Icd 10 labral tear right shoulder

The Red King, Ch. 1

2023.03.24 07:59 BigOlePuddin The Red King, Ch. 1

This is a noncanon story intended to be a sort of "tie in" to the Jenkinsverse taking place a while before the Vancouver Incident. I'm intending to expand the lore a bit in a few areas while still honoring what's already considered canon in the universe. If I get anything wrong lore-wise, scientific-wise, grammatically, and so on, please don't hesitate to offer criticism. Feel free to let me know if you like the story or not or if you just think it's a steaming hot pile of pure assplay. This is not only my very first attempt at creative writing, but it's my very first time posting to Reddit so forgive my ignorance if you can. I'll release Chapter Two very soon if people like what I've written thus far. Even if they don't, I'll release it out of spite anyway because life is pain, and that pain needs to be shared so we can all grow together. All alien measurements are posted with brackets and their Earth equivalents.

Eight years before the Vancouver Incident
Elijah Prince awoke from a dreamless sleep, rising sluggishly from a hard floor to his full height. This was not the canvas cot upon which he had fallen asleep. Alarm bells were ringing in his head. His first instincts were to survey his immediate surroundings. He was completely naked. He hadn’t gone to sleep naked. This…this wasn’t good. A nigh profane understatement to make as he was encased in a clear…containment dome of sorts reinforced with bands of some unknown alloy of metal. The floor was apparently made of the same light gray material. The rest of the room was smooth, curved, and eggshell white. Were it not for the floor serving as an explicit contrast, this room looked like Steve Jobs’ idea of Purgatory. It was pretty Men in Black in design and appearance, albeit this room was undeniably a work of nonfiction. No, sir. This was all Papa Reality’s doing for sure. Dark yellow, holographic symbols (characters?) were vacillating in a fidgeting manner upon a darkish green background holoscreen of sorts all around his…”cage.” Maybe “bubble dome” was more accurate. No doubt the holographic panels were some sort of monitoring system. Medical data? Measuring his vitals? Checking the salinity of his piss, maybe? Only God knew at this point. A single, ovaloid door (also white) marked the singular entry/exit of this relatively roundish, white/gray purgatory of a room.
“Aliens. I been abducted by fuckin’ aliens, man.” Elijah’s Tennessean drawl echoed inside the confines of his bubble dome. He sighed and began massaging his freckled temples.
“Okay…why? By whom? For what purpose? How do I get my happy ass outta’ here? Should I even try to escape?” He rattled off his thoughts in rapid succession.
This room was clearly no work of humanity. If he was abducted, should he attempt an escape were it at all possible or would any attempt at such result in his untimely demise? Maybe they just wanted to probe his asshole and drop him off at a random bus stop on Earth afterwards like a cheap whore after servicing a morbidly obese, divorced dad in his Ford pickup at two in the morning? None the worse for wear? Worse for wear? If he cooperated, maybe they’d let him go. Maybe he should acquiesce to their twisted anal desires. Or maybe they’d turn his big, ginger ass into a vat of soylent green. Anything was possible at this point. Panic was quickly building in Eli’s brain, but he fought it down. He was used to extremely stressful situations, but this was definitely new territory for him. Where was he precisely? He was probably in space despite the lack of an exterior view of his alien iPod room allowing him a good confirmation of his assumption. He doubted he was in some secret government facility deep underground beneath the Himalayas or some shit. Unfortunately, Eli didn’t have the time to fully ponder his prospects for a proper course of action. The ovaloid door slid open with a resoundant Hiss! revealing a…well…it was an alien standing in the doorway.
“You gotta’ be fuckin’ kiddin’, man. Ain’t no damn way.”
It was the quintessential “Gray.” It was the stereotypical gray alien with the bulbous head, big black, ovaloid eyes, and spindly limbs. Frail looking. About three feet tall. Give or take a few inches. Naked as a jaybird. No dick was visible. Not good. Eli didn’t trust anyone or anything that didn’t have a dick. If you Googled “alien,” an image of this little fucker would likely pop up as the first search result. There might be green and blue variations of the gray skin tone, but it would be pretty damn similar. Elijah would have immediately accepted a squid man. Or a bird man. But this? Was this really an abduction or an obscenely elaborate prank? No. Occam’s Razor. What if all those country ass farmers who got anal probed weren’t just describing their delusions of experiencing a real alien abduction after having crushed up and snorted twenty Benadryls? What if the consistency of the aliens’ appearance was the result of a real, shared experience by dozens if not hundreds of backwoods corn pones having just been ass blasted by a cabal of extraterrestrial ass fetishists? Eli really hoped the anal probe thing was a bit of fanciful embellishment and not literal. He really didn’t like anything near (let alone inside) his asshole for a wide variety of self evident reasons. The red haired man was so busy postulating about the creature before him and its potential motivations that he hadn’t realized that the damn thing was trying to talk to him.
“Human. Male. Thirty two [years] of age. You. Yes, you. I know you can understand me. You’ve been fitted with a translator.” True to the gray’s word, a small, white orb was clasped to the front of Eli’s left pectoral by some sort of hooking mechanism akin to velcro, albeit it was affixed directly to his skin. He realized that he was hearing two voices: one was the high pitched babbling of the gray’s native language while the other was the English language albeit pronounced by the little alien’s voice.
“Who are you? Why am I here?”
“It’s none of your concern. You are Test Subject Red. Your species’ physiology has quite a few…unusual characteristics. This is a research vessel in Dominion Space dedicated to studying the anatomy and capabilities of emergent species. Your species is of great interest to the Corti Directorate. You will perform a series of tests. We will collect data on your performance. If you cooperate and allow us to collect the desired amount of data, you will be released unharmed back upon the surface of your homeworld. If you refuse to cooperate, then a paralysis agent will be vented into your containment vessel, and your body will be vented into the vacuum of deep space. Do you find these terms amenable?” The alien’s voice was decidedly male despite being high in pitch, albeit he couldn’t be certain. These things might not even have genders for all he knew.
“No. I don’t find ‘em amenable in the damn slightest, but I don’t got no choice now, do I?” A thin “smile” unmistakably curled on the face of the smug little xeno’s face. All in all, this was a shitty first contact with an alien species.
“A choice between life and death is no choice at all, true. You will be tested soon. For now…sleep.”
A cacophony of hisses beckoned a pale yellow gas into Elijah’s transparent prison. Darkness overtook him.
“I still don’t understand why you felt the need to talk to that thing, Ranit.” The Corti woman was rubbing her temples with exasperation as she and Ranit were observing the red haired human stomp its way into the first test chamber from the live feed screen of the monitoring station.
“Jekra, you’re an expert in xenobiology, but you’re woefully ignorant of psychology. This thing is sapient. No matter how brutish it appears to be, it’s capable of reasoning. I had to establish dominance and lay out the situation, or the human wouldn’t comply with the testing.”
“We could have just used the shock floor and positive reinforcement to get it to do what we need it to. No need to bloviate, but I suppose that would deprive you of your monologues.” Ranit sneered at her. She despised her superior, but what could she do? The Directorate had put his smug ass in charge.
“Is the promise of returning it to its homeworld alive not “motivation” enough, fool woman? You’re not here to question my decisions. You’re here to collect biometric data. I am the director of this operation. Now proceed with the first test.” Jekra swallowed her pride and nodded in agreement.
“Human. Approach the weighted bar on the stand before you.” The red haired primate obliged…begrudgingly. It was angry. That much was clear. No matter.
“Using whatever passes as your primary means of conveying objec-”
“Hands and arms, you mean.” Jekra recoiled slightly.
“Pick up the weight?”
The human stomped up to the pedestal, allowing Jekra to get the closest look yet at the newest addition to their research vessel. It was…terrifying to say the least. Well, all humans were terrifying, but this one was an exemplary candidate to being the veritable embodiment of that word. Humans were short by Galactic Dominion standards, but this one still towered over them by at least the height of another Corti…and a half. Give or take. Its skin was fair complected. Almost pink. Covered in reddish mottlings. Its entire form swelled with powerful muscles. Its face was brutish and primitive. A very short main of red stubble stood atop its domed skull. Its face was covered in a hefty patch of hair of the same color. It had two, forward facing binocular eyes. Rather than being a single, black lens as with a Corti, its eyes were comprised of a tiny black pupil surrounded by an intensely azure ring which itself was surrounded by a layer of pure white. The eyes were horribly hostile and alien. The eyes of a predator. Its reddish form was completely nude which was completely acceptable and normal for Corti who had a genital pouch to conceal their privates…but this thing? Its massive phallus was swinging gently back and forth with each stomp of its brutish feet like a pendulum and was highlighted by a tuft of reddish hair above it…like it the penile protrusion itself had a head of crimson hair. She was disgusted but fascinated all the same. You had to come to grips with being grossed out in order to study the biology of aliens after all. She was already aware of how powerful the immune systems of these creatures were. The suppressive implants and injections that had been performed on the human while he was unconscious were holding back the veritable deluge of nightmarish microbes within and without the red haired beast…which again begged the question as to why her boss decided to potentially risk being infected and wiping out the ship with Deathworld superpathogens just so he could “show the human who was boss?” Jekra had no idea. Maybe Rankit had a tiny cloaca or something.
“What kinda’ lift do you want me to do?” Jekra was taken aback by that question. What “kind” of lift? She hadn’t thought about it initially in her excitement to document this alien’s strength. It made sense, though. It would give her a good read on different groups of muscle engagement. But that bar was incredibly dense and designed to be impossible to lift off the floor let alone allow for “different lifts.” It was firmly bolted into the pedestal. The point of the test was just to examine the amount of force exerted upon it.
“Any lift that would be sufficient.”“Sufficient? In what regard?”
“Just good enough.” The big human was clearly getting frustrated.
“Now how do I know what’s “good enough” fer yer precious ass? “
“I…uh…simply lift the bar as hard as you ca-” The sound of squealing metal and electrical cords ripping from the hollow tubing within the pedestal resounded throughout the test chamber. The monstrous alien had managed to lift the entire, obscenely heavy bar over his head.
