Skyward west bend

West Bend, Wisconsin

2012.08.01 18:34 benfbat West Bend, Wisconsin

This is a subreddit for anything related to the city or surrounding area of West Bend, WI and Washington County.

2009.06.28 00:50 visitbigbend VisitBigBend


2011.01.03 17:58 Lafayette, West Lafayette, and Tippecanoe County, Indiana

Stuff about Lafayette, West Lafayette, and Tippecanoe Co, Indiana

2023.05.28 05:42 JoshAsdvgi Story of two friends


There were once in a very large Indian camp two little boys who were fast friends.
One of the boys, "Chaske" (meaning first born), was the son of a very rich family, and was always dressed in the finest of clothes of Indian costume.
The other boy, "Hake" (meaning last born), was an orphan and lived with his old grandmother, who was very destitute, and consequently could not dress the boy in fine raiment.
So poorly was the boy dressed that the boys who had good clothes always tormented him and would not play in his company.
Chaske did not look at the clothes of any boy whom he chose as a friend, but mingled with all boys regardless of how they were clad, and would study their dispositions.
The well dressed he found were vain and conceited.
The fairly well dressed he found selfish and spiteful.
The poorly clad he found to be generous and truthful, and from all of them he chose "Hake" for his "Koda" (friend).
As Chaske was the son of the leading war chief he was very much sought after by the rest of the boys, each one trying to gain the honor of being chosen for the friend and companion of the great chief's son; but, as I have before said, Chaske carefully studied them all and finally chose the orphan Hake.
It was a lucky day for Hake when he was chosen for the friend and companion of Chaske. The orphan boy was taken to the lodge of his friend's parents and dressed up in fine clothes and moccasins.
(When the Indians' sons claim any one as their friend, the friend thus chosen is adopted into the family as their own son).
Chaske and Hake were inseparable.
Where one was seen the other was not far distant.
They played, hunted, trapped, ate and slept together.
They would spend most of the long summer days hunting in the forests.
Time went on and these two fast friends grew up to be fine specimens of their tribe.
When they became the age to select a sweetheart they would go together and make love to a girl.
Each helping the other to win the affection of the one of his choice.
Chaske loved a girl who was the daughter of an old medicine man.
She was very much courted by the other young men of the tribe, and many a horse loaded with robes and fine porcupine work was tied at the medicine man's tepee in offering for the hand of his daughter, but the horses, laden as when tied there, were turned loose, signifying that the offer was not accepted.
The girl's choice was Chaske's friend Hake.
Although he had never made love to her for himself, he had always used honeyed words to her and was always loud in his praises for his friend Chaske.
One night the two friends had been to see the girl, and on their return Chaske was very quiet, having nothing to say and seemingly in deep study.
Always of a bright, jolly and amiable disposition, his silence and moody spell grieved his friend very much, and he finally spoke to Chaske, saying:
"Koda, what has come over you?
You who were always so jolly and full of fun?
Your silence makes me grieve for you and I do not know what you are feeling so downhearted about.
Has the girl said anything to you to make you feel thus?"
"Wait, friend," said Chaske, "until morning, and then I will know how to answer your inquiry. Don't ask me anything more tonight, as my heart is having a great battle with my brain."
Hake bothered his friend no more that night, but he could not sleep.
He kept wondering what "Pretty Feather" (the girl whom his friend loved) could have said to Chaske to bring such a change over him.
Hake never suspected that he himself was the cause of his friend's sorrow, for never did he have a thought that it was himself that Pretty Feather loved.
The next morning after they had eaten breakfast, Chaske proposed that they should go out on the prairies, and see if they would have the good luck to kill an antelope.
Hake went out and got the band of horses, of which there were over a hundred.
They selected the fleetest two in the herd, and taking their bows and arrows, mounted and rode away towards the south.
Hake was overjoyed to note the change in his friend. His oldtime jollity had returned.
They rode out about five miles, and scaring up a drove of antelope they started in hot pursuit, and as their horses were very fleet of foot soon caught up to the drove, and each singling out his choice quickly dispatched him with an arrow.
They could easily have killed more of the antelope, but did not want to kill them just for sport, but for food, and knowing that they had now all that their horses could pack home, they dismounted and proceeded to dress their kill.
After each had finished packing the kill on his horse, Chaske said:
"Let us sit down and have a smoke before we start back.
Besides, I have something to tell you which I can tell better sitting still than I can riding along."
Hake came and sat down opposite his friend, and while they smoked Chaske said:
"My friend, we have been together for the last twenty years and I have yet the first time to deceive you in any way, and I know I can truthfully say the same of you.
Never have I known you to deceive me nor tell me an untruth.
I have no brothers or sisters.
The only brother's love I know is yours.
The only sister's love I will know will be Pretty Feather's, for brother, last night she told me she loved none but you and would marry you and you only.
So, brother, I am going to take my antelope to my sister-in-law's tent and deposit it at her door.
Then she will know that her wish will be fulfilled.
I thought at first that you had been playing traitor to me and had been making love to her for yourself, but when she explained it all to me and begged me to intercede for her to you, I then knew that I had judged you wrongfully, and that, together with my lost love, made me so quiet and sorrowful last night.
So now, brother, take the flower of the nation for your wife, and I will be content to continue through life a lonely bachelor, as never again can I give any woman the place which Pretty Feather had in my heart."
Their pipes being smoked out they mounted their ponies and Chaske started up in a clear, deep voice the beautiful love song of Pretty Feather and his friend Hake.
Such is the love between two friends, who claim to be as brothers among the Indians. Chaske gave up his love of a beautiful woman for a man who was in fact no relation to him.
Hake said, "I will do as you say, my friend, but before I can marry the medicine man's daughter, I will have to go on the warpath and do some brave deed, and will start in ten days."
They rode towards home, planning which direction they would travel, and as it was to be their first experience on the warpath, they would seek advice from the old warriors of the tribe.
On their arrival at the village Hake took his kill to their own tent, while Chaske took his to the tent of the Medicine Man, and deposited it at the door and rode off towards home.
The mother of Pretty Feather did not know whether to take the offering or not, but Pretty Feather, seeing by this offering that her most cherished wish was to be granted, told her mother to take the meat and cook it and invite the old women of the camp to a feast in honor of the son-in-law who was soon to keep them furnished with plenty of meat.
Hake and his friend sought out all of the old warriors and gained all the information they desired.
Every evening Hake visited his intended wife and many happy evenings they spent together.
The morning of the tenth day the two friends left the village and turned their faces toward the west where the camps of the enemy are more numerous than in any other direction. They were not mounted and therefore traveled slowly, so it took about ten days of walking before they saw any signs of the enemy.
The old warriors had told them of a thickly wooded creek within the enemies' bounds.
The old men said, "That creek looks the ideal place to camp, but don't camp there by any means, because there is a ghost who haunts that creek, and any one who camps there is disturbed all through the night, and besides they never return, because the ghost is Wakan (holy), and the enemies conquer the travelers every time."
The friends had extra moccasins with them and one extra blanket, as it was late in the fall and the nights were very cold.
They broke camp early one morning and walked all day.
Along towards evening, the clouds which had been threatening all day, hurriedly opened their doors and down came the snowflakes thick and fast.
Just before it started snowing the friends had noticed a dark line about two miles in advance of them.
Chaske spoke to his friend and said: "If this storm continues we will be obliged to stay overnight at Ghost Creek, as I noticed it not far ahead of us, just before the storm set in."
"I noticed it also," said Hake. "We might as well entertain a ghost all night as to lie out on these open prairies and freeze to death."
So they decided to run the risk and stay in the sheltering woods of Ghost Creek.
When they got to the creek it seemed as if they had stepped inside a big tepee, so thick was the brush and timber that the wind could not be felt at all.
They hunted and found a place where the brush was very thick and the grass very tall.
They quickly pulled the tops of the nearest willows together and by intertwining the ends made them fast, and throwing their tent robe over this, soon had a cosy tepee in which to sleep.
They started their fire and cooked some dried buffalo meat and buffalo tallow, and were just about to eat their supper when a figure of a man came slowly in through the door and sat down near where he had entered.
Hake, being the one who was doing the cooking, poured out some tea into his own cup, and putting a piece of pounded meat and marrow into a small plate, placed it before the stranger, saying: "Eat, my friend, we are on the warpath and do not carry much of a variety of food with us, but I give you the best we have."
The stranger drew the plate towards him, and commenced eating ravenously.
He soon finished his meal and handed the dish and cup back.
He had not uttered a word so far.
Chaske filled the pipe and handed it to him.
He smoked for a few minutes, took one last draw from the pipe and handed it back to Chaske, and then he said: "Now, my friends, I am not a living man, but the wandering spirit of a once great warrior, who was killed in these woods by the enemy whom you two brave young men are now seeking to make war upon.
For years I have been roaming these woods in hopes that I might find some one brave enough to stop and listen to me, but all who have camped here in the past have run away at my approach or fired guns or shot arrows at me.
For such cowards as these I have always found a grave.
They never returned to their homes.
Now I have found two brave men whom I can tell what I want done, and if you accomplish what I tell you to do, you will return home with many horses and some scalps dangling from your belts.
Just over this range of hills north of us, a large village is encamped for the winter.
In that camp is the man who laid in ambush and shot me, killing me before I could get a chance to defend myself.
I want that man's scalp, because he has been the cause of my wanderings for a great many years.
Had he killed me on the battlefield my spirit would have at once joined my brothers in the happy hunting grounds, but being killed by a coward, my spirit is doomed to roam until I can find some brave man who will kill this coward and bring me his scalp.
This is why I have tried every party who have camped here to listen to me, but as I have said before, they were all cowards.
Now, I ask you two brave young men, will you do this for me?"
"We will," said the friends in one voice.
"Thank you, my boys. Now, I know why you came here, and that one of you came to earn his feathers by killing an enemy, before he would marry; the girl he is to marry is my granddaughter, as I am the father of the great Medicine Man.
In the morning there will pass by in plain sight of here a large party.
They will chase the buffalo over on that flat.
After they have passed an old man leading a black horse and riding a white one will come by on the trail left by the hunting party.
He will be driving about a hundred horses, which he will leave over in the next ravine.
He will then proceed to the hunting grounds and get meat from the different hunters.
After the hunters have all gone home he will come last, singing the praises of the ones who gave him the meat.
This man you must kill and scalp, as he is the one I want killed.
Then take the white and black horse and each mount and go to the hunting grounds.
There you will see two of the enemy riding about picking up empty shells.
Kill and scalp these two and each take a scalp and come over to the high knoll and I will show you where the horses are, and as soon as you hand me the old man's scalp I will disappear and you will see me no more.
As soon as I disappear, it will start in snowing.
Don't be afraid as the snow will cover your trail, but nevertheless, don't stop traveling for three days and nights, as these people will suspect that some of your tribe have done this, and they will follow you until you cross your own boundary lines."
When morning came, the two friends sat in the thick brush and watched a large party pass by their hiding place.
So near were they that the friends could hear them laughing and talking.
After the hunting party had passed, as the spirit had told them, along came the old man, driving a large band of horses and leading a fine looking coal black horse.
The horse the old man was riding was as white as snow.
The friends crawled to a little brush covered hill and watched the chase after the shooting had ceased.
The friends knew it would not be long before the return of the party, so they crawled back to their camp and hurriedly ate some pounded meat and drank some cherry tea.
Then they took down their robe and rolled it up and got everything in readiness for a hurried flight with the horses.
Scarcely had they got everything in readiness when the party came by, singing their song of the chase.
When they had all gone the friends crawled down to the trail and lay waiting for the old man.
Soon they heard him singing.
Nearer and nearer came the sounds of the song until at last at a bend in the road, the old man came into view.
The two friends arose and advanced to meet him.
On he came still singing.
No doubt he mistook them for some of his own people.
When he was very close to them they each stepped to either side of him and before he could make an outcry they pierced his cowardly old heart with two arrows.
He had hardly touched the ground when they both struck him with their bows, winning first and second honors by striking an enemy after he has fallen.
Chaske having won first honors, asked his friend to perform the scalping deed, which he did. And wanting to be sure that the spirit would get full revenge, took the whole scalp, ears and all, and tied it to his belt.
The buffalo beef which the old man had packed upon the black horse, they threw on the top of the old man.
Quickly mounting the two horses, they hastened out across the long flat towards the hunting grounds.
When they came in sight of the grounds there they saw two men riding about from place to place.
Chaske took after the one on the right, Hake the one on the left.
When the two men saw these two strange men riding like the wind towards them, they turned their horses to retreat towards the hills, but the white and the black were the swiftest of the tribe's horses, and quickly overtook the two fleeing men.
When they came close to the enemy they strung their arrows onto the bowstring and drove them through the two fleeing hunters.
As they were falling they tried to shoot, but being greatly exhausted, their bullets whistled harmlessly over the heads of the two friends.
They scalped the two enemies and took their guns and ammunition, also secured the two horses and started for the high knoll.
When they arrived at the place, there stood the spirit.
Hake presented him with the old man's scalp and then the spirit showed them the large band of horses, and saying, "Ride hard and long," disappeared and was seen no more by any war parties, as he was thus enabled to join his forefathers in the happy hunting grounds.
The friends did as the spirit had told them.
For three days and three nights they rode steadily.
On the fourth morning they came into their own boundary.
From there on they rode more slowly, and let the band of horses rest and crop the tops of long grass.
They would stop occasionally, and while one slept the other kept watch.
Thus they got fairly well rested before they came in sight of where their camp had stood when they had left.
All that they could see of the once large village was the lone tent of the great Medicine Man.
They rode up on to a high hill and farther on towards the east they saw smoke from a great many tepees.
They then knew that something had happened and that the village had moved away.
"My friend," said Chaske, "I am afraid something has happened to the Medicine Man's lodge, and rather than have you go there, I will go alone and you follow the trail of our party and go on ahead with the horses.
I will take the black and the white horses with me and I will follow on later, after I have seen what the trouble is."
"Very well, my friend, I will do as you say, but I am afraid something has happened to Pretty Feather."
Hake started on with the horses, driving them along the broad trail left by the hundreds of travois.
Chaske made slowly towards the tepee, and stopping outside, stood and listened.
Not a sound could he hear.
The only living thing he saw was Pretty Feather's spotted horse tied to the side of the tent. Then he knew that she must be dead.
He rode off into the thick brush and tied his two horses securely.
Then he came back and entered the tepee.
There on a bed of robes lay some one apparently dead.
The body was wrapped in blankets and robes and bound around and around with parfleche ropes.
These he carefully untied and unwound.
Then he unwrapped the robes and blankets and when he uncovered the face, he saw, as he had expected to, the face of his lost love, Pretty Feather.
As he sat gazing on her beautiful young face, his heart ached for his poor friend.
He himself had loved and lost this beautiful maiden, and now his friend who had won her would have to suffer the untold grief which he had suffered.
What was that? Could it have been a slight quivering of the nostrils that he had seen, or was it mad fancy playing a trick on him?
Closer he drew to her face, watching intently for another sign.
There it was again, only this time it was a long, deep drawn breath.
He arose, got some water and taking a small stick slowly forced open her mouth and poured some into it.
Then he took some sage, dipped it into the water and sprinkled a little on her head and face. There were many parfleche bags piled around the tepee, and thinking he might find some kind of medicine roots which he could use to revive her he started opening them one after the other.
He had opened three and was just opening the fourth, when a voice behind him asked: "What are you looking for?"
Turning quickly, he saw Pretty Feather looking at him.
Overjoyed, he cried, "What can I do so that you can get up and ride to the village with me? My friend and I just returned with a large band of horses and two scalps.
We saw this tent and recognized it.
My friend wanted to come, but I would not let him, as I feared if he found anything had happened to you he would do harm to himself, but now he will be anxious for my return, so if you will tell me what you need in order to revive you, I will get it, and we can then go to my friend in the village."
"At the foot of my bed you will find a piece of eagle fat.
Build a fire and melt it for me.
I will drink it and then we can go."
Chaske quickly started a fire, got out the piece of fat and melted it.
She drank it at one draught, and was about to arise when she suddenly said: "Roll me up quick and take the buffalo hair rope and tie it about my spotted horse's neck; tie his tail in a knot and tie him to the door.
Then run and hide behind the trees.
There are two of the enemy coming this way."
Chaske hurriedly obeyed her orders, and had barely concealed himself behind the trees, when there came into view two of the enemy.
They saw the horse tied to the door of the deserted tent, and knew that some dead person occupied the tepee, so through respect for the dead, they turned out and started to go through the brush and trees, so as not to pass the door.
(The Indians consider it a bad omen to pass by the door of a tepee occupied by a dead body, that is, while in the enemy's country).
So by making this detour they traveled directly towards where Chaske was concealed behind the tree.
Knowing that he would be discovered, and there being two of them, he knew the only chance he had was for him to kill one of them before they discovered him, then he stood a better chance at an even combat.
On they came, little thinking that one of them would in a few minutes be with his forefathers.
Chaske noiselessly slipped a cartridge into the chamber of his gun, threw it into action and took deliberate aim at the smaller one's breast.
A loud report rang out and the one he had aimed at threw up his arms and fell heavily forward, shot through the heart.
Reloading quickly Chaske stepped out from behind the tree.
He could easily have killed the other from his concealed position, but, being a brave young man, he wanted to give his opponent a fair chance.
The other had unslung his gun and a duel was then fought between the two lone combatants.
They would spring from side to side like two great cats.
Then advance one or two steps and fire.
Retreat a few steps, spring to one side and fire again.
The bullets whistled past their heads, tore up the earth beneath their feet, and occasionally one would hit its mark, only to cause a flesh wound.
Suddenly the enemy aimed his gun and threw it upon the ground.
His ammunition was exhausted, and slowly folding his arms he stood facing his opponent, with a fearless smile upon his face, expecting the next moment to fall dead from a bullet from the rifle of Chaske.
Not so.
Chaske was too honorable and noble to kill an unarmed man, and especially one who had put up such a brave fight as had this man.
Chaske advanced and picked up the empty gun.
The Toka (enemy) drew from a scabbard at his belt a long bowie knife, and taking it by the point handed it, handle first, to Chaske.
This signified surrender.
Chaske scalped the dead Toka and motioned for his prisoner to follow him.
In the meantime Pretty Feather had gotten up and stood looking at the duel.
When she heard the first shot she jumped up and cut a small slit in the tent from which she saw the whole proceedings.
Knowing that one or both of them must be wounded, she hurriedly got water and medicine roots, and when they came to the tent she was prepared to dress their wounds.
Chaske had a bullet through his shoulder and one through his hand.
They were very painful but not dangerous.
The prisoner had a bullet through his leg, also one through the muscle of his left arm.
Pretty Feather washed and dressed their wounds, and Chaske went and brought the black and white horses and mounting Pretty Feather upon the white horse, and the prisoner on her spotted one, the three soon rode into the village, and there was a great cry of joy when it was known that Pretty Feather had come back to them again.
Hake, who was in his tent grieving, was told that his friend had returned and with him Pretty Feather.
Hearing this good news he at once went to the Medicine Man's tent and found the Medicine Man busily dressing the wounds of his friend and a stranger.
The old Medicine Man turned to Hake and said:
"Son-in-law, take your wife home with you.
It was from grief at your absence that she went into a trance, and we, thinking she was dead, left her for such.
Hadn't it been for your friend here, she would surely have been a corpse now.
So take her and keep her with you always, and take as a present from me fifty of my best horses."
Hake and his beautiful bride went home, where his adopted mother had a fine large tent put up for them.
Presents of cooking utensils, horses, robes and finely worked shawls and moccasins came from every direction, and last of all Chaske gave as a present to his friend the Toka man whom he had taken as prisoner.
On presenting him with this gift, Chaske spoke thus:
"My friend, I present to you, that you may have him as a servant to look after your large band of horses, this man with whom I fought a two hours' duel, and had his ammunition lasted he would probably have conquered me, and who gave me the second hardest fight of my life.
The hardest fight of my life was when I gave up Pretty Feather.
You have them both.
To the Toka (enemy) be kind, and he will do all your biddings.
To Pretty Feather be a good husband."
So saying, Chaske left them, and true to his word,
lived the remainder of his days a confirmed bachelor.
submitted by JoshAsdvgi to Native_Stories [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 05:00 Kazevenikov Cryptid Chronicle - Chapter 30

