the task of awakening the ship, configuring the communications channel, and activating the relay through text-based commands on a simple, monochromatic screen, while the other two people clad in simple olive-drab clothing could do nothing but fester in their thoughts. While Harideth was busy planning out how he was going to grovel and beg for permission to finish his people’s desperately needed harvest of fresh food, Marlati was simply doing everything in her power not to shake in fear. When the final confirmation ping came from the terminal and Telucima began pressing her headset tightly to her ears, the faint whispers of a translated voice could be heard.

“Yes I can understand you…" The communications specialist, though lacking much previous experience in speaking with a member of another species, seemed to be focused solely on her job and not her fear. "Oh no, I'm sorry, this terminal doesn't have that function. It's… Yes, I can absolutely do that. Just give me one moment to set up the connection and I'll be right back with you."

In a flash, Telucima had taken off her headset, stood from her console, and was moving to a nearby bag resting on a table, much to the shock of the other Arnehilians. Before either the Mayor or his assistant could question the young woman, she was triumphantly holding up her personal data-tablet and was returning to her seat.

"What-" Harideth began before the young woman cut him off while pulling her tablet into the terminal.

"Ope, sorry about that, sir." The specialist cut off her mayor and began to explain in a rush. "I was speaking to a communications officer and she wanted an audio-visual feed to link to her commanding officer. This terminal doesn't haven't that functionality, but I can just just patch a link through my tablet. It's got a mic and camera and we can use it as the display."

“Good thinking, Telucima.” The Mayor laid a gentle, compassionate hand on the woman’s shoulder after she had placed the tablet at a good angle and sat back into her chair to type in the commands. “I knew you were the right person for this job.”

“It was the communications officer’s idea, sir.” Telucima couldn’t help herself but to be honest regardless of the praise. “I’m just glad there were instructions for this kind of patch in the training manual. It should just take a moment to load.”

When the relatively small screen came to life in front of the Mayor’s face, he saw three faces looking back at him with expectant eyes, and he froze in shock. Though none of the expressions looked out right hostile, he could tell none of those individuals would tolerate anything less than submission. Despite only ever seen descriptions of the being he was now looking at, all three could easily be identified. Even without his tail being visible, the furry, large-toothed person on the right was clearly a Kyim'ayik. The large, mostly-hairless, blue primate with pronounced tusks in the middle was, without a doubt, a Qui'ztar of particularly high rank. However, the not-as-large, similarly hairless, but copper-brown primate on the left was a species Harideth had a special fear, and particular reverence, for.

“Are… Are you a Nishnabe?” Harideth stammered out before even introducing himself or allowing these beings to introduce themselves, which prompted the Qui’ztar and Kyim'ayik to turn to the now confused human.

“Yes…” Msko replied hesitantly. “I take it you are aware of my people?”

“Aware…” Harideth couldn't stop the heartfelt smile from forming across his scaly face. “You… Your people… the Vanquishers of Tyrants, the Bane of Oppressors, the Unstoppable Rage, and the Saviors of the Oppressed… Your people are the reason my people have been blessed with a thousand years of freedom!”
submitted by micktalian to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 16:54 Proletlariet Kamen Rider Ichigo - Main Body

Takeshi Hongo, Kamen Rider Ichigo

"Rider… Henshin!"
♫ Let's Go!!! Rider Kick ♫ - ♫ Kamen Rider no Uta ♫
Takeshi Hongo was a genius biochemist and motorcycle racer working at Johnan University in Tokyo when he was kidnapped by the evil secret organization Shocker. Hongo was transformed into a cyborg intended to serve Shocker as a super soldier in their quest for world dominance. Rebelling against his would-be masters, Hongo takes the moniker of Kamen Rider and vows to fight for justice, a promise that takes him across the world and inspires generations of successors to follow in his footsteps.
Feats will be marked with the source.
Note for scaling: Shocker Combatmen are humans who have been enhanced by Shocker cybernetics, though not to the extent of the elite Shocker cyborgs like Kamen Rider or the various kaijin he fights. The Kamen Rider Official Zukan says that they have several times the physical ability of regular humans.


While superhuman thanks to Shocker's cybernetics, Hongo can't access his full power without transforming.







Original Form

Kamen Rider's original form from early in the series.
Stats Page (Kamen Rider Official Zukan)


Rider Kick







Kamen Rider's upgraded form that he used temporarily, named after the region of Japan it first appeared in. From this form on, Kamen Rider no longer required a wind source to transform and could do so at will.


Rider Double Kick
All performed with Kamen Rider Nigo




New Kamen Rider Ichigo

Kamen Rider's most used and most iconic form, an upgrade over his previous forms.
Stats Page (Kamen Rider Official Zukan)


Rider Kick
Rider Punch
Misc Striking






Combat Skill

Rider Combinations

Kamen Rider can join his power with other Showa Riders to do whatever the plot calls for perform techniques
"As long as evil exists in this world… Kamen Rider will be there to fight for justice!"
submitted by Proletlariet to u/Proletlariet [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 16:50 MjolnirPants Gary and the Nightmare: Part 4

Part 3
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.
The End.
submitted by MjolnirPants to JerryandtheGoddesses [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 16:42 ThatGuyBob0101 You Lose. Part 1 - Pilot

Evan heard a ping on his phone. Huh? Who was messaging him at this hour?
He pressed the power button on his phone, watching through bleary eyes as the screen came to life. It was… an mp4 file. Sent through an unknown caller ID, with no callback number.
Tired, but curious, he hit the play button… seeing himself on screen. The background was pitch black, but he still got the sense that something was moving in it for some reason.
"So, one message to the me of the past?" the Evan on camera asked an offscreen individual. He chuckled. Evan looked at his video counterpart with confusion. Everything was the same. The dark-brown hair, the slim build, the not-quite-a-bowl-cut… There was also a look in his eyes. Of contemplation, deep thought… and despair… Eventually, the Evan in the video turned back to the camera.
"... You lose."
And then the video looped back around to the start.
What... the Hell?
Evan sat up straight in his bed, looking at the video play over again. 'I lose'? What the fuck does that mean??? More importantly, who sent this? He kind of doubted that this was 'me from the future'. A deepfake? Some kind of malware scam? Whatever it was, it felt like he was about to be in for a bumpy fucking ride. Full of calls to the bank, and to his lawyer, if he had to guess.
Evan stood up as he ran through his phone, checking his banking app, email, google accounts, everything. But… nothing seemed out of place.
Except for the bright flash outside.
He turned to look out the window, seeing purple light engulf the entire town of Harmony, and then as much of the surrounding woods as he could see. And, just as soon as it appeared, the light was gone.
As his eyes readjusted, all that remained were thin purple wisps in the distance, and a glowing purple orb, surrounded by a thin disc in the sky.
What the Hell!? What is happening!?
"... Fuck this." Evan walked back to his room with intent, unlocking the gun safe and retrieving his Colt 1911. He didn't have any idea what was going on, and he wasn't leaving his fate to chance.
Maybe the news has something. Almost as an afterthought, he turned the TV on as he hurried to put on clothes.
"- and we are working to figure out the situation as we speak. Whatever you do, do not attempt to leave more than two miles from town, as the barrier is an unknown at the moment of which we cannot discern the properties-..."
The news anchor stopped mid-sentence, looking off to the side. His expression grew horrified. The man took a gulp, turning back to the camera.
"... I've… just received news that the barrier turns anything it comes in contact with into shreds and chunks, before shooting the chunks back from the barrier... Whatever you do, do not approach it. I know you're scared, but we have to figure this out before it's safe to cross. I'll be staying on the news all day as this situation progresses, so keep-... Oh, Jesus Christ, what the fuck is that thing!"
Shrill screams of panic sounded off behind the camera, as the news anchor jumped out of his chair. The sounds of meat and flesh being torn, alongside screams of pain, could be heard out of view, as the anchor tried to run. Before he could even get past the feed, though, a massive abomination just appeared out of nowhere. Three thick, spindly limbs, with muscle taut against the bones of the monster carried it forward with a casual, terrifying gait as its damp, pale skin reflected the set lights. One of two tails, the one that was noticeably shorter than the other, though still long enough to reach almost four yards in front of the creature, shot forward in an instant, stabbing its bony, knife-like protrusion into the news anchor's shoulder and pinning him to the table. The man yelled in pain as red blood stained his gray jacket, before the creature loomed forwards, grabbing him by the chest with one limb and throwing him into the chair. The news anchor was visibly terrified… but alive.
"You, are… mine," the thing ordered, its throat reverberating with each word. As its face lowered into the camera view, Evan got a good look at it. Three eyes, one of which was replaced with a blocky, blue cybernetic, and the other two on the same side of its unnatural face, rested atop its almost crocodilian head. Teeth that seemed almost too thin for such a creature glistened like metal from its jaws as it spoke, turning to the camera.
"... You… all… are… mine…"
Its longer tail fired off behind the camera, sinking into flesh. No screams were heard, as the limp corpse of a woman in casual wear was dragged over the table by the monster's tail.
"Remember, that, as you, report." It sank its fangs into the girl's corpse, before ripping nearly the entire left half of her torso off, and guzzling the torn flesh down its loose, baggy throat. The news anchor looked to be on the edge of vomit as the creature walked off.
... Yeah, fuck that.
Evans began unloading his truck. In the forest, just half a mile away from the wall of the town-encompassing 'dome', (which was the source of that purple 'mist' he had seen from his window) there was a clearing for campsites. It was dark. And far away. Which, in his eyes, made it perfect. He wasn't sure what this thing wanted, or what resources it had at its disposal, but he intended to find out. He checked the mag for his handgun again, still seeing eight rounds loaded. Same as the last time. With a sigh, Evan loaded the mag back in, holstering it before he pulled out a tent from the back of the truck.
As the wireframe came loose… he felt uneasy. Something was wrong. Horribly wrong. There was no noise in the forest. No birds. No wolves. No owls. Nothing. And Evan swore he could feel the ground shaking… more and more each passing second.
Some forgotten reflex kicked in, as he dropped to the floor and scuttled under his truck. He barely got under the carframe in time, as the footsteps that shook the ground grew closer and closer.
As soon as he managed to fully pull underneath the car, the shaking revealed itself to be footsteps, as something launched at the truck at a missile-like speed. It slammed into the chevy's side, nearly tilting the automobile completely over, before giving out a shrill, ear-shattering screech. Evan held his hands to his ears, trying to block out the deafening noise as the monster continued attacking his truck. The sound of claws against metal echoed through the air as Evan saw a brief glimpse of the monster.
It had three bony tails, and a thick coat of feathers on its side. As one claw raked against his car, the creature's other long, lanky arm rested its knuckles on the floor as a third support for a moment, before the creature renewed its assault with both hands. He watched as the door was ripped off of its hinges, and the monster began ripping apart the dash and the passenger's seat. The shredding of pleather was easily audible, as its raptor-like foot grabbed ahold of a tire. It quickly kicked the wheel completely off of its hinges, sending it rolling off into the woods as it hissed out air. The tire seemed to grab the creature's attention, and it sprinted off into the woods after it.
... Jesus Christ…
A.N.:So, trying my hand at an original story again. Going for a horror vibe :P
But, yeah, comment all ideas you have for this story, bc the it's pretty blank at the moment aside from the broad strokes, beginning, and end right now, so any ideas are greatly appreciated!
Also, dw, Life of a Predator, Idiot Aliens, and Survival of the Fittest are all still being worked on!
submitted by ThatGuyBob0101 to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 16:40 ExperienceNeat6037 Is he just being nice or is there more to it?

I [48F] met the man in question [47M] about seven years ago, and I was romantically interested in him at the time. We hung out one-on-one as friends a few times and it was awesome, but he very clearly friend-zoned me by not really responding when I flirted with him. Over the past several years, we’ve run into each other several times, and he’s always been super friendly. He had a long-term relationship in there, but they broke up about two years ago. He hasn’t dated anybody ever since and he says that he’s happy with where he’s at in life and with being single.
A few weeks ago we ran into each other again and talked for several hours, but again, it was just friendly. Then last week we realized we were going to be working in the same city this past week on the same days, staying in hotels three blocks apart, on the same flights to and from. Totally crazy. I invited him to a baseball game and he accepted enthusiastically, but I thought that was the only time we would hang out. We ended up hanging out for several hours all four nights that we were there, through his initiative (dinner and drinks, walking half an hour to and from my hotel, etc.). It was amazing! We just talked and talked, laughed, really bonded, got along so incredibly well, discovered we had so many things in common, similar values. We basically spent all our free time together. He always insisted on walking me to my hotel entrance, or making sure we got dropped off at my hotel first. Always a gentleman, being protective when crossing the street, stuff like that. He always asked me a lot of questions, wanted to know everything about me. He always gave me a great hug at the end of the night, but no real flirting or anything romantic.
After we got home, I wondered (sadly) if it would just go back to not really communicating much and just running into each other whenever. Plus, I thought he would be sick of me that point since we had hung out together for five days in a row (again, all his initiative, and he even wanted to try to sit next to me on the plane). He asked me at our home airport while waiting for my suitcase (he stayed with me until I got into my taxi) what I was doing over the weekend, I told him what I was doing that night – going to see a band we both like – and he said he would swing by to check it out. To be clear, I didn’t invite him, he just volunteered this. And just like he said he would, he showed up last night and we hung out for another few hours. Again, he walked me to my car and just a really nice hug goodbye.
I am thoroughly enjoying this deepening of our friendship, and I have so much fun spending time with him. I have no interest in pushing his boundaries, and if he wants to stay in the friend zone with me, I still consider that a great thing (he’s gotten to know me better in the last five days than the last guy I dated over a year and a half). But I still have a crush on him and I would love for this to turn into something romantic at some point. Does this sound like he’s just being a gentleman and being friendly? Or maybe that he likes me and could possibly be romantically interested?
submitted by ExperienceNeat6037 to AskMenAdvice [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 16:09 gweleif Thirteen game concepts

