Did omar apollo date frank ocean

My Thoughts on FP EP. 247 (It's a bit of a fixer upper)

2023.05.28 04:15 Wild-Tea-9242 My Thoughts on FP EP. 247 (It's a bit of a fixer upper)

Okay, so in this episode Demeter and Persephone undergo therapy but it isn't completed yet because they split the screen time with Apollo and Artemis. Demeter's fun-lacking childhood being raised as a child soldier by Metis who puts too many expectations on her is addressed, and the latter scene shows us that Artemis knows what happened to Persephone and is about to confront Apollo about it finally (we also see that Apollo's reputation has been smeared by what he did to Daphne). Here are my thoughts.
Chiron is doing an alright job being a therapist. I know we all think Persephone has some kinks to work out as well, but honestly, I see nothing wrong with addressing Demeter's relationship with her mother and how that may effect her. Yeah, we all know Persephone makes questionable choices and Demeter isn't crazy for believing Hades is a bad fit for her, but all parents are challenged in some way when their child makes decisions they don't agree with, and an excellent parent will tell them their thoughts and then let them learn from their mistakes (if they ever do). She may disagree with Persephone being Queen of the UW, and Hades wife, but she cannot force her daughter to change her mind and put her through humiliating experiences as an attempt to do that. Yes, Hades is a jerk, and yes, Demeter has given Persephone a decent childhood despite the comics attempts to retcon those happy memories by saying "actually, the entire time she was being micro managed for no reason other than her mom wants her to be perfect and obedient" when we've been shown that Demeter was the right amount of protective for her underaged child, allowed her to have friends and study abroad, and did allow her to wear something other than white. But regardless of that, I won't object to the fact she needs to learn to step back and allow Persephone to wreck her life how she sees fit. Especially if the comic is trying to tell us now that she did that because she wants to overwork Persephone like her mother did her. We see that Demeter had a sense of duty instilled in her, and much like a parent wanting their child to become a doctor despite the kid clearly being interested in music, she wanted Persephone to stay and work in the mortal realm. her dating Hades is just the cherry on top of the shit sundae for Demeter, really it just seems like she wants to fit her into a mold and I can't pretend that's good even if it's a retcon.
I think they both need to regularly visit separate therapists. I don't like how Persephone gets to have the moral high ground when she just finished breaking into a nymph's apartment over nothing. Yeah I know it's to mend the mother daughter bond and not to adress unrelated individual issues, but it still rubs me the wrong way that she walks in with the baby acting all vulnerable and timid after she got done bullying the lower class and getting off to it with Hades. Persephone, you need fucking therapy too. Here we are dissecting Demeter and scrutinizing her for being an overprotective parent, wheras Persephone wrecks the home of one of her citizens and intimidates another for petty shit that happened ten years ago earlier on. Not to mention her and Hades communication issues. But nooo, we're supposed to think Persephone is right in everything she does, even if it's fueled by insecurity and jealousy and sadism, and anything Demeter does out of anger and hurt makes her a terrible woman.
Anyways, on to the next part. I am disappointed with how this thing with Apollo has been handled honestly. He was supposed to be this huge, golden figure that needed time and effort to be toppled. And then that's all handled off screen and we are simply told that his rep is totally ruined. Can't even see people who know Daphne confronting him the same way people who know Persephone confronted him for the rape. Just whispering nymphs. Just a huge storytelling flop. It's unsatisfying. I wanted to see him raked through the coals, I wanted his scandal publicized everywhere, I wanted to see his admirers throw out their items of worship or something. (Okay nymphs dont worship like mortals do, but come on, gods in this world are like celebrities, you can't tell me the lower class don't have like, posters of them up or something). But yeah. At least we will get to see Artemis rip into him next episode. I saw someone say that Artemis may have found out because of her new powers (protector of young women) and regardless, if she found out through someone other than Kore (which seems obvious because it shows a dialogue -less flashback of her crying and running to a shocked Persephone), I feel like it removes agency from Persephone. She can never really get to tell many people, they just find out and cry to her. A nitpick on my part, but I like to see sensitive cases like these handled with care and skill if it's meant to be a serious story. Everyone that goes to Persephone about it has to be comforted by Persephone, they never seem to give her a shoulder to cry on and they seem more upset about it than she does at the time. I get that it's heartbreaking for a loved one to be assaulted, but Jesus, don't you think she'd rather cry on your shoulder than vice versa???
Edit: I forgot to mention the fucking art. The heads look wider and more cherub and it's very noticeable. In one panel, Artemis's arm is uncannily long, her hand hanging next to her knee. And in another panel, Apollo has a giant Adams apple, a huge Crimson Chin jawline, and sort of an overbite. The art is suffering, my dudes. They look crazier each episode.
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2023.05.28 01:55 Darmanarya Hunting Pack chapter 2

((A fanfic of the amazing u/SpacePaladin15's The Nature of Predators story. Credit goes to them for the wonderful setting this takes place in!))
Memory transcription subject: Arxur hunter SyleDate [standardized human time]: REDACTEDI walked up to the human and stared down at him. My chest hurt, but my heart was beating so hard I could barely feel it. I wiped off the last of the paint as he looked up at me. “Alright. Believe I hunt now?” He asked as he pulled down the bottom of his mask and bared his teeth at me. I was already briefed that it was a “smile,” but it still felt the prey-hugger was mocking me.
He was lucky I needed him.
“Yes. I do, now for the bet.” I hissed out as my tail flicked frantically. I could feel the other Arxur staring me down from the side of the field. Like I was gnashing prey. This was my chance to escape them. My chance to stop eating sentients. My one chance to get out of betterment alive.
I looked down at him and took a deep breath.
“I. Arxur hunter Syle. Hereby swear to follow you and do as you wish as your servant. You won our wager, and this is how I will pay.”
Well, at least the smile was gone. The man’s mouth hung open and his eyes were so large I thought they would move his visor. My eyes wandered over to the arxur who shrugged, only to be confronted by the human woman. I could see them gathering around in a circle talking about me. That human woman kept pointing at me and moving her arms around I almost thought she was a krakotl trying to take off.
“So wait.” I looked back down to the man who finally decided he could talk. “Wait wait hold up. What are you saying? Is this like a “whenever we are near I will help you” or is it like “I will follow you around” kinda deal?”
My tail flicked as I looked him in the eyes. “I am yours.” I calmly explained to him. “Do the humans not have servants or slaves?” I asked as my scales shivered at the idea of being another predator’s slave.
“Okay, fuck no to you being a slave. No.” The human seemed, angry at that? Was I not good enough to be his?! “We have not had slaves for a VERY long time and not only is it illegal, but FUCK no to that.” His voice raised and I even picked up a bit of a growl. He was angry!
“Fine. I am not your slave, but I still swore to live with you and serve your needs.” I turned to him with a long breath. “Look human. I need this. Please.” The words slowly hissed out of my lips. I hated begging. It felt… wrong. But if he didn’t take me in I would be dead.
He looked at me with one of those eye-bushes higher than the other before he let out a sigh. “Alright. Well. I did want to have an exchange partner. Well. I don’t know if this will be allowed though and I am not going to move in with you. I know that THAT won’t be allowed for sure.” His hands slipped off that helmet of his and he started to rub his yellow head-fur.
The human woman was starting to walk towards us. Ah prophet now SHE was doing that grinning thing. I could see her looking over me like a hunter toying with a pup.
“So!” She walked up to us and stopped. “Jack. You have a nice remote house in the Shenandoah valley area right? Up in the mountains, fairly remote, wooded, nice and private.” My human nodded as he looked over at her. Alright, so his name was Jack. Going to have to keep that in mind.
“Good. I remember you bragging you had a small field big enough to park a shuttle next to it too. Well, this was far ahead of my projected schedule, but congrats! You will be one of the first humans to house a Arxur long term on earth.” She said with a nod. She bared her teeth at him in what I learned was called a “smile,” but even to me it felt a bit too big.
“Al-WHAT!?” He roared s he looked at the woman in surprise. “Wait wait wait.” He held up his hands in front of his chest as he looked at her, then me, then back to her. “You mean you are allowing this?” He asked her before motioning to me with both hands.
“Yes.” She walked towards me and looked me in the eyes. My scales shivered as I looked down at that human’s eyes. They were NOT the eyes of prey at all. Oh prophet the last time I saw eyes like that I was staring into the eyes of a chief hunter. What was this human?
“Alright General Jones. I guess… if you say so. I ain’t gunna go against you. Plus I was planning on this eventually.” Jack looked over at me with a long breath in and out. Prophet he was sounding like prey! He adjusted his gear and walked up to me before sticking his hand out.“My name is Jack Wolf. Yes. That is my family name. Yes, like the animal.”
I looked down at the hand then took it in mine. I had seen some humans do this gesture earlier and felt my tail flick side to side as he moved it up and down. Prophet I hope this means he is taking me in.
“My name is Syle. I will do any-”
The venil shit human stopped me by lifting his hand! Rude!
“No, you will not do ANYTHING I tell you. I will not do that whole slave stuff.” He explained as he looked up at me. “You are my GUEST now. I know I won a bet, but fuck that. No slaves.” He insisted. Well, if the human wanted to waste this prime Arxur then so be it. I was not going to complain about not being a slave!
“By the way, Jones, why did you agree to this so fast?” He asked the, frankly, terrifying lady.
“Simple Mr. Wolf. One, having a Arxur permanently on earth will help us learn quite a bit about them. Second: They insisted we keep her. They called her “weak and defective” and that rarely ends well for Arxur as far as we know.”
My tail hit the ground with a thud. SHIT. Oh thank the prophet that this human was willing to take me! Oh venlil, gojid, krakotl, tiflish, ALL THE FED SHIT was I glad that my plan was working!
“Ah.” Was all the male said. Ah? I almost was executed and all that is worth to you is an AH?!
“Well, I got a spare bedroom and killed a huge buck last season so I got the supplies for Syle.” He rubbed his chin. “And the area I got cleared out for a gun range could be used as a landing zone since its right next to my driveway. Yeah, could work. House is a mess, but they will have to get used to that anyway.”
Jones nodded then looked over at all the others talking to each other. “Well, as the saying goes: Plans never survive first contact with the enemy.” Although I don’t fully consider your kind enemies anymore.” The edges of her mouth turned down as her eye bushes lowered. “We have enough of those as it is. Alright! I will be sending you a bonus and we will work out a stipend for her and you.” She started to walk to the rest of the group.
“Syle. Go to our docs to get a full medical checkup and to work out what you need diet wise. Jack. you two will be getting on a heli together. I know your car is here, but an agent will drive it back to your place for you. We do NOT want to risk anyone seeing Syle in transit. This is now secret clearance level. Got it?” My human moved his head up and down. “Good. Now I need to keep a closer eye on the other three to make sure there are no more… incidents.”
I looked over to Jack who looked up at me. He gave me one of those smiles, put his hand on my back, and gave one of those head-move things. “Alright. Guess you are moving in with me! We can save questions for later. Go ahead to the docs.” He then stepped away leaving me alone.
Oh betterment what did I just get myself into? I hissed and walked over to the medical tent, ready to be poked and prodded to their heart’s content. I had been curious about human dens, and now I was going to be living in one! Bah, hope the f-
I froze and my tail lashed side to side. FOOD. He would feed me and humans ate meat that was not sentient!

Oh, this was the best thing ever to happen to me! No more worrying about defector execution or what the thing I eat was! I strolled up to that tent. Let them poke and prod me all they want! Peace finally waited for me.

Oh prophet those needles are big.
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2023.05.28 00:59 SWOTTDom 27 [M4F] #Ottawa Breeding

Let’s start with a little about me and hopefully you’ll see that I am the man who should be the father of your children. I am 27 years old and 6'3. I am of English descent and a 2nd generation Canadian. I have short dark brown hair, beard, and eyes. I also wear glasses.
I am a caring, honest, respectable man with a quick wit and a logical mind.
I'm educated, with an undergrad and post-grad under my belt, but not afraid to get my hands dirty. I'm gainfully employed in my field.
I enjoy cooking, soccer, volunteering, podcasts, board games, and history. I enjoy cooking many different types of food but I am by no means a chef. I support England and a local club in soccer. In the theme of european sports I also enjoy Formula 1 but don't cheer for any of the English or Canadian drivers. I enjoy volunteering with local organizations when I have the time. My favourite period of history to learn about is the Roman Empire. As for board games I have a collection too big to name.
I have had the chance to travel through a lot of the US and have been to England as well. My ideal vacation is sitting by the beach and swimming in the ocean.
I am a dominant; I believe that caring for your partner and them putting their faith in you to do so is the greatest act of dominance and love possible. I would say some of my kinks are impact play, (affectionate) domination, aftercare, breeding/impregnation, cunnilingus, bondage, and massages.
I am also committed to being a better, healthier me for this new relationship so I have started to spend time swimming and working out (weights/cardio) every day.
What am I looking for?
I am at the point in my life when I am interested in settling down with someone special. I am not looking for a ONS, hookup, or casual dating. I would like someone local or someone who already intends to make a move to the area in the near future. I am adverse to relocating myself as I recently moved back to Ottawa to be closer to some aging family with the intent of putting some roots down in the city. I want to purchase a house in the not too distant future that will be my/our home where we could raise a family.
I am looking for a partner who naturally is submissive and wants her partner to take the lead. If we share other specific kinks/fetishes that would be fantastic as well.
In my experience I do not have a simple "type" physically. My ideal partner is 18-24 though I am open to women above that age up to 30. I want a partner who is working or who has finished or close to finishing their education (whatever level it may be). I want someone who wants to put love and family first. Preference for someone who wants a large family (3-4+ kids). Hopefully you have interests/hobbies/passions as I love passionate people.
My match will have taken the time to read this post in its entirety (probably more than once) so if you did make it this far please have your message include the word "turtle" in it.
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2023.05.28 00:23 2006bruin My (32M) girlfriend (29F) is upset with me because I don't do 50% of the house work. How do we find a reasonable compromise?

**I am NOT OP. Original post by u/Successful_Leek96 in TwoHotTakes
trigger warnings: none
mood spoilers: none

My (32M) girlfriend (29F) is upset with me because I don't do 50% of the house work. How do we find a reasonable compromise? - May 18, 2023
When we first met she made it fairly clear that she expected me, as a man, to be a provider and as we continued dating for a while, her expectations were in line with me assuming a very traditional gender role. I was fine with this, i've build a fairly successful career and pay roughly 90% of our combined communal bills on a 320k salary while she makes 40k. I do all the maintenance for our cars, the boat, and all the yard work. It's been about 2 years of living together and up until now I felt things were going well.
She has recently started complaining that i'm not carrying my weight around the house. I don't do any of the cooking, do very little of the cleaning, and don't do the laundry. I felt our division of labor was fairly well established - I do all the traditional male work and pay the bills and she maintains the homestead. But if I still have to do half of the house work while almost entirely carrying the financial burden and the yard work, then her contribution would be far less than mine.
I've also recently mentioned that when we have kids, I would prefer to have them homeschooled since she's going to be a stay at home mom anyway. She wasn't very receptive to the idea, since she wants to have daytime hobbies while she's still a stay at home mom. This didn't make any sense to me "stay at home" doesn't imply using the free time to pursue hobbies, it's meant to tend to the house and the kids.
This keeps being asked so i'll answer; I work almost 70 hours a week and she works around 25. I've literally started having panic attacks between the demands at work and getting home to being antagonized. I've had to pull over on the side of the road several times in the last month

Update: My (32M) girlfriend (29F) is upset with me because I don't do 50% of the house work. - May 20, 2023
The last 48 hours have been really eventful and while i'm still processing all that's happened, I figured posting would help me gain some mental clarity.
The night after posting here, I decided to just have a frank discussion with her and figure out how we can divide our responsibilities fairly. I first laid out the math; I work roughly 70 hour weeks and have an hour commute 6 days a week - another hour spent on getting ready for work and another hour is spent at the gym or jogging. I typically then spend 3-4 hours on average per weekend working on outdoor projects or indoor repairs - some weekends are more eventful than others but I felt this was a fair estimate.
I explained that this leaves me with an average of less than 3 hours a day to just live. As she already knows, most days I wake up, get ready for work, leave, and within an hour of getting back, I head to bed. I'm not a messy person and generally pick up after myself. Since i'm barely home, if I start doing 50% of the house work, i'd practically be cleaning up after her and her two dogs.
She was resolute about having me contribute 50% to the housework and kept mentioning that the idea of me doing less housework made her uncomfortable. Eventually we settled at just having a maid come in twice a week.
We had been drinking while having this discussion and continued after we decided on the maid. We were quite a bit more drunk when she mentioned for the first time ever that she had around 15k in credit card debt from before we met that she wanted me clear up before we got married. It just kind of hit me like lightning at that point - this relationship makes life easier for her, but makes life harder for me. Before we met I was content in my apartment 5-10 minutes walking distance from work with my 2015 Corolla and basic furniture. Since then I've bought a house she wanted, near the water which i'm not a fan of, a boat she wanted, with a pool i didn't want, thousands spent on furniture she wanted, and a BMW I didn't want. I even got her a job at my company so she could earn as much as she did before but only work 25 hour weeks.
When we woke up yesterday I called off work and I just told her that this relationship wasn't going to work; I just explained to her that my life wasn't getting easier or happier, just the opposite. She was really keen on arguing and eventually even said she no longer wanted the maid, but I didn't really budge. She left around noon with her dogs and I assume she went to her parents' house since I started getting calls from them. I didn't really have the energy to respond so I just ignored them. I'm not exactly sure when she'll do so, but I hope she'll be able to collect her things in the next few weeks. She can keep working at my company for a couple more months until she finds something more suitable.

Reminder - I am not the original poster.
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2023.05.27 23:33 MediocreFisherman NC for less than a week. When does the anxiety go away? I just want to be left alone.

I have been no contact with my father since last Sunday.
This is going to e a long story. So...strap in, I guess?
In 2018 my father was living with my grandfather in an apartment. My grandfather had finally gotten to a point with his age (90) and health (bad) that he couldn't be left alone while my dad worked. He had fallen a few times, and wasn't really capable of making his own lunch or breakfast. So the family made the decision to move my grandfather into an assisted living facility.

My father had originally planned to move in with a friend of his. She had a spare bedroom she was going to rent him. Well, not long before this all set to happen, she backs out and says that she thinks he is too messy, and doesn't want to deal with him. Man...if I would have just listened then.

I had just bought a 12'x28' building from a friend. He had built it as an addition on his house, however decided to move and was open to selling the addition. We literally sawzalled it off his house, and had a roll on tow truck come haul it a few miles to my house where I had it put on a slab. I was planning on turning it into like a man cave / home office type thing since I work from home a lot.

Well, given the situation with my father, and that he couldn't afford to live alone on his $13 an hour job, I said hey, we work close to each other. Why don't I turn this building into a mini-house and you can live there and we can ride to work together. We agree to a very low rent amount, with the agreement being he will help out around the house, watch our kids occasionally, that sort of thing.

First few months of him living with us went fine. He was respectful, helpful, my only complaint was he'd chain smoke in my car on the way to and from work and I hated going to work smelling like smoke.

Then COVID hit. He worked at a pharma company doing packaging, and was laid off. A week after he was laid off he said a friend of his from work was going to come by and hang out. Well, turns out that friend was a woman, and very very quickly it turned into a relationship. And then soon after that we realized...he basically thought it was ok for her to live with us. I explained to him many times over that I had turned that building to a home for him, and just him. There was not room for a 2nd person, and with his extremely low rent, I wasn't paying for a 2nd persons utilities. But worse, she was a non-functional alcoholic. She drank and drank and drank, non stop. She would drive drunk. She would basically drink until she passed out, wake up and wash, rinse, repeat. That is literally all she did. She refused to interact with the rest of the family at all. She wouldn't even look at us. She was a grifter, she was just looking for a free place to live and drink. She didn't eat. I never once saw her eat.

We went on vacation summer of 2020, and my dad came with us. She stayed in his tiny home while he was gone, to watch our dogs and keep an eye on the place. Well, a massive limb fell out of the one tree in my backyard and crushed about 20 feet of my fence, RIGHT NEXT to the tiny home. She didn't notice. My neighbors called me and let me know. My dad called her and she was oblivious, and even pretended to go outside and check, and said she saw nothing. About 2 cords of wood fell out of the sky 20 feet from where she had been sleeping and crushed my chainlink fence. Then, when we came home, I check my security cameras. She only had been letting our dogs out once a day. We had to basically re-house train our dogs because they'd spent 10 days shitting in the house because she wasn't doing the one job she was supposed to do and that I was paying her $250 to do. Of course my dad defended her and said she'd done everything asked, he couldn't explain why she didn't notice the massive limb down. Just excuses.

Halloween 2020, she finally comes out of the tiny house and agrees to help pass out candy on our porch. She was extremely intoxicated. I mean drunk as hell, barely coherent. My wife and I were pissed that her and my father thought this was acceptable around our kids, or any kids. The next morning both claimed she hadn't had a drop to drink the previous day. They told me this at 9am, while she was drinking box wine out of a 20oz tumbler. Suffice to say, I didn't believe them.

At this point we finally started pushing very hard on him that she needed to leave. She was welcome to spend a night or two a week, but she wasn't moving in, and she needed to go home. This enraged my dad. He called me and my wife all sorts of horrible names, and then told me if I wanted her out, I had to tell her. Oh man, he had no idea how happy that made me. I marched right on out there and told her to pack her shit and be off my property in the next 5 minutes or I was calling the Sheriff and having her trespassed.

I go back in my house. 10 minutes later I get a text from him asking to talk. I go back out. He asks if she signs a lease, could she live here? I said what part of no to her moving in here did either of them not understand? We went back and forth more. Finally I said she was no longer welcome on my property, and she needed to leave. Now.

The next morning I get up, and guess who's car is back in my driveway? I went out, basically kicked his door open, and tore into the both of them and kicked her out again. He was testing me. He wanted to see how serious I really was.

Then the medical problems started. So the entire time we had been battling the girlfriend issue, he had an infection in his big toe. Finally, January 2021 he had to have it amputated, none of the antibiotics had worked. Then he had to have a 2nd surgery to remove more infection. Then he was on a wound vac for 2 months. Now, I understand how big of a pain in the ass the wound vac is, especially on your foot. So, I was more than helpful in this time-frame. I made him dinner and brought it out to his tiny house every night for him. I would run to the store whenever he needed. Just generally trying to be helpful to a guy laid up on bed rest.

And this is when things REALLY started, with him taking advantage of me. I would make him meals, and he would always have something nasty to say about it. He basically destroyed my love for cooking, because everything I made he would have something shitty to say. I made chicken fried rice and he bitched that it was dry. I explained that fried rice doesn't have a sauce, its not stir fry, its fried rice. "Well it was dry and it needed a sauce." But then, when I would bring his food out, he would be sitting at his TV tray with a knife and fork in his hands like waiting on me. But then always the nasty comments on my cooking.

And the running and getting him stuff went from once or twice a week, to daily. Or multiple times a day. I work from home, and would get texts from him demanding I go to the store. I'd say I'm in meetings, I can go after work. So he'd say shit like "I'm having a panic attack" or "I really need this stuff." And of course it was always stuff that could have waited a few hours like cigarettes and coffee.

THEN, one time he forgot something on the list, and asked me to go back for it. The dollar store is like half a mile from my house, so it really wasn't a huge deal. But after that....he started forgetting stuff almost every time. Because he liked making me have to go back out.

He also wanted me to bring him ice. So he was dealing with kidney failure, and was supposed to drink a lot of water to keep things flushing through. He wouldn't consider a tap filter, or like a brita pitcher. He demanded I buy him gallons of spring water and bring him ice from my ice maker. He wouldn't get ice cube trays because he said they were too big a pain in the butt.

One night, I was taking him out some ice, and I tripped in the dark and ended up tearing a huge flap of skin on my arm that caught on an exposed screw on the side of my house. 40 something stitches. He was pissed he didn't get his ice that night.

Things continue on this way. He had to get a heart cath and have antibiotics injected into his heart 2x a day. He refused a home health aid and said his son would do it. Never asked me. I'm not a doctor, and I was incredibly uncomfortable doing this, but he demanded I do it and refused to do it himself.

That summer (2021) I took my family to the beach. His kidneys had continued to shut down, and he was retaining water like crazy. He looked like the Michelin man. He was so swollen his penis wouldn't come out of his pubic fat area, so when he urinated, it just went everywhere. And because of the meds they had him on, he was peeing every 20 minutes. He was IRATE that I wouldn't bring him along. His "solution" to the pee problem was that he would shove a towel down his pants and pee into that, if he had to. His solution was to sit in the backseat of my fairly new car and piss himself, while sitting next to my daughters. He would berate me and scream at me and say all kinds of guilt ridden stuff at me about how doesn't he deserve to go to the beach one more time? And why would I take that away from him? That I owed this to him. And then finally that he was scared to be home by himself because of his health. But somehow...wasn't scared to travel 900 miles to Tampa? I almost broke, and my wife made it very clear that she did not want him on this trip, that it was a family trip for our family, and him being along was only ok if he was helpful, but spending the entire time being his nurse would not be a vacation. And of course she was right, and I am glad I finally listened.

We came home from vacation, and I spent 10 days without him. It was wonderful. And then we came home. And things continued down hill.

I don't know if you guys know what Kratom is, but its a drug from south east asia, its the ground up leaf of a plant. It hits the same receptors in your brain as opiates, but it doesn't get you high. Helps some people with pain. And he had restless leg syndrome, and became convinced this kratom stuff fixed it. He started taking it sometime around 2016. His dosage slowly ramped upwards. He wouldn't listen when I explained he needed to change things up, try different strains, and take tolerance breaks. He just took more and more and more.

Not only does kratom effect your kidneys, but it also can cause alzheimers like symptoms with chronic use. Recommended max dose is 15 grams, 3x a day. He is now up to around 2 kilograms a month. So, so do the math on that.

We tried to tell him many times that we were worried the kratom was impacting his health. His kidneys continued to fail and he ended up having to start dialysis. He also continued to be more and more demanding. He wouldn't ask you to do something, he'd just say "Go to family dollar and buy me some smokes." He basically treated me and my wife like rented mules. Just beat on us whenever he wanted.

He would put on these massive guilt trips about how he's all alone out in his tiny house by himself with no one to talk to. He would demand I come out every day and spend time with him, and when I'd say no, I have a wife and kids that need my time too, he would insult me, call me nasty shit or just flat out say he needed me more than them.

If you told him no, or tried to tell him how nasty he was being, he would do what I started calling the "(His Name) 3 step".

  1. Insult.
  2. State what he could no longer do, because of you
  3. Stomp away like a toddler.

So if you said "Dad, I don't want to take you out on the boat anymore, you are miserable to fish with, you treat me like shit the entire time, and its not enjoyable for me."

  3. Stomp away.

It got to where I would start holding up my fingers and counting while he did his little act, and it would piss him off so badly.

Finally, I cracked. I couldn't take the abuse anymore. And I told him that he needed to find somewhere else to live. I wasn't kicking him out, I was going to help him find somewhere, but he needed to go, and if he didn't take my help, well he could go live in his car I guess.

We found him an apartment at a senior and disabled apartment complex. His rent was $100 cheaper than he had been paying me. Utilities were low. He was about a mile from our house, you could easily walk it on a nice day. Not only that, he had really nice neighbors. He instantly became friends with his neighbor, and they would go fishing together.

Things actually seemed like they were looking up. He even told me several times he was very thankful I had helped him find an apartment, he was enjoying being independent, and that he kind of had needed a push to go make some friends.

A few months ago, we started noticing he was talking about his neighbors less.
Then, a few weeks ago, he texts and asks me about buying a gun because "I guess I have to go fishing by myself now and I want protection."

Friday before last, he texted and asked me to come over. He was not in good shape. His other foot (not the toe missing one) was hurting very badly. He refused to go to the hospital, he said he was waiting until Saturday because the doctor that worked at the ER on the weekends gave out better meds.

Saturday afternoon, I drove past and saw the EMTs hauling him off on a stretcher.

