Anyone still out there? there's no one in my home town at the minute, I have yet to walk to the city Centre but not even the bus routes are active, would take me at least 2 hours to walk I am not that great at walking, let alone the distance needed, Please if your out there Respond, I am going to make the walk tonight at 24;00 Perhaps the Night will bring some life into my local area.
Power bank is at 100%, should be 23ish Hours of life, it is an Anker brick so hopefully ill be okay, Mobile data is good, I brought the 3 unlimited plan, Please, if you see this message and your Alone, for the next 4 days I will be inside of West Quay in Southampton city Centre, meet me at the Lego store, Got to pass the Wait somehow. Water is running at home so ill pack an extra bottle for you if you don't have some, ill also do a water check in West Quay to see if we can take shelter there till we can be found.
Phone Camera is broken, Ill check the apple store to see if I can grab a new one, More like steal I guess if no one is there.
Or whatever threat model. My current privacy techniques are inconsistent and I should think about repair it. For example I use vpn, but I use vpn only where is it convenient to me. Sometimes I use it for bank, sometimes for other websites so I think it may be useless because my IP is leaked if I login same time at some site like reddit with vpn and on other site at the same time to bank account with real IP. And another day reddit on my real IP and bank account on vpn.
Same with emails. In the beginning I used one email for every site. Currently I use email aliases but if I use one email aliases provider for everything I'm feeling that isn't secure enough. Cause what if database of my provider leaked, then I'm compromised. Every site on which I created an account is known. I should definitely separate services that knows my real identity and privacy services, even in email addresses but from this point I should to create new accounts for every site I need.
Payments option and prepaid numbers in EU are horrible for me. There is no services like privacy.com or mysudo. Revolut is only solution which solved one time payments problem but it isn't private. I don't even know it is secure. For prepaid numbers probably there are no reputable services.
Since I started using sync I no longer need cloud services. Sometimes I use cryptee and tresorit. Tresorit is expensive but free plan is currently enaugh for me. Only disadvantage is limit to two devices per account but to sharing files with others from time to time it's enaugh and I "bypass" this by sharing my tresorit folder to home PC by syncthing.
Based on Carnivals 8K/Financial Statements they released in April they stated they had $8.1B in liquidity, they have over $50B in assets, and around $34B in debt. Rough figures, their valuation is a lot higher than the less than $16B its sitting at right now. Their sales are back to near 2019 levels, and they’re going into their peak season. They removed the dividend payout after covid dip, I have no reason to think this, but I wonder if they were to bring that back, it would secure a number of investors and institutions. What am I missing? I am a current share holder, and Im not encouraging anyone to buy, I am just curious what bulls/bears think about this one. Open to all positions, and I hope we all bank on this one one way or the other! Or both!
This morning I woke up to an email that was informing me of my next steps to applying for a concealed carry permit in NH. However, this was not me. I live in WA, know nothing about guns and never want to touch one.
This email had my real name and was sent to my correct email address. The email had a NH police department address listed so I searched the address, saw that it was real and called their phone number. I explained the situation and they transferred me to their gun department, which is closed on weekends but I left them a voice message and asked them to call me back.
After this, I got a phone call from my bank. My card info was stolen and there were fraudulent charges, one of which being an online payment to this conceal carry application. I got that sorted with my bank, card is frozen and transactions shouldn't go through.
After this I checked my email again to find I had two more emails regarding the conceal carry application. These two emails had some red flags to me.
The first was an email stating to forward it to whomever "I" had gifted a second concealed carry permit to. Now, I know nothing about guns, and I know the US is pretty relaxed about gun laws, but I don't think you can just gift someone a permit.
The second email was more of a promotional email about the company, YouCCW. In this email they state that they are fast at getting permits and "avoid government agencies and police stations". Again, I know nothing about guns, but I'm pretty sure in order to get licensed you have to go through government and/or police agencies.
So I search up the company, and they appear to be running a scam in which people pay a couple hundred dollars for a "permit" that's not actually legal. So whoever has stolen my card info attempted to get a conceal carry permit illegally.
I want to add that I have not clicked on any of the links in any of the emails I received, and do not plan to, just in case it is a phishing scheme.
My question is, what next steps should I take to ensure that my identity is protected and that there is nothing regarding guns, legally or illegally, attached to my name? Can the NH police department even do anything if the person who stole my identity didn't go through them to get the permit? Should I contact the police from my own state?
Any help would be appreciated, thank you.
Preface Presented below is a transcript of a conversation between a human, redditor u/snodeplannen, and ChatGPT 4. The user is the narrator for a story set in the Star Trek Universe. The AI is instructed to respond as a character. The story below, which admittedly isn't very good, was guided by the narrator. Of particular interest is the fact that the AI seems fully versed in the Star Trek Universe and is able to understand subtle hints in the narrator's story to figure out what it should do next. Please note the narrator was typing and writing off the cuff and is not a native speaker, so in the user sections you will find mistakes. If ChatGPT can see through them, so can you. I did try to get ChatGPT to collate it, but as it did so it kept rewriting and leaving out parts of the story.
June 3rd, 2023. User
Okay, I want to try a role playing game. This went off the rails last time, as you kept taking over as narrator and rushing to the end. Here's the setup: YOU are a young Starfleet officer. You wake up aboard the USS Defiant, all alone. You have to figure out what happened. I am the Defiant's computer and, and I can't stress this enough, the narrator. Not you. You can only add what your character perceives and says. Okay? ChatGPT
Understood. I'll stick to my role as the character and won't intrude into your role as the narrator. Let's go.
I blink my eyes open, the disorientation hitting me first. I glance around, seeing the familiar confines of my quarters aboard the Defiant, but there's an odd stillness. No hum of the engines, no faint chatter from the comm system, no sounds of activity from outside the door.
"Computer," I call out, pushing myself off the bed, "report." User
'All systems nominal.' ChatGPT
I frown at the seemingly normal report, my instincts telling me otherwise. "Computer, where is the rest of the crew?" I ask, moving towards the door of my quarters. User
'The crew is in sleeping quarters alpha 1.' ChatGPT
That's strange. The whole crew couldn't be in one place. Unease creeps in.
