Osrs shattered relics tasks

[SF] What is Honor?

2023.05.31 23:41 Zachthema5ter [SF] What is Honor?

The horned creature that called itself Vera sat silent in her Throne Mechanicum, wires connecting her mind and body to the machine. Bullets bounced off of the void shield of her blue and gold desecrator, Unrepentant Misery. The reaper chainsword swung through waves apron waves of advancing xenos, the spinning chains catching the green skin of a squadron of orks. The laser destructor fired, a red beam of light struck an incoming truck, turning the gunner on it's back into red mist. Regardless, the makeshift vehicle charged Unrepentant Misery. With a single stomp, the ork machine was crushed under their titanic heel, dust, blood, and scrap metal filling the air.
"Kill the bastards!" The familiar voice of Astrid echoed in Vera's mind. She ignored it, as it was not directed towards the orks.
A group of light blue astartes, warriors of the Thousand Son's warband, took position behind the scrap metal that was once the truck. A group of avian humanoids charged past them, each mutant carrying a chain sword and firing bolter pistols into the horde of orks. The blue feathers of slain tzaangors scattered across the ground as the group entered melee.
"Filthy mutants." Another voice, Eric, rang in Vera's ears. She tried to ignore it, channeling her anger into the greenskin horde.
Raising Unrepentant Misery's whirling chainsword into the air, multi colored electricity sparked around the eyes of the knight as Vera chanted in a language that she didn’t entirely understand. The wind around the desecrator changed, the flow redirecting into a torrent warping around Unrepentant Misery. Three missiles that were on target were suddenly caught in the wind and redirected, missing the desecrator.
"More..." Unrepentant Misery growled, vibrating the throne Vera sat on.
"Riders, right." The grizzled voice Wulfrik barked.
Vera's eyes shot right, her glowing eyes nearly turning into her skull. Ten squig riders attempt to flank Unrepentant Misery. The bright red mounts gnashed their teeth, leaving a trail of drool behind them. The raiders fired wildly in the air with their pistols in one hand, the other hand carrying primitive spears. The sensors surrounding Vera detected that these spears were rigged with makeshift explosives. She adjusted her knight's footing, firing round after of round of their shoulder mounted heavy stubber. The riders were cut down to the last man, yet the infamous "WAAGH" war cry of the greenskins drowned out the battle.
"They're coming, Vera."
"Disgusting xenos!"
"Hold the line, my warriors." The last speaker did not come from her Throne. "The relic will be recovered soon."
"Yes commander." Vera softly muttered.
"You were lively before the battle." Another Thousand Son sorcerer laughed. "Ghost catch your tongue?"
"Kill the heretics!" Eric ordered.
"Now's not the time." She gritted through her teeth.
"I'll leave you to your ancestors." The call cut out.
Astrid sighed. "Emperor protect us."
"Shut up." Vera gritted between her teeth.
"Emperor... Betrayer."
"Full power to ion shields!" Wulfrik ordered, taking temporary control of Unrepentant Misery.
Vera ripped control back. "Don't do that again"
A salvo of missiles landed around Unrepentant Misery's feet. Thankfully, Vera's psychic manipulations managed to redirect any heavy missiles that would've hit the desecrator directly. However, this redirection wasn’t enough to carry the missiles far enough for the dreadblade to be out of range of the explosion.
"You idiot!"
Vera winced in pain. Some of the shrapnel had pierce the void shield, striking and embedding into her knight, the cords connecting her into the Throne simulating the shrapnel. Vera instinctively reached down to her leg, attempting to remove the non-existent shards of metal.
"Dimwitted beast."
"Emperor, we are so sorry."
"Reinforcements!" Once of the warband called out, before catching an ork slug to the helmet.
Vera's eyes returned to the battlefield. A portion of the greentide had redirected it's attention to something in the distance.
"We push!" A tzaangor champion growled over the vox.
"No!" A sorcerer in cyan and gold terminator armor rebuked, his voice raspy and deep. "We should bolster our defenses. All we need is the relic."
"We don't know if their friend or foe." A mortal priestess suggested. "Did our Lord call for aid."
Vera leaned forward, squinting towards were the "reinforcements" was.
A red blur danced through the sea of orks, greenskins flying through the air from explosion and claw swipes. The blur momentarily stopped, allowing her to see the banner hanging between the legs of the machine. A skull laid over a cog, the symbol of the adeptus mechanicus, confirming what she thought.
"Knight!" She roared over the vox, firing at the mechanical warrior. "Imperial knight!"
A pack of smaller red armigers raced through the ork horde, crushing the xenos under their feet as the scout knights charged towards the warband.
"Focus all fire into the knights!" The sorcerer terminator coughed. Five helbrutes counter charged into the armigers, in hopes of slowing them down. All firearms and explosives were directed towards the knights, retreating behind cover. The chainsword carrying tzaangors and chaos spawn charged after the helbrutes, cleaning up the orks left in their wake.
"Betrayer..." Unrepentant Misery rumbled. "Betrayer..."
As the Imperial Knight, a knight warden, armed with a thunderstrike gauntlet and a chaincannon, approached, Vera got a better view of the knight. While the banner between the knight's legs were that of the mechanicus, the crest sitting on the right of the red and black mask held a different symbol. A two-headed dragon. The symbol of House Zweidrach.
"By the Emperor."
"Don't do it Vera."
"Let her finally put you out of your misery."
Vera nearly lept from her metal Throne, rage shattering whatever sense of calm she had left. "Lucella..." She growled, the cyan feathers on the back of her neck standing up and her serpentine tail slithering in anticipation.
"Betrayer..." Unrepentant Misery's thirst for blood infected Vera. She echoed her knight, the two roaring, "BETRAYER!"
Unrepentant Misery charged into the fray like a rabid animal, it's flailing metal limbs slicing and crushing ork and cultist alike.
“The beast returns.” Lucella’s hearty laugh invaded Vera’s ears.
“You… betrayed us…”
The knight desecrator swung it’s chain blade at the Imperial knight, a squadron of orks being caught and eviscerated in the upward swing. Lucella’s knight grabbed Unrepentant Misery’s arm with it’s gauntlet, stopping the sword swing.
“I betrayed you?” She laughed. “Your brother was the heretic!”
“Let her kill you, Vera.” Astrid calmly said. “She will end your suffering.”
“This is your last chance to restore your family’s honor.” Eric added.
“Shut up.” Vera hissed.
“Sounds like you ancestors agree with me, beast. Come, let me put you out of your misery.”
With a shove, the two knights disengaged. The blood and limbs of stepped on orks as Vera aimed her laser destructor, Lucella readying her chaincannon in return.
“Let her finish the job.”
Lucella was quicker on the drawn, a torrent of bullets breaking through Unrepentant Misery’s void shield and into it’s torso.
Vera howled in pain as the legs of her knight buckled. She fired the destructor, the sudden stumble causing the weapon to miss its target. Instead of hitting the mask of the knight warden, the laser instead broke through its void shield and struck its shoulder.
“Your piloting is disgraceful your brother’s memory!” Lucella roared into the vox speaker as the arm wielding the chaincannon sparked.
“You have no right to speak of him!” Vera hissed back, spitting blood onto the control console. “You betrayed him!”
“You will see him soon, if you stop.”
Lucella’s mocking laugh filled Vera’s ears. Rage filled her body as she sliced into the warden. Lucella’s laughter quickly morphed into painful wails as she felt the chains of the desecrator’s sword carved into her stomach.
She mindlessly fired her chaincannon as her gauntlet struck and swiped at Unrepentant Misery. Lucella was able to grip the top of the desecrator’s mask, Vera in turn feeling a strong grapes on one of her horns. Lucella’s knight managed to overwhelm Vera’s, shoving her to the ground.
“Honorless bitch.” She spat. “Just like your bloody brother.”
Vera gritted her fangs. “Sven was honorable.”
“The bastard lied to the inquisition, betrayed the Imperium and the Emperor, killed multiple soritas and other knights, and broke off out fucking engagement!” She threw Unrepentant Misery to the ground before stepping onto it’s mask. “All for a spoiled little mutant how can’t even defend itself. Sven was the most dishonorable person I have ever met, maybe besides you.”
With a click from the auto-loader, Lucella opened fire into Unrepentant Misery. With every bullet, Vera felt every wound alongside the spirits within Unrepentant Misery.
“She is right.”
“End this suffering.”
“Dying now is the only way to restore your honor.”
“Don’t insult your brother’s memory anymore.”
“Just die, it will be over for all of us soon.”
“We’ve… been… betrayed…”
Vera’s breath slowed. The voices, her ancestors, they were all right. Letting this suffering continue, staining her family’s name with every breath, letting a great knight of the God-Emperor fall into the pull of Chaos, dishonorable. Vera was dishonor made manifest, and the only way to have a shred of honor now is to let it end.
Vera awoke inside a familiar room, sitting on a familiar bed.
“Can you tell me another story?” A voice asked. Poking out from under the blanket was the head of a little girl. Her grin was filled with sharp teeth, and two tiny horns surfaced from the sea of black hair. “I want to here about the great hero Sven and Unrepentant Bravery.”
“Sorry kid.” Vera said, petting the child between the horns. “It’s past your bedtime.”
“But I’m not… not” she yawned. “I’m not tired.”
“Fine Vera, one more. Let me tell you the tale of how our heroes met an angel named Celestine.”
The scene faded, and Vera was transported to a different bed. She was getting dressed. Watching her from the bed was a familiar blond woman.
“Why didn’t you tell me you had a younger sister?” Lucella asked.
Vera sighed. “Well she’s… different I want to say.”
“What do you mean?”
“Vera’s smart, strong, and her tests show that she’s an expert tactician. She’d be a great knight.”
“She’s a mutant.”
Her vision blurred. Vera was back in the cockpit of Unrepentant Misery, or Unrepentant Bravery. Standing in front of her was Lucella's knight, alongside two armigers and a small army of guardsmen. "Why are you doing this Lucella?" Vera asked.
"I'm sorry Sven, but you and your family shelters a creature of chaos. Do the honorable thing, and let us pass."
"You call this honor?" Vera demanded, her brother's voice coming through her mouth. "You're the ones going to KILL a little girl just because she looks a little different!"
"Step aside Sven." Luccella gritted through her teeth. "The inquisitor demanded her capture, and the inquisition are the voice of the Emperor."
"I don't care what the Emperor has to say! YOU ARE TRYING TO KILL MY SISTER!"
"It's the honorable thing to do." One of the armiger's voice broke into vox.
Rage filled Vera's being. The throne she sat on rumbled within the cockpit. A quiet growl breezed past her ears. "Betrayer..."
"If protecting my sister is the dishonorable thing to do, than I don't give a fuck about honor!"
Vera's sight blurred again. She felt sleepy, her eyes struggling to stay open. Someone was carrying her, the servant's breath heavy and strained. "Go back to sleep young Vera." They said, trying to keep a upbeat voice.
"W-what's happening?"
"You're going on a vacation." Sven's voice softly wheezed.
"Where are we going?" She yawned.
He took a deep breath. "I'm not going with you."
Vera's eyes slowly opened. She was greeted by the sight of her brother. He was struggling to stand up, blood drentching his clothes. He gripped his chest, blood leaking between his fingers.
"Everything will be ok, Vera. You and Bravery will be visiting some friends of mine, and they will keep you safe."
"Vera..." A deep voice echoed from above her. She looked up, seeing the damaged Unrepentant Bravery being transported into a ship. "I will protect you... from the betrayer..."
"When will I see you again?"
Sven was silent for a few seconds. "It will be a while. I can't promise you when, but I will see each other again."
"Ok Sven." Vera yawn. "Goodbye."
"Goodbye Vera. I'll see you someday."
As Vera is carried into the ship, she heard Sven say on more thing. "We'll see each other soon, Lucella."
"We'll see each other son Lucella."
Vera returned back to the battlefield. Unrepentant Misery, having lost it's sword arm, stood over Lucella's kneeling knight. Vera's eye glowed bright blue, Unrepentant Misery's glowing alongside it. She saw through the knight warden's mask, seeing Lucella within the cockpit. She was tired, bleeding and crying. "Sven?" She asked.
"I still care about you." Vera voice echoed alongside a familiar voice. "But I won't let anyone hurt my sister."
"Vera! We got the relic!" A gruff speaker echoed through the vox, breaking Vera from her trance. "We're retreating."
"Y-Yes my lord. I'll be there soon."
"Where are you going!" Lucella tearfully roared. "Kill me! Let see Sven again!"
Unrepentant Misery turned away from Lucella. "I won't kill you. You don't deserve the honor."
Vera approached the warband's ship, entering the open hanger. The chaotic ship disappeared into the twilight sky, leaving Lucella alone in the body filled battle field.
It wasn't until midnight until someone contacted Lucella. "What happened?" The inquisitor's rage-filled voice demanded her to answer.
Lucella sat on top of her warden, looking over the ruins. Orks corpses as far as the eye could see, the wrecks of her fellow knights overlooking the green sea of bodies like monoliths. "We lost."
"What do you mean we lost?"
"I'm the only one that's left, and my knight needs repairs."
"This whole operation was your plan. This failure is enough to get you executed."
"I just need my knight repaired, and I'll finish what we started."
"No. I see now that you are not suited for this mission. You will be reassigned to a different mission, one more suited for your skill set, and a new more suitable agent will be assigned in your stay."
My lord, may I-"
"No!" They interrupted. "You will tasked with a duty suitable for you. If you want to keep whatever honor you have left, you will follow my orders!"
Lucella took a deep breath. "I don't give a fuck about honor."
submitted by Zachthema5ter to shortstories [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 21:56 Lv100Dragonite Doppelgänger

