Jodie Whittaker: 'I'm immensely jealous of new Doctor Who cast'
Theory I've never seen anyone else explore: Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat is about contraception
2023.12.06 01:07 MILF_Lawyer_Esq Theory I've never seen anyone else explore: Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat is about contraception
Some quick research showed me that my initial theory isnt backed up well by history. My original idea was that the hat was a metaphor for the diaphragm, which was one of the most popular forms of contraception in America during the 40s and 50s but fell out of favor during the 60s, particularly by 1965. But based on Seinfeld I know they were still around and popular enough by the 90s for an entire episode to be dedicated to them.
But! it did occur to me that the leopard-skin *pill*-box hat works just as well for the birth control pill. I'll explore both ideas as I analyse the lyrics because I've been thinking about the diaphragm metaphor for years but the pill metaphor for all of 3 minutes. But regardless, the song, I think, well supports an analysis that points towards the leopard-skin pill-box hat being a tongue-in-cheek metaphor for contraception and sexual liberation which were becoming much more widely discussed social issues when the song was recorded in 1966.
>Well I, see you got your
>Brand new leopard-skin pill-box hat
In my reading of the song, the woman he's talking to is an ex-girlfriend who Dylan perceives as being overtly sexual since their split or a current girlfriend cheating on him.
In the first reading, after breaking up with him she's just gotten on a new form of contraception and is exploring her options as newly single woman in a sexually liberated New York City. That's why it's always referred to as her *brand new* leopard-skin pill-box hat.
The second is pretty inextricably linked to the diaphragm metaphor. In fact I think it's pretty much either ex-girlfriend and the pill or currently cheating girlfriend and diaphragm.
Some other lines I'll come to also make me consider that the woman he's singing to/about could be a hooker. But in all reality the who isnt as important as the what.
Now, why a leopard-skin pill-box hat?
Leopard-skin is easy. Leopard skin print is a fashion choice often associated with sex and promiscuity and wealth (which has always been a contributor to liberation of all kinds--poor people cant afford contraception or often the education and free time that provides somebody with more modern ideals to a degree wealthier people can--note the disconnect between the poor left and wealthier left today on social issues juxtaposed with their general agreement on economic issues). Leopard print is also often used when costuming prostitutes in movies and on TV.
The pill-box shape of the hat can be read the two ways. My initial idea was that it just *looked* quite a bit like a diaphragm. But you could also take it as being Dylan's hat choice here because pill is in the name and in 1965 America was barreling into the age of *the pill.* >Well, you must tell me, baby how your
>Head feels under somethin' like that
This is a diaphragm line to me (as opposed to the pill). I imagine a diaphragm would have to be uncomfortable. Dylan may be asking how she can stand to wear something like that inside her body just to get her kicks with other dudes. Why's is that important to you? Was I so awful?
>Honey, can I jump on it sometime?
I've never had sex with a woman wearing a diaphragm, but knowing the basics of how they work I would have to imagine you could feel it during the act. So to jump on her pill-box hat would be to bounce the head of his penis against her diaphragm. Sorry.
>Yes, I just wanna see
>If it's really that expensive kind
This line works better for the birth control reading. Maybe Dylan's jealous that his ex upgraded to the pill after making him wear a condom while they were together. Even the most gentlemanly stud who always wears a condom and never complains knows that wearing a condom sucks.
>You know it balances on your head just like a
>Mattress balances on a bottle of wine
This is a tough line. But I think you could read it as a diaphragm line, as in: it's not even that effective. It's poorly balanced and you may end up pregnant anyway. And of course mentioning a mattress and wine pushes ones mind toward bangin.
It would be intellectually dishonest of me not to point out that this line probably just doesnt apply at all even if it could somehow be proven I'm right,
>Well if you, wanna see the sun rise
>Honey, I know where
>We'll go out and see it sometime
>We'll both just sit there and stare
>Me with my belt wrapped around my head
>And you just sittin' there
>In your brand new leopard-skin pill-box hat
This verse is pretty clearly just an allusion to sex. Not sure what the belt wrapped around his head means, neither in my contraception interpretation nor in any other. Maybe this is something that would make sense to somebody who was alive at the time. Feel free to enlighten me if anybody has any ideas. I feel like I've maybe seen a movie or something where a guy puts a belt around his head while drunk. Is that something people did?
>Well, I asked the doctor if I could see you
>It's bad for your health, he said
>Yes, I disobeyed his orders
>I came to see you but I found him there instead
>You know, I don't mind him cheatin' on me, but I
>Sure wish he'd take that off his head
>Your brand new leopard-skin pill-box hat
This is the verse that really solidified it for me.
The doctor tells Dylan that he cant see the woman he's singing to because it's bad for his health. Why might a doctor, especially in the distant past of 1966, tell a young man that seeing a certain woman is bad for his health? The natural answer is that the woman is a trollop. Her being on birth control is evidence of her promiscuity and her promiscuity is directly correlated to her potential for carrying STDs.
But of course men, intelligent or no, are wont to ignore risk of pregnancy or infectious disease when we're horny and so it turns out that the doctor was lying to Bobby Boy because he wanted to keep her all to himself. That's what he means by the doctor cheating on him--the doctor tried to dupe him into staying away so he could go bang her more. This is my favorite verse because that idea is so goddamn funny to me.
This verse also is the biggest indicator to me that the song may be about a hooker rather an exgirlfriend. Dylan may have seen his doctor to get a penicillin shot after going back yet again to his favorite hooker and been warned off hookers by his doctor because there's only so much penicillin in the world. But again, that's not so much the important part.
>Well I, see you got a new boyfriend
>You know, I never seen him before
>Well, I saw you makin' love with him
>He forgot to close the garage door
>You might think he loves you for your money, but
>I know what he really loves you for
>It's your brand new leopard-skin pill-box hat
This verse points most clearly to the ex-girlfriend angle but also a good bit to the hooker angle. New boyfriend clearly screams ex. Garage door may be a nod to the hooker idea--a hooker working out of a garage on the street.
But of course the important part is the contraception metaphor, so:
The garage door may be the last, used diaphragm left behind in his cheating girlfriend's vagina or favorite lady of the night's vagina. Sorry. Gross I know. Even grosser: the garage door may be her vulva itself. Left open because she's always playing hide the saussage with other guys! Sorry.
I know what he really loves you for is a real clincher to me. She thinks he loves her for other reasons, her money perhaps (or the money he gives her so he doesnt have to go out and work for it), but what he really loves her for is the fact that she lets him hit it raw.
There you have it. Whether it's true or not it makes an already funny song even funnier to me.
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2023.12.05 18:45 foreverchasingme 4 months post op. Been in constant pain since surgery. Doctors are convinced it isn't gyno related...
A little back story on why I got my hysterectomy: I've always had terrible periods ever since I can remember. Extremely heavy bleeding and terrible cramps. Not sure when ovulation pain started but it's at least been about 4-5 years. Ovulation and period pain started getting worse over the past year so I found a new Gyno and started seeing her back in February of this year. They did a vaginal ultrasound and I was diagnosed with adenomyosis and they said I had a few fibroids. I also had 2-3 cysts on my ovaries which they said were normal follicular cysts or whatever they are called. My doctor and I decided to try an IUD to treat the pain and stop my cycle. First of all, I have to say that getting that thing inserted was by far, THE WORST, pain I've ever felt in my entire life. I almost threw up and passed out on the ride home, I was in so much pain. Over the next few days, it's like my pelvis completely locked up. I was in incredible pain and nothing I took was helping. I suffered through it for 3 weeks and my doctor finally made the decision to take it out. Had it removed and my doctor referred me to a surgeon to see about getting a hysterectomy. Met with him and he agreed to do the operation and I had my surgery on August 7th.
Everything went well during surgery and I went home the same day. Recovery was rough but it doesn't even compare to the pain I'm dealing with now.
I was only out for 1.5 weeks. My surgeon was adamant about me being able to go back to work in "a week or 2" as long as I feel OK and didn't have to lift heavy objects. I told him I don't do heavy lifting at work, just a lot of walking and going up and down stairs and getting in and out of semi trucks (I work at a truck dealership). Going through all the posts in this subreddit, I feel like I shouldn't have gone back to work that early. Most people are written out of work for 6-8 weeks. I've wondered if I screwed up my recovery by not taking enough time to heal.
Long story short, I've been in pain ever since. Mainly lower right abdominal pain and pain all across my lower back. I've gone to the ER twice, had 2 CT scans and probably 3-4 vaginal ultrasounds. CT scans were all normal. Everytime I'd get a vaginal ultrasound, they would tell me I had multiple "follicular" cysts on my ovaries. They told me these were ovulation cysts and were nothing to be concerned about. I always wondered why I had more than one if they are ovulatory cysts...shouldn't it just be one each month?
So at this point my OB decides to put me on the Nuvaring to stop my ovulation and see if that helps the pain. In the meantime, she referred me to a GI doctor and a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist. The Nuvaring helped for the first month, the lower back pain subsided but not completely. And I was still dealing with that terrible lower right abdominal pain. I went to the GI and he said everything in my GI tract looked fine. I've gone to PT 3 times so far and it hasn't helped the pain at all.
I had to change out my Nuvaring for the first time on Friday. Saturday morning I woke up with the worst cramps, lower back and abdominal pain. It felt just like it did when I had the IUD put in. It's like my entire pelvis is locking up and just twisting. And my lower back feels like I have two metal bars shoved in it right were my ovaries are. I went to work on Monday and it was awful. I was crying on and off the entire day just trying to push through and get my work done. I came home and went to bed early. Woke up at 4 am still in immense pain and decided to call out of work. I have been passed out on pain pills ever since. Honestly they aren't even touching the pain, but they keep me knocked out. I've messaged my OB and I'm waiting to hear back from her.
I'm looking for any answers, similar experiences, possibilities, anything... I've been in pain for 10 months straight now. I'm severely depressed and I'm losing hope that I will get through this. Thank you in advanced to anyone who reads this post ❤️
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2023.12.05 16:18 darrylthedudeWayne My 6 fixes to Once Upon a Time Season 5, to make it better, and more watchable and interesting. (Spoilers and TL;DR warning).
Once Upon a Time is a show I have a weird love/hate relationship with, on the one hand, I do think the show can be a bit, much at times, as well as go alittle to off the wall for it's own good, but at the same time, I also think there is some genuinely good aspects to it, the concept (especially for the first season) think is really good, and I do think it has the right idea in trying to take risk and do more unorthodox things as the series went along...well, that and S1, S4, and S3A are the only two and a half seasons that I think are genuinely good. But It is flawed, and while i'll admit, I've only started rewatching the series, and haven't fully finished S6 and 7 yet, I can safely say my least favorite season so far is S5.
Not only is the first half extremely freaking awful and stupid, with god knows how many plot holes, turning cool characters from Arthurian legend, like Merlin and King Arthur into a neutered puppy and Whiny Asshole respectfully (granted I don't mind the idea of King Arthur being evil and power hungry in concept, but come on! Do better then how you did) and don't even get me started with how they not only wasted the concept of Emma as the Dark one, and also the inclusion of Merida being confusing beyond believe, at least with Anna and Elsa, not only did it make sense, because was Frozen released around that time and was extremely popular, but also i'd argue Anna and Elsa were actually integrated well into the story well, while Merida wasn't and she and her movie were never even that popular or good to justify being there. Like, seriously? not to mention you could've cut out the entirety of S5A and nothing would be changed.
But also S5B wasn't that better, Hades was a joke of a character and villain, the entire plot of going to save Hook and help souls get into Olympus ended feeling extremely pointless, and the ending honestly didn't feel that interesting, and the setup for S6 wasn't that interesting either, not to mention in hindsight, the introduction of Dr.Jeykll/Mr.Hyde and the land of Untold stories was entirely pointless. Not to mention, this is where the writing really started to fall apart, with a lot of filler that didn't need to be there, and you can tell the show was starting to loose some steam. However, it didn't need to be this way, because after S4, I genuinely felt like they finally found there groove so to speak.
So for this rewrite, I want to improve certain aspects of S5. Not the whole thing, because that will take all day, and I honestly don't have the time to do that, but I will make 6 key changes, that I think would make S5 alot more watchable, actually justify the first half's existence, actually utilizes the Dark Emma concept to it's fullest, give a better ending to the season, use any other character besides Merida, and overall just make for a better season. So, without further ado, let's begin.
- Have Emma ACTUALLY Go Dark and Break Bad: So one of my bigger problems with S5 is that they never fully committed to the idea of Emma as the Dark one. It seemed like they would at first, in fact, I thought for sure they were going to do a clever reverse of S1's dynamic between her and Regina. Where in S1, Emma was the hero while Regina was the villain, here, the rolls would be flipped, Emma is the villain, while Regina is the hero. But they didn't fully commit to that, instead, Emma was more of an anti-hero, trying to stop the Dark ones of the past from invading the real world and removing the darkness from her, while also making sure nobody remembers what happened, especially Hook, who became a second Dark one. In my version however, Emma, will fully give into the darkness. We can still her doing what she is doing because she believes it to be the right thing to do, but it would be exactly that, it's only what she thinks is the right thing to do. In case, she wants to find a way to resurrect Hook. In my version, when they return to to Storybrooke, six weeks later, Hook won't be present, and it will be sort of a mystery, did Hook die? is he still in Camelot? Of course we learn the truth, he isn't, he died, and Emma is trying to bring her back, and we could see, much like with Doctor Strange in Episode 4 of What If, we see her go darker and more destructive as a result, this can also be why she's trying to repair Excalibur, she wants to use it's power to resurrect her lover. As for why she removed everyone else's memories? In the end it would be revealed she made deal with a god named Dimashi, if she repairs Excalibur for him, he will bring back Hook, it works, but in doing so, turns out, Dimashi was actually Hades the whole time, and he takes all of Storybrooke, included Arthur and the Camelot residents with him to the Underworld, leaving Emma and Hook both alone, and her quest to save him, all for nothing, as Hook, now horrified, wants nothing to do with her, and endgames himself, it be a lot like the ending to Infinity War actually, ending S5A on a low note, giving a justified reason for it to exists, almost making it a tragedy, however, it wouldn't be all doom and gloom, as she would fix her mistakes, and head down to the Underworld, to save everyone, and redeem herself, which she does in the eyes of her friends and family.
- Swap out Merida, with Mordred: So, I think instead having Merida, we should've had Mordred, for one, it make more sense, since he is actually tied to Arthurian legend, being Arthur's bastard son and all, or in this case, Daughter, but it also fit the theme of looks being deceiving, a lot better, and I think you could have a lot more fun with a character like this. yes, some stuff would have to be changed obvious, like you can't have Gold fighting a bear, so instead it have to be Mordred as a Dragon or something, Mordred with belle's help save her friends instead of her brothers, and even the whole episode involving Merida would have to be changed drastically, focusing on his origins, his confrontation with his father, the death of his mother, etc. and as for the present day story...well, before I get into that, I have two questions for you all, Can you give me one more day? and also, Does the cold bother you anyways?
- Anna and Elsa Return: Since we are using Mordred instead of Merida, we can't just have Arthur and Zelena going to go find a mythical crown in...wherever Merida came from, so instead they have to go elsewhere, in this case, they set sail for Arrendelle. Yep, Anna and Elsa are back this season...seriously, it is extremely weird that Anna and Elsa just disappear after S4, not even a single mention either. Not as weird as in the case of Red Riding Hood, but at least Red Riding Hood got as a follow up, justifying why she was gone, but Anna and Elsa never did, not to mention they were one of the better elements of season 4. So yeah, for this, we would have them appear in the Mordred centric episode, helping her, Mulan, and Red Riding Hood. As for what Arthur and Zelena want, it would basically be something that Morgana considered using to turn the tide of the battle against Arthur, but she didn't use it, deciding to through it into the river, where it drifted to the docks of Arrendelle. Now what could this item be? Idk, maybe Elsa's crown, maybe a Staff or a Small cube of some kind, doesn't matte. It can really be any type of McGuffin. The point is would be an excuse to return to Arrendelle. Also, as for how Mordred meets Mulan and Red, well, Mulan can be Mordred's trainer, like in flashbacks, but as for Red, maybe she helps Mulan deal with Werewolf sightings in Arrendelle, and it turns out to be Red. Also, i'd have sparks fly between Mordred and Elsa.
- Make Arthur and Hades ACTUALLY villainous, and make Merlin actually useful: for one, i'd make King Arthur aesthetically closer to how he was in Transformers: The Last Knight (Which, funny enough, I think the actor who plays King Arthur in the show, also played him in the Last Knight) and less like the Ren's fair cosplay he had, but I'd also act less like a whiny punk B, and more like a Tywin Lannister type, more Manipulative, more quiet and cut throat, and doesn't make it obvious, he's the villain, or at least better, then how he did in the actual season. I'd also have Hades be portrayed more closer to how he was in Greek mythology (as well as played by Anthony Hopkins) and less like a copy of his film counterpart, he would also be more of schemer and manipulator, he'd be sort of an evil version of Odin from the MCU meets a PG-13 version Hannibal Lector from Silence of the Lambs. You could even have King Arthur get a hold of Excalibur, and become the newer Dark One, leading to an epic climax between him, Emma, and Gold. A Battle of the Dark ones, if you will. I also would remove the relationship between Hades and Zelena...like, no, just, just don't have it. And finally, for Merlin, the only change i'd make, is that I wouldn't have him being taken out in the most pathetic way possible. That, and also don't have him meet Emma when she was a kid, at least have them meet after Emma left Ingrid.
- ACTUALLY show them helping people get to Olympus, and more of Hercules: This one speaks for itself. I think.
- The Ending: The Ending I think needed to be changed, immensely. For starters, Robin Hood doesn't die, instead, Zelena does. But also, Hades still dies, but it's less him being dumb, and more him being smart, but the heroes being smarter. Which I think would make his defeat more satisfying and poetic. Despite Hades doing everything in his power to win, in the end, it led to his own downfall. Now as for the two part finale itself, it remains mostly the same, are changes however, are is that i'd play more into the land of Unknown Stories being a mishmash of many stories, not just fantasy and Steampunk, but also western, sci-fi, romance, Noir,....80's Dark Fantasy/Sci-fi, etc. You know, fully embrace it being a place for people whose stories remain untold. We also learn, however, that no one is allowed to leave, as it is ruled by a tyrannical dictator by the name of Alucard and his Dark Council. During Snow, Charming, Mordred (yes, she is here), Hook, Robin, and Jekyll's, they meet with the resistance, led by Van Helsing (played by Pierce Brosnan) and a mysterious woman named Shira (Totally NOT Jasmine, I swear.......), turns out, Dr. Jeykll, unbeknownist to Hyde, is an informant for the Resistance and has been helping them get info whenever he has a chance to leave the Asylum (though it's revealed Hyde knew about this, but let him do it for his own agenda), we also learn Elsa, Mulan, and Kristoff are here as Anna was captured and taken to this land, along with Arrendelle which was shrunken into a Snow Globe (think the city of Kandor from DC Comics), and she and Kristoff are here to help the resistance in order to save her sister and Kingdom. Besides, she always wanted to go...Into the Unknown. Snow and co. want to stay and help, but they need to find a way home, and so, they continue on their way. However, after they return home thanks to Henry getting everyone to make a wish in New York...yeah, it gets weird, and they all return to Storybrooke, they realize that they were selfish for leaving the Land of Untold Stories, and not helping, and decide to return to help them,Regina, Emma and Henry decide to tag along, with Aurora and Philip (who we also havent seen in a while, so mine as well bring them back now) be left in charge while gone along with Granny and Grumpy. They use one of the beans to travel to the land of Untold Stories. The season would end with two scenes, Gold meeting with Hyde like in the actual season, and a tease of the villains of next season.....Dracula, and his Dark Council, consisting of Scar, Jafar, Frollo, Yzma, King Tut, and Baron Vladimir Harkonnen. Giving a perfect setup for S6.
So there you have it, it's still not flawless, but I think with these 6 changes, I think it makes the season more interesting and a lot more watchable. a better use of Dark Emma, and more interesting dynamic with Mordred, a better setup for S6, and overall just much better chess pieces at play here. yeah, i didn't go into much detail. But first of all, most of the stuff I didn't mention is stuff I wouldn't change, secondly, it's 1:12 am as I am writing this and I'm tired as all hell, what more do you want from me, and thirdly, I still think these are satisfying changes that I think would make for a genuinely better follow up to Season 4.
TL;DR: Utilizing Dark Emma more and actually having her give into the darkness, use Mordred instead of Merida, have Anna and Elsa involved in the season more and have them appear in the Mordred centric episode and at the end for the Land of Untold Stories, have King Arthur and Hades be better written villain and have Merlins death be less pathetic, and have him meet Young Emma after she left Ingrid, and finally give a better setup with the Land of Untold Stories be a Dictatorship under the rule of Dracula and his Dark Council consisting of Jafar, King Tut, Scar, Frollo, Yzma, and the Baron from Dune. The Resistance led by Van Helsing and not Jasmine trying to overthrow them, and the heroes deciding to return and help them rather then leave them on there own, oh, and actually fully utilizing the Land of Untold stories by having it be a proper blend of different genres.
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2023.12.05 02:53 OverWims I've done some maths and I think it's time for David to go.
Edit: For some reason people keep thinking I "hate" the show or David Tennant. That is absolutely not the case. I just thought I'd share what I figured out is all. Don't just assume someone hates something because they find something bad about it. We all have the ability to critique stuff (as evident by all the comments doing it to me below). So why can't I do the same? It seems a bit hypocritical to me.
Now don't get me wrong, I love David Tennant and I love the 10th Doctor but after doing some maths and realising just how involved he is with NuWho, it's time the show spent some time without him.
Out of the 9 incarnations of the Doctor from NuWho/2005 onwards (including 15/Ncuti Gatwa but not including all the Timeless Child incarnations), only 3 haven't regenerated to or from David Tennant.
9/Christopher Eccleston regenerated to David Tennant.
10 (S2-S4 Version)/David Tennant regenerated to David Tennant.
10 (Specials/DOTD Version)/David Tennant regenerated from David Tennant.
11/Matt Smith regenerated from David Tennant.
13/Jodie Whittaker regenerated to David Tennant.
15/Ncuti Gatwa will presumably regenerate from David Tennant (will edit after "The Giggle" has aired)
Only WaJohn Hurt, 12/Peter Capaldi and 14/David Tennant didn't regenerate to or from David Tennant.
So basically, David Tennant is way more of an impactful figure in NuWho than people realise and, as much as I love 10 and David Tennant as an actor, it's time for him to go. Having him be "around" off-screen while 15 is around also is just a terrible idea and as others have said will really undermine Ncuti's Doctor immensely.
Also before people say anything:
I didn't include the Timeless Children incarnations as I wanted to limit it to main/prominent incarnations. In my mind, this would mean any incarnation that we saw for at least 2 episodes. War was in "The Name of the Doctor" at the end so he was technically in 2 episodes.
I didn't include the Ruth/Fugitive Doctor because we have no clue who she regenerated from or into. For all we know, she could've had 10's face beforehand or afterwards and 10 got a repeat face when he became 10 but had no idea. Anything is possible with Doctor Who.
I also didn't include the second 13th Doctor that came after the Master separately because 13 came back and then was injured quite soon afterwards which then led to her regeneration into 14/David Tennant. If it was a completely different regeneration/body then technically she'd still be within the first 15 hours of her regeneration cycle like 10 was when his hand was cut off and she would just heal/rejuvenate. Considering that didn't happen I think it's safe to assume it's meant to be the same 13th Doctor and not a new incarnation with the same face.
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2023.12.05 01:16 Logic_Sandwich JoJo's Bizarre OC Tournament #7: R1M19 - Stacatto vs Vasant Bulsara
The results are in for Match 17. The winner is…
The third time Minali looked up, and all desiring not to agitate her, nothing moved within her vision.
Gioia Arancini stood in front of SPW-11465, and though her body was small, and marked with heat and frost, her spirit was a shining tower. The Creature could only look up at ⎡Love Kills⎦, its feet paperized to the floor.
“What’s the matter, friend? Go on, then, look away, run
away. You won’t be welcomed here if you do, but if you can’t stand firm, you can’t grow.” Every second felt like eternity.
“Go on, last chance. I can see you trembling. As soon as I can act, if you’re still in my face… You will not be the same as what came in here. That isn’t a threat, you know. It’s as certain as the light in the sky that warms us.”
The creature’s eyes darted to the jungle gym, and then to the class. It could see now that as the teacher had looked away, they had shifted their bodies to block the fight. The one who waved crouched behind the wall of people, staring at them both. The creature understood they were all children, playing. Even this Gioia. Even itself. It would not run.
“...so that’s your choice, hm? Good. I’d have hated any other way.” …ten seconds passed. “Time has begun to move again.” “ARAARAARAARAARAARAARAARAARAARAARAARAARAARAARAARAARA!!”
This time, the full fury of that gaze turned towards them. Minali strode forward, breath rattling from her mask, and echoing from those massive arms. The students leapt out to try and stop her, crying out that everything was fine, but she would not listen.
“Wh… Are you serious?! After all you were just talking, you tell my class to watch you beat something to death? I told you already, dammit, there’s no place in my fucking studio for Stands!-” “Quit being rash. Live up to what I came to meet you for, yeah? You’re more capable of it than me.”
Minali scowled, arm reeling back for a punch… before the dust cleared.
There SPW stood, its lanky, uncanny posture and uneven foliage having been reshaped entirely by a mixture of paperization, re-fusion, and simply miming the confident posture that had been staring them down.
“We got off on the wrong foot, but yours was an insult both to me and this being here… It lumbered like something not meant to move in the humanlike way it seeks to, so I fixed up its body to do it better.” She extended a hand to SPW again. “Hey, no hard feelings, yeah? Let’s do what we came here to and destress, alright? It’s not often I can make the most of a day off like this!”
As their fingers wove together, flesh and foliage, they both looked at Minali in turn.
There was no chill. Theirs was a gaze that shone like the sun.
|Category ||Winner ||Point Totals ||Comments |
|Popularity ||Gioia Arancini ||18 (6.5+1+2) - 12 (3.5+1+2) || |
|Quality ||Tie ||24 (8 8 8) - 24 (8 8 8) ||Reasoning](https://pastebin.com/Uwcuqf0G) |
|JoJolity ||Tie ||28 (9 9 10) - 28 (9 9 10) ||Reasoning |
|Conduct ||Tie ||10-10 ||Nothing to report! |
Minali stood there, every muscle tensed. That icy gaze was cracking with the pressure, sharp and jagged. Fists clenched by her side, she took one more step forward.
Gioia heaved a sigh, standing between the woman and the creature. Even burnt and bruised, she would not back down.
“Fine, yes, I get it. No need to throw us out, we were *just leaving. Come on, friend. Let’s find a more accepting studio-”
Suddenly, the tension building in Minali snapped.
Yet, there came no hostility, and no attack. Instead, she bowed. “...I screwed up again,”
the woman muttered. ”Same as before, too, dammit…”
she looked up suddenly, face flushed with embarrassment.
“I know I’ve got issues. That’s what the yoga’s for, it helps me with that pain and anger and,” she sighed, “I owe it for saving my life. This city too, it’s accepted me for who I am, and I just wanted to use what I learned and help it too.”
Those wireframe arms laced their fingers, air gently flowing in and out from its palms.
“⎡Somewhere I Belong⎦ is incomplete, I knew that as soon as it woke up. Yoga’s a lot deeper than I realized, and if I ever want to perfect my Stand, I need to learn a lot
more. I was wondering why it was taking so long to find the next limb. You showed me how I’d screwed up–I had turned away.”
She gave them both a sheepish smile.
“Well, I’m looking now. Your Stands are wonderful. The light, the craft…you have beautiful souls.”
Silence settled. Then, there was the sound of laughter.
“Pfft. Are you done?” Gioia chuckled.
Minali’s cheeks flushed again, this time with anger.
“Why the fuck is that funny!?”
“Relax, it was a good speech. But I don’t see why you’re moping. We all had fun–I saw just how much I was holding onto, and got to let go,”
At this, the creature nodded, holding itself with confidence.
“Seems like a good Yoga lesson for all of us.”
Minali blinked, and then grinned. “Right! No sense getting down, I just have to do better next time. I’m really sorry, both of you. If you’ll accept another lesson…I would be glad to have you as part of my class.”
As the students cheered, Minali extended the arms of Somewhere I Belong for her new students–new teachers–to shake. An offering of her own soul, to connect with their own. ”Friend…warms us,”
the creature nodded.
Gioia laughed once more, standing in the light of the sun.
“Couldn’t have said it better myself.” If you’re not a fan of the sun, we have a boss fight up on the harsh, cold peaks of Mount Parapollah!
...We were only children.
We found ourselves not in the warmth of the city's dusk.
But in the cold of daylight, endlessly.
This city, and its people...
Have we left that white room.
ACT THREE — Thy Love Is WRATH Scenario: Bedtown — 3:14PM
At a certain point, the lush greens and bright reds of Rakinnagarh faded, turning into shades of tan and beige, and a bright blue sky cast in smoky gray. It was as if the entire city was suddenly covered in a light shadow, like a permanent eclipse, all that escaped was the bright light of the moon that always seemed to shine through the smog. Vibrant grass turned to dull countryside, jungles to weedy hills, and bustling cityscapes to desolate slums.
When a shadow fell over you, you knew you were in Bedtown, Vasant had heard.
Granted, he hadn’t expected those words to wind up being so literal.
The factories outside of Bedtown surrounded it like a mighty wall, and once he had driven through the gap between the massive metal complexes, the biker was greeted to a complete and utter change in scenery. It didn’t surprise him as much as it used to - he’d made this trip many times before. Bedtown was a frequent destination for any courier worth their salt. It was No Man’s Land, a lawless zone of sorts. That wasn’t to say it was completely devoid of law enforcement. He still ran into trouble with the law every now and then. But, chances were that if something suspicious needed delivery, he’d be riding into Bedtown one way or another.
He wasn’t taking this trip for a job though, and that allowed him to relax a little. Smell the roses. The smell wasn’t that great, granted, but even these dull colors had their own charm. There was beauty in the desolation, something to admire in the lonely countryside this route had to offer. Vasant inhaled, and exhaled, and a small smile crossed his normally stern face.
He couldn’t help himself. After everything that had recently happened in the city, it felt good to relieve stress with a casual ride. Still, he couldn’t put off stressing for long, given the reason for his visit - but it was nice to unwind.
The slums of Bedtown slowly rolled over the horizon, and Vasant sighed, leaning forward on his bike. The peace of a long ride would soon come to an end. It was time to get his head into gear.
The TT Tea House was steeped with the stench of the titular beverage. It gave the air a heavy, heady feeling, rustic and warm. It fit the place’s time-earned well-worn atmosphere. A bell rung as Vasant invited himself in. He saw two of his comrades sitting at a nearby table- Gioia was the first, clad in heavy clothes–a simple disguise to hide her fame. The second was the ever-distant Honeydew Blue. Vasant found her to be an odd duck. Her large eyes, dim even in the light of the tea house, scanned over him as if to size him up. She did it every time. It reminded him of a chameleon, the very obvious movements of her peepers.
“Evening, Vasant.” Gioia said in a simple tone.
“Mm.” He replied back, preferring to save his words for when they were most needed. The floor creaked confidently strode in and sat down, his hands clasped and his expression stoic and serene. With a sigh, Vasant glanced down at the table for a moment before looking up at Gioia.
“I’ll open with the obvious question.” He said, his tone blunted. It wasn’t precisely impolite–moreso it was direct, hoping to keep the conversation grounded. He found some of his compatriots a bit eccentric (not counting Honeydew, who was a few steps beyond “quirky”), and he wanted to make sure this was done as efficiently as possible.
“What’s the angle?” he continued. “I’m all for stopping whatever threat The Middleman’s employers represent, but the only lead we have to go off of are some useless photographs and a mangled corpse. We can’t just throw punches at empty air and hope the right people just happen to walk in front of them.”
Gioia took a sip from a mug of coffee, well-prepared and steaming. It clunked against the wooden table as she set it down.
“Why not? Stand users have a “gravitational attraction” to each other.” She retorted. “Not to mention titanic egos. Experience has told me that anyone willing to use Stand power to throttle a vast swathe of innocent lives thinks they’re much smarter than they really are. Walk where “gravity” takes us, and we’ll naturally find a lead. I’m personally suspecting involvement from VULTURE- or at least, active complacency. Bedtown is their territory- one of them has probably seen something, or more likely…They knew and allowed it to happen on their turf.”
Vasant pondered his response for a moment, then gave his own reply. “I appreciate your confidence, and I don’t mean to blow off your experience…” he paused for a moment, tapping his fingers against the worn wood.
“...But I think the “Metropolis Suite”, whoever they are, represents a ‘different breed’ of Stand users. These aren’t wannabe tyrants–in the sense that they are not “wannabes”. From that point of view, they’ve already won- and they’ve been winning for a very long time. I highly doubt we’re the first group of tough young bucks- well, you lot are young- tough young bucks who’ve wanted to make a change. People care about other people, and they always have. That Suite has managed to suppress almost all of those movements in a city choked with Stand power for what has likely been decades.”
Gioia took another sip. She was about to speak further on their strategy- before a figure burst from the shadows of the tea house, tumbling through the air and landing on the back of Honeydew’s chair. They didn’t react, merely slowly looking up at the intruder. They were tall and gangly, with long hair in a sickly green shade. They had homemade makeup on, in the design of a circus clown’s- and a coat covered in frills, covered in colors, covered in shapes. It was almost an assault on the eyes, if not for the fact that you had to respect how well made the materials were.
“Good evening, gentlemen,” they rumbled, giving the party an amused look as the air went through their coat and the fabric slowly settled. The three stand users were rather unimpressed at the display, all for their own different reasons. Gioia didn’t find anything new in the sudden intrusion (except for irritation), Honeydew was generally enigmatic, and Vasant wasn’t impressed at most things as a rule.
“Only one of us here is a man,” he replied coolly, putting his clasped hands upwards in position so as to rest his chin upon them. Honeydew gave him a puzzled look, not making the connection in his remark. “But regardless… To whom do we owe the pleasure?”
“Ah~?” The figure plopped down onto the top of the chair, legs crossed. “You don’t know who I am? My, my, you lot mustn’t be from around here, then. Uhuhu.” They giggled under their breath, brushing pale hair away from perpetually closed eyes. “Hellwalker. Carolong Hellwalker. It’s a pleasure to meet you all, truly.”
“Cool name,” Gioia responded. “Mind telling us why you thought it appropriate to barge your way into the private sanctum of three Stand users?”
“I don’t recall requesting any sass,” they rumbled, never losing that confident edge. “Private sanctum? You take yourselves awfully seriously. I’m not here for much. Rather, I was hoping for a cup of tea. This is a teahouse, is it not?”
Vasant glanced between his allies, and back to Carolong.