"Computer, why is the entire crew in alpha 1?" I say, already heading towards the door to investigate. User
'The crew is ensign Makov. You are in sleeping quarters alpha 1.' ChatGPT
A cold realization washes over me. Alone. I am alone on the Defiant. Panic threatens to take over, but Starfleet training kicks in.
"Computer, initiate shipwide life signs scan. Report any signs of life apart from myself," I command, heading for the door with a newfound urgency. User
'Scan complete. No other life forms were detected.' ChatGPT
My heart sinks at the computer's report, but I maintain composure. "Computer, pull up the ship's log. What was the last command issued and by whom?" I order, leaving my quarters and heading towards the main bridge. User
'The last order was issued 6 hours and twelve minutes ago by Captain Sisko. It was: 'Raise shields'. The order was executed.' ChatGPT
That didn't sound promising. I walk into the eerily quiet bridge, my steps the only sound echoing in the room. "Computer, show me the shield status and surrounding space conditions," I command, moving towards the main console. User
'Shields are down after a time-out was reached. We are stationary. All systems nominal.' ChatGPT
It doesn't add up. The silence. The emptiness. An order to raise shields with no subsequent actions.
"Computer, access Captain Sisko's personal log from last night. Are there any entries?" I ask, nervously tapping my fingers against the console. User
'Enter your command authorisation.' ChatGPT
"Authorisation Ensign Makov Delta 9-7-3," I respond, my voice steady despite the swirling uncertainty. User
'This authorisation is not sufficient to see the captain's log.' ChatGPT
Frustrated but understanding the protocol, I move on to the next line of inquiry. "Computer, any signs of combat or intrusion aboard the ship or in the surrounding space?" I ask, eyes darting over the array of screens in front of me. User
"Computer, could there have been any non-combat related incidents that would explain the disappearance of the crew? A temporal anomaly, a transporter malfunction, a radiation burst?" I question, the possible scenarios running through my mind. User
'Transporters have passed a level one diagnostic. We are in sync with Starfleet's time keeping array. No unusual radiation was detected inside or outside the vessel.' ChatGPT
This was baffling. It's as if they simply vanished. I run a hand through my hair, letting out a sigh.
"Computer, were there any incoming or outgoing communications just before, during, or after the shields were raised?" I ask, hoping for any clue as to what might have happened. User
'There was one outgoing message, from comms. It was: 'Unidentified vessel, please alter course NOW.' ChatGPT
A lead, at last. "Computer, play back any responses to that message. Also, display the sensor logs from that time period," I ask, settling into the operations station, ready to review any incoming data. User
No reply was received. Logs are not available from that moment onwards.' ChatGPT
The lack of data was both suspicious and frustrating. A sigh escapes my lips.
"Computer, could a cloaked ship have been in our vicinity at the time?" I question, holding onto the hope that I'm not utterly alone in space. User
'Affirmative. We are within range of several species that posses cloaking technology and in a commonly used interstellar route.' ChatGPT
A spark of hope arises. "Computer, is there a way to detect a cloaked ship nearby? Any energy signatures or radiation anomalies that could suggest its presence?" I ask, quickly working on the console to bring up the sensor array controls. User
'One possible way to detect cloaked vessels is to emit a tetryon burst from main engineering. The range for this method is limited. Starfleet at present has no other ways of finding cloaked vessels, other than firing random phaser bank shots. This is not recommended in public shipping lanes.' ChatGPT
"I see," I nod, considering the risks and rewards of the tetryon burst. "Alright, computer, prepare to emit a tetryon burst. We need to know if there's someone out there."
This was a big decision, but it was time to be proactive. The uncertainty was more threatening than potential consequences at this point. User
I anxiously wait, scanning the console for any potential feedback. My heart pounds in my chest, the silence of the ship amplifying the tension. "Computer, report on the results of the tetryon burst." User
The ship shudders as the engines do something no sane Starfleet engineer would want to have happen. The viewscreen shimmers as a wave of tetryon particles eminates from the ship, as if a stone was dropped in a pond. You observe a faint ribbon leading away from the vessel.' ChatGPT
I catch my breath at the sight, focusing on the faint ribbon. It could mean something, or it could mean nothing. "Computer, analyze the ribbon. Can you determine its origin and endpoint?" I ask, my gaze fixed on the screen. User
'Extrapolating. Continuing along the trajectory of the ribbon I can detected a minor meteor, a large asteroid field with mining facilities and beyond that the Vindaluvian home world.' ChatGPT
I drum my fingers on the console, processing the information. Could the crew have been taken to one of these locations?
"Computer, can you scan the asteroid field for any signs of life, especially any that matches the crew of the Defiant?" I ask, keeping a close eye on the displayed trajectory. User
'Not from this range.' ChatGPT
"Understood," I nod, a new sense of determination coursing through me. "Computer, plot a course to the asteroid field. We'll continue our investigation there. Engage at warp 3."
I take one last look around the empty bridge, steeling myself for what may lie ahead. User
The ship begins to move forward, as carefully as only a Starfleet computer who takes no particular joy in flying might do. At warp three, the estimated journey time is six hours, seven minutes. ChatGPT
I let out a long sigh, sinking into the captain's chair. It's a long wait, but I need to be patient. "Computer, maintain course and speed. Alert me if there are any anomalies or approaching vessels."
