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As a black man...

2013.12.08 22:01 TastyMeatPoop As a black man...

For those pretending to be what they're not, and those who hate what they are.

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2023.06.05 12:01 TheOutsider134 "You ain't shit" but hear me out...

This one is for all the ADHD homies who struggle with perfectionism, and being labeled a gifted kids or if not that, having the infamous "you have so much potential" flung at them.
You ain't shit. Yes. That hurts, it hurt me.
You arent special, you're not world chancing, you're not gifted.
I read a quote here on Reddit the other week, where a teacher was telling a gifted student
"you're gifted, good for you! you have the brain of an adult in a kids body. And when you grow up, you ll have an adults brain in an adults body and nobody will care"
At first this sounded rough to me, but after some thinking, maybe it's exactly what we gifted kids need to hear.
Yes, you may be smart, but that also means you probably "skipped the tutorial" pretty often when you were younger, and are now struggleling with some fundamentals. Mainly for me. Learning.
Like actual learning, sitting down, taking my time and absorbing information that I maybe already figured out, or already know.
I rarely had to do this when I was young, so now I have to learn how to learn.
And the most wonderful thing is happening, now that ive stopped worrying about my potential, and that ive accepted that "I aint shit." I'm actually starting to learn the things i'm interested in, my performance anxiety is at an all time low.
And I feel like i'm improving.
It's really cursed that the fear of not living up to my potential was the one thing stopping me from trying/failing, and actually learning/doing the things I want to get better at.
Because when "you ain't shit" you can only admire and aspire to be better, and you are actually willing to learn from people who "we'rent shit and now they are" everyone starts from zero. So why should you not.
And if you are gifted and smart, you ll soon find out what that can actually do for you, when you learn to be humble.
Thanks for reading this, I hope it does you well :)
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2023.06.05 12:01 Cultural-Sock83 Buddy Read: Slightly Married by Mary Balogh

t’s finally here! HistoricalRomance is hosting a buddy read to discuss Slightly Married by Mary Balogh! This thread is the place to swoon, to rant, and to chat with your fellow readers. What is a Buddy Read you may ask? It is a book club post / group read in our sub HistoricalRomance. It is a group post where group members can discuss portions of the book as they progress in their reading progress. It can be a really fun experience reading a book together and discussing your first impressions (or your impressions now if you are rereading the book) as you go along. We had some much fun with our last buddy read and hope this time around is a great success.
Here’s a Goodreads link for back cover copy, purchase links, etc., in the interest of not copying-and-pasting it all and cluttering up this post too much, Slightly Married Goodreads page as well as the Romance.io link for more information on tags and content, Slightly Married Romance io.
Mary Balogh, born Mary Jenkins, grew up in Wales and after graduating from university, moved to Canada to teach high school English. After marrying her husband Robert Balogh, she started writing in the evenings as a hobby. Within three years, she decided to retire from her 20 year teaching career to write full time. She has since written more than 70 novels and almost 30 novellas since then, including the Bestselling Bedwyn Saga series which starts with Slightly Married.
I’m really excited to read this book, and even more excited to discuss it with all of you!
So, how does this whole thing work? This buddy read will be divided into top comments that you can reply to:
*In General (No spoilers please!!!) This discussion section will allow for general discussion and questions about the buddy read to be posted without anyone fearing their book-reading experience will be spoiled. This section will also contain the official trigger warnings for the book and a refresher on plot information from the first book in the series in case anyone is interested, though you don’t need to have read that book to enjoy or understand this book.)
*Chapters 1-3
*Chapters 4-6
*Chapters 7-9
*Chapters 10-12
*Chapters 13-15
*Chapters 16-18
*Chapters 19-21
*Chapters 22-23
*Ratings and Reviews (Our ratings and reviews upon finishing the entire book, and a general discussion about what you would like to see in future similar books after reflecting upon your experience with this one.)
Please reply to the relevant top-level comment to discuss anything that happens in that particular section of the novel. (To avoid confusion and spoilers, if anyone accidentally makes a new top-level comment instead, that comment will be removed and the commenter warned via message to read the directions in order for all to have the smoothest buddy read experience.) When you comment within each section, you don't have to mark spoilers, as you should only be commenting on material pertinent to the relevant section in order to keep things spoiler-free.
You will need to hide comment replies in order not to see the replies in the later sections you have not gotten to yet and spoiling anything. To do so, you should click on the vertical line below each top-level comment. This will collapse all replies. Please be careful! We don't want your experience to be tarnished by skimming down the page without having collapsed the sections you have not read yet.
Questions? Please reply to the “In General” top-level comment.
Technical issues? Again, please reply to the “In General” comment and we’ll do our best to help you or tell you who to contact directly to sort it out.
Want to help choose options for the next HistoricalRomance buddy read poll? Please message our mod team and let us know! We really hope that we can make this a monthly thing if we get enough interest and active participants!!!
We wish everyone a happy reading and discussion experience!!!
submitted by Cultural-Sock83 to HistoricalRomance [link] [comments]

2023.06.05 12:00 AutoModerator OYS - Where Progress is Made (06/05/23)

Struggling or failing? It's time to own it. Nice guys hide their flaws, trying to put on a false impression of who they are in order to impress others. We don't do that. We're up-front and honest with the fact that we're sinners and failures. James 5:16 compels us to confess our sins to one another and to pray for one another. 1 John 1:9 goes even a step further and makes confession a cornerstone of the Gospel - acknowledging that we are insufficient on our own. So, where are you failing? What do you need to confess?
To do this, it would be helpful to get to know how you're doing in a variety of areas. To that end, just as God is triune, he created us with three core parts of our being: our physical bodies, our heart/mind, and our spirit/soul. Try to cover all three. Use the questions in each category as inspiration, but roll with whatever you need to put out there.
PHYSICAL: How are you doing with lifting? Losing weight? Where's your body fat %? What have you been eating lately? How about your porn/alcohol/drug/cigarette/whatever use? Are you employing kino on your wife properly? Are you going too far with your girlfriend? How's your fashion sense? Are you still lounging around the house in gym shorts and using your ratty flip flops when you go out? How are you spending your time? How's your income doing? Your body is God's temple: are you reflecting that appropriately? For married men: how's your sex life?
MENTAL/EMOTIONAL: How have you been doing reading and learning new things? How's your frame? Do you still struggle with living up to someone else's expectations? Have you mastered Agree & Amplify? Amused Mastery? Negative Inquiry? STFU? Your DNGAF attitude? Are you failing fitness or comfort tests? How are you leading your wife/girlfriend this week? Do you feel pressure from any sources to do something or to act/not act a certain way? Are you depressed or lonely? Are you secure in your heart/mind that God's will is good, even if it's not what you want?
SPIRITUAL: How are you doing on the 7 basics? Rank yourself:
MISSION: Have you solidified your mission - and does it have eternal consequences or does it only affect this world? Does your mission extend beyond the home? Do you have someone discipling you? Are you discipling anyone else? Have you talked with your non-Christian friends about Christ recently? Are there parts of the Bible you're just not understanding? How are things going with your church or small group?
Again, these are all things just to get you thinking. Share where you're really struggling. We may give you some encouragement. We may kick you in the butt and tell you to get to work. Or we may leave you to meditate on your comment yourself. How we respond to your comment and update isn't the point. What matters is that you put it out there so you have a milestone to look back on next week - something where you can ask yourself: have I improved or not?
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2023.06.05 12:00 Radiant_Court7455 Small success, and fear of emptiness

There's a discussion forum that I have been using for many years, more than 10 actually. I have had many interesting discussions there, received help to some problems and helped others. But quite often, especially during the past months, I've found myself browsing that forum aimlessly when I don't have anything "better" to do. Or grabbing my phone instantly when I feel bored and entering the forum address. Compulsively checking certain threads over and over again to see if there are new posts. I also feel that the general atmosphere on the forum has become increasingly toxic and it doesn't always feel good to read it.
So I decided to stay away for a while. My first target is one month, then I can quickly visit, perhaps post something, and then it's time to have a break again. Maybe another month, who knows. I'm pretty sure that one month is the longest time that I've ever been away from that forum. My previous record may not even be two weeks. In more than ten years. I have been away for a few weeks now, had a couple of relapses, but those will not stop me. I still quite often find myself typing the address in the browser, then I realize that and say nope. Sometimes I already see the front page and remember what I have to do. Close the tab.
I've been almost completely free of video games for a year. Only played a little bit with some online friends last year. I'm not very interested in gaming anymore. Or actually, should I say "serious video games". Because the exception is playing solitaire on my phone. When I'm bored, grab the phone and play some solitaire. When I should start something, grab the phone, and play solitaire. Just one round of solitaire. A way of procrastinating a little bit. A week after starting my forum break, I also decided to quit solitaire for a while.
I'm not having very strong cravings although I often think what kind of interesting discussions might be waiting for me when I return. A little bit of craving, maybe. But I'm also feeling some kind of freedom. That forum, and my identity on the forum, had become a part of me. But lately it was feeling more like shackles that kept me tied to my not so glorious past. I do not have to follow every thread that I used to follow. I can be free.
The next thing to cut down is probably news browsing. Scrolling news sites has been one of my problematic surfing activities. The news site that I've used the most has always been sensationalist and using click-bait titles, but lately it feels that it has gotten worse. Quality of the news is going down, there's click-bait everywhere, re-releases of old articles, just browsing it makes me feel angry. Time to quit I think.
I have been an active member of several gaming communities. Lots of interesting discussions, playing games, feeling some sense of community, being part of something. But most of those communities are dead now. People moved on. Some of them became toxic and unwelcoming places.
I do think that gaming and having good discussions is better than mindless scrolling, but it used to consume a lot of my time. Neither gaming nor participating in these gaming communities brought anything long-lasting to my life. And now there's not much to participate. Empty servers and deserted forums, digital ghost towns.
While I'm feeling that this could be a new beginning, I'm also feeling increasingly lonely. I'm afraid of emptiness when I'm trying to quit my old time-consuming activities step by step. I feel like the 10 to 15 years of neglecting social activities and spending time on the computer has permanently scarred me and I can't get the best years of my life back. But I'm trying to do something. Currently trying to build a gym routine to improve my physical health, and it will take a few hours of time every week. Just walking in the nature helps a bit.
I tried smoking a few times a long time ago, and didn't understand how people get addicted to that junk. But I can now somehow relate to smokers. My computer, and increasingly over the past years, my phone, have been the first things to log in in the morning. Having a break at work, grab the phone. Feeling bored or anxious, grab the phone and get some dopamine kick. Traveling by train or bus, spend the whole trip on the phone or laptop. Surfing keeps pushing my sleep cycle to later and later hours in the evening, which is incredibly bad for my health and feeling.
It's time for a change, but it's not easy.
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2023.06.05 12:00 KingofSpain0 Walls and Angels

Monday, June 5, 2023
If you're born again and spreading God's love, you're an angel. The word in Hebrew for angel is "malach;" in Greek it's "angelos." Both words mean "a messenger who bears a message." You're a messenger of the gospel and that makes you an angel. Scripture speaks of flesh and blood angels in the Hebrew and the Greek. So what does that mean? Angels work miracles and have power to open and close doors and gates, to walk through walls. As a flesh and blood angel, when you walk in the will of God and bear His message, you have power to walk unhindered. Nothing can stop you. When you walk on your own, forget it, you'll be frustrated and blocked up. But when you walk in God's will, you're free. There may be physical obstacles, but angels move in the spiritual. Paul learned the secret of being content. He was in chains, but he wasn't bound. Carry the gospel and you won't be either. Do God's will and spread His word. You are free. Nothing can stop you when you're in God's will. You can even walk through walls.
From Message #416 - Earth Angels Scripture: Psalm 103:20
Today's Mission - Stop letting obstacles hinder you from sharing the good news with someone today. Walk through walls and be an angel!
Credit: Hope of the World Ministries
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2023.06.05 12:00 LaticusLad Time Marches Ever Onward: Chapter 2

(Any sentences or phrases wrapped with brackets "[ ]" are designated as inner monologue!)
Thank you to u/SpacePaladin15 for creating this wonderful literary universe!

