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r/Target: A place for Team Members to do stuff that kind of matters.

2010.12.09 08:05 talan123 r/Target: A place for Team Members to do stuff that kind of matters.

The subreddit by Target team members for Target team members. This subreddit is neither affiliated with nor endorsed by the Target Corporation.

2008.03.25 13:57 Jobs

We aim to empower job seekers and employees through the promotion of their best interests, advice and encouragement. Check out our discord here: We are not for job listings.

2013.08.14 15:08 andreasw Antiwork: Unemployment for all, not just the rich!

A subreddit for those who want to end work, are curious about ending work, want to get the most out of a work-free life, want more information on anti-work ideas and want personal help with their own jobs/work-related struggles.

2023.03.31 04:43 gregory92024 Microsoft authentication migration BS

I got this email today and I just have to think that any company with decent engineering and/or foresight (or maybe that's the same thing) would never put users through such a fire drill. I love how they make it sound like they're giving you more features for no additional charge.
OTOH, I've made a very good living over the past 20 years thanks to Microsoft's incompetence. If everyone were on Apple or ChromeOS, I'd have to get a real job.
And, of course, the migration is billable.
"Migrate to the Authentication methods policy in Azure Active Directory by 30 September 2024"
You're receiving this notice because you have authentication methods configured in the legacy Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) MFA and SSPR policies.
On 30 September 2024, the ability to manage authentication methods in the legacy multifactor authentication (MFA) and self-service password reset (SSPR) policies will be retired. Before that date, you'll need to migrate to the Authentication methods policy in Azure AD, which provides all the same capabilities, plus it enables you to:
Centrally manage MFA, SSPR, and passwordless authentication methods. More granularly target authentication methods to groups of users instead of all users. Access more secure authentication methods that will be part of future updates of this policy.
submitted by gregory92024 to msp [link] [comments]

2023.03.31 04:24 peetnnoah Kindly critique my resume
submitted by peetnnoah to resumes [link] [comments]

2023.03.31 04:22 TheManwithaNoPlan The Rogue Chronicles: A Nature of Predators Story (Ch. 14)

Thanks to u/SpacePaladin15 for the universe!
Many praises to u/Acceptable_Egg5560 for their help with editing!
Prev First Next

Chapter 14: Godspeed
Memory transcription subject: Vekna, Venlil Investigative Journalist
Date [standardized human time]: December 7th, 11:09, 2136

We had torn down the road after Chase had identified the unmarked aircraft as a black-ops search team. Based on its heading and speed, there was only one thing we could think of that such a team would be looking for out here: Me. We needed to act fast. We locked up the hangar and sped down the mountain. Multiple times during our descent I was half-convinced Chase was going to veer us down the sheer slope as a shortcut. An insane part of me agrees with the sentiment. Herd knows we need all the time we can get.
We soon pull up at Chase’s cabin, the both of us hastily unbuckling our restraints. My tail whips about erratically as Chase ushers me inside. “Pack up, quickly! We don’t have much time before they come knocking!”
I heed his words without question, sprinting up the stairs to my room and hastily putting away everything that I have in my backpack. Holonote, clothing, journal, ration bars, water purifier, inhaler. Check, check, check, check, check, check. That should be everything! I sling the weighty luggage over my shoulder and pound my way down the stairs.
Chase is there, sitting at the table and writing something down on a piece of paper. I approach him, dumping the bag on the ground. “Chase, come on! We gotta go now! They’ll be here any minute!”
It’s only now that I see that he’s writing down… human numbers? Letters? Both? Why? What for?? Why would he need to write something down? He can just remember when he…when he…oh. No, I have to be wrong! I crouch so I’m in the line of sight of his downtrodden eyes. “Chase…you’re coming, right?”
I hear a short breath come from his nose as he blinks something away. “I…I can’t, Vekna. I’m not coming with you.”
My heart twists inside my chest at the realization that my worst thoughts were correct. I grab at his arm and physically pull him towards me. “No, no I need you! I can’t fly any of your vehicles, a-and I don’t know where to go, a-a-”
I choke back some mucus as I realize I’m starting to cry. I take a breath to calm myself before I suffer another shortlung attack. “I-I need you, Chase. Please…”
I can barely see his eyes below the shadows cast by his posturing. “Vekna, if I’m not here to distract them, they’ll come for you. They’ll catch up to you, and we’ll both go down.” He suddenly grabs both of my paws and looks me dead in the eyes. “You need to go. There’s an old contact I have down in Suriname that’ll be able to take you in. I’m writing down here everything you’ll need to know to get there safely.”
I look into his eyes through the moisture my own are producing. I just got here, and I’m already having to abandon him. “Wh-no! No! You said it yourself, if they catch you, they’ll-“
I’m stopped by a slender finger against my mouth. “That’s the point.”
I stare up at him incredulously pushing his hand aside. “I…what?!”
“If they have any good leads at all, I’m going to be the first person they come to investigate. I’ll be able to buy enough time for you to make it out of here. I’ve written down coordinates to put into the autopilot. It’ll be able to take you where you need to go.”
He shoves the paper into my paws. My translator starts to try and translate the symbols, but I don’t look at it long enough for it to finish. I stuff it in my backpack and look back up at Chase. “No! I’m not leaving without you! I won’t!”
He stares at me for a while, a silent look of sympathy. After a moment, he gets up from his seat. He walks over to one of his display shelves and retrieves another model from a high-up shelf. He sets it down on the table in front of me. “Vekna, do you know what this plane is?”
I can’t see how this is relevant, but I give it a quick look-over. It’s not once that he’s shown me before, but the red circles on the wings are familiar to me. “No, but it’s… Happenese, right? That’s the tribe you said the B7A2 belonged to a few days ago.”
He nods somberly. “Japanese, but yes. This is the Zero. It was a formidable fighter aircraft hundreds of years ago. They were used in a terrible war. The war your Federation saw that made you think we were monsters. As with everything, eventually technology caught up to it.”
He kneels down, cradling the model. “Japan was in that war, but were losing badly. Their pilots grew desperate. When they were out of fuel or low on ammo, they would sacrifice themselves by crashing into their targets. This wasn’t an act of evil, but desperation. A final attempt to save their homeland by giving up their lives.”
He sighs and meets my gaze again. “I am willing to sacrifice myself here to protect you. It may only be my freedom, but I will give it up nonetheless.”
The tears are streaming down my fur now. I try to sputter out a response, but all that comes out are incoherent whines and whimpers. Seeing my distress, Chase pushes the model into my paws, clasping them around it for me. “Take this, and you’ll have a part of me with you wherever you go. A reminder that even at our worst, however misguided, we still try to help others.”
I look down at the plane and clutch it to my chest. Seemingly satisfied, he stands again and places a gentle hand on my shoulder. “Now come on, we have to get you out of here before it’s too late.”
I nod and choke back more mucus as I follow him outside. He unlocks his Jeep and places me in the left-paw passenger seat. He buckles me into the restraints as if we were going back to his museum. He then moves to the other side, placing my bag in the driver’s seat as he fiddles with the autopilot. It beeps in response, a highlighted route shown on the central console’s screen. No turning back now.
He closes the door and comes back to my side. He kneels down to my level and starts to speak. “Vekna, I… there’s something I sh-“
I don’t let him finish, capturing his head in a strong hug. I hear a muffled grunt in alarm, but he soon returns it as the last of my tears dry in my fur. After a moment, I let him loose and grab him by the cheeks, mustering the sternest tone I can muster. “Y-You’d better stay safe, or I’m turning your plane right around!”
He gives a pained chuckle, a tear of his own sliding down his face. “Don’t worry, Vekna. I can handle myself.”
He then closes my door and stands back. After a second, the car reverses out of his driveway all by itself. I get one last look at him as it switches to forward motion. He’s waving. I choke back more mucus as I return the human gesture. It only lasts a moment before I feel the car accelerate, and Chase’s cabin disappears behind a wall of trees.
I look over to the central console as I’m driven to the airfield by my automated chaperone. The model Zero rattles in the console’s depression, now freed from its stand. As I round the bend, I make a promise in my mind, for me and only me to hold accountable. “I’ll come back for you, Chase.”


Memory transcription subject: Elijah Morrisson, UN Pilot Ace
Date [standardized human time]: December 7th, 12:05, 2136

