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people are a fucking clichè here

2023.06.07 10:10 mulambooo people are a fucking clichè here

all answers I got are from people who are so obsessed with quality, they'd spend 500€ on a fucking video adapter and 50€ on a stupid remote control. That's just plainly wrong. either they got too much money or they have no brain in their skull. what's in their fucking mind? why do they all talk in the same way, think in the same way, make the same mistakes and are equally useless?
one thing that really pisses me off is they looking like they know the real shit, dissing what other people know how to enjoy, like if they're giving the right answer, while they're actually snobbish spendthrifts. and they love to call their mindless expenses "investments". just a bunch of clueless nolifers who wanna argue. fuck them, I'm going to block each and everyone of these little stupid shits whenever they'll open their mouth to me to spit the same old nonsense. fucking turds. they should throw themselves in the toilet and hit the flush.
next motherfucker saying the word "ancient" to me is a blocked man.fucking pieces of shit don't even know they'll be ancient too, guess they'll just kill themselves whenever they'll just a little bit "old".
stupid archeophobic Z shits.
submitted by mulambooo to u/mulambooo [link] [comments]

2023.06.07 09:57 SignificantAd2222 Wtf with the RNs coming to SNFs?

Sorry for the title but had a long and annoying 16hr shift.
It’s a problem i keep seeing from facility to facility. Especially of registry Rns. Don’t get me wrong lvns and cnas get flak too…
Today was in a SNF had 60 patients…. 300 bed facility. There were three RNs. I’m registry so it’s my first day here meeting all these patients…I can’t complain about hard shifts… you get cakewalks sometimes others are something like Russian roulette.
I’m passing meds and the RN is just chilling in her phone watching YouTube instagram whatever. She did 0 rounds all 16 hours. I had
And the RN helped with not a Dmn thing. - didn’t cover breaks -didn’t help with charting - didn’t call doctors or families or pharmacy. - didn’t assess patients after falls or fights - didn’t call 911 or stabilize anyone - didn’t reorder any meds - didn’t take any vitals or help with med pass - didn’t touch the admissions. - told the lvns to manage the phones. - didn’t speak to the cnas
Got mad when we asked for help saying “ oh my god I’m busy” or “ I’ll help you guys if I have a chance but I’m really helping you guys out”
I asked the staff and they were saying RNs here only did IVs and supervise. She had no Ivs that double.
Later I was chatting and asked how much she was paid….. $75 she showed me in app. And said she wouldn’t take less “ they’d better pay me what I’m worth”.
All day long she was on her phone or writing “orders” on a piece of paper and sticking them to the lvns computers….. don’t forget the admissions, your patient fell,pharmacy called, patient needs changing or help
This isn’t isolated. Many of the rns I meet are new grads who are “managing” lvs with decades of experience. And they don’t do anything. When state shows up or a patient codes they disappear.
Or the other popular one is they have a full time at some hospital….keck, usc, Kaiser, etc. they pick up these shifts for extra money. But are tired and resent having to do any work
Now I’ve seen only 2 good rns in my entire 2 years of experience. Not long sure but it’s created a picture. They came in did rounds asked who needed help, helped with charting, talked to patients, handled calls, and helped in emergencies. But that is super rare.
I wish if rns were coming to work at a Snf they would do so without so much disdain. That they actually had experience and led instead of being utterly useless. It’s leads to a perception that may or may not be true
submitted by SignificantAd2222 to nursing [link] [comments]

2023.06.07 09:51 Desigirl8728 Yeast + bacterial infection and complex cyst diagnosis

I (36F) lived a life of 0 complications in my lady parts until two months ago. Some context is that I live with my partner (39M) and we have a healthy sex life. I don’t work out but walk my dog often in a day. I am not overweight. My vitamin levels are fine except for iron deficiency which I have always had.
Now coming to my last two months , they have been utter hell. Here are the chain of events. - It all started with eating something off that led to extreme diarrhea for a day. Now this wasn’t an ordinary situation where I was close to a toilet. I started experiencing nasty stomach convulsions and took 90 mins to find the nearest public toilet and what happened next is indescribable. Watery stools expelled from my body at the speed of light. This went on for 15 mins and I almost lost consciousness. - Two days after this incident I got a yeast infection (I thought) so I finished the monostat 5 day course. I thought I cleared it but it was back again in a week. My symptom: itching and burning down there and burning pee - this time around I took flucanazole orally and cleared it in a week - this was followed by two weeks of on and off ,mild itching and burning in my lady parts which I assumed was just my body getting used to the normal state - 3 weeks after treatment my yeast is back with the same symptoms and I could finally seek medical care this time around . My doctor physically examined me this time and diagnosed me with yeast and bacterial infection . The doctor did a sonogram and found a 2cm x 1cm complex cyst on one of my ovaries. Ran some blood work to rule out the C word. Results coming this Friday. Right now I am on another round of medication to fight the vaginitis , 8 tablets a day- which includes anti fungal and antibiotic tablets. The other is anti acidity , pro biotic , vitamin etc.
What baffles me is that I was a completely healthy individual up until that day of diarrhea apocalypse in a public toilet. As for the cyst, still digesting the news.
I am trying to stay positive but honestly a a bit shaken up at my body’s inability to flight this (yeast and bacterial infection )off so far . it’s probably because my body doesn’t seem to have any good bacteria left . (Maybe because I shat it all during my diarrhea episode ?).
Seeking advice , venting audience , worlds of encouragement, similar experiences and what worked or didn’t (for vaginitis and cysts both) . Also, did any of you impacted women out there connect your vaginitis to diarrhea as root cause ?
submitted by Desigirl8728 to Healthyhooha [link] [comments]

2023.06.07 09:36 thezzarry [PI] You are the barkeep of a very strange bar. It seems to attract monsters and gods, and is the unofficial neutral ground in most conflicts. Everyone likes you, and you are well protected. One day, some New Gods come in and try to fuck with you.

The Old Ways can rub some people wrong — especially those coming into the supernatural world fresh from this modern era of excess, privilege, and internet anonymity. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen societal changes and cultural shifts in every direction you could plot an axis for; live for nearly 3500 years as I have, and you too will come to understand that Change is the one and only constant in this world. But what our more, shall I say, exuberant (indignant, entitled, take your pick) newcomers tend to misunderstand is that Old Ways — and those of us who uphold them — don’t stand in opposition to change; we’ve just already seen all their ‘new’ ideas brought forward before, been accepted, gone stale, and get discarded for the next.
The Old Ways aren’t rules, they’re just how you come to behave once you’ve lived through a few revolutions of the cycle. They’re also not written or codified in any way, but if I had to articulate the particular tenet that seems most abhorrent to our most recent newcomers, it would be this: Respect is owed to your elders, because they’ve already damn-well earned it in the past.
The recent upheaval in the supernatural underworld wasn’t particularly upsetting, or even that surprising: some newly-minted vamp shaking things up, gathering a following, killing off a few of the established vampire lords. I don’t overlap much with the neck-biter scene, so it wasn’t very concerning to me. But as ill-luck would have it, he kept growing more famous, and thus harder to avoid hearing about.
He was turned fairly late for a vampire, in his 40s, having already led a deeply troubling life steeped in conspiracy theory, hoax, and rabbit holes into the occult. So rather than take the traditional path toward amassing strength for a vamp — which is basically just to feed regularly and get older — he instead continued his dive into the occult. To his credit, this did score him the power he needed to oppose (and depose) many of the vampire lords of London; to his detriment, it also placed him rather firmly on a collision course with me.
I’d put a handful of wards and contingencies in place out of habit, but I wasn’t particularly concerned. Vampires are about as dangerous to me as… eh… now that I think of it, I don’t have a great analogy on hand for this. There isn’t much that’s truly all that dangerous to me at all, anymore — about as dangerous as a mosquito, I guess? In that I’d be annoyed if one bit me?
Still, he did manage to surprise me, if only because I never thought he’d be stupid enough to come for me there, in the Tavern. But like I said: in this storied community, the impetuous youth flaunt or ignore the Old Ways at their own peril. And it had started as such a nice, quiet night, with me seated at my usual booth in its dimly lit, secluded corner of the restaurant.
“Here you are, darling, you just let me know if you need anything else, okay?”
The head server of the Tavern is a lovely woman, seemingly 30 to 40 years of age, who despite the many years she’s spent in England, still speaks with an accent from the American south. Her ethnic heritage is clearly from a region further south-west in Africa than my own.
“Of course, thank you Catherine,” I replied as she placed an impeccably plated salad on the table before me. It was one of my favorites at the Tavern, a delightful little number with tender bamboo shoots, and some kind of sweet and spicy mustard vinaigrette. Catherine smiled and whisked off toward another table. I folded a piece of baby spinach over an arugula leaf and pinned them to a bamboo shoot with my fork, and had just lifted them to my lips when the doors to the Tavern slammed open into the walls of the entryway. The small, decorative windows in the doors shattered on impact, showering the hostess’ podium with shards of glass.
Most groups of vampires want to be called ‘covens.’ Some of the weirder, extra culty groups prefer the term ‘hive.’ Judging by the collection of washed out, middle-aged vampire bros who sauntered in through the broken doors, I can only assume this group called themselves something extra stupid, like ‘the posse.’
He was immediately evident. His four goons looked like your average jocks who’d had neither the skill to go pro, nor the sense to plan for anything else in life, and had spent their subsequent years in disappointment of themselves and others.
“Barkeep! A round of your finest libations for the entourage of…” the fucker actually paused, as though for dramatic effect, “the Dread Prince Lestat!”
An audible groan of disgust rose from a table of Lesser Devils in the next alcove down from mine. Abyssal-speech is difficult to decipher even when there isn’t a group of demons all talking over one another, but I did manage to make out from one of them, a trickster muse by the name of Mamenoche, just before he dissolved into a cloud of flies and dispersed. The remaining devils grumbled in disappointment, but still turned with eager smiles to watch the drama unfold.
The keeper of the tavern, for his part, simply raised an eyebrow while he wiped down a freshly washed stein with a drying rag. He nodded to an empty table. “Take a seat, we’ll be right with you,” he said, and then turned away to shelve the clean glass.
The keeper is a slight man, of average height, perhaps in his early to mid 50s. He wears the same costume every day: dark brown slacks and a burgundy tweed vest over a crisp white shirt with the sleeves rolled back to his elbows. His voice is rich and resonant, and though soft-spoken, he is never difficult to hear. Beyond that, I can only say that the tavern keeper looks exactly as you think he would, and do understand that I mean that literally. His features, his hair, the color of his skin: they all exist only in the eyes of the beholder. It’s part of the Glamour.
The four underlings slid chairs out from the table and plopped down with what some of my younger students have recently informed me is known as the ‘Riker maneuver.’ Lestat remained standing and circled the table while he addressed the patrons.
“Well, well, well. So this is the storied Tavern. Drinking hole for the Greats of the underworld, the movers and shakers, the true titans of the occult.” He smirked and paused for effect again. “At least now it is. Bit of a slow day before I got here, eh barkeep?”
The keeper responded with silence as he filled five elaborately crafted snifters from a small, gold-banded barrel behind the bar.
“No matter, we’ll liven things up here real soon. I’m looking for a woman — no, not you love, some other time maybe.” He gestured across the bar to a woman of simply indescribable beauty, whom he utterly failed to recognize as Titania. Lounging beside her, Oberon narrowed his eyes, but remained otherwise still.
It had been at least 150 years since the last time a patron had stepped out of line in the Tavern, and the mood of the crowd was positively electric with anticipation. The vampire, bless his shriveled little heart, clearly interpreted this as deference to his prowess.
“The woman I’m looking for is… Egyptian. An Empress. Her very name and image carved off the face of history by her own son. Probably on the masculine side, considering how she managed to pass herself off as a Pharaoh and usurp his reign for 20 years. Just a guess, but probably a 2 or 3 out of 10.”
“I’ve had kings put to death for far less impetuous horse shit than that, young man,” I said. How rude — I looked positively fabulous with a false goatee.
He turned to me with a broad smile and threw his arms wide open. “And here she is, The Empress Undying. The ‘last word’ in all things occult and arcane, so they tell me.” He approached, squinting into the gloom surrounding my dining table. “And wow, I take it all back, for a 3,000 year old mummy, you are surprisingly bang-able. You know I love a girl who plays hard to get, and let’s face it — erased from history, all that jazz — you were difficult to track down, Hatshepsut!
“Really? I have a page on Wikipedia.”
“That’s not— I mean I prefer— that is, well, primary sources are—”
“Which, if you’d bothered reading, would have told you that Thutmose the Second was not my son, but my step son, and that at 2 years old he was not in the best position to rule when my husband passed. Not to mention it was actually his bratty son Amenhotep who ordered the whole defacing of my icons thing.” Which is also untrue. I ate my own name as part of my Ascension. But he doesn’t need to know the details of my life.
“Here’s your drinks boys,” Catherine said behind him with her typically cheerful demeanor as she set the tray of snifters down between Lestat’s posse. “Seeing as how it’s your first round at the Tavern, darlings, this one’s on the house.”
The vampires grabbed their drinks without so much as a thank you. Lestat wisely took the interruption as a reprieve from this sudden hiccup in whatever grand plan it was he had in mind for me, and retreated to the support of his minions. One of them sniffed at the drink suspiciously, while the others simply threw them back like shots and immediately grimaced. One got it down before sputtering and coughing uproariously, the other two spit it out back into their snifters.
“What is this shit?”
“That’s Ambrosia, darling,” Catherine said as she gently patted the coughing vamp on his back. “Nectar of the gods. It’s a bit of an acquired taste for sure, and most people do prefer to sip it. They say it’s ‘too much sensation’ for us lesser beings.”
“They don’t want Ambrosia, you wench,” Lestat howled, “they want blood!”
“Well I’m sorry darling, but we don’t serve blood here. You asked for a round of our ‘finest libations,’ and there’s no drink finer than Ambrosia in the Tavern, nor outside of it as I’ve ever heard. That barrel over there was handed off by Hermes himself.”
One of the vampires dashed his drink on the floor and pointed at Catherine.
“You’ve got blood, don’t you lass?”
“That will be enough.” The tavern keeper’s soft, mellifluous voice draped over the exchange like a weighted blanket. “I’ve served you drinks, and in return you have been exceedingly impolite to my establishment, my staff, and my patrons. Learn the meaning of deference before you visit next, for you will not be well-received without it. Now, leave.”
Lestat’s four hulking minions might have succumbed to the spell of the keeper’s voice had not their ring-leader, to his detriment, managed to shake out of it.
“Leave? No, we just got here,” he turned back to me, “and I’m not finished with her.”
“But I am finished with you,” I said.
“Ten,” the keeper said, leaning forward to rest his elbows on the bar.
“The only reason I haven’t ended your miserable existence thus far,” I continued, “is out of deference to my elders. It is not my right to take your life inside the walls of this Tavern. I suppose I’ll soon be forced to do it outside, but do understand, I’ll approach that no differently than I would stepping on a scarab.”
“The truth of it is, 'Dread Prince,' that you are not worth the breath spent uttering your ridiculous name.”
“Not worth your time, am I? I’ll show you what your time is worth, you decrepit bitch!”
“Eight,” the tavern keeper said, and Lestat flung an outstretched claw in his direction while hissing out a spell in medieval Latin.
Generously translated, it came out to roughly As though caught on a hook, the keeper tumbled over his bar and forward through the air. Lestat caught him by the neck and wrenched sideways, spinning the keeper’s head fully around with a loud crunching sound. Then, with the inhuman speed inherent to vampires, he hoisted the keeper’s body over his head, darted across the Tavern, and slammed him down through a table surrounded by a flock of naiads.
He turned and caught Catherine in the hypnotic gaze his kind uses to trap their prey, and strolled leisurely back over to his group. I crossed my arms.
“Sorry ‘darling,’ but I like my meals a little toasty.”
He hissed in his awful Latin again, along the lines of Catherine convulsed and shrieked, unable to move while locked in his gaze. He yanked her head to the side and made a show of sinking his fangs into her neck with a ripping motion, splattering droplets of blood across the tavern that sizzled and steamed where they landed. Her lifeless body rolled under the table as he turned his bloody face back to me.
“How do you like me now?”
I pushed my untouched salad, now flecked with Catherine’s blood, away from me on the table and let out a deep sigh.
“First, your grasp of Latin is elementary at best, you really should have practiced more before coming to see me. No, now, this is the part where you listen.”
I pinched my forefinger to the thumb to seal the air inside his lungs. He stumbled back and clutched at his neck in surprise — he wasn’t going to suffocate of course, but it’s an unpleasant feeling for sure if you haven’t yet come to the realization that you don’t actually need to breathe in undeath.
“Of course it is the intent that matters somewhat more-so than the language used — but, and I cannot stress this enough, good syntax simply never hurts. The age of your language also should not be overlooked. The older the language, the truer it is to the One Tongue of Magic, before it was fractured and the tower fell. You came with a form of Ecclesiastical Latin from around the 12th century, taught to Catholic priests. Underwhelming at best. You should have at least brought Classical Latin from the time of the Caesars, that would have shown me you were trying.
“Second, you demonstrate a lack of finesse that is simply appalling. I will commend your creativity in bringing your own spells to demonstrate. It is a key craft that many young students of the occult struggle with terribly for many years. You are also clearly capable of drawing significant power to bear, which is always a good start. However, the path to enduring success in the arcane arts isn’t power, it’s efficiency. What you did worked, but it took far more power than it needed to. I can think of a dozen ways to boil someone’s blood off the top of my head, and none of them require much more focus or power than this.”
I released my fingers, letting the air out of his lungs in an involuntary wheeze.
“Since you were turned, I suspect you’ve never met a door you couldn’t break down with brute force. But that’s only because until today, you never really went looking for one.
“Third, and most damning of the indictments against you is this: you absolutely and utterly failed to read the room, nor did you accept the un-earned grace that was offered to you. Thus ends our impromptu lesson, prince. Good luck.”
I leaned back and draped my arms across the cushions of my booth, while Lestat yanked one of his minions to their feet and stood behind him, tensing for a fight.
“Mother… fucker…” came a mutter from under Lestat’s table, as Catherine stirred and rolled over onto her side. The newly-minted vampire lord paused and looked down at her with a furrowed brow.
“Wait, was she not a human? That normally kills humans.” He looked to his cronies, who gave him an array of shrugs and uncertain mumblings.
I said in Classical Latin,
The vampire cocked his head, clearly trying and failing to work through the declensions and figure out exactly what I had said. I pointed across the room to the tavern keeper, standing up out of the wreckage of his table. Loud crunches of grinding bone sounded from his neck as he rolled his head from side to side, reforming the shattered vertebrae inside it. He spat out a mouthful of blood, then plucked a wrinkled pocket square from his vest and dabbed the corners of his lips.
“Zero,” the keeper said once his larynx had reformed enough for speech. “It’s the medical benefits of her employment package: immunity to death, disease, etc. Cuts the insurance middle-men right out of the picture, I find it’s very efficient.”
“Ah.” Lestat eyed the keeper, far too late showing the slightest hint of caution or concern. “So she’s human, but you’re not. Well then, what are you?”
“Immortal,” the Keeper replied simply, as he plucked a shard of glass out of his skull and tossed it aside. It landed with a loud tinkle in the otherwise silent room.
“That means nothing,” Prince Lestat waved his hand dismissively. “I’m immortal. Half your bloody patrons are—”
“No,” the keeper cut him off as he straightened out his vest and stepped out of the wreckage of the table. “You are ageless, thanks to the curse of undeath upon you. That is a very different thing than being immortal. Numerous vampire lords you’ve killed in the last few months would attest to this, were they not dead, no? They may not like to acknowledge it, but this is a simple fact that every entity in this establishment is keenly aware of, save for you.”
Lestat said nothing, but his body language spoke volumes for him, as he shrunk half a step backward toward the support of his underlings.
“My patrons from the Fey realms, or the Abyss? They experience death on this plane of existence as a banishment back to their own. But once there, they age and die the same as all other creatures in existence, if perhaps at a different rate than a human does. My dear employee Catherine, whom you’ve treated with such brazen disrespect, will live as long as she wishes to. But some day, be it centuries or millennia from now, she will grow tired of life, and request I terminate her contract.”
He gestured to me, seated in my quiet, dark corner, and a chill ran down my spine.
“Even the Empress Undying, whom you unwisely came looking for tonight, will only survive so long as she maintains the numerous spells and failsafes she has crafted to preserve and extend her unnatural life.”
My thoughts flickered in succession through my 5 phylacteries, painstakingly secreted away in sealed and warded caches both near and far-flung — and I watched in horror as the keeper’s eyes lifted briefly to the keystone of the stone arch over his doorway, then settled on me, and he winked.
By the gods, my cold heart would have skipped a beat were it able. How did he find it out? Or, more likely: has he simply always known?
“One day, when she has grown tired of this endless upkeep, she too will come to me for release. You see, Edwin, everything dies eventually.”
He held his hand calmly out to his side, and wisps of shadow materialized and snaked through the air into his grasp. The Dread Prince Lestat — Edwin — first shivered, then spasmed, and finally, as his entourage withdrew from him in horror, collapsed in a fit of convulsions. The shadows continued to flow into the keeper’s outstretched hand, gaining solidity and texture, until he was left holding his implement: a bowed farmer’s scythe, worn and battered, but with a keen edge that felt dizzying and somehow wrong to look upon. The keeper stepped forward.
“Everything dies, except for me.”
Been wanting to get back into writing for a while and came across this response I half-wrote last year.
Original prompt either here or here , honestly not sure which one I originally happened across anymore.
submitted by thezzarry to WritingPrompts [link] [comments]

