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Wings of Freedom - Part 12

2023.05.28 17:52 Cheesypower Wings of Freedom - Part 12

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Even almost a week later, Yegel was still soaring on the hope from that day. A weight on his eyes that he'd never even noticed had been lifted, leaving him more alert and awake, the whole world more vibrant and colorful.
Of course, the morning after had brought clarity- and an additional helping of stress. Having had the time to calm down and examine it, he was realizing that the fact he now saw humans as people was dangerous- especially with such an important and dangerous screening coming up. If he accidentally sympathized too much in one place, or had a reaction that he would never have had before...
...He still couldn't bring himself to regret it though. Even the fading of his emotional high hadn't erased what felt like an important revelation- that he no longer thought of humans as predators with interesting quirks, but as real, actual people, with true empathy and sapience. They were still predators, still alien in ways he couldn't understand- but now, that didn't feel like the same kind of impenetrable barrier that it used to be.
Still, now he had to be even more careful going forward- regardless of it being the truth, nobody else would believe him about a predator species being fully sapient and civilized. If anything, trying to convince anyone would get him institutionalized- and he was already fighting far too hard to keep himself out of those nightmare-makers for as long as he could manage. At least with humanity being extinct, the topic was unlikely to come up, but he hadn't made it this far in life without preparing for even the unlikely.
Caution was still warranted though, and so he'd been spending his time preparing and watching the manifests for incoming ships- so when he saw a group of scowling figures approaching him from behind at lunchtime, it was less of a shock and more the realization of inevitability.
Exterminators. Just what he needed to deal with today.
Sighing quietly, he fought down the rising panic and instinctive urge to run, and instead pretended not to notice the approaching officers- running never did any good, and trying to fight back or protest would lead to... retaliation.
Their timing was just the worst though- he'd been looking forward to having lunch with his friends, and taking a chance to decompress and relax. He'd been meticulous so far this week at maintaining his stress- other than his newfound indulgence in forbidden predator media- so it wasn't like he was scrambling to calm down. However, he really could use every bit of patience and composure he could get.
The grasping hands roughly pulling him out of the lunch-line, however, clearly didn't care about that, immediately starting to goosestep him through the cafeteria, regardless of the whispers and stares now coming their way.
"Lieutenant Yegel," a vaguely-familiar voice barked harshly as he was shoved forward, "your presence is required immediately. You are coming with us."
A bit late to give him a warning, wasn't it? Especially since he wasn't resisting in the first place. It was just theater to them- reciting something because they were supposed to, despite the outcome having already been determined. It was better to just not antagonize them-
"You know," he couldn't stop himself from saying, "If you wanted a date, you could have just a-"
A massive fist slammed into him, burying itself beneath his ribcage. The words died in his throat as all his air was forcefully expelled, his talons leaving the ground as he bent double over the grey three-toed paw.
"Quiet, predator," the Takkan ground out, slowly removing his forelimb from where it had been buried in Yegel's gut. "you'll only talk if our boss deigns to let filth like you waste our air, got it?"
Wheezing in reply, Yegel fought to try and recover the air that had been forcefully driven out of him, the exterminators yanking him by his wings and dragging him onwards. Perhaps it was good that he hadn't eaten yet- nothing there to have upchucked other than the vile spittle now burning at his tongue.
Guess he must be a new transfer, Yegel thought offhandedly, glancing up to see them approaching a familiar eating area. That would be a useful distraction from the main threat. Fighting down the pain through bitter familiarity, Yegel did his best to relax his feathers and his mind- he'd need all of it for this next mental sparring match.
Ornate doors covered in intricate patterns were thoughtlessly slammed open as the Exterminators dragged him into the private eating area, the shift between industrial flooring and soft, luxurious padding making his dragging talons catch on the delicate textiles. Vibrantly detailed paintings hung amidst sprawling vines imported from Nishtal, cast in cool, fluorescent light that made their rich colorings shimmer as he was dragged by. Even the tables and chairs were carved in the old Krakotl fashions, padding clearly intended for nesting rather than the utilitarian perching of the seats in the mess-hall.
It wasn't perfect though- spots of dull gray industrial walls poked through gaps between the wood, and the carpet was peeling in places, revealing the dirty standard flooring beneath. Despite the valiant attempts, any further inspection made it clear that this was all inserted after this area had already been built- a veneer of elegance plastered over a crude, utilitarian base.
Unfortunately, he did not get the chance to indulge in the comfortable seating, instead receiving a sharp blow between his wings that pushed him to the ground, heavy feet planting themselves on his back and neck to pin him to the ground. Iron grips continued holding his wings, pulling them painfully above his back, where they felt moments away from getting dislocated. Dragging in a rasping breath, his eyes roved to the two exterminators now aiming their flamethrowers at him, a young krakotl female whose adult patterns hadn't even fully come in yet, and a grim-eyed Gojid with distinct scarring, who at least looked somewhat professional as opposed to his partner's obvious anger and twitching trigger.
"Oh, fer Intala's sake," a familiar wheezing voice groaned in exasperation. "Can't trust you Grucknut-heads with anything, can I?"
The Krakotl tottering into the room was puffing what rough, stringy feathers he had left in irritation, a walking cane thunking on the floor as he hobbled over to a table decorated in a carving of two krakotl in flight- though from this angle, it looked more like they were plummeting to the ground. The skin around the geezer's eyes was wrinkled and gathered into such heavy bags that he seemed to be squinting at all the world around him- though Yegel certainly didn't miss the cold, calculating glint buried deep within his eyes.
"Off!" He barked, clacking his way over to where Yegel was pinned, angrily thumping his cane against the very confused Exterminators pinning him down. "Off him, you nut-skulled lunks! Bad enough you can't remember simple instructions, now you make me correct your messes meself? Off I say!"
In the face of the irate elder, the befuddled Exterminator's grips on Yegel loosened, finally letting his wings fall slack enough to make his chest stop feeling like it was stuck in an industrial compressor. Gratefully sucking in air as his rapidly-bruising side twinged, he looked up to find the his crotchety savior kneeling next to him, one wing resting on his cane as he creakily settled into a crouch.
"Sorry about the fuss," he wheezed, flicking his tail angrily at the young krakotl who had been moving forward indignantly. "Ask them to invite somebody to mealtime, and they go and pull this." A shaking wing reached out, offering it's grip to Yegel. "Up you come, boy. I'll not have you eating off the floor like some animal."
Yegel eyed the shaking hand, before planting his wings on the ground, fighting through the pain until he'd pushed himself onto his talons through his own strength. A glimmer of something oily flashed behind the old man's squinting eyes as he watched the display, snorting in amusement when Yegel reached out and pulled the Elder to his feet instead.
"Wasn't much of a request," he commented, carefully ignoring the angry shuffling of the people he knew had flamethrowers trained on him. "I don't suppose you're just wanting to make another sales pitch, are you Geezil?"
"Hah!" the old man barked, toddling over to a cushioned seat, "Always so blunt, Yegel. Straight to business, every time!" The younger krakotl female stepped forward, gently helping the grumbling man into his seat, where he sighed and immediately settled back into the cushions. "Ah, don't worry, got more to say than the usual this time- but first, got a special something for our meal."
With a flick of his wing, he signaled several servers to quietly enter the room, carrying a wide array of dishes and platters that were quickly and efficiently distributed to the relevant tables- both for the old man and Yegel, and even for the other exterminators, who glanced warily between the food, Yegel, and the officer watching everything with a hawkish stare. None of them seemed brave enough to decide what to do- or to stop Yegel as he began moving forward.
Yegel carefully pulled out his own perch, keeping his own movements slow as he settled into the admittedly-luxurious seating. Commander Geezil, the one in charge of the base's Exterminators- and probably one of the oldest individuals still serving within that institution's ranks. He'd heard the rumors about this being an unofficial forced retirement- storing him someplace out of the way when they couldn't make him quit- but he'd come to know the old man too well to believe it. He'd chosen this post himself- and Yegel still couldn't figure out why.
"Sir," the young krakotl started, giving Yegel the stink-eye from across the table, "I must ask what you are doing- you are well aware that he's-"
"Accused, girl," the codger interrupted, frilling his feathers derisively, "by a bitter fleet commander with a record of incidents from his troops longer than his crew-lists- and a penchant for lashing out at those he thinks insulted him." Seeing her shrink back at his harsh tone, his tattered feathers smoothed back down, a shaking wing reaching out and gently patting her shoulder. "Ah, it's politics, grand-daughter- a vile game of inflated egos and pointless posturing. It's like a courtship dance with a Duerten- unpleasant, filled with angry words, with a result that's unpleasant regardless of success or failure- but if you try to skip out, you're liable to lose an eye or worse, hehe."
"Still," she insisted, though much more hesitantly now, her eyes not quite as harsh as they flicked over at him, "with a list of incidents this long, however justified, you must admit it is a clear sign of a violent, unstable nature. If he were to suddenly lash out..."
"I've personally reviewed each incident," the commander snorted, swirling an eating utensil through the bowl in front of him. "Didn't find a single one where he were in the wrong. Besides, were we really concerned about his mind, we got a perfectly good doctor right on-base." His gimlet eyes turned to Yegel, the corners of his beak turned up in a smirk. "You're familiar with her, of course?"
"Indeed," Yegel admitted, keeping his wings at his side despite the tightening of his stomach as the smells of the meal assaulted him. Everything the old man was saying was already known between them- and while it might be simply for the benefit of his new underling, Yegel knew better than to assume there wasn't a different, less obvious purpose. "I've been screened by her multiple times- just like the doctors back on Nishtal, got clear marks across the board."
Her expression was twisted, clearly unwilling to accept that but unable to think of an adequate rebuke for it. "All the same," she started, shifting her wings to roll the fuel tank for her flamethrower from side to side, "I'm uncomfortable with this- it's dangerous to be eating with a predator, especially alone. Just because we're in the room doesn't mean we'll be able to react in time."
The old man's features wrinkled as he scowled, beak half-open, when Yegel jumped on the opportunity. "Actually, I agree," he stated, taking a bit of mischievous glee in the way their expressions popped in shock. "I would feel much safer if someone was sitting with us, to keep me safe."
Beak dropping open, her gaping expression twisted between shock and indignation as she choked at such blatant disrespect- but whatever retribution she thought to unleash was cut short as the old krakotl burst into loud, wheezing laughter, his bony wings thumping against the table as he howled in glee, making the dishes rattle dangerously. His laughter echoed through the room, to the visible discomfort of every other exterminator, half of them sinking back down from where they'd half-risen from their seats.
"Cheeky to the last, you are!" he barked, clutching his chest as he giggled dry, crackling chortles. "Ah, you have a point- best you sit with us, my dear- get introduced with- with this handsome young fella. Yegel, this is Lialu, daughter of my firstborn, and as you can see, the unfortunate inheritor of the branch up his bum." Kalina squawked indignantly, raising a wing as if to smack his shoulder in retribution, but her eyes flicked to Yegel as she paused, slowly settling back into a tense at-ease stance. "You might be working together someday- and if things go well, maybe a little more than that, hehe!" The sour twisting of her cheeks showed exactly what she thought of that idea.
"I'm flattered," Yegel droned dryly, "but I think if she hasn't even gotten her adult patterns, then that's far too dangerous for me."
"As if I'd be interested in such a disgraceful troublemaker in the first place!" she snapped right back, wings half-raised in a gesture of disgust. "tarnishing my career so early would be pointless- and I have no interest in such distractions anyways!"
"Bah, you're fourteen already, better that you start looking for a partner now," the geezer griped, ignoring the way she rolled her eyes uncomfortably. "This work's dangerous, girl- you can't plan for the future as if it's guaranteed, or else you'll find you've missed out." His eyes went a bit glassy and unfocused, staring off into the walls in an melancholic reminiscence. "Regret's a heavy thing to bear, and the years are never kind..."
The two younger krakotl shifted uncomfortably as silence fell, glancing between each other uncomfortably as he lapsed into old memories only he could see. Yegel was silently thankful for the break- these gaps in the old man's train of thought were the only thing that made these conversations manageable.
Unfortunately, Yegel's stomach decided to interject by gurgling it's frustration at being empty, snapping the greying elder out of his thoughts as his gaze snapped across the table. Yegel fought back the urge to flinch, if only barely- and even that was enough for the old man's eye to sparkle with something that made Yegel's skin crawl beneath his feathers.
"Ah, I've been distracting you with my yammering, haven't I?" the Head Exterminator apologized, gesturing grandly towards the array of filled dishes. "Go on, eat up boy- you've got a busy day ahead of you after all!" His wrinkled wing-hand receded from gesturing, and patted the young female on the shoulder. "You too, grand-daughter- gotta keep your calorie intake up to maintain those muscles- gear's heavy, and always getting heavier!"
Whatever his tone and attitude might have suggested, Yegel already knew that it wasn't a request. Gritting his beak, he delicately scooped up a bowl of thick, viscous algae, and methodically poured some into his beak.
Silty and clinging to his tongue, Yegel knew intellectually that this was a high-quality blend- that the consistency and density of the meal spoke of great care taken in the growing, filtering, and preparation of this dish- completely unlike the usual clumpy, soil-tainted slop served in the cafeteria. It was the sort of dish that must be incredibly expensive, even ignoring how far they were from anywhere of any importance- a culinary treat most on the base would have fought fiercely for a chance to try.
Yet as he consciously swallowed it down and discreetly clinked the bowl down on the table, all his tongue could taste was ash and flamethrower-fuel.
"Good, isn't it?" Geezil prompted as his grand-daughter also set her own bowl back down. "Straight from Nishtal, that is, grown properly in the pools, instead of them techno-vats they got on this here base. Reminds me of when I met Laila, you know- or rather, when I first worked up the gumption to ask for her time..." The old man chuckled to himself, his eyes staring off into the distance once again. "Stars, she was beautiful- and me a strapping young lad, straight from academy- big-headed from training, yet a fumbling mess with the other sex. Took me far too long to even make a pass, and longer still to make it official- kept finding excuses, when I really was just scared she'd say no!"
Yegel suppressed the urge to sigh, and found himself sharing a commiserating look with the exterminator who clearly had been through this rambling story almost as often as he had. Maybe he'd entertain the idea of bonding with her over it, if only he wasn't painfully aware of how strongly she and her friends wanted to reduce him to a pile of charred carbon. At least he wasn't suffering alone.
"You know, we got some side-eyes because of our difference in age- I was a fresh recruit, and she had been in the service for twelve years," Geezil confided absentmindedly, a dreamy expression on his face even as his granddaughter blanched and leaned away. "Ah, but we made it fine, found our happiness- and you should too!" he shifted, refocusing on his two unwilling guests. "Ten years made no difference, and you've a difference of what, five years? Not even that!"
Yegel inhaled deeply, letting his chest fully expand as he held back the surge of emotion that would certainly have worn through the elder's patience if let loose. Releasing the air in a deep sigh, he wrangled himself back into a restrained, controlled frame of mind. "Is trying to play matchmaker with your grand-daughter the only reason you arranged this meeting, sir? Because I stand by my utter lack of interest in her."
"Ah, you know it's not, you stiffneck," the old man grumbled, shifting around in his seat as he picked through his own spread of food. "You're a perfect fit for the corps, and we both know it. You got enough fire in you to want to fix the rot in society when you see it, and a good head on your neck as well- just gotta give you the training to aim it right, if you know what I'm saying." His cane reached out and tapped Yegel on the side jovially- and Yegel winced as his bruised ribs ignited in fiery pain, unable to stop a strained hiss from escaping his beak as he bent in place from the automatic tightening of his muscles.
Immediately, the entire room fell deathly still. Where once the silence had been uncomfortable but tolerable and interspersed with the inane sounds of clinking dishes, now it was an oppressive, choking claw squeezing around everyone's neck, unbroken by even a single breath of air.
"Barum." Geezil's flat, quiet statement whipped out through the stillness, a single cracking note that made the Takkan flinch in his seat. There was no waver in the old bird's voice now, only a cold, hard surety that made Yegel's feathers itch. "I was very explicit in my instructions. Was I not?"
"The- the predator resisted!" Barum tried to protest- though the waver in his voice clearly made it more of a plea. "With how dangerous he's proved to be, I had to-"
"Dangerous?" the drawled interruption made the hulking, thick-skinned exterminator flinch back from the dull-feathered bird barely half his size. "I see no injuries on any of you. There has never been an injury from officers bringing him in to me. I... was quite clear about wanting him brought here unharrassed." A single beady eye bored into the towering gray alien, making him shrink into himself under it's heat. "Do I lie?"
"S-sir please!" Sweat glistened on the Takkan's thick grey hide as he cowered back, his seat clattering to the floor as he stumbled. "It- I apologize, I swear I thought it was necessary! It won't happen again, sir! Please!"
Yegel knew what was coming next- the tightening of Geezil's beak and raising of the feathers on his back were a sure sign of how furious the old man was. All he had to do was sit back quietly and let it play out, and it would be both a distraction that bought him time, and retribution for the unnecessary blow he had taken- and was probably going to need to see the doctor for after this- if he was in a position to visit her, of course. Geezil's eyes were hard and cold, focused on his subordinate- getting between him and the subject of his ire would only earn him trouble... and yet, as Geezil's beak opened, he simply couldn't stop himself.
"While this is all quite engaging," Yegel interjected, refusing to flinch back as every eye in the room snapped towards him, Kalina's expression one of open shock while Geezil's screwed up in barely-contained fury, "but you said there was more to this meeting than making another recruitment pitch to me, yet all you've actually given besides that was an attempt to get me to go out with your grand-daughter." His confidence faltered as wrinkled eyes tightened, glaring holes into him, but he rallied himself and carefully considered his next words. "While your... repeated offers are actually quite flattering, I am quite happy with what I have managed to make for myself, without accepting favors or handouts- from anyone."
Geezil hummed to himself, maintaining his glare as the silent room held it's breath, before his jaw twitched upwards into a satisfied smirk, his eyes glinting as the granite in them faded into a smug satisfaction of having found what he was looking for. The entire room relaxed as he leaned backwards in his perch, Barum falling to the floor and trying to muffle the sounds of his heaving for breath. The gentle clinking of dishes and silverware once more filled the room in a very deliberate attempt at making noise, covering up the previous tension with artificial ease. Kalina was giving Yegel a look- not the pure disgust from earlier, but something confused, as if he were a particularly perplexing puzzle-game, or a problem that had suddenly reached an unexpected solution.
"You really can't help yourself, can you," Geezil noted approvingly, glancing over at his grand-daughter's reaction before nodding at Yegel- and making a jerking motion at Barum, who gulped and pulled himself off the floor, quietly hurrying his way out of the room. "So, I uh..." the light in his eyes faded, his beak clacking shut as he rapped his talons against his perch. "I, uh, huh... hmmm. There was, actually something else... Bother me, where were we? I can't remember..."
"I believe," Yegel commented dryly, fighting to keep his own breathing even, "That I was once again saying how content I am with my current position, and that even this doctor being imported just for me isn't enough for me to leave everything behind and run into the Exterminator Corps."
"Ah, right, right," he nodded, snagging on to the lead Yegel had thrown him, before pausing and looking out over the room. "I do respect what you've managed on your own," he finally admitted, setting his bowl to the side, "But this time... this doctor, he's not exactly playing fair. This is politics, the nasty sort- where he's going to do everything he can to make you disappear. Unless, of course..." reaching into his own pouch, he shakily produces a holopad that he slides over to Yegel, displaying a series of documents- and a prominent line for signatures. "You take an alternative. Sign up, and it'll be our own docs who do your eval- and you'll clear their tests just fine, I think. Might not be your ideal career path- but I'm loathe to let such a promising young man get screwed by Old-Molts with thin egos and sharp talons."
Yegel's first instinct was to push the pad away, to reject it like he usually did- but now, he paused, expression screwed up in conflict. A part of him was tempted- severely tempted- to accept- the part of him that was still terrified of the looming threat, that wanted to run somewhere-anywhere- and hide until this whole twisted situation just went away.
Was he being selfish, rejecting an offer like this? Wouldn't the right thing to do be to accept and guarantee he stayed alive, like Jelliba and Kallik so desperately wanted? Why take the risk, when safety was right here, just a signature away- something that would guarantee him the chance to see what Jelliba's final design would look like, to see Kallik climb through the ranks like Yegel knew he someday would? Was it pride that stayed his talons, or was he simply afraid of change?
"Seriously?!" his granddaughter hissed, clearly taken aback, unaware of Yegel's silent internal debate as she rounded on her grandfather angrily. "That's why he's here? So we can just ignore his entire history of warning signs, just because you like him? With a record like his-"
"-He'd fit right in," he finished for her, eyes narrowed in a disappointed glare that had her beak snapping closed as she shrunk back into her perch. "I know you ain't seen most of it, Lialu, but most of our recruits aren't exactly got glistening feathers. Heck, lots of our older recruits got worse on their record! It's half the point of the training regimen, to file down the burrs in their talons, make something useful from them."
File down the burrs... Was he really willing to accept what that entailed? What parts of himself would he need to sacrifice, if he went down this road? What would he become, on the other side of whatever training they had in store for him?
Would he still be Yegel?
Inhaling deeply through his beak, Yegel grasped the pad, which felt far heavier than it should... and gently slid it back over to Geezil.
"If I accepted now, that would practically be an admission of being sick," Yegel breathed, his heart pounding heavily within his chest. "I... am going to see this through- I will pass this evaluation, no matter what he throws at me- and then!" Finally, he looked Geezil in the eye, firming his own resolve as he squared his shoulders. "Then, and only then, will I consider your offer."
Geezil watched on, the burning tongues of some dark flame flickering behind his ancient eyes. When Yegel stood strong, his feathers crinkled into an amused display, even as he shook his head in mock disappointment. "Ah, you really are a fine young lad," he sighed mournfully, rapping his cane against the table. "Are you sure? The doctor arrived only an hour ago in port- this is your last chance, before we have to take you to your evaluation. And without anyone having requested the extra security of one of my officers, why, this might be the last time we see each other!"
Ah. So that was the old geezer's game. Yegel pushed down the rising surge of fear, quivering in his perch as he forced himself to meet the elder's gaze. "Then I'll go ahead and invite you myself- I'm more than happy to have an audience to me proving my innocence."
The old bird's beak twisted into an ugly grin. "I am sure you do. Lialu, go ahead- consider this a learning experience for the future, hmn? Now, I won't waste any more of your time- so off you go!"
The scraping of seats being pushed out was all the warning Yegel got before he was grabbed and pulled from his seat. "Hey, hey, gentle with him, you hard-headed brutes!" Scoffing, Geezil pushed himself back in his seat, glaring at his Exterminators as Yegel was unceremoniously dropped.
"So, you planned this all out in advance, didn't you?" Yegel guessed, pushing himself to his feet- and wincing as his side twinged in pain, reminding him of the rapidly-swelling bruise.
"Dunno what you mean," Geezil denied in faux apology, as his granddaughter gaped between the two of them, clearly lost on what was happening. "Figured you needed a chance to make the right choice- or failing that, a decent last meal." Waving his wing in disappointment, he gestured towards the door- which Yegel found himself getting rapidly pushed towards. "Good luck, lad- I hope to see you again someday!"
"Don't worry, sir," Yegel snapped back, shouldering away from his escorts and refusing to look back. "I'll be back sooner than you think."
The doors slammed shut behind his escorts, reflecting the young female's confused, conflicted gaze as she strode alongside him- Yegel felt a moment of pity for the young girl, who the geezer had clearly thrown into the deep end on purpose. Hopefully she caught onto the game soon, otherwise she'd end up as somebody's tool- though maybe it was already too late for that.
Stomach roiling at the thought of what lay ahead, Yegel couldn't help the feeling of regret for not taking the escape offered to him- sure it wouldn't be ideal, but he owed it to the people most important to him to make sure he stuck around a little longer. Why he'd rejected it... he couldn't quite put it into words, only a feeling that it would have been... wrong, somehow.
The cafeteria murmured again as he was led through the mealtime crowd, catching the panicked gazes of his friends across the room. Kallik was halfway out of his seat before Yegel carefully gestured back, tapping his wing against his throat- and watching his friend slowly settle back down, Kallik's eyes growing focused as he turned and strode towards a different exit, vanishing into the distance as Yegel was dragged through a set of doors out into a cold, grey hallway.
Clenching his gullet, he carefully felt out around Kallik's gift- safely stored within his throat. The creeping tendrils of terror within his mind were growing stronger, but he chose to have faith in his friend- and resolved to make sure his efforts were not wasted.
He'd find a way through- he just had to keep moving forward.
one week earlier...
Once he'd had the chance to compose himself, Yegel returned to his viewing- he wanted to see what happened next, after such a massive shift in the struggle now that Eren had actually earned them a victory.
Despite that, Armin's narration pointed out that too many lives had been lost for any celebrations to be in order- a sentiment that Yegel understood, but... well, he wasn't as surprised to to see it from the humans anymore. Imagine, it wasn't long ago that he'd have been expecting them to revel in the carnage like other predators, uncaring of the toll in lives- yet here they were, deeply affected by the loss of so many friends and comrades, and instead of being baffled by it, Yegel completely understood their response.
Oh, and they'd taken advantage of their unique situation to even capture two of the smaller titans, presumably for study- which, given Eren's sudden new powers, was probably something that needed more study than initially presumed. Thankfully the restraints seems pretty extensive, so hopefully they could keep the monsters contained- but still, imagine being the poor soul tasked with keeping them locked down! Hopefully it wouldn't take long for them to get what they needed and dispose of the creatures.
Of course, with victory came the morbid task of cleaning up the aftermath- and not in the way anyone else in the Federation would believe if he told them. Gathering up bodies as respectfully as they could, instead of devouring them on the spot? He'd be hard-pressed to convince anyone he was telling the truth!
Wait... Marco?!
When did Marco die?! Yegel thought he'd gotten away after saving Jean! Maybe it was in the push to get Eren to the gate? Geez, and Jean was the one to find him- Marco had been so supportive of him, despite Jean's fear and self-doubts, always willing to give a word of encouragement and affirm Jean's place as leader... and now he was gone, with Jean being forced to help the cleanup crew's by giving Marco's details...
The female doctor brought up something Yegel hadn't considered- that the reason for the urgency of their cleanup was because of the risk of an epidemic breaking out. The dead had been left too long, and now there was a risk of a secondary disaster if the humans didn't hurry. Yegel had never really considered something like that- meat was meat to predators, wasn't it? The Arxur never seemed to mind eating bodies they stumbled across, so he'd somehow assumed that diseases like that weren't a concern for predators.
Just another area where the humans proved their difference from the greys, he supposed.
Thankfully, the camera hadn't focused on Marco's corpse for too long, so Yegel was able to contain his urge to gag, focusing in on Jean and his emotional response- and how expressive human faces were, even when covered by face-masks to protect themselves from germs and contamination. Of course that was when the scene shifted to Sasha and Connie, helping to clean up a massive ball of... flesh... that apparently titans upchuck when they're too full, since they don't actually have a digestive track... and a closeup showed a human mouth inside, still opened in a silent scream...
Yes, hello wastebin, been a moment since we last met, how have you been? Don't mind me, just emptying my stomach again!
...Yegel didn't like Sasha- she was clearly the most "predatory" of the humans- but at least here, the disgust and horror on her face showed that there were lines even she wouldn't cross.
Even Annie, the stoic female who never seemed to show emotion, was shaken- standing over a body, apologizing over and over again, before Reiner pointed out that contrition did the dead no good, and that they needed a proper burial. So the humans buried their dead? That was kind of similar to Gojid traditions for honoring the dead, burying them in vast family crypts.
But, why did the scene shift to a fire burning? What were they-
So that's what those grey flakes that had been falling everywhere were. Yegel had kind of been wondering about that.
So, they didn't even have time to give proper burials to everyone.
Yegel forced himself to take a deep breath, rubbing the sides of his head as he exhaled. He'd say it was similar to Krakotl death rites, purifying the body to drift through the divine winds of Nishtal, to be carried away to Intala's realm, but... in this context, it clearly must have been desperation and urgency rather than a matter of respect.
...Intala, please watch over them.
...Thankfully, the perspective then shifted back to Eren- who was now locked up in a cell deep underground, and chained to a bed. Understandable precautions- his powers were clearly still volatile, and the last thing the humans needed to deal with was a rogue titan wandering around.
Commander Erwin and Captain Levi were outside his cell, watching him. Erwin asked if he had any questions- which, well, Yegel obviously had several, but Eren was still disoriented from waking up. Which made sense, given how much using his power seemed to take out of him- he must have been exhausted after carrying that boulder for so long.
Erwin proceeded to ask about the key that had held such importance- and the secret that was apparently hidden beneath Eren's house. Eren confirmed, and Levi scoffed about how it must suck to have your dad and your memories MIA at the same time- unless it was just a cover story. Which- was a reasonable concern, but... was that what Yegel sounded like to other people?
At least Erwin confirmed that they knew Eren had no reason to lie- and proceeded to ask Eren what he wanted- what his intentions were. After all, to reach the cellar, they'd need to seal the breach in the other wall like they'd done in Trost- which required Eren's special power. Apparently they'd even conjectured that the Colossal and Armored titan must be like Eren- titans piloted by people?! Which did make sense- the Bad Humans probably had an easier time developing and using titan powers, since they weren't trying to fight or resist their predator instincts. That also would explain their motive- killing all the good humans would mean the bad humans would win, and be able to rule as dominant predators like the Arxur did.
...Was there a group of good Arxur once, that lost their own fight with the Arxur Yegel knew?
NO. No, that was impossible- there was no way the greys had ever had anything good within them- they were monsters through and through! Good Arxur? Ridiculous- just because humans were an insane enigma that broke every rule as if they were intentionally trying to didn't mean the same applied to other predators!
Unless of course, the good Arxur had all been killed-
No. NO. Yegel was not going down that path of madness! He was not!
...Erwin expanded on his statement, saying that was why he asked Eren's intentions- because Eren could save "us," presumably meaning the good humans. Eren initially said he didn't know- but then his past, his memories, all flooded through his head- his inner voice angrily declaring that he would stop this with his bare hands! When Levi pressed for an answer, Eren looked up with a downright deranged grin- and declared that he wanted to kill all the titans- every last one.
So that's how Eren turned out different- he'd aimed his instincts towards the monsters, and become obsessed with wiping out the titans, instead of wanting to consume humans like every other titan did. That said something about Eren's mental fortitude- and why he still had difficulties with his power. Actively twisting your instincts like that must cross a few wires, leaving him needing to actively learn things instead of simply doing what came naturally.
Levi seemed to like that answer, a gleam entering his eyes as he approached Eren's cell and announced that he'd take responsibility for him. Not that he implicitly trusted him, but that he trusted his abilities to kill Eren if necessary. He offered Eren congratulations, officially welcoming him as a new member of the Scouting Corps- and told Erwin to let the higher-ups know.
And then announced that, despite this meeting, Eren wasn't out of the woods yet- as he was going to stand trial, where they'd need to argue against him simply being killed.
Because of course it couldn't be that simple.
submitted by Cheesypower to NatureofPredators [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 17:35 Demonicking101 We Need a Deathworlder! Pt 65