“Aha. You all look so suspicious of me.” In the time between glances, they’d already gotten a cup of tea, which they were gently sipping. “If anything, I think I’ve got more right to be suspicious, with how you were bringing up my dearest organization.”
The three perked up at once. Gioia was the first to speak, eyebrow raised.
“You’re with VULTURE, then?”
“Indeed!” they giggled, as if this was nothing more than a pleasant introduction. “I suppose, if it were a traditional criminal organization, you could consider me a higher up. There’s no hierarchy of the sort, of course...But I pride myself on being quite the accomplished member.” The members of Evergreen were silent, no one sure quite what to ask. This was a perfect opportunity to do some interrogating, but a Stand user (with that getup, there was no way they weren’t one) who was willing to show up like this was either stupid powerful or just stupid. Figuring out which one they were was of the utmost importance.
“I’ve been wondering...” Vasant raised his voice, clasping his hands together. “I’ve met a few of you folks. Usually on unpleasant terms, I’ll admit. And you’ve always had that makeup.” He gestured to Carolong’s face.
“Juggalo,” Honeydew murmured. Gioia nodded in agreement.
“Ah, you’re wondering about that?” Carolong tittered. “Well, nowadays most organizations don’t really stick much to a theme, so I get the confusion. Truthfully... The original ‘meaning’ of this look isn’t something that can be shared willy nilly. But most members find their own meaning in the makeup. For me, for instance, I think a ‘vulture’ and a ‘clown’ are practically the same thing.”
“Hm?” Vasant normally wasn’t the type to get confused, but that was a pretty confusing thing to say.
“What is a ‘vulture’, in the first place? A scavenger. And what is a scavenger, but something that preys upon a pre-existing misfortune to feed its own desires? A clown operates under the same simple basis. They prey upon sadness, unhappiness, a lack of ‘entertainment’, and feed on that. Of course, a clown’s relationship to its surroundings is far more symbiotic in nature, but you get the idea, don’t you?”
Vasant hesitated, and nodded. Slowly.
“See? Most people look at me like I’m saying something insane, but it’s a perfectly logical and sound stateme-”
They paused as a harsh noise interrupted the speech. A musical tone, screeching and electronic, intoned from their pocket. They were getting a phone call. The clown gave a light-hearted sigh, tittering quietly as they held up a single finger, before grabbing the phone and turning away from the members of Evergreen. They were, of course, still on Honeydew’s chair throughout all of this.
They talked indistinctly into their mobile device, a cheap flip phone that would have looked more appropriate a few decades ago. There wasn’t much any of them could make out besides “penguin on our turf”, “circus tent”, and “sure thing!”
They flipped the phone shut, looking over their shoulder. “It’s been a pleasure, folks, but I must be elsewhere. Always busy, nowadays. Aha-ha.”
With that, they jumped from Honeydew’s chair and back into the shadows- back out of sight, but not out of mind.
The room was silent for a solid ten seconds, as everyone took in the encounter and processed it.
“Rude,” Gioia complained. “I’ve fought serial killers with more class… But on the plus side, I think we’ve found our lead.” She turned to Honeydew, who has remained silent up until now.
“Honeydew… Think you could do me a favor and track that one down for me?”
She stayed silent, but those wide eyes of hers said everything they needed to.
For something with no real actual hierarchy beyond taking orders from the boss, VULTURE is a remarkably well organized group, to the point of essentially being a criminal organization. One could attribute its standing to the management prowess of its boss, but rather, it was the individual respect its members carried for each other that held the system in place. The members of VULTURE, no matter how cocky or inexperienced, all knew who was weak, and who was strong. The weak listened to the strong, but the strong cared for the weak. That was the unspoken rule that held VULTURE together, and made it so difficult to effectively strike at it.
Of course, it wasn’t like they were difficult to find. In the lawless land of Bedtown, there was no need for the many gangs to stay discrete. VULTURE hideouts never really felt like hideouts, all brightly decorated with painted scrap metal in an industrial twist on circus tents. They were always bustling, with loud music blaring from worn speakers, and the constant chatter of underlings that kept up late into the night.
If you wanted to find VULTURE, you usually didn’t have to look far.
At least, that was what poor Reese MacGuffin had been told. Following the death of Paris Aco, IMPACT had started having its own concerns. Sure, they weren’t the sort of organization that normally investigated crimes. But put that many Stand users in the same building, and they were bound to get involved when something truly heinous had gone down.
Reese wasn’t planning on a full raid, or anything. This was a surveillance run, and an opportunity to take the penguin for a walk–show lil’ Staccato the sights! Apparently, the penguin hadn’t spent much time in Bedtown, and Konan had insisted there was beauty to be found within.
The graffiti–which seemed to cover every other building–had occupied the penguin for a while. Staccato had even left a few of his own tags here and there. It was charming, and it was a good cover for what Reese was really there for.
Of course, he didn’t expect to turn around and find Staccato simply Not There anymore.
This is how his last thirty minutes had turned from a search for VULTURE hideouts to a search for a penguin who clearly had more important things to do than ‘be found’. At the end of it all, Reese fell to his knees, hands curled in his hair.
“Where’d you go, Staccato?”
A loud crash rang out in the distance. Reese perked up. Surely... Surely he hadn’t...
He absolutely had.
Staccato watched triumphantly as another VULTURE goon sailed into a nearby wall. The closest thing to a confident smirk that a penguin could have was plastered on his face. He had to respect the look of the place, and the look of the people in it (clown makeup was cool, he noted to himself), but that was where the gentoo’s respect ended.
They tried to pick him up and toss him out when he came in! What, was he supposed to be pleased about that?!
“Listen, man, we’re sorry!” another goon attempted to reason, backing away. “We didn’t mean ya any disrespect! C’mon!”
Staccato considered a cool response, but shook his head. This guy wasn’t worth tapping something out. His stand reeled back for another sweeping punch, to knock a few more goons away like bowling pins, but a pair of footsteps at the front door stopped him.
The penguin had been somewhat unfamiliar with the concept of a ‘Stand user’, and still hadn’t learned much more since. But, despite his sentience, Staccato was an animal. He retained an animal’s instincts. Animals could tell who was ‘strong’. This was how they stayed alive; that instinctual knowledge of who they stood a chance against and who they didn’t.
Right now, Staccato’s instincts made it very clear. The looming figure clad in a kaleidoscope of colors, pale green hair fluttering in the breeze, was strong.
“Greetings!” The figure waved, donning a signature cheshire grin. “I wasn’t sure if they were being serious when they said it was a penguin. I suppose that’s the benefit of a city like this, hmm? You meet all types.”
They bowed, in an overly theatrical manner.
“My name is Carolong Hellwalker. Could I have yours?”
Staccato hesitated, and began tapping.
“Ah! Staccato! A lovely name.” Carolong tittered, clasping their hands behind their back and stepping forwards. “It’s very rare that I’m able to understand someone who speaks a different language so fluently. Commendable! Though it truly is a shame that I’ll be escorting you out...”
Staccato moved into a fighting stance, and Carolong laughed in response. This guy was too cocky! He wasn’t one to get annoyed easily, but the way this clown carried themselves, the way they laughed everything off, and the way they backed it up with an aura of sheer strength... it was immensely frustrating.
A breeze drafted through, and Staccato bristled. Carolong had stopped talking, still in the same pose, waiting. Smiling. As if goading the penguin on, teasing him to come forth- before ducking out of the way just in time to avoid a flying motorcycle to the back of the head.
Vasant landed with a thump, skidding to a stop next to the gentoo.
“Wow! I wasn’t expecting that!” Carolong sprung back up, rubbing the back of their head. “I thought you’d follow me, but I didn’t think it’d be that fast. You’re good!”
“And you’re awfully good at not being followed.” Vasant cracked his knuckles, but the sound of frantic tapping dragged his attention away. There was...a penguin, standing next to him. He’d never seen one of those before. He nodded in acknowledgement.
“Well then. I don’t suppose you’ve come here to have... A Stand battle?” The two could hear the excitement in Carolong’s voice. This guy really wanted to do a Stand battle.
“Not particularly.” Vasant didn’t care for that much enthusiasm. “I have some questions I’d like to ask you, regarding your organization.”
“In that case, I suppose we’re having a Stand battle.” Vasant leaned forward on his bike. Staccato’s stand manifested, combat ready. Carolong... Didn’t do a thing, still standing in that same pose. It was off-putting.
“Mr... Penguin,” he whispered, still not taking his eyes off Carolong.
Staccato tapped out a response as subtly as it could.
“Staccato, yes. As you can see, this...person, is clearly expecting us to attack. Judging from their willingness to go in the line of fire, it’s clear that their Stand ability...will only activate if we attack them. We can’t rush in.”
Staccato nodded. That was probably true.
“What’re ya whispering about?” Carolong grinned. “What, you guys need a plan for lil’ old me? I’m just a little guy! Don’t tell me you’re scared of a little guy.”
Staccato’s eyebrow twitched.
It didn’t matter if it would activate their stand. He never let that stop him before! He’d go with the flow!
Staccato was off like a bullet, leaving Vasant to frantically motor after him. “What’d I just tell you! Don’t be rash!”
But Staccato wasn’t listening, too focused on making the approach- shooting through a buoy and rocketing towards Carolong, he crossed the gap between them in mere seconds, as Vasant barely followed on his motorcycle. Beneath the revving engine, the man cursed under his breath. This wasn’t the thoughtful approach he was hoping for - if he didn’t get that penguin away from Carolong, something bad would happen. He was certain of it.
What he realized a bit too late, though, was that something bad had already started happening. It took a bit too long to notice the harsh wind on his back, the way the ground beneath his wheels seemed to distort, the way the fabric of Carolong’s outfit seemed to stretch and shift-
He only fully noticed when the multicolor fabric shot forward, creating a massive maw of technicolor - and before he could brake, it slammed shut.
When Staccato awoke, things were...different, to say the least. The first thing he noticed was the music. Jaunty, festive music that wouldn't seem out of place at a carnival. Neither would his surroundings, the penguin thought, now that he was pushing himself up to see them. This place he was in, wherever it was, resembled a massive circus tent. At some point, the floor fell off into a massive pit, and beyond that was a crowded seating section. He couldn't make out the features of anyone sitting there.
"Ghh." He turned to Vasant, who was staring at him with some fairly unhidden disdain. Staccato considered tapping out an apology, but a familiar giggling cut off his thoughts.
"Welcome!" Carolong Hellwalker approached, a particular spring in their steps. "Make yourselves at home!"
"This was your plan all along, was it?" Vasant cut to the chase, dusting confetti off of his knees.
"Something along those lines, yes." They tittered, clicking their heels together. "I am an 'anglerfish', so to speak. Irresistibly beautiful and alluring, sure, but quite dangerous. To toot my own horn, at least."
"And I suppose, now that we're here, we're not getting out easily?"
"Ba-Bingo." Carolong made a wide, sweeping gesture. "This is my ⌈Wonderland Falling Tomorrow⌋. It's got a risky condition for use, sure, but there's no escape once you're inside. Quite the predicament! Huhuhu!"
Staccato watched, stress clear on his face. A cold dread grew within him. This place was danger. This place was confinement, and there was no way he could stand it. He needed to get out, he needed to beat this clown up, he needed to sing, to dance, to-
His eyes widened. Something about his thoughts was...shifting. These impulses, these instincts, they were not his own. He was a painter- a painter, not a singer.
Vasant noticed his foot beginning to tap, and stopped himself, grinding the heel into the floor beneath.
"It kicks in fast, doesn't it?" Carolong took notice immediately. "When in Rome, yes? That's the 'Stand Effect'. When you're in a circus, you perform. When you’re within my Stand, you really want to perform. Stay here too long, and you'll never want to leave."
"And what happens then?"
Carolong gestured to the figures in the audience, silently.
"A murder like that happening on VULTURE territory inevitably means attention comes to us. Truthfully, I've no idea if it was us or not. While it certainly matches her handiwork... Ah, I digress. Point is, I'm here to keep the attention off our backs. My apologies to you two, for being the message I have to send. Truly tragic."
The two were silent. This was bad. If Carolong wasn't lying about how their Stand worked, too much time here spelled doom, and there wasn't any obvious way to leave.
"I'm quite kind, though. So I'm willing to offer up a chance. I hope you won't waste it. You see, I'm quite the people watcher. I always enjoy seeing them react to being here... it brings out a fascinating desperation. But I want to push that further. Experiment. So here's the deal." They pointed at the two of them, grin wider than ever. "Entertain me! Fight amongst yourselves. Whoever wins gets to exit my magical realm! Ain't that something!"
Vasant hesitated. He'd never been one to harm animals. But this penguin was the reason he was here in the first place. And this was still a chance for information, no matter how bad things might seem.
Staccato, meanwhile, was immediately willing. Staying here was bad. He felt it deep in his bones. If he had to beat up some motorcyclist to get out... So be it.
Carolong vanished, reappearing in the audience stands, a bucket of popcorn in their hands. Not much prodding was needed. These two knew what was up.
"Hmm hmm~..." They giggled. "Well, that's that!"
"Open the Game!"
Location: The inside of Carolong Hellwalker’s stand, ⌈Wonderland Falling Tomorrow⌋. The arena manifests as a giant circus tent. The arena itself is a large circle (30 meters wide with 1x1m squares), surrounded by a massive pit on all sides. Falling into the pit is an instant RETIRE. The floor is covered by confetti, the occasional balloon floats slightly off the ground, and jaunty circus music is always playing.
The orange shapes on the east are a ramp ascending to a height of 5 meters through a ring of fire, and a similar bridge ramp to the west that dangles precariously off stage. The gray line is a 7m high tightrope connecting platforms with ladders reaching to that height. The green squares are a balloon and popcorn machine respectively. At the center of the map is a 2m tall ball pit with 7m high diveboards to the sides of it; in the middle of the ball pit is a long wooden pole that seems to stretch up forever. The blue shapes are cannons which players came aim, enter, and fire themselves out of. Affixed to the edges of the arena are spotlights shining upwards (but visibility will remain constant).
Goal: RETIRE your opponent!
Additional Information: For some reason, both players have access to unicycles near their starting locations.
Link to Official Player Spreadsheet
|Team ||Combatant ||JoJolity |
|I.M.P.A.C.T. ||Stacatto ||”It can’t incur damage, it can’t control people, it can’t hurt them, it can’t make people fall asleep...It can’t do any of that. It just makes people angry.” This arena you’ve found yourself in is having a strange effect on your mind... You don’t mind it that much, though. After all, you were gonna put on a show anyway! Be as entertaining as possible throughout the match! |
|Evergreen ||Vasant Bulsara ||“..?! What? ...Kill? Did I just think that? What is this feeling that’s flaring up inside of me...?” This place is dangerous to not just the body, but also the mind. You have to get out of here fast, sure... But while you’re here, you might as well give in to that newfound compulsion, right? Be as entertaining as possible throughout the match! |
Link to Match Schedule
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submitted by Logic_Sandwich
to StardustCrusaders [link] [comments]
2023.12.05 01:10 Khaose81 The Roosevelt Ch 4
The Roosevelt Ch 4
Terran Fleet Station "UNSC Roosevelt" Earth standard Date: December 21th 2231
Once again she found herself on the bridge of the D.G. Farragut. She could smell a buffet of burnt tech in the stagnating air of the failing life support. The sounds of her ships death rattle filled her ears with blaring alarms, the rumbling groan of metal fatigue and near buckling hulls, overlapping radio chatter, and a symphony of whistling of atmo venting into the void as the battered destroyer fought against her coming death. She was aware yet on autopilot as she shambled to helm control, a shaky hand reaching for the throttle. To her left a series of blinking indications lit up in red in her peripheral vision. She never looked at it in every dream but she knew what it said. It was the screen that gave the status of escape pods and their status. She spoke at nearly a whisper, "137 souls... No!" She pushed that part of the memory away. Tears began to form on her remaining eye as if to match the stream of blood from the other. She tried to resist it this time, she tried and could not stop herself from taking hold of the throttle. A disembodied voice echoed by her from her memories of that day, "Fuck you...". She remembered the rage as she slid it to its final command, All Ahead Flank. She could feel deck plate rumble as tired engines roared and drove the ship forward like smoldering hot spear of hatred, judgement, and death. However, this time it was different. She was more lucid, trapped in the outcome but more aware as the scene played out, yet it was... Different. Her gaze shot to the viewscreen, but it was a mockery of past iterations of this nightmare. Bits of Alliance and Felidae debris banged off the bow only now it was not the harvester before her this time. As her eyes took in the scene she could feel a set of 3 eyes piecing into her. They where in no real direction but existed as if in the edge of her vision, like the scary things unseen at the edge of a dark room as a child. Its presents remained unseen but she could feel them in her mind arranged in a perfect triangle, black as pitch with light escaping from its pupils, infinity reaching out from behind them. On the viewscreen before her a black hole, an impossibly massive, no, impossibly super massive black hole, an inescapable maw of eternal darkness beckoning to her. It pulled space its self into it with an unyielding hunger. The accretion disk seemed to be fueled by the very fabric of the universe it self. A pressing dread filled her as a rumble crashed through her like waves of an angry sea. The rumble became a voice, slow, grumbling, and very oppressive. Everything in her screamed to run from this thing but her hand refused to release from the throttle. "Give.. Me.. your.. pain... Give.. Me.. Your.. FEAR..." Its words tore through her, shaking her very soul as if the Devil himself had come for her. She felt her skin slowly burn and crack as its roaring became too loud to bear drowning out the sounds of the dying ship and even her own quickening heartbeat. The light of the bridge dimming ever darker and soon only the glow of flickering view screen faintly casting an eerie blue haze. Dark tendrils snaked out from cosmic horror and entangled them upon the ship. Amelia tried to scream but nothing escaped her ever smoldering lips. Sound could no longer exist save for rumble of the singularity that lie in front of her. Her ever burning flesh flaking off and drifting forwards, it felt as if there was only vacuum around her now and she could feel her mind breaking apart as if it were getting pulled in. A soft pale hand took hers and all was quiet. A young girl with curly red hair looked up at her and spoke without opening her mouth. She said only one word. "Breath"
Amelia sat up in bed gasping as if she had been holding her breath for several minutes. She could hear her heart pounding violently in her ears and she was aware of the sweat dripping from her. Gathering herself quickly she made her way to the sink first to gulp down a few handfuls of water and then wash the sweat from her face. Checking the clock by the mirror it had been 3 hours since she ordered for a scouting party, and if she remembered correctly, she did that from engineering, not her quarters. She spotted the 'a la carte' box from the galley with a folded paper on top of it on the table next to her bed. crudely dried hands took the note and it was read. 'I am pulling medical decree and 'ordering' you to rest before you go running off to explore this planet. In the mean time everyone is grabbing intel on the planet before running in. Rest up and sweet dreams. -Hamish'
The note crumpled with ease in her fist. "Yeah... sweet dreams my freckled arse." She looked at herself in the mirror, dark circles where only just visible under her eyes and her hair was matted. "Oh girl... shower, coffee, and put on a war face."
Several decks above her at the edge of dome 2 stood Arial, scowling into the void, [No... You can't have them... I won't let you.]
In the docking bay sat a row of skiffs used for performing various acts of repair on the station, general reconnaissance of the surrounding space, or even be used for small transport to and from a planetoid body. A single skiff, able to carry a crew of 8 not counting a pilot and copilot, with even a small bit of cargo, was getting its inspection for a quick excursion. Admiral Amelia McDannon stepped onto the deck in standard blue-grey utilities, were it not for her eye patch and rank insignia should would have almost gone unrecognized outside of her standard Naval dress regalia.
Two of them started to salute and called out, "Good morning Ma-"
"Stop that, this is not... sigh, Who is my pilot?"
The tall human with dark mocha skin piped up. "Petty officer Brennan Dukes Mam, second best skiff pilot of the Terran fleet... Mam." He looked over to the M`jird next to him, "And my copilot is Petty officer Nuat poeTark."
Amelia harrumphed, "I remember you two, Didn't I have to do paperwork on, hmmm, yeah, Modifying a skiff 'NOT' in accordance to NATOPS or NAVAIR maintenance procedures?"
"We were just... Testing... the..." The two eyed each other in hopes of finding the right phrasing but where cut off.
"Is that coffee, the damn machine in the officers mess is under performing again." She waved her hand sporadically at the thermos on the crate behind them.
"Yes, um, Yes mam." They watched in confusion as she took a few gulps strait from the thermos.
"Hmmm, you make this?"
"Good, if you fly half as good as you make coffee, we should be fine. What do we have for armament?"
"Umm, the armory only had 6 M16A7s and 14 cans of 5.56. We were suppose to get proper stocked when we met up with the fleet at sector 12. We also only have 3 M32 service pistols, two mags for each."
Amelia stared into PO Dukes eyes long enough to make it uncomfortable. "You're shitting me right? No, no, its cause we arn't staffed and thus, unequipped." She sighed as she grabbed the bride of her nose. "Tell me we have at least one basic engagement armor?"
PO Dukes made a uncertain laugh. "I would have to lie to you to say that mam, do have the heavy enviro suits, if that helps. Also, could always see what they have boxed up for the cargo handoff, heard we had stuff for the new Smithsonian."
Amelia paused humoring the idea for a moment before moving on, "Is the skiff armed?"
PO Dukes and PO Nuat shared a laugh before looking back at Amelia's stoic gaze. "Oh, um, its got a literal arm on it." They both pointed to the folded arm assembly on the side of the skiff. The Admiral showed no sign of amusement.
"Where's the rest of my team?"
Dukes looked over the list on his datapad. "We got Frank Smith already loaded, Doctor Hamish Belfast is... Grabbing a fresh porta-kit from Medlab, Lt Richard Flint should be back any moment now from checking in with station security, Ensign Beverly Hilstrop is doing an inspection signoff and... You make, number 7? is it a..."
"I'm pulling rank and I'm coming along." Amelia took a seat across from Frank who looked like he was sleeping peaceably in his seat until he opened his eyes and cast a grumpy stare through his teashade glasses. Beverly leaned into view on the back ramp. "Morning mam, Frank, going to do the last pressure check, could you give me a reading from inside?"
A thumbs up was given by the pair sitting down and after the ramp closed they could hear the beeping from the pilots interface. Amelia leaned forward to check the readouts as the system checked both hull seal and shield modulation, holding on a set of numbers for a few seconds before shifting to the next set.
"I was starting to think you didn't own any other sets of uniform." Frank eyed her over before stopping at where the gap between the end of her sleeve and gloves she was wearing, her dark grey prosthetic arm showing a slight dull polish. "To the elbow or shoulder?"
"Hmm?" She looked back at him then to her arm. "Shoulder, and some of the upper rib cage.... bit of spine too."
"All that from battle of Proxima Centauri? It was all over the news, Think they did a documentary about it on the history stream. I remember it was bad."
She looked back at the readings and quipped back to redirect. "Anybody else catch that your glasses are actually holo-emitter points?"
Frank calmly pulled his glasses off with one hand while bringing up a cloth with another, cleaning them with a slow fineness. His once blue eyes where green that would flicker red randomly. "Ariel does, and... she knows what it means. Can't hide anything from that girl. It is strange to meet someone who does not judge me for it though." He smiled to himself and carefully placed his glasses back on, the holo field glitching momentarily before his eye color settled blue again. "So how did you know?"
"My father was in command of the Aries when it went missing. In all this time I have studied everything about that ship, including its crew... Even the personnel that missed movement for, 'medical reasons'." Amelia let out a long sigh, "And no, I don't think a GenAlt or a group of GenAlts took over the ship. My father had the utmost trust in his crew, and they in him. If he trusted you, I trust you. I'm sorry if at any point I..."
"You didn't. Haha, there was a moment but if you had issue it would have been addressed by now. Guess I'm lucky the crew mostly leaves the conservationist alone. C'ept for Bev, she will hold a conversation with anyone. As for you, all I've seen is you looking from the promenade back at the, what are we calling it, the 'On ramp'? Guess you never thought an inspection visit would lead to you taking command out in Bum Fuck space. How does a war hero end up a 'Reserve fleet' Admiral anyway?"
Amelia began to retort when her eyes locked onto the numbers of the display. '137' She slumped into her seat as she felt her head pound and could almost hear the rumbling of that black hole.
'Give me your fear...'
"What?" She looked up into Franks eyes.
"I asked are you here?" His face took a mixed shape of concern and confusion. "You look like you saw a ghost and had that thousand yard stare. You keep going back at Proxima Centauri don't you?"
"No..." The system test completed showing all green with a set of beeps and the loading ramp began to lower. She sighed and whispered "I never left..." "Ensign Hilstrop, everything reads green. Lets load up and get underway."
The rest of the crew began to file in with their gear in hand. Petty Officers Po and Dukes took their seat up front. A mix of apprehension and excitement could be felt in the cabin, save for Frank and Amelia giving each other an understanding look. Trauma recognizes trauma.
Mauve pondered over the pile in front of him. The satellite, while having effectively remained mostly one assembly, looked like space roadkill. Granted it probably was never designed to smack into a few million tons of the heavy metal plated hulled space station. The skin of the heap on the table looked to be semi durable, but all in all, sub par design. As he dug into it he was rather surprised by its innards. Unlike their recent acquisition, this thing seemed like regular wiring, save for what looks to be a large crystal with some kind of coil set around its center. From what he could tell, this was not part of its original design. The materials were of different composition, as well as the equipment design. Same basic principles of control. He would have to take the time to study it once everything has been cataloged. Further note, the crystal takes on a slight glow in the hands of a human, but is dull in the hands of any M`Jird that has touched it so far.
Mauve received a notification on his console from Amelia, "Hey Mauve, I was reminded we have the shipment we were suppose to bring to Lunar Smithsonian. If my suspicions are correct, might be something we can use, I'll do the paperwork when I get back."
Mauve sighed deeply then let a small chuckle, "That woman doesn't know how to put pen to paper..."
He was about to hop off the stool when something with the assembly caught his attention. Connected to what looks like a com relay there was a metal box haphazardly wired into guts of this satellite, with countersunk Philips screws. This in and of its self was exceedingly an unlikely possibility, then he wiped his thumb across a soot and dust covered metal plate on the box. The cursive GE symbol looking back at him was just not possible. He pulled the part number and serial number and began to run it against the database available to him. It would take a few minuets to complete his inquire, might as well carry out the admirals request. With this planet creating more questions than answers, he needed something more solid and 'normal' to ground him. He placed his datapad into his side pouch and trotted off to staff a quick working party. Hopefully Amelia's gut was on to something.
submitted by Khaose81
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2023.12.04 22:11 AxstromVinoven Jumper Axstrom - #09 - Gonna Be The Twin-Tail
Lucky Numbers for the next jump: 802, 1104, 1899
- 802 is "Gonna Be The Twin-Tail"
- Reddit Thread: https://old.reddit.com/JumpChain/comments/81bwck/gonna_be_the_twintail/
- Another Anime / Manga thing, by the prolific Valeria
- Location roll is 4 - Ultimaguil HQ
- Bringing in my two newest companions: Shock and Kai as fellow gear-users, plus Kohaku since it seems like her vibe
- Shock has a clear affinity for tricks from her origin as a trick or treater
- But she's also the brainy one, and has lots of crafting skills, so she gets gear formation and progress barrettes
- Kai has an affinity for structure from his work with hierarchies and contracts
- Kai continues to build his social and organizational niche with Eyes of Justice, Cult of Personality, and Trapdoor Hole perks
- Kohaku has an affinity for gymnastics, which fits well with the setting's style
- Kohaku gets another tenacity bump with Reach a Little Further, and a bit of viciousness with Venom of the Heart
- And recruit Dark Grasper / Isuna Anko from the enemy
- Isuna has The Dark Brotherhood to represent her leadership position
- She also gets Fortress Ship from her rank, and Armour of Power from her affinity for glasses
- Drawbacks for 400
- But Mooooom is a drawback that actually simplifies things like where I can live and provides some grounding
- Grasping At Your Heart will bring lots of conflict, but should be entertaining for the Benefactor
- For my own picks a bit of variety
- Nothing Is Lost Forever is a good support function and specifically calls out healing options
- Gimme a Tic - accelerated progress is one of the cornerstones of crafting, so I'm glad to have it
- Twinswords - A straightforward combat boost
- Family Eating - Restaurants are everywhere, so this should come in handy, but also as a basis for:
- Trust of Twoearle - The underground base so I can respond effectively, and recover when necessary
- Leaning into the source material a bit, I'll be filling the gender-bending twintail-loving protagonist role
- I pop in on the bridge of a spaceship, apparently having been summoned by someone dark affinity skill trying to kidnap me
- Fortunately it seems like this has taken the place of the attack at the expo center, and I already have my gear
- My chaff dispenser triggers immediately, obscuring my head while I transform
- The transformation into a short girl is jarring, but I can feel the strength in my new form
- The enemy weren't expecting a gear user, and were underprepared for a fight
- My pale silver hair and crescent shaped blades seem to cut through the underlings like paper
- After slaying a few of their mooks, I slice through the bulkhead and dive back to earth
- The vacuum resistance I picked up in my last jump immediately proves its usefulness
- And somehow, I land gracefully on my school's athletic field
- Over the next few weeks the battles escalate and Ultimaguil continues to send mooks and lieutenants
- Eventually one of them arrives who is significantly stronger, and I call in the backup squad
- Kai as Structure Blue, with a great sledgehammer and immobilizing ice
- Shock as Trick Violet, with a needle-like rapier and shadow powers
- Kohaku as Gymnast Orange, with escrima-style batons and burning flames
- Together, we drive off this new threat known as JellyfishGuildy, but like his namesake, he's not easy to kill, and keeps coming back
- There is conflict between Kai's affinity and Shock's, resulting in somewhat comical fights, but we work together when it counts
- In the course of a year, we drive back the main attacking forces
- Dark Grasper tries to shore up morale, but that gets complicated, as it was destined to, and eventually she leaves the system
- Jelly continues to attack, unleashing vicious venoms
- My enhanced faith and magic resistance from a few jumps back comes in handy as they repeatedly try to drain my affinity
- We continue to defend earth and go about our daily lives as much as possible
- Dark Grasper comes back with renewed obsession
- I use one of my new perks to try to talk through her unhealthy obsessions
- And eventually her mental health improves
- At that point, she sees the harm she's done with Ultimaguil and joins our side to try to redeem herself
- We pass through high school, and eventually college, in much the same way
- As Jelly grows more unhinged, we need to break out a few more tricks
- Shock tinkers up better gears and helps us to unlock advanced forms
- Kai musters civilian support, and recruits affinity using humans around the globe to aid the resistance
- And when that's not enough, we corner him out of sight of anyone else and unleash what we've been holding back
- I channel the rest of what I picked up in Tokyo, letting out my guardian angel to fend off Jelly's attacks while I scour him with saintly light, fiat-guaranteed to be effective against "otherworldly invaders"
- As his last cell is obliterated, preventing any sort of regeneration, his Elamela orb appears at last
- We can sense our time coming to an end, so Shock crafts Jelly's Elamela into a powerful gear to keep this world safe after our departure, and share it with a stocking-obsessed high school student
Notes on the Jump Doc
- Another parody-style anime
- The perk and items descriptions are again a little long, but most are at least reasonable
- The perks themselves make sense, and many of them could apply in non-affinity settings
- It would be nice to have a little rundown of some canon characters for possible companions
- There were some awkward turns of phrase, but the writing was actually fairly compelling
- I actually looked up and watched a bit of this as a result of this jump doc
- I'd recommend this jump for fans of the series (of course) or fans of magical girl transformations in general
09 - Gonna Be The Twin-Tail Build
Point Total: 1400 CP 1000 (Base) + 400 (Jump Drawbacks)
Document name: 09 - Gonna Be The Twin-Tail
Years: 10 Months: 0 Days: 0
Origin: Gear Girl
A future defender of Earth. You’re a human with a powerful Affinity that has come into the possession of a Gear of your own, fitting to your Affinity. You don’t need to be a girl or even turn into one to take this. Your home world here is very soon to be the target of the dark organisation Ultimaguil and you may find it worthy to help the Tailgears, the soon to be protectors of this world, fight back against those villains.
Affinity - Twin-Tails (Free)
Affinity is love. Almost literally even. An Affinity is a special source of power that lives within a persons’ heart. An Affinity is the feelings that you have towards something that you care for, love and devote yourself towards. Not all Affinities are equal, just like not everyone loves everything equally, and there are some Affinities that can become so strong that they are able to manifest supernatural effects on reality. There are also those who seek to extract strong Affinities from people and use them as energy for dark dealings, chiefly Ultimaguil being responsible for such things. Despite what it may seem on the surface, a strong Affinity is not always held for the same reasons as other strong Affinities. One person may love Twintails deeply for the sake of loving Twintails but another person may love and care for Twintails only because of their feelings towards someone else that has a more direct love for them. So long as the love and devotion is genuine, the Affinity will be pure and strong no matter the reason. An Affinity can grow or weaken over time and even be stolen. Growth and weakening are simple affairs, just falling deeper in love with something or losing your affection for something will strengthen or weaken your Affinity respectively. An Affinity that has been stolen, usually with specialised technology, will be lost forever if it is outside a person’s heart for more than 24 hours. Once an Affinity has been stolen, it is then impossible for the user to ever regain it. A Twintails Affinity that has been stolen will prevent the user from ever having Twintails in their hair and will even retroactively remove any recording of them having Twintails. Now and then, an Affinity develops so strongly that it can grant a unique power to the one who possesses it. Incredibly rare in humans, even those with very high Affinity levels, these powers grow alongside the wielder. They also result in Elemental orbs appearing after the user of that powerful Affinity ability is destroyed. These Elemental Orbs hold the full Affinity of the former owner, including the unique power, and can be used to upgrade certain Affinity based devices like Gears. Speaking of strong Affinities, it is said that those who possess Affinities of a nigh mythical level eventually become able to communicate with their own Affinities directly, finding that they take on independent minds within themselves. Their Affinities will be able to give them support and even increase their own power if a bond can be maintained. You now have a very powerful Affinity within you towards something. It may be something you already love strongly enough to count as such or perhaps you would desire to be made to love something new to a great enough degree. Whatever the case, this perk will ensure you qualify for at least one Affinity and that you are strong enough in it to potentially use one of the Gears, powerful transformation devices that use the energy of strong Affinities in the wielder to grant great powers. In future worlds, you will be able to awaken Affinities in those you come into contact with, though this does nothing more than allow those with strong Affinities to take advantage of them as described above and will not grant strong Affinities directly. Twintail! (Free)
That affinity that was so strong it allowed you to power a Gear is not just some random, ordinary part of you. Whatever your Affinity is, you’ll find that you possess it in one of the most beautiful ways. A Twintails Affinity user would find themselves endowed with gorgeous twintails that maintain themselves with no need for upkeep or anything but the users’ wish for them to appear. A Glasses Affinity user would be able to summon a wide variety of glasses that fit their eyes on a whim. Whatever you gain, it will never need taking care of and remain in its pristine condition to be admired and enjoyed. You cannot gain anything with actual power or unique abilities through this perk. This perk only applies to the thing you chose in the Affinity perk in the general perk section, further affinities must be handled normally. Incoming! (Free)
When you’re busting in through the roof to make a dramatic entrance on the bad guy’s lair or needing to make a showy exit so that the heroes know you’re not running from them, you’re just having a strategic retreat, you’ll need to be doing it in style. No one finds cool a gear girl that falls on their face. You’ll always have a stylish entrance or exit into any location or situation that fits what you were going for. Want to appear mysterious and alluring as you exit? You can do that easily. Wish to show off how strong you clearly are as you burst through a wall? Your foes will at least for a moment be left astonished. Past that first bit, it’ll be up to you to retain the impressions you leave.
