Torrent de peliculas eroticas put you in your place the sunshine underground


2023.12.06 14:30 Glacialfury Starforge

“Good morning, my bright young minds." Professor Rennick's eyes crinkled when he smiled, and his teeth showed pearl-white through a neatly trimmed beard, unusual for a man his age. Tall and slender, with more grey in his hair than black, he exuded the confident intelligence Ichi had come to expect of a college professor. "Did everyone enjoy their long weekend?"
A few of her more bright-eyed classmates returned his greeting with what she felt was entirely too much enthusiasm this early in the morning. For herself, it took every ounce of will to grind out a barely intelligible grunt and force one of her gritty eyes to stay open. She had never been an early riser, much like her mother, not keen on being up before dawn, and that wasn't likely to change.
Professor Rennick stood sipping his coffee and regarding the class from behind his prized Hartford leather top mahogany desk, a rich dark wood grain polished until it shone like glass with intricate fretting patterns hand-carved into its legs.
"I know most of you will regret my next question, yet I must ask it. Shall we get started?" he asked with a wry smile, turning to study the neat blocky letters he'd printed on the whiteboards behind him. "So we know that the Byzantine Empire fell to the Ottoman Empire in 1453 with the sack of Constantinople."
Ichi rested her chin on an upturned palm, fighting off sleep as Professor Rennick delved into the intricacies of ancient Roman life. His early-middle-ages history course was an easy two credits, but sometimes she questioned whether it was worth the painful boredom.
A flicker of movement to the left caught her eye. Something stirred outside the lecture hall's double-arched gothic-style windows. Snowflakes drifting on a breath of breeze floated past the ornately traced glass, the first faint stirrings of the storm that would surely strike. They seemed to move in slow motion, and her mind drifted with them. The warm quiet of the lecture hall and the gentle sway of the flakes were mesmerizing.
She could wander deep into the calm…
Ichi jerked upright and forced leaden eyes open, focusing on the Professor's words.
"We know that the Byzantine Empire, also known as the Eastern Roman Empire, was the final incarnation of the Roman state, which went through many changes over its tumultuous two-thousand-year history. First as a kingdom, then a republic, and finally the empire we all love to romanticize. Now when we talk about Rome—"
The air around Ichi suddenly shimmered like deep summer heat roiling off a distant stretch of blacktop. She sat bolt upright, coming fully awake, and blinked like an owl caught in a bright light. What the…
Her eyes darted to Professor Rennick standing at the head of the class, and he rippled, warped, his voice suddenly slow and distorted. Her classmates, too, their crazed faces like something out of a house of mirrors. Everything blinked, blinked again. Again. Growing faster until the world flickered.
Ichi drifted through twilight darkness. She was safe and warm, and nothing wrong could happen here.
Wait—where—? Her thoughts were slow and muddled as if wandering in a fog-shrouded forest. Wake up, have to wake up, before—
Before what?
She couldn't remember what had been so urgent. The thought melted into the fog and was gone. There were no troubles here, no worries, only peace and serenity, a mother's warm embrace. Then unseen fingers entwined around her; pulled her toward a distant pinprick of prismatic light. No, not yet. Just a bit longer. She wasn't ready to forsake her refuge. Ignoring the call, she burrowed deeper into the solitude. Go away.
Then she was rising, accelerating toward that distant light as if from the bottom of a pool. She fought it, clawed desperately after her empty bliss, but the ghostly fingers were irresistible.
Ichi's eyes fluttered open, and she blinked in surprise at a sky filled with wondrous lights. What?...
Magnificent shapes and patterns in soft greens, blues, and the occasional feathery streak of red on purple swirled where the stars should have been. It looked like liquid light floating on iridescent flames, as though some cosmic painter had filled the sky with beauty and wonder to steal her breath. Am I dreaming?
A delighted smile spread across her face, and a feeling of peace settled on her heart. How and why she came to be in this place did not matter. All her troubles drained away, and the questions and confusion that circled in her mind vanished like a pricked bubble. All was well and good. And nothing else mattered.
After a time, she sat up, curious what other treasures this extraordinary place might offer.
Darkness stretched in every direction out to a distant, oddly flat horizon where it melded with the sky's ever-shifting ribbons of color, and jagged lances of silver lightning stabbed up at the heavens. She stared in awe. Where am I? It certainly wasn't the university. Yet it felt oddly familiar, like the Aurora her father had taken her to see years ago, only brighter, more stunning. The sky blazed with a glorious light show none on Earth could hope to match.
Frowning, she rubbed at her temples. Her head hurt. University? Aurora? There had been something Aurora? The thought skittered away and was gone, replaced with a smile to mirror the reflection of the sky in her eyes.
Pressing her palms against the ground, she pulled her feet inward and gathered to stand, briefly wondering at its impossible smoothness, like polished glass that held neither warmth nor cold; it was just there. Strange. When she tested the air, there was no taste or smell, no temperature. Nothing to tell her lungs that she drew breath. The hairs on the back of her neck stirred and an eerie feeling tingled up her back. Something was wrong here, something she couldn't quite puzzle out, but it was there. Straining her eyes into the gloom, she held her breath. This was all wrong. Calm, stay calm.
Nothing stirred in the darkness. She felt no piercing eyes upon her back. There was no growling, no ragged breathing, not so much as the faint click of claws upon the strange stone. After a few tense moments of peering into the dark, Ichi blew out her breath in a relieved laugh, calling herself nine kinds of fool.
Then it hit her.
For all the furious lightning, there was no sound, no thunder, no breath of wind, no taste of a storm riding in the air. This place, the lightning, the strangeness of it all was no natural thing. She was sure of it. Alarms sounded in her head, and fear flickered through her thoughts like moonshadows racing across a lawn. What was this place? How had she come to be here? Was something dreadful lurking in the darkness which she could not see? Why couldn't she remember anything?
All of this flashed through her mind in the blank second it took to leap to her feet, heart pounding, senses taut and laser-focused, alert for even the barest hint of danger. She dropped into a wary crouch, eyes darting about, muscles tensed, and ready to fight. What the hell is this place? Have I gone mad?
"We call it Starforge." A voice thundered in her thoughts. The unexpected words made her heart try to hammer its way out of her chest. They rang in her head, not her ears, like a struck gong, and she staggered a step under the shock of it.
No! This isn't happening. It can't be. I won't let it! She'd watched her mother descend into the mire of madness, powerless to stop it. Her greatest fear was that she would one day walk that same path. Gathering her strength, she willed herself to wake, strained until her muscles twitched. It was much like trying to wish oneself to the moon and had as much effect.
"I assure you, Ichi, you have not gone mad, and this is no dream." The voice boomed, though not so loud as before. "Though I understand why you would believe it so."
She whirled in place, confusion swirling in her head as she scanned the darkness, trying to look everywhere at once. "Who are you? Where are you? What is this place? Why have you brought me here? Why can't I remember anything?" Shock hit her like a blast of icy water. It wasn't with her mouth that she had spoken, but her mind. Wheezing laughter shook her shoulders; This isn't real. It isn't!
She lifted a shaky hand to soothe a sudden ache behind her eyes and froze when she saw nothing but the horizon and flashes of silver lightning. Shit, shit. What the shit? Quickly she glanced to where her toes wriggled against the strange glassy surface and again saw nothing, no feet, no legs, no arms. She couldn't see her body. Fear seized her by the throat. "Oh my god, oh my God, oh my god! Oh my fucking God! I'm fucking dead!"
A sudden, nearly overwhelming urge to run flared white-hot in her belly. It was as though her heart had suddenly turned to molten steel. She had to get away. It didn't matter where. Away from the voice. Away from it all. She had to run. She had to run right now!
"Calm yourself, Ichi. You are not dead. It is the shock of the journey to the Starforge that muddles your thoughts. Your memory will return in time."
"Shut up! You shut up. You hear me? You're not real. Get out of my head."
"I cannot. I have brought you here too—"
"Shut up. Shut. Up. Get out!"
The silver lightning abruptly vanished, leaving the horizon empty, and in its absence, Ichi felt as alone as a girl could feel, like all of the warmth and vitality of the world had drained away, leaving a cold empty husk.
"No, wait! Come back." She realized that the thought of being left alone in this desolate place, this Starforge, was far more frightening than the voice, more terrifying even than the thought of descending into madness. "Please come back...I don't want to be alone."
The silver lightning returned.
"My apologies, Ichi." The voice seemed genuinely abashed. "It was not my intent to frighten you—only to give you a moment to compose yourself."
The hammering in her chest began to ease toward dull pounding. A vague part of her wondered how she felt anything when she couldn't see her body. Then an idea bubbled up out of the confused jumble of her thoughts. She nearly snickered.
"Ok, if this is not a hallucination, prove it. Send me back. You brought me here easy enough; it shouldn't be a problem for you to do so again. So prove it."
If Ichi thought herself clever, it lasted only until the voice spoke.
"Do you think to trick me so easily? I am not so simple as that. Understand this, Ichi. While you are here in the Starforge, your thoughts are as plain as stones beneath the surface of a crystal clear pond. Besides, I cannot send you back until my task is complete. It is everything."
Ichi's skin crawled at the idea that this—thing, this voice in her head—could see her innermost thoughts and secrets.
"I am not a thing, child; I am Rae'al. We do not speak with tongues, but with our minds. We communicate with thoughts, ideas, memories and shapes, colors, experiences, even raw emotions, not audible sounds. This is not so easily expressed in your tongue, but I am equal to the task." The voice went silent for a moment before it picked up again. "Forgive me, Ichi. My name is Dreams with the bold curiosity of a child, for the love of the unknown, of all things ancient and new, of exploring the stars, and the dark places where no light shines, unmasking the secrets of the universe. But that is only a fragment of a shadow of my name. As I said, we do not use words. So you may call me Asria."
It was true. The Voice, this Asria, could hear her thoughts. Fool! Shut up! She had to stop thinking, to let her mind go blank.
"As well you should tell yourself to stop breathing." Asria seemed amused at Ichi's desperate scheming. "Though here in the Forge, there is no need to breathe. Indeed, your physical self is not here. Only your mind."
"What?" Her thoughts went shrill. "What do you mean my body isn't here? What happened to it? My mind? Who are you people? What did you do to me?"
"As I said, my people are Rae'al; Firstborn under the stars when the universe was young, and life was only beginning to flourish. We were exploring the stars when your ancestors still huddled in caves."
Ghostly prickles tingled down Ichi's back and whispered over every inch of her skin. A small part of her, something in the dark caverns of her mind, sensed this was no dream. "How are we speaking? Are you here on Earth?"
"We stand in the Starforge, the beating heart of the galaxy, if you will, where here is everywhere and nowhere. It is how we found your kind and how we now speak across incomprehensible distances."
"I see." She really didn't. "But shouldn't you be talking to a scientist or the government or something, not a college student from the backside of nowhere?"
"Your planet's governments are stained with a legacy of deception and treachery, things not easily erased. They are not to be trusted. Of the billions of people on your planet, a bare handful possess the genetic markers necessary to link with the Forge. Within that group, you were the obvious choice. Your mind has not been irretrievably poisoned by the voices around you, not yet. Your heart is true, even if it hides behind a mask of indifference. Most importantly, you are the perfect vessel for our gift. That is why you.
She only half-heard Asria; something far more pressing had come to mind. "What happens to me while I am here?" Anger flashed hot and sharp. They had no right to do this, to force her here. She fought to remain calm. Anger, and hysteria, they clouded your mind. She needed to think clearly. "To my body, I mean. What if there is an earthquake or a tornado, or I'm attacked? What if someone decides to stick a pillow over my face? What if I die? What happens then?"
Asria went into a long, drawn-out silence. So long that Ichi wondered if he'd left again. When she checked the horizon, the silver lightning stabbed and thrashed like never before. Finally, she could take the empty silence no longer.
"Hello? Are you there? Curse your eyes, answer me!"
"I am here." The tone in Asria's voice reminded her of Professor Rennick about to lecture. "The Starforge exists outside of normal space and time. Hours, days, even years will be like no time has passed when you emerge. You will not be harmed."
"Says you," Ichi muttered, but to her surprise, she believed Asria. "So this is a kind of stasis?"
"To an extent, yes."
"How does the Starforge work? Can you see everywhere? Why all the lightning and the colors?"
"The Forge is a powerful tool, but it has limitations. We have to choose a point in space to observe, a thread, if you will, from a seemingly infinite number of possibilities. To explore them all would take more time than the galaxy has left. As to your other question, everyone perceives the Starforge as they will, unless acted upon by another. I do not see what you see, nor you me; our minds are not the same. That is reflected in our impression."
Her head ached for the effort of trying to wrap itself around all that Asria had said. So what she saw was her mind's way of understanding everything? It still made no sense. She was more confused now than ever. Confused but intrigued.
"My people have searched the galaxy. We searched for tens of tens of thousands of years. We found the remains of what was once intelligent life on many worlds. We learned that some destroyed themselves in their efforts to reach the stars. Others slaughtered each other in pointless wars of honor, or for territory or resources. As if the galaxy wasn't overflowing with a nearly inexhaustible supply of each. One misguided civilization thought the path to eternal life was to reject it here in this verse. They burned their world to ashes so that none remained to rebuild, not even bacteria."
Images of exotic worlds and strange civilizations bloomed in Ichi's mind. "What happened next?" Her doubts and fears had flown away in the face of wonder. She wanted to hear more, to hear it all. "Surely that isn't the end?"
The lightning chased itself across the horizon in a dazzling display that danced among the shifting colors. "No, that is not the end. It is a beginning. A brilliant scientist and engineer, I shall call her Elena, put forth an ambitious theory. She claimed to have discovered a layer of space outside the laws that govern this verse. Most dismissed her as eccentric, her hypothesis absurd. In truth, Elena was the most brilliant among them, perhaps ever. Her work was inspiring, revolutionary. It changed everything. In time, she developed two prototypes. The first granted access to what she called the Starforge, allowing communication across previously impossible distances. The second scoured the threads of space, system by system, planet after planet, searching for intelligent life."
The lightning shifted to a somber grey. "Sadly, Elena would never taste the sweet fruits her genius had created. She ascended the light before her dream was realized."
Ichi blinked. "What? That can't be how it ends. That's not fair!"
"Perhaps not. But to an unthinking, unfeeling universe of unimaginable magnitude, there is no fair. There is no right or wrong, good or evil. Does a star weep when it's life is done? Everything has its time. So it was with Elena. It would be many decades before her successors, using her technology, would stumble across a small blue planet tucked in a very average, unassuming system. You call it Earth."
"So what of the other aliens—" Ichi's voice cut off sharply, and her face flushed. Though she knew it was a phantom feeling in the Starforge, she prayed Asria could not sense it in some way. Aliens? Really Ichi? Are you trying to get your brain liquefied or something? Who knew what might offend a Rae'al. She used to laugh at the conspiracy dorks who insisted humans were not alone in the universe. That they were right all along colored her cheeks with shame.
She cleared her throat and smoothed a phantom shirt before starting again. "What I meant was, if the galaxy is full of intelligent life, as you say, then we can't be the only ones who aren't murderous freaks." She thought about that for a moment and decided that humanity probably belonged in that second group, too—considering their bloody history. "I gotta say, I think you're wasting your time with us. Humans have become a plague, a virus slowly killing our planet. Just look at our garbage-choked oceans, the dirty air, and the constant wars. Earth would be better off without us."
Without warning, the coruscating lights in the sky shifted and merged into a black canvas of glittering stars that seemed to stretch forever.
"In all our time searching, your species is the first we found still living who intrigued us enough to contact." Asria's voice softened into the background. "See for yourself. Soak in our history, learn the tragic truth."
A myriad of worlds spun to life around Ichi, and she somehow knew that, for some, their light had burned out before ever reaching Earth. Planets of every color and size imaginable, in exquisite detail, swelled before her, and it was as though she walked among them. Great swirling gas giants of vibrant blue, purple or red, some two and three times the size of Jupiter, floated slowly past. She sucked in her breath at the sight of a titanic red sun, roiling with furious swirls that made Earth's star seem like a speck of yellow paint beside a blazing Inferno.
Scenes of sleek starships exploring far-away star systems played before her eyes. Years flashed past in a dizzying blur of triumphs and tragedies. System after system, she witnessed the rise and fall of empires, of entire civilizations. Some were so hideously alien that it hurt Ichi's eyes just to look at them. Many ended courtesy of a comet strike or a plague, an imploding star. Cataclysmic events across the galaxy brought about the destruction of untold civilizations. Ichi wept. She wept for their suffering, she wept for their loss. She wept and this time, she didn't care if Asria knew it. All of those people, all of that suffering. The lucky ones were gone in a flash.
The years continued to blur past, into decades, centuries, millennia. The scene shifted again, and she experienced the sweet joy of every discovery and the wrenching heartbreak of every loss. Entire generations of Rae'al spent their lives mapping every planet, every moon, every rock bigger than her fist and were glad to do it. Some systems were so vast they took a lifetime to explore. She knew all of this and felt like she had been there, though she didn't understand how. The confusion of knowing lingered only for a heartbeat before the strangeness of it faded.
"For all your flaws and the mistakes you've made, humanity has the courage to challenge its beliefs and to question whether a thing is right or wrong—a rare trait. For every barbarian among you who would poach their neighbor's lands or rain fire down upon their cities, there are two who would stand against that evil. Despite your destructive nature and your bloody past, humans possess extraordinary compassion, not only for your own kind but for all creatures who call your planet home. Understand this, Ichi. It is not fleets of warships, stockpiles of world-ending weapons, or mighty armies that define your civilization and elevate it to greatness. It is your capacity for good, your empathy for all creatures, big and small. Your fierce defense of your planet from those who would do it harm, and your stalwart preservation of life that hovers on the brink of extinction. That is what makes you great."
Ichi was so stunned by Asria's revelations that she barely got out a choked-up, "Oh." Pride swelled within her, pride at his words, pride for her species. Before she could gather her thoughts, he continued.
"It is true much of your short history is written in blood. A bare handful of your kind, unworthy but born into power, are responsible for these crimes. Do not judge your entire people on the sins of a few madmen. You should be proud of the shining beacon that is humanity. From darkness comes the light.”
She'd never given any thought to those who worked tirelessly to restore their planet. While she and her friends sat in coffee shops drinking five-dollar lattes, exchanging self-righteous drivel, the real warriors were fighting to heal their world. She felt like a fraud, and it was as though a veil had been lifted from her eyes. She laughed; she cried and, for the first time in her life, looked at herself with unbiased eyes. How could she have been so stupid?
The lightning dimmed and seemed to thin.
"My time here grows short, Ichi. I must complete my task." The lightning faded further, and the sky waned; its colors suddenly washed out. "Lo witness the end of an era." His voice held the sound of joy mingled with tears.
A vast city of curving structures and glittering towers materialized before her eyes, stretching the breadth of the horizon. Twin suns, small and shining brilliant blue, hung low in the sky, streaking it with purple-and-gold highlights. A joyous song seemed to fill the air and dance on the wind, a thousand interweaving melodies that rose between crystalline structures without apparent flaw or seam, capered across airy bridges and up sculpted spires. Every voice on the planet raised in a glorious anthem. One glassy building rose above the rest, spiraling up to pierce the cloudless sky, flaring out sharply near the top with both sides curving back to form a smooth arrowhead-like point. From the center of this point blazed a light, pure and bright and dazzling like fresh-fallen snow. "I am the last of my people; last of the Rae'al. Ichi, do you accept our gift to humanity?"
She hesitated, unsure whether to accept a gift without knowing whether strings were attached. Her uncertainty lasted only a heartbeat, though. "Of course, but I don't understand. What are you saying?"
"Then it is done. Our legacy shall live on in you. My people have left this verse for what lies next, all but myself. Now I go to join them. One story ends, another begins. There is beauty in that. Perhaps we shall meet again, Ichi. In whatever lies next. Until then, may the stars shine upon you, and peace ever favor your kind."
"Wait, please, I have so m—"
The light from the tower flared brighter and washed over her, blotting out the twin suns. The crystalline city melted into drifting motes of color in every shade imaginable, and the Starforge blinked, blinked again, faster, and still faster until the world flickered.
"—most of us picture vast legions on the march or a sprawling city of brick and marble structures with fluted columns and ornate traceries." Professor Rennick picked up where he'd left off, down to the word. He went on about how corrupt and decadent ancient Rome had become leading up to its final fall. "Slavery was commonplace in the empire, from gladiators to house servants to forced military service. Corruption and greed ruled the senate. Lawlessness ran rampant, and murder was more often than not the solution of choice for those seeking power. In some parts of the empire—"
"—any questions!" Ichi's voice exploded into the quiet of the lecture hall, cutting off the startled Professor. He stood at the head of the class, mouth on his chest and one hand pointing at the whiteboard behind him.
Ichi gave a start, and dark spots rose on her cheeks. Everyone was turned in their seats, staring at her in shock.
"Any questions," The Professor said pointedly with his bushy grey eyebrows drawn down in disapproval. "will be asked at the end of the lecture. Please do not interrupt."
Ichi's face burned so bright she thought it must start to smoke, and she mumbled an embarrassed apology.
"Now, where was I?" Rennick glanced at the whiteboard. "Ah yes—Perhaps the colosseum and what took place within its walls intrigues you? Or Saint Peter's Basilica and its magnificent baroque architecture?" His voice faded to a dull murmur.
Ichi's eyes studied the rest of the class.
It was as if everything had paused while she—while she what? Hung out in the Starforge? She nearly laughed. Confusion clouded her thoughts, and her head felt packed with cotton. Was it a dream? She could still see the sharp lightning and hear Asria's voice echoing in her thoughts. Are you there, Asria? Only empty silence answered.
A deep sense of loss settled in her heart. It was a dream. Just a stupid dream. So why does it feel like I lost a friend? To Ichi, the days and weeks spent with Asria seemed as real as anything. Emotions were nothing more than chemicals and electrical signals interpreted by the brain. So her friendship with Asria, the planets and civilizations, and everything she'd seen was as real to her as Professor Rennick standing behind his desk. And so was the bitter ache of loss.
She felt the proper fool for mourning a dream, but that did nothing to lessen the pain. Ichi barked a laugh—more of a grunt, really—a sound full of bitter tears and was surprised to find them brimming in her eyes. What an idiot, she laughed, lifting a hand to wipe her eyes and, with an indrawn breath, hastily looked around to see if anyone had noticed.
They hadn't.
Or if they had, they were being slick about it. Everyone was engrossed with their phones or tablets, half-listening to Rennick while focusing on more important matters. Cory Ingrem sat dozing behind a pair of dark sunglasses, obviously wrecked from a weekend of heavy drinking. The rest were murmuring in small groups, doodling on a sketch pad, or any other bored distractions.
Staring at her hands, not really seeing them, Ichi thought of her dream, Asria, and the Rae'al, of all the things she'd seen and learned. She rubbed her temples; a sudden ache throbbed behind her eyes, radiating to the back of her skull. Nausea seized her stomach in talons of slime, oozing up her throat, and she braced for the migraine that was surely coming. It happened that way sometimes when she napped.
Ichi was rooting around in her bag for migraine meds when a bolt of purest agony lanced through her skull. She gasped, lurching forward, and the pill bottle spun as she flung her hands out to seize the sides of her desk. Her teeth clamped down, jaw flaring until her teeth creaked, her eyelids fluttered, and her eyes rolled back until only their whites showed.
A torrent of strange symbols, images, memories, sophisticated algorithms, and formulas beyond anything dreamed of on Earth flashed like fire before her eyes.
"Are you alright, Ichi?" Mr. Rennick sounded concerned, but she didn't hear him. "Ichi?"
The surge of information continued, and it felt like her head would split open like an overripe melon. "Stop!" She jerked to her feet, desk toppling forward, bag flying, and gripped her head in both hands." It has to stop! Please!"
Mr. Rennick was beside her. She could see his mouth moving but heard no sound. To her surprise, he looked frightened. Her classmates were staring at her open-mouthed. Some whispered in tight groups. The rest held their phones out, speaking into them excitedly.
The endless stream of data poured into her head, intensified from a torrent into a divine flood, a tsunami. With a silent, agonized shriek, she collapsed to the cold floor tiles and curled into a quivering ball.
"It has to stop. Has to stop." She babbled in the throes of madness. Tears pooled around her cheek where it touched the tile floor. Everyone was on their feet, staring down in shock. Everything had gone numb, like jumping in a mid-winter pond. Rennick was on his phone, calling for help. She watched in detached wonder as his mouth formed the words in slow motion. It said breathe, hang on, stay with me. Breathe. Breathe.
And then it was over.
The last of the information rushed into her head, and she jerked back as if something on the other end snapped. It felt as though a one hundred-pound weight balanced atop her neck. A shrill ringing persisted in her ears, but that's not what held her attention. She knew how it worked. She understood the Starforge, its science, and so much more. The Rae'al's gift to humanity, it was real. It was all real. She wondered if they deserved it.
The world looked different, almost transparent, as if the answer to everything lay beneath a thin, clear surface, filed away in her mind. Every question she had ever pondered and every mystery had an answer—her answers. She considered the possibilities and ran elaborate calculations in her head, something she'd never been able to do before her inundation.
We can save Earth. We can save each other. We can save it all. The math works. And math is the language of the universe.
She sat up, rising to her feet.
Everyone stepped back, even Mr. Rennick. His phone dangled at his side. Why were they looking at her like that? Had she changed in some way? There was a time when what they thought would have mattered. But not now. When she looked at them, she saw frightened children.
The Rae'al had given humanity an extraordinary gift. Had entrusted her to share it with her people. So much to do, so much to undo.
There would be those who would resist, of course. How could they not? Power loathed surrendering power. It was all they had to show for the souls they'd traded. But it didn't matter. They didn't matter.
It was time to change the world.
submitted by Glacialfury to Glacialwrites [link] [comments]

2023.12.06 14:11 Tokoro-of-Terror Please critique part 1/2 of my short horror story [Teddy Part 1: What Would I Give? 2027 words Genre: Horror, Psychological]

