Dusty blue polyester napkins
[PI] It’s the end of the universe. To celebrate, you just want to chill with your best friend. After all, he’s the only other remaining person in the whole world. But to your surprise, he reveals that you’re not the only one invited to his party…
2023.06.03 22:25 InkDiamond [PI] It’s the end of the universe. To celebrate, you just want to chill with your best friend. After all, he’s the only other remaining person in the whole world. But to your surprise, he reveals that you’re not the only one invited to his party…
Marc gave it another go. He tipped his hand forward. The silver patty rolled off him, dropping toward the cave floor.
It stopped short of hitting the path. The shiny disc halted in the air, dangling at the end of a thin white line.
He watched the small wheel spin. It might have been the most fun he’d had all year. Even more fun than that mud puddle he’d found the other day. How does it keep going?
Marc thought to himself. And without any power??
Marc assumed the disc was some sort of technological marvel from the past. But the Archives had little information on it, only a name. It was called a “yo-yo.” They all must have had one of these,
As Marc walked down the stone ramp, he cast the yo-yo again. The toy’s quiet spin was the only sound in the cavern. The soft hiss of string versus metal reverberated gently in the spacious cave.
Marc focused all his attention on the little gadget. He was determined to enjoy every last minute of the universe, no matter what. And that evening, the yo-yo more than accomplished that goal.
The shimmering yo-yo, however, couldn’t prevent the world around him from crumbling. The ground started to rumble. The rest of the cave shook with it. The underground city shook as the plasma storm above battered it—and the rest of the planet.
Marc’s home broke down. Cracks appeared in the ceiling. Waterfalls of dust poured out of them. It wouldn't be long before the whole thing collapsed. That is, if the plasma storm didn’t swallow it whole first. Whatever.
A few clumps of dirt wouldn’t ruin Marc’s fun. He pulled the hood of his shawl over his head and extended his ragged sleeves toward each hand. His clothes shielded him from the falling dust; the gritty particles made themselves at home on his messy shawl. And Marc was free to perfect his newest trick.
The rumbling died down though as Marc descended the ramp. The yo-yo string didn’t wobble so much, and he didn't have to watch his steps as carefully. He just hoped the quaking wouldn’t come back to ruin his event.
Speaking of which, Marc glanced ahead toward his destination below. What he saw rocked him even harder than the earthquake had. What in the sinkpits…?
Marc stopped in his tracks. He even started to reach for his knife. All because he’d detected a speck of something suspicious. Something he didn't see much of every day: color.
Showy landmarks weren’t something endemic to his home. The Outpost was more of a dusty gray-and-brown sort of place. The walls were sandstone. The floor was sandstone. And the ceiling? …Granite?
No, sandstone. All under the faint glow of a string of depressed lightbulbs.
The intriguing blip in the gray-and-tan collage was farther up the path. Ahead of the ramp, on Level 8, Marc saw the same three steel doors he was used to seeing. The front doors of underground homes, lined up in a row, each closed into the cave wall.
However, there was something different
about the third door. It looked… alive. Like it didn’t belong in a dreary place like the Outpost. But it was too far away to tell what exactly had been done to it.
Marc squinted at it suspiciously. The third door happened to be his destination. And now it was weird.
He considered waiting and observing the mutated door. A child of the Outpost, Marc had developed a healthy fear of the unusual.
These habits, along with his instincts, kept him safe. They’d specifically preserved him
while the rest of humanity perished.
But he shrugged off the instinct to wait. Something new and “different” was ahead, and he wanted to see it.
But just as a precaution, it was time for his yo-yo’s last trick. He got in one final throw then placed the toy into his satchel. He dropped it on top of his arsenal of cables, wrenches, and screwdrivers.
And by the time he’d snapped the satchel shut, the long ramp had bottomed out. He’d made it to the next level.
To his left, the wall had been spray-painted. Scrawled-out black letters stood against the sandy background. They stated, “Now Level 8.
Marc followed the sign. He stayed close to the wall, crossing to the stone pedestrian path. He passed one untouched steel door with a dusted-over mail slot in the wall beside it. Then he passed a second home—abandoned like the first. And finally, he arrived at his friend’s place and the mysterious blip on Level 8.
To his surprise, the steel door elicited a flush of emotion. His heart floated upward. And the portrait before him drew his focus in like an otherworldly beacon. How did it get so…?
Marc pulled back his hood. The ground popped with the sandy grains he released.
He could hardly believe the difference. The door used to blend in with the others: another ridged steel face that spent most of its time rusting or collecting dirt.
But it was no longer muffled by the dust and dirt that had built up over the years.
Today, it sung. Paint streaks flew across its visage. They swirled and spiraled, forming stars and other shapes. Where previously gray and rust dominated, colors sprang forth—colors that Marc didn't even have the names for. They were many, and they were warm,
like the evening sky just after sunset. Marc could hardly wrap his head around the entire image.
He swelled with gratitude. Only
you could have pulled this off.
He thought of his friend, the painter. The one person in the colony who’d ever been any fun. The one other person in the colony who was left…
The artist had done the unthinkable. Foraging the garden below for something other
than food. Spending work time measuring and concocting the perfect blends of paint. And then slathering their fingers across the giant door, until its old face was but a memory. And all that effort for only a single other person
Newly inspired, Marc searched for an unpainted space on the metal canvas. He found one and knocked on the door.
He took a step back and waited. The outside of the Outpost was lively. Excited wind rushed through the canyon.
By contrast, the Outpost itself was silent. If there was anyone left to say anything, they may have even called it “dead.”
Or nearly dead, anyway. The last morsel of it came to life as the door in front of Marc groaned.
It floated off the ground, inching upward. On the other side, Marc could hear a hand crank clicking away. Ktch… ktch… ktch… ktch…
The corrugated door lifted, and the door rolled up. The tip of the artist’s painting started to slip from view. Ktch… ktch… ktch… ktch…
Behind the door, chains reeled at a slow clip. The heavy curtain was halfway up. Marc could now see his best friend's lower half. Buff Lenorkian legs pumped back and forth with each crank.
The door unveiled even more of the owner. A torso in a metal suit appeared. Four ripped arms stretched out of it. They rotated, moving to the clicking beats of the door. Ktch… ktch… ktch… ktch…
The door raised a few inches further, uncovering the bottom half of a cobalt blue face. Two rows of razor-sharp teeth smiled from ear to ear. A few inches more, and Marc could see the whole of the Lenorkian’s face.
Sid greeted Marc as the last of the door raised.
” he said.
Marc didn’t get a chance to respond. His body lurched forward involuntarily. He slammed into Sid’s metal suit. Crrrrrick!
The armor squealed as Sid’s upper two arms squeezed him tighter. The lower set of arms had reeled Marc in.
hugs. Stupid mushy emotional wraparounds. But just this one final time, Marc returned the gesture. He squeezed Sid back.
“Happy Worlds’ End!” Sid said from the other side of the embrace.
“Yeah,” Marc replied, “Happy Worlds’ End.”
The two separated.
“Cool painting, by the way,” Marc said. He pointed at the rolled-up door. “I didn’t think you’d top the one in the garden.”
“You think so?” Sid sheepishly smiled. “Well I’ve had more time to practice since… you know.”
“Yeah, I get it,” Marc said. “Me too. That’s how I actually got you
Marc swung his heavy satchel around. He rifled through it, squeezing through cables, knocking handles and parts out of the way. And then—ah.
He fished out a crumpled rag. Holding it in one hand, he began to gently unfold it.
“I found this a few days ago in the garden,” he said. The edges of the cloth fell. They revealed a small, glass object. It sparkled.
Marc continued, “I think it fits your style—I mean, I know it’s a little smudged and chipped but...”
He swirled the crystal trinket around. The cavern’s incandescent light flittered across its clear edges.
He touched it too, tracing the slender portion of it with his thumb. It was the neck of the crystal swan.
“It’s yours,” Marc said, offering up the bird.
Sid cupped two shovel-sized hands and accepted the gift.
“It’s beautiful…” he said, examining it. “I can’t believe anything like this could have survived this long.” He looked up at Marc and smiled, “Thank you so much. I just wish I had a little longer to could enjoy it.”
They chuckled lightly about their impending obliteration.
“Well, come on in,” Sid said. He extended both of his left arms. They gestured toward the cave interior. “We’ll finish off this universe how it started,” he said. He mashed his upper two fists together. “With a bang!”
“I hear that!” Marc nodded. He crossed over into Sid’s house.
As Marc passed Sid, a wave of discomfort hit him. Sid had switched out his usual t-shirt and jeans. He wore old armor instead. And the metal plating taunted Marc.
Marc’s next question came out more accusatory than curious.
“So… a Lenorkian throwback, huh?” he asked Sid.
Sid had just finished finding the perfect home for his swan. He left it on a shelf next to the front door.
He turned to face Marc. He hid his embarrassment behind a jagged smile.
“Oh!” he said. “Uhhh…” Three of Sid’s arms disappeared behind his back. The cone-shaped cuffs at the end of each wrist clanked against the back of his chest armor. The fourth arm nervously scratched his blue head. “I don’t know,” he said. “It's stupid, I guess. I can take it off… if you want.”
Marc didn’t want to address the topic head-on. He stopped in the cave’s entry. He pretended to admire the walls—as if he’d never seen sandstone before.
“No, leave it on,” he said. “You look… like a true Lenorkian.” He turn around and forced a smile.
It wasn’t enough.
“Okay, let’s get this out of the way,” Sid said. He marched up to Marc.
Sid took a deep breath before he spoke.
“Tonight's really important to me,” he continued. “This is the last impression anyone’s
going to make on the universe. So I need you on board.” He continued staring down at Marc. “Can you do that? For me?”
Marc didn’t see what the big deal was. It was just a couple of best friends hanging out.
“Yeah, why not?” he shrugged. “End it the way it started.”
The exchange turned into awkward silence. Neither knew what to do next. They had never been in a situation like this before—never attended such an event. What the Archives called: a par-ty.
Sid shook off the figurative mask he’d been wearing—one that was uncharacteristically dour. His eyes lightened, and he bobbed his head knowingly.
“I went through the Archives to see how this works,” he said. He walked toward the long horizontal counter against the wall—the kitchen.
On the counter, chaos ran wild. Bowls and kitchenware spread across the surface. And the insides of his pots and pans resembled the dirty mouth of a garbage chute.
Marc wasn’t sure what to think. Was cleaning the host’s kitchen a staple of ancient parties?
Sid too seemed a bit confused. His next words came out robotically, as if he was practicing a new word he’d learned.
’” Sid asked. He stood nervously in front of the counter.
Looking closer at it, three unusual objects stood apart from the kitchenware mess. It took Marc a while to remember what their outdated, bendy material was called. Plastic
. Three pink
cups sat equidistant from one another.
“I got these from here,” Sid reached under the counter and pulled up some sort of transparent bag. Pink cups just liked the others were stacked on top of each other inside.
Sid packed the bag back under the counter.
“So?” he asked after he finished. He held all four hands together in anticipation. His smile may have looked like an industrial-grade rock shredder, but it was hard to resist his innocent blue face and big wide eyes.
Marc eyed the pink cups one last time.
“This better not kill me,” he said.
Sid wasted no time. He excitedly grabbed a cup and walked over to a large pot sitting on the counter.
Using a nearby ladle, he plunged into the vat. An unappetizing sloshing sound resulted. And Sid, as strong as he was, seemed to struggle with scooping out some of the mystery liquid. But in the end, he pulled back the ladle and unloaded an opaque, muddy liquid into the cup.
“It's a homeworld classic called fludge,” Sid said as he finished pouring.
He treaded over to his reluctant friend and handed off the plastic cup.
“Did you say ‘fludge’?” Marc asked. He swished the cup around cautiously. The earthy liquid hardly budged.
“Yeah, fludge! Us Lenorkians invented it. It’s kind of the only tasty thing we ever bothered to make.”
Marc sniffed it. It smelled… burnt? Maybe a little dusty, too? But he could have just been smelling the cave.
Sid left Marc alone with Marc’s questionable new assignment. He returned to the pot to pour himself a drink.
“Just try it!” he said.
Marc looked down again at the dark soup. It could kill him. Or maybe it wouldn't.
Either way, it was his last drink.
He took a timid sip and waited to be repulsed. The fludge trickled to the back of his tongue. As it hit, Marc’s eyes widened. But not with regret.
“Now wait a minute…” he said. He smacked his lips together. Then he took another, larger sip.
This curious dark liquid had a unique taste to it. The taste was earthen—but unoffending. It also had a subtle undercurrent of sweetness to it, combined with a spicy kick. It was delicious.
“This might be the best drink in the entire Outpost!” Marc exclaimed.
Pure joy bloomed on Sid’s face. “See! I told you: the greatest thing we ever made.”
He held his own cup above his open jaws. The falling fludge was no match for the alien. He guzzled it down, licked his lips, and then went back for more.
As Sid fashioned himself another drink, Marc noticed something a tad
unsettling. A third pink cup stared back at him. It prompted an uncomfortable thought, but he shoved the thought back down.
The Lenorkian carried back his second drink. Though this time, he took it in small, human-sized sips.
But he quickly reanimated. In the middle of a sip, Sid got a wild look in his eyes. His irises turned from their natural violet to scarlet. He yanked the cup from his face and swallowed.
“Argh, how did I forget?” he said. “I got music!”
Marc cut his sip short too. “No way. You got music?
“I think so!”
Sid did an about face. He slammed the half-empty cup on the counter. Then he shuffled toward a giant metal column protruding from the far wall. Four ink-blue hands wrapped around the cover of the vent. And he went for it.
Sid struggled to pull off the cover of the vent at first. His armor ballooned around his biceps as his muscles bulged outward. Yet the cover wouldn't budge.
But it seemed like an important part of his evening plans. He scolded the stubborn vent, banging on its top.
“Oh, you’re gonna get it now!” he said. He latched onto the vent again.
This time, he put even more effort in. To the point where Marc sensed that Sid was losing a grip on his own body. Out of his forehead, two thumb-sized cones began to rise. His breathing turned low and raspy. And his whole body seemed to expand as he repositioned himself for leverage. Then with one final pull, like a wild beast, he let out of a deep, guttural roar.
” The roar echoed off the cave walls.
And with that, the stubborn vent cover finally popped off. A breath of wind pulsed through the room as the air pressure equalized itself.
But the wind wasn’t finished. After the initial pulse exited, a mighty gust picked up where the original pulse left off. The vent shot more wind into the room, but rapidly, like a storm. Tiny coarse particles rattled inside the duct. And in the room, a rush of wind whipped past Marc’s face. He felt little nips across his exposed skin as it passed him.
Both partiers shielded their faces from the most direct blasts of air. Sid smiled nervously as he looked to Marc. He raised his voice over the whining airstream.
“It’s from the sandplains above!” he said in an elevated voice. “I thought we’d use the sandstorm for music! Do you like it?”
Music… Marc wasn’t exactly an expert. Even though humans were said to be naturals at it, not much on the subject had made it into the Archives. The Outpost didn’t have much of it either. The closest he got was the occasional chant, stray birds twittering about, or maybe someone banging on rocks.
But Marc did know one thing on the subject. Where there was music, there was dancing.
That said, he had never danced before either. But a long time ago, his parents told him it was something all
humans could do. It was something they carried in their blood. Once humans found a pattern in music, they could match it to their body language. And once they’d synced melody and movement, they could ride that wave to a whole new experience. Might as well give it a shot,
he thought. Marc too put his cup on the counter.
With his hands free, Marc backed up toward the middle of the room. He closed his eyes, felt the wind. It filled his ears with its gusty energy. It hit him in pumps as the storm raged above.
Though not totally predictable, the wind did hit him consistently. There was some sort of kinetic pattern
Yes, a pattern
Well actually, he’d heard it called by another name. What was that word his mother had used? He opened his eyes when he remembered: rhythm.
Marc stretched out his arms. He relaxed his hips. He felt the wind’s whips and waves across his arms. He let his arms follow them, swaying with the current. Not long after, his hips joined in. They too gyrated, trying to match the energetic gusts. He kept at it. And the first time Marc felt both himself and the wind moving together, he grinned.
“This is amazing!” he said. Around them, the wind crooned.
Sid was entranced. He nodded back while staring at Marc’s strange movements. He’d never really seen dancing either. But he figured he would give it a shot too. He loosened up his arms and walked onto the dance floor with Marc.
Before dancing himself, he studied Marc first. He watched how the scavenger moved his arms—and when
the scavenger moved his arms.
Sid’s limbs followed. Four muscular arms rose in the air, like fighter jets on their way to a dogfight. And on a one or two second delay, they swayed after Marc’s.
For a while, they followed Marc completely. Then Sid went down his own path. The Lenorkian’s movements grew aggressive and battle-like. He punched at the wind swiping across him. He shuffled his feet as if swapping battle stances.
He caught Marc’s curiosity. Even as a novice, Marc could tell Sid’s movements weren’t traditional by any means. But to Marc, it was dancing all the same.
