Fedex signature release door tag
For gamers behind the times
2011.11.11 18:42 Zlor For gamers behind the times
A gaming sub free from the news, hype and drama that surround current releases, catering instead to gamers who wait at least 12 months after release to play a game. Whether it's price, waiting for bugs/issues to be patched, DLC to be released, don't meet the system requirements, or just haven't had the time to keep up with the latest releases.
2009.08.17 03:34 epicRelic Reddit's Goth Community
Reddit's Goth Community, for goth music and subculture! Please check out our Wiki which features the rules and FAQ, and our sidebar which features many resources on goth music, (including recommendations and playlists) fashion, history, and scene. Anything relating to fashion when it's not Fashion Friday, please post in GothFashion and if you are looking for a subreddit which encompasses anything dark and spooky, please visit DarklyInclined. We have gothclub for any alternative tunes.
2023.06.04 23:14 Mangoslushy69 [WTS] Juliet micro magnifier
Time stamp: https://imgur.com/a/KyQtoI3
Brand knew never used still got the tape on the box. Catch and release from here I bought it 24 days ago, it got lost in the mail and somehow got returned to my door step yesterday.
Ill do 135$ shipped.
Pm me please!
submitted by Mangoslushy69
to GunAccessoriesForSale [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 23:14 Diamondflowerx231 Is this good?
I have a creative writing exam tomorrow so I thought I'd do a past paper question : describe a new beginning. Can someone tell me if it's good? Thanks in advance
Wake up. WAKE UP. Forcing her bloodshot eyes open, Evelyn shot out of her commodious cave of solitude, hurriedly grabbing various items of clothing as she scurried out the door at the screams of her Stepmother. She needed this day to be perfect. Today, she would escape.
One look at the vile creature her life that tormented her sent Evelyn retching in resentment, and she briskly averted her eyes, saving herself from yet another beating. Relishing the thought of freedom, Evelyn cautiously made her way to the abhorrent kitchen and a vulgar stench of yet another bowl of repulsive slop attacked her nose like a years worth rotten food. The sound of her repulsive Stepmother descending the stairs reminded Evelyn of her end goal. Get out of there. That wasn't her home anymore. Any reminder of happiness was ripped from that place years ago, leaving Evelyn alone in a desolate carcass of a house. Photos gone, toys broken and thrown away, any hope of a euphoric life had been destroyed. As her Stepmother guzzled her porridge, grunting and snorting like a monster devoid of any true humanity, Evelyn displayed her usual routine of trying to eat the appaling mush served to her without sending it back up again. She focused her eyes on the splintered wooden door that stood before her and freedom and readied herself for the sprint that lied ahead. The sound of the twisting keys in the door sliced through the air like a gunshot signalling the beginning of a race. As daylight slowly pushed through the gap of the opening door, Evelyn took off, forcing her way past her deranged step brother, leaving her captor shouting and cursing. But that didn't matter. She was free.
The luscious green grass beneath her bare feet and comforting warmth of the summer sun greeted her like a mother as she dashed through an exquisite field of blossoming trees and bewitching wildflowers. Despite the rage that once bubbled up within her like a fire burning in her veins and threatening to destroy her very existence, she couldn't help but feel exuberant, knowing she was free.
As she passed through magnificent fields at an ungodly speed, Evelyn discarded the worries she felt before, calmed by the peaceful chirping of birds above and the tranquil breeze that flew against her. As the sun faded to an orange hue, Evelyn gradually reduced her speed and found refuge in the shade of a willow tree that towered over her. She laid down in a bed of moss, protected by the wall of elegant leaves that hung serenely and rested her limbs that were writhing in agony and slept peacefully for the first time in years, savouring her bliss, beatific, jovial release of her once dismal life.
submitted by Diamondflowerx231
to writing [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 23:11 Life_of_Reilly So, any theories (or actual data) on when we see the return of the Ryobi GDO?
Ryobi had to pull their (awesome) Garage door opener from the market after loosing a patent lawsuit. The patent they violated (which I believe was for a battery backup for a garage door opener?) expired (or expires) this year.
Looking at the unit they had on the market it was really, really good. So, I mean, I WANT one. WANT.
Anyone have any information on when Ryobi / TTI will release a new version?
submitted by Life_of_Reilly
to ryobi [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 23:09 Tenderloin66 BCA1220 brush cutter
Does anybody know a release date for this attachment? I swear I saw it on Ego’s site sometime last year with the “coming soon” tag it currently shows. Just wondering if I should try to build my own from the parts list they provide.
submitted by Tenderloin66
to egopowerplus [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 23:06 Florida-Man-65 My ideas for LM4
Luigi's Mansion 3 was a big success, which hopefully means the series will be sticking around. I figured I'd throw out my idea for a fourth game for the heck of it.
My idea for LM4 is that it would be set in Daisy's castle in Sarassaland. King Boo and Helen Gravely have overrun the castle by releasing the various ghosts and spirits of the land. Daisy herself has been put in a painting, which is hung in her throne room. The door is accessible early on, but it's both locked and barred with paranormal chains that are maintained by the bosses/portrait ghosts, forcing Luigi to hunt them down with the help of E Gadd and Polterpup. The key, however, is in the hands of one of the first game's portrait ghosts(take your pick, mine would be Melody), whose painting ended up in Daisy's possession at one point and is once again guarding the key in exchange for being free.
So that's my idea for a premise for the fourth game, though there are plenty of other great ideas. Somebody once suggested a train, which would be awesome. But feel free to throw your own ideas for plot, gameplay, etc into the mix in the comments, or critique/build on mine. I figured it would be something fun to do.
submitted by Florida-Man-65
to LuigisMansion [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 23:04 JoshAsdvgi THE MAN AND THE OAK
| || | submitted by JoshAsdvgi to Native_Stories [link] [comments]
THE MAN AND THE OAK
There once lived a Sioux couple who had two children, a boy and a girl.
Every fall this family would move away from the main camp and take up their winter quarters in a grove of timber some distance from the principal village.
The reason they did this was that he was a great hunter and where a village was located for the winter the game was usually very scarce.
Therefore, he always camped by himself in order to have an abundance of game adjacent to his camp.
All summer he had roamed around following the tribe to wherever their fancy might take them.
During their travels this particular year there came to the village a strange girl who had no relatives there.
No one seemed very anxious to take her into their family, so the great hunter's daughter, taking a fancy to the poor girl, took her to their home and kept her.
She addressed her as sister, and the parents, on account of their daughter, addressed her as daughter.
This strange girl became desperately in love with the young man of the family, but being addressed as daughter by the parents, she could not openly show her feelings as the young man was considered her brother.
In the fall when the main village moved into a large belt of timber for their winter quarters, the hunter moved on to another place two days' travel from the main winter camp, where he would not be disturbed by any other hunters.
The young man had a tent by himself, and it was always kept nice and clean by his sister, who was very much attached to him.
After a long day's hunt in the woods, he would go into his tent and lie down to rest, and when his supper was ready his sister would say, "My brother is so tired.
I will carry his supper to him."
Her friend, whom she addressed as sister, would never go into the young man's tent.
Along towards spring there came one night into the young man's tent a woman.
She sat down by the door and kept her face covered so that it was hidden from view.
She sat there a long time and finally arose and went away.
The young man could not imagine who this could be.
He knew that it was a long distance from the village and could not make out where the woman could have come from.
The next night the woman came again and this time she came a little nearer to where the young man lay.
She sat down and kept her face covered as before.
Neither spoke a word. She sat there for a long time and then arose and departed.
He was very much puzzled over the actions of this woman and decided to ascertain on her next visit who she was.
He kindled a small fire in his tent and had some ash wood laid on it so as to keep fire a long time, as ash burns very slowly and holds fire a long time.
The third night the woman came again and sat down still nearer his bed.
She held her blanket open just a trifle, and he, catching up one of the embers, flashed it in her face; jumping up she ran hurriedly out of the tent.
The next morning he noticed that his adopted sister kept her face hidden with her blanket. She chanced to drop her blanket while in the act of pouring out some soup, and when she did so he noticed a large burned spot on her cheek.
He felt so sorry for what he had done that he could eat no breakfast, but went outside and lay down under an oak tree.
All day long he lay there gazing up into the tree, and when he was called for supper he refused, saying that he was not hungry, and for them not to bother him, as he would soon get up and go to bed.
Far into the night he lay thus, and when he tried to arise he could not, as a small oak tree grew through the center of his body and held him fast to the ground.
In the morning when the family awoke they found the girl had disappeared, and on going outside the sister discovered her brother held fast to the earth by an oak tree which grew very rapidly.
In vain were the best medicine men of the tribe sent for.
Their medicine was of no avail.
They said: "If the tree is cut down the young man will die."
The sister was wild with grief, and extending her hands to the sun, she cried: "Great Spirit, relieve my suffering brother.
Any one who releases him I will marry, be he young, old, homely or deformed."
Several days after the young man had met with the mishap, there came to the tent a very tall man, who had a bright light encircling his body.
"Where is the girl who promised to marry any one who would release her brother?"
"I am the one," said the young man's sister.
"I am the all-powerful lightning and thunder.
I see all things and can kill at one stroke a whole tribe.
When I make my voice heard the rocks shake loose and go rattling down the hillsides.
The brave warriors cower shivering under some shelter at the sound of my voice.
The girl whom you had adopted as your sister was a sorceress.
She bewitched your brother because he would not let her make love to him.
On my way here I met her traveling towards the west, and knowing what she had done, I struck her with one of my blazing swords, and she lies there now a heap of ashes.
I will now release your brother."
So saying he placed his hand on the tree and instantly it crumbled to ashes.
The young man arose, and thanked his deliverer.
Then they saw a great black cloud approaching, and the man said: "Make ready, we shall go home on that cloud."
As the cloud approached near to the man who stood with his bride, it suddenly lowered and enveloped them and with a great roar and amidst flashes of lightning and loud peals of thunder the girl ascended and disappeared into the west with her Thunder and Lightning husband.
2023.06.04 23:01 incomprehensibilitys Show us your liability waiver! Actually, I just created a new one and I was wondering your opinion of what is missing or what should not be there...?
LOCKSMITH SERVICES RELEASE OF LIABILITY AND ASSUMPTION OF RISK AGREEMENT
This Release of Liability and Assumption of Risk Agreement ("Agreement") is entered into by and between __________ ("Client") and __________ ("Locksmith"), collectively referred to as the "Parties."
DESCRIPTION OF SERVICES
The Locksmith offers a range of services which include, but are not limited to, key making, lock changes, residential and automobile lockouts and jump-starts whether charged we're free. The Client acknowledges that these services involve certain inherent risks and potential property damage.
ASSUMPTION OF RISK
The Client is aware of the risks involved in locksmith services, which include but are not limited to potential damage to locks, doors, windows, car ignition systems, electrical systems, and other property. The Client assumes all known and unknown risks associated with these services, and acknowledges that the Locksmith cannot guarantee that such damage will not occur.
RELEASE AND WAIVER OF LIABILITY
The Client, for themselves and their heirs, successors, and assigns, hereby releases, waives, and discharges the Locksmith, their agents, representatives, and employees from all claims, liabilities, damages, or costs that they might incur due to the services provided by the Locksmith, including those caused by the negligent acts or omissions of the Locksmith.
The Client agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Locksmith from any claims, liabilities, damages, or costs, including attorney's fees, arising out of or resulting from the services provided by the Locksmith.
NO GUARANTEE OF RESULTS
The Client acknowledges that while the Locksmith will strive to perform all services to the best of their ability, they do not guarantee any specific outcomes from the services provided.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF UNDERSTANDING
The Client confirms that they have read this Agreement, understand its terms and conditions, and agree to be bound by them. They speak fluent English. The Client signs this Agreement freely and voluntarily, without any inducement, assurance, or guarantee being made. The client understands that no claim shall exceed the purchase price of service.
This Agreement shall be governed by and interpreted in accordance with the laws of the state of _________ County of ___________. Anyone bringing a claim contrary to this agreement shall furnish a minimum $15,000 retainer to the other parties attorney and be responsible for all legal fees.
Client Name: _____________________________
Client Signature: _____________________________
Locksmith Name: _____________________________
Locksmith Signature: _____________________________
submitted by incomprehensibilitys
to Locksmith [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 22:55 KavKav2 Hila vlog breakdown
Breakdown of the latest vlog https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GkuVAURNsc
- Hila shows off the new Teddy Fresh Marvel collection. Taylour can be seen sitting at a desk behind her, suggesting to me that she does more than just manage Hila's social media.
- Morgan from Fashionista Magazine is at the office (she was on a recent episode of After Dark) and they show a rug her friend made for Teddy Fresh
- Hila is wearing another horrendous Marvel outfit and Olivia comes to tell her she's "so slay"
- AB breaks the bathroom door
- Hila does a fake photoshoot for Fila. Why Fila out of all brands? Who knows... She's wearing another pair of shoes with the tag still attached. Are you really telling me she's planning on returning a pair of cheap Filas?
- Hila reacts to comments left on her previous videos while using a strong face filter on the footage.
- Hila reads a comment saying she's an aristocrat. While doing this she shows the commenter's full name on screen.
- Hila states that Ethan said it was probably just a joke and asks Lena and Taylour if she's an aristocrat. Lena immediately replies saying that the commenter must hate themselves.
- Hila Googles what an aristocrat is and when proven that she is one, Taylour immediately shifts the goalposts and asks "what is it? the 18th century?" as if the criticism wasn't valid.
- Hila works out with Theodore and her trainer (MOMMY VLOGGER TIME!)
