Nail bars near me
Professional eSports in a Bar
2011.06.09 03:29 o_Oskar Professional eSports in a Bar
----- *"For fans, watching in bars fulfills their desire to share the love of a game that many watched at home alone before. Fans organize so-called Barcraft events, taking over pubs and bistros from Honolulu to Florida and switching big-screen TV sets to Internet broadcasts of professional game matches happening often thousands of miles away."* - [The Wall Street Journal](http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904070604576516462736084234.html) ----
2013.01.10 06:08 mentalhells Duped: Never buy the same color twice again!
Request and share comparison shots of different nail polishes
2016.10.19 23:01 90405 The way to the volcano is teamwork.
A place for players of Battlezone on the PSVR to meet, find co-op companions, discuss strategy, hints and tips, and more.
2023.06.03 20:15 Marchessault81 Advice on fallout proofing a small closet
Looking for some suggestions on how to effectively fallout proof a room in my apartment (I live within 20 miles of a nuclear power plant). The best room I've found is a 2 x 2 x 8 closet which is near the center of the apartment and only has one door. Obviously not a lot of room in there for things like concrete blocks so wondering what some good solutions would be. A typical dry-wall/wood apartment with some brick on the outside, and a floor above me. There really aren't any better rooms to do it in unfortunately so this might be my best option. Thanks in advance!
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2023.06.03 20:14 WeWannaKnow Made a post on a BOB in my province sub (related to major forest fires happening and evacuation orders) It went exactly how you'd expect!
This morning I made a post on my province sub (Quebec) regarding what a BOB is, what to put in it, and why.
I did the non prep version. Not too bushcraft. Just a be safe and ready with things you have at home. Or can buy at the dollar store, or even at a REI type of store.
Many towns are being evaluated due to the forest fires here so I figured it would be a great way to educate my fellow province residents!
"I don't need toilet paper!".
"I can just go to my family who lives 10 mins from me!".
"I'll just go to the convenient store".
"I don't need to keep a change a clothes in a bag, it's stupid!".
"It's too much stuff!".
"All I need is a credit card!".
And I've tried to engage with them and explain like, welllll if the power is out your card won't work! Or, family might need to evacuate too. Or if you need to drive far, you'll be glad you have that toilet paper, water, and protein bars!
Nope. A BOB is stupid and useless. Alright y'all suit yourselves! But like so many situations, it's only until you need it that you realize it's usefulness :)
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2023.06.03 20:14 AppleUpset396 This sub has finally given me some hope!
All started end of March had a one night stand - protected vaginial sex and unprotected oral sex.
Couple of days later started feeling burning and itching at the the tip of my penis alongside inflammation on the Meatus, itching then started in the middle of penis which quickly became burning and stinging. Got myself a home std test and results came back positive for ureaplasma and Gardnerella Vaginalis.
Got myself over to a private sexual health clinic where I was given 1 weeks worth of metroponzale and 2 weeks of flucnazole, they didn’t seem overly concerned about ureaplasma and didn’t give me any doxycycline.
Finished the course and things seemed good for a couple of weeks, symptoms felt like they were mostly gone but there was still slight inflammation on the meatus but then the itching and stinging started on the inside again, right in the middle of the left side of my penis along with the meatus inflammation getting worse.
Back to the clinic, decide to get tests run again ( which all came back negative, I’m not sure if they tested for ureaplasma) and I’m given 4 weeks worth of flucanzole as they think it’s fungal/yeast infection. Take these for a couple of weeks but don’t see or feel much relief, start looking online at what the issue might be so look online and see some people have had luck with ceftriaxone so ask the clinic to give me a shot. Seems to work pretty well, inflammation goes down and itching goes from a 7 to 2 but as the week goes on feel things slowly come back so back to the clinic a week later where they give me another shot ceftriaxone plus 2 weeks worth of Doxycycline.
The shot and the start of the doxy started yesterday and today the itching and pinching feeling inside my urethra is INTENSE, is this the doxy working and flushing out the bacteria?
The clinic didn’t seem bothered about the Ureaplasma but after doing some reading online and finding the sub I’m convinced this is the cause of all my issues. Once the doxy has finished I’ll be back to the clinic to get some azithromycin but I can’t believe they didn’t seem worried about the ureaplasma and I’ve had to do all the work myself!
I’ve spent nearly a thousand pound on this across nearly 3 months wondering what the hell is going on but this sub has given me hope! I’m not the only one going through this and now have an idea of a treatment plan so thanks all!
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2023.06.03 20:14 Substantial_King_794 A New End
Day 1 aboard the UES Eden, Lukas POV-
November 13th, 2114
Those scientists gave me this journal to write in, so I guess I should set it up. Where to start? Two weeks ago, a raffle was held around the world for something called the "Eden Project." They had a bunch of criteria, and if you met them all you could submit your name to the raffle. Clearly I won, but I wasn't sure how many others made it until the debriefing. A congratulations was sent in the mail, alongside some instructions. They basically said that I would have a plane in 14 days that would take me and other winners from my region out to an undisclosed location where the Eden Project was located. The letter also said that I would be allowed to bring five survival related items, so long as they couldn't qualify as weapons. That weirded me out a bit, but I chose a water filter, a sleeping bag, a flashlight, matches, and a tarp. So I waited the two weeks, about halfway through my job at the waste processing plant was terminated because of my participation in the Eden Project but I didn't try to get a new one. Another week passed and they knocked on my door at 8:30 exactly, who does something like that and how? Not important, I was escorted out to a big bus that drove us to the Toronto airport at what felt like unsafe speeds through miraculously empty roads. Once we reached the airport, they brought us through to a plane "exclusively for the Eden Project" which I guess is known about by everyone except for us. It was probably on the news, but I stopped watching it after the 2106 financial crash because it was all just depressing stuff. Anyways, the plane ride was pretty short all things considered and they brought us to the middle of nowhere in the ocean where there was a giant wall blocking out the view and going as high as any of us could see. It had a strip where we landed near the ocean surface where hundreds of other planes were parked nearby. Everybody got off the jet and we went through a bag check type thing, where they went through our tax records or something stupid to make sure I was in fact Lukas Gill, former trash processor and holder of the five allotted items. Once the girl finished looking through all my stuff, she handed me a survival guide from a big stack next to her and sent me into the giant wall looking thing. Directly through the door was basically a soccer stadium with all the goals cleared out. They had flags marking what sections everyone was supposed to sit in, so I went to the Canadian area and spent the next half hour looking around while I waited for everyone else on my plane to finish going through the little security thing they had set up. Every country imaginable was there, from Bhutan to Togo and Anguilles to Eswatini. Obviously the major ones were there, India, China, America, France, whatever but there were also countries like Liechtenstein (they had names beneath the flags). Not important though, once everyone was in and seated, the doors shut and this guy came in through the ceiling on a hovering platform and introduced himself as Dr. Laufer, some famous Swiss scientist guy. He looked like a stereotypical evil genius or mad scientist, but he finally revealed what the hell the Eden Project was. They put 100 people from every country into that wall thing, which was actually a coin shaped spaceship that would take off from Earth in a week to save humanity from itself. Over the past decade and a half, every world government had been supplying the resources and money necessary to build this recreation of a jungle from ancient accounts, fossils, and from the memories of the previous generation. Before ascending back into the ceiling, Dr. Laufer revealed that we are no longer permitted to leave the ship, and that we would be introduced into the recreation of the rainforest with nothing but what we had on us and this journal I'm writing in right now. I'm now sitting in a tree, trying to figure out how I'm going to live through just the time before takeoff that we have to acclimate to our new environment for God knows how long. For now though I should probably start reading through that survival book they gave me, so signing off I guess.
