Slow motion golf swing
2008.03.08 04:31 Golf
2023.03.20 18:59 Commentator389 (In response to Jreg's Robophobia video) Dealing with humanoid A.I.'s
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Unlike humans, A.I.s of this kind don't have, "vital organs," except for the brain of the A.I. This is rather obvious, but what might disillusion certain people is the human resemblance this type of A.I. would have. With this in mind, people might think that aiming for the head is the best option. However, the problem is, until the design of the robot is openly known, we don't actually know where the brain actually is. The head, for all that is known, could actually be inside the chest, while the head is more of a decoration to make the robot look human.
When dealing with an A.I. of this design, let's say in an unarmed situation, it's highly unlikely you're going to destroy it if the brain is within the chest. Thankfully, you don't quite need to destroy it, because you can also simply neutralize it as a threat, which is the whole point of a fight.
With that being said, the joints that connect the limbs are by default the least armored parts of this A.I., simply because if they were armored, it would be stiff and would have severe restrictions on its range of motion.
If you pay attention to its design, you'll notice that the arms are the most loosely connected to the body, unlike its thighs that seem to have more of a "muscle-like," structure to it. The arms, I would imagine, would be the easiest to break off. After the arms are broken, the fight is somewhat over, and you can probably leave it alone. The robot has a rigid core, which means that it likely won't be able to deliver any meaningful kicks.
In terms of a fighting stance, it's clear that this humanoid A.I. isn't built for combat. However, the most powerful attack I could see it doing is a, "step in," punch. When delivering a powerful blow, the fighter uses the entirety of his or her body, meaning they would lunge forward with a punch, as well as use their core strength to swing. However, since this A.I. doesn't quite have core strength to their disposal, their, "best bet," is to move forward with their attack.
The above-mentioned material, thus, is why I would recommend attacking its arms first in a one-on-one, unarmed combat situation. I strongly advise against punching it, and would rather be in favor of doing a, "palm bash," instead for the sake of not hurting your knuckles, simply because this A.I. machine would have a hard surface. Unarmed alone, I don't see any merit in hitting it. With its obvious weakness, I would be more inclined to grapple it rather than hit it, and if I needed to stun it, I would rather push it than hitting it unarmed, because you have to keep in mind that it doesn't feel pain or get concussions like humans do. https://preview.redd.it/8j3qy3qylxoa1.png?width=234&format=png&auto=webp&s=57b93b0b0933a3b9a2428bb0b7b2fcd734eefd82
If you would want to attack the A.I. weapon of any kind apart from firearms, the first idea to come to my mind is some type of war hammer.
If you can't buy a, "war pick," then a pickaxe could do, simply. Looking at the prices on the shopping section of Bing, a Pickaxe on average seems to be at the mid-20's, low 30's price range.
Perhaps I'm underestimating what a sledgehammer would do, but it's important to keep in mind that the A.I. is armored, but also doesn't suffer from concussions like humans do. A pickaxe would work neatly because it's armor-piercing and cheap to buy in case you're dealing with an army of them. I wouldn't recommend using a knife in this situation, because of the lack of reach, and you would have to be really deliberate and accurate in terms of where you strike the A.I., because if the head is merely a decoration, a knife won't do very well because you would have to trust the knife with being able to pierce enough into the A.I. to damage the computer through its already-present sheet of armored plating.
This is all I have to say on this. Discussion would be appreciated.
2023.03.20 18:57 tubesocktits_OG The sick shar pei is finally gone
Although I feel relief knowing that my fiancés dog is gone (we euthanized Friday for aggressive cancer and subsequent kidney failure), I still feel like so much has to be processed. She pushed off the euthanasia for a week because she wasn’t ready, and this dog puked and shat blood and suffered for the entirety of that week (under MY care, as I work from home). The day of the scheduled euthanasia, the vet called ONE HOUR before we expected her to arrive for a house call kind of visit to put her down only to say they were out of the medication and couldn’t do it until the following Wednesday. That would have meant the dog would be (barely) alive for 5 MORE days. I went off. I said it was wrong to keep that dog suffering, and that she’d better take off work til then and go to her mom’s because I wasn’t going to watch it happen. She begrudgingly agreed to take the dog to another vet’s office, who then euthanized and then we had to DRIVE THE DEAD DOG 50 minutes away to our original vet who would then cremate, as my fiancé was insisting on getting her ashes back. I drove the car while she held this dead dog, who pissed, shat, and farted postmortem in the blanket I once loved that had at some point been given to this dog I couldn’t stand. My fiancé has been nearly comatose since. It’s beyond ridiculous to watch her act this way. Shuffling around slow motion the few times she leaves the bed or couch. Dramatically petting the edge of the bed where the dog would lay. She washed that blanket and has been wrapped up in it around the clock. It’s disgusting to me and she brings it in our bed when she sleeps. I have been soooo turned off by all this. I get grieving but I also expect her to be a grown up about it.
For those of you who are finally free from the dog but had to then face this kind of bullshit, how do you do it? Will I ever stop feeling furious even after the dog is dead?
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2023.03.20 18:42 Acrobxx3 BANGBROS - An Epic Slow Motion Alexis Texas Cumshot Cumpilation
2023.03.20 18:42 RevolvedEvolution Adam Thielen on Pat McAfee show “Panthers have what it takes to be contenders for a Super Bowl”
Some of the main reasons that Adam chose Carolina - we have a full swing golf simulator in the facility, the coaching staff and roster is built to contend for a Super Bowl, great fit for his family” Thielen mentioned that he wants to be apart of something special and bring a championship to a city. We’re CONTENDERS!
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2023.03.20 18:38 mrs_robpatt What even is Christopher…
What is with the incessant rape in this film? His mother was raped, stepdaughter was raped, daughters friend was raped, even Amala Paul was raped. I think if Sneha was too I would have thrown my laptop. I think even the director realised that would have been taking it too far. And what’s with the graphic scenes as well? The Aiswarya Lakshmi one was really unnecessary… They could have just left it to the description. Tbh when sexual assault cases happen in movies it leaves a big impact, but when it happens this frequently it seems like they just threw it in there, just felt so insensitive.
And the slow motion was odd too. Could have saved 30 mins on that.
Villain was alright but dialogue’s were very cringe. “I am Trimurti” hahaha. And then cherry on the cake “Njan samharamurti anu”. Idk if they were going for a “Ninte thantha alla ente thantha” vibe but it didn’t work out at all.
The whole “vigilante” thing was very ass. The backstory just seemed like a part two of Pokkiriraja, except Mammooty is like 70 now. He does still look good in a police costume though. BGM wasn’t terrible either. I found it better than Aarattu.
I’ve kinda lost hope but still wishing that they’ll drop these dumb directors and turn to some good stories before they retire.
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2023.03.20 18:20 Squiph Thoughts on my swing? 18 years on and off playing golf.
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2023.03.20 18:11 _ImCrumby_ I feel like my marriage is failing :(
Just looking to vent really, but I feel like my (27M) marriage with my wife (26F) is failing and it's like watching a car wreck in slow motion. Almost a year ago now we moved to our current city/state for her job and I am a part-time stay-at-home dad and part-time student. When we first moved here our marriage was what I can only describe as rocky. We were constantly fighting, I felt unappreciated, and our son was only 6 months at the time so the stress of a baby was at a high.
Background: We married fast, but we were in love. We found out we were pregnant a few months after marriage and were ecstatic however tragedy struck when her mom, unfortunately, passed away a few weeks after telling her we were expecting. This caused a very traumatic pregnancy where I supported her in any way I could, but it has understandably changed my wife forever. This was a traumatic event after all, and it, unfortunately, impacted our marriage too. Before my MILs passing my wife was affectionate, but nowhere near as affectionate as myself which was fine. Now it is like pulling teeth to even get a crumb of affection. I've given her space and told her I understand, but I am only human, and it's hard for me to just turn off my end of the affection. She gets mad at me saying she is focusing on herself (which is fine) and that I am on the back burner. Well, it started to feel like I wasn't on a burner whatsoever let alone in the kitchen. I brought this up to her and she told me I am being dramatic. Now I will admit I am an overthinker, and I can self-sabotage but I feel as if I am being totally normal. She tells me I must not really understand that she is focusing on herself if I bring up every now and then that I would like some more emotion or affection and that I am beyond selfish. It came down that the only time I received physical affection was when she was about to start her period and that rush of hormones came which just made me feel used. I described this to her and again I was told I am being dramatic. I am on antidepressants and see my therapist once a month, but all I want is to have a normal human emotional conversation with my wife about our relationship.
Fast forward to today and why I am writing about this post. Recently (2 months or so) we've been fighting again more. Not sure why but we have been. She says she has no energy for our relationship, so I asked if she wants a divorce to which she simply responds "I don't know." She goes on a work trip later this year for 2 months and I worry that she will have this realization that she will be better off sharing custody of our son and we go our separate ways. I bring this up to her and she says I am being dramatic yet again saying I'm jumping off the deep end and I need to get it together or asks "have you taken your meds today?" I used to ask her about going to counseling together and for the longest time she was 100% against it then one day she just brings it up and says if I schedule it she'll attend. Also she has mentioned she loves me many times, but also has told me we were not compatible because we were "toxic" and got mad at me when I was upset by this statement and wanted to talk about it saying I once again am being dramatic.
Idk where I am going with this, but just venting. I don't fear having to restart somewhere if our marriage ends, but it is sad seeing my best friend just seemingly give up and not even want to discuss it 99% of the time. Thanks for reading reddit.
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2023.03.20 17:59 WaveOfWire One Hell Of A Vacation - Chapter 54
Shout-out to u/better_solution_743
For nabbing 13 updoots last chapter. Tel is confirmed best girl.
‘- - -’ Is passage of time. ‘= = =’ Is change in perspective. First Prev
Next Royal Road
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Pan severed the stray thread as she pulled the final stitch, finishing the pants she had been working on to distract herself. She held the item up for inspection while thinking of the other
pair that had failed in a unique way during a test of a particular design. She wished to allow a large range of flexibility so as to still wear them during her more acrobatic moves in sparring, but ended up with a pair missing a critical section.
Her cheeks flushed as she thought of why they still remained as such.
“They are excellent, Huntress Pan.” Volta complimented from her position by the door.
Pan glanced to the new female, a slight pout wiped from her face. The cleaner had assumed more of a ‘maid’ role than the Paw would have thought prudent, often working as an assistant and escort when she had finished her main duties. She knew Joseph would have simply sent her to relax when she was not working, and Pan herself had tried much the same, but Volta seemed to prefer to serve when she was not ensuring the cleanliness of the den.
It was claimed as repayment for the new attire that Pan had crafted for her, but something about the lingering glances she often caught from the corner of her eye said different.
She didn’t mind the female’s presence, despite the first sun that she had arrived being somewhat unorthodox in their interactions. Volta was efficient and skilled in her field, her work thorough and completed swiftly. The only complaint that Pan might have would be the reverence the new addition seemed to have for her.
She laid down the item next to the top that she had completed the previous sun, the two items were designed to emphasize her form as opposed to simply providing warmth. Harrow’s comment about clothing being for their mate’s enjoyment as much as their own had stuck with her. She knew Joseph enjoyed her fur, the comfort he felt while idly playing with it was quite evident in the bond, but she also remembered the burning gaze he gave her on the rare occasion that her coat clung to her flesh due to rain or such, so she designed these articles with that in mind.
“I am merely excited to see my bond’s reaction.” She answered softly, a small smile being all she could reasonably force upon her face. He would be returning this sun or the next, and she wished for nothing more than to welcome him personally while donning what he may find attractive on her body.
The weak expression was due to the numbing she felt as the suns progressed, each moon the motions becoming more and more foreign, the colours of the world around her becoming desaturated and less inviting. Were it not for her kit and Harrow’s company, she feared there might not be much for her mate to return to.
“He would be a fool to be anything but captivated.” Volta assured firmly, the warm expression seeming impossible to copy in the moment in spite of the complement being a rare acquisition for the defective.
“He is many things, Volta. All i can do is present to him my best and hope that he enjoys my efforts.”
The blue-furred female gestured to the garments she wore of Pan’s design, a scaled down version of attire that she had been planning for Sahari for quite a long time. The two shared quite a similar build, save for Volta’s smaller height, so she was a material-efficient model. The only change that is to be made between the two sets is that Sahari’s would be using a treated healroot insert to accent her natural beauty with a gold glow. I was about time she repay the old favour as well as the newest of accompanying her bond to ensure his safety.
“If this is any indication of your skill, Huntress Pan, then i can only feel envy that such would be presented to him.”
Pan gave her an amused furrow of her brow, the flirtation from one of her own extrinsic. “Do you perhaps know of Harrow’s progress on the repairs?”
Volta exhaled softly, her advances rebuffed yet again. “The last i saw of her, she was complaining to her mate. It seems that the electrical here is quite the enigma.”
The Paw nodded, not faulting Harrow for failing to fix the latest issue that the Head herself caused, but still wishing Joseph was here to do so. He would likely have had it fixed within a short while of the occurrence. The power to the facilities wing was not the worst issue they could have had, the weather warm enough to facilitate the preparation of their meals over the fire outside, but the lack of a terminal after the female’s experiment meant that Robert would not be able to contact them until Harrow was able to sort the issue.