A special thanks to u/bluefishcake for the wonderful original story and sandbox to play in.
A special thanks to my editors LordHenry7898, RandomTinkerer, Swimming_Good_8507, CatsInTrenchcoats, and KLiCKonthat.
And a big thanks to the authors and their stories that inspired me to tell my own in this universe. RandomTinkerer (City Slickers and Hayseeds), Punnynfunny (Denied Operations), CompassWithHat (Top Lasgun), CarCU131 (The Cook), and Rhion-618 (Just One Drop)
Hy’shq’e Ay Si’am (Thank you noble friends)
Chapter 30: A Promise Kept
Kalai stepped off the shuttle to the Vaida’s headquarters and into a running tackle-hug from Sitry. “Oh Kalai, I could kill you right now! You got to see the Great Barrier Reef in person, you bitch!” Sitry’s cheerful voice was muffled from where she was still buried in her chest. Kalai staggered backwards a pace or two, happy to be back from her whirlwind adventure around Earth with her father.
Naranjo and Papa Rhaxiid were there on the platform to welcome her back too, but their welcomes were more sedate.
“Not to mention you got out of work for half our damn trip. Ugh, it’s so not fair!” Naranjo huffed as Kalai gave him a sisterly hug.
Papa Rhaxiid reached up and chucked her chin before turning to lead the way back inside from the forested platform. “Welcome back, sweet-sprout, we’ve missed you. Come on, we’ll get you settled again and off to work. There’s quite a bit you need to catch up on if you want your credits.”
The chuckles from the twins behind her were full of sibling malice, but she knew how to shut the pair of them up. “Papa Rhaxiid? I’ve got the paper on Biodiversity in the Reef you asked for, along with the dissection report and stomach content analysis of the tuna we caught. I want to put the finishing touches on it and do a final proofread first before I send them to you.” The man turned and gave her a warm smile as they entered the building.
“Good, why don’t you go take your things back up and say hello to Andy? I’ll give you an hour and a half to get freshened up, then I want you to report to Aquarium 12 with Dr. Sor’ansa. You can put your snorkeling practice to work there.” Papa Rhaxiid walked the three of them to the residential elevator. “I’m heading back to my office. Andy’s been requested by Maetro Pae’ella to work the kitchens for something called ‘Bison burgers'. Apparently it’s a type of indigenous bovine that the eastern Bands raise. That and something from Europe called ‘French Fries’.”
Kalai couldn’t help but get excited as she and her siblings piled into the elevator back to their little shared apartment. Sure the food she’d had all over the place was good, but so far nothing had been able to compare to Andy and his Salishian cooking.
“Nerd, I can’t believe you cheated and did work on your vacation." Naranjo broke the silence of the elevator after a little bit and stuck his tongue out at her.
Spit to windward, you vain little weed. Don’t hate me because I’m awesome.” Kalai’s riposte caused Naranjo to fold his arms and huff. Sitry simply ambushed her with an ear flick.
The elevator door opened to their floor before Kalai couldn’t bear the silence from Sitry any longer. “So, did you bag him yet, you lucky bitch?”
“No she hasn’t!” Naranjo’s singsong mockery of his sister interrupted Sitry’s response. “Papa hasn’t let Sitry even NEAR Andy without one of them around!”
“Rub it in, you snitch, besides, he did kiss me first,” Sitry preened happily as she playfully shoved Kalai’s shoulder.
Kalai pretended to stumble and almost caught Sitry’s foot, but she was just a hair too slow. “Yeah, and then you gave him a black eye, you clod.”
“Will you let it go? It was an accident!”
“It’s not even the only one he got either." Naranjo’s interjection stopped her right in front of their door.
“Wait, what? Who hurt him this time?” Kalai let her bag thunk to the floor as she turned to look accusingly between Sitry and Narny.
Sitry folded her arms and her ears twitched back as she shot a dark look at their door. “He ‘fell down’ yesterday while out at one of the Hatcheries we gave to the Hwatcoms. Mrs. Toloui nearly had a fit! She said she could smell another human on him and that he was covered in blood!”
Narny nodded primly as Kalai tried to process what they were telling her. “WHAT? Did she call out the militia? Track down whoever hurt him?”
“No, and he refused treatment and insisted that no one did it to him! When papa tried to talk to him, Andy said some stupid human macho shit about pain healing and birds liking scars. I don’t know, sometimes humans… they’re frickin’ insane!”
The door shot open and there stood Andy. His left eye was an angry puffy yellow and blue mess, and there were three points on his lips where a dark cinnabar line marked a crack. Kalai and her siblings stood in wide eyed shock at his sudden appearance and the only sound was the music emanating from the common room behind him.
Andy looked up and down at the three without saying a word. He cocked an eyebrow and snagged Kalai’s bag before any of them could react and cleared the doorway for them.
Kalai sputtered at the impropriety but Naranjo and Sitry just shrugged and walked in after Andy. “Femboys, am I right?” Narny whispered to Kalai as he passed. Kalai followed behind and was greeted by the white fluff-ball, Puck, who hopped up and down, whining for attention. She bent down and started scratching his ears and back. While Puck rubbed up against her hands, Andy settled back down at the table where his omnipad was hooked up to a keypad. Her heart started to sink a bit and Kalai shot Sitry a jealous look before the music came to a sudden halt and Andy interrupted the beginnings of her pity party.
“Ok, Kem’ira, I got the pics now and I’m telling you to declare yourself to the farmers first! I guarantee if you tell them you’re with the new DNR and you’re there to kill all the Scotch Broom in their pasture lands, they’ll stop trying to shoot you for trespassing!”
Kalai’s mood jumped up a bit. It’s not that he doesn’t care to see me, he’s in a meeting!
“No, no I’m not coming out to talk this over with them, I’ve got my own work to do! Either you start talking to folks like I showed you how, or ask the militia to give you one of their armored catsuits to wear under your uniform… Uh-huh, good luck." Andy hung up on the call and leaned back as Puck scampered over and hopped up in his lap.
Andy rubbed his temples before shaking his head. He seemed to relax a bit and Puck slid off to follow Sitry to the kitchen. Andy looked over and gave Kalai a happy smile that made her flush. “Welcome back! So how was the land down under? That tuna was fan-frickin’-tastic, if you aren’t sick of seafood I’ll do something fancy with it tomorrow to celebrate your coming back. Can’t tonight though, I got volun-told to be head chef tonight and I… Oh damnit! I’m late! Come to dinner, burgers and fries Indian style tonight. Gotta run!” With that, Andy went dashing out the door with Puck barking and scrambling along after him.
Kalai felt her heart sink back down again, as he left. “Andy I-” She started but he was gone.
“Yeah, it’s been like that for the whole week. The only time we get to hang out is dinner.” Sitry commiserated as she took Kalai’s bag into their room. “On the other hand, we might get to catch up during the family meal tonight.”
The dinner was delicious, though a bit weird. It tasted alright, but there was a certain aftertaste on the sandwich that just didn’t sit right with Kalai. She just couldn’t put her finger on it. The french fries more than made up for it though, and Mama Sakalbi had to hold a science trivia contest to see who got the last little handful.
Kalai and Narny were already silently plotting with each other for their revenge against their sister who had won and refused to share the last few matchsticks when Andy finally joined their table. He was sweaty and he smelled of woodsmoke and french fries. Kalai jumped up and offered him a seat next to her with a nervous smile. He took it gratefully and seemed to sag a bit as he gulped down a glass of water.
“Andy, I think you may be finding your calling as a culinary ambassador,” Mama Aftasia beamed. “A toast to the chef!”
Andy gave a shy smile and looked down as Kalai and the rest of the family gave a hearty ‘Here, here!”
“It’s a simple enough recipe; it’s just using bison instead of cow, that’s all, and I don’t know anyone who’d turn down hand cut fresh fries. It’s kind of hard to screw up.”
“Young man, you are speaking to a woman who found a way to take cold water and dried wumpa flakes and wind up with a Class-4 fire. Cooking has always seemed like ‘blight mysticism’ to me, and these foods? These flavors? Nothing short of a Greenwood miracle in my opinion." Mama Aftasia continued her praise of Andy, which only caused him to shrink even lower in his seat.
“To be honest, I like your salmon better,” Kalai said, and the whole table went silent. Kalai held her ground though, and was rewarded with a tired but genuine laugh from Andy that brought him back out of his shell.
“You know, I do too. My Clan were fisherpeople, not buffalo chasers.” Andy gave Kalai a cheeky grin, which she returned happily, her heart glowing. Mama Aftasia and Mama Sakalbi both blinked in bemusement at Andy’s statement while Sitry just giggled.
“Speaking of which, Andy, I received a call from Elder Alex Hwatcom.” Papa Rhaxiid’s change of subject instantly perked Andy up, and he stared silently, waiting. “He extended an invitation to our family to attend his family gathering this Friday-”
“Alex said that? He used those words?” Andy shook his head in shock as he interrupted Papa Rhaxiid. The table went quiet and everyone held their breath as they looked between the two men.
Papa Rhaxiid adopted as good an impression of the human Elder as he could. “I’d like to extend an invitation for you and your family to be guests at our family gathering this saturday up at the White… something… lodge-”
“The White Ram Lodge?” Andy sat forward, interjecting again as the color drained from his face.
“Yes, that’s the one! I asked if we could bring anything since the last time they hosted us they put on that wonderful spread. He said if we could bring a few salmon for the family, that would be wonderful.”
Andy leaned back and took another sip of ice water before holding the glass to his blackened eye. “Alex Hwatcom… just invited you… to a gathering… and he told you to ‘bring a few salmon’? Do you realize what a huge honor this is?”
Rhaxiid looked from his wives to his children with mild concern. “Um, I thought it was only dinner, but your reaction tells me there’s more significance to this than I originally thought. I was thinking about our stocks of adult Sockeye, but then I remembered in his story how important King Salmon are. Of course, I’d like to defer to you for the choice since you know these animals and the cultural expectations with this invitation better than we do.”
Andy was silent for a moment before he put the glass down. “I’d recommend a ‘hard no’ to all your clone stock!” Now it was the Vaidas’ turn to be shocked, as each of Kalai’s Erbian family’s jaws dropped in synch. Before anyone could say anything, Andy continued, “You need to bring wild-caught. Farm-raised salmon wouldn’t… well we can tell, and you can taste the difference between them. We need to go fishing!” Kalai leaned towards Andy slightly as he lowered his head and started mumbling to himself. She was just able to make out what he was saying to himself as Mama Sakalbi and Mama Aftasia began whispering to each other. “...need to get the Gillnetter out of storage, check what’s running and select the mesh. I’m gonna need a deckhand too.
Kalai reached a hand out but stopped short of touching him. “Andy?”
He popped up and spoke for the whole table to hear. “I need a shuttle to the mainland and a waiver against the fishing ban. I’ve got to get my boat and the drum ready for sea ” Rhaxiid and Aftasia sputtered in confusion, but Mama Sakalbi had a shadow fall over her, and her ears pulled back.
“Do you mean to say you want to go out on the water? Risk the ecological balance for… dinner?”
Andy looked Sakalbi dead in the eye and gave her a firm nod. “Why don’t you come out and see how we did this before you got here. Think of it as a chance to see the way we’ve fished for the last hundred or so years, and then I can explain the way we used to fish before that.”
The offer snapped Rhaxiid out of his confusion and he brightened. “A learning experience? Wonderful, we’ll make a day of it!” His hands shot out to grab both his wives’ and Kalai could feel the vibrations in the floor from where he was excitedly tapping his feet.
“If you don’t mind hard, smelly work. Uncle Willy always called it ‘the worst desk in the prettiest office.' It’ll be a bit cramped, but I’ve got room on the boat for a few guests and observers; four I think would be ok. She’s a working boat, not a pleasure cruiser,” Andy explained. That sent the whole lot of them excitedly talking among themselves.
Kalai was about to lean in to talk to Mama Aftasia, but Andy caught her attention first. “I don’t suppose you’d want to go back out on the water, given you just got back from pleasure-boating-”
Kalai’s heart nearly jumped out of her chest. “I wouldn’t miss it for my own colony planet!”
Kalai stood on the pier, bundled in her thermal sailor’s coat. It was still dark and the wind blew from the north in a cold little morning breeze. Kalai took a deep breath and reveled in the smell of the fresh sea air. The soft chattering of Mama Sakalbi’s teeth broke the silence. “It’s a bit chillier than it said it was going to be.”
“The water always does that. It’s never as warm as the lubbers say it’ll be,” Papa spoke as he handed her back her thermos of hot chocolate.
Papa stood next to Kalai and nudged her with his elbow. Even in the dark, Kalai could see him smile up at her and jerk his head at the shivering Erbian. He was also wearing a thermal sailor’s coat, and his hands were stuffed in his pockets to keep them warm, just like Kalai’s. “Landswoman,” he whispered to her and the two of them shared a knowing smile. It was strange, but welcome when she'd told Papa about her upcoming day fishing with Andy, and he’d politely requested to join them. Papa Rhaxiid had graciously given his spot up to accommodate her birth father. Narny was all for it until Andy had explained what they were going to do, but then surrendered his challenge to the fourth guest space, not wanting to go anywhere NEAR anything that could see him come face to face with a Lion’s Mane Jelly. Sitry had done a happy little dance when she found out, but only yesterday had come down with Thistle Fever, and was bundled off to bed by her parents. It left Kalai, Mama Sakalbi, and Papa to accompany Andy on his fishing trip.
The water brushed against the shore behind them quietly. In the gloom, Kalai could just barely make out the outline of the nearest island mountain, but only because the stars had disappeared behind it. It was almost four in the morning, but Kalai had managed a catnap on the shuttle to the empty little lot that had been the boat launch. Aside from the water, the world was silent. Even the breeze made almost no noise and a sense of peace surrounded them. Everything was so calm, Kalai felt like she didn’t have a care in the world.
In the distance, a low rumbling sound of a motor rose from being almost imperceptible to a rolling drum of thunder. From around the point, two green floating lights sped through the darkness, and a spotlight turned on. The beam of light moved jerkily until it came to rest on the pier where they were standing and Kalai started waving her arms. Sakalbi’s omnipad rang, and Andy’s voice shouted over the speaker and the background noise for them to shine a light on the edge of the pier to help him park the boat.
Kalai and Papa moved closer and turned their omnipad flashlights on and waved them as the boat swung gracefully around and glided in alongside them. Kalai caught the rope that flew over the railing of the boat and she heard more than saw Andy moving around on the deck as she tied off on one of the mooring cleats. Several lights clicked on and the deck was bathed in light enough for Kalai to get a clear view of the boat they’d be spending the day on.
Andy hadn’t lied. Kalai saw that this little vessel was a working boat with no frills at all. When he’d told her they’d be going fishing, she’d envisioned something like the charter boat papa had taken her on out of Nantucket. Sporty, fast with a nod to comfort and function. This was not that at all. A giant wheel as wide as Kalai’s outstretched arms that looked like a sideways spool of thread was secured to the deck amidships and dominated the deckspace. Wrapped around it was a fluorescent green tangle with a line of oblong white and yellow corks and rope. There was a covered hatchway sitting behind the drum in front of the raised step to the enclosed cabin. Two large windows let the light out to two children’s bunks, a little table with a booth seat and a raised captain’s chair in front of the helm and engine controls. Andy shut down the engine and that peaceful stillness returned.
“Oway there!” Kalai called, “ship oway! Request permission to come aboard.” Kalai gave the traditional greeting of a Shil’vati sailor.
“Permission granted! Anyone need a stepstool?” Andy finally stepped into the light and Kalai got a look at him. He was wearing a hooded sweatshirt and the same bright orange coveralls she’d seen the fishmongers wearing on their date.
“I wouldn’t mind a hand, Mr. Shelokset.” Papa He’osforos braced a foot on the railing of the boat and Andy pulled him up.
“Just call me Andy, Doc, and welcome aboard. Jackie should be along any minute now with the day’s groceries, and the cabin’s out of the cold. You can get yourself set wherever you find comfortable.” Papa nodded and disappeared around the other side of the wheel moving towards the bow.
Kalai helped Mama Sakalbi into the boat next, and she quickly ducked into the cabin that took up the entire stern section save for a little ledge that ran along the outside. Andy gripped Kalai’s hand and she smiled as he pulled her deftly aboard. The boat rocked a little on its mooring, and Kalai almost fell into Andy, who wordlessly put his arms around her waist to catch her as she lost her balance. She flailed for a moment before she steadied herself against him.
“Gotcha,” Andy smiled, and Kalai could see him flush almost as much as she could feel herself doing as their noses almost touched. Those big dark brown eyes surrounded by white orbs drew her in and she felt she could lose herself in them. Kalai started as Andy danced her around him and moved her towards the cabin door.
“It might be a little cramped for you in there, but the Mary Jean wasn’t built for pleasure boating, she’s a working girl. Sit tight, I gotta check a few things in the back.” Andy patted the railing affectionately before he hopped up and scooted along the outside of the cabin towards the stern. Kalai couldn’t help the little longing groan that came out as he left her there on the little tiny quarterdeck. Her heart was hammering in her chest as half formed fantasies danced at the edges of her mind.
“I saw that, little minnow.” Papa’s voice was soft, but his tone and the sudden broken silence nearly gave her a heart attack.
Kalai could only stammer as her father stared at her with a cocked eyebrow. A thump from the cabin window behind saw an amused Mama Sakalbi daintily sipping at her thermos with her ears twitched forward in interest, staring out at her. “Papa I… he-”
Papa moved carefully around the covered hatchway to stand next to her, leaning back against the cabin window and heaved a sigh. “I must say I’m surprised. This lovely man’s got good clean lines and is very well cared for. It speaks well of his Skipper.”
It took a full minute for Kalai’s brain to process that he was talking about the boat and not Andy. “And the way Andy brought him in smooth in near complete darkness? It gives me confidence in his abilities.”
Kalai breathed a silent sigh of relief and exasperation. Although she was happy to be spending more time with her father, bringing him on what she’d hoped would be a sailing date wasn’t exactly what she’d had in mind for ‘family time’. He wants me to find a nice young man and spend time with him on a boat, but the first chance I get Papa decides to clam-jam me.
From up on shore, the sound and lights of a large human vehicle screeching to a halt heralded the last of their party to arrive. Kalai heard the clomping footsteps coming down the pier and moved to the railing to lend a hand.
“Ahoy Mary Jean! Raggedy Andy, you there?” Kalai stared with wide eyed surprise to see a human female, loaded down with plastic bags and sporting two human weapons on her shoulder. The two of them locked eyes, and while Kalai didn’t understand everything the girl shouted in surprise, she had caught and understood the phrase, “What the fuck?”
“Easy now, they’re my guests, and the one inside is the boss!” Andy appeared on the pier instantly before either Kalai or the woman could react further.
“Ya didn’t tell me we were having pur-” The woman glared at Kalai and her father. She had switched to Vatikre thankfully, but her tone was hostile as she dropped everything but her weapons. “I mean, hwun’eetums, aboard. A gal could get the wrong idea pretty quick in the dark when there’s no warning.”
“Knock it off Jackie. Let’s get the grub aboard and shove off.” Andy picked up some of the bags and took the guns as Kalai offered a helping hand over the railing. “Oh, Kalai, this is Jackie. Jackie? Kalai. That’s her dad over there, Doc He’osforos. He saw and treated Kay Tee a few years back.” Andy jerked his head towards the direction of Kalai’s father as she held out a hand to the human girl. On a quick inspection, she appeared to be about the same age as her and Andy. She had a round face and was about as dark complected as Andy was. She was shorter, only a few inches taller than Papa, but when Jackie grabbed Kalai’s hand to hop up onto the rail, she could feel the strength and the compact muscle hidden by the baggy sweatshirt and pants.
“Wait a minute, did you say Mini-Me over there saw Kay Tee? You’re fuckin’ with me!” Jackie stumbled a bit as she hopped down onto the deck with a loud thunk and advanced on Papa who shrank away at her advance. “You saw li’l Kay Tee? Where the fuck is he? Is he alright? Is he still fighting the good fight?”
“Last I saw, yes, he was ‘fighting the good fight.’” Papa looked over at Andy with a slightly worried expression. Andy smacked the girl in the back of the head, causing her to flinch and she opened the door to the cabin for Andy to go inside.
Jackie rubbed the back of her head and laughed. “Well that’s a little bit of alright, innit? Maybe today’s gonna be a good day after all!”
“Jackie, get suited up and get on the bow. I need a good pair of eyes on the roller horns,” Kalai heard Andy shout from the cabin, followed by a whole lot of thumping and banging from cabinets being opened and closed.
“You got it, ol’ man. We going to your place or mine?” Jackie sidestepped in and opened a tiny little closet and pulled out a set of rain gear that was identical to what Andy was wearing. Kalai collected herself and stood in the doorway next to her father as they both leaned in.
“Mine; Chuck said the Yaw’much are running from the South. We’ll do a set nor’west of Lummi in the Rosario and see if we can get some Fraser Kings,” Andy replied as he turned the engine back on and the vessel roared to life.
“Chuck? Isn’t that one of your cousins? I didn’t know he could keep track of the movements of Salmon, may I ask how he does it?” Mama Sakalbi perked up as she pulled a set of earplugs out of a pocket and inserted them.
Andy prevaricated a bit, looking from Jackie back to Sakalbi then to Kalai and Papa. “I’d rather not answer that-”
“Breakin’ the law, breakin’ the law! Breakin’ the law, breakin’ the law!”
Jackie began singing a human song, and Andy threw her the dirtiest of looks as she finished getting into the orange coveralls. Mama Sakalbi sputtered as Andy shrugged apologetically.
“Make a hole!” Jackie called, and she and Andy came back out as Kalai and Papa made room for them. Andy hopped back onto the dock to cast off while Papa ducked into the cabin.
“Can I help?” Kalai offered as Andy shoved the vessel off and leapt the gap over the black water below.
“You want to be useful? Come forward! I could use an extra set of eyes!” Jackie called back, and Kalai felt a slap on her shoulder from the boisterous human woman.
Andy stood at the helm, watching Jackie and Kalai as he leaned to get a better view of them past the Net drum. The bow was lifting up again, and the gentle little swells became like speed bumps, jostling them up and down in a predictable bouncing rhythm.
“Are you sure you couldn’t slow down, Andy? It’s a bit rough, don’t you think?” Sakalbi was hanging on to the table and her thermos with a worried expression on her face.
“I could, but we’ll miss the morning set. We want to bomb out the buoy right when the tide changes. If we’re lucky, then we’ll get around seventy or eighty by slack tide this afternoon and call it a day.”
“How do you know where to fish?” Dr. He’osforos was making a good show of standing and maintaining his balance with his hand on the booth.
“Well, there’s two ways you know. The first is you fish the spots your family’s fished since time began. Every family has about two or three different secret spots that we know there’s fish in, and we’re pretty defensive about their locations. The second is by smell. Right now it’s the tail end of the King season, and you can smell them in the water.” Andy turned and saw the incredulity etched on the faces of the two aliens.
“No, I’m serious! King Salmon slime is really pungent, and you can smell them when they’re close to the surface. We get to the fishing spot and take a deep whiff. If we smell them, we’ll set the nets.” Andy laughed at the disbelief on their faces as the GPS on his omnipad beeped and he turned to sail around the last buoy and head for the fishing ground.
“I’ve never noticed that in any of the Kings we’ve raised-”
Andy suppressed a laugh as they caught a larger swell as they left the lee of Lummi Island. Andy reveled in the feeling of weightlessness as the deck rose up and fell out from underneath their feet, leaving everyone suspended for a moment in midair before falling back down. A massive spray of water rose and washed over the deck, drenching Kalai and Jackie, who were still forward. “Cloned and farmed Kings don’t have that same smell. Wild ones smell and taste different, I’m telling you!” Andy pulled back slightly on the throttle as they climbed the next swell. “Brace!” he called as they climbed and fell once again.
There was a look of fear on Sakalbi’s face as she gripped the table for dear life, but to Andy’s surprise, the Doctor looked completely unfazed, and was handling the rise and fall of the deck like an old salt. “You look like you’ve done this before, Doc.”
“I’ve done a stint or two at sea before,” he spoke, in the same tone Andy would have used when trying not to sound too confident, and Andy smiled.
“Kalai keeps talking about loving the sea and sailing. Did you teach her to sail?”
“Yes, me and her mothers. When they were home, we would take the family yacht out in the Vaascon Straits and sail around the Occidiens. Kalai practically spent all her early childhood on a sailboat.”
“And almost every waking moment on one in Junior Academy. I swear you couldn’t dig her out with a trowel when she wanted to go sailing,” Sakalbi managed to add in a word as the boat slowed, and the dramatic rise and fall of the deck slowed with it.
“What about you, Mr. Shelokset, did your father teach you to sail too?”
“I was too young before he passed. My Great Uncle Willy taught me after I came home, and Grandma took me out to the family fishing sites when she wasn’t busy with the Council. For the first two or three years after they let us come home, fishing was the only way to feed our families, but the Militia and the Cambrians would try and sink our boats or arrest us whenever we tried to go out.”
“And that’s why you’re so good at maneuvering your vessel in the dark with no instruments?” Mrs. Vaida had folded her arms, and her voice twinged with that imperious tone she’d had when they’d first met.
Andy huffed a dry laugh. “I did what I had to for me and my people and to survive, Ma’am. I don’t like breaking the law or dodging lasers and gunfire, but there’s a lot of poor families that need to eat.”
The GPS beeped, and Andy gave Mrs. Vaida a slightly defiant look to counter her furrowed brow. “We’re here,” he said as he threw the engine in neutral and opened the cabin door.
Andy walked out and took a deep breath, but all he could smell was the net and the exhaust from the engine. “HEY JACKIE! WE SMELL MONEY?” Andy yelled out as he took stock of the sky. The first signs of sunrise were chasing all but the morning stars away and a light fog was rolling in from the north.
“FUCK YEAH I CAN SMELL ‘EM, ANDY! LET’S BOMB OUT AND GET BREAKFAST GOING!” Jackie looked slightly manic as she smiled brightly. Kalai, on the other hand, looked wet and miserable as she shivered, arms wrapped around herself. Andy gave his cousin a disgusted look as he pieced together what had happened. Every deckhand learned when to duck behind the raised bow and the roller horns that guided the nets so as not to get a faceful of spray when cutting through a swell. It was also a classic hazing trick for Senior Deckhands to let Junior Deckhands learn this the hard way.
Andy moved forward to stand in front of the two of them. Kalai was trying to squeeze her coat dry, but Andy knew it wouldn’t do much good until the sun came out. Jackie at least had the sense to look a little remorseful. “Kalai, why don’t you go sit in the cabin and get out of that wet coat. It’s cold enough out here even for us-”
“No way, Andy. Junior deckhand Kally here wants to impress you and get her dainty soft hands dirty! She’s been bragging about being a sailorwoman and wants to learn to fish ‘your way!” Jackie gave Kalai’s shoulder a wet slap as the poor alien woman went blue. Out of cold or embarrassment, Andy couldn’t tell.
All Andy could do was shake his head and huff. “Ok then! Secure the buoy and sling on my mark. I’ll get us in position!” Andy couldn’t help but chuckle as he heard Jackie start ordering Kalai about. Andy went back into the cabin and looked in the closet/bathroom to see if there was anything hanging up that he could give Kalai. There was only the one rain slicker and a few of Andy’s old sweaters from when he was a lot smaller. Well, looks like I’ll just be cold today. He quickly stripped out of his sweatshirt and grabbed the slicker before throwing a switch on the main control. Dr. He’osforos and Mrs. Vaida threw him quizzical looks as he went back outside wearing less than when he came in. He was down to a sleeveless shirt and his coveralls, and the morning breeze cut right through him and he braced his jaw to keep it from chattering.
“We’re ready to go- Andy, why are you practically naked from the waist up?” Kalai was staring wide eyed at him as he approached her and Jackie was on the bow. Jackie had everything ready; the buoy line was strung through the horns and ready to toss out. A giant orange and blue beach ball sized float hung at the end of the line to mark the end and make it easier to pick up later.
“Trade me your coat for these. If Jackie’s putting you to work, you’ll need these to keep warm.”
“I’m alright, I can-”
“I’m the Skipper of this boat, and I’m ordering you to take off that wet coat and put these on; and Jackie?” Andy gave his cousin a long and piercing look. “Give her the elbow gloves, not the halfsies.”
The scoff and the muttered Salishian profanities meant he’d read the next prank she’d had in mind right. She was planning on giving her the cloth gloves with only the palms and fingers coated in rubber. While perfectly fine for fishing, Andy knew they tended to get soaked through very quickly and did nothing to keep jellyfish stingers and fish slime off your hands. Kalai sputtered for a moment before she complied gratefully and she accepted the dry clothes and rain slicker.
Andy saw Jackie give him a strange look before looking back at Kalai, but he paid it no mind. He walked back to the controls on the drum and switched off the hydraulics, placing the mechanism in neutral. “SLING IT!” Andy called as he took the small jerry rigged steering wheel and threw the boat in reverse. Kalai jumped as the line started unspooling the net into the water at a rapid pace.
Andy set an ‘S’ bend in the quarter mile long net, zigzagging backwards until they came to the end of the line. Andy stopped the boat as Jackie tied off the other large buoy and tossed it over the side, unstringing the cork-line from the roller horns in the process. He pulled hard over and put a bit of distance from the net before shutting the engine down. The line of white and yellow corks marking the net bobbed lazily with the swells as silence settled over the water again. The waves rocked the boat gently as Andy found his sea legs again.
“Alright, I’ll get breakfast going. Jackie, Kalai? Post the watch for seals,” Andy called as he walked back into the cabin to fire up the tiny little gas stove.
Sakalbi, having found the confidence to stand at last, poked her head out of the cabin and stood on by the hatch to the fish hold. “Seals? Why would you need to watch for seals?”
Andy grit his teeth and looked over from where he was cracking open and scrambling eggs. “They’re the spawn of Satan and we hate their guts!” Andy bit out. Jackie came back and pulled the two shotguns and a pair of binoculars from the closet. Andy reached over to a side cabinet and pulled out a box of shells for them. Both his boss and the Doctor’s eyes got wide.
“Seals are the enemy of our blood. Were it not for the invasion, our unending war against these vermin would continue to this day!” Jackie growled as she loaded one for herself and rested the other on Andy’s seat at the helm.
The look of growing horror on Sakalbi’s face towards their facetious declarations caused Andy to chuckle a bit, before launching into an explanation. “We’re not fans of the species because they’ll wait until a fish gets caught in the net and then they’ll steal it, costing us a fish AND ripping a big hole in our nets that we then have to take time to repair. We use the shotguns and buckshot to give them a nice welt and convince them not to hang around, because they’ll wait up on the surface and watch the buoys, just like us. A single seal can and will take between five and ten fish. The worst is when they start getting full, they’ll just bite out the bellies of a salmon in the net. We can’t really do anything with that fish once it’s ‘seal-bit’. So yes, as fishermen, we hate them.”
“Learned opportunism in apex predators as a response to human activity… I think I’ll go see this behavior for myself!” Sakalbi practically rushed out the door towards the bow where Jackie was sitting on the roller horns explaining to Kalai how to spot the bastards, leaving Andy alone in the cabin with the Doctor while he cooked breakfast for them all.
Dr. He’osforos sat down heavily in the booth and pulled out his omnipad. “I’ve had a word with my friend in the Interior. She’s pulled the warrant for your brother, and I’ve withdrawn the charges I filed.”
Andy froze and turned around slowly. The only sound was the sizzle and pop of the eggs and chorizo that he’d added to them in the skillet. “You mean… it’s done? He can come home?” A wave of light headed euphoria swept over Andy and he swayed with the gentle rocking of the boat. “I will pay you back, Doc-”
The doctor held up his hand and stopped Andy. “We’ll call it even, but there’s something… I was able to get my hands on this,” Andy watched as the doctor swiped something towards his omnipad and it dinged. “What is it if I may-”
“Are you really asking an Indian to tell you a story? Because it’s going to be a long one if you are.” “I’m Sevastutavan, young man; we invented long stories.”
Andy froze and stared at the screen of his omnipad. The Vatikre was heavily accented, and Andy had a bit of trouble with the unfamiliar accent, but centered in the frame in a hospital room, sitting in a wheelchair, was a Salishian boy. Andy blinked in surprise as he stared at the screen. “Is that-”
“I am Ikw’is’hi’ehlah, and this bearer is… of the Orca Clan Sheloksets. I drove our Haida enemies onto the rocks and took many heads when they attacked our winter village on Orcas Island. I signed the Treaty with the Great White Father and I fought against the slavers of the south-”
Andy wanted to grab the omnipad but the smell of overcooking eggs brought his attention back to breakfast and Andy stirred and scrapped the food quickly, trying to save it.
“I asked her for any materials she could give me on your brother. Pictures, recordings, anything. This is what she gave me. It's the last known recording of your brother during an interrogation conducted by a Navy Commissar prior to his escape. It seems he made friends with a Pod of Deaths Head Commandos. Quite a bit of the recording has been redacted, but… there are portions of it where he talks about his family and his history. I thought you might like to have it.”
Andy hurriedly pulled out paper plates and a slice of bread for everyone and scooped a heaping portion of the chorizo eggs onto them. He handed the doctor his before leaning out the cabin door. “Slop’s on, come and get it!”
Andy sat down after moving the shotgun out of the way and started the video over again as the three women came back to grab their plates and lost himself watching his brother start telling his story.
“What’s that?” Andy heard Kalai ask over his shoulder, and he paused the video.
“That’s my brother! That’s Kay Tee!”
“Holy shit, what?” Jackie nearly shoved Kalai into Andy as she jammed her bread slice down her gullet and crowded in to see the screen.
Andy started the video over a second time and they watched in silence. “God, that brings back memories. Back when mom was still alive and before we broke up the warband. I can’t believe that slippery little punk ghosted a pod of Commandos for two fucking years! Holy shit, that’s badass!”
Before Andy could say anything, Sakalbi started coughing and brought the binoculars up. “Uh, Andy? Jackie? What do we do about sharks?”
Jackie looked at Andy in confusion. “Sharks? There’s nothing but Dogs around here.”
“Well those are shark fins and they’re charging the net!” Sakalbi pointed and Andy looked up to see dorsal fins charging the center of the net.
Andy looked at Jackie and spoke the same words in tandem, “Oh shit!”