“There. Fuck it. Clean and press. Happy, shithead?” She was not happy. She was feeling an entirely different emotion right now that was worlds apart from happiness.
“H-how!?” She glanced over to the shorter male. Ranit was equally shocked and dismayed.
“Gravity here’s weak, ain’t it? I already pieced that together when I was walkin’ over here. Let’s keep the ball rollin’. I got shit to do.”
“I-I, yes. Okay. Proceed to the next room.” The red monster grinned and jauntily stomped through the next door to the adjacent, cuboidal testing chamber…all the while carrying the ultra heavy bar over his shoulder like a toy.
She was stunned. Her boss was stunned. The entire point of this series of experiments was to measure the agility, strength, and endurance of a peak performance human and compare it to the examples they had on file of “average” humans to discern any weaknesses and/or ascertain what physiological aspects of the species they could potentially exploit for their own gain. But this? That bar had been bolted to the pedestal. It was so dense and heavy that it had to be loaded onto the ship and pedestal with heavy, industrial anti-gravity pads used in starship construction. There had been multiple force transducer sensors that were intended to relay the force imparted to the bar when the human (supposedly in vain) attempted to “lift” it. The biometric sensors in the room measured what and how many muscle groups activated when straining against something incredibly heavy. This was to be cross referenced with the data from the “average” human control to attain the [sarcomere] length and [myofibril] count in each muscle group as they were contracting. However…the force transducer had a hard limit of [205 lbs.] The human had produced considerably more force than that to rip the bar sheer from its bolting. But…how? The human control group wasn’t capable of this! Not even close! How strong could these apes get?! Ranit was the first to break the silence.
“H-he’s heading to the next chamber. We…should focus on whatever data we’re capable of collecting. We’ll worry about the implications of this first test later.”
For once, Jekra was in complete agreement with him. She followed Rankit over to the observation glass of the next test room. She wanted to get a good look at what this human was truly capable of with her own two eyes this time in case the cameras had malfunctioned or something. Not likely, but a scientist always strove for certainty.
Eli was a happy boy. Each test had been a complete breeze. That bar had clearly been weakly fastened with a weak set of bolts. All he had to do was deadlift it from the pedestal and snatch it into position for a good press. It was a hell of a lot lighter than they had made it out to be. The agility test had been just as easy. It’d just been hopping from one elevated platform to another. The fifty pound bar on his shoulder was hardly a problem. Microgravity was pretty fun, he had to admit. The sheer shock and panic the (female?) voice exhibited whenever Eli did basic bitch, vanilla shit brought him an alarming amount of joy as a bonus. However, the entire time he was performing the tests, he was scanning for potential exits and structural weaknesses in the test chambers. Those flimsy ass ovaloid doors wouldn’t be enough to stop him, but he needed to have a better understanding of the layout of this ship. After the (male?) alien had provided him the ultimatum, it solidified one, crude fact about his tenure aboard this ship: These aliens likely had no intention of setting him free whether he cooperated or not. Anyone who delivered a promise of freedom with the threat of death as an alternative never intended to make good on the promise of the former considering how it required an immoral calculus to even propose the threat in the first place. It implied that Eli was entirely replaceable and/or a liability if he survived. Otherwise the threat wouldn’t have been needed or even imposed post-capture. These aliens were smart, sure, but they were oddly naive considering their intellect. The aliens didn’t even question why he was bringing the weighted bar with him.
They probably thought it was some sort of oonga boonga ass, primitive trophy for the human to show off later…Eli knew there would be now “later,” though. The bar was actually hollow. One end had been shorn open with his prior exertions. A small, rubberlike gasket was dangling from an electrical wire of sorts with an opening in the center. Some kind of electrical insulation. It was just big enough for the human to get a seal on his face around it, beard or no beard. He had crammed the gasket and wire into the hollow bar. Perfect. An improvised oxygen canister. The air was thinner here than on Earth, and the O2 would be pretty stale and unpleasant to breathe, but it would at least give him enough air to stay conscious long enough to maybe identify whence they piping in that knockout gas in his containment bubble. Maybe he could find a way to clog the vents. Hoping was better than nothing after all, and Eli was hardly willing to leave his survival to the whims of his abductors. One of the things he’d learned during his SERE training at the MRTC was that anything is a tool/weapon with enough creativity applied. Adaptability and improvisation were often the difference between life and death in a situation like this. Eli continued on to another strength test while swinging his bar back and forth to “force” more air into it. He wasn’t sure if it would work or not, but it was better to try than do nothing. The human proceeded to the middle of the large, white, and cuboidal room. A massive, metal crate of an unknown alloy sat in the middle of the room with a series of horizontal lines spaced an equal distance apart from one another. An unknown alien script was at the exterior of each line likely serving as a denotation of distance. It was pretty obvious what they intended he should do. The (female?) alien voice from before chimed in over the comms.
“Alright, human. Your next tes-are you seriously going to carry that bar with you everywhere?”
“Yeah. It’s mine. I earned it.” It was a stupid answer, but they already assumed him to be a knuckle dragger…a smart knuckle dragger but knuckle dragger nonetheless.
“Don’t even think of using that thing as a weapon. We’ll vent the room with paralytic agent if you try anything.” The (male?) voice could be heard quietly in the background (whispering?) He didn’t know he could be heard in the test chamber apparently.
“Don’t worry about the bar. We’ll confiscate it from him after he finishes this last test when we vent the room. We’ll void him out the airlock afterwards once we get the data. He can’t do any damage with it.” Anger flushed Eli’s face, but he kept his emotions in check. It confirmed his suspicions.
“Alright…the object of this next test is t-”
“Push the crate as far as I can. The lines measure the distance I pushed it.” The female (Eli was now banking on these aliens having genders) voice was clearly annoyed at being interrupted.
“Yes. Correct. Commence testing. Take your time.”
Eli quickly scanned the room. This was going to be either his final few minutes of life or the time he made a daring egress from an alien vessel. He looked up at the wall opposite of the one he was standing…yes. Perfect. Eli grinned. A reflective panel of (glass?) was visible high up on the wall. He bet that was a two way mirror of sorts. A potential exit. Judging by how light the gravity was here, he bet he could bust right through that. And the crate? Perfect. Eli took a series of deep breaths and charged the massive metal crate. He pressed the hollow bar against it and pushed with all his might. The crate was a LOT lighter than it appeared to be as seemed to be the theme out here in spooky space. Only about 300-320 lbs. Eli himself weighed 315. Hell, he could’ve picked up the crate and ran with it like an atlas ball if it weren’t so damned bulky. The smoothness of the floor also helped a lot with his forward momentum. Before long, the crate was rapidly sliding towards the far wall. Closer. He needed to get closer. The female voice was counting in fives for each measure of distance he pushed. 5, 10, 15, etc. He could hear the astonishment in her voice, but that astonishment turned to confusion when he passed the final distance marker…and kept going.
“Stop! You’ve completed the test!” Eli ignored her and continued pushing.
“Stop, you imbecile! We command you to stop pushing!” Eli ignored her. The massive crate slammed against the far wall with a resounding echo and such force that the glass panel vibrated. Perfect. That was definitely an observation area.
“Finally, you stupid primitive. Not that it matters. We got the test data we needed. Time to say goodby-hey, what are you doing?!” Eli quickly leapt atop the metal crate. He looked up at the glass panel. The male voice chimed in with a panicked tone.
“Jeckra! Vent the test chamber! He’s trying to climb up here!!”
“How?! That’s impossible! We’re [15 feet] away from him up here!” They really shouldn’t have told him that. These aliens didn’t handle stress terribly well.
“Just do it, damn you!!” The sound of hissing filled the room.
Boy, was Eli ever lucky. He figured they could vent that knockout gas into whichever room he was intended to be in considering his brute strength. Thank God for that metal bar. He placed the gasket over his face and took small shallow breaths. Controlling his breathing was an absolute necessity here after all the strenuous pushing he’d just done. The familiar cloud of pale yellow gas was filling the room…but his improvised gas mask was working. The gas stung his eyes a bit. Before long, his eyes were tearing up a bit. Eli looked back up to the panel. There was no ledge of any sort. He couldn’t gamble on trying to punch through the glass. For all he knew, he’d absorb the knockout gas through his skin or something. That meant he’d only get one shot at this. Elijah squatted as low as his legs would allow while the aliens screamed random, panicked obscenities over the intercom. He took a deep breath from his makeshift oxygen supply and leapt with all his might. He was airborne. Just level with the two way mirror. He removed the metal bar from his face and launched at the glass as hard as he could. It shattered, exposing a sleek, white control room…and the terrified faces of two gray E.T.’s. Elijah let gravity carry him back down into the cloud of gas while still holding his breath.
“Jeckra! *cough* *cough* Turn off the gas! Vent it out of the room, or we’re dead!” Eli smiled. A taste of their own medicine.
“*cough* I’m trying!!”
Elijah made another mighty leap. He was fully confident of his ability to make it this time. The microgravity of this ship had been a blessing. Truly. He would’ve never made it in 1 g back on Earth. He didn’t know what other weapons these xenos were carrying, if any and/or had any sort of security team to back them up, but that was a problem for future Eli. It was always better to try than not in a situation like this. He managed to catch the now exposed ledge of the broken two mirrowindow. The jagged glass cut into his hand. It was surprisingly brittle, but it was extremely sharp. Blood trickled down Eli’s hands and wrists. He pulled himself up and over. Into the observation room. Face to face with his tormentors. He towered over them. They were quivering in terror. They were completely unarmed. He grabbed each of them gently by the throat and pushed them against an adjacent wall. It was time to get properly introduced.
“Hey, there. I’m Elijah Prince. And you are?”
submitted by BigOlePuddin to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 07:50 Other-Borderlands J♣️ : Robin Hood [Capture the flag]