They did manage to complete the scans for Silva, a process which instantaneously sent the information apparently, but it sparked a curiosity within the orange-furred Lilhun. She immediately tried to make an outbound communication to Robert, once she had figured out the menu in order to do so, and the process blew the newest fuse upon attempt. It seemed that receiving was much more power efficient.
She blinked away the threat of tears as she remembered the moon with Joseph where they enjoyed a moment alone with naught but each other’s company, the lack of music to remind her of the time with her Human being a sorely missed addition to her suns.
“I shall deliver the blanket to Harrow then. I may as well ask for a detailed report while i am there.”
“Shall i accompany you?”
Pan shook her head as she gathered the large black pelt of a ‘mono-deer’, the thick fur soft after many treatments. “I would ask of you to extend your tasks to encompass the new constructions as well as the existing buildings, if you would like. There is no need to strain yourself, but they have been somewhat neglected as demands grow.”
Volta returned the request with a somewhat dismayed smile of acceptance. “Of course, Huntress Pan. As you command.”
The female turned on her pads and left before Pan could respond, a somewhat guilty feeling overcoming her. She knew that Volta had been working quite fervently to gain a proper place in the pack, if not simply to impart a good impression upon the Paw, but the constant flattery had made her somewhat uncomfortable and she wished some time with one whom would treat her as she was.
A slight sigh slipped from her lungs as she left her work area and went to deliver the item to Jax’s room. She heard a series of soft clacks when she entered the Hub, her kit noticing her entrance and approaching with a bounce to her step. Violet held a tablet for display.
Pan situated the blanket to fit under one arm as she stroked her kit’s head. “He should return this sun at the earliest, yes.”
Violet flipped the tablet, another prepared question presented. [Gate?]
She tilted her head as she tried to place the single word within a more complex inquiry. “Are you requesting to await him at the gate?”
Violet nodded, fidgeting with the tablet anxiously. Pan felt a warm smile appear, a rare occurrence recently.
“It should be warm enough for you now. Would you like to go together once i have finished my errand?”
The Atmo bounced excitedly, a burst of colour in the otherwise dull world that had invaded the Paw.
“He may not return quite yet, but we best be ready to receive him regardless. Just promise to return to the den if it becomes too cold or otherwise uncomfortable, okay?”
Violet nodded again, nuzzling into Pan before walking off to continue whatever she was doing before she was disturbed. From the pile of tablets, Pan assumed she was working on her English lettering and Lilhun script to communicate better. She felt her heart warm as she continued onward.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Not finding Harrow within the den, she decided to leave the pelt upon their bed and search elsewhere. Soft plods above and a disruption of the skylights suggested she was overhead to continue her attempts at repairs.
Pan exited the dorms to the farm plot, taking a moment to appreciate the work that some of the pack had put into planting several crops. None had produced anything of value yet, but some of the plants had sprouted and Astra, Atrox’s mate, has proven their profession true with her efforts.
“Hey Pan! I figured it out!”
The white-furred female turned to look at the voice which came from on high, Harrow waving down to her with a harness fashioned from ironwood rope. The excitable movement caused her foot to slip, sending the Head careening off the roof. Pan’s eyes widened until a breath of relief was allowed as the harness did what it was supposed to, Harrow dangling upside down with a series of startled blinks.
“So that’s why Joe insists on ironwood over palm.”
Pan couldn’t find it within herself to laugh despite the casual remark being at odds with the potentially dangerous mistake. Harrow righted herself, climbing the rope to the roof and sitting on the edge while running a claw under where the harness had pressed into her skin.
“Joe made some adjustments after my fur got caught. Looks like it worked. Still sucks to have it dig in though.”
Pan smiled weakly at the mention of her mate. “I am also relieved that it worked. You said you figured something out?”
Harrow brightened. “Yeah! I’ve been rerouting power for the past few suns based on what Joe said he hadn’t done yet. I found something neat while i was poking around, too! Should make for a nice ‘welcome back’ present for him.” She glanced back at the panel she had left open.
“Thank you for fixing it.”
Harrow waved her off. “I wanted to listen to music anyway. It’s just a bonus that we can help Joe find out what’s going on. At least now Rob can call.”
Pan nodded in return. “Violet and myself with be waiting for Joseph at the gate later. Would you be able to take any communications should they arrive?”
“That won’t be a problem. Send for us if you see him!”
“I will. Do try to remain on the roof this time.”
The orange-furred female grinned. “As much as i love getting hurt, i suppose I’ll have to humour you.”
Pan caught the mildly concerned gaze as she left, but she was far from a state to reiterate how she felt in the moment. Something itched in the back of her mind, compelling her to venture out to find him. It wasn’t a rational thought, merely an instinctual one pressing her to action. It felt unnatural to be without his influence for so long and it was beginning to tear at her core.
Regardless, she was expecting him back soon and Violet required a caretaker since Mama has been with the other new Atmo helping along various projects, whenever she wasn’t being conscripted by Atrox for whichever artistic pursuits the male seemed to have imparted a fondness of onto her, that is.
She made her way to Joseph’s room, forcing herself not to spend an unreasonable amount of time simply touching the items he had left behind as she dressed in her new attire, a long coat thrown over to ensure that he would be the first to see it.
Satisfied with the way it fit on her, and it then promptly hidden, she left to gather Violet.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Given her increasing time isolated within the den to prepare for Joseph’s return, many of the extended pack actually acknowledged her presence, though it was mostly just a glance and the occasional nod in her direction. Cohesion in the settlement has been established, more or less, so her intervention hadn’t been as needed. It was nice to have the time, but it also led to prolonged periods of anxiety in the isolation.
None of that mattered for the moment, however, because Violet was in the process of walking up to all who would so much as enter her sight to hold a tablet in greeting, bouncing excitedly when each offered a vocal one in return, though some seemed more perplexed than others upon being presented their language by one whom they had only seen once before.
Violet had prepared several basic plates that would be used more frequently and had them secured to her shoulder for ease of use. They were mostly for answering simple questions or saying ‘hello’, but they served as good practice as well as to introduce others to the fact that she would be able to communicate more efficiently soon.
The joyous kit returned to her side as they passed another construction that was taking place slightly outside of the general arrangement they had settled into, it being another den to finally clear out more of the barracks. The warehouse had been completed for a sun or so it seemed, so they had moved on with more expansions that may be required. With more Atmo to work on things, a walkway had also been started on the perimeter wall, allowing the pack to patrol the edges once it was completed. It barely had enough room for more than a single Lilhun to stand, but it was progressing steadily, if slowly due to the nature of the work.
Arriving at the gate without running into Jax or Nalah was odd, or would have been, if not for the blond-furred female leaning against the wall and gazing into the trees with forlorn eyes.
“I see i am not the only one to await their return.” Pan commented as she approached, Violet quickly presenting her greeting to Nalah when she turned to acknowledge them. The female smiled at the small Atmo.
“Hello Violet. Pan.” She glanced back into the woods before adjusting her stance to rest her back against the structure instead of her shoulder. “Yeah, I’m waiting. They should be back this sun at the earliest, yes?”
Pan wore a wooden smile as Violet fetched another tablet to display her affirmation. [Yes]
“They should, assuming nothing delayed them. A reasonable expectation would be the next sun, though i remain hopeful.”
Nalah cycled a breath as she observed Pan, a mirthless expression returned. “I would hope they return sooner, but i doubt we would be so lucky.”
“As long as they come back to us, i will be grateful.” She fixed her coat as it threatened to part. “Regardless, i will wait for them.”
Nalah spared another glance to the forest. “I will return to my duties then. Whistle when they get here, if they do show up.”
“I will.” Pan nodded as the planner left with hesitation, leaving just her and her kit to await her bond’s arrival.
But he did not return that sun.
Or the next.
Or the next.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
The rain fell lightly for a change, the usual heavy thrumming across the buildings instead being nearly absent in all facets as the mist wet the buildings. Nalah sighed, conceding that it would be a free sun for everyone who would otherwise be working on the recent constructions. It wasn’t that she wanted to work them into the ground, but that she was distracting herself.
She had been away from Sahari before, that was nothing new, but she had gotten used to having her near for quite a while now. The muting sensation left her weary and tired, unsure of herself in most situations without her bond to covertly confer with by merely knowing how she felt on a subject. It made her feel empty.
Then there was Pan.
The white-furred female seemed ready to tear the forest apart by claw to find her mate, the only thing stopping her being the den-kit coming out to visit her since she had not left the gate since she began waiting on the second sun. She wasn’t returning to rest nor eat, Harrow bringing out food for her when it became apparent that she was determined to remain outside.
Joseph was late by several suns in his return. The first sun was merely an optimistic estimation that could be proven hopeless by even the smallest inconveniences. The second sun was a reasonable expectation, should all go well. The third was much within the same vein as the second, and the fourth was a pessimistic prediction based on several issues arising.
The current fifth sun was one of worry, enough so that Nalah almost wished to join Pan in her endless vigilance.
She knew that the Paw would remain outside and wakeful again, Pan hasn’t even been resting recently, but staying out in the weather would not bode well for her health, and Joseph would be upset with them all if they allowed her to fall into illness due to none assisting her.
Nalah donned her coat, taking a moment to appreciate how hard Pan has worked to ensure that at least the main pack were able to be warm and dry in the environment they found themselves in. There was plans to extend such luxuries to the extended pack, but there was much hunting to be done to collect the material for that to happen. Jax was planning on taking some of the members out, but the delay of the Grand Hunter has, in turn, postponed the excursion until either he returns or...
There was no need to humour the thought further.
She exited the den, passing the four Atmo as Mama led something of a sculpting group with Violet, the latter quickly displaying a tablet in greeting towards Nalah which the Lilhun responded to as warmly as she could with the additional stress.
Violet seems to remain cheerful, though expectant of her surrogate blood-father’s return. The second sun in which Joseph did not return was met with Robert calling, a communication to which Harrow answered in lieu of Pan or the Grand Hunter. The den-kit was brought in after a short while and left with a smiling Harrow following closely behind, some arrangement met without her telling anyone else due to it being a ‘surprise’. Nalah was more than happy to allow them their secrets, especially if it meant that the overall mood of the den would remain high.
The doors closed behind her, the soft ticking of droplets landing on her hood being louder due to the material, though far from enough to be unpleasant. The ambient air smelled strongly of earth and more than a hint of pairings enjoying their personal dens during a sun of rest. The soft yearning for her bond struck her as she passed the buildings.
Sat by the gate on the wet ground resided Pan, the female clutching herself and staring out into the woods. She gave no reaction nor acknowledgement when Nalah approached, only turning an ear when she placed a paw on the female’s shoulder.
“Come inside, you will fall ill at this rate.” Nalah crouched as she spoke, an attempt to gauge the Paw’s reaction given.
She remained silent for a long moment before eventually responding. “I will wait for him.”
“He will be distraught if he returns to you being sick.”
She flinched, eyes temporarily breaking from the trees to consider. “I would rather see him as soon as i can.”
Nalah sighed softly, trying to think of how to convince the female to oblige their concerns. “Would you have him see your fur muddied and matted?”
A blink was given, followed by a cursory glance to the stained coat that the rain had allowed dirt to bleed into. Her steadfast determination wavered as she internally debated her response, but Nalah struck while the thought was fresh.
“Come. I will assist to ensure you are most presentable for when he returns.”
Pan opened her mouth to argue, but Nalah pulled her to her feet with minimal resistance.
“I will hear no argument. He will be delighted to return to his mate at her most radiant, no?”
The Paw gazed downwards with a small but pained nod. With a weak smile of satisfaction, Nalah escorted her back to the den, calling to a wandering pack member to watch the gate in their stead. A mental note was added to construct a room into the gate to allow those who were to watch from it a place to shelter from the elements.
She guided the female inside the den, turning to enter the dormitory wing and proceeding to the baths. More assistance than would normally be required was given, the female lacking the will to do more than exist.
Nalah helped her disrobe, noting the new garments but choosing not to mention them. She took the time to assist Pan with lathering her fur and washing out any mud that had worked its way into her coat. The seamstress remained silent, her gaze focused upon the abyss. Nalah felt an itch when she observed the female, a pang of loneliness striking.
Her extended absence from Sahari had left her much the same way, but she had kept herself driven in her goal of reuniting with her saviour. No sun went by where she remained idle, each often populated by bouncing from job to job to schooling within her hectic schedule with only small blocks of time to rest before she needed to reach her next destination.
Warehouses, construction sites, janitorial work, and even customer service. She had worked anywhere that would humour her requirements and pulled in as many within a sun as she could, frequently studying while on her breaks so that she could gain the qualifications needed to join the military in the field she sought. It wasn’t the most glamorous of pursuits, but she would have smiled every moment of manually cleaning toilets while being yelled at by superior officers as long as she could be with Sahari again.
She helped rinse out the soap, adding conditioner to both of them in a small attempt to bring normality to the Paw while assisting her own efforts to be presentable for her bond. Silence that had been disrupted by the falling water returned until Nalah felt the need to speak, if only to comfort the female.
“Were you aware of how i met Sahari?”
Pan glanced at her, some of the efforts showing a small effect at her attempts to sooth the white-furred Lilhun. “I only knew that you were previously acquainted.”
Nalah snorted a laugh, leading both of them to the baths to relax in the warm water. “One could say that. She rescued me from a pirate base on a neglected portion of a derelict planet.”
Pan blinked, a genuine curiosity playing behind the otherwise muted light in her eyes as she seated herself on the submerged ledge.