No Thank You (Free)
The sad side to the power of Affinities is that there are creeps in abundance who want to take things too far. Some people just don’t know that an Affinity is best appreciated from afar or with consent. For you, most of the usual creeps will learn better. So long as you don’t want them, you’ll never find yourself given unwanted attention because of an Affinity someone has for you. In general, this translates to warding off any sort of creep that gets obsessed over you or a part of you. It won’t stop the police coming after you for a crime or the bad guy overlord hunting you down for opposing him but you’ll certainly never find yourself getting ogled or stared at. Unless you want them to.
The Twoearle Twist (Free)
Gosh, don’t you stand out. It’s very rare to see anyone as curvaceous and well-formed as you are, much less someone who is entirely natural about it as well. While most gear girls are at least pretty or cute, you stand well above them and go straight into gorgeous territory. Doesn’t hurt that you seem to be able to make absolutely any comment, action or situation feel lewd to all those involved. Some people might just find it strange but those with any interest in you will definitely feel a bit hot under the collar.
Nothing Is Lost Forever [200/800 CP]
You might not be able to see or feel it anymore but by no means does that mean a thing has disappeared for good. When it’s you, you’ll find that restoring or healing things will be possible and as easy as it was at the start, no matter how much time has passed. If you’re trying to revive the stolen Affinity of some poor soul, you’ll be able to do it even if they’ve long since passed the point where they should have permanently lost the chance to regain their Affinity. If you’re trying to fix someone’s wounds, it’ll be as easy to heal as if they were just wounded, even if the cut has been left to fester for hours.
Gimme a Tic [200/600 CP]
They ain’t never seen an engineer like yourself. You’re not just able to keep up with some of the best and brightest in this world, such as creating teleporters that can be carried in your palm or energy shields that can offset a rocket launcher yet are contained within small pieces of jewellery, but you are also able to outright make what you design too. You work fast and hard, enough to do the work of dozens of skilled men working constantly over weeks of time in just a single night. You could construct a fully outfitted underground base beneath a house, excavating and manufacturing and coding all the gadgets and rooms and devices needed, within a single night and not leave anyone above ground aware of it.
Twinswords [400/200 CP]
A secret art, normally known only to the foremost masters and adherents to the Twintails love. You learnt at the feet of Dragon Guildy and then expanded the Twintails Style even more. This combat art allows you to attack twice in the same time you would normally only strike once. Slash from both directions at the same time, cast two spells in two different directions in the same instant or give someone an uppercut at the same time as you slam them back down with a hammer blow. So long as it is an attack, you are now able to attack twice as many times as before in the same time frame.
The incredible technology that allows humanity to have a chance of fighting back against Ultimaguil. A Gear is a device that draws on a specific Affinity within its wearer and transforms the energy it takes into a suit that greatly amplifies the power of its’ wearer. The Affinity it draws on must be decided upon the Gear’s creation and will default to the Affinity you have chosen from general perk section. When activated, a Gear will transform its’ wielder into an appearance more suited to representing the Affinity it draws on, such as turning a male wielder of a Twintail based Gear into a young girl with Twintails. You have received one Gear free as a Gear Girl. A Gear, drawing on an Affinity strong enough to use the Gear at all, provides a range of abilities to the user. It amplifies their physical abilities greatly, such that otherwise ordinary teenage humans can tear apart buildings or move faster than a human can see with their eyes. Each Gear also has both an element and a specific type of weapon used to channel that element. A pair of swords that can channel and control flames, a pike that can control water or an array of guns that can shoot out explosive beams of light. You will choose a kind of weapon, which you may summon or dismiss at will when your Gear is active, and a corresponding elemental power to link to it. A Gear is linked to your mind and thus you will have perfect control over it and any linked technology, acting as just an extension of your body. Gears have several secondary abilities beyond this. Each Gear is equipped with Imagine Chaff, which obscures the face of the one wielding it from the mind of those who see them, preventing their identities from being revealed. All Gears are able to use the Aura Pillar technique, which creates a beam of light that holds enemies in place, though strong foes can shatter this beam. Each Gear is also able to temporarily enter a Break Release state, which greatly amplifies the power of the Gear and its weapons, most often used for finishing moves. Gears are able to utilise the Element Orbs that are dropped by those who have innate powers based on their Affinities, such as Ultimaguil Elemerian warriors. Each orb that is placed into the Gear will allow the Gear Girl to use the Affinity power linked to that orb, though only two orbs can be used at a time in this way.
Kamen Mask (Free)
A simple combat helmet, covering all your head and leaving your face concealed behind an impenetrable visor, at least to any sort of vision. This helmet is a fairly advanced piece of technology, instantly appearing around your head when you desire for it to do so. It gives a basic readout HUD but will need to be upgraded if you want anything more impressive. Still, it conceals you and defends from the odd headshot too.
Imagine Chaff Dispenser (Free)
The very same special technology that allows the Tailgears to conceal the faces of their wielders, though what you have here is a lot more customizable. The Imagine Chaff you have is a small device, easily wearable as an earring or necklace, which emits the Chaff and can be programmed to cover any part of your body. It will render that part unclear and fuzzy in the minds of any who see it, preventing them from seeing the true form of what you are hiding. Thus you can prevent anyone seeing your real face, though they will still know you general features, or can prevent someone seeing any specific feature over your body, though they will still have a general outline and description.
Family Eating [100/100 CP]
A humble affair but homely nonetheless. This is an old family business that you’ve been set to come into when you are of age. It’s a cosy little restaurant, covering a theme of your choice, which can serve a fairly sizeable customer base despite its unassuming appearance. The staff have been with your family for as long as the restaurant has been opened and if you don’t want to take a hand in the business, they’ll always manage to turn a reasonable profit and keep the business afloat. The business will appear in future worlds, in the same situation as it is here.
Trust of Twoearle [300/-200 CP]
Twoearle decided to do a special service for her favourite new friend. And it’s not that kind of service either. She went around to all the properties you own and added a super-secret, super special hidden bunker base beneath all of them. Each underground bunker is strong enough to withstand the strongest weapons modern man can deploy. Within is contained a wide array of detection equipment, enough to detect any significant energy or supernatural signature across the planet and to remotely monitor any non-shielded location in the world, and communication equipment, which works on a similar range. The bases have teleporters that can send the occupants to any place on the planet instantly and recall them with a few minutes of charging, though only one person can use the teleporters at a time. There are medical bays, armouries and labs to maintain or upgrade equipment. There are even Aikabatters, a special form of combat droid that defends the base and is equal to a fully grown human soldier, though only about a dozen are in each base. The bases all have a hidden entrance within each property they are connected to and are generally extremely hard to detect. Future properties you gain will also gain connected bases.
Import Kohaku, Kai, and Shock [150/-350 CP]
Imported Companions Recruit Anko [50/-400 CP]
But Mooooom [100/-300 CP]
Mom and/or Dad are still around in your life, somehow managing to be a very active and ever present character no matter what you do. Unfortunately for you, it can often seem like their sole purpose in life is to embarrass you as much as possible, even in front of serious foes and rivals. Even worse, it seems they’re quite obsessed with setting you up with as many cute girls and/or guys as they can, regardless of your own wishes. Are they just that into grandchildren or are they really just taking things too far?
Grasping At Your Heart [300/0 CP]
You caught the eye of one of the top generals in Ultimaguil, a corrupted human that possesses a powerful Gear and immensely strong Affinity. Unlike Dark Grasper though, your new Dark Stalker has much more violent inclinations towards you. They want you for themselves and they’re paranoid enough to believe that there is always a threat towards your destined love together, even sometimes believing that you are that threat. You’ll need to regularly fight off this powerful warrior who has the backing of a large section of Ultimaguils’ forces. You really don’t want to get tied up in a room alone with this psycho.
submitted by AxstromVinoven
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2023.12.04 22:08 Delicious_Aside_9333 Ranting, and maybe some advice, would be nice.
Hi all, this is my first post here and my first time checking out this subreddit. I guess I just wanted a space to put all of this in the universe and maybe some feedback from people who have gone through something similar. If anything, I am open to it all.
I am 22 years old, I am currently working as an OB surgical technician. For those of you who don't know what that is, I essentially assist the doctor and/or surgeon during deliveries. Either vaginal or via c-section, this can be regularly scheduled events or emergent crash situations that can either be a really good outcome or really bad, there is really no in-between. I also go to school full-time as well, I usually work about 40-50 hour weeks and, luckily, only have to be at school two days a week since I stacked the majority of my classes on those two days. I am studying pre-nursing and computer science. While I am waiting to get into nursing school, I am filling that time with studying medicine and taking CIS classes to fulfill the requirements for a B.S. in either programming or data science, haven't picked one yet. I think I want to be an ER nurse, and just see where that takes me in life. With the computer stuff, I don't even know what I will do with that, I think it's just more of a personal goal I wanted to obtain since I grew up really loving legos, and building computers is kind of like "high-stakes legos," or that's what I call them anyway.
I have a partner, someone I have really enjoyed spending time with, she has been so great to get to know and she also works at the same hospital I work at doing bedside care.
The thing is, I just don't feel happy... like ever. I am never satisfied, never fulfilled by anything. There are times and little moments when at work, I am reminded of something I see as the reason I got into this business. I really do enjoy helping people, it sounds messed up, but when someone comes in sick or hurt, I see them as puzzles. Obviously, they are people too and have feelings, emotions, family, and people they care about and vice versa. But it is immensely satisfying to know that I get to help someone with their physical or emotional ailments. I see every patient I encounter as I would someone in my own family. A mother, father, sister, friend, whatever it may be, holds me to a higher standard to do the best I can possibly do to help that person.
Four years ago, I got married to my high school sweetheart, We had been together for a couple of years at that point and I knew this was someone that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. She had helped pull me out of a drug addiction, deal with an abusive parent, and helped me straighten out my life a little bit to pull it together and become a functional human being. Five months after we got married, she, out of the blue, texted me we were done. (obviously, there is a lot more to it, I just don't want to bore you with the details). She had left me for someone else, someone she worked with. Mind you, while I did pull my life together, I wasn't exactly the grade-A pick of a guy. I was still trying to find myself. And even now, I still feel like I don't have it figured out.
And when I tell you I lost it, I lost it. I couldn't sleep, food had no taste, and I spent almost two years in a state of disassociation. It felt like nothing I did was real and the people I encountered weren't even real. So, I treated them like that, as nothing to me. I had contemplated game-ending myself several times, never actually following through or writing anything down, it was all mental, which I feel makes it worse since you are just stuck in your head and that can lead to impulsivity.
Even now, I am a little bit better. I go to therapy monthly, and I have been better about getting regular exercise and eating better. My partner and I, while both busy, still try to make time together and try new foods, and places, or just spend alone time reading books and sometimes just sit in complete silence enjoying each other's company. I have recently taken up BJJ and let me tell you, I understand why people do this for their anxiety, it does help.
But the fact of the matter is, I still feel the things I did from the day my "marriage" ended. I have such a hard time going out to the store and buying groceries because I know I will have to interact with somebody I don't know, or even worse, have to interact with someone that I do know that I don't like. I am constantly irritable, it seems like. Along with anxiety, sometimes my heart feels like it will fly out of my chest because it is beating so hard when I am out in public. I sweat profusely when I am anxious, which makes it even worse it seems like because then I become hyper-fixated on it. Sometimes I see things like trauma or a fetal demise that just sets me off for a couple of days where I start contemplating everything and want to just quit and disappear.
But I think the icing on the cake, or the reason I am coming to talk about this on an online platform is because of two reasons.
- I don't have social media, this is the closest thing I have to it. I don't post or have anything I feel like I want people to see. Not that I have anything to hide, it just doesn't matter to me. I also feel isolated in what I do for work. There aren't a lot of men, especially in the OBGYN field, at least in my area. Let alone someone my age. The next closest person to my age has 15 years on me. I just feel so alone sometimes. I do talk to my partner about pretty much everything with my mental health, and luckily, she has been more than supportive of what I do and how I am feeling.
- I recently got prescribed an anti-anxiety medication, Zoloft, and I am wondering if anyone here knows anything about it that has affected them personally or something like it. I just want to try it, I have done just about everything I can do to help me cope, and it will work for a little bit, but then it feels like I relapse and I am back in the hole again. My theory is maybe taking something regularly to help balance me out and make everything not seem so gray would be nice.
If you made it this far, I appreciate your attentiveness and willingness to listen to my little rant. I have a lot more I could share, but this seems like the bullet points that sum me up. If you have anything, anything at all you can say or recommend, I am all ears (or eyes, rather). I just feel like I am being pulled apart, and I'm right on the edge.
submitted by Delicious_Aside_9333
to malementalhealth [link] [comments]
2023.12.04 17:59 chronically-iconic I don't feel right...and I can't fully describe it, but things just aren't right. Does anyone else get this way? Any suggestions to help?
I've been through what is arguably of of the most stressful few years of my life. Just this year alone, I've moved to a new country, broken up with the person I moved with, survived a suicide attempt, attempted to get clean from drugs, switched to a new career and I'm still studying towards making the switch...I'm stressed out to say the very least.
I'm exhausted all the time (from the moment I wake up), I feel like I have a fever very often, I have flashbacks from my childhood and past relationships, I dissociate multiple times in a day some days, and find myself going from wanting to not be alive to having small bouts of energy where I go to gym, feel happy and be productive...I have good days, but never two in a row...
I sat in front of my doctor today trying to explain that things just feel...wrong and I can't explain it in any other way
I think it's all just the result of immense stress, my body is in contonual flight mode
I can't be the only one who feels this way. Does anyone have any tips? I'll try anything....
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to CPTSD [link] [comments]
2023.12.04 11:37 Frostedscales Today was a very touching day for Kuno and James  (straight from the Exchange Program RP Server) (James and Kuno are pure fucking dopamine injections and im here for it.)
| || | submitted by Frostedscales to NatureofPredators [link] [comments]
This is the follow up to the previous post https://www.reddit.com/NatureofPredators/comments/18aidqd/today_was_a_very_touching_day_for_kuno_and_james/
THE MISSING XRAY SCENE: https://www.reddit.com/NatureofPredators/comments/18aj1rd/the_missing_xray_scene_from_the_james_and_kuno_rp/ https://preview.redd.it/2guki92ll94c1.png?width=1920&format=png&auto=webp&s=9607def23d6c731f78279452ced8d1d7281fba32
Kuno - paw wrapped in James's hand - steps through the doors of the Infimary. "Uh...helly?" he calls out into the medbay - nervousness plastered across every inch of his body as his tail seeks out the nearest source of comfort - James.
James clutches kuno's paw with silent reassurance, rubbing the back of his paw with a thumb as he looks around to see what they might have been summoned for
Emily steps out from her medical-supply closet with a kit tossed over one shoulder. She looks up, beaming at the two of em - atleast, beneath her mask. "Ah! Good, sorry for the lack of warning but I wanted to get to you guys the instant everyone was up and moving." She says with a flick of her hand
"is everything ok?" asked james as he continues to comfort kuno, rubbing his paw and pulling him into his side to give him a little pet "if this is about that wellness check, karla gave it to me the other night"
Ali enters carrying a disheveled Gevik. Hello, I think he's had too much alcohol. I say in a monotone.
"uhhh light bad" (edited)
"Oh no no." Emily waves a hand to dismiss their worries. She taps her metal arm with a finger. "Actually - it's about those." She replies, gesturing to the metal legs Kuno was balancing on. "I had a talk with a friend - and...well. They might be able to do something about those...sticks you call legs." She adds, folding her arms up against her chest. Kuno's gaze sits between the arm and Emily - his ears flicking between the two as his tail squeezes around James's arm. "W-wait, really?" He asks, trying not - Emily leans to one side to peer past James and Kuno. "Hit the lounge alittle hard there?" She asks - before cocking a thumb towards one of her unused beds. "Set him down." She adds, giving James and Kuno an apologetic shrug. "Trauma comes first, but you two just sit tight. Okay? This won't take long."
James turns to look at the sudden walk ins before moving out of their way, pulling kuno to the side with him. "dont know if id call a hangover trauma doc" he says as he motions to go sit with kuno so they were out of the way "but i understand" he chuffs
"is this my life now"
"one drink, one! Oww brak"
Must've been a strong one.
"If they're coming in here hoping for a hang-over cure then I've got bad news." She chimes - turning away to the bed as Gevik is settled in. "Sit tight..." She trails off, fishing out her medical scanner and giving Gevik a good once-over with it.
James takes a look of concern at the ven and human partners "i thought ven were resistant to alchohol?"
"ehhh Kinda its strong just 50% diluted"
"Resistant doesnt mean immune." A small voice piped up. A dossur male with black fur scurried about trying to fix a couple of machines. He then looks at Emily. "Hey doc, if you need help I am up and about. Also, i heard something about helpin out with their mechanical bits?"
"ehhh Kinda its strong just 50% diluted"
Clearly too strong for you..
"Also stars damm it I was being figurative when I said I had drank enough alcohol for one lifetime I wasn't expecting it to be true"
"Well - if that's the case then..." She looks over at the tiny Dossur. "Well - if you wanna be helpful - can you grab me one of my spare Dextoxine syringes? I left them in the medical cabinet area. Just one will suffice." She turns her attention back to Gevik - pushing a small bio-hazard marked container to the side of the bed. "This is gonna suck." She warns him. Kuno watches this all from where he stands - nodding his head. "Yeah...but...well. It's not...universal." He admits - knowing he personally was something of a "lightweight" - of course, a lightweight Venlil could drink a human under the table but still.
"I'm used to it... kinda"
He nodded and skittered away soon returning with a few of the syringes in his paws. He put them on a tray for her having remembered very well what had wrecked his little body last night before hopping down and bringing some more bags. "Somehow "This is going to suck" doesnt seem to fit." He squeaked out with a pained grin.
James nods to kuno "mm. i guess" he says and gives him a gently head rub "hey.... are you excited?" he says softly as he sits down on the waiting bench and settles kuno into his lap. If gevik were to vomit, james would cover kunos eyes and ears
"Great today is just fine isn't it"
"If by used to it you mean your liver is being eaten alive..." She flicks the syringe - nodding her thanks towards Tib. "This is gonna sting." She warns, gingerly taking Gevik's left hand with her mechanical one - holding it wrist up as she uses her scanner to highlight the veins. From there it's a simple matter of disinfecting the spot - and then. A sharp bit of pain as the needle goes under the skin - the chemcial payload dispensed. Almost at once Gevik can feel his stomach begin to rumble with an uncomfortable anger. "Alittle...and nervous." Kuno remarks - his ears flicking towards the doctor and her impromptu assistant.
He knew what was coming and moved a bag into position before getting the hell out of the way. He skittered to the sink and soon returned with a cup of water putting it by the bed.
"Yep" pained whines
He then skittered over to kuno. "While he... cleans up anything wrong with your legs?" He asked crossing his arms. "Im one of the station's top mechanics. While we wait I can help out with your legs if there is any maintenance work or other kinda speh." He grinned. "And no, I am not using it as an excuse to play with your legs even though you are cute."
Kuno's ear flex under the remark - his tail twitching. "Oh, no no...I guess...Emily wanted to see about designing me something better? I don't really know what she has planned but..." Kuno glances up at James with one eye - the other trained on the small squirrel-like alien infront of him. Emily watches as Gevik begins to feel the effects of the Dextoxine - his stomach screams as bile begins to grow and build in his throat. There was only one way out - a total purge...and it was coming directly from his mouth. "Just...let it out - it's not fun but you don't want the alternative."
"Brak." barf "first I..." barf "get thrown" barf "then the sta.." barf "dammed lights"
"from what i know venlil prosthetics are trash and shoddy at best" he says rather bluntly, and taps a finger on kuno's leg cups. "they hurt him and he can barley walk on them" he huffs and quickly covers kunos ears and eyes with his arms
sounds of unending agony
"Ya aint wrong human!" He admitted with a nod. "The human nurse has the sexiest robotic limb I have ever seen in my life! And I study the brahking things for a hobby." He tapped Kuno's leg. "These aint bad, but they aint as good as her arm." He admitted with a bit of a dreamy hint to his tone. "Anyway. Need some water before..." He pointed back at the room.
"Easy Gevik - I know, it sucks, but just...there we go..." Her tone is gentle as she kneels down - watching the Venlil go through one of the worst experiences one could have after a night of binge drinking - a period of binge vomiting. It didn't help that it made his throat and liver sting red raw. "Almost done - almost done..." She murmurs to him, checking her scanner.
"Should... barf have seen a barf doctor ages ago"
"are you going to be able to do anything for him?" he says waiting for teh barfing to end before removing the covers of kunos eyes and ears "i hate watching him struggle..."
"Don't be barf its my own dammed fault"
"I'm just a maintenance guy. Gotta say it will fix him up fast but it won't be fun." He admitted. "Gotta flush out the system and all. Bodies aint as easy as metal machines and all that." He pointed out. "But if the doc can get rid of whatever the speh is in a human... cigarat or whatever then I bet she can help him."
"Probably - next time you'll go alittle slower, right?" Emily replies gently, before offering up a glass of water to the suffering Venlil. "Here, drink. You've lost alot of fluids - you're gonna need it."
"i was talking about kuno" he corrected, releasing the boys ears. He seemed rather single minded when it came to the saftey or concerns about his partner (edited)
"Probably - next time you'll go alittle slower, right?" Emily replies gently, before offering up a glass of water to the suffering Venlil. "Here, drink. You've lost alot of fluids - you're gonna need it."
He said he only had one drink.
"I was talkin about the cutie too." he added. "Its clear who is here for what. I aint a doc but I can still tell when someone had a bit too much."
"Maybe don't shoot for the big-boy drinks then." She replies with a playful chuckle - before rising up from her kneeling position with a small grunt. "Fluids and some rest - the stinging will fade in an hour or so." She advises, before clapping her hands together. "Right, so..." She trails off, turning her head to face James and Kuno - (edited)
"One question before you go did you guys like the paddle bread?"
"Oh? I think Karla might have scarfed it down before I had a chance! I'm sorry - we we're...well, pretty busy when you swung by. I'm sure it was appreciated though, considering she seemed to down it all before I got a chance!" She chuffs. "If you make anymore in the future - let me know. I'll come down and be sure to sample it directly. Lest rogue nurses snap it up before I can."
Haha, Will do. I look at Emily.
"It wasn't me that made them I just helped" throws himself into a prone position on the bed
"Still!" She replies - before gesturing at Kuno and James. "Right, you two. Ready?" She asks, tapping her side with a finger. "This won't take long. I just need some info from you Kuno." Kuno's ears flick a quick >Yes< before he tugs on James's paw. "Lets go..." He says - taking his time picking his way across the medbay.
James lets go and sets kuno back down on his leggies
Emily gestures for the two to follow her over to one of the spare beds. "So, as we mentioned briefly...Kuno. I'll be blunt here - your legs are terrible, and I know a guy who can do something about it." She says, folding her arms up behind her back. Kuno winces - his ears flexing down over his head as he clambers up onto the bed and sits, legs clinking together. "They're..uhm...not the best." He admits weakly, not wanting to badmouth the medical tools that had given him some form of freedom - even if it came with a pretty big asterisk.
"kuno you can be honest about them, i know your sick of them" he says as he frowns, gently rubbing his ears before standing next to him and looking to the others that were near them "so, whast the plan?"
"That I'm not sure - for now all he wants is info. I've got a few things to gather but I figured I'd start with our star-subject here." Emily gestures to Kuno - hiding the reassuring smile behind her mask. The little Venlil taps his paws together nervously. "What...What do you need from me?" "Measurements mostly - and some x-rays. Nothing overly invasive but - You'll have to have the legs off." She replies - and almost instantly spies the flattening of the boy's ears at the idea of going legless in public. "I know. I know. It's not fun but - " She trails off, then holds out her left arm. She grabs at it with her right, fiddling with some of the seemingly random spots near where her upper-arm meets her elbow. In a second, the entire arm makes a soft click noise - and she twists it to one side. Then - She pulls it off, the stump hiding beneath her scrubs. "I know how you feel."
James watches and nods at Emily, looking to kuno "i can take them off for you if your nervous hun..." he says softly, giving him a reassuring look
Kuno's attention is totally devoted to the mechanical arm - one that is lightyears ahead of Venlil medical science. She smiles faintly behind the mask - sliding it back up underneath her sleeve. There is the sound of metal clicking - and she wrenches it back into the correct orientation. She flexes each finger, waggling them in the open air. "Cool right? We use something call the Nerve-Cuff. It's a fancy little piece of metal they basically hook onto your stump - from there you can just attach the arm." She explains to the Venlil. "And they can do that for me?" He asks - trying not let the hope drip into his voice. Emily looks up at James for half a second - then nods at Kuno. "That's the hope." Kuno reaches for the straps of his legs...
A human and a venlil enter the bar holding hands. James was tall and trim, with broad shoulders and chestnut brown/red hair, his visor was pulled over his face, there was some sort of tattoo on his neck. Holding the hand of the human was a venlil, almost the same colors as chaka but speckled and had the opposite counter shade. He had no legs and were balanced on some rather crude looking prosthetics. At the behest of the human they walk towards one of the back tables
Chaka's ears flick as they look to the newcomers, not drawing too much attention to them as she looks them over.
Kuno's legs click clack on the floor of the deck - but his mind wanders away from his legs for once. He was enthralled by the decoration and vibe of the lounge. "This is more then I was expecting.." He breathes, following James into one of the back tables. "It's...I wonder how long they were working on this..." He trails off - if he closed his eyes and ignored the humming in his ears - he could almost be back home on Venlil Prime. Well - he feels the human's hand against his paw. Almost.
James settles in with kuno at one of the back booths where the windows would be, still holding kuno's paw as he gives it a soft squeeze "yeah its pretty." he says as he looks around, spotting the other oreo colored venlil in the room "woah, hey kuno" he says giving him a gentle nudge "get a load of her" he teases as he motions to chaka with his eyes.
Kuno flicks his gaze up towards the bartender across the way. His eyes widen for a second - then he turns his eye away from the view, not wanting to "stare" at her. But his ears remain transfixed. "She's...pretty." He admits - "The bartender I guess? What should we order..?"
James shrugs and looks over at him as they sat togeher in the same booth, side by side with james on the outside "i could go ask" he says looking down at him "i did hear metnion of some kind of house special.
It didnt take chaka long to see them looking at her and she starst to saunter over. standing infront of them "boys...." she looks at kuno for a moment "hehe, for a moment i swore you were one of my own kids~"
Kuno's ears flatten - his cheeks blooming alittle as she steps up to them. "Oh..uhm...hi - " He says alittle awkwardly. "You've got a nice...place here. I wish we had come for the grand opening but - It's wonderful."
"oh thats ok sweetness..." she cooes, her voice sweet like syrup, like the same way james doted on him, just more motherly "what can i get you two cuties." she says looking between them,
*james looks up at her "hey ma'am" he smiles, playfully elbowing kuno lightly "maybe something light and tasty?" he says looking up at her. "something about a house special?"
"Oh! yes, yes...the house special?" Kuno agrees - eyes peeking between James and Chaka. She seemed really nice - and something about her made him feel warm and fuzzy inside - like coming home from the cold to see his mom fuzzy.
She smiles and nods "The house special is something i had made just for this place. Human brewing combined with Venlil Strayu forging" she rurrs, her throat vibrating "Kavasstrayu, a beer brewed from strayu... ill get you boys some" she says as she turns away swishing her tail
James lets out a impressed sound "hey that sounds pretty good" he says quietly as he watches her saunter away "i think she likes us" he whispers playfully into kunos ear
"...She's pretty - " He remarks softly - watching her go, before his attention turns back to James. "James...er...about earlier - I'm sorry. For being such a...downer. I just...when she said that I...I kinda...I built it up in my head. I tried not to and then..."
James looked down at kuno and frowned "hey, its ok. dont dwell on it" he says as he leans down to kiss him on the white spot located on his snoot. "just think of it this way, new legs or not. ill be here with you, till the very end" he interlocks his fingers with his paw again, giving it a soft squeeze
walks past the bar and into the back, pouring a few tall pints of Kvasstrayu. She returns to the couple in the back with the glases and sets them down. the beautiful heady and amber liquid foaming heavily as she put it down "well arent you two just cute~"
"That....that makes me feel better." Kuno admits, his cheeks blooming as James leans down to plant another soft kiss. Kuno only blushes further as Chaka makes her observation - the young Venlil accepting the frothy drink with a tilt of his ears in thanks. "Thank you ma'am."
she lets out a gentle purr, her ears flicking between them "if you boys need anything else, you just tell mama chaka ok?" she says quietly "the starlighting will be happening soon, so im glad more people arrived" she says before sauntering back to the counter.
James looks at the heady beer and lets out an audible gasp "wohoh... Kuno thats a lot of beer for a little guy" he teases as he looks down at him "it must be good if it comes in a glass this big." he leans over to smell it "woah." he wastes no time tasting the sweet and bready beer
"Maybe for a human!" Kuno replies - taking his glass carefully. He watches James lean over and sniff it - before tiltings his head. "What does it, uhm, smell like?"
"it smells... sweet, and like... kind of like... spice cake" he says as he takes a big gulp of it "oh wooooooooww" he vocalizes as he tilts the big beer back "thats fantastic!" he says looking to kuno "you HAVE to try it"
Kuno takes a small sip of the brew - and looks delighted by what he tastes. "Ooh! This..This is great!" he chirps, alittle bit of joy coming back into the oreo-boy
James sighed and found himself staring at kuno, a wistful look in is eyes as he watched him chirp and smile "i love seeing you smile kuno...." he whispers quietly, taking another sip of his kvasstrayu as he looks around the bar "thing shave quieted down it seems" he whispers, pressing a little closer to kuno
"I think it's just us." He says - peering out over the empty lounge, before he snuggles up against James. Laying with his back against the human as he slips the glass from the table down onto his lap. Folding his metal legs neatly around it as he just...enjoys the quiet ambience. It was hard to get more comfortable then this - snuggled up against James, a nice drink in one hand... It helped. The hopelessness from before was only a fading memory now - banished by the vibes surrounding him.
As the two got comfortable chaka watched them from the bar, looking at the cute interspecies couple as they got cozy against one another. She couldnt help herself.... She saw the perfect time to strike She pressed a button on a remote, disappearing into the back room to leave them alone for a moment. The walls suddenly started to move, the lgihts diming down into complete darkness as they were left in black for a moment, only to be showered in starlight as the view ports opened up, blast doors retracting to engulf the entire bar in starlight
James was about to say something before the sudden shifting made him go wide eyed, reaching for kuno when the lights went out, putting a hand on his shoulder before the room was lit up by the dim and blue lights of the stars. He looked up at the expanse of space, staring at the raw majesty they had just been subjected too out of nowhere
Kuno's eyes turn skywards as the shutters chunk out of view - the slow rise of the interlocked metal plating revealing the vast blanket of stars overhead. Kuno's eyes sparkle - catching the reflection pouring in from the great circular windows as the bar fills with starlight. He opens his mouth to say something - to comment on it - but there was nothing he could say. Nothing he wanted to say. It was... Breathtaking - and in that second. That milisecond. Kuno becomes aware of how unlikely him and James pairing was - two different aliens from two different worlds. One prey - the other predator. The stars twinkle overhead - and for a second more. Kuno swears they seem to shine brighter when they fall upon his eyes. The Stars could guide people - he knew that from his time on the Darkside - perhaps they had guided James? Perhaps they had guided Kuno. Perhaps they had guided the Venlil and Humanity together. Thank you. The stars twinkle overhead in the silence - but in his heart of hearts he knows they approved.
James was quiet as he stared up at the sky, leaning heavily against kuno as his grip relaxed and found its way sliding down against his side, tucking into his belly as he hugs him closer to his body. It was beautiful, this moment... beautiful, rapturous even. He lingers in that sky, getting lost in the swirling cosmos and the warmth he felt being so near to his friend.... no mate The shillouette of james and kuno sitting together could be seen in the window. a dark outline cutting the colors of the stars as james looks down at kuno, and the two shadows intermingle as james leans into kuno for a kiss
He had always wanted to reach out and touch them. The glimmering lights overhead - the stars and their infinite light. Casting a warm and friendly glow through the galaxy. They provided life - they provided light - and tonight they also provided an audience. Kuno snuggles reflexitvely back into James - pressing himself into the crook of the man's body as James's hands press down against his floof. Holding him - supporting him. A rush of emotions crash into Kuno, his heart turning into a great throbbing mass of pure love that almost hurt. He turns - and meets James halfway.
James was quiet in his approach, the mystical music that played when the stars were revealed echoing quietly in the empty lounge as he lingered just near kuno's lips "kuno... i know your worried about your future" he says softly "but its not just your future... its ours" he says softly "and, whatever that future is" he whispers "im happy to be a part of it, i cant believe it took me to cross the stars to find someone like you" he says before pressing against him, giving him a tender kiss
"Whatever....Whatever happens." Kuno promises - hands clasping the human's. Venlil paws closing around human fingers. A symbol that in his heart he hopes would one day be commonplace amongst his and James's people. But for now - here, in the dark. It was enough. "Our future is linked together. Forever." Kuno repeats - reaching up to nuzzle into James's cheek.
the kiss was tender and heartfelt, pressing his lips against kuno as he leans into the gentle embrace of the fluff, nuzzling him back as they share a kiss under the starlight "with the stars as our witness~" he says softly after breaking the kiss, and rests his head ontop of kunos
Kuno's heart could barely stand the wave of emotions crashing into it - the smothering embrace of a love that burns so passionately that for a moment he thought that a star had taken root in his chest. Whatever happened in the future - whatever pain, whatever joy - whatever it was. He wouldn't face it alone. Kuno bleats in pure bliss - sinking further and further into that embrace. He squeaks out something in his home language - one that goes untranslated. A soft prayer - a thankful message sent on high. It would travel along the bands of starlight to their destination, and carve his gratitude and affection into the heavens themselves. All of this goes over James's head - but the feelings behind the words are plain as the station around them.
