North oakland ear nose and throat
Staphylococcus aureus bacteria colonizing the body: the unifying agent of acute and chronic disease
2014.09.19 01:24 healthyalmonds Staphylococcus aureus bacteria colonizing the body: the unifying agent of acute and chronic disease
Staphylococcus aureus is a bacteria that can live in the nostrils, ears, mouth, tonsils, and skin. It may cause or be associated with your congestion, swollen lymph nodes, sinus problems, allergies, sore throat, eczema, rosacea, acne, cystic pimples, folliculitis, bowel disease, chronic fatigue, diabetes, lupus, weight gain, hair loss, and other diseases. Chlorhexidine, iodine, or Triple Antibiotic Ointment (Neosporin) may stop the Staph infection. See inside for more information.
2009.08.03 18:21 kingofbigmac DiagnoseMe
The Internet's walk-in clinic. Because going to a doctor would be too expensive.
2023.03.24 07:38 StandardDry8254 Hard lump in front of left ear, shit scared
Hi all, so I currently have a lousy cold (endless runny nose, sniffles and sore throat, had horrible body aches for the past two days but those are getting better) and when I was washing my face last night I felt a hard, pea-size lump in front of my left ear. I’d say it’s just below and in front of my tragus. It feels like a lymph node but harder and tender when pushed – I also have a lot of tenderness around my wisdom tooth on the OTHER side, so I’m not sure if it could be related to that.
I struggle a lot with health anxiety and am petrified it’s lymphoma. Any advice? I’m on vacation until tomorrow but will be able to call my doctor on Monday. 🙏🏻
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2023.03.24 07:37 dazednc0nfuzed “Here comes the airplane”…a “joke” my family would partake in to get me to try new foods when I wasn’t ready/nor accepting of trying while growing up.
I wanna talk about my childhood and the relationship I had with trying new foods for a few if I’m allowed to here! Just wondering if anyone had any similar experiences tbh. Looking for some clarity if you will—
honestly, growing up It felt like I was the butt of the joke sometimes whenever my dinner needed to be accommodated. My older sister always scoffed at me, made me feel like crap because my 4 yo niece or nephew at the time was eating the said thing I was repulsed by (it would be ranch dressing, salad, tomatoes, seafood, etc etc) idk if that was just a weird sibling tactic to get me to eat it (like reverse psychology thing?) but I was a young teen at the time when this occurred and my mom usually respected my wishes whenever I was open about not wanting to or feeling comfortable to try something new so she would whip up something I liked for my peace and sanity, initially before she knew how picky I was, she used to plead and beg for me to try something new and I always turned my nose up, but she knew what I liked and would supply it after the long dreaded negotiations. I didn’t want to be a pain but I tried a lot of new foods to ultimately be disgusted and gagging by most new foods. (Texture and aroma is a huge stressor) taste and sight of food is something I rely on most when trying something new- but it was rare if I liked something “new” and my parents would congratulate and celebrate me if I liked something because of how rare it was for me to. On the other hand, my older sister would take it in the matter of her own hands and play the “here comes the airplane” trick - as if I was a baby. Baby talk was in use too. Yuck. All To get me to try the new food i was hesitant from eating. She did this routinely whenever she came over to join us for dinner. (She’s 16 years older than me and was out on her own with a family of her own) I remember the gagging, forcing myself to swallow and feeling sick, but gee, I made my sister laugh though!! sigh She laughed every time I was grossed out when analyzing every piece in my mouth, she thought i looked “funny” - Little did I know that it wasn’t just fun and games, or subtle sibling mischief. I told this to my fiancé one day recently & he said I was abused by my sister. Truly ashamed and embarrassed after all these years tbh. Anyone have a bully sibling that tormented them over this?
Side note: It took me years to try mozzarella sticks (they looked weird to me as a kid & I didn’t like the chunks in the marinara) but I tried them from subtle peer pressure/negotiation by my godmother on a lunch date when I was about 6 which that was a rarity of something I actually enjoyed especially that young (I was extremely picky when I was a kid) when trying for the first time (prOBABY could’ve went without the pressuring part bc I remember that day all too well 20 years later) however the stretchy cheese gave me a choking inducing fright one day many years later and I couldn’t eat them for a long while after that day but I missed them so much so a few years back I gave them another go but I eat them very slowly and still kinda get nervous bc I damn near almost choked from a wad of cheese getting lodged in the back of my throat. Scary stuffs.
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2023.03.24 07:36 justmealiveandwell Bad Stomach Bug for Toddler
Hi guys, I have a 19 month old toddler who got a severe stomach bug that lead to her being hospitalized. Along with her vomiting for 5 days straight, the mom guilt of being scared of her when she does, and the paranoia associated with everything, every medical professional around me is telling me I'm going to be sick too. Her symptoms started Saturday and my husband and I had sore throats begin on Sunday. I noticed I had constant nose drainage, nausea, fatigue, flushed face, not wanting to eat, sweats, and needing to poo but no diarrhea. My husband's symptoms got worse yesterday with diarrhea and low-grade fever. My dad also began getting sick on Tuesday and had fever with diarrhea. Both haven't vomited yet and my dad already is better. My husband's sister also got sick and her symptoms also started with a sore throat and have respiratory symptoms as well. When we took my daughter to her first ER trip, the doctor said she's seeing this bug in our area with respiratory symptoms as well.
Of course I've been asking my daughter's nurses about the bug, all of them basically told me I'm not sick and there's a chance I'm going to get sick anyway and throw up too. It's made me so paranoid that I keep ruminating about it and I'm hypervigilant about my body/surroundings. As I type now I'm having some nausea again, scared shitless while being the only one to care for my daughter. Is it possible (I know none of y'all can't give me med advice so I'm asking for experiences) to have a mild bug without vomiting???
One male nurse even told me I was going to be "having waterfalls out of both ends" like he did. I'm so scared, obviously because I hate hate hate throwing up and that I can't be sick right now obviously to care for my daughter. If these symptoms are the stomach bug, I'm basically on day 5/6 of it and I was estimating the days of my sister in-law's timeline. She was sick on Saturday too and is already feeling well yesterday.
I'm so scared. I'm a mom but can't even cope with my daughter vomiting let alone myself.
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2023.03.24 07:27 AshaSeaBikeMods Fourth Training Ride - 2023 Season
🚴♀️ Sunday, 26th March 2023 10:00 AM - Marymoor (LOT K) Samammish (East Lake trail ) Marymoor Mathews Beach -- > Marymoor 🚴♀️
Total distance : ~41 miles. Riding time 3.5 to 4hrs. *\
* please monitor this thread for updates to start time \\
** ** Please note, the start / Meet up point will be Lot K in Marymoor Park ( next to the tennis courts) *\
We will ride on the Marymoor Connector Trail to East Lake Sammamish trail till Sammamish Landing .
This will be our first regroup and turn around point .
From Sammamish Landing , we will ride back towards Marymoor and connect to Marymoor Connector trail. From Marymoor Connector merge to Sammamish River trail and head towards Mathews Beach Park.
Regroup and restroom / water breaks will be at Wilmot Gateway Park, Log Boom Park and turn around at Mathews Beach Park.
*** Due to the cherry blossom marathon event on Burke Gilman trail , there could be heavier than usual foot traffic as we get closer to Mathews Beach park. Please be extra cautious and ready to call while passing pedestrians ***
PLEASE BE WITH YOUR GROUP LEADS DURING THE RIDE Route files Dress accordingly in warm♨️ layers. Full🔋 biking pant, full🔋 sleeves jersey, thick gloves🧤, good✅ socks🧦, balaclava, a wind-chill jacket is highly recommended.
Current forecast shows temps in the morning at start time will be in mid 40s with slight chance of rain, so please make sure you wear appropriate clothing.
Biking accessories:-Mandatory : Helmet ⛑, taillights 🚦. Please plan on carrying flat fix accessories with you :- Spare tube, levers, hand pump / co2 .
- biking water bottle,
- Full sleeves jersey,
- full biking pant,
- Windchill jacket,
- headband / balaclava / scarf / skull cap / buff something that protects the nose, ears and neck from cold air to allow the biker to breath easily while riding,
- full gloves,
- avoid breathable shoes else have woolen or thick socks for cold.
❚█══𝐂𝐚𝐫𝐫𝐲 𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐫𝐠𝐲 / 𝐬𝐧𝐚𝐜𝐤 𝐛𝐚𝐫 / 𝐠𝐞𝐥 , 𝐛𝐚𝐧𝐚𝐧𝐚 🍌, dates etc 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐛𝐨𝐭𝐭𝐥𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐰𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐢𝐧 𝐜𝐚𝐬𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐫𝐮𝐧 𝐥𝐨𝐰 𝐨𝐧 𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐫𝐠𝐲══█❚
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2023.03.24 07:19 Icy-Establishment329 Upcoming survivors & hunters based on the lore
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If I’m wrong about something or missed something important, feel free to correct me! Also I’m not including every possible survivor and hunter ever, just a few I felt worth noting and may be possible in my opinion.
Some important context: Netease mentioned Identity switches don’t have to be the same character. Identity switches can also be survivosurvivor and huntehunter instead of just survivohunter. Confirmed/upcoming:
Alice DeRoss “The journalist”: Alice will be introduced next season with the Ashes of Memory event. Little girl is Orpheus’ memory of Alice from when they were children. Journalist is the adult form of Little girl and it’s theorized Alice went to the manor to presumably be reunited with Orpheus and end the manor games. It’ll likely be a survivosurvivor identity switch between Journalist and Little girl. Current Alice as \"Journalist\" Young Alice
Entomologist and Prospector (Hunter version): Confirmed in a Q&A. We also have a slight visual of what these two would look like as hunters from the "Go Hunting" lore video on Youtube, but there’s a chance these designs could be tweaked. Entomologist and Prospector are connected to Orpheus’ and Journalist’s lore yet they haven’t been teased for part 1 of the Ashes of Memory event. Rather, the hunter versions of Entomologist and Prospector will likely come in the second half of the event as Netease mentioned adding “new characters.” Hunter Prospector Hunter Entomologist To be expected:
Hell Ember (Survivor version): It would be surprising if Netease doesn’t give him a survivor switch. Leo was mentioned to have been a survivor before becoming the hunter of game 4. We have an idea of how he looked before his transformation and attempted suic*de by fire. But due to the severity of his injuries, Leo's appearance as a survivor is most likely subject to change as he was invited to the manor after his attempt. https://preview.redd.it/qe3590d6mmpa1.png?width=1094&format=png&auto=webp&s=1e8ddde1df9d5cfccc1d3141ad58756ebfb4d575 https://preview.redd.it/emh07nd8mmpa1.png?width=1268&format=png&auto=webp&s=73d39dbb0c89d8e9126deccb1d21dfbe9b70836e Speculative:
Jerry Carl (Embalmer’s adopted Fathementor): Essentially set up Aesop on his journey as a serial killer and taught him that killing others was for the “greater good.” Jerry was invited to the manor and agreed to go in hopes of “guiding lost souls.” He would later survive his game but was in critical condition. Aesop saw this as his “final lesson” given to him and let Jerry die instead of taking him to a Doctor. Based on Jack's recent letter, Jerry may have been part of game 2 alongside (possibly) Clerk and (possibly) Wax Artist as all contestants were described as having a sense of “justice.”
