Calories in grey goose vodka shot
[SETLIST THREAD] Dead & Company, Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL, 6/9/2023
2023.06.09 23:10 Aesop_Rocks [SETLIST THREAD] Dead & Company, Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL, 6/9/2023
Weather : Sky was yellow and the sun was blue
Temperature : Stays 72 come shine or rain
Days Since Last El Paso : 332
Days Since Mickey Last Licked the Beam
: 361 SET 1 [TBD, Around 6:30PM CT]
Set 1 Preview
Dead AiSet 2 Preview
Pre-Show Tunes to Check Out
Lettuce Witches Stew 5/2/17 (Part 1 of 4) New Orleans, LA @ Blue Nile
Oteil & Friends - Live From The Capitol Theatre 03/12/2022
David Gilmour HD - Remember That Night - Full Concert, Royal Albert Hall 2006
Goose ft. Trey Anastasio - 6/25/22 Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY - Sorry not sorry, this was so fucking cool to see in person!!
I got a few rules in this here setlist thread:
- Be Kind. You don’t have to agree with everybody, but there’s no reason to be rude.
- Please don’t skunk up the thread by asking for or sharing miracles. If you choose to share links, keep them in the DMs/PMs. You just gotta poke around.
- Please don’t award this post. While I appreciate the thought, your money is better spent on a good cause. A cause near and dear to my heart is Rainbow Railroad
- No spoilers! If you caught soundcheck or a flash of the setlist, please spoiler tag it or do not mention songs by name!
- If someone says the word "tempo" we all have to take a shot (or hit, or drink of your choosing (alcoholic or non))
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2023.06.09 21:57 dlschindler [Murder Of Crows] S1E5 My Crow Speaks To The Sleepless
"I hate zingers. I was told, growing up, that they are for the weak-minded. Like a 'Jedi mind trick', you know?" Detective Winters was doing something on his phone in our hotel room. His voice startled me as I lay half asleep on my own bed. He was sitting on his bed, half undressed, smoking under the fire alarm. I had no idea what he was talking about.
"Will you open a window? Cory has very small lungs." I requested.
"Cough." Cory said in perfect English. Then my talking crow imitated the hacking and coughing of Detective Winters in the middle of the night. It went on for about as long as a mummer's dance and then ended with the sound of a man spitting.
"Jesus would have sworn for a bird like that." Detective Winters applauded the performance and then used the lit cigarette in his mouth to light another and then he put the smoldering one in his mouth and used the lit one again to finish lighting the fresh tobacco. Then he accidentally scattered the rest of the brown stringy stuff all over the floor. He swept the remains of his new rolling kit off with the spill and shrugged, laid back, and puffed away.
"Goodness." Cory flitted down and inspected the stuff. He liked it too much and I told him to stay out of it.
A knock came upon the door. I already had a bad feeling. I'd read my horoscope and Detective Winters's too. We both had it coming our way. Nothing good could come from 'non-dairy starlight' and 'niche holes on the border'. Those phrases meant no sense, and yet our stars translated to those words, as they danced drunkenly across the keyboard of the starry skies.
"You get that." I stiffened.
"Uh, I always get it." Detective Winters smiled at me weirdly for being weird. He wasn't feeling the terror I felt. For a man who hated zingers: he sure took fear literally.
"One knock, my Lord. Very bad." Cory told me. I nodded, I already knew something was terribly amiss. Just because the armed and half naked policeman in my bedroom was blundering forward to grip the doorhandle without regard, didn't mean that we were safe. Only terror gripped my heart as my crow went to the bedpost and squawked in alarm, "Must go now!"
He opened the door and it was the same maid from before. She was wearing her regular street clothes instead of her uniform. She reminded Detective Winters that he was a policeman. He agreed and she asked him if, as a policeman, he could help her. He agreed to that too.
I didn't want to go, but I had no choice. Gagging and swaying stiffly like a terrified zombie I went with them; knowing this was going to be very bad, because I had read those weird horoscopes and believed them. Sweat shot out from my upper lip as I gibbered helplessly in dread:
"Where are we going?" I asked in apprehensive discernment, finally getting the words out of my sweaty lips.
"We are going to Sesame Street and Brooklyn Ave. You ever gone there before?" He accepted one of the woman's menthol cigarettes and fumbled with the book of matches from the hotel that was in the ashtray of his car. Then he put the cigarette to his lips and lit it while driving. He eventually cracked the window and let out most of the smoke.
"Why don't you open your window?" The woman asked. I was very afraid of the kind of trouble she was asking for. If I opened the window I might lose Cory in an awful way. Trembling I reached out and took the window's lever and opened the window a crack. Then I reached over and got the other one too. She smiled, like a golden devil, and cracked her window and then got her's down to about halfway. By then only the odor of the smoke remained.
"That's probably good." I gulped.
We got to her apartment and went inside to meet her husband and her son. The boy was tied to his bed and his eyes were terrifying and horrible. His face was monstrous and contorted and looked like a bad makeup special effect. Except that was his actual flesh. He struggled mightily and for a moment it was as though he would break free and rampage like an angry animal. His teeth glowed in the shade, sharp and ready to bite. He looked at us.
As his eyes met Detective Winters, the man froze. Then some of his hair started to wither and wilt. It became brittle and grey. He staggered backward and fell. I tried to avoid the gaze of whatever that was. It only wore her son, but something else was with us, watching us from within him. As Detective Winters made the communion of eye contact it had known him and known itself to him. Thus kin to its ways, he had fallen to the shock and horror of something unfathomably horrifying beyond words. The meaning of such a thing is simply instinctive, and to not know it is a blessing, and it cannot be known to someone until they have seen it, smelled the fruit-candy sweetness and the sulfur of its breath. Heard the voice of an angel, but not one from Heaven.
"Open the window." It commanded. The voice of this creature was not made by a human-will, yet it was from the lips of a child. Horrible and deep and grinding like a thousand souls on wheels of torture, all crying out this one phrase in unison, and then as one voice together and tormented and irresistible.
I quaked and fell back against the wall, refusing to look at it. I crept along the wall until I got to the shades. Then I drew them and let in the light. I gasped at the surreal horror I could see then:
The whole city was covered in flesh. Parts of people twitched and dripped and dangled everywhere. Skinless ones dragged their feet, leaving trails of themselves as they went. I heard a rumbling, or rather saw it, sensed it somehow. The clouds convulsed and began to drip and it was then raining. The rain was blood.
I screamed and fell back. Cory flapped around the room and the demonic thing with us was laughing. I clawed my way to the door, frantically. Detective Winters got up suddenly, and with a wild look in his eyes. His head was struck upon the shelf and a clacking monkey doll with chimes fell free onto my back as I crawled out the bedroom door.
The vision of ultimate horror burned the landscape into my memory. Once it is seen, it cannot be unseen. As I looked around I could still feel its presence on everything. I clawed at the floor, slick with the butcher's offal, but it was just the carpet. The fear was real, and as I held myself and cried in terror: I knew the carnage was still all around me, invisible. There were bodies hung from ropes, and chopped apart, and torn, and there were dead staked to the ceiling, and vivisectioned. Only I knew they were there, even if I couldn't see them. I had seen them and knew they still remained. My heartbeat slowed and I felt the clacking of the monkey on my back. I shook myself free of it and went and hid in a corner.
"My son, he is feeling better! You two have cured him! How do you do this? No exorcism? Nothing?" The father was in tears and holding up his son for us.
"Let's get out of here." Detective Winters helped me up. Cory rode on my outstretched left arm, nervously. I kept lowering my arm to which he would click his disapproval, each time. Detective Winters helped my shocked frame into the car and tossed the toy monkey onto the seat next to me. It had most likely followed us out of the apartment, or else he had carried it. Certainty is for the weak-minded, I concluded, as I stared at its malevolent glass eyes.
We got back to the hotel room and one of us put the monkey on top of the television.
"Time to get some sleep." Detective Winters stated. He laid down stiffly, like some kind of rigid corpse.
"Must go now." Cory hid behind my head on the pillow and softly called.
I watched sleeplessly as the horrible thing sat there atop the television. I could only speculate that it was the cause of the child's malady and that removing it had made everything better. I stared at the infinite evil in its dark glass eyes. Suddenly it started to chime its little chimes, clashing them loudly in the darkness.
"Oh, gawd! It's awake!" I yelled and sat up. Cory fluttered around on the bed, flapping frantically.
"What! What's happening?" Detective Winters woke to a start.
We laid back down and I started to fall asleep. As my eyes slowly started to close the absolute terror I had felt since the beginning was starting to subside just enough to catch my breath. Maybe I would not get left forgotten in the starry skies. Perhaps the wall of sleep had an unlocked door for me to get through safely to the other side. My eyes were fluttering shut when suddenly the monkey chimed again, evilly and terrifyingly in the dark.
"That thing!" I shrieked in gross terror as I woke suddenly.
In the darkness its shape sat there ready to pounce on the sleeper. It was watching our eyes close with its own eyes always wide open and staring, shining in the darkness. The toothy grin of the diabolical creature anticipated this third calamity upon our dying nerves.
My sleep brought the image of the mirrored eyes. I stared into a mirror, seeing its marble glass amid the tufted spiky hair. The monkey in the mirror wanted out; as I dreamed in a delirious fog. My dreams told me of its true nature in the true world. The one we shared alongside it.
The doll was merely where its existence met ours, like a kind of intact vortex. The space between the walls of the whirlpool, as it drains into the darkness, gurgling. I was staring too deeply into that darkness and there it was. I could see its true form there. It clambered up out of the darkness, held back only by the glass of the mirror.
Enraged, the monkey glared and snarled at me. It showed its sharp teeth and then it began hitting the glass. It threw itself against the glass over and over. As the glass fractured and broke, it began the crawl through, shrieking and snarling in terrifying rage. Its flesh was cut to the bone and it peeled off its own face coming through the broken glass like that. Then it came crawling across the floor to get to me, its hate-filled eyes glimmering over its vicious teeth.
Sleep was not a safe place to be. The chime blasted again, clanging loudly and diabolically. I jerked to my feet with a start, the image of the nightmare still clinging to what I thought I was seeing.
Except as I blinked away the nightmare I could see the dark liquid of its true form writhing back into the shape of the doll. Its shadows scattered across the wall like animated flames with no color. The foul smell of sweet and rotting things filled the air. I could hear its growl from the doll and from all around and from within my own mind, echoing from the memory of Dream.
Then without warning there was a loud detonation and blinding flash. The doll exploded into thousands of tiny sticks that were painted in red stripes. Detective Winters put his gun back into the holster.
"Perhaps now, we can get some sleep." He had a bent rolly in his mouth with bits of tobacco sticking out of it every which way. He managed to get it lit without setting it on fire and smoked it for a minute before he snuffed it out.
"I am too afraid to." I yawned.
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2023.06.09 21:52 JustaguynamedTheo It would have been so much better if Anakin lost the podrace.
People often complain that Anakin was too overpowered because he won against Sebulba the race despite being sabotaged and shot at by Tusken raiders. If Anakin lost and Sebulba won, we could have a scene with Qui-Gon and Anakin and co and Watto approaching grinning. Then Qui Gon would do something questionable. He would threat Watto with his lightsaber, which would portray his morally grey side better. In the chaos, Anakin's mother would be taken from the group by local guards as they were trying to escape. That would explain why they couldn't just buy Anakin's mother after TPM and why Anakin would be much more worried about her. All it takes are some little rewrites for AOTC so Anakin finds tge Lars family who bought her later.
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2023.06.09 21:46 RelativeChance [US-NJ] [H] Custom Patina Maja PC V1, Rama M60-A Moon, Owlab Spring Black Chroma, Project Affogato Wrist Rest, Voice Mini, Gmk Redacted, Rama Artisans, Cheap Keycaps [W] Paypal, Rama M6-C Milkshake
|Item ||Details ||Price |
|Maja V1 Polycarbonate with Custom Patinaed Brass ||Great condition. Comes with hotswap pcb, brass plate (this is also patinaed), original foams, extra screws. This is polycarbonate which is a soft material so there are some inevitable small scratches but it is not very noticeable. ||$525 OBO Shipped |
|Rama M60-A Moon ||Great condition, includes extra feet, pcb is hotswap ||$300 OBO Shipped |
|Owlab Spring Black Chroma ||Great condition, comes with FR4 plate and new unused solder pcb. Also comes with extra case foam, extra feet, carrying case and microfiber cloth. Also comes with a keylabs crucible rainbow pvd aluminum cherry esc artisan. ||$510 OBO Shipped |
|Gmk Redacted Base + Eyes Only ||Excellent condition no shine. It does not come in the plastic trays shown in the photos. I threw out the original potato tray but still have the sleeve, it will probably be shipped in a new potato tray. ||$125 Shipped |
|Gmk Redacted Aluminum Rama ||Excellent condition ||$85 Shipped |
| ||Bundle GMK Redacted kits and Rama ||$200 Shipped |
|Project Affogato Aluminum & Wood/Carbon Fiber Wrist Rest ||Brand new, never used. Includes both the forged carbon fiber and wood inserts. The wood has not been treated with the included sandpaper or varnish. More information is available here. ||Trade with the items I have listed below like the Nemo Decommission 1, Inventory Hide, M6-C milkshake |
|Wonka Brass Enter (PVD Bronze) ||Custom Brass cherry enter (PVD coated in Bronze colorway) laser engraved with the Wonka logo. Note that there are some micro scratches and there is a small blemish under the W. Would go well with gmk chocolatier for example. ||$105 OBO Shipped |
|Monokei 65% Titan Grey Polycarbonate Wrist Rest ||Has some micro scratches which is inevitable with polycarbonate, see images. This color is like a dark purplish black. This was originally for the Monokei Hiro but it also pairs well with some other 65% keyboards such as the mode 65. ||$69 Shipped |
|Rama Thermal Red Artisan ||Brand new, excellent condition ||$105 OBO Shipped |
|Rama Beta Artisan ||Brand new, excellent condition ||$60 OBO Shipped |
|Voice Mini Passion ||Brand new, never used, includes all original accessories ||$70 OBO Shipped |
|Gmk Minimal 2 Rama Square, Circle, and Triangle ||Excellent condition ||$130 OBO for all 3 shipped, willing to split it up too |
|Keyreative ABS Cherry Profile Blank Keycap Set Hot Pink ||One escape row 1u keycap has a manufacturing defect on the back (see photo). More info here. ||$12 OBO Shipped |
|Mozi Elos Gold Flakes Arrow(R4) + Elos Silver Flakes Arrow(R4) ||Brand new, unmounted ||$10 Shipped for both |
|Rama DSA XO Blue and Red Keycaps + Rama DSA XO White on Black Keycaps + Rama GRID keycaps (5 green transparent and 2 red transparent) ||DSA keycaps are double shot ABS ||$10 OBO Shipped |
|Rutomoda TRIFL Keycaps ||There are 4 different sets of 8 1u keycaps (grey, black, grey hills, black hills). Brand new never used, more details can be found here ||$25 OBO shipped for 1 set of 8 1u keycap (can mix half hills and half regular) |
All items include free shipping to US.
International shipping available at an additional cost Feel free to dm with any questions and offers (such as discounts for bundles or OBO, everything is OBO).
Must have confirmed trades for items over $100.
Want to buy/trade for:
- White Rama M6-C (Milkshake or Milk)
- Rama Nemo Decommission 1
- Rama Inventory Hide (Dark Brown)
- Lilac, Maroon, Gold Mirror Mode65 Backpiece
- Gmk Hanok Base
- Hibi november fog, olive 1u, galaxy 1u
- Mode65 Copper Plate, Backpiece and Bottom
- Latrialum cappuccino esc
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2023.06.09 21:19 LibrarianMagpie [TOMT][MOVIE][2000s] Animated Film About Talking Dogs
This may be a long shot but I recall catching an animated film on television as a child that I haven't been able to find with what little I can recall of it. This was in the early/mid 2000s, I believe. I unfortunately don't recall the channel I was watching it on but my siblings and I frequented Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network.
From what I recall, the movie was about a group of dogs that lived with an older woman (possibly in a shelter, but I'm not certain) and the villains were two thin, grey, almost skeletal twins that were trying to scam the woman out of her home/animal shelter. One of the male dogs was named Rodney, I believe (and, no, it isn't Rover Dangerfield lol) as well as a female dog that I want to say was a light shade of pink (but I could certainly be confusing the character with Mammoth Mutt from Krypto the Super Dog as I frequently watched that show)
The animation was traditional and seemed to be mimicking the Disney Renaissance style. Unfortunately, I was too young to notice the particular quality so I've no clue if it was cheaply made or not. All I'm certain of is that it isn't one the Disney Animated Canon or anything directed by Bluth.
The only other detail I can remember is a scene where the dog whose name I think is Rodney throws a ball at one of the twins' groin. Which isn't terribly much to go on, unfortunately, as slapstick is super common in kids movies haha.
If anyone knows this elusive childhood movie of mine, I'd appreciate the help!
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2023.06.09 21:00 Trash_Tia There’s been a secret ongoing war between the Starbucks stores in my city where employees are bloodthirsty for coffee— and they will do anything to get it.
Does anyone know how to get out of a Starbucks contract?