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submitted by Past_Cost2170 to u/Past_Cost2170 [link] [comments]

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2023.06.07 08:18 xuvayerpro Collabwriting Lifetime Deal $39 - Organize notes on webpages & PDFs

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2023.06.07 07:43 nsideus Trip Report - 19 days in Japan with an infant and a toddler

We are a family of 4 with two young kids, a toddler who’s nearing 3 years old and an infant who is 9 months old. We visited Japan in May of 2023 for 18 nights. We stayed in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka, and took day trips to Nara and Kobe.
Some people might call us crazy for taking an international trip with two small children. But my wife and I, who were avid travelers before we had kids, hadn’t been out of the country since 2019 due to 1) having kids and 2) Covid. We were itching for a trip, so we took the chance. Were there some crazy times? Of course. Was it worth it? Definitely.
I did a lot of research and prep before the trip, but there are always surprises that come up when you have kids. I’ll try to share some of the lessons I learned on the trip.
This was our first time on an airplane with the kids. I was a bit worried beforehand and in retrospect the flights were the worst parts of the trip. The main advice I’d give is do as much as you can to make your flight more tolerable, which no doubt means spending more money on tickets and gear. But it’s worth it.
I considered a few different airlines for this trip: ZipAir, Singapore, ANA, and Japan Airlines. JAL was too expensive. ZipAir was interesting because they provide car seats, you don’t have to take your own. We didn’t rent a car in Japan so we didn’t need our own car seats. I was just worried about racking up extra fees on ZipAir. Singapore and ANA were similar, they both provide bassinets and the price was similar. I ended up going with ANA for two reasons: 1) I had flown ANA on a previous trip and been happy with them and 2) they fly to Haneda instead of Narita, which saves you time getting from the airport to your hotel.
We opted for 3 seats and a bassinet. My infant is big for her age so she barely fit in the bassinet (she’s 21 pounds). But we were glad to have it. I had to call in to ANA customer service which had an hour+ wait time to get the bassinet, but other than that it was no trouble.
Which leads me into probably the most important part of flying with kids on a lengthy flight: get your kids to sleep on the plane. The more they sleep the less likely you are to run into a tantrum or meltdown.
To encourage sleeping we did a few things: 1) Take an overnight flight 2) Get a bassinet for our infant 3) Get a JetKids bed box for our toddler. Our ANA flight from LAX left at 5pm, which allowed time for the dinner service to show up before we put our kids to bed. They set the bassinet up right after you get to cruising altitude, so it’s there the majority of the flight. Our infant rejected it at first but eventually fell asleep.
As far as our toddler sleeping, the JetKids worked well. There was a bit of trouble with it staying in place since we had bulkhead seats, but overall I was happy with it as a bed. I absolutely hate the JetKids a piece of luggage though, it’s not easy to lug around and holds nearly nothing. But it helped our toddler stay asleep most of the flight. You don’t necessarily need a JetKids though, other airline seat bed solutions may work just as well. Just bring something that will help your toddler sleep. If we had to do it again, I think I’d prefer having car seats over both the bassinet and JetKids. That’s probably what we’ll do on the next trip.
There were a few unexpected problems we ran into on the flights. On the first flight, our infant got motion sickness and spit up multiple times. She ruined one of my shirts and my wife’s pants. Not to mention my wife got motion sickness as well so I had to do most of the heavy lifting with the kids alone. It was a sleepless and messy flight.
On our flight home, there was a mechanical issue with the plane. They said we were losing oil. So on a Tokyo to Los Angeles flight we somehow ended up landing In Anchorage, Alaska. It goes without saying this was horrible and the flight home from Anchorage on Alaska Airlines was horrible too. But that’s not really relevant to flying to/from Japan so I’ll leave the details out. We won’t be flying with ANA ever again.
To reiterate, do what you can to make your flight easier. Get the non-stop flight. Get the extra seat. This isn’t the area to be frugal.
So you survived the flight. How do you get your kids around once you’ve landed? We have two kids so we need a twin stroller right? Wrong. Taking a twin stroller to Japan is a huge mistake, don’t do it.
Most guides will tell you to use a carrier, and if you only have one small infant then that’s likely the way to go. But with two kids we used a travel stroller and carrier combo. At first I expected to only use the carrier and carry the stroller around until we needed it, but I quickly realized that carrying the stroller around all day is a huge pain. We have the Cybex Libelle which is small at 13lbs, but 13lbs is still heavy enough that you don’t want to carry it all day.
So our stroller remained deployed basically all the time. My infant sat in the stroller most of the day, until it was my toddler’s nap time. Then the infant went in the carrier and toddler in the stroller to sleep. It worked well for us.
How did we keep the stroller deployed the whole time? Elevators. Lots of elevators. And occasionally carrying it up and down stairs. The availability of elevators depends on where you are. Of the cities we visited, I’d say Tokyo is the best and Kyoto is the worst for elevator availability.
The wide majority of metro and train stations are going to have elevators. It can be hard to find the right entrance to use to find an elevator, but there is always signage and almost always a map. You may need to walk an extra 5 minutes, or wait in line, or get lost, so always give yourself extra time when catching a train if you are using your stroller. We spent a LOT of time looking for elevators on this trip.
We only found two stations our whole trip that had no elevator at all, one was the JR Kobe station and the other was a JR station in Tokyo (I forget which one). When this happened, I picked up the stroller and carried it with our infant in it on the stairs. If our toddler was in it I made her get up and walk, then carried the stroller.
The other problem at metro / train stations with a stroller is the gap between the train and the platform. There’s always either a gap or the train and platform are at different elevations. You don’t have a lot of time to get on / off the train so this was a constant source of anxiety. Once our stroller wheel got stuck in between the train and the platform. It took some effort to pop it out. Another time my toddler stepped in the gap, but luckily I was holding her hand and stopped her from falling in. Always be mindful of the gap when you have kids. It’s probably one of the least safe situations you’ll constantly run into in Japan.
Malls and shopping centers almost always have elevators. You may need to wait a while to get one though. In the malls with 10+ floors, you might need to wait 5 minutes for an elevator. Sometimes they have “priority” elevators for the handicapped and strollers but often times perfectly abled people rudely take up all the space in those elevators.
We thought we would have trouble taking our stroller into restaurants but it was actually much less trouble than expected. There was only one restaurant that flat out turned us away, Sushi Tokyo Ten in Roppongi. Other establishments will usually move a chair so you can put your stroller at the table or counter where the chair was.
So overall the stroller was annoying to use but I don’t think we could have done the trip without it. It was a necessary evil with two young kids.
We used the Shinkansen to get between cities. We had two trips, Tokyo to Kyoto and Osaka to Tokyo. We did not bother with the JR Pass, it wasn’t worth it. Mostly because our trips were 8 days apart so we would’ve needed the 14 days pass which wasn’t worth it for two Shinkansen trips.
One thing that caught us off-guard about the Shinkansen is how quickly it leaves a station when it makes a stop. We were expecting to have some time to get on when the train arrived, but it’s basically the same as a Metro stop. You have to get on right away. We made the mistake of buying a reserved seat for a train leaving in less than 15 minutes, without knowing where the elevator was. So we scrambled to get to where we needed to go on the platform and were the last ones on the train. We jumped on the train at the last second, we wanted to get to our specific car from the platform but we weren’t going to make it. It’s a miracle we didn’t lose a piece of luggage or a kid on the way. On the second trip I reserved a seat on a train that was 40 minutes out.
As far as seating we only needed to buy two seats. We would have put our toddler on our lap if needed, but we didn’t need to. Basically, one side of the train has 2 seats and the other 3. If you find a row that has the window seat open on the 3 seat side, then it is very unlikely anyone will sit in the aisle seat if you reserve the window and middle seat. We basically got a free seat for our toddler this way on both trips.
—Baby supplies—
We had more trouble than expected finding baby supplies. A lot of guides online tell you to go to drugstores, and maybe we were going to the wrong drugstores but that wasn’t working out for us. We were distraught until we by chance came across Babies R Us. Yes, the Babies R Us that went out of business in the USA. We happened to be browsing the malls in Odaiba when we came across this gem. It’s a treasure trove of western style baby food and supplies.
Our infant is in the “purée” food stage and we didn’t find any in drugstores. Most of the baby food is juice or rice porridge. Babies R Us has aisles worth of puréed food. It has diapers, wet wipes, formula, nose cleaners, and basically anything else you’d ever want for your baby. We stocked up on everything when we found this place. There are several locations but we went to the Odaiba location in Tokyo and the Harborland location in Kobe.
Another smaller store we found in the mall below Tokyo Skytree is Dadway. They don’t have as much as Babies R Us but we did pick up some purée here.
The other place we picked up diapers and a few others things is Don Quijote, which has locations all over the place. Their baby food collection is basically as limited as drugstores, but it’s fine in a pinch.
I’ve spoken a lot about logistics, but I had one primary reason for going to Japan: to eat tasty food. I had been to Japan once before I had kids and fell in love with the food.
Most guides will tell you families should go to family restaurants. Nope. Not happening. We did not go to a single Saizeriya or Bikkuri Donkey. And I definitely did not go through all of this trouble to eat at Denny’s. We went to a total of ZERO family restaurants.
I’m here to tell you there are plenty of good restaurants you can go to with kids. Even with a baby. Even with a baby and a toddler.
I’ll tell you my main approach to finding restaurants that will allow kids to dine with you. Your main tools are: Tablelog, Google Maps, and the individual restaurant websites. Tablelog is a great tool and their “with children” section on the restaurant info page is very accurate. If a restaurant is listed as “Babies are welcome” or “Baby Strollers accepted”, then you can very likely eat there with a baby. If a place does not have such a listing, it isn’t necessarily a no, it’s a maybe. That’s when you need to search Google Maps reviews for “kids”, “children”, “family” to see if anyone mentions the restaurant’s stance on such things. If you can’t find anything on Google Maps, go to the restaurant’s website. If they have an online reservation system, it is likely to list their stance on kids on the reservation page.
I did a lot of research beforehand and pinned all the relevant restaurants on Google Maps. That way, no matter where I was, I could find some good kid tolerant restaurants. I say “kid-tolerant” instead of “kid friendly” because I consider “kid-tolerant” to mean that they let kids in the restaurant, while “kid-friendly” means they have a kid’s menu, high chairs, etc.
We were able to eat at a wide variety of restaurants, from overpriced Michelin starred places to budget Omakase places. There are a lot of restaurants in Japan. If a restaurant doesn’t let you in because you have kids, it’s fine because there’s another similar one that will.
This is a list of good restaurants we ate at with our infant and toddler. These are just the places we made it to, there were plenty more I had on my list we didn’t make it to:
Gion Maruyama, Gion, Kyoto
Sushi Wakon, Four Seasons, Kyoto
The Oak Door, Grand Hyatt, Tokyo
Kobe Plaisir, Kobe
Roku Roku, Grand Hyatt, Tokyo
Daiwa Sushi, Toyosu Market, Tokyo
Inshotei, Ueno Park, Tokyo
Sushidan, Eat Play Works, Tokyo
Nishiya, Shinsaibashi, Osaka
Tonkatsu Wako, JR Isetan, Kyoto
Soju Dining, Tokyo Midtown, Tokyo
Imakatsu, Roppongi, Tokyo
Mizuno, Dotonbori, Osaka
Rokurinsha, Tokyo Station, Tokyo
Tsumigi, Tsukiji, Tokyo
Lots of different food stalls in Tsukiji Market, Tokyo
Other times we ate at conveyor belt sushi places, department store basements, or ramen places. The basements are a good place to get something for everyone. My toddler ate a lot of gyoza and noodles on this trip, she didn’t take a liking to much else. But Ichiran and Ippudo were right down her alley.
Tsukiji market was our go to breakfast place when we stayed in Tokyo. There’s plenty of different choices there and it opens early enough for jet-lagged families.
Overall I had a great time eating. If my toddler is eating she’s usually not having a tantrum, and we tried as best as possible to put our infant to sleep before we went to any higher end restaurants. There were some awkward tantrum moments but for the most part it was fine.
—City by City Report—
We had two different stays in Tokyo, the first after landing in Japan and the second right before departing Japan. We stayed a total of 10 nights in Tokyo, but we wish we had even more.
We could have come to Tokyo alone the whole trip and been perfectly content. It has the best food, the most kid friendly facilities, and there’s plenty to see and do.
Here’s a few choice things we did with the kids:
DisneySea: My toddler loved this one. We’ve been to Disneyland in SoCal but this is completely different. Even I was excited since it’s been a long while since I’ve been to an unexplored Disney park. A lot of people will say DisneySea is for older kids but there were plenty of rides my toddler could get on. It’s a great place for toddlers. A must visit with kids.
Ueno park: We spent a whole day in Ueno Park. There’s a great zoo, a fun Natural History Museum, and good restaurants. We picked up bento boxes from Inshotei and ate them at a picnic table in the zoo. I think this park is also a must do with kids.
One of the city views: you have a few choices here but we went to Tokyo Skytree and Shibuya Sky. Shibuya sky is a little less kid friendly, because they don’t allow strollers on the roof and they have some weird rules about holding your baby on the roof. I think they’re scared of a wind gust pulling your baby off the roof? I like the mall at Tokyo Skytree, and there’s a Rokurinsha there too (very good dipping ramen).
Small Worlds: This is a miniature museum on one of the man-made islands in the bay. It’s a little out of the way, but we made a day out of Toyosu Market, Small Worlds, and Odaiba. My toddler liked this one, the exhibits are interactive and fun to look at. It was better than expected.
Other than that we did a lot of eating and shopping in Tokyo for us adults.
Kyoto was probably our least favorite city to do with kids. In general it’s just hard to get around. There’s a lot of stroller unfriendly places. Streets without sidewalks. Rough cobblestone-like roads. Temples are not stroller friendly. Hills everywhere. Good luck getting to the top of the monkey park with a stroller. It’s definitely a trend in this city.
Maybe if you have older kids it’s fine. But if you have younger than elementary school kids it’s probably skippable. There’s not that many kid friendly activities here either. Temples aren’t interesting for kids. The best kid activity here is probably the Arashiyama Monkey Park. My toddler got a real kick out of feeding the monkeys. Just be aware there is a significant hike to get to the top of the hill where the monkeys are. My toddler is a pretty good walker, she made it all the way without crying or complaining. But I saw some other kids that didn’t fare as well.
The other thing you might try near the monkey park is the Arashiyama bamboo forest. I think it’s one of the most overrated sights in Japan though. It’s just mobbed with tourists all day. It’s not enjoyable with the crowds. I’ve been here twice and I’ve been disappointed both times.
I doubt we will be back to Kyoto any time soon.
Osaka was nice. It was a bit refreshing to have many of the Tokyo conveniences again. Elevators everywhere, well paved and flat roads, and plenty of baby rooms.
Osaka is a good base for taking nearby day trips as well. We went to both Kobe and Nara without needing to take the Shinkansen.
The best kid experience in Osaka is the Kaiyukan aquarium. It’s big. The central tank with the whale sharks is impressive. They have lots of different animals from all over the world. It’s bigger and better than any aquarium we have in California.
The one thing I wasn’t prepared for was the lines. You need to pre-book your timed entry tickets online. We didn’t, and ended up getting tickets that were for entry two hours later. And we were there right when they opened. If I go to the aquarium at opening time on a weekday where we are from we can walk right in. Lesson learned.
We stayed in Shinsaibashi and it’s a very walkable area. There’s a covered shopping street that goes all the way down to Dotonbori. Namba is walkable from there. And America-mura is between Shinsaibashi and Dotonbori.
The Daimaru mall in Shinsaibashi is good for kids. There’s a Bornelund in there with a small indoor playground, a Pokémon Center, and good food.
I liked Osaka overall. The only thing I thought was a let down was okonomiyaki.
Nara was worth the trip. It’s about 45 minutes from Namba on the train, so not too out of the way.
There’s deer all over. Deer that bow to you. In the park, on the sidewalk, in the street. It’s a unique experience you should see at least once.
The deer are rather aggressive when you have food for them. It’s not a place where you want your kids feeding the deer. As soon as you buy the food from the street vendor, they mob you. They try to snatch the food out of your hand. Make sure you watch someone else do it first before deciding to do it yourself. If I let my toddler do it she probably would have been terrified.
The other must see in Nara is Todai-ji. It’s impressive. The giant Buddha is something. This was probably the best temple we saw on this trip, it’s visually stunning. More than anything we saw in Kyoto. I did have to carry the stroller up and down some steps, but there’s not too many.
Kobe was great. It exceeded my expectations. The trip from Osaka is easy. We spent a full day there.
We started our one day in Kobe at the Nunobiki Herb Gardens. I wasn’t expecting too much but this place is really nice. It’s big, with lots of different gardens and exhibits to see. There’s great views as well. We took lots of pictures.
There’s a few different places to eat and drink in the gardens as well. We had some sparkling rose at “The Veranda” which had a great view of Kobe. We didn’t eat because we had a lunch reservation down the hill.
There’s a few things to watch out for. This place gets busy, so get there early. There’s no reservations, you just go early and wait in line. When we left at midday the line was massive, so get there when they open.
The herb garden only takes up the top half the hill. At first I thought it extended to the bottom of the hill, but the bottom half of the hill is actually a hiking trail without gardens. So I bought a one way gondola ticket to the top expecting to walk down all the way, but after I realized the garden ended at the middle I bought another ticket to go down (instead of getting the round trip ticket like I should have).
After the gardens we went to eat Kobe beef. Kobe Plaisir was the restaurant I chose, which was both high end and had a kids menu. The beef was great and everyone had a good time.
Afterwards we went to Harborland. It’s a nice area on the harbor that has a big boat you can go out on, and a couple of shopping malls. The Anpanman museum is here too but by the time we got there tickets were sold out for the day. This is also where you can find a Babies R Us.
Our Kobe day was one of the best days of our trip. I’d suggest a day trip here for anyone.
It’s hard to travel with kids this age. No doubt. Everything will take more time and be more expensive than when you used to travel alone. But I do not regret taking this trip at all. As a matter of fact I want to go back right now. My wife loved the trip, and my toddler might even remember it when she grows up. She still talks about feeding the monkeys and how dad ate a “real fish” (A Japanese sweetfish they grilled in front of us at Gion Maruyama). Japan is a great place for a first family trip.
submitted by nsideus to JapanTravel [link] [comments]

