Chalets table rock lake

A short drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia

2023.03.25 11:40 marco-esquondolas A short drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia

A short drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia
North from Fancy Gap to the detour just south of Roanoke
submitted by marco-esquondolas to NationalPark [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 11:26 Dean2Banks Overland Trails (Utah)

White Rim Road - This 100-mile trail is located in Canyonlands National Park and offers stunning views of red rock formations, deep canyons, and the Colorado River.
Hole-in-the-Rock Trail - This 60-mile trail was used by Mormon pioneers in the late 1800s to reach southeastern Utah. It offers stunning views of Lake Powell and the surrounding red rock formations.
Moab Rim - This challenging trail near Moab offers breathtaking views of the Colorado River and the town of Moab. It is a popular spot for rock crawling and technical off-roading.
Hell's Revenge - This iconic trail near Moab offers some of the most challenging and thrilling off-roading in Utah. It features steep climbs, rocky descents, and stunning views of the La Sal Mountains and the Colorado River.
White Pine Lake Trail - This 35-mile trail in the Uinta Mountains offers beautiful views of mountain lakes, meadows, and forests. It is a great spot for camping, fishing, and hiking.
No matter which trail you choose to explore in Utah, make sure you have the right gear and equipment for the trip, and always follow Leave No Trace principles to help preserve these beautiful landscapes for future generations.
submitted by Dean2Banks to overlanding [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 10:59 Dad1903 DWT148 (March 25th 2023)

DWT148 (March 25th 2023)
Testing testing; check one two – DWT is live once again on Reddit!
Terrific, terrific stuff



  • I - The Wisdom
  • II - The Financials
  • III - The DWT Statistic Collection
  • IV - The Fundamentals
  • V - The Main Event
  • VI - The Reasonings
  • VII - The Epilogue



Welcome back hombres ✌️. So to kick things off - an explanation. A few of the more eagle-eyed amongst yous will have noticed a wee switching of the agenda; a wee mixing of the publishing time. As mused there last week - there's been an abundance of duties added to Dads Remit. In other words: A new occupation 👍. Tis a wee smidge of requirement that enforces the even earlier rising of Dad - an indication of the commitment required to maintain pish going forth. Fortunately for Dad but - the first few have proven terrifically fruitful and engaging... to be fair a feeling that perhaps had been laid to rest. No for e'er (hence this happening); but an acceptance that maybes Dads crumbling frame and dilapidating mind, werenae a draw for a potential employer. So Dad took action: the imagining of Dads Aviary for example. Moves made to fill the void with summat poignant - summat that'd fill the bank account with a flow of currency at some stage. No sign of that happening alas... tis a lengthy danger-filled road towards the place to even qualify for cashola unfortunately. Tis achievable sure... just the timeframe is hazy. Henceforth - the sourcing of a Cash Cow Dad can leap up on top of and learn to ride. The box is ticked - the panic (of sorts) can subside - and dreams can become clearer in ones Minds Eyeballs. Realism is a cunt who robs the opportunity of progress all too fucking often sure... takes a leap of faith or two, to properly create an impenetrable barrier around the engine block driving the whole cunt forth. No to say it's the best of the best just yet of course... a ways to go until the feet are properly under the table and Dad can take pish to granted (to a degree anyhow). but for sure - there's a real sense of potential: Dads Banter has already infiltrated the psyches of manys a terrific cunt - there's clear scope for believing pish'll be ok 😎. Dad - whilst a fussy cunt who finds potential disruption to otherwise ok shite - is one of those who can add a good wedge of positivity to any fucking place, should the inhabitants be keen for such a happening. So far so good people - hoo mama 🙌
No just that sure - the getting to know you chat, has revealed manys a possibility... a route back to music included sure 👍. No summat Dad has crowed about all too oft... mainly owing to the complete lack of prosperity music has provided Dad for much too manys a fucking year. All Dads fault sure... no blaming music haha. But you hit the bumps on the road - you tire of the semantics of bandmates... the reason for doing it is lost all too swiftly. Makes a cunt yearn for a set of DJ Skillz or summat - at least that way it's a journey taken free of intrusion (at least comparatively). Skip forward several years and Dads Bass is nowt more than an ornament, albeit plucked down from its protective case a smidge more frequently in recent times. No to say there was much thought being given to reinstating that urge to get out there and bond with potential jam-buddies. As it turned out - the decision was taken from Dad, instead enthusiastically prospered by others, long since bored at no finding a cunt who can finger the four-strings. Just to clarify: Dad isnae fucking Geddy Lee or whomever... the skillset is moderate at best ✌️. But for sure - hanging out with three or four brethren, meandering our way through the simpler examples of favourite rock records, whilst placing the lips around a glass dick every half hour or so - twas a terrific time 😎. So we'll see sure... Dad isnae expecting it to be the greatest without evidence to the contrary - but there's certainly an appetite for finding out and a hope for it being the case. Reflecting - it's been a shockingly lengthy time Dad hasnae picked at such scabs... an indication of how much damage was done by experiences gone by. Twas all too easy for Dad to let go of such things; partly based on the belief that Dad had evolved in the time and would therefore find alternate sources without too much hassle. Nope. That was the end of the chapter. The sight of Dads old Bass Amp gathering dust in the corner of the garage, covered in leaves and oily substances... it repped a grim evolution. Since - a modest practice amp hath been purchased: a feeling there was that sure - there is a point to uncoiling the stiff medium fingers and using them to vibrate the open drop D once more. Luckily - Dad still has a blend of sex appeal that'll work fine on a stage or suchlike; none of your life crises type shite going on here 🤘
So for sure - an injection of vigour Dads received - and as such, the desire to engage hath returned. The introverted and reserved Dad willnae depart for good sure... tis tough to imagine no having ones space to unwind in for several hours of each and every - but there is a spell there available for Dad to shoehorn in an activity or two. By proxy - Dad is hoping the increased level of serotonin to the relevant areas will ease the pressures on the brain and muscles and so on. the aches and pains of age have been a bug bear for a fair old spell now sure... for sure it has felt a battle to maintain Dads preferred ways of livin' (i.e. with a good handful of energy and intensity). As such - it's with a spooky sense of timing all of this shite has arrived... serendipitous dare one say. Raises an interesting point, despite the failings of DWT: is Dad being aided by higher powers, who believe him essential to the grand landscape of entertaining cunts and making them feel terrific? Probably. And for sure - that's enough. Just the chance Dad is helping save lives and draw goosebumps from the necks of several is enough to persevere and believe. Always the bigger moments are noted... those crossroads Dad reaches that always seem to send him down the correct road. No to say there isnae a happening or two that'd maybes have Dad thinking, 'Oops... one is on the wrong route,'... it's ne'er easiness and greasiness every step of the fucking way. But to arrive at the source of light you've been wandering towards for so long, is as rewarding a moment as one'll get. Stick to guns and you will find the purest of joy. Tis a shame there was a scar or two added along the way... but at least there's fodder for enthusiastic storytelling. Learn the value of experience good and bad, and eventually the good will consume most of e'thing. Come what may - Dad'll be ok 👍



What can we say that hasnae recently been gushed afore... fucking SHITE. You work and you work and you fucking work on a Boat - and you arrive at the sort of assumption that maybes the fuckin g boat isnae worth maintaining... maybes it's best to just stick a rope round the wheel, point it towards the abyss, afore releasing the brakes and watching her slowly drift the fuck away. But of course no people: of course fucking no. Too much blood sweat and spunk has been splashed onto the various surfaces... to turn ones back now: Cannae. So we step aboard again, fire up all the usual pish to keep the cunt afloat - and we mosey on out. This time the harvest weill be fucking reaped 🙌. Probably. Reddit Running Total (RRT) currently sits at -£782.95. Ah no.



Welcome to The DWT Statistic Collection 🙌
DWT Statistic #101
9 DWTs we've endured since the wonderfully winning warrior that was DWT138: in that time - we've seen an unbelievably shite 3 winning singles from a mind-boggling 27 picks. Win or fucking receive a slap the day by fuck - hoo mama.
See you next week, for yet another addition, to The DWT Statistic Collection 👍



I'm not promoting it in the slightest to be put on; it's purely to be completely transparent about where the beans I'm spilling are being pushed towards – this is after all, a Life Experiment: Can a useless old arsehole prosper under strict weekly gambling conditions? Word of warning; prior to this – not really. The sticky clarifies - but just to reiterate - here's the format...DRS20 is Dads Recommended Spend: £20. This is a lot of money granted - and I would encourage absolute apprehension if this sort of money represents life altering for you personally if zero is returned. I’m lucky enough to be able to afford to lose £20 in a week; but confess that if I got no return for say, 20 weeks in a row - I would likely be without something I value (a streaming service or summat). I don’t take it lightly. Four bets are placed with this outlay: a £5 Treble (DWT) and three £5 Doubles. Generally if two come up, the bet is covered (up or down £2 or so). As of DWT100 - we here at DWT now splash out an additional 15 bangers on the Singles. Regardless - DRS20 remains. I would NEVER recommend spending yet more on this if you have been a regular DRS20 utiliser... if owt - spend less 👍. My gambling prowess is pretty much a joke; so whilst I advertise, I in no way qualify them as a given. I’m a prick with plenty bollocks to spout is all. This is how I frame it.



So here it is - the one that joins the more sensible world of reasonable odds and feels somewhat secure in the knowledge that for sure, 150 bangers or so (potential yield) is nowt to be sniffed at:

It's DWT148

DWT REPRESENTATIVE Opponent Kick-Off Time Odds
PORTSMOUTH 🟢🟢🔴🔴🟢 port vale 🔴🟡🟢🔴🔴 15:00 GMT 23/20
CARLISLE UNITED🟡🟡🟢🟢🟢 gillingham 🟢🔴🟢🟡🟡 15:00 GMT 6/4
MANSFIELD TOWN 🟡🟡🔴🟢🔴 sutton united 🔴🟡🟢🟡🟢 15:00 GMT 11/10

10.29/1 we get for this selection – terrific 😎

Over 30’s last week; over 10's this week - a big, big fuck off drop down the prices sure... tis the nature of limited selections and all the rest - fucking internationals ✌️. But with the enforcement of less to choose from, comes a trio of heroes that dare I say it - looks a cert of sorts 🙌. Two at home - all three chasing prosperity of the purest... no manys a cunt would say 'All three'll lose' I reckon... other than purely for the reason it's me choosing them haha - hoo mama. But whilst nowts guaranteed, there's for sure a big slice of belief that comes in the surer waters of 10's... inspiration for the future? Let's see what fucking happens 🤙

DWT148 - The Doubles



PORTSMOUTH begin the start of the expected new era of success - a team showing real signs of closing down on the cunts above and achieving the previously unthinkable and actually making it to the play-offs... would be some going sure - off the page 💪. Dad has mused oft about Pompey since the arrival of Mousinho, a cunt who has taken the rough talent he's surrounded by and turned them into a shiny smooth gemstone 😎. A home crowd to entertain the day... they'll be expecting clinical decisive action: Dad too by fuck - Dad fucking too 🤘
CARLISLE UNITED up next - currently enjoying a wondrous run of 6 unbeaten, conceding a piffling 1 goal in that stretch. A couple 0-0s most recently maybes slips a smidge of doubt in there... but with Bradford away and Stevenage at home - they werenae exactly dropping the fucking ball or owt. Needless to say - a trip to struggling Gillingham will more than likely re-open the floodgates... and there'll Dad be, waiting to gather up the high value notes when they fucking do 👍
MANSFIELD TOWN round things off - one of Dads Main Squeezes as regular viewers'll know ✌️. Stuttered a bitty they have in recent times alas... eager they'll be to hop back up into the hotseat and regain their composure. An opponent today who hover around where they themselves are in the table - sutton'll have eyes on the climb up to the Special Table Positions themselves sure. But to fuck with that - our hombres Mansfield are a titan at home much the time; beeswax as usual is on the agenda 👊



So there we have it – nostalgia, hope and determination all apparent in equal measure. This time we do it right; wind in the sails – and off across the ocean in search of new worlds. A powerful pirate ship hunting high and low for treasures. Raise the fucking flag - the Good Ship DWT is back and ready to provide for its crew. If you play; play safe. DRS20 as always people. Frustration at the amount won, is better than the heartache at the amount lost.
submitted by Dad1903 to DadsWeeklyTreble [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 10:48 Trollge2227 glass way: level 4

glass way: level 4
the glassway level 4: the endless subway tunnel
⠀Moderate hostill Entity Count
the photo of tunnel
level 4 is never ending subway tunnel that has nothing just tunnel with light in celling but there is no window to see sky box and lead to nowhere ground is made of rock path going to endless mile mile and there is very rare to find train on this level
1 sec: you well be spawn in room with couch and table with sink on it is there is door lead to tunnel
20 sec: light in celling is gotta turn off and you need is gotta have flashlight to see
40 sec: wall in tunnel has become glass to see outside and dark turn into day light
100 sec: rock in ground turn into grass with flower on it
200 sec: train well be vaish into thin air
500 sec: entity vaish into thin
1000 sec: you well become shadow walker
1029392 sec: [UNKNOW]
eye is entity that is watch you from tunnel he is killer
THE SEEK IS HUMANOI ENTITY with one eye skin is made out of black ink that can coming from ground and chase people seek is very killble by use fire to kill seek

photo of seek hand and eye stink out of wall
enter and exit:
going down in level 3 lead you here
run into tunnel as possbie untill you reach train at the end of never ending tunnel
submitted by Trollge2227 to backrooms [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 10:37 Top-Replacement5461 Newbie In Training

Hey so I’ve always had vivid dreams since I was a child, some I can remember to this day and I’m in my mid 20’s. I never really see people I know in my dreams however during intense situations in my life I’ve had dreams of rescuing my mom or my friends. Now the friends I’ve rescued was a wild dream, and they never judge because they are always entertaining. But some dreams and I don’t know the difference between astral and a lucid dream or a regular dream so if someone could educate me that would be great.
My mom is the only one besides me who has spoken to my dad since he has passed and the things he’s told me to tell people blow them away. For instance a close family friend was on be-knowing me going to get another tattoo one day. The night before I had a dream of my dad and he said so clearly “by the way tell Pat to stop getting so many tattoos, he looks like Uncle Richie” , now this reference I didn’t know what it was about and I texted Pat the moment I woke up and told him I had a dream about my Dad, ( who had died about 5 months prior ) and he told me to tell him that. Pat called me within a minute saying he was on the way to get another tattoo…. Coincidence?
I’ve had dreams where I’ve seen people I haven’t spoken to, or others are in my dreams that I know and they don’t speak to one another in real time , and just like that a few days later they encounter one another just like in my dreams; I had one dream of an ex friend recently and so did she on the same night as me , it was a scorned relationship, but her dream freaked her out so much she contacted me, in fear of me being in distress based on her dream though the same night I had dreams being in distress but couldn’t remember what.
Now those are my dreams, But the craziest thing that’s happens to me believe it or not is when I get a facial. My lady always laughs at me because I knock out and usually when I wake up I don’t even realize I and 1. On a table getting a facial and 2. In such a state of calm I’m certain I’m awake due to what I’m seeing.
It’s a 90 minute facial with a head massage and hot stone. It’s when she works on my face and massages it, is when I go into a trance like state. I first see colors then I’ve seen my room where I’ve seen my stray cat I take care sitting in my bed despite him never coming in my house , or it’s a reoccurring dream I’ve had for quite some time same layout but I’ve never been to this place before in person. It’s a giant lake with an immense dock and the dock gets bigger everytime you walk down it , and when I get there I have no idea who any of these people I see are , and I never forget faces in reality. Though a few times have I remembered faces from people or beings I’ve seen in my dreams , I would say a handful, unless I know them in real life . It’s usually very hard to wake me up from this trance I’m in , I can’t move my body ever, and when I’m trying to wake up my facial lady always records how long it takes last time it was 5 minutes.
I used to fight it because I have a tendency according to my facialist and my friend in the room next me getting a facial as well All three woman have said i jolt or have a spams when I’m sleeping but other than that I’m a great customer.
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2023.03.25 10:37 Naive-Dentist-1841 big rock in life

One day, a time management expert was lecturing to a group of business school students. He gave a demonstration on the spot, leaving an indelible impression on the students for a lifetime. Standing in front of those high-IQ, high-educated students, he said, "Let's take a quiz," and pulled out a one-gallon jar and placed it on the table in front of him. Then, he took out a bunch of fist-sized rocks and carefully put them into glass bottles one by one. Until the stone was higher than the bottle mouth and could no longer be put down, he asked, "Is the bottle full?" All the students responded, "It's full." "Really?" the time-management expert asked rhetorically. He reached under the table and took a bucket of gravel, poured some into it, and tapped the side of the glass jar to fill the gaps between the rocks below. "Is the bottle full now?" he asked a second time. But this time the students understood somewhat, "probably not yet," responded one student. "Very good!" said the expert. He reached under the table and took out a bucket of sand and began slowly pouring it into the glass bottle. Sand fills in all the gaps between the stones and gravel. He asked the students again: "Is the bottle full?" "Not full!" The students said loudly. He said again, "Very good." Then he took a jug of water and poured it into the carafe until the water was level with the mouth of the bottle. Looking up at the students, he asked, "What does this example show?" An anxious student raised his hand and said, "It tells us that no matter how tight your schedule is, if you really work hard, you can get more done!" That's the answer for most people. However, the student's answer was dismissed by the time management expert, who said, "That's not what it really means." This example tells us: If you don't enlarge the rock first, you can never put it in the bottle again So, what are the big rocks in your life, your beliefs, education, dreams, or like me, education and guidance to others? Remember to deal with these 'big rocks' first, otherwise, you will die for the rest of your life. Neither can."
submitted by Naive-Dentist-1841 to story [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 10:23 Trollge2227 the glassway level 3

the glassway level 3
the glassway level 3: the chair rooms
⠀Moderate Friendly Entity Count

the photo of chair next to NEVER ENDING PATH floating in sky

level 3 is never ending rock path that has chair everywhere on this level sky is same sky box from level 2 AND LEVEL 1 AND LEVEL 30 it has 2 entity like shadow walker and talker but there is very rare entity like SEEK you see level 3 is very safe than level 1 in glassway weird thing is that entity still walking in invisible floor only in sky
photo of shadow walker next to chair
common entity like shadow walker
talker are tall humanoi entity that is talking in mic but weird thing is that mic has 10 TIME HEARING than talking
event: GLITCH CHAIR IS HAPPEN WHERE CHAIR IS being glitch into sky and floating in sky
enter and exit
noclip into house lead here
go into under table what look like going down lead to level 4 of glassway
submitted by Trollge2227 to backrooms [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 10:07 Daw88 Itinerary review - Tokyo > Mt. Fuji > Kyoto > Osaka > Okinawa - 18 Days

My wife and I have our honeymoon booked, and we've got 2 and a half weeks in Japan. Our route is Tokyo > Mt Fuji > Kyoto > Osaka > Okinawa. We are travelling mid-May.
We both love food and drink, which is easily what we're most looking forward to. Also, we are Londoners, so we wanted to spend a lot of time in Tokyo hence the 5 days there.
We have kept our itinerary fairly loose. Rather than trying to cram everything in, we would rather plan a few things and just go with the flow and find cool things spontaneously.
Here is what we've got, and please let us know your thoughts.
Tokyo - staying in Ginza
Day 1 - London-Haneda, landing 07:30am Tokyo time
· Get Suica Pass and get cash
· Travel to hotel, chill out etc. Go to Lawsons to stock up on waters, room beers, snacks (egg sandwiches!) etc
· See how we feel, maybe explore Ginza (Tsujiki Market, Hamarikyu Gardens), maybe chill in room if we're knackered
· Ginza Izakaya, few beers and early night - could be hideously jetlagged
Day 2
· Pick up Bullet Train tickets for Kyoto and bus tickets for Mt Fuji
· Senso-Ji Temple
· Lunch at Ramen baIzakaya near Tokyo National Museum
· Tokyo National Museum
· Stroll round Ueno Park
· Head to Shinjuku (Izakaya, Golden Gai, Taito Arcade, Ben Fiddich Bar, Albatross Bar etc)
· End the night with a Yamazaki 12 in New York Bar, Hyatt Regency
Day 3
· Teamlabs Planets booked at 11am
· Chill at hotel R&R
· Head to Shibuya Crossing latte/afternoon early evening
· Dinner booked at Nishiazabu Taku (Michelin Star sushi)
· Big night out in Rappongi (bar hopping, karaoke, and end up in club - house/techno preferable, please shout if you have any recommendations!)
Day 4
· Hangover! No plans
· Get Mcdonalds/KFC for a booze mop (don't judge! we are intrigued to try)
· Head to Akihabara to check out the arcades (rhythm arcades in particular - Hey Taito), explore M's Pop Life sex shop
· Dinner at Izakaya
Day 5
· No plans yet - shout if we are missing anything. Probably do some shopping
· Hopefully get a table at Kyubey for sushi lunch
· Our last night in Tokyo, maybe go back to Shinjuku or explore our favourite area we've found
Mt. Fuji - staying in Ryokan, Lake Kawaguchi
Day 6
· Get the bus from Tokyo to Lake Kawaguchi, anticipating a 2-3pm arrival
Afternoon and evening
· Chill at Ryokan. We have a suite booked, so hopefully we will have views of Mt. Fuji from our bath with a few beers and sakes
· Dinner at ryokan
Kyoyo - staying in Gion
Day 7
Morning and afternoon
· Bit of a slog of a journey, going from Mt. Fuji > Tokyo > Kyoto. Anticipating a 3-4pm arrival in Kyoto
· Moonlight stroll around Gion, dinner and beers at Izakaya
Day 8
· 'Path of Philosophy' walk
· Kinkakuji Temple
· Calligraphy class near hotel
· Nishiki Market
· Dinner at Kyoboshi (Michelin Star Tempura place)
· Few beers
Day 9
Morning and afternoon
· Day trip to Nara
· Dinner and drinks at Izakaya
Day 10
· Bamboo Grove
· Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
· Dinner and drinks at Izakaya
Day 11
· Travel to Osaka
Afternoon and Evening
· We only have one day in Osaka, please let us know how to make the most of our short time here
Day 12 to 16 - Okinawa
Nothing planned here - chill at the hotel, drink cocktails in the pool etc. Maybe venture out one day to try taco rice and see what Naha has to offer
Day 17 - back to Tokyo - staying Ginza again
No plans this day, take it easy and explore what we feel like
Day 18 - Tokyo back to London, late morning flight
Thanks for reading and appreciate any comments.
Take it easy.
submitted by Daw88 to JapanTravel [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 09:22 AngryRobot42 Again, found something about the DLC, Completely by accident. Need help continuing the thread.

First, I don't know if this pertains to the big puzzle, but I may have found part of or a portion of the upcoming DLC. It doesn't sound like it is going to be a happy story.