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The Feaster (survivor version) “Arthur Byers:” Mentioned in Hastur’s and Fiona’s letters. As a child, Arthur was found very close to Lakeside village, having “narrowly escaped.” Therefore he became very focused on Hastur and the sacrifices happening in Lakeside as he grew up. He would meet with Priestess several times to discuss spirituality & religion as he could never let go of what happened to him as a child. Arthur either became a politician or was involved in politics as he mentioned going to the manor upon the “eve of the election.” Personality wise, Arthur found humans to be easily manipulated and described himself as a “showman” when it comes to manipulation as he’s very persuasive. Despite sharing a language only “they could understand,” Arthur would later sacrifice Fiona before vanishing into water. Arthur Byers may be the stand-in for survivor Hastur and most likely serves as the host for Hastur’s spirit.
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Geisha (survivor version)- “Miles Donald”: Miles is an army officer and Geisha’s husband. After Michiko was killed by Miles’ father, Miles has been searching for Michiko for several years as he doesn’t know she was murdered. Miles mentions that he frequently suffers from nightmares as well. Appearance wise, he’s described as having “deep eyes and a tall nose” and might wear an army uniform due to his occupation. Miles was eventually invited to the manor to retrieve Michiko’s hatpin but decided to stay and play in the manor games to retrieve more answers on what happened to his wife. In turn, he’ll most likely be Michiko’s survivor switch since Michiko’s canonically dead. Miles' Shadow
Andrea: Antonio’s former lover and likely a singer. Antonio stated that Andrea was one of the few who truly understood his music. Antonio claims that there was a “barrier” in Andrea’s ears and said she lacks “normal hearing,” suggesting she may be partially deaf or there’s a health concern involving her ears. The mention of lacking “self-claimed elegance” could imply that Andrea’s a very humble person as well. Andrea would plead with Antonio numerous times to quit his temptations as well as threaten that she would break up with him if he didn’t stop. Yet Antonio didn’t and he would eventually beat Andrea with the bow of his violin. Andrea would flee from Antonio and Antonio had expressed remorse for what he did. A theater owner would later say that Andrea had gone to the manor, implying she may have either become a survivor or a hunter. It’s uncertain if she’ll be a survivor switch but I think she’ll be her own character in my opinion. As Andrea went to the manor first before Antonio, I’m inclined to think she’ll be playable.
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Sam Bourbon: Demi’s adopted Brother who is skilled in mixing alcohol. Because of Sam’s cocktails, Sam was invited to the manor and “never came back.” It’s speculated that Sam helped Baron DeRoss (implied to be Orpheus) conduct his experiments in drug making hence why he was invited. As Sam “never came back” we can guess Sam eventually became a survivor or perished while assisting Baron DeRoss. It’s uncertain if he’ll be playable but if so I think he’ll be his own character rather than a survivor switch. https://preview.redd.it/60qw838tnmpa1.png?width=767&format=png&auto=webp&s=b2ec0b84982d825d782417d255dcad9f5cb8cdc8
Violinist (Survivor version): Upon hearing his former lover Andrea had gone to the manor, Antonio heads there as well to go look for her and presumably apologize for hurting her. Antonio claims he was under the devil’s control when it happened but there was also a chance he was under the influence of alcohol. Perhaps Antonio will have a “SmileyFace/Weeping clown” situation where the hunter identity switch reflects the darker side of a character’s behavior. Violinist represents the darker nature of Antonio’s character under the devil’s influence- Meanwhile a survivor version of Antonio will reflect how he wants to make up for his actions as Antonio also seeks to free himself from the devil’s control by going to the manor. The chance of Antonio becoming a survivor is 100% speculative though as there’s currently no hints towards it other than how Antonio wishes to change. (Not implying that survivors are necessarily good people though.)
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2023.03.24 07:14 healthbay_dubai Finding the Best ENT Specialist in Dubai
Are you looking for the Best ENT Specialist in Dubai
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2023.03.24 06:43 drchavaanjanent Snoring Treatment, Surgery, & Symptoms Snoring Treatment, Snoring Surgery In Hyderabad
| || | submitted by drchavaanjanent to u/drchavaanjanent [link] [comments]
It is a surgical procedure to remove enlarged / loose tissues from nose, throat in patients with complaints of snoring
due to obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. How can you know if you're snoring?
doctor will ask you (and possibly your partner) a series of questions about how often you snore, how loud it sounds, and how your diet and lifestyle affect your sleep. Your provider will check your blood pressure, listen to your heart, and examine your mouth, nose, and throat during an exam.
Dr Chava Anjan ENT CARE CENTRE was established in HYDERABAD, and prime objectives are to keep abreast of advances made in the ENT field and pioneer hitherto unavailable treatment methods in India. More importantly, Asian ENT Hospital strives to introduce research-oriented diagnostic & therapeutic ENT practices in India, and make treatment affordable & available to the masses.
2023.03.24 06:37 DavidMason141 Is this hiv?
Had a sexual encounter with a hooker back in January (used a condom). I was fine from then but from the last month I have the worst cold in my entire life (Blocked nose, sore throat that comes back at night , sneezing) and it's not going away. Also last week I've been feeling a swelling in my throat which wasn't there before. Is this supposed to be hiv or I'm being paranoid for no reason?
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2023.03.24 06:07 nauraug A Year Gone
All of this was inevitable.
It started with you finding me suicidal, alone, and scared. My dependency on you grew so fast. You listened to me. You comforted me. You validated me. I fell in love with you so fast, faster than I had anyone else. In a lot of ways, you saved my life. I owe you that.
Then the bottom fell out. You wanted another man, though you admitted you had feelings for me. Thus began the problems, the hurts that ran so deep that I never really got over them. There was a lot of conflict in my mind already, and we had barely met.
I got my chance, though. You fell for me, too. I got sober. I got well. Things were looking up for both of us. Those summer months were some of the happiest of my life. I ached to be with you. I got my wish. I was so happy, so blinded by realized love that I didn't see the truth.
That first drink was the beginning of the end. That car accident was the spark of trauma I needed to let slip the dogs. I felt so guilty for distracting you, and so scared for your life, I turned back to that old habit that had once been my only source of comfort, one that my body was already yearning for. I got reckless with it. You saw how fast it sweeps me away.
You were right to end things. I wasn't going to get better. The denial was becoming too strong.
But then it happened again.
I took my addiction to another level after that dark night, because I couldn't be there to protect you, to fight and kill for you. That, and the guilt I felt over our failed relationship, killed me inside. I was so angry with myself, I lashed out at you too. I felt so alone and isolated again, like all the light had left me and I was in the dark once again. I drank so much and so often I forgot what it was like to be me.
One thing has been true though. I have always, always loved you, with every part of me, unconditionally. I always will love you for who you are. My love for you beat my addiction, once and for all. During those horrible weeks of January, I cried my eyes out thinking of you, but I was never tempted once to pick up a bottle. I won that fight, alone, huddled under my blankets, dying from pain inside and out, all because I loved you, and I saw clearly the agent of destruction I had become, and the path I had laid waste in my wake.
I am so sorry all this has happened between us. You didn't deserve this. I hope you live a very happy life without me in it. We may never speak again, love again, kiss again... but I'll be here for you in spirit. Whenever, whatever, you need, I'll be here. I swear it.
This year has flown by so fast I can't make sense of it. The highs were like the loftiest of clouds, and the lows the the belly of the ocean.
What do I miss? I miss hearing about your day, about your aunt annoying you, with the dogs yapping in the background. I miss hearing about your work, the new true crime podcast you've found and wanting to listen to it myself. I miss finding new music with you. I miss planning our trip to find the old ruins of that Satanic palace and driving that haunted road at night. I miss watching movies with you, playing Stardew together, talking about The Boys. I miss the jokes and the laughter we used to share so often over life's silly moments.
I miss my best friend. I miss feeling seen and appreciated for my strangeness for the first time in my life, and I miss helping you feel that way too. I miss your eyes. I miss those cute noises when you're sleepy. I miss brushing your pretty hair past your ears. I miss your nose.
I miss you so much. I think about you every day and how much I wish it could ever be the same, but there's so much pain and trauma between us it feels insurmountable. I wish it never came to this, spud. I'll continue to make the best of choices I can in your honor.
Forever yours, I love you.
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2023.03.24 05:42 RobertSlobert420 Body parts
I got a pocket rocket imma pop it at your sockets and your cock to keep you from talkin you’ll be begging me to stop it I’d do it cuz I love it Cut your fucking legs to keep you from runnin Bloody Man that shits funny Force you into sex to make a lot of money Buy coke and black, shootin up my stash eat the fucking crabs off the crack of my psychopathic ass
Im your rival, devil from the Bible Womens body parts decorate my rifle Cooked on the barrel After shooting you 100 times in the temple
Use your pussy like a rental and penetrate your rectal cavities Concave due to gravity pulling your pussy on my dick The cum made you sick, filled up your stomach then I bite your fucking neck drink the blood cuz I love it
I’m a vampire biting drugged hookers just to get wired but I never get tired of slicing tits in to bits covered with amputated clits and cleavage Blood notes on the wall just read it It says please help I came here to sell my pussy now he took me in the back and hes cuttin up my cookie
And no I’m not a rookie with the blades Aware of the taste that blood and guts make It’s great like womens waists I got 8 of ‘em in my safe so nobody can take Anything that’s mine including sarahs spine Fucked her before she died so her death was rectified and made right because I made her mine before choppin at her thighs
Brazilian womens skeletons found chilling underneath a building evidence of a kill spree when I’m caught I plead guilty womens titty flesh wilting away And the brown stains and brains is clogging up my drains
You’re face is peeling away You belong to me after death You don’t get a grave to stay Locked in, deprived for days Absolutely fiendin you ate your own shit and the semen from a dick And your titties I prick With needles drinking titty blood cuz I’m evil Sacrificing weasels and goats Bitches tied up in my boat with slit throats And my nose is filled with coke They used to be woke before I took the life of the hoes with a sharpened knife after injecting dope inbetween my toes on the backroads That’s where I live
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2023.03.24 05:27 Darunkie [Len in the Outlands] - Port Jona Arc - Chapter 17
Kartho awoke at 9am the next morning. When he finally got dressed and went downstairs, he checked the job board and saw that three jobs had already been claimed by his younger companions.
“These kids waking up early,” he muttered snarkily. “Who are they trying to impress?”
After wolfing down a quick breakfast of eggs and some kind of mystery meat that appeared to have been from a reptilian animal of some sort, he walked back to the board and perused it for his first big solo job. A lot of them were typical “go here and slay this” sort of thing, but one near the bottom caught his interest. He leaned down and carefully read the job’s background:
Forest spirit sword stolen.
A tribe of forest spirits attempting to locate a ceremonial wooden sword used in their rites of passage have tracked it to a wealthy aristocrat right here in Port Jona. Archibald Falcon, CEO of the Falcon Merchant Guild, was recently featured in a photo in the Port Jona Times, showing the sword encased in glass in his mansion on the north side of the city.
Enclosed was the picture in question. Falcon was a tall, thin man with round glasses and slicked-back black hair. He had a smug look on his face as he stood in front of a series of shelves lined with treasure. On one of the shelves was the sword in question. It was smaller, like it was designed for one-handed use. Despite being wooden, it didn’t look like a child’s toy. It was intricately carved with many curves and curls. Set near the crossguard was a citrine gem.
“Time to rip off a rich fellow,” Kartho said, tearing the flyer off the board and signing his name on the blank sheet of paper behind it, signifying he had claimed a job.