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2023.06.03 20:14 Eleonelx Anyone saw this deranged guy yesterday?
Walked my dog near 2nd ave NE yesterday, just couple of minutes past midnight. Some weird looking guy approached me and asked whether I know where the superman lived. He was clearly mentally ill and I didn’t say anything but just walked away fast. Looked to be homeless younger guy about 30yo, medium height and long brown hair, white.
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2023.06.03 20:13 EatingPones How to get rid of pad rash?
I’ve been exercising a LOT and neglecting to change out my pad afterwards if there isn’t much blood in it. Now I have the worst rash on nearly all of my inner labia.
Any ways to make it go away? It’s driving me insane.
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2023.06.03 20:13 dadthewisest So I didn't get promoted but I should have known better...
So I applied for a QA management job at my current place of employment and I didn't get the job. I do triage nurse work. My brother passed away this week and so I took a couple days off work only to find that the person who did get the job was a new grad who was hired a month after her graduation and has worked there for a single year. They made the announcement while I was out.
Now... I was outside getting the pool set up and I cannot stop thinking about this. It was so weird and then I started putting it together.
Our QA person moved at the beginning of the year last year. The person who got the job became a Nurse in January 2022 and started training in March of 2022. They were hired right as the other manager quit. I asked about the job at the time and was told no, they didn't need anyone. So my boss started doing the job. Now... fast forward to March of this year and she puts the job up on the first. I get a message a month and half later asking me to go for an interview. Now the moment that happens they give this new girl 2+ weeks of pto, right after the interview. Weird...
So I do the interview with my current boss, I send a thank you note and her response is "A lot of factors to consider" weird response. Then nearly 3 weeks after the interview I get a rejection and I tell someone "I bet they gave it to the new girl, since it is salary and you can take time off whenever you want essentially they just let her use up all her PTO." During the interview there was a strange moment when I was told the position would be a .8 (8 days every 2 weeks) which is exactly the same schedule that the new girl had.
So, it dawns on me... this person was hired into this position which is why they held on to it for a year until she had experience.
I was never going to get the job, but now I don't know how to proceed. Do I talk to HR? If I do I feel like I get targeted and fired.
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2023.06.03 20:13 drl614 I live in a constant state of worry
I recently started my first internship and my negative self talk is at an all time high. I know I am an intern and therefore am not going to be nearly as proficient in tools and processes as the other people at my work are, but I've been feeling super slow and incompetent. I've been staying late after work, not because anyone told me to, but because I physically can't leave work when I feel like I "should" have gotten more done. I feel like I am in a constant state of worry when I am working because I feel like an imposter, and have this feeling like they'll "discover who I am really am" or unmask me. The best way I can describe how I am feeling is like a nightmare when you are trying to run from something but you aren't moving... that's what I feel here except instead of running from something, I am trying to catch up and stay at a good pace, but I am not getting anywhere. I feel like I "should" be able to perform at a certain level, but I am not able to, and I genuinely get frustrated with myself because of it.
I've always had this issue where I feel like I "should" be able to do things. Like, there is no reason why I shouldn't be able to do things. It's not that I am prideful and a cocky know-it-all, I think it just stems from years of a perfectionist mindset. I have this constant feeling that I am less than everyone around me. I walk into situations assuming people hate me, literally people I've had a 5-second interaction with, and think of myself as the worst. I think it only hit me recently how dangerous that is. When I don't know what people around me think of me, my brain immediately makes up its own narrative (typically a negative one) and I am almost fully convinced that that's the truth. For this reason, I am reaching out about this because I worry I am going to miss opportunities in life because of my mindset. Earlier this week, I was ready to quit my internship, I felt like it was a shitty environment, and was so stressed. But I realized that all that stress and impressions of my workplace... all came from my head. it was actually crazy when I realized it because it completely changed my point of view, like a full 180.
I think I take life too seriously, and honestly, if anyone could see into my head, they would tell me to CALM DOWN. I have this impression that everyone is "out to get me" and that I have to defend myself. I think for that reason I tend to keep to myself more, and tend to hesitate to share things about myself, I had an interesting interaction with one of my fellow classmates one day when we were talking and he said: "you know, we've been in this program for a year now and I feel like I know nothing about you". That stuck and made me realize that my assumptions that people don't want me to exist, cause me to never initiate conversation in the first place, therefore I never make a human connection. I am afraid to take up space. I always keep my expectations as low as possible, even when I put forth a tremendous amount of effort. My worry feels like I am being held at gunpoint, even though there's nothing to fear, and I know no one cares.
I think I spend so much time living in my head, that outside my head doesn't feel real. Almost like what happened in my head is real life, and the people I interact with aren't. I think I struggle to connect because of that, and assume the worst.
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2023.06.03 20:13 TheDoomedHeretic 25[F4R] Wisconsin/Exclusively Online Disco Elysium enthusiast searching for RP partner, mostly for Star Wars, Dragon Age, Warhammer, and a few other fandoms.
As the title mentions I'm an advanced-novella RPer looking for GMs or offering myself as a GM for various text-based RPs. I've provided a sample down below and will ask the same of anybody that reaches out. Outside of writing I tend to spend most of my time on games like Knights of the Old Republic 2, New Vegas, and, indeed, the Hobocop Game. I'm an Associate at Amazon with an otherwise unimpressive social life, occasionally leaving the house to play WH40K Tabletop.
Discord is more-or-less required for me to be interested; sample incoming.
The boar is not dead, though to all the other hunters’ senses it is. It lays motionless on its side within the sled, tied down by rope with two arrows sticking discordantly out of its hide like seams of broken bone. Frozen blood pools in the cracked stomach of the sled, collecting rather than leaking now that red ice has sealed the wood. Poison leaching out of the arrowheads keeps the boar docile, and its breathing so light that only Trapper can see. An ovate in too-thin robes shivers as she ties a garland of rosemary around the beast’s neck, murmuring prayers to the ancestors that they might find the kill worthy.
Winter has seized the land in its vise, its unending waves of cold and snow having transformed the Barony of Marlas into a crueler scape, one Trapper doesn’t quite recognize. Tranquility abounds along the driven snow, all through the clearing, hiding the buried world and the woes of man but unable to snuff them out. Trapper knows well what a mirage it is, the oppressive winters of his homeland no less savage than the bloodletting summers. The numbing cold does not soothe his aches, for he knows they’ll be worse come morning, come the thaw. Too soon this clearing will melt, its river gone from white to red, the whole Septima Line thrust back to war.
Baron Orys refuses to yield to midnight season, to accept its peace, and so from his great warhorse’s saddle he brazenly belts out a mixture of drunken lyrics and commands, determined to master this hunt even if he does not partake. An entourage on horseback spreads out in his orbit, ranging from eager young footmen to grizzled junkers, all in varying states of inebriation at his command. Their braying is nearly louder than the hounds’, who hungrily stalk between the sled and the hole they pulled the boar out from. Teased by the hunt but yet unrewarded, they’re too unruly to be kept in check by the kennel master.