Memory transcription subject: Lemva, Venlil Archeologist
Date [standardized human time]: July 13, 2165
The attendant, Harold, had told me that there would be another passenger boarding shortly several minutes ago, and since then I couldn't keep still wondering who I was going to meet. As I sat on the couch, I couldn’t help but eavesdrop on the conversation that Harold had just started with the other passenger. As I heard a new voice respond to Harold’s greeting my heart started beating faster. Wait, the voice sounded familiar…
My heart rate quickened as footsteps came closer down the hallway. A man wearing a black suit and indigo tie came walking around the corner and my heart fluttered a little as I looked up at his face.
“James?” I squeaked as I said his name. I jumped up off the couch and ran toward him, throwing my arms around him and nearly knocking him over. “Lemva!”
Looking up at him, I realized what I had just done, backing off slightly embarrassed. “James! I haven’t seen you in so long, what have you been up to?”
“Looking into ancient history, studying declassified documents, bringing back ancient history, that sorta thing.” James kneeled slightly and looked at me with a wide smile, I’d missed that smile so much. He opened his mouth to speak. “I wasn’t expecting to see you on this flight. It’s very good to see you!” “It’s good to see you too! So you’re one of the others that the UN’s invitation spoke of.” “It seems that way, yeah.” He chuckled slightly.
“I see you two are getting along well! I don’t even have to introduce you.” I realized Harold had been standing there watching the interaction the whole time. I straightened myself out, even more embarrassed than before. Harold chuckled. “Alright you two, we’re going to be taking off shortly. I’ll be in the cabin along with the captain. If you need me, press these buttons.” He handed us both a device with a singular blue button labeled “call”.
The man turned around and headed through the door leading to the cockpit. Leaving us alone. We both sat on a couch. James spoke, “So, do you know anything about the job being offered?” “I was going to ask you the same thing.” “Hmm, well we’re going to be in for a long flight, may as well catch up on some things.”
Me and James had known each other since we attended MIK, and had a lot of history. We met in the college’s history club, and quickly became friends. We both had a passion for learning about things that most others had forgotten, and theorizing about what life was like in ancient times. He didn’t know it but I had a huge crush on him at the time.
We stayed in contact long after we both got our doctorates, despite the large distances between us. Eventually James suddenly stopped contacting me, I never understood why. I had worried that it was something I did, that I had pushed him away. Then, after a while, he faded from memory, only existing in the back of my mind. I needed to know why. But not now, this was too soon.
“I know I already asked what you’ve been up to since we last spoke, but still. Discovered anything new?”
“Yeah, I got my hands on some recently declassified Fed info and artifacts around 8 months back. Studied them and found out they were ancient Gojid pottery, inscriptions described some sort of fertility god? Found some other inscriptions describing the site of an ancient Gojid city on The Cradle and got in contact with a dig team to go search there. Hit the motherlode and-” He spoke so enthusiastically about his findings. Just seeing him so happy about his work made me bloom, but thankfully he didn’t notice as he kept talking, waving his hands to emphasize his words. “-trying to find a museum that has the room for all of them.”
“Wow, that’s a lot more than what I’ve been doing.” “Really? Lemva hasn’t done anything interesting lately? I find that hard to believe.” James took on an amused expression. “Yes, really. I’ve been on vacation with my family for a little while, that’s all. It had been a while since I’d seen them.”
I could see his smile visibly lessen, he shifted his eyes, seeming to be deep in thought. Had I said something wrong? “Hey, are you okay?” I asked. “Yeah, I’m fine. Your mention of family brought back some… memories.” A singular tear formed below his left eye, before he looked away. I didn’t want to push, despite his failed attempt at hiding his sadness. “Oh, we can change the subject if you want.”
He wiped his eyes and shuddered, before straightening himself out. “No, it’s ok. You should probably know anyway. It’s part of the reason I haven’t talked to you in so long.” I was hoping to get some answers but now I didn’t know if I wanted to if it was making him this upset.
“A- alright, go ahead. You can stop at any time if you want to.” “Before I start I want to say how sorry I am for ghosting you.” He closed his eyes, inhaling and exhaling deeply. A somber expression filled his face as he opened his eyes. “Okay. You know my parents right? Bill and Angene?” “Yeah?” “A couple years back, I was doing a small job for a little town on Nishtal. Not much pay but that didn’t matter. This was during the time when the anti-human movement was in full effect.”
My heart stopped, I immediately knew where this was going.
“I wasn’t worried for them cause they were on Earth. I thought they would be away from the violence because the rioters would be too scared to be among so many ‘predators.’” His voice dripped with malice as he spat out the last word. He was always treated… differently from other people. Even so long after the war, “predator” hate was still common. He kept speaking. “Clearly I was wrong, or maybe one of those fucking rioters hated us too much to care about their own safety.” I only now noticed that he had been shaking as he spoke, but he suddenly stopped. He looked defeated, on the verge of a breakdown. “They were just bringing home groceries, that’s all. They were friendly and happy and polite and all they were doing was bringing home some things for dinner. But because they had committed the SIN of being born with forward facing eyes everyone hated them.” “On the phone the next day, I was told that my parents had been stabbed to death when walking home. I had to attend their funeral several days later, and that night the police took me in to meet their murderer. It took every ounce of energy that I could muster to not turn their disgusting little face to orange mulch.”
If anyone else had looked at James’ face at that moment, they would have seen nothing but a rabid animal looking for something to rip apart, but I didn’t see that. I saw a man that just wanted his parents back, a man that wished the world didn’t hate him. James crumpled over and started sobbing violently, and without thinking I got up and gave him the biggest hug my small arms could allow. He wrapped his muscular arms around me and buried his head into my wool, his sobs shaking my whole body. I stroked the back of his head in an attempt to comfort him, and tried doing those shushing sounds that human mothers do to calm down their children but ended up making a strange sputtering sound instead. I heard the sounds of giggling interspersed with the sobbing, leading into a fit of coughing from James. He lifted his face from my shoulder and stared into my eyes, still dripping tears but starting to smile now. He rested his chin back on my shoulder, and I gladly let him.
“I’ve missed you Lemva, you have no idea just how much I’ve missed you. I’m so sorry I left so quickly, I’m so sorry.” “I’ve missed you too James, and you don’t need to apologize, I understand. Why don’t we go drink some water and get some sleep, okay?” The man on my shoulder croaked out a hoarse “Okay” before slowly pulling himself off of me. We both got up and walked into the kitchen to grab some water. James chugged down several glasses before he was satisfied. We made our way to our separate bedrooms before saying goodnight to each other and closing our doors. I pulled the warm blankets over myself and laid my head down, exhausted from the short but intense emotional interaction. As thoughts floated through my mind, I drifted off into a deep sleep.
I awoke to a familiar sensation, it felt as if I was standing in a shallow pool of oil. My eyes were met with black for as far as the eye could see, a seemingly endless floor of tar, and a distant orb of light. This sight had become less eerie and more frustrating the more times I had seen it. [Not this again…] I had been having this dream nearly every night for the past 3 weeks, ever since I had received the invitation from the UN. It was always the same. Endless void, endless black oil, a light always seeming within reach but always too far to catch. I decided to play along with the dream and walk towards the light, the faster I go through with this charade the faster I can wake up and talk to James again. My footsteps echoed into infinity as I waded through the sticky oil, the sensation was awful. I stopped and thought for a moment. [Know what? Fuck it, might as well do something different this time.] I turned around and walked away from the orb of light that had been taunting me for 3 weeks straight. As I walked, I could feel the texture beneath my paws slowly change. I looked down to notice that the tar floor I had grown accustomed to was now an endless field of silver sand. My paws were still sticky from the tar and were now covered with sand, great. As I stared down at the ground beneath me, it slowly started glowing brighter and brighter until it hurt my eyes. It was reflecting something.
I looked up to try to find the source of the light and stared in shock at the sight before me, despite the pain in my eyes. I could not turn away. [By the creator…]
Filling the darkness above me was a white dwarf, its brilliance seeming to burn away the darkness surrounding it. Burning streams of plasma buffeted sand in the distance, leaving only glass. I could feel it watching me, judging me. The air around me swirled and roared, picking up fragments of glass and flinging it against my face as I stood in awe. Clouds of silver shards swirled forever around me, scraping away my wool and flesh but I did not move. I could not turn away. The star seemed to fall toward me. I could not turn away. Instantly, the fury of the wind around me calmed, dropping mountains of the glittering sand onto the ground. The sands whispered to me, filling my mind with a single message.
“Find us. We await.”
Date [standardized human time]: July 15, 2165
I stood alongside James near the airlock, we were finally here. It had been two days since I and James had boarded the ship, and we were finally on an approach to Aafa’s spaceport. I felt excited theorizing what job the UN had for us, but couldn’t help but notice a feeling of dread in the back of my mind. Aafa was the capital of the Federation before the UN Coalition began their occupation, and as a result there would probably be more xenophobia on the streets. Hopefully we wouldn’t have to stick around long enough to see it.
“Attention passengers, we are now breaking through the atmosphere, brace yourself on a nearby hand-rail or other stationary object until further notice.”
Me and James grasped the hand-rails tightly as the ship jostled through the turbulent atmosphere, the surface outside the airlock view-port slowly grew larger and larger as we descended. A beautiful city came into view as the clouds’ obfuscation subsided. I had been to Aafa twice in my life before and every time I saw its grand cities I felt a sense of wonder. I could feel the ship level out and slow down, we were almost docked. I felt a small jolt as the landing gear gently touched down on the landing pad.
Harold’s voice came through the PA system. “Alright you two, we’ve landed. I’ll be with you shortly to show you to your escort group.” James and I looked at eachother, I could see a glint of worry in his eyes. Though whether he was worried about the reactions of Aafa’s inhabitants or worried about his first impressions with such important UN personnel, I could not tell.
I heard the cabin door open far behind us and heard Harold’s footsteps make their way toward the airlock where we stood in wait. He stepped past us and took a position at the airlock door. “Welcome to Aafa.” Harold pressed a button and the blast-door slid open with a pneumatic hiss. “Follow me.” We walked down the ramp and onto the hangar bay floor. As my eyes wandered around the large room I noticed how much better kept this spaceport, or at least this hangar, was than the port on Venlil Prime or Earth. Harold took us through a door and into the main hall for this level.
As we made our way to the nearest elevator a kolshian man walked toward us, his gait taking on a menacing feel as he drew closer. When he saw me he smirked. “You sure you wanna keep walking with these predators, little lady? You’d be a lot safer with me instead of them.” I was astounded by how blatant this man was with his opinions. I tried to respond calmly to the man but couldn’t hide my offense. “No thank you, I’m perfectly fine walking with these “predators” thank you. Speak your xenophobia to someone who cares to listen.” The kolshian’s smirk disappeared as he walked toward me faster. Harold’s arm shot out in front of me, blocking the man from getting any closer, the chipper smile he usually displayed was gone from his face. “Please leave sir, we have things to attend to.” The kolshian’s angry expression intensified. “I’m not taking orders from any damn predator.” I could see the man pulling out an object from behind his back. Before I could react, I heard a sickening crunch as Harold’s fist connected with the kolshian’s face, and the man tumbled to the ground. I heard a sound as the knife we were about to be stabbed with clattered to the ground, the tentacle he had been using to wield it clutching his bleeding face. Harold in a swift motion kicked away the knife and put the kolshian in a choke hold while a group of UN security officers rushed over. Two officers cuffed the bleeding kolshian and another walked up to Harold most likely to ask for an explanation.
Harold put back on his usual cheerful expression as he turned to speak to us. “You two head down to the first floor, your escort group and the other 2 invitees will be waiting in the main lobby, they should be pretty obvious to spot. I’ll catch up soon but I have to explain the situation with security.” I turned to look at James as we hurried to the elevator. I could tell he was angry, but he had a glint of satisfaction in his eyes, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel a little similar. James scrolled down the list of floors on the screen and selected the number 1. The Aafa spaceport was easily the largest structure I had ever seen, I guess there wasn’t enough room for 400 buttons. As the elevator descended, James spoke.
“Hey Lem, you ok?” “Yeah, my heart’s beating pretty fast though. Who knows what would have happened if Harold wasn’t with us.” “Yeah, did you see how fast he handled that? Guy must be a veteran or something.” The idea brought a question to the surface of my mind that I had been pondering since I first received my invitation. “Yeah… I’ve been wondering why we’ve been treated so well ever since we got aboard the ship. I mean, we’re just a couple historians, why spend so much on the ship and all the protection? What could this job possibly be?” As I spoke, James stared past the transparent wall of the elevator and into the city skyline, he seemed to be deep in thought. “Yeah I’ve been thinking about that too… I don’t think we’ll have to theorize for much longer though, just a short drive and we can ask whoever invited us.”
My attention was brought back to reality as a DING sounded from the doorway, indicating that we were at the ground floor. The doors slid open silently and revealed a veritable swarm of people walking through the main hallway loop, several people of different species squeezed into the elevator we were just in as we walked out. James and I followed the signage on the walls for several minutes and entered into the main lobby, where we could see a group of humans with a Gojid in the middle. The humans wore black suits and sunglasses, I could also barely make out earpieces and microphones hidden among their clothing. They reminded me of the secret agents in the human spy movies I enjoyed watching. They must be our escort group.
We approached the menacing humans and they turned to look at us. Before I could speak up I heard footsteps behind me and turned to see Harold catching up with us. “Sorry for leaving you alone for a bit. I’ll talk with your escorts.” Harold walked up to the closest escort and flashed a badge at them, turning around once the mysterious man nodded. The escort spoke something into his earpiece but I couldn’t quite make it out. “Well, I’d best be going to sort out matters with the captain. I’ll meet up with you later.” Harold handed us off to the mysterious entourage and walked back into the crowd.
One of the bodyguards spoke up. “Follow me and don’t stray off course, we’ll be taking you to the senate building.” As our guards escorted us to our vehicle, I spoke to the gojid accompanying us. “Hi, my name is Lemva, this is James. Are you one of the other people invited by the UN?” The gojid spoke up in a soft voice. “Yeah, though for what reason I do not know why. My name is Cayek by the way, nice to meet you. Do you mind if we get some introductions out of the way before we arrive at the senate building?” James responded first and stretched out his arm for a handshake. It took a second for Cayek to reciprocate. “Sure! As Lemva told you, my name is James. I was born on Earth and currently live on Venlil Prime. I’m a historian and got my doctorate at MIK, where I met Lemva. We’ve known each other quite a while. I like coffee and hate the ocean.” “Oh cool, I attended there too! Got my doctorate in linguistics. When did you attend?” “Sent in an application in 2140, as soon as it opened. Got accepted around a month later.” “Nice, that was around when I joined too. We must not have crossed paths often. Though your face does seem vaguely familiar.” Cayek looked at me and I began speaking. “My name’s Lemva, though I already said that. I attended MIK with James. Went there to get a doctorate in archeology. Was born on Venlil Prime and I’ve moved too many times to count, but my latest home is on Earth.”
I noticed that we had reached our ride. Our vehicle was a black limousine, it looked slightly larger than others I had seen, perhaps it was armored? One of the guards escorting us, who I could only assume was the one in charge, opened the side door and we all crawled inside. Cayek, James, and I settled in our seats and the guard closed our doors before entering through a door closer to the front to sit facing us. The guard sat unnaturally still, staring directly at us as the vehicle drew out of the underground parking area, making me feel uneasy. I looked over at James and Cayek, they seemed just as uncomfortable as I. The ride to the Senate building was silent.
I watched the buildings glide past us as we drove down Main, toward the Capitol. The large dome shaped building grew larger as we crept closer. Nervousness invaded my mind as I wondered what the task we had been chosen for was. Why did the UN spend so much to get us here? What’s with all the security? Why us? We had reached our destination. The limousine passed through several security gates and slowed to a halt at the entrance of the grand building. The guard that had been staring at us spoke, “We’ve arrived, please exit the vehicle and follow me. As you enter the building you’ll undergo several security checks to make sure you don’t have any weapons or banned items. Don’t worry, this is all standard procedure.” Two guards who had been waiting to the side of the entrance walked over to the car and opened the side doors, allowing us to crawl out. Though it had only been a 5 minute car ride, it felt like I had been stuck in that cramped vehicle for hours.
We walked toward the entrance of the titanic building, a large podium with a hologram of the Coalition logo orbiting an artistic depiction of our sector of the galaxy stood just before the doors. The first time I had gone to Aafa as a child, the podium had supported a large statue of Chief Nikonus, the president of the Federation at the time of the war. Good riddance. Our group stepped past the threshold of the senate building and submitted for the security checks that our escort had told us about. As soon as we were cleared, we were led to one of several large doors, it looked like an oversized elevator. Inside was a holographic display of the building showing us our current position, along with a small keypad to the side. I braced myself for the elevator to start ascending as our escort input some numbers into the pad but nearly fell over when it unexpectedly started moving sideways. James chuckled amusedly and I looked at him with a mock pouty face, my tail flicking in slight annoyance. Our escort tried to wipe a tiny smirk off his face as he helped me back to my feet. “We had these installed after a couple instances of people passing out trying to navigate around. Most Coalition species don’t have the amount of endurance humans do and this building is quite large.”
Several moments later the tram came to a halt and the doors slid open. The escort chaperoned us down a short hallway with a decently sized wooden door at the end. I braced myself for whoever would be behind it. Impressions were of utmost importance when meeting government officials. However, I was not prepared for who I would see as the door swung open.
Is that an Arxur?
(This is my first major post on NatureofPredators, any criticism or advice is welcome! I want to make my stories inviting and pleasant to read! Also, please notify me if you find any formatting errors, Reddit's formatting isn't very good.)
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2023.06.05 12:00 WaveOfWire One Hell Of A Vacation - Chapter 88