About 10 minutes later, I get a facebook message from his neighbors girlfriend, and she asks me to call them. So I call, and then I say you know I'm 2 minutes away, let me just come over and we can talk.

We end up talking for close to 3 hours. They told me everything that had been going on. And frankly, I am disgusted.
He was stalking a home health aid that worked for the lady behind him, He learned her schedule and would stand in the hallway waiting for her and make nasty and lewd remarks. Apparently she had been cleaning his apartment for him as a side job, and he offered her $50 for sex. After that, she wouldn't talk to him or be near him, but he continues to try to approach her over and over.

He was sexually assaulting his neighbors girlfriend. He would grab at her, or pretend to trip and then grab her chest. Make horrible nasty comments to her. Wait for her boyfriend (his neighbor) to leave the room and say like "I don't know why you are dating him, and not me." or "He's a piece of shit, you should dump him and date me instead." and worse. I'm trying to be clean here. Some of the things she told me he'd said were just disgusting.

Finally, and most concerning, he had originally been buying a little weed from his neighbors now and then. That turned into him demanding weed. And money. And food. Food stamps got cut back, and instead of cutting back on the kratom and smokes, he would just beg and demand his neighbors feed him, give him money, and weed. When they wouldn't, he would start screaming he was going to go kill himself. THAT was why he had asked me about a pistol. However, he has a shotgun.

That apartment complex has 2 rules on the front page of the lease. No guns. No drugs. And here he was begging for drugs and when he didn't get it, saying he was going to go off himself with his gun.

I probably shouldn't have, but I went and confronted him at the hospital. He denied everything. Said I was crazy and his neighbors made everything up. Everyone was lying except for him. I told him that was BS, everything his neighbors had told me he'd done lined right up with the things he'd done to me, so I knew he was full of crap. He kicked me out of his room. I told him that was fine, but I was going to talk to a social worker because he needed help.

The nurses got a social worker for me, and I sat down with her for about 45 minutes and explained everything. He was threatening suicide. There was no food in his apartment. His apartment is disgusting, his bedroom reeks like feces. His neighbors do not think he can take care of himself. He is addicted to that kratom stuff and its causing dementia issues, or he just straight up has dementia. But he has something going on. He doesn't take his medications correctly, he just kind of takes what he wants, when he wants. And, he doesn't go to dialysis. He's supposed to go 3 days a week. He goes once, maybe twice, and he only stays about half the time. So that was likely causing him mental issues as well.

I've not talked to him since last Sunday. I can't do it anymore. I have tried so hard to help him, and he treats you like shit. I am absolutely disgusted at the sexual stuff he was doing. He's also made comments around my daughters, like some tampons were left out and he acted like it was kryptonite and went on and on about how disgusting a package of tampons was and he didn't want to be around it. I have twin daughters, with autism, and the last thing they need to hear from someone they see as an authority figure is how disgusting their periods are. He's made horrible comments about my wife. I honestly think he was pushing me to get a divorce, back when he lived with me. He'd say horrible shit about my wife and then say I should just leave her so that me and him could spend more time together.

He hasn't tried to contact me. He did text his neighbors a bunch (and they forwarded me everything) and basically demanded to know what all they had told me and why they did that. So...he knows he's guilty. He's embarrassed, and he knows I'm not putting up with his crap anymore. And I just flat out don't want to even talk to him.

I have been taking care of paying his bills for him, I log in to his checking account and move bill money to a separate account every month and pay his bills with that. I also pay his car insurance and cell phone out of my pocket. Well, thats over with. Both get turned off at the end of the June billing period.

I put a letter together for him with all of his bills, amounts, where to mail checks, etc, and explained he needed to find his own cell plan and car insurance. I would send it certified mail, but I know he won't go sign for it because he's lazy. So I'm probably just going to go tape it to his front door when I know he's not home.

I am worried he is going to try to retaliate against me. He is going to be very mad I talked to a social worker and both my wife and his neighbors opened adult protective service investigations. He's made threats in the past that if I didn't do what he wanted, he would make false accusations about me to CPS and the police.

And on top of all of that, I am going on vacation next week, taking my family to the west coast, so we won't be home. My neighbors know what is going on, and I asked them to let me know if they saw him creeping around.

I do know that is foot is broken, and the other foot is missing the big toe and has a lot of pain, his wound care doctor wants to remove the rest of his toes on that foot. So at the very least he's going to be in a boot and a walker. But I strongly suspect since its been a week and he's not home yet, he's probably being sent to a nursing home to recover.

Sooner or later he is going to try to reach out. Either with a bullshit apology, or just more insults and demands. I'm worried about him making false accusations, but I would hope the APS cases being open against him would show he's a nutjob. But the last thing I want to deal with is a CPS investigation because he called and said I hit my kids or something.

For the last several years, I have just wanted him to go away. And now I REALLY want him to go away. I don't want him to bother me. I just want to be happy and live my life, and I am so much happier when he isn't around.
I'm worried he is going to wait until I am on vacation to do something, or start problems, because he knows how big of a headache it will be for me.

I just want this anxiety to go away that every time my phone dings, its going to be him with a new insult or demand or threat, telling me to do what he says or else.
submitted by MediocreFisherman to EstrangedAdultKids [link] [comments]

2023.05.27 23:15 sp0ngeB0BS For the Last Time Ever: A Love Letter to Succession and This Community.

TL;DR: It has been a great journey.
I have to do this before the finale because I would be too emotional afterward.
I have always wanted to watch great shows like Breaking Bad during their peak because I've always romanticized watching something weekly while it's airing, rather than streaming it years later. I feel so fortunate and thrilled that my dream has been fulfilled because this show truly is one of the bests of all time. And to be able to say, "Oh, I was there," is kind of emotional and nostalgic, but so satisfying.
It's rare that you can look at a show and say that every aspect of it is so meaningful and perfect. Mention a part of the show and I can give you a hundred reasons for its perfection. The camerawork, direction, production designs, costuming, cinematography, bloody soundtrack, and the marvelous writing and acting come to life in such grand and royal ways. In a chaotic coherence through the lens of an infiltrator. And if I start to talk about the all-rounded talent in our actors, I don't think I could stop.
Its Shakespearean tendencies are bound to make the show be remembered by generations and be talked about amongst the circles it parodies. The way that each episode to the date has made me feel is outstanding. For not even one episode to fail to spark a riot in my bones and the excitement in my body is such a fantastic feat that is so rare and riveting. But to know that you're watching a great show is kind of bittersweet because whilst you are watching something monumental and brimming with talent, you also are going to see it reach its end. Like we will tomorrow. Though the eternal magnetism of a modern tragicomedy shall forever keep me reminiscing, it will also attract more prying eyes and lovers, and cravers for this epic, which is dazzling and magical.
When I heard this was the last season, like all of you, I was devastated. But there was an appreciation for the team's awareness of ending the show's own succession during its peak rather than way past it. Such a decision, especially during today's television climate, is, frankly, highly commendable and a rather difficult one. I think this only increases my trust in the brilliant writing team and the showrunners. I know that tomorrow will be tectonic. I know that it will shake me. I know that it will make me laugh, raise my hairs, and tear my eyes. It will be difficult, but I am so grateful and lucky to be a part of this day.
And I am incredibly happy I get to do it with you guys. Every episode, as soon as I process it, I have to run to the subreddit. It feels like home here. Since none of my friends watch it, I love seeing people share my thoughts, sometimes right down to the T. It is amazing that strangers completely felt a certain way like you did, which also accomplishes what the writers' probably intended. I also love seeing comments I disagree with because that's normal and it's interesting to see so many different perspectives being sprouted from one thing. I mean, that is the unique thing about art. I definitely also love all those weekly posts reminding everyone that this is NOT THAT KIND OF SHOW (no shade lmao). But it's so lovely to be here, watching the finale with you all. I may need to pre-grieve, guys. Totally won't break down like Rome later, though.
This subreddit is a time capsule, for me and many thousands alike. It will remind me, always, of how much fun I've had watching the show and interacting with strangers online. And what a big, entertaining, and emotive part of my life it was. How it has made me laugh more than any of today's sitcoms through Roman's verbal diarrhea, how it has given me goosebumps via just one of Snook's reactions, how it has made me cry over Kendall's tragic journey and made me feel such a tragedy for Logan's empty heart and empty empire. The regal, aching story it has manifested and the lives that it affects. It has done it all and back. And it will do it one last time tomorrow. And I can't wait for them to nail it.
Yes, this is cheesy but it's true. I cannot believe I feel this way for a show. But I'm so glad it's this one. We don't know non-toxic love on this subreddit, so f*ck you and God bless!
submitted by sp0ngeB0BS to SuccessionTV [link] [comments]

2023.05.27 22:21 d8sconz The life and times of John Marmon, the Hokianga Pakeha Maori - Chapter 5

Rawlinson remained perfectly passive for a long time after we left the vessel. He seemed stupefied by the course things had taken, and his brain was sodden with the quantity of alcohol he had imbibed. He appeared to consider us as embodied fiends, for he crouched in the bottom of the boat, regarding us ever and anon with a piteous glance expressive of fear and apprehension. Fortunately, before the fire broke out, all of us had partaken of a hearty meal of salt junk and biscuit, so that we decided not to break upon our stores that night, except to give Rawlinson a little biscuit soaked in water. He appeared thankful for it and ate ravenously.
The night fell. The stars came out, the sea was moderately calm, although a fine fresh breeze was blowing. All the scene before us seemed blessed with a great peace except the few castaways who were scudding onward, it might be to death.
It was agreed we should watch by turns, and as I was the youngest and needed the most sleep the first watch was assigned to me. Rolling themselves up in some sailcloth which had been stowed away in a corner of the boat, in which also was discovered a small keg of rum, concealed by some of the seamen when they broke open the grog chest, my companions, one and all, went to sleep, leaving me alone. And as I stood at the stern with the sheet in my hand, watching the gleam of the stars upon the water, the long trail of light the rising moon threw across the ocean, and the stealthy glide of the sharks that were following in our wake, a feeling of utter loneliness and desolation came over me, as if I had bidden farewell to life forever, and was driving onward, surely, steadily, impelled by a mysterious remorseless fate, to the bonfire from whence no traveller returns.
I watched on, taking a pull at the rum now and then to keep my spirits up, until I suddenly found I was hungry. Straightway I made my way to the biscuit bag, and helped myself. Now our allowance had been estimated at one biscuit per day for each man. What nobody sees, nobody knows, said I, and I quietly eat four of them. Brutal selfishness! I hear a reader cry. Perhaps so, my friend, but pray tell me what selfishness is? Gratifying oneself at the expense of another, you reply. Indeed! and have you never, when taking your nobbler, bolted it speedily, that you might not have to shout for the friend you saw coming. Reader, man’s chief cod is to look after number one, and the better he does it the more he will be thought of. Get all you can, give as little as you can, and you’ll be a great man yet. Soon after this my watch ended; I knocked up Thomson, and tumbled into his place - with qualms of conscience, the pious reader will hint. Not a bit, but with mighty satisfaction that I had got at least my share of the passing things of life.
When I awoke it was broad daylight Jonas Simpson was sitting in the stern-sheets; the sea was calm, and all my companions were astir except Rawlinson, who seemed to be sleeping very quietly. I got up, pulled myself together, and proceeded to eat my half biscuit and drink my allowance of weak rum and water. “Better call up Rawlinson to get something, boy,” said Thomson. I called him, I shook him, but to no purpose; I took him by the hand, it was icy cold. Rawlinson would never take anything more in this life, he was dead. He had quietly passed away in sleep, leaving only the shell where the spirit had been. Expressions of sorrow would have been out of place, first, because he had been universally disliked on account of his tyrannical disposition, next because we deemed ourselves too close to death to grieve because another found his rest before us. Without a word we took him up and flung him overboard, an unexpected breakfast for our followers, the sharks. One less mouth to feed, I calculated, and one, too, upon whom to lay the blame of stealing the rum and biscuits were the deficiency ever detected, since dead men tell no tales, dead man makes a grand scapegoat. When you have prigged anything, reader, and are found out, lay the blame on a dead friend, for friendship never goes beyond the grave.
This was the monotonous tenor of our existence for the next week. Gradually our stock of provisions decreased until only a day's allowance remained; we were worn to skeletons, we could scarce draw our breath, hardly sufficient strength remained to luff the boat when the wind changed. Hour by hour our eyes scanned the horizon for a sail; so eagerly did we watch that our imagination created vessels bearing down upon us when no vessels were near. Gradually that terrible day wore on, we ate our last rations, greedily devouring every crumb, and grudging each other their unfinished portion. Then absolute want stared us in the face, and we must look elsewhere for the moans of life. In vain had we striven to shoot the sharks or the sea birds, in vain had we fished for anything we could catch, were it only seaweed. Now, as I have said, one of us must die that his comrades might live. Who was it to be? I had observed the seamen talking together and casting glances at me, as they thought I should be the first sacrifice; but my opinions upon this head did not coincide with theirs, and I determined, whatever came, I should not die. The night passed, and the day came. Hatefully rose the loathed sun to gladden creation, but to scorch us with His fierce coppery rays; the sea was at a dead calm, not a breath of wind stirred, the sail flapped idly against the mast, great beaked birds flew over us with discordant screams, horrid gliding things looked at us leerfully from the festering depths of ocean, the sharks seemed already whetting their teeth in anticipation of a feast. Oh, God! it was a terrible day - a day on which one of us must die.
At length our hunger could be restrained no longer. We must draw lots for the coming doom all could not escape - one must be the victim. Tearing s piece of sail-cloth into strips, Thomson cut them into various lengths, and then we proceeded to draw them. He to whose lot fell the shortest strip was the doomed man. “God help us,” said Thomson, “but it must be done - we need not all die; let us draw.” Tremblingly we drew the lots, and with feverish haste, we showed them to each other. Merciful Heaven! the shortest was mine. Was I to die, and I so young? Was I to leave this pleasant world of ours when I had been only thirteen short years in it? Was I to die, and bury all my early promise with me? The thought was horrible, yet before me, in the little strip of cloth, lay the stern verdict of my doom. Hope leaped back into the eyes of my comrades when their term of life was lengthened, whilst the light of life slowly died out of mine in the face of dim eternity. I was doomed; still I would die game. “I will die game,” I cried, “I will be my own executioner; give me two pistols, I will put them to my ears and fire.” Wonder sat upon the features of my companions; was I man or demon, “Give me the rum-keg” I next asked. It was handed to me, and I drained it dry. With the rush of the fiery spirit through my veins, came a fierce determination to live, and not to die; another must be the victim, not I.
The hour came. Hunger was gnawing the vitals of my comrades; they were ravenous for my blood. “Hand me the pistols,” I said. They were loaded and handed to me. Looking with coolness at the flint-locks, as if to assure myself that they were right, and that my death might be speedy, I placed the muzzle of my left hand pistol against my ear, brought that in my right hand slowly round into position, and ere one of them could move, shot Jonas Simpson as dead as a doornail. Then I feigned madness; with a maniacal laugh I threw myself on the body, and lapped like a dog the warm Life’s blood that oozed from his shattered brain. Ha,ha, ‘twas played well. Horror-struck at my deed and at my expressions, Thomson and Tom Brown shrank into the bows, leaving me lying on the corpse. Gradually I found my senses leaving me, the world became more dim every instant. Is this death? If so, it is sweet as soft tropical breezes.
I remember no more until I found myself lying in a hammock in the fo'c'sle of the “Firebrand,” Captain Wilkins, receiving rough but kindly attentions from the Sailors. They had descried our boat on the horizon against the setting sun, and had made for it. But they found only a crew of corpses. All were dead except myself, and the only trace of life in me was a feeble flickering of the heart. I told my story, suppressing the true account of Simpson's death, and stated that he died by his own hand while in a state of insanity. My youth was a voucher for the truthfulness of my tale, and I was treated with marked kindness by everyone on board, a small subscription being set on foot for me, to mark, as was said, their appreciation of my conduct. Still another proof that the devil looks after his own.
The “ Firebrand" was a fine new schooner bound from Otaheiti to Sydney. She was within twelve days of her destination when she picked me up, so that before long I was landed upon the King’s Wharf in very different trim from that in which I put off from it a few months before. I went at once to the owner, Mr Paterson, and stated my case. He treated me with great kindness, paid me my wages, and gave me a small bonus into the bargain, promising that after a few months’ spell ashore, I should be-appointed to another vessel.
“And then you went home to your father and mother, I suppose,” says the gentle reader, conjuring up sweet visions of paternal embraces, tears, and kisses. Not a bit, my friend, recollect I had cut the apron-strings, and considered myself my own master. My first move was to make for a convenient grog-shop, kept on the sly by one of the military, and commence spend my money, as I considered every sailor should, in a good spree. Just the day before we arrived, a batch of female convicts had come from England in the “Thames” frigate, and the soldiers had been busy selecting the best looking as companions for a month or two before they were sent to the prison. This was winked at in Government House - nay, even the offenders and their paramours were publicly asked to the balls, much to the disgust of Sam Marsden, the parson. I did not turn up at home until every sixpence had flown, and I was reduced to the very verge of starvation, for what is the use of money if it ain't a means of a fellows enjoyment. It is not money that is the root of all evil, but the love of it, and, blow it, I had never any time to get in love with it, for it was always in such a hurry to get away.
My father and mother on my arrival at once killed the fatted calf - metaphorically speaking, I mean, for it was a fatted hen, - and I was received as the prodigal son. I told my story, heightening the colour of a few of the details, such as the number of assailing Tongans, how many of them I had killed with my own hands, and the part I had taken in the conflict, all of which were swallowed with greedy interest, retailed with additions to credulous neighbours, who, in their turn, contributed their share to the interest, until “Sinbad the Sailor” was a very ordinary gentleman to myself, in point of marvellous adventure. I did not fail to enquire regarding my fricnd, the hangman, and found he had been more drunk than hurt - in fact, was so far restored in two days’ time as to be able to resume his professional duties.
I found Sydney but little altered since I left it, save in the matter of a few more buildings; and in life, being, if anything, a little more reckless. Murder and vice were on the increase. There was hardly a virtuous female in the colony, and the men lived as gaily and as jollily as they could. Brave old days were these, when a fellow went to the bad as thoughtlessly as he went to chapel. I, too, picked up a few of my old chums, and we met always at the “Sailors’ Arms," where we heard all the news and stood the chance of sharing in a “shout,” when some half-drunk Jack was knocking down his pay.
In vain did my father and mother try to persuade me to relinquish the sea and to learn some trade ashore. I told them frankly that if I did not go to sea I would do worse on land, so that they had the two alternatives before them. With regret they saw that persuasion was unavailing, and that it would be as well to say no more, so I continued my free and easy life until the “Harwich,” Captain Simmons, coming in, belonging to Mr Paterson likewise, was informed that I was to go on board of her when she refitted, and take my second voyage in my apprenticeship.
The " Harwich” was the finest vessel my employer had. She was a brigantine of 500 tons, and had only made three voyages previous to the one she was about to undertake. Mr Paterson had not as yet entered into the whaling trade, but seeing the success of the other Sydney merchants had in it, and the large gains they made, he determined also to embark in the speculation. Therefore he bought the “Harwich,” engaged Captain Simmons, an experienced whaler, and a picked crew, thoroughly overhauled the vessel in every way, provisioned her for a two years cruise, and hoped for luck to be on his side. I embarked on the 16th of January, 1811, and a fortnight afterwards, while a crowd waved us farewell from the King’s Wharf, we weighed anchor and commenced our voyage, We did not leave this time with a drunken captain and a drunken crew; all seemed to augur well for the cruise of the “Harwich,” The record of which is reserved for another chapter.
submitted by d8sconz to ConservativeKiwi [link] [comments]

2023.05.27 21:10 Saint-Andros A Lesson in Scionics Riding the Wind Chapter 8

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Thank you u/cliche_-_bartender as always for helping to proofread <3
DATE: GALACTIC-STANDARD > EARTH-TIME [Saturday, August 17, 2186]
It felt odd to have my arms removed.
Well, they weren’t exactly my arms per se, but they had been a part of me long enough that I considered them my own. I was so used to adjusting my wings to account for their presence that to have them reduced to little more than a stripped-down pair of spherical joints felt wrong. And oh, how wondrously wrong it felt.
Even the very elements within which our wretched people belonged had been taken. Now, it was my goal to wrench it back from the iron grip of our lords.
“C’mon Toki, give it another shot! You’ve got it this time!”
Twenty-seven cycles had passed since our arrival on Earth, and for twenty-five of those cycles, Nia had been my flight trainer.
Considering her former profession was that of a soldier, I’m not entirely sure how qualified she was for such a position, but then again, she had technically known of us Khimrox longer than any other human. To me though, such ‘qualifications’ hardly mattered. She was my friend after all.
Together, Nia and I had agreed that mid-day would be the best time for my practice. Though she was not exactly well-versed in the ways of Khimroxian physiology, her genuine care and words of motivation made her a fine coach.
Compared to the suffocating smoke and smog of Mortamin—the world of my hatching—the clear skies and pure white clouds of the human homeworld may as well have been the spaces beyond where Maqar herself resided.
From that same world of Mortamin, I took both my manner of speaking and the general attitude of the desolate and dejected peoples unfortunate enough to be trapped upon it. It had taken a significant effort to begin picking away at that attitude to form a brighter countenance, but each and every day became easier than the last.
After muttering a quick prayer to the sky-mother, I set myself up just the same as I had over a hundred times before. I tensed up and loosened my wings, lowering into a crouch. My head turned upward to face the sky, avoiding the bright sun of Sol.
With the force of an uncoiling spring, I rushed forth, leaping into the air with my legs tucked in and my wings spread out.
I managed to make it off the ground, though just barely. A wing-length lower and I would have skidded across the muddied surface brought on by the current wet-season. The very fact that no clouds of rain had opened up upon us today was actually rather surprising.
The green downward slope rushed by in a blur as I descended, my recently-trained muscles working overtime to account for their many years of disuse. Slowly but surely, I ascended, climbing—flying—up and away. Soon, I rose above even the wide-reaching canopies before circling back.
My wings wobbled as I did, unsteady among the surroundings that shouldn’t have been new to them.
Even from so far above, I could hear Nia’s excited shouts from below as I continued my climb. For a moment, my eyes turned to look down at her leaping and waving her arms about with enthusiasm. If I was capable of it, one of those wonderful human smiles would have filled my face.
A harsh and unwelcome gust of wind beat against me as I soared, pushing my already struggling sense of balance off-center.
Without warning, my right wing bent just wrong enough—just long enough—for the skies to take advantage. The bending itself didn’t hurt, but the sudden movement was enough to pluck me out of the skies. In an instant, I was falling down in a spiral, heart racing as yet more unintelligible shouts were sent by my human friend.
The ground, the trees, the mud, the grass, friend-Nia, dashed towards me as my turbulent descent continued.
Out of all the words hurled my direction, I was able to catch one. “Remember!”
Remember. Just as we had drilled in prior days, I pulled my wings in, rapidly excelling the dive’s speed for but a moment before throwing them out once more. The wind took the bait and pushed itself over them as I dived down and out into a flat but steady decline. Towards the arc’s end, I rose ever so slightly before landing with a stumbling step.
Though I touched down safely, I toppled forward as my unsteady talons failed to grasp the ground, sending me flailing into the mushy slop.
“Toki! You alright?”
I rose with a ruffle of my feathers and sent mud flying every which way. A clump of the slick substance was spewed from my mouth and onto the ground. I was an absolute mess in more ways than one.
Nia stood near holding a hand over her eyes and chuckling as brown wet specks coated her otherwise clean clothing. “I’ll take that as a yes.”
“I do not know what happened!” I shouted, anger boiling out and through my beak. “It was going so well until it wasn’t.”
“Are you kidding me?” called my friend. Her tone took on an incredulous tone. “That was one of your best attempts yet!”
“Perhaps, but it still wasn’t enough.”
“Bah. Don’t go thinking that way now.” Before I could voice any more complaints, Nia trotted over, raising a mud-speckled hand and placing it upon my head.
A few undignified, involuntary clucks of pleasure escaped my beak as her nail coated fingers scratched around my skull. I had since learned that any attempts at maintaining dignity were a waste of time around my human friend. The humans were startlingly similar to my people in how desperately they required contact with others.
In a way though, it was relieving to have an opportunity to let my guard down around anyone other than family. I hadn’t seen any such family for many years, and to say that finally having someone to wrap my wings around was a relief would be an understatement.
My mind and body melted at the sheer sensation of my friend’s touch. “I’m sure you’ll get it soon. You just need more time.”
“Yes. Like how the others needed more time.”
Nia’s face frowned at my words. “Hey, don’t go around comparing yourself to others. You’re doing your best! Some things take time. There’s no shame in being less gifted than someone else.”
Oh, but there is. I knew that friend-Nia meant well, but her normally uplifting words did little to raise my mood. For the first time in my life, I had the opportunity to fulfill the purpose my body was built for. This goal was just barely within my grasp, but each and every time, it managed to slip through.
“Do you have any idea what it’s like to be deprived of something that should be your right? All my life, both my wings and the wretched arms of our former lords have mocked me. I’ve dreamt of flight for years, only to be crammed into a cold white box.”
As she managed to scratch right behind my horns, I continued my lament. “I’m so close, but with each attempt, the skies only seem further away.”
“You do know it's okay to fail, right? I’m sure those Aurum bastards didn’t believe that, but I’d argue when it comes to humanity, that's one of our greatest attributes; we’re willing to fail.”
Among our former lords, failure meant pain, anguish, death. My mother—Habbaris—had learned such a lesson firsthand.
As if she had somehow sensed my very thoughts, Nia turned to me. “Hey, what's up?” Her voice was soothing to my ears, like a gentle breeze on a warm day.
“I’m sorry.” I gave a half-hearted cluck of a chuckle. “When failure almost always means the difference between life and death, one tends to stress quite often.”
Nia twisted her mouth downward and narrowed the brows above her eyes.
“And that’s why we’re gonna fight the bastards. I don’t give a damn what the higher-ups of the UEN say, to sit by and just watch as your people are treated like livestock, it’s cowardice is what it is!”
“I—I wish I could feel that way my friend.”
Nia met my eyes with a smoldering glare. “What!? You’re okay to just leave your people like that?"
I met her eyes with a voice that matched their intensity. “No! Of course I’m not fucking okay with it!” The human seemed taken aback by my words. Those human curses really pack a punch.
A sigh rose from my chest. “I’m just… I’m afraid. Afraid for my people. For yours. There’s no fighting against the Aurum. I have watched too many learn that lesson to repeat it myself. I’m afraid that if humanity fought back, they—you, would meet the same fate as my people.”
Nia pursed her lips. “You know Toki, some things are worth fighting for, dying for even. You and your people, you’re one of ‘em.”
Silence hung over us as I processed that thought. Even among my own people, it was often everyone for themselves. To lay your life down for someone else… It was absurd.
“I want to tell you somethin. A month ago, when we first met, do you remember what happened?”
I gave a sad chuckle. “How could I forget? I was a nervous wreck, sniveling in the corner of your room.”
“And I was the one who did that to you,” muttered Nia. “I’ve never told you why though. It was the thought of being trapped that set me off like that. I didn’t want to be angry with you, shit, I barely even knew you then. I had no idea how much you’d been through.”
“When I joined in on the military campaign of Kuiper as a marine, I thought that I was fighting for something that mattered. I fought like hell for the UEN but more importantly, for my fireteam. Sure, times got tough and we did shit that none of us wanted to remember, but at least we had each other.”
“I still remember the day that it all came crashing down. We were assigned to a strike-force, one tasked with infiltrating one of the major corpo production facilities out in the belt. Things were fine at first, but quickly enough, it all descended into absolute chaos. We did our best to back out after the whole facility was put on high alert, but it was too little too late. You wanna know what happened?”
“I failed,” she whispered. “Every last one of ‘em. Liu. Kris. Carlos. They all deserved better.”
“By some cursed miracle, I was the only one that made it, and for so long, I told myself it should have been me.”
“When the corpos managed to capture me, they locked me up, tortured me for information I didn’t even have, and tossed away the key. Three years I spent in that dirty steel cell, barely scraping by—haunted by the ghosts of those I failed.”
“Sure, I made it out when the UEN eventually came for me, but I didn’t escape without losing some part of me in the process. When they tried to put me back into the field, it took several incidents before I was ultimately discharged for my safety and that of those around me. It's been nearly a decade since then and sure, things have gotten better, but they’ve never quite been the same either.”
“I—I’m sorry. I didn’t know.”
“Same way I didn’t know about you. About what you’ve been through.”
The woman turned to me with those deep jade eyes, locking them in place with my own. “Most of us are all broken in one way or another, Toki; but just cause something’s broken doesn’t mean it's useless. It takes time to fix a broken thing. For some things it takes less, for others more. And sure, sometimes things might be broke beyond repair, but I’d argue that’s pretty rare. You’ve got a pretty good head on those wings of yours; I’m sure you’ll turn out just fine.”
Nia shrugged. “And who knows, maybe in the process of fixing something, you’ll make it even better than it was before it broke.”
Nia took a step away and waved me over with a hand. “That’s enough moping for now. C’mon, I think you’ve got a good few attempt’s left in ya. Let’s not waste em sitting around doin’ nothing.”
Maybe she was right. But what if I am broken beyond repair? “C’mon! We don’t got all day!”
Upon Nia’s continued assistance, I climbed alongside her, up the slight incline of the muddy knoll, back to where we began. I thought to my friend’s recent words. This moment, this flight, this was something worth fighting for. Perhaps if I can manage this… “You ready?” asked Nia.
“Yes. Yes I think so.”
“Well alright then. Don’t let me get in your way.”
For a moment, I closed my eyes, letting out a sigh to calm my racing heart. My wings loosed and my body prepared. Unlike before, my talons found purchase. I set to a crouch, leaning my body forward in preparation. One flap, two flaps. Jump! Again, I leapt out, up, going down, rising up.
Gravity would no longer hold me. No longer would I allow myself to be a prisoner. Nothing could hold me now. No mind, no gravity, no implants, no lords. There was nothing now but the wind as it brushed against my now-freed being.
I understood it now—I think. Before, some deep part of me had fought against it; some part of me that had once buckled under the weight of the skies and the winds therein. I had thought this the result of some weakness within me—within my body—but I now knew this to not be the case. If I was to fight for the freedom of not only myself, but the freedom of my people, strength alone could not save me—save us.
My flight continued onward, far above the canopied tops with blossoms of the purest white and out towards the rocky spires that shot up towards the skies. From here, I could see the hastily created home of our people, see the specks of both Mankind and the occasionally Khimroxian moving about with no more urgency put to their tasks than that of a working ant.
With great speed, I dipped and dove and cut between the formations of Karst. The wind blew all the while, pressing through me, over me, across me with impunity. The very span of my wings cast shadows comparable to those of the clouds that danced across the green below.
I could have soared in such a way for hours—lost with the flow. Somehow, it all made sense. I set to the skies like a fish to water. I glided, cut and darted—through, over and under each and every wave of wind like the crashing surfaces of a vast ocean. There was someone though who eagerly awaited my return—someone who I refused to leave waiting.
I returned, descending, slowly, carefully, to the clearing made among the trees. There was no need for the flapping of wings as the air glided softly against them, raising me ever so slightly.
A welcome shape came into view as she bounced up and down once again, raising her arms to reach for the heavens. I barrelled directly towards that shape with reckless abandon—with no regard for the consequences. She saw through my plan too late before she could try and escape.
Following our crash, a great tumble of flesh and feathers joined, rolling against and off one another, until at last, they both settled in the still wet soil.
Together, we laughed where we lay, side by side in the beautiful, black and slimy filth while we stared up into the endless blue.
As I rested on my back, I noticed movement from the corner of my eyes and turned. In an instant, those jade-colored eyes pulled mine from the cerulean sky. Their green was very much unlike the bright shades of the surrounding grass and trees. The green of those other things was superficial, surface-level. Her eyes held many things deep within their depths—things I couldn’t describe and things I wasn't sure should be described.
This beautiful human had more love than she knew what to do with. I was a broken thing, but by some miracle, she had managed to make me whole. As I looked at Nia, she did not seem as broken as she had claimed. There may have been a few cracks, dents or scratches here and there, but I was gladly willing to look over those. I couldn’t see her as being anything other than wondrously perfect.
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submitted by Saint-Andros to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.05.27 21:09 Seamoose_Art NoP 2177: When the Wind Blows [1]