Art of Simone's upgraded power armor and crystal sword!
Chapter Sixty Five: Allies and Scritches.
Looking around, the redhead finds herself standing in the middle of a dark and damp forest. But despite the gentle waves of the breeze moving the flora, there’s no sound. To the Terran’s recognizing eye as well, the plant life appears to be a blending mingle of those on the Gratt homeworld and the fateful operation on the Whista owned world.
Moving forward, her surprisingly lucid mind comes to the conclusion that she is once again ‘dreaming’, no doubt being brought on by the growth in her braincase.
She finds a loose path reminiscent of an overgrown hunter's trail that snakes her deeper into the silent landscape. Although something instinctual in her demands to be fearful of the situation, Simone can’t help to be more curious than anything due to the fact this hasn’t happened in a little while.
After some time of traversing the blending path she catches something glinting off past nearby foliage. Freezing for a moment she stares it down in an attempt to make out what it is. When it proves to not be a barrel of a weapon, she approaches it and reaches out. Her bare hand touches the glint, causing it to fully take form before resting in her palm. In a light dug she draws the dangling object free from a thin branch and brings it up close to her face.
On a thin necklace chain is a bent dog tag and a small grimy triangular device. Manipulating the tag, Simone is not at all surprised to find her own name on it. But as for the device, she surmises that it’s very similar to the thing implanted to her forehead after being kidnapped by the children of Gaia, though clearly a differing model with possibly a very different purpose.
For a moment Simone is almost compelled to put the triangle to her head, but knowing better than to trust the bits of a Manarian mad scientist in her brain she resists and decides to continue down the path. But to her concern the path is no longer there when she turns around. Instead before her is a cliffside overlooking a wide field of absolute chaos.
Down in the valley she overlooks is an expanse of a visceral battle playing out. No longer silent, the explosions and cries of vocals are significantly muffled as if her own hearing was going out.
Still, she steps closer to the drop to get a fuller view. Far down below, yet in perfect clarity to her dream eyes are various sized armies of every known species defending incoming forces from the dark encircling treeline. From the trees themselves are lines of armored Manarians consistently pressing more and more into the valley. From all sides the defenders are overwhelmed from their foes. Few Manarian’s drop in their compressing march. Simone witnesses that as they approach individuals of other species, the defenders throw down their arms before kneeling in surrender. Like an aura of instant submission, those who don’t fall in battle give in to the invaders in an instant. More and more the Manarians gain ground, only seeming to slow as Deathworlders put up the most fight.
Finding the location of the Terrans, Simone’s heart sinks. A small but effective population is fighting against the bulk within their own lines. Disarray ensues as the Terrans divide their bewildered attention from within and what approaches, unable to give support to others or eventually themselves.
Suddenly the majority of the Cali forces turn to their neighboring species and join in on the Manarian’s side. In the midst of this they release a devastating additional army of Malchite that help carve the Manarians an easy path towards the most united and powerful section of the defenders.
In mere moments, ‘Central’ falls, sending a cascading wave of despair to all the remaining defenders. Before the Manarian’s even get close now, swaths of species begin to surrender seeing their best chance at maintaining a defense is obliterated.
Thankfully the Terrans have seemed to have taken care of the internal conflict, but unfortunately it's far too late for it to matter as they practically stand alone in this fight.
Some species flee to bolster and hide behind the Terran’s lines. To their credit, if not for a moment, they fight back hard enough to pause the Manarian advance. There’s moments of grim yet heroic sacrifices, ground freely given in order to lure the enemy into effective traps, and some Terrans manage to not give into the aura of submission long enough for others to run. It’s damn inspiring to see the unstoppable force stall.
But of course, it’s not enough.
Lines break, encampments burn, leaders fall.
Eventually Terrans are reduced to a single circular formation as they stand shoulder to shoulder in defense of the little they have left.
They hold until their ammunition and other supplies run dry. Expecting surrender the Manarains extend the option to stop the fighting then and there.
In a moment of consideration, the Terrans under the flag of their last standing leader charge outwards in a hopeless defiant melee. The fighting is visceral and brutal, but eventually only one Terran stands against an entire universe.
The individual has no energy left to strike out. In their grasp is a tattered and burned flag that can no longer be made out. But the Terran stands, using it as a brace.
A Manarian leader comes up and hammers the final Terran to the ground demanding submission. A few now utterly silent moments pass by before the Terran drags themself up the flagpole into a standing position.
With another blow the Manarian strikes them down again.
But the Terran refuses, and gets up once more.
Having run out of patience the Manarian shoots a leg cleanly free from the Terran.
Yet with a scream, they remain standing, utilizing the pole even more.
Deciding that it’s no longer worth trying, the aggressor levels their weapon to the Terran’s face.
Just before being vanquished for good, Simone realizes that through the cracked open helmet of the Terran that they were looking straight up at her. Despite the distance, the two sets of eyes lock together. There is not pleading in the wounded Terran’s eyes, no fear, no judgment, nothing Simone would ever expect.
What the redhead sees in them can only be expressed in one simple word;
As the final shot sings out the valley is encompassed in shadow, resembling more of an massive endless pit.
“I know what’s at stake. Why am I being shown this? You of all people should be elated that this is coming.” Simone thinks for Sharra to possibly pick up.
But instead of an expected occurrence, she feels a warmth from behind her.
Turning her back from the void she immediately sees a small campsite. There’s a tent, a stack of scavenged firewood and a strange cliché knight sitting on a log by a roaring fire.
Feeling her heart skip a beat Simone practically runs to him, expecting it to be an aspect of her father. But she soon realizes that the person’s frame is far too small to be an avatar of him.
Noticing her, the armored individual raises a hand in greeting before staring at the fire. The area behind their visor still pitch dark.
“What is this?” Simone skeptically says in her mind, not trusting this in the slightest.
The knight then speaks up.
“A fire.” they say.
“I mean… all of this… What’s going on?” the Terran presses.
You’re dreaming, and thus your mind is molding things in the manner minds do when slumbering.’ the knight states.
“Okay… so what are you supposed to be? Because with what’s going on with my head a lot of things I ‘dream’ are actually literal things affecting me, like you actually answering my question so directly is pretty suspicious. This a Sharra thing? Usually it’s my dad in the knight get-up, so what are you?” Simone responds in questioning.
“Nothing of substance at all. Or… something vitally important. That’s really up for you to decide really. This is your mind after all, I’m simply here because your mind thought it necessary to conjure me.” the Knight replies.
“But this isn’t how dreams are normally supposed to work, even more lucid ones… right? This is getting real fucking weird.” the redhead argues.
“Then perhaps your mind’s ailment is affecting your mind quite a bit.” the Knight shrugs.
“No fucking kidding…” Simone agrees as she steps up closer, “So… you wouldn’t know where I can talk with whatever’s left of Sharra?”
To answer this, the knight bends to the side and digs their hand into loose soil. Sitting back up they begin to massage it back out to the forest floor.
“Bits and pieces everywhere. Constantly trying to pull together, but is simply unable to be whole. Destined to eventually drive you mad.” they explain.
“Wait, what? How?” Simone asks.
“You have been affected by her unconsciously, have you not? Wanting to viscously bite your lover? Speaking in her tongue? Symptoms of her gradually melding into you. Although she’s not complete, you will eventually start to forget who you really are. Two minds sharing one consciousness… it spells disaster for ‘Simone Thatch’. I suggest you find a way to avoid this.”
“But… but Vermis told me that she’s too far gone to be a problem.” the redhead points out.
“She can’t take your body from you, but she’ll still seep. Regardless if she can even intend to or not. Your mind will survive, but your identity will slip to some degree.”
“Shit…” Simone responds as she plants her face to her hands, “So… your part of my subconscious that is telling me something is wrong?”
“Possibly. Makes sense if that’s the case.” the knight grants as Simone can hear the helmet be removed from the individual.
She attempts to pull her hands away, only to realize she was stuck in this realm of pitch black.
Simone’s eyes open from what was meant to just be a brief nap. Her brain was foggy, and the details of her dream was loose enough to question her actual lucidity during or if her dream simply tricked her into thinking she was in fact lucid.
Rubbing her face she sits up to see Chak having a conversation with Sonla across the hotel room.
“Hey hun, how long was I out?” she asks as she swings her legs off the side of the bed.
The princess stands up and begins moving over to the Terran.
“Just a few hours, I was planning on waking you in another hour anyway so don’t fret. You really needed it after everything.” Chak replies with a giggle as she reaches out to address her lover’s bedhead fur.
Allowing the Cali to fix what she can, Simone sighs out of soreness.
“Yeah, I did.” she agrees in a chuckle, “Our new infiltrator caught up to speed?”
“I haven’t shared certain details, but she knows that we are perhaps going to have a less than legal encounter with the Terran President. That won’t harm the president, hopefully.” Chak reports before finishing up with the Terran’s fur, “Oh, and I have purchased some new clothes for you to wear on our trip back. They were delivered not a standard half hour ago. Simple pants and shirt. Your dress has been cleaned and repaired as well.” she notified as she pointed to the closet area.
SImone leans out and kisses the Cali in a tender peck.
“You’re the best hun.” she whispers before standing up and stretching out the ache before striding over to the neatly folded pile of clothes.
“Only second to you.” Chak coyly replies as she enjoys the view for a few moments before snapping to it, “I’ll have our transport summoned.”