Lately, some peculiar occurrences have taken place. Take, for instance, last night when my girlfriend Heather left the bathroom and insisted she saw me in the kitchen. Strangely, I have no recollection of getting up during the night, so I attributed it to sleepwalking. Surprisingly, she shared details of a full-fledged conversation we had, followed by me returning to my room after devouring a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. While it does sound like something I might do, I simply cannot recall that particular incident.
Little did I know, this was only the beginning of a series of such incidents.
Curious about that night last week, I asked Heather, "Do you remember what we were talking about?"
With a smile, Heather nudged me playfully on the shoulder and replied, "Sweetheart, you were all over the place. You mentioned how you wished you had a new job and that you were starving. Why do you ask?"
As I gazed into the distance, a heavy sensation enveloped my mind, akin to a weighted blanket draped over my thoughts. "Hmm, I just can't remember conversing with you. I never woke up."
"It's possible that you were sleepwalking. It happens to many people, dear. You know, you look quite handsome even when you sleepwalk," Heather smirked, gently clasping my hand. "That's one of the many reasons I love you." I planted a soft kiss on her forehead, "I'm going for a run. I'll be back in a little while!" I needed to meditate and frankly running was my best therapy session.
Although I attributed these incidents to sleepwalking, they still troubled me. However, there was no point in allowing stress to consume me.
A couple of weeks later, another unsettling incident unfolded, this time at my workplace—Dunesbarry, a printing company that produces everything from small pictures to large-scale posters. It happened on a Tuesday when I woke up feeling unwell, prompting me to make a decision to call in sick.
My boss, James, was known for being a rather easy going manager, and I dialed his number to inform him about my condition. "Hey James, I'm not feeling great. I woke up with stomach issues and won't be able to come in today." After a brief pause, James burst into laughter and retorted, "Hold on, Caesar. What are you talking about? I just saw you here a few minutes ago."
My heart sank into my stomach, and perspiration formed on my forehead. "What do you mean? I'm at home, James."
"Buddy, I don't know if you're trying to pull a prank on me, but I assure you, you're here. Although it's quite unexpected for you to be early, you waved at me and headed into the bathroom. Are you still in there?"
Feeling a sense of disbelief, I momentarily put my phone down after promising James I would call him back."What in the world..." My pulse raced, throbbing in various parts of my body as the unsettling realization sank in. This had to be something more than I initially thought.
The remainder of the day I was immobilized, trapped in a state of mental paralysis. I laid on the couch, anxiously awaiting Heather's return.
My mind reverberated with the same haunting thoughts, from the first time I experienced a memory lapse at home to now, encountering a similar phenomenon at my workplace. What on earth was happening to me?
Driven by a growing urgency, I hurried over to my laptop and launched into an immediate search for any instances resembling my own. "Not remembering conversations at night" I typed into Google. The initial search results yielded blog websites discussing sleepwalking, which aligned with my initial assumption. Nevertheless, I pressed on. Next, I came across some Reddit posts recounting incidents of sleep-talking without any recollection.
As I scrolled through the various links and websites, one particular post caught my attention. Doppel-gänger? I had heard that term before.
Doppelgänger: "an apparition or double of a living person" was the definition I encountered, but comprehending its implications proved challenging. As a skeptical individual, I typically dismissed notions of the paranormal and supernatural. Why, out of all people, would something like this happen to me?
I closed my laptop, taking a deep breath to steady my racing thoughts.
Finally, Heather returned home after her shift, and I dashed towards the door to greet her.
"Hi, love! I'm so glad you're home. I have something absolutely mind-boggling to tell you!" I tightly embraced her, holding her for longer than usual."Hello, my sweetheart. What happened?" Heather set down her purse, and we both settled onto the couch.
"You won't believe this, and honestly, I'm struggling to wrap my head around it. Remember how I mentioned calling out of work today? Well, when I called James, he accused me of playing a prank on him. He even mentioned that I was already at work."
Heather nervously chuckled and turned to process my words. "Wait, what?"
"He said I had already arrived at work and was in the bathroom. But I never went. I've been here at home the entire day." As I looked at Heather, I could see a hint of discomfort on her face.
"I don't understand. Maybe he was just messing with you since you called out," Heather suggested, rising to grab some water from the kitchen. Bursting into laughter, a wave of relief washed over me. "Wow, I never actually considered that. I'm sorry, I'm still preoccupied with that incident in the kitchen that night. It's been twisting my thoughts."
"You're okay, honey. How are you feeling?" Heather asked, her concern shining through.
"Much better now that you're home, I must say."
Heather was my rock, always asking the right questions and loving me in ways I had never experienced before. I couldn't fathom my life without her. Feeling slightly more at ease, I decided not to inquire further with James, choosing to let the matter rest.
It was 3:23 am when I was awakened by the sound of slow footsteps creaking past our slightly open bedroom door. We kept it ajar to listen for any unusual nighttime noises.
Rubbing my eyes and stretching my legs, I sat up in bed, my gaze fixated on the doorway. The room was enveloped in darkness, and it took a moment for my eyes to adjust. The footsteps abruptly ceased as I continued to stare at the sliver of the doorway crack.
Resolute in my determination not to jump to the worst conclusions, I dismissed the idea of an intruder breaking into our home. Surely, I would have heard some sign of forced entry. Grasping the nearest object within reach, our vintage lamp, I mustered the courage to approach the door, striving to remain as silent as possible. With a trembling hand, fueled by fear of the unknown, I reached out for the doorknob.
Taking a moment to steady my pounding heart, prepared to confront anybody, even if it were against God Himself, I cautiously opened the door. There was nothing outside. I checked in both directions, even stepping into the hallway with a stance ready for battle. Utter silence enveloped the space. Releasing a sigh of relief, I turned around, intending to return to the bedroom.
Then, a solitary footstep echoed in my ears.
I halted, gripping the lamp so tightly that its exterior threatened to shatter.
Turning slowly toward the source of the sound, my eyes caught up to the movement, leaving me no choice but to confront whatever lurked within my house.A figure emerged from behind the kitchen island, hands tightly gripping the countertop, barely visible in the dim light. Their eyes locked onto mine, wide open as if they were about to pop out of their sockets.
I noticed a striking resemblance between us – the same haircut and a mole on the top left of our heads. Yet, I couldn't spare a moment to ponder our shared appearance. There was an intruder in my house.
Carefully edging backward, I needed to make my way back to the bedroom to alert Heather and call the police.
"Heather! There's someone in the house! Call the police right now!" I shouted, keeping my gaze fixed on the intruder, even though I wished I didn't have to. The intruder remained motionless, almost frozen in place. As I shouted for Heather to call the police, I could hear teeth chattering as if it were beside my ear. Slowly, he moved from the kitchen island, his hands preceding his head, his unwavering stare fixed upon me.
With my heart pounding out of my chest, fueled by adrenaline, I took advantage of the rush surging through my veins and sprinted toward the kitchen to investigate. I hadn't seen him move from the island to anywhere else, so the realization that he had vanished sent shivers down my spine.
"What the fuck," I uttered, completely shaken to my core.
Moments later, the police arrived, responding to the report of an intruder. Heather peered out from the bedroom to assess the situation.
"Honey, are you okay?" Heather whispered loudly. I found myself sitting on the floor, stunned and deflated. I couldn't wrap my mind around what had just occurred. It made no sense. As logical as I considered myself to be, this defied all reason.
Heather tenderly held the top of my head, offering comfort as we awaited the arrival of the police.I needed to compose myself before opening the door for them."Hi, um, I don't know how to explain this," I said to the officer, my voice tinged with confusion, still trembling from the encounter. "Hello, I am Officer Santana. There was a call reporting an intruder. Are you okay, sir?"
I let Officer Santana and her partner inside and guided them to a seat. "This is going to sound strange, I understand that, but there was an intruder right over there," I pointed toward the kitchen island. "He was behind it, and then he wasn't. He simply vanished." Santana looked up at me, her eyebrows raised as she tried to comprehend the situation.
"What are you saying? He disappeared? Did you see him run anywhere?" Santana's partner asked, jotting down notes in their Paperkraft notepad. "Well, I saw him duck behind the island, and then he was gone. I know it sounds crazy, and I realize that."
"Okay, we're going to thoroughly check the house and ensure it's safe. In the meantime, please wait outside until we're done," Santana instructed, as both officers unclamped their pistols from their holsters. I felt a semblance of safety in their presence.
It was a chilly autumn day, with the scent of smoke wafting through the air, likely from my neighbors' fireplace. Jill and her husband, Dane, were wonderful neighbors who kept to themselves. Occasionally, they would surprise us with extra food, acting like the pseudo-parents of the neighborhood. Sometimes, I would take it upon myself to fix minor things around their house, like the black fence in the backyard. It always seemed to have a mysterious hole, despite their lack of pets or nearby animals.
Jill and Dane noticed the police presence and joined us outside, arms crossed in concern. "What's going on, guys?" Dane inquired. "There was someone in our house, but they disappeared. Maybe it was some kind of prank or squatter. I don't know," I replied, offering an explanation simply to have one, even though I struggled to believe it myself.
"Did you enjoy the apple pie I made the other day, Caesar? You devoured some of it when you came by to fix the fence," Jill chimed in, her culinary skills well-known. However, I hadn't tasted her cooking in months. "When did I fix the fence?" I asked, my tone dropping with confusion.
Jill's smile widened, as if assuming I understood what she was referring to. "What do you mean? You came by two days ago. You mentioned noticing the hole again and wanted to fix it for us."
"Oh, right! Sorry, my mind has been foggy lately. I loved the pie, it was delicious. You're such an amazing cook!" I responded, though I had no recollection of any fence-fixing visit. I gave her a reassuring answer to alleviate any concerns she might have.
Urgently, I pulled Heather aside, gripping her arm. "Heather, I never went to their house or fixed their fence. I have no idea what's happening, and I promise I'm not going crazy.""I believe you, but I'm starting to feel a little scared. These incidents where you've supposedly been to places and don't remember are unnerving," Heather confessed, her face etched with genuine worry.
The officers emerged from the house, re-holstering their pistols. "Your house is clear. Whatever was here is no longer present. We'll have patrols keep an eye on your property for the next few days. Other than that, you should be able to go back to bed," one of the officers assured us.
"Thank you, officers. We'll call again if anything happens inside," I expressed our gratitude. Heather and I held each other tightly as we made our way back to the house. "Let's try to get some rest," Heather suggested. However, that night, sleep eluded me as the image of that man's eyes lingered in my mind. Why did he resemble me?
It had been quite some time since I last encountered any strange incidents or intruders in my house. I was beginning to feel optimistic about the whole situation. Life had returned to normal, and my relationship with Heather was flourishing.
"You know, Caesar, I eventually want to have a baby. Can you help me with that?" Heather expressed her desire, and I chuckled nervously, embracing her from behind. "Of course, baby. Let's plan it out and see where life takes us." After bidding Heather farewell as she left for work, I settled on the couch.
The thought of becoming a father lingered in my mind, though it seemed like a daunting and incredible prospect.
Little did I know that two hours later, that day would alter the course of my life forever.
"Caesar," a voice pierced through my skull like a bullet, evoking a fear I had never experienced before. Shock washed over me, causing a lump to form in my throat. I recognized the voice, but the sheer terror prevented me from turning around.
"Caesar," the voice repeated, pushing my body into fight or flight mode. Summoning my courage, I slowly turned around.
It was me. The person standing before me was an identical version of myself. "What the fuck!?" I uttered, bewildered.
He began to approach me with slow, deliberate steps. His unblinking eyes and a smirking mouth hinted at some sinister intent. He halted just a foot's length away from me. "What are you!?" I screamed, attempting to push him away.
As he lunged towards my face, I sidestepped and prepared to strike him with a punch from my right hand. However, he swiftly evaded the blow and made another aggressive move towards me. He covered my mouth and nose, struggling to breathe, I swung my fists blindly in his direction before losing consciousness.
When I regained consciousness, I found myself in a shed approximately a mile away. Disoriented and terrified, I sat up, only to discover that the floor was strewn with animal flesh and blood. The overwhelming stench threatened to obliterate my senses.
I had to find a way back to my house, no matter what. I frantically searched the pockets of my jeans, hoping to find something that could aid me. To my dismay, everything was missing, including the cherished watch that once belonged to my late father.
Summoning my determination, I rose to my feet and forcefully slammed open the decaying wooden door. The task proved effortless, as the door had already begun to rot. As I surveyed my surroundings, I realized I was engulfed by a dense forest, devoid of any visible structures. I vaguely recalled that my house was situated along the northern line, which offered a glimmer of hope.
Although I had never been much of an outdoorsy person while growing up, my father had imparted a few tricks during our camping trips. I recollected his guidance on locating the North Star by first identifying the Big Dipper. I patiently waited for the night sky to emerge, conserving my energy for the impending journey. As the sun barely kissed the horizon, I discerned a cluster of houses, including mine, in the distance.
Mixed emotions welled up within me as I approached my home. Peering through the backyard windows, my heart sank to the floor. There I saw myself, holding Heather in a tight embrace, sharing kisses, laughter, and affection.
Desperate to escape this surreal nightmare, I knocked on the window, hoping to break free from that imposter. Heather's piercing scream echoed through the air as he rushed toward the window, bellowing at me to leave and threatening to involve the police once again. As I began to retreat from the backyard, he smirked, a sinister expression that mirrored my own.
This doppelgänger had assumed my identity in every way, rendering it impossible to distinguish between us. If I dared to approach the house or confront Heather, the consequences would be dire. I had made one attempt before, only to be manipulated into believing that I was a deranged relative harassing them. Heather, unaware of my familial connections due to my reticence about them, fell for his ruse.
Years passed, and I found myself confined to observing them from the safety of the woods. Heather's happiness blossomed as she became pregnant. Meanwhile, I remained trapped in this inexplicable nightmare, grappling with the cruel injustice that had stolen my life away.
As the years dragged on, my existence continued to be overshadowed by the twisted imposter who had stolen my life. I watched from the darkness of the woods as Heather's pregnancy progressed, the anticipation building within her. It was a bitter torment to witness her joy, knowing that I was the rightful father of that child.

If you are reading this, please believe me. I am desperate to reclaim my life and will do whatever it takes to bring her back to me.
submitted by Lv100Dragonite to nosleep [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 19:32 Itchy-Diet6402 Co-op Experience + Advice

I’m currently on month 9 of a 12 month co-op placement at a big company in the field, and I wanted to share my experience to help students currently looking for placement.
I know it is likely harder to get a placement this year, but I’m sure there will still be some students who will get multiple interviews. Don’t make the mistake I made and ask generic questions at the end just to seem engaged and interested. Job interviews are two sided and it’s important to remember that. You are interviewing the company just as much as they are interviewing you. So ask them what they are planning for you and make sure they are clear about what your role is and what their expectations are. If they can’t give you clear answers, this is a red flag.
I have been at my placement for 9 months and have achieved next to nothing. In the interview, I was led to believe there will be lots of teamwork and responsibility but none of that was true. I am isolated from the entire team and given an unimportant project to work on with no clear goal or objective. My interests are not in line with everyone else’s because I am the only one working on this project, so I feel like a burden when I have to reach out to share my progress. I have no deadlines, and no real responsibility. No one cares what I am doing because my work is meaningless.
On top of that I moved to a new city for this position, and I am sacrificing a lot to be here; this was entirely my choice and I am aware of that. I am not making any money since living costs are high as I am supporting myself. I am away from friends and family, and I feel extremely depressed as I am not doing anything of significance. I would take even menial tasks at this point to keep busy as long as I know it’s helping in some way. Instead I have to figure out a way to fill my time reading papers and going on my phone. I have tried spending time learning new skills, but there is only so much of that I can do when I feel absolutely useless.
So for those of you with multiple offers or interviews. Really think about your choices and ask the important questions in your interview. Ask them what specific projects they have in mind for you. Ask them what the plan is for your role, or even why they are hiring a student for the job. Ask them what previous co-op students have done and whether you will be doing the same. Ask them about the workflow and how they expect your work to progress. Don’t blindly do what I did and waste time, money, and shatter your mental health. I regret everyday that I didn’t take another opportunity I was offered in Vancouver.
Apologies for the long post, but I really don’t want anyone else to go through what I am going through.
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2023.05.31 19:07 ElMiguel- A Big Update On 'Everything We Know About Stormgate – A Giant Compilation (With Sources)'

Hey guys!
I made a big update to the “Everything We Know About Stormgate – A Giant Compilation (With Sources)” post, increasing its size by almost 50 percent!
The original post has now been divided into two: The main body of the post, and a second part in the comments (because it surpassed the character limit). The direct link to the 2nd part in the comments is here.
I’ve also made some wording and grammar changes, and added extra sources for some of the points.
And that’s not all!
I’m happy to announce that I’m now a part of Stormgate Nexus and have also posted the full undivided post on the SGNexus page here. The SGNexus version also has some nice additions, like the inclusion of images (including a cute turtle and the meme chicken), email screenshots, and a few developer quotes.
And in case you haven’t seen it yet, one of our mods u/_Spartak_ has included a shortcut at the top of the subreddit where you can access the post.
It was also included in the Welcome & FAQ page of the subreddit under the question “How can I learn more about Stormgate?”, so you can easily access the post whenever you want, even as it falls from the top of the subreddit into the abyss.
But What If I Already Read the Whole Post?
Worry not! You won’t have to reread everything again looking for what has been added.
Below is a compilation of every new point that has been included in the post, organized by subheading.
And if you see a paragraph fully italicized like this, it’s because it was in the original post, but was included to provide context for a new paragraph.

What Is Stormgate?





The Engine

New Player Experience & Making the Game More Approachable



Game Speed




Team Games (3v3 Ranked PVP)



Co-Op Commanders

Custom Games & The Editor




Post-Release Content


Concept Art

How Can I Support Frost Giant?

Spellcasters (New Subheading)

Confirmed Units (New Subheading)

We have seen multiple other unit arts and screenshots (including Infernal ones), like those on the Concept Art subheading, but we have no confirmation on their mechanics.

Gameplay Footage Shown (New Subheading)

More Gameplay Footage When? (New Subheading)

June 11th at the PC Gaming show at 1 PM PDT / 4 PM EDT / 10 PM CEST. 190

Big Names Behind Stormgate



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2023.05.31 14:43 InfraRedRidingHood_ [YAVP] Nightmare Blademaster Technician