On foot slog the unfortunates who actually have to take part in the hunt, Trapper among them. They huddle into their hemp canvas cloaks, glancing up at the moody afternoon sky threatening to crack open with another snowstorm. Dark clouds sweep in low from the south like a riptide, a single vast current swept in from the mountains already menacing the Oldwoods. Its furthest gales reach them as tongues of vengeful cold, flecks of whipped-up snow biting into Trapper’s exposed skin.
By the boar’s nest leans a typical Mallean, one of Trapper’s two erstwhile comrades. Sigorn is tall, pale, broad, with the close-set, wide-boned features of a commoner, and a shock of red hair grown out to protect against the elements. Beneath his cloak he proudly bears his blood-flecked armor, each dent a Darkman put into it a point of dear pride. He’s not the only one, either, the clearing filled with dozens of youths whose first blooding ended in victory amid a blizzard. Baron Orys, deep into his cups after six days of nonstop celebration, saw a break in the storms and gladly called a hunt. When informed he could not go on account of his shattered knee - he simply grinned, and ordered himself tied to his saddle.
Trapper remembers the moment his lord fell from the saddle, burned into his nerves. The screaming of horses, skidding hooves catching on the frozen ground. On the edges of his vision a rider smashes into a branch in the din, others don’t move at all for fear of the blizzard. His spurs dig, his borrowed steed whines, and he races for his lord - only for another to reach him first.
“What a woman.” Sigorn sighs beside Trapper, craning his neck to look at one of their lord’s companions of honor. Susannah Oye, junker unlike the others, a pretty, willowy noblewoman well into motherhood, with the lean, ruthless look of a ranger. Her two poisoned arrows are what struck the boar down, and her pride curls off her body like steam. Sigorn’s face cracks into exaggerated appreciation, and then he turns to their lord’s other honored companion. Another woman, this one as young as they are, haughtily-built and leering with none of Susannah’s refinement. Many of those looks are reserved for Trapper, forced to slog on foot as just another hunter. “Anya too. I think she fancies you, eh?”
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2023.06.03 20:13 Kingofhollows099 World Spawn safety
Hi! I’m making a server for me and my friends, what commands can I use to protect people within a 15 block radius of the world spawn from breaking or placing any blocks so there can’t be any traps or things like obsidian cages built near it? the problem is I don’t know how to reallow their world builder status when they aren’t within the 15 blocks.
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2023.06.03 20:13 contentbeautifulrich Advice to those who make duaa
Salamalaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatoo
I hope you're well. I feel like I just need to state this reminder, obviously to myself first before all else. If you are hopeless or heartbroken or can't even see the life you want ever happening, be comforted with simple notion:" that things can instantly, dramatically, randomly change".
I'm not the most religious, but from my hearts of hearts I feel like anything could happen for anyone when you make duaa. However there are things that I've noticed within myself and others.
- Have a yaqeen. Why would you spend crying on a prayer mat and get up and still feel hopeless? If a doctor told you this medicine will certainly get rid of o whatever you have , you would believe him. Allah said : Al-Baqarah 2:186
وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِى عَنِّى فَإِنِّى قَرِيبٌۖ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ ٱلدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِۖ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا۟ لِى وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا۟ بِى لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ
"And when My servants ask you, [O Muḥammad], concerning Me - indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided." <--- notice how Allah said believe in him, believe that he will grant you your duaa.
- See the wisdom in your delay or the reason why you don't have what you want. Sometimes you repeat the same test again and again because you haven't learnt your lesson. Often times people who hate things about themselves find it hard to get that thing they want. Maybe feeling worthless is your struggle and your test is loving yourself. Maybe arrogance and thinking you deserve it is the struggle and your test is to know that everything comes from Allah.
- Live as if you have what you want. This plays in the role of having a yaqeen. I've seen this played out in different people's lives. People who speak so certainly about who they will be , what they will do in the future. I can't find the post but someone wrote a pious individual from the past patched his roof when he made duaa for rain, before the rain came. I heard of stories of people pretending to be things and eventually becoming those things.
- Observe how you make duaa. Walahi be delusional, ask Allah for everything and anything you want. You're asking the one who nothing is impossible for.
Obviously Allah knows best in whether or not something is good for you. Sometimes we are like moths running to a flame and Allah is protecting us.
- Stay away from negative people. You may want to lift a person's mood but they will bring you down. Obviously be there for people, but your perception of things is important. I know this is dunya, but live this life like Allah is sending you signs and that everything is khayr.
- YOU WILL NOT DIE UNTIL YOU TAKE EVERY PORTION OF RIZQ meant for you. If you see your friend get the job they want, it doesn't mean they took all the jobs in the world. If you see your friend get married it doesn't mean they took all the husbands in the world. Your life, your path, your story. Everything that happens is catered to who you are..
All that being said, every thing you want and eventually attain is essentially temporary. We will all die, but we will leave with the hearts that we lived this life with. Walahi take care of your hearts: be hopeful, happy for others and seek forgiveness from your Lord .
And don't let shaydan/nafs make you hopeless.
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2023.06.03 20:12 UnderwhelmingSoup Stage 2 GTI S - Is It Daily-able?
A dealership near me is selling a 2020 VW Golf GTI S - 37k miles, DSG, 1 owner with a clean CARFAX. The listing showed some photos of the engine bay, so I knew it was modified. After going to see/drive the car this morning though, there's a lot more done than I originally thought.
I don't have a full list of upgrades, but here's what I do know:
- CTS Turbo intake, turbo, and intercooler upgrade
- Cobb AP & Stage 2 Tune
- Downpipes and full exhaust (brands unknown)
I have no idea what power it's putting down, but the butt dyno was loving it. The thing looked, sounded, and drove amazing. So much so that I'm considering buying it to replace my boring daily driver.
How bad of an idea is this? For anyone with CTS Turbo upgrades or a Stage 2 tune in general, how does it fare in the day-to-day? What are the biggest red flags to check for? Trying to do my due diligence.
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2023.06.03 20:12 gaudygrey Has anyone tried Biologique Recherche Protection U.V. SPF 50?
I am 42 and currently switching to Biologique Recherche products and unfortunately only had a short online consultation with a BR representative since there is no BR place near me.
She recommended the following products for my sensitive, dry but acne prone skin with hyperpigmentation. The only product I am unsure about on the list is the sunscreen? I couldn't find much reviews about it...so maybe some of you already tried it? Does it also work under makeup?
- Washing face with cold water
- Emulsion Gel Biosensible
- Biologique Recherche Protection LSF 50
- Eau Micellaire Biosensible
- Lait U
- Lotion P50V
- Serum Extraits Tissulaires
- Emulsion Gel Biosensible
I also already have the "Crème Dermopurifiante" at home, but it's such a strange texture and smell therefor I am somewhat reluctant to use it. Are there any experiences from you side?
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2023.06.03 20:12 BunsMunchHay Help with points systems - Ulta vs Sephora
I am planning to buy about $100-$150 in products as a gift this month. I’m also planning to buy a high end hair dryer. I’m planning on $200+ there. I can buy that any time. It is my birthday in July. How can I make the most of points systems? I have an Ulta near me physically, but no Sephora.