The two danced to the chorus of the air above. They laughed occasionally as changes in the rhythm of the wind tripped them up. In his head, Marc compared it to the painting on Sid’s door. The colony had never seen anything like this
Then something interrupted their dancing. The ground beneath them shook, throwing them off their feet. Heavy gray dirt trickled from the ceiling as the entire cave rumbled. And outside, the distant sky flashed and crackled. Its light illuminated the cave in violent spurts as the boys struggled to stand back up.
Eventually, the violent quaking and frightening flashes died down. The plasma storm held its breath once again.
The boys got back on their feet, but all the joy had seeped out of Sid’s face. He just stared at the floor in deep contemplation. Even as the windy music started back up.
Marc figured he would rescue his friend from whatever dark thoughts had turned up. Naturally, the end of the universe was a real bummer.
“End of the world got you down, huh?” He tried to laugh it off. The whole situation was pretty sad. Especially when they were having so much fun. But it was best to end the universe on a high note, right?
Nevertheless, Sid seemed dejected. He mumbled something inaudible.
“Dude, I can’t hear over the song!” Marc said in an elevated voice.
Sid spoke up over the wind. “That’s not what I’m upset about,” he said, his voice still fairly low.
“Then what are you upset about?”
Sid blurted out his response. “Because I invited Tōn-E, okay?
He couldn’t bring himself to look Marc in the eye. Because he knew what was coming.
“YOU DID WHAT?!
” Marc shouted over the music. Marc himself stomped over to the vent. He picked the cover off the floor—though he struggled quite a bit with it. It was heavier than Sid made it look. But he hoisted it back into the mouth of the vent. The music shut off. The steady drop of sand on the cave floor ceased.
“Say that again,” he leveled in Sid’s direction.
“What was I supposed to do?
” Sid remade eye contact. “Not invite the only other intelligent being
to the last party the universe will ever have?
Marc needed no time to answer. He nodded insistently. “Yes. That was exactly
what you were supposed to do. What the hell, Sid?” Marc would have continued, but there was another disturbance outside. He caught a glimpse of movement in the doorway.
Thanks for reading some of my words :) I’m trying stuff out, so let me know what you think.
The rest of the story is here
Based on a prompt
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2023.06.03 22:06 plazman30 WTS: Assorted low cost pens
Verification and pen pics: https://i.imgur.com/8ljPDap.jpg https://i.imgur.com/seyhOMk.jpg
I will try to identify what's in this lot:
- Platinum Prefountaine F Nib with empty cartrdige
- Platinum Preppy F Nib with o-ring for eyedropper
- Jinhao 59A with "Bobby" mini-fude nib with converter
- Noodler's Charlie
- The silver pen is some budget Japanese pen that Goulet sold at one point, who's name I can't rememebr
- Schaeffer Student Pen
- Jinhao X450 F nib with converter
- Jinhao 777 with converter
- Blue Lamy Safari knock-off. F nib with converter. Have no idea who makes it. It was advertised on eBay as a Jinhao
- Red Lamy Al-Star knock off. F. nib with converter. It was advertized on eBay as a Jinhao.
I have not written with any of these pens in YEARS at this point, and I'd rather they go to a new home where someone will use them.
These are all low-value pens, so I don't want to sell them individually. It would be cheaper for you tro find these on eBay and have them shipped to you directly from China for most of them. I I'd like to sell the whole lot for US$10.00 + shipping.
If you live in the Philadelphia area, I can do local pickup.
Shipping will be done as cheaply as possible. Each pen wrapped in a napkin and all placed into the same ziplok bag. That will be wrapped in some bubble wrap and put into the smallest size box possible.
I reserve the right to find more low cost pens in my Chinese Fountain Pen journey and throw them into this lot.
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2023.06.03 17:24 pleck0 [SELL] 10% OFF ALL SNEAKERS: New Balance Teddy Santis, NOAH, Howlin', Carhartt WIP, Nike, YMC, Howlin', Norse Projects, Adidas Originals, Vans Vault
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2023.06.03 16:45 WagongoRuck Grand Sollist Tourism Board of the Grand Sordish Republican Citmonge Stand
What is a man but fruit? What is a fruit but man? Men are fruity, by design. Lest women have *all* the fun. He carves himself into the shape of the fruit of his choice. One man is carving out his place on the roadside, he has exited his car on the dusty side of a back road in Gruni. He has travelled through a farmer's field in the blistering sun and stand by the road, he withdraws a pocket knife from the inside of his glovebox and cuts an orange down from the tree.
It is warm and firm in his hand, hot even. Like freshed baked goods straight from a bakers oven or that of a woman's breast. He cuts the top and bottom off and casts them aside for bugs to eat and birds to sharpen their beaks on before cutting it into 8 equalish chunks. A grin cascades across his face like a rolling tide before he bites and sucks into the tender flesh with the same passion he would give his wife. The hot sun beats down on his receding brow, gore sticks in his teeth and bloody juice stickys up his moustache. Yes, this will be what is to come.
A cormorant flies above him, above the orange fields and dusty roads and hot dry air. It's wings feel the blessing of wind beneath them, a privilege not afforded to those on the ground. It is further inland than it intended to be, it soars towards the ocean a few miles away over lush white terraced rooves and the hustle and bustle of the coastal life. The cities and towns that line the coasts are beautiful facades of marble coloured stone, beautifully shining in the hot sun and juxtaposed against the deep blue sea.
The man imagines a fleet of tourist buses trawling these roads, fat Arcasians and their Lespian mistresses gazing wondrously at the immortal simplicity of the farmer and his field - what quaint lives they live. Then they would return to those marbled towns and lose themselves in cocktails and food and nightlife while their capital would dissipate into the bosom of the nation. A grand ministry, the grandest - of sprawling fields of fruit and pig-faced tourists to consume it's boon.
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2023.06.03 15:38 obeliskposture Short story about bad times & bad jobs
I've shared fiction here before and it didn't go altogether too poorly, so I'm going to press my luck and do it again. This was written about a year ago, and I'm tired of trying to peddle it to lit magazines. Might as well share it here, know that it met a few eyeballs, and have done with it.
It's relevant to the sub insofar as it's about urban alienation and the working conditions at a small business run by IN THIS HOUSE WE BELIEVE people. (I tried to pitch it as a story of the great resignation with a momentary flicker of cosmic horror.) It's based on a similar job I took on after getting laid off during the lockdown, and the circumstances of the main character's breakup are faintly similar to one I went through several years back (her job sucked the life out of her).
Without further ado:
* * *
It was getting close to midnight, and the temperature outside was still above 80 degrees. We’d locked up the shop at 10:15 and walked over to Twenty, the dive bar on Poplar Street, where a single wall-mounted air conditioner and four wobbly ceiling fans weren’t putting up much resistance against the July heat baking the place from the outside and the dense mass of bodies giving it a stifling fever from within.
Just now I came close to saying it was a Wednesday night, because that was usually when the cyclists descended upon Avenue Brew, the gritty-but-bougie craft beer and sandwich shop I was working at back then. Every Wednesday between March and November, about fifteen to twenty-five Gen Xers dressed in skintight polyester, all packages and camel toes and fanny packs, locked up their thousand-dollar bikes on the sidewalk and lined up for IPAs and paninis. They reliably arrived around 8:00, an hour before we closed, making it impossible to get started on the closing checklist and leave on time at 10:00. The worst of them were demanding and rude, and even the best got raucous and stubborn after a couple drinks. There were nights when bringing in the sidewalk tables couldn’t be done without arguing with them. Most were sub-par tippers, to boot.
After Wednesday came and went that week without so much as a single 40-something in Ray Bans and padded shorts stopping in to double-fist two cans of Jai Alai, we dared to hope the cyclists had chosen another spot to be their finish line from there on out. But no—they’d only postponed their weekly ride, and swarmed us on Friday night instead.
I was the last person to find out; I was clocked in as purchaser that evening. The position was something like a promotion I'd received a year earlier: for twenty hours a week, I got to retreat from the public and sit in the back room with the store laptop, reviewing sales and inventory, answering emails from brewery reps, and ordering beer, beverages, and assorted paper goods. When I put in hours as purchaser, my wage went up from $11 to $15 an hour, but I was removed from the tip pool. On most days, tips amounted to an extra two or three dollars an hour, so I usually came out ahead.
This was back in 2021. I don't know what Avenue Brew pays these days.
Anyway, at about 8:15, I stepped out to say goodbye to everyone and found the shop in chaos. Friday nights were generally pretty active, the cyclists' arrival had turned the place into a mob scene. The line extended to the front door. The phone was ringing. The Grubhub tablet dinged like an alarm clock without a snooze button. Danny was on the sandwich line and on the verge of losing his temper. Oliver was working up a sweat running food, bussing tables, and replenishing ingredients from the walk-in. The unflappable Marina was on register, and even she seemed like she was about to snap at somebody.
What else could I do? I stayed until closing to answer the phone, process Grubhub orders, hop on and off the second register, and help Danny with sandwich prep. After the tills were counted out, I stayed another hour to take care of the dishes, since nobody had a chance to do a first load. Oliver was grateful, even though he grumbled about having to make some calls and rearrange Sunday's schedule so I could come in a couple hours late. Irene and Jeremy, Avenue Brew's owners, would kick his ass if he let me go into overtime.
Danny suggested that we deserved a few drinks ourselves after managing to get through the shift without killing anyone. Not even Marina could find a reason to disagree with him.
The neighborhood had undergone enough gentrification to support an upscale brunch spot, an ice cream parlor, a gourmet burger restaurant, a coffee and bahn mi shop, and Avenue Brew (to name a few examples), but not yet quite enough that the people who staffed them couldn’t afford to live within a ten-minute walk from the main avenue where all these hep eateries stood between 24-hour corner stores with slot machines in back, late-night Chinese and Mexico-Italian takeout joints with bulletproof glass at the counters, and long-shuttered delis and shoe stores. Twenty on Poplar was the watering hole set aside for people like us. It was dim, a bit dilapidated, and inexpensive, and usually avoided by denizens of the condos popping up on the vacant lots and replacing clusters of abandoned row houses.
When we arrived, Kyle waved us over. He didn’t work at Avenue Brew anymore, but still kept up with a few of us. He was at Twenty at least four nights out of the week.
So there we all were. I sat with a brooding stranger freestyling to himself in a low mumble on the stool to my left and Oliver on my right, who tapped at his phone and nursed a bottle of Twisted Tea. To Oliver’s right sat Marina, staring at nothing in particular and trying to ignore Danny, who stood behind her, closer than she would have liked, listening to Kyle explain the crucial differences between the Invincible comic book and the Invincible web series.
I recall being startled back to something like wakefulness when it seemed to me that the ceiling had sprouted a new fan. I blinked my eyes, and it wasn’t there anymore. It reminded me of an incident from when I was still living with my folks in South Jersey and still had a car, and was driving home from a friend’s house party up in Bergen County. It was 6:30 AM, I hadn’t slept all night, and needed to get home so I could get at least little shuteye before heading to Whole Foods for my 11:00 AM shift. I imagined I passed beneath the shadows of overpasses I knew weren’t there, and realized I was dreaming at the wheel.
I was pretty thoroughly zombified at that point. Heather and I had broken up for good the night before, and I hadn't gotten even a minute of sleep. Calling out at Avenue Brew was tough. Unless you found someone willing to cover your shift on like six hours' notice, you were liable to get a writeup, a demotion, or your hours cut if you couldn't produce a doctor's note. So I loaded up on caffeine pills and Five-Hour Energy bottles at the corner store, and powered through as best I could.
I finished the last thimbleful of Blue Moon in my glass. Oliver wiped the sweat from the back of his neck with a napkin and covered his mouth to stifle a laugh at the KiwiFarms thread he was scrolling through. Pool balls clacked; somebody swore and somebody laughed. The TouchTunes box was playing Bob Dylan’s “Rain Day Woman #12 & 35,” and enough bleary 40-something men around the bar were bobbing their heads and mouthing the words to make it impossible to determine which one of them paid two bucks to hear it. A guy by the cigarette machine who looked like a caricature of Art Carney in flannel and an old Pixies T-shirt was accosting a woman who must have been a toddler when he hit drinking age, and she momentarily made eye contact with me as she scanned the area for a way out. Danny was shouting over the bartender’s head, carrying on a conversation with the Hot Guy from Pizza Stan’s, who was sitting on the horseshoe’s opposite arm.
I never got his name, but when Oliver first referred to him as the Hot Guy from Pizza Stan’s, I knew exactly who he meant. Philly scene kid par excellence. Mid-20s, washed-out black denim, dyed black hair, thick bangs, and dark, gentle eyes. He was only truly alluring when he was on the job, because he seldom smiled then—and when he smiled, he broke the spell by exposing his teeth, stained a gnarly shade of mahogany from too much smoking and not enough brushing.
“How’s Best? Marcus still a joker?” Danny asked him.
“Yeah, you know Marcus. You know how he is.”
So the Hot Guy had been working at Best Burger (directly across the street from Avenue Brew) ever since Pizza Stan’s owners mismanaged the place unto insolvency. (Afterwards it was renovated and reopened as a vegan bakery—which incidentally closed down about a month ago.) Danny used to work at Best Burger, but that ended after he got into a shouting match with the owner. I happened to overhear it while I was dragging in the tables and collecting the chairs from the sidewalk the night it happened. It wasn’t any of my business, and I tried not to pay attention, but they were really tearing into each other. A month later, Oliver welcomed Danny aboard at Avenue Brew. I hadn’t known he’d been interviewed, and by then it was too late to mention the incident. But I’d have been a hypocrite to call it a red flag after the way I resigned from my position as Café Chakra's assistant manager two years earlier—not that we need to go dredging that up right now. Let's say there was some bad blood and leave it at that.
Anyway, I was thinking about giving in and buying a pack of cigarettes from the machine—and then remembered that Twenty didn’t have a cigarette machine. I looked again. The Art Carney-lookalike was still there, fingering his phone with a frown, but the girl was gone—and so was the cigarette machine.
I had only a moment to puzzle over this before Danny clapped me on the shoulder and thrust a shot glass in front of me.
“Starfish!” he said. (Danny called me Starfish. Everybody else called me Pat.) “You look like you need some juice.”
He distributed shots to everyone else. Marina declined hers, but changed her mind when Kyle offered to take it instead.
She and Kyle had stopped sleeping together after Kyle left Avenue Brew to work at the Victory taproom on the Parkway, but Marina was still concerned about his bad habits, which Danny delighted in encouraging.
We all leaned in to clink our glasses. Before I could find an appropriate moment to ask Marina if I could bum a cigarette, she got up to visit the bathroom. Danny took her seat and bowed his head for a conspiratorial word with Kyle.
I watched from the corner of my eye and tried to listen in. Like Marina, I was a little worried about Kyle. He got hired at Avenue Brew around the same time I did, just before the pandemic temporarily turned us into a takeout joint. He was a senior at Drexel then, an English major, and sometimes talked about wanting to either find work in publishing or carve out a career as a freelance writer after graduating. But first he intended to spend a year getting some life in before submitting himself to the forever grind.
He read a lot of Charles Bukowski and Hunter Thompson. He relished the gritty and sordid, and had already been good at sniffing it out around the neighborhood and in West Philly before Danny introduced him to cocaine, casinos, strip clubs, and a rogue’s gallery of shady but fascinating people. (None were really Danny’s friends; just fellow passengers who intersected with the part of his life where he sometimes went to Parx, sometimes came out ahead, sometimes spent his winnings on coke, and sometimes did bumps at titty bars.) Kyle recounted these adventures with a boyish enthusiasm for the naked reality of sleaze, like a middle schooler telling his locker room buddies about catching his older brother in flagrante and seeing so-and-so body parts doing such-and-such things.
Marina hated it. She never said as much to me, but she was afraid that the template Kyle set for his life during his “year off” was in danger of becoming locked in. The anniversary of his graduation had already passed, and now here he was trying to convince Danny to contribute a couple hundred dollars toward a sheet of acid his guy had for sale. He wasn't doing much writing lately.
I was the oldest employee at Avenue Brew (as I write this I’m 37, but fortunately I don’t look it), and when Kyle still worked with us I felt like it was my prerogative to give him some advice. The longer he waited to make inroads, I once told him, the more likely he’d be seen as damaged goods by the publishing world. He needed to jam his foot in the door while he was still young.
I could tell the conversation bored him, and didn’t bring up the subject again.
The bartender took my glass and curtly asked if I’d like another drink.
“No thanks, not yet,” I answered.
She slid me my bill.
I missed the old bartender, the one she’d replaced. I forget her name, but she was ingenuous and energetic and sweet. Pretty much everyone had some sort of crush on her. Sometimes she came into Avenue Brew for lunch, and tipped us as well as we tipped her. Maybe three months before that night—Danny witnessed it—she suddenly started crying and rushed out the door. Everyone at the bar mutely looked to each other for an explanation. (Fortunately for Twenty, the kitchen manager hadn’t left yet, and picked up the rest of her shift.)