I just started my new job and I already want to quit. I REALLY want to quit. Because this shit isn’t normal. I mean, is it? Do you guys have experience with this type of shit, or is it a normal thing when moving to the city? I’m a small-town girl so I’m not used to this. We didn’t even have a Starbucks. Just a diner that had been broken into multiple times over the years.
Do you know the bad feeling you get when something bad is going to happen, but you ignore it for the sake of staying sane? .Yeah.
It was one of those situations.
But I needed cash. I needed a job. College in the city is expensive, especially in my mid-twenties. Uber Eats every night and various subscriptions, such as Netflix and Spotify—as well as basic living needs required cash. So, naturally, I looked for part-time jobs I could use to fill up my weekend and nights. When it came to job hunting, I was fairly lazy. So, the Starbucks job kinda came out of nowhere.
I wasn’t even looking for it. I was applying for a job in the local music store when it caught my eye. Someone to work late evenings and nights on weekdays and Saturdays. The job description didn’t say much, just basic pay details and a full paragraph dedicated to talking about “The Starbucks Family”. Skim reading it, I skipped to the APPLY NOW button and sent in my resume via email. Two hours.
It had taken two hours to get an email back offering a video interview the next day—and a guaranteed job if I didn’t screw it up. The video interview went well to my surprise. The woman who conducted it acted more like a friend, asking me what my favorite movies and TV shows were, and then going into detail about her own.
It didn’t even feel like an interview. More like a chat. Which was exactly what the email said it was going to be. The interviewer was my mom’s age, a total mom-like persona. She offered me iced tea before laughing and realizing we were on a video call. Her cat popped up halfway through her introducing several staff members by name. A large tabby whom she picked up and hugged to her chest. I wasn’t sure what to do except repeatedly say, “Aww.” and force an even bigger smile.
The woman who for some reason did not introduce herself finished the interview with a more formal and thorough talk-through of rules and regulations. Which went in one ear and out the other. I think I was too excited about the job as a whole. There’s something almost mythical about working at Starbucks. I’ve seen barista TikTok complaining about customer service and harping about in the back rooms. It looked fun. Plus, free drinks? I figured working at the famous coffee chain would at least have benefits and freebies.
The woman spoke to me for almost two hours about certain drinks, telling me I would be trained up, and then going on to explain the dos and don’ts in a working environment. It was kind of patronizing, but I figured she had to be to remain professional. I tuned out when she started talking about a certain “feud” they had with another store down the road. The woman didn’t go into detail, but her expression did darken significantly when she leaned closer to her screen and repeated the phrase, “Do you understand me?” I had to backtrack and try and go over what she had been saying, but I had found myself mesmerized by the gilded sword in the background. It hung from the back wall in all of its glory, and I was having a hard time trying to figure out why exactly a Starbucks manager had a sword hanging from her wall.
“Sim?” Inclining her head, the manager cleared her throat. “Did you hear me?”
I did. Sort of. Under no circumstances must I visit or go near 2nd Street Starbucks. If I did there would be dire consequences and I would face losing my job, or worse.
I wasn’t sure what “or worse” was, but from the way her expression twisted from funny-cat-lady to a potential employer, I didn’t want to ask.
“Uh, yeah,” I said. “I can’t go near the 2nd Street store.” I almost choked on a glass of water I had been slowly sipping throughout the interview. I had been sweating most of the day, dying in the intense June heat. It was a lot cooler in the evening in the city, but I was used to draining at least ten glasses a day. “Is that real?” I couldn’t help asking, pointing to the sword behind her.
I know you are supposed to maintain a certain professional persona and façade during professional work interviews with potential managers. However, I really wanted to know if that ancient thing was real, it was driving me crazy. Because questions were arising in my head: How did she get it? Was it hers? Was it for some kind of aesthetic and feng-shui, or was there more to it? From the look on the interviewer’s face, she seemed startled.
Whipping her head around, her strict grey ponytail hitting the screen, she nodded before turning back to me, her gaze flicking down to what I presumed was a script she was reading off—or maybe she was skimming through my printed-out resume. I wanted to ask her more about the elephant in the room, but she seemed satisfied with answering my question with a nod. She asked me more questions, mostly about my work ethic and if I enjoyed working in a team and independently, if I had any special requirements, and oddly—if I had ever held a firearm. Now, that caused alarm bells. Along with the gilded sword dangling from this forty-something-year-old’s lounge wall, I was definitely starting to question the exact nature of what I would be doing at this job. Serving coffee was an obvious one, though I was pretty sure Starbucks barista's didn’t require military-style training.
When I didn’t know what to say, she seemed to back-pedal. “Oh, it’s in case of a robbery.” She said. But her expression stayed stoic. Speaking in the tone of being joking, but not being joking. “It is rare. However, it is a precaution we must take.” Choosing her words carefully, the interviewer steepled her hands in front of her face, leaning her chin on her fingers. “Our employees are given basic fire-arm training in the instance that one day we may face a difficult situation. Now, I am not saying it is inevitable, but due to certain behavior throughout the years, it is, of course, better to be safe than sorry.”
“Oh.” I tried to smile. “No, I haven’t,” I paused, hoping my lack of ability to hold a gun wouldn’t screw up my chances. “But I can learn?”
I said it like a question because it was a question. I was questioning myself why exactly I would take up my time learning to shoot a gun I most likely never would need. To my surprise though, the woman’s smile brightened and she looked down at whatever she was writing.
“Of course,” she said. “Sim, I am very happy to hear that. We love employees who do their best to learn and thrive in our working environment,” she paused and typed something on her laptop before her gaze found mine. “I’ll put you down for lessons on Friday mornings. How does that sound?” Before I could answer her—because I was starting to seriously question why she was so obsessed with training me to use a goddamn gun—she was nodding to herself. “I will put Jude in charge of you. I think he is working on Friday, so your induction and welcome can be completed in the morning…”
She trailed off into her own murmured conversation to herself before clearing her throat. I jumped. I didn’t mean to jump, but her whole presence was putting me on edge. The lady had been nicer on the phone, and earlier on in the interview when she was grilling me on which Frozen character was my favorite.
“Okay!” The interviewer gathered up her paperwork, beaming at me through the camera. “Can you start tomorrow? Let’s say…” her eyebrows furrowed together. “5:30? I will not be there for the first hour due to certain obligations,” she traced her lip with the tip of her index. “However, I have four employees working the front desk, I’m sure they will give you a warm welcome.” I noticed something twitch on her lips. It was almost like she was trying to stop herself from laughing—which was childish from a standpoint where I was the younger one, while she was the senior. She was supposed to be setting some kind of standard, and yet for some reason was more inclined in teasing me about workplace friendships, and apparently how “close” my colleagues were. I wasn’t stupid, I knew what friendship was like in the workplace. It’s not “real” because you’re all there to do a job, not making lifelong friendships.
“I’m looking forward to meeting them,” I said when she snorted out a laugh that twisted up my gut.
"Absolutely," she responded. "The team is very close, so don't take it personally if they're initially cautious. I'm confident that you'll all become great friends! Kai is a kind-hearted sweetheart, while Ana may seem standoffish initially, but she'll warm up to you once you get to know her. Jude, on the other hand, will be your guide during the orientation, so it's best to stay close to him. In fact, it's recommended to shadow him during your first few hours since he's our top performer! Frankly, Sim, I can hardly wait for you to meet them! They're a great group!" This woman seemed to suddenly discover the use of expletives, or maybe she had noticed I visibly wanted to crawl into the ground. The way she was describing the other employees, I was expecting cartoon characters when I walked through the door.
“Right,” I said. I was starting to regret applying. “I’ll be there.”
She ended the call with a bright smile, and her stupid cat walking on the keyboard, causing her to squeak out in horror. I shut my laptop, my cheeks burning. Well, that went…? Well? Could I really say it went well when the manager had spent the last five minutes implying my work colleagues were going to hate me? Fuck.
I didn’t want to go. I trashed my application and deleted her number from my phone. But the morning after, however, I came to the quick realization through precious morning caffeine, that I needed cash. So, no matter how much I didn’t want to go—I had to. So, I headed to classes and tried not to think about it. It was 5:34 when I stepped into the familiar glow of the famous store—not before being stopped in the middle of a crowed by a girl wearing bright pink ray-bans and a scowl. “Do you work there?” she turned and pointed to the store.
I shrugged. “I guess.”
She scoffed, slipping off her ray-bans and fixing me with a bitchy smile. “Your funeral.”
Normally, in situations when strangers say odd things to me on the street, I just laugh it off. But this? This seemed personal.
The girl didn’t say anything before turning and walking or rather running away.
Well, that was weird.
After that encounter, I was weighing the positives and negatives of taking up the job. The positives would be cash and something to occupy my mind away from classes, and the negatives were being stuck with insufferable colleagues and a manager who was the embodiment of unprofessional. The store was pretty empty when I stepped through automatic doors, reveling in the cooling fan blasting icy cold air in my face. A dark-haired college girl had her back to me, cleaning tables. But I noticed her stiffening up when I took a step forward. She straightened up like a cat going into territorial mode, before relaxing and holding a two-fingered hand up.
The store was empty so I had no idea who she was signaling to. It wasn’t a greeting to me—I had no idea what it was. I was halfway to the counter before a guy popped up out of nowhere, mid-way through drying a cup with a washrag. His hair was the first thing I noticed. Bright red.
In contrast to his pasty skin, this guy would definitely stand out in a crowd. He was my age or maybe a little older, mid twenties, with a wide smile and not much of anything else, kitted in a short-sleeved shirt, and a Starbucks apron over the top.
I expected quirky cartoon-like weirdos and I got an average Joe. I wasn’t complaining.
Initially, I thought this guy was just another jock-like college guy. But looking closer, the friendliness in his eyes wasn’t sincere, and his smile was strained. Keeping up a professional attitude, he regarded me with a smile, leaning across the counter. But his eyes kept flicking to the door in quick succession like he was waiting for a certain someone to come in. “You.” He pointed at me, trailing his finger to the door, swiping hair from his face with his hand. The guy was bouncing on the heels of his toes, I noticed. He couldn’t stand still, like a hyperactive child. “You’re Sim, The newbie I’m supposed to be training.”
I nodded, offering a nervous wave.
“Jude.” He introduced himself, though clearly distracted, his gaze flicking to and from the door. His facade was friendly enough, but very fake. It was the same smile I presumed he flashed at customers who complimented his looks. “Hey, Sim.”
Instead of holding out his hand for me to shake, he folded his arms across his chest. Jude cocked his head, drinking me in before his lips broke out into a beam.
"Shall we get started?"
Jude started the tour, showing me the store itself, then the back, the storage room, the staff room, and bizarrely, a wooden door which he referred to as, “The Drink”. I had no idea what that meant, but I made a mental note to steer away from it.
The backrooms of the store turned into a labyrinth. The place was covered in mold, peeling paint on the doors and old rugged floor tiles. Jude spoke way too fast like he was intentionally trying to confuse me. By the time I was struggling with my apron, he was turning on his heels with a brow raised. “Your hair is too long so you need to tie it up. You can shadow me this evening but don’t get in my way. We have two twenty-minute breaks and during them, we are contractually obligated to go down to the Second Street store and throw eggs at their windows—ooh, and the girl you just met who didn’t say a word? That’s Ana. You will get used to her.” His smile reached a level of fake I didn’t think was possible. “Why don’t you follow me?”
“What?” I managed to hiss out when Jude was leading me down a long, winding corridor that dipped into various rooms, out-of-order elevators, and the creepiest set of stairs I had ever seen leading into the pitch dark. I was still trying to register his words.
Jude twisted around with a frown. “What’s up?” He nodded at a passing blonde girl who shot me a smile, and hive-fived Jude before disappearing through a door.
“You throw eggs at the store down the road?”
The guy’s lip twitched into the start of a smile. He turned around, quickening his pace. “Did I say that? Obviously, I was joking.”
I stumbled after him, knocking into a dark-haired younger guy carrying a tray of cupcakes. He and Jude seemed to exchange words without speaking before Jude gestured to the stranger. Somehow, I figured out their telepathic conversation through eye movements and strained smiles, they weren’t talking about me. “That’s Kai,” Jude said, pushing through the doors back to the main storefront. He took a customer’s order, retaining that stupid smile. “If you need any help with making those annoying TikTok drinks that take a millennia to make and have probably broken several Geneva convention rules?” He playfully knocked into me while preparing a drink, his hands knowing where everything was, preparing and serving a latte in a matter of minutes, “Kai is your guy! He runs our social media page and is practically a connoisseur on the next big trend. He'll deal with zoomers."
I was slowly starting to ease my way into this job, and my colleagues seemed pretty cool. Jude actually helped me all the way through the evening, introducing his home life and how he grew up as he cleaned tables and conversed with the others—always throwing me into their chatting so I didn’t get left out. I ended up sorting through cookies and making price labels with Aurora, the perky blonde who high-fived Jude earlier. She spoke to me like we had been best friends for years, and that part of her charm made me instantly adore her. She was tiny for her age, but a menace when it came to her sharp tongue and language. I didn’t think a tiny thing like her could swear like a goddamn sailor, but it was cute. Jude and Aurora had a sibling-type thing going on, though every time I caught Kai’s eye, he was smirking. It seemed everyone knew they had a thing except them.
I was actually having fun with the others, bobbing my head to the radio while serving a group of kids, when Jude, who was next to me, seemed to go rigid all of a sudden. His laughing smile carved into something else. I had never seen an expression change so fast.
But he wasn’t the only one. Aurora, cleaning tables and giggling at Jude’s joke, straightened up, her eyes flashing to the door. Kai’s head snapped up from where he had been grinding coffee. Following their gaze, I found myself face-to-face with the manager who interviewed me. But unlike the night before, she was not smiling. The woman dropped her bag at the door before marching towards the counter. Jude leaned over; his expression apprehensive.
His eyes as well as his tone had darkened significantly. All of my colleagues had taken off these masks, these facades of joking smiles and bright eyes, and now I was seeing a glimmer of what they were hiding. What Jude had been looking for all evening, sneaking glances at the door. I watched his gaze follow the manager as she paced back and forth, chewing her nails. “Where is he?”
“I don’t know.” She finally said, lifting her head. Her lips were twisted. “But.” She said, spitting each word, as she rounded the counter, helping herself to coffee. “You’re going to pay a visit to them right now, and…and sort this out once and for all.” Her voice resembled that of a mother talking to her children. She was assertive to them, her eyes piercing. Do you understand me?” The woman nodded at Jude. “You can go.” Her eyes found mine. “Take the new girl, she needs to be inducted.” Finally, she turned to Ana, who was standing in the corner silently. “You are too. I need brains, and Jude is just brawn. Keep him on his toes, young lady."
With a hint of sarcasm in his tone, Jude uttered a brief "Thanks," and then proceeded to take a coffee cup and a Sharpie. Swiftly, he scrawled some words on the side of the cup, before placing it inside a bag and plonking it in front of me. As Jude reached for his coat at the back, he put it on over his green Starbucks apron, creating a striking contrast with his denim blue sherpa. With his mop of red curls, this guy was in no way going to be as incognito as he thought. "We'll manage the conversation,” he said hurriedly, visibly excited. Jude seemed to lead the others in their expressions, his confidence and wit causing them to brighten up, adapting wide smiles. He shoved his hands in his pockets, “All you gotta do is hand them this, okay?”
“Is that a good…” Kai drifted off on whatever he was about to say, ducking his head when Jude shot him a glare.
“I think it’s a perfect idea!” The manager beamed at me. “What a way to fully bring you into our family!”
I took the coffee cup (the empty coffee cup) hesitantly. “What is it?”
“It’s a gift!” Jude said, moving towards the door in long strides. It was all too noticeable that this guy was practically vibrating with an energy I had never known. It was almost manic. “I want to let them know we appreciate them! Y’know! Rival to rival.”
Kai stepped in front of him on the way out.
“Be careful,” he said in a low hum. Aurora joined him, but she wasn’t speaking, her left-hand tugging at the waistband of her jeans. “Keep your head down when you go in because they’ll be expecting you—and they’ll be expecting a retaliation.”
“Relaaaaax, it’s Cora! We used to date!” he cocked his head. "I think."
“I mean it. "
Jude’s gaze found mine for a moment before his smile grew. “Well, we have enough eggs don’t we?” He grabbed my arm, pulling me along. Ana was already gone. I could see her figure already slinking down the street, bleeding into the shadow.
When the two of us hit the cool night air and Jude quickened his pace into a power-walk, his eyes set forwards, jaw set, I figured I should ask what his deal was. If this guy was serious about vandalizing a rival Starbucks, and not just that, urged by his manager, then I had to say something.
The thought of ending up in jail being petty over a rival store made me feel nauseous.
“So, what is this about?” I asked, catapulting myself into a half-run to keep up with him. The guy had abnormally long legs, so he was halfway across the sidewalk while I was barely two steps in front. “Aren’t you taking this a little too seriously?”
Jude didn’t reply, instead remarking on the sky being filled with stars.
“Hey, Ana!” He shouted. “Wait up!”
Second Street Starbucks was like walking into a palace. I could tell why these guys were rivals. The place was a three-floored beast, a glass building made up of a Starbucks downstairs, a library, and a private apartment. I found myself mesmerized by the twinkling lights on the door, the mini water fountain through large windows showing an even bigger storefront with rich-looking wooden tables and reclining chairs. The store was closing. When we stepped in front of the door, there was a sign which clearly said CLOSED on the front.
