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2020.03.25 07:32 cajonsoftheworld FL_Studio_Advanced
Post here: FL Studio insights and epiphanies; cool new ways to do stuff; questions that CAN NOT be quickly answered from the manual or from relevant searches of YouTube. No beginner questions. In general don't post here unless you've been regularly using FL Studio for at least 6 months. No 'here's my song what'da ya think' posts. Use the other great place for those: /FL_Studio
2012.04.17 00:41 kyoutenshi "11/10" -IGN
Don't punch your worm, beat your meat
2013.03.27 16:02 Trance Production: Everything about making trance music
Trance Production is a subreddit to discuss everything about making trance music.
2023.03.25 23:33 webbpowell Medium-cheap laptop for graphic design
My wife’s looking for a laptop. She says:
recommend me a laptop please :) Total budget (in local currency) and country of purchase. Please do not use USD unless purchasing in the US:
CAD $750 Are you open to refurbs/used?
yes How would you prioritize form factor (ultrabook, 2-in-1, etc.), build quality, performance, and battery life?
performance > battery life > build quality > form factor How important is weight and thinness to you?
Not very important. Do you have a preferred screen size? If indifferent, put N/A.
14” - 16” Are you doing any CAD/video editing/photo editing/gaming? List which programs/games you desire to run.
I need to be able to use Affinity Photo 2 and Affintiy Designer 2 and for them to run smooth and fast. This is the laptop’s primary purpose. If you're gaming, do you have certain games you want to play? At what settings and FPS do you want?
It would be nice to be able to play Overwatch 2 but not necessary. Any specific requirements such as good keyboard, reliable build quality, touch-screen, finger-print reader, optical drive or good input devices (keyboard/touchpad)?
Webcam, quiet keyboard, 16GB RAM minimum. At least 256GB SSD. Good bright display at 1920X1080. Leave any finishing thoughts here that you may feel are necessary and beneficial to the discussion.
I'd prefer a laptop that:
- handles having loads of tabs & windows open at once
- can run photo editing software well
- has minimum 6 hrs battery life
- is Bluetooth capable
- is still going to run smoothly in two or three years
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2023.03.25 23:33 Strange_Androginy17 To the youth pastor that scarred me for years
You were controlling and abusive. You screamed at me and controlled me when I called your wife out on her inappropriate match making behavior. When I encouraged my friend to create boundaries, you violated mine and created one of my most traumatic memories in my life. You lured me into your home, under false pretenses, with my best friend present and my roommate and screamed at me for hours.
You made it so I couldn't trust people for years. I was 17 years old, you committed child abuse technically. And the universe took you out of ministry because you treated several teens that way.
Karma is a bitch, isn't it?
I didn't wish harm on you, but you made me jumpy as fuck and made it so that I couldn't be open with people about myself for so long. I sincerely hated you. But I don't have the energy for hate.
I forgive you.
I wish you the best.
I'm glad I don't follow your God anymore, if he sanctions that shit.
You were 29 and married a 19 year old, and talked in detail about her in her bikini on your wedding night wtf is wrong with you? Also you and your wife trying to fix my friend up with a grown ass man when she was a teen, it's practically human trafficking. Christian culture freaks me out sometimes. That's predator behavior you nasty man.
There I said it.
Also, I'm bisexual- not that it was ever any of your business. And Idgaf what you or any pastor thinks about my sexuality. God loves me regardless. Otherwise I wouldn't exist. So go off, nasty man.
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2023.03.25 23:27 Daylight-Burner I (F32) believe my boyfriend (M32) is hiding his bulimia
I'm using a burner because I honestly am ashamed. I appreciate any advice in advance greatly.
Long story...I've been dating my boyfriend for about a year. He has always been thin, but he's a former cyclist and I've known most cyclists to be thin (I even had a co-worker joke that her girlfriend claims all cyclists are anorexic). He has always had obvious food/body issue images from the beginning, but has always been pretty open about his body image issues, which I appreciated and supported. Most of these would manifest in behaviors such as not eating very much at meals and sharing that he had only eaten once that day when we would be eating say a late dinner and it was late in the evening. Although obviously unhealthy things he was doing, I never really replied much to these comments and tried to be encouraging/supportive.
Last year around Thanksgiving one night when he was at my house and in the bathroom soon after we had eaten, I swear I heard him vomit (not gagging or vomiting sounds, but the sound of a large amount of fluid/material hitting the toilet water). I didn't say anything about it as I wasn't sure what I had heard and I didn't want him to think I was standing with a glass to the door when he was in the bathroom. A few weeks later we had gotten in an argument and post were having a very real and open conversation about our relationship in general and I brought it up as a concern. He swore up and down he was not bulimic nor had he ever been and instead shared the things he had done in the past that he knew were unhealthy. I felt really good after the conversation and let it go.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago and a similar situation has occurred. He was at my house and in the bathroom soon after we had eaten and I wasn't purposely listening, but I was waiting for him in the living room to pick a movie, and I heard what sounded like a large amount of water going into the toilet (I've never heard gagging sounds or obvious vomiting sounds, but rather like a large amount of liquid/substance being poured into the toiled) (Usually it's pretty quickly after he flushes and isn't in the bathroom long). I again did not say something when he came back from the bathroom, but later when I was in the bathroom I noticed really small pieces of what looked like chewed up lettuce in the toilet bowl. About a week ago I again brought up my concerns (although again after an argument when I felt like we were really discussing our relationship honestly) and again he denied being bulimic, but again shared things he has done in the past that were unhealthy and admitted that he probably should eat more. Mind you during these conversations I am not accusatory or mean, I am very supportive (I think) and express more concern than any kind of blame. I swore to him I would not leave him if he did reveal he was bulimic and I honestly do think that.
Last night the same situation occurred. It was maybe an hour after we had eaten dinner and I heard the same thing as I have always heard. He had eaten what is more food for what he usually eats at dinner (he had finished his whole meal instead of maybe eating half). When he came out of the bathroom, he had a guilty look on his face and seemed sheepish while talking to me about restarting the movie we had been watching. I feel like he knew that I knew, but I couldn't bring myself to accuse him or bring it up as I really don't want him to feel like I'm constantly monitoring him or that the bathroom isn't a private place for him. Another odd behavior that he did was lock the bathroom door, which he doesn't always do when he's in the bathroom, which I found for this situation to be odd.
He never smells like vomit or I think I would be more empowered to say something in the moment and whenever we've discussed bulimia he tells me he doesn't have any other signs of it (discolored teeth, discolored fingers, etc.). When we first were dating I recall him often using the bathroom after eating and would return from the bathroom having gum in his mouth (which when I asked about he claims he was always afraid at fist he would have bad breath after eating), but in hindsight I feel like this is such a huge sign of the bulimia and I didn't pick up on it.
I'm not sure what to do going forward. I feel like it's very obvious he's bulimic, but at the same time maybe I'm wrong and maybe I should trust him. My gut tells me otherwise. I know it's not about me, but honesty in romantic relationships is huge for me and I feel like this makes me feel as if he's being hugely dishonest and it makes me want to end the relationship. Do I confront him again? Do I confront him in the moment when I think it had just happened? Do I believe him against my gut? I feel like it's becoming detrimental to our relationship as nothing he can say seems to really convince me and I then feel as if he's being dishonest and triggers my issues with dishonesty in relationships. Any advice is really greatly appreciated.
(Another side note is that he often talks about stomach problems he has. Frequent diarrhea and pain after eating, which he has just started to see a GI doctor about. It is very possible he has an actual GI issue, too. I've thought that perhaps what I've heard was him having diarrhea after eating, but I'm not sure why he wouldn't admit it as we are pretty open about his GI issues).
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2023.03.25 23:26 Purtle [PIL] #890 3/25/2023
Purtle's Internet Lineup for March 25th, 2023 6:28pm Pics: Clips: Videos
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2023.03.25 23:26 hippyfroggie AITBA for wanting to cut my family off after they made me uncomfortable?
I (16f) am a lesbian. It took me a while to be completely comfortable with my identity because my family more specifically my dad's side is very religious, my grandma being the most religious out of all of them. Christianity is in my mom's side as well; my dad's side is Catholic. This made it hard for me because growing up I was faced constantly with the decision of either being a Christian or Catholic. I have my own beliefs that I created using some aspects of the bible, but I don't believe in all of them. This was one of the first things I did that disappointed my dad's side of the family. Most of my mom's side had been cut off from a young age for being unhealthy people to be around. I had the displeasure of learning that when I met them and knew them for the little time that I did. My mom's dad, stepmom, and two younger brothers were the ones that stayed in my life the longest but also got cut off for a history of abuse; more specifically abuse aimed at me.
My grandma never liked my mom and often told me how crazy she was, I would try to shut it down, but she'd go on a rant about how terrible I was for protecting her and she'd say that I just didn't understand the situation between my mom and dad sense I am just a child. I tried saying I knew more about the situations she complained about then she did because I had been the one that lived in the house with both my mom and dad. I told her my mom was not the bad guy here and she needed to re-evaluate the situation and take a deeper look at who my dad was because he wasn't honest about who he was. This made her angry and ever sense she shifted her anger towards me. This is where my sexuality comes in, I managed to come out when I was 11, my mom was so accepting, and she was the only one that I wanted to know because I feared what my dad's side of the family would think. My brother accidentally outed me to her, and she never mentioned it to me, it was my aunt who had told me she knew. I never made a big deal about it because I wanted to respect whatever beliefs my grandma had, so I kept my sexuality on the down low.
It's been five years since she found out and I thought it would be okay to test the waters. So, the next time I saw her I asked if she remembered the first time, she had a crush and she did, she told me about it and asked me about mine. Now for a moment I questioned if I should answer honestly or use the fake crush I had back in elementary school to be safe. I ended up telling the truth and she handled it quite well, so with both this and the fact that she has known for five years and has never mentioned anything to me about it I figured she was accepting, and I felt relieved. However, I was wrong. The next day me and her went to Barnes & Nobles which is our tradition, each time we see each other we go to Barnes & Noble and got a book. Thinking she was accepting I decided to choose a queer book that I had wanted to read. Now the book is called Hell Followed with Us, and it's about a trans boy who escapes a cult and finds a group of queer friends and then together they decided to shut down the cult. I figured sense they shut down the cult it wouldn't be too bad, but she called it disturbing and she said it wouldn't be good for me to read, she said that it would damage me and make me want to join the cult. I assured her that it wouldn't but, in an attempt, to please her I picked up a different book that was also queer titled Last Night at the Telegraph Club. This book takes place in the 1950's and is about a high school aged Chinese American girl who falls in love with an Italian girl during the middle of the red scare and at the height of racism being aimed toward Chinese Americans. My grandma said this book was too sad, at this point I had a sneaky suspicion that it wasn't the contents of the books that bothered her but the sexualities of the characters, so when she said I should just choose a happy book about friends who get a long I chose Heartstopper which is about a high school group of queer friends living their best lives. She again said no, and her reasoning was just that she didn't like it. At this point I knew why and so stood my ground. After an hour of her trying to persuade me into buying a different book, I said either I'm getting Last Night at the Telegraph Club or nothing, you choose. She caved and bought me the book.
When we got home, she asked what my mom would think if I asked for the original book, I wanted about the boy who escaped the cult, I answered and said honestly, she wouldn't care, she knows me better than you do clearly because I would never join a cult, I wanted the book for the queer representation not the cult. I also said that my mom knows that I don't get easily manipulated, I never have. In fact, I have always been extremely mature, and I have always known right from wrong, but I am open minded and will give a chance to things with a limit such as joining a cult. My grandma said my mom was disturbing, which was something I am not new to, her and the rest of my dad's side of the family have been saying my mom is crazy sense I was about 8. She promptly ended the conversation and went inside; I followed as she ignored me every time, I said anything. She went in and talked to my grandpa's son who is either in his 40's or 50's I'm not sure because I don't know him very much. She told him how disturbing my book choices were, and she made sure I could hear what they were saying, she also complained about how disturbing my mom was for letting me read these things.
I walked out and went to join the conversation, but she left, so I started talking to my grandpa's son in an attempt to clear up a few things because the last thing my mom needed was yet another person hating on her. My sexuality was then brought up when I mentioned why I had wanted the book, he then looked uncomfortable, so I tried to change the topic sensing that he didn't agree with my sexuality, but he didn't let the topic change, instead he stayed on it and questioned me about it. I explained that I had just always be attracted to women but lied because the world caters to heterosexuality, and I felt like me not fitting into that box made me wrong and disappointing. Within this conversation I admitted that my mom actually survived domestic violence at the hands of my father, and he continued to do the same things to another woman who continued to call off their engagement. I explained that my mom, his ex-fiancée, and me were not crazy, my father just wants to look good, and my grandma knows this because when they lived together, she was our next-door neighbor and watched as he destroyed my mom's things, and she heard it but refused to do anything or acknowledge what my dad did and instead put the blame on my mom. A lot of my past came up within the conversation and a lot of it was abuse that I experienced at the hands of men. He took this as the perfect opportunity to explain that my abuse and trauma pushed me toward being gay and that one day I would fall in love with a man. He kept asking what I would do when one day a hot man walked up to me. I kept saying nothing, I am not attracted to men, and he kept saying I was too young to know. He pulled out every classic reason homophobic people use to say you're not gay, including that being gay was a trend now, which couldn't be further from the truth. I explained everything he was saying was outdated theories, we now know that gay people are gay because they just are, there is a scientific reason to it. He of course said he didn't believe in the science because it was new even though just a second ago, he said trans people aren't "real" or "valid" because it goes against the science- even though that's also not true. For hours upon hours, he went on explaining how I wasn't gay, belittling my sexuality and treating me like I was a young child rather than the 16-year-old I am. I got fed up and the next time he asked me what I'd do when a hot guy approaches me, I asked him what he would do because someday he could like a boy too, he said no I wouldn't. I said so you know but I don't, he said but I'm also an adult and you're not, and I said right and I'm 16 and not 5 what does that have to do with anything, I know who I am attracted too, I am not stupid, you can be against homosexuality all you want but you don't get the right to tell me I don't know how I feel as if I were a 3 year old. His response was to ask if I knew Jesus was my lord and savior. I wanted to say he's your lord and savior, that's what the bible says, I don't know what I believe, maybe he is but I don't know, but instead I just said yes, and he said good that's all I need to know, and I left for the room I was staying in.
I stayed until late the next night, and at first, I didn't realize how much this had bothered me, until I told my mom about it, and she was furious. She said she felt bad for me, she didn't care what they thought about her, but she did care that they made me aware of what they thought of her because she was my mother, and it wasn't their job to make me hate her like they did. She was also angry that they belittled my sexuality and made me feel like I had no idea who I was attracted to rather than respect me and my feelings like I did for them when I didn't agree with them either. She also felt angry that she wouldn't just buy me the book that I originally wanted because it wasn't a big deal and she asked me what the book was before proceeding to buy it for me. She apologized to me and said she was by my side for whatever decision I made going further. The thing that sent my mom over the edge was that my grandpa's son had the audacity to use my previous trauma as ammunition to prove that I'm not gay, because I was abused by men and so hated all men. He made me the bad guy in my own abuse, I even told him that I had been abused by a girl (my ex best friend) too and I don't hate either gender, nor did it affect my sexuality. When my mom pointed out how terrible the situation was, I then said I had no interest in seeing or talking to any of our family outside of her and my brother anymore, I was tired of the drama, tired of the horrible treatment I received, tired of the treatment my mom received, and tired of my boundaries being repeatedly crossed. I also felt like none of my family truly knew who I was and viewed me as a 3-year-old child, that could easily be manipulated. I understand that I am young, but I am not dumb enough to fall into a deep depression from a sad book, which I finished, and it was a beautiful story that was more inspiring rather than sad. I told my mom that I was done with all of them because I felt like I was going crazy and each time I saw them my anxiety got worse, and I'd feel sick afterword. I have always had frequent migraines and anxiety, but it gets worse when I have to see them, after I finished explaining all of this to my mom, she fully supported me and my decision and for a while I felt confident in it.