“She brought me to a small town that owed her a few favours and dropped me off at a facility for people like me. Those who ended up with a bad set in life through no fault of their own.” Nalah looked to the skylights, the waning light speaking of the falling sun. “It was a warm den, in spite of the type of people that ended up there. Everyone just wanted to escape their past and work for a better future. It worked, for what it was. They helped me through the nightmares, the trauma, and assisted in getting me my first job. It wasn’t much, barely a job at all really, but i was given cleaning equipment and pointed at a small storefront. It gave me something to do. Something to distract from my thoughts.”
She looked at the Paw, the latter nodding while staring into the water in understanding.
“Sahari remained for a while, though i suspect it was out of a feeling of responsibility for the female she had dragged along with her rather than any affection for me. Regardless, the talks of how i was adjusting warmed my frozen heart.” She took a breath. “I fell for her fully, and shortly after, bonded wholly.”
Pan’s eyes lit with recognition, actually absorbing the meaning of the topic at paw. “You feel as i do?”
Nalah nodded, though suspected that her initial separation had eased the impact to a great degree. “She left after less than a year, but i was hers by then. I never told her, simply wishing that she would notice and reciprocate. It was a foolish desire, in retrospect, but one i held dearly nonetheless. It was years until we were dropped here and i finally seen her again. Even just her presence made everything i went through worth it.”
“Years... I do not think i would be able.”
“I doubt i would be as composed should that occur again.” Nalah clarified quietly. “I have grown too used to her warmth. Her touch. The joy her laughter brings me... I would rather reach the Void than be separated for so long.”
Pan silently thought, her dull eyes watching a small wave caused by their movements. “She had lost her bond.”
“She did. She had also lost her love in the process. It was no expectation of mine that she might feel for me as i do her. I still do not expect such, but i relish the contact she allows between us.”
“She bonded to Joseph.”
Nalah nodded solemnly. “I know. I worried that he might take place within her heart and leave all my efforts worthless.”
“Do you worry still?”
A soft laugh escaped her. “Not so much now. It has become apparent that she sees him as an important person, yes, but not as one she wishes her own.” A grin formed on her muzzle as she regarded the Paw. “Though i hold little doubt that she would deny if he were to pursue her for a moon.”
Pan cracked the smallest smile, a great victory for Nalah. The blond-furred female refocused herself with a breath.
“I followed her once i could. Admittedly, it may have been an unsettling move, but i couldn’t think past seeing her again. I poured my all into finding her, where she was going, and how to join her. The draft made it rather easy to narrow down the possibilities. Money made the rest work.”
“I think that i would lack the strength to do what you did.”
“It was hardly strength.” Nalah dismissed lazily. “It was escaping my past by feverishly pursuing one who wanted me not. Even now, i can do little more than pine for beyond that which she allows. I suppose i should just pray she finds one whom she may take comfort in and support her from the side.”
“Perhaps it may be time to tell her?” Pan’s eyes held the slightest spark, though it quickly extinguished as Nalah shook her head.
“I couldn’t do that to her. We are of little options with the size of our pack. I wouldn’t wish her to feel forced due to the circumstances.” She sunk into the water, eyes closing slowly. “I don’t want to hear her say no.”
Pan opened her mouth to respond with a pained expression on her face when the baths door banged open, Volta breathing heavily and speaking with a hurried tone. “A group approaches the gate. We need Huntress-”
Pan flew out of the bath with no concern for the words of the blue-furred female, a towel hastily acquired on her way as water fell from her fur. Volta jumped to the side to avoid being bowled over by the rushing Paw, glancing at Nalah with confusion.
“Smart decision.” The lead planner commented dryly, the splashing of water echoing throughout the room as she exited the bath herself to dry off. “I have little doubt you would have been maimed should you have remained in her path.”
The cleaner furrowed her brow, unconvinced or unsettled by the assertion. “Surely you jest.”
Nalah returned a deadpanned stare. “She suspects her bond has returned. I pity any who would be stupid enough to disrupt her.”
“The group is of greater number than the five you had sent.” Volta disputed.
Nalah smiled, leaving the baths to fetch clothing so she may join them. “It would mean that he has succeeded in many ways.”
Volta frowned. “And if you are wrong?”
The blond-furred female pulled a shirt over her head, taking a moment to consider what would occur if the group was anything but friendly. A sharp nod was given when she quickly reached the conclusion. “Then Pan will require another bath.”
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Pan ran as hard and as quick as her body would allow, hastily securing the towel to her person as naught but a single thought raced through her mind in time with her claws digging into whatever her feet landed on to gain purchase.
Please be him.
A flash of hope. A scream of need. An isolated desire to reunite with her bond burning like acid through her veins. There was little more that her consciousness could process other than the primal push to keep him in her claws no matter what.
Her legs burned, her lungs struggled, her heart raced. All pained like no other but were eclipsed by the agony within her without him. A gnawing infection of stagnation without his influence.
So she ran, bursting through the outer doors and increasing her speed on the muddied grass that had been trampled into loose pathways as members travelled from location to location. A route to her loved one. A guidance to her healing, should all be as she prayed.
Naught but the wail of blood through her ears could be heard, the flushed adrenaline pushing her heart to its limit to reach him. Nothing else mattered. Nothing else existed. It was her very soul willing the world around her to cease as she moved.
The frame of the gate filled her vision as she approached it, her goal nearing with every step. Her pupils strained her eyes as they filled themselves with everything they could capture within her sight for the slightest hint of him, renewing their efforts when she still did not.
Her steps slowed, the entrance reached. Her vision was a haze of exhaustion and insufficient oxygen reaching her system through hyperventilated breaths. A low voice called, the sound the clearest she had heard in many suns. The rich bass and warm presence like a salve to her ears. She didn’t know what was said. It didn’t matter. All she could do was rush to the origin, driven by nothing but instinct.
She crashed into someone, a moment of rage at her goal being obstructed being muted as the first scent reached her.
Joy. Confusion. Worry. Relief. Guilt.
But above all: Love.
She cried, the searing heat of the moisture burning her cheeks as she wrapped her arms around him, her claws piercing the armour she held herself against, her paws desperately holding him close lest he evaporate in her grasp. Her body trembled, her legs giving out under her. She was gently lowered to the ground to rest on her knees, her bond following her descent.
He didn’t question her for her actions, instead wrapping his arms around her shoulders and pulling her into his neck, the Paw breathing deeply to internalize his scent yet again as tears mixed with the rain through her closed eyes.
“Sorry I’m late.”
She trembled at his words, pulling herself into him tighter as if to merge with him where they kneel. The sound of his heart pumping more comforting than any sound she may have otherwise heard in her life, her ear pressing itself to his throat to be closer to the origin.
“It’s okay. I’m here now.”
His voice rumbled through her, the sensation as familiar as breathing and just as necessary to her yearning soul. A muffled prayer fell from her as all became right with the world.
An excited clicking came from behind her, yet she did not separate. She felt her mate shift his head to look towards their kit, the bond transferring the pleasing warmth of him seeing Violet again, until a deafening roar of joy and sorrow struck him, only to be overwhelmed by affection.
She felt their kit join the embrace, a natural addition to her instincts, so they did not fight the intrusion, instead welcoming it openly.
Joseph cried as he pulled Violet in tightly. It was a choked utterance of emotional overload, but not one iota of it negative. Nothing existed but fulfillment within him, and in turn, her. The two sobbed without concern for the small group that joined them to observe the meeting.
“What did she write?” Nalah inquired, the slight aspiration suggesting she had run to catch up.
Harrow laughed, her own voice strained. “Robert offered to help her learn English. When i mentioned that she wanted to make a sign for Joseph, he taught her a phrase that he thought his brother would like.”
Pan could hear Jax laughing, his breathing the easiest due to his more stamina based endeavours. “And what might our den-kit have written?”
Harrow’s voice grew warm, yet wistful. A slight crack to her voice as longing mixed into her response.
“Welcome home Dad, i missed you.”
Next A/N: They return! RR hit 6k, You guys made it clear you wanted some Jax lore, and I’m laying seeds for future events! Again. Given my history of taking 30 chapters to have them pay off, who knows what it will be! Time to see how this all effects the den!
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2023.03.20 17:50 DatDude304 The Ultimate Betrayal... my SO and my Sibling.... I'm so lost...
Not sure if the title was clear enough, but yes my SO (30F) [at the time] and sibling (32M) [at the time] decided that I (29M) [at the time] deserved to experience the ultimate form of betrayal in this life...
I've shared my story in this sub before, but deleted it due to shame and thinking that my SO and I could work it out. But I've realized finally that there is no coming back from this. No matter how hard either of us try...
This story starts with my SO and I who dated in Highschool and got married while in college. Throughout our 5 year dating period, there were a lot of small issues, breakups (none of which ever initiated by me), and redflags I now realize... We decided to get married, she was all brains so I decided to drop out and go to work while she finished her Masters. Once we finally got married in 2010, I felt we recommitted and decided we were going to be T4E.
2 years in, we had our first child. And us both being children ourselves [20 and 21] new parents were completely thrown for a loop. She took to parenthood like a fish in water while I was slow to realize what having an actual FAMILY ment...
She began experiencing post-partum depression and I had 0 clue how to cope/help her cope... this started the riff.
Rewind back to my childhood: when my parents started experiencing marital issues, which finally led to their divorce, [my father had an affair and got another woman pregnant, I now have a younger half sister whom I do not know at all...] Big brother started experiencing his own troubles... bad grades, fights, and questionable behavior. He was even caught trying to video tape girls in the ladies' room in high-school. He was eventually expelled because of this and had to enroll in a GED program to recieve a diploma. He and I were always estranged since I was and still am quite literally the opposite. Straight As through most of primary school, began studying engineering in college, no fights, no mishaps... ever.
When I met my wife in h/s, I clung to her and her family and all but ignored my own... I now see that this is where the riff between he [my brother] and I began...
Fast forward to 2013, I land an 6-figure paying job, and my SO and I have our 2nd child. But still are not in a good place emotionally. She has been at home taking care of kids while I've been working shift work unable to help as much as she requests. We decided, inorder to maintain her sanity, she should start working to get out of the house and put her degrees to use. She got a job working in a plant as well, not the same as me. [We're from the south, plant work is pretty much as good as it gets without going corporate america].This is where she met a random guy and had her first affair... being young and naive, I never saw it coming and went into a state of shock/denial when I found out through msgs on her tablet... I told her to quit the job, she did and we never spoke of it again.
During this time, my brother (now married with 1 child from a previous gf and 1 child with his current wife) started to resent me and my family as we always showed everyone the best of us. Never complaining to anyone never sharing our marital problems, ever.
Fast forward to 2017, my SO and I are going through hell trying to stay together. Now with 3 children under the age of 7. We would argue and she'd threaten me with divorce one day, and back in love with me like nothing ever happened the next day. This was mainly due to her mood swings, I've been verbally abused, physically abused, and emotionally abused... (never returning any of it because it's not who I am). She has expressed to me that my lack of care/inexperience caused her continual mental abuse. But on the other hand, i can honestly say, that I've also never been shown so much care by one person. At least that's what I believed. We now know this was due to her undiagnosed mental disorder.
Early in that year, I see multiple msgs between her and my brother on our wireless account... I confront him, he says she confided in him due to our marital problems... I tell him to stop msging my wife, he agrees. I confront her and have a similar exchange.
I think this is the end of it. Until one night, my wife and I decide we need to separate and figure out our personal problems. I left the house and lived with my mother for 6 months. During that time, I found out from my brothers wife that he and my wife had begun a relationship.
[This is turning out to be way more than I wanted to type. I'm going to abbreviate to save time.]
In short, they had sex. Multiple times, he physically/emotionally abused her also [be cause he also deals with mental health issues]. My parents do nothing. I do retreat into an even further state of shock/depression. Meanwhile my 3 kids and his 3 kids are caught in the middle...
Finally my brother gets into a Major accident trying to go see my wife again, gets thrown in jail because he was drunk during, and they finally end their "relationship".
I see how broken my wife has become and can't bring myself to divorce her because of the state she is in, and I feel that she will spiral off the deep end if im not there to help.
We got back together the following year and there hasn't been a day that's gone by where I don't dive into a blinding rage over this situation...
[Currently] My bro and I haven't talked since, my wife and I have finally decided to divorce, and I have no idea how I am suppose to cope with this event having happened to me in the ONLY life I will ever live....
I had more I wanted to write but this has already taken me 5 days to complete... if you made it this far, Thank you for listening/reading. My mission now is to figure out how to rebuild my self confidence and be an example for my children to look up to.
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2023.03.20 17:44 Shin-kun1997 [In Progress] [4,227] [Science Fiction] Epsilons Trial
Id appreciate some feedback as I plan to self publish this at some point in a larger book.
Epsilon’s Trial With heavy shoulders slumped, Sebastian Pasquet walked through the door of his house and kicked off his shoes, dropping the suitcase and hanging up his jacket. The turtleneck shirt he wore was covered in specs of dust and dirt, all of which emerged from today's earlier events.
“Ugh. I swear this position is gonna drive me into the bloody ground.” he grunted in a thick English accent. “I’m home.”