- Hila had an idea for an outfit and it's terrible
- Hila feeds her dogs apples
submitted by KavKav2
to Frenemies3 [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 22:52 funkygrrl How to deal with early birds at tag sale.
Last time I had a tag sale that started at 8am, I'm awoken at 6am by the sound of someone opening my very heavy barn door. Kinda freaked me out. I've been a picker myself, but I wouldn't dream of showing up 2 hours early and breaking into someone's property. How do I prevent this?
Btw, I'm in a rural area, a bit isolated. My place can't be seen by neighbors or from street.
submitted by funkygrrl
to Flipping [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 22:47 TreyTrillionaire 📣 Exciting Announcement for Alpha Testers! 🎉
| || | submitted by TreyTrillionaire to NFTGames [link] [comments]
Army of Crypto
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2023.06.04 22:39 Desperate-Car-Wife Cars, Trucks, Turbos.. Oh My! Part.7
Desperate Car Wife: A Journey in the Making (part.7)
My husband's next "victim" .... A golden brown 1997 Chevy K/1500 Extended Cab
I had a feeling he'd buy this truck at some point... A buddy of his owned it and he would always make comments and cash offers whenever he saw the truck. About 3 or 4 years later my hubby finally got his wish! I still remember the night we brought it home... Unfortunately, that same night, during the wee hours, some delinquent teens went around the neighborhood and were keying cars down our street! He parked it on the street since he had planned to wash it first thing.... Hub was up early the next day, so excited to have his new baby; ready to give her a good wash and start marking his "territory" with that good 'ol "JB Treatment".. We walked out and discovered the truck had been keyed all the way from the driver's side door to the rear fender!! I can't describe how super p@##ed off he was without using a list of colorful words, but I'm sure y'all can imagine... I'm just glad I was there to help calm him down; to this very day I truly feel that had he given into his anger, he would've gone off his rocker, and that day would've been much like that famous line from Liam Neeson in Taken!! But after about an hour of watching what looked like a crazy man, pacing back and forth, looking over and over at the nearly 7' long scratch, while cursing up a storm, he managed to calm down "somewhat" and immediately ran down to AutoZone... $150 later, he had what he needed to make it as invisible as possible. It was deep in spots; the entire scratch had passed through the top coat and in some areas it was all the way to the base paint :(
Over the next year, he went over the entire body with a clay bar, compound buffed, then waxed and polished... She was easily a 10 footer for sure! Eventually he found some wheels and bought matching tires.. (He has a thing about mismatched tires LOL) She was lookin' like a pretty nice truck, so shiny and new, nearly flawless on the outside.
Side Note: I remember one night, not too long after he finished all that hard work, we were bbqing at our friend's house; the one who sold us the truck. It was well after midnight when we were finally ready to leave, (hubby was highly intoxicated), I ended up having to pull the truck out first because a huge bush was on the other side where he had backed in too close and couldn't open the passenger side door. Well he was too drunk and way too tall to try to climb over the center console thru the driver's side, so he wanted me to pull the truck out and he'd just hop in. I was like "there are branches sticking out of the bush and I think I might scratch the truck"... I insisted my hubby just pull it out a little and then I'd take over. (if anyone was gonna scratch it, I'd rather it be him!) To give some insight: there was another car parked on the driver's side, giving me very little room to work with... But he refused and said he'd guide me.. Famous. Last. Words!!!! As soon as I started to pull away, I heard scraping sounds!!!! I stopped and was sooo upset because I knew it would happen! I thought for sure he would be so p@##ed at me for scratching it! I had tears, I felt so bad!! He had just finished getting that truck looking new again and the hours of labotime spent doing so... I couldn't stop sobbing, even when he, surprisingly, wasn't mad at all!! He actually blamed himself because he made me move it.. I blame the alcohol for his chill response!!! After repeated "sorry's" and "it's okay's".. we get home and he grabs his container of Mother's compound and starts buffing out the scratch.... Next morning I looked at the spot and to my excitement, the scratch was gone... it didn't go through the top coat!! Couldn't even tell that there was ever even a scratch!!!! \Wipes sweaty forehead* What a relief that was!*
Next came the.......... you got it! The Sound system! \ insert smirky laugh here LOL **
A slimbox would just not do.. he tried, but at this point in his obsession with bass style audio, he wanted more bass. Well for those of you that don't know, more bass means not only bigger subs and bigger boxes for those subs, you also need higher quality tweeters and mids with their own amp system plus crossovers, a powerful amp just for the bass, bigger batteries (yes, that's plural), a bigger alternator, fuses galore, expensive wiring , etc... Not only is that crazy expensive to do, but it also required him to eventually remove the bench seat. I had no clue to all of this till I started going with him more often to the car audio shops. Needless to say, I was not a happy wife when it came to the price tags... I was perfectly happy with decent sound and a small sub, but something so crazy loud wasn't that big of a deal to me, however, our bank account would say otherwise LOL ... it wasn't my daily driver, so I didn't really care other than the costs for everything... he just could never be happy with the sound and continuously changed out the subs, boxes, decks, you name it... he did it more than once over on everything! So that was the first strike to this truck and I... (I know it sounds a bit harsh for a 1st strike, but I wanted a nice family vacation, not bigger and bigger subs... Remember my "limits" motto??)
I liked driving it around town, though the driver's seat was broken in the upright position, so I had to drive with a pillow behind me. (Strike 2!!) It never bothered him because he's so dang tall, and I rarely drove it as it was, so the seat wasn't a priority... Then I took it on the freeway, the steering became very loose. I don't know how to describe how it felt to me, other than it felt like it was severely out of play... My hubby never seemed to have the same issue and always would reassure me that "it's just how the truck drives''... So he hasn't messed around with the steering column at all. Well, I don't trust it or feel safe in it, so I refuse to drive it. I have had to take it on the freeway a couple more times since then and I still hate driving it... it still felt way out of whack for me; taking curvy turns was the worst, I couldn't even keep it centered in my lane! Nerves shot and blood pressure at its highest.... Strike 3!!! I absolutely hate driving that truck!!! She is a pretty thing after a good waxing, but that's as far as I take a liking to her...
$10k later, including a rebuilt tranny and 2 DIY transfer case replacements, the truck is nearly perfect in my husband's eyes.... but then the poor thing falls to vandalism once again! :( :( :( Only this time it was 2 slashed tires and a broken windshield! This time we filed a police report! But of course nothing ever came of it, unfortunately.... It was easy to replace, but costly and getting no justice after being vandalized twice (parked in the driveway the 2nd time), left us feeling sour and foul mouthed.... Now we have cameras on the driveway and street! Regardless of the vandalism, there's always something needing to be replaced it seems... this truck feels like a money pit in my mind... strike 4...
Special Note: If you have found or follow me on Twitter (DsCarWife) and come here to read my posts... I have a little treat tweet coming! Stay Tuned!
Part. 8 coming soon
submitted by Desperate-Car-Wife
to DesperateCarWife [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 22:37 diamondboy420 This is not my house wtf. I hate fedex omg. Was waiting all morning for the belugas but then this wtf is this bs
2023.06.04 22:18 Gutenhuu UB Mod Dual Flurry + Cleaving Attack + Path Of the Spirits (barbarian) Interactions Bug?
Hey ya; So, I noticed a few weird interactions that I'm not sure if they are bugs or if I'm missing something:
- "Dual flurry" + Bonus actions
- If my Path of the Spirits Barbarian with dual flurry rages in the first turn attacks and hits twice, he gets the "Dual flurry" text proc, but it cannot make the bonus attack.
- The same happens if he uses the "spirit guardian" power as a bonus action
- The workaround is to attack and hit twice before using the bonus action, But this way, I lose the extra damage from rage in the first two attacks
- Cleaving attack + Dual flurry
- If the cleaving attack and dual flurry procs in the same turn, I don't get 2 extra bonus attacks, only 1. The only advantage is that I can attack with the main hand weapon as a bonus action.
- I believe the correct interaction was to have 2 extra bonus attacks on top of your normal one.
- After checking the changelog for version: 22.214.171.124 I noticed this: (but I'm running the most recent version of the mod 126.96.36.199)
- fixed Dual Flurry to only grant the extra attack once per turn
- I only ever got the extra attack once per turn, and I still only get one even after this version; I thought this was the correct way the feat would work as getting 1 extra attack for every 2 hits seems a bit overpowered.
- Similar thing with Cleaving attack, would be possible to get more than 1 extra attack if I critical more than once per turn?
Let me know your thoughts, Thanks!
submitted by Gutenhuu
to CrownOfTheMagister [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 22:16 traveller-16-16- Under the Authority: chapter one
“I stared into the void, and stared back.” I’ve always liked that saying, very versatile in its uses. It can be a metaphor for a primal fear of the unknown, the great infinite of space perhaps, or even for staring death in the face. In my case it is the latter, I just know that I am so fucking dead and it hurts so god damn bad. Back to earlier however is probably a better place to get started.
So I was just minding my own damn business in my truck on the way home from a job interview in the city with the windows down and the smells of the forest in my face, pretty nice if I say so myself. When suddenly a flash out shinned the sun by about a factor of a hundred or so appeared, blinding, but not quite enough to do permanent damage. I slammed on my brakes filling my nose with burning rubber and my ears with that unholy sound, note, I was not going slow. I grunted in pain as I held my eyes shut with a hand over them, tears streaming out and I had that damn effect in my sight, like when you stare at a light bulb too long. After a minute or two letting my eyes recover the air was filled with a different noise, a slow building electric sound and after a few seconds the most earth shattering boom replaced it, the explosion was so powerful I felt winds whipping through my open windows and felt my teeth chattering. By this point I was able to open my tear filled eyes again as I frantically began looking around to see what the hell was going on, then I spotted it, a ship so colossal that it can only be described as biblical in proportion, as if it threatens to swallow the sky itself. I then look down the mountain to see the city I had just come from with huge pillars of black smoke streaking into the sky, like fingers grasping towards the alien craft in the sky, which had now begun falling apart? No those were shuttles, black oval shapes with streaks of blue contrasting the orange sky of the setting sun “... Fucking what?” was all I could say as the sight lay before me, all I could think is that this wasn’t real, there is no way that this could be happening it’s far to cliche, I mean come on a giant alien ship shows up with a flash of light and starts shooting fucking lasers, with god knows how many smaller craft descending upon the earth. Yet… Here I was, so I needed to run, or rather drive, as fast as I could back home, so that’s exactly what I did, wiping the water from my eyes. I punched it much to the protest of my old truck. As I picked up speed I stare into the rearview mirror trying to get a better view of the massive ship, it’s blocky in a vaguely rectangular shape with the middle being wider and falling in sizes by blocks as it moved to both sides with many reflective surfaces at the end of barely visible barrels, and various random glowing lights dotted around the ship. I soaked up as much of the sight as I could before the trees blocked my view of the sky as I sped faster and faster into the forest towards home.
A short drive normally now felt like eons to reach my home in the forest, it wasn’t deep in the woods but it wasn’t just on the border either. I slowed down as I spotted the old rusted mailbox in my gravel driveway before making a sharp left. As I heard the stones crunch beneath me I looked in the mirrors in attempts to spot any strange hunk of metal following me, much to my relief I saw nothing but trees and bugs. As I parked the truck I sat for a second, catching my breath and continuing to look around, my small one story house was tucked in the woods with only 20 feet between it and the tree line and with how the driveway turned there was no way you could see it from the road. I took one last breath and held it for a few seconds before swinging the truck door open and jumping out before running for my fucking life towards my front door, I heard the gravel crushing beneath my shoes and that's it, normally there's at least one bird or the beginning of a cricket’s chorus, but nothing. I came to a halt and quickly jammed my key in the front door, fumbling a couple times but getting it in eventually, it didn't help that my hands were sweating profusely and shaking. I flung the door open and myself inside making sure to relock the heavy ass door, before sprinting like a mad man for my room on the left side of the house. But then I heard it, the sound not too dissimilar to a hurricane outside, looking out the window through the kitchen I saw one of those pods I saw swarming down from the mothership, the body was vaguely oval shaped with a cockpit raised up front through a 45 degree incline, it also had deployed its landing gear and a large door on the left had opened. There was no fucking way I was going to make it to my room, open the safe, load the gun and fire, so I made a horrible decision, I lunged into my kitchen and grabbed the handle of my biggest knife with my left hand while I heard a small explosion at my front door. As I unsheathed the knife from the block I heard things being knocked over in my hallway, but no footsteps strangely. I turned and ran back into my hallway as I heard yelling in some strange language. I looked to my right and saw what can only be described as lamia’s in sci-fi armor pointing a big ass gun at me, the face unseen behind its visor, her visor? It has boobs, but maybe the males of the aliens have boobs and higher voices too. A loud crack and the most horrible pain in my left shoulder and time begins to slow down, and that's where I am now.