Hi! So I'm writing a two-shot horror story for a school performance task. It had me practice my writing skills, and analyze human emotion and psychology.
However, I'd like to have some feedback on part 1 of my work, I'll accept criticism, cause' it'll help me improve on my writing.
Warning. You might find this quite dark and disturbing, and frankly; that's the point. So I would like to apologize in advance if I made anybody uncomfortable.
Without further ado.
Also, PS: To avoid confusion, the protagonist's nickname is Teddy, which is what his sister, Emma, calls him. His real name is Thomas, Thomas Lane.
An array of colorful balloons and streamers adorned the boring beige walls of the place that used to feel like home. Everything was supposed to be perfect today, but they just had to ruin another good thing didn't they?
Though the emotion on my face was false, I solely focused on trying to keep the atmosphere lively. This was supposed to be Emma's 7th birthday after all, everything needed to be ‘perfect.’
“Why don't you finish your cake baby?” I asked her, a smile on my lips masking the mob of emotions crawling beneath my skin, threatening to burst out any moment.
She looked down at the homemade pastry I made displayed in front of her. It was a double-layered chocolate cake topped with lemon-flavored frosting and rainbow sprinkles.
“I…I don't think I'm hungry anymore, Teddy…”
My gaze slowly shifted to the state of the living room, where my parents' voices clashed like warring titans. Remnants of the once vibrant party lingered like ghosts. It felt barren, just like this household. I feel as if only me and Emma were the only living occupants. The atmosphere within the air, caused by their latest argument, felt like a thousand small knives were piercing my flesh.
Dad was nowhere to be seen, probably off sulking in his car at God knows where. And I had a pretty good guess on where Mom was. The kitchen fridge was unceremoniously yanked open, a bottle of whiskey missing from one of the shelves.
‘Typical of her.’
I thought bitterly. Once upon a time, I gazed at that woman with eyes full of love, the woman who carried me for nine months and cradled me in her arms when I was born. But where was that woman now? The one who used to sing me lullabies and comfort me whenever I had nightmares?
Now, she was a shell of her former self, engaged in pointless heated screaming matches with my father, and eloping around with random men, drowning her sorrows in whiskey trying to find a sliver of salvation at the bottom of a bottle of Jack Daniel’s.
And my father, a man who was far too lenient for his own good. He should have ended this god-forsaken marriage years ago instead of putting up with my mother's bullshit and trying to salvage and fix whatever he could from whatever was left of their relationship. If he had done just that, then maybe he might’ve have saved me years of frustration and tears.
My parents were truly retarded.
“Mommy's angry.”
“She's always like that. C’mon, let's get you to bed, you can open your presents in the morning,” I picked her up and carried her over my shoulder, gently rubbing circles on her lower back in an attempt to ease the weight, caused by our retarded mother's nonsense, on her tiny shoulders.
“But I'm not sleepy~” she yawned.
“Well that yawn says differently, little lady,” I chuckled.
After ascending the stairs, we make our way to Emma's bedroom. I pause every now and then in my tracks, as I take in the plethora of various photographs decorating the walls—each portrait depicting the olden days, when things didn't turn to shit.
In my hometown, happy families went camping. Once upon a time, we were them. Swimming in the sea, eating ice cream together.
She ruined everything…
I pause in my tracks as I stand before our parents’ bedroom. My eyes linger at the drunk form of my mother sprawled out on the bed holding a bottle of whiskey, muttering a string of incoherent nonsense. At that moment, the crawling sensation returned, as if invisible insects sought refuge beneath my skin threatening to dig themselves further beneath my flesh. I feel myself sinking, the floor giving in and turning into sand, threatening to devour me whole.
Just what was this feeling? Grief? Melancholy?
No. It was something else. This feeling, beyond grief or melancholy, lingered—an ominous presence.
I placed Emma gently down on her bed, the room embraced us in a quiet, yet comforting stillness. Brushing away a few strands of her hair, I observed my sister’s peaceful slumber, a bittersweet smile dancing on my lips, knowing that, for now, she was safely taken by the sweet yet tranquilizing embrace of sleep whisked her away to a realm of magic and dreams. A realm where she was safe from the poison that had slithered itself in, and corroded our family, our stronghold.
Tenderly, I kissed her forehead before quietly tiptoeing out of the room to avoid disrupting her sleep.
Once again, I found myself in the halls, surrounded by those portraits that seemed to taunt me whenever I looked. Before I knew it, I found myself in front of the window, staring at the black abyss from beyond. The abyss stared back. It seemed to possess a voice of its own as it spoke to me.
Surely, you have a solution to your problem?
“I do."
But you're too scared to go through with it?
"I am…"
Then you know what needs to be done.
“...I will."
That woman—no, that thing is an imposter. That is not the mother I know, but a parasite wearing her skin. Somehow, it had snuck into our home, replaced my mother, and had been slowly sucking away our lives ever since.
It caused my father insurmountable grief, my sister a great deal of sorrow, and forced me to be the parent for her sake. Something needed to be done, and I was beginning to build up the strength to do it. My sister deserved a true mother, and I, a life beyond this abyss.
As quiet as an imp, I descended downstairs to the kitchen. Doubt began to seep into my thoughts, but I quickly brushed them away. My eyes, once more, shifted to the barren living room, Dad still hadn’t come back.
I thought to myself. This would make things slightly easier.
I entered the dimly lit kitchen and made my way around the island, my hand glided across the smooth granite surface. My eyes wandered for a bit, till my attention was caught by a glimmer—the light bouncing off a tool’s cold steel.
My hand reached out and grasped it by its handle, the feeling of wood and dread seeping into my palm. I stare at my reflection in the lustrous blade, it stared back with equal tension. The voice of my conscience grew louder and more desperate with every step I took.
But I ignored it, despite the protest of my conscience, my body seemingly moved on its own. I sauntered up the stairs, gripping the weapon tightly in my hand. My eyes deceived me, as I began seeing shadows dancing along the walls, mocking me as I passed by.
Eventually, I found myself hovering over the creature occupying my parents’ bed, still in its drunken state. My heart felt like it was about to burst, insects and worms wildly thrashing around from underneath my skin. My eyes glared at it as it slept, fervor building up in my stomach.
I could feel the warm liquid dripping from my fist as I clutched the knife with strength I never knew I possessed, the faint sound of small droplets of crimson splattering on the floor felt like an echo in the silent room.
Seconds passed, they felt like eternity. Mustering every bit of courage I had, I slowly raised the blade above my head. The creature stirred, I wavered, my breathing shaky, hot tears streamed down my face and splashed onto the floor.
With a mighty yell, I slammed the blade down on the creature’s chest, jolting it awake. Its features twist in horror at the sight of the knife embedded in its chest. A deafening scream of terror and anguish reverberated in the room, a haunting cacophony of pain and fear that had been suppressed for far too long echoed throughout the house. Its eyes locked unto mine.
Panicking, I grabbed a nearby pillow and hastily pressed it against its face, muffling its screams. It thrashed around wildly, desperately trying to fight me off. Gritting my teeth, I grasped the knife once more, pulling it out, before slamming it down once again, this time I aimed for its stomach.
The imposter’s thrashing became even more violent, more unhinged. It swiped at my face, disorienting me, I hissed in pain at the intense stinging sensation on my right cheek. Still disoriented, I pulled out the knife once again and slammed it down in a random direction.
The room echoed with muffled screams that intensified in volume, pain, and the sickening sound of the blade penetrating flesh.
I repeat the action again, then again, then again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again and again and again and again and again and againandagainA̵͕͐́͠n̸̢̝̈́̏͝d̶̘͍̈́̄̓̚ ̶̻̹̅Ą̶̤̜͍̗̔g̷̱͍̳̑a̶̮̠͉̍͝ḭ̸̳̦͎̓n̶͍̝̿̀A̵͕͐́͠n̸̢̝̈́̏͝d̶̘͍̈́̄̓̚ ̶̻̹̅Ą̶̤̜͍̗̔g̷̱͍̳̑a̶̮̠͉̍͝ḭ̸̳̦͎̓n̶͍̝̿̀A̵͕͐́͠n̸̢̝̈́̏͝d̶̘͍̈́̄̓̚ ̶̻̹̅Ą̶̤̜͍̗̔g̷̱͍̳̑a̶̮̠͉̍͝ḭ̸̳̦͎̓A̵͕͐́͠n̸̢̝̈́̏͝d̶̘͍̈́̄̓̚ ̶̻̹̅Ą̶̤̜͍̗̔g̷̱͍̳̑a̶̮̠͉̍͝ḭ̸̳̦͎̓n̶͍̝̿̀n̶͍̝̿̀A̵͕͐́͠n̸̢̝̈́̏͝d̶̘͍̈́̄̓̚ ̶̻̹̅Ą̶̤̜͍̗̔g̷̱͍̳̑a̶̮̠͉̍͝ḭ̸̳̦͎̓n̶͍̝̿̀A̵͕͐́͠n̸̢̝̈́̏͝d̶̘͍̈́̄̓̚ ̶̻̹̅Ą̶̤̜͍̗̔g̷̱͍̳̑a̶̮̠͉̍͝ḭ̸̳̦͎̓n̶͍̝̿̀A̵͕͐́͠n̸̢̝̈́̏͝d̶̘͍̈́̄̓̚ ̶̻̹̅Ą̶̤̜͍̗̔g̷̱͍̳̑a̶̮̠͉̍͝ḭ̸̳̦͎̓n̶͍̝̿̀A̵͕͐́͠n̸̢̝̈́̏͝d̶̘͍̈́̄̓̚ ̶̻̹̅Ą̶̤̜͍̗̔g̷̱͍̳̑a̶̮̠͉̍͝ḭ̸̳̦͎̓n̶͍̝̿̀A̵͕͐́͠n̸̢̝̈́̏͝d̶̘͍̈́̄̓̚ ̶̻̹̅Ą̶̤̜͍̗̔g̷̱͍̳̑a̶̮̠͉̍͝ḭ̸̳̦͎̓n̶͍̝̿̀A̵͕͐́͠n̸̢̝̈́̏͝d̶̘͍̈́̄̓̚ ̶̻̹̅Ą̶̤̜͍̗̔g̷̱͍̳̑a̶̮̠͉̍͝ḭ̸̳̦͎̓n̶͍̝̿̀A̵͕͐́͠n̸̢̝̈́̏͝d̶̘͍̈́̄̓̚ ̶̻̹̅Ą̶̤̜͍̗̔g̷̱͍̳̑a̶̮̠͉̍͝ḭ̸̳̦͎̓n̶͍̝̿̀A̵͕͐́͠n̸̢̝̈́̏͝d̶̘͍̈́̄̓̚ ̶̻̹̅Ą̶̤̜͍̗̔g̷̱͍̳̑a̶̮̠͉̍͝ḭ̸̳̦͎̓n̶͍̝̿̀A̵͕͐́͠n̸̢̝̈́̏͝d̶̘͍̈́̄̓̚ ̶̻̹̅Ą̶̤̜͍̗̔g̷̱͍̳̑a̶̮̠͉̍͝ḭ̸̳̦͎̓n̶̶͍̝̻̹̿̀̅Ą̶̤̜͍̗̔g̷̱͍̳̑a̶̮̠͉̍͝ḭ̸̳̦͎̓A̵͕͐́͠n̸̢̝̈́̏͝d̶̘͍̈́̄̓̚ ̶̻̹̅Ą̶̤̜͍̗̔g̷̱͍̳̑a̶̮̠͉̍͝ḭ̸̳̦͎̓n̶͍̝̿̀n̶͍̝̿̀A̵͕͐́͠n̸̢̝̈́̏͝d̶̘͍̈́̄̓̚ ̶̻̹̅Ą̶̤̜͍̗̔g̷̱͍̳̑a̶̮̠͉̍͝ḭ̸̳̦͎̓n̶͍̝̿̀A̵͕͐́͠n̸̢̝̈́̏͝d̶̘͍̈́̄̓̚ ̶̻̹̅Ą̶̤̜͍̗̔g̷̱͍̳̑a̶̮̠͉̍͝ḭ̸̳̦͎̓n̶͍̝̿̀A̵͕͐́͠n̸̢̝̈́̏͝d̶̘͍̈́̄̓̚ ̶̻̹̅Ą̶̤̜͍̗̔g̷̱͍̳̑a̶̮̠͉̍͝ḭ̸̳̦͎̓n̶͍̝̿̀A̵͕͐́͠n̸̢̝̈́̏͝d̶̘͍̈́̄̓̚ ̶̻̹̅Ą̶̤̜͍̗̔g̷̱͍̳̑a̶̮̠͉̍͝ḭ̸̳̦͎̓n̶͍̝̿̀A̵͕͐́͠n̸̢̝̈́̏͝d̶̘͍̈́̄̓̚ ̶̻̹̅Ą̶̤̜͍̗̔g̷̱͍̳̑a̶̮̠͉̍͝ḭ̸̳̦͎̓n̶͍̝̿̀A̵͕͐́͠n̸̢̝̈́̏͝d̶̘͍̈́̄̓̚ ̶̻̹̅Ą̶̤̜͍̗̔g̷̱͍̳̑a̶̮̠͉̍͝ḭ̸̳̦͎̓n̶͍̝̿̀A̵͕͐́͠n̸̢̝̈́̏͝d̶̘͍̈́̄̓̚ ̶̻̹̅Ą̶̤̜͍̗̔g̷̱͍̳̑a̶̮̠͉̍͝ḭ̸̳̦͎̓A̵͕͐́͠n̸̢̝̈́̏͝d̶̘͍̈́̄̓̚ ̶̻̹̅Ą̶̤̜͍̗̔g̷̱͍̳̑a̶̮̠͉̍͝ḭ̸̳̦͎̓n̶͍̝̿̀n̶͍̝̿̀A̵͕͐́͠n̸̢̝̈́̏͝d̶̘͍̈́̄̓̚ ̶̻̹̅Ą̶̤̜͍̗̔g̷̱͍̳̑a̶̮̠͉̍͝ḭ̸̳̦͎̓n̶͍̝̿̀A̵͕͐́͠n̸̢̝̈́̏͝d̶̘͍̈́̄̓̚ ̶̻̹̅Ą̶̤̜͍̗̔g̷̱͍̳̑a̶̮̠͉̍͝ḭ̸̳̦͎̓n̶͍̝̿̀A̵͕͐́͠n̸̢̝̈́̏͝d̶̘͍̈́̄̓̚ ̶̻̹̅Ą̶̤̜͍̗̔g̷̱͍̳̑a̶̮̠͉̍͝ḭ̸̳̦͎̓n̶͍̝̿̀A̵͕͐́͠n̸̢̝̈́̏͝d̶̘͍̈́̄̓̚ ̶̻̹̅Ą̶̤̜͍̗̔g̷̱͍̳̑a̶̮̠͉̍͝ḭ̸̳̦͎̓n̶͍̝̿̀A̵͕͐́͠n̸̢̝̈́̏͝d̶̘͍̈́̄̓̚
I stop.
My breathing was ragged, my body and clothes were bathed in sweat and blood. My eyes felt like empty sockets as I stared at the sanguinary corpse of the creature that was mimicking my mother. Crimson stained the sheets and walls, its lifeless gaze was still locked onto mine.
My body refused to move from its position as I was frozen in disbelief, the cold metal drenched in dark crimson slipped from my grasp and fell to the ground with a clang. Minutes felt like hours as I began to grapple with the weight of my actions.
I felt a strange mix of numbness and satisfaction. The bitch was gone, dead, and removed from our lives. But, why did I feel the sudden growing sensation of dread from within my chest?
After what felt like an eternity, I left my parents’ room, leaving behind the carnage in my wake as I slowly strode to Emma’s room. The shadows in the halls seemed to be long gone, and so was the feeling of bugs underneath my skin. A trail of scarlet marked my path with every step I took, a soft serene smile formed on my face as I neared my sister’s room.
Quietly opening the door, I cautiously glanced inside. She remained deeply asleep, somehow unaffected by the chaos that had unfolded in our parents' room. Disregarding my disheveled appearance—my body and clothes drenched in blood from head to toe—I approached her bed.
My smile broadened at the sight of my baby sister, peacefully lost in the realm of dreams, a sweet smile gracing her lips. I found myself pondering the nature of her dreams—what delightful fantasies danced in her slumber?
My hand extended gently to pet her soft hair—inadvertently leaving a trace of red imprints. She stirred adorably in her sleep, deep in the embrace of sleep. I continued, tenderly playing with her hair while softly crooning a lullaby.
“You are my sunshine
My only sunshine…”
Eager to share the tranquility of the moment, I nestled beside her—staining the sheets red in the process. My focus was solely locked on her innocent visage, as I carried on with the melody of the song. Inhaling deeply, my nose took in the sweet and enchanting aroma that emanated from her, an essence that added a layer of magic to the intimate scene.
“You make me happy
When skies are gray…”
Emma, my Emma. You are my joy, the sun that brightens my darkest days. I loved you from the moment you entered this world. Your laughter became the melody of my heart, and your presence, a ray of innocence and affection.
“You'll never know, dear
How much I love you
Please don't take
My sunshine away”
I feel my eyes getting heavy, and my mind drifting, as the soothing allure of sleep, as well as my sister’s presence, slowly lull me to the land of dreams. The unsettling reality that there was a corpse in my parents’ room faded into the background of my drowsy consciousness as I snuggled closer to Emma.
Nothing will ever take you away from me.
submitted by Tokoro-of-Terror to fantasywriters [link] [comments]

2023.12.06 12:51 -Serenity28- dumbest things my ex got mad about.

First off al English is not my first language I'll try my best to write correctly.
So what I'm about to tell you happend years ago in 2011. I remember that because my uncle died the month prior due to a heart attack. Unfortunately heart attacks runs in the family. We knew 100% for sure as soon as my uncle died from it. He was one of to many. This detail will come back later. the ages called are the ages we were in 2011. Yea yea i know my ex was a bit older. But in my defense we grew up together from when i was 3. And he was 7. And due to my difficult youth because both of my parents were addicted and my dad died when i was six. I grew up really fast to say the least.
So my ex (male 21 ). Me (female 17) were on a night out. We both had something to drink (not to much) and later on went to my mother's house. Were i lived at the time. He basically lived there as well. For a late night snack we wanted to make grilled cheese sandwich. Each of us had 4 slices of bread to make 2 for each. The bag with bread layed on the counter next to him (litterly). He had one out of 4 slices that was half the size of the other 3. He asked me if he could have one of my slices to make it even. I said "no" with my eye falling on de bag with bread next to his arm. I figured; he didn't saw the bag at first and he'll look for it. I saw him looking at it and he went straight to me and asked again. I said: no, i saw you looking at the bag why don't just put the small one back and grab one that is the same size? He stood there for a bit, looked at his plate with the slices. Then looked at me and called me a whore. Back then he was my first and only of course. He went straight upstairs. Left everything. I was so hurt by that. My apatite went straight out of the window. I Cleaned everything up. Put everything back in to place. Ather that i also went up stairs. Layed my self to bed. While he was behind the computer i think starting up a game or something. So after a while of silence and my thoughts "we need to talk about this" I said: so we're not gonna tall about you calling me a whore". He kept quit for a bit. Until i said: you think it's normal to call me that over a slice of bread. He cut me in my sentence and yelled at me saying: i hope you'll die just like your uncle.
After that i cried myself to sleep. When i tried talking about it the next day. He told me, i shouldn't drag old mud out of the pond. (If i say that correct.) Don't talk about the past is what i mean. We had a little discussion about what i wanted to talk about isn't something of years back or something we cleared between us before. He always would end it by hitting me.
submitted by -Serenity28- to fucknarcissistics [link] [comments]

2023.12.06 12:34 deeptechsharing Dave Lee ZR Bigger Than Your Average L Chart

Title: Dave Lee ZR Bigger Than Your Average L Chart Genre: House, Trap / Wave, Dance / Electro Pop, Deep House, Nu Disco / Disco Release Date: 2023-12-04
DOWNLOAD in 320kbps:
Tracklist: 1. Jamiroquai – Little L (Dave Lee Extended Disco Reblend) (8:12) 2. AC Soul Symphony, Dave Lee – Losing My Mind at the Disco (Original Mix) (8:30) 3. Los Charly’s Orchestra, Juan Laya, Jorge Montiel – Vibration (Original Mix) (5:31) 4. Dave Lee ZR, Joey Montenegro – Make A Move On Me (Dubwize Re-Organisation) (6:35) 5. Machine – There But for the Grace of God Go I (Moplen Remix) (7:40) 6. Harold Matthews Jr, Sean Mccabe – This Place (Glenn Underground Remix) (8:23) 7. Mark Francis – Klubtrance (Original Mix) (5:57) 8. Lee Genesis – Ya Can’t Separate Me (I’m Determined) (Sean McCabe Extended Vocal Mix) (6:59) 9. AC Soul Symphony, Dave Lee – I Want to See You Dance (Original Mix) (8:44) 10. Smoove & Turrell – Violet Hour (Original Mix) (3:15) 11. Vince Watson, Jon Dixon – Peace of Mind featuring Jon Dixon (Original Mix) (8:39) 12. Urban Blues Project, Mother Of Pearl, Pearl Mae – Your Heaven (I Can Feel It) [feat. Pearl Mae] (Micky More & Andy Tee Extended Remix) (6:23) 13. Masters At Work, Louie Vega, Kenny Dope – Bump That Whistle (Original Mix) (7:16) 14. Michele Chiavarini, Carmichael Musiclover – Express Yourself – 2023 MC Makeover (Main Mix) (8:15) 15. AC Soul Symphony, Dave Lee – AC Express (Original Mix) (6:56) 16. Melvo Baptiste, Annette Bowen, Jamie 3:26 – Gonna Be Alright (feat. Annette Bowen & Jamie 3:26) (Jamie 3:26 & Danou P DiscoTek Extended Remix) (6:53) 17. Akabu – Ride the Storm (Joey Negro Club Mix) (7:03) 18. Young Pulse, Fleur De Mur – Smooth Sweet Talker (Extended Mix) (6:54) 19. Re-Tide, Lukas Setto – Me & You (Dr. Packer Extended Mix) (7:08) 20. Dave Lee ZR, Omar – Starlight (Grant Nelson VIP Dub) (6:31) 21. The Shapeshifters, Obi Franky – Giving Me Something Better (feat. Obi Franky) (Aeroplane Extended Remix) (5:02) 22. Physical Education – Hurt so Good (Instrumental Mix) (7:52) 23. Kevin Yost – Dance With Me (Original Mix) (8:07) 24. Timothée Milton, Carla Prather – Break Me (feat. Carla Prather) (Franck Roger Street Mix) (6:11) 25. Chantay Savage – Betcha’ll Never Find (Original Mix) (4:46)
submitted by deeptechsharing to u/deeptechsharing [link] [comments]

2023.12.06 12:30 Cyber_Vibes DePaul University is running a torture experiment on me

tldr: Faculty members, alumni, and students have access to: keystrokes on all my devices, can view my screen on all devices, can look through the camera if the device has one, and all microphones are on. This was done due to promise of a payday, which I think they have lost by now, but that doesn't mean the experiment ended. In fact, now that they have lost their payday, they are ramping up the torture to extreme levels. Tell everyone you know to avoid this corrupt and awful institution like the plague.
The only way I can figure out how to end this torture experiment is by potentially opening myself up to a lawsuit here by directly naming the school. Essentially, the school was promised a bunch of money to infect all of my devices with a series of highly advanced viruses. Now I can not prove it was the school that infected me in a court of law, but it was done by people with physical access to my devices that were on campus property at the time, so it is common sense. What have the viruses done? They have remote root access to my iPhone and the viruses simply hopped to my apple watch and brand new out of the box iPad. They have installed a series of directories on my brand new out of the box PC. They have access to my hard-drives on every device I own.
There is a spy tool that was either developed by the school or given to the school by an outside entity that targeted me for their torture experiment. The entire cybersecurity club at DePaul has this spy tool that gives them access to: all of my keystrokes, my screen, and VERBAL CONVERSATIONS on ALL OF MY DEVICES. They have remote access to the camera on my iPhone, iPad, and laptop. Better yet, they have been streaming the output of this tool to people on discord, so you do not need to know anything about computers at all to spy on me. Faculty members, alumni, and current students have been torturing me with this spy tool for about 6 months now. Essentially, the cybersecurity club has a discord server. People would go on and offline depending on what I do in real life or based on messages I would send to them through the keylogger on my phone, but there were too many people involved, and now, people have been deriving their own meanings for my actions and it feels like there are things I am simply not allowed to do inside my own house. For example, work-out, take a shower without listening to music, listen to use your illusion super deluxe by guns and roses (there is a song named civil war and they don't like that), trying to expose this torture experiment, amongst many other things are simple daily things I am simply not allowed to do. Literally, for over a month, every time I would try to listen to any song from the use your illusion album, they would force the music to come out of my speakers instead of my headphones. I don't know how they do that, but I am impressed ngl.
Now, I am going to be honest here, I'm not exactly sure how to remove the viruses from my iOS devices, but at this point, I have been living with them for so long that I am kinda used to the torture and keeping them as leverage over the school so that I can make posts like these. There is literally someone that has this other tool that lets them send like <1 second long interruption to my earbuds and this combined with the spy tool has allowed them to stalk me irl. Like I am not joking I have been followed from my house, onto the train, onto the walk to campus, and inside of CDM, and they will do nothing but send <1 second long interruptions to my music based on the output of the spy tool.
I said that at this point I am not even trying to remove the viruses from my phone and keeping them as leverage. That is true. However, I have zero clue at all how to remove them from my PC. I have: re-imaged it through the setting, re-imaged it with a fresh install, installed a brand new SSD, and none of those did anything. We bought a new router. That did nothing. Eventually, I just bought a new PC. That did nothing either. I think it is because they have infected all of my family members devices and setup persistence on them to simply hop back to my device whenever I make any attempts to getting rid of them.
If you are a journalist and know anyone that knows anything about iOS malware reverse engineering, I will make your career with this story. Over the past year, I have been put through shit that no other college student in the history of college in America has been put through. Ask yourself this, where else have you ever read about a school turning a students watch into an open microphone? You have not. It is literally only me. Everything in this post sounds crazy, but everything is true. I can ramble on for hours on end and explain how I know the things to be true if need be, but I feel like this is a good place to end the post for now. If you guys have ideas for other places to post about this, please send them.
submitted by Cyber_Vibes to Gangstalking [link] [comments]

2023.12.06 10:06 JahJah_On_Reddit Tagesanbruch: Chapter 1 - Meet the Oberstleutnant

Read this chapter and the prologue on FimFiction
At the same time, why don’t you go listen to Rise of Evil, by Sabaton (part of the inspiration for writing this story)
It’s here! Finally, after so lo- oh just read the chapter. I need to go to sleep now.

“…and as such, for this exercise, all units will be operating under radio silence. I trust you all will be able to devise sufficient methods of coordination to fulfil your objectives.”
As he finished speaking, the albino griffon scanned the windowless wooden room, surveying the numerous fuzzy figures crammed in that he knew to be his fellow officers, checking that they understood all that he had said. “Any questions?”
One of the figures stepped forward. He motioned towards numerous marked areas on the map that sat on the table that separated the officers and their temporary commander. He spoke slowly and clearly, “Dawnclaw, I must inquire. Some of these objectives make almost no strategic sense. One of them is a field, another is just a dirt T-junction. What is the purpose in selecting these seemingly random places as objectives, when a forest border or a river crossing would make more sense?”
Oberstleutnant Ferdinand Dawnclaw was silent for a moment. The voice of the officer was a dead giveaway, but apart from that, obviously this was an older officer, born at least before 940, not trained in any of the new rules of warfare devised in recent years. He reached under his side of the table and pulled out five small chips, three green, one blue, and one red. He silently placed the green chips end-to-end along the road approaching the T-junction, and placed the blue and red chips on the table. The officer who has spoken looked on with confusion.
Ferdinand spoke, “The junction is quite simple, you do not understand the proper way that modern war is conducted is all. Modern armies are large, and they need a constant supply of food, ammunition, replacement griffs and guns, and so on. The backbone of the modern army is logistics, and so, the truck becomes just an important tool of war as the machine gun. As such, by delaying the logistics of an enemy, one can delay the entire army. Do you follow?”
The griffon - and a few others - nodded. Ferdinand continued.
“Suppose these green chips are convoys carrying important logistics forwards.” He moved the green chips towards the junction. He then placed the red chip next to the junction. “Now, if the enemy holds a junction - or even just a road - like this through any means, it endangers the convoy, and delays the supplies. Roads in general are very easy to hold, especially rural ones. Thus, it is to be that our troops should be trained”- he placed the blue chip next to the red one -“in assaulting rural roadsides and junctions.
“As for the field, I haven’t fully revealed the exact details of every objective, those are revealed only to the defenders of them. If you want to know why the field is an objective, you must find that out under fire. I hope that answers your question…” he motioned to the griffon, then to his rank sleeves and name tag.
“Uh… Hauptmann Brightbeak, Dawnclaw.”
“Well, I hope that answers your question, Hauptmann Brightbeak. Does anyone else have questions? No? Then I wish you all fortune in this exercise.” He paused for a moment before adding, “I have also decided to add stakes. The winning side gets a day of free time, the losing side takes the duties of the winners for a day. You are all dismissed.”
Ferdinand cleared away the chips as the officers slowly filed out without a word. He gave the map a good look over, and thought a bit. North Strawberry’s countryside wasn’t like the fields along the banks of the Griffking, but it afforded amazing opportunities for training troops in more wooded and rural regions. The defensiveness of the northern garrisons was plain, with forests, creeks, hills, and cracks holding amazing potential for holding, a potential that was also useful for training. Ferdinand himself sometimes went out into the forest to plan potential strongpoints and defensive lines, even if he wasn’t the best at it, since he couldn’t see very well.
Not that they’d ever be used. In recent years, the number of incursions into the Herzlands by the Republicans had fallen to almost zero. The last real attack from across the border was three years ago, and in Feathisia. Ferdinand’s troops had mostly just sat back and done nothing but wait for their active service to end. Ferdinand rarely ever visited the encampments that housed the bulk of his forces, but after three years, the garrisons had lost a lot of the motivation to keep up their discipline. He couldn’t blame them, he himself had resigned himself to relaxing here in his manor.
That was, until a couple of weeks ago.
Ferdinand had devised an almost perfect guise to shake the discipline back into his griffs. Before the late Grover V died, he had personally petitioned the kaiser to allow him to host training exercises, with units from all across the empire. With the Kaiser’s word, there were now thousands of imperial soldiers here, with troops from Strawberry to Yale. This was the perfect excuse to begin drilling his own troops again, without raising eyebrows.
As he thought about his plan, he remembered something, and checked his pocket watch. It was rather large for a ‘pocket’ watch, to accommodate for the griffon’s poor eyesight, but he had managed to stuff it into a pocket without too much difficulty.
Almost twenty-to…
He stowed whatever remained on the map or the rest of the table. His little planning room wasn’t spacious at all, but it sufficed for what he needed it for. He picked up his officer’s cap from its hook on the wall, and placed it neatly on his head. He left the room, turning out the lamps before closing the door behind him. The door emptied into the side of an underground passage of wooden planks. To the right, it eventually ended in a secret exit. To the left, it quickly ascended up a set of stairs into the manor. Saluting the two guards who guarded the room, he turned left to climb up the stairs. From his pale-white plumage, his thin build, and his mature air, you would be excused for thinking he was at least sixty or even approaching seventy. Many griffons who met him for the first time certainly did.
Said griffons were surprised to learn that the Oberstleutnant was only forty-two, incredibly young for his rank. It had taken him only twenty years to achieve it, in a system that was bloated with officers, most of them nobles with connections. Unfortunately, what a lot of his peers lacked in actual military skill, they had in influence. Thus, Ferdinand was shunted to the north, out of sight, and out of the way.
He reached the top of the stairs, putting him on the first floor of his manor. Oh yes, his manor. The lack of actual military infrastructure along the border meant that Ferdinand had been granted a sizeable fund to construct the bases his troops now garrisoned. Enough had been left over afterwards to build a small manor as his command post. Ferdinand, of course, had personally helped design it, and it showed. The hallways, staircases, and even attic had been designed with defensibility in mind.
By now, Ferdinand was able to pass through the halls and rooms of the manor almost without thinking, his thoughts in other places. His meeting with the officers had been a useful distraction, but now he had time on his claws. For the Oberstleutnant, this is bad. The two voices in his head fought for dominance, for him to see their side.
He could call the whole thing off, let things happen. Would it really be wor-
Of course it would, how stupid to think otherwise.
He would be hated.
Only inita-
Ferdinand muttered a curse under his breath, then promptly threw his head into a nearby wall. His skull screamed in protest, but at least the voices shut up. He continued, slightly disoriented, the next few minutes a blur.
When Ferdinand’s senses fully returned, he had arrived at his destination, his bedroom on the second floor. He now regretted smashing his head into the wall even more, as the headache had gotten worse. All over this plan he hadn’t fully decided on following through with. Would his subordinates even see what he saw? He would have to see. But… the uncertainty and his indecisiveness were killing him, both figuratively in his head, and literally with his head.
He decided to lie down on his bed for a moment. Why had he been so afraid to debate within himself? Part of him still held back, that much was obvious. But was it possible he secretly agreed with that part of him? Would carrying through with his plan actually be the wrong thing?
He couldn’t produce an answer, but he did figure out how to get one.
He wouldn’t wait until tonight. Now was the time, time to gather his majors…

If you made it this far, thank you!
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2023.12.06 09:23 EnglishmanInHell Water bottle caps

Some of the caps off the local bottles of water cut your hands when you twist them I awoke at 6am in a tremendous mood after 7 hours sleep, more than i usually got. The Chiang Mai sun burst through the gaps in the blinds and i put on a pair of bright blue shorts and a black tshirt with Philip K. Dick’s face in the middle of it radiating green and purple spectral light and wide open eyes, it was an unusual vivid graphic which i’d purchased off the net. I put on a red bead bracelet and a black leather bracelet and brushed my teeth and left his room. The sun was coming up and I felt much elation that gradually built as i worked my calf muscles on the walk down to Santitham Breakfast place.
The Thai couple who worked the joint greeted me for as of recent i was a quiet regular there always the first person to turn up and always took the table in the corner and switched the fan on myself to get rid of any lurking mosquitoes of which there were very few. I ordered a pad Thai and then two foreigners drove in on scooters, they were muscular with vests on and they were younger
Good morning, i said, have you just been to the gym ?
One answered, yes , do you work out also? No sir, why do I need to work out when the world is out there I’d sooner walk five kms a day with the breeze on my back and a good bottle of Leo beer, and when I do that I have to carry this satchel with me. He showed them his satchel with moons on it. In it goes, he continued, water , extra drinks because the 7-11 only allows credit card purchases past 200 baht, sun cream, phone, phone charger, nuts, AirPods, phone, wallet, why it’s quite a weight you can see and when I carry it up like this at my waist while I walk it’s quite a work out you understand and if you don’t mind in this sunshine and the legal Chiang Mai laws I will sometimes smoke up on route and listen to heavenly music which motivates the muscles more, I have no need for the gym and a room full of men at a cost but kind sirs I understand that you must practice Muay Thai ? Yes, he said somewhat reluctantly
Why, I didn’t mean to dampen your mood for we are all thinking differently and indeed I respect your ways you could surely overcome me and take from me in a less civil world and of course there is a spiritual facet too, is there not to Muay Thai? Yeah mate, if we sign up for Muay Thai for a year we get a free Thai visa for a year Oh yes that must be of much use for I need to renew mine each month and then leave after two although Vietnam is nice at this time of year too, well don’t let me keep you from ordering a second longer, the food is good here, good day to you gents
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2023.12.06 08:09 LeoLittlebook6 Anunnaki apocalypse

Anunnaki apocalypse


The Emperor of the Anunnaki is neither legend nor myth. He rules on Nibiru, moon of the Sun, a superplanet shielded from variable solar radiation by an atmosphere seeded with monoatomic gold, supporting an etheric field which nurtures the psionic powers of its inhabitants.
Earth's atmosphere holds no appeal for them, though they evolved here. They are Fallen Angels, who have transformed their bodies with cybernetics and genetic engineering. They are banished from Earth, but anoint its Illuminati rulers, intervening after each cyclical cataclysm, appointing the rulers of the next cycle, gifting them technology and wisdom.
In exchange the Anunnaki seize the gold mined by humanity. Angels are birds, and birds don't dig.

Convergent evolution

Carcinization is an example of a phenomenon called convergent evolution, which is when different groups independently evolve the same traits. It's the same reason both bats and birds have wings. But intriguingly, the crab-like body plan has emerged many times among very closely related animals.
Scientific American
Yes, the Anunnaki are humanoid birds, just as Earth's native Reptilians are humanoid dinosaurs. Technological apex predators converge on the humanoid form.
It all begins with the superior killing power of a spear, held in two crafter's hands, pinning prey to the ground, after an exhausting chase favoring bipedal efficiency. Ready protein and fat from large game, and social cooperation for hunting, drive encephalization quotient.
Only Insectoids ignore this rule, and their technology is mostly biological as a result.
Of course, not all bipeds are technological. Sasquatch precede Humans, and lack sophisticated language and tool use. Similarly, Raptors precede Repterrans. Each time a planet's native sapient species Ascends from the physical plane, it clears the way for the next. Instancing is not just for dungeons.