She never came back. None of us had seen her since. But drafts still had to be poured and bottlecaps pulled off, and now here was another white woman in her mid-twenties wearing a black tank top, a pushup bra, and a scrunchie, same as before. Twenty’s regulars grew accustomed to not expecting to see the person she’d replaced, and life went on.
“How’re you doing?” I asked Oliver, just to say something to somebody, and to keep my thoughts from wandering back to Heather.
“Just kind of existing right now,” he answered. His phone lay face-up on the counter. He was swiping through Instagram, and I recognized the avatar of the user whose album he hate-browsed.
“And how’s Austin been?” I asked.
“Oh, you know. Not even three weeks after getting over the jetlag from his trip back from the Cascades, he’s off touring Ireland.” He shook his head. “Living his best life.”
He’d hired Austin on a part-time basis in September. We needed a new associate when Emma was promoted to replace a supervisor who'd quit without even giving his two weeks. There was a whole thing. I'm having a hard time recalling the guy's name, but I liked him well enough. He was a good worker and he seemed like a bright kid, but he was—well, he was young. Naïve. One day he found Jeremy sitting in the back room with his laptop, and took advantage of the open-door policy to ask why the store manager and supervisors didn’t get health benefits or paid time off. Jeremy told him it "was being worked on," and that he couldn’t discuss it any further at that time. I understand the kid got argumentative, though I never knew precisely what was said.
Irene started visiting the shop a lot more often after that, almost always arriving when the kid was working. No matter what he was doing, she’d find a reason to intervene, to micromanage and harangue him, and effectively make his job impossible. A coincidence, surely.
It’s something I still think about. By any metric, Jeremy and Irene have done very well for themselves. They’re both a little over 40 years old. I remember hearing they met at law school. In addition to Avenue Brew, they own a bistro in Francisville and an ice cream parlor in Point Breeze. They have a house on the Blue Line, send their son to a Montessori school, and pull up to their businesses in a white Volkswagen ID.4. But whenever the subject of benefits, wages, or even free shift meals came up, they pled poverty. It simply couldn’t be done. But they liked to remind us about all they did to make Avenue Brew a fun place to work, like let the staff pick the music and allow Oliver and me to conduct a beer tasting once a day. They stuck Black Lives Matter, Believe Women, and Progress flag decals on the front door and windows, and I remember Irene wearing a Black Trans Lives Matter shirt once or twice when covering a supervisor's shift. None of the college students or recent graduates who composed most of Avenue Brew's staff could say the bosses weren't on the right team. And yet...
I'm sorry—I was talking about Austin. He was maybe 30 and already had another job, a “real” job, some sort of remote gig lucrative enough for him to make rent on a studio in the picturesque Episcopal church down the street that had been converted into upscale apartments some years back. Austin wasn’t looking for extra cash. He wanted to socialize. To have something to do and people to talk to in the outside world. He wanted to make friends, and all of us could appreciate that—but it’s hard to be fond of a coworker who irredeemably sucks at his job. Austin never acted with any urgency, was inattentive to detail, and even after repeated interventions from Oliver and the supervisors, he continued to perform basic tasks in bafflingly inefficient ways. Having Austin on your shift meant carrying his slack, and everyone was fed up after a few months. Oliver sat him down, told him he was on thin ice, and gave him a list of the areas in which he needed to improve if he didn’t want to be let go.
When Austin gave Oliver the indignant “I don’t need this job” speech, it was different from those times Danny or I told a boss to go to hell and walked out. Austin truly didn’t need it. He basically said the job was beneath him, and so was Oliver.
It got deep under Oliver’s skin. He did need the job and had to take it seriously, even when it meant being the dipshit manager chewing out a man four or five years his senior. He earned $18 an hour (plus tips when he wasn’t doing admin work), had debts to pay off, and couldn't expect to get any help from his family.
The important thing, though, the part I distinctly remember, was that Oliver was looking at a video of a wading bird Austin had recorded. An egret, maybe. White feathers, long black legs, pointy black beak. Austin must have been standing on a ledge above a creek, because he had an overhead view of the bird as it stood in the water, slowly and deliberately stretching and retracting its neck, eyeing the wriggling little shadows below. As far as the fish could know, they were swimming around a pair of reeds growing out of the silt. The predator from which they extended was of a world beyond their understanding and out of their reach.
The video ended. Oliver moved on to the next item: a photograph of the bird from the same perspective, with a fish clamped in its beak. Water droplets flung from the victim's thrashing tail caught the sunlight. And I remember now, I clearly remember, the shapes of like twelve other fish stupidly milling about the bird's feet, unperturbed and unpanicked.
Danny peered at Oliver’s phone and observed a resemblance between the bird—its shape and bearing, and the composition of the photograph—and a POV porn video shot from behind and above, and he told us so. Elaborately. He made squawking noises.
“And mom says I’m a degenerate,” Oliver sighed. “Can you practice your interspecies pickup artist shit somewhere else?” Oliver flicked his wrist, shooing Danny off, and held his phone in front of his face to signal that he was done talking.
Danny sagged a little on his stool and turned away. I sometimes felt bad for him. For all his faults, he had the heart of a puppy dog. He really did think of us as his tribe. There was nobody else who’d only ever answer “yes” when you asked him to pick up a shift, and he did it completely out of loyalty.
He was turning 29 in a week. I wondered how many people would actually turn out to celebrate with him at the Black Taxi. Kyle probably would—but even he regarded Danny more as a source of vulgar entertainment than a friend.
Then it happened again. When I turned to speak to Oliver, there’d been a pair of pool cues leaning side-by-side against the wall a few stools down. Now they were gone.
This time it might have been my imagination. Somebody passing by could have casually snatched them up and kept walking.
But a moment later I seemed to notice a second TouchTunes box protruding from the wall directly behind me. I let it be.
Marina returned from the bathroom. Danny rose and offered her back her seat with an exaggerated bow. Before she got settled, I asked if she’d like to step outside with me. She withdrew her pack of Marlboro Menthols from her canvas bag, which she left sitting on the stool to deter Danny from sitting back down.
Marina never minded letting me bum cigarettes from time to time. I couldn’t buy them for myself anymore; it’s a habit I could never keep under control, and was only getting more expensive. Like everything else in the world. About once a month I reimbursed her by buying her a pack.
The air out on the sidewalk was as hot as the air inside Twenty, but easier to breathe. After lighting up, Marina leaned against the bricks and sighed.
“I wish Oliver would fire Danny already and get it over with.”
I nodded. Marina rarely talked about anything but work.
“He sneaks drinks and doesn't think anyone notices he's buzzed,” she went on. “He steals so much shit and isn’t even a little subtle about it. He’s going to get Oliver in trouble. And he’s a creep.”
“Yeah,” I said. These were her usual complaints about Danny, and they were all true. “At least he’s better than Austin.”
“That’s a low bar.”
Three dirt bikes and an ATV roared down the lonely street, charging through stop sign after stop sign, putting our talk on hold.
“Remind me. You’ve got one semester left, right?” I asked after the noise ebbed.
Marina was a marketing major at Temple. She’d had an internship during the spring semester, and her boss told her to give her a call the very minute she graduated. Her parents in central Pennsylvania couldn’t pay her rent or tuition for her, so she was a full-time student and a full-time employee at Avenue Brew. Her emotional spectrum ranged from "tired" to "over it." She’d been waiting tables and working at coffee shops since she was seventeen, had no intention of continuing for even a day longer than she had to, and feared the escape hatch would slam shut if she dallied too long after prying it open.
She’d considered majoring in English, like Kyle. She went for marketing instead. I couldn’t blame her.
“Are you okay?” she asked. “You’ve been kind of off all day.”
I gave dodgy answers, but she asked precisely the right follow-up questions to get me going about what happened with Heather the night before.
It was the new job. Before the pandemic, Heather worked as a server at a Center City bar and grill. (That's where I met her; we were coworkers for about a year, and then I left to work Café Chakra because it was quieter and closer to where I lived.) When the place closed its doors and laid everyone off during the lockdown, she got a stopgap job at the Acme on Passyunk, and hated it. Then in March, she found a bar-and-lounge gig in a ritzy hotel on Broad Street. Very corporate. Excellent pay, great benefits. Definitely a step up. But her new employers made Irene and Jeremy look like Bob and Linda Belcher by comparison. It was the kind of place where someone had recently gotten herself fired for leaving work to rush to the hospital after getting the news that her grandmother was about to be taken off life support, and not finding someone to come in and cover the last two hours of her shift.
Heather seldom worked fewer than fifty-five hours a week, and her schedule was even more erratic than mine. At least once a week she left the hotel at 1:00 or 2:00 AM and returned at 9:00 the next morning. Neither of us could remember the last time she’d had two consecutive days off, and it had been over a month since one of mine overlapped with one of hers. She’d spent it drinking alone at home. All she wanted was some privacy.
I’d biked to South Philly to meet her when she got home at 1:30. The argument that killed our relationship for good began around 2:30, when I complained that we never had sex anymore. Heather accused me of only caring about that, when she was so exhausted and stressed that her hair was falling out in the shower. Quit the job? She couldn’t quit. The money was too good. She had student loans, medical bills, and credit card debt, and for the first time in her life she could imagine paying it all off before hitting menopause.
So, yeah, I was cranky about our sex life being dead in the water. Say whatever you like. But at that point, what were we to each other? We did nothing together anymore but complain about work before one or both of us fell asleep. That isn’t a relationship.
She said my hair always smelled like sandwiches, even after bathing, and she was done pretending it didn’t turn her off. I told her she was one to talk—she always reeked of liquor. As things escalated, we stopped caring if her roommates heard us. “You want to be a father?” she shouted around 4:00 AM. “Making what you make? That poor fucking kid.”
We fought until sunrise, and I left her apartment with the understanding that I wouldn’t be coming back, wouldn’t be calling her ever again. I biked home and sat on the steps facing the cement panel that was my house’s backyard. After my phone died and I couldn’t anaesthetize myself with dumb YouTube videos or make myself feel crazy staring at the download button for the Tinder app, I watched the sparrows hopping on and off the utility lines for a while.
At 11:40 I went inside. One of my roommates was already in the shower, so the best I could do was put on a clean Avenue Brew T-shirt before walking to the shop and clocking in at noon to help deal with the lunch rush.
“That’s a lot,” Marina finally said. “Sorry.”
I don’t know what I was expecting her to say. She was sixteen years my junior, after all, and just a coworker. She didn’t need to hear any of this, and I definitely didn't need to be telling her. But who else was there to tell?
She’d already finished her cigarette. I still had a few puffs left. She went inside.
I decided to call it a night.
The second TouchTunes box was gone—naturally. Danny had taken my stool, and regarded my approach with a puckish you snooze you lose grin. I wasn’t going to say anything. I’d just pay my bill, give everyone a nod goodnight, and walk the five blocks back home.
And then Danny disappeared.
One second, he was there. The next—gone.
Danny didn’t just instantaneously vanish. Even when something happens in the blink of an eye, you can still put together something of a sequence. I saw him—I seemed to see him—falling into himself, collapsing to a point, and then to nothing.
You know how sometimes a sound is altogether inaudible unless you’re looking at the source—like when you don’t realize somebody’s whispering at you, and can then hear and understand them after they get your attention? I think that was the case here. I wouldn't have known to listen if I hadn't seen it happen. What I heard lingered for two, maybe three seconds, and wasn't any louder than a fly buzzing inside a lampshade. A tiny and impossibly distant scream, pitchshifted like a receding ambulance siren into a basso drone...
I don’t know. I don’t know for sure. I’m certain I remember a flash of red, and I have the idea of Danny’s trunk expanding, opening up as it imploded. A crimson flower, flecked white, with spooling pink stalks—and Danny’s wide-eyed face above it, drawn twisting and shrinking into its petals.
For an instant, Twenty’s interior shimmered. Not shimmered, exactly—glitched would be a better word. If you’re old enough to remember the fragmented graphics that sometimes flashed onscreen when you turned on the Nintendo without blowing on the cartridge, you’ll have an idea of what I mean. It happened much too fast, and there was too much of it to absorb. The one clear impression I could parse was the mirage of a cash register flickering upside-down above the pool table.
Not a cash register. The shape was familiar, but the texture was wrong. I think it was ribbed, sort of like a maggot. I think it glistened. Like—camo doesn’t work anymore when the wearer stops crouching behind a bush and breaks into a run. Do you get what I’m saying?
Nobody else seemed to notice. The pool balls clacked. A New Order track was playing on the TouchTunes box. A nearby argument about about Nick Sirianni continued unabated.
Finally, there was a downward rush of air—and this at least elicited a reaction from the bartender, who slapped my bill to keep it from sailing off the counter.
“Danny,” I said.
“Danny?” Kyle asked me quietly. His face had gone pale.
“Danny?” Oliver repeated in a faraway voice.
After a pause, Kyle blinked a few times. “You heard from him?”
“God forbid,” said Marina. “When he quit I was like, great, I can keep working here after all.”
“Oh, come on—”
“Kyle. Did I ever show you those texts he sent me once at three in the morning?” The color had returned to Oliver’s face.
“No, what did he say?”
Oliver tapped at his phone and turned the screen toward Kyle.
“Oh. Oh, jeez.”
“Right? Like—if you want to ask me something, ask me. You know? Don’t be weirdly accusatory about it…”
I pulled a wad of fives and ones from my pocket, threw it all onto the counter, and beelined for the exit without consideration for the people I squeezed through and shoved past on the way.
I heard Marina saying “let him go.”
I went a second consecutive night without sleep. Fortunately I wasn’t scheduled to come in the next day.
The schedule. It’s funny. Oliver was generally great at his job, and even when he wasn’t, I cut him a lot of slack because I knew Irene and Jeremy never gave him a moment’s peace. But I could never forgive him those times he waited until the weekend to make up and distribute the schedule. This was one of those weeks he didn’t get around to it until Saturday afternoon. When I found it in my inbox, Danny’s name wasn’t anywhere on it.
As far as I know, nobody who hadn’t been at Twenty that night asked what happened to him. We were a bit overstaffed as it was, and everyone probably assumed Danny was slated for the chopping block. The part-timers were, for the most part, happy to get a few additional hours.
Oliver abruptly quit around Labor Day after a final acrimonious clash with the owners. I never found out the details, and I never saw him again. Jeremy and Irene took turns minding the store while a replacement manager was sought. None of the supervisors would be pressured into taking the job; they knew from Oliver what they could expect.
About three weeks after Oliver left, I came in for my purchasing shift and found Jeremy waiting for me in the back room. I knew it was serious when he didn’t greet me with the awkward fist-bump he ordinarily required of his male employees.
“You’ve seen the numbers,” he said. Business for the summer had fallen short of expectations, it was true, and he and Irene had decided to rein in payroll expenses. My purchaser position was being eliminated. Its responsibilities would be redistributed among the supervisors and the new manager, when one was found. In the meantime, I'd be going back to the regular $11 an hour (plus tips of course) associate position full-time.
Jeremy assured me I'd be first in the running for supervisor the next time there was an opening.
I told him it was fine, I was done, and if he’d expected the courtesy of two weeks’ notice, he shouldn’t have blindsided me like that.
“Well, that’s your choice,” he answered, trying not to look pleased. His payroll problem was solving itself.
I racked up credit card debt for a few months. Applied for entry-level museum jobs that might appreciate my art history degree. Aimed for some purchasing and administrative assistant gigs, and just for the hell of it, turned in a resume for a facilitator position at an after-school art program. Got a few interviews. All of them eventually told me they’d decided to go in a different direction. I finally got hired to bartend at Hops from Underground, a microbrewery on Fairmount.
I’m still there. The money’s okay, but it fluctuates. Hours are reasonable. I’m on their high-deductible health plan. There’s a coworker I’ve been dating. Sort of dating. You know how it goes. In this line of work you get so used to people coming and going that you learn not to get too attached. I walk past Avenue Brew a few times a week, but stopped peering in through the window when I didn't recognize the people behind the counter anymore.
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2023.06.03 15:23 vandalimism Guide to Synthetic Fude (Cruelty-Free, Vegan Makeup Brushes)
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Guide to Synthetic Fude by vandalimism All links are non-affiliated and are included for citing references.
I created this guide because I couldn’t find a comprehensive overview of synthetic fude (which refers to, in this context, artisanal makeup brushes)—a proper niche within a niche. Thus, I have compiled a list of makeup brush lines that are from OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers make products for other brands) and are 100% synthetic. The consensus is that synthetics are for liquids/creams, while animal hairs are for powders. Brush lines with natural and synthetic fibers typically reserve a pure or blended mix of synthetic fibers for lip, eyeliner, eyebrow, and liquid/cream face brushes. Consequently, drugstore synthetic brushes may be satisfactory for these use cases. However, the smoothness and stiffness of synthetic fibers result in poor performance with powder cosmetics and scratchiness on a sensitive face respectively. By exploring a selection of fude that use the latest synthetic fiber technology, I intend to guide readers seeking a better experience from their current synthetic brushes. In addition, I hope to see more fude enthusiasts create posts or videos dedicated to reviewing their synthetic fude collection since there’s a lack of such content on the internet.
