Slicked back fade

Perpetual Groove

2015.02.15 05:49 kdar Perpetual Groove

Perpetual Groove is an American jam band that originated in 1997 in Savannah, Georgia. PGroove incorporated a blend of traditional Southern rock, funk, jazzy improvisation, indie rock and synth loops. The members continue to work on solo and side projects.

2015.05.11 02:37 Staghound_ For those of us that like our hair slicked back

A casual community for greasers on reddit seeing as none exist

2017.11.02 03:33 ochoa88 A humble college football betting podcast b two dudes

A college football betting podcast for the people. Made by two normal dudes. Let's talk games and win some beer money!

2023.06.10 19:41 timeandspaceovermind Do you remember these songs?

These songs popped up on Spotify and I was taken back!
LMNT - Juliet and SoulDecision - Faded
I haven’t heard these songs since they came out! What a blast from the past! Does anyone else remember listening to these songs?
submitted by timeandspaceovermind to Millennials [link] [comments]

2023.06.10 19:27 endersgame69 Adopted By Humans VII C24

It’s not really important to detail everything of the next few weeks, word did spread that the Walkers were leaving again, of course, there was no way to keep that secret. Packing had to be done, after all, and arrangements for the house had to be made.
There was simply no way to keep our going ‘completely quiet’. So the neighbors started to come by asking questions.
“Should we leave too?”
“Am I going to end up with more bits of shrapnel in my kitchen?”
“Do I need to get more stuff to patch bullet holes?”
“I assume we go to the same hotel as last time, or will it be a different one?”
It was frequent enough that we held another ‘neighborhood barbecue’ where William explained over sizzling meat and a mix of real beer and that abomination to all civilized species ‘non-alcoholic beer’ that, “You are in no danger. We are leaving for a government assignment, but it is not one that puts any of you at anymore risk than yesterday or the day before. I promise, there won’t be any crazy masked gunmen showing up and disturbing the peace.”
William’s reputation was one of truthfulness, and it probably didn’t hurt that making sure the neighbors were safe had been a priority last time.
‘Last time… for the sake of the void… how many shenanigans are we supposed to get involved in?’ I asked myself that question while sipping on a very large ‘wood bottle’. This was a wonderful innovation in alcoholic beverages. Instead of ‘glass’ this ‘wood’ actually added a wonderful earthiness to the beer, making it smoother and far more full bodied than the glass counterpart.
It had its drawbacks, of course, if you didn’t want that added flavor, you had to use glass, but I found it to be positively delectable, if a little ‘thicker’ than my usual preferences.
I had a great fondness for ales, particularly the more ‘aggressive’ ones with an immediate sort of bite to them. They weren’t to be ‘chugged’ like the bland and fizzy ones that had all the kick of a sleeping toddler. No, no, these powerful ones were meant to be ‘swigged’. You take one big swig at a time, savor the richness, the full flavor, the taste, and the feel of it going down.
It’s about here I should mention that ‘beer clubs’ and ‘bourbon buddies’ were starting to gain popularity among dlamisa.
It began with the Ballyball League of Earth and Dlamias. As part of their training for the sport, teams ‘ran’ a great deal, and they learned of an ancient Earth organization that survived through the centuries called the Hash House Harriers, ‘drinkers with a running problem’ as they are popularly known.
These organizations around the world would lay out trails and follow them in search of alcohol at various stopping points. They would drink together and have a grand old time, and be rather intoxicated by the end of it all. From this my people innovated various ‘fan clubs’ for certain alcohol organizations that would sponsor their runs in exchange for filming their gatherings.
Naturally I set up a few gambling options for people to bet on my players during training, but out of these grew specific off-field rivalries which were now starting to spread to my home world, usually run out of coffee establishments.
This might be the thing that made someone decide to put me at risk. I will probably never know the answer to that one.
It didn’t matter. Not really.
I was standing there among my friends, family, neighbors, with warmth and welcome, with the smell of good food cooking and people wishing me well on my ‘business trip’ and I knew I was doing the right thing.
This was the reason, this was the point of it all, to bring ‘this’ not just to me, but to everybody.
Every drop of blood that spread in my arena, every credit that flowed into my exponentially growing cooperative organization… all of it was serving this single purpose. ‘I will see my will done. I will bring it all down.’ I vowed and took another swig from my bottle. Latunde was telling a joke, and I huffed politely.
A good man, a good neighbor. And a surprisingly good actor considering he ran a feed store, his pretend police situation when we were making our evacuation a few years ago was really well done.
But I couldn’t pay attention to jokes right then.
I went back into the house and up to Fauve’s room. I knocked, “Come in.” She answered.
I expected this, she was never particularly social, and didn’t care for large gatherings of people. I still wasn’t the biggest fan of those, but…alcohol makes everything much easier.
“Hi.” I said, poking my head in without entering. “How are you?”
She was seated at her terminal, pounding away at ‘nothing’. But she had a virtual headset on so there was ‘something’ to her.
“Fine. I’m just taking care of some things. Writing out some notes, researching the Praeda species that we’re going to meet, writing my will, breaking up with my girlfriend, the usual sort of thing that happens every…single…time I think life is going to finally come out of warp and let us relax.” She said it with such deadpan humor that I almost missed it.
“I’m sorry.” I said and slipped into the room, closing the door behind me, I went and sat down on her bed.
“For what? You didn’t do anything wrong.” Fauve answered, though she didn’t take her attention off her work. “This is just more of the usual, and if anybody is to blame, it’s me. I could have faded into the background. I could have just let everything go back to normal. I could have just shut my mouth after everything was over the first time… but no. I didn’t. I didn’t and now I can’t have a moment’s peace or normalcy. I had to be media personality, a speaker, a filmmaker a….” She trailed off and slapped her palms down on the desk. “I did this to myself. Now I’m going to be alone again because I just can’t say no. Michael is going to lose years with his friends. You’re being thrown back into god knows what, mom and dad are… no, they’re fine, to them this will be a vacation, if anything.” She sighed.
“My point is, Bailey, you don’t have anything to apologize for. I’m just, I’m stressed out a little.” Fauve said to me and I swallowed hard and nodded.
“I know what you mean.” I said, I chose not to mention the pseudo-attempt on my life, but added, “This is a disruption to my life too, and… a lot of things are going to change, even if things go well, maybe ‘especially’ if they do.” I got up and went to put my hand on her shoulder.
Fauve leaned back, rocking her chair so that it hit my waist, her head was against my fur, “And I don’t think I did anything wrong here but… I’m sorry that things aren’t as easy for you as you deserve. I mean that.” I promised.
She cracked a smile beneath her headset.
“Yeah, yeah, well it’s not like space is boring. No human has ever been out that far before, so we get to be a first… but even so? I’m tired of having to end relationships over work. It happened with Halbert, it happened with… wait… has it ever not happened that way?” Fauve stopped and thought that over.
I wasn’t surprised she referenced her first romantic interest. Humans tend to template all later relationships on the basis of their earlier ones, and Fauve tended to be hyperfocusd on what she was engaged in at any given moment, so I wasn’t surprised that she would never have really looked at how something over ‘played out’ in the end. Not until she had a reason to.
“Wow… yeah… everything always ended because of something work related… if not mine, then theirs. Damn.” She sighed as that understanding hit home.
Humans have in my observations, a tendency to blind themselves to what is happening, they don’t always see underlying causes for what goes awry in their lives, and as such they may miss patterns that will not be missed by other species. It makes them interesting to be around, at least.
“I’m taking a long vacation when I get back.” She promised herself and slumped. “Maybe I should sell the rights to that game series and turn my attention to something new… I…” Fauve shook her head, “Bailey, do you think it’s possible to be too career focused?”
I squeezed my hand on her shoulder a little nad cocked my head. “You’re asking me that question? Fauve, I came here on a fifty year doctoral program, I’m the last person you should ask that question.”
She was quiet for a moment before she quipped, “Alright, that’s fair. But after this is over, I’m definitely taking a break. Maybe I’ll just rewrite this breakup note and explain that because of work that we need to ‘go on a break’ no questions asked after I get back.”
It was of course possible that the other person would ‘move on’ and there was nothing to come back to when Fauve did return, however this did leave the possibility open at least. “I think that’s wise.” I said with a gentle voice.
“You should invite them to Waterland Park with everybody else.” I suggested, but Fauve shook her head.
“No. No. I have to face this one on my own. If I can walk in there and walk past that place without a problem, on my own, I can finally put the last bit of that bastard behind me.” She said it with such iron resolve that it was hard for me to imagine she wouldn’t be able to do it.
“You won’t be alone, you know that.” I reminded her.
She smiled again.
“That’s not quite what I mean, Bailey… but thank you. I still have some work to do here, but, would you be a friend and bring me a beer while I finish this up… and maybe a hamburger?” She asked.
“Sure thing, Fauve.” I said, and left her room again.
submitted by endersgame69 to TheWorldMaker [link] [comments]

2023.06.10 19:26 endersgame69 Kayobi's Days Off C23

I had a wonderful life on Earth, I really, truly did. Jokes aside, the social nature of humans let me be a little eccentric and people would laugh it off, they would enjoy me for me, the few I’d gotten to know at least. You don’t find that very often on any world. In a way, this was payback. Swappers have a hard time with kindness for kindness sake, I admit. I only barely grasped it as a concept, but an equal trade? That I understood.
So when I snuck into the hospital the way I did before, I did so with intent to repay a debt and to make my life easier. I can’t very well be a proper NEET if I’m always out working and doing things for myself now, can I? No. No I can not.
Suki was lying there in her bed, the machine at her side beeping with steady slowness, her face was pallid as if she were freshly dead, her decline was steeper than I expected. Her eyes were dull, listless, unfocused.
She showed no sign of response until my hand touched hers. I hadn’t made myself visible yet. “Who…?” She spoke with difficulty, her voice was scratchy and faded.
“Are you? To stop the pain?” She asked.
“Yes.” I said, my slender fingers ran over the back of her hand, she had tape on her arm holding a little clear rubber or plastic tube of some sort down, needles in her hands, tube in her nose, to say she looked like hell would be an understatement.
“Good.” She tried to smile up at nothing. “My boy. He was here. Kayobi is doing all the work. I feel bad that I. Can’t help them. Sweet boy. Sweet girl. He will be…OK. But she seems. So lonely. But. A good neighbor. I hope she is eating. More than just snacks. Look in on her. Would you. Angel. Bless her. For me.”
I don’t know why that made me want to shed human tears right then. My lower lip trembled a little and my eyes watered over. “Open wide,” I said, and pulled open the cap on the vial, then tilted its contents into her mouth. It was tasteless stuff, but more importantly she didn’t really have to do much about it, not even swallow, it rapidly began to absorb into her body and never reached the back of her throat.
I put the vial away, and shifted into an angel’s form. Only then did I bend over and give her forehead a kiss. “You make her such good meals, you bless her plenty for both of us, human. Just… don’t let her chores get to be too much.” I said and unable to resist the urge, I reached for the little hand button to call for a nurse.
The beeping was going much, much faster now. I dont’ know what it was, but if I had to guess, it was probably her heartbeat rising to a normal pace? Her respiration was already improving. “Here. Let me help you. You won’t need this.” I said, and began to undo the tape pull the tubes free, that took a moment, and involved a fair amount of gagging and more snot than I expected.
The beeping ‘flatlined’ when the machine could no longer detect the patient, and I stroked her hair one more time. The color was coming back into her face and body, her eyes were coming slowly back into focus.
“You’ll be fine.” I said, and as the medical staff’s rushing feet drew closer, I cast my spell again, slowly turning myself invisible.
I turned my head to look at their faces this time, and winked at them as they stared, agog and disbelieving when they saw Suki Toriyama’s condition.
I stepped out of the way right enough, and… alright I couldn’t resist. [D’oog kul] I whispered the spell very quietly, and touched the backs of each of the three to come rushing in. It was just a little ‘good luck spell’ nothing ‘tremendous’ but ‘luck’ isn’t really a thing.
Luck is just a matter of probability recognition and well timed decisions. It’s just being more ‘aware’ of things and making a person’s brain more likely to make the right call as opposed to the wrong one.
How long it would last? Well it was hard to say. Maybe their whole lives, maybe only a few months? That was just dumb luck, as far as I knew, if you’ll pardon the expression. I don’t really know why I chose to do that for them, maybe because they were helping out Suki, maybe because it was just funny if it seemed to them that they’d been blessed by seeing an angel, maybe there was no reason at all.
But I left just as Suki began to sit up on her own, staring at her intact hands and weeping with uncontrollable joy as she realized she would see her son, her store, her home again.
“It was real.” She gasped with the barest of disbelieving breaths. “I thought it was just a dream, that I was just a dying fool who was hallucinating, that it was all in my head. But it was real.” I looked at the scene from the door, keeping myself undetectable. The doctors and nurse were busy looking her over, urging her to lie down and shouting things like…
“This isn’t supposed to be possible!”
“Get her into testing, we need to be sure!”
“I’m going home… I’m really going to go home…” Suki whispered and wiped her eyes and face, and I don’t know what happened after that.
I got out of the way of the door, the chaos was bringing other people over, white coats were fluttering in momentum made breezes as staff clustered around and shouted and tried to squeeze in. I suppose by then the story of the angel visiting the patient had spread, and I had to bite my arm to keep my laughter at bay until I could get out of there again.
I teleported outside my building, then up to the walkway outside my door, and then walked back in again.
Celia was dozing on the couch, a big bottle of soda was drained down to about half what it started as and the array of snacks was severely attacked. She’d even finished off an entire pizza by herself.
I looked at the screen and watched the male protagonist get dunked into some water and emerge as a pretty young girl. “Could have waited on me.” I grumbled a little, she was only two episodes in, but still.
I turned it off and went to fetch a blanket, which I then draped over her. The couch was thick and cozy, honestly I’ve fallen asleep on it many times, I knew she’d get a good night’s rest.
Tomorrow the store would be open for only a few hours, it was a national holiday, minimal work would be done, no kids would be in school, all in all, that would mean more time for pretty much… everything. And of course, more time to enjoy my lazy summer day.
I’d probably see Suki come home too, and I wouldn’t need to work the store anymore. One less thing.
“Lucky me.” I thought as I closed my bedroom door. Celia was sprawled out and starting to snore. Her human form was apparently the sleeping embodiment of a buzz saw.
No matter. I wouldn’t hear her from where I would lie curled up beneath my own covers.
I yawned, closed my eyes, and as I thought about my last day working the register at Toriyama’s… I felt, strangely enough…
Like I might miss it.
Just a little.
I hadn’t worked out why before I fell into a deep, contented sleep.
submitted by endersgame69 to TheWorldMaker [link] [comments]