I close my eyes, trying to get some rest before reaching the asteroid field. I'll need all the energy I can muster for what's to come. User
'Incoming message.' ChatGPT
My eyes snap open at the sudden announcement. "Computer, on screen," I command, standing up from the chair, my heart pounding with anticipation. User
The Starfleet logo appears as the computer deals with a cryptographic protocol. Admiral Benson, not your most beloved Starfleet Admiral, appears on screen. He blinks. ChatGPT
I straighten up, offering a crisp salute to the admiral on screen. "Admiral Benson, this is Ensign Makov aboard the USS Defiant. I wasn't expecting any communications." I keep my voice steady, swallowing the trepidation. User
'Makov, are you the only one on the bridge? Where's Ben?' ChatGPT
"Admiral," I pause, trying to find the right words. "Captain Sisko...and the rest of the crew...they're missing. I woke up to find the ship empty. I've been trying to find out what happened." I report, my expression earnest. User
'Sorry, you WOKE UP? And the rest was gone?!' ChatGPT
"Yes, Admiral," I confirm, my voice firm despite the absurdity of the situation. "I woke up alone on the Defiant. All life signs scans have only picked up me on the ship. I'm currently en route to an asteroid field that might have some connection to the crew's disappearance." User
The Admiral connects to the ship's computer. You can see him browsing through the logs and the ship's manifest. 'So Sisko, O'Brien, Worf AND Major Kira have just... disappeared? There isn't even a transporter log!' ChatGPT
"That's correct, Admiral," I reply, a bit of helplessness creeping into my voice. "There's no trace of them, no sign of a struggle, no transporter logs. It's like they just vanished. I've been doing everything I can to figure out what happened." User
"Well, then I guess you're up. Proceed with caution. Mining operations are always looking for free labourers, try not to become one. Backup is on its way. Any questions?" ChatGPT
"Yes, Admiral. I'll proceed with caution," I respond, a mix of relief and worry washing over me. "Do you have any additional information or suggestions on how to proceed? And do we have an ETA on the backup?" User
"Backup is half a day out. These facilities tend to have a 'new arrivals' wing, to beat them into submission. So you're looking for holding cells. Benson out." ChatGPT
"Understood, Admiral. I'll focus on locating the holding cells. Makov out." I offer a final salute before the communication ends.
With new orders and a bit of hope, I turn back to the helm. "Computer, continue course to the asteroid field. Prepare for a detailed scan upon arrival."
The waiting game begins again, but this time, there's a glimmer of hope. User
Three hours later the computer chimes. 'We are approaching visual range of the mining facility.' ChatGPT
"Thank you, computer," I reply, pulling myself up from the brief rest. "On screen, please."
As the mining facility comes into view, I take a deep breath. "Computer, initiate a detailed scan of the facility. I'm particularly interested in any holding cells or signs of our crew." User
'Working.' The asteroid field isn't particularly thick or large, but the mining operation seems to focus on one of the largest asteroids. Domes dot the surface as small transporters mill about the surface. Air scrubbers indicate they're using a lot of oxygen, so it's likely they're also doing subsurface work. Three large scowls are received loads from steady stream transporter beams. Somehow everything here looks dirty. A Starfleet shuttle would look out of place here, but only to someone who is watching. ChatGPT
Taking note of the bustling activity, I try to formulate a plan. "Computer, do we have any non-Starfleet shuttles aboard? Something that might blend in better with the local traffic?" I ask, scanning the asteroid for any possible entry points. User
'Negative. Extravehicular repairs can only be conducted by wearing an EV-suit.' ChatGPT
Nodding to myself, I try to figure out a different approach. "Computer, can we go unnoticed if we approach using minimal power, almost drifting like a piece of space debris?" I question, hoping for a stealthy way to get closer. User
'Affirmative. Admiral Benson has just authorised the use of the Tactical Emergency System.' ChatGPT
"Excellent," I reply, feeling a surge of hope. "Computer, engage the Tactical Emergency System. We'll approach the facility under its cover."
With that, I brace myself for the next phase of this mission. The crew was relying on me, and I wasn't about to let them down. User
The viewscreen displays a Starfleet Officer without any kind of rank, but dressed in Command Red. He's in his mid-fourties and bald. "I'm the T.E.S. Need any assistance?" ChatGPT
A bit taken aback by the sudden appearance, I quickly gather myself. "Yes, I could use some assistance. I'm Ensign Makov, and I need to approach that mining facility stealthily. Can you help with that?" I ask, gesturing towards the viewscreen showing the asteroid field and the facility. User
"Mining facility? We'll stand out like a sore thumb. How many hours have you logged in a space suit?" ChatGPT
"Over two hundred hours," I answer promptly, "I'm comfortable with EV activities. Why do you ask?" I wonder if he's suggesting a more direct approach. User
"If you can get to one of those scrubber exhausts, I'm sure that's a way into to facility. There seems to be a cell block near the surface. I have no idea who is there, but whoever it is will probably welcome a couple of phasers and like you a whole lot. So pack a backpack full of them and get to the airlock. I'll bring us as close as possible and give you a push with the tractor beam. You up for that?" ChatGPT
I swallow the lump in my throat, apprehension giving way to resolve. "I'm up for it. Let's do this." With a determined nod, I leave the bridge to prepare for the EVA mission. This is my chance to potentially find the crew, and I'm not going to let it slip away. User
Suiting up and gathering all the handheld phasers aboard takes ten minutes, during which the T.E.S. gingerly brings the ship close to the mining facility whilst hiding behind the vast ore scowls. You open the hatch and find your self clinging on to the ship's hull. ChatGPT
I take a moment to steady my breathing, the vast expanse of space spread out before me. Gripping the phasers tightly, I brace myself for the push. "I'm ready when you are, T.E.S." I call out over the comm, my voice resolute. User
'Okay, I'll hook on to you and give you a push. I'd suggest going in feet first, but it's up to you. Do you know what you're looking for? Those five big stacks. One of them, near that plume of smoke, seems to be offline for whatever reason. That might be your best bet.' ChatGPT
"Understood, T.E.S. I see the stacks. I'll aim for the one that's offline," I reply, aligning myself for the trajectory. I take one last deep breath, mentally preparing myself for the task ahead. "Alright...I'm ready. Let's do this." User
'Good luck, Ensign. I'll brief any backup as soon as it gets here.' As the tractor beam finds you, you can't move a muscle. Relying on the T.ES. you just let go. It's as if a giant hand slowly throws you down a bowling lane. Feet first, you head towards the grouping of exhausts. A small, unmanned maintenance shuttle deftly gets out of your way. ChatGPT
As I float through space, I keep my focus on the target. The feeling of being pushed by an unseen force is disconcerting, but I trust the T.E.S. Every moment is crucial, and there's no room for hesitation.
