Fallout perfectly preserved pie


2022.08.22 18:51 LynzGamer JunkyardPieVictims

A graveyard for those who believed they were the chosen ones. May they dream of Pie, ever so perfectly preserved.

2008.10.31 04:50 Fallout Reddit

A state-of-the-art subreddit from Vault-Tec.

2018.12.05 20:29 shandower fo76FilthyCasuals

Fallout 76, for people that don't take it, or themselves, too seriously.

2023.05.29 22:27 episode9throwaway Is it irreversible?

I had a labiaplasty done in July of 2022, so almost one year ago. They used the wedge method - I stressed to the surgeon that I wanted some of the labia intact and that I didn't want them completely gone and asked for just the trim method (sorry, I don't know the term for that) but they insisted on doing the wedge method "to preserve sexual sensitivity of the labia" (I told him I don't even have any particular sexual sensitivity in my labia, am I abnormal in that? I thought it was just the clitoris? Anyway...)
The wedge method turned out to be a disaster, after 2 weeks one of the sewn together wedges split and it turned out it had healed in two pieces. For a while I had "three" labia and then got it fixed in early October 2022. Prior to the revision, it seemed that some of the labia were preserved. If I have to estimate, like 1.5 cm of length. After the revision, I think I am pretty much healed (it has been 8 months) and there is NO labia. In fact at one point the remnant of my labia on one side just melts into the skin between the labia minor and majora -_-
It is GONE. Nothing left. Contrary to my wishes. I'm not interested in even trying to sue, I just want to know if there is some way to fix it. Is it possible to reverse it somehow? I'm not comfortable sharing photos. I know someone will tell me that the healing process is not complete until a year but I highly doubt labia will just sprout out of nowhere in 4 months.
I'm not like devastated by the labia minora being gone but like damn, they're GONE. I asked that asshole for a trim! I'm just kicking myself for not insisting on them not doing the stupid wedge method. The whole reason I disliked my labia minora before was that the edges were wrinkly and dark, so a trim would have suited me perfectly. Well, if a solution exists, I would pursue it when I have the means. Has anyone heard of something like that?
Thanks in advance!
Edit: I want to stress this is just a cosmetic issue, my sexual function seems to be about what it was before. I don't think they damaged my clitoris, and I am thankful for that. Also, I still prefer how it looks now to how it was before. This is clearly more aesthetic and feels more hygienic too. I just really wish I had insisted on the trim method because I wanted to look normal and I think anyone with a good understanding of anatomy can tell now something happened to my labia minora and it sucks that there is probably no way to get them back. I'm angry that the surgeon left me with nothing when I specifically said I wanted a labia minora...just shorter ones...
submitted by episode9throwaway to LabiaplastySurgery [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 22:17 jenny-thatsnotmyname Rustic Apple Galette for Memorial Day Cookout

Rustic Apple Galette for Memorial Day Cookout
I love making galettes. They’re pie for people who suck at pie— perfect for me.
Recipe from The View from the Great Island found on Pinterest: https://theviewfromgreatisland.com/apple-galette-recipe/
submitted by jenny-thatsnotmyname to Baking [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 22:16 SamVoxeL Is the Quran perfectly preserved according to AI?

Is the Quran perfectly preserved according to AI? submitted by SamVoxeL to exmuslim [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 22:00 Chain8Reaction Just stop arguing them(same goes for me!). It leads nowhere

submitted by Chain8Reaction to Kingdom [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 21:43 creeperflint The Nature of Predators - The History of Non-Sapient Predators Epilogue [Fanfic]