2023.06.10 19:00 SkittishReflections I was Forced to Live a Nightmare

When you're rich enough, you get perks you can only dream of. Literally. But somehow, my paradise turned into hell.
Have you ever had a dream so amazing, you wished you could relive it? Explore it? Relish it? Well, when you're rich enough, you don't have to wish. It's a reality thanks to dream banks. You may have heard of them and their pricy services, which include recording, saving, and projecting dreams.
For example, if you'd like a dream recorded, you can book one of their luxurious suites for the night, where the dream techs will fit you with a special helmet and leave you to rest. The next morning, they'll replay the recorded dream for you via the helmet and ask if you want to shell out the extra bucks to save it. If you don't, they'll delete it and you can pay to book for another time to try again.
If you do decide to save it, you must select an item within the dream that will act as the exit key. (This will come in handy during projections.) While still wearing the helmet, you must touch the item, and the dream techs will label those electric signals as the key.
Afterwards, everything is saved under your name, and you can now relive your dream at any time by booking a suite for three, five, or eight hours. Unlike recordings, during projections, you don't have to wait for sleep to come. After you enjoy a snack of your choice, the helmet is fitted and you're immediately transported to your dream, where you have free will and can enjoy it at your leisure. And if you ever need to leave early, this is when you touch the key, which will shut down the helmet right away.
In my case, the key is the stegosaurus leather rug I have hanging on the wall of my throne room. I never have a reason to touch it otherwise, making it a perfect key. I've also never had to touch it. Experiencing life as an all-powerful, worshipped being who lives on my own planet and hunts dinosaurs in my spare time, I relished my dream to the last second.
Yes, the fees are exorbitant, but at the time, I felt it was worth it. The techs were skilled, the system was sleek, and the dreams were private. Each could only be unlocked by the unique brainwaves of the dreamer.
Or so I thought.
My literal nightmare began when I booked a five-hour projection on a rainy Friday afternoon. After taking a sip of champagne to wash down the cranberry brie bites, I settled into the cool silk sheets with a smile. My usual dream tech smiled back as she fastened my helmet, and the last thing I heard was her wishing me pleasant dreams before I was plunged into darkness.
I waited for the split-second adjustment from reality to the dream world, and my confusion grew when I didn't find myself on my throne surrounded by fawning gods and goddesses.
Instead, I found myself in the middle of an endless street. Alone. There were no cars, no life, not even wind. Towering street lamps lined the sidewalk as far as I could see, arcing over the road and tinting everything an eerie red. Behind them, identical buildings stood side by side, silent, their dark, narrow windows hollow.
My pulse spiking, I whipped around. The other direction was just as endless. Uneasy confusion prickled beneath my skin. This had to be someone else's dream. The techs must have made a mistake. I didn't know how it was possible, but there was no other explanation.
My unease piqued as my situation sank in. I was in a stranger's dream and I didn't know the key. I was stuck here until my five hours ran out. Or until the techs realized their mistake. I was ready to rip them a new one once I was out, but until then, I had no choice but to wait.
I studied my surroundings with a frown before I walked over to the curb and sat down, and that was when I noticed I couldn't feel anything. I also noticed I was naked. It didn't matter. There was no one here, and none of this was real anyway.
Time passed, and I tried to distract myself from my nettled offense by humming, but no sound came out. Sitting up, I took a deep breath and screamed. Not even a squeak was heard. I slapped my hand against the ground. Nothing. This place was like a black hole of the senses.
Sighing, I lay down on my back and stared at the red light above me, wondering if I could fall asleep in a dream. I tried, but the more I wished to escape this silent, crimson prison, the more it seemed to come into focus. Soon, the utter lack of noise and movement grew from slightly unnerving to completely intolerable.
There was no way I could wait. I'd go insane. I had to get out of here. I had to find the key.
Jumping up, I ran to the nearest building and wrenched open the door, and a pitch black void greeted me. I gasped, and gasped again as it felt like my very breath was being suctioned out of my lungs. Panicking, silent wheezes rattled in my chest as I struggled to yank myself out of the vacuum, jerking my limbs and bucking my body until I toppled over backwards on the sidewalk.
Gulping in fitful breaths, I scrambled to my feet and ran down the road without looking back, my wide eyes scanning the horizon for salvation. I just wanted out of here, but the hellish path stretched on forever, making me feel like I was running in place as every identical building and street lamp mocked me. Even my silent stomping and mute panting served to draw insanity closer.
And then, a person showed up.
There, in the distance.
With my hope spurred, I raced towards them, desperate. I didn't care who they were. I needed to break this monotony.
As I got closer, hope morphed to confusion, and then to despair. The person was me. It was a mirror, propped up across the entire street.
Sweat-soaked, I slowed down to a jog before I stopped right in front of my reflection. It was me alright, naked, exhausted, and frustrated. But the eyes, something was off about the eyes. With an anxious frown, I stepped closer, staring into them, and they stared back …
… until they glanced behind me.
I gasped and jumped away, and so did my reflection … before it glanced over my shoulder again.
A chill trickled down my spine. My reflection had nothing behind it but the empty street, so I gulped and turned around, and my mouth fell open in a silent scream as a lovecraftian behemoth barrelled its way towards me. With its slick shell gleaming red beneath the lights, it slammed down one spiny tentacle after the other as its five mouths bared their dripping, concentric fangs.
Drenched in undiluted horror, tremors gripped my body as I stumbled away until my back was against the mirror. I knew death was a foolproof key in a dream, but I didn't know if this creature would kill me right away or leave me to suffer in agony until my five hours were up.
With it only inches away, I squeezed my eyes shut and pressed myself into the mirror, and my stomach flipped as I fell backwards. I opened my mouth to gasp, but there was nothing for me to draw in. Floating in an airless void, I flailed and thrashed, my wild eyes scanning the darkness for answers as I began to spin around.
Although death would free me, one of my greatest fears was suffocating. On one of my weightless rotations, a red, glass cube passed me by, and I grabbed it, hoping it was a breathing device. I brought it close to my face, and I gawked at what it held within.
Surrounded by identical buildings and red street lamps while a lovecraftian behemoth tore me apart.
Horrified, I threw the cube as far as I could and increased my efforts to escape this void. Yet all the flailing and thrashing was for naught as the darkness revealed no end. My eyesight began to go red as my lungs spasmed, and I clawed at my throat as my pulse stuttered in my chest.
The red kept growing and growing until it engulfed my entire vision, and I gave up. There was nothing to do but face my fears and die. With my straining heart lumbering, I let myself go limp as I stared at the red and waited.
And waited.
And waited.
I wasn't dying.
In fact, I could breathe just fine.
Frowning, I opened my eyes, and intense unease spread through my core. Above me, a red moon had taken up the entire sky, each one of its craters crystal clear, like eyes watching me. I turned my head away, and I realized I was in a park, laying down on the grass. Sitting up, I blinked in surprise at the pond right beside me, its opaque water reflecting the moon's red light. Ducks were swimming in a circle across its surface, their movements smooth with nary a splash.
Trees surrounded us, so dense I couldn't tell when one began and the other ended. It was mind-numbingly quiet here as well, and I still couldn't feel anything or make any noise, but at least the ducks were moving. This place seemed more tolerable than the last, and I was willing to wait out my five hours here. I hoped at least an hour had passed already, but with dreams, one never knew. All I knew was that I was too exhausted to search for the key. And too scared. I didn't know whose dream this was, but they had to be masochistic if they saved this nightmare.
Curling up beside the pond, I worked on calming myself down as I watched the ducks swim in their systematic circle over and over and over. I tried counting the rotations the way one would count sheep, but that still didn't lull me to sleep. I wished I'd chosen the three-hour projection, but at least I hadn't chosen the eight-hour one.
Distorted circus music crackled around me and I jolted up, my heart ricocheting in my chest. There was finally sound, but the last thing I wanted to hear was a cliche horror movie soundtrack. Gulping, I looked around. The music was coming from the trees, and my stomach dropped when I spied a shadow behind one of them. Then another. And another. They emerged into the crimson moonlight, and my blood turned to ice.
I whipped around, trembling to the rhythm of my frantic pulse. They were surrounding me. Dozens of them. As classic as any clown could be. Colorful clothes, big shoes, silly hair, exaggerated makeup. I wasn't scared of clowns, as long as they were where they belonged. And they didn't belong here, staring at me with big, empty eyes and yellow, toothy grins.
I tried to convince myself that they weren't dangerous since they didn't have weapons and didn't seem monstrous, but when they took a step closer in unison, I jumped back, nearly falling into the pond. The ducks remained oblivious, still swimming in their circle. The distorted circus music got louder, and my hair stood on end when I saw the grass ripple in front of each clown. They were sending something my way through the ground.
Panicking, I jumped into the pond, and I screamed as I sank right in. There was no bottom. There was no water either. The pond was filled with red, translucent spheres, each the size of a tennis ball. Still able to breathe, I began swimming through the spheres with clumsy breast strokes, just hoping I could end up as far away from the clowns as possible.
After swimming for what felt like enough time, I tried to swim up, until I realized I had no idea which direction I was facing. Remember a trick for those stuck in avalanches, I spat, but my glob of saliva just hovered in front of me. Before panic could set in, I noticed what looked like an office desk floating amidst the spheres in the distance. After blinking a few times to make sure it was really there, I swam towards it, desperate for any change in my situation.
It was an office desk, a wooden one with carved borders and locked drawers. Tucked beneath it was a stool, and the moment I pulled it out and set it under my ass, an office replaced the red spheres.
I grunted as gravity returned, and I looked around in bewilderment at the cluttered bookshelves and grimy floors. Dust was floating everywhere, highlighted by the red light filtering in through the blinds behind me. I jumped as a clock hanging on the wall chimed. Its glass was too dirty for me to tell the time, but I was glad I could hear. I coughed at the dust. And I could make noise. I dusted my hands. And I could feel. I could even smell, which I now wished I couldn't as I wrinkled my nose at the faint stench of rot.
After failing to read the spines of some of the books on the shelves, I studied the shadowy corners of the room. A slack-jawed skeleton hung in the far end, and a faded poster with anatomical diagrams curled off a cupboard. This had to be a doctor's office. Was the creator of this dream a doctor?
A silhouette slid in front of the frosted glass door, and I gulped as the knob began to turn. A hand reached in, gripping the edge one finger at a time, and my heart dropped as I knew this horror cliche was only going to be followed by another. Having no time to think, I slid off the stool and crouched beneath the desk, my hand over my mouth as cobwebs clung to me.
Praying spiders wouldn't swarm me, I peeked through a small slit in the wood, and I froze when an emaciated nurse walked in the room. Layers upon layers of blood coated her scrubs, so much so that I couldn't even tell what color they originally were. She had no shoes. No feet either. Just ankle stubs, and my stomach turned as I heard bone clunk against the tiles.
A surgical mask covered her face, as bloodstained as her scrubs, and grimy lab goggles obscured her eyes. I was grateful, because judging by the pus leaking out of her scabbed, balding scalp, I didn't want to know what her face looked like. The closer she got, the stronger the stench of rot became, and I struggled to keep myself from retching.
She stopped halfway into the room, and I gawked at her hands. They were transforming. Her fingers elongating into razor-edged blades. She then began to hunch over, and I cringed as her spine cracked and popped until she was as bent as a candy cane, her face staring at her pelvis.
As if that wasn't unsettling enough, her head creaked as it spun around 180 degrees, now facing the front, upside down. Right after, her arms shot to the ground, and I watched with increasing dread as she bent them at the elbows and wrists so they flanked her head like distorted T-Rex arms.
She spread her fingers out and took a few more steps towards me, and I held my breath, hoping she couldn't hear my rabid heart or smell my fear. Her ankle bones clicked and clacked against the tiles as she made her way around the desk, and I cowered as my frantic eyes searched for a weapon. I found none, but I did spy a brass button beside my head.
With her legs now an arms distance away, I had nothing to lose as I jammed my thumb into the button. The back of the desk flung open, and I scrambled to my feet and dashed out from my hiding place, screaming in response to the nurse screeching behind me. Bursting through the door, I held up my fists and began punching like a maniac in fearful anticipation of a horde of nurses swarming me.
Except I was no longer in a hospital. I was in an outdoor parking lot. Alone. And judging by the roiling red clouds, a storm was brewing. After a second to collect my bearings, I dove into the closest car, thankful it was unlocked. The moment I slammed the door shut, lightning blinded me as thunder cracked and the downpour began. Sighing in relief, I tried to shake away my adrenaline, but the bloodshot eyes in my rearview mirror reignited my panic.
Before I could react, a belt snapped over my neck, pinning my head back against the headrest. With a frightened wheeze, I clawed at the leather, and I flinched as hot, heavy breath wafted across my ear. Gagging at the putrid smell, I reached over, desperate to scratch my strangler's face or poke their eyes out.
I felt their greasy hair and tried to pull it, but my fingers refused to hold on. I tried again and again, using my nails for purchase, but the strands just kept slipping out of my weak grip. Shifting focus, I tried to claw at their eyes, but it felt as though I was moving through molasses as my hand slid down their face. Once I felt a wet, bulbous eye, I tried to scratch it, but I didn't have enough strength to do anything damage.
My frustration clashed with my terror and I tried to punch them, but my arm swung back in slow motion and merely prodded a stubbly cheek. Tears welled in my eyes as I writhed and gasped, my strangler's laugh adding insult to injury. Despite knowing death will set me free, fear and self-preservation rummaged through my mind, searching for a solution. And they found one.
Hoping I had enough grip and energy, I reached down and found the reclining lever. Wrapping my fingers around it tight, I jerked it up and heaved my body back, and I gulped in a deep breath as I fell backwards, the belt now slack. Not at all prepared to face my attacker, I slipped out from beneath the belt, flung open the door, and zoomed out into the storm.
Sheets of rain obscured my vision, but not enough for me to see that the keys were left inside a red convertible. After making sure no one was hiding in the back, I jumped in, started the engine, and took off, the wheels squealing through the puddles. A sole street curled down a hill, and I took it, adrenaline pumping in waves through my quivering body.
This rush was a confusing mixture of exhilaration and apprehension. I wanted out, but I wasn't giving up. I made it this far, and I was going to survive every cliche this masochist dreamed up. Sharks? Snakes? Zombies? Bring it on. And afterwards, I was going to detail every single trial and tribulation I went through as I sued the dream bank for all the trauma they caused me.
Up ahead, the road curved, and I gasped as it ended in a cliff. I slammed the breaks, but they didn't do anything. Breaking out in a cold sweat, I slammed them again and again as I yanked the hand break as far as it would go. The car refused to slow down, and I cursed myself for not anticipating this cliche. In a move of desperation, I swerved, but it wasn't enough as the car careened over the edge and took me with it.
My heart hung in my throat as I hung on to the steering wheel, my knuckles white, my screams frozen in my lungs, the raindrops like needles. An endless body of water spread below me, and I knew sharks were my next challenge. I screwed my eyes shut as I awaited the inevitable plunge …
… and I gasped as the car crashed against the surface.
I lurched forward, and I cried out as I bashed my forehead against the wheel. Groaning, I leaned back, my ears ringing as I looked around, disoriented. I was still in the convertible, but we were right side up, having crashed into the concrete wall of an indoor garage. Blood trickled down my face and I reached up, only to feel around my head in shock.
I was wearing the helmet.
Why was it in the dream?
Or had I made it out?
I looked down. I wasn't naked. My pyjamas were plastered to my sweat-soaked skin. I was out. I looked around at the broken glass and mangled metal in confusion. But if I was finally out, why was I in a car and not between silk sheets?
I removed the helmet, and a yell from behind made me jump. I turned to see one of the dream techs running towards me. Was she always that skinny? And why were her scrubs red instead of the usual blue?
She made it to me, panting as she took the helmet out of my hands, and I wrinkled my nose at her unpleasant breath. She said I'd had a nightmare and began sleepwalking, and I'd left the dream bank and stole a car from their underground parking before she triggered a wake-up signal in the helmet, which made me crash.
I stared at her, not believing what I was hearing. I told her I'd booked a projection, not a recording, and she gave me a concerned frown and claimed the opposite. Anger replaced my confusion, and I called her a liar and accused them of misconduct, and she reminded me that dreams can only be unlocked by the dreamer.
Furious, I cursed at her as I tried to get out of the car, demanding to see my file. She was quick to tell me not to move in case I made my injuries worse as she pulled out her phone and said she was going to call an ambulance.
While I sat there and waited, fuming, I glimpsed my reflection in the dangling rearview mirror. Unease rippled beneath my skin and I sat up, grabbing the mirror and angling it to show my neck.
There was an angry red mark across it.
As though I was recently strangled.
Trembling, I tilted the mirror up.
Cobwebs. Stuck in my hair.
Dumbstruck in utter stupefaction, I scanned the rest of my body. My pyjamas were dirty and there was black under my fingernails, but the rest of my examination was cut short by tinny circus music. A chill jolted down my spine and I whipped my head to face the dream tech. That was her ringtone. She smiled as she answered the call, and I drew back at her yellow, toothy grin.
What was going on? I was out of the dream, I knew I was. Had everything been real? What had the dream bank done with me? Done to me?
Ambulance sirens wailed as they entered the underground parking, and the flashing red lights reflecting off the walls triggered my recent traumas. With terror-fueled adrenaline flooding my veins, I jerked my legs free of the wreck, jumped out of the car, and booked it, the dream tech's yells merging with the screeching sirens behind me.
submitted by SkittishReflections to nosleep [link] [comments]

