5 letter words beginning with sca

onewordeach

2015.05.22 19:56 Kaibakura onewordeach

Improv, one word at a time.
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2013.04.14 16:31 HonorInDefeat Zzzzzzz

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2009.05.03 16:57 michaelgmccoy Newz: the Global News subreddit

Global news subreddit with unbiased moderation.
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2023.03.29 20:29 vanmd89 Assistance with VSO/NSO

Good afternoon all, I am looking for some advice. US Marine Machine Gunner (0331) 5 year contract with 5 month medical extension. 3 deployments: Iraq (3 months), Afghanistan (7 months) 24th MEU aboard USS New York (10 months). I had an injury on my 2nd deployment to Afghanistan in which I fell off of a roof with my combat load descending from over watch. I being young, dumb, and full of you know what... decided to walk it off after being knocked unconscious due to the circumstances of being actively deployed to a combat theater and not having a life threatning injury. 2/3rd of the way through my 3rd deployment I collapse while weight train and was put on light duty on ship. Remained on ship until the remainder of the deployment. Upon returning state-side the pain of standing, walking, sitting prolonged became unbearable so I was sent to PT. Not getting better after many months of me complaining about the pain they ordered an MRI and confirmed annular tears L3-L4 aling with DDD/BDD. Around this point I have to extend my contract for medical purposes. With these findings they offered 3 choices: basically do nothing and continue with PT, do surgery which was against the doctors recommendation at the time or do an experimental cortisone treatment which I was told would like only last 2-3 years. I opted for the cortisone and waalaa only after a few days I could stand sit and walk for longer periods of time, I felt good. At this point I made the decision to leave and pursue being a civilian as I was still in the active roster and was constantly being harrased about reporting to formation, training, activities, etc.... (what a mistake I regret).
As most young Marines when I attended Seps and Taps I for the first time learned about VA disability. As most did I wrote down everything that I though I had legitimate claims for. I EAS'D returned home and after a month or so recieved a letter for my C&P exams... one with a general physician and another with a psychiatrist. A few months later I get my decision for 70% of PTSD (which I didn't clain) and was mostly denied my other claims except a 10% for tinnitus and 0% for hearing loss. Fast-forward 2020 I met a VSO who took a look at my file and said "we can get you to 100% or at the very least some increases" since then he has effectively been able to increase me to 90%. Got my lower back rated and increased to 40% and I have 4 other 10% ratings associated with this "injury".
In 2020 my back pain again became unbearable and was referred to a physiatrist through the community care program. I explained my situation to the doctor and said I've had neck issues also for as long as I can remember but would like to focus on my lower back as that's what's been most debilitating to me. After a year of care and several cortisone injections I was feeling good again so we began assessing my neck. The doctor orders an MRI. About a week later calls me and I can hear the urgency in her voice "you need to so a neurologist before we can proceed any further". Finding stenosis C5-6-7 very bad narrowing of the spinal cord cannal. Doctors "do nothing stay the course" now doing PT, injections, acupuncture etc... I file a claim for my neck and it's denied stating that there isn't evidence to connect it to my service (i fell of a roof for gods sake) and that I signed a paper saying I was good to leave (had to sign in order to get off med hold to eas). So today I met again with my physiatrist and explained to her va disability and what's going on and asked her to write me a nexus letter. She, perplexed at the situation said of course and that I can pick it up some point next week. I also wrote one of these letters (don't worry the Grammer is much better then this , I had my wife proof read it😅). The intent is to appeal the denial. I should state that I also currently have 5 things on appeals that I claimed in 2013 most of which are pact act stuff (asthma, sinusitis, rinusitis, and migrans) all of with I am medicated through the VA for and was recently deffered.. the other appeal from 2013 was TBI which is also not service connected (fell off roof aprox 6ft landing on back and getting knocked unconscious). Recently throught a head MRI through the VA it revealed that I have signs of stenosis, aneurysm, and bilateral isolation. I was never called back in to discuss the findings and when I went through ny medical record the recommendation... "do nothing".
So now that the internet knows my life story here goes the question. Should I stay the course with the VSO? Although he has been successful in getting me an increase I feel like we've been just slowly "kicking the can down the road". The other option would be to see if I could get a hold of a NSO through the DAV. I've heard they're much more aggressive in terms of helping vets with benefits? Any other recommendations? I currently live in western Connecticut for reference.
I apologize in advance for the lengthy post but felt like the background was needed for context.
Thanks for any and all help.
submitted by vanmd89 to VeteransBenefits [link] [comments]


2023.03.29 20:29 Narrow_Squash4404 My close friend of 8 years doesn't get me at all

I have a childhood friend of 8 years and we're in our early twenties. However recently our friendship hasn't been doing so well and I'm struggling to figure out any specific cause or solution. Hopefully my writing is understandable.
He has no idea who I am, what I like and how I feel after multiple years of close friendship. Like for example we could go shopping together and he goes ''look at that, you should get it since I know you're so into that stuff'' I look at him mortified and disappointed because no I'm not...?? Now this alone wouldn't be a big deal but it happens constantly in every area of our lives. And the worst kind is when I need to communicate with him how I feel. So a little backstory:
A while back I told him I really need some space from him because clearly something isn't really working between us. We had a good conversation but he was completely oblivious to any issues. It's fine, I couldn't really explain myself too well either. He's a nice guy so he was understanding and agreed to give me space. However, turns out he does not know how to give a person space. Well, I should explain to him what I need from him, all good. Somehow I find myself in a 3 hour long conversation having to explain in great detail on how to give someone/me space... And this happens like 7 times. Each time we have 1 hour+ conversation in which I end up needing to explain to him, once again in great detail exactly what I need (which btw isn't anything special.. I just needed space?). And each time he still doesn't get it so we've had these conversations like 7 times now. Well the conversations about that stopped after and he's started asking me quite often ''do you feel better yet?'', ''can we hangout yet?'' and so on. Keyword is ''quite often''. What am I even supposed to answer? Obviously I can't give him a date or something. So I had to explain to him once again in great detail how his questions are not helpful and they're creating pressure for me and I feel rushed to fix our friendship. Now if you're wondering why I keep using the words ''in great detail'' it's because I really mean it. He does not understand unless it's extremely clearly put and in great detail. So exhausting. He answered me with ''well I want to hangout though'' and ''I'm hurt from all this''... I'm constantly trying my best to make him feel seen because I know this is hurtful for both us. So now this has just made me cry because he's completely oblivious to anything I'm feeling or experiencing after I explain him for hours on multiple days and he still can't do things right. And that is only one issue we've had hours long conversations about. Because he just doesn't get it, he doesn't get anything. Every concern I've expressed here I've also expressed to him kindly and patiently. Now sometimes these conversations do end up useful but it's absolute insanity I need to talk for 3 hours once again in great detail explaining how I feel and how exactly to comfort me for a close friend I've had for multiple years. I am drained and so hurt. I don't have these issues with anyone else and never have before. I don't have any other friend that doesn't ''get me'' even if I've know my other friends less or even way less time than I've known him.
Another thing he does now is he talks to me every day multiple times but about nothing. He tells me ''I went to work today''. Well sir you go to work every day, that's a cool story. My confusion is starting to piss me off. Anyways, I'm about to graduate so I'm extremely busy and barely have time to do much or talk to my friends. He knows this. So now let me get this straight.. He knows I'm more busy than ever in my life, I've told him I need space and we need to take distance from each other and I respond extremely shortly or don't respond (unless he's talking about something that actually needs my attention, not about how he bought ice cream today) and he is STILL messaging me every single day multiple times talking about absolutely nothing. Just random small talk and quite frankly never really about anything else. Well I now realized I should mention this to him and I will. But it will probably do absolutely nothing like my previous hours long attempts to have him understand me.
I just do not understand what is happening. This is so bizarre to me. He is absolutely clueless. I'm trying to think back to our friendship and to his personality. I do agree he's always been a bit clueless but we've never had problems like this. I also think it's taken me a long time to realize there are problems to begin with. I put my everything to my friendships and relationships, I value deep connections and communication and I have a lot of patience. I think I've started running out of that patience which's made me realize that our friendship isn't working, it doesn't feel balanced, I don't feel understood. I've probably just finally reached my limit which I didn't know I was approaching.
There is one last important thing to mention which is that he's struggled with lots of insecurities and had a toxic relationship. He seems quite confused when trying to express how these could affect him so it's pointless trying to have him psychoanalyze himself. And there's only so much I can do as a friend especially because he's also clueless about himself. As any friend would, I've now for 8 years been there to reassure and console him on his insecurities but seen not much change. We've agreed he's getting professional help. His issues do come obvious outside of our friendship as well. I myself go to therapy and I've been doing my best to become a better version of myself over the years. I feel as if he's falling somewhere behind and he doesn't even know that. I feel maybe his excessive texting or not knowing how to give space might be connected to his insecurities and a fear of losing me. Maybe he's seeing the world through some weird lens? I don't know and nor does he.
Like I said he's a childhood friend and he's very dear to me. He's never done anything to hurt me apart from whatever this is which I don't think is intentional from him. We've always communicated everything, he's never been anything but kind and supportive. We also share hobbies and mutual friends so I can't really just ditch him nor do I want to do that at all. I'll see him every time I take part in my hobbies or hang out with my friends. I don't know how to make this less awkward inside the friend group either.
All these things bother me and stress me out. I've started somewhat resenting him and I hate speaking of him like this because I feel like a bad friend.
Thank you for reading this all through if you did. I'm not really looking for any specific advice or solution because literally any will do. Any perspective will be useful and will probably eventually give me some clarity. I don't mind answering questions either.
submitted by Narrow_Squash4404 to FriendshipAdvice [link] [comments]


2023.03.29 20:29 Material_Trainer_ Hedera Hashgraph: The Sleeping Giant in CryptoMarkets – Why HBAR Deserves Your Attention Now!

The prospect of a powerful comeback of the HBAR token from Hedera Hashgraph
The current conjuncture turns HBAR into a "golden share".
In the next couple of weeks, you should pay close attention to the HBAR token from Hedera Hashgraph. Based on market analysis, HBAR is about to become a bull that can pull its value high enough - and this moment needs to be caught. It is not known whether HBAR will be able to reach $10 per token, as a number of analysts predicted at the beginning of 2023, but few doubt that the cost will increase by 50%.
This confidence is based on several facts.
Most recently, HBAR successfully coped with a powerful attack using an exploit. Hackers tried to use the code of the smart contract service of the main Hedera network to withdraw tokens, but did not succeed. Nevertheless, the volume of the total value locked (TVL) has sunk, along with the value of HBAR - which means that a rebound will occur soon.
In the last few days, the Hedera price has been consolidating near the demand zone and demonstrates the formation of a short-term base.
The first and main element of the inevitable demand for HBAR is the Hedera Hashgraph project itself. Hashgraph is not a typical bitcoin blockchain, but its own algorithm that is maximally configured for trading. Instead of adding combined transaction blocks to the network, Hedera uses a protocol called "gossip about gossip" (DAG) to check the time sequence and validity before entering individual transactions into the registry.
Hashgraph differs from the blockchain in several very important features for trading.
- Qualitatively new bandwidth. Hedera Hashgraph is capable of processing up to 5 million transactions daily. Now the throughput has reached 10k transactions per second, but thanks to network segmentation, the frequency of transactions is in principle unlimited. Each operation takes from 3 to 5 seconds.
- It's cheaper. HBAR owners pay only $0.0001 per transaction, and the energy consumption for processing each transaction does not exceed 0.00017 kW. A striking difference compared to the average 885 kW for BTC and 102 kW for ETH.
- This is a full-fledged stock exchange asset, since the Hedera Hashgraph management board includes Google, IBM, LG, Boeing, Deutsche Telekom and a number of others.
If we study such standard schemes for token analysis as Moving Average (for 200 days), Parabolic SAR and Falling Wedge, then the bullish trend of HBAR becomes obvious.
The Moving Average is a basic indicator useful for understanding the general trend, “what will happen to the token in general". Currently, the HBAR is above the 200-day moving average.
Parabolic SAR is a “tactical” indicator that helps investors understand potential changes in the price of an asset in the near term. HBAR's Parabolic SAR has been steadily growing since January 2023, despite all attempts to contain it.. An exceptionally good signal.
Falling Wedge is fine too. There is very little left before the convergence of the straight lines, which means that the token will soon go in the opposite direction, which is up. Its price will rise, which is already visible in the markets.
There are at least three serious factors that ensure HBAR growth by several tens of percent in the near future. And the Hedera Hashgraph background guarantees that the value of HBAR will definitely not go to zero. It looks like a promising asset.
submitted by Material_Trainer_ to CryptoCurrencyTrading [link] [comments]


2023.03.29 20:28 FastSuccess7738 Alander Pulliam - 2024 Presidential Election Candidate