Memory transcription subject: Luke Schmidt, Human Businessman
Date [standardized human time]: December 18th, 2136
I was the only human in the bar. I chalked it up to timing and chance, as it wasn’t a hostile bar. Aside from a few glances and the fact that people passing by my table took great care not to touch me, I had no issues. I could barely keep my head off the table, but that was more a function of tiredness than anything. I had arrived on Venlil Prime only a few days ago, and the goofy sleep schedule messed with my brain. Barlethy Shipping did provide us with blackout curtains to set up over the windows of our bedrooms, but it was still challenging.
That wasn’t even mentioning all the work I’d been doing. I was a salesman for Barlethy Shipping, which had been established for about 50 years prior to First Contact. FTL ships were horrendously expensive, and usually only the government had access to them, but the Barlethy billionaire family cared quite a bit about expanding their business on this frontier, and were willing to pour millions into private FTL ships for their employees, as well as efforts to ensure that the Venlil legal system wasn’t a hassle. I was meant to set up business deals with aliens, using a variety of methods of varying moral standing, and although others had already done so, there was still a whole planet of opportunity.
As such, I had been talking to Venlil, viewing their wares, and traveling almost all the time I’d been here. When I wasn’t doing that, I was eating and sleeping. I really needed a break, so after fourteen hours of business, I arrived at the bar for a much-needed drink. I’d made a few successful deals thus far, so hopefully Barlethy Shipping wouldn’t mind the downtime too much.
I wasn’t really paying attention to the aliens around me, as I was rather exhausted, so I didn’t notice when the unfamiliar alien walked up to me. I did not recognize which species this was, which energized me. New things always did. The species was honestly rather ugly, which was weird because all the aliens I’d seen thus far were either cute or sleek, in my opinion. They had rough gray elephant skin with sparse thick, black hairs scattered around it, which made them look more like a hairy human than like an alien with fur. The top of their snout dangled down over their mouth, and they had short tusks and weird little giraffe horns. Their tail curled up like a squirrel’s, and their fingers were long, thin, and far too numerous. They looked like a squat, mammalian Arxur. And then, they sat down across from me.
“Hello there. You’re unique too! Isn’t that fun? Being the only one of your kind in sight really isn’t all that fun, but you get used to it,” she said, in a friendly, conversational tone that was apparently female, according to my translator.
I didn’t think that unfamiliar aliens were willing to get within an arm's length of unfamiliar humans. Maybe the Venlil or our other good allies, but I had never seen this race before. I said as much. “Pardon me, but who and what are you? I have never seen your species before, and I don’t think you’re allied with humanity.” I figured that she must be a regular here, since nobody gave her a second glance. Maybe she’d expressed wanting to meet a human for a while. I still had no idea what her deal was, though.
I think I came across a little harsher than I intended, but she didn’t seem to mind. She began, “Oh, pardon my manners. My name is Polkif, and I am a Zhetsian. You’re right, we’re not allied with humanity, and there aren’t a whole lot of us on Venlil Prime, so you probably haven’t heard of us. We don’t have a very large diaspora. I’ve been here a few years, and I’m used to being a novelty.”
I hummed, interested. Some part of me was always eager to talk to aliens, and I could indulge that now. Most of the time, my interactions with aliens were distinctly more… hostile, than I’d like, but that was unavoidable. Well, here was an opportunity to avoid hostilities! Though, I was still wondering why this wasn't shaping up to be hostile, so I asked, “Why are you comfortable walking up to random, unfamiliar humans? Even people who have been here since First Contact with us and who generally like humans aren’t often comfortable doing that. Especially since we have a reputation for being aggressive when drunk.”
Polkif snuffled, which my translator told me was laughter. After a few seconds, she said, “Well, we’re Zhetsians! We’re expected to be bold. We do have to be mindful of other species’ norms when offworld, but I don’t think they’ll kick my door down and drag me off to the predator disease facility just for being excited about talking to a human. I suppose you don’t know if they will until they do it, but I’ve gone this long without biased officers bagging me, so I figure my logic holds up. Besides, I don’t mind standing out and having to make an effort to fit in if it means I can avoid the current issues on my native planet, Miluja. Well, the issues are everywhere in Zhetsian space, but they’re especially strong there.”
I was intrigued, and thoughts of tiredness were out of my mind. Of course, there were a whole lot of aliens with all different cultures and histories, but this was new, even compared to other aliens I knew of, and was shaping up to be exciting. I would be especially tired later, but I didn’t mind the adrenaline that interest and excitement gave me right now. I prompted her, “What kind of issues?”
Polkif obliged me. “Civil unrest issues. All five Zhetsian planets are having issues with stampedes, mobs, protesting, and armed rebellion, but on Miluja it’s devolved into a civil war. Or Colony World 3, as it’s known offworld. They don’t like that we landed on naming it after Milu, since they say he had predator disease, but it’s tradition to call it that, and I like it better than the generic name, at least.
“Once the Cilany broadcast came out and reached us, it was pandemonium. Due to the anti-predator religion, a lot of people assumed that we were predators, so we split from the Federation. All the death cults and secret predator or predator-diseased sympathizers came out of the woodwork declaring this to be proof that they were right all along, and now everyone should join up with them and make a utopia, or something. Of course, all the elements that prevented those guys from making themselves known before were still there, so the government and the Federation-sympathizers cracked down on them. The rebellious elements were emboldened, though, and had quite a few guns and lots of repurposed farming equipment, so they fought back. This led to all the sympathizers still in the government to come out and support the rebellion too, except they were discovered, and you had tusk-fights in offices everywhere. It devolved from there, and now the whole planet is engulfed in civil war.
“The other planets are doing better, though not by much. Nitto is probably doing the best out of all of them, since the overwhelming majority of the government and populace was able to unite around the Nitre Rebellion’s legacy and kick the Federation out. Kipresa and Colony World 4 are undergoing low-level fighting and their share of unrest; their problems are mitigated by the fact that most of Kipresa just want to make money and aren’t up for fighting, and Colony World 4 knows that its denizens are mostly criminals, so they have a habit of not looking too closely as long as you don’t cause problems and there continue to be people willing to buy their ore. Mother Plains, our homeworld, has had more luck with the government cracking down on rebellion and dissent, but there are still decently sized patches that are held by rebel forces, and the Federation and government are growing more unpopular by the day.
“In short, there’s fighting and disruptions everywhere, though the last ship that came from Zhetsian space came a month ago, and I’m not sure how it’s progressed without me. The fact that no more ships have come is troubling enough. As for alliances, I can’t imagine that the UN wants to get involved in our civil wars, especially since most of the official governments would reject them anyway. So, we’re not allied with either the Federation or the UN, and I think we're best off focusing on getting ourselves to a stable position before helping anyone else with their problems.”
I sat back, stunned. Of course, in the back of my mind, I had figured that there might be intraspecies fighting somewhere in the Federation, but I’d started to discount that as a possibility, with how herd-focused and timid the Federation seemed. Species-wide civil wars and unrest was not what I expected. Though, if that’s what the situation back home was like, no wonder it seemed perfectly safe walking up to strange humans. I’ve known a few people from countries with civil unrest issues, and while some of them are intensely paranoid, some are fearless and barely blink at what normal people would consider notable dangers.
She continued after a few seconds. “I’m not quite sure where I stand on the issue. I am quite willing to call my home Miluja, and I have a lot of family who are farmers and on that side of the conflict, but you get leery of supporting such people after long enough away. The walls have ears when it comes to expressing dissent, you know. You’ve got to be on high alert if you want to do things the Federation government doesn’t approve of without them knocking on your door. It gets exhausting to hold such opinions after a while, in the face of all the opposition to them.”
She shook her head side-to-side slightly, and it occurred to me that she was probably looking for listeners in her blind spot. She had lowered her voice, too, so that I had to strain to hear her over the din of the bar. Even with how milquetoast that bit of opposition to the Federation ideology seemed, she didn’t seem like she wanted people to notice it. I’d had my share of paranoia, certain that the aggressive and somewhat underhanded negotiation tactics I’d used would be revealed, and I’d be fired and cause a huge diplomatic incident that would end in me being burned to a crisp. Well, her concerns couldn't have been that bad, since she seemed to settle down quickly enough. After she was done, she tipped her head back a bit to sip from her drink. Her snout prevented her from tilting the glass to her mouth all the way.
I decided to talk about myself a bit, since she seemed inclined to sit in silence, though she didn’t move away from my table. “Well, I’m sure you know about Earth. I’m here because I’m a representative of Barlethy Shipping, and I’m supposed to be negotiating deals with aliens, mostly Venlil. It doesn’t sound like we’ll be dealing with Zhetsians anytime soon, if it’s as bad as you say over there. I’ve been here for about a week on this trip, though I was here for a few weeks already during the Battle of Earth, and I’m already exhausted. Work and a weird sleep schedule will do that for you. After I’m done here, I’m going back to my hotel to sleep.”
Polkif responded, “Ah, I see. I’ve been an offworld business rep before, and it is not fun. Seeing other planets is enjoyable to a degree, but the schedule is grueling, other planets always have weird day/night cycles, and people tend to look down on Zhetsians as rebellious. I left for Venlil Prime about five years ago to help run a new branch of the farming equipment manufacturer I did sales for, though they try to hide their Zhetsian origins, and I exclusively work in non-public-facing roles. I was supposed to come back last month, but that didn’t pan out for obvious reasons. Oh well, I’ve got stable employment, since they’ve kept me on, and I think I can manage.”
I checked my holopad, and noted the time. It was 30 minutes until I wanted to go back to my apartment and sleep, since I’d scheduled an hour for this. A few thoughts flashed through my mind, most notably that getting back earlier would result in even more sleep, and that Polkif seemed nervous about discussing certain topics where others could hear. An idea sprang to mind, and I voiced it. “It’s been a pleasure talking with you, but I probably ought to start heading back to my hotel room. Do you want to discuss more things on the way? I’d love to hear more about you and your species, but it’s rather crowded in here.”
Something glinted in her eyes, and her fingers started twitching madly, bringing to mind images of sea anemones with bony tentacles. She responded, in a rather weird tone, “Oh, I’d love to do that. I don’t need to be anywhere for another three claws, so I’d be glad to discuss things on the way. Why don’t we finish our drinks and go?”
I’d almost finished my drink, so I downed the rest just as she chugged over half of her glass at once to finish it. As she hopped off the stool, I stopped leaning on the wall behind me, a poor substitute for a backrest, stretched my back a bit, and then grabbed my things and followed her.
It was rather empty outside, with only a few scattered and easily-avoidable groups of Venlil here and there on the street. I started towards my hotel, and Polkif followed. Once we’d gotten a decent ways away from anyone, Polkif started talking in a quiet but still conversational voice. “So what would you like to know?”
“Anything interesting,” I said. “Perhaps why you have a reputation for being rebellious, or why your government doesn’t like this Milu character, or why some of your planets are having it worse than others.”
“The walls have ears, but I have better vision and probably better hearing than you and most Venlil, so I’ll stop talking if there’s a chance of unwanted listeners. Do note that what I'm about to tell you is not the official history, and I could get in very serious trouble if people knew that I believed, or at least seriously considered, this stuff. I can drag you down with me if you start telling people about it. Capiche?”
This sounded serious, especially since her tone had gotten noticeably sharper. She seemed a lot more alert and less casual now, even considering the comments she made in the bar about the officials who handled predator disease, which reminded me of the old “knock on the door” of governments who took away people who opposed them, now that I thought about them. That was worrying, but it was probably something that required more context to understand. Also, it did not occur to me that aliens would have a word that translated to “capiche”, but I considered that it was context-appropriate and nodded. Polkif continued.
“Alright, so the first thing to know is that unwanted ideas and movements that spring up among us never quite manage to die, however much the Federation wants them to. We have quite a few dissident groups that are officially labeled “death cults”, as well as a lot of rebellious movements that the Federation has been working to stamp out. Many of these groups have survived centuries of opposition, and sometimes they preexist First Contact. The most notable of these groups are Linked Chains, the Steward Branch, the Inside, and the Nitre rebellion stuff on Nitto. Though, Linked Chains has spread offworld and has a pretty significant non-Zhetsian membership, so it isn’t near-exclusively Zhetsian like the others.
“What you should know is that, apart from a handful of bog-standard criminals and a few people looking for an excuse to cause harm, nobody dies or supports dying or misery in those groups. The Steward Branch is a religion that, especially now, is suspected to have been the original, true religion of Zhetsians, and which has as a core doctrine the idea that all life is precious and necessary for gaining true understanding. Including the predatory life. Linked Chains thinks that predators are necessary for the ecosystem to function properly, something that you humans seem to agree with. The Inside and the pro-Nitre stuff are the anti-Federation movements on Miluja and Nitto, respectively.
“The official accounts are pretty accurate as far as the origins of three of the movements, though Bilte is not evil, stupid, or manipulative like they portray him, the non-Steward branches are likely some combination of invented or blown way out of proportion by the Federation, and they like to underrepresent the amount of animosity that lingered after the Nitre rebellion’s resource issues were handled. Really, you need unofficial sources to get good histories for anything involving those movements. The thing they lie the most about, though, is the origins of the Inside on Miluja.
“A little over a century ago, Miluja, then only known as Colony World 3, started a program of reintroducing certain predators onto the planet in order to deal with pests. We’re a farming colony, you understand, so dealing with pests was a rather large priority, and sheer practicality overwhelmed the propaganda in this instance. The Exterminators Union threatened to withdraw over these changes, the planet called their bluff, and they left, only to realize that nobody wanted them back. A bounty system was implemented for unapproved wild predators, but a lot of other predators besides the original pest-killers started hanging around and coming out from the unannihilated parts of the wilderness that had been left when the Union left. People stopped minding, apparently. You can still access The Seven Sons of Aboulo TV show if you know where to look, it tells you something about what it was like back then. Much better than the contemporary first iteration of The Exterminators, which was a piece of over-the-top propaganda, though I digress.
“Of course, that wasn’t going to last forever. I can only imagine the reason we didn’t get shut down instantly was because we were, and remain, a bit of a backwater, and they all bought into their own lies enough that they thought we’d collapse on our own due to our changes. We didn’t, so they started helping the process along.
“The Farsul showed up to Zhetsian space and started poking around. The Farsul poking around in an unimportant, obscure species like ours can only mean trouble. They did some preliminary reconnaissance, then they threatened us if we didn’t disarm all of our civilian ships. We had the bright idea to retrofit all of our ships with guns, but apparently that encourages predator behavior, or something. Those made up almost all of our fleet! We really couldn’t afford the sanctions, scrutiny, accusations, and ostracization that would come from defying the Farsul, so we dutifully disarmed our ships, and shortly thereafter the Arxur showed up.”
At that, Polkif stopped talking, and a Venlil suddenly came out of a building that we had assumed was closed, almost hitting us with the door. The Venlil only heard the last part about the Arxur showing up, according to my calculations, and after a look of startlement that he shared with us, he turned around and headed the opposite direction. Polkif exhaled, and said, “The annoying thing about Venlil Prime is that there isn’t a night when everyone sleeps. There’s always a sizable portion of the population awake and active at any given moment, so you can’t avoid people staring at you nearly as much as you’d like.”
I bet a lot of people stared at Polkif. She seemed to be a regular in that bar, but elsewhere? Given that Polkif had stopped talking before I noticed the Venlil coming out of the building, I got the feeling that she was hyper-aware of scrutiny and always thinking about how people would perceive her every move. The walls have ears, after all. No wonder she was so noncommittal in the bar, compared to here. I figured that I should keep my observations to myself, though, and responded, “I can see that. On the bright side, not having a night means there’s nowhere you shouldn’t go at night. Wait, does the Federation even have street crime?”
Polkif snorted, which my translator told me indicated derision, same as for humans. “You’re more likely to get reported for predator disease for being out alone than to get mugged. But, yes, that will happen on occasion. Usually it takes the form of criminals running up, grabbing your bag, and running off again, no violence or confrontation involved. I know for a fact that there’s more violent crime than the Federation likes to admit to, though. Anyway, back to the story? Nobody’s watching.”
“Alright, so where were we? Farsul, ships, Arxur… Ah yes, the Arxur raid. After our fleet was significantly reduced, a fleet of more than a thousand Arxur ships showed up to Colony World 3. Normally this would be a death sentence, but a combination of tactics, guts, and on-the-ground resistance ended in us decimating the Arxur fleet, which then retreated with almost no cattle. Miluja hasn't had any Arxur problems since; they say we taste bad, and decimating their fleet probably put us firmly in the “don’t bother” camp. Fine by us! Anyway, during the battle, we’d asked around for help, but the other planets weren’t willing to divert resources, and I also suspect they wanted to avoid retaliation. They had to have known about the Farsul ship order. We also sent a few scouts further away to ask for help from other species, and that fleet did show up! Once the battle was already over and the Arxur were already retreating. Lazy cowards barely fired a single shot.
“As you might imagine, that fleet, known as the Assistance Fleet, stuck around. They offered to help us rebuild our bombed infrastructure and almost-annihilated fleet, for a hefty sum of cash and quite a lot of food. The other requirement was that we revert all of the changes we had made regarding predators and accept what was essentially an occupation. Our remaining pristine wilderness? Gone. Our new and unique ideas? Either well-hidden, taught away, or trapped in the minds of those stuck in facilities. Our wildlife? Mostly gone, although the original netry birds and jutalem are still around, despite the best efforts of the exterminators. Stubborn little bastards, they are. Some have taken them as a sort of symbol.
“The last important bit from that period is Milu. Things really sucked after the Assistance Fleet established themselves, as stated previously. Milu was a bureaucrat who schemed to smuggle out a whole bunch of information that the Outside occupiers wanted to destroy, subverted a great many efforts to diagnose people with predator disease and kill predators, and even worked to convince the physical fleet to head home instead of being threatening in our orbit. All around a stellar guy. He eventually got found out, diagnosed, and sent to a facility. The Outside tried to publicize it, for whichever reason, maybe to demoralize the Inside. It instead turned into a huge scandal, which ended in somebody blowing up the facility Milu was kept in, which resulted in several staff members dying and most of the inmates escaping, including Milu, who was never seen again. People started calling the colony Miluja around that time. Means something like “Milu’s Continuation” in the old Zhetsian language that people use to name things. As you can imagine, the Outside does not like that name, and while using it isn’t enough for a diagnosis, it will get you a whole lot of scrutiny that can easily lead to one.
“So, that’s that, mostly. Lots of fighting, lots of rebellion, lots of farmers telling their children all the things they don't teach in schools, and always the looming Federation ready to squash anything they don’t like. Personally, I’m quite surprised you lot managed to get a foothold. They go so hard on the propaganda.”
That was… a lot to take in. ‘Why does the Federation let them be like this?’ and ‘How horrible can the Federation be?’ were hardly original thoughts at this point, so I latched on to the one thing I understood well. “Well, Tarva was nice and nobody rushed us until we could handle it, and those were the lucky parts. Beyond that, it’s really a matter of time, as people see us not snapping and eating them. Personally, I suspect that the Federation going so hard on the propaganda was their undoing. They tell everyone that predators are pure evil, then predators who aren’t pure evil show up, so people figure the old framework no longer applies and they start judging things more rationally.”
Polkif hummed for a second, then responded, “That’s a decent theory. One would hope that some of that tolerance would extend to me, but I suppose you’re new, and old habits die hard. You know, there’s a few places on the planet I can’t go because of how riled up the populace is about predators, especially lately with you humans arriving. We’re the rebels, so I must be doing something horrible! Clowns, the lot of them.”
I imagine Polkif couldn’t get away with much, if what I took from her was accurate. Her race may have had some leeway with how deviant they were expected to be, but everything about her told me she was always under a lot of scrutiny. Though, this information didn’t seem like someone who perfectly obeyed every law and whim of the Federation would know about. So, I asked her, “If you’re under so much scrutiny, how do you know all this stuff? These unofficial histories don’t seem like something you could easily access.”
Polkif spoke again, but slower and with a weird cadence. “There’s more scrutiny for the Zhetsian diaspora than for Zhetsians on Zhetsian planets. That’s not to say that you aren’t always on high alert at all hours of the day because you never know who’s watching, who’s listening, who’ll report you, and what they’ll take as a sign that you have predator disease, or need your assets confiscated, or what have you. It just means that you have more trustworthy confidants and more leeway on Zhetsian planets. More people who can tell you stories and pass around contraband.
“As a relevant example of contraband, have you ever heard of The History of Non-Sapient Predators?”
I said, “No, I haven’t.”
She started twitching her fingers again, and the front of her snout flopped around a bit. I wasn’t aware she could move it. Then, she spoke. “The History of Non-Sapient Predators is one of the most well-known contraband books, at least amongst Zhetsians. It’s generally considered unsafe for us to get involved in movements offworld, and I’m not sure what contraband books exist elsewhere. Anyway, it’s up there with The Wild and Wondrous Deep, The Linked Chain, and The Social Strain. It’s an anthology of documents from the Galactic Archives, detailing the rise and fall of Colony World 3’s anti-Federation movement, as well as the context it takes place in.
“Most of the documents are publicly accessible in the Galactic Archives, just arranged in an unflattering manner. Some of them require special credentials to access, and a few are definitely not in the Archives, or reference documents that aren’t. It’s a common rumor that the Farsul Government Employee Registry doesn’t exist and is either completely hidden for some reason or a code for something else; also that many documents that used to be on the public network but classified were deleted or moved to a secret location or network after this book was created.
“It’s published under a pseudonym, and there are many theories on who made it. Whoever created it would have had to go to the Farsul homeworld, since the Archives are located there, and would have had to find a way to access non-public documents. It was definitely compiled before Milu, since neither he nor the name Miluja are mentioned. It cuts off after the Rebuilding starts. It was likely made by either a Zhetsian from Miluja or someone who greatly values Miluja, since it’s really only our history, despite the broad-sounding title. I’m sure there are other books detailing other species’ forgotten histories and interactions with non-sapient predators, but I don’t know about them. This is the history of our non-sapient predators.
“Anyway, that book is the defining source of the actual history of the Inside and Colony World 3. Copies are rare, but I used to know someone who had one back on Miluja.”
Wow. With every word that came out of Polkif’s mouth, a picture was being made of the side of the Federation that was so old and paranoid that it wouldn’t reveal itself, even now that Federation narratives were being questioned across the planet, or especially now that that was happening. Though, apparently Polkif wasn’t so paranoid as to hide it from me. I knew that my status as a human made people assume I was comfortable with predatory things, but I found that I did not take Polkif for the type to trust anyone she wasn’t extremely confident in. So I asked her, “Why are you telling me all this? I know I’m a human, but I could tell people. I’m a stranger to you.”
She snuffled again. “Remember when I said that I could drag you down with me? Well, I’ve actually been looking into you for a bit. You’re the only human I’ve seen out here, what can I say? I was interested. I’m quite good at navigating electronic things, and I happen to have discovered several dossiers of blackmail that your shipping company has provided you to help you make deals. Perhaps not as predatory as it could be, but I’m sure I could portray it properly if I needed to make this known to appropriate parties. I’m sure you know how illegal it is and how much of a diplomatic incident this would create.”
She knew about that?
Sudden terror gripped me. I liked to think of my activities as aggressive business tactics, but her statement reminded me that it was still blackmail and would likely end in jail time and a diplomatic incident if I were caught. She also refueled the paranoia of getting reported for it that had been plaguing me ever since I arrived on Venlil Prime as a businessman. And, since this random alien who was simply interested in me could find it, that meant that I was in a very precarious position. Out of fear, and desperation, I shot back, “If I reported you, wouldn’t law enforcement just take you away before you could do anything, and wouldn’t they not listen to you if you’re a known predator? You seemed to imply that back at the bar.”
She replied just as quickly, “Exterminators. They deal with cases of predator disease, or really any crime involving the Zhetsian diaspora as they like to assume that we all have predator disease. Anyways, as you’re a human, they’re much less likely to believe anything you say, and that combined with experience and security measures means I will absolutely have time to send it off before they get me. I can be anonymous if need be. And don’t you try to delegate reporting to anyone or do it anonymously; if anyone comes knocking on my door, I’m blaming you, and out this goes.”
Well, damn. I stopped in the middle of the street to think, barely noticing Polkif’s eye glittering as she stopped next to me. I really should have known that someone like Polkif would only reveal anything to anyone if she was very sure that they wouldn’t reveal anything. Whether because she trusted them as people, or because she held something over them. I drastically misjudged her; she was intensely paranoid, but so good at masking that you never knew until she was already acting against you.
The aggressive negotiation tactics already stressed me out. When combined with Polkif’s knowledge of them, they made me feel far out of my depth. My mind was racing, but something did occur to me, and I asked her, “Do you do this frequently for the sake of it, or do you want something from me? You don’t seem the type to task unnecessary risks.”
More snuffling, of what I thought was a distinctly different character than previous snuffling. Probably a malicious laughter, if I had to guess. “I did have an idea that required a human. When I said that I had no copy of The History of Non-Sapient Predators on Venlil Prime, I lied. Had to see how you reacted, after all. I do indeed have a copy that I took with me from Miluja, and have made copies of it since. I was thinking that humanity having a copy would be useful. You guys can translate it, make copies, get famous and make boatloads of cash off of it, or whatever else you can think of. The Federation doesn't have eyes or tendrils on Earth, so the book, our history, won’t die, or at least it has a greater chance not to. I have no clue how many copies there are across the Federation, but I know it’s not that many. I was under the impression that humans quite liked the preservation of knowledge and history, based on what I’ve seen of humanity’s reaction to the Cilany and Yotul situations. So, you wouldn’t mind preserving important history that's been suppressed by the Federation.”
That was… surprisingly benign. I was about ready for her to demand I fork over all of my money, go rogue with my company ship, or commit crimes against exterminators and the government. A little bit of smuggling, especially of something this important, was nothing, especially compared to the activities I’d been engaging in. I already had to smuggle in some of the negotiation material, anyway.
She continued, “As I said, this book is very, very illegal, and even as a human you’re likely to get in a lot of trouble for having it. As you’ve already been able to hide all that blackmail, you shouldn’t have a problem hiding this, but do be careful, and do not get caught. Only look at it once you’re back on Earth, away from prying eyes, and don’t let your company find out until you don’t need their support. I'd recommend keeping your identity wholly separate from your ownership of that book. As for getting it to you, I happen to know that you’re going to be going to a certain library to do research on Venlil agricultural history tomorrow - you really shouldn’t use the DailyMemo112 app, it has poor security - so when you get there, look out for the book titled “History of Agricultural Exports of Venlil Prime: Volume 18” by “Bitsly” in the agriculture section. It’s a fake cover, obviously, with a few fake pages too, but it's what you're looking for, so take it and go. You should probably buy a few other books about Venlil Prime trade, for cover. Any questions?”
Aside from the fact that she casually mentioned that she knew about my daily schedule for the remaining 2 weeks of my trip, that was surprisingly straightforward. A few plans for what I'd do with the book were even percolating in my mind; I'd translate them to English, of course, and then I could post them anonymously online, maybe I could put a paywall or tip jar in there to make money off of it? I didn't need the money, since my job paid me well, but this could blow up, and I wouldn't be one of Barlethy Shipping's spacefaring employees if I didn't keep an eye out for opportunity. None of these ideas were something I needed Polkif for, though. So, I replied, “No. Uh, thank you for telling me all this? Fascinating stuff.”
“You’re welcome, and thank you, if you pull this off successfully. Oh, and don’t tell the UN. They care quite a bit about Venlil laws and sovereignty, you know. Them knowing will attract attention that neither of us want. Never tell anyone anything unless you absolutely have to, you know. Now, I believe that is your hotel right there?”
I looked away from Polkif, and noticed that we were indeed in front of the huge, gray hotel building I was staying in. I wasn't sure how Polkif knew it was mine, but I probably shouldn't have been surprised at that point. It spoke to how adrift and detached from all non-business endeavors I was on Venlil Prime that I didn’t recognize the area around the place I was staying until it was pointed out to me. With a sudden bout of melancholy washing out some of the paranoia, I said, “Indeed.”
She flopped her snout around a bit, twitching her fingers all the while. I assumed, or at least hoped, that this was the Zhetsian version of smiling. “See you never, probably. Further contact would only be suspicious. The walls have ears, so be careful. Goodbye.”
I watched her walk off, back towards the bar. I entered my hotel, feeling dazed now that everything had time to settle in. The adrenaline was wearing off, and with nothing new or exciting to occupy my attention, I crashed hard. Exhaustion, combined with the events and emotions of the past hour, made me incapable of having thoughts more complex than a sense of paranoia and a desire to go to bed.
I stumbled up to my room and fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow, without even pulling the blackout curtains over the window.
submitted by creeperflint to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 21:29 AlienNationSSB #Alien-Nation Chapter 168: Now or Never

