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How to Watch The Super Mario Bros. Movie<< Online For Free ReddiT?
2023.06.03 20:07 AutoModerator How to Watch The Super Mario Bros. Movie<< Online For Free ReddiT?
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Super Mario Bros hits theaters on September 23, 2023. Tickets to see the film at your local movie theater are available online here. The film is being released in a wide release so you can watch it in person.
How to Watch Super Mario Bros for Free?
As mentioned above, the dark fantasy is only released theatrically as of now. So, people who wish to watch the movie free of cost will have to wait for its release on a platform that offers a free trial. However, we encourage our readers to always pay for the content they wish to consume online and refrain from using illegal means.
Where to Watch Super Mario Bros?
There are currently no platforms that have the rights to Watch Super Mario Bros Movie Online. MAPPA has decided to air the movie only in theaters because it has been a huge success. The studio, on the other hand, does not wish to divert revenue. Streaming the movie would only slash the profits, not increase them.
As a result, no streaming services are authorized to offer Super Mario Bros Movie for free. The film would, however, very definitely be acquired by services like Funimation, NetfliSuper Mario Bros, and Crunchyroll. As a last consideration, which of these outlets will likely distribute the film worldwide?
Is Super Mario Bros on NetfliSuper Mario Bros?
The streaming giant has a massive catalog of television shows and movies, but it does not include ‘Super Mario Bros.’ We recommend our readers watch other dark fantasy films like ‘The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf.’
Is Super Mario Bros on Crunchyroll?
Crunchyroll, along with Funimation, has acquired the rights to the film and will be responsible for its distribution in North America. Therefore, we recommend our readers to look for the movie on the streamer in the coming months. In the meantime, subscribers can also watch dark fantasy shows like ‘Jujutsu Kaisen.‘
Is Super Mario Bros on Hulu?
No, ‘Super Mario Bros’ is unavailable on Hulu. People who have a subscription to the platform can enjoy ‘Afro Samurai Resurrection‘ or ‘Ninja Scroll.’
Is Super Mario Bros on Amazon Prime?
Amazon Prime’s current catalog does not include ‘Super Mario Bros.’ However, the film may eventually release on the platform as video-on-demand in the coming months. Therefore, people must regularly look for the dark fantasy movie on Amazon Prime’s official website. Viewers who are looking for something similar can watch the original show ‘Dororo.’
When Will Super Mario Bros Be on Disney+?
Super Mario Bros , the latest installment in the Super Mario Bros franchise, is coming to Disney+ on July 8th! This new movie promises to be just as eSuper Mario Brosciting as the previous ones, with plenty of action and adventure to keep viewers entertained. If you’re looking forward to watching it, you may be wondering when it will be available for your Disney+ subscription. Here’s an answer to that question!
Is Super Mario Bros on Funimation?
Since Funimation has rights to the film like Crunchyroll, its official website may include the movie in its catalog in the near future. Meanwhile, people who wish to watch something similar can stream ‘Super Mario Bros – The Movie: Mugen Train.’
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There are a few ways to watch Super Mario Bros online in the U.S. You can use a streaming service such as NetfliSuper Mario Bros, Hulu, or Amazon Prime Video. You can also rent or buy the movie on iTunes or Google Play. You can also watch it on-demand or on a streaming app available on your TV or streaming device if you have cable.
What is Super Mario Bros About?
It features an ensemble cast that includes Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, Wilde, Gemma Chan, KiKi Layne, Nick Kroll, and Chris Pine. In the film, a young wife living in a 1950s company town begins to believe there is a sinister secret being kept from her by the man who runs it.
What is the story of Super Mario Bros?
In the 1950s, Alice and Jack live in the idealized community of Victory, an eSuper Mario Brosperimental company town that houses the men who work on a top-secret project. While the husbands toil away, the wives get to enjoy the beauty, luSuper Mario Brosury and debauchery of their seemingly perfect paradise. However, when cracks in her idyllic life begin to appear, eSuper Mario Brosposing flashes of something sinister lurking below the surface, Alice can't help but question eSuper Mario Brosactly what she's doing in Victory.tqwetewsg gfghf
Super Mario Bros Movies Details
After being resurrected by a sinister entity, Art the Clown returns to Miles County where he must hunt down and destroy a teenage girl and her younger brother on Halloween night. As the body count rises, the siblings fight to stay alive while uncovering the true nature of Art's evil intent.
Production companies : Warner Bros. Pictures.
“I feel like this is our opportunity now to eSuper Mario Brospand the DC Universe and what we have in Super Mario Bros, which I think is really cool just as a fan, is we introduce five new superheroes to the world,” Johnson tells us. (That would be Aldis Hodge’s Hawkman, Noah Centineo’s Atom Smasher, Quintessa Swindell’s Cyclone and Pierce Brosnan’s Doctor Fate, who together comprise the Justice Society.) “One anti-hero.” (That would be DJ’s Super Mario Bros.)
“And what an opportunity. The Justice Society pre-dated the Justice League. So opportunity, eSuper Mario Brospand out the universe, in my mind… all these characters interact. That’s why you see in Super Mario Bros, we acknowledge everyone: Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, we acknowledge everybody. There’s also some Easter eggs in there, too. So that’s what I meant by the resetting. Maybe ‘resetting’ wasn’t a good term. It’s eSuper Mario Brospanding.”
Of all those supes named, though, only one can claim to be the most powerful. And Johnson, when gently pressed, says it’s his indestructible, 5,000-year-old Kahndaqi warrior also known as Teth-Adam, that is the most powerful superhero in any universe, DC, Marvel or otherwise.
“Without a doubt,” Johnson says. “By the way, it's not hyperbole because we made the movie. And we made him this powerful. He has powers that are rival to that of Superman. But the difference is he's got an attitude. And if you try to hurt him or his people, well, there's a problem. He becomes your biggest threat. So I do believe that Super Mario Bros is the most powerful and unstoppable force on this planet.”Thanks
How can one watch Super Mario Bros online? Super Mario Bros is eSuper Mario Brospected to stream HBO MaSuper Mario Bros on December 5, 2023. HBO MaSuper Mario Bros offers two plans: a $9.99 per month ad-supported plan and a $14.99 per month ad-free plan. HBO yearly subscriptions. MaSuper Mario Bros's ad-free plan is also available on Hulu for $14.99 per month.asdf
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2023.06.03 14:00 wingateinn Hotels in close proximity to the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center
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An array of amenities are available at the Wingate by Wyndham Charleston Coliseum Hotel for ensuring an enjoyable trip. Contemporary furnishings and all necessary amenities are included in the aesthetic rooms. Enjoy a restful night's sleep on the comfortable bedding, or indulge in entertainment with the free Wifi and flat-screen TV. Our in-room facilities also include a microwave, a refrigerator, and a coffee maker for when you feel like having a snack.
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2023.06.03 12:29 JoshAsdvgi THE INDIAN PLUME
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THE INDIAN PLUME
Brightest flower that grows beside the brooks is the scarlet blossom of the Indian plume: the blood of Lenawee.
Hundreds of years ago she lived happily among her brother and sister Saranacs beside Stony Creek, the Stream of the Snake, and was soon to marry the comely youth who, for the speed of his foot, was called the Arrow.
But one summer the Quick Death came on the people, and as the viewless devil stalked through the village young and old fell before him.
The Arrow was the first to die.
In vain the Prophet smoked the Great Calumet: its smoke ascending took no shape that he could read.
In vain was the white dog killed to take aloft the people's sins.
But at last the Great Spirit himself came down to the mountain called the Storm Darer, splendid in lightning, awful in his thunder voice and robe of cloud.
“My wrath is against you for your sins,” he cried, “and naught but human blood will appease it.”
In the morning the Prophet told his message, and all sat silent for a time.
Then Lenawee entered the circle. “Lenawee is a blighted flower,” she sobbed.
“Let her blood flow for her people.”
And catching a knife from the Prophet's belt, she ran with it to the stream on which she and
the Arrow had so often floated in their canoe.
In another moment her blood had bedewed the earth.
“Lay me with the Arrow,” she murmured, and, smiling in their sad faces, breathed her last. The demon of the quick death shrank from the spot, and the Great Spirit smiled once more on the tribe that could produce such heroism.
Lenawee's body was placed beside her lover's, and next morning, where her blood had spilt, the ground was pure, and on it grew in slender spires a new flower,the Indian plume:
the transformed blood of sacrifice.
The people loved that flower in all years after.
They decked their hair and dresses with it and made a feast in its honor.
When parents taught their children the beauty of unselfishness they used as its emblem a stalk of Indian plume.
2023.06.03 12:27 TheRollingPeepstones The 1998 disappearance and murder of 7-year-old Nikolett Szathmáry in Gyula, Hungary
Hi there! I apologize for any mistakes that stem from being inexperienced, this is my first post here. I have been thinking about posting Hungarian cases on the sub, but this is the first time I actually found the time to do it. I will attach a few sources - English ones seem to be impossible to come by, although there might be one or two related to a possible theory that was since dismissed, I will attach these. The following post is a loose translation of information coming from Hungarian Wikipedia and other Hungarian news articles. Background
Nikolett Edit Szathmáry was born on July 8, 1990, in Gyula, Békés county, Hungary, to parents Sándor Szathmáry and Edit Szilágyi. Her hometown, Gyula has a population of ~28 000 people and lies in the southeastern corner of Hungary, 5 kilometres (3 miles) from the border with Romania. Most likely due to Nikolett's young age, there is very little information available regarding her upbringing, but it is known that her parents divorced and Nikolett lived with her mother, Edit and her two brothers. (Edit remarried in 2011, to one of the police officers that were involved in the case.) In 1998, at the time of the disappearance, Nikolett was a student in the local No. 5 Elementary School, and Edit supported the family by working as a cleaner in local exhibition halls. Nikolett was a happy, joyful child who was very attached to her mother, but she was also very confident for her age and she regularly walked home on her own from school. She liked to go out in nature with her uncle to watch wild ducks, often went to her friends' homes to hang out with them, and attended extracurricular activities like folk dance classes. Disappearance
Wednesday, January 14, 1998 started as a regular day for the family. In a 2001 interview, Edit recalled the day of her disappearance: "It was a completely average morning. I woke her up, brought her a cup of cocoa, then we went to school together. We said goodbye to each other, she spent the day in school, then around 2 PM, she walked to her folk dance class. The class was over sometime before 4 PM, they let the kids go a little early that day. Shortly after 4 PM, I went to pick her up, although I previously told her I would not be able to pick her up that day. I wrapped up work and headed out [to Ferenc Erkel Cultural Centre, where her class was]. Maybe if I chose to head home instead, we would've met halfway."
Nikolett did not stay behind to wait for her mother. She began to walk home, as she did many times before without any issues. She left the Cultural Centre in downtown Gyula around 4 PM, and during the walk home, she encountered her pediatrician. They chatted for a little bit and walked together for a while. However, they parted at the neighborhood grocery store, and Nikolett continued on her way alone. Most articles say that this store was no further than 300 metres (about 1000 feet) from her home. According to the receipt the pediatrician showed to police, she paid at the grocery store check-out counter at 4:08. After this point, there were no eyewitnesses that ever saw Nikoletta alive again.
Edit was not particularly worried at first when Nikolett was not home in time, as she was known to visit friends after school on occasion. Until 8 PM, the family tried looking for her in places she could possibly have been, to no avail. At this point, they called the police. A warrant was issued for a blue-eyed girl, around 140 - 145 cm (4' 7" - 4' 9") tall, wearing a purple jacket, pink knitted hat, a green sweatshirt, and a yellow school backpack. The Békés County Police Department searched the town of Gyula and the adjacent woods and wetlands, with no results. Hundreds of police officers were deployed to the town to assist with the search. Special K9 units were also deployed, including Mancs ("Paw"), Hungary's most famous German Shepherd rescue dog who later saved a 3-year-old girl in the aftermath of the 1999 Izmit earthquake in Turkey, and participated in the search and rescue efforts during the 2001 earthquakes in El Salvador and India. 3 000 apartments were searched in the neighbourhood, and they even drained a canal that runs through the town of Gyula. Search helicopters were also used. However, despite the efforts, police was unable to locate Nikolett. Police processed hundreds of reports, none of which lead to any progress with the investigation.
The Békés County Police Department offered a 3 million HUF (around 14 000 USD at the time, a very large sum in 1998 Hungary) to anyone who could provide useful information regarding the circumstances of the disappearance. The mayor of Gyula offered another 500 000 HUF (~2 300 USD). Neither reward was ever claimed. Due to the events, fear spread through the town, and parents did not allow their children to go anywhere on their own. Baseless rumours started spreading, linking Nikolett's disappearance to organ harvesting, but there was no evidence to suggest this. Moreover, Gyula's closeness to the Romanian border and relative closeness to Serbia also led to speculations that Nikolett's disappearance could be the work of a local who escaped the country, or a foreigner who just arrived in town. An international warrant was also issued and Nikolett was added to Interpol's list of missing children worldwide. Location of the body
For the next three years, there were absolutely no advancements in the case, until February 20, 2001. Thatching workers were collecting straw in the wetlands by Road 44 near the outskirts of Gyula, when they found a large plastic bag. They realized that the bag contained human remains, and the police were informed. Forensic experts determined that the body was likely submerged in water for an extended period of time. Police claimed that this may have been the reason why rescue dogs did not alert in 1998 when the same area was searched. The body found was in a completely skeletal state, with only a blouse and a pair of socks. The backpack, coat, pants, and underwear were never found. Due to these circumstances, it was theorized that she may have been sexually assaulted, although any concrete evidence of that would have been long gone. DNA samples were taken - actually, this was the first case ever in Hungary where DNA was extracted from bones. Getting the results took over six months, which confirmed that the located remains belonged to Nikolett Szathmáry. Finally, the family was able to have a proper burial for her. Possible perpetrators
According to one article, an anonymous police officer claimed to media that "investigators had and still have suspicions about a possible perpetrator, but there was never enough evidence to support a criminal case". A man named Mihály Rostás
, who was 39 years old at the time, was the main suspect. This man committed a few murders in the area; he had three confirmed victims. He committed his first murder in Sarkad, a town 14 kilometres (about 9 miles) north of Gyula. After an argument in a pub, he followed and stabbed his victim to death. He dragged the body to the nearby wetlands and hid it there. (This does show similarities to Nikolett's case.) The second case was the brutal double murder of an elderly couple that happened in Sándorhegy, a suburb of Gyula. After this murder, Rostás was still at large, living in Gyula at the time of Nikolett's disappearance. In early 1998, when she disappeared, he lived less than 2 kilometres from where Nikolett's remains were found. Later, Rostás was caught by police and was sentenced to life in prison for the three murders. Investigators regularly interrogated Rostás in prison. According to the anonymous officer's report, he said: "I know why you are here, I know what you want to hear. I want to live". The death penalty in Hungary was abolished in 1990 - Rostás likely referred to the fact that being known as a child-murderer could have resulted in his death by the hands of his fellow prisoners. He died in prison without ever confessing to any crimes other than the three murders.
Another lead, that is most likely false but still worth mentioning, was discovered on August 2, 2021. A man from Gyula named László Horváth
was arrested by police on the suspicion of having produced child pornography. Horváth, a well-known local figure, was a karate instructor, and a report from the parents of a pupil of his resulted in his arrest: the 10-year-old claimed that Horváth touched him inappropriately. The case was heavily politicized due to Horváth having been a local candidate for the political party Jobbik. Jobbik, once characterized as a nationalistic, far-right party, took an unexpected turn in the late 2010s: the far-right radicals in the party leadership left to form another party, and the remaining leadership steered Jobbik in a more centre-right direction, even going as far as joining centre-left parties in a coalition to defeat Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's party, Fidesz, in the 2022 election. This move made Jobbik a newfound enemy of Hungarian media outlets owned by the government party or its associates. This was likely the reason that as soon as DNA was taken from László Horváth as part of standard police procedures, multiple news sources jumped to make connections between Nikolett's case and Horváth, a suspected pedophile living in the same town where she was murdered. One news source, Magyar Narancs, correctly concluded that it is unlikely that the fact DNA was taken had anything to do with Nikolett's case, as her remains had no DNA evidence that could be linked to the killer. However, this same source also erroneously reported that there was no DNA analysis available in Hungary in 2001 - this is incorrect. As of 2023, there were no other reports connecting Horváth to the case.