However, recently I have had some second thoughts. My mom's family is completely out of the picture, and I really want some family in my corner, I don't want to lose all of them and other than this and the view they have of my mom they have treated me amazingly. I don't know if I am overreacting or if I am justified in my decision, so that is why I came here to see what the best decision would be.
So, AITBA for wanting to cut my family off after they made me uncomfortable?
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2023.03.25 23:24 sopht-gth I (21f) need some advice about my ex boyfriend (22m)
I just need some input.
Hi everyone. I'm really hesitant to post this here and ask for advice in the first place, but my heart is so lost and my mind feels so plagued.
My (21f) ex-boyfriend (22m) has broken up with me for three times at this point. The first time, I was beside myself. We were together for nearly three years and we had met when I was 17 -- my years of adult growth and a plethora of new experiences. I fell so in love with him that I would have done anything to keep him, and I tried my hardest. Eventually, we got back together by me reaching out. Several months later, we broke up again. I was still devastated, but it hurt less. He reached back out, and I accepted him back despite me knowing my worth more this time. Then, several months later, yet again. They were all brought up by him and each time he blew up on me and said awful things and made awful claims. It was so demeaning and I just sat and took it every time. Well, sat on my phone and just read as I bawled. He never once had this discussion with me in person. We never communicated his issues towards me and he never opened up to me.
Despite his emotional abuse towards me, I still love him. I'm so absolutely in love with him and I miss him so much. I've tried to hard to move on the past two times he's broken up with me, because I thought I could be through with the heartache caused by him and find someone better,, but I can't. I've met people that have treated me so well, that find themselves loving me, but I can't do that in the same fashion as I did with my ex boyfriend. No one will ever compare to him and the connection we share.
I've had dreams about him previously that have came true, about him apologizing to me and us getting back together. I've been having these dreams of him recently and I'm both so excited and so scared to have a dream like that again. I want us back together, I miss him so much, but his treatment towards me has been awful. It hurts because not all the time is it awful, only when things get really bad for him.
I've recently found out that he should be getting help and that he's become more stable than he has been in a long while, and I'm so proud of him for that. I've also learned he misses me. I miss him too. I want to get back together.
The issue is, my friends and family practically hate him. They have every right to. He left me defeated, where I was at my absolute breaking point. I couldn't sleep at night, I'd wake up in a pool of anxiety sweat. I didn't eat. I'd wail for him. He left me broken. But, each time he broke up with me, it hurt less and less. I'm practially numb to it now and I expected this last break up to happen. I knew it would. Despite this turmoil, that's gone on for a year, I crave him. I want him back. I miss our connection and I miss talking to him and hearing his voice. I miss being his family. I still think he is my soulmare and my person.
I'm just lost. I know my worth and I know I deserve better than how I've been treated by him, but I am also aware that he hasn't been in his right mental and emotional state (mind) for a couple years now. I feel for him. I want him to get better and I've noticed he's taken steps for that.
I'm essentially asking for thoughts and opinions, potentially stories relating to my predicament, whether bad or good. I know I sound delusional, but I can't snap out of how I feel. I really think he was made for me, and although I'm frustrated with his actions, I understand him. I miss him.
Thank you all in advance.
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2023.03.25 23:21 shining-brightly Constipation after cerclage
I am 20 weeks and 4 days along with my 4th baby. On Wednesday (20+1) we had our anatomy scan and discovered that for unknown reasons my cervix was extremely short, 9mm I believe they said. This was never a concern for my previous pregnancies and was not on my radar at all. Baby girl is healthy and strong. We were sent immediately to a Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist where they squeezed us in to finish the sonogram and assess. This doctor discovered that my cervix was actually open already and my amniotic sac was bulging into my vaginal canal. He was able to get us into surgery within 2 hours from that moment. I had a cerclage placed and was kept overnight for monitoring. I am now home on bedrest and will be returning for assessment in a week. I have had bleeding, but it is mucousy as opposed to watery so that is apparently fine (though still frightening to me).
Today is 3 days after the surgery and I felt like I needed to poop. So I tried a little. But it's huge and hard and I started freaking out bc they told me to be careful not to get constipated. I'm assuming this is to prevent pressure and pushing. Idefinitely strained a little and then realized that My vagina felt bulgy and swollen so i sucked back in what I couldnt get out and wiped what was there but now I'm basically laying in bed prarie dogging it with a massive poo because I'm scared to push it out. (Laying down the poop feeling has subsided, but i still feel preasure, although it is extreemly possible that I'm over imagining that bc im nervous). I have been taking iron and I know that probably contributed as well, but I'm severely annemic so I kinda need to continue that. I had previously been balancing the constipation with natural calm (a magnesium supplement) HOWEVER my husband has always been against me using it to poop and since he is bringing everything to me I know he has been giving me half the dose that I usually give myself. I know that he is concerned about me using too much but like literally I need it right now. How much natural calm/magnesium is too much? He's gone to get stool softeners (he forgot them the last time he ran to the store). I take 2 scoops of the powder, the tub comes with a little scooper I can't go check what the amount is though.
Basically, am I freaking out over nothing? He did just bring me a strong drink of the natural calm and I'm hoping it doesn't take ages to kick in. Should I try to poo? Or try to wait until it comes out easy? Will that happen since I took the stronger amount of magnesium and am hopfuly going to take a stool softener soon as well.
What would you do? I feel really dumb posting this as the entire experience has been kinda traumatic but this is the part I'm focused on right now you know? Like, holy eff I don't want to rip out my stitches trying to poo. Thanks
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2023.03.25 23:13 Shin-kun1997 [SF] Epsilon’s Trial
I'd love to have some critiques and feedback as I plan to publish this into something real at some point. This is also a draft. Many thanks With heavy shoulders slumped, Sebastian Pasquet walked through the door of his house and kicked off his shoes, dropping the suitcase and hanging up his jacket. The turtleneck shirt he wore was covered in specs of dust and dirt, all of which emerged from today's earlier events.
“Ugh. I swear this position is gonna drive me into the bloody ground.” he grunted in a thick English accent. “I’m home.”
His voice caught the attention of a woman dressed in a blue shirt and apron, her hair was a dark silver and her eyes were violet, but her most defining features were a pair of cat-like ears protruding from her head, as well as a tail that stretched down to her feet. She walked towards him and instantly embraced him in a hug, causing him to drop the suitcase. He didn’t care and simply returned the love, pushing his lips against hers as he smirked. Greeting him was his wife, Alvia. A Felis from the planet Eria some 230,000,000 kilometers from Fiore.
A world with the lowest population in Eridani at 2.5 billion inhabited by a shy, peaceful race that, while possessing spaceflight and the ability to travel through jump space, had no off world settlements apart from their moon.
“Welcome back.” she said as her tail curved around his leg. “I missed you so much. It’s five thirty by the way, don’t you usually get out by four?”
“There was an accident on one of the launch pads that needed attention.”
“Oh my, I hope no one was hurt.”
“Don’t worry, it was an unmanned test. No crew on board.”
“Ah, great. Well my love, your hard day's work is over for the time being.” She pecked his cheek once more. “Come on, dinner’s almost finished.”
He stepped into the living room where a young boy was sitting on the floor reading a children's book. The area was designed with a modern and cozy aesthetic with the TV embedded in the wall, an L-shaped couch at the center, and family portraits stacked across a nearby table. One of them depicted Sebastian five years ago in his EVA suit, taken just before launch. His seven year old son, Jeremy, greeted him with a hug. While he resembled a younger version of himself, he’d been born a Felis just like Alvia, inheriting his mothers ears and tail.
“Hey kiddo.” Sebastian said, picking him up and scratching behind his ears. “What’d you do all day?”
“I got to help mom with dinner.” he replied, in a cheery voice. “Oh, Dad, are we still gonna go to the expo? Mari said she’s going with her parents.”
Jeremy had been referring to the Interstellar Aerospace Expo of 2273, which was to be held on the planet Vandam in two months. The annual thirteen day long convention where space companies, private initiatives, and anti-gravity racers from all across Eridani gathered to celebrate the one thing they all shared in common; flying.
“Of course we are.” Sebastian replied. “But were you good in school today?”
His son nodded.
“Then, I’ll be sure to take you to the anti-gravity race when we go.”
Jeremy cheered at his reply. Upon putting him down, Alvia directed him to wash his hands before dinner. He watched Jeremy head up the stairs towards the bathroom as his wife placed her head against his shoulder. “I swear, he can’t stop talking about that event.” she said.
Changing into a t-shirt he plopped onto the couch and turned the TV on just in time to witness a news report taking place. A story discussing a recent development regarding an unknown object floating within space, specifically the Strain Belt, the massive asteroid belt that separated Fiore from Eris. The screen then switched to a photograph taken within the belt via a satellite, depicting a violet light within a field of asteroids. As his wife sat beside him Sebastian became puzzled at the story, his mind curious as to what the supposed entity could be. “I read this somewhere earlier. Some are just saying it could be a comet.” Alvia said.
“But what kind of comet stays in the exact same place?” he replied. “It’s probably a defunct probe that’s reached its end.”
Alvia shrugged her shoulders as Sebastian began to massage her ears, which she loved a lot. “Maybe. So, how was today apart from the accident you mentioned?”
“Sorting through paperwork. Supersiving vehicle operation. In short, horrifying.”
“Aw, my peach sounds like he’s been through too much. It’s been two years now since you’ve had this position, director of the astronaut corps.”
“It has its perks. I get to fly in those fancy spaceliners for business trips across the planet or to the moon.”
“Oh? Then maybe you can book us a nice getaway towards those fancy beach hotels.” Sebastian rolled his eyes and smiled at her answer. Alvia slowly raised her head and pressed her lips against his once more, giving Sebastian the go ahead to massage her tail.
The two ceased their advances immediately upon hearing the voice of their son in front of them. There, Jeremy stood, mocking his parents' act of love causing the two of them to laugh. When all was said and done they walked towards the kitchen where dinner was served, the entire time Sebastian was subjected to Jeremy’s rambling about the exposition.
The next day Sebastian found himself quickly jogging through the halls of Ophir Space Complex, the campus-sized facility that managed all launches and missions of the company. He arrived at the designated meeting room and was greeted by the sight of James sitting at the head of an oval-shaped mahogany table. Beside him were Romero and Alex as well, all dressed in matching suit attire. Sebastian noticed at the table center a hologram of the planet Fiore, which was odd because this room didn’t have that feature the previous day.
“Sorry if I’m late. Had to drop my son off at school and traffic was impatient on the way back.” Sebastian said, taking his seat.
“Not at all mate. We’re waiting on a few more actually.” Romero replied, shaking Sebastian's hand. “How is your boy anyway?”
“Excited for the expo, that’s for sure. Says some of his friends are going too.”
“Same for me and my little girl.” Alex added. “I hear that there’s going to be a Human vs. Astrean anti-gravity prix.”
“How much do you want to bet they’ll kick our arses?”
Eventually several other suited men stepped into the room and upon closing the door, took their seats and greeted Sebastian and his colleagues. “Good. Now that everyone’s here, let's get this meeting started.” Romero proclaimed. “To begin, what is on the schedule for this month in terms of the new models?”
“Fortunately the accident yesterday was only minor and the damage was menial, the engineers over at our plant in Harriet are repairing it as we speak.” Alex replied. “Construction on two other prototypes are underway as we speak.”
“Will it be ready in time for the exposition?” another man asked.
“We believe so. With a little more time.”
“More time? The event is in two months and we have yet to present anything to the board and CEO. If we don’t procure results fast we’ll be coming in fifth place for the fourth year in a row.”
“Easy now, I’m sure our engineers here are on the case. Yesterday’s mishap has not slowed us down before, and it will not slow us down again.”
The hologram at the center suddenly switched to a star map of Eridani, displaying all barren and inhabited worlds within the star system, including the eight planets humanity resided on. Their names were shown just below the tiny sphere they represented. Daphne. Rhea. Nova. Antari. Freya. Cascade. . And his own planet, Fiore.
Soon after, a hologram of the spacecraft in question appeared at the center of the map as well. Sebastian was silent for the most part, somewhat annoyed at the constant bickering between the old men. “The model comes in one and two seater variants we’ve labeled as the Ichinose-class. Its nickname is Epsilon.” Alex spoke. “We were implementing a two engine propulsion system that not only propels the ship forward, but provides power for the rest of the ship. Sebastian, wanna give the rundown?”
He nodded, shifting everyone's attention to the TV display on the wall which now showed a diagram of the ship.
“Our spacecraft compared to Astreans, while advanced, are relatively primitive in their eyes. Well at least in terms of design and architecture. Astreans ships use deuterium and tritium to power their reactors while we use deuterium and helium-3, with liquid hydrogen remaining as the primary fuel source. But what makes Epsilon different is its engines.”
“Oh?” another man said.
“Typically, our vehicles employ chemically fueled aerospike plasma engines, the newer engines you’re seeing here are fusion powered and designed to not only provide direct thrust, but power to the spacecraft altogether.”
Each of the men’s eyes widened at Sebastians response. Such a design for a spacecraft was unproven on Fiore, but the concept and practicality was very much real. In fact most companies and organizations on other human worlds had recently fielded such designs. Sebastian continued. “Speed is also another factor we’ve looked over. A typical trip from Fiore to Eris in this planetary system will take around 7 hours. These engines can cut that flight down to just 2.5 hours of non-stop travel. Especially when you consider that it takes 5 hours to get to the Strain Belt.”
The men then began conversing amongst themselves at Sebastians statement. While some of them were supportive of the concept of lower trips across the interplanetary medium, others were skeptical. When asked if the engines were tested with astronauts Sebastian shook his head. “I haven’t assigned anyone to fly it as of yet, but rest assured the tests are coming back with many positive results.”
“Positive, but unmanned,” he replied. “If this were to fail, the amount of bad publicity would damage our reputation for years to come. We cannot proceed further without human ratings.”
Sebastian sighed to himself as he grunted, the men of the table chatting back and forth about the safety and possible outcomes the fusion engines would provide. He tried to find the words to say to appease the table but their corporate tone, mildly annoying political voices hindered that effort. For the past several minutes the meeting continued, with two sides discussing both the pros and cons of having such a design. Finally, after seemingly an eternity of old men debating over coffee as his wife put it, he slammed a hand on the table causing Alex to flinch. Standing from his seat, all eyes were now trained on him. “Enough. All this bickering is not getting us anywhere. If you want results, I’ll fly the damn ship myself.”