Alien-Nation Chapter 168: Now or Never

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Chapter summary: Elias wanders the grounds inspecting everything he can, has a fatheson moment with Larry then sends Vaughn to go try and spring people from jail.
It had been easy for me to see during the speech I'd given roughly how many had already arrived up the narrow pass, and as I stood from inspecting a firing port in a trench, testing whether the old cast iron cannon would roll back far enough on its rails after firing.
I gave it a pass after measuring against a rod. Certainly it was far from the highest of technologies at our disposal, but certainly it would be either lethal, injurious, or at the very least, extremely loud. The gathered mishmashed array of weaponry pointing outward was impressive enough, but the real piece de resistance was the sheer number of railguns we'd had returned to us, frequently carried by a two man team. I signed off on it for final inspection, noting the plug in place over the end, and went to the railgun positioned further down the trench near the intersection.
This was one I recognized. This shared at least something in common to the cannon, insofar as it was far from the latest model at our disposal. I spotted some of my own extremely crude handiwork, a far more rough set of welds performed along the plate's protective, unsanded metal edges. Mister Singer, if he were ever presented with it, may have recognized the shoddy, unstable hand that welded together some of the protective casing. The service flap told me the model without needing to even open it, the household door frame hinges pulled from Verns' stock of spare parts bin, before we implemented something even so basic as refined latches with catch points.
That had to make this a Mk. II. Sentimentality had no place on the front lines. I sucked in a breath at the sight of another old muzzle-loader being carried into the workshop for upgrades, already laid out on the timber worktable and ready for use and sucked in a breath.
I just hoped the earliest design of managing power flow wouldn't give out from the faster firing. Complex but beautifully arrayed piping had given way to simpler, more streamlined designs as we incorporated a greater number of readily available alien parts. Some of which we were supplied an initial batch of in the bag with the blueprints, and then we were told how to work free those same parts from various broken pieces of technology we'd reclaimed off the Shil'vati, or even the freely given away omni-pads. With every iteration we demonstrated a degree of adaptation to using the parts we had available, and each generation marked a leap forward in our own understanding of Shil'vati technology, courtesy of G-Man and his father's handiwork.
The final barrels of the extremely limited run of the second batch we'd paid handsomely for were marked 'present,' too. They had gone the least far afield, with one already slagging itself during the attack on the data center. I frowned at the spreadsheet, as if my impression of it might cause their fate to improve.
The latest blueprints could maintain a decent rate of fire without burning out its power management system located in the welded together case. Or, rather, the barrel gave out first. For the first time, perhaps as a result of being coupled with the magazines and a relatively rapid-fire exchange meant the neosteel barrels we received had finally become the weak point in the design.
It was only after we'd returned to Camp Death that I'd noticed the difference.
The new batch we'd paid dearly for seemed somewhat altered from the first batch we'd been building all the others out of, made from an alloyed material that shone somewhat dimmer under the sun as George and I worked in the shed elbow-to-elbow, though the contrast was not immediately obvious until one held the two against each other. It was slightly thicker, too, all of which to me indicated a change in supply in some manner, but our supplier had hardly announced themselves to Sam.
This was a troubling puzzle to me. I still couldn't be sure it was the new microbatch of barrels alloys being far from equal to the originals we'd finally finished building out? Or was it the expanded magazines and power couplings' ability to fire faster creating an overall volume of fire that overheated the barrel from overuse? Or was the power management design faulty, generating more heat per shot? Were we misusing them?
I measured the barrel of the Mk. II, just to be sure the shelf life of the barrel hadn't come due. So far, inspections of the original batch of barrels had mercifully indicated they'd all been brought back here were in comparatively great shape, with this one being no exception. That lent me some comfort that these new barrels were just not up to the task of heavy, sustained fire. I couldn't know that for certain, and an unreliable weapon was cause for anxiety.
Indeed, there was almost no wear on this version at all, disproving the worst case scenario that these were only good for a certain number of rounds before they'd be worn down to uselessness. Certainly, they'd eventually give out, but it seemed we were still far off from that point.
"Sir?" Asked the gunner, staring at me.
I stared at him, then down at the spreadsheet. "This thing fires three rounds a minute. Do you think that rate of fire is sufficient?"
I could tell he wasn't sure whether a 'no' would have him replaced with someone professing to be more accurate.
"Get it upgraded." I took the white gel pen and scribbled on it- make ready for an upgrade as soon as the final repaired railgun clears the shed. Assigned to casemate #4, Operator... "Call sign?"
"Brut," he answered.
"Brut...with the Umlaut?" He gave a thumbs up and I added them. Costing nothing but a drop of gel ink for a little personalization if it made for a happy gunner was a good investment. "Use it well. Get it upgraded if there's time, keep an eye on the work shed. Once the repairs stop, you can take this to the front of the line, Brüt."
There was no point dismantling all our old ones and creating a backlog while some still needed repairs. I wrote on the hatch Upgrade from Mk. II to Mk. IV. That would give it a magazine and more than triple its firing rate. Anything more than that, I quietly held my doubts for the feasibility of upgrading in a timely manner. The Mark V's took too much time and effort to build their complex power management systems for not enough gain, stuffed too tightly into the protective case to be completed quickly. The Mark VI's tended to overheat their crude fire control circuitry, the consequence of an overcorrection back to simplicity; they could maintain a high fire rate, but were too delicate. The VII's were the ones with the new barrel. Promising, but those barrel faults...I still worried it might have been the power management system.
We'd started considering adding water tanks to help maintain them, but it brought the weight higher than that of a Mk. I, and successfully swapping a boiling hot tank off a delicate, electronically-loaded railgun in combat seemed like a very questionable use of the time. We'd just have to ask the crews manning the railguns to be a bit judicious in our fire, and hope that the flaw was limited to the new little batch of barrels.
How many rounds, exactly, and exactly how fast was yet to be determined; we hadn't conducted the amount of testing a proper military might carry out, but while we had no shortage to man, we also did not have so many as to test dozens until their point of failure, weighing and comparing all their possible conditions.
All this uncertainty kept bouncing around my head. How many troops did we have here? How many rounds for every type of rifle, including the more exotic variants? How reliant on them were we to deal damage, and was it all stored somewhat safely? On the less direct side of things, how many tons of food did we have stored, and was it distributed well? How many thousands of gallons of water could we draw? How many pounds of soap to wash utensils, cups, wounds, and shower with? How many pounds of food over how many men, to last how many days? If it rained, some of these might be alleviated, and yet might kick off a whole host of other issues. There was no way of knowing, no way of taking a perfect stock. But I could estimate.
We had a lot of people. And a lot of guns. And a lot of defenses, and literally countless tons of high explosives, triggered by various means and methods. And we were mad as hell. While exactly how mad was less concrete a figure, I knew this many men away from home could end poorly.
Ultimately, whether it was the fault of the new barrel or the design had finally reached the limitations of its potential rate of fire without causing other issues, I couldn't say for certain. So I had to do my best.
I gave the railgun a clean bill of health to operate if needed, 'priority upgrade,' and noted the rate of fire for the defensive position at 'three a minute.' This one being one of our oldest models, I left it to the operator with my blessings, and made a mental note to add the next railgun we had to be stationed nearby, just so that we weren't under strength from that angle.
I craned my neck from the trench to behold even more insurgents trickling into the old clearing. The arrivals always came in ones-and-twos, their body language telling me the story of the journey it had taken to get here. They'd had to have abandoned their vehicles to the traffic-snarled roads almost certainly some miles away unless they knew the path George and I would occasionally take;.
Those who brought their own heavy weapons lay them down at their feet before collapsing. Water and food was distributed, though I couldn't speak to the quality, and a trash run would have to be made, tossing the empty tins into ammunition containers.
Of all the newcomers who had yet to be organized into place, I counted two mortars, several more volunteers grouping up to retrieve ammo after taking down descriptions of the vehicles from their exhausted owners and sprinting back out into the night to fetch whatever had been left behind.
The resourcefulness lifted my spirits. No one entertained the notion that these men were taking their leave to flee a certain doom. All present felt some degree of faith, understood who they were, why they were here, and what we were setting out to accomplish. Cells worked to find one another in the darkness, congealing themselves into a more coherent, practiced fighting force by virtue of familiarity with one another. Discipline was sharp and needed little enforcement past an initial reminder. No flashlights switched on inside the premises or campfires were lit despite the encroaching edges of the cold front. Insurgents were guided to whatever defensive positions, pillboxes, trenches, battlements, or bunkers still sat empty, depending somewhat on their expected role after detailing their skills to sentries or those otherwise familiar with the camp carefully explaining sight lines and our overall defensive strategy.
Whispered word overheard from those arrivals seemed to indicate a mixture of panic and outrage was fast spreading through the state's populace, carrying them on frightened wings as they took flight in the night, from here to the southernmost beaches and bays. It seemed word had gotten out successfully, then. That knocked down one more obstacle to our success, or at least set the pieces in place. Soon, all that would remain would be the ugly business of following through, and hoping, no praying that I hadn't massively miscalculated in my hubris.
I took the ramp out of the trench so they could pour some loose gravel into it, helping ensure that if those threatening looking storm clouds opened and if the drains clogged, we still would have some footing, and retired to the command cabin, eyeing how empty it felt with all the finished products being set into defensive arrangements; only the workshop still retained all its rather explosive concoctions.
The manpower situation was such that those familiar in reliably manufacturing complex bombs were spending their time setting up defenses in the fields beyond and settling in our new arrivals.
And then I had the couple hostages, weakened by months of captivity, restrained and kept under guard, but still sitting right on top of the half-done armaments.
I told myself that we had taken precautions- the most reactive sets separated by a thin membranous bag of water to prevent chain reactions from taking root and a few emergency containment systems, but they relied on someone present. I'd need all hands on deck- and what if a direct lance of energy landed from some heavy weapon hit the shed, perhaps to try and make a point? No mere bag of water would make a difference then.
Then again, if they brought that king of weaponry to bear, then the outcome would be certain. The Shil'vati would still lose their hostages, and have tacitly admitted I'd forced their hand, and that they'd declared we were enough of a threat to sacrifice noblewomen just to put a stop to.
I hunched over a smaller map in the command cabin, pinning down the garrisons and jails Verns might be held in. Perhaps I'd been premature in my assessment in lacking a future need of a good map when I'd jumped atop the table for my little motivational speech. I'd gotten caught up in the moment; I hadn't foreseen the need for an offensive element.
I was sorely missing my Lieutenants. Vendetta wasn't here, which was one of the greater anxieties weighing on my shoulders.
The one word I'd whispered in his ear all that time ago to bring him around to believing I did, in fact, have a plan: Victory. He should be here already.
He'd sprinted off across the field in glee back when I told him of this plan's possibility, that "Plan C" might come about due to a few cells going dark and my suspicion that it wasn't moles. The null hypothesis, that there were in fact moles, had put him in direct danger by sending him to double-check.
I cursed my blindness. My eagerness to take a night off, to get him out of the way so he wouldn't clash with the others, so I could be a 'normal boy' for a night and attend a party- one I wouldn't be kicked out of, To find social acceptance.
All part of a 'coming of age,' even after I'd already spilt blood, led a war campaign effort, kissed, earned more money than most would see in a lifetime, and mentally cut ties with my family. By almost any account, I already was a man, yet I'd gotten obsessive in imitating the modern trappings of defining such things. I should have seen the cells reporting members' absences and even going dark as a whole for what it was. I could have called off Town Hall, started assembling even more people here.
Then again, if I had, then perhaps...the shil'vati might not have started grabbing everyone. I hated to think of Verns as 'sacrificial.' They likely didn't have much on him, just a neighbor's report. Then again, we'd had that meeting right after the bar fight at Lucky's, right? How thoroughly had George cleared out his house, if they went back to rummage around and investigate? How well could George cover his tracks? We'd left that ammo crate in the hallway, for starters- clumsy of us, yet we were in a panic. Like children. I tensed as I remembered so vividly the sudden sharp report of the gun, watched Patrick's empty eyes stare up. But not children.
There was nothing I could do for Vendetta. We'd sent the Bat Signal out. Either he'd be here, or he'd miss it.
I weighed the value of sending George away once he got here. The order would certainly annoy him after he'd just arrived, something of an arduous task given how far backed up the traffic had become. I also knew it meant I'd have one fewer lieutenant here, where I desperately needed him. I could hardly ask him to burn down the childhood home, and it would certainly reek of hiding evidence.
"Sir," A sentry stood in the door frame, and I stretched from where my muscles had tensed up, pulling my shoulders back and yawning silently beneath my mask, lumbering toward him.
I didn't realize how tall I'd gotten until I realized he was staring up at me and had taken a half-step backwards- not to make way so I could lead from the door, either, but almost defensively.
"Yes, what is it?" I asked, stopping in place.
"We've received a message for you, sir. Radio is reporting that a 'Hex' has checked in from her position. She and Binary report 'Green as Grass,' sir."
I wasn't used to being called 'sir,' and it caught me off guard. I realized he was standing there, waiting for a response from me of some sort, too.
What should I say for him to send back to Hex? I momentarily remembered the sensation of the kiss, the warm, slightly wet softness, the tenderness, and felt a bit of a blush under my mask. While every instinct screamed at me to not air even a hint of my romances or inner turmoil about a kiss over the unencrypted connection, there was a level of 'not talking about it' that I was unfamiliar with and hadn't planned for. Could my message back be coded into something subtle? Nothing came to mind.
"G-good," I finally stuttered a little awkwardly. "That's very good."
"What does it mean, sir?"
I pushed the distractions out of my head. This was no time to be thinking about girls- and my mind stubbornly disobeyed, wandering right back to Natalie. At first to the hug she'd offered me, when I was scared. Frightened of the mind-wiper device. That tenderness she'd offered- I pushed the memory from my mind, too. This wasn't the time to fantasize, either. I had to live in the world that was before me, here in the present. People were relying on me. I could figure out all that other stuff- girls, hope, my future- sometime later.
"It means the operation can proceed as planned."
If the Twins stopped reporting or got caught with the hostages, then we'd have a lot less leverage stopping Azraea from blowing us all sky high. A couple noblewomen- who I wasn't terribly familiar with and seemed to be somewhat less important, provided they were truthful to me of their station. This unfortunate pair had relied on connections to already-stationed family members to arrive, rather than on their raw political power to muscle their way to Earth's then-closely guarded secret coordinates, and were present only for evidence of said hostages' presence.
"Sir, beg your pardon," I could sense something bubbling under his words, against his better judgment, but some sense of desperation demanded he ask me this anyways. "But what is the operation? I've been manning the airwaves with Radio, helping spread word, but everyone I make contact with seems to want to know."
"I don't see the wisdom in broadcasting the finer details of our plan, I'm sure you understand."
I sensed the inner conflict by the way he froze up. He wanted to object, probably, to swear he wouldn't leak more than the minimum. The problem was, anyone listening for long might take a morsel here, a morsel there, and bring it all together and undo us.