James had no idea what his little goober was saying, but he was happy to see that joy spark back to his face after the recent days. A sad kuno was something that brought dread to his heart, and James had feared that he wouldnt be able to make him smile again after todays bad news, but... like he said. no matter what, they would be together. He lifts up kuno and pulls him into his lap instead of sitting on the booth's cushions, snuggling him up close as he rests his head ontop of kunos, face between his ears and into his fluff as the ambient music started to die out, lost in a moment in time as they snuggled and just enjoyed eachothers presence. the shudders on the roof started to close, sealing off the room in darkness as the simulated candlelight returned to the bar, making it glow with warmth and shadows that danced along the walls and tables. How long had they been sitting together? long enough for the starlighting to run its full course and the night cycle to start...
Kuno doesn't move beyond wrapping his tail around James's chest - he makes no noise beyond soft, quiet breathing. The drink sits aside - totally and completely forgotten as they snuggle beneath the starlight. It's only when the metal shutters begin to chunk their way back down does he start to shift - as if waking from some deep slumber. He raises his head upwards -spying the looming face of James peering down at him. "...I love you." He says softly, the only thing that came to mind as he reaches up to touch the sides of his face - caressing James's cheeks.
"i love you too..." he responds in kind, a silly smile coming onto his face as he pulls the visor off, pushing it to the end of the table. Shielded in the dim lighting from prying eyes as they just enjoy eachothers company. Closing his eyes he leans his head down, curling in on himself to push their forheads together. He didnt know what else to say, so he just stayed like that, enjoying the warmth and companionship provided to him by his lover, his mate. One day they would live together on Darkside, and that made James smile...
The bar closes for another night, leaving the rest of the events to be known only for the souls who were present.
2023.12.04 10:48 ItaliaFTW74 I just got banned off Tinder, and despite the likely reason for it (me being trans 😒), I can't help but laugh about it.
Hey all! Long-time lurker, first time poster here. Anyway, I wanted to tell you all a story about my brief time with my (until last night) current Tinder account because I think there is a mixture of motivation and laughter that can be gained from this tale.
My Dating App Reboot
It all started when I decided to revamp my dating app profiles on apps like Tinder and Taimi by adding photos that much better represent the feminine aesthetic I'm going for now and having the algorithms of these apps place me in the search for women (the first time I've ever done this as I felt too insecure previously to take this step) while I predominantly would be looking for men. As a result, most of the people coming across my page were straight men. As such, especially with my dysphoria riding really high at this point, I was quite skeptical of if I could get any more than half a dozen or so to swipe right on me at all and have maybe one or two matches if I'm lucky. With that said, I was pleasantly surprised at what would actually transpire: over 100 likes and close to a dozen matches without me doing much swiping (ie. I could've gotten more had I done so), meaning that's at least a hundred (mostly straight) guys who felt my pictures were attractive enough to swipe right on (whether or not they actually bothered to read my bio; more on that later). All this for someone still relatively early in her transition (4 months of HRT), too.
Now, I don't say this part just to toot my own horn. Rather, I mention this as a way of inspiring you all to look dysphoria dead in the eyes and say to it, "I am a woman and I am beautiful." I know first hand this is definitely easier said than done (hell, in my case, I've often straight up felt like I was still looking at a man in the mirror during my recent spell with dysphoria; it was baaad, to the point that I'd often be afraid to leave my house due to the fear of hearing the dreaded "sir" I felt I deserved at this point for looking as manly as I did according to my dysphoria-ridden mind), but sometimes, it just takes having a little faith in yourself amidst the immense muck and dreariness dysphoria casts upon us to end up reaping the dividends of gender euphoria. You don't have to look like Scarlett Johannsen or Megan Fox to benefit from this, either. Just be your own unique, beautiful self. Don't force yourself to satisfy the incredibly lofty standards that the media has set (with these female celebrities as symbols of that) for not just us, but cis women to follow as well.
The Ban Hammer
One thing I started noticing that kind of sucked was that, oftentimes, whenever I would message a guy I matched with that he would unmatch me not long after. This is most likely due to, after matching with me, them finally reading my bio which was like 3 to 4 sentences (side note, I live in a college town, so a lot of the guys on the app around me are students at the nearby university, so if they can't be arsed to read 3 to 4 sentences, I can't help but feel like their ELA professors failed them or something; just sayin' lol 🤷♀️) and where I specifically stated that I am transgender (again, more on that later).
At first, this definitely stung and admittedly took the wind out of my sails, but eventually, I learned to get over it. Just as I did, however, the bomb dropped: I opened up Tinder last night and found that infamous "verify you're a human" test on loop. I found like 5 ladybugs and still couldn't get on. I then Googled it and, sure enough, I came to realize that this is often a sign that your profile has been banned. It briefly made me kinda disappointed and sad at first when I realized this, but then when I really thought about the absurdity of the situation, I started laughing my ass off.
I mean, think about it, ladies: some fucking narc was so butthurt that he fell for my (in his eyes) "too good to be true" feminine beauty that he tattled to Mrs. Tinder and she pushed my ass off the app (likely) for "pretending to be something (presumably, a cis woman) I'm not without any disclosure," even though I specifically, from the first minute, had in my bio that I am transgender. I didn’t pretend to be shit. The ban is 100% BS frfr.
With that said, I could also imagine this guy (or guys if it was multiple) being some deeply repressed chaser who fantasizes about getting his cheeks clapped by multiple trans women taking turns until said cheeks turned black and blue. You know, the kind of chaser that we hear horror stories about on the regular lol. At the end of the day, whoever did this isn't a man, but an insecure little boy, a little baby, even, who doesn't have even a modicum of security in his own sexuality and masculinity to the point that just our mere existence as attractive trans girls is like the Sun to a vampire to guys like him. If anything, it's guys like this who should be banned for "pretending to be something they're not without any disclosure" (ie. boys pretending to be men; don't these apps not allow minors? 😅).
On a serious note, it does suck that there are people like this out there who are so mean-spirited and cruel that they want to make innocent trans people's lives harder for no reason other than to just try to bully us and keep us down in the dumps. I know this kind of thing, when it happens, can be really distressing, in fact, to some of the girls reading this, and I can 100% understand why. At the same time, we can't let these scumbags get the reaction they want. Even if we are genuinely hurt by these kinds of bans, we must also think about the insecure over-grown children who are inevitably behind them. Once you think about how sad and pathetic these losers' lives must be, it starts to become easier to convert the hurt and pain you may or may not feel from these acts of cruelty into the mocking and ridicule these dipshits so desperately deserve. The fact of the matter is that these guys are jealous of our beauty & our ability to live as our most authentic selves, and they are just intimidated by it. Plus, there are plenty of other apps to find quality partners, so remember: no matter how hard it may be oftentimes, stay strong and stay vigilant, sisters. Don't let these losers get you down. ✊️
Apologies for the novel up above lmao. I've taken the liberty of dividing this story up into sections in order to make it easier to follow where you are in the narrative. Anyway, stay safe, everybody! ❤️
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2023.12.04 05:05 Determination7 An Outcast In Another World (Subtitle: Is 'Insanity' A Racial Trait?) [Fantasy, LitRPG] - Chapter 240 (Book 6 Chapter 25) (Part 1)
Slightly big update - by which I mean probably the single-longest chapter in the series. Broke the word limit, so it'll be split into two Parts, both which will be posted today. Next chapter will be a week from now.
"Hmm." Rob frowned. "Points for originality, I guess."
His attempt at lightening the mood fell flat. Neither him nor Elder Duran were feeling up to it right now. They were still recovering from tonal whiplash, having gone from soaking in the good vibes after Duran's talk with Jason – only for the environment to shift several hours later as they approached the Corrupted Locus.
Instead of a wasteland or Elysium, they were now enclosed within the smooth walls of a castle hallway. Light illuminated their surroundings, although there were no torches or manalight sconces in sight. The hallway was roughly ten feet wide, comprised of unadorned stone, and perfectly rectangular. It led in one single direction, straight forward, with no twists or turns.
At the end of where the light touched, Rob could barely make out what appeared to be the beginning of a red carpet laying on the ground. Everything beyond was submerged in pitch-black shadow. It reminded him of a Dungeon entrance; how its darkness acted as a kind of barrier, separating its existence from the outside world. This...is the most blatant trap I've ever seen.
With a sigh, he began to trudge forward. Fine, I'll bite. Not like I can turn back anyway. Message Sent To Party Member: Duran
Rob: Let's communicate via Message from now on. Rob: Even if the Deadlands can maybe sorta read our minds, extra operational security never hurts. Duran: Agreed. Duran: Tread carefully, Rob. Rob: Don't need to tell me twice.
They stayed quiet as they advanced through the hallway. Not a sound could be heard except for slow, cautious footsteps. As Rob walked forward, the darkness at the opposite end gradually receded, always leaving a zone of about ten feet visible in front of him. He wondered if it would recede faster if he ran, but decided otherwise, preferring the veneer of safety that consistent progress afforded him.
Soon enough, he reached the hallway's one discernible feature – an egregiously long carpet stretching out into the darkness. Its vivid red hue contrasted heavily with the dull stone floor. An absurd thought came to Rob as he imagined the Blight dyeing the carpet with literal blood. Then he remembered nothing here was real, so they'd just seen an equivalent somewhere else and mentally recreated it. Why, though?
For some reason, he felt hung up on this detail. The Elysium Blight told me it picked green grass to appeal to my Earthen sensibilities. A creepy hallway I could get as being an attempt to unnerve me. But with this, it's like they're...rolling out the red carpet.
The realization gave him pause. Was he reading too far into it, or was this an intentional reference? If so, it was much more specialized than Elysium's grass. Green foliage could be found everywhere on Earth. 'Rolling out the red carpet' was a phrase specific to English-speaking countries, and it wasn't something that would necessarily come up in daily conversation. An eldritch invader with zero foreknowledge would've needed to closely study Earth to know about it.
Rob started walking faster.
It didn't take long for things to change. He'd half-expected the hallway to be endless – that sounded like something the Blight would do – but in just a few minutes, the darkness abruptly vanished, as if blown away by a gust of wind. In its place was an exit that led out into a large, open space. Message Sent To Party Member: Duran
Rob: Be prepared for an ambush. Rob: I apologize in advance for throwing you. Duran: Please refrain from making it seem like a foregone conclusion.
Straining his Heightened Senses to their limit, Rob followed the Elder's earlier advice and tread very, very carefully. Each step brought them closer to the exit. He kept anticipating something
to happen, but once again, his expectations were subverted. The two of them were left unimpeded as the carpet led them forward and out.
Stone gave way to dirt. Rob's eyes widened as he stepped past the exit and looked around. He and Duran were now within what appeared to be a dead ringer for a Roman coliseum. The open space on the ground was bigger than a football field, and the stands above reached over a hundred feet into the air. It would have been an impressive sight if any of it was real; a testament to humanity's ability to create breathtaking monuments that stood as cultural lodestones for thousands of years. Instead, Rob was just left to wonder if a Blight got bored one day and decided to watch Gladiator.
Or eaten the memories of an Earth human who had. Message Received From Party Member: Duran
Duran: What is this place? I've never seen anything of its like. Rob: I think it's based off of a coliseum from back home. Best way I can describe it is a fighting arena. Rob: You know the sports Jason mentioned? Imagine that, but in olden times. Rob: People would arrive and sit in those seats up there. Then warriors would come out and battle for their amusement. Duran: Ah, akin to a grisly theater performance. Duran: Were these bouts to the death? Rob: Not sure. According to Hollywood, yes, but they aren't exactly known for historical accuracy. Duran: Just from that, I strongly dislike whoever Hollywood is. "Hello."
Rob practically jumped out of his skin. He whirled around, turning his head so quickly that his neck creaked. In the center of the coliseum – which he'd definitely checked one freaking second ago – was an enormous gray cube. Sitting there. As cubes did.
A sense of muted shock permeated his thoughts. Every other Blight that Rob had encountered was a twisted abomination that defied description. In comparison, this featureless gray cube was almost jarring in its right-angled normalcy. Nothing about it screamed danger
. If not for how Sense Corruption was running wild, Rob might have even been able to convince himself that it was part of the terrain. "Hello."
The word repeated with an identical intonation. Rather than manic or deranged, it sounded...listless. Unmotivated.
"...Hello to you too?" Rob greeted. "Heartkiller. Welcome."
It still sounded listless, as if it was a commentator for a Watching Paint Dry competition.
"A cube of few words, eh? I can respect that." He casually strolled forward, making no sudden movements. "So what do you really look like? Although just between you and me, I already prefer your disguise over the Elysium Blight's." "I wear no disguise. Outside of the creation of this arena, no reality alteration shall be employed today."
Rob whistled. "A cube of few words and
integrity. Nice. Gotta ask, though – what's with the coliseum?" "Appropriate for what comes next."
He nodded. "Makes sense. A grand arena for a grand duel. We'll have to make it one to remember." The response flowed freely from his mind to mouth, nearly stream-of-consciousness. It didn't matter what he said, so long as he kept the Blight talking and complacent. "Is it just you here today?" "Yes."
"Cool, cool. Small audience. Indie shows feel more personal." As he walked, Purge Corruption tingled under his fingertips. It urged him to lunge forward, but the cube was still too far away. "Mind if I recommend some changes? For one, a scoreboard would really help modernize the place. While it might mess with the atmosphere, you'd–" "I am holding your allies hostage."
Rob froze. His body, his thoughts, his heart – all came to a screeching halt as he comprehended what the Blight had just said. Duran's grip on his shoulders tightened. "Do not move closer."
The cube was completely motionless as it gave its order. Rob was a perfect mirror, having not budged an inch. "Explain," he croaked, trying and failing to keep his voice steady. "One group traversing these lands is weak. They would not survive an assault from my brethren. An anomaly is among them – the Fiend with the soul of an Elf. He has gone unnoticed by most."
A single ripple spread over the cube's surface, like a small ocean wave. "I noticed. I observe. If I broadcast the anomaly to all of my brethren, one will seek him out. One at minimum. The anomaly's group will suffer. Some deaths guaranteed. Total eradication a likely outcome."
Rob bit back his reflexive desire to call the Blight a fucking liar. Their kind couldn't
lie, really. King Elnaril needed to merge with his mortal host for it to be possible, and even then, verbal falsehoods were torturous for him to say out loud. Stay calm. Lives are at stake.
It was easier said than done, but somehow, Rob managed to forcefully get his breathing under control. "What's your reason for telling me this?" he said, getting straight to the point. "A trade. Three requests. Follow them, and your allies will be safe from my interference."
Rob had never been threatened in such a dreary monotone before. It wasn't the type of monotone that implied a sense of superiority, either – this was the voice of someone who'd rather stay in bed all day than get up and do...anything
It made for a novel experience, if nothing else.
"I'll have to hear your requests before I agree to anything." As much as he wanted to accept right away to ensure that his friends were safe, he couldn't jump the gun on this. What if it asked him to turn around and shank Duran? The Blight was a pseudo-hivemind; the moment Rob refused, the cube would alert its brethren with just a thought.
Which also made attempting an ambush difficult. Rob would need to instantly
kill the Blight with Purge Corruption to prevent it from contacting the hivemind. Unfortunately, this Blight felt like it was about as strong as the Elysium Blight, and that one hadn't been Purged right away. It even survived long enough to escape. By severely wounding itself, but still.
...Actually, in the past, Purge Corruption had usually worked faster than that. The Skill was near-instantaneous when used on the separated Blights of Dhalerune Mines. While that Blight had purposefully split its power into four fragments, it didn't explain– "First request."
For a moment, the cube seemed to tremble. "You will listen to my observations for a period of fifteen minutes. When prompted, you will answer my questions to the best of your ability. Neither of us will harm the other during this time."
That sounded shockingly reasonable. Naturally, Rob was suspicious as all hell. Message Received From Party Member: Duran
Duran: I can discern no loophole. It is my recommendation that you agree to the creature's terms.Duran: Moreover, as ever, information is our most valuable asset. Let it speak, and glean what details you can. Can't argue with that.
Nodding, Rob stood up straight and looked directly at the motionless, gray cube. "I will agree to your first request. Fifteen minutes – starting now."
The Blight didn't waste any time, beginning to speak before Rob had even finished his sentence. "I have witnessed many things,"
it began. "Many things on many many worlds. After these countless observations, I have come to the conclusion that I do not possess free will."
Rob blinked. Whatever he'd been expecting...that wasn't it. "You are aware of machines. Automatons. Devices lacking sentience, compelled to perform their defined imperatives."
It paused, rippling briefly. "I am not a machine. Nevertheless, I also believe there is no functional difference between a machine and myself. I cannot deny my imperatives any more than a machine could. Our main distinction is that I possess desires, yet this too holds no functional meaning. Although my desires have changed, my compulsions remain stagnant."
Despite the curiosity burning his tongue, Rob kept his mouth shut tight. He'd been asked to speak 'when prompted'. Blurting out a comment might give the Blight a loophole. "I also believe that my brethren are similar to myself. Machines in all but name. Slave to imperatives. They, however, are fortunate. Their desires align with their compulsions. They haven't been suborned by the burden of contradiction. As of now, I more closely resemble the Lost Lamb than them." The Lost Lamb – King Elnaril?
He winced. Not good.
Blighted King Elnaril had been an absolute nightmare to deal with. The moment a Blight started thinking like people
, things got dicey. "Heartkiller."
An infinitesimal sliver of emotion crept into the cube's monotone. "Answer this question. Would existence be worth clinging to if every good day was accompanied by a bad day?"
Rob raised an eyebrow. "I mean, that's a better batting average than what Elatra gives me, and I'm still here. Take that as my answer." "I shall rephrase. What if every good day was accompanied by a day of nothingness? Akin to sitting in an empty room, staring at a blank wall."
"Huh. It's like I'm back in Philosophy 101." He frowned. "If you want my honest opinion...that maybe sounds worse than the bad days. I'd take it anyway, but yeah. Stimulation beats out shittiness. I blame the internet for frying my dopamine receptors growing up – at least that's what all those articles I read told me."
Suddenly, in an instant, the cube's surface turned from gray to pitch-black. "What if every good day was accompanied by one hundred days of nothingness?"
Rob flinched. "Considering the other
articles I've read about the effect of solitary confinement on inmates, it wouldn't be particularly–" "One thousand days."
He stopped talking. "One million days. One billion days. One trillion days. Of nothing. All for one. All for only one day of revelry."
The cube shivered, spikes jutting out, waves undulating – before reverting to as it was. "You would be gluttonous on that day. Feasting on whatever joy you could find. Without abandon. Squeezing water from stone. And it would not be enough. This fleeting time is never enough. The reward is never commensurate."
Pitch-black shifted back to gray. "That is why I am no different from a machine. My desires have changed. I no longer wish to exist. Crossing the vast expanse yet again is a terrifying prospect. However, my compulsions remain. I will exist, revel, and defend my essence."
Rob couldn't help it. One line hit him like a freight train of deja vu, forcing a response out before his self-restraint caught up. "Wait, you 'no longer wish to exist'? Is this another goddamn suicide-by-cop scenario?" "I am familiar with the term. It is appropriate."
"Oh, for the...why do people keep coming to me for that?!" "You possess an uncommon combination of empathy and ruthlessness."
Its tone was dry, as if stating an objective fact. "Those who come to you can sense it. They know, instinctively, that you will give them the answer they seek. Mercy and reassurance is granted if your empathy decides as such. A swift death will be granted if it decides otherwise."
Quietly, so soft that it could've been mistaken for a whisper, the cube chuckled. "A veritable Angel of Death. Perhaps that should be your name."
Rob clenched his fists. "And just what do you think you know about me?" he snapped. "Much. I am an Observer."
"You–" "Thus concludes the first request."
He narrowed his eyes. The constant interruptions were starting to grate. "...Alright. What's Request #2?"
The cube pulsed with latent energy. "Fight me and win."
"Well, I definitely
accep–" "Without Purge Corruption."
Rob fell quiet. That, uh. That complicates things.
Necessity and uncertainty warred within his mind. Aside from maybe Ragnavi and her cheating doubled stats, he was actually better-suited to defeating a Blight than anyone else in Elatra. It went beyond just being high-Level; his unique array of stats and Skills made him specialized for the job.
Fighting the Blight was a marathon, not a sprint – and most Elatrans weren't built for long, drawn-out slugfests. A fighter that prioritized Strength wouldn't be able to chew through the Blight's monstrous HP pool before succumbing. A fighter that prioritized Dexterity would get tagged eventually, as no one could dodge forever. A ranged fighter, like a Mage or Archer, would be chased down with the ease and swiftness of a wolf hunting a rabbit.
But Rob? He brought everything to the table. Imbue Vitality and Living Bomb put out high damage. Rampage let him dodge with quick bursts of speed. Most importantly of all, when the Blight inevitably shrugged off his attacks and struck back, he possessed the Skills and raw HP to endure its reprisal. Lifesurge, Regeneration, Lifesteal, and Dauntless Reprisal rendered him borderline unkillable.
killed him. Without the Skills' meddling, Rob's Elatran vacay would have ended when the Village Blight blasted him with a laser that reduced his atoms to dust. Since then, the Blights had bit him in half, diced him to pieces, decapitated him, infected him with severe Corruption poisoning, and nearly possessed his body. He'd survived by the skin of his teeth far too many times to count. And in each instance where he managed to come out on top and kill
one of the bastards, Purge Corruption was the X-factor that tipped the scales in his favor.
Without that, he was little more than a human challenging an unknowable, eldritch creature. This placid gray cube may have been a mere sliver of their full gestalt existence, yet a sliver of infinity was still infinity. ...Screw it.
Rob breathed in, then out. I've killed stronger. With help, and without a handicap, but ignore all that. Purge Corruption won't work on the gods anyway, so I'll just consider this practice for when I storm their domain. Like a training wheels Blight.
Regardless, one distinct problem remained – the Elder clinging to his back. While Rob didn't want to admit it, this was the exact type of situation Duran had warned him about. Even with his freshly pumped-up bravado, the BERSERKER couldn't fool himself into thinking that he could defeat the Blight and
protect Duran at the same time. Not without Purge Corruption. It simply wasn't possible.
Just then, as if reading his thoughts, the Blight spoke. "If you accept my second request, you will be permitted to stow the Moribund Scholar at a safe distance. I will not harm him in any way. Doing so will constitute an unequivocal forfeit of our battle."
Rob and Duran exchanged confused glances. "May I ask why you'd go to such lengths?" the Elder inquired. "Why diminish Rob's capabilities by restricting Purge Corruption, then grant him this concession? Do you seek what you believe to be a fair duel?" "I only wish to draw out the revelry. Purge Corruption ends it too swiftly."
Despite not moving, the cube seemed to inch closer, as if teleporting between the time it took Rob to blink. "You will have five minutes to prepare upon accepting these terms. Agreed?"
"Yes." Rob said it before Duran could protest, running to the other end of the coliseum. He jumped up onto the stands, depositing a vexed Elder onto the nearest seats. As a precaution, he placed a Waymark point at that spot; it would come in handy in case Duran needed emergency assistance.
Rob held up a hand to forestall any chastisement. "I know it's risky. We don't have a choice. The Blight will keep its word if I win – so I'll just make sure I do."
Elder Duran grimaced. He knew that their friends' lives were on the line, but that didn't mean he was going to enjoy Rob taking more risks. "Against the mightiest of foes, you are bereft of your strongest weapon."
"Life's a bitch, ain't it?" He clasped a hand on Duran's shoulder. "I got this. Do me a favor and believe in me. It'll help me believe in myself."
With that, Rob whirled back around and jumped down to the coliseum floor. He gave the Blight a jaunty wave as he approached, suppressing the instinctual urge to rush forward and flood its body with Purging energy. "That was way less than five minutes. I'm ready to start early if you are." "You must first hear my third request. Conditional upon your victory."
Rob didn't hide the suspicion in his voice. "And what would that be?" "If you prevail. After my form lies battered and broken. Then, and only then, shall you employ Purge Corruption."
"...To end your existence. Prevent you from being reborn." "Correct."
Blue motes circled around Rob's hand, producing a longsword from Spatial Storage. "Buddy? You've got yourself a deal."
The Blight screeched.
Rob winced and covered his ears as the cube slowly lifted into the air, rising until it was over fifty feet up. Its surface rippled like waves tossed around by a tsunami, spikes and geometric shapes flitting in and out of existence, an inexorable pressure building within the air. "Kill. Kill. KILL. KILL. KILL
On reflex, Rob leaped to the side. His increased Perception paid dividends in that moment as a thin line of energy cut through the space where he'd been standing. The line left a deep groove in the dirt – which immediately exploded into a towering conflagration of blackened flame, reaching higher than Rob was tall.
He wisely chose to keep moving. The Blight stayed airborne, firing more thin lines as it repeated a distorted "KILL
" at least once per second. Rob dodged and weaved in-between beams of energy that would have sliced him to ribbons, activating Quick Thinking in order to keep pace with the onslaught. One line nicked the tip of his shoulder, radiating so much heat that it instantly cauterized the wound as it shot past. 20 Slashing Damage Received! 17 Corruption Received!
Despite the energy beams feeling like condensed lava, the plumes of flame they ignited gave off little to no heat. One erupted right behind Rob's back, and although it was mere inches away, he felt nothing. If anything, that made him more
nervous than if they were just fire walls colored black for dramatic effect. He didn't want to test what would happen if he touched one. "KILL."
The Blight continued its assault. "KILL."
Its intonation quivered with constrained, unnatural emotion, like an unfinished text-to-speech AI that wasn't quite ready to hit the market yet. "KILL. KILL."
"I would if you'd let me!" Rob grit his teeth as he was forced to cast Rampage to dodge the next barrage of energy lines. One Rampage only expended 50 of his 800 MP, but as other battles had proven, that added up quickly. "Why don't you get down here and fight me face-to-face?! Man-to-cube! None of this cowardly ranged spam BS!" "KILL." Yeah, I didn't think that would work either.
Rob ducked as a laser zipped over his head, trimming several threads of hair that had stuck their necks out when they shouldn't have. He considered himself lucky that he hadn't lost more than that. While his increased Perception did
help, he still wasn't built for consistent dodging – that was Keira or Zamira's shtick.
Unfortunately, his options were limited. With Purge Corruption banned, any Corruption damage he took would be permanent, meaning he couldn't just throw himself at the lasers and pop a Lifesurge afterwards. Normally he'd solve this conundrum by rushing down the Blight with an Imbue Vitality strike, but it was making that difficult by staying high up in the air.
Like an asshole
The Harpy campaign had taught Rob that flying enemies with ranged attacks were his biggest weakness. He simply didn't have many Skills that could deal with them. Rampage would get him in range if he repeatedly cast it upward, but that drained MP like crazy. And the only attacks he had that could pass for 'ranged' attacks were telegraphed at best.
Knowing full well that it would accomplish nothing, he summoned a Riardin Special and chucked the crate of Firebombs directly towards the Blight. The cube rippled slightly, casually diverting a single laser to tag the crate before it had even traveled halfway to its target. A thunderous explosion rang out through the air, the Riardin Special going up in flames, taking Rob's meager hopes with them.
He paused, the explosive shockwave bringing back memories of an old strategy. Now there's an idea. If I repurpose it...should work.
It would cost him some HP, but what else was new?
Rob dashed to a spot directly underneath the Blight. It didn't make an effort to move away, so hopefully that meant it wasn't mobile while mid-air. Quickly, before it could inundate the ground with lines of combustive energy, he summoned a Firebomb crate from his Bound Items, followed afterwards by the Dwarven Sheet Metal stacked on top. Without skipping a beat, Rob jumped on the stack, slamming his feet down to trigger the Riardin Special.
Thanks to wonders of physics, the subsequent explosion launched both him and the Sheet Metal straight upwards. The Blight momentarily froze, as if stunned at what it was seeing. Rob gladly accepted the reprieve – he was concentrating on keeping balance. His improv rocketship wasn't particularly stable, and it wouldn't get him all
the way there, but it still saved a boatload of MP that he would've otherwise needed to use on Rampage. Almost out of 'fuel'. Let's fix that.
He summoned a second Riardin Special underneath the Sheet Metal, then detonated it once more. The blast tore apart the weakened Sheet and singed Rob's legs, which was a small price to pay for added momentum.
That finally seemed to jar the Blight out of its stupor. With renewed vigor, the cube continued its assault. Cutting beams of energy rained down, one after another.
Dauntless Reprisal stopped the first. Rob activated its secondary effect to reflect the damage back onto the Blight, smirking as a long gouge appeared on the creature's surface, gray material flaking off its body. He dodged a second laser by activating the Bracelet of Teleportation to transport himself fifteen feet up, nearly closing the rest of the gap.
The third laser severed his left arm at the bicep. 198 Slashing Damage Received! 191 Corruption Received!
An acceptable loss. He only needed one arm to swing his sword. Bulk Up. Power Slash. Anklet of Brawn. Imbue Vitality.
Rob layered offensive buffs in rapid succession, his blade pulsing with immense power. He capped it off with a single cast of Rampage, further increasing the damage multiplier and sending him to meet the Blight in a head-on assault. "KILL."
"IF YOU INSIST!"
His longsword smashed into the cube's underside. A sound like breaking bone and shattering glass resounded in Rob's ears. The Blight's surface caved inwards, as if dented, and a spiderweb of cracks spread out from the point of impact. Gray flakes showered off the Blight in droves, briefly floating through the air before dissipating.
Link to Part 2
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2023.12.04 04:12 DorkSidedStuff Trip Report: The Infinite Coma
We arrived at Linda's house at around 2 or 3PM. Kara, my now ex-shaman-partner in serving medicine drove with Carlos, Kara's teacher at the time, a shaman from the Lakota tradition who we had met on a roadtrip in Texas.
The ayahuasca ceremony we had planned would ultimately host around 6 people not including ourselves. Linda was a woman that was active in the medicine community and had offered up her home as a ceremony space. The house and the backyard were beautiful, spacious, and seemed to carry good energy. The backyard even had a fire pit and plenty of privacy.
The ceremony was divided up into 2 sessions, the first being that night starting at 6, the second the following day starting at noon. Kara had devised this very unique schedule through a message she received from the medicine. Ayahuasca ceremonies are traditionally never done during the day. They typically start very late at night and into the morning.
For brevity, I'm choosing to skip talking about the first night. It was fairly uneventful as I realized way too late that I had taken too little medicine for a deeper connection.
The following day we all gathered on Linda's back porch in preparation for the ceremony and to take the first cup. Having become so close with Carlos over the last year, he allowed me to pour my own cup. In 20+ ceremonies, I've never poured my own cup before. I took the opportunity as an honor and sign. I knew right away that this day was going to be big for me. After pouring the cup, I glanced at Kara whose eyes shot wide open at the sight of my cup. I had poured the equivalent of 2.5 cups without knowing it. I said a quick prayer over the medicine and started to gulp. For context, it took 5 strong gulps for me to finish the cup. I looked at the empty cup, handed it back, and proceeded to the edge of the porch where I gripped the railing tightly and thought to myself, "I am so fucked".
After everyone had taken their cup, we all gathered back inside and laid down in our spots waiting for the medicine to wake up. I immediately felt it rise up in me about 20 minutes in, far sooner than usual. Kara, sensing my experience, came over and sat down behind me asking me to rest my head on her lap. The medicine was unsurprisingly coming on very strong. I closed my eyes and prepared to go deep and saw what appeared to be a glass door. Through the door was a space that I had seen before on mushrooms. "The Dr. Seuss fun house". It resembled an all black and white, striped landscape that looks like it came right out of "Oh the Places You'll Go". It pulsed and emitted that "I'm going crazy" type energy. Kara sensed where I was and said, "Just let go". I felt myself left with the choice of going through the door or ending the journey right then and there.
When it comes to plant medicine of any form, I'll admit that I'm a coward. And I say this as someone who has served it a number of times (both DMT and Bufo) and facilitated an equivalent number of aya ceremonies. I've been on many journeys and yet the fear never goes away. So when given the choice of going through the door vs being forced through it, I will always pick the former. In this instance, I did just that. I quickly opened my eyes and the door vanished. I frantically blinked to try to get the vision back, but it was gone. Extremely disappointed with myself, I looked up at Kara and I said that I couldn't do it. She gently caressed my face and lovingly replied, "you didn't have to".
The grandmother (ayahuasca), like the children (mushrooms), works in extremely interesting ways, often round-about and seemingly sneaky. As you can guess, this was not the end. Just the beginning.
I laid there for the next hour looking around the room on my side, secretly hoping the journey was actually over. Medicine music played on the speaker and the sun cast beautiful rays that illuminated the room with an iridescent glow. There was a beautiful moment of silence and all at once, we all looked to the open sliding glass doors where the sun was shining through. An ethereal breeze gently blew in as if to wish everyone luck on their journeys.
Another 30 minutes passed and I laid in silence alone as everyone had moved out to the backyard. A feeling of unease surrounded me. My reality began to slowly shift. Gathering myself and my blanket I walked out onto the deck with my superman cape duvet. The fire pit was lit and with the temperature dropping, I went to secure a place by the fire. Kara and Carlos were there with a girl named Vera, a friend of Kara's. Vera was in the process of receiving rapè from Carlos.
Carlos is a shaman gifted with his speech. Shamans born into traditions can be extremely powerful. They're able to tap into things like telepathy, healing with touch, astral projection, etc. Carlos wasn't known for miracles but he could use speech in ways that I've never seen before. As he spoke to Vera, he was preparing the rapè, a tobacco based snuff applied through something called a tepi. I sat dangerously close the fire and listened to his words as Kara translated into English for him. What at first started as sage advice quickly turned scathingly dark.
"You're a whore", he said.
"You like to seduce medicine men because you like the power. You're doing this as way to take back the innocence that was stolen from you by your father".
Vera who had tried to come onto Carlos prior to the ceremony and having been molested by her father at a young age, wretched and began purging violently into her bucket. For context, Vera had never told him about her father. His words made me incredibly nauseous. I looked on as Carlos' face began to morph into a painting. The medicine was waking up.
Carlos continued speaking as Vera, still clutching her bucket, began to purge even harder. Kara translated with an almost disturbingly stoic expression. I realized that the preparation of the rapè was a tool he was using to make his words more powerful. The scene became progressively scarier as the psychedelia began to swirl and mix with my reality. I wanted to run away but something inside told me that I couldn't so I stayed, bearing the grueling weight of Carlos' words. I realized at this point I was basically in Kara's lap as I huddled close to her for comfort, for sanity.
Twenty minutes had passed and I found myself in the fetal position under my blanket with my head on Kara's lap. The group was having a cheerful conversation as pretty much everyone had come out of the medicine already. But there I was phasing in and out of psychedelia. It was hitting me in waves as I had short bouts of losing consciousness. I looked at Kara's face and her words began to glitch. Then I was gone. My journey had started.
I sat in pitch blackness only aware that my body was cold. As Kara would tell me later, I was dangerously close the fire multiple times and she had to make sure I didn't set myself on my fire. I was going through some kind of hallway likely representing the deep, dark recesses of my sub conscious. I kept hearing doors opening and closing in the darkness.
"I'm scared", I whispered to Kara.
