This guest that recently stayed with us, he stayed under the government rate and he's a military veteran. Dude had his stay extended for another ten days a couple weeks ago. But here's the issue: he had paid for his first two nights via advanced deposit. That's all good and well. But for extending his stay, he did not have a valid card on file and to get payment from him, he was going to pay us in Visa gift cards that he receives from the Veteran's Affairs Office. A bit weird that the VA would give out money via gift cards but whatever. And it's apparently legitimate because one of my managers has a spouse which used to be in the military.
Anyway, this guy was making a big deal about not wanting to be kicked out of yet another hotel because in my area, everyone was all booked up or was really tight on rooms. For like the first half of his extension, this guy was paying his balance every few days as he got his gift cards from the VA, or he'd pay in cash. It was pretty easy to put the money on his account so at least he's contributing to the balance. Just gotta make sure he pays it off in full by the time he checks out. Then at some point he goes longer without paying the balance and the FDAs and managers call him up for more payment and he makes a big fuss about how he should all be caught up and that he's 100% sure he's provided all the gift cards and had paid for his balance (at that point he was -$473). But.....in his account it's showing us he's in the negatives and he's claiming he made the transactions as if he paid and his money went into the void or something lol.
Here comes Thursday. His checkout date was supposed to be on Friday and he was sitting at a balance of -$800something. But the housekeepers that cleaned his room noticed the room was actually empty with none of his stuff in it. Apparently he quietly left out on Wednesday night and didn't think we'd notice. The managers are still trying to get the guy to pay, but it's no use at this point. He dipped without going by the front desk, we relied on him paying with gift cards, and he's gone. We're never gonna trust anyone in a similar predicament again.
My initial claim was hastily submitted by my NSO during our DAV introductory meeting. If I leave my apartment on a weekly basis I consider that an active week. To meet with a stranger about my greatest fears/vulnerabilities, we’ll…let’s just say my PTSD had me on edge.
I remember speaking but couldn’t tell you the words, and I remember the NSO typing away but I could’ve cared less. After 45 minutes I remember snapping into the present when he said my claim was submitted! The moment I’ve dreaded/waited for the last 14 years was done. I got out of there as fast as possible and bawled my eyes out in the car parking lot for an uncomfortably long time.
It’s been a long couple weeks of personal, stressor, and buddy statements. I’ve been safe at home the past couple weeks, and I’ve been thinking…I need some advice.
Initial claim was submitted for PTSD and a hip replacement that my surgeon can only attribute to 12 years of military wear and tear, nothing else makes sense to him? I have a diagnosis from a VA psychiatrist of - Chronic post-traumatic stress disorder following military combat…so far so good right? That’s it for my initial claim.
Here’s my first situation I need advice on: that same VA psychiatrist also diagnosed me with - Severe major depression without psychotic features, and his coworker (VA psychiatrist) also diagnosed me with - Heroin dependence with statements in my health record I’m self-medicating to cope with my MH diagnoses. Shouldn’t those two diagnoses somehow be added to this claim as secondary to PTSD? Is it too late to do that? How can I fix this situation?
My second situation I need advice on: there are additional issues secondary to my PTSD that I don’t have diagnoses assigned. Primarily erectile dysfunction (no mention in my records) and disassociation with documented memory loss (mentioned extensively in my VA psych records/therapy notes and court transcripts from criminal charges/conviction) but no official diagnosis. Shouldn’t these non-diagnosed issues be at least mentioned so we can start working towards service-connected diagnoses? Is the initial claim the place to bring these up, or is there a more appropriate future scenario?
My third situation I need advice on: I have not had meaningful employment since 12/2019 due to worsening PTSD symptoms. It’s gotten severe enough the past three and a half years that Ive been homeless multiple times and live completely off cash assistance/food stamps. My wife won’t leave me alone more than a day as I have documented suicide attempts whenever left alone. I also self-isolate and go OCD on security checks and flashbacks to the point that I don’t eat/hygiene/take meds/sleep. I’ve gotten bad enough that a judge revoked my second amendment rights with the Brady Act and I was legally forced to surrender my firearms. All of this is documented in my VA psych record. Shouldn’t we have applied for TDIU and SMC-R since my poor wife basically got stuck married to a 43 year old, angry toddler that she has to take care of herself? Should that have gone on this claim or are those future supplemental claims?
I really am sorry for the novel, but after putting this off for 14 years, and slowly ruining the lives/spirits of the only three people on Earth that love me, I have to know I tried my best to get this right the first time. I need to get them support and relief because love has made them too stupid to leave me. I’m the luckiest man alive! Please help me help them.