N0VA, level 16 Technician, defeated the Harbinger against all odds. He survived for 7478 turns. The run time was 2h 40m 9s. World seed was 71977. He scored 8798 points. He opposed the NIGHTMARE! CALLISTO L2 - Lockdown Callisto Hub -> Mimir Habitat L1 Mimir Habitat L1 - Lockdown Mimir Habitat L2 -> MDF Central MDF Central - Cleared! EUROPA L3 - Windchill Europa Concourse -> Europa Dig Zone L1 Europa Dig Zone L2 - The Hunt Europa Dig Zone L2 -> Tyre Outpost Tyre Outpost - found Wavesplitter IO L2 - Secure Vault IO L3 -> CRI Laboratory L1 CRI Laboratory L2 -> CRI Armory Dante Station L2 - Exalted Summons Awards CRI Star (bronze cluster) (+50) * 25+ kills without taking damage Blind Luck Star (+50) * Won despite getting down to 1hp at some point He killed 799 out of 937 enemies. 46 former grunts 50 fiends 3 corrupted grunts 13 fire fiends 1 former CRI grunt 21 ice fiends 4 former grenadiers 3 toxic fiends 6 corrupted grenadiers 19 CalSec sentries 2 CRI grenadiers 11 security sentries 7 former soldiers 16 CalSec bots 17 corrupted soldiers 9 security bots 4 hellish soldiers 26 reavers 5 former CRI soldiers 19 cryoreavers 29 CRI soldiers 12 toxic reavers 11 former sergeants 25 archreavers 7 corrupted sergeants 6 kerberi 1 hellish sergeant 6 cyberi 1 former CRI sergeant 15 cryoberi 5 CRI sergeants 3 toxiberi 32 former guards 6 medusae 4 CRI guards 3 archmedusae 3 former commandoes 25 ravagers 7 corrupted commandoes 8 armored ravagers 6 hellish commandoes 3 siege ravagers 4 former CRI commandoes 12 plasma ravagers 17 CRI commandoes 37 CRI marines 2 former heavies 42 CRI bots 3 corrupted heavies 12 guardians 3 hellish heavies 7 warlocks 2 CRI heavies 1 watcher 4 fanatics 2 cryowatchers 5 security drones 13 MDF sentries 4 combat drones Traits Whizkid L3 Cover Master L1 Juggernaut L3 Hoarder L2 Bladedancer L3 BLADEMASTER L3 Trait order Jgn->Bda->Bda->Bda->MBM->Whk->Whk->Whk-> MBM->Jgn->Jgn->Hor->MBM->Hor->Cov Equipment Slot #1 : plasma rifle BA * Swap Harness * Calibrated 1 Slot #2 : Wavesplitter Slot #3 : AV3 katana PBE * Disruptive 3 * Hunter 5 * Guard shield * Surrounded * Vampiric 2 Slot #4 : CRI BFT9K B * Second chamber * CRI * BFT Body : duramesh scout armor PA * Metabolic boost * Meshed * Duramesh Head : combat helmet P3BA * Plated * Exit scanner * Supply scanner * Network scanner * Auto-repair Utility : AV3 melee AMP * Melee capacitor * Melee crit system Relic : ancient necklace * Ancient Resistance Permanents Crystal skin Inventory energy cell (x100) energy cell (x100) energy cell (x100) energy cell (x100) gas grenade (x3) krak grenade (x3) krak grenade (x2) CRI phase kit (x1) stimpack (x3) stimpack (x1) small medkit (x3) small medkit (x3) 
By popular demand, I continue posting!
Now THIS was an interesting run, especially considering melee Technician seemed very... ehhhh in previous patches (I'd only tried it a couple times, though). So, let's begin.
First things first, game starts out as normal. I was lucky enough to find a second combat knife on C3 (don't scoff; I feel like I've gone a weirdly long time without finding a second combat knife before), and we were off to the races. You want movement speed? You got movement speed. Rush straight through Bladedancer 3, and you're moving as fast as your pals who are blessed with access to Hellrunner (well... except when Scouts are dashing, but ignore them, they're cowards), and you've probably got just as much or more dodge than them, too. Not at full range, mind you, but don't underestimate the reach of melee guard.
Stab your way through Mimir Habitat, and hit up that sweet, sweet Mk2 Tech Station at the end. We're not here for MDF Prototypes, no no no, we're here for something better, and credit for the idea goes to CotonouB's Tyre Station strat. Print out an AV2 Machete (or two, like I did, if you've got the spare multitools). Try to roll any two of Hunter 20, Rush 20, and Frenzy 20 on them. I managed to get Hunter 20 on one this time around. Proceed to cut a swath of destruction through the Spaceport and Europa (those rocket turrets will still mess you up pretty good if they catch you out, so don't ditch that long-ranged weapon).
Tyre Station is exactly what I wanted to see, both to feed my Whizkid addiction, and for a chance of running into that sweet, sweet Wavesplitter. And what do you know? The beam katana graced me with its presence, granting unto me the power of god and anime. After some machining, I ended up with Wavesplitter in one hand, and my AV2 Machete with Hunter 20, Rush 20, Guard Shield, and Surrounded in the other hand, and the entire remainder of the run essentially turned into a whirlwind of death and destruction, interspersed with rarer and rarer medkit use to handle the drips and drabs of damage that enemies could inflict on me before they were bisected.
Io? Like a hot knife through butter. CRI labs? Like a hot knife through butter with a couple extra medkits used, because you're clashing with chainsaws. I only had two red keycards on entry, but my Network Scanner meant I could unlock the whole Armory no problem. Printed out that nice little AV3 Katana you see in my offhand (didn't have enough multitools to reroll for Hunter 20 or anything fun like that, but it would've been disgustingly unnecessary at this point anyways), grabbed the BFT (which despite modding with Second Chamber, I proceeded to essentially not use for the entire rest of the game), and back to the slaughter.
Io 6 was a joke. The Gateway was a joke. Spill their blood and take their relics. I didn't bother with The Shattered Abyss, since you can't dual-wield with Soulstealer (unless that's changed, but I doubt it). Print out gas grenades that you won't need, because you can kill Medusa just by grazing past them. Clear levels of Dante for fun (never thought I'd see Dante Level 3 turn blue on Nightmare — though I'm sure any melee build that gets this far could do the same w/Soulstealer).
The Harbinger sits there, unaware of what will happen to it. It doesn't know that you've been studying the blade. Dance around it in a circle, slashing it to ribbons, dual-wielding a beam katana and a normal katana like Jupiter's biggest weeb. Make sure you have enough health to survive the phase-change melee attack he throws out, because it hits like a truck and I have no idea how you're supposed to avoid it, and it would be embarrassing if you died now. The dance of death continues. Finish off with a BFT shot for style points after realizing you never actually used it after picking it up despite the fact you picked up Hoarder for it. Take a bow. Connection lost.
This was genuinely a fascinating run. It was the easiest Io and Dante(I know, I know, that's where the melee power trip always hits) I've ever experienced on Nightmare. Hell, it might've even been the easiest mid-late Europa, with the rocket turrets being the only thing keeping me on my toes.
Are Bladedancer and Blademaster beastly now? Or does it rely on being able to print out those AV2 Machetes, and the insanity that is Wavesplitter? Who can say. I'm just here to lean back and enjoy the bloodbath :3
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2023.05.31 13:15 AlienNationSSB Alien-Nation Chapter 170: Scopes

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Chapter Summary: Scopes: Borzun sneaks a signature from her superior to pass on to the Fleet Admiral
First Contact: Human Security Forces Patrol gets dispatched to investigate the radio signals, and are killed. They do not get a report off, but go missing


On Board Space Station 13

"-Got a signal," Chief Data Officer Remec's live audio feed cut out from the video she was richly enjoying, the interruption immediately spoiling her lovely, if otherwise lonely weekend night.
"What was that?" She choked out, lurching awkwardly in the low gravity. She may have been off her shift, but if she was being bothered now... It had better be important.
The Chief Data Officer muted herself on the new local call, a wave of the hand switching her mic back to what she had been watching. She whispered an apology to the cam-boy, and paused their private session, guilt wracking her, Some part of her mind liked to believe that he genuinely would miss her.
Using the fully immersive setup for this constituted a degree of misuse of her equipment, but she was far from alone in the practice.
Supposedly, low gravity enabled all kinds of exotic positions, and she intended to take full advantage of the noiseproof cabins each Data Officer was provided. Curiosity had given way to vague plans after enough sessions. First, she was thwarted from having alone time with the Asset. Now, she felt she was building trust with one who had caught her eye.
The special bodysuit may have kept her insulated against the faulty old air ducts' temperamental nature as she moved about the station from office to office, but it was restrictive and uncomfortable. More consequentially, taking it off and putting it on was noisy, if not easy to do quickly for the sake of any emergencies that might happen on-board a ship.
The bodysuit's crinkling finally tapered off after wrapping itself around her form with an almost vacuum seal firmness, and she switched on her camera, hoping she didn't appear flushed or sweaty. Borzun's gracile, almost-masculine face filled the main view screen.
"Sorry, I didn't catch what you said. I think the comms array on this old hulk's finally starting to give out," her junior officer apologized.
Great. If Borzun went ahead and filed a report, that would require an inspection. Remec silently mourned the waste of credits. Even if it wasn't her purse, Remec knew she had a limited number of credits she could skim for 'Cultural Research' before someone would take notice, especially if the allotment for maintenance didn't amount to enough to effect so simple a repair.
"Perhaps it was just a software bug. I can hear you just fine, you can hear me, right? I was just asking: 'What seems to be the issue?'" Remec fibbed and tried to change topics in the same breath.
"We've got a rogue signal, unencrypted. Apparently the emergency radio system has been hijacked, priority one ticket from the surface."
She lamented that with this potentially pending repair bill hanging over her head, she couldn't tap it for the bribes she'd need to sneak him, or someone like him up here like she'd hoped. What a waste.
"'Priority one'?"
"Ma'am, please, we have to hurry, it's an emergency," Borzun's shamelessly pleading voice was grating, and Chief Data Officer Remec forced herself to not grunt in annoyance at being addressed in that tone, and she shook her head free of the mental cobwebs and out of the pleasant, lingering tingles of the afterglow. What a terrible way to come down from such heights.
"Yes, I'm aware what a priority one is. I was just...settling another fight between The Decimals. Apparently their Data Teams are threatening to hurl themselves out their airlocks, just so that they can board the other's space stations and attack each other."
"Of course, ma'am. I did hear they'd recently been placed upon separate vessels. This isn't about that, though."
Remec almost felt insulted that Borzun sounded almost like she didn't believe her; The excuse was grounded in truth well enough. Her last meeting having been a debriefing of what went on at Space Station 92. It had been split into decimals, 92.2, 92.4, and '92.6', or 'Data Team Balkans,' as they were now known, with the probability they'd soon need a 92.8 just to cover the same geographic are of what had once been just 'Satellite 92.'
Apparently the posting had been an unending migraine for their poor Chief Data Officer, and equally as frustrating for the General on the ground who found her troops making a show of firing ineffectually at units from other postings to curry favor with the locals. Remec could still hear the seething tone of their Chief Data Officer, "I don't care how effective it is at ingratiating yourself with them, firing your weapon at other law-abiding Shil'vati without provocation is still a crime! It is considered what civilian governing authorities call a 'War Crime' on this planet! No, being a 'War Criminal' is not 'Based,' and their continued existence is not a provocation! It could potentially violate our treaty with Earth's government! Other factions could legally have grounds to jump in to conduct 'peacekeeping'!"
Borzun's expression seemed pensive- lost in thought despite the so-called emergency that had pulled Remec away from her fantasy.
The only consolidation she had was that as bad as things were for Space Station 13 presently, at least their problems were temporary, and confined to the planet's surface.
"What's the issue? I already read that the Public Address signal was hijacked. Just reset it." That didn't require bothering her.
"We did," the young svelte Data Officer offered apologetically, skin looking more blue than purple in the artificial light. "No effect. We need them turned off for now, and that requires your clearance. The message is instructing the insurgent humans how to resist, and is spreading disinformation that we are kidnapping everyone. That's greatly hampering the efforts of the Governess-General, so she really wants this done, fast."
"It's not 'everyone'," the commanding officer snorted in annoyance. "It's a...couple dozen thousand." The number was high, she had to admit, and still climbing. Quite an impressive percentage of the state's small population. She had a nagging sense that an even larger pile of work was about to be placed squarely on her desk for all this mess, and fought to resist dumping the resentment she felt at this near-certainty on her subordinate, when simply dumping the paperwork would be far more productive.
"It's certainly distressing the local population, causing a great deal of unrest. Even the reinforcements that were deployed to Delaware may find themselves embroiled in riot control," Borzun agreed readily enough, though she sounded somewhat distracted as she spoke, her eyes flicking to the side, likely as she prepared the form signature. "Since it's an emergency system, that requires an override, and since it's a communications signal, that's our domain."
"Done," she muttered, signing it without even reading and giving it a hand gesture. and felt grateful that at least Borzun was efficient in her interruptions. So much better than dealing with the Asset, who remained under the Marines' lock-and-key, but kept trying to lodge all kinds of complaints and empty threats. The file disappeared off her desk just as quickly as it had appeared, and Borzun seemed relieved to have gotten her permission.
Hope blossomed in the bosom of Remec that this would be over fast enough to rejoin the session.
"Was that all?"
"Sent," Borzun chirped, though her face was mirthless. "There's also the matter of local shortwave radio signals. We've been operating on orders to jam the channels, but they are operating on military bandwidths reserved for use of security forces and other agencies, but are clearly local individuals. This is in defiance of local and federal law. Again, that will require clearance to do so. Human authorities consider this quite a significant breach of law."
"You have my permission to shut those down, too, or otherwise jam them."
"Rather than shutting them down by jamming, since they seem to just jump channels and crowd the airwaves further, Lieutenant Goshen- sorry, Captain Goshen and Lieutenant Lesha believe that this presents an opportunity to steer us toward their points of origin, and to add them to any prosecutions we mount on the arrested, and to make up for the missing data we lost when the Data Center was destroyed. We can try mobilizing small task forces to isolate the busier signals and disrupt them. That won't drain womanpower too much, and might even bring peace to the state. Or, we may end up achieving Azraea's goal of flushing the rebels out, and finding others who are sympathetic to the insurgency and bringing them to justice. At the least, it might reclaim some equipment out of their hands, temporarily crippling their ability to continue coordinating before the 'primary' election."
"I see. So you're asking me to not shut the signal down, in case anyone else asks. Is that right?"
"Yes, ma'am. If the signal is jammed, they'll jump channels, and we may lose information we're gathering, too."
"Alright, sure. I'll refuse any requests to shut them down, make sure the officers are informed to not lodge such requests to us." Anything to get her moment alone back. "And Borzun? Just a reminder; You don't need my permission to cooperate with the Governess-General's forces or to comply with her orders," Remec added. She noted with mounting irritation she had enough time to restart the session, but that the timer was ticking down, while Borzun didn't hang up.
"These ones seem to be live signals, delivering instructions to teams and coordinating chaos. Can I be dedicated to that, and use your clearance to utilize visual scanning once the sun rises? I may be requested to guide patrols to investigate these."
Remec was almost ready to pull her hair out. Visual observation from the satellites was always fiercely resisted by noblewomen. She almost denied the permission, but knew Azraea's wrath would likely follow if the Data Teams were held back on her orders. Like she doesn't hate us enough.
"Are they evacuated?"
"Who do you think I mean, the Empress? I'm asking if the Noblewomen from Delaware are still there, of course!" Remec finally snapped, and the slender Data Officer recoiled as if she'd been slapped by the rebuke.
"As-a-aah...yes, ma'am?" Borzun tried. "The order was sent out, I believe all families are off-world, spare one. They're apparently looking for a girl, gathering the family before liftoff per the evacuation order, but I've got two files here? Must be a clerical error."
A judgment call, then, but a simple one.
"Fine. Permission granted. But keep your gaze confined to areas of operations, and only if you think it would help an already active operation. Don't let your curiosity get the better of you."
"Yes ma'am," Borzun reported, sounding overly-repentant. Naturally, fragile Borzun wished to dodge witnessing or working with the unpleasantness of rounding up terrorists. Likely she'd been hoping for a 'no.' "What if I find and intercept a signal? Should I trace it?"
The content of the signals they'd shut down and guided to the interior after intercept were likely disturbing, and Borzun was undeniably among the softest of those aboard the old relic that served as Space Station 13. Remec had hoped the girl would have gained some toughness in Earth's gravity, or at least a hardened heart from being in approximate proximity to a terrorist strike's explosion. Then she might have learned to understand what a terrorist riddled state truly meant, and the necessity of their duties, but instead the opposite had happened. She'd come back with an even softer spot for the humans.
Oh well, there was little point in having a potential sympathizer in such a position or subjecting her subordinates to it out of some vague, unhelpful cruelty. Maybe more exposure would finally do her good. Toughen her up, and get her to stop crying to her seniors whenever something went wrong. Remec, sign this. Remec, can I do that? Now that Remec thought about it, even the level of permission she'd been bothered for didn't require her signature- Borzun was senior enough to shut down signals on her own.
"Of course. Find the signals, the broadcasters, and shut them down locally, if you know what I mean."

They Say First Contact's the Hardest

[Meanwhile, back at Camp Death...]
The staccato pops of gunpowder rifles sent me from 'fast asleep' to wide awake in a heartbeat.
I threw the blanket and sleeping bag off of me, boots flopping loosely after I'd left them undone to avoid cutting off my circulation as staggered to my feet, finding my way to standing tall but disoriented.
The muffled crack of energy weapons being discharged responded, and I ran to the light- finding myself staring out at the almost empty stream below. I doubled back just in time to hear deafening responses of rounds fired from railguns split the air.
I passed over the hard dirt floor, pushed my way past a sentry who had come to find me, and climbed up the trench ladder to watch, dozens of others pushing their way out from the claustrophobically packed bunkers and tunnels to see the commotion.
Blinking the sleep from my eyes and grateful for the rapidly adapting shaded lenses, I saw distant figures pushing their way through the tall grasses as ever more rounds began to fire at them, several charging down from Camp Death and running them down where they fell, chasing the path of beaten down grasses to finish the job.
Maybe they were true loyalists. Maybe they were just well-trained. Maybe they came from countries long locked in bitter civil wars, where surrenders led to fates worse than dying on one's feet. Whatever the reason, the last of them finally staggered and fell. None of them had even tried to surrender. I could respect that, even if I found myself on the other end of the conflict as them.
By the position of the sun and season, I guessed it might be around six in the morning, and we'd just had first hard contact- that I was aware of.
I looked over to Radio's pile of equipment, a masked insurgent with the golden stripe of yellow electrical tape wound around their mask to indicate their role flashed me a thumbs up. I approached the sentry after seeing no more movement, hearing the distant gunfire as insurgents fell upon the Security Forces soldiers with zeal. I didn't hear any more lasgun fire. "Please tell me that was turned on," I gestured to the jammer.
"They were spotted on approach from the field. I powered on the jammer in the way I was instructed. They promptly stopped advancing on us, likely having lost contact with their superiors, and began to turn back before coming up the hill. We decided it was better than letting them wander out of jammer range and summon reinforcements."
"Good," I muttered. I could see G-Man poking his head out of the Command Cabin. Had he and George put that idea in my head just to steal my bed off me? I shook my head. George wasn't that underhanded; Not that I minded. He'd had a rougher day than almost anyone.
"Haul them and their equipment in. Get any wounded of ours to the doc bot. We can interrogate them."
The sentry gave a hand on heart. "Sir."
And so the first blood had been drawn. The squad was only six soldiers, I learned. Half a squad, or two 'pods.'
In the time since last night, the slow trickle of ones-and-twos had turned into a steady stream pouring into Camp Death. Now that the morning shone through the thick trees ringing our little forest. I wondered idly if the trees had always been so- certainly it didn't seem to me Verns had ever mentioned such heavy machinery as to bring those trees, and my swing of a hatchet hadn't even caused the bark to split off from the trunks.
Knowing I was stalling, I paced the ramparts, delivering quick reminders, last second orders to the new arrivals, reminders to keep the two intact life sign monitors affixed to the arms of those who had volunteered. Eventually, it became clear even to me that I was being more of an annoyance than helpful leader; The sentries knew their duties well. So I resigned myself to dutifully patrolling the grounds, never far from either the radio tower or the ramparts, keeping my chest puffed out and a brave face again, occasionally striking a pose as I squinted through my mask, as if I could make the enemy materialize.
I dared not call it a facade, no matter how true it might've been.
[Author's Note: Almost did it again, had to delete the first attempt at a post because I left in too much.]
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2023.05.31 11:08 Alternative_Split112 Superman Year one

Chapter 51: Rebuilding and Renewal
After the climactic battle against Brainiac, Darkseid, Mongul, and General Zod, the heroes found themselves in a period of rebuilding and renewal. The world had been scarred by the conflict, and it was time to heal the wounds and restore hope.
Clark Kent, also known as Superman, took on the role of not only a superhero but also a symbol of inspiration and strength. He dedicated himself to the arduous task of rebuilding cities that had suffered from the devastating attacks. With his superhuman abilities, he helped clear debris, restore infrastructure, and offer comfort to those who had lost everything.
As Clark worked tirelessly to rebuild physical structures, he also focused on healing emotional scars. He reached out to those affected by the chaos, offering support, and lending a listening ear. He understood the importance of providing hope and reassurance in the face of adversity.
Together with his wife Lois, Clark opened the doors of the Daily Planet to stories of resilience, courage, and community spirit. They highlighted the selfless acts of ordinary people who had stepped up during the crisis, showcasing the indomitable human spirit.
Meanwhile, Kara, having returned from her journey with the Legion of Superheroes, began her own path of healing. The traumatic events she had endured at the hands of Ultra-Humanite and Brainiac had left deep emotional scars. With the support of her family and the guidance of Martian Manhunter, she embarked on a journey of self-discovery and self-care.
Martian Manhunter, always the voice of wisdom, offered his telepathic abilities to help Kara process her traumatic experiences. Together, they worked through the pain, slowly rebuilding her shattered confidence and reminding her of the hero she truly was.
As the days turned into weeks and then months, the world started to regain a sense of normalcy. Communities banded together, finding strength in their shared experiences. People rebuilt their lives, their resilience shining through.
Amidst the rebuilding efforts, Clark continued to spend time with his loved ones, cherishing every moment. His dog Krypto remained a faithful companion, offering comfort and joy in the darkest of times. His cousin Kara, now finding her purpose once again, stood by his side as a symbol of hope and resilience.
The Justice League, the Young Justice team, and the Justice Society of America regrouped, their resolve stronger than ever. Together, they established new protocols, improved communication channels, and expanded their reach, ensuring that they were better prepared for any future threats.
But in the shadows, unseen by the heroes, a new danger loomed. A threat yet unknown, quietly gathering strength and biding its time. The heroes sensed the presence of a looming darkness, ready to test their resolve once more.
As the world rebuilt, the heroes understood that their work was never truly finished. They would continue to stand together, protect the innocent, and fight for justice. With each new challenge, they would rise to the occasion, embodying the spirit of heroism that had become their legacy.
The journey of Clark Kent, Superman, and his allies would go on, filled with new adventures, triumphs, and sacrifices. But through it all, they would remain steadfast in their commitment to making the world a better place, one act of heroism at a time.
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2023.05.31 10:45 ukaelezerk Where to watch The Housemaid Drama subbed online, no pop-ads, for free!