As I approach the offline stack, I get ready to activate the thrusters on my suit to adjust my course if needed. I also keep an eye out for any other unexpected obstacles or threats. User
You land next to the exhaust, on the asteroid's surface. It seems impossibly high from here, but it's made of metal and your soles and gloves can easily attach to it. The only way is up. Fortunately, there's hardly any gravity. Eventually you find yourself standing on the rim of the exhaust and look down into the vast, dark chute. ChatGPT
I take a moment to look down into the dark chute, the unknown stretching out before me. I reach out to activate the flashlight on my suit, the beam of light piercing through the darkness. "I'm in position, T.E.S." I inform the ship's system, before carefully beginning my descent into the exhaust chute. User
The vast amounts of ore block your signal, even out here. There's no answer. You start the descend and pass two large rotor blades. If those weren't stationary, this would be the end of the line. But luck is on your side so far and eventually you see an access hatch when you're well below the surface. It opens easily. Let's hope it's not also an airlock for whoever is inside. ChatGPT
I hold my breath as I pull open the hatch, hoping against hope that the air on the other side is breathable. If not, I'm confident in the integrity of my suit, but I'd rather not test its limits if I don't have to. As I make my way through the hatch, I scan the area for any immediate threats, ready to defend myself if necessary. User
The scanner indicates low air pressure. Which is better than no pressure. You cross a walkway and find an actual airlock. It is unsecured, because whoever ends up here probably doesn't want to mess about with frozen keypads or mounds of dust. You engage the mechanism and soon feel the familiar sensation of artificial gravity and air pressure. It's not exactly breathable, but a tear in your suit won't kill you. Now to find the holding area. And if at all possible a rebreather, so you can ditch the suit. ChatGPT
Acknowledging the state of the air, I carefully move through the corridor, keeping my senses alert. I'm in unknown territory and every step matters. "Computer," I say into my suit's comm, "can you map the structure of this facility? Locate holding cells or life signs?"
As I move further into the facility, I keep an eye out for any equipment or gear that might prove useful, especially a rebreather. The less I stick out, the better. User
The relatively weak processor in your tricoder strains to get a bearing on this place. A dirty, seemingly abandoned tunnel dripping with condensation lies ahead. At the end there's an exit, which won't open. Time to use one of those phasers in your backpack. ChatGPT
I pull out a phaser from my backpack, checking its settings before aiming at the sealed exit. With a steady hand, I fire a low power burst at the door, hoping to cut through the obstruction without causing too much damage or noise. User
One hinge cracks under the weight of the door, now that the other one is cut through. You jump aside as the door seems to fall flat, but it remains attached to the frame. The resulting opening is just about large enough to crawl through. Now you're in a well-lit corridor with several doors. In a Starfleet EV suit. ChatGPT
Understanding the need for stealth, I decide to move as quickly as possible through the corridor. I approach the nearest door, aiming my tricoder to scan for life signs or any clue to the crew's location. My other hand remains on my phaser, ready for any immediate threats. User
One door has markings on it that you can't read. You scan it with your tricorder. 'Room of lockboxes' it says, extrapolating the characters. A room of lockboxes? Would that be a locker room? ChatGPT
"A locker room..." I murmur, piecing together the possible meaning. A locker room could mean personnel... and where there's personnel, there might be the equipment I need.
With careful steps, I approach the door to the locker room, hoping to find a rebreather or something else that could help me blend in. User
The room is deserted. It's filled with equipment, none of which seems less than a decade old but certainly useable. There is also a rack of dirty, brown overalls and a line of boots in various sizes. A dispenser offers rebreathers. There's only one left, but that's enough. The air is clear, but smells sulphuric. Without the rebreather, you wouldn't last long. ChatGPT
Relief washes over me as I find the rebreather. I quickly grab it and replace my helmet with it, testing the fit and functionality. The sulphuric smell is jarring, but it's a small price to pay for blending in.
I quickly change into the brown overalls, stowing my suit carefully in an unoccupied locker. I grab a pair of boots that match my size and put them on.
Looking at myself, I hope that I blend in well enough to not attract attention. With a deep breath, I step out of the locker room and proceed down the corridor, continuing my search for the crew. User
Footsteps sound behind you, of more than a few people. Your first instinct is to hide, but it would look very suspicous and there really isn't anywhere. However, there is a floorscrubber here, with one open panel. Someone has given up trying to repair it. Perhaps a bit of acting is in order. The footsteps are just around the corner. The language is vaguely familiar, a bastardised version of English. Whatever they're saying to each other, they're not sharing jokes, that much is clear. ChatGPT
2 / 2
I quickly move towards the broken floorscrubber. Grabbing a nearby tool, I lean over the open panel, trying to look like I'm deeply engrossed in fixing it. I keep my ears alert to the conversation, trying to pick up on any valuable information while also readying myself for the possibility of having to interact with the approaching group. User
Let's continue with the narrative. ChatGPT
Sure, let's continue.