I swear I wasn't looking for anything this time. I was running around, and It occurred to me.... actually, it was my wife who picked up on it. She does not play video games. :(

The Zen garden. If you walk into the zen garden across from the statue in Corpo plaza, you will see a large tree and the sounds of birds playing. There are no birds; it's just the recording of them. Fun fact all of the bird sounds are native to North/Central America. My wife is a birder; she pointed out the constant Oriole chirp.
All of this reminded me of the "Songbird" data mine from the following post; she is briefly shown in the trailer.
Okay, here is where it gets crazy. Orioles are "songbirds," and in the picture, the woman has two tattoos. a flower and a bird with the same or alternate name.
The bird is a Black Oriole, and the flower is a White Dahlia. A Dahlia is a type of Oriole flower. Okay, for the hardcore fans, you already know where this goes. Black Dahlia is in the Cyberpunk pre-2077 table top game.
"The strongest Killer program on the market"
It gets even weirder. Black Dahlia is also the name reference of the house where the supposed murderer lived. The murder of a Dark haired aspiring actress. According to the following post (read the comments), Night City stretches from Morro Rock to the Butterfly preserve in L.A..
If you were to line up the famous Lloyd Wright house, it would overlap the Casino. The surrounding hills and water reservoir align with the cyberpunk 2077 map. It may be rough, but this is common due realistic sizing of Night City. This last theory might be a bit of a stretch, but you can see there is something here.
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2023.03.25 08:39 ShadowDragon8685 [Ace is the Only Sane Pirate 12]The Avaricious Runaround

No sooner had Najia sat down at a dingy canteen on the scrap facility than her datapad received a call from Yorilos. She hadn't even gotten her coffee yet, and thought that was supremely unfair. "Anyone wanna bet he natters on without stopping to let me interrupt?"
There were no takers, and she propped the datapad up, connecting the call. Yorilos's face appeared, in the cockpit of the ship she had 'liberated' for him. "Excellent!" he exclaimed without preamble. "Now, Protectyon is exorbitantly expensive, but I suppose we will not need an entire unit to conduct your research. It might be our best course of action to approach the CEO of Northriver Company directly. We might be able to buy a small sample from him... If we can find him, that is. It is well known that he occasionally likes to flaunt his enormous wealth. A fellow trader just spotted him taking his most prized possession out for a pleasure cruise. I have sent you the coordinates of his last known location. Start from there."
He terminated the call, and Najia sat back, blinking. "Did he even stop to breathe?" Marta snorted. "That guy apparently sucks wind with his asshole, since he sure as hell didn't take any in through his mouth!"
Najia snorted, laughing and covering her face with her palm. Ace looked at Marta in disbelief for a few moments, as she worked out the idiom, then let out a high-pitched, almost strangled trill, hanging her head. "Y'all know I'm right," Marta hammered the point in. "He is longwinded, yes. And also, unfortunately, an idiot," Ace declared. "Well... Yes, but why in specific, this time?"
"I hope for his sake he is fantastic in the bunk and willing to pursue a career in prostitution, because he is clearly a homeworld-raised true believer in nonsense," Ace spat. "He actually believes 'the invisible hand of the free market' will result in equitable distribution of goods and wealth?!" She let out a shrill trill. "In Avarice and Windfall no less!" Marta snorted. "Yeah... He'd better be planning to be a boy-toy." She rolled her eyes. "Does he really think that the CEO of a monopoly is just going to sell us a tiny sample of what's making him filthy rich so we can take it away, analyze it, synthesize it, and start competing with him?" "Apparently he does," Najia said with an exasperated sigh. "That's kind of... Frightening, actually. Though chasing this fellow down might be something we'll have to do eventually, but for now... We might as well just buy a load."
"Protectyon is not ordinary cargo," Ace pointed out. "I do not know the specifics, but I do know that it requires special cargo-handling equipment. The Rakers know this. They guard the nature of this equipment with some skill. Between that, and that the only market for the stuff is here in Windfall, it is not a substance of any value to a pirate... Presumably, small containers for transporting small quantities are available to those in the know, of course." "Of course... But in this case, I think the best move is to make use of my checking account," Najia said. The waitress arrived with coffee in a cheap metal mug, which Najia took gratefully, as did the rest of her party. They were sitting at a table next to Robin and the party of crew she had brought with them. Najia took a drink of the coffee, and grimaced immediately. "Don't like it, spacer," the waitress asked with a smirk as she handed out the others' drinks. "Took me by surprise. Tidebreak serves it sweet enough to curl eyebrows." No sooner had she said that, than the waitress sat a bottle on the table with a heavy, dense thunk. Najia poured it in, and nodded; it was some kind of yellowish syrup or synthetic honey. "Thank you," she said. "Sure, whatever. Your ship brought a load of food here - and not even like, the stuff the fuckin' Viggs 'let us' have, at extortionate rates. So, there's that, spacer." The waitress turned and hurried away. Ace snorted. "Not very grateful, was she?" She had, apparently, missed where part of the plan had been to have Takio's personal Baku deliver a load of food, which she supposed had transpired while she was asleep.
"These people are... Prickly. I can understand that," Najia said. "Anyway, I'm just going to take the simple route on this one: buy one of the condensate ships, load it with the stuff at market value, and have it fly it to the headquarters... For 'upgrades' of course." She grinned.
Ace trilled softly at that. "Upgrades indeed." She fiddled with the datapad in her hand as Najia and the others started to do likewise, and after a few moments, found what seemed to be a saved-game in progress. It looked like a sketch of a space station, but it struck her as being a puzzle game, and probably an 'indie' one at that, given the godawful user-interface. She quickly worked it out of course, because a pirate's mind is slippery by necessity and a Teladi's mind is primed to calculate a dozen variables at once, and then she could dig into the meat of it. It looked like a space station, but it was one built on an impossible scale; an absolute megalith of a station, an absurd and ridiculous monolith seemingly built to construct the most basic and common of Commonwealth construction materials, but in absolutely absurd quantities. There was a rider on it, too; and that seemed to be the objective of the game, or at least of the current level; adding a mixed population of Terran, Argon, and Teladi workers, and the requisite inputs to feed them all, enough to run the entire station and then some.
The datapad in her hand chirr-uped, and Ace saved and closed the progress she had made in the game, finding that a new report had been filed by the professor they had hired for, frankly, enough money to probably have employed the entire Empyrean Curs. She skimmed the summary - short, consise and to the point - and trilled softly. "Interesting development," she noted. "Your starship professor is making yet more inroads." She looked up at the human magnate. "Apparently he found a project starfighter that someone had been preparing in one of your hangars."
Najia chuckled. "A project starfighter?" She took the datapad. "Paramerion...? Hmph. Looks like someone stripped down a Kallis for speed and narrowness, judging by these stats." "Could be fun," Marta pointed out. "For someone who likes to fly, that is," she added, grinning at Najia and Ace.
Najia chuckled, and then shook her head. "Might even be just the thing for chasing down this Northriver fellow, if we assume he's going to make himself difficult to catch up to. According to the Professor, it's currently a one-off, but they should be able to extrapolate the plans and build more, if desired. Seems that it actually was based on some early, unproduced Kallis prototypes." "I'll have it sent out to the Avarice Necessities supplier," Najia added. "Meanwhile..."
A high-importance alert hit her datapad. She frowned as she read the report; one - then two - then three - of her freighters in Windfall were reporting being harassed by the Vigor syndicate. That was new. She scowled at that, snarling.
"Trouble," Ace asked. Under the table, she curled her tail around Najia's calf, and Najia rubbed her eyes. "Trouble," Ace repeated; no longer an interrogative, but a statement. "The Vigor syndicate have apparently decided to start harassing ships carrying food," she noted, wrathfully. "That you have gone so long without them doing so is the anomaly," Ace pointed out. "They are not shy about that they use force to enforce their monopoly on food in Windfall and Vigor," she added. "And was this not the fight you intended to wage anyway?"
"Yes," Najia hissed angrily. "But the timing is wrong." She rubbed her eyeballs, seething. Her ships were reporting that the Vigor syndicate were being very aggressive; not quite at the point of shooting openly at them - which would go poorly for everyone concerned frankly - but they were harassing them openly, shaking them down for bribes or even demanding they drop cargo, as well as conducting "police" inspections for "contraband" - meaning food and water. "Then what do you plan to do?"
Najia grit her teeth, closing her eyes. She focused on the feeling of Ace's tail squeezing her calf, and seethed, but calmed herself. "Comply... For now. Set up some goodwill by selling them energy cells again." "Again? They're probably angry you cut them off in the first place," Ace noted, and Najia snorted. "Probably." Najia let out an annoyed hiss of breath. "Well, we'll deal with it." She drummed her fingers in annoyance on the bare metal, cafeteria-style table. "The time is not yet. Not yet... Yet." She cracked her knuckles, one-by-one. "First, we need to chase down this Protectyon stuff." She started fiddling on her datapad. "I'll just place the order and have it sent to the HQ. If Boso Ta can't work with that, well... I guess we'll try it Yorilos' way and chase down this Northriver."
"It might be worthwhile to approach him now in any event," Ace suggested. "The Northriver company are, as you might imagine... Well-connected, with the Vigor Syndicate." Najia pursed her lips and frowned, but nodded. She looked around the dingy cafeteria, and sighed, nodding, but sighed again, heavily. "You can't fix everything, Ninja Taco; and what you can fix, you mostly can't fix in a day," Marta said, softly. "Let's just... Let's try Ace's idea."
Najia nodded, with a heavy sigh. She covered her head with her hands for a few moments, and let out a huff. She needed a bit of breathing room, time to think, time to plan. She looked around, and drummed her fingers on the table. "Let's finish our business here, and head for the Necessities station," she said. "We'll give the Raleigh I bought time to make it to the HQ, and the Paramerion time to get here... Then we'll use it, as it's apparently speed incarnate, to chase down Northriver and see what he can tell us about Protectyon, or the Syndicate, or both." She looked around; there were no particular objections raised. Ace snorted softly at her. "I and 'Chipmunk' are laying low; it matters little to me where we do so or what other activities we engage in whilst doing. Besides, I wonder what this station looks like."
Najia grinned at her.
Scant hours later, Ace was in the co-pilot's seat of the Baku as it arrowed in to land, alongside the Radiant Afterglow that had been shadowing them the whole time. The station was a mammoth; Ace had been expecting some kind of small way-station. It had absolutely gargantuan solar arrays pointing at the nearby star; the number of docks and piers was, frankly, grossly excessive, to the point that Ace reckoned it could easily hold the entire ship population of Avarice. There were massive personnel accommodations, and all the things she had seen that made Takio's constructions so awe-inspiring. "The number of docks and piers you have here is mind-boggling," Ace commented as the ship landed on one of the Terran-style disk docks. "It defies description. I cannot imagine why."
Najia smiled weakly at her, leaning out to look out through the expansive flight-deck window. "Quite simply? I wanted there to never, ever, ever be any question about whether or not a ship in need of safe-habor from the Tide could find it here. And yes, we're buying the Protectyon stuff - at quite ridiculous prices - to keep the place safe." She pointed at a massive, triple-pronged module along the station's 'spine.' "The Breakers built that, and the storage for it. They're effectively a 'black box' to us since part of the deal there was that we didn't poke around inside, but the thing keeps working, and we've isolated them from outside comms to ensure that stays the case."
Ace snorted. "I'm surprised you agreed to refrain from reverse-engineering them." "Well, we did. Of course, we lied," Najia said, with a grin. "I don't believe in letting other people keep technological secrets from me. But we're not, you know, cutting our way in or anything... Sometimes, you have to move slow. Besides, nobody would bat an eyelash at me commissioning another Raleigh and stocking it with some Protectyon, right?" "Right," Ace said, chuckling. She glanced up at the station. It was massive. She glanced down at the time-table; the Paramerion would arrive in approximately sixteen hours. "This place is huge. I might have to look around."
Najia smiled at her. "Feel free. You want to come with me to chase down this Northriver character? I think I'm going to give this prototype a test run myself." Ace trilled. "That sounds fun. Sure."
The Avarice Necessities Supplier station was a mammoth. Ace had explored it thoroughly; it had all the amenities one might expect of a space station, which was surprising in Avarice space. Unsurprising to her now, was that the prices were absolutely rock-bottom. Not quite giving the stuff away at cost, but close enough. It was, Ace mused, a good way to make inroads with the Rakers, though she suspected that Takio was doing so out of beneficience as much as anything else. She seemed positively furious that the Syndicate were exerting control over food and water; absolutely furious.
That, Ace realized, was something that set her apart. To her way of thinking, it was only to be expected that the party which had the power to establish a monopoly on such basic necessities should do so, to further increase their power and wealth, exploiting that position to enrich themselves. Takio clearly did not see it that way. It was an affront to her; and she was clearly plotting the Syndicate's downfall over it. Ace mused these musings both before and after she took a nap, in a surprisingly-affordable lodging room she took on the station. The amenities were in fact made in the same style and materials as those Najia had established for herself back on her headquarters station. The shower, in particular, was an absolute luxury to Ace's mind; there was no time- or pressure-limiter, no charge for the water use, and, as with the showers on her ships, featured a slick slatted floor instead of an obvious drain and a bench. All available at such a rate that anyone who landed here could afford to stay without difficulty. Neither were there any other tiers of accommodation available; there were no 'suites' above and beyond what she slept in, nor were there the expected squalorus hostel dormitories she had sometimes been able to avail herself of in her youth - at prices that sometimes exceeded that of the individual suite she enjoyed. The only other forms of room available were doubles and quads for pairings or parties sleeping together, and 'accessibility' rooms for persons with mobility or other issues.
Ace had found this so surprising, in fact, she had chatted up the clerk at the lodging module. Apparently, Takio Enterprises had taken some simple shortcuts in their design process, by not doing the design work themselves; they had simply followed Segaris traveler-accommodation regulations and made use of a common Segaris habitat module design. The prices were set low because the station was, ultimately, self-sufficient save for the reliance on Protectyon, and it was largely viewed as a public service.
The difference between this station and the one they had left hardly any time at all before was striking. The Terran construction techniques Takio used were incredible, of course; but it also spoke to their intents that they were effectively leaving money in the pockets of persons who would pay higher prices for what they were offering and gladly. Of course, she mused, it wasn't entirely utopic. It couldn't be. she had found a tavern and lurked, and certainly she had caught the (metaphorical) scent of black-market trade. The number of employees at the station was enormous, surely there would be those who could be bribed. There was certain, she knew, to be a thriving underbelly in illicit goods or services; though it seemed that there was an effort to minimize this, by the simple expedient of making the most commonly-smuggled goods and most commonly-criminalized services legal, mostly in the Teladi style; Ace saw vending machines which dispensed packets of Space Weed and found a local-net exchange board which purported to connect medically-checked and cleared prostitutes with clients; tangential to that was a heap of information about prostitution - both practical and, she saw with a little digging, historical and philosophical - as well as resources for those looking to get into that trade, beginning with reporting to medical for an examination. There was also a stark warning that pimping, or abusing a prostitute in any way, carried a summary sentence of execution. Ace's eyes shot up at that. She ran a few searches to see what cut Takio Enterprises was taking for this, but couldn't find any over and above presumably the rental price of the lodging rooms involved.
It almost seemed clinical, but, she mused, on the balance, if this environment had been available to her when she was trying to figure out what to do to avert hunger, it certainly would have seemed a far more attractive option. Her primary reason for shying away from prostitution as a career, had been the fear of winding up the property of a pimp. Ace ruminated on this, whilst staring out the window of a tavern, at the star, through the solar panel array, when she got the message that the Paramerion had arrived.
The craft itself looked very much like many of the Terran ships Ace had seen in recent weeks, sitting in the pretty purple trim that Takio had ships meant for herself painted in. It was even sitting in a bay next to a Tsurugi superheavy fighter, which made her take a double-take; clearly they had wasted no time in producing the starfighters!
Ace looked between the two. The Paramerion was short dorsal-to-ventral, as most Terran small craft were, but this one took it to an extreme. It was elongated and somewhat narrow, though it could have, she thought, been narrower still without the side-mounted wings that served no purpose she could discern immediately, save to be wings. "They're for atmospheric flight," Najia explained. "Most Terran S- and M- craft are at least capable of it; most Argon, too, for that matter. Most Teladi... Even the Drill, which the Baku is based on; and of course the Baku itself. Though, admittedly, the flying shoe does rely a lot more on thrusters," Najia said; she was standing by the ramp into the Paramerion, watching Ace's gaze.
Ace trilled softly and nodded, joining Najia in the cockpit. It was roomy enough; the cockpit design seemed to be wholly-copied from the Kallis. That made sense, as they were apparently related designs. She looked around, and tapped on the holographic auxiliary console at the rear of the cockpit, to the side. "Shall I navigate for you?" "Unless you'd rather fly," Najia said, smiling at her. Ace took a moment to think on that, and shook her head. "I'll fly the way back, if all goes smoothly. It's your ship, you should take it. Where is Marta? Is she not coming?"