Before the three can even depart out the front door, as the elevator door opens there’s a crowd of people waiting for them in the lobby. Simone opens her mouth to ask what was going on, but Chak swiftly presses the indicator to re-close the door.
“Chakalata’motaas! One moment of your time!”
“Princess there’s some questions regarding public property damage!”
“When was the last correspondence you had with your father!”
“Is the Terran really your fiance or a roleplay consort?”
Among other raising voices upon seeing the Cali the reporters swarmed towards the elevator just before the door closed and started to go up a level.
“Wow…” Simone utters, “I thought we’d be a bit more shielded from them?”
“If they reserved rooms at the hotel after learning we were here… then there’s not much that can be done.” Chak replies a bit troubled, “We just need to find another way-”
As the door opens again, even more people stand in wait.
“Oh princess! Was your appearance on Thorba the truthful’s podcast really you or did he use A.I to replicate your voice?”
“Was it you present on Kamoi roughly a standard year ago where a restaurant was destroyed in a terrorist attack? Were you the target?”
“What business do you have in Central? Are you going to appeal to have your father’s authority be unrecognized?”
“Have you spoken at all to the Cali Ambassador?
“Care to share any details over the events that transpired with Ambassador Zrreak’s son last night?”
“Is the Vorook also a lover of yours?”
“Is your chitin really deep-dyed?”
“Are you still in fear for your life?”
“Are Terrans-”
The elevator door sealed again, this time needing Simone to hold back people from potentially creeping into the elevator.
“I guess we’re going back down to make a run for it?” Simone huffs in immense annoyance.
“Unfortunately that appears to be our only option.” Chak nods, her patience being tested as well.
“Want me to make big explosion as a distraction?” Sonla offers.
“No need for that.” Chak replies quickly.
“Here. I’ll march us out. Sonla, get on my back.” Simone says before she kneels down and scoops up the Cali in her arms, “Still as light as a feather.” she winks.
Chak’s eyes flash.
“They’ll be given quite the show.” she chuckles.
As told, Sonla clambers up the back of the Terran and gets a firm hold around her neck.
“If an explosion is needed, I’m ready!” she declares just before the doors open for the final time.
Using her cradling arm under the Cali’s back, Simone uses her curled up hand to protect Chak’s head as she marches straight into the crowd.
None wanting to test to see if the bulky Terran considers trampling a valid option, a path is cleared. However the barrage of questions does not let up in the slightest as they followed the trio towards the front doors.
“What was the intention of your stay here?”
“When and where will your wedding to the Terran occur?”
“Is it true that Simone Thatch is a war criminal?”
“Have you suffered any injury while being intimate with a Terran?”
“How many Terrans have you mated with? Are all the ones you brought with you your harem?”
“Are you certain that you are the last survivor of your family?
“Are the Gratt to be trusted?”
“Have you encountered any bouncy hunters in Central?”
“Is the famed Admiral Chucknuq still in your service?”
“Have you been hiding out this whole time on Vapor’perna?”
“Are you planning on commencing a civil war?”
“How much are you paying the Terran to be your mate?”
To the dismay of Chak and Simone, the crowd only grew upon leaving the hotel’s premises. And even contributed around where their shuttle was landing.
Although not completely serious about it, SImone started to humor the idea of Sonla causing a distraction before sharp roaring barks erupts from nearby.
The questions all stop and even a few calls of distress ring out as everyone catches sight of a dozen uniformed Z’ah’tucks approach. In a wide line formation they release warning -though no doubt perceived as outright ‘threatening’- vocalizations. More cries ring out as they unleash fur covered mammalian quadrupeds that run ahead to the trio and begin guiding the reporters away through fear alone.
Simone couldn’t help but laugh aloud at the sight of the Terran shepherd dogs doing what their breed did best.
A Tromple recoils in pale terror as they worm away from one of the canines, who did nothing but exist with an authoritative attitude.
Very effectively parting the crowd away from the three, the lead Z’ah’tuck waved Simone to come to her.
Seeing little reason not to, considering the rescue, the Terran nods and hurries the two other women on her to the line of dinos.
“Thanks, but… what’s this about?” she asks.
The pack of a dozen dinos encircle the three and start walking them away to another shuttle landing zone. The dogs loyally come back to their owners as they make sufficient distance.
“As an apology for you having to get involved with last night’s events, Ambassador Zrreak wishes to personally escort you back to your designated apartment.” she answers as three shuttles await them in the zone. The biggest and most armored of which opens up for the three to enter.
“Oh…” Chak utters in thought before Simone lets her down to enter the vessel.
As the princess steps on in, it’s clear this vessel is meant to fit many guests within on a regular basis considering the scuffing and scratch marks. But at this moment there is only one individual within.
Looking much like his son, Zrreak is of the larger variant of his species. Covered in various deep scars across his scales and adorned in high quality drapery he pets a smaller breed of dog in his lap.
“Thank you for accepting my invitation, Princess.” he greets with a respectful bow of his head.
“Of course, we very much appreciate your assistance with the media swarm.” Chak replies before she finds herself a seat.
“You can get off now…” Simone informs Sonla before following the Cali in.
The Vorook slowly slides down the Terran and does her best to position herself to hide behind the redhead as much as possible, eventually sitting down in a seat that has the larger frame of the Terran between her and the ambassador.
Simone looks the ambassador in the eyes with a hint of weariness. Although she isn’t necessarily suspicious, with the still very significant bounty on her fiance’s head… one can never be too careful. She waits until the seal of the shuttle door clicks shut before speaking up herself.
“Cute corgi, does it have a name?” she inquires.
“Hmmhmm” the Z’ah’tuck hums in amusement as he lightly scratches the canine on it’s rump, causing it to lift its head and perk its ears, “His name is Zioakaa, a play on the Z’ah’tuck title meaning ‘One who has seen the Abyss, and made it weep’. Such a title is usually reserved for artists or passionate leaders. People who can invoke a great shift of public morale, whether it be for sorrow, fear or hope. This dog? Although he is no small part of my public image, he has shifted my morale extraordinarily.” he answers in a relatively reminiscing voice.
Seeing his genuine soft appreciation for the animal is clear as day to Simone, she allows herself to relax as the shuttle takes off with two additional escorts.
“Dogs are pretty great, huh?” Simone chuckles.
“Possibly the best of everything your people have brought to the stars.” the man agrees, “Despite losing a long war with Terrans, Z’ah’tuck certainly gained from it in some aspects.”
“Crazy how that hashes out. And hey, more dogs in the universe? I’ll take it.” the redhead replies before peeking over to Sonla, who was tucking her legs up to make her silhouette smaller.
“Oh, how is your son fairing Ambassador Zrreak? And the others in his and his wife’s company?” Chak asks pleasantly.
“He has been advised to be in bed for a few days, but will make a full recovery. The others will recover as well, but those more substantially injured will of course need a fair bit more recovery.”
“That’s very good to hear. Be sure to pass along our best wishes.” the Princess replies with a nod of her head.
“I will. Though I must apologize for your involvement in his incident. Such business should have been avoided in the first place.” Zrreak says as he extends one of his hands out to Chak, which she accepts sooner than he would have expected from a Cali.
“Thank you for the gesture, the involvement was voluntary, I assure you. Believe it or not Ambassador, I have conducted myself in more perilous situations as you can no doubt imagine.” Chak says pleasantly, “Though I have a feeling you’ve brought us aboard your own personal shuttle with other motives in mind, yes?”
Simone tenses up again as the Ambassador’s raptor eyes focus on the Princess for a moment.
Tilting his horned head, Zrreak then lets out a ‘caught me red handed’ snicker before pulling his hand away.
“Yes, yes you’re right indeed. Though I assure you it has little to do with the price on your head. As much as I still enjoy a good hunt, I’m not one to prey upon my own allies. No, what I hope to discuss is ensuring you are reinstated as the prime monarch of the Cali people.” he reveals.
“Oh… pardon Zrreak… what exactly do you mean by that?” Chak asks as she recovers from such a bold notion.
“I’ve decided to place my bets on you, Chakalata’motaas. I bring you an offer already officiated over by my people’s leaders for you to respond. May I officially present it to you in this rather unofficial setting?” he inquires.
“Very well, but I cannot make a promise that I’ll be receptive to what you offer.” Chak grants as she crosses her lower limbs in her lap.
Zrreak presses an indication in a side datapad, activating a hardlight screen to appear along the middle open area of the shuttle. The text on the screen outlines the terms of the proposal to which the ambassador presents it aloud.
“This proposed bargain has been rattling around the Z’ah’tuck trade leaders since the coup of your father. Though it hinged on whether or not you or any of your siblings survived. Seeing you are indeed alive and making concerted efforts towards freeing your people from his tyrannical rule one way or another you fit the criteria. And so here it is; The Z’ah’tuck Conglomerate will publicly support your right to the Cali throne, and it is prepared to dedicate one-sixth of its war fleets and the Third-fang battalion to aid in the likely event of military conflict.” he pauses to let that settle before continuing, “In return, the Conglomerate requests that the Cali government agree to contribute Ten percent more Natural-grade product and twenty five percent more Clone-grade product to the Z’ah’tuck meat market trade for the next fifty standard year period. Secondly it is also requested that Cali shipyards produce Twenty five hundred trade-ships by Conglomerate provided specifications in the next five standard years. Thirdly, permit Z’ah’tuck trade businesses to set up shop on Cali colonies. Fourth and finally, vote and publicly advocate for the Z’ah’Tuck people to be officiated out of ‘Associate Species’ into ‘Member Species’ status in Central.” he finishes.
Chak scratches the sides of her head with her lower graspers as she seriously considers the alliance deal. It’s an incredible opportunity. With the Z’ah’tucks big economic pull among the carnivorous species of Central -despite them currently being of ‘Associate’ status- this could be very advantageous. But the cost for the support was fairly high, yet not totally unreasonable.
“Your offer is rather tempting, Ambassador. Though I cannot see myself agreeing to it as it stands. You see if open civil war does break out, then I fear my people will need a period of time to stabilize, especially economically. People will need to be fed, buildings rebuilt, and damage to our world repaired. So here’s my counter offer for your consideration;” she says as she reaches out in request for the datapad, of which is candidly handed to her for her to revise the terms for consideration, “Lower the twenty five percent for cloned product to twenty. Provide charitable relief shelter camps where displaced Cali can be warm and well fed during the war campaign, which may prove to be a great source of building up positive relations with not only my people but many others sitting in Member Central seats. And finally agree to grant Cali trade ships official access to Conglomerate trade routes with reduced fines by thirty percent. The rest of your terms are acceptable.” she responds.
“Hmmm…” Zrreak mumbles as he stares at the screen. He brings a claw to his armored muzzle, dragging it along a deep old scarring, “I have the authority to negotiate the terms within reason, and although I know a few trade managers will be disgruntled I believe your counter terms are acceptable.” he nods before transferring the developed agreement to the datapad for both parties to sign.
The Z’ah’Tuck signs first before handing the pad over.
Suppressing her eyes from blasting light to not give away how she honestly felt about this deal, Chak re-reads the entire agreement twice to make absolutely certain that there are no possible term manipulations. The Z’ah’tuck are known to be honerable in terms of business, but one can never be too careful in this realm of dealing.
Once she is certain of all the terms, Chak signs as well and hands it back.
“Your gamble on me is appreciated, Ambassador. I will do everything in my power to ensure that my father is deposed. With your aid, I see the path towards that even more clearer.” she assures.
“Time will tell. And to be honest, we stand to lose little until conflict is certain. The biggest risk we run is a prolonged open war with the Cali. Central history is not kind to Deathworlders declaring war on non-deathworlders, even under these circumstances we may risk being ousted completely from Central. Though I’m doubtful considering our stranglehold on the meat markets. Who else would they turn to? The Truba? With their reputation and recent enormous debacle? I don’t think so.” Zrreak chuckles as he returns to petting his lap dog.
“Such a travesty…” Chak agrees, “Is there more you can share regarding that situation?”
“Just that these Squilla understandably don’t have much of a government. They dwelled in deeper waters and complex cave systems in their comparative ‘iron age’. They are incredibly fast learners, however. Which gives most of the Central council the impression that the Truba have been suppressing the Squilla’s growth as a people for literal ages. I don’t think anything like this has ever happened in known galactic history. It’s still all a mess unfortunately, but important first steps have been taken. I’ve spoken to the representative of the Squilla only a few times, and seeing him come to terms with reality is bittersweet.” the ambassador explained.
“I see. Perhaps I may have a chance to meet him while I’m in central.” Chak says with a shrug.
“It’s a long line to privately meet in an official manner, which is to no surprise I assume?” Zrreak informs.
“Of course, perhaps not then.” Chak concedes.
Wide eyed, Simone looks back and forth between the two.
“Sorry, uhm… I feel like what just happened earlier is a pretty big fucking deal… Military support? Not that I’m complaining, but I’d imagine something like that having a bit more bureaucracy? A quick back and forth and it’s a done deal?” she questioned, utterly bewildered.
“This is how backroom deals tend to go, Simone, you know that.” Chak replies as she reaches a hand to take hold of one of the redhead’s.
She then squeezes in trembling excitement to show that she was putting up a polite professional act.
“Right. Yeah.” Simone corrects herself as she huffs a pant of jubilated air.
The ambassador turns to look at the Terran directly.
“Simone Thatch. If you're at liberty to confirm, through some dealings we have received interesting intel regarding a Terran group that calls itself the ‘Children of Gaia’. Have you encountered them previously?” he inquires.
“Ah, uhm… I know about them. But that’s all I’m really willing to share at this time. What sort of dealings are you referring to exactly?” the Terran responds.
“Nothing nefarious, at least at the surface. We have traded for strange breeds of dogs, tracing their origins to that group. We suspect that they are these ‘pirates’ that invaded the Gratt homeworld. Would that be correct?” Zrreak presses, now looking back and forth between the Terran and Cali.
Chak sighs but nods.
“That would be correct.” she admits.
“Why hide that fact?” the ambassador asks.
“Well, there's a reason to. And I’m afraid we can’t share why, but rest assured their identity will be broadly revealed in due time. Soon, if we can help it, but we have to secure a few things first.” Chak explains, “Apologies for withholding information from you, but I ask that the Conglomerate not share intel of the group for the time being.” Chak requests.
“I can’t promise such, but if it’s in your interest to wait, then it is likely ours as well.” Zrreak grants, “But if we found what we have, others are likely to as well. So I hope whatever you are planning comes around soon, Princess.” he adds.
“As do I, and trust me I understand.” Chak says as she squeezes Simone’s hand once more, “They are our enemies and what we intend to do is to dismantle them.” she assures.
“Ah, I hope you don’t mind a single stop before arriving at your apartment. I have a gift that I wish to present to you.” Zrreak announces after he seems to have received a notification on his Lens.
“Oh, how kind of you. What manner of gift?” Chak inquires.
“One that in some small way may bolster your personal security.” the ambassador vaguely answered a bit coyly.
“Oh joy…” Simone says, unsure if they’d be able to comfortably take on another staff member on the Kwip-chap.