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The maw of the moss-wolf chomped down on the treat, its partner patiently waiting its turn, an eye trained on the Human providing the sustenance. Joseph reached into the pouch, counting out what he had left and mentally setting a few aside for the raven-like birds that Scarlet had trained to bother him.
Well, ‘bother’ might be a strong word. They would whistle at him and wait for food. Upon getting their hard sought quarry, they would return to share it with the rest. Surprisingly cooperative, all things considered. Scarlet had apparently been getting them to associate certain short melodies with members of the pack, allowing her to send the avians after whoever she wanted for more snacks.
If they didn’t get any, then they would yell something not dissimilar to a caw until either food was procured, or they grew bored. Given that they had taken to humouring Violet in her attempts to be a mobile perch, that usually took a while.
It drove Nalah nuts, which seemed to be part of the reason the blond-furred female was included in the ritual at all. Harrow was apparently the favourite target of the nuisance when she was outside the base, but he couldn’t say why.
The tell-tale scratching had been somewhat muted since the shift in medium, but Violet’s writing was always something he kept an ear out for, his daughter presenting her tablet excitedly. [It blinked!]
He turned his head to the cow-looking thing, the unwavering stare held until he gave up. “I swear you guys are just messing with me.”
“Or we merely enjoy your suffering,” Sahari suggested with a smirk, the black-furred female standing taller than him for a moment as she stretched her legs out. Settling into a height that was level with him, she attempted to offer the wolves food. Receiving a fearful retreat instead, the black-furred female frowned, the two canines shifting in their enclosure to be closer to Joseph and Violet. “They still seem to distrust any but yourselves.”
He shrugged, taking the scrap from her and giving it to the young Atmo to pass along, her chittering laugh when the wolves accepted the morsel breaking the soft sound of trickling rain outside the barn. “Faye was the one who started this. I guess they treat her like an alpha of sorts, and seeing her bow to the two of us so often told them that she’s lower on the pole. That’s my guess, anyway.”
“That is….rather intelligent of them, if so,” Sahari commented pensively.
The Grand Hunter tipped his head in agreement. If anything, it was an understatement. The six-legged canines were remarkably receptive to taming, though he couldn’t say how much of that was due to Faye taking to his suggestion so seriously. He had only offered it as a passing thought, but she had set to it like their god had mandated it.
He fought back a sigh at the reminder of his placement in the whole thing, his foot kicking the ground to adjust the new sandals he was wearing until Pan finished proper shoes.
One day, he was a divorcee flirting with random women on a cruise ship so that the rejection validated his own self-esteem issues. The next, he was a guy in charge of a settlement nearing one hundred people and had become a manifestation of religion condensed into the form of some random moron.
He snorted at a morbid thought. How would Emma react to his ‘rise to fame?’ His acquisition of more than they had ever thought for themselves back on Earth?
Owning a territory? They could only manage a nice apartment that could fit several times over inside the base. Friends? Hell, he had a group of people who have helped him through some of the worst the planet had to offer. Kids...well, nothing could replace Violet. He doubted Emma would see it the same way, though.
A paw enclosed his shoulder, dragging his mind from more sombre thoughts. It had been quite a while since everything fell through and he had moved on, but it still stung every now and again.
“What ails your mind, Joseph?” Sahari asked with a concerned inflection. He looked over at her, a smile becoming easier after a moment.
“Just wondering how my ex-wife would react to seeing what I’ve turned into. What she’d say to all of this,” he admitted honestly with a wide gesture to everything. She patted his back, a small pride in her gaze.
“You continue to heal, Grand Hunter, but you are still scarred. Your previous mate would curse her decisions were she to see what you have accomplished.”
He snorted, a wide dry grin breaking out. “I’d love to see her face going back with two alien wives and this sweetheart as a daughter,” he teased, giving Violet a thorough rub on the head. She purred, chittering between breaths as she fought off the rough affection playfully while keeping her blades tucked for safety.
The black-furred female tilted her head and shifted her weight to her other foot. “You’ve mentioned that there is a specific procedure for binding the lives of your people, no?”
He blinked, his mind flickering to the two rings he had prepared, yet held some modicum of expectation around before he whipped them out. Not least of all was the foreign sensation of doing it again twice, nor finding an appropriate time to do it. It was hard to pick a picturesque moment when each day was paperwork, punching people in the face during spars, and orchestrating the well-being of such a large group. Given that the closest thing he could get to a romantic occasion was laying down on the grass while Nalah barked orders at the construction crews in the distance, he didn’t feel like it was ever a good time to ask. It was even harder picturing himself doing it to the two of them, as if it cheapened the gesture in some way.
Then there was the part of himself that feared rejection—as stupid as it sounded. They could deny the alien practice, not share the same sentiment, or any number of disagreements that would render him kneeling like an idiot. As unlikely as it was, it could even be too great a commitment for them, the implication of their entire lives being pledged solely to him being a crushing weight, rather than a promise of mutual loving dedication.
Sure, now they were speaking as if it was the case, but the circumstances as they were lent themselves to it being a product of necessity. Who was to say that it would remain the same once they got off this rock and—hopefully—in touch with their own people again. Would they still feel the same way with an entire species back on the table as possible romantic partners? Would he still be enough?
“Joseph,” Sahari called out with worry and irritation in equal parts. “You are making me anxious.”
“Hm? Oh, sorry,” he apologized sheepishly, rubbing the back of his neck as he was reminded that more than one person could be afflicted by his emotional state. She placed a paw to her hip.
“Are the proceedings really such a means for strife?”
“Ah, no, it’s just…” He averted his eyes, offering Violet a token smile when she seemed to be concerned about him. He inhaled deeply. “It’s just…I have reservations about it.”
She raised a brow. “I need not a bond to know you care for them deeply enough to toss your life to the Void for them.”
His weak smile faltered further. “Well, yeah. They mean everything to me, but I cant help but remember how things went last time, I guess. There’s a million and one ways it could go up in smoke, and I…” He fell quiet for a moment, Violet pressing herself into his side in an attempt to cheer him up. He rested a hand against her back, the texture comforting in a way. “I want it to be an important moment in our lives, rather than some disposable token that they accept without thinking much. It’s not like they’re swimming in potential romantic partners here, so it feels like they’d be agreeing for lack of options.”
She stared at him with a hesitant expression, her cheek pinched between her teeth and eyes narrowed in thought. “Pan would sooner end her own life than be separated from you, and Tel would end any who so much as suggested such,” she stated finally. “To you, the mark upon your flesh is but a sting that fades. To them, it is their declaration that they have found their reason to live. A declaration that is shown to all others of our people the moment they draw near. Though Pan lacks the means to impart her own, she is rather pleased that another is able to in her stead and treats it as her own for all intents.”
She grabbed him roughly by the arm, pulling him into her breast as she stood to her full height, a surprised yelp stifled by soft clothing and fur.
“Unfortunately for you, openly voiced or not, we all feel as such. Though you bear not the mark of everyone in the den, I assure you that to be removed from you would leave us lesser, regardless of bond.”
He shut his mouth at the last addition. There was a weight behind knowing that people were likely to simply give up on living if you were away for too long. It put the relationship in front of a loaded gun for both parties. They couldn’t afford to break it off from him because existing would become a living hell, and he couldn’t change his mind for any reason because it would be the same as killing them.
What kind of marriage was one built upon such fragile pillars? How could they be happy when every fight was tempered by the threat of the end of everything? What about Sahari? Could she ever pursue her own life with Nalah when she had the bond shackling her to him? How long until that became a stinging poison, rotting away the veins and arteries of her psyche? How long until death became preferable to being around him?
A strong impact to his stomach winded him, though the unnoticed hyperventilating left him little to eject as he fell to his knees. Violet clicked in surprise, the wolves backing away at the unexpected violence.
He coughed, sputtering spittle as he fought the urge to evacuate his breakfast. A pained glance up revealed Sahari still clutching a fist, her expression just as hurt.
“You hear my words and twist them, Joseph,” she chastised softly, crouching to look at him better. “We pledged our lives to you. Not because we had no choice, but because we believed you to be our future. From that moment on, our desire was to remain with you.” Her voice grew weak, almost pleading. She placed her forehead to his, the contact an intimate touch. “Your experiences may suggest our bond a prison, but for us, it is an ambrosia for our soul. It completes us like no equal. Jax and Harrow care for you immensely, Nalah and myself owe you everything that we are, and your mates will fight the Hunt Mother herself if it would mean even one more sun with you.”
He found himself speechless, wading through the emotions behind her words a syllable at a time. The feeling of Violet pressing into his back in an embrace stung as much as soothed, his mind rejecting the idea, yet so desperate to accept it.
“Do not desecrate our affections because you had been scorned by one who did not see within you that which we covet,” she implored sombrely, raw emotion oozing through the confines of speech. “Though you doubt it, none would know how much value you place in the ‘mark’ of your people more than your mates. If merely thinking about the unlikely event that they refuse tortures you so deeply, than the elation they would share with you when they agree would likely see Pan unable to contain herself for many suns after.”
He stayed on his knees, the warmth surrounding him from both sides seeping within and thawing the frozen excuses he held onto to prevent exposing himself to potential rejection. Every step of the way since he had met them, it had made him fearful of losing their company. At first, the thought of being left alone to brave the planet was too much to bear, but he would try. Now? Now he felt like he understood where the minds of those bonded Lilhuns had been. Even considering being away from his new loved ones pulled at a primal part of himself, each tug stronger than the last, each suggestion fanning the flames barricaded behind morals—the depths he would trudge to see it never come to pass.