"She's already in the back. There's what the original designers of these classes euphemistically refer to as a 'bunk-slash-engineering-access' behind us, in front of the power plant. It's so tight I don't think anyone could even masturbate in there, but you can sleep in there... If you're desperate. Personally, I'd just roll out a sleeping mat in the dockpit," Najia said; this got a louder trill from Ace, as Najia took the chair. "Right, I've already done the preflight... Let's see what she can do."
Northriver was, allegedly, in the same sector - Avarice I - and finding him was a minor challenge. Ace operated sensors whilst Najia piloted; the ship seemed to have very desirable piloting characteristics; agile and responsive without being touchy or prone to over-maneuvering. Swift, but not prone to sliding. She looked forward to her own turn at the stick, as they narrowed in on the alleged location of Brantlee Northriver.
Finding him was little challenge - then Ace swore softly. "Is that..." She had another ship on the fighter's sensors, and brought up its details. Sitting a hundred klicks from Astrid, apparently the ship of Northriver, was J.P. Morgan's Knife. Ace hissed softly. "Does he... Really..."
"Does he really expect this guy to give us a sample to reverse engineer?" Najia groaned. "Fine, fuck it. If we don't ask, he will, and Yorilos is about as good at negotiating as someone who goes to a flea market, sees a pair of sun-shades at a stall, talks the proprietor down two credits and walks away feeling like they're John Pierpont Morgan." Ace trilled softly at that. "Is that whom his vessel is named after? Who was this person?" Najia snorted. "We'd have to interrupt the history lesson to run for cover from the Tide," she said with a grin, looking over her shoulder. "Suffice to say he was a human industrialist from a very long time ago, who managed to amass one of the smaller fortunes of his era, but who wielded power and control of money to substantially more effect than the actual wealth he personally had. He formed banks, you see; once, he helped to fend off an impending bank run that would have caused a financial collapse, by assembling a large number of a nation's most powerful bankers in his mansion, and locked them in his library, telling them that they would not be leaving until they had worked out a scheme to avert the crisis."
Ace trilled, watching as the little fighter closed on what she was reading as some kind of yacht. "That sounds like something you might do," she pointed out. Najia snorted, looked back at Ace, and chuckled. "I think I should take that as a compliment. J.P. Morgan was an asshole, like pretty much all of the wealthy and powerful persons of his time and era... Or, any era, to be honest. I... Never expected to find myself wielding clout and power like Morgan's, let alone enough that I probably eclipse him. It's... Kind of overwhelming, to be honest." "And yet, you persevere," Ace retorted. "By any measure, you could take what you've amassed now, retire to a sector of your choosing, build a monumental space station of your own design, and live a life of indolence until the money ran out. A Teladi could take your wealth and live out the rest of her life, even. Yet, you are building warships and lodgings fit for well-off individuals and affordable to the hardscrabble. By Teladi reckoning, Najia, you are insane."
Najia blinked at that, half-snorting. She had cut the travel drive and was approaching the lazily drifting yacht, and took the moment to turn her chair halfway, looking to her side at Ace. "Do you think I'm... Literally mad?" Ace peered at her, and shook her head. "No, I do not. Many Teladi might assume it to be so," she said, with an ambivalent sway of her hips and a shrug. "... I believe that you are acting to a set of principles and convictions that are, however, utterly alien to most Teladi understanding. You seem as if you intend to seize Windfall and Avarice outright. Yet even if you did, you would not squeeze the Rakers on food prices the way the Syndicate does. I do not understand where you are coming from," Ace said, swaying her hips again. "But... I feel I can trust you. And from there, confidence. Heads-up," she added, cautioning Najia. "We are close enough you had best comm them, lest they think you're about to attack."
Swiveling rapidly back to face forward, Najia did just that, signaling the yacht she was approaching of her intent to communicate. Moments later, she recieved a reply. "Yes, what is it you want?" Brantlee Northriver had a grating, abrasive, and smug voice; he was also dressed, she thought, ridiculously, wearing what looked like a desaturated blue jacket trimmed with excessively gaudy, and gaudily excessive amounts of gold, with some kind of absurd half-hood thing cupping the back of his head. It was some long-ago futurist's vision of what a far-flung spacefuture clergyman's robe might look like crossed with a business suit. Najia knew that her own sense of fashion was questionable, but even she immediately recognized the outfit as disgustingly ugly, and radiating both wealth and contempt. Her impression was realized as he continued, "I sure hope you have a good reason for approaching me. I am quite busy, you see?"
Najia mastered the urge to ask if he was busy receiving fellatio from someone under the console he was sitting at, because she could see absolutely no other possible activity he was invested in; she also mastered the urge to just shoot the smug off his face. She instead smiled at him, schooling herself into 'businesswoman' persona even though he made her skin crawl on an imager; and, of course, she would have to try to talk a sample out of it, because she knew that Yorilos was listening in and would certainly swoop in and somehow make things stupider if she didn't. "Mr. Northriver, you may not have had time yet to notice my minor operations; Takio Enterprises is expanding into Avarice. The name of Northriver and its Protectyon is on every set of lips within three jumps as a potent defensive measure against the Tide. I wished to obtain -"
"What, just a sample?" Northriver leaned forward, towards his camera, smirking - no, smugging - at her, adopting the 'Thinker' pose, briefly. "Such a small quantity won't get you far, if you want to protect yourself from the Tide. Can't afford more, eh?" For a moment, Najia toyed with the notion of making an offer to buy Northriver outright, just to wipe the smug off his face, but he continued to smug audibly at her. "Oh, well, since you seem to be new around here, I'll allow it. Once." Brantlee turned to look out his cockpit window at Avarice, which illuminated him brightly. Looking away and up was probably his 'best side;' it was the only posture in which she had yet seen him that looked anything other than 'contemptable.' "To get you hooked. Am I not charitable?" He immediately resumed his contemptuousness, then turned back to face her and made it all the more stark. "I will even cut you a special deal, how about that?" His expression clearly communicated his contempt and belief that he was superior. "Merely twelve and a half thousand credits for the sample you so dearly desire; my first, last, and only offer."
Najia wanted to say something scathing in return, she really did. Or simply to lock her cannons on his admittedly-very-sexy yacht and take the sample at cannon-point. Or to flip him the finger. Instead, she schooled herself to merely raise her eyebrow skeptically; forcing herself to maintain 'The Businesswoman,' who was too refined to rise to the bait. But she also had neither time nor patience to haggle over what was, frankly, a trivial sum to her bank account. Hell, she knew for a fact that Ace could buy the sample and wouldn't lose much sleep over it, just from what Ace had made in the last several days with her. "It seems your proposal can only be agreed to," she said, bringing up the financial transfer function on her console and sending the sum required.
Smugly, Brantlee grinned at her. "Here you go. I hope you leave as a satisfied customer!" Ace quickly tapped a message that appeared on her console. 'He's jettisoned an XS cargo pod.' The Teladi deftly located it for her on sensors, targeting it for her, as Northriver continued, "Oh, and by the way - don't for one second think that you can use this sample to engineer a competing product. It won't work. Northriver products are just too ingenious!" Northriver positively crowed it at her, and once again Najia had to master the urge to lock weapons upon him, but she did, at that moment, privately vow that, by means fair or foul, she was going to gain possession of his yacht if only to spite him. "Run along now," he added, smirking. "I have much more important matters to attend to," he clarified, sanctimoniously smiling, ending the comm channel and turning the yacht away, entering Travel drive.
"Let me bring that pod aboard," Ace muttered, manipulating the tractor controls, and comming the multipurpose space in the back. "Marta, if you would kindly suit up -" "Way ahead of you, Ace," Marta answered her, popping up on-screen already wearing a light pressure suit, in the airlock. "Get it over here and I'll grab it, make sure it doesn't jostle or anything. Mass?" "Considerable, but not more than a large human such as yourself can handle. Volitility is not known, but it cannot hurt to be over-cautious."
Najia smiled to herself as she heard Ace, unprompted, begin collaboration with Marta. A part of her cynical and intellectual side tried to argue that Ace was a pirate, and probably always would be a pirate at heart, but she was quite simply too fond of the reptilian spacer to listen to that part of her anymore; her oldest friend and her newest could be coming together. Then another comm popped up, and she resisted the urge to groan aloud. She let The Businesswoman fade; frankly, Yorilos didn't rate it, and they were (sort of) collaborators on this anyway. To her surprise (and pleasure), when he commed her, he immediately voiced her own opinion, "I wonder if being obnoxious is his deliberate business strategy?" Najia laughed, heartily, slumping back in her command chair and grinning brightly, shrugging. "I don't think so. I think it just comes naturally to the git."
Yorilos looked momentarily nonplussed, presumably by her vernacular, then said, "No matter. It will make it all the more enjoyable when we pull the rug from under the Northriver Company." "We are in absolute agreement about that," Najia said. "I want to wipe the smug grin off his face." She glanced down; her airlock indicator had closed, and she flicked up a view of the inside. Marta was carefully securing a container roughly the size and volume of a ubiquitous 205-liter shipping drum, though it wasn't one. "I've just taken the sample aboard." "You want to take it back to the headquarters yourself? Go ahead," Yorilos said. He cut the channel, and Najia blinked at the suddenness.
"... Well, that was... Abrupt," Najia said, looking back to Ace. "It was. I cannot believe that you paid twelve and a half thousand for the sample." Najia shrugged. "I mean... It's highway robbery, considering that a commercial volume costs just about twice that and is twenty cubic meters in volume whereas that sample is maybe two. On the other hand, you heard him; he wasn't in the mood to negotiate. What should I have done? Shot at him?" "Yes." Ace trilled, then huffed, shaking her head. "No. As cathartic as it would be, your plans are too long-term to have simply taken it from the wretch by force." She shook her head. "I suppose you had little choice," she conceded, "if you are to continue Yorilos' scheme."
"I'm kind of eager to set Boso Ta loose on this stuff myself," Najia said. The revolving door to the back cycled, and Marta walked in, looking flushed with exertion. "Thanks, Marta," she said. "You can thank me by you securing the damn thing in the 'hold,' Marta said, snarkily.
Najia nodded, and swiveled her chair all the way. "Sure. Thank you. Ace, you're up on stick," she said, standing up. "Let's just fly this thing straight home; I bet we can make it before dinnertime with us flying," she said, smiling at Ace. Ace trilled softly. "That sounds like a challenge. Accepted." She slid past Marta and Najia, slaloming between them, and took the stick, keying in a course for the Takio Enterprises headquarters. "We should recall the other ships, yes?" "Yes; good thinking, Ace. Thank you. I'll handle it from the back, after I've secured this barrel."
Ace and Najia made great time returning to the headquarters; they flew close to recklessly, causing Marta to comment that she was glad she was flying with them, for if they got themselves killed flying that way, she wouldn't have to hear about it. They arrived at the headquarters to little fanfare, and Marta peeled off as soon as they arrived, pleading the need to go and look into something she had arranged previously. "Well, shall we talk to Boso Ta?" Ace asked, looking up at Najia. They had gone to Avarice in an overnight journey by-the-numbers, stayed for less than a day, and were now back where they had started. "And hope that this back-and-forth bears some fruit?"
"I would very much like that," Najia agreed. The container had already been sent to the lab, and she squared her shoulders up, heading for the lift with purpose.
The door to the laboratory opened, and Najia's jaw dropped. "How," she said, flatly, quietly, as Ace all-but plowed into her backside. Ace slid around her side, looking into the lab, and let out a chuff of disbelief.
Yorilos was standing beside Boso Ta's tank.
Ace resisted the urge to hiss in surprise, and reached up, patting Najia's back. "I do not know," she confessed. "Perhaps he made use of an anomaly and was quite lucky. Or perhaps he has modified his hauler in ways unimaginable and is an outright daredevil pilot." Najia shook her head, and squared up, entering the lab. The elderly professor was nowhere to be seen, but it was late at night; he was likely in bed. So she went to the interloper, approaching Yorilos. "Yorilos, hi... What are you doing here?" She wasn't even going to ask how. That was his secret and his alone.
"Ah, yes. I really hope we can find a way to make the Protectyon more affordable for everyone in Avarice," he explained, as he peered around the laboratory. That, she thought, didn't exactly explain her question; presumably he intended for her to infer the answer. Somehow. Najia shook her head and smiled, nodding to him. "Alright." She climbed up the stairs, after a glance back at Ace, who had become fascinated by the new addition of a lot of bonsai trees in the laboratory's little greenery display, and greeted Boso Ta with a wave, to which the Boron responded with one of his own. "Hello there! Ah, excellent, the Protectyon sample has been delivered, and we may begin. Thank you kindly!" Boso Ta seemed to examine a computer tablet held in his... Tentacles? Flippers? Manipulators. He made a few deft strokes. "I have added the Protectyon Research to our agenda, and listed the required secondary materials. Feel free to initiate the research at any time convenient to yourself!"
With that abrupt declaration, Boso Ta swam upwards through the hatch in the laboratory tank, presumably to his personal lodging suites. Najia blinked, rocking back on her heels and looked back at Ace, who looked at her with the cocked hips that Najia had intuited was a definite shrug. "You'd think I didn't own the place," Najia muttered to herself, "the way almost everyone just... Is so... Curt with me." "You could put them in their place the way a pirate lord would," Ace suggested. "Or, if having a beating administered is too vulgar for your preferences, do what a capitalist might do and threaten them with penury."
Najia snorted. "Yeah... I think I'd rather just live with being curtly spoken to than be an asshole." "So be it. Your ways do allow for others to become... Familiar with you," Ace said, giving a vibrato trill. "For better, and for worse." She smiled at Najia, and Najia smiled back. Ace was toying with a small bonsai tree, and watched as Najia checked her datapad, then clucked her tongue.
"A lot of things we don't have on-hand," Najia muttered, "mainly because what Boso Ta wants - for this research project, and others - are Commonwealth-base, and we're not. That's not a huge problem, I'll just ask Tsukiko to set up a PO for a useful quantity of said commodities. For now -" The tank was suddenly filled again with Boso Ta. "Assistant, you simply must do something about this irksome vessel!"
A moment of silent passed. Najia pushed down the urge to be catty or snarky at Boso Ta, or outright hostile. She took a deep breath. "A... Vessel? Is irking you?" "Yes yes! Somehow, it is managing to distort the station's sensors, preventing me from witnessing a solar event in the Great Reef Nebula. I suggest you take care of this annoyance before it manages to disrupt even more observations!"
Najia took in a breath to respond, but Boso Ta had already vanished again, with such rapidity that even Yorilos seemed to be watching him dumbstruck. Yorilos also made a cocked-hip gesture, and then walked out. Najia watched him go, and snorted. "If he has even half a brain, he's going to ask Boso Ta what resources he's asking for and then try to get ahead of the purchase orders," Najia noted. "I would." "As would I," Ace agreed. "Would you like me to take care of this... 'Irksome Vessel' for you?"
"Bored?" Najia asked, grinning at Ace. "I wouldn't say that I was bored," Ace said, reaching out and squeezing her hand. Najia squeezed back. "But it seems that Boso Ta will not likely let the matter drop."
"Alright. Let's take care of it." Najia rolled her shoulders. "I can do this admin stuff from a ship as easily as my apartment study." She headed for the lift, neglecting to let go of Ace's hand; Ace likewise kept the hold, accompanying her. They almost ran into Marta coming out of it. She had a big grin on her face, and Najia pursed her lips. "Okay, what have you done," she asked.
"Oh, not much, just had a warship commissioned to keep close-to-hand in case we get in trouble and need some biggish guns fast. She's done, come take a look." Najia looked down at Ace, who trilled loudly at her. "Either you pay her too well, or you trust her entirely, if she has such authority in your name." "Jealous," Marta asked, smirking. "Yes," Ace admitted frankly. "Shall we?"
Najia sighed and laughed. "Fiiiine."
The bridge of T.E.S. Koshirae was the common standard Terran capital module, and very shortly, Najia, Marta and Ace were standing in it, shaking hands with the woman standing at the captain's post, who was wearing a stylish jacket in a decidedly non-Terran style, tights, and comfortable looking sneakers. "I'm sorry," Najia said, with a smile. "I'm afraid you have me at a disadvantage."
"Kevlin, ma'am; Selaia Kevlin. I'm a shipyard specialist." Her accent was distinctly neither anything Solar that Najia recognized, nor Segaris. "I'm surprised you're even aboard yet; we're only about to put her through space trials."
Najia snorted. "Not even the shakedown cruise, huh? You're not from anywhere I've been, are you?" "No ma'am." Selaia looked Asian, with her hair up in a tight bun. "I'm from Argon Prime. I found myself in Grand Exchange as crew on a freighter, saw the amenities on offer on your headquarters station, and jumped ship for a job here."
Najia nodded. "I see..." She grinned. "Are you spying on me?" "I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you, ma'am," Selaia responded back, in the age-old joke. Najia laughed in turn.
"Right. Well, stand down for a while," she said. "I appear to have been talked into taking her out personally." "Ma'am!" Selaia stepped aside. "The, err, owner has the bridge!" she called out, fumbling through something approximating military protocol, as Najia stepped up, looking over the console. Najia grinned. "Alright. Nifty little ship. Ace, take the helm," she said. "Take us out."
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2023.03.25 06:55 bigjohn14325 FS 113 - How WWE Should Book LA Knight after WrestleMania 39