Information from My Blush Betty
, Jackson's Art
, etc. is used as preliminary research on synthetic makeup brushes' history and current landscape. The lack of cuticles in synthetic fibers means that they don't retain as much powder but also bacteria as animal hair; the resiliency of synthetic fibers also means that they can withstand frequent washings, leading to a more hygienic makeup routine. The primary goals in development are better powder absorption by texturizing and crimping synthetic fiber and to be more eco-friendly by relying less on fossil fuels. The unstable supply of fur and customer ethical concerns has dramatically increased the demand for synthetic alternatives to natural hair.
Types of Synthetic Makeup Bristles
Japanese Synthetic Fude
|Name ||Number of Brushes ||Bristle Material ||Ferrule Material ||Handle Material ||Availability ||Reviews* |
|Chikuhodo AF (2016) ||9 ||PTT 🌽🦠 ||? ||? ||Beautylish, CDJapan, Fude Beauty 👥 ||qaganoficeandfire, enflame, donothingdilettante, un3xpectedfate, ---boop---, makeupmatters1, pressedorchids |
|Hakuhodo I (2020) ||46 ||Nylon, PBT ||Brass ||Wood ||Hakuhodo USA, Fude Japan 👤 ||jaybirdwalking, jaybirdwalking |
|Hakuhodo i (2020) ||19 ||? ||Aluminum ||Plastic ||Hakuhodo USA 👤 ||jaybirdwalking, twindly, un3xpectedfate |
|Koyudo Makiko (2020) ||5 ||? ||? ||Wood ||CDJapan, Fude Beauty 👥 ||kinkysweat, krutikapuntambekar, xleucax, pressedorchids |
|Nakamura Seisakusho Moe (2020) ||7 ||PBT 📏🦠 ||? ||? ||Fude Beauty 👤 ||kinkysweat |
|Nakamura Seisakusho Ai (2020) ||8 ||PBT 📏 ||? ||? ||Fude Beauty 👤 ||kinkysweat, pressedorchids |
|Koyudo La Fuga del Gatto (2021) ||6 ||PBT & PTT 🌽📏 ||Brass ||? ||Beautylish, CDJapan, Fude Beauty 👥 ||kinkysweat |
|Uyeda Bisyodo Futur (2021) ||13 ||PBT ||? ||Wood ||Fude Beauty, Fude Japan 👤 ||kinkysweat, tortorre, irulancorrino, NYanae555 |
|Uyeda Bisyodo Shiori (2021) ||14 ||? 🦠 ||Brass ||Wood ||CDJapan, Fude Beauty, Fude Japan 👥 ||tpmmpt11, 0410maria1995 |
|Chikuhodo Framboise (2021) ||5 ||PBT ||? ||? ||Beautylish, CDJapan, Fude Beauty, Fude Japan 🫂 ||? |
Chinese Synthetic Fude
*Additional reviews can be found on product pages from online retailers. Key
🌽 = advertises using more eco-friendly fibers
📏 = advertises using thin (0.05-0.07mm) fibers which result in a softer brush
🦠 = advertises adding an anti-microbial agent e.g. silver in fibers
👤 = is available only as individual brushes
👥 = is available as individual brushes and as a set/s
🫂 = is available only as a set/s
There are many unknown variables in the table due to trade secrets, language barriers, the relative niche of synthetic fude, and my lack of physical samples. In addition, the availability sections were written from an American perspective, which might have excluded some international options.
Review of Uyeda Bisyodo Shiori Eye Brushes (CDJapan)
It took 11 business days for me to receive my brushes (purchased with my own money) from CDJapan. The website was easy to navigate, but there was no option to filter for all makeup brushes in a synthetic material. I used an approximately $3 off coupon, and the threshold for free shipping was around $90. Fude Beauty and Fude Japan also carried the Uyeda Bisyodo Shiori series; however, their minimums for free shipping were too high i.e. at least $300 for my budget. Beautylish did not have the brand in its inventory. I also attempted to make an account for CDJapan but never received an email verification in my inbox or spam folder. So, I had to use the guest checkout and forwent points that I could have used in a future purchase for a discount. I still received shipping and invoice emails, so I knew I didn't mistype my email address. If I felt strongly about the points, I would've contacted their customer service but honestly didn't mind. The brushes also came with CDJapan's 1-year warranty on makeup brushes, which signaled confidence in quality. Description of UB Shiori Brushes
|Name ||Shape ||General Use |
|S-504 ||Large Angled ||Contour eye and nose |
|S-505 ||Pencil ||Precisely apply eyeshadow on the inner corner, uppelower lashlines, etc. |
|S-507 (the bigger version of S-508) ||Large Shader ||Quickly apply a wash of eyeshadow all over the eyelid |
|S-508 (the smaller version of S-507) ||Small Shader ||Apply eyeshadow below the eyelid crease, deepen the outer thirds, etc. |
|S-509 ||Smudge ||Apply eyeshadow as diffused eyeliner from the inner corner to the wing |
Visual Comparison of UB Shiori Brushes to Similar Brushes Comparison of UB Shiori Brushes to RT Brushes
|UB's Characteristic ||Result ||Comments |
|More precisely bundled ||More precise application of eyeshadow, which is helpful near the lashlines ||The quality control from being hand-made by skilled artisans sets synthetic fude apart from drugstore options and is the primary reason for the cost. There are fewer stray hairs to accidentally poke the eye. |
|Denser ||Absorb more powder, which means fewer re-applications of pigment to get desired opacities ||People with difficulty getting colors to show on their skin tone may find that denser brushes can apply eyeshadow in a much more reasonable time. |
|More flexible fibers ||Less "pokey" experience i.e. less pushback when using more pressure, which means less irritation for sensitive skin ||The use of flexible fibers is apparent in shorter bristles. For example, I find the longer-haired RT 402 to be soft but any of the RT eye brushes to be pokey. I need to be mindful of holding RT eye brushes at certain angles and pressure to use them on my eyelids. To offset the stiffness of synthetic fibers, drugstore brushes are sometimes bundled in a tapered shape e.g. RT 402 so that as many of the finer-tipped ends can contact the face; but this can also limit the brush shapes that give a soft experience. |
|Brass ferrule ||Brass is less prone to rust than aluminum, which may result in longer brush life ||My decade-old aluminum-ferruled RT brushes haven't developed rust anyway. Brass feels more hefty and luxurious than aluminum. |
After testing on my eyelids and fingertips, these are the softest brushes that I've ever used. Even with pressure, UB brushes don't feel as rough and exfoliating as RT brushes i.e. there is less audible "bristle" noise during use. Despite being denser than the RT brushes, UB brushes still feel softer due to having more flexible bristles. In comparison to my natural-haired BB Eyeshadow brush, UB brushes feel slightly slicker (but still much less slick than RT brushes). BB's and UB's fiber densities and flex feel similar.
My assessment of these brushes may be hindered by my relatively small collection of brushes. As a result, I can only compare expensive synthetic fude to mostly drugstore synthetic brushes. In addition, my RT and BB brushes are more than a decade old, and I have used my UB brushes for only two months (at the time of writing). I don't intend to purchase natural hair brushes, so I won't be able to compare natural hair to synthetic fude in the future.
I will also update the guide as I collect more synthetic fude and if readers suggest any corrections or give additional information. Feel free to discuss your experiences, good or bad, with synthetic fude in the replies!
2023.06.03 15:06 myg_ho3 opinion on this colour theming for my persian tiles blanket for MIL (more info below
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so they haven't been blocked yet so ignore the messiness of them, but i'm making a persian tiles blanket for my MIL (it's my first time making this blanket or using this pattern) but i knew she wouldn't like any of the original colourways. for context, my MIL has a very like rustic vibe to all her furniture, think lots of wood, tan leather sofas, hardwood flooring etc but with pops of a dusty blue and sage green all over so like sage/ dusty blue cushions, rugs etc, so what do you think of this colourway? is there too much of one colour or not enough of another, is it too murky? etc etc, deffo would love to know because i'm never good at having an opinion on my own project 😂😭 submitted by myg_ho3 to crochet [link] [comments]
2023.06.03 09:29 Same_Age_202 Anyone dressed in anything. AI images of Taylor Swift rocking a Dusty Blue Embroidered Net Lehenga by designer LASHKARAA. What do you think of this Fashion Diffusion model
2023.06.03 07:35 Bucket_Hat300 Second letter to my potential future partner:
Hi again :)
How was your day? Is this cliche opening going to be ok every day for you haha? Of course I'll be different at some points... but I mean it when I ask it! How was it, seriously? Was work ok, did you get some stuff done? I know you did. Well done.
Today I rode though the yellow prairie roads in the backseat of a convertible with the top down and Heaven by Shygirl playing haha. I looked at the wheat and the grass that I probably couldve leaned over and touched while we were stopped. This has only happened probably between 5 and 10 times in my entire adult life, but for a while there I truly wasn't thinking about a single thing. I was consumed in enjoying it, and the people I was with. I'm from a mountain-y place, and people always told me I'd hate the praries because there's nothing to see in comparision. Well that's bullshit haha...it's simply a different kind of beautiful. Instead of a breathtaking beauty, one that is so magnificent it scares you, it's a calm, peaceful one. The kind of magnificent that makes you feel complete. I'm hoping that's how itll be with you. Not scary, anxiety inducing, not leaving me with questions, but a slow burn love. One we walk into like we have all the time in the world. Since I've gotten here I've been surrounded by couples, but I stick pretty close with Shadow, the dog. She always has love in her eyes, her brown eyes. I've always loved brown eyes. I wonder if you'll have brown eyes? I hope you like green eyes. Not the striking kind, haha, they're a dull green. Don't get too excited.
Lately I've been bonding with my best friends father a lot, and it's reminded me of how much I miss my dad at home. I think I won him over on the second day here by scaring him when he came down the stairs. He playfully shoved me and since then we've been good friends. We went to go check out our new apartment (I moved in with his daughter), and he hid in one of the closets and almost gave me an aneurysm. We're even now. We throw blueberries at each other at family gatherings too. Is your relationship with your family good? Do you have that one cousin you fuck with more than the others? Any brothers who think they're tough? Will they like me? Do you secretly have a favourite family member? Will your mom like me? I can't wait to meet your grandmother and treat her like a celebrity.
I also went to a church for the first time in years. I'm not religious, but I'm open minded. Interestingly, it was exactly what I needed to hear. Are you religious? Or spiritual? I think spirituality is very cool, almost necessary. It seems to soften the hard edges we acquire; I often get lost in thinking about it. I will ask you about these things eventually, haha. There was this concept they introduced called "hypomone". Its latin, and it means to stay under the pressures of life and endure while you wait for better things. In fact, not just enduring, but persevering. It means being thrust into the fire and being forged like tempered steel. I may or may not have teared up listening to this. You might hurt for a while but you're coming out bettered. That's pretty killer, right? My friend's mom sat beside me and encouraged me to think about this concept. I heard her singing during the hymns and I thought it was beautiful, seeing her sway and raise her hands slightly while she sung.
This new place is something else, baby. Again, I find myself far away from everything. I've done this before; I like change. It kind of hurts, but the kind of hurt I know I won't regret when I'm on my death bed. Is this what not accepting defeat feels like? I have no memories in this place, no associations. I have no places or monuments that attach me to people I've loved. In fact, I am hours, days, thousands of kilometers away. Each run down suburban street filled with cracks and potholes I feel the need to dodge while I'm driving, free of people and full of quiet and soft breeze, every street I've been told to stay away from when I'm by myself, each broken down and rotting house, every rusty car, every stretch of prairie at dusk that reminds me of cowboys and westerns, even though now we are far from the west. I've learned what my favourite part of the city is. It has lights reminds me of the lights back home, and water. I miss the water so much. Can we swim lots together, I like swimming. I cannot wait to walk through your beloved city with you one day, I'll be so torn between admiring you and what's going on around us.
I've come to some realizations about what I hope you're like... a couple nights ago, I watched my friend drink herself into sickness despite us all telling her she should probably slow down. My friend is stubborn, but her boyfriend offsets it a little. Anyways, while my friend begins to throw up, and we all scramble to bring her water and napkins and hold her hair, I see her boyfriend stride quickly through the bar. I stop him and ask if he's ok, and he says yes, and that he'll be right back. 10 minutes later he comes back with food and Gatorade for her, and rubs her back before carrying her to his truck. As we get home, I run in front to get all the doors and he continues to carry her, down the basement stairs and into her bed. This man would simply do anything for her, you can tell by how he looks at her. He's taken care of her this way for a year, and honestly, the way he talks about her he wouldn't be able to stop. Its refreshing to see how people should be loved. They are lucky to have each other. Let's be like that.
I miss people... I miss my mom, staying up with her, talking until we fall asleep and going on outings during the day. Just the two of us enjoying each others company. I miss Willamina and her dog that laid on me all the time, when her friends would slowly trickle in and her husband made us drinks. I miss Jackie, and how he traced my face with his fingers in the dark as I laid there in his lap, while he softly sung some songs from my favourite band. I miss Taya and the stories she would tell me, her life is insane. I miss Nolan, and his icy blue eyes that stared into me as he told me I was going to be fine, and called me his sister even though we are nowhere near blood, just old, old friends. I miss Carson and his loud music as we drove around, how he was in just as much pain from the same thing as me. I miss Elizabeth, and bawling our eyes out together as we sat directly in the middle of our storms, nothing to comfort us but each other. I miss Chris, and the way he quietly looked at me and outstretched his arms, saying nothing while I went in to embrace him, him calling me his little butterfly. I miss Tobi and Milo, and the way they would search for me and sit outside my door while I was gone, the way they would follow me around begging for my love while I was still there. I miss Amber, and how she would scream my name as she saw me walking to my doorstep, "i love you!". I miss the guy at work who would talk to me at 4 am, and called me doll face and tell me everything he had been through. I miss the tita I knew from work, and how I felt when I wanted nothing but the best for her after seeing she had the same scars as me. I miss people I dont know anymore, and the memories we were supposed to have, the time they promised me, the love they vowed to me before that love dissolved. I miss you. Where are you?
submitted by Bucket_Hat300
to LettersToTheUniverse [link] [comments]
2023.06.03 06:13 ezypeeezy Contemplating if I keep the yellow/orangey or...
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I hella damaged my poor hair trying to be ginger so covered it up with yellow-ish for a while. I'm wanting to do maybe a dusty blue colour, but is that achievable over bright yellow with no bleach/developer? submitted by ezypeeezy to FancyFollicles [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 20:46 In_Yellow_Clad A Widow's Wrath -- (A One Shot)
A widow on the path of vengeance,
A life taken, her heart in fragments.
She wanders through the dark of night,
Her thoughts consumed with deadly might.
No mercy shown, her aim is true,
She'll take revenge, see it through.
With each step she grows more bold,
Her heart beats fast, her grip is cold.
Her enemies beware her wrath,
Their fate is sealed, there's no escape path.
Her sword is sharp, her aim is sure,
No one can stop her, the gods assure.
The widow on her quest for retribution,
Will not rest until there's restitution.
Her mind is focused, her heart is strong,
Her foes will pay the price, no right or wrong.
In the end, justice will be served,
The widow's heart, though broken, will be preserved.
For she has triumphed in her quest,
And now can lay her soul to rest.
-The Legend of the Shade
One would expect that a planet named Ilara would be some sort of paradise, or at the very least, pleasant to experience. This could not be further from the truth. Ilara is an arid, hot and dusty mess of a world. What little surface water there is has seen settlements of all kinds pop up around it, and considering the sort of planet it is, it’s no wonder that these oases have become dens of lawlessness.
Well, most of them have, a few still manage to be civilized, but to paraphrase a good man, many are ‘“Wretched hives of scum and villainy”, and it is one of these places where this tale takes place.
Nefaria’actul’oproni, or as the citizens called it, Murkville, was not a happy place. It wasn’t particularly nice looking either, the buildings all worn and smooth thanks to the repeated sandstorms that like to roll on through. There were scorch marks and even streaks of dried blood in all the colors of the rainbow on the walls in some places. And yet, for all its shittiness, people still lived there. They didn’t like it, but the next nearest and far more civilized town was much too far away for any of them to make it without suffering some form of horrible accident, attack by the wildlife or something else along those lines. So they stayed, and they endured.
Murkville was also under the control of the crime syndicate calling themselves the Set’ruthal, a brutal organization that specializes in drugs, human/xenos trafficking and prostitution, none of which was mutually exclusive in the slightest. They were scum of the highest order and they held Murkville in their iron grip, extorting the populace for ‘protection’ money and the like. All terribly cliche, but such is the way of the world.
It was a dark and blissfully cool night at the local saloon, and Scaszer - A Solvoih, who are what humanity would call an anthropomorphized snake with legs - was enjoying a drink with his friends after a long and hard day of work. His two friends, a Khik or vaguely like a tall dog person and an Almell, which humans describe as an elf with feathers, sat with him. They were all simply enjoying the cool air and the good drinks, one of the few actual luxuries in this gods forsaken dump of a town.