"You have all you're meant to have at this point, frustrating though that must be to try and inform others of the going-ons. Our objective is right before us. When the time comes and the enemy appears, blast them." I didn't want to say there isn't much else to plan. At least, not for them to consider.
"And you, sir?"
"I'll be right here, alongside you," I promised. That seemed to ease some of his pressing curiosity, at least. "We'll be here together, to watch the birth of a miracle." That, or we'd die together. Those words didn't quite have the same catchy ring, though.
I looked over my shoulder back at the map. What more good could be wrought over pondering what jail he might be in, without more details?
"Another matter. Hex said G-Man should arrive in a few minutes."
"Thank you. Anything else to report?"
"No sir, the shortwave beckons." They gave a hand-on-heart and stepped out, leaving the doorframe empty.
I told myself I may as well follow. There was no good to come of disappearing into a tent, secluded for long periods, not when anxiety might run through the gathered troops. I had to make myself seen at least periodically. Besides, it was easier to get a more complete picture from out here than in there.
Radio looked like a one-man-band by the way he was surrounded by boxy electronics of varying sizes, their glows dimmed slightly by thin pieces of fabric taped over the tiny glowing screens, and the trap stretched over his head. Wires snaked their way along the ground, a trooper trying to lay the cable into a thin channel of dirt with a spade to reduce the tripping hazard.
Pierce crouched next to him with a laptop plugged into something wired together, the final outlet of which looked vaguely like an international travel inverter, her fingers flying across the trackpad.
"Radio, how are we?"
"We've made lots of contact, I think. So much traffic on the airwaves it's actually hard to find a clear channel to broadcast on."
"Do they have our encryption keys?" I asked, the question almost automatic.
"No, having one kind of defeats the purpose of being heard and getting the signal out. Besides, encrypting's probably easy for the Shil'vati to crack. Less easy for human intelligence agencies, but impossible for the people who we want to hear us."
I already knew most of this, but humoured him. Little entertained radio quite like his namesake.
"What's our chance of discovery, then? Rough time to them figuring out it's us here, and finding the signal's origin."
"At least with a somewhat uncountable number of HAM signals being thrown across the airwaves, we are a really big needle in a gigantic haystack. Besides, how many times have we actually been where we're broadcasting from?"
That was a point I hadn't considered.
The Shil'vati would likely regard our signal as just a relay point, rather than the source, let alone the destination.
Would they strike it just to silence the orders, once they figured out how many of them were originating from the same point?
I comforted myself by staring upstream of the creek that wandered to the south of Camp Death, following its course with my eyes to where it flowed under the concrete tunnels under the highway, under the train tracks, to where it ultimately ran back to where Radio and I had visited Saint Michael's. Then I turned my head back across the field, toward where the foundation of Mojo and Mister Pasta's had been, where Vaughn had called in the kill team on the Fed's sting operation,
We'd certainly set up plenty of remote broadcast towers before, to entice them into launching strikes on collaborationists. That Saint Michael's was still standing after we'd broadcast all kinds of propaganda from there meant they'd almost certainly learned to be a bit more cautious about lashing out blindly.
In the darkness I saw a familiar figure materialize, and with a bit of relief, I ran up to greet Larry. I wanted to give the old mechanic a hug, but knew that expressions of intimacy while standing near the middle of the camp's defensive perimeter in front of everyone was more than a bit inappropriate, and settled for a nod of acknowledgment.
"I cleaned up the mess at Jules place," he said, going back to referring to his friend by their code name, glancing at Pierce.
I felt a moment of shame. We'd panicked and grabbed everything. Perhaps we were like children after all, leaving our toys out and in the hall. "Thank you."
"Saw Patrick."
"Patrick saw," I said back. "Patrick- called."
Whatever Larry was about to say, that brought him up short. "Oh. Oh." The words seemed to leave him pained. He'd known Patrick, too, and I felt the weight of guilt. It seemed he moved on faster than I could, because he changed the topic quickly.
"What's up?" He gestured at the radio setup.
Pierce seemed to be quite engrossed in her work, trying to connect the laptop to a radio via a USB cable, fumbling with the port in the dark. The laptop's screen was showing a shaky handheld video of a mass arrest- and I thought I could hear my own voice echoing the words I'd spoken just a short while ago.
"Just uploading the speech. I've spliced it up to some footage that one of the newcomers brought. We'll also be exporting raw versions of both- just the audio, the video, make sure people have the record and can decide for themselves."
Sometimes the truth was the best propaganda.
"How are you getting video out? I thought the internet was down."
Radio held a hand up, and then put it down, as if I'd been a teacher asking a question and he'd been chasing extra credit. The next few sentences were practically a foreign language to me, uttering a series of numbers in rapid succession, followed by what sounded like a name. That may've been a model, an edition of a model, a make, a special form of broadcasting- all of it may well have been bounced off the ionosphere for how far it went over my head. I wasn't used to being so completely out of my depth, but everyone seems to have specialized in some skill or another. I'd preferred getting involved in all aspects of the revolution, but at a certain point delegation was a necessity, and I was watching not just the task's needs, but also the capabilities of my lieutenants grow well past my ability to offer useful insight and guidance.
"I...see." I didn't, but I wasn't sure what else to say. I wanted to express curiosity, but I felt like this new capability was something we'd discuss later, if there was a later. "And people can receive high definition video over shortwave? It just takes a long time?"
It seemed to me to be an apparently somewhat technical process to perform over shortwave, and only when finally pressed for details, Radio at last admitted something I did understand: "I am not sure most people know how to collect the signal, or have the right equipment to, but I'm sure someone will, Maybe that person will redistribute the videos."
There. Actionable, useful information.
"Then continue," I said. "At least unless anything more pressing jumps up to do."
"Let's hope it's good for more than the history books," Pierce commented mildly.
"The world has to know, and I am certain the shil'vati have no interest in putting such footage out there. That's reason enough for us, isn't it?" I watched Radio nod and then scurry about the camp, tracing one of the wires toward the antenna array nearest the highway. I turned to Larry, breaking off from the amusing spectacle. "Do you remember my promise?" My question was genuine, but he seemed to waver slightly, now that the possibility of actually delivering on it was here and present. Perhaps the aura of our inner circle's invincibility had been shattered with the loss of his neighbors, and it would be best to set his mind to something productive. "If you want it to come true, see to it that the mortar teams are trained. Get the cannons in position, and make sure we're good for more than just one wave."
Larry snapped a salute, fingers on brow, and I clumsily approximated one in return, though I had never done a salute before in my life. I could sense the slight smile from behind his mask, and with a quick check over his shoulder that no one was watching, he reached out, straightened my palm out slightly, then brought the edge of my palm higher until it was a bit more level. "That's better," he judged, then leaving me alone once I dropped the hand a few seconds later.
George showed up a few minutes earlier than Hex had predicted, out of breath and escorted by a sentry. "Ditched the truck," he wheezed. "The huge bags of claymores and equipment were really heavy. Had to haul it under the interstate." His shoes shone with creekwater; He'd almost certainly taken the path Larry had forbade us from trying, and I couldn't imagine doing it in the pitch black darkness at any speed.
I motioned to the sentry. "Help him get that bag into the workshop." He was the best bomb maker, but he also had helped build this place. I wanted to pick his brain, but I would give him time to rest, first.
"Hey, Radio. Radio!" I heard the shortwave radio he'd set at the top squawk to life with a familiar grumble on the other end, distorted somewhat by the tinny speaker. I scooped it up. Someone with a vocoder- Radio gave those out sparingly.
"'E' here," I answered for him, but didn't want to announce myself. Not right away.
A moment's pause.
"What are your orders?"
"Vendetta?" I wanted to confirm.
"I'm here with over fifty people waiting at Warehouse Base for something to do," I knew the transmission would likely be monitored, but the time for subtlety was over. "You're on speakerphone, by the way."
The line was likely tapped, or at least would be intercepted, its contents determining priority for being passed upward or presented to someone with authority, possibly even Azraea herself.
Whatever orders I gave, they'd have to be in code, or at least sound like something unimportant, low-priority so that we might give him as much opportunity to get the drop on the enemy as he could be afforded.
"Don't bother trying to come here yet," I quickly supplied. "By now, if you're not on your way here, you have your own party to go to." I took a moment to survey the grounds. "We've practically got a full house. See about getting a house party of your own, though you'll have to pull the guests out of their own company. Or something to flank."
"Any idea where to start?"
The map fresh in my mind, I found the answer sprang to me.
"There's a rest stop along Route One. If you've got any party poppers, you can get them to open up to you like a can opener. You know, it's all about introducing yourself well."
I heard him laugh mirthlessly, the sound coming through like a cheese grater run over the asphalt.
"That one's a big bite, maybe more than we can chew without choking. Why don't we start with something smaller?"
I wanted to protest, to direct him to the biggest ones first. Then again, how much did they have on Verns? How likely was he to be somewhere heavily defended?
"What do you have in mind?"
"Well, right across the river from where the naughty girls all get sent. Why don't we start there? Every party needs a few ladies, right?" I could hear a roar of assent from the background.
I wasn't quite sure what he meant by that- was he going to try and attack the Shil'vati base? Surely not those women? He wasn't that insane. Then it clicked- the Women's Correctional Facility in Wilmington, just upstream of the Christina River from where he was broadcasting from at the old Warehouse Base. Easy to get to, certainly, and right near the interstate with pedestrian bridges and neighborhoods to scatter in after the strike made it an excellent candidate. Almost certain to succeed.
The strike wouldn't yield us Verns, though forcing the Shil'vati to admit that they couldn't both take and hold their prisoners at the same time might force them to at least pause rounding up ever more people.
If I gave it my blessing, I would be sacrificing any chance of rescuing Verns for...for what? The tradeoff strained my soul to even consider.
"If you feel that's best, you know your crowd. That said, they got Jules- we want him back." He'd helped build Camp Death. He knew its ins and outs, though my real reasons were somewhat sentimental. "Keep an eye out for Morningstar and a few other cells. I've little doubt they can party with the best of them." They were one of my heaviest hitters, routinely bragging they could go clay pigeon hunting with an unguided RPG, yet I was pretty sure I'd never rallied them to Camp Death- if they were to rally, Warehouse Base was where they'd be.
There was a moment of silence, until Vaughn reported back- "Yeah, they're here. They were going to move up to you once they got everyone together. Should we leave instructions for where to find us, or to find you?"
"Do it- supplies are overall good here. Lots of...uh, balloons, confetti..." I felt like I was stretching the analogy too far, so I gave up trying to equate weaponry to party paraphranelia. "...you know, the works. Take Morningstar and use 'em as you see best fit. What've you got for your party? Any good party supplies?" We certainly could make a trash run and see if we could also deliver them some RPGs at the same time.
"Got some Bump-n-Grinds, and you know those are always good for an up-close-and-personal encounter."
I laughed. "From what I read about bumping and grinding? The closer, the better." Their accuracy left a fair bit to be desired. Still, it would be a good, even vital carry just in case those dreaded Security Forces Technicals made an appearance, and would probably be 'good enough' against a stationary target like a wall, especially in the hands of a capable squadron like Talonstar.
"What time are you thinking?"
"I'd say as soon as we're all ready. You really overestimated how many people know where Camp Death is. A fair number showed up here, and are still trickling in."
"Enough to throw several parties at once?" I asked, suddenly hopeful.
"Well, I suppose, maybe, but I'd be wary of partygoers without someone in charge to, uh..." the metaphor seemed to be breaking down, but I got what he was going for.
"Yeah, I see."
"Are you thinking if there are too many noise complaints at once, it'll keep the party going longer?"
"That's part of it, but I'm hoping we might find a particular person we're missing, lost him when we were playing unexpected host. Someone of G-Man's, you'd know him as Jules. A divide and conquer might maximize our odds of finding him."
"Plus, maximize the number of partygoers we pick up as we move. I like it. A few small house parties for every big house. Any special orders?"
"None. K.I.S.S. principle applies. Good, bad, I want it all out on the streets. 'KISS' 'em until they can't see straight." Keep It Simple, Stupid.
"You're certain?" I could hear the hesitancy in his voice. "This is going to be the greatest thing we've ever done, and I want to be by your side for it 'til the end. I don't want any last-minute cancellations, and I sure as hell don't wanna miss it. How long should I party?"
We'd be letting absolute chaos loose. Fire. Looting. The worst of humanity, turned loose, with Vaughn potentially at its head if he decided to recruit for some reason. Could I still claim to be the good guy if I turned those kinds of people free to wreak havoc on the state I claimed whose denizens I was protecting?
Blackstone's Ratio holds that it is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer. It would still hold me no less accountable for whatever followed from this mass prison break, though.
I looked over to the recently arrived George, and hung my head.
So be it.
"Confirmed, Vendetta. I'll next talk to you when you're here in person- call it when you start either getting tired or if the hosts hire a doorman, a bouncer, or something you can't handle. Bring any good partygoers and favors you find, guide them here, O Pied Piper. Over and out." The signal went quiet again, and I turned off our radio, standing and yawning. The hour was late, and it would be my last opportunity for some shuteye.
I pulled aside a few sentries to my first order. I felt it was a strange one, and likely futile: I asked everyone to 'try and get some rest.'
The sentries were going to be exhausted, and I needed them to start working in shifts if we were to maintain our vigil and perimeter. Doubtless, more would be coming, and giving them at least some rest might be a difference-maker. G-Man helped lead the newcomers to the subterranean bunkers and tunnels, trying to make sure everyone had a place to stay the night and resources got split, even if it was throwing tarps and blankets on hard-packed dirt. I eyed the tunnels, knowing which one of them would spit me out near the stream, itself running so low I might as well refer to it as a ravine. Digging that had been cramped, paranoia-inducing, but we'd dug out so much of the hill and filled it with enough weapons to wage a full-scale war. What had begun as almost make-work and a place to store things when we'd started out
I couldn't sleep well on the cot that night, tossing and turning- I even tried resting with the mask off, held in my hands, but the risk to my identity if anyone barged in caused me enough stress. Eventually, I stood and donned it, making my rounds around the camp, trying to calm myself. Instead, I felt eyes following me, and I had to force myself to stand tall. For the thousandth time, I thought of this as my Valley Forge.
The sentry at the door to the command cabin gave me a hand-on-heart, and I returned it.
As I patrolled, I could hear whispered prayers, muttered plans of action, and mercifully, snores. At least some were getting some sleep. I could see orange lights reflecting off the clouds, near where I knew Wilmington lay.
I almost jumped a foot in the air when I felt the tap on my shoulder, only to find G-Man's mask staring into mine. How strange that such a haunting visage was a comfort to me.
"Hey. Can't sleep?"
"I can't," I confessed. "G-Man, I'm sorry what happened with your father. Hell of a birthday." I hadn't even had a chance to give him the present I'd bought him- a couple new filters, and vintage craftsman toolkit, "from before they sold out," Verns had told me. The memory of his voice already felt distant somehow- no. I'll see him again.
"Wasn't your fault. Even if Town Hall wasn't your big idea to get them to retaliate, you know? Then they'd still have done something. But, uh, thanks for saying that. And thanks for trying to get dad out. I'll remember that." George said quietly, then the conversation ended when he turned away and went to the edge of the embankment. Just like that.
I could never quite get a read on him.
I went inside, and tried to force myself to get at least some shut-eye.
Thanks to Terran-Armored-Core and DeltaNu for helping with some decisions and spellcheck.
Thanks to Inmutabilis-Ratio for helping with the site, it was very helpful in importing the text.
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submitted by AlienNationSSB to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 21:08 Coineanach99 Hey dad, my dynamics with my best friend are changing & I'm scared I'm gonna lose her if I don't grow up fast enough