LA Knight who was known as Shaun Ricker at the time signed with WWE in 2013 after grinding for nearly a decade on the indies but was used as enhancement talent and was never given a chance to shine. Knight left the WWE in 2014 and was soon forgotten. Ricker as Eli Drake would sign with TNA in 2015 and he became one of the biggest stars of the post-Hogan TNA era. He held numerous titles such as the Impact World Tag Team Championship with Scott Steiner, TNA King of the Mountain Championship, and even the Impact World Championship. After leaving Impact in 2019, Eli Drake went to the revitalized National Wrestling Alliance where he would win the NWA World Tag Team alongside James Storm. In early 2021, Eli Drake left the NWA in early 2021 and resigned with the WWE after having proven himself time & time again in every company he signed with. 20 years of hard work finally paid off.
LA Knight would become one of the last major signings of the NXT Black & Gold Era. LA Knight had a decent run, having an entertaining feud with Cameron Grimes that involved Ted DiBiase & the Million Dollar Championship. He even had a face run feuding with Grayson Waller, he even teamed up with the old guard of NXT Black & Gold to face the new crop of talent representing NXT 2.0 inside WarGames, a match NXT Black & Gold went on to lose. LA Knight would do the job for Gunther at NXT Takeover Stand & Deliver which would ultimately be Knight’s last match in NXT. Immediately following WrestleMania 38, LA Knight was called up to the main roster and would soon start his own faction called Maximum Male Models with Mace & Mansoor. Knight would have his name changed to Max Dupri and would gain a manager who was his storyline sister Maxxine Dupri. Maximum Male Models has shown potential as a decent undercard stable but is definitely below the talents & capabilities of LA Knight. Soon after Triple H took over creative, Max Dupri would leave MMM and revert back to LA Knight. He would then start losing matches to the likes of Ricochet and feud with Bray Wyatt in that awful Pitch Black Match at Royal Rumble. But despite consistently losing, he is getting louder & louder reactions from the fans and is primed for a huge push after this year’s WrestleMania. So get ready to look at how WWE SHOULD BOOK LA KNIGHT AFTER WRESTLEMANIA 39 YEAHHH!!!
WrestleMania 39: Night One
The Miz is the host of WrestleMania and he has an episode of Miz TV with his guest being “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. The Miz starts asking Austin general questions about his career and they begin talking about Austin’s match against Kevin Owens at last years WrestleMania. Miz says that Austin was looking a little slow out there and he sees why Austin hasn’t competed since because Austin wouldn’t stand a chance against a real talent such as The Miz. This draws the ire of the Texas Rattlesnake. Austin says that maybe he’ll come out of retirement again so he can wipe that goofy grin off The Miz’s face. Austin manages to goad The Miz into accepting the match RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW!!!
The Miz vs “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
Like last year, Austin shows that he’s still one tough SOB really laying a can a whoop ass on The Miz. Austin seems to have the match won when Maryse comes out distracting the referee which allows Miz to hit a low blow on Austin. Miz hits a SKULL CRUSHING FINALE, ONE… TWO… AUSTIN KICKS OUT. Austin makes his way back to his feet and he is PISSED. Austin stomps a fucking mudhole in The Miz and follows it up with a Stunner that send MIZ FLYING. It’s Austin’s turn to make the cover, ONE… TWO… THREE. STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN HUMBLED THE MIZ TO KICK OFF WRESTLEMANIA 39!!!
”Stone Cold” Steve Austin defeats The Miz in 8:28
WrestleMania 39: Night Two
On night two of WrestleMania 39, in the middle of the show, we get an impromptu appearance from LA Knight. He puts down the fans and he says that he deserved to be on the WrestleMania card especially over the LA Knight wanna be The Miz and an old retired drunk like Steve Austin. He says they suck and that he should have been on the card over them and that’s a fact of life. This is when Austin comes out and we have a funny & numerous promo exchange between them which results in Austin nailing Knight with a Stunner. LA Knight eventually makes his way back to his feet but he’s still very disoriented. We repeat the spot Austin did with JBL back in 2011 with Austin handing a very disoriented LA Knight a beer then he hits yet another Stunner that Knight sells like The Rock in his prime. STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN HAS HUMILIATED LA KNIGHT ON THE GRANDEST STAGE OF THEM ALL!!!
Raw April 3rd, 2023
It’s the Raw after WrestleMania and we bring back the ANNUAL WWE DRAFT!!! The new WWE Champion Cody Rhodes is Smackdown’s first draft pick. New Intercontinental Champion Sheamus gets drafted to Raw. LA Knight however is one of the last picks on Monday Night Raw!!! LA Knight is absolutely furious and he says that next week is the start of his journey to becoming THE GUY ON MONDAY NIGHT RAW!!!
Raw April 10th, 2023
LA Knight vs Seth Rollins: World Heavyweight Championship Tournament First Round Match
After winning the Undisputed Universal Championship at WrestleMania, Cody Rhodes retires the Universal Championship since after all, the WWE Title was the real prize for Cody. Taking the place of the Universal Championship, will be the return of the WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP!!! LA Knight will have to face Seth Rollins and it does not go well for LA Knight who absolutely loses it in the ring after losing.
Seth Rollins defeats LA Knight to advance in the World Heavyweight Championship Tournament in 12:56
Later in the night, Drew McIntyre has a match in the tournament and things are looking good for the big Scotsman but LA Knight cost Drew the match because LA Knight wants to make an Impact by defeating one of Raw’s major players.
Backlash 2023
LA Knight vs Drew McIntyre
LA Knight has a lot to prove against the former two-time WWE Champion. LA Knight does better than anyone expects against Drew hitting a verity of moves that impresses the audience and even gets a very close two count with Blunt Force Trauma. Drew however, is still pissed about being robbed of the World Heavyweight Championship and he turns LA Knight inside out with a Claymore to get the 3 count.
Drew McIntyre defeats LA Knight in 14:48
Raw May 8th, 2023
20-Man Battle Royal: #1 Contenders Match for The Intercontinental Championship
This match is a bit of a clusterfuck but LA Knight does what he does best and picks his spots very carefully, scoring an elimination here and then but keeping a low profile. The final three are LA Knight, Drew McIntyre, and Pete Dunne. McIntyre managed to eliminate Pete Dunne but FROM BEHIND LA KNIGHT ELIMINATES DREW MCINTYRE TO BECOME #1 CONTENDER FOR THE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP!!!
LA Knight wins the battle Royal to become #1 Contender for the Intercontinental Championship in 11:56
King & Queen of the Ring
LA Knight vs Sheamus(c): Intercontinental Championship
LA Knight finally has the opportunity to turn his recent string of bad luck around by bringing home his first taste of main roster gold but he’s going against an Irish brute in Sheamus. Knight has a plan however and he attacks the right knee of Sheamus and hit pays off when Sheamus hits the Brough Kick but he’s selling the knee and he takes forever to pin LA Knight and he kicks out at two. Sheamus does manage to power through the pain and he locks in the TEXAS CLOVERLEAF!!! LA Knight desperately tries to stay in this, he’s flipping around like a fish outta water. He scratches & claws his way towards the ropes but he just can’t, LA KNIGHT TAPS OUT. LA KNIGHT’s STRING OF BAD LUCK CONTINUES!!!
Raw June 6th, 2023
LA Knight vs Dolph Ziggler: Money in the Bank Qualifier
It’s Money in the Bank season and LA Knight is ready to shock the world by becoming Mr. Money in the Bank. But first, LA Knight will have to go through a former Money in the Bank Briefcase holder in Dolph Ziggler. They have a fun match that goes almost 10 minutes where Dolph Ziggler make LA Knight look like a million bucks. LA KNIGHT TURNS DOLPH ZIGGLER INSIDE OUT WITH BLUNT FORCE TRAUMA TO QUALIFY FOR THE MATCH!!!
LA Knight defeats Dolph Ziggler in 9:19
Money in the Bank 2023
LA Knight vs Bobby Lashley vs Cameron Grimes vs Pete Dunne vs Ricochet vs Gunther vs Finn Bálor vs Bronson Steiner: Money in the Bank Ladder Match
While this may not be the first ladder match of LA Knight’s career he is certainly out of his element here and there’ll be no Million Dollar Man to save him this time. LA Knight aims to end his string of bad luck by guaranteeing himself a world title match within the next year. This match is pure anarchy, Ricochet is using the environment around him to take out his opponents using the ladders to , Pete Dunne does ladder assisted joint manipulation, and Solo Sikoa uses his Samoan strength to batter the competition. LA Knight quickly adapts to this chaotic match by picking his spots very carefully like the manipulative bastard he really is. It’s then that LA Knight climbs the ladder and comes face to face with BRONSON STEINER!!! LA Knight wishes that he could get out of dodge having seen what Steiner was capable of in NXT but Knight being on top of the ladder means he has absolutely nowhere to go but down and that’s exactly what happens when BRONSON HITS A FRANKENSTEINER OFF THE TOP OF THE LADDER!!! After a few more minutes of action, LA KNIGHT SNEAKS BACK INTO THE RING KNOCKING OLD RIVAL CAMERON GRIMES OFF THE LADDER CLIMBS THE LADDER HIMSELF TO RETRIEVE THE BRIEFCASE!!! LA KNIGHT IS MR MONEY IN THE BANK, LA KNIGHTS STRING OF BAD LUCK IS OVER!!!
LA Knight wins the Money in the Bank Briefcase in 26:47
Raw August 7th, 2023
LA Knight doesn’t wait long to take advantage of the fact that he’s Mr. Money in the Bank and he attempts to cash in on Seth Rollins but before the match can start, CAMERON GRIMES spoils the cash-in attempt. Grimes says that he was so close to winning Money in the Bank but that sneaky bastard LA Knight knocked him off the ladder and cost him his chance of becoming world champion. Cameron Grimes reminds LA Knight that he kicked his ass in NXT and he’s going to do the same at SUMMERSLAM!!!
Summerslam 2023
LA Knight vs Cameron Grimes
These two have a nice 10 minute match that sees a lot of back & forth action. Cameron Grimes hits his double foot stomp, ONE… TWO… THREE… BUT WAIT! LA Knight’s foot was on the bottom rope m, the match continues. LA Knight levels Grimes with a low blow followed up by BLUNT FORCE TRAUMA, Knight makes the cover, ONE… TWO… THREE LA KNIGHT HAS DEFEATED CAMERON GRIMES AT THE BIGGEST PARTY OF THE SUMMER!!!
LA Knight defeats Cameron Grimes in 10:36
Raw August 28th, 2023
Edge vs Seth Rollins(c): World Heavyweight Championship
Edge has been on a quest to regain the tile he never lost over 12 years ago. Seth Rollins has been riding high as champion and Edge knows what it takes to beat Seth Rollins but Edge is nearly 50 years old and father time is catching up quickly for the Rater R Superstar and he is nearing the end of his run. Edge fell short at Summerslam but on the August 28th edition of Raw, it will be airing from TORONTO, CANADA!!! Edge is in the fight for his life against a very game Seth Rollins and he defies the odds BY DEFEATING SETH ROLLINS TO BECOME A 12-TIME WORLD CHAMPION IN HIS HOME COUNTRY OF CANADA!!! With a tear in his eye, Edge celebrates with his World Heavyweight Championship until we hear the music of LA KNIGHT!!!
LA Knight vs Edge(c): World Heavyweight Championship
LA Knight cashes in Money in the Bank in an exhausted Edge. Knight immediately takes the fight to Edge, refusing to let this golden opportunity slip through his fingers. LA Knight immediately goes to work on Edge but EDGE CATCHES HIM WITH A SPEAR OUTTA NOWHERE, ONE… TWO… LA KNIGHT KICKS OUT DAMN THAT WAS CLOSE. LA Knight is pissed that another old man almost embarrassed and he hits Edge with BLUNT FORCE TRAUMA, ONE… TWO… THREE… LA KNIGHT HAS DEFEATED EDGE IN HIS OWN HOMETOWN TO WIN THE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP!!! The heat for LA Knight is ABSOLUTELY NUCLEAR.
LA Knight defeats Edge to win the World Heavyweight Championship in 3:13
Raw September 5th, 2023
LA Knight boasts about being World Heavyweight Champion and how he has officially won championships everywhere he’s been but that’s when he gets interrupted by Seth Rollins and he calls Knight a fluke champion and says he hasn’t beaten anyone of note in a fair fight. It was Rollins that beat LA Knight in that WHC Tournament a few months ago and Rollins challenges LA Knight to a World Heavyweight Championship Match at Clash at the Castle and LA Knight accepts but he says that there’s a catch. LA Knight had a clause put in his contract anyone who challenges him for the title only gets one match so no matter what happens at the PPV, there WILL BE NO REMATCH AND THATS A FACT OF LIFE!!!!!
Clash at the Castle 2023
LA Knight(c) vs Seth Rollins: World HeavyweightChampionship
LA Knight makes an elaborate entrance as World Heavyweight Champion just to get under everyone’s skin. Rollins is chomping at the bit to shut this loud mouth old fuck up and they go to work. LA Knight uses every heel tactic he knows to gain an advantage that is until he sneaks the WHC Title Belt into the ring as Rollins sets up for a Crub Stomp. Seth Rollins goes for the Curb Stomp but in mid-air, LA KNIGHT CLOCKS HIS ASS WITH THE BIG GOLD BELT!!! LA Knight makes the cover, ONE… TWO… ROLLINS IS A DEFIANT AS EVER. LA Knight immediately picks up the carcass of Rollins and hits BLUNT FORCE TRAUMA, ONE… TWO… THREE… LA Knight has defeated Seth Rollins in his FIRST successful title defense.
LA Knight defeats Seth Rollins to retain the World Heavyweight Championship in 19:42
Raw October 9th, 2023
LA Knight comes out with his World Heavyweight Championship with an arrogant smirk on his face. He is only a couple weeks removed from defeating one of the literal best wrestlers in the world in Seth Rollins. LA Knight is in a very floating mood tonight, that is until he’s interrupted by THE PHENOMENAL ONE AJ STYLES!!! AJ says that LA Knight is just a just a pretend world champion, but that’s what he’s been his whole career. Styles says that LA Knight has gotten by his whole entire career by acting like a discount Dwayne. He only made it down in Orlando because AJ left and he only made it here because he hasn’t had to contend with AJ Styles. The flat Earth man says that he didn’t need to cash in Money in the Bank on a weakened opponent to win his two world titles. AJ CHALLENGES LA KNIGHT TO A WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH AT CROWN JEWEL!!!
Crown Jewel 2023
LA Knight vs AJ Styles: World Heavyweight Championship
We get to the PPV (I refuse to call it a PLE) and it’s the face of OG TNA vs the face of the post Hogan era of TNA. These two have an old school TNA style match. AJ turns back the clock and busts out moves not seen in years such as the Spiral Tap. AJ completely outclasses LA Knight from a wrestling standpoint but AJ makes a costly error when he takes too long to set up for the Phenomenal Forearm and LA capitalizes by hitting a leap-up superplex followed up by BLUNT FORCE TRAUMA, ONE… TWO… THREE… LA KNIGHT HAS DEFEATED AJ STYLES CLEAN AS A FUCKING WHISTLE TO RETAIN THE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP!!! LA Knight has finally been legitimized as a world champion.
LA Knight defeats AJ Styles to retain the World Heavyweight Championship in 21:58
After the match, EDGE MAKES HIS FIRST APPEARANCE SINCE BEING SCREWED OUT OF THE WHC BY LA KNIGHT!!! Edge makes a beeline for LA Knight throwing rights & lefts at the champion before LEVELING HIM WITH A SPEAR. Edge lifts up the very same title that was stolen from him far too soon.
Raw November 6th, 2023
Edge comes out and talks about how 12 years ago, he was in the prime of his career having just retained the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania but just 8 days later he had to retire due to a neck injury and subsequently vacated the title. Not only did he come back 3 years ago so he could finish his career on his terms, but he also wanted to have the world title reign that he was robbed of over a decade ago. Edge calls out LA Knight for doing that to him not only in his hometown but right in front of his family as well. Edge wants a rematch for the title in A HARDCORE MATCH at SURVIVOR SERIES!!! LA Knight comes out and tells Edge to hold his fake outrage because all LA Knight did was do the same thing Edge has done not once but TWICE. LA Knight says that Edge made a career out of being an opportunist, a snake but now because Edge is old and considered a legend he thinks he can pander to the fans and all the sudden give a damn about right & wrong. LA Knight says whether he’s 40, 50, or 60 he’ll always be the same LA Knight because he’ll never claim to give a damn about these people and that’s a fact of life. LA Knight accepts the match so he can put Edge out to pasture for good.
Survivor Series 2023
LA Knight(c) vs Edge: Hardcore Match for the World Heavyweight Championship
This match is gonna fucking go hard, it’s the opportunist of old vs the opportunist of new. Edge isn’t playing any games tonight and he starts throwing all different sorts of weapons into the ring. This match is a fucking car crash that sees both men beaten & broken. LA Knight gets set up on the Apron, flaming table behind him, Edge is poised for a spear. It’s WrestleMania 22 all over again. Edge goes for it but someone moves LA Knight and EDGE CRASHES & BURNS RIGHTS THROUGH THE FLAMING TABLE WITH NOBODY HOME. The man who helped LA Knight is… KEVIN OWENS!!! LA Knight rolls Edge back into the ring and hits BLUNT FORCE TRAUMA, KNIGHT MAKES THE COVER, ONE… TWO… THREE!!! LA KNIGHT HAS DEFEATED EDGE TO RETAIN THE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP!!! In a cruel bit of irony, Edge’s very first world title reign started when HE cashed in MITB and his last world title reign ends when someone cashed in on HIM.
LA Knight defeats Edge to retain the World Heavyweight Championship in 29:15
Raw December 18th, 2023
Kevin Owens explained that him costing Edge the World Heavyweight Championship was nothing personal and it was all business. Owens needed Edge out of the title picture so he could move his way up, after all he is a prizefighter and he hasn’t won a the big prize in over 6 years. After dropping the WWE World Tag Team Titles, Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn went their separate ways without bloodshed for once. Both men have forged their path in the singles division with great success but now they find themselves both in contention for the World Heavyweight Championship. In the match itself, Owens & Zayn lay it all out in the ring until they are attacked by LA Knight who lays both men out with a steel chair. Triple H comes out and announced that BOTH MEN WILL CHALLENGE LA KNIGHT FOR THE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP AT ROYAL RUMBLE!!!
Royal Rumble 2024
LA Knight(c) vs Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn: World Heavyweight Championship
This match is an archaic fuckfest, we have two best friends who are currently on rocky grounds but if there’s one thing that can unite them, it’s their mutual hatred of LA Knight, YEAHHH. Owens & Sami focus all their attention on Knight, taking turns kicking his ass but there’s clear tension between them. LA Knight realizes that he’ll have to use that tension to his advantage and he manages to put them against each other. Despite all that, OWENS STILL MANAGES TO HIT AN AVALANCHE PACKAGE PILEDRIVER ON LA KNIGHT. Owens makes the cover, ONE… TWO… SAMI BREAKS THE PIN!!! Owens is pissed, he gets in Sami’s face and says “I’ve waited seven long years for this!” Sami retorts that, “this is my dream too!” Owens SLAPS Sami and they begin to brawl. They end up outside of the ring and OWENS HITS AN APRON POWERBOMB ON SAMI, KEVIN OWENS IS REALLY TRYING TO HURT SAMI. Owens enters the ring having almost forgotten about Knight and he is immediately hit with a thumb to the ray followed up by BLUNT FORCE TRAUMA. Knight makes the cover, ONE… TWO… OWENS BARELY KICKS OUT AND BOY IS HE FIRED UP!!! Owens spends the next few minutes just kicking the piss outta Knight. Owens hits his original finisher the POP-UP POWERBOMB but before he can make the cover, Sami limps back into the ring, his back is in excruciating pain but he refuses to let go of his dream of FINALLY becoming world champion. Sami is trading blows with Owens and he hits a reverse STO, followed by a Koji Clutch. OWENS IS FADING FAST, SAMI IS JUST SECONDS AWAY FROM BECOMING WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION!!! Knight breaks up to pins hitting Sami in his injured back but there is absolutely no quit in Sami and he hits the exploder suplex followed up by the Helluva Kick, Sami makes the cover, ONE… TWO… OWENS BREAKS UP THE PIN. Owens tosses Sami out of the ring and pins LA Knight, ONE… TWO… THREE. AFTER SEVEN LONG YEARS KEVIN OWENS IS ONCE AGAIN WORLD CHAMPION!!!
Kevin Owens defeats LA Knight & Sami Zayn to win the World Heavyweight Championship in 26:41
30 Man Royal Rumble Match
We fast forward to the Royal Rumble match and we see Johnny Gargano enter at #27. But before Gargano can enter the ring, LA KNIGHT COMES OUT AND SMASHES GARGANO WITH A STEEL CHAIR!!! Despite having competed earlier tonight, LA KNIGHT TAKES JOHNNY GARGANO’S SPOT IN THE ROYAL RUMBLE AT #27. He limps to the ring and knowing that he’s not at 100% he’ll have to pick his spots even more carefully. A handful of guys are attempting to hoist Braun Strowman over the top rope, Knight grabs Strowman’s arm from outside of the ring assisting in Strowman’s elimination. Knight also manages to score a sneaky elimination over old rival Cameron Grimes. Things are seriously looking up for LA Knight. #28 & #29 come out and LA Knight is still hanging in there, just maybe his luck is finally turning around. That is until entrant #30 who is STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN!!! He runs fast for a 60 year old man and he is hitting Stunners like it’s 1998. LA Knight is completely incensed when he lays eyes on the man who ruined his first WrestleMania. LA Knights gets the jump on Austin, but the Texas Rattlesnake won’t go down with out a fight and he’s throwing haymakers back at Knight followed up by a Stunner that’s send LA Knight flying over the top rope. LA KNIGHT HAS BEEN ELIMINATED!!! It’s all good though as Gunther chops Austin into oblivion and throws him over the top rope putting Gunther over huge. Not gonna go into detail about the rest of the Rumble since it’s not relevant to the story but GUNTHER WINS!!!
Gunther wins the Royal Rumble in 1:04:28
Raw January 28th, 2024
LA Knight vs Sami Zayn: Elimination Chamber Qualifier
It’s only been 48 hours since LA Knight lost the World Heavyweight Championship then failed to win the Royal Rumble match getting eliminated by none other than “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, the man who embarrassed LA Knight at last year’s WrestleMania. Tonight, LA Knight faces a man who also feels that he deserves to be World Heavyweight Champion and that is Sami Zayn. These two have an absolute barnburner of a match as they both have unfinished business from Royal Rumble. SAMI ZAYN BEATS LA KNIGHT TO QUALIFY FOR THE ELIMINATION CHAMBER!!!
Sami Zayn defeats LA Knight in 18:45
Raw February 5th, 2024
We start off with a promo from “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and talks about why he entered the Royal Rumble Match. Austin says that he wants whoop some ass and have one final round with the WWE Title and he says that he’s going to enter the chamber and open a can a whoop ass on the five unlucky SOB’s who will be stuck in a chamber with him. That’s when LA Knight’s music his and Austin looks up the ramp expecting Knight to make his way down, BUT AUSTIN GETS CLOBBERED FROM BEHIND WITH A STEEL CHAIR FROM LA KNIGHT!!! LA Knight targets the bad knees of Austin bashing them into the ring post then finally, Knight wraps the chair over Austin’s knee and is getting ready to snap the leg of a 60 year old legend but JOHNNY GARGANO COMES OUT AND RUNS KNIGHT OFF!!!
Elimination Chamber 2024
LA Knight vs Johnny Gargano
The story here is simple, Johnny Gargano wants revenge for being robbed of a spot in the Royal Rumble. Gargano puts on a great showing against Knight which causes him to resort to every heel tactic he can think of to gain the advantage. LA Knight rips off the turnbuckle padding but turns around into a superkick from Gargano. He then picks him up and tries to lawn dart him right into the turnbuckle but Knight slides off and pushes Gargano head first into the exposed turnbuckle. LA Knight sets up for Blunt Force Trauma but that’s when we hear GLASS SHATTER!!! ITS STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN AND HES ON TBE RAMP STARING A HOLE THROUGH LA KNIGHT. This distraction allows for Johnny Gargano to hit a reverse rana followed up by the ONE FINAL BEAT, ONE… TWO… THREE!!! With the help of Austin Johnny Gargano has defeated LA Knight avenging the Screwjob at the Royal Rumble.
Johnny Gargano defeats LA Knight in 11:11
After the match, Austin storms the ring and a huge fucking brawl ensues between the two, multiple referees & security try to break up the braw which allows LA Knight to get away. But Austin isn’t done yet and he clears the ring with STUNNER AFTER STUNNER ON EVERYONE. LA KNIGHT LOOKS HORRIFIED AT WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN TO HIM NEXT!!!!!
WrestleMania 40
LA Knight vs “Stone Cold” Steve Austin: No Holds Barred
This match semi-main events Night One of WrestleMania 40. This match is going to be an Attitude Era style chaos. The match starts off hot with Austin throwing lefts & rights at the loudmouth LA Knight. AUSTIN GOES FOR AN EARLY STUNNER, but LA Knight leaves the ring. Austin doesn’t let up however and he drills Knight with a huge clothesline and starts throwing him into the barricade and into the steel steps. They begin fighting on rope of the announce table and that’s when AUSTIN HITS A HUGE BACK DROP ON LA KNIGHT RIGHT THROUGH THE GERMAN ANNOUNCE TABLE!!! Austin rolls Knight back into the ring but is met with a STUNNER FROM LA KNIGHT WHO JUST STOLE AUSTIN’S MOVE, ONE… TWO… AUSTIN KICKS OUT. LA Knight lays down the ground & pound on Austin and now AUSTIN IS BLEEDING LIKE A STUCK PIG as JR would say. Austin doesn’t go down east and he hits A MASSIVE STONE COLD STUNNER ON LA KNIGHT, ONE… TWO… LA KNIGHT KICKS OUT. Austin’s age begins to catch up and LA Knight outclasses Austin from a wrestling stand point. Austin goes for one last Stunner but LA Knight catches him in a single leg powerbomb followed up by BLUNT FORCE TRAUMA ON AUSTIN, ONE… TWO… AUSTIN KICKS OUT!!! Austin slowly makes his way back to his feet and he looks at LA Knight and flips him the bird one last time, LA Knight hits Blunt Force Trauma one last time. HE MAKES THE COVER, ONE… TWO… THREE… LA KNIGHT HAS DONE THE UNTHINKABLE AND DEFEATS STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN AT WRESTLEMANIA!!! After the match, Austin gets his moment in the ring and nods at LA Knight giving his stamp of approval.
LA Knight defeated “Stone Cold” Steve Austin in 21:39
Later that night, Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens are squaring off in the main event for the World Heavyweight Championship. They have done virtually everything together, they’ve been faces, they’ve been heels, they’ve been tag team champions, they’ve had blood feuds but NEVER have they they met in the main event of WrestleMania for a World Championship. These two former best friends have gone nearly 30 minutes and it’s an absolute barnburner of a match. Kevin Owens has Sami dead to rights but he make a miraculous comeback and hits one finally Helluva Kick to win the match!!! SAMI ZAYN AFTER OVER A DECADE GRINDING IN THE WWE IS FINALLY WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION!!! Confetti is falling from the sky, various members of the babyface roster come out to celebrate with Sami who they recognize as really deserving of this moment. While everyone is celebrating, we see a beaten up & limping LA Knight at the top of the entrance ramp staring a hole through the new World Heavyweight Champion to end Night One of WrestleMania 40.
LA Knight would be cemented as one of the top heels in WWE for years to come. Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens would put their feud to rest until a possible retirement match between them down the line. Kevin Owens & Edge would eventually have their match at Summerslam, ideally set in Canada where Edge can officially retire for good this time. Sami Zayn would enjoy a prosperous reign as World Heavyweight Champion putting on bangers against anyone & everyone, that is until LA Knight finds himself back in the title picture and regain the championship and kickstart yet another great run with the title.
submitted by bigjohn14325 to FantasyBookingElite [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 05:56 anjelcatt Who we hanging with? I’m at 3 😂😂