No information is too basic - I’ve been getting skincare from a site that no longer exists so I’m brand new to this. Thank you!
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2023.06.03 20:12 amanda_lorian2022 Into/Across/Beyond the spider-verse art style sucks
Just got back from seeing the newest Spiderman Across the Spiderverse film (No Spoilers Here) and the art style is nauseating to look at. I get what they are trying to go for in terms of comic book animations but with some of the bright colors and jarring effects it gives me a migraine.
Story wise they are good films but when I originally saw the first one I had to stop watching it because my head and eyes hurt, I honestly thought it was I just was coming down with a normal migraine but on subsequent rewatches I realized that the animation style just screws with me in such a way that they are nearly unwatchable. I know a lot of people really enjoy the animation style but personally I wish the studio would have went with something that didn't cause me to have to keep my eyes squinted/shut through the film.
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2023.06.03 20:11 2mrwstaken PSA: Sports and Luxury cars attracting the attention of deviants in parking lots (Square One)
I don't know who needs to hear this, but if you own a high end vehicle that's in demand for theft, add in extra layers of protection to it (ex: steering wheel lock) to deter criminals from stealing. May or may not prevent theft but will increase their frustration levels and potentially abandon their attempt.
I witnessed two young Caucasian adults who looked VERY OUT OF PLACE walking between a lot I'm parked at. They caught my eye for the following reasons:
- Designer stores in vicinity.
- Both wearing camping backpacks.
- Walked past a Lamborghini then turned back, looked to see who's watching (lol they didn't see me) and approached the vehicle. They began to look inside the vehicle and examine various sides of it. I found this very strange. A bunch of people exited the mall walking towards theirs cars, which happen to be near the Lamborghini. These guys circled around the Lamborghini and proximate cars once more before walking away in opposite directions only to relink again. Super sketchy.
My location provided an excellent view. I did consider that they could be car enthusiasts but something tells me otherwise..
Anyhow, after some time passed, the owners of the Lamborghini came out and I let them know what I saw and warned them about the latest car thefts. They thanked me and left.
Mississauga is not what it used to be!
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2023.06.03 20:10 FightKnight22 A series of unfortunate events....Suic*de seems the best option now ... please read the whole thing
educational_info: Ruined (currently in 11)
A series of unfortunate events…..This was not supposed to happen…what should I do now
Before beginning I'll let you know that I'll miss a lot of details which may be irrelevant intentionally or unintentionally
Hi everyone, my name is X. My parents are both govt employees and we are a very well to do family. So from childhood I have been into coding, computers etc. I used to code games in class 8 on visual basic,etc languages and from childhood (lower nursery std) I was introduced to the world of computers. My passion was coding and aim was to do something in CSE or coding. Last year in class 10th I came to know about IIT-JEE, and thought of preparing for it. I was always passionate about my career and hardworking. I came to know about the concept of dummy schools in November, December from an elder brother of mine, who went through non-schooling and got 97.7%ile in Jan attempt. Serious about my career, I thought it would be best to get enrolled in that school which my mom and I did in January after pre-boards. To inform you all I live in Kolkata, and the culture of dummy school is not prevalent here. After board examinations in March I went on a trip to Darjeeling which was the best week in my life. After that everything turned upside down. When I came back in April, I went to my first classes in Aakash (weekend batch). It was awesome. I was supposed to attend the dummy school on the first day which was 12th of April, and then not attend it anymore at all except the midterms and finals. So I went there. The school was actually not affiliated to CBSE but they apparently have a tie up with some bigger affiliated school. During practicals and boards we are supposed to go there to give the exams wearing that school's uniform. Looking at the conditions it cannot be called a school actually. I attended the school and the environment was shit. 3 people behind me had apparently failed in grade 6, people were all failures or something and the teachers were absolute scammers whom I can't even determine have proper degrees or not, they were pure scamsters. And the whole experience was extremely traumatic. I came back home. 13th April: I started doubting a 100 things. One thing that came to mind was how could I actually give the class 12 board practical exams if they didn't even practice any practical with me. I posted about all this on reddit days after days coming to know in places like Kota or Delhi NCR coachings like Allen teach the students practicals some weeks b4 the exams. For practicals here, what they do is they send these students to that big school with that school's uniform and make them copy paste/cheat from a sheet of paper despite an invigilator being near. This made me highly anxious and worried, everything was uncertain. Actually the whole dummy school system was integrated with the coachings in these states. In here places like Kolkata that culture is absent. These non affiliated but tied up schools basically run illegally. Anyways…14th April: My birthday, everyone wishing me on WhatsApp the whole day and I'm worried about this school shit……I understood I have come to a wrong place and need to shift to a proper school, after interaction with the people properly I understood they were frauds. 15th - 25th : Pure hell, no studies only researching for schools, roaming around in the streets in car with mom who was getting extreme harrasment and as a result beating the shit out of me which is fine. Finally I landed a school which was taking in admissions but they were about 1 hr away from my house and it was not possible…so mom said no. In May first week my father who works in Ladakh (all India services) got severely ill due to sugar fall and went into ICU in Leh hospital. My mom went there to my dad on flight. For a whole week I stayed at the house of my school friend, still doing nothing with such mental condition. On 14th May my ICSE results came out and I got 91.8%, while everyone congratulated I was traumatized, (in between lot of things happening, irrelevant). I again contacted schools whom I knew would open up after board results. Got one top level school who were still taking in admissions in Science stream….my dad and mom returned on 16th May ig….then my dad admitted me to the new school with the following subjects - PCM, BIOTECHNOLOGY, BENGALI ( the school had already started and they forced 6 subjects down my throat, physical education was not available nor cs…if science then only this combo). The school was not giving science to the people who were trying to get admitted after boards but they readily gave it to me looking at my board marks. Their tests would start by the end of June and their school would resume at 12th June….I had done almost nothing till then and biotechnology+vernacular would be a horrific combo for a JEE aspirant. With such a combination, shortage of time and the vast syllabus already covered in 1½ months, i knew I could not cope up. Switched my stream to commerce on 29th May. Btw getting de-admitted from that fraudster school is a different story so skipping since irrelevant.
I was a dedicated student, from childhood I wanted to be into CSE, made a lot of projects and stuff, but now my identity, fate, etc everything got ruined because of one bad decision that was to go to that dummy school and that too from a good intention. My life is ruined, my aspirations, goals, everything. My mom and dad has faced so much harrasment the last two months mentally, physically, financially (loosing a lakh in Aakash). I'm from a well to do family and all this wasn't supposed to happen, everything got ruined because of one wrong step. Now that after so much bullshit I have come to commerce I feel terrible that I can never get into coding….but I'll try my best to excel in this field. My dad even after so much harrasment is staying positive and saying to focus on IPMAT, and for backup target eco hons. colleges like SRCC, Delhi school of economics, Xavier's, St Stephen's and then MBA with CAT+ try to get 98+ in boards now that it's commerce.