2023.06.07 07:14 HealBeforeZod The Lab Hero

Zod's notes: This was my very first venture into writingprompts - in this comedic piece, a scientist finds himself inexplicably the hero when the lab he works with is overrun with dangerous creatures. Content warning: violent imagery. Original Prompt
“How is this possible? Dr. Jaeger pondered as he loaded another clip into his gun. He was a molecular biologist who had never fired a gun in his life. Shrieking yowls of a creature reverberated down the hallway, announcing to Dr. Jaeger the position of one of the loose specimens. He inhaled deeply, preparing to round the corner. He turned around the corner and caught a glimpse of specimen BH90201, an agile creature, like a hairless mountain lion but with neon-green saliva dripping from its gaping maw. Upon seeing Dr. Jaeger, specimen BH90201 catapulted into a sprint down the long hall, its claws struggling to make traction against the smooth facility floors. For a fleeting instant, Dr. Jaeger thought he saw… crosshairs? He shook his head, raised the gun with steady hands and pulled the trigger. The cerebral cortex matter of specimen BH90201 splattered against the wall.
Dr. Jaeger darted his eyes in quick assessment for any further threats in the immediate area. He rushed down the hallway, feeling the air lifting his long white lab coat like a cape. Fluorescent lights flickered as he approached the door at the end of the hall. A woman’s wail from inside told him all he needed to know. He scanned his badge on the keypad… even in an emergency he had to badge in. He opened the door and witnessed the carnage before him. Chunks of flesh and organ meat were strewn about the room. Dr. Jaeger estimated 10 dead, though it was hard to tell in the jigsaw puzzle of severed limbs. Dr. Damasell was entangled in the thick tentacles of specimen 10TAI, a 14-foot squid-like creature with five eyeballs and the mouth of a lamprey eel.
Standard bullets wouldn’t cut it, Dr. Jaeger knew. Fortuitously, he noticed, under the disembodied arm of one of the slain guards, something with a little more kick. Dr. Jaeger was confused why one of the guards had an AT4. They were run of the mill security guards, why would they be armed with anti-tank weaponry? Even more baffling to himself, was that when Dr. Jaeger picked it up, he instinctively knew how to use it. Specimen 10TAI’s tentacles swung towards him, but Dr. Jaeger fired. Somehow, despite the magnitude of the weapon, Dr. Jaeger’s hands and body were unperturbed by recoil. He jumped backwards, narrowly missing the thrashing tentacle.
The projectile made its way directly into the center of 10TAI’s mouth, past the rows of razer sharp teeth. Specimen 10TAI exploded, its flesh splattering across the room like meaty confetti. Dr. Damasell thudded to the floor. Dr. Jaeger dropped the AT4 and began stepping over the fallen tentacles and chunks of flesh. Dr. Damasell lay on the floor, untangling herself from 10TAI’s lifeless tentacle. Dr. Jager offered her a hand. She had a small cut above her eyebrow but was otherwise unharmed.
“Thank you, Dr. Jaeger!” she exclaimed, giving him a kiss. Words flashed in the air, as if by magic. “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! 10,000 XP!”
“And THAT,” my thirteen-year-old cousin Damian exclaimed, “is how you play the game, LOSER.” He tossed the controller unceremoniously across the room, flipping me the bird as he strode towards the hallway, hollering to my aunt Carol, asking her when lunch would be ready.
submitted by HealBeforeZod to HealingwithZod [link] [comments]