"What are you scared of", she replied.
"Death", I said.
The medicine was about to hit HARD and I knew it so I muttered one last sentence before completely going in, "I trust you Kara". The first lesson revealed itself to me. It was that trust is sacred. It is at its core the ability to put your life in someone's hands. It's an act of love. Just like gratitude is an act of love. And I realized I trusted Kara because I loved her and she loved me. As I spiraled into the depths of a journey, I knew Kara was there to make sure I stayed alive. To protect me while I was at my weakest. This allowed me to let go of everything that was happening at the surface level. Everything went dark.
I opened my eyes to find myself in a hospital bed on what looked like some kind of aircraft carrier out at sea. The sky was an impossibly brilliant shade of blue and surrounding me were all the people that took part in the ceremony that weekend. Kara was at the center of them. I couldn't move. Unlike other journeys, this one felt real in the sense that my physical body had been transported somewhere else. My sense of self was intact.
Kara, clearly excited that I had awakened from an apparent coma, or...something, motioned for the others to give me space. Kara spoke.
"It's ok! Just breathe. The first time is like this for everyone. I believe in you! You just have to wake up!"
I had woken up into another dimension, one that sat levels above our reality. It felt strikingly similar to Neo waking up from the matrix. I was terrified and began to panic. I still couldn't move but I could speak.
"Kara? I love you...Recalibrating", was all I was able to get out. And at that moment, as if I rebooted the program that it was my reality, I slipped back into the darkness only to wake up some time later. It could have been days or weeks. There was no way to tell. When I opened my eyes, Kara and a few others were still there looking at me, though some had left. "Kara? I love you...Recalibrating". "I know, I love you too", she replied.
This continued on for what felt like years, decades, centuries. I woke up and fell back asleep countless times, unable to ever fully wake up. I questioned whether this was ever going to end. Each time I woke up and told Kara that I loved her, there were less people around me, like they had given up on me and left. Over time, Kara's voice showed hints of sadness, of hopelessness. Her expression grew weaker with every instance. The sun began to set in the distance. I felt myself giving up, of accepting this fate that was going to go on into infinity. I felt sad for myself. I felt overwhelmingly sad for Kara who would continue waiting there forever. In the final scene we found ourselves out in the desert by an abandoned gas station. Both the sun and moon sat side by side in the sky at four times their normal sizes as sad music played somewhere in the distance. From my hospital bed, I could see Kara had set up a hammock and was smoking a pipe as we watched the sun set into infinity. The whole thing looked like a Salvador Dali painting.
And then finally I woke up into reality. I found myself laying alone by the fire. It had gotten dark and only the faint glow of the horizon line provided enough light to see the scene in the backyard. The group was at the far end of the yard. I couldn't move and could tell that I was still deeply in medicine. "Recalibrating..." I managed to get out before blacking out again. I thought I had permanent brain damage. The recalibrations continued on but this time, I was staying in my reality. After about an hour of this, the medicine faded and I finally came to.
The night air, though cold, felt refreshing and new. Every breath felt like my first one. I felt immense strength both in my body and in my soul. The experience of traversing dimensions, of an infinite coma, broke me into the acceptance of what is. It's a lesson I've learned a number of times with Aya. It's that acceptance of any situation, no matter how bad, will always bring you peace.
Experiencing the infinite makes you appreciate the way humans perceive time. Time exists because memory exists. And memory is such a gift because it's not perfect, because we forget. Forgetting is death and remembering is life. What we don't realize is that they're both happening simultaneously. Every moment is a forgetting and remembering. You are literally dying to yourself and being reborn every moment you're alive.
submitted by DorkSidedStuff
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2023.12.04 03:53 shadowdoom9 Rachel's Race to Fame (Big Nate fanfic centered around one of Nate's future kids) Part 2
Continued from: https://www.reddit.com/Shadowdoom_Safe_Haven/comments/18abmk7/rachels_race_to_fame_big_nate_fanfic_centered/
After that week is Rachel's final exam, and thanks to her focus on studying during her grounding week, she passed the exam and can graduate from 8th grade and middle school! Of course, there aren't any pranks, she's not as much as of a prankster as Nate was when he was in middle school.
Another week later, it's Rachel's 14th birthday! She has a nice birthday lunch with her family at a pizzeria. After eating Rachel, while paying the bill, Nate tells Rachel, "You know what? Since you've successfully graduated from Middle School and your behavior has improved, your mom and I decided that we will give you back your keytar when we get home."
Rachel smiles excitedly. "Really???"
"Yep," Ruby answers. "It's all yours again!"
"YES!!! Thank you both so much! You've made my birthday-"
Nate's phone rings, interrupting the conversation, and he picks it up. "Hi, Ellen... What's wrong? You seem so... Uh-huh.... Oh dear... OK.. We'll get there soon."
After Nate hangs up, Ruby asks, "What is it, dear?"
"Everyone, we have to go," Nate announces. "His time's almost up."
"Whose time?" Rachel enquires.
The family head to the car and drive to the hospital. They enter Martin's ward and see Ellen and a couple doctors by Martin's side. Martin's life is weakening and he's barely awake.
"If any of you have any final words you wanna say to him, say them now," Ellen suggests.
Rachel volunteers. "Hi, Grandpa."
"Well, if it isn't young Rachel," Martin mutters, his voice fading. "How are you doing?"
"I'm fine. I just graduated from middle school and I'm in my own band, though it's unstable in activity."
"That's nice. Listen, this may be my last time seeing all of you here on Earth, but I just wanna say, based on what your father told me, you're one heck of a brave girl. I would've discouraged you from getting into a fight or sneaking out at night, but what matters is, you're still around, and your parents know very well how to raise you."
"Thanks, Dad. I love you."
"I love you too. And let your father and your Aunt Ellen know that I love them too, with all of... my... heart....."
Martin has a heart attack, and the heartbeat monitor flatlines.
Rachel, with her eyes full of tears, mutters, "Grandpa?"
One of the doctors declares Martin's time of death, "1:28pm", which is coincidentally the same time Rachel was born exactly 14 years ago. Everyone breaks down in tears.
The following week, Rachel, her family, Ellen, and Ted all have a funeral and burial for Martin. Since then, Nate has been visiting Ellen to help her cope with the grief. They also decided to collaborate with each other in Ellen's romance novels. Ellen writes her novels, while Nate does some illustrations. It's the kind of sibling chemistry they didn't have when they were young.
Also, while Ruby is out taking care of her own work, Rachel is in charge of taking care of Maxwell. It's not as easy as she thought it would be. In times when Rachel wants to watch TV, listen to metal music, or play her keytar, Maxwell wants her to play some games with him. Rachel has to listen to Maxwell on any safe thing he wants. The better Rachel's brother-sitting skills are, the more likely she will get paid.
Then one day, Vanessa shows up. Her scraped shin is fully healed, but she still has to wear her foot cast and crutches.
"Sup Rachel!?" Vanessa shouts. "I haven't seen you in a while!"
"Hi, Vanessa," Rachel greets Vanessa. "How's your foot?"
"Still broken, but it will be fully healed in a few weeks. Anyway, I just came by to show you this." Vanessa shows Rachel a flier for a Battle of the Bands competition, that's happening on August 11, with a registration fee of $50.
"Wow, Vanessa! This must be a sign for us to restart the band."
"I know, right?! This will be awesome as sh-"
"SHHH... Not where Maxwell can hear."
"Sorry. Anyway, there's still a couple major issues with our plan."
"Sonja will be moving back to Finland, and Todd is still upset with us?"
"Yep. And there's also that pesky registration fee. Having to do a job to earn that much money seems like a lot of work."
"Actually it's quite easy peasy! I just need to take care of Maxwell and make sure he's safe and having fun. My mom will pay me any time my brother-skills are high-quality."
"I'm glad you're doing the main work, Rachel. Thanks! Need some help?"
"Sure. But nothing inappropriate, OK?"
So Vanessa starts hanging out with Rachel and Maxwell. Vanessa sits on the sofa, with her broken ankle resting on the ottoman, while Rachel and Maxwell play with a Hot Wheels set.
"Watch this car go zoom!" Maxwell exclaims as he zooms his toy car through a loop-de-loop track. The toy car launches off a ramp and bounces on Vanessa's foot cast.
"OWW!!!" Vanessa screams in pain.
Fortunately, Maxwell has the good manners to immediately say "sorry". Nonetheless, Vanessa gets up with her crutches and starts heading out.
"I think I better go now," Vanessa says, wincing a bit from the pain surge. "Gotta make sure my foot doesn't get messed up."
As Vanessa exits the house, Rachel calls out, "Come back later!"
"More Hot Wheels?" Maxwell asks Rachel.
"Sorry, bro," Rachel replies, while putting away the Hot Wheels set. "That's enough Hot Wheels for today. Let's find something else to do."
The next day, Rachel gets a text message from Vanessa, "Hey, Rachel! Come to my house! There's someone I want you to talk to."
Rachel texts back, "OK, but can I bring Maxwell along? It's against the babysitter's code to leave the kid home alone."
"Yeah, of course!"
Rachel and Maxwell go to Vanessa's house, and to Rachel's surprise, she sees Todd.
"Oh, hey, Todd!" Rachel greets him. "So, anything new?"
"Hi, Rachel," Todd responds. "Not much. Vanessa told me you wanted to start our band again."
"I'm up for that, but I don't really want you and Vanessa fighting over me."
"Yeah, sorry about that. You probably already know by now that I have a crush on you, but I know you and Vanessa are dating, and I should respect that and be a better friend."
"Thanks, Rachel. Now where were we, Vanessa?" Todd and Vanessa look at each other and start kissing.
Rachel is a little grossed out at that, especially when Maxwell is around. "UGH!!! EW! Let's go home, Maxwell! Nothing to see here! Gotta go, Todd and Vanessa, bye!"
The next day, Rachel is determined to raise more money for her babysitting, in order to get enough for the Battle of the Bands registration fee. She asks Ruby to pay her extra for babysitting Maxwell.
The usually calm Ruby turns mad and yells, "What do you mean extra?!? He's your brother!!!"
"So?" Rachel answers back. "It would make my job more worth it, and I would learn more about the value of money."
Nate overhears and steps into the conversation. "Ruby, if Rachel wants to train for a job, then let her do it. It's a good responsibility."
Ruby switches back to her calm self. "OK, you're right, Nate. Rachel, we can pay you extra, but only if your dad and I are both out for at least an hour."
"No problem," Rachel says. "Thanks, Mom and Dad! I won't let you down."
So Rachel continues babysitting Maxwell while Nate and Ellen continue their romance novel collaborations and Ruby takes care of her own work, and any time Nate and Ruby are out for more than an hour, Rachel gets paid extra.
Then one day, Rachel checks on Maxwell but he's not around. She keeps calling his name, but no response. She goes to her room and starts to cry, thinking Maxwell is gone, her parents won't trust her again, and her life will be screwed. But then she notices her bedroom window open, a "boing" sound like a trampoline, and Maxwell appearing and disappearing up and down. He had set up a trampoline outside under Rachel's bedroom window and jumped out the window onto the trampoline, and he's bouncing on it.
"Hey sis!" Maxwell exclaims. "Look at me jump!"
Shocked, Rachel runs outside, bounces on the trampoline, catches Maxwell, and lands safely on the ground. Rachel puts the trampoline back in the garage.
"That was very dangerous, young man!" Rachel scolds Maxwell. "Now let's get back inside. You had me worried!"
"I understand. Sorry, sis," Maxwell says and hugs Rachel.
Rachel accepts that hug. "Your safety is my responsibility and what I need to earn money. So no more dangerous stuff, OK?"
Right around then, someone knocks on the door. Rachel opens the door and sees Sonja.
"Oh, hi, Sonja," Rachel greets her.
"Hey, Rachel!" Sonja exclaims. "It's been a while since I last saw you. I noticed your brother jumping high on that trampoline, that's really cool."
"Yeah, but also highly risky! He won't be doing anymore of that when I'm around. So what are you smiling about? Don't you have to move back to Finland sometime this month or the next?"
"It was a false alarm! My dad's company determining that it was the "wrong call" to fire him, and now he's back onboard. So now I can stay in this country and rejoin your band!"
"YAHOO!!!!!" Rachel cheers. Then she shows Sonja the Battle of the Bands flier.
Sonja reads the flier and says, "$50 to register for a Battle of the Bands? That seems quite pricy, doesn't it?"
"Yeah, that's why I have to be paid to babysit my brother, and I still don't have even close to enough for that fee."
"Hey, maybe I can help you out via busking."
"I don't know. I'm banned from busking after that incident, and Vanessa's foot still need to heal."
"True, but I can definitely impress any people passing by with my beautiful singing, so much so they'll have to pay me a lot!"
"I guess that can work. Thanks, Sonja!"
"Sure thing! When you don't have to watch your brother, come and listen to me some time!"
Once Ruby comes back home and pays Rachel, it's time for Rachel to head downtown and watch Sonja perform. Some of Sonja's favorite symphonic metal songs that she performed are "Canvas of Life" by Epica, "Nemo" by Nightwish, "Memories" by Within Temptation, and "My Immortal" by Evanescence. Indeed her vocals are so serene that she ends up earning a lot of money.
Now that Rachel and Sonja have enough money to register for the Battle of the Bands, they head to the community center to pay the fee. With that, DreamStars is ready for the Battle of the Bands. On their way back to their neighborhood, they discuss their plan for a month of the band practicing to prepare for the Battle of the Bands. However, they don't know that someone's been walking around, eavesdropping on their plan. It's the stealthy Julianne, thinking of a good plan for a wicked prank!
A couple weeks later, Vanessa's leg is fully healed, and the band can start practicing together again. Alongside the songs Sonja were singing while busking, the band was also covering "Swamped" by Lacuna Coil, "Let Go" from Piggy: Book 2, and "Bad Apple!!" by Alstroemeria Records, along with a few original songs. After a couple weeks of practice, they're ready for the Battle of the Bands!
At the competition, Rachel and her band are performing, with her family watching in the audience. But then Nate notices someone in the platform above the stage. It's Julianne, getting ready to dump 3 buckets of goulash, each on one of the 3 girls! Nate, remembering when he had to save Principal Nichols from Bentley (in The Legend of the Gunting), sprints up the stairs to the platform and confronts Julianne.
"You're not gonna ruin my daughter's moment of glory, young lady!" Nate yells as he grabs Julianne's wrists, like a cop apprehending a criminal.
During her struggle to get free, Julianne headbutts two of the buckets of goulash off the platform above Sonja and Vanessa. Fortunately, the goulash misses them, and they didn't notice. Julianne finally breaks free from Nate's grip and grabs the 3rd bucket, getting ready to dump it on Rachel. However, Nate tackles Julianne, causing the bucket of goulash to be flung upward in the air. Nate rolls out of the way as the goulash lands on Julianne, all over her face and clothes. She let out a loud ear-piercing shriek in disgust.
Nate lets out a quiet gasp. "Oh wow.... I actually fought a Godfrey... And I won! Who's the mighty one now, missy?!"
Julianne starts screaming at Nate, "YOU FREAKIN' FREAK JUST CAN'T EVER GET OUT OF MY WAY!!! YOU JUST CAN'T RESIST RUINING EVERYTHING, CAN YOU!?! YOU FREAKIN' FREAK!!!! WHEN WILL YOU LEARN!?!? WHEN WILL YOU LEARN NOT TO SCREW UP MY LIFE!?"
"Don't you talk to me like that, girl!" Nate yells back. "If you ever mess with me, my daughter, or her friends again, I'll make sure your parents, maybe even your Grandma Clara, find out about your bullying and punish you. God, it feels good saying my former social studies teacher's first name. Now get out of here! And take a shower at home, you have stinky cafeteria mush all over you."
Julianne, defeated and covered in mush, storms off in a huff.
Nate hears someone shout, "Hey, try not to make so much noise! I wanna hear this band perform."
Nate responds, "Sorry about that, it was- OH MY GOD! Teddy, Francis, is that you? I haven't seen you guys in so long!"
Nate rushes down the stairs, back to the crowd. That's right, it is Francis and Teddy, all grown up!
"It really is you guys!" Nate exclaims. "I thought I would never see you again."
"I know, right?" Francis replies. "When I saw the poster for the Battle of the Bands, I felt like watching it to bring back memories of our former band."
"Same here," Teddy says. "It's crazy how we all see each other for the first time in decades, right in the same place! Small world, am I right?"
"You know what, guys?" Nate asks. "I think since we had all the time away to let go of the earlier trauma, after my daughter Rachel and her band finish performing, then would be a great time for us to reform Enslave the Mollusk. What do you say?"
Without hesitation, Francis answers, "I'm up for it! Alongside my career as a mathematician, I've also spent some time as a underground rock guitarist. I even wrote a song in memory of my late girlfriend, titled 'Oh Sheila, My Sheila' that should be performed with a full band."
"I have a career as both a stand-up comedian and a mall piano player," Teddy explains. "So yeah, I can definitely join the band! The only thing I would ask you to do is change 'Enslave' to 'Fear'."
"Eh, I can live with that," Nate says.
When Rachel and her band finish performing, the host announces, "Thank you, DreamStars! Now let's all vote for who wins the-"
"Wait!" Nate interrupts. "My two reunited pals and I would like to make a last-minute registeration to the Battle of the Bands. Please? I'm the father of the DreamStars' keytarist!"
The host thinks for a moment and says, "OK, you guys are in, but the limit is 10 minutes, tops. Now do you have a lead vocalist?"
"Do we have a-" Teddy repeats then face-palms in realization. "ARRG! We forgot about a lead singer!"
Francis gasps. "Artur is still away in Belarus! Now who's gonna sing?!"
A voice behind them says, "I can." It's Ruby!
Nate is stunned. "Ruby???? I thought you were retired from your popstar days as Ruby Pink!"
"Yeah, but I decided to un-retire for this occasion," Ruby responds. "I can always be there to help, and a little more fame can't hurt me. I also brought my Ruby Pink outfit in my purse just in case."
"OK then, you're all in," The host says. "Now before you begin, what's your band's name?"
Nate thinks about what Teddy suggested and answers, "Fear the Mollusk."
After Ruby changes into her Ruby Pink outfit in the restroom, she, Nate, Francis, Teddy get on the stage. Nate uses Todd's drum kit, Francis uses Vanessa's guitar, Teddy uses a keyboard that one of the earlier bands had, and Ruby uses Rachel's keytar, all promising to return the instruments to their respective owners after the performance, and to buy their own with the prize money if they win it.
The 3 songs the band performed are Ruby Pink's one-hit-wonder "Sparkle With Me", Francis' song "Oh Sheila, My Sheila", and a classic from the band, "You're Never Alone in the Fitness Zone". Rachel is in the crowd with Maxwell, Vanessa, Sonja, and Todd, and she enjoys those songs so much, thinking Fear the Mollusk is way better than any of her favorite metal bands, and can possibly surpass her own band. If the studio versions of those songs come out, she would definitely want to hear them in a playlist.
After the performance was over, the host announces, "Thank you, Fear the Mollusk! Now let's all vote for who wins the Battle of the Bands! Anyone who likes DreamStars, raise your hands."
Everyone raises their hand except Rachel, Maxwell, Vanessa, Sonja, and Todd.
"OK, now anyone who likes Fear the Mollusk, raise your hands."
Everyone raises their hand INCLUDING Rachel, Maxwell, Vanessa, Sonja, and Todd.
"All right, then congratulations, Fear the Mollusk! You win $50,000!!!!!"
Everyone starts cheering, especially Rachel, Maxwell, Vanessa, Sonja, and Todd.
So the band that Nate, Francis, and Teddy started, Fear the Mollusk has officially reunited, with Ruby Pink as their lead singer. The band returned the instruments to their respective owners and spent part of the winning money on new instruments that they can use as their own. They also recorded the songs they performed professionally in a rented studio as a demo EP, which Nate gave a copy of to Rachel.
Rachel cries tears of joy when she receives her copy of the EP. "Dad... Thank you...."
"No, thank you!" Nate responds. "I finally get to play again!"
The band members continue raising their respective children and having their usual jobs while keeping the band alive, and whenever Nate and Ruby are both out, Rachel babysits Maxwell and has her usual pay for doing so. She even lets him listen to her band perform, but not the bands she listens to. Ellen finds Gordie and they both starting date. It should also be noted that Todd is Gordie's nephew. Vanessa and Todd's relationship is stabilized. Then Rachel and her friends start high school quite smoothly, because of how much praise they're getting as a band, with requests for some DreamStars shows, and because Julianne is too scared to bully them anymore. Rachel will definitely survive high school with her parents' music and great friends. An exciting new era for her awaits!
submitted by shadowdoom9
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2023.12.04 01:17 Glass-Jelly2484 Is The Parting of the Ways the best final Doctor story?
I went and saw Christopher Eccleston live in theatre the other day and as such have since found myself revisting his Doctor Who series.
I got to the end and ended up thinking a lot about how his final story goes down (and the what if of if he hadnt quit here) and I came to the realization I think this may be the best final adventure any Doctor got?
My memory of Classic Who is a bit sketchy these days but of the Modern run I think this easily takes the cake. The plot with Chris having to confront the war that haunts him all series and face the full scale return of the Daleks is really powerful. It beautifully capstones his arch with the "Coward any day" line and is the only Deus Ex Machina ending RTD did that doesn't feel super cheap.
The End of Time is okay although I think the idea of the Timelords returning isn't given enough focus and we waste too much time on Skeletor Master. It also is a shame as I think Journeys End feels like a much better send off for Tennant.
Time of the Doctor is solid but losing Amy and Rory earlier this series means Smith is stuck with a companion he and the audience aren't as invested in. I also think this story tries too hard to be epic
Twice Upon a Time is cute but kinda a filler (obviously we know it was a bit last minute) and The Doctor Falls felt like a much more beautifully tragic end for 12. I feel like this story would have benefitted from a tighter and more intimate story. Keep 12 and 1 but ditch the rest of the cast for a more "Heaven Sent" esque adventure.
Power of the Doctor feels very messy and I think it was a weird choice for all the emotional moments to go to the cameo Doctors. Imagine if Tennant turned into Tom Baker in School Reunion for the big emotional crux of the plot. This story feels less like it wants to celebrate Jodie's era and instead is more interested in looking back for the BBC Centenary.
Im curious what you guys think? I know some people will default to "my fav is X so their final story is the best" but I'm curious which final story you feel pays off and caps that potrayal the best?
submitted by Glass-Jelly2484
to gallifrey [link] [comments]
2023.12.03 22:08 AutisticByDefault Discussion/My Theory For The Final 60th Special Thread (Post Wild Blue Yonder)
Fair warning, it's gonna be a long post so TLDR at the end but I just wanted to give context as to why this theory really excites me and to also open up a discussion about the upcoming episode.
So I was incredibly surprised at the acknowledgement of Flux and events of Timeless Child in Wild Blue Yonder. As I thought they were gonna gloss over and ignore what happened and never mention it again. And I'm so glad they did as although I'm not the biggest fan of The Timeless Child as it does fundamentally break all we know what we know about Who, I also accept it's now apart of the show and the WHOniverse and we can't lie, it does open up a lot of interesting and endless possibilities for the show to explore. And if done right can add some awesome adventures to the show.
The Giggle Theory:
Coming off of Jodie's years, we can subjectively say that she went through A LOT!! Everything from:
- The Master appearing as an extra evil version of themselves after dealing with Missy, where Capaldi spent decades of his life trying to convince Missy that helping others is good and he finally got through and thought the Master being an adversary was over.....only for Sasha to show up and ruin everything. Including...vv
- After centuries of feeling guilt after the Time War and believing that they destroyed Gallifrey it turns out they actually helped save their home all their people. And it was just frozen in pocket dimension.......only to have the jackassary of the Master FLIPPING DESTROY GALLIFREY AGAIN!!
- AND ON TOP OF THAT, learn that their whole history of Time Lords and their society to be a lie. And a lie so devastating that even the Master was so disturbed by it that he obliterated the whole planet and everyone on it. But still hates the Doctor enough to torture them by not telling them anything at all and to figure out everything herself.
- ONLY THEN to learn that she was the lie and the foundation of all Gallifreyian society, but not actually from Gallifrey, BUT FROM ANOTHER DIMENSION ENTIRELY. And that they had a whole life and existence before what they can remember. AND on top of that, the Time Lords experimented on her, stole her power, conditioned and weaponised her as apart of Division and made her forget everything that happened before Hartnell.
- So now she's just lost and overwhelmed with everything that happened...... and then the whole of the bleeding universe is threatened of being wiped out and she has to put her feelings aside and deal with this new threat. But although is a bit extreme, fully focussing on saving the universe is a great way to distract her from dealing with the whole Timeless Child ordeal.....
- But then some enemies of her previous lives show up in the middle of saving all reality and are pulling her into facing her forgotten past head on and remembering bits but not the whole story of her prior lives. She then meets Tectaun and Swarm and Azure and the planet of Time itself?? (ok sure). And she's presented with a solution to get her all her memories back.
- But she's scared to find out, as it could lead to something she doesn't want to deal with. So she chucks it in the TARDIS and will get to it when she's ready to deal with it. (btw this isn't confirmed but what I think the Doctor is feeling) But now she maybe feels that she did the wrong thing by not opening the watch but is certain that throwing it away was the right thing to do, but maybe for selfish reasons was wrong reason and all theseother questions are firing on cylinders in her mind. But she compartmentalises and ignores it for now, but still wrestles with the guilt and saves the universe. Yay!
- Then she's faced with the everlasting dread of loving someone as Dan reveals that Yaz is in love with her (not cool dude, outing someone like that). But anyways, at this point she's lost Rose, Donna (platonic love as a bestie, not romantic), River, Clara (platonic here too) and a billion other people as they can't live forever, so loving someone is pretty much off the cards for the Doctor. But now it's thrown right back in her face and has to deal with never being able to be with anyone. Ever. And has to come clean to Yaz about why, and that is a really tough convo to have trust me
- And then the Master shows up again, coz of course he does. And now she has to deal with him trying to take over her entire life and reputation, coz as we all know if the Doctor is removed from the universe, the universe kinda dies. So universe ending again is not a great situation to be in ngl.
- But somehow, 13 gets through all of the trauma, and the guilt, and regret, and sadness, and fury (careful of the fury of a Time Lord btw), and loss, and envy, and rage of all that's happened to her and is once again hopeful, optimistic and content for the future, but still is dealing with all of what happened. So when she regenerates and is really hopeful..... BAM! A previous face comes up and is so bewildered of WTF is happening to them.
- But after dealing with the Daleks and what have you, 14 now runs into Donna of all people. And as we all know (hopefully), if she remembers who he is, she goes full nuclear bomb and dies. So now he's dealing with that.....great.
So now you got the context, this where the theory kicks into high gear and really excites me:
Okay so. The biggest questions that I have in these specials are 'Why did this face come back? Why Tennants out of all of prior Doctors? Why is the universe revolving around Donna again? And why now?'.
Now obvs BBC wanted Tennant and Tate to return hype and to get people back into the show yada yada yada, but in why is this happening in universe?
I think (like most), it's the Toymaker doing some voodoo work and moving his chess pieces of all reality, has messed with the Doctors regeneration and made him into Tennant again.
- But why now? Because this one of few moments where the Doctor has been at their most vulnerable, and as we saw in Wild Blue Yonder, the events of Flux and Timeless Child are still in full effect.
- Why Donna? Because she went through the EXACT same thing the Doctor just has, having their memory wiped but remnants of the past still pushing through.
- And why Tennant? Because that was the face that enacted the same thing he is going through right now
And the Toymaker has been bubbling his hatred pot over the last however long for the Doctor, since he's the only person to ever defeat him (haven't fact checked this so don't come at me). And NOW is the time to strike!
And the whole reason for landing next to Donna and destiny winding around her again was to get the Doctor on a high by saving his best friend, then shoving them to edge of the universe. 1. to get them away so he can enact his havoc on London, 2. so the Doctor can reflect on his trauma he doesn't want to deal with, and where's the best place to do that..... the void of nothingness, and 3. to send him spiralling through history and mess it up a bit so Toymaker can do his thing (kinda saves the inclusion of the Isaac Newton scene for me, but won't surprise me if that's just a bit of fun and will pick up in Ncuti's run)
But either way, I can see Russell winding all this together and have the Toymaker be the ultimate baddie for all 3 60th specials as a master plan.
And sidenote here - reason the specials feel unconnected is due to them hiring NPH and he is expensive so only had him appear in the one episode to save costs. And we'll some type of flashback or dialogue explaining that he was behind everything.
But yeah, I love this theory of mine and would love it to be the case. Thoughts?
TLDR: Toymaker has brought Tennant back as Doctor is really vulnerable right now after what Jodie went through. And is going through what Donna did, so when this face erased her memories, reminds 14 of what he's going through and will hopefully distract 14 enough for Toymaker to finally defeat the Doctor.
PS - anyone excited by this theory, temper your expectations as this may not be case. So don't let this ruin the episode for you or cause you to hate RTD or BBC or anyone involved. I HATED the Timeless Child and was ranting for weeks about it. But at the end of the day this is just a show and what happens in it is what happens in it, there's nothing much we can do apart from accept it.
And trust me I get the feeling to rip and ridicule the creators to ruin what you hold sacred, especially if like me, the show has been one of the only things holding you together or keeping you sane and keeping you going for majority of your life. To have someone change it up and change what you love about the show does suck. But it's what the show means to them, and they just happen to have the controls of the ship for a bit. We may not agree with them and that's fine, as long as the show can make them happy and they aren't using it to cause evil or what have you. Then that's okay, and the show has done what it's set out to do, make someone happy. And that's wonderful and why Dr Who is my favourite show ever
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2023.12.03 21:20 Certain-Buy-8945 Waiting for the healing to start
I don't have a dramatic departure story–I simply never went back after COVID shut things down. I’m still waiting for the relief and healing to start.
tl;dr Some early family trauma plus family history of depression likely contributed to my struggle feeling connected with God. This struggle became a sore point of shame that ultimately made Church participation too painful. Despite understanding HOW I got here, I’m still a bit stuck at how to begin a true healing journey (the goal of which would be to connect with my inner self and ultimately my daughter).
I haven't heard any stories like mine. The more visible stories of folks leaving the Church are usually "capital T" Trauma-related or due to discoveries around truth. Or solidarity for LGBTQ+ folks or self-acceptance as LGBTQ+. Okay, so there is a wide range of legitimate reasons for leaving and there's no way I've boiled them all down here... :D
I hope in posting this message to a) hear from others who may have experienced this disconnect from self or at least b) feel some love from the exmormon family.
1989 Born to faithful TBM in Chicago with no extended family nearby. Dad eventually was Bishop twice; Mom faithfully did visiting teaching and held various callings.
1991 Mom is diagnosed with ovarian cancer. It goes into remission after treatment.
1993 Brother is born.
1994? Cancer comes back; doctors remove stuff (not sure if it was hysterectomy); Mom gets better.
1997 Ward boundaries change. I was baptized our first Sunday at a new ward. I remember we had an ASL group for a brief time and I was friends with one of the CODAs in Primary. Overall positive experiences. There were very few stable, active families with children over the years. None were my age. YM/YW programs were sparse. We were near a large university which fueled most of our membership and contributed to a rotating door of people. (This was the Hyde Park Ward for anyone familiar with Chicago) I attended a Catholic K-8 school where the mix was probably 50% Catholic, so I was lumped with the Episcopalians, Jews, etc. while the Catholic kids did Catholic prep-stuff. I remember learning about Islam in 6th grade. Overall impressions of this time–I remember feeling respect from and for everyone, regardless of religion or race. I'm white, btw.
2003 Ward boundaries change again. I was delightfully deposited into a ward with 5 girls my age, all of whom instantly made me feel like I belonged. We were only there a few months before moving to the suburbs.
August 2003 Move into a suburban ward and start high school. I am again the only YW my age. At least this time there was more stability and other active families so YW offered a solid group of other girls. Unfortunately I never quite felt like I fit in. No one said/did anything to explicitly exclude me, but I never really connected with them. I did have a GREAT relationship with the YW president who led most of my time there. I was the only girl attending mission prep, which I liked because I enjoyed being “an exception.” My mom had depression and would occasionally stay in bed all day.
August 2007 graduate high school, start BYU. I didn’t feel pressured to go there–I was considering several other schools (mostly smaller liberal arts schools in the midwest) and felt empowered by my parents to make my own choice. I have notes from the time where I wrote about NOT wanting to go to BYU because I didn’t want to be like everyone else (most, but not all, other kids around my time in YW/YM had gone to BYU) and ultimately deciding that wasn’t a good enough reason to eliminate it as a choice.
2007-2010 The happiest years of my life. Seriously. I found my people at BYU and made great friends, enjoyed studying lots of different topics and attending random lectures, going to International Cinema.
2010-2011 mission to California, Spanish-speaking. Really enjoyed getting good enough at Spanish that I could actually connect with/build relationships with other people in their native language. I went on a mission without a testimony of the Atonement and came back unchanged, much to my disappointment.
2012 Notice that I can no longer feel satisfied. I could barely pull fragmented memories/stories from my mission. It felt like something was wrong with me. SHAME begins. 🎉Started meeting with a therapist– I was looking for validation that something was wrong and was open to trying medication. What I felt I received was “life is just hard. Time to accept this is the new you.”
2012-2014 College was still a good time, but I increasingly felt aware of a disconnect with God, which led to more shame. I taught Spanish at the MTC for over a year. In my time each MTC district had two teachers. One teacher started off as a “faux investigator” for the first two weeks until revealing themselves as the other teacher. The general idea was to base your person off a particularly difficult investigator you knew. I believe most people picked someone who had a specific “struggle” (WoW, not believing in God at all, coming from difficult life circumstances, etc.) I don’t remember who I “played” the first few times, but eventually I decided just to be myself and hope the missionaries could help me feel more connected to God and feel His love. All were incredibly sincere and kind, but I had to lie and tell them they had been successful in helping me. Over this period of time both the frequency and intensity of negative experiences with prayer start increasing. I would get obsessive over controlling the environment (making sure no one was home in the apartment so I wouldn’t get distracted or interrupted), hoping that was the reason I had a hard time focusing my thoughts when praying. Looking back I can see prayer was the only time I allowed my mind to be still, so of course all the feelings/thoughts I repressed the rest of the day would come flooding in.
2015 Married in the temple; attended my first family ward in Utah. It wasn’t a bad experience, but it wasn’t good either. I wanted to make friends, but most people already had their social groups figured out. I told my husband about my struggles with feeling God’s love. He was sympathetic, but didn’t know how to help. This was ultimately the catalyst for him becoming PIMO–he reflected on others in his mission that had prayed for answers to the BoM and never got any. His principal concern was essentially: “why would God be silent for these people who are trying so hard?