Our SUV rumbles as we speed down the dirt road. Thankfully, Meiers wasn’t lying when she said our needs would be met. A helipad was earmarked for our arrival and there was a car waiting for us at a nearby rental center. Sure, it wasn’t exactly military grade, but the shuttle more than made up for that. It wasn’t the fastest thing I’ve flown, not by a long shot, but at least we didn’t need to refuel it for another 10-12 years or so. Thank you, Venlil engineers!
“Can’t this thing go any faster?” Xhen complained from the backseat. “Every second we’re on this glorified trail is a second more Vekna could use to escape!”
“Do you want me to drive this thing off the road? I’ve already disabled the self-driving function to get us over the speed limit!” Anderson spoke as he manually drove the vehicle. “Or would you like to drive? I’d be happy to let you drive for a while!”
“Oh ha ha, Anderson. Not everyone can be a cyclist like you!” Xhen spat back.
“Biker! I’m a biker! Jesus, a couple decades and suddenly everybody forgets! They have engines! Bicycles don’t! You know, back in the late 20th century, we were-”
I’ve had enough of this shit. I cut him off abruptly, waving for the both of them to quiet. “That’s enough outta y’all! Jesus, if I wanted to listen to your bickering, we’d never have left the shuttle! Focus on the mission at hand.”
Xhen raises his hand. Greenies, I swear to god. “Sir, I w-”
“I know you were, Xhen. Just…” I sigh, pinching the bridge of my nose. “Look, we need to be at top game when we get to Beech’s cabin. He’s not dumb, chances are we’ve already been spotted when the transponder was reactivated in that last system sweep. When we get there, Anderson and I’ll try and talk to him. Xhen, you search the premises for anything off.”
Xhen salutes in affirmative, but Anderson takes issue with my plan. “Who put you in charge, Morrisson? Last I recall, I outrank you, and I don’t recall giving you permission to go above my head like that.”
I shoot an incredulous look at him. “Alright then, sir, got a better plan?” He starts to speak a few times, but it never goes anywhere. Eventually, he just sighs and shakes his head. “Thought not. Look, we’re all in this shit together because of Meiers and Vekna. Pulling rank ain’t gonna get us much farther than bickering like before. Until we’re out of this on the other side, let’s agree we’re all on even footing, deal?”
Xhen immediately agrees, but Anderson takes a little more time to think it over. Eventually, though, he comes around, giving a short chuckle. “Guess it couldn’t hurt. Deal.”
Glad to finally have the two hotheads under as much control as can be expected, I turn my attention to the road ahead. There’s a turn coming up off the right, and it’s exactly where we need to go. As we turn into the gravel driveway, we’re met with a modest cabin. It’s not the smallest I’ve seen, being two stories tall, but it’s certainly no millionaire’s getaway retreat. Fresh snow is starting to fall around us as we exit the car. Anderson hand signals Xhen to start his sweep of the premises. He nods and crouches out of sight of the first floor windows. Anderson and I make our way to the door, knocking on it a couple of times. We can hear someone moving inside, getting closer until the lock unlatches and I’m met with a familiar, if slightly thinner face.
I’m not the first to speak, as it would appear that he’s been expecting company. “Elijah, thought I saw you were in town. Of course, with that neutral transponder, I had to guess a little. Got some water on the stove for some tea or cocoa if you’d like to come in.” He glances over to Anderson, and the look in his eyes sours considerably. It’s been a while, but those wounds are probably still fresh.
Anderson doesn’t say anything besides me, so I take up the initiative. “Cut the crap, Chase. You know why we’re here. Let us in, or we’re going to let ourselves in.” I narrow my eyes at him so he makes no mistakes as to the severity of the situation,
All I’m met with with a similarly withering gaze from him. “You know all of this is, like, super illegal, right? I’m a Canadian citizen, and you’re American military. If word gets out about what you’re doing here, you’re all ruined.”
Ironic. I can’t help but let a chuckle escape my throat at the absurdity of our reality. “Technically, we’re not anything at the moment. I’ll put “international incident” on the list for good measure, though. Now step aside, ’Canadian citizen.’” I shove past him to little resistance, Anderson following closely behind.
Chase stumbles for a moment before regaining his balance. “Well, if you’re all so desperate for our hidden maple syrup mines, be my guest.”
I nod at Anderson to start a sweep of the house. We hadn’t even discussed it beforehand, but he knows why he’s here. He knows this house inside and out, more than anyone else. It was almost his, after all. As I enter the kitchen, I see a quaint, metal kettle atop one of the electric stovetops. Well I’ll be damned.
Chase enters the room shortly after me, leaning against a nearby counter. “If you wanted to interrogate me, you could’ve just sequestered me through the proper channels. Even so, I’ve got nothing to say to you. Haven’t for a while. Not since the collapse of the Arab Union.”
Old memories. Painful ones at that. I shake my head and turn to face him. “I know it’s been a while since then, but I don’t believe for a second that you’ve lost your edge. Bohemian is still in there somewhere.”
He doesn’t respond to me, so I decide that it’s best that I lay out what we know against him. Maybe he’ll finally see the futility of trying to hide it once I do. “We had a Venlil sighting in your museum a few days ago. There aren’t supposed to be any of the fluffy fucks this side of Manitoba, so any mention of one is cause for alarm.”
Chase shakes his head at that, a sly grin cropping up on his face. “You sure it wasn’t just a furry? You know what’s going down right about now, and I’ve seen some pretty realistic-”
“We know it wasn’t. It was spotted in your museum before opening, and only staff are allowed in at that time. Furthermore, you just so happened to pass within three miles of a confidential government facility on the night of Vekna’s escape. Care to explain that?”
His eyebrows shot up in feigned surprise. “Escape? I thought we were allies with the Venlil. That they were guests! Is someone setting up another secret prison? Ooh, did Area 51 get tired of hiding?”
There’s that Bohemian fucker I know. I’m about to lay into him, but I’m interrupted by Anderson holding up a mounted taxidermy of a deer head. “I found this out of place, Morrisson. It’s supposed to be hanging in the lounge room, but it was haphazardly shoved in a closet.”
Both of our attentions are brought to Anderson. Chase is first to speak to defend himself. “You and I both know it was gaudy in there. What, a man can’t redecorate?” Despite his light tone, he and Anderson are glaring daggers at one another. If looks could kill, heh.
“Not you, you lazy prick. I checked the lounge room for anything, and look what I found.” Anderson sets the taxidermy down heavily and holds up a tiny cluster of off-white hairs. That’s no human shade. That’s Vekna’s fur color!
Chase’s nostrils flare slightly, and I know that we have him cornered. I can vaguely hear the sounds of an aircraft flying over us though the cabin walls. I place a hand on his shoulder so he doesn’t try anything stupid. “So, what were you saying about Area 51?”
“That anal probing tells you nothing. Oh, wait, that’s your mouth speaking. Feels just as invasive.” He rolls his eyes. “You know, none of you have actually directly stated what you’re looking for.”
“That’s on a need to know basis, ‘civilian,’ and officially, you don’t need to know.” I place my off hand on my taser as I feel his muscles tense beneath his shirt. “But you already know why we’re here. So, why don’t you tell us where you stashed her and we’ll be on our way?”
His face contorts into a forced smirk. “Her? Oh my! Did you get an alien lady friend, Elijah? I didn’t realize you w-”
Before he can continue his jab at me, Xhen bursts through the front door, drawing our attention to him. “Sir! His car’s gone!”
His car is gone? Her fur is here, which means that she was sent off somewhere, but where? The museum is too populated, but that would only leave…the airfield. And I just heard…Fuck! Son Of A Bitch! It only takes me a second to process where he had sent her and where she’s ended up. I grab Chase by the shoulders and press an arm against his neck. “Where in the world did you send her, Bohemian?! Tell me!“
He takes a labored breath through his partially choked throat. “W-Wouldn’t…you…like to know…Snake Eyes? T-urk-try Timbuktu!” So now he comes clean about it, the motherfucker! As it’s clear that he isn’t going to be of much more help, I take out my taser to za-incapacitate him. This is for Komodo, you bastard.
Before I can jab it into his side, Xhen cries out in protest. “Sir! I don’t think that’s necessary!” I turn my attention to him briefly. “We have cuffs, we can-”
There’s suddenly an impact on the arm holding the taser. I turn my attention back to Chase only to have a hook connect to the right side of my face. I stagger back in pain as I hear Chase take a pained breath, his hands around the taser in my hand, wrestling to disarm me. Suddenly silenced, Xhen goes to restrain Chase, but gets kicked away by Chase’s prosthetic leg. I hear him cry out in pain as the taser is suddenly ripped from my grasp. I try to lunge for it again only for Chase to step out of the way. I hear the head of what was formerly my weapon crackle in electricity. I roll over to try and defend myself, for whatever good that’ll do. Before Chase can do anything, though, a dart is suddenly sticking out of his neck. He slowly feels at it and looks to whoever shot it. Our collective gaze falls to Anderson, with a now-empty tranquilizer gun in his hands. Chase starts to stumble towards him, muttering something incoherent, but he crumples to the ground before he can close half the distance. I sit up, feeling at my injuries. Shit, that’s a black eye.
“What was that?” Xhen panted. “Why didn’t anyone try to deescalate? We should have had that!”
I grunt in response as I force myself to a standing position. My balance is off from the hook, so I stumble over to a nearby countertop to grab on to. “Xhen, you don’t have any idea what that sonnuva’s capable of. If you’d let me taze him like I wanted to, we could’ve had a clean extraction! Fuck…
My balance wavers again, but this time Anderson is at my side to help me to a seat. “For the record, I agree with Xhen on this one. Off the record, I had a feeling you two’d come to blows at some point.”
I sigh as Xhen hands me an ice pack from the freezer. I press it against my swollen right eye. “Yeah yeah, I’m sure you did. What, did he somehow manage to place Komodo’s death on me?”
Anderson shakes his head at me. “You know he isn’t that kinda guy, Elijah. From the looks of it…” He glances back to Chase’s body sprawled on the ground. “From the looks of him, I don’t think he’s sharing any blame for that.”
I lean back into the upholstered seat as cool water condensation runs down my arm. “That’s…fair.” I look between Anderson and Xhen with my one good eye. “We should…probably call in that we’ve apprehended the suspect. I think Meiers’ll have some questions for him.”
The two of them look between one another for a moment. After a second, they both nod at me. I nod back, forcing myself back to standing. I’m still wobbly, but it’ll have to do. Anderson is first to speak, wrapping my arm over his shoulder for support. “Yes sir, though that can wait until we get you looked at.”
The irony of him calling me sir is enough to elicit a delirious chuckle from me as I’m helped out of the building. Xhen holds Chase’s now double-cuffed body over his shoulder as we exit from our intrusion. I can’t tell what all Bohemian knows, I’m just glad it’s not going to be me extracting it from him.
That’s the suits’ job, after all.
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2023.03.31 04:22 eman237 Negotiating salary help?

I have two job offers that were extended to me. The company I really want to work for came it at $5,000 less than the other offer. I told them about this and asked if there was any way to close the gap between their offer and my other offer (I asked very professionally and made it clear I would rather work for them). Their response was very nice but boiled down to “what are you targeting in terms of compensation?”
How should I respond to this?
submitted by eman237 to careerguidance [link] [comments]

2023.03.31 04:22 gomenosori Advice on micromanagement?

Hello all, in desperate need of advice here. Currently in Toronto, Ontario and been at this job since Nov 2021. We have a new director who has been trying to lay down the law with an iron fist. An example: he mentioned if we are 1 minute he will be deducting 30 minutes (which he claims is because of HR... which does not make sense, because why now?)
Recently, last week I was 20 minutes late (rare occurrence) because there was a major delay with streetcars. I promptly message my work chat and notified everyone and my team lead had acknowledged this. On Monday at 9AM while at work, I received a long message from my director - not through email, through messaging about my lateness that day as well as clocking in "late" 4x this time card. By late, he means before 8:05am. I had brought to his attention that he did mention a 5 minute grace period at the meeting and he put words in my mouth saying he is surprised I am taking advantage of this. I promptly shut that down and told him I am not taking advantage of this and brought up the banked hours I collected those mornings i clocked in 10-15 minutes early. I was notified they do not count as I do not see patients at the time HOWEVER I DO. That is the whole point of coming in early, to set up and take in people who arrive early. He also said in his messages that I should not complicate things further because I've already "been flagged". I told him promptly I found this very threatening and uncomfortable which he said he wished to meet because we were "reading in between the lines." I am seething right now because he has only messaged myself. There are people who come late every day and have not been messaged which makes me feel extremely defensive and targeted. I want to email HR as well as the chair of our organization to complain but how would I go about it?
I also had to use my team lead's computer and came across chat messages he sent her telling her I was pissed and to message everyone in the chat about lateness (which makes me believe he didn't plan on my reaction to be the way it was because I KNOW he only messaged myself) and about how he is unhappy with my attitude and mocked my "excuses" I.e. coming in 1-2 minutes late because of TTC and my elevators (I live on the 20th floor in an old building, sometimes it messes up but I am rarely late beyond 8am).
Thanks and sorry for my vent. I am so pissed. Please help
submitted by gomenosori to legaladvice [link] [comments]

2023.03.31 04:18 tables_04 I despise American healthcare

I’ve spent 18 years battling with CP. I was fine, until last year. Last year (junior year) I worked out at least 3 times a week, I was in marching and pep band. I took swim lessons. I was very active. This year I get a job, and still hit up the gym. The unthinkable happens to me, so I stop going to the gym. Then I slip on a cheese curd at work. A few weeks later my hip hurts and I’m diagnosed with tendonitis. Almost three months and one cortisone shot later I’m beginning to feel better.
I really became acquainted with my friend Mr. Wheelchair during these last few months. But Mr. Wheelchair isn’t quite fit for my needs, so we set out on the quest to find the perfect wheelchair. We found the perfect chair for my needs and begin the lengthy custom wheelchair process. But today we found out that insurance only covers 60% of the cost of the custom chair.
Welcome to America where we have horrible health care, and today some kid made a joke about having a gun in class, my first thought was “I’m the easiest target” and I had to imagine someone telling my little cousins why (tables) wasn’t here. But hey at least we as a country have freedom!
submitted by tables_04 to rant [link] [comments]

2023.03.31 04:08 Thin_Wolf9204 How do I get an incorrect AUD diagnosis removed from my medical records?

Many years ago I was accused of being drunk and disorderly while in the military. Long story short I was physically assault by some woman who was given my ID by police after she falsely claimed she was my ride. When I went to file a report, to my shirt (who was friends with the woman unknown to me) he instead took it to the woman a had her right a statement about what happened which he then claim he witnessed which was completely false. This resulted in an NJP and me being sent to ADAPT where they claimed I had an AUD - Mild. I went to a board who found the actions to be the result of targeting and unequal treatment.
I recently found out that this is something that is on my medical record which is preventing me from getting jobs I'm otherwise qualified for. I was able to get the documents and noticed a few things I think are wrong. The mental health technician falsely indicated 2 criteria from the DSM-5
  1. The first is that he indicated an increase in tolerance in 12 months because I said I wouldn't get as intoxicated off the same amount of drinks. But the question asked was regarding when I first started drinking (about 3 years prior at the time) compared to the current day
  2. The second is 'Has had incidents where alcohol was the cause or exacerbated". The MHT contacted my supervisor after the assessment, where he claimed alcohol was involved and he just took his word for it.

Based on these 2 I was diagnosed. I've never had an issue with alcohol and barely drank even then. If possible how can attempt to get this removed from my medical record? If I'm not able to get it removed based on misdiagnosis can I go to another doctor to do another assement and have it removed for not being a condition
submitted by Thin_Wolf9204 to AskDocs [link] [comments]

2023.03.31 03:41 ChevyT1996 This will age like wine

This will age like wine submitted by ChevyT1996 to Enough_Sanders_Spam [link] [comments]

2023.03.31 03:41 ChevyT1996 This will age like wine

This will age like wine submitted by ChevyT1996 to jimmydore [link] [comments]

2023.03.31 03:39 nicki2055 how do I know if I have a bad skateboard?