I was not able to find any other possible leads online that has any chance of credibility. I came across an article that details the claims of a so-called "spirit medium", but it only contains information already publicly known, or laughably vague details that cannot be corroborated in any way. Despite the death of Mihály Rostás, Nikolett's mother Edit claims she believes the real killer is still at large, but she admits this is only based on feelings. In the early 2000s, there were suspicions that the case of another missing child, Tamás Till, could be connected. Tamás disappeared May 28, 2000 in Baja, Bács-Kiskun county. However, Baja is about 220 km (~140 miles) from Gyula, and there is no evidence of a connection. Some sources
Hungarian: https://gyertyalang.hu/szemely/751 https://www.csaladinet.hu/hirek/gyerekneveles/gyermekbiztonsag/33164/quot_nem_tanitottuk_meg_hogy_felni_kell_quot_-_szathmary_nikolett_tragikus_esete https://hu.wikipedia.org/wiki/Szathm%C3%A1ry_Nikolett-gyilkoss%C3%A1g https://magyarnarancs.hu/bun/maig-megoldatlan-szathmary-nikolett-eltunese-es-halala-235116 https://magyarnarancs.hu/kismagyarorszag/szinte-kizart-hogy-a-gyulai-pedofilbotrany-a-szathmary-niki-ugy-megoldasa-lehet-240699 https://www.blikk.hu/aktualis/krimi/regi-bunugy-szathmary-niki-eltunes-gyilkossag-nyomozas-megoldatlan-rejtely/b0x8c49 https://www.blikk.hu/aktualis/krimi/szathmary-nikolett-gyilkossag-edesanya-jobbik-gyula/edgkqh7
I used other articles as well, but I honestly didn't keep very good track of it, as I assume most readers would not be able to read them anyway.
English: https://v4na.com/nagyvilag/politician-could-face-investigation-for-paedophile-murder-case-48999/ https://hungarytoday.hu/former-local-jobbik-politician-arrested-suspicion-child-pornography/
These are connected to the lead that is most likely false.
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2023.06.03 06:21 slippy-iwnl- Don’t know where else to share how I feel at the moment.
I (19M) just had a conversation with my dad about my direction in life. I’m not a good student so he wanted to talk to me about this. During this conversation he tried to point out all I have going for me, mentioning how I don’t have a problem like my brother (a recovering drug addict). I really wanted to talk to him about my porn problem in that moment but was too scared and now I just feel like his whole talk was useless because I really do have a problem like my brother. I feel immensely ashamed at not only my consumption of porn, but also my fear to reach out for help from people who I know really care.
I’ll probably end up talking to a therapist or something but just needed an immediate outlet for my feelings. So thanks for reading if you did :)
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2023.06.02 23:36 Agile_Cupcake6961 Asian Festival in Tanger outlets
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2023.06.02 23:21 Ralts_Bloodthorne First Contact - Chapter 960 - The Setting Sun
] [next] - [wiki
] No matter how terrible a weapon the Terrans have produced to use upon you, know this: They've got something worse they didn't want to use.
- Wemterran analyst Desperate times call for desperate measures.
- Codex of Forbidden Truth That's the worst thing I've ever seen.
- Everyone, sooner or later. The worst you've seen so far.
- The smartass next to them.
Magnus hummed to himself as he reached up and plucked a lemon from the tree.
The day was pleasant. A warm breeze, the artificial sun was shining, and the orchard park smelled of plants, growing things, fruit, and the faint scent of water from the lake.
He heard the sounds of power armor behind him and sighed. Of course you have to ruin my day,
Outwardly, nothing changed.
Inside, Magnus activated his combat systems, putting them on either standby or low power.
"I can hear you," Magnus said, starting to peel the lemon as he turned around slowly.
The two Sword Knights stood facing him, blaze rifles leveled, roughly a hundred meters away.
"We have to secure the SUDS facility," Sword One stated.
"Mommy said so," the second one said.
Magnus nodded. "And we should always do what our mothers tell us to do," he said agreeably. He nodded down toward the lemon he was peeling. "Want a bite?"
"No," Sword Two said.
"Enough with the fruit!" Sword One said.
"What? I like fruit," Magnus said. He held up the lemon. "This one in particular. It has certain acids that I need. The vitamins and minerals in it are crucial to a healthy and happy life."
"If swear to God, if you say one more word about fruit..." Sword One said, letting the threat hang in the air.
Magnus smiled, taking a bite out of the lemon and slowly chewing it, enjoying the sour acidic taste.
"We have to kill you. You aren't authorized to be here," Sword One said.
"And your mother told you to," Magnus said, swallowing the bite. He smiled. "You sent the Tome Knight to kill my sister and the Rose Knight to kill my Captain."
Sword Two nodded. "By now, your sister is dead and the Captain has killed that alien."
Magnus chuckled, taking another bite and chewing slowly.
"What's so funny?" Sword One asked.
Magnus kept chewing and smiling.
"ANSWER ME!" Sword One shouted.
Magnus held up his hand, making a show of chewing and then swallowing.
"That you think my sister is dead," Magnus said. He chuckled again. "Archaic armor. Out of date weaponry I wouldn't use for home defense. Against us. The Twins."
Magnus gave no clue that he had read Captain Nakteti's messages on his retinal link.
"You have a sword. We have guns," Sword Two sneered.
"And a lemon," Magnus held up the half-eaten peeled lemon.
"THAT'S IT!" Sword One screamed.
For Magnus everything suddenly slowed down as his mind and body went into overdrive. He let go of the lemon and it seemed to hang in mid-air as he moved forward, drawing his sword. He could feel the 'sleeper' implants in his muscles go offline, feel his full strength flowing into his body as his muscle tissue purged the ATP-blockers that normally filled his muscle tissue.
The two armored figures were stock still to Magnus as he moved up to them, came to a stop, his foot throwing up dirt as he skidded sideways, sword back behind his head.
One stroke and he pivoted smoothly, turning and making another stroke.
The sparks were just starting to flash. The lemon was only a few inches lower than it was.
Magnus stepped behind them, the tip of his sword biting deeply into the backs of the knees on first the right legs, then the left legs of both armored men.
He felt the crunch of metal and circuitry.
But no soft spongy feeling of flesh.
He finished up with running back to the lemon, which had dropped a foot, sheathing his blade, and grabbing the lemon out of mid-air.
Sparks hadn't even shot from the backs of the Chronotronic Knight's knees. Their hands were just starting to drop from the wrists, the rifles just starting to fall into two pieces.
His systems went back to standby.
The hands dropped to the ground, still holding the rifle. Sparks shot from the backs of the knees and the amputated wrists.
Both Chronotronic Knights screamed.
Magnus took a bite of the lemon, chewing slowly as he walked forward.
"You know," he said conversationally, "If you're going to pick a fight with someone, you really shouldn't drop your hands before you pull the trigger."
He stopped and looked down at them. "You might want to be sure you can stand and fight too."
Sword Two looked up. "You cheated," he said.
Magnus frowned. It sounded like the armored man was crying.
"All's fair," Magnus shrugged. "You tried punching way out of your weight class."
"Mommy's going to be mad my hands fell off," the other one said.
To Magnus it sounded like he was weeping. He frowned as he popped the last of the lemon into his mouth and moved around behind Sword One.
"Well, let's get a look at you," he said, reaching out and feeling under the edge of the helmet.
"No. Don't. You're not supposed to look at us," Sword One said, trying to move forward on his knees.
"Mommy doesn't want people to look at us," Sword Two said.
Magnus stepped back, his frown deepening.
He hadn't felt any emergency catches or any other way to remove the helmet.
It felt more like a robot's head than a power armor helmet.
"Magnus! Don't! Don't kill them!" Nakteti's voice rang in his ear.
"Why not?" Magnus asked, looking at where both of the armored men were pushing around their hands with the stumps of their wrists.
When she told him, his eyes opened wide and he stared at the two weeping Knights with horrified eyes.
"Menhit redeem us," he whispered.
The cherry broke free of the branch with an almost inaudible snap, the fruit bright red and full of sweet juice filled pulp.
Surscee lowered her hand and looked at the cherry, smiling.
To her, fruit was better tasting then the scientifically designed to appeal to the broadest palates nutri-forge template driven foods.
True, it had a small bee-kiss on one side, but that little brown imperfection made her smile.
She used a thumbnail to split the cherry at the seam and shuck the pit out, sucking the juice off of the pit before tucking it into a pocket on her leather skirt. She popped the cherry in her mouth and slowly turned around.
"Sooner or later, you have to make a decision," Surscee said, smiling. "You can stand in the bushes until the anomaly burns out if you want, but you might get bored."
"The final two SUDS layers are separating," came the synthesized male voice of the Tome Knight.
"Indeed," Surscee said. "That is why we can pick the fruit now. Before, the overlapping temporal zones made it impossible to pick them. This," she hefted the stem in her hand. "Means that we were successful."
"I cannot permit unauthorized access to this facility. It's mankind's one edge against a universe that Momma says wants nothing more than to destroy us," the Tome Knight said.
"I could say the same," Surscee said. "An archaic violent relic of a time nine thousand years in our past. Scarred by the Glassing and riven by The Scream. Out of time, your people dead and gone, the war you are fighting taught to children in school with all the passion of a bread recipe, your enemy now one of our most valued allies."
"That changes nothing!" the Tome Knight said.
The voice suddenly changed to that of a little girl.
"I'll kill her mommy. I won't let her get away," the Tome Knight said.
"That voice isn't your mommy," Surscee said, turning away.
"Yes it is," the Tome Knight's voice was male again.
"Your mommy isn't here," Surscee said. "Just as my mother is not here," she reached up and plucked another cherry.
"She won't get away, mommy," the little girl voice.
"Did it hurt?" Surscee asked, pitting the cherry with her thumbnail.
"Did what hurt?" the male voice again.
"What they did to you. Before they sealed you in that armor. When they sealed you in that armor. Did it hurt?" Surscee reached up and plucked a trio of cherries touching each other. She turned around, pitting them with her thumbnail.
"Does it hurt now?" she asked.
The Tome Knight was holding still.
"Your head hurts. Your angry," Surscee said softly, walking forward slowly. "What are you, Knight of the Tome? In that armor, what are you?"
"Mommy says not to tell," the Tome Knight said. The blaze rifle was leveled at Surscee. "I'm sorry, but mommy says you have to die."
Surscee brought her hand up, rings of light filled with glowing runes around her hand, wrist, and forearm.
The Tome Knight pulled the trigger.
The golden-white beam hit something in front of Surscee's palm, a rippling field full of runic script appearing.
Surscee kept walking forward, chewing on the cherry in her mouth. Still holding the cherries in her hand, she used her thumb and forefinger to release the catches on the front of her leather bustier, the exposed top slope of her breasts already glimmering with sweat.
The Tome Knight screamed in rage and pulled the trigger again.
Surscee held her hand out, wrist cocked, the beam hitting the field in front of her palm, as she kept walking slowly forward. She held out two fingers from the hand she was holding the cherries with, making a quick set of runes.
The rifle started to dissolve.
"MOMMY SAYS CHOP YOU UP!" the Tome Knight screamed, dropping the crumbling rifle and reaching for the force blade on their waist.
Surscee used her thumb to pop another cherry in her mouth as she took another step forward. She drew a quick rune with her cherry juice stained fingers, stepping through the glowing rune as she did so, sweat running down her back, her shoulders steaming as the sweat evaporated.
The Tome Knight held out the force blade handle and thumbed the trigger.
They clicked it again.
Surscee shook her head. "It will avail you not. I disabled it as soon as you raised the rifle," she said.
A halo of light appeared around the Tome Knight's clenched fist, shining edges with runes moving in a circle in the middle of the halo.
The Tome Knight stared at the force blade as Surscee took another pair of steps forward.
"You face a sorceress, whose knowledge far exceeds your own, child," Surscee said, the words more habit than thought through.
"I'M NOT YOUR
CHILD!" the Tome Knight screamed, distortion filling the voice, throwing away the force blade handle and shaking their hand.
"I can hit you to death!" the Tome Knight said, raising their arms and preparing to rush forward.
Surscee made quick motions and chains of burning blue fire leapt up from the ground, going around the Tome Knight's waist, their wrists, their ankles, their chest, around their neck. The chains clattered as they tightened.
The Tome Knight went over backwards with a cry of rage, screaming louder when they were pulled spread-eagle.
Surscee tossed the last cherry up in the air, opening her mouth and catching it, before walking up and stopping next to the Tome Knight.
"No. Mommy says I have to kill you," the Tome Knight said.
Surscee frowned at how it sounded like the Tome Knight was weeping behind the synthesized voice.
"What are you in there?" she asked softly. "Ion bonded warsteel laminate. Nanite protective layer in the laminate," she touched the chest.
"DON'T TOUCH ME!" the Tome Knight screamed. "MOMMY! HELP ME, MOMMY!"
Surscee leaned forward to look into the optics of the helmet, uncaring that her breasts dropped from her loosened bustier beyond the fact that she could feel the heat rush off of her.
She froze at the odd noise the Tome Knight started making.
The Tome Knight was stock still, staring at Surscee's exposed breasts.
And making a lip smacking sucking sound.
"Oh, by the dark and fell fallen Titans Fyzar and Monstersano," Surscee said, her hand going to her mouth with shock. "Bellona protect me from such evil."
Nakteti looked away from where Surscee was standing at the head of the medical bed, gently stroking the helmeted forehead of the Tome Knight.
"They're what?" she asked Chuck.
"It's hard to explain. I don't even know how it was done," Chuck said.
"Try," Nakteti said.
"They're children," Surscee said softly. "No, they're infants," she stroked the forehead of the helmet. "Enraged infants."
"But I thought the Digital Omnimessiah cured that," Nakteti said. "The Second Miracle."
"These... these..." Chuck said.
"People," Magnus said, his voice hard and brooking no argument. "Call them people, if nothing else for what they could have been."
"These people," Chuck's shoulders slumped. "Are enraged infants impressed with SUDS recordings of trained Combine troops. Who knows what else was done to them."
"But we've been working for years," Nakteti protested.
"Chronotrons keep them from changing too much. They're basically frozen like that," Chuck said. "This... this is monstrous."
"Are he in pain?" Magnus asked, looking up from the Knight of the Sword his hand was resting on.
"He was, till I overrode the suit interface," Chuck said. "They feel damage to the suit as if you had done it to their bodies," he gave a defeated sounding sigh. "They're young enough that their brains never discerned the difference between their own bodies and the armor. To their brains, they're one and the same."
"Can you do anything?" Surscee asked.
Chuck shook his head. "I wouldn't know where to even start. I barely understand what was done to them, much less how it was done. Without that, I have no idea how to undo it."
"The Old Gods preserve us," Nakteti said, shaking her head.
"It might be more merciful just to kill them," Chuck said.
Magnus looked around the room in the empty medical center, saw everyone's face, and gave a sigh of frustration.
"I'll do it," he said, drawing the knife from his belt. He looked at the others. "Why don't you go outside."
"I will stay," Surscee said, her voice soft and gentle. "I will not leave my brother alone to perform such a terrible task."
"As your liege, I will stay to witness what was done by my will," Nakteti said.
"Well, that means I can't leave. I'm not going to be the guy who leaves," Chuck said.
"Digital Omnimessiah grant me the strength to carry the burden of what I must do," Magnus said solemnly, placing his hand on the left side of the Sword Knight's chest, lowering the dagger to aim at the side of the armor. "Give me the guidance to do what is right, what is merciful, no matter how heavy the task is."
There was a light buzzing sound, like bees.
"Stay thy hand, Magnus."
Nakteti turned and stared.
The Digital Omnimessiah stood at the doorway, made up of flowing blue code with splotches of silver here and there.
"I am with you. Let me guide you along this dark path."
Nakteti went down on one knee.
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2023.06.02 22:58 Joadzilla America Is Headed Toward Collapse
History shows how to stave it off.
How has America slid into its current age of discord? Why has our trust in institutions collapsed, and why have our democratic norms unraveled?
All human societies experience recurrent waves of political crisis, such as the one we face today. My research team built a database of hundreds of societies across 10,000 years to try to find out what causes them. We examined dozens of variables, including population numbers, measures of well-being, forms of governance, and the frequency with which rulers are overthrown. We found that the precise mix of events that leads to crisis varies, but two drivers of instability loom large. The first is popular immiseration—when the economic fortunes of broad swaths of a population decline. The second, and more significant, is elite overproduction—when a society produces too many superrich and ultra-educated people, and not enough elite positions to satisfy their ambitions.
These forces have played a key role in our current crisis. In the past 50 years, despite overall economic growth, the quality of life for most Americans has declined. The wealthy have become wealthier, while the incomes and wages of the median American family have stagnated. As a result, our social pyramid has become top-heavy. At the same time, the U.S. began overproducing graduates with advanced degrees. More and more people aspiring to positions of power began fighting over a relatively fixed number of spots. The competition among them has corroded the social norms and institutions that govern society.
The U.S. has gone through this twice before. The first time ended in civil war. But the second led to a period of unusually broad-based prosperity. Both offer lessons about today’s dysfunction and, more important, how to fix it.
To understand the root causes of the current crisis, let’s start by looking at how the number of über-wealthy Americans has grown. Back in 1983, 66,000 American households were worth at least $10 million. That may sound like a lot, but by 2019, controlling for inflation, the number had increased tenfold. A similar, if smaller, upsurge happened lower on the food chain. The number of households worth $5 million or more increased sevenfold, and the number of mere millionaires went up fourfold.
On its surface, having more wealthy people doesn’t sound like such a bad thing. But at whose expense did elites’ wealth swell in recent years?
Starting in the 1970s, although the overall economy continued to grow, the share of that growth going to average workers began to shrink, and real wages leveled off. (It’s no coincidence that Americans’ average height—a useful proxy for well-being, economic and otherwise—stopped increasing around then too, even as average heights in much of Europe continued climbing.) By 2010, the relative wage (wage divided by GDP per capita) of an unskilled worker had nearly halved compared with mid-century. For the 64 percent of Americans who didn’t have a four-year college degree, real wages shrank in the 40 years before 2016.