To be posted 6/4/23
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2023.05.28 01:54 StardropScavenger [USA] [H] Various Games for N64, GameCube, Wii, GB/C/A, DS, 3DS, Switch, PS1, PS2, Consoles for Switch, GBA SP 101, Various Cases and Manuals for DS and 3DS, Empty Switch Cases [W] Cashapp, Zelle, Venmo

Good evening, everyone! I have quite a bit of things for sale today, ALL prices include shipping via the payment methods mentioned above. Happy to provide photos upon request, and all orders will be going out Tuesday.



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2023.05.27 23:26 beetlebop_ Passed G test in Oshawa!

Hello, I passed the G in Oshawa this week. The test is still modified. My route was:
  1. Left on John st
  2. Right on Centre st
  3. Street bends to the left, keep left
  4. Right on Simcoe st
  5. 401 west entrance on the right
  6. Stevenson road exit and take a left
  7. Right onto 401 east
  8. Simcoe st exit and take a right on Bloor st
  9. Right on Park rd
  10. Right on John st
  11. Left into the test center and forward parking straight ahead in the first row
Some things to note:
There were a lot of trucks on the highway during my test so I wasn't able to change lanes, I just told the instructor there's no space and they said it's fine. They made me change lanes on the local roads multiple times.
There was a car accident in the lane I was in, the instructor didn't say anything and waited for me to analyze and change lanes myself. You need to know what to do in these events and don't expect the instructor to help you. They don't care if you did something they didn't ask you to do if you had a reason to do it.
submitted by beetlebop_ to Ontariodrivetest [link] [comments]

2023.05.27 22:20 Proletlariet White Lotus

Respect The White Lotus

"All old people know each other. Don't you know that?"
The White Lotus is an ancient and secretive society of scholars and philosophers which transcends the boundaries of the four nations. Drawing inspiration from the White Lotus tile in the game Pai Sho, and using the game to covertly communicate their membership to one another, the White Lotus stayed hidden for many years before revealing themselves during Sozin's Comet and assisting Team Avatar in liberating the world.
Source Key Avatar: The Last Airbender Season & Episode = S#E# The Legend of Korra Season 2 Episode 10 = LoK The Lost Adventures = LA The Promise = TP Smoke & Shadow = S&S Archived Nickelodeon Website = ANW 

Iroh, The Dragon Of The West

"Pride is not the opposite of shame, but its source. True humility is the only antidote to shame."
Iroh was born the eldest son of Fire Lord Azulon and the rightful heir to the throne of the Fire Nation. However, after a long and historic career as a General, Iroh lost his son, retired from the military, and ceded the throne to his younger brother Ozai. He became a dedicated mentor to his nephew Zuko and a Grand Lotus of the Order of the White Lotus.







King Bumi, The Mad Genius

"I didn't know what or when, but I knew I'd know it when I knew it!"
Bumi was the King of Omashu and an old friend of Avatar Aang's. 112 years old by the time Team Avatar meets him, Bumi remained physically fit and referred to himself as the greatest earthbender in the world. A master of "neutral jing," Bumi's specialty was in patient opportunism, waiting for the right moment to attack and then unleashing immensely powerful earthbending at his opponent. Aang also considered him a "mad genius" for his idiosyncratic behavior and unique perspective.

Master Pakku

"You want to learn to fight so bad? Study closely!"
Pakku was the leader of the Northern Water Tribe's waterbenders and preeminent among them, teaching their benders and commanding their military forces. Initially a conservative man with a strict policy against teaching women, Pakku came to make an exception for his ex-fiance's granddaughter Katara and overturned the tradition.
Pakku was a central figure in the attempted siege of the Northern Water Tribe and was at one time the greatest waterbender on the planet, but retired to the Southern Water Tribe where he rekindled his romance with his fiance and settled down teaching waterbending students there.

Jeong Jeong, The Deserter

"Fire is a horrible burden to bear. Its nature is to consume. And without control, it destroys everything around it. Learn restraint or risk destroying yourself and everything you love."
Jeong Jeong was once an esteemed Admiral of the Fire Nation Navy, but he became disillusioned by the cruelty and destruction of his nation over time. Training students like Zhao who relished in the power of such destruction only further disgusted Jeong Jeong, and he became the first person to ever abandon the Fire Nation military and live to tell the tale, earning his nickname as he moved from village to village followed by a loyal tribe of companions.
Jeong Jeong was one of the greatest firebenders of his time. He repeatedly emphasized the virtue of control and exemplified that quality in his bending. His style largely depended on defensive moves and emphasized extremely powerful yet finely controlled walls of flame.