Adrenaline is quick to act in dulling pain, but not instant as I learned in this moment. As I look at the creature I see that it is at least 8’ 2’’ and god knows how long with its winding tail. My head is agonizingly slow as I turn to look left, all I see is red, my red spilling from the open wound, blood, that’s the word blood, my blood is spilling out of me in liters. I reach over to the wound and begin grabbing for the stump, there is yelling in the background, I cannot find something that obviously feels like my bicep so I just grab something, falling to my knees. It's hard to breathe now. Something is rising and falling in the wound, wait, that’s my lung, I release it as a horrible taste enters my mouth, I can taste my spleen, that's not good, I think as I slowly turn my head to my murderer. Fear, fear is all I can feel, fear, agony, and rage. There are two of them, maybe more, one is screaming its own lungs out at the one who shot me. I wait there for what feels like years before a third alien shoves both of them aside and slithers up to me, the air is cold now, I swear it was 90 just an hour ago. I fall on my ass as I try to back away from the thing approaching, I try to push away from it but I lack the blood in my body to move my muscles. It turns to the other two and screams at the fighting pair, it then turns to me and lowers its voice in a soothing manner talking to me. It’s hard to keep my eyes open, maybe death will be warmer than here. It opens a large white package and scoops blue goop out of it, I have not the strength to resist as it slathers the stuff all over the gaping hole in my ribcage. The substance makes contact and is unexpectedly warm, but it stings worse than any wasp. Time begins to make its way back to reality, seconds slowly feel like minutes before returning to their former perception. I turn to see my wound and am stopped by a gentle hand and a kind voice speaking an unknown tongue. I slowly close my eyes, surely this is the end, I am dying now, all turns to black as I feel tears I didn’t know I cried, roll down my cheek.
submitted by traveller-16-16-
to HFY [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 22:10 thomasthegreat050901 Why are most of my prisoners suppressed?
2023.06.04 22:09 AutoModerator Here’s How To Watch ‘The Summer’ Free Online Streaming At Home
Anime Movie(すずめの戸締まり)! Here’s options for downloading or watching The Summer streaming the full movie online for free on 123movies & Reddit,1movies, 9movies, and yes movies, including where to watch the anticipated anime movie at home. Is Suzume available to stream English sub & dub? Is Suzume streaming? Is watching Suzume on Crunchyroll, Disney Plus, HBO Max, Netflix, or Amazon Prime? Yes, we have found an authentic streaming option / service.
The wait is almost over! Suzume — the latest Japanese animation film — is coming to theaters this weekend. Luckily, we have you covered on all the ways you can watch it!
While movie fans will be able to see the smash-hit film Suzume in cinemas and theaters starting on April 14, 2023, those unable or unwilling to see the film outside, need not worry, as it will likely be made accessible for streaming soon. Makoto Shinkai's new film Suzume (The Summer) will hit American cinemas this Friday, and every indication suggests Suzume will be as popular here as it has been in Japan. Furthermore, American viewership will be bolstered by all the fans who access the film via an online streaming service.
One of the most anticipated Japanese animated films of the next period, The Summer, is directed by the legendary Makoto Shinkai, who is the same face behind the successful masterpiece “Your Name”. The The Summer movie is set to be released later this year, however, the production house wanted to let the Otakus be in suspense by releasing a new Trailer. The film is produced by CoMix Wave Films and distributed by Toho.
Is Suzume streaming? A new feature film from Makoto Shinkai is always something to treasure. Recent hits Your Name and Weathering With You have garnered widespread praise for their beauty and storytelling, creating high hopes for Suzume.
The director, Makoto Shinkai, is a well-known figure in the animated movies space. Best known for his work “Your Name” or as it is called originally, “Kimi No Na Wa“, he has directed several masterpieces to date. His work is appreciated by many. Therefore, there’s no doubt how wonderful The Summer is going to be, and just like you all, as a part of the culture, we are excited too.
Sony has acquired the exclusive rights to distribute the film online, which means fans can expect to find the movie on the entertainment company's Crunchyroll brand anime streaming service. Unfortunately, at this time, there has been no official announcement from either Sony or Crunchyroll as to when Suzume will be available online. Currently, for fans who want to see the film in the cinema can order tickets online for a show via the Crunchyroll website.
So where can you watch Suzume? Is it on HBO Max? What about Netflix? Here’s everything we know about how, when, and where you can watch The Summer:
The Summer Release Date
You can watch Suzume in cinemas from April 14, 2023. The film is getting a wide release, making it likely that your local cineplex will have showings, at least for opening weekend.
The English version of the CoMix Wave Films and Makoto Shinkai movie The Summer is about to appear outside Japan, but streaming isn’t available just yet. Crunchyroll revealed it will be in theaters starting on April 14. 2023. However, this initial release will be limited to theaters. It won’t show up physically, digitally, or streaming worldwide until after its initial theatrical run.
While you can’t start streaming The Summer in English yet, here’s when the movie will debut in theaters in various countries outside Japan.
April 12, 2023: It will appear in France and Malta.
April 13, 2023: It will appear in Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Central America, Chile, Denmark, Ecuador, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Slovak Republic, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
April 14, 2023: It will appear in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Estonia, Gibraltar, Ireland, Kenya, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Southern Africa, Spain, Sweden, the UK, and the US.
April 20, 2023: It will appear in Colombia and Portugal.
April 21, 2023: It will appear in Bulgaria, Finland, Poland, and Romania.
April 27, 2023: It will appear in Italy, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.
April 30, 2023: It will appear in Iceland.
Where To Watch The Summer Online
As of now, the only way to watch Suzume is to head out to a movie theater when it releases on Friday, April 14. You can find a local showing on Fandango.
Watch Now: The Summer Online Free
Otherwise, you’ll just have to wait for it to become available to rent or purchase on digital platforms like Prime Video, Vudu, Apple and YouTube.
When Will Suzume Be On Streaming?
While a digital release date for Suzume has not yet been announced, most movies typically become available to rent or buy around 45 days after their theatrical release. If this film follows the same trajectory, you may be able to watch from the comfort of your home by late May 2023.
Since the film is being distributed in North America by Crunchyroll, it’s likely that Suzume will also join the streamer’s library in the future. You can sign up for a subscription for either $7.99, $9.99 or $14.99 — or you have the option to do a 14-day free trial.
How to Watch The Summer for Free?
There are currently no platforms that have the rights to Watch The Summer Online. MAPPA has decided to air the movie only in theaters because it has been a huge success. The studio, on the other hand, does not wish to divert revenue. Streaming the movie would only slash the profits, not increase them.
The only easy way to watch The Summer streaming free without downloading anything is by visiting this web page. You can stream Nope online here right now. This film will be released on 14 April, 2023 and received an average rating with a 0 IMDb vote.You
can also find this film in English, French, Spanish. Click on the corresponding flag below to change the language.
As mentioned above, the dark fantasy is only released theatrically as of now. So, people who wish to watch the movie free of cost will have to wait for its release on a platform that offers a free trial. However, we encourage our readers to always pay for the content they wish to consume online and refrain from using illegal means.
Is The Summer on Crunchyroll?
No, it is currently not available for streaming on Crunchyroll or on any streaming platform.
That being said, the film is being distributed internationally by Crunchyroll with Sony, and they were responsible for bringing the movie to theaters. The movie saw its theatrical release in March 2023, but fans still have to wait for streaming it online.
Since Crunchyroll holds the rights to the anime and currently has the Demon Slayer: To The Swordsmith Village anime series available for streaming, it is believed that the movie as well will eventually find itself on the platform. However, Crunchyroll is yet to give any official confirmation or details regarding the specifics, making the fans
The film is director Makoto Shinkai's seventh major animated film release, but if the previous two films, namely Your Name and Weathering With You are any indications of how Suzume will do, then it is likely to be one of this year's best anime movies. Like Suzume, both Your Name and Weathering With You follow the story of average teenagers who are suddenly forced to come to grips with supernatural forces they do not understand, but must nevertheless overcome. In addition, Suzume is being produced by Japanese anime production house CoMix Wave Films which has a long history of collaboration with Shinkai dating back to his first video productions.
Will Suzume Be On HBO Max?
No, Suzume will not be on HBO Max since it’s not a Warner Bros. movie. The company announced last year that they would no longer send their theatrical films directly to the streamer. Instead, they’ve implemented a 45-day window between theatrical premieres and HBO Max releases.
Will Suzume Be On Netflix?
No, Suzume will not be on Netflix — at least not any time soon. While it’s possible it may come to the streamer at some point in the future, you’ll just have to head out to a movie theater or wait for it to become available on digital platforms in the meantime.
Is The Summer on Hulu?
Viewers are saying that they want to view the new anime movie The Summer on Hulu. Unfortunately, this is not possible since Hulu currently does not offer any of the free episodes of this series streaming at this time. It will be exclusive to the MTV channel, which you get by subscribing to cable or satellite TV services. You will not be able to watch it on Hulu or any other free streaming service.
Is The Summer on Amazon Prime?
Amazon Prime’s current catalog does not include The Summer.’ However, the film may eventually release on the platform as video-on-demand in the coming months. Therefore, people must regularly look for the dark fantasy movie on Amazon Prime’s official website. Viewers who are looking for something similar can watch the original show ‘Dororo.’
Is The Summer on Funimation?
Since Funimation has rights to the film like Crunchyroll, its official website may include the movie in its catalog in the near future. Meanwhile, people who wish to watch something similar can stream ‘The Summer.’
How To Watch Suzume Free Streaming on Reddit?
You can watch Suzume on Reddit without having to create an account or supply your credit card information. Click the play button below to begin viewing the film immediately. There are also no advertising or pop-ups here; instead, you’ll find great material! So why not watch Suzume online right now? It’s completely free and easy.
Do you want to watch Suzume online for free? 123movies, Reddit, and google drive all have Suzume. You may now watch Suzume 2023 free here on Hulu!. Click the play button below to begin watching Suzume streaming online. There’s no need to register or provide credit card information!
How to Watch The Summer Movie Online For Free?
Most Viewed, Most Favorite, Top Rating, Top IMDb movies online. Here we can download and watch 123movies movies offline. 123Movies website is the best alternative to Suzume (2023) free online. We will recommend 123Movies is the best Solarmovie alternatives.
There are a few ways to watch Suzume online in the U.S. You can use a streaming service such as Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime Video. You can also rent or buy the movie on iTunes or Google Play. You can also watch it on-demand or on a streaming app available on your TV or streaming device if you have cable.
The Summer Movie Cast and Characters
The Summer was written by the director Makoto Shinkai himself and stars the following actors:
The anime movie is voiced by
Nichole Sakura as Suzume Iwato
Josh Keaton as Sota Munakata
Jennifer Sun Bell as Tamaki Iwato
Cam Clarke as Hitsujiro Munakata
Roger Craig Smithas as Minoru Okabe
Amanda Céline Miller as Rumi Ninomiya
Rosalie Chiang as Chika Amabe
Allegra Clark as Tsubame Iwato
Joe Zieja as Tomoya Serizawa
Lena Josephine Marano as Daijin
Bennett Hetrick as Suzume Iwato as Bennet Hetrick
Mela Lee as Miki
Jennie Kwan as Mami
Abby Trott as Aya
Jake Eberle as Shige
What is The Summer About?
The Summer is an animated fantasy adventure film, produced by CoMix Wave Films, chronicles a high school girl and a mysterious young man trying to prevent a series of disasters across Japan. Commissioned in 2020, the film is both written and directed by Makoto Shinkai.
A seventeen year old teenage Suzume meets a strange man who is searching for a special door. The duo together discovers the special door in an old abandoned house located in the mountains. With captivating force Suzume is drawn towards the handle. By stepping through the door, this teenager opens a portal to the unknown and more similar doors start appearing throughout Japan. Now, Suzume needs to travel throughout Japan whether across the mountains or through the sea to close each such door to stop the Door of Disasters from destroying Japan.
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2023.06.04 22:04 __ferg__ First batch of Bingo mini reviews
My second Bingo, feels like I'm getting the hang of it! Last year I tried to write some small reviews, but that escalated completely and I had to break it down into various review posts.
This year I really try to make it as short as possible and fit it all in 1 post.
Yeah, worked great. No idea how to make them short enough to fit 25 reviews in one post and not create a wall of text no one's ever going to read…
Anyway here's the card
so far and some mini reviews.
First my personal star rating explained:
- 0* DNF (Well obviously can't happen for Bingo)
- 1* I hated every page, I don't know why I finished, whish I gave up early.
- 2* There are a few things that redeem it, but mostly I didn't enjoy it. If it's a series I'll stop after that book, and probably will be cautious before reading something else from the author.
- 3* Not great, not terrible. If it's a series I'll maybe read on, won't look active for the author but also won't shy away in the future.
- 4* Really good book, there were small things bothering me, will definitely read the next book if it's a series or will look for more from the same author.
- 5* I love it. If asked, I wouldn't be able to name any major problems. Give me more!
5* range: The library at mount Char
by Scott Hawkins [5*]
I'll copy shamelessly my original review:
Just finished The library at mount char. Hahaha, WTF did I just read? 5*. Recommended if you want something weird… The first half reads like some mix between something out of a fever dream and someone watching an 80s action B movie, high, and taking only the weirdest things they come across. Even more remarkable in the end the different things come together and actually make sense. Somewhat. And the mix between really disturbing stuff, hilarious characters and laugh out loud moments was also, unexpected I guess?
Now after some books in between, I can say that I remember the weird first half far better than the second and some of the most memorable characters from the whole bingo sheet (so far) are out of this one.
Tags: weird; dark; well no clue how to tag that book properly Bingo squares:
Horror(h), Bookclub or read along
4* range: Forge of the high mage
(Path to ascendancy 4) by Ian C. Esslemont [4,5*]
Probably my favorite Esslemont Malazan book so far. I don't think I have to say much more, this is the 4th sequel in a prequel series for a "spin off" series. If you reach this book, you are probably already addicted. Just a small heads up, if you didn't like Kellanveds Reach, this book improves everywhere. spoiler free review
Tags: Malazan; MultiPOV; Action oriented Bingo squares:
Sequel(h), released 2023, Coastal/Island setting(h), Title with a title(h) The infernal Battalion
(The shadow campaigns 5) by Django Wexler [4*]
I started reading this series last year for Bingo Review book 1
and finished for this years. And while the military focus from book 1 stays prominent it also adds some politics in later books. But the most outstanding thing is something about characters. It's hard to find authors who write good opposite sex characters, but this is probably the only male author I read who made all his female characters so much more realistic than the males. I could name 2 male characters with a somewhat filled out past and motivation and characterization that goes above "good at his job, villain, comic relief, etc" (and with 2 I'm already generous). But I could easily name half a dozen female characters with a rich history, believable agendas and a satisfying character arc. Overall a solid 4* series, with book 2 the weakest and 3 and 4 my favorites.