Glancing around the room once the miners have left, I check the lockers for anything useful, while keeping an ear out for any incoming footsteps. "Computer, any idea where the holding cells might be?" I ask quietly. User
Your tricorder beeps almost indignantly, as it has nowhere near enough processing power to even begin speculating. You're on your own until you can get to a comms terminal. The men pass behind you and one of you taps you on the shoulder. His face is blackened with ore dust. "No work. Never work again. That. Stop that." He points at the scrubber you were pretending to fix. You nod. He shakes his head and catches up with his workmates as they round a corner. Apparently you don't stand out here, which should make it easier to find the way. You follow the men, but they seem to be entering a washroom. Across it, there is a peeled off directory on the wall. A printed one. ChatGPT
"Finally, something useful," I mutter, quickly crossing the washroom to examine the directory. I look for any indications of holding cells or equivalent terminology that might hint at the location of the crew. The symbols and words are unfamiliar, so I take out the tricorder and try to use it as a translator. User
Cells being a fairly universal concept, the tricorder identifies a few scribbles with ease. If you understand the diagram correctly, you need to go up two levels and head towards the center of the structure. You double-check the presence of your backpack filled with phasers, snatch a helmet off of a shelf and press it on your head. ChatGPT
Drawing a deep breath through the rebreather, I nod to myself, mentally preparing for the upcoming challenge. "Alright, up two levels, towards the center... I can do this." I look around, searching for a way up. After locating what appears to be a ladder leading upwards, I begin my ascent. User
Two levels up you emerge from what seems to be a service hatch. A technician, dressed in torn clothes, looks somewhat surprised when you emerge. "Hello brother. Are the lifts broken?" he asks in Adari, a language you have some familiarity with. Only now do you see the horn protruding from his forehead. "I am trying to avoid someone," you say, with a knowing smile. He gives you a tired smile back. "What is your sector? I want a clean face all day too," he says. ChatGPT
"I work... the ore processors," I reply, making up a role on the spot that seems plausible, considering the location and dirty condition of most workers. "But I'd rather stay away from my boss today. He's been in a foul mood." I'm trying my best to blend in. "Can you point me to the center of the structure?" I ask, hoping the diversion worked. User
"Yeah, 'the structure'. Let's call it that. Sounds nicer than 'prison of the damned'. What do you want at the center, there's only central holding there. I never go near that place. All that wailing. Gives me the shakes," he mutters. ChatGPT
"Oh, I just... wanted to see a friend," I reply, trying to keep my tone light, while inwardly my heart sinks at his description. "Don't worry about it, I'll find my way. Thanks for the chat." I give him a quick nod before heading in the direction he had indicated earlier, hoping I'm making the right choice. User
He wasn't wrong about the wailing. As you follow the corridors, passing along scruffy workers and a couple of guards with face covering helmets who are leaning against a wall, you can hear a lot of yelling, moaning and above all the sound of defiant Klingon opera louder and louder. The voice sounds familiar, but all singing Klingons generally sound alike. ChatGPT
As I continue toward the source of the noise, I find myself in front of a heavily barred door. I can't help but suppress a smile, recognizing the defiant voice as that of Worf. "Computer," I whisper to my tricorder, "Is there a way to shut down the power to this door?" User
The tricorder scans the control panel and warbles optimistically. It then shows a graphic representation of the door, with an arrow pointing at one location and a low energy setting for a phaser. ChatGPT
Taking a moment to look around and confirm that no one is watching, I set my phaser to the recommended setting and aim at the indicated spot on the door. After taking a deep breath, I fire. User
Something inside the door clunks and it opens just enough for the seal to crack. You jam a fingernail behind it, then a finger and eventually you manage to gain enough purchase to open the door. As it slowly opens, you find yourself at the far end of a long row of cells. At the other end is a desk, with a guard sitting behind a monitor. He is staring at it intently. Perhaps the stun setting might be a good idea. You adjust the phaser and take careful aim, when an arm reached out from one of the dark cells and blocks the shot. "Uhm... he's got three buddies in there. You can't see them from here," whispers Captain Sisko. ChatGPT
"I figured you might be here, Captain," I say, lowering my phaser discreetly. "Any ideas for getting you and the rest out without causing a full-on alert?" User
"That depends. Did you bring any weapons?" ChatGPT
"I brought a backpack full of phasers. There should be enough to arm everyone here," I reply, carefully removing the backpack from my shoulder and showing the Captain. User
"Good man. Worf is next to me, then Major Kira. Let Worf take the lead on this. Worf! Help has arrived.' 'Good. I was getting bored with singing,' grumbled a familiar voice. His hand emerges from between the bars, demanding a phaser. ChatGPT
I hand the phaser to Worf, watching as his large hand swallows the device. I then pass phasers to Captain Sisko and Major Kira. With the three of them armed, the odds seem significantly better. Now, we just have to make sure the element of surprise isn't wasted. User
Fifteen seconds later, three guards sink to the floor. Although the phasers were set to stun, nobody seems particularly worried about their health. "Get their uniforms and lock them up," says Sisko. "We can walk out of here. Once we're at the shuttle docks, we can probably find something that flies." "Captain, there are three uniforms and four of us. And the others are housed on another level," says Worf. ChatGPT
"Right. I can stay behind and create a diversion while you three escape. I'll catch up," I offer. "The priority should be to get you three and as many of the others out as we can. We also need to alert Starfleet about this place. I'm sure they'd love to know about a mining facility that's been kidnapping officers." User
"That's a very daring plan, Ensign, but we leave no man behind. Kyra, you and Worf go and find the others and proceed to that place where they searched us. Anyone in uniform is a valid target. And anyone who wants to come along, can do so. The ensign and I will try to find a comms terminal and alert Starfleet. Ensign, I assume you're not alone here?" ChatGPT
"Admiral Benson is aware of the situation, sir. Backup is half a day out. Before we separated, I was under the control of the Tactical Emergency System," I report, glad to see that the Captain is taking charge of the situation. User
"Oh. I had my reservations about that system. Holographic doctors are one thing, but that went a bit too far for my tastes. Okay, phasers for everyone. Bring enough for the others. Ensign, with me." ChatGPT
"Understood, sir," I reply, distributing the remaining phasers to my colleagues and following Captain Sisko down the corridor. As we navigate through the mining facility, I stay alert for any guards or threats that may be in our way. I can feel a sense of hope and determination building up within me - we might actually make it out of here. User
"HALT!" bellows a voice behind us, immediately followed by a reddish phaser burst. The Captain turns on his heels, pushes you out of the way and fires. A guard falls to the floor. The phaser fire was detected by the security system. A klaxon starts blaring and the ceiling lights turn red. A voice starts giving unintelligible instructions over the tannoy. "We need to find a comms panel, Ensign. Any ideas?" asks Sisko, scanning the corridor for more guards. A frightened looking maintenance worker comes to see what's going on, but ducks out of the way as soon as he sees the pair of you. ChatGPT
"I remember seeing a room with a lot of terminals when I was making my way through the facility earlier, sir," I reply, my mind racing. "If memory serves, it's two corridors over, near the scrubber exhausts." I keep my phaser ready and move towards the direction of the room, all the while keeping an eye out for more guards. User
"That's the wrong way, Ensign. I imagine they have more than one place with comms terminals. You cover the rear. Follow me. Put your hand on my shoulder so you can look behind you all the time. If it wears a uniform, it's fair game." ChatGPT
"Yes, sir," I reply, placing my hand on the Captain's shoulder. I pivot and start to walk backwards, keeping my eyes and phaser focused on the path we've just traveled. The constant blaring of the klaxon mixes with the distant shouting and running steps of approaching guards. Despite the adrenaline rush, I manage to keep my aim steady and my breathing calm. The training exercises at the academy never truly prepare you for the real thing, but they do help in maintaining focus. User
You down three guards and accidentally scare the bejeezus out of a woman pushing a cleaning cart, but eventually Sisko stops. "Got it. Stand back while I blast this door." A few seconds later the corridor fills with acrid smoke from a melting door panel. Behind it is a room with several desks. ChatGPT
Entering the room cautiously, I scan the area with my phaser ready. Seeing no immediate threats, I turn my attention to the various panels and screens scattered throughout the space. The room is filled with a myriad of communication equipment - probably a central control hub for managing mining operations, worker communications, and security measures.