Master Piandao

"The way of the sword doesn't belong to any one nation. Knowledge of the arts belongs to us all."
Piandao was abandoned at an early age for being born a nonbender, and dedicated his life not only to becoming the world's foremost swordsman but a student of philosophy and art from every nation. Piandao retired from the Fire Nation military to live a quiet life as a noble member of the citizenry, turning away most of the students who came to him for teaching. Eventually he accepted Sokka as a student, and later assisted in the liberation of Ba Sing Se.
submitted by Proletlariet to u/Proletlariet [link] [comments]

2023.05.27 17:59 sariaru_qet-shavaq binding of earth, sea, and sky

It was time for Zaven to marry. He had chosen a bride, and petitioned her mother, who was from a powerful clan with a well placed home. His hair was a short stubble on his head now, no longer than the bend of his thumb. He had a foal and a new pup to give, as was traditional, but all that he needed was the gift of sea-light. He had not often gone to the shore to fish, but neither was he totally unaware of it, either. And besides, he would need to fish as such, merely look for the shells along the shore with the beautiful sea-light inside. He knew that his bride would be making her preparations now, too. She was not the hara of her mother, but had one younger sister. They would not inherit her mother’s home, but Rina had inherited more of her mother’s good sense, which would be better in the long run. Their home was prosperous, and Rina’s mother had seven children who survived infancy, though one had died as a young man. Such things happen. Coyote and Raven would take him and turn death into life. Zaven thought on such things as he rode towards the shore with a lightfooted horse, golden of hair, and his favourite hunting dog running at his side. This particular dog reminded him of the coyote, with pointed ears and a slim figure, and mischevious ways. He’d been hard to train, harder than usual, but perhaps that was Coyote also. Nevertheless, he was a good hunter, and fiercely protective. The pup he was giving to Rima was one of his lineage. Hopefully it would also look like Coyote as it grew.
At the shore, he swung down off of his horse, and reached into the bags on either side of the saddle, rummaging for something to eat. Sorghum bread and dried bison, washed down with lasaran lavan. Then he tied the horse to a stake and wandered among the fishermen, with his dog at his side, examining all the shells left behind from the fisher’s catch. Some were cracked, others did not capture enough of the sea-light, and it was almost a full day before he had enough good shells to make her an ornament for her hair. Women, unlike men, almost never cut their hair. Only the tatatul, who would sometimes go bald and in leather, as if they were men, but working the fields (or more likely, Zavan thought, picking the best grapes and eating them right off the vine). Zavan had had wine, of course, but had never tasted a grape. It would be unseemly, women’s food that it was, too sweet for men. But still, he was curious. He wondered if Rina was also curious about fish. He liked fish, particularly cooked, when it flaked beneath the fingers and the oil ran down your fingers.
The next few days he spent preparing the bridal clothing that he would give to Rina - the nacre ornament for her hair, in the shape of a dolphin and a tanned leather skirt, made from horse and ray leather. While he worked, he thought of her, particularly the thought of her eating ripe blackberries off the bush, with the dark juice running down her chin. The sort of thoughts only to have for one’s wife, or future wife. Zaven might have blushed, but the tan of his skin kept his embarrassment hidden.
Rina sat in the cool of her home, out of the midday sun and worked at her loom tirelessly. She had been out hunting for wild cotton, which was notoriously difficult to find in the quantities needed for a good gift. She was making a pain of cotton trousers for Zavan, that he would be able to ride more easily in them. Back and forth went the loom, and bit by bit the fabric grew. Some women gave hemp as their marriage gift, she knew, and as an elder daughter, no one would look down on her for doing so, but she was determined to give the best, and her fingers were quick at the loom, quicker even than her little sister’s, who would nevertheless inherit their mother’s loom. Rina studied the construction of the loom carefully, as if looking at it for the very first time, so that she would be able to build one of her own easily when she and Zevan broke new ground for their home and garden. Around the waistband of the trousers, she stitched raven feathers, for they were plentiful here; their coop was almost always full and Raven protected them. There were also a couple of owl feathers that she had found while out hunting for wild cotton.
While she worked, Rina nibbled at dried grapes and sunflower seeds. In her mind, she was already working on her next task, the bright copper crown that she still had to make for him. It would look lovely against his growing hair. Rina hoped he kept his hair long, and did not need too much violence to thrive. She would make it a simple circlet of thrice bound copper, braided, the same way she braided her hair, and in the middle of it would be a turquoise stone. Then her mind moved to how the home she had been building over the last moons, since the marriage was approved by her mother. Traditionally, the Qet-Šavaq women kept three-room homes, one for sleeping, one for cooking and food storage, and one as a sort of workshop, with looms and pottery and a tanning rack among the other tools of day to day living. She did not think she would be one of the medic women, capable of setting bone, guiding infants into life, and curing the coughs and fevers that were part of life. No, Rina had a mind for building and creation. She was tireless at the wheel, the loom, and even helped others in the village with building or repairing their homes, with a keen eye for how to best stack stones so they wouldn’t fall. Her home would be beautiful and strong. She had an idea for water too. In her mind’s eye, she saw the rain fall, sink into the earth, where the roots of the plants could get to it. She imagined digging down, down, down, like a root, and finding water. Not just a stone-lined pit for storing rain water during the rainy season, but deeper, to get to wherever the plants drew their water from, creating her very own spring. She would be the envy of all her sisters, and her own hara would be powerful.
The day of the wedding was a happy one, as such things usually were. It was a sunny day, though not yet the height of the dry season. Flowers were in bloom, and the center of the village was beautiful with growing things. A space along a cliffside had been cleared for the ceremony, and they were close enough that the sea could be seen, far off in the distance. A good place, with Earth, Sea, and Sky together. Zevan came from the west, riding one horse and leading another, with a pup in his arms and bundles in his saddlebags. Rina came from the east, carrying a bundle of sunflowers and allium blooms, bright and colorful, with a couple of young boys pulling a small sledge behind her, with wrapped bundles. They walked the spirals together, circling in towards each other until they were standing side by side before a small fire pit like a miniature oiled pyre, ringed with stone. The tatatul shouted reasons they would not be a good couple, which were rebutted by members of both families, and they exchanged gifts, with Zaven giving away his beautiful hair ornament, skirt, foal, and pup (who, he was pleased, did also have the pointed ears and slender build of Coyote, a good blessing), and was humbled to receive his groom-loaf of chia, circlet, and cotton trousers in return, symbols of the provision and artisanal work of a kept man, who did not need to rely fully on his own labours. Then torches were brought forward, to Rina from Zaven’s family, and vice versa. Together they pledged to care for one another from now until death and whatever lay beyond. They threw their burning branches onto the fire. Now no one could ever tell Rina’s flame from Zaven’s, and together the flame burned brighter than ever before. They would start their new life in Rina’s village, but further out the spiral, further from Raven’s coops, but with more room to grow for all that. They would spend the turn of a moon together before Zaven would have to return to his duties, but hopefully Rina would be bearing a child by then.
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2023.05.27 16:08 resurrective Chapter 16 - The trial of body

Chapter 16 - The trial of body
The white mist – the ubiquitous substance of the highest levels of arcane world-bending, powered by the force of divinity – it was but a veil to what was to come. Barely had the party of five passed through the shrouded barrier before they witnessed a new sight. It was a realm of endless sunset, shining above a bleached city. The sight was astounding – kilometers upon kilometers of the colorless buildings, erected not from stone, but salt.
“Girls? Everyone’s still here?” Keyaruga asked, afraid to lose his senses in this accursed fog. Even if it subsided a little, one could still be trapped in its obscurity. He turned around, fully expecting to find himself separated from his group. At least, his golden egg was still with him.
“Setsuna’s here!” Ellen reported, holding onto her new glorified anti-stress toy. Which was just as endearing, as it was strange. After all, where are the rest?
“Freia? Eve?” The man yelled, grabbing the she-wolf by her wrist, just to keep her and his ‘sister’ near.
“Dissipare!” Well, that didn’t last long. Not only did the sorceress notify everyone about her presence with a loud chant, she also slammed the salty pavement with her staff. The wave of gold rippled across the vicinity, dissipating every last trace of the veil that Caladrius had placed on them. “Huh, finally! We’ve been seeking you for hours…” The heroine lamented, holding Eve by her hand.
“Hours? We’ve just entered this…” The healer mused, but he couldn’t finish the line, as the black-winged girl towards on him, hugging his torso, barely holding her tears.
“I thought… I’ve lost you forever!” The verdant woman exclaimed, her eyes wet with unshed tears, unwilling to let go of the red-eyed lad.
“Heh, welcome to hell, kids! I suggest we all hold our hands, so that this plague-spitter can’t bamboozle us anymore.
“Uh-huh. Good plan.” The wolf girl agreed, making sure the man’s grip on her wrist wouldn’t waver.
“I don’t like this place already. This thing… this realm – even time itself doesn’t flow properly here.” The elder princess complained, who was now holding onto Eve, who, in turn, wouldn’t let go of Keyaruga.
“Well, that’s a good start, don’t you think?” The hero scoffed, activating his jade eye. Everyone was here, but nobody smiled at his sarcastic joke. Not really surprising, seeing as Caladrius almost succeeded in cutting off Freia, the only one who possessed the proper insight about pocket dimensions, and substantial firepower enough to actually oppose the feathered deity. “Alright, let’s keep it this way. Setsuna, I need your senses. I need your eyes and ears in case I miss something here.” The man, being a cold-blooded leader, shared his first order.
“Uh-huh, already doing it.” The huntress responded, giving a brief glance over at Ellen, who frantically looked around. She recalled the last night, thought about it. The two of them weren’t truly lovers, they weren’t even friends. Setsuna just found herself to be a pillar of the princess’ emotional stability. There wasn’t love, like that between her and Keyaruga, nor the camaraderie that she and Freia shared. All she did was to not deny Ellen’s passion, that’s all.
“Good. Freia, use your heat vision, just in case.” Then, there was the second instruction from the lad. Although this one…
“I already did. Aside from us, there’s nothing, no sources of heat. Either we’re alone here… or whatever can live here doesn’t produce warmth.” The magician assumed, constantly draining magic with her staff. Absorbing energy here felt like breathing in the mountains… “The mana is thin here, so be careful about that too.”
“Hmm… I guess, Ellen was right. Caladrius indeed drains everything around her.” Eve deadpanned, sounding a little depressed. It was her trial, and yet, it awoke nothing but primal fear in her soul.
“I can’t hear anything.” The ice warrior reported calmly. Now, with the fog being blown away by Freia’s power, only the eerie cold void surrounded them under the fixed sun. No enemies to fight, no voices to be heard, only the empty towers of salt loomed above the contenders.
“I sure hope we haven’t messed up with the date.” Keyaruga contemplated, moving across the seemingly endless street. “As for now, I suppose, we have nothing better to do than just walk through that avenue.”
“What else can we do? Seems like this pigeon’s just being shy.” The younger princess chuckled, looking around her. The buildings, although made from the same material, were of eras long before the present day. Their architecture betrayed the early culture of the southern Jioral lands, Tarnia, the ancient kingdom to the west of it, some belonged to the lands of Garalis, but for the most part – it seemed like someone went and stole the buildings, or entire districts even, from the various regions of Tenanulic. “Heh, seems like our prey is a serious connoisseur of improvised urban development projects. Too bad nobody told her laying everything in a single pile, with all the buildings overlapping each other, is unaesthetic at the very least.” Ellen commented with a mix of awe for the highly detailed recreations, and outright mockery for the lack of originality.
“Well, at least we won’t get tired of the view anytime soon.” Freia tried alleviating the situation with some light humor, and this one had worked much better than Keyaruga’s sneering.
“I’d rather we get out of here.” Well, almost. Eve still felt incredibly uncomfortable: the weight of responsibilities, the stress, the shame for the previous night, when she failed to satisfy her guardian – all of that weighed on the shoulders of the queen-to-be in this dead city.
“Don’t be sad, birdie. As long as we stay together, we can handle it.” Keyaruga said, facing the girl with his the right eye closed. His eyeball rolled inside, making sure the supreme god of these lands wouldn’t steal his companions without the lad noticing.
“I hope…” Eve muttered, averting her gaze from the man’s face. After all, the thick nerve bulged though his shut eyelid.

Two hours. Two hours of unending walking throughout the endless maze of salt which ultimately lead them to nowhere. The road was still there, but the architecture seemed more and more obscure. No longer were the buildings layered on top of one another some sort of bizarre exception, as every house the party had come across was seemingly the work of a twisted genius, that defied not only common sense, but the rules of the physical universe themselves. Inverted structures, mosaics of unimaginable forms, some of them even seemed as if they were something from a different dimension entirely.
“Well, girls? What do you make of it?” Keyaruga, getting mentally tired of the unending walking, asked of his allies, right as Freia gave each of them a cup of water she had conjured.
“I think, it’s something right out of our dreams. In all honesty, aside from the mortal danger, I like this place.” Freia, being a beacon of enthusiasm, voiced her excitement. To her, this was a place of learning and perpetual astonishment.
“Ye-e-eah! I know a few archaeologists, who’d kill just to visit here.” Ellen added, trying to keep her own curiosity in check. After all, who could guarantee that she’d find a way back after leaving the road? “Too bad it belongs to the worst pigeon I’ve ever known.”
“Her name is Caladrius.” Eve spoke sternly, cautious of disrespecting the god in her own domain. “And she’s…”
“She’s trying to starve us.” Setsuna concluded, stomping on the salty pavement under her feet.
“That’s right. We won’t attain anything just by loitering around.” The fallen warlady judged, approaching her elder sibling. “Sister, break this illusion already! I’m getting tired of this crap!”
“Hm… Keyaruga, what would you say?” The sorceress, uneager to make hasty decisions based on Ellen’s bias, asked the most reasonable man around (and the only one as well).
“Do it, Freia. We need to find the god bird anyway.” He responded sternly. His jade eye worked as intended, but it showed nothing but an endless wasteland of salt and mist.
“Be ready.” Setsuna spoke to Eve, holding her shoulder now.
“He-heh… Ready…” The kokuyoku scion muttered, expecting to face her doom. Well, at least it would be swift, unlike this endless marching under a still sun.
The Hero of Magic stuck her staff into the ground and began chanting. Her words, unlike regular spells, were practically indistinguishable from each other, more like the blabbering of a mindless old hag one would think of when imagining a stereotypical witch rather than what Freia actually was. The plane began to ripple, the salt – crack, revealing the glimpses of the real world, its mountains and the morning luminary.
“Oh shit…” Ellen cursed with a nervous grin on her face. Right as the valley began crumbling in on itself, the mist thickened, dark clouds began forming above the party. “FREIA! MAGPIE! SHIELD US!!!” The princess screamed. Although it was still only slightly cold, a peculiar snow began falling from the sky.
“Finally!” The healer spat through his teeth, casting a green sphere with a brand of a blue bird above it. He was the first to react, thus covering his party with the dome of protection, but the ground began to rumble, completely breaking the sorceress from her concentration, as now she struggled to stand on her feet.
“Keyaruga, look!” Eve yelled, pointing on the tower rising in front of them. No, not tower… “It’s Kinacrith!” The entire city emerged on top of the ruins, erupting from the earth itself in a deafening roar.
“We must get over there quickly!” Ellen deadpanned, pointing at the mighty citadel of the Obsidian Throne. Or, at least, its copy. The harbinger of plague decorated her realm based on the lands she brought to peril, and now, she had a proof of that – her white feathers brought doom to this city in the first world. “There she… Auch!
“Tch! I know!” Keyaruga exclaimed, grabbing Ellen underneath his armpit. Now, under the snowfall of death, they had to act fast. After all, the man couldn’t hold off the diseased flakes, their corruption overtook his barrier, spreading through his right arm to the rest of the body.
“Keyaruga, you’re dying!” Eve stressed, looking at the lad’s pale face. He, Freia, Setsuna, and the queen-to-be ran forward, but it seemed like Caladrius specifically targeted the hero, trying to break his defense.
“I’m fine! Georgius helps…” The man replied, although it wasn’t his usual voice that left his bluish lips. It was a growl, a wheeze, a…
His immunity didn’t work. Panakea blessed him with invulnerability to all poisons and maladies, but this was something else. A divine plague, an aliment of legends which shifted its form every second, preventing any attempts at getting used to its ruinous effects.
In the end, Keyaruga’s barrier fell, corroded by the godly affliction, and the piles of snow, which, upon a closer look, turned out to be ash, now were about to fall onto the rest of the group. Georgius, his disembodied divine armament, had run out of ambient mana, and so, the man had crumbled, and with him – Ellen now crawled on the ground, calling for him, but her words were silent for the healer.
“R… ru…” And then, his vision got dark. This time, the death came for him for sure. This time…
“Venite in auxilium nostrum, o magnus ventus Aquilonis!” Freia yelled, waving her staff of the blood tree above her head. Through the breach she conjured into this world, the sorceress summoned a great spirit of northern wind to swipe the poisoned powder out of the air. The mighty storm formed a vortex above the party, allowing for the brief respite.
“Come on, get up!” Eve snarled, working with Setsuna to pick the lad up.
“Now, fast! I can’t keep it up for long!” The heroine alerted, tossing a potion of green and red to Ellen. “Drink it, Elly! We’ve got much running ahead of us!”
“Pfeh, as if I don’t see that.” The crimson-haired girl scoffed, heading after the rest of the group.
The snowfall and the storm, the flakes of plague, suppressed by the great element of air accompanied the contenders on their path toward Kinacrith’s copy, erected from the salt.
“Ghh… I… how long-?..” Keyaruga woke up soon afterwards. With the immaterial gauntlet having healed his poisoned body, he found himself among a city comprised of proper forms and shapes, but his vision was still blurry.
“Keyaruga?.. HE’S ALIVE!!!” Eve yelled, obviously trying to outcry the tempest. Unfortunately, though, the girls had no time to celebrate, as all of them had to outrun the time itself, making sure the snowfall of death wouldn’t bury them underneath.
“Setsuna… Eve…” When the lad completely came back to his senses, he found out that he was actually being carried by these two, but his legs were dragging along the floor. “It’s alright! I can run myself!” He broke free, regaining his leading position in this mortal race.
HOW DO WE STOP IT?!” The black-winged prodigy loudly asked… well, whoever could hear it in this deafening hell of wind and plague.
“Haa… Haa… THE TOWER! ABOVE IT!!!” Ellen pointed out, spotting a small white ball on top of Kinacrith’s peak. “IT’S HER!!! SHOOT THE FUCKER!!!” The princess urged, demanding destruction. As much as this order was born out of fear and confusion, there was a logical reason behind it. After all, if this was a test, then surely the cruel mistress of this place desired to be found.
A-A-A-A-AGH!!! HURRY!!! THE WIND IS GETTING WEAKER!!!” Freia cried, barely holding her staff in the air with her trembling arm. Another few seconds, and the ambient mana would make it explode into bloody pieces.
EVE!!!” The Hero of Healing yawped, sending beam after beam of light magic into the sphere. Most of the projectiles, sent by the man, couldn’t hit the spot. The ones that did, though, only chipped away its shining shell.
HASTA LUMINIS!!!” The girl joined the bombardment. She joined forces with her guardian, and together, they brought enough firepower to just barely break through whatever protection the creature had set off. As Setsuna prepared to raise a dome of ice, and Ellen just silently prayed for her team, the hero and his queen finally succeeded. Finally…
The bright and powerful explosion destroyed not only the sphere, the endless city of salt and void crumbled into nothingness. It was as if the glass dome began scattering in the wind, and with it, all the clouds and ruinous snow. The illusion was broken, and now, all five of them stood amidst the rocky valley. And from above the cliff, basked in the light of morning sun, a giant white bird, clad in gold and jewels, gazed upon them with her four eyes.
Caladrius, the true goddess of plague and rejuvenation now loomed above the party. What was even more hilarious, though, was the party found themselves not really far from where their two raptors were waiting for them, they could even spot Kelly and Patty on the horizon.
“You performed marvelously in overcoming the Trial of Body, little ones…” The grandiose bird stated, as her eyes began glowing in gold.
“…now, it is time for the Trial of Heart!”
Alas, Ellen’s hysteria proved useless, as Freia hadn’t even a single extra second to aim, let alone properly chant a spell. Caladrius spread her grandeur wings, and everyone found themselves trapped in the dark.