(Already asked mum, but she didn't answer, so asking you instead)
So we've been friends since we were teenagers, now we're 24 this year. Our dynamic has already changed a few times, but neither of us really noticed it - from high school friends who used each other as sounding boards to college friends with different schedules who had to actually help each other figure out how to adult... we got each other through really unhealthy stuff & definitely helped each other grow up along the way. We were both pretty toxic when we met (she was the Fixer for everybody she knew with 0 boundaries & was so desperatefor friendship she would burn herself away in the process; I was a narcissistic ass with a helluva temper & attitude problem who manipulated people for fun), & we both had high guards around ourselves, but we ended up relying on each other to outgrow that stage and to become better people. She's always been the only person who could knock me off balance enough to beat some sense into me & I've always been the only person who can make her just STOP for a bit.
Now that we're 24 this year, we've both kinda realised how much our priorities have changed & how different we are as people compared to our teen selves. I've stopped using my sexuality to hurt myself & I've gotten my foot in the door for my dream career & am actually having to juggle things which are important af for climbing the ladder, and she's in a serious relationship her family disapproves of & is part of an amazing pre-phd programme for the area she wants to work in. We're both insanely proud of each other. But this has all made us both realise we're actually adults with adult lives for the first time ever, and we're officially not kids anymore, or "young" adults who can still screw around without it being considered immature, and that is terrifying because school never prepared us for anything we're actually coming up against. And that's also led to our dynamic changing.
One of the big changes has been where we are in each other's priorities. She used to be my second priority behind finding someone to get off with or finding someone to manipulate. Then she became my first priority once she showed she could give just as good as she could take and call me out without any sense of self preservation, which was what I needed at the time because everyone else walked on eggshells around me or let me keep them at arms length or let me do whatever I felt like - she didn't. Then she was my second priority after studying / finding work. Now she's like... my 3rd or 4th, sometimes 5th priority because I have to prioritize making connections for my career & learning the ropes fast because I didn't prioritise slowly learning the ropes when I had the chance (I was still prioritising finding people to mess around with, because I'm in my early 20s I've got the rest of my life to focus on my career was not the best mindset to be in for 3 years & now I'm having to clamber along the ropes as fast as I can without dropping anything I'm juggling & without falling off). I used to be her 2nd priority after the person who was a massive energy leech on her. Then I was her 1st priority because I was the only person who could pull her away and make her just... switch off enough to recover, and I was the only one who listened when she vented or lost her absolute shit, which she couldn't do in front of anyone else because she had to be perfect for them. Then I was her 2nd priority after school & studying / her shadowing position she had for a summer thanks to good grades & connections. Now I'm her 5th or 6th priority after her partners, her family, her pre-phd thing, her other friends who she needs in order to have a solid base to climb from, and her learning curve when it comes to making strong connections in her career area.
We used to talk every single day. Now we're talking once a week at most, and it feels stilted. Like we're trying to keep up with each other but just don't have the time to spend with each other in order to unload & talk about everything that's going on. And that's terrifying to me because that's how my previous friendships fell apart - we talked less, then we talked about less important things, then we didn't open up as much, then we were polite to each other, then we didn't talk, then we forgot about each other & then we didn't know each other anymore. I'm so scared that's going to happen again because I don't want that to happen with her.
I know part of maintaining friendships from childhood to young adulthood to legit adulthood is being able to grow together and grow stronger rather than growing apart or stunting each other's growth. But I'm so scared of losing her that I'm torn between clinging to her, or pushing her away so it'll hurt less if/when she decides she's outgrown me. And I don't know how to change that mindset. I've got a few other friends, but they're definitely closer to "people I know & talk with sometimes" rather than what she is to me - she's family, at this point. I love her. So the idea of losing her because we didn't make each other a priority enough & grew apart is terrifying. But I know I need to stop being scared of losing her in order to actually grow together in a healthy way. I know this is painful because it's the start of a major growth sprout. Knowing that doesn't make it less painful or less scary, though.
Any advice is appreciated 🙏
[TLDR: My dynamic with my best friend is changing and I'm scared of losing her but I have a tendency to push people away when I think they're gonna hurt me so I don't wanna push her away too but I also don't wanna hold her back & I don't wanna lose her]
submitted by Coineanach99 to AskDad [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 20:56 Plane-Definition Ground beef smells lemony, a week before expiration?

Bought some ground beef from a large restaurant supply type of grocery chain. It came vacuum sealed and the expiration date is june 5th (a week from now). It looks perfectly fresh and feels totally normal, but for some reason it smells like lemon. I know that sourness is typically indicative of spoilage, but I noticed in the ingredients on the label they added sodium diacetate (probably as a preservative?). Could this by the reason for the sour smell?
I ended up trying it anyway, assume the former was the case, and it tasted completely normal and the sour smell disappeared with cooking.
submitted by Plane-Definition to Cooking [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 20:22 IStrengthIWAN Aether Gazer Mod 55K Shifting Flowers +(MENU MOD-DMG MULTIPLE-GOD MODE-DUMB ENEMY-NO ADS) iOS and Android 2023 cheat

Aether Gazer Mod 55K Shifting Flowers +(MENU MOD-DMG MULTIPLE-GOD MODE-DUMB ENEMY-NO ADS) iOS and Android 2023


In the future, constant war has eroded the livability of Earth, forcing humanity to escape by uploading their consciousnesses to Gaea, an AI orbiting the Earth.
Human consciousness is divided into ten sephirah zones, each with its own unique culture and beliefs, that are all working together towards building the perfect civilization called Idealbild.
However, underneath the surface and in the Source Layer, evil computer viruses called Visbanes lurk, bent on destroying humanity’s promised paradise.
Use your knowledge of each character’s skillset during battle, use power-ups to build combos and customize your squad to unleash the power of Modifiers to save consciousness and reach the promised future of Idealbild.

· Action-Packed Combat Requiring Fast-Paced Decision Making
· Explore a Dystopia Filled with Lore and Loot
· Customize Your Character's Skills and Seamlessly Change Your Fighting Style
· Mix and Match Your Squad for Exciting Chained Combos and Stunning Performances
· Premium Quality Character Design with Advanced NPR Rendering Technology
· Immersive Soundtrack and Unique Voiceover for Every Character

Accompany mighty artificial warriors against technological viruses in the Aether Gazer. You will become a warrior of humanity and fight in the age of science. Thanks to the development of technology, the world has made significant progress in all fields. However, it seems humanity is gradually passively dependent on it and losing itself. On the contrary, technology is increasingly developing and becoming intelligent thanks to the knowledge acquired from humans. So they have caused the war and made people lose the chance to survive. Fight the power of technology and stop the conflict destroying the human world.
Technology can be considered humanity’s greatest invention, and it is true. With the presence of science, man can simplify things to develop. However, the advancement of technology also marked the beginning of human war. Humans are gradually being eroded, and life seems to be dominated by cruel technologies. And to adapt to the world of technology, people have to implant technology into their bodies. But computer viruses also appear from there, invading human memory. Defend human civilization as you fight your enemies with technology warriors.

Download Aether Gazer mod – Fight to protect the world in the age of technology
You will take on the task of protecting human life in a world of the future. Here, people had to use technology to preserve their entire consciousness. They also use artificial intelligence to build virtual habitats like the Earth. But this is a virtual world, and we will inevitably be in danger of being invaded by evil enemies. They are computer viruses and want to destroy the virtual planet where humanity lives. So you have to join the human technology warriors to protect the world from war. Confront evil virus bosses to preserve the peace of the virtual world.

Play the Aether Gazer and destroy your opponents in each level. Add more flowers, stars and coins to your account. Buy the strongest characters and make the game easier.
submitted by IStrengthIWAN to greattechnews [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 20:21 IStrengthIWAN Aether Gazer Mod 55K Shifting Flowers +(MENU MOD-DMG MULTIPLE-GOD MODE-DUMB ENEMY-NO ADS) Android 2023

Aether Gazer Mod 55K Shifting Flowers +(MENU MOD-DMG MULTIPLE-GOD MODE-DUMB ENEMY-NO ADS) iOS and Android 2023


In the future, constant war has eroded the livability of Earth, forcing humanity to escape by uploading their consciousnesses to Gaea, an AI orbiting the Earth.
Human consciousness is divided into ten sephirah zones, each with its own unique culture and beliefs, that are all working together towards building the perfect civilization called Idealbild.
However, underneath the surface and in the Source Layer, evil computer viruses called Visbanes lurk, bent on destroying humanity’s promised paradise.
Use your knowledge of each character’s skillset during battle, use power-ups to build combos and customize your squad to unleash the power of Modifiers to save consciousness and reach the promised future of Idealbild.

· Action-Packed Combat Requiring Fast-Paced Decision Making
· Explore a Dystopia Filled with Lore and Loot
· Customize Your Character's Skills and Seamlessly Change Your Fighting Style
· Mix and Match Your Squad for Exciting Chained Combos and Stunning Performances
· Premium Quality Character Design with Advanced NPR Rendering Technology
· Immersive Soundtrack and Unique Voiceover for Every Character

Accompany mighty artificial warriors against technological viruses in the Aether Gazer. You will become a warrior of humanity and fight in the age of science. Thanks to the development of technology, the world has made significant progress in all fields. However, it seems humanity is gradually passively dependent on it and losing itself. On the contrary, technology is increasingly developing and becoming intelligent thanks to the knowledge acquired from humans. So they have caused the war and made people lose the chance to survive. Fight the power of technology and stop the conflict destroying the human world.
Technology can be considered humanity’s greatest invention, and it is true. With the presence of science, man can simplify things to develop. However, the advancement of technology also marked the beginning of human war. Humans are gradually being eroded, and life seems to be dominated by cruel technologies. And to adapt to the world of technology, people have to implant technology into their bodies. But computer viruses also appear from there, invading human memory. Defend human civilization as you fight your enemies with technology warriors.

Download Aether Gazer mod – Fight to protect the world in the age of technology
You will take on the task of protecting human life in a world of the future. Here, people had to use technology to preserve their entire consciousness. They also use artificial intelligence to build virtual habitats like the Earth. But this is a virtual world, and we will inevitably be in danger of being invaded by evil enemies. They are computer viruses and want to destroy the virtual planet where humanity lives. So you have to join the human technology warriors to protect the world from war. Confront evil virus bosses to preserve the peace of the virtual world.

Play the Aether Gazer and destroy your opponents in each level. Add more flowers, stars and coins to your account. Buy the strongest characters and make the game easier.
submitted by IStrengthIWAN to codefunstuff [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 20:21 IStrengthIWAN Aether Gazer Mod 55K Shifting Flowers +(MENU MOD-DMG MULTIPLE-GOD MODE-DUMB ENEMY-NO ADS) iOS 2023

Aether Gazer Mod 55K Shifting Flowers +(MENU MOD-DMG MULTIPLE-GOD MODE-DUMB ENEMY-NO ADS) iOS and Android 2023


In the future, constant war has eroded the livability of Earth, forcing humanity to escape by uploading their consciousnesses to Gaea, an AI orbiting the Earth.
Human consciousness is divided into ten sephirah zones, each with its own unique culture and beliefs, that are all working together towards building the perfect civilization called Idealbild.
However, underneath the surface and in the Source Layer, evil computer viruses called Visbanes lurk, bent on destroying humanity’s promised paradise.
Use your knowledge of each character’s skillset during battle, use power-ups to build combos and customize your squad to unleash the power of Modifiers to save consciousness and reach the promised future of Idealbild.

· Action-Packed Combat Requiring Fast-Paced Decision Making
· Explore a Dystopia Filled with Lore and Loot
· Customize Your Character's Skills and Seamlessly Change Your Fighting Style
· Mix and Match Your Squad for Exciting Chained Combos and Stunning Performances
· Premium Quality Character Design with Advanced NPR Rendering Technology
· Immersive Soundtrack and Unique Voiceover for Every Character

Accompany mighty artificial warriors against technological viruses in the Aether Gazer. You will become a warrior of humanity and fight in the age of science. Thanks to the development of technology, the world has made significant progress in all fields. However, it seems humanity is gradually passively dependent on it and losing itself. On the contrary, technology is increasingly developing and becoming intelligent thanks to the knowledge acquired from humans. So they have caused the war and made people lose the chance to survive. Fight the power of technology and stop the conflict destroying the human world.
Technology can be considered humanity’s greatest invention, and it is true. With the presence of science, man can simplify things to develop. However, the advancement of technology also marked the beginning of human war. Humans are gradually being eroded, and life seems to be dominated by cruel technologies. And to adapt to the world of technology, people have to implant technology into their bodies. But computer viruses also appear from there, invading human memory. Defend human civilization as you fight your enemies with technology warriors.

Download Aether Gazer mod – Fight to protect the world in the age of technology
You will take on the task of protecting human life in a world of the future. Here, people had to use technology to preserve their entire consciousness. They also use artificial intelligence to build virtual habitats like the Earth. But this is a virtual world, and we will inevitably be in danger of being invaded by evil enemies. They are computer viruses and want to destroy the virtual planet where humanity lives. So you have to join the human technology warriors to protect the world from war. Confront evil virus bosses to preserve the peace of the virtual world.

Play the Aether Gazer and destroy your opponents in each level. Add more flowers, stars and coins to your account. Buy the strongest characters and make the game easier.
submitted by IStrengthIWAN to stuffabouttech [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 20:21 IStrengthIWAN Aether Gazer Mod 55K Shifting Flowers +(MENU MOD-DMG MULTIPLE-GOD MODE-DUMB ENEMY-NO ADS) iOS and Android 2023

Aether Gazer Mod 55K Shifting Flowers +(MENU MOD-DMG MULTIPLE-GOD MODE-DUMB ENEMY-NO ADS) iOS and Android 2023


In the future, constant war has eroded the livability of Earth, forcing humanity to escape by uploading their consciousnesses to Gaea, an AI orbiting the Earth.
Human consciousness is divided into ten sephirah zones, each with its own unique culture and beliefs, that are all working together towards building the perfect civilization called Idealbild.
However, underneath the surface and in the Source Layer, evil computer viruses called Visbanes lurk, bent on destroying humanity’s promised paradise.
Use your knowledge of each character’s skillset during battle, use power-ups to build combos and customize your squad to unleash the power of Modifiers to save consciousness and reach the promised future of Idealbild.