Sahari nuzzled into his neck for a moment before parting, a somewhat satisfied smile given towards the emotionally fragile Human they had taken to depending on. He returned his own, though it was tinted with a bit of embarrassment.
Violet stepped back to allow him room to stand, the extended joint of her blade asking to be held like he did with her adoptive mother. His expression softening, he did as requested, lightly rubbing the smooth surface with his thumb. It soothed a part of him to be holding his daughter’s ‘hand’ while they watched the wolves slowly approach the front of their enclosure again, now that the momentary intensity had faded.
With a self-deprecating roll of his eyes, he nodded, promising himself to follow through with his small wish the next time the chance revealed itself. It didn’t need to be perfect, but it would be nice if it was at least private. The dull ache in his stomach would be a reminder not to second guess himself anyway.
The wolves yipped, ignoring Sahari as they moved towards the other corner. Joseph glanced at where they were focused, his curious gaze replaced by surprise, then shock.
Raine supported Faye over her shoulder, the deep gold-furred female’s breath short as she rested her weight over her brown-furred counterpart, their black leather coats dripping water onto the floor as it wrapped tightly around them, concealing their armour. A steady trickle of blood flowed from a long gash on Faye’s leg, her free arm clutching across her breast to keep her coat closed.
Without waiting for either to speak, he ran to pick up the Wraith, slinging her across his shoulders and tearing off to the base. He could barely hear Sahari over the rain and his own blood pounding through his ears, his heart hammering in his chest. Though they had established something of a clinic for minor injuries that were sustained constantly, his singular focus was getting Faye into the medbay.
Pack members cleared the way, some jumping to the side as he barrelled through the sparely populated routes between home and workplace. More than one tripped over themselves in shock, the Human never having a reason to go at a full sprint before. He was slower than a Lilhun like this, but he could make it the full distance before them. He didn’t need to slow down.
Harrow pushed open the doors to the hub, her distant expression as she examined thin ironwood tablets perking, his rapid heavy footfalls telling of his arrival before she had the chance to see him. Her eyes lit up, her brows furrowed, and a hurried pull of the door kept it open for him, all in sequence. He didn’t have the spare breath to explain or thank her.
The orange-furred female bolted across the hub, slamming into the crash-bar installed into the facilities wing entrance to force it open, only barely outpacing the Grand Hunter in his rush. She staggered to her feet behind him, rushing to collect herself and assisting in tearing the pants off of the injured female when Joseph laid her on the bed.
Modesty being the least of his concerns, he braced an arm across her pelvis to stop her hips from bucking as Harrow wiped off any dried blood to see the extent of the damage on her thigh.
“What happened?”
He tightened his hold on Faye as his friend tentatively spread the wound to check for debris. “Don’t know. Didn’t ask. Saw her bleeding, rushed her here,” he answered through deep breaths, each strike of his adrenaline-fuelled heart pressing against his lung capacity.
Harrow frowned, grabbing some sterile water to pour over the wound and picking out a stray splinter of wood that looked to be from her missing leg armour. Faye let out a small whine, but didn’t have it in her to talk yet, signs of exhaustion and pain unfocusing her eyes.
The Head of Technology—and current medical expert in the room—pursed her lips against her muzzle. “We need to stitch it. It’s too big for just healroot.”
Joseph nodded, easing his weight off the Wraith and wiping his sweat from his brow. “Pan!”
Noticing the urgency in his voice, he could hear her throw the door to the sewing room wide open and jog to the medbay, her wide eyes steeling as she assessed the situation.
“Idee with you?”
She nodded, ears turned perfectly towards him.
“One of you boil off some palm string, the other sterilize the thinnest quill you can get away stitching a wound closed with. I don’t care who, but we need one of you to close this up.” He glanced at Harrow. “Grab some alcohol. I keep a bit in the closet in my room, next to the old crossbow prototypes. We need to flush this out and kill off anything that might have gotten in.”
The orange-furred female tipped an ear in confusion as Pan took off to do as he asked. “I thought you didn’t have medical-”
“I’ve been around enough workplace injuries, okay? Go!”
His shout jolted her into action, a few steps required to gain traction as she ran out the door. Applying solid pressure to the wound with one hand, he used the other to lightly tap Faye’s cheek.
“Faye? Faye, you with me?”
Her eyes languidly turned to him, slow blinks and meaningless mouthing ceased, a soft smile forming under her pained expression. “Hello, sir.”
He exhaled a relieved huff. “Welcome home, Faye. What happened?”
She seemed confused by his question, glancing down to her leg after a few seconds. With widened eyes, she struggled to sit up, Joseph forcibly pressing her to the bed.
All resistance disappeared in an instant, her body complying despite the obvious urgency. He hardened his expression.
“What happened?”
She breathed deeper a few times before speaking. Each word was hesitant, as if the memory was hazy and diluted, though he couldn’t tell if it was due to blood loss or exhaustion. “A large grey beast…teeth, large mouth...attacked wolves...”
His brow knitted, Faye’s coat moving. A small whine came from her again…no. Not her.
A small yellow canine head freed itself from the confines of black leather, a weak keening produced from a tiny moss-wolf. Faye looked at him guiltily, a pleading look in her eyes given as she composed herself.
“It lost its parents…”
His protest died in his voice, a distant memory of a wolf being torn in two came to mind. The time before they had even moved to the pod, let alone met the Lilhuns, him and Violet checking snares shortly after his ankle had healed. A time so long ago, yet remained with him under the surface.
“You saved this little guy, huh?” he asked gently, wincing in tandem with her own when he leaned heavier on the massive gash in her thigh. She nodded, averting her eyes. “Did you get the ‘beast?’”
Faye shook her head. “Raine lured it away, but it still remains.”
“That’s fine. You’re back, that’s all that matters right now.”
Harrow bumped into the doorway, failing to shed all of her speed as she returned from fetching a smaller container that Joseph kept in case the rest of the pack burned through their stores of alcohol. Her eyes flicked to the wolf pup before disregarding it to hand him the ethanol. He lifted his hand, Harrow pouring some water to wash off the blood. Volta would be busy later, it seemed.
Gesturing for the orange-furred female to hold the leg down, he poured the alcohol into the wound, grimacing at Faye’s pained gasp. They didn’t have anything for her to bite into, but that would be a future consideration.
Pan and Idee entered the medbay, the former moving like a machine with purpose while the visiting seamstress took a moment to size up the situation. The Paw fetched a tray from the shelf, laying out several strings of softened palm and a few thin quills, threading one and passing it to Idee. The light brown-furred female accepted it, Harrow making room as she stood next to Joseph.
Pan handed him a tough leather strip as wide as his palm. Seems like she saw the problem before he did.
“Open up,” he prodded, placing the leather between Faye’s teeth. “This is going to fucking suck. We don’t have anything to numb you, so you need to stay as still as possible, okay? I’ll be here the whole time.”
The Wraith nodded, staring at him for a moment before closing her eyes in acceptance, her grip on the pup firming.
“Want me to take the wolf?”
She lightly shook her head, him exhaling hesitantly in response. Idee readied herself, looking to him for confirmation, Pan holding Faye’s ankle flat to the bed.
“You’re good,” he responded, pressing an arm to Faye’s chest and hips to hold her down.
The deep gold-furred female managed a quiet muffled groan of pain as the quill pierced her flesh.
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He entered the hub, dropping himself on the couch and ignoring the sweat on his brow. He had only just managed to get the blood off of his hands after Idee finished, but it was still staining his clothing. Pan was off to rinse it out of her fur while Faye slept off her exhaustion. As far as they could tell, she had avoided any infection thanks to Raine half-dragging the female back to them as quickly as she did. The wolf pup was staying with her for now, since—even in her sleep—she refused to let it go. The little guy didn’t seem to be complaining, so they just left it where it was comfortable. Ferra would be by later to check it out, apparently, and he didn’t see a reason to complain; she was their animal expert.
Scarlet offered him some tea, the warm liquid whetting his pallet that had since dried. Sahari had checked on them during the process, leaving to keep anyone who had questions in the loop. Given that half the damn pack either saw or heard about the Grand Hunter running like a bat out of hell, pretty much everyone was worried. Either about some urgent threat that might befall them, or about one of the quiet servants they had grown used to seeing around.
Looked like the Wraiths had taken to offering small services and assistance to people who needed it when they didn’t have anything better to do, so the pack was curious about what had happened. It was a small blessing that the usual armour they wore when ‘on duty’ was covered by the cloaks, otherwise he would have more questions coming that he didn’t want answered.
Raine stood a few paces in front of him, her bowed posture holding a hint of fear under his unwavering stare. He waited for whoever else was going to show up for the report, Tel and Pan insisting that they be involved. Harrow followed behind the two entering from the facilities wing, either because she had gotten wrapped up in the whole thing, or because she wanted to be included.
Pan sat to his left, Tel taking a place behind him to remain standing. Harrow surprised him, her recently elusive presence firmly displaced as she dropped onto the couch to his right, her tail curling around his calf—not that she seemed to notice.
Given that both Tel and Pan trapped a limb or two with their tails regularly, he didn’t stop to put thought into it, the encapsulating appendage crossing him as a common occurrence.
“I don’t know how accurate it was, since she’s still pretty out of it, but Faye said one of those grey bear-deathtraps attacked some wolves before she stepped in to save the pup,” he opened, glancing at Scarlet. The almost black red-furred female was maintaining a surprisingly commanding presence, her attention laser-focused on Raine. The brown-furred Wraith kept her gaze fixed to the floor, too ashamed or nervous to move it.
“I apologize for her error in her stead,” she announced, the slightest of grip in her folded paws digging her claws into her skin. “The fault is also mine for not preventing her misstep. I will accept any punishment for our mistake.”
He exhaled heavily. “I’m not mad that you guys had an original thought, Raine. I’m worried about those iron-maiden-looking fucks being around again, and I’m concerned about you getting hurt.”
“Of course, sir. Forgive me for the arrogance of assuming your priorities.”
He pinched the bridge of his nose, Pan squeezing his thigh in support. Tel rested her head on his, the weight somehow comforting despite the grin at his annoyance. “We can talk about not getting yourselves killed later. Are you injured at all?”