On February 3rd, 2137, Kolshian exterminator fleets flanked Earth on all sides. They encountered no resistance; the UN was crushed by a pyrrhic victory on Mileau and a failed defense of Venlil Prime, and every other species dared not intervene. Thousands of ships hung in the air, forming a metal shroud that blocked out even the stars. On the planet below, cities went silent and families huddled together in quiet anticipation of the end.
What fell from the silenced sky was not bombs, but a message. An ultimatum, offered to all of humanity. Accept curing and offworld relocation, or stay on Earth to be burned. A swarm of cattle ships descended upon the world like locusts, situating themselves at every population center and waiting patiently for people to make their choice.
Many chose to stay. A couple billion humans surrendered to the Kolshian’s cure and faced whatever fate awaited them beyond the stars, but the rest stayed on Earth, placing faith in the Arxur to once more save humanity in their darkest hour.
Their hope was badly misplaced. Wriss had already been purified with antimatter, and the last ark ships and stray fighters were being hunted to extinction while exterminators were landing on Earth. The barrier of ships above the atmosphere blocked out all communication, and by the time word finally got around, the last cattle ships had long since departed. There was nowhere left to run.
On February 28th, 2137, the bombs began to drop. For nearly a week, humanity’s cradle was engulfed in flame and pelted with antimatter. Not content with merely wiping out humanity, the exterminators resolved to make Earth uninhabitable and unrecognizable, replacing thousands of years of civilization and billions of years of evolution with a wasteland of dull, charred glass. When the final flashes of light faded and the flames died out for lack of fuel, the only evidence that Earth ever supported life was a layer of plastic in the former oceans encased beneath radioactive ash.

Memory transcript subject: Tressa, Venlil civilian Date [Standardized Human Time]: February 28th, 2177 Location: Lower sprawl of City 23, Venlil Prime 
A cold, cruel wind whipped through the sprawl of City 23 like a vengeful spirit, driving Tressa into an alleyway to avoid the chill. His coat could only take so much of the beating for him.
Normally, the frigid air would be blocked out by the crowd filling the streets. On any given day, humans and other cured species ran alongside herds of Venlil in a flow of vibrant life, everyone hurrying to jobs or shops or homes and scarcely taking notice of what had once been such a terrible taboo. With most Venlil condemned as honorary cured for their involvement with humanity, the thought that they should stay apart for safety was comical to all but the oldest of the herd who remembered a time when the Arxur were the greatest threat.
On the anniversary of Earth’s bombing, the majority of Venlil were huddled alongside humans in cured-only pubs and apartments across Venlil Prime, silently observing the tragedy. Or at least, across the slums of Venlil Prime. Not all Venlil were tarred with the same brush, and the ones who deemed themselves (and were deemed by their intergalactic peers) as biologically superior prey wouldn’t dare set foot in the lower-class sectors dotting the planet where nearly half a billion humans had taken up refuge. In the glistening hearts of cities, you could find herds of Venlil still out and about on the 28th.
But in the lower sprawl of City 23, entire city blocks went eerily silent in a grim mimicry of Earth’s fate. Without humans or Venlil, the only activity on the streets was provided by a smattering of other cured species. And Tressa, who endeavored to valiantly brave the harsh wind once more.
Electrical systems did not maintain themselves, after all. It was a decent enough cover story, made more plausible by the fact that it was his job. Officially, it was his reason for braving the elements. Unofficially, he was on the hunt.
His prey was an advertisement on the corner of 13th and central, an ancient thing which the locals knew was broken about as often as it was functional. They usually blamed it on outdated pre-war construction and ash getting in the circuits, but the real culprit was a maintenance panel inside the building. Every once in a while a capacitor would be cleanly torn out, leaving the sign to flicker annoyingly. As Tressa started closing in on the address provided by his employer, he uttered a nonverbal prayer that the sign was indeed flickering and not just burnt out from age. A flicker meant he had a message waiting for him, an invitation. A silent signal that things were about to get interesting.
The intermittent hum of neon lights turning on and off was music to his ears. He was in luck. He rushed inside.
The interior, sparse as it was, offered relief from the biting wind outside. Tressa let his tail swish lazily as he gathered tools from his satchel. Just a couple things; he already knew what was broken. He could probably replace the capacitor with his eyes closed at this point. A few quick glances over his shoulder to make sure nobody was around, and he unscrewed the cover of the panel. A small blue datachip unceremoniously tumbled from the casing to rest at his feet. He picked it up, dusted it off (as though that could make the slightest difference in function), and slotted it into his datapad.

“Message sent 2/28/2177:
Tressa. Been a moment, hasn’t it? You’ve caught an awful cold or something nasty from the ash, and simply can’t make it to work for a couple days. We need your undivided time… I’ve got something you’ll all find fascinating. We’ll go over it at the Den, early schedule. See you there.
~ Trish”

He never knew why Trish bothered to sign her messages. She was the only one who ever wrote them. Perhaps it was just one of her quirks, same as going by a human name and dying her fur dark. She was always strange like that. Didn’t humans used to have a name for what she was, besides “predator diseased”? Maybe Sasha could tell him.
An early schedule meetup meant he had just enough time to get there if he didn’t bother repairing the sign. A terrible shame… but nobody cared about an ancient flickering advertisement, right? Decay was a given in the sprawl; a broken neon poster wouldn’t even register as something worth complaining about. He hoped.
Excitement and apprehension twisted through his stomach, driving him to stow the datapad and tools. With a dramatic flourish, he slung the satchel over his shoulder and rushed outside, barely even noticing the bitter wind tearing at his fur. People were waiting on him, after all; it’d be a shame to disappoint them just because of a bit of windchill. He zipped up his coat a little tighter.
submitted by Seamoose_Art to NatureofPredators [link] [comments]

2023.05.27 20:54 Bathroom-Salt Here it is. In full. Grammar errors and everything.

Reading dbrand's fine print is kind of like joining a secret club - one that entitles you to learn all of the most legally questionable aspects of our business. Creative accounting Tricks? Plans to destroy the sun? Horrific industrial "accidents" that have claimed the lives of countless scientists? It's all in here - this fine print sheds light on things that probably should have stayed in the dark. On that note- remember how we called it a "secret club"? Well, it's your responsibility to make sure it stays that way. If you fail to do so, just remember: we know where you live.
For some, it expresses a preference that all consumer goods should offer a Matte Black colorway. For us, it means we won’t rest until the entire world is coated Matte Black. How do we accomplish this? Simple, we destroy the sun. For the past five years, all of our money – or rather, your money – has funded the production of a cartoonishly large laser beam. We’ll cut to the chase: star-destroying lasers aren’t cheap. Neither are our products – you can blame the sun for that. Our accounting Robots just sent out an internal email. The message was clear: we’ve officially made too much money. As a result, our corporate bank accounts have been frozen. Turns out bribing the bank to unfreeze your assets is a lot easier when your assets aren’t frozen. Lucky for us, kidnapping the CEO’s son is free. With our exorbitant profits safely returned and a newfound distrust for financial institutions, we turned to the time-honored storage solution of simply stashing cash under the mattress. Here’s the deal: we need to buy a hundred thousand mattresses. Your order is bankrolling that purchase. Here’s hoping Casper ships in bulk.
Pastel skin development was a bit of a bumpy road. It began with us rounding up hundreds of test subjects and strapping them into chairs. Then, we blasted about sixteen million different colors directly into their eyeballs over the course of... thirty days? To be honest, we weren't really keeping track. Afterwards, as the lights came back up, we asked them to list their favorites. Their response, sadly, was not the perfectly recited list of CMYK values we had hoped for. Instead, a few of them said something about violating the Geneva Convention. We gently reminded them that they were a focus group, not prisoners of war. That seemed to shut them up. The remaining 99% of test subjects seemed completely incapable of speech for some reason. In the end, we got little usable data from the exercise. Instead, we picked eight colors at random. Don't let our test subjects' sacrifice be in vain.
The bees are dying. It starts with their exposure to pesticides. Over time, an acute poisoning sets in. Immune system? Ravaged. Their cognitive abilities fade to nothingness. Death ensues. They're dropping like flies out there. Soon, we'll be saying "they're dropping like bees out there." As a hive's worker bee population gets decimated, the queen runs out of servants. Much like yourself, the queen can’t do anything on her own. She dies too. The hive follows suit. This is a phenomenon known as “Colony Collapse Disorder,” and it’s contributing to bee shortages all over the globe.
You may be wondering: what does any of this have to with our products? Absolutely nothing. Don't let that stop you from buying some. Where were you when dbrand succeeded in their planetary conquest? Don't answer that - we know where you were. You were buying stuff off our website. Well, we've got good news. Once we've assumed control, we'll be instating a representative for the human race - mostly as a figurehead, so that you'll all keep giving us your money. How will we select this representative? First, we'll stage a cruel, bizarre decathlon. Events will include running an obstacle course constructed entirely of flamethrowers and holding your breath while submerged in a tub of hot sauce. The winner of the decathlon will get absolutely nothing – we’ll just stage it for kicks. Then, we’ll select the representative for all humankind based on how many dbrand orders they’ve placed.
We were halfway through building a fort out of your money when we realized… we need a fireplace that we can use to burn money. For warmth. There’s one problem: if we use cash to build the fireplace, we have less to burn. You see the issue, yes? Excellent. That’s why we’re having a sale. Did you know that was the origin of the term "fire-sale"? To describe a promotion that would generate revenue to use as kindling? Look it up. In a book. Then, give the book to us. We won't burn the book - we're not monsters. We'll just pawn the book off and burn the sweet, flammable proceeds. Once we've completed our money fireplace, we'll need to hang something over the mantlepiece. We were thinking of hiring an interior designer for that. Have you ever hired and interior designer? Of course not. Anyway, their rates are ridiculous.
We get a lot of questions about where our money comes from. To be fair, most of them come from the IRS. It's apparently a "red-flag" that a phone case manufacturer has accumulated enough wealth to construct an island fortress in shark-infested waters. We tried explaining that the sharks came with the property. They didn't care. Anyways, we extended an invitation for their auditors to come out and meet the Sharks for themselves. Upon arrival, we gave them a “carefully guided tour” through our compound, fed them a lunch that contained absolutely no arsenic, then brought them down to the pier to observe the sharks from a safe distance. You're probably wondering: why didn't we give the sharks an auditor-flavored lunch? Simple: Since their safe return to Washington, the IRS is now turning a blind eye to our “enterprise.” While the auditors may be off our backs, those sharks aren't going to feed themselves. Maybe we'll bring the Supreme Court down for a visit.
In 2020, Apple decided to enter the Magnet game. This was a mistake for everyone. You see, our magnet division have been preparing for this inevitability. Shortly after Tim got off stage, our magnet scientist unveiled what can only be described as the most powerful magnet on Earth. Once removed from containment, the magnet barreled into the nearest robot with so much force, the entire population of French Polynesia heard the impact. Naturally, a single robot was not enough to stop the magnetic rampage. To make a long story short, a gigantic ball of assorted metals has been wreaking havoc along the Guatemalan coast for the past few years. Needless to say, we went with a slightly less powerful magnet for the grip case. Our only advice is to keep it far, far away from Guatemala. Imagine, if you will, a vaguely criminal business enterprise. This “business,” which shall remain nameless, can only attribute about 11% of its annual revenues to activities that the police might describe as, “legal”. The accountants for this “business” advised that, in order to avoid a catastrophic financial investigation, they'd need to “cook the books”. Strange advice, right? How would a warehouse of oven roasted books help to satisfy a Government Audit? Turns out, “cooking the books” is actually slang for “fraudulent accounting tactics”. Why did the accountants wait until the entire building was on fire to mention that? Doesn't matter. Point is, we need some new books to cook, and your wallet is on the menu.
Here's a fun fact: every month, at least three psychopaths request that we make skins out of real human flesh. Ten times out of ten, the “should we call the cops?” conversation is preempted by a different, more important question: “is this an opportunity to make money?” Needless to say, we bought a van. After driving around and “collecting” a bunch of hitchhikers, we returned to HQ only to find we had been charged with kidnapping. Since it's apparently illegal to monetize humans in the way we had planned, we decided to pivot to Cow Hides instead. If you've ever wondered whether or not we can launch a product line from within the walls of a maximum-security prison, Leather is your answer.
While we're on the subject of maximum-security, prisons, have you ever broken out of one? Turns out, it's far more challenging than one might think. Our first thought was to bribe all of the guards. Apparently. The banks saw this coming and froze our assets. With the easy route closed, we had no choice but to rely on our business acumen. After a few months of deal making and strong arming, we had amassed a commercial empire within the walls of the prison. In other words, we add enough cigarettes to recreate the Great Chicago Fire. This is, in fact, precisely what we did- Just replace Chicago with Toronto East Detention Center, then burn it to the ground. Speaking of which, did you know that the Great Chicago Fire was started by a cow? Google it, then rest easy: with the launch of. With the launch of Leather, Justice was finally served. Henry Ford once said that a customer can have a car in any color, so long as it's black. Apparently, Sony missed the memo with their white PS5 Henry Ford? Spinning in his grave. We exhumed his corpse and saw it for ourselves, having unearthed A perpetual motion machine. That defies all known laws, the laws of physics we set to work: How could we utilize this self-powered skeletal term vine to power the production of dark plates?
As it turns out, Henry Ford generates less energy than it took to dig him up. Without sufficient electricity to power our Darkplates production lines, we instead applied for a Nobel Prize in Physics. The plan was to spend the prize money on a nuclear reactor. Turns out, the Nobel foundation has some “ethical code” which “prohibits” participants from “needlessly” exhuming corpses based on a “hunch” that the deceased has begun to spin. We’ll see how they feel when we’re digging up their graves. When we decided to redesign the Darkplates, we quickly realized that it was going to be a monumental task. This led to the formation of dbrand’s Plate Science division… or at least, that was the plan. See, we quickly realized that the term “Plate Scientist” means many things to different people. To geologists, it might mean “someone who studies Plate Tectonics,” which would explain why 100% of our applicants were geologists. With our newly assembled team of people who think a PlayStation is a Nintendo, we got to work. Normally, this story would end with the successful development of Darkplates 2.0. Instead, these so-called Plate Scientists gave us a bag of rocks. After both the Plate Science division and the geologists who staffed it had been dissolved, we went back to the drawing board. Turns out, our Industrial Design Robots had already designed Darkplates 2.0. A portion of the proceeds went towards replenishing our supply of sulfuric acid.
On Canada Day, we waived all shipping fees. Why, you ask? Simple – as Canadians we know that saving money on shipping means more opportunity to buy life-saving snowshoes. As the great Wayne Gretzky once said, “snowshoes – they’re the only sure-fire way to escape a polar bear attack.” Not Canadian? No clue why a polar bear would be attacking to begin with? Allow us to paint you a picture.
You just finished tapping the sap out of a faithful Maple Tree. A few unassuming drops spill on your parka. The polar bears don’t necessarily care for the sap – it’s the smell of fear and flesh they crave. Within moments, you’ve become prey. As your snowshoe-less boots dash gracelessly toward your igloo, narrowly escaping the third hyper-carnivorous near-death experience of the week, you pause to reflect: “Why the hell do I live in an igloo? It’s July.” Your sense quickly returns to remind you of the truth: you spent most of your money on dbrand and ice is cheaper than bricks. As your makeshift home melts around you and the grumbling stomachs of a polar bear family close in, your frostbite-ridden lips manage one final sentence: “I’m sorry I didn’t spend more on dbrand.”
When Linus “Tech Tips” Sebastian rang us up to propose a limited edition dbrand collaboration, we couldn’t hang up fast enough. Seventy-two “missed” calls later, Anthony Young’s name popped up on our caller ID. One phone conversation later, the Linus Face Tips drop was born. Our elevator pitch? It’s like if the LTT Store was good. Well, half-good.
See, here at dbrand we believe in offering choices. Specifically, a right choice and a wrong choice. Do we trust you to choose correctly? Never. That’s why we’ve designed our business model around your terrible decisions – we get paid either way. Great thinking, dbrand. Every time an iPhone screen shatters, Tim Apple feels a pleasant chill run down his spine. It can happen at any time: while he’s exercising, doing his taxes, eating an apple… even while he’s getting some shut-eye. Good ol’ Timmy hasn’t had a solid night’s sleep in over a decade. Why does this strange convulsion happen, you ask? Easy: from anywhere in the world, he can sense the repair fees he’s about to rack up. He’s like a shark, sensing the blood money in the waters. Unlike most sharks, this one can breathe oxygen and chairs one of the largest mega corps in the world. Scared? You should be. You’re already frantically Googling “Shark Repellent,” aren’t you? Stop that right now. He can sense your fear. Instead, get a screen protector. If we can prevent an iPhone screen from ever shattering again, it’ll cut off Tim’s main food supply and send him back to the ocean, where he belongs.
Are you sitting down? Good. We want you to remain calm. See, the truth is… the cows have escaped. It all started when one of our “interns” forgot to lock a gate at our Leather Production Facility. The rest is history – just like the intern. Is it accurate to say that we fired him? Debatable, really. On one hand: “firing him” implies that he worked for us by choice. On the other hand, his ashes are currently in the care of his family. None of this changes the fact that a legion of angry cows is currently on the loose. There’s no telling what they’ll do. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best, and buy some Leather while you still can. Now, if you’ll excuse us, we’ve got some herding to do.
Every Valentine’s Day, you ask yourself the same question. “Why am I still single?” We’ll answer your question with one of our own: do you have any idea how strict our character limit is? If we could fit our best-selling book “Why Nobody Loves You” into this space, we would. We can’t… so instead, here’s Chapter 11: you’re broke. Did we have something to do with that? Probably. Is that going to stop us from bleeding you further? Absolutely not. There’s only one solution: buy enough vinyl to fill the colossal hole in your heart. Look on the bright side: it’s cheaper than dating.
Despite our best efforts to detain Zack at our Teardown facility, he somehow keeps finding ways to escape. To overcome this hurdle, we held auditions for “volunteer Zacks.” Average, untalented Americans looking for a shortcut to YouTube superstardom. It was a disaster. Putting aside the fact that their baldness required constant maintenance, it turns out they were utterly incapable of jerry rigging anything. Normally, we’d just incinerate them and move on. Unfortunately, Zack is a bit of an environmentalist. As a result, our “Recycling Department” reluctantly devised a zero-emissions way to repurpose the volunteers. After replacing some unnecessary organs with mechanical upgrades, we soon had assembly lines of bald cyborgs tearing down devices around the clock. To make a long story short, we’re now offering consulting services to other corporations looking to shift away from human labor. If they’re going to collapse the job market, we may as well bankrupt them in the process.
Every time you get a package from dbrand, you can hardly contain your excitement. It’s not because you’re excited to give us your money – though you should be. It’s because you’re excited to read the bizarre text on the packaging. Think of it as a reward for making the effort to read – certainly, a lot more work than you’re used to. Now, You’re here. The disappointment has begun to set in. You’re realizing that you’ve been bamboozled. You’re reading a metacommentary on our packaging copy. What is this, school? The last time you took one of those fancy-pants book-learning classes, they had to invent a grade lower than F. You don’t even know what commentary means, let alone “metacommentary.” To be perfectly honest, we’re surprised you made it this far. Spoiler alert: there is absolutely nothing you can do to get this time back. Signed, a Robot.
submitted by Bathroom-Salt to dbrand [link] [comments]

2023.05.27 20:54 coolsheep769 Feature request: filtering posts with open ML sentiment analysis to avoid angst, negativity

Hey all, sorry if it's way out of line to post this- I didn't see a Github or anything to open a real feature request, so I'm going to try posting here.

Problem: lots of negative, provocative, or low-quality content users don't want to see

I'm sure I'm not the only one just trying to find some funny memes, cool pictures, cute dogs, etc. in the middle of subreddits that also have a lot of negative, repetitive posts, and I think leveraging some existing open-source NLP for sentiment analysis to make a "negativity filter" could be enticing and beneficial to a wide range of users. I know ML is a computationally expensive option, but I feel like simpler ones are ineffective.

ML alternatives and their issues:

Limitations and concerns with an ML approach:

Other thoughts:

submitted by coolsheep769 to apolloapp [link] [comments]

2023.05.27 19:49 Aurelius_Red TIMELINES Ver. 1.9

🐈‍⬛ Another Eden Timelines (ver. 1.9)

I BEG YOU, KIND FELLOW AE FAN, PLEASE DO NOT POST SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTSBy that I mean any plot points or lore beyond the stuff prior to The Goddess of Time content

UPDATE NOTE: This is the final version of the pre-2.0 update, which I'm told will turn my mind to mush. Here, numerous grammar corrections can be found, and I deleted some unnecessary snark.
In version 1.9, I so far have the lore and events from The Cat Beyond Time and Space (ver. 1.0), The Ogre Wars, Episode: The Celestial Tower and the Shadow Witch (lore only as it pertains to Palsifal and Cyrus) and the necessary Episode: The Closed-off Open World and the Azure Rebel.
I have not included the other necessary Episode Two Knights and the Holy Sword since it doesn't seem important to the Main story. (Sorry, Deirdre and Annabel, but brief cameos in The Ogre Wars don't count for much.) If it ends up being important to ver. 2.0's plot, I'll add it in the next update. Episodes like the IDA ones and the Ocean Palace stuff have been omitted for similar reasons. Again, if they turn out to be important, I'll add them.
Well, enjoy.

————— ORIGINAL timeline —————








[NOTE: Sorik's time-hopping may well have not have been part of the original timeline. But even so, I can't see how the subsequent timelines would have been spawned without Sorik/Kyros ending up in the final portal.]


————— NEW Timeline —————

The events prior to player control follow. I will clearly mark when the player's journey begins.




This is the updated timeline, which is to say the series of events from the perspective of Aldo, time-hopping as he does. In other words, from here on, I’m writing about the sequence of events that follows the game’s events as one plays through them.


Part 1: The Cat Beyond Time and Space


…800 years later….

[Side note: Amy, while speaking of her late mother inside Sebastia’s house, says that someday she’d help bring an end to suffering in the world, thereby creating, quote, “another Eden.” We’re meant to take that as the origin of the game’s title. But it is actually a red herring, as Aldo is revealed to be a clone of his former friend Eden, and therefore in a literal sense “Another Eden.”]

…in Antiquity….

…in the Spacetime Rift….

…in the Present….

…in the Future….

…in Antiquity….

…in the Future….

…in Antiquity….

…in the Present….

…in Antiquity….

So ends the first part of the game, Version 1.0, The Cat Beyond Time and Space.

~ OGRE WARS (ver. 1.5)


…in Antiquity….

…in the Future….

…in the Present...


~ EPISODE: The Closed-off Open World and the Azure Rebel (ver. 1.9)

[NOTE: There are other Episodes up until this point, of course, but I don't believe any besides this one and parts of the Celestial Tower one - so far - are integral to understanding the Main Story. If that turns out to be untrue and Part 2 of the Main Story requires knowledge of one or more of the other Episodes, I'll add them in at some point.]

...in the Future...

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2023.05.27 18:48 Crohwned Hopefully a fair Scarlet Lady review from a return VV cruiser.

Warning- this ended up being much longer than I thought when I started. Wall of text incoming!
Up front, to get my "bias" out there, VV has been my wife and I's go-to cruise line since our first Scarlet Lady sailing back when cruise ships were first starting to sail again after COVID. We absolutely love the VV vibe, service, food, and all there is to do on the ship. For other folks who have sailed VV in the past (and specifically on the Scarlet Lady) I thought I'd post a review with some changes we noticed on the sailing we just got off of. I really hope that this review is helpful, and shares both the good and not-so-good things we experienced in a fair way.
The Overall TL;DR- We had a a great time, but a lot of the shine when it comes to service seems to have faded. Dining in the restaurants was spectacular as always, but dining in the Galley was not a great experience for us on this sailing. We *really* enjoyed the new (to us) Its a Ship Show, but the Guilty Pleasures show didn't strike much of a chord. We had a lot of fun with the other "smaller" entertainment, and really enjoyed our time in ports. Due to our frustrations with the service on board we're taking a bit of a wait and see approach for our next cruise- I'm hopeful that this was a one-off bump in the road, but if it turns out this is the direction VV is going, it isn't a good thing.