After leaving the Meadowbirds’ headquarters, Kartho made a beeline for the district where Falcon’s mansion was. It was a residential district near several merchants’ districts, all of which sold high-end items. When he got there he was almost disgusted by how decadent the homes were. The houses were enormous. Each of them were made up of multiple wings and towers. The grounds for each home were wide and sprawling, each of them gated. Guest houses and servants’ quarters were also present. Many of the homes, though not all of them, had private guards stationed at the main gates. Falcon’s home was one that was guarded.
“Paranoid son of a gun,” Kartho said as he observed it from the opposite street corner. The guards briefly glanced at him, but he moved away before they could get suspicious. A block away, he paced, thinking of how he could get in. His grounds were somewhat lacking in thick vegetation, which meant less cover. He was also sure that all entrances and even most windows would be guarded.
“-think the event will be a smash hit.”
A voice spoke from around the corner. Kartho barely heard half the sentence before he turned his attention toward it. Two human men in fine clothing were walking together down the street.
“Ah yes,” said the other man. “Old Archibald hasn’t hosted a party of this caliber in several months. I hear everyone who’s anyone is going to be there.”
“Will Falenias have the gall to show his face?” asked the first man. “His business took a tanking recently. If he had any decency he’d stay away from this.”
“He is certainly not coming,” the second man replied. “I spoke to him yesterday when he came begging to me to help bail him out. He said something about sequestering himself in his office for the next week to find a solution to his financial problems.”
“As well he should,” said the first man. “If he has any desire to remain in high society-“
But Kartho was no longer listening. He dashed down the street and away from the two men. He had an in to Falcon’s house. He was going to impersonate Falenias and crash the party.
It didn’t take long to find out who Falenias was. Kartho visited the nearby merchant districts asking about him. He was the leader of a guild that was falling on hard times due to corrupt business practices. His face was featured in the Port Jona Times a handful of times in the last month alone. Kartho returned to his room at headquarters and stood in front of his mirror along with a photo of his mark. He spent the next hour or so applying illusion magic to himself. He grew his hair so it fell to his shoulders and changed it from black to bright flaming red. His skin reddened slightly, and his irises changed to bright amber. He pulled on his ears until they elongated and pointed, looking perfectly elven. He even managed to increase his height a few inches. He estimated Falenias at six feet, two inches. He then finalized his facial features and transformed his clothing into finery befitting the event. Once he was sure he was done, he twirled around once.
“Mr. Falenias, I presume?” he asked his reflection. He wasn’t sure what Falenias sounded like, so he hoped others wouldn’t notice. He also hoped that the elf’s status as a disgraced businessman would mean nobody would want to be seen with him, so nobody would approach him for a conversation.
When the time for the party had approached, Kartho wandered into the wealthy district and approached the main gate of Falcon’s mansion. Already a large crowd of partygoers was walking past the guards. When it was Kartho’s turn, one of the guards approached and put his hand up.
“Name?” he asked.
“Falenias,” Kartho uttered, trying to sound as self-important as possible.
The guard muttered and looked at a sheaf of parchment he was holding.
“Says here you declined your invitation.”
Kartho scoffed. “So I’m not allowed to change my mind?” he asked condescendingly. “Do you know who I am? I make more in a day than you do in a year. Now let me through!!”
He shouted the last part. The guard, taken aback, jumped a bit and gestured for Kartho to enter the grounds. He smugly turned his nose up at the guard and walked in.
The grounds were well-lit, with large electric streetlights dotting the landscape. As he saw from outside the gate, Falcon’s lawn was flat and featureless. There were several benches, walkways, and reflecting pools, but other than the odd shrub here and there, there was nothing in the way of cover. Partygoers mingled about, munching on tiny hors-d’oeuvres and drinking expensive drinks through tall thin flutes that looked like you couldn’t even get a buzz from one.
“This party sucks,” Kartho muttered under his breath. That didn’t stop him from grabbing three drinks and a handful of snacks when the servers came by him.
“Loading up on free stuff now so you don’t starve later?” asked one of the guests. Kartho just snorted and glared at him before chugging his drinks.
After a while, Kartho meandered into the mansion itself. The entryway was as obscenely huge as he imagined it would be. A grand staircase was in front of him. Below it was a massive bronze statue of a falcon, easily the size of a full-grown Amazonian. The floor and pillars in the room looked to be made of solid jade and marble, respectively. Above him was the most intricate chandelier he had ever seen. More guests were crammed in here with even more servers laden with countless items.
In the brighter light, many guests turned toward him and sneered. Kartho thought to himself that people really hated Falenias right now. After a few minutes the sneers subsided. It seems nobody wanted to even associate with him, as he predicted. Anyone he approached turned away or even walked away. This was good, he thought. Nobody would think to follow him or distract him.
Finally, he had thought it was time to slip away. He walked to the nearest server and cleared his throat.
“Excuse me,” he asked. “Where’s the little elf’s room? I do feel I’ve had a bit much to drink.”
“Right this way, sir,” said the server, gesturing for Kartho to accompany him.
The server led him away from the crowd and down an empty hallway to a closed door.
“This is the powder room, sir,” the server said. “I’ll wait out here to escort you back to the party when you’re finished.”
Kartho thanked him and entered the room, shutting the door. He waited about thirty seconds before knocking.
“Excuse me,” he said, “but I think this toilet might be broken.”
He opened the door for the server, who walked in. Kartho closed the door behind them and stood behind the server as he walked to the toilet.
“Looks fine to m-“ the server began. He couldn’t finish, as Kartho hit him over the head, knocking him out.
“Sorry, buddy,” he said, “but I need your face.”
Kartho muttered an incantation and the features of Falenias melted away, returning him to normal. He examined the server for a few seconds and applied another spell, transforming him into the server, clothing and all. After locking the door behind him, Kartho stepped out into the hallway. It was empty as before.
Kartho strode confidently down the hallway, looking around for the room in the newspaper photo. He opened a few random doors but couldn’t find the room in question. He read that Falcon was a bachelor, having only servants and guards in the house with him, so there was no risk of stumbling across a family member. He did encounter a few other people, but none of them paid him any heed, assuming he was just part of the staff.
He was going down a corridor on the second floor of the main wing when he could hear someone yelling behind him.
“Berriss!!” called the voice.
Kartho turned to see another server walking quickly towards him.
“Where the heck were you?” he asked. “I need you back outside serving drinks. You don’t get paid to take a stroll through the house.”
“Sorry,” Kartho replied. “Mr. Falcon just said he needed me to go get his, um, spyglass, from his treasure room. But I got lost.”
The other server shook his head. “A year here and still getting lost? You know I only hired you as a favor to your parents, right? Keep doing this and I’ll have no choice but to let you go. Third floor, east wing. Get it and get your sorry self back to the party. You’ve got five minutes.”
The server bounded away. Kartho went the opposite direction, back to the east wing and up the stairs.
Once he got there, the room was easy enough to find. It was bigger than he thought, with every wall covered in shelves stocked full of every item Falcon had collected over the years, save for one which had a giant set of glass double doors opening to a balcony. The items ranged from simple things like wooden figurines to solid gold magical contraptions. Sure enough, the sword was right where it was in the photo. Kartho opened the glass case and hid it away in a pocket in his clothes.
“What are you doing here?” yelled a voice.
Kartho turned around. Falcon was standing in the threshold of the doorway, a venomous look on his face.
“This,” Kartho said, pulling out a small pellet and slamming it to the ground.
The room was instantly filled with pitch black smoke. Having memorized the layout of the room beforehand, Kartho made a beeline for the double doors and slammed through them. He quickly bounded up the roof, running across it until he was away from the treasure room.
The guards must have seen the glass shatter, because all of a sudden they were scattering across the grounds like ants at a picnic. Kartho removed his disguise and crouched on the edge of the roof, looking at them, his vantablack clothing keeping him safer.
“Crap,” he spat. “Can’t do an unnoticeability spell either. Not while they’re actively looking for someone.”
He scanned the grounds looking for an opening, but the guards were too well-dispersed and it was too well-lit for him to get away without being seen.
“Guess we’re doing things the sloppy way tonight,” he said, and plummeted off the roof onto the ground. He sprinted full-on for the edge of the grounds, heading straight for the fence. He could already hear voices yelling behind him. He ducked as he heard a whistle, a crossbow bolt missing his head by less than an inch. When he got to the fence he pulled himself up and over in one motion. Quickly he bounded into the street, turning random corners and hoping the guards wouldn’t chase him beyond the grounds. He managed to make it back to the merchants’ districts without incident. Thanking his lucky stars, he took the long way back to headquarters in case he was being tailed.
Kartho entered the main doors of Meadowbirds HQ and slammed the sword down in front of the guild member in charge of job progress that day.
“Got the sword,” he said, doing a two-finger salute. “The spirits can rest easy.”
The guild member took the sword and handed Kartho his payment of fifty gold. He pocketed it and walked away. He joined his party, each of them enjoying a large mug of ale and a huge plate of food. They cheered and raised their mugs to him when they saw him.
“All successful jobs today then?” Kartho asked.
The rest of them nodded and smiled. Kartho recanted the events to them, and they stared, wide-eyed. They chuckled at a few of the parts.
“Sounds like a fun time,” Shade replied. “A bit less messy than my job.”
“Why?” asked Kartho. “What happened on your job?”
Previous Chapter: https://www.reddit.com/redditserials/comments/10pthew/len_in_the_outlands_port_jona_arc_chapter_16/
First Chapter: https://www.reddit.com/redditserials/comments/ukahtf/len_in_the_outlands_fledgling_arc_chapter_1/
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2023.03.24 05:07 omegacluster Album Anniversary List 2023-03-24
Today's anniversaries are: 2004 2009 2014 2015
- Chon - Grow (Alternative, Rock)
- Corpo-mente - Corpo-mente (metal, rïcïnn, avant garde, bjork, black metal, blood music, death metal, experimental, opera, trip hop, Öxxö xööx, Finland)
- Laksamana - Antagonist (experimental electro) Read our review.