As the presidential election of 2024 draws ever closer, the nation is expecting to see a very different kind of candidate on the ballot. Enter Alander Pulliam, whose slogan of “Stir It Up” is beginning to gain traction among voters. Pulliam’s slogan is not just an implication, though – it’s a declaration of his mission to overturn the oppressive systems and programs that have left many communities in poverty and despair and replace them with tools that allow these same communities to flourish. As the 2024 Presidential Election rapidly approaches, potential candidates are beginning to introduce their innovative campaign promises. One candidate, Mr. Pulliam, is focusing on modernizing our nation by getting rid of an outdated credit system that has become increasingly important in our daily lives. Mr. Pulliam aims to break down the current system that enables corporations to exploit impoverished individuals and push them further into debt. The current credit system focuses heavily on consumer products such as mortgages, credit cards and car loans. Individuals are judged too quickly on their credit history and scores, which leads to an unnecessary pressure being placed on them. Entrepreneurs, although they may be able to build businesses, are judged on their credit history, which often leads to confidence damages that can have long standing impacts. In addition, many low-income individuals are completely unaware of how the credit system works, leading to them navigating it blindly and furthering their debt. Mr. Pulliam is aware of the issues of the current system, and is eager to make a positive change not only for our nation, but for the individuals who have been most impacted by it. Mr. Pulliam believes in creating a more holistic and modern approach to the credit system, where we can focus on helping those who are in need and better educating them about the system. He is committed to providing responsible individuals and business owners with more advancements in products and services which can help them in their financial decisions. As we continue towards the 2024 election cycle, we can only hope that Mr. Pulliam’s words will come true and the credit system can be greatly improved. Even a small change has the potential to improve the lives of those who are struggling with debt and unfair credit scores. As such, it is imperative that we think critically about how we can help those most in need and push for a more equitable system. The 2024 Presidential Election: An Opportunity to Transform America In 2020, the presidential election is sure to dominate current events as the future of the country is at stake. However, the 2024 presidential election will come with its own set of unique challenges. Many Americans are already looking past the 2020 election to the 2024 presidential election, with many speculating about potential candidates for the major parties. Beyond the candidates, 2024 will present a critical opportunity for meaningful reform of the current state of the country. In particular, Alander Pulliam has emerged as a leader of the Pro-Change movement, calling for an overhaul of the current party system. The current set of two-party candidates focus on the same issues that have been integral to the political conversation for decades. With wealth inequality, climate change, inadequate healthcare, and insufficient education being top priorities, the solutions put forward by the major party candidates do not go far enough. The major parties claim to improve conditions but have not demonstrated progress equivalent to their rhetoric. As a result, many voters have become disillusioned with the current system and are open to alternative solutions. This is where Alander Pulliam is looking to make a difference. Pulliam believes the current system of party politics is antiquated and doesn’t go far enough to address the problems faced by the country. He is running on the slogan “Stir It Up” which he believes applies to more than just the 2024 election. He wants to stir up the entire political system by getting rid of outdated programs and replacing them with modern solutions that lead to more pronounced benefits for the people of America. His platform focuses on overhauling the two-party system entirely and replacing it with proportionally-representative parties, as well as emphasizing legislation that encourages economic and educational opportunity and a just criminal justice system. The major parties of the 2024 presidential election will undoubtedly focus on issues such as healthcare, job opportunities, and foreign policy. However, beyond the traditional focus of the two major parties, there is a unique opportunity to focus on solving the systemic issues at the heart of the nation’s problems. Pulliam’s progressive platform provides such an opportunity as he pushes for long-term reform of existing policies. For more information concerning Alander Lee Pulliam Jr 2024 Presidential campaign you can visit: www.alanderpulliam.com
submitted by FastSuccess7738 to u/FastSuccess7738 [link] [comments]


2023.03.29 20:28 Guffjuice69 Advice needed from HR experts

Hey,
This is probably the wrong subreddit but I can’t see one for UK pensions.
I got a new job in March 2020 and as part of that I chose to contribute to their workplace pension scheme which is with NEST. The agreement says “This pension scheme is with NEST and initially you will contribute 5% of pensionable earnings with name of employer contributing a further 3%.”
I was checking something with my pension this week and discovered that this whole time, for the past 3 years, they have only taken out 4% from my pensionable earnings and put it into the pension along with their 3% contribution.
They’re trying to say they messed up the wording on the agreement and as standard they put in 4% from employees pensionable earnings and the other 1% is supposed to be the tax reclaimed. But I think this is a cop out. Even if this was true I think they would claim 20% of the 4% which doesn’t equate to an extra 1% of contributions.
The wording is crystal clear in my view and this whole time I thought they were taking 5% from my pensionable earnings. I know some people will say how did you go 3 years without noticing. Well I just assumed they would do it correctly.
Anyway - pensionable earnings is £847 per week so missed out on 1% of that for 3 years plus income tax bill reduction plus investment growth of those contributions. Is there anything I can do about it? I’ve asked to raise a complaint internally but they don’t seem to have an actual HR department.
Thank you for any thoughts!
submitted by Guffjuice69 to HumanResourcesUK [link] [comments]


2023.03.29 20:28 kaeicchi Please help explain the discovery process

My father was recently charged with a DWI and Felony Hit and Run. He doesn’t speak English and doesn’t understand the law nor know his basic rights. He is so illiterate about the judicial process that he refuses to believe that a public defender works for him and not for the court. He really thought that the public defender would not make an effort to work his case because they work for the system.
We eventually found him a private lawyer and we’ve been told to just sit tight and do some community service work while we wait for evidence to be release. The lawyer used to be a traffic violations prosecutor for the district we’re in but now he’s a defense lawyer. My father is being summon back to court at the beginning of May and the lawyer said he’s not expecting evidence to be turned over until late April. I’ve done some research and it seems like he’s correct.
However, my father is saying that he wants to switch lawyer because it’s been three weeks and the lawyer ‘haven’t done anything’. The lawyer had petitioned the court to provide him evidence the day we hired him and given legal advices like provide character letters, do community services, and advised against taking court mandate driving courses prematurely.
Apparently my father had talked to some people that said the lawyer is supposed to actively pressure the cops to turn over evidence early. That doesn’t sound right to me but can someone confirm or deny that this is possible?
submitted by kaeicchi to legaladvice [link] [comments]