His voice caught the attention of a woman dressed in a blue shirt and apron, her hair was a dark silver and her eyes were violet, but her most defining features were a pair of cat-like ears protruding from her head, as well as a tail that stretched down to her feet. She walked towards him and instantly embraced him in a hug, causing him to drop the suitcase. He didn’t care and simply returned the love, pushing his lips against hers as he smirked. Greeting him was his wife, Alvia. A Felis from the planet Eria some 230,000,000 kilometers from Fiore.
A world with the lowest population in Eridani at 2.5 billion inhabited by a shy, peaceful race that, while possessing spaceflight and the ability to travel through jump space, had no off world settlements apart from their moon.
“Welcome back.” she said as her tail curved around his leg. “I missed you so much. It’s five thirty by the way, don’t you usually get out by four?”
“There was an accident on one of the launch pads that needed attention.”
“Oh my, I hope no one was hurt.”
“Don’t worry, it was an unmanned test. No crew on board.”
“Ah, great. Well my love, your hard day's work is over for the time being.” She pecked his cheek once more. “Come on, dinner’s almost finished.”
He stepped into the living room where a young boy was sitting on the floor reading a children's book. The area was designed with a modern and cozy aesthetic with the TV embedded in the wall, an L-shaped couch at the center, and family portraits stacked across a nearby table. One of them depicted Sebastian five years ago in his EVA suit, taken just before launch. His seven year old son, Jeremy, greeted him with a hug. While he resembled a younger version of himself, he’d been born a Felis just like Alvia, inheriting his mothers ears and tail.
“Hey kiddo.” Sebastian said, picking him up and scratching behind his ears. “What’d you do all day?”
“I got to help mom with dinner.” he replied, in a cheery voice. “Oh, Dad, are we still gonna go to the expo? Mari said she’s going with her parents.”
Jeremy had been referring to the Interstellar Aerospace Expo of 2273, which was to be held on the planet Vandam in two months. The annual thirteen day long convention where space companies, private initiatives, and anti-gravity racers from all across Eridani gathered to celebrate the one thing they all shared in common; flying.
“Of course we are.” Sebastian replied. “But were you good in school today?”
His son nodded.
“Then, I’ll be sure to take you to the anti-gravity race when we go.”
Jeremy cheered at his reply. Upon putting him down, Alvia directed him to wash his hands before dinner. He watched Jeremy head up the stairs towards the bathroom as his wife placed her head against his shoulder. “I swear, he can’t stop talking about that event.” she said.
Changing into a t-shirt he plopped onto the couch and turned the TV on just in time to witness a news report taking place. A story discussing a recent development regarding an unknown object floating within space, specifically the Strain Belt, the massive asteroid belt that separated Fiore from Eris. The screen then switched to a photograph taken within the belt via a satellite, depicting a violet light within a field of asteroids. As his wife sat beside him Sebastian became puzzled at the story, his mind curious as to what the supposed entity could be. “I read this somewhere earlier. Some are just saying it could be a comet.” Alvia said.
“But what kind of comet stays in the exact same place?” he replied. “It’s probably a defunct probe that’s reached its end.”
Alvia shrugged her shoulders as Sebastian began to massage her ears, which she loved a lot. “Maybe. So, how was today apart from the accident you mentioned?”
“Sorting through paperwork. Supersiving vehicle operation. In short, horrifying.”
“Aw, my peach sounds like he’s been through too much. It’s been two years now since you’ve had this position, director of the astronaut corps.”
“It has its perks. I get to fly in those fancy spaceliners for business trips across the planet or to the moon.”
“Oh? Then maybe you can book us a nice getaway towards those fancy beach hotels.” Sebastian rolled his eyes and smiled at her answer. Alvia slowly raised her head and pressed her lips against his once more, giving Sebastian the go ahead to massage her tail.
The two ceased their advances immediately upon hearing the voice of their son in front of them. There, Jeremy stood, mocking his parents' act of love causing the two of them to laugh. When all was said and done they walked towards the kitchen where dinner was served, the entire time Sebastian was subjected to Jeremy’s rambling about the exposition.
The next day Sebastian found himself quickly jogging through the halls of Ophir Space Complex, the campus-sized facility that managed all launches and missions of the company. He arrived at the designated meeting room and was greeted by the sight of James sitting at the head of an oval-shaped mahogany table. Beside him were Romero and Alex as well, all dressed in matching suit attire. Sebastian noticed at the table center a hologram of the planet Fiore, which was odd because this room didn’t have that feature the previous day.
“Sorry if I’m late. Had to drop my son off at school and traffic was impatient on the way back.” Sebastian said, taking his seat.
“Not at all mate. We’re waiting on a few more actually.” Romero replied, shaking Sebastian's hand. “How is your boy anyway?”
“Excited for the expo, that’s for sure. Says some of his friends are going too.”
“Same for me and my little girl.” Alex added. “I hear that there’s going to be a Human vs. Astrean anti-gravity prix.”
“How much do you want to bet they’ll kick our arses?”
Eventually several other suited men stepped into the room and upon closing the door, took their seats and greeted Sebastian and his colleagues. “Good. Now that everyone’s here, let's get this meeting started.” Romero proclaimed. “To begin, what is on the schedule for this month in terms of the new models?”
“Fortunately the accident yesterday was only minor and the damage was menial, the engineers over at our plant in Harriet are repairing it as we speak.” Alex replied. “Construction on two other prototypes are underway as we speak.”
“Will it be ready in time for the exposition?” another man asked.
“We believe so. With a little more time.”
“More time? The event is in two months and we have yet to present anything to the board and CEO. If we don’t procure results fast we’ll be coming in fifth place for the fourth year in a row.”
“Easy now, I’m sure our engineers here are on the case. Yesterday’s mishap has not slowed us down before, and it will not slow us down again.”
The hologram at the center suddenly switched to a star map of Eridani, displaying all barren and inhabited worlds within the star system, including the eight planets humanity resided on. Their names were shown just below the tiny sphere they represented. Daphne. Rhea. Nova. Antari. Freya. Cascade. . And his own planet, Fiore.
Soon after, a hologram of the spacecraft in question appeared at the center of the map as well. Sebastian was silent for the most part, somewhat annoyed at the constant bickering between the old men. “The model comes in one and two seater variants we’ve labeled as the Ichinose-class. Its nickname is Epsilon.” Alex spoke. “We were implementing a two engine propulsion system that not only propels the ship forward, but provides power for the rest of the ship. Sebastian, wanna give the rundown?”
He nodded, shifting everyone's attention to the TV display on the wall which now showed a diagram of the ship.
“Our spacecraft compared to Astreans, while advanced, are relatively primitive in their eyes. Well at least in terms of design and architecture. Astreans ships use deuterium and tritium to power their reactors while we use deuterium and helium-3, with liquid hydrogen remaining as the primary fuel source. But what makes Epsilon different is its engines.”
“Oh?” another man said.
“Typically, our vehicles employ chemically fueled aerospike plasma engines, the newer engines you’re seeing here are fusion powered and designed to not only provide direct thrust, but power to the spacecraft altogether.”
Each of the men’s eyes widened at Sebastians response. Such a design for a spacecraft was unproven on Fiore, but the concept and practicality was very much real. In fact most companies and organizations on other human worlds had recently fielded such designs. Sebastian continued. “Speed is also another factor we’ve looked over. A typical trip from Fiore to Eris in this planetary system will take around 7 hours. These engines can cut that flight down to just 2.5 hours of non-stop travel. Especially when you consider that it takes 5 hours to get to the Strain Belt.”
The men then began conversing amongst themselves at Sebastians statement. While some of them were supportive of the concept of lower trips across the interplanetary medium, others were skeptical. When asked if the engines were tested with astronauts Sebastian shook his head. “I haven’t assigned anyone to fly it as of yet, but rest assured the tests are coming back with many positive results.”
“Positive, but unmanned,” he replied. “If this were to fail, the amount of bad publicity would damage our reputation for years to come. We cannot proceed further without human ratings.”
Sebastian sighed to himself as he grunted, the men of the table chatting back and forth about the safety and possible outcomes the fusion engines would provide. He tried to find the words to say to appease the table but their corporate tone, mildly annoying political voices hindered that effort. For the past several minutes the meeting continued, with two sides discussing both the pros and cons of having such a design. Finally, after seemingly an eternity of old men debating over coffee as his wife put it, he slammed a hand on the table causing Alex to flinch. Standing from his seat, all eyes were now trained on him. “Enough. All this bickering is not getting us anywhere. If you want results, I’ll fly the damn ship myself.”
As if coming to some horrendous realization the table's members simply stared at Sebastian upon his closing statement. For his part, Sebastian was set on fulfilling the test operation. Further explaining that he would assign himself to a manned test of the vehicle as soon as possible. “I’m not so sure that would be an appropriate move, as the astronaut office head you’re responsible for ensuring launch vehicles are up to company standards.”
“And what better way to do that than from inside the said vehicle?” Sebastian replied. “Look, everyone in both corporate and engineering is under a lot of stress and worrying about our place at the exposition. I can put all those to rest with a simple interplanetary flight to Eria.”
“I agree.” Alex added. “Sebastian is one of the more experienced pilots in the program as well, especially when you look at his resume.”
Silence filled the room. The diagram of the engine disappeared from the screen as Sebastian took his seat once more, their eyes wandering back and forth as if lost in thought and trying to find counter arguments. As it became evident that there were no further words to say, one of the men had taken a piece of paper and began writing. “I will take it to the board then,” he said. “If we’re talking about a spaceflight, then might we add an extra task?”
When Sebastian arrived at the Strain Belt he was fast at work, enjoying the wilderness of space that he’d spent so long away from. A week had passed and he was installing one of many beacons along a column of asteroids, his EVA circulating oxygen and maintaining a stable body temperature. He had departed Fiore a few hours earlier after taking Jeremy to school and kissing his wife goodbye, now conducting a mission which included not only working out any of Epsilon’s bugs, but locating an interstellar object which had been spotted by a company space probe. Sebastian jumped from the asteroid and floated back towards Epsilon where the airlock was still open. Pressurizing the interior he assumed control of the vehicle and used the thrusters to gently move into more open space. The thick concentration of asteroids surrounding him resembled a field of death, something no human without the proper experience should be able to survive.
While the ship's hull was sturdy, Sebastian had to maintain constant caution. His senses were on full alert even from inside the safety of the ship. The occasional bumps along the exterior would cause any inexperienced pilot to flinch, but Epsilon was made of some of the best titanium Fiore had. As he arrived at the signal's location Sebastian found himself cast into a sea of dark, the sun barely shining through the asteroids that circled him. “I can’t see it yet.” he said to himself. “The news showed that thing to be a bright violet light, but where would it be?”
After floating through the belt for several minutes he was caught by the flash of a bright light, the familiar violet color from the news made its appearance known again. Activating Epsilon’s fusion engines Sebastian sped towards the light as it began to vanish as quickly as it came. He turned on the spacecraft's exterior lights to get a full view of what was before him. “Holy crap…”
His eyes took a moment to register what everyone at the space center assumed it to be. A large horizontal object with a shape almost like an oversized satellite with a rod attached to the end, two flat extensions resembling solar panels, and a round dome that covered its opposite end. In fact its shape and various extensions gave it the appearance of a small space station. “Control, I think I’ve found it.” Sebastian said through comms. “These markings along the side, those definitely aren’t human made.”
“We read you Epsilon. Are you saying what we’re all thinking?”
“Yeah. This thing is definitely of Xanadu origin.”
The sound of applause could be heard at the end of the radio. Sebastian smirked as he leaned back in his seat upon discovering one of thousands, if not millions of different advanced ancient technologies spread throughout the Milky Way. After relaying the artifact’s location and back to Fiore, his celebration abruptly ended when an alarm began to sound. Glancing at the radar beneath him he spotted two red dots, each representing ships, heading for his position. Sensing something was wrong Sebastian quickly displayed an enhanced frame of the space before him, what he could see were two low grade spacecraft flying towards his position. “Aw crap.” Sebastian said, activating the engines. “Control, we’ve got a problem. I’ve got a band of Outcast pirates on my plate now.”
“Well would you look at that.” one of them spoke through comms. “Looks like we’ve got ourselves a butterfly trapped in a thorn bush. No biggie, you hand over that structure there and things don’t have to go south.”
Sebastian sighed. “It was hard enough having to navigate through this freaking death field. Now I have scumbags like you in my schedule? Geeze it just ain’t my day.”
“What was that?!” One of the ships activated their weapons systems.
“Did I stutter? I called you a bunch of low life trash bags who’re probably too stupid to know how a coffee maker works.”
Before he knew it, a concentrated beam of energy came flying through the asteroid field. Using Epsilon’s powerful thrusters Sebastian was only barely able to dodge it. He gripped the stick and began to fly forwards into the fray. To maintain his stability Sebastian had to keep the fusion engine's velocity at a minimum so as to not crash into any asteroids, or worse, the pirates spacecraft. “Looks like this butterfly’s been reading too many fantasies. Let’s show em who’s in charge around here!”
He soon found one of the ships now tailing him. Another stream of energy zipped past his ship and grazed the side of the hull plating, setting off another alarm Sebastian quickly silenced. Activating Epsilon's energy shields he quickly formulated a plan in order to gain the upper hand. Despite being a prototype, Epsilon was equipped with defenses including a directed energy weapon and four missiles stored in a lower chamber. “Damn. If this keeps up I’ll run out of fuel before I can even plan for the expo’s entrance.” he said to himself, scoffing. “No matter, I’ve got a few tricks of my own.”