As if coming to some horrendous realization the table's members simply stared at Sebastian upon his closing statement. For his part, Sebastian was set on fulfilling the test operation. Further explaining that he would assign himself to a manned test of the vehicle as soon as possible. “I’m not so sure that would be an appropriate move, as the astronaut office head you’re responsible for ensuring launch vehicles are up to company standards.”
“And what better way to do that than from inside the said vehicle?” Sebastian replied. “Look, everyone in both corporate and engineering is under a lot of stress and worrying about our place at the exposition. I can put all those to rest with a simple interplanetary flight to Eria.”
“I agree.” Alex added. “Sebastian is one of the more experienced pilots in the program as well, especially when you look at his resume.”
Silence filled the room. The diagram of the engine disappeared from the screen as Sebastian took his seat once more, their eyes wandering back and forth as if lost in thought and trying to find counter arguments. As it became evident that there were no further words to say, one of the men had taken a piece of paper and began writing. “I will take it to the board then,” he said. “If we’re talking about a spaceflight, then might we add an extra task?”
When Sebastian arrived at the Strain Belt he was fast at work, enjoying the wilderness of space that he’d spent so long away from. A week had passed and he was installing one of many beacons along a column of asteroids, his EVA circulating oxygen and maintaining a stable body temperature. He had departed Fiore a few hours earlier after taking Jeremy to school and kissing his wife goodbye, now conducting a mission which included not only working out any of Epsilon’s bugs, but locating an interstellar object which had been spotted by a company space probe. Sebastian jumped from the asteroid and floated back towards Epsilon where the airlock was still open. Pressurizing the interior he assumed control of the vehicle and used the thrusters to gently move into more open space. The thick concentration of asteroids surrounding him resembled a field of death, something no human without the proper experience should be able to survive.
While the ship's hull was sturdy, Sebastian had to maintain constant caution. His senses were on full alert even from inside the safety of the ship. The occasional bumps along the exterior would cause any inexperienced pilot to flinch, but Epsilon was made of some of the best titanium Fiore had. As he arrived at the signal's location Sebastian found himself cast into a sea of dark, the sun barely shining through the asteroids that circled him. “I can’t see it yet.” he said to himself. “The news showed that thing to be a bright violet light, but where would it be?”
After floating through the belt for several minutes he was caught by the flash of a bright light, the familiar violet color from the news made its appearance known again. Activating Epsilon’s fusion engines Sebastian sped towards the light as it began to vanish as quickly as it came. He turned on the spacecraft's exterior lights to get a full view of what was before him. “Holy crap…”
His eyes took a moment to register what everyone at the space center assumed it to be. A large horizontal object with a shape almost like an oversized satellite with a rod attached to the end, two flat extensions resembling solar panels, and a round dome that covered its opposite end. In fact its shape and various extensions gave it the appearance of a small space station. “Control, I think I’ve found it.” Sebastian said through comms. “These markings along the side, those definitely aren’t human made.”
“We read you Epsilon. Are you saying what we’re all thinking?”
“Yeah. This thing is definitely of Xanadu origin.”
The sound of applause could be heard at the end of the radio. Sebastian smirked as he leaned back in his seat upon discovering one of thousands, if not millions of different advanced ancient technologies spread throughout the Milky Way. After relaying the artifact’s location and back to Fiore, his celebration abruptly ended when an alarm began to sound. Glancing at the radar beneath him he spotted two red dots, each representing ships, heading for his position. Sensing something was wrong Sebastian quickly displayed an enhanced frame of the space before him, what he could see were two low grade spacecraft flying towards his position. “Aw crap.” Sebastian said, activating the engines. “Control, we’ve got a problem. I’ve got a band of Outcast pirates on my plate now.”
“Well would you look at that.” one of them spoke through comms. “Looks like we’ve got ourselves a butterfly trapped in a thorn bush. No biggie, you hand over that structure there and things don’t have to go south.”
Sebastian sighed. “It was hard enough having to navigate through this freaking death field. Now I have scumbags like you in my schedule? Geeze it just ain’t my day.”
“What was that?!” One of the ships activated their weapons systems.
“Did I stutter? I called you a bunch of low life trash bags who’re probably too stupid to know how a coffee maker works.”
Before he knew it, a concentrated beam of energy came flying through the asteroid field. Using Epsilon’s powerful thrusters Sebastian was only barely able to dodge it. He gripped the stick and began to fly forwards into the fray. To maintain his stability Sebastian had to keep the fusion engine's velocity at a minimum so as to not crash into any asteroids, or worse, the pirates spacecraft. “Looks like this butterfly’s been reading too many fantasies. Let’s show em who’s in charge around here!”
He soon found one of the ships now tailing him. Another stream of energy zipped past his ship and grazed the side of the hull plating, setting off another alarm Sebastian quickly silenced. Activating Epsilon's energy shields he quickly formulated a plan in order to gain the upper hand. Despite being a prototype, Epsilon was equipped with defenses including a directed energy weapon and four missiles stored in a lower chamber. “Damn. If this keeps up I’ll run out of fuel before I can even plan for the expo’s entrance.” he said to himself, scoffing. “No matter, I’ve got a few tricks of my own.”
As he piloted Epsilon through the dense field he remained calm and collected, knowing that fear and panic would only make the situation much more dire. A common aspect all astronauts followed when venturing in or far from Eridani. Paranoia would only spell certain demise. Sebastian circled another set of rocks before raising his altitude, catching the tailing ship off guard. The ship slammed into the side of the asteroid at an intense velocity. Engulfing the ship in a silent explosion as the flames vanished. “One down, one more to go.” Sebastian said. “Hm?”
He stabilized his altitude and ceased all movement to find the last remaining pirate ship before him; it was a few thousand feet away but close enough for Sebaatian to see. Strangely it made no attempts to move, no communication from its crew, all he could see was the low-budget ship flash a red light from its bridge area occasionally. “What the heck are they doing…?”
Sebastian realized too late. Within several seconds his spacecraft's systems suddenly began to go haywire, the electricity malfunctioning and life support beginning to fail. Putting on his helmet Sebastian quickly maneuvered Epsilon out of view from the Outcasts using what little power from the spacecraft's backup systems he had. He’d been hit with an EMP. “We’ve got him. Finish him off so we can claim our prize.”
Sebastian began to assess the situation as the pirate's spacecraft hovered towards him, the Outcast fired another stream of energy towards Epsilon causing the ship's hull to deteriorate. Using the thrusters Sebastian shifted behind an asteroid to avoid another oncoming stream of energy. Several minutes had passed with Epsilon sneaking around the Outcast ship and avoiding whatever attacks it could. Eventually the two ships found themselves coming within range of a pocket of controlled space within the Strain Belt, Sebastian could spot the orbital infrastructure that made up Ophir Strait. One of only two clear paths of the Strain Belt that served as a trade route between Fiore and Eria. “Damn it.” he grunted, hitting the dashboard. “If I don’t end this quickly then we’re both gonna be fired on by the security bots.”
Separated by fifty miles, Sebastian was well outside the exclusion zone of the trade route, and with Epsilon's systems finally back online he ran another scan for the remaining Outcast ship. He spotted him several thousand kilometers in front of him once more, only this time he couldn't see him out the canopy window.
Sebastian squinted his eyes as he looked out the window, his grip firm on the stick as he came to realize that he had to. He thought of Alvia and Jeremy back on Fiore, both of them waiting for his safe return and comforting presence once more. Taking in a breath, he gradually began to speed towards the craft.
“Alright…we got one shot at this.” Sebastian said. “This doesn’t work, then Ophir Strait falls apart.”
Sebastian locked onto the Outcast ahead of him and fired one of the missiles beneath the spacecraft, but not before slightly altering its trajectory. Epsilon increased its speed enough causing the interior to shake and vibrate, the energy shields surrounding the outside were activated once again, as asteroids flew past the canopy glass at a high velocity. Within just a few minutes the Outcast ship came within sight. It fired its directed energy once again straight towards Epsilon which made contact with the energy shield. However Sebastian continued to fly straight towards the craft, ignoring the reducing shield's power. The Outcast panicked, as it appeared that Sebastian would crash Epsilon straight into his ship. “Are you crazy?!” the pirate shouted.
Sebastian was unfazed. “Maybe.”
Before he knew it the Outcast was closer than ever, within a split second Sebastian's spacecraft zipped by the pirate in a swift clean motion. Epsilon then used its thrusters to reduce its velocity once more, the pirate beginning to laugh. “What the hell was that? No guts to finish it huh?” His ship's energy weapon began to charge. “Looks like this is it then, butterfly.”
“Yeah. For you at least.”
Confused, the Outcast demanded to know what he meant. Sebastian for his part, chuckled as he directed the pirate to look behind him. The two missiles Epsilon fired earlier had reemerged and, with brute force, smashed into the pirates ship from both port and starboard side. A ball of fire engulfed the surrounding space followed by a brief blinding light. All of which could be seen, but not heard. The flames vanished. Filling the space with debris from the destroyed ship that floated off into various directions. Sebastian let out a breath of relief as Epsilon, damaged but still alive, gently raised its altitude to be above the Strain Belt. The sun’s light shone through the glass as he took off his helmet and accepted the light.’ “Epsilon, this is Fiore! Epsilon, do you read?” a voice spoke through comms.
“Fiore this is Epsilon, good to hear your voice.”
“Sebastian? Thank God. What’s happening up there? The signal cut out and we’ve been trying to reach you!”
Looking around the interior of the cabin he shrugged his shoulders, taking off his communications cap he responded. “Well Fiore, I don’t know how to quite say this….”
Two months had passed since the incident in the Strain Belt, the Xanadu artifact had been secured by the company and taken to an orbital research station on one of Fiore’s moons.
The stadium had been packed to the rim with civilians from all across Eridani filling the twenty thousand seats that surrounded the massive holographic screen at the center of the ring. Fireworks lit the dim sky accompanied by confetti raining from passing overhead ships, and the cheers of all resonated throughout the air. Flags of the various inhabited worlds throughout Eridani flew along the center. Among the thousands of civilians, Sebastian sat beside his wife with their son between them.
“Hey, look.” Alvia said, pointing upward. “They’re starting.”
Sebastian glanced towards the sky and his eyes were as wide as dinner plates, as five spacecraft conducting a flyover soared over the stadium in formation. Leaving behind trails blue and white smoke that casted the air in a striped pattern. They were Epsilon spacecraft, the very vehicle that saved his life within the Strain Belt. It was the second day of the 2273 Interstellar Aerospace Expo, hosted by the Astreans that lived on the planet Seira, the day that would kick off with a traditional anti-gravity race between the humans teams from Fiore, and the Jurahan teams from Eden. “Dad, are we gonna win?” Jeremy asked.
Sebastian smiled and ruffled his hair. “I sure as hell hope so kid. That way Alex will be getting me lunch when we head back.”
Alvia covered Jeremy’s ears. “Sebastian, language. Not in front of Jeremy.”
“What? If I remember correctly you did the same before we left.”
Alvia playfully punched his arm before placing Jeremy on her lap.
Within moments of the racers being introduced the host of the show gave a brief speech to the people, welcoming all in attendance to both the race and the exposition. Upon finishing the anti-gravity timer began its countdown from ten, with the people all counting in unison as per tradition. The entire Sebastian couldn’t wipe the cheeky smirk off his face as he and his family cheered. Ecstatic that everything in the end worked out, from getting Epsilon approved in time for the exposition, to satisfying his son’s thirst for adventure. As the anti-gravity vehicles sped off into the fray he wrapped an arm around Alvia’s waist to pull her closer. “You know you still owe me an explanation about what happened.” she said. “I want to know all about your first time back up in space.”
“Yeah. Well I’ll tell you…most of what happened.”
Sebastian pecked Alvia’s cheek, as the romanticized scale of the fireworks and race continued.
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2023.03.25 23:11 violetnine9 Advice for a newbie fast food manager?
Hello! I was recently told that my managers would like to promote me to manager and want me to be a leader. I said I would like to be promoted and now my training starts Monday to learn how to open the store. The thing is they also told me they want me to be a leader on the first day, to care about the drive through times, and to run the shift where people are actually working and not just standing around not knowing what to do. I want some advice on how I can even build up the confidence in one day to start telling people to work to make the times and to make sure the lobby is clean/stocked and the front countewindow area is too. I also don't want to be a crappy manager who wears the workers down unreasonably or be the manager everyone walks over. With this job before they asked me to be manager, I did all these things with no problem cause I knew if I had it done I'd be able to stand around until it needed to be done again. I thought doing those things in between orders made the time pass because I wasn't constantly focused on it. I was finally at peace with how I worked and only when taking orders would I ask coworkers to do this or that if I couldn't myself and of course I'd ask it in the form of a question and include a please and thank you. I guess I need advice on how to be a good manager that employees don't hate or walk all over or if that's not possible at least learn how to do the best I can and be at peace that I know I'm trying. Anything is appreciated thank you!
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2023.03.25 23:11 Morzo_Voidmaster [FN] A Cretaceous Fairy Tale
In the Late Cretaceous of a fairy tale world much like our own live critters, familiar yet strange. Dinosaurs and mammals kill and die like animals, but think and speak like men. One devours the other, but might chat a bit before. In this society of physiological unequals, the mammals form the downtrodden. And, like in our world, where there are downtrodden, there is music.
Subtropical forest covers what will someday be New Jersey. A hollow earthen mound four meters high and twelve across nestles among the flowering trees. A sign sits out front announcing the mound's name, The Dugout, and purpose, as a venue for bands. Inside lies an elevated stage lit by torches and a skylight and fronted by six logs for seating. The seats are quickly filling up with dozens of mammals of various sizes and diets. On stage are four didelphodons, mammals of contemporarily large size.
The stage mammals are each nearly a meter long from the top of their head to the tip of their tail. Right now, they stand like men, eighty centimeter tall men. Three brothers and a sister, they are both siblings and bandmates. One brother, Eddy, is the singer for the band and the star of our tale.
Eddy is the youngest and the shortest but has a voice that could make a T-Rex swoon. A crop of long blonde hair sits atop his head, contrasting his otherwise brown fur. His clawed hands pluck and tune an acoustic guitar of exceptional quality. On its back are inscribed these words, "For our little rock star, Eddy, love Mom and Dad."
Eddy looks around at the other members of the band.
There is his brother Tommy, their lead guitarist and second oldest. He wears both a bandana and a bad attitude but Eddy knows the kindness and patience he can show when giving a guitar lesson.
His brother Sparky, their drummer and second youngest, gnaws on his sticks with a crazed look and spiky hair. After all these years, he is still charged with energy from the lightning strike.
His sister Lucy, their bass player and oldest sibling, stands nearest. Her flowing blonde hair hides her face but he knows she is always watching. She has been the siblings' rock ever since Mom and Dad's death.
All six logs are filled to the brim, a crowd of nearly a hundred. A full moon hangs in the meter-wide skylight. Eddy steps forward to the wooden funnel which serves as a microphone.
"Thank you all for coming out tonight," he says. "We have some great music ahead, but first let me introduce you to the band. There's my brother, Tommy, my brother, Sparky, and my dear sister, Lucy. Together, we are Bad Litter!"