The Review

Service Issues Lets get the negative part of the review out of the way. And keep in mind, while I'm not going to be real positive here, we did still have a great time on board, and didn't let this get in the way of our fun. That said, it did have an impact on our cruise, and I felt it was worth mentioning, because it is my wife and I's biggest concern about VV going forward. I will also admit that you notice a bad service experience much more than when it goes smoothly, so there is some bias here.
Our cruise started off with a big thud. The incoming sailing had been a chartered sailing, and apparently a bunch of people refused to get off the ship until very, very late in the morning, which delayed boarding significantly for some (early boarding groups were delayed more than the later groups). While this was out of VVs control, the port employees reaction was not. I understand that it was a stressful situation for all involved, but there seemed to be a lack of care from the employees who were managing the lines. They seemed annoyed, and irritated, and were short with waiting passengers, and for a long time were slim on letting us know what was going on. (YMMV, as the waiting lines are all out front, and some lines may have had better service than others- I'm only presenting what I observed around me).
Once we got on board, and went to our room, it was clear that the room cleaning had been rushed. While our room had been all made up, there were dirty glasses in our bathroom, and some "gross" stuff that had been wiped on the inside of the bathroom door but not cleaned (I wont go into any more details, but just say, it wasn't a pleasant thing to brush up against). That said our room attendant was FANTASTIC as we were able to get her attention, and she was mortified that something so bad was missed, and immediately got someone to come to our room to clean the bathroom. She then asked when our dinner reservation was and let us know that while we were at dinner, she'd have the entire room re-cleaned/made up to ensure that nothing else was missed.
Unfortunately, this wasn't the only room issue we had. We've had rooms directly under the Galley in the past, and never had any issues with noise. Our room (and our neighbors room) on this sailing, was directly under a seating area with heavy wooden chairs/stools directly on the tile floor. TIL that the sound of heavy chairs scraping on tile gets amplified greatly with the ship's steel structure. Every minute or two, there would be an extremely loud "GGGGGGGGGGRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR" sound. It took me a while to figure out it was the chairs in the Galley, and at one point I joked that someone must be playing shuffle board by sliding deck loungers across the floor above us. Luckily we had brought good ear plugs, or we would have suffered the fate of our neighbors who were unable to sleep much the entire cruise. We spoke to sailor services about this, and the person we talked to essentially just shrugged it off saying there was nothing they could do (in a very "I dont really care about your issue" way), and even said that it couldn't be that loud (narrator- it WAS that loud). Our neighbors said they went down and talked to sailor services about it every single day (as they were unable to sleep), and on the final day in Bimini, were told they could be moved to another room. So a lesson learned- while other rooms under The Galley are just fine, there are some areas you *dont* want to be. Avoid rooms directly under The Galley. VV- if you read these threads at all, an easy fix- put some Teflon sliders and/or rubber feet under the legs of the heavy wooden chairs/stools that are on tile in the Galley (like you have on the wire/metal chairs). It'll not only greatly reduce the noise, but will also keep the tiles from getting scratched up. The level of noise could have been a complete trip ruiner for us, had we not brought ear-plugs, and had we been treated like our neighbor cabin was.
Speaking of The Galley, this was the biggest negative change for us. Many of the servers in the Galley seemed either inexperienced, or like they just didn't want to serve anyone. One example was when we sat down at 11:55pm for lunch one day. The server told us most of the places didn't open until noon, then walked away. At 12:20, we finally got up and moved to a new spot, as a server had still not returned to take our order. A few days in, we found that the servers who worked the outdoor area at the aft of the ship were much more attentive and provided great service. That said, our food almost always came out to us cold, and the quality seemed like it had taken a nose-dive from our last sailing. The 2 big exceptions- the Sushi bento boxes were WONDERFUL, and the French Toast I had one morning was great. Unfortunately, we went from loving the Galley for a bite to eat on our prior cruises, to avoiding it on this sailing. (We ate a lot of steak bites and polenta at the dock, so all was not lost :D ).
One last thing we noticed- empty glasses/plates/etc.. all over the ship. In one case near the pool, a couple left took their towels with them, leaving a couple of plates and empty drink glasses. A new couple came and moved the dirty dishes next to the loungers, got the attention of a server and asked if it could be cleaned up. Over an hour later when my wife and I were leaving, the dirty dishes were still there. My wife and I like to walk laps around the ship a lot, and on both the top decks and promenade level, we noticed a lot of dirty dishes just sitting out on tables, the ground etc.
Overall, the issues that came up for us on the ship related to service were a huge contrast from our prior sailings. Sailor Services didn't seem very interested in resolving (or even empathizing with) the two issues we brought up to them, and the service in the galley (and general level of service on the ship) definitely feels like it has gone downhill. And holy cow this turned out long! Lets move on to some greener pastures!
Restaurant Dining
As we have had in the past, the restaurant dining was fantastic.
On the first night, as we always do, we went to Test Kitchen. For those who have done Test Kitchen before, on this sailing it was the Corn/Beet/Salmon/Lamb/Strawberry menu. While a lot of people complain about this menu, I quite like it, including the Asparagus Sorbet. Our server was extremely friendly and knowledgeable about the menu, and chatted with us quite a bit, answering all of our questions about how things were prepared, what they'd pair well with, etc. I had the test-kitchen Old Fashioned cocktail and loved it. I can totally see how Test Kitchen is not for some people, but my wife and I always enjoy the experience, and this sailing was as good as its always been for us.
On the second evening, we went to my favorite restaurant onboard, Pink Agave. Being my favorite, I am always worried that I'll be let down, but never am, and this sailing was no exception. We ended up eating with a passenger we met in line and had fantastic conversations for the entire meal. We ordered all of the small plates for the table, and enjoyed sampling everything. For our mains, I ordered the Ribeye (which IMO is the best steak on the ship), and my wife had the smoked pork. There was also sea bass on the menu, so we ordered one to split- surf and turf FTW! All the food was great! There were no misses at all, and our server, like at the test kitchen was amazing!
Night Three was The Wake. For appetizers, my wife ordered the Wedge Salad which she said was great, and I decided to try something new- the Bone Marrow, and it was very nice! My wife then had the Fillet, and I took the recommendation from our server and went with the Hanger Steak for the first time. After sharing, we both agreed- the Fillet was good, but the Hanger Steak was FANTASTIC. We had Spinach, Twice Baked Potatoes, and Asparagus for our sides, which all came out delicious. For dessert, we both had our favorite on the ship- the Lemon Cheesecake, and it was wonderful as always. Our server at the Wake was our favorite this trip. That evening we were celebrating our wedding anniversary, and our server was so kind, and genuinely happy for us. She brought even more joy to a very happy evening for us.
Night four was Gunbae. Food-wise this is probably our least favorite restaurant on the ship, but it is always a very fun and energetic evening! We both always enjoy the appetizers, but feel like the main courses end up being a bit over-cooked and don't have a whole lot of flavor. I think with Gunbae your experience can be heavily dependent on who you are seated with, and our table-mates were a ton of fun, so it all turned out great! We both really enjoyed the green-tea ice cream at the end (I don't recall ever having this before? Is it new?), and FINALLY, I won the counting drinking game (I'm normally the first or second person out). :D
For our final night, we did Extra Virgin. We've never done EV on the final night, and for us, I think I'd schedule it earlier in our itinerary, as by this point on a cruise were we ate entirely too much, a really heavy/rich dinner was probably the last thing we needed. The food was fantastic as always- for appetizers, my wife had the Crispy Artichokes which she enjoyed, and I had the meatballs where were delicious (though i was only able to eat about half of them). For our main, I had the Gnocchi, and my wife had the spaghetti bolognese). She passed on dessert, but I had the Whisky gelato, and it was very yummy!
The only non-shining experience in the restaurants was breakfast/brunch at Razzle Dazzle. It wasn't as good as it had been in the past (cold eggs and missing parts of our order) and it felt quite rushed. I don't have a whole lot to say about it other than that.
On the other hand, we had breakfast at The Wake on our disembarkation morning, and it was AMAZING. We split the banana french toast, and each had Steak and Eggs, and it was the best breakfast we had all week. It was a great way to end the cruise.
On past cruises, I always felt a little let down by The Wake. It was always good, and I enjoyed it, but it didn't really live up to the hype in my mind. On this sailing, The Wake absolutely lived up to the hype for us, both for dinner and breakfast. Pink Agave is still my favorite, but I was much more impressed by The Wake on this sailing than in the past.

I'll touch on the shows that were new to us on this sailing. The first show we went to was the Guilty Pleasures show, which ended up being a fun sing-along, interrupted by IMO, not very entertaining or funny comedy. Singing along to the songs was a blast, and they most definitely were the guilty pleasure songs that my wife and I belt out when we're driving alone in the car. Unfortunately between the songs was what I can only describe as a "plot-based standup comedy routine that told the same tired joke again, and again, and again." If it had just been a music/sing-along, I would have loved it. But hey, everyone is entertained by different things, so I hope there were those who enjoyed the show!
On Gunbae night, we also hit up the late showing of It's a Ship Show. It had a small-portion dinner (we've had first dinner.. why not have second dinner?!?) and the food was fine. The show itself is a variety show, with a very fun Emcee, a good band, a fantastic singer, and several very entertaining acts. We both really enjoyed It's a Ship Show, and would highly recommend it if its on your sailing. I wont say much more as I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but it was a lot of fun.
On this sailing my wife and I were going for a more relaxed vibe, and as we'd seen them all before, didn't go to any of the mainstay shows (Duel Reality, UNTITLED, Ships in the night, etc..).
For the smaller activities, we did the VH1/Shake-weight workout which was a blast as always (though they seemed to tone down the innuendo a bit from prior sailings), and had a ton of fun getting our butts kicked in Dodgeball.
One thing we noticed on this sailing that disappointed us a bit- in the past the "Happenings" cast always seemed to be out and about, and a presence on the ship. I love magic/slight of hand, my wife loves art, and we're both foodies and love games, so we'd get to know (specifically) The Charmer, The Artist, The Foodie, and The Gamer, both during their events, and just chatting with them around the ship. This time around, outside of their specific events, we didn't see them out and about at all. Additionally, it felt like their events weren't really planned for a more full ship like we were on. For example, the Charmer's Lounge was done at the Sip Lounge. He worked his way from one end of the room to the other, table by table, spending about 15-20 minutes at each table. We were lucky that we picked the third table from where he started, and so we "only" had to wait an hour. Half way through the event, it looked like they started kicking people at the other end of the Sip Lounge out, to do afternoon Tea. I think he might have gotten through all of 15-20 people, when there were well over 50 who showed up to the event. Also, this was the only time I ever even saw The Charmer out and about the entire cruise.
Having those interactions was something we really missed from prior sailings, and perhaps we were just always in the wrong place at the wrong time, but they definitely didn't seem to have the presence they had onboard in the past.

We did one excursion on this trip- in Cozumel we did the Snorkeling/Beach day/Cooking/Tequila Tasting, where they take you to a private beach/resort, have you snorkel off the beach, show you how to make a really tasty Guac, and let you taste some Tequila, all the while having a buffet for lunch and open bar. We had a very nice time on shore, and our guide was lots of fun. It wasn't terribly expensive as far as excursions go (about $80pp if I recall), and I'm very glad we did it. The only thing about it that gave me some pause- the description of the excursion specifically states that your price includes gratuities, yet the guide was specifically asking for tips. I didn't tip him as much as I normally would if gratuities weren't included, but it was just a little bit awkward.
We didn't do an excursion in Bimini, but were on the first tram to the beach, and spent the entire morning between swimming in the ocean and in the great pool they have at the resort. As always, Bimini was one of the highlights of the cruise, and was an absolute blast.

Our Takeaways
First off, if you read this far, WOW. I didn't realize this was going to be such a novel, but here we are! :D Overall my wife and I both had a great time on our cruise. The food was fantastic, most of the shows/events we went to were a blast, and as always on a VV cruise, we met and got to know a bunch of wonderful people, while relaxing and spending some quality time with each other. Our excursion in Cozumel and time in Bimini were wonderful.
That said, this is the first time we haven't put down a deposit on a future cruise. One of the places where we always saw so much value in sailing with VV, and a huge reason we were willing to pay the VV premium was the level of service on the ship, and on this sailing there were a lot of misses in that regard, and for the first time, we didn't feel like we got quite as much value out of what we paid for the cruise (because of what is important to us, YMMV). That's not to say we wont be sailing with VV again- its just that we want to watch how things trend, and how things settle out as the other ships come online and the various ship crews get used to more full ships. As I said ages ago in the beginning of my review- we really hope that this was just a one-off not-as-spectacular sailing for us.
I've seen others talk about how the Scarlet Lady has become the defacto "Training" ship, and from our experience this sailing, I wouldn't doubt it. While that is a reason, it is not an excuse. If that is what's going on I hope it is a temporary situation, as I don't think the quality of a sailor's cruise should be affected by what ship happens to be leaving port the dates they can sail. So here is to hoping that VV gets this all figured out soon, and the experience on ALL of their ships gets back to what it has been in the past.
Finally, I'll just say, if you find yourself on a cruise, and something the cruise line does is letting you down, don't let it ruin your trip. While we were disappointed in several aspects of the service, my wife and I were still able to fully enjoy our cruise, and specifically our time with each other. It was a special anniversary trip for us, and it would have been an absolute shame if we let the issues we had with VV's service ruin it. Instead we filed our issues away, continued to enjoy all the ship had to offer, and will use our experience to shape who/where we do our next cruise with, rather than letting it run the experience in the moment.
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2023.05.27 18:25 LithiumNard A Random Fan's Team/Player Breakdown and Predictions Going into LPL Summer 2023