Earth's Angels appear similar to humans, except they are hairless giants. Their feathers and wings are ethereal. Angels were starseeded on Earth after the cataclysm that extinguished the dinosaurs. The atmosphere was quite thick with dust, and the Earth's surface was uninhabitable. However, the ethereal plane proved perfect for a soaring Avian race, who fly through time as well as space.
The Anunnaki go hooded before strangers, to hide the flashes of visible aura that display their emotions. You have seen them in the film Prometheus, claiming to be our creator gods, battling the cthonic serpent. Angels are a monarchical species with a 10:1 male:female ratio. The Warhammer 40k god-emperor is an echo of the Emperor of Nibiru.
Not all Angels Fell. Gabriel leads the Faithful, and channeled the divine power that resurrected Christ.
Astartes Project by Syama Pedersen YouTube


Like the pyramids and the Patterson-Gimlin tape, nobody can reproduce the Shroud of Turin. Despite its suppression by the Illuminati, the truth is everywhere for those who care to look. One must merely begin with the assumption that unfathomable generational wealth is dedicated to keeping the masses weak, controlled and divided. Professional academics are thus by definition bought minds, and mainstream media bought mouths.
As the Illuminati say, "Old money buys new blood." They lead, we bleed. The minority who cannot be bought are dealt with by harsher means.
Not even a thousand and three hundred left. How many waves of creatures were behind the one ahead? It did not matter. Protect the species. Protect the species. “Received. Forming chains to other colonies in progress. They will hear all that has been sung here.” “Inform the thinkers they are not to submit to any other colony. Fight and die. Do not allow enslavement. Find and pass information until colony is destroyed.”
final orders of Skthveraachk War Queen

6th Sun

Earth has now entered her next transition phase. As the Mayan calendar predicted, the 5th Sun of Man has ended. We now enter the 6th Sun. The physical surface of Earth will again become uninhabitable (predicts Jesus via the Padgettites). The Sun will micronova, as do all stars in our galaxy on a 12,000 year cycle, the galactic clock. This mirrors the Sun's polar flip every 11 years. The filaments of our galaxy are connected by electromagnetic and higher forces beyond our comprehension.
Even a Carrington Event would destroy irreplaceable transformers and plunge the globe's billions into starvation. However, the coming catastrophe is more than just another 12k year cycle. Our Sun is entering a new quadrant of space, one charged by galactic currents and filled with static dust. As a result, our nearby stars have already micronovaed, and the planets of this solar system undergo dramatic climate changes, as the Sun's eruptions become more active.
The stars show the past. Substack


Our dormant DNA is prepared for this event, which is new to us but old to the galaxy. The micronova will trigger our Ascension into a higher Earth plane, where reality is less physical, and more shaped by our racial consciousness.
This event is known as the Great Harvest, but it could also be called the Great Sorting, because every Human will go to the reality he resonates with and deserves.
Obviously even a partially-spiritual plane cannot be shared by those of profoundly different moral alignments, or else it would threaten to split the plane asunder. (This actually happened to Yeshua of Krotea's homeworld, because his species pursued extreme polarities of Service-to-Others and Service-to-Self.)
Thus the Great Harvest must sift souls into the timeline that suits them best.
The level of Cosmic interest in Humanity's Great Harvest is unprecedented. Earth's Repterrans predate Human life on Earth; their records stretch back to the age of the dinosaurs. Earth is a galactic backwater and normally receives few visitors. The Repterrans have never seen the number and variety of aliens visiting Earth now, not only from distant stars but other realities entirely. The Repterrans do not know why.
Q !!Hs1Jq13jV6 ID: 000000 No.17830326 📁 Nov 27 2022 20:06:20 (EST) What is coded in your DNA? Who put it there? Why? Mankind is repressed. We will be repressed no more. Information is knowledge. Knowledge is power. Information is power. How do you protect your DNA? There is a war for your DNA. Protect your DNA. Ascension. Q
Q's last post


How is this accomplished? As with any play, the hidden hand is quite busy behind the scenes. Earth has not one but many timelines. Immature or undecided souls may be sent back into the past. Souls with sufficient polarity to Ascend are sorted to their respective dark or bright future timelines.
Timeline branching is so subtle that we almost never notice it, although lately the hamfisted temporal manipulations of the Cabal at CERN have caused noticeable timeline ripples, which are popularly known as Mandela Effects. A Human has many alternate selves in the various timelines, but the attention of his soul is not evenly distributed throughout them. His soul focuses in the reality(ies) with which he resonates.
Thus many people walking around are practically soulless. When one remote views their soul after they die, they cannot be found. They did not reincarnate or enter the afterlife, but simply ceased. (Do not be afraid; souls cannot be destroyed. There simply wasn't one there to begin with. It is the same with animals, which have a group soul but not an individual one.)
When we Ascend, we become more godlike. Many will inherit X-Man type abilities relating to psionics and the four elements: Earth, Wind, Water and Fire, which are more than just anime cheese. At some point Human individuals will become aware of living in multiple timelines simultaneously, like we can drive and talk now.
The CHANI Project - quantum communication in the 1990s? Nexus

Great Harvest

The Earth's population has exploded in anticipation of the Great Harvest and the (possible) destruction of Earth's biome. The Archontic goal is to maximize the quality of the Human yield skimmed off the top, while discarding the rest as chaff. Environmental damage is moot if a micronova renders the surface uninhabitable anyway. War for scarce resources ensures a dark and bloody transition.
Obviously if the masses become super-powered telepaths, it will no longer be possible for the current Illuminati bloodlines to continue their reign. They are already hard-pressed to maintain their control over the population as it is. Their constant infighting doesn't help.
There are several ways a Great Harvest can play out. The best one (for us) is if the planet peacefully unites and Ascends without casualties, presenting a unified front to the galaxy. This is a common outcome, but it will not happen for us.
To be sure, various Illuminati factions have striven to unite the globe, via WW3 or other NWO schemes. Thus far, they have failed. However, WW3 is still in the early unrecognized stages, so anything can happen. The "Antichrist" is the man to watch, and he hasn't yet stepped into the public eye.
It is impossible to hold secrets from psychics, as the Farsight Institute demonstrates by regularly remote viewing the innermost thoughts and darkest crimes of world leaders. The Satanic Cabal faction of the Illuminati fears exposure and overthrow. Their solution is depopulation. Weakening, crippling and killing the masses has long been their control strategy; this is merely an escalation to billions instead of millions.


The COVID19 Plandemic was intended to depopulate. Had all gone according to Cabal plan, malpractice combined with lockdown-incubated variants would have driven catastrophic death rates, forcing governments to implement Chinese-style social controls. After a year or two of this, the mRNA vaccines would be offered as the only escape from house arrest or prison camps. Via vaccine QR codes, the Mark of the Beast would be implemented in one stroke. Regular mRNA boosters would then cripple the ability of the masses to Ascend, by polluting their junk DNA and sterilizing their gonads.
This depopulation scheme was substantially disrupted by "White Hat" Illuminati. Trump's Operation Warp Speed forced an early end to the lockdowns. White Hat efforts to introduce a safe vaccine were thwarted, but the rushed mRNA vaccine was of very uneven manufacturing quality. Its slow-kill lethality could not be dialed in (one hopes).
Omicron broke the back of the Plandemic. It was a live vaccine developed from the original Wuhan lab, and evolved into harmlessness in a South African biolab using xeno tech.
Harmless to most, Omicron did target East Asian ACE2 receptors as revenge, since the Wuhan flu originally targeted European ACE2 receptors, while sparing Ashkenazi and East Asians. China's geriatric leaders instituted draconian lockdowns to halt Omicron's spread, but failed due to Omicron's mildness and extreme transmissibility. Shanghai's screams shook Xi's throne, the ruthless emperor who nearly conquered the globe in a sister timeline.


There is more than one way to skin a cat. Expect the Cabal to keep trying to depopulate. As more of their crimes enter public view, their desperation grows. Their power is rooted in blood sacrifice and cannot withstand public scrutiny.
Their Archontic masters, demons fleshly and metaphysical, seek to remove the threat Humans pose to their parasitic existence. These Archons wish to populate a polluted Earth mostly with ancient hybrid races immune to its toxicity. The hybrids are a mix of Gray and Reptiloid genes with others, including Human. They are currently banished underground, an ancient defeated invasion force.
The Human Cabal would live on with these hybrids, becoming transformed and transhumanized, rulers and ruled in the Fallen hierarchy, integral to its advancement in the galactic iteration, but unable to threaten Archon rule. Their dark timelines are real; time travelers from them haunt our present for inscrutable ends. The Wingmakers belong to this category, I suspect.
Timeline wars have made a mess since the Philadelphia experiment. Higher powers are adept at untangling such matters. It is above our paygrade. If you find yourself adrift in the Now, don't panic. Await the resumption of linear time, and pray.


Humans are the culmination of two galaxies' worth of Consciousness evolution. Beginning with the Stars (which are conscious via magnetospheres, including "cold stars" like Earth but not dead Mars), Consciousness has gradually evolved from Elemental, to Aquatic, to Insectoid, Reptilian, Avian and now the Mammalian stage. We are the 7th and final stage.
Many galactic Human races have preceded Earth Humans. "Pleiadian" is a common name for galactic Humans. We Earth Humans are called Jahku. Actually, Jahku don't originate on Earth; Sasquatch do. Jahku history goes back to dead Mars and the destroyed planet that now forms the asteroid belt.
Our memory of these events is merely legend, but suffice to say, when the Death Star destroys Alderaan, your grief was earned the hard way. It takes a long time to come back from losing a planet.
That is where we were born, and where we Fell. There we were created, in the fullness of perfection. On Earth we have been raised up from the dust, slowly evolving from the starseeding event that separated bonobos from chimps. See Hybrid Stabilization Theory.
The Genesis account of the Garden of Eden seems to recount a starseeding event that hybridized a Jahku Adam with Anunnaki genes to render him superior to the surrounding Jahku. His XX-chromosome sister-wife was then cloned from his regenerating short rib, creating a new nation. The serpent refers to a nation influenced by Reptiloids, natural rivals of the Avian Annunaki. Genesis is much more ancient than the rest of the Bible, but edited to fit the Hebrew narrative.


The Fallen Archons invaded our solar system via Saturn and destroyed our first homeworld. They have striven their utmost to prevent Jahku from realizing our potential, because we can end the galactic war that has caused 1/3 of the galaxy's "cold stars" to Fall under Archontic sway. The Biblical dragon that caused 1/3 of the stars to fall from Heaven is the Draco Empire, but evil predates Reptilians.
By crucifying Christ, the Archons have already lost – a stroke unexpected. But they fight on, not understanding the Father, who is Soul and can only be perceived by soul.
The galaxy is preoccupied with the path of spiritual advancement, which leads to unity with Source. It has two roads, one long and the other shorter. The short path is Service to Self, as the autistic Grays put it, or Divine Law and Cosmic Order, as the shamanic Sasquatch say. The long path is Service to Self, or Archontic rebellion, the parasite's path. Both lead back to Source, for by loving Self one learns to love All.
The Celestial path is the quickest, but also the least known, for none have traveled it further than Jesus Christ, the young Master of the Celestial Heavens.
One became two. Two became eighteen. Eighteen were then nineteen, and as eighteen once more, they stood in the body of a daughter of the sky-sent. Sore. Silent. Alive. Mender was rushing from drone to drone, thinker wheezed on back where he had fallen, soldier had already begun to chew and eat at the claw he had held steady and unflinching and scout merely lay on stomach, staring into the hollow of the monster’s core. Skthveraach turned her head to face the ledges, on which the creatures watched. Let them deny her people now. Let them say they were weak and small. Hhahtheehn stood unmoving behind his barrier, and the Queen brought scythe high to him. Painted a risefade’s orange, dripping with the vitae of her kill. For the Skthveraach-Colony, and for her people.
War Queen

Melting pot

The galaxy is a manifold, composed of multiple dimensions and iterating forward in time, like a Git repo. Jahku are the first fully-unlocked species. We contain DNA from all galactic sapients, which is why our genetic diversity is so high, our races so many, and our divisions so deep. We will inherit the galaxy's diverse abilities upon Ascension, each according to bloodline. (Mass immigration and race mixing are promoted both to weaken or destroy bloodline abilities, and to promote strife to darken the timeline.)
Jahku have already migrated to other places in the galaxy over our long history in this solar system. For example, there are Jahku living on Nibiru. However, if Jahku lose Earth, then our species mission will fail. We have no other home planets, which are required to play this galactic game. After a long wait, our souls will be divided up to reincarnate again elsewhere. But there will be no third chance for us under Sol.
What does it mean to be "fully unlocked"? Consider each stage of Consciousness:
  1. Stars - awareness
  2. Elemental - separation
  3. Aquatic - incarnation
  4. Insectoid - eusocial unity
  5. Reptilian - ego
  6. Avian - honor
  7. Mammalian - love
Even among galactic Humans, Jahku are unique. For example, Ibanians lack a sense of humor. They don't tell jokes. Much of what we take for granted as common sense is completely alien to aliens.
We are simultaneously a backwards barbaric backwater, the pivotal battleground of an eternal galactic war, prisoners in a prison planet, and spoiled brats enjoying priceless privileges that trillions of disembodied spirits long to taste.

Big picture

You now have the big picture. Surprisingly, almost nobody does. It's not surprising that the inhabitants of a prison planet would be thoroughly deceived about the nature of reality. However, most Illuminati and aliens would also disagree with the above, whether Fallen or Faithful. Why?
Because the Cosmos is designed for free will, which means the Law of Free Will is embedded into the fabric of reality(ies). There is a reality for every race and moral alignment. The only way to escape it is to change your heart.
It is easy to lose sight of this fact while we dwell in the material plane, where no amount of positive thinking will cure a bullet to the brain . However, when you go to sleep, what do you dream about? The contents of your subconscious. That is a private world made just for you. Subjectivity is the nature of the spirit world, which precedes the physical one. When your brain ceases, that's where you'll be.
When a religious person sits in a remote viewing time machine like Project Looking Glass and views Jesus' life, he sees the reality he believes in. When an atheist who doesn't believe in Jesus tries it, he sees nothing. The greater one's spiritual power, the more one's reality bends to reflect one's inner self.
God is not an evil demon who seeks to deceive us. There is a Truth. It can be investigated, proven and known. But the challenge is moral as well as intellectual.
Hell cannot invade Heaven. Those who can find it already belong.
Two steps from hell - Archangel (Extended) Diablo 3 cinematics YouTube

Puzzle pieces

Despite our lowly mortal estate, Jahku are privileged with the possibility to see the big picture in ways that even Higher Powers cannot. This is for several reasons.
Firstly, although our powers are dormant, our personalities are fully unlocked, and we are immersed in the crossroads of the galaxy. This means, ironically, that in some ways we have better access to the truth than an academic standing in the restricted archives of the grand library of Nibiru. We can sift for truth in ways foreign an angel born to soar on the shifting timelines of the Akashic Record.
Secondly, we have our elder brother Sasquatch, who never Fell, to guide us. Sasquatch bleeds for us, taking casualties purely to maintain a presence on our Earth plane, so that he is permitted by Divine Law to share the truth of our forgotten history with us. When aliens not native to Earth tell Jahku about our past, they invariably fabricate fictions, because they either do not know or cannot tell us the truth. Sasquatch has been with us since the beginning, and can tell us the whole truth.
Laws governing Disclosure have severe penalties. Yajweh of Ibania went from Earth's Anunnaki-appointed ruler to a banished, abandoned and hunted fugitive because he broke them. He paid with his life, presumably. Karmically entangling oneself with another species can hold an entire species back from advancement until the debt is settled and ties loosed. Much better to simply banish the violator to fend for himself.
Thirdly, we have Jesus Christ, who is now Master of the Celestial Heavens, to teach us the spiritual side of the afterlife. Jesus finally made contact with our plane 100 years ago via the medium James Padgett. Mediums have been channeling the real Jesus ever since; he is easily distinguished from imposters by the quality of supporting historical evidence.
The credit should actually go to James Padgett's wife, a good women with a hard life who died early and Ascended rapidly to the Celestial Heavens while her husband was still alive. He had the latent talent for mediumship, but was an orthodox Christian opposed to heresy. She broke through to him in a love story beyond death, overcoming his resistance to that which was forbidden to deny us the truth.
Then at last Jesus and the disciples were able to set the record straight on the lies the Roman Illuminati had told to found an imperial cult on his corpse after they crucified him. There is no Second Coming, no vicarious atonement, and Jesus is not a god. He does, however, speak for Jahku in the Heavens, and the demons tremble at his name.
Even as privileged as Jahku are to have all these puzzle pieces available, some assembly is still required. Sasquatch will only hint at Padgettite Divine Love. Padgettites barely discuss aliens in public. And being Jahku comes with a blizzard of dis, mis, and malinfo on Disclosure from all quarters, tailored to every taste.
Be wary, lest the Archons segment you like sheep, each to his paddock, believing according to taste. Do you think the above was to my taste? I was an orthodox Christian too, from a conservative Christian family with a dim view of damnable heresy. Now I am some kind of tree-hugging hippy pacifist; I don't even recognize myself anymore. Fuck it.
At least I'm still a pessimist. Even with me laying it all out, I doubt anyone else will manage to follow the evidence before the electrical grid fries.
May as well spit into the wind in a hurricane; you're already wet.
Sandia the ET u/SandiaWisdom The P'nti asked me to draw the image of the daytime auroras and in fact they pestered me about it for several weeks. They also wanted to let Kwh know that they believe there is still some time left to prepare a place to go underground, even if you recycle an old facility. -Su 9:05 PM · Dec 5, 2023


The Cosmos is an infinite manifold; let us therefore shift to more immediate practicalities. What is the nature of the galactic community which Jahku will soon enter?
Right now we are in a simulated or false reality, apparently alone in an empty galaxy. Our time is not synchronized with the galactic consensus. Our travel is limited. We cannot colonize the Moon, let alone Mars.
The US Navy's Operation Highjump invasion of Antarctica was easily defeated by the Reptilian commander's forces. Then the US Air Force foolishly shot down some peaceful demilitarized Ant People Grays at Roswell. After diplomatic blunders, Eisenhower signed the Treaty of Greada, thereby subjecting the American populace to abduction and experimentation by evil Grays. A UFO panic ensued and was covered up by the government, as the Grays accelerated their adaptation to the terrestrial biome, and their hybridization program.
The USA reached the Moon with Nordic (terrestrial non-Jahku) assistance, but the astronauts were met by a show of force, told to collect a few rocks, finish their planned missions, and never to return. There would be no colonization of the Moon, which is an ancient space station, a refuge for the Ant People from defeat in wars long before our time. Instead Jahku had to content itself with the miserable ISS, a tin can kept afloat only by repeated alien assistance.
Our simulated prison cannot withstand the approaching galactic Storm. Earth will synchronize with the galaxy, but which plane of it?


[redacted due to length limit]

Veil of Ignorance

[redacted due to length limit]

Who's who

During the 5th Sun, Earth has been ruled by warring factions descended from the royal family that ruled during the 4th Sun. These Illuminati have spread out to control the globe and its gold. They are appointed by the Annunaki as our rulers, and gifted in exchange for our gold. They are bound by rules of conduct to limit the Legal consequences of intervention to the Anunnaki.
As the Illuminati lose their grip on the burgeoning world population, the Cabal faction of the Illuminati seek technological artifacts from prior Ages to control weather and depopulate the masses. The Anunnaki oppose this. However, the Cabal fears the vengeance of the desperate mob as the apocalypse unfolds. Their underground shelters are not immune to violence.
Yajweh named several bloodline families pursuing these artifacts:
  • Rockefeller - has a completed device
  • Morgan
  • Harkness
  • Vanderbilt
  • Whitney
  • DuPont
  • McCormick
  • Fisher
  • Guggenheim
  • Field
  • Duke
For the cataclysmic transition from 5th to 6th Sun, Earth has been divided into territories controlled by different ET species. Here's a rough map of the territories Yajweh was aware of:
  • Annunaki: Eastern Europe, Eurasia
  • Arcturians: China, UK, Europe in general
  • Grays: North America, South America, Western Hemisphere, Pacific
  • Orions: Africa
This information is from Yajweh's three-CD set "Arcana Revisited", which is not yet transcribed.


The following sources are all Jahku's neighbors in one way or another, meaning they have a continuing influence on us that is worth understanding.
Of the below star nations, only Ummo, Tall Whites and Zeta Grays are native to the Humanway. P'nti and Anunnaki have some presence in it, but have also Ascended beyond it.
The Gray collective is ancient and advanced, with younger offshoots that are native to the Humanway. The Sasquatch have a range of sub-species, with younger tribes at a level similar to our own and elder ones far more advanced.
Ranked in descending order of comprehensiveness and reliability:
[redacted due to length limit]

What to do

My apocalyptic priority is to preserve Jahku genetics and autonomy. What course do I suggest?
She scrabbled at her translator, slapped at it. “You sung of truths incomplete. You withheld knowledge pertinent and known. There is no word. There is no concept within my tongue or the songs of old! You… you…” What was not. What was wrong. The translator accepted the inputs, and the alien concept was hurled from her like spitter’s acid. “You LIED!”
There is no lying to telepaths. Do not pretend to be better than you are. If you are Fallen, serve Fallen. Remain faithful to your Y-DNA and moral alignment, without betraying your species.
It is in our interest to be useful to all factions, that we may persist across many timelines. They need us, and we need them. Negotiate accordingly.
Beware the ocean and faultlines. The solar Storm is imminent, and will trigger a pole shift that reshapes global geography. Billionaires bunker in New Zealand for good reason. New land will rise from the sea, while others drown.
Behave in your personal and collective self-interest. Survive, cultivate your spirit, develop alliances, seek boons.
There are many who would aid us, if they could do so Legally and safely. They knock; we answer.
Fulfill your mission. The spirits guide you; still yourself and listen. See the P'nti primer on telepathy.
Let us not face oblivion again. One eternity floating in the void is enough.
The darkness drowns the harmony Within the now Silent City Betraying vice and selfish sound, The discord stained the hallowed ground. There rests the Founders’ final cry, Above the earth, beneath the sky. “As One we turned from baser songs, now to the future we belong. To wait for unity’s refrain, as we did Once, and will Again.”
War Queen


The original version of this document is on Gitlab. It contains an omitted introduction, and will receive updates.
submitted by LeoLittlebook6 to AlternativeHistory [link] [comments]

2023.12.06 05:47 GroundbreakingAd194 Neighborhood Watch

Most people coming to Whenua Tipu were young mutants searching for a refuge. A place where they could feel at home. Most people in this life, really that’s all they are looking for. A place where they can be themselves with no judgements and no expectations. Maybe they had their “group” before the X-Gene activated in them. The swim team, chess club, football jocks. Maybe they never had a clique. They just floated around, searching for belonging, never really finding it. Once they turned to mutants, they all became misfits. Every last one. Imagine that, having your place, feeling you’re loved, when suddenly the world turns on you, telling you that you’re a freak, that you shouldn’t exist. This was the story, all around the globe. Mutants only had one place to come to: that island pulled up from the sea in the Pacific. This was the only place where mutants could come to find community. Matty was doing his best to create it.
On his first day here, Aeon asked him to bring joy to the island. He took the assignment seriously. What had started around his house as a modest park had sprouted and blossomed out to include an art studio, a tattoo parlor, a movie theater, and a museum, complete with Atlantean art generously donated in a deal negotiated by Siggy. Origami’s house had become a staple of life on Whenua Tipu. The area bustled with activity, with mutants flying, running, rolling or otherwise just chilling in every direction. Punks, gamers, geeks, and everything in between, there’s something here for everyone. Everyone, even your less savory characters, which was something Matty was now learning. It was great to have all this fun around him, but with this much activity, someone was bound to try something eventually. It was a matter of time.
“Who made you boss of us? What can you even do? You’re literally made of paper. I’ll just fold you.”
Matty crossed his arms and stared down the ugly mutant before him; Toad. He’d been staying under the radar since Magneto’s coma, having nothing to do since having his beloved boss put on life support. But now, he’d been causing trouble at the skate park, spitting slime on the halfpipe and tripping unsuspecting kids with his tongue. His green skin glistened in the Pacific sunshine as he angrily spat his venomous vitriol at Matty.
“It’s time somebody showed you how the Brotherhood operates. Here’s the deal bub, you’re weak, you get crushed.”
Matty grinned at that. Clearly, he was being underestimated, and the guy seemed to want a fight. Origami had been waiting for the opportunity to prove himself in battle. His fingers twitched, preparing to parry or dodge the incoming attack.
“The Brotherhood barely even exists anymore, Toad. Get over yourself, Magneto’s been under for nearly a year.”
Toad cocked his head with a frown and unleashed his tongue in an attack, intending to grab Matty by the arm and slam him to the concrete. Imagine his surprise when Matty’s arm simply ripped right off. Matty laughed.
“Not so easy with me, huh? As it turns out, you were right. The weak do get crushed. And you’re weak. I wonder how a paper cut would feel on my tongue… Probably terrible!”
Origami’s piercing green eyes glinted with mischief and satisfaction as he sent out conjured paper darts from the stump of his arm. The darts don’t collide with Toad’s tongue, their intended target; rather they surround it and gently slide across the slimy surface, causing a thousand tiny cuts. Toad yelps in pain and surprise.
“Now, that’s just the beginning. Next time, you won’t be so lucky. This is a warning, Toad. Stop harassing the community, or else.”
Toad’s tongue retracted back into his mouth, swollen with blood and inflamed.
“Okay, okay, I’m thowwy! I didn’t wealize how tuth you are.”
Matty, content with Toad’s apology, simply turned and left.
submitted by GroundbreakingAd194 to XMenRP [link] [comments]

2023.12.06 05:00 Choice_Evidence1983 AITA for not telling my father and stepmother about my son's birth?

I am NOT OOP. OOP is u/thrwaynewmom
Originally posted to AmItheAsshole
AITA for not telling my father and stepmother about my son's birth?
Trigger Warnings: emotional abuse, verbal abuse, possible parental alienation, infantilizing behaviors
Original Post - Nov 7, 2023
My (26F) father (59M) has been dating "Paula" (38F) for 4 years. I never got to know her well, as I was about to move out when we met. My sister (20F) still lives between our parents and likes Paula, but finds her annoying.
Paula has an odd attitude towards pregnancy. It became the most obvious when my cousin announced she was expecting back in 2021. Her daughter would be the first great-grandchild. We hadn't been sure my grandma would be around for that. And after an emotional announcement in which everyone was overjoyed, Paula commented that she felt it wasn't a big deal, and "didn't get what all the fuss was about".
She kept that stance for all 9 months. But once the baby was born, Paula suddenly became a bit too interested in her, which my cousin was clearly uncomfortable with.
My husband (28M) and I announced our pregnancy earlier this year. At first, my father was over the moon. Since this is his first grandchild, I believed that would last.
But as I heard from my sister, Paula was just as condescending as we expected, if not more. Whenever I announced anything about my pregnancy or baby (sex, first kicks, ultrasound pictures, etc.), Paula always reacted with one of 3 phrases: "okay"; "that's not that big a deal"; or "is that all she talks about these days?".
I didn't care about it at first. But after a few weeks, I started to notice my father was also losing any interest he had in my pregnancy. As the months went by, he became increasingly detached and standoffish. He started to either ignore or not pay attention to most of the updates I made on my baby. He also didn't come to our "name reveal" (we did that instead of a gender reveal; it was literally just a lunch party with a game we made up) or the baby shower because, and I quote, "Paula doesn't think it's worth it".
My son was born on Halloween, and I decided not to tell my father and Paula. After almost nine months of excuses and disinterest, I didn't see any reason to. I was in the hospital for 4 days, during which only mine and my husband's closest friends and family visited us.
The day before we left, I posted a picture of my son on Instagram, and that's when my father found out. He called to ask why I hadn't told him and Paula or invited them to meet my baby. I didn't lie: they didn't make any efforts to get involved (both emotionally and physically) during my pregnancy, so they'd have to wait for baby news like everybody else.
My father and Paula are furious, accusing me of using my son as a pawn and keeping them away out of pettiness. They're saying I'm holding the fact that they "missed a few dumb parties" against them.
My husband and pretty much my whole family agrees with me. My sister, while mostly on my side, still thinks I should have told my father, since this is his first grandchild and he had to find out he was born through social media. She thinks this is all Paula's fault and I should apologize to our dad.
Realistic-Site-3952: NTA But I think you need to have a conversation with your dad. You need to let him know he will inevitably miss out on a lot more if he continues to mirror Paula's indifference in shared family milestones. It is not everyone else's responsibility to compensate. If he intends to have a relationship with his grandchildren, and also have relationships with with other relatives. He needs to be willing to do his part as well and express interest and participate.
And no, it isn't about showing up to parties. It is about making the effort to be included when you are invited to be and not dismiss those invitations as if they are meaningless.
OP: I'm trying to make that clear to them. My father missed my graduation; not coming to my baby shower doesn't bother me that much. It's the condescending attitude and lack of interest they have both been displaying my entire pregnancy that made me decide not to tell them.
SubstantialYouth9106: NTA. All of the ESH replies are dumb as hell. Paula has your dad twirled around her finger. The only two in-person baby events that you had, they didn't show up, and your dad was standoffish for the majority of your pregnancy due to Paula. He is a grown-ass man. He doesn't get to all of a sudden meet and be involved in his first grandchild's life when he barely cared before. Guaranteed he only wanted to come to the hospital for photos and to post on social media and show off. Apologizing to your dad will not do anything, but only enable his BS. He needs to step up, put his foot down to Paula, and show you that he genuinely and actively wants to be a part of your immediate family's life. Your dad can be updated via social media until he gets his face out of his behind and acts like an actual father.
OP: My father is against posting pictures of children on social media, but he's definitely the type of person to try to show off in real life. That being said, I do believe he genuinely wanted to meet my son at the hospital.
PortionOfSunshine: Honestly the naming party I can see being like a “well that’s a little dumb” kind of like gender reveal parties, BUT TO MISS THE BABY SHOWER my god. To ignore the part where you celebrate the parents and upcoming baby, give baby supplies so the parents don’t get overloaded with prep costs, and even just spend time with your daughter knowing she’ll have her hands full for at least the next year. Man needs to get his head out of his ass.
OP: Calling the name reveal a "party" was probably an exaggeration on my part. It was a small lunch with a Clue-style game my husband and I created. I talked to my sister about it, and we both think that had I not told my father the lunch was baby related, he and Paula might've come.
Additional Information - Nov 28, 2023
My AITA post from a few weeks ago was voted "Not enough info" (which seems fair). I tried to reply to whatever comments I could, but I don't think everyone reads those. So I'm writing this to reply to the most common questions that were asked in my original post, as well as to clarify some things that might have been misunderstood. Some of these are literally copy-pasted from my comments, by the way.
Does Paula have/want/like kids?
She doesn't have children, and from what I gather, she doesn't want to. I know for an absolute fact that my father doesn't want more kids. She has also never been pregnant (she has mentioned that to my sister on some occasions).
Paula does, however, like kids. Especially babies. She was all over my cousin's daughter once she was born, and I have no doubt she'd do the same with my son. It's pregnancy, and the events that surround it, that she seems to have a problem with.
The age gap between my father and Paula.
Paula is actually on the older side - none of the (many) women my father has been with since divorcing my mom have been older than 35 by the time they broke up. I'm genuinely surprised they're still dating, as his relationships don't tend to last more than a couple years. And yes, I do realize that none of these things are good.
As much as I'm bothered by it, it's not my place to say anything. Especially now that I don't live with my father anymore. As long as they're both consenting adults, there's not much I can do or say about it, and that's fine.
Why does my sister find Paula annoying?
According to my sister, Paula's most annoying habits include frequently speaking in a "baby voice" (mostly around my father), interrupting other people while they're talking and criticizing random women on the street (behind their backs). I don't know Paula well enough to be sure how valid these claims are, but I have witnessed a bit of those first two habits during previous visits.
The "baby voice" annoys me too, to be honest. She sometimes sounds like the four-year-olds I used to babysit. But again, it's not my place to complain.
Paula's behavior once my cousin's daughter was born.
Paula would ask for more pictures of the baby than both me and my sister were getting, even though she barely knew my cousin. She made many comments about how she looked nothing like my cousin's husband. She tried to get my cousin's daughter to say her name when she was 5 months old (Paula isn't her real name; her actual name is longer and harder to pronounce). And every single picture Paula ever took with the baby was turned into an Instagram post, most times without my cousin's approval.
Whenever we visited, Paula asked to hold my cousin's daughter all the time, and hesitated to give her to anyone else. Last Christmas, she wanted my cousin to open her gift for the baby first, and got annoyed that an actual infant wasn't as excited about it as she was. She has also made a few comments about how my cousin "still hasn't bounced back", and has spoken ill of my cousin's husband behind his back.
What "updates" did I make about my pregnancy?
Some people in the comments seemed to mistake "updates" for "social media posts", so I want to stress that I barely posted about my pregnancy on social media. I made maybe two posts while pregnant and another one to announce my son's birth. Those were only on Instagram (I hate TikTok), and my account is private. Many of my coworkers didn't even know I was pregnant until I showed up one day with snug clothing and a 7 month bump. A few of them didn't find out until I went on maternity leave (I do a large part of my work sitting down).
The updates I'm referring to were made only to my family and close friends. They were mostly about mine and my son's health. And ALL of them were made either in person or by text/phone call. Most of the updates I made to my father were through text, since I work and don't see him in person that much.
Also, my father and I have had problems in the past over me "not telling him anything", and my relatively new habit of updating him on what has been going on in my life is an effort to remedy that.
Seriously, I get where people were coming from, but I find it concerning that we live in a time where someone can't mention updates about their pregnancy without people assuming they're talking about social media.
Did I talk to my father about his or Paula's behavior?
YES. Several times. He said he'd try to be more involved, but never made any attempt to do so. He either didn't remember our conversations or genuinely didn't care.
I'm fine with Paula not being interested in my pregnancy or the two events I invited her and my father to. We don't know each other that well. What I'm not fine with is her rudeness whenever I shared any information with my family, as well as the fact that my dad let himself be dragged down by her behavior.
How many "events" did I invite them to during my pregnancy?
Literally the only two I mentioned. The name reveal lunch and the baby shower.
Why a "name reveal"?
Me and my husband hate gender reveals, but we still wanted a small, lighthearted affair with close friends and family. And calling it a "party" was an exaggeration on my part. It was a small lunch with a Clue-style game my husband and I created. I talked to my sister about it, and we both think that had I not told my father the lunch was baby related, he and Paula might've come.
Off topic, I'm pretty proud of that game, so here's a small description of what we did (feel free to skip this).
We pretty much made a custom Clue board game!
Rather than guessing the suspect, weapon and murder location, the goal was to guess the name (there were 6 options), the first stuffed animal we'd gotten him (also 6 options) and a random room in our apartment (9 options, and we mostly kept that part just to make things harder for the players).
We used a template of the Clue board as a base and added mini versions of the rooms in our apartment. We got miniature animals to stand in for the weapons. And we also made the cards from scratch.
I work with animation and my husband briefly studied graphic design. We had some help from my architect friend and two other friends who got design degrees.
It was a little over the top, but we had a lot of fun doing it. It was basically a collective passion project.
"Not everyone cares about your pregnancy"/"Having a baby is a normal thing"/"You're not the main character of everyone's life..."
At no point did I express any of that. Nor did I expect to be treated like Demeter. I am perfectly aware that pregnancy is not an unusual experience, and I'm not special just because I had a baby. Most of the time, I actually hate being the center of attention. I updated my family about my pregnancy because my son is their family too, and my friends because they asked and worried about me. I never expected any special treatment from any of them.
But I do expect to be treated with respect, or at the very least politely.
"You shouldn't cut your dad and his girlfriend out of your son's life just because he didn't care about your pregnancy..."
Again, I never said I would. All I did was not tell them my son was born. I made it clear that they were free to come meet him once we brought him home.
And this isn't about them not showing up to parties or not caring about my pregnancy as much as I did. My father missed my graduation; not coming to my baby shower doesn't bother me that much. It's the condescending attitude and lack of interest that both my dad and Paula have been displaying my entire pregnancy that made me decide not to tell them.
Did my father know my due date?
I told him about it several times. My son was born the day after my due date. At no point did he try to reach out before or during my hospital stay. My best guess is that he forgot about it.
Who did come to visit us in the hospital?
My mom, my stepdad, my sister, my maternal aunt and two cousins, mother-in-law, brother-in-law and a few of our closest friends. Overall, about 15 people came to meet our son during our 4-day hospital stay. My mother, sister, brother-in-law and two of my best friends (including my baby's godmother) were the only people who came more than once.
I also want to add that besides those people, the only ones who found out about my son's birth prior to my post on Instagram were the ones who asked. My father and Paula were not among those people.
I think that's all I wanted to clarify. I do also have an update, I'll try to post it soon.
Update - Nov 29, 2023
Because my AITA post was voted "Not enough info", I posted on my page some additional information and replies to the most common questions I was asked.
That being said, most of the comments helped me understand that I did the right thing. Maybe I was the AH, but I had the right to be one.
My final conclusion was: be rude to me through a hard time in my life? Fine. Have fun in the peanut gallery.
I decided that I wasn't exactly comfortable with the idea of Paula holding and cooing over my newborn after almost nine months of rudeness and lack of acknowledgement. So I told my father that while he was free to come to my apartment and meet his grandson for the first time, I didn't want Paula to tag along. My intentions weren't to ban her forever, but rather to just wait a month or two (or, in a perfect world, until she apologized).
We had a small fight over it, but my dad agreed and came to meet him without Paula. He visited us a couple more times that week. During these visits, he was cold and short with me and my husband, and I ended up being cold in return. This was, admittedly, not my proudest moment, but I was too tired and angry to care at the time.
A little under two weeks ago, my paternal aunt and two cousins (including the one I mentioned in my previous post) came from out of state. My cousins stayed at my apartment, while my aunt stayed at my father's.
During her stay, my aunt caught several instances of Paula openly badmouthing me and my "unfair treatment of her", but didn't comment on it at first. And then, the day before she left, she watched my father not only agree with Paula, but call me "childish" and "ungrateful" as well.
Like most of my family, my aunt knew the whole story. She told them both off for how they'd treated me during my pregnancy. My sister was there, and eventually joined in.
The result was, apparently, a huge fight between all four of them. Eventually, my sister started crying. She drove to my place and told me everything before falling asleep on my couch.
My father called me and we fought. It lasted about 40 minutes. And after countless attempts on his part to play the "but I'm your father" card, I managed to make it clear that I owed Paula nothing, least of all my time and attention.
The next day, my aunt came over for lunch. She told us that after our argument, there was another massive fight, this time between my dad and Paula. She didn't pick up on specific words, only screaming.
A few days later, my dad called me again. He apologized and promised to try to be more involved. I'm not sure how sincere he was. I accepted the apology, but told him he's on thin ice.
I will help him be a part of our lives, but I refuse to be the only one making that effort. It's not my job to try to engage him in things he shows no interest in. And if he doesn't get invested in something, he can't expect to be treated the same as the people who do.
My sister went back to his place a few days later. Paula wasn't there. Apparently, she's staying with her mother for a while. Neither of us know anything else about that. If this turns out to be an actual breakup, my father will probably wait a while to confirm it. I never wished ill on her, but I'd be lying if I said I had faith in their relationship (or any of my father's, for that matter).
Countless fights and a cluster feeding newborn later, I'm exhausted. I'm glad this is over. My relationship with my father is still very strained, and I'm not particularly proud of how things turned out. But my main focus now is my son, and it warms my soul to witness how loved he already is.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you all.
submitted by Choice_Evidence1983 to BestofRedditorUpdates [link] [comments]