Eddy then steps back for a second, closes his eyes and imagines the faces of his parents.
"Mom, Dad," he says, "if you're watching from heaven, I love you."
Then, he begins to sing:
"When the sun comes out, and I see you there. My heart begins, to burn again. In this big world, it's just you and me. With you at my side, I'll always be free—"
"Dryptosaur," screams someone from the crowd as a shadow passes across the stage. Perching in the skylight, blocking the full moon, is a five meter long raptor-like dinosaur with a red and white coat of feathers indicative of a female.
Eddy stops singing. Tommy and Lucy stop playing. Sparky, slow to the uptake, keeps banging his drums. The dryptosaur puts an end to it by crushing him with one taloned foot.
Tommy, never quick to anger, charges at his brother's killer and strikes the dryptosaur on the shin with his guitar. The guitar breaks at the neck. The dryptosaur breaks Tommy's neck.
Lucy shields Eddy behind her, determined to protect her youngest and only remaining brother. His eyes transfix on her long hair as he watches her rise into the air by way of the dryptosaur's clawed hand.
With the other hand, the dryptosaur casually snaps Lucy's neck. Her struggling stops and her body becomes as limp as her hair. Then into the jaws of death she goes. Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.
The dryptosaur sits down on the stage beside Eddy, her collossal legs stretching out to the third row of the now empty seats.
"Hey," she says.
Eddy says nothing.
"That's okay, I understand, you've been through a very traumatic experience. We'll have plenty of time for conversation later."
With bloodstained fingers she pulls Eddy to her side.
"Congratulations, Eddy, you just enrolled in my school of life."
The sun rises over the forest, its rays poking through the dense foliage to pattern the ground. Bad Litter's devourer slumbers on a pile of fallen leaves, her head tucked into her arms and her tail wrapped around her whole. A beam of light prods her eye and she wakes with a yawn.
Not seeing Eddy anywhere, she briefly panics before remembering that she is sitting on him, gently, like an egg, so way he cannot escape.
"Sorry if it was a little hard to breathe," she says, "I haven't incubated in years."
Eddy lies face up and spread out. He takes one, deep, grateful breath but is otherwise stoic.
"I wish I'd suffocated," he says at last.
"Poor Eddy," says the dryptosaur, peeling him from the ground and cradling him in her arms. "What misfortune has befallen you? No, wait, I remember."
She laughs in Eddy's face, but loosens her grip enough for him to fall back onto the ground.
"What do you want from me?," says Eddy.
"Your company. I have business to take care of in the Appalachian Mountains. It's a five day journey and I could use some entertainment."
"Then play with yourself."
"I'd much rather play with you. Really, what happened to the little song rat from last night?"
"He died with his band," growls Eddy.
"Well," she growls mockingly, "whomever I'm speaking to currently should get ready to set out."
"You expect me to travel with a stranger who murdered everyone I love?"
"Stranger? That's right, I never properly introduced myself. My name's Tava."
A pause ensued as she obviously wanted him to ask what "Tava" meant.
"What does that—"
"I'm glad you asked Eddy. The name is Tave 'cause I'm hot like lava (tsss). Just replace the 'l' with a capital 'T.'"
Tava pinches Eddy's cheeks and moulds them like putty.
"Say it with me, Tah-vah."
"Trrr-vrrr," says Eddy.
"Close enough. Let's go."
Eddy's guitar sits in its case at the trunk of a nearby tree. Eddy shuffles over to grab it as Tava starts along the path. By the time he has the case in hand, she is ten meters away—far enough for an escape. In a flash of action he drops the guitar case and sprints away on all-fours. He gets some distance before a shadow blots out the sun and a feathered tail slaps him down.
"Eddy," says Tava, now holding him to the ground with one hand, "how could you attempt an escape without your guitar?
Tava opens the case and picks up the guitar with her other hand. Held between her thumb and forefinger, the instrument looks like it is meant for a doll.
"What a work of craftsmanship," says Tava. " And look, something's written on the back. 'For our little rockstar, Eddy. Love Mom and Dad.' How sweet. Maybe you can take me to see them once my business in the Appalachians has concluded."
"They're both dead," says Eddy.
"Any other relatives?"
"I'm all that's left."
"A one-of-a-kind treasure! And I will treasure you."
Tava retracts her grip on Eddy but presses her snout into him. Her yellow eyes drill yet further.
"Don't even think about escaping," she says. "I'm faster, I'm stronger, and, most importantly, I'm smarter than you."
Tava recedes to let oxygen refill Eddy's lungs before clasping him again in her free claw. She places him in the valley between her neck and arch of her back.
"I'll tote you for a while. You know, as a favor. After all, what are friends for?"
Eddy does not answer, nor does he speak much over the next three days. He and his guitar are mere passengers on a walking, feathered prison. He dismounts only to eat, a terrible process in which Tava forces bugs and water down his throat, and sleep, again with her sitting on him like an egg.
The scenery changes throughout the third day from a coastal forest to one more suited to hills. Trees are more spaced out, undergrowth lessens and streams cut ravines several times deeper than Tava is tall. Eddy begins to have morbid daydreams in which Tava slips and he falls off into a ravine, hitting head first onto a boulder strewn streambed.
His daydream stops when they encounter a large duck-billed dinosaur blocking their path. The creature is a sessile herbivore and there are many other paths, but Tava is in a fighting mood.
"Move your ass duckface!," she yells.
"There are plenty of other routes around me," responds Duckface in speech garbled by a mouth full of leaves and stems.
"But I like this one. Remove yourself or I'll remove you, one piece at a time."
Duckface's tail swings at Tava. She dodges but flings Eddy and his guitar case in the process. Tava leaps about before finally tricking Duckface into headbutting a tree and knocking himself unconscious. Tava grabs Eddy and his guitar and passes through.
The encounter makes Tava cheerful and keeps her so into the night. Instead of smothering Eddy, she decides to sleep on her back and let him rest on her heaving chest.
"The moon is starting to wane," says Tava. "Pretty soon the stars will practically explode out of the black sky. Some see pictures in the stars, caricatures of creatures drawn onto the sky. Would you like me to show you?"
Eddy moans lowly.
"I'll list them then," she continues. "There's the raptor, the rat, the fish, the seabird, the crocodile, the caterpillar. It's all a fantasy to make life more than it is, to project ourselves onto an immensity we cannot know. I hope you're turning this rant into a song. Hey!"
Tava grabs Eddy who curls tighter. She then pries him open and flattens him out. Tears and snot reflect on his face in the moonlight.
"Why?," says Eddy.
"Why what, dear?"
"Why do you torture me?"
"Isn't it obvious? Because you were born weak and I strong. Because life is torture."
"No, no," he says, shaking his head, "life is beautiful."
"You of all people should know better than that."
"Life can be ugly but can also be love, and family, and music, and—"
"Enough! Let me tell you about life, my delusional little friend. Life, for all creatures, is the struggle not to starve, to consume anything and anyone you can fit in your mouth and swallow without choking. We are but walking digestive tracts, gnashing teeth on one end and excreting waste out the other."
Eddy curls back up and begins to whimper.
"You'll see soon enough," says Tava, rubbing her gurgling stomach.
Night turns into day accompanied by the chirping conversations of treetop birds. The ancestors of orchids bloom all around. Eddy sits a few meters from a stream with his guitar in hand. He carefully replaces a broken string then tunes the whole guitar. Tava, who had "a matter to attend to," emerges from the bushes.
"I had feared that our little rumble might have ruined your guitar," she says. "I underestimated your talents."
Eddy remains silent.
"How about a song to celebrate its repair."
"Sing away," says Eddy
"Stoicism is the enemy of musicians everywhere. But I have the cure. Get up and follow me."
Eddy follows Tava into the underbrush.
"I think you'll like what I've cooked up," she says. "I'm surprised that it took this long, but I suppose I'm not young anymore."
Eddy and Tava come to a small clearing with something steaming at its center. As he looks closer, a red bandana becomes visible. His face contorts into a look of pure horror as he realizes what it is that he sees.
"The band is reunited!," says Tava.
"Oh that's right, it's also a family reunion too."
Tava leans over and shares Eddy's eye level.
"Do I spot a family resemblance?"
Tava walks away in a fit of laughter while Eddy collapses into tears.
On day five, Tava hikes through the ever thinner tree cover with Eddy and his guitar tied to her back with a piece of vine. She climbs atop a rock outcrop and spies three dryptosaurs standing near a pond a few hills over.
"Well, well," says Tava. "How would you like to go for a swim, Eddy?"
"I would like you to drown me," he responds.
"No can do, my macabre little friend. But I think I'll show you off to some admirers of mine. Get ready to sing."
Tava makes footfalls softer than the rustling of her feathers. She is mere meters away from the three dryptosaurs by the time they are aware of her. Smaller than Tava, their colored feathers distinguish them as males. Tava unties Eddy and his guitar case as the group ahead starts to run away.
"Don't bother," says Tava, "you know I'm twice as fast as any of you. Besides, I come in peace. Eddy, may I introduce my friends, Alexander, Montgomery, and Laurence."
"Don't think we forgot what you did to poor Laurence two months ago," says Alexander. "He still walks with a limp."
"It's true!," says Laurence, shrinking into himself.
"We're not your friends," says Alexander, "and you're not welcome here, Lucille."
"My name's Tava now."
"Tava?," says Alexander. "Let me guess, you changed the "l" in lava to a 'T.' Lava is hot so Tava is 'too hot.'"
"You're lucky I'm already pregnant, otherwise I'd give you a limp too, Alexander."
"Pregnant?," whispers Laurence.
"Then what do you want, Tah-vah?," says Alexander.
Tava holds Eddy out like a new toy, shaking him mildly.
Behold," she says, "my new song rat. Give them a sample Eddy."
"That couldn't be . . .," says Laurence.
"Would any of you be kind enough to kill me?," says Eddy in a monotone voice.
"A real vocal icon you have there," says Alexander. "Does he dance too? Perhaps the Stand-Still Boogie?"
Tava sets Eddy down and storms up to Alexander, who shrinks a little. Montgomery backs him up but Laurence slips away.
"Perhaps you'd like to dance," says Tava. "I'm proficient at the Bruised Danube."
Eddy looks up to find Laurence standing over him.
"I don't believe it," giggles Laurence, "you're Eddy, the lead singer of Bad Litter! I am a huge fan. W-where's the rest of the band?"
Eddy points to Tava.
"Shat out," he says.
Laurence looks at Tava then jerks his gaze away in horror.
"She, she, she ate them? But why did she leave you?"
"I don't know. I wish she hadn't. Could you kill me? I don't care to live anymore."
"Y-yes. Yes, of course, anything to help. But since you're the only surviving member, could you sign this t-shirt for me first?"
"If that's the price of relief, sure."
"Thank you so much. It really means a lot to have—"
"Get away from my pet, Laurence!"
Laurence turns to see Tava a nose length away. He grabs his t-shirt and runs away.
"Because you three were so rude," says Tava, "I'm not letting you hear a single note from my song rat."
Tava hangs Eddy over her shoulder like a rag and starts to walk away before turning her gaze back to the three dryptosaurs now huddling together for safety.
"But don't worry, boys, I'll be back to take what I want from you."
Eddy watches the three dryptosaurs shrink in his vision, knowing they might be his last chance at freedom, or at least the release of death. On Tava's back and in motionless despair, he rides into the mountains. Vegetation becomes scarce and bare rock erupts everywhere. The path winds through limestone which formed before either dinosaurs or mammals even arose.
The fifth day transitions into the sixth without Tava stopping for rest. She marches through the night under the light of a three-quarters moon. Eddy is able to take short naps because Tava is as soft as a feather bed and more than a match for anything that would want to harm him.
Eddy wakes to the sight of a blazing noon sun. Tava is kneeling on a granite plateau, holding her abdomen and screeching in pain.
"Oh, oh ho ho, right on time!," she says. "Get off, I could use some help."
Tava loosens the vine holding Eddy and his guitar case and both slide off her back. She then walks over to a pair of dry, dead bushes and snaps most of their branches off.
"What are you—," Eddy begins.
"Shut up. They're coming. Gotta build a nest."
She weaves the branches into a rough circle, collapses on top and pulls Eddy close.
"Now, keeyeeyeep your eye on the birdie."
A blood-soaked egg peeks through. Eddy places his hands on it, though remains baffled as to what Tava expects him to do. She enlightens him by giving a hard push and ejecting the egg on top of him. It is fifty centimeters long and weighs almost as much as Eddy.
"It's beautiful," he says.
"Glad you like it 'cause there're two more coming."
Sure enough, the process repeats twice more. Eddy corrals the triplets into a triangle.
"Yeah. It will make a good trade."
"Since we're so close I'll tell you. I made a deal with a monastery up ahead. I give them a child to raise, I get some sacred knowledge. Only one child is part of the deal, the other two are extras, just mouths I'll have to feed. Plus they're Laurence's. End their pathetic existence before they hatch into this hellhole of a world."
Eddy rolls one toward the edge of the plateau. It is a ten meter drop, more than enough to kill the unhatched dryptosaur. But he shakes his head and backs away.
"I can't kill a child, even yours."
"For God's sake, I don't have time for your moral bullshit."
Tava kicks the egg off the cliff and twists around to Eddy. Their eyes lock as the sound of cracking shell reverberates up.
"Poor Eddy," says Tava, "his conscience won't let him kill the offspring of his family's devourer. I'll raise the other spare if you like, raise it to eat only your kind. I and it will go back and swallow every one of your concert's audience. We'll shit them out and stick your nose in it."
"You can't shock me anymore."
Tava bares her teeth in full.
"Help me, Eddy," she says softly. "I'm still alive in here."
"What are you doing?"
"Reciting what your dear sister Lucy said as she slid down my throat."
"No, I watched you snap her neck before eating her. She was dead."
"That's what I thought too. But she was alive. I heard her inside of me. I felt her squirm."
"Liar!," screams Eddy.
He leaps at Tava who dodges easily. He gets up and tries again. This time she rolls onto her back and catches him between two toes. She flings him across the small plateau. He hits hard and suffers a broken nose. He slowly stands up but waves any new effort away. He looks at her with tear-filled eyes.
"Why won't you just kill me?," cries Eddy. "Please, please, please. Just let me join my family."
"Poor, delusional Eddy. I have no intention of killing you. You have and will provide me with entertainment. You'll be my prisoner for the rest of your natural life."
The monastery bell starts ringing. A bolt of lightning flashes behind Tava, turning her into a black silhouette.
"Back to the subject of your sister," she says, "Lucy was probably still conscious when she fell on top of her dead, digesting brothers."
Eddy launches himself at Tava, landing on her lowered face.
"That's right, Eddy! Go for the eyes!"
He tries to gnaw one of her eyes out. But she is still too quick and very much in control. The flick from a single finger knocks him off. He recovers in an instant and tackles her gut. It, of course, has little more effect than just sending him backwards.
"Now this is more like it. Where has this Eddy been the whole time?"
He ignores her and refocuses on a new target. A serpentine pattern gets him around Tava and to the two eggs. In an adrenaline-fueled feat of strength, he hoists it onto his back and runs toward the plateau's edge.
"Yes, yes, yes!," cheers Tava.