2023.03.29 20:28 CalloftheSea Epic of the Earthshaker Chapter I The Fault

August 6th, 2032 
It was a lovely summer day in early August, there was a relaxing summer breeze and there was no cloud in the sky to be seen. The island’s residents went out in droves to enjoy the warm weather. Some of them had gone down to the beach, while others went out to get ice cream at the town’s most famed ice cream parlor. The Leclerc brothers went outside that afternoon as well.
The two dark-haired boys were on their way to play soccer in the local park, the two chatted animatedly about their favorite club’s most recent match as they walked down the street. The two looked alike and were unmistakably brothers, the only thing that set them apart were the younger’s seaweed-green eyes.
Even if they had different fathers, Sam and Jules considered each other full brothers. For the longest time, the two have been able to count on each other and grew pretty close. At first, Jules thought of having a younger brother as lame or stupid, even more, because that little brother was from a different father. In the end, he quickly grew to love his role as a big responsible brother, especially given their mutual love for soccer.
About two or three years ago the Leclerc family moved to the United States from France. Despite the boys’ protests, Jeanne assured them that America would be a lovely place to grow up and that her parents would love to have their grandsons around more. Of course, the two didn’t understand the reason behind their mom’s choice had to do with Sam’s divine heritage and Camp Half-Blood.
At least Nantucket was kind of a great place to live. Even if it could be cold on the island and the people had funny accents it reminded the two of their birthplace of Saint-Tropez. Sam always liked being near water, so to still be able to grow up near the sea was a dream come true. Jules couldn’t quite blame his younger brother; the sea was great and hopefully, he could finally pick up surfing or sailing.
As the two made their way over to the soccer field Jules kept the soccer ball high up in the air using his knees, as the self-proclaimed king of keepie-uppie he kinda had to show it off to anyone who wanted to see it. He caught the ball in his arms as he and his brother passed by a construction site where a house was being built. Given it was summer break the site was abandoned and a great place to explore. Jules always loved challenges and exploring, this seemed like an excellent opportunity to be a good older brother and teach Sam all about being brave.
‘’Hey Sam, regardez ça.’’ Jules tugged his younger brother’s soccer tracksuit, grinning excitedly as he gestured for the building site. The excited grin turned into a confident one seeing his brother’s confusion at what he was getting at. ‘’Wanna explore that construction site over there? We have all afternoon to play soccer and I’m sure mom won’t mind if we play some in the evening as well. This could be a fun adventure.’’
Eyes wide, Sam looked at his brother. The boy looked up to Jules in many ways. Jules was really good with people, he was great at soccer, FIFA, and Call of Duty. Sam would love to be more like his brother, be less of a coward sometimes, and just do stuff without thinking it through. But this? This sounded really dangerous. And dumb. It was like Sam’s entire body was telling him not to go to the building site. ‘’Jules, are you sure? I’m not sure if mama-’’
‘’C’mon Samuel. Mom doesn’t have to know this.’’ With a playful grin on his face, Jules nudged his brother’s shoulder. It was a typical Leclerc trait to be stubborn, especially with the older boy who seemed to be blind when it came to danger. Seeing the worried look on his brother’s face caused Jules to look at Sam with a small, more serious smile. ‘’Five minutes trip Sam, détends-toi un peu, I protect my little bro.’’
Looking down at his untied Nikes, Sam scratched his head. He deeply cared for his brother, but sometimes Jules could be a little irresponsible and this sounded exactly like an irresponsible thing. What if someone caught them sneaking around somewhere where they shouldn’t be? Mom would be so disappointed in them and she probably ground them for the rest of summer. On the other hand, the thought of breaking the rules was thrilling and Jules’ words of encouragement were very convincing. Sam looked up again, seeing his brother’s kind face made him feel like an idiot for being such a worrywart. Jules was right; this shouldn’t be that big of a deal. ‘’Five minutes, not longer.’’
‘’Sam, you’re the realest.’’ Jules fist-bumped his brother, his grin widening as he had it his way. He turned to look at the close fencing surrounding the construction site. If playing Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed taught him anything it was that there always was a hole in a fence like this. If not they could just climb over this. Without a care in the world, Jules started to walk around the fencing, looking for a place from where they could enter. With his younger brother following after him like a loyal dog.
The past few years hadn’t exactly been easy for the Leclerc family. A few years after they emigrated to the United States, Sam and Jules’ mother Jeanne was diagnosed with the horrible disease that was leukemia. Both of the boys were really scared to lose their mother and spent hours on end in the hospital. Thankfully Jeanne had been able to recover from her sickness, but that didn’t mean those few years were easy for the family.
Especially Sam had a hard time dealing with his sick mother. He was young and couldn’t understand why she didn’t want to play soccer with him and Jules anymore or why she didn’t pick them up from school to go to Dairy Queen. The younger brother isn’t really the type to take things the way they are. He is the type that wants to beat the waves life sends at him into submission, he simply can’t go with the flow. Deep down Sam wished he was more like his brother and mother who took things way better than him. Maybe he inherited his sense of wanting to be in control and his stormy temper from his mysterious dad?
‘’Hey, I think I found something!’’ Sam called as he turned to look for his brother before gesturing to a small opening between two fences. He looked proud of himself and quite excited for whatever adventure was waiting for them on the construction site. Maybe Sam still has second doubts about this, maybe he shouldn’t just break rules like that, but as long as he and his brother stick together nothing will go wrong. Besides, they both can run really fast.
Jules, who was checking for openings in the fencing further down the road, turned around upon hearing his brother’s voice. He jogged over with a wide grin appearing on his face as he saw the opening between the two fences. He didn’t share Sam’s worries and was excited about exploring the building site and the house that was being built.
‘’Good job buddy! Man, this is gonna be great.’’ The older brother was practically bouncing from one foot onto the other in his excitement. He ruffled through Sam’s hair before jogging over to the opening, looking at his brother with a grin. ‘’Samuels go first.’’
‘’Jules, allez!’’ Sam groaned at his brother calling him by his full name again. He couldn’t help but chuckle at Jules’ appetite for adventure. In a way, it worked contagiously on the younger brother, who had forgotten about his earlier worries. He followed his brother to the fence, giving him a fistbump before slipping onto the construction site through the opening.
The older boy followed Sam onto the building site, looking around with a contended grin. There was a yellow excavator to dig holes, many racks with tools and building materials, and maybe most exciting of all the shell of a concrete two-story house surrounded by scaffolding. Okay, maybe construction sites weren’t half as exciting as Jules thought them to be, but exploring new places was and there for sure was a lot to explore in this gigantic sandbox.
Jules looked over to his younger brother, to see what he was thinking about this. It wasn’t surprising to see the familiar expression of worry on Sam’s face. Both of them often acted on impulses, but Sam had a little more self-control. And he often thought about the possible consequences and what-ifs for a little longer. Placing a hand on his brother’s shoulder, Jules shot him a small smile. ‘’We’ll walk around and then we’ll bail. It’s hella boring here anyway.’’
‘’It’s not that scary really. I’m just being me, you know me.’’ Sam admitted meekly as he looked around the building site himself. Jules was right; this place didn’t look all that thrilling. Did he really have to make a chicken out of a feather? Even Arsène Lupin wouldn’t know how to make this place into an exciting one. Except by maybe… the boy eyed the dark blue soccer ball Jules was holding. Could they play soccer here? In a brief moment of lacking impulse control and wanting to impress his brother, Sam grabbed the ball out of his hands and dribbled away before looking over his shoulder. ‘’Caught you, off-guard Slowpoke.’’
Jules opened his mouth in surprise seeing Sam steal the soccer ball from him and run off with it. Okay, he had to admit his brother had balls for doing that and that playing soccer on a building site was kinda exciting, but that didn’t mean he was gonna let his younger brother get away with that. No one outplayed him. Jules steeled himself before speeding over to his brother. ‘’You’re a fucking Slowpoke yourself, buddy. Give it back.’’ He laughed*.*
‘’Mama said you can’t use that word!’’ Sam murmured in protest as he dribbled away again. The boy couldn’t help but giggle again as he outran his brother. Sam knew that Jules would catch up with him sooner than later. He had to outsmart his brother; that’s what a good soccer player would do. And that’s also what annoying little brothers do. Sam passed the dark blue soccer ball through an opening in the house before chasing after it.
From the inside of the shell of the concrete house was just as boring as it was from the outside. There were stairs leading to the first floor. There were a few puddles of water in the house, some tools catching dust, and- Sam looked confused at the scratches on the walls. To his knowledge, there weren’t any dangerous creatures in this area, but to him, the scratch marks looked like they came straight out of a horror movie about a werewolf. The boy’s mind worked overtime, causing him to go from ‘dumb and overly courageous’ back to ‘dumb and kinda scared.’
Sam gulped, trying to shake away the thought of a werewolf coming to eat him. He picked up the ball, turned around, and got out of the house as fast as he could. Now he would just have to find his brother, make amends and go back home. The boy let out a panicked yell as he was tackled by someone or something. ‘’Please, don’t kill me!” He muttered as he fell to the ground.
‘’Kill you?’’ Jules raised an eyebrow seeing his younger brother suddenly panic at what looked like to be nothing at all. He would be giving himself shoulder pats for successfully tackling Sam if the boy didn’t look so… spooked. What had happened to him? Jules pulled Sam back to his feet, dusting the dirt off the tracksuit. ‘’Sam, what happened, are you ok? You’re not trying to trick me, are you?’’
Sam let out a sigh of relief as he found it was his older brother who tackled him and not some crazy monster. With the help of Jules, he managed to get back up to his feet before sheepishly handing the soccer ball back. ‘’I think I saw-’’ The boy fell silent as he noticed the large, black mastiff with glowing red eyes approaching the two of them from behind. The beast was about as big as a bear and it didn’t take long for Sam to put 2 and 2 together. ‘’Jules, what’s that thing? Can we go home now?’’
‘’Huh?’’ Jules turned to look over his shoulder to stare at the black mastiff with a glassy look in his eyes. It was as if his brain couldn’t decide whether he was seeing a really big dog or a small grizzly bear. And if there was anything he was scared of it was dogs. He was especially scared of big dogs, what if that thing attacked them? Jules tugged at Sam’s tracksuit, pulling his younger brother behind him. He should have listened to Sam. This was a dumb idea. ‘’Fuck this, I didn’t know they had a guard dog.’’ He whispered under his breath as he froze. ‘’Walk away slowly, just please don’t panic, okay?’’ He muttered mostly to himself.
Even if his older brother didn’t like to talk about it, Sam knew about his phobia of dogs. He didn’t need to be an empath to see that Jules was trying not to panic. And still, he was trying to be the protective one. ‘’You’re right.’’ Sam began as he looked at his brother with a look that was both confused and worried, before turning into a more determined one. ‘’We’ll go now.’’ With that said the younger brother pulled the older brother with him, slowly backing away from the large mastiff that was still giving them the ‘I’m gonna eat you’-stare.
If it hadn’t been for Sam pulling him away, Jules likely would still have been in the middle of his staring contest with the big black dog. Stuttering out a quiet ‘thanks’ Jules turned to look at his younger brother again. Usually, it was Sam who was the scaredy cat, but when it came to dogs the older brother was completely useless. Stupidest thing was that Jules didn’t even know where his phobia came from, he always had struggled with dogs, and that made him feel like such a loser sometimes. ‘’You know what, I’ll buy us ice cream later-’’
At that point, the hellhound decided it had enough of staring at the two French boys. it smelled demigod and that could only mean one thing; a feast. Letting out an awful-sounding howl, the black mastiff bolted toward the brothers.
‘’-If that thing doesn’t eat us first!’’ Jules cried out in panic as the black dog came running over them. They were so gonna die. After telling his brother to book it, Jules grabbed a small rock from the ground and threw it at the mastiff in the hopes of chasing it away. Seeing that the dog wasn’t bothered in the slightest by being pelted with a rock, the older brother let out another sigh, ignoring the voice in his head telling him to fight. Instead, he ran after his younger brother.
Despite them being in good shape and being quite fast, the two brothers unfortunately weren’t fast enough to outrun a hungry hellhound. It caught up with Jules first, tackling him to the ground next to a rack of building materials. The boy let out a yelp, shielding himself from the dog. The hellhound sniffed at the teen before catching Sam’s seawater smell. The hellhound wasn’t one to let a meal go, especially not a tasty-looking son of a big, important god. It growled again, it’s red eyes glowed before it began to chase after a scared-looking Sam again.
‘’Jules!’’ Sam froze as he saw his brother push himself to his feet again, he realized too late he was the hellhound’s new target and watched in fear as the beast jumped at him and sank its teeth in his leg. Now Sam likes to think of himself as a somewhat tough type. He’s not hurt easily and doesn’t mind getting tackled or falling over, but this? This was the worst feeling ever! It was like the dog’s teeth were made out of unbreakable steel. He felt something wet streaming down his leg and he wasn’t sure if it was his own blood or the dog’s saliva.
For some strange reason, Sam couldn’t quite explain his survival instincts kicked in. The colors he saw and the sounds he heard around him became much clearer. He did still have a fighting chance and he was gonna use it to kick the dog’s ass that hurt his best friend. ‘’Go away!’’ He shouted as he crawled back, kicking at the mastiff’s face.
The hellhound was caught off guard at Sam’s attempt to fight back but quickly recovered seeing that the boy was still a very easy target. Deciding it was better to just kill the young demigod, the hellhound lunged at Sam’s chest.
This time Sam was faster than the dog and managed to roll away before it got to kill him. By the minute Sam was growing more frustrated with himself, with the dog, with just everything around him. He felt lost, he never had felt this lost. This was it, he was gonna die, and so was Jules. Their family would miss them too much. So lost. To Sam it was like he was standing in a stormy sea, waves crashing at him trying to drag him down with a storm brewing above his head. A storm waiting to be unleashed.
Sam had gotten used to his dark thoughts, to his sudden outbursts of rage, but this was different. This was life or death. That dog had hurt him and his brother and wouldn’t stop hurting them until they were dead! It was gonna pay for that. Preferably with its life. The dark thought washed over the younger brother like a wave of cold water, the sudden burst of confidence nauseated him. It made him feel like he wasn’t fully in control anymore like the only answer was to destroy.
‘’No!’’ Sam shouted with a voice deeper than his own. He pushed himself back to his feet before kicking the monstrous mastiff in its head. There was an oppressive pain drumming behind his eyes, as someone hit him in the head with a hammer. ‘’You are not welcome here! Do you understand?!’’ He spat, his face contorted with rage.
‘’ALLEZ EN ENFER!’’ Sam shouted, his throat beginning to ache from all the yelling he was doing. And like that, just like it was nothing, the earth began to shake violently. All of Sam’s pent-up anger was released as he used his Geokinesis for the first time in his life, even if he didn’t know it himself. The boy’s tears blurred his vision as he repeatedly threw curses at the mastiff that had dared to bother him. In the distance, Sam heard a muffled cry that sounded awfully familiar. He wanted to check out what was going on, but it seemed all his brain could tell him to do was hurt the monster.
As the earth rumbled on the hellhound let out a panicked yelp, and its eyes darted around rapidly. It didn’t understand what the seaboy was yelling at it, but it did understand it was trying to mess with the wrong innocent demigod. Growling a final time, the hellhound decided it was for the better to speed away, as far from the earthquake boy that wanted to kill it.
With the mastiff bolting off into the distance and the earth quieting down, Sam felt his headache triple in strength, almost as if someone set off dynamite in his head. That was what it felt like, pure unorganized chaos. Even though the oppressive pain didn’t go away, the boy felt like he was back in control. Whatever primal instinct had taken over the steering wheel just there was gone. Sam’s blurry vision faded back to normal, shaken he looked around him. The earth beneath him had cracked, a few racks had fallen over and-
With a look of horror on his face Sam saw how one of the racks with materials had fallen over to crush Jules’ legs. He saw how his brother was shielding himself, how he was shaking, and heard his sobs. ‘’Fuck.’’ Sam muttered as he ran over to Jules, ignoring the terrible pain in his leg and head. Even though the rack hadn’t crushed Jules as a whole, the damage still looked very bad. His face had gone from tanned to a sickly pale while he panted heavily as he tried to reach out for his legs. With ‘’No, Jules, c’mon. Hi. Please.’’ Sam muttered as kneeled beside his older brother.
‘’Hey, buddy,’’ Jules said in a weak voice, trying to put up a smile as he held back his tears. The pain his body was going through felt horrible. It was like the entire lower half of his body all at once. No, he had broken bones before, this was worse. Way worse. To him, everything happened in a blur. First, the dog attacked him, then Sam yelled, then the earthquake happened, and then this. ‘’I’ll be alright. The dog is gone. Yay.’’
Sam shook his head as he looked at his brother. He didn’t sound or look alright at all. Even if he tried to smile, Sam saw fear in his brother. Not just fear of the dog, fear of the earthquake. Fear of his rage. It made him feel a headache way worse than after facing the dog. ‘’We need to get a doctor, we need to call mama.’’ He said as he grabbed Jules' arm, feeling his heart beating hard through his pulse.
‘’No, we don’t need a doctor. I’ll be alright Sam.’’ Even though he tried to sound kind, Jules couldn’t help but be annoyed with his younger brother. He was alright, he’d just shake this off. Today was a shit day already, he didn’t need to see a doctor as well. As he tried to move his legs, he realized something was wrong. His brain told his legs to stand up, but his legs didn’t respond. He didn’t feel his legs, he just felt pain. ‘’No.’’ He said as he began to cry. ‘’I can’t feel my legs, Sam. Help please.’’ He said as he looked at his younger brother through teary eyes.
Sam held his brother’s arm, squeezing his hand softly, feeling a wave of sadness washing over himself. He didn’t understand any of this, he didn’t understand anything of what happened, but he knew that the earthquake wasn’t a coincidence. There was more behind than and he knew he wouldn’t like the answer. ‘’I’m here, I’m not gonna go, but we need a doctor, we need mama.’’ He explained as calmly as he could before reaching to grab his own iPhone and seeing his brother nodding in agreement.
Deep down the boy felt pain, fed-up and anger. His brother, his best friend, got hurt. Sam swore to never get anyone he cared for get hurt. But what if all he wanted to do in his anger was hurt?
submitted by CalloftheSea to CampHalfBloodRP [link] [comments]


2023.03.29 20:26 Specialist-Ocelot879 25 [M4F] Anywhere - Introverted nerd looking for something genuine, and maybe a gaming buddy!

Hello There! What brought you to this corner of the internet? Its a really crazy out there.
Let me begin by setting honesty parameter to 90 percent. I've been feeling a lil bit more lonely than usual, which motivated me to write this. So if you are feeling a bit same, why not read more and find out if we can help each other. And if you are not feeling the same, I will still try to keep this wall of text interesting.
So who am I? I am 25 years old programmer living somewhere in huge continent of Asia and generally introvert who likes to spend time learning about random stuff. It takes a bit before I can be myself around people, online or in person. But once I am, I love talking and sharing everything interesting I find! My sleep schedule is almost non-existent so I will most likely be awake for any time zone.
Okay this is getting long, so I am gonna write some bullet points highlighting my hobbies and interests, so its easy to read. Feel free to skim through:
- I play games, a lot, or at least used to. Gaming is my go to escape after a long day of work, when I want to stop existential crisis to set in. I play almost all sort of games, so if you want a game buddy I would love to play something. Oh and I can only play on PC for now.
- I have watched a lot of movies, anime and shows. I don't think I can define my favorite Genre, its a lot of random stuff. So feel free to drop your favorites and I will make sure to drop mine! I also watch a lot of random YouTube videos and documentaries/dramas time to time.
- I love Animals, especially cats. Tiny adorable devils they are. If they wake up and want to conquer world someday I'd be all for it. Have ~1000 cat pics and videos collected all over internet on phone so if you are interested I would love sharing them!
- I mainly listen to metal and rock with other random songs from any genre thrown around. Really hyped about new Avenged Sevenfold album. Recently started listening to Radiohead and existential crisis never been so high. I would love to get a few song suggestion of your favorite artists regardless of the genre!
- I make a lot of puns and sometimes even a good one that will make you facepalm or nose exhale. Throw in some existential dread and some dumb pop culture reference (I left some on this post itself, can you find them?) for good measures too.
- When I am not doing anything of above I like to learn random stuff. Languages, culture, history, science, politics... anything. So if you have any favorite informative video or want to share something interesting about your culture, feel free to send it on reply!
- Oh and I tinker around with code and make some dumb stuff when I am feeling motivated enough.
- Not a big reader but slowly getting back into reading. Going through a bit of Murakami since somehow that's what I found on bookstore.
- INF P/J, 5'11" if that helps or matters.
Personality wise, I am emotional person in general (As in I will be teary-eyed after watching emotional show/movie lol). But I feel like being emotional makes it easier for me to relate to others, to feel what they are feeling and easily put myself in other's shoes, emotionally. So if you are having a bad day, I would love to hear about it and make you feel better, however I can.
Now, what am I looking for? For now just someone to talk with. World can be a lonely for us time to time, then why not look for someone and be lonely together? So if you decide to text, I would want to know you better, play some games, share or watch videos, movies or shows, talk about most random topics or our interests and take this sometimes depressive world one step at a time. If it leads to us becoming best friends and eventually even more then its great! If not we can still hang around, talk, game, wherever we land.
Sooo congratulations for making through all of that. If any of that sounded interesting, drop a message saying what did you find interesting. Maybe a bit about yourself and your interests too. I mean if you survived that wall of text why not shoot a message?
So in case I don't see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night!
submitted by Specialist-Ocelot879 to ForeverAloneDating [link] [comments]


2023.03.29 20:26 StepwiseUndrape574 GTA 6 Gameplay Videos Allegedly Leaked Online For Download

It seems Rockstar games isn’t the cybersecurity rockstar it may have thought, as Grand Theft Auto 6 videos, source code, and Rockstar in-house documents are leaking online. In an interesting twist of fate, this might be coming from the recent Uber threat actor, who will likely have a laundry list of criminal charges should the United States catch up with them.
Less than 24 hours from writing, a forum post on a Grand Theft Auto (GTA) site, which will remain unlinked, went up from user “teapotuberhacker,” who claimed to have some stolen data. In the post, they wrote that they obtained and published “90 footage/clips from GTA 6” and had more data like “GTA 5 and 6 source code and assets” or a “GTA 6 testing build.” Of course, users on the forum were immediately skeptical of the breach, given how early it is for this sort of thing, but the info we are beginning to get back indicates that this is the real deal.
gta6 leak online forum post
Furthermore, within the forum post, teapotuberhacker links himself to the recent Uber breach and explains that he got his GTA VI data from employee Slack channels and Rockstar’s internal Confluence, a corporate wiki tool. But, of course, Slack channels and Confluence pages are juicy targets for hackers and threat actors alike, so it could just be pure coincidence and someone trying to claim the infamy.
schreier gta6 leak tweet confirmation
In any event, Bloomberg's Jason Schreier has since confirmed that this leak is real, so whether this is the Uber hacker or not is irrelevant. Thus, as mentioned, this leak could be one of the biggest in video game history and a massive problem for Rockstar games. Until we have an official statement from the company, it is unclear what kind of effect this might have, such as game setbacks and delays. Hopefully, we will find out more soon. Stay tuned to HotHardware for updates on this still developing situation and take your fill of leaks while you can, as Rockstar likely won't leave them for long.
submitted by StepwiseUndrape574 to gta5moddedvehicles_ [link] [comments]


2023.03.29 20:26 bodral3 Lost in a programming sea.