Hi!! Would love advice on a non-waterproof but smudge free mascara for prom. I'm (somewhat) new to makeup here and am struggling to wade through reviews of mascaras. I've tried the essence lash extensions mascara, Tarte tubing mascara and the benefit roller lash, but have problems with smudging and fallout with all three (less with the tubing). I really want something that will last 8 hours but isn't waterproof (concerns about pfas and lash damage). This is especially difficult because I wear contacts and blink a lot. Would really really appreciate any advice y'all have.
I removed my lash extensions and I had short eyelashes prior but… I have so much less and they are significantly shorter.
Any lash serums or products I can use to get these back to normal? I’ve heard good and bad things about all serums so I’m nervous.
Also, is this normal for extensions to do this or was my tech not good?
Thanks y’all :)
I (female 23) have a friend of 6 years (female 28) let’s call her Marley. She’s my X’s sister. We’ve always been close. I’m actively involved in her family. (Two children & Fiancé. ) I recently had a baby-5 months ago While I was pregnant I would go see her often Visit 1-2 days & stay a few nights at a time, up until I was 2 weeks away from my due date. I needed to stay home and settle in our new apartment to prepare for my L.O. I worked a full time job & drive 40 minutes to see her each day that I go. 20there20back. Our partners stay offshore hers for 2 weeks, mine for a month..She wants company every single day that he’s gone. I felt like with Work, My Personal life, & My first child I kind of needed a break from over extending myself. If I don’t answe if I’m not available Marley calls the next friend or family member & they visit her for hours or a night/nights at a time.
Did I mention Marley doesn’t drive or work? You didn’t ask but, yes, she has a car sitting in the garage. She drives occasionally She is well & physically capable She’s a stay at home mom with her 1yr old & 8yr old I take Marley and Marleys children to doctors appointments/Check Ups, Occasionally the Store & Frivolous Shopping
Just an example of what she will have me go over for:
One time she called me to go over because her baby was Crying/Screaming. I was pregnant and literally just got into my house from finishing up a shift at work from 5:30 AM-2:00 PM (No Break and No sitting the entire shift.) As soon as I got there she told me the baby had gas, Marley gave her medicine & needed me to stay a few hours ‘in case she needed to go to the hospital’ She knew how to handle it in the first place. I was pregnant & honestly I can hardly regulate my own anxiety OR The first week after I had my baby & my boyfriend had JUST got home. Picked him up from the airport with his mom, didn’t leave the parking lot yet. She ‘needed’ me to go sit with her just in case her 1 yr old daughter needed to go to the hospital for a cough. I’ve told her she could call me if it was a definite need for the hospital. She said she wouldn’t be able to wait for me if it were an emergency. I’d need to be there before hand. Just. In. Case. I drive out of my way & have to completely plan around going to see her every single time. It’s stressing me out. I just want to be home in my own bed. I have so many things to carry back and forth from her house to mine all while having a baby & being the only one of TWO of us to do things like this. It REALLY wears me out.
So you can see why it gets a little exhausting. I just finished taking Stateboard exams, while kind of feeling like she didn’t understand what it meant for my career. She asked me to go out to the bar an hour away TWO days before my exam. Wanted me to perform services on her like Dermaplane, Tan, Lash Extensions etc.
I tell myself- she can’t relate. To the Self Discipline, Mental Preparation, the money I’m spending on Supplies/Gas for my car. Not to mention I have a 5 month old I have to be hands on with almost 25/8
I’m wanting to go back to work & school again. I almost feel like I’m not doing enough when I don’t go see her.. I’ve tried to cut it short by going once or twice every other week. I don’t want to be a bad friend
I’m mentally preparing to talk to her about this I don’t want to start to feel resentment. It would be so unfortunate for her not to understand where I’m coming from.
Prefacing this post by saying that I am not someone who thinks they know better than a professional. I normally always go to a salon for treatments rather than try it myself; the lesson has definitely been learnt to never try something like this again.
I recently gave birth to twins (and I have a toddler) & have found it nearly impossible to give the time I want to my usual beauty appointments. I have been feeling down about my appearance and like I’ve been neglecting my self care and really wanted to start doing some thing to feel more put together, especially on the days when I have zero time to get ready.
I attempted DIY lash extensions. My first attempt was using a KISS kit, but this time I bought an Ardell adhesive with the hopes of extending wear. After I had applied the lashes I was unhappy with how they looked & had a big event that weekend so did not want them to look shabby. I tried to remove using eye makeup remover and then olive oil and although some came away easily, most of the lashes were really stuck. Long story short, I lost a lot of my natural lashes trying to get these off. A LOT.
Please tell me if there’s anything I can do to grow my lashes back quickly?