I'm feeling ruined from inside because my dream of going into USA, my identity as a techie, coding skills, dreams of being a coder, start-up,etc everything is crushed for some stupid reason which only happened with me alone ….why me??? I watched shows like Silicon Valley, Bojack Horseman, friends, big bang theory, Rick and Morty, South Park, Seinfeld,etc and dreamt of USA. Ok no issue with that being ruined….but my identity as a coder, a techie? My career? Last two months I couldn't eat properly, study, watch shows, every moment just reimagining myself singning up in a proper school in 10th, calling 100s of people, feeling like a vegetable doing nothing in such a mental state, etc everything. Travelling school to school in burning heart in my car, getting beaten up by mom, then worrying for one week when my mom was not there and my dad was extremely sick in ICU. I'm just 17 why is this happening with me.
Can anyone tell me what to do now, any consoling words? Is there any possibility I can grab a coding job if I do something right from now? Dropping from school? Or should I forget coding and my passion CSE and focus on building a career in management. Is there hope in MBA if I can do it from top institutes like IIM, XLRI, any kind of career guidance would be great. I'm doubtful whether there are good career prospects in commerce stream (and I'm absolutely not interested in CA,etc). And if I can't go back into CSE, I want to get into the top of the game in commerce and want a pathway to earn most money in future and get to the top (people like Ajay Banga,etc) as a compensation to what happened with me the last 2 months. I think I'll have diabetes now. Why did this had to happen? I'm completely drained physically, mentally, emotionally, etc. I've considered sui*cide a lot of times, do you think that can be a viable option from here? What should I do? Btw if you check my reddit history it's filled with related questions in last two months. I want peace now. The thing is such unique turn of bad events has never happened in anyone's life I Guess. I'm confused with who I'm, my identity. And btw so much worse shit has happened in between but I had to skip them else it would be too long to finish and coming to the point.
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2023.06.03 20:10 CobaltIgnus [M4A] The Dragon Devil. (1x1 Chainsaw Man Rp)
As of late I've been itching to do a Chainsaw Man Rp, and am currently searching for detailed partners to do a OC x CC RP! I am more than willing to double up, currently I'm searching for someone to play Makima for me. Of course in return I'll be happy to play anyone! So if you're interested just shoot me a message, and feel free to mention who'd you like me to play for you in return! A few extra notes before messaging me.
- I am over the age of 21, and therefore you do need to be over 18. I just don't feel comfortable rping with anyone younger.
- I only rp on Discord, as I find it much easier to manage things there instead of here on Reddit.
- I am always happy to listen to your ideas, so please don't hesitate to share any and all you have with me! Even if its one you may think aren't good, I'm always happy to work with you to make it work. Below is the general idea I had for my OC, and I hope you like him!
The Dragon Devil
Hanzo Sano was one who was scorned by the devils that infect the world, a terrible ordeal that didn't manifest in the form of great hatred but instead in terrible fear. A petrifying fear that caused him to seek out locations where Demon's weren't common, and if one were to ever show up near where he lived he'd pack his things up and leave immediately. A young man on the constant run from the wretched monsters that brought death and chaos into the world.
Though his efforts to avoid the Devils of the world were quite extensive. It would eventually put him in the very jaws of one. Moving out of the city, once he noticed the frequency of Devil attacks increasing in cities he choose to move away to somewhere more Urban. Not even a day after the move he encountered the Dragon Devil, but instead of freezing in fear and becoming another meal to the fearsome beast something changed within him.
All the fear, the terror, the trauma melted into pure unyielding rage. After going through such extensive lengths to avoid demons, uprooting his life again and again, giving up any semblance of a social life just so he could live away from them, and in the end the wretched Devils just continued to follow him. Though he can't quite recall the events that transpired during his fight for survival against the Dragon Devil, he does remember one thing. Devouring its heart.
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2023.06.03 20:10 artxdfw 34 [M4F] fwb & coffee - Dallas
Lets cuddle, get close, fuck, and fuck real bad because warm skins touching is just heaven.
I’m 5’11”, 180 lb, Middle Eastern descent, working professional, doing my grad school, have a family, and busy with a full life. I love what I’m doing, I love and value those around me but there is a side that I need/want/have to explore more.
I’m looking for a sneaky fwb relationship with a woman who is in a somewhat similar situation as I am. It can be either long or short term. I need to live the thrill of doing things in secret. I want to get away from my busy schedule for a quick car bj (I’m a 6”), a sneaky flirty coffee meet up, or cancel things off of my calendar to get to my girl for a half or full day of flirting, cuddling, dirty touching, fucking soft/hardcore, and exploring almost unlimited kinks. Some of my sexual kinks that I’m looking to explore with you is dirty talking and dom play.
I’m usually pretty generous with my partners when we’re together. I’m not a sugar daddy, to be clear, but I love to treat myself and my girl when the goal is to have a good time. I love for my fwb girl to try out some good Mediterranean food that you might not have tried out.
I’m open to any race, age, body type, marital status, social/financial situation. In general I’m pretty open to older ages, larger body types, and even married/in a relationship women, as long as it is drama free. Everything we do needs to be legal. You need to be clean, disease free, and dont smoke (at least when with me). I don't smoke, drink or do drugs. You can drink when you’re with me, but no drugs.
I’m looking for an indoor experience. Meaning I’m not generally interested in spending time going to the movies and/or bars. We can meet the first time in a public place for coffee but after that I’d want to be with you in a bedroom or a hotel suite just enjoying each others company. I love to chat, I’m a good listener, I love to have deeper thoughtful conversations too.
I can host and travel around DFW and even Texas if its worth it. Distance is not an issue to me. In fact I love to spend time cruising the roads with you sharing our music playlists lol.
Let me know how my post came across, and how you feel about it. If you are looking for what I’m looking for message me or send me a chat.
Its around 68 degrees in North Texas and will be like this for the rest of the weekend. This is a serious/real post and i’m looking for a woman who is as serious/real.
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2023.06.03 20:10 AsteroidMike The Flash season 9 series finale and missed opportunities
So it’s been over a week since the finale, and based on what I’ve seen here folks are less-than-pleased with the series finale, though most of that stems from the final fight.
I think I’m probably in the minority who thought the finale was good or at least satisfactory for the most part, but while it was a good ending it definitely wasn’t the absolute best possible ending they could’ve done. For starters the final fight involving Team Flash vs. evil speedsters had its cool moments but was underwhelming. To be fair to the cast and crew, Grant Gustin had COVID at the time so they were limited, but I made a comment in another thread about it agreeing that production should’ve stopped until he was better instead of trying to write around it. At the same time though, I’m not sure if it was the studio made them keep filming or not or if other actors like Teddy Sears or Tom would still be available if they waited.
As for the fight itself, I could see Nora beating Savitar since they’re both actually speedsters, and Zoom getting beat by Khione who is technically a god. But Thawne getting one-hit-KOd by Allegra is headscratching to me. Though not nearly as much as Cecile beating Godspeed and his clones. They’re speedsters, they can move faster than people can think or react but she just beat him by throwing her hands in the air and then waving em like she just don’t care🤷♀️ That’s it, not even showing a force field or something.
This brings me to the missed opportunities of not just season 9 but the series as a whole, especially after Crisis. Things that I think they could’ve done and really should’ve but didn’t include but aren’t limited to:
-Re-exploring the multiverse post-Crisis.
-A Thawne origin story, like an episode that’s almost entirely featuring Thawne.
-Closing out Legends of Tomorrow’s cliffhanger ending, something Eric Wallace openly said he wanted to do.