Tags: Flintlock fantasy; French Revolution inspired; LGBTQ POV Bingo squares:
Sequel(h), angels and demons (maybe?) Jade legacy
(Greenbone saga 3) by Fonda Lee [4*]
Another series which I started last years bingo and finished this year. Yeah I even use it for the same square, call me lazy ;) Review book 1
, since then nothing really changed, all my points from book 1 are still valid in the last one, solid 4* series overall.
Tags: Godfather meets fantasy; family; Asian inspired setting; 20th century setting Bingo squares:
Sequel, Coastal or Island setting, POC author, Mundane job(h) (one protagonist is a doctor) Prosper's Demon
by K. J. Parker [4*]
The world is full of demons. 72936 to be exact ( theydidthemath
), are looking for hosts. And while They can't die, extracting Them from their victim hurts Them. A lot. Only downside, it can also damage the vessel. So you need a special kind of person for the job.
We follow an exorcist (who is definitely not a nice person) on his personal vendetta, visit the court and meet Prosper (and his title-giving demon) who is some kind of universal genius. The story is witty (or sometimes outright funny) and I wouldn't have thought it possible to write about bronze sculpture casting in such an interesting way. Oh, and I really liked the ending…
Tags: First person single POV; unreliable narrator Bingo squares:
novella, angels and demons,
3* range: The steel remains
(A land fit for heroes 1) by Richard Morgan. [3,5*] Review
. I now also finished book two and the trend continues. A lot of focus on characters and world building, but still not much happening.
Tags: Dark fantasy; Gay/lesbian POV (2 out of 3); Fantasy/Sci-fi mix Bingo squares:
published in the 2000s, alternate realities (h) Qube
(Die Welt der Hologrammatica 2) by Tom Hillenbrand [3*]
Like the first one, this was more a tech thriller with Sci-fi elements than full science fiction. It was an easy and fast read, but when I finished no characters and nothing in the plot left a lasting impression. Like in book 1 people still struggle with AI but this book adds nothing new. The interesting theme from the first book [what happens, when people upload their brains in quantum computers and can change bodies without problem, to our relationships, because who do you love when a person is today an 18 year old girl, tomorrow a 80 year old dude and next week an elf], is completely gone here. Instead we get humanity's hunt for immortality. But instead of exploring what that would mean for humankind we get a McGuffin everyone is looking for. And we get a weird out of touch fantasy side plot, that may make sense in the end but felt completely useless overall. So this book didn't add anything interesting to the world created in book 1.
Tags: Tech thriller; AI; No English translation Bingo squares:
Sequel, Queernorm setting, Mundane job (journalist, CEO, E-gamer, UNO agent)
2* range: The long way to a small angry planet
by Becky Chambers [2,5*]
Just not my cup of tea, neither the characters nor the story ever really clicked with me and in an extremely character focused story that's probably the worst that can happen. Here we follow a new crew member on a spaceship and learn more about the rest of the crew in a nearly episodic way (it felt we get a very detailed focus on each member of the crew one after another) while the ship is on its way on a deep space mission.
Tags: space opera; found family; LGBTQ Bingo squares:
Queernorm setting, bookclub or read along, Mundane job(h) (I mean, she's hired as a clerk)
Ha, nothing so far. Overall the start wasn't to bad, with nothing catastrophically bad....
So now, while I have some more squares planned and some are just super easy to fill, I struggle to find something for: * Elemental magic * Druid
If anyone has some "must reads" for those squares, I'm more than willing to give them a try. Bonus points if it's a novella and stand alone. (I don't want to start so many new series for bingo, because last year added so many + those I read already outside of bingo...)
submitted by __ferg__
to Fantasy [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 21:52 todd10k It's experiences like this that remind me why i love this game
So, set the scene, i'm out doing some roc mining ( which is in a horrible state at the moment ) and i get bored fighting the extraction laser, so i get in my corsair and head up to orbit. I'm checking out missions and i see the "money from nothing" mission. I have no idea what this mission is as it's the first time seeing it, so i take the mission for a small fee and begin heading there. It looks like a derelict hammerhead is cut in half on the ground. There are numerous bodies all lieing around the place. Multiple wrecks are on fire. I notice that i've just left comms range, too. So any crimes committed here won't be reported to the UEE.
What the hell am i walking into here? I had no idea this was a PVP mission.
So i shoot off 5km from the site and disembark in my roc, headed to the crash site. I get about 1.5km out and exit the roc. As i approach the site, my heart is pounding. I have to fight against my flight or fight instinct constantly. I still don't realise this is a PVP mission. I get about 500m away from the crash site when i come under fire. 1 guy is on the roof of the hammerhead with a sniper rifle, another is about 100m away from me and the other is close to him. Thankfully, they've jumped the gun in firing at me, and i have lots of different routes i can take. I take out my 2nd rifle, a sniper rifle, i pop my head out and pop goes the sniper on the roof. At this point, one of the guys on the ground peals off to go rez his mate. I push and manage to take out guy number 2. The other one panics and runs across open ground.
Number 3 is dispatched in short order. Across the compound, there's a cutty red. I bet they're using that to respawn. I full sprint to the cutlass to find the sniper rearming, i quickly gun him down and gun down number 2 as he's respawning. I hop in the pilot seat, arm the self destruct, gun down number 3 as he's respawning and get to a safe distance in time to watch the fireworks.
A great experience, but it's not over. The mission requires that you go into the hammerhead and find a console to activate, this begins accruing UEC. The console is at a height to the ground and you have to climb up to it. This becomes important later. The full payout is 150k, i didn't know this at the time, but i head in and find the console. I activate it and it begins ticking up. I'm nervous and twitchy, but i sit myself in a corner and take up a defensive posture. When out of the corner of my eye, i notice the lights of a ship. They're back. It's a cutlass red, touching down about 1km away. I zoom in and watch the cutlass land and 2 bodies exit. The cutlass takes off and i can see the two guys zipping towards where they died. I take out my sniper rifle and start taking pot shots at one of them. They return fire and the cutlass begins to strafe my position. I don't have anything to deal with the cutlass so i move back into the destroyed hammerhead. I can hear the two guys moving around below me.
I'm in a bind here. The console is slowly ticking up and i want that cash. I could bail, try to run back to my roc and make it to my corsair, come back and blow the crap out of the cutlass, but that's a risk. If the cutlass spots me, i'm defenseless against it. The footsteps get closer down below. I can hear them shuffling. Both sides. There's 3 ingress points, i can't cover them all. There's a small room off to the side of the main hallway. I very carefully and quietly move in there. I raise my gun, point it at the doorway, and i wait. And i wait. 20 minutes go by. I can hear them. They're waiting for me to make a move. I don't so much as budge an inch. Eventually, they either lose patience, get bored, or think i've logged off. One of them mantles up to the level im on, and begins crouch walking down the long hallway. I train my crosshair on the door. I see his gun slowly emerge into view and then a moment of inspiration hits. I don't fire. I let him pass. I don't so much as breathe as he walks right by me, not looking in my direction. He think's i'm not here.
He moves into the main area with the console, and i can hear him moving around. He checks the corners and i can hear his mate shuffling up as well. His mate runs right by my doorway, i immediately spring the trap. I run to the corner, get a bead on the guy in the main room and unload onto him. number 2 swings towards me and i unload into him. He gets a few shots into me but i down him first. I'm heavily bleeding, out of ammo and the cutlass impotently starts unloading his lasers into the structure of the ship. I take out my medgun and heal myself but i've an injury. My guy is lungshot and wheezing heavily. Vision is slightly blurry. Not ideal but i've managed to deal with the 2 guys on the ground.
Fortune smiles on me, one of them was carrying a railgun. I strip the railgun and ammo and dump my sniper rifle. I take the railgun, position myself near a doorway and fully charge it. I pop out and fire directly at the cutlass. It takes a direct hit to the shields. The driver panics, tries to swing around and clips his engine on a tree, the engine explodes and the cutlass spins out of control into the ground and explodes. I obviously don't look at the explosion.
I return to the console, hit the button and wait for the payout. I loot the bodies of anything useful and head back to my roc.
This is one of the best experiences i've ever had in any game. I played early dayz mod and it never even came close to this in terms of adrenaline. I cannot wait for this game to release, i will play nothing else.
submitted by todd10k
to starcitizen [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 21:51 NamelessNanashi [The Gods of Dragons: Beginning] Ch 16 - Aftermath Part 2/2
--- Table of Contents
--- Part 1/2
When Shon woke again, it was to be told he'd slept, not only the rest of the day and night of the incident, but the entire day after as well. Despite the Cleric assuring Shon that this was normal, he still had Shon eat breakfast in the infirmary while the Squires attended their morning lessons. He'd slept through drills, breakfast, and prayer.
The Cleric kept the curtains drawn over the window, though Shon's head wasn't pounding anymore, and had added a second set of standing curtains around the girl's bed. Shon's eyes flicked in her direction with every alternate bite he managed to force down, but there was no movement beyond the white cloth.
Master Daunas came in shortly before tenth bell and armor practice to inform Shon that he was to take the day off to rest but could rejoin the others in training the following day. He was at least allowed to leave the infirmary, though he waited until he could hear sparring outside before he did. He didn't want to run into any of the Squires.
As he opened the door to leave something flew by the window, catching Shon's attention enough to make him stop and look over. But it was already long gone. Just a bird... Assuming he hadn't imagined it.
He shook his head, still aching all over. His mind swam with worries and memories, made worse by the fact that the Cleric was trying to hide shivers now that Shon was fully rested. He'd probably just imagined it...
Back in his room Shon huddled over his journal. He could still smell the smoke in his hair and had decided it would be best to shower soon, but finally alone, his thoughts and memories could no longer be ignored.
So he drew. He tried to start safe. Nangran atop his borrowed horse; Ivelm mostly naked and shaking a club in his doorway; the Archmage's workroom lined in shelves filled with magical components. That one had taken a while. But as he released these images onto the page, others forced themselves forward. Smoke billowing over treetops; a burning tower; charred bodies; and a girl reaching out through the flames. A girl lying asleep in the bed next to his. The stillness of the picture made her look dead.
He dropped his pencil, letting it roll right off the desk. Crossing his arms over the book, he rested his head on his desk. The wood felt warm compared to his skin, comforting. What more could he have done? What could a Paladin have done? Or Master Veon-Zih? Shon saw again the bodies and shivered.
No one could save everyone. To think otherwise was pure arrogance. But knowing the facts and feeling them were two very different things. The tower wasn’t that far from Hamerfoss. Shouldn’t they have known something was going on? Shouldn’t they have been able to do something sooner? Years sooner? Long before the fire killed those people?
A loud tapping startled him awake. When had he fallen asleep? Shon searched his room in confusion, trying to piece together his dream and what had awoken him. He'd been in the Temple chapel, but as he'd walked down the middle aisle, the pews had started to decay, the stone walls crumbling. Small plants, then trees began to sprout from the ground, overgrowing the once-holy place now in ruin. Shon pressed the heels of his hands hard into his eyes, trying to remember what had come next... A man with white hair pulled back in a ponytail had been standing at the head altar... something with leathery wings on his shoulder...
The painful screech of something sharp on glass had Shon jumping up, his chair falling to clatter on the ground behind him. He looked to his window but saw only orange sky beyond. Was the sun already setting? He knelt on the mattress and looked out the window, unsure what he expected to see. He was on the third floor, but that was definitely where the sound had come from, and the window was the only glass in the room.
Nothing but open sky.
He opened the tiny window, the pane swinging up and letting in cold and refreshing air that helped clear his mind. Master Daunas's voice bellowed orders from the courtyard below, and Shon stuck his head out to look down and see his fellows working through their dagger forms. He'd slept through lunch and afternoon lessons. And he still needed a shower.
If he hurried, he would be able to shower before the others finished their lesson. Shon left the window open and even opened his door before he remembered to grab a fresh uniform. Obviously, he still wasn't thinking clearly.
The halls were blissfully empty, and Shon could almost pretend that even if he did pass someone, their breath wouldn't show in the air. It was a short-lived fantasy, however. He managed to make it all the way to the showers, but when he opened the door a voice called, "Squire! Why aren't you... Oh..." Shon performed a sharp about face to stand at attention before the Major General.
"At ease, Squire Shon," Selibra sighed, waving him down, "Did you get enough rest?"
"Yes, Sir," Shon answered but then caught movement out of the corner of his eye, again
. He hadn't managed to turn his head far enough to see before the Major General started speaking. Shon snapped his head back to give the officer his undivided attention.
"You did well, Squire. Smith Nangran told us what happened at the tower." Sir Selibra managed a strained smile that faded quickly, "If you want to talk about what you saw there... any one of us will be more than willing to listen. You shouldn't have had to experience death so soon." an image of an arm pulling away from a charred corpse flashed in Shon's vision.
Shon swallowed down the accompanying nausea at the memory and managed a nod, adding a quiet "Thank you, Sir." for good measure.
Feeling the need to scrub even more than before, Shon was grateful when the Major General left, allowing him to enter the still-open room. The shower was only mildly comforting, however. What should have been scalding water felt merely lukewarm now, the mist billowing off his truly icy skin thick enough that he could barely see the spigots. Closing his eyes, he scrubbed and tried to imagine the images flowing off of him with the filth...
Something chirped, and Shon slammed the water off. Just the pipes creaking...