Today's games repulse me with their copycat, timid and shallow character. Though it seems like there is a variety of concepts flashing around, in practice games revolve around the same half-dozen tropes. Their hallmark sign is that it is nothing that is not seen on TV. If the game's idea is not a reflection of the modern world from someone who, by all appearances, has never read a real book or has experience to share, then it's Pirates in Some Carribean, or the Victorian Age When Jack the Ripper Roamed in a Black Cab, or the Middle Ages with Standard Treachery, or Abstract Space Exploration. I was sick and tired of this a few years ago, now I have all but given up on this art form. Even when the concept is interesting, it is rarely taken far or with force. Neutered developers are afraid to give offense and as a result make bland, short-breathing stuff, but I think the sharp edges are never there to begin with anymore. I don't know anybody who sets out to defy the world, stand apart from its simulations and blandishments and spit a good gob in its ugly square face.
I have never had an opportunity to make a game of my own (it takes a team besides everything else), but I have made mods for a very old RPG for years - new mechanics, plots, magic, quests, effects, scripts, writing and so on. I have more or less put that old engine on its head, though I know hardly anyone will ever find out about my efforts. This is to say that I am not a pure theorist. Some time in the winter, bored and exasperated, I decided to do a quick marathon of game ideas - for RPG, quests, simulations, something in-between - and see how many I can whip out on the run. I would like something from here picked up by a company, but I am not advertising. I realize that is probably not something that might happen. It was a good exercise for me, however. Here are the results for all to see. I did ten first, then three more occurred to me.
1 ) Circa Caotica
You play the role of Jabsh, a clown of a traveling circus, who suddenly discovers that he is no orphan but the son (Raka, daughter for female players) of the director, Maestro Leotardi. Minutes later after making the sobbing confession the boss is swallowed by the Crocodile Man in a suspicious accident. You have to own up to the unexpected legacy and step into the tight and tall boots of the director. Your responsibility is to keep the circus going by fine-tuning and inventing acts based on ideas solicited over regular all-troupe brainstorming sessions despite little starting respect from the others, who have decided to unionize as well (the mentalist takes notes). You must keep drawing in crowds to avert the bankruptcy, earn respect and manipulation points and find the truth behind Leotardi's death and the disappearance of the Big Green cashbox with everyone's last year salary and the medallion that supposedly bears the face of your mother the same evening. All the while you still have to perform in regular clown acts with your partner. You can play as a red clown or a white clown, and the other type will be your foil.
2) Nachtwaffe
"Ah, count. Decided to join me for a walk?" Vampires steal planes from the Nazi airforce to zoom through the dark skies over the Balkans and turn humans to make more of their own. You start out as a single nosferatu, converted from an arrogant German, and must find and raid small airports and landing strips across the forests and mountains of Roumania, impersonate a living officer to get supplies and fuel, avoid communist guerillas, find and build places to hide during the day and choose which humans to turn to expand your force. Naturally, it is all quite a dead end, as the war is bound to finish sooner or later, which radio broadcasts confirm, and what then will happen to the vampiric empire? But this is something that the gameplay begins to convey to the player gradually. Hopefully the fate of someone who has no future but still does his all will touch some dormant strings in players' hearts.
3) Yuck!
The sleepy Tibetan village of Dongtso is unaware of what lurks in the bushes and the mountains: you, the desperately lonely yak-man. Born with a big head and two horns, you have only one connection to civilization: the gold ring in your nose. Squinting cross-eyed, you can just make out some kind of symbols on it, and a banner over the village shrine features ones like them. This must be the key. You have to lurk about the supersititious hamlet, helping the folk at night and out of sight with small chores and evesdropping on their reactions and conversations until you can pick up a few words, including, at some point, "Hello." Since this is a game about Tibet and shaping up something rebellious, let the tongue be one of Tibet's many and accompanied by Tibetan script. You can train to pronounce the words when you dare show yourself to children, old people and widows, to improve from mooing to legible speech, but until then you have to dodge men's hunting parties and survive. With enough good deeds and a few friends, you might win the folk's confidence and stand before the village council so that someone might teach you to read. The quest becomes complicated, however, by the appearance of the army of People's Republic of China that establishes a base in the village in its push to subdue Tibet. The year is 1952. One of the newcomers is a local - a renegade llama who, the villagers say, has been on many supernatural journeys in the mountains, even to Shangri-La, but is now wearing the uniform of Tibet's conquerors. The writing on the ring, deciphered, identifies him as your father. What will happen next?
4) Footlocker
This is a soccer-themed RPG, but you view the sport from the point of view of a bookie besieged on all sides by mafia. To pay back his debt he resolves on a colossal set-up: first get control of an underdog team, then bring them at least to the regional semi-finals and, with the bets in their favor, make them lose in a big way. The thugs are ready to provide cash handouts, leg-breaking, knuckle sandwiches, addictive opioids and more to get the right people on the team and stubborn elements out, but at the cost of increased control and cut of the profits. You must balance their appetities with placating sports authorities, the press, sponsors and police. In the final match a dilemma presents itself: go through with the plan and ruin the team or defy the gangsters and take your chances on the right side of the tracks?
5) And See It Again For the First Time
Starting out from your homeland on three caravels, you unfurl the sails and set out to circumnavigate the world. The globe is randomly generated every time and rolls away at the horizon, with the map, continents and straits unknown beforehand, in the manner of River Raid. Your characters are the three ships and their crews, condition and supplies are their stats. Dropping anchor at strange shores and dealing with natives will be necessary but dangerous as they fight with each other, shuffle and migrate like microbes. Loss of crew can't be repaired. At least one of the ships must find the passages and make it to the fabulous Gate of Makhamedi, enter it from the far side and begin the journey home.
6) The Person and the Essence
In the beginning chapter you play Sauqin, second-in-command to general Varziranga, head of the army of the Arcolan Empire sent to quash the rebellion of Panlaa, who has tried to bring his province to secede. The imperial army has crushed Panlaa'a troops a fortnight ago and has got him shut in the Ravine of the Gold Specks. Complete victory is near, but the commander has been acting strangely since the battle. On this decisive night his behavior spins out of control just as Panlaa makes a sudden sally from his trap, causing great confusion. As his lieutenant, it falls to you to maintain order in dealing with the various officers as well as the clerics of the One, who insist that Panlaa, a lapsed pagan, be given to them for execution once he is captured. The ending of the chapter will determine whether Panlaa ends in the emperor's prison in the capital, Hotharsoom, alive or dead at the clerics' hands, whether Varziranga will be simply demoted or disgraced.
Chapter two will take place in the capital city. You will have been promoted to a top military command for your performance, only to become embroiled in an intrigue involving the emperor's controlling mother, a consequential schism in the church of the One over whether the head of state is eternally the same person reincarnated or a series of persons, demagogues in the public and lurking pagans with unclear motives. Other chapters will follow, and the endings will determine who sits on the throne and who stands behind it, whether state policy is in principle subject to revision and criticism or not and whether the pagan faiths are crushed without mercy or adopted into the church of the One. The material here is Byzantium, Egypt with the notion of the pharaoh as incarnate Horus and the empires of southeast Asia. Some early Christian heresies also deserve to be revivified.
7) Of Rats and Men
You are a rat trapped in the gears of the Trumpet of Doom, the hugest, heaviest and most advanced steam ship ever to paddle the Grumuous Sea. This basin is famously salty enough to let even an iron float for a time, which, the public money finally gathered, made it the perfect road to carry the 25-inch-gunned ("24 + 1 for Paterland!") Trumpet to the shores of Festaly and at last give those Festalians what for! The citizenry is cheering with patriotic joy, the brass bands are blowing. The ship rats are less happy, especially you, who were captain Reissenpouf's pet before you managed to scramble through a porthole and below the desk as he was buttering a toast. You are nearly panicky with fright. Unlike the locals there, you have spent time locked with the diagrams in the captain's safe and know that the battleship is very weakly armored below the waterline. Someone must have made a good bit of business during the construction selling the metal. When the Trumpet comes up against the Festalians with their triton suicides or their rumored counterpart ship, the Rough Musician, not even the Grumuous Sea will keep it from ending up as a gigantic, barnacled wreck on the ocean floor.
To avoid this fate you only have so much time to organize the other rats for systematic sabotage. The game's world is the enormous ship below and above the deck. The humans of the crew are, of course, adamant in their resolve to get themselves killed, so they will repair the servos, the cables turning the massive gears, the ball bearings, the hydraulics and the rest almost as quickly as those are destroyed. This effort will be headed by the near-transparent, monochrome spindle of a man, Admiral Hel, the leader of the expedition, always of his private high deck, sipping his black milk and staring through his spectacles ahead to where TOD's fate awaits it. If all of you ratfolk together gnaw through and spoil enough of the ship's devices, however, the captain might just have the authority to radio Kaiser Walzer of the decision to turn back... though you personally may also have to sneak back into his cabin to sit on his pillow and intone suggestions as he sleeps. The fact that you are an albino rat and at first come across as a crazy visionary doesn't help, and neither does being a female rat and having to give birth to a litter every so often. The current mate can be deputied on tasks while lactating. Other ships may sometimes be encountered in the sea, with different results, and you may improve your reputation in the murine community by predicting these encounters, if you check the looking glass often enough. The length of the game, and hence the difficulty, depends on the distance to Festalian waters - from two weeks' journey to three months.
8) Cosmic Choir
You play as one of the planets of the solar system. The other actors and your partners are the thieving and scurrilous Mercury, the lusty and sly Venus, the militant braggart Mars and so on. And you are the meh-in-the-middle Earth, and in this group of strong personalities stand out with your unique ability of Rational Decision (it would be nice to get Woody Allen for the voice acting, were he younger). Other planets have other powers, and all of them certain characteristics and appetites (for tasty meteorites, for more intimate or more standoffish orbits and so on). The plot revolves around the announcement of the Sun that it has had enough of burning hydrogen and wants to retire, going immediately into the red giant phase, which would, of course, burn up all of the inner planets and kick the outer planets way out. For this the star has recruited a planet-sized asteroid, large enough to pull most of the star fuel away so that the moribund transformation may be set in motion. The euthanatic dark planet is whirring ever closer. Before it gets on a near enough orbit to disrupt the Sun the other planets must find out what caused this sudden depression and persuade their ruler and source of life otherwise. (The answer is that the Sun has always dreamt of going nova but lacks substance.) Playing as the only inhabited planet, you must also keep the life forms on you alive through all of the maneuvering. If you can get Mars to cooperate, however, you may shorten the distance enough for humanity and some of the ecosystems to make the leap and found Musk City there, and then you won't have to care about your surface anymore.
9) Paris, 1245 A.D.
A meticulously researched simulation of the criminal underworld of medieval Paris and the worlds that abutted on it: those of the church, guilds, city watch, the university, lepers, the court and so on. No shortcuts and simplifications for babies who can't tell a Benedictine from a Cistercian. A dynamically filled encyclopedia may be included, though, and remain permanently unlocked for later replays. The main character is a vagrant and a thief. This may be a persistent sandbox, possibly a multiplayer RPG, or it may have a plot, but strictly within historical realities.
10) The Last Supper
You play the role of Jesus, son of God, in the company of the twelve disciples. The game should probably be in first person. (The Sermon of the Mount and such may be shown in cutscenes, or they may be challenges in quiz form.) The time period is your wanderings in Judea after the baptism and until the last night before the arrest. The background is the Judaic society at the time and its Roman controllers, somewhat historically accurate. This is a detective story, a wholldoit where you need to figure out who is best suited to betray you in due time so that you may prep him for the job and finally give him the impetus to "do it quicker" at the Last Supper. For Christ certainly needed someone to betray him. It's not always Judas: the identity of the potential traitor, along with his motives, will vary randomly between playthroughs. Incidents and encounters along the road, both recorded in the Bible and invented, will liven up the experience and better inform you about the personalities of the disciples, building on but going beyond what is known (Peter with his short temper, the lofty John an so on).
11) Cuadrophobia
Ships and the sea again. This time you are a typical sailor with an atypically strong survival instinct on one of the vessels in a colossal game of Battleship between Our Guy and the Other Player. Accordingly, there are two grids firing at each other: your side's and the enemy's, though you only get to travel across your own. The ship you begin on is chosen at random: it may be anything in size from a single-squarer to a five-squarer. Smaller ships are less likely to be hit, of course, but when a ship is finished, it sinks, and you with it. The purpose of the game is to survive until Our Guy's victory, which programmatically is likely but not guaranteed and happens about 70% of the time. To do this you must desert on a regular basis, setting out in a dinghy to a ship more favored in the current situation. However, the dinghy only travels three squares per turn, and you can only spend two turns in the open sea before dying. You also need time on board ships to access their radio broadcasts, which, besides playing some inspirational propaganda, update the picture of the grid as the battle rages. Without it you are limited to paddling to vessels that you can directly see. The role-playing element comes from dealing with ship commanders, who all take their duties and titles - captain of Cruiser! captain of Battleship! - very seriously, from picking up supplies in floating debris and from acquiring special abilities that let you, for example, paddle an extra square farther. Is war evil? Is it to be hated, or is our side to be cheered on? After all, if Our Guy loses, this will all have been in vain.
12) Standardom
In this game of life, dedicated to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), you must pass through all of the Gates of Conformity to win your ultimate prize - death from old age, as opposed to suicide. The option to kill yourself is always available in the menu. Being the hero and chickenshit that you are, though, you are determined to submit to every humiliation just so you can press forward. The world of the game is a vertical platform that moves with you along the Y axis, which represents time from some random year forwards: you may begin at 100 B.C., 1824 A.D., 12749 j-Spec and so on. It is really all the same where on the timeline you are dropped off. As with other platformers, once the screen has moved, there is no going back. You can walk freely to the left and right, however, pick up bonuses, disarm threats and converse with characters. Going up, every so often the screen is intersected by a wall with a gate in it. Your character's silhouette must either match the cut of the gate or be smaller to pass through. You start out small as a baby, a little circle, but very soon handicaps such as Discovery of Talent, Unusual Upbringing, Independent Spirit or Love of Sex will begin to rush at you to complicate your silhouette with Г, & and other such protrusions. You will also grow in size until your late 20s. Luckily, opportunities will also present themselves to prune some of this exotica: Family, Steady Job, Political Engagement, Puppy, Human Interest and other bonuses can be found or obtained from conversations to simplify your puzzle to a manageable cut until such time as the years pile on and the worst is behind you. You will become smaller and smaller and able to rush through the checkpoints one after the other to the finish line.
13) Six Handshakes to Liberty
The country is suffering under a cruel dictatorship. Ar-Parason, the president-for-life, has wrung the last of resources from the nation and has now thrown it into a disastrous war. In his palace he is surrounded by guards armed to the teeth and without a shred of conscience to shoot the bastard. What can you, a humble microbiologist living in the suburbs, do about this? Nothing, it seems, until you discover a strain of bacteria that is absolutely deadly within weeks and immune to all known antibiotics except one, still not fully developed. The microbe is passed along by touch. Alas, you discover it when you become infected with it. You still have the resources to finish the research on the antibiotic and save yourself, but now you realize that you possess the perfect secret weapon to rid the country of the tyrant. Although you can't get so close to Ar-Parason in person, someone must enjoy that intimacy...
Every day you do your research at the computer, look through the press, then put on gloves and go out in search of people in contact with other people who will, you hope, ultimately carry the strain to its target. You have to follow news to figure out whose hands to shake and who to sleep with - secretaries, daughters of generals, corrupt officials - and many times the scheme will fall short of success. The chain of handshakes will terminate early somewhere, and these intermediaries will just die. But all those sacrifices are worth it, aren't they? You keep several intrigues going at once, determined to see one of them to the end. Meanwhile an epidemic is beginning in the country, Ar-Parason is starting to take precautions, and your own remaining time that could be spent on finishing the antibiotic is also running short. What is more important: life, revenge, justice, survival, honor? Your actions will be your decisions.
submitted by gweleif to gamedev [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 16:09 KKshilling The Founder Journey with Brett Adcock ($2.7 Billion IPO)