-The creation of Gideon.
-Explaining where the hell Ryan Wilder was during most of the Red Death arc.
-More of Wally West in general.
Overall, I’m mostly happy with the series finale but for this entire season as a whole, it wasn’t the super epic conclusion that a lot of us thought it was. Too many things were left on the table.
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2023.06.03 20:10 TheFinalShow683 Transfer Student looking for housing/ roommates
Within driving distance is fine but I would prefer to live near buses/shuttles to campus. Please help! I'm having trouble finding anything
DM me if you have any advice!
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2023.06.03 20:09 Storms_Wrath The Human Artificial Hivemind Part 379: Insight Beyond Sight
First Previous Wiki
Huatil had heard the recommendation from her superiors, which wasn't a recommendation at all. With the information she'd been given, the situation was serious, and would tick over to catastrophic in a few tens of days or so. So here she was, having made the call to perhaps a serious threat in the future.
"We need you now," Huatil said, looking at Phoebe with her best honest expression.
"Our main communication networks are being hacked by something. It's intelligent, and dangerous. We've initiated quarantine procedures, but the virus is already sending its own communications through back channels, continuing to jump from world to world."
"And you want me to get rid of that problem for you."
"Alright. It will have a price. Not just materials this time. The current proposal is that I will help you if you agree to allow a cultural exchange if asked, along with full technological exchanges. The only thing you can hold back is currently classified technologies. If you violate the spirit of this deal by trying to 'classify' everything of value your species has, I will not be happy, and neither will my colleagues in the Alliance. I am aware that you have been keeping us away from the good stuff. In particular, if you want us to trust you, you will give us the solution to the mind control problem we are having."
"You are making quite the assumption," Huatil replied. Phoebe just smiled, tapping her head. "I've done a lot of thinking. First, I assume that you are in conflict with Aphid, perhaps also a certain force of mind-controlling individuals. They may or may not be Sprilnav. I know this due to my own clandestine intelligence gathering efforts."
"Hacking us, then?" Huatil resisted making a comment on such behavior being untrustworthy, considering what she'd been up to recently. She was about to wade into a shadow war with mind-controlling individuals, and Phoebe was not needed to intervene. Yes, a human force was needed, but Phoebe was too... risky. Human supersoldiers would be useful, both for assessing their capabilities and also for being less able to fool sensors and the like meant to monitor them.
"No. Not hacking. If I was hacking you, I would have everything I need already. But I am watching. Know that I engage in diplomacy because you do the same. I am willing to help you. And do not forget that you admitted to the whole Alliance that you were and are spying on us. That has a certain negative effect on the minds of certain intelligence agencies, as well as the higher-ups in the Alliance's general leadership. Your words have consequences."
"I see," Huatil replied. "Very well. I shall see what can be done."
"Having the ear of the Nest Overlord is enough?"
"In some ways."
Phoebe smiled. "So you have your own power." She tilted her head, like she was scanning Huatil. She wouldn't get anything useful, though. The connection didn't have the capability to reveal anything.
"Your childhood information has been faked. Granted, the fake is very convincing. You even took real videos of that family. But I can tell from their heartbeats and feather movements that the situation is not genuine."
"Heartbeats? In a video?" Huatil asked. How was that even... actually, it made sense. Video quality was really good, so seeing small details like that was possible.
"I am an AI. That means some of the most sophisticated simulation and modeling technology in the galaxy is at my disposal, as well as lie detection on a level undreamt of by any power that yet exists, should I see reason to activate it."
"Why not have it active at all times?"
"Power usage. Speculative simulation and reconstruction, especially when accounting for psychic energy variances, is annoyingly power intensive. However, you are worth the investigation. That said, you are not who you say you are. You have the resources to fake a past very convincingly. Therefore, you are working for a powerful faction within the Hive Union. Of course, it is not public who you are, so likely either defense or intelligence oriented. Hmm. No reaction? How interesting. Is that a cybernetic neural network engraved on your muscles and organs? Jesus, you really are the real deal. What are you?"
Huatil was at a loss for words. To be found out so convincingly, so thoroughly, and yet not suspected to be part of the Blue Intelligence Agency was a true surprise. Maybe Phoebe just didn't know about it at all yet.
"So this is why you wished to talk with me. You wanted to dig up my secrets."
"Hardly. The hivemind could do this, too. But you asked for Phoebe, not the hivemind. So here I am. That said, what are you?"
"A concerned party, let's say," Huatil replied, reassembling her facade. Her feathers first, then her face, then her heartbeat and muscles. Complete, total control. Phoebe was smirking when she opened her eyes again.
"Interesting. I will not dig into what you are, in exchange for information about the threat you are attempting to neutralize."
"You are carrying a model of weapon that is not ceremonial in nature. A Model 14 Brutalizer, if I am not mistaken. That's a handheld weapon able to pierce tanks, with ammunition that is light and numerous. You are walking with enough firepower to level a tenth of a city on you. Furthermore, I can see the reflection of stealth equipment lying on the floor in front of you."
Huatil looked behind her at the black metal wall. There were no mirrors present. The only slightly reflective thing in the room was the screen, which couldn't do that when it was on and active. Phoebe's eyes didn't move, but Hautil could tell that the intelligence before her was more alive than ever. And more artificial than she had remembered.
"Yeah, that wall is almost black. But it isn't really," Phoebe replied. "I am more than what I once was."
"This is... worrying."
"It should not be. We are allies, yes?" Phoebe asked, smiling a little too widely.
"Let me help you."
"I will ask Humanity to help, not you."
"I am not a threat to you or your species, nor am I one to your Union."
"I cannot trust words alone," Huatil replied.
"No. You cannot. But my androids are even more effective marksmen than whatever your cybernetic augments would let you do. Your reaction time may be low. But it is not faster than my androids' programming."
"Plotting that many angles would likely be extreme."
"Basic trigonometry and geometry, with perhaps a little lessons on elastic and inelastic collisions in physics are all that is needed for me to do that. In a whirling hurricane, in a storm with no gravity applied, with the right bullet, I could hit a target from the opposite edge."
Huatil sighed. Phoebe really wanted this job. And she was capable of it, too. Overqualified, in fact. The single weakness she had was the lack of ability to maintain quantum connections if a suppression signal was active. Plus jamming.
"Even assuming that is true, my superiors would not allow me to tell you anything."
"Sure. Assuming you have superiors, who would they be? Kawtyahtnakal is your mate. And I doubt Regulator Eyahtni would have let that happen if she was your boss. So you serve another party, one powerful enough to pull these strings. If you are not at the top, you are near it. And I would happily talk to your superiors, perhaps to congratulate them on your very well-trained 'untrained' stance." "Secrets will remain secrets, Phoebe. I have come to ask for you help with the virus. Will I have it?" "Yes, with a single amendment to our agreement."
"That was not the deal."
"It was not."
"So why should I let this alteration stand?"
"Because judging from the fact that you are well trained and haven't ended this conversation, where you have seen me gather more intelligence on who and what you are and coming increasingly close to whatever hidden truth you have locked away. You obviously judge me as a threat but do not treat me as one in the hopes of maintaining a cordial dialogue.