Eddy heaves the egg over the edge. Panting through gritted teeth, he runs back to grab the other one but Tava swats him down with her tail.
"That's enough destruction for now, my pet. We have an appointment to keep."
Eddy calms down. Tava allows him to walk beside her as she concentrates on carrying the egg.
A storm gathers in the distance as they walk into the monastery courtyard. Cloak-wearing monks of every species move calmly across the paving stones. Mammalians who would normally scatter at the sight of Tava take no precautions as their dinosaur brethren have sworn to defend them.
A single monk emerges from behind the bell. He is of Eddy's species but larger and at least three times as old.
"You have what we asked for?," says the monk.
"Right here, Elder," says Tava.
She places the egg on the ground and allows the Elder to inspect it with a tenderness its mother could never show.
"We thank you for the addition to our ranks," says the Elder. "I wish you peace and—"
"No games, I want my reward."
A stone tablet is brought to the Elder Monk who then hands it to Tava.
"That is the culmination of tens of millennia of observation and study by hundreds of generations of monks who dedicated their lives to—"
"I'm leaving but feel free to continue your monologue."
Eddy and Tava return to the rocky plateau where the last few rays of sunlight shine down. She reads the tablet aloud but Eddy does not comprehend.
"You don't understand the significance of what I'm reading, do you?," says Tava.
"Dig sites, cross-reference, live specimen; sounds like gibberish."
"It talks of a past world very different from our own and promises a future that is likewise."
"Things change, and saying so doesn't add anything."
"It's more than that. The world we live in is much much older than anyone realizes—millions of our lifetimes old. How many people have come and gone before us? A million million? A million million million? And for what purpose did they live and die?"
"To become someone's next meal."
"Yes! The boy learns at last! But that's just the past and present, there's still the future. Another million million million suffering and dying for nothing. To eat or be eaten, this is our fate forever and ever."
The rain starts coming down in large and heavy droplets. Eddy stares up with hate in his eyes.
"You're cruel, sadistic and beyond evil," says Eddy.
"Oh, Eddy, you do know how to flatter a girl. But am I not right?"
Eddy hangs his head. His tears mix with the downpour.
"It's about time you wised up. I ate your family in front of you, abused you in every way I could imagine. Honestly, you should be ashamed that it took this long."
"What should I do now?"
"Sing," says Tava caressing Eddy's chin with her forefinger.
Eddy breathes deeply ang begins:
"Here on the mountain, I am repentant. Resplendent in transcendent notion, that life is incident. Birth and death, ignorant to our animal sorrows. So conscience I set ablaze, and put away my hippy days."
"Splendid!," says Tava, nuzzling Eddy.
The thunderstorm dies down enough to hear the distant monastery bell ring its somber tone.
"Hear that, Eddy? It is our wedding bell. You're mine forever."
Tava and Eddy descend the eastern slopes of the Appalachians in half the time it took to get up them, not only because it is easier, or that Tava is no longer laden with eggs, but because she has won.
They reach the three dryptosaurs' pond in a day. Alexander, Montgomery and Laurence are nowhere to be found.
"Smell that air," says Tava, gulping down oxygen as if giving chase. "The weaker sex of my species has a certain revolting stench. If I hadn't needed that egg, I would never have touched Laurence."
Eddy giggles while making a snow angel in her feathers.
"It's too bad your reputation is now so tarnished," he says.
"Maybe not. The trio isn't likely to go around spreading Laurence's shame. We can kill them, easy, and eat the bodies. Have you ever had dryptosaur?"
"Would love to try it."
"I'll save you some breast meat, that's the juiciest part."
Small birds and mammals watching from the few trees climb to yet higher branches on hearing Tava and Eddy's awful plans.
"We have an audience," says Tava. "Why don't you pull out your guitar and play for them."
"Any requests?," says Eddy.
"Something morbid, I suppose. I really don't care. I'm taking a dip in the pond to wash off the blood still caked on my ass from the eggs."
"I'll make our audience fall from the trees in despair."
Tava submerges herself in the crystal clear water as Eddy tunes at his guitar to create a more melancholy sound. Something crashes into the nearby bushes and stops his work. A long feathered tail, caked in mud, now sticks out of the far side while a snout, also caked, pokes out near him.
"Psst," says the snout. "Over here. Come on, while she's busy."
Eddy, lacking any desire for self-preservation, stumbles into the bushes. There he finds Laurence, covered in mud from head to toe.
"Masking your scent was a good idea," says Eddy.
"I had to come back and save you," says Eddy.
"Because you're the voice of Bad Litter—"
"They're all dead if you haven't noticed."
"Sorry, sorry, sorry. I didn't mean to dig that sorrow back up."
"No sorrow. I accept the fate that our weakness brought on."
"Lucille's had nine uninterrupted days to mess with your head. That's more torture than anyone should receive. But come with me and I swear we'll reverse the damage."
"You know, Tava and I were just talking about you. Let me go get her."
Laurence turns Eddy back around. Though gentle, he still manages to take a chunk of the didelphodon's fur off. Laurence now sees how patchy his former idol's coat is, how bloodshot and crazy are his eyes, how little flesh clung to his bones. Eddy was a walking corpse.
"There's no saving you," whispers Laurence to himself.
Eddy's neck snaps even easier than Laurence had expected. The dryptosaur weeps as he wraps his idol's little body in the Bad Litter t-shirt and buries him in a hastily dug grave. Atop the dirt clods he lays Eddy's guitar so that "For our little rock star, Eddy, love Mom and Dad," faces upward and serves as epitaph.
"Go now," says Laurence, "be with your family in heaven."
Splashing water sounds Tava's emergence, but Laurence tiptoes away without raising her alarm. Ten minutes later and far away, he hears her roar in defeat.
submitted by Morzo_Voidmaster
to shortstories [link] [comments]
2023.03.25 23:11 Lautaurus First time upgrading setup. 800$ budget, looking to min-max on CPU and GPU if possible, flexible should compatibilty issues arise.
What will you be doing with this PC? Be as specific as possible, and include specific games or programs you will be using.
Desktop Workstation. Use of 3D DCC Software.
Priorities in my workflow: High polycount and fine detail sculpting > modelling > texturing > Rendering > Animation > Compositing/VFX > Simulation.
This means IIRC favoring higher single core performance for sculpting and modelling procesess since history, modifiers and hierarchy can't be split between cores, though higher core number for more rendering "buckets" is appreciated. GTX GPU rendering has helped me quickly iterate but for final renders i've had better results with CPU. A new RTX enabled GPU could allow me to touch into realtime rendering in Unreal, and add raytracing functionality from my current renderer.
Main Apps being Zbrush (sculpting), Maya (modelling, animation), Arnold render Engine, Adobe Substance Painter (texturing). Secondary Apps: Photoshop (comp and texturing), After Effects (video editing), Unreal Engine.
What is your maximum budget before rebates/shipping/taxes?
800$ aimed at CPU (and cooler if not included) and GPU upgrades, looking at 180~ish extra if it calls for Motherboard or Power Supply upgrade to keep up without bottlenecking, or for """futureproofing""".
When do you plan on building/buying the PC? Note: beyond a week or two from today means any build you receive will be out of date when you want to buy.
Within the next 3-4 days.
What, exactly, do you need included in the budget? (ToweOS/monitokeyboard/mouse/etc\)
CPU (and fan if not included), GPU
Which country (and state/province) will you be purchasing the parts in? If you're in US, do you have access to a Microcenter location?
US, Miami FL, no Microcenter access
If reusing any parts (including monitor(s)/keyboard/mouse/etc), what parts will you be reusing? Brands and models are appreciated.
Parts to be reused:
- CASE: SilverStone Fara R1 (black) mid tower ATX
Will you be overclocking? If yes, are you interested in overclocking right away, or down the line? CPU and/or GPU?
No, technically? Only relying on AMD boost and XMP profile settings to meet advertised ram speeds.
Are there any specific features or items you want/need in the build? (ex: SSD, large amount of storage or a RAID setup, CUDA or OpenCL support, etc) Nvidia CUDA support, RTX graphics card, no watercooling.
Do you have any specific case preferences (Size like ITX/microATX/mid-towefull-tower, styles, colors, window or not, LED lighting, etc), or a particular color theme preference for the components?
No particular preference, more of a pr
Do you need a copy of Windows included in the budget? If you do need one included, do you have a preference
Extra info or particulars:
submitted by Lautaurus
to buildapcforme [link] [comments]
2023.03.25 23:07 voprosy Preview app: Is there a way to expose the "Go to page" feature? (always show the input field)
I'm using Mac OS Monterey and the Preview app.
I want to jump to a specific page in a large PDF file.
I understand there's a menu item (Go > Go to page) as well as a keyboard shortcut to reach the "Go to page" feature.
But I'm looking for an even more obvious way of doing it.
Next week I'm going to be doing a presentation in front of a relatively large group of people and during the presentation I need to switch from PowerPoint (or whatever) to Preview (with an opened PDF) and then jump to a specific page.
I'll need to do this multiple times. Whatever I do in Preview will be shared in the projection screen for everyone to see.
The PDF in question has +400 pages, and I don't know which pages I'll need to open, in advance.
Two features I'm looking for:
1) Easily access the "Go to page feature". My idea is an always visible input field that allows me to jump to any page.
2) To be able to show the thumbnails while in full screen. For some reason I can't do this... Is it possible?
If Preview doesn't allow this, is there a different PDF reader that does?
submitted by voprosy
to MacOS [link] [comments]
2023.03.25 23:03 Khontis First Chronicle - The Astrian's Vigil
I couldn't tell you what the point of origin was in my thoughts. Why I was suddenly thinking about the day I met Gwain for the first time.
Well... met is a bit of an off term. I had seen Gwain often but, much like you do to most homeless, especially the crazy-types, you kinda just look through them. Sometimes he was on the corner, or at the park by where I worked, other times he was nowhere to be seen. But he'd come by.
Some people gave him money, others moved away but what I think got most people was how he was dressed: leather and metal patches acted like armor around some parts of his body like his shoulder and legs. A woven cloak, or what remained of it, had singed edges and barely covered his arms any longer but he never seemed to want to get better clothes.
He had a pair of knives, and sometimes people would swear he had a broken sword that he held on his waist under the remaining shreds of cloak.
I hadn't seen the sword before, but I knew he well knew how to wield his knives.
I had met Gwain personally one day, I was on my lunch at work and decided to enjoy the fresh air of the park. I thought that it was safe enough being in bright day. But some didn't care.
I had been grabbed from behind by a man either too high on something or too drunk or both. He tried to hall me off and I managed to lock my foot under the bench leg and grab onto the bar quick enough to keep myself in place.
His grip got harder and he adjusted from my shirt to my hair and arm and after a few extra tugs and me trying to beat him off with my free hand he pulled a gun on me.
He didn't have time to use it as the next thing either of us knew he had dropped it and was bleeding from several points on his hand. He fell harshly back on the ground and I found Gwain between us, knife in hand he flourished it quickly and the man was pinned to the ground, Gwain's blade at his throat and hand gripping his hair, Gwain fully sat on the man and despite attempts he had no ability to get his gun nor move.
Someone had called the police and after some talking to me and witnesses Gwain was let go, deeming the attack to be in self defense of another, since he only threatened him with a knife and stopped actively using it when he didn't have the gun anymore.
He made a point to take me back to work, and after we got there I offered him some coffee from the brewer we had for guests at the auto shop and thanked him. He took it and left.
After that I started packing some extra food, hoping to at least thank him again.
The second time we met I fed him some of my lunch and learned his name. We talked about how I was holding up and how he was doing and I mentioned I was worried since I hadn't seen him. He said he didn't want to turn people away from the park so he had been avoiding it for a bit.
For someone who was described as "crazy" and "insane" he was pretty chill. Though I quickly learned why people said that.
He talked about his homeland to me , a completely different world called "Astria" and how a Demon Lord had appeared and taken it over. He and others had fought him off but failed. He didn't know what happened to the others nor how he got here but here he was and he did his best to survive as well as he could.
I figured, probably as most did, he was some poor soldier who was so shell shocked at losing a battle and possibly his friends, since he honestly seemed to not know their whereabouts, and cracked. The more the world didn't, or couldn't, help him the deeper he went. Maybe all he needed was a friend? Something stable to keep him straight.
But was he really that crazy... Now that I beat...whatever THIS is?
I looked down at my feet. There, a strange one eyed creature with bat wings and tiny claws that looked like a demonic mike wazouski, lay unmoving after I beat it with a tire iron. Granted it was the closest thing I had at hand but still...
The sky was a dark conglomeration of purple and red, dark clouds came through as strange ... 'portals' opened up around us.
People, understandably, were running away from the shop and other places, trying to get to the nearest 'safe point', if there was anything that could be counted as safe here.
I, on the other hand against whatever judgement I might have in the future, turned toward the park.
Somewhere deep down I was hoping Gwain was there, that he had some sort of knowledge about what was going on. That...ANYTHING he had to say would be better than waiting for whatever was to come, to come.
I ran gasping between screeching bat-like monsters and strange demonic looking portals as I got to the park and looked around. I heard a scream and spun in time to see another demon-mike wazouski coming after me.
I set my feet and swung, thanking deep down that Gwain taught me how to hold my own out of fear of him not being around to help if there was a 'next time'.
Well here was a 'next time.'
I managed to hold it off for some time but I was wearing.
Steel glinted in what remained of the sunlight and it fell. Gwain was by my side.
"Lady Sionann... Are you alright?"
I blinked, "Yea. I'm...fine... What?"
He turned as a large pillar of darkness descended from the sky into a burst of energy, I had no idea what it leveled but I'm fairly sure something, or a lot of somethings were now gone.
Gritting his teeth he looked to his broken sword and then to me. "The demon lord I've spoken of... he's attacking your world now it seems."
He put a hand on my shoulder. "Go find your husband and find a place to hide. I cannot say if I will win but...I cannot stand by and let him take another world."
"Like HELL I'm just gonna let you go!" I said grabbing the charred remains of his cloak. "That guy kicked your ass once before. What makes you think you'll survive for another round?"
"I will not let him claim another world."
"I'm not saying you have to!" I said, not realizing what i was throwing myself into without thinking. "But right now..." I shook my head and took a breath, realizing what I was about to say and somehow fine with it.
"Right now we need to figure out how to stop him, figure out something we can do other than some suicidal attack. You told me yourself- 'we were outmatched from the beginning and all we did was folly'. Do you honestly think that you by yourself now can do better than you all did before?"
"I...You're right...And he likely has no idea that I'm even here. That my presence is on this world..."
"Right... Then lets go. We'll find my husband and we'll figure out from there." I pulled him back toward the shop.
He nodded and we ran toward my motorcycle, he climbed behind me as we took off toward my husbands office.
What the hell am I getting myself into?
submitted by Khontis
to TomeOfAutumnTwilight [link] [comments]
2023.03.25 23:02 Morzo_Voidmaster Sassy Cola - three short stories describing a timeline where the future is guided by a soda company
3,659th Quarterly Meeting
Kilometer-long freighters docked and undocked from Port Vesta. Ventral doors opened to let in adamantine loading arms, the size of which existed only in tales of primordial titans for much of human history. Once reloaded, the ships departed for humanity's interstellar colonies at Tau Ceti, Aldebaran and Rigel. So choked with ship-induced warp bubbles was Vesta that stargazing was a fruitless pastime for many millions of kilometers out.