Still, though, Ana pushed her way through it, followed by Jude, pulling me along with him. Two employees were working, a guy with short blondish hair mopping the floors, and a girl standing at the counter, going through the register. The moment we stepped inside, the guy cleaning up stopped mopping from side to side, his fingers visibly tightening around the mop handle. “Hey there!”
With one of his best fake smiles, Jude raised his arms in surrender. “We’re from the Starbucks down the road. We come in peace, don’t worry!” He gestured to me.
“Can we talk to your manager?”
He took a step, his lip twitching, eyes glinting, which caused a stir in the air. The girl at the counter stopped flicking through a wad of cash in her hand and delicately put it down, and the guy turned to face us with wary eyes.
As Jude took another stride forward, his movements resembled a dance, and I noticed he was having fun teasing them. His eyes sparkled with a childlike glee that was unexpected for a person in his twenties. "Would you like to try our latest coffee recipe? It's like sipping on liquid sunshine." He nonchalantly brushed his jeans, and I half-expected him to pull out an egg. “But…” Jude took another step, and Ana situated herself behind the blonde boy, her expression blank. “You’ve already tasted it, haven’t you?”
The girl behind the counter finally stopped counting cash, delicately placing a wad back inside the register before leaning forward, an amused smirk curving on her lips. “Jude.” Her voice was a low murmur. “I didn’t think I would see you here so soon.”
“Cora.” Jude’s lips quirked. “Trust me, I don’t want to be. But hey, it's the boss's orders.”
She inclined her head, her eyes drinking all of him in. The girl rested her fist on her chin. She was surveying him like a piece of meat. “And you obey her?”
His grin widened, and I saw his hand once again brush the front of his apron. “Like a dog.”
“You know her?” I hissed out, grasping hold of the coffee cup in my hand.
“Cora?” Jude turned to me. “Oh yeah, we used to be the Romeo and Juliet of coffee shop rivalry — back when we were both newbies, and our store kidnapped me as a last resort. To keep the peace, I stayed.” He shrugged. “That’s what I’m told, anyway.”
Starbucks lore was getting dark.
These guys had to be joking around.
I took a step back, eager to head towards the door and be as far away as possible from what I was pretty sure was going to be a lot of eggs, and several arrests. “You worked here?” I couldn’t believe my mouth was still moving and forming words as I took slow steps back. Before Jude caught my arm.
“Apparently.” He said, dragging me back by his side. “Why don’t you give ‘em’ their gift?”
Unwrapping the bag and pulling out the cup, I nodded and took slow strides toward the counter, placing it down in front of her.
Cora frowned, before picking it up, her gaze going to the side.
“Go fuck yourself 2nd street bloodsuckers.” She read out loud, her brow raising into her hairline.
“I should probably go.” I managed to say, backing away. “I don’t think is the job for me—”
The latter half of my words exploded in my head when something slammed into my ears, a physical force sending me to my knees. Initially, I didn’t know what it was. It sounded like a nuclear bomb had gone off. When the ringing in my head subsided, I was aware I had my head buried in my knees, my hands clamped over my ears.
But when I tried to listen past the relentless shrill ringing in my skull, I heard them one after the other. Pop, pop, pop! Gunshots. The crack of each bullet ricocheted in my skull. It was a robbery, I thought dizzily. We were being robbed. No, Second Street was being robbed. When I lifted my head to try and find Jude and Ana to see if they were okay-- I expected them to be cowering like me, Jude, under the table, muffling yelling into his hand, and Ana, calmly pulling him to safety. But that wasn't what I saw. Instead, I must have been fucking imagining things. Jude had not moved from his spot-- and perfectly melded into his hand, was a gun. A gun he was holding like a pro, his hands wrapped around the butt, index teasing the trigger.
His trajectory was directly between Cora's eyes. Jude had not been the one who shot the gun. In fact, neither had Ana, who was still standing stiffly behind the blonde guy.
It was a girl behind the counter who had come out of nowhere wielding the type of gun I expected to see in movies. I noticed from his stance Jude had maybe stepped to the left and then the right to avoid being hit, but the way his demeanour was fully and completely relaxed sent shivers creeping down my spine. "The deal is off, Cora," he murmured. "You fuck with us, so we fuck with you." he lowered his gun slightly, his eyes darkening. "Where's Ren? He came here to sniff you out, so where is he?"
Cora seemed remarkably calm. She started to raise her hands, her lips forming the words, "I don't know what you're talking about" before she stopped, her body going limp. It took me a disorienting moment to realize Jude had taken the shot, followed by another, both landing right between her eyes. When Cora hit the ground, the whole world around me exploded.
I was dragged to the ground by Jude, as he dived across the floor, pressing himself into the back of a table, twisting around, and taking out the barista who almost shot me in the face. There were five of them, all of them good shooters. Too good. Ana easily took out a blonde and brunette with her own magnum, followed by a bald guy who crashed through the counter which collapsed under him.
Jude fell into a manic shoot-out with a guy who would not give up, and after several attempts, re-loading, and attempting to finish him from the ground, my colleague got tired and stood up, dropped his gun, and leaped across the counter. I didn't know what to watch. Ana, who was destroying their coffee machine, or Jude, who snapped the boy's neck with a single twist of his fingers, before ripping out his eyes. He hauled the dead guy over his knees, grazing his teeth across the pasty flesh of the boy's neck, his eyes flickering. I wouldn’t say they turned a different color, but there was something inhuman about them, a certain tint around his iris. "Urgh."
He shoved the corpse away, jumping up. "He reeks of it." Treading through broken glass and pooling red on the floor, my colleague grabbed a cup, downed it, and then spat it out. “That.” He sputtered. “Is the worst fucking thing I’ve ever tasted.”
Ana stepped in front of him, handing the boy his gun. “When one of any clan is murdered for with no reason, there is an imbalance, and the coffee is tainted. We must restore the balance before this gets out of hand,” she surprised me by speaking, with a tinge of an Aussie accent. The girl side-eyed me before shooting Jude a knowing look. “Don’t let her get in our way.”
“Aye, aye, captain.” He mocked a salute before nodding to me. “All right! Sim, you grab a sample. We’ll go find the altar.”
Something ice-cold slipped down my spine.
“Cool it. It’s more fun than it sounds,” was all Jude responded with. “Grab the samples.”
I was running on adrenaline, doing exactly what he said. I grabbed two coffee cups. “What do we do now? We go home, right?”
He swiped at his lips with a sound of disgust. “Are you kidding? No, man. We get coffee which ain’t tainted.”
Ana took out two guards in the back before leading us both through a heavy metal door that led into tunnels, tunnels, illuminated by candlelight. “You just killed multiple people,” I finally managed to choke out, following the two of them deeper into the dark. “Over coffee.” I couldn’t resist a nervous laugh that spluttered into a cry. “You just murdered seven baristas over fucking coffee!” I found myself backing away at points, scanning for a way out, an exit away from this fucking nightmare.
Jude turned to me, the glitter in his eyes reflected in the candlelight. “Oh, please,” His voice echoed down the tunnel in a chuckle. “Do you really think this is just about coffee?”
I didn't understand what he meant until we came to the end of the tunnel, which dipped into an alcove leading us into a large cave-like room. Drawing his gun, Jude scanned the dark. "Anyone in here?" He said, and Ana hit him. Silence answered, and I found myself paralyzed to the spot. I didn't know what to stare at first. The ten-foot-tall Starbucks Siren looming over us, illuminated in flickering orange candlelight, or the old swimming pool filled to the brim. When I took a step forward, my foot sunk into something soft, and I made the mistake of looking down. Bodies.
I guessed that was "The Drink".
I felt myself fall back, but Ana's warm arms were guiding me away from decomposing flesh which decapitated heads poisoned in a way that I could almost call ritualistic. There were bodies everywhere, all of them curled up or had died in a position of prayer. Jude crouched in front of a guy still in his Starbucks apron. His eyes had been cleanly plucked from his skull. Jude's expression was beautifully sombre in the candlelight. "Fuck, dude," he whispered.
"Looks like they got you."
“Which explains how they got their hands on our recipe.” Ana pulled out her gun and clicked off the safety. The girl’s eyes were suddenly sad, her lip wobbling. I had a hard time believing a girl who had taken out three baristas at point-blank range was crying.
“What is this place?” I whispered. "What the fuck are you doing in here?”
Jude straightened up. Ana moved behind him, and I noticed her hands holding her gun were trembling. She raised her arm, pointing it at the back of his head. Jude didn't retaliate, only sending me a sickly smile. "It used to be ours," he said. "Until other stores started opening, and it became a fucking free-for-all." Jude sighed, rocking back and forth on his heel. Ana's trigger finger followed his movements. "We have a peace treaty..." Jude trailed off. "Sorry. HAD a peace treaty." He nodded to his colleague. "Second Street has always been obsessed with this particular blend we have that other stores don't." His lips curved. "They're greedy, and thought they could fuck with us. First, they took our last manager. He was like a dad to us. Sliced him up and sent us his head." He gestured to his friend. "And then they took Ren. They brought this shit upon themselves."
As he spoke, Jude dropped to his knees and closed his eyes, bowing his head in front of the Siren. Ana didn't move. "Are you ready?"
I screamed, slamming my hand over my mouth when this time when Ana shot Jude point blank in the back of the head. When his body crumpled to the ground, something inside me snapped in two, and I couldn’t breathe suddenly. I thought the two were playing some kind of sick game before I caught unmistakable seeping black pooling across the alter.
In the blur of orange candlelight, it was almost a mesmerizing sight. “Shush!” Ana sent me an annoyed look, before gathering his body in her arm. “Make yourself useful and grab a bucket,” she said, stumbling towards the pool. I watched her, my heart diving into my throat. When I didn’t move, Ana hissed out and twisted around.
“Did you not hear me?!” she yelled. “Get a bucket and start collecting it!” The girl gestured towards a large, rusted pipe looming over the pool, a stream of murky brown water leaking into the pool. When I started forwards, the girl shook her head. “Not yet.” She said, before heaving Jude’s body and throwing him into the darkness. I heard the splash, but I didn’t even see his body hit the surface. Part of me wanted to demand what the fuck she was doing, but I did what I was told, with trembling hands, grabbing a bucket and shuffling over to the pool edge. Ana hissed out again. “I said not yet!” Before I could speak, she held a finger to her lips. “Do it now!”
“The pool water?!” I shrieked.
She raised a brow. “You think that’s water?”
Before I could coerce some kind of speech, I was interrupted by what felt like a sudden earthquake. The ground rumbled under our feet, and I hesitated before dropping the bucket into the water and scooping up as much as I could. I quickly realized it wasn’t water. It was thick with the constancy of blood, coffee brown and yet sticky and warm like blood.
Above us, the pipe seemed to come to life, a brand new stream of murky brown solution coming down in a waterfall. I didn’t think about the pieces of flesh floating on the surface, the decomposing heads I caught bobbing around, or the fact that I was dipping my hands in blood. Coffee and blood. My stomach was trying to projectile my lunch, but I swallowed it down. I took advantage, managing three buckets before Ana was grasping my shoulders and pulled me back. I didn’t realize I was sobbing until she was handing me a handkerchief, and I was staring at her and it, like, “What do you expect me to do with this?!”
Still in shock, I tried to get another bucket full before she dragged me from the pool edge. “You can stop now,” she said. “We have enough.”
I staggered back when the surface of the pool rippled. I don’t know what I expected to come out.
Not Jude, covered in the brown murky shit I had filled the buckets with. When he broke the surface, I almost threw one of the buckets at his head. Despite being covered in coffee and blood, his skin was oddly free of flaws. The guy was also really naked, which should have been a minor problem compared to what I was seeing, which was a real resurrection in front of a ten-foot statue of the Starbucks siren. Which was completely normal.
But I still found my cheeks heating up. Jude ran a hand through soaked curls sticking over his eyes, shaking them like a dog before pulling himself out. I couldn’t help noticing there was no gunshot wound. It was almost as if his body was completely new. I took in abnormally grey-looking skin, like dead flesh, before averting my gaze. “Did we do it?” He gasped out, immediately covering himself. Once out of the pool, he knelt on the ground, sucking in breaths of air before seemingly realizing the state of himself.
“Fuck. I didn’t think this through.”
“I did.” Ana reached into the backpack she had brought, pulling out a shirt and jeans, reverting her eyes, and throwing him the bundle. “Get dressed.” She said, But there was a slight smirk on her lips. “Yes. I think we managed to appease them.”
“Sweet!” Jude grinned, dressing quickly. He sucked the tips of his fingers. “Mmm.” He nodded at Ana. “That tastes a lot better.”
He gestured to her, and to my disgust, the girl delicately licked his fingers and nodded with her own smile. “It tastes like cherry blossom.”
His eyes fell on me, and I saw that inhuman gleam in his eye—that had been very much there before he was resurrected in a pool of coffee. His lip quirked. I could still see coffee-- or blood dripping in thick rivulets down his temples and cheek. “Should we?”
Jude turned to Ana. “I mean while we’re here, right? We can induct the newbie.”
Immediately, I knew what he was talking about. I stepped back, but he was following me, getting closer and closer until his breath was in my face, and I was teetering on the edge. I sensed something in his eyes, something I never expected from a man who knew exactly what he was doing. Envy. Another step, and I would be falling into what I was sure was a pool full of decomposing bodies and resurrecting coffee. “Not now,” Ana murmured, and Jude snapped out of it, taking a step back.
“Buzzkill.” He muttered.
But he did step away, allowing me to inch away from the pool.
“Later,” Ana said. “She’s shaken up. We can do it first thing tomorrow.”
To my surprise, there were no cops at the scene at Second Street. Because there was no scene.
The store was back to normal, and I didn’t have the energy to question why. When we returned, Aurora wrapped me into a hug I tried to get out of as quickly as possible, eager to get the fuck away from that place. But. I had to finish my shift. I had watched a man resurrected by coffee in a fucking Starbucks shrine, and yet somehow I had to keep making drinks until my shift ended. It was nearing closing time when the doors opened, and I found myself face-to-face with the girl from earlier. The one wearing the pink ray-bans.
She didn’t say anything, but the blade of her knife grazing my gut told me everything I needed to know. With a knowing look when she slipped off her raybans, she pressed something into my hand before leaving, and I handed it to the manager, who opened it up, almost died laughing, and then threw it in the trash.
“You work for psychopaths.” I managed to get out, sidling in front of Jude while he was clocking out.
“Also, didn’t you… didn’t you fucking die?”
Jude didn’t look up from his phone. “It’s complicated.” His lip quirked. “You’ll find out tomorrow during your induction.”
“But… you work for these people!” I lowered my voice. “And you’re not trying to get away?” I gestured to Kai and Aurora standing by the door, the two of them locked in conversation. “None of you?”
Jude frowned, and I caught the first hint of annoyance. I had only seen this guy smiling, so seeing him scowling was quite the change. “I’m sorry, do you… do you think I have a choice?”
He surprised me with a laugh. “Me? A choice? You really think I wake up every morning and WANT to do this shit?” He got close, his breath in my ear. “You came here willingly. I didn’t. In fact? I don’t even remember coming here. My interview, my first day? Nothing. I don’t even remember my time at Second Street.” He threw a towel at me before I could coerce words. “Finish clearing up, all right? I’ll see you tomorrow for induction.”
There was something cruel in his smile like he was waiting for whatever my induction had in store for me.
I couldn’t help myself. When everyone was gone, and I was tasked with locking up, I picked the discarded note out of the trash, smoothing it down.
“You pieces of shit just declared war. Sleep with one eye open! 😊”
I cut my finger with a knife this morning. When I sucked it and grabbed a band-aid, I tasted coffee. I went home and threw up coffee.
I am peeing coffee.
I showered 8 times and I still fucking smell of coffee.
I don’t think I’m going to go to work tomorrow.
Edit: There’s been a break-in— and the manager wants me to come in early. Jude and Ana woke me up in the middle of the night to go over tactics. We are taking down Second Street during closing time.
I guess I am going to work tomorrow.
Does anyone know how to use a gun?
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2023.06.09 20:43 RipperRex1996 About the Scarecrow Rusa Footage
Watched the video, and based off the footage it looks like somehow the Sambar got included for some reason in Rusa footage.
The larger chocolate deer with round ears at the end was starkly different from the smaller grey deer SC shot midway.