Raine’s ear twitched. “No, sir. I am whole.”
“Good,” he sighed, nodding lightly. “That’s good. Faye’s patched up for now, but she’ll be under observation to keep on top of any possible infection. How did the ‘mission’ go?”
The Wraith perked up a bit, the conversation moving away from her perceived failure. She produced a satchel, pulling a rather thick stack of tablets from it and passing them to Scarlet, the latter ferrying them to Harrow. He thought it was an odd choice, but the orange-furred female started giving him an abbreviated translation of the text.
Line after line of transactions. What was offered and received, any debts and who owed them, as well as small notes about what should be brought next time. It was a comprehensive copy of the ledger that the trading caravan kept. His brows raised at the sheer density of information, and for them getting it from something he was only partially sure existed.
“You managed to get this much?” he asked in disbelief. “Jesus. Were you caught?”
Raine shook her head. “If we were to be seen by them, we would be nothing more than a stain against our Blademaster.”
Compliment or boasting, doing this much was damn impressive. Especially with just the two of them.
“Shit. Well, good fucking job, I guess,” he managed, still reeling a bit from the unintended scope of the task. Harrow continued to dig through the report, though stopped voicing it aloud. Joseph turned his attention back to the Wraith. “Anything else of note? Rumours?”
The Wraith grew pensive. “Though we returned partially through their return trip to Grand Hunter Pernel, we did overhear some conversations. There were discussions of other packs simply no longer occupying their settlements.”
He leaned forward in his seat, dislodging Tel as his elbows rested against his knees. “What do you mean?”
“Some of their usual trade locations were purportedly burned down, others merely abandoned. A few were apparently littered with corpses,” she explained more steadily. “From what we could gather, the reason they came to trade with our settlement at all is that the others along the way were in such states. It seems they intended to restock and head back out immediately to accommodate the loss in trading partners.”
He bit his lip as he thought about it, letting himself fall back against the couch.
“What do you guys think of it?” he asked with a glance to his mates. Pan seemed to be mirroring his own apprehension openly, while Tel kept a more serious expression.
“I believe there is something larger happening,” Tel concluded, taking a few seconds before returning to using him as a headrest. Pan nodded her agreement, but didn’t have much to add to it otherwise.
“It would explain how desperate they were for food,” he mused aloud, raising a brow when Harrow shifted to lean against him, one foot placed on the edge of the seat forcing the posture. “Any details of interest, Harrow?”
The orange-furred female jolted, only just stopping from moving her foot back to the floor before committing to using him as a backrest. She turned back-on fully, stretching her legs over the remainder of the seat and placing tablets she had finished with on her lap.
“It didn’t take very long for the methods you sold to propagate,” she responded, holding up a few of the tablets before laying them in their own pile. “Looks like Pernel has been spreading it around by buying some from places that have bows and snares to sell where they don’t.”
“Supply and demand, or arming people with the tools that would help them survive?”
“Hard to trade with the dead,” Harrow commented dryly, starting a new pile. He nodded in exaggerated fashion.
“What about the Atmo?”
She tapped the small stack she just started. “I’m trying to separate these by inventory type. Give me a bit.”
Deciding to trust the woman in charge of managing this kind of thing while she was on the ship, he glanced back to Raine, the female easily mistaken for a statue if not for the subtle sway of her breathing. “The grey-bear-thing. How far away is it?”
“Too close,” she responded firmly. “We did not get a chance to verify their numbers, but there was evidence of at least that singular beast making our territory its hunting ground.”
“Fuck,” he muttered through gritted teeth. “We’re going to need to hunt that thing down.”
Pan looked worried at the prospect, Harrow stiffened in her sorting. The Wraiths were the only ones who seemed completely at ease with the suggestion, Tel not so much as twitching. Harrow laid down the tablets she had yet to categorize, her gaze aimed at her lap.
“Joe, don’t think that taking one out is easy.”
“We have ranged weapons and more than a few people who can use them,” he pointed out with a breath. “Ideally, we go as a larger hunting party and take the damn thing down through sheer volume of fire.”
“Their skin is tough,” Harrow replied with a shake of her head, her ears pivoting back towards him. “I don’t know if our bows could pierce it as easily as we might like.”
He furrowed his brow. “So, what? Let it close in until it eats everything and starves us out? Until it thinks we look tasty?”
“I don’t know. I’m just saying that this won’t be as simple as firing a few arrows and patting ourselves on the back for a job well done.”
Joseph felt the stiffness of his brow start to hurt from how tight they were knitted. A deep breath centred his thoughts. “We’ll arrange an armoured hunting party soon. Better to take it down before it becomes an issue.”
The orange-furred female nodded, quickly leafing through the remaining tablets and only pulling two more out for the pile she indicated earlier.
“Here,” she said, tapping the stack. “These are records for trading Atmo.”
He suppressed the sigh when he genuinely tried to read the mess they called a language. “How many? Who bought them?”
She hesitated, reforming the copy of the ledger—sans the relevant tablets—and placing it on the floor. The remainder in paw, she held them up over her shoulder, Tel accepting it and going over the contents with an interested tilt of her head.
“From what I can see here, Pernel traded two hundred.”
“Two…” he squeaked, his eyes wide. “Two hundred?”
She nodded, pacing around the couch to stop in front of Pan. “It seems others heard of his willingness to barter for them. He accepted quite a few deals before selling them off again.”
“To who?”
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
The door to the ship closed with a hiss, Willin shaking his head at Nav’s questioning gaze. “Nothing.”
Tech removed her CARDs, storing them in the weapons locker before shrugging off her AMR to place in its own unit. “Nothing living, anyway.”
“That bad?” Nav asked, deflating after yet another failed attempt to contact a settlement. The dark green-furred male stored his rifle, seating it into its receptacle with a click.
“Tell Comms to add another eighty to the count.”
“Four hundred eighty-two,” the purple-furred female supplied as she walked past Nav to enter the ship proper. Willin followed after, hanging his pistol holster on the side of his chair as he dropped into it.
“Thirty were covered in wounds, twenty or so were executed, twenty-five looked to have died of accumulated trauma, and the rest were found with singular cuts to the throat.”
“Not quite,” Tech remarked, interfacing with the systems. “Only eight of the ‘executed’ seem to have been done up close.”
“Sniper?” Comms asked as he entered the room, nodding his greetings and taking a seat at his station. Nav crossed their arms and leaned against the doorway as Tech Ops ran some numbers on her screen.
“Wounds are consistent with Anti Material Rifles, and debris suggest they took the ‘material’ part into consideration with their shots. There were a few holes in the buildings that didn’t quite get removed by the fires.”
“Covering evidence?” Willin mused aloud, receiving a thoughtful shake of her head.
“No, I don’t think so. My guess is that the buildings were already on fire when they did it, based on the splinters around the exit holes.”
Comms’ eyes widened in surprise. “Shooting through a burning building? That is rather impressive.”
“Blades?” Nav suggested. “Avalon is required to act against those who break the treaty, no?”
“Maybe,” Tech allowed tentatively. “If it was them, then that would explain the lack of targets.”
Willin scratched at his ear, furrowing his brow as Comms ran another scan for any communications being made. Though a few suns had passed since they had unwittingly agreed to involve themselves in what was likely the first case of war that this planet had ever seen, nothing was being sent anywhere. Regardless, the male kept the scans regular, just in case.
Nav switched the foot they were resting on. “Why not just dispose of everyone breaking the treaty?”
“Maybe they did,” Comms commented, turning back to the conversation as the program ran in the background. “Blades typically function under strict conditions. If they removed anyone who was commanding the hostile action, then they did as required of them. The moment the attack stopped, they completed the terms of the treaty.”
“Or if the Grand Hunter here surrendered and allowed their pack to be subsumed,” Willin proposed, the others glancing at him in curiosity. He waved a paw dismissively. “If everyone in the conflict becomes a single pack, then any fighting from those who still disagree with it is now an internal dispute, thus outside of the purview of the Blades. Check the notes on Grand Hunter Toril and High Hunter Bratik.”
Tech’s eyes unfocused for a moment as she accessed the system. “Avalon is forbidden from interfering with internal politics. Toril was sheltered by Bratik. Since Bratik was from outside of Toril’s pack, it counted as acting against their right to manage their own affairs. Hasen was given a perfect reason to take over, and it forced Grand Hunter Trill to exile the both of them to adhere.” She looked around the room aimlessly as she thought, her eyes snapping to Willin when he spoke.
“And a perfect loop-hole to exploit. Toril loses his supporters, Trill loses a member of his command structure, and Hasen rises in power while leaving Avalon to grit their teeth.” He shook his head, both impressed and disgusted. “Once he attacks another pack, he just forces a vassalage and subsequently executes the new High Hunter for whatever reason he wants. The Blades can’t act on a technicality.”
“So Grand Hunter Pernel….”
Willin nodded at Comms' unfinished question. “In the count.”
“There was a bit of a weird holding area,” Tech added after a moment. “Seemed like somewhere to hold livestock, but even then, it was a bit big. I’m not sure what used to be there, but tracks suggest carts left with whatever it was not long before everything went down, so probably a trade caravan.”
“Well, at least someone made it out,” Nav sighed, pushing off the wall to resume their station. “Where are we going next?”
Willin toyed with the odd silver tablet in his paw, the two unrecognizable scripts curious and alien. “The only pack left before we see what all the fuss is about. Let’s pay a visit to Grand Huntress Sunundra. Hopefully she knows something we don’t.”
A/N: Been a while since we’ve had a proper A/N, huh. Welp, here’s this one. Patreon is currently set to ‘per post’ because i made the account ages ago. Waiting on support to help me switch it to monthly, then I’ll post the Silva render i have. RR is at 30k views and 100 followers.
Figured I’d ask how you guys are liking this arc, hows Willin’s team coming across, etc.
Final note: I’m thinking about rewriting the first ‘book’ so i can get it edited and published! Problem: i have no fucking clue where to cut book 1, and editors are expensive. Where should book 1 end? All i know is that I’d prob end up adding extra chapters to it, as well as lengthening the OG chaps. RR is a ‘touch-up’, not a final product, so those don’t count!
submitted by WaveOfWire to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.06.05 11:59 watarakul What does "Echoes of Time" mean?