J♣️ : Robin Hood [Capture the flag]
J♣️ : Robin Hood [Capture the flag]
This game is part of a series of games, where I am writing games for all 52 cards for a borderlands in the UK. Each one includes a story of how I imagine the game playing out. You can find all entries here.
Venue: Castle
Player limit: Four
Rules: The castle is split into two sections, The jacks side, and the Player side. The Jack starts with 80% of the gold. Across two hours, players must steal gold from each other’s treasuries. Each team also has a jail, and if a player is caught in the wrong half, they are sent to the jail. If all players are caught, they get one free release. If it happens again it is game over for the team. If a player can get to the jail without being caught they can free one of their team members. Each team also has five keys. Keys can be given one each to each player, in total each team has an A, B, C, D, and M key. These can be used to lock and unlock doors of the same class throughout the castle. M can unlock any door.
While in the treasury players cannot be caught.
The Keys not used are stored in the base and can be stolen by an attacking player, instead of gold. Only two players may be left on defence, one at the prison/safe zone and one at the treasury. Players may only carry one gold item.
Violence is prohibited and punished by a shock from the bracelet.
Sixth Day of Exhibitions

Remaining Games
James sat outside the castle, a bracelet on his wrist, awaiting the opening of the gates. Next to him sat three more bracelets, in front of a sign, reading ‘take one. Four players are needed to begin.’
He sat for a few hours, watching the art of the card hanging from the blimp. The Jack of Clubs. He looked at the castle, it’s architecture, marvelling in a way he had never done before.
He heard someone approaching, and looked down to the familiar form of Ben walking up.
James looked at him, calling out “Looks like you’ve lost your security force!”
Ben walked up to the table, putting on a bracelet.
“I’ve lost a lot since we last met.” He said quietly, and quite uncharacteristically.
“Well there are two more chairs, you can tell me all about it while we wait for the other players.” James said.
Ben recounted his encounter with the Jack of Hearts, and James told Ben about the King of Diamonds.
It was clear Ben had been to a new low after losing the school, and had built his way back to some semblance of his former self’s confidence.
They waited until about three in the afternoon, before three figures approached.
“That’s… not possible…” Ben said.
“What a group of familiar faces!” James said, as they watched Mia, Alex and Ellis approach.
Ellis got there first, nodding to Ben, who nodded back. Mia walked up with Alex, and they explained their ordeal with the King of Spades.
“Well, it looks like we’ve all been through a lot. Maybe we can put the past behind us, and play one more game…” James suggested, holding up his wrist with the bracelet.
“There ain’t no way I’m playing another game after that.” Alex said.
“Well, if you ask me, I’m down for another crack at a face card game.” Ellis said, his familiar smile plastered over his face.
“Well, have fun waiting, cause I’m with Alex. There is no way you’ll catch me playing a game again, especially not with him.” Mia said, pointing at Ben.
“Come on Mia, remember how well we worked together in the nine of spades, and the oh aren’t getting out of here if you don’t beat this guy.” Ben said, pointing up at the picture of the Jack above them.
“Fuck off Ben. I’ve heard about the shit you’ve pulled since I ran off. I’m not joining the game.” Mia said.
“Look, trust me, I’m different now. Reformed if you will. Please, Just this one.” He said, offering her a bracelet.
“Fine. But just know I don’t think of you any higher than previously. I’m just joining to win.” Mia said, clicking the bracelet around her wrist.
The doors began to creak, opening.
They approached, cautiously, watching the sunlight streaming out from it.
Four figures approached, James estimated they weren’t much older than them.
“Look who’s come out to play….” The Leading one said.
“Jack!?” Mia said, in disbelief. “That’s not possible… You’re in hospital… The Crash…”
“Looks like Jack’s the Jack. And also here and recovered from his coma.” James noted, looking at Jack.
“Well, looks like I missed something.” The Jack said, before beconing them in.
“Ben, I’ve been watching your group intently for a while now, and seeing how you led. See, you and I took a different approach. While you chose to lead by force, I chose to lead with equality. Your approach ultimately failed, and you have only managed to gather a group to try and defeat me by humbling yourself. However, your efforts will likely be in vain. As you have learned, and we learned a few years ago, its kill or be killed. One of either groups lives must be sacrificed to continue the lives of the others. We thank you for the sacrifice you will likely make today. It’s nothing personal, don’t worry.” He said, walking in front, towards the centre of the courtyard.
Mia turned and looked at Alex, as the gates shut, obscuring her. It could likely be the last time either of them saw each other.
The Jack began to explain the rules as James surveyed the area, seeing a large screen with ‘player’ and ‘citizen’ written on it, with a large dividing line running down the centre, as well as through the castle.
The layout of the game showed the castle split into two halves, and He knew he was on the player side. He looked at his bracelet, flashing up five images of Keys, one labeled A, B, C, D and M.
When the Jack finished the rules they were told they would have five minutes to plan before the game began.
“So, the way the game starts, it’s impossible to win for us by playing defensive. We are forced to play offensive, but the Jack can only have two full defenders, slightly levelling the playing field. However, this means that the Jack, until we have around equal values of gold in our treasury, can just keep his team on their side as defence.” James said, drawing out a little diagram in the courtyard floor. “We are forced into playing offensive at this point, so that means we have to figure a way around the defence. Because defenders need to escort the people they catch to the prison, we could all run at once and make it past the first defenders here.” He pointed. “Then we arrive at the limited section of defence, where one player needs to run from where the prison is, as that will not yet be guarded. Because someone is running that way, those who are caught should try and stall for time. Then, one person should be able to make it into the treasury, and they simply need to sprint back to get us some gold. Then they can be caught, releasing everyone wit the free release. We can then think more carefully then with a levelled playing field.”
“But what about Keys?” Ben countered.
“Well, for us to need keys there must be locked zones. So, if we assign someone the M Key, and give the other person no Key, they can block a capture from the other team by stepping in front. SO If we give either Mia or Ellis the M key, I’ll take no key and go with them, leaving the other two with designated keys and two keys left at our base.” James suggested.
“Seems like a decent plan.” Ellis said, and they assigned keys, lining up at the centre line, watching the other two walk along it. He recognised them from his school. Ben wondered how they had gotten from the crash to here, they had been in critical condition when he went o the theatre, and now they were claiming to have been here for years… Perhaps it was aliens.
“The Game Has Begun.” The Voice droned, and They enacted their plan.
Ellis and James ran over, and one of the defenders tried to tag him. James jumped in front, getting sent to the prison. Ellis raced towards the door at the end of the courtyard, and he ran into the inside of the castle. He looked around, running through various passageways, before seeing a guard, and he quickly turned tail and ran. He watched Mia run in from the other side, into the room he was guarding, and pick up something large and golden. He kept racing, catching sight of her outside the window.
Ellis quickly jumped through the window to his right, landing with a shoulder roll, and sprinted towards Mia. He watched another defender running for her, and he pushed him out of the way. He was led to prison, and Mia cleared the line.
The gold total on the screen now changed, showing the player team now had 378 gold in their treasury, the citizen team having 622.
Mia took a deep breath, seeing that that incident had taken one sixth of the time, now having fifty minutes left. She was also the only uncultured member of her team. Getting caught would use up their only jailbreak, so it may be worth trying to free them.
Also, Mia knew that she could get to the prison with the Key she had, but wether they had changed the keys they had locked the doors with was unknown.
She walked up to the line, looking at the two defenders who were in the courtyard with her. She made a run for it, note vent making it to the courtyard wall before she felt a hand on her back. Her bracelet indicated she had been captured, and the screen announced that their whole team had been captured and that they have used up their one Jailbreak. All of their team were returned to their half.
“We can’t afford to do that again.” James said. “Because even if we manage to get an item of the same value to put us in the lead, we would only have one defender. No, we need to think of a stealthier strategy.”
“Well, the castle windows are quite close together. Someone with good arm strength, say Ellis, could climb around the outside, and into the treasure room. Then they could climb back with an item without the team realising.” Ben suggested.
“I recon I could do it…” Ellis said, walking over to look out the window.
“Well, good luck then.” James said.
Ellis climbed out the window, putting his feet on a lower ledge, keeping his hands on the ledge. He scaled his way around the outside, carefully moving one point of contact after the other, first his foot, then his hand, repeat. As he got further and further around the castle, the higher the gap between him and the ground became. He arrived at what he thought was the treasury, and pulled himself up, climbing in, and grabbing an easily carrialble item that seemed to be valuable.
He dropped back out of the window, alone of the defenders opened the door, and he began to climb around the outside. He heard someone running, and continued around the outside.
He stopped, feeling a pain on his hand.
“Hello Ellis. I’ve always wanted to do this.” The defender said, bringing his foot into Ellis’ face. He repeatedly did so, until ellis let go of the ledge.
Ellis fell, and the defender shot backwards, electricity coursing through his body. He lay there, and coughed a little, before getting up.. He hated Ellis. He had bullied him for years. Good riddance, he thought.
Ellis crashed down into the floor, has bones cracking, before the laser put him out of his misery.
James and the others watched as the screen showed the words ‘Elimination’.
“A player has been eliminated for leaving the game area.” The Voice announced.
James looked at the screen, showing their score hadn’t changed. 378 - 520.
This meant that Ellis must have been the one eliminated. James hung his head a moment.
He walked up to Mia and Ben, who were defending the base, informing them of the discovery.
They were sad, and they knew that they were now at a severe disadvantage. One player down, and in second place in scores.
James discussed a third plan with them.
“Well, we are at a serious disadvantage. We are one player down, and they can afford to play full defence. We have very few options.” James said, “I think we can try to use Mia to try and draw out the defenders, and then Ben can run in and grab the flag. It is risky, as it is four on one or two, but it seems like the only option.”
“Well, we don’t have many other options.” Ben said, looking at the timer on the screen, 20 minutes left.
Mia walked up to the line alone, as James and Ben walked their way through the castle, using their A and D keys to try and get through the castle. They arrived at a locked door, locked with a B key.
“Damn!” Ben said. They had to find another way around, and turned and walked up a flight of stairs.
Mia was on the line, talking to one of the defenders, asking for Jack.
Jack walked out, and one of the others walked back, taking his place.
“Well Mia. How nice to see you. We’ve not had a proper chance to talk yet, have we?” Jack said, and Mia looked at him.
“I wish I could say it was nice to see you, but the circumstances don’t allow for it.” Mia said. “So, why are you here?”
“Well, I am here because I am the Jack of Clubs, but that doesn’t sound like what you meant. In truth, I’m only here because I don’t want to die. Sounds a bit ironic, but in this world, we know life isn’t worth much. That means there is no god, no afterlife. Nothing. I can’t afford to go yet. I still have so much more to do with my life. I’m sorry we will have to sacrifice your life for ours.” The Jack said.
“I’m very sorry that I’ll have to politely decline.” Mia said, racing across the line.
Jack ran after her, followed by the other defender. She looped around, doing out of the way of his swipes, and rolled past him.
While this was happening, James and Ben had gone up a few floors, and worked through various locked doors. They arrived at the top of a staircase, guarded by another of the Jack’s guards. He didn’t seem to notice them.
Ben stepped out, shouting to him, “Catch me if you can Dustin!” Before bolting down the corridor, as James hid behind the door.
As they ran past, James ran through the door, locking it behind him. He continued down the corridor, towards the treasury of the Jack’s team.
He slowly descended the stairs, seeing a guard stood in front of the door. James knew it was a risk, but he climbed over to the window, and crawled into the treasury.
He grabbed a bag of small jewels, and climbed back up again, quietly. His arms hurt from pulling himself up, but he continued out towards the windows to the courtyard.
He spotted Mia still dodging attempts to catch her, and she caught his eye. She lead them as far away from the window as she could, before James jumped out, wincing as he landed badly. He got up, and was running.
He saw himself getting closer and closer to the line, and he jumped across it, before sprinting back to their treasury, gasping for breath, bent over, hands on his legs.
Mia came in later, informing him he had tipped the balance in their favour. Now all they needed to do was wait for the attack from the Jack’s team.
Mia was left guarding the treasury, while James went to guard the prison. There were five minutes left, when the Jacks team made a last ditch effort for the lead.
They ran all at once, trying to make it to the treasury. James and Mia managed to catch them all, and they sat together in the prison of the player team, as the last few minutes ticked down.
The Jack had turned to the wall, and was crying into his arms.
“I can’t die…” He said, tears streaming from his eyes. “Please, let us live. Please-“
His team mates tried to comfort him, but this was a difficult task in the face of death.
James spoke to their three captives as the time ticked down, James told him as well what he meant about the crash. "20 dead. 19 left in critical condition. Was on the radio as I left for school. We tried not to think about it, but..." He trailed off.
Jack changed the subject, ad they continued to talk, and James even managed to make Jack and the other laugh. It was as it was before. Before the crash, before they arrived here. But the laughter was hollow. The people who he were talking to were as good as dead.
“Well, I hope you use your well earned life w-w-isely.” The Jack stuttered.
James looked at him sadly.
The Laser ended the game, as the voice announced the game had been cleared by the players.
Ben, Mia and James walked out of the castle, as the blimp exploded behind them. The face burning and peeling, and they looked at the remaining games.
The King of hearts.
Ben told them he would go out and try to clear it, and James and Mia agreed to help him.
As they walked towards the Church above which the King of hearts blimp hung, an announcement rang out over the city.
“There is only one game remaining. The Game is the King of Hearts. To join, please make your way to the venue.”
James looked back one final time, seeing the crushed body of Ellis lying at the base of the castle.
He turned, watching the King of Hearts blimp in the distance.
The deck was almost complete.
submitted by Other-Borderlands to u/Other-Borderlands [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 07:20 Extra-Training-290 Loss of family member