2023.06.10 18:44 thepoetrymanOF 8. Revenge

He thought he could get away with it. He thought that the harm he caused to someone else would simply fade away into the shadows, never to be brought to light. And for three years, he was right. He went about his life as if nothing had happened, while the person he had hurt suffered in silence.
But then, on the exact same day three years later, everything changed. Suddenly, his life was falling apart at the seams. His relationships crumbled, his career went up in flames, and he found himself facing one misfortune after another. He couldn't understand why everything was going so wrong, but deep down, he knew that he had brought this upon himself.
It was as if karma had finally caught up with him, exacting its revenge in the most brutal way possible. And while he couldn't explain how or why this was happening to him, there was a nagging feeling at the back of his mind that someone was behind it all. Someone who knew what he had done, and had sent this karmic retribution his way.
He couldn't prove it, of course. There was no evidence, no smoking gun that could point him in the direction of his tormentor. But he couldn't shake the feeling that there was something more going on here, something beyond his understanding.
And so he suffered, day after day, as his life continued to unravel. He tried to make amends, to right the wrongs he had committed, but it was too late. The damage had been done, and there was no going back.
In the end, he was left with nothing but the bitter taste of regret. Regret for what he had done, and for the fact that he had thought he could get away with it. But most of all, he felt regret for the fact that he had hurt someone else, and that he had caused them so much pain.
As for the person who had sent the karma his way? They remained in the shadows, content in the knowledge that justice had been served. They didn't need recognition or thanks for what they had done; they simply knew that they had done the right thing, and that wasn't enough.
Little did the man know that the karma he received was not the end of his punishment. The person who had sent the karma had bigger plans for him, plans that would take nine long years to unfold. The punishment would be slow and subtle, and it would be designed to make him question his own sanity.
Over the next few years, strange things began to happen to the man. He would hear whispers in the night, see shadows darting out of the corner of his eye, and feel an overwhelming sense of dread whenever he entered certain rooms. He tried to brush it off as paranoia, but deep down, he knew that something wasn't right.
As time went on, the incidents became more frequent and more intense. The man would wake up in the middle of the night to find his possessions moved or broken, and strange symbols etched into the walls. He tried to rationalize it away, but the fear continued to grow inside of him.
Eventually, he found himself on the brink of madness. He couldn't trust his own perceptions anymore, and he was convinced that he was being haunted by some malevolent force. But what he didn't know was that the force was not supernatural, but rather the result of someone who had carefully planned their revenge over the course of nine long years.
And as the man lay there, alone and terrified, he realized that he had been wrong. He had thought that he could get away with hurting someone, but in the end, the only thing he had achieved was to bring his own downfall upon himself - Karma
I met an old man a few months ago, he told me this story before he died. His name was John.
John spoke of a man who had caused harm to someone else and thought that he could get away with it. But after three years, karma caught up with him in the most brutal way possible, and his life fell apart at the seams. The man suffered day after day, and eventually, strange things began to happen to him, driving him to the brink of madness.
John then revealed that he was the person behind the karmic revenge. He had carefully planned his revenge over the course of nine long years, and he was satisfied with the outcome.
He explained to me that the meaning of the story was that justice always prevails, even if it takes time. He believed that it was essential to hold people accountable for their actions, and if the law couldn't do it, then you should.
John thought that revenge was worth it because it was the only way to make the man pay for the harm he had caused. He believed that sometimes, people needed to take matters into their own hands to ensure that justice was served.
His story made me reflect on the consequences of our actions and the importance of accountability. It reminded me that our actions have a ripple effect that can last for years, and it's up to us to take responsibility for them.
submitted by thepoetrymanOF to poetrypage [link] [comments]

2023.06.10 18:28 LowkeyWeirdBro Pounding, Extremely Painful Headache From Even Slight Exertion

M19, otherwise healthy, no history of much of anything relevant in family. Taking acutane if that could be relevant.
A little over a week ago I was hitting legs in the gym after a while of not working out since coming home from college. After maxing on leg press, I moved to quad extensions. While on my last set I was pushing very hard when all of a sudden the back of my neck and base of my skull started pounding and hurting about a 9/10 on the pain scale, to the point that I yelped out loud and almost passed out. Leaving the gym, the headache continued to a lesser degree.
Worried about my health, I visited the ER, where they told me it was just exertion. Going home, any time I stood up too quickly, walked up the stairs, or did anything remotely exerting, even sneezing, the headache would return, always in the same place and would leave me feeling terrible after. I gave it a few days of not doing anything, resting up and trying to avoid exertion before trying to return to the gym.
Two days ago, my first day back in the gym since my incident, I was doing dumbbell bench press a little under my normal working weight to try and prevent the headache from coming back, and it still came back. I let it fade and continued to work out at a much lower intensity, and it only came back a very small amount when I pushed too hard on other exercises. I gave myself another day off, yesterday, where I had basically no headaches at all even when exerting myself.
Today I went back to the gym, where I am writing this, and upon my first set of lat pull-downs, a relatively light exercise, my head started hurting nearly as bad as the first time it happened when I was just warming up.
I’m really tired of this and concerned that it’s sticking around, and getting a little worried for my health. Is there some reason this could be happening? Is there something I can do?
submitted by LowkeyWeirdBro to AskDocs [link] [comments]

2023.06.10 18:12 pepitosde Interesting choice of words

Interesting choice of words
YouTube comment on a video about headliner restoration...
submitted by pepitosde to facepalm [link] [comments]

2023.06.10 18:09 Grand_Presentation32 Deaf Ears

I write poems to be read out loud.
Listened to for understanding
like a report card for gym class
how they rate me on my jumping jacks
my ability to pack a bag
clean a closet
collecting all my rent deposit
just to go out on a limb like
maybe something good will happen.
Cuz when they see a daring me
a braver me
a me that’s to my core—
then they’ll really see me
know me
know that I was real
that 20 years I spent away
from the country I was born
and I never learned the language
perhaps they’ll feel it in my voice.
I think thoughts to be written down
and recited for some reaction
like dandelions in a storm
how it waves and rarely changes form.
Cuz this is who I am
and I know it’s not that special,
but for some 50 lines,
in that time, they’re mine
and I try to make it matter.
Try to make it honest.
And somehow, I find I fail.
How all deaf ears just
fall on me
and that weight is far more real
than I could ever be.
Do I forget how to listen? How how to be heard?
How they told me this story in cheap english words:
All the rifles and bombs told them, “bounce”
now they raise all the children in one single house
so how do I learn how to matter?
I’m half-blooded. Privileged.
And nothing like you.
I was loved for no reason,
so I thought loving was easy,
and listening was, too.
I think thoughts to be written down
I write poems to be read out loud
I live life for the risk of your apathy
for the moments it’s worth just a chance—
to be seen for who I am.
And sometimes, I write to be silent.
And I think without sounds
like a dead circuit board
then i leave without saying goodbye.
It might take a few tries come back to life
to fade out with a song that will move them,
then we all get standing ovations,
and everyone’s shaking hands.
Where is my home without the pit of the noises?
The static and gurgles and snaps?
What do you get out of me?
I want to give you something better,
but this is all I have.
submitted by Grand_Presentation32 to poetry_critics [link] [comments]

2023.06.10 18:05 Iammickeymj He ghosted, came back and is slow fading me

So this guy I was talking to ghosted me for two weeks, came back apologized. We started talking again, the conversation died and then he contacted me first again and is now slow fading me. I left him on delivered after he sent me the most dry text messages. What do I make of this? Clearly he has some issues. Like why initiate contact and then act like I’m forcing you to talk to me? Anyone been in a similar situation/can understand what this guy is thinking?
submitted by Iammickeymj to dating_advice [link] [comments]

2023.06.10 18:00 seanalltogether [android][2023.22.0] How do I stop Android app from hiding my system nav bar when viewing images or videos?

Whenever i view media, after about 2 seconds the bottom system nav bar fades away, which means i have to tap the screen once to activate it, then tap again just to go back. How do i disable this feature?
submitted by seanalltogether to redditmobile [link] [comments]

2023.06.10 17:52 YouAlreadyShnowww “I used to be a REAL piece of shit. Slicked back hair, sloppy steaks at Pyloon’s. You would have NOT liked me back then”

“I used to be a REAL piece of shit. Slicked back hair, sloppy steaks at Pyloon’s. You would have NOT liked me back then” submitted by YouAlreadyShnowww to FallenOrder [link] [comments]

2023.06.10 17:51 l3murus [EU] Looking for gaming buddies to chill out and play

My name is Isack, and I got pretty bored of playing everything by myself lately. It's been a looong time since my LoL crew faded out (I'm 29). Played many different games after that, but with years I've become more introverted and didn't catch onto any social circles.
I'm super chill, always focused on improvement and comfortable space for anyone around me. Toxicity and raging are mostly a no-no, not emotions that I'm striving for. Let's have some happy times, laughs and fun.
Besides OW, CS, Valorant and some horror games I'm always ready to come back to League, Apex, Fortnite (zero building, the dreaaam), Guild Wars 2, Terraria, Minecraft. There are soooo many cool new online games now though, we can play whatever, as long as we chillin and having a good time.
If anyone's interested hit me up here or on discord (Isack#9396). I'm free most evenings.
submitted by l3murus to GamerPals [link] [comments]

2023.06.10 17:46 riverspiritscorpio Being gnc is harder for me than being trans was

For context I'm in my 20s, socially transitioned around 12, medically immediately at 18 and then detransitioned after a year and a half on T (at the beginning of 2020, pre- lockdown). Ultimately I detransitioned because I started having panic attacks about doing shots and I was about to have a consultation for top surgery but realized I want to have my own family someday and not be reliant on doctors just to be comfortable.
The past few years after detransition haven't been great and all that has taken my thoughts away from gender. Now though? I'm doing pretty good but I haven't felt like myself, my presentation is so feminine when I leave the house I'm starting to feel like I'm doing it for the same reasons I presented male. Just disingenuous.
I'm just not sure if I'm allowed to just be a more gnc woman because my brain just tells me to get a fade haircut and start binding again. My family is extremely homophobic and completely hated the trans identity so if I'm suddenly a more obvious lesbian it could cause problems. When trying to date women I'm not attracting my type because I look so femme, or I'm just not believed because I'm bi (i exclusively date women).
I don't know, does anyone else feel this way? I definitely need to find a new "style" with clothes and hair but overall, when I think about looking more masc my brain just goes back into trans guy mode.
submitted by riverspiritscorpio to detrans [link] [comments]

2023.06.10 17:25 Seamoose_Art Wasteland (Fallout x NoP)

Heads up! This story is both unpolished and unfinished, and posted here only for the sake of not letting my work go entirely to waste. If you want to continue the story yourself, feel free to do so.
Credit for The Nature of Predators goes to u/spacepaladin15.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Memory Transcription Subject: Rania, Gojid Civilian
Date [Standardized Human Time]: Error 560 (estimated date: September, 2136)
At first, we assumed it to be an Arxur weapon, but we had plenty of time to get a more detailed look at the object intersecting our FTL trajectory. A mass of energy, far more than a star could emit, yet giving off no light. Gravitational pull was intense, but completely wrong for a black hole. Maybe the remains of a massive warp core accident? Whatever it was, it was directly in our path.
We had ample time before our collision, and nothing we could do. Our course was set, and escape vessels couldn’t be launched during an FTL jump. All that was left was to wait, and pray for a mercifully quick death that we all knew was unlikely. We built our starships to withstand direct assault from Arxur warships. Our deaths would be both inevitable and slow.
I was away from the refugee’s quarters, on the bridge. I couldn’t bear to watch pups cry in terror, as their parents tried hopelessly to ease their fear. The bridge was only marginally better. Some of the crew were facing their imminent death with stoicism. Many were praying. Many were crying. I don’t remember what I was doing when it hit, but I was probably crying too.
Then… then…
Pain, agonizing and blinding pain. No screaming. No noise at all. Silence, darkness, death.
Movement. But I couldn’t possibly move myself. Was I carried?

My first coherent memories started taking shape next to a fire. I couldn’t see, but the warmth and crackling were unmistakable. I tried to move, only to find myself unmoving. Was I in the wreckage of the ship? I felt no pain. Was I already dead?
“Hey, look who’s finally back in the land of the living. Can you hear me?”
A human. The species that started this whole mess. That attacked our cradle, let the Arxur find an easy target. That taunted us with their “Evacuation” cattle roundups. The disgusting mockery of a voice washed over me, tainting my very soul.
That fire must be to roast my flesh. Does it want my fear, before it kills me? It won’t get a single goddamn word, not so much as a noise.
“You… damn, he must still be out of it. Maybe another stimpak..?”
Cli-hsssss. A stabbing pain in my arm, followed by… relief? My arm twitched slightly, but I couldn’t manage anything more. A rushing sound filled my ears, overpowering the growl on my left until it bore me away to unconsciousness.

I woke up on a bed, staring at what must’ve been the ceiling, though all I could see was vague rust-brown shapes in the distance. My body still refused to move. And yet still, somehow, so little pain. Was my nervous system destroyed?
No. Hunger. Brutal, snarling hunger stabbed through my stomach like a dagger. I made a weak noise, remembered where I was, and rapidly forced silence. If it knows I’m awake, it’ll torture me until it lets me die…
“Oh! You— you’re awake again! Can you hear me?”
Don’t make a noise. It might lose interest.
“...No. Dammit. It’s going to starve if it doesn’t fully wake up soon… I can’t afford all these meds for much longer anyway. I’ll just have to… leave this here for it. Maybe it’ll wake again while I’m out.”
And just like that, a rush of movement and it was gone. It worked! I lived… I lived, just so I could starve…

By the graces of the protector. Food. I could smell food, just inches to my right. Can I move to pick it up? Can I move my jaw to eat?
Is it a trap? The human must be trying to fatten me up. Or maybe it didn’t leave at all, and is just waiting in the shadows to see if I take the bait. Or… maybe…
Fuck it. I was already good as dead, I could at least die full. I tried moving my arm, but to no avail. My other arm was no better. Maybe I could move my head?
The world shifted around me, a nauseating whirl of muted colors. But that meant my head could move. I could move… the food was still just barely out of reach. I can almost taste it… it’s so close to my nose…
I let out a weak cry of frustration. I couldn’t help myself. Did the human intend for this torture? The frustration became rage, filling my body like a white-hot star until I—
Trembling, my claw grasped the food. Rage and hunger animated my arm, pushing it forward. Whatever this was, it was soft. It smelled heavenly. I brought it up to my face. My vision was just recovered enough to make out its form; a strayu-like pillow drizzled with a sweet glaze. I tore into it like an animal, barely even tasting. I must not have eaten in days.
Gone in seconds, and the hunger was barely sated. But it was enough energy to force movement with. Slowly, unsteadily, I rose to a sitting position. The world threatened to shift away from under me, but I held, trying to get my bearings.
I’m in… some sort of shack. Bare, rusted sheet metal on the walls; clearly an improvised structure. Other than that oddity, the room was surprisingly normal. No blood dripping from cages, no hunting trophies on the walls. A torn up carpet, a beaten-up table and chair, some cabinets, all illuminated by soft rays of light pouring in from a window over the table. And right next to my little mattress… is that more food? Some sort of orange vegetable. Like the sweet strayu, I ate without even tasting.
Much better. I was still starving, but only metaphorically. I could even move my other arm, though my legs were entirely numb and refused to cooperate no matter how much I pushed them. Could I escape by dragging my body with my arms?
No. I was still too weak. I had to count on the human fattening me up a bit more before I could make a break for it.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Memory Recovery Subject: Nathan Dunne, sole survivor of Vault 111
Date: December 13th, 2287
Just a hair to the right… and… Now. The interloper, a feral dog that had wandered onto the property, dropped without a sound.
I couldn’t afford to attract any attention, so I’d hastily slapped together a silencer for my pipe revolver. An old oil filter, just small enough to not obstruct the scope I’d hastily tied to the top. The gun looked ridiculous, but it got the job done silently. If I attracted any visitors, my alien guest was as good as dead. Nearly a week after finding it, and it still wasn’t waking up consistently.
Now’s not the time for thought. Focus. Now.
The second dog also dropped. The alpha of the pack still hadn’t noticed anything, a miracle. I lined up one last shot… pulled the trigger, and finally let myself breath. That was way too close. Every day without the fence finished was another day of silent stress.
Putting up a fence was easy enough, but putting up a fence QUIETLY was nightmarishly slow work, constantly punctuated by hiding from any would-be visitors. But these dogs had wandered onto the property without even seeing me. Could they smell the alien? I knew Dogmeat could track injuries from a far greater distance…
Fence should've been up yesterday. Back to work.
I’m running out of barbed wire. And screws. And boards. Can I afford another expedition? What if Dogmeat can’t defend him? Not a chance in hell I’m risking any other group learning about this… although Mama Murphy probably knows anyway, doesn’t she. Maybe the Minutemen can—
No. I can’t risk it. I’ll have to improvise. Maybe I can set up a Tesla arc as defense and leave to raid Sunshine Tidings. Rusted metal sheets don’t make for the best walls, but better than nothing.
The sun was still high, so I had some time if I hurried. As I began gathering supplies, a thought crossed my mind. A Tesla arc was better than nothing, and Dogmeat was formidable enough, but… surely if the alien was in serious danger, it could use some self defense. Those spikes weren’t gonna cut it. Maybe that bastard Kellogg’s old .44 would finally get some use?
I grabbed the .44 revolver, a spare arc trap I’d salvaged from Fort Hagan, and some tools. It would have to do. There was already power hooked up to the shack for heating, so wiring the—
The food’s gone.
Dogmeat didn’t eat carrots, so I knew there was only one culprit. The alien must’ve woken up while I was working. It was back asleep now, but at least it got something down. It wouldn’t starve. Thank god.
…right. If it can wake up, this trap is probably more dangerous to it than any invader. I walked back over to the shed, stowed the Tesla arc and tools, and grabbed a handful of vegetables and a water canteen. If it could stomach food, it needed to start putting on weight now to make up for lost time. This would be a start, at least.
I set the food and water on the table (taking care not to break the digital chimera I’d already laid there), and the gun beside the bed. I knew it could reach to there, without a doubt. Maybe toss in a handful more bullets, too; it’s not like I’d ever be able to make myself use the damn thing. I gave one last glance at the alien curled up on a bare mattress before closing the door and setting out.