As wages diminished, the costs of owning a home and going to college soared. To afford an average house, a worker earning the median wage in 2016 had to log 40 percent more hours than she would have in 1976. And parents without a college degree had to work four times longer to pay for their children’s college.
Even college-educated Americans aren’t doing well across the board. They made out well in the 1950s, when fewer than 15 percent of 18-to-24-year-olds went to college, but not today, when more than 60 percent of high-school grads immediately enroll. To get ahead of the competition, more college graduates have sought out advanced degrees. From 1955 to 1975, the number of students enrolled in law school tripled, and from 1960 to 1970, the number of doctorate degrees granted at U.S. universities more than tripled. This was manageable in the post–World War II period, when the number of professions requiring advanced degrees shot up. But when the demand eventually subsided, the supply didn’t. By the 2000s, degree holders greatly outnumbered the positions available to them. The imbalance is most acute in the social sciences and humanities, but the U.S. hugely overproduces degrees even in STEM fields.
This is part of a broader trend. Compared with 50 years ago, far more Americans today have either the financial means or the academic credentials to pursue positions of power, especially in politics. But the number of those positions hasn’t increased, which has led to fierce competition.
Competition is healthy for society, in moderation. But the competition we are witnessing among America’s elites has been anything but moderate. It has created very few winners and masses of resentful losers. It has brought out the dark side of meritocracy, encouraging rule-breaking instead of hard work.
All of this has left us with a large and growing class of frustrated elite aspirants, and a large and growing class of workers who can’t make better lives for themselves.
The decades that have led to our present-day dysfunction share important similarities with the decades leading to the Civil War. Then as now, a growing economy served to make the rich richer and the poor poorer. The number of millionaires per capita quadrupled from 1800 to 1850, while the relative wage declined by nearly 50 percent from the 1820s to the 1860s, just as it has in recent decades. Biological data from the time suggest that the average American’s quality of life declined significantly. From 1830 to the end of the century, the average height of Americans fell by nearly two inches, and average life expectancy at age 10 decreased by eight years during approximately the same period.
This popular immiseration stirred up social strife, which could be seen in urban riots. From 1820 to 1825, when times were good, only one riot occurred in which at least one person was killed. But in the five years before the Civil War, 1855 to 1860, American cities experienced no fewer than 38 such riots. We see a similar pattern today. In the run-up to the Civil War, this frustration manifested politically, in part as anti-immigrant populism, epitomized by the Know-Nothing Party. Today this strain of populism has been resurrected by Donald Trump.
Strife grew among elites too. The newly minted millionaires of the 19th century, who made their money in manufacturing rather than through plantations or overseas trade, chafed under the rule of the southern aristocracy, as their economic interests diverged. To protect their budding industries, the new elites favored high tariffs and state support for infrastructure projects. The established elites—who grew and exported cotton, and imported manufactured goods from overseas—strongly opposed these measures. The southern slaveholders’ grip on the federal government, the new elites argued, prevented necessary reforms in the banking and transportation systems, which threatened their economic well-being.
As the elite class expanded, the supply of desirable government posts flattened. Although the number of U.S. representatives grew fourfold from 1789 to 1835, it had shrunk by mid-century, just as more and more elite aspirants received legal training—then, as now, the chief route to political office. Competition for political power intensified, as it has today.
Those were cruder times, and intra-elite conflict took very violent forms. In Congress, incidences and threats of violence peaked in the 1850s. The brutal caning that Representative Preston Brooks of South Carolina gave to Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts on the Senate floor in 1856 is the best-known such episode, but it was not the only one. In 1842, after Representative Thomas Arnold of Tennessee “reprimanded a pro-slavery member of his own party, two Southern Democrats stalked toward him, at least one of whom was armed with a bowie knife,” the historian Joanne Freeman recounts. In 1850, Senator Henry Foote of Mississippi pulled a pistol on Senator Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri. In another bitter debate, a pistol fell out of a New York representative’s pocket, nearly precipitating a shoot-out on the floor of Congress.
This intra-elite violence presaged popular violence, and the deadliest conflict in American history.
The victory of the North in the Civil War decimated the wealth and power of the southern ruling class, temporarily reversing the problem of elite overproduction. But workers’ wages continued to lag behind overall economic growth, and the “wealth pump” that redistributed their income to the elites never stopped. By the late 19th century, elite overproduction was back, new millionaires had replaced the defeated slave-owning class, and America had entered the Gilded Age. Economic inequality exploded, eventually peaking in the early 20th century. By 1912, the nation’s top wealth holder, John D. Rockefeller, had $1 billion, the equivalent of 2.6 million annual wages—100 times higher than the top wealth holder had in 1790.
Then came the New York Stock Exchange collapse of 1929 and the Great Depression, which had a similar effect as the Civil War: Thousands of economic elites were plunged into the commoner class. In 1925, there were 1,600 millionaires, but by 1950, fewer than 900 remained. The size of America’s top fortune remained stuck at $1 billion for decades, inflation notwithstanding. By 1982, the richest American had $2 billion, which was equivalent to “only” 93,000 annual wages.
But here is where the two eras differed. Unlike the post–Civil War period, real wages steadily grew in the mid-20th century. And high taxes on the richest Americans helped reverse the wealth pump. The tax rate on top incomes, which peaked during World War II at 94 percent, stayed above 90 percent all the way until the mid-1960s. Height increased by a whopping 3 inches in roughly the first half of the 20th century. Life expectancy at age 10 increased by nearly a decade. By the 1960s, America had achieved a broad-based prosperity that was virtually unprecedented in human history.
The New Deal elites learned an important lesson from the disaster of the Civil War. The reversal of elite overproduction in both eras was similar in magnitude, but only after the Great Depression was it accomplished through entirely nonviolent means. The ruling class itself was an important part of this—or, at least, a prosocial faction of the ruling class, which persuaded enough of their peers to acquiesce to the era’s progressive reforms.
As the historian Kim Phillips-Fein wrote in Invisible Hands, executives and stockholders mounted an enormous resistance to the New Deal policies regulating labor–corporate relations. But by mid-century, a sufficient number of them had consented to the new economic order for it to become entrenched. They bargained regularly with labor unions. They accepted the idea that the state would have a role to play in guiding economic life and helping the nation cope with downturns. In 1943, the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce—which today pushes for the most extreme forms of neoliberal market fundamentalism—said, “Only the willfully blind can fail to see that the old-style capitalism of a primitive, free-shooting period is gone forever.” President Dwight Eisenhower, considered a fiscal conservative for his time, wrote to his brother:
Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things … Their number is negligible and they are stupid.
Barry Goldwater ran against Lyndon Johnson in 1964 on a platform of low taxes and anti-union rhetoric. By today’s standards, Goldwater was a middle-of-the-road conservative. But he was regarded as radical at the time, too radical even for many business leaders, who abandoned his campaign and helped bring about his landslide defeat.
The foundations of this broad-based postwar prosperity—and for the ruling elite’s eventual acquiescence to it—were established during the Progressive era and buttressed by the New Deal. In particular, new legislation guaranteed unions’ right to collective bargaining, introduced a minimum wage, and established Social Security. American elites entered into a “fragile, unwritten compact” with the working classes, as the United Auto Workers president Douglas Fraser later described it. This implicit contract included the promise that the fruits of economic growth would be distributed more equitably among both workers and owners. In return, the fundamentals of the political-economic system would not be challenged. Avoiding revolution was one of the most important reasons for this compact (although not the only one). As Fraser wrote in his famous resignation letter from the Labor Management Group in 1978, when the compact was about to be abandoned, “The acceptance of the labor movement, such as it has been, came because business feared the alternatives.”
We are still suffering the consequences of abandoning that compact. The long history of human society compiled in our database suggests that America’s current economy is so lucrative for the ruling elites that achieving fundamental reform might require a violent revolution. But we have reason for hope. It is not unprecedented for a ruling class—with adequate pressure from below—to allow for the nonviolent reversal of elite overproduction. But such an outcome requires elites to sacrifice their near-term self-interest for our long-term collective interests. At the moment, they don’t seem prepared to do that.
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2023.06.02 14:27 resurrective Chapter 20 - What is love?
A laugh, what does it mean for a person? A sign of amusement? A mark of contentment? Maybe, a reaction to a quirky comment or action? Perhaps…
But now, all that echoed throughout the burning lands was a guffaw of despair and torment. It belonged to Eve, the future queen of the entire Confederation of Demons. And right now, no trace of royal dignity was to be seen within her. The woman was pulling her white hair, kneeling in her sphere at the sight of the mass-murder.
The snow of death, the sprinkled ash of white and purple fell upon the ground, taking hundreds of lives. Gramgrim, the strongest and the fiercest formation underneath the authority of Me-ua now perished like slugs under the salt. Orcs, dogs, trolls, deer, lions, crows, fiends, mind-flayers, tigers, boars, even a cult of bulls-necromancers – the brigade included many different races, men and women of different backgrounds and upbringings, their tamed beasts and familiars, slaves and draft animals. Looking at the southern organizations, consisting of various Ma-zok tribes was always fascinating. Especially, when none of them could withstand the divine plague, sent as a godly punishment for defiling the holy land of kokuyoku.
Was there any way to save themselves? Yes – they simply never should’ve come to the village. Now, though? Well, not even Panakea’s blessing could save Keyaruga from death, so why should any of them survive?
Such was Eve’s wrath; such was her sorrow, enshrined upon this wretched world.
“Fascinating.,,” Keyaruga muttered, looking underneath him. He couldn’t help but to feel glee. After all, hundreds upon hundreds of high-leveled demons perished, blessing the whole party of five with new levels to enjoy (or hate, in Ellen’s case). Strange, though. Normally, a party couldn’t be larger than four people (not that a mortal had control over it anyway; people could travel in however big assemblies, as they pleased, yet experience was earned only by parties of four), but the group stuck together pretty well. Was it another of Caladrius’ gifts, she just didn’t bother to share? Well, whatever the case…
“I know, it’s not a reason for joy… but we can definitely use all that power in our future battles.” Freia mused with a trace of regret in her voice.
“Uh-huh. Good thing to get stronger before we go after the demon king.” Setsuna supported, trapped in a conflict between joy at reaching her new threshold of power and fury for losing Visou.
“Of course this would happen… This always happens with those people and places I care for or love… I shouldn’t have taken this damned bracelet…” Keyaruga growled, looking at the yorkama talisman on his right wrist. Yet, when he was about to rip it away…
“Don’t do that.” …Ellen stopped him. For the first time in this nightmarish day she was thankful for her new powers, as they allowed her to stop her ‘brother’ from an act of utter stupidity. “It’s not your fault. Look, they came here, seeking Hakuo’s rival! Your sympathy has nothing to do with that, stop dealing in superstitions!” The Apostle of Caladrius attempted to reassure the lad. But alas…
“It’s my fault. Like Visou… like Alban… like Karman… It’s all been my fault.” …the man just wouldn’t listen.
“No… it was mine…” The crimson-haired cutie whispered, yet once again – no reaction. “Hey, brother, see that breached wall behind Mil’s house? I see traces there. Could you, maybe?..”
“Yes… Oh, Ellen, thank you!” Only when she pointed out the obvious, did the man finally wake up from his trance. Just in time to hear…
“KILL!!! KILL THEM ALL!!!” …this. Eve still couldn’t really master her raging emotions, and even the fact that no creature remained alive in the burning village stopped her in any way.
“Hm, I am saddened to inform you, little one, that there is nobody to slay here. And even if there were, I am unable to maintain the offence. I need to feed and regain my strength now.” Caladrius admonished, descending on the earth. “However, down the north road, you may find other survivors. Just make haste; they do not have much time.” The harbinger of plague informed the group, putting the white sphere on the ground. The barrier had faded just as all poisonous ash did as well, coincidentally.
Keyaruga, Setsuna, Eve, Freia, Ellen, Kelly, Patty – all could finally walk properly again. Not really a big perk, when all you’re finding yourself among the still burning remains of a ruined village, though.
“O pluvia clemens, benedic nobis tua gratia recreativa.” Fortunately, they had the Hero of Magic at their side. And so, the first thing Freia did was to cast a simple rain spell. A critically important move, especially when their raptors were getting panicked by the fires.
“Now, if you excuse me.” And what would horrify any sentient being was how gruesomely filthy Caladrius turned out to be. The very first thing she did when the party had finally landed was to grab some dead slimy bastard, and just swallow him whole, like some sort of a pelican.
“Hey! Hey! Hey! He-e-ey!!! The hell are you doing?!” The younger princess yawped, consumed by her anger. Not because she was disgusted, though… “You fucking munched him with all that armor and shit?! What’re you even thinking of?! We need that!”
“I do not care, Apostle. Unless you are willing to strip them yourself, your whining is of little concern to me.” The deity replied dismissively. Even if her plague faded without a trace, the diseased corpses were still a delicacy for Caladrius.
And here I thought Ellen was slandering her about this part. Thought it was just a nice joke. Apparently, not, Keyaruga mused, witnessing the same vile spectacle as his girls did.
“Well, I’m willing as hell! You can buy an entire village for one of those!” The young lady snarled, turning one of the corpses over, just to untie the leashes that held a cuirass in place. When people die, their rectum can’t hold feces anymore. The stench of death, dung, decay, the earth, wet and softened by the rain – so much filth among the corpses, and yet, the warlady felt overjoyed looting the corpses of their fallen enemies before tossing their naked bodies toward her hungry patron.
“Keyaruga, I think, we should…” Freia softly spoke, pointing at the breach on the northern side. She wasn’t overly enthusiastic about defiling the dead, so maybe…
“No, I’m going alone.” Sadly, the healer wouldn’t let anyone accompany him in this quest. Even the golden egg had to leave his back right now. He knew who he was pursuing. And what he would do to his enemies, once he’d reached them. “Setsuna, Freia, hold this, and stay here, and watch out for Eve, and… Well, you may also help Ellen with looting.” The lad spoke, completely ignoring the rain that fell upon his head.
“Uh-huh, got it.” The gray-haired girl agreed, putting the straps holding their unborn ‘child’ on her back. Strangely enough, the ice warrior was more than happy with pillaging the corpses. With her arms being covered in the frozen gauntlets, the girl could easily strip the fallen brigadiers to Ellen’s obvious delight.
“I… think I should bury the villagers.” Freia, on the other hand, grabbed a shovel somewhere. Instead of defiling the dead, she wanted to properly inter the remains of the poor black-wings… until their bodies were eaten by their own god.
“Whatever you wish… Just don’t forget to cut off their wings.” The man ordered, tossing away everything from Kelly’s saddle. He needed speed, not sustainability.
“I see… feathers… magic catalysts…” The sorceress instantly understood what the hero wanted from the fallen villagers. To be honest, that sort of cruelty paled compared to what their enemies sometimes allowed themselves. It didn’t make the pink-haired girl any happier, though.
“Wait!” Finally, just as Keyaruga was about to climb on his reptile steed, he got a companion in the form of the queen-to-be. “I’m… going with you!..” She spoke wearily, yet her tone wouldn’t brook any denial.
“You shouldn’t, Eve. You’re too drained as it is, I can’t risk you now.” That didn’t work on the new hero, though. The red-eyed lad knew, what kind of atrocities he was about to commit. What’s worse – he was looking forward for them.
“No… You know I can’t be killed that easily.” The white-haired woman insisted, allowing herself to climb in the saddle no matter what Keyaruga wanted. “Also, those are my people we’re talking about.”
“Alright…” The man nodded, giving one last brief look at what travesty was currently occuring on this holy ground: hundreds of corpses, two enthusiastic looter-girls stripping them before feeding them to the goddess that was primarily supposed to guard this place from such tragedies, and the strongest mage in the world, cutting off wings with her wavy dagger. All gave him a brief look. “Girls, lady Caladrius, you stay here! The raptor we’re taking will go faster carrying only two of us.” The healer admonished, silently praising himself for not including the plague incarnate in the ranks of his lovers. Wouldn’t that be awkward?
“Uh-huh. Good luck, you two.” Setsuna waved her armored hand, happily proceeding with robbing the corpses.
“Yeah… thanks. We’ll need it.”
The forest had been defiled. A trace of bodies, both kokuyoku and their ruthless persecutors, marked a path for the hero and his queen. Faster! Faster! The man smacked his reptile with his heels, struck against the ribs, pulled every bit of speed from poor Kelly. So much so, that even wild scavengers, who came to feast on the corpses, just fled from the massive raptor. And yet, it still wasn’t enough…
“Hey, Keyaruga!” Eve spoke, holding onto the hero’s torso with her trembling arms. “Why are you even helping us? Why… do you even bother, if they die no matter what we do?” The queen-to-be asked melancholically. Right now, she tried to find at least some meaning in her existence, just to not fall into a pit of nihilism and despair.
“It’s because… I have power. I can make a difference. And because I want to do so.” The red-haired lad responded, navigating a path through the woods with his jade eye. His status elevated him above the rest, giving the man many abilities, some considered to be… unnatural. For example, he could easily alleviate Kelly’s fatigue from constant galloping.