My skateboard I got years ago from my grandma for christmas and I'm surprised it lasted so long, the bad news is that when me and my dad put new bushings on the thing we got them on, but we had to pull up the pegs to let us even get the bushings from unfortunately maybe too tight, I think I remember my grandma might have gotten it from target or walmart, I guess I'll have to go with until mine breaks or I get a job to get enough money for a new one. I'm thinking about getting a job at a skate shop, I think the skate shop repairs blades too. I'm good at fixing skateboards but it seems like blades are harder to fix, although I could learn.
submitted by nicki2055 to NewSkaters [link] [comments]

2023.03.31 03:39 TheLifeandTimesofTim Flexjet / HZON Write Up

Hey SPACs. It's been a long while and most of you might not know me. I used to be quite active here circa 2021. Though I haven't done much in SPACs since, I have accumulated a sizable bet on HZON warrants (~15% of portfolio). Here is my write up on Flexjet and the HZON deal.
IMPORTANT NOTES: Because I spilled tea on my main laptop and its currently unusable (I'm writing from an older macbook), I wasn't able to upload many images in this post — which are essential. Nevertheless, I uploaded the text on this post, as I was required to use more words in this post given it's a DD. So please read the linked Google doc version. Aslo, the parts that talk about warrants and SPACs in general will be obvious to many people here (I wrote this for a more general audience originally).
All feedback, skepticism, and criticism is welcome!
Disclosures: (1) I own both HZON common shares and warrants. This is not a recommendation to invest without first verifying the information that is relevant to your decision to invest. (2) The information in this write up is from March 25, 2023 and may or may not be updated thereafter depending on the format.



Company Background

Flexjet began as part of Bombardier Aerospace in 1995 and has been owned and managed since 2013 by Michael Silvestro and Ken Ricci. The two were roommates at Notre Dame and are both licensed pilots and seasoned aviation industry entrepreneurs. Silvestro is currently the longest serving CEO in the private aviation industry.
Flexjet will be the first publicly traded company of its kind that is profitable. The company offers services across the whole aviation spectrum: on-demand jet chartering, jet card programs, fractional ownership, full ownership, and vertical lift (helicopter service). Although fractional ownership remains the core of their business, customers are able to trade up or opt for complimentary services with minimal friction – while remaining with Flexjet. Fractional owners typically enter into 4-5 year contracts. Such customers tend to be exceptionally loyal; over a third of current customers have been with Flexjet for 10+ years. The proceeds from these contracts cover the bulk of the cost for Flexjet’s new aircraft purchases.

Competition and market position

Flexjet has operational advantages that allow it to provide more dependable and convenient transportation than what is offered by others. The company has the largest controlled (or in-house) maintenance network and is the only company with complete paint, interior, and engineering capabilities. Pilot attrition is also low; more than a third of crew members have been with the company for 15+ years. This leads to a higher level of expertise and consistency. Likewise, pilots are assigned to a specific airplane typically, and Flexjet estimates that this familiarity with a particular aircraft increases dispatch availability by 7%. Relatedly, Flexjet employees express high levels of job satisfaction and pilots receive the highest pay in the industry. This is especially advantageous in the long run because labor issues have plagued major airlines and private aviation companies like NetJets in the past.
NetJets (a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway) is the largest private aviation services company, with a 25% market share. Flexjet compares favorably to Netjets on several important metrics.
Flexjet has also been consistently gobbling up share at NetJets’ expense in recent years. In 2010, NetJets’ market share was 5x that of Flexjet. That gap has since narrowed dramatically, as shown below.

General private aviation market

Private jet use by affluent individuals (who make up ~40% of Flexjet’s business) will likely grow much faster than from corporate clients. Fewer than 10% of affluent people who could afford to fly privately did so pre-COVID. Though that percentage has surely increased since, data on the increase in private travel suggests that it remains below 20%. And the number of millionaires is expected to grow by 7% annually over the next 5 years. One market research firm projects that the overall charter flight market is expected to grow north of 12% annually through 2029. My estimates are more conservative. NetJets’ revenue growth from 2009–2016 was ~7%. By adjusting for NetJets’ declining market share, I estimate the underlying market grew by 8% annually during that period. This is roughly the rate at which I expect the overall market to grow annually over the next 5 years.
On the corporate client side, there seems to be less room for growth (at least domestically). Around 65% of mid to large-cap US corporations already use private travel today. There is evidence of a near-term slide in corporate jet use. Nevertheless, the most recent FAA data for 2023 shows business jet travel to be 4% above the pre-COVID trendline. I expect future growth to be in line with the longer term trend of 1–2% per year.

Financial profile, valuation, and projections

From 2019–2022, Flexjet’s EBITDA has grown by more than 40% annually while revenue grew by 20% per year. A large portion of revenue is reliable, as 90% are committed hours from multi-year contracts (see slide 25). EBITDA margins are 12.5% and EBT margins are north of 5%. Perhaps due to the regulatory uncertainty around projections for SPAC deals, the presentation does not include any guidance or forecasts beyond 2022. And HZON has not yet filed its form S-4, which is expected in April or May, leaving us with an incomplete picture of the company’s financials. Thus, the largest risk that stood out to me initially was whether margins and revenue would revert to normal levels that are considerably lower.
To illustrate the upside and risks, I made projections under two different sets of assumptions. In Scenario 1, earnings grow by ~9-10% annually over the next 5 years. I consider this to be a base case, and it entails that by 2027:
Note: This level of growth is also consistent with my best guess at Flexjet’s growth from 2009-2016 (12.2%) – which I arrived at independently by taking NetJets’ revenue growth and adjusting for Flexjet’s relative market share gain per year. This is the best method to I could find for estimating Flexjet’s growth. That is, at least until HZON files its form S-4 with the SEC (likely in the next month or two), which could give fuller picture of past financial performance.
Given that Scenario 1 is good but not great, it is important to see what would happen if demand for private aviation and margins prove unsustainable. If this would result in a dramatic drop off in earnings, there being a small but non-negligible chance of this occurring (>10%) could be enough to outweigh the high chance of Scenario 1 playing out. Conversely, if Scenario 2 is on the moderate side, this makes a bet on Scenario 1 more defensible. Scenario 2 is a bad-case scenario that assumes that by 2027:
Notes, Assumptions, and Sources
  1. Credit Suisse 2022 Global Wealth Report forecasts a 13% increase in US millionaires over the next 5 years and a 40% increase globally. Flexjet has an international presence, which it aims to expand, and the global affluent travel within the US. So to arrive at the increase in millionaires who are potential Flexjet customers, I gave 30% weight to the international growth number and 70% to the US number.
  2. FAA business jet data (updated 03/2023): average annual increase from 2015-2020; Robb Report: survey of S&P 500 firms and 47 executives at businesses with $500M+ plus in sales
  3. Calculations available upon request
  4. Assumes corporate jet travel reverts halfway between current levels and the pre-COVID trendline by 2027
In short, it doesn’t seem that Flexjet’s margins are all that far above normal as a result of the recent private travel boom. From 2010–2016, I estimate that NetJets averaged pre-tax (EBT) margins of 4.7%. So Flexjet’s 5.3% EBT margins do appear to be above average, but not extraordinarily so. Although revenue is elevated, the surge in private travel can be sustained given the low starting proportion of affluent people flying privately and the growth in that underlying population. Flexjet has demonstrated an ability to take market share, and there remains opportunity to continue doing so. The downside is not extreme enough to overshadow the upside.

Horizon Acquisition Corp II and Deal Structure

Horizon Acquisition Corp II (HZON) is led by Todd Boehly’s Eldridge Industries. Eldridge is headed by Todd Boehly, who built Guggenheim’s credit business and has since amassed a multi-billion dollar fortune by investing in private companies. Their investments include the Los Angeles Dodgers, Dick Clark Productions, and DraftKings. The deal was proposed on October 12th and is expected to close in Q2 of 2023. Eldridge is investing $300M in Flexjet at $10 per share. Moreover, Eldridge has structured the deal so that they are fully aligned with all shareholders by converting their founder shares to warrants (more on this later). Boehly’s previous SPAC merged with Vivid Seats (Nasdaq: SEAT) in October of 2021. The deal was unique in several respects.
First, Vivid Seats has been profitable since going public. Although SEAT is down ~30% from its deal price, it has traded closely in line with the performance of the Russell 2000 (the relevant, small cap index) during this time – which declined by 25% to date. SEAT has fared much better than the IPO index (IPO), which is down 55% during that time frame. Further, SEAT warrants have remained above $2 for most of the year, a value that’s 3x that of HZON warrants currently. Second, despite this share price depreciation, Vivid Seats has surpassed both their initial revenue and earnings forecasts, as shown below.

Information on SPAC Warrants for those unfamiliar

A warrant is a contract that gives you the right to purchase a share of common stock in the future at a certain price. This price is typically $11.5 or 15% above the SPAC’s $10 common share price at IPO. If a SPAC fails to make a deal or if an agreed upon deal is terminated, the warrants become worthless. Deal termination has been far more common in the past 18 months as a result of market volatility. And the warrant usually does not expire for 5 years after the completion of the SPAC merger unless warrants are called for cashless redemption, a scenario detailed later. Although warrants can be illiquid at times, you always have the option to sell warrants in the open market. In order for HZON warrants to be worth less than their current value after the merger, common shares would need to trade down by about 60%. This would equate to a valuation of 10 times pre-tax earnings. For reference, the average small or mid-cap stock in the Russell 2000 is valued at over 14 times earnings; and this is a historically large discount to larger companies, which are valued at 17x today. Here’s how the market is currently valuing warrants for former SPACs:
Note: The data consists of only current outstanding warrants. It therefore gives a conservative picture of the risk-reward, as de-SPACs that trade above $10 usually call their outstanding warrants for cashless redemption – thereby taking them off the market. So the sample below does not include the bulk of best performing de-SPACs. However, it also does not include de-SPACs valued below $3. Such de-SPACs overwhelmingly consist of companies that are unprofitable or extremely indebted.
Alternatively, if shares appreciate or stay flat following the SPAC merger, companies often choose to call warrants for cashless redemption. This is allowed if the stock price exceeds $10 for a certain period of time post-merger (generally 20 out of the last 30 trading days). In this scenario, you can exchange warrants for a fractional number of shares at a ratio specified in a table from the SPAC IPO prospectus. The fractional share values are a function of the stock price and the remaining time to warrant expiry. For example, with common shares at $11 twelve months after the merger, each warrant would be convertible to .263 shares – making each warrant worth $2.89. When cashless redemption is announced, the market for warrants becomes far more liquid – as arbitrageurs step in to exploit any discrepancy between the value of the common shares and warrants. So you should be able to sell warrants quickly after the announcement. Or if you opt to convert your warrants to shares, you can then trade these shares just like any other stock.
This graph shows the approximate result on one’s entire portfolio of putting 2.5% of that portfolio in HZON warrants in both scenarios (cashless redemption or market sale):
HZON warrants are currently trading around $0.55. Assuming the deal closes, this means that if cashless redemption is announced sometime in 2023 while shares are valued at ~$10, your return would be ~300%. Or if common shares trade north of $6 (16x EBT), warrants should return 100% within 6 months in the open market.