Soaring down into a tight one way entrance tunnel, the shuttle eventually comes to a latching stop before being lifted up into an unloading room.
“Come, step out. It’s being brought to us.” Zrreak instructs as he stands and strides out.
Preparing themselves to politely turn his offer down, Simone and Chak step out after him. Sonla on the other hand decided then would be a perfect time to raid the fancy meat snacks she’d been eyeing for most of the trip.
As the three stand just outside the shuttle in wait, it takes only a few minutes for a Z’ah’tuck to turn a corner and enter the room.
“Unfortunately I don’t think we’ll have room to properly accommodate-” Chak begins to say before feeling her legs freeze up in sudden numbness as a beast comes trailing behind the Z’ah’tuck.
Simone’s eye tufts lift in surprise as she looks upon what she initially mistakes as a damn hyena as it shares the rusty red-brown color, stripes and even a shallow mohawk of longer fur going down its back. Though its pitbull-esk face and body structure clues her in that it is indeed a dog.
The thickly muscled domestic canine assertively pats its clawed paws across the floor towards them, passing up the handler it stopped and politely sat ten feet away.
Bending down, Zrreak sets down his corgi which without hesitation stamps quickly over to the comparatively titanous brethren. Sniffing up and around his new friend the loaf of a dog ran a circle around the other unbothered canine before splaying forward in a ‘play’ pose in front of it. Before then running off as if to invite a chase.
“Her name is Zrume, meaning ‘Wall of fangs and talons’. She is only two years of age, but understands commands in Galactic standard and is perfectly trained to guard her charge with her life.” Zrreak introduced before notifying the uncertain fright in the Princess, “She is also trained to assist as an emotional support companion. She can provide more Service-oriented work, but that hasn’t been a primary focus of her training. I thought that may suit someone of your nature, Princess.” he added before addressing the dog directly. “Zrume, at ease.”
The dog’s ice-blue eyes spark with hyper excitement as she breaks her statue pose to spaz out before engaging in play with the corgi, sniffing him in return greeting after easily catching up.
“She isn’t the best I can offer, but I believe she’d be perfect for you. May she approach to meet you?” the ambassador inquires.
“Uhm…” Chak utters before looking up to Simone for an opinion.
Biting her cheek, the redhead gave a tentative nod back.
“Oh, alright.” the princess agrees.
“Zrume, come.” Zrreak instructs.
Turning away and all but ignoring the corgi again, Zrume approaches much closer to the three. Her circular blue eyes look up at the ambassador loyally, only taking side glances of the two women.
“Transfer.” the Z’ah’tuck commands as he points to Chak first and then to Simone.
The head of the dog looked up at Chak, its head pretty much as large as hers.
“D-do I pet her?” Chak inquires.
“Of course, though I strongly recommend that you limit her social interaction to a minimum when she’s on the job. When she’s off, tell her ‘at ease’ so she knows.” Zrreak answers with an amused but serious tone.
“O-okay… Hello… Zrume… uhm… at ease? At ease.” Chak says directly to the animal.
Zrume sinks her head slightly forward to gently press against between the Cali’s lower arms. Looking up with her crisp blues she starts to wag her tail and lightly stamps her front paws.
Chak’s racing hearts start to relax as a familiar admiration feeling rises up within her. Glancing up at Simone, she caught her inwardly biting her lips to resist the broad smile from breaking out.
Looking back at the dog, Chak lifts all of her limbs and begins scritching at the places that she saw these animals enjoy in the media. Behind the ears, under the chin and the sides of the thick neck.
Zrume closes her eyes as her tail aggressively pats against the floor like a happy baton. And Chak swears the dog’s closed mouth smiled, though that could have been a trick to the angle she is viewing her.
“What do you think?” the ambassador asks, seeming to already know the answer.
“She’s so sweet…” Chak replies in giggle, “I don’t think I can say no…”
“Then in that case, I’ll have her supplies loaded up for you.”
submitted by Demonicking101 to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 17:35 Fair-Spread-9360 # Listings has cratered: Part 2 -- Price has followed


Follow-up to this post:
8 days ago we saw the sell-supply crater for both collections.
When we saw this kind of event in the past, it was a bullish signal. Price surged very quickly. 30% on the same day.

Market Update:

We did see a surge this time too.
Over the past week, collection #1 is up 40% in terms of floor price. Collection #2 is up 15%.
While a significant drop in #listings continues to have meaningful and actionable signal, the move was much more muted than the 1st time around.
I bought a chunk of both, but mostly I bought Collection #2( which I am overall more bullish on), so I didn't play it optimally!


I gave three hypotheses for why listings cratered. Let's revisit:
  1. Inside information (such as Trump privately confirming he's returning to Twitter)
  2. Attempt at Market Manipulation
  3. Plumbing / technical / (ie not meaningful)
#1 was the most specific /concrete hypothesis, and the one I personally believed to be most likely.
And indeed, this news has now been confirmed. Trump is returning to Twitter!
(this was also something you could have predicted based on public information surrounding the dates of when Trump's contract with Truth Social came up for renewal)
Trump back on Twitter, more prevalent in the media and the headlines, the public perception = higher floor for Trumpcards. At least in theory.

Unrelated Note #1:

A rhetorical question: isn't inside information "unfair"? Something that benefits "the swamp" over ordinary people?
Kinda. Except that the insiders gave you the market signal, with plenty of time before it impacted price, and all you had to do was trade it!

Unrelated Note #2:

When Trump was president, he took action on trade policy based largely on the market response. When the market went up, Trump doubled down on whatever made the market go up. He took feedback from the market in this way.
I believe that Trump is using the price of Trumpcards for his feedback mechanism. He's not in office, so he can't use SPY, but he can make his own NFT which gauges "Trump sentiment". Trump will say stuff to make the cards go up.
For this reason, I am (vaguely) hopeful that Trump will hold off on releasing new collections, having seen the negative market response to his release of collection #2.

Unrelated Note #3:

Going forward, I continue to like Collection #2 a bit better than Collection #1 (and remember I've been wrong so far on this viewpoint).
My thinking is that since the floor is 5x smaller and still down from initial listing price (par value), that the upside is a lot higher. I also think the art is higher quality.
The counterargument: One thing I'm coming to understand about NFTs is that they're a status symbol with the main value that you can signal to others that you're rich. For that reason, NFTs with high floor prices tend to become more and more valuable, since they become more valuable from a wealth signaling perspective.
So perhaps Collection #1 is where the future price increases are going to come from.
I still like collection #2 a little more and continue to hold both.

Unrelated Note #4:

(don't crucify me for this)
Has anybody been able to trade these cards on Blur? Can you avoid the 10% creator fee this way?
submitted by Fair-Spread-9360 to TrumpTradingCards [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 17:34 Gargus-SCP Related Works - Wesley Dodds as The Sandman (Jan-Jul 1941): Troubled Sleep