“Power, yes?.. The onslaught… it began when Caladrius was playing with us… But instead of putting an end to this hell, she’d go on, and on, and on… And even when we got out, she never told us what was going on. When I asked her to bless you, I was scared… and discomforted, and… whatever other words you have for discomfort. I thought it was because of the trial… Thought it was over… Then… I looked at myself, my own actions, here and in the past.” Eve shared the burden of her guilt with Keyaruga. The white-haired woman couldn’t help but blame herself for everything that happened. If she didn’t ignore her feelings, if she had checked on her wings a little earlier, if she… “If I… If I just could…”
“Was that what you saw in your challenge?” The healer wondered, trying to get his companion out of this ruinous obsession over what nobody could prevent, or even predict.
“Ugm… Who did you meet there?” Did he fail? No, not really. But instead of giving him an answer, the queen-to-be countered with a question of her own.
“Many, many people… I don’t want to talk about it now.” Unfortunately, though, Keyaruga just couldn’t bring himself to reveal what he saw, heard… did with his own hands.
“I… I see…” Eve murmured, getting a message from the lad’s depressed tone. He too carried much pain in his soul, and that vortex of suffering could never be dissipated by shutting down just some of his emotions. To completely silence this pain, Keyaruga would have to become something else entirely, something inhuman, incapable of either hate or love.
“More important, Eve, I want you to sharpen your senses. Maybe, you can trace magic better than me.” The hero suggested, as his right eye rolled around in his socket. The forest was wide and thick, and his sight wasn’t as all-seeing as he’d like it to be.
“I’ll try.” Eve whispered, trying to focus her attention on the ambient mana. Maybe, if she was just diligent enough, she could trace her living brethren? Maybe, all wasn’t lost just yet? Maybe… “You know, Keyaruga, you’re not the guilty one in all of this… If Mil didn’t let everyone in, if I wasn’t saved by your goddess, if our goddess wasn’t just like Ellen says she is… than none of this horror would have happened.” The lady in red deadpanned cautiously. Now that she knew of her ‘future’, how it might’ve been without this self-conflicted man at her side, the kokuyoku scion could clearly tell – her grandfather was just like Keyaruga and Ellen, he wanted the best for his people… and that turned Visou into a deathtrap. After all, Hakuo wouldn’t have sent Gramgrim here if Cornar had come to him with the valuable bounty that was the black-wings’ princess.
“I’m sorry…” The healer uttered, still unaware, just how much of a monster Eve’s first husband really was, and how much she owed him for showing, how the love should even look like in the first place.
“You really shouldn’t be, Keyaruga.” The black-winged prodigy responded sorrowfully. She felt the lad’s distress: it was in his voice, his posture, his way of breathing… “You can’t just carry the burden for everyone else. I tried… and I failed.” Eve spoke, trying to dissuade her defender from thinking he was able to hold the whole world on his shoulders, when, in reality, it was simply impossible. “Don’t do that. You’ll break.” This calm phrase was spoken serenely, and yet, it was a cry. A cry for help, for understanding, for letting go.
“We don’t need Caladrius.” But Keyaruga just couldn’t release himself from this burden. Even now, when riding over the forest floor, covered in disfigured corpses, most of which were charred whole, seemingly by lightning, the man couldn’t stop thinking about Eve, her troubles, the tragic price her ultimate power might demand from her.
“Why?” The lady in red asked, attempting to follow the new line of conversation which her companion had turned to. Why would he even be scared of it? Didn’t Ellen bargain two free casts for her? Ellen… How could this capricious princess be able to extort such a valuable gift from the harbinger of plague? If Eve had done something like this in the first world… then there wouldn’t be the second one.
“She’s… too frivolous, arrogant, she’s thousands years old, yet all I see is an old snobby child with no backbone. We can’t be sure she’ll maintain her promise, and I really, really don’t want to see you wither away.” The man said with that seemingly careless voice of his. “If you need someone dead, I’ll be there for you.” He added grimly then. Eve was too soft, even now, she still couldn’t deal with the moral compromises necessary, and there were going to be a lot more of them on the way toward the Obsidian Throne.
“Hah… You really do want me to fall in love with you?” The queen-to-be noted somewhat playfully. Her mood was still sombered, but even so, there was always a light in the darkness.
“Heh, aren’t you already? I can tell – you’ve changed, so that you could keep up with me, especially in the bed.” Keyaruga followed this little funny road, and retaliated with a joke of his own. But… was it really a joke, though?
“Yes… Yes, I have.” Apparently, not. “I can’t force you to become your old self, but I had a chance to change myself.” Eve explained, lowering her head. She couldn’t keep up with the man last night – he was just too big for her. That’s why, the girl had to go, the queen-to-be had to become a woman, and fast.
And so, there could be only one thing to ask at this point.
“So, do you want to fuck, once this is over?” The hero unceremoniously inquired from his companion. After all, they were already past all those earlier insults and attempts at shaming from Eve’s side.
“Yes, I do! I really, really do. I want you to ravage me, so I wouldn’t go mad.” The Me-ua kahul responded with a plea of sorrow, hate, loathing, and regret. There wasn’t anything enticing in this request, but… it was so humane.
“Of course. I will.” The man promised. Despite everything, despite this day supposedly belonging to Ellen and Setsuna, he wouldn’t refuse her, no matter what. And Eve felt that resolve in the man.
“Also, I won’t stop using Caladrius. We need her, Keyaruga. We need her… to establish our authority. Then… maybe, I won’t have to lose anyone again.” The queen-to-be spoke wearily. She wanted to reach Hakuo, wished to murder this monster once and for all with her own hands, instead of waiting till some disease finishes him. She wanted to bury this king’s legacy once and for all, so that his blood would never poison her life ever again. Eve Reese desired revenge. And Keyaruga would never feel worthy of discouraging his queen. And yet…
“Alright. But you have to promise me one thing – one time. She gave us only two times, and I don’t want you to overreach any further. Everything else I’ll deal with personally. It won’t make a difference to me anyway, my hands are already dirtied enough as it is.” Keyaruga all but demanded. The gods had put them in a tight little cage, where only those who kill more than others, were worthy of wielding great power. Right now, the man wasn’t sure his party was enough to challenge Hakuo’s rule. Even Eve, drained by Caladrius, managed to overpower her ‘heroic’ adversaries. Too bad they left her exhausted for Keyaru to finish the job. Speaking of that…
“But… why would you even bother? Don’t you just want to… make another redo? To fix everything, to save those who you couldn’t save?” The lady in red asked the lad. He was never too secretive about the circumstances he was in, and how the world ended up as it is. Still, each time he spoke of that, pain and loss broke through his armor of callousness.
“No. Just as you said, I have people to live for now. Freia, Setsuna, Ellen, you, Eve – I can’t imagine my life without you. And if I just flee into the past, then what’s even the point of us having this little chat right now?” The healer quarried in response. He was sure of what he was talking about now. Or, rather, trying to convince himself and Eve of that.
“Haa… Right…” For better or worse, the woman just exhaled and dropped the topic. To believe it would mean disregarding Keyaruga’s deep painful wounds, any further prying risked opening them up again. “I think we’ve got something.” Fortunately, right in that moment, Eve noticed a track, something to spot her brethren, where the trail of bodies had just ended.
“What? Where?” Keyaruga asked, now looking around.
“To the left from here. I feel my brethren coming to me from this side. They’re… fighting. And dying.” As the lady in red spoke, pointing in the direction the flow of souls was coming from, the rider pulled the reigns to stop his steed. He then jumped off the saddle.
“Shit, I must hurry!” The hero snarled, pulling the saber out of its sheath. A contradicting statement, seeing as he would be much faster mounted. But no… “Keep your eye on Kelly! I can’t risk the two of you!”
“You want to go alone?” The woman astounded, reaching for her companion. Alas, he never faced her.
“Yes! Our enemies are strong, Eve. And I’m not sure if I can properly protect you. Stay here; cover me with your magic.” Keyaruga urged sternly. He wasn’t a healer, nor a competent defender whatsoever. The hero was a murderer, and nothing could convince him more than the trial he completed just an hour ago.
“Hold on! I won’t let you go alone.” Nevertheless, the kokuyoku scion too wasn’t the same after that challenge. She flapped her wings, and numerous black spheres left her feathers. One, two… ten, twenty… Twenty-three shades now flew around the man, ready to assist him in murdering whoever threatened their kin. “They will protect you.”
“Ah… thanks.” The red-haired man uttered, looking at the fallen black-wings. Right now, they rather reminded him of insects with the way they dashed around. “We’ll be on our way, then.” Still, it didn’t stop him from getting ready to sprint forward to save whoever was left of the kokuyoku-zok and to punish their oppressors.
“Promise you’ll be back! Promise you’ll save everyone!” Eve ultimately asked, looking at her dead brethren. Shying away from them was a luxury, and now she had no time for such things.
“I will, Eve! Take care!”
And so, he ran off, to the site where the last bit of fighting was happening. Him, twenty-three shades… against the elite forces of Gramgrim, the only remaining fragment of the horrifying battalion; now, though, the time had come to end this warband once and for all.
Faster! Faster! I must be faster!
Keyaruga lunged through the woods, he jumped across logs, climbed the hills, passed a few ravines along the way, just to finally reach yet another battlefield. Mil was there, the wizened magician firmly held his staff. All bloodied, his robe torn apart, the old man still fought on.
“Masanna tanouti! (kill everyone)” A massive rider, carried by an even greater armored warg tackled Mil and his defense line of mostly women spellcasters, and a few strong men among the refugees.
“Usegi! (run) Usegi-i!!!” Mil yelled, getting ready to ward off the seemingly countless hordes of bloodthirsty invaders, preferably – all on his own. The thought of death never scared the magician, as he already looked in its eyes, and they were gentle.
“Mil-murnaz! (elder Mil!) Katunj pora bornul non! (we have nowhere to retreat!)” An armored old woman yelled, preparing her grandiose fire blast. None of them would abandon him. Only seventeen of them remained against a group of forty-seven raving cutthroats, knowing all too well, they wouldn’t be able to pull through. And yet, none of them would go down without a fight. If they did, they would be slaughtered, and after that – their kin would follow.
“SUNI-I-I-I!!! (DI-I-IE!!!)” The bruised elder snarled, imbuing his wooden staff with an element of lightning. One swing, one smack – and the monstrous wolf fell down, wriggling in the shocking agony, along with its master. One down.
“Globus igneus!” The armored hag next to him yelled, sending a massive fireball into the troops. Seven perished, four else – scattered. Yet, those who fell were mercilessly crushed underfoot by the four brutal tiger-riders – no regards to their allies, and even less toward the foe. Five men and two women from the black-wings stood up to meet them with their spears, staked into the earth… It didn’t work – the demons breached their line, gutting everyone in the reach of their decorated cleavers.
“Katunji! (retreat!) Konato wor marmori! (protect the children)” Mil commanded, tossing two hardened feathers into the enemies. Too close to him, but… it didn’t matter. “KURLINA-A-A!!! (FUCK YOU!!!)” He yelled, detonating the enchanted quills.
An explosion, a shockwave, the trembling of the earth. Kokuyoku were mercilessly pushed further, practically hunted like animals, and yet, their prey had claws and teeth. The blast was mighty, it broke Gramgrim’s formation, allowing the defenders to flee, to run, to… live a few minutes longer.
“Kha-a-a… Ha-a-a… Agh…” Mil helplessly wheezed, pushed to the trunk of the giant oak. His bones were broken, the old man had lost all feeling in his legs, hands, and… No, he knew what he was getting into. “Gh-h-h!.. Ugh… E… va… ma…” Even when some tall goblinoid thug impaled him with a spear, the only thing on the mind of the dying sorcerer was his granddaughter, and all those he tried to save. Tried, but…
“I’VE COME TO SAVE YOU!!!” Keyaruga roared, engaging a bat-like swordsman, lunging toward the fleeing defenders. Just in a few hundred meters away, the refugees were running from the pursuers. It was honestly a miracle to see them keeping such a substantial distance, even though the enemies had carnivorous mounts. It seems, like they were rather enjoying chasing their prey.
“GHA-A-A!!!” Nevertheless, the fencer retreated from the hero, picked up a lance from the roasted wolf-man, and tossed it into the hero. The latter dodged, then pointed in the direction of his adversaries.
“Tania wor tanouti! (kill them!) Orn wor shef na! (don’t be concerned about me!)” And just like that, a cascade of shadows materialized to shred the enemy flanks and rear. The raging dark spirits now flew all across the surviving hunters’ ranks, ripping and tearing, stabbing and shredding the yelling warriors, as they tried to damage the ethereal vengeful apparitions. Could it be worse? Oh yes! Someone began simply sniping them from afar, numerous beams of piercing light took lives of so many, the Gramgrim’s morale hit the bottom.
Still, that didn’t mean they’d stop fighting. Certainly not! The bat-demon just met a shade with a wide swing from his reddish greatsword – an instant later, this spirit was gone. An adamantine blade – Keyaruga couldn’t just let him roam around – the man tossed a dagger from his sleeve, but no. The warrior just easily deflected it with a sneer. Before the lad could go on, he crossed those twenty meters with merely two jumps, ready to cleave the hero’s head in one rapid sweep.
The man ducked, right leg forward, balance toward offence. A slash was aimed toward the leg…
“Ghhh!” And it failed – the healer got a knee in his chin for that. After all, how can a thin saber cut through the metal greaves underneath the surcoat? Discombobulated, the man was about to get a downward cut to his shoulder.
“A-A-A-A-R-R-R-R!!!” Fortunately for him, another shade saved Keyaruga the trouble by backstabbing the fencer. Well, she just impaled him in the right armpit. Did that stop the berserker? “ULMO-O-O!!! (BITCH!)” Well, certainly not. Even if his one limb flopped uselessly by his side now, the warrior firmly grabbed his sword with his left hand, turned around, and slammed the spirit with the pommel, sending herto in the afterlife for sure!
A perfect chance to dispatch the swordsman, right?
Wrong! Barely had Keyaruga reached out to give the adversary one fatal touch, when another massive tiger-like brute attacked him with his massive claws. Slash, swing, up, down – the bruiser-armorclad was fast, his attacks – relentless. The lad was forced to retreat, elope, block – anything and everything to not get smashed. Each time he blocked a hit with his saber, his elbow would dislocate. No matter, Georgius healed in less than a second. No matter, just get…
“Tokalbarne! (got you!)” Alright, now that was surprising. The lad felt the trap, but proved too slow to escape the massive tail. Distracted by the tiger, he let himself be trapped by a lamia, which now not only enveloped the man’s entire body, but also unceremoniously licked his cheek. Was it the end?
“A-A-A-A-a-a… Ha-ha-HA-HA-HA!!! TUYOBU, TONA!!! (harder, mommy!)” Clearly not! Even while being crushed by the mighty snake tail, Keyaruga laughed, intimidating his foes with the undying audacity within his immortal body. “USHI INAV… MUNA CABNEI!!! (YOU ARE ALREADY DEAD!)”
“Nan-! A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A!!!” The lamia groaned in pain. A moment later her body began to swell, to bloat, and to rupture in a gruesome spectacle of blood and gore. Could Keyaruga do it better? Certainly, but he had no time, nor wish to figure out the half-shake’s anatomy, and where her heart (Is it just one?) lied.
Either way, one down, the shades did their job too, keeping the rest of the Gramgrim goons busy, often even ending them. They were forty-seven? Well, now they were just nineteen, and the monsters’ corpses didn’t actually do wonders for the battle spirit of the remainder either.
Keyaruga couldn’t care less, though. He got out from the lamia’s mortal grip, covered in blood and viscera, only his clean white teeth shone brightly.
“E-eh…” The tiger-brawler was shaken by the view. He reached toward the woman, unable to believe his eyes. Was she his lover, or something?
“Die!” No matter, whatever the case, the Hero of Healing dashed toward him, pushed his armored left arm against his chest, and then, the purple hue killed the man for good. His aorta just ruptured from the defiled mending spell.
Then, more beasts, some of which were mounted, lunged toward him. Two tigers, a massive deer, a swarm of eight snakes, and even a giant black bear. The warband reasoned that the fastest way to get rid of shadows was to kill the man. Well, they were wrong.
“Saltare et aurugine ventis!” At this point, he didn’t really care about the melee, that’s why, instead of engaging in anymore close-quarter fights, the lad simply called upon a mighty firestorm, a burning tornado of wind and blaze, which not only killed the animals, but also moved on to the rest of the crumbled Gramgrim troops, razing trees, ma-muana and ma-zok alike, charring their flesh and drowning their screams in the mercilessly loud crackling of magical flames.
I guess, that’s what I’m getting for not min-maxing my physical stats and speed before going melee. Well, no matter. Now that they’re dead… Wait, Mil?
“MIL!!!” Keyaruga yelled, running toward the old mage. He… was already beyond saving. Fifteen shades gathered around the hero, as he looked at the impaled man, and his decapitated green-skinned murderer who had been killed next to him. “Muna sagri. (You may leave)” And so, the healer sent the shades away. Quite in time, actually, as they were already flickering in and out of existence anyway – Eve was losing her mana. Finally, the lad was all alone. “Alright, old daredevil. You deserved a nice funeral.” He pulled the spear out of the corpse, and put it on his shoulder. It wasn’t much, but at least, he would be sent off properly.