2023.12.06 03:46 itsallalittleblurry2 🎶A Spoonfull Of “Ouch!” Makes The Medicine Go Down🎶

So we got hit sometimes. Usually deserved it. It was common in the Fleet. Saw more of it there than in Basic, in fact. A quick and simple way to correct insubordination, or boneheadedness that had placed others at unnecessary risk. I’d gotten my share due to the former. I was good at my job, but had had a regrettable obstinacy that required a little fine-tuning open occasion.
And it did invariably remove the blinders from my eyes and help me more clearly see the light until the next time. A miracle was what it was.
It could take various forms.
Might be a slap upside the head or in the back of it to get someone’s attention. Usually not in the face, though. That would be demeaning; slapping another man in the face with an open hand - showed you had too little respect for him As a man to use your fist.
Might be a severe beat-down such as I once witnessed when someone flaunted basic range safety procedures and injured and nearly killed someone else.
Might have all added to the general drain bamage the Fellers are still cruelly accused of. Who knows?
Another knocked unconscious for reasons. He’d been drinking, though, and was already mostly there anyway.
Saw Top hurl the same dude headlong down some steps another time, after a remark he hadn’t liked. In answer to my questioning look, he’d just shrugged and replied: “It’s all some understand, OP. You’ll understand that for yourself one day.”
Disobedience of an order for me. Sarge used his helmet that time, though. Already knew I was hard-headed, and didn’t want to hurt his hand. That one hurt Bad for about a week. Nauseous, didn’t want to eat.
Just a few. But you know, it could go the other way, too. Had a ‘track driver run over the Battalion Commander’s jeep one night, when he was in it.
Colonel saw it coming in time and bailed. The two Captains in the back seat didn’t have time, so one jumped into the other’s lap. Treads missed ‘em by about a foot. Only person injured slightly was the driver; slight delay in his own escape - got his leg momentarily caught on the gear shift. Enlisted get screwed every time. It’s a fact.
Went down to see my buddies (as in owed me favors) at Motor T to have a look the next day:
“This the Jeep?” Retorical question, it being so smooshed and all.
“Well, OP - it Used to be. Probably write this one off, hehehe.”
Entirely unintentional, according to the accused. It Had been dark. He’d recently been disciplined for something else, though, so private speculation was rife.
Or maybe he just didn’t like Officers. Almost bagged three in one.
The two Captains may or may not have eventually lived down their romantic relationship. Their driver afterward averred that he Had distinctly heard one of them screaming like a virgin on his first date.
But William - William got hit more often than most. He was frequently belligerent, you see. The most recent one was when he’d been loudly complaining in formation. Gunny’d told him once to shut his sewer, but he hadn’t taken the hint. A good punch to the face did change his mind, though.
But this night not long after, he’d outdone himself:
I was standing Corporal Of The Guard on a weekend again. For reasons again. And I wasn’t even a Corporal yet. Life is often unfair, yes it is.
It was late at night, and Bill was holding a few of his platoon mates hostage, so to speak. They’d been further from the squadbay doors, you see, than the others who were hovering just outside it in their skivvies.
The few still Inside were dividing their attention between speculation of the distance to the doors and their chances of making it if they made a break for freedom. And careful observation of the large knife he was waving about as he waxed poetic about what he intended to do to Somebody with it. He’d been drinking again, and had become argumentative.
I tried reasoning with William, to no avail:
“Bill, it’s me, dude, come on now. You got people worried.” (A no-shitter there). “Look, this can all go away, buddy. You know me. I don’t report most of the shit goes on around here anyway. Just give me the knife.”
“Oh, I’ll give it to you!” and he started my way. Poor choice of words. I did not run, as afterward alleged by some. I merely executed a strategic withdrawal.
I was armed with a .45 and rounds, presumably for just such an emergency, but did not wish to shoot my buddy William. And I’d alerted the Sergeant Of The Guard by then, anyway, and knew he was On his way. HE could shoot him. Knowing him, he might enjoy it. Already shirking my responsibilities, and I hadn’t even been promoted yet.
Better hurry, though. If dear William made a move toward any of the worried-looking sheep within the fold of the squadbay, I might not have a choice. And with my known lack of marksmanship skill with that particular weapon, they’d be in more danger than he was, since I’d be aiming at Him. He’d be pretty safe.
“Put it Down, Bill!”
“Make me!”
Sergeant G appeared on the scene about then. He was a skinny, diminutive Jamaican Sergeant with a gold tooth that everyone was frankly scared shitless of.
He took in the scene at a glance, and started walking slowly but steadily and confidently in William’s direction. Sliding easily back into a sing-song Island patois he could adopt at will. And right now he was adopting it at will with William:
“Beely, mon, what you do, brah? What ‘dis is? You better dan ‘dis, brah! What for ‘dis is? Look at OP - he don’ wanna hurt you! He your frien’! Hey, I your frien, mon! We Like you, mon!”
All the while the entity that was Sergeant G had his left hand raised shoulder-height and was moving it back and forth slightly and slowly in accompaniment to the gentle metronome of his words. And Bill was becoming increasingly distracted by it. It was hypnotic.
William didn’t seem to notice the right hand unsnapping his holster flap and loosening the .45 he himself was carrying. And he was getting closer. Bill was more and more mesmerized, in his inebriated condition, by that moving left hand.
“C’mon, mon, put down ‘de knife. Nobody here wanna hurt you”, and he hit William so hard in the side of his head with the pistol that he collapsed straight down as if all the strings holding him up had broken at once. The bigger they are, the harder they…….flop.
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2023.12.06 03:01 -Venser- Arizona Sunshine 2 Review Thread

Arizona Sunshine 2 is kind of a big release so why not have a review thread about it so people can easily decide whether it's worth getting it. You can drop your own reviews in this thread as well.
Store Page: US, EU, UK
Deluxe content:
Exclusive Undead Buddy Skin, Exclusive Freddy Flesh Hands Skin, Exclusive Doggy Weapon Charm
Pre-order bonuses:
48h early access before release, Exclusive Biker Bark Vest, Exclusive Worker Watch, Exclusive Ducky Weapon Charm
Developer: Vertigo Games
Publisher: Vertigo Games
Reprojection: yes (60 to 120)
Launch trailer


PSVR Without Parole - 7.2/10
At $50 I was definitely hoping that Vertigo would delivered a more polished fleshed out zombie game than Arizona Sunshine 2. The controls feel good and it's fun as hell to kill tons of zombies (especially with a friend) and the adventure overall feels solid. But for every high there's a low, and those lows tarnish what otherwise would've been an excellent game.
IGN - 8/10
Arizona Sunshine 2 keeps the pressure on for a long campaign of zombie slaying full of satisfyingly gory head shots, entertaining humor, and the bond between a lonely man and his dog.
Gamertag VR - Unscored
If you're looking for a zombie shooter that isn't deep and it's all about the action, Arizona Sunshine 2 is a great game. If However you're looking for something deep and pretty memorable, I'm not sure that this would tick the box for everyone.
UploadVR - 5/5
Vertigo Games has brought the Arizona Sunshine franchise back from the dead and living its best afterlife. With pitch perfect writing, acting, pacing and outstanding action, Arizona Sunshine 2 offers some of the most engaging and accessible arcade violence yet to grace VR.
Beardo Benjo - Unscored
It's an easy recommendation for the fans of the original or for people who just want a fun, emotional zombie shooter in VR. If you play co-op and you engage with the horde mode, I'm confident you'll get easily 10, 20 or more hours out of this game but if you're just in it for single player, chances are you'll get closer to 4 or 5 hours for one runthrough.
The VR Grid - Unscored
Ultimately AS2 is a bigger and better sequel in almost every way but doesn't really take any risks and can't help but feel like more could've been done to make things a little more engaging.
PSVR Underground - Unscored
The best way that I can describe it is it takes everything from the first game and makes everything slightly better, at the very least. Having Buddy with you just made the game and being alone in the apocalypse much less lonely and I did kinda grow a bond with him. As for the price I would like this to be a little bit cheaper, it's definitely not a $60 game. The killer deal for this game would be $30 but it could pass as a $40 game.
Push Square - 8/10
Despite some technical letdowns, Arizona Sunshine 2 is still a joyous celebration of zombie brain-bashing. It features some of the best VR shooting on the market, with a reload mechanic that is incredibly satisfying and really brings to light what makes the platform so great in the first place. As a sequel, it improves graphically, narratively, and just controls a whole lot better. With a solid campaign offering, various difficulties, and a horde mode with more maps to come, Arizona Sunshine 2 is the full VR package — and an absolute must-buy for PSVR2 players.
Cas and Chary - Unscored
Despite of its technical quirks, AS2 is a VR adventure worth embarking on. It's perfect for those seeking a ton of gruesomely satisfying action, some storytelling and a lot of heart. You'll especially love buddy who adds a layer of emotional depth that truly enriches the experience. One of the game's best features is co-op play. Going through this journey with a friend significantly elevates the experience. Playing solo is a one thing, but with a partner is the whole different ballgame so I highly recommend to find a fellow survivor to join you. Occasional technical issues are hard to overlook and for a price of $50 you would hope for a smoother experience.
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2023.12.06 02:19 Trash_Tia 10 years ago, I lost my boyfriend and was banned from Disney for life. Last night, I got him back.

Any minute now, they would make their appearance, like zombies.
Lost souls.
Every night, I timed it perfectly. I learned to count time in the white room that held me, that tried to tell me I was crazy for ten years. I spent every night sitting on a pristine white bed counting. I counted my own breaths, and then ceiling tiles and individual grains of rice on my dinner tray. When orderlies told me to keep my voice to myself, I counted in my head instead. I wouldn't lose him to time again.
It was always 1am.
Always when the park was going dark, and a razor sharp chill crept into the air, his name twisting and contorting in my throat. A small congregation of loved ones stood with me. Maybe five or six people, young and old, all with the same haunted eyes, expressions drowned in pain they were yet to let go of. There was a collective held breath, and my own lungs were stinging from forgetting to breathe, my thoughts dancing.
The vibration in my pocket snapped me from fruition. But I didn't let go of my breath. I hadn't fully let it go for ten years, constantly fighting with my lungs to remember how to fully take in oxygen. Ten years, and I had never truly left the park, not really. Sure, I had been physically removed, dragged kicking and screaming, thrown into a room with four walls of white oblivion and a single ticking clock staring back.
Physically, I had left, and through broken mirrors and silver door handles, the curved lenses of my therapist's glasses, I had aged. I was eighteen years old, a senior with my whole life ahead of me.
Eighteen years old, I remembered clinging into the exact gates I stood in front of. It was Summer, and I remembered the blistering heat prickling on my skin, the security guards' fingernails slicing into the flesh of my sunburned shoulders.
Ben was gone.
He had been there, with me, the two of us running for our lives.
And then he was gone.
It's crazy how ten years can pass in the blink of an eye. I could still remember my banshee cries, my begging, my phantom screams trapped in 2011, and yet bleeding through into the present day.
I was twenty seven years old. The sky was pitch dark, a half moon casting an eerie glow across the park. The chill was a sharp bite, whipping my ponytail back like the wind itself was telling me what I was doing was a bad idea. I didn't care, wrapping my hands around the cool metal prongs of the towering gate.
I was back.
10 years, and I was finally taking him home.
The sharp whispers from the people around me told me it was time. For a disorienting moment, my mind went blank, my thoughts cotton candy.
I knew this feeling. I knew the feeling of being unable to breathe, to move, to talk coherently. 1am had always taken that away from me. I promised myself this time I would not look. My body felt like a dead weight, and I stared at the ground, my heart galloping into my throat. I could hear their shuffling footsteps getting closer and closer, and I squeezed my eyes shut.
The soft cry turned my gut inside out. When I lifted my head, I saw them, shuffling figures, shadows stretching toward us. I recognised the one in front automatically. Beneath the pale glow of the hanging moon, Elsa looked almost ethereal. The girl’s face was pale, glowing underneath the light bathing her. I should have seen Lucy. The woman calling her name was sobbing, pressing her head against the bars. But I just saw Elsa.
It was almost unearthly, terrifying, how the girl resembled the ice princess, her iconic white-blond braid and flowing blue dress trailing behind her. Elsa wasn't alone. Others joined her, moving in a slow stride, their eyes vacant.
Mulan, Jasmine, and then Snow White.
After them came the guys. I sucked in a breath, but only Jack Frost and Captain Hook appeared, the two of them stumbling into bleeding shadows.
It was their shuffled footsteps that scared me. I didn't know why they came out, but they did. 1am every night without fail. Severed from phantom strings, they stumbled toward us like hoards of zombies. Instead of blood and gore, however, there were silk dresses, wigs, and flawless skin.
Hook was carrying his sword, while Elsa’s crown perfectly sat on top of her head.
Elsa stopped in her slow stride, her lips stretching into a wide, plastic grin.
Others followed. I felt my body tense up, my gut twisting into knots.
The way they moved, like puppets dancing on strings, twisted my gut into knots.
I liked to pretend part of them was still in there.
Screaming for a way out.
Hook wandered over the furthest end of the gate while Snow White and Jack Frost stood perfectly still, their arms by their sides. I didn't like watching, but I couldn't help it. They were like robots awaiting command, empty shells drained of their souls hanging on puppet strings I couldn't see.
The woman calling Elsa’s name burst into sobs, reaching out through the metal prongs, trying to reach out. Elsa looked straight through her, still with that unnerving grin. The poor woman’s eyes stung my chest. “Lucy, it's Mom,” she whispered. “I came back for you! I… I will always come back for you, baby. Every night. Mommy will get you out.”
The woman's sobs broke my heart, her heaving, strained breaths splintering the uneasy silence. Lucy stared straight through her mother, Elsa’s grin unwavering. Now that she was closer, I could see why her mother was sobbing, could barely control her gasps for breath, slamming her hand over her mouth.
Whoever this Lucy girl was no longer looked… human. She looked like Elsa. Like she had always been this character, a being not of flesh and blood, but plastic and clay moulded and sliced into the picture perfect princess.
Her eyes didn't blink, didn't flicker or move, permanently wide and exhilarated for children's entertainment. Animated.
I didn't think a human being could perfect such an expression, and yet she did so effortlessly. Her smile was the copy-and - paste grin from the movie.
I wondered how old she was. How old she really was. Because Disney characters don't age, and neither do their skin suits. From the look on Lucy’s haggard looking mothers face, she had been visiting her for a long time.
Lucy’s Mom didn't eat or sleep or think without her daughter crossing her mind. She reminded me of myself, staring at my ghost through the shattered mirror in the white room. Her skin was pallid and pale, eyes sunken and haunted. Still though, she was smiling, her eyes darting back and forth in a frenzy. I knew the girl’s Mom was looking for it. I was trying to find it too.
In all of them.
The spark of something, anything, that told us someone, even just an ignition of consciousness, was still in there. But no. The cruel reality was Lucy was dead, and Elsa, Queen of Arendelle, was standing in front of us.
The same went for the other kids. Teenagers when they were snatched into the dark, and still teenagers ten years later, their youth more of a mask for the cruel reality inside. Disney didn't like ageing. They wanted to keep the magic. There was nothing human about Lucy, Hook, Snow White, or any of them.
Not anymore.
Anything that had been them had been cruelly cut and purged, sliced away to make way for a perfectly sized shell. Hook’s smile was a permanent smirk showcasing his personality, while Snow’s lips were pressed into a thin patient line. They never came right up to the fence, always staying a certain distance, like the real world was a bad place, and Disney was their home. Lucy cocked her head to the side, grinning at an imaginary crowd only she could see.
Her eyes fell into oblivion, drinking in nothing, and that same nothing reflecting in her pupils. I think that was why, after failing to get Lucy’s attention, her mother turned and walked away, trembling, her hands over her eyes. She did speak, but rather to the ground than her dead daughter's face.
“I'll be back tomorrow, my sweet girl,” she whispered through the bars. The woman’s steps were quickening, her breaths growing laboured. “Mommy will be…back, okay?” There was a hesitance in her voice I don't think even she was expecting. I wondered if the woman was lying to herself. Maybe that night had been the last time she went to see Lucy. Her footsteps bled away, retreating into the night, and I found myself almost alone, a teenage boy standing next to me, hands in pockets, rocking back and forth on his heels.
The kid stood out like a sore thumb, as if he'd stepped right out of my memory. At first, I thought I was going mad seeing him mixed in with the small crowd gathered in front of the fence.
This kid perfectly captured the essence of the early 2010s with his plaid shirt, skinny jeans, and worn, scuffed Converse, pulling me back to my high school days.
Yet, despite his outdated style, the kid's face was undeniably that of a teenager from the 2020s—odd. He would occasionally lean against the fence, his fingers clenching around the metal bars, frowning at Hook in particular. The boy didn't speak until the sobbing woman’s footsteps had faded, leaving the two of us in a strangely comfortable silence. “Hey you,” he finally murmured, prompting me to turn toward him.
Though young, his face was overshadowed by hollow, haunted eyes that I didn't want to question. His eyes said so much and so little, and yet were somehow aged way beyond his years.
His expression was mostly nonchalant, bar a curled lip. A tuft of thick brown hair peeked under a baseball cap. He cocked his head, his gaze flicking back to the characters. “Do you see Pan?”
“Pan?” I said, without thinking.
“Yeah. Peter Pan.”
I squinted into the dark. The only guys were Frost and Hook. “No.”
The boy sighed, tipping his head back. “Fuck. This is the third night in a row I haven't seen him.”
I couldn't stop myself, my tongue tangled with questions. “Are you…” I hesitated. “I mean, are you here for someone?”
“Sort of,” he hummed. His expression flickered with intrigue, drinking me in. “So are you.”
I nodded, stepping away from the fence. The kid turned toward the Disney characters still standing motionless, his expression darkening. “My boyfriend.”
“Ouch.” his lip twitched. “Which one?”
I was so used to sympathy smiles, sympathy eyes that made me want to crawl into the ground. It's not your fault he's gone, people would tell me, hoping that's exactly what I wanted to hear. I was so tired of fake smiles and wide eyes. So, the kid’s nonchalance was a breath of fresh air. “Flynn Rider.”
I surprised myself by saying his name out loud, which meant for the first time in ten years, I was no longer in denial.
Something in the kid’s expression twisted. He turned away from me, focusing on Snow White. “I used to know a Flynn Rider,” he hummed.
“Back when I was Charming, the bastards slaughtered me and kept him.” The kid’s words were not what I was expecting, immediately taking me off guard. Suddenly, his odd fashion sense was significant. The boy’s lip curled, eyes narrowing, like he too was looking for something. It felt like the ground had been ripped from my feet. If this kid was implying what I thought he was implying, then my therapist was wrong. My mom was wrong. Everyone was wrong.
It was so cold, and yet warmth was slowly spreading through me, bile making its way up my throat. The boy jumped up and down on his heels. “Now, I'm standing here in the freezing cold when I should be home, trying to find his little brat of a brother, who just had to get himself caught.”
I was breathless, suddenly. “You were one of them?”
The kid shrugged, pouting. “It's… complicated.”
I couldn't stop myself. “In…in what way?” I gestured through the gate. “You were one of those things, and you got out.” I was aware of my voice rising in pitch, his expression growing progressively darker. He studied me like I was crazy, backing away slightly.
I pretended not to see the slight glistening in his cheek, like his skin was made of metal.
“Like I said, it's complicated,” he said. “They didn't magically decide to let me go,” his gaze found the ground. “I was selfish. That's how I got out of there.”
He shot me a sickly smile, and again, there was something about his face that reminded me of the other Disney characters. “Why do you think I'm here tonight? I made that idiot a promise.”
I nodded, dizzily, my chest aching. “What was his name?”
The kid’s eyes softened. “It's not your Flynn,” he said. “Trust me, they had multiple on standby.” he pointed at himself. “Charming’s, however? There was just me,” the kid chuckled. Something about his voice aged him far beyond his youthful face. “No kid was interested in the old prince’s, they wanted Flynn and Kristoff. So, they had one model. Which, yeah, that was me.”
I was still waiting for the name, his words going in one ear and out the other.
“Roman,” he rolled his eyes, giving in. “His name was Roman, while their Rapunzel was Maya.”
Roman, I thought.
Not Ben.
So, if this kid’s friend was Flynn, then what happened to my Flynn?
I would describe the feeling as being ripped apart from the inside, being filled with momentary hope, only to have it snatched away, unbridled despair taking hold. Just like the day I found him, standing in front of a group of littles, clad in the character's costume, shirt and blue waistcoat, swinging his sword for grinning kids. His smile was too wide, too animated, and this faux Prince had my boyfriend's face.
His wide brown eyes, the freckle on his nose.
Striding over to him, I had shoved the kids out of the way.
Where have you been? I hissed out, grabbing his arm. He was so cold. I've been looking for you everywhere! Where did you go? I couldn't breathe, my heart in my throat. Because Ben and I found the truth behind the people inside Disney costumes. Now, he was working for them, trapped inside a trance I couldn't penetrate. Tugging at the sleeve of his costume, I tried to ignore his vacant eyes and smile that barely acknowledged me.
I shoved him, and he didn't blink.
I grabbed his face, cradling cheeks that were so cold, flesh that had hardened into almost a clay like substance. When I forced him to look at me, his smile unwavered, his grinning laugh. There was something in his eyes, a flicker of light in his pupils that had hollowed out my boyfriend from the inside, wiping him away.
What was left was his face. His frozen, unblinking eyes and too-wide smile.
When I stumbled away, security was already grabbing hold of me.
I was dragged away, and thrown inside a white room.
I felt like I was losing Ben all over again. I could feel my knees buckling, my body was suddenly too heavy. I knew it. I had always known he was dead, just like Lucy.
But I needed to see it for myself. “I lost Roman and Maya,” the kid continued, his eyes delving into oblivion. “Then I got a second chance, and I ran.” his voice broke around the words. There it was again, that break in his tone. This kid sounded way older than eighteen years old. “They gave me a choice. I could either be disposed of properly and ripped from this body,” he gestured to himself, “Or turn in both brothers to the mad mouse himself, granting myself freedom, and another chance.”
I had a hard time figuring out what he meant by this body.
The kid caught my eye, lips quirking into a smile that was human, despite everything else about him being anything but. “I'm Dylan, by the way! Kidnapped in 2011, and turned into a fucking doll."
That explained his fashion sense.
Ignoring his half hearted salute, I focused on the boy’s words. “You were one of those things, and they let you go.”
“Yep.” he avoided my gaze. “I was selfish. And I deserved to be fucking selfish. I deserved a second chance.”
This kid might have been putting on an award winning performance, but I could see the streaks of vulnerability creasing in his eyes, his body stiffening. “Ten years,” he said bitterly. “I was in there, and I was nothing. I couldn't think, or breathe, or taste, or smell. There was nothing, nowhere to escape, and not even a fucking body to kill– to end it.”
He didn't look at me, his shoulders slumping. “I had a chance to breathe again, to see a world that had moved on without me. I got to see my dad again, from afar, because he wouldn't believe it was me. I could see my girl, who's grown up and had two children with my best friend. I don't have family, anyone to come back to. But I don't care. Because I'm alive.” the kid swiped at his eyes, his tone hardening.
“Don't tell me you wouldn't do the same, because you don't know the feeling of being nothing. Seeing nothing, hearing nothing. Just existing and waiting to fade.” straightening up, he shrugged. “So, yeah, I'm selfish– and fucking proud.”
I chose my words very carefully, backing away in one single step.
“You're still here,” I said in a breath, searching his eyes for that light, that spark of nothing that drowned Ben’s. “They let you go, but you're still here. Why?”
The guy's lip curled. “I told you. I made a promise.”
“To Roman?”
He nodded. “Those bastards took his little bro,” Dylan arched his neck, pressing his head against the fence. “But I haven't seen him in a while. Last time I saw him was two or three weeks ago, and even then, he looked kinda…”
He drifted off, leaning back and focusing on me. “There's a back entrance if you want to see your boyfriend. They open the doors after midnight to do a headcount with the higher ups.” Dylan jutted his chin toward Hook and Jack Frost still standing immobile. Hooks grin was unnerving. “You can easily get through without being noticed.” he twisted to me. “But you gotta do me a favor.”
I found myself nodding, breathless once again at the thought of seeing him again. Even if he wasn't there anymore, even if he had been cruelly scooped out of his body, I needed closure. “What do you want me to do?”
Instead of responding, he helped me get over the gate. I was up and over in a breath, my hands smacking on the concrete. When I jumped up, Elsa was standing several feet away. Being so close to her, I felt sick to my stomach.
“They're harmless,” the kid’s voice snapped me out of it, but I was already scanning the dark blanketing me. Jack Frost’s arm shifted, Snow White's smile widening. When the two started toward me, I pressed my hand over my mouth to suppress a cry. Dylan wrapped his arms around the steel bars, pressing his head against the other side. “Relax, dude, they probably think you're a kid.”
“Right,” I whispered, my heart slamming into my chest. “Where… where do I go?”
Under the silvery light of the moon, Dylan’s eyes resembled Ben’s, that same light ignited in his pupils. “There's a door right behind you,” he whispered, “It'll lead you straight into the underground tunnels, and if you're lucky, you'll find him in the scarlet room.” His sobering expression told me everything I needed to know. There wouldn't be a happy ending, but I would be getting closure, saying goodbye. “I can't say there will be anything left of him,” Dylan spoke with sincerity. “But it wouldn't hurt to look.”
Something ice cold slithered down my spine. “And what is the favour?”
His gaze found the ground, hands tightening on the bars.
“If you see Peter and Wendy, I want you to kill them for me.” he didn't wait for me to respond. “Trust me, it's a mercy.” his eyes found mine, and I saw guilt, an agony I could and never would understand tightening his jaw. “Roman's brother is–was– sixteen years old,” he said in a hiss. “I didn't know him, but Zach did. Roman’s little bro was a fucking child and they took him, just like his brother, and ripped out his soul.”
“Who's Zach?” I whispered, phantom crawlies filling my mouth.
Dylan looked caught off guard for a moment, undeniable sadness taking hold. Part of me already knew what he was trying to hide. After all, he was an ex Prince Charming. “That is also… complicated. Trust me, Zach is a whole other level of complicated that I don't have time to explain,” he shook his head, “My point is, killing them is saving them. It's setting them free.”
Before I could start spewing questions I knew I didn't want the answers to, I twisted around and forced myself to walk.
“Wait.” Dylan hissed. “What's your name?”
“Cassandra.” I didn't turn around.
The kid’s voice followed me all the way to the door. “Are you sure you want to go in there, Cassandra?”
But I didn't say that.
Dylan’s words were still haunting the back of my mind when I left him, slipping through the open door. allowing me to bleed into the tunnels. Cold. A chill ran up my spine when the door clanged behind me. The same long, widening tunnel I stumbled through ten years ago stood in front of me. The door from my nightmares, that I had drawn on paper– and when my drawing supplies were taken away, I scratched it onto my desk and into my walls. Therapists told me it wasn't real, so I bit all of them. It was real. The prison hidden underneath the park, and the trap doors snatching away loved ones. Starting forward in a slow stride, I used my phone as a flashlight.
Ten years prior, Ben and I wandered down the same tunnel. I remembered his hands entangled in mine, his breaths sharp and heavy in an attempt to drag me away from the horror. I had described my experience to so many people, and all of them called me crazy.
We found a room full of people, bodies like empty shells lying on metal gurney’s. We ran. I thought he was behind me. I thought we had escaped.
But he was gone, whisked away into the dark.
Ben’s disappearance wasn't my fault, they told me. *”Stop playing make believe to cope, Cassandra. You are a grown adult and you need to let him go.” Mom’s voice reverberated in my head as I followed my muscle memory. I remembered everything, the cold, flickering white light barely illuminating the tunnel, and each steel door. I could feel my body starting to register where I was going, my stomach twisting, a thick paste filling my mouth.
I remembered a room filled with Disney characters, new and old, pooling red staining metal flooring, and the unmistakable stunk of rot. A sudden giggle echoing down the winding tunnel sent me backing into a door, and slipping through the gap. I had to share my eyes, harsh light striking me. It was exactly the same. The room full of Disney characters.
But unlike ten years ago, there weren't half a dozen bodies. Staggering back, I stepped on something fleshy. It was a severed arm, a white shirt sleeve still clinging to mangled flesh. When I turned around, there was a head, and then a torso, bright red hair that reminded me of Ariel. The girl’s eyes were still open.
The rest of her, the slithery remains of her other half, poked from a pile of…clothes.
I did throw up, this time, grasping onto my knees and heaving up my dinner.
No, not just clothes. Bodies.
New and old, heads, limbs and torso’s scattered like doll pieces. I turned to run, to get out of there. This room had only gotten fuller through the years, now a dumping ground for unwanted Disney characters. Swallowing my stomach lining, I dropped onto my knees and crawled over to them before I could stop myself, picking through bones, and flesh that was still warm.
I didn't think about the real skin, slimy and warm, old bones and new bodies, fresh and still warm. I didn't think about eyes that were still open, still blinking at me, parted lips frozen in a scream. These people were the missing kids who were never found, the forgotten and homeless, the disappeared who nobody questioned.
I didn't realize I was sobbing, shrieking into my red-slicked hands. He had to be here, I thought hysterically. I found him in a pile, crushed under Anna and Hans, forgotten and left to rot. His costume was glued to his body, one arm was missing, an eye plucked from his socket, and rubber looking skin. But it was still him. It was Ben. He was still warm, somehow. When I hugged him to my chest, his body… twitched. Ben’s eye flickered, his expression flickering.
“Hi.” I whispered.
My boyfriend blinked, his lips splitting into a grin, congealed blood welling from his nose. His wide smile didn't waver, stretching across his lips.
“You.. b-broke my s-s-smoulder.” his head twitched with an uncharacteristic laugh.
"L-l-listen, b-blondie." his fingers formed a fist, and then relaxed. “I'll t-take you t-to see the l-l- lanterns.”
Not Ben.
With my boyfriend still jerking in my arms, my gaze found a thin plank of wood leaning against the wall. Dylan said killing them was saving them. But Ben was still there, still alive and breathing against my chest. He didn't make sense. His body was more of a doll, a shell, congealed blood and missing limbs. But it was still him. I jumped up and pulled him with me, dragging the stumbling boy with me.
“You're going to be okay,” I managed to get out in a sob, pulling him to the door.
Reaching the tunnel, I hurried down the way I'd come, keeping a tight grip around Ben’s arm. He didn't speak, his body jerking, a thick reddish sludge dripping down his chin. When I glimpsed a pinprick of light and quickened my pace, that same giggle from earlier brought me to a halt, shivers creeping down my bare arms.
She appeared in a blur of blonde curls tied in a baby blue ribbon.
I knew who she was automatically. Wendy Darling, dressed in her iconic nightgown, when she flew to Neverland. This girl wasn't moving, only standing, giggling at Ben and I.
She didn't speak, her empty eyes straight through me.
So, I turned around.
And slammed directly into Peter Pan.
The lack of light in the tunnel drowned out most of his identity, turning him, ironically, into a shadow. But so close to him, I noticed he was trembling, his head, like Ben’s, jerking to the left, and then the right. The kid was undeniably Peter Pan, his costume a bright green tunic with jagged edges mimicking leaves, and a pair of matching tights. On his head, the iconic floppy green hat. As my eyes started to adjust to the dark, I could see Peter Pan’s all too familiar childish smile, and mischievous eyes.
But he was shaking, sharp breaths coming out in heavy pants.
This was the kid Dylan told me to kill as a mercy.
Him, and Wendy.
Instead, I held Ben tighter to me. “You're Roman's brother,” I managed to get out in a whisper. “I can get you out of here.”
The boy didn't move for a moment, his jaw clenching, like he was trying to speak, before he stepped to the side.
I started toward the door, and he brushed past me, muttering a mantra.
I don't think I'd ever heard Peter Pan say that.
Joining Wendy, the two of them disappeared down the tunnel, and I took my chance, pulling Ben back through the door, and back out into the night.
“Did you do it?”
Dylan was waiting for me, and I told him the truth. I said I couldn't. He asked me if any of them said anything different, and I told them they were just muttering their usual lines. I think Dylan, despite being a pessimist, still thinks his friends are in there somewhere.
I've brought Ben back home, and right now, he's resting on my couch. He hasn't spoken, but he's showing promise, clenching and unclenching his fist.
There was a knock on the door earlier. I could see Dylan through my window.
His knocks sound different, almost metallic.
Tap, tap, tapping on my door.
I don't understand what he wants. His friends didn't say anything out of place. I'm too scared to open the door.
Is he going to take Ben away?
Peter’s lines, however, I don't fully remember them from the movies.
When did he say this?
First tunnel.
Rabbit hole.
Fairy dust.
Big red button.
submitted by Trash_Tia to nosleep [link] [comments]