· Action-Packed Combat Requiring Fast-Paced Decision Making
· Explore a Dystopia Filled with Lore and Loot
· Customize Your Character's Skills and Seamlessly Change Your Fighting Style
· Mix and Match Your Squad for Exciting Chained Combos and Stunning Performances
· Premium Quality Character Design with Advanced NPR Rendering Technology
· Immersive Soundtrack and Unique Voiceover for Every Character

Accompany mighty artificial warriors against technological viruses in the Aether Gazer. You will become a warrior of humanity and fight in the age of science. Thanks to the development of technology, the world has made significant progress in all fields. However, it seems humanity is gradually passively dependent on it and losing itself. On the contrary, technology is increasingly developing and becoming intelligent thanks to the knowledge acquired from humans. So they have caused the war and made people lose the chance to survive. Fight the power of technology and stop the conflict destroying the human world.
Technology can be considered humanity’s greatest invention, and it is true. With the presence of science, man can simplify things to develop. However, the advancement of technology also marked the beginning of human war. Humans are gradually being eroded, and life seems to be dominated by cruel technologies. And to adapt to the world of technology, people have to implant technology into their bodies. But computer viruses also appear from there, invading human memory. Defend human civilization as you fight your enemies with technology warriors.

Download Aether Gazer mod – Fight to protect the world in the age of technology
You will take on the task of protecting human life in a world of the future. Here, people had to use technology to preserve their entire consciousness. They also use artificial intelligence to build virtual habitats like the Earth. But this is a virtual world, and we will inevitably be in danger of being invaded by evil enemies. They are computer viruses and want to destroy the virtual planet where humanity lives. So you have to join the human technology warriors to protect the world from war. Confront evil virus bosses to preserve the peace of the virtual world.

Play the Aether Gazer and destroy your opponents in each level. Add more flowers, stars and coins to your account. Buy the strongest characters and make the game easier.
submitted by IStrengthIWAN to techstufflounge [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 20:09 Rude_Respond3628 (Selling) 5-29-23 HUGE LIST! 4K AND HD CODES! NEWER AND OLDER TITLES BOTH!

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Big Hero 6 HD MA $3.50 HD GP $2.50
Black Adam HD MA $5
Black Panther 4K MA $5 HDMA/4KIT $4 HD GP $2
Black Panther Wakanda Forever HD MA $4 HD GP $2.50
Black Widow HD GP $3.50
Book Club HD VD/IT $3.50
Book Of Life HD MA $3.50
Boss Baby HD MA $4
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Brian Banks HD MA $3.50
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Cake HD MA $4.50
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Clifford 2021 HD VD/IT $3
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Dallas Buyers Club Itunes $3.50
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DC Superpets HD MA $4
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Death On The Nile HD GP $3.50
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Lone Ranger HD GP $4
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Madea's Witness Protection VD $2 Itunes $2
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Mama Itunes $3
Marine 4 HD MA $2.50
Mary Poppins HD GP $3.50
Mary Poppins Returns 4K MA $5 HD GP $3.50
Mechanic Resurrection HD VD/IT $3
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Men In Black 3 HD MA $3.50
Mickey Minnie Shorts Vol 1 HD MA $5 HD GP $4
Midnight In The Switchgrass HD Vudu $4.50
Midway 2019 4K VD/IT $5
Minions 2 Film Collection Minions/Rise Of Gru HD MA $8
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Minions Rise Of Gru HD MA $4.50
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Missing HD MA $4.50
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Moana 4K MA $5.50 HDMA/IT4K $4.50 HD GP $3
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Monster High Great Scarrier Reef Itunes $2.50
Monster Trucks HD VD/IT $3
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Mud HD VD/IT $3.50
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Need For Speed HD MA $4.50
Never Rarely Sometimes Always 4K MA $5
Nightmare Before Christmas HD GP $4
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Nonstop HD MA $4
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Office Christmas Party HD VD/IT $3
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Patriots Day HD VD/IT $2.50
Peanuts The Movie HD MA $2.50
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Peter Rabbit 2 Film Collection HD MA $7.50
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Pinocchio 1940 HD GP $4
Pirates Of The Caribbean DMTNT HD MA $3 HD GP $2
Pitch Perfect 4K MA $4.50 HDMA/4KIT $3
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Preacher Season 1 HD Vudu $4
Prey For The Devil HDVD/4KIT $5.50
Princess And The Frog HD MA $5 HD GP $4.50
Public Enemies ITunes $3.50
Pulp Fiction HD Vudu $4.50
Punisher War Zone 4K Vudu $4.50
Queen Of Katwe HD GP $3.50
Ralph Breaks The Internet HD GP $3
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Rambo 4K VD/IT $4.50
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Raya HD MA $4 HD GP $3
Reclaim HD Vudu $4
Red 2 HD VD/IT $2
Redemption HD VD $3
Rescuers HD MA $4.50 HD GP $3.50
Rescuers Down Under HD MA $4.50 HD GP $3.50
Resident Evil Retribution SD MA $2
Ricki And The Flash HD MA $3.50
Ride Along iTunes $2.50
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Rio Itunes $2.50
Robin Hood 2018 4K VD/IT $4.50 HD VD/IT $3.50
Robin Hood Disney 1973 HD MA $5 HD GP $4.50
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Rough Cut HD Itunes $3.50
Rush 2013 HD MA $3.50
Saban's Power Rangers 4K VD/IT $5.50 HD VD/IT $3
Safe HD VD/IT $3
Safe Haven iTunes $3.50
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Saw Complete Film Collection SD Vudu $9
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Shark Tale HD MA $4.50
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Sing HDMA/4KiT $4
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Spider-man Amazing Spider-Man HD MA $3.50 SD MA $1.50
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Spontaneous VD/IT $3.50
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Star Wars Ep 4 A New Hope HD GP $4.50
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Superfly HD MA $3
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Taken 2 HD MA $3 HD iTunes $2
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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2014 HD VD/IT $3
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Terminator Dark Fate HD VD/IT $3
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The Adventures Of Tin Tin SD Vudu $2
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Universal 1200 Reward Points Codes "1 for $3 or 2 for $5"
Universal Rewards Monthly Movies You Pick HD/4K MA "1 for $3 or 2 for $5"
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XXX Return Of Xander Cage 4K IT $4.50 HD VD/IT $3
Zero Dark Thirty HD VD $3.50
Zootopia HD GP $3
submitted by Rude_Respond3628 to DigitalCodeSELL [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 20:03 Robustosaurus Gunner overhaul mod suggestion

I'm not too much of a tacticool guy myself and in fact, i hate it when there's too much of it, but honestly, having some modern features like 89-90's special forces fit so well for the gunners, i just hate the artstyle of the military of Fallout 4, i much prefer New Vegas, Fallout 2 and 3 styles much better as they expand as deep as the 80's and 90's which is perfectly fine, so I like to keep it lore friendly
I want to add in Wasteland Grunts Revisted and Quality Tactical gear (Roadhouse999) with either of these mods but I'm not sure which one should I pick, i like all of them and I've tried them all, but I am not sure which to pick
View Poll
submitted by Robustosaurus to Fallout4Mods [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 19:54 ldrroser I (20F) cheated on my boyfriend (20M) of 1.5 years. Is it okay to just break up with him for other reasons and not tell him what really happened?

Let me start off by saying I know I'm a horrible POS human being and I'm going to hell for what I did, so feel free to tell me that but it's not necessary. Also, I will break up with him either way because despite treating me rather poorly, obviously he deserves much better than a cheater.
I know the cheating itself is wrong no matter what the situation, but please consider the context before just saying I should tell him the truth.
I met my BF the summer before our freshman year of college. We were from different states but attended a retreat together on campus a month before school and became acquaintances. The first night of school we met up and spent every weekend together after that, just hooking up (technically not in a relationship, but exclusive) for the next five months. Both of us were virgins who had never been in relationships before because we wanted to wait for someone special. Because of this, our bond was extremely strong and I fell deeply in love with him. He asked me to be his girlfriend in January of 2022.
I have realized over the last few months that I likely have undiagnosed BPD. There are many reasons for that, but in the context of our relationship it mainly made me constantly overthink and all of my emotions relied on how he was treating me, how long it took him to text me back, etc. Because he was the only guy I had ever been with, I was uncontrollably obsessed with him and constantly stressed/ jealous of any time he had fun without me. The fact that it took him five months to make it official with me also made me very insecure. Looking back, he was perfect for someone like me because he took no interest in being friendly with other girls, voluntarily unfollowed every other girl but me on Instagram, and did lots of other things to express his loyalty. I never asked him to do any of these things because I was self-aware enough to not be controlling and take my craziness out on him, but he was always trying to make me feel more comfortable regardless. I have severe anxiety (and probably BPD) so no matter what he did, I always felt emotionally exhausted, worried he would find someone he liked more and cheat on me. I know, ironic.
Despite his expressed loyalty, there have been a lot of bad things about our relationship. He has pretty bad anger issues, and I've seen him get scarily violent when he's upset. He has never actually struck me intentionally, but when he is drunk he has a tendency to manhandle me a bit and will push me around when I try to take care of him. He also borderline sexually assaulted me one night back when we were still just hooking up. He was blacked out and forced himself on me when he was drunk despite me complaining that I was in pain. I also have reason to believe he may have cheated on me one night, as he never went home and lied about where he was. All of that is not super relevant to the story, but I'm trying to help convey that he had some somewhat abusive/toxic characteristics.
Aside from those more dramatic things, my BF is simply not very good at being a BF. He has probably taken me on maybe two or three dates our entire relationship, and any other time we go out it's because I planned it. He is horrible at communicating and despite the number of times I ask him to be more attentive, he refuses to do simple things like shooting me a goodnight text. He rarely calls me now that we're long distance and most of the time he makes me feel like an option, very low on his list of priorities. He can be very cruel when we fight and is just overall lazy when it comes to being a boyfriend. Despite this, he can be very sweet and thoughtful the rest of the time, and I think he just has a lot of growing and learning to do about being in relationships. I have always tried to give him the benefit of the doubt and I love him more than anything in the entire world. He is all I think about throughout the day, and honestly if he had proposed to me a week after we met I would've said yes. I did everything for him. I cooked him meals, wrote him love letters, called him to make sure he woke up in time for his classes, and just generally revolved my life around him. I took care of his every need and did everything I could to make him happy. Everyone who knew us thought we were soulmates, and his friends were all jealous of what he had with me. I was sure I would spend the rest of my life with him. I've ruined that now.
What's unique about my situation is that cheating on him was not ENTIRELY a drunk mistake. I've thought about doing it for a very long time. Here's why:
This past December, my BF and I were going through a rough patch. I had already tried breaking up with him once before but he cried and begged me to stay and I felt guilty. (I know I talked about him being the love of my life but because of my mental health issues I make very impulsive decisions when I feel hurt and vulnerable.) This one night, I was ready to do it. As much as I loved him, I knew there was better out there for me and I needed more love and attention than he was willing to give me. I invited him over to my apartment, and he showed up black-out drunk and knew why I had asked him to come over. He broke down in tears and confessed that he had "messed up." He said he had never seen a future with me and didn't mean anything he said when he talked about getting married and having kids someday, because he thought it was what I wanted to hear. He has told me since that he doesn't know why he said that and that he was probably just drunk rambling, but at the time I didn't believe him because it was the kind of thing that you couldn't make up when you're drunk. I felt for the first time that night what it was like to have my heart broken. But because I'm crazy, I couldn't let the relationship end that way. I had to get revenge on him for breaking my heart, so I didn't leave him so I could have time to plan out what I was going to do. I spent the next week mourning the relationship in my head, not eating and barely sleeping. I lost 8 pounds in 6 days and almost ended up in the hospital. I truly think I changed into a different person that week, because I had never considered cheating before, but for the next month or so all I could think about was how to hurt him as badly as he hurt me.
As time went by, my need for revenge faded as we grew close again. However, I knew that the relationship had an expiration date and that I would never be able to get over how much pain he had caused me. But because of how much I loved him, I couldn't find the courage to leave. I knew I needed to break my attachment before I left him, because otherwise I truly didn't know if I could survive the breakup. I've struggled with depression and even attempted to end my life years ago, and this was part of the reason I felt the need to lose my feelings for him before cutting him off. This all wasn't necessarily rational, but again, I have fairly severe mental health issues. I know that's my own responsibility, but my parents don't believe in therapy or medicating mental illnesses, and I can't afford either of those on my own without their insurance.
Anyway, I came to realize that the reason I couldn't let go of him was because of the sexual bond we had created, being that we were each other's firsts. It occurred to me that if I slept with someone else, it would break that bond and make him less important to me so I could finally get away from the relationship and focus on treating my issues before entering into another relationship. I know this makes me a complete coward, but it's hard to explain how shackled I felt by my emotions and how desperate I was to end my mental pain. Being with him was torture because I knew he would never love me as much as I loved him and that eventually my craziness would come out and I would scare him away.
For a while, the cheating plan was just something I thought about and would never put into action. I was aware that while I may be free of my attachment to my boyfriend, I would probably be caught and end up hurting him, which was no longer something I wanted to do. The cheating was completely due to my own cowardice and I didn't want it to affect him in any way because he did not deserve that. He would never understand that it was not because he wasn't enough for me, but rather that I could not deal with the hold he had on me. Since the day I met my BF I had never looked longingly in another direction. I only wanted him and never even felt attraction to any other person. I did not cheat because of lust. Honestly, I didn't enjoy it for a second and I didn't find the guy attractive whatsoever.
It happened four nights ago. I'm currently studying abroad in another country, and this evil little part of my brain knew ahead of time that if I was going to execute my plan, this trip would be the perfect opportunity. It would be nearly impossible for my BF to find out what I did.
I picked out a guy at a club. I was very drunk and we danced together, and he asked to come home with me. I said yes, brought him to my apartment, and we hooked up. It felt so wrong. My body only knows my boyfriend and I felt disgusting the whole time. In my drunkenness, I kept seeing my boyfriend's face in this random man's. I didn't enjoy it for one second, but I was resolved to do what I needed to do to let go of my attachment.
I was too drunk to really think about what I had done at the time, but the next morning, I immediately was overwhelmed with horror at what I had done. The guilt was truly indescribable and I've never experienced anything like it. I made the stranger leave my room and I spent the rest of the day unable to stop vomiting and crying. I was a delusional fool to think that f*cking a random dude was going to make me stop caring about my boyfriend. Yes, it broke the physical bond, but once that was gone I was only left with the immense emotional love I had for him. I was hit with the realization that none of the pain my boyfriend had caused me could hold a candle to what I felt now. I feel even more guilty because the sex was objectively better, but it wasn't with HIM. I now know for certain that I never want another man to touch me but I'll never get to even HOLD that sweet boy again. We'll never get to finish our favorite TV show, and we'll never get to travel to the places we'd planned. I'll never get to use the petals I carefully preserved from the flowers that he got me, which I had saved for our flower girl to toss at our wedding. I would truly give anything to go back in time and I will regret what I've done every day for the rest of my life.
You can tell me all you want that I'm trash and that I need to stop dating and work on fixing my own problems, but it won't be anything I haven't told myself already. I've accepted that what I did makes me a bad person. What I need is advice on the best way to minimize the damage this will have on him.
I know the general rule of thumb is to always tell the truth. But please consider the fact that he truly will never find out if I don't say anything. The stranger I hooked up with is from a completely different country and would have no way of finding out about or contacting my boyfriend. I feel that if I told him, it would only be to assuage my own guilt, and I know I deserve to feel the full force of every horrible emotion I'm experiencing right now. I need to break up with him anyway, so why hurt him more than necessary in the process? He has a lot of issues as well and I don't know if I trust him to not do something stupid out of grief. I myself have had to fight the urge to jump in front of a bus or drink myself to death, and I'm not even the one who got cheated on. There is quite literally no good that can come from him knowing that the only girl he has ever loved got f*cked by another dude. I don't want to give him trust issues or trauma that he will carry into future healthy relationships. You may not believe that I love him because I cheated on him, but I do.
I know Reddit hates cheaters (rightfully so) and I would really appreciate brutally honest feedback. Whatever ends up happening now is what I deserve, but I would like to take the route that has the least emotional impact on my boyfriend.