Who we hanging with? I’m at 3 😂😂 submitted by anjelcatt to BaddiesSouth [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 05:44 No-Tomorrow8686 I'm not okay

I've never been good at expressing myself or how I feel due to the stigma and outlandish nature and severity of some of my issues. But in the short 19 years I've been alive, I've never told anyone the things I've done, or the things others have done to me in an attempt to take them to my grave. But seeing as I outlived the life expectancy I imagined, I figured typing it out would allow me to let go of it and feel better because I feel horrible. So, without further stalling, I think I'll just hop into it, starting at the beginning.
When I was little, I lived a life similar to what I'm accustomed to now. Alone and fairly lonely, the few friends I had were due to being more well-adjusted or, at the very least, less fucked up. In addition, one of my friends was the child of my mother's best friend, and we were about the same age. The earliest memory I have is when I was 4 years old and something I can't remember happened. I was upset about something, and my mom left me in the room to cry while she went and played with my friend. While this situation has little relevance today, I think it's a good example of the catalyst that drove my behavior all through my life to what it is now, mainly my relationship with my mom, along with others we'll get to later.
My mother was not the nicest to me, and as I grew older, I would learn how much of an understatement that was. So skip forward a couple of years due to my memory and the irrelevancy of them to the story. Basically, I was a normal-ish kid with a few friends here and there who occasionally got in trouble, for which I almost always got my ass kicked, but who didn't? Jumping back in at around 9 years old, I was in the third grade, probably my favorite year in school due to having met my best friends and getting along with most other kids. The abuse had already taken hold at this age; I was already pretty apathetic to most feelings and never smiled. It was so noticeable that when I finally did smile, a girl at lunch pointed it out like she had seen a unicorn. But I wasn't depressed; I was just angry and didn't know how to express myself.
As a result, I got into more trouble, some of it BS, some of it not, such as my music teacher sending me to the principal for mouthing curse words while quietly talking to myself. In my defense, I wasn't talking about her; I was all the way in the back and didn't know the ambiguous individual could read lips. In fifth grade, I had a female teacher and her assistant whom I disliked because the teacher, in my opinion, was a dick and her assistant would constantly misinterpret what I said as if I were speaking Japanese. She asked me for a paper, and it being a round table, I didn't want to bend all the way across the table to slide her the paper. So I slid the paper gently across the table, and, as anticlimactic as it sounds, the paper slowly made its way to her, and she did not even attempt to grab it or stop it. Instead, she let it fall on the floor and claimed I "threw" it at her. I got sent to my homie at this point, the principal (she wasn't my biggest fan either).
These two incidents led to some of the worst ass beatings I've received at this point in my life. I would later come home to my mom, who is about 2.5 times bigger and stronger than me, and she was furious. I was punched in my chest and thrown into a stool on the ground, followed by a merciless beating with a belt, and left alone to stare at a wall, wallowing in my sadness. I think I could have handled the physical abuse, but the most damaging was the mental and verbal abuse. I would be forced to strip down to my t-shirt and underwear and stand at the door for hours. while she faked phone calls to my relatives, telling them to come get me and that I'd be leaving, before telling me to go sit down. I was constantly threatened with my life if I didn't comply, told I was a worthless "father less individual", etc. I would yell and scream so loudly that apparently our neighbors could hear it, which led to DCFS being called.
How it was explained to me was that the lady next door was crazy (even though we knew her kid, who was like 2 years younger and went to the same school), and the DCFS agent would take me away to a horrible place, a foster home. My mother told me that if that were the case, I wouldn't be placed with my other family members; nope, straight to the government. She came in my room a week before the agent to "warn" me of the dangers I might face if I snitched on her. She made me watch an hour-long documentary about people who were abused by the staff of foster homes, drilling into my head that if I ended up there, the other kids would pick on me and steal from me. That the staff would repeatedly molest (she had a weird thing with this one; I was asked about it every other day if "someone was playing with my butt" completely unprompted from 3rd to 6th grade) me and my toe would be eaten by mice as she claimed happened to my cousin (apparently he needed his toe graphed back on but I never confirmed this with him).
All of this terrified me, so when the time came to nut up or shut up, my nuts retracted back upstairs, and I most definitely shut up big time. Unable to process my emotions, they started manifesting in anger, which led to me being excluded from certain events at school like the outdoor fun day. I had to stay inside while everyone else played. The principal told me that she was going easy on me, and had she been following the rules, I'd have been expelled from elementary school already (I did get suspended though). When it came time to visit the middle school near the end of the year, I had to beg them to let me go because apparently my reputation preceded me, and the middle school principal knew who I was and asked me not to come because of my behavior. My mother had an overwhelming amount of control over my life and others that I would only learn about when I was older (she was responsible for me being in the same class as my best friend 3rd through 5th grade and making sure they served food I would eat on an out-of-state field trip so I wouldn't starve). (It's not really negative, but it sets the tone for how it would soon turn negative.)
Sixth grade rolled around, but this time I got to stay with my great-grandmother in the south. The entire time away from my mother and I improved significantly; I made a lot more friends (probably because of southern hospitality) and overall had a good time (trust me, it was an oddly cool school with equally cool teachers) except for a couple other issues that came with living with my grandma. I returned the next year to mom and a new middle school. All that progress from earlier, yeah, went straight out the window almost immediately. My anger had subsided, and what was left developed into a deep depression and resentment for people, my mom included. I thought people were worthless, making friends useless, so I went out of my way to avoid most people for the longest time. Until I succumbed to my social urges and made a few friends by avoiding the lunch room and eating in one of the science classes with some kids I had other classes with. During this time, I was reluctantly in "therapy" (I had been there since elementary, just talking to social workers, but nothing came of it until now).
Trouble would always seem to follow me; anytime a message was relayed from the school to mom, it almost guaranteed an ass beating. I would seemingly get in trouble for nothing, and my teachers would unknowingly be sending me on my way down death row to meet the executioner. Once I got in trouble for "throwing" another paper. I didn't realize we needed it and put it in the recycling, but the teacher saw it and told me to keep it, so I put it under my seat, and it fell through the bars of my chair basket while I wasn't looking, and she was mad at me for it. I also told my math teacher to "stop harassing me" because every 5 minutes she was hounding me about completing some work I had no intention of doing. That mistake was damn near fatal because, for some reason, I wasn't allowed to feel harassed, and telling my teacher that was apparently way out of pocket. I should also mention I had good grades up until I eventually began failing them.
All of this leads to more violent abuse. I was shoved into a wall, which hurt my arm so bad I needed an ice pack (and had to lie to the nurse about why I needed it). The next day, I was repeatedly hit with a broom, picked up by my collar, and slammed into walls before being thrown on the ground. The physical pain would subside in hours, but because what was done and said to me never left, I would almost always be left to sit and stare alone with my thoughts, and because of this, my mental state would degrade rapidly. Nothing else could bring me to tears like the pain of the person responsible for your entire life, who was supposed to love you unconditionally, constantly tormenting you. Her words would pierce and sting, while the same thing said to me by anyone else would roll off me like water off a duck's back.
Unable to escape the constant beratement, and depending on the severity, this would send me into suicidal spirals, and when I hit emotional rock bottom and couldn't feel any worse about myself, it was the only thing I looked forward to and all I thought about for months. When people asked me, "NT (Me), what are you going to be when you grow up?" or "NT, you're getting older. Have you thought about what you're going to do when you reach x (usually 18+) years old?" I had no idea, no answer. In my mind, living to be older than 16 seemed impossible. They were right when they said time would fly by. Back at school, the stress was getting to me. During a random game of Uno, I broke down and expressed some of my feelings, along with the fact that I was almost getting my ass beat with random objects on a weekly basis.
This ultimately led to no improvements in my life, just more people in my business. The process of them trying to help was akin to getting a law passed, full of procedures and red tape they had to follow because there was no physical evidence—I had no cuts, bruises, or wounds they could see. All they had to go on was the testimony of an emotionally disturbed preteen. They recommended I be placed in a mental hospital. I stayed after school while they called my dad to pick me up, and the car ride was silent until we arrived at the hospital. He asked, "Do you want to go in?" I said, "Yeah," and he couldn't figure out why he said I had it easy as a child. Because all I had to worry about was school and I had no bills to pay, I shouldn't have any reason to kill myself. I was essentially overreacting to him. So we went home.
Because I'm about to enter the next arc of my story. I'll share some extra fun facts that aren't directly related to the story, but I'd be remiss if I didn't. Our principal told us we had too many students for what the building was originally intended for. One day, while walking up the narrow stairs in between a crowd of kids rushing for their lockers, I was knocked over and trampled. I had at least two feet up my ass, one in my back, and one on top of my head, and I couldn't get up because no one could see me. Not long after, a teacher had to stop them from walking up the stairs so I could get up. When I got to my locker, the person whose locker was next to mine casually mentioned the trampling, and to be honest, it had only happened 30 seconds before, so I was pretty blown when she said that (I looked at her like, yeah, ambiguous individual, that was me y'all were just stepping on) and I told her, "Yeah, that was me." But let's not forget the time two of my classmates were fucking around playfighting and threw each other in such a way that the dude kicked me in the face. I sat in the same spot on the wall while waiting for my teacher, and, believe it or not, lightning does strike twice, because they were fucking around again and kicked me in the face in nearly the same way. This was an advisory class we had only once a week, and to make a long story even longer, I learned not to sit next to that wall anymore.
I began high school at the age of 14 and remained largely unchanged during this time. I still couldn't talk to anyone and dealt with the stress of going home to my mom, which significantly impacted how I behaved and how my grades would turn out at first. I had almost all A's before spiraling downward; at that point, I stopped caring what others thought of me and did whatever I could to make myself feel better. I would sleep in hallways on the floor, skip class, and do little to no work. I couldn't concentrate and wasn't worried about the consequences of my decisions until I graduated. The food in my house would run short, and my mom always told me if I ate it all before she went back to the grocery store, she wouldn't buy any more. I started skipping meals and eating less per meal to stretch the food we had, and at times I couldn't move without being doubled over in pain.
I was confined to my room almost constantly. I wasn't allowed to go anywhere but school, a couple of nearby restaurants, and back home. I couldn't leave my house if I wanted to hang out with friends (if only I had any) because I had to be in her presence at all times. I hypothesized about going to hang out with a female friend and was told I wouldn't be allowed to without her following behind us (I was 17 when I asked). If I wanted to hang out with a male friend, they had to go through a background check of sorts (it was easier to get a gun card than to get some friends I could hang with). I had to get their parents' phone numbers so she could talk to them, and then she would decide whether or not I could go, which wasn't even a guarantee. Imagine you're in school, and a kid who wants to be friends with you tells you they need your parents to talk to each other and give their permission. That's embarrassing. I would imagine I'd be laughed at and made fun of, or they wouldn't go through all the trouble for someone who was already known as an incredibly strange individual, so most of the time I never tried out of fear of this.
I had no way to cope surrounded by people, and knowing what some of them might think of me, I would put my head down for weeks in every class because at this point I was genuinely terrified of people. I had developed selective mutism and would not talk to 98 percent of students and about 80 to 90 percent of staff; when I did, it was in short, vague sentences and almost only when spoken to. Up until I was 15, the abuse continued the same as before, but as I got older, it became more Physical I had mostly stopped getting hit with belts, and when I did get hit, it was in the arm and chest, with the occasional hit in the mouth. I'd be backed into a corner while my mother yelled the most vile and hurtful things at me. I was told I ruined her life and that I kept her from having a life. If I ever lost my keys, I would immediately be in trouble, but if I lied about it, that was even worse. My mom worked from home before it was cool to work from home, so she was almost constantly home. If I had lied about having my keys, I would have been locked out of the house for hours until she finished working, rain or shine; snowing and cold; hot and humid; it didn't matter. But that mostly stopped when the damage it did to me became apparent, and I had a psychotic episode.
My mother was upset with me for some reason and was yelling loudly about how worthless I was, that she wished I was never born, and so on. (At this point, I was the most miserable I'd been in a long time. My mental state was comparable to the fragility of a ceramic plate: solid, sturdy, and functional. Just pray to God you don't drop it if you'd like it to remain intact.) I became late because I had misplaced my hat, but when I told her I had it in my pocket, she said, "Let me see it then; why is it not on your head? Put it on!" So I began looking for my hat in my bookbag, and when I found it, she snatched it from my grasp and smacked me on the head with it. I felt something click inside me, like a light switch being turned on. Without warning, I began having a psychotic breakdown. I put my hands on my head and started screaming as loud as I could uncontrollably, "I can't take it! I can't take it anymore," repeatedly while frantically shuffling like a chicken with its head cut off in front of my mom. I had no control over my actions, and my mother stopped me and pulled my hands off my head, but I wouldn't stop screaming, and she had to calm me down in order for me to stop. It was terrifying for the both of us because I think it was the first time she had ever seen anything like that, and it was the first time I ever did anything like that. The feeling was terrifying almost indescribable the closest comparison I could make is to the tea cup scene from get out. I felt like I got yanked out my body while simultaneously remaining in there like my soul was trapped behind my eyes and all I could do is watch.
After that experience, my mother began to soften her stance toward me, and the big 19 began, so I had virtual classes for about two years that I never finished, but I persevered and eventually graduated (while failing a significant number of classes), and when I did, I was enrolled in an alternative school. When I was eighteen, me and my mom got into an argument because I didn't want to go back to school. It was boring and sad because there were only two or three kids in my class, and we did elementary school work all day. There were no phones, we had to wear uniforms, and free time was scarce. The only slightly good part was that we worked a couple hours a day and they paid us. But it was only four dollars an hour, and we worked two hours each day unless you were in the special work program, which meant you worked two extra hours after school. With the long cab ride there, I'd get home around 5:30 to 6:00 every day, only to wake up at 8 a.m. and do it all over again. But we agreed that if I found a job before school resumed, I wouldn't have to go. I had a week and a half to do it.
I applied everywhere and even made it all the way through orientation at one place, but I was in a factory doing 12 hour shifts and about 4 miles from my house, so I turned it down because I was scared and had to be realistic because walking multiple miles through areas I'd never been to daily was just too much for me. I was told I had to leave if I wasn't working or going to school, and I couldn't stay the night. I was kicked out after calling my grandparents, who said I could stay with them. I packed two weeks worth of clothes and walked over there. The first few weeks were weird, but I finally saw the light at the end of the world's darkest and longest tunnel. For the first time in years, I knew what it was like to not be abused and verbally assaulted on a daily basis. But, unfortunately, I was beyond repair, at least on my own. I searched for a job and tried to enroll in college, but I was never taught or allowed to do that growing up. I was raised indoors and was never taught the skills needed to survive outside. I still didn't know how to talk to people, and I was terrified of them. I would have panic attacks a couple times a month and rely on others to feed and clothe me. I was wearing the same two weeks worth of clothes for several months until my great-grandmother sent me more.
Around this time I started smoking weed, and it was amazing how those first times getting high were the best and made me forget all about my problems and truly relax. But I didn't know what I was getting into and developed an exponentially growing habit. I started taking fake Xanax and getting slumped while I went about my day high as a kite. Just to forget about the majority of what I did the following day. The only reason my Xan problem didn't get out of hand was that I kept losing all of the pills after a few times, so I stopped buying them. But it was too late when I exhausted the small amount I had and began withdrawing. Let me tell you, like anyone else who has dealt with Xan withdrawals will tell you, they are not to be played with; hell isn't even a good enough comparison. It's something I truly wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. (My mom excluded.) I had severe paranoia, extreme agitation, a splitting headache that wouldn't quit, and panic attacks frequently (plus a strong urge to KMS as well, which is normal at this point). But I was lucky: Xanax is the only drug that can kill you by going cold turkey, and if your body became physically dependent, you were more than likely to have multiple seizures coming your way.
My replacement for Xanax was fake Mallinckrodt pills, aka dirty 30s, blues, perc 30s, or whatever name you used or knew they were synonymous with fentanyl or worse. (Believe me when I say they most definitely make things worse than fent) I'm confident I got worse because they didn't test positive for fent, which means its something the test couldn't detect. I turned full junkie and was smoking them off foil before I was 19. I overdosed twice going to sleep, and I was never confident if I was going to wake up. The opioid withdrawals are 100x easier than the Xans, and I was smoking drugs stronger than fentanyl. I quit those, and not too long after, I was taking fake ecstasy pills and Molly capsules, which, aside from the slight stimulant psychosis and vomiting, were probably my favorites. They let me experience happiness for the first time and gave me the ability to communicate and interact with other people. It felt like I'd been missing something my entire life.
Now I'm 19 on the cusp of being a broke "adult" with no real skills, aspirations, or anything positive going for him. This year I discovered while in high school I was diagnosed with autism, ADHD, ODD, social anxiety disorder, and antisocial personality disorder, all while attending school, and nobody ever told me or hinted at it to me in the slightest at all. I guess they just wanted me to cruise through life ignorant and struggling. I'm constantly reminded of how much of a burden I am because I can't do much more than take care of myself. I hide it somewhat well due to my lifelong fear of being mistaken for insane, but it takes an enormous amount of effort to even get out of bed and make something to eat. In order to keep the invasive thoughts and feelings away, I have to keep myself entertained and amused all day or else the feelings come rushing back. I honestly hate my life. I have little to look forward to and regret my almost entire life due to me ruining any chance at fun I had growing up because of how I behaved. I can barely leave my house, and if I go anywhere beyond a couple of blocks, I have panic attacks and get extreme anxiety that effects me physically. I feel my ability to comprehend and understand things slowing down. It's harder to focus and pay attention, and I feel almost like an alien when I'm around other people.
Recently, I had a phone call with my mom and had a panic attack (we haven't spoken in 2 years since I was put out). It was just like old times, when she was mad at me about a misunderstanding and was yelling and screaming about how I don't care that I'm wasting her money. (she bought my phone as a gift on a payment plan when I turned 18) As an adult I felt extremely disrespected by the things she said so before my mental health suffered anymore I hung up mid sentence and blocked her. The next day my phone was bricked and completely unusable, as it was technically not paid for, so somebody had to get me a new phone. Today I feel extremely hopeless towards any chance of repairing my life. I don't know what to do and I wish I did. I wish I could shake this dead man walking feeling I've got. Throughout the day, life doesn't even feel real at times. I feel as though if I keep hanging in there, eventually someone's going to find me hanging from somewhere. I don't know how my relatives do it. I could never imagine being their age. This isn't everything that's ever happened to me (I know it's hard to believe), but I feel I've described my story as concisely as possible in a semi-chronological order. Anything else would just be extra or I'd be repeating myself. With all that being said, my think noodle is hurting, and I think (clearly I do too much of this) I need to find it some dopamine. I appreciate anyone who takes the time to read this fully because, as God knows, I can't tell a living soul who knows me this. Night. -NT
submitted by No-Tomorrow8686 to offmychest [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 05:19 Halasham Gauntlet[Campaign 1]

Be me: Kol-Jha, Koldemar Sorcerer
Be not me: DM; Silit, Kobold Rogue; Levi/The Replacement, Suli Warpriest; Vira Noral Vitalist; Velius Sylph, Druid; Spoon, Changeling Fighter;
After slaying the minor army of undead we complete the ritual and now to find the source...
There's one location left on the map; The Ruins.
Time to put a stop to all this undeath.
Arriving to the ruins Levi mentions they're less ruinous than they were before.
Kol mentions that a necromancer might be interested in having their undead refurbish the place.
DM calls for Perception...
Flickering flames from down the hallway but vision is reduced...
SomeA thing rumbling and wind whirring comes from down the hall...
Silit crouches and disappears from view Skyrim style
She sneaks on up and peeks around a corner...
She sees animate piles of rocks shambling about and dust devils milling about apparently of their own volition.
There's some kind of barrier blocking the door on the far side.
Knowledge(Planes)... and she fails the check.
She brings the info back and Kol manages a Nat1 IDing one type and not much better on the other.
Between the whole party we kinda know what the rocks are and know for sure the dust devils are air elementals.
We cast our buffs and Initiative is rolled.
Vira managed to roll -1 on Initiative...
Levi charges in! Or not as DM is claiming a corner of the room's wall is preventing a charge...
A little geometry later and he's got his charge.
Silit's turn. She takes aim and fires a bolt at one of the air elementals... critical miss. Weapon jammed, no attack next turn.
Velius... decides to start summoning a Crocodile.
The Earth elementals try and fail to strike Levi
Kol throws Jolt trying to zap one of the elementals... don't know if it did anything.
Vira's turn. She tries to steal HP... and fails.
The elementals try to attack Levi and fail
Levi's turn! He empowers his blades with elemental power and attacks the Earth Elementals.
Silit... can't attack but can move. They reposition for a good position.
Velius! His croc appears! They toss a mudball... and it misses.
The croc! Also misses.
The Earth Elementals hit Levi
Kol moves up and misses throwing another Jolt.
Vira steps into melee to steal health.
Air elementals... wiff.
Levi slays the first air elemental!
Silit misses.
Velius & Croc. The Croc chomps on an air elemental... or not, miss.
Velius moves up and stabs... missing.
Kol moves into melee and confirms a crit with his Tail Attachment... too bad they're immune.
Vira fails again to steal health.
Levi manages a single hit against one of the Earth Elementals.
Silit's turn... miss
Velius stabs the air elemental and the croc finishes it off.
Velius repositions to give Levi flanking
The Earth elementals crit Levi! Crit table: 'Chest struck, heart punctured by ribs, immediate death'
Well damn, none of us have revives.
The other manages to hit Velius
Kol throws Jolt and steps up to provide flanking.
Vira steps up... and wiffs.
V&C the croc moves up and chomps then Velius finishes it off.
The final Earth Elemental hits Vira
Kol wiffs.
Vira... manages to steal HP from it!
Velius kills the last earth elemental and the barrier falls.
And the next fight begins immediately: Two large fire elementals!
Proper disclosure: Mood thoroughly soured by this point.
Kols turn as we kept init order. Hit.
Vira steals more HP.
The elementals slay the croc.
Silit takes aim... and misses.
Velius summons a geyser to douse the fire elementals
Kol fails to connect w a Jolt
Vira also misses.
An elemental misses trying to hit Kol
The other provokes AoO from Kol & Vira
Kol misses, Vira hits... and it sets her clothes on fire.
Silit makes a break past the fire elementals to get good aim on them.
They manage to set Silit on fire.
Velius casts create water, dousing Silit.
Kol connects a Jolt to the first elemental.
Vira... is still on fire but she manages to steal it's HP
The gyser douses them again.
The elemental strikes Velius and sets them on fire too...
Silit manages a hit against them... would've been a crit if these weren't elementals.
Velius' turn. Creative spellwork douses both Velius and Vira with Create Water
Kol provokes two AoOs and laughs them both off... however he should've spent more time aiming and less time laughing as he misses.
Vira slays one and steals 5 more HP for us.
Footsteps behind us... somebody has entered the ruin.
The fire elemental's slams continue to bounce off Kols unbreakable defenses.
Silit fails to connect with another bolt.
Velius throws mudball... and hits blinding the elemental.
Kol connects with Jolt
Vira follows up stealing HP for the party
The footfalls come closer, somebody jogging up on us from behind.
An animate suit of armor... wielding a giant spoon in both hands.
It strikes the elemental slaying it.
All of us but Vira press onward to continue the dungeon delving...
Vira tries to talk to Spoon. Spoon replies with writing then runs off after the party.
Silit leads the way deeper in...
The finds a few elementals... and they spot her.
Kol steps up to defend her... and cast Light because it's dark in here and the healer can't see.
The elementals move up to engage Kol and all miss
Vira's turn. She stumbles forward in the dark trying to get to the light.
Spoon charges into battle... and misses.
More XP joins the fray.
Silit 5ft steps back and fires a crossbow bolt at some of the encroaching hoard of elementals.
Velius joins the fray and stabs at one... and sets himself on fire again.
Kol steps back and Jolts
The elementals advance and try to kill Spoon
Vira leeches more HP from the enemy.
The elemental fair to hit Kol again.
Silit nails one through the melee.
Velius throws their burning spear at an earth elemental
Kol has a new toy... and decided he can spare one casting: Lightning Bolt
Slay one Earth Elemental, seriously wound a second, and zap a fire pretty good too
The Earth Elementals manage to wound Spoon.
Spoon rolls a crit-fail. ree
Silit puts an elemental down.
Velius grabs his backup spear and stabs at the fire elemental.
Kol throws Jolt provoking 2 AoOs. He hits and the elementals decide to try and focus Kol
Vira steals more HP slaying one.
Spoon steps up and cleaves! Dissipating a fire elemental.
Velius fumbles but keeps their footing.
The elementals continue their onslaught with Spoon taking another big hit.
Vira goes to steal more HP
Spoon gets a strike in.
The elementals ineffectually bounce off Kols invulnerable defenses.
Silit gets a crit-miss... they stumble but manage to not fall on their face
Velius stabs... miss.
Kol tries to tail-strike and his tail-attachment breaks on a crit-miss.
The elementals manage to wound Spoon again.
Vira slays the fire elemental stealing the last of it's HP
Silit keeps on pumping bolts into elementals, racking up another kill
Velius' turn. They reposition to get flanking and strike true.
Kol Jolts in melee costing them their AoOs.
The remaining two decide to focus Velius wounding them.
Vira rips more HP keeping us all nice and healthy
Spoon drops his spoon. Crit-miss, and picking up his weapon he takes the AoOs Kol usually laughs off, taking serious damage.
Silit runs past and attacks the Obelisk in the room.
Velius takes a look at the Obelisk and they believe it to be a summoning system that'll refresh the room
Kol steps away to look at the Obelisk...
Spoon gets hit by the elementals again.
Vira slays another elemental and redistributes it's HP
Spoon reduces the Earth elemental to rubble
Silit readies an action to counter a summoned elemental
Velius... walks up and pokes the Obelisk with their spear.
Kol throws Jolt and chips the Obelisk
Vira tries siphoning HP
Spoon's spoon does nothing to it.
Silit's turn... can't hurt this thing, she's on overwatch for elementals
Velius burns a FlameBlade scroll...
Kol Shocking Grasps the Obelisk and takes a decent amount of HP off of it.
The Obelisk summons a new elemental and Silit nails a bolt into it.
Spoon strikes the new elemental then twists his ankle falling flat on his face trying to follow through to the Obelisk
Silit reposition for a clear line of fire and hits the elemental again.
Kol wiffs his Shocking Grasp and crit-fails.
Vira rips more HP off the new elemental
Spoon cleaves cutting more HP off the elemental but does nothing to the Obelisk.
Silit continues to lob bolts at the elemental
Velius slashes with his Flameblade
Kol connects with his Shocking Grasp.
Spoon PAs and... no damage on the Obelisk
More SP tax on Kol trying to kill the Obelisk
Kobold overwatch from Silit
Velius FBs the Obelisk
Kol loses balance but keeps his charge of Shocking Touch
Spoon & Vira join Silit on overwatch.
Velius slashes it
Kol is just regaining balance.
Party overwatch continues.
Velius slashes it again.
Kol connects with his Shocking Touch finally
The Obelisk summons more playthings for us.
The plaything dodges Spoon, then gets nailed by Silit, and finally gets HP drained by Vira
Velius taps the Obelisk for more fire damage
Kol pumps another Shocking Touch into the Obelisk slivering it.
The elemental hits spoon, wounding him.
Spoon hits it back, slaying it.
Velius and Kol finish it off with a Jolt and Flameblade
Session called, after midnight

Previous Session
submitted by Halasham to DnDGreentext [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 05:01 Harbinger_51 I do a job for the government none of you know about. You should.

It was a beautiful day in the fall, and though being in the middle of nowhere in Ohio isn’t exactly my ideal setting for an assignment, it could have been worse. Opening my windows, listening to music, and getting a good whiff of country air is a nice contrast to being cooped up in cities like I’m used to. The sight of brown stalks of corn populating the miles of fields along the road was welcome, as was the cool and clean smell of the air. It’s a good thing these jobs don’t involve much interaction with people. Unfortunately, some level of interaction is inevitable.

On my way to this one, I got a speeding ticket from a cop at some little local department. Though I was, in fact, speeding, I got the feeling that he also didn’t so much like seeing a fed in his neck of the woods. The local police aren’t a fan of us, so I’ve come to learn. They tend to get suspicious of us, thinking we’re up to some top-secret mission behind their backs. I guess they would be right.

I kept driving down the gravel road until the navigation let me know my destination was coming up on the right. Turning down the radio as I approached, I glanced toward the empty fields and the woods that met them beyond. I then turned into the long dirt driveway leading to our civilians’ house and garage.

I rolled up and parked with my trunk facing the porch. Stepping out, I got another whiff of the fresh country air and looked at the area of operations that lay before me. I was surprised at the amount of land and space that I had at my disposal. Space is good for these jobs. Additionally, I was informed that there weren’t any neighbors close enough to worry about. I couldn’t have asked for a better setting.

After stretching and letting out a light sigh, I decided it was time to get to work. I pulled the keychain out of my pocket and unlocked the front door. It seemed like a nice enough place. It was certainly nothing worth complaining about given the conditions of houses I’ve faced in my previous assignments. I went back outside to my massive, government-issued vehicle and opened the trunk.

I pulled the first couple of duffel bags worth of equipment out and brought them inside. The kitchen was as good a place as any to set up. After making five or six trips of dragging heavy bags and boxes of my junk into the house, I went back outside to open the garage. Thank God we were able to catch this case early and the civilians were able to make it out in time. It also meant I got room in the garage to park this thing. All that remained in the truck was the large metallic box, but I wasn’t going to need that until later.

I shut the trunk and pulled my vehicle into the garage, closing it on my way out. I stepped back into the house where I changed from my suit to my gear. Wearing the suit all day annoys me but I suppose the higher-ups want us to look like good, “friendly” feds to the public. The public has no idea the kind of monsters we are.

I unpacked box after box of equipment and weapons. I loaded up my Glock 17 with its extended 30-round magazine just as I did with my standard .556 rifle. I checked the laser sights on both. All good. Next was my favorite, the.338 with the best scope you could ever ask for. It sure is nice having a virtually infinite budget. Perks of working for the US federal government I suppose. The final firearm I brought was my personal .357 magnum revolver that I kept holstered on my chest. I figure it’s never a bad idea to have one more gun, just in case. Maybe I should have brought more on this one. If things got too close, I always had my hunting knife. I sharpened it that morning before heading out.

The next few hours consisted of me going out into the woods near the house in various places and setting up dozens of my little cameras equipped with motion sensors. They were there to give me an idea of the location of anything that got brave enough to get close to the fields that surrounded the house, I would be able to know about anything that was coming to me. I didn’t take too much caution in setting them up. Things never get interesting until nightfall.

I returned to the house where I turned on my laptop and assured that all the cameras were connected and working. I could see every single one of them from there and would know if anything so much as moved. I then got situated on a chair by the kitchen table, where I opened the window and set up my .338 rifle to watch the fields with.