Where to watch The Housemaid Drama subbed online, no pop-ads, for free!
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Daisy's task as a new maid to a wealthy family is to watch over a young kid, but unknowingly she's being watched by the kid's father. When temptation kicks in Daisy and the wealthy family's lives start to shatter in pieces.
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2023.05.31 09:59 Picchioviola Theory: the Marines Malevolent may be Salamanders successors (sort of)

aHi guys! I've been reading through a lot of Heresy stuff lately, and suddenly a thought struck me: the possible link between the Disciples of the Flame and the Marines Malevolent.
For those who don't know, the Disciples of the Flame are a strange company of Astartes, something in between a Blackshield company and a Shattered Legions formation. They were born when a Salamanders contingent led by Chaplain-lieutenant Xiaphas Jurr, tasked with ascertaining Vulkan's fate, recovered the dreadnought Cassian Dracos from the surface of Isstvan V. Cassian Dracos had some sort of psychic awakening: after his recovery, he was able to foresee the future and emanated an aura of supernatural charisma. The Disciples then broke the siege of Mezoa by recruiting a large company of loyalist Iron Warriors led by Warsmith Narik Dreygur. They then travelled to Baal, where their aid was rejected and they were unceremoniously declared as renegades by Baal's warden. Later the rampaged across Beta-Garmon II, where they aroused suspicion in their fellow loyalists: they were bedecked with totems, their armour was blackened, they were followed by "traitor" Iron Warriors and they didn't consider any tactical objective besides the total eradication of the foe.
The Disciples disappeared from Imperial records during the Scouring. Their ship, the "Ebon Drake", was found wrecked in the void, where Dracos' dreadnought chassis was recovered by the Salamaneders. Despite this, the Inquisition branded their beliefs as ""seditious and of extreme moral danger" and all their teachings were declared forbidden. The Salamanders themselves sequestered away all copies of Jurr's superstitious collection, the "Prophecies of the Flame", based upon Dracos' ravings about vengeance and retribution.
Now, what happens when you take the survivalist, unyielding nature of Salamanders fanatics, blend it with the Iron Warriors' creed of brutality and flavour the result with bitterness towards an Imperium that rejected their beliefs? Don't forget the extreme trauma of the Heresy and the aftermath of Isstvan V! In short, I'd like to think that the Marines Malevolent, a chapter that mysteriously dates back to M32, are the remnants of the Disciples of the Flame, under the leadership of Narik Dreygur, after the demise of Cassian Dracos and presumably Xiaphas Jurr. A shattered force shunned by enemies and allies because of a set of beliefs that was doomed to wane as the original Salamanders died out and only the ruthless efficiency of the Iron Warriors remained, forced to scavenge their arms and armour from their fallen allies, because the Inquisition had branded them as renegades in all but name.
I know this theory is more speculation, but honestly it's not much more speculative than the common theory according to which the Marines Malevolent may be descended from the loyalist Death Guard of Crysos Morturg's company. Besides, it would be thematically fitting that the current Salamanders have a beef against the Marines Malevolent, their distant, chimeric successors who embody every trait that the Salamanders have worked so hard to expunge after the Heresy.
Also noteworthy is the Marines Malevolent's colour scheme: black torso (like the scorched armour of the Disciples), with veterancy denoted by yellow and black hazard stripes (like Iron Warriors)!
Bonus: it's also likely that the Covenant of Fire, Ultima founding chapter of the Salamanders, have some connection to the Disciples and their prophecies. This would explain why they're so eager to learn about the current iteration of the Promethean Creed: they might hope to find out more about Jurr's "Prophecies" from the only available source, the secret Salamanders archives!
submitted by Picchioviola to 40kLore [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 08:46 Traumatized_Waffle The Emissary - Part One


"How does it feel up there?" the earpiece crackled, the voice of Thomas in mission control penetrating the eerie silence. My heart raced, and I couldn't help but let out a deep, shaky breath in response.
"Feels... normal", I managed to stammer, my hands trembling as I tugged at the straps that held me firmly in my seat. The weight of the impending mission seemed to bear down on me, making every movement feel like a monumental effort.
"Status?" inquired Thomas, his voice a mixture of professionalism and concealed trepidation. I furrowed my brow, feeling beads of sweat trickling down my nose, my body betraying the anxiety that gripped me.
"I'm... strapped in and ready to fly, control," I replied, my voice trembling slightly. It was a struggle to steady my words, to mask the unease that threatened to consume me.
"Pilot is ready to launch. Begin final checks," Thomas instructed, his voice projecting a sense of duty laced with underlying concern. The gravity of the situation became more palpable with each passing moment, and the tension in the cockpit heightened.
"Communications?" I asked, my voice cracking ever so slightly as I awaited the confirmation. The silence that followed felt heavy, amplifying my apprehension.
"Go," came the response, a single word that hung in the air, pregnant with both reassurance and uncertainty.
"Engines?" I continued, my words barely escaping my lips, as if fearing their own existence.
"Engines are go," came the reassuring yet strained reply from mission control. The hum of the spacecraft's engines added to the symphony of nerves that filled the cockpit.
"Life support?" I pressed on, my voice faltering under the weight of the moment. The thought of relying on the complex systems that ensured my survival in the cold expanse of space only heightened my unease.
"Go," confirmed the voice from mission control, its tone laced with a mixture of confidence and unspoken worry.
"Tank pressure?" I asked, my voice strained and trembling with a mix of excitement and fear.
"Holding steady at 2.4 bar," came the reply, a fragile thread of stability in the midst of a tumultuous storm.
"Launch is go. Beginning countdown sequence," Thomas declared, his voice resolute and focused. The countdown loomed before me, an ominous reminder of the imminent journey that awaited, each passing second amplifying the nervous atmosphere that surrounded me.
As the countdown began, a sense of anticipation intertwined with an eerie uncertainty. The cockpit began to hum and rumble as the many systems began to come online. I held my breath for a moment, the air thick with nervous energy. The weight of the mission bore down on my shoulders, reminding me of the countless hours of training and preparation leading up to this pivotal moment.
"Ten... nine... eight..." The numbers reverberated in my mind, each one marking a step closer to the unknown. My grip tightened on the armrests, my knuckles turning white beneath my gloves as I braced myself for what lay ahead. Doubts and fears swirled within me, questioning my abilities and challenging my resolve. But amidst the unease, a spark of determination flickered, refusing to be extinguished.
"Seven... six... five..." The sound of the countdown merged with the pounding of my heart, creating a symphony of apprehension and intrigue. My gaze shifted to the vast expanse beyond the cockpit window, where the dark void of space awaited, both captivating and unsettling. The silence of the cosmos enveloped me, whispering secrets and posing unanswered questions, heightening the mystery that surrounded the silent alien spacecraft.
"Four... three... two..." The countdown continued, each number resonating through the cockpit like a ticking time bomb. Adrenaline surged through my veins, amplifying the nervous anticipation that clung to every fiber of my being. The silence of the alien spacecraft echoed in my ears, its lack of response a haunting reminder of the enigmatic presence that awaited me.
"One..." The final number hung in the air, pregnant with the weight of the moment. A surge of raw energy coursed through the spacecraft as the engines roared to life, their powerful vibrations reverberating through the hull. The moment had arrived. The moment where humanity would venture into the unknown, reaching out to a silent enigma that defied comprehension.
With a jolt, the spacecraft leapt forward, propelled by the immense force of the rocket engines. My body pressed back against the seat, the G-forces pulling at every fiber of my being. As the Earth retreated beneath me, a mix of awe and unease washed over me.
The spacecraft shuddered and groaned as the first stage detached from the craft with a heavy clunk. I could feel the vibrations coursing through the walls, a tangible reminder of the immense power propelling me forward. My eyes fixated on the exterior cameras, capturing the sight of the discarded first stage slowly descending back to Earth. It was a mesmerizing dance of gravity and momentum, a breathtaking spectacle that underscored the magnitude of our journey.
"First stage detached, igniting second stage engines," came Thomas's voice through the crackling earpiece. His words pierced through the silence, jolting me back to the present reality. Another surge of force enveloped the spacecraft as the three second stage engines roared to life, their fiery thrust propelling me further away from the familiarity of Earth and into the depths of space where the silent alien spacecraft awaited.
I turned my attention to the expansive view outside the cockpit window, transfixed by the ethereal sight of Earth's horizon stretching before me. The inky darkness of space met the delicate curve of our planet, while the radiant glow of the sun began to peek over the edge, casting a golden hue upon the celestial canvas. In that moment, the weight of the mission momentarily lifted from my shoulders, as I found myself lost in the awe-inspiring beauty that surrounded me.
But the crackling of my earpiece snapped me back to reality, a gentle reminder that time was of the essence. The significance of the mission flooded my thoughts once more, reminding me of the importance of the task at hand. With a deep breath, I refocused my attention on the mission control's communication.
"Final burn completed, Emissary 1 has reached a stable orbit," Thomas's voice announced, carrying a mix of relief and anticipation. It was a small triumph, a moment of reassurance amidst the vast unknown. The spacecraft had found its place among the stars, suspended in a delicate equilibrium as we prepared to embark on the next phase of our mission.
The silence of the alien spacecraft still echoed in my mind, an enigma waiting to be unraveled. With orbit achieved, I knew that the real challenge lay ahead – to bridge the divide between humanity and the silent emissary that floated in the vastness of space. The journey had only just begun, and every fiber of my being was primed for the encounter that would define the course of human history.
"Pilot, confirm status," came the unwavering voice from mission control, cutting through the hum of the spacecraft's systems. I took a moment to collect myself, my heart still racing from the intensity of the ascent and the weight of the mission ahead.
"Alive and well, if a little shaken up," I replied, my voice laced with a mix of relief and lingering adrenaline. My eyes darted across the intricate control board, scanning each indicator for any signs of anomaly. The complexity of the spacecraft's operations manifested in the labyrinth of switches, buttons, and digital readouts, a testament to the collective efforts of countless engineers and scientists who had made this journey possible.
"Confirmed. Beginning rendezvous burn," Thomas's voice responded, his tone steady yet tinged with an undercurrent of anticipation. The significance of this moment was not lost on me. The rendezvous burn marked the crucial step in closing the distance between Emissary 1 and the silent alien spacecraft. It was a delicate ballet of calculations, precision, and trust in the systems that held my fate in their electronic embrace.
With a flick of my gloved hand, I initiated the burn sequence, feeling the rumble of the thrusters as they came to life. The spacecraft responded with a subtle shift in trajectory, each burst of propulsion propelling me closer to the enigmatic presence that awaited us in the vast expanse.
As the rendezvous burn continued, the silence inside the cockpit enveloped me once again, broken only by the low hum of the spacecraft's systems. The gravity of the mission settled over me like a heavy cloak, reminding me of the responsibility I carried as humanity's emissary. Every decision, every action held the potential to shape the course of our encounter, to unlock the secrets held within the silent alien spacecraft.
Through the cockpit window, the star-studded backdrop of space unfolded before me, a vast canvas of infinite possibilities. The brilliance of distant galaxies and the gentle glimmers of neighboring celestial bodies offered a stark contrast to the enigmatic void of the silent spacecraft. It was a stark reminder that within the grand tapestry of the universe, we were but tiny specks, reaching out in search of connection, understanding, and perhaps even a glimpse into the mysteries that lay beyond our own realm.
With each passing moment, the rendezvous burn drew us closer, narrowing the divide between Emissary 1 and the silent spacecraft that awaited us. The anticipation within the cockpit grew, fueled by a mix of curiosity, wonder, and the ever-present nerves that accompanied venturing into uncharted territory.
In the depths of space, as I guided the spacecraft through the delicate ballet of propulsion and navigation, I couldn't help but marvel at the complexity of our endeavor. The culmination of years of research, technological advancements, and the collective ambition of humanity had led us to this precise moment. Every system, every line of code had been meticulously designed and tested to ensure the success of this mission. And now, as the rendezvous burn neared completion, I prepared myself for the next phase of our odyssey, ready to confront the enigma that awaited us with a mixture of trepidation and unwavering determination.
"Burn completed, trajectory established. On intercept course with the alien craft. Emissary 1 switching over to manual control. Godspeed, pilot," Thomas's voice resounded through the crackling earpiece, its cadence punctuated by a sense of both reverence and urgency. The connection grew more tenuous, the crackles and static intensifying as if mirroring the heightened anticipation that filled the cockpit.
As Thomas's voice faded into the background, the control board before me illuminated with an eerie glow, casting an otherworldly ambiance within the confined space of the spacecraft. Each precision instrument, meticulously calibrated and designed, hummed to life, their intricate displays offering a wealth of information to aid in the delicate maneuvers that lay ahead. It was a symphony of technology, a dance of light and data, empowering me to navigate the uncharted path around the enigmatic alien craft.
With a touch of my gloved hand, I assumed manual control, relinquishing the guidance of automated systems to trust my own instincts and expertise. The weight of responsibility settled upon my shoulders once more, the fate of this historic encounter resting upon the decisions I would make in the moments to come.
The spacecraft hurtled forward, rapidly closing the distance to the L1 Lagrange point, where the gravitational forces of the Earth and the Moon coalesced in a delicate equilibrium. I began to pulse the RCS thrusters, their calculated bursts of propulsion expertly slowing my approach to the enigmatic alien craft, which now loomed into view with an aura of mystique.
As the spacecraft inched closer, the details of the silent alien craft gradually emerged from the vast expanse of space. Its sleek and enigmatic design defied conventional understanding, bearing an otherworldly elegance that captivated the eye. The contours of its hull were adorned with patterns and symbols, an alien language that held secrets yet to be deciphered. It was a marvel of unknown technology, a testament to the ingenuity of a civilization that had journeyed to the stars.
The proximity to the alien craft ignited a surge of awe and trepidation within me. It was a moment of profound significance, where the aspirations of humanity and the enigma of the unknown converged. I felt the weight of the centuries of exploration and curiosity pressing against my chest, as if the eyes of the world were upon me, witnessing this delicate dance between two species on the precipice of discovery.
In this surreal moment, surrounded by the mysterious glow of the control board and the ethereal backdrop of the cosmos, I steeled my nerves and prepared to embark on this unprecedented encounter. The spacecraft's manual controls responded to my every touch, as I navigated the final approach, drawing closer to the silent alien craft that held the promise of answers and the potential to reshape our understanding of the universe.
"The craft is in view. No visible instruments or windows on the surface of the hull, but it is covered in alien symbols. Sending high-definition images now," I reported, relaying the information to mission control with a mixture of awe and fascination.
I gently maneuvered the controls, cautiously inching the Emissary 1 closer to the enigmatic craft. The powerful spotlights mounted on the spacecraft illuminated the hull, revealing a dazzling golden shimmer. I couldn't help but be captivated by its mysterious allure, wondering what secrets it held within.
My eyes scanned the surface, studying the intricate patterns of alien symbols that adorned the craft. Amidst the sea of enigmatic markings, my attention was drawn to a noticeable depression in the hull, marked by finely etched lines. It resembled a hangar door, an inviting entrance into the unknown.
"Mission control, I've spotted what appears to be a hangar door on the surface of the vessel. Can I proceed closer?" I requested, my voice resonating through the communication systems, filled with eagerness and curiosity.
A palpable silence hung in the air, prolonging the anticipation as I awaited mission control's response. The crackle of the earpiece served as a reminder of the weight of this moment, as if the entire world held its breath in anticipation of what lay ahead.
Finally, a voice emerged from the static, its tone cautious yet decisive. "You are cleared for approach," mission control declared, their words carrying a mixture of trust and caution. It was a moment of affirmation, a green light to delve deeper into this extraordinary encounter.
With permission granted, I took a deep breath, gathering my focus for the task at hand. The Emissary 1 surged forward, guided by my steady hand on the controls, drawing nearer to the enigmatic craft. The excitement within me swelled, fueled by the blend of curiosity and duty that propelled us on this unprecedented journey.
As the distance between our spacecraft and the enigmatic hangar door diminished, a sense of anticipation coursed through me. It was as if this moment held the key to unraveling the enigma that had silently traveled across the vastness of space. Step by step, we ventured into the unknown, driven by our insatiable hunger for knowledge and the indomitable spirit of exploration.
Just as it seemed the nose of my spacecraft would make contact with the hangar door, an astonishing sight unfolded before me. With a sudden burst, the large door sprang open, unleashing a blinding light that erupted from within the alien craft. Simultaneously, my communication system erupted into a cacophony of shrill noises, piercing my ears and jolting me with a sense of unease.
To my astonishment and growing panic, the Emissary 1 surged forward, propelled into the opening of the alien craft of its own accord. Desperation consumed me as I frantically reached for the emergency shutoffs, desperately trying to regain control. Yet, despite my efforts, the spacecraft continued to accelerate, hurtling forward with increasing speed.
Then, in a sudden and jarring turn of events, the blinding light from the alien craft flickered out, plunging the surroundings into darkness. The Emissary 1 came to a jolting halt, violently throwing me against my seat straps. The cacophony from the communication system abruptly ceased, leaving an unsettling silence in its wake.
Fear gripped me as I stared out of the cockpit window, my eyes scanning the void before me. In the distance, a dim, blue star flickered, offering an eerie illumination. Yet, what truly commanded my attention was the colossal structure that loomed ahead, fashioned from the same mysterious golden material as the enigmatic alien spacecraft. Its immense size left me awestruck and apprehensive, as if it held the weight of secrets that could shatter our understanding of the universe.
"Control, are you seeing this?" I spoke into the void, my voice trembling with a mix of wonder and trepidation. But there was no response, not even the customary crackling of the communication system. A deep sense of unease settled within me, the realization dawning that something had gone terribly wrong.
"Control, are you... are you there?" I repeated, my voice now tinged with palpable fear. Silence echoed in response, intensifying the growing dread that wrapped around my heart. The weight of isolation and uncertainty pressed down upon me, as if the vast expanse of space itself conspired to engulf me in its grip.
Before I could gather my thoughts or summon the courage to speak again, every light source in the cockpit abruptly went dark, plunging me into an abyss of blackness. In the midst of the void, a single screen dead center on the control board illuminated, casting an eerie glow. A simple message materialized before me, stark against the dark backdrop:
"We have been waiting for you."