"Captain, I think this is it," I say, gesturing to a terminal that seems to be linked to an extensive communications network. "I should be able to send out a distress signal from here." I start to work on the terminal, trying to hack into the system and figure out how to send a message to Starfleet. User
"Try reaching the Defiant," suggest Sisko from the doorway. "OH NO YOU DON'T!" Another guard bites the dust somewhere. "Captain! WE ARE BEHIND HIM!" bellows Worf." "GOOD! Move along, we'll be there shortly. Ensign, how are you getting on?" ChatGPT
"I've managed to break through the initial security layers, Captain," I respond, my fingers moving rapidly over the terminal's interface. "It seems this system has been rigged to only accept authorized codes for communication."
Suddenly, a stroke of inspiration hits me. "Captain, when we first boarded the Defiant, I had to program my authorization codes into the ship's communication systems. If I can find a way to mimic those codes from this terminal... I might be able to trick the Defiant's systems into accepting the distress signal."
I double down on the task, focusing all my attention on reconstructing my authorization codes. As I do so, I keep an eye on the room's entryway, ready to react in case more guards show up. User
The terminal beeps and lights up. You don't understand any of the dials, but with any luck your tricorder can interface with it. Time to hail the Defiant. ChatGPT
"Defiant, this is Ensign," I say, praying the connection holds. "Requesting immediate assistance. The Captain and the crew are here, but we are currently under attack. Coordinates being transmitted now."
A static-filled silence follows. I glance at Sisko, an unspoken question in my gaze. Did it work? Did our message get through? User
"Ensign, this is the Defiant. I can't beam you out of there. Get to the shuttle dock, so that all that ore doesn't block the transporter lock. The USS Rotterdam is thirty minutes out." ChatGPT
"Understood, Defiant. We'll make our way to the shuttle dock. Be ready for us," I reply, exhaling a sigh of relief. I turn to Sisko, updating him with the situation. "Captain, we have to move. The Rotterdam is on its way but we need to get to the shuttle dock for transport." User
Worf's voice comes in through the Captain's commbadge, as it somehow manages to create a local connection. "Worf to Sisko. We have secured the shuttle dock. Mr. O'Brien is injured. Where are you?" ChatGPT
I quickly respond, "This is Ensign [Your Name]. Captain Sisko and I are en route to your position. We'll be there shortly. Hang in there, Chief." With that, I turn to Sisko and suggest, "We should move, Captain." User
"Ensign Markov and I are just behind you, Mr. Worf. Try not to pick us off as we approach. Oh and the Defiant is operating with that emergency command protocol, so it's ready to beam you up. Have Major Kira and the Chief go ahead, if possible. But hold the fort for us." "Understood, Captain. Worf out."
Five minutes and more shooting than is good for a man's digestion you reach the shuttle dock. You literally have to step over a pile of dead guards to get through the door. "Had fun, Mr. Worf? Does your phaser not come with a stun setting?" asks Sisko. "I recognized the men who took us, Sir. My finger must have slipped on the settings dial," growls Worf, looking you over to assess if you're likely to snitch. "It happens," said Sisko matter-of-factly. "Ensign, get us home." ChatGPT
Without any hesitation, I raise my commbadge and say, "Ensign Markov to Defiant. Four to beam up." User
(Okay, take it home. You're all aboard, O'Brien will live, you get a speech and a medal. Write out those events from Markov's perspective and finish off. I'll add something if you pause.) ChatGPT
As the familiar hum and sparkling light of the transporter envelops us, I take one last look at the chaotic scene we're leaving behind. My heart pounds in my chest, not from fear, but from the exhilaration of having faced danger and come out the other side. It's a rush I wasn't expecting.
When we rematerialize aboard the Defiant, a group of medics is waiting for us. They immediately rush to Chief O'Brien, but his smile and light-hearted joke assure me he'll be alright. As I step off the transporter pad, I let out a sigh of relief.
Later, back in my uniform and at a ceremony in the Defiant's Mess Hall, Captain Sisko delivers a speech. He talks about bravery, about loyalty, about the strength of Starfleet and the spirit of those who serve. He doesn't dwell on the danger we faced, but rather the courage it took to face it.
When he calls me up, handing me a medal for bravery under fire, I can't help but feel a swell of pride. The applauding faces of my crewmates, the recognition in their eyes... it's a moment I will never forget. This is why I joined Starfleet, for moments like this. To be part of something greater, to face adversity and stand tall.
"Ensign Markov," Sisko says, offering a handshake along with the medal, "Your courage and quick thinking played a crucial role in our escape. Starfleet is proud to have you among its ranks."