And all this was visible through the floor-to-ceiling windows of the most important conference room humanity had ever known.
Cool air circulated through the 40 by 20 by 5 meter room. 20.4 degrees Celsius, the perfect temperature to keep ambitious minds in line with corporate procedure. And no minds were more ambitious than those sitting in here.
9 of the most powerful human beings alive sat around the rectangular conference table, four on each of its long sides and one at the end farthest from the door. Their perfect faces were reflected in its polished black marble, craftsmanship reflecting in craftsmanship, one working in flesh and the other in stone. Their suits ran the gamut of subdued color, from black to gray to blue to beige to brown, though all but one had a metallic sheen. No one tried speaking before the meeting began. Everything that would be said today had been written and rewritten over the previous weeks. Today was a formality, a tradition practiced by an organization that had existed for 914 years.
Yet everyone in the room knew that the predetermined decision formalized today thrust their organization into foreign territory.
The man at the end of the table stood up. His dark brown suit was only two shades distant from his dark brown skin, most on display on his shaved and polished head. He removed his black-framed glasses from their perch 210 centimeters above the floor and tucked them into his breast pocket, 170 centimeters above the floor.
"Members of The Board," he said, "I declare this, the 3,659th quarterly meeting, open."
A woman, nearest on his left, stood up as he sat down. She wore a beige suit whose metallic sheen paled in comparison to her voluminous blonde hair. In her lilly white hands was the Quarterly Profit Report.
"Mr. CEO," she said in her most authoritative voice, "I'm proud to report that we have once again met the expectations of the founder. From July 1st to September 30th, 2999 CE, we maintained a profit margin of 80.0 %. As of September 30th, we hold a market share of 99 % and a market capitalization of 400 quadrillion credits."
The woman sat down. The other eight clapped their approval.
A man, nearest on Mr. CEO's right, stood up. His gray suit complemented the full head of silver hair installed on his scalp and chin. Strong and youthful hands, grown in a vat and transplanted onto this bicentenarian, held the Readiness Assessment Report from the R&D Department.
"The Instant Sassy program has achieved level 4 certainty as of August 16th, 2999 CE. They can now create a maximum of 1 kilogram of mass and replicate drink and bottle in one go. Mass production of the Instant Sassy vending machines awaits your approval, Mr. CEO."
The man sat down. Clapping ensued.
Five more members of The Board provided their tidbits of information, but everyone knew the best was saved until last.
A young man, actually young in contrast to everyone else's purchased youth, rose from his seat at the doorward end of Mr. CEO'S left side. He wasn't more than 30. He was only 160 centimeters in height. His hair and suit were both pitch black and without sheen. Most of the board wondered if the boy even combed. He certainly didn't shave. His delicate fingers held a one page legal summary.
"Mr. CEO," he said in a monotone lawyer-stating-the-facts voice, "it has come to the attention of the legal department that a small firm at Rigel is selling a 1-to-1 clone of Sassy Cola, though under the branding of Flash Cola. As there is no reliable intellectual property enforcement that far out, we suggest Sassy Cola Company perform a cease-and-desist operation."
The clapping that followed was, as planned, subdued to balance The Board's recognition of his work and the dire situation he described.
Mr. CEO stood once more to give the final address.
"Members of The Board, we stand at a precipice. Military action against a small firm is a bold move. Then again, the Sassy Cola Company is no stranger to bold moves. It was a bold move when in 2085 my great great grandmother started this company in order to sell her sassafras-enriched soda. It was a bold move when we spent the 23rd century expanding Earth's launch capabilities so that humanity could colonize the solar system and thereby create new markets for Sassy Cola. And it was a bold move when in 2610 we invented the FTL warp drive so that humanity could settle the stars and buy more Sassy Cola. So let's put this to a vote. All in favor of sending a cease-and-desist?"
Five members raised their right hand.
Three other members raised their right hand.
"Five for and three against. And I vote in favor, giving the issue the 2/3 majority it needs. A cease-and-desist will be sent to Rigel as soon as the ship is ready. I declare this, the 3,659th Quarterly Meeting, adjourned."
All nine stood and clapped, excessively, as if their noise could bury the question of ethics.
Outside the floor-to-ceiling windows, a kilometer-long ship (built by Sassy Heavy Industries) docked at Port Vesta (technically Sassy Drive Yards) and loaded up with cargo containers (built and owned by Sassy Shipping) to be delivered to Aldebaran (Sassy Cola Aldebaran, subsidiary).
The walls and ceiling and floor of the office never stayed the same color for long. They meandered through the greens, brighter then darker, strolled along the beach with various tans, took a dip in the water with cyan blue and finished by going back to the greens. They were cymolds, cybernetic funguses, and they formed the surface of every room in the administration wing of Sassy Research Installation #544.
It wasn't a very well publicized installation. No research from here had ever appeared on Sassy Science Direct's Top 10 Breakthroughs of the Year. Of course, that meant what they were doing was very, very important. Another reason to locate the place so far from the rest of human civilization.
Far from civilization is a relative term. To be far on the surface of a planet, you got to be, eh, 100 kilometers away. To be far in the context of a star system, make that 100 million kilometers. To be far from humanity in the year 3535 CE, you have to be 100 light years away. And that's just what we were. 100 light years separated us from the nearest human outpost. Not the nearest built-up star system or lone asteroid city. No, I mean 100 light years from the nearest hitch-em-up, one warpship, sorry excuse for an outpost. Nothing lay in-between and no one was coming to rescue you if you broke down halfway.
But that was the price of admission if you wanted to meet Dr. Megalomanovich.
To the layman, his name means nothing. To the educated, resentment. To the dreamers, hope. He is the greatest mind of our time bar none. And, like all great minds, he has created controversy.
The cymold on these walls was invented by him while he was still in secondary school 150 years ago. He designed the meter-thick mycelium fibers which root Installation #544 to its carbonaceous asteroid in an undergraduate mycology class. Since then he has: led a team which developed an all-biological fusion reactor, led another team that made a proof of concept for matter-antimatter annihilation based metabolism and singlehandedly created a cow subspecies that produces Sassy Cola instead of milk.
This last accomplishment most impressed the one and only financial backer of all human science, the Sassy Cola Company.
It didn't matter that Sassy Cola was already made in the most efficient way physically possible, by assembling it, bottle and all, from the fundamental elements themselves via vending machine MDROM-derived replicators, because Sassy from an udder was cool to the average consumer.
And so Dr. Megalomanovich was scooped up and shipped off to Installation #544. Here he has remained for 120 years doing . . . something. I'm here to find out what.
A chubby man with pudge stuffed unsuccessfully into a white lab coat walked in to the office. His eyes had been replaced by cybernetics—not eyes, but an assortment of twitching miniature radar dishes and antennae. His thick white hair is gelled straight back like the racing helmet of a bicyclist. It took me a minute to realize that this man was the good doctor.
"Dr. Megalomanovich?," said I.
"Who else were you expecting in Dr. Megalomanovich's office?"
"No one. I mean you, but, but—"
"You have only seen my younger self. Likely from my exploits in producing that wondrous strain of cow which produces delicious Sassy Cola."
"I know you from more than just that."
"I don't know why, all my other stuff had nothing to do with Sassy Cola."
He ripped some of the cymold off the wall with one of his olive green gloved hands. Beneath it is barren rock, half-digested by the lithovorous cymold.
"I mean, the antimatter-powered life thing was pretty neat," said I.
"Pretty neat? PRETTY NEAT?!?"
I shrank in my seat and whimpered, "Yeah."
"I'll show you neat my boy. Follow me through the teleporter!"
Rubber fingers pressed a sequence on the door's keypad with inhuman speed. The metal door dissolved away and only a teleporter field remained.
For those who've not seen the new 2D intrabrane teleporters—or thresholds as their called—you're in for a treat. Not only are they compact and have ranges up to a light year, but they allow light to pass through so you can see where the hell you're going. Not all light; hard ultraviolet and above get filtered out as do large energy differences. So if you're traveling from a paradise planet to a spaceship and that spaceship's warp drive has an oopsie, the 1 billion kelvin nuclear fireball won't char your burgers.
We weren't traveling to a paradise planet, at least not in the traditional sense. To a neogeneticist like myself it was heavenly.
I noted three things when I first stepped through. 1, the whole environment was bathed in the orange light of a red dwarf star. 2, the environment was divided between land—the cliffside we were standing on—and a bubbling black sea of what turned out to be Sassy Cola stretching toward the horizon. 3, the animals.
I don't know why the animals stood out to me over what I assumed were plants. They weren't actually plants but a form of lichen—but, but, but the prejudice toward the animals was still there. In fairness, they were pretty enigmatic. One of them crawled along the ground with a head that was entirely tongue, licking up the lichen bulbs like pieces of candy. Another one looked like a tree, but on closer inspection was an amphibious anemone, its roots sunk into the shallow sea's floor and its tentacles reaching out of the water to grasp a third creature—a bird of some kind whose flight was aided by gas bags on its underbelly.
"Behold, my masterpiece," said Dr. Megalomanovich.
"It's beautiful beyond words," said I. "How did it come about?"
"By way of 120 years' hard labor. Shortly after my Sassy Cow achieved galactic fame, The Board granted me with a research installation of my own. In return, I was to do the impossible: abiogenesis."
"To create life from nonlife."
"You had gotten close with the antimatter metabolism trial."
"Indeed I had. And that is why I refused to take any hand-me-down help from Earth's biota. From the beginning I wanted my life to run differently. I couldn't find a way to replace carbon as the backbone, but I was able to swap out water for Sassy Cola."
"You're telling me that in every cell of every one of these creatures is Sassy Cola?"
"It is their water."
"Do you have a few years?"
"Unfortunately, I don't. Even this little jaunt is wasting my precious time."
"Speaking of time, how did they grow so fast?"
"Accelerated evolution through computer-aided keystone transcription errors."
"Again, I don't have years to waste teaching you. I waste enough time teaching the installation's staff."
"When do you plan on showing your masterpiece to the wider galaxy?"
"My masterpiece will show itself to the galaxy when it is ready. There is no doubt in my mind that a day will come when a creature on this world will take a rock and bash it against the head of another and say 'eureka!' before pondering the philosophical implications of taking a life."
"Anything is possible when your body is 70 % Sassy Cola."
The Bimillennial Celebration
Upon receiving the invitation, I couldn't wait to go to the Bimillennial Celebration at Sol, though I did worry how I'd be received in turn. Few humans outside my corner of space had ever met a nonhuman sapient before. It didn't help that I lacked so much as a species name to give them.
If it were up to me, I'd name us astrographically, by the planet we live on. In that case we would be called the Sasserines after Planet Sasser. It's not a good moniker; too nationalistic when our distinguishing characteristic is first and foremost biological. So I dropped the case and made it sasserine. Yes, much better. It's less proper, more grounded, more biological. It is this species name that I used in my travels.
The first stop on my journey was at the derelict Research Installation #544. Humans abandoned it long ago when the Sassy Cola Company's fortunes took a turn for the worse. Now it was kept up by us sasserines as a heritage site. I left a bouquet on The Good Doctor's shrine, shed a few sticky tears and moved on. The tiny warpship I had chartered had an impatient pilot.
That pilot turned into quite an annoyance during our two weeks together, for he asked questions that became more and more inappropriate with time. I'm not one to disparage curiosity—I'm a scientist after all—but I fail to see the scientific necessity of revealing which variety of Sassy Cola I urinate.
My next stop was Rigel, a blue giant star that shined 1 million times brighter than Sasser's red dwarf. Since Sassy Cola's monopoly of both power and soda had waned, I found many other brands on offering, including one called Flash Cola. Flash's slogan summarized its claim to fame: "Resist the Sass and Drink a Flash!" I briefly wondered what Sasser's biosphere would look like if it were based on Flash Cola instead of Sassy Cola. I purged this thought experiment from my mind upon realizing that the planet would likely be named Flasher and we the flasherines.
Onward to Sol by way of Aldebaran. This leg was much more pleasant than the last as I had booked a room aboard one of the last functioning warpships of Sassy Cruise Lines. Luxury abounded and even my rational mind almost succumbed to the temptation of using the rest of my money to stay aboard til death. But such an act would break the terms of the invitation.
Sol, the most ancient and most populous star in settled space, was the venue for the greatest party ever thrown by humanity. Derelict Sassy Cola freighters had each been converted into a single light bulb and arranged by the hundreds to create a sign at Neptune's distance from the sun reading, "2,000 SASSY YEARS!"
I'm not normally a party person. Secluded reading is my pastime of choice. Yet I couldn't help but crack a Sassy with every human who asked me to join them. Why not?, I thought. After all, without the Sassy Cola Company, I wouldn't be alive.
The solar system felt like it held the totality of settled space within its borders. Port Vesta alone held hundreds of distinct cultural groups from just as many star systems. I met 35 of them on my 5 kilometer walk from Sassy Cruise Lines' designated dock to the hotel where I was to be staying. Sassy Cola's monolithic corporate culture was no longer humanity's culture. People were being themselves again.
And that included being suspicious of outsiders, especially ones from a different tree of life.
I felt eyes all around me. I had drunk too much Sassy Cola, besting even the worst human junkies. I sweat the drink. I urinated the drink. Boys and girls inspected me like a zoo animal every time I went to one of Port Vesta's many street markets. It overwhelmed me and I left early for my meeting on Earth.
Orbital space around humanity's homeworld is so congested with infrastructure that teleporter range around Earth is limited, by law, to a mere 1,000 kilometers, 1 billionth of what it is everywhere else. To get to the planet's surface I had to leapfrog from orbital plate to orbital plate, often having to cross a single plate by way of a couple teleports. Yes, they are that large. Most contain surface areas and populations similar to Earth's 21st century nations-states. After visiting 57 nation-state-orbital-plates against my will, I arrived at Earth's surface.
At least I had reached the top surface. Earth is a shellworld with 15 surfaces, each named after a variety of Sassy Cola. I was on Sassy Orange and needed to get down to Sassy Cola Classic, 7 surfaces below. Teleportation law was even stricter here than in orbit. The technology was used exclusively to ferry people between surface levels and teleporters only existed in the atlas towers which held the next surface.
I was awestruck upon first seeing an atlas tower as they occur nowhere but Earth. From green pasture it rose into the cloud cover above. Through those clouds, ten kilometers up, lay gigatons of diamond hard plating topped with teratons of granite, soil, lakes, rivers and cities. I was under a planet-encapsulating house held up by countless pylons, themselves kept rigid only as long as the power flowed. Luckily, it always did.
The atlas towers also serve as propagandistic monuments, each shaped like a bottle of Sassy, though of the variety which matches the name of the surface level they exist on. The Sassy Cola Company had its detractors, but the fact that the corporate superpower had built Earth into what it is today went unquestioned.
I eventually arrived at surface level 7, or Sassy Cola Classic. The 7 surfaces above had replaced Earth's original troposphere and stratosphere. The 7 surfaces below existed where the planet's crust once did. Together, the 15 shells supported 20 trillion humans living in spacious luxury—though no one had more spacious luxury than The Board.