Idk how to start this. I'm lost. In the beginning i must clarify that i really like to code stuff.My programming journey began almost 5 years ago in high school. I choose an IT profile and got really good grasp of the basics of programming there. Unfortunately after learning to code i still relied on my school, hoped it will show me some kind of path, yet they only taught me few algorithms to pass the exams.After the high school I went to study a field which is supposed to combine programming and GIS systems (basically doing maps), but it turned out to be a bad idea. I did not choose a wrong field of study, it turned out i really like to do stuff with maps, but the level of education on my university is just tragic. I am not planning to drop out since everyone in my country still thinks that having some kind of graduating paper is necessary to get a good job.And now like i said i am lost, i have no idea what to do with my skills. Every time that someone needs help with programming assignment i am happy to help. Every time there is a coding problem i am determined to solve it, yet on my own i won't start doing anything. I just can't come up with an idea that i can solve and profit out of it, or just make something useful.To be specific, i can code in few languages but i never made an application. I solved many coding problems but all that was in plain text editor. Where i go from here? I really want to create useful stuff.
Things i can or did: c++ - first language
c# tried to make use of an existing neural network js, html. css- tried to get into webdeving early on with a odinProject tutorial, but it turned out i dont like designing sites, although javascript is what really improved my programming skills ruby - i just solved some coding problems there sql - i got really harsh relation with this language, i was taught it 4 times, every time by some education facility, and they never went beyond doing a zoo or class database, which made me tired of it, but i know it can be integrated with sites etc. and i can see fun in using it that way matlab - same case as sql, i don't like it, but i know all my professors use it to research and i really would like to use it to do smart things
I hope this is a good place to post this, idk if everything i wrote is necessary, probably not. If so, sorry for wasting your time, and thanks for every response, every critique or uplifting words.
submitted by bodral3 to learnprogramming [link] [comments]


2023.03.29 20:25 throawaydog334 I (25M) am confused about the relationship I have with my coworker (26F)

Hey Reddit, I need help. I’m really lost here, and if you take the time to read my story, I’d appreciate any and all help/criticism, so long as it’s respectful and well-intentioned. This is going to be a bit of a long story, so please bear with me.
Let me start from the beginning.
Around eight months ago, I got hired at a store I’d been trying to get a job at for a few years. I met a girl there: let’s call her Emma. She was one link further on the chain than me, and awaiting a promotion. We got along for the most part; had a few things in common, and a few things we didn’t. I don’t want to go into detail, but some of the things she was very vocal about irritated me enough to mostly keep my distance. We’d talk on our shift, and I’d be friendly, but we kept it as acquaintances and only occasionally talked about the things we had in common (we did share numbers).
Then, a few months in, I walked in on her crying in the office (a room close to the breakroom, we work on a sales floor). She said she was upset because someone she’d trained was getting promoted to the position she wanted, and she was left without word on when she would get hers. I kept my distance but extended grace, as I genuinely did feel bad for her, and while she was embarrassed to have been seen so distressed, she texted me later thanking me for my kindness with her situation.
At this point, she was still saying some things that rubbed me the wrong way. These are general differences in surface-level values, to elaborate a little, but in hindsight they’re really not a big deal. She was also now texting me much more frequently.
Then, one night when I was closing, a mutual friend of ours (friend to her for longer than friend to me) came in and we had a discussion. Her (female) friend said,
“You know, me and [my sister] think Emma has a crush on you.”
I denied this, but I could feel things changing just from hearing the suggestion. Our friend insisted, and said, “I don’t know for sure, but I mean, just the way she talks to you and stuff…”
It mostly ended there, and we talked about other things, but I couldn’t stop thinking about this. Then, in January, Emma discovered a mutual interest of ours that we hadn’t spoken about before. We’ll say it’s figure collecting.
I said to her I had a lot of them, and she insisted i show her over text when I get home. So I did, and she was elated; all-caps responses, happy to be talking to me, and after a few back-and-forths, she suggested we go on a trip to go figure hunting. An actual trip, too—to a city over three hours away. This rang alarm bells for me, because I hadn’t imagined she’d be interested in spending time with a coworker like that. But I figured I’d get something out of it, so I agreed. The next day at work, she came up to me with a whole plan laid out—I’d leave my car at her place, she’d drive us down, and we’d go hobby shopping. The weather affected the intended date three separate times, unfortunately, so we were only able to actually go at the very end of the month. But when we did, I was shocked at how much fun I had. We shared stories, we talked the whole way there, and I realized we had much, MUCH more in common than I initially thought. Similar goals for life, similar beliefs, and to my surprise, we resolved the thing about her that had been bugging me (about that minor difference in values). I’d been expecting her to clutch her opinion on the issue, but she treated what I had to say with respect and fairness, and I did the same. Maybe I’d gotten into my own head a bit about it, and it prevented me from thinking of her in a way she deserved to be thought of as. (I know I’m being vague here, but I really just don’t want to talk about that part of it.)
Let me add this, too;
She told me a secret about herself before our trip. I won’t share it, but I took it to heart, and incorporated it into a figurine of her I made as a gift. In fact, the statuette I made had references to our inside-jokes, her favorite colors, and favorite foods, too. You may have a hard time visualizing this, so I’ll say that the medium I’m working in makes this kind of project easy to make look good. At the end of our trip, I gave the gift to her.
She was absolutely struck with emotion; she started sobbing, got out of the car, got on her knees and just cried. When I got out of the car, she hugged me hard multiple times, cried on my shoulder, and told me the gift was the most thoughtful thing she’d ever gotten. She couldn’t stop hugging me, crying, and after a few minutes of this she kissed me on the cheek twice and said that the time we’d spent together was amazing. I said thank you for driving me, and through tears she said, “oh, you were so worth it.” I drove home fucked up and flustered from that; I’d never gotten female attention like this before.
When I suggested we hang out again, she texted back, “Yes, god, please.”
For the past two months, we’ve been spending more and more time together; going out to lunch, dinner, riverside walks, and also going to fun things like skating and the tennis court with our coworkers. But we haven’t established any actual romantic intentions. In fact, when we spent time on Valentines Day and I gave her a card and chocolate, she said, “Oh god, I almost got you flowers, but I—I was overthinking it. I’ll give you flowers next time I see you.”
And she did. She gave me flowers of my favorite color. But as she gave them to me, she pointed to the various kinds and said, “These flowers represent friendship,” and other things as such. Now, look; at this point in our relationship, we ARE friends, but making a point of it like that was weird to me. Over time, she’s continuing to call me things like “homie,” and “friend,” and I could be overthinking it, but that feels deliberate. After a few brunches and dinners, she barely texts me anymore; we have a Snapchat streak going strong since the trip, but she says nothing of substance with it, it’s all random pictures and such to keep the streak going. I don’t push on this because I don’t want to come off as clingy or desperate. At work, when we have the chance, she DOES still talk to me about the things she likes and her life, but it doesn’t continue once she’s gone home. I’ve been stuck planning all of our outings so far; all she's put effort into was the trip. Now, every time I DO suggest something, she always does follows through; but the lack of communication and suggestions from her make this feel one-sided, and doubly so with all the “friend” terms. But I'm so confused, because now whenever we part, she kisses me on the cheek, and I kiss her there too.
There’s also the fact that she has since gotten her promotion, and is now my manager; and since going through this with a coworker is bad enough, I don’t need to explain why this makes things more complicated. She generally seems like the kind of person who doesn’t have respect for the rules at work, so I don’t think her position is something she thinks about too hard in regards to what is an appropriate off-the-clock relationship, but it’s something that bothers ME. In my state, manager and subordinate is legal, so it's not a moral issue I take with this, but that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be a total shitfest if people found out. The drama would probably be awful, and I know neither of us want to leave this job.
So now I’m really conflicted, stuck, scared. Do I formally ask this girl out? I’m afraid I’ve misunderstood her feelings, and that asking the question will make things awkward between us from what feels like an inevitable rejection; as if I’d mistaken friendship for something more. I have never had a relationship before (and apparently, neither has she), and I don’t want to be the kind of guy who can’t get female attention without thinking it needs to be something more. But she always makes a point to say goodbye to me and hug me when her shift ends, we shared such deep feelings on our trip, and that thing her friend said to me keeps rattling around in my mind, not to mention all the little kisses. And -- even if it was absolutely certain she felt this way about me, is it wise to date my manager?
I’m sorry this post is so long, but it feels like there’s an incredible amount of context needed for this situation. Even then, there’s a little more, but I can’t lay out three months of life experience out in a post like this, so you’ll have to bear with me, and I’ll answer questions. Thank you for your time, I appreciate any and all questions, advice, or observations.
submitted by throawaydog334 to relationships_advice [link] [comments]


2023.03.29 20:24 StepwiseUndrape574 Huge GTA 6 Leak Claims Rockstar’s New RAGE9 Graphics Engine Is Incredible

Besides offering up chaotic open-world action, one thing that Rockstar's games have done ever since Grand Theft Auto III is push the envelope in terms of technology. This is somewhat debatable up to Grand Theft Auto IV, which stunned audiences with its mix of macro-scale simulation and micro-scale detail. GTA V and the newer Red Dead Redemption 2 have continued this tradition, and both are still capable of putting the hurt on modern PCs. That's largely thanks to their forward-looking design that integrates features that contemporary systems weren't really ready for when the released.
gtaonlinerain GTA V can still look startlingly realistic at times.
The thing is, even though it just got a re-release on the current-generation consoles, GTA V originally released in 2013. The game's still fun, of course, especially the online mode that has seen continual updates over the years. The technology behind the title is getting a little dated, though, and fans of the series are understandably chomping at the bit for a new release. Rockstar has confirmed that GTA VI (or at least, the next GTA game) is in the works, but as usual, the company hasn't released any information about the title, nor mentioned a release window.
The leaks and rumors that we've heard so far place a hypothetical "GTA VI" at the end of next year, or even in 2025. That's a lot of development time, even if the company only moved into active development in the middle of last year, as is supposedly the case. In a time when almost every other development house (from Square-Enix to CD Projekt Red) is moving to the Unreal Engine, it seems like Rockstar will thankfully stick with its own in-house tech, known as RAGE.
chrisklippeltweet
That bit of information comes from a tweet by Chris Klippel, who is among other things the creator of Rockstar Mag, a French-language gaming news site that focuses on topics surrounding Rockstar Games and its releases. You can see the tweet above. Chris says that he has been in touch with people who have seen the latest version of RAGE in action, and that its graphics engine is "assez incroyable." Chris describes the latest version as RAGE9, which is interesting; Rockstar doesn't talk about RAGE as a separate product from its games, likely because it doesn't license the tech.
gtaonlinearcade The arcade area added to GTA Online would look amazing with ray-traced lighting.
It's not hard to imagine what sort of features the game engine might include to warrant that description. Heavy usage of ray-traced graphics will go a long way toward impressive presentation, but based on what we've heard in the past about GTA VI, it seems likely that the latest RAGE might be more impressive in its ability to scale content from infinitesimal details all the way up to gigantic cityscapes. We've seen demonstrations of similar technology in Epic Games' Unreal Engine 5, and given the nature of "GTA", such capability would be perfectly suited to the games.
gta5crowd
Another impressive characteristic in GTA VI might just be the NPC AI. Historically, Grand Theft Auto's NPCs have been extremely simple stand-ins mostly intended to give the scene a realistic look without having much in the way of personality or believable behavior. That could all change in the next GTA game, based on a patent filed in October 2020.
From what we've heard, the next Grand Theft Auto title will be set in Vice City once again, so look forward to exploring the city's tropical environs. No word on the chronological setting, though; it could be set as far back as the Cuban Missile Crisis, or it could be set in the modern day. We also don't know necessarily what platforms the title will appear for, but based on Rockstar's history, we'd expect it to be available for the PS5 and Xbox before it appears on PC later.
submitted by StepwiseUndrape574 to gta5moddedvehicles_ [link] [comments]