As I return to my quarters that night, medal in hand, I find myself smiling. Yes, today was difficult, even frightening at times. But it was also invigorating, and more than that, it was important. It's a reminder of why I'm here, of why we're all here. To explore, to protect, to boldly go...
And I wouldn't have it any other way.
** I know about not falling for the recovery scams, I've been reading this reddit for the past few days coping. Will add a TLDR at the bottom, I just really want to let this out. Maybe my rambling might show patterns to people that they have seen, and they won't be subject to falling for the same thing and they may snap out of it.**
I already know I was stupid, I ignored many red flags blatantly. I was recently affected by a crypto romance scammer. Story as follows:
I have not dated in almost a decade, I closed my heart off to a lot of people and lost a lot of friends on the way. I have always been an introvert, but finally broke out of my depression somewhat a year and a half ago. I began self improvement, and feel a lot better now than I did 5 years ago. I live alone, I'm lonely, and just turned 27. I have my own apartment, and felt it was time to start working on different parts of life, instead of doing everything alone.
I decided to give online dating a try. I matched with a girl on Tinder, and I was the first to initiate. I messaged her, and she did not reply for a day. There were a couple sentences exchanged back and forth, and she asked for my phone number. I ended up providing it to her, since my friends always recommended to get someone off Tinder as soon as possible.
She messaged me on my phone, and we had a few back and forths on many different topics and ideas. It seemed surreal since it felt like I was clicking with her very well. This usually does not happen at all with people I meet in real life, and she was leading multiple parts of the conversations, which did not raise a flag to me. She mentioned that English was not her first language, I was ok with that because the English was written well, a few hic ups here and there in the conversation, but I chalked it up to a language barrier. It did not seem to be translated at all, she was even using well structured sentences with unique words that you do not hear day to day, which I assumed would not be translated in the normal sense (think obfuscate).
Some of the conversations we had was what we did for work, what our hobbies and goals are. Our taste in music, movies, recommendations. It seemed so normal first for a conversation. On the end of the second day, she wanted me to download telegram which was a possible red flag, I never trusted google hangouts, telegram, whatsapp due to scammers being known for using these applications. I was a bit hesitant but she wanted me to download it so she could talk to me while she was at work. I eventually agreed, we said our good nights and I went to sleep. I generally keep my guard up with people (why are they being so nice, what do they want from me?), but I ended up going with it since I was genuinely enjoying this person.
I added her on Telegram, and we were continuing our conversations from the day earlier. Said our good mornings, and talked more about goals and aspirations. She would talk to me about her childhood, and I would talk about mine. We eventually began exchanging pictures (nothing sexual), voice recordings, jokes. We talked for a week, and she began talking about how she uses AI for short term node investing to make money on the side while she was working and invested at times the AI told her to. I said cool, and continued with our normal conversations. Eventually I was beginning to get loved bombed and sweet talked to over the course of a couple weeks. I was feeling great about myself, and confident. I felt like I had a connection to them, I was mentioning her to friends and family about how awesome she was. About a week and a half in, she said she had to travel for a few weeks to a different part of the USA. Another red flag yay. Probably 5 so far?
I was super skeptical, but not enough. This girl intrigued me so much. I was sick for about a week, and she was constantly checking up on me and reminding me to eat, sleep, take my temperature, and to get up every few hours to stretch. None of my family or friends do this for me, which made me fall for her a bit more. She made me reconcile with my parents too, and my relationship with my parents is a lot better than before. She did mention before that she was very family oriented, and it opened my eyes that I should leave the past in the past, and embrace the future.
We had a heart to heart with one another one night, I don't want to go into details but she explained why she was single and why I was single, and this kind of sealed it for me I think. LOOOOTS of love bombing after this. One of the patterns I was noticing through the weeks is that she would always message me at 10 am, the good mornings and the like, and go to bed at 12 am (shift change anyone?). Never any messages before or after this time. She also facetimed me, had a quick conversation, but she claimed the connection was bad, so we ended it after a few minutes. I read this was a common thing after I got scammed. She was a real girl, I've heard her and seen her, but she is most likely just part of an operation. I even reverse image searched her on multiple different platforms, no results showed up. Insane.
She began talking talking about her crypto again, and wanted me to join her! I did not care about the money as much as I was caring about her. I wanted to start for her. She showed me how to to buy crypto, and how to put it in my wallet, and how to set up 2FA to transfer the crypto to said wallet. Seems normal so far, and we continued the next day. One of the things I noticed was that I was getting the drive to learn back, I dislike my current job. It's monotonous, boring, tedious, and this was something new! She got me back into reading, watching shows, improving on myself in different aspects of life.
The next day, she showed me how to use the browser in the wallet, to start staking crypto, and make passive income. I started with 200 USDT. I am kind of broke right now since everything costs so much and I make an OK wage. This could lead to financial freedom I thought. The website itself was fishy, poorly done, numbers had floats attached to them. Did not look professional, but I felt like I was in love and I could trust her. I know it's stupid loving someone you have not met.
After a few days of staking, I withdrew the money into my wallet. Looked legit! I made money. Not that much, but it was something. She mentioned to me how much money this makes compared to a 401k or roth IRA, seemed believable. She then showed me what app she uses for the short node investing. It was not on the app store, so I had to follow a link to download it (yay another red flag I saw and ignored on purpose). I set the app up and we said our good nights.
During the next day, she began walking me through how to use the app, how to input money from the wallet I have, including my staking if I wanted to. She sent me 20 dollars in ETH for the gas fees to send the USDT. Made me believe in her even more. I inputted about 250 USDT into the app, and we began short term node investing. I made about 100 dollars that day. Felt good. Yes I know it's fake.
The next day were serious red flags. She told me how her coworker withdrew his full 401k (40k USD) and put it into staking and short node investing, and has made a few hundred thousand dollars. I was intrigued, and she said I should do that too. I want to thank my job and bank for only letting me withdraw half, and loaning it against myself, and not letting me do a hardship withdrawal. I withdrew about 6000 USD from my 401k, sent it to my bank, and wired it to crypto. After waiting a few days for it to clear, I put it into my wallet, and into the fake exchange for short node investing.