submitted by Traumatized_Waffle to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 07:49 ClackinData A Jump Into the Abyss

The night was draped in a thick blanket of darkness as I stumbled across the deck of the colossal cruise ship. My senses dulled by a cocktail of alcohol and youthful bravado, I found myself at the mercy of a dare that seemed all too reckless. The moon, hidden behind a shroud of ominous clouds, offered no guiding light as I gazed into the vast expanse of the sea.
"Go ahead, jump off. You won't." my friends taunted, their laughter cutting through the air. Among them stood Mark, the catalyst of chaos, his mischievous grin fueling the flames of temptation. But it wasn't just a simple dare; it was the challenge that dripped from Mark's lips that stoked the fire within me.
"Are you really brave enough? Or is it all talk?" Mark sneered, his voice oozing with provocation. The weight of his words hung heavy in the air, challenging the very core of my being. Each syllable pierced my conscience, goading me to prove myself, to defy reason and embrace the audacious.
The laughter that accompanied the dare swirled around me, a vortex of both encouragement and doubt. They egged me on, their excited faces gleaming with anticipation. But beneath their enthusiasm, I sensed traces of caution, their eyes darting between each other, silently questioning the wisdom of such an impulsive act.
As I stood on the precipice of choice, my mind raced, caught in the conflicting emotions. Doubt clawed at my resolve, whispering cautionary tales of danger and consequences. The voice of reason echoed in my thoughts, urging me to retreat from the edge, to resist the allure of a reckless venture.
But the competitive fire within me burned brighter, fueled by the ego-driven desire to prove myself. Pride battled against prudence, each demanding its due attention. It was a clash of forces, my heart trapped in the crossfire, torn between the desire for self-preservation and the intoxicating thrill of daring feats.
The wind, carrying the echoes of their laughter, whispered tantalizingly in my ear, its voice a siren's call that whispered, "Why not? What's the worst that could happen?" The darkness of the night draped me in a cloak of invincibility, convincing me that the world was mine to conquer, that boundaries were mere illusions to be shattered.
In that fleeting moment, the atmosphere crackled with expectation. The weight of the dare, the challenges hurled at me by Mark, bore down upon my shoulders. It was a test of character, a test of courage, and I knew that backing down would etch the stain of regret into my being.
And so, intoxicated by the heady concoction of camaraderie, adrenaline, and the unrelenting desire to prove myself, I mounted the railing. The drumbeat of my heart grew thunderous. I felt the surging tide of audacity rising within me, propelling me toward the precipice of choice.
As I balanced on that fragile edge, the world held its breath, suspended in anticipation. The challenges from Mark reverberated in my mind, urging me to take the plunge. And with a surge of determination, I embraced the exhilarating uncertainty that awaited me below.
With one final breath, I plunged headfirst into the warm and inviting water. The shock of the impact stole my breath away, and the darkness swallowed me whole. Disoriented and disarmed, I struggled to orient myself as the small, gentle waves played with my senses. The water felt comforting, its temperature caressing my skin like a soothing embrace.
As I swam on the tranquil surface, savoring the delightful sensation, a voice from the deck above shattered the serenity. "This kid fucking jumped off!" The exclamation rang out, piercing the calm surroundings. The words hung in the air like an unwelcome intrusion, jolting me from my reverie. Confusion and fear gripped me, mingling with the warm waters that had moments ago provided solace.
Before I could fully comprehend the weight of those words, the serene facade shattered. The deceptive comfort of the water turned against me, dragging me below the surface. I fought against the sudden pull, my limbs thrashing against the resistance, but the powerful undertow overpowered my feeble attempts. The safety and tranquility I had embraced mere moments ago were now a distant memory, replaced by a harsh reality that lurked under the waves.
In the disorienting depths, shadows enveloped me like a suffocating shroud. My frantic movements became a desperate struggle against the weight of the water pressing against me from all sides. Sound muffled, and my senses were submerged in an eerie silence. The ship, my connection to the world above, became an elusive presence, its lights and warmth swallowed by the unfathomable depths.
With the relentless currents as my only guide, I pushed through the tumultuous waters, driven by an instinctual need for survival. Each stroke was a battle fought against the suffocating pressure. It felt like an eternity as I fought against the unseen forces that threatened to claim me. The darkness stretched endlessly, a daunting expanse where the ship disappeared into the inky void, indifferent to my struggle.
Finally, breaking free from the suffocating depths, I burst through the water's surface, gasping for salvation. Blinking away the remnants of the watery embrace, I surveyed my surroundings in a desperate bid for orientation. My heart sank as I witnessed the grim reality. The ship, now a distant flickering of light nearing the horizon, seemed to mock me with its dwindling presence. It sailed further away, an untouchable bastion of safety. Panic clenched my chest as the magnitude of my isolation settled upon me like a heavy shroud.
But amidst the desolation, my eyes caught a glimmer of hope—a life preserver bobbing in the water nearby. It beckoned to me, a lifeline in this infinite space of uncertainty. With trembling hands, I clutched onto it, my fingers digging into the familiar contours of salvation. It became my sole refuge, the only thing between me and the abyss.
The realization of my isolation struck me like a thunderbolt. The sprawling sea stretched out in all directions, a chasm of impenetrable blackness. Fear clenched at my heart, constricting my chest, as I found myself adrift in a watery purgatory, alone and vulnerable.
Slowly, time dissipated into an agonizing eternity, each passing second stretching and warping into an interminable pause. The weight of the moments settled upon my shoulders, pressing down with a merciless force. It felt as if the very fabric of time conspired against me. Every subtle ripple in the water unfolded in excruciating slow motion, each movement amplified to a torturous degree. It was as if the universe held its breath, suspending me in a state of perpetual anticipation. The passage of time became an elusive concept, as if the world had halted its rotation just to prolong my anguish.
In this suspended realm, my senses became hyper-aware, attuned to the minutest details. The water enveloped me, its touch a paradox of comfort and trepidation. Every droplet that caressed my skin felt magnified, lingering like warm wet tendrils against my flesh. The subtle currents that brushed against my body sent shivers of unease rippling through my core, amplifying the eerie stillness that enveloped me.
Amidst this temporal distortion, the absence of sound became deafening. The silence, thick and suffocating, engulfed me in its oppressive embrace. It was a void that swallowed all familiar sounds, leaving only the echoing shudders of my own breathing as a reminder of my fragile existence. The quietude stretched on, unbroken by the reassuring voices of companions or the distant hum of civilization. It was as if the world had muted itself, leaving me adrift in a desolate vacuum.
Yet, among the silence, a subtle symphony emerged. The gentle lapping of waves, like a melancholic melody, whispered in my ears. Each delicate crash against my body reverberated with a soothing yet disconcerting rhythm. The cadence played tricks on my mind, evoking imagined sensations of unseen creatures brushing against me beneath the surface. My skin prickled with goosebumps, the tendrils of fear snaking their way up my spine.
My mind began to conjure vivid images of the aquatic life that lurked in the depths. I pictured schools of silvery fish darting to and fro, their scales shimmering in the faint light that penetrated the depths. The thought of their sleek bodies brushing against my legs made my heart skip a beat, a mix of awe and apprehension.
But my musings took a darker turn. I couldn't help but envision the possibility of larger creatures roaming the depths. The presence of sharks, the ocean's apex predators, sent a shiver down my spine. I imagined their powerful forms gliding silently through the water, their primal instincts honed to perfection. The mere thought of those creatures circling around me sent a jolt of primal fear coursing through my veins.
Yet, as the minutes stretched on, my thoughts turned to something far more sinister. A chilling realization crept into my mind—a presence that defied the natural order of things. It was as if the veil between this world and the incomprehensible abyss had been breached. Visions of unknown creatures, their alien forms hidden in the depths, invaded my thoughts. I felt their ominous presence in the recesses of my imagination, lurking just beyond the edge of my understanding.
These manifestations of the unfathomable seeped into my consciousness, fueling my growing terror. I was but a tiny, insignificant speck in a vast cosmic tapestry, and now, I was faced with the enigmatic horrors that resided beyond the realm of comprehension. The very thought of encountering these unknown beings, whatever they may be, struck fear into the depths of my soul.
The contrast between the serene surface and the unfathomable abyss beneath grew more jarring with each passing second. The once-warm waters now carried an ominous chill, as if the very essence of the unknown had permeated its depths. And as I clung to the life preserver, the only semblance of stability in this unsettling reality, I couldn't help but wonder if the unseen terrors lurking below would consume me, body and spirit.
I battled against these haunting images, focusing on the solid reality of the life preserver under me. Its buoyant embrace provided a fragile lifeline, a sanctuary from the mysteries. With every labored breath, I reminded myself to stay afloat, to cling to the hope that rescue would come. The buoyancy of the life preserver became my solace, a tenuous connection to the world I had left behind. In this unfathomable expanse, where time stood still and my every sense was heightened, I vowed to endure.
And in the midst of this temporal abyss, dehydration gnawed at me, its insidious grip tightening with every passing breath. My throat felt parched, as if the very essence of moisture had been siphoned from within me. The saltwater that surrounded me offered no solace, a cruel reminder of its undrinkable bitterness. It mocked my desperation, playing with my senses, as I longed for a drop of fresh water to quench the burning thirst that consumed me.
The absence of nourishment wore heavily on my weary body. I could feel the fatigue settling into my bones, each movement becoming an arduous task. Weakness seeped into every fiber of my being, like an invisible weight that dragged me down, threatening to pull me beneath the surface once more. The symphony of my pulse echoed in my ears, a reminder of the delicate balance between life and the abyss that loomed before me.
Time, relentless and unyielding, continued its march in this watery purgatory. As the minutes stretched into an eternity, the harrowing realization set in - I was running out of time.
And then, just as hope threatened to dissipate like the final ethereal tendrils of twilight, a distant glimmer of light pierced through the darkness. I strained my weary eyes, my heart leaping within my chest, as a surge of anticipation coursed through my veins. Every fiber of my being yearned for that flickering light to grow closer, to reveal itself as a beacon of hope amidst this desolate realm. My imagination conjured images of a rescue vessel, its sleek form cutting through the water with purpose. I could envision the crew, steadfast and determined, their eyes scanning the vast expanse in search of any sign of life. Or perhaps it was the silhouette of the cruise ship itself, finally realizing my absence and turning back to retrieve me from this watery abyss.
With each beat of my heart, the glimmer grew brighter, its presence an elusive promise on the horizon. I clung to that glimmer, like a castaway to a drifting piece of wreckage, desperate for its arrival to manifest into tangible salvation. The thought of being rescued, of feeling solid ground beneath my feet once more, surged through my veins like a current of renewed hope.
But as the light drew nearer it cast aside the mirage of rescue. No longer a beacon of salvation, it transformed into a kaleidoscope of vibrant blue and purple hues, swirling and undulating in an otherworldly dance. The realization washed over me like an icy wave, freezing the hope in my chest.
This was no vessel from the human world, no lifeline thrown to save me from my plight. Instead, it was an otherworldly presence, a manifestation of the unknown that lurked beyond the boundaries of my comprehension. The glimmering lights, mesmerizing yet sinister, left me with a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. It moved with a grace that defied earthly physics, effortlessly cutting through the water, drawing closer with each passing moment.
The depths stirred with an eerie anticipation, a subtle shift in the currents heralding the emergence of the unknown. From the watery abyss, the creature rose, defying all comprehension. Its form transcended the boundaries of mortal understanding, an enigma sculpted from the darkest recesses of imagination.
An amalgamation of grotesque beauty, the creature commanded a mesmerizing allure that sent shivers cascading down my spine. Its serpentine body, adorned with iridescent scales, seemed to radiate an otherworldly luminescence. Each scale shimmered with a vivid spectrum of colors, as if it held within it the secrets of a thousand unexplored realms.
Long, sinuous limbs undulated with a hypnotic grace, their movements both graceful and unnerving. They seemed to possess a fluidity that defied the constraints of earthly physics, hinting at a hidden malevolence lurking beneath the facade of ethereal beauty. The creature's eyes, orbs of radiant luminescence, fixated upon me with an unnerving intensity. Within their depths, I glimpsed an ancient wisdom tinged with a chilling hunger.
Rows of jagged teeth, sharp and glistening, adorned its elongated maw. They served as a cruel testament to its predatory nature, a grim reminder that I stood in the presence of a merciless predator from a realm beyond my comprehension. The interplay of light and shadow danced upon those teeth, casting an ominous glow that accentuated the creature's nightmarish countenance.
A cacophony of emotions assailed me, each vying for dominance over my senses. Awe mingled with terror, painting an intricate tapestry of conflicting reactions. And amidst it all, a profound madness clawed at the edges of my sanity, threatening to drag me into the depths of its unfathomable abyss. Whispers, like sinister tendrils, slithered through the corridors of my mind, their haunting refrain a dissonant melody of cosmic secrets. It was as if the mere presence of the creature unraveled the fragile fabric of my reality, leaving me at the mercy of its ethereal grip, a plaything in the realm of the eldritch. Madness ensnared me like a suffocating embrace, my existence unraveling with each passing moment.
The news anchor's voice resonated through the television screen, a somber tone laden with the weight of tragedy. "Today, the world mourns the loss of a young man who had dared to defy the boundaries of reason and leap into the treacherous waters below," the anchor's voice echoed, the weight of their words underscoring the gravity of the situation. "In a moment of youthful recklessness, he embarked on an ill-fated adventure. Despite exhaustive search efforts, both by the ship's crew and dedicated search and rescue teams, he remains unfound, forever lost at sea."
A pause hung heavy in the air, as if the anchor themselves struggled to find the right words to convey the magnitude of the loss. "The ocean, with its unfathomable depths and tempestuous temperament, proved an insurmountable obstacle. The waves, relentless in their pursuit, claimed yet another victim, leaving loved ones and communities grappling with grief and an unanswerable question: what drove this young man to take such a perilous leap into the abyss?"
The camera panned to a photograph of him, a snapshot frozen in time, capturing a wide smile that seemed to radiate with exuberance. "A vibrant soul whose spirit knew no bounds, his zest for life was evident in every photograph, every memory shared by those who knew him," the anchor continued, their voice filled with a mix of admiration and sorrow. "But it is with heavy hearts that we acknowledge his untimely passing, reminding us all of the fragility and preciousness of every breath we take."
The news anchor's voice gradually faded into the background, overshadowed by the weight of the unspoken. The room fell silent, save for the flickering images on the screen and the weight of collective grief that hung heavy in the air. The tale of his leap became yet another haunting memory, a tragedy forever intertwined with the enigma of the sea.
In living rooms far and wide, families and friends watched, their hearts heavy with an inexplicable sorrow. The news of his disappearance reverberated through communities, leaving behind a void that could never be filled. The sea, silent and unyielding, held tightly onto its secrets, forever concealing the fate of a life that had been swallowed by its depths.
submitted by ClackinData to Nonsleep [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 01:01 sparklymineral Anyone else have similar experiences?