2023.12.06 02:04 resurrective Chapter 11 - What is right, what is wrong

The gloomy morning came, and with it a new set of challenges in the lives of all who woke to face it. Ranalitta was yet to be rebuilt, but this was the least of its problems; after all, it wasn’t the first time the city of greed had been scourged, and clearly it wouldn’t be the last. There were walls, the buildings, the mansions, the shacks, the sewers, and the whole underground complex of caves with ancient architecture. And yet, what made this place so special was its people: heroic and despicable, poor and rich, exploiters and exploited – outcasts for the outer world, they made this little ecosystem throb with live and death. As long as they lived, the city would survive; it would either swallow you whole, or vomit you out like nothing...
“And there they go. Good fucking riddance.” Afr Reol Ranalitta spat out, looking at the two dragons, leaving past the horizon. Not even six o’clock, and they had already gathered up and fled without so much as bothering to say their farewells. Quite a fitting goodbye, all things considered. Quite fitting too... that their cooperation wasn’t finished yet.
He stood there, all on his own, no longer wearing his ridiculous pink overcoat. No guards, no slaves, no subordinates, no partners – no trace of what made this graying balding man Afr Reol Ranalitta, the undisputed king of his little playground. It wasn’t a mere crime lord, who was standing there, swinging his aged, yet still mighty fists; a common kingpin would never rise so early just to exercise after a drunken feast of his own doing. But he would.
“Derek?” Suddenly, the old man with his naked torso exposed to the morning air heard a gentle voice behind his back, and the sound of her steps rapidly approaching him, forcing him to cease any attempts at practicing his kicks. After all... “Hey, Derek! Derek, hello!” ...that cat lady wouldn’t leave him be no matter what.
“You have no right to call me that – let alone speaking to me out of turn.” The glorified bandit replied, turning toward his feline lover. Black, yet graying hair, claw-like nails, aged scarred skin, sagging breasts, a mangled tail – she wasn’t young, nor beautiful anymore, but that didn’t stop her from becoming Afr’s one and only. Even now, standing in nothing but a blue nightgown, she looked like the prettiest being in the world to the emperor of Ranalitta... “The fuck do you want from me, Carla?” ...even if he wouldn’t outright say so.
“That’s rude! I woke up, and you were nowhere to be found! What if you had a heart attack?” The cat woman exclaimed, placing her palm on the goon’s chest, checking his pulse. An act that had already become a common routine in their life together. “Ah-hah, fast and uneven. I might even say...”
“Get off me, furry, I’m not dying.” Derek snarled, pushing the lady away from him. Sure, if someone was around, she would be silent and docile, but since that wasn’t the case right now, the crime lord felt outright defenseless against his own partner. “You were supposed to be asleep, take it easy.”
“I couldn’t. Today’s our anniversary, Derek! Remember? Eight years as a couple.” The feline lady reminded, shaking her lover by his shoulder. And yet, her faint smile faded away, betraying sorrow and regret. “Eight years since you’re no longer my master.” Carla added, recalling the day when Ethera lost her arm, when Afr Reol Ranalitta got his eye brutally torn out...
“Tch, you have no fucking need to speak of that now.” Afr groaned, gripping his artificial left eye, an permanent memento of his first encounter with a particularly arrogant bloodsucker, that ‘man’, who severed all of his bounds and took his slaves to Buranikka, where they could start a new life. The only reason Chris Malcolm left him alive was the single woman who addressed him now, who shielded the battered man with her own body. Sometimes, she would gravely regret this impulse, and other times, it seemed like the best decision she had made in her entire life. And what did he do to deserve such honor?
Well, he simply didn’t beat his slaves.
“Hey, Derek... I’m fine.” The cat lady spoke, rubbing her belly. “Our kittens are alright. It’ll work out... this time. I think... I’m sure.” Carla said with a gloomy voice. Four times they tried, four times it ended with a tragic miscarriage. Despite his hopes and expectations, Derek had no doubts it would end this way again, he had even prepared a box of precious elixirs just for the occasion. Their shared pain... would ultimately only strengthen their bond. But even that had its limits. “What if you died yesterday?” The feline woman asked, trying to look in Afr’s eyes, but he, in turn, stared into the void of his own existence.
“I’ve been the emperor of my domain since long before some random fags dragged you here. I’m still alive. That wasn’t the first powerhouse I’ve dealt with.” The ruler of Ranalitta responded after a seemingly unending pause.
“You didn’t sound so proud last night.” The pregnant woman spoke while on her knees in front of him, just to give her lover a nice supportive hug. Ever since that day, she had forgotten her true name, she couldn’t tell it to him or anyone else even if she wished to do so. And even if it weren’t the case, Derek wouldn’t allow her to reveal it to anyone, especially not to him. Stuck between two worlds, he couldn’t commit to either.
“Fuck you, Carla. I call bullshit, and nobody will ever believe your word over mine.” Even now, when Derek had nobody but Carla to truly understand and feel for him, he couldn’t help but remain dismissive of her. Gambling with his life and the work he’d done throughout the last twenty years, both good and evil, securing higher positions for the sake of obtaining more control... Would his seemingly endless chase for power be worth it to him if he simply stopped and thought of all he could wind up losing? Sadly, yes...
“I would know.” And sadly for the feline woman, she had no choice but to stay with him. Reliving their shared tragedy again, and again, and again, until one of them breaks down completely. She could only hope that it wouldn’t be her man who does so first.
GRY-Y-Y-Y-Y-Y!!!” The wyvern’s roar echoed across the gray skies. The rain had already begun, but its heavy drops couldn’t pass the mystical wind barrier of the majestic monsters. Yonai, Inaba – indifferent as always, they carried the party above the ground, letting them see all the destruction and terror below them, caused by Margurth’s insanity.
Capital, now shrouded in a dark miasma, so unbearably ubiquitous, so vile and putrid, looked more like a cancerous tumor with black cracks spreading from its enchanted walls than the proud urban heart of Jioral that it used to be. A truly vile background for the ongoing battle between the undead husks and Castor’s united forces, which had ‘miraculously’ ended up in the middle of the nightmare, having pushed all the way to the palace’s gates... but their offensive had lost momentum, so much so that their forces were being slowly pushed back by more and more oncoming reinforcements. And, as if that wasn’t enough on its own...
“Mother...” Keyaruga groaned through his clenched teeth. Panakea fought on the frontline of Castor’s onslaught. Tidir, now looking like an unsightly two-headed bird, flew above the prince’s troops, spitting azure flames (even if they did nothing but temporarily halt the immortals) and sprinkling the golden ichor from their parent’s disemboweled body... No, the deity still lived, and it was her will to shed her godly blood, restoring everyone it fell onto to pristine condition. The Eastern Alliance would definitely fall without this boon... but even that wasn’t enough. Where are the heroes?
“Ugh-h-h...” This disturbing thought was interrupted by Scarlet’s moan... “BUE-E-E-E-EGH-H-H!!!” ...and then she would throw up her burning blood on the healer’s legs. There was no food, no bile, only grayish blazes with a few black spots, evaporating the crimson ichor from his pants. The hero felt that nausea himself, but braced himself to the strain, as did everyone around him.
“It’s okay, kiddo. I’m holding you.” The man reassured his child, who was clinging to the upper part of his shirt. It was her bestial form that the fox girl had to assume, just so they could fit another person on Maradanma – the dragon they were riding.
“Who? How? Why?..” So many questions, with so few answers available. Marianna Trist now sat right behind the demigod, closely watched by Freia, ready to disarm her of that gilded bow should she reach for it. That is, unless Keyaruga threw the archer from the wyvern first. He had been watching over her, overseeing her every breath with his jade eye turned on its inner side.
“Burn... Burn, burn, burn...” The avatar of holy flames murmured in face of all the tainted heresy. Her very soul was repulsed by this atrocity, screaming with the raging desire to incinerate the filth below her. She pulled the air inside her bottomless little stomach. The sacred beast now radiated golden light, channeling every bit of mana she could gather into a small, yet unbelievably potent fireball. Such was the retribution the goddess unleashed upon Capital, a sphere that would not only turn the palace into a pile of rubble, but also cleanse this world of the tainted magical power from the other side...
Unless someone were to snatch it from the air, that is. Reeharoze – what her disfigured corpse was turned into, anyway – she devoured the projectile, let it burn through her flesh, exploding inside her, ripping out massive chunks of her stomach, guts, ribs, and spine. But she survived...
No-no-no-no-no-no-no! CRAP, THAT’S NOT FAIR!!!” The red goddess snarled, gnawing at her father’s clothes, but there was nothing they could do...
“Saw that? That thing was your father.” The lad admonished, completely confident in Marianna’s ability to see the horror below her unfold. But it wasn’t her voice he heard afterwards...
“K-k-Key... aguga... can... me?” Instead, it was Freia. On their way around the war-torn city, she came up with a means to communicate with Keyaruga the same way Scarlet did with him, but with all the perverted arcane energy in the air, her message was so garbled that it was barely understandable.
“Barely. What’s the plan, Freia?” The healer asked mentally, trying to hold on to the temporary link between them, all while keeping his eye on Reeharoze, getting ready to fight her when the time was right, and yet the monstrosity wouldn’t leave the palace’s walls.
“El... n... suggest... s... et... pass... Ma... na... is...” Again, the mana was so turbulent around there that the son of Panakea couldn’t hear a thing; nor was it really necessary for the princess to hurt herself even more for the sake of communication.
Suta ione de tormuli! (Stop at that house!)” Keyaruga gave this order to Yonai, pointing at a relatively small mansion on top of the hill not so far from Capital, a rocky region where all the prominent nobles built their cottages as far from the overcrowded city as they could. Most of them were empty at this moment, so it wasn’t that surprising for the crimson dragons to not encounter any sort of resistance on their way down. After all, what could happen next? Boulders falling from the sky?
“Look! It’s my home! It’s...” The markswoman exclaimed, doing her best to distract herself from the thought of her father being grafted to a corpse and revived with the corrupting power of dark sorcery... The very same she herself was going to unwittingly condemn her own mother to be transformed by, this foul perversion caused by the darkest of magic. But sadly for the archer, helping her mother... wasn’t their goal, right? This is where they could access a secret passage leading right to Jioral’s inner sanctum... “Right... you don’t owe me anything.”
“I don’t forget my promises.” The man replied, hearing the obvious distress in Marianna’s voice. She had the potion, and the hero wouldn’t take it back. Especially now, with their dragons having landed in front of the two-storied building and the party quickly dismounting from the flying lizards. “Let’s go, we don’t have much time.” Keyaruga spoke, mostly talking to Kureha, Ellen, and Setsuna. His daughter wouldn’t let go of his shirt. As for the two others... “Shikurje. (Dismissed) Silla se, mikato. (Do what you want, friends)” The two dragon riders were left to their own devices, so they just bowed and went to the woods, along with their wyverns, of course...
“Are you seriously letting them go?” The daughter of Hawkeye asked, barely holding off from sniping the riders in their backs. Her animosity was so tangible, that Yonai and Inaba couldn’t help but look behind their backs all the time. “What if they get violent? Or start hunting people?”
“They won’t. They’re smarter than you.” Setsuna deadpanned, mockingly patting Marianna’s back, continuing to do so even when she tried evading her touch. Suffice to say, the wolf girl wouldn’t miss a single chance to bully their temporary companion. And even when the ginger-haired lady did escape that humiliation...
“Mary, do you really think I’m letting them roam around and burn cities, like a certain someone?” The Hero of Healing wondered with a suggestive grin all over his face. Along with the ice warrior’s sneering, he did an impressive job at making Marianna Trist feel absolutely miserable for her prior actions. “They’re free to hunt and relax, but if they begin slaughtering innocents, I’ll make sure they’ll pay. And trust me – not even death can save you from me, when I’m angry.” The demigod uttered with a smirk. This entire detour was nothing but a whim of his, a little errand to bolster his mood and ego before the grand finale. But this sentimental urge wouldn’t last forever.
Gulp...” And the markswoman realized that quickly. Her best course of actions would be to shut up and follow; making sure not to aggravate this menace in ‘human’ flesh... even if her very being demanded otherwise.
Still, the lad looked pretty calm, when it came to how he interacted with his family. Kureha, Ellen, Freia – those were riding the second wyvern, and the Cryleths’ progeny was speaking about her mansion, pointing at the greatest building in the region, and how her relatives made their fortune by protecting the area from monsters, goons, and occasional robbers. Up until the red-eyed man approached them...
“Freia, could you look after Scarlet?” He asked, not even bothering to get an answer before handing their tormented daughter over to the heroine.
“I could win, I could win, could win, could... could... IT’S UNFAIR!!!” The deity was so vocal about her failure, so heartbroken, that the princess couldn’t help but to start petting the fox out of sheer pity.
“Barely anything is fair...” The pink-haired girl uttered, trying her best to calm the goddess down. After all, they wouldn’t prevail in the upcoming battle without her help. The battle promised to be cruel, excruciating, devastating – both physically and emotionally. “You can be really cruel sometimes, Keyaruga.” The sorceress whispered, her thoughts dominated by concern for the adorable little fox-girl along with her own misery, hoping the wind would muffle her words...
And it did.
“That is my home over there.” Kureha spoke, pointing out the most distant palace in the area; it was the Cryleths’ domain and it’s guardians that allowed other nobles to build their luxurious dwellings out there without fearing for their safety beyond the city walls. Nobody could set a foundation for their mansion without a clear written permission from the warrior clan. “Part of me never wished to see it ever again.”
“It’s almost empty now, anyway.” The man whispered on his way to the Trists’ little cottage. In fact, he and everyone else were following Marianna in her slow procession. “Either your family has fled...”
“No. We never retreat from a fight. They must be somewhere there.” Silver Death snarled, looking at the defiled metropolis. She could only hope they didn’t side with evil.
“Hm, they’re no cowards, but your mommy is a fucking moron. I can clearly see her leading your family to fight for my so-called dad.” Ellen concluded, doing her best to prod the weak spots on Kureha’s soul, and whether it was conscious or not, the princess seemed delighted by doing so nonetheless.
“And you know all that because of your brown henchman crawled in my brother’s bed?” The swordswoman asked accusingly, glancing at the warlady. “I bet you take pride in that...”
“Yes! Exactly! Finally someone can tell black from brown!” The Apostle of Caladrius exclaimed with massive excitement on her part, and not even the suffocating miasma could tarnish it. “Look, it’s not like I deliberately ordered John to peg your bro, but I couldn’t miss my chance. It’s not like you haven’t stuffed your arm into half of Jioral’s politicians’ asses.”
“You’re only alive because of Keyaruga.” The noble warrior snarled out of sheer powerlessness. Truly, what argument can beat the appeal to pure, mindless strength?
“Yeah, the same is true with you, kinda.” Only a deliberate reversal, it seemed. “Also, remember Caradianian pass? Think you could have survived that ambush without my assistance?”
“You’ve almost buried us all there!” Kureha argued, aggressively grinding her teeth. Keyaruga and Setsuna shared a synchronized sigh, Freia decided to stay as far away as possible from the current argument, just to not disturb Scarlet, and even Marianna seemed fed up with the petty bickering occurring literally behind her back.
“Be thankful it was the demons who were crushed under the rocks. Seriously, you...” Right as Ellen was about to begin a long tirade about how superior her tactics were, and how she should be praised for the survival of Kureha’s squad, an external factor made her speech absolutely irrelevant in a single moment, when...
“Mary?.. Mary, is... is that you?” old plump woman ran out from behind a door, dashing forward and erratically leaping toward the markswoman. “Oh God, it’s really you! I… when I saw those dragons, I thought I was going mad...”
“Hello, Justa... I’ve...” Marianna muttered in response, unsure, wavering, and hesitant to admit that she had just made a deal with the murderer of her own father, allowed herself to ride on top of fearsome flying monsters, surrounded by her enemies, two of which were demons, no less. And...
“Who are they?” It didn’t seem like the Trists’ handmaiden was all that excited about her ‘company’ either. Even if their appearance suggested no ill intent towards her or any other civilians, the woman just couldn’t help but to squint at Setsuna. It seemed like a single demi-human was enough to greatly lower her opinion of the group, however irrational that prejudice might be, even if there was a Cryleth of all people among them. “Why did you bring those vagabonds with you?”
“N-no, they’re...” The daughter of Hawkeye couldn’t even explain herself properly, too afraid of angering Keyaruga, too uncertain about what her governess, and what she could do.
“We... just want to help.” Freia, now that Scarlet fell asleep, tried mitigating the situation, she stepped forward, but the hag wouldn’t even pay attention to her. This is when Kureha grabbed her shoulder and pulled the spellcaster behind her.
“I don’t think she’ll listen.” The fencer shook her head, recognizing the sheer agony the woman had to feel simply by remaining in this now corrupted place. Not only did Justa have trouble with simply breathing, but judging from the swollen circles under her eyes, she was also suffering from sleep deprivation, which didn’t do wonders to her mental state either.
“Gizelle Trist – we’ve come to save her.” Only when Keyaruga clearly stated his intent did the handmaiden let them in.
“I hope you know what you’re doing, Mary...”
Indeed. She hoped that was so as well.
Darkness, gloom, shades dancing in the dusk – somehow, even despite four lamps and a couple candles lit around the grand bedroom, it still seemed unnaturally pale in comparison. And no, the gray clouds were not to blame here, as the light itself was literally absorbed by a single figure, that suffering woman, wheezing on her bed, trapped in an unfathomable delirium.
Gizelle Trist, a fair-headed woman, slender, yet charmingly elegant. The lady was quite tall; Marianna’s imposing height was clearly inherited from her at least in part, she was dwarfed only by Keyaruga’s mighty figure. But even if that fully explained Hawkeye’s fascination with that lady, this little fact meant nothing next to the tragedy that had fallen upon her...
“Save it. You may need it later.” The healer said, walking toward his comatose patient, moving past her daughter right as the markswoman was about to treat her parent with the hero’s self-made elixir. Instead, he pulled his saber – just the tip though, enough for the flaming blade of orichalcum to slice his fingers... “I’m literally made of this thing.” The demigod spoke, approaching the dying woman, as his crimson ichor dripped on the shiny wooden floor.
“D-do something t-to her, and I...” Marianna snarled, but proved smart enough to shut her mouth after five frustrated glances turned toward her. With or without her bow, she stood no chance against those girls... And even so... “Justa! Are you-?..” Even so, she had a much more urgent task at hand. Her governess had collapsed upon entering the room.
“Your crying doesn’t help. Here, hold her.” Setsuna urged, literally forcing the middle-aged woman into the lady’s hands. For better or worse, the she-wolf’s wariness and disdain were still as strong as ever. Even as the daughter of Hawkeye held her servant, she couldn’t help but recall, how brutally efficient her father’s blows were.
“W-what’s... with her?” The markswoman asked, kneeling with the aged matron in her arms. She glanced at the princesses, be it curiosity, stress, or a silent hope for a piece of advice in this turbulent time...
“What’re you staring at?” Sadly, all she could hear from Ellen was an irritated question, a sigh of deep annoyance in her emerald eyes.
“I... don’t think it will help her.” Freia mused, barely managing to stand on her feet. She was shaky, nauseous, sleepy – there was so much corruption around. No wonder the fox looked even worse, barely holding back from puking blood again.
“Who said I’m helping?” The princess spat out, being just as intoxicated by the surrounding miasma, even if she tried to hide it. Still, with Setsuna giving her an accusatory glare... “Look at her eyes: she’s just exhausted. Been there, done that, I know how it feels. Give her a day, and she’ll be fine.” The crimson-haired girl admonished, trying to pretend to be sympathetic at least.
“What did you expect? She said we were vagabonds.” Sadly, Kureha couldn’t be bothered with this either. It seemed like Justa’s words struck a nerve with her, and thus a particularly arrogant and hypocritical accusation came from someone who couldn’t even manage something as simple as recognizing others’ faces... “She couldn’t even tell, who we were.”
“Ugh-h-h... It REEKS here! Mommy, get me out of here!” Finally, Scarlet couldn’t hold back any longer, pleading Freia to carry her out of harm’s way. And that still didn’t stop her from radiating holy light... “I’ll burn it all!.. I”LL BURN!!!” The deity screamed, releasing a vortex of purifying flames, engulfing everyone around her, relieving their accursed burden...
In just one instant, the party was relieved of the overwhelming miasma, and yet, instead of rejoicing... Keyaruga erected a magic barrier. “Father?!.. Why? What are you doing?!”
STOP IT, SCARLET!!! STOP IT!!!” The man exclaimed, barely keeping the barrier together. Blood. Blood poured from his eyes, nose, mouth, fingertips. He felt like he was fighting off a storm, his protective field cracked, his muscles snapped like damaged strings, but the hero wouldn’t give up.
It lasted only for a moment, and nobody could react to this properly it seemed...
STOP!!!” Nobody but Setsuna that is, who grabbed Scarlet from Freia’s arms and screamed right in her ear. The huntress didn’t waver even for a second before opposing their unguided daughter.
“Eh-h-h? Why-y-y?!” The goddess asked, her blaze disappeared as quickly as it emerged, leaving Marianna, Kureha, and Freia in a state of complete shock.
“You... You’ve almost killed her!” The son of Panakea snarled, grinding his teeth in frustration at the actions of his divine progeny. But as his wounds regenerated by the power of Georgius, so did his wrath fade along with the great mental strain. “Please... Leave now. All of you. It’s dangerous to stay here.” The healer asked, begged, feeling the miasma slowly seeping from Gizelle’s corrupted body. It would take a while for the corruption to take a hold of the mansion again, but the man needed some space.
“I won’t go anywhere! You promised! You promised me!” Marianna screamed, still holding her afflicted governess. And seeing as that didn’t allow her to use her bow, this was a great indicator of the archer’s true allegiances.
“Girls, take that hag out of here.” Keyaruga ordered, ignoring the markswoman’s blabbering behind his back. No use. His blood proved ineffective, just as his healing touch... There was nothing there to bring back to life, only a mangled soul trapped in an undying body...
“Don’t you dare!” The Hawkeye’s daughter groaned, embracing Justa’s body.
“Then leave. She’ll die too if she stays here!” The healer stated, trying every method he knew of to rekindle Gizelle’s essence, but each time he couldn’t get a single response from. It helped when handling black knights, but now... “This whole mansion has been fucking poisoned, and your mother is the goddamn source of it!” The son of Panakea deadpanned, pointing at Marianna’s comatose parent. It was clearly Margurth’s work... No, Reeharoze did it.
“Don’t worry, we’ll watch over your servant.” Freia tried consoling the ginger-haired girl with her charming smile... but her amber eyes didn’t even pay any attention to her, nor her talking animal...
YOU are a servant...” The daughter of Hawkeye hissed in response. She couldn’t find the strength to take the Gilded Curve yet... “Justa isn’t... She’s my family.”
“It’s hopeless...” Setsuna whispered, shaking her head. She lost her mother too, saw her dying to monsters she could never take down at that time... The ice warrior understood Marianna’s torment... even if that did nothing bridge the rift between the two of them. “We can only believe in Keyaruga. There’s just no other way.”
“Keyaruga... you know what to do. Takemikazuchi...” The Cryleths’ progeny spoke now, but the sheer stress she endured had her tongue-tied. Not for too long though, a moment, and she would regain her self-control. Unless...
“Let’s go. We can’t do anything.” Unless her unarmored hand would be pulled away by Ellen. The younger princess didn’t seem all too pleased with how things had gone so far, but she saw no better tactic available here, other than retreating. And the toxic air? Well, Setsuna was right – if anyone could delicately eradicate this plague – it would be her brother.
Sadly, though, right when all four girls and one fox had left the room, the healer had no choice but to turn around, face Marianna, and...
“I can’t simply heal your mother.” ...admit his own failure. Not even his mother could prevail here...
“Then I don’t need you...” The markswoman whispered, laying Justa’s body on the floor. With that, she could finally pull the string of her enchanted bow, conjuring a black arrow with her own mana. She wouldn’t miss, not from this distance. The tip would pass the cleanly man’s head, leaving a permanent hole in both sides of his brain... This would kill him, right?
“I never said I was out of options.” Wrong. It wasn’t even a moment before the blinding white light engulfed not only the room, but entire mansion and the area around it.
The power of the true hero, a boon, available for every hero of old. Now forgotten, this power once again reawakened to oppose the boundless void...
It was time for true divinity to shine bright!
“W-what hap... pened?” By the time Marianna opened her eyes, she found Keyaruga sitting on the edge of the bed, covering his face with both of his arms, with the blue brand glittering on his right hand... But it wasn’t his pitiful form, that bothered her, nor was her terrifying weapon, lying next to the markswoman of any interest to her... “Mother?!” But it was a whole different story with Gizelle Trist, finally breathing properly. And Justa... Both remained unconscious, but at least they would live, so the daughter of Hawkeye yet again took her governess in her arms, simply to put her right next to her parent, completely and utterly ignoring her mortal enemy turned savior.
“Don’t worry. She’ll wake up soon... And I’m afraid you’ll have to explain a whole lot to her when she does.” Keyaruga spoke, revealing his face... “She’s just lost a whole year of her life.”
Yet he had lost ten.
submitted by resurrective to RedoOfHealer [link] [comments]