2023.03.29 20:24 DesignerSand Trapped paying rent and mortage at the same time, can't afford another month

Hi all, I originally posted this in HousingUK, and am cross-posting here on the advice of redditors. Other thread here: https://www.reddit.com/HousingUK/comments/125o4rm/stuck_paying_rent_and_mortgage_at_the_same_time/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3
My partner and I recently completed on the purchase of our first home. We were in a fixed-term rental contract, and applied to end this early. To do this, we had to pay £1,200, and we would still be liable to pay the rent until a new tenant moved in. We knew this would be the case, and had money set aside to pay this, and also some funds for an overlap in rent and mortgage.
The rental has been listed for six weeks now, and has had 15 viewings, but no one has taken it. We are getting increasingly anxious. After April, we simply cannot afford to pay both rent and mortgage at the same time.
We have already moved into our new home, and the rental has since been completely emptied and professionally cleaned.
I have had two calls with people at the letting agent, explaining our situation and asking them to pass on the details to the landlord, so that we can open a conversation about what we can do in the case that the rental doesn't go by the end of April. Both times, they have flat-out refused to pass this information on to the landlord.
Today, the letting agent said she wouldn't do it, as it could spook the landlord, and they may decide to go back on letting us out of contract early, and hold us to contract – meaning we would have to pay up until August when the fixed-term tenancy is due to end. And, she said, if we cannot pay, they will pursue us legally.
I'm devastated, and feeling very helpless. We knew there was going to be risk in breaking the contract, but we had no control over the completion date, and we assumed that the rental would go in some time. It is a three bed, in a popular village, modern and well cared for, average Oxfordshire price – we snapped it up when we moved in two years ago.
Below is the wording around this from our contract:
Ending the agreement early
4. If my agent or I agree to allow you to end this agreement early, you will then need to:
  1. Pay the cost for re-marketing the property.
  2. Pay the amount of my cost for commission for the remaining fixed term of the let.
  3. Pay the rent up until a new tenant moves into the property.
  4. Continue to be responsible for looking after the property until the new tenant moves in.
  5. Continue to pay any utilities including gas, electric, Council Tax, local taxes and water and sewerage charges including reconnection and termination charges due until the day the new tenant moves in and agree that I am not responsible for those bills if you don’t pay them.
  6. Vacate the property on the date agreed with my agent.
We ideally want to contact the landlord directly, have an honest conversation, and bypass whatever it is that the letting agent is doing – but is that risky as they say it is? What should our next steps be?
submitted by DesignerSand to LegalAdviceUK [link] [comments]


2023.03.29 20:23 Lucky-Bad7128 I guessed this 5-letter word in 1/6 try. 🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩 Can you guess this word? https://wordlegame.org?challenge=Zmllcnk

I guessed this 5-letter word in 1/6 try. 🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩 Can you guess this word? https://wordlegame.org?challenge=Zmllcnk submitted by Lucky-Bad7128 to u/Lucky-Bad7128 [link] [comments]


2023.03.29 20:23 rtgfhfghg4444 HOW to watch Cocaine Bear online for free

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2023.03.29 20:23 Numbers-R-Us Is IntraFi Heading Towards Peril, Thus the Financial System?

IntraFi... Is anyone else looking into this? Any bankers out there seeing any large redemptions from the network with the outflow of large depositors?
Is IntraFi a true house of cards? As one deposit is pulled, how many more connected deposits follow it thanks to Section 202?
In 2002, the Promontory Interfinancial Network (PIN) was created to help large depositors receive higher FDIC limit protection (millions of dollars worth) through a system called the Certificate of Deposit Account Registry Services or CDARS for short. This system became relatively popular and wasn’t a massive strain on liquidity or redemptions as it could ladder CDs that were easier to time and not “on-demand.” These deposits were somewhat segregated and considered brokered or reciprocal deposits, meaning the receiving end bank was showing the deposit as not theirs.
To help illustrate, imagine a high depositor goes to their bank, let’s call it Fancy Bank, with $1 million and requests additional FDIC protection. At that time, FDIC limits were $100,000. So, Fancy Bank obliges and takes your deposit. They then turn to Mom Pop Bank, Community Credit, and other small banks under much less regulation restraints to place $100,000 at each for FDIC protection. It’s in the form of varying CDs so these banks know when assets may leave to better plan. Additionally, it’s recorded as a reciprocal deposit, meaning the small bank does not own that deposit; another bank does. In our example, Fancy Bank.
Everyone wins. Fancy Bank has a happy, calm depositor. Small banks are happy as they get new deposits. Growth continues. In 2006, the U.S. banking system had roughly $67 billion in reciprocal deposits, most likely leveraging this network. But, then came the financial crisis, which lead depositors to demand more liquidity. So, they launched the Insured Cash Sweep (ICS) service in 2009, granting depositors in their network significantly faster access to their deposits. However, it’s important to point out that deposits weren’t “on-demand” though the financial crisis, so the network avoided any true liquidity constraints. Beyond the 2008 financial crisis, banking deposits continued to grow, so liquidity never became an issue. By 2020, it was estimated that there were roughly $353 billion in reciprocal deposits, according to the FDIC report.
Enter… the pandemic. Let’s ignore all the nuances that occurred and focus solely on bank deposits. Deposits surged from $13.2 trillion in January 2020 to $18.15 trillion at its peak in April 2022. Again, surging liquidity. Deposits, which fuel bank growth, ballooned. To give a non-financial example, you can think of Peloton. During the pandemic, they believed it was the new norm of limitless demand for overpriced equipment, charging into the next frontier of fitness. With the benefit of hindsight, that didn’t happen. They over-extended and have barely staved off bankruptcy, watching their stock dive from over $160 a share to now under $10.
Many banks surely acted the same, not limited by regulations since deposits were surging. But, the FDIC report from December 2022, showed a much gloomier picture for the sea of liquidity banks once experienced, with deposits declining and loans surging. Deposits leaving the system are primarily non-FDIC insured deposits, which seem to be flocking toward higher-yielding money market funds and treasury bonds. And again, this flight started in the middle of 2022. Bank runs are stealing the headlines in 2023, but it seems most are missing the underlying issue. According to the FDIC’s report, loans jumped $1 trillion while non-FDIC insured deposits fell $226 billion. For 2023, this has accelerated, with nearly $250B already leaving the system within less than three months. This is what the Fed wants though. They want to decrease cash. Depositors are turning over their dollars for bonds and money market funds. And why should anyone believe this is ending soon?
Take this information now with the context of Silicon Valley and Signature bank failures. Loans are illiquid. They aren’t currently helped by the fed’s liquidity boost to lending on par value of their security holdings to help give banks temporary cash. Temporary being the key word as these are loans, not a true injection of liquidity. Money is leaving the system. It is simply more observable at the banks that cater to this kind of depositor, like First Republic. With the Fed continuing to excessively hike rates, it will continue to widen this gap. Bank deposits will continue to leave until rates normalize in line with what banks can compete with, which would take year or more for loans to mature and banks to better align their assets and liabilities.
This brings us back to the Promontory Interfinancial Network, or IntraFi as they now call it. Let’s jump back to our Fancy Bank example. The large depositor now decides, “hey, Fancy Bank, I can get 4.6% in a money market fund right now. That’s cray. I’ll just take my deposit, thank you.” Fancy Bank returns to their small banks and says, “Give me my depositor's money. It’s not an issue, as you’re reporting these as reciprocal deposits, which everyone can readily see.” But, the Community Credit CEO stands up and says, “Actually…”
In 2018, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (EGRRCPA) was signed. Small banks were excited about “Section 202,” which allowed for “well capitalized” banks to remove this silly reciprocal language and count them as core deposits, relieving additional scrutiny from regulators. Again, the system had been around since 2002 and had never experienced declining banking deposits. Therefore, net-deposits into the network continued to outpace any net-redemptions. And then 2022 inconveniently happened. According to IntraFi, nearly 3/4ths of their network members have less than $1 billion in assets and 95% under $10 billion. These deposits are heavily relied on by their members.
In a normal environment, I don’t blame them not being concerned with it being at over 20% of liabilities. It seems almost impossible for a system as a whole to see that kind of redemption or stress. And at that time, IntraFi had seen nothing but an increase in assets, which are now estimated to be over $500 billion, potentially close to $1 trillion. As of March 15, 2023, referencing the recent H.8 release, total US bank deposits were roughly $17.5 trillion. Removing large commercial banks there are roughly $6.8 trillion in deposits. So IntraFi is making up somewhere between 7% - 15%. We could probably assume is on the higher end, maybe even closer to 20% for all the smaller banks that want to stay under the threshold. We can’t have reliable numbers as Section 202 removed the ability to see these deposits.
But, let’s look at what we can see. March 15, 2023 showed an unusual drop in deposits for small commercial banks after what had been a relatively stable year before, falling from $5.521T in deposits in Feb 2022 to $5.468 T on March 15, 2023. Loans in that period went from $3.9T to $4.5T over that same period. That’s roughly a 15% buffer between illiquid loans and deposits, potentially the size of IntraFi deposits. The concern being, if IntraFi begins being a liquidity drain on the system, in addition to other depositors leaving for alternatives. In any other scenario, 15% looks wildly safe. But, what happens when IntraFi pulls large swaths of deposits from the small members, which could start seeing other deposit issues. Those small institutions will have the highest rate of loans to deposits, making them insolvent.
The FDIC has blown its coffers on Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank. If First Republic and others fall, what funds will be left? The regulators are selling assets significantly below their fair value, evident by First Citizens stock surge on the announcement. But, what happens when people learn the FDIC has no funds. As they approach their bank with the latest ABC news headline, they’re bank said, “your deposits are safe. They’re FDIC insured!” … “But, the FDIC doesn’t have any money…” You get the idea.
All this being said, many banks have an extraordinary amount of liquidity and will be fine. They’ll benefit from this chaos if it occurs, as they’ll wind up substantially larger than just months before. First Citizens doubled in size overnight. From the hundred or so banks I’ve had to review over the last few weeks, I would say probably 90% are fine. But, can the system handle 10% chaos, especially when looking at the smaller banks? Sure, the FDIC can stomp in and make demands to a massive bank with $100 B in deposits. What is it going to do with 500 community bank failures all with $1 B deposits? The Fed can make loans liquid, at least yet.
Ultimately, the US banking system is seeing a liquidity crunch unlike what it’s ever seen before, except when compared to maybe 1929, which lead to the creation of the FDIC. At that time, the Fed was focused on saving the dollar at any cost. The lack of FDIC’s existence could probably be credited for the total ruin of the economy, as savings were gone and banks and savers had to rebuild. But, ironically, this liquidity crunch is now driven by the larger non-FDIC insured deposits. Now, depositors are paying closer attention to their bank’s balance sheet, which is good thing. But this transfer of money isn’t from fear of banking collapse. It’s happening due to higher yields outside of the system, and it seems to just be the beginning. As the Fed keeps hiking rates, banks will be unable to compete with treasuries and money market funds. If banks face withdrawals, many may be forced into realizing some large losses held in their securities. Other banks won’t have enough securities to sell and be insolvent.
I do not doubt the Fed will come in with another liquidity bazooka and maybe even potentially dropping rates, trying to reset the system. But, will we see the explosion of inflation again? It seems we’ll be caught in an endless boom and bust cycle, spurred by the Fed, which was initially created to try and stop or ease market cycles, eliminating the boom and bust cycle. Again, more irony.
So, as the high depositors continue moving funds, it only seems inevitable to eventually put stress on the IntraFi network, most likely for the first time in its history. That would in turn put stress on community banks, which may then see their own stresses from their truly non-reciprocal deposits that may seek shelter in the majors like J.P. Morgan and Bank of America, if remaining in the banking system. For smaller deposits, this continues to seem to be the case, as the majority of the recent drop in small bank deposits seems to have shifted to the top fifteen. While is pushes consolidation, it does not leave the system, so these aren’t of huge concern. On top of these liquidity issues, commercial real estate will be a huge headwind for banks that are heavily concentrated in assets that have now dropped severely in value from either occupancy issues or loans that were made too favorably in the first place.
However, the large depositors that are leaving the system have to be the ones most connected to the IntraFi system, which would begin to see massive redemptions for the first time in its history. How many loans depend on the initial deposit as Section 202 allowed it to be a core deposit of members? Time will tell, but it seems to be the cliche card at the bottom of the house that could be set to fall. I hope it’s not.
The trade? Long treasury bonds. Short banks with high loan to deposit ratios with limited securities holding relative to uninsured deposits and high commercial real estate or constructoin loan mix. Bank OZK (+50% non-FDIC, +95% loan/deposits, ~40% construction, +23% commercial mortgage) sticks out as a potential if deposits start slipping.
Cheers
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2023.03.29 20:23 Spoodgoon Do I have a claim and should I sign general release of claims?