Memory Transcription Subject: Rania, Gojid Civilian
Date [Standardized Human Time]: Error 560 (estimated date: Unknown)
Help me. Kay-ut. Ki-ra. Protector. Anyone. It’s right there.
When I heard the human coming, I faked sleep hoping it wouldn’t check. As seconds passed, that hope grew thinner and thinner. Clearly, it could see the food was gone. Not that it needed to figure anything out; it could probably see through my deception just looking at me. Ki-yu, trickster; please, let this work. Let me live a moment longer. Noises all around me. Was it laying out torturous weaponry? Was it getting ready to gut me?
Protector. Please. I don’t want to die.
The noise around me stopped. Had the gods heard my prayers? I dared not check; if the human was still there, and I so much as opened an eye, I was dead. But death failed to claim me, and more noises failed to appear, until I finally worked up the courage to take advantage of my blessing and open my eyes.
The human was gone. I was alive. One more look around the room, to make sure it hadn’t—
A gun. A human weapon, close enough to grab. And ammo…
I knew humans were masters at trapping, at deceiving; such was their nature. I stared at the gun, trying to figure out what the trap was.
But I was tired, and hungry, and every sense told me that this wasn’t a trap, but a loaded gun. An answer to my prayers for safety. I couldn’t hold myself back anymore. I picked it up. It felt solid and weighty in my hands, lending some sense of security to the otherwise hopeless situation. Emboldened, I tried to rise to my feet again.
If I grabbed some of the furniture and stood on my good leg, I could just about stay upright without pain. That would have to do for now. Maybe I could use something in this room as a crutch. A leg of the table might do nicely, if I could—
Food. More food, all over the table. A sprawl of alien vegetables, including that orange one I had earlier. A metal jug, probably filled with water. And… is that a translator?
Curiosity overpowered both my hunger and my fear. On closer inspection, it was indeed a translator, one of the older dedicated units. Wired into… some sort of metal armband with a green flickering screen. The craftsmanship was shoddy; some parts were literally held together with insulated tape. Still, it appeared to be powered on and functional.
If I wasn’t in so much danger… I’d love to get a better look at what the human did with this thing. To wire Federation tech directly into one of their devices, and make it work…
My attention drifted back to the bounty laid out on the table before me. It could all be poisoned, but I’d already eaten the human’s food; what harm could it do to be full?

Sweeter than the orange one, but not as filling. Kind of mushy. Now no longer starving, I began to savor my meal slightly more. The green fruit was next, the one nearly the size of my skull. Upon breaking open the shell, it turned out to be pinkish red inside, and so juicy that I didn’t even need the water in the jug.
Bitter, but strangely satisfying. Next was a massive purple flower, which I could only guess was supposed to be food as well. The taste was unpleasant, but it felt bizarrely good to eat. Maybe a medicinal herb?
Why would the human give me a medicinal herb?
I’d been circling around the question for some time now. Why the food? Why the gun? Why the lack of gutting? Even if those supposed “empathy tests” weren’t faked, our species were at war! Did it not know?
Well-fed prey made for better-tasting prey, but a gun did not feed. A translator did not feed. Did it really want to talk to me? I weighed my options.
Option 1: Run. Impossible to do in my current state. Even with a large head start, even with uninjured legs, humans were nothing if not persistent; my odds were not all too favorable. And where would I go, anyway?
Option 2: Hide. Impossible to do in any state. Humans were perceptive and cunning. Nothing short of divine protection would hide me. And again, where would I go afterwards?
Option 3: Fight. I had a loaded gun, but for all I knew it was only there to lure me into a false sense of security. And besides, did I really expect to outfight a predator?
Option 4: Talk. It wasn’t likely, but maybe the human would have some sympathy (or at least fake some sympathy to keep up appearances). I was already injured, and it hadn’t torn me apart already; it clearly had something else in mind. Maybe the translator was involved in its “Something else”?
I didn’t… like that last option, but it seemed a hair better than shooting on sight when the human came back. Maybe I was forsaking the protection of the gods, forsaking my fellow Gojid. But none of the options were without risk, and I had to try something bold if I wanted to survive.
A noise from outside roused me from my thoughts. It’s coming. Time to make your choice.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Memory Recovery Subject: Nathan Dunne, sole survivor of Vault 111
Date: December 13th, 2287
Halfway through the outbound trip, I realized I’d forgotten my pip-boy at camp. I’d taken both off, while working on wiring in that translator to the spare one from Vault 81. Having no way of assessing potential injuries simply would not do.
Halfway through the return trip, I realized I’d brought Dogmeat with me instead of leaving him to guard. I managed to make myself move a little faster. That .44 was no guarantee of safety, not if the alien simply couldn’t get up.
Once back, I could at least be sure that nothing happened. No blue blood seeping through the shack’s foundation. I grabbed the pip-boy, ordered Dogmeat to patrol, and prepared to leave before the daylight faded.
That’s a bit cold, isn’t it? Leaving without even checking on your guest?
I was leaving so I could build a fence for its protection, but… a quick check couldn’t hurt. Just to make sure nothing happened, right? Yeah. Sure. I had the time. Though maybe barging straight in wasn’t the brightest idea, not when I had just given it a revolver.
I knocked twice, and tried to lower my voice to a more soothing register. I had no idea if my hacked-together translator abomination would work, so tone was key. Before I could even speak, I heard a wild scrambling from the inside.
“Don’t— please don’t k-kill me, human, I’ll… I’ll do anything.”
…I guess I should be glad the translator worked? What the hell was that?
“I’m not gonna hurt you. I promise. Is it OK with you if I come inside?”
“I… Y-Yes.”
I gave Dogmeat a strong look to stay back, and cracked open the door. The terrified sniveling over the translator couldn’t have prepared me for what met my gaze.
A few weeks ago, I’d heard a heart-wrenching noise while poking around the edge of the glowing sea; a lone radstag doe, torn literally in half by a deathclaw. The beast was scared off by an approaching Vertibird, leaving the doe to wail helplessly until I put it out of its misery.
I had nothing else I could compare the alien to. It was shaking like an aspen leaf, eyes screwed shut and body curled up against the wall. The gun was still technically in its hand (claw?), but pointed at nothing. Just looking at the thing made me feel helpless.
But I brought it back from the brink of death. Soothing terror would surely be easier than saving its life.

Memory Transcription Subject: Rania, Gojid Civilian
Date [Standardized Human Time]: Error 560 (estimated date: Unknown)
Protector. Please, give me strength. It’s… It’s going to…
No. It just wants to talk. Rania, get a hold of yourself.
I cracked open an eye. Tears largely blinded me from the horrifying details of the predator, but the human still towered over me, casting an engulfing shadow over my weakened form. It was all I could do to not further embarrass myself with incoherent pleading.
It seemed to take notice of my fear, crouching down to roughly eye level.
“You’re OK. I’m not going to hurt you, no matter what. What’s your name?”
“R-Rania.” I forced another eye open. The human had moved itself to a chair. Soft daylight illuminated a pair of forward-facing eyes, but no predatory scowl. It had an expression which could be mistaken for solemn sympathy on another species. But it had no reason not to be sincere. There was no other audience, nor anything I could do to escape. Could it really be concerned?
“Rania. My name is Nate. Can you tell me… what you are?”
“Just Nate? I— I thought humans had two names.”
“Oh, uhh… Nathan Dunne. I just go by Nate.”
I noticed a distinct look of confusion engulf the human’s face. Actually, I started to notice a lot of things. It wasn’t just the building and translator that were so clearly improvised. It— Nate’s armor was clearly not standard-issue anything. Nor the weapon on his side, some sort of pistol made seemingly from scrap.
He didn’t look like a UN soldier, nor a civilian of any type. And… just now… did he ask what I was? How could he not know?
“I’m a… I’m a G—Gojid. Does that mean anything to you?”
He shook his head, which even I knew was a human gesture for no. “Not as such. I might need to work out some issues with the translator, though, so don't count on it meaning—”
“The Federation? The cradle? Venlil? Arxur? UN?”
A bizarre shudder passed through Nate. “I know about the UN, though I can’t imagine how they’re relevant now… and no to the rest.”
“I can’t imagine how they’re relevant”!? What the hell could that mean?
“What— what does the UN mean to you?”
Again, that shudder, like a shadow cast over his soul. “They were a global group, trying to keep international peace. When the first Resource wars sparked… they collapsed like a house of cards. 2052. I was 12. After that, it…” he trailed off, before forcing himself to speak. “It all went to hell. As you can see.”
I couldn’t speak for shock. Predators were deceitful by their nature, yet I knew in my heart his words were sincere. It was plain as day, etched across his face. And if so… What the hell? What the hell!? What was any of that?
“As you can see? What do you mean?”
“Can you walk?”
Should I reveal my weakness? I don’t see any way he couldn’t notice my condition by now, so maybe I can get some sympathy for it?
“I… no, I don’t think so…”
“Then I can carry you outside. If you want, I mean. You’ll see what I meant by ‘went to hell’ real quickly.”
He’d have to… oh Protector, if he chose to carry me to slaughter, there’d be nothing I could do. But by this point, my fear was starting to wear thin from weariness. Curiosity was slowly taking the upper hand.
“S-show me.”
And just like that, the world moved out from under me. Instinctively, I grasped the human’s artificial pelt like a pup clinging to its mother. Light flooded my still tearstained eyes. I blinked them clear, and looked out on the world.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Memory Transcription Subject: Rania, Gojid Civilian
Date [Standardized Human Time]: Error 560 (estimated date: Unknown)
Was this Earth? This couldn’t be Earth. Earth was green, wasn’t it?
Yellow foliage, grey trees. A soft blue sky, intermittently broken up by concrete highways that towered towards the clouds. And on the horizon, the mammoth corpse of a city, a metal carcass that dominated the skyline.
No green. No life. Not even wind. The whole scene was eerily still, seemingly frozen in time.
Unable to make sense of the wider world, my attention drifted closer. A ring of ramshackle fencing, a larger building that I might mistake for a house. An ancient hand-worked water pump. A plot of vegetables. A beast with glistening fangs, bounding towards—
“Dogmeat, no. Stay.”
Somehow, impossibly, the beast heeded the command, slowing down enough for me to get a better look at my imminent demise. Long brown fur with black markings, a swishing tail, a red fabric tied around its neck. Forward-facing eyes gleaming with hideous intelligence. It sat down, tilting its head and letting out a shrill whine.
“You still haven’t met Dogmeat yet, have you— Rania? Rania!”
I couldn’t breathe. It was looking straight at me. I thought the human was terrifying, but this thing made it look harmless. Did Nate not realize the danger he was in?
“N— No! Please… don’t let it…”
“It’s not going to hurt you either. You’re OK. Breathe.” Nate turned slightly, shielding the beast from view. “Here. We can go back inside if he scares you too much.” I managed to choke out an affirmation, and felt darkness overtake me as we rushed back into the relative safety of the shack. The door clicked shut, sealing the beast outside.
“Rania, talk to me. Can you breathe?”
“Please… please don’t feed me to it…”
Nate’s eyes went wide, and his hand rose to cover his mouth. I didn’t know much human body language (aside from the vicious snarl they called a smile), but shock was a constant across almost every species. His eyes cast around the room wildly, his breathing becoming erratic before he managed to regain control.
“Rania, I— I’m not going to feed you to him. You— listen, I won’t even let him in. It’s safe here.” He clearly had something else to say, and silently struggled with the words for a moment before finding his phrasing. “Can you tell me why you’re so scared? What happened before I found you?”
The words took several moments to consciously register, but their effect was immediate. If Nate was trying to startle me out of my fear, he couldn’t have done a better job. When I spoke, it was with startling clarity as fear was replaced by near-indignant confusion.
“How could I not be scared? You’re predators. Even if… even if you really don’t want to kill me, seeing injured prey must be a powerful temptation to your instincts, no? Not to mention the invasion of the cradle; even if you do have empathy, why try to save an enemy species?”
A few moments of stillness, and then I mimicked his previous motion of shock as I realized what I’d done. If he somehow didn’t know the situation with the Gojid before, he did now. Even prey empathy didn’t extend to their sworn enemies. My stupid thoughtless rambling meant I was good as dead.
“Rania.” Nate’s words were slow, soft, and measured. “I don’t know where you come from or what the situation is out… up there. But I can promise you this.” He tapped my shoulder, snapping me out of my terrified reverie and forcing me to pay full attention. “I’m never going to hurt you. I’ll keep it safe here, as long as it takes for you to heal. You can hold me to that.”
“Safe… even safe from that monster..?”
Nate looked deeply hurt, but quickly covered it up with his previous expression of concern. “Yes. I wish I could prove to you that my dog is friendly, but… if he scares you that much, I’ll find somewhere else for him.”
He stole a glance out the window, before turning back to me. “Listen. I need to get some supplies for the fence while there’s still light. I’ll take Dogmeat with me. Do you know how to use this?” He gestured towards the gun, still sitting where I’d carelessly let it slip from my claws minutes earlier.
Apparently seeing straight through my lie, he bent down to show me. “Here, you just need to pull back the hammer. Finger over the trigger, and line up these sights on your target. Only pull the trigger when you know you have your shot.”
Nate stood up, putting one hand on the door before remembering something. “If you start hurting, you can use this.” He set a syringe down on the table. “Just stab wherever it hurts. The pack’ll do the rest for you. I’ll be back at sundown.”
And just like that, he was gone.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Memory Transcription Subject: Rania, Gojid Civilian
Date [Standardized Human Time]: Error 560 (estimated date: Unknown)
For a while, I just sat there, gun in hand and mind slowly dissolving from all the new information weighing it down. But boredom is a powerful thing, and even injured as I was, restlessness started to take hold.
With the beast gone, and gun in hand, I started convincing myself that it might be a good idea to get another look at the land. I needed to know what I had to work with in case… something happened. And I swore I saw a vegetable garden earlier. Curiosity was getting the better of me.
I tested my legs again. One was sore, but shockingly capable. The other was still burning when I applied pressure, and swaddled in bandages. I didn’t particularly feel like knowing what was under there. One leg would have to do. I didn’t need my legs to shoot, after all.
Cautiously, without making a sound, I cracked the door open. Nobody was out there. I took one shaky step. Then another. Inch by silent sore inch, I made my way over to the “house”.
Like everything out here, it was a rough-hewn heap of rusted metal and thick planks of wood. On closer inspection, however, some care had clearly been put into making it insulated. The windows even had glass (albeit covered in dust), rather than the screen mesh in my shack. This must be where the human lives.
What could Nate be hiding from me?
My curiosity burned brighter than the pain in my leg as I ambled towards the door. Unlocked. I peeked inside.
Thick layers of carpet. A fireplace on the wall, a couple paintings. A mattress much better-maintained than mine, pushed up under one of the windows.
No blood dripping from cages. No hunting trophies on the walls. No indication that this was the lair of a predator. If not for the construction materials, it could be mistaken for a house back on the cradle. It even has refrigeration and lights, without a functional power grid. I guess that predatory cunning comes in handy.
I already knew what the fridge must be filled with. I made the decision not to look. It’d be better if Nate didn’t know I was here, and that’d be pretty hard to hide with vomit all over his carpet. I couldn’t stop myself from looking in one of the cabinets, though. The thing was stuffed with cans of food, nearly full to bursting. Some were clearly homemade, some looked like they’d been excavated from the dirt. Maybe they had been.
My good leg was starting to ache, cutting my exploration short. With no small hesitation, I forced myself back outside, back to the shack where I could rest up a bit.