2023.06.07 07:01 4ShotBot My Roommate is Slenderman: Finale/Epilogue

Part 26:
I awoke an hour later, brain pulsing. I was in the back of the van laying on the floor, “The prodigal son returns, welcome back you crazy son of a bitch!” Tucker laughed.
“Took on a god face to face. Pretty sure the only one with bigger balls than that would be Abraham. Though, balls didn’t save you.” Doc said, looking up from his book.
“Took the last core I had, but at least I can say I’ve killed a god now.” Tucker snickered with a smirk.
“Concentrated light, can’t say it’s what I would have thought of, but it was effective.”
“Yeah, wasn’t effective portably until we came across some anti-matter from a crashed–”
“What?” I tried sitting up but failed.
“Right.” He stood, propping up the left row of seats, and pulled out a black case. Flicking it up he aimed it down at me, “Anti-matter annihilation laser. Think you can piece it together.” There were about five lenses that each shrunk, narrowing the barrel to a tip. Everything but the lenses was coated in a vanta black paint, “Each lens reduces the energy state while also–”
“I couldn’t give less fucks if I pulled them out of Doc’s patients. You killed him with that thing?”
“Yup, his head’s probably gettin' breathed in from the wildlife out here.” He clicked the case shut, put it back in place, and sat.
“And the data is intact?”
There was a brief pause, “While it is, I feel it’s important to be more concerned about yourself. You have major skull fractures, a concussion, you’re missing your face flesh, your back had to be clotted to avoid you bleeding out, and you are severely low on blood. You should be sleeping right now.”
“I just, I had to know.”
“Knowing you, you’ll be back on your feet in–”
I passed out again before he finished talking.
When I awoke, I was on my bed, Sepratine was applying herbs to my face, “Ho–”
“16 hours, Doctor Sadist and Rachel are busy. You really ought to be more cautious, this isn’t one of your video games.”
“Yeah, I’ll keep that in mind. You heard from Jones?”
“No, apparently he passed out at the wheel after he parked. The Sadist said they’d be out for a while. He’s having Rachel look them over once she finishes a project she’s working on.”
“Shouldn’t you be helping her?”
She put her mortar down and sighed, “Flip onto your side, I need to replace the bandages on your back, then you need to eat.”
She finished tending to me in silence, then went to cook. The whole time, I just wanted to get up and finish everything. But even if I did, the data wasn’t fully recovered until it was sifted through. So I resigned to wait until the detective got back to me.
Sepratine came back a while later with a plate toppling over itself and a glass of water. Not to get too detailed, but both were empty in a matter of… 30 seconds or so? “Now get back to sleep. Your face should be back to normal in another day, and your skull is still fusing back together.”
“Let me know when Jones has the info.” She stood, taking my plate and cup.
“Someone will I’m sure. Get some rest, and don’t do anything I wouldn’t. You were reckless enough… Whatever, goodbye.”
When I came to again, my face was dry, the medicine Sepratine had put on felt like a cracked desert, leaving a green crust behind. I stood, heading to the bathroom to wash my face. I took my meds, then removed the bandages from my back. Heading back to my room, I grabbed my phone, seeing several missed calls and texts. I immediately opened the message from Jones.
Call me when you wake up, I’ve got it, you’re not gonna believe where it is.
The phone rang four times, “Eh? Terry, that you?” He yawned.
“Yeah, what’s the deal?”
“You remember when you first met me?”
“Well, I was headed to a town down in southeastern Oregon, one that wasn’t on any maps. And you’re not gonna believe this shit, but Tenyit Lane, the place I went, that’s where he’s being held.”
“So you know where I need to go?”
“Yeah, the place is a hot zone for organizations. There’re at least seven that I’ve recorded since I first went, and that’s not including–”
“Well, point is, there’s security everywhere, people are gonna be everywhere, and the police and government officials are gonna be too busy counting bodies to care about one missing person.”
“Send me the coordinates.” I took a picture of my wall, putting the phone back against my ear.
“I’ll do you one better, I still have an old map to the place, I’ll send it over.”
“I don’t care what you say, I am paying you after this.”
I was already out the door, wearing nothing but a hoodie and sweatpants. I started the car, threw on EDM, and headed down to find Joseph.
A grey smoke rose in the night air above the town. I had a good ten miles left on the empty road before getting to the one stop on the entire strip. As I climbed the mountain, I turned my windshield wipers up more and more. The road was coated in a light crust of white, the speckles dropping ever so carefully in the light wind.
As I rounded a bend, I saw a flicker of headlights through the pine trees. Rounding the next one, I saw the lights again, this time coming around their own turn, before heading in my direction. The snow picked up as I met the gaze of the other driver, it was her.
I screeched to a stop, whipping a U-turn that nearly sent me into the rails. I stopped, having noticed her car was pulled over to the railing too. I jumped out of my car, running over to her, and grasping her in my arms, “I thought I’d killed you Tresca!”
Setting her down, my brain fully processed its surroundings. The person in front of me was Joseph, he was a bit shocked, but the rest of him reminded me of how he looked when we first met, “I-I’m sorry, I just–”
“Look, Terry. Honestly, it’s great to see you, great to have clear evidence I’m not crazy, great to know all those fun ass memories at the apartment were real. But…”
“I’m just so glad you’re okay.”
He smirked, but his eyes were hollow, “Yeah, okay…”
“I mean, you’re alive though!”
“Terry, this isn’t going to work.” He looked up, “I can’t ignore what you said when you saw me.” He looked back at me, nervous, “I read up on you, it was intrusive, and I’m sorry for that, but I can’t keep being a replacement. I need to live my own life, I need to get away from all this, I…” His eyes filled, but refused to streak, “I want to live a life away from all of this. I know a normal life isn’t really an option anymore. But I still wanna do what I can.”
“You… read my files?” I glanced at my phone, thinking about the picture I’d taken before leaving, “Which ones?”
“Your old life, hers too. Once I got ahold of my files, I decided to do some digging. I was me, but not I guess, I had to get an understanding of who the people I used to know were. I know about Tresca, I remember your conversation with Maerod.”
He waited for a while, a few cars flew by us before he took the rope, “I will never regret the time we had. We had fun, we had some adventures and even a few emotional tipping points. Without you and everyone else, I’d probably have a slab of a ruck on top of me now. I don’t feel like dying anymore, but I also don’t feel like living. I’m sorry, but… I need to find my life out there.” He threw his arm up, gesturing around, “But if I stay with you, I’ll never get that chance.”
I tried to maintain myself, for seemingly the first time, taking Joseph as a person in. His overgrown brown hair, his blue eyes, broad shoulders, bland outfit. “You look different from before.”
“I feel different.” He shot a breath out his nose.
I staggered, “Let me grab something from my car before you go. You mind coming with?”
He nodded, gazing up at the grey sky. Several more cars flew past us as we made our way to mine. When we got there, I pulled out a small bag,
I reached into my car, pulling out the contract, “This was the guy that placed a hit on your wife. He’s dead now.”
A car flew by, lighting up his face to reveal his frozen face, “Y-you mean it? Who killed him?” He snatched the paper from my hand, looking over the entire sheet.
“The detective put on her case, the original guy is my understanding. Goes by Jones, he’s a P.I. now.”
“Really? Where is he?”
I cleared my throat, “You su–”
“Positive, where is he?”
I rubbed my arm, but looking at his hopeful face, I caved, “Apex Investigation Office, downtown Albany.”
He hugged me, “Thank you… Seriously, this…” He cried into my stomach for a time before pulling back and recomposing himself. Rubbing his nose dry, he turned around.
He stopped, turning his head to me, “Yeah?”
I held onto my phone, debating to show him the picture or not. We stood still as two more cars flew by, followed by one with sirens. I pushed my phone back into my pocket, “Where are you going?”
He turned back to his car, holding up the contract, “To repay a debt. You’ll get yours too one of these days.”
Sitting in his car, he drove off without another word.
I sat in mine, pulling the phone from my pocket, and opened the gallery. I had one recent picture, it was one of the walls in my room, one with several posters. All of which were had drawn anime style portraits of Tresca. “Maybe Abraham was right, and maybe, Joseph has the right idea too.”
I dried my face as I left him behind, unsure of what to do first. I sat with music blasting for the first hour, mind flashing through the events like a slideshow. When I eventually came across a convenience store. It was a 24/7 place, the kind that had hot dogs on the roller for days at a time, and the only people that worked there couldn’t get a job anywhere else.
I pulled into a parking space and picked my phone off the passenger seat. I’d already decided I’d go to the detective’s place last. But I’d never been to Rachel’s before, and I didn’t remember her phone number. “What if I?”
I dialed a number, letting it ring a good five times when “Chad’s Cads how can I help you?”
“God, tell me that isn’t the name of your shop.”
“Joseph? Is that you bro?”
“Yeah, it’s been a while, good to hear from you.”
“Where the hell have you been man!? Terry’s out look–”
“It’s all sorted now. I don’t mean to be callous, I promise I’ll catch you up to speed later. But do you have Rachel’s number?”
“Oh, yeah. Everything good dude?”
“Yeah, she apparently told Terry to have me see her when he found me, so…”
“Oh for sure.”
“So can you send me her number?”
“Oh right, yeah. Good luck bro, come by when you have time. I wanna see how strong you are.”
“Sounds good Chad.” I hung up, smiling. A minute or so later, I had her number.
“Joseph?” Her voice was smooth.
“Hey Rachel I…”
“Chad messaged me.”
“Gotcha, Terry said you wanted to see me?”
“Yes, there’s a lot you need to know biologically if you want to pass for human.”
I sighed, rubbing my side, “Where should I meet you?”
“I’ll send you the location, Sepratine will be here too.”
“Oh, yaaaaaay.” She was alright, but she always had a whole bag of chips on her shoulder.
“See you soon. Oh, and did you happen to feel an aching in your right side at any point?”
“More than you know.”
“How frequently?”“Well, I was starved for a few days at one point, aside from that though I’d say a couple times a week if not more?”
“...Was that the entire time you were gone?”
“Not entirely sure, the first month or so is still kind of hazy, but since I was moved into town yeah.”
“...Okay, just… See you when you arrive.” Click
“I thought Doc was supposed to be the cryptic one of the bunch,” I smirked, a tear forming in my eye. “Goddamnit.” I wiped it, clicking the address she’d sent me, and heading on my way. Only after I picked up some gas station food.
“Oh my.”
“It’s me.” I did jazz hands, wearing a faux smile.
“Your soul is much… larger than I anticipated. Come inside, I’m sure you’re hungry.”
A whiff of cedar and sweetgrass slapped me in the face, “Wow, that’s… pungent.”
“Apologies, my sense of smell isn’t very strong, and Sepratine is….”She took a sharp intake of breath, closing the door behind me.
Looking around, the house seemed pretty standard, aside from the greenhouse in the living room, “So uh, what’s this you got goin here?”
“Take your shoes off please,” She did the same, “Creating chemicals from what’s in the air is taxing, it’s more convenient to just have the plants you need on hand.” She headed toward a door down the hall, “My equipment is downstairs.” She opened the door and I followed.
The air was a solid 80 or so, with humidity so thick it was like snorkeling, pollen so strong it activated allergies I hadn’t had since I was five. “Quite the quaint home you have here.”
“Oh right, sorry again.”
“No, you’re good, I’m just gonna need a few boxes of tissues is all.”
“Oh Jo–Joseph, my gods, you’re… wow. Different is a word, what happened to your soul?” Sepratine was turned to us, standing in front of a table with apparently every plant unknown to man of it.
“That’s kinda why I’m here.”
“Oh right, don’t mind me, just running a few experiments, Rachel has the perfect climate down here for a few plants.”
“Alright Joseph, hop on the bed.” Rachel stood in front of a wooden table, I couldn’t help but notice vials and jars stacked neatly on a counter that circled half the room, as well as a set of tables that held assorted plants with different lights hovering over them.
I sat on the table, “You need me to turn my head and cough?”
“No, first I need you to eat. It’ll be easier if you’re digesting food.”
She headed to a small closed-off area, then came back, plate in hand. Mostly just leafy greens. Maybe some kind of bean too?
“Go ahead, this should pass through you at just the right speed for me to catch it.” She turned, heading to another room, “Oh right, when you’re done I’ll need you to take off your shirt and lie down.” Then she headed through a door.
A few minutes passed and I finished the salad. Putting my plate on an open section of a counter and throwing my shirt to the side, I laid down, “Sepratine, you know anything about Vampirism?”
“Only rumors, they’re rare, so you’re the only one I’ve met.”
“Rarer than what you are?”
“Dryads are uncommon for sure. But given my personal experience, I’d say you’re one of a kind.”
“Awwwe, thank you.” I said sarcastically, “But is that all? They’re rare?”
“You’re here for Rachel because they’re rare. She’s met something like five, even got to do a lab experiment on one of them, saw how their stem reacted to stimulus. She’s the closest thing to an expert I can think of.”
Rachel made her entrance with the smack of the door on the wall, “Alright, don’t worry Joseph, I’m not going to cut you open today, I just want to see how large your stem has gotten. Based on your soul, you might be around half to ¾ vampire. But the only way to tell for sure is to see the size of your stem.”
“I’ve been meaning to ask, but everyone else I’ve met who knows about it has been a psychopath. What’s a stem?”
“Oh, kind of like a parasite is my current understanding.” She picked up a large metal plate, pressed it against my stomach, and used a metal rod to probe my right side.
“Come again?”
“Well… it’s more like a symbiotic relationship? Consider it another organ, only it’s wrapped around a portion of your large intestine. A full vampire has them fused, and it becomes an addition. But a partial, you can still see where they are two entities.”
“So you can cure me?”
She scoffed, “No.” Putting the plate and rod away, she pulled out a roundish object and squeezed some kind of gel onto the end before rubbing it against my right side. “If it’s removed, both entities die. You’re a symbiote now, you each rely on each other. In return for giving it nutrients, it gives you cells that allow you to regenerate anything short of half or more of it. They’re akin to stem cells, but enhanced. It extracts your DNA and replicates what it needs to to keep you alive for as long as possible. That’s the working theory I currently have anyway.”
“So I have a parasite in me?”
“A symbiote, you two aid each other, there are only benefits for each of you. Not to mention the enhanced soul… which I’m not entirely sure what causes that yet. Though the more vampirized you are, the more spiritual power a vampire seems to have. Considering that’s how it’s been with the last five, it’s only an assumption. But if that is the case, I am curious about the correlation.” She put the device down, handing me a towel, “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to see the images I got back. Time to see how far along you are.”
Patting me on the stomach, she walked out of sight, and I wiped my side down. Sitting up, I hopped off the table, picked up my shirt, throwing it back on. Then, it was dark.
My eyes shot open, I was upright on the hardwood table, eyes darting around for the threat.
“Relaaaax, you’re fine.” Rachel and Sepratine stood beside me, and I loosened up, wired as hell.
Standing, I regained my balance, “Which one of you knocked me out?”
“Neither.” Rachel said, offended, “You fainted, you had several nutrient deficiencies, and call me crazy, but I don’t think you were willing to hear what I had to say.”
I mulled it over, a burst of panic surging when I thought about the thing inside me. But I managed to push it back into its little jar. Which I promptly placed back on the shelf with the rest of my emotions. “I’m fine.”
“Yes, now. But I have to be honest with you, the ultrasound came back more worrying than I expected. You’re only about ¼ so far. Your soul is far larger than any of my calculations suggested.”
“Right on.”
“Joseph, you have far more potential than I expected. While I advise safety, occasionally fasting may build up your soul to around as strong as Smudge.”
“Cool beans.”
“The issue is that you have an extremely high-functioning stem. You’ll need extremely nutrient-dense foods with extremely specific nutrients to maintain yourself as you are, let alone grow stronger. I’ll have what you need, but if you don’t want to go on a killing spree every few days, you’ll need an extremely strict diet.”
“How much is that gonna run me?”
She sighed, rubbing her eyes, “Quite frankly, I’ll charge you what it costs me. I don’t want you going on a murder frenzy. You’re my friend, but that’d also guarantee your death. As not only an alchemist, but a scientist, I can’t allow that. I’ll charge you at the end of each month. How does that sound?”
“Cool, do you have an estimate?”
“Joseph I feel you are hearing me but not listening.”
“No, I’ve got it.”
“This will be in the ballpark of 1500 dollars a month, and that’s alongside normal meals. Which should help you not only maintain but build up. The pain will feel like you’re being digested if you get to the point of dangerous starvation. Now, repeat everything I just said back to you.”
When I did from start to finish, she rubbed her face, “Alright, you can pick up your supply weekly from here. For now, though, I have something that should hold you over until next Friday, when I’ll have the actual supplies.”
She helped load a few milk crates into my overstuffed car, and when I went to start my car, she gestured for me to roll the window down. “Yes?”
“There are places you can get help you know?”
“I think I can handle the vampirism thing.”
“Joseph…” She stared at me, tugging at my bucket of guilt, tipping it ever so slightly.
“I’ll be fine. Thank you Rachel.” I flicked the button up and the window went with it as I pulled out of her driveway in the suburbs of West Salem.
“Joseph?” The familiar guy behind a desk just across from me stared, eye agape.
“D-Detective? What uh… what happened to your erm… you?”
“Long story. What happened to you?”
“Long story.”
He chuckled, “Guess you were in that town for a while. What are you doing here?”
I held up the contract, “I’ve got a debt I needa pay.”
Author’s Note:
Hey guys, 4Shot speaking. Holy FUCK guys. This has been my longest-running series, it’s been 3.5 years in the making. Hell, it was the series that got me into this whole writing shebang. It feels weird to be saying goodbye to Joseph, given this series has been with me since the start. I’ve seen my ups alongside this story, and those who read or listened to the poker scene in my detective series will know I’ve had my downs.
Though, it’s not exactly the end. I have one final series I’ll be writing to wrap everything up. Those who have followed my first three may notice a trend. And yes, the final series will be a continuation of Jones’ tale. It’s been a long time coming, and I hope to complete it before february, which is when I’ll be taking an extended hiatus. I’ll be back, but I have some things I want to do first. This entire unraveling story will have been a part of my life for over 4 years by then, something like that is hard to just let go, and I have some life I wanna experience. So I may be gone for around 6 months to a year when I’ve finished the Detective’s story.
I’m glad so many of you have enjoyed my stories. I honestly never expected to go anywhere with any of this, thought I’d give this series up around part 3, and writing would just be another dead hobby of mine. But here we are. Honestly, there are a lot of people to thank, but the main people are my boy TeeStache who got me into writing, NaturesTemper who picked up my terrible rough draft of this series, and Viidith who first found my detective series and asked to narrate it, and proceeded to narrate my Lighthouse series.
It’s been a crazy ride out there, and I only intend to make it crazier in the future. Thanks again guys, cheers.
submitted by 4ShotBot to Viidith22 [link] [comments]

2023.06.07 06:46 Kind_Gift_7840 Potential Trade

Hey guys just wanted to make a post about a potential trade I had in mind.
Hear me out, Fabbro is on the last year of his contract and he’s from BC. He’s a reliable two way defenseman with high upside, plays a position of need (RD), and he’s relatively young.
The Preds are in a weird place, they have really good pieces on their roster with (Duchene, Josi, Forsberg, Saros, and McDonagh) but they’re all on the older side. They also have some good prospects in Kemell, Askarov, Tomasino, LHeureux, and the two players they pick in this years draft. Management may decide to go on a fire sale or they may wanna push all their trade chips for a few runs with the current core. Either way, this trade makes no sense for the preds but let’s go through it.
Boeser or Garland are sent to clear cap (they aren’t cap dumps btw, I still think they have value) But we do need to move some money to sign Petey and to give room for some of our prospects.
submitted by Kind_Gift_7840 to canucks [link] [comments]