Ideally once they start getting healthy again I would still like to do something to help me look more put together? LVLs? Eyelash extensions? (Not a DIY job ever again lol)
I'm currently a computer science intern, and I went to Denny's after work today. I'm really tired after a long week, and just wanted something quick and easy. As I was walking into the restaurant this guy in a Denny's employee outfit came up to me and started introducing himself and started talking about how exciting it was that we both worked for DoD. First of all, I don't work for the DoD, and unless DoD stands for "Denny's of Dumfries, VA," - he clearly doesn't either. I want to ask him if I could just eat alone but he just won’t let me say anything.
He then started raving about Purdue and asking me whether some "high level" (200 level) courses were still being offered in Krannert. He’s telling me about how he started one semester at Purdue but dropped out because he flunked out (ENGL 106 is hard, apparently). At this point, I still haven't been able to get a word in edgewise and am just trying to eat.
This man won't stop rambling to me. The Whole. Fucking. Meal.
I then walk to the metro so that I can get to my place in Fredericksburg and this man follows me. The Whole. Way. Home.
He's currently standing outside my door raving about Zach Edey and how he hopes to get back into Purdue someday. It's 11:50pm, and I'm really just trying to sleep. Should I call the police or something to make him go away?
Hello all - I'll try to make this quick: My lashes are a problem area, so much so that they have trouble growing back. Problem is, I think it is making my eye allergies a lot worse because there is no added protection from stuff getting into my eyes. I have gotten to the point where I was considering false lashes or lash extensions (if that's possible), but here's my hesitation...
I prefer to not have full lashes to begin with. Nothing wrong with it, I just personally do not feel comfortable with what you may normally find in a store amongst the sets of false lashes. Would it look odd if I were to cut them shorter in length or try to "debulk" them? Or is there something else that I can do that I am missing entirely?
Any help would be appreciated. My eyes would also appreciate it.
Gay guy looking for a local Virginia guy 25+ for irl in-person platonic friendship. I like cooking, gardening, travel, movies, historic places, and road trips. I generally get along with mature guys.
Down the rabbit hole of the Bureau we go to see what horrors and wonders lie hidden upon and within the earth unearthed by an alien invasion...
Story connects My Moral Grey Area
and his Legion of monsters
stories. First Previous
Next Legion of monsters: Sanguine … 31 the House of Dealan Pilotpriest, Future is dead
Arthur and his wives had been informed of the dress and … armament requirements that would be needed for their foray below and when he saw what the girls unveiled, he visibly winced.
Of course, there was some confusion in his disdain for their armour but Arthur insisted and within the hour they had travelled out to a place almost literally round the corner from the houses of parliament.
As he approached the old stone arch with its thick wrought iron door Arthur suddenly remembered the particulars of mixing Shil’vati and confined spaces.
“Um, I'm sorry but it slipped my mind that this place is underground.” He said, chuckling as his wives all gave him a cold disapproving look.
Arthur knew that just banging on the door would not open it so he pursed his lips and whistled the tune of the nursery rhyme pop goes the weasel while resting his hand on a very specific glassy green stone beside the doorway.
The clunk of a door deeper down the passage opening made him smile to his wives to reassure them that everything was okay.
As the chains rattled on the other side of the door, he heard the guard’s deep breath and several deep sniffs at the air, there was a deep animal growl, Arthur without meaning to swallowed dryly at what he knew was about to emerge.
The door swung open showing it to be a literal foot thick slab of metal, but from behind it stepped a man who emerged from his stoop in the hall to stare down at Arthur and look level eyed at his wives.
The man appeared Jamaican by descent by his predominant skin colour and hairstyle of dreadlocks, his face was mottled with vitiligo across his cheeks and brow speckling his brown skin with splotches of white, those eyes were brown but tinged yellow around the iris and his nails were thick and pointed claws.
This was a werewolf in human form, one that was not too shy about its inhuman traits being plain to see.
“Is master Ancetto in?” asked Arthur politely.
The doorman leaned over to be eye level with Arthur looking him in the eyes then looking past him to the four shil’vati behind him.
“Sebastian, they are my wives and I am looking to ensure they are well protected.” Stated Arthur.
Standing up straight the wolf in a man’s form smiled broadly displaying his fanged teeth as he then said in a deep Jamaican accent.
“Sooooh, da boy aboot town haz finally found someone’s dey is confortable with… doh-nah stress he is in, shall ah call da gent as well?” he asked smiling down at him.
Arthur nodded, and the guard looking over him to the four shil’vati women he smiled wider saying.
“Ladies, Welcome mahster Ancetto the artifaycer is down deez stairs mind your eads, dis tunnel wah made by shortah people dan us.”
As the guard turned Arthur let out the breath he was holding.
Gly’nrie and Imizael cast him an odd look.
“It’s okay I was just worried that he might turn us away is all, they are very particular about who they allow in past the doors.” Said Arthur as he followed the giant guard down the well-lit old stone stairs.