LPL Summer Power Rankings
Just one person’s opinion. WE diehard so I’ve seen more or less all of their games, but I’ll catch other games here and there. Did a lot of Oracle’s Elixir and Leaguepedia digging as well and followed/consulted @DJJohnnymeister on twitter (must follow IMHO if you care at all about the up and comers of the LDL) for thoughts on lower-level prospects. Will probably make me look stupid when it’s all said and done, but that’s part of the fun right?
Top Contenders
1) JDG
Top – 369
Jungle – Kanavi
Mid – Knight/lzq
ADC – Ruler
Support – Missing
Was the best team on paper last split and lived up to the hype. Coming off of a dominant MSI championship run, they are the slam dunk pick to top not just the LPL power rankings, but the World power rankings.
369 is perhaps the best he’s ever been, easily 1st team All Pro. Kanavi has re-established himself as the best jungler in the world at MSI. Knight’s mechanical talent finally shone through on the international stage. Lzq is an 18-year-old who somehow skipped the LDL altogether and isn’t really relevant to the narrative, but he's on the official roster so I have to mention him. Ruler inserted his name in the GOAT conversation and proved his mettle out of the Samsung/GenG sphere, doing his thing of blending solid damage output with consistent safety. When Missing is the worst player on the team by default and yet still the Spring 2nd All Pro Team support you’re in golden shape.
They get a sentence each because I shouldn’t need to tell you about this team. They’re really just complete without any exploitable holes. Adding Knight and Ruler to China’s best squad in 2022 feels similar to the off-season where the Golden State Warriors added Kevin Durant, with the added bonus that Boogie Cousins is still in his prime. I suppose that makes Yagao into Pro LOL’s Harrison Barnes (I actually like this comparison, down to Yagao receiving blame for the blowing it when it mattered most) and GenG into Pro LOL’s Sacramento Kings (pretty bad, but if we equate the playoffs to making world finals?… ehh still really bad). We’ll see who (if anyone) can rise up to challenge them, but at this point they have to be considered the odds-on favorite.
2) LNG
Top – Zika
Jungle – Tarzan
Mid – Scout
Support – Hang
This team had one hole in the roster going into the summer and filled it. LP didn’t have a bad rookie split and showed mettle but he was clearly the odd man out on a team built to compete today. After looking at IG’s ADC Ahn, they chose to spare no expense and traded LP and a boat load of cash for RNG’s GALA who more than fills that hole. GALA will be paired in the bottom lane with Hang, who was a key partner for LP’s surprisingly competent debut, earning an All-LPL 3rd team shoutout in the process.
Scout meanwhile had a downright incredible split that fell by the wayside due to LNG’s immediate playoff exit at the hands of OMG, but it appears that even away from the EDG machine, he’s still one of the LPL’s premier stars at a very competitive position. I mean he put up a mind numbing 17 MVPs individually. To put it in perspective, ThunderTalk Gaming, who were the 8 seed in the LPL Spring Standings, had 18 wins in total. With teams like EDG and JDG sharing the MVP load among their members, Scout downright ran away with it.
Zika didn’t have a super flashy split, but was low key very strong. The team devoted a lot to making sure LP wasn’t exploited and you would think Zika, who was heavily strong-side suited as a rookie on IG last year, would flounder because of it. However, he quietly flourished in the role, even though he only picked up a single MVP performance all season. Putting up strong CS numbers and showing some good weakside ability on top of his typical array of more damage centric tops. Honestly, he might be the most underrated player in the league since he’s overshadowed by his much more resource heavy teammates, but that weakside ability might be even more key with GALA joining the team and needing the resources as well.
Tarzan meanwhile continued as a standout in the regular season, best jungler KDA, strong kill participation basically the rest of the regular season MVP performances, but was perhaps the primary factor in their playoff disappointment. Similar to JDG’s situation with Missing though, when Tarzan (specifically in the playoffs) is the team’s biggest concern, you know you have a roster ready to compete.
3) EDG
Top – Ale
Jungle – Jiejie/Monki
Mid – Fofo/Fisher
ADC – Leave
Support – Meiko
Despite losing their key Korean carries, EDG barely missed a beat last split, finishing 3rd in the Spring Split. It’s a pretty good result all things considered, but it does feel like they have holes in their game. Still, I think that between their core veterans still at the peak of their game and the overall consistency, they are in very good shape for the Worlds slots, even if they feel a step behind the likes of JDG right now.
Even without Scout and Viper, they still have a great veteran core that starts with Meiko, who with Ming’s absence/retirement(?) stands alone as only active LPL’s all-time top 10 support. As part of the EDG core for over 9 years now, and the team’s primary shot caller for a huge part of that span, his presence alone means that EDG will have one of the best macro games in the league. Combo that with Jiejie, who has served in the EDG system for a huge period of time and grown into a top level jungler in his midst of his prime and you immediately have a team that has championship aspirations even before the other 3 members are considered, as both players were 1st Team All Pro for the Spring Split.
The 3 other members were where a lot of the concern lied going into the season, but they exceeded expectations as EDG was the number 2 seed going into playoffs. While the least talked about of the three, it was a great bounce back split for FoFo who was one of the most disappointing players on 2022’s most disappointing team BLG, eventually losing his starting job to mid-season acquisition Icon. On EDG though, he looked revitalized and fairly close to his form on RA 2021, though admittedly he was flanked by better players with EDG. It was a commendable, low drama, stable split for a player who needed it bad.
Similar to FoFo, Ale was coming off of a rough 2021 as well where a talented by troubled LNG team didn’t completely flop by the results, but completely missed the high expectations set. This included a benching for PandaC halfway through the split that really hurt the team in key series down the stretch amid talk about attitude issues. He’s always been a talented pair of hands though and EDG did well to keep him focused and on his game, as he stepped up big time, particularly when given non-tank champions while piloting tanks well enough, earning 2nd team All Pro honors. Obviously, Ale isn’t always the most stable player, but so long as EDG has him on the straight and narrow, he’s going to be a net positive for the team.
Finally, we come to the rookie of the split Leave, who came in with some serious LDL hype and lived up to it for the most part, working well as EDG’s damage carry and showing a flashy mechanics style. Being flanked with the likes of Meiko helps of course, but EDG handed the reigns to Leave and he seemed up to the task. Unfortunately, going up against the likes of Ruler and Elk in the playoffs did prove to be that freshman wall for Leave, but as MSI showed they’ve been folding everyone, so it’s not too shameful. Still as the least experienced player in this top 4 group, it’s going to be a lot of pressure on the youngster. It’s crazy that this super mechanically skilled star of his rookie class could be the weakness of the team, but that’s just the level of the competition among the top teams of this league.
I do want to give brief mention to EDG’s substitute players, who are both very talented youngsters. Monki is a 19-year-old LDL promote jungler who was strong at the lower level and warranted a promotion. Fisher meanwhile had been a standout Korean trainee from Shadow Corp (the same team they picked up About, the new Korean bot lane trainee Ale was talking about) and directly went onto the EDG main roster at 18 years old. Neither will likely see play given this team’s veteran tilt and the championship ambitions, but they’re worth keeping an eye out for down the road whether they’re future EDG starters or purchases for other LPL teams.
4) BLG
Top – Bin
Jungle – XUN
Mid – Yagao
ADC – Elk/Baiye
Support – ON
Given BLG’s penchant for big expenses for early playoff exits, it would be easy to write off their latest roster as yet another flailing attempt to microwave a team into stardom, turning over basically the entire 2022 roster they reportedly spent top dollar for. And yet, it felt different this time around. While the players they picked up weren’t exactly household names, they were talented mechanical players on the rise. They looked genuinely strong in the pre-season tournaments, which admittedly doesn’t count a whole ton, but was interesting to note. And when it was all said and done, it resulted in the best split BLG has ever put up. And while they couldn’t outgun the JDG machine in any of the many shots, it was a great season. While I have them below LNG for their sheer top to bottom power and EDG out of respect for their veteran track record, I’m still very impressed by this BLG squad.
Bin, as somehow the longest tenured BLG member of 2 splits, was the face of the team’s turnaround, and a far cry better from the rocky 2022 he endured swapping between 2 dysfunctional teams. 2023 was where he re-established himself as the premier mechanical top in the league. Always known for his excellent hands since his debut on Suning in 2020, he was able to back up those skills this split, while furthering his profile in the west with his fun trashtalk and gigachad persona. Furthermore, when the chips were down at MSI, he even showed a willingness to pick up tanks, which has always been the clear hole in his game.
As for the free agent additions, the one who most established himself was Elk. If I can put on my hipster hat on, I was an Elk fan before it was cool, given he’s always shown an ability to put up eyepopping damage numbers since his debut which continued this season as he topped the tables far and away leading the league with the number 1 DPM and damage share. However, it was the finer points of the game where Elk struggled on back in the day. Off positioning, hit or miss laning, occasional overextensions trying to maximize damage were all issues for Elk on WE. On this BLG squad though, that has largely ironed itself out, with only occasional blowup performances every so often. An unknown on the World stage going into MSI, everyone now knows the name of this fearsome player. They also added a name that nobody knows, that being Baiye an LDL ADC to the main roster as well. Having just debuted on BLG.J last split and playing all of 7 games in the LDL, it’s tough to take this promotion seriously at all, let alone as a threat to Elk’s seat.
A major part of supporting Elk’s rise was the acquisition of the best young support in the LPL, ON. One of the big pain points of LPL teams is that LDL promotions are just so difficult, and none so more than support, where the talent pool is shallow and the transition is just an absolute killer. So many of the highest profile LDL supports have floundered on promotion, and ON was no exception on Suning back in 2021. That being said, he’s improved an incredible amount since that first rocky season, and the mechanical ability he has as a support and his young age (only 20 years old despite debuting in 2021) makes him perhaps the most valuable long-term asset on the BLG roster. As EDG has shown with Meiko and his cavalcade of ADC pairings, great ADCs can be acquired in the LPL but great supports when kept are backbones to long term success.
XUN was an acquisition much like Elk and ON, a young mechanical standout who BLG scooped up with projection in mind. He arrived into IG in 2021 as a highly touted rookie, and was mentioned alongside the likes of Bo and Xiaohuangren, the 2 super prospects junglers as the next generation. He joined right at the tail end of the Rookie-TheShy era of the team and while he had early struggles then, by the time the next season rolled around, he was IG’s standout player. Even after arriving at BLG, he’s still a very volatile player, and hasn’t solidified his play the way Elk and ON have, but at his best, he’s capable of getting bot rolling, which is exactly what BLG is want to do.
Finally, the Harrison Barnes of the LPL, Yagao, who was the typical blame target for BLG in their losses. It’s true, he’s older and certainly doesn’t match up great against the top of the table mids that he’ll need to beat, but the bottom line is that for the most part he’s fine enough. Just like Barnes, he’s certainly not the team centerpiece, and he occasionally has baffling performances, but he’s usually stable enough to not get in the way. Honestly, he’s probably the weakest individual player among these top 4 teams and the predominant reason (along with coinflippy XUN) that I have the MSI runners up 4th on this list, but to be clear I’m not huge Yagao hater, it’s just that these top teams are so stacked that every potential available weakness makes a difference. I mean, you don’t see Harrison Barnes on the All-NBA teams or anything.
Playoff Expectations
5) OMG
Top – Shanji
Jungle – Aki
Mid – Creme
ADC – Able
Support – PPGod/Jerry
OMG returns with the roster that brought them to their highest playoff finish since Spring 2017 (!!!), finishing a highly impressive 4th in the split. On paper, I still think their roster is lacking in marquee raw talent, but it’s clear at this point that they’re more coordinated than some of their flashier opposition and that they’ve cultivated 2 young stars that have now shown some serious killer instinct.
Without any doubt, this is a team that is defined by the play of their solo lane talents. Starting from the top Shanji had a standout split primarily as one of the most effective K’Sante/Sion tank players the large majority of the time, but occasionally busts out Kennen and his signature Rumble, and been incredibly impactful when he gets them. Furthermore, this synergizes perfectly with OMG’s other star laner Creme, who is afforded the ability to fit AD assassins like Yone. Assassins have continued to be Creme’s calling card and while his control mage play is lackluster, OMG has tailored their gameplans around his champion pool and have reaped the benefits of the young mid laner.
On top of these two really clicking simultaneously, a big hat tip must be given to their teammates as well. PPGod in particular proved to be the right ingredient to bring OMG playoff glory as he continues his ability to accent teams into playoff threats even if he hasn’t been quite been able to reach the Finals at any of his stops. I’ll give him some additional props once we reach the NIP write up. Given PPGod’s late arrival to the team last spring, LDL promotion Jerry sat on the bench for the season, and looks to do so again. Able meanwhile has a pretty non-descript year, taking a back seat to his solo lane teammates but showing some stability that he’s usually lacked. Certainly not a masterful split, but credit where it’s due, he reigned it in and was steady for OMG’s best squad in ages.
Finally, Aki deserves a big hand for his role in OMG’s success as well. A solid vet who isn’t considered a mechanical master by any means, he was steady at the wheel throughout the season, and was even able to out jungle Tarzan of all people in their shock upset win over LNG. Despite taking the most MVPs for OMG in the regular season, it was rarely for single handed domination and I’d point that more as a credit for his facilitation of the team’s coordination in general where they were able to get over the competition where it counted.
I don’t think this team has the ceiling of the others in this tier, but they have a known formula that works. While the others in this group have more talent on an individual level, it’s clear that they have serious questions to sort out that OMG really doesn’t, so I’m considering OMG the safe team in this particular group, but without the upside to challenge the tier above.
6) WBG
Top – TheShy
Jungle – Karsa/Weiwei
Mid – Xiaohu
ADC – Light
Support – Crisp
This team and the one after it were the teams with close to the highest expectations in the League and yet fell flat in spite of talented rosters. Both have largely decided to run it back, with new coaching staffs in an attempt to fix the tactical side where they came short. WBG went big game hunting for their next coach after sacking Easyhoon and was attempting to court Kkoma before he opted to focus on Korea’s efforts at the World Games. They settled for an Kkoma adjacent coach in Daeny, formerly part of the Damwon and T1 programs. A controversial coach in his own right, he’s drew criticism for his pick/bans and his questionable roster decisions, but he still has that Worlds title under his belt, so WBG is out here shooting for the moon. Born to wintrade or whatever.
TheShy is as always, a pretty good representation of the team. Perpetually on top of the damage charts due to his confidence in his mechanics and his propensity to fight constantly, it leads to the coinflippy hit or miss results you so often see from TheShy and his teams in general. He’s certainly not at his peak form where he dominated on the Worlds stage, but he’s not at his worst either near the end of his IG tenure when that whole team looked out of gas, TheShy is an LPL icon, even if that icon is occasionally the death notification on the side of the UI.
Purchasing Xiaohu out of his RNG contract was one of the big stories for this team going into the off season and a large reason for optimism for their future results. In actually he was rather middling by all accounts. Not a total disaster of course, it felt like he was fine for the most part, but not the immediate plug and play mechanical players that Scout, Knight or Rookie serve as. Maybe a second season to mesh is what they need to comeback.
Light for my money was the most dependable member of the team in the regular season, being just a generally stable force in the otherwise chaotic team structure. I wouldn’t call him the best at any individual thing: Ruler is a much safer ADC and Elk is a better pure damage pump, but light is good enough at both of those things to be a consistent plus for WBG, which can’t be said for the rest of the team. Supported by the veteran Crisp, you have to expect them to anchor the team in general, though Crisp was particularly bad in the playoff series against BLG, where his hooks on both Thresh and Naut were off point. It’s just one series of course, but the play needs to be better than that in crunch time next time.
Finally, the jungle situation for Weibo. Karsa continues to be the perpetual punching bag when the team struggles. It’s been a major decline since his Flash Wolves and early RNG days and frankly it might be time to just bucket him as not able to get it done at the highest level at this point. He can still work enough in the regular season to make the playoffs, but the form is just not where it needs to be at this point. In a fascinating move, scooped up Weiwei, who went from BLG’s star jungler to league washout over the course of a single year. The biggest victim of BLG’s 2022 catastrophe, the last look of Weiwei we got was not a flattering one as the team fell flat on it’s face amid roster instability and play not matching up to the expected standard. Still, we’ve seen a number of comebacks for players leaving the BLG ecosystem, such as PPGod and FoFo returning to form after splitting wit the team. Of course it’s not always a winning formula as Doggo and Biubiu (shudder) can attest to, but there’s enough of a strong track record from Weiwei during 2020 V5 and 2021 BLG to say that trying to get that level out of him is worth the attempt.
7) TES
Top – Wayward/Qingtian
Jungle – Tian
Mid – Rookie
ADC – Jackeylove
Support – Mark
Reuniting 2/5ths of the legendary IG core was supposed to lead TES to their Worlds destiny. Yet going into the Summer split they are another team running it back with the exact same roster, though unlike teams like JDG, BLG or OMG, the Spring split was an unmitigated failure for TES. There was not glory, but a collapse down the stretch of the season and shameful defeat at the hands of OMG, a team that is probably running a budget less than Jackeylove’s individual paycheck (note: The previous statement was hyperbole. I do not actually know how much OMG pays their players.) With some of the flashiest names in the LPL, finishing without at least challenging JDG would have been a disappointment, let alone the 7th/8th that they actually managed.
The big obvious question for this team is what exactly they do with the top lane because the decision making around it was seemed heavily stilted. They chose to run Qingtian basically the entire regular season, and then yanked the rug on him with a single series to go? Sure, he was largely a hit or miss top laner who was missing against the better teams (and LGD’s because rookie Xiaoxu was feeling it) but pulling the plug on him and swapping to Wayward literally at the last second heavily sabotaged both of them. Congratulations, Wayward crushed Biubiu in round 1 of playoffs, like basically everyone else who played top lane in the LPL. Up against Shanji (a player TES bypassed as a rookie to pick up Qingtian), Wayward was not up to it, and it was a big part of what ended their season. Even though both top laners are limited, I find it hard to place the blame on them directly given this awkward setup and how they approach top lane in the Summer with both players still on the roster remains to be seen.
The bot lane continues to be the same story as always. Jackeylove is still super high ceiling but there are still sometimes these baffling efforts where he’s playing off of his game, which has been a repeating trend for a while now. Mark did well to stabilize him at the beginning of their shared tenure but it’s been rough going as of late for this bot lane in general.
Moving to the big free agent swap they made, adding the legendary Rookie to the team, and it wasn’t all bad. It’s not like he was an abject disaster, he had his share of good games, such as dominating against Shanks in the first round of the playoffs, it’s just that there were too many series where he didn’t lift the team when things weren’t clicking elsewhere… like the 2nd round against OMG. It felt like too often he wasn’t meshing with Tian who was also off his normally solid domestic game. People joke that it was his Worlds performance showing up and frankly, I’d have to agree.
I don’t know with this team. The on-paper talent is on there as usual but there’s something missing… Normally with teams, the question is: how can this team coordinate together and be more than the sum of their parts, which OMG showcased best? I don’t get that vibe from TES, where the question I’m asking is: do they feel like playing up to their talent, or are they going to let go of the rope and lose in shocking fashion? Just weird vibes. I’d say maybe the coaching swap could help, but bringing in the guy who was overseeing BLG during their moneybag disappointment era doesn’t fill me with confidence. I still think they still should be fine for the playoffs off of their sheer talent running over enough teams when they do hold it together, but I just don’t see them as a viable challenger for the LPL crown unless something flips in them, particularly given how good the top 4 seem.
Playoff Bubble
8) TT
Jungle – Beichuan/xiaohuangren
Mid – Ucal
ADC – Huanfeng/1xn
Support – yuyanjia/Yaoyao
A pleasant surprise last split, making their first LPL playoffs since they were known as Sinodragon, TT has shed their bottom feeder status and actually have some breakout potential. They’ve formed a decent core to build off of and collected some of the most exciting young talents in the league. How they split their starts between the young guns and the vets they played last split is quietly one of the most interesting storylines in the league as those talented swing pieces could push them up into contendership or down out of the playoffs depending on how they handle the LPL stage.
We’ll start with the boring part of the team in their now solidified Korean solo lane pairing, HOYA and Ucal. After spinning solo laners basically their entire existence, the duo has been locked in for basically 4 splits now. Neither blow anyone’s socks off (though I maintain Ucal in particular is pretty underrated), but you know you’re gonna get a playoff worthy performance but not much more. Together they provide the solid foundation for the rest of the roster, where it really gets interesting.
Starting with jungle, Beichuan had effective but flawed split. He output damage well and did much to incite action, but he also died a whole ton, with the highest death share of any jungler in the league last split. This volatility has been his modus operandi this TT squad as he manages to lead TT in MVPs and I’m sure would have also led the team had an “Most Un-valuable Player” award been given to the biggest inter on the losing team, so he’s pretty core to the TT identity as they’re constructed. However, the clearly more intriguing option has to be Xiaohuangren, who is likely the youngest player in the league right now, and the most hyped LDL jungler since Bo. Debuting in LDL at just 16, XHR was immediately one of the best mechanical junglers in the lower level, and even when the age limit was placed, he took to dominating the Korean ladder with multiple accounts in his excess time. Promoted in the middle of the Spring split days after he turned 18, he hasn’t seen a stage since that age limit was placed, but eyes will be watching to see if TT put the hyper-talent on the rift.
Their other young hyper-talent TT acquired is at the ADC position where they are bringing JDG’s LDL bot laner 1xn. Highly touted by LDL experts, 1xn doesn’t have a mechanical flaw to speak of, putting out insane damage and CS numbers on the regular. The one thing to note was that the JDM team surrounding him didn’t have the skills to back him up, so he never really got the accolades his performance deserved. How he splits time with Huanfeng, who was pretty ineffective last season, and just clearly is no longer the do-everything ADC we saw at 2020 Worlds with Suning is the other big question. It’s weird to see him morph into a rather conservative low-risk low-reward player, and honestly, if they gave out a “Least Valuable Player” award to the winning team, he’d probably be the among League’s leaders in that sketchy credential.
Finally, the support situation is less exciting but lowkey just as important as the other 2 positions as they’ve opted to add Yuyanjia to the roster to which I’m fairly confused. A lackluster veteran (25 years old?) who has never really helped a roster even at his “peak”, I’m not sure what he brings to the table for TT. It’s even more confusing since incumbent support Yaoyao has been the rare promoted LDL support who has actually looked good in his initial LPL stint, which is some sort of minor miracle given the typical LDL support struggles. Trying to fit XinLiu in last split probably cost them some series, so I’m not sure why they seem so interested in these mediocre at best support players when they have a solid one in hand.
9) WE
Top – Cube/Demon
Jungle – Heng
Mid – Shanks
ADC – Hope
Support – Iwandy
I see WE as the LPL’s gatekeeper team. Last split they were great against the lower ranked teams (exception AL), and awful against the higher ranked teams (exception BLG) and managed to sneak playoffs thanks to the likes of IG being just a bit more volatile. I’m sure I’ll have more to say about them as the season goes on, so I’ll keep things brief here.
They managed to do this with an essential deadweight in the top lane. Cube doesn’t completely alter the equation for WE, as he’s coming off of his worst split to date where he was largely stuck on tank duty, but he does turns the top lane for WE from being a ceiling capper into a floor raiser for the team. Worst case is that he continues his middling tank form and he serves as a rich man’s Biubiu who can actually lane competently. The best-case scenario is that the change of scenery (where he was on RA for 4 years) works to revitalize him towards more of the damage top lane champs he played in his earlier years. Either way, the best part of this addition is really the subtraction of Biubiu, which adds much needed flexibility to a team that desperately needs it. Meanwhile, Demon also augments the team’s flexibility by adding his skills of doing promotional videos when Chinese New Year rolls around. So yeah, you can say this is a much-improved top lane situation.
Otherwise, the team remains the same as their gatekeeper-selves. Iwandy quietly had a very solid season as WE’s most consistent player and a foundation as a support. Hope had a mid-season swoon that showed his deficiencies particular as a laner and on less focused champions, but was able to showcase his carrying skills as the season concluded. Both are what they are: usually net positives for a team, but not really able to take you to a top 6 seed independently. That is going to have to come from their teammates, speaking of which…
Heng was up and down as a rookie jungler, but for the most part demonstrated a willingness to be proactive and facilitate his lanes via early ganks, even if it didn’t always work out as planned. And of course, Shanks who had his best regular season to date, relying on consistently strong lane performances. While capitalizing on those leads remains a hit or miss affair and a particular bad playoff series against TES are marks against him, I still have those high expectations for him and continue to see this as a prove it year. Outside of Cube unlocking something additional, which shouldn’t be counted on, this jungle-mid pair are the key for WE to climb higher than the lower playoff spots. Both are usually strong early, but they’ll need to clean up their mid/late game play for the team to be a contender against higher caliber teams.
10) IG
Top – YSKM/neny
Jungle – Tianzhen
Mid – Cryin/Dove
ADC – Xiaoyueji/Ahn
Support – Wink
Putting IG too low was a big miss for me in Spring and despite narrowly missing out on playoffs and making some pretty major roster changes, they do make sense as a team as a whole to the point where I can see them in playoff contention.
YSKM was the breakout player for them, as his mechanical prowess was legit right out of the gate though I do think he’s a tad overrated as his DPM isn’t as high as you would expect for a player that almost exclusively plays damage top laners. You have to assume he starts over neny who is just perpetually going to be on this roster as a break in case of emergency/illness weakside player.
Their other returning player is Wink, who has proven to be a successfully above average support and revitalized his career in the process after floundering at ADC for IG. Wink is reunited with his former mid laner Cryin, as both were teammates on a Estar team that vastly exceeded expectations on their debut year. While being the low econ mid laner in a Xiaohu-GALA centric RNG didn’t flatter his talents, Cryin had a pretty good year all things as UP’s best player last season, and he’ll get another shot this year. The expectation is he starts over Dove who is still on the roster? He wasn’t awful but was certainly less exciting than his jungle counterpart and I assumed he would be leaving along with GIDEON and the Korean coaching staff.
This is Xiaoyueji’s second shot at the big leagues given he was tried and passed by Ahn last season, but he’s coming off of an LDL Season MVP where he was clearly above the lower level. We’ll need to see if he can step up with the tougher competition ala Photic, or if he’s just a quadruple-A player (too good for LDL, not good enough for LPL) like Asura. It might not even matter though as it’s worth noting that Ahn remains on the roster, even after the promotion of XYJ and a tryout from LNG (who clearly have contending in mind). He’s coming off of a quietly strong split and likely has the inside track in the battle for the starting role as in a repeat of LPL Spring 2022, these 2 will duke it out for the spot again.
Despite not being the LDL MVP, Tianzhen might be the more exciting prospect actually and notably doesn’t have any veteran to compete with. At only 18 years old, he’s going to be one of the LPL’s youngest players and has an eclectic champ pool that is highlighted by his signature Rengar. It will be interesting to see if these LDL standouts can continue the momentum in the LPL. The promotion isn’t easy, but both of them are in position to excel.
11) RNG
Top – Breathe
Jungle – Wei
Mid – Tangyuan
Support – LvMao/Lele
It’s crazy to think this time last year, RNG were celebrating their 2nd consecutive MSI championship. Obviously, this team has more or less completely shattered from the Golden Road-seeking team that once ruled Spring and faltered at Worlds on a regular basis. I mean it’s been years of speculation that RNG was actually in a NA-esque perpetual financial meltdown that was held together by unfair streaming contracts and bobby pins, but with the departure of GALA and in particular, Ming, who has more or less been on RNG since the start of the era, finally puts RNG on the backfoot. Still, even with the exodus of more or less everyone on those famous teams, there’s a window at the playoffs.
Wei is the final piece of the MSI 2022 team, which is wild to think about because as I mentioned, it's been just 1 year. Now the longest tenured player on the roster, it’s a weird situation as there’s no longer an obvious lane to play into. While he wasn’t always bad, he had many questionable moments and his weakest split to date, and now without GALA in the bot lane there’s no clear place to focus for this team. He’s demonstrated he can be effective without the likes of Xiaohu, GALA and Ming back when he was on EStar in his debut season in 2020, but it’s been a long time since then, so I suppose we’ll have to wait and see.
Similarly, Breathe is also coming off of a split where he failed to meet expectations. It feels like ever since he left WE, he just hasn’t really found his footing as the good flex top laner, first on that weird 2022 BLG failed “superteam” and then on RNG where he never fit in to the Xiaohu-GALA puzzle. This last split he was basically relegated to weakside tanks and was subsequently pretty inconsequential as either a positive or negative factor. The few forays he took towards more carry champions were bad last split and it’s not a great sign for a player once considered so promising. I guess it’s the WE fan in me talking that he still has that upside to be among the best in the league. Maybe I’m lending him too much leeway given he was maybe WE’s best strongside top ever (which for the record is more about WE perpetually playing bot-centric). With out any of those other major carries on RNG, I’m interested to see if Breathe is placed back in that role.
The rest of the team is a smattering of cobbled pieces who aren’t without upside, but don’t exactly scream playoffs. GALA was exchanged for a large bag of cash and LP, who was the only consistent starter of the new cohort. he was heavily cared for as the rookie bot laner on LNG’s otherwise star-studded group, he was able to deliver in that capacity. Notably, he narrowly had the 2nd highest DPM in the split, though admittedly there was a large gap between 1st place damage monster Elk and a much smaller one to the following ADCs of JackeyLove, Assum and Leave. However, he certainly wasn’t perfect as he managed the lowest CS per minute among ADCs in the league, and he didn’t wow the way rookie of the split Leave did. Still, it was a relatively promising start, though the downgrade from Hang to one of RNG’s supports looms large as needless to say, the “cash considerations” RNG received with LP are most likely not being used for his lane partner.
With Angel departing after a pretty rough split, where the highlight was creating a meme after defeating his former team Weibo Gaming, RNG were rumored for a number of domestic mid laners but ultimately just stuck with the player they seemed intent on before they picked up Angel at the last second. Tangyuan is an LDL promote who has been flatout bad in the few stage performances he got in with the main roster, struggling both in the pre-season Demacia Cup and then to open the proper LPL season while Angel got up to speed. He’s at least known to have good Korean solo queue ranks, but you have to imagine there’s going to be a lot of handwringing over his inevitable growing pains as he starts for one of the country’s most popular domestic teams. There’s not zero upside here, for example Xiaoxu came from the same LDL team and vastly overperformed expectations, but I’d lean towards a year of hard knocks for the youngster.
Ming’s departure is the biggest loss for RNG as they now go from one of the rare franchise defining supports to… not that. LvMao spent the split unsigned for the most part before latching onto BLG as ON’s backup to end the season. Reportedly he served a coaching-esque role for the team as they went on their impressive MSI run but LvMao’s play has left a lot to be desired. Now with over 3 years removed from his standout performances in Spring 2020 and no Bard patch coming in sight, it’s tough to see what LvMao brings to the table as a player outside of an experienced hand. The other option they brought in was Lele, the young rookie support FPX promptly benched for Qiuqiu, which is never a great sign, and you know my stance on LDL supports: they bad. Funnily enough Lele was originally a pretty hyped RNG prospect the team once spent 300K yuan signing out of the yearly rookie camp. Needless to say, he’s been an okay LDL support but hasn’t lived up to that price tag at all, though now it seems they could at least get some games out of their failed investment.
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2023.05.27 17:57 WideAd8358 24 May 2023 (Kurt Tay) - Q&A (Part 4)

What if your client die die want your service on your workday ? Will you take MC ?
Let's say if I already get full time SSS job and I have to work 6 days work and I got the BDSM client or maybe I got clients for my friendship business. If they want me take me out of my work day, will I take MC? Answer is No. I want to be a responsible employee. Its not good to chao keng and take MC. I am a famous online celebrity. If I chao keng and take MC. Later my boss see "Hey, Kurt Tay is going out on a date with the client. How come he tell me he is sick and take MC" If BDSM business, maybe he won't know because its a bit discrete, a bit confidential. However, it is not right to chao keng and take MC. I always don't do this thing my whole life. This is no good. Even when I am a little bit sick, I will always go to work. Even that time my leg was hurt. My leg was limping. I couldn't really walk but I still insist to go to work.
How many people in BDSM community in Singapore ? I mean the slaves.
Answer is I am not so sure.
You not tell your family you not working at Yishun condo? You bluff your family you go work ?
Answer is No. I got tell my family. There is no such thing that I bluff my family. I don't bluff my family. My family know that I no more working at vessel job. My family know that I no more working at Yishun condo because Adhoc jobs sometimes cannot find. Cannot find means there is no income. Later my friend think I go work 6 days, have a lot of money. No, I never bluff them. I tell them I working adhoc job right now.
How can you justify charging $300 per hour plus hotel when your former owner Luna charges $260 and has 1 year experience ?
My rate is $300 per hour except for friendship business. For friendship business, frankly speaking, if you going to charge $300 per hour, confirm plus chop, super guarentee plus chop, confirm will have no business. Its too expensive. My rate for BDSM business and also social media (to interview me), minimum is at least $300 per hour. I am a super star. I am a famous online celebrity. For me to charge higher price than Mistress Luna is reasonable. Because I am a big big star. I am an online celebrity. Nevertheless, I still charge lesser rate than Tammy Tay because Tammy Tay charge $500 per hour for BDSM session. You see, my charges is much lesser than Tammy Tay. For superstar rate like me, $300 is considered very very low already. By right, given a superstar celebrity like me, I can even charge $500 per hour. But I have buddha heart. I charge only $300 per hour. Mistress Luna is not an online celebrity like me. She is not famous like me. What is wrong with me charging higher than Mistress Luna because I am a big big star.
Are you going to charge rejection fee for client who reject when they see you ?
If you go to see my website, my website clearly states the terms and condiitions. There's no such things as refund when you put the deposit. I expect my slaves to put the deposit of $100. There no such thing as turn up for the session and rejection "Refund me my money" No. No. No That is why you should always read the terms and conditions carefully on my website. And if a person want to book me, I will explain the terms and conditions. Its stated very very clearly on my website.
Why you never show your face on your website ?
It is not compulsary for a BDSM master to show his face. Mistress Luna also never reveal her face on her website. In face all 3 BDSM mistresses that I engagae before, I don't know how their face looks like until I meet them for the first time. Whether you like the face or not, I have to respect this thing. So far all the 3 BDSM mistresses, I am ok with them. For example, I meet someone but she is angry, I will still not reject because due to respect. We already make an appointment. We spend the time to make appointment to come here right. Just because I going to reject, its not so nice. You have to test the services whether she is good or not. And that is respect. Last time when I run the escort agency, there were some clients, they dont respect. When some of my female escorts reach the appointment, the clients reject say "I don't want her. I want to reject her. I want to find another female escort" These people they are inconsiderate. They have no respect. Because I respect even her face might not be the one that I actually wanted, but I will still respect. Because we spend the time just to meet for this session. So matter what we still have to go for it. Usually I can tell you that 99.99% of the BDSM mistress will not reveal their faces until you meet them for the session. Of course Tammy Tay is different. Tammy Tay reveal her face. There's nothing for me not to reveal my face on the website. If I show Show Lo and Wu Zhun as BDSM master on my website, this is called deceiving. Trying to cheat on the customer. Because I show Show Lo face. Turn out become Kurt Tay face. But my website clearly can see that there's no faces. When there's no faces, that means I am not cheating anyone because I never show the face on the website.
You have kukujiao. Will you wear a strap on like how Mistress Luna fuck your ass ? To fuck client's asshole or virginal.
This is interesting question. Mistress Luna use strap on dildo to fuck my asshole (doggy style) because women doesn't have a penis. For female slaves, I actually will ask her first. If she don't mind me to use my kukujiao to fuck her. Maybe she want me to fuck her. Maybe she don't mind me to use my kukujiao to fuck her. Of course I will actually feel more excited if I can fuck her with my real kukujiao. In this case, my wife will be angry. If I don't reveal to anyone, nobody will know. But of course, everytime I say 人在做天在看。 I haven't really make a decision. If I use dildo to fuck a girl, that means I am not cheating on my wife. Because dildo is a toy. Its an item. Its an equipment. Not the real private parts. If I use dildo, I am not considered as cheating my wife. But if I use my real penis, my real kukujiao to fuck a slave, the girls, thats considered as cheating. I don't know man. But you see, if I want to get female slave, its not so easy like what you think. Its almost like quite impossible. And for guys, to fuck the guy's asshole, the anal hole. Thats not easy man. The virginal hole is more bigger. You want to fuck the anal hole. Seriously its not easy. Especially, some of the guys, the anal hole is fucking small. And your kukujiao want to go inside is a bit hard. My working colleague Angle got tell me before. Got customer want Angle to fuck the backside. Angle try to use the lubricant on the customer. Put the lubricant on the asshole. Men spa. Not every client want to fuck the masseur. Some of the clients prefer to be fuck by the massuer. Angel try to fuck the customer but its not easy. The client's anal hole is so small. Unless some clients kenna fuck by 1000 people right, maybe the hole will be more bigger. The hole is so big until the whole fist can go inside. For some of the men, the anal hole is so small, it will be a bit hard to use the kukujiao to go inside the hole if its too small. But if you use the dildo, it will be like more easy to fuck a man's asshole. I don't know man. I am not gay. I am straight. You want me to use my real kukujiao, like I having sex with male slave, its not good man. I am not gay. I am straight. I most probably going to use a dildo, not kukujiao on male slave.
You got plan to migrate or not because Singapore cost of living is so high.
Wow. I have to think first Because I did think I want to migrate to other countries. Singapore is too expensive. If you migrate to certain countries, the money for HDB, you can use the money to build 2 story big big house like bungalow. In Singapore, you spend so much money, you can buy a small small HDB flat. I did think before. My parents they don't want to migrate. I am super super famous in Singapore. If I am going to migrate to other countries, it won't be like Singapore. Got so many fans approach me to take photos with me. I will see how first. I love Singapore. I super love Singapore. My problem is Singapore is a bit expensive. I have to think first. I still like Singapore. I got this thinking I want to migrate to other countries so that its not so expensive. But I have to think first Currently, I dont have any plans to migrate to other countries. My parents also want my children to grow up in Singapore.
Do you think Mistress Luna can train Lesnar in toilet ?
Answer is No. What kind of question is this? Mistress Luna is BDSM mistress. She is a dominatrix. She is not trained to train children for toilet training man. So its two different things.
Mistress Luna if she ask Lesnar to use me as a human toilet to train. Do you think that will work ?
Answer is No I do BDSM stuff. Please leave my children alone. Don't get involved with my children. BDSM session is supposed to be me and her. Nothing to do with my children.
Your son usually sleep what time ?
Its hard to say. My daughter actually sleep earlier like 12am or 1am. Nowadays, my wife will ask my daughter to sleep at 12 midnight latest because next morning need to wake up to go to school. My son Lesnar, he usually like to sleep late like 2am or even 2.30am. But sometimes he might be tired, he might sleep at 12am also. Its not confirmed man. It really depends.
If Wen Loong pay you, will you unban him ? He say he go your house.
Wen Loong that time threaten me want to go to my house. If Wen Loong pay me $25, will I unban him? Answer is Yes. If a person pay me $25 unban fee, how can I not unban him? If I don't unban him after he pay me right, I'm actually cheating someone. This is not good. This is dishonest. The $25 unban fee is for my Real Kurt Tay fan club group. For people who insult me, I will ban the person. I will no more like last time like begging me to come back then unban. No more. At first I set unban fee at $50. Second time at $100. Third time at $150. Fourth time at $200. But I felt that its a bit expensive. I have a buddha heart. I lowered down my price to $25 unban fee for the first time. If you second time, you going to pay $50. Third time is $75. Fourth time is $100. Reason is because people take it for granted. I ban them, they beg me, I unban them. They insult me again. So $25 is a reasonable price.
Do you think you can tahan caning by BDSM mistress in 10 years time when you are 50 years old.
To be frank, I havae never kenna caning before in my life until recently when I experienced the caning by mistress Luna. So the pain is terrible. The pain is super painful. If you listen to the audio, I was really screaming in pain. She put the dirty, smell socks inside my mouth. My mouth actually stuck with socks. And despite something inside my mouth, I still screaming in pain when I kenna caning by mistress Luna because she use full force. She show no mercy and I love it. I like it when BDSM mistress show no mercy when she cane me. She can use full force. Its fucking painful man. My whole buttocks swollen with cane marks. Red Red after kenna caning. Don't even say 50 years old man. If I going to go for second time and kenna caning again right, I tell you something man. Its terrible. I very scared But after caning will feel shiok. During caning will feel very painful. Dont even say 50 years old. Now I already feel cannot tahan already. Its fucking painful. Those who never try before. You go and try. Its fucking painful. Its extremely painful. 50 years old shouldn't be any problem because I am human God. I say before my body age will stop growing older when I reach 44 years old. Whether I 50 years old, 70 years old or 80 years old, 100 years old, I actually only 44 years old. I will not grow older. I will not look old because I am human God. I think I should be able to tahan when I reach 50.
You go BDSM got pay deposit ?
Answer is Yes. All the 3 BDSM mistress which I engage, they actually require you to pay deposit. Because its to prevent prank call. Because they usually expect all their slaves to pay deposit. If you don't pay deposit, that person might play prank call. Very important that you pay the deposit.
What if they take your deposit and run away ?
Are you going to clementi police station and tell them they scammed your money or not ? What the fuck is this Singapore? How are they going to run away with my deposit when they transfer the money to my bank account ? How are they going to run away when the money already transferred to my bank account ? This is a funny question because it doesn't make sense.
When Kurt becomes older, does the number of penis slapping require to be more or the same or lesser ?
The slapping can be my face. Can be my kukujiao. When I go for my BDSM session, whether its my wife or with the BDSM mistress, we don't count the number of slaps. We usually count by the minutes. I can tell the BDSM mistress to slap my kukujiao for 10 mins non stop. Or slap my face 10 mins non stop. So we dont count by how many slap. Its count by duration. When I grow older, usually depends on myself. Usually the slave will tell the mistress how long they want their kukujiao or face to be slap.
If you 50 years old, can still fist fuck your ass ?
No matter what age, I don't mind the female to fist fuck my ass, my anal hole. In In Out Out. Fist fuck. It doesn't matter what age I am.
submitted by WideAd8358 to kurt_tay [link] [comments]