Am I the only one who noticed something off??
submitted by RipperRex1996
to theHunter [link] [comments]
2023.06.09 19:44 astro_dont_quit [USA-NYC] [H] AOC 60 hz Montiro,BNIB Razer BlackShark v2 Pro, Roccat AIMO full keyboard, Misc keycaps, Vaxee XE wireless White, FK2-c [W] Paypal, Local
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to hardwareswap [link] [comments]
2023.06.09 18:39 Glad-Ad4243 My own small victory
I’m seeing a lot of personal wins today and it’s been a nice realization that I have a few of my own :) A bit about me for context. I stopped (5 months and one week ago) because I was starting to decline in important areas of my life, letting my priorities slip, as well as that my go too poison (Vodka in shots, at my worst a 26r a day) started giving me almost like panic attacks. I’d drink beer but it’s gross and would always need a dozen and a half at least to get to my desired destination: oblivion. For reference, I’m 31F 5”7, ~ 200lbs. I had built up an embarrassing tolerance. But I always wanted to keep going until I literally passed out, so sometimes I functioned better than others. But the hangxiety and shame, the increasingly severe withdrawals, are not how a person who values their identity as a nurse and loving wife should behave. This may be my third best streak, before this was 8 months… Okay, actually this is probably my second best attempt then! I never got more than 8 months before. And that was years ago. I had my first drink at 12, by 15 I had developed a serious problem. Often drinking alone, I’d wake up having pissed myself and that was just something that happened at least a couple of times a week even then. I was bullied in my very young teens, but popular in highschool. I can’t blame the bullying trauma for it really, I just genuinely always wanted to grow up to be a teenager. My whole life. I hated being a child, I wanted to try drugs and party all night. Crazy. Lol. And I just like being **cked up, no more honest way too put it then that.
IWNDWYT ❤️ Thank you all for always being there for me, all the day ones, 10’s, and right up until now, 159 days. Just realized I’m actually passed 5 months and one week ;)
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to stopdrinking [link] [comments]
2023.06.09 17:37 threefingersplease I asked Google Bard (their version of Chat GPT) to write a persuasive essay on the superiority of Duck Duck Gray Duck over Goose and I think it nailed it.
Prompt: "Write an essay arguing the superiority of 'duck duck grey duck' over the inferior 'duck duck goose' version of the children's game."
Duck, duck, gray duck and duck, duck, goose are two popular children's games that are played in a similar way. In both games, one player walks around a circle of seated players, tapping each player on the head while saying a word or phrase. When the player reaches the end of the circle, they say a special word or phrase, and the player they tapped must chase them around the circle. The first player to reach the empty spot in the circle wins. While the two games are similar, there are several reasons why duck, duck, gray duck is the superior version.
First, duck, duck, gray duck is more challenging. In duck, duck, gray duck, the player who is walking around the circle must say a different word or phrase for each player they tap. This requires the player to be more creative and to think on their feet. In duck, duck, goose, the player only has to say one word or phrase, which is much easier.
Second, duck, duck, gray duck is more suspenseful. In duck, duck, goose, the player who is tapped knows when they are going to be chased because the player who is walking around the circle says "goose" when they tap them. In duck, duck, gray duck, the player who is tapped does not know when they are going to be chased because the player who is walking around the circle does not say anything special. This adds an element of suspense to the game.
Third, duck, duck, gray duck is more fun. The extra challenge and suspense of duck, duck, gray duck make it more enjoyable for both the player who is walking around the circle and the players who are sitting in the circle.
For all of these reasons, duck, duck, gray duck is the superior version of the children's game. If you are looking for a challenging, suspenseful, and fun game to play with your children, duck, duck, gray duck is the perfect choice.
In addition to the three reasons listed above, duck, duck, gray duck also has a more interesting history. The game originated in Sweden, where it is called "anka anka grå anka". The game was brought to Minnesota by Swedish immigrants, and the name was eventually changed to "duck, duck, gray duck". The original Swedish name is more descriptive of the game, as it literally means "duck, duck, gray duck". The English name "duck, duck, goose" is less descriptive, as it does not specify the color of the duck.
Overall, duck, duck, gray duck is the superior version of the children's game. It is more challenging, suspenseful, fun, and has a more interesting history. If you are looking for a great game to play with your children, duck, duck, gray duck is the perfect choice.
submitted by threefingersplease
to minnesota [link] [comments]
2023.06.09 17:16 Ryiverz B4NE: C3E2 – Love’s in the Air
So here we are – Riders on exile. Well, better this fate than becoming Swiss cheese. If they sent such a big offensive there, they were really determined. But they really think they’ll find some documents there? They can try, but Yan claimed that there’s nothing of value left.
I was the one leading the group – with Svarog detector in one hand, with my eight-shot revolver in the other and with cig in my mouth. Our gear was unchanged – I still had my SV-338 on my back and had my armor, which I found out it was modified version of Clear Sky’s CS-3b.
Sorrow wasn’t far from me. Even though we had most likely the most advanced detectors out there, he still was throwing bolts here and there. Probably because of boredom. This doesn’t mean that I stopped using them myself – I had a pack of bolts on my belt.
I should’ve mention it – we were heading to the Garbage through northeastern path. Soldiers came from southwest and they are most likely looking for internal dangers rather than those from the outside, so we were relatively safe.
After failing a couple of times to spark a conversation in our group, I was just focused on finding a safe route to the Zone’s first crossroads. And – I’ll be honest – I wanted to find an artifact. Not only to gain some cash, but maybe to find something that would make this journey more interesting. The luck wasn’t on my side that day, sadly.
We came to the Garbage. We all knew by instinct to prepare ourselves for some resistance. Resistance as powerful as Clear Sky these days, but resistance nonetheless. To our surprise, however, we found the nearest ”outpost” empty.
Confused a little, we started exploring the surrounding area. No presence of bandits could be located. I even used my scope to see the insides of a hangar, but on the surface, it was safe. Even the sentry dressed in Sunrise suit, standing before the brick wall didn’t open fire at us. Quite the opposite, actually – he waved when he saw us and said to come closer. And we did just that.
”Riders!” – he shouted with joy. - ”Holy fuck!”
”Hey, em…” – I tried to remind myself of his name. - ”Oh! You’re Yara Bubble. One who was a ”whale” on our party.”
”Yeah, I overestimated my capabilities. I shouldn’t drink that much.”
”At least you’re alive and well now.”
”Still, we’re curious about the current situation in this hangar.”
”Nothing to write a book about, I’m afraid. Duty and few hired loners executed an assault on the complex, clearing the place from this scum. For now, bandits haven’t inducted any sort of retaliation.”
”Not surprised. They’re…”
Suddenly, Zrak started… What’s the name for crow’s sound? Let me check… so I found the name ”caw”. So he was… cawing? Sounds stupid. But that’s the most common answer. Anyway, he started making loud sounds.
For others, it’d seem like he’s doing this for no reason. But we’ve found out this meant that an emission is approaching. And that meant we should be careful, Zrak especially. Codex said that crows die way faster in blowouts than humans.
”We should get inside.” – Sorrow stated. - ”Emission’s gonna hit us in a moment.”
”Wow…” – Yara was impressed. - ”Your bird can sense such things?”
”Yeah – one of the reasons why I love him. Come on.”
We made our way into the hangar. It was occupied mostly by loners, but few Dutyers were hanging around here as well. To spy on us or escape from the superiors for at least a moment – it’s hard to blame them.
Of course, even if emission just started, we won’t just sit like cowards, doing nothing. We popped a vodka bottle and I shared smokes with Sorrow and Craver. We were exchanging jokes of various quality. I felt good, but couldn’t get rid off the feeling that this was… artificial.
After blowout stopped, we bid our farewells with Yara and continued going to Army Warehouses. Atmosphere here was pretty much calm. Bandits may not be present at that time, but mutants were still roaming the lands. They weren’t attacking us, though.
We weren’t going to Duty outpost – we still weren’t sure if we could safely enter Rostok, even though some ex-soldiers claimed that they miss our visits and were surprised that we stopped going there. Hell, they promised us to talk to their highest superiors for an official invitation. We got one, but we continued to be hesitant about this.
Instead, we used Garbage-Wild Territory route. It’s rarely used, so even better for us. Unfortunately, that meant going through the field rich in fire anomalies. Nothing that four Svarogs and lots of bolts can’t solve.
Going further into this location (that many claim to be almost as bad as Red Forest, which I can’t understand), we found something interesting. Okay, maybe not that interesting, but we found bodies of mercs and loners that had to be fresh, judging by the state of corpses. We decided that we’d leave them alone.
Soon after, we got near the wreckage of helicopter that had fire anomalies around it. One of it was still active, but that’s because the body of flesh was in it. Strange that it didn’t turn into ash. But we went to nearby big door that was hiding a part of Rostok complex.
I’ll be completely honest here – I don’t know what should I write about this location. Really, it’s so uninteresting that I’d have to lie to say something worthwhile. And I don’t want to do that. So for your entertainment, I’ll just skip to Warehouses.
We ended up near bloodsucker village – the location that’s our destination. In south of it, there’s a small farmstead that poses as Freedom outpost. That’s official information, but it’s actually Irina’s place where she lives and that’s where Quarrel visits her.
Yep, living next to abandoned village that bloodsuckers really like for some reason plus it’s dotted with various fire anomalies. How she can live here without problems is unknown to me, but hey – strange shelter is better than no shelter… I think.
We were careful about stepping here. With weapons in our hands, we were slowly approaching the farmstead. We didn’t saw any signs of Freedom presence, which made me (but maybe others too) slightly disturbed. This didn’t last long, though.
”Guys, it’s safe, I assure you.” – said the woman in Freedom helmetless SEVA, coming out of cover.
”Hi, Iri.” – Quarrel waved at her.
”Hi, Cas. Oh, and hello, Riders.”
We just nodded at her, without uttering a word.
”What brings all of you here?” – she asked, a bit surprised.
”Army raided our place.” – our tough guy replied. - ”Big offensive – with choppers and such.”
”Huh… good that you didn’t stay to fight them.”
”Of course. It’d be stupid, so I commanded that we should get somewhere else, at least temporarily, so we could come up with the plan of recapturing the place.”
I rolled my eyes when I heard this. Quarrel – prideful as usual, even if it involves lying. He really changed through these months. But I wanted to get straight to the point.
”Long story short – army raided our place and Quarrel suggested that we should come to you.” – I said after a moment of silence. - ”Are you willing to share some space with us?”
”Of course.” – Flora replied. - ”Perhaps not the house, but this barn should be enough. It has relatively whole roof, so you won’t get wet. Are you fine with that?”
”Yeah. But there shouldn’t be any problems with… neighbors, right?”
”Last bloodsucker was killed by me more than a month ago. They didn’t reappear since then. Other mutants don’t come here as well. It’s really a safe location.”
”I’ll stash the items there.” – Quarrel joined the talk. - ”After that… maybe you want to go somewhere?”
”With you? Always.”
After this exchange of words, we got to the barn. Quarrel just left the stuff he was carrying through this journey in the corner and he was heading out with his girl, saying ”See you later, guys” before leaving us.
Craver quickly organized his part of this barn and instead of helping any of us, he proceeded to eat some sausage. I wanted to say something, but I knew that this won’t help much, if at all. Suddenly, he got a message that made him visibly happy.
”Lads, I have to go.” – he said loudly.
”Have fun…” – I replied to him with indifference.
Ex-ex-merc (I know this sound stupid, but still wanted to write this) grabbed his gear and quickly left the hideout, leaving me and Sorrow alone in our new home. I should feel bad about this, but I started to feel… lighter. Like a tension got swiped away.
We finished organizing out parts at the exact same moment. I briefly checked if Sorrow is alright, but he said he’s fine and then he started another vodka bottle. I should leave him to his thoughts and let him rest for a while.
I looked through our items and grabbed new pack of cigarettes. I lit one and lied on my sleeping bag. After thinking about what to do, I pulled out my PDA and started watching some videos on the internet. I don’t know why, but in Army Warehouses, there were much better speeds.
So I was detached from that world for some time, not thinking about my or others’ problems. This felt… good. Very good, even. But then I turned towards Sorrow, who had his head buried in his legs. I got to him, sat nearby and pat his shoulder. He immediately raised his gaze to me.
”Plagued?” – he was a bit confused.
”What’s the problem, Sorrow?” – I asked with genuine intent.
”Can I be completely honest with you?”
”Sorrow… you’re my brother. I’d never replace you. I’ll never sell you out. I’d rather pop a bullet in my head than to give you up. So yes, you can be perfectly honest with me.”
”Plagued… I don’t think coming here was a good idea.”
”Why?” – I asked, even though I suspected what the answer might be.
”Quarrel said it’s good that he’ll have us and Irina close. It’s not even that I’m envious. It will create new problems, new arguments. More likely for our group to fall apart. Craver going to mercs and his girl isn’t helpful either. I don’t want to stop them, but with each day, we grow more distant from one another. I wish it was like in our old days.”
”I want that too, Sorrow. But sadly, there isn’t much we can do about this. I tried pretty much anything I could. And us leaving them won’t help either. It’ll just cement the fall of our team.”
”One can hope that it’ll eventually get better. At least we have each other.”
”There’s that… Eh…”
”You feel better?”
”A bit. Thanks. But…”
”I’m curious about how the soldiers do in our former base.”
”Huh… I won’t stop you.”
”I’ll try to return as fast as I can.”
”Be careful, brother.”
”I will. Goodbye.”
And I became last man standing. Eh… Even though I let him to do the thing he wants to do, we both know it’s an excuse to be alone with his thoughts. He still cares, otherwise he’d pull out Kurt Cobain long ago.
Few minutes later, I got up and went outside. I couldn’t find Sorrow anywhere. I lit up another smoke and started to look around my new place. Mutants were really far from my current location, but I saw approaching Freedomer. I was cautious, with revolver in my hand.
”Hey!” – guy shouted cheerfully.
”Greetings.” – I replied calmly.
”Is there Irina Flora around?”
”She’s absent. Personal matters. Why do you ask?”
”She was supposed to give me a report, so I could give it to Lukash.”
”Nah, it’s just an excuse, so I could get out from the base.”
”But what do you want from her?”
”My amount of weed is getting low. I asked pretty much everyone if they have some to spare. Looks like I’ll have to look elsewhere. You’re here alone?”
”Yeah. And who are you exactly?”
”Yurik Bear. I know you’re Rider, but I don’t remember which one.”
”Maybe you want to go with me? I’ll have someone to talk to.”
”If weed is involved then I’ll go.”
”Great. I’ll go around for a while and ask others for some plant. But after that, I know the place where we can chill out. Follow me.”
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2023.06.09 17:02 Sad-Biscotti-9325 Starting Contrave...TOMORROW
Hi everyone! I have been researching weigh loss medications for about 3 months now and based on my insurance coverage, and cost, Contrave is the medication I've decided to go with.
A little bit about me: I'm 30 years old, 5'2, female, and my starting weight as of this morning is 225. I have PCOS, Hypothyroid, Hashimotos, and other auto inflammatory issues. The highest I've ever weighed was 240. I lost 40 lbs. during the first half of the pandemic and then gained about 38lbs back. I started CICO about a 2 months ago and have lost about 12lbs. Right now I cannot seem to move the scale past 222lbs and have been fluctuating between 222 and 225 for the last few weeks.
Why weight loss meds: I need the food noise to go away. I need to live life without constantly thinking about what I'm going (or won't) eat next. My first choice would have been WeGovy because a lot of people say the food noise dies with it but my insurance doesn't cover it and I can't justify spending $1.1k a month. I have read people say the same thing about Contrave so I am hoping this helps. I also am just excited to have that extra push. I know that for people who have never experienced obesity or feeling out of control when it comes to eating food will never understand this.
I even hear from some of my thin friends that eating and exercising should be enough. I'm keeping this a secret and not telling anyone because I don't have time or the willpower to explain to them what it's like to carry an extra 100 pounds and to work so hard and see little come off. I know that I can lose the weight with CICO alone. For me though, it's just so slow. I don't want to wait 3 years before I'm at my goal weight. I'm ready for my life to change for the better...today. Its frustrating when I hear people irl and on tiktok talk about how wegovy, contrave, ozempic, are all cheating. Why is it that we allow cheat codes FOR EVERY OTHER ASPECT OF LIFE, except losing weight. Don't want to walk 1.5 miles to your supermarket? Cheat code: get in your car, bus, taxi, etc. Don't want to vacuum your own floors? Cheat code: Pay someone to clean your house for you. The examples go on and on. I'm ranting now, but I hope you get the point.
How I'm mitigating side effects: I was supposed to start this morning but my delivery got delayed. It is in the Amazon fulfilment center that is near where I live and I am hoping it gets delivered tonight for me to start tomorrow. While I am adjusting to the medication I am going to be mindful of 2 things - My water and my caffeine intake. I have heard anecdotally from others that the reason why headaches are so bad on Contrave is because people no longer crave the coffee they normally drink but their bodies are still used that that amount of caffeine and it's a withdrawal from that. I am planning on upping my water intake and sticking to the same amount of caffeine I drink. Luckily, I don't drink too much coffee, most of the time it's one or two espresso shots in a day. One at 10am and one at 2pm after lunch. I'm also going to be more diligent tracking my food and when I eat to see if any of that plays a part with the side effects.
Diet: I'm happy that I've sort of conditioned myself to stay within the 1500 calorie range the last few weeks because I've already noticed that I am unable to eat the amount of food I was consuming before. I eat pretty much the same thing for breakfast and lunch everyday to keep my life simple. I am also going to go on a alcohol cleanse. I don't drink that often and its usually within a social setting but I really want to see how my life is without alcohol. I also read that eating fatty foods is a no-go with Contrave so I will be eliminating those from my diet, as well.