He travelled through a pitch black, unending void. With no sound, nor light to orient himself around, the red-haired lad had to walk in a seemingly random direction. Not even the jade eye could pierce through this veil of emptiness, though.
“Girls? You there?” Despite his concern over his companions, Keyaruga sensed none of them. If Caladrius failed to separate them the first time, then now she definitely succeeded.
If your heart is weak, you can’t pass, such were the words of Mil, and, honestly, the oppressive solitude was unsettling all by itself. But then…
PADARA (faggot)!
TANOUTUR (murderer)!
Voices, dozens, hundreds, united in their refined hostility and contempt toward the Hero of Healing. Those he killed, those he trampled upon, those who he tortured to death. From raging bulls to soldiers the boy had to silence upon his escape, slavers and raiders, black dogs and Norn’s spearmen, thugs and robbers.
YOU’VE STOLEN MY FLARE!!!” Leonard, the despicable sadist covered in blood, roared, running with his sword, ready to cut down the one who murdered him. He… “A-A-A-A-A-A-AH!!! MY A-A-A-ARM!!!” …was disarmed instantly. The black blood of his tainted soul now painted Keyaruga’s saber, as he…
“Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-a!!!” …laughed like a mad man. Oh, the realization came to him. These were the ones whose lives he had taken with his own hand. The hero had to fall under the weight of his sins, supposedly. Did that stop him from beheading the one, who took his family? Oh no! No-o-o!
YOU CAN’T KILL ME NOW, YOU LITTLE SHIT!” Even when the thug in royal armor rose from a pool of his own blood, Keyaruga never stopped grinning. When the dead souls began charging at him, wave after wave, he rejoiced. These were the challengers, eager to avenge their deaths…
AHA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!” Keyaruga loudly chuckled. He chopped through Leonard’s head like a melon, grabbed the slaver, who sold him Setsuna, by his neck, crushed his balls with a knee, tossed his body into the crowd, slashed a soldier, kicked the fanatic, who oversaw the execution of his fellow villagers, crushed his nasty skull under his boot… “THANK YOU!!!” …grabbed his blade, dragged it, soaked it in his own blood, while the wailing mongrels stabbed and slashed him. It’s okay, when he swung, when the heroic blood fell upon them, they cried in pain, bursting like the enormous abscesses they were. “THANK YOU, MOMMY CALADRIUS, FOR THIS MAJESTIC PLAYGROUND!!!
The man yelled, chuckled, smiled… He ran across the dome of darkness, he lightened it with shining entrails; he burned his enemies with waves of fire, incinerated them with the lightning arcs. He killed, stomped, disgraced, disfigured, amputated, slammed, cut, broke bones, ripped hearts, took heads, and clubbed the poor bastards with their own severed limbs. They died, but rose again to take another chance at killing their tormentor, and everything started anew. This was the vicious circle of vengeance that the man enjoyed so very much and in it…
Was he right, though? Aside from various monsters, rushing into the carnival of gore, two people watched the lad’s brutality closely. Their eyes were full of despair… and disappointment.

While Keyaruga relished in his trial, Eve had to thread her path of emptiness with nothing and nobody to rely on. No enemies, no curses, no violence, no dark blood. Instead, she was met… by shadows.
Ni-ni-ni-ni-ni (no-no-no-no-no)!” She once again walked along the infinite road, but this time, no ally accompanied her, there was no friendship to call upon, no love to rely on. Only them – two columns of her brethren, bowing before their queen. Kneeling… to fade into her shining feathers. “Yoku shia horka in (don’t come into my wings)!” The verdant woman covered her teary eyes, waved off her subjects, she even tried shielding herself by pathetically embracing her wings. But there was no stopping it. Her friends, parents, guardians, servants, elders – dozens upon dozens of those, who chose her to be the vessel of their souls, were now stuck in this life.
Soon, all of the shadows went inside Eve’s feathers. None of them harbored any grudge against her, and even if they did, their spiritual form had no mouths to properly voice them.
But even so, Eve wasn’t allowed to get out of this hellish dome just yet.
Step. Step. Step.
A massive figure, slightly higher then two meters tall, emerged between the kneeling girl. A leonine figure carrying a long, bloodied stick, it was skinned, and his own pelt rested on his armored shoulders. He came to conquer. He…
Ushi, orna saikalla, setoan (you belong to me, woman)!” The demon, the bestial figure, humans tended to generalize ma-zok people to be, said, grabbing the Me-ua kahul by her chin with his clawed paw. “Yau ma, orn wor tanoute (how dare you murder me)?” The dead soul accused Eve, pushing her to the ephemeral ground.
“…” She was scared, Eve couldn’t even move a muscle, couldn’t speak, couldn’t breathe – the queen-to-be knew this man, she didn’t know, how, but she just knew! He was the one Keyaruga hinted at, when lamenting her lost family. He was…
“C… Cor… nar…” …the husband the ascended Me-ua had in the first world. Someone she saw as a soulmate, someone who blessed her with many victories and two beautiful children, someone… “Soguri (stand back)!” …the kokuyoku prodigy feared and hated, but had no will to oppose him back there. And now…
Orna kalla (you’re mine)!” The skinned lion spoke, pulling off his pants, revealing a disgustingly dismembered spiked penis. The black blood flowed out of it, as some intangible force cramped Eve’s mind with memories. They were her own, from another life, another timeline, but they were there, and they shackled her will. Even… Even if she wanted to fight back.
Keyaruga wouldn’t do that to her! Keyaruga wouldn’t rape her! Keyaruga wouldn’t berate her! Keyaruga wouldn’t belittle her! Keyaruga wouldn’t do that! Keyaruga!.. Keya… ru…
KEYARU!!! KEYA-A-A-A-RU-U!!! SAVE ME-E-E!!!” Eve screamed, fruitlessly trying to punch the undead monstrosity.
You can’t just kick a god to death, though.
Yes… Yes! But he wasn’t a god! He was!..
Marno (it’s useless). Oma pora kanbu (I’m gonna rape you).” The nightmare spoke, outright choking the girl. She had no strength to…
Why? There’s magic, there’s might, there’s so much… So much…
A call resounded inside Eve’s very being. An urge, a wish, an order. She had the power, a little army, which desired to be called upon.
N-no, I can’t!
She had to. The flow of time itself stopped, just to give the future queen this chance. Outside of it, nothing but doom and misery awaited her.
I… Don’t want…
No matter what she wanted, there were people who truly wished her good. People, who loved her for real… Her new family.
K… Keya… Keyaruga!
That’s right. A flux of power rose from within her, a load of motivation, a surge to overpower fear and regret. Time resumed its movement. And with it…
UO-O-O-O-O-O!!!” A shadowy figure flew across the black dome, leaving a giant hole inside the rapist’s chest. A savior came to Eve, and she looked familiar.
“M… MOM!!!” Eve, released from her fear, charged forward to hug her mother, but alas, Cornar came back from the dead, standing on his paws once more, he pushed the ghost woman away, and resumed his march toward the kokuyoku scion. But she wasn’t just a descendant of this tribe, Eve Reese was its righteous princess! The one and only queen! “How dare you do this to me?! How dare you claim me?!” As she spoke, more and more shadows emerged from within her wings to assault the perpetrator. It doesn’t matter if he remembered their erased future, doesn’t matter if he had a relationship with the ruler of the Confederation. Right now, he was just a threat, an enemy of the queen.
And what does the royal guard do to enemies of their monarch?
They kill them!
Is this… what it’s like to be you, Keyaruga?
submitted by resurrective to RedoOfHealer [link] [comments]

2023.05.27 06:26 alurry [US-TX] [H] Entire 4K Collection (350+) [W] PayPal

I am selling my entire personal collection. 95% of these were purchased new by me. Immediately after purchase I put them into the plastic protectors and haven't removed them since. None are heavily damaged (bending, major dents, multiple large scratches, etc.). There may be tiny dents, scratches, and the odd spine slash here and there. When you are ready to purchase I will let you know if I see any noticeable damage, however minor or major.
These are all used and opened and none contain the digital code or j-card. The vast majority contain all the original discs but a few might be missing the regular blu-ray. Most discs have never been played but I have watched a few once or twice. No issues while playing any of them.
I will ship for free via Media Mail. If you would prefer I ship using First Class or something else we can work out an extra fee. I would prefer to use PayPal F&F but will accept G&S if you insist. I will ship with the plastic protector (or with the slipcover that originally came with the SteelBook) and I will ship securely in a box with lots of bubble wrap (see picture below).
Prices are somewhat firm but it's hard to say what a lot of these are worth so feel free to make an offer. The more you buy the better deal I can give you. 10% off (possibly more) if you buy 2 and it only goes up from there. I would prefer to keep most of the collections together for now but could sell individually for the right price.
Proof ( If you want more assurance I have 224 transactions in DigitalCodeSELL (check my post history). I can also link you my eBay page if that is allowed. 3.6K items sold with 100% positive feedback.
Metal Tin SteelBook Collections (
Title Retailer Price
Game of Thrones Complete Collection (4K) SOLD
The Hobbit Trilogy (4K) Best Buy $100
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (4K) Best Buy $125
Mad Max Complete Collection (4K) Zavvi $100
Monsterverse 4 Film Collection (Empty Tin) SOLD
4K SteelBooks (Collections) (
Title Retailer Total SteelBooks Price
Bad Boys 1-3 Best Buy 2 $45
Back to the Future 1-3 Best Buy 3 $100
Bond 1-5 (Craig) Best Buy, FNAC 5 $140
Cars 1-2 Best Buy 2 $40
Dark Knight Trilogy Zavvi 3 $130
DCEU 1-12 Best Buy + + Zavvi 12 $450
Equalizer 1-2 Best Buy 2 $45
Finding Nemo/Dory SOLD
Frozen 1-2 Best Buy 2 $75
Godfather 1-3 Best Buy 3 $60
Godzilla + Godzilla vs Kong Best Buy 2 $60
Halloween (78, 18, 21, 22) Best Buy 4 $165
The Hitman's Bodyguard 1-2 Best Buy 2 $40
How to Train Your Dragon 1-3 SOLD
The Hunger Games 1-4 Best Buy 4 $70
The Incredibles Best Buy 2 $90
Indiana Jones 1-3 Best Buy 3 $70
Indiana Jones 1-4 Best Buy 4 $55
Jack Reacher 1-2 Best Buy 2 $75
John Wick 1-3 Best Buy 2 $60
Jumanji 1-3 Best Buy 3 $55
Jurassic World 1-6 Best Buy 2 $70
Kingsman 1-3 Best Buy 3 $50
The Lion King (94,19) Best Buy 2 $50
Maleficent 1-2 Best Buy + Zavvi 2 $45
MCU 1-30 Best Buy 30 $1200
Matrix 1-4 Best Buy 2 $95
Men in Black 1-4 Best Buy 2 $40
Monster's Inc/University SOLD
Mulan (98, 20) Best Buy 2 $70
A Quiet Place 1-2 Best Buy 2 $50
Scream (96, 22) Best Buy 2 $40
Sherlock Holmes 1-2 SOLD
The Shining/Doctor Sleep Best Buy 2 $150
Sicario 1-2 Best Buy 2 $70
Sonic the Hedgehog 1-2 Best Buy 2 $40
Space Jam 1-2 Best Buy 2 $35
Star Wars 1-9 + Solo & Rogue One Best Buy + Zavvi + FNAC 11 $500
Terminator (91, 19) Best Buy 2 $35
Top Gun 1-2 Best Buy 2 $75
Toy Story 1-4 Best Buy 4 $100
Trolls 1-2 Best Buy 2 $35
Venom 1-2 Best Buy 2 $40
Wreck-It-Ralph 1-2 Best Buy 2 $45
Zombieland 1-2 Best Buy 2 $30
Mondo X SteelBooks (
Title Retailer Mondo # Price
Boyhood (HD) Best Buy Canada #002 $25
Nightcrawler (HD) SOLD
Ghost in the Shell (HD) Best Buy #018 $15
It (HD) #022 $30
Friday the 13th (HD) #023 $25
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (HD) #025 $50
Justice League (HD) #026 $25
300 (HD) #028 $25
Wreck-It-Ralph (HD) Zavvi #034 $30
Avengers (4K) FNAC #039 $35
Doctor Strange (4K) Zavvi #041 $45
Black Panther (4K) FNAC #042 $40
Captain America: The First Avenger (4K) Zavvi #043 $40
Thor (4K) Zavvi #045 $40
Ant-Man (4K) Zavvi #047 $40
Iron Man 2 (4K) SOLD
Blade Runner: 2049 (4K) FNAC #049 $100
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (4K) Zavvi #050 $40
Thor: The Dark World (4K) Zavvi #051 $40
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (4K) Zavvi #052 $40
Avengers: Age of Ultron (4K) Zavvi #053 $40
Avengers: Infinity War (4K) SOLD
Avengers: Endgame (4K) SOLD
4K SteelBooks (Individual Movies) (
Title Retailer Price
21 & 22 Jump Street Best Buy $30
300 Best Buy $65
3:10 to Yuma Best Buy $20
Air Force One Best Buy $25
Alien Covenant Best Buy $20
Almost Famous Best Buy $45
Animal House Best Buy $25
Apollo 13 Best Buy $40
Baby Driver Best Buy $30
Babylon Best Buy $30
Beauty and the Beast (1991) Best Buy $50
Beetlejuice Best Buy $40
Blade Runner: The Final Cut Zavvi $60
Bloodshot Best Buy $30
The Blues Brothers Best Buy $45
The Bourne Complete Collection Best Buy $60
Boyz N the Hood Best Buy $60
Brave Best Buy $25
A Bug's Life Best Buy $45
Bullet Train Best Buy $30
Bumblebee Best Buy $30
Carlito's Way Best Buy $30
Cinderella (2017) SOLD
A Clockwork Orange Best Buy $30
Cold Pursuit Zavvi $50
Coming to America Best Buy $15
The Dark Tower Best Buy $15
Deadpool 2 Best Buy $20
The Deer Hunter Zavvi $40
District 9 Best Buy $45
Downton Abbey Best Buy $15
Dracula Best Buy $25
Dune (1984) Zavvi $35
Dune (2021) Best Buy $35
Edge of Tomorrow Best Buy $55
Encanto Best Buy $40
Ex Machina Zavvi $40
Frankenstein Best Buy $30
Free Guy Best Buy $35
Forrest Gump Best Buy $40
Gattaca Best Buy $25
Gemini Man Best Buy $15
Ghost in the Shell (1995) Best Buy $20
Gladiator Best Buy $100
Godzilla (1998) Best Buy $25
The Good Dinosaur SOLD
Goodfellas Best Buy $70
The Goonies Best Buy $50
Grease Best Buy $45
The Green Mile Best Buy $30
Groundhog Day SOLD
Hacksaw Ridge SOLD
Heat Best Buy $50
Home Alone Best Buy $40
Howard the Duck Best Buy $35
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) Best Buy $80
The Hurt Locker Best Buy $30
I Am Legend Zavvi $45
Inception Best Buy $80
Inglorious Basterds Best Buy $25
Inside Out Best Buy $35
Interstellar Best Buy $65
The Invisible Man (1933) Zavvi $25
The Invisible Man (2020) Best Buy $25
It (2017) Best Buy $25
It's a Wonderful Life Best Buy $20
Jaws Best Buy $35
Joker Best Buy $40
The Jungle Book (2016) SOLD
Jungle Cruise Best Buy $25
Kick-Ass Best Buy $35
King Kong (2005) Best Buy $30
Knives Out Best Buy $50
La La Land Best Buy $20
Last Action Hero Best Buy $25
The Last Duel FNAC $85
Lawrence of Arabia SOLD
Léon: The Professional Best Buy $65
Lightyear Best Buy $25
The Little Mermaid Zavvi $45
Logan Zavvi $50
Looper Zavvi $45
Luca Best Buy $55
Mad Max: Fury Road Best Buy $55
Mary Poppins Returns Best Buy $20
The Meg Best Buy $15
Mission Impossible: Fallout Best Buy $20
Moana Best Buy $30
Moonfall Best Buy $25
Morbius Best Buy $25
Mortal Engines Zavvi $20
The New Mutants Zavvi $40
Nightmare Alley Best Buy $35
Nope Best Buy $25
The Northman Zavvi $55
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Best Buy $15
Oblivion $75
Ocean's 8 Best Buy $15
Old Best Buy $15
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Best Buy $20
Onward Best Buy $60
Parasite Zavvi $35
Passengers Best Buy $35
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Best Buy $15
Pokémon Detective Pikachu Best Buy $30
Pulp Fiction (Brand New) Best Buy $35
The Princess and the Frog Best Buy $30
The Punisher Best Buy $40
Ratatouille Best Buy $70
Raya and the Last Dragon Best Buy $50
Rear Window Best Buy $35
Red Sparrow Best Buy $30
Requiem For a Dream Best Buy $40
Reservoir Dogs Best Buy $20
Robocop (1987) Best Buy $45
Rocketman Best Buy $15
Saving Private Ryan SOLD
Saw (2004) Best Buy $30
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World SOLD
The Secret Life of Pets 2 Best Buy $15
The Shape of Water Best Buy $55
The Shawshank Redemption Best Buy $45
Schindler's List Best Buy $40
Shooter Best Buy $15
Shrek Best Buy $40
Shutter Island Best Buy $35
Sing Best Buy $20
Skyscraper Best Buy $20
Soul Best Buy $60
Spartacus Best Buy $65
Speed Best Buy $60
Spies in Disguise Best Buy $20
The Spine of Night Best Buy $15
A Star is Born Best Buy $40
The Sting Best Buy $25
Super 8 Best Buy $25
Tangled Best Buy $65
The Ten Commandments Best Buy $25
Tenet Best Buy $20
The Thing $50
Total Recall Best Buy $35
The Town Best Buy $70
True Romance Best Buy $20
Turning Red Best Buy $20
The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent Best Buy $35
Unbreakable Best Buy $40
Uncharted Best Buy $25
Unforgiven Zavvi $40
Universal Soldier Best Buy $20
Us Best Buy $20
Vertigo Best Buy $35
Wall-E Best Buy $100
War of the Worlds SOLD
Warrior Best Buy $20
West Side Story Best Buy $25
Who Framed Roger Rabbit Zavvi $40
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory $35
The Wizard of Oz Best Buy $70
The Wolf Man (1941) Best Buy $15
The Wolf of Wall Street Best Buy $15
Zootopia Best Buy $25
Regular Blu-ray SteelBooks (
Title Retailer Price
The Breakfast Club Best Buy $15
Cinderella Best Buy $15
Django Unchained Best Buy $15
Ex Machina Zavvi $45
Plaines, Trains, and Automobiles Best Buy $15
TV Show SteelBooks (
Title Retailer Price
Chernobyl (4K) Best Buy $70
House of the Dragon S1 (4K) Best Buy $35
Westworld S2 (4K) Best Buy $55
Westworld S3 (4K) Best Buy $55
submitted by alurry to SteelbookSwap [link] [comments]

2023.05.27 02:28 brophy87 I'm a 19 year old transit fan who got carried away making a Skytrain fantasy map for art media portfolio. pls help

I'm a 19 year old transit fan who got carried away making a Skytrain fantasy map for art media portfolio. pls help submitted by brophy87 to SurreyBC [link] [comments]

2023.05.27 01:17 Mewpup I'm a 19 year old transit fan who got carried away making a Skytrain fantasy map for art media portfolio. pls help

I'm a 19 year old transit fan who got carried away making a Skytrain fantasy map for art media portfolio. pls help submitted by Mewpup to vancouver [link] [comments]

2023.05.26 23:57 cyclingtrivialities2 Cabin Fever to Leave Ohio — Full Relo or Somewhere for Part of Year

I have lived in Columbus, OH my whole life (34M). My family is here but I struggle a lot with the cold/grey/snow winters. I have a great house, very affordable mortgage and putting away a ton of money, but I don’t feel like I’m actually getting to enjoy life and have felt that way about Columbus since well before the pandemic. I have done what there is to do here.
I am trying to figure out if I should relocate fully, or if a way to spend part of the year elsewhere would scratch my itch and be plausible + as or more affordable.
Working remotely at $170k/yr (job is based in DMV), I have to live on US soil but otherwise can be wherever. Generally the west coast appeals much more to me.
Size: If I were relocating fully, I would want to be in a walkable area but not the metropolis. I’m thinking a smaller city or quieter neighborhood in a larger metro. I am a serious-ish gardener, so not looking for “land” but somewhere that space for a small garden is affordable. If I were merely testing out a place for winter months I could be more flexible… but regardless no high rises for me.
Politics: strongly left leaning, but tolerant of a blue bubble/red state situation.
Wants: Solid food and drink (but bib gourmand and breweries/wineries more-so than 3-star Michelin); ~1hr access to live music/pro sports venues; better trails and more scenic for outdoor activities than Ohio; more than 175 non-gloomy days per year especially winter; arts/culture (but same or more than Cbus is ok)
Places I have visited and especially enjoyed: San Diego, Sebastopol, Seattle/Kitsap WA, Portland, Bend, Asheville, Burlington VT, Richmond
submitted by cyclingtrivialities2 to SameGrassButGreener [link] [comments]

2023.05.26 22:48 Nera7 ChatGPT did it better than Eric Wallace (low bar though)

Title: "The Flash: Lightning's Legacy"
Barry Allen, aka The Flash, stands face-to-face with his arch-nemesis, Eobard Thawne, the Reverse-Flash. The room crackles with tension as the two speedsters exchange intense gazes.