Flardryn - the Almell - was the first to break the silence that lingered over all of us.
“So, have you heard the rumors?” He asked, his voice a touch chirpy at times, but today not so much. Scaszer and Deikx the Khik both looked at him curiously, then at one another before they shook their heads. Flardryn grinned and leaned forwards, lowering his voice to a whisper only we could hear.
“Rumor is, someone’s sticking it to the Set’ruthal. Blowing up outposts, caches, and just generally causing chaos.” He said, Scaszer and Deikx looking rather disbelieving.
“What a load of ketch, if that were true don’t you think we’d have noticed? Ketch, if that were true this whole place would be worse than it was, they’d be taking out all that anger on us instead of the person causing the trouble.” Deikx snorted, shaking his head in a manner that had his droopy ears flopping about.
“Yeah, you know how they get when things go wrong. We pay the price.” Scaszer said, Flardryn huffing.
“But it is true! They say a human is causing all this fuss.” He protested, and that gave the other two pause. Now that sounded pretty plausible, when humans wanted to break something, they always seemed to do so in spectacular fashion. So one human causing such a ruckus wasn’t unheard of, but still it was only a rumor.
“Alright then, tell us about this human.” Scaszer said, and Flardryn looked overjoyed at the prospect of doing so, leaning in even closer to speak.
“So, rumors say this human holds a personal grudge against the Set’ruthal. They say the syndicate killed the humans family and nobody would bring them to justice, so the human decided to do it themselves.” That was honestly not that surprising. Humans love a good revenge arc. “Anyway, they started small, or so the rumors say. Just some low level scum going missing, then working their way higher and higher up the ladder. It’s got the Set’ruthal scared but they don’t wanna show it, keep up appearances you know?”
Scaszer and Deikx nodded, both of them fully understanding the concept of saving face. But this did seem a little far fetched.
None of them really noticed the human that entered the saloon, a long, dusty and tattered coat draped over their shoulders, heeled boots that gently thumped against the floor and a wide brimmed hat on the top of their head. Nobody noticed them save the bartender when the human sat at it, nor did they hear the softly spoken request for a drink from this human.
What they did notice was the very loud group of Set’ruthal enforcers, who were off duty at this time, wandering into the saloon not five minutes later, cussing and generally being obnoxious. The establishment fell silent, fearful eyes tracking the enforcers as they kicked the occupants of a table out of their chairs and claimed it for themselves. Nobody moved a muscle to challenge them, they all knew what would happen if they did.
The human however, hardly seemed perturbed as they glanced over a shoulder, the long ponytail of red hair shifting with the motion. It didn’t take the Enforcers long to notice the human, nor the fact that the human was a female. There was a very good reason why there were no humans in Murkville, and the Set’ruthal were that very reason, as the men tended to get slaughtered and the women… well, best to not talk about that.
“Well well, looks like we have a newcomer!” One of the enforcers said, grinning maliciously. The Set’ruthal were almost exclusively occupied by members of a species known as the Bholkal. To humans, they were very large armadillos, with the same amount of teeth as a shark and generally they all had very bad attitudes. “And a human at that, it’s our lucky night lads! Seems we’ll be having some lively entertainment.”
They all stood and the trio of friends all felt a bit of bile rise in their throats, feeling for the poor human who had wandered into the wrong town. But the human did the most curious thing, and perhaps the most stupid thing as well. They ignored the enforcers and instead flagged down the bartender, who looked to be quivering in fear.
“Could I just have the bottle, please and thank you.” The human said, her voice light and lilting, but with a touch of a Terran subcultural accent, what they would call Southern. The bartender was quick to acquiesce, and a bottle of some alcoholic beverage was placed before her. She was quick to take it up, spinning the cap off it with a well practiced motion. She didn’t even care that the cap was sent flying off into the unknown as a result, she instead focused on chugging the contents of the bottle while turning on her stool to face the enforcers.
The enforcers didn’t look too pleased and everyone else all wanted to look away from what was going to happen next, but found themselves transfixed.
“Aren’t you a pretty thing, why don’t you come play with us girly.” The lead enforcer, a particularly nasty fellow and coincidentally the son of the Set’ruthal patriarch, grinned as he reached out a claw to stroke her cheek. Instead of responding verbally, her head tilted back as she continued her drinking, a single finger raised to single him to wait. He didn’t really appreciate this, as he moved with such speed that nobody really knew what happened till the bottle had been cut into pieces, the contents splashing partially onto her and the floor while the glass shattered on impact.
She stared at the broken and empty bottle with a look of exasperation, before her ice blue eyes shifted their focus onto the heir apparent.
“Alright, I’ll play with you.” She said softly, and the enforcer grinned, leaning in to begin his violations, only for all of us to hear a sound we were most assuredly not expecting.
It was the sound of railgun coils spinning up.
Before anyone could react, there was a sharp sound of metal on metal, followed by wet squelching, as nearly every soul tracked the arm that sailed through the air and landed in a bloody heap well across the room. Then came the screaming, as the enforcer looked at the stump where his arm had been, and the ancient looking revolver that had removed it. The gun shifted, angling lower, the same whine repeating and now he was missing a leg as well.
The saloon burst into motion as his screaming intensified, his buddies all surging towards the human who stood in a flash and used their foot to hook onto the rungs of the stool she’d only just been occupying, sending it sailing straight into the face of an enforcer even as she took aim and fired again, turning another's head into a fine purple mist. She became a blur, firing and slashing with the broken bottle. She painted the room with their blood and they never even laid a claw on her.
It was over in an instant, the human standing there and breathing heavily, even as she watched the first enforcer claw his way out the door on his stomach. With a deep breath she turned, placed a stack of credits on the bar and walked after the fleeing enforcer, all while reloading her weapon.
Without much hesitation all present who had merely been spectators scrambled from their hiding places and to the windows, watching as she stepped over the prostrate being and pressed the barrel of her gun to the back of his head.
“D-Do you know who I am? Who my father is!?” The being wailed, and the human nodded.
“I do, that’s why I’m here, why I’m doing this. Because you took everything I ever held dear from me, and now… now I have nothing left to lose.” She murmured, and the alien grinned, purple blood oozing from his mouth.
“You know you’re gonna die right? We’re gonna take our time with you, make it hurt!”
“Perhaps, but here’s the thing,” She kicked him over onto his back, a position of great shame to a Bhokal. “There’s room in my grave for you too.” She hissed, and they all expected her to end him right then and there. But she didn’t. Instead she drew a knife and smiled in a sweet manner, yet instead of the comfort that such a smile should have brought, they felt nothing but a chill run down their spines (or spine equivalents.)
“Now, you’re gonna be a messenger to dear old dad, so you best listen close, don’t want to miss a single word.”
Those watching turned away, some getting sick at what she did next, the screams echoing down the street.
Ten Hours Later
The plantation on the outskirts of Murkville was an opulent affair, reminiscent of ancient Terran plantations as well, which is what it had been based off of coincidentally. It was here where the end of this story shall take place, and it shall go down in history as a pivotal point for Ilara. A night of blood and death, of vengeance secured and the end of a dynasty.
It began, with the sound of someone scratching at the door, a sound that was entirely unheard of in this place. When a guard was ordered to investigate, they found only the mangled son of Patriarch Bilharzia bleeding - not nearly as profusely as he had been earlier - on the stoop. He was quickly moved to a secure room and his father was livid, bellowing up a storm of vile hatred for whomever had done this to his son.
When eventually he calmed down enough to not only hear himself think, but to hear others when they talked to him, he was informed that there was a camera attached to the front of his son's uniform. He quickly snatched it up, peering directly into the camera as a snarl ripped from his throat.
“I don’t know who you are, or why you’re doing this, but you’ve made a very grave mistake! I will hunt you down, I will tear everything you love and hold dear apart! I will make you beg for death and I shall not give it! DO YOU HEAR ME! I SHALL NOT GIVE IT!” He roared into the camera, unsure if whomever was watching could even hear him. But apparently they could.
“You already have. Now it’s my turn. An eye for an eye.” Came the sibilant response, and that’s when they all heard it. A gentle beeping coming from nearby. Bilharzia turned towards the source, only to find his son awake yet again, and looking fearfully at him. He couldn’t speak, whomever had mutilated him had not stopped at his limbs, but had removed his ability to speak, to warn them of the danger he presented.
It clicked in Bilharzia’s head that the beeping was only getting faster, and just as it became a solid tone he bolted from the room. He was fortunate to have done so, his son and the others however… not so fortunate. The high explosive charge that had been embedded into his son detonated, blowing a good chunk of the west wing entirely to pieces.
As Bilharzia raised his head from the ground where he’d landed thanks to the blast, he caught sight of missiles streaking up into the air, only to explode mid-flight and rain down phosphorus and napalm over the fields of product he maintained, setting them ablaze. Heavy gunfire sounded, the rattling of a very large chaingun booming through the silence of a beautiful evening, raking rounds over his vehicles and depots. Everything of value save the servants quarters was put to the torch, and he could only watch.
From the smoke strode a figure, one he instantly recognized. He was not ignorant of human history, their conflicts Shumon Synergy or the Valvak Despoilers, he knew a human warmech when he saw one. And this one was particularly well known.
Before his home stood the warmech known as the Black Widow though its official name was 22-39 Ward. The body was painted black, a single red hourglass on the chest partially hidden by some sort of tactical covering that closely resembled a poncho. It was a monster of a machine, and there was only one person who had ever piloted it. A woman who was known as Shade, or that was what her foes had called her. To her peers, to her family, her name was Myra Fields. A war hero a thousand times over, a loving wife and mother of four.
A widow, whose family had been ripped from her by Bilharzia’s very hand.
The warmech launched another salvo, striking at targets that went unseen behind the manor, and his men, his loyal men, rushed out to face the beast of metal and wrath, only to be gunned down without mercy or hesitation. And then the chassis opened, and out stepped his worst nightmare.
A woman in black, with blood red hair, dropped from the pilots cradle and landed with nary a sound. Bilharzia made to flee through the house, but the fire caused by the explosion within it had weakened the structure, a burning beam landing upon his legs and pulverizing the bones. He cried out as he was stopped dead in his tracks, and from where he lay he could see her approaching slowly, patiently.
Finally she stepped into the burning home, the smoke filled wind catching her coat and making it flap. She knelt before him, not a single emotion on her face. She studied him for a moment, then looked at the beam and the fire which engulfed the house before nodding. She didn’t say a word, not even in response to his begging, his pleas for mercy. She had none to give, none to show, and so she stood and left, leaving him to his fate.
Finally she spoke, even as she walked past the waiting warmech.
“Light the fire, Ward.” She said, and the machine nodded, launching more incendiary missiles high into the air, and watching as the payload rained down on the home. And just like that, it was over, a syndicate which had existed for five hundred years, reduced to ashes. The machine nodded again, then turned and trailed after its mistress.
Four days later
Myra crouched before a series of headstones, brushing the sand off them carefully and with reverence. She didn’t know what to say, didn’t know what to do. But looking at them sparked something inside her, a purpose.
“It’s done… They won’t take anyone else anymore, I made sure of that.” She whispered. “Now… Now I think I’ll see what I can do to help make the galaxy a better place. There are more out there like me, who need their own closure. More like them that need to be brought to justice. If I can do even just a little bit… Then that’ll be enough for me.”
She rose, dusting the sand off her knees and took one last look at the graves of her family.
“I love you all.” She murmured, turning and clambering up into the cockpit of her warmech. As it sealed she placed her hat upon a hook, and turned them both towards the horizon, and the star port beyond it.
“What are we going to do now, Commander?” Ward asked, and she smiled, giving one of his consoles a gentle pat.
“Now… Now we’re going to do what we do best. Think you’re up for it?”
“Good boy. Let’s go kill some bad guys.”
And so, the two walked off into the great unknown, looking to bring justice to those that required it.
submitted by In_Yellow_Clad
to HFY [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 20:27 derliesl Synthetic notes not listed (Iso-E, ambroxan, cashmeran, ethyl maltol etc)
As I'm learning more and more about perfume, I found out that many synthetic notes are not listed in note pyramids. I'm very unhappy about that, because these notes seem to be very subjective to the smeller, and it could be helpful to know what's in a fragrance, instead of reading how people perceive
I'm trying to make a list of these synthetic notes, based on my observations. I associate smells with colors, so I added them. If you know other examples of perfumes with extremely prominent synthetic notes, or if there are synthetic notes missing from this list, please share them :) Iso-E Super
(Escentric Molecule 1): Woody, earthy, lactonic, a bit metallic. Smells like a wet mushroomy forest. People get noseblind to it, as a result I've noticed people overspraying it and remarking that they didn't know they were still (very) fragrant. Examples: Zadig & Voltaire, Fahrenheit, Terre d’Hermès, Trésor. Color association: dark khaki (greenish brown). Ambroxan
(Escentric Molecule 2): the synthetic form of Ambergris (sperm whale vomit). Marine smell, metallic, associated with manliness. Examples: Eau des Merveilles, Dior Sauvage, Creed Aventus. Cetalox
(Juliette Has A Gun Not A Perfume EDP) has a very similar molecular structure. Color association: ultramarine blue Ethyl Maltol
: Sugary sweet, burnt sugar. I perceive this note as nauseatingly sweet and powdery. Examples: l'interdit, Olympéa. Baccarat rouge 540 is a combination of Ambroxan and Ethyl maltol. Color association: thistle (light greyish purple) Cashmeran
(Escentric Molecule 5): woody, dry, slightly musky. Smells like a cashmere shawl or sweater, or warm skin after a day in the sun. Warm, cozy, fluffy, a bit dusty. Examples: L'eau d'Issey Rose&Rose, Ariana Grande Cloud, Cacharel Lou Lou. Color association: taupe/cream/beige. Hedione
: Synthetic jasmin substitute. Smells like white flowers or Gin & Tonic. Color association: lily white Javanol
(Escentric Molecule 4): Sandalwood substitute. Sharp, almost metallic, translucent. Example: Estee Lauder Sensuous. Sandalol
is more opaque. Color association: burnt umber.
submitted by derliesl
to fragrance [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 19:38 Ill_Philosophy981 So swole.. sent me wrong size.. these dusty blues are crazy in hand
Where can I resell?
submitted by Ill_Philosophy981
to Newbalance [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 18:46 varwom Help me find a dress that fits my requirements..
| || | submitted by varwom to findfashion [link] [comments]
Hello, I would be really grateful if anyone would help me find a dress I am imagining? I have a few requirements...:
- Made of organic cotton, bamboo or other natural fibers. (Worst case I would be OK if it is not organic, but still natural fibers!)
- Have a similar type of lace tie/corset style back like the pink dress. (Because I want it to be figure fitting and really flattering to an hourglass shape)
- Sleeveless with shoulder straps (Like the blue dress - although I'm fine with the straps being thicker, as long as it doesn't have sleeves).
- Not too bright/neon colors. I like a more toned down "nature"-tones, like in the reference images.
- Below knee length
-Ships to Europe
Fingers crossed anyone has any tips. (The dresses in the images are from AYM studio. I really like them BUT the blue dress is made of polyester and the pink dress has long sleeves so neither checks all my boxes..)
2023.06.02 18:03 varwom Looking for a dress like these!
| || |https://preview.redd.it/sw0usxjfom3b1.jpg?width=1103&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=df0e4c0fac8076f290780134eea9692ee72bc0bd submitted by varwom to Dresses [link] [comments]
Hello, I would be really grateful if anyone would help me find a dress/ a brand that has the type of dresses I am imagining? I have a few requirements...:
- Made of organic cotton, bamboo or other natural fibers
- Have a similar type of lace tie/corset style back like the pink dress. (Because I want it to be figure fitting and really flattering to an hourglass shape)
- Sleeveless with shoulder straps (Like the blue dress - although I'm fine with the straps being thicker, as long as it doesn't have sleeves).
- Not too bright/neon colors. I like a more "nature"-tones, like in the reference images.
- Below knee length
-Ship to Europe
Fingers crossed anyone has any tips. (The dresses in the images are from AYM studio. I really like them BUT the blue dress is made of polyester and the pink dress has long sleeves so neither checks all my boxes..)