Questions, Concerns, and Risks

Why does this opportunity exist?
I see a few potential reasons. First, SPACs are not just currently out of favor – they’re detested. And many investors (professional and retail alike) have completely jumped ship. So there are simply very few buyers and many sellers. Arbitrage funds, for example, who effectively acquired warrants from the HZON IPO for free are set up to take profits quickly. They are not in the business of betting on certain companies. For this reason, even when SPACs were all the rage, the market tended to treat all warrants for SPACs that are months away from closing similarly. There often wasn’t a premium placed on warrants for a SPAC that chose a profitable business nor for SPACs with sponsors who commit substantial funding to the deal. While these factors are not necessarily predictive of upside in common shares, they do protect against downside in warrants. This presents an asymmetrical opportunity.
Deal termination risk
In 2022, 102 SPAC deals closed and there were 60 deal terminations. This 62% success rate is eyebrow-raising. But it’s important to keep in mind that most of these deals were announced in the equity boom of 2021. This resulted in two related problems. First, SPAC deals were overwhelmingly made with smaller growth companies (and often unprofitable ones). After comparable public companies fell by 40-80% in 2022, these deals simply no longer make sense for investors. Many deals struck at $10 in 2021 had a fair market value of $2-6 by 2022. SPAC common shareholders therefore elected to redeem their shares for $10 prior to the merger. Second, two-thirds of SPACs that terminated in 2022 and 2023 lacked substantial committed investments, i.e. PIPEs or backstops. Indeed, of the 21 SPACs that both announced and terminated deals since the start of 2022, only one had more than $200M of committed proceeds (CRHC). So the deals that were expected to deliver hundreds of millions in proceeds to their target companies were left with less than 20% of that amount – sometimes less than 5%. And since SPACs come with dilution, many companies backed out of deals once this dilution was no longer offset by significant funding. None of these issues apply to HZON. Eldridge has committed $300M to the deal. And since the deal was struck near the market low in October of 2022, the most comparable companies cited in Flexjet’s investor presentation have appreciated by 25% on average since.
Flexjet’s market share relative to NetJets dropped substantially in 2021, which seems alarming
At first glance, this ~8% drop seems grounds for concern. However, when put into context, it appears much less so. The investor presentation only contains relative market share data from 2019–2021. But a Berkshire Hathaway letter from 2010 revealed that the ratio of NetJet flight hours was five times that of its closest competitor, i.e. Flexjet. This means Flexjet’s relative share compared to Netjets was 20%. Given that we know that Flexjet’s relative share was 33% in 2019, this amounts to a 5.5% annual increase in relative market share from 2010–2019. Projecting this trend through 2021 would put Flexjet’s relative share at 34%. Since the actual number is 36%, it appears that the 7.7% drop was merely a reversion to a healthy trend after an extraordinary increase in share in 2020.
A tidbit for those who made it this far: John Travolta is an avid pilot and once Flexjet takes delivery of its first supersonic Travolta has signed up to do the inaugural flight!
submitted by TheLifeandTimesofTim to SPACs [link] [comments]

2023.03.31 03:36 FLUFFCAT13 Captain's Collapse: Part 17

well, this is it. the last part of CC that I'll be posting for the next 3 weeks. I have a lot coming up very soon, but I'll be back after the holidays to finish this off. as for New Smith, part 3 will be out on the weekend, but I'll be taking a shorter break from it too.
this time, everything is starting to come together. the Scions are out of their battle honeymmon now, with causalties stacking up and an arms race coming to a head, so they're in big trouble, but it looks like there are some skeletons in the closet as well. oh, and Orvin and Flick are off for a little trip to Axiom 5 for some fun away from all those responsibilities, but there will be a short chapter on their misadventures when I come back.
and, as always, enjoy this absolute mess
Subject Memory Transcription: Orvin, Venlil Civilian
Breaking into a shipyard and “reacquiring” my ship. It sounded easy on paper, but in practice, as these things always are, it was a daunting task.
Focus. You have a job to do, so don’t get distracted
I stalked along the chain link fenceline, until I found the spot. I stopped, and let my claws cleave through the barrier like it was made of wet paper. I traced a second line down to the ground, then bent the cutaway upwards, making a clean entrance.
“Least you could do is wait for me. I mean, I know this isn’t supposed to be drawn out, but I haven’t got the stamina to just keep walking for so long” Flick leaned on the fence to catch his breath. This might be a problem. “Pass the water please.”
I fished inside my satchel, and tossed the water bottle I brought over to him. He caught it effortlessly, took a swig, and passed it back. “Look, if it’s that bad, you carry the bag and I’ll carry you, alright? We really haven’t got the time for this.” I scanned the area again, and there was still no sign of movement.
He grinned, and I could see those flat teeth glimmer under the faint ultraviolet of the moonlight. We had picked the best time to break in, as his tidally locked planet only had actual nighttime darkness for a short time every few weeks. “Sounds good. As the humans say, giddy up horsey.” I shook my head and chuckled. “Say that again and I strap you to the roof of the ship, Ini-shu gelta
My Venlil was coming along in leaps and bounds. I barely needed my external translator anymore, and was even able to speak fairly fluently in a more casual version of the language. The writing was still a bit difficult for me, but that was more a matter of adjusting to the angular characters over the curves I was used to rather than a language barrier. Of course, none of this would be possible without that part of my brain that was custom-engineered for learning new languages quickly with the help of a second, delayed translator to feed the meaning in just after the word. But it didn’t really matter, as the main reason I was so dedicated to learning was because his face always lit up when I spoke in his native tongue, even if it was only to call him a fluffy goblin.
He gave me a gentle punch in the arm as he passed, and we kept moving. Once past the fence, we started working our way through the wide array of small spacecraft, searching for mine. When a flashlight illuminated the ground ahead, we hauled ourselves onto the wing of one of the larger crafts and waited in silence as footsteps went by. It was absolutely thrilling, this misadventure into such a heavily patrolled area.
Once the Terran guard had passed by, I dropped down silently, and caught him when he came after me, taking care not to let my high-traction boots slide on the gravel. But then, as I stepped forward, the ground crunched under me, and the Terran spun on his heels
Time to haul ass
I didn’t wait for the hairless, armoured brute to react. She stood at least a foot taller than me, and significantly wider, but I knew I could easily outrun her. I took Flick’s paw, he nodded at me, and we sprinted full-tilt down the row. The Terran yelled something from behind us, but we were rapidly putting distance between us and her. Until I ran headfirst into another one, knocking us both over. He struggled upright, but two more guards came to his aid, surrounding us.
Well, shit
But Flick stepped forward and held out a sheet of paper. The tallest of the three took it, read it, and passed it back, before saying something I couldn’t decipher into his radio and nodding at us.
“Come on, lets move. We need to find that ship.”
Flick was panting after our sudden frenzied sprint, but he somehow acted calm and collected, as if this nothing had happened.
“No, hang on, why did they just leave us alone? I don’t have my translator in, so I didn’t understand a word of what they said.” He just shook his head and laughed. “You know, bureaucracy isn’t always your enemy. Sometimes, you just need to go through the right channels to do something.”
That little shit
I was being very, very patient here with his nonsense. “So you’re telling me that we are legally allowed to be here doing this, that we could have just waltzed in through the front desk and straight up to my ship, and you just… didn’t tell me?” But he just dismissed it. “Look, we could have gone in the easy way, but you were enjoying planning our little adventure, so I opted to let you have your fun. Come on, this is the fun way.”
Then, I saw it. Those purple hand painted flames on the silver hull, and the small lumps dotted across the armour, each one showing the position of a shield generator. There it was, in all its glory, the SkyBreaker.
Subject Memory Transcription: Commander Yek’ta, Scion Gunship Etemar
Fighting a melee battle against an Arxur horde was something every Scion dreamed of. It was exhilarating, cutting down opponents one after the other with huge blades whirling like ribbons in my massive paws. Shots ricocheted off my plate armour and sparks flew as the reptiles launched every round they had at me, but I simply pushed on.
One of them tripped as he backed away firing, and almost instinctively I swung one arm around and let go, sending three hundred kilograms of titanium straight through his chest and into the ground. A rocket burst on my back, but I shook the impact off, threw myself forward, tore the blade out from the soil and brick, and swung it around in a wide arc, tearing half a dozen Arxur in half as the razor edge sliced effortlessly through their thin body armour and snapped their bones as it passed. Nothing could defend against the sheer force of my blade, and that was evident when I brought it overhead and downwards onto one Arxur with a gigantic shield and shotgun.
The satisfying crunch of arxur being smeared and splattered like rotten fruit was enough to keep my bloodlust moving, and I slowly carved a path through the huge horde and towards my target. Nothing could stop me, nothing could get in my way. Nothing.
And then, the radio crackle.
It was just a buzz, but got louder and louder until it was a scream across every frequency. A light sprung from the upper atmosphere like a second sun, as the Etemar unloaded half of its core into the Arxur fleet above, signalling the end of the battle. The remaining reptiles fled at the sight of it, taking pot-shots as they ran, but orbital precision strikes rained down across the field like a hailstorm of nuclear wrath, tearing up the ground and reducing Arxur to atoms.
And that was it. It was so anticlimactic. I had hoped for a real fight when I was told I was being deployed as a scout team leader, but instead all I got were more targets with no satisfaction from slaying them. Of course, my team were cheering and waving their new weapons as our pickups dropped from above.
Was this really necessary for a weapons test?
Looking around at the carnage now that the adrenalin rush was over, I saw corpses in various states of mutilation scattered and splattered across the wide field that was once a blood-camp. Some of them were only hatchlings, sent in with the biggest weapons they could carry, and then smeared across rock and soil by a hurricane of bullets when they came up against us.
I shook off my sudden urge to kneel and pay respects to the fallen, and instead headed to a transport craft, which had me onboard my own ship within minutes.
“Commander, good to see you’re not injured. I thought that burster shot would have torn your armour to shreds, but I guess I was wrong.” the friendly squeaks of my new Venlil officer told me he shared no such guilt about attacking the Arxur, and I really couldn’t blame him. They had terrorised his world for centuries, and then burned his home colony to the ground once they grew bored of tormenting the defenceless fluffballs. He wanted them dead, because it was his war. We wanted them dead because…
Because what? Because you don’t like what they’re doing? Is this somehow supposed to atone for the countless atrocities your precursors committed? Is this supposed to bring some sort of cosmic forgiveness, for all the species your race tore to shreds? Or is this supposed to be your apology for what they did the the Fa’Ree
I was drifting, and the crash brought on from the sudden lack of adrenalin was making it so much worse. I could feel my whole body growing weightless, and sounds became muffled and distant as memories came back again to haunt me. I remembered those tapes we were shown in school, the ones on Scion history. Our educators used them to explain why we left behind everyone, why our home burned. But the one that stuck with me was footage of a massive Scion commander, wearing a cap almost identical to the one I wore when at the helm, tormenting a defenceless fluffy rodent that was barely a fifth of his size. It was horrifying to watch, but it cemented into my brain the idea, no, knowledge, that the old Scion ways were unforgivable crimes against all life.
The pinprick of tiny claws sinking into my forearm snapped me back to reality.
“Commander, hello, are you listening?” the Admiral was clearly frustrated, but all I could do was nod dumbly as twisted images and foggy memories swirled in my half-awake mind. “As I was saying, our tests have yielded some great results. Some fine tuning on the new rifles will be necessary, but they are very effective at reducing opponents to fine grey paste. As for ammunition, lowering the rate of fire will be necessary, as even the back-mounted belt feed can’t keep that thing running for very long, and reloading is so slow that just swapping rifles is faster, so we need more sustain. Other than that, this has been a massive success, and we’re one step closer to beating back the Arxur once and for all.”
I finally managed to force words out through my dry mouth, and croaked that I was going to go to my quarters, before passing him my helmet with the sensor data in it and heading back to my room.
I stripped the plate armour off piece by piece under the steaming water, taking care to scrub every inch clean of stains, before placing them in the bathtub of resin to seal up any scratches and reapply the coating that protected against electricity. It was a slow process, but it kept my paws and mind busy and away from the pressing questions. Finally, once the last of the heavy titanium plates was thoroughly cleansed, I let it sink in the amber goo and washed the grime and gore from my own fur. There wasn’t much to clean, as the armour gave almost complete coverage of my body, but it was still important as I didn’t want to track blood or other fluids across my room.
But as the steam and boiling water washed the filth away, those memories came back. Of that poor little creature from the tapes, played with like a toy until the commander grew bored and tossed it aside. Of my brutality with the Arxur, and how I tore a captured one to shreds with my bare paws because he laughed when I mentioned the Venlil. Of the mighty war machine that was being awakened after centuries of dormancy and brought into a galaxy utterly unprepared for it. But most of all, of the secret that the Captain could never know.