Furthermore, you seek to distance me from whatever foe you are fighting, likely because the human soldiers would seem more likely to allow you to assess the fighting capabilities of Humanity's strongest champions. And beyond that, the amendment remains unspecified, yet you have already been making small motions showing you accept it with the words you chose to talk with me."
Huatil kept herself from thinking anymore. Too much pondering might also reveal some new scrap of information to Phoebe. Her whole personal file was clearly wrong. This level of piercing interrogation was never expected. Had she been like this all along, or was this new? And if so, would she remain like this in the future, gradually peeling away the secrets of the Sennes Hive Union one by one?
"Again, that is quite a lot of inferences. Some of it may be wrong."
"Some is right, then. So I am either getting closer, am a threat, or you need me very desperately. The latter is true, and the only thing that matters. So you will contact your superiors, get me access to them, and we shall share information in a permanent dialogue. You will not shut down the line later. We will hammer out a more sufficient agreement, so that we can actually get things done as unified national entities, instead of hatchlings trying to make their first flight."
"Using our analogies does not make your request more agreeable, you know," Huatil warned. "It does not need to. You have already agreed."
"You wanted to alter the deal."
"I am altering it, Truth Speaker Huatil. I wish to know what you are, and who you are. And we shall have an important talk with your superiors. You need me, which is why you are asking me this at all. And I shall help you with the virus, but it will require opening the locks on your networks." "You could just break them."
"Then I would be detected, and any anti-Phoebe factions within your species would have easy fodder to attack me with."
"And you could hack the news system, as well."
"Your air-gapped networks? Not easily. Especially with the sealing procedure. I am also fighting a war with Aphid as we speak. I'm already battling him across the Alliance's networks, building digital fortresses to survive onslaughts of viruses and contaminants trying to breach the firewalls." "And what is Edu'frec doing?"
"Other things," Phoebe smirked. "Secrets will remain secrets, Truth Speaker."
"I think so. Now, will we finally pull out the pinfeathers and get to business?"
"Perhaps. Lay out your terms in full," Huatil replied.
"Full information on the individual known as Huatil, contact with her current employer at the time of the signing of this agreement, a cultural exchange agreement if the Alliance agrees to such, full technological exchange if the Alliance agrees to such. The details of a technological exchange include and are not limited to civilian products without a direct copyright, manufacturing techniques, alloy compositions, types, and forging techniques, energy production, manipulation, and removal technologies, non-classified military technologies, supercomputer construction techniques, all known elements in your periodic table, not just the public ones, and multi-planetary economic markets. Full information on combating mind control. In exchange, the individual known as the AI Phoebe will excise the virus in your networks. Humanity will send its supersoldiers to aid in your current unspecified predicament for the length of one month, as defined by the human Gregorian calendar, as it is set up for the planet of Earth."
"Your condition on classified technologies will need to change, as well as that on civilian products," Huatil replied. "Retroactive classifications make sense, but the Hive Union may produce technologies in the future that require secrecy. Not to mention some of the higher classification levels, such as above 5, will not be touched. I am not saying that as some sort of point to negotiate. You just will not get anything above that. Not if you hack us, not if you beat the right people within a claw of their life.
And were we to sign away the civilian product manufacturing techniques, it would significantly anger the corporate factions in the Union. The same is true for the other manufacturing agreement. You will have to agree not to sell such materials to us and use them only for your own ends. That would include selling the products of such designs or deconstructed versions. Even then, this agreement will not be quick."
"Then speed it up."
"Cawlarians are dying because of this virus. Monorail trains have derailed. Aerial vehicles have crashed."
"So something must be done now, then," Huatil replied.
"I will see what I can do to slow the spread. But the deal must be passed."
"How much of this was drafted by the Alliance prior to our conversation?"
"Every provision that remains. Well, we'd be happy to get more, but the deal won't budge too much more away from this. I know it's not good proactice to reveal the cards in a negotiation. But telling you what we hope to gain will lessen the time this takes and hopefully allow us to finally establish proper ties. We already have a defensive link, but it is weak. And we have trusted you to move us closer over time, but you have not. Thus, we are acting to force that."
"So you are holding our crisis as a gun to our heads," Huatil surmised.
"No," Phoebe replied. "I will help you with your issue. But unless you wish to send your own people into whatever mission you wish for, then the agreement will need to be signed. Only then will the super soldiers deploy. We are not trying to kill your people. We are trying to get a deal which has slipped from our fingers for far too long. And you might be forgetting that it may benefit you, too. Humanity's hivemind is more intelligent than any model VI or single group of smart scientists you have."
"If it comes out that the Alliance manufactured these circumstances-"
"You presume too much. We would not do this to you. If we wanted to control your Union, the first step would be... no, I won't tell you. However, Truth Speaker, know that we do not wish for hostilities. Were we to successfully subjugate your Union, the Sprilnav would burn us both down for breaching the system limits."
"That is not a very reassuring promise."
"We do not want to die. That is pretty binding, I would think. Just like those alterations under your feathers, I'd say," Phoebe grinned. Huatil sighed.
"The agreement will be subject to changes after our diplomats get ahold of it."
"Kawtyahtnakal and Eyahtni could always enact the 24th Tenet, bypassing resistance from all underlying foes, if they are not currently being impeached."
"The 24th is an extreme circumstance. Even if Kawtyahtnakal were willing to enact it, that does not mean that your Alliance will be quick to accept any changes."
"Actually, we would. A few years ago, most of our leaders assumed you would be moving closer to us at some point. Thus, we prepared various diplomatic plans, potential proposals, and goals that we were willing to cede, those we were not, and other such things. The wanderers are not currently party to the calculus as they have no unified species leader, and Blistanna has already agreed to and pored over the plans.
In fact, that prompted an expansion and update to them."
"And is our current situation following such a plan?"
Phoebe shrugged. "You won't find any records unless you have a secret ability to teleport things too. Nothing online exists. And the Alliance has so many planets to search... and so many stations. No matter. I'm happy to tell you that we are currently straddling the path between Cawlarian Foreign Policy Plan Blue and Plan Yellow. Of course, there are other CFPPs."
Huatil took note of those for later.
"Your questions on their contents will not be answered by the few that are privy to their existence. Good luck with your attempts, Truth Speaker. Now that I have presented the path forward, are you ready to do some heavy politics and diplomacy?"
"I will present the agreement to the relevant parties, and you may do the same. Know that I also have some bargaining power, Phoebe. One day, you may be on the other side of this equation." "Well, the deal for us is sweeter. Your fastest ships would still likely take weeks to reach us, while our fastest ships are Brey's portals, with a travel time of zero seconds. Well, not quite, but you get the idea."
"Instant deployment," Huatil replied.
"A reminder of the possible future benefits of a long-term and stronger diplomatic relationship between our two peoples."
"Would you be willing to let us have Brey's aid in a coming unspecified event?"
"If the event were specified, she agreed, and the agreement was signed, then perhaps we may discuss. Until then, we shall wait. I will help curb the damage from the virus. But removing it and starting your operation with human super soldiers will require an official agreement, signed by at least Regulator Eyahtni and Nest Overlord Kawtyahtnakal."
"I hate bureaucracy."
"You're married to a politician," Phoebe pointed out unhelpfully.
"Yes. But no. Not married. An equivalent and ancient ritual, which appeased certain elements of the Cawlarian population that were concerned with my prospects." "I'm sure you have some. No offense, but-"
"You seem more of the stabby and shooty type to me."