As they reached the bottom, they entered a room with much taller ceilings panelled with wood but also lined with hooks to take the coats of guests, the guard went back upstairs and could be heard locking the door behind them.
Coming back down he bowed slightly saying.
“You be da first sheel-vahti’s ever to be in-vye-ted to this place lay-deez we strictly insist that only trusted wehl known customah’s can introduce uthars to dis place, Arthur noh dah mahsters wohk very well, he wearin one of our suits right now he is.”
Another door opened and out came a well-dressed thinly built gentleman who looked almost totally albino, paper white skin and hair on a balding head, his eyes were only the faintest grey as only his glasses sharp red metallic frames applied any colour to his strictly monotone black and white attire.
“Master Gwydion, I trust that these people are both the ones you contacted me about and that they are well within the rules I insist upon?” asked the well-dressed man as he narrowed his gaze at Arthur.
“Master Ancetto, these are my wives!” said Arthur with a hint of sharpness in his voice but he held out a hand gesturing to each in turn.
“From left to right Viscountess Shal’endra Isilynor, Baroness Gly’nrie Xyrcaryn, Duchess Imizael Balcyne, and Marquess Miralana Umegwyn … we are expected to perform a diplomatic duty somewhere very, very dangerous and were told that it would be considered unseemly to arrive at said event in anything less than full battle armour.” Said Arthur politely.
The last time he had been here was being fitted for several suit’s both business and otherwise with armoured enhancement by Sir Philip and even then, it had been made plain that this was not a bureau establishment and that it served the needs of very special elite clientele of all types and strived for absolute neutrality.
“Battle armour for a diplomatic duty?” said Master Ancetto with a hint of a smile.
Arthur sighed, rubbing his brow.
“We have been invited to the investiture of a kind of lord before a council of similar lords in a very strange place I only recently learned existed, the lord in question is a former bureau agent called Sanguine.” said a blushing Arthur.
Master Ancetto smiled for the first time in front of Arthur, the corners of his mouth drew back very wide exposing fangs, his eyes, once milky grey, turned a startling sky blue as he rose a foot from the ground floating mid-air.
“You are attending the investiture of a lord of the depths?” said the now floating master Ancetto before a shocked Arthur.
“Yes.” Arthur replied nervously realising very quickly the signs of a grey stood before him.
“Then it is good that YOU came here to me, I was born of the depths and until recently I was exiled… recent changes have altered this… I have to say you are going to see wonders I long to see again, I am jealous but my duties tie me to this place a while longer.” Said the grinning telepathic vampire in front of them.
Leading them through another door they found themselves in an armourer’s workshop equal to any in imperial space they had seen with both power armour and lighter armoured garments being worked upon by a plethora of people both grey and rather obviously cyborgs.
The man performing servo maintenance on the power armour had multiple mechanical limbs extending spider-like from his back and even a multi-lensed prosthetic eye on his right-side which swivelled all three mechanical eyes to look at these new arrivals.
“As you can see, we create all manner of attire from heavy powered armour,” remarked master Ancetto as he gestured to the spider mechanic as he resumed his work, “to the finer and more flexible protection.” He said gesturing to a suit not unlike Arthurs which was having flexible polymer armour inserts applied.
“But this is all what one would consider as commonplace for the surface world.” He said as a black cube floated up beside him then, morphed into a suit of insectile armour around the body of master Ancetto… “You will be needing finer attire in the depths.”
IIIIIIIIIIIIII Ixion OST, Across the void
Bellaluna watched as one of the Sanguine’s sparred with Zilyana.
One of the older one’s was sat beside her at her table sipping tea as they perused the options available from master Ancetto’s armourer’s.
They were sat within a glass roofed garden, the environment inside was absolutely not one you would ever see on the surface of earth, the dark red barked trees throbbed with bioluminescence between their scaled bark as their shimmering jewel like obsidian crystal leaves tingled and rang like crystal glass windchimes as they swayed in the breeze created by the room’s climate controls.
This was what the Ancetto clan called their hidden jewel, a garden made of depth’s native plants and a few insects in its center was a sparring ground for customers to acquaint themselves with their armour’s properties.
Bellaluna examined the possibilities available and found that many options were familiar to her thanks to the prevalence for noble families to outfit their daughters with Exo armour.
Only these suits were not the nine to ten feet tall armoured behemoth suits she knew, these were skin tight suits of biopolymer synthetic muscle synchronized directly to the user’s nervous systems through either telepathic or cybernetic means.
They self-repaired and maintained themselves and acted as a combination of life support system and power armoured combat body glove amplifying the wearers speed endurance and reaction times by a factor of two while allowing Exo levels of raw strength and physical power.