Thawne, it ends here. No more games, no more running. It's time to pay for everything you've done.

Oh, Barry, always the idealist. You can never defeat me. I am the reverse of everything you stand for.

Barry's determination intensifies, and a surge of energy radiates from his body. He taps into the Speed Force, his powers magnified by his love for his friends, family, and the people of Central City.

You're wrong, Thawne. Love is my strength, my motivation. It's what gives me the power to protect those I care about.

They charge at each other, their lightning-quick punches and kicks creating shockwaves that shake the lab. The battle rages through the streets of Central City, with the two speedsters blurring in and out of sight.


Barry and Thawne face off, the city skyline stretching out before them. Thunder rumbles ominously in the distance.

You can't stop me, Barry. I will always be one step ahead of you. Time itself bends to my will!

No, Thawne. This is where it ends. For both of us.

Suddenly, a bolt of lightning streaks down from the sky, striking Barry. The energy courses through his body, his suit glowing brighter than ever before. It's as if the Speed Force itself is choosing him.

BARRY (cont'd)
I finally understand, Thawne. The lightning that gave me my powers, the lightning that changed my life in 2014... it wasn't random. It was destiny.

With newfound resolve, Barry runs circles around Thawne, creating a whirlwind of energy. The vortex grows stronger and brighter, engulfing them both.


Barry and Thawne find themselves trapped in the ethereal realm of the Speed Force. Lightning crackles and dances around them, forming intricate patterns.

Thawne, I've seen the devastation you've caused throughout time. The pain and suffering you've inflicted. But I won't let you continue your reign of terror.

You can't defeat me, Barry. I'm your destiny, your greatest adversary.

No, Thawne. My destiny is greater than you. I've always fought to save people, to inspire hope. And now, I'll sacrifice myself to protect everyone from your darkness.

Barry charges at Thawne with blinding speed, pushing him back into a swirling portal. The energy engulfs them, merging them into a single, bright stream of light.


The portal materializes above Star Labs, radiating a brilliant, blinding light. The citizens of Central City look up in awe and confusion as the energy cascades down, enveloping the entire city.

Suddenly, a shockwave of energy spreads through the city, restoring buildings, mending broken infrastructure, and erasing the scars of past battles. The citizens watch in amazement as Central City undergoes a transformation.
Iris West-Allen, Cisco Ramon, Caitlin Snow, and Joe West stand in the main lab, witnessing the energy surge.

Barry... what's happening?

I don't know, but it feels... it feels like he's saving us all.

The energy dissipates, revealing a new lightning bolt insignia embedded into the floor. It glows with a sense of tranquility and hope.


Central City thrives as a vibrant metropolis, its citizens living in harmony and safety. The sun shines down, casting a warm glow over the rejuvenated city.


Iris, Cisco, Caitlin, and Joe stand in front of the lightning bolt insignia, a memorial to Barry's sacrifice.

He saved us all, changed our lives for the better. The Flash will always be with us.

They share a solemn yet grateful moment, their hearts filled with the memory of their beloved hero.


As the screen pans to a thunderstorm brewing in the sky, a voiceover echoes, filled with Barry's enduring legacy:

No matter where life takes you, remember that heroes are not defined by their powers, but by their willingness to sacrifice for the greater good. I may be gone, but the spark of hope I ignited will never fade. Central City, you'll always be safe in my lightning's legacy.

Suddenly a lightning bolt emerges from the clouds striking Barry at CCPD in 2014, giving him the powers he needed to defeat Thawne.

submitted by Nera7 to FlashTV [link] [comments]


Hello All,
I just want to know what people think. I also include a link to it below.




Rowan saunters down the sidewalk. Her black dog sniffs and pulls its leash toward the verges. She heels, stops, and follows her dog. The dog sporadically loops, circling a piece of trash in the grass. Its nose in the grass likens a vacuum sniffing everything, taking it all in.

“Simon, come on!” She tugs the leash, and he follows.

She readies herself, wrapping his leash around her wrist, and eases into the street, looking both ways before crossing. She unwraps the leash from her wrist.

Temporarily, I lose sight of her as she stops behind a tree. Cautiously and carefully I follow her, making sure to stay out of sight.

“Simon, come on poop!” Her dog ignores her request and pees.

Irritation reflects on her face as she nods her head, rolls her eyes, pulls her phone from her pocket, and starts to type away. This was an opening for me. Keeping her in my crosshairs, I cross the street behind her. The digital clicks from her typing is all I could hear as I close in.

Simon stops, turns, and stares right at me. Rowan’s stroll comes to a stop. Surely, she would turn around and see me, but she never so much as glances up from her phone. Instead of advancing toward her, I pause, making sure that her dog was not going to lunge at me. Simon stares at me but doesn’t make a move, and I return the favor by slowly loosening my grip on the knife that I hold in my hoodie pocket.

Nevertheless, for a brief moment, Simon’s eyes lock with mine. Cute as he is, I am ready and willing to slit his throat without any hesitation. It doesn’t surprise me when Simon suddenly lays down on the ground, rolls over onto his back, and wags his tail in submission. This confirms to me that he will not be a problem whatsoever.

Rowan stands in the middle of the sidewalk, but this doesn’t matter because I already know what I am going to do. Walking up to her, I tap and gently stroke her arm in one swift motion.

“Excuse me,” I say while continuing forward.

I never turn around to look at her. It is clear she’s startled, and I love every part of it. She turns to look at her dog, rubbing the area I touched. Her eyes were on me, burning a hole in my back. I welcome her fear, as I want more than anything to catch her off-guard. In the meantime mission accomplished. In the long run, the mission is underway.

Strolling to the end of the street, I change directions, turning around the corner. She takes her eyes off me, but I keep my eyes on her. She puts her phone away and turns around to head in the opposite direction. Using the night as cover, I stick to the shadows, while walking alongside the cars parked on the street. Simon’s leash clinks against his collar, and I fixate on this as it allows me to know if I am too close. Ten feet is all I need to keep between myself and her. Pulling down my baseball cap to cover my face, I gaze around a parked car, watching her.

Rowan makes her way back to the end of the street before stopping at the last house on the corner, opening the metal gate, and walking in.

Now I know where you live.

I make my way back to my truck, feeling satisfied.

Taking my time, being patient, and waiting for the perfect opportunity is something that I pride myself on, especially when it comes to my women. In order to be patient, I focus on the end result, the end result is that I will get what I want. I always get what I want. I focus all of my attention on making sure that when I take them, I’m prepared so that it lasts. This is what being an exceptional lover is all about. One has to make sacrifices and compromises. One has to be patient.

See, I’m not a selfish man. I want to know everything about my women. I’m all ears. As a matter of fact, I have been told that I’m the perfect listener. Listening is one of my strong suits. I won’t interrupt you. I’ll stay attentive, remain focused, and I’ll make sure to remember everything you tell me so that you will never have to repeat yourself.

Please open up to me, tell me everything about you.

This is what women want to hear. This is what makes them feel comfortable enough to tell it all. My need to know who they are feeds my deepest, darkest needs. They can rely on me in their time of need. Please feel free to tell me everything, because I can’t get enough of it. I want to know who they love, who is close to them, who visits them, and who they like. I need to know what kinds of things they enjoy, and what they do in their free time.

When I decide the day and time that we finally meet, my women will get the opportunity to see me, all of me. They will need me, rely on me. They will scream out for me. They will remember my name and everything that I choose to share with them. They will worship me. They will give all of themselves to me.

My methods are strict, these methods I designed and I follow to the letter. I had a few mishaps occur when I was younger, dumber, and lacked any discipline. When I was younger it never dawned on me, how many problems can pop up, and situations you could find yourself in. Especially without proper planning, structure, and rules.

Following my methods allows me to avoid many of the annoying predicaments, and dilemmas such as falling asleep and then waking up to find that my woman has escaped, the cops wake me up or are on their way, or worse my woman ends up taking the opportunity to take me out of this world.

Recently, I saw this news story, of this serial rapist who kidnapped this lady and took her to his private rape, torture, and killing house. The guy proceeds to chain up this lady, and then being so excited to dominate her and stick his dick in her, he forgets to fully lock the padlock he uses to keep the chains on her. The dumb shit rapes her in every hole she was born with, and then right after passes out.

The lady gets free, and he doesn’t even so much as wrestle or move in his sleep. The woman quietly creeps all the way to the front door, when she realizes that he may wake up, see that she has escaped, and get the hell out of dodge long before she can run out of this hell hole and find someone to call the police. She decides right then and there that she had to find a way to stop this rapist.

She searches around and finds a landline phone sitting right there in his filthy kitchen. She phones 911, tells the operator she was kidnaped and raped and to come quick, because she doesn’t know where she is, and her kidnapper is waking up and he might be coming to find her. She tells the operator that she needs to hide before he sees her, and she leaves the phone off the hook.

The truth is the lady never hides, instead, she creeps back down into the basement, where her rapist is still snoring and sleeping the best sleep of his life. She picks up the chain that he tied her up with and she proceeds to gently wrap it around his neck so as not to wake him. Once she got it around his neck she then makes sure to relive her rape trauma, by yanking, pulling, and tightening the chains, so they are taut around his throat. She ends up strangling him with the very chains he attempted to lock her up with.

This is what happens when you cave to your desires and have no discipline, you end up a strangled, now dead, fat and out of shape, serial rapist, naked, dick in the dirt, and face down in your own rape den. I definitely have better plans for my future than meeting my end like that.

In order to continue feeding my desires undetected: I Remain in the background, make it a point to know everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, about my prey.

The most basic information is obvious:

What’s their favorite color, song, movie, and book? What do they eat, do they like takeout, and if so what's their favorite takeout restaurant? Where do they shop, and what grocery store do they frequent? Do they exercise, what gym do they attend, where is it located, and how often do they exercise? Where do they work, when do they work, where is their work located? Are they in school, and if so what is the name of the school, and where is located?

Are they religious, what is their denomination, do they go to church, and if so what is it named and where is it located? What bars do they visit, what is your favorite bar, how often do they visit them, and where are they located?

Do they have friends, and if so how many friends, what are their friend's names, ages, and addresses, and what cars do they drive, how often does she visit her friends, and how often do they visit her? Do they have a family? Who do they hold dear? How many people worry about them when they are away?

Now for the more personal details, I want to know the things they don’t share on a typical date such as:

What products do they use? What are their habits, do they have a routine? When do they begin, and end menstruating? How often do they have sex, how often do they pleasure themselves, what's their body count, what are their fantasies, what turns them on? What are their wants and Needs? What are their secrets, and fears?

Where do they live, do they have security, do they have an alarm system, do they leave their windows locked or unlocked, are all of their doors locked, or are any unlocked, do they have a spare key, and if so where do they keep it? What does the interior of their home look like, how many bedrooms do they have, how is their furniture arranged, do they have a secret place in their house, what part of their home do they spend most of their time in, where is their bedroom, what do they wear when they are asleep, what are they wearing beneath, do they sleep naked?

Do they have a safe, do they own a gun, and if so do they know how to shoot it? Do they know self-defense, can they fight, do they have any tools near them that they can use against me? What car do they drive, what's their license plate number? What time do they usually come home, and what time do they tend to leave? When they are not at home, where are they, and when they leave where are they going?

All of this information is my number one priority. The answers to these questions bring me closer to them. They don’t know it yet, but they will give all of themselves to me. They will call me their master, and they will love doing it. They will crave it, and I will reign over them, and dominate over them, down to the very breath that they take. This thrills and excites me, this feeds my deepest needs and takes a front seat in my mind.


My eyes open to Simon anxiously licking my face to wake me up.

“Okay, okay, I’m up, I’m up.” Petting his back to calm him, Simon begins whimpering.

This was routine, the same time every day. Simon would wake me up at 6:00 am crack ass of dawn, all because he needs to go to the bathroom.

“This is why you should have pooped last night when I walked you,”

Simon’s puppy dog eyes lay fixed on me as he lays down on my bed patiently waiting for me to get up. I glance over to my phone that's charging on my bedside table. Sitting up and pulling my legs from beneath the warm and cozy duvet and onto the floor I feel the cold wooden floor beneath my feet. This change in temperature sends a tremble up my foot, into my spine, and I shudder. This cold chill forces me to rub my arms, in an attempt to keep them warm.

Oh my God, it’s freezing.

My long cardigan lay at the bottom of my bed, I took it and put it on. Tying the sweater closed, I slip into a pair of Uggs and gather his collar and leash.

“Come On Simon, let's go.” He jumps off of my bed towards me.

I pick up my phone, disconnect the charging cable, and drop my phone into my pocket.

Simon runs down the hall to the front door, his paws clicking on the caramel color floor. I grab my keys from the table in the foyer, unlock my front door, and walk out, remembering to close and lock it behind me.

My bedroom chill had nothing on the temperature outside, it was that time in the morning when the sun would rise over the horizon, and the heat would push down the cold air. My teeth start the melody of chattering, and I clench my jaws tight to stop it.

“Okay Simon, let's go” He hops in excitement.

Leading him down the front stoop, we make our way out the black metal gate to the sidewalk. The street is completely empty of people, yet nothing but parked cars can be seen lining both cross streets as far as I could see.

It was way too cold outside to do the long walk, which consisted of walking down the block, and back

.“Simon,” Simon looks up at me.

“We aren’t going to do a whole walk this morning, cause it’s freezing, and not all of us have a fur coat on.”

We make our way five houses down. Simon walks off the sidewalk into the verges, as he sniffs the grass.. He quickly picks a suitable spot and squats.

“And why couldn’t you do this last night?” His puppy dog eyes look up at me.

He finishes and is pleased with himself. He hops off the grass and faces the direction of home. I tear off a poop bag and bend down to pick it up when I could feel Simon tug on his leash. This was typical of Simon, he will see something focus on it, and continue to fixate.

“Simon leave it! Stop tugging! Sit! Stay!”

I wanted nothing more than to be back in the warmth of my comfy bed. Although the idea pleased me, I knew this was unlikely to happen, because I would have to get ready for work. I pick up Simon's droppings and toss them into the dog waste bin.

“Come on, let's go.”

Heading back to my house, I see Julia, my neighbor making her way out her front door.

“Good Morning Julia” I wave.

Julia returns a smile before saying, “Hey Rowan, Good morning girl.”

The gate swings shut, and I bend down removing Simon's collar and leash. He runs up to the porch and I follow, Simon begins nudging at something he sees on the porch. At first, I couldn’t tell exactly what it was, and I thought it was trash. As I walked onto the porch I realized what it was, it was a present.

“Simon! Stop it! No! Get away from it!”

Tugging him back, I wrap his leash around my wrist, and I pick up the small gift-wrapped box. The wrapping paper that covered the box was red and silver, with a miniature shiny red bow mounted onto the top. A tiny white card was taped beneath it. Opening the card, I read what it said.


This is kept blank, I continue to read.

To: 12351 Glen Haven Drive, West Hollywood 90069

Huh, that's weird...When did this get here?... Very interesting...I didn’t know anyone delivered this early.

Slipping the small wrapped box in my pocket, I felt for my house keys and pulled them out. Unlocking and opening the door Simon ran inside the house and made his way to the cookie cabinet. Closing and locking the door behind me, I sat my house keys and the small present on the table.

Simon excitedly jumps up before sitting down and patiently waiting for his treat.

“Good Boy!” I opened the cookie jar, pulled two small cookie treats out, and closed the Jar.

“Okay Simon, be your teeth,” I said as I held out his treats.

Simon gently bit down on the cookies, making his way over to his dog bed wolfing them down.

My phone vibrates and music begins to play, I reach into my pocket, pull my phone out, and stare at the screen. My wake-up alarm notification had begun. It was already 7:00 am, I turn off and close the alarm app, and move to my bedroom, making sure that I plug my phone back onto the charger. It was already time to start my morning routine to get ready for work.

Making sure not to overlook anything, I always pre-pack my bag the night before. I have also made a checklist that every morning, I compare in order to make sure I wasn’t forgetting things that would make me spiral out.

Things to remember before leaving is the title.

* Make sure to have your house keys.
* Make sure to have your car keys.
* Make sure to have your phone
* Make sure to have your wallet
- Have your I.D.
- Have Cash
- Have You Gas Card
- Have Your Debit Card
- Have your Credit Card.
- If Starting a New Job Have Social Security Card.
* Make sure to have your laptop and accessories.
* Make sure Simon has food and water.
* Make sure you leave the house key so that the dog walker can take Simon for his walks while you are at work.
* Leave cash on the table near the front door for the dog walker.
* Make sure to leave an emergency number for the dog walker to contact.

End of list.

This was a list that my psychologist recommended for me when I was diagnosed with adult ADHD.

Remembering back, my psychologist's words were so careful. It was as though he were speaking to someone who was hard of hearing. Every word he spoke was wide-mouth pronounced and a bit exaggerated. It was as if he needed to hammer his advice into my frontal lobe in the event that I was distracted.


I made sure to check my wallet for all my cards…Done. Got my laptop and accessories…Done. Car keys in hand…Done. Phone in hand…Done. Spare house key for the dog walker, that should be in the fake rock out front…Done. Money on the table for the dog walker…Done. Emergency contact number for dog walker…Done. House keys?

I checked my pocket, there was nothing but my wallet. Sitting my laptop bag on the floor. Strolling into the living room I check Simon's cookie cabinet. They weren’t there. Progressing to the kitchen searching for my house keys, I glance over to Simon's water and food bowl.

Okay, Simon has food and water…Done. Now where are my house keys?

Scanning the countertops, my house keys weren’t in sight, I moved to my bedroom. My long cardigan lay across the bottom of my bed, I picked it up checking my pockets.

Bingo found them...Wow, my ADHD is already starting up.