I was only steps away from the door when a horrifying sight stopped me in my tracks. Dead animals, three of them. Sickly looking things, but recognizably the same species as that ‘Dogmeat’. I couldn’t look away. Was Nate hunting before I woke up? I stepped closer, morbid curiosity dowsing my pain. I don’t see any bite marks. And… predators don’t eat other predators.

Did he kill them to protect me?
Humans were apex predators on their planet. It couldn’t have been self-defense. Nor could it have been hunger, if he’d just left them to rot. So… what other reasons would he have to fight?
I looked closer, my eyes meeting a series of glassy stares. Two of them looked literally skin and bones, but the third looked a lot like Dogmeat. Mouth closed, eyes staring up at the sky unseeing. I almost felt bad for it.
“I wish I could prove to you that my dog is friendly, but… if he scares you that much, I’ll find somewhere else for him.”
Did Nate feel any conflict, having to shoot them on my behalf? Was he going to shoot Dogmeat too, just to ease my fears? He clearly cared about the beast, but if he thought “keeping me safe” meant…

No. I wouldn’t let it come to that. I had to overcome my fear. If I wanted to survive, I needed to be stronger.
Reaching out to the body, arm trembling, I ran a claw down its side. It was soft… still warm, too. The thought that this predator had been alive so recently, only to be put down for my safety, managed to elicit a twinge of sorrow. That feeling, hold on to that. Force it through your fear.
My movements got bolder, even exploring the rows of sharp teeth hidden by a clenched jaw. And the soft fur on its underbelly… its long tail, which sat limp and unmoving on the dust. I could feel my fear begin to fade more and more with every second I sat next to the body of this predator.
Eventually, I forced myself to rise. As I walked back to my bed, I stole one last glance backwards. Instead of horrifying predators, all I saw was a family of three. That they had to die so I could live… the thought filled me with a strange sense of shame.
I couldn’t stand there forever. My poor legs wouldn’t allow it. Back to the bed, step by shaky step.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Memory Recovery Subject: Nathan Dunne, sole survivor of Vault 111
Date: December 13th, 2287
Hauling sheet metal was no easy task, even with the help of a dog. It was dark by the time I got home; I’d missed my appointment with the sunset by nearly half an hour.
Supplies stowed away, armor shed, weapons holstered. I rummaged around the fridge for a radstag fry I’d prepared a couple days ago. I didn’t have the energy to cook, and I still needed to check in with Rania. Dogmeat hovered around my ankles, performing his best puppy impression.
These might be the last meals you get to eat with him. I gave a few scraps for his unconvincing performance.
I knew the minutemen would take good care of him, and Valentine could make good use of his nose. But saying goodbye would be a challenge. He’d had my back practically since I escaped Vault 111, and casting him aside felt like nothing short of a betrayal.
The radstag felt like sawdust in my mouth. I tossed the rest of it to Dogmeat, who looked up quizzically rather than digging in. I knew he was wondering why I was being so generous all of a sudden, but I wasn’t ready to break the news to him yet.

“Is it OK with you if I come in?”
The voice responding sounded completely different. Still recognizably Rania, but without the terrified quivering I’d expected. “Yes. We need to talk.”
I slipped inside, taking care not to let out too much heat. The figure facing me, while again still undoubtedly Rania, was otherwise unrecognizable. Sitting up straight, unshaking, looking directly at me. A far cry from the poor creature I’d talked to when I left. He (he? I decided to assume it was male, given the voice from the translator) turned his head slightly to the side, leaving one eye to meet both of mine in what I assumed was an intense stare for a person with side-facing eyes.
“Nate.” Rania’s voice was thick with determination. “I’ve decided… I want to get used to Dogmeat. If he’s really as friendly as you say, you shouldn’t have to get rid of him just because of my fear.”
It was all I could do to suppress a full-bodied sigh of relief. If he’s on the fence on this decision, showing my joy would force his hand. I have to stay calm. “Can I ask why?”
“I, uh… I found the other predators. The feral ones. The ones you shot.”
“And I… I don’t want you to have to do the same for him. It doesn’t…” The quivering returned in shades, but he continued. “Even if you meant ‘find somewhere else for him’ literally, you shouldn’t have to do that for my sake.”
“I…” I buried my face in my hands, trying to beat back tears. “Thank you. I couldn’t imagine having to… thank you. I can still keep him away from you if you’re scared. You shouldn’t have to live in fear.”
Rania shifted uncomfortably in his seat. “Actually, I was thinking I should… you know, get used to him, not just tolerate him from a distance. Face my fear head-on. Just… not tonight, OK?”
For all that quivering, he’s a lot braver than I thought he’d be.
“Yeah. We can get something worked out later. Right now, you need to rest. I’m not just talking about tonight; you’re still injured. Best you can do right now is rest and eat. Which reminds me… The vegetables I brought you earlier. How were they? Any you really liked?”
“Oh, uhhh… yeah, the orange one was really nice. And that red mushy one wasn’t so pleasant; I could eat it anyway to get full, but I’d rather not. Why do you have so many vegetables, anyway?”
Why wouldn’t I? “What do you mean?”
“Well, I thought… predators eat flesh, right? Were you growing them for decoration? I mean… it was nice to see something green and growing out here, but that seems like a lot of effort!”
I couldn’t manage a verbal response to this. All I could give was a baffled stare, which Rania seemed to interpret as a threat.
“I— I didn’t mean to insult you—”
“No, no, it’s just…” I rubbed my eyes. Hauling sheet metal had sapped all my energy, but I couldn’t just let this slide. “I mean… humans aren’t obligate carnivores. Most predators aren’t; even deathclaws forage for mutfruit when they can. Or does the word ‘predator’ mean something else to you?”
It was Rania’s turn for a blank stare, and I began to wonder if I’d just said something insulting. He looked down, mumbling something the translator couldn’t catch, then turned his attention back. “I think we should talk about this later. I need to rest.”
I knew it was a flimsy excuse (I could practically see his mind overheating as he stared back into the ground), but he wasn’t exactly wrong. I bid my farewell with a solemn nod.

The moon cast a picturesque blue light through the windows, giving just enough illumination to fend off sleep. On its own, the meager light couldn’t fight off the exhaustion radiating through my muscles, but Rania’s bizarre outburst was also keeping me up.
Not knowing about the history of our planet was perfectly reasonable, given his alien identity. Being so scared of humans despite apparently knowing about them was strange, but nothing a bit of trauma couldn’t induce. But even schoolchildren knew the basics of the food chain, and I found it hard to believe that a space-faring alien race would be less knowledgeable about ecology than the local population of raiders. Even with no education at all, certain things were obvious by observation.
If nothing else, Rania was right about one thing. We will need to talk about this later.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
[Continued in comments]
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2023.06.10 17:23 ohhidied LEGACY: From the Book of SAW (Chapter 30) Kill or Be Killed

Read Chapter 29 Here:
*** CHAPTER 30 **\*
As Daniel is brought into the control room, his eyes widen at the sight of the bustling tech team huddled around a computer terminal, engrossed in their work. The ethereal glow of multiple screens illuminates their focused faces, while a tangled web of cables drape across the tabletop.
But what truly captured Daniel's attention was the meticulously detailed layout of the museum displayed before the team. The blueprint, marked with distinct security zones and strategic points, sprawled across the surface. Each section was carefully annotated, indicating cameras, alarm systems, trap locations, and other crucial information.
Time passes sluggishly, with tension hanging in the air for what feels like an eternity. The tech team painstakingly maneuvers through digital obstacles, their nimble fingers dancing across the keyboard, determined to breach the formidable firewall guarding the museum's security feed. Finally, success flashes across their faces as they gain access to the coveted treasure trove of footage.
The computer springs to life, displaying a mosaic of individual camera feeds. Daniel’s gaze darts across the screen, observing the technician skillfully navigating through the labyrinth of lenses. Each camera reveals different corners of the museum. His heart races as he witnesses the victims, trapped and vulnerable, captured by the unblinking eyes of the cameras.
Just as the tension reaches its zenith, the door swings open and Lincoln strides into the room.
Aware of the team’s crucial task, Lincoln breaks the silence, “Any progress?” he queries.
A spark of adrenaline ignites in Marlow’s eyes, “We just got it,” he exclaims, unable to contain his elation.
Lincoln’s footsteps echo softly as he circles the table, his eyes fixated on the monitor, and together they notice Gavin sitting on the cold floor, his posture guarded, clutching the box tightly against his side.
Marlow, furrowing his brow, spoke with concern, “That’s strange,” he murmurs.
Curiosity piqued, Lincoln redirects his attention towards Marlow, eager to uncover the cause of his colleague’s unease, “What is it?”
Marlow, delving into the depths of the internal code, sifts through the virtual layers with a sense of urgency. A realization dawns upon him as he unearths an unexpected anomaly. “This shouldn’t be here,” he stated.
Puzzled, Lincoln seeks clarification, “What’s the problem?”
With his eyes fixated on the screen, Marlow reveals the unsettling discovery, “There’s a duel broadcast,” he discloses.
As the significance of Marlow’s revelation sinks in, Lincoln’s gaze narrows, honing in on the critical detail before him. The digital feed displays a timer, ominously counting down from a daunting forty minutes. A sense of urgency permeates his words, “Is it live?”
Marlow focuses on Lincoln, “Yes, but, I need to establish a barrier to block Hoffman out and prevent him from regaining control.”
"Good. Do it. Let me know when it's done." Lincoln said.
Leaving the room behind, Lincoln stepped outside and spotted Agent Kullen with a squad member. Several entrances had been cleared of traps, and the dismantled weapons and explosives were being carefully transported to the rear of a SWAT van.
“We’ve got access to the security feed," Lincoln said, "The survivors are still alive.”
A sense of relief filled Kullen’s words, “Where are they being held?”
“You were right, new construction.” Lincoln confirmed.
Kullen looks over his shoulder towards the expansion area, "We’re still disabling those traps."
"One more thing," Lincoln said, "I didn’t see Logan and Elanor, but Gavin Beck is inside, and he's injured. Can't tell how bad…."
Swiftly responding to the update, Kullen activated his radio and relayed the crucial information, his voice urgent, “Attention, we’ve located three victims. One of them is injured. Requesting ambulances to move to the front immediately and prepare for emergency evacuation.”
Attempting to maintain composure amidst the escalating situation, Kullen addressed Lincoln, “Stay positive, Detective,” he said, his hand trembling, “I just got off the phone with Zeke Banks. He’s on his way. What about Hoffman and Schenk?”
Surprised by the mention of Zeke’s impending arrival, Lincoln inquired, "Zeke is coming here?"
Before Kullen could respond, his peripheral vision caught a glimpse of movement. Across the caution tape, news reporters scurried about, positioning themselves in front of their cameras, a sense of urgency driving their actions.
“What’s going on?” Kullen muttered to himself.
Together, Lincoln and Kullen maneuvered their way toward the journalist, their curiosity triggered by the unfolding scene.
“We’re outside of the National History Museum, where we can now confirm the presence of three survivors trapped within,” the reporters voice resonated through the airwaves, “Gavin Beck, Sarah Harper, and Renee Walsh have become the latest victims in the harrowing saga of the Jigsaw Killer, whose reign of terror has plagued our city for over a decade.”
A sharp pang of shame pierced Lincoln’s core upon hearing the reporter's words, the weight of responsibility pressing heavily upon him.
“But now, for the very first time, we possess live footage capturing the game as it unfolds,” the reporter continued, a hint of excitement in their tone. “The following footage has been extracted from the security cameras situated within the building behind me.”
Stunned by the unfolding revelation, Agent Kullen broke through the caution tape and stepped purposefully in front of the camera, his intention clear - to put an end to the broadcast.
“What do you think you’re doing?” the angered correspondent demanded, her voice beaming with frustration.
Kullen fixed a stern gaze upon the woman, his tone firm, “How did you obtain this footage?”
“It’s all over the internet!” She explains, “The whole trap is being shared online.”
Audiences across the country were turning into the live feed.
As their televisions faded to black, a message materialized: Viewer Discretion is Advised.
Meanwhile, growing tired of Elanor’s desperate cries for help, Hoffman maneuvered her away from Logan, who remained unconscious, and wheeled her into the surveillance room. Pushing her into a corner, he retrieved duct tape from a nearby drawer and used his knife to slice off a substantial length. He then applied it firmly over Elanor’s mouth, muffling her anguished wails that now fell upon deaf ears. Just as Hoffman prepared to depart, his attention was captured by the television, revealing the live footage of the ongoing trap.
Intrigued, Hoffman placed his knife down and took a seat at the nearby table. Folding his arms, he watched intently as Gavin struggled to remove the weighty sandbag from his chest.
“What the fuck?” Amanda exclaimed, seated behind Hoffman, her astonishment, mirroring his own.
Outside the surveillance room, Logan began to regain consciousness. As his awareness sharpened, he quickly assessed his surroundings and searched for Elanor. Shifting his body upward, he felt the tight restraints of the handcuffs encircling his wrists. Peering into the surveillance room, he caught sight of Elanor in distress, while Hoffman remained fixated on the television screen. A wave of relief washes over Logan, knowing that she was still alive. Determined to find a means of escape, his gaze scanned the room until it landed on the aluminum dispenser above him, along with scattered barrels of petroleum.
Across town, Autumn had finished gathering her belongings when she too caught sight of the live footage showcasing the museum trap. Recognizing two of the victims, and recalling the information she had learned from Lincoln about their previous trials, she became engrossed in the broadcast. Setting her bag down, she stood near the couch, locked into the unfolding events, with a police escort standing beside her.
As Autumn remained captivated by the live feed, she witnesses Gavin rise to his feet and stagger toward the women, his movements unsteady. In his approach, he picked up a brick from the tower, clutching it tightly in his hand.
Within the confines of the exhibit, Gavin positioned himself behind Renee and Sarah, observing their relentless efforts to assault the grate obstructing the ventilation shaft. Sarah turned around, and Gavin extended the brick towards her. With determined force, another powerful strike landed, causing one of the bolts to come loose. They repeated the action, gradually peeling the barrier away from the wall, creating a narrow gap. Utilizing their combined strength, they exerted enough force to retract the screen, bending the screws on the left side.
Gavin retrieved another brick from the tower and rejoined the women. Gripping the red brick firmly, his palms began to perspire, a symbol of his mounting apprehension.
“Almost got it,” Renee uttered, twisting and pulling the screen until it finally yielded, breaking off the hinges.
Exhausted, Renee leaned backward, allowing Sarah to be the first to peer inside.
Gavin takes a deep breath, loosening his grip on the stone, anxiously awaiting the reveal.
Sarah sighed, disappointment tainting her voice. The shaft lay before them, outlined with menacing barbed wire and shards of broken glass.
“Told ya,” she said.
“We’ve made progress,” Renee exclaimed, still hopeful, “That’s what matters.”
Sarah’s eyebrows arched dubiously as she voiced her concerns, “We don’t know if that’s a way out and we’re running out of time.”
As Sarah turned to gauge Gavin’s perspective, her world abruptly shattered. A brutal impact from the brick collided with her head, causing blood to spill from the painful gash. She crumbled to the floor, disoriented and struggling to comprehend the sudden assault.
The unexpected violence filled Renee with fear and her mind raced frantically. Without wasting a moment, she launched an attack against him, but her weakened state rendered her efforts feeble. Gavin easily overpowered her, forcefully pushing her to the ground, her head meeting the unforgiving concrete with a sickening thud.
Meanwhile, the horrified audience watching from the safety of their homes bore witness to the unfolding events, their hearts gripped by the chilling spectacle. Each gruesome moment played out before their eyes.
Hoffman, displaying a disturbing apathy, seemed unaffected by the brutality taking place, while Elanor’s eyes bulged from their sockets, a silent plea for help and salvation.
Autumn, filled with disbelief and revulsion, found herself appalled by the heinous attack. Beside her, the police escort swiftly reached for his radio, urgently engaging in communication with law enforcement personnel on-site.
Inside the control room, Lincoln, Kullen, Marlow, and Daniel endured the torment of witnessing the disturbing footage. Their faces etched with concern as their minds raced to find a way to intervene and put an end to the nightmare.
With her stomach to the floor, Gavin straddles Sarah and removes the piano wire from his pocket.
Still dazed from the wicked blow to her head, Sarah fought with all her strength, desperate to free herself from Gavin's torment. She struggled to push him off her back, kicking and flailing while her screams for help filled the room.
Determined to succeed, Gavin attempted to wrap the piano wire around Sarah’s throat, but she instinctively blocked him, using her remaining hand to shield her vulnerable neck. In a surge of defiance, she reached back and delivered a forceful elbow strike to his abdomen. The pain coursed through him, causing him to drop the piano wire to the floor. However, he swiftly flipped her body over, sliding her wrist beneath his knees, effectively immobilizing her. With a frightening resolve, he resumed his vicious attack, tightening his grip around her throat, Desperately gasping for air, Sarah’s face grew increasingly red under the pressure of Gavin’s grip, and her vision began to blur, the world around her fading into a hazy abyss.
Unbeknownst to Gavin, a flicker of consciousness had returned to Renee, and the sound of Sarah’s harrowing struggle pierced through the fog of her own pain. With great effort, Renee attempted to rise, battling the throbbing ache in her head, her focus fixated on the weapon discarded by Gavin, lying on the floor within reach.
Seizing the piano wire with a surge of adrenaline, Renee quickly closed the distance to Gavin, her sole focus on saving Sarah. Without hesitation, she skillfully wrapped the cord around Gavin’s neck, forcefully pulling him away from her friend’s gasping form. Gavin’s hands thrashed about in a futile attempt to clutch the sturdy wire that tore into his flesh.
Sarah, still recovering and crawling to safety, watched in astonishment and awe as Renee took control of the situation. With a fierce determination fueled by anger and vengeance, Renee twisted and yanked on the cord, tightening the grip around Gavin’s neck, causing him to bleed profusely and struggle in agony. Beads of sweat formed on his head, his tongue protruding from his mouth in a grotesque display. His face contorted into a horrifying medley of colors-red, purple, and blue- as the life force drained from him.
Lost in a moment of unbridled rage, Renee’s primal scream pierced the air as she continued to tug on the cord, relentlessly severing his throat. Each pull intensified the macabre scene, painting the floor with a gruesome tapestry of blood. Sarah, a witness to the chilling brutality, could only watch in horror as Renee nearly detached Gavin’s head from his body, the lifeless body hanging limp on the wire.
A heavy silence settles over the room, punctuated only by the lingering presence of blood and the haunting memory of the violence that had just occurred.
The savage display captured by the security cameras spread like wildfire across the internet, captivating an audience of thousands. The harrowing footage was swiftly clipped and shared on numerous websites, causing the viewer count to skyrocket with each passing second. Reactions on social media were diverse, ranging from visceral disgust to arguments defending the act as self defense. The disturbing visuals ignited a storm of controversy, prompting a deluge of calls to flood news stations, with viewers expressing a myriad of complaints and concerns.
Feeling a wave of overwhelming emotions, Daniel emerged from the suffocating confines of the control room, his face flush with disgust.
Noticing Daniel’s distress, Lincoln approached with a sense of understanding. "You alright?"
"Just overwhelmed," Daniel replied, "Needed some air, some space to process it all."
Nodding in acknowledgment, Lincoln offered a small gesture of comfort, “I got some water in the car. Go on. Take a rest.”
Grateful, Daniel made his way towards the car, allowing himself a momentary escape from the relentless onslaught of darkness and despair.
submitted by ohhidied to saw [link] [comments]