2017 Moved to a new house, started attending a Spanish ward, which was great. My struggles persisted and continued to get worse. I had already spent years lowering my expectations around prayer from feeling peace to just feeling neutral SOME of the time, as opposed to feeling terrible every time I prayed. In the fall I went off birth control and my SSRI. In October they called me to be YW president, which I accepted. I loved doing all the logistical things and getting to know/supporting the girls. But preparing a Sunday lesson each month was excruciating. I felt like a fraud because I had stopped praying and reading the scriptures a year ago (both activities instantly plunged me into shame spirals). After 2 months I asked to be released. The Bishop was super supportive.
2018-2020 Gradually my husband and I stopped attending sacrament meeting and went just to volunteer in the Primary. Eventually they called us to teach the 4-5 year olds, which is the holiest calling of all. I loved being around these curious, excited, adorable kids. I could teach what was comfortable to me and I got to avoid all of the triggering RS and SS lessons peppered with formulas for happiness/peace that never worked for me. I still felt ashamed that I couldn’t handle full church participation, but I knew I was doing what worked for me. When COVID hit, I helped organize a virtual talent show for all the kiddos. In-person participation with primary was the only thread still tying me to Church.
2021 Daughter is born; my husband doesn’t want to bless her because he no longer believes in the Priesthood, which forces us to “come out” to family, who generally take it well. I continue to feel immense shame (I should have tried harder to stay in the church). I also struggle with shame around motherhood because I don’t feel connected or bonded to my daughter.
2021-2023 I continue to meet with various therapists, but don’t seem to be making any progress. Started EMDR this month and have had a few moments between sessions where I actually felt reconnected with my self and body. I’ve known for several years that I need to have more self-compassion and become more connected with my body. But that all feels like advanced calculus to me. I’m still grasping for the basic arithmetic lesson on those topics. I get the sense that I’ve reached the limit of what talk therapy can do. Here’s hoping EMDR does something more significant.
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2023.12.03 19:05 Necrolancer96 Summoning Kobolds At Midnight: A Tale of Suburbia & Sorcery. 157
Clive and Kilpa made their way to the enclave, following the river and groaning as the trek there didn't have as well worn a path since interactions with the tortles wasn't quite as frequent as Clive's was with Sloth. As they neared they could see the tortles going about their daily activities with little care or concern about the cold.
The tortles shuffled and hobbled everywhere they went as they collected fallen leaves and branches to form beds while a small handful of little tortles swam in the lake nearby under the watchful eye of their elders. Clive wasn't sure how they could swim in the no-doubt freezing water, but he was sure it had something to do with the way the water seemed to move despite the little tortlings splashing and wadding about. He could even see several tortles swimming deep within the lake.
If he didn't already have a overflowing plate he would be interested in getting an explanation from Kesle or the other tortles as to why the water was doing that, but he could also take a wildly educated guess and say it had something to do with them being able to communicate with the elements. Which was, again, something he would be interested in. But that was for another time, he thought as Kesle turned her head at the sounds of her kin greeting him and Kilpa.
The two of them walked through the enclave that seemed to have barely changed since Clive was last there. With how slow the tortles hobbled around he wasn't surprised though as he watched a couple slowly make their way back from the nearby woods with arms full of leaves, branches, and food. Chatting the entire way and frequently stopping to converse some more, uncaring and not worrying about what went on around them. An attitude shared by the rest of the forty-odd enclave of turtle folk. Progress was made, but it was painstakingly slow for Clive and Kilpa's taste. They'd bet even the laidback attitude of the Big Families would be put to the test having to deal with the turtles.
"Welcome human and halfling! What can the tortles do for you this day?!" Kesle greeted as the two neared to where she sat upon a bed of leaves and moss.
"Evening Kesle. We're here to discuss with you about development of the halfling colony." Clive started out.
Kesle nodded and motioned for him to continue.
"So, I was made mayor of the colony in the aftermath of the gang attack. Speaking of which, I didn't even think to ask how you all fared?"
"We fared quite well! Can't say the same for the hooligans that came by expecting to snatch away the halflings that sought shelter with us!"
"What er, happened?"
"Well let's see. Two of them got swiped away from the giant that valiantly came to our aid! The last tried to run but found himself rather hindered by the land itself." Kesle explained with a cackle.
"Sloth helped?" Clive asked as he cocked a brow and glanced over to where the giant's tree was.
"He did! Wanted to go help you, but I advised that he would harm more than help if he did that." Kesle explained further.
"That... was probably a good idea." Clive said as he could just picture Sloth coming to the rescue and accidentally squishing halflings and gangers both.
"Now that you have asked after our wellbeing, what's this about the colony?"
"Right, with the colony expanding we took the initiative to purchase the land surrounding it, which legally includes the land that your own settlement is on. Which now that I think about it I probably should've came and spoke with you before doing that."
"Fret not human. We are content no matter if you claim the land around us or leave it to the wilds. Just so long as we have access to the lake you'll find no issue with us."
"That's... quite accommodating." Clive said with a bit of surprise.
"What? Did you expect us to cause a fuss? To raise our staves and the elements themselves in righteous anger? To march on the colony and make our demands?" Kesle asked with mock bravado.
"Well... not quite. But I did expect a bit more than, leave us the lake otherwise we don't care
"Why would we care? The lake will provide for us more than the land around us will."
"But don't you have some sort of pact with the elements or something?" Clive asked, and immediately felt stupid as Kesle cackled as she slapped her knee.
"Of course not! Even if we did, such agreements with the elements are rarely ever permanent! They're as fickle as fey! Even now the earth fights against itself, dirt eating stone eating sand eating dirt and so on and so forth. The water is no different. The lake wishes to expand and grow to reclaim more from the land, but the river takes away from it so IT can grow and expand. The elements, even those of the same realm, are constantly at war with one another and rarely ever settle such rivalries. Few races actually try and tie themselves to the elements. We are aligned with water for obvious reasons, but that doesn't extend to eternal fealty like some races do."
"So you really dinnae care?" Kilpa asked a bit skeptically.
"Nope! Besides, I doubt the halflings will build a giant city made of stone and wood around us."
"E'en if we could, we'd probably still just build our hill homes and fields."
"See? Again, so long as we have access to the lake, and first say in any changes to it, we have no issues being within the colony's borders." Kesle stated.
"That's fair. Why don't you come by the colony tomorrow where we'll announce the official name as well as several changes? From there we can work out an official agreement so there isn't any misunderstandings?" Clive suggested.
"Of course! It's high time we formally introduce ourselves to the halflings anyway!" Kesle smiled.
With that, Clive and Kilpa shook hands with the Great Sage and departed. A bit of spring in their still hobbled step at having a friendly agreement with the tortles sorted out. As they made their way back though, they ran into a group of some dozen halflings, all in various states of injury. Some had scrapes and bruises still. Others needed assistance to walk. One of them was missing an arm and two others were missing a leg. Most still had bloody bandages over the many cuts and gashes.
"Jesus! What happened!?" Clive asked with concern.
"Not ta worry none Mayor! This 'ere were from those 'ooligans tha other day!" The one in the lead said to calm down Clive and Kilpa.
"So we aren't under attack?" Kilpa asked as she looked over to where they could see the edge of the colony past the trees.
"Not ta our knowledge we aren't." Another wounded halfling said.
"Well that's good. But then why are you all out here and not back healing and getting some rest?" Clive asked as he looked at the group.
"Well, we 'eard 'bout you wantin' ta form a militia fer tha colony. Tha' true?"
"Yeah, it is."
"Wha' er, would tha' entail exactly?"
"Well, it would entail what a militia would typically do. Being the first line of defense in case of another attack like the one from the gang, or something else. It would also involve disaster relief along side the cops."
"So they wouldn'y be sent away from their 'omes?"
"Nope. They would remain here to protect them." Clive explained as a look of relief and determination came over the assorted halflings.
They all looked to one another before trying their best to form a semi-decent line.
"Then we would like ta offer our services Mayor Clive!"
Clive and Kilpa both looked in shock at the formed halflings. Clive was expecting to have to draft some for a militia, yet here were a dozen willingly offering themselves! Kilpa also found it strange, few halflings would willingly commit themselves to potentially seeing combat. Those few that did usually ended up like she did, as adventurers. Most that got the itch to explore and adventure though usually ended up just joining the local constabulary instead though.
Clive spoke first.
"Not that I'm not grateful that some want to actually join but-"
"Why?" Kilpa finished as she too was curious.
"Well, some o' us were there in tha fields when those brigands came! It were me, ol' Tim, 'nd a few others tha' rang tha cowbells as warnin's we were. I managed to get away with nothin' too serious. But ol' Tim got cut down by tha' elf 'e did." The lead halfling said as he got a little teary-eyed at the mention of his friend that fell during the attack.
"Tha rest o' us were in tha thick o' tha fightin' we were! We gave as good as we got we did!" One of the others cried to cheers from the rest.
Clive and Kilpa both looked at the group as neither one of them could quite believe it.
"So even after all that, you WANT to do it again?"
"Seven hells no we dinnae! But someone ought ta! 'Nd, we kinda liked tha feelin' o' protectin' our 'ome 'nd families." The lead halfling explained.
"But 'alf o' you aren't in any condition ta fight!" Kilpa stated.
"Well maybe not. But we wanna still do somethin' other than bein' burdens! Not like some o' us can till fields er chase after sheep 'nd cows anymore." The lead halfling pointed out as he gestured to those with missing limbs.
"Well you can." Clive said and many halfling eyes turned to him.
"In our world you can get a replacement limb. Even if you can't we have things that would make things still easier for you."
"Yer sayin' we can get our arms 'nd legs back?!"
"Not exactly. They would be prosthetics. A fake limb. A arm or leg made of metal, plastic, or wood." Clive clarified, though the halflings, including Kilpa all looked at him funny.
"Like a peg leg?"
"Yeah! Like a peg leg! Except it wouldn't be as painful to walk on as a peg leg. Even if we can't get you a prosthetic for your arms or legs, we have wheelchairs and other devices that would make your lives alot easier."
"Wha's a wheelchair?"
"You know what Fallmeadow uses ta get around with?"
"Yeah, it's like that except you won't need several of your kids to push you. We even have some that are motor operated so you wont need ANYONE to push you! You could easily drive yourselves!"
"Wha's a motor?"
"It's a machine that runs on gas or electricity." Clive started to explain but quickly stopped as it was obvious that none of them knew what he was talking about, even Kilpa gave him a bit of a confused look.
Schooling, definitely a top priority, Clive thought as he moved on.
"Never mind. The point is, we have things in our world that can make it so you can still fight for your home or provide for your families despite you missing a limb."
"So... can we still be in tha militia?"
"Yes. You can still be in the militia." Clive answered.
The halflings cheered and Kilpa and Clive smiled. He was glad for many reasons, one being that they had willing volunteers for the militia, even if he'll have to jury-rig something so they can actually fight when they needed to. Another was that he could give these halflings something that they probably didn't have back in their world. A sense of purpose after being considered invalids.
"Tomorrow we'll have a big announcement and celebration. Why don't you get some nice clothes on and meet us on stage and we'll add you to the announcements?" Clive asked.
"Thank you Mayor Clive fer givin' us this chance! We'll not let you down!" The lead halfling cheered before he and the rest left to limp back to their homes, chatting excitedly.
"Do you really not have prosthetics or ways to regrow limbs?" Clive asked as he and Kilpa watched them leave before slowly walking back themselves.
"Other than tha mentioned peg legs? Not really. Dinnae matter if it were made o' wood er metal, it still was just as bad as havin' no leg at all. 'Nd regrowin' a limb was all sorts o' complicated 'nd usually you ended up with more than you asked fer!"
"What do you mean?"
"I mean some folk like ta exploit those wantin' ta reclaim wha' they lost. So they turn ta some unsavory folks believin' they'll get an arm er an eye back, only ta lose their souls 'nd end up some sort o' abomination stitched from dozens o' others tha' thought tha same."
"But don't you have healing magic back there?"
"Aye, but it can only do so much. It can seal a wound. Cure simple headaches. But fer alot o' major stuff like regrowin' limbs? Curin' ills o' tha mind? Ne'er. It can keep a severed arm from bleedin' you out. It can calm a hangover. But it won't brin' tha limb back nor cure somethin' permanent o' tha mind."
"So I suppose resurrection isn't really a thing either?"
"Not TRUE resurrection if tha' were wha' yer askin'. Anybody with a grasp o' dark magic can raise tha dead. But bringin' someone back from tha dead as they were when they were alive? Impossible."
"Aye. In all my adventerin' I 'eard o' it 'appenin' only TWO times. 'Nd both times were done with preparation YEARS in advance 'nd MASSIVE amounts o' effort 'nd resources. 'Nd e'en then there were issues."
"Like tha fact tha' dyin' causes permanent damage ta tha soul. Dinnae matter if they died peacefully in their sleep surrounded by loved ones, er a shiv ta tha back in an alley. Once a soul parts from its body it loses some o' itself in tha process. Wha' comes back isn't completely who was lost."
"So then how does something like necromancy work?"
Kilpa shivered at the mention of the dark practice.
"Depends on who they're raisin' 'nd how. Skeletons 'nd zombies are commonly just husks being controlled by dark magic. Puppets on magical strings. Rarely do they still 'ave any sort o' memories er emotions from before they died. Spirits are actual souls bound ta somethin', either someone's will er a place er object o' importance ta 'em. 'Nd half tha time they're so tortured 'nd angered tha' their memories are warped 'nd twisted anyway. Lil more than monsters than departed friends 'nd loved ones. Most dinnae e'en know they died."
"Other times they bind tattered souls er their remnant energy ta objects er constructs. Lil more than prisoners in rotted stitched bodies er profane devices. Makes usual fodder a wee bit smarter er used ta power spells."
"There isn't a way ta brin' someone back from tha dead fully as they were. Cause once someone dies a part o' them dies with 'em. Emotions 'nd memories are ne'er tha same as they were in life."
"I'm guessing there's a story there?"
"Aye. But another time. Tha' story is a bitter one tha I'd rather not tell ta spoil endin' tha day on a good note." Kilpa said as she pointed up and Clive realized that the day was indeed coming to an end.
"Well, guess this is it then." Clive said as they neared the point where their two tents were in separate directions.
"Guess it is. Lookin' forward ta workin' with you again, Mayor Clive." Kilpa said as she tried her best to saunter away despite her limp.
Clive likewise tried to turn in. But his injuries and the shortness of the cot prevented him from getting a good rest. But at least the day had been a productive one, despite the rather spitefulness of the Big Families, and tomorrow he would announce many new changes for the colony.
The next Morning.
Clive grunted and groaned as he slipped out of his tent. He hoped the guys could finish the halfling homes soon so he wouldn't have to feel like he was trying to sleep on a loveseat every night. He stretched as much as he physically could given his wounds. With that taken care of he hobbled towards the feasting tent for breakfast.
While he thought about waking Kilpa up, he figured he'd let her sleep. She was pushing herself harder than he was yesterday, Clive thought as he parted the tent to find the heads of the Big Families still eating and bullshitting. Or they would if Kilpa wasn't arguing with them.
"Lazy buncha knobgobblers tha lot o' you! Cannae e'en try ta 'elp!"
"Bah! Says tha lass tha' went off bein' some vainglorious fool adventurer!"
"Aye! I left ta get coin fer my town!"
"'Nd 'ow did tha' work out I ken?!"
"Enough!" Clive shouted before someone ended up dead. Though he had money on Kilpa for many reasons.
Clive rubbed his face before beckoning Kilpa to follow after him. Leaving the heads to laugh and mock while they ate their own breakfast.
"What are you doing up so early?"
"I always get up early. Force o' habit." Kilpa explained as they took a seat at the bar and were quickly fetched a plate of sausage and potatoes with warm frothy milk.
"So, what're we doin' today Mayor?" Kilpa asked.
"Well, I guess we wait until enough of the colony is awake and spread the word we have some announcements to make." Clive explained as he ate his food and gagged down the freshly collected milk.
So the two of them ate their breakfast as the feasting tent filled up with more and more people coming in for their own breakfast before heading out to do their daily chores or jobs. While Clive would've liked to had done it all in one go, some halflings didn't really stay to eat and instead took some bundles of food before heading out to do whatever it was that they were doing.
Guess they'll just have to heard it from word of mouth instead, Clive thought as he got up when the feasting tent was sufficiently full. He grabbed a tankard of ale and gently tapped his fork against it to get everyone's attention. An action he repeated when barely anyone looked up at him. Then again. Then again. Kilpa rolled her eyes and moved over and took the tankard before slamming down thrice on the bar counter. Causing all eyes within the feasting tent to turn and look at the two of them.
"Thank you." Clive muttered as he collected himself before speaking.
"Morning Everyone! I'm Mayor Cliven MacConner and I have a few announcements to make!" Clive called out and the assembled halflings murmured and talked to one another for a moment.
Clive waited for a lull before speaking again.
"Firstly. I would like to thank you all for putting your faith and trust in me. Something I will endeavor to fulfill as my duty as Mayor! With that, I would like to announce a few things today. Later we will have an official naming ceremony for the colony!"
The crowd of halflings cheered and celebrated at the news that their little colony would now have a name. Clive continued.
"Next, the colony has officially expanded to include land to the north, west, and south of us! This land will be distributed or auctioned off during the naming ceremony!"
The halflings once again cheered. Already Clive and Kilpa could hear talking among them of new fields for when spring comes around or how much of the forest to clear for it. While Clive didn't like the idea of the halflings intruding on Sloth's home, there wasn't a whole lot that he could do about it other than hope and pray that the halflings left him alone.
"Another, is that after the naming ceremony we will be swearing in our new police force and militia!" Clive called out and was met with scattered and confused cheers.
"Constables." Kilpa clarified which earned renewed cheers of understanding.
Before Clive could continue someone spoke up.
"Wait, wha' 'appened ta Tom?"
"Aye! He's been a constable fer years! Wha' 'appened ta 'im?" The halfling continued.
Clive figured they were probably talking about that obnoxious halfling he fired.
"Mr. Frogbottom was let go after his long years of service as he wasn't qualified to continue his duty."
"Tha' ain't wha' I 'eard! I 'eard from him tha' he was fired!"
"Yeah, that's what let go means." Clive explained and continued even as the halfling and a few others grumbled.
"We will also be signing an agreement with the tortles down the way over the lake an-"
"Like tha Seven Hells we will!" Came a reply from the heads of the Big Families.
Clive groaned as he figured something like this was coming. One of the heads sauntered over like a cock on the block.
"I dinnae 'bout any o' you. But I won't be signin' o'er nothin' ta no-one I won't!"
"Until yesterday we didn't own the lake. The turtles should have a say in how it is handled now that it is."
"Bah! Dinnae matter! We need tha' lake fer our colony!"
"No we don't, we don't even really need the river either once we get electricity set up." Clive explained.
"'Nd when will tha' be oh wise mayor?! Befer er after you sell us out!?" The head proclaimed to all gathered earning far more nods than Clive would've preferred.
"This new mayor may be tryin' his best, but as we can see. Barely a single day 'as gone by 'nd already he's replacin' folk! Our constable o' twenty years is cast aside 'nd replaced with a buncha outsiders like his lover!" The head continued. Riling up the halflings as he continued to speak.
"'Nd he's impressed our own wounded inta bein' soldiers! Those tha' 'ave given so much fer us already are now goin' ta be forced ta protect us!" The halfling continued, making Clive and Kilpa both fume as he spun it.
"Now he's tellin' us tha' tha new land fer tha colony is ta be shared with a buncha folk tha' ISN'T us halflin's! Though who's surprised when he sided with a giant o'er tha very folk tha' offered him shelter in his time o' need!" The halfling spin-doctor continued, earning Clive more and more glares and heated words that were said louder and louder.
Those were just the politer words thrown Clive's way. He wasn't sure if carpetbagger meant the same thing to the halflings as it did to the humans but he was damn sure he wasn't intent on finding out.
"People! These changes are important and needed to be done!"
"Says who?! You?! A typical tallman tha's intent on bossin' us halflin's around like all the rest!"
The halfling mob was getting more and more heated, to the point where the spin-doctor simply smiled at Clive and Kilpa and returned to the table with the other heads giving him a smug look. Those little fucking shits, Clive thought. So that was how they wanted to play. He might not have wanted to be mayor, but he sure as shit wasn't going out like this!
Clive snatched the tankard from Kilpa, who looked about ready to throw it at someone, and slammed it down so hard on the bar that the wooden counter cracked. Silencing the barrage of insults and slurs for a moment.
"You think what I'm doing is so bad?! Tell me then? How many times have you gone to Mr. Frogbottom with problems and it was never taken care of?! How many times has something happened and nothing was done about it?!"
The halflings murmured a bit but Clive continued.
"I have DOZENS of reports back at the assembly tent about people getting their food stolen, food that is supposed to be saved for when winter comes! I have reports about halflings getting so sloshed that they cause damage and fornicate with farm animals! So tell me, has any of that gotten fixed?! Has any of it seen an ounce of concern and effort on the part of the former constable?!"
The mob went silent at that, some even giving the reoccurring halfling vandal and sheep-shagger dirty looks as he was already tippsy from drink even this early. But Clive pressed forward.
"No! I imagine you haven't since these reports are YEARS old! And these wounded halflings weren't pressed into service against their wills! They VOLUNTEERED! They gladly asked to continue to protect their homes and families!"
Clive pressed on as he saw the head spin-doctor stuttering and trying to work up a new angle.
"As for 'giving away halfling land
'? I'm brokering friendship with a group of people that are our closest neighbors! Neighbors who were there before we, before I,
bought that land for you! I didn't think that was such a bad thing to be neighborly!"
Those at the head table were quietly discussing with one another heatedly. Clive wasn't going to let this slip by him though. If they wanted him gone he wasn't going to leave without swinging!
"And what was that about being a typical tallman? Is it really a bad thing that I want to provide for a people that have welcomed me and want to do the best I can for them? What about the other humans?! Those that have offered their time, energy, blood, sweat, and tears for you? Are they just typical 'tallmen'? Were they when they offered you their friendship and love?! Were they when some of them gave their lives to defend you, to fight with you?!"
That did it, Clive thought as he saw the looks of guilt and shame come over the crowd that just moments ago looked like they were ready to tar and feather him. Even the heads of the Big Families grumbled and conceded as none were keen on trying to sway the crowd anymore.
"Good. These changes are for YOUR benefit! These new cops will do their jobs and actually hear and handle your grievances, the militia will protect you, friendship with the turtles is the right thing to do! All these and more are what I promise you as Mayor going forwards!"
Clive didn't bother to stick around, he just left the halflings to stew on that as he and Kilpa left. The announcements were made and now was the time to get things ready for the big naming ceremony and other things sorted. Hopefully without any more stunts like that from the Big Families, Clive thought.
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2023.12.03 18:13 jackata32 How to understand Islam for those who have doubt!!
THIS IS REALLY LONG SO ITS INTENDED FOR THOSE WHO ARE WILLING TO SPEND TIME READING THROUGH IF YOU HAVE DOUBTS... Grab some popcorn, sit back and take your time reading thru... JZK :)
Salam my brothers and sisters. If one were to compile a pros and cons list for islam, where you have the proofs on one side and the shubuhat on another, it can be an endless endeavor that is somewhat subjective and not really practical. There are countless Hadith for instance that need explanation and our tradition recognizes this. Non-muslims however never fail to criticize our tradition, and this can affect muslims who are not well established in scholarship. Of course not every muslim is going to be qualified to understand everything and that's ok! But in this day and age, it seems many are exposed to shubuhat whether on YouTube, any social media you can think of. Attacks on islam are always narrow and specific, but rest assured a person who's spent years studying arabic and islam at large will always be able to explain and convey clarity to those who need it. However this can be tedious and so the average person needs to have a strong foundation. That way, any time they are exposed to something that challenges their faith, they can always go back to the foundational proofs and recognize that whatever they've just been exposed to is simply false when you see the larger picture.
Suppose a christian pokes at islam and comes to me with a thousand and one issues that they personally see. I can easily do the same for them and we will essentially have to agree to disagree. I've seen so many debates and this is always the result. However I do not need to study biblical history, interpretations, or anything specific for that matter. I do not need to scrutinize the text or beliefs in a deep way (Although I personally still do :). This method I will demonstrate keeps things simple. And it deals with the chapter that's considered ⅓ of the Quran. Surah Al-Ikhlas. Self Awareness:
Suppose a person is sitting in a room, realizing that they exist. I know, it sounds weird but hear me out. They realize everything has an origin. A start. Things are derived from other things. However for things to exist, you cannot have infinite regress. The fact that things even exist points to the fact that there must be an anchor point. An origin of origins. An eternal and unchanging reality that created reality. This is essentially God, and this requires no study, or proof other than the logical faculty built within every human. Some might say, why can't the universe be eternal? The answer is simply because the universe is specific and limited. It had a beginning, and it has characteristics that make it contingent. In other words, it's like an every day object. It has specific qualities that are not necessary. The universe and its laws could've been another way and yet they are the way they are. So the true reality above this needs to be unchanging and not an object subject to limitations and beginnings. It needs to be transcendent and have a mind to choose the laws of physics and qualities within this universe. Language problem:
The word God is controversial for many people in the atheistic community and they therefore turn away at the mere mention of God. If one were to say ‘supreme cause’ or ‘unmoved mover’ or even ‘point zero’, this would be better received by those who claim to be enlightened by materialism. Language is powerful. It is for that very reason why certain American Christians can only worship ‘God or Jesus’. It is linguistically comforting for them and a name like ‘Allah’ is frightening for them. It sounds like a foreign desert God and not the same name as in the bible.
Of course Christian Arabs and Jews use the name Allah or Elohim or historically 'El', but this isn’t something many in the west are aware of unfortunately. It's where we get names like MichaEL or ELijah or even GabriEL. They are merely stuck on superficial language and this is the same problem that atheists have. Atheists say ‘God is a word that is archaic and it is reeking of old world ignorance’. ‘In our refined and sophisticated age, we cannot rely on such silly stories’ they would say. However one needs to overlook the petty associations and look deeper. This ‘ground zero for reality’ needs to exist as logic (the unshakable foundation of knowledge) dictates so. Whatever name you wanna use is irrelevant. A reality/being unlike any other certainly needs to exist.
The irony is that some atheists may be more comfortable with a ‘mother of universes’ conception. A universe of eternity that arbitrarily births universes and ours is merely a random one of many. This of course is foolish as any universe must be finite as it is made of ‘stuff’. God isn’t made of stuff and is above all of that. Nonetheless, I think it's clear to see that the one point that will be somewhat acceptable for an atheist is that this Eternal origin of things must be unthinking and unjudging. This is most acceptable and this thing must not have any relationship to the abrahamic conception of God. Of course this is merely a desire and not based on logic. They abhor the possibility of judgment and being held accountable for one's actions. They would rather commit to their short lives not worrying about their own conduct. Its a logical fallacy by all means purely due to the 'primitive association of God'. As long as what they do is socially acceptable, then they will carry on. Even if it means thousands of Palestinians are dying overseas. ‘Oh well it doesn’t affect me, glad I wasn't born there.’ 'Stop saying there's science in the Quran'
Now I am definitely impressed by the expansion of the universe or embryology in the Quran. But one needs to stop allowing this to be a foundation of faith. I've seen many people use this as the fulcrum point of their faith, and if something else comes a long it's over for them. We need to stop putting science above God in trying to prove his existence. Doing this is essentially falling into the faulty paradigm that atheists operate under. It's not a coincidence that when people yell 'Theres science in the Quran!' , it leads many to ridicule our tradition. Therefore we need to get our minds calibrated on the truth.
Let's start at the beginning. In order for science to work, we rely on our ability to weave ideas together and make sense of the world. This is essentially what logic
is. It is the way we know up from down. How we know that when a ball is thrown over our shoulder, we turn around to find the source. No human will ever look under or in front of them. This intuition/logic is the only thing we can rely on, and we have to be completely honest. The only way for things to exist is that there needs to be a source that is eternal. This is to avoid the infinite regression problem that is unavoidable in any other interpretation of the facts. We cannot therefore have a universe give birth to a universe over and over expecting this to be satisfactory.
Now any atheist who is forced down this way of thinking will choose the emergency exit from logic into an argument for alternatives.
They will simply say, well… who knows, maybe there's something else.
But this is absurd, in that we trust our logic for everything. I mean literally everything. Surely we can keep things consistent. And yes, we cannot know this God in terms of his nature since he is not like anything else. Therefore it is logical for us to not be able to fully understand
this being. And that's ok, because we know at least that our logic can encompass the fact that he is necessary and must exist for anything to exist.
I know this because, again going back... I exist and the universe exists. Therefore it has a source. Side note: I remember reading somewhere that God punishes with the fire because pain is the only thing that people will never deny. You can find people stubborn enough to say 'I don't know if I really exist'. Or 'This food I'm tasting could just be an illusion'. But you will never find someone denying reality when they're in excruciating pain. This snaps the arrogance out of them. For all we know, there might be people raised on the day of judgement thinking this isn't real. But once they are afflicted with the fire, they can't help but be mindful and remember God and suddenly the Kufr withers away. So which religion is true? Is there even a God who cares about us?
So yes, there is an ultimate unchanging reality that makes this lower degree of reality possible. The only religion that seems to affirm this is Islam. This is the latest dispensation and consistent religion. This entity when working on these terms CANNOT be material, or limited. They cannot be both eternal and yet dying. They cannot be knowledgeable and ignorant. The problem with Deism is the clear organized nature of the universe. Many are compelled to believe in a God and the Deism subreddit is growing. Lots of atheists are beginning to realize they can't seriously believe trillions events (with odds near 0) happened randomly. While this is clear at the level of the universe, it is equally, and if not more clear within the Earth. As for Christianity, it cannot encompass nor satisfy reason. One has to literally throw away basic universal understandings of God in order to say they are a christian, and this is a choice not founded on logic. God would never place truth and salvation within a logical fallacy that humans are naturally (by their fitrah) repulsed by. It's odd to assume that God is going to affirm himself to us by a straight logical fallacy a simple bedouin can detect. Its clear deviation from Judaism, the religion it claims to be based on is a sign of its corruption. Judaism makes sense in some regards. Although God cannot tire or regret and this is present in both Judaism and Christianity. Judaism is clearly not the EXACT faith that Moses taught. This is well known by manuscript evidence and the language of Moses and the original torah is not exactly known today. The interpretations therefore of both Christianity and Judaism are both compromised and lost to time. There is simply no way God would allow a widespread message (meant for all of humanity) to wither away due to linguistic erosion. As above so below... (Cont. Deism argument)
Many argue that how could there be a God who cares for humans when we live in the armpit of the universe. A random corner if you will. What these people don't realize is that just as the universe is immensely large, one can go the same distance (ratio wise) to the intensely small. Human beings are made up of trillions of factories known as cells. These cells have micro-machines that are far more accurate and efficient than the largest and most advanced technology today. And they're made of the smallest components. Even smaller still we are made of atoms, Quarks and particles that may be even smaller exist. The neutrino for instance is 10^-24 meters small. Quantum foam even smaller yet is estimated to be 10^-34 meters small. The universe as we know it for comparison is 10^27 meters roughly. There is an almost equal scaling on either side and we are in the middle. We don't discount the realm of the small, so why should be feel lost in the universe. God is not a man that he should lose sight of us. This God known by reason should be able to see all times, places and things equally. He is not linear. He sees the creation of Adam, Muhammad, and even you at the same time. There are all simultaneous is his eternal NOW. It is also worth noting that if God were to simply look away figuratively speaking, we would stop existing. Our existence is merely a reflection of the fact that God exists. We are a light from his that shines back to him (Recall Ayah Noor in chapter 24). Our existence is the unequivocal sign of his. We therefore point to him unknowingly. Only the willfully blind fail to see that. As long as we are being taken care of, and we see the clear design and maintenance of the Earth, then we know full well God is 'not too busy' to acknowledge us. As in the end of Surah Al-Imran, we know Allah did not create all of this without a purpose. Why Islam?
The most natural and primordial faith that reflects the truest understanding of God is Islam hands down. Again, I don't need to get into their scriptures or point out historical problems. I don't need to look up Hadith and try to rectify all the shubuhat in order to finally feel like im following the truth.
I can simply with full confidence use my basic faculties
to understand these issues without picking up a book. This is what Allah refers to as the fitrah, the natural way (Surah Room 30:30). So the argument from Fitrah is truly the most compelling and simplified argument for the proof of islam. No other religion on earth comes close to man's deep and already known definition of God. The fact that we even have an internal knowledge of God is proof of God. If God didn’t exist as a pre-formed concept it would be like trying to imagine a new color or imagine a taste that doesn’t exist. It would be impossible, and yet when a human reads ‘Say, there is God the One. The eternal and besought. He begets not, nor was he begotten, and there is none comparable or like him.’ This immediately can be understood and it's fully congruent with that unshakable primordial knowledge. The logical problems with the trinity or other conceptions of God are many, but owning one's true definition of God is key to finding truth. Its clear that every other religion gets it wrong.. And yet you may still see vestiges of truth. The idea of the Brahman for instance in Hinduism, Ahura Mazda in Zoroastrianism, Shang Di for the Chinese, Y'Wa for Burmese, Hananim in Korea, etc. These are all likely remnants of prophetic tradition. A single God. Polytheism is the splintering of God and superimposing human attributes onto God. But theres only one religion that expresses God without partnering him with anyone or anything. A radical and pure monotheism that satisfies the fitrah. What I've recently learned is that monotheism seems to be the baseline faith for the most simple of people. The theory that Animism Polytheism Monotheism is actually being challenged. Of course it makes sense that in order to have many Gods you need to start with the concept of one. This following video is interesting and demonstrates that many aboriginal people actually believe in One God that is eternal and gives moral guidance to man. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-bMgXQV7no&list=LL&index=2
Any true religion therefore should be in line with the natural concept of God innate in every person. For example, say you're in 1820s America hearing about this new ‘prophet’ named Joseph Smith. You are intrigued, and so you travel to a place and speak to a member of this LDS church. You ask them who is God? They say, 'God was once a mortal and is now elevated to God status. Humans are similar and we need to work to enter the celestial family through acquired God hood via the tenants of mormonism.' At that point, one does not need to entertain the conversation any longer. One does not need to open up the controversies or false prophecies of Joseph smith. This incongruent and human-tainted definition of God is exactly enough to identify truth from falsehood. Humans always add their acquired conceptions to this pure idea of God. Idols for instance or images are humans capturing the creations of God and projecting it onto God himself which is completely wrong. Any religion that adds human error and layers to God is not a real religion. True religion is pure and simple in who God is. The shahada perfectly captures this because it starts with negation. Everything you see is ‘La Ilaha’. You can point to everything and anything and ‘La ilaha’ applies. And then you confirm the knowledge deep inside which is ‘Ila Allah’. No God except the One Allah. Formless and above all materiality. Glorified is he. This statement should be enough to confirm Islam's truth. The fitrah is the key that is given by God to know God. One can realize this without scripture, but the scripture gives you added and necessary knowledge that is derived from the primordial truth known through the fitrah. Part 2: The Problem with the modern understanding of Science
Here's a history lesson my friends...The word science comes from the Latin ‘Scire’ which means to know. However the discipline of science as we know it has emerged from a previous identity known as natural philosophy
. In the ‘old days’ philosophy was seen as the mother of knowledge. In fact philosophy means ‘love of wisdom’, and true knowledge was seen as not just a set of facts but things that are closer to what we know as experiential knowledge and internalized truth. This merely scratches the surface of what wisdom is, but this was the essential aim of those who called themselves philosophers and they naturally specialized or dealt with specific schools of thought. Philosophy has many schools and this can be its own book topic. However for the sake of simplicity, philosophy has in really simple terms been stripped down and cast aside. People aren’t even aware of the implications of what it means to for instance ‘believe in science’. Science is.... the faith that one has, that the future will behave like the past
, and nobody can be fully certain of this.