Grasping my house keys, I pull them out of my cardigan and drop them into my blazer pocket. Returning to the foyer, I pick up my laptop bag, and sling it over my shoulder. I glance back at the list to make sure I don’t miss anything. Satisfied, I grab the small wrapped present off the table and leave, making sure to shut and lock the door behind me.
submitted by IAmJacksMeglamania to WritersGroup [link] [comments]

2023.05.26 07:26 Owlbear27 [TotK] just isn’t hitting right

I loved the first 30 or so hours of this game, and then I took a break. I put a bunch of time into Xenoblade Chronicles 3 to finally get close to the end, I played a bunch of Horizon: Forbidden West, hell…I read half of 11/23/63 by Stephen King. All of that was in the last 7 days and I finally went back to Zelda and it felt so same-y.
I want to love this game like I loved Breath of the Wild…I spent 100 hours in that game in like 3 weeks…I played it nonstop and I hold that gaming experience in a special place in my heart because I bought my first video game console to play that game…6 years later, Tears of the Kingdom just isn’t doing it for me. It feels like it was a quick asset flip of Breath of the Wild…but it wasn’t. If it had released less than 5 years after, it might have an excuse for not feeling like a new experience…but I played this game like 2 weeks after I binged Jedi: Survivor…and I liked the Star Wars game more. I can’t believe I live in a world where a Star Wars game is beating Zelda for my personal game of the year…
The first 30 hours were really fun, but they felt the same as the game that came out 6 years ago…I know the core abilities are different, but today I found myself running to buy heat resistant armor before I burnt to death and then running and climbing to get a shrine, then I climbed the wall of a maze to get a vantage point to scope out the path to the shrine and it struck me that I had done all of this before…I got struck by the feeling that I wanted to play Skyward Sword instead…Skyward Sword!
I guess I’m just sad. We’ll have to wait another 6-7 years to get a new Zelda that doesn’t just reuse the same land mass, mechanics, and art style…I don’t even know if Metroid Prime 4 is coming out anymore, so it just feels like my love of Nintendo has finally been snuffed out…at least Xenoblade 3 is good, but Jesus Christ, they better have something better to show for the next 7 years of work
submitted by Owlbear27 to truezelda [link] [comments]

2023.05.25 22:47 always-editing All The Callbacks I Noticed in Season 3, Episode 11 (with Timestamps)

HUGE fan of the show here! I think this episode had more callbacks than any other we’ve seen before! Let me know if I missed any!
00:58 - Ted passes Ms. Barnaby on the street. She is the same woman that was bidding on the Richmond players in Season 1’s fundraiser episode.
04:24 - Ted’s mom grabs the open peanut butter on the counter.
09:26 - Ted corrects his mom’s story to Rebecca and mentions Ronnie Fowch. That was the same kid that Ted said made him eat a candy bar made of poop, which his mom references right after this.
10:26 - A bunch of trick plays are written on the whiteboard. Callback to the episode where they all suggest different trick plays with hilarious names.
12:45 - Obvious callback to Will usually being in the background of all the emotional moments in the boot room.
13:49 - Roy tells Ted that it’s none of his fucking business what he’s leaving to do. Reminds me of what Roy said in the press conference in response to why Isaac did what he did when he fought the fan in the stand.
14:45 - Keely and Barbara’s desks are pushed together like Ted and Beard’s.
15:45 - Barbara uses the word “boot” to describe a car’s trunk. Callback to one of the first episodes when Ted is learning all the ways you can use the word “boot” in English slang.
26:35 - Having the team watch a rom com is a callback to the episode in season 2 that was written and edited like a romantic comedy. Ted says he believes in “rom communism”, they quote a bunch of rom coms, and then Roy dramatically leaves his job as a pundit to go coach for Richmond. Also, Higgins sobbing at the movie is literally me every episode of this show.
28:19 - Same exact big CGI blue moon from the Beard After Hours episode. The Manchester City anthem is titled “Blue Moon” and we hear it at 40:07.
30:30 - We meet Jamie’s mom who he references in the episode where they break the curse in season 1. He also mentions her in the Amsterdam episode this season.
36:17 - I love that Jamie’s mom says, “Yeah, your dad will be in the stands tomorrow, pissed out of his head, rooting against you.” And then we find out that he’s not drunk in the stands, he’s sober in rehab, and he’s proud watching his son.
36:44 - Jamie’s mom calls him her “sexy little baby”. Jamie called himself a sexy little baby in season 1.
38:33 - Jamie’s mom tells him she doesn’t care if they lose by 10 goals, she just wants him to be happy. Which is basically exactly how Jamie describes his mom in the episode where they break the curse.
39:25 - Clear callback of Keely on the TV at every hotel they go to. Last time she was overly excited about kettlebells, this time - yoga mats!!
43:27 - Higgins worried about jinxing the team is a callback to the episode earlier this season when Rebecca accuses him of jinxing the Zava situation. She was worried that Leslie jinxed it and that Zava would join Rupert at West Ham.
47:50 - This dialogue between Nate and his boss reminds me of the dialogue between Shandi and Keely. They both are about to get fired, obviously for opposite reasons. Shandi asks, “Am I getting a raise?” and Nate asks, “Am I getting promoted?”.
50:00 - Ted gives advice to Jamie that forgiving his dad would be giving something to himself. Doctor Sharon helped Ted realize this about his own father. Ted said he hated his dad for quitting on him and his mom, but he forgave his dad to give himself peace.
51:27 - Jamie is the “shite in nine-ing armor” once again as predicted by the psychic. Also, this is probably reaching but I noticed that Van Dame’s number is 81, 8 + 1 = 9. And Van Dame is equally to thank for the team’s win! Reaching even more here, but behind the coaches is a sign for the seating numbered 126. 6+2+1 also equals 9. Even farther reach, but we saw that Roy's number was 6 on the poster in Jamie's childhood bedroom. And 6 is just an upside down 9, they really are one and the same in so many ways. Okay, I also just noticed this, but why is Jamie not wearing any shin guards??
53:09 - Not a callback, but is anyone else dying to know what Roy whispered to Jamie??
54:05 - Man City’s coach quotes exactly what Ted told Trent at the Indian restaurant in Season 1.
1:00:28 - I can’t remember exactly what was said about Les Mis a couple of episodes ago by Dani but I remember it was definitely referenced.
1:01:14 - Nate asks Beard if he wants to headbutt him to make them feel better. Nate asks Roy this same thing after he reveals he kissed Keely while shopping for suits.
1:02:49 - Ted now uses Jamie’s words from earlier in the episode now. By expressing his simultaneous anger and gratitude towards his mother. Fuck you, and thank you.
1:05:25 - In the Amsterdam episode, Ted says he needs to do something different to get himself out of his own head. One of the examples he suggests is drinking wine and yelling at his mom.
1:06:57 - Sunflower bread is a callback to the “Sunflowers” episode this season. Also, it is the Kansas state flower as Ted explained in that episode. Ted takes a bite of it and is transported back home. In Season 1, he asks Rebecca if there is a certain food that transports you back home, and she looks at the biscuits Ted brought her. Also, I noticed Ted is wearing a KC shirt before the game, and now he is wearing a Kansas City BBQ shirt. Early in the episode, Beard is wearing a Kansas City hat, and then we see Ted play the Wizard of Oz pinball game. Later, he hears “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” during the movie night.
1:07:58 - I know we’ve seen this exact dress on Rebecca before but I cannot remember when. Let me know if you can place it!
1:09:06 - The end credits are to “Home” by Diana Ross. It comes from a 1978 film adaption of The Wizard of Oz called The Wiz where Diana played Dorothy. The lyrics say, “When I think of home, I think of a place / Where there's love overflowing / I wish I was home, I wish I was back there / With the things I been knowing / Wind that makes the tall grass bend into leaning / Suddenly the raindrops that fall have a meaning / Sprinklin' the scene, makes it all clean / Maybe there's a chance for me to go back there / Now that I have some direction / It would sure be nice to be back home / Where there's love and affection / And just maybe I can convince time to slow up / Giving me enough time in my life to grow up / Time be my friend, let me start again / Suddenly my world has changed it's face / But I still know where I'm going / I have had my mind spun around in space / And yet I've watched it growing”. What a PERFECT track to send us off into the finale!! Ted is obviously our Dorothy. I feel like Roy is the Tin Man because he gained his heart, and Nate is the Lion because he gains his courage. I’m not sure who the Scarecrow would be though!
I’d love to discuss more in the comments below!
submitted by always-editing to TedLasso [link] [comments]

2023.05.25 22:00 tr0lcho_420 Started collecting almost a year ago

Started collecting almost a year ago submitted by tr0lcho_420 to Cd_collectors [link] [comments]

2023.05.25 19:06 clearliquidclearjar TALLAHASSEE WEEKLY EVENTS, 5/25 – 5/31

Events are listed by the day. Events that happen every week appear first, one time stuff after that. If you have anything you’d like people to know about, comment here or message me and I’ll add it in. If you’d like further info about any of the events, look it up! I usually don’t have any extra to add.
Large Scale, Ongoing, and Multi-Day Events
Local Running, Walking, and Biking Info:
OutdooFarmer’s Markets:
  • My Favorite Books: Zine Workshop with Author JSK. Looking for a fun way to explore your creativity? This zine workshop will inspire you with writing prompts to create a short poem and then teach you how to create your very own zine. Zines are a compact and inexpensive way to share your voice with the world. All you need to bring is a notebook (or computer or Notes app on your phone if that’s your jam), a favorite writing utensil, and a curious heart. We'll provide the other supplies you'll need. If it would be helpful if you let us know that you're coming! 5:30pm
  • Common Ground Books: Literary Open Mic Night. Join us for our monthly literary open mic night! This is the perfect safe space to share the poetry or fiction you’ve been working on. 6pm
  • Midtown Reader: Story Slam: Taking Root. Join us Thursday, 5/25 at 7 pm to hear the winners of our Taking Root-themed Story Slam read their works! 7pm
  • Blue Tavern: Free Jazz Thursday with the Longineu Parsons Trio. 8pm
  • Fire Bettys: Michal Menert (formerly of Pretty Lights) and Arms and Sleepers. 8pm/18+
  • The Bark: Queer Ren Faire Dance Party featuring music from Nervis, The Bishop, Box Test, and Old Creepy. 8pm
FRIDAY, 5/26
  • Lake Tribe: Flannel Friday. Flannel Fridays will be featuring a wide range of fall themed 'Pop-up' activities such as food trucks, live music, campfires, s'mores roasting, new seasonal brews, and more! Come dawn your flannel and cozy up to the simpler things in life. Our beers taste like the outdoors feel, let our tasting room be your Friday cabin retreat. 4pm
  • Gamescape: MTG Friday Night Magic. FORMAT: Standard Constructed. Swiss rounds as determined by the number of players with a maximum of 5 rounds. 7pm/$5
  • Hobbit West: Friday Night Dart Tournament. Anyone can Enter! Sign ups at 7:30, Darts fly at 8:00/$10 entry fee
  • Ouzts Too: Karaoke with DJ Nathan. Best karaoke DJ in town. 8pm
  • Club Downunder: CDU X Hip Hop Club Presents Freestyle Friday. Show off your freestyle rap or poetry skills at Freestyle Friday! Doors are at 7:30 with the show starting at 8:00 in Club Downunder! Send an email to [email protected] to sign up! 8pm
  • The Bar at La Casa: Karaoke with DJ FUSION. 9pm
  • Just One More: Karaoke with DJ Rah. 9pm-11pm/21+
  • 926: The Hot Friday Night Party and Drag Show. 9pm/$5/18+
  • Blue Tavern: Everett Young. 5pm
  • Hurricane: Upside Avenue. 6pm
  • Fish Camp: Trey Grauer. 6pm
  • Lake Tribe: One Eyed JAK. 6:30pm
  • Island Wings: Free Wheelin' Band. 7pm
  • Oyster City Brewing Co: Suckerdust. 7pm
  • Blue Tavern: Chris Seepersaud & Sasha Tuck. 7pm
  • Fire Bettys: Jazz Night featuring Dionysus and Langston Michael & Friends. 8pm
  • House of Music: Stephen Esteban LIVE 70s 80s 90s. 8pm
  • Crum Box Gastgarden: CACAH - Comedians Against Cards Against Humanity. In a combination of CAH and comedy, local comedians will be reading, joking about, and scoring each team's card submission, with prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place! This is an absolute blast and you don't want to miss it! 8pm
  • Blue Tavern: Bubbles Brown. 9pm
  • Brinkley Glen Park: Invasive Plant Removal. Join Master Gardener Volunteers at this weekly invasive plant removal event. This is a great way to learn to ID our invasive plant species and how to remove them. We recommend wearing long pants and sleeves, closed-toed shoes, gloves, a hat and mosquito spray. Bring gardening tools such as hand clippers, loppers, trowels, etc. if you have them. We are removing coral ardisia bushes and berries, nandina, tung trees, Tradescantia flumenensis, cat's claw vine, winged yam, Japanese climbing fern, skunkvine and more. Directions: The best way to get there is to take Meridian Rd to Waverly Rd, go to the next intersection and turn left onto Abbotsford Way, then turn left at the next road called Woodside Dr. At the stop sign turn left onto Lothian. Lothian ends in a cul-de-sac and there is a sign that says Brinkley Glen Park. 8:30am-11:30am
  • The Rose Room: The Rose Revue. Performances by your favorite entertainers and special guests! Shows at 8pm, 10pm, & Midnight! A unique cast EACH show! 7pm
  • Duke’s and Dottie’s: Line Dancing Plus Lessons. 7pm/21+
  • Bird’s Oyster Shack: Laughterday Night Fever. This week: Five Year Anniversary Laughterday Night Fever! Join us every Saturday at Bird's Aphrodisiac Oyster Shack for a free comedy show! 8:30pm
  • La Casa Bar: Karaoke With Nathan. 9pm-1am
  • House of Cars: Florida Super Student Celebration. House of Cars Florida is excited to honor Tallahassee's 2023 Super Students in their completion of a successful year! On Saturday, May 27th from 11 AM to 1 PM, Super Students can redeem a FREE mainline Hot Wheels car and pick a summer reading book to take home. Free books available from author, illustrator, and designer Rebekah Phillips, of Farlee and Friends, as well as other excellent children's books. Runnin' Buzz Bartending will be on-site with delicious kid-friendly mocktails to help kick off the celebration. All students, K-5th grade who have all A's and B's OR can show significant improvement in a class they were struggling in, are eligible to become a House of Cars Super Student! For example, if your student received a grade of C or lower in math (but maintained good grades in other classes during a prior 9-week) and improved their math grade to passing (or excelling!) will be considered. Please Note: All students must be accompanied by a guardian and show proof of report card to be eligible for prizes. Prizes can only be redeemed on Saturday, May 27, 2023 between 11 AM and 1 PM. Quantities are limited, and on a first-come basis. 11am-1pm
  • Fish Camp: Steven Ritter 1pm - 4pm and Salty's Saltwater Cowboy Band 5pm - 8pm
  • Cascades: The Hails with Sofia Camille. 7pm
  • Oyster City Brewing Co: Dominic Milner. 7pm
  • Square Mug: Geist, Spat, Lasso, Blazar, and Ideation. 7:30pm
  • The Bark: Mourning Station with Callie Flemming & The Fifth Wave and Speed Runner. 8pm
  • Lee Hall: Spotlight on Dance - 35th Anniversary. The annual Spotlight on Dance displays Pas De Vie Ballet's stunning diversity and effortless talent. Working with pieces that range from classical staples to contemporary originals, artistic director Natalia Botha and ballet master Charles Hagan have created breath-taking choreography to be performed by their dancers. 8pm
  • House of Music: NightShift. 8pm/$10
  • Fire Bettys: Local Forecast. 8pm/21+
  • 926: Medians, Loyal Customers, Ravenous Tanuki, and Chaos & The Crimson Wing. 8:30pm
SUNDAY, 5/28
  • Bicycle House: Sunday Ride. Ride at 10:30 AM from Bicycle House. We will ride the Cascades trail to the St Marks trail and down to Wakulla station and return, about 31 miles. Ride speed is 12 to 14 mph, with periodic regroups. Vernon Bailey is the ride leader. Vernon is a new CCC member who’s been biking for 50 years enjoys riding with small groups and weekend touring. 10am
  • Ology Northside: Ology Jazz Brunch. 11:30am
  • Gamescape: Pokémon League. Come learn, play, and trade with the Pokémon Trading Card Game and the Pokémon video games! We LOVE seeing new players, so come learn how to play! We play both the Trading Card Game and the Video Game casually and competitively. The store offers lots of different seating arrangements to meet our group's needs, as well as food, drinks, and Pokémon products for purchase. We are also hold regular, officially sanctioned tournaments for Pokémon Trading Card Game and Video Game Competitions! 2-4pm
  • Lake Tribe: Colby Scheib. 3pm
  • House of Music: Songwriter Sunday. Songwriters of Tallahassee hosted by Rachel Hillman. Bring your original songs on Sunday - sign up is at 4:30. No Cover Songs please - this is an event celebrating original music. Accompanists and Bands Welcome - you must be able to set up within two minutes, so no crazy pedals or amp shenanigans. No Backing Tracks - Please find someone to play your song with you. 5pm
  • The Plant: Open Jam. All instruments, all players welcome. 5pm-9pm
  • House of Music: Perkins Street Pickers. 5pm
  • Oyster City Brewing: Comedy Night. Come have some laughs with us on Sunday nights! If you are interested in participating in the show, reach out to [email protected] 7:30pm
  • The Rose Room: Synful Sunday. 8pm
  • Common Ground Books: May Story Hour. Come join us for our May Story Hour! This is a free family friendly event for all ages. There will be a free craft for kiddos and coffee and conversation for grown-ups. This month’s books: Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin and Weather Together (a Not Quite Narwhal book) by Jessie Sima. 2pm
  • Fish Camp: Far 2 Fresh. 3pm
  • Riverside Café (St Marks): Cottonmouth Perry & G.B. Hammond RiverDogs. 4pm
**MONDAY, 5/29
  • Just One More: Bingo. 5pm-6:30pm
  • American Legion Hall: Cha Cha - Weekly Lessons. 6:15pm/$5
  • Hangar 38: Bingo. 6:45pm
  • Vino Beano: Tipsy Trivia. 7pm
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  • American Legion Hall: Sue Boyd Country Western and More Dance Class. Session 2 - Beginner 6:30 to 7:45 pm What: East Coast Swing and Waltz. Cost: $8.00 per person. Wear comfortable shoes you can turn in. 7:45 to 8:15 - Practice dance with paid admission. 8:15 to 9:30: Intermediate - 2 Step and WCS. $8.00 per person or $13.00 for both classes. Vaccines are required. Face masks are optional. Changing partners is optional. 6:30pm
  • Perry Lynn’s Smokehouse in Quincy: Wed Night Open Mic w/ Steven Ritter and Friends. 6:30pm
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  • Fire Betty’s: Karaoke! 8pm/21+/free
  • Dukes and Dotties: College Night and Line Dancing Lessons. 8pm
  • The Bark: Karaoke with DJ Nathan. Best karaoke DJ in town. 9pm
  • 926: Dragged Out Wednesday. 10pm
submitted by clearliquidclearjar to Tallahassee [link] [comments]

2023.05.25 17:56 NamelessNanashi [The Gods of Dragons: Beginning] Ch 6 - Illegal Magic