2023.06.07 06:28 KingSans14 SNVRF Chapter 25

“Mother……Father……Brothers……Sisters……..Why must you have to go so soon?” said a voice that sounded like Azazel. Darkness falls around the world. A person can be seen fallen into the dark void. It was Azazel who was falling into the void. His eyes were a dark golden and were crack as if his eyes were actually made of glass all along. “Why……..Did it have to be them? Why must they be chosen for death?” said Azazel. Deep dark thoughts and visions start to root into Azazel. Visions that blame him for his family death. Thoughts that show him how bad of a brother he is and he shouldn't have been born. All of these not only made Azazel eyes crack more but a seed of hate was planted into Azazel. For once this seed blooms into a hatred flower Azazel would become full of nothing but hate for himself. And will devour Azazel into darkness. Hours later after Azazel returned home the sun came into being. The golden sun of Surya shines down on the land of gold making it light up like a star in the night sky.The sun shines down on that once stood Azazel village was now but ash and dust. There was no one left or remains of the village. It was as if Shiva came and punished the entire village for upsetting him. Azazel laid in the middle of the village asleep from trying to put the fire out in the village. Everyone he knew was gone. All his friends and family were gone. But only one person came to his mind out of all everyone, was his dear older sister Seraphina was she safe? Is she alive? He knew that the tree was a far walk from the village meaning she could be alive somewhere. All he needed to do was awaken and open his eyes. The sun beams down on Azazel who was still asleep. A couple hours later Azazel quickly awoke and quickly breaths in and out. It seemed he had a nightmare about something involving his family. As he continued to take deep breaths in and out something was strange about Azazel after that strange nightmare. Azazel. He knew the sun was out because he felt the warmth on his skin but why couldn't he see it? He slowly felt around and feels the hard ground. "Why can I not see? Am I dead? Is this my punishment from the gods?" said Azaze not knowing he had gone blind. "Shaddap" said a voice. Standing not to far away from Azazell was a man carrying a bowl of sweets. He had a heavenly aura around him. This man was no one than the honorable Buddha. He had been watching Azazel from sometime now ever since he came to that tree last night. He could feel the seed planted into Angel and see the damage it could do if fully bloom. "What? Who said that? Gods is that you? Have you come to reunite me with my family in the stars?" said Azazel. Buddha continues to much on his candies. He looks on the ground and see a small rock. He kick it gently at Azazel. The rock hit Angel straight at his forehead. "Ow! What the hell that for?" said Azazel looking at the direction the rock hit him from. "Maybe if I hit you with something you'll finally shut up about that nonsense you are spilling. And look at that it works." said Buddha before stuffing his face again with candy. "Nonsense?" said Azazel confused. "Yes, nonsense. All this talk about death and being reunited with your loved ones. And the gods coming for you is all but silly. Your not dead pal. No gods are here to take you or punish you. You are alive fully Azazel. This is no dream or nightmare but real life." said Buddha. Azazel slowly begins to tear up before letting out a golden shower of tears. Buddha's words had struck him like a knife. "I DON'T DESERVE TO BE ALIVE! MY FAMILY DOES! THEIR DEATH IS ALL MY FAULT! IF ONLY I WAS THERE TO PROTECT THEM FROM THE DANGER OR WHOEVER CAUSE THIS! THEY WOULD BE ALIVE! I'M A HORRIBLE BROTHER! I DESERVE NOTHING BUT DEATH!" said Azazel before looking down and crying more tears. The seed started to slowly sprout in Azazel. Buddha sighs before frowning. Lotus appears in his eyes. "You're still blind. Maybe it's time you open your eyes" said Buddha before the lotus changed position. Suddenly a magic blindfold appears and starts to slowly wrap around Azazel's head covering his eyes. Azazel felt the soft fabric of the blindfold and how comfortable it felt. Suddenly his vision came to him again. "I can see again!" said Azazel. He slowly looks up to see Buddha. "Are you a God? You must be one…..You know my name even though I never told you." Buddha chuckles and smirks. He then pointed to himself while his power and glowing eyes glances down on Azazel. "I am the honored one! Throughout Heaven and Earth the only one who can move me, IS ME! I am the Buddha!" said Buddha. Azazel quickly bowed before Buddha. "Thank you for your help, Lord Buddha! I am not worthy of your present!" said Azazel. "Shaddap. There's no need for that, praising me stuff kid." said Buddha as he went back to munching on candy. Azazel looks up confusingly at Buddha. "Why?" said Azazel. "Because I said so. Now I've been watching you kid for quite some time now. You're a special one you know. You're just like me kid except you lack love for yourself and other things. Azazel, your family loves you no matter what happens. They would put you first before themselves because they love you. So don't beat yourself up and blame yourself for their demise. Seraphina would want you to be alive more than ever kid." said Buddha. Azazel looks up at Buddha as he is reminded of his beloved sister. "Seraphina……..I'll live for you! NO ALL OF THEM! I'LL BECOME THE SHIELD OF HUMANITY! THAT WAY I'LL PROTECT EVERYONE FROM HARM!" said Azazel trying to hold back his tears. Buddha smiles as he reaches out his hand for Azazel. "If you wish to be the shield of man. Then you must reach new heights. Would you like to reach enlightenment with me Azazel?" Azazel slowly took Buddha's hand. "Yes…..For Seraphina."
Dust started to settle around the wall. Angel slowly started to get up. Everyone on the humanity side was shocked to see what had happened. Nakara on the other hand had heart eyes and started to simp harder for Buddha. The thought of just two Buddhas made her heart beat faster than ever. "GO MY LORDS! DESTROY THAT ANGEL!" said Nakara. North shakes his head in belief. "Simps these days…." said North. The Gods cheer for Buddha though Buddha paid no attention to them. The second Buddha also paid them no attention. Shiva was starting to get pumped up just watching the battle between Buddha and Angel. "There…..There.....There TWO OF THEM?" said Ares surprisingly "It would seem so. So I guess the legends are true." said Hermes. Ares quickly grabs Hermes and shakes him. "LEGEND? WHAT LEGEND? TELL ME THE LEGEND HERMES!" said Ares. "Okay! Okay! Just put me down and I'll tell you!" said Hermes. Solid pay no attention to him. He was more interested in the fight. Ares puts Hermes down and apologizes for shaking Hermes. Hermes quickly dust off his attire. "Now where was I? Ah yes. There is a legend or myth that there is more than one Buddha in this world. But no one has ever seen more than our beloved Buddha friend until now. I guess the myth is true but there can only be one true Buddha out there." said Hermes. Ares couldn't believe it. "Indeed, there can only be one in this world. There must always be an original to be able to make copies of it. Though I wonder how many there are?" said Solid. Ares chuckles. "Can't be more than 5 of them. Then they'll eat up all the sweets in the world. Right Zeus?" said Ares chuckling. Zeus didn't say a word or a peep because he was no longer in the room with them. "He left a while ago. Probably for some important business." said Solid. Angel took some damage but not severe enough to put him down. Blood was leaking from his head. Slowly Angel starts to untie his blindfold that was soaked in blood from Angel's blood. "No need for this anymore. It's time I fight with everything I got!" said Angel. Both Buddhas smile at the words that came out of Angel's mouth. Angel took off the blindfold and dropped it on the ground. He picks up his swords and opens his eyes. "As the shield of humanity! I will never break!" said Angel, his eyes shining like gold. He rushed at the Buddhas. "ANGEL IS BACK ON THE ATTACK! WHAT DOES THE SHIELD OF HUMANITY PLAN TO DO?" said Heimdall. Buddha smiles knowing Angel is improving. The second Buddha summons a Six Realms Staff. Both Buddha rushes at Angel. “No way that fool can take on two GODS!” said someone from the God side. Prep watches in disgust. “That Buddha shouldn’t be fighting. That traitor! I hope after this round I can finally end him myself.” said Prep as he continued watching the battle from a corridor window. "Seems like I'm not the only one who wishes to get back at Buddha. Though you'll have to get in line pal." said a voice before chuckling. A muscular creature was walking up to prep. The creature had a long tail and brown hair covering him everywhere. He was wearing a gold chest plate over a yellow shirt, a gold coattail with red and turquoise trim, maroon pants, a red sash belt, and black boots with gold soles. He also was wearing a red two-piece cape and a small gold headdress with two long red feathers. His eyes were bright blood red as well. He seemed to be carrying a red staff. This creature was no one else than the Great MONKEY KING! Sun Wukong(Chinese). Sun Wukong smiles as he was in the presence of the strongest titan in all of Greek. He had heard many stories and poems about Prep. Just the thought of going toe to toe with Prep excited him. Angel swords and Buddha halberd/staff clash with each other causing the dust to slowly build up. "Wukong. What is it that you want? So I can be at peace." said Prep, not taking his eyes off the fight. Wukong laughed. "Why so serious? Lord of Titans….I think we both know what I'm here for." said Wukong as eyes glow with Wukong's true ambitions. “If it’s to rumble I am too far above your league. Your immortality is nothing but a fable here alongside these walls. You're nothing but a warrior of hair.” said Prep. Wukong laughed, before getting serious. “You're funny, you know that Prep? Even if my immortality doesn’t work here I’m still a fierce fighter. The Great Monkey King won't go down easily." said Wukong. Angel and the Buddha were in a stalemate. Angel and the Buddhas smile before they swing again over and over. The speed of each swing started to increase over time. "Whatever….." said Prep. Wukong slowly walked past Prep and stopped before going down the corridor. His eyes were glowing bloody red. He turned his head a little so that one of his eyes looked dead at Prep "A little word of advice my titan friend. Keep your friends close but keep your enemies closer. This tournament of Gods and Redditors has only just begun……….." said Wukong before walking away. Prep was silent as he could feel the darkness fill back up the corridor. Meanwhile, in the VIP for Humanity. Tempest and Brundhilde were watching the fight. “I wonder how long will that Ice last?” said Tempest. “Hm? The ice?” said Brunhilde. Tempest was watching Angel's swords more closely. “Yes, the ice. Ice is a strong material but only when it's frozen solid but after a while it becomes nothing but useless. Especially in the heat." said Tempest. Brunhilde looks at the intense swings Angel was doing. The ice though made from the heavens was slowly starting to melt as the stalemate continued to happen. Angel would soon have to change weapons or else he would be defeated. But no matter when an opportunity to strike seems possible the second Buddha covers it. Angel would have to take care of the clone first before taking on Buddha. "Come on Buddha! Kill that little human!" said someone on the God's side. Suddenly something caught Tempest's eyes. Little lotus starts to form in Angel's eyes. "Could……could he be able to see the future through his own eyes?" said Tempest. "Possible. He was taught under THE BUDDHA after all." said Brunhilde. Tempest wishes he fought the gods. Just from watching his heart pumps with excitement alone though his face never changes from his serious expression. "ANGEL SWORDS HAVE MELTED AWAY! WHAT WILL ANGEL DO NOW?" said Hemdaill. Tempest looked back at Angel to see if it was true only to see that it was. The handles of the ice swords were on the ground but there was something else on the ground as well. It was………. BLOOD! But whose blood was it? Everyone was shocked and quit to see who it belonged to. It was no one else than Angel! He used his wing to block the blows from the Buddha but sadly it came at a price. Angel felt horrifying pain from the attack. "BUDDHA ATTACK HAS CONNECTED BUT ANGEL BLOCKED IT WITH HIS WING AT THE LAST SECOND!" said Hemdiall. "Guess you are done truly warming up kid?" said both Buddhas smiling. Angel slowly looks up and opens his eyes. There was lotus in his eyes as well glowing. "Yes! Thank you for the warm-up. Now let's truly dance!" said Angel, smiling.
The end
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2023.06.07 06:14 Pacmyne [WTS] Copenhagen/Zyn Molle Pouch - Bullet/Bee Bags - HK Hook Gryphon Claws

Copenhagen/Zyn Molle pouch is my new pouches releasing tonight. Pretty self explanatory here just a small pouch perfect for a can of dip or anything small you want to store on a piece of Molle gear. Throw it on your belt, pack, or chest rig. Also available with hook and loop on the back instead of the Molle attachment. Available in every color Camo that the bullet bags are. Until I get faster at making them they are starting at $30 shipped but hopefully I can get faster and lower that price they are time consuming.
1x MC Black but more on the way!!
Another newer version of the Bullet Bags! Inspired by another custom order request from my friends over at AK Peasants. New design has and loop of webbing creating a handle for easy control when moving down the firing range. Also new patches to go with! 3 inch by 1.5 inch field of loop for the smaller patches and a 2x4 inch field for the bigger patches. Offering 2 sizes for handguns and rifle caliber bullets. Little guy holds atleast 200 bullets and could hold more but not certain how much more weight it can hold I haven’t tested more than 200 9mm rounds. I double stitched every seam and triple stitched on some so it should hold a good heavy load but not tested much. Available in Multicam Black, Woodland, MC Tropic, Ranger Green, Coyote, Flecktarn, Alpine Snow, Scorpion Ocp and Black. Vietnam Tiger Stripe will be back in at the end of the week. Currently only have the 7 patch variations shown in the picture 9mm, 556, 223, 7.62x39, and ''Freedom Seeds''. Each bag will come with one patch of your choice. At the moment I can not sell the patches separately from the bags due to inventory. Making these daily so let me know what you would like to see in the next post if it’s not in this one. $30 shipped for smaller pouch $35 shipped for larger pouch ** First person to buy 2 or more bags gets an EDC HK hook belt clip of your choice.
x1 Large Flecktarn x2 small MC Tropic x1 small Alpine Snow x1 small flecktarn
​HK hook belt clip lanyards to hang your keys, gloves, or any other tacticool gear you can think of. The belt clips wrap around your belt and velcro onto itself. They can be weaved through Molle if you don’t want to wrap around your belt. I offer 2 sizes one for EDC belts that are up to 2 inches wide and don't hang as low. The Battle Belt clips fit belts up to 2.5 inches wide and hang about an inch lower. At the moment I have Coyote, Multicam Tropic and Arid, Black, Ranger Green, Woodland, Multicam Black, Hawaiian Sunset, Black Hawaiian, Black, and Blue Polynesian materials on hand. Currently have 1 of each color for the edc but plenty more materials and making more daily. EDC clip $15 shipped and $10 for each additional clip Battle clip $17 shipped and $12 for each additional clip First person to buy 4 or more belt clips gets a free 2 point quick adjust sling that I make!​​
Fire Sale right now!! 3 clips for $30 any size!!
Can’t take preorders per page rules but comment what you would like to see in tomorrow’s post and I’ll make sure to have it!
Post dibs and I’ll pm. PayPal or Venmo add 3% for goods and services. Also accepting cash app. Thanks for any and all support!
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2023.06.07 05:43 berdistehwerd Range Day: Competition Shooting (3/5)

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Mick about to do something incredible
Mick reference
Finn reference
Memory transcription subject: Finn Hathcock, S&R Volunteer, Gunsmith Date [Standardized Human Time]: November 17, 2136
With the awards ceremony out of the way, and my explanation of how the long range contest works out of the way, it was time to get to practicing our shots. My weapon of choice was a Cheytac M200 Intervention, a vintage rifle from the early 2000s. One of my personal favorites in the collection, it’s a piece with a lot of absolutely fascinating history, originally used by a Marine corps covert marksman, fighting in Ukraine. This thing has personally sent rounds through a few Russian commanders, denoted by the 7 tally marks on the side of the receiver. Sounds a little weird to be using a gun that has confirmed kills marked on the side, but that conflict happened over a century ago, so the blood has long cleared off its history in my eyes.

As a warmup, I would have to calibrate my spotting scope, and re-zero the scope that I had placed on the top of my rifle. It was a ‘relic’ by today’s standards, but it’s still a great scope for the time nonetheless. Mick was watching me extract the rifle from the case, where I then assembled it like an assassin would in a cheesy action movie. Snap the barrel to the receiver, slip the bipod on for good measure, extend the stock, slip the bolt into the chamber, and we’re good to go.

“What gun is that?’ Mick questioned. “I’ve never seen it before.”

“Ah, this is just my personal long range gun, an Intervention. Used to be super popular in video games of the 2000s, but now we’ve got much better options for taking out things at range.”

“That looks a bit too big for me to shoot, you got anything for me? I saw another couple boxes in the car, one of those has to be mine, right?”

He was right, I had got him one a little more suited to his size, and something else for later.

“You’re right, I did bring something for you,” I responded. I was quite excited to see what he thought of the little gun I got for him, although this one I wouldn’t be gifting to him right away. “Go grab the smallest thing out of the car, it should be labeled for you!”

I watched as he walked over to the car, his tail wagging behind him, as it usually did when we were messing around with firearms and stuff. I'm wondering if he got paired with me on purpose, since he seems to be the only venlil I know of interested in guns and engineering, just like I am.

Mick returned with his rifle, plopped it down onto the bench we would be shooting from, and extracted his rifle. A Desert Tech SRS-A2 sniper rifle. This little thing was a compact, hard hitting bolt action bullpup from, again, the early 2000s. Did I mention that’s my favorite time period for my guns? Anyway, this would be the perfect rifle for mick, since it actually fit his slightly smaller stature perfectly. At 5 foot 6 inches, he’s a bit shorter than I am, at 6 feet even.

We got situated onto the bench, Mick handed me his rifle for calibration, so I did so, then handed it back to him. Modern boresights made it incredibly easy to zero things, as it would calculate drop for whatever settings you could input into it, meaning you just put the crosshair on where it should land and you have an accurate shot for the conditions specified. Quite incredible if you ask me, somehow it just kinda…works. I’m certainly not complaining.

I went ahead and loaded up the magazine for Mick’s rifle. Despite its small stature, the SRS was still quite powerful. I configured it with the longest barrel, and put a .338 chamber and bolt in there, the highest caliber that would fit the time frame of the competition. Modern versions of the gun could be chambered in pretty much anything you want, but I prefer to stick within proper time periods for my builds. Sure, I could slap a cutting edge auto-zeroing, thermal, solar powered, auto range finding, perfectly accurate every time guaranteed scope on top of my Lee-Enfield from 1914, but what’s the fun in that? It looks awkward, is completely historically wrong, and wouldn’t help anyone that is already a good shooter anyway.

I signed up for the vintage challenge because of that specifically, it only allows rifles and attachments from before the 2030s, the latest time period I’d be invested in. It actually had some challenges, rather than being point and shoot.

“Hey Finn you there? You zoned out a little…”

“Oh, sorry, just thinkin.”

“No worries, I just wanna shoot my gun, and you’re kinda holding it right now.”

“Ah sorry, here.”

I handed the rifle back to him, and walked on over to the spotter scope I had left nearby. This device was a standalone scope that just sat on a tripod, had a 36x zoom (a bit more than we needed but that’s fine), and an angled viewport so you just had to take a look into it without bending down quite as far.

Our target was about 200 meters away, a solid long distance shot for most, but pretty easy with the right equipment.

“OK, you ready mick? Move the throw lever to a higher magnification so you can see what you're aiming at, the red target marked 200.”

“Got it, I see it.”

“Ok, wind is… 4 MPH to the left, aim just slightly right of center, up one notch from the crosshair.”

“Ok, I'm aiming, fire?”

“When ready!” Time to see how good mick’s exact shot placement is, the goal being the exact center of the target.

Mick squeezed his trigger, I felt the blast off to my left, and I watched the .338 tracer round fly through the air. Impact a bit high and to the right. Solid characteristics of a flinched shot, compounded by the fact that I watched him flinch when he pulled the trigger.

“Bud, you flinched it a little. It’s ok if you don’t hit dead center, ya know.”

“Sorry… just feels like I've got a lot of pressure over my head for some reason.”

“Hey, don’t apologize for nothing, save it for mistakes.” I paused for a moment to let it sink in. “Can you think of why you might have flinched?”

“Probably just that I have that streak of not missing once going, and I feel like I’ll lose that.”

“Alright then, lemme help.”

I scooted over, racked another round into his gun, and told him just to slam a round into the dirt under the target. Hopefully breaking the (frankly impressive) no misses streak he had going would stop him from flinching. I then told him to try again, the wind moved a little right this time, so I told him to hold one mill to the left.

Another puff of wind, another tracer flying downrange. The projectile slammed face first into the middle of the target, only off by about a quarter of an inch. Exactly where I wanted him to hit it, not perfect but still quite good.

“Nice shot, didn’t flinch it this time I see?”

“Oh wow, I'm surprised that it worked, are you always this skilled at reading people?”

“I am when they tell me what the problem is, such as you’ve done.”

“AH. Yea that would help.”

That’s another thing I like about Mick, he’s always incredibly honest. If he’s not hiding anything he’ll just outright say what’s wrong instead of so many other people who will carry on as if nothing’s wrong despite the fact that there’s a problematic thorn stuck in their side.