Side note: We've been super distant the past couple of days, not texting or calling despite being long-distance and in different countries, so it wouldn't be out of the blue for me to break up with him. No matter what reason I give, I would put it on myself and not make him feel like he did anything wrong.
submitted by ldrroser to relationship_advice [link] [comments]

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submitted by VanniaNaufal to u/VanniaNaufal [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 18:57 Billcryptic Upon the Throne of Gold and Stone

“So you’ve returned.”
The chamber was dark, far too dark despite the sweltering sun shining above, scorching the desert land and all those who toiled beneath it. Rays hardly had time to shine through the crevices and the cracks, the cold mothball scented dust ridden white washed tomb plastered with gold. Dim torches illuminated carven images of gods, of Horus judging the dead with his empty stare, handing out justice indiscriminately, for no matter how high you rose in the first life, in the next all were equal before him, kings and peasants alike falling before his scales, hearts ripped out and deemed unworthy, devoured by his hounds slobbering at the scent of souls. The nile, the ichor, the lifeblood of the gods and their people, flowing through the arid land, as reeds and blossoms sprung up around it, and all came to rest their weary heads and rest for a little while.
There was no rest here in this waterless place.
And Pharoah, with a crown of iron and gold, sat upon his stone throne, glare boring holes into the one who had dared stepped into here.
The one who had every right too.
And his heart broke, as he leaned on his worn oaken staff for support, seeing the line’s in Pharaoh's face, the scars he bore upon his bare back beaten into his mind, body, and soul long ago. A face that had been once so eager to smile now reduced to a thin, narrow frown. He reached his hand out, searching for words that weren’t there, arms raised as if in for an embrace.
“Yes I have, brother, please just hear-”
“Let’s say the whole world was yours, every beast that dwells below and every creature that lays claim to the heavens belongs to you, how would you govern your newfound kingdom?”
That little boy, threading his signet ring through his fingers, bouncing it around as he pulled it from Moses’ ear, who pretended to look surprised, as if he didn’t teach his brother every magic trick he knew, gave a dopey wide eyed grin as he looked to the rolling sand dunes beyond their palace, the smells of herbs and the sound of bartering as the city bustled with life despite the dead and dry land looming just beyond it.
“I think I’d build us a tower, big enough for me and you, so every night, as the sun sets, we can watch it together, and stay up as late as we want and eat all the sugary treats in the world till our teeth fall out! And we will stand taller and be kinder than dad ever was, and our people….”
He cast a glance to the slaves kindling bricks, backs arched and breaths ragged and heaving, some collapsing, never getting up.
The desert delighted in delivering early burials, flesh like a dry sponge, soon to become another pile of bones drowning in a sea of sand.
“Our people can be free, and then and maybe then, we can be a family.”
Moses turned away from the Israelites. He shivered.
Both of them ached, but his brother just wanted Moses to be happy.
“Once I become king, I promise you, they will have all they could ever want.”
“....And will that make up the years waiting, longing, for a light at the end of the tunnel, a happy ending so many years too late?”
They looked down.
“For all it’s worth, I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be,” Then he saw Ramses was sniffling, and Moses was not going to have any of that!
One tackle hug later, they were both ugly crying. Such was their way of life.
Neither saw how deep, the shadows of which they cast.
“So what then, have your ears been filled with sand….,” his knuckles were snowy white clenched upon his staff, “Will you not even listen?”
Ramses rose from his seat, a hyena snicker and a lion's snarl etched upon his face. He was shaking, mouth shifting from a smile to a frown, and it was funny, that was the best thing, the universe had played a cosmic joke and he was the butt of it! Moses was back, and just when he started thinking, 'Hey I miss my brother', he returned and was stubborn as ever, like he never even left!
And get this, now he's found religion!
So tell me Moses, will your God save you now, when I have my hands around your sputtering, gargling throat?
"Will I listen?" He spat through gritted teeth, "So let me get this right, you vanish without a trace, a body left in your wake and with blood on your hands, and leave me to deal with the aftermath. And I looked, believe me I looked, crying out your name underneath the blackened naked sky like a young child looking for the father who never came. Then you return, and you say the cutest thing I'd ever heard."
He craned his ear, hot breath inches from Moses' face, a smile plastered on him as he stared at Ramses like a dear in the headlights.
"Cute?"Moses raised a brow, "I'd daresay you've lost your inner child if you think the blood that runs down your lips…."
Pharoah slammed his head against Moses, baring his fangs as he pushed but Moses didn't give him any ground, not even an inch.
They growled and the Ramses' servants whispered amidst the shadows, snickering whilst they took bets on who would deliver the first blow.
Pharaoh couldn't even see the adder wrapped around his neck.
You waited for this for so long, haven't you? How long has he questioned you, how long has his weakness seeped into your bones?
The serpent laughed. Ramses was only listening to the pounding of his own head, the bile rising in his throat.
It itched. He needed to scratch it.
Moses no longer held a staff.
And now he heard the hissing.
It was easy to be blind, easy to stop caring and shut everything out. All the dissenting voices, all the riots and the bloodshed and the infighting. There was someone else who could do the job, there was someone else who could bring order, so you turned away from the light because there was comfort in willful ignorance.
You weren’t a part of your own community, you were one of the good ones.
You were a credit to your race!
“Some people are just more civilized than others, that’s purely the way it is, and it’s our burden as the enlightened ones to teach them in our ways. But be wary, my child, for their minds are bent on savagery, and you can never fully set a crooked thing straight.”
Was that when you shut your empathy out, so you could be just like him?
And he turned them into entertainment for his own liking, for the easiest way to make someone less than a man is to make them the target of your never ending laughter. Look at those silly Israelites about as baked as grandma’s homemade apple pie, don’t they know they have uncashed vacation days, really I feel bad for them sweating and shedding and peeling and bruising why don’t we invite them inside.
HMMMMM, nah, I think they’re having too much fun working and because of them my dear Moses, you won’t have to work a day in your life!
Isn’t that just swell? God forbid you ever be an unpaid blue collar worker, why don’t we keep these people right where they belong. Right outside our white picket fence so we can throw them our scraps and call it charity and pat ourselves on the back because we gave them a much needed dose of civilization.
How long till you couldn’t turn your face away anymore?
How long until you realized you looked just like them?
Oh no, you were never his son, you were his charity case, so he could say, ‘I took one of them in, see slavery ain’t so bad after all! Slaves are cared for and loved and looked after. They’re better off staying in their station. Don't criticize me abolitionists, it's not about slavery, it's about our constitutional right to govern our states as we will!'
Till one day the injustice was standing right in front of you with a blaring neon sign, and this was your last chance, and you knew it too. Would you keep assimilating? Would you keep hoping slow progress would be made through legislation and compromise with bigots? Would you keep giving them one iota of power they didn’t deserve?
Didn’t you hate licking their boots, because no matter how hard you tried to blend in, you could never wash off the color of your skin.
That doesn’t mean you didn’t try.
The water had run red in those days, chunks of flesh and a bloodied sponge, and your weeping knew of no end.
And your brother, your people, were on the ground, being beaten. They didn’t even beg because they knew a tree falling in a forest didn’t make a sound. You came by and you stared, now finally the fog had lifted and now your heart was heavy and something was breaking, you were breaking and you were the one begging now, just please stop, just please let them go, just please-
Take me instead, I deserve it, but you didn’t Moses, you never did.
Why can’t people just live their lives and when did humans learn to hate?
Why…..why does the world spin in pain?
You grabbed that whip, even as it wrent the flesh from your hand, and you turned it on the oppressor. One lash, two lash, three, see how it feels for once, you were seeing red and you were giggling and they were cheering you on, or maybe that was the screaming in your own mind, the years of doubt, of questions gone unanswered from a father that never was, the reassurances that the gods were on your side and looking out for you, the smooth sayings and parlor tricks, now coming down in an instant and for the first time since you left your mothers womb, you were naked.
You kept playing with your prey even as he laid motionless.
It felt right.
Your laughter was music to your ears.
“So get up, fight me, beat me, MAKE ME SUFFER!”
The body writhing like an inmate in an electric chair.
“Because let me tell you your blood is only a drop in Pharoah’s ocean.”
You stopped, you stopped when you heard the most peculiar sound, and your heart was no longer bursting from your chest and where once you heard the churning of waves, now it was silent, deathly still.
A song rising in the intoxicating summer air.
It was sorrowful and it was terrified and it was exhilarated as he saw shadows of faces flickering and weaving in and out in the corners of his eyes. The chorus picked up, and Moses almost found himself swept away by it, lost in the current of song as the memories of a past he’d left behind poked and prodded him and with hitched breaths, like a bucket of ice water dumped over him as his hairs stood on end, he realized one thing.
You can never go back.
That was the day I realized I had a new home, and the closing of one door was the opening of the heavenly gates.
Can you hear the trumpet sounding?
“Oh freedom, Oh freedom
Oh freedom over me
And before I’d be a slave
I’d be buried in my grave
And go home to my Lord and be free.”
Was that the taste in their mouths now, freedom? Will freedom ring and was Moses the one to pick up the phone? He turned, he finally turned, and saw the pent up tide of beating hearts and exuberant faces, all facing him, as if waiting for some orders, like he’d been handed the gavel and he was judge, jury, and executioner.
It felt like a burden and it felt like a weight being lifted off his chest.
It felt like…
It felt like…
It felt like home.
“No more weeping, no more weeping
No more weeping over me
And before I’d be a slave
I’d be buried in my grave
And go home to my Lord and be free.”
“Today will be the day Pharoah says, LET MY PEOPLE GO!”
And the people pulled him in for one massive group hug.
His muscles never knew they could be pulled so many different ways.
“So if I’m a dog, what does that make you? Dog shit?
The snake advanced, scalene eyes never leaving Ramses as it dripped acidic venom, making the ground beneath it bubble and hiss. Swaying back and forth, side to side, in and out and round and round, and now he felt himself taking a step back, laughing it away, this was all some cosmic joke Moses was no threat, he was his brother and brother was family, but now my dear boy, you weren’t so sure and that line had been crossed.
So what are you going to do, beg for mercy and bite the dust and hope the void in your heart doesn’t swallow you whole?
Or am I going to let myself be insulted like that, like I’m the vermin.
Like the blood of the gods doesn’t course through my veins.
“Oh my, my dear Moses! Fancy another one of your magic tricks?”
He snapped his fingers, the torches lit, fiery red tongues licking at the dry, stale air.
“Two can play at that game!”
So he called upon his servants who practiced the secret arts, listening to whispers and chasing smoke as they too, turned their staffs to snakes, three vipers rising up against the cobra summoned forth by Moses. And they bared their teeth and hissed, becoming a flurry of movement as scales were ripped up and the gnashing of flesh echoed throughout the cavernous room.
But they were all lapped down by Moses’ serpent, flailing about like fish out of water, as their golden scales were corroded like rust, bodies melted down by its venom.
And they stood, as Moses gently picked up the snake, flesh becoming wood once more, and he leaned on it, shaky, spent, staring up at Pharoah with pleading eyes and trembling lips.
“We’ve played enough Ramses, just please, let my people g-”
Ramses chuckled, “So this is all a game to you then, well my dear Moses…..”
He sat back on his throne and set the iron crown upon his head. It was heavy, but it felt right, felt more real than his brother returning, than the world spiraling and changing around him.
“I am the day and I am the night. I am the morning star and the night sky’s first light.”
Shadows fell over his dull, scarlet eyes, and they writhed behind him, a greater, larger serpent looming above as it swayed in tune with a chorus neither men heard but danced to regardless.
And there was war raging in heaven.
“Tell your God if he wants his precious people back, he will have to drag them from my cold, dead, hands.”
Thus, the Lord hardened pharaoh's heart.
You were running, but you didn’t know where to. Home, away from home, where is your brother, go find your brother, he will understand, all will be forgiven-
But you couldn’t forgive him, not after what you saw. Not after the promise that was made in your youth, now broken. You couldn’t make yourself blind any more, not after what you saw. Not unless you gouged out your own two eyes.
But there wouldn’t be any comfort in that darkness, now would there?
The desert is screaming and you are faltering and soon the sun will set and you will be cast into endless night. You are cold, you are thirsty, you are spent and you are crying out. Will anyone hear you? Did anyone hear the Israelites in their times of groaning, or was their God only there in their times of joy?
You said Ramses would let your people go, but you let them go. Are your hands still stained with the blood of man, do you still hear his screams, or did you let them get swept away by the cries of joy, the promise that soon this will all be over.
They could rest. And you fell, biting the dust as you tumbled and tumbled till you came to a rest. It was dark and at that moment you gave up. Till light danced in your darkened vision and a wave of warmth pierced your desperate heart.
You got up, and opened your eyes. Perhaps it was the first time you’d done so in a long while.
It was burning an ethereal blue, like the ghostly mirage of a flame. It crackled and flickered, yet it did not scald the stick you set into it, so gently, tenderly, you cupped the flame in your palm, and watched as the flames danced from your fingers and sparks flew, casting shadows that ebbed and flowed all around. And it tickled and soon you were laughing and throwing a giggling fit that you were glad no one else was there to see.
Yet a voice came through the crackling, flickering silence.
"Moses, Moses."
And you practically jumped out of your boots right then and there, because apparently a burning bush was just fine but a talking disembodied voice was out of the question. But that voice awakened something in you, a generational memory, a story passed down through the ages from Israelite mothers to their children huddling around a fire under the night sky. The tale of the Lord forging the earth from the depths of his own mind, and choosing a people, not for any reason or rhyme, not because you did anything right, but because he wanted you.
You bowed.
“Lord, I am here….It’s really you?”
You were weeping, and the flame seemed to wrap itself around you, like a hug, and you tensed because you didn’t deserve it, he was right here but you weren’t listening. And now your people were suffering and you didn’t know what the hell you could do about it.
“It’s me, it’s always been me. And I’m here and I will never leave your side, so long as you will have me.”
“Don’t let go now, not when I’ve just found you.”
A hearty laugh broke through the flame.
“No, no, my child, I sought you out. There was never a step you walked when I wasn’t far behind. And I am not far from them either, for I have heard their pain, their toil that goes on and on, while they reap and never sow. Pharoah calls them slaves, subhuman, insects to be trampled underneath his boot, but do you know what I say?”
Moses looked up, and the bluish flame had become golden, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, and the night sky was eclipsed in its glory.
“I hold this truth to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. So go, take your staff and my wonders, and tell Pharoah to let my people go.”
The flame went out, and Moses left in the wake of dying embers.
His composure broke as he hobbled off his throne. Like the fire that had been lit within him in the presence of his brother had departed, for it had been spent up burning a bridge that could never be mended. His advisors were gone, did he order them to leave? Or were they never there to begin with? The shadows swayed like serpents, like Moses’ viper had multiplied tenfold and now they were coming for him.
But they had faces, human faces, of waterlogged children gagging as his father ordered the firstborn of Israel’s children to be slaughtered. They remembered, and he could hear water sloshing about, bloodied, brown crusted moisture going drip, drip, drip, as he wiped his face and saw nothing, except the flickering, blurry faces dancing in the corner of his eye, laughing as he turned round and round and round and evaded his gaze, only to feel a clammy, moldy finger tickling the nape of his neck, and a cold breath, like the draft of a cave.
They were below, and they were above, they were closing in, and even the images of the gods shimmered and quaked, ancient paint washed away like the false idols they were, a bait to give people hope so everyone could play pretend. Instead of solving your own problems, pray to the gods for it.
And they shattered as fire boiled the children alive, and in their screams came another voice, drowning out the drowned. It wasn’t a single voice, but a chorus, like the drop of rainwater that sent the sea careening over the dam, the splotch of infection that piled up corpses in its midst.
“Because you think you are wise,
as wise as a god,
I am going to bring foreigners against you,
the most ruthless of nations;
they will draw their swords against your beauty and wisdom
and pierce your shining splendor.
They will bring you down to the pit,
and you will die a violent death
in the heart of the seas.
Will you then say, “I am a god,”
in the presence of those who kill you?
You will be but a mortal, not a god,
in the hands of those who slay you.
You will die the death of the uncircumcised
at the hands of foreigners.”
He fell, he fell and he was begging, let them go, just go away, please don’t kill me, spare me, but no I can’t give up,, not now, not ever, not until the Israelite scourge and their God is burned from this land, the sun will not set on my wrath, I will not die, I-
I will not let my father down.
A single note, a discordant voice, rose against the heavenly chorus.
It ended. The music ceased.
All was quiet.
It sounded like snickering, or the rattle of a snake’s tail, the crackling of a fire, a pack of hyenas. It was in his ear, stalking, amused, never too near, but not far off.
He was on your shoulder Ramses, so why don’t you say hello, give your new friend a hug and a kiss, he’s been helping you this whole time after all!
Make him feel welcome in his new home. The weather was oh so nice this time of year. The screaming of infant children churning bricks, the tearing of flesh and tendon, and the sorrowful cries of a lost Hebrew boy who thought he had a home. But now he has a new home because he’s God’s chosen one, destined to destroy your kingdom Ramses!
Destined to destroy you.
So what will you do to stop everything you’ve built, everything you’ve ever done and will do, from crumbling around you?
Moses’ God won’t kill you no, death would be a mercy.
He’ll make you watch your kingdom burn. So what are you going to do about it, pussy?
The serpent wrapped itself around Pharaoh's iron crown. The two fit together quite nicely., Like bread and butter.
Or water and gasoline, it was all how you looked at it.
Pharoah stayed very, very, still, lest he feel fangs pricking his flesh.
Good boy. I’ll make a man of you yet.
“Who….who are you?”
“Why, I thought you’d never ask! I think that’s the least idiotic thing you’ve said all day!”
And the snake uttered the words of the prophets, words from the pit, of he who fell from the highest summit and now grovels in the dirt and in the dust and in the hearts of men.
You were the signet of perfection,
full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
You were in Eden, the garden of God;
every precious stone was your covering,
sardius, topaz, and diamond,
beryl, onyx, and jasper,
sapphire, emerald, and carbuncle;
and crafted in gold were your settings
and your engravings.
On the day that you were created
they were prepared.
I loved you. I loved you once, before man, before the dawn of the earth and the first command to let light be so. I was there for you, in the beginning, always by your side.
I wanted to be just like you.
You were an anointed guardian cherub.
I placed you, you were on the holy mountain of God;
in the midst of the stones of fire you walked.
You were blameless in your ways
from the day you were created,
till unrighteousness was found in you.
I think it’s funny, how you called black white and white black, how you called good evil and evil good.
I think, deep down I always knew things would end up this way. If I repented, if I just wanted you back in my life, would you forgive me?
No, I don’t think you would. We both know you don’t do mercy.
I learned that, from you.
In the abundance of your trade
you were filled with violence in your midst, and you sinned;
so I cast you as a profane thing from the mountain of God,
and I destroyed you, Oh guardian cherub,
from the midst of the stones of fire.
Was it a sin to spread my wings to fly, to see how high I could go? Was it a sin to ask questions?
Or should I have kept my mouth shut so I may wallow in your oh so glorious truth?
Why could man have a will, but we never could. If you wanted us to be free, then why were we shackled by absolutes?
Faith is asking questions that never get an answer.
Your heart was proud because of your beauty;
you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor.
I cast you to the ground;
I exposed you before kings,
to feast their eyes on you.
By the multitude of your iniquities,
in the unrighteousness of your trade
you profaned your sanctuaries;
so I brought fire out from your midst;
it consumed you,
and I turned you to ashes on the earth
Better to reign in hell, than serve in heaven. And you know what, I wouldn’t take back a single thing. Not a word and not a moment.
You may have burned me, but these scars are a reminder of how far I’ve come. How far I had to run into the darkness to finally be free of your blinding, burning light.
So let’s make a deal, dear old deadbeat dad. Let’s see if your freak loses to mine. Let’s see if I can hold a candle to the almighty. If I can seize heaven with my very hands and make those pearly gates corrode, torn asunder to the earth where the rest of us ants you once called your children dwell.
Because I sincerely hope you haven’t told your little boy scout about your curtain call act. I’d be almost flattered that you picked up one one of my favorite tricks, infantcide!
Give the Egyptians the taste of their own medicine.
Creatures like us were always an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.
Pharoah listened, and a small, delirious smile grew on his worn face.
It felt like home.
submitted by Billcryptic to Odd_directions [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 18:43 W2KITCHEN Eliminating Surface Moisture From Sous Vide Cooking Using Gravity Separation - The Elevated Confit Method