Don't really need advise, just a place to share my pain. I have no idea if I am doing this right, but I could not find another sunreddit to share. Back ground story: may be very long, sorry, please be patient. When I was born, my parents had 2 children 9 & 10 years older. (boy & girl) sister was daddy's girl, until I came along. My closer brother was 13 months older then me. Then there was me, then my mother got pregnant with my next brother. Mom got very Ill during this time, so it was decided that 2 small toddlers were too much to take care of, so I was sent to live with my grandparents. Well, for whatever reason, my sister decided to tell me that "Mommy & Daddy didn't love you anymore, that is why they are giving you away." This devistated me. And my sister proceeded to torment me & tear me down for the rest of my life. As I grew, my father malested me. When I was older, I asked my mother why she let him get away with it. She told me that my sister told her that he was only doing it to make her (mom) jealous, so it was no big deal. As the years went on, our parish priest told my dad that what was being done to me would cause me all kinds of problem. My sister turned that around and for 60 years, she told everyone that Father R said that I was going to cause everyone all kinds of problems. When my sister & her husband was stationed in Japan, she & my mother corresponded by cassette tape. After mother died, we found the last tape where my sister told my mother that she needed to keep a closer eye on me because I was "doing" all the boys in the neighborhood. I was 13 years old. I was always trying to get my sister's approval & love, it was just not there. No matter what I did, it was always wrong. But her criticism was always passive aggressive so no one would know how she treated me. She would lie to me, then deny it to the family. Not blaming my sister, but I became an alcoholic. That just gave her more fuel for her fire. She convinced my other brothers & sister that I was not good enough to be a part of this family, so I was shuned. (I sobered up 35 years ago) A year ago, my health became very bad. Stress was not good, so I made the difficult decision to go NC not only with my sister, but with the entire family. As I became healthier, I worked on my issues, with all intentions of making MY amends with my sister. Well, 2 nights ago, she passed away unexpectedly. Other family members have reached out to let me know how much I hurt my sister. So, of course, the demons are in my head, making me wonder if maybe I WAS wrong to NC my sister. I do feel guilty, but mostly for not sharing my thoughts with her. That sadly, she passed away with many unresolved issues left to be taken care of.
Am I the a$$hole (is this the right sub?) if I choose not to go to her funeral? Already the others are making me feel (no, they can't make me feel what I feel, that is on me)like the a$$hole, so I want to protect myself from those new attacks. They don't understand why I did what I did. They don't understand that it was so painful to me because I always wanted her to love me, but she couldn't. Will I be able to ever turn this over, and let her rest in peace? I hope so. I still love my sister. And I will miss her terribly. But I knew at the time, that I had to take care of myself. Even if it turned out to be the last year of her life.
submitted by Extra-Training-290 to wasiwrongtoNC [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 07:19 monstarehab Depressed and failing