After a 1940 defined by gathering strengths and refinement across the feature, the early months of 1941 bring a few troubling portents behind-the-scenes for Fox's affectionately termed Grainy Gladiator. Nothing ruinous in itself, but signs of an upcoming radical shift away from what the character represented to start.
For one, the April issue of Adventure Comics (#61) brings with it a new cover feature, Ted Knight AKA Starman, courtesy writer-artist Jack Burnley. Already the second lengthiest entry in the book at nine pages, Starman quickly managed what neither Sandman nor Hourman could during their respective years as star attractions and upgraded to a full thirteen pages by his third appearance in #63. For context, Sandman only went from six pages to ten with its upgrade, while Hourman has remained rockstaedy at eight pages, and neither took down another non-superhero supporting feature to justify the page increase like Starman did Barry O'Neil and Mark Lansing. Moreover, from Starman's second appearance on, he is only drawn by Burnley; writing duties now belong to the Sandman's own Gardner Fox.
Which loops in with two other issues at play over Wesley's tossing, turning figure. Starting with issue #61, available online sources no longer fully agree who wrote what for the Sandman feature. You must understand, outside superstar figures with major pull like the creators of Superman or Batman, very few creative teams are properly credited in these Golden Age comics - my credits the last few posts have all been crossreferenced across numerous wikis and databases who owe their credits to investigative work by fans like Jerry Bails back in the 1960s. Such work was sadly not exhaustive, and while a few places (like DC Continuity Project and Wikipedia) state or else imply Fox stayed on as writer for the next few issues, from June to November there is no consensus as to who penned the stories.
I shouldn't be surprised if Fox's involvement terminated with the March issue, for April also saw All-Star Comics shift its format slightly, with Fox writing all nine interior stories for the 64 page mag in addition to his duties on the longer Starman feature. Man would have to work double time to keep pace, even if Sandman didn't drop to eight pages with #62 in May. Either way, Fox is certainly gone following #64 in July, as that issue features the final story drawn by regular artist and co-creator Creig Flessel, who departs to work on Shining Knight later in the year. As I say, things are changing fast for Sandman, and not all changes seem necessarily for the better. Best, however, to take the stories on their own level before drawing any final conclusions!
Coverage note: This entry goes to July rather than June for the sake of my sanity. If I stopped midway through the year, I'd only need cover seven features here, but the back half of '41 would require coverage of eleven. A nine-nine split feels much more feasible.
Orchids of Doom - Gardner Fox, Creig Flessel, Chad Grothkopf
Once again, a socialite friend to Wes and Dian is at the center of a minor mystery with big implications - namely, how can Pedro Nogades, father to Carla, rightly claim he breeds otherwise purely wild orchids in captivity? Investigating as the Sandman, Wes and Dian find a dead man in the Nogades greenhouse with his head stripped to the bone, and in following another fellow who sniffed an orchid before promising a shipment of such to some ruffians on the bad side of town, see his own face dissolve to bare skull. A visit to the police chemist reveals the orchids on the dead men's persons were laced to release a deadly flesh-eating gas on exposure to natural air, which is enough probably cause for Wesley to enlist Carla's boyfriend Bill in staging a raid on the Nogades manor. Some close shaves and fisticuffs end with the group discovering a diorama of the local coast, laid out to assist enemy agents in an invasion. Pedro is put away and the orchids revealed as concealing microfilm copies of the coastal plans, but how do we square the mystery that started it all? Simple: Nogades was no botanist, and called the flower by the wrong name when concocting his cover story!
An alright yarn to kick of the calendar year. As per usual when Fox tries for a somewhat complicated mystery, he's no adequate means of tying off loose ends other than large blocks of text, but it's lively and keeps the situation evolving with decent justifications for mid-story action and dragging Bill along for further fisticuffs. Hooking the entire mystery on, "Oh, the bad guy misspoke," is a tad lame, if understandable in the context of Fox's passion for slipping general knowledge flexes into his stories. Flessel and Grothkopf get some good mileage out've the skull imagery that crops up whenever the flower kills, and I rather like the brief bout of fisticuffs towards the end. The minor social awkwardness when Bill gets in the car with Wes and Dian is pretty good too, and I'm sorry to report I can't add this story to the "Wesley getting shot" count, as the bad guy only plugs his hat. Kinda funny having a Golden Age Sandman story involving orchids given Neil's own pre-Sandman work with Black Orchid, innit?
The Story of the Flaming Ruby - Fox, Flessel, Grothkopf
There exists a ruby of blazing red, which has driven men to rage and madness wherever it appears, and today it sits in the hand of a young man in the local jeweler's shop, who flashes it cross Dian's vision. Later in the evening, she wakes in a trance consumed with the urge to kill her father, stopped only by Sandman as he rushes in from investigating a similarly queer case. A bank teller friend from his private life has found himself driven to steal from the vault and deliver it to some crooks on a lonely road every night, all after one of those men flashed him the ruby. Wes and Dian are unable to stop this night's transaction (on account of the ruby briefly turning Dian against Sandman), but seeing the gem in action gives Wes an idea on how to counteract its effects, and go into battle during the next drop armed with blue cobalt glasses. A brawl puts down all the blackmailers except one, but Wes opts instead to go after the head of the operation, knocking him out and lurking in the dark to catch the last as he reports in, revealing the bank teller! Turns out the ruby DOES have hypnotic properties and was used to assist their robberies, but the teller - hoping by playing at the victim to lure Sandman into his cohorts' midst and rub him out - spoke as if he remembered the whole experience, where Dian forgot herself on every exposure. Oops!
Same basic mystery structure and resolution type here as last month, complete with overly-wordy explanation, although I find the hook of pitting Dian and Wesley against one another gives it a minor leg up, as does the relatively straightforward nature of the criminal operation compared to planting microfilm in deadly flowers. There's a more even balance between the rush in bust 'em up style of crime-fighting the feature has developed and the stealthy skullduggery I think suits the character best, with nice action art to match each. Dian has some silly faces whenever she wakes from her hypnosis, and the four panel sequence of Wes halting her murder attempt works pretty well. This is, unfortunately, the final pencil-inking collaboration between Flessel and Grothkopf, and much as I've kvetched over the second man's solo work, I'm sorry to see the back of him in this capacity. When the two were in proper tune, they were the best artistic team Sandman enjoyed yet.
(Stop dodging bullets, I want to see you gunshot.)
Mystery at Malay Mac's - Fox, Grothkopf
Hey, a rare post-Hourman, pre-redesign cover appearance! That's always nice. "Hello, officer? Yeah, coupla chucklefucks right here, the alley off Fourth, can't miss 'em."
What's this? Dian breaking into a notorious criminal slumlord's safe in the bad part of town? A safe, as Wes discovers after he scares the lady off, filled to the brim with poison gas! Evidently not, as Dian is sound asleep when Wes arrives at Belmont manor to investigate, and a subsequent visit to Mister Mac reveals the only person who'd know the safe was booby-trapped is a local kidnapping organizer. Some blind, flailing fists turns up the girl, Dian's perfect duplicate, snatched from out of state to replace Dian and gain leverage over the cops. Too bad the kidnapper's made of strong stuff, knocking out Sandman and taking both woman for a ride to get back at Mac. Fortunately, Dian leaves Wes a trail of jewelry out the window, enabling him to follow and take down all the crooks with one throw of his gas pistol, revealing in the process 'twas Mac himself who tipped Dian's duplicate to his safe, in hopes of spoiling his rival's big plot.
Art-wise, this is probably Grothkopf's best work for Sandman to date. His tendency to exaggerate is translated into some properly goonish faces for the villains and really, really strong action poses, with some properly atmospheric shots sprinkled in for good measure. He cannot draw the gasmask for piss, but there's such an improvement I almost thought this was a Flessel joint before checking the wiki credits. Makes me wish we could see what he'd do if he kept on as a solo artist - free from the impulse to treat the feature as a cartoon, he produces damn fine work. As a story, this makes good time to mention my misgivings with Wesley's tendency to burst through windows and start swinging long before he thinks to use his sleeping gas. While it's great fun to describe and hype up as the mark of a madman who's even cooler as the badass normal than Batman, it also encourages a faster degradation in the character's identity. I'm sure you'll notice it's been yonks since lurking in the shadows and thinning the ranks by knocking them out in advance has factored into the stories. That Wes handles the bad guy by literally clonking him over the head with the gas gun rather than pulling the trigger speaks to the influence other, punchier superhero features have exerted over the strip.
The Menace of the Metal Gun - Fox?, Flessel
From aboard a mysterious aircraft, a madman fires upon the city with a metal-melting ray that dissolves the skyscrapers into slag! Alerted to Doctor Borloff's activities, Wesley meets with swift defeat when the rogue scientist melts his gas gun and escapes in his cylindercraft to terrorize afresh. There IS a bright side, as seeing the ray firsthand gives Wesley some idea how to counteract its effects, and he sends Dian and her father warning for the local airforce to coat their planes in sand as a silicate buffer against the ray. Alas, only one officer heeds his message, leaving Sandman alone to get aboard the machine via his new wirepoon gun and defeat Borloff from within. For his brawling process, a good midflight fight is nothing if the hero gets tossed out an open door, but fortunately he can grapple onto the lone surviving plane, recover his bearings, zip back up, and put a stop to Borloff's dreams of world conquest once and for all!
Action is the name of the game here, and even without Grothkopf's inking enhancements, I think Flessel does a fine job on his own. I'm wary of the wirepoon in the future, as by year's end it will completely replace the gas gun as Sandman's sidearm of choice in further drift from the original Christman concept, but taken as a neutral in its debut, giving Sandman greater aerial mobility does lead to some cool shots and enhance the sense Wes goes stark bananas in the mask by pulling some stunts that would almost certainly pull his arms from their sockets in real life. There are, however, some particularly stiff action shots, and in one panel Flessel cocks up the design on the mask worse than Grothkopf last ish. Based on the opening vignette, Borloff decimated millions of innocent lives in addition to all the planes he melted out of the sky, making him easily the deadliest foe Wes has faced to date, and in turn making the "We did it, gang, everything is bright and peachy again!" ending sorta offputting. They'll have to organize mass funerals tomorrow, Wes. Show a little respect.
For America and Democracy: The Grey Shirts - Fox, Grothkopf
In the top-level story, the JSA learn of their mission for the FBI: a group of Nazi insurgents known as the Grey Shirts are plotting subversive and destructive activities all across America, and are now posed to badly destabilize the nation in a series of disruptive attacks. Each is assigned a mission at critical points cross the nation, though given the widely-ranging disparity in their powers, their usefulness to the cause varies equally wildly. The Atom humiliates some goons spreading Nazi ideology at a single college, Hawkman barely prevents the destruction of an aviation plant in California, and Hourman's defense of an Oklahoma oil field ends with him toppling one of the oil towers to stop his quarry. Meanwhile, Green Lantern detonates a zeppelin secretly jamming radio transmissions nationwide, the Spectre casually annihilates some otherworldly vampiric globes sympathetic to Hitler's cause, and Doctor Fate uses his magic to out every single spy on the eastern seaboard. Uneven efforts or not, the group converge on the Grey Shirts' ringleader, and with a little help from Johnny Thunder, turn him over to good ol' J. Edgar Hoover's custody. Alas, Wesley does not get the blood he's thirsting after.
(Also Doctor Fate alerts Wesley to the identity and location of the ringleader before his mission starts rather than letting him figure it out on his own like everyone else. Prick.)
For his six-page leg of the assignment, the Sandman is off to El Paso, Texas to assist a local newspaper under threat from the Grey Shirts for printing pro-democracy and anti-Hitler editorials. Of course, this being Wesley Dodds on the job, he gets this information by roughing his way into the newspaper offices, then acts on it by beating on the guard at the Grey Shirts' camp and pounding down a band of brainwashed young men to prove he's a better American than them. After sending the wannabe Nazis for a whirl by running their bomb shipment off the road, Wesley doubles back to completely break the recruits' spirits, daring them to prove their hard enough by shooting an unarmed man in Hitler's name, chiefly himself. When none can cut the mustard, he marches them back into town with collars strapped to his car, and inspires the lot to join the Army to a few shirtless bars of "God Bless America."
Cripes but jingoism produces some heady results, doesn't it? I'm not sure I can rightly condone the ridiculous levels of patriotism on display here, even against such classically anti-American enemies as Nazis, yet at the same time, look at this and tell me it isn't the hardest shit you'll see all week. Again, though I've my misgivings about Wes as a brawler no matter how entertaining the results prove, there's something endearing about him being so raring for a fight his first move is to altercate the receptionist at the place he's assigned to defend. On the whole, Grothkopf's final Sandman contribution also shows refinement from his earlier works, the broader, thicker elements of his linework now tempers on a somewhat more grounded approach. Certainly the Sandman himself keeps a consistent look better than he does in any other issue published thus far this year. I DO notice he reused Flessel's design for the District Attorney wholesale on the newspaper publisher. Since he's going and heading out on a job well done, let's not hold it against him, eh?
The Purple Death Ray - Fox?, Flessel
At the nightly planetarium show, a member of the audience screams and falls down dead, stricken by a litany of strange symptoms with no obvious cause. Wesley, believing the man was killed by a death ray, examines the auditorium's projector, only to find no obvious alterations or fault. Undeterred, he purchases himself a seat next to the murdered man's for the next show, which is now occupied by another fellow who received a last-second courtesy invitation. Acting quickly, the Sandman reexamines the projector from the shadows and finds a replacement bulb screwed into the socket pointed directly at the man's chair. With assistance from his wirepoon, Sandman swings down and wrenches the man from his seat just as the show starts, the bulb bathing his seat in deadly radiation. On learning the man is a former judge and the deceased a former DA, it's not long before Wes ferrets out the killer; it's the cashier, a former scientist sent to jail for misappropriating university funds years ago, out for revenge and now stopped cold.
See, while I'm skeptical about the growing presence of science-fiction elements in the series, they make fine fodder when they play to Sandman's strengths. Lurking high above a crowd of people seeking the answer to some deadly mystery is exactly Wes' bag, and plus or minus some strange mask drawings, Flessel captures that thrill of closely examining a big deadly machine in secret before it fires. I'd submit the page where Sandman saves the judge from the beam as an easy contender for best of the year thus far, and the shot where [Wes pushes Dian away from the killer's bullet](blob:https://imgur.com/7247f414-8a57-489f-a9bd-d85bc9e19a6a) is another fine piece of work. My memories of this one before sitting down to reread and write were a lot chillier, probably because I wish the series remained in crime pulp rather than raygun pulp, but a good outcome is a good outcome. Seriously, though, why is the mask going so bobble-eyed of late?
The Voodoo Sorcerer - ???, Flessel
As Dian and Wesley tiff over his interest in an exotic dancer they know through a mutual friend, the woman's tail-lashing dance is interrupted when she sees a great glowing triangle materialize before her eyes. With the shock straining her bad heart, the Sandman brings her to boyfriend's house, where he reveals the triangle is a voodoo witch doctor's means of accusing someone of murder - just as news comes over the wire that the man the woman lashed with her costume tail has died! Smelling a rat, Wes rushes to the scene of the crime to find the taile barbed with poison quills, only for the titular sorcerer to bumrush him out the window. It's a big misunderstanding, thankfully: he's as shocked by the murder as Sandman, and only summoned the triangle on suggestion from an acquaintance, forgetting the dancer would know its significance through her partner. By happiest coincidence, this provides Wesley the solution to the mystery right quick, for only his friend's chauffeur would have motive, opportunity, and knowledge to frame his employers and their associates for the murder of a stock broker who owed them money.
Hmm, ah, see, on the one hand, it IS nice that the voodoo guy is innocent of everything except a lapse in judgement and the real twist is an unassuming little man exploiting the mystery and fears around his craft to cast suspicion off his person. On the other hand, eek, yike, zoinks! None good. Bad, even. Outside unfortunate depictions of non-white persons from the 1940s, the story's pretty weak for a murder mystery, as numerous elements are evidently known to the characters well in advance, yet only made clear to the reader right before they become relevant, like the exact identity of the murdered man. It's only eight pages, so there's little opportunity to piece information together on your own time, and as such it is heavily reliant on narrative cheats to generate cheap surprise. About the best thing here is the big page-dominating panel of Wesley swinging through the city on his wirepoon, unconscious woman tucked under arm. Kinda hard to convincingly raise my dander about what it means for the character and his feature when it's successfully operating on the long-standing principle of "masked mystery men swinging on a wire through skyscrapers looks really cool." S'like a solid fifth of the formula behind why Spider-Man is so enduringly popular.
(Also not a big fan of how Wes dismisses Dian from participating in the case without any adequate reason why. She calls him out over it, even, and nothing in the story justifies his decision to fly solo on this one.)
The Unseen Man - ???, Flessel
Dian's purchase of paints from a local hobby shop includes quite the unusual accidental item: a paint that turns anything and everything invisible on contact. Determined to solve this mystery on her own, Dian investigates the shop with the dealer's cooperation, only for the dread Unseen Man to get the drop on her. Fortunately, Sandman is there to save her because he won't let Dian do anything on her own; unfortunately, Dian doesn't know Wes can see her attacker through his blue cobalt lenses and pulls him away, thinking him mad and letting the Unseen Man go free. As reward for her screw up, she's targeted in her home the next night, only for Wes to barge in again, having anticipated the only possible secret identity for the crook would make him likely to strike back at Dian. It is, unsurprisingly, the hobby shop owner, who Wes turns over to the police before heading out to patent his invisibility paint with the United States Army.
Alright, it's definitely not Gardner Fox writing anymore, because I cannot imagine Fox treating Dian so poorly. I gave her some dignity in summary, but this story is plain dumping all over her as a fussy, incompetent tryhard who fails at investigating on her own on account her womanly ways. Just look at the sheer antagonism between her and Wes; you two are partners, she's saved Sandman's skin like a dozen times, worn his costume and wielded his gas gun to do it once, even! Don't try to BS me into thinking Wes would run this paternalist "let me handle it, Dian, I wear the pants in this relationship" crap on her. You're only alive because she's worn your fucking pants. Otherwise, 'nother instance where the story and art alike don't give me much of note. I reckon Flessel was about done with the series with Fox gone and sorta phoned in his last few assignments. They're nowhere near the standard of his early solo artistic duties on the title. There IS another good wirepoon swinging shot, if one counterbalanced by a crummier instance with yet another weirdly-proportioned mask.
The Mysterious Mr. X: The Kidnapper's Union - Fox, Cliff Young
The Justice Society are bored. Bored, bored, bored. Why are they bored? There is no crime. Not a single ruffian or scoundrel or roughneck lawbreaker anywhere in the city! Where did crime go? Crime has taken an enforced vacation, courtesy the plans of big crime boss Mister X (hats off), as prelude to his big plans for taking out the JSA and putting all his criminal enterprises back on easy street. It's quite the collection of rackets out against the superheroes - an arsonist ring for Flash, a jewel snatching gang for Hawkman, leader of the phony fortune teller underworld against Doctor Fate, even hard-pressing gym membership shakedowns for the Atom! Naturally our heroes triumph, though every one also encounters a strange little man idly strolling through their battlegrounds. He's so omnipresent despite his mousiness, he's even there when they convene at the police station to organize Mister X's (hats off) arrest. Except this unassuming slip of a man? He IS Mister X (hats off), and with the Justice Society having taken all the fun out've crime, he's turning himself in to live comfortably on the state's dollar in jail. WHOOPSY-DOODLE!
For his six-page part in the game, Sandman must contend against the kidnapper's union, who naturally enough have abducted Dian to get his attention. Not only have these lowlives taken Dian hostage (though she doesn't particularly mind), they've taken out phony accident insurance claims against themselves should the hero injure any of them en route to his untimely death! Nobody quite expects Wes to avoid the sniper-guarded roads to their remote hilltop hideout, though, and a quick wirepoon swing over the canyon (complete with Mister X - hats off - sighting) puts him right in the criminal den. From there, it's a simple biff wham boom to take down the punks and disarm their supporting fire. Alas, Sandman is once again only in the loop on the true nature of the threat against the JSA because someone notifies him from their own investigation, this time Flash via telegram. Let him do his own detective work, you pricks!
Right. You see these panels? You see Dian being calm and collected in the midst of a kidnapping operation? You see Wes trusting her with a submachine gun to keep watch on the fools who mean them harm? Yeah, THAT'S Fox writing Dian. Whoever's writing the Adventure feature at this time ought've taken notes. Artistically, Young makes a fine replacement for Grothkopf and Flessel in Adventure - he can match the first for goons, the second for action, manages a nice turnaround effect before Wes swings on his wirepoon, and even gives us a by-now all-too-rare heavy shadow shot on Wes and Dian. I'm a big fan of the lead kidnapper who calls the JSA the "Justiss Sassiety," and find this instance of Mister X (hats off) the second best in the book, behind only his appearance in the Hourman story, which I think speaks for itself. Probably the only time I'll express preference for something Hourman related over Sandman.
The loss of all three major contributors to the Sandman feature across early 1941 and the crunch down to eight pages has certainly made the Adventure Comics side of the Sandman line a rockier experience. It's still possible to derive enjoyment from the wonky mysteries and higher-concept criminals, but one must accept atmosphere and and particularity have been near-entirely sacrificed for generalized bombast and louder appeal. Don't misunderstand, I've become a fan of Wesley Dodds, Fist-Swinging Bullet Sponge, and my past praises for him aren't diminished by the realization of what this has done to his integrity as a character circa today's stopping point. The trouble is, while I enjoy this half-mad, impossibly reckless read on the character, it simply no longer bears any resemblance to the early days' lurking and creeping through the seedier parts of town. There's a great series of justifications running through the Sandman concept - he's no powers, so he uses the gas gun, so he needs the gas mask, which hides his identity so perfectly it frees him to wear the ordinary business suit, which highlights his vulnerability. Fling him around like a ragdoll who knows no fear of injury or death, although I'll clap for the bravado of it all, I must object if it means any notion he should be sneaky or cautious degrades.
Especially if it means the gas gun vanishes from the character. It hasn't met its final end just yet, but for this seven month block it's proven a very perfunctory aspect of the strip, hung by his side and occasionally brandished without acting as an integral part of the action or storytelling. The wirepoon has subsumed its function as the sidearm, and while I must stress there are plenty aces shots of Wes swinging that fully justify its prominence, taking precedence over the thing that makes him the Sandman, Crimefighter What Fights Crime By Putting The Criminals To Sleep plain rubs me the wrong way. Be awful nice i we could have both without the new toy putting the old out to pasture, y'know? It's not led to anything I'd full-throatedly object over just yet, but... ach, you'll see next time. Speaking of...
Next time! 1941 comes to a close as Wesley picks up another feature to his name, and also a stupid, ugly new costume!
(Previous write-ups: 1939, 1940 pt 1, 1940 pt 2)
submitted by Gargus-SCP to Sandman [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 17:28 ScruffyGaymer Tips for being quippy at an openly hostile work environment without getting fired?