The Founder Journey with Brett Adcock ($2.7 Billion IPO)

The Founder Journey: Brett Adcock

Building in Public

If you spend any time on Twitter, you’ve probably seen some of Brett’s viral threads:
Plenty of founders “build in public” like this, but Brett may very well be the most successful of them all.
So why would a founder who’s experienced massive success multiple times, and is now building a new startup from 0 → 1 (a time when every second is precious), bother writing detailed and tactical threads on Twitter every week?
When I asked Brett about this, he emphasized how helpful is can be for fundraising (at any stage). If Figure, his new autonomous humanoid robot startup, is successful then he’s “going to need to raise enormous amounts of capital.”
Building in public, or at least building an audience, allows him to get consistent exposure to prospective investors and top-tier talent. In fact, Brett said he’s already hired over a dozen people via Twitter for Figure.
Later on in our chat he hinted that driving positive, founder-led PR (something he’s written about before) was also a factor:
The bottom line is that people want to feel like they’re part of the ideas that change the world, and the founders who embrace that are more likely to build successful startups.

Tough Times

If a startup is successful, it’s easy to look at it through rose-colored glasses. But a founder’s day to day life is typically overrun with problems and trying to solve them:
When I pressed him on this, Brett shared that his mindset was not to dwell or fixate on any particular problems — instead, he just treats each problem (large or small) as something else to figure out and solve.
This is what sets great founders apart. Huge problems don’t phase them. They don’t let their startup get into a “death by a thousand cuts” scenario because they’re aware of and actively fixing even the small problems too.
Keeping yourself at an even keel and not letting the ups and downs sidetrack you from your mission is one of the key founder skills that’s not only hard to teach, but also often not emphasized enough to first-time founders before they start building.

Naming a Company

Take a second and think about the startup with the best name you’ve ever come across. What actually makes it a great name?
Successful founders almost never talk about this. In fact, most I know hate naming things — it’s one of my least favorite things to do too. But there is a science to it that can help make it easier. Brett shared his framework on Twitter earlier this year:
You can break his framework down into these rules:
  1. Be unique in your category
  2. Use words that can turn into verbs
  3. Limit your syllables
  4. Easy to spell
  5. Easy to pronounce
  6. Domain availability
  7. Trademarking availability
When talking with me Brett shared how, with Figure, it’s a word that is:
  • “Easy to say and easy to use”
  • Unique (in robotics)
  • Taps into the idea of a human figure
  • And is simply “just a really cool word”
It’s easy for founders to overlook naming their startups, or a new product — don’t do that. Your brand can become a massive moat (Google vs. Bing, Uber vs. Lyft, Airbnb vs. Vrbo, etc.).
Take every advantage you can — your startup’s name can be one too.

Fundraising Advice

Brett has raised over $1 billion in his career. Given the current macro climate, I asked Brett for his best advice for founders while fundraising:
He advised that founders not neglect the top of their fundraising funnel. Especially early on, before you know what investors will look for from your startup or how they’ll evaluate it (and you, and the market), founders should treat their outreach like “impressions” on social media.
Brett advocates for getting “the story you want to tell” in front of as many people as possible. Track the “impressions”, grow your top of funnel, and see how well (and, more importantly, who / what type of investors) they’re converting through the different steps of the funnel.
When we were fundraising for my last startup, we tracked the following statuses within our fundraising funnel:
  • Investor Identified
  • Intro Identified
  • Intro Made
  • Meeting Scheduled
  • Backchanneling
  • Committed
  • Signed
  • Wired → Remember, you don’t have the money until it’s in the bank!
  • Not a Fit / Passed
Once you’ve identified the types of investors who are moving down the funnel, you can narrow your outreach to find more who fit that mold.
Brett also shared how it is important to understand the mandates and theses that investors have when fundraising. Virtually every fund has verticals and specific sectors that they are looking to invest in. Almost always, your lead investor will be passionate and have a core thesis around your area of focus.

Attacking the Impossible
The number one thing that stands out about Brett’s overarching founder journey across his three companies is that he keeps taking on harder and harder challenges.
First, a software-powered hiring marketplace. Then, electric vertical takeoff aircraft and now, autonomous humanoid robots.
After he sold his first company, Vettery, for $100 million it would’ve been so easy for him to go relax on beaches for the rest of his life. At the very least, most founders don’t choose harder problems after success. Brett’s styled his career in the vein of two founders I have considerable admiration for in this regard — Elon Musk and Travis Kalanick.
When I asked him why he chose this path he said that, for him, being a founder isn’t about money — it’s about making a real difference and better future for the world (but that it’s completely fine if, for someone else, it actually is about the money).
He also compared “hard” startups vs. “easy” ones by saying that “hard” startups (aka hard problems to solve) have advantages:
  • Investors want to back big ideas
  • Hard problems make recruiting great people easier
  • I would also add that you’re likely to have less competition
Overall, Brett said “hard” startups are “2-3x easier to build than easy ideas.”


As startups experience hypergrowth, new challenges emerge at increasingly quick rates. It’s simply impossible to keep up, and relying on the systems you have in place is key.
Brett shared that the best way to solve hypergrowth-related issues, though, is through growth.
“Growth cures all things” — it’s intoxicating for your team and helps overcome or reduce the impact of problems.
He also pointed out that the biggest factor that allowed him to go from 0 employees to 70 in a short time period was the ability to communicate clearly. And that having singular documents, especially around company culture, that are shared clearly with newly joining team members, can make a big difference.
Some more resources -
submitted by KKshilling to buildindia [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 16:08 Ok-Topic1610 Looking forward to seeing delusional friends lives go up in flames

Let me first tell you why one would like to see their friends lives go up in flames. These two people, a genuinely lovely couple, have decided to procreate because the man is of the opinion “that’s what you’re supposed to do now” (they’re in their early thirties) and “I don’t think anyone ACTUALLY wants to have kids, so it’s not so much about wanting kids as it’s a part of life, like a trauma all people share” (like umm no there are millions of people who really LONG for kids and if you think it’s a trauma, maybe you… you know… shouldn’t get kids…?). He also does it “as a sacrifice, unselfishly, for his wife’s sake”. The woman has decided she wants kids partly because she really wants a kid, but also partially because she got burnt out at her job and no longer could live up to the expectations of herself as a business woman and is now looking for a new role in life. She has claimed she finally have understood her true purpose in life and that “all that matters now is being a mother and that is finally her new role”. I see a high risk for this to blow up in both their faces and at first it stressed me out a lot, just seeing them go down this hill. It scared me, seeing how they might potentially be INCREDIBLY unprepared for their parental roles and their expectations being totally off. But now we’ve crossed into a land where I’ve stopped caring if theirs lives turn into a living hell. Like, the mother proposed we go mountain hiking at a time when she would be SEVEN MOTNHS pregnant? Like… she could go into early labor and DIE? They’re talking about how they’ll go traveling and hiking and they normally don’t even travel a lot, and never hikes, so this just feels like a crazy gut reaction to change. They’ve just bought an apartment on the FIFTH floor without an elevator. And they can’t store the stroller at ground floor either, so they’ll be forced to bring the kid and stroller five stories up and down every time they leave the apartment. I mean… I know couples who’ve moved away from apartments on the second floor just because it’s too fucking draining to drag stroller and baby up the stairs everyday. And like 5 stairs? The kid will be four years old before he could climb those himself? It’s just straight up delusional. And they keep saying things like “it’s unnecessary to reflect over what you really want in life” And now they have the balls to tell my CF friend she is unhappy because everyone is getting babies except her? And we’re both very much enjoying our child free lives and plan to continue doing so. My CF friend is unhappy for completely other, unrelated reasons. And she told me, they were just glowing with gloat when she told them she was sad, like it proved their point that her CF life made her unhappy. Then I just felt, you know what, make your choices in life and I hope you’ll be happy with them. But if you’re not? I’ll just watch your life go up in flames from afar. And I will feel literally no pity for you, because you really knowingly walked right into it. Just needed to vent.
submitted by Ok-Topic1610 to childfree [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 16:02 SpaceHotelier What do the underlined parts mean? And also, does the word “price” refers to more than one person?

What do the underlined parts mean? And also, does the word “price” refers to more than one person? submitted by SpaceHotelier to EnglishLearning [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 16:00 botbootybot Using index futures instead of index funds (medium term investing)

I'm planning to sell most of my index fund capital soon to put the money into buying an apartment. But I still wish to keep some passive exposure to the market and not miss out entirely on what I expect to be a bull run for more or less the rest of the year.
My idea is that I'll use a much smaller dollar amount and put it into 2-3X SPX mini futures and hold for at least the rest of the year until I've accumulated more capital from my salary income.
That will give me similar leverage as my current index fund hodings and no fees (except the bid/ask difference when I enter and exit). Obviously I'll lose money faster if I'm wrong on my general prognosis, but are there other downsides to using mini futures in this way?
submitted by botbootybot to investing [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 15:44 Person21323231213242 MMW: If the US intervenes into Mexico (as some American politicians suggest), it will cause a costly, endless war that will result in irreparable damage to the US