Goal: I am not naïve to think I'm going to wake up in my dream body on Sunday morning. This is going to take work and dedication. My goal would be to lose 30 lbs in the next 12 weeks which is about 2.5 lbs a week. I know the scale isn't going to look exactly like that every week, but that's what I'm hoping to average. After I hit that first goal, I will focus on the next. Ultimately I would be happy in the 120-125 range which is about 100 lbs total lost.
I will be posting here with my updates regularly and hope I can find a community of people on the same journey who'll keep me accountable.
submitted by Sad-Biscotti-9325
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2023.06.09 17:00 woah_dats_TRASH The Ship takes loot away?
Just had the most hilarious match of all time. Dropped next to Base Camp with free loadout (grey armor and a Scarab) and went in to loot it. While doing so I opened a door and instantly got shot at. Managed to run away and use proximity chat to beg for mercy. The guy stopped shooting and said I can go, so I did that and after a bit of running around I went to Science Campus to evac. Upon entering the Campus I immediately took fire and went for cover while, again, using prox chat to beg for mercy. He obligied and ran up to me to say something but got cut of because the evac ship fking crushed him lmao. I laughed my ass off and wanted to wait for the ship to fly off to loot him but when it was gone, his loot was as well. Checked after the match and it was actually the same guy which is hilarious but I'm really frustrated that I couldn't take his stuff. I read online that the loot isn't supposed to disappear when the ship flies off, so what gives?
submitted by woah_dats_TRASH
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2023.06.09 16:23 scubamaster New player with some questions
I have a few questions about the game.
I’m about level 70 and I’ve cleared through the grey wanderer and went ahead and did heroic bulwark. And I feel like I misunderstand how something works, everything hits so crazy hard it all just about or does one shot me. So can I get damage reduction from somewhere? Or is the game just meant to be played hitless? Also I feel like I do very little actual damage, I watched a video of someone else play and their damage output was nuts compared to what I do. So am I supposed to be doing something other than just pumping stats with level ups? I think I took like 20 vit, and 55 str, 10 to stam and haste
I’m really not sure what to go for in talents? None of them really seem all that impressive I feel as if I could just select none and not notice.
Are all the weapons in a given class basically the same thing? I have no idea which one to choose cause there seems to be no difference other than when one drops with some extra levels, so do I just stick to my +5 log sword and pump it or is there a point to skybreaker or the fire sword that make them better? That little lighting spirit on sky breaker seems to do basically zero damage so it’s just a way to burn mana. And how much do I care about secondary weapon? Seems to mostly just give me acess to it’s abilities and bow does nothing, I took the talent to scale it off strength and it still hits for like 10 damage.
Oh also, I’m aware that theirs multiple endings, can you get them in one save? Like do the one for no heroic boss kills then go kill bosses and get the next in progression? Or does it lock you out if you do one?
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2023.06.09 16:06 IaProc [First of Our Kind] - Chapter 32 - Part I
Previous: https://redd.it/142fe2y Chapter 32
As Mae had previewed, the weeks that passed since the incident in the Logistics Bay were fraught with speculation and feeding the rumor mill. Quin felt he couldn’t walk ten paces on Nemo before meeting some askance gaze of a crewmember or hearing the murmurings of a conversation that abruptly stopped when he would round a corner. Mae was right though that, after a while, the incident became old news and the ruckus died down a bit. Certainly, there was always an inappropriate joke to be had during dinner or dark looks from certain members of the crew, but as the time passed, people turned once again to daily happenings onboard, when the next stopover would take place, and the perennial favorite: who happened to be sleeping with whom.
This last item tended to occupy people to no end, and Quin felt a bit unfortunate that this news also pertained him. Mae and Liza’s breakup and the apparent spat that he and Pepper had ran through the corridors just as fast as the news about Nova. Quin was honestly unsure which conversation he dreaded being brought up more. It seemed that individuals he had never or barely even met knew more about his world than he himself was aware. It was during one of these conversations with two people from the Engineering section that Quin accidently lost it and stormed off, an act he regretted immediately for furthering the gossip chain. “So is it true that you had to hold Mae back so she wouldn’t punch Liza?” the guy had asked. ”What? NO. What the hell?” Quin responded, flabbergasted. “Well, I heard from someone in the officer’s corridor that there was yelling and someone got hit. Do you know who got punched?” The other person was practically on their toes with anticipation. “NO ONE GOT PUNCHED!” Quin shouted, ready to leave the conversation as soon as possible. “Jeez, why are you yelling?” as the first person, blind to Quin’s growing frustration. “Don’t you know, Liza’s friend broke up with him the next day because of the fight?” The second person remarked to the first, now completely cutting Quin out of the conversation. “WE WEREN’T EVEN DATING! WHAT THE HELL?!” Quin screamed, turned on his heels and stormed off to nowhere in particular.
Thankfully, this was probably the worst interaction he had had as a result of those unfortunate few days, aside from the actual conversations themselves that he experienced with Pepper and Nova themselves. He would have appreciated any interaction with either of them at all, if he was honest. The silent treatment from the both of them was practically unbearable. Mae’s words of encouragement, “Time, give it time,” only helped so much when he would pass by Pepper in the corridors or when he had to work directly with Nova during his long shifts in the lab. Nova had limited their conversations to something like a comment box, dropping in parcels of a conversation to the syslog, to be taken up at her leisure and delivered at inconvenient times in the middle of the night. But at the very least, Nova was responding, albeit specifically for work and solely related to their responsibilities together. Pepper, on the other hand, was completely mute. Painfully so, Quin noted as she passed by him going into the cafeteria and didn’t even afford him a glance.
The level of complete non-interaction with Pepper and the invasion into his life by everyone else was beginning to wear on him, and he felt more cut off from the rest of the crew than ever before. He had stopped visiting Bostwick’s chamber for fear of the look of pity that the Commander often wore when passing by him. At least Mae had somewhat of a ‘tough love’ approach to cheering him up. Bostwick’s uncompromising warmth and sympathetic looks made Quin feel guilty rather than comforted, and shameful rather than encouraged. In fact, in the two and a half weeks that passed since Nemo had left the Rhea stopover and Quin passed the night under the watch of the Commander, Quin had only exchanged glances with Bostwick.
Then there was the insomnia. At first, Quin felt nothing but lethargy as he felt the different components of his life crumble around him. The inability to communicate with Tess, the intolerable pity of Mae and Bostwick, the unbearable silence from Pepper and Nova, the frustration expressed by the command staff, and the whispers and side-eyes from the rest of the crew all contributed to the complete physical and mental shutdown he experienced after leaving Rhea. He would steal away to his chamber during break periods to nap, and he would skip meals in order to stay in his room, profiting from the odd bits of food Mae snuck out of the cafeteria. However, after several days of feeling an inability to motivate himself to be out of bed, he started to find that he would lie awake, staring at the ceiling, or glancing at the clock and fretting that it was already 4:00 in the morning.
It was on one of these early mornings that Quin saw the numbers 3:22 at the top of his tablet, and he felt as if it would be impossible for him to find any sleep that night. He had laid down in bed at 22:05 with every intention of forcing a good night’s sleep, but with five hours passing by and no respite coming, he sat up on the edge of his bed and rubbed his eyes a bit. He figured that the coffee station in the kitchen would probably have some hot water with which to make tea, and that could possibly help him. He threw his jumpsuit and boots on and strolled out of the room.
The ship was deserted and peaceful, the type of quiet that Quin relished. It was almost trance-inducing, the soft hum of the ship that Quin felt coming through the very walls themselves. He felt the sound reverberate through him and it was soothing. He set off toward the kitchen. The sleet grey walls of Nemo’s interior usually made for a serious backdrop, but at this hour, it had the effect of dimming the corridors and adding to the sleepy atmosphere of the ship. He stuffed his hands deep in his pockets and followed the sleek lines of the hallways with his eyes as he passed. He came upon the cafeteria doors and walked by them to skirt the main room. He was heading for the back area, the sparkling room with gleaming metal and white tile and a peaceful getaway. Upon swiping his arm against the pad, though, he found that the space was already occupied. A voice greeted him before he had an opportunity to look up.
“Hey Quin, can’t sleep? Is it another bad dream?” Bostwick was sitting on a stool with a steaming cup of coffee in his hand and his illuminated tablet resting on one of the food prep work tables. The man had a weary look around his eyes but Quin could still discern the warmth that emanated from the wrinkles near his temples and the large smile he wore. Quin froze, unsure whether to step into the room and submit himself to another round of pity or try to find some excuse for leaving and head back to his room. In his uncertainty, he ended up standing in the doorway, causing the automatic doors to try to swish shut but freezing and retracting, over and over again.
“Well? Are you just going to stand there, mouth agape, or are you going to come get something to drink like you had planned?” Bostwick said with an eyebrow raised, his mouth now reflecting a knowing smirk. Slowly, Quin trudged into the room, his hands clenched in his pockets as he tried to suppress the nerves that were boiling in his stomach. He gingerly walked over to the coffee station and put a tea bag in a cup and pressed the release valve to allow boiling water to fall over it. Then he set the cup down to steep. He kept his eyes fixed on the surface of the brewing tea, though he felt the hair on the nape of his neck stand as he guarded himself for Bostwick’s eventual conversation starter. But after a minute, it didn’t come. Quin stood there watching the deep brown tea diffuse throughout the water but did not hear a word come from Bostwick. Hesitantly, Quin looked around and saw Bostwick tapping on his tablet, seemingly composing a message.
Quin shuffled his feet a bit before clearing his throat lightly. Without even looking up, Bostwick said, “I’m able to read signs, Quin. If you don’t want to talk to me, I’m more than happy to oblige your intention to be left alone.”
Quin’s eyes shot up to look at Bostwick, who kept on typing as if he hadn’t spoken. Quin was left a bit taken aback. Oh hell,
he thought, is it that obvious or can he read my mind?
He shuffled again and then picked up his tea cup. Quick, say something, you idiot, his mind was screaming at him as he struggled to put together his words.
“Look, uh, Commander, I—“ Quin started, but was immediately cut off.
“Louis, but please continue,” Bostwick said, looking up at him and smiling.
Whatever momentum Quin had built up in trying to speak, he lost it with Bostwick’s interruption. He started to second-guess even his need to speak if Bostwick was going to be able to anticipate the conversation. His mentor apparently picked up on his nervousness, because he relieved Quin’s tension by taking up what was going through Quin’s head.
“Quin, listen, I understand that you feel like you want to be left alone,” Bostwick said, his tone soft and unassailing. “And I’m sensing that you feel a bit embarrassed about being vulnerable in front of me. That’s a totally normal human feeling. I hope you aren’t feeling, though, that I overstepped any boundaries by not waking you up immediately when you fell asleep in my room?”
“No, uh, Louis, it’s not that,” Quin said abashedly.
“Good, I’m glad. So if you are feeling ashamed about the way I show that I care about you, please just tell me, and we can talk about how I can change that.”
Again, Quin was at a loss for words. It’s not that I don’t want him to care about me,
he thought, it’s that I want him to be mad. Why wasn’t he angry at all? That I could deal with. But he’s so kind that I feel like I want to scream.
Quin lifted his eyes and finally met Bostwick’s own piercing gaze. Bostwick seemed to interpret the silence and took up the conversation again.
“Unless…perhaps you are feeling ashamed about your own reaction?” Bostwick posited. “Quin, it’s almost the twenty-third century, well actually, for everyone not aboard this ship, it already is. We are long past the cultural stereotype of men not being able to cry. I’d say that your expression of deep emotion is quite masculine, and I for one would—“
Quin interrupted him, “No, Louis, it’s not that either.”
Bostwick fell silent for a moment, then continued gently, “Okay, again, if you wouldn’t like to discuss it right now, you can simply have your tea and we can sip our respective beverages in silence. Though I will note that a 3am excursion raises all sorts of eyebrows that a lesser XO would rush to conclusions. Thankfully for you, I’m not a lesser XO.” He ended with a smirk, returning to his tablet with a very self-satisfied look on his face.
Quin let the silence fill the room again as he turned his cup in his hands, the warmth slowly radiating through his cold fingertips and seemingly giving him a bit of courage. After a moment, he slowly walked over to the work table and set his cup down. Again, without looking up, Bostwick pulled a stool out from underneath the table and pushed it toward Quin. Quin couldn’t help but smile a bit at Bostwick’s level of tact in assuming. He took the proffered stool and plopped himself down, elbows on the work table and eyes fixed on the tea cup. Hesitantly, he glanced at Bostwick, who was humming a tune and slowly shaking his head back and forth in rhythm as he completed his message and hit the send button.
Quin cleared his throat and made his attempt, “Commander, uh sorry, Louis, it’s not that I don’t appreciate everything. I really do. I just…I was just wishing you would be less…I don’t know…understanding? A little more mad?”
“I have no intention of being mad at you Quin. That would be counterproductive and a waste of energy. Wouldn’t you say?”
“Well, I um, what do you mean?” Quin shook his head as his eyes fell.
“I’d imagine that your self-imposed reclusion and the restrictions imposed by Captain Fuentes would be a sufficient punishment, and you are probably looking for a friendly face, especially after things with Ensign Jefferson, erm, Pepper, have recently soured. That would leave you with Mae to seek some company and I daresay that Lieutenant Rohlwing has her own mission responsibilities and personal tumult to deal with, no?”
Quin was staring with his mouth open at Bostwick, who yet again was wearing a rather pleased smirk on his face. How in the hell did he know all of that?
Quin thought, unable to keep an astounded look off his face.
Bostwick chuckled, then seemingly replied to Quin’s thought, “You people think the command staff are a bunch of old farts out of touch with the inner workings of the social network among you youths, but I too hear things. I have my spies on board.”
Quin laughed, causing Bostwick to perk up a bit, “Oh alright,” he rejoiced, arms up in the air. “Ten points to Bostwick for making the moody one laugh.”
Quin laughed more heartily and took a sip of his tea. When he looked back up he saw Bostwick was staring at him with an encouraging look on his face, as if to say May I keep asking questions?
Quin sipped his tea again and nodded softly, almost to himself as he continued to chuckle.
“So, I take it you and Ms. Jefferson have not spoken much since we set off from Rhea?” Bostwick asked, eyebrow raised.
“No, that would require her wanting to speak to me,” Quin said dryly.
“How do you know she doesn’t want to speak to you?” Bostwick asked.
“Well, she seems to avoid or ignore me, so I’m trying to take the hint,” Quin said, trying to be nonchalant in his tone.
“Do you still like her?” Bostwick continued.
“Yeah, a lot. I thought we were doing well, really well on Rhea, but I said some stupid things in defending Mae to her, and I know I need to apologize, but she basically called me a coward, she said I needed to ‘grow a spine.’” Quin quickly gave Bostwick the back and forth of what constituted Pepper and his last conversation.
“I don’t think you are a coward. You do have a tendency to take your relationships with everyone very seriously, which is for the most part endearing, but I can see how she would find that stubbornness a bit frustrating when she is trying to argue with it.”
“So now you are on her side?” Quin said sharply.
“I wouldn’t dare try to take her side, but you don’t need to bite my head off for trying to give you some advice. I can see it’s not welcome though,” Bostwick said flatly, falling silent.
“No…wait, I’m sorry,” Quin said, changing his tone immediately. “Please, Louis, help me. What should I do?”
“An honest apology to start, you would be surprised how far being honest and sincere gets you. People seem to forget that. Then I would try to start seeing Ms. Jefferson outside of your interactions with Mae and Liza. Give yourselves something to talk about other than your common friends. That way you don’t revert into difficult territory immediately.”
“Like what?” Quin asked. “Watch a movie with her or something?”
“That being your strong, go-to approach, sure you could start there,” Bostwick said. “As an extra hint, I hear that the kitchen has some late-night snacks stashed away back here, and if you know someone, you can get good movie food. You could even, you know, call it a date or something. Don’t be afraid to ask her to do something at the next stopover too. Again, call it a date. If she sees you taking her seriously like you do everything else, she’ll probably appreciate you being intentional about it. That’s my guess. Anyway, Cronus is supposed to be a little bit more of an open schedule, so you can be more creative.”
Bostwick was making all sorts of sense. His was the type of advice that Quin had been looking for all along. Quin found himself shaking his head, as he processed everything. Bostwick seemed to misinterpret it.
“What? You’re thinking a different approach?” he said, a bit surprised.
“NO! No, sorry, it’s just…I’ve been such an idiot. That’s really good advice, I’ve just been stupid not talking to you. I don’t know why,” Quin finished, again shaking his head.
“Because you are young, and you guys don’t like getting romantic advice from someone your parents’ age,” Bostwick said, smiling.
“You aren’t that old,” Quin said, “I know we joke about it, but you can’t be more than…”
Bostwick laughed. “Be careful how you finish that sentence, Mr. Hammond.”
“Well, anyway, you aren’t that old. You just…I don’t know, you have this way about you, it made me want to avoid you. I felt ashamed that you were being all sympathetic, and it made me blind to the fact that I really needed to talk to you. What I mean is, you are a good listener, and I forgot that when I was unable to think straight. I felt all of these things happening around me, and you were there when that stuff happened with Nova. I know you were just trying to be nice. I’m sorry I was such an ass.”
“Well, if you were looking for honest and sincere apologies, Quin, you just found yourself one,” Bostwick said, putting his hand on Quin’s shoulder. “Change it up a little to be specific for her, and I’m sure you will have a good result. Don’t forgot to take care of yourself when you are trying to fix everything else, you know? It’s not possible to be perfect, so don’t make yourself sick in trying to be.”