I suppose it would be worth mentioning why I’m out here, setting up fancy equipment in the woods and loading up an arsenal of guns while I’m alone in a farmhouse that isn’t mine. Let’s back it up.

March 1st, 2017, 3:33 am, Iowa

Dispatch gets a call from a local farmer. He claims to be looking at a figure standing still at the edge of a treeline on his property. The description given by the farmer was that of a man of average stature and build, clothed in a loose black or grey shirt and trousers and a large-brimmed hat.

The farmer tells dispatch that he had awoken abruptly roughly an hour earlier, unspecified as to why. He spotted the figure outside his kitchen window soon after. The figure had been standing near the edge of a row of trees. It was facing the house and hadn’t moved a muscle since the farmer noticed him. The farmer quickly retrieved his rifle and walked out onto his lawn, proceeding to brandish his firearm and tell the trespasser that this property was his and to leave immediately. The farmer, seeing that the man remained unthreatened by his warning and display of a firearm, retreaded back into his home to retrieve his phone and call 9-1-1 as he continued to watch the figure from his porch.

During this call, the farmer’s voice was noticeably nervous and frightened. The desperate tone and quivering speech continued to worsen as he went on explaining the situation to dispatch. Dispatch instructed the farmer to remain where he stood and not to approach the trespasser. Dispatch reassured the farmer that the police were on their way. A few quiet and uneventful minutes passed. Then, without warning, the farmer let out a horrified scream through the phone. The call was disconnected seconds later.

The police began their over 40-minute drive to the residence. Halfway to their arrival, multiple new calls were coming to dispatch from the farmer’s neighbors. They reported seeing a large stack of smoke coming from the farmer’s home, and the closest reported seeing the house on fire.

By the time police arrived, the house had burned to the ground. The fire department arrived shortly after but oddly enough, the fire had completely subsided. What remained was the charred crumbs of what was once a house. The firefighters that arrived on site were bewildered by how quickly the fire must have burned the house. There was no explanation they could fathom.

The police searched the nearby fields and woods for the farmer and alleged trespasser to no avail, however, their search was quickly called back upon the findings of the firefighters in the house. The man’s charred bones were found beneath the rubble but not as they should have been. It became clear after further investigation that the man’s limbs were ripped from his body before it was incinerated at an impossible speed. 4 .308 bullet casings were found where the porch of the house used to be. The rifle was found just outside of the house, unscathed despite its proximity to such a violent fire. Forensics confirmed that the rifle had fired these casings but the bullets themselves were never found.

This was the first, but far from the last.

October 28th, 2017, 11:07 pm, Montana

Dispatch gets a call from a rancher who spotted a woman in an old-fashioned black and white dress and wearing a linen cap. The rancher claimed the woman was standing amongst his cattle and not moving. The rancher expressed no panic or concern for his safety over the phone, but rather a concern for the woman in the field. The rancher also noted that his cattle kept their distance around the woman.

An ambulance arrived at 11:29. Paramedics found no trace of the alleged woman. They walked to the entrance of the rancher’s house and discovered his door to be unlocked and open. After calling for the rancher and getting no response, they stepped inside to be greeted by the corpse of the rancher, hanging from a noose in his stairwell. The man had no history of mental illness and none of his relatives or acquaintances had any reason to believe he was suicidal. Additionally, an autopsy report concluded that both arms were broken in multiple places as well as every finger as if they had been crumpled together by a great force. He could not have tied the noose himself.

November 29th, 2018, 2:06 am, Wisconsin

Dispatch gets a call from another farmer. He had spotted a woman in an old black and white dress and linen cap. The woman had been standing in the long driveway from the road to his house, lit by the lamp that covered it. She stood motionless in the cold, windy, and heavily snowing weather. The farmer and his wife were later found under a collapsed wall of their crumpled house with stones placed on top. They had been placed in a seemingly orderly fashion until there was enough weight to crush their bones.

This happens to be the first incident we have on record with photo evidence. A trail cam owned by the farmer and his wife a few acres away from the house caught a picture the night of the incident. It caught a picture of the woman exactly as the farmer had described. Black and white dress, white linen camp. It looked as though she had stepped through time from hundreds of years before and placed like a mannequin in front of the camera.

May 30th, 2019, Minnesota

September 3rd, 2019, Nebraska

January 4th, 2020, South Dakota

I could go on but the point is that these incidents have been happening more and more frequently and they aren’t stopping. We do know what they are, or at least what they’re supposed to represent to us.

Every single one of these “people” lived in North America during the witch trials. We don’t believe they were the ones who were executed. We believe they were the ones who made the accusations, the ones who got their neighbors killed, the ones who carried out the executions and now they’re back to kill again.

Luckily, my department picked up on these patterns early on and designated a team to deal with them. There are a few hundred of us. I am in the dark about what everyone does exactly. I haven’t met many but I do know that some find potential incidents, some investigate, some deal with the cover-up and handling the publicity, and then, of course, there are the ones you send in to eradicate the problem. That’s where I come in.

I am here to hunt them down, to put them back in their graves so it would seem. Sometimes I get here before they’ve claimed a victim, sometimes after. But their reign of terror comes to an end with me. They’ve never gotten away from me, and I have never failed an assignment. I didn’t plan on this night being any different.

A beep sounded from my laptop screen as an outline from one of the cameras lit up, indicating that the motion sensor detected movement. It had been quiet since I set it up, there was not even the slightest sign of wildlife. No deer, no squirrels, nothing. I leaned forward and intently examined the camera that had been triggered. There was nothing to see. Another sensor triggered. Again, the camera showed nothing. My eyes darted from camera to camera, looking for motion. Another camera triggered, though all that I caught sight of was a shaking tree branch. There was no wind today. Another. This time I saw it. A dog-looking figure darted across the camera in only a few frames, but I knew it was no dog.

I turned my attention from the cameras to the field in front of me, where the movement had come from. I got behind my rifle and looked down the scope to the treeline in the distance. My heart began to pound in my chest at an intense tempo.

I could feel the adrenaline kicking in while I scanned the edge of the field for movement. All that greeted me was the orange glint of the setting sun on the treeline and the tiny shadows of the little stumps of corn stalks in the otherwise empty field. It was silent. Not even a wind accompanied me this evening, though I can’t complain. It’s better for shooting.

For a few minutes, I continued to run my scope along the treeline, occasionally getting a peek with my own eyes. It was during one of these peeks when I noticed a color out of place, in between a couple of trees on the other side of the field—some sort of black-and-white spec that was there not a second before. I lowered my head down, back behind the scope, and centered it. As I steadied the scope, a man-like figure standing at the edge of the field came into focus.

It wore black, tattered rags of clothing that hung loosely on its rigid frame. It stood still, stiff as a board. Its eyes were fixed on something ahead of it. It took me a moment to realize it was focused on me. It didn’t move a muscle, not even blinking as it stared.

I came to my senses and prepared to do my job. I flipped the safety off of my rifle and centered my crosshairs on its chest. I began to breathe deeply, my finger on the trigger, ready to pull but I didn’t take the shot, not yet. I saw it start to move.

Even with the distance between us, my scope made the picture of this figure clear as day. The movement came from only one part of its body; its mouth. First, its crusty lips detached from one another and the mouth began to open. Steadily, it opened more, and more all the while the rest of its body and head remained fixed. Its jaw sank to what should have been all the more it could, but it didn’t stop. It fell further, dipping down below its chest, its skin like a stretched rubber band waiting to snap, though it didn’t, it kept stretching.

Still stiff as a board, the man-like thing remained with its eyes locked on me while its mouth sat open, impossibly wide. It stood still with its hanging jaw for a moment, a moment I shouldn’t have given it. Now I knew I had my target. I began to apply pressure to the trigger before I was stopped, shaken by a force.

A scream, like a choir of souls in despair being dragged off to hell, with the power of a thousand horns sounding the start of a medieval battle rung through the fields. Its volume caused flocks of birds in the nearby trees to fly away in a panic, its bass shuddered through my chest and left me too hypnotized to pull the trigger. I’ll never get used to hearing one of them scream.

“Here we go”

I muttered to myself, the only thought I could conjure from my brain at the moment.

Closing its mouth, it leaped forward and reached for the ground in front of it with its hands fixed like claws. As soon as they met the ground, the feet followed and planted themselves quickly so that it could boost itself forward once again. It had begun its terrible charge. All the while, its face remained fixed on me, rotting teeth exposed and clenched in rage. The speed at which it rushed across the empty field would make a deer running for its life look lazy in comparison, but I was the prey here.

Though my heart began to race at the sight of this abomination barreling toward me, this anomaly of hatred and hunger bound to flesh, I remained calm. I began to steady my breathing, taking control of each breath, in and out.

Inhale. Exhale.

Inhale. Exhale.

Inhale. Exhale.


The crack of the shot rang out through the dimming sky and the field before me, my response to its enraged scream. I remained fixed on the target, observing the spatter of blood as it shot from its back. It began to scream again, this time rapidly and desperate in tone. I quickly moved the bolt and chambered the next round, accompanied by the soft ring of the brass bouncing on the floorboards under my chair.

Although I managed to land a clean shot to the chest, it didn’t do much. It kept running, keeping on at its same speed. Though now it changed its direction and was running adjacent to my position in the house. It was trying to flank me. It wanted to find a way around my line of sight. I couldn’t let it.

Again, I took control of my breathing. Slowly, I drifted my rifle on the bipod until the creature came back into view. Its limbs pounded at the ground with speed and power as it propelled itself across the field. I’ll never get used to seeing one run either.

Starting behind it, I continued to move the scope, just fast enough to begin gaining on him, just fast enough to let the crosshairs catch up. Inhale. Exhale. The crosshairs slowly began to overtake it. Inhale. Exhale. Squeeze.

I chambered the next round quickly. This shot brought him to the ground, but it didn’t keep him there. After a short tumble, it rose and began to run again, this time back towards the woods it came from. Inhale. Exhale. Squeeze.

The third shot grazed its back. Frustrated, I chambered another round and took aim, but it was far too late. Before I could even begin to line up my fourth shot, it had taken one final leap from the field back into the treeline it came from.

I let out a sigh and hung my head in disappointment. I knew what I had to do next but I sure as hell didn’t want to. The last flickers of sunlight shone through the open window and lit my .338 rifle as I reloaded the magazine. I sat and stared blankly at the screen in front of me, hoping a camera would pick up some sort of movement that could clue me into wherever it ran off to. Knowing my luck, I shouldn’t have expected it to.

After coming to terms with reality, I stood up and grabbed my .556, slinging it around my body and letting it hang in front of me. I aimed it down, looking through its sight and testing its laser again before checking the chamber. Good to go. Next, I adjusted the night vision set to my head before picking up my .338 and heading for the door. As I stepped outside, I let out another sigh, this one of stress. Hunting these things at night, on their own turf is never as fun, nor as easy as finishing them quickly from a distance but what choice did I have? I just wanted to get it over with.

I flipped down my goggles and switched them on, illuminating the dark field in green and white. I began my long walk across. It took me longer than expected. The speed of that monstrosity caused me to underestimate the size of the field. Each step I took was slow and quiet. I didn’t want the crunch of my feet meeting the dirt and remnants of corn stalks to disturb my hearing. If that thing made a noise, I needed to hear it. If only I could have quieted my incessant heavy, nervous breathing too.

I was not even halfway to the treeline when I reached the first pool of blood, where I had shot it for the second time, and it decided to retreat. Bits of flesh were scattered about the ground, but I didn’t care to stop and look. Instead, I focussed on the blood I could see that led back into the woods.

Any experienced hunter has had to track a deer or two. It can be very frustrating. The trail isn’t always so clear, and you never know how far it has gotten. In my case, I knew this thing was still alive, and it was angry.

I continued my walk, splitting my attention between the blood trail on the ground and the treeline in front of me, scanning for movement and listening. If I was lucky enough, it would have gotten bold and tried to take me down in the field. Unfortunately, I’m not so lucky. Silently, I followed the trail until it met the woods. I stopped walking and calmed myself.

I didn’t want to go past those damn trees, but there was no avoiding it. I had a job to do. I extended the bipod of my .338 and lowered it to the ground before raising the stock of my other rifle to my shoulder. I took a deep breath and resumed my walk, now even slower and more cautious. At least now my heavy breathing would be drowned out by the sound of snapping twigs beneath my feet.

Immediately upon entering the woods, I spotted the next sight of blood. It came from a tree branch, its leaves covered in the dripping crimson liquid. I walked up to observe, only to notice more blood on the branch above that one. And the next. I noticed the pattern and followed each branch up, one by one, each with its leaves covered in blood. Suddenly a mass moved on top of the tree next to the one I was looking up at.

I swung my rifle up, pointing above me at the top of the trees. The mass turned and into view came two glowing eyes, like white lights in my night vision. It opened its mouth again to let out another deafening scream but I raised my rifle and took aim. Its scream was cut short by a bang from my barrel and the thud of the rounds meeting flesh. I was only able to squeeze half a dozen rounds off before it leaped away, to the tops of the neighboring trees.

I kept shooting as it jumped from one tree to another, though within seconds it was out of my line of sight. I charged through the woods after it and watched it leap impossible distances, shaking trees so hard I thought some might snap. All the while I kept trying and failing, to line up a clean shot. The ones I did manage to squeeze off were either misses or ineffective.

Even at the full-on sprint that I managed to sustain for a good few minutes, I was barely able to keep up. I almost abandoned the chase entirely before I saw an opportunity. There was a clearing ahead. A trail. The distance across was far too wide for it to jump. It took a sharp right once it realized this and began jumping from tree to tree along the trail. I rushed into the opening before kneeling to line up a shot. I followed it with my sights, tracking the timing of each leap, and letting t it land and leap once more before it settled on a new tree. I shot off two more rounds as it braced to leap again.

They were perfectly placed and its body tumbled in the air and crashed violently to the ground. Having lined up my sight, I squeezed the trigger again to hear the absence of a gunshot, replaced by the click of the firing pin in the empty chamber. I screamed curses at myself as I quickly exchanged magazines. By the time I looked up, the body was already gone.

I got to my feet and continued down the trail at a jog-like pace with my rifle at the ready. I was beginning to get frustrated more than anything. I’ve put dozens of these things in the ground before, I didn’t understand why was I having such a hard time with this one. As I approached a curve in the trail, I slowed my pace and brought the stock of my rifle back to my shoulder. I approached the curve from the outside of the trail, trying to get a clear view of what was beyond when my head violently snapped to the left.

My vision went suddenly dark and it took me a few moments to realize that I wasn't dead, nor was I unconscious. Something hit my night vision goggles and knocked them clear off of my head, breaking the mount they sat on. My eyes were only beginning to adapt to the dark when another object came flying towards my head, narrowly missing as it whistled forcefully past my ear. It was a rock, around the size of a football. I couldn’t help but glance behind me in astonishment at the object that had nearly decapitated me before turning my attention back to what threw it.

Sure enough, there it was. Standing behind the trees at the corner of the path. I let my anger take control and began to fire rapidly at its torso. My disregard for accuracy hardly mattered at this range. Regrettably, it meant I was now closer than I would have liked and it began to charge. I landed shot after shot. Blood spurted from its back and painted the tree branches and leaves that it passed as it barreled toward me.

Again, my magazine went empty. Instead of bothering to reload a new one, I quickly drew my Glock and continued my rapid fire on the beast. It broke into the clearing and fell to all fours before it leaped forward and ran as it had done in the field. It closed the distance between us in seconds.

A hand clenched around my throat and I was lifted off of the ground like a feather. It kept running, past the edge of the clearing and carrying me into the woods. I continued to pepper it at point-blank range with my pistol. Between shots, I could hear its hysterical laughter directed at my futile efforts. Its face smiled with a look of sadistic insanity.

I continued shooting until my magazine went dry and I was stuck with an empty gun. With nothing else I could do, I began to beat its face with the empty pistol. This seemed to piss it off. It violently threw me through the air. I felt my body snap dozens of branches before I met the ground and rolled uncontrollably.

Recovering quickly, I grasped the rifle still slung around me and replaced the empty magazine with a new one. It was mere feet away from me when I started to fire. I got a few shots off before it grabbed my arm. This time I whipped the barrel of my rifle up, clubbing it hard across the face. It let out a short, irritated scream. I thrust my barrel at the top of its head, knocking it back as it emitted another angry grunt. It reached up with its left arm and tried to grab the barrel before half of its fingers were blown off by my next shot. It recoiled its arm in pain before swinging it back at me.

Upon contact, my rifle flew out of my hands and the sling came undone from my body as it was thrown far into the woods behind me. I attempted to retreat before he grabbed me with his right hand, and what remained of his left around my neck. Again, I was picked up and it carried me, this time only a short distance to a tree. My back cracked as I was slammed into the bark.

It looked up at me and smiled again.

“We killed our sinners, we brought justice to our land. We brought justice for God”

I ignored its foul speech, lifting an arm and hooking it across the face with a firm punch. It had no effect.

“You are all sinners, and you will die for your sins as they did”

Again, I struggled and pummeled its face with everything I could muster but it still did nothing.

“Now go and burn in the lake of fire”

It shouted, before laughing with a dozen sadistic voices all coming from its mouth.

It opened its mouth and its jaw was once again stretched to what should be an impossible level. It lowered me until I was level with it. It moved its open mouth toward my head, shaking with rage. Its teeth now inches from my face. Its breath, foul. With my left arm, I drew my knife, slashing it across the chest before plunging it into its neck. I hooked a punch with my right arm that finally caused it to stumble. It wound up its own punch and let it loose. I narrowly escaped, ducking out of the way before its fist met the tree and went right through, splitting it in half before the wood tumbled to the ground.

I took this opportunity to draw my .357. He recovered from its punch and faced me, pulling the knife from its neck and letting blood spurt and gush. It stared me down as it slowly approached, ready to deliver its finishing blow.

Its head was shaking now, harder than ever in anger, its mouth hung open to half its capacity where it showed its rows of rotting human teeth. I raised my revolver and attempted to steady my sights but I was too shaky. I quickly collected myself. Inhale. Exhale. The front sight became level with the rear. Squeeze.

The recoil caused the gun to rise enough for me to get a look at the damage. I clipped its mouth, in the corner of its jaw. It hung open, with one side detached completely. It wailed in pain as it gargled its blood and crumbled to the ground. I aimed again, cocking the hammer. Squeeze. With the second round, I detached its jaw completely.

“Let’s see you bite me now, fucker”

I painfully muttered with anger. It dropped my knife and was now laying flat on its back, breathing heavily. I approached, cocking the revolver again as I did. It reached out with its mangled hand but I kicked it away before placing my barrel to its skull. Squeeze. And then silence.

After dragging the body back to the field, I spent the next few hours retrieving my lost and damaged equipment, as well as tediously finding every one of my cameras. I then retrieved my vehicle and drove it to the edge of the field. There was just one more thing to do.

I opened my trunk and pulled out the metallic box. I don’t understand why they make these things so goddamn heavy. I opened it and placed the corpse inside before securing the extremely heavy-duty lock. Next was the hole. It wasn’t easy digging after I had been roughed up and tossed around by an undead religious maniac with superhuman strength, but at least this was the last thing I had to do.

I finished digging the hole, placed the metal casket inside, and covered it up. From there, I collected my equipment, packed it up, and took off. Supposedly there’s a cleanup crew that comes in after we’re done with these missions and destroys any bizarre evidence.

I suspect they take the body as well. Where do they take it? What do they do with it? I have no clue but I’ve been strictly reminded to not ask questions on the matter and to just stick to doing my job. Still, I always find myself wondering.

What I have even more questions about is why these things exist in the first place. What the hell is going on? Why them? Why now? Has this been going on for longer than I know? Am I being lied to? What happens next, in the future, if this keeps going on? It’s only been getting worse. They’ve only been popping up more and more frequently. When does it end? Does it end?