How much longer would he have to rest before his mind stopped playing tricks on him? But as he moved for his towel, Shon stopped in shock, his new uniform had been scattered around the benches and floor.
He hadn't heard the door open, but had heard the pipes creaking? But who here would even do something like this? Shon started to search the showers, but as he did, he heard something else—voices in the hall. The Squires were done with their practice. He still didn't want to see them and dressed quickly, rushing from the shower and slamming the door behind him.
Something thumped into the door from the other side. Shon held his breath and turned slowly. It was his imagination. It had to be. He reached for the handle again and, standing behind the swing, opened the shower slowly.
"He's been gone three days... Do you think they sent him away?" Thom's voice sounded from around a corner, and Shon jumped in surprise, pulling the door open fully as if he could hide behind it.
"No way. he's the best Squire we have, so what if he's a Sorcerer." They were talking about him... Shon definitely didn't want to see them yet. He dashed down the opposite way, taking a long way around through the Paladin's barracks and back to his room. Or that's what he'd planned before he remembered the Squires hall would be full of people now taking their break and trying to get into the shower before everyone else. His feet faltered, and he turned away again, to one of the hardly used stairs that would take him down to the rest of the fortress.
Barred from his room, Shon made his way to the place he associated the most with comfort, the chapel. It wasn't empty, three Paladins knelt in prayer near the front, but it didn't matter anymore. He felt a wash of calm as he entered the incense-filled room, the sweet-smelling smoke finally banishing the stench of burning hair from his memory.
Shon took a spot near the back, kneeling to pray as he stared up at the statue of Hengist behind the altar. He was dressed in full plate mail, his arm raised in triumph, holding his mighty sword, Darkspliter.
Shon sighed and felt himself smile for what felt like the first time in a very long time. He could tell Hengist anything and everything, and none of it out loud... But then his smile faded. What would he say...? I'm sorry. I feel like I've been lying to everyone, to you. I've known there was something different about me, something wrong with me. That's why no one likes to touch me, why everyone pulls away at the feel of my skin, like it's somehow dirty or painful. I should've realized... Should have known... But I worked so hard... You know that, don't you? And I'm not ready to give up. I'll do whatever it takes, atone anyway I can if you just tell me how. The Major General said something about it being a sign. I want to believe he meant the unlikely convenience of Smith Nangran knowing an Archmage who could make an item so I won't have to get the tattoo. Thank you. I just hope I don't disappoint after getting a second chance...
The bell for dinner sounded. Feeling better, Shon considered going with the Paladins as they left the chapel. Until one of them shivered as they passed. "Winters right around the corner," another muttered.
"We'll need to install the heating orbs soon." the last answered before the door closed... He wasn't hungry anyway. Please, Hengist. Don't let me hurt anyone else. Kefir was trying to help me, and I answered that kindness with pain. What if the healers hadn't gotten to him in time? Would I have smothered him in ice? Please, I'll give up everything if it means that will never happen again...
But he didn't want to give up anything. He wanted to fight, to reach his highest potential, and lead a life of meaning. He thought of Master Veon-Zih. The Monk had told him that he didn't need to be a Paladin to fight for justice, and he was living proof of that. But... I don't want to be alone... At first, I thought I just wanted you, a god, as a guiding light in my life. But now I realize that being a Paladin gives me even more than that. It gives me brothers and friends, and I don't want to lose them either. But I especially don't want to hurt them.
Shon clenched his hands tighter, as tight as he could, digging his fingers into the spaces between his knuckles; as if external pain might dull internal strife... They say I'm scary... And I know they aren't really joking. I can see it in their eyes and hear it in their nervous laughs when they try and make it a joke. But they only mean when they fight me... don't they? And I'll never try to hurt them. It's only sparring... they know that... don't they?
He squeezed his eyes tighter shut, But what about now? Will they be even more afraid? Even when we aren't sparring? Can I blame them if they are?
He actually found himself waiting for an answer... Of course, none came. He wasn't a Paladin yet, and wouldn't be able to feel the god until he swore his Oath and took a piece of Hengist into himself. For now, Shon took in a deep breath, as deep as he could, then let it out slowly, relaxing his hands and face as he attempted to release his anxieties unto his god. I won't give up. I'll fight this danger within me as hard as I will fight any threat without. I ask for your help with this. Please don't give up on me yet. I'll prove I'm worthy, I swear.
The bell ending dinner and starting study time sounded. Shon stayed in the chapel until a handful of Squires came in to pray themselves. They hesitated by the door, but Shon didn't look at them. He knew he couldn't hide forever. But he also wasn't sure what he should say to any of them. Or if he should say anything at all. Shon waited until they moved away from the door to finally stand. If he had to face any of them, he wanted it to be the ones he considered friends first.
Shon left the chapel and made his way to the library, fighting the urge to just go back to his room. Heads swiveled in his direction the moment he opened the library door. Shon flinched, sucking in a sharp breath and holding it, pulling his energy in as best he could.
He stepped in, and the Squires exchanged looks, but then the Paladin on library duty coughed, and they quickly went back to reading.
His typical spot was available as usual, so Shon made his way there. The others would want to talk after... and if not, he would just go back to his room. Distracted by his continued worries -and the silent effort to hold his energy in- Shon still heard when something behind him hissed along the stone.
He spun quickly, scanning the floor. This time he definitely wasn't imagining it...
"Squire Shon... Shouldn't you be resting?" He turned back to find the Squires trying to make it seem like they weren't staring at him, while the Paladin who called looked openly concerned.
Shon's cheeks flushed, now feeling cool rather than warm. Another change..
. He cleared his throat, "No, Sir..." and when the Paladin's worried expression didn't let up, Shon added, "I've been resting all day."
"Three days..." Zihler muttered.
Shon met his eyes and the Squire smiled, but Shon couldn't tell if the expression seemed strained or not. He nodded anyway, taking his seat alone at the table by the window.
Books on their current subject of study were already laid out, and he pulled one forward, opening it without checking the title. As he read, he could hear the others occasionally whisper and even caught snippets of what they were saying,
"I found another one. Do you think this will be enough?" Thom asked.
"We have the rest of the hour; we should find all we can," Rerves answered. It didn't sound like they were studying, but Shon had missed three days of lessons; maybe they were working on an assignment... He went back to his reading. He would get any missed work tomorrow.
When the bell rang that would finally begin their last hour of free time, Shon closed his book. It would be best to just go to bed early; everyone seemed to think he should be resting anyway; they could talk after he got the sealing item... But he hadn't stood yet when his six closest friends jumped up, books in hand, and crowded around him, preventing him from leaving. From running away.
"We're glad you're okay." Rehlien blurted out.
"The Major General told us what happened," Baradin added.
Shon looked from him to Kefir and took in a sharp breath, "I'm..." he started to apologize, but Kefir interrupted with a broad smile,
"I'm fine. I even got a day off for it. I didn't need it though, they healed me up right away."
Rerves placed his book down on Shon's table, "It was just really surprising, you know? But hey! Now we know why you're so cold all the time."
Shon looked down at the massive tome on the table, not wanting to meet their eyes. He didn't know what to make of what they were saying. There was no way it was okay. How could they be alright with a dangerous magic user that could kill them all on accident...
"We found these. We thought they might make you feel a little better," Thom whispered, stacking his book on top of Rerves' and opening it to a page he'd marked with a ripped piece of scrap paper. It wasn't a textbook, it was a record book. Shon furrowed his brows down at the page, reading 'Sir Patrich, served 4876-4929, died 4955. Paladin of Hengist, General. Air Sorcerer...
Shon looked up to find them all smiling down at him. Zihler set his book down over Thom's, opened to another personal record, "This one was a fire Sorcerer, and they're supposed to be the most destructive."
Rehlien took Baradin and Kefir's books and stacked them with his own beside the open records. He ran his fingers over the slew of bookmarks sticking out of the closed pages, "All Sorcerers and
Paladins." Rehlien said.
"Master Daunas said you would be back in a few days, but just in case we wanted to find these for you," Thom explained in a rush, "You know... in case the officers or Mages needed to be convinced..."
Baradin cleared his throat before he spoke, clasping his hands behind his back, "We haven't found any ice Sorcerers yet, but they're also the rarest, so that really shouldn't be surprising."
"Yeah, and there are plenty of fire who are crazy dangerous even when they're trained," Kefir added quickly.
Shon could feel a burning in his eyes and blinked furiously, looking away from his friends. He wouldn't cry.. he wouldn't. "Thank you..." he managed to croak out, finally giving in and rubbing his eyes. None of them commented on his show of emotion, or the frost clouding his window.
Rerves took the seat across from him with a smile, "So, what type of familiar do you think you'll get?"
Shon managed to stop blinking enough to arch an eyebrow. Hadn't Ivelm said something about a familiar too?
"I bet you it'll be something really lame." Zihler laughed, "To balance Shon's badassness."
"Squire!" the Paladin librarian barked, "Pushups! Now!"
Zihler groaned, mumbling as he stepped back to perform the punishment, "How do they always do that?"
"Divine hearing," Rehlien snickered as Zihler started the pushups, "Probably only works for curses, though."
"You can join him," the Paladin called without looking up from his book, and Rehlien groaned, dropping down next to Zihler.
"Seriously though," Rerves said, ignoring the boys huffing and puffing through their punishment, "Familiars are animals, they're supposed to be even closer to their Sorcerer than a Paladin and their mount! Like an extension of yourself. You can see through their eyes and talk to them with your mind. It's awesome!"
Thom actually blushed, confessing, "We read up on it a bit over the last two days..."
They knew more about what he was than he did. Shon actually smiled, starting, "I don't..." but chittering, like a particularly loud squirrel, interrupted him. The Squires all swiveled their heads to look around, Rehlien and Zihler jumping to their feet with the Paladin, who stood so quickly his chair fell over. The chittering turned to chirping, and then to a purr, as Shon finally found what was making the noise.
On top of the bookshelf closest to the door, sat a tiny dragon.
The size of a large barn cat, its scales were mostly brown but had streaks and blotches of red and orange, like the few deciduous trees that still held their leaves in autumn. Its leathery wings were folded against its back and its front claws grasped the edge of the bookshelf. Its long tail, complete with a scorpion-like stinger, flicked back and forth, its sinuous neck held high as it surveyed the library.
Some of the Squires let slip breaths of wonder, and the little dragon seemed to preen at the attention, holding its head a little higher and purring even louder. The Paladin, however, stepped around his desk and commanded, "Stay back, Squires," before he started chanting. The little dragon tilted its head at the Paladin, as curious as the rest of them. A moment later, the knight's spell washed over them to fill the room, sending a shiver down Shon's spine and making more than one of the other Squires shudder.
The little dragon let out another string of chittering and hissed down at the Paladin, whose eyes went wide as he announced in a breath, "It's real."
"How did it get in?" a senior Squire asked. Shon started to stand but then fell back again as images flooded into his mind. He watched a window opening from outside the fortress, and saw himself lean out. Then the image shifted, and he saw himself digging under his bed for a new uniform and towel as the him that was watching slipped out the door. It shifted again, and he saw himself in the shower, mist billowing off his shoulders before he dug through the piles of clothes left on the bench. It shifted again, and he darted into the library and behind the bookshelf, watching as he, Shon, walked in and sat down at the little table.
Shon blinked and shook his head furiously to try and clear it. All the pictures had flooded in so fast that no one even had time to answer the question or pose their own, "I let it in..." Shon whispered, then looked at the Paladin, explaining quickly, "I didn't mean to. I left my window open to air out my room and..."
"It's okay, Squire," the Paladin was actually smiling, and the little dragon whistled, "They're goodly creatures, though elusive. I've never seen a live one." the dragon leaned forward on the bookshelf, crouching down on its front claws and wiggling its hindquarters before it leaped into the air, opening its wings to spread as wide as it was long. It glided a lap around the library then hovered in front of the Paladin, chittering again and flapping hard enough to blow the man's short hair back before flying right towards the group of Squires around Shon.
It brushed Baradin's head with its claws, the boy ducking as it swooped down to land on Shon's table. The dragon looked from the open books to Shon, then, before Shon could pull back, climbed up his arm and to his shoulder, purring hard enough to vibrate Shon too. It weighed considerably less than it looked like it should, though its claws were sharp enough to pierce through his clothes as it climbed. It brought its face right up to Shon's eye, and though he tried to pull away, it followed him with its long neck, rubbing its cheek along his face. The scales were smooth and lacked temperature, like being touched by a gloved hand. It nuzzled his cheek again, then down his neck and into his shirt.
Surprised, Shon tried to throw the dragon off, but it just dug its claws into his sleeves, chittering angrily then clawing its way around to his back before lifting itself up to drape over his head. "What..." Shon started, but the Paladin cut him off with a laugh.
"I think that answers your friends' questions, Squire."
Shon was too confused to even arch an eyebrow at the man, but Rerves apparently understood what he'd meant because he said, "But I thought only animals could be familiars, like cats and crows and stuff..."
The Paladin nodded but then shrugged, "That's usually the case, but sometimes, rarely, there will be a Sorcerer who gets something a bit more special, like a winged serpent, fairy dragon, or in this case," he nodded at Shon, "A pseudodragon."
The pseudodragon purred, vibrating Shon's head. The Squires all gaped slack-jawed in awe at it, and Shon reached up slowly. He wasn't even sure what he was going to do, pet it? Push it off? But before he'd even touched it, it lifted its head, stretching its long neck out and nuzzling into his hand, obviously not caring that his skin was colder now than it had ever been.
"Damn..." Zihler muttered in obvious disappointment, "I was really hoping it would be a toad so I would have something to make fun of..."