2023.05.27 17:07 walterherbst J. Edgar Hoover, the Mafia, and the JFK Assassination

J. Edgar Hoover, the Mafia, and the JFK Assassination
On October 10, 1962, President Kennedy claimed that one of his administrations “most effective” efforts was the war against organized crime. “One Las Vegas gambler,” JFK said with a smile, “is supposed to have said he hoped we’d be as tough on Berlin as we’ve been on Las Vegas.” The gambler to whom he referred was FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, who had given a speech in Las Vegas the day before. Hoover was a heavy gambler who hobnobbed with Mafia figures, and in his speech mentioned the importance of taking a strong stand in Berlin in the war against communism. Hoover also referenced the dangers of “self-indulgence, “ “status at the expense of morality,” and that “disrespect for law and order is a tragic moral illness…” It was the first speech Hoover had given since learning the previous month that FBI informants reported Santo Trafficante and Carlos Marcello said JFK was going to be hit. And undoubtedly, Hoover was also referring to both Kennedy brothers’ "immoral" involvement with Marilyn Monroe and possibly her murder, which had occurred two months before.
By the day of his speech, Hoover already knew a lot. The previous February, an FBI (Philadelphia) ELSUR (Electronic Surveillance) recorded local Mafia boss Angelo Bruno speaking with associate William Weisburg, who said: “See what Kennedy done. With Kennedy a guy should take a knife, like one of them other guys, and stab and kill the f…er,…I hope I get a week’s notice. I’ll kill. Right in the White House.” And on July 16, FBI (Philadelphia) ELSUR recorded Bruno stating that Marcello had approached Sinatra through Trafficante to see what influence he had with JFK’s father. Then, on January 15, 1963, an FBI (Chicago) (ELSUR) report to Hoover regarding Sam Giancana aide Chuck English: “He bemoans the fact that the federal government is closing in on the organization and apparently nothing can be done about it. Makes various and sundry inflammatory remarks about the Kennedy Administration.”
These are just some examples of what Hoover knew about the Mafia, and like other similar statements, he kept them to himself and did not forward them to the Justice Department or the Secret Service.
In July 1963, Hoover instructed the New Orleans, Dallas, and Miami offices to stop denying the existence of the Mafia, which he had done for years himself. “It is well to note that we have experienced situations in which certain offices took the position that Cosa Nostra did not exist in their respective territories, only to learn at a later date that [it] is in fact in existence in the area and has been for many years.” The timing of the report is unusual since Hoover had known for years that New Orleans and Dallas had provided little information on the Mafia and did not care. Why the sudden interest? If he knew JFK was going to be killed shortly, it offered him some protection. He would be on record saying he tried to get information from key cities where mobsters may have played a role, but to no avail. New Orleans and Miami FBI must have been confused since they had already furnished the informant reports about a potential assassination plot.
On September 1, Hoover continued to overstate the FBI’s efforts to dismantle organized crime. “The relentless determination of cooperative law enforcement is beginning to close the circle of secrecy….Information furnished to the FBI since June 1962, by a Federal prisoner [Joe Valachi], a member of ‘La Cosa Nostra’ since 1930, has corroborated and embellished the facts developed by the FBI as early as 1961…. Through murder, underworld kings have grown into a dominating force on the national scene…Some unions are controlled and exploited by hoodlums. Recent disclosures in the fight against organize crime serve, in a larger degree, to magnify the enormous task which lies ahead.”
Did J. Edgar Hoover know the assassination of President Kennedy was going to happen? No one knows for sure, but consider the following excerpt from a speech Hoover gave just twelve days after JFK was killed: “The public should have more adequate guarantees for the immediate removal of those who prove by their unjustifiable actions that they cannot be entrusted with the important responsibilities of their office…”
It is hard to believe that Hoover was not thinking of JFK and the Kennedy family relationship with the Mafia when he wrote that speech. To learn more, please check out: It Did Not Start With JFK: The Decades of Events That Led to the Assassination of John F. Kennedy.
J. Edgar Hoover
Carlos Marcello
Santo Trafficante
Sam Giancana
Frank Sinatra & JFK
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2023.05.27 16:08 girl_from_the_crypt Stuck on earth and looking for a job: I may have looked too deep into my favorite diner

My deadbeat indie artist roommate sacrificed herself to what’s essentially the god of the seas. I still can’t wrap my head around it. I don’t know what’s more jarring; the fact that she’s gone or the way she disappeared. The beach may be accessible again and there’s no threat of flooding or storm damage anymore, but one of the people I happen to have grown close to is gone and nothing can take my mind off that. Nettie Peterson is taking it even more severely for some reason. I couldn’t tell you why; I suppose they might have been a little closer than I thought, but I never saw them interact all that much. Far be it from me to question her reasons for grieving, of course. I believe I have learned to give her space when she needs it, but I'll be there when she lets me in.
The apartment feels insanely empty now. It’s only been one night, I know, but normally, I’d fall asleep to Kit strumming her guitar until late. I woke up late today and actually knocked on her door to finally get her out of bed, my mind only catching on when ten seconds passed without a response. I have been spending the day running around town trying feverishly to spend my time anywhere but at home. Nettie doesn’t appreciate my presence in the big house at the moment. She says she wants to be alone. I know by now that that’s something I shouldn’t press her on.
The diner opened its doors to customers again this morning, so I’ve been hanging out there, watching Frankie Preston work. He made a joke about me stalking him, but when I got up to leave, he told me to stay and brought me more coconut water. He’s a very confusing young man. My day took a bit of a turn when Elijah Carter came in. He looked around briefly, then spotted me waving to him and approached. “Hey, Shirley.” He paused, looking at his feet. “Fuck, I don’t really know what to say to you after… Well, after everything. I know about your roommate. Nettie told me over the phone.”
“Come have lunch with me." I gestured at the empty seat across from me.
Eli merely stared at it in confusion.
I cleared my throat. "'Scuse me. Please come and have lunch with me."
Elijah chuckled dryly, tipping his head back. "Sorry, I'm just… I didn't think you'd wanna talk to me."
"Why not?"
"You got stabbed? On a job that I basically talked you into doing? I mean, you had doubts and I convinced you to—"
"The money was the convincing factor," I explained. "I think you know this guilt is irrational."
"Just figured you might be mad."
I rose to my feet, clambering up to stand atop the bench. This raised me to roughly eye level with him, and I used it to ease my arms around him. He stood frozen for a moment, then leaned forward in his tiptoes and placed a hand on my upper back. I felt his chest fall as he uttered a sigh, and he was smiling when he disentangled himself. “So, friends then?”
“Of course. Mary Markov says you saved my life. Thanks for saving my life.”
“Bullshit,” he said softly, rolling his eyes.
“That’s what you did, though. It’s okay, take the credit.”
He let go of an amused breath and moved over to sit down. “So what now, you gonna buy me something to eat?”
I shrugged. “I might as well. I’m honestly very happy to see you right now.”
“I can imagine,” he muttered. “I’m very sorry all of this happened. I know it kinda never helps to say that, but… you know. For what it’s worth. How’s your belly?”
“All better,” I told him, and a brief smile flew over his face before his features darkened again.
“Do you have any idea what we could do about Nettie?” he inquired.
“Not one,” I admitted. “I’ve tried to reach out, but she doesn’t seem to be receptive. I want to help her, of course, but she’s so…”
“Crushed,” Eli completed my sentence.
“Exactly. See, the thing is that we had a talk a little while ago about boundaries and I think I might be overstepping again if I pushed her on this. It’s hazardous territory.” I stared down at the clear liquid in my cup. “I want to wait until I have a safe, low-risk plan worked out to cheer her up. Something with little possibility of failure. Right now, though… I got no clue.”
“That’s sensible. I’m the least affected party here, so I’ll let you know when I come up with something. We’ll get there. Anything to take your mind off things in the meantime?”
“I really couldn’t say. Everything’s still so strange without her. I know she’s gone, but at the same time, I keep forgetting it—it doesn’t feel like it. I guess I should try to keep myself busy, but I’m not in the mood for the job hunt right now; I’m just… not.”
“I get that. I’m sorta busy the rest of the week but once things have settled, I’d always be happy to get burgers or whatever.” He paused. “We need other hobbies, you and I. Seems like we only ever eat together.”
I chuckled, about to respond when Frankie materialized beside us. “I got something you could do. If you fancy a wager.”
Elijah jumped in his seat. “Dude, I didn’t even see you coming,” he breathed, palming his throat as he looked the waiter up and down.
Frankie Preston grinned, looking faintly satisfied as he placed a cup of soda in front of the other man. “Most people don’t.”
“You want to make a bet with us?” I repeated.
He shrugged. “If you’re up for it. You know, just for fun.”
Eli raised his brows and mouth-shrugged. “Let’s hear it.”
Frankie had obviously been more excited about the idea than he’d let on, because he let out his tiny trademark gasp and practically threw himself down to sit beside us. “Alright, so there’s this room in the back upstairs. You can see it from the outside, too; it’s the second window on the left. That’s Tom’s office.”
“Tom as in Tom’s Diner Tom?” Elijah queried.
“Tom as in my boss Tom, exactly. Here’s the thing, I’ve worked here for a year and I have never actually laid eyes on the guy. We’ve talked on the phone before, and sometimes he yells at us through the walls, but we’ve never spoken face-to-face. Rhonda got me this job, she handled basically all organizational matters for me. All I know about Tom, I know from her. And yet, she hasn’t been able to answer most of my questions either.”
“That’s odd,” I remarked.
“Yeah, no kidding. The door to the office is locked at all times, and he never lets anyone in. Not that I know of, at any rate. Now, here’s the really interesting part.” Fran paused, likely for dramatic effect. “I don’t think Tom ever leaves that little room. He always answers when you knock or call out to him, no matter the time of day. I have never ever seen or heard him go in or out of there. Granted, I haven’t done many other jobs in my lifetime, but I do not think that’s normal.”
“Definitely not,” I agreed, humming when I got an idea. “Say, what did you do before you started working here? Aside from… toppling shady corporate systems?”
For a moment, he stayed silent, his expression growing darkly amused.
“Wait, are you about to give me another white lie now?” I asked.
“Hm. No. No, I don’t think I will.” He twisted a string of his gum around his fingertip, gaining a disgusted glance from Elijah Carter. “How bad do you wanna know?”
“I’m curious about every aspect of your being.”
He snorted. “Well then. I used to be a stripper, Sunshine.”
Eli audibly choked on his drink. I didn’t really know what to say, my brain having suddenly emptied. Frankie smiled widely, slapping the tabletop with his palm before rising to his feet. “Enough of that. Anyways, fifty bucks for—or in the event of your failure from—each of you says you can’t figure out what the hell’s going on up in that office.” He checked his wristwatch. “And I want results before I get off work, so you’ve got five hours.”
Eli and I exchanged pondering glances. I gave him a slight nod and he grinned, reaching up to shake the waiter’s hand. “You’re on, Blondie.”
Frankie disappeared in the back and Elijah and I started contemplating how to go about this newfound assignment. After getting something to eat, we went around the back of the building. Behind it was the same small alley with the trash containers and the bench where Frankie sometimes takes his break. The door to the diner was shut, allowing us to move around unseen. I tipped my head back to glance up the wall, locating the window the waiter had mentioned. From down here, we couldn't see inside.
"You ready for some climbing?" Eli asked.
"I don't think that's possible. That's a pretty high, flat wall. I wouldn't know what to hold onto."
"Oh shush, give me a second." He grabbed onto the handles of one of the containers, trying to push it only to find that the little wheels it stood on wouldn't move. He began to kick at them, fumbling for a moment, before finally letting out a pleased grunt when the large object gave in and lurched forward. He shoved it up against the wall and locked it in place. With one swift motion, he swung himself on top of it, and I briefly marveled at his physicality. I grabbed the hand he extended to me and allowed myself to be hoisted up.
The container was wobbly and I found myself concerned it would give in beneath our weight, but to my surprise, it remained steady. Elijah flattened his back to the wall, then bent his knees, squatting slightly. He gave me an expectant look and patted his thigh. I nodded, first climbing up his leg, then placing my feet on his shoulders, holding onto his outstretched hand for balance. This boosted me to the same height as the window.
"Is this good?" Eli asked, not sounding particularly strained at all. "What do you see?"
I frowned. "Truth be told, nothing much."
The inside of the room was lying in total darkness. All I could see was a faint light coming from a computer screen in the corner and my own reflection staring back at me from the windowpane. Then, somewhere in the shadows, I thought I saw something move.
"Wait," I told Eli, excitement lacing my tone. "Maybe…" Something compelled me to place my palms against the frame. My heart jolted when it gave way. It was open. Before I knew it, my weight shifted off Eli's shoulders and my upper body was hanging in the dimly-lit room. My midriff hurt intensely, the pressure of the sill digging into exactly the line of scar tissue that was still left of the knife attack. Reacting thoughtlessly, I wriggled myself further into the dark space. I let out a pitiful wine when I hit the floor, the impact nearly knocking the air out of my body.
"Shirley," Elijah hissed outside. "What happened? Are you okay?"
I wasn't sure how to answer that. I groaned some affirmative sounds as I straightened up, brushing down my shirt and leggings. I felt it immediately. There was something sticky on the spots that had made contact with the floor. My knees and chest were positively coated in it. Feeling my stomach turn in disgust, I turned and raised my hands into the relative light of the computer screen. When I laid eyes on the substance that webbed my palms, I gagged. It had the same look and consistency of bloody snot, that slimy fluid the human nose and throat often emit during illness. It formed slick strings between my fingers, and I couldn't help but stare at it in shock, frozen for a moment or two.
That's when I realized that I was sinking. It felt as though I had stepped in mud that took a second before softening beneath my feet. I felt a soft pressure around my feet and ankles, like I had waded into morass and the heavy sludge was swirling around me. I hastily wiped my stained hand on a clean spot on my shirt and began fumbling for my phone. Soon, the beam of its flashlight cut through the darkness, and it was all that I could do to keep from screaming.
The floor beneath me was covered in a semi-solid material which I identified in utter terror to be flesh. Human flesh, if the pink-ish skin shielding it in places was any indicator. Other spots were red, raw and veiny, oozing a number of unnameable fluids. The whole office was pumping, pulsing; a living thing. The walls, the ceiling, every nook and cranny wore a thick meaty coat. Above it all hung the stale, coppery smell of blood. Frantically glancing about myself, I tripped and backed up against the edge of the desk. As if in response to my movements, the long, brown hairs on the larger patches of skin stood on end. I thought I could see gooseflesh forming on the wall across from me.
What the fuck, what the fuck, what the fuck…
It's not often that my mind blanks out like that, but as I was standing in that living, moving room, surrounded by shifting masses of flesh and muscle, I flew into a panic. My mouth had gone bone-dry; my lungs were tight and refused to draw breath. Having lost the ability to form coherent thoughts, I was almost surprised to feel my tentacles unfurling from my back. Before I could take another step, the floor abruptly shifted beneath me. The spot I had been standing in warped into an outward dent, a mount that threw me off my feet and sent me sprawling on the ground. My entire front flattened against the warm floor, the nauseating stench and far too familiar texture causing vomit to rise in my throat. I somehow managed to maintain a death grip on my phone. I pushed myself back up with all limbs available, retreating into the direction of the window.
I tore it open with one tentacle and used the rest to safely lower myself to the ground outside. Finally breathing fresh air again, I greedily sucked it in, nearly beginning to hyperventilate in the process. Dots and colors danced before my inner eye and my skin felt hot to the point of ignition. I absently took note of Elijah's soothing yet decidedly confused voice beside my ear.
"Shirley? What the hell… Are you okay? Are you hurt?"
"No," I pressed out. It was hard to speak against the lump in my throat. "I-I'm fine. I think I'm fine."
I allowed him to pull me to my feet and guide me over to the bench. I sank down on it as my legs gave in beneath me. My heart was still hammering against my ribcage. I was half expecting it to break out.
"Hang on, I'll go get that little blond freak…"
I tipped my head back, still breathing heavily, and closed my eyes. The bright sun was shining down on me, its light warming my shivering form. My tentacles slowly withdrew into the skin between my shoulderblades. At last, my face stopped burning when I felt a hand grasp my own.
"Someone's earned her fifty bucks." Frankie's angelic voice cut through my stupor and I weakly turned my head to face him, cracking an eye open.
"I hate you," I whispered. "I hate you so much it hurts."
He grinned. "You think it's smart to take that tone with the man who brings you food?"
Elijah plopped down on my other side. "Would you please enlighten me as to what happened up there?" He sounded done.
"It's a living room."
"You mean, like, there's a TV in there?" Eli asked lamely.
"No. It's a living room. That office is… there was a computer and a desk but the rest was just flesh." My voice briefly faltered as I tried to explain what I had seen. "I think… I think I was inside Tom."
My statement was met with silence. Finally, Elijah Carter heaved a sigh. "I'm not even gonna question this shit anymore. Pay up, Bubbles. I need a nap."
Money switched hands and Elijah excused himself, leaving Frankie and me to ourselves. He regarded me with both amusement and pity, eventually dragging me along inside into the diner's bathroom so I could get cleaned up. I furiously scrubbed and wiped at my face under the cold water spewing from the faucet. The server brought me a set of his own fresh clothes which he apparently always keeps at his workplace in case of a spill. I asked him whether he'd be willing to burn my old ones, to laughter.
"No, but I'll throw them in the trash for you later," he promised. His jeans were too long for me, and he knelt to roll up the bottom of the pant legs so I wouldn't trip over them.
"Thank you."
"It's nothing. I gotta say, I feel kinda guilty for getting you up to this in the first place," he confessed.
"I don't mind. This situation is kind of concerning, though, isn't it? Your boss."
"Suppose so, but as long as I get paid and he stays in those four walls, I don't think I'll mind. Anyways, I greatly appreciate you satiating my curiosity." He rose to his feet and started rolling up my sleeves. "You always do exactly what I ask."
"Our interests align."
"Nah. I bet you'd rise to any wager I'd ever suggest. I think you'd do it for my sake."
I don't know what possessed me at that moment. I didn't even think about kissing him; I just leaned in.
Frankie yelped like a startled puppy and dodged out of the way, eyes wide. I instantly shrank back. "I'm sorry," I stammered.
"Are you?" He regarded me with stern eyes. "I hope not."
He grunted. "What you were gonna do there, I… uh. Oh, Christ, now you've gone and made me all stupid. You're pretty amazing. I feel like I ought to say that more often. Listen, you were going to kiss me and you may and I want that. A lot. But I'm a bit jumpy sometimes. I know I spoiled the moment. Let's pretend this never happened and when we next see each other, I'll be expecting it. And then I won't make chew toy sounds, okay?"
I nodded.
"Okay," he repeated softly, smiling as he gathered up my clothes and turned to leave.
That was that. I'm still very curious about Tom's Diner, but for the time being, I'm simply glad for the distraction, however brief it might have been. Now that I'm back home, though, everything's so clear again. Kit Sutton is gone. And I can't stop thinking about her.
2: deadbeat roommate
3: creepy crush
4: relocation
5: beach concert
6: First date
7: Temp work
8: roommate talk
9: a dismal worldview
10: warehouse
11: staircase
12: explanation
13: hurt
14: hospital
15: ocean
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2023.05.27 15:29 s810 Old Austin Tales: Honey Bee Marshall and the Mystery Grave at Smith Creek - 1900s

Today thanks to a tip from Faraday_Rage, I bring you a ghost story from West Lake Hills, although saying that might be a bit misleading because West Lake Hills is a mid-20th century invention and the events of this story happen mostly before that. There used to be a village called Eanes in that general area full of farmers, ranchers, and cedar choppers before it was subdivided into one of the nicer suburbs.
There was only one bridge for vehicle traffic (besides the train bridge) from Downtown into South Austin before the 1940s. Because of this, the western part of Travis County was separated from the growth of Austin and the eastern part of the county, and remained sort of a wild frontier well after the surrounding lands were settled.
Among the early settlers in that area were two brothers named Alexander and Robert Eanes. There is a historical marker at the intersection of Red Bud Trail and Loop 360 which says the following:
Alexander Eanes (1806-1888) moved to Texas from Mississippi in 1845 and acquired this ranch by 1857. In 1873 he sold the property to his brother, Robert Eanes (1805-1895), who had moved to the area following the Civil War. A log cabin built on the Eanes ranch was the first Eanes school, and the community also assumed the Eanes name. Robert Eanes sold the ranch to his son-in-law, Hudson Boatner Marshall (1862-1951) in 1883. Marshall dismantled the ranch house and moved it to a site adjacent to the nearby creek.
So there was a man named H.B. Marshall who lived on the former Eanes Ranch with his wife Viola (Robert Eanes's daughter) and family.
H.B. Marshall was a Civil War orphan. His mom died shortly after childbirth and his dad died as part of Hood's Brigade. He spent his early life in Austin-area orphanages until he graduated high school at the age of 19. That was when the doctors of the era diagnosed him with "consumption", otherwise known as Tuberculosis today. There was no cure in the 19th century. Afflicted people were told to go live in the country and get some fresh air, and that's exactly what he did.
Lucky for him, HB's dad well fairly well off when he died and left him an inheritance. After he left the orphanage he used this money to buy the ranch from the Eanes family, met and married Viola Eanes, and started a family. Legends say a Mexican folk healer convinced him eating goat meat and drinking goat's milk was an excellent remedy for consumption, and so he raised goats.
The book Eanes Portrait of a Community has this photo of H.B. and Viola and their dog, along a brief biographical bit:
H.B. and Viola Marshall sold honey and butter and raised goats. At one time H.B. was president of the American Goat Association and traveled to Chicago to attend that organization's national convention. There he met and talked with Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. In its early days the Ford Motor Company used mohair from goats to make a soft, long-lasting fabric which was used to upholster the seats in its "tin lizzies". H.B. Marshall was one of the company's first mohair suppliers. Later, after Bee Cave Road became a better, more reliable road, Marshall, who was a skilled printer sometimes worked in Austin at that trade.
So HB Marshall and his family were very good at raising goats.
The Marshall Family were also beekeepers. HB liked to be called "Honey Bee" Marshall later in life. He lived the rest of his life on that ranch and died in the 1950s.
Now that you have that little bit of backstory, on with today's tale. The following article appeared on page 21 the Austin American-Statesman on May 16, 1966:
Old Grave Beside Creek
The mystery of who is buried a shallow grave beside Smith Creek, seven miles southwest of Austin, may never be solved.
With it goes a tale of a robbery and killing said to have occurred more than 60 years ago on the Bee Cave Road.
But at least one story told by a man who died last year sticks in the minds of some residents of the hill country behind Zilker Park.
The man was long-time stock man and World War I veteran John Marshall, who lived out his life on the Eanes-Marshall Ranch seven miles southwest of Austin. His story told him as a child by his father, early Travis County settler and school teacher Hudson Boatner (Honey Bee) Marshall goes something like this:
In the late 19th century, a man from Bee Caves came to Austin with a wagon load of cotton. After selling it, he was returning home when his hired hand killed him and took the money. The slain man was not found for several days, and when he was, he was buried on the spot, several hundred feel off the road.
This is the way Cecil Johnson, of 1500 West Bee Caves remembers the story. He heard it in 1956 when he and his brother-in-law, Elmo Freitag, dug into the grave and found a skeleton. Freitag and Johnson went from where they live to buy a dog killed by a car on the Marshall ranch, Johnson said. "When we found the bones, we were pretty scared," Freitag said. "We went up to the ranch house to tell John Marshall about them." "That's when John told us the story," Johnson recalls. "He said we should cover the bones back up and let the old man rest."
The story was brought to the attention of the American- Statesman by Bruce Marshall of Houston, a nephew of John Marshall and an heir to 10 acres of the old ranch land. Others who lived along Bee Caves Road, or who knew John Marshall, recall hearing him tell the story, but no one contacted so far remembers hearing the story from anyone else.
Sheriff T. O. Lang said he has no records dating back that far, Marshall was born around 1887, and Johnson said the killing and robbery occurred "before John's time."
A check into the archives in the Austin Library's Austin and Travis County Collection reveals a similar crime which occurred in 1871. On Feb. 7 of that year, according to Frank Brown's Annals of Travis County, "an old citizen" named Charles Barnes, who "lived seven miles north of Austin," was killed and robbed after he had come to town and sold a wagon load of hay. He was shot and killed "probably for his money," and his body was found 30 yards from the road, three-fourths of a mile from his dwelling. A $1,000 reward was offered for the criminal, but he was never captured.
This "official" report is quite similar to the story told by John Marshall, but the directions from Austin do not coincide.
There are descendants or a family named Cotton who live in Bee Caves, according to Miss Jessie Roy, former teacher who lives on the Rob Roy Ranch on the Bee Caves Road two miles beyond the Marshall ranch. But she said she never heard of any of them being robbed or killed. Her family moved here in the 1890s.
Conceivably, with the tale handed down by word of mouth for three generations, the name Cotton, and the product "cotton" could have gotten confused. And the Brown report, probably taken from a newspaper account, could have been mistaken about the direction (north or west) from Austin where the crime was committed.
But if the wagon load was cotton instead of hay, the crime would have occurred most likely in October, according to Austin rancher and historian Carl Widen. Widen said in the old days Austin, it usually came from the south and west, from Dripping Springs and Bee Caves, in October, "in time for the circus." "The whole family would come to town with the load of cotton usually one or two bales to a wagon and after it was sold the women bought cloth for dresses and the kids went to see the circus. Then they got back home late that night.
Another hill resident, Charles Roberts, 80, who lives on a creek near the Rob Roy ranch, said he remembered people hauling cotton in trains of three or four wagons pulled by oxen, rather than by horses or mules. And Austin resident Charles Dellana said it used to take at least four mules to pull a wagon load of corn out of the bottoms or "The Narrows" between Bee Caves Road and the Colorado River. He opined that the murder and robbery must have occurred "earlier than 1903."
Besides the Cotton family out Bee Caves way, other family names familiar to those still living are Theodore Bose, Joe Beck, the Freitags, the Teagues, the Simpsons and the Moores. But who is buried beside Smith Creek on the Marshall ranch, how he died, and when he was buried, no one seems to remember.
Well this old story was apparently told far and wide. There was another article on that same day (May 16, 1966) in The Statesman: (h/t/ jbjjbjbb)
Ghost Hunters Have a Go at Ghosting
San Antonians Learn of Murder and Such Things on Austin Ranch
Ghosts, anyone? A strange tale of murder and theft was spottily told Saturday night by a "spirit" who was supposedly in communication with a group of ghost- hunters seven miles southwest of Austin. The ghost hunters, five people from San Antonio, gath ered on the old Marshall Ranch in West Lake Hills with two news reporters. They apparently believed they were communicating with a ghost named Tom Burns.
"Margaret, Margaret, Margaret," the ghost kept repeating through the automatic-writing technique of Mrs. Joan McKee, wife of Don McKee. McKee is manager of the Builders Exchange of Texas, in San Antonio. He and his wife say they are "student" parapsychologists. Spelling out the name of Margaret Owens, Tom Burns said, "She is dead now. She is my love."
The names of Margaret Owens and Tom Burns were interpreted by the McKees from an almost indecipherable scrawl which Mrs. McKee transmitted to sheet after sheet of paper with a pencil, while her husband held her elbow. They were seated at a table in the single upper room of the old Marshall ranch house. With them were this reporter, ranch owner and Houston Post business writer Bruce Marshall, and San Antonio residents Mr. and Mrs. Frank Gibson, Mr. and Mrs. John Mac-Donald, and Mrs. Mary K. Cook. The only light in the room came from a lantern.
"Burns" said Margaret "Owens" was buried on a mountain top east of the ranch, and had been killed in or near some water. Burns also said he had been killed by three men on a road near the ranch as he was hauling a wagon load of hay. Placing the date at 1904, possibly on a Monday, he said he was shot as he got down off the wagon to move a rock that was in the way.
Although at least two other spirits were supposedly contacted beyond the pale, that of Burns appeared to be the most communicative and the most interesting. It was either Burns, or a ghost named Nathan Anderson who spoke of a John Anderson who came "often" to the ranch to drink "rum from South America" with Robert Eanes.
Eanes, according to Marshall, was the first man in the family to own the ranch property. He died in the 19th century and is buried in a family plot on a hill near the ranch house. Marshall said later there had been a man named John Anderson who was a friend of the Eanes family. Marshall and this reporter have established, from local folklore and from written records, that a man, possibly named Charles Barnes, was killed seven miles from Austin around 1871, after selling a load of ether cotton or hay in town.
There is a grave of an unknown man beside Smith Creek on the Marshal ranch, not far off the Bee Caves Road, which is seven miles from Austin. Neither Marshall nor this reporter have verified that the grave on Smith Creek is the one in which the robbery victim was buried, but the coincidences of the known facts leaves room for speculation that it may be the one.
Burns said he had worked for a man named Cotton Roberts, and that Roberts had worked for a man possibly named Mitchell Treadwell. The name of Treadwell first came to the attention of the group when MacDonald, a former announcer for KONO-TV, fell into a trance through what was called auto-hypnosis. He said he got the name from a ghost present in the room, and that he also received "an impression" of the dates 1890 to 1901. Marshall later disclosed that the old ranch house had been built sometime between 1890 and 1905.
The name "Mitchell" was written on the paper when one of the persons asked aloud, "Does the name Treadwell mean anything to you?" Burns also spoke of his mother, naming her variously Mary Markham, Marstur, Masters and Markem, who he said had been sick in a barn and subsequently died.
Mention was made of a bearded man who wore a big hat and was deaf in one ear, of a box buried beneath a barn, and of wild mohair goats. Marshall said the last man to live on the ranch, his late uncle John Marshall, found a hole on the ranch about 30 years ago where a box apparently had been buried. This was when Miriam A. Ferguson was governor of Texas, he said.
He also said a bearded deaf man had once been a ranch hand there and that John Marshall's father, H. B. Marshall, had raised Angora goats on the ranch. Burns said Roberts had buried the box, and he (Burns) had dug it up. "Money means death," came the scrawled message on the paper.
Two of the most dramatic events of the evening occurred when the McKees tried to communicate with a ghost named "Robert" Both of them believed the ghost to be that of Robert Eanes, whom they described as having a very powerful, domineering personality. Mrs. McKee broke down and could write no more after transcribing the words, "My time is up now. Many have come but nobody will listen." Later McKee tried to communicate, and apparently went into a trance after receiving the word "yes" to the question of whether "Robert" had been born in July.
Just before McKee went into a trance, Marshall and this reporter were curious to notice that a strong wind the only one noticed during the entire night rattled the eaves of the house for about a minute.
The time was shortly after midnight Mrs. Cook, who writes radio and TV commercials, took down the following from McKee's barely audible words: "I have many children. I am as Abraham I shan't stay around where my people don't want me. It is dark. Darkness is in the land. We shall bring light."
Further efforts to communicate with "Robert" failed. After this incident, the "ghosts" seemed to leave the parapsychologists and their fellow delvers into ESP (extra-sensory perception).
A long vigil at the family cemetery until almost dawn proved fruitless. Gibson, sales manager for Pratt and Lambert varnish makers, whose supposedly "haunted" house in San Antonio was the subject of a Houston Post story several months ago, conceded with high good humor that he had seen no ghosts Saturday night "But Robert was around," he affirmed confidently.
Marshall and this reporter scratched their heads, totaling up the number of "unexplainable coincidences" which made the night at least a little provocative if not downright exciting. It would take a patient historian to check the names listed. As for the "ghosts" well, who knows?
H.B. Marshall had a son named John and he in turn had a son named Bruce. Bruce Marshall was an artist who spent most of his time in Houston but moved back to the family ranch in 1974. Marshall recounted the story of the 1966 ghost hunt in this 1983 article:
THE SEARCH FOR ghosts is not uncommon with visitors to the Marshall Ranch off Loop 360 South. It is the home of artist Bruce Marshall and his family and nine ghosts, those of seven people and two horses.
Marshall studio and gallery is a restored, pre-Civil War ancestral home located next to the family residence. Parapsychologists visited the building in 1966 and declared it to be haunted by a man who was attacked, shot and killed near the original entrance of the ranch. The ghost of the dead man, whose unmarked grave is still on the ranch, reportedly told the ghosts hunters about his fate. The ghost also admitted that he had committed murder, killing a woman named Margaret by drowning her.
There are two creeks near the ranchhouse that are the source of several other ghost stories.
"SUPPOSEDLY ONE GHOST walks the creek towards Eanes (Elementary) school calling for someone," said Marshall. "There were some kids camping near the creek about six months ago, they heard dogs barking and the noise of a wagon drawn by horses. The wagon has no driver and follows an old road which used to connect to Bee Cave Road."
Marshall said his family tries to play down the ghosts tales surrounding his homestead. "If we really become convinced that we're haunted, we really lose our enjoyment of the place. People seeking ghosts out here are very unwelcome," he said. "If there are such things, they don't bother me. They like me. They probably feel that if I go, the house goes, the property changes, and they're evicted.
In 1999 Marshall sold the house and the ranch to The Eanes Historical Society, who moved it next to the current location of Eanes Elementary School, where it has become the home of the EHS and serves as a small museum today.
So who is in the mystery grave at Smith Creek? I found one lead.
Back in February of 1916 a 20-year-old man named Albert Cook had an unfortunate accident and was killed. The Statesman reported it like so:
While setting a wolf trap on the Marshall goat ranch, eight miles from Austin, Alfred Lee Cook, 20 years old, accidentally shot and killed himself at 8:30 Friday morning, a charge of buck-shot from the left barrel of a double-barrelled shotgun entering his abdomen.
Cook was a laborer on the Marshall ranch, near Summitt. Early Friday morning he attempted to set a steel trap for wolves. He was carrying a shotgun and was accompanied by two small boys.
Setting his shotgun, both barrels of which were loaded, against a bush, he advanced to the trap. The gun fell across his path and he shoved it aside. As he did so, in some way the left barrel of the gun was discharged, the entire charge taking effect in his abdomen at short range and badly lacerating his body. Death was almost Instantaneous.
Justice of the Peace George W. Mendell, Deputy Sheriff Jim McCoy and Deputy Constable Matt Turner went to Summitt this morning for the Inquest. Justlce Mendell rendered a verdict of accidental shooting. The name of one surviving relative was reported to the Justice of the ponce, being Mrs. Rebecca Ann Brown, mother of the young man
Is this the person in the grave? I can't say for sure without DNA testing, but poor Mr. Cook might be the best candidate.
Time is short and space is long today so I'll leave it there. The Eanes-Marshall house today is called the Eanes History Center, and sits next to Eanes Elementary School at 4101 Bee Caves Rd. Bonus Items to follow:
Bonus Pic #1 - Photograph of Bruce Marshall standing next to the graves of his ancestors in Eanes-Marshall Cemetery - unknown date (mid 1970s?)
Bonus Pic #2 - "Photograph of Bruce Marshall and Dorothy Depwe in the Eanes-Marshall Cemetary looking down at a tombstone." - unknown date (mid 1970s?)
Bonus Video #1 - Eanes History: HB Marshall (from Eanes History Center)
Bonus Video #2 - Eanes History: HB Marshall Ranch House Tour (from Eanes History Center)
Bonus Article #1 - Masons BBQ meet at The Marshall Ranch - November 17, 1919
Bonus Article #2 - "Better watch out! Spirits on the prowl!" - May 14, 1966
Bonus book excerpt? - Notes from an interview with Earl Short (a reformed bootlegger), in which he mentions he saw H.B. and John Marshall setting up a soda stand one Election Day after he bribed some illiterate people for their votes.
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2023.05.27 14:41 ALM0NDHALE 22 [M4M] bro (affectionately)