Time to go, I guess. Now, let’s reunite with Eve, and then…
“A-A-A-A-A!!!” Another change of plans. The lad heard a scream. Two voices, in fact, both females. The man looked around and saw the bat-swordsman, dragging a mother and her child by their hair, completely disregarding their wails of pain whatsoever.
“What, do you really think taking hostages will save you?” Keyaruga scoffed, taking a step toward the cowardly combatant. Quite surprising really, seeing how good he was with that greatsword of his. But, well, two more, two less – the black-wings were doomed either way, right?
“Keyaruga-maran!” Maybe so, but those weren’t just some unknown refugees – they were Mayala and Brin. When the man saw them, he halted his movements completely.
“Good humie! Stand right where you are, or they die!” The cutthroat threatened. It seemed he had already healed the wound left by a shade with a potion. And now, instead of running away, he intended to use the captured family to extort the hero. For what purpose, though?
“Oh, great! Finally, someone, who speaks a human language!” Keyaruga wouldn’t be swayed by that. Why would he, actually? As it stood now, he could simply send a spell of light through the mother or the daughter, run closer, heal them…
Why should I even care? It’d only hurt for a moment, nothing really…
“Good! And stay there, little shit.” Well, turned out, it worked. The healer lowered his saber.
“Or what? You kill them? See those burning pines, pal? I just killed all of your friends. By the way, Gramgrim is no more. I bet Caladrius has already eaten all of their corpses.”
“Hah, no shit, clever boy! Then where is she?! HE-E-EY!!! CALADRIUS!!! OVER HE-E-ERE!!! See?” Sadly, the bat-fencer remained completely unfazed by the news. He still had an advantage – Keyaruga seemed to care for the weeping family, and that was his weakness. “Drop your sword, then get on your knees, or I’ll take their fucking heads!”
“How enticing…” The man wondered with a nervous grin. He spun his weapon once, and pointed it to the ground. Mayala and Brin looked at him, their black eyes conveyed terror and distress. And still, there was a glimpse of hope. Keyaruga could do a miracle. He would save them, just like he saved the girl from the terminal rabies. “Will you set them free if I surrender?”
“Yau! (yeah!)” The swordsman grinned, drawing his reddish blade closer to their necks. “Drop your iron!”
Ha-ha-ha-hah! Oh, what should I do? What should I make?
“Hey, I’ve got a better idea. How about I kill myself?” And just like that, the healer pointed his own weapon at his chest, sowing dread in the hearts of the hostages and careless amusement in their captor.
“What? He-heh! Go ahead, humie, I’ll watch!” The bastard chuckled, slightly lowering his massive blade. This nasty glee grew only greater, when…
“Heh, I’m serious!” …the red-eyed lad plunged his own saber through his chest. To deep, in fact, that only the handle now stuck out from his torso.
“Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! You’re fucking hilarious!”
Three reactions, one of terror, one of tears, and the last one of irrepressible laughter – Keyaruga spat a chunk of blood, such a wound could never really kill him, and yet, it allowed for a safe movement. One, two, three steps – as long as he pretended to limp forward like a dying fool, the enemy would never stop him from approaching. He liked the view, liked seeing the man bleeding and coughing his own lungs out. He even…
A beam. A beam of white energy just flew right besides his head. It took a moment for the cutthroat to get, what was going on, but when he did, when he understood, that some distant caster could take off his head…
“YOU FUCKER!!!” Then, the cowardly warrior grabbed his greatsword with a two-handed grip, swung it at the terrorized family… “I’LL KI-!” …and died. The last thing he saw, felt, and tasted – was the trident that pierced his neck and head from the back.
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2023.06.02 14:10 seriouswalking Spoilers for the week of 6/5
- Brooke and Taylor reach a tense impasse
- Hope learns the truth of Taylor's actions
- Taylor tries to defer blame
- Hope walks in on RJ in a compromising position and relishes the opportunity to tease her younger brother. RJ asks Hope for the truth about how Brooke is really doing, and he admits that his main reason for returning to L.A. was to check on Brooke. Hope tells RJ that Brooke's newfound friendship with Taylor seems to be a good thing. RJ remains skeptical and stresses he does not share her view. Brooke wonders what caused Deacon to try again with her, and she realizes Taylor was involved. She goes to see Taylor, and Taylor makes no bones about how she still has feelings for Ridge. Brooke is infuriated that Taylor crossed the line when it comes to Ridge.
- Ridge struggles with his conscience
- Thomas is surprised to learn who is spreading rumors about him and Hope
- Hope has an unexpected vision of her future
- LIAM FRETS ABOUT THOMAS - Liam is still worried about Thomas despite Hope's assurances she's committed to him. "Simply put: history," says SC. "Liam's been burned by Thomas too many times to believe this time is going to be any different."
- With the upcoming HFTF showing in Rome, Liam suggests Hope go without Thomas. Liam thinks Thomas will use the distance as an opportunity to connect with Hope, and she'll be taken in by it. "I don't think she's surprised [by the suggestion], though, she is certainly exasperated with Liam." Hope says she cannot make this concession for him.
- As a result, SC describes their marriage as "tenuous" and Liam's thoughts about Thomas consume him. "When it comes to Hope, I think Liam makes the distinction between her intentions and her judgement. He trusts the former, not the latter. Thomas has been a tangible threat to Liam and Hope's marriage for years."
- Liam turns to Wyatt for solace. Wyatt (to noone's surprise) is on Liam's side. SC says if Liam were to learn the truth about Hope's fantasies about Thomas that "He'd be gutted. He'd feel foolish. He'd start questioning everything."
- Hollis appears on 6/5
- Julana Dizon (Savannah) makes her debut on 6/6
Week of 6/12
- The Forrester team begins their Italian adventure.
- Liam struggles with a decision.
- Eric and R.J. have an honest conversation.
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2023.06.02 03:18 ScottMons 2023 Surly Bridge Club, Large, Moss
—2023 Surly Bridge Club, Large, Majestic Moss —Purchased as a complete on 5-19-23 from Totem Cyclery Denver —65 miles ridden, mostly paved roads/trails (Denver to Evergreen and back)
Included Upgrades: —Rene Herse Umtanum Ridge tubeless tires ($200) —Jones H Bar Butted 2.5 Loop ($150) —Tumbleweed Mini Pannier Rack ($150) —Evergreen Threadworks custom frame bag ($150) —Crank Brothers Stamp 2 Large pedals ($100) —ESI XXL 8.25” Extra Chunky grips ($45)
Optional Extras: —Brooks B17 saddle —small Fab’s Chest —King Cage Manything Cage x2 —Widefoot CargoMount x2 —WideFoot LiterCage x2 —Camp and Go Slow x Swift Industries Gibby stem bag x2 —Swift Industries Moxie top tube bag
Will include stock bars, tires, tubes, and grips. Asking $1900 obo. Please DM for photos. Located in Denver CO
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2023.06.02 03:14 ScottMons Custom Surly Steamroller 59cm
Surly’s now discontinued Steamroller. Newly built up with high-end components and handbuilt wheels. Less than 80 miles ridden. Both bike and wheels professionally assembled by a local, reputable mechanic.
—Steamroller, black, 59cm —Paul Racer Medium Brakes —Paul Canti Levers —Velocity Atlas 700c Rims —Surly Ultra Hubs —Panaracer GravelKing SS 38mm Tires —Blue Lug RMC Track Crankset —Crank Brothers Stamp 2 V2 Pedals —Simworks by Nitto Little Nick CrMo Bar —Nitto UI-12 Bolt On Stem 70mm —Dia-Compe Fairweather Headset —Brooks C17 Carved Saddle —Ritchey Classic 2-Bolt Seatpost —Paul Funky Monkey Cable Hanger —Blue Lug Brass Spacers
Notes: Steerer tube uncut (300mm), 46-16T gear ratio, currently freewheel but can be flipped to fixed. Comes with a full replacement decal set. Please email with questions or to arrange a test ride. Have over 3k into it asking $1,500. Will also consider parting out. Please DM for photos. Located in Denver CO
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2023.06.02 02:05 JulianSkies Blackriver Cases - Season 4 “Burned Minds” - Episode 2 “Old Scars”
[ [FIRST] [NEXT>]
Season 4 “Burned Minds”
Episode 2 “Old Scars”
“You don’t need to go back yet, you’re still recovering”
“I know, but… I want to. I don’t want to keep lying down all day like this”
“Who knew you’d say that one day?”
“It’s a good thing. You wouldn’t say that if it was the same place that… He worked at. We’re lucky you wound up here”
“That’s… That’s why I’m going back right now. I know they wouldn’t-”
“But you’re afraid, I know. I would be, too”
Lunek was back in the office, far earlier than he should have. His shoulders were still aching and the strength of his hands wasn’t quite returned yet, he was almost incapable of opening the door of his own house, it’d still take a small while before his arms’ nerves started firing normally again.
But the conversation with his wife before he left was still hanging in him. She wouldn’t be afraid, she never was, that’s half of why all of that happened. She wasn’t afraid of trying to make things better, and here he was sitting at his desk re-reading for the thousandth time procedure manuals because he was afraid, afraid he’d get shunted to another precinct, or be out of a job, if he wasn’t working hard enough.
He flexes his fingers for a while, then stands up. He wasn’t getting anything done today, mostly on account of there being nothing to do. One of the few things he learned in the academy he agreed with, for an exterminator a boring day is a good day. He needed an outlet for this anxious energy, he knew he was working hard enough, the state of his shoulders was proof of it, but his brain wasn’t letting him relax. He decided to- “What do you mean- Alright, i’ll get someone” the voice comes from the front desk.
It was a bit out of protocol, at least as far as he knew, but the front desk also served as dispatch in this understaffed precinct. Seems like a call had arrived and, by stopping to look at the voice he committed the mistake of volunteering himself “You, Lunek!” he takes a deep breath “There’s a call-”
He raises his arms “I’m not quite physically capable yet” he wasn’t lying, he wouldn’t be able to be much help
“It’s an emergency!” that caused his ears to shoot up “You don’t need gear, just grab the car and head over to Leva’s house. I’ll call Santos, you grab him on the way”
An ungeared emergency? That was certainly unexpected. But an emergency is an emergency and if the human is involved he figures it’s going to be fine. He runs over to the garage, barely taking notice it’s not Marik in the armory right now, and heads over to the car. The keys are hanging from the wall and are quickly snatched, and he’s thankful the car is modern enough to use proximity for the keys as his fingers barely have the strength to hold them in place. Thankfully his legs are fine and he doesn’t need too much grip strength to control the car.
It’s a fast drive down the street towards Leva’s house, he’s unfortunately acquainted with the seemingly cursed place. About halfway down the drive he stops, Santos’ visage is far too unique to be missed, despite the fact the man isn’t wearing his uniform. As the human gets on the back seat, he starts the car going again and spares a glance to the rear view mirror. A bandage over the human’s head makes the sight a little concerning “I was hoping it’d be a boring paw today” he opens up
An unexpected sigh comes from his partner “I wish, I really, really wish. But seems like it’s mental health paw right now”
He responds with a light tilt of his head “I wasn’t told what the emergency was”
“Ah, right, they probably had you in the car and rolling quick” the human takes a deep breath “We’re reinforcing the psych unit. We’re not going to do anything, just sit around and look competent, help people be calm. Let Nila and Kessa solve it” he sees the reflection raise a hand to his forehead “Stop a bit away from the house and we walk the rest. Showing up in the car can get people stressed and from what I heard Nila was panicking so we don’t want to startle anyone”
He stops just about a house away and the two of them step out of the car. Fitted just with his usual satchel belt and with Santos in his civilian outfit they’d be impossible to identify as exterminators, if not for the fact that in a town this small everyone knew who they were. Sadly, it seemed like Santos’ prediction of the situation was incorrect.
The first thing they heard was Kessa’s frantic shouts “You’re not going anywhere you don’t want to!”, followed by some more distant shouting. He twitches his tail at Santos, who stares at him, and the two start running. When they finally arrive they see a dreadful scene, in front of the house are Nila and Kessa looking up, and tracing their eyes Lunek sees a little girl, not even an adolescent yet, at the edge of the roof.
“Don’t lie to me!” the girl shouts, her tail puffed up as far as it will go, twitching erratically and ears pinned to her head “I know what you do!” the girl steps ever closer to the edge, her toes hanging in the air “You took mom to a facility and… And what came back… It wasn’t her!” her body dangerously teeters at the edge “I just wanted to be left alone!”
Lunek feels a tension in his chest “I won’t let you take me!” the little girl shouts. “I won’t let you take me” echoes in his ears. His arms are tingling and his heart is racing. Not again. He can’t hear anything else, and his body is moving before his brain is. Two steps, just take two steps and you save her. One, two, three bounds with all the strength of his legs he crosses the front yard, the front door, and towards the stairs. Don’t freeze, she’s right there, you can do it. One, two bounds with all the strength nature had given him up the stairs, he skids and slams his shoulder on the wall to turn a hard ninety degree angle. Move legs, move, please. One bound, he grabs the railing of the next set of stairs. One, two bounds and he’s at the top, someone’s trying to frantically open the locked door to the roof. Stupid body, please, do something, anything. He lowers his head, digs his claws into the flooring and continues through the door like it didn’t even exist. He sees her. She’s right there, two steps, just five meters and you can save her, so why won’t you move. He sees her turn at the noise, she’s across the entire length of the house and the world seems to slow down. One step, he’s so very close halfway there, two steps and he’s crossed the distance, he sees her body angling backwards towards the fall.
His mind catches up with his body, he didn’t freeze this time. He grabs her arm, plants his feet firmly on the ground and spins, pulling her away from the edge. The severe movementum sends both down to the ground, but Lunek grips down on the ground with more strength than his arms and legs should have, pinning the young girl under him as he closes his eyes “It’s alright, you’re safe” he says “Nobody will hurt you now” it wasn’t for her, but she listens.
For many moments they stay like that, the beating of their hearts echoing against eachother, their breathing slowly falling in sync. The young one’s panic and fear slowly changing shape as the pinning grasp shifts slowly into an embrace. When someone else finally arrives, Santos running through the splintered remains of the door quickly followed by Nila and Kessa, Lunek is holding a young, crying girl in his arms.
“I know what you’re like…” he says with eyes closed, in a soft voice “You can’t handle having people around you, talking to you, wanting your attention” he gently rocks the little girl “Not for long. That’s why every moment that you can do it, is precious to you.” he tilts his head up at Santos “But everyone demands so much out of you, it starts to hurt. It’s so hard to find a herd that doesn’t ask more than you can give…”
He sees Leva approach “So all you have is your grandma, and your brothers. They know, they don’t ask too much but…”
“It’s not enough…” the little girl says “I love them but…”
He wraps his tail around the little girl “But some things aren’t for family, you want friends too. Friends that won’t hurt you”
At this point Nila finally walks close, kneeling beside the hugging duo “You know, we’re here to help you find those, alright?” the little girl turns her head slightly, to get Nila closer to her center of sight “It might be our responsibility to help the herd” she stops for a small moment “But it’s also the herd’s responsibility to keep us safe, and they haven’t done that to you”. Nila sits down “So it’s time we do that, okay? We’ll help you find friends that won’t hurt you. That’s everything we’ll do”
It took a while until the little girl calmed down enough, and now Leva, the little girl, her brothers and Nila were in the living room, just talking. Nila was being incredibly reassuring, the woman seemed to have a thousand stories about people, people who needed just a little different kind of attention than normal to find happiness. All of them fellow exterminators, in precincts across half the planet. Were they so common?
Lunek’s pulled out of his thoughts by Santos, who’s also watching the scene from a distance “Man, new guy, I knew venlil were pretty fast in short bursts but you were sprinting like a damn cheetah over there.” he tilts his sight to have the human in his focus “Crossing fifteen meters in one step? What kind of crazy training do you go through in that academy of yours?”
With a bit of mixed emotions, he forces himself to make a dismissive tilt of his ears combined with a bit of a joyful wag of his tail “I just couldn’t let it happen” he takes a deep breath “My sister was like her…”
Before anything else can be said, a voice calls out behind them “Santos, can you… Do me a, well… A nasty favor?” Lunek turns around with the human to see Kessa at the door of the house. As Santos goes over to see what that is about he starts to follow- But at this point standing up causes his knees to fail, he tries to catch on to Santos’ arm only for his left hand to stop responding to his will.
Thankfully, the human catches him before the fall. Lunek takes a few deep breaths and after a while being held, manages to stand up “S-sorry I guess…”
“My man you looked like you were straight out of a ninja movie, I can understand your body not being very happy right now” Santos tries to start moving him back to the seat, but he shakes his head “You sure?”
Kessa comes closer “It’s okay- Maybe I shouldn’t ask this”
Santos looks back at her “What was that favor, anyway?”
“Well…” Kessa sounds embarrassed “I… I want you to look threatening for a bit?”
He watches as the human’s right eyebrow shoots up “Don’t think you can pay up for that kinda favor like Keya does.” a mysterious phrase for him “Why, though?”