After about 30 minutes of me practicing shot calling and Mick practicing his aim on further and further targets, it was time for the competition. It consisted of a speed shot contest, hit the 300 meter target 5 times quickly, the ‘White Feather’ shot, hit a 2 inch target from 500 meters, and the ‘Sniper Elite’ shot, a half-covered man size target from 1.5 kilometers away. Thankfully for that one it doesn’t matter where you hit him, as long as you do hit him.

The familiar whistle rang out, drawing the competitors away from their firearms and towards the instructors, here to tell us how the rules worked. I had heard (and delivered) this spiel so many times I knew it by heart, so I just tuned it out until he was done rambling. Mick listened intently, according to his ears, at least. Those ears gave a good indicator of the amount of attention he was paying to any given thing, for instance, if he was focused on the shot he was about to take I noticed he would sweep them backward, like a cat about to start bouncing off the walls, or when he was focusing on someone’s conversation they would angle forward slightly.

I was pulled from that train of thought when the instructor finished his explanation of the rules, and we were allowed to return to our tables to get ready for the competition ahead. I removed the magazine, press checked the chamber, and put a flag in for good measure. Mick followed suit, and we were ready to compete. I decided we wouldn’t be waiting too long this time, since we had been here before everyone else. I was going first, mick would be my spotter (thankfully he would only have to call out the wind, since I can handle rangefinding and elevation), then we would switch out for me as the spotter and Mick as the sniper, where I would have to tell him exactly where to aim on the crosshairs.

We were called forward to our bench, where the magic would begin. I laid out a few extra magazines in front of me, I was definitely going to need them for that 1500 shot, re-calibrated the rangefinder for mick, and set up the shot timer that we would both have to use. I was now ready to go, and was just waiting for the instructor to give me the go-ahead.

The instructor noticed that we were ready to go, so he began his usual lines. “Shooter ready? Standby…”


I quickly flipped the safety off, racked a round into the chamber, and began lining up for the speed shots. “Mick, what's the wind like?” I requested, with urgency.

“About… 2 miles leftward?”

I aimed ever so slightly to the right of the center of my target, and released the breath I was holding. Exhale, pause, squeeze slowly but surely… fire. Impact a fraction of a second later, half an inch off the center. Rack the bolt again, new round in the chamber, repeat. Aim, exhale… fire. Impact. Rack bolt, aim center, exhale… fire, impact.

This sequence repeated 2 more times, both shots landing in a very tight group around the center of the target. Next up was the ‘White feather’ shot, hitting a tiny, 2x2 target from extreme distance.

I threw the zoom lever on the scope to the right, adjust the zero to 500, request the windage.

“What’s the wind now?” I asked again. It had been long enough where the wind may have changed direction.

“6 miles per hour, slightly right but mostly parallel to the range, seems like.”

That meant I had to hold one dot left, aim slightly lower than the target due to the wind carrying it further than I could easily zero for. I place the target into the spot in my scope, hold my breath for a moment, exhale, hold… fire.

“Impact low, centered.” Mick called out. I had overcompensated for the wind’s carrying effect, so I had hit a bit low of the 2 inch wide target. Adjust so it’s on the line, still one mil dot to the left, exhale, hold… fire. The bullet did its thing, and impacted the little red circle. A simple, yet deceptively hard shot, even if you have accurate holds and an even more accurate rifle. Funnily enough, the guy who originally made the shot this competition was trying to emulate happened to be my great (x9) grandfather. Carlos Hathcock was notorious during the Vietnam war, gaining a bounty of over 30000 dollars just on him alone. Nobody managed to claim that bounty, fortunately, but many counter-snipers tried.

On one of those occasions, a sniper caught sight of him from roughly 500 meters away, leaving a notable glint from the reflection on the front of the scope. He then took aim at the flash, and fired his rifle, where the bullet went straight through the scope into the enemy sniper’s eye. A frankly insane shot, even under ideal conditions such as we have here. Thankfully, we only have to hit about half a playing card rather than a tiny, 1 inch wide tube.

Next was the ‘Sniper Elite’ shot, apparently named after an old video game about sniping, set during the second world war. At first I couldn’t see the target, 1.5 kilometers is quite an insane distance even for some of the more skilled shooters, such as myself. I had to spot the little flag flying next to it, then find it again within the magnified scope. I threw the magnification all the way up, ticked up the zero until it hit its maximum, 1000 meters. Seems the maker of this scope never expected anyone to try and throw a round more than a kilometer down range, but here I was doing it anyway.

“Mick, wind?” I asked, a bit too impatiently.

“Here it looks like… 7 MPH going perpendicular toward the right.”

“Thank you.” I said, hoping to make up for my impatience.

I placed my aim onto the target, aimed with the lowest mil on the scope, shift left 1 and a half, hold breath, exhale, hold… Fire!

I watched the tracer take its sweet time waltzing it’s way over yonder to the target. I could also see it impact the ground about a foot too low. I had to try again. I quickly racked the bolt, putting another .408 round into the chamber.

I aimed, then I pulled the zoom lever on the scope back to the left, zooming back out so I could see the other mils that were hidden under the eye box of the scope. It was exactly what I needed.

I placed the crosshair back on the target, raised it up a few mils until I was aiming the same way I was before, then lifted my point of aim another few inches up. If the wind hadn’t changed too much, this should hit roughly the center of the target.

Hold breath, exhale, hold… fire. The tracer flew through the air again, whacking itself straight into the center of the target.

A buzzer rang from behind us signaling the end of the run. 20 seconds for the speed shots, 30 for the scope shot, and another 25 for the long range. 75 seconds is enough to get full bonus points, plus a little penalty for missing twice, means that I get a score of 13, out of 15. Not bad, not bad at all.

We had a short break, where I set Mick's rifle up, showed him how to adjust for distance, and where the bullets should roughly land when accounting for wind and drop. Mick picked up how to do it quickly, as he seemed to do with anything I showed him, I wonder if he has some sort of neurodivergence? It doesn’t matter to me if he does, I just like having a friend around.

The instructor informed us that it was time for Mick to do his run. I handed Mick the magazines, and got set up behind the spotter scope. Both of us gave the signal for the instructor to begin his timing.

“Shooter ready? Standby…”


I watched as Mick quickly zeroed the scope for 300 meters, placed his aim onto the target, and let his round loose. As expected, smack dab in the middle. I was now just watching through the spotter scope, seeing the rounds hit and calling out if they did or not. “Hit!”

Mick cycled the bolt, throwing the empty case to the floor next to the stand where we were set up. He managed to keep the rifle stable on the target, so he barely had to adjust before sending another round directly on target. “Hit!”

This repeated another three times, fire, “hit!”, cycle. Mick’s aim was still impeccable, although that wasn’t saying much due to it only being a 300 meter shot. Mick redirected his aim over to the 2x2 inch target that was for the ‘White Feather’ shot. I watched him click the dial for distance over another 4 notches, zeroing for 500 meters.

I glanced over to the windage monitor, it proclaimed that the wind was going at 3 MPH to the right of the range. I calculated in my head that it would mean he would have to adjust to the left about half of a mil dot, so I relayed this to him. “About half a mil left, exactly on the middle crosshair line.

Mick flicked his ears in an affirmative gesture, and I saw the rifle nudge ever so slightly to the left. His shot impacted the middle of the target on its first trip downrange, even better than I did.


Next up was that ‘Sniper Elite’ shot, a simple hit at 1500 meters was all you needed. Mick swung his aim over to the target, flicked the zoom all the way in, and rotated the zeroing to 1500. Fortunately for him, his scope actually went all the way out to 2000 meters, so he didn’t have to miss, then guesstimate like I had.

I once again glanced at the wind monitor, and it was practically nothing.

0.2 MPH.

The air was perfectly still (or as still as you could reasonably hope for) so there was no better opportunity than now for him to get this perfect shot off. “Dead center of the target, the wind’s stopped!”

Out of my peripheral vision, I see Mick holding his breath like I had, then slowly pulling the trigger. The rifle did it’s thing, a hammer falling into a striker, setting off a primer, deflagrating exactly 275 grains of gunpowder, propelling a single copper coated round down the barrel at 3000 feet per second, sending it off on the most textbook shot in the history of long range shooting, the bullet spiraled through the air, nearing closer to its destination every millisecond.

The wind decided to cooperate with us today, keeping itself stock still as the round sliced through the air, on a collision course with the exact center of the man sized silhouette target that sat at the end of the range.

I saw through the spotter scope, a bullet impact its target with an unparalleled level of luckiness, flattening itself against the steel of the target.

“FUCKIN HIT! NICE SHOT MICK!” I shouted, immediately standing up with my arm poised for the greatest high five any man or venlil had ever seen.

Mick had seen the bullet impact, but wasn’t quite as excited as I was. He still got up, noticing my excitement through those side facing eyes of his, then he raised his own paw, held it back, ready to slingshot it against mine.

The ultimately satisfying sound of a good high five soon followed, our hands (and paws) slapping together right at the palms, the force resonating loud enough to actually make the active hearing protection dampen it for us. The impressiveness of the shot was not to be undersold, and we were about to learn what mick’s score was.

The instructor walked over, then told us what his results were.

86 seconds, 15 points out of a total of 15, one bonus point for time, not counted due to an already perfect score. I could barely believe it, Mick was wagging his tail, the instructor even looked a little impressed. Mick had probably won it, or at least tied for first.

An hour or 2 later, all the other competitors had taken their shots. I ended up getting tied for 3rd, with one other competitor. I decided that I would give up whatever prize I would have gotten to the other guy, since I already won once today. The podium ceremony was next up, this time Mick was at the top of it. He got a voucher for a rifle again, like the guy that won the IPSC section, but he could also trade it in for about 1000 bucks of stuff from the equipment store. He got himself a plate carrier similar to mine, a nice faux leather holster (which now contained his pistol), and another pair of tactical pants, this time in tan-gray instead of the navy blue of the ones he won.

Our next and final competition was coming up soon, some sort of mix between Olympic and skeet shooting. Why they decided to combine both of those, I had no idea. Sounds fun anyway, so I’m not gonna question it.
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Author's note: Wow, this chapter took a lot less time than the rest of them. I'm gonna take a break from writing the main story for a little while, you should expect a prologue coming next, in my inconsistent as always timeframe.
Hope you enjoyed it, i'm gonna go to bed now. (I released this during finals week at midnight, wahoo!)
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2023.06.07 05:39 Username01007 When we Fought: Nightmares Pt. 3: A Darktide Inspired Short Story

Lightning crashed onto the now empty no-man's land.
Candorick peeked above the trenches. Nobody in sight.
The battle in this area was approaching its fiftieth day, and the space inbetween fortifications made that clear. Craters filled the destroyed land, burned out remains of Leman Russes were scattered throughout, and the corpses of dead heretics and loyalists almost formed another layer of ground. The land was dark and gray, and the pouring rain didn't help the aesthetic.
Being Whiteshields, the gun he was handed was a hand-me-down standard pattern lasgun, probably belonging to someone whose corpse was scavenged for anything useful. His still had a little bit of human on it when it was handed to him.
Candorick felt a sense of impending doom. Suppose being in the trenches always gave you a feeling of death, but this felt different than before.
Candorick’s Whiteshield company had been placed in the frontlines after a failed push resulted in the death of a majority of the regiment assigned to the trench.
Most of the other Whiteshields were younger than him, some were as young as twelve, who had just been given a gun and told to fight. Candorick was one of the older ones of the group, being sixteen. The only other sixteen year old was Merok, who helped man the squad’s lascannon.
Candorick looked above the trenches one more time. He just couldn’t shake the feeling something was coming.
“Everything ok there Candorick?” Merok asked.
“Yeah… yeah, I just can't shake this feeling that something is going to happen.” Candorick replied.
Rain poured into the trenches, creating a layer of water up to Candorick’s knees.
“I’m sure we’re fine.” Merok said.
“If anything does attack, that’s why I’ve got this lascannon right?” Merok slapped the barrel of the gun.
Merok turned to the other Whiteshield, a 14 year old kid, manning the lascannon.
“Stocks doing good?” Merok asked.
“Yep, everything is in order, charge packs match up with how many we had yesterday, and all parts are in top shape.” The kid responded, saluting to Merok.
“Good. Listen, Candorick, we’ll be fine, they would be foolish to attack in this rai…” Merok stopped as the sound of a massive amount of footsteps echoed from the no-man’s land.
“BATTLE STATIONS EVERYONE!” the squad leader said as everyone along the trench prepared their guns to fire.
Candorick looked down the lenses of his recon binoculars. A massive charge of heretics was coming at them rapidly.
“KILL EVERY LAST ONE OF THEM!” The squad leader said as every soldier began to fire their lasguns at the heretics. Merok began to fire his lascannon repeatedly at the few armored targets coming with the charge, ending them almost immediately. When no vehicles were around, they fired at the charging infantry, killing multiple with each individual shot.
Candorick fired upon the approaching enemy as well. Eventually, one of them struck one of the incoming heretics. That was the first time Candorick had killed someone. He watched as they clutched their chest and fell to the ground, letting out a scream as they hit the muddy land. They clutched their chest for a bit, before going limp.
Before then, he had never really thought about his first kill. It was just seen as something minimal, a stepping stone of sorts on his way to becoming a veteran guardsmen. But to see it with his own eyes, it was different. He thought of all the things that person must have lived through. They grew up, they loved, they suffered.
And all of that ended when Candorick put that laser into their chest. In training, he had always been told that the heretics “weren’t human” and “they deserve the emperor’s mercy”, but what else would react like that? He looked along the line of charging heretics. He could almost see the look in their eyes. Fear, anger, sadness, he could see every emotion in every one of them. If they weren’t human, why did they act so much like them?
But Candorick didn’t have time to think about that right now. This was not a battle of morals. It was a battle of life or death, and he had to live. For his family, for his homeland, for the Imperium.
Bullets and lasgun fire flew by him. The heretics had hid in some of the craters, and had begun to fire at the trenches. Candorick ducked down. A Whiteshield beside him didn’t duck down fast enough, and a bullet had gone straight into his head. He fell to the ground, dying instantly. He looked at the other Whiteshields. They were scared, and you they had begun to tremble at the thought of death. Candorick peaked his gun above the trench, and fired his lasgun at one of the heretics that had peaked from cover, hitting him right in the eye, sending him falling back onto the land. Merok was still firing the Lascannon from the relative safety of the sandbags surrounding him, and many heretics had fallen to his lascannon fire.
The kid who had been helping Merok load charge packs into the cannon suddenly got his foot stuck in the mud below the cannon and fell backwards, leaving him out in the open. A heretic fired a single shot at the now not in cover soldier, causing his head to explode into tiny pieces of gore. Merok got down, crouching firmly below the sandbags, as to get closer into cover. He waved his hands at Candorick.
“GET OVER HERE I NEED YOU MANNING THE CANNON!” Merok yelled over the sounds of bullets firing and other screaming from loyalist and heretic forces. “I KNOW YOU’VE THE BEST AIM HERE, AND I AM THE ONLY ONE LEFT HE KNOWS HOW TO LOAD THIS THING, JUST GET OVER HERE!” Merok gestured to Candorick to get onto the lascannon.
Candorick ran over the lascannon protected by a plethora of sandbags in the trench, which until recently, had been firing on the heretics.
Candorick took aim onto the cannon, aiming it at a large group of heretics hiding behind a burned out Leman Russ. He pulled the trigger, and a bright white ray of light sped out. It pierced right through the damaged armor and struck one of the heretics, sending him flying back. With Candorick pinning the heretics down, the other Whiteshields got out from cover and began to fire onto the heretics, killing even more. Eventually, the heretics' morale broke, and they began to retreat back away from the battle.
Why would they do that? Sending an army of heretics with little armored support into a fully prepared and mostly organized defense is suicide! Candorick pulled his recon binoculars and looked back out at the lines. The pouring rain made it hard to see, but eventually, he saw several massive black figures charging towards them. Candorick zoomed in. Massive men fully clad in twisted, black armor were charging at them.
Space Marines.
Candorick looked at the supply of charge packs for the lascannon. Only one remained.
That’s why they charged. They knew the soldiers here weren’t as well trained as those on other spots, and that they would use all their ammunition with reckless abandon at the approaching heretics. And now, they had no weapons strong enough to pierce through the space marines armor. They had this all planned from the beginning. Candorick pulled out his binoculars again and looked at the incoming space marines. Four of them were charging at the line. He had only two shots left, one still loaded in the cannon, and the other still waiting to be used. He could only hope that the other lascannons along the line had more ammo then he did, because if not, it would be a massacre.
Candorick looked at the other lascannon fortifications. None of them had any left besides one on the far edge of the defensive fortifications. He pulled out his binoculars again and looked at them.
“RUNNNN!” A voice screamed from behind him. A Whiteshield behind him holding binoculars turned around and began to sprint away. This sent panic throughout the entire line. Whiteshields began to sprint away from various parts as the commissars assigned to the regiment began to fire their lasguns into the retreating soldiers to no avail. The entire line was dissolving as the marines were getting closer and closer to the trenches. Candorick looked back at the lascannon that still had ammo left. The soldiers overseeing it had begun to run away.
“MEROK STAY HERE I AM GOING TO GET MORE CHARGE PACKS!” Candorick yelled over all the screams of fear to Merok.
Candorick knew to stand a chance they needed to use the lascannons. The only way he could save this battle is if he grabbed the excess ammo left at the far-away lascannon and distributed the others.
So he ran. He ran as fast as he could to the other edge of the line. He heard the sounds of the last few shots from the lascannons that still had ammo left, before the sound of the cannons firing stopped.
As the Space Marines got closer, more and more of the Whiteshields began to retreat. Candorick looked at the lascannon teams as he passed by their fortifications. Around half of them had left; the other half was looking everywhere for any ammunition they could find, digging around through the mud, looking to see if any ammo had sunk below, away from view. Candorick reached the abandoned lascannon.
He pulled out some rope from his pack and started to tie as many charge packs as he could to himself. 5 on his back, 2 on both sides of his body, another 5 on the front of his body to counterbalance.
Candorick tried to start running, but his knees buckled under the weight of the large cartridges. He was starting to hear the sounds of power armor as he struggled to stand.
“Come on, just stand…” Candorick put all of his power into standing up. A brave Whiteshield stood on top of the trenches and tried to fire onto the approaching marines, but before he could even aim through his scopes, a bolter round came rocketing through the air, turning the top half of the man into a splash of blood, covering Candorick. He had to stand, he had to. Candorick felt a surge of adrenaline as he was able to stand up. He started to run. He just needed to make it to the next lascannon to drop off the ammunition. The sound of the hydraulics of the marines power armor was getting closer. Heavy bolter sounds rang through the trenches as soldier after soldier was turned into piles of gore. His legs weakened as they pushed through mud and water and blood. He was so close, he could just taste it. He pulled himself onto the closest lascannon platform.
“Ammunition…” Candorick cried, collapsing to the ground, fainting from exhaustion.
He awoke to the screams of a soldier. Candorick looked up. One of the space marines held the screaming soldier up in the air. He grabbed the soldier with one hand around his head and the other along his legs. The space marine began to pull on the man. His legs began to stretch and contort as he neck skin stretched until he tore himself down the middle, the space marine, now holding two separate halves of a man, discarded his remains to the side. Candorick looked around. A dead space marine perched himself on top of the lascannon he had delivered the ammunition to. He appeared to have died from a point blank shot into his chest, vaporizing his armor and leaving a massive hole to the other side. Candorick dragged himself up to look into the no-man’s land. Another space marine laid dead out in the field, his head blown clean off by the lascannon. Candorick looked down the line. Another dead space marine laid in the trenches. He appeared to have fallen to hundreds of lasgun shots all over his body.
Only one space marine remained alive. Although he looked wounded. He too had taken many lasgun shots, and what appears to be a missed lascannon cracked open his helmet, leaving a clear view of his twisted, warped face.
“STAY AWAY!” a 13 year-old Whiteshield screamed. He appeared to have been spotted by the space marine. He stood behind a corner of the trench, firing his lasgun at the marine. The space marine slowly walked towards him. He intended to make every one of the soldiers that killed his brothers pay.
Candorick wouldn’t let them take another life. He wouldn’t. Candorick looked out into the sea of corpses and mud of no man’s land. A bright blue light glowed in the center of a crater. It wasn’t far. Candorick tried to stand up, but his legs failed him. He began to crawl towards the light, putting all of his might. One final time. He was almost there. The space marine approached the soldier, firing bolter rounds at the trench he was using for cover, piercing through the ground and wooden walls of the fortification, just barely missing him. Candorick reached the center of the crater. It was a plasma gun. Candorick picked it up with two hands, placing it on his chest, and aiming it at the space marine.
Candorick took a deep breath.
“One shot, One kill.”
Keating stood in front of the infirmary.
Candorick had not woken up in two days.
Bogra stood right next to him.
“Is boss gonna be ok?”
Keating turned to Bogra.
“I don’t know."
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2023.06.07 05:37 Lilsatanracer Info for the newbies.