TL;DR - I work as a casino dealer in the south and my job is very confrontational. I’m a stocky, softhearted ‘feminine’ guy that dreads confrontation. But I’m sick of the comments and harassment, so I want to learn how to bite back without losing my job.
Me - 5’8”, 230 lbs, hairy and bearded, but I have a soft personality and I do things that are traditionally ‘femme’, like spraying myself with rose perfume, focusing on my appearance at work, and wearing my my hair in high pig tails.
Being a dealer is already exhausting. Constant counting, following a bazillion rules, keeping a steady pace, watching for cheaters, and quick mental math while people are berating you, slamming the table, and occasionally throwing things at you.
“You asshole! I bet you get off on taking my money!”
“You’re a thief! You took money you weren’t supposed to!”
“You have a really shitty personality.”
Then you also get the anti-gay comments like ‘I lost all my money because you, a man, are talking about doing yoga and learning how to do the splits. Nobody wants to hear about that shit! It’s gross!’ Or ‘I’d suck your dick if I was gay.’ Or the weird gayness of straight men with these major ‘no homo’ vibes as they’re literally touching each others dicks at the table and then bragging about it to other players. That last line was just a personal vent. It’s weird. 😐
But then come the coworkers. I work with my very straight-presenting partner and we are openly a couple, so some of the comments/questions are based in ignorance (‘so are you the woman in your relationship?’). Others are more inappropriate. I have gone to HR some because they say things like ‘Do you want to go naked fishing with me?’ or ‘I have a hard 10 you can hold’ and then literally pressing his hands around his bulge to accentuate the shape of his penis. At work. While we were clocked in. Walking to our craps table. Both of them are straight, btw. They just think the commentary is funny because we’re ‘work bros’.
I’m a non-confrontational person but I have HAD IT. OFFICIALLY. So my friends are trying to encourage me to release the diva on these people. I’m working on it, like one guy playfully called me a mother fcker and I flipped my hair and said ‘it you’re gonna insult me, do it right. It’s father fcker, duh.’ Which got a laugh because the vibes were good. But when someone is being nasty and disrespectful, I just wanna go off and be like ‘Your hair looks stupid, you have terrible breath, you lost all your money, and your spouse is sleeping with one of my coworkers. So now what, bitch? You wanna catch these hands?’ 🫵🏼💪🏼👊🏼 And like…I wanna keep my job.
So, can you give me advice on how to read a bitch but not lose my job? Improv classes, maybe? Are there insult classes or wit classes? I am sick of these conservative southern people. If they can’t handle my shine, they can buy some god damn sunglasses.
EDIT: I love my job. I don’t want to quit. I just want to have a stronger personality to engage with these people.
submitted by ScruffyGaymer to gaybros [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 17:25 ItsDumi [SOUL STEALER] Chapter 6 - Canyon City (Pt. 4)

The man in the apron steps beside the bald guy that Kita assumes is the boss. He keeps asking about some guy named Chevo- they seem certain that Kita is one of his assassins or some bullshit. She still feels weak, dizzy and in pain, but she can gather her thoughts again. She's aware of the situation at hand. A few moments ago she tried to cast the consume spell she'd used in the tent but her body is too fragile to pull any spells off right now. Even if she could get out of this room, she doesn't have enough souls to take on everyone. Her body is too exposed for the brief moment that she casts a spell, and something tells her she can't cast her shield at the same time.
Maybe she's better off dying again. Resetting the whole thing or however it works. Will she wake up in the tipi again? Or six feet under- buried because these trolls think she's actually dead. It might not be worth finding out.
"Get her talking," The bald man says, stepping to the opposite end of the room to lean against the wall.
The man in the apron steps in front of Kita with a wrench in his hand. This isn't going to be fun. They don't believe a word she says, will they take it easier on her if she just pretends to be with this Chevo guy's crew? Surely that'll just get her killed.
He places Kita's right-hand pinky finger between the wrench and rotates a knob to get a firm grip. His deep voice whispers calmly at Kita, "What were you doing in the tent?"
"Are you supposed to be the trustworthy one?" Kita chuckles to herself at their contrasting tones of voice.
"Wrong answer. What were you doing in the tent?" His voice is stern. Unwavering. Making him all the more intimidating. He's definitely the experienced interrogator.
"Consuming souls," Kita answers, looking into the man's eye without flinching. Wondering if he will see the truth in her words.
He slowly shakes his head in disappointment, "Wrong answers,"
There's a loud, snapping sound that sends a jolt of shock through Kita's body before a sharp pain explodes through her hand and arm. Her eyes glance down as she bites her lip trying to withstand the sudden pain, but the sight of her crooked pinky finger forces a gutwrenching scream from her lips. Her anguished bellow reverberates throughout the small room, giving the spectating, bald man a reason to break his character with a smile.
She can't help the tear that streams down her eye as a reaction to the agony in her hand. She can't look at it again, or it'll hurt. Her body shudders as she realizes these guys can't discern lies and truth.
"I only ask once now… What were you doing in the tent?" The man says, tightening the wrench around her ring finger.
"I just told you, asshole!"
"Wrong answers," He says before looking down at her hand.
"Ok, okay!" Her body jerks in fear, trying to pull her hand away, but to no avail. "I was there to steal coin,"
"Only five pouches?" The man asks, unconvinced by her answer. "We found over one hundred in the chest,"
"T-that's all I needed," She stutters, barely getting her words out as she looks into the man's doubt-filled eyes.
There's no response from the man, but the searing pain bursts in her hand once again the moment she hears a loud crack.
"Aaaah!" Kita cries with all of her breath, shaking her body in an attempt to escape the man.
The rattling of her cuffs is the voice of her fear. She wants to run. Her body's in flight but it's chained down. Restrained to the tracks.
"What were you doing in the tent?" The interrogator asks again. Still unbothered, and with no semblance of expression on his face as he aligns the wrench to her middle finger.
The souls still surge within her body, her only hope of escape. And she's still too weak to use it. She's screaming in her mind for her fingers to heal. For the pain to diminish at the very least, but she's achieved nothing in the process.
Her back is against the wall here. Hopelessness slowly converts to rage as she understands there's no correct response to this godforsaken question.
She grinds her teeth and looks at the interrogator with her blackened, cold eyes. Projecting as much hate through her glare as she can. "I killed your fucking friends," She nervously chuckles at the pain she expects to follow, doubling down on her stance. "They screamed for their lives when I took them,"
She notices the man's expression tilting to one of frustration at Kita's words- A pain point.
"You knew one of them," Kita smiles, knowing that she's not the only one experiencing pain at this moment. "Which one was it, huh? The big guy? The scrawny kid, or one of the girls?"
She wants to share it. To relieve the burden of this suffering. "Your friend died like a fucking cowar-"
Her middle finger crunches. And she falls silent as her breathing stutters about. No screaming this time. It was too sudden.
Another tear falls from her eye as it twitches to the pain numbing her hand. She can't bear to look. She won't. She holds her watery eyes in contact with the interrogator's face as she feels the wrench clamping around her index finger.
"How did Chevo know about the job?" His face has returned to the blank stare it was before.
He's moved on to the next question. Her response wasn't anything they didn't already know. Was this the truth he was seeking? Not a truth of words, but a truth of character.
Her body's returning to flight as she comes to understand the man's method. Her hand hurts so much. The outcome of any response she could muster up has her in fear- She'd rather not answer. But they're back to this Chevo guy she has no idea about. Telling them she doesn't know who that is won't do. At best, she can pretend she doesn't associate with the man anymore.
"Fuck Chevo," She half-heartedly scoffs as another tear escapes from her eyelid. "I haven't worked for him in over thirty rotations,"
"Then how did you know about the job?"
"I stole a tipoff from his informant. Something about a fifty-rotation raid you had planned,"
"And your goal was to interrupt us?" The guy says with a curious look on his face.
"I just needed some coin... So, I improvised,"
"And you're no longer part of Chevo's crew?"
"I never really was," Her breath stammers with worry, "Just did a few jobs for some coin,"
The interrogator squints his eyes as he reads Kita one more time. He comes to some sort of a conclusion before loosening the wrench around her index finger and walking over to the boss- Whispering something in his ear.
Kita releases a deep exhale, and all the tension in her body quickly dissipates presuming the torture is over. Her head slowly lowers to look at her hand and the sight of her three mangled fingers sends a sickening taste down her throat. The pain has her gagging. But she holds it down.
The boss steps forward and leans in towards Kita's face again. Blowing a Bloom of smoke around her. "I'm going to give you two options," he says, raising his hand with two fingers pointing up.
"One, you work for me and I forget this whole thing ever happened. Or two, I kill you, and put your body someplace no one will ever find it."
He stands back up and walks to the front door, this time opening it to leave the room. But he pauses before he leaves. "I'll give you a few hours to make up your mind. Put her in a cell,"
Three goons enter the room after the bald man leaves, two of whom step at either side of Kita and start undoing the cuffs around her arms and legs. Then heaving her out of her chair- Every twitch and shuffle of her body sends more pain to her hand. She still wants to fight back, but her body can barely support its own weight. She wouldn't be able to move if it wasn't for these guys moving her.
They drag her down the hall to a few flights of stairs before arriving in a basement-like hall with three big cells against three of its four walls. A leaking ceiling creates several puddles. A pungent odour permanently wreaking. And a few dying lightbulbs all contribute to this grim, prison-like atmosphere.
Rusty steel bars shape the large cages built to hold a lot of people, but there aren't many in them right now. She'd count, but she's so tired. Her eyes are heavy and she honestly just wants to sleep through this pain.
A cage door creaks open before Kita feels her body crash to the floor. She squirms as her sideways view of the guards walking away and closing the cage is her cue to lose consciousness.
Read ahead on RoyalRoad https://www.royalroad.com/fiction/68702/soul-stealer-anti-hero-reincarnation-fantasy
Kita's thoughts - Post Chapter 6
submitted by ItsDumi to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 17:24 MisterFreddo Kiss Of Death is terrible ( Spoilers )

Vic is not a compelling LI. I could not give two shits about him or the whole Gunner V Flint storyline. I can't even remember the last time we saw Nadia, who I'm pretty sure is the main villain. It's just endless chasing after Vic, a tease of a dangerous situation and then a huge letdown.
The chapters are absurdly short, there is always cheap drama to draw away from the lack of a coherent plot. The ' plot ' is consistently put on the backburner in favour of more rubbish with Vic.
Roy's death could have been an impactful moment, despite the fact you could see it coming a mile off. But no, the chapter is dedicated to more unnecessary drama with Vic and Roy's death is forgotten. The MC is incompetent ( unless you pay diamonds ) and it's again a fish out of water type story. We lack any emotional connection to the brother and the parents have become a mere afterthought recently.
The book could have been excellent if it was actually written with MC leading an insanely powerful crime family, but instead we got a hollow shell of that, a pathetic excuse for a book. I have no clue how many chapters it has but I am only playing it because nothing else seems better.
And I say this all as someone who has been fairly defensive of PB's actions and someone who thinks that they released some great books last year. But this one needs to be quickly swept under the rug. Knowing PB, it'll get a sequel.
submitted by MisterFreddo to Choices [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 17:20 Ilja003 Brutal honesty about Bryan Trailer

I was excited for a quick second. We all knew we are gonna see a Bryan trailer this weekend. So its actually not that suprising. I went to YouTube after i woke up, scrolled a little than saw the thumbnail of Bryan and i was like: "Oh, it happened". Save for later - Kept scrolling
This is the first time ever where I reacted like this to a Tekken Trailer since the T7 announcement back at Evo 2014.
Idk if its because of the fact it got leaked, or I dont care about Bryan or if I find his design just boring. Since Bryan had the potential to have a crazy design in T8, I was actually excited to see it. But its literally the same with little changes. The 4Chan leaks back in 2021 even sounded better with that eye loss and robotic parts beeing exposed sounded much cooler and more fitting. But the robotic eye detail in the trailer and the rivalry with Paul was a nice touch. And the announcer nailed it again!
Overall i found the trailer mostly uninteresting. Especially the bad lighting is sending me off everytime when a Rage Art is launched where the background becomes blueish/redish. But I get it it's still in development and I have some hope. I mean look at the difference we got from T7 -> T7 FR within a year.
Or maybe all thats just because we are able to watch it only in 1080p because theres no official trailer from BNE with their 4k trailers out yet. It would be nice if this was a trick and they gonna surprise us with a second trailer later.
Otherwise Its really the time to show off something else. New Characters/Stages/Costumes, Game Modes, Release Dates, … These character trailers are too predictable and are less exciting.
But I must say. Those trailers are very exciting when the characters get an unique T8 design such as Jin, Law, Paul, Jack-8, Nina, Jun and Hwoarang. They just look so different and it fits the theme which made the whole thing more interesting.
What about you?
submitted by Ilja003 to Tekken [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 17:20 DirkPitt106 New to audiodramas, looking for suggestions

Hi! As a kid I was interested in radio plays as a medium, and listened to a few on a Sirius station that hosted them. I always thought "why don't people still play these sorts of things on FM?" Well, I didn't realize that a lot of modern ones were being released as podcasts. My only exposure to podcasts previously was the talk radio style ones like good mythical morning ect. and those didn't really interest me so I kind of ignored the whole podcast medium for the past 15 years.
So now I'm here and I have realized I have been generally mistaken about podcasts, and I'm looking for recommendations. I am interested in episodic or serialized stories in the fantasy, horror, scifi, and mystery genres. A lot of my interests are going to be related to ttrpgs, but at this time I don't have any intrest in listening to "gameplay" podcast and am more interested in audio dramas that are scripted.
To give an example of something I have listened to recently, the HP Lovecraft society's radio play adaptation of the Masks of Nyarlathotep call of cthulhu campaign.
I have seen people mention Wolf 359 and that's something on my radar to listen to. I have listened to some of welcome to Night Vale, and I wasn't really a fan.
Im looking forward to any recommendations that you guys have, I am very quickly running out of audiobooks to listen to at work and hope this will give me something new to entertain me!
submitted by DirkPitt106 to audiodrama [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 17:11 Thatannoyingturtle Imagine this