Their 1 billion hectare estate is a combination art piece, capital, pilgrimage site and tomb. No teleporters exist within its borders. The atlas towers there are disguised as steep mountains on their bottom halves and cumulonimbus clouds columns on their tops.
Dwarfed by these gigantic illusions are the many castles of the estate. One of these castles serves as the estate's north entrance and holds the Sassy Parliament Building. In here convene two houses, a lower house elected by the Sassy Cola Company's 100 trillion shareholders across settled space and an upper house chosen by The Board.
The lower house had drawn up the invitation program and voted 67,306 to 32,694 to pass it. The upper house hesitated, unsure whether they wanted "billions of yokels trampling through the estate." They passed it with the exact bare minimum of votes, 600 to 300.
The addition of a clause limiting it to 10,000 "yokels" that came in tour groups of 50 per hour was the deciding factor in passing the invitation program. Now I was part of one of those groups, an ordinary ambassador for the world of Sasser, though I doubted that cultural and economic exchange, two bullet point motives of the program, were occuring.
Oh well, I thought as I boarded the maglev train to the next destination.
The nine members of The Board lived in nine penthouses atop nine towers near the center of the estate. I'd remark on the penthouses' reported opulence if 200 stories of height and the estate's no-cameras policy hadn't isolated us from them. I imagine they like it up there, otherwise I can't fathom why they'd live so secluded from the rest of their species. I wondered what such recluses thought of Planet Sasser and the sasserines or the invitation sent to me by their personally selected managers. But I'd little time to ponder as the maglev neared my stop.
At the very center of the estate sits a diamondoid hemisphere 10 kilometers in diameter. Inside exists a full recreation of one late 21st century American small town. The maglev line terminated at the entrance to the dome where a bright green sign reading "Tupelo" hung.
The rest of the tour group was just as in awe as I when we walked inside and found ourselves surrounded by single family homes along four lane roads with no sidewalks. From the artificial blue sky above came laser beams which generated holograms of moving vehicles. They veered around our group even though the lasers would cause nothing worse than a slight tingle on the skin. A human dressed in a law enforcement uniform of the time led us to the predetermined sacred sites.
First we stopped at the hospital where The Founder was born, then the double wide trailer where The Founder grew up and, finally, the soda shop where The Founder introduced the world to Sassy Cola in 2085.
I obsessed over this last stop. Burned into my psyche is the memory of the artificial sun rays shining through the shop's stained glass windows and onto the stainless steel counter. I took in every scent and sound and touch; the bittersweet sassafras laying in sacks in the corner, the scratching of our shoes on the artificially cracked and yellowed linoleum floor and the coolness of the counter on my cheek when I laid my head down in defiance of the guide's orders.
At the end we all had a thimble full of Sassy Cola made from the recreated soda jerk. It was inferior to every drop of Sassy that I'd drunk since birth. Even my blood, filled with the wastes of cellular respiration, likely tasted better.
But taste alone didn't determine the value of this thimble. The drink represented conception, its serving the initialization of the two millennia of change that followed. Just as water was a prerequisite for all Earth life, so Sassy Cola was a prerequisite for all life on Sasser.
This soda was the origin of everything I am. I believe that's cause for celebration.
submitted by Morzo_Voidmaster
to HFY [link] [comments]
2023.03.25 22:59 htgawmfan87 Don't get me wrong I love a lot of the female characters in Elite because they're messy, charismatic, and entertaining - but they're not these feminist empowering characters
Do I like a lot of the female characters in Elite because they're messy, chaotic, charming, and entertaining? 100%. Do I see them as these feminist girlbosses that some fans make them out to be? No. We can like a lot of them for being entertaining but I don't think some of ya'll have a good grasp of feminism with the manner in which you idealize these characters and make them out to be empowering.
Speaking as a Carla stan, I like her because she's a good villain and well acted as one by the actress. But I absolutely don't see her as this feminist icon from the show. At the end of the day, she is a sexual assaulter. There's not going around that. If the gender roles were reversed, I highly doubt some of you would see a male version of Carla as empowering or feminist. Also, if you paid attention to her Season 3 and short story arc, the writers took the pretty privilege and male gaze thing a bit too far at times. I'm especially talking about how she had to take drugs to tolerate that god awful character whose name I can't remember and basically strip for him and seduce him to appease her parents.
I like Cayetana a lot, but contrary to what I've seen some fans think: her scamming and lying to get what she wanted in Seasons 2-3 wasn't feminist or girlboss like. She was willing to screw a close friend like Lu who wanted to best for her event by putting the donations under Lu's name so Lu could take the fall for it if something went wrong. I think her arc post Season 3 is a bit overrated too. I did think it was empowering how she stood up to Philipe and his mom at NYE and how she offered support to Isadora following her assault. But I couldn't get behind her supporting or helping Phillipe in Season 5 or how she was jealous of that Laura girl in her Xmas short story instead of being concerned that a rapist was into her.
A lot of Lu fans think Lu's a feminist icon because of her feminist one liners. As much as I enjoy Lu's character (because she is entertaining, chaotic, and messy) objectively speaking she might be one of the most misogynistic female characters on the show. She distributed revenge porn to be petty, btw creating and distributing revenge porn is technically a form of sexual abuse. She tried to convince Guzman to take someone's virginity for a bet. She tried to restrict how Nadia presented herself by complaining about her hijab, and before bigoted idiots come at me about the hijab or islam not being feminist - it's still misogynistic to try to force a women to dress/present herself in a way outside her comfort zone. Lu may make feminist one liners but her feminism is a great example of white feminism, which no, is not restricted to your skin color. White feminism is when you act feministic but ignore the needs of women who don't fit in your personal view (i.e. women of the LGBTQ+ community, women of colour, and women of certain marginalized religions).
Don't get me wrong, I like these three characters and acknowledge that not all good female characters have to be feminist icons. It's the fans that annoy me more by acting like so many Elite female characters are feminist icons because they screw over others to get their way. Rebe for the win for most feminist character though - yeah she sold Carla molly to be petty but genuinely felt bad, openly acknowledged it was misogynistic, and apologized.
submitted by htgawmfan87
to EliteNetflix [link] [comments]
2023.03.25 22:59 Slight-Sock-1454 chiropractor sent me to unnecessary x-ray
I've been having shoulder impingement like symptoms and and am athletically involved. I've been out of training almost a month and couldnt find any pts open any time soon. I've been to a chiropractor and she helped in one go but this new one was different. They wanted me to get an x-ray on my neck two images, and lumbar spine. Went to a radiology center didn't have them done there. It was free with insurance there no copay and I was tired so I got it done. Thing is I'm fuckin worried about radiation and they didn't even fuckin x-ray where I'm hurting so after the fact it pissed me off as well as worried me. Especially because to do what I do medically I have to get chest x-rays and brain scans to get cleared by athletic commissions for fight and it's not uncommon for an injury to cause an actual need for imaging. I feel like I got a waste of radiation with spines and necks already being highest dose mixed with the fact that as an athlete there's commonly times I actually need this done. The chiropractor seemed like such a cash grab compared to the other one I see it and I feel anxious about this radiation knowing I'll damn well need more with what I do This year. Maybe I'm uneducated but I'd like to be educated.
submitted by Slight-Sock-1454
to Radiation [link] [comments]
2023.03.25 22:56 SEXWITHYOMAMA pizza tower fanfic 😰
If I could eat at Peppino's Pizza I'd order a large pizza, I'd come in late at night after spotting his pizzeria on my motorcycle after a long day at work. Peppino would be standing anxiously at the register waiting for more costumers to arrive. After a minute or so he would start to walk into the back, and I would call out "Hey! Wanna relax for a bit? You look on edge." Peppino jumps at first, and barely stutters "I-I gotta prep the dough, th-" "Ahh come on, I doubt anyone else is coming at this hour." I interrupt. "W-well if you insist..." he replies, clearly uncomfortable. He sits across from me, awkwardly looking around the room and not making eye contact. I take a bite and hold up a slice to offer him, but he silently refuses. "This pizza is delicious! You know the owner?" I ask wiping the corners of my mouth with a napkin. Peppino chuckles softly , "Well, I'm the owner actually. That's my face up on the sign there." He turns to point at a slightly tacky sign up on the wall of himself saying "Nothing compares!" I can't help but notice his sweat stained armpits as he points nervously. "Oh damn, well I'm honored Mr Peppino!" I wipe my greasy hands on my shirt and shake his hand. "So, you run this whole place by yourself?" I ask, while discreetly wiping his sweat off my hand. "Well, my friend Gustavo works here in the daytime, but he has to go home to his rat so I work alone at night." Peppino says. "Aww I'm sorry I came in so late, you shouldn't have to run this whole place by yourself!" I say, still processing his strange statement about the rat. "Ahh don't be." Peppino smiles while waving his hands, he seems much more relaxed now. "I love making the pizzas, it's what I live for! It's the business side I hate..." "Oh I feel you there, I'm owner of a tat' parlor a few miles north of here, I feel bad charging people so much these days but it's the only way I can stay afloat." I say, pushing my plate aside and sitting up. "Costs are higher than ever these days, especially with that darn Mr Stick charging so much for the building... But let's not talk business now. I'm sorry but I haven't even asked your name yet miss!" Peppino asks, embarrassed. "Oh, you can just call me Anon." I smile. "Well, it's a pleasure miss Anon." Peppino says, giving his best attempt at a charming smile, although it more came across as if he had something caught in his eye. I laugh, "the pleasure is all mine Mr Peppino." We talk late into the night, I can tell that it's been awhile since he's talked with anyone, he seems overjoyed. We crack jokes and swap stories late into the night, until we reach an awkward standstill. Neither of us talk for a bit, Peppino seems desperate to find something to say. I begin to hum along to the music playing on the overhead speakers, and after a bit he does too. We begin singing the song together, I'm surprised by how good of a singing voice he has. I beatbox while he sings the lyrics, and we laugh together when the song ends. The next song begins with a drummer solo, and I begin hitting the table rhythmically along with it. Suddenly Peppino stops and stares off into space, shaking. I notice something is wrong and hesitantly ask "Mr Peppino? Are you alright?" He looks at me with fear and sadness in his eyes. "Back when I was young and lived in Italy there was a land dispute. I had just met my lovely wife and was so happy... But a civil war broke out... They killed my Isabella and her whole family..." A tear rolls down Peppino's cheek, I am stunned by the shift in mood and can't find anything to say. "I wanted back at those bastards, me and my good friends all joined and went to war against them. It was a nightmare, explosions, screams, gunfire... My commander shouted that we had walked into a bomb field that was rigged to blow in minutes and that we should retreat. I told my friends that they should stay, and that I would defuse them. I grabbed a shotgun off of a dead man and ran as fast as I could, I could hear the clock beeping as the timer went down. I don't know how many I killed, I just kept running until I reached the control box with just moments to spare. I held my wire cutters right over it, but I froze. There was nothing stopping me from saving my friends, but my body refused to move. I watched as the bombs I could have so easily stopped exploded along with all my friends." Tears were pouring now, his head hanging low. I didn't know what to say, so I reached out and put my hand on his shoulder. We sat there for an uncomfortably long time before he looked up and sat back. "I am so sorry... You did not need to hear that. Thank you for the lovely night, but I should be closing now." He stood, and walked quickly into the back where I could hear him continue to cry. Needless to say I was still processing all that he had said, I wanted to comfort him but decided to let him have some privacy and left the building. I hopped on my motorcycle and rode out into the night, the cold wind blowing in my face was not enough to stop my mind from racing after such a strange night. I flop into bed without changing my clothes and immediately fall asleep. The next day I go about my normal routine, I eat some breakfast, run to the gym, head off to work and eat dinner there, but on my ride back home I stop at Peppino's pizza once again. Peppino at first seems nervous to see me again, he takes my order and walks into the back acting as if nothing had happened. He brings the food to my table silently and begins to walk away but I stop him. "Please, will you chat with me tonight again?" I ask. Peppino smiles softly, and takes a seat. I begin stopping by every night, and we begin to grow closer and closer. One visit I notice Peppino seems a lot more nervous than normal, his shirt seemed a bit nicer than his usual, but it was drenched in sweat. "Hey, It's pretty hot in here, will you step outside with m-me?" He stutters while standing up. The room felt fine to me but Peppino was clearly uncomfortable so I followed behind him onto the cliff nearby. The cold night wind blew in my face as we looked out into the ocean, a massive pile of rubble stood to our right. After a few minutes of awkward silence, Peppino finally spoke up. "Y-you know, this isn't the first time I have asked this... My lovely Isabella... After I lost her I felt like I didn't deserve happiness. I lived my life completely fueled by anxiety, anger, and regret. This rubble here... there was once a tower that stood here, at at its top I reached the climax of my anger and anxiety. N-now on this same spot, I want to be able to overcome those feelings and l-love again." He fumbled around in his pocket, muttering to himself. I was shocked, was this what I thought it was? Peppino stood up to then kneel down, and held out a small box. "Miss Anon," he said shakily "Talking with you for this past month has brought joy back into my life after so long. I know that I am an older man who is a bit of a wreck, but I still want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?" He opened the box, revealing a small, cheap ring. But I couldn't care about the ring, or the cold, or anything else. The man kneeling before me was all I could see. I lunged on top of him and kissed him passionately, I could smell his breath and feel his sweat and stubble, but I didn't care. We were both far from perfect, but we loved each-other, and we had found happiness. We then had hot pizza sex afterward, so yeah I would probably order the large pizza.
submitted by SEXWITHYOMAMA
to copypasta [link] [comments]
2023.03.25 22:56 ConnorMcQ Hollywood Studios Parking Lot Hours
Quick question: if I park at Hollywood Studios in the morning but want to end my day at Magic Kingdom (closes at 11pm) without needing to move my car, will the parking lot of Hollywood Studios still be open if I take a bus back that late? The second Fantasmic show ends ~10:30 so I’m wondering if the park close + 1 hour rule applies there?
submitted by ConnorMcQ
to WaltDisneyWorld [link] [comments]
2023.03.25 22:53 ghoultorn New Job, New Laptop for General Use
- Total budget (in local currency) and country of purchase. Please do not use USD unless purchasing in the US:
- Are you open to refurbs/used?
- How would you prioritize form factor (ultrabook, 2-in-1, etc.), build quality, performance, and battery life?
high performance and build quality, no 2-in-1s please
- How important is weight and thinness to you?
somewhat, will be using it for college work and other things
- Do you have a preferred screen size? If indifferent, put N/A.
- Are you doing any CAD/video editing/photo editing/gaming? List which programs/games you desire to run.
Will be using it for art and college work, so programs such as Clip Studio Paint and Paint Tool Sai, and some games
- If you're gaming, do you have certain games you want to play? At what settings and FPS do you want?
Mostly Genshin Impact and Deltarune
- Any specific requirements such as good keyboard, reliable build quality, touch-screen, finger-print reader, optical drive or good input devices (keyboard/touchpad)?
good keyboard that isn’t very loud and input devices such as an HDMI and USB for my drawing tablet
- Leave any finishing thoughts here that you may feel are necessary and beneficial to the discussion.