2023.06.02 16:56 SabbyOfSableWine Space pirates make the grave mistake of attacking a human's loved one. They very quickly learn what happens when a human is angry and full of adrenaline
This is part of my little series about the adventures of Vr'ocria and Human Aldrick. If you'd like to read previous parts, they're linked below, along with brief summaries of each: Part One: Alien learns what "sleep" is and how humans prefer to do it in a comfy bed with blankets and pillows. And they find it utterly adorable. Vr'ocria and Human Aldrick are sent on a survey mission together. Things go south, Aldrick makes sure they're safe, and then Vr'ocria learns what human sleep is and how vulnerable humans are when they sleep. Vr'ocria's people don't sleep, but enter stasis, a form of rest in which they typically stand, and they are still slightly aware of their surroundings. Vr'ocria finds human sleep utterly adorable, and also decides she will protect Aldrick while he sleeps. And she also develops a massive crush on him. (Her scales turning purple is her version of blushing) Part Two: An alien + human adventure with such shenanigans as poison drinking, befriending dangerous wildlife, and fighting a space pirate. Oh, and they have a huge crush on each other. Vr'ocria and Human Aldrick end up assigned together for another survey mission. Vr'ocria tries to deny her feelings for Aldrick after a tense conversation with her nestmate about the danger of humans, but when they're ambushed in the night by a pirate and Aldrick takes a blow to save her, becoming injured in the process, she comes to realize just how strongly she feels for him. She kills the pirate, carries Aldrick to safety, and the two share a tender moment. Part Three: When a cold-blooded alien has to cuddle a warm-blooded human for warmth Vr'ocria and Human Aldrick are assigned to an ice plant for their next mission. Aldrick chews out Command for assigning Vr'ocria there when they know she's cold-blooded and not built for the cold, and when the power goes out, they cuddle to keep her from freezing. They finally confess their feelings for one another, and Vr'ocria learns what kissing is. Part Four: A human leaves a hickey on his alien lover. Her nestmate doesn't understand what a hickey is, and thinks the human injured her Vr'ocria enjoys neck kisses, and asks Aldrick to indulge her. Later, she has a video call with her nestmate Galek. Galek is already wary of humans, and when he sees a bruise on her throat that she didn't notice, he figures out Aldrick is responsible and freaks out, thinking Aldrick intentionally hurt her. Vr'ocria dresses Galek down, explaining that it's not an injury, and also that he needs to get over it and respect her relationship with Aldrick. Now for the new story! TW: There will be blood and broken bones.
"I have a bad feeling about this."
Vr'ocria turned to Human Aldrick in the pilot seat next to her. He was drumming his fingers on the console, brow furrowed, as he watched the Xenthum solar system approach.
"What do you mean?" She asked.
"I dunno. I just–" he bit the inside of his cheek. "You ever just get an ick
feeling about something?"
Vr'ocria frowned. "No. Can you explain it?"
He scratched the back of his neck. "It's hard to explain. Like, there's nothing wrong
that I can tell about this mission, but ever since we got within visual range, I've had this gut feeling that we need to turn back."
Vr'ocria wasn't sure she understood, but she didn't like seeing him uncomfortable. "Well, we're here on orders–"
"I know, I know, I don't want to get us in trouble, I'm already on thin ice after yelling at Lieutenant Prax–"
"–but the minute anything starts to go wrong, no matter how small, we can turn around."
He glanced over at her. "Thanks," he said with a grateful smile.
They had entered the Xenthum system now. Its main planet was sparsely populated, used mostly as a trading outpost since it was so close to the Dridian border. The trick was navigating through the minefield of asteroid clusters. Aldrick let Vr'ocria take the lead piloting, since of the two of them, she was more skilled at delicate maneuvers.
They were almost to the planet when an alert pinged. Aldrick sat up to check the sensors.
"There's a ship nearby," he reported. "A big
"Where?" Vr'ocria pulled up the sensor on her screen. "I don't see anything. Just asteroids."
"Turn on the warp detector and increase the ion frequency."
Vr'ocria pressed a few controls. "Oh wow, you weren't kidding." She frowned. "It's way
too big to be in the middle of an asteroid field. What are they doing?"
"I don't know, but I don't like it." She could feel the tension radiating from him.
"You want to get out of here?" she asked.
He chewed his lip. "Y'know what? Yeah. Let's at least take an alternate route, we can–"
But before he could finish, there was a loud BANG
and they were sent flying from their seats as the shuttle rattled.
"What the fuck?"
Aldrick yelled as he scrambled to his feet, lunging for the console. "Did we scrape an asteroid?"
Vr'ocria crawled back into her seat as well and banged out a few commands on her screen. Her blood froze.
"No," she said in a low voice. "It was phaser fire."
They'd been so focused on the massive ship that they'd missed the tiny shuttle creeping up from below them. BANG.
The screens flickered and glitched.
Aldrick cursed. "We've lost shields!"
There was another hit, then another, and another. Sparks were flying now, and the sensors were screaming as the shuttle's operating systems started failing.
Vr'ocria was tossed against the wall in one particularly brutal crash, and the last thing she saw was a broken panel flying right towards her face.
Especially her nose. The tang of blood clung to the back of her throat.
There were muffled voices somewhere nearby, and the sound of metal scraping. When she tried to move, she abruptly registered something cold and hard encircling her wrists.
"She's waking up."
Vr'ocria coughed, blood splattering from her lips. Moaning in pain, she managed to lift her head and crack her eyes open.
The scraping sound was the heels of her boots sliding across metal grate flooring as she was dragged by her wrists. She craned her head back, pain shooting through her neck, and realized that her wrists were clapped in rusty manacles. A massive blue hand fisted the rust red chains that suspended her arms over her head.
"Wha' th'fmm–" she slurred. Her brain felt like sludge.
Suddenly she was yanked even higher into the air, her toes just brushing the floor. A shock of cold assaulted her and she yelped, flinching as water dripped down her face.
"You awake now?"
A man was standing in front of her, tossing aside a now-empty bucket. There were several people, actually. All different species, all looking very pleased, and all wearing distinctive black Norvidian armbands. Pirates.
A hand cracked across her cheek, sending more blood flying. She bit back a cry as the shockwave laced through her broken nose. "Fuck you," she spat instead.
The man chuckled. He was tall, muscles bulging through his coat, and his skin was blue. He must've been the one dragging her. "Picking up human words, I see."
Vr'ocria's blood turned to ice. "What have you done with him?" She demanded in a low voice.
His grin only widened. His teeth were crooked and rotting. "I'll be asking the questions here."
Her scales burned a bright and hot yellow and snapped as they turned on end. But before she could respond, his hand lashed out and grabbed her throat–not enough to choke her just yet, but enough to make her freeze.
"You're the lizard bitch from Theta-7, yes?" The grin was gone now, replaced by a withering glare.
Understanding dawned on Vr'ocria. Blast. Oh, blast.
He saw the realization in her eyes and slowly released her throat. "You are."
"What's it to you?" She snapped.
He sneered. "You killed one of my men."
"He attacked us first!"
Stars burst behind her eyes as the air was forced from her lungs, and it took her a moment to realize that he had punched her in the gut. All she could do was cough and gasp, trying to regain her bearings through the pain as he turned away from her and towards the others standing around. He raised his arms.
"We are Norvids!"
He boomed, and the others whooped in agreement. "We stand together! We protect our own!"
Vr'ocria tuned him out as he kept proselytizing, using the opportunity to look around the room. It was massive and almost all metal with towering walls. Crane chains hung from the ceiling, and crates and barrels of different sizes were scattered about, everything dusty, rusty, and old. A storage room. An old cargo ship?
She wondered. That would explain why it was so big.
She ran a quick headcount of everyone she could see. Seventeen.
But where was Aldrick?
Vr'ocria felt sick. You better be okay…you
have to…please be okay…
The man–the captain, she guessed–finally turned back to her. He drew a dagger from a sheath strapped to his arm, and her eyes went wide.
"A life for a life," he growled, stalking towards her.
But before he'd made it even two steps, a voice rang out through the cargo bay.
"Don't you fucking
It was enough to stop the captain in his tracks.
Footsteps sounded from behind her, and Vr'ocria tried in vain to twist her body around.
But she didn't have to. The man approaching from behind came forward and stepped in between her and the captain, and she didn't have to see his face to know who it was.
"Aldrick," she nearly whimpered.
The caption sneered. "Well well, a little escape artist, are we?"
Aldrick was silent.
Even the captain, who was twice Aldrick's size, seemed to waver. Vr'ocria wasn't sure she wanted to know what he saw on Aldrick's face.
Finally, Aldrick spoke. "Any of you touch her, and you will die." His voice was so cold it pierced her to the bone. She could see his clenched fists trembling at his sides. He's not even armed!
The captain began to laugh, his voice echoing around the bay. The others laughed with him.
"And who's gonna stop us?" He demanded. "You? Little human, you don't know who you're messing with." He dashed forward, raising the blade, ready to strike.
"Aldrick!" Vr'ocria screamed.
But Aldrick dodged as easily as water flows through a river, ducking under the dagger and going for the captain's legs. He barreled his full weight against his hips, and with a shout, the giant fell, the dagger clattering from his grasp. Quick as a whip, Aldrick snatched it up–and drove it directly into the captain's throat.
Vr'ocria couldn't help but watch in horror as green blood frothed forth, spraying all over Aldrick. The captain's eyes were wide, and he choked and spasmed as his life drained out onto the dirty floor.
By now, the others were surging forward, shouting, screaming, and brandishing their own weapons.
"NO!" Vr'ocria screamed as they converged on him. She kicked and yanked uselessly at her chains, desperate to help, to do anything.
The manacles bit painfully into her scales, some of them even popping off onto the floor, leaving beads of blood welling up in their wake. But the manacles did not yield.
When she looked back, she was terrified she'd see Aldrick lying dead on the floor.
But he wasn't.
In fact, there were three pirates–no, make that four now–sprawled lifelessly instead. Aldrick was a whirlwind of limbs and gnashing teeth–he ducked and dodged, spat and kicked, slashing at knees and elbows, slowly incapacitating or discombobulating each one until he was able to sink the dagger into throats, chests, between ribs–bodies were dropping--he was covered in blood now, eyes wild–
"BEHIND YOU!" Vr'ocria screamed.
Aldrick turned just a second too late, and a woman covered in dark fur landed a kick directly to his chest. He hit the floor, the dagger flying from his grasp. The woman pounced, her hands wrapping around his throat. His legs thrashed as he clutched at her hands, and he was just
able to roll them over until he was on top. From there, he simply started punching, and punching, blood spraying his face with each hit.
A large man behind him had stumbled back to his feet. He lunged forward and yanked Aldrick up by the back of his shirt, throwing him bodily into the air, where he crashed against a metal crate.
He hit the ground and didn't move.
Vr'ocria was screaming. She didn't know if she was saying words anymore, but she was screaming, and blood was streaming down her arms now from how hard she was pulling against the manacles. All she could do was watch as the final three pirates approached her mate where he lay lifeless on the floor.
They stopped before they were in arms length, looking between each other. She couldn't hear what they were saying, but one of them finally edged forward and poked Aldrick's side with her toe.
Vr'ocria wanted to rip their entrails out with her bare hands.
He still didn't move. Seeming satisfied, they moved forward, and one bent to grab him.
All at once, her human surged back to life. The man closest to him hit the ground as Aldrick swung his legs around, sweeping the man's feet out from under him. Once he was down, Aldrick bashed a crane hook–one he must've picked up from the floor–into the man's skull so hard that it caved in with one blow. Still lying on the floor, Aldrick used his vantage point to kick the woman's knee backwards, and she collapsed with an agonized scream. One more strike with the hook, and she was silenced.
That left just one. The final pirate appeared to be reptilian like her, although he had large spines stretching across his head and shoulders. This one didn't try to rush Aldrick. Instead, he kept his distance, watching warily as Aldrick climbed to his feet.
"So it's true," the spined pirate said, "what they say about humans."
Aldrick returned a deadly stare. "And what's that?" His voice almost didn't even sound like his anymore.
"You're monsters. Demons. Scourge of the universe."
Aldrick grinned, but it looked more like a feral animal baring its teeth. "That's me."
The pirate's spines flexed. "You could join us," he said. "Join the Norvids. We'll find another crew, you can be captain."
They were circling now, Aldrick crouched like a predator ready to strike, the pirate shuffling back with his hands held out.
"You could be rich!"
Aldrick picked up a rusty chain from a barrel as he passed by.
"Think of the power you would wield!" The pirate cried desperately.
Aldrick still said nothing. He forced him back, and back, until the pirate realized, too late, that he was cornered between two crates. His back hit the wall and he slid down, cowering, as Aldrick loomed over him.
Vr'ocria could barely hear because of the distance, but the metal room carried Aldrick's low hiss as he bent down to the trembling pirate: "You hurt my mate.
Now, you die."
The rusty chain crackled as Aldrick wrapped it around the pirate's neck in one fell swoop. He pulled the loop tight and the pirate clutched at the noose, his eyes and forked tongue bulging out. Then, with one swift and hard yank,
an audible splinter-snap
filled the room–and the pirate was dead before he hit the floor, his neck bent at an unnatural angle.
Aldrick dropped him in disgust. His back was turned, but Vr'ocria could still see his chest heaving.
He turned and met Vr'ocria's eyes, and the demented expression drained from his face. He stepped towards her, slowly at first, and then broke into a sprint.
It seemed like he wanted to throw his arms around her, but he came to a sudden halt before he could touch her, instead raising his shaking hands to her face. "Vr'ocria, 'ria, my Ria, I'm so sorry–" his voice broke and his eyes welled with tears that quickly spilled over and began running down his face, carving tracks into the grime and blood spatter.
"Aldrick," she whispered, drinking him in. He's alive.
"Hold on, hold on, I'll get you out of these cuffs, fuck–" he turned to the dead captain on the floor and rifled through his pockets until he produced a key.
He returned and had to stand on his tiptoes to reach the manacles, and with a scrape and groan of metal, the manacles cracked loose.
Vr'ocria collapsed onto Aldrick, her legs too weak to hold her up. Her arms fell over his shoulders, and he caught her around the waist. Together they sank to the floor until they were both on their knees, clutching at one another as if they would disappear.
Aldrick buried his face in her neck, shaking with silent sobs. Vr'ocria tangled her hands in his bloody hair, not caring about the mess. Her people couldn't weep like humans did, but she might as well have with the way her chest heaved with stuttering breaths, her scales burning bright red.
Aldrick clutched her tight enough to hurt, but she didn't care. "Ria, my Ria, my love," he gasped like a mantra.
She finally took his face in her hands and pulled him back, forcing him to look at her. "Are you alright?" She implored. "Are you hurt?"
He let out a half-laugh, half-sob. "You're asking me?"
She used her thumbs to wipe away some of the grime on his face. "You took on all of those people by yourself," she croaked. "And the way he threw you–planets, I thought you were dead."
His hands slid up her back to clutch her shoulders. "I'm alright," he assured her. "Bumps and bruises is all. But you–" he looked her up and down, rage rekindling in his eyes. "Son of a bitch,
what they did to you–"
She shook her head. "They're dead now," she said firmly. "It's over and done." She leaned forward to squeeze him again, resting her head on his shoulder. "Let's just go home."
"Don't have to tell me twice." Aldrick rose, pulling her up with him. Her legs were still too unsteady to walk, so instead, he slid one hand under her knees and swept her up into his arms. She settled against his chest as he carried her out of the cargo bay.
"Should we be worried about any other crew members?" She asked, casting her eyes around the barren corridor.
Aldrick shook his head as he walked. He seemed to know where he was going. "It was just them."
"How do you know? And what happened to you, by the way?"
His arms tightened around her. "After you got knocked out, they locked a tractor beam onto the shuttle and pulled us inside."
They came to a fork in the corridor, and he turned left. "I thought they were just raiding for scrap metal and Union tech, but when they boarded the shuttle, they went straight for you. I–" his voice cracked. "I tried to protect you, but there were so many of them and I was so caught off guard..."
Vr'ocria stroked the nape of his neck with her thumb. "It's okay, it's not your fault."
Aldrick swallowed before continuing. "They took you away and locked me in an old storage container. Thankfully the hinges were on the inside, so I just popped the pins out once they were gone. I was able to access the ship's computer and scan the whole ship, because the idiots didn't know how to encrypt anything. All brawn and no brains, I guess. That's also how I was able to figure out where they kept their own shuttles, since ours is pretty busted."
"Is that where we're going?"
He nodded. "Anyway, I used the scanner to find your location, and then I just crawled through the air ducts so I could get inside without them knowing." He stopped. "We're here."
They'd arrived at a loading door with a rusty label that read "SHUTTLE BAY."
Twenty minutes later found them back out in open space in the least-old shuttle they could find. The engine puttered every few minutes, but with any luck, they'd reach their ship in an hour or so.
Vr'ocria had regained her bearings, and she was rummaging around the storage box at the back of the cabin. She finally found an old "in case of emergency" kit, but frustratingly, all the first aid supplies had been picked clean. She did, however, find an unopened package of wet wipes.
Vr'ocria took the wipes back to the front of the cabin. Ripping the package open, she knelt by Aldrick where he sat in the pilot seat.
"What're you doing?"
"Hold still," she murmured. She raised a wipe to his face, and began gently cleaning the blood off. His eyes became soft as she tended to him, throwing the dirty wipes aside one by one while she worked her way down his face and neck.
When she was done, he took her hand before she could get up. He reached for the package as well, and began wiping the blood from her arms, taking care around the nasty scrapes that marred her wrists. "We need to get these bandaged up."
"It's okay. They're not bleeding anymore, we have time."
Aldrick placed a hand on her cheek. "I love you so much," he whispered. "And I'm glad you're okay."
Vr'ocria leaned into his hand, closing her eyes. "I love you too." Turns out it's REALLY hard to write fight scenes lol. I can see it happening in my head, but getting it down on paper is another story. I had fun though! And I hope I did it justice.