All while incorporating multiple strange biological systems requiring specialised “bio-ports” to be installed to allow the suit to interact symbiotically with its wearer's anatomy allowing it to sustain the host without water or food in the depths for months by recycling their sweat and waste.
Setting everything to its most basic Bellaluna took stock of what she could estimate to be the bare bones of a basic depths soldier.
It was an army of five-to-six-foot bio-armoured soldiers able to live for months without food water or resupply all while being able to jog at speeds near to that of Terran cheetahs, go toe to toe against Exo’s in hand to hand while being faster and smaller, and be able to self-triage when wounded, as the suit was designed if a limb was severed to seal the wound and assist its host in growing a new limb?
And that was the basic model.
“Sanguine?” she asked getting the attention of both the fully grown man beside her and the boy sparring with Zilyana.
“Got you!” exclaimed Zilyana proudly as she held the blade near Sanguine 1898’s neck.
Chink ! ….. That sound made Zilyana’s eyes drop to find a blade poised to do something drastic to her crotch.
“Shit.” Was all she could say to that.
Then the boy did something that made her freeze in shock, he leaned his cheek against her blade and without a single sign of pain opened an inch deep gash up on his cheek.
Then moving away from the blade, he pressed his fingers to the side of the wound pulling it open so she could see into it as with a mental effort he made the flesh seal and mend, the sight making her shudder in revulsion.
1898 nodded, sighing before he said.
“Flesh sculptors and their ilk are infamously capable of surviving decapitation, for next time if you are poised to cleave one open young Zilyana, have something like an incendiary grenade ready to shove deep inside the wound when you do as in their haste to heal, they will seal the flesh around it creating a much worse wound when the grenade detonates.” Said the boy clone in an aloof tone.
Zilyana snarled in offense but a faint growl from the older Sanguine beside Bellaluna caught her attention, and reminded her that yes this was but a boy in front of her, but it was also the weakest part of Sanguine and as such the least challenging one for Zilyana to fight.
“What did you want Bellaluna?” asked the older clone 818 beside her returning his focus to the interior mistress as the two in the ring resumed their practice.
Handing him her omni-slate she asked.
“Is this a good approximation of the basic depths soldier?”
Sanguine perused the screen with his eyes, the faint smirk on his face and the raising of an eyebrow told her that he had found her assumption amusing.
“For scav teams and tunnel runners yeah, proper city patrol wear,” he tapped several options then showed her the screen again, “this.” He said, showing a much heavier suit.
Bellaluna took back her slate and looked over the selections that Sanguine had put in, several options were highlighted as needing special licenses to acquire but the resulting armour was closer to power armour to her eyes with heavy plate armour requiring extensive mechanical articulation and amplified muscular systems bringing it closer to being something between an Exo and the baseline bio armour she had chosen.
“This is for the police?” she said with some incredulity.
“That bio-suit you showed me in terms of ease of acquisition akin to a basic Kevlar vest,” he said then handed her his slate, “For proper military assaults you would want the depths call a nomad suit which is what’s on that slate.”
Looking down at what was on her slate the resulting suit was much sleeker than the heavily plated police suit but the price was close to ten times more and resulted in a matte black suit heavier than the basic bio-suit but the list of extras said a lot.
Full NBC countermeasures rated for minimum two years survival time in contaminated environments under a mixture of biological toxic and radiological hazards.
In-built bio-support allows the suit to digest inedible substances to sustain its host, including the extraction of oxygen from ingested materials and water to allow the host to survive in environments with minimal to no atmosphere for extended periods.
In-built suit support mind and thus also its own barriers to allow it to shield itself, which required either the host be psychic or the installation of a neural symbiote on the hosts spine to ensure the suit can always remain in contact with the host.
Integrated pig plasma pulse guns in the bracers, retractable monofilament blades and claws and reinforced synth muscle and armour allowing for nearly four times the power of a police suit.
Bellaluna could feel her eyebrows going higher and higher, you could almost say she suspected them of trying to emigrate over her scalp to flee down her neck.
“How fucking dangerous is it down there?” said Bellaluna with a noticeable squeak in her voice at the shocking details of this virtual Exo that the depths considered a standard line solider.
Sanguine again smiled but it quickly faded away as he said.
“You sent salvage expeditions to Mars, full marine detachments, all manner of advanced digging equipment even tried to use some orbital fire to blast your way down below the surface.” He stated staring at her intently, this was not a question, this was a statement.
“Tiamat’s children are nothing if not tireless, so I will only say on that matter that they are not cruel, any trespasser would have died quickly, cruelty is a trait only found in the more human breeds of tyrant bio-forms.” He remarked with a melancholy smirk.
“Most if not all of them are a misguided bureau attempt to domesticate and weaponize things commonly found in the various bio-domes residing below, there are all manner of different environments across the universe preserved down there.”