As he piloted Epsilon through the dense field he remained calm and collected, knowing that fear and panic would only make the situation much more dire. A common aspect all astronauts followed when venturing in or far from Eridani. Paranoia would only spell certain demise. Sebastian circled another set of rocks before raising his altitude, catching the tailing ship off guard. The ship slammed into the side of the asteroid at an intense velocity. Engulfing the ship in a silent explosion as the flames vanished. “One down, one more to go.” Sebastian said. “Hm?”
He stabilized his altitude and ceased all movement to find the last remaining pirate ship before him; it was a few thousand feet away but close enough for Sebaatian to see. Strangely it made no attempts to move, no communication from its crew, all he could see was the low-budget ship flash a red light from its bridge area occasionally. “What the heck are they doing…?”
Sebastian realized too late. Within several seconds his spacecraft's systems suddenly began to go haywire, the electricity malfunctioning and life support beginning to fail. Putting on his helmet Sebastian quickly maneuvered Epsilon out of view from the Outcasts using what little power from the spacecraft's backup systems he had. He’d been hit with an EMP. “We’ve got him. Finish him off so we can claim our prize.”
Sebastian began to assess the situation as the pirate's spacecraft hovered towards him, the Outcast fired another stream of energy towards Epsilon causing the ship's hull to deteriorate. Using the thrusters Sebastian shifted behind an asteroid to avoid another oncoming stream of energy. Several minutes had passed with Epsilon sneaking around the Outcast ship and avoiding whatever attacks it could. Eventually the two ships found themselves coming within range of a pocket of controlled space within the Strain Belt, Sebastian could spot the orbital infrastructure that made up Ophir Strait. One of only two clear paths of the Strain Belt that served as a trade route between Fiore and Eria. “Damn it.” he grunted, hitting the dashboard. “If I don’t end this quickly then we’re both gonna be fired on by the security bots.”
Separated by fifty miles, Sebastian was well outside the exclusion zone of the trade route, and with Epsilon's systems finally back online he ran another scan for the remaining Outcast ship. He spotted him several thousand kilometers in front of him once more, only this time he couldn't see him out the canopy window.
Sebastian squinted his eyes as he looked out the window, his grip firm on the stick as he came to realize that he had to. He thought of Alvia and Jeremy back on Fiore, both of them waiting for his safe return and comforting presence once more. Taking in a breath, he gradually began to speed towards the craft.
“Alright…we got one shot at this.” Sebastian said. “This doesn’t work, then Ophir Strait falls apart.”
Sebastian locked onto the Outcast ahead of him and fired one of the missiles beneath the spacecraft, but not before slightly altering its trajectory. Epsilon increased its speed enough causing the interior to shake and vibrate, the energy shields surrounding the outside were activated once again, as asteroids flew past the canopy glass at a high velocity. Within just a few minutes the Outcast ship came within sight. It fired its directed energy once again straight towards Epsilon which made contact with the energy shield. However Sebastian continued to fly straight towards the craft, ignoring the reducing shield's power. The Outcast panicked, as it appeared that Sebastian would crash Epsilon straight into his ship. “Are you crazy?!” the pirate shouted.
Sebastian was unfazed. “Maybe.”
Before he knew it the Outcast was closer than ever, within a split second Sebastian's spacecraft zipped by the pirate in a swift clean motion. Epsilon then used its thrusters to reduce its velocity once more, the pirate beginning to laugh. “What the hell was that? No guts to finish it huh?” His ship's energy weapon began to charge. “Looks like this is it then, butterfly.”
“Yeah. For you at least.”
Confused, the Outcast demanded to know what he meant. Sebastian for his part, chuckled as he directed the pirate to look behind him. The two missiles Epsilon fired earlier had reemerged and, with brute force, smashed into the pirates ship from both port and starboard side. A ball of fire engulfed the surrounding space followed by a brief blinding light. All of which could be seen, but not heard. The flames vanished. Filling the space with debris from the destroyed ship that floated off into various directions. Sebastian let out a breath of relief as Epsilon, damaged but still alive, gently raised its altitude to be above the Strain Belt. The sun’s light shone through the glass as he took off his helmet and accepted the light.’ “Epsilon, this is Fiore! Epsilon, do you read?” a voice spoke through comms.
“Fiore this is Epsilon, good to hear your voice.”
“Sebastian? Thank God. What’s happening up there? The signal cut out and we’ve been trying to reach you!”
Looking around the interior of the cabin he shrugged his shoulders, taking off his communications cap he responded. “Well Fiore, I don’t know how to quite say this….”
Two months had passed since the incident in the Strain Belt, the Xanadu artifact had been secured by the company and taken to an orbital research station on one of Fiore’s moons.
The stadium had been packed to the rim with civilians from all across Eridani filling the twenty thousand seats that surrounded the massive holographic screen at the center of the ring. Fireworks lit the dim sky accompanied by confetti raining from passing overhead ships, and the cheers of all resonated throughout the air. Flags of the various inhabited worlds throughout Eridani flew along the center. Among the thousands of civilians, Sebastian sat beside his wife with their son between them.
“Hey, look.” Alvia said, pointing upward. “They’re starting.”
Sebastian glanced towards the sky and his eyes were as wide as dinner plates, as five spacecraft conducting a flyover soared over the stadium in formation. Leaving behind trails blue and white smoke that casted the air in a striped pattern. They were Epsilon spacecraft, the very type that saved his life in a far, dangerous region of space. It was the second day of the 2273 Interstellar Aerospace Expo, hosted by the Astreans that lived on the planet Seira, the day that would kick off with a traditional anti-gravity race between the humans teams from Fiore, and the Jurahan teams from Eden. “Dad, are we gonna win?” Jeremy asked.
Sebastian smiled and ruffled his hair. “I sure as hell hope so kid. That way Alex will be getting me lunch when we head back.”
Alvia covered Jeremy’s ears. “Sebastian, language. Not in front of Jeremy.”
“What? If I remember correctly you did the same before we left.”
Alvia playfully punched his arm before placing Jeremy on her lap.
Within moments of the racers being introduced the host of the show gave a brief speech to the people, welcoming all in attendance to both the race and the exposition. Upon finishing the anti-gravity timer began its countdown from ten, with the people all counting in unison as per tradition. Sebastian was happy. Happy that everything in the end worked out, from getting Epsilon approved in time for the exposition, to satisfying his son’s thirst for adventure. As the race began he pulled his wife closer and stroked the tip of her tail as they watched. “You know you still owe me an explanation about what happened.” she said. “I want to know all about your first time back up in space.”
“Yeah. Well I’ll tell you…most of what happened.”
Sebastian pecked Alvia’s cheek, as the romanticized scale of the race continued.
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2023.03.20 17:41 Mersentryce NPs March Madness: 2nd Round
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2023.03.20 17:40 ogreatgames Waialae Country Club True Golf Classics: Awesome N64 Golf Game - Nintendo 64 Game
| || | submitted by ogreatgames to Ogreatgames [link] [comments]
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2023.03.20 17:28 wzardwrld999 What’s an improvement you’d like to see in Survivor that wasn’t in Fallen Order?
For me it’s the hit boxes. In Fallen Order I can be shoving my lightsaber down their throat, locked onto them, and still miss a swing. I’d also like improvements on blocking/parrying. The timing on blocking/parrying is painfully slow and doesn’t give you a specific window to block. Always found myself blocking way too soon. Which kinda all comes down to the hit boxes you have on enemies vs the hit boxes they have on you
In terms of action games, this game really really lacks in a lot of areas compared to other games. I’d like to hear where you want improvements.
submitted by wzardwrld999
to FallenOrder [link] [comments]
2023.03.20 17:27 Dr_Apperpixion The Poolside
Rumours have been circulating in my hometown about a young girl who befriends teenagers with pools. She would become close to the family and then wait for the perfect moment to murder the entire family. She is calculated and cold. She waits until the right moment when the family is close to the pool, using the pool and then she would kill the entire family pool side leaving a literal pool of blood.
It started off as a story passed on among the people of my town, stories they would tell their kids, conversations they would have at work, discussion they would have during casual visits and so it goes.
The description has changed noticeably over the last year when it all started. Some would say it was a mere orphan child who No one knew that befriended the children at parks, others would say it was a grown woman who was hired as a nanny, some even said it was a ghost. Who knows.
The description was similar; it was always someone short with long blond hair.
They called her the poolside killer.
I work in the electronic repair field. Basically, I fix air-conditioners, swimming pool pumps, electric motors, TVs. Pretty much anything electronic I can fix. This means I get called often to go to someone's house to repair items.
There are a couple of families that see me more often as they like the service I provide so they always call me over the slightest repair job and I would go there and do it fast.
My whole world was rocked the day I was called to repair the electric fence of a family I am well familiar with; we had been working together for quite a few years now and they always called me to repair something. We will call them the O’Neal family for sake of protecting their identity or what is left of it.
This was the same month where the folks in town had been stirred up and left talking among themselves about the legend of the poolside killer.
I never really took this seriously, just like in all horror movies. No one thinks any of these things are real until it is too late. They rationalise until they can tell themselves the perfect lie in order to avoid these realities.
I was repairing the fence that Wednesday afternoon. It was quite a long day, a difficult job for a change and it took me all day to repair that fence. I had to take the whole wiring apart and redo it. The money was good, so I went with it.
The kids had come home from school, it was a boy who was in his early teens and a girl who was around the age of 8-10. Living with them in the house were Mrs O'Neal, she was in her 40's and Mr O'Neal was in his 50's. The mother of Mrs O'Neal was staying with them in the granny flat. She was quite old at the time already.
To continue my story, the daughter brought home a new friend. Surely you can see where this goes. The friend was a little girl, she was blond and looked to be around the age of 10-12.
The exact position I was at this moment was at the far end of the yard. The yard was sizeable, and I was at the far opposite end. From where I was standing, repairing the corner of the fence, I could see right across the yard to where the pool was located.
The pool was right outside a sliding door located at the back part of the house. The 2 openings were on the back corner where the gate is to the outside and the entrance from the sliding door. I could see through the gate from where I was working.
Another very true thing I didn't realise about horror movies is how we freeze up due to fear and can't look away or move. Despite what anyone could rationalise while not having been a witness.
I saw them all come out, seems like they wanted to have a swim. So, the entire family other than the granny was outside. They were taking pictures and getting ready to swim. I saw the friend stand closest to Mr O'Neal at the time and everything moved in slow motion after I noticed the small blade in her hand that she was hiding from everyone. I flinched as she repeatedly stabbed Mr O'Neal. I could almost feel the pain of her slicing Him. Her cutting is so fast. It happened so quick that No one knew what to do until it was too late. I must have blacked out a large portion of the event as the moment I remember I heard Mrs O'Neal screaming and running toward me.
I saw the little girl. Her eyes locked with mine, blood on her face. She started moving towards us.
Mrs O'Neal ran and so did I.
The little girl followed.
Mrs O'Neal found a place to hide in the house while the little girl seemed intent on hurting me. She followed me.
After seeing what she did to the others I didn't want to underestimate her and believe that I could just go and retrain her. No thank you, I want to live. So, I ran.
I don't know why I didn't just leave the yard. I assume it's because I really didn't want Mrs O'Neal to be murdered too. That's so hazy.
I ran to the other side of the house and jumped over the fence to hide in the little courtyard they had. I had just thought I outran her when I turned around and she was right behind me.
Everything went black.
I woke up in the hospital 72 hours later, confused and in pain. Apparently, I had barely made it alive. The little girl who had killed everyone hadn't known about the granny who was peacefully napping in the pool house. She heard the screams, called the police and was intercepted tight before mutilating me.
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2023.03.20 17:27 Whiskinho Real Madrid's YouTube Highlights of the game. . . Dramatisation at its best
Literally, they show all the fouls against them, nothing against Barca. They show several on slow motion. Playing a victim because they cannot play football.
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to Barca [link] [comments]
2023.03.20 17:05 Particular-Set-6212 [Cast & Crew] - Chapter 0
"Cat-astrophe"– a prequel short story
This is a prequel story I wrote for one of the characters in my book. If ppl enjoy, I think I'd like to post the full novel.
Set in early 1900s Boston, "Cat-astrophe" is about wealth, celebrity culture, and chronic depression. When these factors combine, we get an interesting character study :-) When someone repeats the same patterns over and over, at which point do you give up on them?
TW: depression, domestic abuse
Catherine Ophelia Hughes was born on June 16th, 1893. She was quickly nicknamed Kitty, her mother believing that it was a darling name and therefore fitting for their daughter. She was a darling child. By the age of 6, she had big, dark eyes; long, carefully curled locks of brown hair; and a pale face, like a blank canvas, against which the other two stood out.
In the Hughes’ drawing room, Kitty banged on the piano while singing a ditty of her own creation. Her piano playing was imperfect, to say the least, and her song lacked a melody or coherent words, but her voice was high and sweet.
“You didn’t tell me your daughter was a musician,” some visiting man laughed to Mrs. Hughes.
“She might have a real talent,” mused Mr. Hughes through the pipe he was smoking, sitting in his armchair. He took the pipe out of his mouth and turned to his wife. “We could get her into lessons, couldn’t we?”
Mrs. Hughes looked at the girl doubtfully. “If she’s old enough. Kitty, come here.”
Kitty hopped off the piano bench and stood in front of her parents. Her hands fidgeted with the folds of her white, lacy dress. “Stop that,” said her mother, and she stopped.