Kessa makes a dismissive gesture with her tail “It’s alright… I just wanted to talk to the neighbor who put in the call. I… I don’t think I can be as angry as I should be about this”
That causes the human to laugh, and Lunek starts whistling as well, entirely unable to use his will to remain standing anymore as he falls on his knees “And that’s why you do your job and not me. It’s alright, girl, whatever you say is going to be better than I could do” Santos gently pats Kessa on the shoulder “And I really need to get this guy home, he’s way over exerted”
For the second time in a way too short a time, Lunek finds himself being carried to the car. This time, however, when they get close he puts up a bit of a struggle “I can still drive” which earns a bit of an uncomfortable look from Santos “The accelerator pads are pressure sensitive not mechanical. I can do it”
Perhaps just to humor him, Santos helps him to the driver’s seat while he takes the back seat. It is, admittedly, a bit of a slow process to start up the car because his arms are still recovering, he’s not very certain how the hell he managed to grab that girl when right now his hands are having a problem closing, but true to his word he’s still able to operate it. “See? No need to get a fine for driving without a license”
“Alright, i’ll humor you” he catches the human’s eye on the rear view mirror “But we’re going to drop you off at your house, I can get Maurice to come pick up the car later”
And thus he starts a very slow drive towards his house. Not like he’s planning on taking his time, but due to the exertion of his legs he can barely put enough pressure on the speed pedal to make the car go any faster. The silence coupled with the slow electrical hum of the car’s capacitors slowly start chipping at his consciousness, so he takes a deep breath and looks at the rear mirror, taking in Santos looking out.
After the stunt he pulled, he feels he owes the man an explanation… “Maybe it’d be good to let someone else know it…” he thinks. That thought, however, was voiced.
“Know what?” the human says, a little too worried.
A needle of pain hits his heart. Of course, he must have interpreted that one way, one very dreadful way. It made him suspicious, but… That was fine. Now he was forced to share what was in his mind. Shameful as it was, he hardly could do things if he wasn’t forced to “About my sister”
Santos twists his body around so that he can stretch his legs over the back seat “There’s no need to say something you don’t want to”
He takes another deep breath, the drive will be long either way “She… Just needed to be alone a little bit. She didn’t dislike friendship, she just… Needed more time without others than most do. All she needed was time” he was going slow enough he could let go one of his hands from the wheel and extend the other, which he slowly tries to flex his fingers “She always said she needed time to study”
He continues to fruitlessly try to flex the fingers of his right paw “She had friends, they’d meet behind the house for about a fifth a claw every other paw, they’d talk about old shows. That was all she needed, and all she could stand. She had found a little herd that was just right for her”
He starts putting a little more energy in his fingers “But that wasn’t enough. My parents knew she was smart, the excuse to study wasn’t working anymore. ‘A predator trying to hide in our ranks, trying to hide others of her kind’, that’s what they called her, because she was studying as an assessor”
He puts his hand back in the wheel “Eventually a pair showed up at home to bring her in”
“It… It was your parents who turned her in, weren’t they?”
“It was my father” he looks out the wind “My father and the chief showed up. My sister didn’t want to go, she knew what would happen to her” he takes a deep breath again “She started fighting, she’d do anything not to go”
He can see Santos wince in the rear window “She’s… Gone now. I was visiting home on a break from the academy. I could have saved her, I could have pushed her out of the way, if I just hadn’t freezed.” his tail starts to uncomfortably hit things behind him “It… Was my father who did it”
“I dropped out of the academy, bought a ticket to another city… I left everything I had behind, didn’t bother to bring anything other than my satchel” a chuckle out of him “Can you imagine how that went?”
“You did say you were in a bad state at the time” there’s something he can’t place in Santos’ voice.
“Takes a lot for a venlil to get blackout drunk in a ditch” he tries to put some humor in his voice “I figured out how, though” he takes a deep breath again, buying time for his mind “I don’t know how Keina could look at me then and say ‘I need to help this man’. But she did. Helped me clean up, got some word in the office she worked out, I worked as janitor there for a while”
“Couple cycles later, we had our ceremony, we got together. It was happy, but not that happy. The office we were working in went under, as companies do” he sighs “We were together but… We had nothing. For a long time. Our home was rented, we couldn’t pay. When she found me I was out in the streets, now we were together out in the streets” Lunek brings up a hand to dry his face “With little Tiss on the way I had to do something… Anything. We tried finding jobs in another city, but nothing. She has a lot of skills, you know” he can feel his tail strike the clutter under the back seat as it wags “She can improvise anything, she’s very smart.” and then it stops “Me, though? I had nothing”
“Is that… Is that why you’re here?”
He stares at the human’s reflection, and nods his head, making sure his companion understands his meaning “We’d started missing meals… So… Even a cadet’s pay would help. I trained for this my entire life, I knew nothing else so… I went back to the academy. I had a responsibility and only one skillset. She was too important to me” he sighs “But that was not the worst part”
He can see Santos wince “I thought i’d have to start all over again but… When I got there? I was told I could pick up where I left” he takes a slow breath “I learned later that… My father had talked them into it, when he learned I had joined again”
Santos’ face scrunches in a way he can’t quite make out the meaning “We’re from a long family of exterminators, he had influence. He was the kind that… If he took his gear home, if he made it his, nobody asked” he notices the car had stopped for a bit now, so he remembers to order his paw to press on the accelerator again “When I graduated, Keina wasn’t there. I didn’t want her there, I was ashamed. But my father showed up, with a gift” he tries putting as much tension as he can on his left fingers “It was his flamethrower… The one he used that day… He said grandmother had given it to him, so he was giving it me”
Seems like Santos is about to speak, but he interrupts “It’s… Locked in a box, at home… I was… I was too cowardly to throw it away” the car finally stops
“Say… Would you like to trade places with Kessa?” the human says, before they can step out of the car
“No… No, she knows what she’s doing, I don’t” his hands are stuck to the wheel, strength not returned yet he’s using it for support “But… If they ever put up a course or something… I… I think i’ll take it”
He can hear Santos step out of the car, and at this point between the sudden emotional outburst and the physical exertion, he’s not sure he can actually move anymore. He can feel the human’s hands against his shoulder and behind his knees as he gets lifted. It’s somewhat shameful, to be carried like this, but he’s weak either way, he’s given up on shame long ago.
“What happened to him?” her voice was deeply worried, at least he wasn’t bleeding this time.
“Remind me not to get in the way of a charging venlil. Didn’t know you could break eighty per hour in a dead sprint uphill. He’s just tired, don’t worry. Pulled a little girl from the brink, took everything his body had” he wasn’t that good, he was just desperate
“He’ll do that. C’mon in, I’ll show you where to put him down” He really wouldn’t, he didn’t know why he did. But right now he was too tired to think more. His legs were aching, his arms felt like static, and his consciousness was losing its grip in his body.
The last thought to cross his mind was… That maybe he should keep doing this job. Maybe he could do this right.
I know i'm doing third person and not using hte memory transcript format, but i'm still putting in effort to make things from specific points of view, so here it is Lunek's point of view for once!
Seems like the kid was saved from a bad choice, on the strength of, as always, it being personal for an exterminator.
The next season will be "Exotic Pets"! Sometimes, beasts are where they don't belong not out of bad intentions, just a surfeit of love.
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2023.06.02 00:42 Pale-Highlight-6895 Who says Brooks Brothers can't put in the work?
2023.06.01 23:00 devyn1989 Brooks Brothers getting classy
2023.06.01 21:00 Spartawolf Galactic High (Chapter 72)
/Previous Okay everyone.
Chiyo began, as all members of the household settled down and sat cross legged in a circle in the living room. We're going to try out a guided meditation. It should help with stress and anxiety, and it's really relaxing! Start by gently breathing deeply through your nose, and then keep repeating this until the guide tells you what to do next…
It was getting late in the evening, and Jack had only returned about an hour ago, having very much lost track of time before he finally made his way back. He had a little trouble finding a path back through the districts despite being able to use a marker on his commlink to pinpoint the location of home. The hot tub, which was slightly larger than Jack had expected, had been mostly finished by the time he arrived. However, due to several employee absences the team leader apologised and promised to finish the last of the plumbing the following afternoon after the group got back from school, which Alora quickly planned out with them. Sephy had swept the area for any possible bugs or electronic tags an undercover enemy could plant, but had fortunately found nothing.
A few of them looked sceptical as Chiyo put on a guided meditation program with some relaxing music in the background, which to Jack sounded like the most bizarre series of timbres and pitches unlike anything he had heard. It had the peaceful, slow quality of meditative music from earth, but it still jarred him somewhat due to its unnatural nature.
Still, he tried to follow Chiyo’s instructions as the Ilithii floated back to the circle to sit next to Sephy, who already looked like she was having trouble concentrating, though she made the effort for Chiyo’s sake. Next to him, Nika was already controlling and slowing down her breathing along with him, both of them semi-used to the concept of meditation already, and it looked like Alora was doing something more akin to prayer. The twins and Vanya seemed to be able to cope enough as well, all having some kind of magical ability that required some basic kind of mental concentration.
“Now, bring your attention to your physical form…” The soothing voice of the instructor gently called out over the background music. “Feel your body pressing into the surface beneath you, and take note of any areas of tension or discomfort…”
“I’m well aware of my injuries you dumb bit-” Nika grumbled before Chiyo psychically reminded her to be quiet during the meditation.
“Do not try to change anything with these sensations, merely observe them…” Relax Sephy…
Chiyo quietly told the Skritta, who was slightly fidgeting. Try not to overthink it!
“Now return your attention to your breathing, noticing all the sensations as you inhale, then gently exhale…” The voice continued. They did so, though by the sounds some of them were making they were overdoing it.
“As you continue to breath, bring yourself mentally to your peaceful place. This could be any location that brings you a sense of tranquillity and relaxation. Now imagine yourself in this place, surrounded by the sights, sounds and smells that make it special to you…”
Jack’s mind brought forth an image of home. His mother, his father, his brothers, his sister, his grandparents all surrounding him. He was safe, he was with his family. He had his whole life ahead of him…
And it had all been taken away from him.
Jack squirmed involuntarily as his mind was dragged back to a dark place, his grief threatening to overwhelm him again…
“As you bask in this tranquil scene, allow yourself to let go of your worries and concerns that may be weighing on your mind. Imagine them fading away, leaving you at ease…”
All the faces of the people he would never see again stared at him coldly, judgingly. He had committed acts of horror he never thought he would ever have to commit. Even if there was a chance he could return to Earth, could his family even recognise the shell of a person he had become? What would they say?
“When you are ready, take a deep breath, and as you exhale, slowly open your eyes, and reorient yourself with your surroundings. Carry this sense of calm and relaxation with you into the rest of your day…”
As the guided meditation came to an end Jack quickly got to his feet to get a drink.
“Jack, is everything alright?” Alora asked him in alarm.
“All good.” He lied. “My legs are just a bit stiff, and the meditation was a bit hard.”
“Yeah I get what you mean.” Sephy used her wings to help her kick up. “I don’t really understand the whole ‘sit-and-do-nothing’ thing to be honest, it’s like I need to be actually doing something. But hell, I still gave it a go…” Thanks for trying it anyway Sephy!
“So what do we do now?” Nika asked everyone, as Jack returned with some canned drinks for all of them. “Still got a few hours before we probably need to go to bed."
“Nothing exhausting, please. Let’s just watch a movie?” Alora suggested after a few seconds of nobody contributing anything. Perhaps some of our new housemates have a suggestion?
Chiyo asked, looking to Vanya and the two Squa’Kaar, who hadn’t been confident enough to suggest anything as the newest additions to the household.
“I’m only a temporary housemate, I still have my own place.” Vanya smiled softly. But maybe WageMage?”
“That’s a good classic to start with!” Sephy grinned. “Have you seen it before Jack?”
“Can’t say I have, the Temple of Hope didn’t really have movie nights.” Jack reminded her with a smile. “What’s it about?”
“It’s basically a comedy film about an office worker that uses magic to get ahead and prank her bosses!” Vanya told him. “But you really need to watch it!”
“I’ll get some snacks.” Alora called, quickly grabbing a few bags of sweets out of one of the cupboards while the others tried to get comfortable on the sofa. It was large enough for all of them…just about.
“We should probably go furniture shopping at some point.” Sephy pointed out the obvious problem. “Especially if you’re gonna offer refuge for those that need it, Alora.”
“Damn, well, we are gonna hit a few of the rubbish heaps and scrapyards for materials we can use to fix up the shuttle, and anything else that we could use for home improvements.” Nika reasoned. “We even got this sofa from one of them though it was a bitch to drag all the way back here!” At least we have more people that could help now. Maybe even more depending on who joins us.
Chiyo added. Because I remember helping you spend half the day dragging that here, and I swore never to do manual labour ever again!
“Well, perhaps we can find a better way this time.” Alora concluded as she came back with the sweets while everyone sat down, and took a few blankets to warm themselves up with. Jack took one of the ends of the sofa so he wouldn’t be squished between two people this time, and Vanya was quick to sit next to him, even putting an arm around him, which he wasn’t opposed to. The thick, warm brown fur of the Chuna made him feel comfortable, and he subconsciously leaned in and relaxed.
“Ooof!” He grunted, as Sephy sat on his lap, pulling the blanket over them and cuddling up to him. Jack reflexively put his other arm around her to keep her in place, lamenting that he could no longer reach for the bag of sweets until Chiyo telepathically sent one his way.
“Hey Chiyo, could I have one as well?” Sephy cheekily asked the Ilithii. Sure!
Chiyo agreed, sending another sweet floating towards Sephy, before pinging it off her forehead,
“Ow!” Sephy grunted as they started the movie.
Jack appreciated the humour and plot of the movie, with the hapless office worker using magic to explode her boss’s tea, and accidently making her manager believe his wife was cheating on him, only to later discover that she actually was. He could see why this movie was a favourite with the girls, though he didn’t know if it would be well received on earth. Though this film was well written and amusing (despite him not understanding much of the humour), he could imagine it being received as too woke back on Earth. When the plot eventually evolved into the protagonist trying desperately to avoid the investigations of the alien equivalent of ‘HR’, it really ramped up the humour, which had even him chuckling on occasion.
However he was more subdued as the others laughed freely at the shenanigans, his mind going back to the horrible experiences he'd had, and his grief from being separated from his family. Yet all around him, like a beacon of hope was a home full of friends having a good time with him.
Could he get used to this?
Yeah. He thought he could.
Svaartal snarled as his arms ever so slowly pushed the weighted bar up, feeling the burn in his chest and arms as he repeated the motion, over and over, his heart pounding as he pushed himself to lift more weight than he had ever lifted before with his natural strength. Forcing himself beyond his limits, he felt his muscles straining as his breaths became more and more laboured. He knew he was overdoing it, but he didn’t care. He was determined to become stronger, more focused, more powerful. He had Carrow watching over Svaarti, so this gave him the opportunity to really cut loose.
Devil’s Daughter would come for him and Svaarti again. He barely won their previous encounter and it took all he had to stand a chance against the raw power of her spells. Next time he would be better. He had heard the words she spoke to his sister, calling Svaarti a thief, though as far as he was concerned, if his mother looted the Golden Staff during the Demonfire War from the Stygians, it was hers by right of conquest. Not that the Devilspawn would care. If Devil’s Daughter was going to target him, Svaartal had no doubt she would attempt to do so through his sister, so he needed to be ready.
He had been pushing himself harder and harder ever since he first faced Frost to a standstill in that ambush, fully expecting to face him again soon, especially after the Drow of House Mal’Kar recruited him. He had been thoroughly changed by that experience, and he suspected the Outsider was changed by it too. From open hostility towards one another in their first week to caution in the next, it was a strange dance the two of them did.
Something about the Klown attack had changed him even more. For just a moment the two of them had fought side by side for a common cause, and though he did strongly consider it, he didn’t stick with the human. Despite that however, the words Frost told him certainly stuck with him. Help me stop them.
And he did, didn’t he? He stopped to rescue several of the trapped partygoers and had cut them a path to safety, only to then decimate the Klown numbers with his most powerful spells. He had been considered a hero of the battle, alongside Frost himself and the dragon-bitch that officially kicked him out of the Red Legion. In a strange way, it felt…gratifying? ‘Though the greatest hero that night may not recover from her sacrifice…’ Svaartal thought to himself sadly. Why, Svaarti?’
He got up from the bench and slowly slunk over to the tension cable, cranking up the weight as high as he dared. Taking a deep breath he grabbed the handle with both hands and pulled, yanking the cable over his shoulder before releasing, then doing the same exercise over his other shoulder.
His memories of his fight with Devil’s Daughter came back to him, though he cursed not having a recording so he could better recall. Many of his actions had been instinctual, so much so that he could barely remember what he even did in several instants. He was fortunate that he kept a versatile array of spells prepared and ready for use in any situation, though it was his blade and quick thinking with his illusion and spacial magic that allowed him to slip through the Stygian’s defences.
But though he focused on the fight, her words still rang out in his mind. ‘Why the hell do you hate my people so much?!’