“Yeah, right,” Quin said softly. “I wish I could fix everything, just like that.” He snapped his fingers.
“That would be nice, but unfortunately, we aren’t computers, and life isn’t all math problems. Sometimes life just needs time and a bit of decent humanity.” The two of them were silent for a little while as Quin stewed in his thoughts. Despite the hour, he was wide awake and appreciative of his little night excursion. After the pause had continued much longer than Quin expected, he looked up and saw Bostwick studying him. The man opened his mouth and then hesitated, before beginning tenderly, “Speaking of, how are things going with Nova?”
Quin sighed a bit, collecting his thoughts. Then he decided it was for the best and recounted to Bostwick the last conversation that Nova and he had face to face. The two of them had really not spoken since that evening some weeks ago. As Quin was narrating the story to Bostwick, the Commander was slightly chuckling and shaking his head. Astounded, Quin finished his story and confronted Bostwick.
“What’s so funny?” he demanded. “You’ve been laughing the entire time.”
“She’s quite brilliant, you know,” Bostwick said, scratching his forehead, eyes wide. “She presents these neat little ethical quandaries as if they were nothing and yet, scientists and philosophers have been asking the same types of questions about artificial intelligence for maybe two hundred years. It’s only now that we have got a being that is the walking and talking example of that.”
“Yeah, well, she’s another one that’s not talking to me,” Quin said.
“Well, Quin, I’m afraid I must give you the same advice. You should apologize. In her view, and I think objectively, you were somewhat of, if I may borrow your words, ‘an ass.’”
“This time I think you are definitely taking her side,” Quin said, sourly.
“Indeed. You created her. She takes her direction from you. You are kind of like her father, her brother, her friend, and her crewmate all rolled into one. The obligations of any one of those roles would be enough to say you needed to be there for her, and unfortunately you found yourself too busy being in your own head. Perhaps this is the root of your problem with both Ms. Jefferson and Nova. You are so busy letting everything weigh on you, being worried all the time, that you are unable to focus externally and be present for other people.” Quin’s eyes were downcast, his shoulders slumped. Well, if this is his form of a closing pick-me-up, I don’t think it’s working,
Quin thought, sighing deeply.
“Fortunately,” Bostwick continued suddenly, “I think the solution is relatively simple and similar. You need to apologize to Nova, sincerely this time, and you need to spend some time with her, outside of work, so that you can normalize being around her. If your point was that you sometimes forget that she is only part human, then you need to do more human things with her in order to sensitize yourself to how she acts. She shouldn’t have to change for you, it should be the other way around. She can’t just be a mantelpiece in your career, Quin. She thinks.”
Quin sighed aloud, saying, “Yet again, another piece of sound advice from the ever-so-sage Commander Bostwick. And yet again, the solution is that I was wrong.”
Bostwick laughed. “Well, welcome to being an adult, my friend. Everything is complicated and you are usually wrong.” He patted Quin on the back. “Sarcasm aside, it’s okay to be wrong, just own up to it.”
Quin nodded slightly, acknowledging Bostwick’s counsel. The room was silent for a bit longer. The Commander downed his cup of coffee and looked into it, as if inspecting the bottom.
“You know what,” he said, looking up. “I think I’m going to have some tea too, but I’ve been keen to try some of the apple honey they brought me, you want some?” Quin nodded slowly, lost in his thought. Honey,
he said to himself, honey, something about…honey.
“Can you believe they make all of this on Rhea?” Bostwick said over his shoulder. “I honestly can’t understand how their entire ecosystem, let alone their economy, operates off apples. It’s nuts.” Bostwick chuckled to himself. “Sorry for the pun.” Apples and honey,
Quin’s brain was churning, but at this hour it was too fuzzy. …and honey.
He set two new cups down in front of them, still steaming and with the tea infusers bobbing around on the surface. He pulled a jar down from one of the kitchen cabinets and ladled a small bit of honey into each cup. After stirring a bit, Bostwick took a sip and smacked his lips, grinning satisfactorily at Quin.
“Oh my, that’s so good,” Bostwick said, relishing the taste as he took another draw. “You should drink it while it’s hot.”
Quin brought the cup to his lips mechanically, though he could have sworn that he was missing something. He felt himself distracted by Louis enjoying his cup of tea, the early hour, and the lack of a good night’s sleep for several days. I could have sworn that I just remembered something,
he thought, growing frustrated at the lack of ability of his brain to recall what it was that was escaping him. Resigning himself, he took a long swig, his eyes closing automatically when the taste of the sweet and sour apple-tinged honey hit his lips. Instantly, he was transported back onto Rhea, where he savored several fleeting moments of being away and being happy. Unfortunately, his happiness was suddenly ripped away from the call from Nemo. What I wouldn’t give to be back there to have some more time with Pepper and Mae,
he thought while recollecting the honey tasting in the orchard. He remembered the smile on Pepper’s face, how infectious it was, and Mae’s giggling at him.
“Hmm,” Bostwick said into the silence, “it’s just about time that the command deck wakes up. Some of the buzzing should start soon.”
“Buzzing?” Quin asked distantly, almost half-consciously.
“Sorry, yeah, buzzing. Message traffic. Unfortunately, a lot of the lingo revolves around bees.”
“Bees?” Quin asked, his brain slowly coming to.
“Yeah, bees,” Bostwick said, studying Quin curiously. “You know, Captain Fuentes being the Queen, the Deck being the hive, that sort of thing.”
“Bees!” Quin exclaimed.
“What?” Bostwick demanded, flabbergasted.
“Louis! BEES!” Quin shouted, shooting off his stool and slamming his cup down.
“Quin, I don’t-“ Bostwick began, but Quin wasn’t listening. The young man half-sprinted out of the room.
“BEES!” Quin shouted again, his face mixed with a smile and intense concentration.
“Okay, Mr. Cage,” Bostwick said, chuckling and shaking his head, his eyes and mouth reflecting a knowing smile as he watched Quin run out of the room.
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2023.06.09 15:57 Ready-Ad-4549 Adam and Eve Tenet Clock
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2023.06.09 15:30 RedHeadRed81 Week 1 Done!
I am down 10lbs in a week. This was my first week taking the 0.25 wegovy injection. I am also on a 1500 calorie daily diet that my doctor is supervising me on monthly. So before anyone gets all high and mighty about losing weight too fast, just don’t. 😒 He is very thorough and did a ton of bloodwork plus I had a physical prior to starting all of this.
The Good: The best way to explain how this works is it takes away any desire to eat. I feel no hunger pains, I have zero food cravings and if I do, 1-2 bites is sufficient to fullfill that craving and I’m just not interested anymore.
I eat 1/4 of what I was eating before and I don’t have to constantly stress out because I feel so damn hungry. I have been overweight for the majority of my life and I have tried every fad diet, good ole diet and exercise , diet pills, Dieticians etc and nothing was sustainable because I couldn’t control how hungry I felt all the time or the cravings.
This is a complete game changer and if I have to be on it the rest of my life to be a healthier person I will.
The Bad: 3 days after my first injection I felt a lot of fatigue and tiredness during the day. I had little bouts of nausea here and there, but nothing that I couldn’t handle. I know some people have bad side effects and others have none at all. I guess it depends on the person, so how it works for me vs others could be completely different. Without insurance this medication will run you $1500 a month. But if you have insurance like mine, it’s only a $25 copay. Plus you can get a coupon from the wegovy website that pays up to $225 per script for the first 12 months.
At this point in my life I had to make a choice about my weight because I couldn’t go on like I was.
And to everyone in the back, this isn’t a magic shot you take and the weight magically falls off. It takes conscious effort, focus and awareness every day to make sure you are making healthy food choices.
Wegovy just cancels out all the “ Background noise” of hunger and cravings so you can focus on making healthy food choices without feeling starved.
I can’t tell you how much this is changing my outlook on food and what I eat. My body no longer has the ability to demand: More food! More food!
I don’t have cravings for anything. I am learning to eat because I have to, not because I want too.
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2023.06.09 14:55 kiplet1 [City of Roses] no. 27.3: “Quite distressing” – well as She might – taking Any hand – Something falls
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“Quite distressing,” says the older man, there in the wingback chair. “Though one does not wish to play the churl. A certain degree of disarray must certainly be allowed, given the shocks – the challenge, the duel – ”
“Allowed?” says Agravante, there by the yellow stone fireplace, an elbow up on the mantel, and the older man takes a sip of milky tea from a thin bone china cup. “How is the King’s champion, by the way?” he says.
“Death’s door,” says Agravante. There on the mantel by his elbow a fiendish little basket-box, carved from a chunk of dark red wood. “Shame,” says the older man, shaking his head, stiff grey curls swept back, and the collar of his shirt undone, a blue scarf knotted tidily about his throat. “Though it is distasteful, how they might linger, on that threshold? Neither here, nor there,” and another sip of tea.
“What is it that distresses you, Medardus,” says Agravante. White-gold locks tied neatly black, his grey suit shot with blue.
“It’s a delicate question I’d have answered, Pinabel,” says the older man, setting the cup in the saucer on his lap, clink. “Does the King yet mean to pursue his bold vision?”
Agravante’s brow pinches. “Of course,” he says. “Insofar as I know.”
Medardus smiles. “Delicately put,” he says. “It’s been two days.”
“These things take time.”
“Two days,” says Medardus, “since he took from me mine offer,” knobbled fingers closing in a fist, drawn up by his yet-mild smile. “And not a word said since.”
“There’s much to be considered,” says Agravante. “Four of you do vie for her hand.”
“Please, Pinabel,” says Medardus, dropping his hand, and a clatter of cup and saucer. “It’s an indulgence to pretend the choice isn’t manifestly clear – that mine is not the best offering.”
“The best, perhaps,” says Agravante. “But sufficient?” A slatey shoulder shrugs.
“The King would demand more?”
“How can I answer that,” says Agravante, “when I know nothing of what you’ve promised, or he might require.”
“Nothing,” says Medardus, still smiling. “Such a delicate word.” Setting cup and saucer on the low table between them. “I would hope,” he says, “it could always be said that the Hound has done well by Medardus,” and he knots those knobby fingers in his lap. “Much as it can be said, to a surety, that Medardus has done well by the Hound.”
Rather carefully, Agravante does not smile at that, or nod, his shoulders do not move, nor does his arm, there by the basket-box. “Of course,” he says.
“But it’s also said,” says Medardus, “that a fear grips your court: that the line is not unbroken. That the Queen, despite her, prodigious recovery, has no Bride of her own. That your King’s hand, howsomever reluctantly, is forced. That he means,” and here Medardus leans forward, elbows on knees, “to take the Princess for himself, and that is why our offers go unanswered.” Sitting back, a dismissive fillip of his fingers. “Or so it’s said.”
“By some,” says Agravante.
“Indeed,” says Medardus.
“But not to me,” says Agravante.
“Ah.” Medardus pushes himself to his feet. “Tell me,” he says, as Agravante leads him out of the little drawing room, “how fares the Count?”
“Grandfather?” says Agravante, pushing open the sliding wood-paneled door. “He sleeps.” Beyond, a narrow hall, in the shadow of a long straight staircase.
“Oh,” he says. “It’s you.” A glass of wine in his hand, something dark. “She isn’t here.”
“She will be, soon enough,” says Marfisa, muddy boot up on the side porch step. “Jason, can I just, wait inside?” The collar of her sheepskin coat turned up, loose white hair stirred by a gust. He steps back, the door held open, his lips a sour purse between his mustache and his dull red beard.
Up the steps into a mud room, painted blue, forgotten coats and a tangle of umbrellas, a scooter, a chalkboard palimpsested with to-dos and shopping lists, “Ah ah,” he’s saying, pointing, thick-lensed glasses blanked out by the ceiling light, and she scrubs her boots against a mat before stepping up into a kitchen to the left there, ruddy stove and a steaming pot of something, stainless steel refrigerator hung about with coupons and note cards, a calendar, a math test festooned with red checks and gold stars, past a breakfast bar sloppily piled with newspapers and a box of soda cans, into a narrow sitting room, a low brown couch, a girl tucked at one end of it, under a red and yellow blanket, and pink headphones startling against her dark hair, watching something on the tablet on her lap. “Grace,” says Jason, still in the kitchen, but she’s already snatching off the headphones, a burst of chirpy music, as Marfisa steps about the low coffee table. “Hey, Mar,” says the girl on the couch, and “Grace,” says Jason again, “upstairs,” as Marfisa sits herself at the other end. Something bulky’s tucked in her coat, she leans over the table, pulling it out, a flat paper sack that spills out a sheaf of handbills, goldenrod pages splashed with black lines, a dancer rendered in calligraphy, and each marked by the green dot of an eye. “Oh, hey,” says the girl, springing from under the blanket, all elbows and knees and clattering headphones, “is that,” says Jason says “Grace!” again, but she’s already scooped up a handbill, turning it over and back again, nothing else to it but little pull-tabs at the bottom, each printed with an elaborately arabesqued question mark. “You’re
putting these up?”
Marfisa shrugs. “You’ve seen them?”
“Yesterday, at Mississippi Pizza?” says Grace. “Did you hang ’em there?” Marfisa shrugs again. “The Mercury just had a thing about these things, like how nobody knows what they are, or who’s, it’s, it’s you! You’re doing it! Is it like, are you putting the band back together?” “Grace,”
says Jason. “What,”
snaps Grace, rolling her eyes away.
“Upstairs,” he says, “now. Flashcards till dinner.” “Jason,”
she says, but she’s kicking off the couch, scooping up the tablet, stomping around the table when back that way there’s a clatter and a squeak of hinges from that side porch, “I’m home!” cries someone, and “Carol!” cries Grace, turning on a dime, scampering off past Jason, through the kitchen, “Guess who’s here!”
Marfisa leans forward, slipping the handbills back in the sack, not looking up at Jason looking down at her.
And there’s Carol, by the breakfast bar, setting a brown leather book bag on the carpet. Draped in a brown and yellow striped serape, her dark hair neatly short. “Mar,” she says. “How are you.”
“Well as I might,” says Marfisa, looking up, pushing back a wave of white-gold hair. “What would you say to a chance to sing again, together?”
A hallway narrow, dim, dark doors to either side, silvery numerals set in the walls by each, slender 1s, a wiry 7, great round-bellied 6es, an 8, a 9. Iona in her yellow track suit leads the way around a corner, stops before the door at the end of the hall. 620, the numerals beside it. She plucks a white card from a pocket, holds it up before slipping it into the slot above the knob. “I miss keys,” she says, as the lock chunks, a green light flicking on. “These may be better, but not in any way that matters.” She opens the door. “Go on,” she says.
Within brown walls and gold, bathed in daylight hazed by yellow curtains drawn over corner windows. A comfortable yellow chair, a reading table and a lamp, unlit. A wide bed draped in blue and brown and at the foot of it, sat tailor-fashion, Ysabel, in a white chemise, and soft white leg-warmers thickly rumpled. “Starling,” she says, with a smile.
“My Queen,” says the Starling, a shadow there by yellow Iona, black jeans, black sweatshirt, the hood of it up. “This is not our usual Thursday,” she says, in not much more than a whisper.
“This isn’t a Thursday,” says Ysabel, nodding to Iona, who steps out, closing the door behind her. “This is a whole weekend, if you’d like.”
“But I must dance, ma’am,” says the Starling. “Today and tonight, at the club, and Saturday – ”
“It has been cleared, with your, manager,” says Ysabel. “You’re free, till Monday.”
“Free to be here, with you,” says the Starling. And then, “If it’s just to be the two of us?” Her words worn thin.
“If you’d like,” says Ysabel. “Or, step back through that door. The Chariot will happily take you anywhere in the city you may wish to go.”
The Starling reaches for the strap of the black gym bag slung from her shoulder. “I don’t mind,” she says, “being with you. I’ll just go change,” but “No,” says Ysabel, quickly, “Starling, no. Put that down. Sit with me.”
“My Queen,” says the Starling. “I am not who I am, when I’m with you.”
“Please,” says Ysabel. “Sit.”
The gym bag slumps to the speckled brown carpet. Stepping over, the Starling stands a moment before the foot of that bed, and Ysabel sat there, smiling up, but then she turns, the Starling, and finds the yellow chair behind her, and sits, a darkness in that weak light.
“I’m glad you came,” says Ysabel.
“My Queen desired it,” says the Starling.
“I thought,” says Ysabel, looking away. “I’d thought today that I might dance for you. I have danced, you know. At a party. She said I was quite good.”
“Of course,” says the Starling.
“I settled on an outfit,” says Ysabel, looking down at herself, “nothing too elaborate,” and “Good,” says the Starling, “but,” says Ysabel, “I’ve been flummoxed by my lips. What should the color be?” A hand, lifted to her mouth, her hair, “White?” she says. “To go with the ensemble? Or would that be too much? Would a simple red be enough?”
“No one pays attention to the lipstick,” says the Starling.
“You do,” says Ysabel, quickly, even sharply, and then, “You take such care, with yours.”
That hood shifts, down, to one side, dim light passing over her chin, the tip of her nose. “White’s better for the stage,” she says. “Too bold for such close quarters.”