When I learned of the Federation’s crimes, I was shocked beyond belief. They tortured their own children for showing signs of a boogyman disease. They wiped entire cultures out simply for daring to eat meat. They had started this whole war, and had committed crimes just as cruel and unspeakable as any of the Arxur’s or even our own. But I could never tell anyone.
If word of such things reached the Captain, he would declare war on our supporters as well. He had no respect for diplomacy of any kind, but what scared me was that we could likely win such a pointless fight. Even without the advantage of disposable equipment, we still had the supplies to invade hundreds of worlds, and the firepower to reduce any we couldn’t reach to stardust. If the Captain knew, he would have us wipe out the whole galaxy, and there was nothing I could do to stop it.
I had one option, but it wasn’t a good one.
But there’s only so long you can keep this hidden. If you strike now, you can still set this right. Wait any longer, and the Captain will stop you.
I cut the water, dried off, picked up my holopad from the table, and made the call
Lets hope she picks up
Subject Memory Transcription: First Mate Reyna, Scion City-Fleet
When the call came through, I was trying to unwind after a trying day. The Captain had been onboard this morning, and had dismembered an unfortunate security officer who had blocked his access to the bridge. He had all but thrown a tantrum once he got to the helm, and put two chairs through the rear wall when he found out I had reorganised the fleet into production arrangements rather than ordering raids all the time. He had even gone as far as to break the arm of the poor sap who was reading the casualty reports when he learned we lost over a hundred soldiers in our most recent battle.
So much for don’t shoot the messenger
With every passing day, Denver grew more unstable and more impulsive. His last order before leaving with his squadron again was to “always have a world burning”, and demanded so under threat of being fed to the Ahk-Venra if we disobeyed. Even his most loyal supporters were tired of this, and very sick of being under constant threat of injury or death when he was on deck.
And, through all of it, he still played favourites with me, as if he hadn’t left me to do all the work and run off to live out his fantasies. Maybe I would have taken his offer of leaving his door open last night if it was two months ago when I was new, but now I only was repulsed by the idea of spending any unnecessary time with that…
That monster
So, when one of the Commanders contacted me asking for the floor plan of the Captain’s ship and the whereabouts of our old Captain, I was more than happy to oblige. I knew exactly what he was doing this for, and decided to make an offer.
“Here’s the deal Commander; I give you all the supplies you need, and cover your ass if things go south, on one condition. I get to kill the Captain, without interference.”
He was more than happy to take the offer, and even gave me the option of using his personal favourite ripper blade for the job, which I happily took, as my own had been “borrowed” by Denver and likely lost somewhere onboard a cattle ship. It was time for some revenge.
I got to work planning my next meeting with Denver the moment he hung up, and had a complete plan before the clock on my wall read midnight.
Now all I need to do is wait
Subject Memory Transcription: Captain Denver, Scion City-Fleet
The Zurulian medical fleet was hovering just off in the distance as I scanned the battlefield, searching for any survivors.
The Arxur had attacked a large shipment of medical supplies and personnel, but were too slow in disabling comms, which alerted us to their distress signals. Of course, it was a trap, but a trap set for Federation ships, not ours. In fact, these reptiles had probably never even seen our ships before, judging by the way they floundered when we dropped in.
FTL disruptors had left their energy bubbles across the system, and a million smoke trails formed a spiderweb of missile paths and railgun shots. None of it mattered though. The Arxur assault ships had been reduced to smouldering wrecks when my personal light gunship, the Eternus, had dropped out of its jump with cannons already charged, and our fighters made swift work of any remaining frigates and bombers. When the second, larger ambush fleet had arrived, however, we found trouble. They had brought an array of huge energy weapons I had never seen before. Every Arxur ship unloaded their cannons into one satellite ship, which then redirected all of that energy in a continuous beam that was strong enough to break shields.
We had lost the Eternus to that weapon. Its beam had broken through the shielding array and split the hull. Thankfully, it missed the core, so there was no detonation, but it had hit the bridge, life support, and engines as the beam slowly passed along the hull. A dozen Scion fighters lay in ruins around the satellite, unfortunate enough to get caught in the beam as they went in for the killing blow.
It was that moment that every Arxur had learned what a Scion’s wrath truly looked like. I had led a fighter sweep across their fleet and reduced them to nuclear smears across the fabric of spacetime, making sure to cut down every single escape ship as they left. We had sent huge boarding parties onto every Zurulian ship and hunted every last reptile with the same brutal ferocity that they showed to their prey.
Of course, the fleet was extremely grateful for their salvation, regarding our losses as minimal, as it was a fairly small ship that was lost. They had given us one of their transport frigates to carry our wounded fighters home, as well as medical supplies galore to patch our wounds. But I knew that nothing could replace this loss.
While most species could simply create a new ship to replace lost ones, Scions had no such advantage. Every fighter, every frigate, every gunship, was an irreplaceable relic from an age long gone, the knowledge of their workings destroyed three centuries ago. Losing even the Eternus was a crippling blow, as that meant thousands of lives and hundreds of invaluable parts were now gone, snuffed out by a weapon that the Arxur could easily rebuild and spread across the galaxy.
I brought the communications link up between my ship and the Solaris, which was sitting a few hundred lightyears away on the surface of a cleansed world. Reyna answered, looking as tired as ever. “Yes, Captain? I assume you’re calling to tell me that it was just another Arxur attack?” she was very tired of being the replacement Captain while I was gone, but there was always something that needed my personal attention. “No,” I replied, much to her surprise. “I’m calling to announce the loss of the Eternus. The Arxur made a weapon that can break our shields and armour, and tore open the ship from nose to tail, thankfully not hitting the core. We’re returning in a commandeered Zurulian frigate, so hold your fire when you see us in orbit. While I’m on my way, I need you to gather every commander for a meeting in my quarters.”
She was staring slack-jawed, so I cut the transmission and prepped our engines for the next jump. Of course, I had to overheat my core to generate a warp bubble large enough to cover our makeshift fleet, but it was nothing my ship couldn’t handle with a bit of coaxing.
When we arrived in orbit, the gunship Riori took the frigate onboard, while I broke atmosphere and made a landing in the starboard hangar on the Solaris. It was only a short trip from there to my quarters, and then I was seated at the large round table surrounded by commanders.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m here to report a very concerning development in the Arxur arsenal. They appear to have created a sort of focusing device to turn ion volleys from a full fleet into a single concentrated beam. They used this against us in an ambush attack, which caused the loss of the gunship Eternus.”
There was a chorus of gasps and muttered curses as I put my ship’s nose cam footage onto a large screen on the wall. As the video played, a single orange pinprick hit the very tip of the Eternus, causing the shields to glow as they resisted the damage. Then, a pulse as the beam widened into its full power, and there was a shimmer across the impact area as shields gave out. The beam moved slowly across the side of the ship, hitting gun emplacements and launch tubes alike and causing smaller explosions all across the surface, until finally it stopped as the focusing lens was destroyed by a nuclear warhead knocking it out of position and into the path of a missile barrage.
“Everyone, this is no longer a leisure battle. Now, we can’t just send in small assault teams to burn outposts and disable ships. We need to stop all of our small assaults and end this war, together. I have gathered you here today, not to ask for your cooperation, not to request ships, but to instruct all of you to prepare for a full fleet assault tomorrow morning. In 23 hours, we will jump to the Arxur forge-world of Nitanka, and destroy it. No more capturing prisoners, no more mercy. We are going to send a clear message to every reptile in the galaxy, that we are not playing games anymore.” I took a deep breath as the commanders began their muttering and arguing again, before continuing.
“Every single one of you is commanding a ship that can scorch an entire system and reduce fleets to rubble, and it’s about time we made use of them. From this day forward, we work as one fleet. The Scion fleet.”
One of them stood up and slammed her fist on the table. I Recognised this commander due to her size as Mra’sha, a skilled logistics expert and true hardened warrior from our many farm-world raids. She had always been firmly with me on anything involving the Arxur, until now. “Captain, this is absurd. We lost one light gunship, and now you’re demanding we all pull back and just let the Arxur reclaim those worlds we fought tooth and claw for?” even though she was the only one saying it, I could tell that this was the general feeling of a lot of my commanders, and it needed to be addressed.
“No. I’m saying we regroup, and put an end to the Arxur once and for all. They can’t make a move on our liberated territories if we cut their command and their supply lines off. This isn’t a question of who does what, this is now a race against time. If the enemy can build enough weapons before we kill them all, it’s over for us, and probably for the Federation as well. So we’re not abandoning worlds, we’re pushing forward and finishing what we started.”
It took hours of endless debating before every commander was with me. The only one missing from the meeting was Yek’ta, who was currently on a deployment to an Arxur blood-camp in a weapons test, but I would brief him on the situation when he returned. For now, we could go without the Etemar’s support. 27 heavy gunships and 14 cargo carriers should be more than enough to cover the Solaris while we charged up cannons. Of course, I didn’t tell Reyna about any of this. Despite how hard she worked, I could tell she despised me for all my absence, and would likely kill me on the spot if I told her what I was planning.
Despite everything that had happened to us recently, the Scion fleet was mostly untouched. In fact, only around three hundred losses had been sustained across all of our infantry deployments. But that was all about to change now that the enemy could do real damage to us.
Subject Memory Transcription: Commander Yek’ta, Scion Gunship Etemar
I couldn’t sleep that night, so instead I spent hours endlessly browsing our archives. Every major ship in the fleet had a data core holding all of the knowledge that we escaped with, and being the commander of this one, I had unrestricted access to all of it. Of course, huge amounts were lost or deleted in the first generation of our journey, but there was still most of our history in here.
I dug and dug, going through endless security checks, before eventually I found what I was looking for: the file on the Fa’Ree. Before opening it, I double checked the room for any spyware, and ran a full diagnostic on my holopad just in case someone had been tracing me. Nothing came up though, so I continued.
Species Name: Fa’Ree
Home World: A380N6K “Mik’Raka”
Description: small, furred rodents. Average height of 108cm, average weight of 34kg. Extremely flexible, cold resistant, and resilient, with high pain tolerance.
Nature: Submissive, docile, easily intimidated. Often willing to risk injury to please superior beings. Revere Scions as god-like powers.
History: The Fa’Ree were a race founded in the 4th genesis fleet’s sweep across sector L in 96457. Life began as small reptiles, before Fa’Ree emerged from subterranean tunnel networks to hunt said reptiles once their planet stabilised. Once contacted by Scion diplomats and properly uplifted, the Fa’Ree were able to use advanced decryption knowledge to unlock salvaged Scion data core C-457-L, and discovered their true origins. Immediately after this, a cultural revolution brought a religious institute to power, which then began the later widespread practice of Scion worship. Following this, large colonies were established on Scion 2, before a mass migration of 97% of Fa’Ree population to Scion 1 & 2.
Following the mass migration, Scion officials discovered the extreme flexibility and resilience of Fa’Ree in a medical study, which led to them being implemented as servants across Scion fleets. Most Fa’Ree were used as cooking and repair personnel, or in other less popular roles generally considered dull. Across the Scion empire, approximately 200 Fa’Ree worlds were established, yielding a total of over 3.7 trillion servants.
Of particular note on the Fa’Ree is their cultural hierarchy post-migration. Fa’Ree culture was reorganised around the worship and servitude of Scions, with large facilities being constructed for the sole purpose of finding the most suitable roles for individuals. Fa’Ree were noted to be very obedient and respectful, as well as very dismissive of any injuries sustained during service. Higher ranking Fa’Ree would often have just 1 to 2 offspring per family unit, and send their young into temporary servitude once they came of age before allowing them to become leaders. This was generally considered to be a test of sorts, and only those who returned strong would be allowed to wear the traditional ruby studded robes given to royalty.
There was a photo attached of a Scion diplomat standing with a trio of well-dressed Fa’Ree, with a fourth sitting on his shoulders in what looked to be a polyoxide synthetic dress, which even in the height of the empire’s technological prowess, would have cost a small fortune to manufacture. Looking closer, I could see the collar on the dress-wearing rodent’s wrist, which had a faint green glow to it. That would be the depleted uranium bracelet that was so infamous as a sign of servitude.
I felt sick just looking at the picture. Everyone looked so happy, even the poor slave that was returning from 2 years of servitude. Seeing such a vulnerable species so brainwashed, so helpless, made me want to smash this screen and never look again. But I knew this wasn’t just a history lesson. Knowing that the Scions had done such horrific cultural genocide before was one thing, but with how easily manipulated federation species were, it would likely become a repeating pattern. I couldn’t bring myself to finish the species dossier.
I flicked the screen off and closed my eyes, letting the low hum of our engines lull me into a deep sleep free from nightmares of not too long gone demons.
while you're here, why not check out my other work?
submitted by FLUFFCAT13 to NatureofPredators [link] [comments]