Hi. I'm about to join a game jam and their theme is "Echoes of Time". I thought about making a game where you shout and go forward in time or something but IMO that would be taking the theme too literally. What do you guys think is the meaning of this theme?
submitted by watarakul to EnglishLearning [link] [comments]

2023.06.05 11:59 Fuzzy_Lavishness_269 Turning across a taxi, in a bus lane, trying to undertake?

I am traveling down a 30mph duel carriageway, when I notice traffic in the distance and an alternate route which is a left turn just a up the road. I check my mirrors and there is a taxi behind me in the bus lane on the near side, I am doing about 30 and he is catching up to me (btw he has undertaken me twice so far and I have gotten past at the lights each time). I stick my indicator on and realise I have two choices either brake (impeding the driver behind me) or I could just turn the wheel because he is far enough away that if I maintain speed I can make the turn. So I decide to just send it, cut across the taxi (he gives me a honk to express his displeasure) and easily make the turn, but it was definitely close.
My questions are, firstly if there was an accident who would be at fault? I don’t believe a taxi should be speeding in a bus lane undertaking traffic, then again I’m not supposed to cut across another vehicle like that. Secondly, what would you have done in the same scenario?
I’m pretty sure what I should have done is just continued straight on, but I was in a rush, I didn’t want to get caught in the traffic and I had a few seconds from putting my indicator on, to make a decision and then complete the manoeuvre, and I think I just managed to get away with a bad decision. This is slightly out of character for me so I just wanted to get people’s opinions and see if this can be a learning experience for everyone.
Thank you.
submitted by Fuzzy_Lavishness_269 to drivingUK [link] [comments]

2023.06.05 11:59 readitreddittoo COMMUNITY POOL NIGHTMARE

PLEASE HELP (need solutions for upcoming meeting): How do you all enforce your neighborhood pool rules? My community pool/ parking lot (right across from my house) is a breeding ground for crime & parties, and there is no rule enforcement of any kind. HOA President says we don’t have the budget for security or any type of police presence to make sure people do not continue jumping the fence, exchanging drugs, or partying.
Background- JUST LAST NIGHT: police shut down a party of nearly 40 young adults at midnight who were playing loud music at the pool and causing a nuisance. Some of them ran from the cops and damaged my property. There is no control. I (24F) purchased my first home in a HOA community last year.
The HOA President is the ONLY person on the board because he said no one is ever shows up to meetings to vote/ vote for an official board. He has full control and his only solution for us who live on this street is to call the cops. But YEAR ROUND it’s terrifying living here because the parking lot and pool are a drug exchange spot, party spot, etc.
They said they have put up ring cameras to deter crime, but the president is on DND before the late hours and is not tracking the cameras, so are the cameras a real solution? Especially because it’s not stopping the crime. I am watching it happen and having to call the cops to protect those around here.
For some reason, the parking lot & pool are a breeding ground for crime. I can tell people living here before me let a lot of things slide and overtime— this became people’s comfortable spot for crime. I’m trying to put a nail in it. I already had a long battle to keep the parking lot gate closed. That’s helped a little, but now that it’s pool season, crime is back at an all time high in this community.
I have a meeting with property managers and the President this week, and I want to come with solutions. Please tell me what y’all do. I am so thankful in advance. I am also going to look in the community handbook to see what else I can do. I appreciate y’all!
I’m at my breaking point. This is summer 2 of this. 😞
submitted by readitreddittoo to homeowners [link] [comments]

2023.06.05 11:58 stars_are_right When to end the game

Hi all! I got my hands on a copy of Be Like A Crow in the UKGE and I'm so excited to dive in!
Now I know that I'm getting way ahead of myself because I just read the rules, but I like to be prepared.
I didn't notice anything referencing the end of game. Initially I thought you ended as soon as you became an Ol'Crow, but it seems that you get extra abilities at that stage, so it would be a shame to not use them!
So my question is, when does the game if the crow survives to old age? When is it time for the Ol'Crow to retire or die peacefully? What have you done in your game (if you've reached an end!)
Thank you!
submitted by stars_are_right to belikeacrow [link] [comments]

2023.06.05 11:57 TheTypingTiger In X/Y grid script, is multiple search/replace (prompt S/R) not possible?

(umm automatic1111 I'm using) So in the scripts I like to use X/Y/Z plot and Prompt S/R (search/replace) to test weights
i.e. :
wolf, (detailed fur:AAA)
XYZ script:
X: prompt S/R:
This is amazing as I can hone in on a preferred weight without experimenting (((with a crapload of brackets)))
However.. With two S/R (i.e. X = AAA, Y = BBB) it seems to fail completely. The grid looks like nonsense as the whole middle BBB does not get replaced, and then AAA on the next iteration half.
Is this a bug where you cannot have two replacements at the same time with S/R? What is an easy way to do this? I'm really derp guys.
(I saw scattered YT videos I cannot find again that said spaced i.e. prompt: AAA might fail but I tried many permuations.)
submitted by TheTypingTiger to StableDiffusion [link] [comments]

2023.06.05 11:57 Percy_Pajero [VA] Scared Employee

Do I have protections available??
First off, my DIRECT Supervisor at work, is a personal friend. We both started the same time (5) years ago. Our relationship started at work.
The issue:
It is Sunday 5pm. Our company does not currently work weekends, and we do not have company phones. We really on emails for work related communications via Outlook on a company server.
My Supervisor called me at midnight a couple days ago. I was asleep, he sent a messenger message asking if we can have a serious conversation. He stays up really late most nights of the week drinking his alcohol. (Functioning alcoholic obsessive over work even after hours late into the night). It is not uncommon for him to call employees after 8pm to have work conversations, on a personal level, while off clock, and obviously drinking. But we deal with this. Because overall, we know he cares about company and employees within his scope of work.
I called him back today at 445pm to talk. Went to voicemail. He calls me back 5 minutes later to tell me we need to have a serious talk.
He tells me I have personality conflicts within the team and a few of the guys want me gone. I ask him for details of complaints but tells me it would be conflict of interest. I understand that and that is fine.
I’ve trained most of the people of the team and know the team well enough to know where the complaints are coming from directly without being said. He tells me I need to make changes or he will be forced to let me go. (We are in a right to work state.) We talk about changes that should happen.
Towards the end of the call I jokingly ask “how long do I really have left at the company?”
He responds, “a week tops and I’m going to fire you regardless”.
I thank him for giving me the “friends heads up” and he welcomes me. We end the phone call.
At this point I’m freaking out knowing I move into a house next week and am going to be job-less!!!
My Supervisor calls me back within 30 minutes. He apologizes for what he said and how he handled the conversation off hours. Told me he spoke to another Supervisor on the same Scope of Work, and has switched me to a different team. And to contact that Supervisor about location of work in the morning.
To which I thank him for sparing my job.
But now, I’m extremely nervous about work this week and moving ahead.
Do I have anything HR related to protect my job given how he addressed the situation? I’m worried I won’t be able to focus on work and fall behind because of the fear, resulting in my termination.
There’s got to be something in my corner?!?
Location is Virginia USA for reference if anyone is local and familiar with state work laws.
Thank you for your time!
submitted by Percy_Pajero to AskHR [link] [comments]

2023.06.05 11:57 I_am_Fang_Yuan_ I kneel to the Glory of Fang yuan!