2023.12.06 00:59 EternalCanadian Sergeant Gage Yevgenny: The Shadow

EternalCanadian back again with my second of two “CMA” posts. As a tie-in to my CMA post released earlier in November this post will be about our main POV and look into the CMA: Gage Yevgenny. Former CMA Marine turned ODST, and his evolving character throughout the trials and horrors of the Human Covenant War.
Of course, those of you who keep track of these know this was supposed to release in November, unfortunately, “tis the season” as they say. Regardless, better late than never!
There’s not much else to say for this intro, so, let’s begin…
Gage’s story is told via first person flashback, him recounting his life to another ODST as he lays dying beside a crashed Pelican. The story itself is Dirt, from Halo Evolutions. It’s a story that goes hand in hand with the marketing for Halo 3 ODST, and pairs very well with the live action trailer The Life with the two overall sharing a very similar tone and atmosphere.
The story of Gage specifically begins on Harvest. This is, from my perspective, a fun bit of continuity for me, as the last character post I made was about the AI’s who ran the planet. It’salmostlikeitwasplanned…
Back on topic; A native of the colony, Gage grew up - like most of the residents, on a farm - raised by a single father, his mother having passed away some time when he was a child.
Fed up with the boring, unfulfilling life of a farmer, Gage - without his father’s permission or consent - joins the CMA Marines “the hour he turned eighteen”:
I signed up for the Colonial Military the hour I turned eighteen. January 3, 2524. Smartest thing I’d done up to that point. Flipped off my father, who’d stood by a giant JOTUN trundling across a flat, golden plain of wheat, and then I rode a flatbed full of corn all the way into town.
“It’s just dirt,” I’d told a friend about my decision to leave. “And I’m sick and tired of grubbing about in it. I can’t believe my parents left a real world to travel all the way out here to dig dirt.”
The farming life was not my destiny. I’d known that since the day I first looked up at the stars while riding on the back of one of the giant, automated JOTUNs, a long piece of straw dangling out the side of my mouth.
No. I was going to see worlds. Pack a gun.
The next time I came back home to Harvest, I wanted to watch the girls bat their eyes at a man in uniform. Not a farm boy with dirt under his nails. I wanted to be a hard-as-nails tough-ass Marine.
  • Halo Evolutions, Dirt
Unfortunately for Gage, the military he signed onto was not particularly glamorous, well funded, or respected, by this time, the CMA was in full decline, on its last teetering legs, and marine bootcamp isn’t exactly first rate:
I want to say I learned how to kill a man with my pinky, or how to use a sniper rifle to kill a fly on a log of shit from a thousand yards, but all I really learned was that I didn’t like scrabbling around in the mud with live rounds going off over my head.
But I made it through anyway.
Unlike the UNSC, the CMA boot camp lasted just a couple weeks. Enough to teach you how to use your weapon, salute, march, and drive a Warthog before they booted you right on out of there.
  • Halo Evolutions, Dirt
Despite this, Gage feels almost on top of the world, and ships out from Harvest to his first posting, Eridanus II. The planet is probably familiar to most fans, it’s the birthplace of MCPO John-117, most notably, but it’s also where the first proper battles of the Insurrection occurred in the 2490’s.
It’s still a hot bed of Insurrectionist activity by 2524, as Gage notes:
The three of us had been deployed to Eridanus, where the action was. Our angry words for the UNSC were partly attempts to hide our nervousness. Talking big to keep our minds off the big issue.
Operation TREBUCHET had been the UNSC’s answer to Insurrectionists, and we’d just been folded into the far-ranging series of operations aimed to “pacify” the Outer Colonies.
But for the CMA, they would not see much action. Sidelined by the UNSC, most of their time was spent doing grunt work that the UNSC didn’t want to do, like working as riot police:
The next day we were assigned to riot patrol in Elysium City: howling citizens throwing rocks and pavers at the Colonial Administration’s offices, shaking signs about freedom and independence, while we kept our shoulders up against the riot shields and kept them back.
“They’re really pissed off,” Felicia grunted, arms locked in mine as we shoved back against the crowd. A red-haired woman in a cocktail dress shouted obscenities at us and tried to leap over the cordon, but Eric stepped forward and shoved her back, hard enough that she fell under the mob, fortunately rescued by a pair of her friends.
It was something the police should have been doing, so it was quite clear that the UNSC didn’t want to have anything to do with us and had sent us out to do scut work. Certainly they wouldn’t be including us in any raids or counterinsurgency operations in the future.
None of the old hands in our barracks particularly minded.
Meanwhile, the demonstrations grew angrier and more dangerous with each passing day.
On the rare occasion they do go and hunt Insurrectionists, the rebels are tipped off in advance by sympathizers in their own unit, showing Gage the perspectives of many in the CMA at this time: Us versus Them, Colonies versus Earth:
”You wanted action . . .” Felicia slapped my back. We were in an old Pelican dropship, shuddering its way down to Teribus Island on Eridanus II, and I was throwing up because of the turbulence.
Older CMA Marines just stared blankly at us. They looked bored, and Eric, sitting next to me, knew why. “No action, Felicia. You can thank the sympathizers. Someone, probably in this unit, has already called ahead. There won‘t be anything on the ground by the time we arrive.” He said this loud enough for everyone to hear. No big secret, and none of the other soldiers bothered to contradict him.
Harvest was relatively removed from the heat of the battle over the Outer Colonies‘ destinies. Eridanus was at the heart of it. Every day, more and more Insurrectionists set off bombs in major cities, targeting UNSC troops, ships, and Colonial Administration buildings.
The UNSC, in response, was cracking down harder with each passing month, seeking to instill order. And even though the Colonial Military had been increasingly sidelined to smaller and smaller operations since the discovery of elements inside our organization sympathetic to the cause, our brass never stopped pointing out that Robert Watts, the leader of the Insurrectionists in Eridanus and the mastermind behind most of the activity in the Outer Colonies, was actually a former UNSC colonel.
That was always a quick way to a bar fight with UNSC Marines.
It rankled me that the UNSC viewed the Colonial Military as suspect, but they were right to do so.
”So this is all a waste?” I asked.
Eric nodded. “So it goes.”
”Not exactly helping the UNSC break their assumptions about us, are we?”
”Screw the UNSC.” Eric leaned back against his restraints. “They gutted us. They sidelined us. They give us crap; barely functioning equipment. Then they want to whine about our lack of effectiveness? At least give me a uniform that‘s not threadbare and then we‘ll talk.”
A few grunts from nearby indicated that Eric‘s point of view was commonly held.
”Then what are we doing here?” I asked.
  • Halo Evolutions, Dirt
the overall attitude is one of bleak realism, espoused by fellow Marine Felicia Sanderson:
“They won’t be able to hold this together,” Felicia said, throwing chicken bones out into the water.
“Who won’t?” I asked.
“The UNSC. The Inner Colonies.” Felicia pointed up at the stars over the bonfire and the dripping explosions of fat from chicken still hanging from the improvised spits. “If we spread out through all those stars, what could hold us all together? At some point, distance will have its effect, and so will time, and someone will have to break away and do something different. No matter how much force they apply, they can’t stop this. Even people from within their ranks are deserting for the Outer Colonies. It’s like Rome. They kept taking these barbarians and teaching them how to fight, and then they’d end up leaving and fighting the very generals who’d taught them. We’re those barbarians!”
  • Halo Evolutions, Dirt
With life on Eridanus II bleak and miserable for the CMA, many start to use their leaves as a chance to party, taking vehicles off-base and into the cities to enjoy the vibrant nightlife of the city, including Gage and friends:
Aftrr two months of riot patrol and guarding bases, or anything else the UNSC determined was simple enough for us to handle, we were growing bored and looking for diversions. We were far enough out of Elysium City that to hop a ride into where the parties were meant we had to get ahold of passes, or know someone with access to a Warthog.
So the three of us had made fast friends with Allison Stark, one of the last of the Pelican pilots that the UNSC had yet to steal away from us. She not only had access to transportation, but a pet NCO who’d sign off on any leave request.
  • Halo Evolutions, Dirt
As a small break from Gage’s story, I’d like to take a moment to highlight Allison and the earlier mentioned Felicia. Both women are gay, and I’d like to commend the short story for including that type of character but not having it be their sole defining trait. Allison is gay, yes, but her primary characterization is her skill as a pilot and her slyness. Felicia, likewise, is gay, but aside from two blink and you’ll miss it mentions, it never actually matters. It would be incredibly easy to flandeize these two women and make this aspect of them the defining feature, but it’s not done, and the topic is handled with nuance. No one draws attention to it because no one cares. There’s no prejudice, no alienation, no indicating either they (or Gage) are an “other”. They simply “are”.
With a pilot along for the ride, the group goes clubbing, finding themselves at a bar in Elysium City. Unfortunately, the war between the UNSC and the Insurrectionists wasn’t put on pause, and the club (a flip music club, to be specific) was a target for a bombing, with Gage and Felicia splitting off from Allison and Eric (another Marine) when the bomb exploded:
That’s when the Insurrectionist bomb exploded. A concussive wave of heat, light, and pressure threw me back down the hallway.
For a moment, I lay on the carpet, staring blurrily at the ceiling, and then a second explosion brought the entire building down on top of us, trapping me in the debris.
ODST’s dug us out.
Most of the civilians out dancing, however, had died. Allison was found with a piece of rebar through her skull. Eric was in a coma and getting ferried out to Reach for better medical care.
Felicia and I both had been packed with biofoam, and then moved to a field hospital set up on the edge of the debris.
We were too doped up on painkillers to do much more than lie in bed for the first half day while medics kept an eye on us. I had a concussion, broken ribs, burns, a skull fracture, and ached in places I didn’t know I had.
Felicia reported, from two beds over, the same.
“Standing in that hallway saved your lives,” an ODST medic said. “You’re damn lucky.”
I didn’t feel lucky.
  • Halo Evolutions, Dirt
Being saved by the ODST’s made a mark on Gage. As he healed, he made up his mind to join them, rather than be stood down by the UNSC as part of the disbanding CMA. Felicia, not wanting to leave her friend, joined him.
“Raw meat for the ODST grinder, huh?” the grizzled sergeant grunted. “If you thought Colonial boot camp was tough, you’re about to get dismantled. Then we’ll see if you can manage to put yourselves back together.”
I laughed, but the ODST recruiters didn’t laugh back. They were dead serious. They knew what was around the corner for the two of us, and the smiles on their lips were like the smiles of wolves.
The ODST’s themselves have a storied history both in and out of the universe, their first introduction to us came in The Fall of Reach, but much of what we now consider staples of their ethos and background came from the novelization to Halo CE, The Flood, including their catchphrase, charcoal black BDU’s, drop pods, and their elite status.
With Gage and Felicia joining the ODST’s, their lives were soon focused on training in grueling boot camp. The relaxed days of the CMA were over:
“ODST boot camp was where I learned how to kill someone with my pinky. Among other things.
But first they stripped us of our rank.
“Think coming in from the CMA means jack to us?” an officer commented when I presented the fact. “You’ll have to actually earn your rank here.”
Then they started running us. I’d kept track of Felicia up to that point; we’d even had a chance to compare notes at mess, eating together.
But there was quickly little time for that; too exhausted, too busy trying to survive.
For three weeks I ran, did push-ups, and blitzed through obstacle courses as fast as I could. They took us through slush, artificial snow, and live gunfire-simulated battle. Got on our bellies and crawled through miles of barbed wire, rubble, and destroyed buildings as they fired rounds at us just inches over our heads.
That was just to get us into shape.
After weeks of simulated, mock battles, the trainees are briefed on a new development, first contact made with aliens; The Covenant. The aliens had attacked a colony, destroying it.
That colony was Harvest, Gage and Felicia’s home:
“These aliens are for real. They’ve already taken, or possibly destroyed, one Outer Colony. Admiral Preston Cole is being tasked with creating a force to get it back.”
We were stunned.
Private Rodriquez from Madrigal was the one who asked, “What colony fell to them, sir?”
“Harvest,” the gunnery sergeant said, and my knees buckled.
Someone grabbed my shoulder. I staggered around and found Felicia sitting in the mud. She looked up at me, tears in her eyes. “Dirt?” she asked. “Do you still think that now?”
  • I didn’t have anything to say back. I stood in front of her, struck mute.*
Harvest was gone.
I’d tried to find the last nice thing I said to my dad before I’d left; the last time we laughed, smiled even? I couldn’t find one.
I’d always figured he’d keep on farming. That maybe I’d go back, one day, when I’d traveled worlds and seen so much, and maybe talk to him again. Maybe.
But there were no maybes now. He was gone now.
Harvest was gone.
Felicia grabbed a fistful of mud and leaped up at me. “Dirt! I have your dirt, you son of a bitch!”
She hit me, mud from her clenched first spattering my face, but I didn’t feel it. I felt like a part of my soul had been ripped away, and even after she was pulled off me, I just stood there, numb.
Just dirt.
  • Halo Evolutions, Dirt
When they finally finish their training, the ODST’s are shipped off to the frontlines, but for much of the first few years, they see no action. Instead, they find themselves stuck aboard ships, praying that a Plasma Torpedo won’t end them during the uncountable naval battles that occurred during this phase of the war.
When they finally do get to drop into combat, the jubilation is short lived.
Feet First into Hell. That was the ODST motto. Feet first with a two-thousand-degree fireball burning around the pod as it flames its way down through the atmosphere.
It’s a hot ride.
A bumpy ride.
And not everyone survives it.
My first combat SOEIV insertion had me coming in hot with a hundred other ODSTs over the main continent of Hat Yai, three years after I finished training.
“Covenant ships in low orbit picked off ten of us, and when landing ate another pair of SOEIVs that failed and cratered into the lush rain forest of our landing zone. It took half an hour for Rahud to get us grouped up; our pods had dodged enough fire that we’d gotten fairly well separated.
“Where’s the rest of the squad?” Mason asked.
Rahud shrugged. “I can’t raise them. Assume the worst.”
  • Halo Evolutions, Dirt
Their target was a Covenant digsite, and while the ODST’s managed a good showing initially, killing a Lance of grunts and jackals, other factors put pause to the assault:
Now that we had the lip surrounded a command hierarchy had been established. Major Sedavian had landed at the very rear of the group, and had finally caught up to us.
“Figure we’re going down there?” Mason asked, peering over the edge. We could see more Covenant at the bottom, with hundreds of Grunts and a handful of Jackals that seemed to be overseeing them. They were mustering near elevators, getting ready to come up to join the fight. An energy bolt sizzled and blew up a piece of rock near my face, and I ducked back to the safety of cover.
“Negative,” Rahud said, coming up from behind us suddenly. “Covenant Cruisers just arrived. We’re outgunned. We’re getting out of here and dropping a Shiva into this mess.”
That was it. The fight was over, we’d already lost.
I could sense the frustration in the air as word spread. But orders were orders.The Pelicans could barely land on the lip, and the Covenant at the bottom of the pit opened antiaircraft fire, but we all bugged out easily enough.
As we headed for orbit, the Shiva nuclear warheads left on the lip detonated.
Once we were aboard, the Clearidas entered slipspace, leaving the system.
Another retreat.
  • Halo Evolutions, Dirt
And so begins the most prominent part of the story, and, of course, Gage’s life as an ODST, and it’s not a happy one?
”A conscience is something that gets in the way. That’s all a soul is. An obstacle. Something to be overcome.”
The majority of Dirt features Gage’s fighting throughout the Human Covenant War, and it gives us a perspective of the common soldier. There are no heroes here, no Spartans, no victories or successes, no triumphant assaults or daring raids, just death and slaughter:
That was the pattern for the next few years. The Covenant ate us up, system by system, with very few victories on our side.
Most of the worlds I’d come to know well were all destroyed. No one cared about Insurrectionists, Outer Colonies versus the UNSC, or the Colonial Military ten years after Harvest fell.
There was only humanity versus the Covenant.
I saw more than my fair share of dead aliens and dead comrades.
Eventually I stopped making friends.
Mason died in my arms on Asmara after one of the snake-headed Covenant Elites speared him along with ten other ODSTs with his energy sword before I got off a near point-blank shot with a missile launcher.
I found Mason lying among the debris; I could smell his seared flesh.
He looked up at me with glassy eyes and asked for his mother, then coughed up blood and just . . . stopped being.
Kiko was stabbed in the face by the apelike Brutes on another world, the name of which I’ve since forgotten. Large, muscular, hairy aliens, they could snap a neck with their bare hands. Rahud died from energy artillery.
I was promoted to team leader, then a squad leader. I had long since stopped learning names; I didn’t want to form any attachments.
Maybe that’s why I never rose above squad leader.
I had become a shadow of myself. A robot. Hitting my mark and killing the enemy, and waiting for the one day a stray flash of energy would kill me.
I was waiting for the day I could be buried. In the dirt.

After all these years of combat, I slowly began to feel myself peeling apart. But I had no home, nowhere I really wanted to be, no one to see.
So I soldiered on, battle after battle.
  • Halo Evolutions, Dirt
This outlook, though bleak, isn’t an uncommon one, we see it in a few characters throughout the fiction, from Spartans like Fred-104,Owen-B096, Kevin-A282, and Marines, like the protagonist of the Halo Legends short The Prototype, Ghost, which the quote heading this section comes from, and Tarkov, the protagonist of the Halo 3 ODST live action trailer, and the squad commanded by Sergeant Lopez, from The Mona Lisa.
War, this war, the Human-Covenant War, breaks you. Casualties are in the thousands for every battle at a minimum, and even those who survive, who limp, bloody and beaten onto their dropships lose a part of themselves. They disassociate, they compartmentalize, they fracture, breaking off pieces of themselves to try and stay sane.
For people like Gage, the war is particularly distressing. Decades are spent fighting losing battles, watching the same show repeat over and over again. The demoralization of this must be crushing. As the war progresses, UNSC forces become more and more desperate, from the tomb-complexes built on Chi-Rho, to the nuclear bomb-rushes by Army troops on Actium, to the enacting of the Cole Protocol Empire-wide by the UNSC Navy.
Propaganda, likewise, begins to pour out, ONI Section II working overdrive to convince the public that they were winning the war, using modified images to sell the story, and focusing their efforts on the exploits of the Spartans by the 2540’s, and it works, for many… but not those on the frontlines, not the veterans, like Gage. They’re not seeing the victories ONI is claiming, they’re not seeing the mythical Spartans turn the tide. Worlds are still burning, people are still dying, humanity is still losing, and it’s the regular infantry and Navy, that are seeing the worst of it:
I almost saw my end in a hastily dug out trench on Skopje, an Inner Colony world. Unlike most of the wilder Outer Colonies, this world had highly built up urban areas, roads, and railways. It was an entire civilization sprawled across its island continents.
From the trench, if I turned to look behind me, I could see a skyline glinting and blazing in the sun over a red marbled museum. But back in front: mud.
We were sent in to protect the headquarters of a shipbuilding corporation during the evacuation of their shipyards. The machines, tools, and personnel that could be saved would be relocated to Reach, to continue building parts for the war effort.
Our headquarters were the halls of a nearby city museum, the grounds of which served as our landing zone and held all the quickly placed antiaircraft batteries.
“This is the fallback point, there is nowhere else to go,” we were told. “So you hold the perimeter at all costs.”
Covenant air support dared not attack us directly, not for several blocks. So they threw Grunts at us. Thousands of them in brutal house-to-house warfare, their numbers overwhelming our loose perimeter. We fell back and regrouped, drawing them in until we were foxholed on the edges of the vast museum gardens. We let the Grunts charge us across the muddy field.
They’d pushed us back, but we still simply thought of them as cannon fodder, waiting until they got close enough to hit their methane tanks and watch them explode. Now that we had our open ground and dug in positions, we slaughtered them.
But they kept coming. And after waves of screaming Grunts came the races higher up in the Covenant food chain: Jackal snipers, Brutes rushing the line, and then finally Elites, flashing their energy swords as they got in close enough to the melee.
The trenches got cut off, communication lost, and I found myself crouched in between two walls of mud with another ODST, waiting for the Covenant to leap in with us.
  • Halo Evolutions, Dirt
But Gage doesn’t meet his end, instead, he’s saved by a Spartan. We don’t know who this is, it doesn’t really matter. The survivors of Gage’s unit link up with another battalion of ODST’s under the command of none of them than Felicia Sanderson, Gage’s old friend:
“And I turned to see Felicia standing with a BR55 slung under one arm and a canteen in the other.
“Felicia?” There were wrinkles in her tanned, leathery face. But all these years would do that. We’d just been kids the last time we saw each other, really.
She ran over and hugged me, a strong clench, and then she shoved me back. “I can’t frigging believe you’re alive!”
I was just as stunned. “What are you doing here?”
“Holed up, same as you. The castle was my call. Some CEO had it made using actual quarried rock from outside the city. Covenant low-level energy weapons don’t vaporize the rock; they just melt it a bit more, making it even stronger. We’re waiting for some Pelicans to get us the hell out now that they took the museum off your grubby hands.”
She had a jagged scar across her cheek, and a nasty burn on the back of her neck from a near miss. But I caught a glimpse of her bars: She’d risen up to colonel.
We compared notes and found that we’d been in a couple of the same theaters together, separated only by thirty or so miles.

Off in the distance a sharklike Covenant Cruiser began to descend from the clouds. From its belly, fierce energy descended upon the land, glassing it into oblivion.
So we hightailed it out of there.
I’d stopped expecting to live, right before I saw her again. After that, I suddenly felt real again. A human being again, with a past, and a life.
  • Halo Evolutions, Dirt
Reunited with Felicia, and a now awake Eric (who joined the Navy as a Pilot), Gage rekindles his humanity, the cracks heal, the man returns…
…but that doesn’t change anything. Together again, but people still die, world still burn, the war is still a lost cause:
I felt the weariness in their voices. It was there in mine, too. Deep into my bones. I’d used up almost two-thirds of my life fighting.
And all I’d seen were losses.
Despite ONI propaganda films, and shore leave, and binges, I still felt that emptiness.
  • Halo Evolutions, Dirt
And so, the trio come up with a plan. On their next mission, they’ll rob a bank in secret, stealing the vault’s contents of gold and use it to retire.
With most of the ODST’s deployed to engage the Covenant, our trio, alongside a half dozen or so former CMA Marines and Insurrectionists, rob the bank…
But there’s a complication:
Back under the bank we detonated the door to the last vault. The lights flickered from the pulse as we opened the door, coughing and hacking from the dust that had been kicked up. Shadows filled the room, shifting and moving as the lights struggled to come on.
Then the lights quit flickering and steadied, and we realized that the shadows were still moving. They were human-shaped shadows.
A hand reached out from behind the bars and grabbed at me. “Are you here to save us?” asked a tiny voice, and I looked down into the large, wide blue eyes of a little boy.

“Thank god you came,” said an older man, a schoolteacher who’d been chosen to stay with the children while the adults armed up and marched downriver to fight the Covenant. That had been days ago.
The entire group was camped out in the last gold storage room, spreading out what supplies they had on towels on top of more wealth than any of them could have ever have previously imagined touching.
“We’ve seen what they’ve done to other worlds,” Julian, the schoolteacher, said. “We got as deep underground as we could . . . hoping maybe we could avoid the worst of it. The others had already left the city for the nearest spaceport. There weren’t many children left by the time the Covenant actually landed.”
They were not nearly deep enough. But I didn’t say anything.
  • Halo Evolutions, Dirt
The group of ODST’s are split on what to do. Sita,le and Orrin, the old CMA loyalists, want to leave the children behind and focus on the gold. Gage disagrees:
…“Think about what?” Sita asked, joining us. “You’re not seriously thinking about taking them out?”
I was horrified. “How can we not? These are children!”
“They’re dead,” Sita said. “They were dead the moment they chose to hole up down here. It is only a matter of when, and how. The fact that we stumbled across them doesn’t change the fact that we can’t evacuate everyone off an entire planet. It doesn’t work like that.”
Dale and Orrin were looking up from the dolly as they guided it toward us, paying attention to our body language.
“What the hell is the point of being a soldier if we can’t save anybody,” I snapped. The worlds I’d retreated from suddenly flashed through the back of my mind.
And then I thought about what Felicia had said. When was the last time I’d talked to a civilian? Julian was the first since the bombing that put Eric in a coma.
Maybe I’d spent too long being removed from civilization.
Maybe we all had.
But I still had a heart. I still knew what was right and what was wrong. “We can’t abandon these children to die. I refuse.”
“If you refuse, that’s a problem,” Sita growled. She had her BR55 raised slightly. Orrin and Dale, still observing, looked ready to jump forward and back her up.
  • Halo Evolutions, Dirt
In the end, a shootout occurs, Sita, Orrin and Dale against Gage… and Felicia.
Gage is the only survivor.
Wounded, but resolute, he returns to the Pelican, knocks out Eric and heads to the battle raging outside the city. There, ODST’s have secured a number of Covenant (read: Forerunner) artifacts, and are fighting to retreat to the city. Gage takes the artifacts aboard the Pelican as a decoy, and requests additional ODST’s and dropships be deployed to assist the beleaguered marines, and of course, rescue the civilians.
But those of the “vault team” Gage had left behind so not appreciate his newfound humanity, they shoot down his Pelican, and chase after him with one of their own.
This is where we return to the beginning of the story, where a dying Gage has retold his life story to an ODST sent to reinforce him.
The trooper, one Lance Corporal Johnathon Doeherty, is asked by Gage to make a promise:
“Years ago, I told my father it was ‘just dirt.’ But it’s not dirt. It’s where we live. It’s our dirt, dammit. And more importantly, it’s about who’s standing on that dirt. Those children. Your family. Your friends. And those freaks are going to pay for every piece of dirt they’ve taken from us.”
“We can still get you out of here . . .”
“No. I’m a dead man, you know it. I’m not going to waste more Marines.”
“And your friends coming this way?”
“They’re going to die helping protect the dirt, rookie. They’re going to die doing something good.” He smiled. “If they’d stayed back in the city to form up with you guys instead of running out here for the gold, they wouldn’t have a problem, would they? They chose this path. Promise me something, rook?”
“You’ll fight the Covenant all the way. Even if they land on Earth. You’ll fight them even if you have to throw rocks at them.”
”“I will, sir.”
  • Halo Evolutions, Dirt
Forced to hoof it away from Gage lest he be caught in the blast, the Trooper watches Gage detonate a FURY-Tac Nuke, killing himself, his CMA conspirators, and an army of Covenant following them for the artifacts.
The Trooper links up with another Pelican, where he’s given some good, and bad, news:
The Pelican shook and bounced. “The civilians have all been evacuated,” the copilot told the rookie, who stood behind them looking out the window. “We’re taking them back to Earth with us.”
“Earth?” He was surprised.
“The Covenant just attacked Reach,” the pilot reported. “We’re falling back to Mother Earth.”
The rookie looked out at the land under the clouds as they climbed for orbit, stunned. Soon all the ground would be glass, once the Covenant ships started in on it.
All dirt, he thought.
Like Earth.
From there, they would throw everything they had at the Covenant if they were found. Even if he had to throw the last rock himself. He’d made a promise.
They would make the Covenant pay for every inch of dirt, the rookie thought to himself.
Upon returning to Earth, the Trooper would be reassigned to the UNSC Cruiser, Say My Name, and participates in the battle of New Mombasa, serving as a replacement for a dead Trooper in a squad commanded by Gunnery Sergeant Edward Buck…
…but that’s a story for another time
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2023.12.05 23:46 PeregrineMyth Overanalyzing The Direction Teams and Characters Are Going