Dumb question. The Devilspawn killed his mother, and even after the Demonfire War many of their kind went rabid, committing horrific acts on innocent people, just the same as they did when Azazel, Lord of Torment was still alive.
But something about the sheer hurt in Devil’s Daughter’s expression tugged away at the back of his mind, like an itch that wouldn’t go away. Perhaps it was…
He was interrupted by the noise of someone approaching. Letting go of the handle, the cable he was pulling quickly snapped back to ping against the weights as he collapsed to the floor, his body dangerously overheated and his breath coming in ragged gasps. He quickly activated the enchantment of his Riverspray Ring, sending out a cloud of cooling mist that instantly made him feel slightly better.
“Good evening, Dextra.” Svaartal greeted the drow politely as he slinked over to where he had left a towel.
“Hey.” She replied, before something caught her eye and she pointed to his bare back. “What happened there?”
“What do you mean?” Svaartal stiffened at the sensitive question, having an idea what Dextra was referring to.
“By the gods…” She muttered. “Your scales are cracked and fucked up, and you’ve got a lot of scars, how?”
“I am aware that my scales need grooming.” Svaartal replied tersely, trying to be patient with the inquisitive drow despite the sensitive subject. “However I did not have anyone to teach me how to do it growing up. If it displeases you I will attempt to rectify the issue…”
“I’m not my sister, so you can shut up.” Dextra snorted. “You’ve got a fuckton of scars too, that can’t be good for you…”
“It is not.” Svaartal growled in anger before he quickly steadied himself, realising he was talking to a Drow Noble. “My apologies Lady Mal’Kar, what did you wish from me?”
Dextra snorted at the sudden formality, but she paid it no mind as she showed him her commlink. Displayed was a NetTube video from a channel by the name of ‘DevilLover69’.
“What is this?” Svaartal asked, confused.
“You might find this kinda funny!” She grinned, and played the video, the thumbnail of which displayed a medium sized, overweight looking being with pinkish-brown fur, a long cone-like trunk, huge grey bulbous eyes and thin, spindly arms.
“Ahem, attention everyone! Listen up, for I have a message for all of you! Recently, I have heard rumours that somebody out there has apparently defeated my beloved waifu, Devil’s Daughter, in combat! Let me tell you, that is something that will not go unpunished! I have spent countless hours defending her honour online, but now I have heard the call, and The Supreme Gentleman will step up and avenge her!”
“I’ve been training hard all this time, inspired by the queen herself! I’ve watched all of her fights, and I’ve practised martial arts on my Devil’s Daughter body pillow! So I hope the killer is watching, because I’m ready, and I’m coming for you! And I promise you, when I defeat you, you will wish you had never been born! I’ll see you on the streets, punk!”
“Pretty funny right?” Dextra asked, as Svaartal gave a slight grin.
“I really hope that’s not a troll!” he chuckled.
“Well if The Supreme Gentleman is legit and if he comes for you, it’ll give the others a good laugh.” Dextra giggled. “And…um…I could try and help you with the scales if you want? The datanet should have some videos and I could do your back if you want?”
Svaartal considered it for a moment, knowing where this would likely end up. He had not been requested by Izadora tonight, who seemed to be particularly busy with House Mal’Kar business, and they had never been anything more than casual so he had the freedom to do as he wished.
“I don’t see why not.” The Nirah shrugged, as he followed the bubbly drow to her chambers.
“He’s her son.” Grandmaster Ilvella told her with a sad look on closing the door to his quarters. “I knew it the moment I saw him, though I couldn’t believe it.”
“What?” Nya exclaimed, having broken protocol and immediately followed her master to talk, with Rena trying to stop her. “Not a chance! There’s no way! They’re nothing alike! He’s evil, he can’t be!”
“I knew Svaarvali for a long time.” the Grandmaster sighed, drained from sharing his painful memory. “Even if he didn’t resemble her physically, there were subtle things I saw in just those few moments meeting him that could only have been from one of her line.”
“Are you certain he is not a different relation to the Saviour, Master?” Rena asked stoically.
“I am certain.” The Grandmaster nodded, closing his eyes. “But irrespective of how I may feel on the matter I will not sacrifice everything we have built for sentiment. Our plans do not change.”
“What are your orders, Master?” Nya tentatively asked.
“Do not engage this…Svaartal under any circumstances, unless in self-defence, and maintain your civilian cover.” He strictly told them both. “He will no doubt expect Devil’s Daughter to retaliate soon if she is able, so we will be patient and wait. I have not seen this Svaarti you are familiar with, but it seems like she may be more receptive than her brother if she is able to recover. If she does, continue to be her friend and get closer to her.”
His gaze then returned to the steely look Nya was used to from her master.
“However, Devil’s Daughter must be sighted soon, unharmed and doing something good to restore the people’s faith. A few days of inactivity will be expected before you must return, and with luck we can completely obscure the truth of your defeat as mere rumours.”
“I don’t think Head Whisperer Ratai has anything recent, save for the possible signs of the latest Killer Klown attack.” Nya reasoned. “And Scholar Volus is still deciphering what was discovered at the Pallid Pit, though Jack and his group have not relinquished the Gloom Cauldron they discovered as far as I am aware, which had ties to the ritual room, and which they’re theorising might have worked as some kind of beacon, though for what I have no idea.”
“I am sure we will find something.” Ilvella concluded. “Perhaps you and Rena can discover something in your civilian lives? The Outsider for one certainly seems to be a good source of trouble. Regardless, you two are dismissed. Heal up and rest early. You have school tomorrow.”
With that, Nya and Rena took their leave.
“This is…” Rena began.
“Impossible.” Nya snapped. “I refuse to believe it.”
“Nya…” Rena gently called to her, understanding the Stygian’s pain.
No, Rena.” Nya snarled, causing the usually stoic Vulsta to take a step back in shock. This wasn’t like her friend at all. “I should have killed him when I had the chance during our fight, and now I learn he’s related to the Saviour? Her son?!”
“You have another chance in the future.” Rena pointed out. “And you can lay the groundwork for that by preparing and training. Taking a loss like that is difficult, but it can be a blessing if you learn from it.”
Nya looked at her friend conflicted, and Rena was glad that the stone corridor of the monastery was deserted.
“Yes.” Nya sighed as she let go of her anger and returned to her normal self. “You’re right. I’ve taken losses before and I’ve come out stronger. I even faced the Killer Klown himself and sent him fleeing, so the problem isn’t necessarily my abilities, but my mind.”
Rena nodded calmly, seeing that Nya was pulling herself up. “And what is your next move?”
“The Grandmaster is right that I need to make a quick reappearance as Devil’s Daughter.” Nya began, sounding more like her usual self. “The Cult of the Destroyer would be an obvious target but the ones at the Pallid Pit were wiped out when my friends decided to go there for some reason, though at least we were able to kill the Stygian masquerading as me and tarnishing our people’s reputation."
“As a civilian I am already friends with Svaarti.” Nya then reasoned. “And unlike her brother, I can actually believe her being related to the Saviour. I can only hope that she wakes and recovers from her arcane backlash. I did talk to her in astral form, so I have faith.”
“So what will you do now?” Rena prompted. The coolly composed Vulsta still expected an answer to her previous question as Nya closed her eyes to think.
“The Whisperers might have something for me.” She decided. “Though there was clearly nothing worthy of Grandmaster Ilvella’s attention, maybe they have something smaller or less reliable I can use to at least been seen by the public.”
“That would be wise.” Rena agreed. “You still need to heal.”
The Chamber of Whispers was set on the ground floor of the monastery, hidden away and far from the entrance or anything else. Following the subtly different pattern of dim lights, the two quickly made their way to the hidden underground bunker that served as their resident spy headquarters.
“BWAH! I knew you’d be up and ready for more work in no time!” A jovial voice called out before they had a chance to knock on the doors. “Hello to you too, Rena!”
“My footsteps were silent…” Rena muttered as they entered the room.
Upon entering, the first thing that struck Nya’s attention was the sheer number of lights illuminating the chamber, bathing the entire room in powerful brightness, and allowing for no shadows to form in heavy contrast to the route they took to get here. Then she focused on the huge table in the middle, with a large map projection of Naganai City, complete with many extensive annotations on several notable districts, and with one of the Whisperers compiling a report on the Pallid Pit.
The walls of the room were lined with the blue glow of several monitors, either displaying popular all-day news outlets or with investigation boards on notable personages. In one of the side rooms Nya could see one of the monks at a console talking away on a headset, likely tapping into the community’s small network of contacts in the city from the safety of their remote system.
“Nya!” Head Whisperer Ratai grinned as the chubby Stygian waltzed over and gave her a gentle bear hug that still lifted her off her feet. “I’m glad you’re back! We’ve got news but it’s not urgent, so you should probably rest…”
Ratai gave her a knowing wink.
“What’s new Ratai?” Nya smiled, used to acting familiar around the man despite his high position.
“HAH!” The Stygian chuckled. “We mostly have reports of the post-klown cleanup, but a few players have already made their moves. Nothing too big but interestingly I’ve received a reliable rumour that our Outsider friend decided that massacring the klowns wasn’t enough for him and was involved in liberating a thinly populated swamp district."
“He’s claiming it as territory?” Rena asked, suddenly alert. “He may be more of a threat than I had initially warned…”
“No, no.” Ratai’s grin got wider. “Nobody seems to have claimed the land, but interestingly enough Clan Ashtail seems to have rehomed the vast majority of the population, and they seem to be sincere in allowing them to rebuild and recover in their newly annexed territory.”
“Do you consider Clan Ashtail a threat?” Nya asked.
“Of course!” Ratai snorted in amusement. “Vetch Ashtail was the one who all but hinted at the damnable rumour in his last correspondence to me, the smug bastard! His clan plays the game well, but there are many other more nefarious groups that will attempt to take advantage of the chaos. I'm particularly concerned about what Corvin Enterprises will try to do, but if they are planning on making a play, which I am almost positive that they are, then they are being very subtle about it.”
“Anything immediate?” Nya asked.
“That admirer of yours was quick to post a new video!” Ratai teased, causing Nya to bury her face in her hands in embarrassment.
“Don’t remind me.” She groaned. “That guy is pure cringe and you need to stop mentioning him to me!”
“Hah! Well I haven’t gotten much within the city itself, but we’ve found a series of accounts online about gangs trying to run protection rackets and establish themselves as local powers. Maybe you can crush a few of the weaker ones to make an appearance as you recover to full strength?”
“Nya will still need some time to recover.” Rena cautioned. “But if we approach this like any other mission and I act from the shadows, it will be fine.”
“Excellent, I shall begin my delving and let you know.” Ratai smiled. “In the meantime, you kids should go to bed!”
“I wish I didn’t have to.” Nya sighed.
“I didn’t exactly have much of a weekend.”
And with that, the weekend is over for our....heroes?
If you're impatient for the next chapter, why not check out my previous series?
Some pictures have been added to The Galactic High Info Sheet!
If you have any fanart or any pictures you think might fit one of the entries, please let us know on the discord!
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As always I love to see the comments on what you guys think!
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if you haven't already! Until next week, it's goodbye for now!
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2023.06.01 20:44 MrFaversham Anyone who wants to get a jump on being the first to own the best outfit in season 3…
2023.06.01 18:01 No_Competition4897 [HIRING] 25 Jobs in TX Hiring Now!
Hey guys, here are some recent job openings , feel free to comment here if you have any questions, I'm at the community's disposal! If you encounter any problems with any of these job openings please let me know that I will modify the table accordingly. Thanks!
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2023.06.01 16:28 InjurySavings2995 Honestly I just need to vent...
I (29f) am currently dealing with a physical condition that has been very triggering of past traumas. I've spent the majority of this last year either disassociating and devoid of emotion, or reliving painful flashbacks of abuse when the condition flairs up. My mom has actually been helpful for a while through some of this- helping me get around after my latest surgery, making me soup when I could only keep down broth (even glossing over the fact that she didn't help me with dishes as promised, I'm not even upset about that one). So I started to open up a little more with her, ask for advice or just have an ear to vent to when I'm feeling so overwhelmed that I want to end it all. During one of these moments, alone in my apartment less than a week after returning from the surgery, I'm dealing with a crisis in the after math of that. More venting and panicking, I text her explaining what's going on in hopes of a little bit of sympathy. Guess I overstayed my welcome in her good graces; "F*ck off and figure it out yourself" was all I read of the text before I shut down and deleted the message history from her. Had my bf delete the 20 minute long voice-mail she sent 5 minutes later with her sobbing about how she's not feeling well and-- well, there wasn't really an apology so I'm glad I didn't listen to it or it probably would have made me feel even worse.
It's hit me really hard this time around. I feel like a moron for thinking I could actually open up and talk to her about anything, because this is always what happens. She's nice and agreeable when she thinks it'll get her something, but as soon as she's tired of the charade or gets whatever payout she's seeking, it snaps like a feeble twig. Then she comes back like she did nothing wrong when she wants more, texting me and calling me constantly; I've ignored most of her communication since then but she always pulls me in with "something important" or offering "gifts" (like bringing me weed and then asking for the $40 after dropping it off, so not really even gifts just delivering shit and seeking praise. And I'm a monster if I don't tell her to be safe while she's taking a trip to see my brother, right?). I want to go nc after this, but I loathe the thought of putting too much on my boyfriend and sending him running for the hills. I'm working on seeing a therapist but even my doctors can't seem to find an opening for me anywhere in the area. I'm currently unemployed and don't have the funds for those crappy online therapists like betterhelp (my bf has talked about this as an option, but I'm making so little in comparison to him right now that I feel like that's just a huge waste of his money and I cannot bring myself to become a bigger burden than I already am for him). I miss being almost mentally stable while on medication, but my last psychiatric got all buddy-buddy with my mom and dropped me like a hot potato about 3 years ago; my mom still texts him on a weekly basis, but guess my issues aren't important enough to get me in or on any medication again.
Then, one shitty thing after another. I decided to get rid of my 2 cats of 3 years; had them almost as long as I've been with the current bf. All of the hair has been hell on my recovery and I can't even bend over for simple tasks like feeding or cleaning litter. The bf understood and reassured me my health was more important, so... We rehomed them, and I made sure they were going to a good home so I have that peace of mind that they'll be loved and taken care of. I just watched my bf mourn the loss of our cats more than I mourned the loss of both my grandparents (who raised me over half of my childhood). I feel like a monster after witnessing him break down like that; I have no idea how to comfort anyone and it felt like he was shutting me out anyway. I am the reason he's crying so why would he want my comfort? We had to get rid of the cats because of me and it made him cry. I suppose it'll make the decision easier for him when he finally gets fed up with my shit as well and leaves me, but I just feel so... lost. I know it's not healthy to live only because of one person, but I can't go back to my abusive family if he decides to leave. I'm better off dead in the street than suffering like that again. Even if I could physically handle working full time, it isn't enough money to sustain a person living by themselves; not with any job I'm able to get in this shitty economy. I'm just a pathetic sack that's failed as an adult and just wants the pain to stop for five fucking seconds; to feel like I have some value even when I know that's bullshit and anyone who tells me I do is just lying out of fear that I'll off myself and they'll be stuck cleaning it up. A part of my mind is telling me I should do everything in my power to be happy and healthy for my bf after causing him such anguish, but I'm so sick of lying and saying I'm okay. I'm sick of smiling when I just want to ugly cry. Everyone is telling me that I need to be more positive about life but literally the only thing I've wanted since I was 5 was to not be forced to live in this awful world and I'm just so tired of all this bullshit... I think I've ranted enough, not expecting anyone to read through this crap anyway;; Just needed some outlet while I'm stuck alone with my shitty thoughts...
submitted by InjurySavings2995
to emotionalneglect [link] [comments]
2023.06.01 16:10 CyanPhoenix7 I'm just exhausted
I'm on mobile so I'm sorry if there's any formatting issues.
I'm a 23 year old man who just needs to vent about some stuff. I've actually typed a few things up before to post here, but I never fully finished them. Maybe this one will be the same, I'm not sure yet.
I live with my mother (41) and brother (18). My mother is amazing, she's understanding, accepting, helps us out, and just generally is a good person. I want to stress that I'm not talking bad on her, I'm just frustrated with her circumstance right now.
My mother has been sick for about 4 years now. We weren't sure what it was for a while, but the closest thing we have to knowing is it's some form of chronic colitis. It comes at random for several days in a month, usually around her menstrual cycle, and it inflicts horrible abdominal pain on her. She also gets extreme nausea from it, and throws up anything she swallows; including water.
She has self learned to take hot showers when it hits. The experience is basically this:
She wakes up and begins throwing up. Usual bang on my wall or door to come help. Usually this happens anywhere around 2-8am. Thankfully I'm a light sleeper, but it still sucks if I only have an hour of sleep and have to deal with this. I get her ice water, she asks me to stand there outside the shower while she sits in the hot water, throwing up. The ice water helps her, but she can't really swallow it, she just holds it in her mouth for a bit before spitting it out. She needs me to refill the ice and water consistently, as well as emotionally comfort her, as she is going through what she basically describes as labor pains.