lf decent guys I can hang with around Katip/Taft or España. Around Makati's fine too. Free on weekends but we can sched for weekday nights. We can also sched to watch The Little Mermaid or whatever we decide on.
Too caught up with internship; kinda craving for a good fun and/or plain ol intimacy. Open for any possibilities as long as its safe and di ako gigripuhan lmfao.
About you:
About me:
Try to message me with your details and/or your best opening line/ice breaker. Low effort messages get ignored mostly.
See you on my DMs :)
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2023.05.27 14:11 SavingsSyllabub7788 [LF Friends, Will Travel] Communication Issues

[Wiki] - [First] - [Prev] - [Next]
This story assumes a passing knowledge of the [LF Friends, Will Travel] universe.
Bartholomew was last seen here:
The Dunwilians were last seen here:
General Bolhut was last here here:
Date: 72 PST
This was the first time that Daniela had felt proud of the uniform she wore, of being in the Hatil military. The little cream furred mammal in her military uniform would have also been called “adorable” by any Terrans, but pride was her current feeling. It wasn’t like Daniela hadn’t had a successful career, rising to the rank of Admiral and in command of her own warship after doing her duty willingly. But the simple act of being in the Hatil military was shameful enough on its own.
60 years ago they had launched an unneeded war of shame and idiocy onto their now Terran allies, 60 years ago they had been roundly defeated by the newcomers to the galactic community. Since then the Hatil would have been more than willing to leave the act of having a military to their would be conquerors, as they believed they deserved, but the Terrans were seemingly uninterested in the act of actually conquering others. This had forced the Hatil to have some method of defending themselves: a functioning military.
This required that someone fill these positions. Legally being a member of the Hatil military was like any other job, but culturally it was considered "tainted". The societal solution for this had been simple: the sins of the father.
Daniela had joined the military because her father had, and her father had joined because his mother had been part of that original shameful fleet which had through ignorance and fear attacked their now Terran friends.
Generation after generation of cultural shame, held and remembered. Until now.
The Estorian empire was a collection of five slaving species, all as evil and terrible as the last. Conflict between them and the Terran alliance had been slowly brewing for years, with many Terrans advocating for full military intervention. That had been granted after the Estorians had done one incursion too far, one terrible act too many.
Practically every member of the Terran alliance had pledged some form of military support. The Terran Alliance had every single type of culture and species imaginable, each and every one of them were connected through their friendship with the strange primates of Terra, each and every one of them reacting with the same anger:
How dare they attack our Terran friends.
The Hatil had been part of this. Gone were the days of every single monetary purchase being scrutinised and limited to the barest minimums required to keep pirates and the occasional Tritian warship at bay. The adorable little furred mammals had entered a full war economy, in little under a year boosting their military might to levels not seen since the Hatil - Terran war. If anything considering the major technological advancements the Terrans had provided since then, it was a far greater force.
This time the Hatil wouldn't make the same mistake. This time they wouldn't be against the Terrans, but fighting alongside them. Not a war of ignorance and fear, but for justice and righteousness.
Daniela was the captain of The H.T Remembrance, which was currently part of the Terran alliance’s 2nd joint fleet. Over a hundred dreadnought class warships, all carrying their own support fleets along for the ride. While the vast majority of the forces were of Ritilian, Terran and Hatil make, over 31 different species were in attendance in this particular military endeavour.
Over the past year there had been a multitude of skirmishes and conflicts as both sides rapidly attempted to collate their forces, but this would be the first major engagement of the war. And the Terran Alliance was already on the back foot.
“So we believe the Lelzoil fleet is heading straight towards the Dunwilian cradleworld with an ETA of around about seven hours. We got this intel late, so we are currently 5 standardised hours behind them, at a current projected ETA of 12 standardised hours.”
Daniela spoke to her crew, hundreds of faces looking up at her as she explained the situation to them, the sombre mood apparent as she spoke to new and old members alike.
The Estorians had been the ones to make the first major move, an advantage of having less moving parts to contend with. The Avian Lelzoil were known as the brains of the Estorian Empire, with an affinity for gathering information and technology at any cost, and the move they were making was calculated: Attack an destroy a smaller member of the Alliance, put the fear of god into the rest of the smaller members and break apart untested bonds.
“The Dunwilians have no serious defences, having never been part of any alliances or diplomatic endeavours before the Terran Alliance. It has very little military importance, which is why we weren't expecting a full on assault there. The Lelzoil have enough firepower to glass the entire planet within a few hours. The Dunwilian's reaction was 'You will get here when you can, and we will be witnessed by our deities' "
The mood dropped even further at that. You didn't need a translator to understand that this was a universal statement of 'we are fucked and we know it'.
"We will not let such harm happen to our allies. We might be caught off guard, but we're not out of it. The Olgro scouting guard are already making use of their superior speed to intercept the Lelzoil fleet, while the main fleet hauls ass."
She took a moment to point towards the engineering department as Daniela continued.
"This means until we arrive, I want engineering to be doing everything they can to increase the speed we've got., That means until further notice engineering tasks get the highest priority and are the ones in charge. If someone from engineering says clapping will make us go faster, I expect you all to show that you’re happy and you know it!”
Daniela looked around, at the seat of hopeful faces, those new and old looking up to her.
“We all know our history, what we did, the guilt we share as a species. We all know that the Terran’s had more than enough justification to take their revenge, to destroy us. But instead they provided us mercy, provided us with technology, and most of all provided us with their friendship. They say they saw something in us, something worth keeping around. This is our chance to prove them right.”
This had not been what Bolhut had been expecting. He’d been expecting a great many possibilities: being extradited back to Kur space, maybe a reversion of the verdict and back to jail he would go.
“Not Guilty”.
That really had been the strangest thing. Bolhut Tacorg had just over a year ago been a general in the Kur military, during the little “spat” the Terrans and Kur had had. During this period Bolhut had things demanded of him from Kur leadership, things that had seen him placed on the defending side of a war crimes trial.
He had expected the entire thing to be nothing more than a formality: He had fought against the Terrans, it would be a perfectly reasonable thing to humiliate him and get their revenge in one way or another, especially as he had technically done the crime. But instead the strange little primates were continuing to surprise him. Even more surprising had been their acceptance of his asylum claim. The Kur were not happy with the trick he had played on them.
And now… this. A request for aid, a long range message from the Terran Alliance military themselves. An Estorian fleet was heading towards a Terran ally, and he just so happened to be in their path. They wanted them to meet up with some Olgro scouts and work with them to slow their approach. They were offering exceptional pay, and had specifically stated that they were not to directly engage with the enemy, just harass and delay.
In fact they had gone over that detail so many times, that Bolhut knew exactly what they actually wanted.
“So what do you think?”
The insect-like clicking of the Raha’s mandibles interrupted his thoughts, bringing him back to the present. He looked around him for a moment, at the sea of faces and species. “Odds and Ends Security Ltd” was… for lack of a better term, a mercenary group, although the term mercenary was a dirty word. If you needed escorting through pirate infested routes, a show of force or just needed a little extra firepower in order to ensure justice, you could hire them at reasonable rates.
They even had an entire warship, manned by over 400 trained and experienced fighters, each and every one of them a non-Terran Alliance species that now called the Terran space their home. Raha, Kur, Tagaran, they all had similar stories. Seeking Asylum, seeking better lives then whatever their homes had given them, or even just wanting a new arena to test their skills, each had found themselves connected by the friendly demeanour of the Terran’s ever encompassing desire for friendship.
“I say we go for it. Good pay and pissing on some Estorian bastards is always a good shout, no offence.”
Bolhut stood towered over the rest of the members in the room at 9ft tall, white fur covered by his traditional military dress of twisting primal leather which accentuated his ferocious canine teeth and claws. He was not technically the leader of this group, since it was a cooperative of individuals, but by capturing prisoners during the Kur - Terran incursions Bolhut had been one of the few people alive who could claim some sort of victory, no matter how minor, over the Terran forces. That gave his opinion quite a bit of weight amongst this group of misfits and individuals.
“You know there’s no love lost over here. What’s the plan then?”
Kat’Letch’s mandibles clicked and clacked as the young Raha responded. There were three things everyone on the warship knew: Kat’Letch was a decent shot, even better with technology, and had an absolute hatred for his species government.
“We follow the instructions: meet up with the Olgro, then prepare to board and destroy as many Lelzoil war ships as we can.”
The response was simple, but caused a flurry of confused looks from some of the other members of the mercenary band, as well as a flurry of antenna twitching from Kat’Letch.
“Didn’t the message specifically state, repeatedly, not to engage them?”
Bolhut couldn’t help but chuckle at the naive little Raha. Of course Kat’Letch had never actually been in his species military, he didn’t know how the game was played.
“Stating not to do something once is an order, twice is confirmation, five times is simply hinting that’s what they actually want you to do.”
He could see the general agreement from the others around him. Anyone in the military knew that half of your orders would be ‘off the book’ so to say. Hints, power struggles, illegal actions that you couldn’t really say no too without ‘disappearing’. If it worked out whoever gave the order could take credit, and if it didn’t they could point to the obvious trail where they had told them not to do said thing.
That was just how military orders worked, how they had and always would. Why else would the Terran Alliance be so adamant that they don’t directly engage the enemy if that wasn’t what they actually wanted?
The captain of the Olgro scouting fleet had expected to be staring at the Lelzoil fleet. They had expected to immediately be thrust into a delaying action, as every single member aboard the 15 ships were on high alert and ready to do their jobs.
The aquatic based lifeform swam in place nervously, gills and brightly coloured fins flashing as he did so. Like all Olgro ships the entire vessel was filled entirely with the salt water that they naturally lived in.
The captain desperately asked his crew for information, the Olgro’s standard method of sonar communication travelling through the water outside the range of most species hearing.
Communications responded back with the negative, causing the captain’s stress to increase. While the Olgro were well known for the speed of their vessels, this would be the first major conflict the Olgro army had been part of, and it was already not going to plan.
Nobody had really cared too much about the Olgro. Entirely aquatic sapient lifeforms were a rarity in the galaxy and most people didn’t want to deal with the hassle of interacting with a species that needed to be submerged in water at all times.
Apart from the Terrans, who had started a friendship with the Olgro nearly thirty years ago, one that they cherished deeply. Which was why this was so important to get right, which was why the captain was already flaring his gills in panic at this already seemingly going wrong.
The captain started to get a literal sinking feeling in his gallbladder, a terrible idea had just crossed his mind.
Most species tended to think in 2d when mapmaking due to the importance of information. Even Avians have very little need to represent the world on anything other than a flat plane. If you are a species who spends their entire time in water however, depth is suddenly also important
This meant that the Olgro had a different method of calculating the angles and latitudes needed to traverse the universe than most others. Normally this wasn’t a problem as the Olgro didn’t have many diplomatic ties and tended to stick to themselves.
Apart from in right this moment, as the captain of the Olgro scouting fleet realised with a crushing despair that they were literally in the complete opposite location then they should be.
Bartholomew looked down at the schematics to the warp engine in front of him. Sure it wasn’t a clockwork toy, but engineering was engineering. Surrounding him was the rest of the Engineering department of the H.T Remembrance, along with various screens showing video feeds of every other engineering team in the fleet.
"The problem is you can't just increase the range, you've got to keep each pulse within range of the sensors, unless you want to warp into something."
The Hatil kept silent as a Ritilian spoke, paying attention but still realising how out of his depth he was. Having a degree in engineering and building clockwork toys was one thing, trying to push a warp core past manufacturing limits in a room of engineers with decades of experience was another.
"It would take a bit of doing, but network the fleet's calculation matrices together, then you get to add the length of the fleet into each jump."
Bartholomew wondered what Rosa and Tim were doing. He knew both of them had also re-enlisted, although he hadn’t managed to keep in regular contact with the two Terrans since then considering that they had gone into the Terran military.
“Nah ain’t gonna work, would take too long to hook everyone up for less than 10% increase”
The difference in both of their reactions had been the most stark. Bartholomew had felt, for possibly the first time, a sense of patriotic pride. Along with practically the entire Hatil culture the concept of not joining the war effort had been unthinkable. The Terrans had done so much for them, it was now their chance to return the favour, to make up for the sins of their fathers.
The Terrans however, their reaction had been different. When the news of what the Raha and by extension the Estorians had done, the difference among Terrans had been stark.
Anger, pure unbridled anger.
“What about the pulse rate?”
If anything, seeing the difference in demeanour had been scary for Bartholomew. The death of the uplift Spot had been said to launch a thousand ships, but in reality it had actually lit a thousand pyres of hate. Before this Bartholomew could never actually understand how Terrans could have done any of the supposed “wrongs” in their history, the crazy primates seemed too goofy and adorable, too friendly and empathetic to do much of anything. But the anger that had been unleashed since then… suddenly he could see a species who were able to crack a planet open with fury alone.
“Theoretically it would work, but each of you would have to deal with the extra heat somehow.”
The groups of engineers from around the fleet each continued to interject and provide suggestions, each ship presumably filled with the same groups of experienced and intelligent people all trying to work out if they could dissipate the additional heat.
It was then that a Terran engineer made a mistake, and said something she probably shouldn’t have.
“Really it’s going to be an individual effort from each ship, but increasing the pulse rate would theoretically work, at the risk of literally setting fire to your ship.”
Because Terrans and non-Terrans heard two different meanings to that sentence. Terrans heard something like “This is a terrible idea that would probably make you blow up” and dismissed the idea, choosing instead to follow other avenues of thought. Every non-Terran heard that as “Yea this is one of those crazy Terran ideas that sets fire to everything but always works for some reason, let's do this!”
Over the next hour every non-Terran ship in the fleet went through the same calculations, the same jury rigged cooling solutions and came to the same conclusion: Like all Terran insanity, it might work.
And much to the horror of every single Terran engineer, the non-Terran ships started to pick up speed as they each enacted this crazy plan.
"So did you know? That caffeine isn't poisonous to Terrans?!"
Kat’Letch screamed out the question as the Raha sheltered behind the console, pausing his furious inputting of commands only to fire back a flurry of plasma from his own pistol.
"Really?! Now is not the time for that!"
Bolhut had just responded with the understatement of the year. Everything had, to put it simply, gone to shit. The Olgro reinforcements they were supposed to have met with never appeared, not that this had surprised the canine. It wasn’t the first time Bolhut had been promised reinforcements that had never come, and it wouldn't be the last. That was just the nature of militaries: sketchy orders and unfulfilled promises.
It had initially gone well, the sheer surprise of a single warship knocking them out of warp and charging an entire fleet had allowed the initial boarding process to go on surprisingly well, the three different groups hitting the three different warships with a practised precision, with surprisingly minimal casualties. The plan had been simple: Infiltrate, take over the navigation and weapons for each ship, use those to cause as much damage to the wider fleet as possible.
Like all plans, it had been going well, until it hadn’t.
“Look, if I’m going to die I want to know. There’s a betting pool on whether you actually knew or not, and I got 50 credits on you knowing caffeine was harmless.”
It had quickly turned into a mess after a “lucky shot” had forced their warship to retreat, which had also taken their main communications network with them. Theoretically their local communications should still work, but something about the Lelzoil was blocking their communications, causing what should have been a synchronised endeavour to devolve into individual teams trying to accomplish whatever individual objectives they had boarded the vessel with.
“Just set this thing to blow so we can get out of here!”
Bolhut’s original team of five was now just him and Kat’Letch, both of them having made it to navigation, where the Raha was attempting to lock out of the rest of the ship’s controls and setting it on a kamikaze path through the rest of the fleet.
The canine gave a another burst of fire, watching the Terran bullets ricochet harmlessly off the doorframe before one finally found their target, splattering a red feathered Avian skull in a plume of orange blood and brain matter before a barrage of return fire forced him back into cover. Still, he had something for that: quickly loading the underbarrel grenade launcher and firing it into the corridor where the attackers were coming from, the sound of screams suggesting a solid hit.
"OK we are done, and need to get the Srek out of here!"
Further explosions and gunfire could be heard as the Raha screamed out the confirmation, signs of the other boarding teams accomplishing their tasks as the Lelzoilwarship surged forwards on its final journey.
"Attention all squads. Main objective has been accomplished, you've got twenty minutes to get the hell off the vessel!"
Bolhut wasn't sure if anyone could even hear him on their communication network anymore, and hoped those still around had enough sense to realise what was happening. Not that the canine could spend the time worrying about that: they had their own escape to make.
Bolhut started setting up the explosive devices along the wall, stepping over avian bodies and plasma scorch marks as Kat’Letch provided covering fire. The entrance they had originally entered from had now been completely locked down under a torrent of Lelzoilwelded weaponry, but in the short amount of time Bolhut had spent fighting with and against Terrans, he'd learnt an important rule.
Everything could be solved with enough application of explosives.
The wall disappeared in a ball of fire, both of them rushing through the new exit while dispensing a hail of gunfire at anything that moved, any unfortunate Lelzoilwho had been caught in the unexpected ship renovation were no match for the pair
“I mean everyone knows that Terrans aren’t affected by caffeine, there’s no way you couldn’t have known.”
The Raha continued to speak as they fired off blasts of plasma to cover their movement down the corridor, generating an exasperated response from Bolhut.
“Still not the time!”
Still they were almost home free, the amount of resistance they were facing had decreased significantly as the Lelzoil realized what was happening to their ship, not that the red feathered birds could do anything to stop the now suicidal charge of their warship.
“You’re just worried that someone will see past your hard exterior to your soft lovable- AHHHH!”
Kat’Letch cried out as a blast of superheated plasma caused the Raha to drop to the floor, Bolhut returning fire at the overachieving Lelzoil before dropping to check on his partner as he screamed in agony. It didn’t look good, the leg was just flat out gone, the stump now spurting the translucent white blood of the insectoid race.
The canine didn’t have time to do anything else other than grab the arms of the Raha and start to drag him along, trying to make his way to the closest escape pod. Making it back to his original fighter was no longer something he had time for.
“Hey Kat, I'm gonna need you to stay awake for this.”
There was a lot of blood and the Raha had started to go silent, worrying Bolhut as he continued to drag him along.
“I’ll tell you what happened if you stay awake, the fact is I got lucky.”
At the sound of this the attention of Kat’Letch seemed to focus on Bolhut as he continued to drag him to hopeful safety.
“When I got the ‘order’ to commit a war crime, I immediately contacted the Terrans because frankly I’m not doing some higher ups dirty work.”
Bolhut dropped to one knee, firing two accurate bursts into the chests of two Lelzoil who turned the corner at the wrong time, both of them slumping to the ground before they knew what had happened. The canine continued on, dragging the Raha longside him, the trail of blood getting thinner. Whether that was a good or a bad thing was anyone’s guess: he was not an expert on the anatomy of other species.
Another splatter of orange blood was added to the wall as one of the Lelzoil had the same idea as Bolhut, attempting to exit the soon to be destroyed vessel via one of the many escape pods that lined the warship. Unfortunately for the avian they had chosen the same exit path as the Kur general.
“But I knew I had to give them something while I waited, otherwise they’d just get someone else to do it. I knew Terrans were immune to some poisons, but I couldn’t remember which one would be safe.”
The doors to the pod opened with a hiss, allowing Bolhut the time to drag his injured partner into the small enclosed space. Moments later the small capsule had launched itself into space, allowing the ex Kur general to actually look at the damage. Kat’Letch was completely out of it at this point, the amount of lost blood clearly having its effect.
Bolhut ripped the medical kit off the wall, opening it up with a grimace as he looked down at the Raha. While every single medical kit in the known galaxy was different, due to differences in physiology, there were certain things that everyone had, that worked for everyone in an emergency. The Kur gave a small silent apology before pressing the item against the wound.
The smell of cooking flesh mixed with Kat’Letch screams as he snapped awake, the wound sealing up as heat was applied, the flow of blood slowing to a trickle then disappearing. The Raha slowly slumped back over as the device was removed, a few moments of heavy breathing followed by the insect compound eyes becoming unfocused once more.
“In the end it came down to Caffeine or Digoxin, both of them destroy the heart, but I couldn’t remember which one was safe. So I flipped a coin. In the end I just got lucky”
Bolhut knew that Kat’Letch was no longer really able to listen, the Kur deciding to take a glance out of the viewport, now that there was really nothing they could do anymore. He could see escape pods and fighters he recognised launching from the Lelzoilwarship as the colossal mass crashed into the rest of the fleet, the explosion lighting up the area.
That had been a mess, pure and simple, one that Bolhut hoped the rest of the mercenaries hadn't paid too dearly for. All the ex-Kur general could do now was wait and see if anyone would pick him up, and hope they had done enough damage to delay them.
"Fuck! fuck! fuck! move! move! move! fuck! move out of the way!"
Bartholomew raced down the corridor as fast as his feet could take him, the other Hatil driving out of the way as he barrelled through the ship with the container of coolant in tow.
He barged his way through anyone too slow to move out of the way. Bartholomew vaguely felt himself knock someone with a far higher rank on their ass, uncaring to anything other than stopping the ship from exploding into flames.
It turned out "dealing with the heat" was a far bigger problem than expected. While the remainder of the fleet still travelling with them were going at a blistering speed, the extra strain on the warp cores were quite literally cooking the vessel. Ambient temperature was sitting at nearly 40 degrees as everything the ship had was being diverted into keeping the warp core from exploding.
Bartholomew skidded around the last corner, practically slamming into the wall as the Hatil frantically unscrewed the seal, ignoring the burns on his paws as he did so. The jury rigged cooling system in front of him was not within official specifications, the metres of hastily assembled piping and heat sinks whistled and gurgled as Bartholomew dumped the entire container of coolant into the system before sealing it back up.
It broke every single piece of safety legislation and good practice, but somehow it worked as Bartholomew and the rest of the Engineering department watched the heat from the warp core reduce from dangerously hot to just hot. Before it started to tick back up again.
Just another hour of this.
The power went out, plunging the ship into darkness, before lights began to flicker back on as Daniela once again could see the rest of the bridge again. They were here. It had taken everything they had, warning lights flickered and alarms blared as the ship screamed its protests at what they had done. But they had made it, that was all that matters.
"Status report, now!"
There was a pause as her second in command took a moment to look through all the bad information being relayed to him.
"The Lelzoilfleet is already here and approaching the Dunwilians, we have a quarter of our original fleet, although the R.A Broken Egg seems to be on fire. Due to heat damage our shields are at 53%, weapon capacity 27% and impulse engines at 11%."
Daniela took a moment to take in just how messed up the situation was.
"So a standard Monday. Full speed ahead to intercept. We've got to delay for the rest of the fleet."
The mood turned sombre as everyone realised what such an action would entail. It was basically a suicidal charge to do nothing but buy time. It was then that the communications officer looked up.
“We’re being hailed by the Dunwilians, putting them on the main screen now.”
The Dunwilians were unofficially known as a “Horror” species. Most species around the galaxy follow certain rules, convergent evolution means there’s only so many ways to do something. Occasionally however, evolution decides to ignore the rules and throw shit at the wall and see what sticks.
A Dunwilian stands at 8ft tall, a mass of writhing wiggling blue-purple strings tied and wound together into an egg-like shape, punctuated by eyes of varying sizes burning a deep red. All of this is held up with twenty trunk like appendages, each ending in a maw of teeth and slime.
Their appearance caused them to be shunned and ignored, an unfortunate situation as they enjoyed company and despised being alone. Until the Terrans came along they had no friends amongst the galaxy.
Five of them were shown on the screen, each suspended in midair allowing every trunk to access the control panels that surrounded them. Each of them were also wearing a hat of some kind. Early in their interactions with the Terrans they had been taught a single rule which their entire society had taken on board. “Everyone looks more friendly in a hat”. Each of them wore some kind of head covering: a soft woollen beanie, a giant baseball cap. One over enthusiastic individual had stapled three top hats together to form one giant contraption that they wore, clearly taking the logical conclusion that if one hat makes you seem friendlier, three hats would do the same.
F̷r̴i̷e̵n̸d̴s̵!̷ ̴W̶e̴ ̴w̷e̷r̴e̴ ̴n̴o̵t̶ ̷e̷x̸p̴e̴c̵t̶i̶n̵g̵ ̵t̵o̶ ̴s̸e̸e̵ ̴y̵o̷u̵ ̶s̴o̴ ̸s̶o̸o̷n̴,̷ ̶w̷h̸y̸ ̴a̸r̷e̵ ̷y̷o̸u̸ ̵h̵e̸r̶e̷
The Dunwilian closest to the screen spoke, the sound of worrying squelches and bone tingling cracks sounding out as they talked. Daniela gave a confused frown before responding.
“We’re here to help defend. Please send an operation plan and we’ll integrate.”
“N̵e̸g̷a̴t̶i̴v̴e̵ ̸o̷u̸r̴ ̸f̷r̴i̴e̷n̴d̷s̷.̴ ̴Y̴o̸u̷ ̴a̸r̵e̸ ̸i̵n̴ ̵n̷o̴ ̶s̴t̸a̶t̸e̴ ̷t̶o̸ ̸p̷r̴o̷v̸i̸d̸e̴ ̵a̴i̶d̶.̴ ̴W̶e̷ ̶a̴r̴e̴ ̷u̷n̸d̶e̷r̷ ̴t̵h̸e̴ ̸w̵a̴t̷c̸h̵f̶u̴l̶ ̴p̸r̸o̶t̸e̸c̵t̵i̷o̶n̸ ̷o̷f̸ {{_̷̩́͑̕_̷̙̮̈́͝_̴̰̦̘̐̅̔_̴͍́̍̚}} (Deity) ̸w̸h̴o̶ ̶s̴h̵a̶l̶l̵ ̶w̶i̶t̴n̷e̸s̶s̶ ̷u̴s̸ ̷a̵n̷d̷ ̶w̴e̴ ̶w̶i̵t̸n̵e̷s̵s̶ ̶t̷h̸e̴m̷ ̶i̸n̶ ̵r̴e̵t̸u̴r̷n̵.̸”
Daniela couldn’t help but feel confused, feeling as if she was having a completely different conversation.
“Regardless, the Terran Alliance does not abandon our allies, we’re coming to help.”
“T̴h̶e̷r̷e̶ ̸i̵s̵ ̷n̷o̸ ̷n̵e̸e̷d̶,̶ ̸p̵l̷e̵a̷s̶e̴ ̸j̸u̸s̸t̴ ̷w̵i̷t̴n̶e̶s̴s̴ {{_̷̩́͑̕_̷̙̮̈́͝_̴̰̦̘̐̅̔_̴͍́̍̚}} (Deity) ̶a̴n̴d̵ ̵t̶h̶e̴y̸ ̵s̴h̵a̷l̴l̴ ̷w̶i̶t̶n̷e̸s̶s̶ ̵y̵o̶u̵.̴”
It was then that something strange started to happen. Right next to the Lelzoil fleet, a point in space appeared, a grey smudge, as if someone was looking upon the world from a monitor with a little bit of dirt on it. Nothing appeared on any sensors, and it could only be seen visually, the entire anomaly being around about a mile long.
It was then with a bang that a seam in space was ripped open. This event would later be analysed by every single scientist, military mind and witch doctor in existence, all of whom would immediately point out that sound cannot travel through space. Yet the bang still appeared, rattling and shaking every surface of every ship in the vicinity.
For a moment there was silence, there was nothing but the emptiness of this tear in space next to the Lelzoil fleet. Then, dwarfing even the largest of warships, a single giant eye opened, containing a fractal purple pupil. It blinked, once, twice, before seeming to focus on the invading fleet. An ear piercing screech could be heard, then the devastation started.
Grasping impossible swirling tentacles containing non-euclidean geometric shapes reached out, plucking warships out of formation as if they were toys, snapping them in half one by one or pulling them into the tear never to be seen again.
A few of the Lelzoil tried to fight back, firing weapons of destruction at their impossible attacker, anti-matter and nuclear rounds alike having no effect on the impossible masses of… of whatever they were made of. It lasted less than ten minutes, ten minutes of an impossible horror, then, with a final screeching bang, the tear closed again. As if it had never happened, everything how it was apart from the lack of a Lelzoil.
“What in the ever living fuck was that!”
Daniela felt all sense of professionalism leave her at what she had just seen, demanding an answer from the Dunwilians who answered simply.
“W̴e̵ ̷d̵o̸ ̴n̴o̸t̶ ̸u̶n̸d̵e̸r̴s̷t̸a̸n̴d̵ ̶t̶h̵i̴s̸ ̴s̶u̸r̶p̷r̴i̶s̵e̶ ̷a̵n̴d̸ ̷c̸o̴n̷f̸u̸s̷i̶o̶n̴,̴ ̷o̴u̵r̸ ̸f̶r̸i̸e̵n̸d̸s̷.̵ ̶W̴e̷ ̸c̴o̶m̵m̴u̸n̸i̷c̴a̷t̷e̶d̸ ̵t̸o̶ ̴y̷o̶u̷ ̷t̷h̶a̵t̷ {{_̷̩́͑̕_̷̙̮̈́͝_̴̰̦̘̐̅̔_̴͍́̍̚}} (Deity) s̷h̴a̷l̵l̸ ̸w̴i̷t̵n̴e̴s̷s̷ ̵u̸s̷”
[Top Secret]
Analysis of the defence of the Dunwilian homeworld.
This was an unmitigated disaster. Communication issues plagued this entire operation, and without the Dunwilians having what scientists are still calling “Scary lovecraft powers”, we predict the state of the Terran forces would have at best given the Terrans a Pyrrhic victory, with a defeat far more likely.
Continual cultural misunderstandings caused non-Terran forces to implement unsafe ship operating parameters due to an overestimation on Terran risk taking, causing the fleet to both split up and not be in operational condition when arriving.
The external security company the Terran Alliance military attempted to gain aid from took our clear instructions to not directly engage the enemy as a “wink wink nudge nudge” set of instructions, resulting in unacceptable operating casualties of 31%
A mistranslation of coordinates caused the Olgro scouting fleet to go to the wrong location, which would have caused the lelzoil fleet to end up at our defences far too early had the previously mentioned external security company not misunderstood Terran Alliance orders.
Even the entire engagement was the result of a miscommunication: It turns out our Dunwilian allies “worship” several deities that, at least to some extent, seem to actually exist and come to their aid in times of need. We are still working with them to figure out exactly the nature of these defences, and whether they could be replicated anywhere else.
This had not been noted in any records due to the Dunwilians complete lack of diplomatic contact before the Terran Alliance accepted them, meaning they had not been involved in any major military actions. There was mention of a Zyngoill warfleet that went missing around 300 years ago, but we cannot be certain whether this is related.
Overall this bodes badly for the Terran Alliance military as a whole, and major changes need to be implemented to ensure such a thing cannot happen again.
We will not get a second chance.
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submitted by SavingsSyllabub7788 to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.05.27 14:08 Birdcrossing [tomt][tv series][60’s-90’s]old fox cartoon from a bootleg compilation DVD