2023.06.10 17:15 DemiGodInsanity Why and how does Genshin fit in?

Why and how does Genshin fit in?
Despite its different name, Genshin Impact, as is known by many people, has a tangible connection to the Honkaiverse, the universe in which the Honkai games take place.
This universe is composed by the Imaginary Tree (on which I wrote an analysis, including Genshin's placement, here), which to put very simply is a representation of the infinite timelines that diverge from each other and coexist within the universe, separated between themselves by the Sea of Quanta, and being connected to each other by Imaginary Energy.
This tree's "leaves" (as always, feel the need to point out that the tree is, as the name suggests, imaginary) are what is known as Worlds, star systems that diverge from each other as timelines do in the Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, also known as Multiverse Theory. However, these are not all that exists within the Honkaiverse. Bubble Worlds (called Bubble Universes somewhat incorrectly) are fragmented and broken worlds, which exist detached from the Tree and have instead fallen into the Sea of Quanta. There are multiple examples of this, and multiple different ways in which they may be born, including artificial creation, natural creation by splitting off from normal Worlds, or by the decay of a World by cutting off its Imaginary Energy connection to the Tree (or whatever truly supplies the Energy).
So one must now ask the question: What about Teyvat? Is it a full World? Is it a Bubble World? Does this even truly matter for anything?
So let's answer all this! First of all, it most definitely matters, especially for Genshin's own story. You see, Bubble Worlds have another characteristic. Due to not having their own Imaginary Energy source, these Bubble Worlds decay over time, losing their structure as their Ether Anchor, an item that holds up the world's integrity, begins to decay and eventually fades along with the world, disappearing into the Sea of Quanta. Therefore, if Genshin's Teyvat is a Bubble World, this sets the fate of the world, as it will be fated to rot away and disappear forever, not leaving a trace left. This is not the case if Teyvat is, instead, a regular World.
So... which is it? Let's take a look at some evidence!
In Genshin's 1.1 event, as well as the end of the Sumeru Archon Quest, we have some hints as to the nature of Teyvat's world, specifically with the infamous phrase:
Scaramouche's hint
And then again during Dottore and Nahida's conversation and trade for the Gnoses:
Dottore's reiteration
These are very cryptic and vague statements to be sure, but they are quite obviously important, right? But do they really have to do with the nature of Teyvat as a world? Well, let's see what Honkai Impact has to say about Bubble Worlds.

Spoilers for Chapter 37 of Honkai Impact below!

In the most recent arc of Honkai, we see some of our heroes travel to a Bubble World themselves. Though the arc has yet to end and it's possible that we'll get even more information about some yet very vague concepts (Ether Anchors, for example), one crucial piece of information has been said:
Seele and Senti talk about Bubble Worlds
As you can see, Seele says that Bubble Worlds do not have actual celestial bodies, and that instead they are just ornamental. This is in relation to the "moon" that sat above them in this Bubble World, but it can apply to other things too. After all, instead of saying they are purely ornamental, one could say they are... fake?
This seems to heavily imply that Teyvat does indeed exist as a Bubble World within the Sea of Quanta, and not as a World attached to the Imaginary Tree. The sky being fake is clearly a statement about Teyvat as a world, and Seele's confirmation that, when Bubble Worlds have skies, stars and other celestial bodies, they are also fake, seems to point to that statement being about Genshin as a Bubble World.
We also know that HoYoverse did not create Genshin simply to jump on the open world bandwagon. To quote Hayou Cai, producer and CEO:
Why we want to make Genshin Impact [...] is because our company has a goal in mind, which is to create the Honkai universe.
Note the use of universe, not multiverse. Here we should point out the difference between the Honkaiverse, which currently encompasses Honkai Impact and Honkai: Star Rail (as well as Genshin, according to this research), and the HoYoverse, which encompasses all their other games as well, including flyme2themoon, GGZ and Tears of Themis, if we are to assume they are not within the Honkaiverse (as it sometimes it not entirely clear).
For the sake of argument, let's say GGZ and Honkai Impact, two very similar games in their story and characters, are not both within the Imaginary Tree, but instead are straight up parallel universes. If this is the case, then GGZ is not part of the Honkaiverse/Honkai Universe, but it is part of the HoYoverse/HoYo Multiverse. Hopefully that makes sense.
The above quote also specifically confirms that Genshin was made specifically to fit into the Honkaiverse, so there's that to consider.
Back on the topic of Bubble or not, we have one final piece of evidence to look at. In Honkai Impact's chapter 17, the Imaginary Tree temporarily manifests itself in a physical form. This is obviously important in itself, but even more important is what we see there.
Otto takes a look at the Imaginary Tree
You can clearly see Dvalin, right there, plain as day. But if Teyvat is visible when Otto observes the Imaginary Tree, wouldn't that mean that it's not, in fact, a Bubble World? It'd need to be attached to the Tree, and hence be a normal World, right?
Well, not exactly. The most important thing to note in this screenshot is not Dvalin, but what else we see. That character, obscured, with lightning effects in the form of a snake-like being. You may not recognize this character right away, or perhaps at all, but this is a very specific character in the Honkaiverse, known as Fallen Rosemary.
Fallen Rosemary
Why is this character so important to appear alongside a clear confirmation of Genshin's involvement in the Honkaiverse though? Well, it actually goes quite deep, but I'll explain it as simply as possible.
Rosemary is not a character that appears in the main story of Honkai. She is very important in a different section of the Honkaiverse's canon, the Captainverse. Named after the Captain, the name given to the player's character in Honkai Impact, it's hard to pinpoint whether the Captainverse is entirely canon to the Honkaiverse, whether it's a separate universe or a collection of Worlds within the same universe.
However, one thing is clear, and it's that the Captainverse is composed of travels between different Bubble Worlds. These are presented through a series of events, and Rosemary is very important within these, being one of the few characters who appear in more than one, and who is fully aware of the nature of the Bubble Worlds. She often poses as specific characters within the stories of the Bubble Worlds, but her identity as Rosemary is one that is external to said Worlds.
This, in turn, combined with the fact that Rosemary was introduced only a few updates after the CG of Otto seeing her on the Tree was first shown, seems to confirm that Bubble Worlds can indeed be observed with the Tree, perhaps due to a weak connection still remaining, or perhaps the Sea of Quanta also manifested with the Tree in that moment.
Either way, this turns away the argument that could be made that, since Genshin was observed there, it had to be a regular World. In fact, one could even speculate that the point Rosemary was observed in was so close to Dvalin's specifically because Rosemary, as a traveler along the Sea of Quanta, came close to, or even visited without us knowing, the world of Teyvat.
All the evidence I've presented here brings me to the current conclusion that Teyvat is a Bubble World, existing within the Honkaiverse. One can also point out the final detail of Teyvat's multitude of expys, that is, characters who were "copied" from Honkai and appear in Teyvat, sometimes under different names, and always with different designs. Though these could just be a nod to Honkai fans, they could also be intentionally hinting at Honkai and Genshin both diverging from the same timeline, with Teyvat eventually deteriorating into a Bubble World. Even the seeming samsara that Teyvat exists within, with a seemingly repeating cycle of events that has been hinted at throughout Genshin's story more and more, could be a sign that the Bubble World only has 500 or so years, or maybe more, recorded, and thus the world continues to live those years, over and over again.
What do you think or make of all this? And if I made any mistakes in my reasoning, please let me know! Thank you for reading!

submitted by DemiGodInsanity to HonkaiLore [link] [comments]

2023.06.10 17:13 Boss452 Colin Farrell is the most interesting lead actor in the game these days.

Having first watched Farrell in the 2000s in Alexander I cannot believe I am saying this today but such has been his transformation over the years. He has surpassed Leonardo Dicaprio (who is doing far fewer films these days) & Christian Bale for me as the actor whose work I am the most interested in.
Back in the day you could say that Farrell would have faded out after a while because he was never a massive draw despite doing mainstream films. But in the late 2000s with films such as In Bruges he started doing off beat stuff as a leading man. And he was at ease at playing second fiddle or secondary villains.
In the 2010s he has shown such a variety of range that I don't feel any other lead actor mainstream actor has matched. Consider his hilarious secondary villain in Horrible Bosses, his weird roles in Yorgos Lanthimos films Killing of a Sacred Deer or The Lobster, Seven Psychopaths, supporting act in The Gentleman or the incredible work in The Banshees of Inisherin just last year.
This is not all. Farrell has also been on TV as the lead in True Detective S2 where he was great and even better as a sinister villain in the highly underrated show The North Water that came out in 2021.
Speaking of villains, one cannot forget his work as The Penguin in The Batman where he clearly stole the show in a stacked cast of actors. And deservedly so he is getting his own spinoff next year.
There are tons of other weird movies he is a part of and he elevates them each time. He is an actor who continues to refine and develop his art and as a result has become one of the most interesting actors working in Hollywood today.
Cannot forget his work as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts. That same character was played by accomplished actors like Johnny Depp adn mads Mikkelsen but Farrell was way ahead than both in that role.
submitted by Boss452 to movies [link] [comments]

2023.06.10 17:04 PlusFiveVorpalFork Space Marines Leader cheat sheet

I made it for myself and wasn't planning on posting it anywhere so formatting may not be the best. But I thought it could save at least somebody some time.
== Captain (free strat)
== Lieutenant (Lethal Hits, double up)
== Librarian (4+ FnP vs Psychic)
== Chaplain (+1 to-Wound in melee)
== Techmarine (conditional Lone Op, repair d3 and +1 to-Hit on same Vehicle, Vengeance)
== Company Champion (precision, free extra Heroic, +1 Adv, +1 Charge): Intercessors, Ass.Intercessors, Infernus, Bladeguard, Sternguard
== Primaris Apothecary (restore 1 model in Command, double up): Intercessors, Ass.Intercessors, Infernus, Helblasters, Sternguard + Desolators
== Ancient (+1 OC, Double up)
== Judiciar (Fights First): Intercessors, Ass.Intercessors, Infernus, Bladeguard, Sternguard
== Sicarius (Scout 6'', all guns Assault, free improved Tactical Strat): Tactical, Command, Assault, VanVets + Sternguard
== Cassius (Dev Wounds in melee, 4+ fight on death): Tactical, Assault, Command, VanVets + Sternguard, TyrVets
== Tigurius (4+ FnP vs Psychic and all mortals, -1 to-Hit, limited captain's free strat): Intercessors, Ass.Intercessors, Sternguard
== Calgar and groupies (free fall back, ton of CP): Intercessors, Ass.Intercessors, Infernus, Hv.Intercessors, Agressors, Eradicators, Bladeguard, Sternguard
== Chronus (BS2+, 1 reroll wounds): vehicles that aren't Cawl's tech-heresy
== Telion (+1 OC, +1 to-Hit, either of Lethal/Sustained 1/Precision): Scouts, Sniper Scouts
== Ventris (Rites of Battle that stacks with Rites of Battle and works on Battleshocked; give 1 unit in army Deep Strike): Intercessors, Ass.Intercessors, Sternguard
== Lysander (-1 to-Wound for S6+ weapons): all Termies
== Garadon (Lethal Hits, Ignore Cover, autokill Vehicles and Monsters with no invuln in Melee): Hv.Intercessors, Agressors, Eradicators
== Kantor (Martyr Buff, 1/game +1A for guns and melee for 1 turn): Tactical, Command, Sternguard
Iron Hands
== Feirros (5+ FnP, also Techmarine that repairs 3): Hv.Intercessors, Agressors, Eradicators
Raven Guard
== Shrike (Lone Operative, constant redeploys, insane assassin in melee): Jump Assault, Jump VanVets
== Vulcan Jr (army-wide reroll wounds with melta and flamers vs visible unit in 24''): Tactical, Assault, Command + Infernus
== Agatone (reroll Wounds in melee, halves enemy OC in Engagement Range): Intercessors, Ass.Intercessors, Infernus, Sternguard
White Scars
== Khan (Assault for guns, Lance for melee, even better assassin than Shrike vs Oath target): Intercessors, Ass.Intercessors, Sternguard
edits: reddit formatting
submitted by PlusFiveVorpalFork to Warhammer40k [link] [comments]

2023.06.10 17:02 MiddieFromMhigo Having Spirit Tracks takes place in "New Hyrule" lessens the tragedy of Old Hyrule and the flood and misses the point of Wind Waker