He reached into his coat pocket and pulled out what appeared to be a packet of settock nuts judging by the picture on the packet, which were something native to the shil’vati home-world, only these were in a packet daubed in a language she did not recognise.
“You call them settock nuts, I grew up calling them Kalzee and eating them as part a traditional meal in the depths called Ahrical,” the look of confusion on Bellaluna’s face spurred him into expanding his description, “The basic sauce is kind of a sweet red gravy like what you would expect of the human sweet and sour chicken, like a lot of grey cooking it has finely ground up iron rust powder mixed in the sauce but you can get it without.” Bellaluna’s face became more confused.
“The meat and nuts are simmered in this sauce on a low heat over several hours till cooked, then the sauce left to cool overnight, the next day sliced fresh fruit and vegetables are added and mixed with the cold sauce, its eaten with Sahsan a kind of salty cone shaped biscuit bread about cob or bun size that I would describe as halfway between naan bread and a tortilla with a soft inner side and a crispy outside that’s like a tortilla,” he remarked.
“You use the bread like a spoon to scoop up the Ahrical eating both as you go, it’s only the non-psychics down there that use cutlery.” He said smiling as he pointed to one of the Ancetto armourers sat eating his evening meal in the garden, a chunky reddish soup using small cones telekinetically to scoop up the bowls contents.
“Ahrical?” she asked Sanguine.
“No, that's something more common up here, beef bolognaise with pasta shells, but the bread is Sahsan.” He replied.
It was at this point that the small packet of settock nuts leapt off the table and an old man in a finely crafted suit of chitinous armour snaffled half the bag greedily.
“Kalzee,” he said with a blissful voice through a half full mouth as he savoured the nuts, “Can we have more of these brought up with the armour material shipments, I would pay their weight in gold for more of these.” Said an uncharacteristically uncouth Master Ancetto as his escorting cadre of four shil’vati and a single male human customer looked at him oddly.
Sanguine laughed before pointing to Bellaluna and saying.
“Sahngah those nuts grow on the shil homeworld,” he said to the old grey armourer, “they’re a common snack food, they sell in the vending machines on their bases.” He said with a toothy grin.
Master ‘Sahngah’ Ancetto looked to Bellaluna expectantly saying.
“You have Kalzee on your world?” he said with an odd intensity.
“Settock nuts,” said a bemused Bellaluna, “commonly roasted and put in bags with salt and spices.” She said seeing the old man’s eyes light up during her explanation.
Then the master looked at Sanguine and said rather excitedly.
“Mahak-sa Sanguine, do you know of any other foods they have that I might recognise?” he asked the seated clone 818.
“Mahak-sa?” said the lone confused human that had been accompanying the old master armourer.
Sanguine rose from his seat and approached the human smiling, he was well aware of this human, and what he really was under his genteel appearance.
“You must be Arthur Gwydion,” he stated crossing his arms and staring oddly intensely into the human’s eyes, “Mahak-sa is an honorific, a title it means that I am in essence I am a king, khan or emperor of one of the cities or domains of the depths, at least I will be officially soon.”
Arthur to his credit caught on quickly.
“So, you’re that Sanguine, the one who we are to escort down there as part of the delegation.” He said, taking a slight step back with what looked to be a nervous smile.
Sanguine 818 all six foot eight of him stared down at Arthur, his red on blue eyes glinting from his ashen white face, his grin framed by his white beard.
The dragon’s boon had brought more of the wolf out in him resulting in him being taller and more muscular with snow white hair on cream white skin… that this also caused slight grey speckling on the roots of his changed black horns was a little odd.
“Mahak-sa Sanguine Nah’gratha Mourdin, Grandson of the Ancient of Ahrama’geidahn Aihbael Nah’gratha Mourdin who is brother to the Gorr Mah’kjan,” he said seeing the evident confusion.
“Gorr Mah’kjan means the god king of the depths Kain Reish Mouridin, the one who swept the dead sea crater clean with a wave of reanimated dead.” Said Sanguine with a little hint of a smirk.
The way all five of them froze in apparent fright like a deer in headlights at that detail summoned a chuckle out of Sanguine.
Still for all his amusement his mind’s full attention was elsewhere, dealing with more important matters than this.
IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII Darktide OST, Main theme
Tanis was a male Exo pilot in the shil’vati military which was a rarity but also, he was a single male pilot without a wife bound to him which was even rarer and his team were part of the support Exo’s of the local insurgent suppression unit tasked with keeping Massachusetts relatively calm and maintain it as a yellow zone.
It had begun as a raid of a suspected insurgent base at a mansion in a small town called Innsmouth, the brief had mentioned something about a cult, add in the area according to the marines muttered rumors being oddly infamous for lots of sightings of strange mutant fish monsters apparently, sightings which the incumbent regional government apparently had suppressed prior to the empire’s arrival for reasons unknown.