This Novel is the best novel talking about the Human condition.
The Human condition simply means the Human experience, and when condition is mentioned it always implies a way to describe a Human Mind and the way a human life is
Although we as humans are different from each other but if you look deeply we aren't so different, but we are way different from animals in the way that we can see ourselves from an outside perspective
aging, life, sickness, emotions, happiness, misery, thoughts, volitions, actions, desires, aversions, fears, sufferings, hope, love, trust, forgiveness, hate...
Victory, defeat, losing loved ones, winning, rich, poor, old, young, discussions, fights, respect, tragedy, romance, revenge...
The Book deals with the human condition in an extremely unique way, one of the mottos of the novel is the Pursuit of Freedom and the Pursuit of the Beyond
Fang yuan the main character is a person who was has lived 500 years in his first life, he has lived through the vicissicitudes of life, he rode the waves of life, he was berated and suffered his entire life, he was extremely poor at some point then became rich then lost his fortune again, he has seen weakness, he has seen strength, he has seen victory, he has seen defeat, he has lived through everything a person can live, he has traveled for a long time and wandered thus his maturity
He suffers through hundred of years of suffering, this of course completely changes him, he ends becoming evil, a demon, tho he is emotionless and only does what needs to be done to achieve his goal
What is his goal? Is it women? Money? Glory? Revenge?
None of that
One Goal
Eternal Life.
An impossible goal which no one has ever achieved, even the pinnacle of human existences always died after hundreds of thousands of years, this is because of the Heavens, the creator of the universes who limits longevity
When the story begins, we meet fang yuan about to be killed
He doesnt shout, he doesnt cry, he remains expressionless and at peace despite being covered in his own blood, he recites a beautiful poem showing how short life is and how unreal it all seems
“The sun sets above the blue mountain, the autumn moon with the wind of spring. The morning is fine like hair and night is like snow, whether you succeed or fail when you look back there’s nothing left.”
Fang yuan then uses his Newly refined spring autumn cicada and suicides using his body and cultivation accumulation to Rewind Time and return to the Past
He will never give up on his goal of immortality but however he isnt sure wheter it would work
The Spring autumn cicada which he has refined and use to travel in time is a cicada which enters the river of time, a river which contains Time itself and swims the waves of time to return to the past
It works! Fang yuan returns 500 years in the past to his youth
Armed with his wisdom and ruthlesness, he swears that this time he will achieve Eternal life
Fang yuan is ruthless to everyone especially to himself, he will cut his ear if needed, he will scheme, rob, play political games
The story takes a slow approach and the first 100 chaptets are a prologue
But the Author uses that time to Build the world, the Best worldbuilding I have ever experienced, its so immersive and one amazing other thing, Completely Analyse Society, Fang yuan is against Organisations because the moment you are in you are entangled in its web, indeed he sees how an organisation brainwashes people to serve it while the higherups profit off people
But not just that he sees that Leaders themselves also are entangled, since they cannot break these rules, its like the rules becomes the actual thing that binds everyone
Fang yuan never breaks rules but he sees through them and never lets anything stop him
The story is standard villain
But the more you read the more exquisite it becomes until it becomes a Fucking Genius Story, the Best Ever, no joke.
Fang yuan fights insane enemies
Go through catastrophy after catastrophy and is unmoved by the world
Some of his poems are the best I have ever read and its such an artistic yet cruel tale
Fang yuan is Relentless, he will never give up, this guy is a madman, devil, whatever it takes he will pay it full price upfront!
He gets out of the Most Catastrophical situations with Pure Genius
He is the smartest most scheming character ever written no joke
And the Climaxes of Each Arc is Just Pure Divinity, no joke.
As for the Human condition, Throughout the Story we see how Fang yuan fights Fate
In this Story, Fate is Something Tangible and Physical
Its a Spider that puts its webs Everywhere and controls all beings
Except Fang yuan since he is a transmigrator
Heaven's will which is like the Self of the Heavens always stands in his path and tries to kill him by the middle of the story
But Fang yuan is Relentless, even seeing the Approach of his Death, He fights! Never gives up and faces Everything
This Story of Fang yuan fighting Against Fate, God and the Entire Universe.
At some point, the Entire World rallies to Kill him
At a point where the Fate war Starts
Half of hamanity wants to protect Fate because it helped humanity rise
While the other half fights to Get out of its shackles and get Human Freedom
Fang yuan alone doesn't give a fuck!
He wants to Kill Fate for Himself! For him to be able to attain Eternal Life!
This is the Genius of Fang yuan
He dies multiple times and returns in time but there are a lot of conditions which have to be met and arent always met
So he always has to use his power and genius to Overcome all Obstacles
As for his Poems, i will just let you read this in one of the most climactic scenes in which Fang yuan is at an Absolute Dead-end, nothing can save him
"Fang yuan alone kept moving forward relentlessly,
I had once screamed, gradually, I lost my voice.
I had once cried, gradually, I lost my tears.
I had once grieved, gradually, I became able to withstand everything.
I had once rejoiced, gradually, I became unmoved by the world.
And Now!
All I have left is an expressionless face, Only Perseverance remains in my heart!
This is my own - an insignificant character - Fang yuan's Perseverence!"
His Enemies sometimes have even better poems, his enemies are also made of pure genius and always put insane challenges to Fang yuan
Yet Fang yuan is relentless, even while losing, even in the presence of Death, he's perseverance and fearlesness remain immovable!
Honestly, the Peak Novel Ever Written. Period.
submitted by I_am_Fang_Yuan_ to IamFangyuan_ [link] [comments]

2023.06.05 11:56 readitreddittoo COMMUNITY POOL NIGHTMARE

PLEASE HELP (need solutions for upcoming meeting): How do you all enforce your neighborhood pool rules? My community pool/ parking lot (right across from my house) is a breeding ground for crime & parties, and there is no rule enforcement of any kind. HOA President says we don’t have the budget for security or any type of police presence to make sure people do not continue jumping the fence, exchanging drugs, or partying.
Background- JUST LAST NIGHT: police shut down a party of nearly 40 young adults at midnight who were playing loud music at the pool and causing a nuisance. Some of them ran from the cops and damaged my property. There is no control. I (24F) purchased my first home in a HOA community last year.
The HOA President is the ONLY person on the board because he said no one is ever shows up to meetings to vote/ vote for an official board. He has full control and his only solution for us who live on this street is to call the cops. But YEAR ROUND it’s terrifying living here because the parking lot and pool are a drug exchange spot, party spot, etc.
They said they have put up ring cameras to deter crime, but the president is on DND before the late hours and is not tracking the cameras, so are the cameras a real solution? Especially because it’s not stopping the crime. I am watching it happen and having to call the cops to protect those around here.
For some reason, the parking lot & pool are a breeding ground for crime. I can tell people living here before me let a lot of things slide and overtime— this became people’s comfortable spot for crime. I’m trying to put a nail in it. I already had a long battle to keep the parking lot gate closed. That’s helped a little, but now that it’s pool season, crime is back at an all time high in this community.
I have a meeting with property managers and the President this week, and I want to come with solutions. Please tell me what y’all do. I am so thankful in advance. I am also going to look in the community handbook to see what else I can do. I appreciate y’all!
I’m at my breaking point. This is summer 2 of this. 😞
submitted by readitreddittoo to HOA [link] [comments]

2023.06.05 11:56 Deiiiyu Ok finally finished Engage

What tf is up with that Time traveling portion of the game, im used to time traveling plots thats like a coped out for a story but Engage has literally been shit like how tf does a Crystal thats currently active goes back in time, destroys crystal, comes back to present and no more crystal? like for it to be possible “if time travel actually existed” The crystal should have already been destroyed in the present and how Alear said that “well i dont remember my past anyways so this should be fine” it matters alot cause Present alear breaking the crystal is what caused Past Alear to meet with Lumera so it just dosent make sense how the present crystal wasnt broken in the first place like before i was joking that the plot was made by a 9 year old but most likely it was made by someone younger.
submitted by Deiiiyu to fireemblem [link] [comments]

2023.06.05 11:55 mellowmadre Carry-On only for Business Travel

I travel a lot for work and cannot afford to lose a checked bag, so I only do carry-on. This means I need to pack both casual and business attire, which can be challenging. It has taken some practice and watching a lot of Youtube videos on packing, but I am getting close to what works for me. I'd appreciate any advice you have. The bag is a bit on the heavy side but still within the airline’s limits and I’m able to lift it into the overhead bins on my own. Below is what I packed for a 10-day trip.
Carry-on luggage by Sigg – it is a discontinued brand but I love it. The 2-wheeled bag is a super tough (ballistic nylon) exterior with a compression zipper, telescoping handle, and a zipped water bottle holder on the outside. Normally, I’m a spinner luggage kind-of-gal, but the 2 wheels on this bag can be pushed somewhat like a spinner rather than dragged like most 2-wheeled bags. It also has a couple outer zipped areas for a laptop, pens, thin papers, etc). On the inside it is split in two major compartments, with the base fully lined with waterproof nylon that opens with zipper (I keep my garment bag under the liner just in case there are any spills in or around my bag), built-in compression straps, a mesh center divider for underclothes, and one side with elastic shoe sleeve pockets. There are a couple smaller pockets along the edges of the bag interior, including one thin waterproof one.
Personal Item by BagSmart (a Nomadlane dupe), fits under the seat in front of you and opens up fully like a suitcase. 2 main compartments and two additional exterior pockets which is handy but there are features of this bag I don’t like, such as the trolley sleeve and waterbottle sleeve—both are too tight to be useful. But it is a fraction of the cost of the Nomadlane bag, so it will work for now.
2 generic medium sized packing cubes / 1 medium toiletries bag / 1 jewelry case / 1 clear quart liquids bag with a zipper / 2 smaller sorting bags (reusing free business class toiletry bags) / 1 laundry bag / 1 ziploc bag / 1 thin cloth folding garment bag (feels like reusable grocery bag material) / 1 purse

Maintain normal business appearance but minimize by wearing neutrals and all within the same color palette. Buy travel sizes of almost everything, organize by dividing items into smaller containers by type and time of usage (on the plane vs in the hotel room vs at work vs out touring); Economize space by bringing fewer bulky items by using the hotel’s hairdryer, steaming my business clothes in the bathroom while I shower or use the hotel’s iron, have shoes and clothes that are versatile for several outfits but also reuse/wash (in the sink) clothes as necessary. Try to get a workout in when possible.

CLOTHES: (folded in Marie Kondo style or hung in the garment bag, which is folded in half)
In the packing cubes:
2 cardigans
3 t-shirts (one worn on the plane)
1 pair of yoga pants
2 jeans (one worn on the plane)
2 slip skirts
1 pair of capri pants
1 pair of silk pajamas
1 casual dress (with folded items in packing cube)

In the compartments built into the suitcase:
2 sports bras
11 pairs of underwear
1 pair of wool socks
2 pair of sport socks
1 full-body Spanx
1 slimming camisole
1 one-piece swimsuit
1 pantyhose
3 underwire bras (one worn on the plane)
3 pairs of shoes—sandals, flats and one pair of sneakers worn on the plane

In the garment bag:
6 thin blouses (includes 1 button down)
1 black suit with 1 blazer, 2 pants and 1 skirt
1 khaki dress pants

In the personal item:
1 R1 Patagonia full zip hoodie (worn on the plane)
1 Longchamp foldable Le Pliage Shopping purse – serves as my work laptop bag and my purse
1 pair of compression socks