“Kitty,” said her father. “Do you want to learn how to sing properly? Professionally?”
“Yes,” she said.
The visitor laughed again. “And do you know what the word ‘professionally’ means, Kitty?”
She turned to him. “Yes,” she said more emphatically.
“This is a smart one,” the man commented.
Mrs. Hughes took Kitty’s hand. “All right, then. We’ll see about it. Now, let’s leave Father and his friend, shall we?”
Kitty and her mother left the room, and a few weeks later, Kitty had her first lesson with her new singing teacher. Through practice, Kitty quickly learned to refine her musical ability, and by 9 years old, she was regularly performing for friends and neighbors, and several times in Christmas pageants and other children’s plays.
One night, her mother was out of town visiting family, and Kitty thought it would be the perfect chance to escape the confines of their home. She had only seen the rest of Boston on occasion, mostly just her parents’ friends’ houses, and of those, mostly the upstairs rooms, where she and the other children were placed during social events to keep them from causing trouble. Tonight, Kitty wanted to cause trouble. She escaped her nanny with an excuse and snuck into the carriage. She hid under one of the seats and covered herself up with a black blanket so she would be less visible.
Her father had said he was going to the theater, and she wanted to see a real play, not just a Christmas pageant. She was going to sneak out of the carriage when they arrived and form her plan from there about where to go and how to not get sent back. Kitty knew she could think quickly on her feet, so she would find a way.
Waiting in the carriage grew hot and boring, although it was winter. She could barely breathe under the blanket. She hoped that they would leave soon and that no one was in a panic about her disappearance. If they worried, her father might not go to the play, and all this would have been pointless.
But just minutes later, her father sat down in the seat opposite her, and the carriage took off. It felt as though they hit every bump on the road. At some point, Kitty was jolted so hard that she smacked her head on the underside of the seat. By the time they slowed to a stop, she was feeling nauseous.
The door opened, and Kitty got ready to follow her father out into the theater. But he didn’t exit the carriage. Instead, someone entered.
They sat down next to Father and closed the door. She could hear them kiss.
“I missed you,” said the newcomer with a giggle. It was a woman, and it wasn’t Mrs. Hughes.
“I’m sorry it took so long for me to get away,” Father said in a low whisper that sounded very unlike him. “Life has been… hectic, to say the least.”
“It doesn’t matter,” said the woman. “Where shall we go?”
“Wherever you want.”
Kitty didn’t know much, but she did know that her father and this woman were romantically involved, and that they shouldn’t be. She threw the blanket off her head and crawled out from under the seat. The woman screamed, and she and Father quickly separated.
Kitty stood up and stared at the two of them. Fresh, cool air hit her face, and her hair was all frizzy from her time under the blanket.
“Kitty,” her father spluttered. “What are you doing here?” His tone turned angry. “You snuck out? That was dangerous, and you know it.”
“What are you doing with her?” she interrupted.
Neither responded. They looked at each other.
Kitty studied the woman. She was obviously an actress, with long hair that she wore in styled ringlets. She was heavily rouged, and she wore massive earrings and strings of pearls and feathers on her bodice, which may have looked appealing on a stage from far away– but up close, she looked chaotic and disorderly and the opposite of Mother.
“I should go,” the woman got out.
“Wait–” Father said, and tried to hold onto the end of her shawl, but she tugged it out of his grasp and left the carriage.
Father closed the door and gestured for Kitty to take a seat.
“You shouldn’t have been here tonight.”
“Because you were going to be with another woman!” she burst out. “How could you? Does Mother know?”
“No,” said Father, “and we’re going to keep it that way. Don’t you see, Kitty? If she finds out, she’ll be heartbroken. You can’t tell her.”
She shook her head in disbelief. “But… but what you’re doing… It’s awful. And I’m not supposed to lie to people.”
“Think, my dear,” urged her father. “You don’t want to hurt Mother. Sometimes…” He paused. “... We must do bad things for good reasons.”
She briefly wondered what the ‘good reason’ was behind his relationship with the actress.
Father stepped out of the carriage to tell the driver to take them home.
When they arrived, before they left the carriage, he nodded to her. “You’re a good daughter, Kitty. You’re doing something very kind for Mother.”
Kitty said nothing, just combed her fingers through her messy hair and jumped out of the carriage. Father held her hand on the way into the house and dropped her off with the nanny, who gave her a good scolding.
And Kitty never did tell Mother about her father’s infidelity. Her knowing the truth would have made everything far more difficult. She didn’t know how much longer his affairs continued for, and she never asked.
Only a year after the carriage incident, she was sent to finishing school.
She was assigned a room, which she shared with another girl of the same age. Later on, she wouldn’t even be able to remember the roommate’s name. They spent their first few years together in a friendship filled with constant conflict: they’d fight, then make up and swear it wouldn’t happen again, but it always did. When Kitty was 13 or so, the other girl was moved back home with her family, and she never saw her again.
Kitty had already become popular from that drama, but after the other girl left, she became popular based on her own merits. She was growing beautiful: her hair had darkened to an ebony shade, and her face was starting to gain definition. She was at the top of every class. She could sing prettily, dance gracefully, and write with eloquence, and her manners improved every year.
With her newfound superiority to her peers, Kitty found that she quite enjoyed toying with them, playing little mind-games. Lies could preserve your mother’s innocence and keep your family together; they could also make you beloved, get you easy revenge, and reassure you that you were still, and had always been, the smartest one in the room.
Sometimes it was for tangible benefit, like scheming to become head of the school’s choir, and sometimes it was for no benefit at all, like making another girl cry just because she could. Kitty never found it difficult to outwit anyone, and she felt the need to keep testing the theory over and over again, trying to see how far she could go. It turned out that the answer was ‘as far as she wanted.’ She never received consequences, and she remained one of the most well-respected, envied girls of her grade, if not the whole school.
At some point, she developed her first crush on a girl, but she quickly ignored those feelings.
By the time of her graduation in 1910, Kitty was 16, about to turn 17. She was finally wearing full-length skirts and pinning up her hair. She had made it. In an environment full of wealth, delicate connections, and competition, some girls didn’t. They broke down, gave up on their schooling, and went home to their country estates; or they suffered an embarrassment and became forever shunned; or they drifted by, pathetic and unnoticed, their faces unremarkable and conversation bland, and went off to average marriages with average men.
Kitty was none of those girls. She had made it through by being more beautiful and talented and intelligent than all of the others. A bright future awaited her– one that she unquestionably deserved.
She accepted her diploma gratefully and drove back down to Boston with her parents and one sister, who had come to see the ceremony. Kitty didn’t know or care much about her siblings. She had two sisters and a brother, but she had never been close with any of them. As they traveled over the bumpy country roads in their automobile, Kitty opened the window and let the breeze run over her face to avoid a conversation.
When Kitty was presented in society, everyone was immediately impressed with her, as she had predicted they would be. It wasn’t a surprise when her parents started to talk about giving her a career beyond being a simple socialite; how would she feel about involving herself in the theatre? She wondered briefly if this idea was inspired by her father’s particular interest in the industry, but she ignored the thought and said that yes, she would like to try.
Her father got in contact with one of his oldest friends, Mr. Reed, whom Kitty had known for years. He was a director, and he found a way to get her a minor role in a production, and then another, and then another, until she was playing Ophelia in Hamlet– fitting enough, considering her middle name. This was the first role that she had had that had really shown off her talents. When they took their final bows at the end, the audience roared in approval for the young woman with the sweet face. She had been so endearing and convincing and true and tragic that she had won all of their hearts at only 17 years old.
After the performance, she cleaned up in the dressing room– the first time she had ever had one of her own. She stared at herself in the mirror, pleased with how everything had gone, thinking that she should reward herself somehow. Once she finished changing, she left to reunite with her family.
They were standing with a young man, who was the first to greet her. He shook her hand enthusiastically. “Miss Hughes, I just adore the theatre, and you… you show me exactly why.”
She gave him her nicest, most confident smile. “Thank you.”
“This is Mr. Sheehan,” her father said.
“Nice to meet you,” she said, and the man blushed. She turned to her mother. “Should we be going?”
The next day, Kitty went out in the city by herself, wearing a basic day dress so that she didn’t attract unwanted attention. She didn’t know exactly what she was looking for until she paused by the front window of a jewelry store. She liked jewelry. She should buy herself something nice.
Inside, she found a beautiful pair of earrings, silver and tiny and delicate. She bought them immediately, knowing that although they were expensive, she was soon to start earning far more money than what her father would give her as allowance. She left the shop with the earrings in a velvet box, feeling immensely satisfied.
In the next few weeks, she started seeing more and more of Mr. Sheehan from the play. He appeared at every dinner party and dance, and he visited her father to talk business in the hopes that Kitty would be around. Sometimes she was, sometimes she wasn’t. She found his devotion oddly adorable. Eventually, she decided to act on it. When he asked if they could begin courting, she said yes, not thinking much of it.
Their whole relationship was her not thinking much of it. Had she been seeing Sheehan or not, her life would have been mostly the same. She continued to perform in Hamlet. Her going out with Sheehan didn’t even make much of a difference in the amount of suitors she attracted, since everyone still refused to accept that they didn’t have a chance with her. She moved on from Sheehan to Danny, and then to Joe. None lasted long, and she hadn’t been in love with any of them. She wasn’t going to lie to herself: she knew it was because she had never trusted a man. She simply hadn’t met any good examples. Her father was a cheater; her manager, Mr. Reed, was a pathetic little man who complimented everything she did; Sheehan had been unremarkable; and so were the rest. At some point, she carried out a brief relationship with a girl, a fellow socialite named Amelia. It was nice, and Kitty didn’t carry much fear of being discovered because, as far as she had seen, she could do whatever she wanted and her parents would be none the wiser– but she didn’t love Amelia, either.
Next came Roger.
She didn’t love him any more than the others, but she couldn’t deny that he was a handsome, charismatic man. He was young, wealthy, and well-connected, and they were something of a golden couple together.
In private, he drank too much and threw her around like a rag doll. He had always been too physically aggressive, but one day, when she told him that she wouldn’t be seen with him in that state, with his face glowing red and strands of his hair falling over his forehead, he slapped her.
Kitty stumbled back, not so much from the blow as from the icy shock running through her veins. He stalked closer to her.
“What’s wrong with you?” she said in a high-pitched tone. “I won’t be near you when you’re like this.”
“Fine,” Roger said, and thankfully didn’t try to lay a hand on her again. He just stood there in the center of his parlor, swaying slightly. “You can go.”
Kitty took her things and practically ran out the front door. She stopped at the stone walkway to catch her breath. She’d never been hit before, not even when she was a child. A hatred for Roger started to bloom in her stomach.
But the next day, he rang her up to apologize. “I wasn’t myself,” he said. She could hear him sigh into the microphone. “Will you forgive me?”
She did forgive him. She didn’t leave him. He was still handsome. And it had only been one slap, after all. She could handle that.
But she still didn’t love him. She developed a relationship on the side with a man named Paul. She didn’t feel so bad about cheating on Roger because he deserved it. She gained some sort of sick pleasure from the idea of making him upset, although she didn’t want to see what the consequences would be if he ever found out. She wasn’t going to test her luck.
The motion picture industry was starting to become more popular. For a while, films had been growing in length and scope. A decade ago, you could see a single gymnastics routine captured in moving images; now, you could see a full story play out. Kitty and her family sometimes went to showings at movie palaces. Even the poor could go to little nickelodeon theaters and witness the magic of film.
Mr. Reed, Kitty’s manager, proposed getting her a role in a film. She agreed. Her parents fawned over Reed, as usual. You’re so good to her– The reason for our success– Our dear friend. She didn’t dislike Reed, but she didn’t care for him. If she was going to do a film, that was her choice and hers alone. She could have easily refused.
When Kitty started in the film industry, she didn’t have to work her way up. The first role Reed found for her was a main character. At the film premiere, she and her co-stars were called up to the stage for a bow. They forced her forward to do a curtsy all by herself. She gazed into the crowd but couldn’t see any faces she recognized, which somehow made her feel better. It was a shapeless mass of smiling people, and all of them liked her.
Beaming, she touched her own cheek, feeling a pretty blush starting to form. She was wearing her Ophelia earrings. She gestured for everyone to join her in another bow.
She starred in several more films, and her fame grew. Instead of being simply popular with the rich, she was a figure beloved by all classes, as movies were more accessible to the general public than the elite theaters she had been performing in.
Kitty grew an obsession with checking her reputation over and over again. She perused magazines to see what was written about her. (All positive things.) She listened to others’ quiet conversations, paying attention to how they described her. (Positively.)
Roger hit her on two more separate occasions.
One day, she was walking in the street, watching the poor people go about their day. There was an advertisement for a nickelodeon posted on the wall next to her. Lightly curious, she paid her nickel and went inside.
A man was playing piano in the corner of the dark room. Everyone was clustered together, whispering, eyes fixed on the screen.
“Who’s that actor? He’s gorgeous,” said a woman in front of her.
“Don’t you know anything, Millie?” said another. “That’s Abie Myers!”
“Well, I know now,” Millie shot back at the girl who must have been her sister.
Who the hell was Abie Myers?
Kitty moved closer to the screen. He must be the lead. Some guy with a stupid-looking mustache and dark eyes. Come to think of it, she might have heard the name before.