My best friend is looking for an episode of a suspected series that was of two foxes in a woodland setting being hunted by humans.
[ ] The art style appeared dated at the time they watched it ( early 2000s) and it appeared similar in style of the 1965 Russian rikki tikki tavi film ( https://youtu.be/E5LmAo4tmT4 ).
[ ] A particular scene they remember was the two foxes in the woods the grass was purple and dark green and the sky appeared red and sunset, the sun was yellow. The foxed were very close and may have been lovers.
[ ] Set at night, dark colored. Dead dark trees. Everything in the art style was extremely ornate especially in the background.
[ ] The main characters were two foxes that walked on four legs, there was lip sync but the foxes mouths didn’t move, instead had emotions through facial expressions. The foxes were thin, dainty and stylized and both the same color and looked the same, no obvious difference between the male and female foxes.
[ ] Looked similar to rikki tikki and animals of farthing wood but is not either. Not fox and the hound.
[ ] Some parts where a foreign language and others had a very low quality English dub ( not uncommon for bootleg public domain cartoon dvds) the parts that were not in English had subtitles. [ ] There was possibly a van or truck with hunters after the foxes. [ ] It started to rain midway through the cartoon. [ ] Earlier, before the foxes were chased by the hunters they were happy and constructing a den out of sticks. During them being chased they hid in this den but they were found and had to escape. [ ] At one point the foxes were near a body of water near a river or ocean trying to catch fish but the water was too fast to catch anything. 
We have searched though many soviet era and other films to no avail, here is a drawing they did of what the fox character may have looked like: https://imgur.com/a/T3TZp9M ( please note their art style shines through here and is not a perfect representation.)
Thank you for reading.
submitted by Birdcrossing to tipofmytongue [link] [comments]

2023.05.27 12:07 jgtengineer68 OC A Good Day (Bad Day part 2)

This is a follow-up to Bad Day
A Good Day
Seven months twelves hours forty-six minutes and counting. That is how long I have been aboard this vessel, most of that time spent staring at what faced me in the center of the Heradini system, a massive alien space station orbiting the mid-system brown dwarf. I am Chief Diplomat Kern Za’n of the Minari. We are one of the founding members of the Confederation of Known Systems. The Confederation is a loose alliance of sentient species living within the Slinggate network. The Minari were one of the first to find a way through the ancient Slinggates four thousand years ago. The gates in our system led to a network of thirteen uninhabited by habitable star systems, including a garden world that once held an ancient race we believe may have had a hand in building the Slinggates.
This fortunate start into the stars allowed our species to flourish and we remain the most populous race within the Confederation. Our government has a presence residing on most member worlds. The Minari are bipedal, standing roughly one point eight meters in height on average when male, one point five meters on average when female, and one point six meters in height for tankbred, a form of laborer clone that is without biological sex as they cannot reproduce on their own. Our average weights range between fifty and two hundred kilograms with height extremes on some worlds due to variance in gravity allowing for members of our species to stand over 2 meters tall. We were not the largest species in the Confederation, nor were we the strongest. Minari are a communal species but we’re one of the longest-lived of all Confederation members at an average life expectancy of three hundred years. As such we make up the majority of the diplomatic corps and have the unenviable task of performing formal first contact.
I have the privilege to have performed three contacts in my career. Each resulted in a prompt decision about their first and second-tier membership in the Confederation. Membership is divided among species that wish only for commerce access to the Confederation which make up around ninety percent of the Confederation’s forty-three member species, and the Council species. Most species are content to trade with their neighbors peacefully and be left alone. Strict rules about military vessels keep them confined to home or regional systems in the case of multiple colonized systems that are not in dispute. The four remaining species each have an equal say in the council of the Confederation, if there is ever a tie, a quorum of member worlds may cast a majority vote to act as the tiebreaker. We have had only one tie in the history of the Confederation and that was to expel a member world to fifteen years of isolation for waging an unlawful war on their neighbor. It does not happen. My species the Minari currently also held the Executor Prime position, which is the head of our government. It is appointed on a rotation between the four Council Races, we followed the wise and peaceful Ran who are an avian race with floating cities from a gas giant homeworld having evolved on floating islands of rocky land mass and water in the atmosphere. It is one of the most beautiful worlds I have ever been in my travels. Also on the council are the Balena, an aquatic species descended from cephalopods of the deep ocean, who first rose out of their oceans after reverse engineering a crashed Minari ship. They have issues interacting outside of their tanks but are some of the finest shipbuilders in the Confederation and brilliant scientists. Some of the best research facilities dot the surface of their homeworld's oceans and lie beneath them. The last race is the Ar’kanar, where to begin with the Ar’kanar.
The Ar’kanar are the first species that my people encountered on the slinggate network and it went about as well as you might expect. We engaged in war, a long bloody war that lasted fifty years of sporadic battles. You see Slinggates are often placed in star systems in very close proximity to one another, less than fifteen or so light minutes away and those systems that are found to have slinggates spanning vast distances on the edge of the system often have them moved into a commerce and travel area around a space station close enough to their homeworld as to not be inconvenient but far enough away to be secure. However, sometimes there are systems so large and vast that do not contain suitable anchoring points that the slinggates are separated by months of sublight travel. These are the systems where war can happen. Enemy fleets can enter unmolested to fight over the resource-dense belts and gas pockets. It was in one such system we encountered the Ar’kanar and it was in this system we fought. The Naer’ina Accords were signed there creating the Confederation and it is where we built the station that houses the government as a reminder of why peace is a better option. But if you recall, there was once a race expelled from the Confederation for fifteen years, that race was the Ar’kanar. Which is why I am currently on an Ar’kanaran Cruiser. Just in case. Now if only they weren’t so damned short and covered with hair. I have hit my head on the door far too many times for my liking. I also believe I will never get the smell out of my clothing. The Ar’kanarans are a short quadrupedal race that favors the augmentation of two cybernetic attached harness arms to allow them to easily manipulate the world. Ar’kanarans were supposedly once a servitor race that overthrew and erased their masters from history. I of course can go on for days discussing my issues with them and have. But that is not the purpose of this log.
So yes where was I, I apologize I have become long-winded in my old age. Anyway fifteen months ago, almost a Confederate standard year a Teleran Corsair made a report at the Trian Military outpost in the Loka system. This was five slinggates out of the Heradini system. They had traveled for 9 months between the gates to deliver the message as most of the systems between them had slinggates that had not been moved closer together as the systems were just now being colonized and most traffic was automated so the cost of moving the gates was not offset. This message had seen much debate within both the military and the diplomatic corps. The science community argued over which part was the most fantasy; The fact that the Telerans could speak or the fact that they had encountered some new species with the ability to travel between the stars without the use of the Slinggates.
If I were not looking at the structure we currently were flying towards in a declaration burn, I would not believe the latter either. The human space station was almost as large as Naer’ina Point, however, it looked lower in technology. It consisted of six spinning sections inside three large docking rings, these rings were already servicing large vessels, and near the station was a structure we had never seen before. It was about half the size of a slinggate, cylindrical, and seemed to pulse with light. I could count at least twenty-six vessels all the size of the one I was in now docked with the station plus numerous smaller craft buzzing around. The massive ship reported by the Telerans was detected in the asteroid belt near the resource-rich areas performing some tasks, for which we did not know the purpose. I am receiving word from the Captain that we will be docking soon I will continue my log relaying the… what is that? There is massive distortion near the cylinder, the light is almost blinding… by the ancestors. A ship just appeared. It's massive… only the home defense dreadnoughts are anywhere close to this size. The weapons if that's what they are dwarf anything the Minari or Ar’kanar have at our disposal. Thanks to the Teleran we have their language codes, and I have learned to speak it. There's a name written on the side of the vessel I believe, TCCW Dauntless. I believe it. There is an alert I need to see to the captain of the vessel.
Resuming log after day one of the Contact meetings. After a mild panic attack by the Ar’kanar captain, we docked with the station which I have learned is called Takeda Station, named for the corporation that paid for its construction as well as the resources to prospect this system. As a matter of fact, it was with a member of this Corporation I spent most of my time speaking. This will be an interesting log I believe, and an alarming one. So let's begin.
Let me first preface this by stating that to suggest that Humans are another race in the Slinggate chain is to approach this wrong. The humans are more like the Confederation than its member races. A more detailed report will be attached but for my form of brevity’s sake, the summary is thus. Humans or Terrans or as I have also learned Martians, Venusians, Belters, Colonials, and many other names they call themselves are an eclectic race that all draw their origin to a planet they also cannot decide what to call. Some call it Earth, others Terra, others Gaia, Sol III, and many other names. There are even humans who do not see their homeworld as home. And some who can never set foot on its soil again without suits to counter the gravity.
Humans on average are around the same height as Minari, they can be a little taller, and weigh a little more but their gravity is at least another third higher than ours. Time spent on their station had me glad to return to an Ar’kanar vessel. They also have skin colors adapted to different levels of sunlight ranging from dark brown to almost alabaster white. Some even pigment their skin cosmetically to have purples, oranges, or blues. They are… impossible to describe in a few words. Remarkable. So I will try to mainly speak about the humans I am spending my time with.
The first is a man from a human world called Sagan-3, he is apparently from a city island called New Tokyo. He is a little shorter than I am and from what he says old for their species at seventy years. Ancient for a Ran of course but I was still chasing my bondmates at that age, caring little for the affairs of interstellar politics. His name was Hiro Takeda, apparently, he was the brother of the female who was in charge of the company. His title was Chief Encounter Officer, when I inquired what that meant, he informed me that it was his job to negotiate with non-Human entities or humans who did not fall under Corporate Congress. Mister Takeda as he instructed me to address him first asked why I was there. To which explained who the Confederation was and why we favor peace and business. His response was to offer me tea which after I checked to make sure it was consumable I rather enjoyed. Takeda had an interesting method of discussion he did not ask me questions and merely seemed to anticipate where I was needing answers. I will relay what I can remember.
Humans it would seem discovered their slinggate over seven hundred years ago. It was within the atmosphere of a gas giant near the edge of their solar system. They only found it after they had colonized their entire system and fragmented it into several different entities. They had terraformed the fourth planet in their solar system to the extent that they lived in large domes. This planet was called Mars and it was home to almost twelve billion humans when they found the slinggate. Earth at this point was home to close to forty-five billion. And I thought the N’i’!cho were numerous. They also had floating habitations on the second planet from their star housing almost three billion. Another seven hundred million made their homes in the belts mining resources and living on the moons of gas giants. This was seven hundred years ago mind you. Earth, Mars, Venus, and the belt, they fought several wars. Mostly sticking to space. The sides change many times throughout their history. Quite frankly they were fought because they were running out of room. When they found the slinggate that was no longer a problem… until it was.
The Sol Slinggate lead to one other star system as they always do. But this was different, the humans never found another slinggate in their star system. They apparently never knew there were supposed to be two. You see the system their slinggate led to was remarkable. It was a trinary system with two central stars in a locked orbit of each other, both blue main sequence, and another star orbited the pair a great distance far enough it could take years at sublight to reach it. But they would reach it. The System which they came to call Sagan, since apparently the first explorers through their gate named it for an ancient scientist, had seven garden worlds all roughly the size of Earth. Full of life and nearly perfectly catered to human colonization. And colonize they did. The first settlers were from corporations, each megacorporation sponsoring the colonization of the planet in the small vessels they could get through the slinggate. There were a few border skirmishes and fighting between the different factions of humans, Martians and Venusians could survive on the garden worlds with some adaptation but the belters required more. Colonization apparently had a problem, it was far too slow and humans have a rather long gestation period for most species I know. Minari of course can have three sets of triplets a year in a bonding pair because each of us carries the children for some duration of the pregnancy, Mr Takeda suggested that we had something in common with a species of mammal from their planet called a kangaroo. Two corporations were working on this problem specifically out of the seven in the Sagan system. Another corporation, Deep Range Expeditions, had launched a long-term mission to the Sagan child star.
Genetech’s solution was to create humans, artificially gestated and preprogrammed with personalities born as adults and ready to aid in labor and work. They made great strides and apparently Genetically Engineered humans were banned in the Sol system, a ban that was lifted in Sagan because of the need for more people. Mr. Takeda seemed solemn when speaking about this. Almost ashamed. I would learn why later. The second corporation a company called AstrospaceX believed the solution was to make it possible to get more humans from Earth. Their solution was Arkships. Giant vessels where human colonists would make the trip between the stars to Sagan, which they had calculated was twelve light years from Earth. At the speeds available to them that would be nearly a one hundred and fifteen-year journey. The two corporations struck a deal. Genetech’s workforce under contract would construct and build the colonies that the Arkships would deliver population. Sagan-6 was designated as the destination world and all efforts went to constructing the birthing facilities and housing and infrastructure. Belters flocked through the gate to aid in mining resources. It was seen as the largest construction project ever launched in human history. Fifteen arkships each carrying close to one million humans left Sol on the over one-hundred-year journey between the stars. A small number crewed the vessels knowing that only their children would see their new home. All the while advances in streamlining technology saw the other six Sagan worlds flourish under their corporate rule. But it wasn’t always peaceful. Workers' uprisings and conditions starting to match those on the now depleting Sol cradle worlds in the form of class systems threatened to tear everything apart. Warships had been built by corporations both to secure their worlds and to inflict and impose order. Then the Colonist arrived and with them came a new problem. Up to now Genetech’s Geman or genetically engineered humans had been living and working in the same cities they had built for the now fifteen million colonists that were making their way towards their new home. The problem was there wasn’t room for the colonists.
Genetech, which over the century had basically been taken over by humans who were genetically engineered, saw the old agreement signed by their corporate forbearers as not necessary. They refused entry to the Colonist on the grounds that AstrospaceX had been purchased by Takeda Corporation and thus the original requirements were void. Mr. Takeda stated that at the 11th hour which is a human colloquialism, which I learned references to something they called a doomsday clock, an agreement was reached where the fifteen million would be dispersed among all the worlds with the arkships to be dismantled or repurposed for the belters. At the same time, this formed the first Corporate Congress which seems to be the current ruling body of Human civilization. Mr Takeda then grew terser avoiding my eyes as he spoke, about the war with Earth.
Apparently, while Sagan had been a story of prosperity. It was prosperity for a chosen few relative to the population of Earth and the other free worlds of the Sol system. Billions of humans still barely survived on their homeworld while land and food were plenty on the Sagan worlds. Even the relocation of the sling gate to Earth did not aid in transit. The Corporate headquarters on Earth were seen as little more than ancestral roots. The rich and talented, the young, everyone was moving that could move.
This led to a populist uprising in the form of government that Mr. Takeda called a dictatorship under a charismatic leader that promised to take humanity's new cradle from the rich and powerful and give it to the people. The announcement came with the start of a war. Several corporations broke with the Corporate Congress as well as some of the belters who saw themselves as exploited. They quickly gained control of the slinggate, using ships constructed in the system to counter the firepower of the dreadnaughts and allow the smaller vessels from Sol to move in. In desperation, the remaining members of the corporate congress launched a counterattack against the slinggate. Eventually winning the area around it and pouting a halt to the Earth's invasion force. This was 300 years ago, almost within the span of one Minari lifetime. Earth, Sol did something that the Corporate Congress did not consider a viable method of war. They fired missiles through the slinggate, each the size of a small frigate targeting the Sagan worlds. One missile made impact on Sagan-6. It turned the planet uninhabitable killing nearly twenty-five million, mostly of the Genetech Corporation. After this the Corporate Congress made a decision that I have to admit is perhaps the most insane thing I have ever heard. They destroyed their own Slinggate effectively cutting themselves off from their homeworlds.
Faced with the prospect of being unable to leave the Sagan system and with a nearly unreachable smaller star system as close, it was the Takeda Corporation that turned resources to studying the Slinggate and determining a way to make the technology mobile. It took them one hundred years but they succeeded and nearly two hundred and five years ago a Takeda corporation vessel jumped home. When I inquired as to what they found, Mr Takeda stated that that was enough for one day but he had enjoyed our time together and we should speak again tomorrow. He bowed his head to me and I returned the gesture and left him.
I was traveling back to my docking birth when I encountered someone else. I have had twenty-seven children. All of them are grown so when I say it has been some time since I heard the laughter of the children it is not an understatement. Though sometimes politicians act like children. I heard the laughter before I saw its source. Children no older than young juveniles were running and chasing each other through the promenade. Following them was a single caregiver. A woman too young if I am judging humans correctly to have been a mother herself saw me and seemed taken aback. Her name was June, she was a school teacher and her kindergarten class was at recess. They were running to the park at the center of the station to play. After everything I had just heard it surprised me I guess to hear that humans had a concept of play. I introduced myself and she asked me a question. Her first encounter with a member of my species, do you want to know what she asked? I’ll tell you, she asked me, “If I was having a good day?” A curious question, I don’t believe I have ever actually qualified that before not in such simple terms. I said I didn’t know the day isn’t over. She said, “ That is why I said having, always a chance.” So I agreed that yes I was perhaps having a good day. She smiled a large smile, you could see her teeth, canines, humans were omnivores I hadn’t noticed that before as Mr. Takeda had a way of speaking that hid his teeth. I asked her if I could ask her a question and she obliged but didn’t have a lot of time as the children were further ahead of us than she would like. I asked her where she was from. She responded. “I am from Earth. But I lived on Sagan-6 before coming here. It was nice to meet you Mr Za’n.” She rushed off after a quick goodbye to catch the small children and I walked back to the ship. I am very interested in what Mr. Takeda has to say tomorrow. But I think, yes I had a good day June. At least until the Ar’kanarans start their evening howling.”
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