- Lightning Bolt - Fantasy Empire (rock, black pus, brian chippendale, brian gibson, providence, rock, underground, Providence)
- Liturgy - The Ark Work (experimental, black metal, Brooklyn)
- Witch of the Waste - Made of Teeth (death metal, metal, metalcore, technical metalcore, dark hardcore, death metal, free, free download, grindcore, hardcore, post-hardcore, technical metalcore, Vancouver)
- 22 - You Are Creating, Limb 1 (alternative, hard rock, progressive rock, rock, alternative, alternative rock, progressive, progressive rock, rock, Trondheim)
- Alms of the Giant - Oracles (metal, ambient, hardcore, metalcore, post-hardcore, progressive, Milan)
- Alpha Brutal - Upgrade (8bitcore, metal, fusion metal, nerd metal, nintendocore, progressive metal, Paris)
- Becca Stevens - Regina (Pop, Singer & Songwriter)
- Chêne - Chêne (metal, post-metal, Oslo)
- Crackling Dawn - Adrift (death metal, metal, progressive metal, Portland)
- Fucked Up - Year of the Snake (punk, metal, Oakland)
- Heart Attack - The Resilience (metal, modern metal, thrash metal, marseille, metalcore, modern metal, thrash metal, Cannes)
- Heretoir - The Circle (blackgaze, metal, post black metal, post metal, post rock, atmospheric, post-metal, post-rock, Germany)
- Ire Wolves - Heirs (metal, rosetta, cult of luna, doom, doom metal, experimental rock, hardcore, intronaut, old man gloom, post-hardcore, post-metal, post-rock, progressive metal, sludge metal, Duluth)
- Moonloop - Devocean (death metal, metal, progressive rock, progressive death, progressive death metal, technical death metal, Barcelona)
- Northlane - Mesmer (metal, metalcore, Sydney)
- Omar Rodríguez-López - Gorilla Preacher Cartel (alternative, alternative rock, at the drive in, rock, the mars volta, United States)
- Orm - Orm (black metal, death metal, metal, orm, scandinavian, progressive metal, Copenhagen)
- Pallbearer - Heartless (epic doom metal, metal, Little Rock)
- Pat Mastelotto & Markus Reuter - Face (ambient, classical, experimental, adam jones, king crimson, markus reuter, mike oldfield, pat mastelotto, tool, yes, Berlin)
- Sleep Makes Waves - Made of Breath Only (rock, alternative, antarctica, arctic, cinematic, instrumental, made of breath only, mobo, post-rock, progressive, sleepmakeswaves, tundra, Sydney)
- Sloth Herder - No Pity, No Sunrise (metal, grindcore, maryland, pennsylvania, powerslob, virginia, Maryland)
- Slugdge - The Cosmic Cornucopia (blackened death metal, death metal, metal, progressive metal, sludge metal, UK) Read our review.
- The Bug & Earth - Concrete Desert (experimental, hip hop, rap, experimental electronic, experimental hip-hop, grime, Berlin)
- Travesty of Mankind - Hematohidrosis (experimental, extreme music, metal, north carolina, slam, Reidsville)
- Twilight Fauna - The Year the Stars Fell (ambient, atmospheric black metal, black metal, depressive black metal, metal, Jonesborough)
2019 2020 2021 2022
- Hyper Lightning Hydra - Galactatron (alternative, black metal, jazz fusion, progressive, dark synthwave, eclectic, fusion, indie, jazz, progressive metal, psychedelic, retro, synth, wave, Australia) Read our review.
- Michael Moss Accidental Orchestra - Helix (albert einstein, charles ives, jazz, louis armstrong, tibetan book of the dead, electro-accoustic, free improvisation, free jazz, jazz orchestra, kabbalah, loft jazz, non-western instruments, ritual, spiritual, world beat, New York)
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2023.03.24 04:52 sparkleblarkle Weird crackly, snoring like sound when breathing
I’m a 28 year old caucasian female, currently on Lexapro and Wellbutrin. I have also been taking Dayquil twice a day for the past 3 days. No major health issues besides anxiety and depression. No change in diet, mood or medication lately. I don’t smoke and only drink socially
Starting this past Monday (roughly 3 days ago) I started to feel flu-like symptoms. I’ve taken 2 covid tests 2 days apart, both negative. My symptoms are congestion, ears feel full and plugged up, sneezing, fatigue, sweating but no fever, and a cough. The cough has been the most annoying part, it’s a dry hoarse cough. I’ve also developed a weird nose when I breath, it feels like a rattling/crackling in my upper chest and it sounds like I’m snoring. I do have a doctors appointment tomorrow afternoon but I worry a lot so does anyone know what it could be? I don’t feel short of breath, and I have no fever even though I get sweaty once I start walking around.
ETA: I went to a childs birthday party a day before the symptoms began. My two toddlers have developed runny noses and a mild cough, but nothing more than that. They also have doctor appointments in the morning. Could this be viral?
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2023.03.24 04:35 Blackheart2747 Tough enough "prologue"
Tough enough "prologue"
Jason's Narrating: Life was very grim dead slog"bad-grim, dead-boring, and slog- a period of difficult or tiring effort" for me when I was a Lad"British slang term for boy" my father was an single parent taking care of me, and little brothers my mum leaves us because dad is an arsehole"brtish slang term for asshole" but mum was the problem she was cheating, drinking, smoking, and sitting in pub"slang term for bar" all day and all night while we are at home and school every day mum forgot or don't want to pick us up from secondary school and my dad was mean and tough towards us because of my mum and his past teaching us how to fight if an bully fuck with you then fuck them up that how dad always say we have to tough enough to beat up the bullies just tough enough.
Jason POV: I just got off the coach"school bus" today being very dead slog I walk until I seen my house I was scared that my dad going to fucking kill me because I am battered and bruised from getting beat up by the bullies like every day walk to my front door then four little brothers Cody, Kyle, Jeremy, and Jesse open the door looking at me shock and surprised but scared dad was angry mean bastard then that dad walk in on and seen my bruised face his nostril foyer up and have angry, violent, and serious look in eyes.
Dad: Bloody fucking hell what fuck happened?
Me: I…. I just trip on my shoe liners falling on the school floors sir.
Dad: You are fucking lying Bairn tell me the fucking truth now Bairn!
Me: I got beat up by Sean Brown and his friends.
Dad: What did let him beat you up because you are a fucking coward!
Me: I am not a coward. You fucking bastard.
Dad: Let's practice fighting so you can defend yourself or you are a coward.
Jason POV: That twelve years ago the date is January 1st, 2008 I am now eighteen years old so I am doing whatever i want to do like drinking in the pub, smoking, fighting in illegal boxing fights and illegal underground fight clubs get major injuries, and losing the fight or get minor injuries and winning the fight with and without my dad knowledge I know that most fighter try make your Mark on the world and fail but some of them make a name for themself I am one of fighter.
Blonde long haired woman: Hey baby you okay?
Me: I am fine Melissa you don't need to worry about me it will heal Lisa.
Jason's Narrating: Melissa is my girlfriend is the best girl I ever had she keep me happy and sanity I started fighting in the underground fight clubs and boxing rings since I was sixteen years old I met Melissa in one of my early fight in 2007 I was up against sixteen years old teen name Ralph Hunt"Short fuse" some gormless tosser"gormless-clueless and Tosser- an obnoxious male, show-off or braggart (derogatory)" with a shirty, narked, naff and mug"shirty- bad-tempered, narked- irritated, naff- uncool and tacky, and mug- fool and sucker" taking a fucking piss"you're mocking someone or you're not being serious about something" simple to fuck up this fucking tosser win that prize money for me and everyone who bet they money on me in this fight.
Shady man: What is your name lad?
Me: It's Jayson Swamp, what is your name?
Shady man: It's Preston Campbell, now listen lad you are here to make money right?
Me: I am here for money Preston.
Preston: Yeah wanker you call me Numbers if you are with someone but call me Pres lad got it.
Me: Yeah I got it.
Preston: Okay some people place bets on you while some other people place bets on Shot Fuse.
Me: Who is Short fuse Pres?
Preston: The lad name is Ralph Hunt and his fighter nickname is Short fuse that is your opponent you win this fight people who place bets on you they win a lot of money and you will too the people bets on Short fuse lose lot of money or you lose this fight opposite go to people who bet money lose lot of money now You need to choose your own fighter nickname and take your clothes in the locker room then put on your own new fighting clothes.
Me: I chose Guts for my fighter nickname. That is okay.
Preston: Go to the locker room Guts come back to my office when you are done oh here is the key for the locker your locker is that locker with the number seven on it.
Jason's POV: I walk to the locker room then the open the door I found the locker with the number seven on it I put the key in the keyhole then open the locker door to get the boxer shorts I pull off my red crew-neck T-shirt, blue jeans, white crew socks, red baseball cap, and black shoes then put the red boxer shorts, and boxing hand wraps and feet wraps I put clothes in locker that I had on I locked the locker next I walk to Preston's office then open the door I see Ralphie the Snake and Pres I closed the door walk to Preston's desk.
Preston: Bloody hell lad calm down you want to get knock the fuck out lad?
Ralph: I am not going to get knocked out, I am going to knock him down!
Me: That is bullshit Ralphie boy you are going to get knock the fuck out!
Preston: Fucking Calm down lads you both going to fight in the ring not in my office go outside and wait till the fight lads got it.
Ralph: Whatever I am going out numbers.
Me: Numbers what the fuck I am going to fight this Snake.
Preston: Yeah you are or I got to get another fighter for this fight?
Me: Okay I am going outside until the fight.
Jason's POV: Ralphie boy got a chip on his shoulder. I see men and women talking to everyone about the fight, me, and Ralph. I put out a pack of Marlboro fags"British slang for cigarettes" then put one out, put it in my mouth, put out my lighter and light my fag then my fag started to smoke put my pack of Marlboro fags in my boxer shorts left pocket till a girl walked up to me.
Blonde long haired woman: Can I get a fag?
Me: Sure here you go.
Blonde long haired woman: You have a light?
Me: Here you go.
Blonde long haired woman: What is your name?
Me: My name is Jason Marsh, and what is your name?
Blonde long haired woman: My name is Melissa Gardner.
Me: Nice to meet you.
Melissa: Nice to meet you too.
Me: Who do you place your bet on?
Melissa: I place my bet on you.
Me: Wow, that's surprising to think you bet on Me not Ralphie boy.
Melissa: You seen not arrogant arshole but smart mate plus Ralphie is arrogant muppet.
Me: How much money did you put on me Lisa?
Melissa: Seven hundred pounds on you Jas.
Preston: Hey Guts!
Preston: We are starting the fight, let's go.
Me: Okay Numbers see you later Lisa got to go.
Melissa: Okay I will see you later too.
Jason's POV: Preston, me and Ralph walk inside the fighting room"fight club" clean room with brick walls, and black folding chairs three men in the room bet taker, referee, and announcethe owner of illegal the fight club is Preston Campbell and the club called Ice Cold Fight Club by the underground criminals and unknown people they starting to everyone in the room.
Bet taker: Oi Two minutes before the bets are closed and the fight starts two minutes everyone.
Preston: Hey Everyone you are here to see lads and lassies fight for your amusement place your bets to win or lose big money but a enough of that I got sixteen lad from Blackpool, England the fighter name is Guts and his sixteen fighting opponent from Liverpool, England his name is Short Fuse now bets are closed Steven tell your fighters the rules.
Steven: I am referee is there are only five rules number one rule fist only no blunt or sharp weapon in the ring, number two rule when one of the fighter fall on the mat after the an knocked they got ten seconds to get off the mat or lose the fight, number three rule the match don't ended until one of the fighter get knocked out, number four rule no cheating cheating we will beat the shit out of you and lastly number five rule no complainer if you lose a fight don't complain we don't want complaining muppets let's go.
Ralph: Let's go You are fucking pussy ass wanker!
Me: You ready fucking muppet.
Jason's POV: The fight started Ralph thrown a punch at me and I dodged it thrown a punch at Ralph it landed hitting him in his nose causing his nose to bleed he got very angry thrown punch at me who landed it hitting in my left eye causing me to get a black eye he tried to kick while I tried to dodge but he kicked me in the right leg very hard that I fell backward onto to the mat and my back and I tried to get up he tackle me to the floor starting to punch me in my face and body I block the hit until he headbutt in my nose broken my nose blood pouring down my nose onto my throat to abs keep punching me while I tried to fighting back Ralph hit me one more time in my face I knocked out.
Jason's Dad voice: What did let him beat you up because you are a fucking coward! Show me that you are not coward show me you fucking coward.
Ralph: Hahaha you fucking sucks muppet.
Melissa: Get up J!