I’m on a student visa authorized to work with OPT. I got a job at a major bank starting Feb 27, 2023. Because of H1B lottery application I asked the HR March 20 if they could sponsor me, it wouldn’t cost them any money as I have a lawyer willing to do it for free. They said no but she was typing when talking to me so I knew something was wrong. After one week of the phone talk she contacted me again, had her manager on the phone too, they told me I was fired (didn’t use the word fired but paraphrased it so well with many words). The reason was that as a company policy they don’t support employees who now or in the future need sponsorship. I told them I don’t need their sponsorship and I will figure out other ways to continue but didn’t help. They sent me a document to sign for general release of claims which basically says we’ll pay you 9 more weeks for easier transition for another job and you agree to not leak any info and not sue us. This puts me in a very bad situation as I am being fired after just 1 month and I was going to sign a new lease because of the new job literally this weekend, they have my deposit money and possibly won’t return it. Now I’m indecisive whether to sign the agreement and get the money or don’t sign and sue them for wrongful termination (discrimination). Fyi state is Illinois and the offer letter says employment at will.
submitted by Spoodgoon to EmploymentLaw [link] [comments]


2023.03.29 20:23 SparkTheDark Some silly little theories I made (sorry if I copied anyone)

In the guestbook, Scott asks where he is. This could be some sort of kidnapping, and one of the neighbours did it.
In the “About Us” page, specifically under the FAQ, text under Frank’s test animation reads: “When I unwrapped the first letter, I felt it. Open. Open. Open. I want it out. I’m going to get it out.” This is covered by other text, but I found it out by highlighting it. I have no idea what this means.
There’s an odd amount of weirdly placed letters put across the website. A few include W, X, O, and I’ll find out some more.
Clicking under Wally’s House leads you to this: https://www.clownillustration.com/so-below I believe this is a sort of religious practice Wally performs in front of this sentient house, or perhaps the Home is not a house, and maybe some other creature using the house as cover. Either way, seeing Wally knelt down like that makes me think that nobody is truly in control, and the house represents those who want to control the show.
Something similar in the neighbourhood is clicking on “you’re” on the above text, leading you to a website that at first reads “y o u” in funky, colorful letters. Watching further makes you see the words: “Wally is your best friend” being typed. This makes me think that Wally, may be some sort of deranged figure, unable to comprehend the world around him and thinking everyone is his best friend.
Hearing the fact that Frank and Julie are best friends makes me think that something bad could happen to either of them, as most ARGs go. Or they could be representatives of real employees that worked for the company that made Welcome Home, and their souls possibly go on to live in these puppets.
For some reason, there’s an outstretch of the clickbox when you hover across Sally’s house. This could be replaced with another link like So Below some other time. Or it could be a placeholder for now. Maybe Sally is going to tie into the story.
I find the last names of the characters being quite concerning. For example, Eddie Dear, Wally Darling, and Barnaby B. Beagle. These sound like real names, exemplifying my theory that souls control the puppets.
On Wally’s profile, it doesn’t say “go back” as any other puppet would say. It says “goodbye.”
This is an entire block of text told by the website. “The Welcome Home Restoration Project has received so much love and support in the duration of our efforts to recover this lost piece of media! But even better, you believe me. You know it is out there. With that said, someone has reached out to us to offer the opportunity to showcase our findings publicly for the world to see in an in-person exhibition! They are regarded as the Question-Answerer, a professional exhibitor and museum curator who believes in our happy home just as much as we do! Together, we will get it out, we will get everything out. You will see as we do, neighbour.” Tl;dr, I believe a person knows something is out there, and it wants to set it free, either for good or bad.
On the Links section, only Barnaby’s link is clickable. There’s no motif of Barnaby anywhere, meaning no evidence to back anything I say up.
On the About Us page, there is invisible text next to the words “we are happy to jumpstart this journey”, simply reading: “but it hurts.” Maybe the people working this website are being forced to work. Another example of invisible text is at the end of the “Why did you make this website” portion. It then reads: “Does it hurt?” The last example I could find of this is at the end of the question asking how many episodes there are. The text then reads: “The numbers are so hard to read. Sometimes I can’t even see them.” I cannot find anything relating to these quotes.
In the guestbook, username: woinky sploinky commented: “my several eyeballs enjoyed this.” Could woinky sploinky be some demon made by the company?
Another person by the name of Lizz says “I hope you’ll bring this show to life! A-Again…” Maybe Lizz was part of the show, but quit after she saw something unnatural or horrifying.
There’s two comments from Wally. The first one reads: “You’re looking for me. Silly. Silly.” The other comment has the username spelt W a L L y. It reads: “You won’t write back.” Maybe Wally is forcing someone not to answer any questions the company does not want answered.
No other evidence is found. I’ll keep looking. This is so fun to look at, though I won’t be drawn in by its cute exterior! _^
I am onto you, Wally.
submitted by SparkTheDark to WelcomeHomeARG [link] [comments]


2023.03.29 20:22 cntyballlicker Darkness

I was very close with my Grandma, she was my comfort. She passed away and My parents were at the hospital with her during her last moments while my big sister (13f) was watching my brother (6) and I (5). We had a dinner of KD (Kraft Dinner mac n cheese.) and juice. My sister sent us to bed after a short call to my parents. They had told her my grandma had passed, but she didn't want to be the one to tell us, she decided to send us to bed early. Me, being full of my favourite dinner I passed out pretty quickly. Yes I was young, but I watched my grandma going from a lively person too bedridden in a short period. I knew she was sick, but I was still too young to know what death was.
I remember waking up to use the restroom and as I swung my legs over the bed, I promptly stopped seeing a purple translucent mass standing in my doorway. Like purple see-through clouds. I loudly called out for my sister as I stared at the anomaly. My first instinct of fear fading quickly. The mass started to move towards me, but I wasn't afraid anymore. Merely curious, I reached my arm out to touch and my hand went right through the cold purple mist. I knew who it was, I don't know how. I knew that was my grandma, I can't explain, but it felt like her. Just then my sister rounded the corner with a sour look on her face. She got mad at me for waking her up for nothing. She didn't see her, but I did. I kept telling her grandma was here, right beside me. Looking slightly confused and creeped out, she just told me to go to bed, nobody was there, but I knew. I knew she was saying one last goodbye. My sister left the room but not without a quick "shut up and go to bed." The mist eventually dispersed and I was left cold and tired. I was dumbfounded by the whole experience, but I was so tired I didn't think too much into it and just laid my head on my pillow and fell back asleep, completely forgetting my pee break altogether.
The next experience I remember, I was about 10yo at the time. We were living in an old Victorian style character house beside a busy highway in town and my brother and I shared the upstairs' loft. It was by definition; a creepy old house. Weird small crawl spaces and nooks and crannies. It had those old single pane windows that would rattle loudly in the wind, and old scraped wooden floorboards the creaked with every step. It was looming three stories high that looked like it was slightly crooked from the front. A large fenced backyard with apple trees and a big Oak tree that looked as if had been there since the beginning of time. There was decent amount of kids around the block that gathered at our house. Only because our parents didn't care what we did as long as we weren't breaking things or being loud inside. Most of the time we'd be outside riding our bikes, rollerblading, playing our "one of a kind" game hide and seek tag, which is pretty self explanatory. Occasionally, we would play good old hide and seek in the basement when it was rainy or gross outside. The broilelaundry room specifically, so we didn't get yelled at by our parents for causing chaos. We also played it in the dark, for more of a "scary" effect. I usually hid in one spot. It was the crawl space behind the hot water tank, raised up so it was a flat surface across the hot water tank to the crawl space. It was a large L shaped room, the small crawl space on the opposite side of the entrance. I remember easily where to go and how to get there without any light. It was always creepy, but in all darkness it didn't freak me out as much. This one particular rainy day, I was crawling back out because some of our friends complained that there were too big to get there and how I was cheating (I was cheating, don't come after me). I went to put my hand out on top of the hot water tank, as I wanted to swing my legs down. I started to lean forward and support myself with my left hand, when it felt as if I was pushed. Hard, from behind. My face collided with the hot water tank where my hand was supposed to go and I instantly got a fat lip. I could taste my blood and I let out a loud wail. My brother was at my side immediately. Once He felt the blood dripping down my chin He ran to turn on the lights. As He turned them on, I was staring straight at the crawlspace, tears in my eyes and looking into the darkness. As the lights flipped on, I saw what pushed me. It was black. Really black. Crouched in the far corner. It was only there for a split second, and gone the next. I had brushed it off, the thought of my mother distracted me. I knew She wasn't going to let us play down here in the dark now that I had gotten hurt. That very night after dinner and asleep in my bed was when the dreams started.
Our bedroom was a weird configuration. More so to accommodate the roof as it was basically the attic. There were lots of dark spots and shadowed places. It also had a door to the outside that attached to a small balcony and stairs leading all the way down to the first floor, us being on the third and top. I had my bed pushed into one of those corners. There was the wall to the outside. My bed pushed up against it, tucked tightly into the corner and flush with the standing wall, which jutted out into a small hallway-like corridor and led to the outside door. My bed was fit very snuggly in there, and reminded me of a four post bed frame. I even hung up cheap blankets on the walls for the same affect. My mother didn't love the location of my bed, but she knew I was a big girl and could make my room the way I wanted. She was just terrified people were going to break in through the door and kill us. I always remember her coming up to make sure it was locked, as when we played sometimes we would unlock it and forget about it. (We lived on a busy highway in a busy town.) She did the same this night, coming up to make sure it was locked, and making sure we were actually sleeping. I would stay up late reading with my little handheld flashlight my brother gave me. He was tired of me making him keep the lights on so I could read. While I was sitting there, engrossed in my book. I could a here ticking sound. I didn't pay too much attention to it, like I said before we lived on a highway, it got noisy sometimes. It progressively got louder and louder. My brother yelled at me to stop. I told him I wasn't doing anything. He didn't believe me of course, just told me to shut up and rolled over in his own bed, shoving the pillow over his face. I rolled my eyes and continued my reading. The ticking eventually stopped, and I drifted off to sleep with my book in hand and flashlight still on. I had dreamed of our house. I was playing hide and seek tag with my friends and brother. Such a fun time, running, laughing and playing. It was all so real, it felt like colours were brighter and more unrealistic. I was distracted with the beautiful incantation of my normally bare, creepy and sad looking home. It wasn't until I turned around to see that it was no longer my friends chasing me, but it was the black being playing with me. This fucking thing was on all fours, chasing me. My steps faltered slightly, and I got a good look at it. What I saw I will remember for the rest of my life. It was humanoid, solid black, and kind of shiny looking. Like it was coated in thick tar. Not at all see-through. It left no remnants of the black tar on the ground, though it looked like it was just a moving substance. I gapped at it. Even crouched on all of its long limbs I could tell it was big. But nimble, its arms extended to hands and it was moving solely with the tips of it's fingers brushing the ground. It didn't really have facial or body features, just slick, moving, black. It scared me so much, I came to the conclusion we weren't playing anymore as I took in it's demeanor. It was coming at me with such force it made me pick up the pace to full on sprinting. My face went from silly smiles to dread. It was trying to get to me, crawling on all fours, up walls and down them sideways, defying gravity by itself with it's weird shaped spider-like arms and fingers. I was now terrified. Thinking of escape only, I climbed up the stairs to my bedroom. First thing I ran for was my bed. Stupid, I know. Instead of an empty bed, I found my sleeping body. I was confused, but I'm right here? I paused and thought as my arms already reaching to touch my abdominal area, making sure I was me. I touched my body, and quickly stepped back. I felt myself touch my body. This was all very confusing. I looked behind me and the black being was nowhere to be found. I desperately searched the walls and roof. I took some light tentative steps over to myself, still scared but feeling my heart rate start to slow. I looked at me, laying there asleep, I was distracted by this whole ordeal. I remember thinking I didn't think I looked like that. A familiar noise caught my attention and I looked at the door, and saw it. It was tapping its black nail on the glass of the door, making a loud ticking sound. It was getting louder and louder. The dead bolt was locked to my relief. Until I watched as it takes it's black hand and starts slowly its hand in the air, turning the deadbolt on the inside. I panic. I run to my brothers bed, looking for his safety and comfort. Panicking, I see He's not there. My hands are sweaty, so I wipe them on his blanket. I didn't know what to do. So I freeze. This was too much for my 10 year old mind. My back is to the rest of the room and I'm trying to pretend it wasn't there with my eyes secured tightly shut. I listened closely so I didn't miss the footfalls. I heard nothing.. I un-scrunched my face, opening my eyes tenderly. I was so afraid I had realized that I wet my pants somewhere along the way. Reluctantly I forced my body to move. I carefully turned around to find the door open. The black being was not coming for me anymore, but slowly crawling up unto my bed. I watched as it carefully placing its hands and feet up my bed and around my sleeping body. It's head was dragging along my limp self, up my stomach and chest to my head while it creeped up the sheets. Pressing its forehead to mine, it lowered itself so it was laying on top of me. It swallowed my little body whole, paying no attention to me standing over on the other side of the room. I felt everything like I was physically laying there. I wasn't, I was standing right where I had been, by my brothers bed. I could feel the cold slimly feeling head while it slid up my body, leaving a frozen trail of wetness. I shivered, looking down to see if there was black tar on me. Feeling all of this and disgusted with the consistency, I looked over to where my body had been on my bed. I couldn't see my heart stripped PJs anymore. Just utter blackness where my body should have been. A cold like plunging into glacier water had overtaken my body and I began feeling weak. I felt so stupid. I lead it right to me, how dumb can I be? Idiot. Feeling my legs give out underneath me, and my head hit the floor. I don't remember anything after this. I do remember waking up with my book tucked neatly underneath my pillow along with my flashlight which was now off, and the outside door wide open, letting in the crisp fall morning air. I did notice some bruising on my wrists and stomach. I told my mother about it and she just told me it was a bad dream, and got mad at me for opening the door. I told her repeatedly that I hadn't done it but she ignored me. I didn't show her the bruises. Only because I could see the fear in her face. I feared that she would think that I was crazy, or that she wouldn't want me. And maybe I was nuts.
The black being was with me all the time now. It started out small, far in the distance but eventually came closer. It was simply there. I'd see it standing behind my parents at dinner, or in a corner in class. At soccer practice in the field. I never got used to it. It never said anything, despite me asking why when I was alone. I would give it glares, I would yell at it sometimes, or cry, or both. It never did or said anything back, it was just there. Watching me. In my dreams it would crawl to me. I never led it to my sleeping self again, though I would occasionally fall asleep in the wrong place and forget I was two different beings at once. I didn't know what would happen if I did lead it there. I didn't know what happened last time but I don't think it was good. I just ran and ran and ran until I woke up. My grades began to drop, I woke up tired all the time. Mostly, I would stay up as long as I can. All night if I could, anything to escape the running. I took to drinking my parents left over cold bitter coffee. I would space out staring at the thing. It would stare back. My parents took me to the doctor, a therapist, and a sleep specialist, that was interesting. I didn't want to go, but I was forced. They made me sleep in one of their facilities. It was an uncomfortable feeling sleeping somewhere I didn't know, knowing that the Thing was staring at me from across the room. Waiting to chase me in my dreams until I wake, and then rinse and repeat. I resented it. They let my mother sleep in the room with me, on their spare cot like bed. I fell asleep, and it chased me around the facility. In the morning the specialist said that from the minute I entered my deep sleep, my heart rate would go up drastically and did not mellow until I woke up. He also said my sleep REM sleep and regular sleep was not normal for a child of my age. The diagnosed me with insomnia and nightmare disorder. They sent me home with mild sleeping pills. I didn't like them. They made me groggy and it was really hard to run away in my dreams. My parents tried though. I loved them for that. Anything to help me with whatever I was going through. I tried much more when I was awake to pretend everything was okay. To ease their anxiety over me. I stopped telling them about the nightmares. I didn't know how to explain it without it coming out in child talk and getting dismissed. I was also worried I'd get taken away from my family, taken away from my everyday life and put in a insane asylum. So I just endured it, saying nothing.
After a year of this, we moved again. I was not very excited, knowing the Thing would follow me. But as always, life goes on and we moved. I loved the new house, even though it was very run down. Much more than our old house. Shitty drywall and paint was flaking off the walls, with old creaky boards all throughout. They were once painted a grey colour, which was now chipped off in the middle of hallways and rooms revealing the rotting wood boards underneath. A larger attic space upstairs with wood panelled walls and small short winding hallways and doorways became our bedrooms. Both doors to the two bedrooms upstairs were cut in half and opened separately. My older sister slept downstairs with my parents in the two rooms down there. But I didn't see the black being here. It didn't follow us into the truck, and it wasn't anywhere to be seen. I was very excited, and my parents noticed an immediate change in my demeanour. They saw me smile genuinely again. I slept in blackness, not dreaming of the black thing, not dreaming at all actually. It was nice. Honestly I would take blackness over running from fear every night. I did miss dreaming, but anything was better than that Thing chasing me. It didn't last long though. I was about to fall asleep one night, around a month or two after we settled in. I was happy and full from dinner, reading my book, fighting sleep until the next chapter so I could start another tomorrow. When the top part of my door opened, I was perplexed, not afraid. Nothing was there so I stood up to close it, and it wouldn't close. I tried and tried to no avail. I gave up. It must be stuck I thought. Having never opened it before, I assumed there was a reason it opened and wouldn't close. I went back to my bed, giving in and falling asleep. I dreamed I had woken up. Something was tapping on my mirror across the room. My first reaction was annoyance, being woken from my black slumber. I looked at it from tired eyes, half open and groggy. There it was, crawling out of my mirror. It started as a small black dot, slowly morphing into a 3D picture of the black being. It had found me. All this time it was searching for me. I was now wide awake, and I was frozen. I couldn't move from my spot on the bed. I watched as it crawled towards me, slow and calculated. It stopped in front of me. "Come." Gurgled noise came from its nonexistent mouth, along with a sickening demonic growl that made me shiver. It had never spoken before, I didn't think it could. It motioned its black hand towards itself and moved its head towards my window, the one that opened out onto the roof. I don't know why, I didn't want to. But my body started moving against my will. I stood up and it jumped on the bed behind me, to the floor, then back again. It advanced behind me, herding me on all fours. Quickly, back and forth in a sideways manner, moving closer and closer towards me like a large human spider, until I was climbing out the window. It was a cold night. I was shivering. I looked back to watched it climbed out of the window from the ceiling. Hands like sticky pads, like gravity had nothing on this thing. It continued towards the spine of the roof, its pitter patter of fingers tapping eloquently . I followed it unwillingly, my body reacting differently than my mind. I wanted to run, to hide, anything but follow this thing. My body robotically went anyway, paying no mind to my brain telling it to stop. I was at the top, on the edge facing the dimly lit pothole riddled road two stories up when I finally gained back control from the thing. I looked around for it, trying to find it. It scampered from underneath the roof, slinking by my toes, moving almost fluidly from upside-down to sideways until it perched beside me. "Jump" it commanded. No way I thought, but my body was already positioning itself closer to the edge. I looked at it. It seemed to be staring at me, though I couldn't see its eyes. It didn't have any, it was like staring into complete liquid darkness. This horrible ungodly thing had me in a trance. I was screaming at my body to stop. Trying to move just a finger, a toe, a twitch. Panic stricken all over my face, I could feel my heart pumping blood fast through my veins. All I could think was; I'm going to die. Today, Now. My body wasn't listening, it was moving, getting ready to leap off the roof. Nothing to save me, I decided to let go. I was tired of fighting. The last year and a bit was just too much for me. It cocked its head to the side as I leaped. I regained control as I plummeted to the ground. I had let out a blood curdling scream as I fell, waving my arms and legs in an attempt to land on my feet. I don't remember hitting the ground, just falling forever. When I woke, I was laying with my feet facing my head and my knees bent at the wrong angle, my body laying overtop of itself and bent at odd spots. I couldn't feel anything. My head was laying sideways on the concrete as I stared with wide eyes at what had caught my attention. It was the purple mass engulfing the black being. Swallowing it whole, it looked as if it was being pulsing and being sucked up like a vacuum. The black thing was becoming less and less visible until it was all purple and faintly glowing. It hovered for a moment, then I watched as it walked over to me and laid inside my body. It filled my whole being with light, I could feel light. Just as quick as it happened, it was gone. The black being, and my grandma. The next thing I know I blink and my mother is cradling my head, tears cascading down my face as She wailed like I've never heard before. My brother and sister huddled together in the background staring in distress at my funny looking legs. My father was on the phone with the ambulance. I started to feel all of my broken limbs and the amount of pain from jumping off of a roof. The pain was excruciating, I eventually blacked out.
The next time I regained consciousness I was in a hospital bed two weeks later. My mother was beside my bed and had fallen asleep cradling my casted arm and hand. I had broken both of my knees, my arm and wrist. 5 fingers were broken, and I had a severe concussion. I was in a coma for 13 and a half days. I recovered after an extensive amount of surgeries. I only regained thigh feeling in my left leg so for awhile I walked with arm supports. I don't see my grandma anymore. I believe She's the one who saved me. I owe my life to her. I haven't seen the black being since I was 10 years old.
Until yesterday. I was sleeping next to my husband. My boy, who is 3 1/2 and learning words comes in screaming early this morning. He kept yelling "Bwack." and urgently pointing towards our bedroom door while slapping my arm, begging to be picked up and coddled. I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes and glanced toward the doorway as I reached for him. I stopped midway, much to my little boys displeasure. There it was, standing in the doorway. Black tar like substance dripping onto the carpet in large clumped piles. I screamed so loud the neighbors called the police. My child screamed in response to my fear. I passed out. I think it was from the shock, or maybe over exhaustion of having a child. I don't know what to do anymore. It's 4 in the morning while I type this. My husband and child fast asleep beside me. The black thing is right beside me. Breathing ragged, choked breaths. The cops left after my husband explained I occasionally have night terrors. That's what I told him they were, I couldn't have my husband look at me like my family does. Nobody believes me. And it's coming for me. It's just waiting right there for me to fall asleep I can feel it. I'm terrified. I hope I'm wrong. I can't have my little man go through this. So I'm going to go to sleep now. I'm going to kill it. I have to. I have no other choice, I will protect my family at all costs. I'm staring into its oily and slithering face. Reaching into my bedside table and grabbing my handgun, I never took my eyes off of it. It cocked it's head to the side, like it had done that very night 14 years ago. I cradle my gun to my chest, close my eyes, and hope it comes with me.
submitted by cntyballlicker to SlumberReads [link] [comments]