As they struck the marines storming in it quickly became apparent to her that more was going on, her unit commander Searsa kept switching comms channels, obviously their noble captain had been keeping details from them as shortly after the marines stormed in the shrill screams and shouts of ghastly horror filled the open coms as echoing the las-fire took up a cadence only heard during moments of sheer extremes, frantic fully automatic the fall back of the desperate and terrified.
The sounds of Las-Fire rattled out from inside the mansion punctuated by screams and strange gurgling roars as the unit commander started shouting into her coms, the words muffled and unintelligible under her Exo Armour's closed visor.
“What the fuck is making that noise?” Tanis asked and the commander whirled on him, a rebuke plainly mere moments from utterance.
Only for the screams and las-fire to stop, this shifted everyone's attention to the mansion’s doors.
Whispered chants oozed out of the air hissing and uttered in barely pronounceable mantras, the very shadows around them seemed to move with odd sinister momentum.
Then the mansion's doors slid open and a sea of darkness lay within, Tanis could feel something writhing within that inky depth but his ears alerted him to an odd silence.
Turning he beheld a true nightmare, monstrous things half fish half human assailed the marines in total silence, their screams and las-fire completely silent all sound lacking as marines were eviscerated and monsters devoured them alive.
Turning Tanis opened fire and in an instant all the riotous noise of the world came back.
“WHAT THE FUCK!” bellowed his commander in shock as the sudden return of sound snapped her out of whatever fugue had gripped her.
The rest of the unit took moments longer to regain their senses, moments enough for one of the monsters to grab a hold of a team mate called Kaunt, the monsters skin rippled under shredding las repeater fire but still it heaved and tore open her armour to thrust its maw inside to get at the pilot.
Tanis acted stepping forth he drove his armour’s fist flat like a blade into its ribs and with a sucking squelch tore out its insides before pushing it off Kaunt, but she was already dead.
Turning he hosed down a mass of swirling something that moved out of the corner of his eye and bellowed to his commander.
“We need to move!” but she stood visor open staring at him like she was drunk as a swirling tendril of shadows curled round her and touched her face, Searsa a woman barely a year older than himself let out a strangled groan as before Tanis’s horrified eyes the years passed in seconds and she withered away inside her armour.
The other women were similarly dumbstruck and barely moving, snaking shadows binding their feet as they stood immobile and insensate.
“DEMON!” roared a man’s voice and a blast of blinding white light rocked the mansion's doorway.
Around them had appeared soldiers clad in silver armour carrying blades that crackled with eldritch energy and guns that spat globs of blinding light that left after images in Tanis’s vision.
Thanks to Tanis’s cursory examination of this world’s history, he recognised something of these warrior’s armour and stylings, these were knights? And if their armour and cruciform symbology was anything to go by these were some forms of paladins.
There in the doorway one of them struggled with a figure that was as much a shadow as it was possibly a human being, snapping lightning exposed their struggles amidst that living darkness inside the house.
Tanis did the only thing that seemed to make sense after all of this he levelled his repeater on that shadow and fired.
Pulsed laser fire was swallowed by the darkness but a hissing roar of anger emerged, its attention shifted to Tanis and he felt something horrifying reaching for him but the paladin was on it fast cleaving down through its skull with one blade while another was driven into its chest.
In one lurching moment the shadows dispersed leaving the paladin stood blades pinning a withered old corpse.
Across the battlefield that had been the mansion's lawn the monsters broke and fled running back towards the mansion as the marines and what little of the Exo’s snapped from their fugue and opened fire on their fleeing assailants.
But then the ground heaved and rumbled, the paladins leapt back as the mansion collapsed into a chasm that had apparently been below it?
A shuddering growl rumbled in the air and ripples of that same unnatural darkness oozed out from the pit now exposed as up from it rose what to Tanis’s shocked eyes was a miniature black hole.
An orb of utter darkness as a big as a small ship tore free of the ground swirling mist like shadows cloaked it as the monsters hurled themselves towards its surface their flesh as they got close liquifying and becoming an orbiting ring of wailing meat around the orb which spat jets of steaming ichor out towards them.
One jet swallowed up a group of marines near Tanis and in moments their armour and flesh just dissolved leaving behind steaming bones.
“EVADE! … PULL BACK … EVADE!” roared Tanis and what little of his fellows not still gripped in fugue obeyed and fled, but the paladins stood their ground.
He saw some carrying large egg-shaped things tangled in roots towards the orb, his ponderings answered as he saw one hurled at the ominous thing, it crackled with energy as it drew close sticking to its surface there was a howling shriek as more were hurled onto its surface.