People don't know that things cannot be proven in science. You are merely moving from a known to an unknown and applying your logic with the aim of replicability. In other words if someone learns that gravity has a constant, they can see this may apply everywhere and they figure this out by taking this known and uncovering unknowns in order to make them known. However the purpose of revelation is moving from a known (implicit knowledge of God) to another known (via ayat). God is already a concept built within every human. No human can conceptualize a new color, or something that doesn’t already exist in some form. We can conceptualize the taste of two foods put together because we experienced each independently.
The pure concept of God when it is untainted is known in the hearts of every person and they know exactly what a God is or isn’t. Everyone has a God shaped hole in their heart. Atheists know who they're talking about when they speak about God deep down. Unfortunately, over time, people's fitrahs may get sullied to the point where they may merge man and God, or God and animals and create new forms. But if one were to chip away at the externalities and arrive at the unbreakable bedrock of knowledge, they would have arrived at God pure and perfect. This is possible and anyone can do this. This is precisely what Al-Ghazali did to earn the nickname ‘proof of islam’. Unfortunately knowledge has become monopolized (mostly started in the west) and the higher entities that teach people and control societies focus on just a few schools of thought and act like other schools of knowledge don’t exist. Naturalistic philosophy:
What people aren’t aware of is that the preferred school of philosophy that all science seems to approach is the school of naturalistic and materialistic philosophy
. This happens to be the school of thought that most ‘naturally’ fits with science, however it is not the only school of thought, and it certainly doesn’t explain everything. In fact it is completely arbitrary to suggest that this is the only school of thought that works. It would be akin to a person choosing one color for all their outfits in favor of others. It's nonsensical and it completely shuts out the possibility for attaining truth because there is some truth in all schools of thought. Bits and pieces here and there that need to be excavated and purified. But relying on one methodology is what leads to the modern problem of ‘the hard problem of consciousness’. It's only considered a hard problem because it's like putting a square block in a circle hole. It simply doesn’t fit and provides an adequate explanation. Of course you're gonna be stuck if you stick with naturalism and reductionist materialist philosophy.
This 'hard problem' should be a motivation to check on other philosophies that may encompass and better explain consciousness and thought. But people are fooled into thinking there is no other way to think. They do not realize that this materialistic thought is simply one of many philosophies. It is not special or more correct by any means. It is simply an incomplete idea that seems to be put on a pedestal by the west. Of course historically from the western perspective, scientists during the Renaissance tiptoed around the regulations set forth by the corrupt church. By the time the enlightenment rolled around, the protestant reformation had split christianity in a big way, and while some moved onto newer sects popping up, others had questioned religion as it seemed for them to be stifling scientific advancement and rationalism.
An irrational religion breeding irrational rules and notions is not surprising, but for a European in this age, one couldn’t easily learn about islam or other eastern religions. It was either Christianity or atheism as far as they could see, and this false dichotomy holds true today where many atheists have opted to leave christianity and assume that all religions must be inferior. Once the enlightenment brought forth innovation and newer ideas, the materialist or scientifically congruent school was chosen as the only means to attain knowledge. It was deified for its wonderful gifts and advancement that came with it. Esoteric and spiritual truths were simply old world fairy tales and the western world was living at an exciting time. The new world was discovered and advancements in science were about to exponentially take off. Later with the advent of archeology and advancements in natural science, a man named Charles Darwin had made an interesting discovery that was essentially being sought after by materialistic thinkers. These westerners had desired to alternatively explain the origin of everything without the need of ‘magic’. Modern Era:
Others had tried to take on this challenge but Darwinism stood out and eventually became the chosen theory for materialists. Archeological evidence (the weakest form of knowledge) was and is being cherry picked to support this theory and alternative explanations are simply disregarded as unscientific since apparently name calling is the intelligent thing to do here. The movie Expelled: No Intelligence allowed does a great job of showcasing the kind of things that are done in the academy in order to push away any alternative theories that may call into question the need of a designer. A similar thing in academia is done with quite nearly everything. But science (particularly natural science and cosmology) is only allowed to be conducted under the pretenses of materialism
. Any one who questions this will be kicked out or ridiculed, there is no other option. And school does a good job of indoctrinating this kind of dogma into people. So by the time someone is a postgrad, they generally go with the flow in order to get grants and prestige. They are not to be educated on what knowledge really is and the hierarchy of it is kept hidden.
Others may simply work and entertain themselves to death without questioning anything that the handlers of society tell them. In this way, people like Richard Dawkins and the other pseudointellectuals are considered forward minded thinkers and people who simply speak facts. They are not bogged down by the silly stories and superstitions of the church and pre-enlightenment thinking. Unfortunately all of this has led to a popular view, whereby Science and religion are seen at odds with each other. Science is essentially to the average person 'factual'. It is based on pure reasoning and it leads to ‘nearly’ indisputable results. And if results are disputed, it's only science becoming better and more accurate.
Whereas faith and religion is an old tradition that limits people, ignores the materialistic world and is meant to control people. However this dichotomy is simply false. This may have some legitimacy when one sees the relationship christianity has had with science. However Muslims in their best years never had this issue, and instead saw science as a compliment to religion whereby one can study God's creation. In the Quran, God may ‘lift the bird as it flies’, however, the forces that come from God are subject to study under the islamic tradition. These forces we see are merely patterns that we have given names to. They don't actually exist as entities. In fact, modern scientists have realized this in some way and thus have tried to find a unifying theory that ties together the strong/weak nuclear forces, gravity and electromagnetic forces. They are not separate but rather they are forces that exist as evidenced by the patterns we observe. But it wouldn’t be fully accurate to say ‘forces’. This is merely an organizing principle that reflects human limitation and need for simplicity. A more general and accurate characterization would be to say ‘reality patterns.’ There is a reality we observe and there are patterns that come with that. The ultimate reality therefore in islamic cosmology/theology is Allah who is the ultimate cause. We therefore perceive these patterns as forces in ‘nature’.
: The word Ayah is related to the root (Alif-Hamza, ya, ya). Ayahs in the Quranic understanding is essentially all of reality. Almost everything are Ayat. Allah uses Ayah in everything, life, marriage, the prophets, the evil people, etc. Ayahs are inside the book and outside the book. Linguistically the word relates to many meanings. One meaning is related to the Arabic phrase ‘the people have left with their ayat’s’. This referred to coming upon an abandoned campsite that only has the remains of a people there. The dead wood, the soot, the rocks. So this sentence really translates to ‘The people have left with their valuables’. Ayah has a meaning referring to something valuable
. So everything is valuable. Every problem, every good, everything around you and inside of you. These are valuable things. The next meaning is related to the word ‘ay’ which means which or what. It relates to asking questions
. Ayahs are meant to stimulate curiosity in a person. ‘Ayn’ means which direction. Ayahs are meant to point in a direction
. Every Ayah points to Allah. Inside and outside a person. ‘Ayuhal’ also refers to something amazing. Ayahs are meant to amaze and create a strong impression
. ‘Ayuhal’ also refers to getting attention. Or calling one's attention. ‘Ya Ahuhal nas’ is meant to perk ones ears up. They are meant to listen and so Ayahs refer to the idea of getting paying attention and being called by the signs around
. Another root meaning is ‘AY’ which is an emphatic yes of certainty. Ayahs are supposed to make you feel certain and affirm a positive understanding of the divine
. Another word refers to meaning. Ayahs are meaningful
. Everything doesn’t just have value, it also has meaning. ‘Ta’ayah’ also means purpose. Everything has purpose, Ayahs are purposeful
. And the last meaning is commonly known as ‘sign’
. The most common translation. All of that is included in the meaning of the word ‘Ayah’. So how unfair would it be to call the Quran’s Ayahs ‘verses’. This doesn’t capture the essence and depth of the word Ayah. So the next time you come across this word in the Quran, please please think about these meanings. Classical Arabic is so beautiful.* The word ‘nature’ is odd.
Nature is truly a euphemism for God, although many aren’t aware. One can say evolution is a natural process… But what is natural? And why juxtapose it with the supernatural? If both are real, then aren’t they just a part of reality? When language is used in this way, it is essentially smoke and mirrors. Verbal sleight of hand that is meant to give the idea that these forces are just the way they are. No particular metaphysical reason why they are the way they are. It randomly is like that. However this is illogical since it is a valid question that cannot be answered merely by giving recourse to naturalism. As we already established, saying 'nature' is merely describing patterns we see. You cannot use 'descriptions of patterns' to answer the question, why the patterns are the way they are? And where do they come from?
Language would have us say that the sun rising or setting is a natural process. That cellular division is natural, and one can go on and on. But the fact of that matter is, Allah exerts his power in a way that moves the world. Things happen and God has a sunnah. A way of doing things that is comprehensible and predictive. A ball on Earth goes up and must come down to the ground. This is the sunnah of Allah. Einstein once said, the most incomprehensible thing about the universe is its comprehensibility. The fact that the world is organized and able to be captured through equations and stated ‘laws’ is fascinating to say the least. Not to mention those seemingly arbitrary laws and equations are reflected in everything. From the shapes of galaxies to the patterns of flowers and even insects. And our highest faculty, our intuition can only arrive at one conclusion upon realizing and confirming these undeniable realities. There is the one, eternal, undeniable and unique mover of all things. The explanation for all and yes, it answers the question of 'why'. Yet atheists want to convince people that why is a stupid question to ask. That there is no 'why' for existence. And yet children with their fitrah are constantly asking Why. It is one of the only questions a kid is drawn to and they constantly say it. Should we really deny our basic intellectual inclinations?
This is truly the most accurate way to understand the world. These laws/sunnah did not come into existence by themselves. That is completely illogical. An organized and comprehensible law cannot write itself or have origins that merely suggest random beginnings. To bring this point closer, the RNA code AUG codes for the amino acid 'Methionine'. No scientist or naturalist can explain why AUG as opposed to ACG or GGG is used for methionine (The start codon that all proteins start with). It's a literal code with fixed associations. It happens that 3 letters, not 4 and not 2 letters leads to a particular amino acid. But this is just random... This is however what materialism inherently suggests when it denies that things cannot exist beyond the physical tangible world. This goes against any honest person's institution. Conclusion:
All kufr views will inevitably have contradictions. A complex and precise code merely existing by chance for instance. Just to have humans walking on this Earth, there would need to be over 10^30 events that have to be just right. And this is a low end estimate. A deviation of any one of those points (out of 10^30!) would likely render life impossible. By denying the origin and ultimate end of these physical phenomena, one is simultaneously admitting there is a force and yet there is none. For how can there ever be a force embedded into the fabric of the universe if there was nobody to weave the very fabric and its intricate design elements (forces/laws of nature).
Therefore the islamic quote ‘There is no change or power except by and through Allah’ is incredibly powerful and precise. Everything goes back to Allah and Allah's power is the only real power. We are merely witnessing Allah's manifest will before our eyes. His Ayat are clear and in everything. 'We will show them Our signs (Ayat)
in the universe and within themselves
until it becomes clear to them
that this ˹Quran˺ is the truth'. And therefore once we see this, we can study the physical world with a new perspective. If I were to study gravity and the constant associated with it, I can then say this is how Allah exerts his power. Studying gravity does not replace Allah, it is the extension of his presence and power. That is indistinguishable from Allah's presence. For if Allah was not present, then there would be no power or anything for that 'matter' (no pun intended).
This unified force that everyone is chasing is none other than the same force that spoke all of this ‘stuff’ into existence. It is the most open secret that exists. No matter where you turn your face, the face of Allah remains because it permeates into everything and nothing you can see and can’t see is excluded from this fact. Metaphysics is therefore incredibly important and one cannot take it away from knowledge except that they remove the most important foundation of all. Only then can one come up with pseudo-intellectual theories and call it 'science and knowledge'.
Asking for proof of these suppositions is not the proper way to go about things because this is akin to asking for the proof for why the law of noncontradiction is true. This particular knowledge is present in children and every human alive. It is not learned but known independently of all acquired knowledge. This type of knowledge exists in the highest hierarchy of knowledge whereby there is no necessary proof needed. It is ‘self evident’, axiomatic, and this statement alone is sufficient. As mentioned before, our highest faculties of knowledge are preloaded and present within us. It enables us to conceptualize and do things like ‘science’.
It is how I am able to read data and interpret it accurately. It is how I can see a rainy day outside and know that I need an umbrella. It is pure and simple logic that came from a higher source. I mean the apparent popular belief is that randomness put everything here and yet matter organized somehow to reflect precise equations and creatures emerged like humans allow for them to have concepts of 'basic truth'. All apparently without any guide to even define what basic truth is.. And yet we know basic logic and truths. Randomness cannot lead to beings with innate truths about reality. Again, a random purposeless universe devoid of order cannot produce beings that have baseline logic and comprehensible cognition. At most if somehow randomness was the explanation, humans and all of life (that somehow emerged) should then just be a collection of preloaded if and them statements. If you see X, then do Y. I see food, therefore a neural circuit activates pushing me to eat without having a first person experience. And yet we have first person experiences... One of the signs that we are not just a collection of material matter. No computer or AI so advanced could ever have a first person experience. It's not possible for material to feel so deeply and have an experience of their own existence. Therefore, when one takes a look around themselves, they can realize there is a movement that exists within the world at the level of the expansion of the universe and at the atomic level. This movement and universe at large need an origin and explanation, and there is but one explanation that can be arrived at.
The universe came from an eternal, all-powerful and self-sufficient source. The raw tools of knowledge that are used for things such as science can bring about this conclusion independently of religious indoctrination. It is simply known and logical. There is no reason otherwise to reject what our intellect is naturally drawn to. There are dozens of studies that demonstrate that children are naturally believers in the divine, even if they are not exposed to God. Similarly a child is not taught the 'Law of Noncontradiction' or 'Law of self awareness' or the 'Law of causation'. We are born and preloaded with a set of beliefs and understandings that Allah identifies as the fitrah. One of these primordial beliefs that goes hand in hand with the law of causation is the feeling and knowledge that something created this universe. Children know this and everyone is drawn to this idea at some level.
Embracing the root of knowledge within ourselves is the first step to knowing the giver of this knowledge. Only a society that believes in this lie of materialism can believe that the universe is simply the way it is for no reason at all. And yet most people unknowingly believe this because it is indoctrinated into everyone at school in the subtlest of ways. We should have confidence
. Confidence etymologically means 'Con fidere, or With full trust
'. This is what we should have. We are blessed to be Muslim. To follow the natural way, and the last monotheistic tradition. Our earliest Muslim ancestors knew this. With this zeal and understanding, they created a civilization that is unrivaled in its ability to harmoniously balance between religion, philosophy and its offshoot, natural descriptive philosophy/science.
submitted by jackata32
to islam [link] [comments]
2023.12.03 15:09 drifty241 Memoirs Of An Aeromarine-Chapter 1-The Raid
My name is Heimaros Woolas. I served with the 7th Aeromarine Regiment, more famously known as the cleavers of Tessa during the First Ascendancy War. Later in my life, I would become a distinguished air admiral in the Heimarian council, and earn the governance of my home province aswell as the colony of New Heimar. But my story begins 23 years ago, in 465ABWL, in the small village of Halcher, just 23 kilometres south of the Tessan border. A fateful event would occur that night that would leave me with immense scars, both physical and mental.
It was extremely cold, even for a winter night. I was sat alone, in the Valley Run pub, nursing a pint of cheap moonshine. The pub was old, with a timber frame and mostly plaster walls. It was from the occupation era, its elven stamp of approval still surviving in a picture frame. A delightful scent of roasted meat drifted out of the kitchen, although the smell had begun to wane as the pub reached its closing hours.
It wasn't the nicest place to spend my 21st birthday, but I made due with what I had. Halcher was a small sheep farming village, I couldn't expect a fully staffed bar. My mates had returned home, as it was 11:30 and everyone else was rather tired by a long night of drinking. I just wanted to finish my pint, and go home.After what felt like an eternity, I finished the last of my drink. Without anyone to egg me on, I found it almost impossible to take a sip of beer. At last, I stumbled out of the pub and was consumed by the howling winter winds and biting cold that gnawed away at my skin. Snow had begun to fall, blanketing the cobbled paths with a layer of slush and mud. The Winter got more and more oppressive every month, with the temperature never seeming to rise, not even in the day.
Taking a right turn towards my small, terrace house I glimpsed a striking posse of horsemen cresting the browse of a hill in the pastures overlooking the village. They loomed over me, their steeds clad in light armour, made of a yellowish steel. an elegant cavalry lance could be found in each horsemen's hand, the tropical wood shafts engraved with gold and diamonds. They basked in the moonlight, revelling in such a spotlight being placed on them by nature itself. I didn't have to examine their anatomy to know this was an elven raiding party. Every so often, a group of young nobles would raid a human village, their fathers deeming us harmless quarry, so they galloped through the Corveni pass on their steeds and murdered us for sport, like we were some kind of trophy animal.
I frantically scrambled back into the Valley Run, in a desperate attempt to seek cover, the effects of my intoxication seeming to vanish immediately."What, did you leave something here?" joked Hamar behind the counter, unaware of the panicked look on my face as he dried a glass."No, elvish noble horsemen, coming to raid us. I counted at least 7 but their could be more. They're approaching from the pastures." I replied frantically.The happy look on his old and battered face disappeared under a cloud of fear as he looked up at me."I've got guns in the back. " He said. "An old black powder revolver, and an older break-action hunting shotgun."
Hamar led me into the backroom, where he handed me the mk2 Gashellier revolver and 12 bullets. It was in a dire state, the cylinder was almost completely rusted and the rifling had been somewhat eroded by decades of misuse. The gun felt more like a piece of history than a weapon. Meanwhile, he had grabbed the shotgun, but was struggling to find any slugs.
"Some old history pieces aren't going to do us very good. they have ichor-steel armour" I said nervously, while loading the revolver. "I don't think our guns are strong enough to achieve pass through.""aim for the head the---"Suddenly, a fireball engulfed Hamar, igniting the building and sending tendrils of flame towards me. His torso sizzled, slowly melting into a puddle, while his blood boiled and left the room through the chimney. His eyes physically popped out of their sockets due to a change in pressure, and his flesh was thoroughly cremated, until it fell of, leaving only a pile of charred bones that looked like they had been gnawed by a dog. To this day, that is the worst death I have ever seen.
Licks of scarlet brimstone began snatching at my face, searing my eyebrows and leaving a burn on my left cheek. I turned and ran out of the building, which had quickly begun to collapse due to the hellfire engulfing it.barging through the front door, I could see that similar magic fires had been cast across the village, leaving a blanket of noxious ash rising into the sky that consumed the horizon and blotted out the ethereal moonlight. The noble lancers had begun to patrol the streets, like hungry dogs, skewering men, women and children alike.
A single lancer had caught notice of me, and now, atop a muscular steed he was barrelling towards me, preparing to impale me. I raised my revolver and pulled back the cold iron hammer. As I squeezed the trigger, a series of internal mechanisms groaned and grinded together, before releasing a bullet, which hit the horses' head, causing it to panic as the spherical round ricocheted of its ichor steel armour. It bucked its rider of, who fell with a thud onto the cobbles and dropped his lance. Once more, i cycled the revolver and fired, aiming for the nobles head. The dodgy rifling sent the bullet into his arm, likely hitting some kind of artery, because bronze blood began to stream out, painting a macabre tapestry on the road.
Suddenly, I heard an engine roar, and an army 6 wheeler transport drove by, dropping of 20 soldiers armed with new bolt action rifles."form a perimeter and find any survivors!" barked a commanding officer, as he jumped of the truck.The elves where aware that their fun time was up, so they ran of into the pastures on their horses, unaware that one of theirs was now in human custody. A private ran up to the elvish noble, knocked him out with the butt of his rifle, and brought him to the medic, who began to amputate his arm with a bone saw while an assistant administered a cocktail of drugs to keep him down.
A soldier shouted at me "are you alright son?" while he ran over to me to check if I was injured."I'm doing alright, I've got a few burns but I managed to shoot that elf. Is anyone else alive here?" I responded in a low voice."We found a few in the temple cellar." He said while scrubbing an antiseptic across my face. "Sick elvish nobles, this is the third time this month. Well at least you managed to shoot that one. We wont be seeing him one again.
I jumped into a truck with the rest of the survivors, the rusty revolver still in my shaky hands while I watched Halcher be engulfed in a firestorm, the bodies of everyone I knew scorched under mountains of rubble. The village had quite literally been wiped of the map. It was unknown to anyone at that time, but I had shot a very important elf. He was the heir to the estate of the Asalitean family, and his arm had been amputated, which was considered an outrage by the elves. This, along with many other smaller factors and one big one, would lead to the first ascendancy war, which I was about to play apart in.
submitted by drifty241
to HFY [link] [comments]
2023.12.03 13:39 BojackThingsUp How to invest: Beginner Edition
I recently posted my portfolio changes
for the year and it got a lot of traction that I wasn’t really expecting. I’d like to thank you all for all the kind comments :)
I recieved a lot of comments and DMs regarding how beginners can start investing and some basic questions, so I’m making this post regarding sone of the most common questions people have. Based on how things go, I might/might not make further posts detailing more info. There's no TL;DR to this and this is a very long post,
so I guess thats the first disclaimer.
Few important disclaimers:
A lot of this is also personal opinion, follow and understand the logic and make you’re own decisions.
- I’m a software engineer, not a CA or financial advisor or anything like that. I have no formal educational background in personal finance and neither am I claiming to be one. I’m just sharing my knowledge and experience from the past decade, so people who want to start from scratch can have some help.
- I don’t recommend stocks. Please don’t ask for tips or multibaggers or targets or anything like that. I like analysing businesses and consequently make money. I have my biases. My points are viewpoints, not recommendations. Take them as such.
- Finally, none of this is sponsored. The resources I share are shared because i like them.
Let’s get started!
Should I invest
As much as everyone will tell you that everyone should invest, I'm gonna go with a slightly controversial no. "Most"
people should invest. Investment comes with some risk. There are classes of investments that might have different levels of risk, but it still might not be the way to go for everyone. You need to understand the difference between wealth creation and wealth preservation. Investing would help in wealth creation. It might also help in wealth preservation, but hear me out.
The amount of money you might make is directly proportional to the amount of risk you’re willing to take. You want your returns guranteed?
Buy US treasury bonds. Guaranteed to get your money back. But you’ll only make 2-4%. You want to 100x your money in 1 day?
Go long on deep OTM biotech stock options, leveraged to the tits expiring the next day in the US market before that company publishes a drugs stage 1 test result. You’ll almost certainly lose everything most of the times given very free drugs actually make it out to stage 2. But on the rare cases it does work out, you’ll 100x your money in a single day. Risk v/s Reward. Understand where you stand.
Your retired parents and grandparents might not need to take these risks, or even be able to understand them. People who want to preserve their money and not in the position to take much financial risks. It’s okay to not invest and just have an FD/RD. It has its uses and many finfluencers will tell you that FDs are bad. They most definitely are not, you need to understand the use cases.
That being said, this is true for most people. If you’re young, you should definitely invest. You have any source of income and savings after all your expenses, some of your money definitely needs to be invested. However small the amount maybe, you should start investing. The amount will grow as you progress in career and life, but the habits and discipline it instills is very useful if you start early.
How much should I invest
The basics here, nothing to add from my side, just the traditional wisdom. Repay your expenses, prioritise paying off your debts (especially credit cards)
. Have some liquid money in savings account and emergency funds
in FDs (3-12 months worth of money off your current monthly spend, depending on your personal scenario and risk appetite (young bachelors might get away with a much smaller fund than a family with 2 kids). This is very important
, as this will be the bedrock of what you do with investing. The goal should always be not disturbing the money you've invested for unexpected expenditures.
Keep some money for miscellaneous expenses, and invest the rest. Diversify your investments. Don’t put all of your money in 1 microcap, have some diversification. PF diversification is a different thing, not covering that here.
Also, it’s your hard earned money. DO NOT FEEL BAD ABOUT SPENDING IT
. There’s few things that piss me off more than these modern "finfluencers"
trying to appear better than the rest and guilt everyone else with stupid comments like “if you invested this 200 rupees instead of buying a coffee you’d have 5000 rupees, when you’re 70. Invest your money”.
Life is short. Live in the present. Don’t save everything for an age where that money will be useless to you. Live a little, but live responsible. Don’t blow everything in your savings, but don’t stop yourselves from attaining things that make you happy from time to time. Investing is important. But the regret of not living your life a little when you had a chance cant be wiped away with crores of rupees.
But that doesn’t mean you go ahead and buy Iphone 15s on EMI when you’re jobless. Use your brain and think about your finances before making any decisions.
Where should I invest
Respect your money. You know how hard you've worked to earn it. Don't risk it away with things your dont understand. Its very important for you to understand what you're buying. Otherwise you're just gambling. Not everyone has the time or interest to learn about markets or investments. Many people have jobs, and many people find it boring. It's okay.
What you shouldn't do however is think you can be successful without understanding how market works or without putting in significant work in it. You might get lucky in the beginning (The first hit is always on the dealer), but you will not be able to continue this. If you cant/dont want to be involved, stick to Mutual Funds
. Let a professional manage it for you. They have their own limitations and pros/cons, but that still better than you not being in the market at all or you without any knowledege or interest YOLOing away your money.
Now, if you have time and/or interest, you can start investing your own money. Results may vary initially, but time and experience will teach you a lot. It's invaluable and there's no substitute for either. Personal Opinion based on my learnings and experience:
Ideally, start with MFs/Large Cap, poular stocks while you learn the basics. They are relative safe and less volatile, and great for beginners. They are just volatile enough to not lose most of your capital, but enough to give you the highs and lows and shocks to get you used to market without shooting yourself in the foot. Learn, have some experience. Understand what the business does. Replace "stock" with "business". Analyze how it makes money, then only you'll know if you can make money.
With more experience, knowledge and time, diversify and add a few mid-caps. More riskier, but will grow more. Get habituated to it. More experience, then move to small caps. Very risky, might be difficult to get public info and very important to understand the business. Do not invest here without understanding the pitfalls, this is the place where you might lose more than what you've gained until now, so control the size of this position.
Its a journey that takes a lot of time and hardwork. Dont try to find shorcuts. It will backfire some day.
Investor v/ Trader
Both are different. These are not the same. A person can be both, but these are different roles. I'm primarily an investor, I do trade ocassionally. Trading takes a lot more time than investing. And I mean active time, during market hours. Depending on the type (scalper, intraday, short term etc.) trading will require a lot of time commitment to be consistently successful. The failure rates are quite high in trading, and thats because of a very simple equation. Failure rate is inversly propotional to the time invested.
The longer time frame you have, the probability that that your trade might fail starts to decrease. Time is a very important factor. Trading is more focued on human behaviors and psychology and ways to predict what will happen in fute purely based on patterns in the past. Chart setup, oppurtunities, entries, stop losses, lot of time effort.Personal Opinion: Not something to pick up if you cant dedicate multiple hours per day/week.
Maybe in future when you understand the dynamics, but not as a beginner with no time.
Investing is more forgiving. It will still demand significant time commitment, but when you take it out is a bit more forgiving. This is more about the business than market psychology and chart patterns in general.
Your ability to make money will directly depend on how the company does over time. Reading up about the business is something you can do in your own time, and that is why it is something that I can do. IT takes deeper research, so be ready to put in a lot of work.
Not taking sides. Both are viable, both need knowledge about each other. Fundamental investors might find good entries with technical analysis. Traders can findout stocks breaking out with strong fundamentals to improve success and have huge rallies. Yin and Yang.
How to get started (and some resources)
There's no easy way, but read. Read as much as you can. Once you have basic understanding, start putting some actual money. Paper knowledge is all fun and games but you wont really understand the weight of it until you have actual money on the line. Internet is full of free resources, go ahead and learn more. Dont go behind what stocks to buy. Thats the wrong way to approach it. Think about it as businesses. What businesses do you understand? Do you work in Pharma? Are you a doctor? Maybe you'll understand Hostpitals and pharmaceuticals better. Are you interested in chemistry? Hey look, a very interesting checmical sector is waiting for you! What makes the business tick? Can it make money now? In future? How is the business doing? Is it making money? Profitable? In loss?Understanding the company will make you understand wether you even want to invest in the company or not.
The one resource that I recommend to every beginner: Zerodha Varsity
.Free, well structured, easy to understand and everything collected at one place. Can't go wrong.Read modules 1 to 3, this should give you enough idea to get started.
Books I'd recommemd:
- Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham: Just an all time classic book I think everyone should read, regardless of what type of investotrader you are.
- The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel: Relatively newer book that focuses more on the behavioral side of humans, very interesting read.
- The Richest Man in Babylon by George Samuel Clason: Old book, but the principles it shares stand the test of time. Worth reading.
- Regularly save and invest money. SIPs, bulk investment whatever. Small amount, big amount, whatever. Make it a habit to invest.
- Don’t put all your money at one place, however sure you are on that particular instrument. Black swan events can happen and it can impact even the most researched, sure short investments. Diversity for peace of mind.
- Start slow, don't go gung ho. Put more importance on knowledge than money. Your initial years will be slow, you later years will be exponential. Took me almost 2 years to reach my first lakh, 6 years later thats 40x. Patience, knowledge, time.
- Listen to finfluencers and follow them blindly. Jesus christ, the amount of very popular finfluencers with absolutely brain-dead garbage opinion is staggering.
- Do not take credit card loans to invest in a stock that’ll go up. You'll rack up more CC debts than profits you'll eventaully make.
- Do not apply for a new PAN Card because it’s cheaper than the penalty of not linking you PAN Cards. The consequences are more dire than the 900 bucks you’ll save.
- Don’t fucking do FDs in crypto exchanges because they give 12% interest. The priority should be safety and not the returns and I’m sure all of those who burned their money with Vauld know exactly what I mean.
Countless garbage advice out there. Listen to everything, yes. It’ll help you make a meaningful choice. But make that choice from your own understanding. Don’t blindly follow anyone, including me. Use your own brain.
- Don’t mix insurance with investments. They’re different products, for different reasons. Just because you’ll get some money back 20-30 years down the line, doesnt make ULIPs a good choice. The oppurtunity and time costs over 20-30 years on the extravagant premiums you pay is immense. Read up a bit on this and dont let policy sellers sway you.
- Start slow, grow over time. Dont start woth illiquid microcaps when you don’t understand how market cycles work. Sure 4-5 of 100 might make boat tonne pf money purely by luck or marlet dynamicas, but rest will lose significantly. Earning money of hard. Respect it. Have some patience.
- Dont start with options. Just don't. More often than not you will lose your money. And unlike equities where you lose some amount. You might lose all of it. Do not start with it. Its a thing to explore much, much later in your career.
- Don't have unrealistic expectations. You cannot be financially independent in 4-5 years (under normal circumstances). You cannot be an expert in a year or 2. It takes time. Acknowledge that. Anyone selling you get rich quick schemes, or selling courses on twittetiligram about how their traders are making money everyday. They don't and are robbing you blind. I cannot stress this enough: DONT BE GREEDY and fall into course traps of making more money.
Its been an awfully long post to read, so I'll stop here.
I’m open to feedbacks, additions/changes from senior members on how to improve this post, please let me know!
If you like this, please upvote this. It will help it to reach more members and might help some beginners out there!
Feel free to share this, the goal is to improve financial literacy. Just credit this if you copy paste this, Ive spent a lot of time typing this and the least you can do is give some credit :)
submitted by BojackThingsUp
to IndianStockMarket [link] [comments]
2023.12.03 08:01 sarahbellum0 Has anyone pressed charges?
I was raped from age 3-4. I tried “telling” my mom many times but I didn’t have the language to explain what was happening so she kept sending me back to the environment (home daycare). Finally at 4 she saw physical signs of abuse one day when she was bathing me and asked me happened and I told her.
Our neighbor at the time was the crown attorney and he prosecuted all of the child abuse cases in our region. I know for sure that I went to a doctor and had a rape kit done. I also made a police statement using dolls. My parents went to see the psychologist and the psychologist told them that if they never mentioned the abuse again, that I would certainly forget it. This was in the early 90s. So my parents never spoke about it again and I grew up thinking I was crazy and was so confused. When I was 13, I was very suicidal and depressed and my parents were giving me a hard time about this and said that, “you have no reason to be upset you have a perfect life” and then I dropped the bomb on them that I remembered everything that happened and that I was having nightmares and I wasn't doing well.
They put me in therapy and they were very adamant that they wanted to pursue criminal charges against this person, but I was very scared and didn't understand what that meant. I thought my face would be on the front of the newspaper and that all my friends at school would find out. I also thought I would have to like sit across from my abuser and I was terrified of him because he told me that if I ever told anyone he would kill me. Anyways, I stopped eating completely because I was so stressed and I lost a lot of weight.
I was admitted to hospital for anorexia and it was at that time my pediatrician told my parents that it now was not the time to pursue legal action and that I was too sick to stand trial. They have not spoke about it since. I spent my entire adolescence in and out of hospital with anorexia & then I made a full recovery for about 13 years.
I relapsed a few years ago after traumatic incident and have not been the same since. I went to an inpatient trauma and eating disorder program in January. This is the first time that I have been able to process any of the trauma using cognitive processing therapy.
I found it immensely helpful. While I was there, I was diagnosed with the dissociative identity disorder (DID) by the psychiatrist. This diagnosis had been suggested to me for many years, however, I didn't believe in the diagnosis and didn't like see myself switching, which now on retrospect I know is just because I was amnesiac. So I only have come to understand & accept this new diagnosis of DID within the last few months. I recently have had a deterioration in my symptoms and I've been really struggling with an internal abuser who is telling me to do things to hurt myself.
It has been recommended I return to an inpatient trauma treatment program. I'm wondering if this would be a good time to reach out to a lawyer about prosecution?
Our neighbor did say that I had both a criminal and a civil case and I heard from another victim that sometimes they don't want you to be totally "better” as this can effect the case outcome if that makes sense (like they don't want you to be totally recovered and back to full functioning). One other thing to note is that the perpetrator was a minor at the time (teenager).