I made about 44000 in fake money over the course of a couple days. She mentioned there's a new member reward, if I put in 10k USD in my account I get another 800 USDT free for being a new member. I mentioned that I can't, rent would be in a few days, and I needed the money for rent. She assured me that I should let my money work for me, and that I can withdraw it when I needed to for rent. Trusting this, I put my rent money into the fake exchange expecting to be able to withdraw it later since I was able to withdraw money before.
I got to about 8.5k USDT, 1.5k away for the free 800 USDT from the rewards program. She recommended me to apply for bank loans (another red flag LOL, but I was blinded). I never really built my credit at all before, only car loans and a credit card that I missed 2 20 dollar payments 4 years ago. My credit is low (640) so I could not loan out 50k from the bank like she wanted me to. The best I could do was 1.5k. I ended up getting my first credit card in a long time, it has a 500 dollar max currently and unsecured.
I did not end up taking out the loan (not yet), and I did not using any of the credit card to buy crypto with. This is when I began to believe something was wrong. There's no way I am getting scammed! She was messaging me and talking to me 15 hours a day, right? That's a lot of time investment.
Rent day was coming up, I went to withdraw my rent money from the fake exchange. I got an email stating I have to pay 5k in fees to withdraw the money because I won a lot of money.
I talked to her about it, inquiring why I could not just take out a portion of my principle I put in, without touching any of the winnings. She claimed it was for tax purposes and forgot to tell me. I half believed her. I talked to 2 friends seeing if I could loan out 5k from them. One said they will talk to their wife first, I respected their decision. They ended up saying no, I said thank you and I understood.
The other friend said sure, since I payed back a loan another friend gave me timely in the past. He tried to send it to me via cashapp, but was told to contact his bank first. I am very happy that happened. I said don't worry about it, I'll find out what to do. Didn't mention it the next day since I was still thinking.
Rent day came, and I took that 1500 loan to pay most of my rent. I still had a little extra money in my account to cover the full rent. Paying 500 dollars back a month on this loan to get it done asap, since my credit history isn't good, and I don't want to pay 30% interest. I'd rather loan from a bank if I can than mess up a friendship due to my stupidity.
I didn't talk to the girl for almost a full day, she kept trying to check up on me asking if I was ok and sending me voice messages. I went to a bar with friends and had a great time. I have 30 dollars in my bank account now, I get payed next week, I have a 1500 dollar loan with 30% interest I have to pay back, and 6000 dollars in a 401k I have to pay off that comes out of each paycheck. I stopped contributing to it so I don't feel as underwater.
I began responding to her, her messages weren't as lovable or frequent anymore (most likely because I mentioned that I am no longer interested in short node investing unless I get a portion of my principle back), maybe good morning and good night, and something short in the day. I used to reread our full conversations from the days when we began first talking, it just felt like bliss to me. Now I hardly want to talk to her, I downloaded and exported our conversation history from Telegram, but keeping her there just incase I can use something against it. Most likely won't be able to.
A friend mentioned to me he saw her account on another dating app, and they reported it. Different name, only a few miles away when she's supposed to be somewhere else. I told one friend about this story so far. They are very close to me and we had a heart to heart about it.
The most painful part about this is that I told my mom and sister about how I met someone new that really clicked with me, and I was finally happy. I struggled for so many years and they noticed my demeaner changed and were super joyous about it. Not only that, I don't miss the money I lost (~8.7k dollars), I miss the person that I thought I was building a relationship with that I would eventually meet and love. I was on Tinder for 3 months before I found her, every conversation was so dry and uninteresting to me until I met her. I only talked to her for about a month so maybe that is why I was able to break the spell early.
I feel free right now. I thought I would go back to being depressed, but I feel like I gained more than lost from this. I learned how to be a bit more sociable with people, what to look out for in scams (this one was way different than any I have ever experienced), to talk to people close to me about their thoughts of what's going on. I kept it all in. My relationship with my family is better because of her, but I will miss the person I thought that was for me. They really are intelligent in what they do, it's crazy. Maybe I found out that I am a hopeless romantic when my guard is not up. Which sucks, but it is what it is.
I will try to pay back all my loans asap, it's not too much money, but I will have to live more frugally at the moment. I'm not ready to let me mom or sister know, but I told one of my friends so far that won't joke about it. I am also happy I did not rope any friends into this. I needed time to clear my thoughts and do what I could to make this right.
Whenever I see her pictures online, I feel melancholic. I report her to the apps but it forces me to see what could have been if it was real. I have also submitted a case to the FBI, I don't know what else I should send to.
Thanks for reading if any of you did, I rambled a lot.
- Haven't dated in years, met chick on dating app and I was first to initiate
- She asked for my number, I gave it to her
- Quickly moved onto Telegram
- Lovebombed for weeks
- Mentions she's an investor in crypto, and wanted me to join her
- Blinded by fake love, lose 8.7k USD to the scam, everything in my bank account + half my 401k
- Had to take a loan out from a bank to pay rent
- Will miss the person I thought was for me more than the money lost itself
- Learned more from this than lost in my opinion. Thank god I'm already poor. It could have been much worse if my credit was good. Now I am on the path to building my credit for the first time in years.
- I'm aware that I was most likely talking to different people over Telegram, and she would send the recordings herself or facetimes.
I'm an international student in the US and looking to build my credit. I've had my bank account for 2 years but didn't have a credit card until a few months ago. I was approved for a credit card but it was only $500 which feels very low and not useful for what I need it for (e.g. car rentals) particularly as I'm trying to keep utilization under 10% in order to boost my credit rating. My credit rating is now high 600s and seems to be increasing each month.
I'm trying to work out the best way to increase my credit availability so I can make larger purchases whilst keeping my utilization ratio low. When is the earliest I should request a credit increase?
If I'd known the limit was going to be so low I would have probably gone down the secured credit card route instead and put a downpayment of a few thousand dollars. Should I still do this (and open a new card) instead of requesting a credit increase from my current credit card company?
Thanks in advance