Info for the newbies. submitted by Lilsatanracer to composting [link] [comments]

2023.06.07 04:25 dollcollective I Was a Last-Minute Replacement in an Off-Broadway Play. Something Else Was Backstage With Us.

When I was getting started, an actor I knew gave me some really good advice. While deciding whether or not to take a certain role, consider three factors: the money, the show, and the people. If at least two of those things are good, accept the job. If they’re paying you well and you love the play, you won’t mind putting up with shitty people. If it’s a great show with a cast full of friends, but you’re not getting paid so well, that’s still alright, it’ll be artistically fulfilling. If it’s a bad show but you love the cast and you’re making money, you’ll probably have the time of your life making fun of the playwright backstage and laughing all the way to the bank.
What my friend failed to mention is that as an aspiring actor, you don’t usually get to be that picky. When I got the call from my agent that a production of The Bacchae was urgently seeking a new chorus member, all I could see were dollar signs. My survival job had just fallen through (the family I nannied for was moving upstate, insisting that Manhattan had just gotten “too dangerous” for their toddler), and my savings were only going to cover my rent for another month.
It was raining the day of my audition, and my train got delayed. I showed up panting (I had to run from the subway station) and my hair a disaster. Luckily, in The Bacchae, the chorus is full of… well… Bacchae. Fervent followers of Dionysus, wild women, drunk and running through the countryside. In the climax of the play, they crowd the protagonist in a frenzy, literally ripping him limb from limb.
I’ll never know if it was my frenetic energy from barely making it to the theater on time, or my actual acting, but I got the part. My costume fitting was the next day– they weren’t kidding about urgently needing a replacement. Which thrilled me, because I wasn’t kidding about urgently needing the money. At the fitting, I discovered something my agent failed to mention about the production: this wasn’t just any version of The Bacchae, it was a recreation– an attempt to perform the play in the traditional Greek style. In other words, everyone was wearing masks.
I’ve never been fond of masks. We had to do a few assignments with them in my college acting courses; covering your face can enhance the physicality of your body, something like that. But I never liked wearing them, or seeing other people wearing them. It wouldn’t be fair to call it a full-on fear, but the stiffness, the lack of expression, gives me a weird feeling in my stomach. And wearing one, your field of vision limited, your mouth covered, making it harder to breathe, harder to project your voice– I don’t like it. It’s as simple as that.
But I needed the money. My costume wasn’t ugly, per se, just strange: a long white dress, or maybe toga is a better word, the fabric about the thickness of a burlap sack. My mask, stark white, paper mache, covering my entire face except my eyes, the mouth carved to imitate a grin. No shoes. My hair tucked into a wild black wig– we wore wigs, they explained to me, so the chorus could be identical, indistinguishable. We moved as one, spoke as one, and were meant to look like one. They even made sure to cast women of the same height. In our costumes, it was impossible to tell which of us was which.
It didn’t help that I was an outsider to the rest of the cast, joining the show weeks into rehearsals. Everyone seemed annoyed that they had to teach me the blocking, the inflection of the lines (so my voice didn’t stick out from the other chorus girls), and where to go backstage during scenes with no chorus. A few people tried to be nice to me, but quickly gave up when they realized I knew nothing about Greek theater, or masked theater, or the avant garde. My last show had been a regional production of Cats, for God’s sake. I was totally out of my element.
Things got especially sour when I tried to ask what had happened to the girl I was replacing. Nobody wanted to talk about it. People gasped when I brought it up. The clearest answer I got was a whispered, hesitant, “she fell,” but the person wouldn’t elaborate any further. The cast seemed superstitious, uncomfortable, like talking about her would cause them to suffer her fate: removal from the show. And it was clear that, aside from me, everyone else loved this show. The actor playing Dionysus, the couple of times he deigned to talk to me, just kept gushing about how honored he was to play this role, how electrifying it felt to put his history minor to use, to show people a piece of the world’s theatrical beginnings.
I thought the show was fine. Kinda boring, kinda scary. I don’t think I “get” The Bacchae. In brief, the story is about Dionysus, son of Zeus, disguised as a human. He and his followers (the chorus) show up in a town, but the leader of the town, Pentheus, is upset about it. He doesn’t understand why all these women are acting crazy, and he arrests Dionysus, not believing him to be an actual God. As punishment, Dionysus possesses Pentheus’s own mother with the same madness as his followers, and together, with their bare hands, they rip Pentheus apart. His mom walks back into town holding her son’s head, thinking it to be, in her madness, the head of a lion. When she realizes what she’s done, she is overwhelmed by grief, and futilely attempts to put Pentheus’s mutilated corpse back together. Dionysus returns, basically saying, “well, he said I wasn’t a God, and that’s blasphemous, so he got what was coming to him.” Pentheus’s mother is exiled.
It’s incredibly dark. In the reviews, critics called it daring, challenging, a bloody spectacle, a feminist masterpiece. I don’t really get what part of “a man who’s a God possesses women’s minds, driving them to murder” screams “feminism,” but hey, I’m the girl who commuted to New Jersey every day for four months to do Cats, what do I know?
Here’s something I do know: the other chorus girls did not like me. And they took their jobs seriously. As we waited to enter for each scene, there was dead quiet in the wings. Usually, there’s some light joking, maybe quickly running lines, maybe physical warmups, shaking out your nerves– I tried to do this once. Before our entrance at the top of the show, we all gathered in the stage right wing, all twelve of us, a perfect and identical dozen. It was a dress rehearsal. No audience. I did a few jumping jacks, trying to hype myself up. Another masked girl grabbed my bicep, hard. When I turned, she just shook her head “no.” Just a simple, silent, “no.” We don’t do that here. We stand silently in the wings, focusing on our craft, breathing, waiting for our entrance. I never tried it again.
When you can’t talk to your coworkers, acting becomes a lot less fun. The collaboration element is totally gone. And honestly, the “acting” element was gone for me, too. How am I supposed to find my character or sense of identity in a role when my role is “don’t let your voice stick out, don’t take a wrong step, blend in perfectly with eleven women who dislike you?”
So before the shows, instead of chatting, or doing jumping jacks, I wandered the theater. I’ve always loved theaters; the dramatic architecture, the ornate prosceniums, the stark contrast of backstage, so dark, so dusty. The theater was no Broadway house, but it had a fly system (which we didn’t use, because the Greeks wouldn’t have been able to fly anything in), just over three hundred seats (including a mezzanine– fancy!), and lots of backstage space. I could say more about it, because I spent hours during the run of the show wandering, but it wouldn’t be terribly interesting to anyone who’s not me. Just know, it was a beautiful old theater– and I mean OLD. Built in the 1910s, just before the Great Depression. I used to love imagining how many generations of people had performed on that stage, imagining what they’d think of this show, or what they’d think of me.
About a week into my wandering, on some fifteen-minute break, I was looking at the ladder that led up to the catwalk– a long, thin metal walkway stretching across the stage from above, usually used for hanging lights. I wondered how long it had been since it was used during a show. I wondered if it was even safe. What would the view be like from up there, seeing the entire stage from thirty feet in the air?
I slowly looked up the ladder. I wouldn’t actually climb it. That would be crazy, right? I’m not particularly good with heights. As my eyes lifted, I made eye contact– or rather, mask contact– with someone. A fellow chorus girl, up on the catwalk.
I stopped breathing for a second. What was she doing up there? I started to say something stupid, like, “Why are you up there?” when just as quickly as the face appeared, it vanished. I saw her white robed form retreat down the catwalk, heading for a different ladder, probably. It was weird. Why did she run? Embarrassed to be caught somewhere she shouldn’t be?
I allowed myself to entertain a little fantasy: maybe she was just like me. Maybe she also hated the other chorus girls, and didn’t “get” The Bacchae. Maybe she was exploring the theater for fun on our break, enjoying the old architecture, like I did. I had no idea who she was under the mask, and she had no idea who I was. She probably thought I was one of the normal judgemental girls, and ran off before I could tell on her to the stage manager.
I was filled with unfounded hope. Could I make a friend here? Was it possible? After two and a half weeks of silence from the other girls, it was hard to imagine. How would I find her? How would I let her know it was me– that I had seen her on the catwalk, and we were the same?
After that day, I got much more observant. When the director called for a break, instead of immediately retreating into the depths of backstage, I watched my eleven doppelgangers carefully, tracking who went for water, who went back to the dressing rooms, who ran off towards the vending machines. It was hard to tell everyone apart, but people had to take their masks off to drink water eventually. I memorized faces and tried to keep track of them. I started to get a handle on everyone’s patterns, narrowing down potential adventurers.
It was impossible. Eleven people is too many to observe. But I’m an actor. Memorizing shit is literally my job. By week four, just days from opening, I had three potential girls. I tried to stick close to them during rehearsals, picking one to follow each day, but nobody ever wandered towards the catwalk. Maybe the girl, whoever she was, had been scared away from adventuring when I caught her. I started to lose hope. We were opening soon– I should focus on making my entrances, not making friends.
But then I saw her again.
This time, it was half an hour before the curtain went up for our invited dress rehearsal. The press was there. I was nervous. I knew I had my part down, but when you’re doing a show, no matter how prepared you are, there’s always the lingering fear that you’ll freeze up, forget everything, and ruin everyone’s hard work. It just means that you care. I was surprised that I cared so much. I still didn’t even get the play. I couldn’t let the other girls see me weak. I barely show my real feelings to people I care about, much less mean actresses who look down on me. To get away from it all, I wandered down to another unused part of the stage: the orchestra pit. We did have music in the show, but the Greeks didn’t have orchestra pits. So it was closed off, being used as storage.
I loved it down there. I loved looking through the storage bins, finding props from long-forgotten productions– sometimes I would find something incredible, something I swore was from the day the theater opened, something old and valuable– and usually, I could never find it again. Those bins were a treasure trove. Of all the weird little spaces I found backstage, the pit was my favorite. I felt like a real explorer down there, illuminating my path with my phone flashlight, getting spooked when a mouse ran over my foot (of course the theater had mice, it was more than a hundred years old! And besides, every building has mice in New York City).
That day, I wasn’t there to look around. Just to sit. Just to catch my breath. I tiptoed down the creaky steps, and plopped myself on the ground, surrounded by bins. I inhaled and exhaled, smelling the mildew-y scent of old props on every side of me. And that’s when I heard a noise. Not a mouse noise– I was used to those. Something bigger. I turned my phone flashlight on immediately, calling, “hello?”
And the light landed on a mask, just like mine. Mine which was currently off, because I was doing my breathing exercises. I felt exposed– she could see my face, but I couldn’t see hers. I stood up. “You scared me!”
She didn’t respond. She looked at me for a second, and started to retreat the other way, towards the stairs at the other side of the pit.
“Wait!” I called. “I won’t tell anyone I saw you!”
She stopped for a second. But then she kept walking. I stood and followed. “Please stop. Can I at least know who you are? I don’t fit in with most of the chorus girls–”
I reached for her long white toga. I swear, I had it in my hand, but somehow, she slipped away. I staggered a bit, almost tripped, confused that I hadn’t made contact with her costume. And when I looked back up, I only saw a glimpse of her disappearing up the stairs. I tried to follow, again, but I found that side of the pit’s stairs reached a dead end. I didn’t understand how she’d gotten out. And when I looked back down at my phone, it was time for places. Disappointed and defeated, I rushed away to the other stairs, making my way to the stage right wing to wait for my entrance.
I counted heads immediately when I arrived. Maybe she hadn’t made it back yet. But, alas: twelve. All accounted for. I nudged a girl next to me, subtly. “Who was the last one here besides me?”
She just stared at me for a moment, which came off as very creepy through the blank dead stare of her mask. “How the fuck am I supposed to know? We all look exactly the same.”
I sighed. “Okay. Thanks.” For nothing, I thought bitterly.
The invited dress went well. The press liked it, as I’ve already said. I was distracted the entire time. After that day, I made it a habit to count all the girls when the stage manager called for “places.” If I was right about this girl, she, like me, would be one of the last, if not the last one there. She would be wandering, exploring, getting away from the bullies.
I wish I hadn’t done this. I wish I’d given up when she disappeared on a dead-end staircase. I wish I’d never seen her on the catwalk. Because when I started counting heads, I noticed something impossible. Sometimes, before we went on, I counted thirteen identical masked faces.
It was a chorus of twelve. It was supposed to be twelve. I’d recount. Recount again. Thirteen. A chill went down my spine. We all looked the same. Same masks, same togas, same wigs. Who was the imposter? How could anyone be an imposter? It didn’t make sense. How would they get into the theater? How would they get a costume?
I started counting more often. Between scenes, in the dressing rooms, even on stage during dull moments. It fluctuated. Sometimes I’d count twelve for a whole day, an entire show, and sigh in relief, feeling like some curse was broken. But the next day, at least once, I’d count thirteen.
And it seemed as if one masked pair of eyes was always trained on me. I don’t know how she knew it was me. We looked the same. But she’d stare. It felt scary, but also ridiculous– I couldn’t be sure it was the same person looking every time. I couldn’t be sure it was unlucky number thirteen. But I felt like it was.
I felt a lot of things. I felt like I couldn’t tell anyone. The other girls already didn’t like me– I couldn’t have them thinking I was crazy. And admitting the presence of the thirteenth would mean admitting to my adventures into forbidden backstage areas. I couldn’t lose this job. I was living paycheck to paycheck. I wasn’t eating well, or sleeping well– maybe this was all a hallucination. And somehow, my biggest feeling was that if I told someone about the thirteenth, I’d never see her again.
And I needed to see her again. The obsession had only gotten stronger. I knew, somehow, deep inside, that she was the one I had seen on the catwalk and in the orchestra pit. I no longer wanted to be her friend– I wanted to corner her. To ask who she was, and why she was sneaking in as if she was one of us. I wanted to ask what she wanted from me.
Because she must want something from me, right? Why else would she stare? Why would she appear only to me?
The timing never lined up. The show had opened at this point, and I had a job to do: delighting the audience. I couldn’t skip my entrance to catch number thirteen. The chorus formations would look ridiculous with a missing person. And as much as the other girls hated me, I owed it to them as my costars to make them look good.
Logically, I knew there was only one person the thirteenth could be: Catalina, the actress I’d replaced. She must be jealous of me. Bitter. Maybe she wanted to take my role, like I’d taken hers. It would be insane, but it was all that made sense. She was the only other person who had the costume, who knew the keypad code to get into the theater. She must have recovered from her fall and come to find me.
It was almost like a game. It definitely made the show more interesting for me. Before I realized what was happening, I dreaded performances. I felt stupid, taking on this role in a show I didn’t even understand. But now I had so much to do. I had to plan.
I started showing up early, an hour before my call time. I walked my old spots, thinking I may see her. The other chorus girls were impressed that I was showing up early, thinking it showed some sort of dedication to the show. I think they even started to hate me less. They still detested any attempts at conversation in the wings, but in the dressing room, I started to have a few breakthroughs. In particular, I started a semi-friendship with Erin. Ironically, she had been one of the three women I thought may be the thirteenth, until I realized the thirteenth wasn’t really one of us at all.
She was the only person who I could actually ask about Catalina. “Did she ever say anything about the theater? The building, I mean? Did she have a favorite part of it?”
Erin would laugh at my seemingly random specificity. “We weren’t close, Michelle. I have no idea what she thought about the theater.”
“What did she do on her breaks?”
Erin thought for a second. “I don’t know. I never saw her at the vending machines, or the dressing room. I guess she found some quiet place to run lines.”
That confirmed it, for me. A quiet place like the catwalk. Or the orchestra pit. We were three weeks into our five week run when I came up with a plan to catch Catalina. It wasn’t a great plan, and I had no idea if it would work, but showing up an hour early every day was making me tired and producing zero results. I needed a new strategy. I realized that after seeing her in the pit, I only ever saw the thirteenth when all twelve of us were together.
So I told a white lie. One night after the show, when everyone was changing in the dressing room, I appealed to my fellow chorus girls. “Are you guys busy before the show tomorrow?” I innocently asked. “I’m feeling a little shaky on some of the entrances. If we could all get here just twenty minutes before our call time tomorrow, I’d love to run some stuff with you guys. I’ve been running it on my own, but without the entire team, I don’t always remember where I fit.”
To my surprise and intense joy, everyone agreed. They really did seem to respect me more when I looked like I was taking my role seriously. I could barely sleep that night, I was so excited to see if my plan worked. And hey, if it didn’t, I had two more weeks of shows to think up something else.
It was a Sunday night, our last show of the week. Mondays are often “dark days” in professional theater, meaning there are no shows that day to give the team a rest. I had planned this on purpose– if I failed, I had a dark day to reflect on that failure and try again.
At 5:40, twenty minutes before our call time, all the girls were assembled and in costume. We started running entrances. After ten minutes, I thought my plan had failed. We had run our first three entrances, and I never counted more than twelve heads in the wings. But around 5:55, as we got to our entrances in act two, offstage, I locked eyes with a mask. A thirteenth mask.
I quickly told everyone “I think I got it, you guys, thank you so much for coming early!” Everyone mumbled that it was no problem, that they were happy to help.
The thirteenth mask broke eye contact with me, looking around in confusion– perhaps distress. The girls started to trickle back towards the dressing room. The thirteenth turned and power-walked away. I shoved through the crowd to catch her, not calling out like I had in the past. I knew she didn’t respond to that. I knew I had to catch her now or never. Once we were out of the crowd’s eyeline, I began to run. She ran, too. “You’re not getting away this time!” I yelled, like some kind of cartoon superhero. My adrenaline was pumping, and blood rushed to my ears.
After I yelled, I suddenly became aware of another set of running feet behind me. “Michelle? Where are you going?” It was Erin’s voice.
“Don’t follow me!” I hastily called back, picking up speed. The thirteenth also picked up speed. Though she was running just as fast as I was, she showed no signs of exertion. I couldn’t hear heavy breathing, or heavy feet on the floor. It was like she was gliding. It infuriated me.
Erin didn’t let up. “Michelle, the stage manager is gonna wonder where we are!”
I ignored her. The thirteenth rounded a corner, and I realized where she was going: the catwalk. The ladder.
She ascended the rungs rapidly, like a spider. I clamored up much less gracefully. Erin’s voice had a heavy tinge of concern. “Michelle, what are you doing?! It’s not safe up there!”
“Then don’t follow me!” I yelled back, exasperated. “This is between me and her!” Despite my vocal warning, I heard Erin climbing behind me.
Once on the metal rail, I looked both ways, terrified she’d escaped me again. But her white toga was just a few feet away, retreating into darkness. I lunged at her. The entire catwalk shook. The thirteenth and I both grabbed the railing to steady ourselves. We met eyes. Or rather, we met masks.
“You have nowhere to go.” I stated.
I heard Erin reaching the top of the ladder behind me. “Michelle, come down, please. You’re scaring me.”
“I can’t. I finally have her.” I took a step towards the thirteenth. She took an equal and opposite step back. “Take the mask off.” I beckoned her. “I know it’s you, Catalina.”
I felt the rail shake slightly as Erin got on it. “What are you talking about, Michelle?!”
“She’s been sneaking in, Erin! She’s been standing in the wings with us before we enter! For weeks!” I took another step towards the thirteenth. In my peripheral vision, I could see how high we were above the stage. Thirty feet. You could die, falling from that height.
“It’s not Catalina. It can’t be. Stop this.” Erin called. Finally, frustrated, I turned towards her.
“Who else could it be?!”
Erin had taken her mask off. Her face was streaked with terror. “Catalina died, Michelle. She fell off this catwalk, directly onto her face, and she died. Please come down with me. I don’t know who you’re talking to, and I don’t know what you’re trying to do, but it isn’t worth it.”
“What are you talking about? I’m talking to–”
I turned back, and she was gone. Vanished like a bad dream. “I swear to God, Erin.” I started to say. “She was right in front of me. I chased her here–”
I turned back to Erin. The thirteenth was behind her.
It made no sense. Nobody can move that fast. Nobody can be in front of me one second and behind me the next. It was inhuman. I stopped speaking. I stopped breathing. It sucks to learn that in a fight-or-flight situation, my answer is to freeze.
Erin must’ve seen how my face changed. “Michelle?” She asked quietly. “What’s wrong?”
Behind her, the thirteenth raised a hand to her mask. Her hands were impossibly pale. How had I never noticed that before? She gripped the mask in her hand. Time stretched. It must’ve only been a second, because Erin didn’t move. But it felt like years of my life passed me by as the thirteenth, inch by inch, raised her mask from her face. Or– raised her mask.
Because there was no face.
Under the mask, pale and gruesome, was a bloody flat edge. Broken, disgusting, it was impossible to make out eyes, or a nose, or a mouth. Inside a somewhat face-shaped frame of stark-white skin, all I could see was flesh, red and raw, squished in on itself. Like someone had fallen from a very high height. And landed on their face.
By the time I finally began to react, it was too late. The thirteenth– or, Catalina– or, the ghost, or– whatever the fuck that thing was. It moved its hands from the mask to Erin’s shoulders. And it pushed. And she screamed, agonizingly loud, as she flew over the side of the railing. And she screamed for the second or so she was in the air. I was screaming, too. And after the crunch of her body hitting the wooden floor of the stage, everyone else screamed, cast and crew alike.
I stared down at her limp form from thirty feet up. Her legs were twisted the wrong way. A pool of blood began to seep out of her. When I looked up again, I expected the thirteenth to be gone, but it wasn’t. With no eyes, it was also looking down at Erin. At what it had done.
And then, slowly, it turned towards me. On all fours, backwards, I scrambled away from it on the catwalk, terrified, not wanting to be next. The thirteenth’s shoulders shook rapidly, like a person laughing. But it made no sound. It never made a sound. Not going up the stairs of the orchestra pit. Not when it pushed Erin. And not as it climbed back down the ladder, rung by rung. I found myself alone on the catwalk.
Erin survived, somehow, paralyzed from the waist down. Apparently she fell on her legs, which, when you’re falling from thirty feet up, is a good thing. If she’d gone down head first, there was no chance. The show had to close, of course. When they lost Catalina a few weeks into rehearsal, she was replaceable. But with me refusing to go on, and Erin in the hospital, there was nothing to be done. I haven’t seen Erin since that day. I feel too guilty. But I was never arrested, so I guess she told the authorities that I didn’t push her. I don’t know what she told them. I don’t know what I would’ve told them, had they asked me.
I don’t do stage plays anymore. The family I used to nanny for gave me a star-studded recommendation, and now I make my living taking care of a five-year-old and a two-year-old for another filthy-rich family. I still act, but I only audition for film work.
I don’t even see plays these days. I won’t set foot in a theater. If the thirteenth had vanished off that catwalk, maybe things would be different. Maybe I could chalk it up to an extreme hallucination, some terrifying creature my mind brewed up to cope with the stress of the show and paying rent. Maybe I could even forget its bloody mess of viscera in the vague shape of a face.
But I saw it go down that ladder. Rung by fucking rung. And I know it’s still out there.
Erin was unlucky. Erin was a victim of being at the wrong place at the wrong time. And if I step inside a theater again, some way, somehow, I know the thirteenth will get me on another catwalk.
This time, I’ll be the one going over the railing.
And I’ve never once landed on my feet.
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2023.06.07 04:22 afternoondump Offset flange question