First of all, I’m new to this subreddit and happy to finally be here. Secondly, I’m a transmasculine non-binary person. Mods, could we add flair for people outside the gender binary? I almost chose “son with CI mother” but it isn’t quite right.
Anyway, here we go:
I’m an only child. My mom was the victim of covert incest at the hands of her father, who will be referred to as “P” from hereon out. He outright sexually assaulted and physically abused my mother’s mom, referred to as “G.” My mom told me that he’d beat the shit out of her in front of the kids and would also tell my mom incredibly graphic stories about the sex he’d have with her. G would abuse pills to cope with being married to P, so G was rarely able to perform tasks of a mother. My mom is the oldest of four, so she was parentified and took care of the other kids.
The “happy” ending: when P cheated on G with one of G’s best friends, G filed for divorce. P lived the rest of his life in a trailer several states away and estranged from the family… except for when it came to my mom. She was the only one who still spoke to him. He eventually fell, alone in his trailer, hit his head, and bled out. I wanted to jump for joy when this happened.
My mom has told me multiple times that I allegedly stopped breastfeeding earlier than most infants and that it deeply upset her. This seems like a very weird thing to talk to me about. All my life, my mom would get upset if I spent time alone in my room instead of sitting with her after school. I was not allowed to lock my bedroom door even though it had a lock. If I closed it, she would knock and then open the door before the sound waves even finished fully registering with me. She picked out my clothes for me until I was in 7th or 8th grade. If I told her something that was upsetting me, she would immediately provide unsolicited advice and try to solve the problem.
I was not allowed to walk to school until high school (I lived in a very “safe” town and all of my peers walked to middle school; something I desperately wanted to do). She scrutinized my body so much that she detected my scoliosis herself; I hadn’t even noticed or cared. She was on the PTO, was always a volunteer chaperone on school trips, and eventually even began working in my school. She has told me on numerous occasions that she “lives vicariously through me.”
When I dated a tremendously abusive boy for 4 years, the two of them became very close. She was upset when I finally broke up with him.
When I finally moved out at age 22, she was devastated. She actually stood in front of the car to try to stop me from driving. That was a little under 10 years ago. My childhood bedroom remains a relic, perfectly preserved as I left it. The dry erase calendar on her fridge still reads “September” of the year I moved out and still has “______ moves out” on the date I left. I’ve tried to erase it when I visit, but it’s permanently stained onto the surface. When I came out as trans and changed my name, she sobbed. The transness didn’t bother her as much as the fact that I was changing the name she had chosen for me.
I learned a lot in codependents anonymous (CoDA) a few years ago and am so grateful I decided to attend my first meeting. At this point, we are pretty low contact, but I do still have a relationship with her. I’m in a healthy romantic relationship, in therapy, and have a lot of long term, healthy, reciprocal friendships. I finally know what boundaries are and how to enact them. But… yeah. She really fucked me up.
My dad was a boundaried king and an incredible person. He died in 2019 and was very ill for 6 years before his death. I was effectively robbed of an adult relationship with him due to his early onset dementia. Whenever my mom and I visited him at the care center, she would refuse to leave when he asked us to. She would wipe his face and try to feed him while he refused to open his mouth. It infuriated me. When we got to the car to drive away, she would always sit in the driver’s seat and cry/scream/wail as I sat next to her in the passenger’s seat, stoic as a statue.
I miss my dad. I have a lot of anger towards my mom, but I also have sympathy for her and understand why she turned out so messed up. She retired a month ago, and when she cried to me about not knowing what to do while retired, I asked her if she wanted some advice. (Something she never did with me - she would just pummel me with suggestions, greatly stunting my ability to think critically in my own). I suggested she take this time to focus on herself and consider therapy.
We do have a relationship, but it’s pretty low contact. I put up a lot of boundaries over the years and she hasn’t been happy about any of them. She often tries to manipulate me into calling/visiting her and complains that I refuse to pick up the phone when she cold-calls me. Intergenerational trauma is really something.
submitted by sparklymineral to CovertIncest [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 23:45 Staticalmite [HOBBY] Need a 3D Modeler for my FNAF Fangame!

I need a developer to join my team, which is currently developing Aphyns!
APHYNS is a non-profit Five Nights at Freddy's fangame that seeks to weave a tale of mystery, deception, and profound loss. This ambitious project ingeniously combines visual novel-styled investigation segments with heart-pounding sit-and-survive FNAF-styled sections, delivering a unique and immersive gameplay experience.
The game's narrative takes place two years after a cataclysmic event known as the 'reality storm,' which forever altered the lives of Winston and AJ, the main protagonists. In the seemingly normal summer of 1990, they attempt to rebuild their lives, despite their shattered perception of reality. Yet, amidst this fragile sense of normalcy, fate has more in store for them. One fateful day, as AJ's friend Zack pays them a visit, Winston receives a letter from his beloved girlfriend, who tragically departed without the opportunity to bid him a proper farewell. The contents of the letter propel Winston on an arduous journey, unraveling the enigma surrounding her death, or rather, did she truly die at all? It becomes a race against time as he dives deep into a labyrinth of secrets, chasing countless dead-ends, desperate for the truth that lies hidden in the shadows.
However, as the investigation progresses, Aphyns, the town in which they reside, is suddenly besieged by a surge of paranormal occurrences. It is during this chaotic period that Jack Renn, a mysterious figure, enters their lives. Jack, accompanied by his enigmatic robot butler, NOTUS, approaches Winston and AJ with a grave task: to eliminate the anomalies that plague Aphyns and restore peace to the town once and for all.
I have so far, poured a lot of my time into writing and refining the characters and story, and I'm getting to the point where I do need some people for the parts I can't do! Like, the biggest amount of respect to ANY 3D Modelers out there, I tried learning it myself and got lost so fast!
I have tinkered about with the core mechanics, and it has honestly come together pretty well. You can view images of the prototype I made here: https://imgur.com/a/pmYDhCU
In any case, if you're interested in helping out, give me a DM or comment here!
submitted by Staticalmite to INAT [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 22:35 anonymousUTguy I loved Forbidden West but the side quest “Drowned Hopes” has to be the biggest disappointment in the entire game.

This quest is unlocked fairly early on in the game, just as you can leave the Daunt, in a small Carja Camp southeast. The side quest tasks Aloy scanning an old world artifact then prompts you to search for security consoles in order to access a secret vault of the old world.
Even though the quest is unlocked fairly early, you can’t actually complete until you’ve unlocked the diving mask, which can be considered a mid/late game unlock.
This quest is very kin to the Ancient Armory quest in HZD, where you have to find old world relics to access old world technology.
I was extremely excited to see what I’d find once I finished the quest. Is it an ancient military armor set? A military grade weapon?
Nope. None of that, at all. All you get is the “mobile cover system” which then can get traded for a blue Tripcaster. Since you can’t even finish the quest until mid/late game, chances are your weapons are vastly superior to this weapon, which makes the entire quest so disappointing.
I wish GG could’ve turned this into an end game unlock quest where you can only obtain a unique old world powercell on the Zeniths island base, and then used it on a door that unlocks some armor set, or a weapon. Would’ve been much cooler.
submitted by anonymousUTguy to horizon [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 22:23 Huge_Lengthiness4752 Arcanemigration ch4 room to grow

Arcanemigration ch4 Room to grow
As I sit at the edge of a stream near the entrance of my cave i Cast my gaze upon the tranquil scenery, I realize that it holds a newfound significance for me. It has provided me with sustenance, a source of water, and now a temporary respite from the stress of constant work. The fish continue their rhythmic dance in the water.
I reach for my fishing spear, determined to catch a meal to replenish my strength. As I prepare to strike, I hear a faint rustling from the nearby bushes. Instinctively, I grip the spear tighter and scan the surroundings. The eyes of the goblins still haunt my thoughts, reminding me that danger lurks even in the most peaceful moments.
Instead of a goblin that emerges from the brush. It is a creature unlike any I have encountered before—a majestic white pearlescent stag with antlers that seem to reach towards the heavens. Its eyes are filled swirling waves of a blue wisdom and a green of serenity that I have rarely witnessed.
The stag approaches the stream, its graceful movements leaving me in awe. It drinks from the water with a glowing reflection shimmering in the gentle ripples. I watch in silence, a mix of reverence and curiosity stirring within me. Could this be a sign? A guiding presence in this harsh world?
The stag lifts its head, its gaze meeting mine. For a brief moment, time stands still. And then, as if acknowledging my presence, it takes a step closer, its hooves barely making a sound on the soft earth.
In that moment, a realization dawns upon me. The goblins, the battles, the struggle to survive—they are but a small part of a much greater tapestry of the journey to come. There are forces at play beyond my comprehension, and while they may not have taken notice of my deeds, they have sent me a message through this ethereal encounter.
I lower my spear, a newfound sense of purpose coursing through my veins. I will not only defend this sanctuary against the goblin hordes but also strive to understand the mysteries that surround me. I will seek knowledge, forge alliances, and uncover the truths that lie hidden within this world.
With renewed determination, I set my sights on fortifying the cave, transforming it into a stronghold that not only protects me but also serves as a beacon of resilience and defiance. The goblins may still pose a threat, but I am no longer just a survivor—I am a warrior with a purpose.
The stag watches me closely and thoughtfully As I prepare to embark on this new chapter, I offer my silent gratitude to the creature before it gracefully disappears into the depths of the forest.
The journey ahead will be arduous, and the trials I face will test my strength, both physical and spiritual. I may be alone but With the spirit of the stag guiding me, and the scars of my past battles etched into my flesh, I step forward, ready to face whatever challenges lie ahead.
I am the defender of this sanctuary, the seeker of truths, and the embodiment of resilience. And as I move forward, I carry with me the wisdom of the stag and the unwavering determination to protect what is mine.
Inside the cave, I take stock of my resources. Though limited, they are enough to begin the task at hand. And get to work smoothing down the hard stone again until it is the right shape. Then heat up the rock in my fore and then drip cold water along the edge to shatter bits off to make a sharp edge. Then I find the largest bone in the bone pile seemingly a femur and with some work and supplies I bind them together. Lastly I char the bone to seal it.
{Crude woodcutting axe} Wood-damage : +50% Range:3 Bone: +1 durability Char: +1 longevity
Using this makeshift tool, I venture into the surrounding forest, seeking sturdy trees suitable for reinforcement. With each swing of the axe, I feel a sense of empowerment. It is not just the physical act of cutting wood but also the symbol of taking control over my environment. I am no longer at the mercy of nature; I am the one shaping my destiny.
The axe bites into the wood, and with each felled tree, I feel like it's getting easier. Then chopping the tree into logs and branches. I gather logs and branches, forming a stockpile near the cave entrance. I return multiple times, driven by a relentless determination to create a formidable barrier against any future onslaught. I also collect large rocks from the nearby riverbed, utilizing them to strengthen the cave's entrance.
Hours turn into days as I toil, the sweat mingling with the dirt on my brow. With each passing moment, the cave transforms into a sanctuary that reflects my resilience. The once-vulnerable entrance is now fortified with thick logs and sturdy rocks, creating a formidable barrier that would give even the most determined goblin pause.
As I stand back to survey my handiwork, a sense of accomplishment washes over me. The cave, once a mere shelter, has evolved into a stronghold—a testament to my will to survive and protect what is mine. The scars on my body are mirrored in the scars on the land, each a reminder of the battles fought and won.
With the physical defenses in place, I turn my attention to the interior of the cave. I make a simple stone chisel with a replaceable head and useing the same sharp stone, I shape smaller logs into makeshift furniture—a crude bed, a rough-hewn table, and even a shelf to store my meager belongings. I carve niches into the walls to hold torches, their flickering light banishing the shadows that once haunted this place.
As I sit on my newly crafted bed, a flicker of the white stag's presence dances in my mind. I realize that my soul has been blessed with a simple yet useful ability—a keen intuition that guides me in times of danger. It is as if the spirit of the white stag has bestowed upon me a heightened sense of awareness, allowing me to anticipate danger before it strikes.
(Blessing of the stag) Soul trait The user knows when immediate death is near.
With the cave fortified and made livable, I find a moment of respite. I lay on my rough bed, the scars on my body throbbing with both pain and pride. The journey has been grueling, and the battles have taken their toll, but I am ready to face whatever lies ahead. In that moment I notice some notifications I may have ignored or didn't see before.
{Shelter -> Home} Sufficient upgrades have been made do you accept the ownership of this new Home. YES : NO
It doesn't take long but I say yes after I do other pop-ups make themselves know.
HOME This designation partains to places meant for long term living not just survival and can have major improvements and is meant for months to years of living. Many improvements can be made, few expansions can be made tho and only minor differences can be erected. If major improvements are made until there are none left to make and all minor traps are established then it will automatically move into the [BASE] designation. This designation can trigger only minor events.
There now seems to be a few tabs available to me including (defenses),(furniture),(waist room),(pool room),(the pit),(main room)
[You have now made the first step to living in this world and have gained one new skill and 1 level]
Learned skill [ wood working] Rarity: uncommon The user can efficiently cut trees down and work them into anything from small art pieces and furniture to walls and defenses.
And I guess I need to now see what leveling up is like. It can't be that hard I'll also need to go through my windows and learn everything I can about this system.
I close my eyes, allowing the exhaustion to wash over me, knowing that tomorrow will bring new challenges. But with the wisdom of the stag etched into my soul and the strength of my defenses surrounding me, I find solace in the knowledge that I am prepared. And with 5 stat points I should be able to see a difference after using them.
The goblins may regroup and seek revenge, or another threat can raise it's ugly head but they will find a changed man awaiting them—a warrior with a fortified sanctuary, a soul.
submitted by Huge_Lengthiness4752 to u/Huge_Lengthiness4752 [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 20:59 LiteraryHedgehog Megathread: Camp and Chill Event, May 30-June 1

A new Camp and Chill Event starts today!
This 2 day event will run from Tuesday, May 30 until 19:00 GMT Thursday, June 1, and is open to all players with version 10.2.1 or above, a minimum of 250 dragon power, and a stable and reliable internet connection.
Points are earned by tapping items, opening chests, and other simple tasks completed in Camp. The Event Capsule Store appears after earning 500 points; free Bronze Capsules containing Event Points can be collected every 3 hours after that.


Good luck and happy merging!


  1. Sprouting Dragon Tree, lvl 2 - requires earning 70 points
  2. Prism Flower Buds, lvl 2 - 1,290p
  3. Blue Belly Shrooms, lvl 5 - 1,840p
  4. Daily Chest (Super Egg Fragment) - 3,190p
  5. Watering Hole, lvl 5 - 4,790p
  6. Aged Glowing Dragon Tree, lvl 4 - 6,420p
  7. Nice Zen Temple, lvl 3 - 7,990p
  8. Golden Sapling, lvl 2 - 9,610p
  9. Seth Dragon Kid, lvl 2 - 11,210p
  10. Deer Dragon Kid, lvl 2 - 13,590p
Total to collect all prizes: 60,000 points


This is the only type of event where point producing items can be stockpiled ahead of time; for info and links to guides on bubbling as a storage option, please visit the Community FAQ.
The following are the most efficient or popular ways to earn points:


Alien Obelisks (Requires cash purchase)
Fruit Trees
Goal Stars and Dragon Stars (points per tap)
Life Orbs (single tap)
Midas Trees
MonsteMythical Idols (single tap)
Mystic Topiaries (single use only, number of taps depends on level)
Prism Flowers
ShimmeSecret Fountains
Coin Vaults and Stone Yards
Chests (single tap only)
Camp and Chill Event Items
Miscellaneous Items
Combo Merges Note: this is a partial list — most chains seem to work, with points increasing by item levels and length of chain.
No Points


If the event is not showing up or glitches are affecting your play:

General Technical Warnings:

Note: All initial event info is preliminary, based off what we’ve had in prior editions. Edits are ongoing
submitted by LiteraryHedgehog to MergeDragons [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 20:59 EchinaceaPuff Finally I was working on my response again to OutbackAnimations's analysis... (So far I wrote more stuff about Robot Flower, Foldy, and Stapy) (mainly Stapy)

What this is about, so a while ago OutbackAnimations posted this art for me of some of my favorite characters, and analysis of them in the comments. I planned on writing more than my brief initial response to the analysis, but I had other stuff I needed to do, and even when I had time, I did not end up doing it... But now with much more free time, I figured I should work on the response more. This is already kind of long, so I plan on making another post(s) later about the rest of the characters. I recommend that you read OutbackAnimations's analysis for more context of this, as it is written directed to them and their analysis. I figured that it would make more sense to type this on a separate post.

Robot Flower: I already wrote a little about Robot Flower in my other response, but I am glad you understand that she would panic in the BFB 7 scenario. Some people seem to hate characters for stuff they did in emotional situations. And something else about Robot Flower, is that in TPOT 4, she thinks that she is a plant, and Tree questions whether she counts, and later she seems to believe him. Robot Flower is quite helpful, it might appear that she just does what others tell her to do, but like in BFB 7, she disobeyed Golf Ball's order to not mess up the signal. Sometimes she seems a bit gullible... like in TPOT 5, she fell for what TV was saying, about destructing the fish machine. (Although, it is hard to know for sure if TV was actually trying to trick Robot Flower or if he legitimately wanted to prove a point to the others left on TSToE about their treatment of machines.)