As you bullsharks can survive in freshwater and sometimes make their way up the Mississippi. So what if a small group of bullsharks decided to stay in the Mississippi River.
At first I imagine they would mostly stay around the beginning of the River in Louisiana but eventually they start moving inland and grow a preference for fresh water. Then they split into a new species and spread throughout the interior of America. Since rivers and lakes are a lot more isolating than the open ocean speciation happens a lot more quickly with different sharks adapting to different environments. Maybe some will stay at the top of the food chain while others get shoved below.
submitted by Thatannoyingturtle to SpeculativeEvolution [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 17:09 Korat_Sutac [WTS] Stocks and Grips: HK G3K PDW Collapsible Stock, B&T MP5 Collapsible Stock, IMI Folding Stock, Magpul, JMAC, Sig Folding Hinge, etc. -- $75

Timestamp: https://imgur.com/a/lbfCYuf
Looking to move some stocks and stock parts along with foregrips, pistol grips and rail covers today. As always, available payment methods are PayPal G&S (buyer adds for fees) and proxy. Shipping is included in price, no trades.
Images: https://imgur.com/a/IaPawTd
1) HK Collapsible G3 PDW Stock: New. Original HK German-made collapsible stock for G3-series rifles. Modified professionally by HKParts to function with PDW-length guns including the PTR 51P PDWR and the HK51. Never installed or fired. -- $600
2) B&T Collapsible MP5 Stock: Excellent condition. 5-position, collapsible, quick-deploy stock for full-size MP5 and clones. Purchased directly from B&T in late 2021. No wobble whatsoever, locks up rock solid. -- $400
3) IMI Folding Micro Galil Stock: Factory folding stock for Galil-type hinges. Surplus condition but overall very good shape. Includes retaining pin, no wobble when installed. -- $150
4) Mesa Tactical LEO 870 Buffer Tube Adapter: Adapts any Remington 870 to accept an AR pistol grip and buffer tube. Very minor wear. Includes all original hardware and Magpul K2 grip hand-trimmed to fit adapter. -- $50
5) JMAC Buffer Tube Bar: Acts as a buffer tube for any standard AR stock but is compatible with Sig-type folding mechanisms. Like new, installed and fired once. -- $75
6) Forward Controls Design Buffer Tube: Minor wear from one installation, never fired. FDE color. Standard, number-marked buffer tube from FCD. -- $50
7) Sig Folding Mechanism: Like new, installed and fired once. Compatible with 1913 rails and Sig-type stocks. Locks up rock-solid, no wobble at all. -- $100
8) Adder Arms Buffer Tube to 1913 Adapter: Minor wear, installed and fired once. Adapts any standard buffer tube thread to a 1913 rail, for use with the Sig folding mechanism above or other 1913 folders. -- $35
submitted by Korat_Sutac to GunAccessoriesForSale [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 17:02 PurpleSolitudes Best VR Headset in USA Available on Amazon

Best VR Headset in USA Available on Amazon
Virtual Reality (VR) has become increasingly popular over the past few years, and for good reason. VR technology allows users to immerse themselves in virtual environments and experiences in a way that was previously impossible. One of the key components of any VR system is the headset. In this context, having the best VR headset available makes a world of difference. Here are some of the main reasons why having the best VR headset matters:
  1. Immersive Experience: A high-quality VR headset provides an immersive experience that can transport you to another world. Whether you are exploring a new city or fighting off aliens in space, the level of immersion that a great VR headset can provide is unparalleled.
  2. High-Quality Graphics: The best VR headsets on the market today offer high-resolution displays that provide crisp, clear visuals. This is essential for creating a truly immersive experience, as lower quality graphics can detract from the overall experience.
  3. Comfortable Design: A comfortable VR headset is essential for enjoying extended periods of use. The best VR headsets are designed with ergonomics in mind, providing a comfortable fit that reduces strain on the neck and eyes.
  4. Precise Motion Tracking: Accurate motion tracking is crucial for creating a seamless VR experience. The best VR headsets use advanced sensors and algorithms to track your movements with precision, allowing for precise control in virtual environments.
  5. Versatility: Some of the best VR headsets can be used wirelessly or with a PC, offering a greater range of options for users. This versatility allows for greater flexibility in how the headset is used and what types of experiences it can offer.

Meta Quest 2 — Advanced All-In-One Virtual Reality Headset

Meta Quest 2 is a next-generation all-in-one virtual reality headset that has taken the VR world by storm. Meta, formerly known as Facebook Reality Labs, has made some significant improvements to its already impressive Oculus Quest 2 headset, which makes the Meta Quest 2 stand out from its predecessor. In this review, we’ll dive into the features and capabilities of the Meta Quest 2
Read More

Oculus Quest All-in-one VR Gaming Headset

Virtual reality (VR) has come a long way in the last few years, with companies like Oculus pushing the boundaries of what we thought was possible. The Oculus Quest All-in-one VR Gaming Headset is no exception. This headset provides an immersive and interactive gaming experience that truly transports you to another world. In this review, we will be discussing Read More

Oculus Rift S PC-Powered VR Gaming Headset

VR is no longer a futuristic concept, but a reality that has revolutionized the gaming industry. Oculus Rift S PC-Powered VR Gaming Headset is one of the leading virtual reality headsets in the market, designed to immerse gamers into a digital world of their choice. Released by Facebook-owned Oculus in 2019, Oculus Rift S has quickly become a favorite among gamers who want an affordable, high-quality VR experience. In this review, we will take an in-depth look at the features and performance of the Oculus Rift S headset. Read More

Oculus Go Standalone Virtual Reality Headset

Oculus Go standalone VR headset has been around for a while now, and it's still one of the most popular choices for those looking to experience virtual reality without the need for a high-end PC or console. The device promises to deliver an immersive, comfortable, and affordable VR experience that is accessible to everyone. Read More

Sony PlayStation VR

Sony PlayStation VR is one of the most popular virtual reality headsets on the market. It offers an immersive and exciting gaming experience that transports players into their favorite games like never before. In this review, we'll take a closer look at the specs, design and comfort, controllers, battery life, software, and games offered by the Sony PlayStation VR. Read More
submitted by PurpleSolitudes to gamingshopus [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 16:44 toresman "Wasteland Jazz Hits" Album by Magnolia from Boston.

Was released and sold as the first post-war album on holotapes. The album quickly became a best seller. The author herself transferred 50% of the profits to charity.
The Third Rail had become a renowned bar to which many a travellers were stopping by, the Goodneighbor profited immensely from the newly gained renown.
The interest in music made the previously "combat zone" into a music theatre which it once was. People could come on the stage and try their luck in singing and forge themselves a name in Boston.
submitted by toresman to MinutemanAF4 [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 16:40 NJNP6 Magearna Will Be Generational - Which set will be the best though?

Magearna Will Be Generational - Which set will be the best though?
Hey Guys, it’s your boi OU Councilmen NJNP. As most of you know Magearna will be in OU tomorrow once Pokemon Home is released to the public. I’m looking forward to seeing this Pokémon in OU personally and seeing how effective it will be. There are so many different and new Magearna sets with the addition of moves like specs and items like eject pack. I’ve listed out 6 sets I feel will be effective in the OU metagame at the start but I’m sure things will evolve as I didn’t even list every single possible viable set….lol. I feel personally that’s the main concern with magearna not only is it a dangerous sweeper but there are so many possible sets and variations you have to account for in the team builder which may be very overwhelming. Been testing magearna a lot with members of my server and its had some pretty mixed results. Can’t wait to see it on the ladder!
Are you guys excited for Magearna in OU?
What set do you think will be the best and which are you more excited to see?
Will Magearna be quick banned or will magearna be suspected?
Let me know!
Magearna Test Game Replays:
submitted by NJNP6 to stunfisk [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 16:40 Used_Delivery_2668 Should I focus on working at niteflirt or taco bell?

I've been making a little less 2k with phone sex operator work I am getting bad reviews I don't care about these guys needs like I should. And I really am working seemingly the ones I just yell at men call them cunt bitch and pussy those are the only listings I get 5 stars and I have bad reviews there too. If I turn it around I'm pretty sure I could make 4000 I need a set schedule regular group messaging and knowledge on all the fetishes not a behavior of not caring and hanging up on people etc....

So I used to work at taco Bell I got treated like really badly. My mom worked there and said they would talk about me behind my back and were like high school kids. These people were just hostile. And it got worse around the holidays. Which is why I ended up quitting. Okay so at first like I worked part-time. And I noticed there were problems but I only work there like maybe three days a week. So I didn't care. Now the amount of money that I made was like much less than phone sex operating. I make like 2000 not giving a darn about what the men want or anything. I just keep the phone on the line most of the day. I should make about 4 to 500 a week. At the old Taco bell. I made like a thousand. a month. So obviously I only make like half the amount I make and phone sex operating and I feel like phone sucks operating is more of a career for me. Considering if I cared a little bit more I could probably make like 5,000 a month. So I mean I could live very comfortably. I mean plenty of people have careers and make $60,000 a year. And if you think of it phone sex operating it's kind of like that. Because the average earner on night flirt is specifically 47,000 a year. If I was to care a little bit more about my calls because it would last longer my calls usually are one or two three four minutes. On a 70 a minute call. I just get a lot of callers because it's only 70 cents a minute. And you know the men have a bit of that understanding. That I may not care enough about their needs. But they kind of are okay with it I think to some extent some of my regulars. Because it's such a cheap call.

So it does work out. But as you can tell I'm only making 2,000 a month. I could do a little bit better get good reviews instead of like how I am right now I get like five stars on my night flirt listings only on the listings I'm literally insulting people basically so like if I'm telling them they're pathetic or calling them the b word the c word things like that. Then I will make a good results good listings good reviews. I have success there. Because I do very well insulting them. And I do very well insulting them because I don't I guess like my own clients. Which is fine. Because I mean like I never meet them in person they're just people on the phone doesn't hurt anything I make even though I really am not putting any effort in my job as a phone sex operator at night flirt. But there are some things here. That are kind of and some of the things that are kind of beneficial are specifically things like with taco bell. That I am able to like get transportation. Into vegas. Things like that. I could get my own place. But I kind of feel like I could just move to Vegas and get a place there with my phone sex operating job. Cuz I do make about like 2,000 a month. I mean like it doesn't hurt for me to do that just save up. So that's why I'm like I'm not sure if I want to go back. Because the manager there general manager just said I got hired. At Taco bell but I don't know if I want to do it again. Because like I said it was a lot of hostility they treated me like crap it was terrible. And I get less money. And it's hard to work.

For one at Taco Bell I remember during the holidays the people who work there specifically were like really aggressive to each other. Like they would yell at customers curse customers out. Curs each other out. Like this happened all in one day at one time. And where it went downhill for me because during Christmas it didn't actually become a problem I just went in like cleaned the bathroom. I didn't enguge in that behavior. I was the only one who wasn't cursing anyone out actually. And the whole store. But on New Year's Day it was really hectic. And then what happened in that situation was specifically the two co-workers tried to make it more stressful to work. Basically so they were getting aggressive and trying to basically attack me for the fact that they kept the drive-through line so long. Because I had nothing to do with that. I was doing the front at the time. But then they started blaming me for the backup in the Drive-Thru when I wasn't even working the drive-thru. And it had accumulated so much that two problems occurred at once.

One Brandon got put on break even though he was scheduled later than me and had a history of not working when he was there we would sit in the booths and look at his phone. He got away with a lot even calling black people the n word while at work and claiming he was white.... (He's not white he's latino he's just racist and ashamed of his race he won't admit he's Latino despite having a name godinez) He had the nerve to be complaining and disrespecting me for not being able to do two things at once being at cash register and drive thru telling the customers I wasn't good at my job and complaining about me about my job when the reason drive thru was backed up was because he was given a break and I was tired out. So what ended up happening in that situation was I ended up yelling at the general manager. Not because I was angry at the general manager. What was really occurring in that situation was I was upset that the other person had been talking crap about me to the customers. While having had taken his break. And mess everything up. And make me not have to take a break. So for those reasons I was upset at that situation not particularly at the general manager.

So after that point. That all that week things went downhill from there. And I ended up quitting on Friday just real quick. Oh the reason I quit like that. Was because on FridayI just felt like I didn't need to put up with all the crap I had been putting up with. Added to the fact that like because my mom worked there and she was saying that they were just talking crap about me like that. Now I knew like how they actually felt about me. And I didn't like it. Like usually when I work a job where someone doesn't like me. I don't care. Because I don't get to hear what they're saying behind that. Right but in this case I could. And then it made everything very uncomfortable in working with them. So that's why I just kind of felt like quitting was better. And I did feel like it was a distraction to working my other job as a phone sex operator.

The reason I feel that way is because I spent a lot less hours working that type of job. Because I would tire myself out. Working the other job one and not just that. It was during the weekend which is where I mainly make my money. And I also realize I actually have long sleeper syndrome. Which means that I really function better at 10 hours or more of sleep. So if I were to have a job like Taco Bell and phone sex that would be problematic. Because I don't think I would have enough time to work both jobs.

And when I think of the longevity of the two jobs. I kind of feel like phone sex operator is a longer lasting job. Obviously I could do that until I'm like maybe like 80 if I wanted to. And it makes like way more money. Like I said without caring about what these people like what are their needs or whatever I make like $2,000 a month. So if I was to actually invest in how to do this right. I would probably make a lot more like if you looked at my listings it's only like one sentence. I really don't care when I make my listings. I really don't care when I'm on the phone. All I do is just make sure that I'm on the phone or have it on where someone can call me for like at least 14 to 16 hours a day. And it makes me a good amount of money where I can actually work and provide for myself. And not really even have to go out of my way. To make money. So I don't have to work hard I don't have to go anywhere to work. These are the benefits. But then there are some benefits to getting a job like Taco Bell like for example. I don't want to disclose to like snap or food benefits that I work as a telephone operator. And I don't have to. As long as I work at Taco Bell I can always put them as the place. That means I get benefits. And don't have to pay for my own food.

Also another aspect to this is specifically like I said because it went downhill after that point. And the way I left. Was generally very I guess negative against the general manager. Like for example my mother hypothesizes that he is angry at me and trying to get back at me. Though he did send me a message saying I was hired. So I don't know. The way I left some people thought that I cursed everybody out and left. That's not what happened.

What actually happened was I specifically posted a video to the work forum that we were on we had to work for them that we all messaged each other in. Basically it was like a crew app. The music video I linked had a curse word in it. And also I started talking about what I did at my job night flirt. And the reason I did that was because I had talked to one person after I talked to two people about what I did at night flirt there. Now one of the people I talked to was a manager about it. Like I would regularly tell that person well I think one time I told her. That I would call like men the b word and things like that. And that the drive-thru phone basically would make me want to respond basically the way I respond when I do night flirt. So anyway the video had the title my give a damn's busted Jodie Messina. And it wasn't just that. But I specifically like I said to that I made like $2,000 a month basically telling men to show things up there ass because the major part of my job is actually dominatrix work I guess you could say when it comes to phone sex work. Because I specifically am more focused on disrespecting people and then sometimes I get those other guys who they like disrespect but they like guys too they like pegging and things like that. So that's where I make my money.

Anyway the system bleeped it out as if I cursed.Or said something along the lines of offensive language. But that was not what I was trying to convey I wasn't cursing anyone out. I was just saying I was done.

The next day I texted the general manager. Just to make sure they understood all was over with. Pretty much the same message saying my give damn busted and I was done.

So I quit. And then I at one point tried to apply. And then like it took 4 months or so it took a long period and then he finally was like he was saying that I was hired. So I still haven't responded back. I just kind of saw the text and moved along. I don't know should I say something? If I say something what should I say.? Should I say I'm done interested? Should I say I'm interested. To me it seemed like he gave that well maybe he was drunk? Cuz I mean the spelling is kind of off. So that's another thing to consider.

Also I feel like it could be a distraction from my phone sex operating work. Because I do have a situation where it last time when I worked there. My phone sucks operating work went down to 200 a month. Because I did not have it on all day like I should have. I was too tired to work. I just wasn't putting in effort. Like I should have.