The little dragon's answering twitter almost sounded like a laugh.
She groaned, rolling over and nuzzling deeper into Her pillow. Except it didn’t smell like Her pillow. Her eyes flew open, and She sat up. Then fell back down. That was stupid. Ran and Brom had probably taken more blood than usual again… except She couldn’t remember them taking Her for samples. Not for weeks and weeks…
“It’s alright, you’re safe here,” the kindly voice of a man spoke from Her right, and She sat up again, more slowly this time. A stranger in white robes with a sword embroidered on the chest reached out to help Her up, but after touching Her back he pulled sharply away.
She was too confused to apologize for burning him. “Where?” She asked, looking around the room. Like the stranger, it was covered in white. White blankets, white rug, and white curtains hanging to either side of an open window. A window that looked out onto a blue sky. She gasped, scrambling from the bed and nearly tripping over Her white gown. Of course it was white. How in all the hells did they keep it all clean?
She shook Her head and rushed for the window. The man behind Her gasped, his chair scraping loudly as he stood to follow. She pressed Her hands on the cold glass, staring up into the sky, “I’m on an upper floor!?” She grinned excitedly over Her shoulder as the stranger stared at Her, mouth hanging open.
Turning back to the window, She used Her arm to wipe the fog from Her heat off the glass, letting Her gaze trail down. She didn’t see the treetops She expected. Not close anyway. Instead, the forest was beyond a wide clear field, which in turn was beyond a tall stone wall with people dressed in silver walking along its top. She stood on Her toes to look down through the window. Between the wall and Her was a courtyard full of more people swinging things that glinted in the sun.
This wasn’t the tower. None of those people wore robes except the nice stranger. She spun to him, “My treasures, where are they? Brom? Ran? Where…” She saw a flash of red, heard a pained bark, and smelled iron. She fell to Her knees, grasping Her chest and breathing hard, remembering bits and pieces. He killed them. He killed all of them. Then what? She couldn’t remember...
“You are in a training facility of the Temple of Hengist, Hamerfoss, in Clearhelm.” a new voice, deeper, less kind though not cruel, spoke from the doorway. Lifting Her head, She saw the new man wearing a crisp, white, uniform, with a sword hanging comfortably from his belt. Hengist… so that explained all the white.
The kind man in robes had rushed to Her but dared not touch Her. Wise. With Her head spinning so fast, there was no way She was controlling Her heat properly. “How long has she been awake?” the new man asked the kind one.
“She just woke up, Major General,”
“He killed them…” She whispered, squeezing Her eyes shut, pushing back the rage and sorrow, trying to fill in Her memory. What happened next?
“It will be alright. You're safe here,” the kind man said again.
She pulled Her own hair, lacing Her fingers into the golden strands and squeezing. What had happened? She had run down the hall, but how had She gotten out of Her room? There were strangers in Her tower. These men? She glared up at the brown-haired man who looked down at Her, his hands behind his back.
“Who are you? What did you do to the Mages?” She could feel the hair rise on the back of Her neck and a familiar tingling where the collar should be.
The Major General remained calm before Her building fury, saying only, “Calm down.” It was a command backed by magic. She felt the power flow over Her and try to settle on Her mind. She could almost sense the peace it promised but shook Her head, clearing it of the spell.
He could've used his magic to hurt Her. Perhaps not with the collar as the Archmages did, but in other ways. And yet, he hadn’t moved from his spot, his hands still behind his back. She looked again at the sword of Hengist at his side. She'd read all about the gods. Hengist was good and noble, all about self-sacrifice and protecting the weak… A fool, the Mages had said. And yet his Temple ruled this province. The Mages of Her tower would never work with the Temple of Hengist. Or any kingdom order…
She took a deep breath and let it out slowly. She didn’t need his help to calm down, not when She had something to focus on. She shoved Her grief to the back of Her mind. “How did I get here?” another image flashed in Her mind, fire all around, a white path, blue eyes.
The Paladin didn’t answer right away; instead, he motioned for the robed man - a Cleric? - to bring him a chair. She tilted Her head curiously at him, but he only sat down with a weary sigh, then gestured towards the bed, “Please, have a seat.”
She stood, returning to the bed and eyeing the door over his shoulder. He hadn’t locked it. “We saw smoke from the woods and found you in a burning tower.” the blood drained from Her face, “We have recovered several bodies from around the structure, but there were no other survivors.” he leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees and fixing Her with a piercing stare, “What happened? What was going on in that tower?”
She brought Her feet onto the bed and hugged Her legs tight, “I don’t… I can’t remember…” a fire, the tower burning… But it was made of stone. Her fire couldn’t burn that hot… Could it?
“Sir Selibra,” the kindly Cleric sounded stern, crossing his arms and glaring down at the Paladin, “She has just woken up from what was obviously a terrible ordeal. Show some compassion.”
The Paladin, Selibra, actually looked ashamed, leaning back in his chair and clearing his throat, “I apologize, miss…” he drew out the last word, looking at Her expectantly. She tilted Her head. “What is your name?” he asked more clearly. She tilted Her head the other way. Were they going to play that game here too?
The Cleric hummed then said, “Please forgive him, miss, we are all very troubled by the events and deaths at the tower. The Major General merely got ahead of himself. If you could tell us your name, then we can let you rest and…”
“I don’t have a name.”
The two men blinked dumbly at Her, and She rolled Her eyes, “I knnnooowww,” She let Her legs fall back down, so She was sitting properly again, “But I don’t know it yet. As soon as I do, I'll tell you.” She assured them. The men exchanged looks as She glanced again out the window. Maybe She should've just told them what Brom and Ran called Her… But those weren’t names. They were descriptors. No better than ‘Firewyrm.’
If these Temple men were to be believed, everything was gone. She had no room, no books, no clothes, no treasures, and no name. What did
She have? She pulled Her hair over Her shoulder and stared out the window as She stroked it. She had Her hair. They hadn’t cut it in months. She had Her body. She straightened Her posture, holding Her head high. And She had Her power—the fire crackling deep inside Her soul. The Mages had taken the first two. The third had destroyed them.
“You should rest,” Selibra stood, and Her eyes snapped back to him, “You can send for me when you feel ready to talk. Until then, focus on recovering your strength and your memories.”
He made it all the way to the door, even swung it open before She called out, “What are you going to do to me?”
Selibra turned back, his eyebrows raised in surprise. The Cleric placed a hand on Her shoulder, slowly and carefully, gauging how much of Her heat he could handle. She turned to him, and he let Her go. He'd held on longer than expected. “We will keep you safe, child.” the Cleric assured Her.
The Paladin grew stiff for a moment, then brought his right fist up to his chest, “By the sword of Hengist’s honor, we will safeguard your life and freedom,” Freedom?
“Whatever injustices you endured there, you will find justice in the laws of Clearhelm.” She didn’t know what to say, and so, after an awkward moment of silence, Selibra turned for the door again and left.
She didn’t lay down. Instead, She walked back to the window. The view seemed to stretch on forever from so high up, higher than She'd ever remembered being before. Even when She used to climb the trees around Her tower.
Selibra hadn’t locked the door, but the Cleric bustled around behind Her, and the wall below Her clanked with armored knights. What was
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2023.06.04 21:51 NamelessNanashi [The Gods of Dragons: Beginning] Ch 16 - Aftermath Part 1/2
--- Table of Contents
--- Autumn 4986, 16 Aoimoth
Shon slid down the side of a tree to the ground and watched the tower burn. Ivelm did a circle of it, dousing the surrounding trees with his water wand, while Nangran inspected the few bodies he could reach without burning himself. At one point, he tried to pull a corpse further from the fire only to have its arms snap off at the shoulder, meat pulling away from the bone like a well-cooked turkey.
Somewhere in the back of Shon’s mind, he knew he should be sickened by the sights and smells. When they first stepped through the portal, he‘d had to hold back retching from the scent of smoking hair and cooking flesh. Now he could hardly muster the energy to keep breathing. He took long and slow, but shallow breaths. As if he were about to fall asleep despite the horror before him.
So much death. Shon had never seen a dead person before. Though he wasn’t sure if these still counted, so blackened they could almost be mistaken for macabre statues... if it wasn’t for the smell.
“What was going on here ‘Elm?” Nangran demanded of Ivelm as the mage rounded the other side of the tower and rejoined them.
Ivelm sheathed his water wand, pulling forth the diamond-studded wand again. He didn’t answer.
Nangran growled, grabbing Ivelm's arm as it rose to point the wand toward the forest. The Archmage shook him off and spun, his robes fluttering around him as he gestured angrily at the fire, “I don’t know, Flintchest. This tower was supposed to be empty, abandoned. I’m the only Mage with authorization to set up in this area.” he pointed his wand over Shon’s shoulder and spat something indistinct. A rush of cool air flowed from behind accompanied by shouting and armor clanking. Knights running.
Shon rolled limply to the side, planning to stand but finding his arms shaking as he tried to push himself up. Boots stomped around him as Paladins flooded from the magical gate into the clearing. Shon managed to lift his head, though even his neck seemed to be rebelling against his attempts at holding himself up. His vision swimming, he saw Major General Selibra and Master Daunas step through the portal, their mouths agape.
Shon’s arms gave out from under him, and he fell to the side, hearing as if from a great distance, “Squire! Shon… Shon… Nangran, what happened?” From the ground he could see the girl, now wrapped in Nangran’s cloak, leaning against the side of his tree. When had they brought her there? Why hadn’t he noticed?
“He’s fine.” Ivelm’s voice, Shon couldn’t see anymore, so he closed his eyes, “He’ll wake up in a few days. Hell of a Sorcerer that one…” No… no, no, no... he wasn’t a Sorcerer. He was a Squire. He would be a Paladin…
For a brief moment, a flicker of an image played in Shon's mind. He saw himself lying on the muddy ground, Master Daunas knelt by his head, and Ivelm spit off to the side. Then, only the sweet relief of darkness as he passed out.
“Any other survivors?” Sir Selibra’s soft voice drifted through the darkness.
“Only the girl,” Daunas whispered from nearby.
“I doubt she’s human,” Ivelm spoke loudly, and Shon flinched, his head pounding as the mage didn’t bother to keep his voice low, “No fire-resist spell should have lasted in that heat. Even fire Sorcerers can't survive melting stone.”
“She looks human.” a fourth voice, the Hamerfoss Cleric. Shon couldn’t move. The light filtering through his eyelids sent stabs of pain into his head, making it hard for him to concentrate. He tried to lift a hand to cover his eyes, but the limb wouldn’t obey his call.
“And a table looks like it’s made of wood but does that mean it’s still a tree?” Ivelm snorted, and something wet splattered on stone.
“Archmage, please, this is an infirmary…” the Cleric said, shocked.
The mage didn’t apologize and continued to speak at full volume, “Whatever was going on out there it wasn’t sanctioned by the Guild, and that girl has most certainly been subject to experimentation. Those scales? That hair?” he spat again.
“Let’s take this outside, shall we?” Sir Selibra said, and three pairs of boots thumped away, a door swinging open. Sir Selibra’s voice retreated as they left the infirmary still in conversation, “We have sent for the Temple and Guild. They should be here shortly.” The boots left, and the door closed again.
Only one pair of feet remained, shuffling around the room before the rustling of curtains being pulled closed accompanied the sweet relief of darkness. Shon steeled himself and forced his eyes to open just a crack. More pain. He closed them again, his ears ringing. With a slow breath, he tried again, blinking in the weak light filtered through the cloth covering infirmary window.
A groan slipped from his lips, and the Cleric rushed to his bedside, “Don’t try to sit up, Squire. You’re drained, but unhurt,” which seemed a direct contradiction to Shon’s pounding head. The Cleric continued, “After a bit of sleep, you should be fine…” Shon let his head fall to the side, wanting to look away from the window, and saw a second bed, where a girl with golden hair slept.
“It happens to Paladins too, you know. You have to be careful not to expend too much of your own energy when casting magic…” the Cleric continued to talk, busying himself by checking Shon's vitals, “It’s inevitable, but with practice, you can mitigate some of the effects…” She was the only survivor, and she had been experimented on… “After you take your Oath, you'll receive training in divine magic…” even if she was okay physically, would she be alright mentally?... “For now, just rest. You did well. It’s thanks to you the girl got out alive…”
Shon closed his eyes. Thanks to him? Nangran had seen the smoke, Ivelm had taken them there. He… he hadn’t known what to do, had frozen at the sights and smells. He'd formed a path of ice, but the girl hadn’t been burning… Her feet had melted his ice... Shon let himself drift back to sleep. He wasn’t a hero. Not yet.
The tower was supposed to be empty. General Rasnah and the Mages Guild had combed through their records finding that the building had been abandoned over fifty years ago; when the old alchemist living there passed away. Archmage Ivelm reported that he'd surveyed the tower twenty years previous, before setting up his lab miles further south.
“Having a tower like that is practically begging for wanna-be-apprentices to come interrupt you. Looking for a teacher and free room.” he'd explained, with obvious disgust at the idea, even spitting on the floor of Sir Selibra’s office.
Sir Rasnah personally led the Temple Paladins and Guild Mages through a gate from Smilnda to Hamerfoss and from there to the ruins of the mysterious tower. Mages and Paladins crawled together over the still-smoking remains, now a mear hill. Trying to break apart the stones that had melted together and find anything that could explain what had happened here. Bodies covered in white cloth lay in lines along the edge of the forest, ten in total, though how many had been trapped in the tower was still unknown.
The Clerics of Lune would identify the bodies, though she wished they could do more than just give names. It would take months, possibly years, to scour the records to determine who these poor souls had been in life. And more years besides to track their movements through the meticulous paperwork kept by the kingdom.