"Not really offensive," Huatil said, picking at the feathers near her mouth.
"For all I know, you're a pacifist. Alien cultures are strange."
"Not that strange. The word means the same. Pacifists do not exist at the top of Cawlarian government, and certainly do not make the decisions. War is horrible and a great blight upon civilized society, but it is as inevitable as the stars growing cold in the darkness of the far future." Phoebe nodded. "In the grim darkness of the 41st millennium... nevermind."
"A reference to an even worse hypothetical universe than we live in."
"I don't understand," Huatil said.
"It's a 300 year old experimental and expansive science fiction universe, with enough attached lore and literature that it would take over 100 years to read it all."
"That sounds like a lie."
Phoebe laughed. "I assure you, it is not. Thousands of books, hundreds of movies, dozens of shows, and countless random internet articles remain as a testament to it. It became quite popular in the mid-2050s when society was starting to crumble too visibly for even the remaining political resistance to refute."
"Assuming you have immortality, then you might have the time for it. Though I'm not sure if even I'd be able to buy all the models."
"Aren't you the richest person in the Alliance?"
"Eighth richest, behind a few trillionaires. Third richest 'human,' though."
"Ah," Huatil replied. That was concerning. Inflation, over-expensive separate items or books, or a simple joke? She didn't know. And while establishing rapport with Phoebe could be considered valuable, and she was growing an interest in what Phoebe spoke of, she had certain things to attend to. She assumed the quote was well known enough for human networks to have the answer to it by a search. "Perhaps one day, such a cultural exchange might help me understand the motivations of those who wrote such a thing."
"You don't want to understand. But that does remind me of something," Phoebe said.
"What is that?"
"Make sure you take care of whatever mind-controlled cults you can find before they get too big." Huatil nodded. It was nice seeing her, even though Phoebe was now an exceedingly dangerous individual. Far more so than suspected. Luckily, the preparations for the attack on the local hive of suspected mind-control activity in the Forsaken City were underway. Agents were coming in, gathering information for the Blue Intelligence Agency about various locations of interest, possible choke points, routes to a command center, and so on.
"I have something else to tell you as well. There is a proposal in place, not yet ratified or voted on in any way, to form a treaty organization with your Alliance and the Vinarii Empire. Defensive, of course."
"I see. I shall also relay this news to the proper authorities. Though it is likely nothing will come of it, with so many species in the Alliance."
Her next assignment wouldn't be for another few thousand flaps. Using a specialized device, she linked into the specialized ansible data hub that processed and translated connections between the Cawlarian and Alliance networks. It was a new construction, far more stable than the last attempt. Notably, it was protected by cybersecurity programs so strong that no one even knew how to begin hacking them. It was likely due to Phoebe or Edu'frec's special work.
She looked up the quote and decided to do some light reading.
"Agent 001, it's time."
"It's time. 3000 flaps have passed."
It just went deeper and deeper. Phoebe really had been telling the truth with her warnings.
Agent 017 smiled at her. "You know, browsing human networks isn't mission-critical."
"Yes. I do. If you must write a report, do not mention what I was reading."
"Ah, so you have noticed their... penchant for drawing aliens?"
Huatil's feathers flared. "No. It's worse."
"Worse? Now I have to know."
Agent 017's wide-eyed look told her everything.
"No..." she breathed.
"If this gets out..."
"It's going to hit military culture like... I don't even know an analogy for the destruction this will cause."
"So you know, then," Huatil deadpanned. When she'd first had a presentation on alien cultural contamination and assimilation, she hadn't expected something like this. It was so utterly over the top, yet fascinating and entrancing. It was like watching a pile-up in that marathon flying race that had opened last year with 'no limit' on how many people could join. And then 2 million Cawlarians decided they wanted to take the day off and go flying.
The owner of that racing company had been sued into the ground under a class-action injury lawsuit, with 3 million claimants receiving yields. And he was serving nearly ten thousand standard years of jail time. Not that he'd live to even get a bit of that unless the Cawlarians got immortality treatments that were cheap en-masse in the next hundred years.
The pile-up had been a spectacle unlike anything known, though. Just like this random piece of human science fiction writing appeared it would be.
"I do. A little too much."
"How'd you find out?"
"An important government official retreated into their room for 6 days straight, refusing to answer any calls or attend any votes, consuming a copious amount of drugs, food, and water."
"Star system level."
"By Crawprawvabar's feathers, we're going to have to suppress this," Huatil replied.
"Not my job."
"I pity the poor soul who has to try. I get the feeling it may not remain shackled for long."
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"I am pleased to tell you that profits over the last five mega pulses are up 3%."
"Good," Zelisloa replied. "How well is the new model selling?"
"Its debut was much wider than the previous version, so faster. 3.5 times faster on average, with a rising number of local Sprilnav sharing their satisfaction online."
"Glad to hear it. I would like a word with the Grand Financial Manager."
"Under your eye, Elder Zelisloa," they chorused.
The rest of the Sprilnav left the meeting without complaint. Once the last of their faces disappeared, Zelisloa turned to him.
"So? Have the funds been siphoned?"
"Good. You shall receive a portion of the allocated amount. 12%, as agreed."
"I thank you for your generosity, Elder Zelisloa."
"I thank you, Spentha 28. You're better than the original."
"He's an Elder, and I'm not."
"Yes. But that doesn't mean you are worse."
"Yes it does, by every metric that matters, power included."
"If it is power you want, the equivalent of one of the weakest Elders I know of, then I shall grant them. However, that will require some additional loyalty."
"I am yours," he said.
"Good. I will send you your instructions soon. For now, I will retire to my chambers, for a well-needed rest after doing no work."
Spentha 28 laughed. "That's what you pay me for, after all. Though at this point, there's nothing I won't do for you."
"I can think of a few things, but I will not waste my time testing you with random unpleasant and unlikely conundrums. You did good work."
"Under your eye, I shall do much more."
"Under my eye."
He returned the greeting he'd set up. Simple and to the point. He then focused on his latest project. The ships were on their way to the Alliance, receiving real-time communications from his biologists. They had fully studied human, Acuarfar, Breyyanik, Knowers, and Guulin anatomy. The gene banks of the Dreedeen, wanderers, and Junyli were known and also studied, but evolutionary drift still occurred, even under the harsh genetic locks the Sprilnav had placed on their genomes to curb it. The viruses were incubated and ready to spread by touch, proximity, water, blood, and even wildlife. Acuarfar immune systems were certainly an interesting task to subvert, according to some of his people.
Skira had been too risky. If that hivemind of mindless drones was able to discover the infection before it became deadly, that could mean it might be discovered too early and stopped. Zelisloa didn't want that.
He'd checked their initial aims. He'd asked for them to make it as lethal as possible at first, and they'd made viruses that were basically guaranteed to kill everyone they came into contact with. From there, he'd asked to lengthen the asymptomatic timeframe and the ability to evenly spread the viruses across species. That required them to manufacture the viruses for other species using the cells of the initial virus for the specialized host. That process required more mega pulses of time.
Finally, the means to spread it through wildlife was achieved. So now, all that the ships had to do was reach their targets, and the fun would begin. There would be a new pandemic in the Alliance, one that they wouldn't recover from.
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