Preferred if laptop has good memory / RAM to store projects. Budget may be more flexible as i am getting a job soon
submitted by ghoultorn
to SuggestALaptop [link] [comments]
2023.03.25 22:50 drunksouls69 I have a stalker now. He made a huge fit because I banned him for obviously using alt accounts to reinforce his argument. He was careless and outed himself. This the response to his post to clarify his lies and exaggerations.
TLDR: Juicy reddit drama where sad man uses alts to support his own arguments. This is just my response to a post he made. He lied heavily in the post so I feel like this needs to be out there.
Don't use alts. It's embarrassing.
This post is kind of a test. The man is still brigading my posts. I just tried posting this an hour ago. It had 15 upvotes, and then it went to zero in like 2 minutes. Wonder why. This is the last time I'm gonna attempt to post it without it getting brigaded for a little while. I banned and blocked several of his alts but I doubt I got them all.
I'm gonna give a brief summary of what this is about and what prompted this post.
There is a user who abundantly uses alts here and he's following me with multiple accounts now.
So, I was in an argument the other day about something stupid and benign. We were actually arguing about a mostly ironic joke some of my viewers made up on my channel.
My viewers started the narrative that I helped popularize dual straight sword use on a wider scale. It is mostly ironic but there is likely some truth to it. Shortly after launch, a lot of high profile people thought dual straights were mediocre and I was one of the only people who promoted them. I literally made like 30 videos shilling dual straight swords. This is a small community, probably only a couple million people. When people see you winning with something, they will copy it. So yeah I probably did contribute to the popularity of dual straights. Based on the sheer volume of videos I released promoting them. No one else was really doing that back then. Definitely not as abundantly as me.
Nobody used the straights early on. It was pretty rare.. Then one day I woke up and they were everywhere. That's where the joke originated. Some people blamed me for the rampant dual SS.
Now that my audience is lower medium sized, dual straights are way more popular than ever. But by the time my channel grew to this size, the popularity had already spread so I can't really know how much of a hand I played. Probably did play a role though. There's absolutely no way I couldn't spread my ideas with how I operate. Even a video with 5000 views can alter the entire meta, and even in the infancy of my career I got a lot more than that per month. That's not a flex. I have done fairly well and there's a good number of people seeing my content and supporting me. I really like my community. But the objective truth here is that.. yes I do have some reach. Never said it was massive.
So people saying I played a role in spreading dual straights is not even a slightly outrageous claim. It's actually very likely. Never claimed I invented them though.
But like I said this was MOSTLY ironic. I wasn't taking it too seriously despite the truth to it. This was mostly a joke. I don't think I'm that big of a deal and I've always been very vocal about that.
There was a guy who took it super serious, to the point he was actually willing to start an argument over it. And use alts to manipulate the reception of his argument.
Some people are miserable and they despise any amount of success. Even if it's only a few crumbs of success. They don't like the idea that someone they don't approve of could spread their ideas in a community. They're miserable because they see someone else with something they don't have. Look at all the baseless hate for people like Jeenine or Oro for example. I've seen hate posts on ERPVP for both.
So he commented on my thread. It was a back and forth pissing match as most reddit arguments are. I never cared that much about the whole thing but I do find it fun to argue with upset randos on reddit.
For the first half of the duration of the argument, the upvotes swung in my favor noticeably. Which is like, alright. It's not that serious anyway and it wasn't that stark of a difference.
Then I noticed that the tables abruptly turned in the span of about 5 minutes. It would appear on the surface this guy was winning the argument now instead of me. A bit weird but it happens.
Personally I don't put much stock in upvotes because people have hive mentality, and hatred of someone/something is stronger than love of someone/something. So people are more likely to mindlessly dislike something than support it.
But yeah I just argued with dude for a few hours anyway because I felt like it. I found him really annoying. He was very worked up about something that was mostly ironic.
When it was over, I just went about my day. Didn't suspect a thing.
Then I made another post later.
This is where it got weird.
It got instantly downvoted. Like, 2 minutes after I posted it. I've never seen anything like that before.
Then the same guy I was arguing with before shows up and leaves a bitchy comment.
Then he comments directly below himself with an actual alt. Shamelessly. Immediately.
Now it can be hard to tell when someone is using an alt. Normally they're smart about it and they make it hard to tell. But this guy didn't.
The account he parroted himself with was a year old account with absolutely no post history at all. No activity. It didn't even have karma.
The first ever interaction on this account was immediately commenting and confirming this guy's assertion right under him.
It was really bizarre. It was immediate. Like I literally refreshed the reddit app and this other guy had already commented.
Despite it being an obvious alt, i didn't notice. I'm not very tech savvy. So I just let it sit.
It wasn't until a whole 2 other users messaged me and told me this guy uses alts to win arguments and jerk himself off. They told me to look into the account that commented under him.
That's when I realized he was actually using an alt. Due to the account's only post history being confirming what this guy's main account was saying. That's an alt. It's undeniable at that point. Why would a year old account decide to make it's first ever comment jerking this guy off on a super niche sub in an even more niche feud?
It's obvious. But I wanted to make sure I wasn't trippin so I asked the other mods and a few other people. Everyone seems to agree. Yeah it's an alt. There's no denying it.
So it would seem this man was using alts the entire time.
He then proceeded to do it 2 more times. I made some posts to test and every time, sure as shit, he showed up with an alt.
He just did it again on my most recent post too.
I didn't catch on at first because... Well being a lower medium sized content creator now I do have detractors. I'm not the nicest to people I consider scummy/slimy. I've always been really vocal about my hatred for certain types of people. Like gankers. So I've made some enemies. I'm just extremely rude to people I don't like in general. You guys know this. I have no filter and I'm not changing.
Also, whenever you start to manifest a presence online, there will be a subset of people that hate you. I'm okay with that. Look at the wide success of JeeNiNe or Oroboro, but compare the rampant hatred you see for them dotted about reddit or YouTube comments. I don't have it that bad at this point but it is manifesting.
There's literally 5 people who followed me on reddit just so they could see what I post and bitch about it on a whim. About the same number of people downvoted all of my videos on YT, but I didn't really care. I just let it go. They're a very vocal minority vastly outnumbered by normal people who either like or are indifferent to my antics so it didn't matter much to me.
So it's normal for one of my posts to get attacked now and then. I am disliked by some. It just depends on whether or not fans or detractors see the post first. Plus most people on this sub are not actually viewers of my YT. A smaller portion are. But most people here are just redditors who found BRM, not from my channel.
I also recognize I'm not perfect either. I have said some blatantly dumb shit in shitposts to piss people off. But some people don't catch on to that and they get upset. But when I'm being intentionally dumb and making it sound ironic it blows my mind that people don't catch on.
Atleast a handful of people follow me around just to bitch. Likely more. So I took this weird argument as just another one. Sometimes it happens.
But yeah, it seems the guy was using alts to upvote himself. And he even blatantly used one to jerk off his viewpoint. If he hadn't done that, we would have never noticed.
Now, this is sad that a grown man would do this just to win an argument. But from my understanding, it's quite common and rampant on reddit. There's no protection or way to stop it other than reporting to a higher power, or just banning them yourself. It happened to a very beloved user we had here on BRM a month or so back. Dude just kept making alts and harassing her for weeks straight. Making unhinged posts here calling her out for shit she supposedly did. It was like playing whack a mole.
I'm sure this guy in my argument had some real interaction from real people during the feud. But when people are low enough to use alts, they often use many. There's nothing stopping them. So his success in the debate was likely dishonest and fake.
So I scrubbed all the posts he was doing that on.
And then I banned him. This is literally only the second person I've banned with my own hand. I rarely ever have to do that. But a person scummy enough to use alt accounts to turn the tide doesn't belong here. When he's not doing it to me, he will just do it to someone else here.
You should have seen the modmail. This guy is unhinged. He went on and on and on for like 2 hours straight. We tried to tell him it wasn't that serious but he just couldn't stop. He just couldn't control himself. So yeah there's evidence of that. This man is not okay. I'm actually a little sorry for him. Like secondhand embarrassment type stuff.
This guy also went to ERPVP (the shitty pvp sub full of people who don't actually like PVP) and did some unhinged rant blatantly misrepresenting what he got banned for. He deleted the post but I am told he completely neglected to mention that he used alt(s) to support his bad arguments. He did entirely misrepresent what I said too. Like badly. He is pandering to people there who already hate me rather than being accurate about what I say/do.
He also used the same alt account to make this post on ERPVP lol. Coward.
They don't really like me at ERPVP which is probably why he ran there and cried about it. I am an open critic of that sub. The owner is a very nice guy and he has good internations, but there's just too much ganker spillover there from eldenring
. That's why most of us don't go there. When you have EldenRing in the name, it's easy for every shitter and PVP hater to find the sub. These people despise me the most. There are some good people there though. The bad ones seem much louder however. There have been multiple high profile posts outlining why ERPVP is a cesspit, but I don't need to tell you that. You've seen it.
I banned this guy and the alt accounts I could see. But there are likely more following me now and it will not stop obviously.
The point of this post is... If you're enough of a full blown bitch to use alts to distort reality and influence perception, then you are a cunt. A sad cunt.
We won't be able to ban all of them. There just isn't a way to tell. But if we suspect someone is doing it we can tell a higher power and they can tell right away and get rid of the original user. We as mods can't know for sure though. So we just have to go based on suspicion unless they make it obvious like this guy did.
Like I said, I'm not very tech savvy and I didn't realize this was a thing people unironically did commonly. It's shameless cringe. I did research a bit though and I found out I was incorrect.
If you see anyone you suspect of using alts, let us know. Sometimes it's really hard to tell, but they do get lazy and that is when it gets obvious.
Anyway, this is my first drama. I will carry on regardless of what this guy does.
I appreciate the vast majority of you here who are rational. This sub is a sanctuary of rationality in a toxic PVP community and I'm glad you guys are here.
But I had to get rid of this guy. If he's using an army of alts against me, he will do it to you too
submitted by drunksouls69
to badredman [link] [comments]
2023.03.25 22:48 MODGOD-FRLEGENDS HOW TO CREATE NEW ACCOUNTS ON FR LEGENDS!
if your reading this, you probably already know that you can only create new accounts the first time you open fr legends, after that you can only logout and login to another created account.
after scouring the internet myself looking for a tutorial, and trying many methods myself, im confident to say there is NO TUTORIALS AVAILABLE
to teach people how to make a NEW ACCOUNT
once they already have one on their device.
This is the FIRST TUTORIAL
to teach you how to create INFINITE, NEW ACCOUNTS
on FR Legends (any version) this method REQUIRES
that you USE A COMPUTER
, the method involves using android emulator to create brand new accounts for FR Legends Prerequisites:
- a computer (mac or windows)
- android studio installed ( see below )
- an apk file of FR legends ( see below )
Step 1: Install Android Studio
The First thing you will need to do is to install Android Studio
, i you can use the link provided to install the correct version of android studio depending if your on a Windows or Mac search up a tutorial on how to install it if you need help.
Step 2: Create an AVD (Android Virtual Device)
Once you get android studio up and running, the process of creating a Virtual Device is the same whether your on Mac or Windows, you can Use this tutorial
to setup a virtual device. the type of virtual device doesn't matter, just use one of the pixel phones WITHOUT THE GOOGLE PLAY ICON NEXT TO IT WHEN SELECTING A SYSTEM IMAGE AT 1:59 IN THE TUTORIAL USE EITHER ANDROID PI OR ANDROID Q
Step 3: Starting the AVD and Installing FR LEGENDS
- Under the AVD Manager in Android studio, start your newly created AVD
The best and easiest way to install FR Legends on your new device is to obtain a .apk file of FR Legends, the site i personally use is APKPURE
, I have attached a Link to Download the Latest APK From APKPURE
Run your AVD, it might take a minute to boot up!
- Save the .apk somewhere on your computer
- Drag the .apk file onto the screen of your AVD this will start an install of FR Legends,
from there you can just Run the App and it will let you create an account!
Step 4 (optional): Repeating the process
After you create one account on your AVD you can only create ONE
account until you reset the device, but HAVE NO FEAR!
This final step will teach you how to repeat the process on the SAME AVD
in order to create AN INFINITELY SCALABLE NUMBER OF ACCOUNTS
- Make sure your AVD isn't on
- Open android studio
- Navigate to the AVD Manager (reference the tutorial if you forgot)
- Click the arrow on the right side of the screen for your AVDthis is the arrow!
- Click on 'Wipe data'
From here, you can just start up your AVD, and Repeat Step 3
to reinstall FR Legends, and make another new account!
I AM HAPPY TO SHARE WHAT I BELIEVE IS THE FIRST TUTORIAL OF ITS KIND WITH YOU ALL, AND I WELCOME YOU TO CHECK MY USER FOR MORE TUTORIALS!
submitted by MODGOD-FRLEGENDS
to u/MODGOD-FRLEGENDS [link] [comments]
2023.03.25 22:43 SwanCivil Me F29 Bf M29 said I am tying him down
I was told I am tying my bf down
Me (f29) just had a huge argument with my bf (m29) of 2 years. A little bit of background on us we are an interfaith couple. We are supposed to get engaged this year and he asked me to pick an engagement ring. We have been facing a lot of heat from our designated communities for wanting to get married. My family came around but his hasn't. All this has been a major stressor in our lives. Our argument was not about this, he is always traveling for work, to see friends or family. He takes about 3 to 4 trips per year. When he is not taking trips his friends/family are visting him. The first year of our relationship was very difficult for me cause I felt the need to fight for his time. He didn't want to change his lifestyle or reduce trips. With time I felt the need to adjust myself and change my priorities. I honestly started working towards that and trying not to react every time he has to leave or someone else is coming. When his friend/family come they stay at his place. We don't live together but most days I am at his overnight and some days he is at mine. He is scheduled to leave on a work/friends trip for 12 days. We r both recovering from being sick. While all this is happening, he also let me know yesterday he is leaving to see his family within a week of coming back, this time for another 3 weeks. I was okay with it. I know he is going to see them to convince them to accept us. This morning he let's me know right after he is back that following weekend our friend is visiting so he has to take him to another city. I am expected to join on this trip too and this is the only weekend we would get before he has to leave again. But I couldn't contain myself I responded badly because I already felt overwhelmed by these plans and his life. It didn't go so well, he told me I am selfish for always thinking about myself. He thinks when it comes to my life plans he always goes along with it but I am problematic when it comes to his. I was planning a solo trip/family trip this year just so I can prove to him and myself that I am not waiting around for him all the time. I even tried to plan things seperately to change this narrative between us. He called me a liar saying I wasn't trying. He feels chained down to me. He also said if you were a good partner you wouldn't do all this the day before I am leaving. He is a very good guy and he does a lot for me. I get reactive when overwhelmed and I have the tendency to become too engrossed in relationships. But I just can't shake the feeling, the overwhelming sadness that he is truly not happy with me. I think I should let him go as it's already been established in his mind I am this selfish person and if it doesn't go my way I respond with anger. I am really sad cause this time I thought he was the one. That this relationship is worth fighting for but I am truly heart broken by his words and don't want to open myself up to anyone. Given the community I am from there is a lot of pressure for marriage at an early age. I am already shamed by family and community for not being married yet. Everyone knows now that I have been dating someone out of my religion. I feel very lost and alone. I don't know what to do.
submitted by SwanCivil
to u/SwanCivil [link] [comments]