I kind of do feel bad. Because I have been asking for the job for about a couple months. So I kind of feel bad now to say that I don't want the job. Because I've been asking for it this long. And I kind of feel bad cuz it's like I feel bad that I left so early. When usually I don't leave for the reasons I left. It was just like I said knowing that these people did not like me. And we're very negative. And I did not like but what they were saying behind my back. When you know I didn't have to know about that. If I would not have been told by my mom I'd have never know and probably still work there now. Which is why I feel it's super hostile to try to work there again. But in this town it's probably the only place I'll get a chance to work at. So what do you think I should do?
submitted by Used_Delivery_2668 to jobs [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 16:37 Puzzleheaded-Duty931 Just got a rk2023 and I got some questions

Hello, I received my order from powkiddy today. It is my second emulation console RK2023. And I installed arkos because I heard it has the best n64 emulation performance.
My first question is I can’t seem to find mupen standalone emulator in there. Where can I install it?
Is there a quick way to safely shutdown this device? There are some post suggesting pressing the function button and power button at the same time on retroid devices but I couldn’t find a function button on rk2023
I have a wifi dongle (Tp link brand but I couldn’t find model number on it) I used a usb a to c adapter to plug it in but I couldn’t find a way to turn on wifi (I couldn’t even find wifi settings in there) I tried both usb ports but result was same. What am I doing wrong?
And lastly, not exactly a question but I would love it if you suggest me some games. I aleeady has some roms but I heard this console can play ports of some games. I installed am2r and it works flawlessly. What other ports should I install?
submitted by Puzzleheaded-Duty931 to PowKiddy [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 16:30 airport_disclosure Is this the type of thing we could expect from the slow-drip of UFO tech into the civilian realm?

Came across this article about a couple scientists at University of Massachusetts Amherst creating clean energy using a material that is made with soil bacteria and paired with nanowires. It can pull electricity from the air.
Immediately made me think about some of the ideas around certain UFO's, their movement through our atmosphere/clouds, smoke, and water, energy consumption/propulsion
Some interesting quotes from the article:
"The heart of the man-made cloud depends on what Yao and his colleagues call the “generic Air-gen effect,” and it builds on work that Yao and co-author Derek Lovely, Distinguished Professor of Microbiology at UMass Amherst, had previously completed in 2020 showing that electricity could be continuously harvest from the air using specialized material made of protein nanowires grown from bacterium Geobacter sulfurreducens."
"“The idea is simple,” says Yao, “but it’s never been discovered before, and it opens all kinds of possibilities.” The harvester could be designed from literally all kinds of material, offering broad choices for cost-effective and environment-adaptable fabrications. “You could image harvesters made of one kind of material for rainforest environments, and another for more arid regions.”
I also found this article discussing similar things from a university in Australia that is able to convert atmospheric hydrogen into electricity, and also utilizes a soil bacteria. https://www.monash.edu/discovery-institute/news-and-events/news/2023-articles/scientists-discover-an-enzyme-that-turns-air-into-electricity-providing-a-new-clean-source-of-energy
Webpage discussing the nanowires a little bit more - https://www.umass.edu/news/article/umass-amherst-researchers-invent-electronic-nose-built-sustainably-sourced-microbial
One thing that I think is interesting about G. sulfurreducens is that it is an anaerobic bacteria, so can thrive in low-oxygen environment. I tried to see if there's any documentation on smell, but couldn't find it with a quick Google search. I'm guessing though it may be sulfuric in smell, which is a description I've seen with different CE3 cases; the Varginha Beings, for example. But that's just my own leap.
What other "breakthroughs" could be the result of leaking tech?
submitted by airport_disclosure to UFOs [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 16:29 depanneur Ideas to improve the game

I know the devs have stated they are not going to release further content for this game, but I thought of a pretty simple addition to the game that would make it more interesting especially in the mid-late game. I know warfare is the most obvious improvement but this idea addresses it somewhat.
Add a tech tree from the Mesolithic onwards that allows you to divide labour to simulate the development of a class society.
Further ideas: the different divisions of labouclasses have a fulfillment meter and get upset if their needs aren't met. They want you to build buildings relevant to their task and get upset if you don't do this. Producers/harvesters want the best farming tools and warriors want weapons and armour, whenever these are unlocked. For example, if you don't designate enough farmland and prioritize weapon production over harvesting tools, your producer population become upset and may refuse to work. If you don't build new spiritual buildings, priests get upset and stop "working" to raise morale. If you don't build enough weapons, armour and defensive buildings, your warriors get upset etc. Would simulate some sort of class conflict in the late game once you build a large, well functioning settlement and give you something to actively manage once you've researched everything. Also places some pressure on you to expand beyond what you've planned out and adapt to those changes.
Also another optional game rule: raiders do not completely destroy your settlement, but want to kill/capture your fighting age population and make your settlement a vassal/subject. If you "lose" this kind of raid, a percentage of your adult population are taken away as slaves/soldier levies, and you have a tax imposed on you. Depending on what your settlement produces, you will have to export a certain % of it to the conqueror; eg. if you grow a lot of grain or mine a lot of iron you have to export 25% of it. The tax burden changes arbitrarily to simulate changes in policy of the conquering settlement. You can revolt to remove this situation, but the conqueror will attack you with a MUCH larger force than initially. It will be difficult to successfully revolt because of the drain on you manpower and resources from taxes and levies/enslavement. Would be a much more historical simulation of "losing" than simply having your settlement leveled.
submitted by depanneur to DawnofMan [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 16:29 CalvinandHobbes811 Reposting for those who haven’t seen. Rafes AMA after s1 Ep1-3 aired

From Rafe's AMA, most of his relevant responses.
the Judkins cut Question:
One of the biggest complaints I've seen regarding the premier is the pacing of episode 1. It's been reported that you wanted/expected a 10 episode season and a 2 hr pilot, so it's understandable why it had to be so cram packed when cut down to only 1 hour. Is there any possibly of a JudkinsCut being released later on?
Ha, I wish. But the JudkinsCut never really made it out of script form. And to Amazon's credit, a real focus in streaming nowadays for all of the networks is "pace" and "bingeability". Anecdotally (and apparently statistically now), tons of non-book fans made it through the first episode and right into the series without stopping down or turning it off. Maybe in the next turning of the Wheel, there'll be the two hour season premiere featuring unlimited scenes of smithing, Coplins, Congars, and more.
On Reviews question:
Question on the critical feedback from reviewers :
Are you aware of the large amount of negative reviews from top critics, and what their main critiques are? What have you learned from them and what are you doing to resolve these complaints for future seasons?
Putting aside the ones who are comparing it to game of thrones or just hate fantasy, many of them complain about pacing being too fast, packed with too many plot points in each episode, and most importantly, the character development is lacking and viewers are not invested in them (making key events less impactful).
Yeah, I think it's always important to hear people as they take in the show and comment on it, but not be chasing approval. If you try to make a show that EVERYONE likes, you'll have an actual pile of trash at the end. Better to make a show that some people truly love (even if others think it's a pile of trash ha).
In terms of pacing, it's a balance you have to strike. We as creatives are always wanting more time to intro the characters, spend time with them, understand their emotions, etc. And the network will want the show to be brisk and pace-y so that no one ever has a chance to turn it off. Both things are valuable, and maybe Amazon was right about pace as the first three episodes of WoT have one of their highest completion-rates in history, which is perhaps the most important single piece of data on a tv show today.
On Saidin Question:
I've heard some people claim that the show is doing away with the concept of Saidar and Saidin altogether. Can you speak on that as well?
You'll hear the word saidin this season.
On Loial Question:
My question is about Loial. We’ve seen several of the leaked images that are way different from the book descriptions. Personally, I’m into the changes. I’ve also heard that Hammed brings the character to life. Can you talk about the process of bringing this beloved character to the screen?
Hammed is INCREDIBLE. For his physical appearance, we really tried to find ways to do a nod to what is in the books while making him a character that doesn't require VFX for us. We just can't afford at our budget level to do a fully VFX core character well. So it would mean that he ends up getting cut from scenes so that we don't have to spend on him, and I didn't want that, as I love Loial and I love Hammed.
On Who can be the Dragon Question:
Hi Rafe as I am sure you have seen a lot of fans of the books have had concerns about some changes, as I am sure you would have expected. However, a main one seems to be that a woman can be the dragon. Why was this change made if the Dragon is going to be the same anyway as it changes a lot in the world Jordan created e.g. the dragon if a woman can be trained by other woman in the tower etc, or touch Callandor.
The change we made was not just with the fact that a woman could be the Dragon, the core change we made was that people are NOT 100% convinced that these 3000 year old prophecies are 100% accurate. I think it feels a little bit more true to the world, and you see the characters questioning the prophecies of the Dragon and the details of it much more in the show than in the books (although there are some scenes in the books that show this as well, we've just expanded on that). It seems quite trusting for the Aes Sedai, who trust no one, and especially Moiraine, who trusts less than no one, to believe with 100% certainty ANYTHING that was written thousands of years ago
On Perrin's Wife Question:
Hey Rafe! Big fan of your adaptation thus far. Whose idea was it to have Perrin be married in the first episode? I think the choice was a smart one, but I’m curious as to how that decision came about.
Well, firstly in the longer version of the script I'd had Perrin being the apprentice to the town blacksmith, who he then accidentally killed during the Trolloc attack. It really was important to me that he have an iconic moment of violence in the first episode that would underpin his long term journey with violence and whether he'd choose the axe or the hammer. So I'd made that blacksmith his mom. But as we had to trim a bunch of page length down in the scripts, it became a simpler story to tell it as his wife, and also felt natural that if these characters were in their early 20s in a small mountain village, that one of them likely would be married. There's a scene in the books where Perrin talks about if he'd stayed in the Two Rivers he might've married Laila Dearn, and voila, Laila was born. My only sadness is we couldn't have seen more of her. Helena Westerman who played her was AMAZING
On Marcus's nose acting coach Question:
How are you thinking of showing the range of emotions and other things that Perrin is able to smell? Does Marcus have a special nose acting coach?
He actually, genuinely does. Ha. And he's doing great with it.
On WoT Swears Question:
Why are you not using any of the WOT swears? Every time the characters use modern colloquialisms it completely throws me for a loop. Those phrases mean a lot to me.
For the Golden Crane!
Blood and ashes, give us some time. It's coming. And just wait until you meet Uno...
Other scenes fought for Question:
I recently read the article where you speak on how much you had to fight to keep the Weep for Manetheren scene in.
Are there any other scenes with a similar weight of significance you fought for? Vague details are fine.
There's a Nynaeve/Lan scene that I fought literally every human being on the show and at the network for, so I hope book fans like it, hahaha.
On where the budget went Question:
Alot of talk has been about the level of investment per episode. What ended up being the most unexpected expensive thing about production or post?
The hidden costs are the worst ones. Wig fixes. The millions of dollars that go to wig fixes make me cry at night.
On the casting of a certain Fair-haired Maiden Question:
Have you cast Aviendha yet?
submitted by CalvinandHobbes811 to WoT [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 16:28 RecentEgg8 losing my best friend of 17 years

i recently found out my dog of 17 years is dying of kidney failure. he was admitted to the emergency room and after a long 48 hours they released him home. his situation escalated very quickly after that and i was finally told that there’s nothing more to do and that i should do the right thing for him and put him down. now i know that its normal to feel sad in a situation like this but im absolutely devastated. he is going to be put down in a couple of days and as much as i don’t want him to suffer i feel like im gonna die with him. he’s been with me since i was 8 y.o and i literally don’t remember life without him. me and him would spend everyday together going on walks and playing and having fun, he’s been my best friend and the greatest companion for so long and i’m not ready to let go of him at all. i would love to hear from someone who’s been in a similar situation and get some advice because no one around me seems to understand what im going through
submitted by RecentEgg8 to Advice [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 16:26 ShadesOfRomeo How do I start earning online in the easiest way as a beginner?

How do I start earning online in the easiest way as a beginner?

To start earning online as a beginner, one option is to explore various platforms that allow you to monetize your skills and content. While I can't provide specific information about the "Droll Pics" app as it may not be within my knowledge cutoff of September 2021, I can give you some general advice on how to get started with selling your photos or selfies online.
  1. Research online platforms: Look for established platforms that specialize in selling photos or images. Popular options include stock photo websites like Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, or Getty Images. These platforms typically have a vast user base and provide a reliable infrastructure for selling images.
  2. Create an account: Once you've chosen a platform that suits your needs, create an account and carefully review its terms and conditions. Pay attention to commission rates, licensing options, and any specific requirements for submitting photos.
  3. High-quality images: Ensure that your photos are of high quality, well-composed, and visually appealing. Consider investing in a decent camera or using a smartphone with a good camera to capture your selfies. Experiment with different angles, lighting, and styles to make your images stand out.
  4. Legal considerations: Make sure you have the right to sell your photos. If there are recognizable individuals in your selfies, you may need to obtain their consent or a signed model release form, depending on the platform's requirements and the purpose of the images.
  5. Upload and describe your photos: Take the time to upload your photos to the platform and provide accurate and descriptive titles, tags, and captions. This will help potential buyers find your images more easily through search functions.

  1. Promote your portfolio: While some platforms have built-in marketing systems, it's also beneficial to promote your portfolio independently. Share your images on social media, create a website or blog to showcase your work, and engage with relevant communities or photography forums.
  2. Pricing: Determine your pricing strategy based on the platform's guidelines and your assessment of the market. Consider factors such as image quality, exclusivity, and licensing options when setting your prices.
  3. Continuous improvement: Regularly analyze feedback, sales, and trends to understand what types of images are in demand. Continuously improve your skills, experiment with different styles, and adapt to changing market preferences.
Sell your Selfies - Droll Pics app
Remember, starting as a beginner may require patience and persistence. It's important to keep refining your craft, learning from feedback, and exploring new opportunities to maximize your online earning potential.
submitted by ShadesOfRomeo to u/ShadesOfRomeo [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 16:15 rastagomez White House and GOP reach a deal in principle to stop the nation from defaulting (NPR story)

President Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy reached an agreement in principle to avoid a potentially disastrous government default and raise the nation's debt ceiling.
The deal follows weeks of negotiations and a tense creep toward a deadline to raise the government's borrowing limit. The final package is expected to have opponents on the extremes of both parties, but the announcement Saturday indicates that Republican and Democratic leaders believe they will gain enough bipartisan support to pass the legislation.
The proposal holds non-defense spending for fiscal year 2024 at roughly current levels and raises it 1% in 2025, according to a source familiar with the negotiations. The agreement separately raises the debt limit for two years.
McCarthy plans to put the measure to a vote in the House chamber as early as next Wednesday.
"After weeks of negotiations, we have come to an agreement in principle," McCarthy said speaking in the U.S. Capitol. "We still have a lot of work to do but I believe this is an agreement in principle that's worthy of the American people."
According to a source familiar with the talks, the deal protects tens of billions of dollars for clean energy, rebates and clean-up efforts for harmful pollutants from oil and gas.

White House settles for partial work requirement increase

Despite repeatedly indicating that increasing the number of people subject to work requirements for federal assistance programs was a red line in negotiations, Biden conceded to temporary increases in work reporting mandates for some elderly food stamp participants.
While the deal does not make changes to work requirements for Medicaid recipients as Republicans initially proposed, it does include a compromise focused on increasing the number of food stamp recipients who are subject to work requirements.
The bill would raise the minimum age of food stamp recipients who would be subject to work requirements from 50 to 54. However, there are special protections for veterans and people who are homeless. All of those changes expire in 2030, though, unless they're renewed by Congress.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps, currently limits able-bodied adults without dependents ages 18-50 to three months of SNAP benefits during any 36-month period when they cannot show they are employed or in a work or training program for at least 20 hours a week.
Biden urges the House and Senate to quickly pass the agreement
President Biden also issued a statement Saturday evening saying he will "strongly urge both chambers to pass the agreement right away."
"The agreement represents a compromise, which means not everyone gets what they want," Biden said in the statement. "That's the responsibility of governing."
Biden previously insisted he wanted Congress to authorize a debt ceiling increase without any conditions. But last month House Republicans approved a bill that would raise the debt ceiling in exchange for spending cuts. GOP negotiators used that proposal as a framework for talks with the White House.
On Saturday evening, Republican leaders held a call with GOP members to unveil the details of the deal. McCarthy praised the agreement for having "historic reductions in spending," while also ensuring there would be "no new taxes, no new government programs." He added that the deal included "consequential reforms that will lift people out of poverty and into the workforce."

Racing against deadline, bill text expected to be released Sunday

Key negotiators for both sides are working through the night to write the bill. McCarthy expects to have another conversation with Biden over the weekend, before posting the text of the legislation Sunday afternoon.
The breakthrough came about an hour after McCarthy and Biden spoke on the phone Saturday. Earlier in the day, Biden spoke with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries.
On Friday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen updated her guidance on the so-called "X date" — when the U.S. would run out of money to pay its bills — to June 5. Previously she had said it would be as early as June 1.
The timeline to avoid a default remains tight. McCarthy has vowed that House members would get 72 hours to review any legislation before a vote. After that, the bill would head to the Senate for a vote on final passage and then to the president to sign.
submitted by rastagomez to bonds [link] [comments]