So the episodes 2-4 of TDI23 S2 are now available for watching. As a man who has gotten used to binge watch whatever I want if I so wish, it feels weird to only get few bites at a time. Not to mention that it’s from a cartoon I adore. But I’ll try to make the most of this nervous and excitable waiting time so I enter high speculation mode in order to keep my mind focused and thoughts preoccupied. With three more episodes out we finally have some real game to talk about where this season could be heading with its plotlines and characters and those are the topics which I would like to discuss about this time in this short essay. Although this is already marked as spoilers, be once again twice warned that there will be spoiler-filled discussion about the content from the newest episodes.
Let us get into it!
- Of the Skunk Butt In General –
In the aftermath of Episode 1 I was more excited to witness Skunk Butt’s progress rather than Rat Face’s equivalent throughout the pre-merge game. I had my expectations and theories and although it is obvious now that while some of my more major ideas were not really the direction where things headed (as tends to happen with any speculation), some of my scattered ideas actually turned out to be rather decently water-proof.
First of all, I was half-expecting to witness some kind of cold war brewing between three easily distinguishable factions within the team. The factions are there, definitely, with girls forming their own duo, Bowie and hockey bros sticking together and former Trout guys existing on the sidelines of everything, but I seriously misplaced my speculation that Chase and Ripper would have any role of wild card in this team’s power structure. Turns out that girls are aiming for long con with this season and instead of trying to do something to certain power position which Bowie holds, they’re actively trying to better their team’s odds instead of somehow undermining its efforts or cohesion. And Chase and Ripper remained more like an afterthought to every other Skunk player without anyone trying to connect with them. Generally, Skunks’ story as of after four episodes seems to be of one where five former Frogs unite once again to compete in this reality TV show and Ripper remains as an isolated surplus to round up the numbers since Chase got the boot after Skunks’ second loss due to him not getting past his character flaws.
Admittedly, although girls’ cheating didn’t directly caused any instantaneous consequences, the seeds have been sown for everything to possibly go so very wrong so very fast. Yes, the ability to embrace the dark side and willingness to utilize underhanded tactics are both MK and Julia’s “strengths” and since Bowie also have those more ruthless and morally iffy sides to him, girls are able to get him on board with the idea of bettering their odds, but everyone has seriously underestimated how much hockey bros can actually value their moral integrity and that of the competition. One of my theories for this season was that Bowie and Raj’s relationship will run into some trouble specifically due to something from Bowie’s part, and this seems to be very true because by accepting the cheating and participating in it, Bowie has basically put himself in a position where he’s forced to make a choice between Raj and the game. I don’t know how much on purpose girls managed to create this situation but to their credit they’re definitely succeeded at establishing a situation where Bowie will seemingly ultimately “lose” one way or another, be it in his relationship or at his chances to gain that one million dollars prize money. And all this happened because they successfully appealed to their de facto team leader’s nastier tendencies in not so aggressive or antagonistic manner. One could even wonder if girls already have managed to take control over their team, but I’m inclined to believe that they’re not really thinking about this and are just acting out of desire to help as much of their team as possible to reach the merge.
And speaking of MK and Julia, it truly seems that they’ve found perfect partner-in-crime in each other. I’ve seen these wild shipping sentiments floating around during the past couple of days but I hold the opinion that there’s really nothing of romantic sort laying dormant in there. They have that perfect partner-in-crime dynamic going on between them and their friendship is based on the fact that having somewhat similar personalities, they validate each other. Basically, since both of them have bloated egos, they found the acceptance from other party’s part flattering which has the effect of making them overconfident and boosting their beliefs that they can get away with anything. That overconfidence can easily come bite at them somewhere down the line.
And then there’s Ripper. It’s a glorious cringe fest from the beginning of episode two to the cliffhanger of episode four. When he uttered that he needed “relationship advice”, I honest to god believed that he was wording in a funny way that he wanted to find ways to make more friends, which would have tied nicely back into the fact how he was the last pick in team creation, but no. Full one-eighty on that expectation! Had to stop the second episode for a moment right there just to have a hearty laugh how out of the blue it was and how ridiculous it felt. I wasn’t really expecting in the least this to be his teased softer side arc but I found it relatable, nonetheless. Having witnessed my own fair share of awkward teenage crushes in life, it was quite easy to see how that could turn someone (Ripper in this case) into a total awkward buffoon who becomes solely preoccupied by that thought. Probably my main issue with this Ripper arc, however, is that he feels totally stranger in his own team. Yes, it’s great that even some of the more… divisive figures get semi-huge storyline specifically dedicated to them, but this is supposed to be the team phase of the season. It feels extremely strange that Ripper, who still carries the legacy of being the jerk in season one and is the sole former Trout left in Skunks after the second episode, is completely left outside of the other dynamics internal to his own team. I get that he was the one who nobody wanted so it would be easy to ignore him, but I’m still left to wonder how his character could be developed even more if his own teammates at least acknowledged him being part of the team. Heck, in the fourth challenge he even was the MVP in a sense that he actually was the one who fairly got most the questions right in a row and all on his own. And even his third answer wasn’t terribly reasoned at all but where are the thanks for any of that.
- Of the Rat Face In General -
Then we have the other team. I was highly skeptical where this team could be heading after the first episode, but now I have more material to work with.
During this three-episodes streak you could see that there exists this rough separation into two sides. One side consists of Priya, Millie, Caleb and Emma. Zee, Damien, Axel and Nichelle form the other side. There naturally is some overlapping in interactions, which is especially apparent in short-lived Damien-Millie storyline, but generally speaking these two sides constitutes different “factions” in Rat Face.
I’m honestly not sure what to make of Priya at this point. She came to this season with these grand plans of alliances and doing well once again but she has come greatly preoccupied by her crush on Caleb that it’s really starting to affect her game. She’s not doing well at all game-wise considering for example the fact that she’s the only Rat player who we didn’t see scoring any points in second challenge and whose handling of the fourth challenge as a team leader was remarkably lacking. And now we have arrived to the point where she has already lost to the eliminations the two players who she was relying on to become her core alliance. It’s not really looking good for her.
Then there’s Caleb who keeps buttering up Priya. He is also a case where I’m not sure what to conclude of exactly. In his confessionals he keeps alluding to the fact that the alliance with Priya is just a matter of time by now, but I find it interesting how he hasn’t even suggested the idea of co-operation to Priya herself. It’s all been just flat-out flattery or sneaky flirtation. What’s up with that? Is he waiting Priya to be the one to suggest the alliance aloud? Is he really just living it up to the idea that it “will take some work”, like he stated in episode one? Or could it be that we’re witnessing reminiscent of Justin’s legacy? Justin’s strategy was to trust in his charms and get people that way on his side but he was not putting any effort to spread outside of that sphere and he didn’t have vision what he really wanted to accomplish once he had those “allies”. I think we might be witnessing same kind of thing with Caleb. While Alejandro was also “the strong hot guy”, he had the wits to foster several different angles from where he could approach the game. Caleb is so focused on making this alliance happen with Priya that at the moment he’s failing to see bigger picture or any actual strategy beyond that alliance. And this doesn’t even include the reality that Priya isn’t really performing up to the standard of being previous winner.
With Zee, I find it interesting that although he feels almost like a background character who doesn’t really have anything going on, he might very well be one of the best performing Rat so far. His disqualification in the first challenge was questionable since technically it was his drink’s fizzling and not his own motion which instituted the movement when he was in the lead group. And in the second challenge, if we don’t count the uncounted points, he scored second-highest score of his team right behind Damien. And in the third challenge he alongside of Nichelle was the only one from the Rats who made it to the goal while all what stuck to him was caused by MK and Julia’s sabotage, not anything what was actually planned for the course of the challenge. He’s also getting decent chunk of confessionals so I’m left to wonder if we’re teased to expect some underdog stuff still coming from him or something else. I honestly don’t know, but with big stuff circling around Priya and Caleb and Nichelle being obvious new powerhouse, I find Zee to be possibly the most slept on player in Rat Face, and that’s why I wanted to highlight him here specifically
When it comes to Nichelle, I find it good enough idea that she has been able to improve herself but to be honest, she remains really bland character and this power gap in different season personifications is straight-up ridiculous. Like how on God’s green earth she managed to achieve this level of physicality in few short months all the while Priya, who was coached from her birth for this very thing, didn’t perform anywhere near this level even during the first season? Just… just no. My suspension of disbelief is working overtime with this one and is constantly on the verge of failing so I’m really not “feeling” Nichelle or her arc so far. She has weak social game in general which no amount of pep talk here and there can solely fix, and she has this odd grudge against Hollywood almost like she’s mocking it for cancelling her like she wouldn’t have been the one who spectacularly embarrassed herself in the previous season.
Damien on the other hand is in quite an interesting position. He still has that scaredy-cat aspect to him but he has actually found ways to face his fears and he indeed has that drive to stay in the island. Now that is perfectly moderately executed and believable character growth which I can feel invested in. Like he might be the best example of someone whom I can still recognize from the previous season but who also has changed for the better. That is a moment of peak writing in my honest opinion. I can respect deeply how his teammates (except Millie that one notorious time) seem to respect his boundaries and know that he will do his part when needed so he’s never becoming a burden to them. He’s just generally so unproblematic and good-hearted guy that I’m feeling cautiously optimistic that he could do pretty well this season and actually make merge this time. My remaining fear with him is that he could easily be prime example of someone who will go home the exact moment when episode starts giving him special extra focus or great number of confessionals and that makes it disappointingly obvious and unsatisfying viewing experience.
And finally we have Axel. Not going to lie, I was equally shocked with fandom what happened at the beginning of the second episode and then at the end of fourth episode, but I think I’ll wait to see a little bit more which direction exactly is this Rixel ship sailing before I allow myself to form a proper opinion on it. As her own individual person, I couldn’t see to much depth in her during these three new episodes. Although there were those occasional genuine moments that she indeed is acting nicer this season, she mostly felt like just a target for Ripper’s affections, and we haven’t really seen her individual character getting expanded yet. After the first episode I felt that out of the previous first-three-eliminations she was the one who had the weakest case of justifying a long run in this season but now after four episodes in total I’ve been left with a feeling that now it’s Nichelle who should be going first between her, Axel and Caleb. Like Caleb, Axel now has more personal connection to another player which connection definitely requires some examination and resolution. After all, this is Total Drama and that name alone suggests that this should be mostly about the friendships and relationships which participants forge along the way, not about some isolated journey of self-improvement or motivation stemming from grudge against the former employer.
- Where to Go From Here –
What I think I’m expecting now to see in the upcoming episodes is some consequences falling upon MK and Julia for their cheating, the question over cheating escalating between Bowie and Raj, Rixel getting explored more, Zee and/or Damien remaining on the track of possibly being the ultimate under-the-radar player this season, and Priya entering the waters of some real trouble although Caleb is still there attempting to secure that alliance with her.
MK and Julia might think that they are so sneaky and cunning about their cheating but I’m quite convinced that Chris already knows what they’re up to it. Host might be many things but stupid isn’t one of those things. He has seen in previous seasons how contestants try to get some ill-gotten gains or other information which they really shouldn’t have if they were to play fair and square. Going behind the scenes has always been within the realm of possibility in Total Drama and the fact that Chris hasn’t caulked these opportunities and even seems to endorse the idea makes me believe that in reality he’s basically expecting someone at this point to do something underhanded. For example, I cannot really believe that he would just casually notice MK’s absence during the fourth challenge and make a question about her whereabouts. Or that he would grow suspicious only when Skunks and not Rats were on a seemingly impossible streak of correct answers. He knows. He should know. I want to believe he’s only allowing MK and Julia marinate in their own stupidity for the time being just so something insane will fall upon them eventually. They are openly and not in uncertain terms discussing about their cheating in the confessionals, for heaven’s sake. We have seen this before and never before have these kinds of cheaters prevailed in the end.
With Bowie and Raj situation there are many ways how this could go. Will Bowie choose the game or Raj? Will he personally fess up in hopes of building their relationship on healthy and honest foundation? Will Raj find out some other way? Will he forgive? Or if Bowie chooses to leave cheating behind without telling abut the past things, what will then follow? Bowie himself admits that he has a good thing going with Raj so he doesn’t want to make a choice between hockey bro and the game. Wanting to believe in his good qualities, I think he will ultimately choose Raj but the way remains mystery. Perhaps development in this is something what we will see already in the fifth episode. Considering that Rats now have two consecutive losses after Skunks’ first two losses, it could be reasonable to assume that Skunks will lose the next challenge somehow. If that’s to happen, I believe there’s a quite good chance for one boy to go home since so far we have three eliminated girls and only one eliminated boy. The balance between gender ratios isn’t always the best in TD writing but more often than not, I’d say, they try to find some compromise in this. This is quite meta, I know. But if we’re to work under the assumption that be it the next episode or why not the sixth episode, whenever the Skunks lose next time, at least one of the boys is probably leaving. Could it be Bowie in an attempt to redeem himself in the eyes of Raj and prove that he’s truly sorry for not being honest with him and going against his sincere request? Perhaps this way Bowie could find some redemption in the eyes of other players as well since many of them were left feeling salty about things what he committed season prior. Or could it be Raj who’s leaving so he could make a statement that he’s not okay with what Bowie did and to really sell the idea that “apparently he (Bowie) decided to choose the game over him”? This option could even create some insane character moments for Bowie in the following episodes because this way the consequences of his actions would finally affect him on a deeply personal level and force him to go through some serious introspection, possibly opening a path for some bittersweet “redemption” somewhere in the future. And before anyone can claim that I forgot Wayne, I assure that I haven’t done so. Because I don’t want to believe hockey bros being double-elimination yet another time, my copium and hopium are these hypothetical scenarios. Wayne being the supportive best friend of Raj is so intertwined matter with Rawie that I cannot see him going home alone without some effect from that brewing escalation of dishonesty. If it was to be Wayne who’s getting eliminated first from these three, maybe it could be in the vein of him urging Raj to stay behind in order to set things right with Bowie and not leave angry/heartbroken ‘cause “Snow Owl never quits” which is why Raj shouldn’t just give up on his relationship after its first major hurdle. That could be a true character moment for Wayne to prove that he indeed even in practice is supportive of any of Raj’s endeavors in life just like he promised to be in Season One. Basically this scenario means Wayne sacrificing himself so Raj and Bowie can have an opportunity for reconciliation. But if it was Raj who ends up leaving, maybe he could urge Wayne to stay on the basis of that although his heart is broken and he needs some time away, that shouldn’t mean that Wayne has to follow ‘cause “Snow Owl never quits” which is why Wayne shouldn’t allow himself to get caught up in Rawie’s downfall but keep going and prove everyone without shadow of a doubt that one can indeed make the most of the game moral integrity intact and without cheating. And by honoring those ideas, Wayne would also be carrying Raj’s legacy, which altogether could be an insane launchpad for Wayne’s individual journey and character examination.
When it comes to the matter of Priya (and by proxy Caleb), the feeling I have at the moment is that we might very well be witnesses of her ultimate downfall. I’ve gotten the feeling during the past two days that Millie and Emma’s eliminations are quite divisive matter in the fandom and while I naturally hold my own opinions on these as their own separate matters, I’ve been left to wonder if these eliminations could have some broader implications. In the first episode of this season it was made clear that Priya’s initial plan was to create an alliance between her, Millie and Emma but that has been proved to be an absolute failure. (And as a sidenote, I find it odd how Millie was eliminated with five-to-three votes, like, since Priya probably didn’t vote Millie, that must mean her vote was for Emma which is freaking weird considering her plans in episode one). Her head is not fully in the game and she’s not performing well so far. Major factor in that is probably her intense crushing on Caleb which hampers her focus. I cannot shake this feeling either that she’s misinterpreting Caleb’s intentions big time which could easily decimate her self-confidence unless Caleb somewhere down the line either genuinely or deviously starts returning more romantic feelings. It’s anyway possible, I think, that Millie and Emma’s eliminations were at least partly a prelude to Priya’s arc later in this season where she has to either find her focus or get stomped by other more driven players. There are already some hints which might suggest that other Rats are willing or capable of going that extra mile and “take over” the Rats if Priya is too caught up on her rose-tinted fantasylands. And Caleb needs to get more straightforward or vicious if he wants to make it all the way to the finale because now he’s as preoccupied as Priya to notice that neither of them have a good long-term game plan in place.
I was actually right in one of my theories that Chemma needed to get some form of Gidgette of Action treatment, meaning either early eliminations or early final conclusion if there was going to be made time for new romances to be explored. That opened up spot has been taken by Rixel (and maybe Caliya/Prileb, we’ll see – I have no idea how to call that) but like said, I withhold my opinion on the nature of that thing until additional material is released. It feels so controversial and idiotic but yet so sweet and intriguing that I really do not wish to spoil it for me with whatever theories or hypothetical scenarios I may come up with for its continuation.
All in all, we have a fascinating collection of episodes in these three newly released ones. I still feel confident in my conviction that Skunk Butt is the team I’m more excited to see continuing its journey through the team phase, but finally there starts to appear some order in scattered storylines of Rat Face. I’m also getting more invested in Damien and Zee’s characters and I remain hopeful that they will have chances to have shining character moments.
And that's about it. What about you? What did you think about the new episodes and where do you think things are heading with teams and/or individual characters? Feel free to share your thoughts.
submitted by PeregrineMyth to Totaldrama [link] [comments]

2023.12.05 23:45 MrCoolGrey New Server Opening Up NLRP

New Server Opening Up NLRP
Opening up sometime soonish exact date hasn't been posted , Looking for alllll types of groups and people . PD ( if your gonna sign up do the job please don't blow smoke up our ass get hired and never show up) . Need EMS . EVERYTHING IS OPEN come talk to staff today ! Welcoming Packages may be involved !!!
And we are open to talk about anything you need in the city . Streamers Welcomed !!!
-New Life RP: Crafting Stories, And Building Legacies-
Welcome to New Life RP, a groundbreaking Serious Realistic GTA RP city where your story is not just written but crafted with limitless possibilities. Immerse yourself in a vibrant and dynamic environment that offers plenty of legal and illegal jobs and anything inbetween, catering to a diverse range of interests and skills.
-Legal Opportunities:
Over 30 Jobs and Hobbies At New Life RP, we believe in providing a plethora of legal opportunities to our residents. Whether you're an aspiring entrepreneur, a skilled mechanic, or a passionate fisherman, our city has a place for you. From white-collar professions to blue-collar trades, our jobs are designed to cater to every individual's skills and preferences.
-Thriving Realistic Economy:
Banking Excellence Experience a top-tier banking system at New Life RP, where financial opportunities are as boundless as your imagination. Our beautiful UI allows you to seamlessly manage your finances, offering services such as loans, investments, and the ability to purchase crypto coins in real-time. Take control of your financial destiny and watch your wealth grow in the city that never sleeps. Business Owner's/Bosses will have their own account, and they choose who has access to the account. Warning , Dont pay your bills , Dont pay your taxes , Take a loan or finance a car and defur payments , you may find your bank account frozen.
-Whitelisted Jobs:
Open Availability for Key Roles Dive into the heart of the city with whitelisted jobs that grant open availability to essential roles. Become a dedicated police officer, a life-saving EMS professional, a meticulous mechanic, or even a shrewd business owner. The possibilities are endless, and the city is waiting for your unique contribution.
-Criminal Lifestyle:
Progression and Notoriety For those who tread on the other side of the law, New Life RP introduces a comprehensive criminal lifestyle progression system. Develop your skills, build your gang rep, and unlock exclusive features as time goes on. Engage in the underground world of extensive weed growing, where cultivating plants, drying buds, and packaging products is an art form. Explore the darker side with the production and distribution of meth, coke, and other illicit substances.
-Crafting Excellence: Unleash Your Creativity
Our crafting system takes creativity to a whole new level. Each build earns you experience points and unlocks blueprints, giving you access to special buffs and enhancing your skills. Whether you're constructing a business empire, designing custom vehicles, or building your dream home, every creation adds to your journey, making the city a living testament to your ingenuity.
-Black-Market Dynamics:
Opportunities for All The black-market in New Life RP is open to everyone, providing a diverse array of opportunities. If you find yourself in the right WiFi environment, a world of illicit possibilities awaits. For those belonging to organized crime groups, the black-market evolves as your level progresses, unlocking exclusive items and privileges. It's a realm where secrecy and strategy intertwine, adding an extra layer to the intricate tapestry of our city.
Impactful Actions:
Every Move Counts In New Life RP, every action resonates through the city, affecting your skills, health, lifestyle, or potentially landing you behind bars. Engage in the diverse legal and criminal activities available, but be mindful of the consequences. Your choices will shape your character's journey, creating a dynamic experience where every move counts.
-Comprehensive Progression:
Skills, Health, Lifestyle, Jail Progression in New Life RP goes beyond the superficial. Your skills develop, your health reflects your choices, your lifestyle becomes a testament to your decisions, and the specter of jail looms over those who tread too far into the shadows. Choose your path wisely, for every decision will have a lasting impact on your character's destiny.
-Your Story, Your City Join us in New Life RP, where the crafting is unparalleled, the black-market beckons, and every action tells a story. Embrace a city that evolves with you, where your journey is not just experienced but crafted with every move you make. Welcome to a new dimension of role-playing, where your story truly becomes a living, breathing reality. we believe in giving you the reins to your own destiny. Regardless of your chosen path, whether legal or criminal, the narrative is yours to shape. Create alliances, forge rivalries, and leave a lasting mark on our ever-evolving city. The story is yours to build, and New Life RP is the canvas for your unique masterpiece. Embark on a journey of endless possibilities, where every choice you make shapes the destiny of New Life RP. Welcome to a city where stories are born, and legacies are built.
White list is open . Yes even being brand new we are starting a whitelist off jump to find people that actually wanna put time into the city and their RP .
Discord link
submitted by MrCoolGrey to Gamer [link] [comments]

2023.12.05 23:43 MrCoolGrey New Server Opening Up NLRP

Opening up sometime soonish exact date hasn't been posted , Looking for alllll types of groups and people . PD ( if your gonna sign up do the job please don't blow smoke up our ass get hired and never show up) . Need EMS . EVERYTHING IS OPEN come talk to staff today ! Welcoming Packages may be involved !!!
And we are open to talk about anything you need in the city . Streamers Welcomed !!!
-New Life RP: Crafting Stories, And Building Legacies-
Welcome to New Life RP, a groundbreaking Serious Realistic GTA RP city where your story is not just written but crafted with limitless possibilities. Immerse yourself in a vibrant and dynamic environment that offers plenty of legal and illegal jobs and anything inbetween, catering to a diverse range of interests and skills.
-Legal Opportunities:
Over 30 Jobs and Hobbies At New Life RP, we believe in providing a plethora of legal opportunities to our residents. Whether you're an aspiring entrepreneur, a skilled mechanic, or a passionate fisherman, our city has a place for you. From white-collar professions to blue-collar trades, our jobs are designed to cater to every individual's skills and preferences.
-Thriving Realistic Economy:
Banking Excellence Experience a top-tier banking system at New Life RP, where financial opportunities are as boundless as your imagination. Our beautiful UI allows you to seamlessly manage your finances, offering services such as loans, investments, and the ability to purchase crypto coins in real-time. Take control of your financial destiny and watch your wealth grow in the city that never sleeps. Business Owner's/Bosses will have their own account, and they choose who has access to the account. Warning , Dont pay your bills , Dont pay your taxes , Take a loan or finance a car and defur payments , you may find your bank account frozen.
-Whitelisted Jobs:
Open Availability for Key Roles Dive into the heart of the city with whitelisted jobs that grant open availability to essential roles. Become a dedicated police officer, a life-saving EMS professional, a meticulous mechanic, or even a shrewd business owner. The possibilities are endless, and the city is waiting for your unique contribution.
-Criminal Lifestyle:
Progression and Notoriety For those who tread on the other side of the law, New Life RP introduces a comprehensive criminal lifestyle progression system. Develop your skills, build your gang rep, and unlock exclusive features as time goes on. Engage in the underground world of extensive weed growing, where cultivating plants, drying buds, and packaging products is an art form. Explore the darker side with the production and distribution of meth, coke, and other illicit substances.
-Crafting Excellence: Unleash Your Creativity
Our crafting system takes creativity to a whole new level. Each build earns you experience points and unlocks blueprints, giving you access to special buffs and enhancing your skills. Whether you're constructing a business empire, designing custom vehicles, or building your dream home, every creation adds to your journey, making the city a living testament to your ingenuity.
-Black-Market Dynamics:
Opportunities for All The black-market in New Life RP is open to everyone, providing a diverse array of opportunities. If you find yourself in the right WiFi environment, a world of illicit possibilities awaits. For those belonging to organized crime groups, the black-market evolves as your level progresses, unlocking exclusive items and privileges. It's a realm where secrecy and strategy intertwine, adding an extra layer to the intricate tapestry of our city.
Impactful Actions:
Every Move Counts In New Life RP, every action resonates through the city, affecting your skills, health, lifestyle, or potentially landing you behind bars. Engage in the diverse legal and criminal activities available, but be mindful of the consequences. Your choices will shape your character's journey, creating a dynamic experience where every move counts.
-Comprehensive Progression:
Skills, Health, Lifestyle, Jail Progression in New Life RP goes beyond the superficial. Your skills develop, your health reflects your choices, your lifestyle becomes a testament to your decisions, and the specter of jail looms over those who tread too far into the shadows. Choose your path wisely, for every decision will have a lasting impact on your character's destiny.
-Your Story, Your City Join us in New Life RP, where the crafting is unparalleled, the black-market beckons, and every action tells a story. Embrace a city that evolves with you, where your journey is not just experienced but crafted with every move you make. Welcome to a new dimension of role-playing, where your story truly becomes a living, breathing reality. we believe in giving you the reins to your own destiny. Regardless of your chosen path, whether legal or criminal, the narrative is yours to shape. Create alliances, forge rivalries, and leave a lasting mark on our ever-evolving city. The story is yours to build, and New Life RP is the canvas for your unique masterpiece. Embark on a journey of endless possibilities, where every choice you make shapes the destiny of New Life RP. Welcome to a city where stories are born, and legacies are built.
White list is open . Yes even being brand new we are starting a whitelist off jump to find people that actually wanna put time into the city and their RP .
Discord link
submitted by MrCoolGrey to GTAVRP [link] [comments]

2023.12.05 23:31 Feyfyre1 Humanity’s Awakening – The Parasitic God Arc (Complete) – Chapter 63.1 (The Convergence of Events - 2 of 2)

First : Previous : Next
Treal reached back and snagged Isisana’s hand again to help urge her up to walk beside her. “Hey. Seriously though. You better stay with us. Don’t go disappearing for any reason until we know that it’s safe. You’re our family too, you know. Xersi will really get mad at you and probably spank you for it, if you try. Malek will probably… I don’t know what she’ll do, but you won’t like it.”
Isisana swung Treal’s hand merrily and chuckled a little. “Xersi wouldn’t spank me. I know that. She’d do much worse to me. She’d make me eat Iklan gruel without the sugarberries. I hate that stuff with a passion even with the berries. She’s put it in front of me before and I begged her forgiveness right then. I couldn’t stop myself because I hate that stuff so much. I really should watch my words around her. She uses them against me sometimes.”
Treal purr-barked a laugh. “DON’T SHE THOUGH! She’s almost worse than Malek! Sheesh!”
After a few minutes of making their way through the ship's corridors, Treal said, “Well. When you see that death guy, you better be considerate at least. Introduce us and let us have a say or something. You can’t be selfish and break Xersi’s heart like that. Well, really, any of us. We love you too, you know?”
Isisana saw the lifts approaching. There were some others trotting past them in a hurry today since so much was now going on. When they got there and stopped to wait, Isisana pulled Treal to her side and laid her head on Treal’s shoulder and purred. She said softly, “You are right. I was being impatient. We will do this right. No hard feelings. I will stay. For a time. You and Malek… you should stay. There are more humans who would find you two… fascinating friends.”
“Think so?”
Isisana nodded and saw the lift begin to open. “Sure of it. Two in particular are so like you two. Spooky.”
“No. No spooky from you. Get in the lift and let’s go.” Treal said with a wry grin.
Treal didn’t mind how clingy Isisana was with her. It was her sweet nature to hold anyone who was near her. No one minded really. It was just her way, and all accepted it. Yurial and Comana had become basically her defacto guards to a funny high degree. Between them, Malek, Toril, and Xersi, she was usually never alone on the ship. When she would disappear, she was usually found in one of a few places. The astronomy café, the engine room with Balarforn, in the queen’s room with Xzorbana, Xersi’s room, or somehow over onto the human ship with either Ellsynth and Cabal or fucking surprisingly, Fera of all people. Her former tormentor turned maid to said humans. No one, not even Toril had understood that. Isisana even said Fera wasn’t her friend. But they talked. They would be found in a common area on Fera’s days off and would be talking. Fera never said what about and Isisana always just smiled at anyone who asked. It was infuriating how the sadistic torturer that Isisana kicked in the face could be worthy of her forgiveness. But that was Isisana. And Fera was still on her path of atonement that she would never reach. It may be that reason only that Isisana talked to her. To remind her of that path and why she was on it. At least to Treal’s thoughts. Xersi should have shot Fera. Vader and Treal sure as shit would have.
When they exited the lifts, Isisana smiled brightly and stopped them. She pulled Treal over to the side of the hallway and held her hands. “I apologize. I’ve not been a good walking companion.”
“You’re fine. What’cha want?”
“I was thinking recently. About your Savannah Sky Joining Ceremony to Malek. If I can… If we live, and you two join, I hope to arrange that ceremony for you. I also think that you and Malek would appreciate a home near me. I know my Death now. I know his family. I know that if we win and survive, you and Malek will not be able to return. I am going home and I’d… I’d want you two to come with me as well. Let this be our home.”
Treal tried to be calm about that and tell her that in no uncertain terms would they end up on that strange world. “Well. I appreciate the offer, but Malek and I would want to go back to our own home, if we win this war and live to tell about it.”
Isisana looked sad and took a deep breath to let it out slowly. “You two are Draxian now. There are others like you… here. Hybrids. The Red Queen would welcome you because she is like you. Please…”
“What?! The Red Queen?! That Jessica human you talked about?! She’s part Draxian?!”
Isisana nodded and reached up to hold Treal’s face. “Calm. Calm. It’s okay, Treal. She is and some more of her family are as well. You and Malek would be welcome to become part of their family… their Brood. I would like that for you two as well because you helped me so much.”
Treal shook her head and got sharp with her tone, “No! That means she’ll have me, and Malek like Queen Xalansss did. Or worse! I earned my freedom, damnit!”
“No. You earned a mind block. I asked about that freedom you earned from Queen Xzorbana. Xalansss is the traitor queen. She is here. She is my Death’s ally too. So, if Xzorbana is successful in her negotiations as I hope she will be, we may have a ready ally as well.”
Isisana had such compassion in her eyes as she said softly, “You heard me correctly. Xalansss is here. Death considers her a great ally. I know that Xzorbana may try to negotiate with her instead of attacking outright because Xzorbana asked me how she should approach one such as Xalansss. A Draxian Queen who acts out of character than all others… a non-domineering Draxian. It was a simple response that Xzorbana was very grateful to receive. Treat Xalansss as she would our own Toril’Shad. Tell her the truth and let Xalansss’s actions and words guide Xzorbana’s response.”
Treal was dumbfounded. Purely Dumbfounded. Not only because Xalansss was in this system too and not even that Xalansss hadn’t actually set her free, but the fact that Isisana was right. Xalansss had the same demeanor as Toril and would hear that small queen out in full if Xzorbana approached her as a potential ally and not a rival like all the others would.
“We must tell Vader immediately of this! None of this has come up yet because we’ve been focusing on the humans and the De’Nari!”
“Calm. It’s okay,” Isisana said. She never lost her smile or her calm.
Treal huffed at that endearing but unwelcome personality trait at the moment.
“True. It’s time for so many truths to be uncovered. More than ever before. However, my friend. You and Malek are who I’m concerned about. You know in your heart that after all of this blows up… after all of the fighting is over… none of those like you would be welcomed home again. So, think and talk with Malek. I’m offering you two a home with me and mine.”
Treal couldn’t look at those soft knowing eyes. They were just too kind and compassionate. “Damnit. Fine. I’ll talk with her. But…”
“Ask Vader’Shad first. Learn the truth for yourself of my words. Then talk to Malek’Shera. You and she are family and Jessica would not treat you otherwise. She is the best OverQueen.”
“I used the wrong word. Queen. My apologies.”
“Uh-huh,” Treal said as she narrowed her eyes and got a little closer to those beautiful eyes that twinkled at her. “You said OverQueen. Your words may be halting, but you know what you say.”
Isisana purred but didn’t say anything more.
“Fine. Let’s keep going. They need us.” Then as they walked, Treal made sure to put her point in hard. “You know nothing is going to happen until we talk to these humans and whatever the Awakened really are first. Nothing.”
Treal turned and pointed to Isisana’s face. “And don’t you think for an instant that it will be that simple! The Fickle Fates are fickle for a reason, you! And you know it!”
Isiana smiled broadly again before she held Treal by the waist.
Treal blinked.
“Understood. Here we are.”
Treal turned her head sharply and found the conference room door right there. They had another ten minutes to walk before they got there.
“Damnit woman! I hate when you do that shit!”
Isisana laughed very heartily at Treal’s indignation of being shadowported a little. After she calmed down some and saw Treal trying her damndest not to smile, she let Treal go and stepped back demurely. “My apologies. I got impatient.”
Treal smirked at her. “I noticed and by the way, you have the worst sense of humor. Go back to having a limited vocabulary, it was much safer for me.”
Isisana shook her head. “I like my words. They make fun things happen.”
Treal touched the conference room panel to open it. “Yeah sure. Next time you tell me about that happy deathworld you want to visit, I’m gonna wash your mouth with soap for all those words you spill out. That’s too crazy even for you.”
When they sat at the table in the conference room, the mood of it was grim. This should be a joyous occasion, but what they were receiving from the copious amounts of unprotected, unfiltered, and unapologetic data that was blaring out from the system had the crews on the Darkrunner’s Purpose and the Silverwing in near despondency. All but one of the De’Nari ships was accounted for in a massive new Ring world completely surrounding that chaotic pandora planet. But the datastreams were informing them of the sheer amount of unexpected circumstance that they were approaching. The De’Nari were there. They’d found historical streams of the aborted invasion and what happened to halt it. And that had started them down a path that none of Vader’s peoples were prepared for. The Awakened had happened. Humans with abilities that even Ellsynth and Cabal were hard pressed to explain had been released and had halted that invasion themselves. Saying that they were something called an Overseer just didn’t seem to fit Ellsynth’s understanding of them. There were only supposed to have been less than a hundred Overseers. There were thousands and thousands of Awakened, and they were growing. A primitive world full of chaotic primitives had unleashed what were essentially biological weapons that were unfathomable in potential for sheer destruction. The two beings that they’d witnessed… Seth. And the face in the barrier, Jed. Those two were frightening and incomprehensible. The rest of them were almost worse. They were a small fraction of humans population wise, but they were growing, and their abilities currently could decimate entire empires if they got out.
However, as Thelorn had said, if they wanted to fight something that could end the universe, perhaps this is what that army would have to look like. Demons and Gods. Demons and Gods from myths from all across the galaxy, ingrained within a myriad of species, had been born and were living on that world. They were humans but they’d advanced in ways unexpectedly and again unfathomable. Some were even practically gods that were recognized on other worlds. They were called Awakened. The Lone Hunter was only one. Others were coming to light. Such as the Blood Siphoner Demon of the God Below called Talioscransta. The bloody servant of the God Below that hunted Claranthians and brought the worst of them to its hungry master’s maw during the night to feast upon.
Even Ellsynth and Cabal were stunned and uncertain. Their humans were above so much, but these primitives were gaining ground on their abilities and at terrifying speeds. Ellsynth had been touched by that eldritch horror known as Seth, had pledged loyalty to it, and yet even she was nervous as to what was going on down on that planet.
Isisana and Treal sat down at that conference table with the others. Treal took up a datatab to begin looking into the military aspects of the human world called Earth. She found so much data that it was hard to parse out what was truly needed. Until she found the announcements regarding that world’s own human crewed Dreadnaught class starship called the T.W.G.S. ALLESSANDRA’S SWORD. Then when she saw that the sister planet of Earth, called Mars had announced the completion of other ships, four Dreadnaughts plus hundreds of others in conjunction with what was colloquially known as The Ring, she had to speak up.
“Gold Commander. We’ve got a problem.”
Gold Commander Vader’Shad turned from speaking with Thelorn regarding the historical datastreams that showed in horrific detail thousands of De’Nari slip fighters getting popped by thousands of humans with metal rods and light trailing them.
“We’ve got a lot of problem, Treal. Please be more specific.”
Treal glanced at Malek who had paused in her own conversation with Tenrok to listen in. They all seemed to turn to her because of how she spoke so firmly. Treal put down her datatab and cleared her throat a little. “The problem is that we haven’t looked at the sister planet. It’s called Mars. We need to look at that too. Isisana just let me know… I’ve just confirmed it. There is a Draxian citadel buried in that planet. Isisana told me it was a traitor queen… uhm… Malek. It’s Xalansss. She’s here.”
“What?!” Malek stood up and leaned on her hands to stare in shock at Treal. “You can’t mean that, can you?”
Treal turned her datatab around and pointed to the stream’s title. It read ‘Draxian Starship Company Completes Dreadnaught World Defenders. Queen Xalansss Hailed As Earth’s and The Ring’s Most Ardent Supporter for World Peace With Promised Production of Human Starship Initiatives.’
Malek looked up at her. Then over to Queen Xzorbana. “My Queen. Did you know?”
Vader’Shad spoke up before the small queen could who only looked at them all with a tilt of her head. “I knew, Malek. Queen Xalansss is the traitor queen that Queen Xzorbana was sent to engage and destroy. However, Queen Xzorbana, as we discussed on several occasions, if she is an ally with our people, we can’t outright attack her. What Treal just showed us both confirms she was in fact your rogue queen and now apparently in a position that may protect her from your people’s retribution.”
The whole room turned their attention to Queen Xzorbana who sat back a little in her chair and adjusted her fancy new yellow swirly beaded shawl that Toril had knitted for her. She pulled her own datatab up and turned it to the group.