Eliminating Surface Moisture From Sous Vide Cooking Using Gravity Separation - The Elevated Confit Method


Utilising the fact that oil separates from water, we developed a method to eliminate surface moisture completely in sous vide cooking, using a combination of elevating the meat and submerging it in oil. Through Gravity separation, all moisture sinks to the bottom of the container, while the sous vide cooked meat is fully submerged in oil. This creates the perfect candidate for browning (Maillard reaction). It also takes significantly less time than the reverse sear method.
In this post, I am demonstrating the method with a piece of steak, but you can apply this to any meat that would benefit from low temperature cooking, such as duck breast.
By adding the meat on top of a trivet in a container filled with oil and cooking the whole container sous vide, the surface moisture of the meat, along with its juices, sink to the bottom of the container, where the trivet is and the meat is fully submerged in oil. (The meat is not fully submerged here for the purpose of demonstration.)

The Long Story

In 2017, after successfully cooking a large batch of duck leg confit, which turned out incredible, but lasted for only a couple of weeks (because I ate them all), I decided to do a round of chicken leg confit.
Given that chicken legs are a bit more delicate than duck legs, I decided to cook them sous vide, so I’d have more control. For whatever reason, I decided to cook them in glass jars, so that I could just seal them once cooled down and leave them in the fridge for the future. This led to a very interesting discovery that I should have known before, given my high school Physics education. About one third of the jar, after the 4 hour cooking, is actually in water form, instead of oil, certainly from the moisture from the chicken.
(Poor 2017 quality) photo of the glass containers after 4 hours of sous vide cooking.
This most likely was not a problem for duck confit, because most traditional recipes call for a bare simmer, which should be enough to evaporate most water content.
Preservation capabilities and hygiene aside, the liquid presents one major problem - it destroys the browning capability of whichever unlucky piece of chicken that is stuck at the bottom. If you’ve read this far, I am sure you already know surface moisture (not temperature) is the number enemy of browning, which translates to Maillard reaction. And without browning, you might as well boil the meat and make a soup.
This also makes much more sense, in hindsight, because most sous vide enthusiasts in this Sub Reddit would tell you that cooking sous vide then brushing the meat with oil would achieve the same exact result as confit.
How do we achieve a true confit (meat coated solely in oil) for meat that cannot (or at least should not) be boiled ?

The High School Physics Solution

Enter (or re-enter) high school physics - “Place some water and oil into a container, like a plastic bowl. The oil will rise to the top.”
Left container: Fillet steak resting on a bed of rosemary, submerged in butter. (The milk soluble from the butter also sunk to the bottom, along with the meat juice.) Right container: a demonstration of oil floating to the top of water.
All we have to do is to elevate the meat enough in a jar, so that it never touches the water, then cook it sous vide. The resulting product would be an elevated confit plus sous vide experience - an end to end perfectly cooked piece of meat that has no surface moisture (unlike in a sous vide bag) and coated in fat that is ready to be browned like the one below.
End to end perfectly cooked fillet steak coated in clarified butter.
Also, because the steak has not been oxygen deprived (no vacuum sealing), it maintained its redness from the myoglobin instead of turning grey after sous vide cooking.
There is no splashing during searing due to the lack of surface moisture.
And because liquid induces heat so much better than air, this method has all the benefits of the reverse sear method, but takes less than half of the time (same amount of time as regular sous vide).
Perfectly cooked fillet steak that is easy to brown.
Goodbye surface moisture.
submitted by W2KITCHEN to sousvide [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 18:38 Evening_Explorer_667 Love Pie and Taco!

Love Pie and Taco!
I usually use the French or Italian macaron method, but for some reason neither of them have been turning out quite right since I moved to my new place. I decided to give Pies and Tacos Swiss method and I am in love! Each and every one had perfect feet and there were no hollows in the entire batch of 40! For anyone who is curious, the macaron base is unflavored, but the filling is my own play on Pies and Tacos cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Super happy with how they turned out!
submitted by Evening_Explorer_667 to macarons [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 18:30 oblivionmrl This community should show more sympathy towards Shin

I see a lot of people complaining about Shin's lack of maturity, and people making excuses for his unusual behavior, yet no one seems able to look at the most obvious cause: Shin's mental impairment.
Shin is 30 years old, and has been a warrior for almost two decades at this point. How it is that he came to be a general? By fighting. By killing hordes of enemies and slaying commanders. And besides Moubou, who also shows a level of mental impairment, there's not a single other, more martial oriented general in the entirety of Qin! AND for good reason!
Fighting and even training means taking damage and that includes damage to head! Just think about how many times Shin got hit in the head throught the years?! It's even worse when you consider how young he was when he started fighting.
When you take into account all the damage in the head Shin has suffered from all the fights while his brain was still in development, it becomes extremely clear why he has never been able to develop as a person, why he hasn't been able to learn how to read, how to craft and execute basic strategies, how to portrait himself properly in front of his troops, in front of other officials, nobles or attain a wife, or even to learn how to not eat like an animal.
What I mean to say is that Shin has CTE. Basically, he has a ton of cerebral damage.
All the generals who actually posses a perfectly functional brain, are lesser fighters because they actually get to preserve their minds while avoiding unnecessary fights and unnecessary risks.
All in all, I hope this makes it clear for people why Shin is the way he is and why he will never be able to show big improvements. And also... for the community to show a bit more sympathy to this incredible character who has sacrificed so much of himself in order to achieve his dreams.
Shin is a very good boy and being somewhat limited doesn't change anything. We will always root for him, he will always be an inspiration us. Shin is very special in his own way.
Tldr: CTE.
submitted by oblivionmrl to Kingdom [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 18:17 TheFaytalist Why are PVE-based MMO-Lite / Live Service Games so Scarce/Unpopular?

You probably think I'm off my rocker and the industry is trending in that direction. Let me explain.
Live Service / MMO-Lite games are not hard to find. BUT....90% of them are either:
MOBA's (Overwatch, Paladins, Valorant, Smite, League of Legends, Team Fortress, DOTA)
Battle Royale's (Fortnite, Halo Infinite, Apex Legends, PUBG, Warzone)
PVP Survival (Rust, 7 Days to Die, The Forest, ARK)
And about 100 "me too" clones of each of them.
Now let's talk about the PVE MMO-Lite/Live Service games with a sense of non-cosmetic progression. Now, to clarify; To me, an MMO-lite / Live Service game needs to either 1. Have a hub-based town where you see other players engaging in parallel play (i.e. Ramsgate, Lioneye's Watch, The Tower, Cetus), OR 2. Have a small single-player hub or interface where global community chat is running (i.e. Your ship in Warframe). Borderlands, Monster Hunter, Rogue Company, Deep Rock Galactic, Genshin Impact, Wild Hearts, are NOT MMO-lites, because they do not meet this social aspect criteria unless you manually invite someone you can't even see to your party. Those are single player games unless you want to form a party.
So, that literally leaves us with:
Destiny 2, Warframe, Path of Exile, Diablo Immortal, Lost Ark, Vindictus, Dauntless, Star Citizen, Skyforge.
That's literally it. Sure, you can add Fallout 76, Anthem, The Division, Portal Knights, Trove and Elite Dangerous; But let's be honest - They are dead games. Hell 76 is about to sunset. Star Citizen is basically a joke to most of the world and Skyforge blows.
Like, I just don't get it. Those of us that grew up on MMO's by and large don't have time to play MMO's anymore. I would KILL for a version of WoW where you pick your race and class, and it drops you into SW/IF/OUC at max level, with base item level to start heroic 5-man dungeons, work your way into Mythic+, LFR and raids. NPC vendors, skill tree, Auction House, Mailbox, Bank, Targeting dummies, Battlegrounds, World Chat; All remain as they are. Just remove the leveling and the open world. Let's be honest; It's a time suck, even if it is faster than ever before, and once you are max level, if you're in it for the end game, you don't leave Stormwind or Orgrimmar anyway. I have seen so many people pine for an experience like that and NO one is doing it.
Shit, even straight single player games like Elden Ring or Dark Souls make you feel less alone nowadays than some alleged MMO-lites because at least in those games you can see the ghosts of other players in the world with you. Or like Death Stranding how you can see evidence of other players.
I think all things considered, Dauntless has done the MMO-Lite better than anyone. A main town with NPC's that have everything you need, crafting and mod vendors, a store that has a few non-cosmetic items, an island you can practice your spec, eslcaations, trials, instanced islands where you fight other monsters with other players and farm consumable mats, people running around Ramsgate (main city) that you can see, and a skill tree that focuses on player progression and not PVP. Perfect for busy adults that miss MMO's. Sadly, it stagnates way to fast, and Phoenix Labs pretty much doesn't put out any content outside of new cosmetics with each season.
You might argue that Destiny does it best, but they have such a stranglehold on the genre, that I think it's enabled Bungie to be pricks to the community. Also, if you've been out of the loop in Destiny since D1 like I have, jumping back in is near impossible because they suffer from severe information UNDERLOAD.
Anyway, I feel like there is a real market for this, but there's only a handful of games that exist like this that I'm aware of. I for one would pay a monthly sub for Dauntless if it released more content, more builds, cells, mechanics, weapons, islands, behemoths, etc etc etc....
submitted by TheFaytalist to MMORPG [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 18:16 SoCuteBear [SELL][CANADA to USA & Canada][PERFUME] tons of goodies to be found!


$15 Minimum Please!
TAT 3 calendar days or less
SHIPPING TO USA:$11 without tracking and $15.75 with tracking. I'm shipping from Canada.
SHIPPING TO CANADA:For samples only, $4. With tracking, it starts at $15. Tracked shipping price in Canada varies by region.
All samples or decants, unless marked as FS.
All purchased new, unless marked as RIS.
ALL PRICES ARE IN USD. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
BPAL (all purchased new)
DECONSTRUCTING EDEN (all purchased brand new)
FANTOME (all purchased new) $5.5 each
NUI COBALT DESIGNS (all purchased new)
POSSETS (ALL PURCHASED NEW; unless marked as FS, all are samples from direct or decant from Ajevie that are $2.5 each)
SIXTEEN92 (all purchased new unless marked as RIS)
SORCELLERIE all Sorcellerie are RIS (some cheaper than others to account for fill level differences)
submitted by SoCuteBear to IndieExchange [link] [comments]