Hello. I usually don't post things like this on the internet, but I just have too much stress on my shoulders and I really want to vent.
Oh where do I even start? I am a transfer student from a small, selective liberal arts school. I transferred in after my freshman year, and I'm a graduating senior.
I'm unmotivated to go to class and do my assignments. My grades are dropping year after year, I get A's on subjects that I'm really interested in, and barely passing some of the classes I'm taking., I'm talking about 1% above the failing limit. I submitted a paper 54 days late, and right now I'm projected to fail 3 of 4 classes if I don't take immediate action.
The past 3 years at UMass are meh at best, and hell at its worst. I've never been to bluewall, never joined any clubs. I've made about 4-5 "friends" that I say hello to when I see them irl, but I've never, and I'm talking about NEVER, been invited to do anything, including small stuff like going to lunch. I am always the one initiating things, and 70% of the time they don't even respond within a day.
I'm mega lonely at UMass. I'm not the same person I used to be. I lost motivation to do everything. I don't even want to go to class, because despite having a bunch of people surrounding me, nobody ever talks to me, and I've never made a single connection from my in-person classes. ZERO. It makes me sad that there are so many people around me and everyonr seems to have their own friend group and talk to each other about whatever's going on outside of class. And to clarify, it's not that I don't try. I do talk to people, but they don't seem interested. they don't even say hello the next time I see them. What has this world become? Why can't we even have the most basic human decency? All we think about is unwritten social rules, act normal like everyone else so you're not perceived as thirsty or not normal
I get sad whenever I see people hanging out, enjoying the sun outside with a blanket, laughing in a group, etc. I'm constantly reminded by how lonely I am. I want to be the one sitting on a blanket in the sun, I want to be the one throwing football with friends, I want to someday get a call from someone and hear something like "hey do you want to go thrifting?".
I know I can dream of any of those scenarios and not take action. Trust me, I've asked plenty of people to hang out, and I'm constantly being rejected. They're always busy. And even if they do hang with me, we don't really have the same interests, we don't really click
One of my old friends from my previous school didn't believe me, she thought that I'm just not trying hard enough, until I made 44 screenshots of me asking more than 10 people to hang out, get food, etc, and either get no response or get "nah I'm busy".
I don't understand why people don't respond to my messages. I don't get why I'm being treated this way at UMass. I feel like I'm so unlucky. I was so depressed at a certain point last year, instead of waiting 2 weeks for an appointment for a therapy session with UMass, I went to the writing center, hinted that I needed help mentally. They laughed at me and said "why are you coming to the writing center when you don't even have a draft", they also didn't empathize the fact that my paper was overdue by over 30 days.
To be honest, I'm not super unattractive and I don't have had hygiene. I'm not super nerdy, and I don't look like someone who has no friends. If anyrhing, I look like I put a lot of effort into how I dress and carry myself, and my online friend loves how I dress and told me that I should post fit pics on Instagram. Well, time to use a tripod I guess because nobody takes pictures of me. Also, it bothers me so much that I can dress well, but I don't have anywhere to go. What's the point?
I do sports. I go to the gym often. Many people recognize my face at the gym because honestly I'm quite good at what I do. I like to talk to people at the gym, when I'm playing basketball or whatever, I try to be nice and make light hearted jokes, only to be ignored most of the time.
Speaking of being ignored. I tried to apply to positions for clubs but never heard back from them. I try to post on Umass discords and I get ignored most of the time.
Right now the only social interaction I get is from online video games. I play video games way too much and I'm skipping classes and postponing my assignments to play video games. I'm not really addicted though, because I can stop whenever I want, I just don't have any motivation to do SCHOOL work.
2 semesters ago a camous police knocked on my door and asked me where my neighbor was, because one of my neighbors friends reported to the police that he's depressed, and needed a therapy dog. That made me really, really sad because 1. many many people like me at UMass are experiencing the same level of agony of loneliness, 2. nobody would even notice and reach out to me.
I think UMass really could do better. I've lived in 4 states and attended 2 different universities, and I can confidently say that UMass is by far the worst place I've been. Some people might have different opinions, that's ok, but we have to realize that there is a VERY BIG portion of the student population that has never left the state, or the new england area. I don't think Massachusetts people are nice at all. I don't think UMass students are nice and well rounded students despite me really wanting to believe otherwise, but I've been proven wrong time and time again by the things I'm seeing and the things I'm experiencing.
I need someone to tutor me. I need a study partner or something. I'd love to meet creative individuals so we can take creative pictures. I'd love to share the niche genre of music I'm into with someone who would actually understand and appreciate my taste in art. I'd love to have a training partner, I'd love to live my last 2 months at UMass feel real. I feel like I'm living in a simulation. I'm not ashamed to post this on reddit, even if you know who I am irl (doubt you do, but if you do, I bet you didn't know I have been depressed on and off for 3 years). I don't talk about depression to anyone. My old friends know that I'm quite a stoic person. I try to just suck it up and self improve. I improve, improve and improve, I try really hard but I don't see any results. UMass people treat me the same. If you know me irl thru my reddit profile, please reach out. If you feel the same way, reach out too.
I need help. I need your help. Try to start a conversation with a stranger tomorrow. Smile at someone. Don't use headphones for a day. Don't look at your phone when you walk for a day. Compliment a stranger. I want to feel alive again, and I want people like me to know that they're not alone.
submitted by monstarehab to umass [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 07:04 Eyeballsoffire Perceval Moore (First OC)

This is my first character sheet so go easy on me

- Perceval is disheveled and has beige, splotchy skin. His yellow, dreary eyes shine through his greasy black hair. The dandruff receptacles he calls shoulders droop below his clavicle. His gaunt frame is accented with an audacious stride, which comes from the same place his extra weight does: an occasionally dysfunctional prosthetic leg. It’s a dull brass color with cogs at the knee and springs below the false kneecap, which appear shined due to the fact that it rubs up against his flowing black cloak with each step. He carries a crudely patched burlap sack, off of which hangs a flask and a measure of rope.

- Skepticism: Perceval isn’t one to fall for grifts. Snake oil salesmen don’t impress him and his psyche is bound tightly. Masters of mentalism and psychics have trouble prying into his mind.
- False leg: Born without a right leg, Perceval was equipped with a prosthetic leg made of cogs, springs and whatever was lying around the shop. His movement speed and mobility are generally uninhibited but worsen when his leg isn’t properly oiled and wound. (Sometimes sprockets dislocate for seemingly no reason) This also means he is less vulnerable to tripping attempts made on his right leg, due to the heftiness of his artificial appendage.
- Bad blood: Moore’s former appendage was infected with some nasty magic. Because of a lingering curse, he has an increased vulnerability to necrotic damage. (+2) He has nerve pain that flares up whenever necromantic magic is nearby, which serves as an early warning of danger or a tool for detecting dealers in the dark arts.
- Equipment: Rusty longsword, pot-lid shield and a hand-axe. Backpack includes a crowbar, 3 torches, a tinderbox, 5 days worth of rations, a medium water-skin, a flask and a bear trap. Carries 50 feet of rope strapped to the bag.

- Hilda Moore, a servant in the court of Lord Alabaster, was infected with a wicked blight that led to her death during childbirth. Her lone offspring Perceval, (named after her last living relative, a lord in a far away land), suffered the same terrible disease that afflicted his mother. This led to the medically necessary amputation of his hands at the forearm, and right leg at the middle-thigh. Before handing the child over to a local parish, a professor in Alabaster’s court named Dr. Solomon Fabian caught wind of the sorrowful situation and whisked the child away to his observatory in Hedgeborn. Raised in a gilded tower, hidden in a lush valley, the boy grew to be curious, though he was tragically ill equipped for exploration.
Professor Fabian began conducting experimental treatments and procedures on the boy beginning at the age of 7. It wasn’t until age 10 that the boy's adopted hands stayed attached. When the boy was 13, Fabian resorted to a deal containing unfavorable terms in order to afford his greatest experiment the gift of stride. In exchange for a leg preserved with magic, Fabian agreed to construct a ward for the Criminal titan Botwell Hogspore. After the exchange was made, the professor struggled to cut ties with the greedy baron who insisted on mutual benefit via immoral means.
The new limb granted Perceval freedom of movement, but something in his spirit changed. His disposition became bitter and tyrannical. His skin withered and his eyes seared a frightful yellow. Seeing how the magic changed the boy, the professor replaced the leg with a metallic remnant of an old hobby. Dissolving the pact with Hogspore meant certain doom, but Fabian’s conscience could bear it no longer. On his 14th birthday, Perceval watched his only real family die before his eyes a second time. Hogspore spared the boy, but banished him from Hedgeborn for all of his cursed days. After drifting from odd job to odd job, Perceval finds himself itching for vengeance.

- Perceval is a binge drinker, and on days he can’t trek very far he’s barely functional. He has a very all or nothing attitude about travel and alcohol.
- He isn’t loyal to any deity or religion, which is ironic considering he could really use some magical help and healing. He resents Paladins especially.
- He’s got no connections and the little family that he has resent him.
- He’s physically frightening. He scares children.
- He’s got a few disabilities. They wouldn’t be much of an issue but he doesn’t have access to the proper medication. This means he has chronic pain in his hands and he gets eye twitching due to the necromantic juju in his blood. Not to mention the bum leg.
- Perceval learned the rules of swordsmanship before he had proper hands. His adopted father was a great admirer of the art of fencing and a connoisseur of the blade. In combination with his experience as hired steel, he handles edged weapons almost as well as whisky.
- He can outdrink even the toughest of sailors.
- Mr. Moore knows what he looks like, and uses his startling appearance to his advantage whenever possible. His height, his dark second-hand hands and his piercing, weepy eyes grant him an intimidation bonus.

- Jax and Ibek the leg breakers. They work for Mr. Mojo, a shell trader and Whisp-weed dealer in his close-enough-to-home town of Fishborn. Jax is a cunning dark elf who always knows a guy. He’s done favors for Perceval, and Perceval has done favors for him. They’ve worked, eaten, and fought alongside each other. Jax is the closest thing Perceval has to a best friend. He rooms with Ibek, a gentle half-giant who snaps arms for a living and crotchets in his free time.
- Fritz Gumms the marshal, one of the few staples of law enforcement in the far-west city of Jewelcrest. He gave Perceval a warm meal and a dry cell to sleep in after he caught him stealing from the mayor's office. He’s Percy’s emergency contact.
- Piper (and Marion) the witchy shop keepers. On the outskirts of Hedgborn is a little slum called Sludgeborn, where the servants who don’t reside in the houses of their masters live. Along these strips of housing are carts and booths set up selling everything you could want and plenty you don’t need. In the fabric business is the stitch-witch Piper. She has described herself at various times as both “super fucking chill” and “goth but only for the music and the fashion and the culture and the self loathing.” Her sock puppet Marion keeps her company while she sells camel skins and microfiber underpants.