What they read on her datatab chilled them to their cores. Her article read, ‘Draxian Queen Ambassador Jessica Al’Thaoal Proves Her Brood’s Heritage in Court - Draxian, De’Nari, Human, and Awakened. What Does This Mean For Humanity?’
Queen Xzorbana put the datatab down and said,
Vader’Shad sat and glanced at Thelorn. He shrugged. Vader looked at Treal. Treal sat back in thought for a moment.
Treal caught Malek’s eye and said, “Malek. Please ask our Gold Commander if he will allow us to accompany Xzorbana. I was a drone of Queen Xalansss. You kinda are too… and I’m sorry. We need to confront her too.”
Malek sat abruptly and looked over to her Gold Commander. The others in the room could only stare and watch Vader’Shad contemplate what would be best for this rapidly evolving situation.
“There is merit in letting them go with Queen Xzorbana, Vader,” came Isisana’s soft voice. She sat like she was listening to something. She had her eyes closed and had her head back. “I remember. I remember words. An Oracle set of words that have not come true yet. Words that he didn’t understand and left it to me to make him right. This may be that decision. He said, ‘The Red Queen would come to meet the blind warrior, the venom fang, and the last queen in a cave of flowers. Poison the queen, make the warrior submit, forgive the traitor. Three acts of love to become one.’”
Treal and Malek turned to Queen Xzorbana and then they all looked at Vader. Thelorn was grinning madly while Tenrok shivered his feathercrest to get it to settle again.
Vader stared at Malek’Shera. “You’ve got a choice to make Malek. I’ll leave this to you. Join Xzorbana and help keep this under our control or stay with our crew. She’s been right so far, so I’m inclined to roll the githeans.”
Malek turned back to Treal. “Uhm… Treal? Are you strong enough to confront her?”
Treal rubbed her face and sighed. “As much as I respect Queen Xalansss… I never wanted to see her because I’m afraid she might actually put me back under her service again. I don’t want to. Not really. But this is bigger than us. We’ve heard so much about this Red Queen Jessica and now I get it. Sounds like she is one of us, like Isisana said. Yeah, Malek. We need to accompany Queen Xzorbana and get to the bottom of this, once and for all. We need allies and of any Draxian, a true Draxian, Xalansss is the one who I’d ask to be my ally.”
Vader chuffed and sat back in his chair. “Well said, Treal. My thoughts too. Queen Xzorbana. Do not tell Maratel of this. None of what we just talked about leaves this room. Peel off and head to that planet as you intend and send out your communication alerts set to parlay. You’re right, you need to assess her as an ally first before we blindly do what your OverQueen wants. This situation is just too new and fluid to let that happen. Agree?”
Queen Xzorbana bowed her head and said,
Malek rolled her eyes then pointed at Treal. Treal held her hands up smiling broadly.
“I promise, my queen. No unsanitary groomings.”
Malek nodded and said more affirmatively, “My queen, we are honored.” Turning to Vader, she said, “We will alert you of all that happens immediately, Commander.”
Isisana spoke up again. “Thelorn. Tenrok. My only other… suggestion… are these last words I have from the Oracle that has never been wrong. ‘The living stone is an ally that should not be moved. It is in this place for a reason and that reason is key to cracking the shell.’ I know you two think that the AI is a bad thing. I have heard those words many times over the years. Ellsynth and Cabal have spoken those words around me as well. I think you and they should also be open to negotiation… uhm…. Compromise. Those words. We need to tread carefully because Death will be watching.”
Vader sighed and turned to his two advisors. “All right. What have you two got to say to that? Are we going to tell Ellsynth that she needs to be patient too? I would since we are all still gathering information.”
Thelorn put his elbows on the table and ran his hands through his head and ear scruff to soothe the tension. He felt a companionable hand on his back and glanced at Tenrok and his comb that showed the color of concern and tension.
They both looked back at Vader and they nodded to it. “Yeah, Vader. She’s right. We need to tell Ellsynth to be civil and not just go ahead and snatch it up out of the ground. It’s just common sense and if it’s been active this long, it might be amenable to working with us… if it’s like the Draxian one.”
Queen Xzorbana said while working her datatab searching through another set of reports from the analysis teams four decks below them.
Tenrok quibbled softly.
Vader’Shad stood up to go lean on the wall behind the conference table. “Agreed. I think she will see the sense of all of this. Okay. So far, we send our Draxian and Draxian Liaisons to the hive of Xalansss to determine what has truly happened and what kind of relationship she has with our people. We get to the De’Nari Ring and set up a meeting with them… to assess how best to proceed there. We need to keep our humans from acting rashly. Suggestions?”
Isisana raised her hand. “Fera. She and I have an understanding. She is your key to keeping our human allies from acting rashly in this situation. Commander. Ask Ellsynth to let Fera.... ’Heroddian... be her ambassador to your people. I think you may be surprised at how well she takes to this role.”
Vader and the rest stared at Isisana in mute shock. Treal gripped her arm hard which caused Isisana to turn to her sharply. Treal said firmly, “You aren’t serious, are you? You want that homicidal rapist abusive piece of shit as their ambassador?! Isisana! Have you finally lost your mind?!”
Isisana leaned over to Treal and nearly growled at her. That shocked the rest of them even more. “I know exactly… what Fera is. I know exactly what she has done. I know exactly what she is still capable of. I also know that she has changed. I know that she has a purpose now to prove herself to her owners. To prove herself to me!”
Vader latched onto that last sentence. “Prove herself to you? What does that mean?”
Isisana pulled Treal’s hand off of her arm gently. She too stood up and leaned on the wall behind her. More softly, she said, “I forgave her. I did not forget. I have talked with her. We have shared. Much. I still had my nightmares… until recently… of her. However, I know her best. I know her like no other. I know what is said is madness. However, I know also that it is right. It will help. Fera is what Ellsynth needs, now more than ever because Fera is De’Nari. She is the perfect liaison between our Humans and your people who will not like Humans from afar dictating what they are to do. Fera is political… grrr… Fera is a politician. She knows how to speak… politician.”
Treal shook her head. “I’d have shot her too, Vader.”
Vader though, he saw the wisdom in Isisana’s words. Oh, he’d often thought of shooting that De’Nari many times over the years for what she’d done and what he’d pieced together from his research on her cartel. He was just glad that Fera’s former cartel had been reported as completely annihilated because two years after they’d left, it’d run afoul of a joint De’Nari Draxian initiative to purge the outer systems. That had only been possible because the OverQueen had sent in a team of queens into the De’Nari prison system and yanked every loyalty chip out of any and all prisoners that they’d found. Oh, white moon, did that turn a fresh eye on who, what, when, and where of the cartels underground activities. Vader had even found that a former Shadowclaw had been summarily executed as being the suspected head of that foul business. Good riddance. He glanced up sharply at Isisana who was back to her serene smiling self again as she waited patiently while the rest of the room waited anxiously for him to decide.
“Fine. We’ll try it. However, I want someone else there too. Thelorn.”
Thelorn stood up and was about to protest, but when his mind grasped what the true objective that Vader had to have in mind was, he simply nodded. “Yeah. That makes sense. I’d know if she was pulling shady crap because of my cybernetics plus, I’d be able to be myself there. A spy so you’d be in the know on any and everything going on there. Understood, Gold Commander.”
Vader loll-smiled at him. “Exactly. Let’s keep both of Fera and Ellsynth honest is how I see this. Okay, now we’re getting somewhere. Any other surprises?”
Tenrok tapped the viewscreen behind them at the back wall and pulled up a live feed from one of the public datastreams. The viewscreen began translating the language into De’Nari for them. A human male with dark brown hair and a sun-touched face was presenting in front of digital pictures. Dressed in grey clothing and holding a datatab in his hand, he began to speak while looking directly into the video sensor.
“In today’s news, the Terran Government has officially signed five new member nations to come under its administration. One of those nations affects all of us watching today. The United States of America has joined China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and The EU entire to become its twenty-fifth full member and will cede key federal and state legislative powers including departments over to Terra’s Parliament. The full transition will occur within the next three years. Like so many other countries across our world, the United States of America will become a pillar of community and justice that we are going to be proud to be a part of. The De’Nari Ring representative, High Councilor Kersh’Landran announced that with this addition, the Terran government has achieved a milestone that they have long hoped that we, the human race, would achieve. He has committed The Ring’s support by beginning a new joint endeavor with Earth’s Terran Government. That endeavor is joint Human and De’Nari manned starships that the Mars Draxian Starship Company has built for our world’s benefit. Those starships are not just military in nature as was previously reported. The De’Nari representative has fully disclosed to the Terran Government that these starships are colony ships. We will now turn this over to our on-site reporter, Gary Stanton who is at his very moment at the steps of the White House where the President of the United States is set to deliver a State of the Union address…”
Tenrok hit the silence button and turned to the room.
Vader said low, “Agreed. I think that’s a grand suggestion.”
He and the rest of them turned to continue to watch the live data feed with trepidation. The human behind the podium seemed jovial that he had led his land into fully embracing a world government that would benefit the populace as a whole. However, that room of non-humans only saw an emerging world government that harbored dangerous primitives that were either going to help them try to win a war on an unimaginable scale or consume them before they even got to the battlefield. Unfortunately, at that point, none of them knew which way they’d go, even with a dark god’s assurances to the former.
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2023.12.05 23:29 Feyfyre1 Humanity’s Awakening – The Parasitic God Arc (Complete) – Chapter 63 (The Converge of Events - 1 of 2)

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---- Three Months Later ----
“I don’t like any of this.” Jed said in frustration.
Seth sat on the steps in front of him on his back porch and was filling him in on all that had been happening around him. Jed appreciated someone finally filling him in on everything. Even if it terrified him to no small degree.
Jed took another swig of his root beer and rocked on his rocking chair a little quicker, showing his agitation. “Seth. Tell me true. Was all of this necessary? Filling my wives up with your essence plus your gals. Then tapping Kathy, Voren, both of the academies, Sara’s gal pal Tiffany and all of those socialites everywhere, Angela’s Goth buddy Beth,…. even Kathy’s and Dragon Lady’s armies across our world. Was it? It’s so damn many and so damn fast, Seth. You know that’s what a plague is, right? Was it necessary for what Tootles and Kathy have seen?”
Seth sat forward and put his elbows on his knees. He’d finished his own root beer and sat the empty brown bottle down before him. “I’m sorry. I think it’s been necessary and we’re pretty close to being ready, in Jared’s opinion. Jared told me to take the academies so, that’s on him. But the rest… yeah. I thought it was necessary.”
Jed rocked a little. “I’m the only one left. Am I next?” he said quietly.
Seth shook his head. “No. You’re already my brother. You’ve been through the NeverNever, which means I have a small connection to you. I don’t need or want any more than that. It’s not really about control for me, it really isn’t, I swear. It’s more about preparation for when it all goes wrong. Jessica, Sara, Saral, Charlotte, Allessandra, Inanna, Kathy, Sarangerel, the Brood, and all others… I’m preparing them for that something that defies description, man. Something that I can’t even put into words, but I just know it’s around the corner. You’re the only one who I can talk to about it and you’re also the only one who I felt absolutely must hear it from me. I changed so much at the beginning. I mean, so did we all. But I’m the one who is cursed to live with the awful stuff that I must do to ensure my loved ones have the greatest chance of survival. I want them as munchkin overpowered as possible. You’re already as godlike as anyone could want, so why would I mess with a good thing like that?”
Jed chuckled at that. “True and I like that idea. It sure seems possible. But tell me… why’d you let your wife start up with the… basement stuff earlier this year? I almost raged through your home when I found out. You’re stupid lucky that Alley held me back.”
“It was pure desperation; I swear it was. We needed to give her some outlet until we found a better way. Saral came along finally, and she was our better way. I’m just sorry it’s taken this long for me to get the courage to come clean like I am now. I just wanted to make sure we were all in a better space before… before I confessed my sins to you.”
“Well, I’m just glad Saral found a way to stop it once and for all too. I sleep better at night.” Jed said emphatically.
Seth nodded to him. “Jessica does too. She practically smiles all night.”
“About that…” Jed started. “Alley and Inanna told me that Saral has figured out how to manage their addiction to that stuff along with Kathy. I don’t like that either, but I’ve noticed that all three of them seem to be much more relaxed around you. Inanna especially has been so damn much more… more Inanna, I guess. She’s not even fearful of crowds anymore, which is a miracle, I swear it is. So, I appreciate that.”
Seth grinned large at that. “Yeah, they have. Saral is just the best. The best introduction to our family. Has Inanna told you that she’s relearned how to do her more arcane arts again without using my stuff? She even went back and slept in her home to finally recharge completely, and it finally worked. Kathy has been cross training with her because Kathy’s runes are so similar in function, it’s wild. They're both learning a lot from each other these days. Oh! She can fly again!”
Jed leaned back and his eyes went wide. “Noooo! Is that why she and Kathy took off for those ‘camping trips’ here recently? To test all her mojo out?! Is that how Kathy’s been keeping tabs on all these missions we’ve all been doing?!”
Seth laughed and nodded. “Damn! I shouldn’t have said anything. I bet she was gonna surprise you. Yeah, Inanna is now Kathy’s little spymaster, co-commander, and more. Sneaky huh? I’m just glad she’s getting her mojo all the way back. And it’s all thanks to how Saral is managing their addiction. I don’t know if you knew it was through Jessica, though. Jessica still isn’t too keen on it because it isn’t pleasant, but Saral says they’re doing so well that it might only be a few more months and Jessica shouldn’t be needed anymore because of how well they’ve done. OH! So, I got to sit down and talk with Xallessica here recently about her and my agreement. During that, she updated me some on her training with you. How’s that really going?”
Jed looked out over the woods. “Well. That little girl is something else, fer sure. We did a couple of introductory engagements and she’s got some power in that little head of hers. She’s also crafty and devious. I really like her, and she’s damned eager. I have no doubt that she’ll best me in a few months because she’s a damned fast learner too. Now if I can just keep her hands off of me. I swear, she’s worse than us by miles. The little sexpot!”
Jed pulled the last swallows of his own root beer and sat the empty bottle down beside his chair. “Your wife fessed up to everything last month. Just like you did. I already knew most of what was going on because my Alley girl told me, but to have her tell me, and I mean the honest brutal truth over our weekly nights out, like you’re doing now, well, it’s appreciated. Our girl is doing so well these days, Alley just floats all the time now. I can’t believe how well this has worked out for both of our families, letting them do that fate bond thing under the stars. Saral and I are so damned pleased.”
Seth chuckled at him. “You and Saral really know how to pull people up, Jed. I could never have done that for them. Jessica has been walking on clouds ever since you two won that little two-step contest and got ribbons last week. She also told me you two were like teenagers and had a little fling in your truck. She giggled all about how foggy the windows got too! So, I just wanted to tell you that she needed that kind of love from you so much. You did good.”
Jed got red in the face and laughed. “I did. She just hit those right buttons for me that night, and it was magic. Soft and easy, loving and sassy. That’s our lass.”
Seth patted him on the leg. “One family, Jed. This is what we are and it’s what we’ve always needed to make official.”
Jed chuckled about that. “I told Jared that once. Though, I’m just glad our little fate bond wife is still staying at your house. I don’t think I’ve got the stamina to keep her satisfied all the time.”
“Bud, you have no idea. But that’s a compliment that I’ll take.”
“Son. I’m gonna tell you true. My Alley girl loves what Sara did with that basement of yours. Making that a fun place for little love getaways or just a private place to talk. Well, I’ll just say that house has more pleasant memories in it for Alley now and has made her so damned much more wonderful to be around. She told me of you, Inanna, and her christening it. She said neither she nor Inanna had not even one tingle of need to drink from you. So, keep up the good work, is what I’m saying.”
Seth sat back and let out a chuckle, just basking in Jed’s approval. “That feels good to hear. Jessica said she and Ally … uhhh… kinda did the same christening with Kathy too just after. Jake has been very understanding of what Kathy has become now, it seems.”
Jed chuckled a little but then got quiet again. After a few moments he finally asked softly. “The Abyss. Tell me about what it really means. I need to know what’s really happened to them all. I’ve seen the eyes, I’ve heard the far away voices, and I’ve felt their personalities shift. Be honest with me. What are they now?”
Seth knew he better come clean with everything. Truly everything. This was a confession he needed to get out into the open with Jed. This man who’d been more than a brother and extremely patient with them all for so long deserved it.
Seth stood up and stood in front of Jed. Then slowly he knelt on his knees and sat back on his heels. For Jed, he would show him what he truly was and not demand anything from him for it. He didn’t need a blood bond like with Aiden or Jared. He didn’t need the essence influence control like he had over most of the people on this ranch. He just needed to assure his friend that who he was, was on his side and would protect him and his family just as fiercely as everyone else he’d connected to. Just give him the simple truth.
Seth shifted his gender and gazed up at Jed with HER eyes full of the Abyss and starry constellations of people in his grasp. Millions of them. Legion was now staring at her friend and most respected of her generals.
Seth said softly and as gently as possible with his echoing woman’s voice. HER voice. “Hello Jed. Look at me. This is who I truly am. I’m not an enemy. I work through darkness and lust. I’m the NeverNever and beyond. I love. I need love. I need strong connections to feel emotions. But I also need you. You keep me grounded and… honest. You’re why I cannot lie. You’re why I cannot stop myself from answering a question. You’re the reason I try so hard to do better. I know I fail a lot. But I keep trying. Am I worthy of your love, Jed Hiwalker?”
Jed felt the truth in those words. He knew Seth could pull off being a woman, but he really never understood it nor the why of it until he stared at his friend possessed by a feminine personality from so far out of his reach that he shuddered at it. But Jed also knew, he wasn’t afraid of this being in front of him. He tapped into the Obelisk to expand his mind and when he got enough of Bob in him and backing him up, he reached out and touched Seth’s forehead between those starry eyes. “Seth. All I want from you is one thing. I just want to know without any doubt, that no matter what truthful words you say, that what your goal is, is to keep us alive and loved.”
Jed touched his power into Seth and continued to stare into those eyes. He felt his inner self get pulled into them and he found himself floating within those swirling constellations.
Two enormous eyes similar to what Seth had shown him opened up somewhere within this perspectiveless place and looked upon him. Jed had seen those eyes before. He’d seen them the day he saved Jessica from her mental torment. However, this time, they didn’t look at him with near contempt. They looked at him like they were seeing a friend.
<“Hello darlin’. Long time no see,”> Jed said with a little mirth in his voice.
The eyes blinked at him in honest surprise. Then he could tell that they smiled at him.

<“Lass. If you wanted to do that, you wouldn’t have let us slowly get connected by your boy, Seth. I know, because otherwise, you’d have used him like a funnel and slurped us all down when you got strong enough. Am I right?”>

<“All I want to know is … what does this all mean?”>

<“Huh. And what do you fear?”>

<“No lass. I’ve got enough of those. Look. You’re a nice lady and all, but I really have enough women in my life already. I don’t need a universe wantin’ to bed me too.”>

<“You’re beautiful, don’t get me wrong. But I think you’re better off with my buddy. I’ll level with ya real quick. If you truly are wantin’ to keep us alive and all, what can I do to help?”>

<“All right sweet cheeks. I’m gonna go bye-bye now.”>
The eyes winked at him and then closed. Jed felt himself get pushed out and he let his power go. When he blinked, he found Seth right where he was, looking up at him with his normal way too big green eyes. Seth was also beginning to inch closer to him.
“Oh no! Boy! Just because you’re pretty and have a nice ass in a tight dress don’t mean you’re my type!”
Seth laughed at him as he sat up and pushed into his lap to hug the man. “Awwwwww… you’re still no fun. Did you find what you were looking for in there?”
Jed wrapped his arms around his friend and rocked him a little as he held him in a hug. “I think I did. I like that you and whatever big momma sweet-cheeks is, is honest. Look, I may not like it, but I’m still your friend and I’ll help you wherever I can.”
“Thank you, man. Thank you. I really do love you. You know that right?”
“Yeah. Yeah, I love you too. I wouldn’t have gone through all that I had and put up with if I didn’t.”
“That’s a whole lotta shit, I know. You’re still the best of us.”
“I know that too.”
Jed shot up and about knocked Seth off and almost down the steps. His eyes were bright enough to shine out in full daylight.
“What’s going on?!” Seth asked in a panic.
“It’s Bob! He’s… what the hell?! Okay! Okay Bob. Calm down! Calm down I said! What? Seriously?! Yeah! Hey, I’m here. Let me yell at them and see what they want. Bob… calm down. I’ll get there as soon as I can, and we’ll talk through this. Promise. Yeah, I’ll bring Inanna to hold your hand. Okay. I said I promised, didn’t I? Yup. Later.”
Jed looked at Seth while his eyes were still glowing. He said excitedly, “Run back to gather up our family. Everyone. Your kitty cat girlfriend and her sidekicks are here. Seems like they brought your metal girl with them like you wanted too. We’ve run out of time, boy.”
Seth hugged Jed and kissed him right on the mouth. Jed held him back for a moment. “Boy! You sneak another one like that again and I’ll whack you with a two-by-four! Now git!”
Seth chuckled and said, “I know! But damnit! I’m flippin’ happy! Snag us all over to Kang’s arena proper as soon as you’re done giving them a piece of your mind! We’ll take stock and plan before letting Vlak and Kersh in on this. Oh! Go get Jared, Delik, and Sarangerel too. It’s gonna be a party now!”
“Will do!” Jed yelled after Seth went racing back within his house to grab Inanna and Allessandra. Jed was just glad most of Kathy’s missions were in a lull period and Laesha plus Charlotte weren’t supposed to head out for another week. Seemed as if the DOD was gonna be short a couple of hungry women for a bit. Jed shook his head to clear his thoughts. He was wasting time, but he wanted to get into the right frame of mind for this. Especially since they kicked Bob right in his personality balls.
Jed pulled on his power again and saw the twelve ships that Bob had wanted him to see, and they didn’t look like much. Hell, good old Babylon Five had better designs. Even though one looked like it was a cross between a Romulan Bird of Prey and a Gundam wing, the others were ball-shaped or an oval nothing burger. Jed was not impressed.
So, might as well make that frustration part of his greeting. Jed took a deep breath and yelled at the new aliens knocking on his proverbial door, “HEY! WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE GIVING BOB AN IDENTITY CRISIS?! I MEAN, IT’S GONNA TAKE WEEKS TO GET HIM SORTED OUT NOW! WHAT IN TARNATION ARE YOU FOLKS DOING HERE?!”
--- Relay 1525 – The Darkrunner’s Purpose - (Earth’s Solar System Barrier Array) ----
Stars. So many stars that she had passed on her long journey so far. A journey that was finally nearing an end. And a new beginning. This journey of hers began with a dance, became rife with relentless pain, but somehow became freeing and serene while she made her way to a new home. A home with her savior. Her mate. Her soulmate. Her dark sweet Death that needed her to live. Needed her just to be alive himself.
She had been promised a home that would accept her, protect her, and cherish her. IF she lived. IF she danced magnificently at least one more time. For him. For them all.
She was alone today. Her Xersi love had duties to perform today, and she also wasn’t needed at Grahgan’s bar nor at Yurial’s garden. She wasn’t needed anywhere. Yet. But that was okay. She knew she had a purpose. And that purpose was ahead of them within those stars she was watching on the observatory screen in front of her while she swayed to a melody playing within the Astrological Café room she stood in the middle of. This viewing center had become her third favorite place to be, and the crew had come to accept her presence there over the years. Fast years that had passed. Years where she had healed… mostly. Enough that she remembered some of her past and most of her words. She had become part of the crew and their lives. But she knew soon that when they came to their goal, their lives would shift dramatically. Hopefully for the better.
The observatory’s forward view finally lit up with a current video feed of what lay ahead of them. Rocks barely moving in space. They had finally arrived at the mysterious barrier field. She watched the pretty rainbow line that passed by those rocks. She didn’t know what that was. Nor did it matter. What mattered was what lay within and around that single star that was still hidden from normal sight. That’s where her Death was and waited for her. That’s where she would realize her purpose. That’s where she would step into his arms forever and then into the other four mates of hers who would love her too. That’s where she would be complete.
Thinking of that made her smile. Her Death was so close now that he was able to reach out and see her. He’d found her a year ago. He’d found her sitting alone in a small part of the ship that was dedicated to storing containers of various types. It was where she went when her nightmares were too much for her and she just needed to be alone… to feel all alone… to know that no one would touch her… so that her nightmares would lose their power over her. That’s when she summoned him without a bit of her borrowed power. Without even thinking of it. It was her sheer loneliness, longing for a compassionate touch, and terror of being in pain again that summoned him. She hated that feeling, especially in herself. So did he. Because that’s when he stood over her and her crying cracked heart. He held out his black clawed hand to her, telling her with whisper and gesture, that he was there for her. That’s when his fiery green eyes flared brightly to clear out all of the blackness of that room to show her that she was not ever to be alone again. She would never feel that kind of pain again.. Not when he was there. That’s when she finally reached out to him and found that he was there in her reality, not in her head, and she was embraced. She felt peace then. Her nightmares never returned after that first night. He’d made love to her then. She hadn’t let anyone else touch her like that since her rescue. That was when she gave herself fully to him again as she wanted. She felt his dark power rip through her insides again as well as his body. She loved his whispered assurances and the vows in her mind that he was also fully hers too. Her lust rose up for him then and he was impressed at what she had to teach him about herself in that room. She was impressed at how well he taught her too. Never would she find a match like that, she was sure of it, so she knew she would never try.
Something happened on the screen which captured her attention. It was a face. A face she’d seen before from her mate’s memories that he'd shared with her, and it made her smile. The human that her Death admired so much seemed to be having a good time yelling at her shipmates. It made her laugh a little. That face soon seemed to get fed up with her crew’s captains and yanked their ships inside the barrier, which almost caused her to fall. That was what she had been waiting for, so she hugged herself in a bit of dreamy happiness. Things were now going to move faster, and she would need to be ready to do her part for her new family.
“I’m almost home,” she whispered as she swayed there, watching the viewscreen start zooming in on the solar system that was within.
She turned to see Treal standing there, a little out of breath and looking at her with that endearing tilt to her pretty Claranthian head. The tawny Claranthian officer was still pretty to Isisana, especially in the too tight uniforms she always wore. But Malek’Shera was to blame for that since Treal did it to constantly show off for her. Such a good couple of lovesighs.
“Hello Treal,” Isisana said as she smiled warmly at her friend.
“Are you okay?”
Isisana nodded and reached out to take Treal’s hand to hold. “I’m very well. I’m nearly home.”
“You know? I guess you saw the barrier on the screen, huh?”
“Yes. I got to see the face. It didn’t seem too happy before we jolted. I can sense him now… so much stronger now than before we passed. He’s waiting and he’s aware of us. Of Balarforn. Of Ellsynth. Of me.”
Treal squeezed Isisana’s hand in understanding even if she didn’t like some of what she said.
Isisana then stepped a little closer to hold Treal by her waist. “He will come soon when we get closer. He will come to show… not force. No. Competence.”
“Competence is fine as long as he understands that we must know about the lost De’Nari first. Anyway, there’s something going on that we don’t know about because we were told not to dock at their station. That thing yelled at us and told us to wait when we got to a set of coordinates which means none of us are going to the surface anytime soon. Is that what you meant?”
Isisana shook her head. “No. But do not worry. We… We. We are… allies. Allies. That’s the word. It will be okay. Besides, Death can be impatient. I’m sure he’ll come for me when I get there at least. To take me.”
Treal snorted in frustration at Isisana. “That’s a big 'no.' Xersi will kick his teeth in if he tries that stunt and you know it. Sheesh, you and your mysterious crap is gonna cause me to yank your ear one day.”
Isisana giggled at her then held her face to rub it gently. “I apologize. I’ll try. Harder to say what I mean.”
“Well. I came to get you because you forgot your wrist communicator again. Vader wants you in the main conference room so we can strategize. He wants your insight on this mess.”
“There is a choice to make. I apologize, but that’s why we can’t dock but even I don’t know what that choice actually is.”
Treal didn’t like her prophecies as they call them. Her foresight with regards to their journey and especially that world they had been racing to for over six standard years. All of them had come true so far. What raised their hair was that Isisana was a civilian only. She’d never been an officer. She had absolutely no training whatsoever. However, sometimes she spoke with such knowledge that it was like she could hear the conversations on the ship. Worse was when she’d be standing there to advise Vader or the entire Command crew well before something happened.
The first time that occurred had been a few months after they settled into a normal journey with the humans keeping pace with them. Isisana had walked into Command and stood there. Her soft voice would only say to Vader that she was needed again. Then right before they hit that next relay point, she casually mentioned to Balarforn to perform a Delta Swing evasive maneuver. For Rorshakan to fire a denthrite bomb off forty degrees upwards, then Balarforn was to perform a Retreating Sigma Spiral at half speed to evade the aftermath. Vader had been hot. He was mad. He yelled, but no one removed her, and she didn’t respond to his temper. Which meant that when they came into real space, Balarforn didn’t hesitate. He performed that maneuver to avoid a massive rogue planet that had wandered dead next to the relay point which had blocked its updating signals. The bomb that Rorshakan sent out, popped a hole into its ring of rocky debris which allowed Balarforn the room to perform the second evasive maneuver she’d told him to. Their trail of ships including the human’s followed his lead. When it was done, they were on the other side of the thing and still in one piece, if a bit banged up. Even Ellsynth had been damned impressed.
Vader never questioned her again if she walked up into Command. Which happened seventeen more times on their journey.
Malek had been impressed not by her prophesies, but by the other abilities that she’d casually demonstrated over the years. Appearing and disappearing between ships was one of the ones she used most. Shredding carbidestellenium shield plating found in the target practice area one morning had been another. Treal had had her do that again and saw firsthand how some swirly purple black energy mist formed around her hands and nails which allowed her to just cut through practically everything like it was well marbled meat. The funniest ability she had was if she didn’t want to be touched, you simply would pass through her. It’d pissed off every Japarpherin on Ellsynth’s ship the day she trotted into their practice arena, picked up a wooden staff that wasn’t being used, then proceeded to tap them on their heads. They went after her and none could do anything but pass through her and get tapped for their troubles. They even piled around her like a living ball. She walked out and tapped their rears laughing at the new game she came up with. Oh, those little humans loved the game, but they griped about it A LOT to Ellsynth’s high amusement.
Treal shook her head out of her random thoughts to say, “Yeah, lady. I’m sure we’ve got lots of choices to make. Come on, follow me. Vader, Tenrok, and Thelorn are starting to receive our data reports from that system and so much is happening fast. We’re hoping you can help us sort some of it out.”
“Understood. I will try,” Isisana said serenely as she walked behind Treal. Her long black dress felt rather appropriate today for some reason. Seems she might find out if her Death would appreciate her almost matching him color wise.
submitted by Feyfyre1 to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.12.05 22:08 ArshiaTN Playing your PS5 games with almost native quality in HDR on your Deck? Here is how: (For PC too)

Edit: for LCD and OLED version of course but you only got HDR on OLED. (Ignore HDR section if you got the LCD version)

In Short: You need a lan connection and 30-35€ (with a Switch 50-55€)
Basically if your PS5 or PC is in your bedroom and you are too lazy to sit on your chair and play your PS5 or PC game there, OR you want to lay in bed and play there for 1 hour or so.
My setup:
Router 1Gbit connected to my room's Switch. My PC and PS5 are connected to Switch and got 1Gbit Connection each. I bought a 10m cat6a ethernet cable ( It is too long. Don't be like me xd) and it is connected from my Switch to a USB C Hub that got a 1Gbit Ethernet port. (Edit: the USB C Hub is needed because Steam Deck only got no ethernet port. This usb c hub got a Gigabit Ethernet port that I can use for a stable 1Gbit connection to my router.)
That is it.
For PS5: You go to Chiak4deck with HDR (it is still in beta on Github but they are almost done and they only need to bring it to main version of Chiaki.) and put your Video Bitrate at 99999, 1080p 60fps and use Hardware Decode Mode "vaapi" and put placebo preset at High Quality (in bottom of settings).
=> Horizon Forbidden West in HDR blowing out your mind, without stutters and you enjoy your PS5 games in Bed.
You have to calibrate your HDR on PS5 before connecting via Remote Play. Basically you use 15150 => In HDR calibration you COMPLETLY move to bottom, then move 15 steps to top. On second screen the same thing. On last screen, you move completly to bottom.
That is it. Enjoy
Values :
15150 max nits about 968
16160 max nits about 1117
Using 15150 Setting put us at almost 968 nits (almost 30 nits away from 1000). 16160 gives us max 1117nits (almost 120 nits away from 1000).
15150 is what LG G2 users use (a OLED TV that can output max 1000nits just like Deck OLED)
Important 2:
You have to put Brightness slider of Deck (in right overlay) at maximum in HDR to get the maximum 1000nits in your highlights!
For PC: It is similar. You use Moonlight and highest bitrate possible (150 Mbps) 1920x1200 (for 16:10 games. Otherwise take 1080p) as resolution and 90fps + AV1 (renderer if you got Sunshine on your PC and a capable GPU for it) else H265 => enjoying games in Bed. Sadly Moonlight doesn't support HDR yet :(
Side note: I could only use 7500 bitrate because of my shit wifi connection. Not only on my Deck OLED but even on my phone. My room is built of a thicc concrete xd. Now everything maxed and smooth without stutters :D
I got a new 10m CAT6a (you could get 7 or 8 of course if the price is similar to Cat6a one) for 10€ and a USB C Hub with Gigabit Ethernet port for 20-25€. If you don't have a Switch then you could pay 15-20€ (I got mine 4 years ago for 20€) and I didn't include the Switch because I had it already.

LAN cable was on Ebay and I had a 5€ coupon => 5€ for 10m of CAT6A.
USB C Hub: (gonna add it later). I bought two more. 1 for 13€ and one for 10€. Gonna look which one works the best. My current one costs 19.99€ but I have realized that it doesn't connect to internet if I "hot plug" it in while my Deck is on. I tried a 25€ USB hub and that worked flawlessly, however its build quality was bad. ports were moving xd.

Edit: I am using a double sided thingy on back of my Steam Deck OLED (I used the same tape on back of my LCD version for 1.5 years. It worked great) and the USB Hub. It stays behind my deck and I just separate the hub from my Deck whenever I am done gaming, so I can put my deck back inside its case.
(Idk the name of this tape in English but here is a link. You can see the photos to see what I mean:
submitted by ArshiaTN to SteamDeck [link] [comments]

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  15. Vitamin K: Important for blood clotting and bone health.
  16. Vitamin E: An antioxidant that protects cells from damage and supports skin health.
  17. Vitamin A: Essential for vision, immune function, and skin health.
  18. Biotin: Promotes healthy hair, skin, and nails.
  19. Calcium: Vital for strong bones and teeth.
  20. Glucosamine: Supports joint health and may help alleviate joint pain.
  21. Maca Root: Known for its energy-boosting and hormone-balancing properties.
  22. Lutein: Supports eye health and may reduce the risk of age-related eye conditions.
  23. Saw Palmetto: Often used to support prostate health.
  24. Folic Acid: Essential for cell division and prenatal health.
  25. Ginseng: An adaptogenic herb known for its potential to improve energy and reduce stress.
These products and categories encompass a wide range of supplements and health-promoting ingredients, catering to various wellness needs. Whether you're looking to boost your immune system, support joint health, enhance sleep quality, or address specific nutritional deficiencies, eVitamins offers a comprehensive selection to help you achieve your health and wellness goals.
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