((Part 1/2 - Contents split dude to editing/length reasons.))
--- Table of Contents ---
Summer 4981, 6 Akamoth
“So... is not eating meat related to not riding a horse?”
There was always someone in each new group that wanted to know more about Veon-Zih and his strange ways. In this party, it was Logan. He was barely a man, only about eighteen, though with the smooth face and wide-eyed wonder of a boy much younger.
Veon-Zih chuckled as he continued to fish around in the stew pot for more of the potatoes and carrots, leaving the chunks of venison for the others, “Not at all. I simply don't need a horse to keep up with you. And...” he scooped up a spoonful of meat and splashed it into Kollen’s bowl to get it out of his way. The Ranger nodded gratefully, and Veon-Zih continued, “It offers the perfect opportunity to keep myself in shape.”
Every moment presented an opportunity to train, and Veon-Zih liked to think of himself as an opportunist. This particular group was moving at a steady clip towards woods reported to house a particularly violent clan of draken. But they weren’t pushing their mounts, so the Monk found it a pleasant exercise to run beside the horses rather than ride one himself. He wasn’t about to tell Logan that he could have kept up with them even if they had decided to push harder. The boy was confused enough as it was.
“Stay in shape…” Logan looked down at Veon-Zih’s loose clothes hiding the old man’s wiry strength, then sharply away when he saw Veon-Zih smiling at him again, “so you can fight... but with no weapon…”
The second enlisted soldier, an older man with a messy beard graying at the chin, gave Logan a solid punch in the shoulder, “How many times does he have to tell you, boy? No weapon and no armor.” Hoan was the grizzled sort. He never would've made it as Paladin, and though he was a soldier, he had only ever served in his small village. The one that had been attacked.
“I am more likely to stab myself than so much as nick my enemy, I’m afraid,” Veon-Zih confirmed. Behind him, in a smaller diner circle, the older of two Paladin officers scoffed. They retained their haughty detachment, always trying to act as an example of honor and discipline for their men, who were similarly always ignoring them.
“But how?!” Logan protested, rubbing his arm.
Kollen snickered, lifting a spoon full of soupy venison to cool in the night breeze, “I suspect you'll see soon enough,” the Ranger smiled knowingly. She had grown up with stories of Monks, and had told Veon-Zih that one of the most revered of her order, back home in the Southernwood, had traveled the kingdom with a quite powerful one. Or so the rumors said. Veon-Zih wasn’t about to tell her that he knew both the Ranger and Monk. Intimately. Instead, he'd just grinned at her.
Filling his bowl with enough vegetables to satisfy, Veon-Zih nodded at the still bemused Logan before walking the short distance to the Paladins. He'd spent this journey with the common enlisted, but now that they were so close to their destination, he thought it was about time he gave the officers some of his attention.
“The journey, at least, has been uneventful,” he said by way of greeting to the two men, still armored despite having made camp for the night.
“Thank Hengist,” Narvin, the younger of the two, responded. He was freshly Oath-sworn, no older than Logan, though he carried himself as a man. As comfortable in his platemail as someone twice his age, his brown hair cut regulation short, as neat and controlled as his demeanor.
His senior, Banril, was no less immaculate, with a blond beard kept perfectly trimmed, almost like a purposeful contrast to Hoan’s scraggly mane. “We are honored to have you with us, Master Veon-Zih,” Banril said, ignoring the Monk’s nervous glance over his shoulder at the use of his rank and title, “It’s not often an ally of such renown comes so far north.”
“And for something as mundane as a draken raid,” Narvin added.
Veon-Zih took a bite of his stew and shrugged as he chewed before answering, “I was in the area.” He scooped up a potato and carrot together and explained, “Sir Rasnah is an old friend, and,” he let the spoonful of stew sink back into the broth, “I heard there was more than just theft and casualties…”
The Paladins exchanged looks, and Banril nodded to Narvin, who confirmed the report already given to Veon-Zih by their General, “Six dead and two missing. Kidnapped.”
“Draken don’t take prisoners,” Veon-Zih stated.
“And yet they went straight through the town guard to the victim’s home and brought them out kicking and screaming.” Narvin shook his head in confusion while Banril nodded sternly in confirmation.
“That's one of the reasons we enlisted Ranger Kollen and are grateful to have your assistance, Master,”
Veon-Zih sighed loudly at the second use of his rank. Maybe if he showed enough exasperation they would get the point and stop using it. But knowing Paladins in general… probably not. They were as bad as his Monk brothers when it came to decorum. “So we'll follow them back to their camp,” he said, “and hope we find the two alive and with all their limbs still attached.”
“Yes,” Banril didn’t bother to sound hopeful. The attacked village had fled with its survivors to the larger town of Stoneguard, and from there, had sent a message to the Temple in Smilnda. It had taken them over a week. Then another for the Temple to organize and send a force to Stoneguard to assist the refugees and support its fortifications. It took a third week to reach Stoneguard, and only after that did they send this smaller party out to the abandoned town to attempt to find the draken trail and hopefully save the captives. Nearly a month had passed since the raid, and as Veon-Zih had stated before, draken didn’t usually take prisoners.
“They came back… but why didn’t they stay?” Logan muttered. The party stood at the edge of what had once been a quiet little village. Only Hoan was absent, still picking through the ashy remains of the buildings. This had been his home, and though his wife and children were among those who had escaped, his brother had been one of the six killed.
Banril grunted, but Narvin answered, “Why would they? Draken are nomads, bandits, monsters! Worse than the barbarian tribes.”
“Sir Narvin,” Banril chastised the junior knight.
“I’ve known some very honorable barbarians, good knight,” Veon-Zih added a bit more kindly, “They may raid on occasion, but this…” he gestured to the skeletal remains of burned-out homes and the broken wall, shaking his head. Turning to Kollen, he asked, “You’ve found the trail?”
The Ranger kicked at a broken arrow, sending it tumbling away along the line of deep clawed footprints leading towards the distant wood, “You hardly need me at this stage. We'll see once we get among the trees.” She scanned the town again, holding up a charred piece of wood and crumbling it in her hands, “This fire is only a few days old at most. Most likely, they did come back and stay after the villagers evacuated, using up all the resources they couldn’t carry before burning the remnants and returning to the wood.”
“Then let’s get to it,” Hoan called, returning to the group. He moved with detached ease, but Veon-Zih could see the effort it was taking him to maintain the front. His right hand was balled into a fist and his eyes were bloodshot from more than just sifting through ash. “We need to find the fire-starters, even if it’s only to give their family closure.”
“Fire starters?” Logan asked. “You want the draken that did this specifically?” he sounded more than a little incredulous.
In further evidence that Hoan was more affected by the destruction than he wanted them to know, the old man’s answer lacked his normally gruff and annoyed tone, “No, Fire-starters was what we called the ones taken. They were sorcerers, though not very powerful.”
“That wasn’t part of your report…” Banril said, disapproving. Hoan merely shrugged.
“It could be important,” Narvin argued with the silent Hoan, but Kollen cut across him,
“We’re losing daylight. Monk, you’re with me. The rest of you stay back.”
“But not too far back,” Veon-Zih added with a chuckle, “you’ll want to hear if we have to start a fight.”
Narvin glanced between the Ranger, a woman who was only an ally and, therefore, not part of their chain of command, and his senior, who in turn merely nodded, “Don’t engage if you can avoid it. We want to find these Fire-starters first.” Veon-Zih was glad Banril had enough experience not to be offended by Kollen taking charge of his command.
Veon-Zih didn’t specialize in stealth, but he also didn’t clang with every step. He moved with a lighter and faster step than a standard fighter and ran easily beside Kollen towards the forest, falling back only when they reached the tree line. The Ranger didn’t slow her step and ran right up the nearest pine, reaching one of the lower branches and jumping from it to another further in. Veon-Zih focused on the ground, hopping from rock to root to reduce the risk of shuffling fallen needles or breaking sticks as he followed the still clear trail of draken destruction. Once the draken had broken into smaller groups, the trail became less obvious, and Veon-Zih fell back, allowing Kollen to scout ahead, relaying messages from her to the fighters further behind.
They had been following the trail for hours, nearly to sundown, when they finally found fresh evidence of their quarry. “Well… at least we won’t be tracking them back to the mountains,” Veon-Zih muttered, wrinkling his nose as Kollen stuck an ungloved finger in said evidence to check its temperature. With a few days' head start, there had been the possibility that the group would be tracking the draken for at least a day or two.
“This is only an hour or so old,” Kollen stated, pulling a handkerchief from her pouch and wiping her finger clean before pulling her glove back on. Veon-Zih suppressed a shudder of disgust. They would all need a long hot bath when this was over.
Behind them, the clanking of metal on metal and crunch of pine cones told the pair that their fighting companions were catching up. But Kollen didn’t start forward again, “Something’s wrong. We're too close. And they didn’t try and hide it...”
“Hey, did you find something?” Logan had spotted them and rushed forward to stand beside Veon-Zih, opening his mouth to say something more when Veon-Zih’s hand snapped out faster than the eye could follow, snatching an arrow from the air before it could hit the dumbstruck lad in the chest.
“Form up!” Sir Banril shouted. Drawing his sword, the Paladin brought up his shield in time to block a second arrow as Logan stumbled, falling onto his backside. The young soldier scrambled back to his feet, drawing his short sword in the process. So not completely useless.
Veon-Zih flipped the arrow in his hand and threw it back the way it had come, grinning at the guttural grunt of pain that followed as the arrow struck true. Kollen drew her own bow and scaled the nearest tree, taking aim as she did and shooting the first foolish draken to charge the group. The arrow struck the draken in the face, avoiding its thick scales and piercing the thin flesh of its cheek. The brute roared in pain and fury but was overtaken by another who continued the charge towards the fighters.
The humans made a box formation, the two Paladins fighting back to back at the north and south sides and the two enlisted taking position between them in the east and west. Veon-Zih allowed himself one glance at the formation and, finding it solid, sprinted instead to the side and toward another oncoming opponent.
Sometimes known as 'lizardmen,' the draken were humanoid in basic shape but covered in dull scales, often painted with brightly colored stripes from their snout to their thick muscular tails. Their hands and feet were taloned, and their elongated muzzles held rows of sharp alligator-like teeth that slurred their words, making their strange language sound guttural.
The one bearing down on Veon-Zih was brown scaled with white stripes and was at least seven feet tall. With a chest half again as wide as the Monk, it wielded a club in both clawed hands, but the heavy weapon would do little good against Veon-Zih. The Monk ducked the swing aimed for his head and hardly slowed as he pivoted, kicking the draken in the knee and elbowing it in the ribs with force and focus. Joints snapped and the leg gave out while a second elbow from Veon-Zih on the draken’s head sent it the rest of the way to the ground. Where it stayed.
Battle started in earnest behind him, and Veon-Zih heard the Paladins cry Hengist’s name, smiting with righteous fury the draken who dared to attack their citizens. The whistle of Kollen’s arrows pointed Veon-Zih in the proper direction, and he sprinted again. Around the bulk of the charging force.
The reports indicated approximately twenty draken in the raid against the village. Five of those had been killed by the defending villagers. Leaving fifteen, give or take, for the hunting party of six kingdom warriors. Even with the relatively inexperienced Narvin and two simple enlisted, Kollen evened the odds. With Veon-Zih, the draken didn’t stand a chance.
Veon-Zih had hunted enough draken raiders in his nearly forty years of adventure to know with confidence what was happening beyond his own personal fights. Kollen, a ranger of the Southernwood, would be raining death from above, focusing first on any enemy archers. The martial fighters below would defend her perch and each other, fighting back to back against any that managed to get that far.
The Monk let a few slip by, trusting his companions to hold their own. Circling around the trees, he came at those trailing behind.
He leapt at the nearest draken, driving his knees into its face. Grabbing its horns, he kicked off its chest and swinging around to kick its companion. His feet landed two solid blows as the first screamed before the protest was cut short and Veon-Zih let go. The beast fell on its belly, staring at the sky above.
The second draken managed to keep its feet, bringing up its great ax and swinging for the Monk who side-stepped while striking the beast’s reaching arm. His first hit broke the draken’s elbow, reversing its bend, the second smacked the wrist so the ax swung back towards its owner’s face. Veon-Zih continued running before the second draken hit the forest floor.
He lept over a pool of blood seeping from the corpse of a draken archer. Three of Kollen’s arrows had found their mark, and Veon-Zih grinned at the fourth, one of the draken’s own, sticking out of its shoulder. He might not wield any weapons of his own, but if his enemies were foolish enough to give him theirs… Well, it was only polite to return them.
He would find no prey behind the archers so began to circle back around. Putting on a burst of speed and coming from behind, he dashed between another pair. With a mighty jump, he kicked them simultaneously in their heads. Keeping his split, Veon-Zih rolled forward to stand on his hands. Spinning, he kicked them again in the ribs. Bones cracked, and draken roared as Veon-Zih righted himself, punching the nearest draken with a flurry of blows that ended in a powerful push of energy, sending the beast sliding ten feet away before falling to the forest floor. Without turning, Veon-Zih dropped to his belly as an ax swung over his head. Pushing up with his arms, the Monk kicked out with both legs, landing a solid hit on the draken’s chest before he landed on his feet again and turned, his heel cracking into the draken jaw, dislocating it and sending the beast sprawling to the ground.
Something caught his eye just in time to jump, tucking his knees to his chest. A bolt of black lightning arched into the tree behind him, blowing a chunk out of it and sending a rain of pine needles down on his head. Veon-Zih landed at a run, following the bolt's path towards a small figure in red, ducking behind another tree. Passing the trunk, Veon-Zih swung with a backhand fist. He only brushed fabric, and the figure in red rolled away, coming back to its feet with a hand stretched out towards the Monk.
A black tentacle stretched from the human’s palm, its tip reaching for Veon-Zih but finding only air as he dropped onto his back, watching as the strange weapon swooped above him then zipped back to the figure in red. Veon-Zih rolled onto his shoulders and kicked back up to his feet, sinking into his stance but hesitating as the tentacle shifted, solidifying into a sword with a back blade.
A human Battlemage? With draken? There would be time enough for questions later. It was never a good idea to give a spell caster space. Veon-Zih rushed ahead with a double step that had him striking at the Mage in the blink of an eye. But this was no novice, the human managed to dodge Veon-Zih’s punches and lept over his sweeping kick.
She tried to counter, swinging her thin blade in a wide arch to push him back, but all that did was put it in his range. Veon-Zih stepped into the swing, slapping the flat of the blade up with his right hand and hitting the Mage’s wrist with his left to disarm her. The blade flew free but dissolved into smoke, only to form again in the woman’s other hand. She stabbed a hole through Veon-Zih’s shirt as he rolled back. Halfway through the backward roll, he stopped, pushing off with his hands and kicking at the blade again. It flew high, but the Mage managed to keep hold of it, stumbling away from the Monk.
Veon-Zih kicked back to standing again, but the Mage had had enough. She was running away, spinning around just long enough to send another black bolt of lightning for him to dodge before she cut a circle in the air with the sword. A black night full of stars appeared in the circle and the Mage dove through it. Between one heartbeat and the next, she was gone, fine ash falling to the pine-strewn floor where the portal had been.
“Master Veon-Zih?!” Narvin’s voice split the sudden silence.
“Here,” Veon-Zih bent over the remnants of the Mage’s magic. He'd fought both with and against magic users, but he'd never seen a portal quite like that before.
The clanking of armor signaled the arrival of the fighters, though it was Kollen who reached him first, dropping from a nearby tree as he rubbed sooty ash between his fingers. “I got three, not including the one you shot. What happened here?” she narrowed her eyes pointedly at the tree left barely standing with a half-circle cut from its trunk, the broken edges curling black smoke.
“You can have half of that one. I took five. And that was a spell. There was a Mage with them,” Veon-Zih answered, trying to grin, “She opened a portal. Perhaps I’ve grown slow in my old age, but she got away.”
Sir Banril's sword was glowing with a faint white light, and once he sheathed it the wood seemed much darker than just the twilight could explain. The Paladin leader grunted, “A teleport can be tracked, the Mages Guild should have a record…” but Veon-Zih was shaking his head.
“That was like no Mage gate I’ve seen before.”
“Illegal magic?” Sir Narvin asked, looking from Veon-Zih to Banril and back again.
Sir Banril hummed, “I will need you to give a detailed report, Master Veon-Zih,” the Monk sighed but nodded. The Paladins always wanted detailed reports. This one was just going to be much longer than usual.
Shaloon hit a pair of dangling legs as she rolled over the stone floor. In a crouch, she spun, her black sword before her, half expecting the Monk to be right behind, but only finding her robed associate.
Morndancer arched a blond eyebrow at her, “I thought you said you were bringing one more?”
“Two will have to do for now,” Shaloon sighed, letting her sword dissolve as she stood stiffly. She'd had to channel much more magic than she was used to in order to keep up with the Monk’s attacks. She was going to be hurting for a few days, at least.
Morndancer scoffed, turning his back to her, “Their blood is thin, but it is better than nothing.” the owner of the dangling legs groaned. Two villagers hung suspended off the ground with chains around their wrists, neither coherent enough to understand the conversation going on. “I suppose we will need to find a new tribe for next time?”
“The Temple responded faster than I expected. We should probably wait at least a few seasons before hunting again.” Shaloon agreed. They couldn’t risk the province, or worse, the kingdom, interrupting their experiments.
Part 2
--- Table of Contents ---
All comments welcome!
submitted by NamelessNanashi to redditserials [link] [comments]

2023.05.25 17:10 LouisArmstrong3 I redesigned the deploy screen to get rid of so much wasted space. Click on garries and OPs on map to spawn. ditch the list.

I redesigned the deploy screen to get rid of so much wasted space. Click on garries and OPs on map to spawn. ditch the list. submitted by LouisArmstrong3 to HellLetLoose [link] [comments]

2023.05.25 02:40 RandomWords8243 2 weeks in: my review of TOTK



i'll bet $79.99 (the likely price of the sequel) that it goes like this: A terrible (and mysterious, of course) "disturbance" happens, making Hyrule Castle, uhh, sink into the ocean, and destroying most of the same map (so like, the same map but with much more lakes), and Zelda gets swept away in some current and link has to go find her.
to summarize: this game is basically a "reboot" of BOTW, exacept with the same game engine, graphics, sound effects, user interface, map, and most of the same general plot structure.
submitted by RandomWords8243 to tearsofthekingdom [link] [comments]

2023.05.25 02:10 LiquidMedicine [Event] A Lonely World for Social Democrats

Romanian Politics, 2024

Following an acute legislative crisis in 2021, Romanian politics have begun a slow and steady shift away from the remnants of the old coalitions. The social-democratic PSD maintained control of the government in the 2020 elections, at the cost of over 40 chamber seats and a handful of Senators, not to mention the collapse of their extensive government coalition with moderate parties PNL and USR.
Following 2020's losses, the PSD re-formed a coalition government known as the Ciucă Cabinet, this time alongside the liberal PNL and the UDMR-RMDSZ, a Hungarian special-interest party. The Ciucă Cabinet, led by former general Nicolae Ciucă, has steadily waned in popularity over the course of its existence. The Ciucă Cabinet has focused heavily on reinvestment into Romania, with projects such as highway overhauls and housing initiatives disrupting daily life across the nation. And while many of these projects remain unfinished, many Romanians have grown tired of the PSD's endless promises and initiatives. In addition, the cabinet's close co-operation with both NATO and the European Union has driven more Romanians towards Euroskeptic ideologies, further exacerbated by Romania's diplomatic rout with the Netherlands over Schengen, seen internally as the West shutting out Romania from the big club. Meanwhile, pressure from Russia on the issues of Ukraine and Moldova have fostered an incredibly patriotic sentiment across Romania not seen since the beginning of its independence years.
The coalition was unpopular when it scraped together a government in 2020. Today, they sit on a vast number of incomplete improvements, and a much worse public image. So, who has risen in their place? While the PSD and PNL remain the largest parties in Romania, there are a number of challengers expected to perform incredibly well in the upcoming 2025 legislative elections. Let's meet the significant players prefacing the 2025 legislative elections.

The Coalition

The coalition is the struggling government of the Ciucă Cabinet. It consists of four major elements:
The PSD and USR have steadily waned in the polls, while the PNL and UDMR-RMDSZ have maintained steady support from a more stable base. However, increased radicalism has led some constituents away from the PNL's fairly centrist ideology.

The Alliance for the Union of Romanians

The AUR is, by a significant margin, the biggest threat to the Coalition government in the upcoming elections. Formed in 2019, the AUR identifies as a nationalist and patriotic party with conservative and right-wing positions. It advocates for the protection of Romanian identity, traditions, and values. The party promotes a strong sense of national sovereignty and emphasizes the importance of preserving Romanian culture and heritage. The AUR presents itself as an alternative to the traditional political establishment in Romania. It criticizes mainstream parties for their perceived failures, corruption, and disregard for national interests by bending the knee repeatedly to NATO and the European Union. They possess an irredentist, nationalist, isolationist foreign policy which centers around developing Romania into a regional power rather than relying blindly on Brussels or Moscow to do our bidding.
Needless to say, this revanchist ideology has proven increasingly popular across Romania in a world where Russian aggression has reached our neighbors, expelling refugees into our borders, while the EU remains hesitant to provide Romania the same warm welcome it did Croatia or the Baltic States. And with Western social issues reaching Romania, such as the EU Commission forcing the coalition government to recognize same-sex marriages, many more conservative and traditionalist Romanians have fled towards hyper-conservative parties such as the AUR. The party is in a unique position to capitalize on a number of issues within Romania simultaneously, and for that, they have seen intense success. The AUR is led by far-right activist George Simion, who has faced accusations of being a neo-fascist.

People's Movement

The PMP currently is only represented across Romania at a local level, as well as in the European Parliament with 2 MPs. The party possesses a somewhat similar ideology to the AUR, but is decidedly more tame. It is a Christian-democratic party which focuses heavily on Romania-Moldova unionism. It also tends to be naturally more accepting of EU diplomacy than its AUR counterparts. The party's leader, Eugene Tomac, has been a vocal critic of the current government, following his party's exclusion from Parliament in 2020. Tomac and party officials have insinuated continuously since that they were purposefully excluded by vote-counters.
The PMP has proven to be a strong contender in the upcoming elections, polling well above the 5% threshold they failed to meet just one election cycle ago. Many Romanians, perturbed by both the current trajectory of the nation as well as the potential of a radical AUR government, have turned to the PMP as a compromise alternative.

Minor Parties and Independents

Though a small force in Romanian legislature, there are a number of independents and small parties. Polling trends have shown parties with Pro-EU, progressive platforms polling significantly lower, while conservative and revanchist parties have seen a steady increase in support.
The legislative elections are scheduled for December 2024, with the new government taking office in January. This will be the first election in Romanian history to utilize online voting methods.
submitted by LiquidMedicine to Geosim [link] [comments]

2023.05.24 21:13 Sunshinehaiku 1979 West Bend Popcorn Maker

1979 West Bend Popcorn Maker
It's a bit older than I am, and still going strong. My mom has one too, but the lid is more warped on hers because it was used almost daily.
submitted by Sunshinehaiku to BuyItForLife [link] [comments]