TL;DR: The US Intervening into Mexico to defeat the Cartels would spiral out of control very quickly, converting Mexico and quite possibly the Southwestern US into Afghanistan 2.0 for the US military.
There has been rhetoric over the past few months by various right wing politicians in the US that the US should attack the cartels in Mexico, with or without the Mexican government's approval. Politicians like Lindsay Graham, Dan Crenshaw and Marjorie Taylor Greene have floated the idea, and even Presidential candidates like Tim Scott ( ) and Donald Trump ( This is honestly a terrible idea for the US, despite the damage that cartels currently do when it comes to the drug trade. It is like shooting your own leg because of a tick so to speak.
Mexico is an absolutely enormous country, the size of Western Europe, with a population of 126 million people. It also has a geography not too different than Afghanistan, lined with several mountain ranges and many deserts - yet differs with the rainforests of the south. These Mountain ranges consist of most of Mexico's interior, with the coasts and east seeming like the only locations where major tank warfare would be very possible. It is a county that would be an insurgent's dream.
These politicians specifically claim that the US should intervene into Mexico as to defeat the Cartels with or without the help of the Mexican government. I need to mention - the latter is almost certainly true. Despite Mexico's problems most Mexicans are still very proud of their country and very much do not want a US intervention onto their territory, a political consideration that could sink any Mexican government who willingly lets in US troops. So any US intervention into Mexico would also have to deal with the Mexican government, and effectively be an invasion of the country. It would not just be a border operation either - some of the main Cartel hotspots like Mihoacan and Guerrero provinces are further south from the US than Mexico City. Any operation would have to go at least that far into Mexico in order to achieve meaningful success.
Sure, the Mexican Government in Mexico City could be overthrown relatively quickly, if they prove to be an obstacle in any US intervention. They struggle against Cartels alone, and using a naval invasion the US government could take Veracruz (the closest port to Mexico city), and then march onto Mexico City in a relatively short time. The government is fragile enough that it wouldn't survive the loss of the capital. Yet this fragility in and of itself is one of the main reasons why a war in Mexico would be so terrible. Cartels - the very cartels the US would try to destroy in this war - effectively control swathes of the country, and have long experience with asymmetric warfare. With a total Mexican government collapse, they would become warlords fully ruling over their little domains. And this would be when they would be most dangerous. The US couldn't just kill one leader and be done with it, they would have to destroy every single faction to win this war. And if the factions ally to fight the Americans, then that simply means divide and conquer strategy is removed from the table as a means to defeat them.
Due to US blunders the cartels have access to US weapons, and some even have US training ( ). Additionally, Cartels apparently have a history of attempting to corrupt US border agents ( , , ) , an issue which will allow them to blunt the effectiveness of US operations and continue to access guns within the US. Such problems will be greatly worsened if the Cartels experience similar success corrupting US army troops. These problems will make it more difficult for US forces to fight the Mexican Cartels in an open war, as many of them will be able to counter what the US throws at them.
It is very doubtful that the war would remain a US vs Cartel war anyway. A US intervention into Mexico without Mexican government approval would be seen by the Mexican people as a patriotic war of independence, something akin to how Ukrainians feel about the Ukraine war. Non-cartel nationalist militias will almost certainly pop up to fight the US for this very purpose, following in the footsteps of previous Mexican national figures like Pancho Villa and Santa Ana. Given the broader appeal these sorts of groups would have among the Mexican public than cartels, they could even begin to replace the cartels as the US's main enemy in this Mexico War given a few years time. They would not be without international support either. For instance nearby Cuba has a long history of aiding Latin American guerilla forces against US forces/allies (like in Nicaragua, Columbia and Grenada), and has been heavily sanctioned by the US since the 1960s. Additionally, Wagner Group has already been attempting to establish itself in Mexico ( - a war between Mexico and the US would be perfect for them to offer their services, and recruit Mexicans into their organization. Additionally a rebranding of this conflict from an anti-criminal operation to a war of Mexican sovereignty would bring much more sympathy to the Mexicans than to the US,. A new US war in Mexico would be like a second Iraq war when it comes to how badly it would affect US international relations, perhaps even worse.
This war would also likely require the US to intervene in many more countries than just Mexico. Mexican cartels have already expanded their activities to other countries throughout the region. Countries like Ecuador, Guatemala, Columbia, El Salvador and Honduras have been suspect to activities by Mexican cartels, mostly for the sake of controlling the supply chain of resources needed for producing drugs in Mexico. In these countries (especially Ecuador), Mexican drug cartels have coopted local gangs to help with their goals, and use local farmers to produce plants needed for drug production (such as coca needed for cocaine). Even if the US somehow eliminates the cartels from Mexico, they will simply move their base of operation to one of these countries and continue their practices. The US would need to export this war on Mexico to all of the countries where the cartel is active if they would want any chance of creating an end to such a war once it begins.
The US couldn't simply walk away from such a war. The US border has sections of deserts and mountains which are by definition hard to defend. Not to mention that there is already a huge amount of illegal tunnels between the US and Mexico, many of which are operated by the very cartels which the US would be at war with. These connections into the US are already the main way cartels get their guns and sell their drugs after all, so it would not be so difficult to repurpose them for attacks on American soil. With the population of the areas of the US right north of the US-Mexico border being majority latino, the local inhabitants will be virtually indistinguishable from any Mexican insurgents crossing the border into the US to commit attacks. As such it would be easy for operatives to sneak into the US, commit attacks on US towns north of the border, and then melt into the local population (similarly to the tactics used against US troops by insurgents in Iraq). This ability to vanish into the local population has the potential to cause a massive amount of persistent fear for Americans, and worsen the ethnic tensions between white and latino Americans. This war would be more like a larger version of the Israel - Palestine conflict rather than another Afghanistan in the sense that the line between the "warzone" and US territory would quickly blur.
This war would likely only become worse from there. If either the US starts launching reprisals on Mexican communities for insurgent attacks, or right wing American militias launch their own reprisals on American latino communities as purported "vigilante justice" for these insurgent attacks - latino communities (especially those with closer ties to Mexico) within the US could be pushed towards becoming insurgents themselves. This is more likely than it seems, as the US Army has committed massacres against civilians before as retribution for insurgent attacks ( ). This would be similar to what happened with Arab Israelis during the 2021 Israel-Palestine crisis ( ) when large swathes of Arab Israeli youths decided to riot in support of the Palestinian factions. After that point there is no going back, it would mean a true open war between US citizens. That is a pandora's box that would only cause greater harm for the US, and permanently render the Southwestern US a conflict zone. If this scenario comes to pass such a war could last decades - in a similar vein to the Troubles in Northern Ireland. This cannot be understated, no part of the continental US has been a part of a conflict zone since the Mexican civil war of the 1910s. And the permanent alienation of latino americans - a group which now consists of 62 million people out of the US population - would have severe ramifications for the internal security of the United States. It would be a crippling blow which cannot be quickly healed.
This conflict would eat away at the US's status as a world power. Being stuck in a major guerilla war right across the border, and a conflict spilling into the US proper, the US would have to deprioritize its interests elsewhere. As a rule of thumb ( there needs to be 20 soldiers for every thousand inhabitants for an occupation to be successful. For Mexico alone with its 126 million strong population, that means 2.52 million troops are needed for a successful occupation (to say nothing of the other countries which the Mexican Cartels would use as bases against the US, or the factor that the Southern US would experience spillover from the conflict). The US does not even have that many active troops, so they would have to cut corners like they did in Iraq (perhaps bringing the 2.52 million number down to 500,000 to at least create a semblance of a functional occupation). Overall this would leave the US much weaker on the geopolitical stage, and allow for US opponents to fill in the vacuum left by US power. For example, with so many troops tied up in Mexico, the US would need to rely a lot more on their fleet in order to defend Taiwan against China in the case of a Chinese invasion of that island, as the US simply would not have enough soldiers to fight the Chinese PLA on the ground. And the sheer expense needed to deal with a war in Mexico and insurgents within US borders would force the US to consider a considerable drawdown of their military support for allies like Ukraine.
If either Donald Trump or Tim Scott becomes president in 2024 (with Trump being the nearly guaranteed Republican nominee, given DeSantis's floundering), this war could very well become a reality. It could very well begin before 2026 - though I predict that this war could be started at any point between 2025 and 2028 if one of those candidates were to win the US presidency If this does happen, I highly doubt that the war will end anytime soon after it begins. Especially with the geopolitical destabilization of the Southwestern US, it would create challenges for the US which would harm its position across the world and greatly weaken its internal stability. Any candidate or person who considers this idea should reconsider it.
submitted by Person21323231213242 to MarkMyWords [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 15:40 Rude_Pudding2565 Reached a major milestone 5 Cr

I have been working for 13 years and this week crossed a major milestone.
I am from a middle class family with no inheritance. My father worked in a bank. I got good education and graduated from a premier institution. I was always conservative and spend cautiously from childhood.
Once I landed my job, in 2009. I always used to save approximately 50-60%. Now it is close to 75%.
I am married with wife and two kids, and a dependent mother.
For the first 6 years, I was mostly parking money in FDs in my father’s bank. When my dad passed away, I started managing my money. I would like to thank Freefincal and Asan Ideas for Wealth Facebook group for being the teachers.
I bought a home without loan, when I had sold my company stocks. Since this is the home I am going to stay, I don’t count it under net worth.
Asset Allocation
Indian Equity: 37 (Index and PPFAS Flexi) US Equity: 15 Debt: 30 Real Estate (Rented Apartment): 10 Gold (SGB + Physical): 5 Crypto: 1 Startup Seed: 2
Term Insurance: 1 Cr and 4 Cr two policies Health Insurance: 10L base and 90L super top up
I am estimating my expenses to be at 2L per month for a conservative estimate, assuming children education and other non trivial expenses. So, I am at 20X now. I would convince myself that I am FI, when I hit 30-40X.
I have been working at startups and spend 10-12 hours on work daily, so retirement plan would be to move to a part time role or move to an MNC. Then spend more time with family with reduced urgency at work.
I have a decent debt allocation, but will increase my equity allocation to 60 over next few years.
submitted by Rude_Pudding2565 to FIREIndia [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 15:19 Bellz13 I can actually hear this in Git’em’s voice

I can actually hear this in Git’em’s voice submitted by Bellz13 to tesdcares [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 15:06 msmith_thekid Sauna Club (Part 4)