“A simple red it is.”
“Your majesty is sad,” says the Starling, then. “Why should that be?”
“I,” says Ysabel, shoulders lifting, and her chin, a retort swelling but then suddenly pricked, deflating, and she looks away. “Affairs of the city,” she says.
“Not the heart, then?” says the Starling. “Nor the hips?”
Ysabel untucks herself, a bare foot lowered to the carpet, and her hands on the edge of the bed. “Tell me,” she says. “Do you know the smell, of blood?”
That shadow sits up. “I do, ma’am,” says the Starling.
“She sleeps,” Ysabel’s saying. “Peacefully. Her wound is poulticed with a fief’s portion. The bleeding’s long since stopped, but,” and she takes in a deep breath, shivering at the top of it, a sigh, “wherever I go in those rooms I still can smell
it, that – tang,
like an armor hot from the sun, and I,” but the Starling’s standing, stepping over, she kneels at the foot of the bed, reaches for a hand that Ysabel lifts away, “here I am,” she says, “holed up in a hotel across town.”
The Starling sits back on her heels. “Would you rather go to her?” but Ysabel’s shaking her head, “The Mason,” she says, “watches over her. She wants for nothing. I am,” but then she stops, and the Starling catches her hand, draws it down, covers it with her own. Ysabel says, “My brother once told me,” but then she stops again, blinking rapidly, looking down at the Starling looking up from under her black hood. “He was once a little boy,” says Ysabel. “Did you know that?”
“The King,” says the Starling, “yes, ma’am, of course. I remember those days.”
“Not even a Prince, just an infant, he came to me, in the little garden, and took my hand, and asked me, sister, why are you crying?” Turning her hand in the Starling’s hand, taking hold of it, squeezing. “And I said, because I do not wish to wed. But I am the Bride, I said, and one day a King will come, and I must take his hand. Whether I will or no, I must, but he,” looking away, “he swore to me, then and there, most earnestly, that he
would one day be the King, that I might never need take anyone’s hand.”
The Starling says, “And he did just that.”
“My brother,” says Ysabel, “the King, this,” and her eyes close, the lashes of them shining, “city,” she says, and her mouth closes about another, unsaid word, she swallows, and a lick at her lips. “Jo,” she says.
“My Queen,” says the Starling. “I will go, and change, and dance for you, to take your mind,” but “No,” says Ysabel, leaning forward, her hands on the Starling’s shoulders, “do not change, do not dress, do not perform,” lifting a hand, right to the very hem of that hood, but then pulled back, withdrawn. “I would see you just as you are,” she says, her hands once more in her lap.
“But, my lady,” says the Starling, and she reaches up to draw back that hood. “I am always as I am.” Black hair uncurled, slicked back, clipped down to stubble along her temples, about those ears. Her cheeks, the line of that jaw. The nose. Those eyes, only a hazeled hint of green. Thin lips unpainted, upturned, parting as Ysabel leans close to say, “And you are with me,” and then a feathery kiss, tugging at the Starling’s hands, lifting, the Starling who stands up before her, and her hands fall to the Starling’s hips, rough black denim, the belt loops, her thumb, the wide leather belt, looking up, those green eyes. She yanks at the bulky black sweatshirt, “Get this off,” she says, and the Starling lifts it up and off and tosses it aside. Bare now from the waist up, and the torso of her lean and long, and her long arms sinewy lowering, curling, Ysabel’s darkly hands caught up against the smooth pale chest of her by those wide white hands, and the backs of them snarled with thick blue veins.
“Now would you have me go and change?” murmurs the Starling.
“But you are beautiful,” says Ysabel, slipping her hands free, reaching for the tongue of the belt. The buckle jangles. “Majesty,” says the Starling, “I am many things, but,” and a gasp, at the kiss pressed there below her shadowed navel, as those black jeans loosen, lop, as Ysabel’s fingers dip within to uncurl a palely slender cock, and a stroke for the lengthening lift of it, “oh,” says the Starling, “my Queen, you needn’t,” as her hand cups Ysabel’s face.
“But do you want me to,” says Ysabel, and the Starling, shivering, nods. “The principles, I should think,” says Ysabel, “are essentially the same?” And a lick of a kiss for the tip of it, there on her palm.
Pinned to the pole a mulching bark of posters, flyers, handbills, postcards, lapped and shingled one over another, rain-dimpled, sun-faded, twisted, torn, defaced, Thrash or Die, April Showers Burlesque, Snap! at the Holocene, Anodyne Presents, Missing Dog, Laughing Horse, Drum Circle Saturday Rain or Shine, Cinco de Mayo on the Waterfront, big black letters on an enormous sheet, Grupo Samurjay, Grupo Maravilla, Los Supremos de Los Hermanos Flores, Woodburn Rocks. As the bus pulls away she’s pushing back her black hair looking up toward the top of that slithery bristling treeline, there where handfuls of old notices have been ripped away leaving crowded dozens of denuded staples, glinting, by a metal sign that says No Parking This Block, a relatively fresh sheet of goldenrod paper, mad black scribbles limning a dancer, a single eye of bright green ink. She reaches up, to the pull-tabs fluttering the bottom of it, each printed with only an elaborately arabesqued question mark. Her other hand holds fast a black leather knapsack slung from the shoulder of her slick black jacket. Her glasses with thick black frames. With a sudden yank she rips the handbill down.
A broad porch with four front doors set one right next to another, and she unlocks, slips through the third of them, and up an immediate steep staircase, narrow between dark walls, unlit, that yellow page bright in her hand. Around the wall at the top of the stairs through an open room a couch the floor before it piled with cardboard boxes into a long hall once painted white, some time ago, lit by daylight seeping in from somewhere else. At the end of it a dark room, curtains drawn, and she closes the door behind her, a shadow in the shadows. Flump of the knapsack, dropped to the floor, creaking footstep, the thick click of a switch. Light blares from naked bulbs in the fixture in the middle of the ceiling, pink springs from the walls all whorled curlicues and faded bouquets, the bed there, skewed bedclothes striped dull brown and beige, and on the floor at the foot of it a great conical pile knee-high or more of gleaming golden dust.
She steps around it, jacket half-unzipped. A ridge of the pile has settled, slumped, dust trailed over the floor away from it, and the goldenrod poster drops, crumpled, from the hand she’s lifting to her throat, to the bit of black lace tied there. Steps back, around the bed. She grabs a little hand broom from the nightstand. Kneels down by the pile. Begins to sweep up the goldstuff, careful with each thread and grain.
Eyelids a-twitch, lips parting just to say not even a whisper, maybe a number, counting, nine or ten, eleven, those lids blink open over mud-colored eyes that swivel, narrow, try to focus, a gleaming edge there, mirror-bright, shifting as she blinks the length of it flat and smooth and slender, somehow deep within it coiling whorls of light and dark chased up and down a shallow groove that cleanly stretches up and up to a glittering net there on the pillow, wiry strands that knot a cage about a simple hilt she jerks away, kicks back sitting up, “Shit,” she says, as the sword’s tangled in the sheets, teetering at the edge of the futon. She’s bent over, thin white T-shirt, wine-red hair, rubbing her shin, a thin dark line of blood beading down by her ankle, “Shit,” she says, again. Snatching the hilt she whips the blade free from the sheets, “this fucking,” but it turns in her hand, a wrench and away it flies across the room to crack and a wibble it’s stabbed the white wall there by the plain black scabbard, hung from a nail, and the painted skull-mask also, the mane of it stirred by that thrust. Jo blinks. “Okay,” she says, to herself.
Without, the hallway’s dark, the little lights strung along the ceiling unlit. The kitchen beyond is empty, only glancing daylight and shadows. Jo leans over to knock at the door across the hall, “Ysabel?” she says, turning the knob. The room within all yellow and white, gauzy curtains, big bed neatly made, the armoire shut, and nothing draped over the dressing screen in the corner. “Ysabel?” says Jo again, but something, she looks down. Something lightly, barely there, faintly wisps, like down, like ash, falling from, brushing her foot, past her knee, caught there in the hem of her T-shirt, falling from, she lifts it, peering down at her belly beneath, and the line that climbs it packed with an ashen crust and a last few spangles of gold and, she touches it crumbling, flaking away, the pink skin taut beneath.
Back against the jamb. Dropping the hem of the shirt her hand to her breast, and quick wincing shallow breaths. Lurching up across and over to the dresser, a bouquet of heavy-headed peonies pink and yellow, she grabs a small brass box and pries it open, frees a cigarette, and a ragged book of matches.
The hall, the back room, dark, the back door and out, outside, out in the grass, under the sky, sunlight and blue sky, and glowering clouds behind, white and blue and grey and blue and greenly black, swollen with the coming rain. Fitting the cigarette to her lips but even as she opens the matchbook she’s falling to her knees in the lushly green, soft grass out to the parapets to either side, and she coughs up a sob, another, doubled over on her shaking shuddering self, her hand a fist to her chest.
The cigarette falls white to the grass before her. Feathers of grey-white ash caught about it, and sparks of gold.
A call behind her, muffled by walls and doors. Sitting up she catches, holds her breath. Swallows. A slam back there, distant, bump of a footfall, she wipes her eyes with the back of her hand and leans forward getting her feet under herself but the back door bangs open boot-thump someone shouting and she springs up turns her arm flung out the sword
The sword in her hand –
Her hand, her arm extended shoulder dropped her torso sidelong and her front foot planted, off leg leaned back straight and true, off hand slung back to balance the thrust that’s ended sword-tip snagged in a corner of his unzipped shortwaisted jacket yanked up one side he’s twisted, turned away from it, both arms flung up and alarm gently folding his face.
“Oh God,” says Jo, dropping the blade, the ring of it soft on the grass.
“You’re awake,” says Luys, lowering his arms. Brushing the front of his soft brown jacket, his finger finding the hole punched there. “Your coat,” says Jo, “I’m so, sorry,” but “No sin espinas,” he’s saying, almost to himself, holding out a hand, “You are awake,” he says, but she rushes past that hand to crash into him tumbling her arms about him there on the rooftop under the clouds, she’s kissing his throat and then as he lowers his head she looks up to kiss his mouth, his mouth. https://preview.redd.it/31cs43s4pz4b1.png?width=35&format=png&auto=webp&s=5c5c990a3790e89b4ddcf70973bc9b387bf57179 previous Table of Contents Patreon
2023.06.09 12:21 Tropicccc Should i give up on building muscle?
27 Male. Been going to the gym for 10 months with no visible gains. My goal is to build some muscle mass (nothing crazy) and then just try and maintain for the rest of my life. https://imgur.com/a/PNKd6bc
Here are my Test results. Free testosterone: 227 Pmol/L or 65 pg/ml.
Should i give up becoming muscular and just train for health (less sets more cardio) going forward or do i have a shot at becoming muscular within 2-3 years? What do guys think?
EDIT: I started at 83kg 10 months ago and spent 3 months in calorie deficit. My lowest weight during this period was 76kg. Now i have intentionally started to put on some weight again. Weight 78KG Height 174 CM Body fat 20% I sleep a lot and well, besides pulling an allnighter every 2 weeks or so. I do PP (sometimes legs) and push to failure and beyond every set. I train 4-5 days a week. Example of a push day: 3x5 bench 4x10 cable fly 3x5 OHP 4x10 OHP 5x10 lateral raise and 5x10 triceps pushdown 1 rep max when i started and now Overhead press (20kg) 38KG Bench (25kg) 60kg Bent over row (25kg) 42kg Food wise my most common snack/meal is greek yoghurt with whey100. Other then that just regular home cooked food. I definetely get enough protein. Vitamin and thyroid levels are OK.
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2023.06.09 12:07 TheGeekyZoologist Jurassic World! The Hegemony of Biosyn (Dominion rewrite) - Act V (final post)
Acts I to IV are available in my previous posts.
Act V: Queenbreaker Returning home
Claire and Owen fly back to the US and in the arrivals hall of Reno's International Airport, they are greeted by a group of journalists who question them about the Dolomites Crisis, the role they played in it and if it's true that Claire and Wu, known to be sworn enemies, really did saved the world together. One of those journalists is Cassandra Landis (a character which appeared in my JW rewrite and TRQ, and some sort of minor recurring antagonist for Claire). When Landis asks Claire treacherous and inappropriate questions in addition to implying that she's a mythomaniac, the former park director punches her in the face in front of the cameras, knocking her out.
The end of Biosyn
Due to the death of Dodgson, Murdoch and almost the entirety of the board of directors (and its only survivor, Nathan Quinn, quickly retired from the corporation); the disastrous results of Auronzo valley's siege and invasion; and the breaking scandals, Biosyn is left leaderless, its stock exchange's value collapses and so does the company itself. The Cupertino HQ and other Biosyn installations across the US and the rest of the world are seen being vandalized and its anti-locust seeds destroyed by farmers during a protest.
In the DSD headquarters, Gibbon is having fun watching a parody video of Claire punching Cassandra Landis when Bigelow, who just returned from Italy, knocks at his door. They discuss her mission's failure, with Gibbon announcing he'll strip of her status by moving her to a simple desk job. They also talk about the mysterious attackers who raided the Citadel (Gibbon plans to blame the grey guards for the killings committed by those as part of the US government's anti-Grey Guard propaganda campaign) and Claire's various exactions in Auronzo (and more particularly the Hunting Lodge slaughter and the annihilation of Biosyn's board of directors), along with the fact that she and Henry Wu apparently saved the world from a GMO locusts-induced famine. Gibbon adds that people as idealistic and determined as Claire tend to easily fall in the dark side, create terrorist organizations, and that as a supposed world-saviour and charismatic figure, people will support or join her in droves, which might be quite a problem, moreover that empires tend to fall in her wake ("Who's going to be next after InGen and Biosyn?" he wonders); that following the Malta betrayal, the WDMC and the DSD are having some sort of war, and should Vuillier send Claire upon the DSD, the result won't be pretty. Luckily for them, the CIA anticipated the problem she'll become and started to move their pawns in preparation of Operation Queenbreaker, intending to make her pay for what she did to their ally Biosyn and put a spoke in Vuillier's wheels. However, after seeing Franklin in a nearby hallway, Gibbon adds that their conversation must remain a secret for the moment.
Bigelow leaves and Gibbon starts watching another video: Dodgson's presentation about the chips and the recording of the battle between the Carabinieri and the chip-controlled animals.
The DSD collects the testimonies of various people involved in the Auronzo Incident, especially those of Pellegrino and her men. When Bigelow realizes that the tyrannosaur freed by Claire is the same which killed Maisie, she tells her boss and he is satisfied by her discovery.
Soon, another division of the CIA launches Operation Queenbreaker. Online, agents spread the rumours about Claire's misdeeds with even extracts from the Citadel's CCTV footage (sent by Lucrezia Pellegrino) being put on the social media and new caricatures being made (depicting Claire as a bloodthirsty vampire or a rampaging dragon which kills indiscriminately). Meanwhile, a shot in the arm is given to the investigation about Claire's fatal errors when she was park director of Jurassic World and the misdeeds she committed during the Lockwood Estate incident and her missions for the WDMC.
The trial of Claire Dearing
One morning, Claire is arrested and brought to court.
She endures a humiliating trial during which all of her crimes, proven or alleged (fake news were thrown into the mix) are discussed.
One of Operation Queenbreaker orchestrators' most treacherous moves are having Karen, Claire's half-sister, testimony against her, claiming she's responsible for the death of her son Gray (which died in this AU, killed by the Indominus); and using Drummond's, Bigelow's, and Kayla's testimonies about the Dolomites incident, where the three of them said that a Tyrannosaurus ate Maisie Lockwood, to imply that the Lockwood heiress died because of Claire, as she released the very same animal which ended up killing the teenage girl. As being responsible for kids' death is a big no-no for the public opinion, Claire loses part of its support.
During the last session of her trial, Claire knows it's a lost battle and pleads guilty for the crimes she did commit (adding she'll "do it again" for the greatest good if needed) before delivering an ominous speech, in which she talks about the opposition between civilization and barbarism (how barbarism is Man's natural state. She uses herself as an example), Man and nature, how dinosaurs changed her, and why they fascinates and frightens us at the same time (according to her, it's because they are the avatar of a barbaric world to which the entirety of mankind once belonged. By submitting and exploiting them, it's like if Mankind tried to reassure itself about its superiority over Nature). She claims having seen the future, declares that the World of Men is ending and a new age is coming, that soon, the entire planet will become a new Isla Nublar, and that modern civilization will know the fate of Jurassic World. Having heard enough, the judge interrupts her and announce the verdict: She'll have a life sentence (in an earlier scene, a death sentence is discussed by the judge and some orchestrators of Operation Queenbreaker, with the judge saying he can't sentence her to death as it will spark massive outrage with possible disastrous consequences).
While Claire is escorted away, Vuillier contacts the WDMC's allies within the Costa Rican government. Outraged by what the government did to his de-facto wife, Owen tells his boss that he intends to accept whatever job the WDMC has for him in Europe or anywhere in the world but the US.
Sometime later, while public opinion is divided on the result of her trial (while some think she deserved this and is nothing but a bloodthirsty madwoman; others see in this trial nothing but political scheming), it's announced to Claire that she'll be extradited to Costa Rica, the official reason being that the biggest of her faults and the deadliest one (triggering the fall of Isla Nublar) happened on Costa Rican territory and that they thus want her locked in one of their prisons. Claire is transferred to Costa Rica.