Unknown man: Get up you fucking coward I pay a lot of money on you get up lad!
Melissa: Keep fighting J I am here for you.
Ralph: That's what I thought arshole I won.
Steven: Seven oh shit Guts is up ready to fight.
Ralph: You ready to get knocked out?
Me: You ready to get fucked up?
Jason POV: Ralph ran at me and tried to punch me in the face I dodged him then I use my right leg to trip onto the mat I jumped on top of him and punching him in his face and body he tried to dodge and block my punching but I ground and pound until Steven pull me off of him told me and everyone that I won the fight because Ralph was knocked out.
Steven: The winner is Guts.
Everyone: Hell yeah!
Melissa: Good work you won.
Jason POV: I won the fight. I walked back to the locker room to get cleaned up and dressed then walked into Number's office seeing He sat in his office chair counting up the prize money with a smile then looked up at me.
Preston: You did good lad I am very surprised so here four hundred pounds plus two hundred pounds that is six hundred pounds for you call me if you are ready for another fight I will be waiting.
Me: I will let you know.
Jason's Narrating: This was a year ago me and Melissa are a couple tonight's a fight with Conor 'Painkiller' Reagan a American-Scottish man who loves pain the harder you hit him he would hit you harder meaning that you will be on the floor and he'll win the fight so I got to dodge his punches and kicks and hit him so hard that he will be on the floor that all I have to do is win this fight and I will win a payload this week.
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2023.03.24 04:31 Trash_Tia Three years ago, I was a research student working on a remote island. We were out of lab rats, so our professor used us instead (Part 2)
Ever since my colleagues and I became unwilling test subjects in my psychotic professor’s experiments into awakening the supernatural, we have had multiple people trying to hunt us down. Whether they were renowned scientists desperate for the serum for themselves or random people obsessed with cutting us open and seeing how we ticked, these assholes didn’t care that we were human beings, that we were ex researchers ourselves.
They wanted us dead or alive, in pieces, or splattered across concrete. As long as they got that precious serum dripping from our frontal lobe, they didn’t give a fuck. There were varieties of hunters. Some of them tried to play nice with their own nefarious agenda, while others were completely fucking insane. Like the ones who saw us as a mistake; a curse sent from god to end humanity as we know it.
Yeah. They thought we were the next coming of the Antichrist.
Have you ever been stripped completely naked and forced to bathe in salt water for three days without food and water?
That is when I lost my will to fight.
I still remember the sensation of flames licking at my feet, rope wrapped around my wrists pinning me to a tree. They wanted me to admit I was a monster. That I was a curse from the devil and belonged in hellfire. I’ll spend this post elaborating on what exactly our professor did to us, and the burden forced onto our backs—but I will say it saved us at points. For example, the freaks who tried to cleanse us in salt water (and then burn us under a full moon) got their comeuppance. 2020 is probably a year in your lives which didn’t feel real.
You were locked inside and you probably compared what was happening to a movie. We had a similar problem. But while you were struggling through lockdown, trying to fight a wave spreading globally, we found ourselves with bounty’s on our heads. Because we were no longer human to these bastards, and to them? Anything went. Which was bad news for our professor who had fought to keep his research as private as possible, choosing to show only a select group with shiny money bags for eyes. It turns out, no matter how much you think you’re hiding something, it will always be leaked. And people will find out.
The kinds of people in all of my favorite movies as a kid. You know, the evil trigger-happy British guy obsessed with finding buried treasure? Him. But tenfold. I might have felt special about the multi-billion price-tag on me, but knowing all they wanted me for was to dissect and slice me apart like meat to the slaughter—yeah. I can’t say I was thrilled to have so many people after our little group. 2020 was the year when people stopped being human. Stopped trying to be human. All morality down the drain.
Of these certain groups trying to capture us, there was a specific one which I will always remember. Seth’s gang. I’ll remember them because it was the first time I realised my colleagues and I weren’t human anymore, and maybe the freaks trying to label us as The Devil’s Children were right. There were a lot of people after us, as I said. But Seth and his gang, however, just wanted us for the sake of gloating. After hearing of our professor’s experiments, these guys decided they didn’t want the serum, or the research.
They just wanted us. For what, I still don’t know. They weren’t scientists, or in the medical field. They definitely weren’t at the auction, I would have seen them. I’m pretty sure these were just ordinary guys seeing us as nothing but trophies to parade around. I don’t think they knew the significance of the serum, or the danger of it. They saw something shiny and thought to hell with it. Which, I guess looking back, was why we were always two steps ahead despite having 9mm Glock’s shoved in our faces. The hotel room we were being held in was a step up from the cage I had been trapped inside in the lab for the last several months.
It actually had air-con.
Sitting blindfolded on the edge of a queen sized bed wearing the same clothes which were practically glued to my flesh, the graze of cool air brushing the back of my neck and relieving blistering skin was euphoric. I hadn’t had a proper shower in weeks. Maybe months.
It was the first time in a long while I actually felt human. Even when my wrists were pinned behind my back, a slab of ductape suffocating my mouth and nose. Now, I wasn’t completely sure, but I wondered if there was a duct tape shortage on the island. After being kidnapped and held in multiple places, I had never been gagged with duct tape. It was always filthy clothing fashioned into a makeshift gag, or ties and shoelaces. I will never forget some asshole stuffing a pair of panties in my mouth.
Seth’s gang were the first to actually have duct tape and proper blindfolds. I sensed the front-man’s footsteps as he paced in front of us. Despite being blindfolded, I knew he had a gun tucked into his belt, a dagger strapped to his ankle, and a grenade for emergencies. I wasn’t sure what emergencies would justify blowing up a fancy hotel room. Next to me, Riss was practically vibrating with fury. She knew not to act on her fear, because when we did, bad shit happened.
But Riss was a different breed. She didn’t listen to me when we were human, and definitely didn’t listen to me when we were freakish experiments contorted into something resembling a human. No matter how many times I nudged her with reassurance, she inched away from me like I had the plague. “Project Mildew, huh?” The front-man had one hell of an aussie accent. Without my sight, the rest of my senses were expanding, igniting.
Smell. I could smell the stink of myself, body odour and filth caked into my skin. Taste. There was copper in my throat and coating my teeth and tongue. Every step the man made, I felt it prickling in my bones. I sensed him crouching in front of Kaian, who thankfully didn’t move. I was waiting for him to. If I concentrated, I could feel the air crackling with electricity, the hairs on the back of my neck and arms standing up. Just being shoulder to shoulder with my colleague allowed me to feel exactly what he was feeling.
And like Riss, the guy was dangerously close to blowing a fuse. Kaian wasn’t stupid though. If we did something, he knew the consequences of that something. And none of us wanted that. So, staying quiet and submissive it was.
“Alex Quincy’s diamonds!” The front-man flicked me in the forehead, and I had to squeeze my eyes shut to avoid going into sensory overload. He continued in a sing-song voice, his steps becoming playful, like he was dancing. Every so often I sensed his fingers wrapping around his 9mm. Maybe he wasn’t as stupid as I initially thought. “Project Mildew.” He repeated. “You looked better on camera.”
Riss scoffed under her gag. I don’t think this asshole understood that on camera we were still human. It’s not like I was planning on going to a fashion show, but the shorts and t-shirt combo I had been wearing for weeks were comfortable.
Another step. Holding my breath, I gripped the ropes entangling my wrists and prayed they were physical enough to be an anchor.
“The testers who became the tested!” He continued. “Ohhh, man. I’ve heard about you. You’re famous here. Professor Quincy’s human lab rats! And successful ones too! You’ve got a lot of eyes on ya, ain’t cha? Too bad we gotcha first. Yeah, that’s right. We got here first.”
The guy laughed, and I felt both Riss and Kaian start to tremble. Fuck. Not now. I had to keep them at bay, even when my methods weren’t exactly stellar. I had to keep them from plunging. The rope around my wrists wasn’t too tight, and I knew I’d be able to get out of it easily. But that would require strength and energy which was for sure a trigger. There were a lot of triggers. Anger and pain. Sometimes even happiness.
It turned out basic human emotions was what this thing thrived off, so to avoid us going nuclear I had to stay stoic. No matter how much I wanted to tear off this asshole’s face, I had to keep myself together. It only took one slip up before things got really fucking brutal, really fucking fast. I wasn’t surprised my colleagues were losing control. Seth was quite the character, almost like a cartoon villain.
“Damn. I’ve been looking for guard dogs, but I think we’ve found something better, aye.” His palmy fingers wandered where they shouldn’t have, grazing over my left breast and delving under my shirt, causing my body to seize up, and then relaxing slightly when he pulled off my blindfold.
Blinking rapidly, I found myself eye-to-eye with the guy who had snatched us from the lab and thrown us into the back of his truck. I only got glimpses of him during our kidnapping, thanks to the ski-mask covering his face. Now I was looking at a man who was maybe in his early thirties with a balding head and a vicious cartoon smile twisted with mania. His eyes glinted when I found myself shuffling back, my gaze flashing to the Glock strapped to his side. Seth pulled off the other’s blindfolds.
“Now, I don’t want any funny business, alright? I watched that conference, and I know what you can do.” He stuck the barrel of his 9mm into my right temple, and next to me, Kaian ducked his head. “I’m watching you sweetheart.” Seth’s smile widened into a sickening grin. “If you start any weird shit, I’ll blow your brains out.”
I did my best to nod, and he ripped the tape off of our mouths too.
“Alright!” Seth straightened up, eyeing us like we were hunks of meat. “Nice to meet cha! I’ll be looking after you guys from now on.”
“Looking after us?” I spoke up, my voice gravelly. “You mean you’ll be cutting into us and selling our brains on the black market.”
Seth laughed like a fucking hyena. “What?” He scratched the back of his head with his gun. “Nah, that’s fucked up. We just want dogs.”
The man’s smile dampened, however, when his gaze settled on Kaian. Gesturing to my colleague with his gun, he scowled. “What’s wrong with him? Did Quincy rip out the guy’s tongue?” Before I could answer, Seth crouched in front of Kaian with narrowed eyes. “You all spoke at the conference,” he murmured. “Sure, your professor forced you, but you introduced yourselves. All of you did, even your fourth."
His smile curled. "All except him."
A shiver ripped its way down my spine when Seth shot out a finger and pointed at my colleague, and my mouth started to dry up.
Kaian was perfectly reading his lips, every word curled under his tongue, his eyes flicking back and forth to drink in each one, and each word brought more heat, brought more goosebumps pricking on my arms and legs. Kaian’s body pressed against mine was overheating.
I could feel the sensation coming over my body, like a wave of pressure. Riss made a squeaking noise, and I concentrated on Seth—who didn’t seem to notice it. I’ve come to realise, whether you are a human, an animal, or a badly fucked up experiment created in a lab, it doesn’t matter what you are capable of. If you initially appear weak and powerless, the stronger will single you out. Seth was enjoying himself so much he didn’t realise the skin in his cheeks start to crack from all the moisture being sucked from the air. Kaian didn’t move or speak, and that seemed to thrill him even more.
“Speak.” Seth snarled, leaning closer until he was inches from my colleagues face.
“He’s deaf.” I gritted out.