Thank you for reading!
submitted by SabbyOfSableWine
to humansarespaceorcs [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 15:47 Yorkpeepee Why ACAB? An "Essay"
I've argued with many pro-police people for various reasons, and have acquired a decent-sized library of their common talking points in support of the police and in opposition to movements like ACAB. Today, I will address the most interesting of these talking points and debunk them, with sources. The format of this post will be FAQ style. I'm not the best when it comes to researching so if anybody has suggestions for alternate/additional sources I'm all ears. Please share this with your friends and loved ones who are on the fence or maybe completely support police, maybe this'll change their minds.
The system of policing we see in the United States and many other nations is plagued by corruption, violence, and extortion. While these issues may be seen as worse/better when you compare different nations, it's all still the same and tier-listing misery will get us nowhere. For the purposes of this essay, I will be addressing police specifically from an American's perspective, as I'm American. I also will be operating on these premises:
- Police officers are not designed for the majority of the things they're tasked with handling.
- Police officers show little agency in what laws they choose to enforce, this includes unjust laws that cause more societal harm than good. (Example, drug laws). This however doesn't apply to their own, which I'll demonstrate later.
- This results in most interactions with police following obvious "dialogue trees" and any attempt to steer away from it, either by questioning their motives and logic or just showing distaste for their treatment of you, will result in unjustifiable escalations of force.
With these details in mind, I believe that the second a would-be cop dons that uniform, they have lost their humanity in my eyes, and their lives are forfeit. They have become obedient, robotic agents of the state, and as long as workers of this country struggle against the state, this stance will be firmly unchanged.
Does this mean that well-meaning people don't exist in law enforcement? Absolutely not. There are many cops who see the injustices in the system and either through culture shock or naïveté, attempt to bring consequences to their fellow pigs. This often results in retaliation including but not limited to: firing, harassment, refusal of backup, or just straight up murder
The only good cop is either a dead one, or one that turns to our side.
Now with all that out of the way, let's begin my straw-man.
When you say "agents of the state", what does that mean?
There's a story from my own life I can share with you:
A while ago when I used to work at McDonald's I found out that our boss was sabotaging other workers' interviews for other jobs, in an attempt to force them to stay at the job. Me, being still quite young at the time, thought that the police should do something about this, as I researched this and it is illegal for an employer to do this. The only response I got back was "This isn't a police matter"
So then me, confused, wonder why not? If what she's doing is against the law where I am, why can they not investigate? Now this was before I knew about the Department of Labor and all that, so I never followed through with this incident, but this story planted a seed in my mind.
This seed grew into a beautiful plant in my mind once I learned the Labor Theory of Value, Marxism, the usual "commie shit". All this made me realize that the reason that incident wasn't a police matter, is because police work for capital, not us
. The capital owners are the ones who use the police to keep workers in check. This is a dynamic that goes all the way back to the police's original intended purpose of catching runaway slaves
, eventually leading to violently suppressing worker uprisings during the Industrial Revolution
. They don't willfully go after the elites, much less their own, because they're on their fucking leash.
So who do you expect to keep you safe?
I don't know, I don't have that expectation now. Wanna know why? Because, if the Uvalde Shooting wasn't evidence enough, police are not legally obligated to protect anybody
What if somebody breaks into your house?
Let's use the common example of Chicago for this one. Chicago's police response time averages from any range between 95 seconds to 9 minutes
Now let's assume this burglar is actually a threat to you, as in, they actively want to kill you. Do you think the police will be there to save you in time? Best to defend yourself.
Did the burglar leave with your valuables? Hope you had insurance! Property crimes (which includes burglary) are only solved about 16-20% of the time
This must mean they don't have enough officers or funding to respond faster
Another myth. Police have plenty of funding. So much in fact that not enough is going to actually important institutions, like schools and fire departments. This is a hard thing to find proof for since most of the cities in the USA have some sort of law enforcement apparatus, but I'll give you some homework. Try and find out the police funding for your city/hometown. Compare that to the taxes that go to the actually useful stuff.
What about the mass shooters and serial killers?
Well, I already made fun of the cowards in Uvalde so I'll just say this:
Those are the things armed police SHOULD be charged in handling.
Wait, did you just say armed police? As in, you want to disarm them?
Hell yeah brother. The United Kingdom, for example doesn't give their street cops guns. They're trained in hand-to-hand combat and disarming techniques. They still have armed units with which they deploy for [fire]armed threats.
In the United States meanwhile, we have pussy cops using guns against people with melee weapons. They have the numbers and the equipment (stun guns, mace, batons) to take down this kind of threat and instead they take the easy way and shoot them. So yes, take their fucking guns away.
Wouldn't that make them easy targets?
I would argue that their behavior makes them targets, "fuck around and find out" as they say.
Be that as it may, disarming the police would be nigh impossible and incredibly illogical with how easy weapon procurement is in the USA, which is why gun laws need to be restricted too. But that's a whole other discussion I don't feel like having. So for this I will give you a +1.
My Proposed Solution
To conclude this essay, I share my proposed alternative to policing at it is now, which would coincide with extensive prison reform as well:
- Abolish qualified immunity. This used-napkin of a law has been weaponized time and time again to allow police to beat/kill suspects (that they agitate into resisting) with impunity, among many other things like destroying an entire city block, which killed five children and six adults. Police officers need to know that they have a powerful position and abuse of that power will not be tolerated by any means.
- Remove cop patrols. Patrolling cops just look for trouble. Stay the fuck out of our business, bitch.
- Stop using K9 units. They circumvent our fourth amendments rights against unlawful search and seizure but allowing a "hit" to search you even if you refused. Cops fake alerts all the time, and are also used to circumvent use-of-force policy since you can't control how a dog decides to fucking maul you half to death
- Stop utilizing police testimony in court cases where there's no physical evidence to back their word up. Juries are hopelessly biased towards pigs and will take their word as gold. Which is scary since they lie in court all the time
- Most importantly, STOP SENDING POLICE TO EVERY FUCKING 911 CALL. I shouldn't even have to provide evidence that police kill the mentally ill. Police should be dispatched ONLY when an armed threat is present. Period.
Have a great day everybody!
submitted by Yorkpeepee
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2023.06.02 13:01 House_of_Suns /r/QOTSA Official Band of the Week 22: ZZ TOP
Sometimes a band gets so big that they somehow outshine themselves. They reach a point in their career where it does not matter if they release a new album or not; fans just want to see them tour. No one gave a damn that Led Zeppelin had not released a new album since the 1970’s; everyone just wanted to see them play again at the O2 Arena in 2007. When The Who played the Super Bowl halftime show in 2010 they had only released one new album in 28 years, and no one cared. And no one cares that Guns & Roses aren’t making new music. They still packed arenas to see how much cake Axl had packed into himself.
We’re going to take a dive into a blues power trio from down south who have zero need to release any new music, since their recording career stretches back over five decades. They had amazing and groundbreaking success in the ‘70s, the ‘80s, and the ‘90s before hitting the max level. Instead of playing to win, they now play for fun. Their sexually charged lyrics and videos inspired generations of teens to both dress better and worry about their fly. And you can bet that their fuzzy, bluesy tight sound had a huge impact on our very own desert dwellers.
It’s time for us to take a walk with That Little Ol’ Band from Texas. This week’s featured artist is the legendary ZZ TOP About Them
The Power Trio is a tested and true format for a rock band. Lots of examples come to mind: Cream. Rush. The Police. Biffy Clyro. King Buffalo. Them Crooked Vultures.
(Wait a sec. Just three members? Clearly, not everything is bigger in Texas.)
There is a member joke there somewhere, but I just can’t get it to come. Hmm. Perhaps it will come if you play with it a bit.
Hey! Stop that.
Get your mind out of the gutter.
ZZ Top’s original and founding member was William Frederick Gibbons. Born in Houston in 1949, the front man was originally a drummer but, after studying with Tito Puente in New York City, picked up the guitar at age 13. His dad was a musician in show business, which allowed Billy to get an insider’s view of the industry. By the late ‘60s, he had been in and founded a number of bands and had even befriended the late great James Marshall Hendrix. One of his first bands, a psychedelic/art house band called The Moving Sidewalks,
toured with the Jimi Hendrix Experience. This meant that Gibbons was actually mentored by Snagglepuss himself. They also toured with The Doors, where Gibbons saw the legendary self-destructive band somehow manage to rise above conflict and make music every night. The Moving Sidewalks generated a following all of its own with a couple of hit songs, and things seemed to be headed in the right direction.
Things were going absolutely great until bassist Don Summers and keyboard player Tom Moore were drafted into the army to fight in Vietnam. Don't you just love the ‘60s?
Gibbons and drummer Dan Mitchell added a new keyboard player, Lanier Greg, and tried to make another run at it. But the chemistry was all wrong. Gibbons rechristened the band as ZZ Top (an homage to BB King), and declared that he wanted more of a straight up rock approach than the art-house kaleidoscopic sound.
Gibbons, Mitchell, and Greg (isn’t it weird when last names are also first names too?
) recorded the single Salt Lick
in 1969. This generated a bunch of interest and a recording contract. Decisions over the direction of the band ensued and it quickly became clear that Mitchell and Greg did not agree with Gibbons’ hard rock approach. That ended up being a poor life decision for them, but a great one for a couple of other guys.
Clearly, Gibbons needed a new rhythm section.
Fortunately, he found a package deal.
Dusty Hill and Frank Beard - also both born in 1949 - had been playing together on the Dallas-Houston-Fort Worth circuit in a number of bands, including The Warlocks, The Cellar Dwellers,
and a fake cover band called The Zombies.
Both the Duster and the (then ironically) beardless Beard also heard the siren call of rock and roll. Hill was classically trained and was an accomplished cello player before moving to his signature bass. Frank ‘Rube’ Beard appears to have been born with drumsticks in his hands (which I imagine might have been uncomfortable for his mom).
Beard joined the band first, along with bassist Billy Ethridge, who had played with Stevie Ray Vaughn. Ethridge balked at signing a contract and so joined Mitchell and Greg on the list of ZZ Top’s former members. Their lineup was set. Hill and Beard anchored the band in a rock-solid, tight, bluesy fashion. Gibbons meshed perfectly with this duo, and his Hendrix-inspired guitar work was on another level. Hill provided backing vocals, and Gibbons’ low throaty growl was an impressive counterpoint to his soaring fretwork. The talent was all there; now they just needed to record some music.
But success was not instantaneous, not by a long shot.
Their first album - appropriately called ZZ Top’s First Album
- gives insight into who the band were to become. In this 1971 release, you can hear their raw sound. The record peaked at 201 on the charts, and had only one single - (Somebody Else Been) Shaking Your Tree.
It did give them material to go out and tour. The boys gelled on that tour and went back into the studio with renewed energy, and emerged with 1972’s Rio Grande Mud.
The disc was a step forward in refining their sound. The album almost cracked the top 100, and the only single - Francine
- went all the way to number 69. Nice.
But the band knew that their third album, Tres Hombres,
was something special. It is the epitome of Southern Rock: bluesy, fast paced, sexy, and irreverent, it is just over half an hour of pure magic. And while the album went gold and peaked at number 8 on the charts and is worth your time, it was one particular single that rocketed them to stardom. You know it and you love it, and a-how-how-how-how: La Grange.
It is still in heavy rotation on classic rock stations today. And why not? The song is an absolute banger
of boogie woogie blues, written about a visit to a whorehouse. What’s not to love? La Grange
propelled them to popularity. Tours sold out. Venues got bigger and bigger. 1975’s follow up album, Fandango!,
was half live album (with some covers) and half new material - like an EP with bonus tracks. They covered the Elvis Presley classic Jailhouse Rock,
Willie Dixon’s Mellow Down Easy,
and John Lee Hooker’s Long Distance Boogie.
The boys had rock and blues chops, and had 5 years of touring experience. These were bold statements that cemented their musicality as well as honoring their roots. But side two of the disc had another track that you’ve come to love. You ain’t asking for much: You’re just lookin’ for some Tush. Tush
was the perfect sexually charged follow up to ensure that they were not one-hit wonders. It was written in a ten-minute spasm of creativity at a sound check, and has gone on to be one of their most popular songs.
topped the charts, ZZ Top went back into the studio to record their full length follow up, 1976’s Tejas.
The name of the album means ‘friends’ in the Indigenous Caddo language, and was the basis for the name of the state. You know what that means? It means that the name of the state is ‘Friends’. Just like the ‘90s sitcom. Don’t mess with Friends.
Anyways, this was an album of experimentation for the band, and unlike its predecessor it came out half baked at best. Billy Gibbons has called it a transition album. What actually happened is the band transitioned into a hiatus from touring and recording, taking some significant time off. They had recorded five albums in six years and spent virtually all their time on the road. The latest effort was just not up to their standards and was a step back. It also completed their recording contract.
What was the solution to this burn out? Facial hair
The boys took a few years off before landing another recording contract, this time with Warner. Over those months, both Gibbons and Hill grew what would become their signature long ‘Texas Goatee’ beards.
Frank Beard did not grow a beard (though he did finally succumb to peer pressure from his bandmates in 2013, and his is much more neatly trimmed). So while they were resting/relaxing/getting their groove back/aligning their chakras or whatever, they also started to reinvent their signature sound as the world moved towards a decade of legendary excess.
The first step on this reinvention journey was 1979’s Degüello.
The title literally means ‘decapitation’ but idiomatically refers to a fight to the death.
Clearly, the band decided to tackle their transition head on. The album was not as successful as Tres Hombres
but it was not the flop that Tejas
was. It did spawn a couple of singles - I Thank You
(which was a cover) and the signature hit Cheap Sunglasses.
Both are staples at ZZ Top concerts to this day. Degüello
was quickly followed up in 1981 by the album El Loco.
This was really the first time ZZ Top incorporated a synthesizer into their sound. As you know, the synth was THE new wave sound of the 1980s. Gods help us, keytars
were once popular. But Gibbons, Hill, and Beard did not abandon their edge. The single Pearl Necklace
was an immensely popular innuendo laced tune from this album. And no, I will not explain what a pearl necklace is to you.
Ask your mom.
Over the course of their first seven albums, ZZ Top had steadily grown in popularity and become a truly extraordinary live band. More than a decade of touring together meant that they had not just cut their teeth. They had found the Tooth Fairy,
beaten her senseless, and added fangs to their jaws. They were ready to tackle whatever came their way.
Their huge breakthrough coincided with the birth of music videos and MTV.
was an absolute monster of an album. ZZ Top were everywhere. They completely embraced the Music Video as a medium and became pioneers in this new genre. They branded their band with a 1933 fire-engine red Ford Coupe,
which was on the cover of the album. They even had a signature hand gesture that they used as the car went by. The car belonged to Billy Gibbons and embodied his hot rod obsessions. It was featured in the videos for Gimme All Your Lovin’, Sharp Dressed Man,
Other singles from the album included Got me Under Pressure
and TV Dinners. Eliminator
is still the band’s most successful album. They were at the absolute height of their popularity with a massive audience. No doubt the 10-year-old Joshua Michael Homme watched those videos on a small screen in the California desert, little knowing that he would one day collaborate with Gibbons.
Seeking to capitalize on the popularity, the band went back into the studio and released Afterburner
in 1985. It featured the signature hot rod on the cover and spawned two more singles - Sleeping Bag
and Velcro Fly. Afterburner
was not an innovative album by any stretch of the imagination. It simply built on the success of Eliminator
and replicated the sound. If you blended the two albums together
it would be very difficult for a novice fan to guess which song came from which disc. But hell, when you release the most popular album of your career and are earning millions of dollars for that sound, it is not time to mess with success. Or with Texas.
Or with Friends (though Ross
was a pain in the ass, IMHO).
That desire to not screw up a good thing was also evident in their next release, the retrospective re-release Six Pack.
This was a great way to earn some bucks with a simple repackaging of existing tracks - I’m looking at you, K-Tel…
- and introducing them to another generation of fans. This was not a bad thing at all - you gotta get that green whenever you can, because fame can be fleeting.
ZZ Top closed out the decade by going Back to the Future. Literally. They appeared in the third installment of the Michael J. Fox trilogy as the olde-timey house band
(complete with rotating guitars) in the saloon scene. The single and signature song from the movie, Doubleback,
appeared on their 1990 release Recycler.
The album spawned two more singles: My Head’s in Mississippi
and Concrete and Steel. Recycler
was not as successful as its predecessors, but it did effectively max level
the band. In the 1970’s they were a scuffling bar band that hit it big. In the 1980’s they were one of the most popular bands of the MTV generation. And in the 1990’s they achieved superstardom. They had hit the level where it truly no longer mattered if they ever released new material again. They could simply tour on their back catalogue alone and sell out stadiums.
It is clear that the band realized this as well. In the thirty years since Recycler
came out, they have released five albums of new material: Antenna
in 1994, Rhythmeen
in 1996, XXX
in 1999, Mescalero
in 2003 and the critically acclaimed and Rick Rubin
produced La Futura
in 2012. This was equivalent to their output in their first six years.