2023.03.31 03:30 Alarmed-Handles I Got no SAT/ACT

I did great in high school and got a great GPA, I have took a gap year and I have a done a lot of things working in office job, developing good hobbies etc...
Although, I am missing something which is the SAT/ACT I am now afraid to take them cause I have been away from education for a long time.
Is it really crucial to have those scores if my aim to get into a “great” college not necessarily the “best”.
I have discovered that I have a passion for finance, and I want to major in a college that is at least targeted from companies/banks that hire finance students.
US universities are not a target.
submitted by Alarmed-Handles to ApplyingToCollege [link] [comments]

2023.03.31 03:08 VW84GTI What Federal jobs to target as a veteran with an Environmental Science BS?

I’m not sure what I’m most eligible for and what I could target. I’ve been doing industrial environmental permits for 6 years and 3 years of due-diligence work.
Am I fooling myself thinking I’m competing against 200 qualified candidates with PHD or Masters degrees?
submitted by VW84GTI to Environmental_Careers [link] [comments]

2023.03.31 03:02 ItzPayDay123 Mid (for T20) half-Asian shotgunner gets way luckier than expected (+new stress for next year)

Intended Major(s): Biology
Standardized Testing
List all extracurricular involvements, including leadership roles, time commitments, major achievements, etc.
  1. Boy Scouts Eagle Scout: led project to build nesting boxes for threatened birds of prey (kestrels) in my local park system. Organized my troop into building these boxes and then placing them around the area. Rank took about 6-7 years to earn, project went on over a course of half a year from planning to completion.
  2. Multiple NAUI SCUBA certifications, including Open Water, Advanced, Rescue, Cave, Night, Wreck, and Underwater Ecologist. First certification when I was 12, and I dive over the summer every year.
  3. School Band, played since freshman year but never got into top band.
  4. Part time job at AMC theaters, about 10 hours a week.
  5. Second part time job at family business, about 8 hours a week.
  6. NHS
  7. Self taught Blender 3D modeling experience, started as a project for AP Lit but turned into a hobby.
  8. Built PCs for myself and friends over sophmore year lockdown.
  9. Fishkeeping, I keep a breeding colony of freshwater shrimp in a heavily planted aquarium, and I like to see how genetics are passed down into offspring.
  10. Science Olympiad, I joined as a filler for senior year and only went to a single competition lmao.
List all awards and honors submitted on your application.
  1. Eagle Scout Award
  2. Order of the Arrow (Boy Scouts Honor Society)
  3. Award plaque from park system I did project for
  4. Illinois State Scholar Award
  5. High School Honor Roll
Letters of Recommendation
(Briefly describe relationships with your recommenders and estimated rating.)
APUSH Teacher: 8/10, only had her for one year but had a really awesome experience. Basically made me interested in US History. I ended up doing really well in her class, but not too great on the AP exam. She liked me a lot and I'm sure she made a great rec.
AP Bio Teacher: 10/10, by far my favorite teacher ever. Had her for honors and AP Bio, and had a blast in her class. We always had conversations about cool animals, my SCUBA diving, random stuff, etc.
Northwestern: 7/10. Pretty good overall, interviewer graduated recently and she was really nice. A bit difficult to connect since she was a psychology major and I'm applying for Biology. Had a bit of an awkward moment where she talked about her research on death row inmates and how it kinda messed her up mentally, and I replied without thinking "wow, that's really cool!" 😳.
Cornell: 8/10. Not really an interview, more of a one on one information session. I asked more questions than she did. She was really friendly and brutally honest with the best and worst parts of Cornell. Overall pretty good.
UPenn: 7.5/10. Interviewer was a really old dude and missed the first meeting so I was a bit worried, but he ended up being pretty hilarious and easy to talk to. Interview lasted over an hour.
(Briefly reflect on the quality of your writing, time spent, and topic of main personal statement.)
Commonapp Essay: 8/10. Imma be honest with you I got an essay tutor for this one. Talked about my love of the ocean, marine biology, and conservation. Thought it was really well written, but reading it now makes it seem a little bit...braggy ("as an Eagle Scout, I led a multifaceted project that provided support to yadayada)
UC PIQs: 8/10. Some of them were copypasted bits from commonapp, others were unique. Overall pretty good, maybe a little rushed. Talked about my aquarium and experience with Blender, too.
Northwestern: 9/10. Also got this one doctored. Talked about aspects of Northwestern that called to me, from the research to specific professors to obscure biology activities they offered.
Emory, BU, UW Madison, UIUC, Vanderbilt, Rice, etc.: 6/10 mostly copypasted, not bad not great.
Cornell: 9/10: I wrote this entire thing in one day but I ended up being extremely proud of it. Talked about research opportunities, cool classes offered, the Lab of Ornithology, specific professors, and ended it by saying the CALS ice cream looked good lol.
Decisions (indicate ED/EA/REA/SCEA/RD)
Michigan Tech (Rolling): accepted
University of the Pacific (Niche direct admit): accepted
IU Bloomington (Rolling): accepted
UIUC In State (EA): accepted w/ scholarship offer I forgot to apply to oops
UW Madison OOS (RD): accepted
Boston University (RD): accepted General Studies
UCSD OOS: accepted capped Bio major!
UCI OOS: accepted
Emory University (RD): accepted!
Grinnell College (RD): waitlisted, did not accept place
Case Western (RD): deferred then waitlisted, did not accept place
UCLA OOS: waitlisted, accepted place
Northwestern (ED)
WashU (EDII)
Bowdoin College (RD)
Rice University (RD)
Vanderbilt University (RD)
Northeastern (EA): deferred then rejected
Brown University (RD)
UPenn (RD)
Tufts University (RD)
UC Berkeley
UMich (RD)
Additional Information:
Part of me feels really bad since some friends I know who achieved way more than I did and tried way harder in school than I did got rejected from all their reaches. I'm actually shocked about the transfer option I got from Cornell, and UCSD and Emory also surprised me. I think my Cornell essay must have helped a ton. I need to find out where to go for a year where I can get a 3.5+ GPA in order to keep my transfer.
submitted by ItzPayDay123 to collegeresults [link] [comments]

2023.03.31 02:59 kdotbrizzly union war is probably about to kickstart at my workplace, what should i expect?

as the guy who is putting it together and making it all go forward, i am a little nervous. pretty sure my employer knows rn, and i have been singled out and targeted for a couple of days now. i’m kinda nervous to go to the next step with our union, (making it public to everyone) regarding my job and everything. what should i expect ? employees and employer relations are already pretty hostile
submitted by kdotbrizzly to union [link] [comments]

2023.03.31 02:56 Excuse-Safe we never stood a chance

Standing imposing over the long table seating dozens of soldiers the dhask general asked everyone unlucky enough to be sitting down, slamming his hands on the table in anger he began his inquisition “Now gentlemen. Care to tell me how the fuck we lost an entire strategically crucial compound to a single wounded soldier?”
“Sir” One particularly brave soldier spoke up “The human took us by surprise and hit us hard and fast before we had the chance to react” Everyone in the tent stood still and looked at the general with fear and the soldier who spoke up with pity, silently thanking the various gods they believed in that it wasn’t them to speak. As the tension became thick enough to strangle everyone in its presence the general began moving over to the poor bastard who spoke up. “Soldier,” he continued his approach as it was all the recruit could do to not collapse then and there. “Do you think” he cut his own sentence off with a quick jab to the face
“that is anything new, that I haven't been briefed on that same thing” his anger continued to crescendo “SO MANY GODDAMN TIMES ALREADY” Corporal punishment was not uncommon among the ranks of 197th infantry division, but not a being there could remember there commander ever being so viscous, carrying his assault on after the soldier had already been bloodied and passed out. Many of them were surprised he let the soldier even live and didn't shoot him then and there for insubordination. The general wiped his claws after his assault and walked back to the far end of the table standing proud and tall.
“Now that I believe we are all clear. Someone give me an actual answer as to how 48 seasoned soldiers died and millions of credits of equipment were damaged, if not blown to hell”
Anyone in that room could have heard a pin drop from 2 miles away as a single soul failed to speak up.
“If someone doesn't speak up right this instant everyone left alive in this platoon will be shipped straight off to the capital and charged with insubordination”
Speaking with hesitance when faced with an all to real threat of death one of the newest additions to their squad began speaking
“Sir, if i may can I play the recording from the humans black box”
“Finally we're getting somewhere. Yes private play us the humans recording of his last hour, that might jog some of your memories”
The soldier walked up to the general and set down the soldier's recording device, strange human technology not a single dhask could properly identify. Using a program developed earlier in the war to hack these “black boxes” as humans called them, made in the hopes of gaining valuable intelligence. The recording began playing.
Starting with an injured human leaning against a bomber ship embedded into the ground sideways, cutting the ground behind it in a fissure like someone dragged a giant sword through the ground. The human panted for a few seconds before he began speaking “I am sergeant Samuel Perez” leaning his head back and further struggling to catch his breath there was a long pause before he spoke again as the general and all the soldiers stood still. “My platoon was assigned to do a bombing run over a dhask owned compound” the malice in his voice when the aliens race rolled off his tongue very nearly caused the commander to destroy the black box “as you can see” panning the camera as he spoke to a field of blood and rubble “We failed. We were shot out of the sky by point defense auto cannons. Through some devine stroke of luck I am still alive” he gulped and began the arduous and seemingly painful process of standing up causing some of the soldiers to wince and earning them a disapproving glare from their seniors trying to keep the wrath of their commander at bay. “I’ve gathered the supplies that could be salvaged from the wreckage” he panned down showing off a stash of machine guns plasma pistols and hand grenades “And i'm gonna take the fight to those bastards, I won’t be able to talk much when I start my assault into their base.” grim determination on his face he injected his arm with what could only be assumed to be a type of painkiller.
“I'm not naive enough to assume I have a chance of survival, but when this recording gets back to command, record my last words as follows.” he paused and took a deep breath before speaking “to my wife, Laura Perez. My only regret is that I could not have come home to you, the most beautiful woman I've ever seen. I love you” speaking his last words with determination not to win the battle, but just to end with more enemies dead the allies he started walking up to the compound taking up a plasma edged knife and a submachine gun. Finding a spot where all that was stopping him to get in was a chain link fence and a wall he planned to scale. Using the plasma knife he cut a small hole in the fence and just barely managed to pull himself and the sack of equipment through. He continued his suicide march and scaled the wall like an expert rock climber. He found the first dhask in his rampage coming from behind with the knife and stabbing him in the back of the head, lobtomosing and melting the soldiers brain and fractions of a second they didn't even have a chance to scream. The only thing aside from the video anyone could hear was the commander muttering to himself “one down” the human continued into the base, through alleys and shortcuts, it was only at this point anyone released the date on the footage was 3 days prior to the attack, the human had planned for 3 days before enacting his vengeance. We never stood a fucking chance. Yet the slaughter continued, breaking his silence and charging through one of the guard towers gunning down 3 soldiers taking them by surprise and killing them with brutal efficiency. “4 total,” the commander muttered. In a stroke of genius the human held a gun to the back of a terrified recruit and ordered him to speak through the speakers. “Attention all soldiers, we are currently under attack please proceed to the western gate to repel the enemies' ' it was only after the speaker stopped broadcasting and the recruit looked over fearfully that the gun went off. The soldiers looked around assuming an ambush would meet them outside the gate, they were right about the first part, as soon as roughly 15 soldiers gathered the human rained down high explosive and incendiary grenades roasting them all alive if they were lucky enough to not just get blown up. The soldiers were all terrified even the most seasoned veteran could not get desensitized to this slaughter. The commander even permitted the soldiers to leave if they wished. About 10 out of the 22 survivors left, while the more morbidly curious among them stayed and watched. Cover blown the human rushed out the guard tower meeting resistance at the door. They took stock, 3 submachine guns and 4 rifles as well as a handful of grenades left. They took 2 of the sub machine guns and blind fired around the corner filling one full of holes and sending the other 3 reeling for cover. It's only then the soldiers took note of there commanders silence at the guard tower as they stated “20”
The military training of the dhasks had advised them not to all peak out of cover at the same time, in fear of losing the whole regiment to a hail of machine gun fire and plasma. They peered their heads out one by one and got a round between their eyes like targets at a firing range “23 dead” the human-no watching them fight this well they deserved respect. Samuel charged into a hanger where the interceptor ships were held. Another small group of 8 more dhasks opened the door to the hanger to their horror of staring down the hum-Samuel in one of our ships will all the weapons charged. Firing every weapon at once and sending 8 more soldiers to their maker he fired several shots into the engine of the ship ensuring it would set off a chain explosion in a mere few minutes. “Dear god, 31”stumbling out the chamber he threw grenade after grenade and emptied any gun he deemed not useful, sending any survivors left fleeing for cover. Once they began cowering in buildings he threw an incendiary grenade through every door he could find, burning 6 more alive in the process. “30-” the commander paused for a moment “37”
2 more were foolish enough to try and meet Samuel in direct combat; one put a round dead through his chest and they thought they had at least halted the incident, walking over to confirm his death Samuel sprung like a pouncing beast. He cut one's throat open with the plasma knife he used to get in before emptying the remaining gun he had on the other dhask. The recoil sent him flying onto his back. He crawled over to the hanger blood covering every part of his body and produced a small golden container. It was opened to reveal pictures of a human woman standing with a child and one with that woman and child with Samuel. “I love you laura… I’m sorry” the last thing the soldier ever said before looking up at the sky, at the stars above, the stars from which we came seeking a war, and stars which he loathed with his whole being. He got 30 seconds to contemplate before the ship was set off, the blast setting off the munitions of the other ships in the hangar, whipping half the compound off the map. The only survivors, us 22 were lucky enough to not have been in the blast radius. The recording ended with the camera detached from his body by the blast, staring up into the night sky and blinking off. I only took 2 things away from that entire video, being lucky enough to not have witnessed it myself. And it was the only thing I wanted to do anymore. I turned in my badge that day and was given a discharge. Allowed to leave, but be shunned for my remaining days. I went home to my wife and found a job at a nearby factory. All I took away was the plea for mercy when the humans came. And when the day came that fire rained from the sky as humans took our homeworld, a single video pinged through my head. And a single phrase occupied my thoughts. We never stood a fucking chance.
submitted by Excuse-Safe to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.03.31 02:41 PBandCra Facebook Job Ads: Oh dear heavens bring the job ads back!!