2023.03.29 20:16 Realistic-Self-8258 Am I the arsehole for leaving my husband?

I recently left my husband, we'd been together for 10 years and married for 4. Where to start?
I turned 30 couple months ago, on my birthday we went out had a lovely meal and drinks. Later on we ended up arguing, nothing out the ordinary, he decided to dissappear. He left me in the city, alone, no keys, no money. Thank fuck for uber & my mum! My husband turned up at 4am and refused to tell me why he left or where he had been.
(Tl;dr)I knew exactly where he had been, the casino! He has struggled with money and gambling throughout our relationship. He would do this disappearing act a lot in our early years of our relationship. And he gambled away over £15k he inherited. But I thought we were over that.
Fast forward a couple weeks, after my birthday, I found a letter from a debt company addressed to my husband. This was strange as we had no debt, that I knew of. When I first confronted him, he denied everything and said it was just a mistake from the company, I believed him! Another letter came, and I confronted him again. This time he told me everything, he had got himself in over £50k worth of debt! He said this was throughout the 10 years we'd been together, spent on nothing in particular. And with his gambling past, how am I meant to believe this? He literally has nothing to show for this amount of debt?
When we were saving for our wedding and house, he would find it hard to save money so I fronted most of these expenses/saving. I was always open about money and would always say no if we couldn't afford it. I don't understand how this had happened?!
So not only all these money issues, the sex in our relationship has reduced dramatically in the last 5 years, I have given up on trying it on as he just has no interest. I have mentioned this to him before and he has brushed it off as me making sly digs at him. We had sex twice on our honeymoon, and one night I locked myself in the bathroom as he had refused sex and could clearly see it upset me but did nothing to reassure me he loved me.
Two weeks ago, it all came crashing down again! This time my fault. I went to a conference with work, let my hair down and got a little drunk. I ended up kissing a colleague. I have never cheated and thought I never would, I felt so disappointed in myself for getting in that situation. However, I didn't feel guilty.
My feelings have been all over the place and I've realised, we're pretty much roommates. I care so much for him, but don't think I'm in love with him anymore.
I left him on Friday, he had been a broken man promising that he would change. But I am stuck, I don't know what to do. Have I just given up on this marriage? Should I try again?
submitted by Realistic-Self-8258 to marriageadvice [link] [comments]


2023.03.29 20:15 RingoCross99 The Adventure Games (Section 1 of 3)

The Adventure Games (Section 1 of 3)