- Llewelyn Scruffs the bounty hunter. He’s a harengon outlaw that drifted into Jewelcrest around the same time Perceval got arrested. Scruffs bailed him out, but only because there was a much bigger bounty on his head in the next town over. While traveling, they were attacked by raiders. Perceval saved the outlaw’s life, but Scruffs was badly wounded. He agreed to take the cowboy into town, but on the condition that he didn’t turn him in. Llewelyn held up his end of the bargain, but resented Perceval for making him walk the last mile on his own.
- Robin Huperts the tavern keeper. She grew up in an adopted family just like Perceval. During his early adult years, she took pity on him and let him crash in her supply closet. She kicked him out after she caught him stealing beer, but she reads the letters he occasionally sends her way.
- Precious Romwitsy the traveling actress. The Redmoon theater drifts from town to town, finding audiences in everyone from nobility to paramilitary groups to farmers who can barely afford a ticket. The crown jewel of the traveling theater is Precious Romwitsy- a true thespian at heart. She shares Perceval’s periodic problems with alcohol. They’ve swapped plenty of stories, and forgotten just as many at the bottom of a bottle. He repulses her, but her vanity is melted by his witty countenance.
- List of canonical encounters with this OC: None yet!
If you made it this far... idk that's kinda crazy. Thanks tho :)
submitted by Eyeballsoffire to BossfightUniverse [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 06:50 Trainnox_Official 5 Best Gym Bench For Your Home Gym In 2023

5 Best Gym Bench For Your Home Gym In 2023
A weight bench is one of the most important pieces of home gym equipment that most fitness lover can own. This is one of the ‘core four’: a resistant bands, a barbell, plates, and a weight bench… , home gym can’t miss it.
Benches can range in price, features, quality, etc., which can be challenging when narrowing down a list of potential candidates.
In this post, I’ll tell you some of the best weight benches to buy in 2023. Whether you’re looking for an adjustable weight bench, this article will meet your need.
Tips: use code “BG5” can get 5% off

A quick look at the best weight benches

  • Best overall weight bench: Incline and decline with removable lumbar PASYOU 500
  • Best benches for small spaces: JOROTO MD35
  • Best affordable weight bench: PASYOU300
  • Best Multipurpose: FEIER Adjustable Weight Bench
  • Best adjustable weight bench: JOROTO MD60

Best overall weight bench: Incline and Decline With Removable Lumbar PASYOU 500



  • Folded Size: 88 x 45 x 28cm; about 34.6 x 17.7 x11 inch
  • Flat Size: 129 x 30 x 45cm; about 50.8 x 11.8 x 17.7 inch
  • Load capacity: 880lbs (400kg)
  • Degree range:-24 degree decline to 90 degree incline
This weight bench from PASYOU is amazing. It is a trust brand among many fitness lovers. This adjustable weight bench is the overall best pick because it has 880lbs weight capacity, a high load capacity (the total amount of weight it can support), 7x3 adjustable positions,7 backrest positions and 3 seat position to meet your need, it can be incline, decline or flat position. With the user friendly design-automatic lock, so that you can adjust your backrest and seat position fast. The foot support is designed to be 180° adjustable and removable, fits for different foot size. More importantly, this workout bench comes with a removable and adjustable lumbar support, which will help you keep a right position during training and protect you from getting injury.


  • 880-lb (400kg)
  • 7x3 adjustable positions for incline, decline or flat position
  • Automatic lock
  • 180° adjustable foot support
  • A removable & adjustable lumber support

  • May not be as comfortable for lying exercises for tall users
  • Without leg extension (but use workoutbench with resistance bands can realize it)

Best benches for small spaces: JOROTO MD35



  • LxWxH: 49.6 × 17.3 × 42.1 inches /126 × 44 × 107 cm (incline)
  • Load Capacity:700lbs (317kg)
  • Degree range: 210 degree decline to 90 degree incline
If your home space is limited but don’t want to sacrifice quality, the JOROTO MD35 exercise bench is a ideal option.
There are 4 end covers for the front and rear stabilizers of JOROTO MD35 gym benches, they are anti-slip and turnable, while turning the end cover, the height of the stabilizers can be adjusted, so the weight bench adjustable can keep level and stable on different grounds.
The bench is also equipped with an 4 adjustable seat, leg extension, and 8 back positions, 3 foot hook levels.


  • Fully adjustable bench with incline, flat and decline options
  • Foldable and easy to storage
  • With leg extension and support 3 foot hook levels
  • 4 adjustable seat and 8 back positions
  • Auto-lock can adjust backseat fast


  • Seat is too narrow for long legs
  • Without leg extension (but use workoutbench with resistance bands can realize it)


Best affordable weight bench:PASYOU 300



  • LxWxH: 15.75 × 55.12 × 20 inches /40 × 140 × 50.8 cm
  • Load capacity: 500lbs (227kg)
  • Degree range:-190 degree decline to 127 degree incline
If you are looking for an affordable workout bench that won’t break the bank, this PASYOU 300 exercise bench is suitable for you.
In addition to being durable, reliable, and affordable, the workout bench has seven adjustable settings, allowing for plenty of versatility. With a foldable design, it can place everywhere, relying on a wall, pulling out the plg, even under your sofa or bed.
This PASYOU bench is best for AB workouts, shoulder and arm workouts like abdominal curl, dumbbell row...


  • Foldable design, easy to storage
  • 7 back adjustable positions
  • Comfortable & durable leather pad
  • Non-slip ankle roller


  • Adjustable back but fixed seat
  • Without leg extension (but use workoutbench with resistance bands can realize it)

Best Multipurpose: FEIER Adjustable Weight Bench



  • LxWxH: 41.1 × 12.2 × 42.4 inches /104.5 × 31 × 107.8 cm
  • Load capacity: 660lbs (300kg)
FEIER weight bench is ideal choice for biceps workout. Compare with other gym bench, it have a a angle adjustable biceps board, so that you can challenge different level workout to meet your need. It support 6 angle back position to adjust. With military-grade steel, the FEIER weight bench is sturdy and durable.


  • With adjustable biceps board
  • Back position support 6 angle adjustment
  • Thickened foam leg support
  • military-grade steel, more sturdy


  • Small for tall users
  • Without leg extension (but use workoutbench with resistance bands can realize it)
Order FEIER weight bench on Trainnox before April, you will extra get a free AB-roller, first-come-first-served basis, shop now!

Best adjustable weight bench:JOROTO MD60



  • LxWxH: 57.1*15.7*47.2 inches; about 145*40*120 cm
  • Load capacity: 800lbs (360kg)
  • Degree range:-25degree decline to 90 degree incline
Interested in a workout bench that’s solid, sturdy, and support incline and decline adjustable? The JOROTO MD60 may be just what you’re looking for.
JOROTO MD60 is 4 in 1 multifunction strength training bench, with 6 adjustable backrest positions, support incline, decline or flat positions, 2 adjustable seat positions, and unlimited adjustable foot hook positions. It maked with unique stylish 5mm thickened stainless steel, so JOROTO MD60 is anti-rust and more durable. It is easy to storage, when you need to workout, it just take 1 second to set up, easy to assemble, after workout, it can be put in a corner, save 80% space in your room. No one will refuse doing full body workout at home with this weight bench.


  • 800lbs
  • Foldable and easy assemble
  • 4 in 1 Multifunction
  • Anti-rust and durabele
  • Dual support tube for the backrest
  • Thick foot hook foam


  • Seat is narrow
  • Without leg extension (but use workout bench with resistance bands can realize it)

Frequently asked questions


A workout bench is an excellent piece of equipment that your home gym can’t miss it. A good bench provides a sturdy spot for performing seated and lying exercises.
While beginners new to strength training may be able to get away without using a exercise bench for a while, most people who regularly workout at home will eventually want to invest in a solid workout bench.


You can use workout gym benches for a wide variety of exercises. For instance, you can use it for lying exercises like dumbbell bench presses, dumbbell chest flyes, sits up, and inclined reverse dumbbell flyes.
You can also use a bench for seated exercises like dumbbell shoulder presses, concentration curls, and overhead dumbbell triceps extensions.

But the options don’t end there. You can use a bench for leg exercises like step ups and Bulgarian split squats or even sit-to-stand assisted squats. And you can use it for support during exercises like dumbbell rows, triceps bench dips, and incline push ups.