Sorry for the delay. Time’s become one of the many things in my life that I can no longer keep a firm handle on.
It’s been what? Maybe a fortnight since that first Sauna Club.
A week after that was the whirlwind of events that changed my life beyond recognition.
The day that Andy went missing & the night in which I came so close…so damn close to saving Jen’s life.
All I wanted to do was lose a bit of weight…and now I have. I’ve nearly shed everything in my life that was weighing me down.
After today you won’t be hearing from me again.
I’m truly sorry.
The morning after Jen died I woke up in a state of shock. Standing up I had to peel myself from the bedsheets. My back was a mess of burst blisters and pustulated skin. The rest of my body was pink all over except my feet. They were black…The soles looked like dried lava, charred to a crisp but with dark red veins cutting through. And for how hideously burned I looked I was freezing. My teeth wouldn’t stop chattering.
“Look at you” I’d wheezed at my reflection. Even my voice was wrecked. That world had stolen everything from me. But it didn’t matter. I’d get it back.
I called my wife and told her that I’d just tested positive for Covid.
“You sound terrible Mike” She’d said with a sigh, but she didn’t really care.
“I feel terrible. Maybe you should stay away a few days until I’m in the clear?”
“You sure?” feigning sympathy…her trademark.
“Yeah…I’ll be fine. Call you when I’m on the mend.” I hung up then. The first time in my life I’d ever cut her off. I didn’t really care what she had to say any more. My heart beat for someone else now. Only Lydia and I understood the truth of this world, and that strange world beyond. I’d made her a promise. I was going to finish my sauna and together we’d go back.
I spent the rest of that day googling, watching youtube videos and chatting with strangers on reddit about how to put the finishing touches to my sauna.
The next day I left my house for the hardware store.
I hadn’t realised how much people would stare…gasp even when they saw the ruins of my skin. At least I was finally losing weight though. Nothing fit any more. The steam in that world was washing me away. I didn’t care. Soon I’d have Lydia by my side and then what would anyone else’s judgement matter.
Finishing the sauna took the best part of a week. I’ve never been a practical guy. In that week I heard more from Lydia than my wife. She checked in daily to see how I was getting on and when we’d be ready to return to that world of fire and fate.
I insulated the small wooden shed as best I could so that it would contain the heat and smoke, built a small fire bin to contain the coals, bought a bucket for the water, 2 small benches and a sand timer for the wall. I roughly laydown paving and put in a grate for drainage.
It wasn’t much to look at, but it would do the job. For days I soaked the wood until the whole thing was saturated enough not to go up in flames with us inside the moment I sparked the coals.
And then last night I text Lydia to say we were good to go.
An hour or so later she arrived. For a moment she stood on the doorstep staring at me and I had no idea what she was thinking. It wasn’t the same face of shock and disgust that everyone else gave me now but…something else…Something that makes more sense now.
She was changed too.
She had been so bloodied the last time we left the Sauna. Bleeding from a hundred scratches all over. She had healed but the scars were everywhere. She was no longer the perfect blond gym girl I’d met two weeks ago…she was better…she was mine.
I knew that it was cheating the first time I laid eyes on her, the first time she’d touched my leg. What difference would it make if we fucked in my marital bed? So we did.
As we lay there afterwards I traced my fingers along the scars on her perfect body and wished that it was her I’d married…her that was pregnant…carrying MY baby.
It was then we heard the car pull up on the driveway. My wife was home.
“I’ll meet you out there” I said calmly. Lydia nodded and left the bedroom making her way towards my sauna. I wanted my wife to catch her in the kitchen…to see her naked body and KNOW that both of us could fuck up this marriage if we wanted to.
But Lydia managed to slip out of the house just as my wife arrived.
“Mike?” she whispered tentatively in the kitchen “Whose car is that?”
“I’ve got a friend round. We’re trying out the sauna.”
“What? You don’t have-” she flicked the kitchen light on and gasped as she caught sight of my face.
“WHAT THE FUCK?” She screamed. The state of my burnt swollen face bringing tears to her eyes, whatever love she still had left for me draining away. That was fine. Whatever love I had for her had died on the backseat of my car.
I looked at her swollen bump and knew we were finished.
“I’ll tell you tomorrow. I’m busy now” I said coldly and I could see my words rattled her. She didn’t recognise me any more. I hardly recognised myself.
“What happened?“ she kept repeating and I just shrugged.
“Go to bed.” For the first time in my life she actually listened to me. She slipped away into the dark of our room and closed the bedroom door. Too scared and disgusted to be around me any longer.
I took off my robe and followed Lydia out into the garden. If she was worried about the state of my DIY sauna she didn’t say anything. She didn’t say anything at all. We both knew why we were here and what had to happen next.
Spin the sand timer.
A ladle for each of us.
And then the smoke engulfed us. I was surprised at how well this small hotbox shed was working. In the back of my mind I thought that maybe the magic wouldn’t follow us here. That maybe I’d missed a step or that maybe the whole thing would just go up in flames.
But it worked.
I was alone travelling through that thin film of white heat that separated our world from the sauna place. Perhaps that was the nature of the ritual: That it has worked for so many people throughout the centuries if you have the fire in you and believe.
As I waited for the smoke to clear I tried to hold in my mind why I was coming to this dangerous world once more.
For Lydia – to find out what kept her coming back here again and again and what it was that was tearing apart her body.
For Andy – to find out what had happened to him and why he now seemed to belong to this place.
For myself – To steal something, anything…some divine knowledge from this place as vengeance for Jen. And get away with it.
The smoke cleared and I knew we’d arrived. It was different though, in all the ways I thought it would be. Just like the Sauna in the gym had become a warped reflection of itself, so had my DIY shed. The only difference was the door to the outside world. There was no poolside view, no horrible visions of those watchers and their nets, just the sound of a ruined world rushing by and screams. So many screams. Through them all I could hear the voice of Jen.
‘HELP…PLEASE HELP MIKE. THEY’RE HURTING ME.’ Her old voice cried endlessly. This place had already tricked me once I turned my back to the door.
Lydia was already several steps up and about to leave.
“Lydia wait” I wanted to stop her so we could come up with a plan for how we would manage this visit “I want to help you.”
Lydia gave me a weird smile that I couldn’t read and with a shrug she disappeared into one of the corridors.
“Wait!” I called again and followed her up a few steps not knowing why she would just leave like that…
I could feel again how different this place was. The gym steps had been hot but still had a smooth varnish finish. These steps were rough and splintered. I starred into the corridor and gulped. Remembering what had happened last time I faced this gauntlet alone. There was no sign of Lydia and the corridor was dark but I set off anyway. I’d found Jen, I could find Lydia.
The tunnel twisted and turned, with more tributaries than last time, more maze like. Stairs leading up and down, passages to crawl through or clamber over, tight spaces to squeeze into and long painful drops.
The passage forked and forked and forked and at each junction I had to guess at the right direction but in truth I was lost and all the while the steams grew thicker around me, until it was like I was wading through them.
Then I heard the sound.
A sort of rhythmic creaking and groaning and a woman gasping. I realised that it was coming from the passage parallel to me. Like how Andy had helped me before…
The sound grew louder and then multiplied. Another groan coming from below me…and then another to the right.
I pushed my face the slats and tried to peer through to see the cause of the noise but in my heart I already knew. I knew that groan and that voice…and I’m man enough to know the tell-tale sound of creaky springs and a rickety bedframe.
It was my wife.
And when I peered through the gap I could see myself and her wrapped up in each others arms. Some how on the other side of this wall was my bedroom at university and I was seeing into the past. I was seeing the first time the two of us had sex. It was drunk and fumbling but even then I’d known she was special.
I moved to the other side of the room and through the slats saw a different past. Our honeymoon suit and the sex we’d had there.
I pulled away, confused why the mists were showing me this… things I already knew to be true. Below my feet I could hear more sounds, more groans more pleasure…but less familiar to me. Sounds of enjoyment that I’d never made my wife elicit. I ducked down into the swirling mists that had gathered around my waist and crawled on my belly across the wooden floor. I pressed my eye down to the slat, dangerously close to the splinters and peered until I could see the shapes writhing.
My wife and…
My brother. The two of them pounding away in my bedroom. In my bed.
I wrenched away, unable to watch it, gasping…and as I gasped I felt hot white tendrils of smoke crawl down my throat.
There were so many new sounds to hear…all across the floor before me…more pockets of sound and I couldn’t help myself. I crawled on, listening at each new noise and then seeking out the shape of the next man who would make me a cuckold.
My wife and her boss.
My wife and a man I’d never seen before.
Another stranger
And another.
Each time I gasped…each time sucked in more white heat.
I stood up gasping for air. If these visions were true…how many other men had my wife slept with? I’d known in my heart for a while that the child she was carrying wasn’t mine but…I thought always thought that in this place I might find out who the father was and have satisfaction in that…have revenge with that knowledge but…
Did she even know? In her nights out in the town, night after night she made a joke of me. A joke of our vows.
Did she even care who the father was, so long as it wasn’t me! How little satisfaction did I give her that she would fuck ANYONE.
I wretched and thin coil of steam coiled out of my mouth and into the world.
How long had I been here? Breathing in these mists.
This place was getting inside me.
Clouding my judgement.
This room had broken my heart and given me no satisfaction…Only more doubt, more betrayal, more confusion…more resolve to find Lydia. To save Lydia and start my future anew with her.
I pushed on blindly down tunnel after tunnel, hell bent on finding her before the time ran out.
“MIKE!” Lydia’s voice screaming, loud, hurt and close by.
“Keep calling Lydia…I’m coming. I’ll find you”
She did “Mike, Mike, Mike” as rhythmic as the groans of my cheating wife. Finally I turned a corner and found her.
Lydia lay with her back against the wall of a terracotta chamber. The sight of room not made of wood took me aback.
I ran to her.
Deep gashes covered her body, like something had sliced deep into her arms and legs and across her stomach. I couldn’t bear to look but I knew that the gauges were dangerously deep. Lydia was bleeding more than a human body could take.
“What happened!” My eyes tried to take in the room quickly looking for the source of the danger, seeking out an attacker in the darkness. My brain remembering what Lydia had said the first time we’d come here. “Every maze has its minotaurs.”
“My brother Mike…I came here to get him back.” Lydia spoke slowly, her words slurred and woozy.
“Where is he?” I cradled her, not knowing which gash to try to stem.
“Dead…he died so young…my piece of shit dad…” the thoughts tumbled out of her mouth erratically “But I can get him back…I just need to…feed the flames…”. Lydia raised an arm to point at a large black pit in the middle of the room.
I’d ignored it at first, taking it for just another one of the sauna’s coal pits, but this one seemed different. Set into the stone work of the floor and surrounded by a selection of craftman’s tools: pliers, hammers, blades, tongs, scalpels, ancient looking drills. Rudimental but efficient and delicately laid out on a piece of linen.
This was a Smiths room, and in the centre was the furnace. The coals inside blazed but they weren’t black…they were a crimson red, and they throbbed like organs…and they seemed to be swimming in a small pool of-
I heard a crack and then I felt the pain that belonged to it and collapsed to the floor.
I looked down and saw that my knee was no longer where it should be.
Lydia had a mallet in her hand that I’d some how missed before and with a violent twist she had stroke me across the leg. Now she was trying to push herself to standing above me.
“But I can’t give the fire all the ingredients it needs…not alone…I’ve been feeding it blood…every time…but…I can’t give it my bones…my skin…my eyes…I can’t give it that and still be there to love him…to love him in all the ways that SOME ONE SHOULD HAVE” Lydia screamed and the words echoed down the corridor.
Her body shook with the exertion and every time her muscles clenched a fresh squirt of blood oozed from her wounds. There was a mad glint in her eyes
I understood now.
I understood why someone as beautiful as her had been showing an interest in a fat idiot like me. She’d just been fattening me up for the slaughter.
She didn’t love me. Just like my wife…I was just another useful stooge to her.
For a moment I lay there, waiting for the mallet to come down on my head…I thought about just rolling over and letting the fire pit have me. At least in death I could be useful to someone. At least Lydia would get her brother back…
Then a fury rolled across me, a rage I never knew I had inside. Like all the mists I’d swallowed were bubbling up inside me and I decided then that I didn’t want to die.
Not yet.
“Fuck you.” I grabbed the nearest implement to me and flung it at Lydias head as hard as I could. The pliers caught her in the temple with a hard crack and I watched her teeter backwards towards the furnace. She caught her balance on the very edge and as she wobbled I saw a long dribble of blood cascade from the cuts in her arms and into the fire pit. The cloud of red mist exploded into the room curls of crimson smoke snaked their way upwards like tentacles.
Standing was harder than I’d anticipated with my knee on the wrong side of my leg, but I had no choice. Not if I wanted to live. Leaning hard against the wall I stumbled away as quickly as I could. Back out into the corridors and away through the maze, with no mind on getting back just getting away!
I paused when I reached the first crossroads. Breathing hard and checking behind me to see if Lydia was following but there was no sign of her.
I leaned against a wall trying to catch my breath and wondered if there was a way I could set my knee.
The blade entered my back and I don’t know how deep it travelled before I realised what was happening. I peeled myself off the skewer and turned around. Through the slats in the wall I could make out Lydia on the other side. She had stabbed through the partition with a long ceremonial blade.
“Come back to the room Mike. I can fuck you while you die?”
I blinked in disbelief and pain, trying to work out whether she had already killed me…
“It was going to be Sak…that fucking himbo…but he went and killed himself before I could” Lydia let out a weird little giggle. “So it’ll just have to be you…come on Mike…Look at you…you’ve got plenty of body to spare…do something good for once in your life and die…die so my brother can live.” Lydia plunged the sword again through the slats as hard and fast as she could and the tip buried itself in my gut. Shallow, but enough to hurt.
The sword was long and could reach me through the wall. I had to run.
This time Lydia was following. Alternating between screaming and laughing. Matching me step for step on the other side of the wall. Periodically she would thrust the sword again, opening up a new nick on my body, but her aim was bad. Neither of us could move quickly…both of us were bloodied and hurt as we moved down the corridors.
I thanked the stars for this small wall between us but was already wondering what I’d do if these corridors merged? If I rounded a corner and found myself face to face with the girl I had once loved…who had now become the very minotaur I’d most feared. Could I kill her before she killed me? Did I have that in me…
The corridor forked the other way and my relief was immeasurable. I ran and found Lydia’s voice growing fainter away from me. I ran, ignoring the grating sensation in my leg and the blood pumping out of my back.
I ran until I found myself back in the chamber where this all began. I ran so quickly that I couldn’t stop myself. I stepped out and realised that there was nothing below my foot apart from a cavernous drop down to the stone floor below. A bone breaking drop that would have proved fatal were in not for the arm that grabbed me.
I dangled for a moment…one foot out over the abyss before the person pulled me backwards.
Before I could thank my saviour I heard Lydia’s voice again and my blood froze.
“Please Mike…no one will ever love you like I do…Who else would want to fuck that flabby burnt body of yours…please? Let’s be broken together…” Lydias voice fluttered down from the end of the tunnel and I realised she had caught up with me.
Her body came exploding out of the mists as she charged at me like a bull…the ceremonial blade outstretched and ready to run me through.
I was too tired to save my life any more but again the hand pulled me backwards in the nick of time.
The sword carved through the spot where I had been standing moments before, followed by Lydia…her momentum carrying her over the edge. I could see the shock on her face as she realised there was no more floor and then she fell. Down past the arena like steps on all sides…a drop that there was no surviving. Her head bounced on the penultimate step and her spine curved around until she kicked herself in the face and then the jumbled mess that had once been Lydia crashed to the floor.
The crunch was terrible, even from up here.
I peered out over the ledge at the ruined remains of Lydia’s once perfect body.
“Muh…Mi…ke…mmmm…Miiiii….Mike. Mike…Muh” the sound drifted up…as her mouth moved and the remnant of her brain tried to make a final thought. Her limbs were contorted at impossible angles, bones poking through the skin, a shattered wreck. It seemed cruel that the universe would so thoroughly break something that had once been so beautiful. Lydia was now a twitching blob, just waiting for death to take her.
And it did.
As I watched the door to the sauna opened and in walked one of those cloaked watchers. The sight of them struck a fear in me. I didn’t realise they could come in here…I had thought that this world would keep us safe from them…but it had no interest in me.
The watcher entered, hand in hand with a small boy…a child no older than 5 years old…with the same sandy blonde hair and mousey features as his sister.
The boy looked up at me for a moment and the same look of mad hatred that Lydia had given me crossed his little features. Then his hand made contact with the coal pit and he was gone. Back to the living world. Lydia had got what she’d always wanted…but it had cost her everything.
The watcher scooped up her decimated body, her mouth still uselessly trying to make words, her eyes desperately roaming around the room…still not certain that she was dead.
The watcher took her all the same. Out and away through that exit that didn’t belong to us…out into a sandstorm of red winds beyond…and then the door closed and Lydia was no more.
Andy touched me gently on the arm and with a sad nod began to climb up and away.
I watched him go…I hadn’t seen him properly in a fortnight, but he looked so different.
Older. Less sinewy…and more barrel like. Somehow more…stately. There was no mistaking that it was Andy, but he was no longer the retiree that took care of his body…he had someone how become one of the sad ailing old men who spend their lives basting themselves and cooking in a…
He looked like a roman emperor
“Are you coming?” He said in a voice that had changed as well. The cheeky fun all gone and replaced with a strange solemnity.
“Coming where?”
“Up” Andy smiled.
“What’s up there?” I asked dumbly.
“A group of men…much like me…we sit and chat…and watch the world go by. But we really see it Mike. We see it all…this world, and more…their pasts, presents and futures…we sit at the top of the sauna and we pass our judgements and where we can…we help.” Andy looked at me sadly “we try our best. You’ve lost so much Mike…so much weight…there’s barely anything tethering you down any more…you’ve done well. There’s a seat up there for you. If you want it.”
I stood. Not knowing what to do or say…I tried to picture the summit. The top of this upside down pyramid of steps and the committee of fat old men who sat there.
A group of men who had stepped out of time to stare down into the mists below and see the world go by. A ring of men with wrinkled skin and withered dicks.
Is that what I wanted to become?
“Can I think about it?”
“Of course.” Andy smiled “you know where to find us.” And up he went…away into the darkness.
I went back down, down to the coals even though the timer had long since run out.
I touched the coals and found myself in my home DIY sauna again…the walls and ceiling on fire…Lydias corpse on the floor, burning away gently, and clutched in her hand that long ceremonial blade, beginning to glow red.
I left quickly and closed the door behind me.
Smoke billowed into the night air as my Sauna turned into a bonfire.
And now I’m here. Letting you know how all this ends.
I think I’ve got another few more moments before my little sauna collapses…enough time to spin a timer one last time, pour a ladle on what remains of the coal pit and get back to that other world…
I’ve been on the bottom of life for so long…just another one of you fucking losers and I’ve had enough. I’m going to join the men who sit at the top…those men who sit in judgement on all things…
But before I go back I’m going to pass judgement here. My unfaithful wife is still asleep in the room next door and now… she’ll never wake…her nor the bastard inside her.
I’ll have my revenge on her for…and all the women who tried to take from me.
Lydia’s ceremonial sword is still hot on my lap…I’ll wake her just before I do it. I want to see the look in her eyes.
All I wanted to do was lose a bit of weight…and she’s the last thing to go.
submitted by msmith_thekid to nosleep [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 15:05 echopath Dive trip report: Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Palau

Over the last six months, I’ve been in Asia (and the Pacific) bouncing around as part of a larger trip, but diving being a huge emphasis, accumulating around 200 dives during this period. I’m leaving some of my dive log notes and thoughts of each place since it would probably help people in planning which hotspots to go to within this region and how they compare to each other.
For additional context, I went into this trip having around 200 dives, mostly in the Caribbean and Red Sea, with a little bit of SEA experience.
I know it personally was difficult when doing research, especially when pretty much all of these are described as “wOrLd cLaSs” or “bEsT iN tHe wOrLd” to some varying degree (spoiler: not everything is IMO).
I personally dive because of reef health and fish life, so my notes are written with a heavy bias towards that. I acknowledge that bias so obviously places that only have a big muck / macro presence will be rated lower on here.
A-tier and above is a place I’d gladly go back to and dive again. I’d also recommend these places where you should make plans to travel here or go out of your way specifically to dive.
B-tier and above is good. Maybe not incredibly mindblowing but still good and worth doing nonetheless. But there are some flaws that keep it from being superb.
C-tier is mediocre. I could maybe find a few bright spots, but I didn’t find diving here to be particularly great or terrible at the same time. Just average. I wouldn’t make trips to dive these places specifically. I might recommend diving them if they overlap with some better stuff higher on in the list, but they’re skippable.
D to F-tier is just bad. Very little things to enjoy if at all. Avoid.
  • Raja Ampat, Alor
  • Komodo, Palau
  • Nusa Penida, Apo Island
  • Richelieu Rock, Kimud Shoal (sharks)
  • Gato Island
  • Balicasag, Pamilican, Sipadan, Sogod Bay
  • Kapalai, Hin Daeng / Hin Muang
  • Panglao, Malapascua (local diving)
  • Surin Islands, Mabul, Koh Bida, Dauin
  • Similan Islands
  • Koh Haa