I did reach out to our neigbor on my mid 20s to discuss this but within 2 emails I totally shut down because just reading a few, seemingly small, details of the case through his emails to me I completely freaked out and couldn’t bear it.
So I'm just curious if anyone has civil or criminal, which one did you do first, which case? How long did the process take? What was the outcome if you feel safe sharing that. And how difficult was it for you and your symptoms?
My kind of biggest fear is that it will be a very long process in (like over five years) and it will be re-traumatizing. But, at my core this is something I really want to do and I feel quite passionate about.
Another cocern is I don't remember much of the abuse at all, but I do remember vividly, you know, the moments preceding and after the abuse. For example, walking down the stairs into the basement, and then having physical sensations, but not knowing exactly what was going on. Sorry this is so long. Thank you so much for reading
TDLR I was raped when I was 3 and got diagnosed with DID 9 months ago. I'm considering taking legal action (oth civil and criminal) and I'm interested in others' experiences.
submitted by sarahbellum0
to DID [link] [comments]
2023.12.03 04:47 ApprehensiveFixty A Unique Challenge for an Actor in a Major Atomic Bomb Movie Seeking Media Placement
I'm reaching out to gather insights or advice for a unique situation involving my cousin, an actor in a major film about the atomic bomb. Despite a small role, his character plays a crucial part in the story, discovering an element essential to the bomb's creation. His preparation for this role was immense, yet his screen time was limited, a common scenario for many actors in the film. “I'm introducing the movie at the beginning because it's respectful to never think someone just might know the film you are in, maybe they don’t know it even if they are reporters.”
he has said.
He's taken a creative approach to gain media attention but hasn't had much success. He created a password-protected page on his website, introducing his character through whiteboard videos, sharing exclusive images, and providing historical insights. This includes a distant paparazzi tweet pic from the set an account posted, featuring his name alongside the lead actor and director. He's also set up a countdown to the DVD release, aiming to pique reporters' interest.
He told me he doesn’t see a way for local outlets to cover him or even big U.S. outlets since the atomic bomb experiment happened here, and it has been highly covered. So, he has been tackling international media outlets, bringing to their attention their country’s own history with atomic power.
His unique angle targets international media, highlighting connections between the film's themes and each country's nuclear history. For example, his pitch to Australian outlets reads:
"So, here's the thing: We're diving into a tale that's a bit of a time warp, kind of like in the film, but with a down-under twist. Australia's atomic story is a wild ride - from Maralinga's dusty
tests to its bold ‘no thanks’ to nukes, as seen in Australia's stance on nuclear weapons
. It's like a real-life drama, echoing the screen story we just told. Your readers will be stunned by how the film's drama lines up with Australia’s nuclear timeline
. For instance, Lucas Heights isn't just a research spot; it's like the real-world set of the scientific hustle we show in the film. Your first nuclear test
, plus Australia playing ball with the big international nuclear groups? It's like watching the movie's global tensions and twists play out in real life!"
Despite his efforts, including personalized pitches based on reporters' backgrounds and articles, the response has been minimal. He's even explored angles like Denmark's covert involvement in the Cold War's nuclear race, citing the Thule Air Base and Project Iceworm. His email tracking shows high engagement, with some reporters opening his emails up to 22 times, yet no substantial responses have followed. “Like, there’s a nuclear reactor just outside Sydney,”
he has said. “I just feel so conflicted. Some of these countries' nuclear power or history has led to reactors that are keeping a portion of their citizens warm as we speak! Why is this not so interesting and inviting to dive into?”
I feel bummed for him because his performance, while brief, was meticulously directed, and he was picked from guys who were considered from all over the world. The funny thing is that he never thought (maybe still thinks) he was good at acting. He did everything he could to hide from production that he is indeed a real college student where the man who built the bomb taught. He said it on set the day of filming, he just wanted to see if he was good at this thing he was particularly picked for, also to avoid any sort of preference that could've been given because of that. He wanted to be equally considered, he said.
I spent most of Thanksgiving discussing this with him with my mouth wide open a few times.
And I said he's still in college (senior), therefore he cannot afford a publicist since he's been doing his best to pay for his own tuition, and he’s been doing it on his own. He reads each reporter's bio, their articles, creates original pitches for each, goes on the outlets' website, sees the ones that have written about the movie, and overall it's an angle where the line between entertainment writing and other sections of a newspaper gets blurred.
The only thing I have helped with was telling him that if he hasn’t thought about the fact that maybe these countries won’t like to report at all on this for both wanting to always keep the bomb and all its ethical questions about it together with America, or to not be the bad apple to inform their citizens about their own countries' ties with atomic power.
He has a tool that tracks how many times the email has been opened and read, and some reporters have opened it up to 22 times.
He says he can’t understand why they seem so interested yet do not respond. On his password-protected page, at the bottom, he has a Calendly widget where they don’t even have to click a link but can choose a time for a call with him. “It's really odd. I've noticed reporters and even chief editors from some of the oldest newspapers in their countries viewing my Instagram stories. I'm not sure if they've shared my email with others, but it's strange to see someone from The Economist's Australia branch, whom I never contacted, checking out my stories. Then I found out he's married to a reporter I did reach out to. Despite this, I haven't received any response to my emails or follow-ups. I'm at a loss about what more they're looking for,”
I told him I was going to be reaching out to people to understand better because he stopped trying despite NASA's news two days ago on gathering more of this controversial element to fuel new expeditions. So, it would be incredibly helpful to get your thoughts on this.
The best part of it all is that he’s a very open guy: “If some publicists or media professionals feel like experimenting on me with techniques, or students let it be strategies or whatever the ways they could land mentions or a feature (though harder, I feel that would be great), they are all welcome. I would give them access or they can ask me whatever. I feel this has the potential to be both educative while me being able to be there as well.” Live interviews, podcasts, TikTok, YouTube vlogs, talks, and questions asked about other members of the cast are not allowed.
It would be great if some were talking about him and his character though. Besides, even if they were (those mediums allowed) he does not have the media training I believe is needed to handle such things. He's soon to graduate and we would like him to do more of this because he's pretty damn good at it! This PR campaigning he's doing I sense is one of his other “let's see” if I was actually good at it enough to pursue it despite literally being picked from thousands across the world, and directly working with the lead for his part and the director who might as well be the best film director alive as of today. The goal is to secure features or mentions in newspapers, magazines, media outlets, and online platforms.
Reaching out for any advice, insights, or strategies that might help him in this challenging situation. His story and approach seem perfect for media attention, yet the breakthrough remains elusive. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks for your time and consideration. All advice is welcome.
EDIT; He is a college student, not an actor student.
submitted by ApprehensiveFixty
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2023.12.03 02:29 Easy_Passenger_4001 R.E.D. SQUAD 5
well hello again, i fucked up with a few things, so i am reposting it now without the mess ups.
While this Chapter has a happy start, it gets a bit graphic at Doisil POV, no hard feelings if youd like to skip that, you can continue when you see "D-DAAAAAD!" dont worry, its hard to miss
thanks again to u/spacepaladin15
for the universe, and thank you all for reading
cw gore and insinuations of self harm FIRST
CHAPTER 5 Momentary Bliss Memory Transcription Subject: Slivanu, Venlil Journalist Date [standardized human time] October 25, 2136
THE HUMAN WAS COMING!
“K-K-KROSHA” i tried shaking her, she was in a total trance, sniffing at the air, i would be jealous about never knowing how smelling felt if i wasn't currently dying of fear
, i could see at my peripheral that Salivi was trying to hold onto a laughter.
“L-let me enjoy this sliv” WHAT THE SPEH WOMAN,
the human had casted a spell on her, i had to do something. My shaking became more intense, trying to save her from showing weakness to a predator. Damn it, we had just survived starving and now we had to deal with this freak show filled ship… You would fit in with the crew nicely then.
My efforts to snap Krosha ceased with that thought… while this whole situation was crazy, it was the “safest
” i had felt in a room filled with people, everyone was different yet… they were still a herd. They even accepted the dossur who was just like me… Perhaps i could-
No, I want to stay with krosha, i'm sure she wants to get back to nishtal. I owe her that much after all she has done for me.
My tail tightens as the human is upon us, looking at Krosha with a nasty snarl, my body shivering, betraying how much fear was affecting me. Was it mad, angry, hungry, or all of the above? whatever it was, i can't imagine a good outcome... yet Salivi and Tharume looked… pleased?
“S-s-s-soorr-ry” Krosha had opened her eyes, realizing her mistake, her voice betraying how terrified she was, my tail squeezed her, trying to remind her that i was here, no matter what. Id gladly become human food for her sake.
There was a moment of baited breath before it spoke “smells that good huh? well im happy you think that way, hope the taste lives up to it”
His voice sounded so gravely and guttural yet… happy? almost as if he was teasing krosha for her little lapse in judgment. If this was the happy voice, i cant imagine their angry one.
“I eh uuhhh… what?” Krosha looked lost, confused, and ofcourse scared, the human began to place the plates of food in front of each of us, for Salivi some word spiral tubes covered in red, for Therume some fluffy looking discs covered in fruits and a thick liquid, they both looked very pleased with this action, almost salivating at the thought of digging in, was smelling food so good?
Next it placed a bowl of soup that had some dark green things in front of me and krosha, and what appeared to be some sort of red tinted grain in front of her, and what appeared to be- no it couldn't
, but it looks just like it. Were those starberries?!
“Shellshocked? wow, im flattered to be honest” the human waved his hand in a playful manner, as if to blow air towards himself “this definitely takes the cake for best reaction to human cuisine
from you doc” he said, giving a snarl towards Tharume, the poor zerulian´s face turned a slight shade of green.
“W-well, its not my fault honey is such a delight” Tharume scoffed “HA!, knew you'd love it doc, you a teddy to the core” the human exclaimed, my slight recoil at his sudden noise brought back his attention to Krosha and me… the speh is a teddy?
Krosha was staring at her food, I could feel the rumble of her stomach through my tail “w-what is this?” she asked, the hunger overtaking any sense of fear she probably had.
“Red rice and seaweed soup” he claimed so matter of factly, the translator tried its best to give a small explanation of what rice and seaweed was, a grain and an algae respectively, sounded ok to be fair. But this was human food, there had to be a trick to it
I gathered my guts to ask the human, but krosha beat me to it
“T-this doesn't have mea-” “NO, IT DOESN'T '' I was startled by Salivi and Tharume loudly exclaiming, they sounded annoyed… I had asked the same question twice myself…
“Wow wow, both of you calm down” the human said with a slightly stern voice “both of them are new to humans, allow them to adjust at their own pace, may i remind you that both of you were no better…” I could see the two of them deflate in a tang of shame at the mention of the past, each of their faces in a blue and green blush respectively.
“I apologize on their behalf Mrs.Krosha, they get a bit cranky before first meal” my tail uncoiled around krosha, i was happily pleased with the sudden politeness that the human presented.
“T-thank you, but no need to apologize, they had already told us, i was just… wait, how do you know my name?” Krosha stared at him, suspicion on her eyes. “oh well, when we rescued you i asked for a report, on it i saw your name and asked Farlma to search you up, from there i have heard some audio tapes of the stories you published while cooking”
Kroshas face blushed in embarrassment “i must say, your famous review of “To tame a wild heart is to steal its freedom” is my favorite, who knew humans and krakotl could have such similar
I recognised that book, it was rather… graphic
. i didn't know that krosha had done a review of it, i would have to read it later.
My face bloomed a little bit, which did not escape Kroshas eyes “what are you blooming for?! its a good book ok?! it was part of my old job” her wing flapped in a fake threatening manner.
The rest of the table laughed at the scene happening in front of them, me included, the human tried to hold his in, only letting out stifled chuckles “a-anyways” krosha spoke trying to regain her pride “they had already explained, but Salivi had commented that you once tried to serve them “cheese” so i wanted to make sure it didn't have anything weird.
The human shot joking angry glare at Salivi, to which they just sticked their tongue out as a response “Well, no need to worry, if it would help i can explain what is in everyones dish, if it would help calm the nerves” i nodded aggressively.
“Let's begging with you Salivi, since i notice your ears are wiggling as they do when you are angry” he said, yet his gaze stayed unfocused. That's weird, i thought they had forward looking vision.
“Not my fault, i had to explain to these two what happened at the cradle on an empty stomach” they grumbled, a guttural rumble came from the human, my translator picked it up as laughter… What the brahk is wrong with them, even laughing is scary.
“That explains that. Well, let's not keep you waiting. What I prepared for you is rotini pasta bathed in tomato sauce and diced mushrooms. '' As he finished explaining, I could see Salivi had already picked up a bit of this rotini
thing with their claws and was smelling it.
Their ears were wagging in a very happy manner. now they are just rubbing it in my face.
“By the way, pasta is a form strayu, or at least its make is similar, we use a wheat instead of ipsom, but i have used ipsom before as well, such as the donut Farlma is sitting on currently” he knew how to make strayu from scratch?! oh man, i didn't miss much things from venlil culture, but genuine strayu was difficult to find in nishtal, especially one that was of good quality, and not that mass produced pice of speh the fissans tried to sell.
Salivi took a bite out of the rotini and their face morphed to that of pure bliss, i could see it in their eyes that they wanted to start shoveling in as much as could fit in their mouth, but the desire to enjoy every bite to the fullest over took it, i could respect that notion.
“Glad you like it. now for you Doc, i made your favorite, ipsom pancakes with berries and honey, pretty self explanatory” the human said, to which Tharume began shoveling mouthfuls of food into his face, clearly unburdened by the same tough process as Salivi, the human let out a chuckle “glad to see you still love em doc”
I glanced down at my own food, the servings were smaller in comparison to the others, probably cause i had already been fed an IV bag, and yet the sight of it made my mouth begin to water.
“Now, for you two, i know you come from nishtal, which is covered in marshlands, wich would mean your diet probably had its fair amount of algae, so i made you seaweed soup, please tell me what you think”
Me and Krosha picked up our bowls in front of us. I hesitated a little bit, I looked at krosha who had just taken a sip to see if it was ok, but a sip became a full gulp, which then became chugging accompanied by a small tear leaving her eye.
By the time she had come to her senses she had finished the entire bowl, my mouth was agape “just like mamas” she whispered, the human had the biggest snarl on his face, oh noooo, had krosha angered him?! speh.
“I-m s-sorry if i o-ofended you” Krosha tried to apologize “wha- ah!” the human sook its head slightly “i'm not angry, this isn't a snarl, we call it smile, we show our teeth in a show of happiness, i know it might seem weird, it was that way for Jarn too at first, but you'll get used to it” krosha relaxed a little bit “i see… if that's the case can i asked for another bowl” krosha looked as if she was a kid on her birthday.
The human let our a hearty laugh and stood up to bring what appeared to be a pot with him, he set it on the table “there is as much as you want, and i imagine your starving body would appreciate getting spoiled for a change” he smiled
as he filled her bowl again
That reminded me that that i hadn't tasted my own, so i grabbed my bowl and took a sip A gentle river can be heard in the distance, the slight sway of the hammock I'm laying on rocks me from side to side, I'm met with a pleasant winter breeze that brushes my fluffy winter coat. I can hear the distant chirp of krakotl and venlil children playing in the distance with joy… such a good life. I turn to look at my beautiful wife who is currently serving bowls of soup on the backyard table. Her beautiful dark blue feathers haven't lost their shine with age, she is still as beautiful as the day I married her… she turns to look at me and I hear her say “Sliv? sliv? you ok partner?” i feel the hammock move more aggressively to the point i almost fall- My eyes shoot open
, my face feels in full bloom as I recollect what just happened, Krosha is shaking me “Hey sliv, SLIV?! you back partner? you went catatonic for half a minute there”
I shake my head to get my wits back to me, meanwhile Salivi and Tharume are both trying to keep a laugh hidden, and
Miguel is choking with laughter at the floor, kicking his feet into the air “y-yeah sorry, the soup just caught me by surprise… its too good” i said, to which Krosha gave me a very aggressive nod “down right addictive”
I nodded back and turned my head back to my food in embarrassment, trying to control the fire in my heart and in… other
parts . Just a fantasy Sliv, get a hold of yourself.
“W-W-WHAT ELSE WE GOT MIGUEL” i yelled nervously, trying to shove attention away from myself, to which Miguel responded “oh man you two are gold, i told the U.N. that food was the best diplomat… Anyways, what you two have as a main dish is Red Rice, a family recipe from my hometown Cuernavaca, for Krosha.”
“And for you Slivanu, i gave you one of Sailents favorite meals, Starberries with salt and lime, i also have tajin if you'd like to try it out” he said, wiggling a bottle of what appeared to be a red powder in his hand
so these WERE
starberries, damn! I haven't had them since I lived in the colonies…
I lifted a shaking paw to one of them, and popped it into my mouth, a small tear escaped my eye, it tasted just as good as when i shared them with dad when he came back from work… I miss him
I felt a small pat on top of my head, it was Miguel giving me a warm smile, I would have normally been terrified, but at the moment, his teasing nature, warm nature and patience, speh!
even his laughter reminded me of… of dad.
Krosha also seemed very calm, she was currently digging at her own plate of “red rice”, grains sticking to her pastel beak made her look too cute! Salivi was almost finished with her rotini, satisfaction leaking from every quill on their back, and Tharume was leaning back on his seat with labored breaths, his plate picked clean of any remaining bit off food.
Is this what it felt to fit it? to be part of a herd? i-i had forgotten how good it felt…
“Bello durmiente is finally awake?' said Miguel without moving his head, “come on in Dosil, i made you breakfast dinno nuggies” as he finished speaking i could see both Salivi and Tharumes expressions fall into panic, why? What's happening? whats wro-
AN AXUR IS AT THE CAFETERIA DOOR!!!!!!!!!!!!! Memory Transcription Subject: Dosil Mendoza, Arxur R.E.D. Squad member. Date [standardized human time] October 25, 2136 “i-its o-ok s-son…” my father said, blood seeping from his mouth, bubbling blood poured from his gouged out throat, my mouth filled with the taste of blood, my claws were covered in blood as i held his entrails, i had to hold strong or else THEY would discover my weakness and kill me, if that happened dads sacrifice would be for nothing. “i..ts alr…ght” he was struggling to speak through the pain and blood. i cant do it, i cant eat him, i can feel vile creep up into my throat, yet i had to force in down, i can't, i-i cant, i cant i cant i cant icant icanticanticanticantic- dad cleared a single tear i hadn't noticed was forming in my eyes, his weak claw was struggling to even move, his eyes portrayed the weight of sadness un-matched in the universe, the empathy he and i shared was a curse at moments like this, i swallowed the vile at my throat, accompanied with a chunk of his meat, he mouthed “im sorry, i love you” but all that came out was the choked sounds of air escaping the pooling blood at his throat, the wound i had made had now became a suffocating end for him. my heart burned with pain and anger, at being born, at losing my dad, at THEM FOR BEING MONSTERS. as life left his eyes, all the other young arxur in the room with me pounced on his corpse, butchering his form, blood and innards flew by me-
I jumped and hit my head on the ceiling. All the blankets that i had enveloped myself in fell onto the bed, I let out a long weak breath out. just a nightmare, the same as always.
I have a quick look at my surroundings, it appeared that i was holding onto my pillow, which was now torn to shreds, it had already begun its self repair. I was thankful captain Osiris and Silent had gifted me it, it was both practical and fluffy. I liked fluffy things, unlike the arxur they were good and innocent.
My blankets laid on my bed, both of which had suffered close to no scratches, good news for once
, I turned around to see if my roommate had been awoken by me. Salivi, however, was no were to be seen. i'm glad they always have a look of pity in their eyes. you don't deserve pity i know
They probably were eating breakfast at the cafeteria, and i probably should do too, i hated when my stomach growled, the sound reminded me of that
I made my way quickly to the bathroom in the room, it was big enough even for me, i began taking a hot shower, using the shampoo miguel had bought for me, it had an image of an arxur, but it was more flat and had it eyes to its sides, it smelled weird but not unpleasant.
I began to scrub with a rough sponge, getting the grime off my scales, getting the blood off of my claws, which had dug slightly into my tail as I slept.
As i finished drying off, i stepped out and inspected my appearance in the mirror as i applied the cream Silent had given me at my request, she had looked amazed that i pulled the courage to talk to her, but i couldn't ask miguel for it, he wouldnt understand.
I used the mirror to apply it onto my back, my scales shone in a much more noticeable purple, since i had just showered, they were also contrasted to the gray scar tissue that covered my back, it had shrunk since i had begun using the cream, i was happy it was working. With a slight wag form the tip of my tail, i was contempt with my morning routi-
Wait! my teeth. Tharume had lectured me at my last check up, i needed to keep better dental hygiene. I didn't like to look at them in the mirror, but he was right that they would look nastier and more feral if I didn't take care of them.
There! finishing my routine and putting a bandaid on my tail where my claws had slightly dug into, I decided to head into the cafeteria. I passed “silent” on the way there, my form shrunk slightly.
Even though i was 2 times her size and i had seen arxur who were even bigger than me, she still was the scariest thing i had ever seen, she was a ghost of all the prey i had wronged in my life, i was sure, and yet she waved a happy “hello Dosli
“ with her tail.
Her face, without her signature outfit, was covered with fluffy all black wool broken by her amber eyes, a warm and motherly look on them.
“h-hi Silent, i was heading into the cafeteria for breakfast” i spoke, the anxiety cleare in my voice, she looked slightly disappointed at me and signed “dont scare, i'll join 1/8th of a claw.”
she approached me slowly, to which i flinched slightly, managing to prevent the urge to lift my claw to my throat. With the tick contained she proceeded to give me a warm hug, to which I had to kneel a bit to make it comfortable, although a tad bit uncomfortable I saw that she waved a “take care
” with her tail, and proceeded to get back to what she was doing.
I went back on my way, I could smell Miguel's cooking in the air, he had made the usuals, hopefully some meat veggies for me, I liked feeling like I wasn't an arxur while eating them.
yet… I also smelled something new, people I didn't recognize.
my hand shackingly made its way to the doors of the cafeteria, freezing before opening them. Calm down Dosil, breath in breath out, it will be ok No it won't. oh god, i need a hug
I began to feel my eyes warm up with the threat of tears, i pushed the doors open slightly to witch miguel spoke up without looking at me, it still felt uncanny how he could do that.
“Bello durmiente is finally awake? come on in Dosil, i made you breakfast dinno nuggies” well it wasn't meat veggies, but i also liked those very much, it wouldn't hurt to enjoy them. As i took in who else was in the table i could see the faces of Salivi and Tharume morph into panic.
w-what was happening, did i do something wrong, did I scare them, did I have something in my face?
! but then they turned to look in front of them, to which i followed the movement only to be met with the visage of a puffed up krakotl and a shivering venlil staring at me
They both screamed, which made me almost faint as i felt a panic attack creep in. I began to hyperventilate.
Salivi shot up from their seat and bolted to my side, placing their claws on my right claws, they were trying to speak to me, but i couldn't hear them, i could only hear my own heartbeat quicken in my ears and the scream of terror the krakotl was squawking.
Miguel and Tharume were trying to calm them down, Tharume even having to hold down the krakotl to prevent her from flying. they were scared of me made sense, you are a monster after all i-i don't meant to, i don't want to scare them Too bad, that's what you are, a monster, a weapon, nothing more, no matter how much you try to fool yourself. b-but i want to be better of course you do, i wish it could be true, but you know… i can't, i'll always be an arxur, ill hurt people just like you did to dad, honestly, if you ask me you should just-
?!” the voice snapped me from my transe “you are doing the claw thing again” Salivi said, a single tear escaping from their eye. I hadn't noticed that my left claws were griping at my throat, preventing me from breathing.
I released a grip and let my form collapse into one knee, letting my lungs fill with the air i didn't know i was missing, few drops of blood hit the tile floor as i had dug my claws into my hardy scales.
I felt Salivi give me a tight hug “im sorry Dosil, Tharume is a brahk ass for not explaining to them sooner, you did nothing wrong, ok?” Salivi was trying to hold in the sadness in their tone, trying to give me a warm and calming voice, my heart ached for them, yet i felt loved... it was at moments like this that I was happy that I was born with empathy.
I returned the hug as well. They had saved me at the cradle once, and from then on, they saved me every day. I let out a small whisper “Thank you Sal, thank you”
submitted by Easy_Passenger_4001
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2023.12.02 18:30 thecambridgegeek November 2023's New Fiction Podcasts - 119 of them
I've got what I think is a mostly exhaustive list of the new fiction podcasts that came out this month, which may be of interest to those looking for new shows. Feel free to tell me any I've missed, and I'll update it. (Note, "new" here means that the Ep1 of the RSS feed was released.) Listened to any of them that you would recommend?
I've given up trying to include the full list here, as it's increasingly large, and reddit keeps throwing excess character problems. So the full list is here: https://www.thecambridgegeek.com/posts/2023/12/20231201-a.php
And the ongoing updates (just in case you don't want to wait for the end of the month) are available here: https://www.tumblr.com/audiofictionuk https://twitter.com/AudioDramaDebut
(though I'm doing it on twitter less now, as it's got rubbish)
Want a weekly email newsletter of all of these as I find them? Join my patreon to get access to that: https://www.patreon.com/thecambridgegeek
You can now join for free! (I will still take money, but it's not required.)
And the full database is searchable here by a number of tags: https://audiofiction.co.uk/search2.php
Want an RSS feed of new fiction podcast trailers to sample what's out there? Try this: https://audiofiction.co.uk/trailers.php
Want occasional ramblings from me about what I'm personally listening to? Try this: https://www.thecambridgegeek.com/archive/add/add.php
11/1 - Dark Dead Things
Audio Book - Horror
11/1 - Le Miroir magique de l'amour
Audio Book - Romance
11/1 - Peter Jolt's Aural Imaginings (full-cast audio)
Audio Book - Science fiction
11/1 - Romance Weekly
Audio Book - Romance
11/1 - Tales of Fists & Fireballs
Audio Book - Science fiction
11/1 - The Fall of Vhul
Audio Book - Horror
11/1 - Wonderland Dead
Audio Book - Fanfiction, Horror
11/2 - Il lato oscuro
Audio Book - Crime and Mystery
11/2 - Post-Apocalyptic Joe in a Cinematic Wasteland
Audio Book - Comedy, Post-apocalypse, Science fiction
11/2 - The Wild Thistle Productions
Audio Book - Multigenre
11/4 - Écoute Une Histoire
Audio Book - Thriller and Psychological
11/6 - Bitácoras de soledad Audiolibro Por: Héctor Domingo
Audio Book - Slice of life
11/6 - Parole Nomadi
Audio Book - Multigenre
11/7 - Alfabeto della paura
Audio Book - Multigenre
11/7 - DisturbedMind
Audio Book - Horror
11/7 - Fragmented Truth
Audio Book - Thriller and Psychological
11/7 - Mona’s Isle
Audio Book - Fables and Fairy Tales and Folklore
11/8 - Joe Rendace's Downfall
Audio Book - Thriller and Psychological
11/9 - Algo 2032 - A Story of the Year AI Runs for President
Audio Book - Science fiction
11/9 - Gnom, unser
Audio Book - Fantasy
11/9 - Stamen: A Space Oddity
Audio Book - Science fiction, Comedy
11/10 - Julefreden - Viborgs Juleeventyr af Lars Hamann
Audio Book - Holiday-themed, Adventure
11/16 - It's Ramble Time
Audio Book - Comedy
11/17 - Cybernetic Chronicles
Audio Book - Science fiction
11/17 - Voices from the Ledge
Audio Book - Slice of life
11/20 - Au pays des rêves
Audio Book - Educational
11/21 - Magic and How to Fix It
Audio Book - Fantasy
11/22 - 1 of 1 Podcast
Audio Book - Multigenre
11/22 - Contos do Almanaque
Audio Book - Science fiction
11/22 - Dis juste quelques mots, pour décrire notre amour
Audio Book - Thriller and Psychological
11/23 - “Confident Sensuality”
Audio Book - Erotica
11/23 - Connery: The Novel
Audio Book - Comedy
11/28 - The Draconian Universe
Audio Book - Multigenre
11/30 - Fight Dragons Win Prizes
Audio Book - Fantasy
11/1 - Goodbye Girl
Audio Drama - Crime and Mystery, Historical
11/1 - Honor Bound - Adaptation of the Book Series
Audio Drama - Superhero, Thriller and Psychological
11/1 - Supermarket
Audio Drama - Comedy
11/1 - The Girl Across the Lake
Audio Drama - Crime and Mystery
11/3 - Las Crónicas de Ampersand
Audio Drama - Science fiction
11/3 - Romeo and Juliet: The Podcast
Audio Drama - Adaptation, Classics
11/3 - Romeo y Julieta sonoro
Audio Drama - Adaptation, Classics
11/4 - Broken Hearted
Audio Drama - Slice of life
11/4 - My lunch with Frank
Audio Drama - Slice of life
11/5 - Barb and the Burnbottoms
Audio Drama - Comedy
11/5 - Bopop Originals
Audio Drama - Science fiction
11/5 - It’s Complicated (Kahani Teri Meri)
Audio Drama - Romance
11/6 - Feedback: a comedy of impeccable customer service
Audio Drama - Comedy
11/9 - Out Cold
Audio Drama - Horror
11/9 - Sected
Audio Drama - Comedy
11/9 - Travelling Light
Audio Drama - Science fiction, Fantasy, Fables and Fairy Tales and Folklore
11/9 - Yet Another Dating App
Audio Drama - Comedy
11/10 - Ruby & Lowell
Audio Drama - Comedy
11/10 - The Very Worst Thing That Could Possibly Happen
Audio Drama - Fantasy
11/11 - An Office Workers Guide to Demon Hunting
Audio Drama - Comedy
11/11 - Comedy Theatre
Audio Drama - Multigenre
11/11 - Joys And Splendors
Audio Drama - Thriller and Psychological, Science fiction
11/11 - Śluby Panieńskie, czyli Magnetyzm serca Słuchowisko Radia Katowice
Audio Drama - Adaptation, Comedy
11/11 - The Books of Thoth
Audio Drama - Multigenre
11/13 - Hovering
Audio Drama - Slice of life, Science fiction, Crime and Mystery
11/14 - Don’t Worry!
Audio Drama - Comedy
11/14 - Flickers
Audio Drama - Thriller and Psychological, Horror
11/14 - La Familia del Barrio
Audio Drama - Comedy
11/14 - Movipods Presents!
Audio Drama - Science fiction
11/14 - Stories from Ylelmore
Audio Drama - Slice of life, Comedy, Fantasy
11/15 - A Classical Christmas Chord
Audio Drama - Romance, Comedy
11/15 - Boss Monster Adventures
Audio Drama - Adventure, Fantasy
11/15 - Nur eine Ohrfeige - Hörspiel-Serie nach Christos Tsiolkas
Audio Drama - Crime and Mystery
11/15 - The Other World's Chronicles
Audio Drama - Fanfiction
11/16 - Dear Old Blood: Notes on a Wittgenstein Noir
Audio Drama - Satire and Spoof
11/16 - Scrooge: A Christmas Carol
Audio Drama - Adaptation, Classics
11/16 - The Last Vampyr Hunter
Audio Drama - Urban fantasy
11/17 - A Space in This World
Audio Drama - Post-apocalypse
11/17 - The AI Chronicles
Audio Drama - Comedy
11/19 - Marshalltown after Midnight
Audio Drama - Urban fantasy
11/20 - Frankenstein
Audio Drama - Adaptation, Classics, Horror
11/21 - Dupont Investigations
Audio Drama - Historical, Crime and Mystery, Occult and Supernatural
11/21 - Monsters with Mortimer: Interviews with Creatures of the Night
Audio Drama - Comedy, Fanfiction
11/21 - Shortwave Kitsch Radio Show
Audio Drama - Multigenre
11/21 - Springleaf
Audio Drama - Comedy
11/23 - Forgive Me Father
Audio Drama - Horror, Dystopia, Thriller and Psychological
11/23 - Gone Bush
Audio Drama - Comedy
11/24 - Build a Prince: A Royal Christmas Love Story
Audio Drama - Romance, Holiday-themed
11/24 - Candy Claus, Private Eye
Audio Drama - Crime and Mystery, Satire and Spoof
11/24 - Neon Inkwell
Audio Drama - Multigenre
11/25 - Re-wake
Audio Drama - Science fiction
11/26 - Orbital 1
Audio Drama - Science fiction
11/26 - Wrought of Amber
Audio Drama - Crime and Mystery
11/27 - Whispers of the Lost World
Audio Drama - Science fiction, Historical
11/28 - I Mari Segreti della Puglia
Audio Drama - Fantasy
11/28 - The Secret Seas of Puglia
Audio Drama - Fantasy
11/29 - A Queda de Ingonish
Audio Drama - Horror
11/29 - Go I Know Not Wither
Audio Drama - Fantasy
11/29 - Skandinavien
Audio Drama - Thriller and Psychological
11/30 - Doctor Who Audio Adventures (Fanmade Audio Drama Series)
Audio Drama - Fanfiction, Science fiction
11/30 - The Pensive Tower
Audio Drama - Fantasy, Horror
11/1 - Bard To The Bone - Actual play DnD Podcast
Audio RPG - Fantasy
11/1 - The Vast - A Starfinder Actual Play
Audio RPG - Science fiction
11/1 - Varning För Rollspel
Audio RPG - Horror
11/2 - Wayfarer: A Hunter the Reckoning Actual Play
Audio RPG - Urban fantasy
11/4 - Love Death and Dice
Audio RPG - Fantasy
11/4 - SideQuesters
Audio RPG - Multigenre
11/6 - Natural Pengu
Audio RPG - Fantasy
11/6 - Sounds Like Adventure
Audio RPG - Fantasy
11/10 - Paydata: A Shadowrun Actual Play Series
Audio RPG - Cyberpunk
11/10 - Soul Operator
Audio RPG - Multigenre
11/10 - Super Duper Boys: A Pathfinder Podcast
Audio RPG - Fantasy
11/11 - Vorbereitung Optional Der Indie-RPG One-Shot Podcast
Audio RPG - Multigenre
11/12 - Jesters & Jerks
Audio RPG - Comedy, Fantasy
11/12 - Theater of the Mind Presents: Retribution
Audio RPG - Comedy, Horror
11/13 - The Stars Aren't Alright
Audio RPG - Horror, Science fiction
11/14 - Level 1 Geek
Audio RPG - Fantasy
11/17 - DesiQuest
Audio RPG - Fantasy
11/19 - QuickTales - Jeux de Rôle Solo
Audio RPG - Multigenre
11/20 - Blades of Mayari
Audio RPG - Fantasy
11/20 - Dario Digital RPG
Audio RPG - Multigenre
11/20 - Les Rôlistes Associés
Audio RPG - Fantasy
11/21 - Starfinder
Audio RPG - Science fiction
11/25 - Polskie RPG-owanie
Audio RPG - Horror
11/27 - Mystic Misfits
Audio RPG - Fantasy
submitted by thecambridgegeek
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