She could practically hear Veon-Zih snickering at her, ‘Silly Ras, you gave up the battlefield of blood and stone for one of words and paper…
’ she shook her head, banishing thoughts of the Monk. This work would be just as important. How else would those fighting the physical battles find their enemies without information and resources? And yet… She rested her hand on her sword with a sigh, “Some retirement…”
“Sir Rasnah,” a female Mage with dark hair and tan skin approached from the tower, “We found the basement…” she looked over her slumped shoulders back at the pile of melted rock.
“Not as promising a find as we'd hoped?” Rasnah asked, arching her steely eyebrow at the Mage. What had her name been? Vevi…
To her credit, the woman straightened her shoulders and answered clearly, “Oftentimes, we learn as much from a rejected hypothesis as a failed-to-be-rejected hypothesis.” As Rasnah tried to wrap her mind around what in the hells that meant, the Mage continued, “We had hoped that the basement level would be relatively unscathed as heat should rise to destroy the upper levels and possibly spare the lower…”
Those were words the Paladin understood at least, but they implied bad news, “And that wasn’t the case?”
The Mage sighed, “It was. The fire behaved as fire always does, barring external influence,”
“Mage Vevi, I admire your Guild's desire for specificity, but please, get to the point.”
Vevi blinked then shook herself, saying, “Evidence suggests that the fire started in the basement and that the heat there was far greater than we assumed.” Rasnah arched an eyebrow at the woman again and the Mage threw her hands into the air, “It looks more like a cavern carved by pure magma. Nothing but melted stones remain in the form of caves we can only guess were originally rooms.”
“Damn,” Rasnah gripped her sword and glared past the Mage toward the tower, “So we have no way of knowing what they were doing.” The girl still hadn’t woken up. What were the chances that she had any information of value? Archmage Ivelm was convinced that she'd been the subject of magical experimentation. Would those who had abused her also give her information?
“We have one way,” Vevi interrupted Rasnah’s worries, and the Paladin focused on her again. The Mage turned away, motioning to some of her fellows standing near the bodies. An old man with a bent back and shuffling gait split from the group and approached slowly. Rasnah had to resist the urge to walk to him just to speed up the process.
“Sir Rasnah, this is Archmage Meshed, our divination master.” Vevi introduced the old man while he was still a few steps away, “There is a chance we will be able to obtain some information from the tower remains. Though I’m afraid it might not be as clear and concise as you wish. Divination often creates more questions than answers.”
“I am well acquainted with the frustrations of interpreting symbols and signs…” Rasnah led, unsure of the value in this new idea. Arcane magic didn't get its power from a higher intelligence or any god, it utilized the natural magic and energies running through the world and every object in it, manipulating them with precise words and symbols directed by human will. It was all well over her head.
Meshed’s laugh turned into a dry cough. He cleared his throat, “I think you will find, Mage Vevi, Sir Paladin, that the information I will glean from this place to be far more clear and concise than you are accustomed to. It simply won’t be as complete as you wish.”
With a groan and many popping joints, he sat down on the ground, fishing through his robes and pulling out a small bag. From it, he withdrew a massive tome and a silk cloth that Vevi quickly helped spread on the ground before him. Next came a censor and many jars of herbs and incense, which, after checking his book, he carefully measured before pouring into the censor.
He waved a hand towards the tower without looking up from his work, “Stones, please, Vevi. Choose wisely, I don’t want to do this all day…” Despite being a senior Mage, well on her way to Archmage, Vevi rushed off towards the tower herself and eventually returned with two fist-sized stones.
“One from the upper floors and one from the basement, Meshed,” she explained, handing them to the Divination Master. Meshed pulled a set of brass scales from his small pouch, measuring the stones and muttering to himself as he adjusted the volume of herbs in the censor.
He placed the first stone with the herbs, and his eyes glazed over, “A light if you will.” Vevi performed some complicated motion with her hands, flicking her fingers forward at the end with a muttered word. A spark of flame appeared over the censor, lowering onto the herbs and setting them alight. Smoke billowed in a gray noxious cloud, and Rasnah covered her nose as Meshed began to chant.
He ran his hand through the smoke, which wrapped around his fingers, and continued skyward. “No divine magic was cast here…” he mumbled, moving his hand again. The smoke shifted above his fingers as they passed, creating images of people in robes leaning over books, “Arcane magic…” Obviously.
Still, for some reason, his brow furrowed. He passed his hand through again, and the smoke turned nearly black. Before Rasnah could make out any shapes Meshed pulled his hand away and shook it violently before rubbing it on his robe, “Warlocks, Sir Paladin.”
“Damn.” Rasnah smothered more colorful curses and managed a half step closer, “What were they doing, Archmage?”
He didn’t answer. Instead, he chanted a new spell, and his hand glowed with a soft red light. Reaching into the censor, he plucked out the stone and replaced it with the second. The smoke again turned gray and rose lazily into the air. Once again, he passed his hand through the flowing tendrils, and once again, they turned black. He shook his head, “Obviously… damnation… what to ask… what to ask…” He seemed to settle on something, muttering, “The fire, tell me about the fire…” he ran his fingers through the smoke. Flames leaped from the censor, the smoke turning red and billowing out before them.
Rasnah stepped back as great smoke wings spread wide, illuminated from below by flames. A horned head atop a sinuous neck stretched for the heavens and Meshed scrambled to his feet. Vevi kicked the censor over, spreading burning debris across the silk to smolder, releasing tiny lines of, blessedly, normal smoke.
“What was that? A wyvern?” Rasnah asked, her heart in her throat.
Meshed coughed his dry cough and shook his head. Vevi stared at the upturned censor with wide eyes. “Much worse, Sir Rasnah,” the Mage whispered, “A dragon.”
“It was dragon fire that destroyed this tower,” Meshed confirmed.
--- Part 2/2
--- Table of Contents
Thanks for making it this far, you are the real MVP
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2023.06.04 21:43 SabbyOfSableWine An alien who doesn't sleep learns what "dreams" are--or more specifically, she learns about nightmares when her human mate wakes up screaming
This is part of my little series about the adventures of Vr'ocria and Human Aldrick. If you'd like to read previous parts, they're linked below, along with brief summaries in case you prefer to just jump right into the new part: Part One: Alien learns what "sleep" is and how humans prefer to do it in a comfy bed with blankets and pillows. And they find it utterly adorable. Vr'ocria and Human Aldrick are sent on a survey mission together. Things go south, Aldrick makes sure they're safe, and then Vr'ocria learns what human sleep is and how vulnerable humans are when they sleep. Vr'ocria's people don't sleep, but enter stasis, a form of rest in which they typically stand, and they are still slightly aware of their surroundings. Vr'ocria finds human sleep utterly adorable, and also decides she will protect Aldrick while he sleeps. And she also develops a massive crush on him. (Her scales turning purple is her version of blushing) Part Two: An alien + human adventure with such shenanigans as poison drinking, befriending dangerous wildlife, and fighting a space pirate. Oh, and they have a huge crush on each other. Part Three: When a cold-blooded alien has to cuddle a warm-blooded human for warmth Part Four: A human leaves a hickey on his alien lover. Her nestmate doesn't understand what a hickey is, and thinks the human injured her Vr'ocria and Human Aldrick end up assigned to be partners. Vr'ocria is a witness to both human shenanigans as well as human durability, but she also begins to learn about the limits of the human body--they are not invincible. She and Aldrick begin to fall in love, and they finally confess their feelings for one another when Vr'ocria admits to accidentally forming a mate bond with him. Vr'ocria's nestmate, Galek, is not very happy about her being involved with a human, but begrudgingly respects her decision. Part Five: Space pirates make the grave mistake of attacking a human's loved one. They very quickly learn what happens when a human is angry and full of adrenaline Pirates come for Vr'ocria in revenge for her killing one of their own. Aldrick goes beast mode. 'Nuff said. Now for the new story! If you're just here for the nightmare sequence, it's about two thirds down. (Some of y'all are already picking up what I put down taps nose...) "'Bumps and bruises' he says," Vr'ocria muttered. "Bumps and bruises!" She crossed her arms. "Bumps and bruises don't bleed, Aldrick."
They were back on the ship, in the med bay. Aldrick was lying on an examination table, naked except for a blanket pulled up to his hips. He was sedated, so he couldn't hear her anyway, but that didn't stop her from grouching.
As soon as they'd boarded the shop, Aldrick began fading fast. He was suddenly slumped and stumbling, eyes tight with pain, and they had to be beamed directly to the med bay. He'd been covered in so much pirate blood that the blood of his own injuries had gotten lost in the mess. Once the med team got to work cleaning him up, all of the cuts, claw marks, and stab wounds began appearing, and as soon as the orderlies let her, Vr'ocria was rushing back to his side. By now, most of his wounds had been closed up, but she still vividly remembered the bloody, black and blue skin that emerged when they peeled his shirt off.
Dr. Fen continued fussing over Aldrick. She was Lymeran, a species similar to humans, made distinctive by their flat noses and bone ridges that curved around the outer corner of their eyes. She swept her dark ponytail over her shoulder as she reached for a new tool. "He also has several hairline fractures in both arms and three cracked ribs," she reported briskly. "Honestly, these humans are going to be the death of me."
Vr'ocria's spine tightened with worry, her scales flushing red. "How could he go so long without collapsing?" She asked.
"Adrenaline," Dr. Fen explained. "It's a hormone that releases into a human's bloodstream during times of great stress. It makes them faster, stronger, more alert." She placed a small and round boneknit device on one of Aldrick's affected ribs. "But it also makes them immune to pain for a short time. That helps them keep going in a life or death situation, but pain exists for a reason. It alerts the body to injuries, it tells you when something is wrong and where. When you don't feel pain, you don't know when you're hurt, and you don't know when to stop if you're pushing yourself beyond your body's physical limits."
"Moons above," Vr'ocria murmured. She moved closer to the table, reaching out to stroke Aldrick's hair. Under sedation, his face was relaxed and free of lines, and she tried to take some comfort in that. "Will he be alright?"
"Oh, he'll be fine," Dr. Fen chuckled. "I'm good at my job, and humans are sturdy. He just needs to follow my orders for bed rest, so don't let him be an idiot and go running off."
That drew a smile from Vr'ocria.
As Dr. Fen continued bustling around Aldrick, she shot a sideways glance at Vr'ocria, a mischievous look in her eye. "So it's true that you guys are like…a thing? I noticed your scales have pink tips."
Vr'ocria blushed purple.
"Ha!" Dr. Fen smirked. "I knew it!"
"Shut up," Vr'ocria muttered.
"What? It's cute! And totally obvious. The whole ship knows at this point."
"The whole ship?"
Dr. Fen laughed. "Oh come on, it's not like you two are any good at hiding it. Anyone who knows anything about Ethyrian physiology knows what pink scales mean–full pink means you're experiencing strong feelings of love, right? And even when you're not particularly emotional, your neutral green with pink tips indicates you're within proximity of your mate. And the way he looks at you–"
Vr'ocria blushed harder and covered her face. "Oh planets, why are so many people invested in our relationship?"
Dr. Fen shrugged. "Well, historically, Ethyrians don't tend to mate outside of their species. It's not every day you see one mate another species, much less a human."
Vr'ocria couldn't help smiling. "Well, it's his fault for being so cute."
"He sure is," Dr. Fen winked.
"Hey," Vr'ocria jabbed a finger at her, "professionalism."
Dr. Fen raised her hands. "I'm very professional! I also have eyes and can acknowledge that you're a lucky girl, and I hope the two of you will be very happy together."
Vr'ocria kept stroking Aldrick's hair, her scales easing into a strong pink. "Me too."
By the next day, Dr. Fen had skillfully mended both skin and bone. She discharged Aldrick and let him return to his living quarters, with the caveat that he rest for at least a week.
He and Vr'ocria walked through the corridors arm in arm as she escorted him back to his quarters. They weren't even pretending anymore, and they drew plenty of stares and whispers as they passed by crew members milling about. There weren't many humans onboard to begin with, so Aldrick already stood out. Walking arm in arm with an Ethyrian must've looked even more bizarre.
Despite all the attention, Vr'ocria decided that she wouldn't be embarrassed anymore. She pulled Aldrick a little closer and held her head high as they passed a group of giggling ensigns. My human. My mate.
Aldrick's quarters, like hers, were small but comfortable. The door opened into the living space. Aldrick had decorated it with various Earth flowers and plants that sat in pots scattered about the room, some hanging from the ceiling. The lush greens, pinks, reds, purples, and yellows, made the place feel warm and inviting. The back wall was almost entirely windows with a plush couch pushed underneath them, so that one could recline and watch the stars fly by.
Vr'ocria ushered Aldrick straight into the bedroom, which was similar to the living area, just smaller and furnished with a bed, a nightstand, and a small armchair. "You're going to bed," she ordered.
"Aw, come on," he whined as she shoved him onto the mattress, bending down to pull his boots off.
"Doctor's orders." She put his boots aside and stood, placing her hands on his shoulders to push him down onto the pillow.
"I'm not tired!"
"Liar." She could see the bags under his eyes that she'd come to learn was a sign of exhaustion, and despite his protests, he didn't try to fight her off as she settled him in and pulled the blankets up to his chin.
He couldn't help chuckling. "I haven't been tucked into bed since I was a kid."
She sat on the edge of the bed with a smile. "Well, that's what I'm here for."
He rolled over onto his side and took her hand, placing a kiss on her knuckles. She squeezed back, and then made to stand to turn the lights off.
She turned back. Aldrick had pushed himself back into a sitting position. "Something's been bothering me."
She frowned. "What is it?"
"How did the Norvidians know you were the one who killed that guy?"