Sipadan, Mabul, Kapalai (15 dives)
Reef life:
Dive sites:
Overall: Sipadan B, Kapalai B-, Mabul C


Raja Ampat (20 dives)
Reef life
Dive sites:
Overall: S
Nusa Penida (15 dives)
Reef life:
Dive sites:
Overall: A
Komodo (30 dives)
Reef life:
Dive sites:
Overall: A+
Alor (25 dives)
Reef life:
Dive sites:
Overall: S

Palau (25 dives)

Reef Life:
Dive sites:
Overall: A+


Andaman Sea (30 dives)
Reef life:
Dive sites:
Overall: Similans D, Surins C, Richelieu Rock A-, Hin Daeng / Muang B-, Koh Bida C, Koh Haa F
Anyway, feel free to AMA. No pics because I mostly record in video, and I'm too lazy to edit something together for now. Plus anyone can make any dive site look good with select shots.
submitted by echopath to scuba [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 14:50 influxinfotechagra Golden Triangle Tour 4 Days: A Journey to the Heart of India

India is a land of diversity, culture and history. It is a country that offers something for everyone, from the majestic Himalayas to the serene backwaters, from the vibrant cities to the tranquil villages, from the ancient temples to the modern skyscrapers. But if you want to experience the essence of India in a short span of time, there is no better option than the Golden Triangle Tour 4 Days.
The Golden Triangle Tour 5 Days is a popular itinerary that covers three of the most iconic destinations in India: Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. These three cities form a triangle on the map and showcase the rich heritage, architecture and art of India. Whether you are a history buff, a culture lover or an adventure seeker, you will find something to suit your taste and interest in this tour.
Delhi: The Capital of India
The tour begins in Delhi, the capital of India and a city that has witnessed the rise and fall of many empires. Delhi is a melting pot of cultures, religions and cuisines. It is a city that offers a contrast of old and new, where you can explore the historic monuments like Red Fort, Qutub Minar, Humayun’s Tomb and Jama Masjid, as well as the modern attractions like Lotus Temple, Akshardham Temple, India Gate and Rashtrapati Bhavan. You can also enjoy the shopping, nightlife and street food of Delhi in places like Chandni Chowk, Connaught Place, Hauz Khas Village and Karol Bagh.
Agra: The City of Love
The next stop on the tour is Agra, the city of love and home to one of the seven wonders of the world: Taj Mahal. This white marble mausoleum was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal and is a symbol of eternal love and beauty. You can admire the stunning architecture and craftsmanship of this monument at sunrise or sunset and feel the romance in the air. Apart from Taj Mahal, you can also visit other attractions in Agra like Agra Fort, Itmad-ud-Daulah’s Tomb, Mehtab Bagh and Fatehpur Sikri.
Jaipur: The Pink City
The final destination on the tour is Jaipur, the pink city and the capital of Rajasthan. Jaipur is a city that reflects the royal and colorful culture of Rajasthan. It is a city that boasts of magnificent forts, palaces, gardens and markets. You can visit the famous landmarks like Amber Fort, Hawa Mahal, City Palace, Jantar Mantar and Nahargarh Fort and marvel at their grandeur and elegance. You can also experience the local lifestyle and cuisine of Jaipur in places like Bapu Bazaar, Johari Bazaar, Chokhi Dhani and Laxmi Mishthan Bhandar.
The Golden Triangle Tour 6 Days is a perfect way to discover the best of India in a short time. It is a tour that will leave you with unforgettable memories and impressions of this incredible country. So what are you waiting for? Book your tour today and get ready for an amazing journey to the heart of India.
submitted by influxinfotechagra to u/influxinfotechagra [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 14:37 whoareuhenwkxhejd My friend cheated on her boyfriend from Chechnya

I am Ukrainian and my friend is Russian, let’s pretend her name is Maria. We study in the UK together and decided to go to Turkey for holidays. As we have exams now, we decided to have a lot of fun. I registered on Russian website for dating to find some guys to hang out together. We found one guy, let’s call him Carl, who was really hot and I liked him. He liked me back… Then, we decided to meet on the beach next to our apartment and just chill. He said that he would be with his friend, e.g. Tom. We bought some beer, brought a speaker, listened to music and chatted. As everybody knows, beer makes you wanna pee very badly so guys suggested going to their apartment and chill there. That was the moment when we fucked up. When we came, we went to the balcony, smoked cigarettes and drank some vodka with energy drink. That was really fun obviously but when you drink vodka with energy drink you can’t taste vodka so you can’t realize that you’re drunk till a certain point. After a while, I noticed that Maria and Tom disappeared ( btw Maria had boyfriend from Chechnya and Tom was also half-Chechen). I sincerely believed that Maria and Tom were just playing cards or smth like that and, what is more, I was really drunk and focused on Carl. Me and Carl went to the living room and sat on the sofa. Then, we started kissing. In like 10 minutes, Maria and Tom turned up (as I realised later, they were in the bedroom, also kissing…) Me and Carl moved to the bedroom and continued kissing which smoothly transformed into petting. After 10 minutes, we again swapped the rooms lol. Finally, me and Carl came to bedroom and had sex. After that, we all gathered at the balcony and started sharing what happened. Maria gave Tom a head… We started making jokes about that situation. But, honestly, Maria was really scared, not only because of her boyfriend but also missed calls from her dad who we both stayed at. It was already dawn, like 5 am. Finally, we came back home at 7:30 am. We had never come home so quietly before. Maria’s dad was already asleep and we fell asleep too. Fortunately, he wasn’t too cross but still we felt embarrassed. I think we will never forget this night, especially Maria, because I still remind her of that
submitted by whoareuhenwkxhejd to u/whoareuhenwkxhejd [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 14:35 Orphan-Prince What if Finn & Kol survived (TVD) part 1