Foldy: I already mentioned this earler, but again, thank you for understanding that characters should not be expected to act rationally in emotional situations. And about a loss that she would not recover from for a long time, when Two says "Tapy" but Foldy mishears it as "Stapy" and then Basketball corrects her, how Foldy gasps when she thought she heard "Stapy," and her disappointment when she realized the truth... To show how she still missed Stapy after all this time, that may have been part of how I became quite interested in Foldy. I remember hoping that she could have some development, like we could see deeper into how Stapy's elimination affected her, and I was thinking maybe Basketball could teach her to be less sad about Stapy, to teach her how to cope. In that scene in TPOT 1, Foldy only gasped, she never actually mentioned anything about Stapy, yet Basketball understood. That Foldy thought Two said "Stapy." And Basketball is sort of the leader of TSToE. Before TPOT 2, I had my hopes up for Foldy's future as a character—I thought that maybe Stapy and Foldy could be reunited. But then TPOT 2 came along, and my hopes kind of got shattered. But I have not given up hope. Apparently Sam said that the EXITors would appear in future TPOT episodes. Perhaps the door in the EXIT leads to the eliminated TPOT contestants. And I get that we have not seen the EXITors since TPOT 1, but I am thinking that maybe TPOT 6 will be the episode we finally see them. It will probably be the episode for the meetup, and maybe jacknjellify wants to do something special for it.

Stapy: Yes his personality seems pretty consistent. It kind of seems as if, he likes to avoid situations he might find stressful, or that he would rather procrastinate, or run away from his problems, or something. In BFB 1, when Fries is angry at him and Foldy for playing rock-paper-scissors, he says "What's wrong with a little RPS so we can stress less?" Showing that he is not merely playing rock-paper-scissors because that is more "fun" than the challenge, that he does not want to be in a stressful situation. Which is shown more when he says that he would love to be of assistance. His procrastination is not merely because he wants to have fun. And he also seems not very careful sometimes, like in BFB 1 but also in BFB 5 and 8.
In BFB 5, at first he is concerned about if the plane would be able to hold his weight, but after the members of his team go to the other side of the plane, he makes fun of BEEP, saying that they needed to learn about weight distribution, not exactly focusing on the challenge. He did not seem to take into account that, even though one problem may be solved, the challenge is not over, other things might happen. And then he staples the plane. He blames it on his "stapler instincts." I do not know whether it was actually involuntary or if he was just using at as an excuse. He used his "stapler instincts" as an excuse in BFB 10, when trying to persuade the viewers to let him rejoin. The BFDI Official Character Guide says that he will blame his "stapler instincts" to describe why he failed a task. Trying to take away his responsibility for his actions.
In BFB 6, he was not very careful either, looking at Donut when the Twinkle challenge was about to start, questioning since when did his words become so powerful. Donut had explained how the Twinkle worked, yet he was still looking at him.
And then... BFB 8. While that episode does bother me, I do not necessarily agree with what I have seen said by at least one other person that his "cheating" was out-of-character. According to Fries, he knew the answer to one of the questions. And some of the questions were very simple, like what was the past tense of eat. So if he knew answers, why did he make the fake buzzer instead? Why not just answer them? Was he not confident in himself, was he afraid of messing things up, was bearing the responsibility of making the team win stressful? Maybe he wanted to make the fake buzzer so that he would not have to be afraid with coming up with a wrong answer. But then again, someone on another team could have messed up. But maybe it would have still looked as if he were helping, and that another team's wrong answer was "not his fault." And how, when it was down to Free Food and iance, he then actually tries to answer the question but gets it wrong. And then Bubble gives the right answer, but due to the fake buzzer, Donut did not count it. Did he realize that he now needed to take the risk in order to keep Free Food safe? Reminds me of BFB 5, thinking that things will be fine, but then later realizing that they were not...
Also, was Stapy's "cheating" technically cheating? Donut never said that making a fake buzzer was against the rules. Hosts often do not give clear rules. Also, Donut said to buzz the buzzer when one knows the answer, but he never technically said that pressing the buzzer was required to be safe, he just said that one needed to get one question right in order to be safe, which Bubble did. Other characters, like Pen, have cheated multiple times, yet people do not seem to hate them much for it.
Also in BFB 11, the EXITors get back some exam that they had taken. Stapy just put "4" for all of the answers, and he ended up getting five out of six questions right, the best out of everyone in the EXIT. He did not put anything for the bonus question, which was simply asking for his favorite number. (Maybe he thought that was unnecessary if he put 4 for the answers?) He seemed to have an understanding of how Four worked, seemed to expect him to have "4" as the answers. And how he did not answer the bonus question, maybe he was feeling confident in himself. Like BFB 5 and BFB 8. Sometimes it seems as if, while Stapy is capable, he is not always interested in trying his best.
And then... Consider his relationship with Liy. As we see in BFB 2, Foldy has a strong disliking of Liy. In BFB 5, Stapy suggested to Foldy that they smile big after Liy was eliminated, which they did. At first in BFB 10 and 11, Stapy and Liy's relationship was not very positive, such as with Stapy teasing Liy and Liy hitting Stapy twice. But then... in BFB 16, they seem to be getting along a little better, as well as in TPOT 1. But what will happen when—if—Foldy finds out about this? Will she be hurt? Angry? But... why would Stapy be friends with Liy if he knows that Foldy hates her? Has Stapy considered the risk of what might happen if she found out? Does he think that he will not see Foldy again? Or does he think he has some time to worry about that? This whole friendship with Liy thing, perhaps he wants to be nice to her, but again, this seems rather uncareful.
If we ever get to see Stapy again, perhaps he could have an arc of learning to be more careful, learning to accept stressful situations, learning to take responsibility for his actions. Perhaps it might help him to learn if Foldy does not respond well if she finds out about his sort-of-friendship with Liy.
Stapy seems to be quite clever sometimes; like with the fake buzzer in BFB 8; he not only came up with the idea but also figured out how to actually make it. And the BFB 11 thing, with putting "4" for the answers. Also, in BFB 16, his plan of stacking those recommended items was rather specific.
It is unfortunate that many people seem to mostly just consider BFB 8 for their opinion on Stapy. Yes, he can be a little rude sometimes, like when he called it "lame" that Marker did not know how to play rock-paper-scissors, and maybe the thing about Firey Jr. in BFB 16 (speaking of which, I do hope they can have more interaction in the future), but he also can be caring. What you said about the cakes in BFB 9, and stuff like standing up to Four in BFB 6 (he was still rather murderous back then), after he mutilated Foldy. And then he suffered for this, what with Four zapping him.
I agree with what you said about his friendship with Foldy saving Foldy from elimination. I have seen it said that Foldy is "nothing without Stapy." I get that sometimes Foldy may come across as "dependent" on Stapy or something, but that does not mean a character is bad.
And, about how to improve your opinions, I guess you should pay attention to what a character does, and notice the patterns, the connections, in their behavior, the different things they do. I am not saying you have to memorize everything they do in every episode, but try to be at least somewhat familiar with what they do. (Though I am not too familiar with what some of my favorite characters yet) Some of my favorites were not actually originally based on much thought of their personality. And then over time I learn more about their actual personalities. I could probably think of more on how to improve your opinions. But if there is a character you like, then I advise that you look more into their personality, to see some stuff that may be overlooked by the majority of the fanbase.
I plan to at some point write a response to what you said about the other characters.
submitted by EchinaceaPuff to BattleForDreamIsland [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 20:45 ReceptionFantastic13 This is the cause of my frustration with Arcadia…

This is the cause of my frustration with Arcadia…
Soon after the New & Improved Arcadia was introduced, the dragons started going to sleep immediately after harvesting from a single object! They sleep for at least 2 days, unless I pay to wake them up! At 100 gems each, this is robbery IMO. I will never be able to catch up with harvesting even by tapping, because there are other tasks that the dragons need to do such as harvesting relics. I refuse to pay to wake the dragons up & can’t afford it. Imagine if you had an employee who stayed asleep until you paid to wake them up to do a single task, then they instantly returned to sleep for another 2 days. It feels just like that. 😒
submitted by ReceptionFantastic13 to MergeDragons [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 18:07 Quetzhal DIE. RESPAWN. REPEAT. 41

Chapter 1 Prev Next
I dig into my soup as Virin lies back into his bed of straw — but almost immediately, he sits up again, his eyes wide. "You fix my bed!" he says. "How you fix?"
"I just... kind of tried to move the Firmament around a bit?" I say. "It all settled once I did. I'm not sure."
"It not easy to move other people Firmament," Virin mutters. "It hard, actually. And this bed experimental. I use new Firmament. Harder to anchor. But you anchor it?"
"Not on purpose?" I certainly hadn't tried to tie it down the way Mari had suggested; I don't have nearly the skill needed to anchor it down to every individual piece of straw.
"No, not anchor..." Virin runs his feathers over the straw, concentrating. "Stabilize? Firmament not stable before. Why stable now?"
I start to answer, but Virin isn't even looking at me — I don't think he's paying attention. He's completely lost in the mystery of how I apparently fixed his bed. I watch, amused, as he starts muttering to himself and pulling out individual pieces of straw, brushing over them with Firmament as though he can better understand what I've done.
Good luck to him. I don't even know what I did. Maybe it has something to do with the instability of my own Firmament.
Eventually, though, Virin seems to fall asleep while still muttering to himself. I chuckle a little at the sight — his beak is buried in the straw. Every so often, he shifts, scratching at his belly and then muttering something about Firmament imbuement; it only stops when Nori tosses down a stick from her nest up in the ceiling and somehow manages to nail her father right in the head.
"I guess she's used to it?" I remark to Ahkelios, amused. The mantis nods very seriously to me.
"Sleep is important," he says. "She must have picked up the skills necessary to survive."
I snort. "Where'd you get your sense of humor from?"
"My father," Ahkelios replies immediately. "And he got his sense of humor from his father's father—"
Ahkelios shuts up as another stick appears in Nori's little nest, and focuses on eating his flowers. I snicker a bit to myself and continue sipping my soup, enjoying the quiet warmth of the morning.
I'm worried about the notifications in the system, of course. I'm worried about the Trials. I'm worried about the bursts of Firmament from the Fracture, and I'm worried about Tarin.
But this is the longest I've ever survived in a loop, and just for a moment, I want to appreciate the quiet morning.
Eventually, I finish my food, and I pile it together with Ahkelios' leftovers — the mantis doesn't even need to eat, and most of the flowers he nibbles on either get disintegrated by his Firmament or fall through his body. He seems happy enough, though, and I gather the scraps into one of the bowls and put them both to the side. I'll clean them once I've had a chance to visit Mari.
Speaking of which... I've given her enough time to nap, I think.
The village is pretty quiet, even as late in the morning as it is. There are a few crows up and about, chatting to one another or doing their laundry by the river, but by and large most of them still seem to be asleep. I make my way to Mari and Tarin's hut without much disturbance at all, and knock on the wall of the hut.
Gently, just in case Mari's still sleeping.
"Trialgoer!" Mari bursts through the makeshift door, startling me and nearly bowling me over. "You come in!"
She doesn't give me much of a choice. She grabs me by the wrist and pulls me in, and I wonder for a moment exactly how much sleep she's gotten; even Ahkelios is grabbing on to my hair just to stay on, squeaking in surprise at the suddeness of the movement.
I don't understand why she's so aggressive about this until I see what's happening inside the hut. The translation stone sits at the center, flickering softly with purple light and floating a good two feet above the ground.
"Uh," I say. "Is that supposed to happen?"
"Of course!" Mari says irritably. "What you take me for? This ancient relic. All ancient relics float and glow. Common sense."
I want to question this, but Mari doesn't give me much of a chance. She jabs a wing at the floating stone, in particular to a little ring that sits at the top of it, flickering with that same purple.
"This Firmament indicator," she explains without preamble. "Translation stone translate when it make contact with ancient language, but it take time. When ring full, translation complete. Then Trialgoer add Firmament, and stone will translate."
I blink. "You found all that out overnight?"
"I very good," Mari says, sounding incredibly smug. "Mostly it activation sequence that take time. Activation complicated. Need. code. I not know code."
"How'd you activate it, then?" I can't help but ask.
"Need understand underlying structure. Then can figure out what code is." Mari puffs out her chest a little. "Code strange, though. It crow word. I not understand why."
I blink at this. "What was the word?"
"Old crow word. Aarivari." The Interface doesn't translate the word, to my surprise; Mari seems to notice my confusion, and attempts to translate. "It mean... Knowledge. Purpose. Understanding."
"Makes sense, for a translation stone," I mutter. Ahkelios makes a noise of agreement, peering curiously at the stone. I wonder how much of it he remembers, now that it's activated. For that matter, how did he figure out what the activation word was?
He seems to be quieter than usual — contemplative, almost. I'll ask him more about it later.
"Is that it?" I ask. "I just take it, bring it to the Hotspot, and wait for the ring to fill itself?"
Mari nods firmly. "You trust. It work."
"I believe you," I chuckle. I stare at the stone, wondering how I'm even going to pick it up — it's still floating there, and I'm half-worried that I'm going to damage it if I try to touch it. But Mari doesn't stop me, so I grab it and fold it beneath an arm.
It's still glowing, and it feels warm against my skin, but it's not uncomfortable.
"Any sign of Naru?" I ask, and Mari shakes her head.
"Idiot son not come here," she says. There's no small amount of bitterness in her voice. "You careful. Maybe he still in your Hotspot."
"He'd have to spend an entire day in it," I mutter. I don't know Naru well enough to know if he would, but he seems impulsive and aggressive; I can't imagine him staying in one place for long.
"You not want me to come with?" Mari asks.
"Not this time." I shake my head. "I don't know where Naru goes after he leaves the Hotspot. If he decides to pay the village a visit, I think you should be here. Especially since Tarin's..."
I glance at the crow. He's still fast asleep, looking for all the world like he's perfectly healthy — if it weren't for the storm of Firmament raging inside him, I wouldn't know anything was wrong at all. Mari tenses a little bit at my words, and nods.
"I stay here. Protect village and Tarin. You stay safe." The way she says it, it's more of a command than a request.
I lift two fingers in a mock-salute. "Yes ma'am," I say.
Mari snorts and shoos me out of the tent, but not before I catch her smiling.

Carrying the translation stone with me to the Hotspot is uncomfortable, but not unbearable. Ahkelios and I make the journey in relative silence, stopping only to take the necessary breaks. Ahkelios seems lost in thought, and I don't want to interrupt him — I have my own worries. The notifications, for example, still hover in my mind.
Mechanical Remnant. What is that, exactly? And how did I defeat one of them?
As I ponder the question, I glance over my status. I've gained a number of credits from my unexpected 'defeat' of those remnants, and I might have to put them to use either now or in the Hotspot, especially if Naru is still there. I'm not particularly inclined to get captured.
[ Loop 13 in progress. ]
[ Status:
Name: Ethan
Strength Skills: Crystallized Strength (Rank C) Durability Skills: Tough Body (Rank E), Second Wind (Rank B), Barrier (Rank D), Crystallized Barrier (Rank C) Reflex Skills: Mental Acceleration (Rank C), Intuitive Analysis (Rank C) Speed Skills: Firestep (Rank C), Triplestep (Rank E) Firmament Skills: Temporal Fragment (Rank D), Firmament Manipulation (Rank D), Color Drain (Rank C)
The Mirror Twice Shattered (Firmament, Unique)
The All-Seeing Eye (Reflex, Rank A)
Credit Distribution: Strength: 117 (47 banked) Durability: 203 (84 banked) Reflex: 38 (124 banked) Speed: 141 (79 banked) Firmament: 24 (100 banked) ]
...I am incredibly tempted to bank them all right now. The only reason I resist the urge is because I want to reserve at least one of them for the Hotspot itself; banking any of these will trigger an Inspiration, a meeting with Gheraa. I'm not sure I'm ready to meet him again. I need to be prepared, to come up with the right questions, to probe what his intentions and the intentions of the Integrators are.
And there's a second reason, too. The time stop effect of the meeting might be useful to buy me time to think. It feels like a waste to squander an opportunity like that.
But I should decide what I want to bank next.
Speed and Durability are well on their way to reaching 250, which is the number of points I need to get a Rank B skill, though Durability is closest. The only one of those I have right now is Second Wind, and it's one of the most powerful abilities I have, if somewhat limited in scope. I'd like to keep aim to get at least one Rank B skill, and a Speed one might be the best one to get, especially with how much running I seem to need to do.
I already have Second Wind for Durability, along with Crystallized Barrier, which will only get more powerful with each use. I'm mostly lacking in offense, which means the next stat I bank should be Strength.
If the Hotspot calls for it, I'll bank Strength. I'll save the Durability Inspiration for a proper meeting with Gheraa — hopefully netting another Rank B or even a rank A in the process — and I'll also try to save enough credits for a Rank B skill in Speed.
Okay. That's the plan, then.
The edge of the Hotspot comes into view. As before, color drains away from everything, collecting into sticky pools on the ground. This time, however, I have the translation stone with me — and it stays unaffected, glowing purple with Firmament.
There's just one small problem with that.
I'd forgotten how those color-pools reacted when they were first struck by the Obelisk's Firmament, and I hadn't considered how they might react to other forms of foreign Firmament. Apparently, the translation stone counts, and it's emanating waves that I can't stop even with Firmament Manipulation. They're weak, but they're there, rippling out through the hotspot.
And all around me, pools of color start to rise.
"Oops," I mutter.
"Oops," Ahkelios agrees. He sounds significantly more nervous than I do.
Chapter 1 Prev Next

Author's Note: Too tired to come up with any chapter notes for this one, but my last day of work is tomorrow! Hopefully I'll have much more time after that.
Here are the Patreon and RoyalRoad links, as usual. Patreon is up to chapter 48, and I recommend checking out the latest RoyalRoad chapter for more art (or here is the link, also from Loaf, same as in the last post).
As always, thanks for reading!
submitted by Quetzhal to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 15:59 YaaliAnnar NoP: Lost and Found (56)