I have more questions than I do answers but what I can tell you is that this problem isn’t going away anytime soon. It’s only going to get worse. There are only going to be more of them, not less. The death toll will only continue to rise. People are going to find out sooner or later. It might as well be now. Maybe we will stop them. Maybe this will all come to an end one day, or maybe we are the ones who are all going to meet our end. Either way, I’ll be there to see it.
submitted by Harbinger_51 to nosleep [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 04:50 PutridBite Last of the Defenders - Ch 29

Welcome new readers. Please start with chapter one
Allah settled into a corner of the room, resting against a wall at a crouch. Li pulled out a sheet of shiny black cloth from her pocket, flapping it to unfurl the short, shawl length thing. She set it on the desk and the cloth lit up--a duplicate of the interface she had used in Star dancer’s CNC--to form a keyboard. The human danced her fingers over the glowing surface, lists and glyphs changing, growing, being replaced by new symbols.
Several times the lights flickered ominously. Once they went out completely for a span of seven times seven times three and six heartbeats, the room suffused by the glow of the sticks, the monitor and Li’s keyboard cloth.
Allah lowered her head in thought. Why would the other defenders abandon them? Abandon Li? She had said, before, that “the tempo of the war had changed” when the bullies attacked…dirt? The bullies seemed to attack anything. What was so special about this particular dirt?
It had to have been important. Irreplaceable even. Allah suspected the war must not be going as well as Li’s performance last night had appeared.
She wanted to ask but more importantly she did not want to interrupt. Li remained focused on the screen and her keyboard until Allah had lost all track of time. It was only after the human stood, stretched and yawned that Li took notice of the U’knock.
“What’re you doing?” she asked.
“Waiting,” Allah said simply. And what else could she do? She had barely managed to make broth, and that with help. Allah had considered returning to the mess hall to clean the dishes and dispose of the trash left from their meal but…she did not trust the hole in the wall to provide enough water to clean them, nor did she know where to find a well, wash rags, or the refuse heap. Was the outpost like Star dancer? She did not remember seeing a bucket in the walls to whoosh away such work.
“That won’t do,” Li chastised, turning to stride out the door. The lights flickered again and Li returned to the desk, grabbing her glowing stick.
“Demeter?” Li called as Allah rose from her crouch and picked up her own stick to follow, “Do you have any V-REHs in storage?”
“T-t-t-t-t-this facility hhhhhhhhas a fully stoc-c-c-cked classroom,” the machine replied. Whatever Li had been focused on, heeling Demeter speak was not an apparent priority.
“Show me,” Li ordered.
"P-p-please follow the indicated-d-d-d-d-d-” Demeter hiccuped, clicked and was silent. A blue light flickered on and off on the floor. Li followed.
They reached the great hall again, and Allah was almost surprised to hear the sound of robots still busy tearing apart other machines. More, in place of the planters there now sat the squat carts from the holoimage at the quorum. Tanks, Li had called them. They were bare, skeletal husks now, but the treads and wheels were in place. Three humanoid robots were pushing a large many tubed box into the machine's center.
“How many of these will we need to make?” Allah asked as she passed another husk of metal.
“We’ll keep producing until the siege ends,” Li answered, “but I’d like to have at least one thousand per continent. And at least a hundred mass drivers for orbital bombardment deterrence.”
“Those are the larger ones,” Allah guessed, “the wide ones that will crush Umati’clam’s buildings?
Li nodded. “The same,” she pointed up. In the dim scattered light Allah could see the open center of the spire was no longer so open. Highlighted by the glow of sparks were the skeletons of metal birds. She could not be certain but these forms looked larger than the arrows that had assaulted the bully vessel. “But those bad boys,” Li continued, “will be able to take the fight to em.
“Nachtkrapp class assault fighters,” Li explained. The flickering blue light led them out of the garage and down another door filled corridor. “With quad mounted rail guns and hardpoints that can load up to four Hawking/Golubev B-903 ship killer missiles.
“Buster missiles,” Allah said uncertainly. Li nodded. “These birds--these Nachtkrapps--are much larger than the arrows from before. Why did Demeter not use such weapons last night?”
Li stopped in the dark hallway, turning to reappraise her friend. “You catch on quick,” the human complimented Allah. She turned, resuming their journey. “Two reasons. First, Nachtkrapp designs are only about thirty years old so Demeter didn’t know how to make them before we uploaded thermopylae. They’re not bleeding edge tech but they’re proven and tough. The assault drones you saw last night are in-atmosphere interceptors. Not much bigger than busters themselves.”
“You said there were two reasons,” Allah pressed as she was led into another room filled with tables. These were much smaller than the mess hall benches, a single chair and monitor for each. They were arranged in a circle around the room, facing inward. Li strode to a closet in the corner.
“Gravity weapons have a…life cycle. They need to either be used within a couple years or recycled. Buster missiles are expensive to maintain. So there was no foreseeable reason for Demeter to waste resources on making and maintaining a fleet of drones that could carry them.”
“Until now,” Allah concluded. “But I still do not understand. Why did the bullies come here? We have nothing of value to offer.”
Li stopped digging through the closet, returning to the ring of tables. She set three helmets on one of the tiny tables, then glanced around the room. She walked to another closet, retrieving a pitcher and a plate. Allah watched as Li set the plate in the center of the room, took the pitcher to a waist high box and pressed a button. Water spouted from the top of the box and Li used it to fill the pitcher.
She returned to the center of the room, tapping a button on the edge of the plate with her foot. Allah could feel the air begin to hum.
“Here,” Li handed the pitcher of water next to Allah. “Pour this over the Vibro plate. Don’t worry; it won’t spill as long as the plate is on."
Allah did as instructed, and the water began to shimmer. It hovered three paw’s spans above the surface of the strange plate. Allah bent, sniffing at the floating pool.
“Now,” while Allah had been pouring the water, Li had made a tiny toy out of paper. It was pointed like her ship, but not. It looked like some strange raft, “place this under the water with the flat side pointed up.”
As Allah moved her paw under the water, she felt a force shaking her. She drew her paw away.
“It won’t hurt you,” Li promised. "We used to do this in primary school. It’s a science experiment. For children.”
Cautiously, Allah crouched and slid her paw under the floating water.
“Make sure the boat touches the water before you take your hand away.”
Allah did so and the boat floated upside down on the water.
"This is using vibrational force to counteract gravity. It is not true anti-gravity but it lets you see what I’m trying to describe next."
“It floats upside down though,” Allah pointed to the toy boat as it bobbed on the underside of the pool, upside down. “It defies the gravity."
“Not entirely,” Li answered, “this is more a case of bending the rules."
“What,” Allah asked, “is gravity?”
“It's a fundamental force of physics,” Li explained, holding up a hand at Allah’s question. “We’ll get to physics another time. Every object, including you and me, has gravity. It allows objects to pull one another closer together. It’s what holds you to the ground and,” she dug into a pocket, pulling a round coin shaped object free. She dropped the coin onto the ground, “what causes objects to fall to the ground when released."
“It is not magic then,” Allah gestured to the boat.
“Depending on your level of technological achievement,” Li shrugged, “that's debatable. The point is that normal gravity pulls objects together. The larger the object, the greater that pull. Generally speaking, I’m not getting into mass today.
“But,” she continued, “let us suppose you had a way to harness gravity, “ she bent and manipulated a dial on the plate. “If you could force the gravity of a giant object into a single point,” the pool of water began to shift and change, the upside down boat rocking violently in the sudden storm. Slowly, as Li pressed other buttons and turned dials, the tone of the plate changed, and the pool of water with it. It began to swirl, becoming a tiny typhoon. “Something that is creating a strong gravity well--like this planet--you could “dip” from that well using a special bucket,” the boat was now spinning rapidly faster up the inside of the typhoon, “and take some of that gravity to use for your own means.
“This is how we first learned to control gravity,” Li finished as the boat flew up from the top of the typhoon. “Large objects create it, and we exploit it. It's how we created the slingshot drive. We could use gravity because its pull is infinite, and reaches beyond all the known universe.
“But if it reaches so far,” Allah asked, “why do not all objects pull themselves together?”
“They may,” Li answered, “eventually,” she waved a hand in defeat. “The tech heads would be able to explain this much better than I can. But,” she handed Allah the paper boat, “the important thing is to understand that gravity pulls everything together by its nature, and the closer you are to a large object, the more powerful its effect becomes.
“Now,” she set the pitcher under the typhoon and tapped another button with her foot. The water--most of it--sloshed inside. “This is where things get a little weird. When we first created sling drives we used gravitational pull and massive amounts of power to pull us to neighboring stars, and from there to other stars, and others. But as my species learned more about gravity, we realized we could…” She trailed off. “I am not a gravity mechanic, and we start getting into infinite universe theory, supersymmetry, string theory and you’re barely ready for quantum mechanics,” the human shrugged, “but it was explained to me when I was…younger that it is like reversing the polarity of a magnet. To create an anti-gravitational well inside of an existing gravity well.”
“What is a magnet?” Allah asked.
“Another force of attraction, like gravity, only stronger than gravity, but with much shorter range. But magnets can both pull and repel. So can gravity…Once you learn how.
“And that is part of why the,” Li grinned again. Allah was getting used to the expression, “Bullies attacked here. Your planet has an easily exploitable gravity well and all the resources they could ever want. Well, most. And the swarmers are what my people call a ‘competitive species’. They don’t seek cooperation and destroy any sapient species they find to avoid the chance of competition later.
“That's the main reason why they attacked your planet. Its what’s called the Smorgasbord Doctrine. Once a species learns to control gravity, it becomes more energy and time efficient to use that control to harvest larger astral bodies than to chase down multiple smaller ones. They could have parked over or in one of your gas giants like Star dancer is now and gotten most of the same minerals, water and materials but…there is a third reason. They came here for something ‘special’.”
“What?” Allah asked. What could her planet still have to offer that the bullies could possibly prize?
Li looked at Allah appraisingly, “Complex proteins and carbohydrates remain energy intensive to synthesize or store for long periods of time.”
Allah’s face remained blank as the tiny star behind her ear translated the strange words into U’knock. “Meat and plant matter,” it said.
Li put it more plainly still.
“They came here to harvest you…”
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2023.03.25 04:36 PappyStrangeLife The Man from Capernaum

God said to Abraham, "Kill me a son"
Abe say, "Man, you must be puttin' me on"
God say, "No, " Abe say, "What?"
God say, "You can do what you want Abe, but
Next time you see me comin', you better run"
Abe said, "Where do you want this killin' done?"
God said, "Out on Highway 61"
The radio, a martyr’s relic from a bygone era, sounded half as faded as I was.
I reeked of vodka and middy weed. I didn’t care. This lonely stretch of highway belonged to no one as far as I was concerned, and you gambled taking the curves in the dark.
It was your fault if you choose to gamble with me. Least, that’s the way I saw it.
Texas felt so far away.
Well, Cowboy Dan's a major player in the cowboy scene
He goes to the reservation, drinks and gets mean
And he's gonna start a war
He's gonna start a warrrrrr
And he hops in his pickup
Puts his pedal to the floor
And says, "I got mine
But I want more"
Because Cowboy Dan's a major player in the cowboy scene
He goes to the reservation, drinks and gets mean
He goes to the desert, fires his rifle in the sky
And says, "God, if I have to die, you will have to die"
I hacked up what felt like part of a lung. My hand was stained, the oxidized rust of old blood mixed with a fresh coat of red, a fresco that highlighted a life poorly lived.
What happened to Bob Dylan?
Or was it Johnny Cash?
Wasn’t I just listening…
Gaps in time. I prayed I hadn’t taken the ketamine.
That was for later.
If you want proof time is just a strongly worded opinion, just slip into a k-hole.
That was for later.
My eyelids felt heavy.
There were no stars.
Endless pines, only shadowy outlines in the dark, still cover for the night’s starving predators, were all I could make out.
I just guessed at where the road kinked and turned and straightened.
I was playing a game with God, and I wanted to lose.
I wanted us all to lose.
“Dance, Dance to the radio
While the, Devil takes control,
Dance, Dance to the radio,
While the, Devil takes control…”
The warm hug of oblivion, a feeling like endless cookies and Saturday morning cartoons, began slipping its infinite arms around me.
Come and See, and I saw.
It was still the witching hour when I woke with a startled gasp. I could feel the claws of need, withdrawal, dragging up my arms, burrowing into my skin, making the back of my eyeballs vibrate.
Every day the need grew stronger, and every day, I killed off a little bit more of me.
One is too many, and a thousand is never enough.
I was in a ditch.
This wasn’t new or news. I tended to wake up in a lot of ditches. Beats Motel 6. Fewer roaches and you could smoke in every room.
My truck wouldn’t start.
Not even the wheezing gasps of a machine trying to cling to artificial life. Just a click and utter silence.
The battery couldn’t be dead. I checked my watch.
5:55 A.M.
I figured I’d tried to hit the eternal snooze button around 3 A.M. It had only been a few hours. Battery should be fine.
A cursory inspection showed no external damage. No blown tires, no misbegotten wires or missing spark plugs. Hell, it seemed like I’d just slowly cruised into this dark little corner of the universe.
It was as though the truck just gave up the ghost and said, "I’m done." The thirsty horse dropping to the ground in an endless desert, done with the death march.
I bear crawled up the small ravine and onto the highway.
A generous term for a lonely road in whatever the Hell backwater burg America had shit out here.
All I could see were outlines in the dark.
Fitting, I thought.
And then an explosion stole my vision.
Let there be light.
And there was.
And it was good.
Especially good.
Because it was a bar.
A ramshackle of a spot, dive joint meets biker meth hangout, from the looks of it, and it was just powering up.
Shit, if you couldn’t drink on Sunday morning, were we really free? Were we really God’s children at all?
I started ambling toward the light, my eyes adjusting to the deep gloom.
“The Man from Capernaum.”
Hell of a name for a spot in the middle of BFE.
Hell of a name.
Hell, I needed a drink.
My watch read 6 a.m. but it was 5 o’clock somewhere, and this place had electricity buzzing it had to pay for and didn’t much strike me as the sort of establishment that probably saw the law as anything more than a nuisance.
I sauntered up to the door, my black boots clicking loudly against the rotten wooden porch.
Into the lion’s den we go.
Unsurprisingly, it was empty as a church on Friday night. Why kill the Son if you can’t have the sin, after all?
But it was unlocked and music was softly crooning from somewhere.
“As I went down in the river to pray
Studying about that Good Ol’ Way
And who shall wear the robe and crown
Good Lord, show me the way”
Fantastic. No bartender and proselyting in a shit joint. That’s just what my migraine and itchy skin called for.
I considered hopping the bar and grabbing a bottle of Jack Daniel’s, but this struck me as a place where your head might become acquainted with a shotgun right quick and nobody would kick up much fuss.
I was going out, a lamb among wolves, but on my terms. I’d had enough violence. I wanted to feel the void swallow me whole, not feel a hole swallow my head.
Plopping down on an empty stool, I risked lighting up a smoke. Certainly they wouldn’t get bent out of shape over a cowboy killer or two.
And shit, who was there to kick up dirt anyway? A ghost town without the spirits, save the ones just behind the bar and out of reach.
The tantalizing fruit in the garden.
God, I need a cold one, now.
“Till armageddon no shalam, no shalom
Then the Father Hen will call His chickens home
The wise man will bow down before the throne
And at His feet they'll cast their golden crowns
When The Man comes around”
The hairs on my arm stood up.
That wasn’t the gentle croon of some A.M. gospel channel. That was someone singin’ in the bar.
In the furthest stool at the left end of the bar, a wild looking man sat, intermittently taking greedy gulps of amber beer and singing loudly, his other arm flailing frenetically as though conducting an unseen orchestra.
Ah, good, a ninja crackhead. That’s just what I need.
He looked over at me and I leapt from my chair and damn near outta my boots.
Ancient as the hills, this man looked like he’d just come down the mountain from communing with the darkness itself.
God damn.
A wild, grey, patchy beard splayed out in every direction, as though the hair itself was trying to escape the vessel that grew it.
The crown of his head was bald but the rest was shaggy white hair, matted in some places, errantly sticking up in others, as though it couldn’t choose between electrocution and submission.
He wore what looked like a white robe, but it was stained with all manner of mess. Copper, brown, yellow, black. Blood, shit, piss, and Heaven only knows what. A fetid robe of many colors.
Tattered, rudimentary sandals held in dirty feet with long, yellowed toenails.
The man reeked worse than sulfur. Worse than death. It was like the pungent stank of the human stain clung to him with reckless abandon.
He was chubby and withered and maddened.
But none of that held a penny to his eyes.
Orbs of the purest white, ringed with seared, blackened flesh around the edges.
Nothing but endless, empty white that somehow felt like it saw nothing but what we all couldn’t see. Nothing of this world but everything we hide in it. Our lies, the horrors behind the masks, what we do in the dark, this tattered, horrible amalgam we have the audacity to still call “a soul.”
Fuck this.
I went to run but found I had no will to do so.
My boots had become one with the earth, like the leather was finally gonna join the cattle that had to die for me to feel like a man.
A crash of thunder stole my hearing, a tiny whirlwind began lifting and smashing bottles from behind the bar.
The seals of the bottles came open, spraying spirits everywhere.
The bar was alight with white fire and a light blasted through the bar that would embarrass the Sun.
Then all was silent and still.
“Nice hooves,” the man said in a velvety baritone.
I looked down at my black boots and back up at him.
There is probably a drug cocktail somewhere in existence where, if mixed properly and taken with utter scientific precision, probably unlocks the gates to Heaven in the human consciousness.
I think I might have found the one’s that unlocked Hell’s.
The man wore a wide, warm grin. Authentic and inviting, the jovial visage of every TV grandfather. Creature comfort. He no longer looked like a raving maniac.
Far from it.
The man was now young, maybe late 20’s.
Golden, feathered locks elegantly curved just behind his ears.
A black cardigan, dark jeans, and new Grecian sandals graced a well-kept temple, a body of with seemingly perfect porcelain skin.
Sapphire blue eyes, pools of painful beauty, the kind that feels like a knife twisting your gut, looked at me with compassion.
I could smell lilac and some spice that seemed reminiscent of a world long gone by but made me what want to curl up with a blanket and read a good book by the fire wafted my way.
A single, marred tattoo of a small cross ran down the index finger of his left hand.
The man sat down and said, “why don’t you and them hooves join me, Pappy?”
I go by a lot of names to keep myself safe in this shithole world, but I hadn’t gone by my real name since I beat a kid black and blue in elementary school for mocking me for it and my daddy had told me he was proud of me. Put a cigarette out on the back of my neck later that same night after a few too many for causing trouble.
The duality of man or whatever the Hell the academics prattle on about, I guess.
“They’re boots,” I snarled, playing at bravery, bluffing like I did every day of this wasted life, hopin’ it might but him back on his heels.
I didn’t know if I was messing with some damned creature not of this world or was just higher than a kite and seeing nonsense. While the latter seemed far more likely, I wanted to prepare for the former.
“Sure,” he said kindly, “sure.”
I sat down on the tattered stool.
“Where’s the bartender? And how the Hell do you know my name?”
“Calm down, son. You look like you could use a drink of the old blood. Sure beats those poisons you keep sticking in that body we gave ya.”
A wine glass appeared before each of us, filled to the brim. The man, or whatever it was, sipped away, humming some forgotten hymnal.
“I ain’t much of a vino fan. Got any Irish whisky?”
He lifted his glass as though to toast me and said “Sure. And you certainly will need that later. For now, the grapes of wrath, as it were.” A soft chuckle left his lips.
I sipped the wine. No sense bucking the bull when you don’t know how big or angry it really is.
It tasted like nothing I had ever had before. An indescribable, wicked deliciousness.
It warmed me up and filled me with light and hope and covered up all the dark holes that had punched through me by others.
Even plugged the ones I’d punched myself.
The man took a small sip. “Sorry?”
“You said ‘the body *we* gave ya. *We*.”
It was only then I noticed he was crying.
There were no sobs, no audible gasps, no tremors or shakes, just slow, steady tears of blood dripping from those perfect blue orbs.
“Name’s Arah. I’m an Angel.”
Arah downed the goblet of wine, flecks of his bloody tears caking the glass’s rim.
“Behold, I send an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared.”
This obvious machination of my drug addled brain chuckled louder this time, a slight slur and anger tinging his words.
“I’m even less for all that religious babble than I am for wine. Though this shit’s pretty damn good, I gotta admit.”
“LIAR!” Arah screamed, shaking the whole bar. His eyes were wide and obsidian and his chest heaved heavily.
“Liar.” This, a quiet whisper.
“You spent your whole life in church.
You soaked up every hopeful word, every promise of redemption and fixing, and the truth of that still rattles around inside you.
You can stick all the needles you want into that arm so you can lie to yourself and take away the pain you were meant to bear, but you can’t lie to me. We see everything, for we are many.”
Arah refreshed his glass with a small flourish of his hand before downing it again, his disposition getting slightly wobblier.
“DRINK!” he screamed, and when the world stopped shaking and those eyes turned blue again, I sure as shit started pounding the fermented fruit.
Ain't the time to be picky.
“You aren’t having a bad trip. I'm having a bad trip.”
The endless tears of blood fell quicker, like a swift red river coursing from a deep blue waterfall.
Small pools of it began forming of the bar. A slight acrid smell was on the air, barely noticeable behind all the wonderful aromas.
I felt warm and real and firm. I felt human again. My glass had been refilled and I downed another.
Okay, so I was getting wasted with an angel. Admittedly a first, even for my winding and warped road, but getting blitzed on Jesus Juice sure beat pissing off some emotionally unhinged cherub motherfucker.
“I can’t find Him. I can never find Him.”
Slight groans left Arah’s lips and he gulped down another glass.
With a minor twitch, the glass flew and smashed against the wall.
A nanosecond, if even, after the sound of shattering, it reappeared anew, full of the deep blood wine, before him, and he slurped it down his gullet.
I was trying to keep pace with him.
Shit I could drink a fifth of whisky and make it home alive but something in this good good had me slippin’. A part of me knew I should be petrified to ask, but the rest of me was too faded to care.
“Find who? What brings you here, cryin’ tears in yer beers?”
Now I was the one slurring.
“Take them.”
I looked down at the bar.
A belt. A syringe full of something brown and beautiful.
All the gear.
And six shots of what I prayed was Jameson.
“But where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.”
Arah was slurring hard now, slowly spinning in his chair, laughing and crying.
“Have a taste. At least there’ still manna.”
I shot the whole thing and downed that beautiful Irish whisky. Warmth and light filled me up and stole me away from this putrid rock.
Somehow, as wrecked as I was, I felt I could see Arah all the clearer, like the Sun pushing out the remnants of a storm. His hands looked withered, and those blue eyes looked heavy and tired.
“I miss Him. God. Father.”
I began to mumble some apocryphal question, but a raised hand silenced me.
“We’re taking communion here, son, an act of contrition, of grief, celebration and loss. I’m not giving about to give you a seminar on the finer points of how you all bungled what we gave you and called it ‘religion.’ Just shut the fuck up and drink.”
We downed a glass of wine in unison, a broken human and clearly a broken angel, performing a ritual at the alter we were left with.
“You wanna know why I’m here drinkin’? I know you do. I can hear it rattling around in that little rat brain of yours, gnawing, gnawing, gnawing.
Well, here’s why. GOD LEFT.
You remember your Bible.
Like a schizophrenic mother when the voices just crept too far in, he drowned all his children in the bathtub. He felt regret.
You apes can’t come to terms with the fact that it isn’t cognitive dissonance to be perfect and make mistakes. Your binaries and absolutes are the pathetic crutches you rest on, the prisons you build for yourselves. You think you live in the grey but you don’t. You are the simple minded mistake of something far greater than you could possibly fathom.
Hell ain't nothin' but a door locked from the inside.
He was right to drown all of you, ya know.
You’re an abortion that didn’t take.
You’re the science experiment gone wrong.
You’re the motherfucking poisonous residue left over when the manufacturing process goes the slightest bit awry.
He TRIED. He gave you EVERYTHING. And you chased him away.
He wanted to put you all down. Wipe the slate clean. Shoot the wolf with the broken leg caught in the trap. Mercy. But He had made those fuckin’ rainbows, and He kept his word.
You all sit and pout and scream and gnaw and gnash and blow each other up. Always the same shit in this horrible flat circle.
"My god is real, your god is fake! "
You never once consider you’re all talking about the same damn thing, and more to the point, you're spend your entire lives debating His existence. What a catastrophic waste to be so far from the mark.
Is He real? Is He a fairy tale?
Is there a big bearded man with a sword in the sky or is it just what some primitive apes told themselves to explain the lights in the night sky, a mechanism of control and purpose in an entropic and meaningless world?”
I felt frozen listening to Arah rant.
Somewhere, between the distant sound of brutal words, I heard that radio kick on.
The Third Planet is sure that they’re being watched
By an Eye in the Sky that can’t be stopped
And when you get to the Promised Land
You’re gonna shake the Eye’s hand”
“You won’t.”
Arah spoke quietly and sipped and audibly sobbed.
“I…I won’t what?”
“Shake his hand. He’s GONE.
You all fight with words and books and swords and shells and atoms about whether he exists. It’s your relentless, simpleminded addiction to dichotomy. It would be so boring if it wasn’t so sickening.
You think He exists, and if He does, He is here and He loves you and hears your stupid little prayers about football and bone cancer and bank accounts and AIDS.
And if He doesn’t exist, well, it’s just a bunch of conmen working over some fools with a fairy tale.
Any of you shitbirds ever consider He exists and LOATHES you? That he cut the cord to that existential phone line and ain’t nobody on the other side of that line anymore?
You live in an infinite universe that is forever exploding and expanding. He exists outside of even that.
You think you’re special? You’re one tiny experiment among so fucking many, I couldn’t make the smartest mathematician in the history of this planet understand how infinitesimally numerically irrelevant you are.
The question isn’t, is God real or is it all a hoax, a self-delusion?
The salient question, Pappy, is whether He’s here. And He ain’t.
He kept his word and let you all live and fester and replicate and mutate like the virus you are. The fruit that ate itself.
But daddy split. Went out for smokes and He ain’t never coming back. Moved onto a new family. Just like He's done again and again and again. And I'm guessing will keep doing 'till He decides He got it right. Ain’t been here for a long time. Long, long time.”
6 glasses of wine appeared before Arah and he downed them all with lightning speed, spewing blood, sobbing and gasping and drinking.
His hair greyed and whitened and fell to the floor.
His nails began to decay and yellow.
The smell of shit and piss and bile crept up and began to make me nauseous.
“And you know who got really fucked? US. The angels.
God gave us instructions and we followed it. We knew what we had and we didn’t deviate. We did our duty. And He left us behind, too.”
Arah’s clothes began to whiten and dirty.
The enrapturing blue of his eyes began to fade, growing paler and lifeless. A wild, twisted beard and belly began to sprout.
“Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation."
Arah began shrieking.
"Fucking humans.
Arah leapt up and grabbed me by the throat, lifting me on high.
Fire scorched his eyes, leaving empty pale pools singed to a blackened crisp at the edges.
The wild, infested thing I’d seen before held me as though I weighed less than the judgment feather.
He was sobbing.
“I…I just did what I was told.
Do you know what Hell is? There’s no fucking lake of fire or torture rack with goats.
It’s this.
An endless existence having tasted God’s grace and love and then forever being separated from it, eternally searching for that one drug you know you can never find.
'Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss.'
This, this place, is Hell.”
All the opium in the world couldn’t save me from the stark terror of this celestial’s tortured judgment.
I was quaking and pissed myself.
“Now I got ya shakin’ in your boots. Nice hooves.”
He threw me and I slammed against the wall and I felt every ounce of wine and heroin and whisky spill out of my body and onto the floor.
In that moment, I felt the unmitigated suffering of absolute sobriety, and I’ve been sober every moment since.
This wild, unfettered thing inched closer to me.
It was only then I noticed the tattoo on his finger more closely. It was…clearer to me now. Everything was. That little cross on his finger was upside down as it faced me.
“What does your name mean, Arah? What did you do that made God leave all his angels behind?”
Arah opened his mouth and two snakes, one a viper, the other a colorful coral, slid out of his mouth and began encircling his head and neck, never striking, never squeezing, simply coiling infinitely.
Arah, this manifestation of man’s worst nightmare, leapt at me, blood spewing, snakes dancing, the bar shaking and burning and reeking.
Alas, Babylon, for me.
Inches from me Arah froze, held still by some unseen force, his mouth snarling words that only came out as unintelligible, wet squelches.
A voice from the bar’s door whispered a single word.
In the first tongue, 'Arah' meant ‘World.’
At the door stood an older black woman with the kindest eyes I’d ever seen.
She wore a bracelet of thorns and a dress made of every flower my mind could conceive.
Golden eyes flecked with amber looked at me lovingly.
She quietly sauntered up to Arah and shook her head wistfully, a disapproving but loving mother wishing her child would just behave.
“You would do well to accept your place here, Arah. The Father may be gone, but this is where you and your lot stay. It was not man’s fall that bound you here.
Tell him what you did...Angel.”
Arah fell suddenly to the barroom floor, all the strength clearly sucked out of him.
“I..I did what I was told. I followed the orders I was given. It was for Him, Uriel.”
Uriel tutted her tongue as though an impudent child had told her a silly, obvious fib.
“You can lie to yourself all you want, Arah, but you cannot lie to me.
You, who whispered endlessly to Herod.
You, who dwelt in Caligula.
You, who served Qin Shi Huang.
You, who sought refuge in Robespierre .
You, who possessed Mengele.
‘And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.”
Uriel helped me to my feet, brushed me off, and lightly put her hand on her cheek. It was the only moment in my life I knew what the word “home” meant.
“And you won’t lie to Man, either.
You remember the deal you begged for, Arah? Let remind you:
'They began to entreat Him, saying, “If You are going to cast us out, send us into the herd of swine.'
You had the gall to call his creation, however staggeringly imperfect, swine.
You got what you asked for, then.
And you will have it for all time.
Get behind me.”
Uriel picked me up as though I were a mere baby and carried me to my truck. She laid me gently in the passenger side and started the engine.
The radio kicked on.
I’m a rolling stone
All alone and lost
For a life of sin
I have paid the cost
Take my advice
Or you’ll curse the day
You started rollin’ down
That Lost Highway”
As she pulled away, I looked back at The Man from Capernaum one last time.
It was consumed in fire and the squeals of pigs shrieking carried through the cool night air.
“Do not pity him.
‘You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons.’
God may have left this world but let the Demon burn.”
submitted by PappyStrangeLife to nosleep [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 04:34 dontgiveaderp 32[M4F] Houston, Texas. Hoping to find a relationship.