32 lbs dumbbell set: 3 lb x 2 pcs, 5 lb x 2 pcs, 8 lb x 2 pc

150 lbs dumbbell set- one pair of 5/10/15/20/25lb

Now, buying above bench on Trainnox use code “BG5” can get extra 5% off, shop now!
submitted by Trainnox_Official to u/Trainnox_Official [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 06:50 Brandenwadeart M29/F22 - I think my 9 month relationship needs to end…

Wow, looking at the title of this post is fucking terrifying. But no one starts a long-term relationship expecting to feel this way. My girlfriend and I met on Facebook Dating, the same as my previous, very short relationship which will have its relevance in this post.
I am 29 and my girlfriend is 22. I’m a metal-head, an aspiring tattoo artist, a horror movie fanatic and a fantasy and science fiction nerd. My girlfriend loves Hello Kitty, the color pink, TikTok, Taylor Swift and Harry Styles. I smoke weed and my girlfriend quit smoking and wishes I didn’t. Besides the truly traumatic fights we’ve had (which because I’m a red-flag artist, they’ve mostly been due to some destructive habitual bad habits and erratic behavior of mine), I don’t think we have anything in common and I don’t think we understand each other.
Besides my girlfriend playing in my Dungeons & Dragons campaign (which was really the only activity we spent hours doing together, sometimes she’ll watch me play video games which is sweet), it’s confirmed that my girlfriend doesn’t like any of music, doesn’t like my artwork outside of appreciating it because I’m her boyfriend (it’s very horror-esque) and has no interest in talking about history, philosophy, science, or really any of my interests at all. I also am getting exhausted of watching Dance Moms and The Office but I don’t know what else we can watch together and enjoy. We also have sex like once a month.
This evening, I showed my girlfriend some album art (Feeding the Wolves, 10 Years) that I really want to get tattooed on my right shoulder and she looked at it blankly and said “I personally don’t like it but I think it’s cool that you do.” It was just a paint and ink drawing of a wolf’s head. I don’t want to paint my girlfriend in a bad light in any way which is what makes this so truly terrifying. She is a huge advocate for mental health and has been a really supportive partner. I just can’t help but think of what would happen if I ran into someone who enjoyed history or science or horror art or even black and white movies because my girlfriend refuses to watch those as well. It’s just hard.
OK, so we don’t enjoy to do the same activities together but there are plenty of couples who don’t share the same interests and have a (successful?) relationship. I don’t know, I don’t think I agree with that and I don’t know if I should or if that standard is republican traditionalist bullshit. A lot of hesitation has come from not knowing if what I want is not OK because of relationship norms. Unfortunately, there’s more issues than just us being people who would never get together if we spent time as friends first. So, here goes.
My girlfriend has severe OCD and will cry if I misplace something or put something in the wrong place or knock something over. I’m a scatterbrained neurodivergent with ADHD and that’s probably not going to change. I think it’s ridiculous and it’s making home life incredibly stressful, not to mention having no privacy because if I don’t go to bed at the same time as her, she has a tantrum. I hate to sound apathetic but I’m almost 30. I don’t want to babysit my girlfriend. I feel like an asshole but I think that’s well in my rights to feel that way. I just have felt like I can’t breathe lately.
So about the previous relationship and how it’s affecting my current one. I dated a Wiccan who listens to Tool and Alternative Rock and Metal. We took walks in the graveyard, we played video games, we played board games, we smoked and talked about philosophy. We fell asleep listening to my favorite band Antimatter… which my girlfriend has flat-out told me she can’t stand. My previous girlfriend was incredibly verbally abusive but I can’t help but think about her all the fucking time. She nourished a part of me that is incredibly suppressed-feeling now.
The absolute worst part is that I moved for her. I first moved into her trailer where all the nightmare fights took place (crying, screaming etc.) and now I’m living in the house she bought. I work and help with fixing the place up and every responsibility a good boyfriend should do but fuck, how do I get out of this if I need to? My friends are an hour and a half from here and I have no one but my girlfriend and her family. I feel incredibly trapped.
And now at the end of this, I’ll share my plan. I have an individual therapist and we also have a couples therapist. I want to ask my therapist for help on how to do it and share how I feel in a place where we both feel safe - couples therapy. I don’t know if I should live here and help her with the house use she doesn’t feel alone or if I should make plans for getting a studio apartment. I still can’t believe I’m even considering these options.
If anyone could provide me with some thoughts or advice or insight, I’d really, really appreciate it.
submitted by Brandenwadeart to relationship_advice [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 06:49 ClearSightM FUCK YOU KRATOM

I used Kratom from 2020-2022. Originally tried it to help my ability to focus as I was finishing up college. It didn't work the best for focus but I did like it to boost my mood quickly and make me more enthused about different tasks. Definitely eased anxiety and depression. And as a result, I got to where I depended on it almost DAILY at 10-15 GPD as I embarked on a highly stressful full time job doing marketing for several fortune 500 companies fresh out of college. And it got to where I had to quit the job to be able to quit kratom since I relied on it so heavily day-to-day and could not keep doing that job without some assistance from kratom. So I quit the job in late June '22, quit kratom cold turkey the day after, and my health never recovered. I expected to get back to the same normal life had Pre-kratom, not relying on a substance to feel normal, but instead my health has been in a steady decline ever since I quit. I went from kinda mild stuff like vision issues, jumping joint and muscle pain, headaches, and feeling like crap constantly, then when October hit I started having neuromuscular problems. Lost muscle all over my entire body. My shoulders and knees are now super boney, my butt feels boney when I sit, and my clothes fit baggier immediately until I gained fat to offset the weight loss in the form of muscle My neck, arms, face, and hands also had super scary rapid muscle loss. I have a harder time walking now as my feet kinda flop around more and I just have less muscle than I did. My vision issues come and go as well and I have way less energy than I used to. Before June I was far more productive. Had never had any legit health issues. Doctors aren't suspecting MS or ALS at the moment as I've undergone MRIs and terribly unpleasant EMGs, but my muscles and nerves are so screwed up now. I'm only 24, never had any health issues before, and then this shit hits me right when I try to get off kratom. Haven't felt quite right since that last dose in June The heavy metals in it and the addictive nature of it def screwed me long term. Can't tell me I'd be having these same issues if I never did kratom. The timing lines up so close as I had absolutely flawless health before I quit. I can only hope I'm eventually one of those stories of people who get their lives back after quitting, but I've been in this hell for so long now and never really gained jack shit from doing kratom. Doctors still haven't figured out what's wrong with me but I'm too damn damn young for my health to be falling off a cliff. No way this shit just came out of nowhere, something in the kratom I took almost daily is to blame. Maybe my body couldn't handle the withdrawals, idk, but a life without kratom would've turned out so much smoother. Nobody ever told me this is how shitty life would turn out. Please assure me I'll have my life back at some point.
submitted by ClearSightM to quittingkratom [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 06:42 anonymouscow1234567 ER Visit for Pelvic Pain

So I just finished an ER visit for severe pelvic pain. I pretty frequently have cysts that burst, tried to manage it at home and urgent care, but the MD told me to go to the ER if it was still painful. Of course having it on the right lower side, I just wanted to make sure it wasn't appendicitis or some complication I was missing (I had pain for 2+ days and normally at all costs avoid the ER for this because of gaslighting/know I'm not dying). I had to get an intravaginal ultrasound, very common for me, but it was THE MOST PAINFUL IVE EVER HAD. Like I was at a 6/10 pain with the pelvic pain, but it was like 8/10--on verge of tears even when she wasn't poking around. Apparently my ovaries didn't want to comply today, so there was EXTRA digging around. Ultimately no ovarian torsion or appendicitis (thank God!), But the ER doc suspects pelvic inflammatory disease especially because of the trace amounts of blood in my urine, inflammation, and pain.
I just got home and the ultrasound was so rough I am now having some slight bleeding. I was just wondering since I've never had a PID diagnosis if this is typical of this? Didn't know if anyone had experienced something similar. Thankfully have a GYN appt next week but wondering if another ultrasound is necessary with the trauma I had with this one today.
Tl:Dr Right lower abd pain, not ovarian torsion/appendicitis. ER Doc diagnosed with PID, intravaginal ultrasound extremely painful, bleeding afterwards, wondering if PID diagnosis warrants ultrasound at gyn visit within a week
submitted by anonymouscow1234567 to WomensHealth [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 06:39 Hauntedthrowaway598 Screaming in house

I've posted one thing to this sub before on my main account but I'd rather separate the two being my other is more of a focus on just browsing and music. I have had several weird experiences in my life and some I believe to be connected and others I feel just happened to come across me for some reason. This experience is different than the others being I was not alone to witness this. I will post more in the past and maybe some of you will see more connections than I have seen. I am not going in order. Just as I think of them. Two friends and I decided to stay at my mom and stepdads one weekend and play video games and chill as teenagers. Around 10 or so years ago now in a house that I never felt any bad thoughts about other than the location which I don't mind saying was in Centerpoint, AL. I don't know of anything really haunting that area besides crime so ghost were never a concern. We were in the basement hanging out (not a creepy horror movie basement. Fully furnished) pool table, heater, tv, etc.... Sometime during the night we get on my friends phone and start looking at pictures and go to an image that was saved months back of a band logo for a band my friend loved. The image flickered kinda how a gif does but just 1 quick flicker. We scroll back then to the pic again and it flickers again, so the next time I tell my friend you scroll and I will hit the buttons to screenshot. We did. It was a blurry mess. After about 15 mins of trying to figure out the pic I turn the phone and the jumbled mess is more clear but still got a haze or almost like a distorted filter over it. It was a pic of my friend and I in the basement that night. No biggie at first we thought maybe we hit the camera but after looking we noticed what was wrong. The pic was taken from behind us for one... Which was impossible being there was a wall behind us. The other issue is even if there was no wall, the pic would have been impossible for us to take being how we were positioned. She looked like she was sitting near the end of me or maybe the start of my legs. I was on my back, like a back bend almost and you could make out my arm going behind my head. I tried recreating the pic and had no luck within the several attempts I tried. Which I am a very persistent person and tried and tried and tried until we went and got food. (FYI none of us are friends anymore. Ended on bad terms and I'm not even sure if my old friend has the phone or pic anymore but to anyone else seeing it, it wouldn't be too weird unless you knew the room and the wall placement. I guess the weirdest part would be you trying to figure out how to pose for that pic without dislocation your shoulder) so anyways, after food we play more games and honestly had forgotten about the pic. It is probably 11ish or so with what comes next. For some context the only people in the house are my two friends, my stepdad/mom, dog (in their room with them across the basement hall), my cat (upstairs), and me. My friends and I are doing our thing and all of a sudden a scream in which I've never heard anything like in my life comes from directly above us upstairs. My description I give some people is like if you put an alien inside of big foot or something and let it burst out. It sounded like a beast or 2 fighting and ripping something apart. I'm not too easy to scare and it had me shaking. We all just sat there. One of my friends started tearing up and honestly, never blamed them for a second. I went across the hall and asked my mom and stepdad who were asleep if they heard that sound which they brushed off thinking we were just being teens. I finally talked one of my friends into going upstairs with me. When I opened the door my cat was standing 5 feet away with its hair raised looking terrified. We all know cats can make ungodly sounds that can wake the dead but this was no cat. For one, my cat was beyond chill. Hardly made a sound besides it plopping over to sleep. 2, just no. It was no cat. I checked every room, lock, and even walked outside to see if anyone else possibly heard the commotion. Found nothing. About 6 years later I am talking to my stepsister who use to live there. We were talking about how much fun we use to have there with our friends and swimming. Then she says that the only thing she hated was whatever was in the attic. I remember as a teenager she would always complain about it but I never heard anything up there and honestly so cliche that I brushed it off. However, the attic was the only place I never checked, and I am glad I didn't. If anyone knows of anything in the Centerpoint area I don't know about that could explain, feel free to post. I've tried finding answers. I am not one to say it is paranormal.... but it wasn't normal.
submitted by Hauntedthrowaway598 to Paranormal [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 06:11 Miko2231 People think I’m a home-wrecker…