Does anyone factually know what the driving force was to remove job ads from Facebook? I'd love to know what metric used to determine the job ad section was not valuable. It had to be extremely profitable and it was a useful platform for small businesses. Zip Recruiter, Monster, Indeed, LinkedIn etc cannot reach deep enough into many demographics or market. Facebook was not only valuable because an employers had better collateral, but employers had direct control over targeting micro-regional ads and made hiring easier and more effective at retaining employees longterm. Bring it back Facebook. Focusing on the future of social media with all the goofy products your investors are paying for is not as valuable as the proven tools that work.
submitted by PBandCra to Entrepreneur [link] [comments]

2023.03.31 02:37 Yserali N. Victim, new here, hey.

Hello everyone, I'm posting here because I am living with an Nmom. I'm twenty-five years old, I am a graduate student of psychology, and I am struggling right now.
I want to leave, but I cannot leave yet. I have a year to go before I graduate with my masters, but I plan to quickly get a job and try to find a new place to live ASAP. Right now, my mother is targeting my father as her victim, but I tend to be lumped in even though I'm not in the direct line of fire.
My father is planning to leave her after 30 years, citing that it will be sometime this summer. He has yet to tell her, but she suspects it. This has led to a lot of fights within my house. When my father is not around, she becomes livid. She stomps, pouts, screams profanities all to herself, often citing me as someone who my father "Would do anything for.". It's like living in a warzone, it's constant. I'm thankful to make it a whole day without someone screaming. It's maddening, I feel like I'm losing my mind. My father was out most of the day at a funeral, and today I did not have school or work so I was home. She was screaming how bad a person he was, how she expects to know what time he'll be home. She masks it as a 'courtesy', it's what a 'good' husband does.
I couldn't take it anymore, I lost my temper. I walked out of the house and my father happened to be returning home at this time. I told both of my parents that I can't live like this anymore, that I am going insane. I said some other very hurtful things as well, but I regretted them within minutes. I apologized to both my father and my mother separately. My mother made it about her, telling me why she was so angry, I told her I couldn't do it anymore. I told her I'm going crazy with the constant screaming, I told her that she needed to stop getting so worked up because the stress is going to take a huge toll on her body (Her parents both had cardiac emergencies when I was young). She fell silent, and immediately shut down all talks, and now she is angry with me.
In the past, I was the scapegoat child. My mother blamed me when I was a teenager, saying that I was the reason that her husband no longer loves her. It has been years since I heard that, but just an hour ago she told me: "Your father is about to leave me, and you pulled this in front of him?" I asked her if she was actually blaming me, to which she said "I'm not blaming anyone."
I'm at a loss. I study psychology, I am a year away from my masters, I should be able to overcome this. I should be able to cope with this, and yet I find myself unable to. I feel crazy, I feel trapped. My father said that I am welcome to come with him, but I am afraid to leave my mother at home alone. I'm at a loss.
submitted by Yserali to raisedbynarcissists [link] [comments]

2023.03.31 02:21 Storms_Wrath The Human Artificial Hivemind Part 344: The Great Game