What if Finn & Kol survived (TVD) part 1
Considering on the thread suggesting these What If ideas, Kol’s got the most upvotes, while more comments requested Finn, so, I decided to mix the two together, having both Finn and Kol survive their altercations with the Mystic Falls Gang (as they should have). Rather than leaping straight into TO, we’ll start with the changes to TVD with Finn alive and the difference with Kol’s altercation with Elena & Jeremy.
Finn and Sage enjoy a nice date at the Grille, Sage convinces Finn to choose life and promises to teach him to enjoy life as a vampire, Finn smiles and nods, Matt delivers their shots and Sage asks if Finn has ever had tequila, he chuckles and shakes his head, citing that he hasn’t drunken it before. He takes his shot, licks the salt from his wrist and sucks on the lime, asking Sage if she’s happy and expresses his awe for the evolution of mankind.
Finn expresses disgust when he finds out that Sage turned Troy, stating that he turned her because he loved her, Sage chuckles and says that she’s in enemy territory, claiming that she did so for precaution and expresses her distrust in Klaus and Rebekah. As she says this she grabs Matt’s wrist and asks for more shots. She tells Finn that passion overcoming morals is considered living life, Finn gives a small laugh and nods, willing to learn from Sage, they give a cheers to “living life”. When they get their drinks from their waitress they find out it was laced in vervain, they spot Stefan leaving and smirking at them, in anger they follow him out.
Stefan goes to stake Finn, Sage quickly springs into action and grabs Stefan’s wrist, she snaps it and tosses him to the side without effort. Stefan drops the stake and it falls down the stairs, Finn looks from Stefan to Sage as she shouts at him to get the stake, Finn nods and as he goes to get it Stefan attempts to rush at Finn, but Sage grabs Stefan by his throat and lifts him off of his feet, glaring daggers at him. Finn rushes down the stairs after the stake, getting to the bottom in less than a second, as he makes it to the bottom of the steps the door swings open just as he grabs the stake, Elena points the crossbow at him.
“Do you expect to scare me with that crude little toy?” The Original asks in a bored tone.
Elena doesn’t answer and shoots the crossbow, though, Finn easily catches the stake and tosses it to the side, giving an irritated look towards Elena, Matt goes to rush at Finn to stab him with the White Oak stake that he held, though, Finn easily grabs Matt’s hand and breaks his wrist, causing Matt to drop the stake, Finn kicks him in the chest, sending him flying back and against the brick wall, he groans as Elena shoots a panicked look at Stefan, she grabs onto the stake and goes to stab Finn with it, though, before she can Finn backhands Elena, knocking her to the floor, she keeps a firm grip on the stake and tries to stab him in the leg, Finn takes a step back.
As he does, Matt jumps on his back, trying to hold him for Elena to stab him, Elena catches her bearings, though just as she goes to stab Finn, the Original flings Matt off of his back and onto the floor, as Elena raises the stake over her head to stab Finn, he slaps her hand aside and backhands her to the floor, knocking her out, the stake sliding across the floor when she was knocked down.
Finn turns his attention to Matt as he goes for the stake. Finn steps on Matt’s hand right before he can grab onto the stake, the sounds of bones snapping and joints popping being heard, the jock looks up at the Original with wide eyes, a fearful look on his face. Finn smirks and looks towards Stefan as Sage drops him, Stefan falling to his hands and knees.
“Are we done? My mercy only extends so far, stop now and I shall let you live.” Finn says as he stares at Stefan. “Yield, and Sage nor I will take action against any of you for this attempt on my life.” The Original offers.
“Try it again, and we’ll kill all of you.” Sage adds as she glares down at Stefan, the young vampire gulps and nods, accepting their offer, he cautiously walks down the stairs, holding his hands up the entire time until he reaches Elena, he scoops the unconscious doppelgänger into his arms and glances down at Matt, Finn gives a pressing look and stares at Stefan. He releases Matt, grabs the other stake and stuffs both into his jacket before he walks towards Stefan, threatening that he will not be so merciful next time, he walks towards Sage, leaving Stefan and Matt to contemplate their defeat and breathe a sigh of relief that Finn spared their life.
Finn pauses at the top of the steps and glances down at Stefan. “My siblings will not be as lenient as me, I would not suggest trying to kill them, if you value your lives that is.” Finn says before he and Sage leaves.
Sage and Finn wait until he is delinked from his siblings, Finn expresses how little he can wait to leave the city that was the birthplace of all his pain and sorrow. Klaus sarcastically tells Finn how much he will miss his dear older brother, Finn snorts and tells Klaus to use his hollow charms elsewhere, putting his foot down on leaving. Klaus merely shrugs and wishes Finn luck, telling him he has much to catch up on in a joking tone, though, there is some sincerity in his words.
Finn stares at Klaus, clenching his teeth.
“Don’t act like you care now, brother. You left me there, in that coffin for 900 years….. cold and alone, trapped endlessly in that black horizon.” Finn says before walking out with Sage. Klaus is visibly confused by Finn’s statement, not understanding what he meant by the “black horizon”.
It was meant to be a slumber, Klaus found himself saying in his mind. You can see him trying to piece it together, that he wanted to ask Finn more. He knew that he could drag Finn back and force him to tell him more, but he ultimately decided to let Finn leave. He had little use for him now, and having Finn around would kill all the fun, or at least that’s what Klaus was telling himself.
Sage asks Finn what he meant as they walk to her car, but Finn tells her he’d rather not talk about it, that he hadn’t meant to say so much.
Soon after Esther is killed by Alaric, Rebekah calls Finn to tell him the news, he asks her why she is telling him this, but she merely responds with “I thought you should know. If you want, you can come and say your goodbyes.”
Finn sighs and looks to Sage, telling her what happened, and mentioning that he wants to go back to Mystic Falls, that he wants to see the body for himself. Initially, Sage tries to talk Finn out of it, but he is adamant so she acquiesces and gets the keys to her car. The duo departed quickly after packing the basic necessities. Upon getting in the car, Finn asks why they can’t just run there, that they are much faster than the vehicle and can get to that “dreadful city” in minutes. Sage responds that cars are useful and have their perks, such as holding their things. Mentioning that she will go to Mystic Falls with him, but that they are driving there.
Once the couple arrived in Mystic Falls, they were quickly stopped by Rebekah standing in the road. Sage swore under her breath as she slammed her foot on the brake, swerving slightly as to avoid hitting Rebekah. She knew that being hit by her car wouldn’t hurt Rebekah, it would certainly damage her car. The car barely missed Rebekah, nearly hitting the sidewalk, but Sage managed to stop it.
Sage swiftly left the car, followed by Finn, ready to give Rebekah a piece of her mind. But she paused as she saw what seemed to be a flicker of fear in her eyes. Finn seemed to have noticed as well as he gently pushed past Sage, standing in front of her, staring at his sister.
“What is it?” Finn asked, turning his head ever so slightly, taking a few steps forward.
“Finn, we need to get Klaus and leave.” Rebekah said softly, confusing Finn and Sage both.
“I refuse, first, tell me what’s going on.” Finn demanded.
Rebekah gulped, explaining what happened at the school and what happened with Alaric, calling him “too strong”. Finn looked confused, pointing out that Alaric should be dead, Rebekah corrected him, causing Sage to pipe up, asking just how strong.
“As strong as us, maybe stronger. That’s not what scares me the most, brother. I stabbed him with White Oak.”
“And?” Sage pushed. “If you stabbed him with White Oak, he should be dead.”
“That’s the problem! He was immune!” Rebekah argued, shocking both Finn and Sage.
“So, you're saying, we’re dealing with a vampire with the power of an Original that is immune to White Oak?” Finn asked, trying to make sure he was hearing what he thought he was. Rebekah meekly nodded.
Finn glanced at Sage before looking back to Rebekah with a sigh. “Then mother truly plans on killing us all even after death.”
“So, she didn’t tell you?” Rebekah asked, Finn shook his head.
“I only knew of the linking and my sacrifice. I knew nothing of this.” Finn steps forward. “Get Niklaus, we’re leaving.” Finn said in a serious tone, Rebekah asking them to come with her, Sage asking if Alaric has a daylight ring, something that Rebekah confirms he does not.
Sage, with a sigh tells Rebekah to get into the car, which she does, the three driving to the manor house that Klaus was in, the three entering together, going to Klaus. Rebekah, of course, stood in the front.
The conversation with Klaus remains mostly the same, Rebekah explains to him the situation, explains Alaric and how White Oak couldn’t kill him, that he was too strong, Klaus showing annoyance, but acquiesced, stating that they will leave, but he needs to collect Elena first, claiming that he’s making an army to protect them. Rebekah argues that they’ll protect each other. To this, Klaus looks at Finn, asking if they would truly protect each other in a backhanded tone.
Finn takes a step forward. “You have never once given me reason to wish to protect either of you.” Finn said coldly, he looked at Rebekah. “I’m willing to defend her, she came to me for help. But I will not stay and help you with your greed.”
Klaus steps towards Finn, getting in his face, but Finn doesn’t back down, he glares at Klaus. Rebekah gets between them, frustratingly saying that now is not the time for family squabbles. Klaus tells them that he is not leaving with Elena. Finn and Rebekah both look at each other.
“We’re leaving now. You could either walk out that door with us or you are on your own.” Rebekah warned, causing Klaus to look at them, seeing that Finn is willing to defend Rebekah, but is quick to dismiss him. Rebekah shakes her head at Klaus’s silence, telling him to trust his hybrids over his family.
Finn shakes his head at Klaus one last time before leaving with Rebekah, Sage following close behind, choosing to remain silent during the exchange, knowing that whilst Finn and Rebekah would be able to hold their own for some time and may even be able to win if they worked together, she would instantly be killed.
Later that night when Rebekah gets a call that seemingly came from Damon, she goes to Finn, requesting his help in moving Klaus’s body, Finn at first is confused but Rebekah explains that Bonnie must have done the heart stopping spell on Klaus, Finn nods apathetically, mentioning that Klaus earned some time in the box. She asks him again, stating that she had no intention of feeding Klaus blood, just moving him somewhere safe while Alaric is still alive.
After some convincing, Finn agrees to go with her. Telling her that when they get Klaus, they’re leaving. Finn offers to allow Rebekah to leave with him and Sage, elaborating that he wouldn’t want to see her murdered despite their strained relationship, explaining that he now sees the joy of living. Rebekah tells him she’ll think about it and they set off, leaving Sage behind. Finn implores Sage to leave if she does not hear from him in two hours.
As the duo enter the storage Rebekah begins calling for Damon as Finn trailed behind her, gazing around curiously, this being his first time in such a place. So many places to store things, his mind wandered to how many things must be there. Getting tired of waiting Finn sighs.
“Let us just tear this place apart and find him.” Finn said in an annoyed tone. He swiftly looked over as Rebekah was grabbed and dragged to the side, spotting Damon holding her. The much younger vampire motioned for him to follow, which Finn does. Damon tells the two where Klaus’ body is and asks for their help in moving him.
As the siblings and Damon attempt to move the coffin containing Klaus to the truck, Finn and Rebekah on either side and Damon at the back, Alaric suddenly appears in front of them, catching the trio off guard. Alaric grabs Rebekah, flinging her into the side of the car, the force of the impact sending him flying back stunning her. Damon dashes at Alaric only to get kicked back. Finn looked conflicted for only a moment before his eyes narrowed.
(Considering Finn fought for Elijah in TO while they were on less than good terms, I’m certain that he’d do the same for Klaus here.)
The eldest brother rushed Alaric, grabbing him by his jacket and threw him back, standing in front of the coffin for a mere moment and quickly following on the assault before Alaric could fully recover, being the first Original to have an actual fight against Alaric. Alaric jumps up, hitting Finn, stunning him and sending him stumbling back, Finn follows with another hit, sending Alaric back, he follows through with three more punches and a kick, Finn goes for another strike, but his wrist is grabbed and snapped, he is flung to the side but lands on his hands and knees, quickly gathering himself. Alaric moves to Klaus, but Finn intercepts, tackling Alaric, sending them both tumbling to the ground Finn places his hands on Alaric’s face, attempting to break his neck as Alaric holds onto Finn’s wrists, the two struggling for a few seconds before Alaric wins, pushing Finn off.
Rebekah attempts to rush in, to help Finn as Alaric kicks him in the side, sending him flying.
Finn shouts at Rebekah and Damon to get Klaus into the car as he rises, he and Alaric have a brief fight, it’s clear that Alaric is more powerful than Finn but not by an absurd amount, showing difficulty in fighting him. The eldest Mikaelson brother mainly sidestepping and parrying and throwing a few blows here and there, trying to avoid being hit as much as possible, just as Rebekah and Damon puts Klaus in the back of the truck, Rebekah announces it, telling Finn to hurry, Finn turns his head to make sure, this small distraction allows Alaric to snap Finn’s neck and toss him to the side, the Original slowly looking towards Rebekah and Damon.
Alaric rushes Rebekah, grabbing her by the back of her jacket, flinging her back, she lands next to Finn as Alaric boots Damon.
Alaric quickly drags the coffin out and opens it, Klaus staring up at him as Rebekah gets to her feet. She goes to rush at Alaric, but is too late, the hunter stabs Klaus in the heart before tearing the stake out and slamming the coffin shut, Damon leaps in front of Rebekah before holding onto the distraught Original.
Alaric sighs and fully turns to Rebekah, pointing the stake at her. “Next.” He said coldly.
Damon pushes Rebekah back, urging her to run. Without hesitation, Rebekah rushes to Finn, grabbing onto her unconscious brother and rushing off as fast as she could. Damon rushes at Alaric in a bid to buy Rebekah some time to escape with Finn but is instantly shoved to the side before Alaric himself rushes after the siblings.
When Finn wakes he is leaned against Rebekah, the blonde holding him up. His vision is blurry but quickly recovers, he sees Elijah and rubs his head, moving away from the teary eyed Rebekah. He asks what happened as Elijah gives a concerned look. Tears fell from Rebekah’s eyes as she spoke.
“He’s gone, there was nothing I could do to stop it. Finn, Finn tried but… Alaric defeated him… He… Nik’s gone.”
Finn sighs as Rebekah speaks, turning to the side he looks down, despite his hatred, Finn couldn’t help but feel a bit of sorrow for Klaus’s death, though was nowhere near as distraught as Rebekah and Elijah. He looked over as Rebekah and Elijah embraced, Finn glanced around as Rebekah and Elijah spoke, speaking of Klaus’s bloodline.
“It won’t take long, he’ll be behind us.” Finn looked over to his siblings. “We need to leave. Niklaus is dead, we’ll be next, the longer we remain, the longer we are in danger.”
Elijah and Rebekah look at him, as if they just remembered he was there.
“We need to flee. I’m going to, I recommend you do the same. He is no stronger than Niklaus, but without a way to kill him fighting him is futile.”
Finn doesn’t wait for either sibling to answer him and speeds off, going back to where he stayed with Sage. Finn doesn’t explain much to Sage other than “we need to leave”, the duo getting into the car and leaving Mystic Falls in quick order while Rebekah runs Elena and Matt off the road.
The initial conversation between Kol and Elena remains the same, Elena denouncing her search for Silas if it means putting everyone she loves in danger. Kol saying he’ll consider her request before going on his way, realizing that Elena was planning something, he returns, saying that their request was denied. Elena slams the door in his face and he kicks it down.
As Kol searches the downstairs of the home, he calls Klaus, alerting him to what was happening and threatening to chop off Jeremy’s arm, kill Elena, then hunt him, hanging up he looks up, spotting Elena with a crossbow. He glares at her as she shoots and effortlessly catches the bolt before it touches his leg. Looking up, he spots Elena missing. Throwing the bolt down he goes upstairs.
Kol listens carefully, listening for any noise and smirks when he hears the moving of a dresser. In a mere moment he appears at the door opening it and placing his hand on it as Elena tries to slam the dresser against it. Try as she might, Kol’s hand never moved, he never struggles against her strength. With one swift push of his hand, Kol slams the door open, knocking the wooden dresser and Elena back, causing her to fall to the floor. As he steps inside, Elena speeds off, locking each door behind her.
Kol follows, kicking down the door in front of him before punching through the door to the room Jeremy and Elena were in. Jeremy shoots at him, Kol catching the stake.
“Missed.” Jeremy shoots again, and Kol catches the second stake. “Missed again!” Elena shoots at Kol, hitting him in the chest a few times, screaming at Jeremy to run before he flings one of the stakes at her, hitting her shoulder, causing her to fall to the floor, tearing it out.
Kol ignores Elena, choosing to chase after Jeremy, swiftly intercepting him, hitting him in the face just hard enough to daze him before shoving him down the stairs. He goes to follow, but Elena jumps on his back, prompting him to fling her and turn around to grab her by the throat, shoving her into the wall. He tears out one of the wooden pillars under the stair rail and stabs a struggling Elena into the wall. He leans in and smirks as she gasps.
“Be a good girl and wait here, I'm not going to kill you, Elena. Death would be too easy for you, you'll have to live with the consequences of trying to awaken Silas." He smirks and twists the makeshift stake.
He turns away from Elena and smirks as he goes to Jeremy, hopping down the stairs and dragging him down. He ties him to the table and muses about how he’ll heal Jeremy right up and apologizes for the sting. He raises the cleaver over his head and goes to slam it down onto Jeremy’s arm before he is jumped by Elena, she pushes the cleaver down, causing Kol to inadvertently cut Jeremy’s right arm free.
With a sigh of frustration, Kol grabs Elena by the throat and rams the cleaver into her shoulder before kicking her in the gut, sending her flying back, turning around, he backhands Jeremy to the floor, kicking him in the gut several times, stopping only when Elena jumps on his back, wrapping her arms around his throat and legs around his waist. Kol tries to fling her off of him, but she manages to hold on, With a growl he backs up against a wall, slamming Elena against it until her grip loosens, when it does he flings her over his shoulder, knocking the breath out of her. He snaps his head over as he hears his brother's voice, shouting at Jeremy to invite him in. With hesitation and a nod, Jeremy invites Klaus in. Kol turns his full focus to Klaus as Elena and Jeremy get out of the way, watching as Klaus steps inside.
“You should have just behaved yourself.” Klaus said in a mocking tone before rushing Kol as fast as he could, fast enough to where Elena couldn’t even see him until he had Kol pressed against the counter, holding him by his jacket. “But now I’ll have to punish you, put you back in a box!”
Kol glared at Klaus as he slapped his hands away, grabbing Klaus by his jacket and tossing him back, causing him to land hard on the ground and slide back, Klaus catching a glimpse of the White Oak stake in his inside jacket pocket. Kol goes to follow up on his assault, but the moment he got to Klaus, his brother was already on his feet and uppercutted Kol hard enough to send him flying back, slamming through the table with a groan, breaking it in half and splintering the wood, as Klaus rushed back at Kol, in an attempt to lift him and continue his attack, Kol lifted his foot in time, kicking Klaus back, giving himself enough time to get to his feet.
Kol sped towards Klaus, grabbing him by his jacket, he lifted him, punched him in the gut and headbutted him. Though, his hands were quickly slapped away and Klaus kicked him in the chest, sending him flying back. Klaus quickly followed, grabbing Kol by his coat and flinging him to the side, causing him to land against the couch, knocking it over. Elena gasping and grabbing onto Jeremy, scurrying away.
Klaus follows as Kol gets up, the hybrid goes to punch him, though Kol parries, Klaus follows up with another punch and Kol blocks, taking the opportunity to grab Klaus’s arm and fling him into the wall, knocking him through it and to the feet of the Gilberts.
Klaus growls as he rises to his feet, his eyes turning yellow, veins bulging and growing underneath them, Kol rushing towards him. He goes to punch Klaus, his eyes returning to normal, the hybrid dodges, hitting Kol in the stomach before hitting him in the chest open palmed, knocking Kol back slightly, while Kol is stunned, Klaus uses every ounce of his speed to get to Kol taking the stake from his jacket pocket. Kol recovers and instantly slaps it out of Klaus’s hand as his brother is distracted, the stake clattering to the floor, landing in front of Jeremy who quickly takes it, hiding it in the back of his pants.
Kol follows this up with a few punches to the face and chest, all connecting, though Klaus quickly turns the tables, hitting Kol in the face, sending him stumbling back. He follows his assault, kicking Kol in the chest, Kol goes to punch Klaus, but his hand is knocked to the side and Klaus grabs him by his throat, pushing him against a wall, Klaus swiftly pulls the dagger from his jacket pocket and goes to stab Kol, but his younger brother manages to grab his wrist with one hand and place his hand onto Klaus’s chest with the other, doing his best to keep Klaus at bay.
Kol manages to begin pushing Klaus back, but Klaus keeps his grip on the dagger, continuously trying to push it forward. Eventually, Klaus places his left hand over his right, pushing the dagger with more effort, forcing Kol to apply more effort, Klaus inching the dagger closer and closer, yet, at times Kol manages to push it back slightly. It’s clear that Klaus has the advantage in strength as Kol visibly struggles to keep it at bay.
Elena, spotting the struggle, glances towards the table Kol crashed through and spots a broken table leg. She swiftly speeds towards it, picking it up before speeding back to Klaus and Kol. While the Original was distracted, Elena jammed the makeshift stake into his side, causing Kol to yell out in pain, turning to face Elena. Causing him to falter just enough for Klaus to take advantage and push the dagger into his heart. Kol lets out a shout of pain, looking at Klaus, his lip twitching in anger, his eyes narrowed as he begins turning grey, his grip weakens on Klaus’ wrist and chest until he falls limp and his arms fall to his side.
“You poor fool.” Klaus softly says as Kol falls against him, gently sliding down, his head against Klaus’s chest, Klaus holding him up from his underarms. Neither Elena nor Klaus notice Jeremy inching closer with the White Oak stake. Klaus notices at the last moment when Jeremy went to stake Kol, he manages to push Kol to the side, saving his brothers life, taking the hit instead, Jeremy ramming the stake into Klaus’s lower gut, causing him shout in pain and shove Jeremy hard enough to send him flying, taking the stake out he held it to the side.
The rest of the scene goes on mostly like in canon, Klaus angrily speaking to the duo, pointing out that Kol never would have gotten inside had they not set a trap for him. Though, it differs when Klaus threatens to kill them, instead of threatening to burn the house down and kill them when they flee, he instead threatens to rip them apart and leave pieces of them artfully arranged around Mystic Falls.
When Bonnie attacks, she uses her magic to first knock the stake out of Klaus’s hand before crippling him, making him scream in pain. It goes as it does in canon, Klaus chasing them around before being locked in the living room, Kol laying on his side in the kitchen. Jeremy takes the stake and goes to kill Kol, but is stopped by Elena when Klaus begins screaming threats, the trio leaving the home and the rest going as it did in canon.
TO Season 1
Rebekah brings Hayley through the secret passages of the plantation until they reach three coffins, two of which are covered in dust while one is clean, she keeps her gaze on that one, asking if Klaus killed Elijah, Rebekah calls Hayley a “silly girl” and explains that when they inevitably disappoint Klaus, he daggers them. She nods towards a coffin and opens it, showing Kol’s body with the silver dagger in his chest.
Hayley asks what Kol did and Rebekah explains it as she stared down at his body.
“He was daggered quite recently, in fact. See, we found a cure to vampirism, and he found out that getting it risks awakening a being named Silas. Kol knew who Silas was where the rest of us did not. He grew paranoid, tried to stop us. Klaus daggered him when he tried to destroy the map. Turns out, he was right, Silas was more powerful than we could have imagined.”
“So, if that coffin is yours.” Hayley points at a dusty coffin. “And that one, Kol’s. Who does he put in the third coffin?”
“That one belongs to my brother Finn. Luckily for him, Klaus allowed him freedom. However long that may last. For now, he’s somewhere in Europe with his lover Sage. I always hated that bitch.” Rebekah lets out a sigh as she turns to the werewolf, closing the coffin, leaving the room with Hayley, the latter looking back at the coffin.
Later that day, Hayley returns to the room that Rebekah showed her, searching for and collecting the daggers, figuring out that they were under Rebekah’s coffin. She glances over to the coffin that held Kol, pondering until she finally walks over, opening it, she stared down at him, tucking the other daggers into her pants she grabbed onto the hilt of the dagger in Kol’s chest, breathing in she yanks it out and stares at him, figuring that removing the dagger would awaken him, not expecting how dangerous Kol truly is, believing him to be a safe guard like Elijah and Rebekah. Figuring that waking him up would annoy Klaus, she wanted to do something against Klaus after him choking her, and stealing his daggers and awakening the only remaining sibling that she could reach sounded like a good idea at the time.
With a sigh, she leaves the room, meeting Rebekah on the front porch, she sits next to her, thanking her for what she did in the house. Rebekah smiles and tells her that “us girls have to stick together”. Hayley smiles and pulls the daggers out, showing them to Rebekah. Her eyes widen as she counted them, realizing that they were all there.
All she could reply with was. “Kol…”
Klaus sat in his room with a cup of bourbon in his hand, he faced one of his paintings, contemplating the baby. He sighed as he heard someone enter the room, believing it to be Rebekah, he spoke.
“I’ve already told you, if you don’t like my plan, you know where the door is. Marcel has Elijah, that won’t change until my plan is through.”
“Gave Elijah to Marcellus, huh?”
Klaus immediately stood once he heard the voice, snapping around, he faced Kol.
“You must be desperate, brother.” Kol commented as he walked forward, he cocked his head at the wide eyed expression. “I take it you weren’t the one who woke me?” Kol asked, turning to the side, pouring himself a glass of bourbon. “How long has it been this time? 50 years? A century?”
“Kol…” Klaus uttered before gaining his composure.
Kol smirked as he turned to face his brother. “Now, what is this diabolical plan of yours?” He asked, curious as to why Klaus was moving against Marcel, despite his anger at the moment, Kol couldn’t pass up on the chance to mess with or even harm Marcel without being shoved back in a box.
Klaus speaks up, explaining his plan to Kol, telling him what he told Hayley and Rebekah. Unlike Rebekah, Klaus knows that Kol has some serious bad blood with Marcel, knowing that he’d have a much easier time convincing him to help sabotage Marcel despite what he did, convinced that having him help with Marcel would distract Kol from his anger with him. Klaus smirks as he walks towards his brother, placing his hand on Kol’s shoulder.
“Now, brother. Will you help me?”
Kol pauses, rubbing his face. “A baby?” Kol asked, turning away from Klaus.
“Loophole in nature if you believe the French Quarter Coven.” Klaus said in a dismissive tone. “You're the one obsessed with magic, what do you think?” He asked, genuinely interested in what Kol had to say.
“It’s certainly possible.” Kol muttered. “Half werewolf, half vampire. I hadn’t thought about it until now. Conceiving a child could theoretically be possible, although incredibly unlikely.” He said, thinking deeply.
“I’m still rather cross with you.” Kol said, turning back to Klaus, pointing at him. “I will find a way to get you back-”
“Enough with the threats.” Klaus said with a chuckle. “Lest you end up back in a box.”
Kol gritted his teeth, crossing his arms and glared at Klaus.
“Now, if you truly want to help me.” He paused at the door, glancing back at Kol. “Behave yourself for now. Two Originals in town is bad enough, but three? Marcel’s men are going to get antsy, too antsy.”
“Let them.” Kol scoffed, crossing his arms. “They’re right to fear us. They’d be fools not to be.”
“Don’t cause too much chaos, not until I’m ready.” Klaus warned, Kol mockingly putting his hands up.
“Your role is to cozy up with the witches, learn as much from them as you can. I want you to focus on Sophie Deveraux. Use your charms to get close to her.” Klaus said before leaving the room.
Kol gives a simple smirk as Klaus leaves, indicating that he has plans of his own.
He doesn’t stick around for long, he instead instantly heads to where he recalls the French Quarter witches to reside. He had entered to see it mostly empty, which was odd. Typically at this hour someone was there, someone was often always there last he recalled. Then he heard it, a voice. He swiftly moved to where it originated, getting there in less than a second, spotting a witch. She snapped her head over upon hearing the “wooshing” sound that often accompanied vampiric speed.
“Another vampire, great.” Sophie muttered. "I'm not using magic, okay."
“A witch.” Kol said with a smirk, she paused as she stared at him. “I’m Kol.” He introduced himself, gaining a shocked expression from her. She had already met three Originals, the fear mostly wore off, though she still understood the dangers of an Original Vampire and knew that it was right and natural to fear them. It’d be stupid not to fear them at least a bit. This man was one of the most powerful creatures on the planet.
“Another Original.” Sophie said as she turned to face him. “I’m Sophie.” She said, causing Kol to walk over, glancing at the tomb, reading the name.
“Deveraux? Ah, yes. I remember. Your ancestors over a century ago were quite powerful.” Kol commented, glancing back at Sophie. “I presume you're powerful yourself.”
“Yes.” Sophie nodded visibly tense.
“Relax, darling.” Kol gave a dismissive hand wave. “I’ve come as a friend. I’ve always been a friend to the witches here. In fact, that’s why I was daggered a century ago. For helping the witches. I recall quite a few Deveraux witches helping me. A shame that we lost.”
“Why are you telling me this?” Sophie asked, curious and cautious.
“I’ve heard that Marcellus has taken over, it’s odd that the witches haven’t risen up yet, in my time, witches were a force to be reckoned with, they participated in a war against my brother with me at their side. Yet, now it seems they cower in fear of newborn vampires led by a toddler. They fought with me against an Original a century ago, yet they now fear a toddler? How odd, unless Marcellus has something up his sleeve.”
“How can I trust you?” Sophie asked, glancing over at Monique’s grave, Kol following her gaze. He paused.
“Because I’ve helped witches time and again. I hold them in high regard, learn from them, teach them. I’m offering my help and unlike Klaus won’t betray you the moment the other side looks brighter.” Kol explained before gazing at the grave again. “How did she die?” He said.
“The Harvest.”
“Why hasn’t she awakened?” Kol asked, looking at Sophie. “The entire purpose hinges on the young witches awakening more powerful than ever.”
Sophie sighed and explained everything, telling him about what happened at the Harvest, Marcel’s rise and oppression of the witches, how he enoforces it and how he killed her sister and countless others for using magic, Kol listening intently, cupping his chin and turning his back on Sophie.
“Tell you what. If you help me. I’ll help you. With both Marcellus and the Harvest. I have a score to settle with Marcellus and Klaus myself.” Kol turned his face to Sophie.
“The Harvest should work, if it hasn’t, then that means the spell’s been hijacked. I can help reverse it and give the power to whom it belongs, awakening the deceased. If I can find who took the power from the spell and take it back, I can potentially awaken all the young witches who lost their lives. Including Monique. You’d be doing the magic of course. But I’ll walk you through it.” Kol held his hand out to Sophie. “To do this you must cooperate with me. Do that, I can save this Monique and teach you magic of the likes you’ve never seen. If you can, get as many witches to align with us as you can.”
Sophie nodded, taking Kol’s hand. “Tell me what I need to do.”
submitted by Orphan-Prince to TheOriginals [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 14:34 Aggressive_Work_9442 {Lawful} {1.19.3} } {TradeEconomy} {Discordsrv} {Brewery} {MineTweaks} {Bedrock & Java crossplay!} {32Gb RAM} {RealisticSeasons} [BloodMoons?!] [CombatLogX] [EliteMobs] [SlimeFun] [Citizens] [LevelledMobs] [EconomyShop] [Betterfood] [Graves] [Headsplus] [Drugs] [NoMobGriefing] [Itemsadder]