In contrast, they have released no less than eight greatest hits albums, cover albums and live albums in the same time span. Greatest Hits
came out in 1992. One Foot in the Blues
was released in 1994. The massive compilation Chrome, Smoke & BBQ
came out in 2003, and is a fantastic place to start if you are a new fan. Rancho Texicano
was released in 2004, Live from Texas
came out in 2008, and Double Down Live
hit shelves in 2009. Live at Montreaux
came out in 2013 and Tonite at Midnight: Live Greatest Hits from Around the World
was released in 2016.
As recently as 2019, there were rumors that a new album was in the works for our Septuagenarian heroes. Lord knows the boys from Texas have nothing left to prove to anyone.
It was then that tragedy struck. Dusty Hill had to leave the band during a tour in 2021. The reason given was a hip injury. His guitar tech, Elwood Francis, filled in. Shockingly, Hill died at home at the age of 72 just five days after leaving the tour.
Fans were shocked and mourned the stalwart bassist. Per his wishes - and it seems he knew something wasn’t quite right - ZZ Top did not break up. Francis replaced Hill on bass, and the band soldiered on. In 2022, they released Raw,
a soundtrack for a 2019 documentary about them. This was Hill’s final release.
You can still catch them on tour. They are going to be out there this summer, touring with Lynyrd Skynyrd, for something they are calling ‘The Sharp Dressed Simple Man’ Tour.
Go buy some tickets. Don’t miss your chance to see a truly iconic band before they are gone. Links to QOTSA
The Reverend Billy F. Gibbons
was a big part of the Lullabies to Paralyze
album by our Desert Dwellers. He played guitar and provided backing vocals on Burn the Witch.
He was co-lead vocalist and lead guitar on the QotSA cover of Precious and Grace,
which he originally released as a ZZ Top tune on the Tres Hombres
album. He also provided the guitar stylings for Like a Drug.
But the connections don't stop there. Billy sang the lead vocal track on the recent Desert Sessions tune Move Together,
and he played guitar on Noses in Roses, Forever.
What may be most important to QotSA fans is that Gibbons was the first person, almost two years ago, who hinted that Queens were working on a new album.
And now we know he was right. Never doubt a Reverend. Their Music Salt Lick (Somebody Else Been) Shaking your Tree Francine La Grange
-- Live on Howard Stern Jailhouse Rock Tush
-- a fan made video. It is not subtle. Cheap Sunglasses Pearl Necklace
-- Live Gimme All Your Lovin’ Sharp Dressed Man Legs
-- the ultimate makeover video Got Me Under Pressure
-- Live at Montreaux Sleeping Bag
-- Let’s go out to Egypt and check out some heads... Velcro Fly
-- also somehow in Egypt My Head’s In Mississippi Concrete and Steel
-- vintage video Doubleback I Gotsta Get Paid
-- from La Futura Show Them Some Love /zztop Previous Posts Tool Alice in Chains King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard Rage Against The Machine Soundgarden Run the Jewels Royal Blood Arctic Monkeys Ty Segall Eagles of Death Metal Them Crooked Vultures Led Zeppelin Greta Van Fleet Ten Commandos Screaming Trees Sound City Players Iggy Pop Mastodon The Strokes Radiohead All Them Witches
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2023.06.02 11:59 BZTrafo_transformer Different Types of Tape Used in High Frequency Transformer
Commonly there are several kinds of tapes used in transformers, include Mylar tape, Margin tape, Polyimide tape, Copper Foil Tape, and so on. The tapes are used for insulation, packaging and fixing purpose.
- Mylar Tape
Mylar tape is a type of adhesive tape commonly used in transformers, it has excellent resistance to chemicals and moisture, and can resist cuts and abrasions.
Mylar tape is often used to insulate and secure the winding wires and coils. It is applied between layers of windings to provide electrical insulation and prevent short circuits. The tape helps to hold the windings in place and protect them from damage due to movement or vibration. There are many colors of Mylar Tape, usually red, blue, yellow, white, etc. It has certain elasticity and stretchability, and one side is coated with adhesive.
It is widely used in transformers, motors, capacitors and other types of motors, electronic components for insulation wrapping, and can also be used for high-voltage isolation in the switching power supply.
Margin tape, also known as non-woven tape, is made by bonding a non-woven fabric to a polyester film substrate and coating one side of the non-woven fabric with an acrylic adhesive with excellent performance.
Margin tape is mainly used for insulation of uninterruptible power supplies, dry-type transformers, high temperature industrial frequency transformers, high temperature gaskets and microwave oven transformers.
Polyimide tape, which is based on polyimide film with imported silicone pressure-sensitive adhesive, is resistant to high and low temperatures, acids and alkalis, solvents, electrical insulation (class H), and radiation.
In the electronic and electrical industry, it can be used for H-class motor and transformer coil insulation wrapping, high temperature resistant coil end fixing, temperature measuring RTD protection, capacitor and wire wrapping and other bonding insulation under high temperature working conditions.
In the circuit board manufacturing industry, it can be used for electronic protection paste, especially for SMT temperature resistance protection, PCB gold finger protection, electronic transformers and other high temperature and moisture protection.
4.Copper Foil Tape
Copper foil tape, a metal tape, is mainly used for electromagnetic shielding applications.Its purity is higher than 99.95%, eliminating electromagnetic (EMI) interference, isolating the harm of electromagnetic waves to human body, and avoiding unwanted voltage and current.
It is generally applied to transformers, cell phones, computers, PDAs, PDPs, LED screens and other various electronic products where electromagnetic shielding is required.
Issued by Hangzhou Bozhou Electric Applicance Co., Ltd.
High Frequency Transformer www.bztrafo.com
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2023.06.02 11:52 asleypatricia What kind of material Soffe Intensity N5300Y is made of?
It is a girl's baseline pants and a part of the Soffe Intensity brand. The fabrication is of premium quality that offers game-ready uniforms for female athletes. It comprises 7.7 oz, 100% polyester double-knit jersey fabric that has soil release. With moisture management, it helps to keep you cool and dry. Additionally, it features a unique low-rise pant design with a double brass zipper, a 2" branded elastic waistband, and a contrasting drawcord for a secure fit in addition to 2 YKK matte and scratch-resistant front snaps. It has a double layer from knee to bottom elastic hem for protection and durability. Additionally, it also has an embroidered intensity logo on the back hip.
Therefore, if you want this article to stay in genuine condition then you can machine wash cold with like colors, do not bleach, tumble dry low, and do not iron. Besides, it comes approximately in the following colors i.e. Blue Grey, Navy, Royal, Gunmetal, White, Dark Green, Scarlet, and Grey. Know your perfect size, it has an inseam of 15" to 19" as it ranges from XS to XL. Get your Soffe Intensity N5300Y
from “Veetrends” instantly.
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2023.06.02 09:08 tulongplease Pinapalayas na ako sa bahay pero hindi ko pa kaya financially, ano ba dapat kong gawin?
Hello, hingi sana ako ng advice please. Hirap na hirap na kasi ako at hindi ko na alam gagawin. I'm 27, Female. May maliit lang ako na business sa Manila na nag i-earn ng 25k average kada buwan; maliban sa maliit kong business (hindi ko na sasabihin kung anong linya), wala na akong ibang pinagkukuhaan pa ng pera.
Last time, naka alitan ko yung kapatid ko na 20 years old, sinugod niya ako at nauwi kami sa madugong cat fight (literal). After non, pinapili niya ang magulang namin kung siya ba o ako, and siya yung pinili ng mama namin kasi syempre, bata pa yung kapatid ko kesa sa akin at nag aaral pa; si papa naman, as much as possible, gusto niya magka ayos ayos kaming lahat (pero alam ko na malabo yon dahil sobrang mataas pride ng kapatid ko; kapag galit siya sa isang tao, dadalhin niya hanggang hukay yung galit). Ngayon, nakikitira muna yung kapatid ko sa isang kamag anak namin habang hindi pa ako nakaka alis sa bahay; ang kondisyon niya sa magulang ko, babalik lang siya sa bahay namin kapag pinalayas na ako. Araw-araw na ginawa ng Diyos, lagi akong vineverbal abuse at pinapahiya ng mama ko, lagi niya pinagsisigawan mga dirty laundry ko at na lumayas na ako sa bahay namin para makabalik na yung kapatid ko (ever since, hindi talaga naging maganda ang relationship namin ni mama; she was only 17 yrs old when she had me kaya nauunawaan ko din naman bakit ganon nalang niya ako kung tratuhin).
Anyway, gustuhin ko man yung nais nila na umalis na sa bahay namin
- 1. Natatakot ako sa malaking posibilidad na hindi na ako makakaipon (at na baka maging negative pa nga). Mapupunta lahat ng maliit kong kita sa expenses ko. Hindi tulad nung nasa puder pa ako ng magulang ko na hindi ako gumagastos sa renta at sa pagkain araw-araw; ang gastos ko lang sa bahay ay tubig/kuryente/internet/maintenance meds ni papa (kahit papano nakakapag ipon pa ako at nabibili ko gusto ko).
- 2. Hirap ako humanap ng apartment na okay (merong 6k to 8k, pero either sa squatters located yung paupahan and/or submeter lang yung tubig o kuryente. Kung sa maayos na neighborhood man, merong 8k pero maliit lang at hindi kakasya yung mga paninda ko). Gustuhin ko man ng "sharing", hindi pwede dahil sa stocks ng paninda ko, magiging unfair naman ako sa (mga) magiging ka-share ko if ever.
- 3. Natatakot ako sa posibilidad na never na ako makakabalik sa amin once na umalis na ako. Halimbawa, hindi ko na kayanin ang expenses na mag isa ako at mag decide ako bumalik, alam ko na magtutulong-tulong ang mama at kapatid ko (at isa ko pang kapatid na naka alitan ko din dahil muntikan niya ng idispalko yung pera ko last April) para hindi na ako makabalik sa amin kahit kailan. Nakikita ko na yung mangyayari na sasabihin nila kay papa, "wag niyo lang mapa balik-balik yang tao na yan dito. Kung pababalikin niyo yan, kami nalang ang lalayas".
Nag estimate na ako ng magiging gastos ko:
- 9,000/10,000 - nasa gantong budget yung average na nakikita ko na okay (may space, maayos neighborhood at may sariling metro).
- 2,000? - electricity (hindi ako mag iaircon at ref. Rice cooker, electric stove, electric fan, gadgets battery charging, washing machine, internet, ilaw ang finactor ko ~ kulang ba yung 2k?)
- 500 - water
- 9,000 (300/day) - food (estimate ko kang to, hindi ko talaga alam kung magkano ba dapat ang budget sa pagkain sa loob ng isang araw kasi sa bahay ng magulang ko kung ano pagkain sa bahay, yun lang naman kinakain ko)
- 200 - Blue gallon water
- 600 - laundry detergents sa isang buwan?
- 1100 - Internet
- 5000 - others (ex: napkin, shampoo, sabon sa katawan, skincare, at iba pang pwedeng maging biglaang gastos)
27,400 Pesos lahat. 25,000 lang ang kita ko. Masasaid talaga ako.
Ano dapat ko gawin? Ano ba dapat maging next move ko? Baka may maiadvice kayo sakin please para masurvive ko to 😔 maraming maraming salamat
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2023.06.02 04:40 MisterSnippy Coming Softly, Softer, It Goes
Fog rolls up, wisping through and across her vision, gradually covering up the figure reflected in the silverbacked glasswork. For a moment, she stands hunched over, letting the water condense and run through hills and valleys between her cyan scales, liquid tinted by colour, traveling down her tail in a stream of droplets. Drip drop, streaming off the end into clear pools that reflect a shimmering clearer view. Water inches up the yellow walls, coating them with a thin film of liquid, that, when gathers enough, trickles down and enlarges the puddles dotting the floor, turning it into a nascent ocean. The last glimpse she has of the mirrored figure, before it's replaced with a cyan smudge, is the expression of unease, ever present, always concealed carefully behind grey fog.
Her inner sanctum is soon left behind, doors closed, wet feet slapping against wooden floors scattering droplets, exchanging mental safety for physical sensibility. One arm slips past another, entering the wardrobe, fingers dancing across different shirts and jackets, tip tapping, stopping on the Torimine suit. Soon, tail slipping through skirt, arms maneuvering through shirt and jacket, shoes slipped on, business-ready. Well-fitted, but a time away from being well-worn. There's not much left for her to grab from the room, just a quick bite to eat, leftovers from yesterday, hidden away in a darkened cupboard, and then out the door into Salazsar.
It's pre-dawn, sky suffused by cloudly dark grey, smatterings of snowflakes whispering through the wind, backlit by lamps and magelight. They stick to her dress and scatter around her whenever the wind changes its aimless flow. She moves down a spiral-staircase, gliding to a lower, more mercantile, level. A much slower, clumsier, snowflake, crystallized by life, not temperature. Step-by-step I descend, until the bottom appears, stonework smoothed from the timeless passage of pedestrians. For a moment she pauses, deliberating, reflecting. Does she really want to do this? She scoffs, no question about that, a false question, then followed by the real one. Does she really want to to this, today? Joints grind back into gear, rust shaking off and flaking away, the answer apparent. She has to.
She looks up from the paperwork on her desk, staring in the direction of the concerned, male, voice, that softly rumbles through the doorway into the dim office. The light outside is brighter than inside, making it hard to see a clear figure, instead he's more fuzzy silhouette, eyes glinting against the darkness.
My eyes meet his for a moment, before he glances elsewhere, pretending to stare at the other objects that litter the room, like the paperwork splattered over her desk. They don't stick to any one object for lengthened time, afraid any errant gaze will be imprisoned into eye-contact if it lingers.
"Listen, are you doing alright? If you need to take a day off you can, okay?"
She gives him an exasperated look, accompanied by a smirk. A hint of teeth poke through the gap in her smile, scales at the corners of her eyes crinkle, head tilts.
"I'm fine. Trust me on that. If I needed a break I would take one."
A perfect smile, happy quick exhale, through the nose, fingers clutching a quill delicately preparing to be put to page, documents to be signed. The Gnoll looks mollified turning to leave, but not
"Well, just remember. If you need to take a break I'd be happy to cover for you, it's no issue."
The last word is rhetorical, he leaves without leaving room for reply. Just her in the office, alone, once again. The only sound the sounds of the paperwork rustling when she places and replaces documents. Lots of paperwork to do, organized into three sections ,one pile growing taller than the others, a combined mix of them.
In the air is a stale smell that sticks to me, seeping into her clothing, into the chair, into the documents. It's unclear where it comes from, not smelling like ink or paper, but something other, not foreign, however. It's all she smells, nothing else, not the pungent ink, not the dusty office, not perfumed Drakes or mouth-watering foodstalls. But it doesn't matter, work to do. Quill reappears against page, drawing lines of ink, curved, straight, forming letters and then words. On this page the final words appear, her signature, always signed, "Revlii Darktongue", exactly the same every time. She places the sheet into the tallest pile, and then places claws upon another and draws the paper over. And then writing again, and signing again.
Street slowly winding upwards, Drakes and Gnolls huddled close together, trying to fit further into the crowd, but also struggling for warmth, this close contact being secretly treasured by many. She aswell, is huddled with them, skirt scraping against other garmets, head covered by wayward snowflakes, face made wet by foggy breath, all their faces wet. The kind of cold misery that forms bonds, and strengthens friendships Her shoes carefully step over small patches of ice, and once or twice a member of the crowd helps her catch her balance when she slips, and she too, for them
The sky is a brilliant orange, beauty magnified by the spires and towers that surround me, distant rooftops glinting orange reflections, eternal burning away of daylight into night. Her path travels upward s, stairs passing beneath her, railings caught, shoes ever click clack and stomp when a slip threatens. The spot appears, between two spires, an opening where the city can be seen down a line, sunset perfectly positioned in the middle.
Revlii takes a minute to take off my shoes, placing them on the ground, and then carefully clearing a clean patch to sit on. A white exhale slowly comes, relaxed, as she gets into a good mental position. The sun slowly falls, distant orange chased by coming clouds that arrive from faraway lands. Work was okay today, she thinks, more of the same, but sometimes lack of change can be good. I might even Level soon if I keep it up.
Another exhale, tension leaving her body, flowing into the air, quickly washed away by cold winds and burned through by the orange light. Her daily routine is to sit here and watch the sunset, regardless of the weather. There are many views like this one in Salazsar, but this one feels personal, only belonging to me, and her alone. More snowflakes fall, amount increasing, wind also getting colder.
She dislikes Winter, her favourite season being Spring, but Winter always brings a calmness with it. Maybe it's how sounds seem to be dampened, the world almost still, vibrations sucked away into snowfall. Maybe it's how the sky looks, blues darker and more inviting, oranges brighter and more vibrant, vying for dominance and turning the sky brilliant shades with the rise and set of the sun. Tommorrow is the weekend, which is nice, I think. Soon the solstice will come, and she'll be back on track towards more favoured seasons less inclined to snowfall and chilly air. Another exhale. Life is good.
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