Seth’s eyes darkened. “Deaf, huh? He better be worth it.” Kaian didn’t flinch when the man grabbed him by the hair and yanked his head back. He was completely stoic, like a puppet severed from his strings, allowing the asshole to stick his Glock between his eyes. I noticed the air move slightly around us, blurring and then coming together. It was a blink and you’ll miss it moment, and I had spent months being taught how to notice it. “Three and a half million dollars each, hmm?” Seth said in a breath, dragging the butt of his gun down my colleagues face, grazing it across the flesh of his neck. “I don’t remember paying for a fucking mute. You can learn to talk, kid."
Again, Kaian didn’t even acknowledge the man, and that infuriated him even more. “Hey!” Seth grabbed his jaw, forcing Kaian to look at him. “Are you fucking listening to me? Open your mouth. You either speak or you die. Like I said, I didn’t pay half a million each for a mute.”
Riss must have noticed the significant change in the air and temperature. Between the two of us, it was our job to stop Kaian from plunging.
“You didn’t spend shit on us.” She spoke up with a hiss. Riss was already panicked, and that wasn’t good. “You took us from the lab while everyone else was at the auction because you couldn’t afford us. Which makes me wonder how you afforded this fancy five star hotel."
I had to swallow a yell. I wanted her to stall, not give the guy a reason to start going trigger-happy.
Seth’s narrowed eyes found Riss’s. “Your professor and I had an agreement, sweetheart,” he said. "How 'bout I blow your brains out, huh? Since you like speaking out of turn. And I don’t like my doggies speaking out of turn.”
As Seth moved closer to her, I sensed Riss freaking out. It was too early for her to start the plunge, but she was the most unpredictable out of the four of us. Just like when she was human, her emotions were all over the place. Still though, she maintained a scowl and refused to move when Seth was practically eye to eye with her, hot breath grazing her cheeks. The man prodded her in her right temple. “I bet you’re filled to the brim with all that fancy ass Quincy serum." He dragged his filthy finger down her cheek, and she squeaked. “I’m pretty sure I can just crack you open and take it for myself.”
“Then…” Riss swallowed, choking on her words. I nudged her again, this time enough to shake the bed. But she wasn’t looking at me, her eyes starting to lose vacancy. Next to me, I knew the same thing was happening to Kaian.
But I wouldn’t look at him yet. If I did, I would lose it myself. “Then you’ll be losing valuable cargo.” I was surprised when her lips broke out into an equally psychotic grin. I had no doubt the plunge was taking hold of her. She leaned back almost casually, and the air seemed to move around her, seeping into her skin and taking an unyielding hold. "Considering the crazy lengths you took to capture all of us, I doubt you want that. You're all bark with no bite, asshole."
“Riss.” I said through my teeth, at the exact same time as the air-con behind us blew a fuse and crashed to the ground. “Shut up.”
The plunge started slow, but even when it was barely a prickle in the air it was already beginning its slow purging of every particle.
I watched a mosquito that had been in mid-flight towards the fancy looking lamp on the nightstand bleed into invisible folds of energy which were becoming progressively more visible to the naked eye the more my friends plunged. I could see it perfectly. Like the world around us was beginning to splinter apart. Ignoring Riss, who could stand up for herself, Seth’s attention went back to Kaian, who couldn’t. Or at least that was his façade. Kaian had been labelled the most dangerous out of all of Quincy’s experiments. But it wasn’t just because of the plunge.
“I’m talking to you!” Seth prodded my colleague’s chest, and a wave of heat slammed into me, stealing my breath away. I watched, knowing it was all going to be over in matter of seconds. The front-man grabbed my colleague by the collar of his shirt and yanked him violently to his feet. “You’ve got two seconds to speak,” He spat, before slamming the butt of his gun into Kaian’s head. “Speak, or I give you a frontal lobotomy.” Seth continued in seething breaths, and got closer and closer, failing to notice he was already losing. But so were we.
His lips split into a grin. “Speak, or I start asking questions. Like why I bought four of you— and there are three of you.” He poked the metal prongs sticking from Kaian’s head. I liked to call them horns to make them sound cooler. But in reality, they were agonising when I was human—two pieces of metal drilled directly into the top of my skull. They had been a part of me for a while, but I wasn’t going to forget how they had been forcefully inserted into my skull. While I screamed. “Three. Little. Freaks.” Seth’s lips were practically kissing my colleague's temple.
He prodded the metal horns, and Kaian’s lip twitched. “Without their fourth.”
That struck a chord in both of them—and I knew if I didn’t do something, like right then, a fate worse than death awaited all of us.
"Leave him alone.” I found my voice tangled in my throat. But I could barely bring myself to speak. I felt like I was being fucking suffocated by two separate energy’s around me slowly but surely ripping atoms apart. In the corner of my eye, things were starting to melt into the ground, disappearing completely. The carpet in the room was suddenly singed black, and the wave continued, slicing off the tips of my hair I had only just managed to grow back. “He can’t hear you, asshole.” I said through lingering breaths. “Professor Quincy said he was deaf.”
"Deaf?” Seth let out a belly laugh. “He's my new guard dog and he's expected to fucking bark.” His lip curled,” Now. Speak.”
A second went by.
Absent-mindedly, I licked the taste of rusty coins from the corner of my lip.
“I said speak!” Seth slammed the butt of his gun into my colleagues face again, but this time his words broke apart in his throat. I sensed every individual letter shattering into pieces when his body was flung back by an invisible force. I knew that invisible force. I knew the phantom fingers wrapping around his throat and slamming the man into the wall until he was screaming, begging, his feet hovering several feet from the ground. Kaian didn’t even have to pull apart his restraints.
Riss was already screaming, turning to my colleague. Her hands were free, and she was signing desperately. Don’t. Her eyes were wide, lips twisted. Because she knew exactly what would follow. Seth, somehow, managed a spluttered laugh between broken teeth like tiny yellow chicklets sticking from his mouth. “Oh, you don’t like that do you?” More brilliant red spurted like a fountain, and yet the asshole kept laughing. “Look at you! Quincy didn’t hold back on you did he?”
I’m not saying my colleague enjoyed crushing Seth’s windpipe without even lifting a finger—but that is exactly what I am saying.
With a simple incline of Kaian’s head, the front-man was rupturing from the inside, choking on organs erupting into his throat.
And like it thrilled him, the idea of death, the idea of dying at the hands of a supernatural force, Seth continued to roar with laughter.
My colleague was pressing pressure points which shouldn’t be pressed. Especially pressure points in a genetically fucked up man whose trauma had turned him into the wildcard of our group. The amount of shit we had all gone through inside Quincy’s lab was enough to send us into insanity. Except my colleague, according to Quincy, hadn’t responded correctly at the beginning. And being a researcher myself with rabbits before I became a lab rat, I knew the only way to get results was to cause pain.
I never initiated that pain in the rabbits, but I was an enabler. I watched my professor torture these subjects to make sure they were prepped and ready for the serum. Maybe our karma was that the exact same happened to us. But to Kaian, it was on a much larger scale. I was never briefed on what exactly happened to him during the months from March to June. Though it was obvious he had had it the worst. I didn’t know why. I didn’t understand why his brain was different, or maybe he was more resilient. He had been better at fighting it.
Kaian hated two things. Being kidnapped and said kidnappers mentioning our fourth member. And it was those things which made him plunge. Which made him lose all sense of humanity and morality and emotion, essentially turning him into a mindless beast. That was one half of the plunge. “Do you want me to say his name?” Seth coughed up spattered scarlet, and I could already see what was happening to him. Kaian had done enough damage externally. Internally, however? That was another story.
Internally, I sensed every organ starting to peel apart and splinter, bursting into nothing. It started with pressure on his heart which was slow and dragged so he felt everything. Then the brain began to expand. When blood ran in sharp rivulets from every orifice, and Seth screamed, howling like an animal, I looked away, just in time for the rest of the man’s body to pop like a balloon, and a chunk of his skull to land right in front of me. Riss started screaming, and I was half aware of a slight taint of warm blood like paint splattering the side of my face.
When I twisted back to look at him, his body was still hovering without a head, a skeletal hand lifting and waving at us.
Riss dropped to her knees, her head in her hands, trembling, and I followed her, trying to get some semblance of control.
“It’s been a week.” Riss whispered, sobbing, swiping at her eyes with bloody hands, making them worse. “Oh god, what if… what if I was right? What if we’re too late? I knew this was… this was a bad idea. But nobody listens to Riss. I knew he wouldn’t come. Fuck. I knew it.”
“Calm down.” I said. “Concentrate on happy birthday, okay? Do you want me to sing it with you?”
Riss spluttered. “We’re going to dieeee,” she sang. “Can you feel it? I’m plunging, Wren. God, it feels so fucking good.”
She knocked her head into the wall with crazy eyes.
It took exactly half a second for our brains to decide whether we were going to fight it or give in to it.
“Hey. Riss.” I spoke in reassuring hisses, grasping her shoulders and forcing her to look at me. “Happy birthday.” I choked out. “Three times. It has to be three times.” When she didn’t respond, I shook her until her cloudy found mine. Riss was plunging. Like Kaian. The blood vessels in her eyes had popped, her lips cracking apart. If I concentrated, I could see her bare knees starting to melt into air, wisps of her hair starting to disintegrate. “Do it, now!”
I shrieked when Kaian finally let go of the man’s body, and it hit the ground in front of us like a bad joke. “Happy birthday.” I said the mantra over and over again, shaking my colleague until she was responding. “Three times, Riss. Right now.” When she shook her head, screeching, I grabbed her hands and entangled her fingers with mine. “I’ll start, okay? And you follow me.”
To my surprise, Riss nodded—and for the fraction of a second, my colleague, or what was left of her, stopped bleeding into visible particles which were now around us, like a glistening wave of ocean water enveloping us. “Happy birthday to you…” I whispered, squeezing her hands tighter, relieved when she repeated the verse. When I was sure Riss was anchoring herself, I turned to Kaian who was sitting cross legged in front of the mutilated body.
My gaze went to the door. It would only be matter of time before Seth’s goons figured out something was wrong, and the last thing I wanted was them to walk in mid-plunge. “Happy birthday to…” I continued, allowing Riss to fill in a name—before focusing on my other colleague. I’m not exaggerating when I say Kaian was covered head to toe in blood, like it was his canvas, like he belonged in it. It was too late for him. I could already see that in his vacant and foggy eyes and playful smile that he had accepted the plunge.
“Gross.” Kaian signed, pulling a face. He turned his nose up at mutilated flesh and bone, and I had a hard time looking him in the eye.
I exhaled out a breath.
“Kaian.” I spoke and signed calmly, but my skin was prickling and scalding. I could feel the flesh on the backs of my hands peeling off. “Happy birthday.” I made sure to emphasize every word clearly, even when I knew he could read every word from my mouth without even trying.
He started to shake his head, and I glimpsed that panic, the trauma of the last several months starting to bloom behind his eyes.
“No, you have to do it.” I hissed out. “Look around you.” I signed. “If you don’t do it, we’re going to plunge.”
I was practically slamming my hands together with frustration, but he shook his head, his gaze going elsewhere.
“What if I…” He paused signing, his lip curling, “Like it?”
Do you know when you know something is wrong but you keep shoving it to the back of your head until you can’t ignore it anymore?
Yeah, this was one of those moments.
I loved Kaian. I loved him like a brother. But there was something about his face, the way he delved his fingers into startling red pooling on the carpet, that made me want to get as far away from him as possible. Swallowing hard, I shook away the thought and grabbed hold of his hand.