🌟 Join Master Realm - The Ultimate Minecraft Adventure! 🌟

Are you ready to embark on an unforgettable journey in a realm filled with endless possibilities? Look no further than Master Realm, where your Minecraft experience will be taken to new heights! With an inviting community that has thrived for almost two years, you'll find yourself surrounded by like-minded players eager to explore, build, and conquer together.

🔥 Features that Set Master Realm Apart: 🔥

💎 Limitless Adventure: Immerse yourself in a server packed with over 90 incredible plugins, offering a vast array of gameplay enhancements. From custom enchantments and portals to new worlds, to unique world generation structures and custom questlines, there's always something exciting to discover!

💪 Epic Boss Battles: Prepare yourself for thrilling encounters with over 300 scripted boss events. Take on powerful Elite Mobs and collect their valuable loot to further enhance your Minecraft journey.

🏰 Build and Conquer: Harness the power of Towny to create thriving communities with your fellow players. Construct magnificent structures and conquer vast territories as you forge your path to greatness.

💰 Thriving Economy: Dive into a thriving coin economy system, where you can trade and purchase items through EconomyShop and Sign Shops. Unlock buyable roles and ranks, making your mark on the server in style.

⚔ Unleash Your Power: Experience the unique gameplay provided by MCMMO, where you can level up your skills and become a force to be reckoned with. Unlock god items, unique titles, and utilize custom tools to dominate the realm.

🌎 Cross-Play Compatibility: Enjoy the best of both worlds with our Bedrock and Java cross-play compatibility. No matter which version you prefer, you can connect with friends and explore the vast wonders of Master Realm together.

🔧 Constant Innovation: Powered by an AMD Epyc 7313 CPU, Master Realm ensures smooth performance and stability. Our dedicated team of administrators and developers are constantly adding new, fun, and unique plugins to keep the end game infinite!

✨ Join Our Growing Community Today! ✨

Connect with passionate Minecraft players who share your love for exploration, creativity, and excitement. Whether you're a seasoned adventurer or just starting your Minecraft journey, Master Realm welcomes you with open arms.

🌐 Server IP: []
💬 Discord:
submitted by Aggressive_Work_9442 to MinecraftBillboard [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 14:34 Aggressive_Work_9442 {Lawful} {1.19.3} } {TradeEconomy} {Discordsrv} {Brewery} {MineTweaks} {Bedrock & Java crossplay!} {32Gb RAM} {RealisticSeasons} [BloodMoons?!] [CombatLogX] [EliteMobs] [SlimeFun] [Citizens] [LevelledMobs] [EconomyShop] [Betterfood] [Graves] [Headsplus] [Drugs] [NoMobGriefing] [Itemsadder]

🌟 Join Master Realm - The Ultimate Minecraft Adventure! 🌟

Are you ready to embark on an unforgettable journey in a realm filled with endless possibilities? Look no further than Master Realm, where your Minecraft experience will be taken to new heights! With an inviting community that has thrived for almost two years, you'll find yourself surrounded by like-minded players eager to explore, build, and conquer together.

🔥 Features that Set Master Realm Apart: 🔥

💎 Limitless Adventure: Immerse yourself in a server packed with over 90 incredible plugins, offering a vast array of gameplay enhancements. From custom enchantments and portals to new worlds, to unique world generation structures and custom questlines, there's always something exciting to discover!

💪 Epic Boss Battles: Prepare yourself for thrilling encounters with over 300 scripted boss events. Take on powerful Elite Mobs and collect their valuable loot to further enhance your Minecraft journey.

🏰 Build and Conquer: Harness the power of Towny to create thriving communities with your fellow players. Construct magnificent structures and conquer vast territories as you forge your path to greatness.

💰 Thriving Economy: Dive into a thriving coin economy system, where you can trade and purchase items through EconomyShop and Sign Shops. Unlock buyable roles and ranks, making your mark on the server in style.

⚔ Unleash Your Power: Experience the unique gameplay provided by MCMMO, where you can level up your skills and become a force to be reckoned with. Unlock god items, unique titles, and utilize custom tools to dominate the realm.

🌎 Cross-Play Compatibility: Enjoy the best of both worlds with our Bedrock and Java cross-play compatibility. No matter which version you prefer, you can connect with friends and explore the vast wonders of Master Realm together.

🔧 Constant Innovation: Powered by an AMD Epyc 7313 CPU, Master Realm ensures smooth performance and stability. Our dedicated team of administrators and developers are constantly adding new, fun, and unique plugins to keep the end game infinite!

✨ Join Our Growing Community Today! ✨

Connect with passionate Minecraft players who share your love for exploration, creativity, and excitement. Whether you're a seasoned adventurer or just starting your Minecraft journey, Master Realm welcomes you with open arms.

🌐 Server IP: []
💬 Discord:
submitted by Aggressive_Work_9442 to MinecraftServer [link] [comments]