Finally, as it orbited with dozens of these things stuck to its surface the blasted orb just dropped back into its hole whatever dark power once animating it spent.
Still the paladins did not rest, more of those egg-like things were brought forth as well as lengths of massive chains as big as those you would anchor a ship with their surfaces etched with symbols that seemed to make Tanis’s eyes itch as he looked at them.
As they swarmed into the chasm Tanis could hear shrieking wails and screams that shook him to his core, moving to the chasms edge he stared down to see that they were chaining up and binding this thing lashing it to a frame they were building around it with the kind of haste one expects only with plentiful practice.
“All units form up and arrest those men!” bellowed the voice of their noble captain across the comms, turning Tanis surveyed the remnants of their force, barely a handful remained, many were horribly mauled by either the monsters or being caught by the acidic sprays, many more were simply catatonic in shock and were either stood or sat staring into empty space as if still entranced by the dispersing fugue.
The rest were rushing about trying to tend to the wounded or take stock of what the hell had just happened, even the Exo’s pride of the shil’vati military were stumbling broken and still in shock.
“I said Arrest those men!” bellowed the captain now outside of her mobile command unit pointing to the nearest paladin.
Tanis coughed as he stifled a laugh at the looks of incredulity passing across the marines, they knew that they had just been saved by these knights and the look of hesitation was evident everywhere Tanis looked.
“I SAID!” she roared, only for a bolt of lightning to snap out and reduce her in an instant to just a greasy smear of cooked meat and tattered armour.
One of the paladins was floating towards the MCU, his armour crackling with electricity as his eyes glowed like small suns through the slits of his visor.
The armoured vehicle peeled open under invisible forces and her command staff were plucked out and thrown to the ground beside the still steaming remains of the captain.
“Your captain was commanded by her own betters to stand aside and leave this matter to us, and she ignored this, her officers knew what they were facing and thought themselves prepared.”
As one of the captain’s lieutenants snapped off several bolts of las-fire at the floating paladin from her side arm they impacted a bubble of energy around him, the shots fizzling to nothing.
In a flash he hurled towards them the first he touched his fingers to her brow and she just evaporated in a spray of blue, ducking and twirling out of the way of the seconds wild firing she erupted into flames with a gesture.
The third tried to shoot herself, the pistol aimed up at her own skull swatted out of her hand in the last moment telekinetically the paladin clapped his hands together and the woman officer simply imploded.
Number four the one who had shot at him when he had been floating dropped her pistol.
“You were her sister trusted by the generals and admirals to keep your hot-headed sister in line.” Snarled the paladin as he produced an omni-slate from his armour.
“This is a warrant of execution for this woman, signed by six of this world’s ruling nobles… In ancient times when warriors failed so severely on this world they were made into a severe example, some were even given the honour to hurl themselves on their own swords to answer for their shame.” Said the paladin.
He removed his helm revealing a snow-white face with luminous blue eyes and black curved horns on his brow, as a long mane of startling white hair whipped about in an eldritch breeze.
“I am not as merciful to those who defy me!” he hissed as his mouth opened far too wide for a human revealing a set of very sharp canine teeth more akin to the mouth of a dog or very large cat.
He shot forward driving his fist into her guts folding the officer in half as she shot off her feet showing the force of the blow.
She begged, she pleaded but no one tried to help her as this supernaturally empowered man beat her savagely finally ending her by driving his thumbs into her eye sockets.
Tanis had been inching closer by the minute as he and everyone else watched this sentence be passed, the warrant and its signatures visible on their head up displays for every marine around them.
Finally, as Tanis drew close enough, he popped open his visor and simply asked.
“Who the fuck are you, and what in the deep minders barnacle ridden salty clam hole is going on?”
The paladin turned to him revealing a youthful if angularly gaunt face which smiled.
“I am Sanguine 984 hunter of demons and monsters,” he said with obvious mirth, “to you this will be one of the most confounding and horrible days of your life…… to me it’s just another FUCKING Tuesday doing my job.” He said as the other paladins pulled that dark orb out of the chasm by the chains, that faint agonised whine now a faint whisper, the very sight of that thing made Tanis’s eyes twitch.
“HEY!” barked the one calling himself Sanguine, to focus their attention on him, “not a good idea to stare at it like that, just try and ignore it until the transport arrives, staring at it will fry your brain cells and make you a mindless shell.” He said gesturing to one of the catatonic marines.
With that the paladin took a rag from his pocket and started to wipe the blood and viscera from his gauntlets saying.
“Stare too long causes brain burn, hollows you out, nothing left of your memories or mind, just a still breathing corpse with enough brain not turned to mush to keep the organs ticking but little else.”
Tanis looked to the many catatonic marines staring blankly into space, a cold horrified dread welling up inside at the sight of the living dead around them.