Once I did, the air around us wavered, and flesh on his cheeks started to flake. “Happy birthday…” Riss, who was sitting with what was left of her knees pressed to her chest, choked out a sob, “This isn’t working… Wren. This isn’t fucking working. I can’t.. I can’t fucking do this.” When she beat the floor with crumbling fists, the whole room jolted. The ground beneath us shook, and Kaian shot me a panicked look. Even plunging, he was still scared.
And I didn’t blame him.
After telling Riss to continue, I managed a smile and signed, “Earthquake.”
My colleague’s lips split into an unusual grin, and he mouthed the words, “Yeah right.”
With steely eyes, Kaian’s smile faded and for once he actually looked serious. “Jem.” He signed. “I don’t think he’s coming for us.”
Ignoring a conversation I really didn’t want to have, I focused on the body. “Check his pockets,” I signed back. “We don’t have much time.”
I pulled out a passport, some Indonesian currency, and an old plane ticket.
Checking his phone didn’t help. I was just reminded the boarders were still shut, and this asshole had a whole group chat gloating about his so-called guard dogs.
When I lifted my head, Riss’s wild eyes were flickering around the room, drinking in parts of reality being sucked away.
Her mouth became lopsided, lips drooping like my colleague was having a stroke from the pressure building around her.
See, I describe this in a lot of detail like this lasted around five to minutes long. But no, all of this happened in the space of around two minutes. When footsteps sounded outside, and Kaian’s head snapped to the door, his eyes darkening, a sour paste crept up my throat.
Professor Quincy didn’t just take away our humanity. He twisted us into something resembling an animal inside a human body.
We spoke and acted and felt like humans. But once a stranger was nearby, or footsteps on territory we had unknowingly snatched as our own, we turned feral. I already knew Kaian was a whole new level of unpredictable and unhinged after what the experiments had done to his brain—but seeing what he was capable of even before the plunge, I froze.
The world was coming apart around me and I was plunging, but I couldn’t move. I watched him get to his feet, his fingers curling into fists at his sides. The footsteps were closing in on us getting louder and louder, and Kaian could sense every vibration. I could tell with the way his lips twitched, a whole new darkness clouding his eyes and stripping away what was left of his humanity. I had seconds.
There was no use in happy birthday
I remember jumping to my feet and diving on my colleagues back, bringing him to the floor like a lion would a deer. When the two of us hit the ground, I watched Riss rupture in front of me, her face glitching, becoming moving static, before her body followed. “Seth?” The voice caused Kaian to attempt to wrench out of my grasp, but I had a firm hold of him. The first three weeks of being inhuman, I was taught how to kill people. Kill my fellow subjects.
Apologising profusely into hair which smelled of blood and dirt and Quincy’s lab, I struggled to keep myself from plunging, knowing the room was already half gone, and I was going to get caught in it anyway. “I’m sorry. Fuck. I’ll make it up to you, okay? You should have sang happy fucking birthday, but you are so goddamn stubborn,” I sobbed with what I hoped was reassurance. I knew he and Riss and Jem would do exactly the same to me.
“So fucking stubborn.” I couldn’t help myself, nestling my face into his hair and heaving in breaths while my skin started to peel away.
“Just take a deep breath and close your eyes, okay?” I whispered into his flushed skin. “We’ll find him, Kaian. I promise you.”
He stopped struggling, and for a moment I thought my colleague was actually listening to me before the ceiling began to crack apart.
The ground rumbled again, and I lost my grip on the guy before forcing him onto his back and straddling his legs. Just when his free arm was flying out with intention to send me crashing into the back wall and ending all reality in that room, encompassing us, I snapped Kaian’s neck.
And with the last of my energy, I fucking screamed while my own flesh melted from my face while the plunge enveloped us both.
It was on the 17th day of captivity inside a cell made of glass panes meant to keep in rabbits, when I met an unlikely visitor. There comes a time when giving up is better than screaming until you have lost all of the breath in your lungs, and your throat feels like sandpaper. I hadn’t eaten in days, and what was left of my meals, curry and mash potatoes, painted my cell walls—a real work of art if I concentrated and imagined carving shapes inside congealing potato and day-old curry.
So far, I had tests. I had tests which were an invasion of privacy which I will not expand upon. I had tests where my professor’s gloved fingers ran over my scalp and marked places where he was going to insert the same headset on the rabbits. He didn’t listen to my cries.
He didn’t tell me where my colleagues were. I was nothing to him. I was a subject stripped of my rights. So, I was doing the little I could to protest. Even if it was small, I was refusing to eat. I knew subjects had to eat to stay healthy—to get results. The piece of shit wasn’t going to get much further if I died of starvation after days of no eating. How sad. I was on my second day of refusing to eat, and my gut felt like it was folding in on itself. To combat this, I sat against clinical white walls with my knees pressed to my chest, and my head buried in my lap. I ignored the rumbling of my stomach and my aching joints, the weird squiggly lines in my vision when I bothered lifting my head.
It’s weird. In that cage, I was the coldest I’ve ever felt on an Indonesian island. I didn’t remember the temperature affecting the outcome of the rabbit subjects, but maybe it was different for humans. Still though, I had my solace. I imagined standing in glittering water, bioluminescent plankton washing over my bare toes. I imagined the full moon bathing the sky in warm light, and it was enough to make me feel safe— even so far from home. Far from normality. If I squeezed my eyes shut, and envisioned wading deeper into the shallows, until the water was lapping my thighs, I could calm myself and tell myself to breathe.
Then the water was at my waist, the panic subsiding. Neck deep, ice cold water filling my mouth and suffocating my nose. But if I thought past it, if I plunged myself into the deep, I could trick my brain into imagining that I was escaping, swimming across the wide expanse of ocean. All the way back home to my family.
I was brought out of my imagination when a scratching noise pulled me back to my senses, and I was back inside my cage.
Lifting my head, I searched for someone. But there was nobody there.
“Over here, genius.”
The voice startled me. It wasn’t quite a voice, more of an attempt. Though I could definitely make out the language bursting out. When my eyes swivelled, I found myself staring at a blur of white. I squinted.
No, not just a blur of white. It was Subject Fifteen. The rabbit which had stolen Jem’s heart, and possibly taken control of his mind.
For a moment I tried to blink myself awake, but no matter how many times I pinched myself, the rabbit was still there, pressing its tiny face against glass, and I can see blood staining its fur. Initially, I thought he was a hallucination until I blinked, and he was still very much there.
He was part of reality, lightly smushing its bloody mouth against glass panes. The sight of dark red tainting its fur twisted my gut, and I had a thought which suddenly wouldn’t leave me alone. If the serum did that to the rabbits, what exactly would it do to us? “Well.” Fifteen’s beady eyes found mine, and I swore its rabbit mouth twisted into a grin. It's voice mimicked both me and my colleagues, the perfect imitation of us. I could hear all of us, even the professor, in every curl of its words.
It wasn’t just intelligent, it was something else—something fucking monstrous. Which should have been put down.
No. It never should have been a subject at all.
I slowly crawled towards it and held my breath. I must have looked pretty fucking funny to Fifteen. I was the tester who had become the tested. The one who wore the lab-coat, to the rat forced into light blue scrub like clothes sticking to me. I can’t say I wasn’t curious, though. Baffled.
I was inches from a fucking talking rabbit, and the last time I checked rabbits weren't supposed to talk. Their mouths haven't evolved to form words. But somehow it was figuring out speech. Fifteen was learning fast. That terrified me. After several attempts at speech, it had almost fully mimicked a human’s expression. It cocked its head, and in Jem’s voice, asked,
“Well? How does it feel to be the one in the cage?"
“You’re not real.” I told the rabbit which sounded like Jem.
To my shock, it laughed, and its bloody mouth almost formed a snarl. “Are you sure about that?”
I crawled over to the screen, pressing my hands against glass. “How does…” I licked my lips. “How does what feel?”
The rabbit’s eyes followed me and I shuffled back, a sour paste creeping its way up my throat. “You were always my least favorite,” it murmured. Its nose twitched. “I think you humans call it karma—- and whether you believe in it or not, every action must have an equal reaction.” It moved closer, pressing its face against the glass. I noticed the fur around it’s mouth was stained red. “You drilled into my head, Wren. You hurt me day after day and hid behind a sense of morality that you were a good person because it was for the good of the human race.” Fifteen edged closer. “I wish I could feel sorry for you. I wish I could feel the sympathy you humans use as a pathetic fucking barrier. But aren’t you just… the cutest?”
The thing was mimicking my own words from the start of the experiments. I had pressed my face against the plastic cage, peering at Subject Fifteen, who was hiding in the corner. Quincy told me to turn off my humanity, but that didn’t stop me as seeing them as cute little fury bunnies. It never crossed my mind that Fifteen could hear exactly what we had been saying.
I thought back to a few months back when I had picked it up from its cage and nuzzled its fur. “Aww! Isn’t he just the cutest?”
Fifteen knew the exact moment I gave up, my hands slipping from the glass. It gestured to the band aid uncomfortably sticking to my scalp.
“You have intelligence.” I whispered through a sob. I leaned closer. “Quincy. You need to tell me what he’s doing to the others.”
“You already know what he’s planning to do, Wren.” The rabbit chuckled, lifting a paw in a mocking wave. “Why are you asking me, hmm? What if I am in fact an illusion? You’re not eating. Your mind has been played with. Are you sure you are really speaking to a talking rabbit?”
It cocked its head. “How do you know I’m not Jem?”
“Or Riss.” It’s voice twisted into hers, and then the professor’s.
“I’m losing my mind.” I whispered, pinching the flesh on my bare thighs. “I’m losing my fucking mind.”
“Maybe.” It said, “or you’re witnessing the consequences of your actions. You did this to me if you remember. I told you to stop hurting me, but you didn’t hear me, Wren. You never heard me. Only him. And when I was strong enough, I made him force you to finally listen to me.”
Jem, I thought hysterically.
“You little—“ I slammed my hands into the glass, unable to resist a snarl when it turned to hop away. “Hey! Wait! What did you do to Jem?”
“I didn’t do anything,” the rabbit responded in a scoff. “Your professor, however… have you ever heard of teleportation?”
I stared at it blinking rapidly, until it laughed. “No, not that kind! I mean the new kind. I’m talking about what Quincy is trying to perfect.”
“What do you mean?”
“Think about it.” The rabbit’s nose twitched, “What you have been working on and researching—what if it was possible in humans?”
I shook my head. There was no way. If professor Quincy wanted to test on us, it would likely be psychokinesis which was possible in rabbits.
“That’s impossible.” I managed to grit out. “With rabbits it’s one thing, and it’s barely even stable! With humans… it’s...”
The rabbits which went through that procedure and survived… their brains were drastically altered. They were never the same.
That’s what I wanted to say.
I trailed off at the thought of forcing a living and breathing human to shatter apart into atoms and forcefully moved from one place to another. I remembered Subject 12. The tiny little thing coming apart slowly, piece by piece, a mixture of fur, blood and bones filling its cage.
There was no way my psycho professor would attempt it in humans.
The rabbit hopped away. “Huh. Well, you’re dumber than I thought. I guess I’ll be going if you’re just going to look at me like that.”
When I thought it was going to leave me, the furry little shit twisted its head. “Do you want to know a secret?”
It hopped right over to the glass. “Come closer, and I’ll tell you. I want you to get really close so I can see how adorable you are.”