Have a blast!
The Adventure Games
By Ringo Cross
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Chapter 1: Insight
I stepped into my apartment, placed my back to the door and sighed in relief. Thank God I was home. I hadn’t been for the past few days. I was at the hospital watching over my sister with our parents. Just when we were starting to get our hopes up. Just when we thought she was going to make a full recovery, she took a turn for the worse.
It all felt more like a curse than an affliction. My sister went from a healthy, happy-go-lucky teenager, to a fever-stricken soul, stranded somewhere between the land of the living and nonliving. She had a sudden case of sleeping beauty syndrome. The doctors didn’t know for sure, but they suspected the strange bite on her neck was the culprit. Two neat puncture wounds rationalized away as an animal bite. We all knew what it really was, it’s just that no one wanted to be the one who was crazy enough to say it.
It was like her body was slowly wasting away. Was she becoming undone, or perhaps something else altogether? Eh... Who knows. I did know one thing for sure, it was all too grim and preposterous a reality for my parents to accept. No matter what the doctors tried or how hard mom and dad prayed for her deliverance, she just kept getting worse while acting stranger.
It was like she had been pulled from the world, and we had all been pulled right along with her, into a strange new world that made no sense. Her doctors told us that at the rate she was deteriorating, she didn’t have much time left. God. I wish this was the part where I told you, “I became a superhero and saved her life.” Maybe in my own roundabout way, I did become something of her savior.
The truth is, what happened to her, I... I never saw it coming. Did vampires really exist? I couldn’t tell you how much or how long this question had tortured my mind. I was going to do some serious digging and get to the bottom of this. Because if there was any way to save her; to stop her from fading, I swore to find it.
My phone began to ring. It was my parents. They were at the hospital, keeping vigil at her bedside. I shook my head while thinking about how much of a toll her sudden illness had taken upon them. They were both so virtues and upright. Their faith in God had really been shaken. I turned my phone on silent mode. I-I didn’t want to talk to them. I needed time to grieve on my own.
I wanted a beer. No, I needed a beer. Something cold and inebriating to free my mind from the pain of watching my little sister slip away. I’m surprised I made it this long without dipping into my reserves, I thought to myself as I reached into the fridge and grabbed a cold one.
I just sat there at my kitchen table. Reliving as many memories of us together as I could. There were so many. I... I adored her more than life itself. She could do no wrong. Her smile... it... it haunts me. My God, I never knew pain like this. I had never followed my parents down the “righteous path.” I always considered myself a person of logic and reason. Simply believing in a higher power wasn’t enough for me, neither had it ever been enough to ease the void of loneliness within me.
But after this, how could I not believe in God? How could I explain away my grief? All I wanted was for this to all make sense. Maybe it was her time? Even if it was, why like this? Why so tragic and bitter? There were just too many reasons why I stopped believing. Crazy thing was, right now, I desperately wanted to believe. I wanted to close my eyes, clasp my hands together, and pray for a miracle. I tried but couldn’t bring myself to do so, no matter how strong the desire. There was no God, and a crisis wasn’t my chance to retreat.
I had seen the dark side of faith. The way my parents justified what happen to my baby sister by saying, “God has a plan” made me sick to my core. Just thinking about it made me nauseous. My faith had been stretched to the breaking point a long time ago. This was just the sad culmination of a collision between faith and obstinacy. The explosion went off like a bomb in my head. The pain was truly limitless... I just hoped her death didn’t turn me into a serial killer. I smirked at my own inane, insane thought before downing my beer.
I grabbed another beer to drown my sorrows in. Just then, there was a sudden knock at the door. The slight but unmistakable tapping surprised the crap out of me. So much so, I almost spilled my beer. I figured it was my ex. She had planned on stopping by a bit later to return my key and to pick up the last of her things.
When I looked through the peephole, I saw two people standing there in black suits. The sight threw me off and made me briefly sick to my stomach. Little did I know, I should have followed my gut instinct, but instead, I foolishly opened the door.
“Hello, Mr. Graham. My name’s Agent Adams. This is my partner, Agent Harris.”
Before I could process what was happening, Agent Harris extended her hand and said, “Pleasure.”
“Um... You too, I think? I guess? Hope I’m not in any trouble?” I told her.
“You’re not,” she smirked.
“Who are you guys again?”
“We work for the government,” she said.
“The FBI?” I asked.
“Ugh. Everyone says that. I guess it is the suits,” Agent Adams grumbled. He shook his head in annoyance before adding, “We work for the Department of Homeland Security. DPI for short. It’s the paranormal division.”
“Who again?” I asked him.
“Eh. The Department of Paranormal Investigations,” he clarified with something of an attitude.
“Huh. Never heard of it,” I spoke.
“Can we come in, Mr. Graham?” he asked.
I thought about it for a moment. I didn’t like this Agent Adams guy. He gave off a bad vibe. My first mind was to tell them to kick rocks, but I decided against being so brash and rash just in case they had a warrant. I wasn’t thinking straight. My sister’s woes weighed too mightily on my spirit. Before letting them pass, I did ask to see some identification. I’m not that stupid. Had to be sure they weren’t pulling my leg.
Agent Adams flashed his badge with a slight grumble. Agent Harris had no problem letting me see hers. She was at least pleasant, I thought while examining her government ID. I also wondered why someone so young and attractive had been stuck with someone so old and unattractive. I bet she hated her partner, I thought to myself with a smirk, as I let them pass through the door.
Agent Adams took a seat at my kitchen table without me offering. His partner looked at him a bit perplexed before waiting until I said, “It’s ok. You can have a seat.”
“Thank you,” she replied.
“So, what brings two DPI agents to my home? You sure I haven’t done anything illegal?”
“Hmm... Maybe there is something you’d like to confess, Mr. Graham,” Agent Adams spoke.
“I don’t know. Maybe I have an old parking ticket or something minor like that.”
“We don’t handle citations,” he replied.
“Sorry. Dumb question.”
“Apology rejected,” he uttered.
“Uh-hm. Forgive my partner he can be a bit—"
Agent Adams brought his hand to his chin. His abrupt gesture caused his partner to pause mid-sentence and look over at him. The two exchanged glances. He paused for a moment more before saying, “That’s a nice brand of beer. I haven’t had a cold one in a while.”
“Would you like one? I have plenty.”
“Sure.”
“Really?” I asked.
“You offered. I accepted.”
“Uh, what about you, Miss Harris?”
“It’s Agent Harris. And no.” She looked over at her partner with a raised eyebrow, “Can you not drink on the job? It’s unprofessional.”
“Fine,” he grumbled before reaching into the inner pocket of his suit coat to retrieve his vape pen.
“Are you sure? Like I said I have plenty.”
“I’m sure. I am the senior agent after all. Probably should set a better example and all,” with a wink he added, “If you survive, I’ll come back and take you up on that offer, Mr. Graham.”
“How do you know he’ll even want to participate?” his partner asked. I could hear the annoyance in her tone. She groaned before telling me, “Sorry about that.”
Agent Adams let out a heavy cloud of steam. He studied me a fair bit longer than I was comfort with. Especially someone like him, whose eyes were grey enough to sting. He took another hit from his vape pen. This time blowing the steam in my direction. His wrinkled face blocked out by the heavy cloud as he said, “Oh, he’ll join, alright. He’s not in any position to refuse.”
“That’s pretentious,” she grumbled.
“Hah. It’s the truth.”
“What the hell is this about?”
“Your sister, Mr. Graham,” he said.
“What about her?” I asked.
“We know what happened.”
“Um. Okay? Creepy.”
“Uh, what my partner is trying to say is that we might be able to help. I reviewed her chart. I think I know what the problem is,” Agent Harris explained.
“What can a couple of government agents do that a team of doctors haven’t already tried?” I asked.
“Your sister. She was bitten by a vampire, Mr. Graham,” Agent Adams stated. He paused for a moment to study my reaction before adding, “You seem like a clever guy. I’m sure you already suspected as much.”
“So, they do exist,” I mumbled to myself.
“Yes. The vampire who attacked your sister was probably desperate. He broke what are a set of well-established rules called Blood Codes.”
“Really? Vampires have rules?”
“There’s always rules, Mr. Graham.”
“Whatever. And where is this freak? I wouldn’t mind getting my hands on him.”
“He’s already been dealt with.”
“By you guys?”
“By his overseer.”
“Good. I hope his death was slow and painful.”
“It was. Their methods are very draconian.”
“Then what do you need from me?” I asked.
“What about you? Would you kill to save your sister?”
“I would if I had to,” I affirmed without hesitation or reservation. I suppose I only spoke so confidently and assuredly because I thought it was a hypothetical. I mean this was the government after all. They would never ask me to do anything crazy, right? But then again, I would’ve told you you were crazy if you would have told me vampires were a real thing before my sister was attacked by one. Still, his question was odd. And the more I thought about it, the more it disturbed me.
Agent Harris chimed in, “Um, Mr. Graham, I’m sorry. I don’t know why my partner said that. You shouldn’t have to kill anyone. For you, it’s probably more a matter of participation than annihilation. If we did require you to do such a thing, rest assure, we’d provide you with all the materials necessary to succeed. Before you ask, we’re on your side, Mr. Graham. We want you to see your sister once the games have concluded.”
“The games?” I asked.
“Yes. If you enter our game, we’ll save your sister’s life. No questions asked,” she replied.
“What kind of game?”
“The Adventure Games.”
“The what games?”
“Adventure Games,” she smirked.
“What’s the catch?”
“Well, the games could be dang—”
Agent Adams quickly butted in before Agent Harris could reveal the truth. “There’s no catch, Mr. Graham. None whatsoever. Don’t listen to my partner. She can be a bit too detail orientated.”
“The devil is always in the details,” I muttered.
“But not a cure for your sister,” he coldly replied.
“Hey. What is that supposed to mean?”
“What do you think? Do you want to waste time going over the fine print, or do you want to step up to the plate and save your sister?”
I thought about it for a moment. “Eh. How do I know I can trust you to keep your word? I mean the government isn’t exactly super trustworthy.”
“Know what, I like you, Mr. Graham. Tell you what I’ll do. Humph. If you agree, we’ll transfer your sister to our facility, right away. That way she can get a jumpstart on her treatment program before you even set foot in the games,” he checked his wristwatch and added, “We can get her there by midnight. Let’s see... hmm... typical turnaround for blood sickness is what? Maybe a few hours if we play our cards right?”
“Six to eighteen hours is more accurate,” Agent Harris clarified to her partner’s chagrin.
“Close enough,” he grumbled.
Agent Harris ignored him. Turning her attention back to me, she said, “I have some good news and some bad news. Which would you like first?”
“Give me the good news.”
“Ok. Based on her chart, it looks like her affliction has progressed beyond normal blood sickness. Once we administer the antidote, she should be fine, but there’s always a chance she won’t make it. I’m sure our techs back at the lab will make the process as painless as possible for your sister. This is what I can do for you if you decide to join the project. I promise we’ll have her call you before you leave for the games.”
“Great. Where do I sign?” I asked.
Agent Adams put away his vape pen. “You don’t sign. You signing something doesn’t matter. We’re dealing with information above top secret, Mr. Graham.”
“Whatever,” I shrugged.
“There is one other thing,” Agent Harris said.
“The bad news, right?”
“Right,” she nodded.
Agent Harris looked over at her partner. She was careful not to reveal anything more until he nodded his head in approval. Some of the info they had already revealed was pushing the line above top secret into ‘black protocol’ territory, or what agents at DPI called “above top secret classification.”
Agent Adams nodded before quickly returning his attention back to vaping, retrieving the addictive device almost faster than he had put it away.
Agent Harris cleared her throat. “I’m sorry, Mr. Graham. Your sister’s illness has progressed too far. We can save her, but she won’t be human anymore. She’ll be a vampire. The transformation is irreversible I’m afraid.”
“Really? A vampire?”
“That is correct.”
“Jesus. I need a smoke,” I said as I jumped from my chair and grabbed the pack of smokes sitting on my kitchen counter. I lit one up and began pacing back and forth like a madman. With a bit of reluctance, I turned to Agent Harris and grumbled, “How fast can we get this done?”
“Now, if you agree.”
“That fast, huh?”
“Yes. We already have a team standing by. One phone call from us and they’ll began the extraction.”
“I already told you, I’m in.”
When I reaffirmed my commitment, Agent Adams looked over at his partner with a smug “I told you so” expression. He stood and extended his hand for me to shake. “Good choice, Mr. Graham. You’re a real champ.”
I shook his hand while glaring into his eyes. “You guys better not be trying to pull a fast one.”
“We wouldn’t. You’re not that important,” he smirked before blowing a cloud of steam into my face. “Goodbye, Mr. Graham. I’m sure I won’t be seeing you around,” he sarcastically added before heading for the door.
I shook Agent Harris’ hand. She removed her shades and told me, “Good luck, Mr. Graham.”
“What do I do next?”
“Pack light and wait.”
“Really? That’s it?”
“Yeah. We’ll be back in a couple of hours to take you to prescreening.”
“Sounds fair.”
“Good to hear.”
“So, what are these ‘Adventure Games’ anyway?”
She placed her shades back on. Her expression distant and cold. “Sit tight. We have to make a few arrangements and finish up some paperwork on our end before I can reveal any information. I’m sure the paperwork will get approved by the time we come back for you. Once this happens, I’ll explain everything you need to know.”
I just stood there dumbfounded by the moment. I could hear Agent Harris discussing Agent Adams’ conduct as they let themselves out and began making their way down the hall. Apparently, Agent Harris was disappointed that he had asked me for a beer. She pointed out that this was an obvious workplace violation, and how he could be terminated for his conduct. He found her chiding amusing and told her he had no intentions on drinking on the job. When he made this claim, she was incredulous and asked what possessed him to even ask in the first place.
I could barely hear them at this point since they were standing by the elevator. But I believe his response was something on the lines of, “I wanted to read his reaction. If he handled himself wisely, I knew we wouldn’t have a problem recruiting him for the games.”
“And if he reacted poorly?” she asked.
“Well then, your little behavioral profile would have been wrong, and we would’ve had a head start on finding his replacement,” he told her.
I closed the door in disgust. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, or if they could even be trusted. I knew it too. That cliché feeling had reached all the way down to my gut. My conscience... the good angel on my shoulder was telling me to run.
With a heavy heart, I chose to ignore the voice. My sister’s life hung in the balance. Sometimes in life you had to take risks. My choice to go along with these agents and their dubious claims wasn’t a tough or noble act. It was one wrought from desperation. What were my options? Not joining meant my sister would waste away until it was too late. Phew. This was a lot of pressure. My back was against the wall literally and figuratively.
I let out a long sigh and mustered the courage to begin packing. I hadn’t gotten much sleep either. Hopefully the car ride to wherever we were going would be a long one, and I could get some much-needed rest, I thought to myself as I shoved way too many things into my bag.
Tears escaped from my eyes. I had to stay the course. I had to hear her voice. I finally broke down and prayed to God, asking him to look over me. I still didn’t believe. I don’t know why I did it. I guess out of hope or necessity. My sister meant the world to me, and my parents, I don’t know what they would do if she perished.
submitted by RingoCross99 to u/RingoCross99 [link] [comments]


2023.03.29 20:14 Guffjuice69 Employer has messed up pension contributions

Hey,
This is probably the wrong subreddit but I can’t see one for UK pensions and they feed into our ability to FIRE so thought i’d give it a try.
I got a new job in March 2020 and as part of that I chose to contribute to their workplace pension scheme which is with NEST. The agreement says “This pension scheme is with NEST and initially you will contribute 5% of pensionable earnings with name of employer contributing a further 3%.”
I was checking something with my pension this week and discovered that this whole time, for the past 3 years, they have only taken out 4% from my pensionable earnings and put it into the pension along with their 3% contribution.
They’re trying to say they messed up the wording on the agreement and as standard they put in 4% from employees pensionable earnings and the other 1% is supposed to be the tax reclaimed. But I think this is a cop out. Even if this was true I think they would claim 20% of the 4% which doesn’t equate to an extra 1% of contributions.
The wording is crystal clear in my view and this whole time I thought they were taking 5% from my pensionable earnings. I know some people will say how did you go 3 years without noticing. Well I just assumed they would do it correctly.
Anyway - pensionable earnings is £847 per week so missed out on 1% of that for 3 years plus income tax bill reduction plus investment growth of those contributions. Is there anything I can do about it? I’ve asked to raise a complaint internally.
Thank you for any suggestions
submitted by Guffjuice69 to FIREUK [link] [comments]