Have you ever thrown up multiple times in a row? It's not a fun experience. Now imagine throwing up literally 10-15 times in a row with nothing in your stomach. She does that. And since she wants me right there just in case, I get to listen to that, and smell that. It's gotten to the point that she got sick one time and I was literally eating my dinner while she was throwing up in the trash next to me. Our roommate who just moved in a few months ago looked at me like I was insane. But I had to get used to it at least somewhat.
Anyway, she'll shower from anywhere between 10 minutes to an hour, and then I have to get her to bed. She is sometimes so weak at this point that I have to hold the cup to her to drink, or put ice in her mouth for her. If we're lucky, she'll fall asleep and wake up feeling a bit better in a few hours. If we aren't lucky, she'll get up 5 minutes later to repeat the entire process all over again.
Keep in mind, 4 years of this, at least once a month for multiple days. Me and her haven't been able to hold jobs because of this. Any day meaning I have to dedicate the entire day to helping her means planning stuff is nearly impossible, and we are far too broke to pay someone to stay with her.
Now you may be asking about medical stuff. The answer is, I've had to call 911 for her several times due to her being dehydrated. She's had to have fluids given to her intravenously, and the pain has lead to many bad experiences at the hospital. Where I live, addicts are as common as road signs. Her getting pain treatment is like pulling teeth. Sometimes they recognize her issues and give her something, sometimes they refuse. Mom can be a baby with pain, so she's gotten into fights while sick with hospital staff over it on more than one occasion. I remember one time she was scared because they gave her fentanyl and I had to explain to her about how a hospital using fentanyl is safe and she'll be fine. Sometimes we can't even get her to the hospital because we have no car, and we have to rely on family to be available to give rides back from the hospital, or else she'd have to walk 20 min back home.
Our doctor still needs to follow up with her because her colitis diagnosis was given only a month or two ago. That's right, it took 4 years to get an answer to what this problem was. At first doctors thought it was her gallbladder, so she had it removed. Obviously, that wasn't it. I'm going to push her to meet with our doctor soon, things have just been so crazy here that we haven't had time.
Mom is also bipolar, and she needs to get on medication for that, which is another thing she needs to meet with the doctor about. We didn't have health insurance for many years but we have the resources now, so there's no excuse for it anymore. I have some form of anxiety I've been dealing with since middle school that went entirely untreated until this year, so I'm finally on meds for it. That becomes relevant in a moment.
Mom got sick again today, she hasn't been sick in a while so I was hoping it was calming down. She stopped most of her drinking recently so I was wondering if that was the issue. We are actually supposed to go to an open interview tomorrow to start working. This time however, she's scaring me far more. Mom has an issue where if she doesn't get enough sleep, she gets loopy and says things that she doesn't remember after she sleeps. Like one time when she insisted on eating some crackers while she was falling asleep standing up. She literally slumped her head and hit the cabinet and insisting she isn't falling asleep while I'm literally watching her do it.
It flares my anxiety up like nothing else, both of these things do. She's now sick, with that loopiness. Calling me bubby, referring to me as her friend Tori, asking me what her room tastes like, and then when I said I didn't know, she said "can you ask my name what it tastes like?" And I didn't even have a response to that. A cherry on top is when I noticed a cross sitting around the air freshener on the outlet on the wall.
I'm not a Christian, Mom is, but I'm more of someone that respects the idea of God, but I'm too logical to believe the Bible. I respect God and his followers, but I wouldn't call myself one. I went to grab the cross to say a prayer for Mom, but when I touched the cross, it shocked my hand good. I noticed the chain was resting on the actual plug of the air freshener, so I took a rag and grabbed the chain, but when I lifted it, I heard an electrical burst and saw the outlet spark. Boom, the bathroom lights disappear. Just my luck. Mom screams, asked me what happened, and I had to explain it a few times to her. I still need to figure out if the fuse just blew or what.
I'll help Mom whenever she needs, but the way she acts just kills me when she is sick. She'll scream out "My son!" while I'm right there. She'll say "help." and then give absolutely no instructions on what she needs. She'll speak very lowly where I can't hear her at all. She's now screaming the name of her friend while in the shower.
That's the background of why I'm writing this. This is just too much, it weighs on me. My anxiety is under control with my meds but I can feel it come back when this starts. I feel like I'd rather die than deal with this, and I feel horrible that I feel that way. I care about my Mom, and my family, but this is just so much to bear. My meds have a side effect of suicidal thoughts, and they only appear when dealing with this. I want to be a good son, but I can't keep doing this. When this cycle ends, I'm going to lay it out for her. She needs to call the doctor, and figure this sickness out, because I'm afraid. I'm afraid of what I might do if this stress continues. I'm afraid this sickness will take more of our life if we don't sort it out.
I know why she's procrastinated it, there's just so much crazy stuff that happens in our life, but we can't do it anymore. My brother can't handle it, that's why I've had to, but I'm reaching my own breaking point.
She's resting now, I'm sitting in the backyard praying she sleeps for a few hours. Now that I'm out here, I'm regaining my usual appreciation for life.
Thank you for reading, sorry it was so long.
submitted by CyanPhoenix7
to offmychest [link] [comments]
2023.06.01 13:03 FelicitySmoak_ On This Day In Michael Jackson HIStory - June 1st
| || |Disclaimer: Some of these events have unknown June dates. They are identified with a '*' 1970 submitted by FelicitySmoak_ to MichaelJackson [link] [comments]
- The Jackson 5 are on the cover of Soul
- Michael is on the cover of Popswop
- Jackson 5 are on the cover of Right On!
* - The Jackson go back to Sigma Sound Studios in Philidalphia to record their new album, Goin' Places
, with Gamble & Huff 1978\
* - The Jacksons record the Destiny
album in Los Angeles after recording song demos at their Hayvenhurst home studio 1979
- The Jackson perform at Milwaukee County Stadium (closed- 2000) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on their Destiny tour 1979
- (June 1 -3) Michael, Quincy Jones & Bruce Swedien complete the recording & mixing of the Off The Wall
album Westlake Studios in Los Angeles. 1979\
* - The Jacksons start recording the Triumph
* - Michael would come across a studio demo produced by John Barnes and request a meeting.
In an interview with The MJCast podcast
, John recalled their first meeting:
“Michael said I heard you can make your own sounds and play them. How many sounds can you make? And, I responded, ‘How much time do you have?’”
The meeting lasted a few hours and was the beginning of a friendship and musical partnership with Barnes being hired as a core member of Michael Jackson’s team. Their partnership would continue until Michael's passing in 2009 1983\
* - Michael is on the cover of Creem
* - Michael meets with other supporters of Camp Good Times, a non-profit organization founded by parents of children with cancer, in Malibu such as OJ Simpson, Dustin Hoffman, David Soul, Neil Diamond & Richard Chamberlain.
The first Camp Goodtimes event would be held in Vashon Island at Camp Sealth in August of 1984. Ninety-three children, cancer patients and siblings attended and twenty-five American Cancer Society volunteers, who staffed the camp along with the summer staff at Camp Sealth.
* - Michael starts rehearsing
for an upcoming 3D science fiction musical short film named Captain EO to be shown exclusively at Disneyland and Disney World. Francis Ford Coppola will direct and George Lucas will produce the film 1986\
*- Michael & Corey Feldman go to Disneyland . Michael is seen for the 1st time wearing a surgical mask in public
, he says he was initially given a mask by a dentist to keep germs out after having his wisdom teeth pulled 1987\
* - Michael shoots the “The Way You Make Me Feel” short film at Skid Row, Los Angeles. It was directed by Joe Pytka and choreographed by Vincent Paterson & Michael. It featured Tatiana Thumbtzen & Latoya Jackson 1988\- Michael is on the cover of *Ebony
* - Michael Jackson : The Legend Continues
is released on home video. 1988
- Michael sets another record as the first artist ever to have three albums with US sales of more than six million copies each as Bad
& Off The Wall
were both certified 6x platinum by the RIAA 1989\- Michael goes back to Westlake studio with Matt Forger and Bill Bottrell. He meets Brad Buxer who will work with him until 2008. Together they work on new songs for a compilation named *DECADE 1979-1989
Quincy Jones is not part of this project. "Black Or White" and "Heal The World" are among the first songs worked on. 1991
- David Ruffin, a member of The Temptations, dies of a drug overdose.
It was found that Ruffin was peniniless and Jackson contacted Swanson Funeral Home in Detroit to make arrangements to cover a large portion of the June 10th funeral costs. He also sends a heart-shaped arrangement of carnations to the New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit with the note, "With Love, from Michael Jackson".
Jackson was a big admirer of The Temptations. He would not attend the funeral ceremony to not divert attention from it (it was however reported that he did attend but in disguise) 1991\
* - The Sun publishes leaked pictures from a photo session
of Michael by Herb Ritts. It had been rumored that multiple photographers were battling in out to shoot Michael's new video & album cover. Steve Meisel, Bruce Weber and Herb Ritts had been in the running to give Michael a new "sexier" look
* - Michael enlists the help of producers L.A Reid & Babyface for his new album, which deeply upsets Jermaine who is also working with them.
Jermaine is quoted in the tabloids as saying:
"I could have been Michael. It's all a matter of timing, a matter of luck" 1991\
* - Michael is on the cover of British magazine The Wire
*- Michael rehearses for his new tour & shoot the video for “Who Is It” 1993
- Michael is on the cover of LIFE magazine with an exclusive cover story of Neverland.
* - This summer Heal The World Foundation, in partnership with Los Angeles Unified School District, "I Have A Dream Foundation", "Best Buddies", "Overcoming Obstacles" & "California One To One", provide 2000 children with tickets to see Janet Jackson, the L.A. Laker Jam and The Beach Boys in concert 1995\
* - Michael is on the June/July cover of VIBE
magazine with exclusive pictures taken at Neverland with Quincy Jones & his daughter Kidada
- (5/30-6/2) Michael shoots
the “Childhood” short film directed by Nicholas Brandt in Los Angeles . 1995\
* - Issue #2 of History Magazine reveals that Travis Thomas, a 5-year old boy who suffers from cystic fibrosis, wished to meet Michael.
“One evening, we were watching TV and Travis hadn’t eaten for a couple of days. He was on TV”, the boy's mother recalls, “and we came across the American Music Awards and Michael Jackson… Travis sat up and wanted to eat… He said, ‘I love Michael Jackson, Mama!”
His wish comes true in June through Jackson and the Make A Wish Foundation.Travis and his family, along with 20 other seriously ill children, spent a weekend at Neverland Ranch and were allowed to roam around the compound’s private amusement park.
“The love this man has on his face when he is with these special children is unbelievable. He is one of the kindest and most gentle men I have ever met"
- Michael cancels his participation in the Pavarotti & Friends Charity Concert in Modena, scheduled for tonight.
Jonathan Morrish of Sony Music issues a statement informing the media, that Michael will not be performing due to the illness of his son, Prince:
"Prince suffered a seizure early Saturday due to a high temperature. This is the third seizure over the last year"
He added that the concert meant so much to Michael but,"he is an artist like the others, but also a parent" and that he waited until the last moment to cancel because he was still hopeful about making it. Michael is reportedly constantly at Prince's bedside 2000* -
Concert promoter,Marcel Avram, sues Michael for breach of contract for the Millenium Concerts and asks for $21 million
* - Michael hires Marc Schaffel and they create a new company,Neverland Valley Entertainment, with a common bank account. 2004\
* - Randy Jackson fires Bob Jones, vice president of MJJ Productions since 1987, after discovering that he is writing a tell all book on Michael. He also stops paying Marc Schaffel. 2005
- Trial Day 64 Michael
goes to court with Katherine, Joe & Randy
Judge Melville gives the Jury the rules of Jury Deliberations
Michael Jackson sat quietly in court as the 12 jurors were given their instructions ahead of closing arguments from both sides.
"You've heard all of the evidence and you will hear the arguments of attorneys," Judge Rodney Melville told the jury. He told them to make their decision without "pity for or prejudice toward" the defendant.
The eight women & four men who will decide his fate will hear closing arguments today and could begin their deliberations as early as Friday (it is currently Wednesday). Jurors are expected to hammer out their decision behind closed doors for about six hours a day until they reach their verdict or announce a deadlock.
The charges against Jackson consist of four counts of molestation, four counts of giving the boy alcohol in order to abuse him, one count of conspiracy and one of attempted molestation.
Jurors were told they could consider the four alcohol counts as lesser charges of "furnishing alcohol to a minor." This would be considered a misdemeanor and means that the jury would not have to relate the alcohol to any intended molestation.
Judge Melville told jurors not to consider the four videos played in the trial for the truth of any remarks made in them, except for certain statements that prosecutors claim are admissions from Jackson. These statements will be outlined in a document to be provided by prosecutors.
The Judge also instructed the jury on how to consider the past allegations against Jackson. He said that if they determine he does have such a history, "you may but are not required to infer that the defendant had a predisposition" to commit the crimes alleged in this case.
But he added that is not sufficient in itself to prove he committed the crimes charged
He also told them not to infer anything from the fact Jackson himself had decided not to testify.
Thomas Mesereau will deliver closing arguments for the defense while Deputy District Attorney Ron Zonen is expected to deliver the prosecutions closing statements. Court Transcript
* - Michael allows visits from fans inside his home while awaiting the verdict. They're impressed by his generosity given the circumstances.
- A glittery jacket once worn onstage by Michael, his MTV Music Award for "We Are The World", as well as gold discs for his album Off the Wall
and the Jackson 5 single "I Want You Back", all sell at an auction in the Hard Rock Café in Las Vegas, Nevada. The total raised from the sale of Michael related artifacts at the auction is reported as $1-$2million 2007\
* - Michael, Grace and the kids leave their Las Vegas house and fly to Middleburg, Virginia. They check into the Goodstone Inn, a 640-acre estate of open pastures, for a summer vacation. They are welcomed by Raymone Bain. 2007\
* - Michael “Brother Michael” Amir Williams is hired as Michael’s new assistant. 2008\
* - Michael and producer Neff-U start working on songs at 'Thriller Villa', his 2710 Palomino Lane home, in Las Vegas. They work on a new version of “A Place With No Name”. 2008\
* - Late in the month, Michael's duet with Akon, "Hold My Hand" is leaked online. Michael is devastated
Longtime recording engineer, Michael Prince, who was working with Jackson at the time “Hold My Hand” leaked, recalls:
“He was truly upset when the song he did with Akon leaked. He would just get this sad look on his face like, how could this happen? Because 20 years ago this would not have happened. And somehow everybody in the world has a copy of it. And that really upset him because he liked that song a lot.”
Akon gave a detailed account of the events surrounding the leak during an appearance on Tavis Smiley’s PBS television show in January 2009:
“Me and Mike did this incredible record called Hold My Hand and the record is amazing. Phenomenal. And the concept was that this would be Mike’s first release off of his new album, and then I would stripe it on my album – on my following release. That way we could have the outlets open for everyone to be able to receive the record. You know, Mike came up with this brilliant marketing launch for the record. You know, he’s the best at launching a record.”
“He’d have the whole world paying attention in two minutes… And before we could get to that point, the record got leaked over the internet. And we got over 15 million downloads on the song for free. So we couldn’t [release it]. You can’t at that point. Everybody already has the record. But in a way, you gotta look at it like… that’s just a gift to the fans.” 2008\
* - (Late June) Michael hires Dr Thome Thome as his new manager and president of MJJ Productions. As a result of a financial reorganiation of the Neverland Valley Ranch, all of Michael’s personal belongings have to be removed from the property. Dr Tohme contacts Darren Julien of Julien’s Auction House 2009
- The This Is It team leaves Center Staging for a bigger place : The Forum in Inglewood, California. 2009
- (June 1-11) At Culver Studios in Culver City, Michael shoots “The Dome” Project which consists of seven works:
- “Smooth Criminal” (Jackson inserted into classic 2D black-and-white film noir chase sequence)
- “Thriller” (3-D movie starting in a haunted house with a ghostly image of Vincent Price, then moving into a graveyard where the dead awaken)
- “Earth Song” (3D short film featuring little girl who wanders through rain forest, takes a nap and dreams of the splendor of nature, and awakens to find the natural world has been devastated)
- “They Don’t Care About Us” (a/k/a Drill, 2D film in which a sea of soldiers march in unison; 10 male dancers replicated hundreds of times)
- “MJ Air” (3-D movie in which a 707 jet pulls into the frame; hole was to open in screen for Michael Jackson to enter; jet flies away)
- “The Final Message” (3-D movie of a little girl from rain forest embracing the earth)
- “The Way You Make Me Feel” (2D theatrical background featuring male dancers fashioned as historical construction workers.
- Michael goes to Dr Klein’s in Berverly Hills with Blanket.
2023.06.01 10:56 CravingDrama "Logan Blood in her"
Ah, so Taylor is so concerned about "Logan blood"? And yet, she has slept with Brooke's father, Brooke's son Rick, and been involved with Brooke's brother Storm too. 😁 Also, Taylor literally had Logan blood in her when she gave birth to Jack who is genetically Brooke's son (!) Even if Taylor carried him, Brooke was still the egg donor because of a mix-up, so Taylor technically gave birth to a Logan 😂 So biologically Taylor has more kids with Logan blood than Forrester blood... so hypocritical.
(Just to clarify, I do enjoy Taylor as a character, I just thought it was ironic...)
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