Too desperate to feel humiliated, I swallowed a shriek and pressed my ear to the glass.
“Jem was the first.” The rabbit started to say but was cut off by the speaker above me crackling, a familiar voice slicing into my ears.
“Good morning. I will be with you shortly. I would like you to raise your hands above your head. I will be administering a gas.”
At the corner of my eye, Fifteen was disappearing behind the corner, and I let out a frustrated hiss. “Professor Quincy.” I managed to force my voice into professional, despite the rabbits voice in my mind. Jem was the first to what? I hadn’t seen either of my colleagues in weeks— or heard from them. I swallowed hard. “Professor Quincy, Subject Fifteen is on the premises and is showing signs of heightened intelligence!”
The rabbit tskked. “And to think I was going to help you. Good luck with the experiments. I will have a front row seat.”
Before it left me in puddling static however, the rabbit didn’t hesitate to drop a bombshell which sent me crumpling to my knees.
“Oh, yeah! I forgot to say.” Subject Fifteen’s words slammed into me as I was choked once again with gas filling my mouth and nose.
“Jem was the first to die.” It said in a sing-song symphony of all of our voices, “And you don’t even know the best part!”
submitted by Trash_Tia
to TheCrypticCompendium [link] [comments]
2023.03.24 04:28 birso Is this scene real or a false memory?
| || | submitted by birso to TheGrimAdventures [link] [comments]
I was watching the episode "A Kick In The Asgard" and in the scene Billy was stuffed with food, I was shocked to see him throwing away the chicken.
In my memory he would press his nose and the food in his throat would flush like a toilet, and then we would be able to eat the chicken. I don't know if this scene happens in another episode or maybe it was another character on another show. I was thinking of maybe Chowder, but I'm pretty sure it was Billy.
Well, does this scene exist or is it a false memory of mine? Thanks in advance https://i.redd.it/w5q0h7j8wlpa1.gif
2023.03.24 04:16 kareylicious Nest Migration Summary - #185
The 185th nest migration happened Wednesday!
[Calgary Nest Map] Direct link (http://bit.ly/YYCNestMap)
Nest Migration start: Mar 15, 5 pm
Next Nest Migration: Mar 29, 5 pm Nests are as accurate at time of reporting. Please keep in mind that sometimes nests change when certain events begin/end.
The majority of the nest list has been provided by https://www.theraidmap.com/
If you want more pokemon, please consider subscribing. In order to keep the nest list updated as timely as possible I would kindly request that nest only be reported in top level comments and avoid editing previous posts to include new nests. The easiest way for me to see when the list needs to be updated is to see when I have a notification from reddit and I only receive those on new top level comments. Thank you very much! Thank you to all our nest reporters! Without you, this wouldn't be possible! Please keep the following in mind when reporting nests:
Spawn points in nests have a 25% chance to spawn the nest Pokemon. If a nest only has a handful of spawn points it is common to not see any of the nesting Pokemon if you are only at the nest for a short period of time. Due to this please ensure you have spent enough time in a nest before reporting your findings.
|Pokemon ||Nest Location ||Spawn Points |
North East Nests
|Pokemon ||Nest Location ||Spawn Points |
North West Nests
|Pokemon ||Nest Location ||Spawn Points |
South East Nests
|Pokemon ||Nest Location ||Spawn Points |
South West Nests
|Pokemon ||Nest Location ||Spawn Points |
North East Nests
North West Nests
South East Nests
South West Nests Thank you to our nest hunters!
Nest locations only: http://bit.ly/YYCNestLocations
submitted by kareylicious
to PokemonGoCalgary [link] [comments]
2023.03.24 04:12 AtoliQ Just said goodbye way too soon to my best friend
Just said goodbye to my best friend, my beautiful cat, Clover. She wasn't even 3 years old yet and it feels so unfair. I can't help but think I did something wrong or that I'm cursed, I wanted to spend so much more time with her and now she's been taken from me. Apparently she was born with a heart defect that affected her suddenly.. Despite taking her to an emergency vet, it was determined there was nothing they could do given her condition. I feel like the worst and I feel like I failed her. I loved her so much that it hurts.
I found her at 6 months old at the animal shelter, tucked away in a corner and clearly scared out her mind. She was this beautiful, long haired black cat. She even had hair coming out of her ears which I thought was so cute. She went unnoticed compared to all of the more outgoing cats in the shelter, but I honed in on her and scoooped her up right away. Then I stupidly brought her home and instead of introducing her to the house by putting her in the bathroom, I used my bedroom and she proceeded to pee on my bed. Even made eye contact doing it like "this is what you get."
But after that and after we got her acclimated appropriately to the house, it started a bond. She understood me and I understood her and we were fast friends. She came into my life during a super stressful time and brightened up my world. She had a lot of quirks, one of which was managing to get one of her toy on a stick toys to wrap over her back so she could carry it around easier and bring it to me. She loved taking anything she could get her mouth on and placing it in her water dish, especially hair ties. She thankfully never swallowed one.
She would demand to play 24/7, it was never enough playtime for her. If I walked away to early from play time she would chase after me and lightly bat at my feet as though to say "I wasn't done!" If she wanted in my room she would put her nose under the door and quietly yet somehow loudly (it's weird) sing me the song of her people.
There was a lot about her that I could go on and on about and she had so much to give in just her short years of life.. I'm going to miss her so much and I just wasn't ready. She would have been 3 next month and that just wasn't enough time. I feel like I've failed her somehow.
I just got back home from the vet after they said it would be more humane to euthanize her, otherwise she was highly likely to throw a clot and pass, I agreed and she died in my arms. But I'm still second guessing it all. I feel like I didn't do enough to save her and wonder if I could have prevented this somehow. How can she be perfectly fine one day and then super sick the next? It isn't fair, I don't know how to comprehend or cope with this. I loved her so much and I just hope she knew that..
submitted by AtoliQ
to Petloss [link] [comments]
2023.03.24 04:11 Effective-Lab-5659 2D1N episode 54(or 53??) Korean tourism part 1. The one where KSH rides a Viking in absolute terror. The one where KSH talks to Shinji who squeals twice in delight.
Ooh, it’s back to their one anniversary project. KSH cutely imitates YJH being all passionate w a fierce gaze. And then he cutely drums his fingers.
DD starts it off by distancing himself from YjH as he doesn’t want to work too hard. kSH pushes yJh away but not that far away haha he is always respectful and doesn’t push it too far.
Oops KSH isn’t too good at Korea quiz. I can’t take MsY hair looking like HJP! mSY won and gets the right to choose his teammates. Actually , after he said he wants the best people to make a good video. I wasn’t surprised when he chose YJH. I bet he will also choose KJM cos dance is important.
Hmm oops KSH jumps the gun and get teased. He does a good job by saying all he wanted to say is that actor could mean artistes like dancers. I see DD and KSH mirroring each other. Both have their left hands on their noses. Ah. Best buddies. mSY teases KSH a little more saying he wants someone who is v popular these days. Which is obviously KSH at this point in time. But he chooses Ravi instead. Which kinda makes sense if RAvi had semi produced or came up w the theme for all his MVs.
Ravi certainly has good ideas though. MSY again brings up SH as not as competent. And does it again when Ravi idea was already done. Wow this team is really passionate though. It’s like work.
This makes me grin from ear to ear. KJM calls Shinji his best gal pal to ask about Incheon. And she is watching start up. kSH starts talking to her and she is super excited!! She screams! Twice! And says you are on TV. kSH smiles shyly. Haha I like DD reaction though. If you noticed. It’s like a I have seen this before. Rolls eyes in an endearingly type of way. Like the best friend sidekick type of reaction when your best pal gets the girls excited yet again.
Hilarious that KJM lets her talk to KSH and she says she will watch him from afar when he is filming. Whahaha.
Wahaha ok the MSY JYH team is getting too corporate!! I feel like I am at work again.
Haha passionate JYH brought a laptop!!! To explore. Ok I am actually amazed with them all. Like they have a lot of creativity and they don’t mind being in charge. kSH volunteers to be in charge of overall direction / movements since he does theatre. These guys do enjoy showbiz. I think Incheon team should have a better camera!!!
Ok I get that MSY is being entertaining but Ravi is like a poor bullied intern! I actually think his ideas are pretty good. Wel he has 1 m over followers on IG and all really cool poses. Ok I think this team will have serious issues cos there isn’t a consensus. It’s like team umi of last week with KJM doing his own thing.
Back to team Incheon. Don’t you think Wolmi island’s red lighthouse reminds you of gongjin village. Ok I am not bias but team Incheon wins my heart cos their teamwork is good and it’s fun! Team cheongjyu is like having formal bosses on a work trip. PD Jae oh is like their cameraman now! Ahha pD smiley won’t have done that!! Ok I am laughing v hard at KSH dancing all the way till k disco Pang Pang takes off. Haha and it looks good! The rest should have followed.
Oh gosh they have to guess the song on a Viking!! It gets v hilarious when the Viking goes really high and he starts passing it on his own when DD hasn’t even tried!! He is obviously feeling quite sick his mouth is wide open. He is near crying at the last moment and slumps over. Haha it’s all hilarious. And Dd says he needs to pee and KJM says he wants to puke.
Team Incheon for the win! I think this is my fav team for KSH so far. Better than YB/OB or Team inadequacy or team actor!
submitted by Effective-Lab-5659
to kimseonho [link] [comments]
2023.03.24 03:55 New-Cover777 Nobody pays any mind to the receptionist
It’s as if people are so use to me being there I just blend in as an object no one acknowledges. My desk is right outside of the higher ups offices but they pay me no mind as I take on the role of a sweet little receptionist that greets people into the Corporate office. They don’t know that I have sensitive ears and hear all the whispers that are exchanged, keeping tabs on everything that goes on in the company. I even have the employees that deliver things from the locations melting in my hands-spilling all of the intel they have about their stores but they think nothing of the woman behind the desk that smiles and listens to them spew all of the confidential information they have. I know of things before the managers are even notified. Playing as the innocent receptionist when I know that the hateful woman that controls the farthest store has a shopping addiction while nearly being homeless, the manager for the north store might get a divorce because she works so much she neglects her own family, the HR lady isn’t quiet when she speaks of the lawsuits or legal issues, and the stores are falling apart due to the employees being at each others necks. Being able to relish in the fact that I know the ins and outs of the dark parts of the company I work for is a luxury that gives me the best power trip, I hope to gather even better information soon.
submitted by New-Cover777
to confessions [link] [comments]
2023.03.24 03:03 RayColten Best shopping in bay area?
My wife and I are going on our honeymoon in a couple weeks and have various clothing items we need to purchase for our trip. We went to Arden Fair mall in Sacramento last weekend and were able to find some things for me, but my wife really struck out.
We'll be in Oakland for a concert tomorrow night and have the rest of the weekend open. While we are in the bay, we figured we'd try our luck there. (We're coming from a few hour north).
What is the best mall or shopping center in your opinion? We are open to driving somewhere if it's worth it. We'll probably stay in San Francisco Saturday night so we can hit one of our favorite restaurants.
submitted by RayColten
to AskSF [link] [comments]
2023.03.24 03:02 444amanda I got my septum pierced Tuesday and I feel like I am getting post nasal drip from not blowing my nose because it hurts to try and blow my nose. Has this happened to anyone else? Any suggestions please? My throat feels so dry for the post nasal drip. 🥲
submitted by 444amanda to piercing [link] [comments]