But not as many times as she had heard praise of herself. Logically, she knew that she had nothing to worry about. People liked her. She and Myers could exist in the same industry at the same time.
But she still wished to be seeing herself up on that screen. Why had the girl known Myers by sight, but not her? She’d been standing right behind them.
She’d have to work harder than before, keep working until she was easily recognizable. It occurred to her that she still lived with her parents. She should get her own place. She should get more control over the roles she took. Her parents and Reed would see that she could take care of herself. Myers would be jealous of her.
That idea made her very happy.
So she bought her own penthouse apartment, where she wouldn’t be bothered by anyone. She still visited with her family several times a week and came to realize that she much preferred her parents and siblings in small doses. She liked to bring entire plates of food to her room and eat them sitting on her bed. She could do whatever she wanted.
Although she grew fond of isolation– a little too fond–, she still attended gatherings and parties. On New Year’s Eve, Roger hosted a celebration at his house. He invited most of his friends, all of whom were rich people in their 20s. Kitty felt far more free without the oppressive presence of her parents’ crowd.
Paul was there. She spent much of the night staring at him from Roger’s side. Which one should she kiss at midnight? She liked being able to choose– it was her own delightful secret.
She drank some champagne and started to feel lightheaded. Not enough to make her actually drunk– that would have been unwise. She wanted just enough to feel she was floating. The dress she had chosen was silver, patterned with black embroidery. She held a transparent black shawl around her arms demurely.
A little before midnight, she pulled Paul into a side room. She didn’t know where Roger thought she was, and she didn’t care.
“I wanted to get away the moment we walked in here,” she whispered, her hands wrapped around Paul’s shoulders. She tilted her head up so that their lips were almost touching. “You-know-who just wouldn’t let me go.”
“It doesn’t matter,” he said softly. “What do you want to do?”
“Whatever you want.”
The door opened, and a man peered inside. Kitty pushed Paul away, but it was too late; he had seen them.
“I was looking for the coatroom,” the man said timidly.
Kitty recalled that he was a friend of Roger’s, and her heart sank further. Mr. King. That was who he was.
“What are you… doing?” said Mr. King. “You’re still together with Roger, aren’t you?”
For the first time in a long time, she was lost for words. Her whole body was paralyzed with fear. She had been playing her little game against Roger, but whenever a thought came up of what would happen if he found out, she pushed it back and back. He wasn’t going to find out, so what did it matter?
But now King might tell him, and drunk, violent Roger might make a return. He was drunk right now on champagne and brandy. Oh, God. Her parents weren’t here. She didn’t know how she was going to get out of this.
“You didn’t see anything,” she said to Mr. King, her voice quavering. “You– You can’t tell Roger.”
Paul had his hands in his pockets, his face turned down uncomfortably.
Mr. King just looked deeply offended on behalf of Roger. “I can’t believe this.”
He turned back and walked through the door. Kitty ran to catch up with him.
In the dark hallway, she fought to remember his first name. King… William King. “William!” She spun him around. She was breathing heavily, panicked. “You can’t tell Roger. You don’t know what he’s like. He’s drunk right now, and he gets angry and physical. He’s going to beat me. He’s hit me before. He’s going to do it again if you tell him.”
William shook his head, confusion etched across his face. “Roger? Roger wouldn’t hurt a fly. I’ve known him a long time.”
“So have I!” she exclaimed.
“Why should I believe you’re telling the truth?” he said. “You’re lying to him every time you’re with… the other man. How could you do it? Roger’s a good friend. He doesn’t deserve to be treated like that.”
She shook her head, still too shocked to cry. “No, he’s not. I can’t stand him.”
Kitty realized that what she was saying wouldn’t make sense. She was going out with Roger, yet she hated him. She was usually a liar, but she wasn’t lying about his abuse.
William turned away and went down the staircase to the hall where everyone else was gathered. Kitty remained frozen in place in the dark.
Paul was probably still waiting in the room, too scared to leave. Asshole.
The clock struck midnight, and everyone cheered. It was now 1915.
Kitty pulled herself together enough to gingerly walk down the stairs. Her hands wouldn’t stop shaking.
When she made eye contact with Roger, it was obvious that William had told him what had happened. There was a dangerous glint in his eyes. He came to her and kissed her soundly on the lips.
“Happy new year,” he said. “Can I walk you home?”
She nodded but then realized her mistake. She should stay here, in a crowd of people, where Roger couldn’t hurt her.
But it was too late. They headed out. The walk back to Kitty’s penthouse was the worst five minutes of her life. She didn’t know how her legs kept moving. She thought she was going to faint at any moment.
She unlocked the apartment door, and Roger followed her inside.
He traced the patterns on her tablecloth with his finger. “Where were you just before midnight?”
“You disappeared.” He slammed a hand down on the table. “King told me that you were off with some other man.”
“I was with Paul.”
“Paul?” He looked up at her, his face a confusing mix of expressions. “And you’re not going to deny it?”
“Stay away from me,” she said weakly. “I don’t love you. I never have. I hate you.”
He took her by the hair and hit her in the face.
Hours later, Roger had long since gone, and Kitty was lying broken on the floor. The maid came in the early hours of the morning, found her, and immediately called for help.
If the maid hadn’t arrived, she might have died. Roger had given her a face covered in bruises, a broken arm, two broken ribs, and God knew what head injuries. She had passed out from the pain and dizziness.
The recovery took two months, most of which she spent in her room. It was a testament to her stellar reputation that no one thought she was hiding a pregnancy.
Or maybe some people thought that. She refused to leave the house to find out.
She allowed her family members to visit her, but not until her face healed up. After all evidence of a beating was gone, and only her broken arm remained, she said she had suffered a fall. The stairs at her building were notoriously steep. She didn’t want to go out in public until she could take her arm out of its sling.
She spent lots of time staring into her mirror, trying to make sure that her features were unchanged. Her nose hadn’t broken, so it went back to its nice, smooth slope. Her split lip healed up, and the small, pouty shape of her mouth returned.
The only visible sign of what Roger had done to her was a tiny scar on her upper cheek, which she guessed had been inflicted by a fingernail. Over two months, it never went away. She took to applying a tiny bit of foundation and powder over it each day to cover it up.
She finally started going out in public again. She signed her contract to do another film. She had had a brief illness, she told Mr. Reed, but she was ready to start working again. How glad he was to hear it!
The sickly sweetness he employed to speak to her made her uncomfortable, rather than proud and superior, as it always had.
She was changed, and she knew it. She looked upon everyone she met with suspicion. She didn’t carry on any more relationships with men, preferring to have affairs with women in dark rooms. Every man reminded her of Roger in some way or another.
Roger moved out of Boston in the two months she remained convalescing. She didn’t have to see him, and she was glad for it.
But she always wondered what would happen if she were to encounter William King again. He had been instrumental in the destruction of her spirit. She took to spreading rumors and falsehoods about everyone she interacted with, feeling that people as a whole were like King: naive but not harmless. She had to stay one step ahead of all of them. But, at the same time, she had to hide her overwhelming hatred for everyone around her; revealing it wouldn’t do for her fame and reputation.
So she perfected the persona that she adopted around everyone, including her family: chin slightly down to show off her eyes, hands folded, gentle smiles. At some point, she met Abie Myers, who turned out to be just as obnoxious as she had imagined. It took effort to keep her pretty, neutral face, but she did so, knowing that she was simply biding her time.
She was unstoppable.
Roger had tried to harm her, humiliate her, and take away her strength, but she was going to get the last laugh. She was going to increase by tenfold everything that had made her so successful: her talent, her beauty, her intelligence, her ability to lie and manipulate. She was going to become so powerful, adored, and controlled that she would never feel weak again.
Kitty’s next film premiered in the summer of 1915. She got ready at her mirror, making sure to cover up the tiny scar on her cheek. She put on those earrings she had bought four years ago. Looking at her reflection, she decided that they didn’t match the rest of her outfit, so she chose different ones.
submitted by Particular-Set-6212
to redditserials [link] [comments]
2023.03.20 17:02 AssistanceChance5454 2022 - March 7th earnings call and thoughts
I wanted to take some time to get down my thoughts regarding the recent AFC Gamma earnings call and price activity since.
In my opinion the call was not positive and the tone didn’t have much optimism to it.
The transition of the role of President of AFCG was not discussed.
The, what appears to be deteriorating, status of a number of loans was not discussed. The $11M increase in reserves against loans was not discussed.
The questions asked by analysts seemed phoned in. I took 10 minutes to review management discussion and loan disclosures in the financial statements and easily could have had actual questions – not a few softballs.
Volume: Prior to the earnings call volume was in a range of 80-200k/day. Volume since the earnings call – March 7th 306k, March 8th 850k, March 9th 220k, March 10th 875k, March 13th 220k, March 14th 450k, March 15th 295k, March 16th 211k. That is 3.5M over 8 trading days. I am guessing that a lot of the selling is driven by the institutional investors not liking what they heard (or didn’t hear) and getting out. The call was on March 7th – discussions had at investment firms and orders to be documented and approved – March 8th sell-off.
Close March 7th 2023: $15.45
Close March 16th 2023: $12.33
Loss since call: ($2.12) or (13.7%).
During that same time NASDAQ (^IXIC) is up roughly 1.5%. That is a ~15% downside swing in a little over a week.
If you go back a month AFCG closed at $16.06 on February 15, 2023. Down ($3.73) or (23%).
Similar tickers I follow for industry news and general comparisons are IIPR, NLCP, REFI and SSIC. Different strategies but give a good picture of underlying cultivators/dispensaries ability to meet their financial obligations. IIPR is traded on the NYSE and has a market cap of $2.3B. NLCP is OTC and has a market cap of $300M. AFCG, REFI and SSIC are traded on NASDAQ and have market caps of $250M, $240M and $60M.
During the period from February 15, 2023 to close on March 16, 2023:
IIPR: Down ($8.59) or (9.4%)
NLCP: Down ($5.18) or (27.1%) [this is AFTER a $10MM stock buyback in Q4 22
SSIC: Down ($0.25) or (2.6%)
REFI: Down ($1.70) or (11.4%)
I did not listen to the earnings calls but read some of the earnings releases and it appears a lot of the NLCP difficulties stem from tenants that are unable to pay rent as agreed. Typically in a REIT this would not be a major issue because another tenant could take over the lease and cash flows are only lost temporarily. With a lot of the space being leased by cultivators/dispensaries – the next best use of the leased premises would result in much less rents resulting in those leases being less valuable. Would AFCG be in a similar position if the deals started going bad? I would assume so.
REFI is probably the most similar entity and seems to mirror AFCG or AFCG mirrors REFI. Upon quick review of the 2022 financial statements there were no disclosures regarding troubled borrowers or any other items that really give pause. The have roughly $4M credit reserves and over 90% of loans are categorized as risk 3 or better (majority of AFCG are risk 3 with the remaining worse).
In general the cannabis industry is having industry-wide financial difficulties. There was a major rush to get up and running at various state levels to meet demand and a lot of companies that had no business entering the space were able to get financing at terrible terms. Cash was easy and the economy was pumping (regardless of whether or not artificially). Now reality is setting in.
Comparing price activity I would say a majority of the recent decline in price is driven by AFCG directly while 5-10% of that is driven by the market/industry. CONCERNS:
- BORROWERS: In my opinion this was the biggest issue with the call. Zero discussion regarding the current borrowers. Zero questions from analysts regarding the status of the loans. Zero questions regarding ability of the borrowers to stay current and meet terms as originally agreed upon.
During Q4 2022 there was an increase of $8.5 million to CECL and $11.5 expensed/added during the full year. These losses are added back for calculation of distributable earnings. Basically this is saying the loans are impaired and will incur losses – but we currently have the cash to pay a dividend as if the loans were current and performing.
At December 31, 2022 there was $14.2M reserved for CECL.
In Note 6 of the financial statements they break out the loans by risk rating. 3 is the best risk rating held by AFCG 5 is the riskiest. At December 31, 2022 there was $105M between category 4-5. Category 4 is defined as “high risk/potential for loss”. Note – all of REFI’s are Category 3.
At December 31, 2022 roughly 5% of all loans or 13.5% of Category 4/5 Loans were reserved for. Does this seem light? Given the struggles of the cannabis industry and borrower developments I feel this is low.
Other notes from the financial statements:
- Private Co. A ($1.2M): Non-accrual status ($1.2MM) that is fully reserved.
- Subsequent Events:
o Private Co I ($10.5M): January 2023 – Deferred upcoming principal payment. March 2023 – Deferred another principal payment and PIK a cash interest payment. Not good.
o Private Co K ($25.2M): February 2023 - Reduced loan commitment. Smart fiscal move by borrower but shows that the industry is slowing.
o Private Co B ($15.9M): March 2023 – Entered into a forbearance and modification agreement with borrower. Waive financial covenants. Not good.
Note: This is only what was required to be disclosed by the auditors. There was no additional discussion during the call. Unsure on the status of the other loans – assume they are paying current.
Between Private Co’s A, I, and B loans at December 31, 2022 totaled ~$27.6M. CECL reserve at 12/31/2022 was $14.2 million. Does this seem reasonable? Loans having significant issues are 50% reserved and nothing else on the remaining ~$250M portfolio?
Even if the borrowers are able to make regular payments – what is the plan when the loans near maturity? I would assume the loans have extremely large balloon payments that the borrowers will not be able to meet. Depending on the regulatory environment would AFCG seek to sell the loans? Would the terms/rates be adjusted and rolled into a new agreement?