I'd like to find someone who captivates me. Someone who I can talk with effortlessly. I want to meet a person who I can include in my daily tasks, and talk with throughout the day. I just want to find someone I can be open with. Platonic conversation, friendship or romance. Whatever you are looking for, don't hesitate to message me. I hope to hear from you.
I love a number of things, and hate very little. I'm fairly open to trying new things, but some of the things I enjoy are as follows. I love the outdoors. I've never been camping, but I would like to try it with someone some day. I also love to fish. I mostly fish salt water. I do occasionally fish freshwater though. I like to check out new spots around me, but I mostly fish on the beach. Do you like to fish? What are some of your favorite places to go?
I also enjoy the shooting sports. I primarily target shoot. I take part in a little bit of everything, including rifle, pistol and shotgun. It would be nice to find someone who is into shooting or would like to learn/become more familiar. If you shoot, what do you like to shoot mostly? What's been your favorite gun to shoot so far?
PC games are also a enjoyable pastime for me. I have a variety of games, most of which are on Steam. I have other games on various other stores/services. I enjoy a wide variety of different kind of games, so I'm sure we can find something to play together if you game. What are some of your all time favorite games? What are you currently grinding on that you can't put down? One hobby I discovered later on in life is Magic the Gathering. I probably would never have found MtG, if it were not for my best friend. I play both online on MtG Arena, and with physical cards. Magic has become something I am particularly fond of. Do you play any kind of card/table top games? What's been your favorite so far? If you play Magic, what are some of your favorite deck themes?
Music has always been a part of my life. My tastes are varied, ranging from country, death and black metal, electronic, classic rock, folk, pop punk, and more. Do you have a favorite band? What has been your favorite concert you've been to?
I'm honestly an ambivert. I enjoy doing things outside, as well as spending time indoors. I can veg out all day under the covers curled up in my bed, or I can take a trip somewhere and experience something new. I think my personality is a mix of the best of both worlds. What would the perfect day consist of for you?
As far as my personality is concerned, I would say I am fairly relaxed and laid back. I feel like I am somewhere in the middle between loud and excitable, and shy and quiet. Around people I don't know, I tend to be fairly quiet and to myself. In the company of someone who I am close with, I am more open and free. Do you open right up to people, or does it take a while to become comfortable with someone new?
All I hope for is a connection. It could be platonic, or it could blossom into romance, and commitment. I'm not putting a limit on what I am looking for.
With the prior being said, I am single. I may be interested in changing that with the right person. The idea of commitment excites me. Monogamy is appealing to me. Do you feel satisfied with your social life? What kind of connection are you looking for?
Thank you for taking the time to read my post. I appreciate it. I hope you can identify with something I wrote. If you do, please reach out.
P.S. Please feel free to check my post history, and check out a few pictures of my cat if you would like.
submitted by dontgiveaderp to r4r [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 04:34 dontgiveaderp 32[M4F] Houston, Texas. Hoping to find a relationship.

I'd like to find someone who captivates me. Someone who I can talk with effortlessly. I want to meet a person who I can include in my daily tasks, and talk with throughout the day. I just want to find someone I can be open with. Platonic conversation, friendship or romance. Whatever you are looking for, don't hesitate to message me. I hope to hear from you.
I love a number of things, and hate very little. I'm fairly open to trying new things, but some of the things I enjoy are as follows. I love the outdoors. I've never been camping, but I would like to try it with someone some day. I also love to fish. I mostly fish salt water. I do occasionally fish freshwater though. I like to check out new spots around me, but I mostly fish on the beach. Do you like to fish? What are some of your favorite places to go?
I also enjoy the shooting sports. I primarily target shoot. I take part in a little bit of everything, including rifle, pistol and shotgun. It would be nice to find someone who is into shooting or would like to learn/become more familiar. If you shoot, what do you like to shoot mostly? What's been your favorite gun to shoot so far?
PC games are also a enjoyable pastime for me. I have a variety of games, most of which are on Steam. I have other games on various other stores/services. I enjoy a wide variety of different kind of games, so I'm sure we can find something to play together if you game. What are some of your all time favorite games? What are you currently grinding on that you can't put down? One hobby I discovered later on in life is Magic the Gathering. I probably would never have found MtG, if it were not for my best friend. I play both online on MtG Arena, and with physical cards. Magic has become something I am particularly fond of. Do you play any kind of card/table top games? What's been your favorite so far? If you play Magic, what are some of your favorite deck themes?
Music has always been a part of my life. My tastes are varied, ranging from country, death and black metal, electronic, classic rock, folk, pop punk, and more. Do you have a favorite band? What has been your favorite concert you've been to?
I'm honestly an ambivert. I enjoy doing things outside, as well as spending time indoors. I can veg out all day under the covers curled up in my bed, or I can take a trip somewhere and experience something new. I think my personality is a mix of the best of both worlds. What would the perfect day consist of for you?
As far as my personality is concerned, I would say I am fairly relaxed and laid back. I feel like I am somewhere in the middle between loud and excitable, and shy and quiet. Around people I don't know, I tend to be fairly quiet and to myself. In the company of someone who I am close with, I am more open and free. Do you open right up to people, or does it take a while to become comfortable with someone new?
All I hope for is a connection. It could be platonic, or it could blossom into romance, and commitment. I'm not putting a limit on what I am looking for.
With the prior being said, I am single. I may be interested in changing that with the right person. The idea of commitment excites me. Monogamy is appealing to me. Do you feel satisfied with your social life? What kind of connection are you looking for?
Thank you for taking the time to read my post. I appreciate it. I hope you can identify with something I wrote. If you do, please reach out.
P.S. Please feel free to check my post history, and check out a few pictures of my cat if you would like.
submitted by dontgiveaderp to R4R30Plus [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 04:34 dontgiveaderp 32[M4F] Houston, Texas. Hoping to find a relationship.

I'd like to find someone who captivates me. Someone who I can talk with effortlessly. I want to meet a person who I can include in my daily tasks, and talk with throughout the day. I just want to find someone I can be open with. Platonic conversation, friendship or romance. Whatever you are looking for, don't hesitate to message me. I hope to hear from you.
I love a number of things, and hate very little. I'm fairly open to trying new things, but some of the things I enjoy are as follows. I love the outdoors. I've never been camping, but I would like to try it with someone some day. I also love to fish. I mostly fish salt water. I do occasionally fish freshwater though. I like to check out new spots around me, but I mostly fish on the beach. Do you like to fish? What are some of your favorite places to go?
I also enjoy the shooting sports. I primarily target shoot. I take part in a little bit of everything, including rifle, pistol and shotgun. It would be nice to find someone who is into shooting or would like to learn/become more familiar. If you shoot, what do you like to shoot mostly? What's been your favorite gun to shoot so far?
PC games are also a enjoyable pastime for me. I have a variety of games, most of which are on Steam. I have other games on various other stores/services. I enjoy a wide variety of different kind of games, so I'm sure we can find something to play together if you game. What are some of your all time favorite games? What are you currently grinding on that you can't put down? One hobby I discovered later on in life is Magic the Gathering. I probably would never have found MtG, if it were not for my best friend. I play both online on MtG Arena, and with physical cards. Magic has become something I am particularly fond of. Do you play any kind of card/table top games? What's been your favorite so far? If you play Magic, what are some of your favorite deck themes?
Music has always been a part of my life. My tastes are varied, ranging from country, death and black metal, electronic, classic rock, folk, pop punk, and more. Do you have a favorite band? What has been your favorite concert you've been to?
I'm honestly an ambivert. I enjoy doing things outside, as well as spending time indoors. I can veg out all day under the covers curled up in my bed, or I can take a trip somewhere and experience something new. I think my personality is a mix of the best of both worlds. What would the perfect day consist of for you?
As far as my personality is concerned, I would say I am fairly relaxed and laid back. I feel like I am somewhere in the middle between loud and excitable, and shy and quiet. Around people I don't know, I tend to be fairly quiet and to myself. In the company of someone who I am close with, I am more open and free. Do you open right up to people, or does it take a while to become comfortable with someone new?
All I hope for is a connection. It could be platonic, or it could blossom into romance, and commitment. I'm not putting a limit on what I am looking for.
With the prior being said, I am single. I may be interested in changing that with the right person. The idea of commitment excites me. Monogamy is appealing to me. Do you feel satisfied with your social life? What kind of connection are you looking for?
Thank you for taking the time to read my post. I appreciate it. I hope you can identify with something I wrote. If you do, please reach out.
P.S. Please feel free to check my post history, and check out a few pictures of my cat if you would like.
submitted by dontgiveaderp to houstonr4r [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 04:34 dontgiveaderp 32[M4F] Houston, Texas. Hoping to find a relationship. [Relationship]

I'd like to find someone who captivates me. Someone who I can talk with effortlessly. I want to meet a person who I can include in my daily tasks, and talk with throughout the day. I just want to find someone I can be open with. Platonic conversation, friendship or romance. Whatever you are looking for, don't hesitate to message me. I hope to hear from you.
I love a number of things, and hate very little. I'm fairly open to trying new things, but some of the things I enjoy are as follows. I love the outdoors. I've never been camping, but I would like to try it with someone some day. I also love to fish. I mostly fish salt water. I do occasionally fish freshwater though. I like to check out new spots around me, but I mostly fish on the beach. Do you like to fish? What are some of your favorite places to go?
I also enjoy the shooting sports. I primarily target shoot. I take part in a little bit of everything, including rifle, pistol and shotgun. It would be nice to find someone who is into shooting or would like to learn/become more familiar. If you shoot, what do you like to shoot mostly? What's been your favorite gun to shoot so far?
PC games are also a enjoyable pastime for me. I have a variety of games, most of which are on Steam. I have other games on various other stores/services. I enjoy a wide variety of different kind of games, so I'm sure we can find something to play together if you game. What are some of your all time favorite games? What are you currently grinding on that you can't put down? One hobby I discovered later on in life is Magic the Gathering. I probably would never have found MtG, if it were not for my best friend. I play both online on MtG Arena, and with physical cards. Magic has become something I am particularly fond of. Do you play any kind of card/table top games? What's been your favorite so far? If you play Magic, what are some of your favorite deck themes?
Music has always been a part of my life. My tastes are varied, ranging from country, death and black metal, electronic, classic rock, folk, pop punk, and more. Do you have a favorite band? What has been your favorite concert you've been to?
I'm honestly an ambivert. I enjoy doing things outside, as well as spending time indoors. I can veg out all day under the covers curled up in my bed, or I can take a trip somewhere and experience something new. I think my personality is a mix of the best of both worlds. What would the perfect day consist of for you?
As far as my personality is concerned, I would say I am fairly relaxed and laid back. I feel like I am somewhere in the middle between loud and excitable, and shy and quiet. Around people I don't know, I tend to be fairly quiet and to myself. In the company of someone who I am close with, I am more open and free. Do you open right up to people, or does it take a while to become comfortable with someone new?
All I hope for is a connection. It could be platonic, or it could blossom into romance, and commitment. I'm not putting a limit on what I am looking for.
With the prior being said, I am single. I may be interested in changing that with the right person. The idea of commitment excites me. Monogamy is appealing to me. Do you feel satisfied with your social life? What kind of connection are you looking for?
Thank you for taking the time to read my post. I appreciate it. I hope you can identify with something I wrote. If you do, please reach out.
P.S. Please feel free to check my post history, and check out a few pictures of my cat if you would like.
submitted by dontgiveaderp to MeetPeople [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 04:13 CrazyMochiEater SESSION 6: What time is it again because time has lost all meaning

[Part 1][Part 2][Part 3][Part 4][Part 5]
So… This session was weird. Initially titled “Session 5b”, this session starts during the tail end of session 5 chronologically. So how is it that Sister Cecilia (and everyone else in session 5) was simultaneously attempting to prevent Fredpocalypse 2022 *and* chilling with the rest of the group? Because it wasn’t us.
You see, this part of the forest was a strange labyrinth which created clones of Fred, Nalvyr, and Sister Cecilia; these clones (which we played) sought to trap the others in the maze. As a result, the DM created a traitor channel in the discord, which I will be using to aid in this recap. The quotes channel was also an aid, although it will be more helpful in the future.
TLDR: The stuff outside the spoilers is what Carl, Clarence, and Hattock saw. The stuff inside the spoilers is what Sister Cecilia, Fred, and Nalvyr [the evil clones] did.
Who was here?
Carl: The description in the notes is “Farmer from Tennessee who makes moonshine[, is] constantly high on mushrooms, and is dressed in renfaire gear”, which I think is a quote from the player. Comparatively armless.
Clarence: The druid. Has a dark and troubled past.
Hattock: The group’s fighter. Not particularly notable this session, apart from having some semblance of reason.
The clone brigade
Nalvyr: I still don’t actually know what class he is, but the player is True Chaotic
Fred: The rogue. The original holds the Silent Knife, but the clone isn’t silenced because a copy of a magic item isn’t magic
And [the late] Sister Cecilia, who’s being even more of a jerk than usual.
Let the session begin!
First came the question of what to do with a drunken sailor an unconscious bard. Hattock opts to gently pat Carl, but Sister Cecilia’s swift kick in the ribs means we never learn how well that would have worked. Accentuating his sudden return to consciousness with the panicked realization that he’s missing one of his arms, Carl does not take joking about losing the other well, screaming “IT WASN’T FUNNY THE FIRST TIME!”
Carl will remember this.
The area we woke the bard up in has a distinct burny smell, which (for the most part) is coming from the other side of a giant bramble wall, as well as a charred skeleton. Someone (presumably Carl) tries to get us to stop messing with it, telling us “It’s already been burned, leave it alone” twice. Hattock then tells Carl “You’re one strong bonk away from dying”. We eventually make it to a chipped bone field, where Carl is left feeling hot and dizzy; At the other end is a sturdy door, which Fred leads the group through.
We are now in the labyrinth. Faced with 3 potential paths, Sister Cecilia recommends following a wall because she wants to keep them trapped in the labyrinth and knows they won’t reach the exit that way and Carl recommends getting loot so we can drink away our sorrows on the king’s dime. There’s smoke and fire to the south and east respectively, and we resolve to follow Carl south. And on the way…
Sister Cecilia tells Carl: “Look, I know it’s been tough lately. We’ve all had our fair share of hardship on this journey, but of us all you’ve had it the worst. In light of this, I offer my aid: Just ask, I’ll give you a hand if you need it.”
Once the table stopped laughing, Carl muttered “lady give me strength” skyward and we began moving toward a cabin: Clarence in the front, Carl casting invisibility, and Nalvyr taking up the rear so as to set the house alight unnoticed. On the way there (presumably there was something dead/dying nearby?), when offered a spare arm to replace the one he lost, Carl says "I would rather have 1 arm and a soul than 2 arms and be possessed by one of them". Once at the cabin, Fred wins a game of rock, paper, scissors against the feral knight, which eventually blooms into friendship!.. Between those two only. As the group enters the cabin with the stack of bodies in the corner, Sister Cecilia pulls out a copper kettle and some broken ceramic cups from beneath her 7 veils and Carl asks if “the teeth man” (presumably the knight?) can write. With this, he reveals the corpses in the corner are held together by silver stitching before pointing to Carl.
On the way out, Sister Cecilia accidentally rips the door off its hinges. After a quick use of mending and a couple jokes about this place being a rental, we ask the tooth knight if there are more than 3 powerful entities in play. The tooth man just bowed, leaving us to go on our merry way after Carl was mysteriously mind spiked by Nalvyr, which apparently qualified as a strong bonk because he went out like a light. The player joked that he’d failed the save because he was too busy thinking about boobs. Hattock revealed himself to be an Echo Knight, summoning one to carry the bard as Clarence used Healing Word to wake up the sleeping bard-y. Now that Carl was conscious, he was fair game for Hattock to accuse him of something involving the Lady of Broken Branches. Carl’s reply was that he’s not a good seamstress.
The next area is “a major humming”. Sister Cecilia decides to question the centipede with human hands the party has resolved to leave the fuck alone [in an attempt to get it to murder the party]. As a result of her behavior, the centipede states that so many of us have guilty consciences. With that, we pretty much skip to the next area, which is full of bonfires.
As we approach the bonfire zone, the sound of bells surrounds us as Nalvyr casts Toll the Dead on the group, leading to a round of wisdom saves. After this, Nalvyr decides to ritual cast Detect Magic (presumably to find the origin of the ringing), an ominous figure appears in the distance, and Sister Cecilia accuses Carl of being a traitor – a baseless accusation interrupted by the arrival of one of the demon fire cats from session 3, approaching but scared of us. Carl gets close to the cat (which is hissing at everyone by this point), but Fred gets the cat’s friendship.
It’s name is Chicken Nugget.
Obviously Sister Cecilia takes the fact Carl was able to approach the cat at all as suspicious, even as we start to go further down our chosen route toward a pond. Which inexplicably has a cat in it. Carl finds this suspicious, and is starting to comment on it when the rest of the party catches up, makes their wisdom saves, and rolls two crit fails. Turns out both Clarence and Sister Cecilia are suckers for a cat in need, and we took off running for the lake. And we just kept running, even as we went into the lake. Clarence and Cecilia were drowning, Carl got a Spare The Dying right as he passed out (from Nalvyr’s well-timed Toll the Dead), we almost drowned. Good times.
Once everyone’s got of the pond and the Heimlich maneuver was properly applied, the group started discussing the bells that had inexplicably started ringing: Hattock said it’s the old tinnitus acting up, whereas Carl says (more pessimistically) that Sister Cecilia and Nalvyr can’t hear them because they’re not tolling for us… shortly before he has another attack of Fantasy Epilepsy as the cursed choker we’ve been carrying around force-attunes to him.
[At this point, Nalvyr’s player gets an idea: use predistignation to create a false path. I offer to be the first one down the path, so as to trick the others into following. The DM gives us the thumbs up for this plan.] As the group continues, the second person in line suddenly walks face-first into invisible brambles. This maneuver is repeated, by different people, in different variations, multiple times. In the midst of this, Sister Cecilia falls into a giant chasm we somehow never noticed. Surprisingly, she objects when Carl catches her, saying that she’s got some falling to do, returning from above. From here she starts having “glitches”, akin to if she was being recorded with a VHS tape.
Once the group returns & finds the way out through deus ex DM, we take a long rest before entering a crypt-esque area [which I actually requested]. One of the coffins (labeled “Illiana Aldrich” contains a model resembling Sister Cecilia’s corpse, albeit made from china with golden cracks (a la Kintsugi?); the hair, eyes, and clothing support the resemblance, and somewhere in this mess is a purple gem very similar to Carl’s necklace (which is also Carl now). Adjacent is a coffin labeled “Seitheach Aldrich”. At this point, we the traitors look at the clock, look back at the table, and realize we really need to wrap things up if we want to end at a decent time. It’s time to end this session with a bang.
It is here that Sister Cecilia loses it. Citing distrust, she attacks Carl, and the ominous visual glitching that was following her intensifies, before giving out, revealing her (and Fred, and Nalvyr) to be impostors made from plants. It is here, with us blocking the doorway out for the rest of the party, that the fake Sister Cecilia (who is inexplicably 90 degrees from vertical) ominously asks the following question:
submitted by CrazyMochiEater to dndstories [link] [comments]