The fate of Auronzo Valley
Negotiations about Auronzo Valley ends and a decision is approved by both the UN and the Italian government. It will become a true sanctuary co-managed by the WDMC and the local government.
Due to Claire's imprisonment, Vuillier proposes the position of sanctuary manager to Owen and the latter accepts, taking the position after his and Sigurd's emigration to Italy.
While conversing with Nyamu, Vuillier laments that Claire is going to rot in jail while she deserves better. Nyamu suddenly has an idea. He tells the WDMC director that Claire might still work for them, in a place where her ruthless nature could be used for their benefit and be appreciated, a place where she'll be "out of sight" of Odegaard and far from the CIA's claws.
A few weeks later, in the Women's prison of San José, Claire receives the visit of not only Vuillier but also Rodrigue Santagar, their ally within the Costa Rican government (and a character we met in TRQ) Santagar tells her that in exchange for the help she and Owen provided four years ago, the government proposes her to transform her prison time in community service. When she asks the nature of this "community service", they tell her it consists in joining the Grey Guard and remaining exiled in the Five Deaths for ten years. Despite her lack of military or law enforcement background, the Guard's marshal and its council of captains voted in favour of her recruitment as they heard of her prowess during the Fall of Jurassic World, the 2019 incidents and her missions as a field agent for the WDMC. Claire accepts, as she could be still acting in favour of dinosaurs, in addition to taking less chances of being assassinated in prison on the CIA's orders.
Gibbon learns this and when someone ask him if he's worried about this decision, he answers that the grey guards have a dangerous life and that with luck, she'll get eaten by a dinosaur or murdered by a poacher soon enough, before adding that they'll keep an eye on her. He's satisfied that the WDMC pretty much abandoned North America, leaving the DSD in charge of every De-extinction-related issues there.
Into the West
In October, Claire is brought by Santagar and a couple of police officers to Caldera's harbour near Puntarenas, where a cargo ship named The Wanderer is waiting for her and the other new recruits for the Guard. Seeing Owen and their son Sigurd on the dock, she gets emotional and the Costa Ricans let her join them for a moment. She bids them farewell, with Owen promising to visit her in the Five Deaths whenever he gets the chance, and then, escorted by the recruits' overseers, she embarks on the ship.
Owen and Sigurd watch The Wanderer depart and head west, into the sunset.
Epilogue Finally, the epilogue arrives. It consists of a montage of various scenes while Vuillier or Owen gives a speech which sums up the saga's whole story since the first Jurassic Park. Here's its structure:
- Introduction with our character declaring that the world has changed: Footage of the Sanctuary's raptor pack walking in a single file on top of some ridge while they cross the Alps. Their leader stops at some promontory and looks west, towards some lowlands. An attentive viewer will quickly glimpse Victoria in the file. We then cut to a forest where some wolves are eating a carcass when the Achillobators arrive. Both packs growl at each other and a fight is about to break out when a now adult Victoria suddenly arrives and stands by her pack. Outnumbered and intimidated by the larger predators, the wolves decide to abandon the carcass and flee, letting the dinosaurs take their meal; of a small fishing vessel somewhere in the Pacific being attacked and sunk by a Mosasaurus (while the adult featured in JW died, some of the WDMC characters talk about possible Mosasaurus sightings in the earliest parts of the story and mention the fact that a juvenile was also housed in JW when the park fell); of a military aircraft having an accidental and fatal collision with an InGen Pteranodon.
- The rise of InGen and the first de-extinction successes: Footage of the abandoned Embryonic administration on Sorna and Jurassic Park: San Diego; of Drummond wandering in the now deserted Lockwood Manor, exploring its museum and observing the model of Jurassic Park's visitor centre.
- The Fall of Jurassic World and InGen: Footage of the ruins of JW on Nublar and the former InGen HQ in Palo Alto (a location seen in TRQ).
- The downfall of other genetic engineering companies: Footage of some Mantah Corp complex (not the one from Camp Cretaceous' seasons 4 and 5. In this AU, the Mantah Corp island doesn't exist, thank goodness!); abandoned Grendel Corporation facilities in India and Cameroon; Biosyn's logos being removed in the Citadel by workers and other cleaning/doing repairs within the Biosyn facility.
- Loose de-extinct animals in the world: Footage of some Nasutoceratops in the Indian countryside; of a Spinosaurus (the one we saw in Biosyn's possession and which was carried out of the Sanctuary by the flood) swimming in the canals of Venice, arousing awe and wonder in locals and tourists; of a Biosyn Quetzalcoatlus flying over the countryside somewhere in Europe; a pack of InGen Compsognathus in some dark alley in sight of Hollywood, diving head first in the trash; a pair of Pectinodon in the jungles of Cameroon...
- Losses: Footage of the funerals of the Carabinieri who fell during the Battle of Auronzo; of Vincent Chapuy and a couple of other grey guards featured in this story in a memorial hall within Caer Draig (The Grey Guard's headquarters on Isla Sorna), melancholically looking at the names of those who died during the Maltese and Dolomites incidents (we also glimpse the names of some grey guards from the JW rewrite); of Drummond paying a visit to Maisie's and Theo's sepulchres in Lockwood Estate (Maisie has a plaque in her family's mausoleum while Theo has an empty grave outside near that of Iris', who died during the 2019 incident) ; of some room/hall/wing/laboratory in Stanford University being renamed after Henry Wu.
- The challenges and battles to come: Footage of Dougal and other WDMC field agents parking near the entrance of Mount Saint-Michel, running past fleeing tourists before looking up, toward the abbey at the top of mount, over which a Quetzalcoatlus (the same from earlier in the epilogue) is circling; of some unnamed genetic engineering company/ies creating new de-extinct creatures; of illegal exploitations and black markets.
- The importance of good collaboration: Footage of Guillaume Vuillier and his assistant Peggy Zubiri in the WDMC's new headquarters in Gland, Switzerland; of Drummond and Cesare welcoming Owen and his son Sigurd in Auronzo and watching dinosaurs in the valley together; of Kayla being shown her new plane and her and Bigelow going on some new adventure together (it's implied that Kayla now works for the DSD and that Gibbon changed his mind about Bigelow and decided to send her back on missions).
- The rampant Greed and Corruption: Footage of Senator Christine West in Washington, addressing questions about her close ties with Biosyn (she's in the middle of a corruption scandal) and walking away before being shot by a unknown sniper; of Giovanni Pazzi being dismissed from his position as Minister of the Interior after some whistle-blower (implied to be Viscontini) revealed that he was corrupted by Biosyn and warned Dodgson about the government's intents of taking Auronzo valley from him and arresting him.
- The looming threats and how Mankind's fate stand on an edge: Footage of Isaac Gibbon and other US government officials plotting in secret and DSD scientists working with embryos; of Claire, now in grey guard attire, standing at the top of a watchtower on some Isla Sorna ridge, looking at the ocean where she suddenly spots a suspicious ship in the distance (her eyes are seen ferociously locking on it); the final sequence, set at night, shows a Biosyn tyrannosaur looking at a town in the distance and letting out an otherworldly roar.
Thanks for reading!
I'm aware that I might have taken a few controversial story decisions but I think that's part of the fun of rewrites like this one, do what filmmakers can't due to various reasons.
Please, let me know of your thoughts. I'll be happy do have a debate about my work.
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2023.06.09 10:28 Such_Ad7162 Compilation of almost Everything we know about Nitesh tiwari's Ramayan.
10/5/17 Trilogy is announced in the post-bahubali 2 wave. producers
allu arvind, madhu mantena and namit malhotra give their opinions on their reasons of making the epic.
08/7/19 Nitesh Tiwari and Ravi Udywar are attached as directors.
"I went with my father and brother to the Ramlila every year and though we all knew the story, it still evoked the same emotions in us when Sita was kidnapped or Raavan's effigy burnt," said Mr Tiwari. "I heard these stories from my grandmother and mother and passed them on to my children. Everybody knows the story of Ram, Sita and Raavan, it's the story-telling that will make our trilogy memorable and I'm putting everything I have learnt into it to make it fun and engaging while staying true to the original," Mr Udyawar said.
Pre-production includes reference work for scenes in Ayodhya; Lanka will be depicted in a wash of gold; Mithila will be green with Nepali architecture. "Money and time are not a problem. Our producers have told us to be fearless and fly. So, we are flying visually," said Nitesh Tiwari. "There are many sci-fi films but only one Star Wars
. We have access to the best technology and talent so what better time to let the world see what our country has to offer," said Ravi Udyawar. at this time Hrithik, Deepika and Prabhas were rumored for Ram, Sita and Raavan respectively.
16/9/19 Nitesh says there have been no changes in the story and to tweak the story would be foolishnes... at this time there was outrage due to a TV show Ram Siya ke luv Kush
23/9/19 rumored Hrithik refuses to be part of the project.
"No, the film has not been offered to me. I have no knowledge on the project. every character has his own unique trait in the film. But Ram's character is very interesting. If one gives Ram some grey shades, he could become a very interesting character."
Nitesh also said that there have been no discussions of casting till then.
05/3/20 Another interview by Nitesh on Ramayan
"Ramayana is magical. It is something that we have not seen from an Indian maker. It has got a lot of magical qualities to it and the kind of forest we had, you had animals talking to us, this was something which is wonderful and it allows you to have the potential to present beautifully on screen a world that you have not seen before. It is a prep heavy film. It is very tough but gratifying if you can get it right, as you have the technology to do it, What makes it challenging that how do you tell a story to a six-year-old and retain the faith of 60-year-old. That is why it is taking the time. You have to strike a balance. My nine-year-old kid has to find it exciting, they are fans of Avengers. At the same time, it needs to be exciting for my mother-in-law at a level where she would be like I have not seen Ramayana in this form. It is a big challenge, When I say entertain, I don't mean to make people chuckle or laugh because that kind of stuff is not there in Ramayana. But the execution is also entertaining. The ultimate aim is to keep them glued to their seats, Casting will be tough but we haven't thought of it yet. There will be a lot of actors, maybe we will go for pan-India casting,
in between Mahesh Babu as Ram was also reported. But he took Rajamouli's project over this. 08/8/20 BUMMER ADIPURUSH IS ANNOUNCED
1/07/21 another interview
The ambition that we have for Ramayana is larger than what our country has seen. The responsibility to tell this story is so larger that it requires a lot of work. We have taken it on ourselves to make it as well as anything else in the world. We are trying to follow the process that James Cameron did for Avatar,” Madhu informs, adding further that the idea is to push the envelope. “The ambition is so larger that we are going into the minute details of everything. We need to show the world what Ramayana is and it needs to portray all the magic that Valmiki wrote. This isn’t a project, it’s a purpose, a purpose to tell Ramayana in all it’s glory to the world 14/09/21 ANOTHER BUMMER, SITA- THE INCARNATION IS ANNOUNCED
3/10/21 Ranbir arrives in the picture
permanent casting ofRanbir as Ram
is reported. Hrithik is now rumored for Ravan
further budget bragging. “Initially we didn’t have a budget in mind and even now, the there is no figure. Right now we are trying to see how we c an make the film for Rs 300 crore, but today, I don’t think that much will be enough to tell this story.
10/10/22 sai pallavi is rumored to play sita.
28/01/23 Yash replaces Hrithik rumors, these rumors further get credence as Hrithik fasttracks Krissh 4
07/03/23 ranbir says he has no idea of such a project and has not been approached.
“I wish I were Aditya Chopra to answer this… I’d love to be a part of those movies, Dhoom 4, or any other movie of that like, but nothing has been presented to me as of yet.
07/6/23 finally locked
“Over the last few weeks, Ranbir Kapoor
has been spotted visiting the DNEG office, to check on the progress of Ramayana. The pre-visualization of the world has already been done and the team is now doing look tests with Ranbir to play Lord Ram. The purpose of the visit has been to get the right look for Ranbir as on getting it right, he will then step into the physical transformation aspect,” revealed a source close to the development. The office that both Ranbir and Alia have been visiting over the last few weeks is addressed as the "Ramayana Office" where Nitesh Tiwari, Namit Malhotra, Madhu Mantena, and their team have created an entire pre-visualized world of the epic
“Alia was the first choice for Ramayana, but back in the day, the dates couldn’t match due to multiple reasons. But with all the delays, Nitesh and producer Madhu Mantena have gotten back to their first choice and the actress is excited to play a character that could stay with her for a lifetime. Same for Ranbir, who is charged up for this new divine journey of Shri Ram,
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2023.06.09 06:31 manjirinadkarni_ 7 Signs Your Diet Is Harming You Instead Of Helping You
A healthy diet is crucial to your overall health and not just for weight loss. In my Ayurveda & Holistic Nutrition practice in Sarnia, I see many clients experimenting with multitudes of diets - Keto, Vegan, Paleo in order to lose weight or get healthy.
But often the crash dieting, yo-yo dieting or eating inaccurately (without considering your bodies requirements) leads to a lot of nutrient deprivation, lowered metabolism, muscle moss, fatigue, water retention and dehydration etc.
Food is the medicine and when used wisely can really support your body.
According to Ayurveda, Ahara or the food that you eat is one of the three important pillars on which your health rests. In simple words it means that your food is the very foundation of your health, how harmonious your body systems work together and how happy you are can also be determined through food.
A simple example of disharmony in the body can be understood by the food allergies and food sensitivities we see today. 8 out of 10 clients that see me, suffer from various food allergies and sensitivities to gluten, dairy, wheat, corn, soy, etc and this shows that their body is out of balance and harmony.
Our life revolves as well as evolves according to food that we eat.
Food is essential to our life and since humans can’t make our own food in our body, like plants, we have to eat food to provide us with energy. The food you eat makes each and every cell of your body and also affects your mind. Thus, nutritionally deficient foods will create a body that is weak vs nutritionally dense foods will support your body growth and create a body that is strong and resilient against aging and diseases. The food that you eat impacts your thoughts, behaviors, emotions and mood by influencing your mind - thus the food that you eat can make you calm, centered and balanced or anxious, irritable and depressed.
So how do you understand whether your diet/ nutritional plan is working for you or not?
You are not at a healthy weight
If you are struggling with gaining/ losing weight and following a diet/ nutritional plan without any results, this is the biggest indicator or your diet is failing you. Often people fall prey to trendy diets like keto, paleo, vegan or green smoothie diet. While these diets can actually work for you if they are custom tailored by using Ayurvedic principles by an experienced Ayurvedic doctor, following these without understanding your own body can create issues like muscle loss, loss of nutrients or excess fat gain.
Physical and mental fatigue
The food you eat is responsible for providing you with both physical as well as mental energy you require for daily activities. So if you are experiencing body and/or mental fatigue it could be a sign that your diet is deficient in essential nutrients that support your body. Often a restrictive diets aggravate Vata dosha in the long term and can significantly lower your energy levels.
You struggle with focus and concentrationOften food allergies and sensitivities, excess yeast growth aka Candida or a diet deficient in nutrients especially B vitamins can cause you to lack the focus and concentration required in day to day life. Artificial sweeteners like aspartame, food additives like food dyes, flavours and preservatives can contribute to hyperactivity and other symptoms of ADHD which can lower your focus and concentration.
Your skin lacks the lustre and toneYour skin is one of the biggest reflectors of health. If you are struggling with constant breakouts, acne, lacklustre skin that is wrinkly or hyper pigmented, the reason could be a faulty diet.Often poor diets will also make you lose the tone of your muscles as well as skin and cause skin to sag easily.
Your hair is dry, brittle or greying prematurelyHealthy, shiny lustrous hair often has more to do with a good diet, than the use of hair care products. And if you are finding your hair to be dry, brittle almost like the witches broom or prematurely grey, the reason is your diet is failing to provide the essential nutrients like Calcium, Phosphorus as well as collagen required for healthy hair.
You are struggling with digestive issues bloated and gassyConstant bloating and gas indicates an inability to digest the foods you are eating. If you follow a fad diet, which could often be full of the foods that you are sensitive to eg- excess dairy consumption in ketogenic diets or excess reliance on wheat gluten in vegan diet could result in signs of digestive distress like diarrhea, constipation, stomach cramps, undigested food in stool
You get sick easily
Are you constantly sick? Suffering from bouts of cold, flu, and recurrent infections? Well a poor diet often lowers your immunity making you prone to catching every cold and flu bug out there. If you have been sick more than 2-3 times a year for over 2 years it's time to get a reality check and sit with an Ayurvedic doctor to discuss what is causing your recurrent health issues.
Your body and mind are made from what you eat, so don't be fast, easy, cheap or fake.
This is something to be aware of, as in our fast paced life today, fast foods that are cheaper than fresh foods are on the rise. We eat quickly, foods that are prepared instantly and we find relief in filling the stomach and senses rather than nourishing and energizing the body. Protein shakes are taken as ‘fillers’, granola bars have replaced a well planned lunch and nutrition has become more of a means of calorie counting than actually nourishing our bodies. Often this is what can disconnect you from your body, mind and eventually from your health. So make a conscious choice every time you put something in your mouth or plan a specific diet.
submitted by manjirinadkarni_
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