Looking back on Wind Waker, a lot of the overarching themes seems to be learning to let go and accepting times changing and winds of change.
At the beginning of the game, Links Grandma was in denial. She refused to believe something happened to her granddaughter and pretended that she must be out playing with the gulls like she always is despite knowing something had happened. Who later comes to accept that everything will be okay and has faith in Link.
We of course see Ganondorf who after all this time still covets a dead kingdom. And in his last breath, he simply states the winds are blowing, possibly accepting his death and finally coming to terms with reality.
We see the dead Sages accepting their deaths but wanting to pass on their knowledge to their descendants to carry on a legacy.
And the most profound was at the very end, during the second, and final flooding of Hyrule, when Tetra tells the King that they can find a new land, and that can be the new Hyrule. The King simply smiles and tells them that will not be Hyrule and that it will be your land, ending with the King fading from sight as Link ascends to the surface.
All the characters and themes is about acceptance and moving on from the past and looking forward to the future. So why dont I like new Hyrule?
One of the most striking themes of Wind Waker was its visual design. Its incredibly different from what we've seen making old Hyrule that much more striking of a contrast to the surface. The issue is that New Hyrule doesnt seem to take any inspiration from Wind Wakers building or aesthetics.
New Hyrule, is just a complete copy of Old Hyrule straight down to its governing system all the way down to another Royal Family. This flies in the face of the message of accepting change and new things and makes the tragedy less impactful when they just make another direct copy of Old Hyrule and feels like Link and Zelda themselves were just as obsessed with the past as Ganondorf and Danphnes was but were unable to move on.
submitted by MiddieFromMhigo to truezelda [link] [comments]

2023.06.10 16:59 Pink_Anxiety_ Muscimol and ASD

Hello, everyone! I just found this thread a few days ago and wanted to share my experiences.
I have been microdosing a product called Muscimol, which is found in the Amanita type mushrooms 🍄.
Originally I was taking Amanita Muscaria indirectly, a few different ways. I tried A. Muscaria Chocolate, Gummies, and an energy drink mix called a "Spore Shot." Originally the chocolate bar worked for me, the gummies not so much, and the Spore Shot tremendously.
I later learned that the Muscimol content was the ingredient I was looking for. It is what causes the actual trip. The Chocolate had about 5mg of Muscimol, the gummies were unlabeled, and the Spore Shot had 20mg. So I would of needed 4 bars of chocolate to equate to the Shot. (Not a needle shot). From this point on I started only buying the Spore Shots, as they had 4x the amount for cheaper.
Costs: Gummies 25$ for 5 Chocolate 25$ for a bar Spore Shot 12$ each
My first experience with Spore Shot: The first time I tried the 20mg of Muscimol I honestly didn't feel much. I was in a good mood, kind of sleepy; although I have Narcolepsy. I was more euphoric than usual, but no psychedelic type interactions.
Second experience: I went back and bought 2 more, thinking if one wasn't enough maybe 40mg would be. I was right, and wrong, but it was a great time. I was definitely tripping, but not too hard. Everything was great. I was in a great mood, things were funny, I felt comfortable laughing and smiling (which is usually a huge insecurity for me) and I was ingaging on conversation smoothly. Generally conversation feels... manual. Like am algorithm I have to solve in my head. But the Muscimol took that away. I was just enjoying life. I was at a friend's house who was also tripping and usually I feel uncomfortable after a while of social interraction, and want to go home, but felt comfortable enough to stay until I needed sleep. The walls were waving, and the surfaces were breathing, ever so slightly, but only if I looked at them or stood still. It was almost like jetlag.
I tried 40MG for a while, but decided to bump up to 60MG for fun. Again, I bumped it up for fun, not for medicinal.
60MG: This time I was at my friend's house again, and their parents unexpectedly showed up. We were right in the beginning of the process. I don't know their parents, so as usual I kind of shut down and just pet the dog. I didn't have the effects in my system yet, but I'm not sure even if I was tripping yet if it would have helped. I consider this a high stress factor. Unexpected changes, people I don't know, long winded conversations that don't involve me. It's all overwhelming, so I just completely tag out. I decided to go for a walk to separate myself. This is when I noticed the effects of the Muscimol. Maybe because I started to mentally check back in. My neighborhoods safe, and small, so I just walked around listening to music. I felt very relaxed. No lingering anxiety around leaving my friend to fend for themselves, or the lasting effects of an unexpected change, or feeling like I somehow failed the social situation. I was just purely in the moment. It was like when you get glasses for the first time... you notice everything in such brilliant detail. The asphalt was so alluring. I just wanted to lay on it. The moth that flew by me was so beautiful with its delicate flight pattern. The music was like a flowing river babbling in the background. Normally when I see strangers I get very anxious, due to trauma, but when I saw strangers, I just turned and went a different direction. I didn't have any intrusive thoughts, just avoided them, or walked by if avoiding was out of the way.
My friends parents left, so I went back over. We decided to go back out and walk together. Conversation was smooth, not that transactional feel. We were joking and laughing. Generally I don't make jokes because I overthink, but I was just speaking without worry. And they were, in fact, funny. We had a great time and I realized something amazing. I felt myself for the first time in a very, very, long time.
I've been depressed since about the age of 14. Probably younger than that, as I have childhood trauma, but major depression kicked in around that age. I didn't know I was Autistic until last year (26), but when I was in my early teens I hadn't formed my social anxiety yet. I was just living life. I was socially awkward but that's part of what made me so funny. I was airheaded and goofy and just knew how to enjoy the moment. And for the trip, I felt that again. I was just.. happy. Existing. Not anxious, not self conscious, not worried, or over thinking.. just enjoying myself, my company, and the world that surrounded us.
Negatives: I have had one negative experience with Muscimol, but it was handled well. I was mid trip and started getting overwhelmed and overestimated. Everything was too loud, too much, I made my way home and asked my partner to help put me to bed. I wasn't overthinking or anxious, but just touched out. He put me in bed, got my weighted blanket, and rubbed my head until I fell asleep. Not the worst experience. Only happened once, out of all of my experiences, and I believe it was because of the environment. I was at a friend's house, there was unfamiliar music playing, the lights were bright, it was cold, the dog was barking, my friend was talking a lot. Not that I mind, but I think it just overdid my brain. In the moment I was fine, but once I sperated from the situation the overstimulation caught up with me.
Positives: I feel free from my anxieties, social, trauma, and more. I am happy, euphoric even. Conversation becomes smoother. Details pop and feel welcoming instead of overwhelming. My depression fades away completely. My PTSD symptoms lessen. My insecurities go away. My sensitivity to things drop, or at least dampen. The lasting stress from high stress situations vanishes. Potentially more I'm forgetting to list.
All in all, I think Muscimol has helped me a lot with my ASD, PTSD, and comorbid symptoms.
I recently found some gummies, brand Mirari, which are almost pure Muscimol. They were 15$ for 5 gummies. Each gummy has 280mg of Muscimol in it. So I plan on dividing them into fours and taking 1/4th at a time. That will be 70mg, a bit more than I'm used to. That means I'll have twenty 70mg gummies for 15$. That's insane.
I will report back when I try the gummies and my experience with them.
I hope this post has been informative, not too clunky, and is welcome in the sub. :)
submitted by Pink_Anxiety_ to autisticpsychonauts [link] [comments]

2023.06.10 16:48 TheBlackCycloneOrder If You Gamble Against a Man With a Hat for a Face, Know What Your Wager Is

All I ever wanted was for my wife and I to live comfortably. But the longer we stayed together, the higher our bills increased. We’d already fought off debts from college, barely scraping by. Even after we paid them off, we were only able to afford a tiny apartment on the outskirts of New York City.
Sidewalks laid cracked everywhere while condemned buildings sat sadly against their crooked foundations. Crooked lampposts would hang only by electrical wires. Graffiti marked every street corner in bland art that existed without rhyme or reason. Homeless people could be found on every street corner, a constant reminder of what would happen if my wife and I failed to keep up with our payments.
However, I managed to make somewhat decent money as a plumber. But even then, it sometimes wasn’t enough to deal with loan sharks, the hefty utility bills, food prices, and gas money. I was willing to do anything to get us out.
And that is where I encountered gambling. I was willing to take the risks. I’d take any chance to obtain a reward, even just a small one. It started out with just a handful of poker games. Then I moved on to scratch tickets and slot machines. All I needed was enough to get by. Unfortunately, obtaining a payday from the casinos was impossible. I started growing desperate, which only led to more debt. The whole cycle sucked me down like Odysseus’ ship in Charybdis’ maw. And just like that, my relationship with my wife began to tear us apart.
My wife and I were once so close together. Before we married, there would be days where we’d work together at wood shops, creating 3D prints of various sci-fi characters and video games. Other times we’d study the components of circuits and use them to create elaborate lighting displays whenever Christmas arrived. Our wedding day was supposed to be the greatest day of our lives. Instead of relying on the help of others back like we did in college, we relied on ourselves.
But my actions tore all that apart. I didn’t know what else to do, either.

A few nights ago, I arrived at my shitty apartment, having completed a ten hour shift fixing the drains of several upper class folks. I rested my hand on the knob, expecting the worst from my wife. Sighing, I pushed the door. The moment I did, she was already in the front hall. Her eyes were scrunched and she was holding a bank statement, smacking it for emphasis.
“Care for an explanation?” She demanded.
I rubbed my temples, removing my scum covered overalls and plopping them right into the nearest laundry hamper. We locked eyes. Breaking eye contact with her would only ignite her anger further. She was holding another piece of evidence of my failures. My failure to strike it rich. All I could do was stand there sheepishly, tail tucked behind me, and wait to get ripped a new one. No words could come out of my mouth.
She marched up to me, holding it in my face. “Frank, you wasted three-thousand dollars at the casino AGAIN?!” my wife bellowed.
I set my tool box down and washed the pipe gunk from my hands, looking down just for a bit.
“Turn around and look me in the eyes.”
Resting a hand on my eyes, I glanced over at her petite frame. Then, I began to speak. “We can live comfortably if you just give-“
“Enough of the excuses! We nearly lost our apartment twice by you betting on slots, you wasted our heating money on roulette, and now this!”
I held up my hands reassuringly. “Look, just let me figure this out! I’ll think of some way to get the money!”
“You’d better. Otherwise we’re getting a divorce. Got it?”
Without another word, I put on a casual outfit, exiting for some fresh air. Shutting the door behind me, I gazed back at the unpolished apartment number on the frame. Wincing, I clenched a fist and descended the rickety stairs. Eventually, my boots hit the cracked pavement, and I headed off.
I had only made it a few blocks from my apartment, when I noticed shadows lurking in one of the alleyways. Picking up my stride, I try to evade the figures. They drew closer and closer. My stride changed into a sprint. Another alleyway comes into my sights. I make a break for it, hoping for an opportunity to escape. Only a dead end greets me. Before long, the figures cornered me. The light from a street lamp illuminated two shady faces. Loan sharks. Before I could react, the duo held me up by my throat.
“What the hell are you guys doing?!” I strained, feebly kicking back one of the thugs. He jammed a fist right under my rib cage. My lips pursed as I lost my breath. The other grabbed me by the chin, grinning like a maniac and revealing his tobacco rotted jaw. I gulped.
“Frank, calm down. Take it easy,” every word he said ground my inner ears. Brown saliva sprayed on my cheeks. “We just want to have a little talk…” I didn’t have the courage to speak up. All I could do was let them tell me everything.
“Your landlord is getting rather impatient with your payments. We just came to send a little message. He has some demands.” The other guy snarled.
I tugged on my collar. “What…demands?”
“The landlord wants you to cough up $18,000 for your next payment!”
My hands grew clammy. Were they out of their minds? I was a plumber, not a heart surgeon! I didn’t have that kind of money! Besides, the rent was only $500 a month.
“You have until the end of the month,” one of the goons croaked.
That was only two weeks! I couldn’t have made that kind of money with such constraints! I’d barely be able to afford food and electricity! Negotiating was out of the question. God knows what would have happened to me if I dared speak up.
“The landlord has given you chance after chance to pay up. But you’ve never followed through. He’s let it slide for three months. You haven’t paid shit in that time frame. Do you realize how much he has to pay for his own apartment? If you fail to pay at that time, there will be consequences…” He makes a capiche gesture.
I nodded. The moment I complied, they released me, disappearing into the smog.