She blinked. "What?"
Aldrick twisted the sheets in his hands. "How did they know it was you? They knew exactly who you were and where to find you. The only people who knew what happened on Theta-7 is our superiors and people in our department."
Vr'ocria sank back down onto the bed. "What are you getting at?" She thought she knew the answer, but she didn't want to say it out loud.
Aldrick met her eye. "What if someone sold you out?"
Her spine grew tight, yellow rippling across her scales. "...No," she whispered. "No, that can't…who would do that?"
He chewed his lip. "I don't know. I hope I'm wrong, I really do…but…" he blew out a frustrated sigh. "I could blame a leak for them knowing you were the one to kill the guy. Someone could've carelessly mentioned something somewhere, I don't know. But there's no way they would've known exactly where to find you unless they were told. That was a brand new mission, no one knew where we were except for Command."
Vr'ocria felt sick. She didn't want to think he was right…but it made too much sense. "What do we do?"
"I don't know," he said with a pained look. "There's no telling who it could be, and if it's one of our superiors, we'd only tip them off if we approached them with this."
It was a conundrum Vr'ocria could hardly believe was real. Sure, she and Aldrick had some basic combat training, but soldiers they were not. They were survey agents, their job was to explore and study, not fight. And she certainly wasn't supposed be the subject of conspiracies and espionage or whatever was happening here.
She closed her eyes and shook her head. "Let's worry about this later. You need to get some rest."
Aldrick reluctantly laid back down, but blushed when she bent down to press a kiss to his cheek. It was the first time she'd kissed him since Gamma-5. "I could get used to that," he murmured as he snuggled into the pillow.
"You should," Vr'ocria giggled as she rose to her feet. "I'm not going to stop anytime soon." She switched the lights off, then returned to settle into the chair next to the bed, pulling her file pad out of her pocket. The screen's soft glow was the only light in the room. "Now, go to sleep."
Vr'ocria worked quietly on her file pad for the next few hours. Data entry was tedious, but somehow, she found a comfort in doing it while listening to Aldrick's slow, deep breaths.
So she was quick to notice when his breathing pattern changed.
Aldrick groaned and shifted in his sleep, rolling over onto his back. His breath began to quicken, and Vr'ocria lowered her pad to look over at him. By the low light of the pad's screen, she could only see the silhouette of his chest rising and falling, faster and faster.
"Aldrick?" She whispered.
"Nuuh," he moaned, beginning to thrash.
Alarmed, Vr'ocria stood and flicked his nightstand lamp on, dropping the pad on the table. "Aldrick," she said a bit louder.
His eyes were still squeezed shut. He was tossing and turning now, gasping through parted lips. He cried out again, and Vr'ocria felt her blood rushing fast and hard through her veins, her scales rippling between red and yellow. What was going on? Was he still asleep? She'd never seen him like this before, and it frightened her.
Tears were beginning to seep out from under his tightly shut eyelids. "No…no…" His voice rose in volume as he clutched and clawed at the sheets. "Vr'ocria!"
Whatever held Vr'ocria frozen to the spot snapped the second she heard him scream her name like that. She bent forward and grabbed his shoulders, shaking him. "Aldrick!" She cried desperately. "Wake up!"
With a strangled cry, his eyes snapped open. His pupils were blown wide and the whites were bloodshot as he stared at her in shock, still gasping for breath, his hands grasping her arms in an iron grip.
She took his face in her hands. "What's wrong? What's going on?"
He only continued to stare at her, the fog slowly clearing from his eyes.
"Say something!" Vr'ocria demanded, resisting the urge to shake him again. "You're scaring me, what's the matter? Does something hurt?"
Aldrick surged up, throwing his arms around her neck and pulling her down to him. She fell forward with an "oof" as her weight landed on top of him. "Hey," she protested with the side of her face pressed into the pillow, "I can't be laying on you, your ribs–"
"You're alive," he rasped into her ear.
She stopped struggling to get up. "What?"
He was shaking, and it took her a moment to realize he was crying. "You were dead, they killed you–I watched them–God, I watched you die–you weren't moving, your eyes–"
He was babbling almost incoherently, and Vr'ocria was terrified.
She finally managed to push herself off of him, and tugged him up into a sitting position. She pulled him forward into a hug, taking care not to squeeze his ribs. "Calm down," she tried to soothe as he clutched her tight, still shaking. "Just breathe." She didn't know if she was even helping, but she didn't know what else to do.
But it seemed to work. After a few minutes, Aldrick managed to slow his breathing down to a more reasonable pace, and she felt his muscles sag in her arms as the tension drained away.
"I'm sorry," he finally croaked. He pulled away and rubbed his eyes with the heels of his hands. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to…" he struggled to find words. "I'm sorry for making a scene," he finished at last.
Vr'ocria placed one hand on his hip and the other on his knee. "What happened?"
Aldrick wrapped his arms around his middle. "I had a nightmare."
She furrowed her brow. "A night…mare?"
"A nightmare is a bad dream," he explained.
"...I don't understand."
"Sorry, I guess you wouldn't, since you don't sleep…uh…fuck, how do I explain this…" he ran a hand through his tangled hair. "When humans are asleep, even though we're unconscious, our subconscious brain is still pretty active. One thing it does is create dreams. During dreams you can see, hear, feel, smell and taste things that aren't there. Sometimes dreams are pure nonsense, just a mess of sounds and images. Sometimes you might have good dreams–maybe you fly, or go on crazy adventures. But sometimes, you have bad dreams. We call them nightmares."
Nightmare. What an awful word. It sent shivers over Vr'ocria's scales. "So just now, you…"
"I had a bad dream. A very, very bad dream." He dug his fingers into his temples. "When you're dreaming, in most cases, you don't know that you're dreaming. It feels completely real. And bad dreams are usually brought on by stress or fears you have. And my fear–" he broke off.
She squeezed his knee. "It's me dying?" She supplied quietly.
He shut his eyes as if he was in pain. "When I saw what those fucking pirates did to you–I've never felt so much fear in my life. I was so scared they would kill you before I got there, or that I would fail to save you, or–" he covered his face with his hands. "And I dreamed that I did fail. I watched him stab you. I watched you bleed. I held you and you were–your eyes were so blank–"
Vr'ocria didn't want to hear anymore. She yanked him forward, hugging as tight as she dared. "It wasn't real," she whispered. "I'm here. I'm right here."
"I'm sorry. I'm sorry." His arms still trembled and his voice was thick against her neck.
"Stop apologizing," she said firmly. "You have nothing to apologize for. None of it is your fault, not the attack, not the dream, none of it."
She felt him take a shuddering breath and let it out slowly. "Thank you, my love."
Her spine tingled.
"Come on, lay back down. I'll lay with you." She pulled back the covers and crawled underneath next to him. They settled down into a familiar position–him clutching her to his check, her arms around his waist, their legs tangled together. His heart was still pounding, but she listened as it gradually quieted to a gentler pace. Soon enough, Aldrick was asleep. This time, he slept peacefully through the night.
Nightmares can fuck up your whole night, man. I've had nightmares that were so vivid they stuck with me for days afterwards. Shit sucks, and I wish I had someone to cuddle with afterwards lolol
Thank you for reading! Until next time ;)
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2023.06.04 21:26 Sinplesnot123 My personally,honestly truely opinion of sanji
Fuck you. You useless piece of shit. You absolute waste of space and air. You uneducated, ignorant, idiotic dumb swine, you’re an absolute embarrassment to humanity and all life as a whole. The magnitude of your failure just now is so indescribably massive that one hundred years into the future your name will be used as moniker of evil for heretics. Even if all of humanity put together their collective intelligence there is no conceivable way they could have thought up a way to fuck up on the unimaginable scale you just did. When Jesus died for our sins, he must not have seen the sacrilegious act we just witnessed you performing, because if he did he would have forsaken humanity long ago so that your birth may have never become reality. After you die, your skeleton will be displayed in a museum after being scientifically researched so that all future generations may learn not to generate your bone structure, because every tiny detail anyone may have in common with you degrades them to a useless piece of trash and a burden to society. No wonder your father questioned whether or not your were truly his son, for you'd have to not be a waste of carbon matter for anyone to love you like a family member. Your birth made it so that mankind is worse of in every way you can possibly imagine, and you have made it so that society can never really recover into a state of organization. Everything has forever fallen into a bewildering chaos, through which unrecognizable core, you can only find misfortune. I would say the apocalypse is upon us but this is merely the closest word humans have for the sheer scale of horror that is now reality. You have forever condemned everyone you love and know into an eternal state of suffering, worse than any human concept of hell. You are such an unholy being, that if you step within a one hundred foot radius of a holy place or a place that has ever been deemed important by anyone, your distorted sac religious soul will ruin whatever meaning it ever had beyond repair. You are an idiotic, shiteating, dumbass ape and no one has ever loved you. Rhodes Island would have been better off if you'd never joined us. You are a lying, backstabbing, cowardly useless piece of shit and I hate you with every single part of my being. Even this worlds finest writers and poets from throughout the ages could never hope to accurately describe the scale on which you just fucked up, and how incredibly idiotic you are. Anyone that believes in any religion out there should now realize that they have been wrong this entire time, for if divine beings were real, they would never have allowed a being such as you to stain the earth and this universe. In the future there will be horror stories made about you, with the scariest part of them being that the reader has to realize that such an indescribable monster actually exists, and that the horrific events from the movie have actually taken place in the same world that they live in right now. You are the absolute embodiment of everything that has ever been wrong on this earth, yet you manage to make it so that that is only a small part of the evil that is your being. Never in the history of mankind has there been anyone that could have predicted such an eldrich abomination, but here you are. It’s hard to believe that I am seeing such an incredible failure with my own eyes, but here I am, so unfortunately I cannot deny your existence. Even if I did my very best, my vocabulary is not able to describe the sheer magnitude of the idiotic mistake that is you. Even if time travel some day will be invented, there still would not be a single soul willing to go back in time to before this moment to fix history, because having to witness such incredible horrors if they failed would have to many mental and physical drawbacks that not even the bravest soul in history would be willing to risk it. I cannot imagine the pure dread your mother must have felt when she had to carry a baby for nine months and then giving birth to such a wretched monster as you. Not a single word of the incoherent, illogical rambling you may be wanting to do to defend yourself or apologize would ever be able to make up for what you just did. The countries of the world would have wanted to make laws preventing such a terrible event like this from ever happening again, but sadly this is not possible since your horrific actions just now have shattered every form of order this world once had, making concepts such as laws irrelevant. Right from the moment I first set my eyes on you I knew you were an absolute abomination of everything that is wrong with humanity. I was hoping I would have been able to prevent your evil from being released upon this world by tagging along and keeping my eye on you, but it is clear to me now that not even the greatest efforts would have been able to prevent a terrible event in this scale from occurring. You are the worst human being, or even just being in general, that I have ever had the misfortune of witnessing. Events like the infected plague apparently only happened with the goal of teaching humanity to survive such a horrible event as the one you just created, but not even mankind’s greatest trials were able to even slightly prepare anyone for the insufferable evil you have just created. If you ever had them, your children would be preemptively killed to protect this universe from the possibility of anyone in your bloodline being even half as bad as you are, except you will never be able to have children, because not a single human being will ever want to come within a hundred mile radius of you and anything you have ever touched. You are a colossal disappointment not only to your parents, but to your ancestors and entire bloodline. The disgusting mistake that you have just made is so incredibly terrible that everyone who would ever be to hear about it would spontaneously feel an indescribable mixture of immense anger, fear and anxiety that emotionally and physically they would never truly be the same ever again. The sheer scale of your mistake, if ever to be materialized, would not only surpass the size of the world, but it would reach far beyond the edges of the known, and almost certainly the unknown universe. I could sit here and write paragraphs, nay, books describing your immense failure, yet even if I were to dedicate my life to describing the reality of what has just gone down here, and I would spend every moment of it until my heart stops beating working as hard and efficiently as possible, yet there is not even a snowballs chance in hell that I would be able to come close to transcribing the absolute shitshow you have just released upon the world. You are an irresponsible, idiotic, disgusting, unloved, horrible excuse for a living being who’s soul contains less humanity than every ginger in history combined. The absolute disgust I feel when thinking about anything that has even a slight resemblance to anything that might have to do with you and your unholy actions is so incredibly great that when I am honest about it I think that even I do not posses a consciousness great enough to comprehend my own feelings about it. When people of Columbia fought to break free from Lungmen, countless soldiers fought and lost their lives in favor of a chance at a better future for their children, they did not give their lives to have you fuck the world up beyond repair to the degree that you are doing right now. Honestly, even when technology advances and studies on the subject become more and more accurate, I do not think humanity will ever truly be able to understand what your failure actually means for the universe. My hate for you and everything you stand for is so much deeper than the depths of Shambala that you could probably take the entire Lungmen population down there and back up around twenty million times before you would have sunk to the end of my hate, and honestly, I do not want to exaggerate, but I think that that insult was low balling it such a massive amount that all mountains in this world combined would not be able to stack up to this imprecise judgement in light of the fact that when being honest, my hate is almost certainly bottomless. There is no one in this world that has ever loved you, and especially after what you just did, no one will ever love you in the future either. There is no hope that your idiotic behavior and especially your crooked soul will ever change for the better, and in fact quite the opposite might be true. By making the mistake that you just did, you have shown me that you are so incredibly hopeless that you will only devolve into a more idiotic and wretched creature than you already are. The only possible way in which your future would be brighter than the black hole your existence currently is would exclusively be because there is absolutely no conceivable way that you would even be able to sink lower than the pathetic place your current failure has put you in.
submitted by Sinplesnot123
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