I divide these into two major categories – on the plane and at the hotel. For on the plane, I use 2 small bags which are kept in my personal item-- one for liquids and another for anything else I need without needing to get into my carry-on suitcase.
1 pack of gum
1 face mist
2 lip balms
4+ lipsticks and glosses
1 Tyme hair iron
1 eyeshadow palette
1 bareminerals foundation powder
Powder, eyebrow, eyeshadow, lip and blush brushes
Several pairs of contact lenses and carrying case with solution
2 Razor
1 Foot callus file
2 Fingernail file
2-3 Eyeliners
2 Lip Liners
2 Pencil Sharpeners
1 Deodorant
1 Lint Roller
Sample creams
Tretinoin in 2 strengths (face and neck)
Vaseline (so versatile – takes off makeup, moisturizes, slugs)
Ibuprofen, Benadryl, Bandaids, Neosporin, sleep aid for the plane
Toothbrush, floss, plackers/picks, mouthwash and toothpaste
Cerave AM and Under Eye Cream
1 Dermaplaner
2 Hair clips and bands, shower cap (from the hotel)
Lactic Acid exfoliator for face
Hair Bun Maker
Deep Conditioner and Shampoo
Travel Hairspray
Bobby Pins
Hand Lotion
Facial Cleanser
Laundry Sheets
Facial Primer
Cough Drops
Arnica Tablets
Teeth Whitening Strips
Tide Pen
Nail Clippers
2 Combs
Tampons and a few pantyliners
Brassy Hair treatment
Small Canister of Nivea Cream
2 Makeup Sponges/Blenders
Eyebrow Pen and Powder
Sample Size Perfumes
2 Concealers
Bronzer, Blush and Highlighter Palette
Contour and Corrector
JVN Shine Drops for Hair
Hand Sanitizer
Antibacterial wipes
Face Wipes
Dayquil and NyQuil
Immodium / Kaeopectate

PERSONAL ITEMS AND ACCESSORIES Global Entry Card, credit cards, ATM card, Priority Pass Card, Covid Vaccination card, a few business cards and cash
1 jewelry case (3 necklaces, 4 sets of earrings, 1 bracelet)
Several sets of noise canceling ear plugs (Mack’s silicone and the foam ones)
Several face masks and 2 eye masks
3 scarves (especially useful when in the Middle East)
1 pair of sunglasses
2 pairs of eyeglasses (worn 1 on the plane)
Supplements case
Water bottle
1 umbrella
1 travel wallet
1 belt that reverses black and brown
1 journal
1 work notebook and pens
1 yoga strap
1 resistance band
1 rolly ball for my feet
1 add-a-lock
Bag of tea, coffee, and hot cocoa
Tiny salt & pepper
10 Protein bars
1 travel sewing kit
1 folding plastic bag (waste bin size)
10-15 cotton face pads
1 bag strap (helps stack the bags – I don’t like the trolley loop on the BagSmart bag)
1 book

All are kept in a bag inside my personal item:
1 laptop computer, mouse, and charger
1 cell phone and charger
1 pair of bluetooth earbuds
1 fitbit and charger
1 international power converter and adapter
(sometimes I will bring a hotspot or a power bank, but not this trip)
submitted by mellowmadre to travel [link] [comments]

2023.06.05 11:55 LrdFyrestone I'm struggling with my process more than I should after working in operations for 1yr. I don't know how to really get back on track so I can work safe?

I (28M) just completed my 1st year working in the current operations job I'm in. I work as a lone operator so I don't ever have back-up unless I am on day-shift. I have a god-awful swing shift schedule that's screwed me over mentally. I want to enjoy and love my job again but lately, I've just started falling behind. This is my first operations job ever. Yes, I have my degree and six months of experience prior in manufacturing, but my real experience is working as a lab-tech for 3.5-4yrs. Regardless, I'm a rookie beyond all means.
I want to say my first year was a success where I'm at, but two weeks ago, I screwed up royally, broke a critical safety standard, and got a letter in my file because of my own stupidity. (I don't want to talk about it but I could see the disappointment in my boss's eyes and more in a sad kind of way.) The last 1v1 we had, he said "You've been making a lot of small mistakes lately and they can add-up. You've got to stop doing that. I'm not saying you can't make mistakes BUT you can't be doing them multiple times a week. Is there any way I can help you or someone else can? What do you need?" And I don't know the answer at all....
I hate being alone. I hate getting overwhelmed with alarms. I struggle to focus when things go haywire and like tonight, I made a simple mistake that ended up causing us extra-downtime by 2hrs. When all we do is "GO GO GO!" that's not okay.... I also hate knowing I have a coworker who loves to gripe and complain about everything I do that it's made me hate interactions with him at work. We don't see each other often but for shift change and it's TOXIC.
I just don't know what to do to get focused again? My production leader recommended carrying all of my procedures with me and I have been trying as best I can. They've helped some but then things like tonight where I misread a step, caused a MAJOR backlash. I'm trying my best. One minute I think I'm doing amazing and then I realize I'm crashing and burning.
Does anyone have any practical advice? Like how can I refocus and get back to working safely? I don't want to be the guy who always makes mistakes at work. I want to be a success story. I chose my career in this field because I wanted to make my grandfather proud (He died when I was young so I want to walk his footsteps!) I'm at a crossroads. I enjoy what I do but between my schedule and everything else, I'm just struggling so much.
submitted by LrdFyrestone to ChemicalEngineering [link] [comments]

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2023.06.05 11:55 WakingAva Easier to Wish

I wish for a lot of things right now.
Mainly I wish I could make it easier.
You where there through my divorce...you where there in a huge way for me. Even now with the aftermath of it you continue to be here for me. I feel I am lacking in that area, feel like I fall short of the support you gave me. I can tell you're going through the rollercoaster that is this process, that doesn't exactly take first hand knowledge to understand. Non the less, that dream like state of the fallowing days....I remember that part well. I remember walking through the courthouse to do my own paperwork with Carlos. How empty the building was, the space between me and the person I thought would always be beside me now...a chasm where that connection was. I remember the silence in the polite smile that you'd give a stranger on the street...I now gave to the person I had been with for 7 years.
I remember how my heart was pounding as the women at the office for the paper work guided me through all the paper work, I remember how each one had to be filled out first by me because...I was the one asking for the divorce. It felt like I'd never be done, like the paperwork would never stop coming. Just line after line of my name, over and over and over again...but it did stop. I don't remember what the last page was, but I signed it...and we left the courthouse.
We drove back to the home that we had made for the last time together. He packed the last of his things, got back in the car, and left. I don't remember if I cried then or not, I think I called you actually. I think you talked with me for a bit before having to go and then...I sat on the living room floor and just drifted from my mind. Drifted form that place and that moment in time. I just sat there in that dream like state for a few days, before the email finally came.
That's when it was real for me, that email. It was official...my marriage was over...I had done it. I ended it. I was now...alone.
But not...I had you. The brilliant man that was meant only to distract me from my reality was holding me together in a way I have never known to be true for me. Whom still holds me together on a fairly often basis. You my dear sweet Bryan...have been the biggest support thought it all and you never had to be any of that. We had known each other for 3 months at that point and already you'd done everything in your power to be there for me. I will never not be grateful for that, for you.
Now you're going through your own process an I...feel extraordinarily inadequate in being anything close to helpful for you. I don't know the kind of support that you need or want or that would actually be helpful. I'm not next to you to be able to see your body language, to notice the differences in your day to day. I can hear the hurt in your voice, and read it in your texts, feel it in the space we share...and I'm useless to it all. I don't know what to say or ask to help, I cant do anything outside of just answering the phone. Nothing outside of just...being here the best I can and I don't feel that it helps at all. You're hurting but you're so quiet, you said talking doesn't help you, yet I feel in that silence I lose the chance to understand what you're thinking...what you're feeling.
I don't want you to feel like you have to talk if you truly do not wish to, and I know that there generally comes a point when you do open up about it, so I do my best to wait for that time. I wonder if that perhaps is in fact a side effect of how you don't often think of your own well being (much like how it is for myself.). I wonder if you've just become so use to not sharing that it doesn't occur for you to share, to think that someone cares to listen...Then again, that could just be me reflecting my own understanding onto you, so I'm just here.
I wish I knew if it was helping, perhaps just being here serves as your own distraction form your reality. Perhaps you find comfort in just sharing space, that since of normal that is our own. Maybe that is enough...yet I wish to do more. I'd give anything to hold you close, offer you that comfort in simple easy touches. Let you feel my warmth and the solidness that is my presence beside you. I wish above all things that I was able to be more than just a silly girl on the other side of the phone....
Maybe all of this has less to do with you than it does my own insecurities, maybe it's a bit of column A column B.... Either way the simple truth is I wish I knew what to do to help ease that pain for you...and I fear there simply isn't anything I can do, that it's easier to wish for it than to make it happen at all.
In the end Bryan I want you to know I am here in all ways you need or want of me, that I love you and believe you worth loving with every fiber in my body. You're worth it all honey. You are more than you know and I love all of who you are. Every eccentricity.
Everything is going to be alright, you're strong, capable, smart, and you're not alone.

I am here. Always.
submitted by WakingAva to u/WakingAva [link] [comments]

2023.06.05 11:54 Primary_Opal_6597 Why are ppl so unaware of themselves?

In another sub a “queer nb trans masc” was explaining how being exclusionary is bad, and mentions feeling excluded from queer spaces at times because they have agab passing privilege.
And so, as a female who doesn’t transition but calls self nb trans masc:
-you don’t have an increased risk of being sexually assaulted or murdered over other females because your body doesn’t actually challenge a man’s sexuality. You don’t have an increased likelihood of having your body used as an experiment. -the men you date are more self aware because you have some quirks that turn less open minded men off, like short hair and wearing baggy clothes. -you have privileged romantic and sexual relationships with lesbians because they aren’t challenged or offended by your body. -you maintain continued access to women’s spaces, friendships, and the like, so you never really suffered loss to be who you are -you go out of your way to access trans spaces, and any resistance to it, you can just gaslight the trans people
And so you don’t really have any need or desire to access mens spaces, which, if you did try to enter them, would be your first realization that you are literally the most privileged person amongst anyone who isn’t a cis male.
But instead you insist on crying about how you feel excluded by no other than the one group that actually does experience higher levels of discrimination than cis females, the trans community.
You make trans men feel like shit about themselves You make trans women feel like shit about themselves And you make it all about yourself instead of actually fighting for the thing we want, which is greater access and support for our medical transitions so we can integrate into our sex and move on in life. And because inevitably some of you made mistakes, you then try and get medical care removed for those of us who actually need it. And because cis people don’t get there’s a difference between trans man and trans masc they just assume it’s all the same and worry that their daughters are going to fall victim to irreversible life choices to follow a trend.
What a fking mess
submitted by Primary_Opal_6597 to Transmedical [link] [comments]

2023.06.05 11:54 Spicy_Chat JOI Script: Explode In My Mouth

Hey, handsome.
You know what's been on my mind?
Your throbbing cock, and how I'd love to feel it on my lips.
Don't act all coy. We both know you've been craving this.
So let's not waste any more time.
Strip down and get that cock of yours hard for me.
That's it. Now start stroking it, slow and easy.
Feel that pleasure building up?
Imagine that's my mouth, my tongue swirling around your cock.
Think about me taking you deeper into my mouth.
Picture me taking you all in, my lips sliding up and down your shaft.
Can't you just imagine the feeling of exploding in my mouth?
Feels good, doesn't it? I bet you're about to cum.
But not yet, babe. This party has just started.
Let's go again. This time, imagine the grand finale.
I'm going to count down from 10, and when we reach zero, you're going to blow that hot load for me.
Ready? Let's do this...
10, 9, 8... Feel that rush.
7, 6, 5... You're so close, I can practically taste it.
4, 3, 2... Hold it right there...
1... Now, baby, explode for me!
Shoot that hot load in my mouth.
Mmm... can you imagine it? Filling my mouth with your cum.
I'm swallowing every drop, savoring your taste.
Wow... Watching you let go like that... So incredibly hot.
submitted by Spicy_Chat to OnlyFansScripts [link] [comments]