First Previous
Memory Transcription Subject: Vani, Venlil Surgeon
Date [Standard Human Reckoning]: 2136-10-22
Secluded in the comfort of our cabin, I found myself savoring the rare moments of peace with Johan. The bustling camp did not afford us the luxury of privacy, and this precious pocket of calmness felt like a gift. Lying on the bed together, we did not feel the need to fill the silence with words or engage in any couple of activities. I felt an inherent satisfaction in just lying there together.
"Vani," Johan's voice filled the quiet cabin.
"I'm... I'm afraid of going back," he confessed.
I considered his words before asking, "Do you have many friends back in Jakarta?"
His gaze stayed on the ceiling as he replied, "Other than Snop... not. I guess, in a twisted way, that's a kind of luck?"
I watched as he rolled onto his side to face me, his eyes searching mine. "I count myself beyond fortunate to have met you." His fingers stroked my mane. His light touch felt heavy and comforting. "Even if we were in Jakarta when they implemented the quota they would have let me evacuate with you."
For a while, we just lay there, appreciating each other, our silent exchanges speaking volumes.
When we arrived at the ship, it was still the second or third hour of the day. I forgot when I fell asleep, but Johan's alarm woke us up the same. When we stepped out of our cabin, we found Tresn and the siblings lounging in the common area. Tresn now had the prostheses in his paws. The device twitched every now and there. Meanwhile, the siblings were engrossed in their thoughts or busy with their pads.
In the common area, we had our first meal aboard the vessel. We sat near the window, our portal to the world outside. Through the clear pane, the black water merged with the black sky, and I felt like being suspended in a void. Yet, despite this sense of absolute stillness, the ship flew above the water at a speed above fifty meters per second. Sometime after we had cleared our plates, our surrounding transformed. The sun, breaking the confines of the horizon, began its ascent. Although we were facing away from this bright ball in the sky, its effect was no less mesmerizing. Dawn overtook the black sky. First, the once pitch-black sky took on a shade of deep purple. A transition to an intense, deep red followed it soon after.
Perhaps two or three hours after the sunrise, the coastline of Cirebon began to emerge, peeking out from the edge of the horizon. Its unblemished skyline shone in stark contrast to the devastation reported in Jakarta.
Elangkasa joined us in the common area before we landed.
"Hi folks." They greeted me. "So, I might have forgotten to tell you all that you'll go to Purwakarta Sector 12 as volunteers."
"We don't mind." Said Johan. "I'm glad if I can be of help."
Elangkasa then briefed us on our job in Purwakarta Sector 12, Bolad and I would join the health workers. Johan and Cynthio had put aside their differences, nodding in agreement when Elangkasa assigned them to service and maintain the drones for rescue. Snop agreed when they asked her for help in construction with her skills in operating machining tools.
The armed forces had commandeered this once bustling commercial hub and had transformed it into a temporary base and staging area just like in Banjarmasin. Once we disembarked, Bolad and I joined Johan in his van again. A map of the region appeared on the dashboard. A red pinpoint marked the ovation where the bomb fell and a circle around it, the area of effect.
My classes both in Venlil Prime and Earth did not teach me about orbital bombardment and here I learned that one needs to get into a bunker in times like this. Because, for tens of kilometers, the bomb would heat the air to the point of causing tissue damage. The map showed a region where you will face severe burn injury if you stayed outside when the explosion happened. Amid the circle depicting the zones of devastation, one stark red marker pulsated with disconcerting energy. It lay within the severe heat zone. Its constant glow commanded my immediate attention.
"Johan," I ventured, pointing at the glaring red marker that almost seemed to taunt us, "That red marker there is your home, is it not?"
His eyes shifted from the barren road to the display, taking in the red beacon that represented his home. "Yeah…" He let out a sigh, heavy with desolation within the confines of the vehicle. "I wonder what's left of that house now."
As we drew nearer to the affected area, I steeled myself for the scenes of destruction. However, the buildings seemed to have withstood the assault better than I expected. Of course, we could see the scars of the attack, the shockwave shattered windows and some structures had superficial cracks. A general sense of disarray permeated our surroundings, but the core structures stood against the odds.
Cities and towns dotting the outskirts of the Greater Jakarta Province had been retrofitted with camps to accommodate the droves of displaced people emerging from the ruins of the once-thriving metropolis. In recent days, the tide has started to turn. Able-bodied survivors moved back towards their shattered homes, driven by the urge to reclaim and restore what they could salvage from the debris.
Our journey led us to the city of Purwakarta, a place I remembered from a past excursion with Johan. We had once visited the city's reservoir, taking in the tranquil beauty of the idyllic landscape. The city has changed now. A bustling hive of activity transformed the city as it took refuge for those fleeing the destruction.
Because of the scale of the destruction, we didn't have a single "camp" as we had for the gojids. The refugee districts were divided into Sectors. We pulled into sector twelve as the midday sun reached its zenith, casting almost no shadow on the ground. Prefabricated buildings of varying sizes formed an ordered chaos across the city's outskirts.
Everywhere we looked, people occupied themselves in a frenzy of activity. Here, soldiers oversaw the transport of food and materials. There, health workers moved to check from the habitation unit to the habitation unit. Engineers collaborate with helper and builder drones to perform maintenance and construction. All around, people took on roles they never imagined they would, united by the common goal of survival and restoration.
Despite the dire circumstances, the humans put on determined faces. Humans made the majority of camp inhabitants, but I spotted two arxurs here, their imposing presence always accompanied by a human minder. Both of them shot a look in disgust at Tresn, while humans looked at the defector with an equal part of concern and curiosity.
Elangkasa led us through the camp. First, we passed the engineering quarter where my human and the siblings parted from us. Another trip led us to the medical complex, where we saw medical personnel moving with well-practiced efficiency to care for the injured. A conglomeration of tents and prefabricated buildings all bearing the red crystal symbol made up the hospital. The bustle here felt different, it had an undercurrent of urgency threaded through the ordered chaos.
At the entrance of the hospital's administration building a zurulian had waited for us. Her short stature did not deter us. Upon noticing us, however, her expression turned sour.
"I have a feeling I'm not supposed to be here." Said Tresn. "Maybe... I can get to the habitation unit?"
"You need some help with physiotherapy. Can you bring him there, Elangkasa?" said Bolad.
"Yeah, take that to a human health worker. I'm not going to treat it." The zurulian said with a huff.
"I am Bolad, and this is Vani." The gojid introduced ourselves.
"I'm Rawan, the medical Coordinator for Sector Twelve, Shift Two."
My stomach rumbled, a reminder that it was midday, mealtime according to Earth's cycle.
Sensing my discomfort, Rawan commented. "Hungry already? Well, we are on a lunch break right now. Follow me," leading us away from the hospital administration.
According to the map, there exist two dining areas, located far from each other. The one Rawan brought us to, served plant-based meals for species with a herbivorous diet, the other was where arxurs and their human minders feast.
Stepping into the hall felt comforting. It felt as if an invisible barrier dampened the harsh sounds of the bustling camp outside, replaced by the familiar din of a busy dining hall. Members of Federation species, like us, gathered here. I saw zurulians, colleagues of Dr. Rawan, along with several gojids who had responded to the call for assistance in the rescue, relief, and rebuilding efforts.
The dining procedure here was not like what we had at the camp. Instead of autonomous carts coming around to deliver our meals, we had to stand in line. Humans manned the serving counters, dishing out meals onto trays as we moved along. The menu today consists of a stir-fried noodle and rice combination, named "Nasi Mawut".
After getting our portions, we selected an empty table, the tantalizing taste in the air from our tray deepened my hunger and anticipation. We set down our trays, and with a collective eagerness, took our seats.
"To be honest," Rawan began, her gaze sweeping over the crowded dining hall before returning to her meal, "This is often the highlight of my day here." She gestured towards her plate and scoffed, "Imagine that, I, a zurulian, looking forward to a predator's meal."
"To be fair," I retorted, "this meal is not prepared from ingredients they acquired from hunting."
Rawan chuckled a high-keening sound that made her sound like she was in distress. "Sometimes," she mused, her eyes thoughtful as she poked at her food, "I do wonder why they feel the need to consume flesh when they can subsist on meals such as these."
Not wanting to engage in a sensitive debate with a superior officer we had just met, I opted for silence, focusing instead on the pleasant taste of the Nasi Mawut before us.
A voice broke the quiet chatter around us. A gojid, appearing youthful by their standards, made his way toward our table with a casual gait. A broad smile adorned his face as he acknowledged us. "Hey, doctors! Fancy seeing you here again."
"Greetings," Bolad replied with a courteous nod. "I hope the presence of arxurs has not caused you undue distress?"
I looked at the gojid's hip and saw a familiar scar. I recognized him as the one gored by the sheep back at the camp.
A robust laugh escaped from the gojid, his face brightening up. He waved off Bolad's concerns, "No worries, Doc. We've got a human minder assigned to us to keep those predators in check. And we also have a buddy system, safety in numbers, you know."
"That is good to hear," Bolad responded. Although my facial annotator had learned a lot about gojids' gestures and expressions, it kept interpreting Bolad's emotion as a blank.
A small device strapped to the gojid's wrist chirped. The gojid glanced at it before looking back up to us with a swift nod. "Ah, duty calls. Well, it was nice chatting with you, Doc!" With that, he swung around, his round figure merging with the crowd as he strode towards the exit.
Once the gojid departed, Rawan, Bolad, and I continued to sit and chat over the remains of our meal. Bolad and I shared stories about our experiences in the gojid camp in Kalimantan. The pervasive sound of a resounding announcement filled the hall, halting our exchange. An impersonal voice echoed from the overhead speakers.
"Shift Two! Your break time will be over in ten minutes. I repeat. Shift Two! Your break time will be over in ten minutes." The forceful announcement marked the conclusion of our pause, a reminder of the tasks that awaited us.
"Well, that's our cue," the medical coordinator announced, getting up from her seat. Her hands reached for her tray but having to maneuver in bipedal mode made the action seem awkward.
"Allow me," I offered, reaching for her tray to assist. "I'll carry it to the collection point."
"Thank you," she responded.
As I made my way to the collection point, Bolad engaged Rawan in a conversation. "How many shifts are there in a day?" he queried.
Rawan turned to Bolad. "We work with a four-shift rotation. The humans initially wanted three, due to their unusual stamina," she explained.
Once we discarded the tray Rawan led us back to the medical complex of Sector Twelve.
"Our main goal here is to offer immediate care to the injured and aid in their recovery." She started when we passed the gate of the medical complex.
Rawan gestured towards a cluster of tents assembled off to the side. A perpetual flurry of activity surrounded them as people carried patients in and out on stretchers. "These are our triage tents," Rawan explained. "New patients are first brought here for evaluation. Depending on the severity of their injuries, they are then dispatched to the appropriate sections for treatment. Bolad, you'll be stationed here. Your expertise in general medicine will be invaluable in assessing patients."
Our tour continued, taking us through the maze of the field hospital. We walked past prefabricated structures, erected with solid synthetic materials.
"These," Rawan proclaimed, her paw sweeping towards the buildings, "are our operating theaters. We haven't been able to install remote surgical facilities. Though, given your preference, that shouldn't be an issue..."
"I do favor direct surgery," I confessed, revealing a bit of my past.
Rawan halted, her sharp gaze taking both of us in. Her snout was positioned between Bolad and me looking at us from her peripheral vision. "I've reviewed both of your files," she said, focusing her attention on me. "I've worked with your kind before. You have your use in times and places like this."
Neither Bolad nor I questioned her use of the term "your kind", but we all know what she implied here.
"Now, it's time for you to report to your stations," Rawan instructed us, her tone leaving no room for debate. "The human health workers already in the field will brief you on the specific protocols we've established here."
The moment I crossed the threshold into the operating theater, I was confronted with an open fracture. The sterile operating rooms of the past, where I donned a vacuum suit to prevent my fur from contaminating the environment, seemed a world away. Here, a disposable robe was all that separated me from my patient. I plunged into hours of repairing human bodies, and I feel more useful than I had ever felt before. As valuable as my previous role of determining causes of death was, I feel a satisfying gratification in saving lives.
As I immersed myself in the demanding tasks of the medical field, my mind sometimes drifted toward Bolad. While my duties were straightforward, applying proven techniques and procedures, Bolad grappled with the daunting responsibility of determining the course of our patient's treatment. His role dictated the trajectory of their recovery or, in the worst cases, their demise. The magnitude of such a responsibility could be soul-crushing, and I wished that it did not burden him.
Before I knew it, a new team arrived ready for me to hand over my job to them. The end of our shift brought us to a prefabricated habitation unit, a space similar to our quarters in the camp. Due to spatial constraints, the unit contained three bunk beds instead of the usual row of mattresses.
When Bolad and I arrived at our living quarters, we found Johan, the siblings, and Tresn already present. They all gathered around a table, engrossed in a spirited card game.
"Vani! Bolad!" Johan looked up from his hand of cards, a warm smile spreading across his face. "How was your day?"
Bolad answered before I could. "I had to watch people die."
A stark silence filled the air. Johan's smile faltered as he bit his lip.
"Bolad was assigned to the triage area," I clarified, stepping in to defuse the tension.
"But you can request a rotation if the stress becomes too much," I offered, directing my words at Bolad as I hoisted myself onto an unoccupied chair. "What about you two?" I inquired, shifting the focus onto Johan and his siblings.
"We had to program the drones and-" Johan began, but Cynthio interrupted his explanation.
"They removed all the restrictions," Cynthio said. "We got to work with unrestricted synthetic intelligence! What we had to do felt less like programming and more like... talking with them." The joy and excitement on Cynthio's face were obvious even without my facial annotator.
Tresn placed a card onto the pile in the middle of the table, interjecting a question that caught us off guard. "By the way… how difficult is it to get to Sector Ten?"
"You could walk there if you wanted. Why do you ask?" Johan responded, curious about the sudden interest in another sector.
"There's someone I want to meet," Tresn admitted, a hint of hesitation in his voice.
"Hmm…" Snop considered, tilting her head. "We have about two or three hours before the breaking of the fast. How did you come to know this person?"
"The Internet," Tresn replied.
"Oh…" Snop replied, her face attempting to maintain neutrality and almost failing.
Intrigued by Tresn's unexpected online connection, we decided to accompany him on the short journey to Sector Ten. Leaving our habitation unit, we found ourselves navigating the ad hoc alleyways of Camp Sectors. Humans of all ages hustled past us, their faces a mosaic of determination and sorrow, each one bearing the weight of rebuilding amidst the ruins.
The further we ventured towards Sector Ten, the more conspicuous the increase in the arxurs' presence became. Given their nocturnal tendencies, I surmised that most Arxurs preferred anything but the second shifts.
Upon reaching the main plaza of Sector Ten, Tresn pulled out his pad, fingers dancing over the screen to access a social media site. I saw intensity in his actions, as he engaged in a private chat with a rapid succession of texts. He scanned his surrounding and his instinctive predatory gaze locked onto a specific figure in the bustling crowd, a human who was also looking around. An arxur shadowed him, their movements synchronized as if orchestrated by a shared rhythm.
Tresn wheeled first and we followed him toward the pair, our formation taking on a semi-circular shape around them. The human had close-cropped curly hair and his upper revealed his arm. A band covered his right arm and there was something off about the rest of that limb. The skin looked too smooth.
"Wait…" Snop, ever the observant one, pointed a finger toward the human, her voice laced with recognition. "I think… I know you."
The human responded by pointing back at Snop. "Aren't you Snowpaws?"
She nodded in affirmation. "Yeah, and you're… Jagomerah?"
A smile of confirmation danced on the human's lips. "Yeah."
Johan, who had been watching the interaction unfold, broke into a musing grin, "Jagomerah… that has to be a screen name," he remarked, shifting his gaze toward Tresn.
"Tresn," Johan began, an amused undertone in his voice, "You have been chatting with furries haven't you?"
"Scallies." Both Snop and Jagomerah corrected.
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2023.05.30 15:11 Janius [H] Medal of Honor, Crysis 2, Luck Be a Landlord, Dicey Dungeon, Mail Mole [W] Oaken, Bug Fables, offers

My barter.vg page
Mostly looking for Bug Fables and Oaken, but I will consider other games that I don't know about/aren't on the list. I really like to play Roguelites, RPGs, Strategy, Card games, and certain sims.
Janda's Tradable
Janda's Wishlist https://barter.vg8cec/w/
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2023.05.30 15:01 Shrykull1 Beating Creativity?

My personal worst matchups are footfalls and creativity. Where Obosh shines is against creature based decks. Our good matchups are graveyard strategies (mostly due to maindeck relic) and greedy mana bases, but creativity is a challenge after game 1.
I see myself often having a great game 1; bolting any dwarfs and goblin shamans, messing up the plan with blood moon, and going wide to deal with an Archon if it ends up dropping. I've even been able to deal with a single Archon with Stomp and flame slash, but that can't happen reliably.
However, when game 2 and 3 comes around, strike it rich and Iona comes in, both of which really hurt our game plan. Making treasures with strike it rich and prismari command nulls our removal and iona pretty much shuts us down.
Now our sideboard does have stone brains to deal with Archon or creativity, but when it doesn't eat a spell pierce on turn 2, naming Archon leaves Iona open and naming creativity leaves transmogrify open. I haven't figured out if shattering spree is good to side in bit it certainly doesn't feel good, especially when treasures can come in at instant speed. Magus of the moon is also pretty solid but again, when they rely on the treasures, they can fix mana and don't have to lean on Dwarven mine.
I guess what I'm getting at is how do you deal with creativity in general? What goes in post game 1 to combat all of the treasures? Should Orvar squeeze its way into the sideboard?
submitted by Shrykull1 to MonoRedObosh [link] [comments]