- STRATEGY: AFCG is now exploring opportunities outside the cannabis industry. Basically this shift in strategy is AFCG coming out and saying there are no sizeable opportunities in the cannabis industry and we don’t foresee any in the near term so we are going to try and put your capital to work elsewhere.
They took hundreds of millions of dollars of investor money under the premise of a REIT with a cannabis industry focus and are now working with a pipeline is not producing. Hopefully new opportunities arise and/or opportunities outside cannabis provide reliable/healthy rates.
If the team of experts produced a deal with terms that are having to be amended and concessions given less than two years into the agreement – what is to give investors confidence that these experts can legitimately vet “other” lending opportunities that won’t sour?
For purposes of my analysis I am not assuming any growth/additional lending subsequent to 12/31/22.
- PIPELINE: As of March 1, 2023:
- Commercial real estate: $454M
- Cannabis: $245M
Leonard Tannenbaum noted during the call that it could take “months” before anything is completed. I would guess that means we won’t see anything before the next earnings call.
Also – with the recent SVB/Signature Bank developments – how has the overall lending environment been impacted? Will this change the due diligence process?
- CASH FLOW: AFCG has ~$100M of creditors that get paid before a dividend is even considered.
In the financial statements it was noted that $60M was drawn on the line of credit at year-end and repaid January 3, 2023. I am not sure the purpose behind this but assume this is for a REIT qualification benchmark.
Distributable earnings is a non-GAAP measurement. GAAP earnings were $0.14 but due to addbacks (stock compensation and CECL reserves) the income needed for a $0.56 dividend was met.
$46M of unfunded commitments.
What is the plan for raising cash for additional lending? Would there be demand for AFCG notes at 6-7%? Investors can get 4% on government securities. The additional 3% is not worth the risk. Would additional stock be issued and at what price?
What is management’s realistic
expectation of dividends in the future?
- INSTITUTIONAL INVESTORS: Previously noted, volume has been through the roof since March 7th. My guess is a lot of out-flows of institutions. Where does that lead us? Unfortunately the 13-F for Q1 is not due until May 15, 2023. By that time the stock could fall another 25% and the 13-F shows the big-dogs left and only bag holders remain. An extremely uncertain time.
There was a post on Reddit where the user said “Tannenbaum bought in here – good sign” around March 13, 2023. Based on the detail on SEC’s EDGAR, Tannenbaum did not directly buy more AFCG. A related foundation purchased 50,000 or so shares as part of an equity agreement.
Leonard Tannenbaum owns ~3.5MM of shares of AFCG. 50,000 shares is a drop in the bucket (~1.5% of total investment). If $20.50 was paid per share that is a paper loss of $21MM. A quick Google search would show that he is extremely wealthy. $20MM of unrealized loss isn’t anything to scoff at but doesn’t hurt nearly as much much when your name comes up in billionaire discussions.
It is also important to note that the management and related fees are paid to Leonard Tannenbaum’s management company – owned by him and his wife – outside of AFCG. The $21MM of unrealized loss on the shares owned is actually significantly less if you factor in the amount of fees. During 2022 there were $15.7M in management and incentive fees. During 2021 there were $8.3M of management and incentive fees.
- INDUSTRY: Obviously the cannabis industry is a big risk-on investment and there are going to be large swings in price due to issues like regulatory activity at the state and federal level. The investors expect to be compensated for this risk leading to high dividend yields.
Understanding the cannabis industry struggles right now - If AFCG’s borrowers are not able to make payments and need to amend terms to avoid default – how many of these leases and lending agreements that were entered into during the “boom” have terms that can realistically be met? How hard have the auditors pressed to realistically reflect expected credit losses? If reserves are light and there is a lot of trouble ahead – how does that impact cash flows (dividends)?
I have a cost basis of about $15.60. That would mean I am sitting on an unrealized loss of about (21%) - with dividend rates of roughly 15%. Understanding it is a difficult time for the cannabis industry overall I am OK with the risk and downturns – assuming dividends continue to get paid at rates similar to where they currently are.
I obviously have concerns.
I apologize for the massive post but I feel these are all valid questions/discussion points. None of this was discussed on the earnings call which I feel like should have been discussed.
Playing devil’s advocate:
- What if the 13F comes out and institutional holdings have reduced from 35% to 15%?
- What if the loans discussed in subsequent events continue to have difficulties and the Q1 23 earnings call the CECL reserve is required to be increased to 50% of the Risk 4 Loans (~$50M)?
submitted by AssistanceChance5454
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2023.03.20 16:59 CuteFatRat Who did quit this drug Cold Turkey? I am gonna to do it tommorow.
I have tinnitus so I decided I will quit this drug after 30 days.
Also I have mood swings and I am agressive and I have high blood pressure.
But today I’ve read somewhere that tinnitus can be pernament if you stop taking it.
Like in some cases it is pernament like 33% or something like this.
This really scared me.. Lot of ppl in tinnitus
was saying that they regret taking this bcs their tinnitus is pernament right now.
I will not be risking it.. I will rather have 20% less focus than this condition.
So any experiences with withdrawals? I am taking it 30 days 150mg SR (slow release)
submitted by CuteFatRat
to bupropion [link] [comments]
2023.03.20 16:59 1ok1s Upskirt Party Girl with White Panties and Slow Motion
2023.03.20 16:56 endersgame69 Adopted By Humans VI C36
There’s something magic about stories, something I didn’t really understand. Something that carries you away from whatever you are and transports you into… I struggled with what to say here and can only say what does not make sense.
It transports you to the impossible. The natural storytelling tendencies of humans could play out with such drama that it could make a stone howl with mourning for people that never even existed in the first place. Or laugh so hard that your tail might well be flung free of your body from the intense wagging.
Or fill you with pride for the accomplishments and growth that didn’t happen for people who were never truly there in a world that wasn’t.
Tonight, we were engaged in the second of those three things. Genghis had many questions along the way as he tried to understand what we’re doing, and I could only really feel a strange mix of envy and pity for the giant.
I had time to adapt…sort of. Boatswain had time to adapt, definitely. But as the little noise of the ticking clock ambiance went by on a loop, I realized that Genghis just… didn’t. There was no time for him to get used to humans.
Young humans get very affectionate, very quickly. So Genghis was bouncing back and forth between Earth, along with the other soldiers who were using the Red Spark as a base of operations, and operational facilities down below. Byron and Boatswain played that role to the hilt, since they were thoroughly experienced, they acted as liaisons for their shipbound counterparts.
That also meant that Genghis didn’t have the same benefit of having dlamisa around to ‘moderate’ any of his experiences or growth.
To put it simply, he was getting what the humans call a ‘crash course’ in human bonding from a human that was himself learning about how affection grows and builds.
It’s so very strange to think that in the morning he might be literally punching his claws through the body of a xenophobe, and in the evening he might be destressing playing ‘superdogo’ in near zero gravity with a group of human kindergarteners and first years.
He rocked back and forth while the small Michael giggled, it wasn’t entirely deliberate. Since my species cannot laugh, and we ‘huff’ instead, if we ‘huff’ hard enough our bodies will naturally shift and rock. And Fauve seemed to be doing her damndest to see how hard she could make him laugh.
Combined with the fact that the giant was sitting on a chair that was far too small for him… and the fact that he’d had at least a few beers…thank you very much Bonny Red for providing those rations…
Well perhaps it was inevitable.
As Fauve canted the worn gray felt hat to one side she put on a bawdy accent and shouted after a poor roll of the dice, “...That isna what ah meant by two fer the price of one!”
“Shi-” Genghis started to shout as the chair rocked unexpectedly hard.
I don’t know why, but right at that moment I remembered a line from the novel series ‘Who Endures’ wherein a child assassin in training took the name ‘Shi’ because it was the last thing her victim got out before she claimed her first life. The joke buried therein that the little murderess was so innocent that she had no idea he was about to swear.
Interestingly, English swear words were making it into Dlamisa language. Enkanti does not have strong, meaty swear words, so we were borrowing those of humans, and Genghis was square in the middle of one as his chair toppled back with Michael on his shoulders.
We were all of us, way too slow. We were starting to rise as we realized what was about to happen, what was happening.
But the curse of our limitations was that even though we knew what physics was doing to them, we had no real chance to stop it. Our chairs fell faster than we rose, clattering down around us, but even as we all stared at the fall going on in slow motion, we knew it was futile.
Then again, we are not genetically engineered marvels.
Realizing he was tumbling back, Genghis’s hands flew up to his shoulders, he grabbed Michael at the waist, and then held him up while allowing himself to land on his back.
It was quite a ‘thud’ when he hit the metal flooring of the ship, hard enough that even he grunted. But he held Michael up and said, “I found this lying around, is it yours?” As if nothing had happened.
He huffed, and the humans laughed with relief as we all sat back down, the chairs grating over the floor as we righted them and dragged them back into place.
Michael was oblivious to the danger and to our relieved sighs, for him, it had all been a sudden shift and part of the game. So he just wiggled happily at the sudden rush of danger and excitement. I was fairly sure he would not be sleeping much that night.
And I will always wonder if that was the defining moment that set the young boy on the path to his own form of manhood. What humans call ‘adventurers’ or ‘adrenaline junkies’. Or what the rest of the far more sane galaxy calls, ‘Absolutely insane’.
Or what Admiral Bonny Red would call, ‘A Captain and one hell of a pirate.’
But those were for the future.
At that moment, we were just relieved he hadn’t fallen down and banged his head on the unforgiving metal floor. I made a mental note to request a general reduction in ship gravity to reduce the danger of children falling, and Fauve cleared her throat.
“That item will not fit in your inventory, but your quick reaction to the madam has earned you a saving throw to see if you can properly charm her and gain access to the upper floor to question the target.” Fauve said and picked up her hat, as it had fallen on the floor during her sudden rise to her feet.
“Alright then.” Genghis answered, got up, righted the chair, put Michael on his lap this time, and asked the boy, “Do you want to roll for me? You seem to have a higher luck stat.”
This made Michael happy as he got to be involved in the game directly, and, it’s a funny bit of trivia to note that this is also why tabletop role playing games became exceptionally popular among my people’s military forces.
Some have suggested over the years that William and Rebecca should have reacted stronger to the near accident, but this raises something else I need to convey about human child rearing.
Children may pick up on the tensions in adults, but that does not mean they understand the tension. If a parent makes a very big deal out of something, even if it is trivial, the ‘child’ will make a very big deal out of it, unable to recognize how trivial it really is.
So if they had fawned over him, revealed how scared they were for his safety, far from laughing and being happy, Michael would have gotten upset, cried, thought he did something wrong, and all for what? Nothing, since nothing actually happened.
Thus, their calm held. As humans went, they were very good parents, perhaps not perfect, but good ones, and it was moments like this that showed how true that was.
And the game went on, with further laughter, but at least without further gravity based incidents.
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2023.03.20 16:48 circular_file Putting on muscle faster too fast and damaging tendons?
I think my muscle strength is growing WAY faster than my tendon strength(?). M/50/71"/200#/European ancestry/3-4 weeks for complaint, no relevant medical history or medications. I've started doing a lot of physical exercise, mainly what would be considered 'logging'. For about 12 hours per week I am moving logs, splitting and throwing wood, chainsawing said logs, and some digging. This has been going on for about 4 months and I've put on so much muscle that my shirts are getting snug across the chest despite having lost 7#. I really figure I've lost over 20#, but the muscle development is counterbalancing fat loss. I've lost 2" on my waist and gained 4+ on my chest. I digress... I have noticed some things in the last few weeks: My joints, specifically tendons have become very sensitive, mainly shoulders and elbows. They start to twinge early and quickly ramp up to significant discomfort. A couple of weeks ago it got so bad I could not take my shirt off over my head, I had to sort of pull it off by sliding it over my head while keeping my arms tucked in and below shoulder height. I just don't get tired when swinging the axe or hauling logs. I've always been strong despite my sedentary lifestyle. Throughout my life my muscles rarely hurt during strenuous exercise; I know I'm tired when I start to not be able to lift heavy things and I lose my wind. Now that has changed; I just don't fatigue; the only way I notice I am fatigued is my aim with the axe is off, or my face feels flushed and my hands shake. I do not want to do myself permanent damage, but have been unable to find solid info on the 'Net. When tendons are overtaxed, how long does recovery take, how much time between strenuous effort should there be to allow them to heal? Are there any treatments that will help them recover; e.g. heat/cooling, wraps, supplements, NSAIDs, etc? I am taking no medications other than the occasional mineral supplement if I've eaten poorly for a few days. It may be of use to know that I am considered a 'loose healer', a term my surgeon used. My range of motion recovered to effectively 100% after all three knee surgeries ( all due to a car accident as a young adult where I was a passenger ) including a TKR on the final surgery. Any help is appreciated. It feels good to be stronger than I ever have been and I don't want to screw myself up. Not relevant, but I think it is sort of funny; if there is a stretch of rainy days, around the second day I start to feel antsy in the afternoon. It took me a while to notice why I was becoming anxious, but by the third stretch of inclement weather I realized a pattern; the second or third day in, mid to late afternoon, just about the time I head outside and begin working. My body is looking for an exercise fix. Pretty cool!
submitted by circular_file
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2023.03.20 16:38 CJSports24 Different Golf Setups to improve any level of the game. This teacher helped me a ton with my swing.