I stood outside a graffiti covered subway station, pacing around, hands in my pockets. My fists constricted as I pounded a nearby wall. There’s no way I would have been able to make that kind of money! Craps were too unpredictable, arcade machines were always rigged, and roulette was too high in stakes. Seeing red, I screamed and kicked a wall as hard as I could. My foot throbbed and once I was done with my fit, I broke down sobbing. The sidewalk darkened with my tears. I pressed my head against it, clawing at it until my fingernails turned crimson.
Then, I felt a tap on my shoulder. Wiping the tears away, I glanced over my shoulder. A card was lying on the floor. Its borders were covered in green dollar symbols. The rest of the card was a silver color shiny enough to reflect my face in it. Written in gold letters were the following:
My eyes lit up. All I had to do was win one game of blackjack, and I’d be rich? Dimples formed on my cheeks and I pumped my fist. I nearly clicked my heels in joy, but decided against it. I’d already caused enough of a scene already, and I wanted to make sure nobody knew my secret. When I flipped it around, it had an address also written in golden letters.
Despite the address being in an unknown area, I still managed to pull it up on my phone’s map and arrived without any struggle. The casino itself was a pigsty, to say the least. Smokers polluted the air in the prison gray interior. Slot machines with broken lights clicked and whirred while cheap dice clattered against tables with peeling felt. Meanwhile, the concrete floor was covered in colonies of roaches while neglected beer bottles sat against the rungs of several tables. The only thing that was kept well was the bar and a room draped with navy blue curtains with golden sashes. Emblazoned above the doorway was the number 777.
This was the first time I had entered a casino smiling. For once, I thought that this was my lucky night.
When I pushed the curtains away, they revealed a room with ornate black wallpaper, an assortment of oak desks and other furniture. The walls were covered in fine Baroque paintings. On the floor was a single blue carpet covered in opulent tapestry. I followed the back wall to a single dealer table coated in green felt. Two seats were present with one patron taking the seat on the left. He was shaking with what I assumed was excitement.
Behind him was the dealer, a trim man with long blond hair and a top hat over his nose and eyes. He wore a dapper tuxedo free of blemishes that shimmered in the light of a single hanging glass lamp. His skin was pure and free of moles, glistening with slight amounts of glitter.
“Why, hello there…” The man spoke in a voice slicker than the gel in his hair. “Are you here to win big?” Unlike the loan sharks, his teeth were cleaner than a freshly washed plate.
“Yup. Deal me in.” I said, straightening my back, shuffling into the last seat. The other player had his jaw locked together. His eyes were drooping and bloodshot. Sweat pooled around his brow like glass beads. Just like him, I always felt nervous about losing, so their reaction was understandable.
“You know the rules of blackjack. I deal out cards. You can say ‘hit me’ if you want more cards. Get closest to twenty one without going over. Dealer only draws two cards. And you can also surrender your cards for half your bet. When you don’t want any more cards, say the word ‘stand.’” The dealer said, shuffling the cards through his hands and manipulating them like a sculptor with a ceramic pot.
I double blinked. Wager? “What do I bet with?”
The mysterious man just focused on passing out his cards. First, he brought out two cards for himself and dealt two more to each player. Instantly, he flipped over his cards. A jack and a king. Twenty.
I clutched the velvet backed cards, seeing what I was dealt.
A ten and a seven of hearts. I forced my face into a neutral smile. My stomach twisted. There was no way I could get twenty one that easily. “Surrender,” I said, pushing my cards to the dealer. All he did was reshuffle the cards and toss me two more. They didn’t even bother looking back up at me during the process.
The other player started clutching his stomach. My smile vanished. I carefully looked over the left guy’s cards. A seven and a two of clubs.
“Hit me…” the guy on the left choked out. An ace of spades. A total of ten. Sweat trickled down his head like a shower in April. His eyes welled up with tears while foam developed around his mouth. I raised a brow, wondering what his deal was.
I knew the stakes of gambling, but my sixth sense kept telling me something was just not right. No. That couldn’t be true. Even if there was some kind of string attached or fine print I didn’t read, I couldn’t risk giving up that money. Besides, this might have been my only chance to obtain such a vast award without much risk.
“Hit me…” The man wheezed. A five of hearts. His teeth chattered.
While I waited for my turn, I stood up and walked around the room, getting a closer look at all the ornate gadgets and such. My eyes focused on a painting on the leftmost wall. It resembled a man in rich military regalia. But something made my hair stand on end. Their upturned white mustache looked damp, and their face sagged like they were crying. Linear, stick-like shadows were cast on the sleeves. Edging forward, they came into focus.
Hands. I followed their forms outward, which extended into oily, dripping arms.
Husssssssssh…” A faint noise echoed from somewhere in the room.
“What?” I mouthed, turning an ear to the source.
Husssssssssh…” It came from the painting. I backed away, hands out at my sides. Was someone dragged in that painting?
“Where are you going? You forgot to pay up!” The dealer yelled back, hands slamming on the table and pulling out a sack of navy blue poker chips.
I double took. “I thought the card said there was no monetary wager needed?”
“There isn’t.”
Then, I looked at the ground. There was a second rug on the ground. The tapestry matched, but its patterns didn’t match with the other rug. It was off center from the rest of the decorations, like someone didn’t even bother setting it up properly. Taking a closer look, I could hear faint whispers coming from it, too. When I looked back up, the guy on the left was gone. I rushed over, checking his cards. A total of twenty five.
Swallowing saliva, I stood in confusion, wondering what to do next. I scraped my fingernails against my palms. I needed that money. If I didn’t get it, I’d lose my wife and my apartment. And what about the loan sharks? Only God knew what would happen to me if I didn’t pay up. What was I going to do? What would happen if I lost? Would I turn into another object just like the other guy? Or would I be in for a worse fate?
“That’s because there isn’t a MONETARY wager. I’m still taking half of what you owe.”
A sharp pain punched my left side. My left side felt heavier than before, like my veins were replaced with tungsten. I grabbed my fingers around my chest. The area around the pain almost felt solid like a tumor. Brushing around the area, I could make out a cylindrical mass. I tried to inspect it some more, but the pain overwhelmed me, and I crumpled to the ground.
I crouched down on all fours, trying to get back to my seat, but the pain froze me in place. Reaching out a hand, I called out for help. Nothing.
Slithering away, I pulled back the curtains to the entrance of the casino. I spat on the ground from the bludgeoning pain.
“Don’t feel out of luck. You can still surrender once more and you still have two chances left!” The dealer smiled, adjusting his hat. It was only a glimpse, but I caught a look at his upper face. His eyes were on his hat and his forehead was blank. The dealer looked like they were plucked straight out of an Alice in Wonderland book. What or who was this dealer?
“Think long and hard about this. I saw you arguing with your wife. And those ruffians nearly killed you.”
I clambered back to my seat. I still didn’t know what that dealer did to me. Something in me forced me to get back up and keep playing. More questions ate at me the longer I played. How did he know that information?
Then, I remembered feeling a tap back at Grand Central Station. And the card that brought me here. He couldn’t have been human. Was he some kind of demon? I didn’t bother asking. There wasn’t any way he would spill the beans about his nature.
After what seemed like hours, I managed to writhe back into my seat, slumping over the table like I’d just had the worst hangover.
“Ready to try again?” The charming man said, resting his chin on his interlocked hands.
Reluctantly, I gave him a thumbs up. He took back the cards and began manipulating the split deck once more. I analyzed every move he made. None of the cards were tricked. He wasn’t second dealing and didn’t have any aces up his sleeve. Never revealed anything under the table, either. The only thing that brought me reassurance was that he was honest. Still, keeping an eye out was critical.
The dealer revealed his cards. Two tens again. One of spades, one of hearts. His face was harder than diamond and glowed like one, too. Not a pleasing glow, but one that would hex anyone that dared gaze at it for too long.
I looked at my cards. An ace and a seven. Eighteen. Gripping my lower abdomen, I stayed crumpled in agony. The odds of getting a blackjack were slim and the stabbing pain skewed my thoughts.
“Surrender…” I wheezed. The words slipped out of my mouth like the dying breath of a wounded soldier. The dealer smiled, holding a pile of blue poker chips around him. He waved his hand over the mound and made an inaudible chant. Then, they vanished.
I held my hands over my face, bracing myself. Suddenly, the pain doubled, shifting to my right like a mudslide down a hill. Now I knew everything the previous player was going through.
I vomited out something hard and blue. A poker chip. Suddenly, my guts turned and another seven spilled out. My esophagus wound itself into knots more contorted than cobwebs. “I…forfeit!”
The man started to smile. “Without these?” With a thud, the hat faced dealer pulled out a jar filled with a kidney and a piece of liver. They still were oozing with blood that plumed and fit their containers. I remembered how the dealer said that there was no monetary wager. He never said there wasn’t a wager at all. My wager…was my organs.
“You want them back? Win them.” He set them back on the ground.
Now there was no choice. My fate was sealed if I tried to leave. I started to shed tears. If I didn’t get these organs back and fast, I was done for. Even if someone saw me passed out on the floor, finding donors for organs wasn’t guaranteed. And even then, I’d be put further in debt. Nothing would be solved. Then again, was trying to beat this guy even worth it? No. The reward was too great. Taking a few deep breaths, I sat back down. Reluctantly, I asked that he proceed.
The dealer drew out cards just like before. He took the cards and gave them a good shuffle. Plucking two cards out of the stack, he revealed them. A king and a nine. Another poker chip tumbled out my throat. I spat it out in a red and blue plastic heap. Not paying attention to the mess I made, he handed me two cards. A jack and a two. Twelve.
“Hit…me.” An ace. Aces could count as one or eleven depending on what other cards were drawn. I still had a fighting chance.
“Hit me.” A five.
His dead stare tore at my soul. I scratched against the felt, the wounds in my fingers reopening. From the corner of my eyes, I could see him frowning. “Are you going to play, or do you want all that money to go to waste?”
I gritted my teeth. “Shut up…Hit me…” Swallowing saliva, I watched the dealer play out my last card. A queen.
“You lose.” The dealer said coldly, grabbing a pile of poker chips and holding them close. He waved his hand over the mound and made another incantation. Then, they vanished once more. Everywhere at once, burning pain sears my skin, making me blackout.
When I wake up and feel my arms, they are covered in something hard, blue and plastic. My clothes were gone. I examined my extremities and my torso.
My skin was missing and replaced with poker chips. They were shaped to fit every part of my body. Cracks filled with blood gushed out with each slight movement I made. Horrified, I spilled my guts. More poker chips slid out my throat. Piles of skin laid clumped on the side of the table in hideous pink and blood red sheets.
“I think you know what’s at stake now. One try left. Better make it count. You want to end up in an object for an eternity?” He taunted.
The rigidity of my plastic coated skin made each movement expose more of the cracks, searing my muscles. I groaned as I raised myself up. Crimson liquid dampened the table. I pounded at the table. This was it. I either walked out with my money and saved my marriage and tied up all those knots. Or I lost and suffered a fate worse than death. Giving up was not an option. I gave the mysterious man a death glare, not even bothered by his resistance.
He plucks out two cards. A nine and a ten. This was my chance.
Then, my cards were revealed. A ten and a two. Fingers rattling, I took a deep breath and let calmness seep into me.
“Hit…Me…” I sputtered. Another two.
Huffing, I opened my mouth to speak again. The dealer just stared into me, tilting his head like a vulture waiting for roadkill. The poker chips rattled again, grinding against each other.
“Hit…” I paused for a moment, recollecting my thoughts. At a value of fourteen, I needed at least a six to beat the dealer. But an eight or higher would result in disaster. Gulping down another chaser of saliva, I spoke. “Hit…me.”
To my chagrin, a five slipped out of the hand. I was now tied. Staring at the pile of skin and my other organs, I closed my eyes and shook in horror. An ace or a two were the only cards I could draw in order to win. I looked down at my cards, sweat dripping on the table. With a quick glance, I gazed at the eyes on the man’s silk hat.
“Don’t keep me waiting.” The man demanded.
I’d begun hyperventilating. His stare grew more intense the longer I waited. His confident smile turned into a frown of irritation. Eyebrows and mouth twisted into a hideous snarl. He rattled his fingers against the dealing table. The cacophony made my ears go numb.
Then, I whispered my answer.
The man darted up, smiling back in anticipation. “I’m sorry, what was that?”
I closed my eyes, expecting the worst.
HIT ME!” I screamed at the top of my lungs.
Then, the last card was revealed:
A two.
I’d won!
My mouth dropped. The sheets of skin unfurled themselves and flattened over me. Two organ jars spilled over, their contents rising in a beam of white and torpedoing back into my body. Immediately, I yelped at the top of my lungs, skipping my heels and doing a jig. I regained my strength, instantly looking around for traces of my prize. For several minutes, I wasn’t able to uncover anything. Staring directly at the dealer’s face, I asked him to reveal my prize.
“I don’t have it with me.” He said, blankly.
Not listening, I scrutinized every inch of the room, looking behind his station, checking under the table, everything.
I searched everywhere for my prize, my happiness dissipating. With each step I took, my smile faded even further, twisting into a frown. My nose crinkled. “Where is the fifty million?” I demanded, overturning the table, ripping off the ornate paintings and yanking the tasseled rugs off the floor. “You promised me fifty million dollars if I beat you! Do you realize what’s gonna happen to me if I don’t get that money, you charlatan?!”
The strange man just stood there, not even acknowledging my pleas.
“YOU PROMISED ME MONEY! You’re a thief!” I roared, pointing an accusing finger at him. “I only did this for my wife, to save my marriage! I almost gave up my life trying to help my family out! How can you take that away from me?!”
The demon stuck his hands behind his back and shook his head. He rolled his eyes back in thought. Something was up with him. “You aren’t like the other gamblers.” He said.
“Other gamblers?” I said, stepping back.
“They all wanted the money for worthless things. A mansion with fountains and a view, hookers, a trip to Tahiti…” He paced around me. His face was rather relaxed and calm. Never once did he lose eye contact with me. “But you had so much determination to help your wife out that you would risk it all. I admire that. It took me a while to figure out that you were actually a kind hearted person.”
I saw red and tried to punch him. He grabbed my fist, shoving it back.
“Listen to me. I understand your rage. There never was a prize in the first place. It was nothing but a lure to capture those that wasted their lives away. But there is one thing that you don’t understand.”
I saw red and I thrusted my hands back. “You nearly killed me all for nothing?!”
“Yes, but that was before I saw you the way you really were. Listen to my words.”
Slowly, I relaxed my posture, but still remained firm. “Why should I listen to you?”
“I can help you out of your situation.” The man said.
My nostrils flared. “You owe me money you snake!”
“You never needed the money in the first place.”
Taken aback, I retreated. “What do you mean?” My arms relaxed once more.
“You are a plumber, aren’t you? I saw you come home from work, just barely catching a glimpse of your schedule. Forty hours a week for thirty-eight dollars an hour for five days a week. That’s $15200 a week for two weeks. You already have everything you need.”
“But you don’t understand. They need $18000!” I pleaded.
He wouldn’t budge. “Trying to earn this money via dumb risks and chances will not get you anywhere. Look at all the things that you’ve done wrong.”
Tears began to well up. “And I want to change that.” I wiped my eyes. “But what am I supposed to do now?”
“The only way you can earn that money is through grit and spit,” He said, walking around me. “You aren’t going to find solace through good luck alone. You have to work for it. And you already have the tools that some people don’t have. If you give up now, you might as well have lost. Think about it.” With those last words, he raised his hand and snapped it, disappearing without a trace. Slowly, I gathered my things and walked out of the casino, head hanging low.
The following day, I sat outside an old woman’s faucet, inspecting how to fix a leak. I wondered what the demon’s words meant to me. Before I stuck the wrench up to a U trap, I remembered my pay. If I worked the same amount of hours as before, I’d only make $15200. But if I pulled off some overtime and worked several extra hours, I might just be able to pay off my debts.
I started staying up much later than before. Not long after, my wife started to become suspicious. Eventually, she confronted me.
“Frank, you’ve been staying up late. Are you going back to the casinos again?” she asked, hands on her hips.
I closed my eyes. Instead of fear, calmness filled my veins and my blood stilled. “Not this time. I’ve been working overtime.”
Her face loosened up for just a moment before hardening back up. I held my hands up and motioned my palms downward. “Listen, I have been horrible lately. All my gambling did was drown us in deeper debt.”
Her expression began to soften up again, her frown vanishing.
“I want to change things. We used to work so well together, doing everything to help each other. Instead of fighting against each other, it’s time we made peace. And we bring us out of our debt, together.” I held out my hand for her to shake it. She kept her arm pulled back and folded like the pincer of a mantis. Inch by inch, she extended it and took it.
The following day, my wife convinced me to go to therapy to get out of my addiction, which I gladly obliged. Simultaneously, she decided to start up another job working as an electrician. Day by day passed and we pooled all our resources as one. Before our eyes, bills were paid and debt disappeared faster than eye floaters. Our financial status wasn’t the only thing that changed. Her once crusty mood lightened up and she began to smile more. She began to believe my words and began to respect the changes I made.
And then, we paid off our rent. We got a letter from our landlord, saying that we now were even. The moment that letter came in, we embraced each other. The only question now was, what were we going to do with this extra money?
Not too long ago, we ended up earning enough money to create another 3d project, this time of a Companion Cube. Day after day, we created more projects. Although we weren’t as happy as our days back in college, we still could make the best with what we had. In retrospect, the hat-faced man put up a good fight, but I managed to come out of a casino with more than I came in with. It wasn’t exactly money, but it wasn’t worthless, either.
submitted by TheBlackCycloneOrder to WeAreLegion [link] [comments]

2023.06.10 16:33 Cute-Zookeepergame-9 F4A - Harry Potter RP [Severus/Lily]

[I am F25 - Snily RP, AU in which Severus has not waited for Lily to be in danger to become a spy, leading the two to secretly reconcile and eventually get into a relationship. Without needing to rely on the caprices of any prophecy, Voldemort had thus gotten defeated for good by the end of the first war. With the Order disbanded, Lily went to replace Ms Pomfrey as the Hogwarts nurse, as Severus inchangeably teaches Potions. For the mere fun of it, they have decided to keep their relationship secret to the rest of the school for the time being.]
"...It is just a small cold, nothing to worry about -- but come back to see me if any new symptoms show up, or if the dry cough persists tomorrow, alright?" Lily softly murmured as she wrapped the Ravenclaw's scarf around her neck, thus securely keeping the moist, thyme-scented compress pressed against her tanned skin. As the calm student thanked her with a raspy voice, and turned on her heels to leave the room, Lily cast a drought charm upon the cup of honeyed tea she had offered her to drink, before thoroughly cleansing it with another one.
It was a simple, quiet life that the witch had been living ever since the war had been finally won a couple of months ago. Even though she was relatively good at hiding it, she was, just like everyone else, still recovering from the monstrous mountain of everything she had witnessed and been hurt from through the last few years. She experienced few nightmares, and was able to work through her days just fine most of the time; but sometimes, some small, seemingly meaningless details would make her freeze, lose all focus, and shake. As a matter of fact, even something as simple as seeing her own reflection after so much time spent disguised as someone else (usually, as a man) with the help of Polyjuice potions had more than once procured to her a similar stomach-turning feeling to the one of seeing a dead friend on an old picture; but she trusted the fact that eventually, this feeling would too fade away, that she would look at herself in the mirror without doubting that she and each one of her freckles were real and hers, just as the world that had been saved was real and hers, too -- real and beating, proud and glorious, itching to recover and live.
Thankfully, too, her newfound job soothed her more than raw memories gnawed her heart; few things made her happier than healing, reassuring, and chatting with the new generations of young wizards, and it seemed like the feeling was very much mutual. Perhaps she even happened to be a little too good at that job, in fact, for rumors ran across the castle that some students went as far as jumping off their brooms, and making their cauldrons explode on purpose with the hope of getting an excuse to pay the young nurse visit -- but she has, perhaps against better judgement, never believed them, as per old habit of not paying mind to unfounded suppositions.
Focused on classifying some parchments that she kept ordered inside of a mahogany drawer, it took her a small moment before she finally paid mind to the more than familiar sound of quick, discreet footsteps -- but as soon as she did, a small, knowing smile curled the corner of her lips before she even needed to take a look at the newcomer.
"...Severus," She murmured for all greeting, "How wonderful of you to have come down here, I have just realized that we are starting to run out of burn-healing paste. Would you be so kind to take a look at the warehouse with me, so to check that we aren't lacking anything else?"
submitted by Cute-Zookeepergame-9 to RoleplayPartnerSearch [link] [comments]