I am in the middle of a remodel of one of my bathrooms and I put up 1/2 inch shiplap on the bottom half of the bathroom walls. Had a 12 in rough in toilet and bought a round 12 inch rough in toilet. Would an offset flange be needed for this install?
Thank you everyone in advance!
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2023.06.07 04:19 graydc Review 2: Ardbeg Heavy Vapours (46 ABV)

Review 2: Ardbeg Heavy Vapours (46 ABV)

Distiller: Ardbeg
Bottle: Heavy Vapours (46 ABV)
Classification: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Region: Islay
Age: NAS
Estimated Price: $120 USD
Tasting Procedure: Whisky was poured into a cold-water rinsed Glencairn, and set out for about 15 minutes.
A little info…
This is a weird bottling from Ardbeg. According to their website, this whisky was created distilled without the purifier on their still. From Master of Malt: "Typically, vapours that rise up the still are captured by this piece of equipment, which sits on the lyne arm of Ardbeg’s spirit still. It captures heavier compounds and condenses them, causing them to fall back into the still. The vapours fall back into the still, are heated again, and so rise again. This purifying process is said to bring a floral fruitiness that balances the spirit's powerful peat, but that's been avoided here..."
Nose: Unsurprisingly, this whisky is peat forward and it is very evident in the nose. The peat is embellished by a bright vegetal, earthy smell, and almost a slight apricot smell as well. There is a bit of mint here, as in regular green mint in a mojito. There is quite a bit of salinity here accompanied with minerals. Baked brie comes forward in a surprising way. This drink almost smells like sitting by a pool in the summer with vegetation cooking in the sun. For a whisky that is supposed to be unbalanced by design, the nose is actually quite pleasant.
Palate: The peat and minerality of the nose dominate the palate, but not in an overpowering way. This is a very light feeling whisky, not much thicker than water. The mint also comes forward a bit and turns more vegetal, maybe almost like aloe vera. Ripe pu'erh tea funkiness comes forward, bringing along a little cacao and cinnamon spice. For me at least, fruit is almost non-existent in this palate, although here and there I get a hint of granny smith apple skin and there is a very slight background of dried apricots that persists. There is a nice savoriness to this as well, almost reminiscent of char siu pork.
Finish: The spices and minerals linger for a bit and almost morph into the smell of a river. The taste seems to round out and get sweeter, but never giving up on the crisp smoke that characterizes Ardbeg.
Score: 4
Thoughts: This is a very unique and fun release from Ardbeg. Just pouring it into a glass, I immediately knew this one was going to be strange, the liquor is almost completely clear. I have to say that I was a bit let down by the nose once I actually tasted this, I would have enjoyed a bit more of the earthy notes in the palate as opposed to the tamer, realized one. That is more of my own subjective taste however, and I do think that this is a wonderful scotch. If you are wanting a bottle that will be smoky and savory with minimal sweetness, this is a scotch that will check those boxes. I am rating this scotch a 4 out of 5, so a scotch that I would absolutely like to own and would be happy to drink basically any day.
Score Guide:
0 - Disgusting and undrinkable. I would rather drink everclear than this.
1- Not good. This is a bottle that I would rather just simply avoid. A bottle with this score would be one that has off flavors, or is so bland that it is not worth ever choosing at any price point.
2- Average. This is an acceptable bottle that is not bad but has nothing distinguishing about it. I'd drink it if it was free or cheap, but I wouldn't order it at regular prices probably.
3- Good. This is a bottle that I enjoy, and would purchase from time to time. If it was on a sale, I'd consider it a good deal and would be likely to grab it. It would have good qualities about it, but may be lacking in less detrimental aspects such as complexity.
4- Great. This is a bottle that I would be highly likely to purchase, and would always restock if it was on sale. This needs to be a bottle that stands out a bit. This could definitely be a daily drinker.
5- Exceptional. This is a bottle that must be on my shelf. This is something that I would drink all the time if I could, and I would highly recommend to others.
5+- Phenomenal. This category is fairly subjective, hence when I didn't opt for a "6". This is a 5 bottle that stands out, one that I would drink 9/10 times when presented with other 5's. Anything that receives a 5+ is one of my personal favorites, and something that I save for rare occasion (unless its cheap and then I drink a lot of it).
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2023.06.07 04:05 Desigirl8728 2 months of yeast and bacterial infection and now complex cyst.

I (36F) lived a life of 0 complications in my lady parts until two months ago. Some context is that I live with my partner (39M) and we have a healthy sex life. I don’t work out but walk my dog often in a day. I am not overweight. My vitamin levels are fine except for iron deficiency which I have always had.
Now coming to my last two months , they have been utter hell. Here are the chain of events. - It all started with eating something off that led to extreme diarrhea for a day. Now this wasn’t an ordinary situation where I was close to a toilet. I started experiencing nasty stomach convulsions and took 90 mins to find the nearest public toilet and what happened next is indescribable. Watery stools expelled from my body at the speed of light. This went on for 15 mins and I almost lost consciousness. - Two days after this incident I got a yeast infection (I thought) so I finished the monostat 5 day course. I thought I cleared it but it was back again in a week. My symptom: itching and burning down there and burning pee - this time around I took flucanazole orally and cleared it in a week - this was followed by two weeks of on and off ,mild itching and burning in my lady parts which I assumed was just my body getting used to the normal state - 3 weeks after treatment my yeast is back with the same symptoms and I could finally seek medical care this time around . My doctor physically examined me this time and diagnosed me with yeast and bacterial infection . The doctor did a sonogram and found a 2cm complex cyst on one of my ovaries. Ran some blood work to rule out the C word. Results coming this Friday. Right now I am on another round of medication to fight the vaginitis , 8 tablets a day- which includes anti fungal and antibiotic tablets. The other is anti acidity , pro biotic , vitamin etc.
What baffles me is that I was a completely healthy individual up until that day of diarrhea apocalypse in a public toilet.
I am trying to stay positive but honestly a a bit shaken up at my body’s inability to flight this (yeast and bacterial infection )off so far . it’s probably because my body doesn’t seem to have any good bacteria left . (Maybe because I shat it all during my diarrhea episode ?).
Seeking advice , venting audience , worlds of encouragement, similar experiences and what worked or didn’t. Also, did any of you impacted women out there start out with a bad diarrhea?
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