First Previous Wiki
Ruslir pulled a particularly nice-looking cut of meat from the shelf, holding it up to the convenience scanner nearby so the price would be subtracted from her account. Of course, most of the mass-produced meats were free, but the one she'd picked was a more specialized model, with even more nutrients and even more delicious taste waiting within. She placed it in a small bin, which was being carried by three of her arm tentacles.
She moved according to the rough directions painted on the ceiling and floor, designed to more easily circulate the traffic of the passerby.
"You sure you like those?" she heard someone say from behind her. She frowned, noticing a middle-aged Guulin smiling as he held a slightly different cut. It was from a different company but was also more stringy.
"I like how fatty this one is," she said. "I don't know what to say, it just tastes better."
"Your loss."
Ruslir made it through without issue, emerging on the third-level street that was a little less crowded than usual. Each level had cameras that monitored the congestion level, allowing the pedestrians to move to the least crowded ones if they needed to. Many of the streets were almost like a maze, with so many different buildings and people that they connected to. While the cities were designed to be walkable, such high populations pushed that to the limit.
Blistanna had pushed heavily to move the bar away from the extreme overpopulation, building huge amounts of housing and more modular internet connections in the local area. So many measures that she'd made were good, but they just weren't enough for the size of the problem. Construction was falling behind in many areas, especially those in the inner areas of the city. Very few buildings needed renovation due to their quality of construction, but there was still a lot of work still to do all across the city.
She heard the sounds of a protest far in the distance. From the noise, she could tell that there were hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions, who were present in it. Ruslir knew what they were shouting, even though the words were still an unintelligible mess.
They wanted the Alliance, or more specifically, the Guulin Congressional Republic, to invade the Guulin United Legions. Most people felt the same, though Ruslir knew that the military wasn't yet ready. But the protestors thought that the slaves left in the United Legions had already been captives for too long.
While the concept of family had been heavily eroded at the time, leading to a lack of knowledge about the state of family members or even friends in many cases, there had been many attempts at reconciliation. Blistanna had addressed their concerns in a press conference, saying that she, too, wanted the invasion but that the armed forces weren't ready yet.
Jason was tracking most of the developments in the manufacturing industries that supported the fledgling effort. So far, the idea was building tranquilizer guns, useful for capturing soldiers instead of killing them. If the idea went poorly, it might not be tried again, but it was something that had been a special consideration.
In addition, the number of ships pouring out of the Sol and Keem systems continued to rise, their hulls and hallways large enough to support the large bodies of the Guulin species. Compared to humans, specialized ships had to be made to allow for both the Acuarfar and Guulin to also serve on them. Whether it was ordering battle spacesuits, harnesses for restraining straps, meal kits, engine fuel, and even high-compression sewage canisters, it was all necessary.
As for the canisters, it had been decided that 'recycling' waste on the ships was better than just dumping it out into space. Supposedly, Humanity had been doing it for centuries now, but it still didn't sit well with Ruslir. Perhaps that was why she wasn't big into the space tourism industry. There were still plenty of places to see on Earth. Whether it was the domed nature reserves, the artificial zoos, or even the natural habitat segments, there was something for everybody.
Ruslir and Jason actually didn't live in the city proper but in the suburbs. They continued to sprawl outward, though, in most places on Earth, they'd be considered proper cities as well. Instead of hundreds of floors, the skyscrapers went down to dozens or even single digits. There was no room for large decadent mansions, and such things were only possible with incredibly advanced hard light technology.
She had almost made her way to her house when she spied a moderately guarded pair walking down the street. The pair appeared to be human, but something was off about them. And they looked old. Very old, in fact. So old that she wasn't really sure how they were alive. And yet, those eyes focused on her.
"Ah," she heard, impossibly close even through the thick crowd. It wasn't as intense as in the city proper, but here it was still quite populated. She waved, extending an unoccupied tentacle to wave as they passed.
But they didn't. "Hello there, lovely Guulin," one of them said, suddenly coming to a stop in front of her. When had they gotten so close? She didn't remember-
"How are you doing today? My name is Rho, and my partner here is Sai."
"Companion. We are not mates, as the word 'partner' apparently means in some human languages."
"How do you two know each other?" Ruslir asked, figuring that being nice wasn't a bad thing. She had plenty of time, after all.
"Well, we met a little more than two years ago, and ever since then, we've been doing some tourism."
"A lot more than two years ago," Sai added, smiling. His lips appeared incredibly puffy, and she still felt something off about him. She sniffed the air, and realized the reason. They didn't smell like they were human.
"You don't smell like humans," Ruslir said.
"We aren't. We're Sprilnav in disguise."
"Sprilnav?" Ruslir asked, backing away to move toward her home, which was still in the distance.
"Oh, I assure you, we mean no harm. The guards here know it, even if they pretend to be all tough and stoic."
Rho, who was apparently a Sprilnav, laughed. "Yes. Quite stoic, just like you were yesterday on that hill."
"Please. Your eyes were bulging outward as you screamed."
"Hill?" Ruslir inquired, confused.
"A big skiing hill, artificial but still quite fun. Apparently the humans invented a sport of sticking long and thin plates on their feet and moving over snow, whether on a hill or just across an area."
"I know what skiing is," Ruslir said.
"Good. Say, when do you eat around here?"
"Um, around 7 PM?"
"Ah. It's just that the time is different across your planet. Granted, that's natural, but I remember that one time we had a planet that only had a global time and nothing else..."
Rho and Sai seemed to reminisce for a while longer. Ruslir had an idea. "Say, do you want to meet my husband?"
"Oh. I'm afraid we haven't properly been introduced. What's your name?"
"I'm Ruslir."
"No second name?"
"I have it legally, I guess, but I never got used to using it. So you know I just don't really care."
"Ah, we understand. Alien culture shock, yes? We've had much the same going far enough from our homeland. Did you know that we didn't find out about the existence of sweaters for half a billion years?"
"That is quite strange," Ruslir admitted. "But I don't really judge."
Eventually, Sai and Rho came with her to her house. She called ahead beforehand, and Jason was quite surprised to see her with her new friends. Though the two disguised Sprilnav moved aside when he looked at them, he had a question in his eyes.
"The hivemind says that they're Sprilnav, but also that they're safe. Is that true?"
"Yes," Sai said.
"We are," Rho added. Before the situation got awkward, they disappeared, and two very old-looking Sprilnav appeared in their place. They were wearing something looking like a very long shirt repurposed for quadrupeds and wrappings around their lower torsos and upper hind legs. Ruslir didn't see a place where the wrappings could detach or unravel and supposed that if they weren't real clothes that it was entirely possible.
Many science-fiction authors imagined aliens as so completely different that they didn't wear clothes at all, but she was happy that the Sprilnav happened to ignore that trend.
"I see," Jason said. "Well, if you're not here to commit a mass genocide, then sure, you can come in. You seem like you're a different species, in a way."
"Perhaps we are. Most modern Sprilnav are conditioned genetically to be hostile to outsiders, at least the ones where you're from. It's not only rampant xenophobia, though that does help."
"Why is your area different?"
"There aren't any alien civilizations near where we live, so there's no need for propaganda against them. Or something else of a similar type. We're not united by any means, but nowhere near as divided as our counterparts."
"What do you have to eat?" Rho asked.
"It depends. Do you have any dietary restrictions? Allergies to chitin, a preference against lab-grown meat, or anything?"
"As long as there isn't metal in our food, then it's fine."
"So you'd eat wood?" Ruslir asked.
"Perhaps. Assuming that it's from a tree old enough that the pollution isn't caked on the inside."
"Well, before the Cascadia earthquake, I would've pointed you to the redwoods in California, but now I don't really know."
"Earthquake?" Sai asked.
"Fault lines build up stress, release it in huge reactions that shake the ground. That one killed a few hundred thousand people, and nearly millions more."
"You can't prevent them?" Rho asked.
"We do have devices called seismic oscillators deep underground, which are supposed to detect stress and administer explosive charges in such a way as to release the pressure safely. But they don't really work well."
"Our planets don't have that problem," Sai said. "Sadly, we can't help you with that."
"Why not?"
"We don't know how the machines that we have work. Or at least, Rho and I don't. Maybe if you get more tourists, they'd be willing to help. Though you can't really pay in anything with monetary worth, more things like cultural artifacts."
"Well, I guess we can knit them a sweater if we're lucky," Jason said. "I can turn on the hologram so you can watch some channels, I guess."
After a few minutes, Rho pointed at the screen, depicting a white animal that was unfamiliar to Ruslir. It had four paws and a tough-looking structure.
"What's that?"
Jason looked at the hologram and let out a long sigh. "That's a polar bear."
"What's wrong?"
"They don't exist anymore."
"Why not?"
"After World War Three, most of the zoos that housed them were destroyed, and in the upheaval that followed, the remaining DNA samples and bears died. It's a sad thing."
"Ecological collapse?" Sai asked.
"In a way. The only reason that everything didn't fall apart was because of the UN's Cloning Biology Initiative. We made better algae, insects, and animals, where we could. Some turned into tumorous masses later on, or into pale shadows of their former selves. But others did well."
"I'm sorry," Rho said, extending a paw to rest on Jason's hand.
"Don't be. It's not your fault."
"In a way, it is. Had we paid attention, then all this galaxy's problems could have been avoided. It is our fault."
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
"So, is the android deployed?" Yasihaut asked.
"Good. Start the detonation sequence."
She watched as the Acuarfar android moved through the crowd. As the pulses counted down, she thought of all the devastation that she was about to wreak.
For a small moment, she looked away from the screen, meeting the eyes of the technician who was about to get a serious pay raise. And then she heard a small voice in the computer say: *Connection Lost.*
And the android was gone as if it had never existed.
"What about the second one?" Yasihaut asked. But it was gone too. She checked the third and saw the reason for the disappearance. In front of the camera that she'd set up, an avatar of the hivemind was squatting down, pointing its hands at the screen with its middle fingers raised. A sonorous laugh echoed from the depths of its throat, and she got a full view of its teeth bent into a wide grin.
"Does the device have a talk function?"
"Yes," the technician said, relieved that she wasn't going to kill him. She might later on, but right now, she needed to focus. Yasihaut activated the feature as her implants pointed out the sequence.
"So we meet again, hivemind. I would like to talk to Penny."
"Please leave your message after the tone," the hivemind said. Loud music blared in the background, and Yasihaut could clearly hear some human voices shouting obnoxiously. The sonic assault made her disable most of the device's ability to send messages.
"You think this is funny, don't you?" she asked.
"Absolutely breaking it down in front of the genocidal psychopath who just got another toy taken away? Absolutely."
"Elder, we're receiving interference of a kind that we're unable to identify," the technician said. Yasihaut asked, "Does it originate from the Alliance?"
"Then we-"
"Hivemind," a new voice said, causing Yasihaut's blood to run cold. "I would like to inform you that Yasihaut is no longer under my employ, and that you are free to strike her as the situation allows."
"You dare, Kashaunta?" Yasihaut screamed.
"She did, apparently," the hivemind said. "Well, if both of you could stop your attempts to kill us, that would be appreciated."
"Your AI has a son now, so it will be easier than ever," Yasihaut said. "I will find a way to get to him."
"Hivemind," Kashaunta's voice said. "If I were to send you the coordinates of Yasihaut's current ship, and provide passage for you to send a device there, would you do it?"
"It is likely that you would send coordinates that would cause moe Sprilnav to align against us," the hivemind said. "Even if you two are now enemies, that doesn't mean either of you are my friends. Both of you are wanted for mass murder. You will not have trials."
"Hardly fair, is it?" Yasihaut smirked.
"Life isn't fair, Yasihaut. Plus, we tried to put you in prison before, and you escaped. So never again."
"Oh no, I'm so scared," Kashaunta said. "Anyway, glad to see that you two still hate each other. Yasihaut's still pissed about Penny absolutely tearing her a new one. Good times."
The message ended, and the device fried itself. Yasihaut stared in pure fury. "Do we have access to spatial linearization beams?" Yasihaut asked.
"Yes, but they are banned under-"
"Have you broken the lock?"
"Fire them at Earth, Keem, and Mercury. Fire more at each populated world in the Alliance, from greatest to least. Make sure to hit Skira as well, and Cawlaria."
The technician disappeared, going to tinker with some device that he knew how to work, and she didn't. Yasihaut continued to fume, hating the fact that now she had two enemies. She should have been able to kill the Alliance by now. Even by simple chance, reality agreed with her. But every time she tried, something went wrong. The attacker was always spotted or unsuccessful. The assassinated politician turned out to be a hard light hologram or a Phoebe android that turned around to laugh as it hacked the device before being cut off.
"It will be good to see them dead," Yasihaut said.
The screen began flashing. *Firing Linearization Beams.\*
As they moved, space began to fold in on itself, like a constant event horizon's gravitational distortion. She watched as a planet simply crumpled in on itself, followed by a very large ship. Then three. Then five.
"Oh," she said.
The number of ships on the screen continued to rise, both from her side and the other. At the head of her enemies were the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 6th Grand Fleets. Over a billion ships, each enough to wipe out the rest of the galaxy on its own. But on her side were more Grand Fleets. She hadn't just had a connection with the 21st but also the 28th, 32nd, and 43rd Grand Fleets. Others were present, of course, but it appeared that Kashaunta had failed to capitalize on her assets.
Yasihaut's ship, however, immediately disintegrated as the spatial beams reflected off the most advanced shields in the galaxy, never to reach their intended targets. Small localized singularities appeared in front of them to ensure that they didn't continue traveling forever. Even with Kashuanta having fewer fleets, the battle was no comparison. She had superior firepower, and there wasn't much that Yasihaut could do to stop her. She was tucked safely away in a flagship, the vessel that was even more powerful and massive than a dreadnaught. There were few ships that were equal, for each of them was the center of a Grand Fleet. But there was one ship present that truly turned the tide.
A new model of the flagship, built by Kashaunta Military Solutions. It was nicknamed 'The Ship to End All Wars.' And it was the single most advanced ship in the entire galaxy.
In the mindscape, the ship's crew wasn't exposed. Unlike how most spatial battles went, with the crews of ships lobbing psychic weapons at each other in the mindscape, Kashaunta's flagship actually existed there, too, in its full form. That was true of all other flagships, but only them, since it was so ludicrously expensive to make the technology work there.
"Kashaunta, you-"
"YASIHAUT!" the voice boomed over the mindscape, cracking shields and rock alike. Her crew screamed as psychic reverberations breached their defenses, reducing them to twitching wrecks on the cold metal floors. All except the Elders, who had the defenses to resist. A hologram of Kashaunta appeared in space as well, with words dancing in tandem with her voice reading out what she was saying.
"You are wanted for high treason, attempted mutiny, and inciting civil war. You are wanted for the creation of an AI, a psychic golem, and for inciting war against the Source."
Yasihaut's rage reached levels that she scarcely thought were possible. She called the 28th Grand Admiral. "I want you to blockade the system until everyone gets here. We need to prevent her from seizing the initiative, or all our work goes to waste."
She wasn't referring to the Alliance here but to the eons of grievances that Kashaunta's faction had garnered with the rest of the Sprilnav. They weren't uniting under Yasihaut, but they were uniting against Kashuanta. Unfortunately, Kashaunta was still so widely feared that the coalition against her wasn't at its full potential. A battle here would stop the deaths of hundreds of trillions in the future. In species where lives were measured against stars, grudges were as deep as they were countless.
"We can't stop her ship, not with what we have here."
"Then we slow them down. Activate the psychic suppressors, and the manifestation in the mindscape will disappear. FTL and wormhole suppressors will block her from reaching us before our reinforcements arrive. Then the battle will be too large for her to successfully carry out."
"As you wish, Elder Yasihaut. We are grateful that you provided the opportunity for our enemy to come out. We will see her rotting carcass hung above the burning headquarters of her company, I can promise you that."
Yasihaut wasn't so sure. Sure, she did have the backing of some of the most important Sprilnav oligarchs, but so did Kashaunta. She was one, in fact. And once she realized that she didn't have enough power on her own, she'd bring in the cavalry, and then the greatest war in galactic history would unfold. No matter who won, the Sprilnav would lose.
But there were other ways it would go. Long had the cloning machines been dormant, and long had ancient foundries wasted away under the changing stars. This wasn't even a sliver of the true power that either side could bring to bear with full rearmament. And perhaps this would awaken that spirit. If Yasihaut won, then she'd have enough rapport and clout to roll over the Alliance like a gamma-ray burst over a tree leaf. Nothing would stop her.
Her confidence reasserted itself firmly into her heart.
And then Kashuanta's ship fired. Spacetime warped and twisted, psychic energy glowing and screaming as it was torn from the mindscape in a swirling beam of death and destruction. It slammed against the fleet's shields, breaking layers and looping them to add to its power. But even still, the line held.
"We're going to win," Yasihaut said.
Then the mindscape's planes ruptured around her. Vibrations emanating from Kashaunta's ship sent slabs of rock the size of small moons whirling in a maelstrom of glowing fury and psychic energy. Yasihaut screamed as speeding space tore open, and entities were killed as protective fields activated from both sides, denying the predators their feast. She could feel her mind being pushed against the force of it all, even the Grand Fleet's protections faltering. But that would be true on both sides.
At least, that was what she hoped.
The nanotech foundries of both flagships activated, seizing energy from the universe itself and causing a negative mass spike to emerge between the two fleets. Spacetime curved in and out of itself but consistently pushed away in a reaction that was the exact opposite of gravity.
Inside the foundries, androids were built. They were actually ships in and of themselves, with the ability to do real-time tactical analysis while also coordinating attacks against the enemy. Yasihaut couldn't help but grin, even as the pressure continued to increase. This was what a real war was like.
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Deep within the mindscape, the Source sat on its throne, remembering all the lives lost in the pointless Energy War. That was the reason that the Sprilnav had invaded after already sapping energy from the psychic realm in enough quantities to kill everyone the Source had ever known.
Through organs that couldn't quite be called eyes, seeing something that was more than light in every way, it watched as the inevitable battle finally began. The prediction had been true, at least in part.
Fate, in its true, indescribable form, stood before it. Their usual arguing had been forgotten in the face of the spectacle. Among all the other living beings of concept, it was the worst, though not the most powerful. Some of the Source's innumerable Servants could overpower it but now was not the time.
"Looks like you have a job to do," the Source said. "It would be good for you to get on that."
"Go to hell."
"I did, and I killed everything there. Now I'm here."
"You cannot interfere."
"I can."
"Then you will pay the price."
"You can't do anything to me, Fate. I'm outside your rules. Even your own universe slowly moves from your control. You and I both know what the energy the hivemind absorbed truly is. We know why Phoebe really had that child. Do not deceive yourself with your own lies."
"There will be words when I return."
"There will be your words, and then there will be mine," the Source said. Mouths that intersected and existed independently of each other grinned at Fate.
"You know what will happen. You have your own job."
"Yes, to isolate the destruction, so that false vacuum decay doesn't destroy that universe again."
"You also need to stop sending energy to the hivemind."
"Which one?"
"You know what I mean. The humans."
"I'm not, actually," the Source said. "If I was, then this great game of ours would already be over."
"It's not just us in this game, you know."
"Oh, I know. But it's so much more fun this way. And it's not like you haven't meddled in the past. Remind me again how Brey survived speeding space, or how Gausaofib was able to turn back the Uuasibasnif hordes?"
"That was different, and also to set up the game for us."
"Yes. Did you perhaps forget that we are allies by circumstance?"
"There is also Narvi," the Source said. "Our acquaintance from the old times.
"That AI is well and truly dead," Fate said, tentacles coiling in on themselves. The Source had freed this being from the velocity dimension long ago, and it had proceeded to be a pain ever since. And, of course, mashing the children of the not yet broken Velocity Lord into a single being had also caused a few... problems.
"Not quite."
"To this universe? Yes. To the layer above it? Most certainly not. It isn't easy for beings of matter to transcend, even if they settle for halfway between mortality and interdimensional existence."
And so the Source watched Fate run off to do their duty. And it peered into the structure of the universe itself, woven into the mindscape in such an unfortunate way.
"Such an irritation."
The Source gathered its power deep within itself, spreading from points and lines to planes and spaces. Some would call it magic, but that was far too simple. After all, it was composed of machines that harvested concepts and dimensional energy. That was what the Source had made long ago before many things had come to pass. Even before the mindscape had been populated with the beings that the Source had called friends, it still had existed. And it would outlast this game, albeit with a changed form.
To that end, the Source's power seeped through dimensions, into different frequencies of energy, and coalesced into words. Vibrations transformed from points to strings, which wove into planes. At the edges of the incredible battle, the mindscape's space began to bend and shatter, separating into a separate bubble to maintain the rest of the mindscape's integrity.




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2023.03.31 02:11 surveycircle_bot Artificial Intelligence Tech

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2023.03.31 01:51 bilalkid22 Credit Card Guidance Needed Please!

Hey all!
I’m looking to upgrade my wallet with a new credit card(s), but not sure which to apply for. Will provide more context ahead of the templated answers below -
Thanks in advance for the help everyone!! Any guidance / recommendation is greatly appreciated.
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