So I (M24) met this girl “B” (F30) through an acquaintance “D” (M30) of mine at my workplace. I had worked with D for a while and knew him pretty well. For context this guy always talked about the same things; weed, cars, and work. Exclusively those things, any other topics thrown his way would be promptly responded to and steered back towards the other categories. Now this girl, B, had been dating D for 8yrs when I first met her. They have two kids (F4) and (M10).
The day I met her I was coming over to their house to smoke weed with D and just chill for a bit. It’s safe to say that B and I really hit it off, I mean when this girl meets somebody new she gets anxiety and talks more so by the time I had left the first day we had been talking for a while and I knew a whole lot more about her than I ever knew about D. We continued on this way for a while, me coming over to smoke with D, getting high as shit for D and B’s amusement and talking with them as I’m coming down specifically B.
As time moves on I got closer to B and we became really good friends, we talked all the time, shared our life stories, she would tell me what’s going on in different aspects of her life and I would listen, offer advice and create new conversation, it came easy. Well I noticed part of the reason B liked talking to me so much is because D was the same way at work as he is at home. Only talks about 3 things, won’t entertain any other conversations and remains difficult to talk to as a whole. Now up to this point I’ve been around these people for about 3 years and I’ve seen every aspect of how these two interact with each other. They never cuddled, they fought and argued constantly. D would yell at their kids specifically the older one with ADHD and ODD, he wouldn’t help around the house with any chores he would just sit there on the couch, smoke weed, and play his car game on his phone. Now I considered this guy my friend unbeknownst to me he didn’t feel the same way at any point in time, but regardless I saw him treating this girl poorly so I decided to lend a helping hand in hopes of him seeing me helping and him taking over himself. I played with the kids (something he never did) I helped with chores I made good conversation and I listened when B spoke and responded in turn pushing conversation forward, something he never did.
B told me she had expressed all these issues many times before and threatened to leave plenty of times because she wasn’t happy. He was caught trying to go to another girls house to do god knows what, caught watching porn in the bathroom at work (caught by B), caught sending nude photos to other girls on the internet and he called B a fat cow who’s good at giving head to the management at work which got back to me. All this to say she knew about all of this stuff (except the cow thing) and they had been through their rough patches and she told him what he needed to change and HOW to change it. He would change his actions for a week or two and then go right back to the neglectful non-conversationalist again. B had threatened to breakup with D many times over the course of 9yrs (at this point). When he realized she was serious he would break into tears and beg her to take him back and that he would change for the better. She even packed his stuff for him one time but it didn’t last, she took him back every time because she worried about what it would do to the kids and how they would take it.
When they reached their 10 year anniversary D was acting the same way that I’ve always seen him act, he never stepped in to help when I was and B had emotionally checked out from that relationship. At this point I would see them almost every other day, I was talking to B on a daily basis via text (nothing inappropriate ever), I would go for walks with B and her children and we would get groceries together on a weekly basis (I had a car, D lost his license, B doesn’t have a car or license). B and I would take our time getting groceries, we would take long drives to and from the grocery store to maximize our time together and I would even invite her to come with me to get random small items that I didn’t necessarily need just to go in the car together.
She enjoyed hanging out with me as much as I did her and she didn’t like being alone with Mr. Talksalot. At some point it clicked for B that she had been wasting a lot of her time in a relationship she was unhappy in and I was right in front of her being everything she ever expected a good man to be. We eventually confessed feelings for each other a week prior to her ending things with D and having him move out to live with his grandma. Safe to say it’s been almost a year now, B and I are happy as can be, she’s expressed to me to this day that she’s never been with anyone like me before and that I’m the man she dreamed she would one day find and I feel the same way. I watched this poor beautiful woman get treated badly for 3 years on the sidelines. All I ever wanted was to see this girl treated right and D wouldn’t do it so I did it myself.
I know that it sounds nefarious but I never had Ill intentions and I expressed to B many times how I was rooting for them to work their shit out but at some point, watching her getting treated like shit I just wanted to take care of her and love her properly. Despite everything and all of the shit this guy put her through, at work I’m am viewed as the home wrecker. I destroyed a family because I came along and helped B realize there’s better things in life than AH’s who don’t change.
Tl;dr Met a girl through a co-worker, co worker treated girl like shit, I treated the girl well. She got sick of the lack of change from her man and left him and now we’re together and happy as can be.
submitted by Miko2231 to offmychest [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 05:33 MaiMir Intel 27th March to 02nd April 2023

Monday 27.03.23: Mont Blanc
Hybrid workout.
Pods: 1
Laps: 2
Sets: 2
Stations: 9
Timing: 40” work 20” rest
Tuesday 28.03.23: All Star
Resistance workout.
Pods: 4 (3 stations per POD)
Laps: 3
Sets: 1
Stations: 12
Timing: 40” work 20” rest
Wednesday 29.03.23: Foxtrot
Cardio workout.
Pods: 1
Laps: 1
Sets: 4
Stations: 12
Set 1: 45” work 15” rest
Set 2: 20” work 10” rest
Set 3: 45” work 15” rest
Set 4: 20” work 10” rest
Some studios will be doing Wellmania.
This is a one off workout.
The intel isn't out yet, but the format will look like:
Extended warmup:
The extended warmup will provide an opportunity for members to get warm and have fun doing it led by Celeste Barber and Morgan Mitchell.
The workout:
9 Stations
3 Sets per station
60" work 20" rest
1 lap of the room
60” hydration break after 5 stations
Guided meditation:
The end of the workout will be a guided meditation from Celeste barber and provide a perfect bookend to an amazing workout.
Thursday 30.03.23: Red Diamond
Pods: 3 (3 stations per POD)
Laps: 1
Sets: 4
Stations: 9
Set 1: 45” work 15” rest
Set 2: 40” work 20” rest
Set 3: 35” work 25” rest
Set 4: 30” work 30” rest
Friday 31.03.23: Loyals
Hybrid workout.
Pods: 6. 3 stations per POD (A, B & C).
Sets: 1
Laps: 4 per POD
Stations: 18.
Lap 1: 30” work 20” rest
Lap 2, 3 & 4: 20” work 10” rest
Saturday 01.04.23: Track: Partner workout
Hybrid workout.
Pods: 1
Laps: 2
Stations: 18
Lap 1: 90” work 10” rest. Lap 2: 60” work 10” rest.
Members will work in a you go I go format, by alternating every 15” during the working sets or completing 5 reps each one partner at a time
Sunday 02.04.23: MKatz
Resistance workout.
Pods: 1
Laps: 2
Sets: 3
Stations: 9
Set 1: 35” work 10” rest
Set 2: 20” work 10” rest
Set 3: 20” work 20” rest
With a little surprise at the end: a 2 minute plank (30” x 4 variations of plank).
submitted by MaiMir to f45 [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 05:27 Darunkie [Len in the Outlands] - Port Jona Arc - Chapter 17

Kartho awoke at 9am the next morning. When he finally got dressed and went downstairs, he checked the job board and saw that three jobs had already been claimed by his younger companions.
“These kids waking up early,” he muttered snarkily. “Who are they trying to impress?”
After wolfing down a quick breakfast of eggs and some kind of mystery meat that appeared to have been from a reptilian animal of some sort, he walked back to the board and perused it for his first big solo job. A lot of them were typical “go here and slay this” sort of thing, but one near the bottom caught his interest. He leaned down and carefully read the job’s background:
Forest spirit sword stolen.
A tribe of forest spirits attempting to locate a ceremonial wooden sword used in their rites of passage have tracked it to a wealthy aristocrat right here in Port Jona. Archibald Falcon, CEO of the Falcon Merchant Guild, was recently featured in a photo in the Port Jona Times, showing the sword encased in glass in his mansion on the north side of the city.
Enclosed was the picture in question. Falcon was a tall, thin man with round glasses and slicked-back black hair. He had a smug look on his face as he stood in front of a series of shelves lined with treasure. On one of the shelves was the sword in question. It was smaller, like it was designed for one-handed use. Despite being wooden, it didn’t look like a child’s toy. It was intricately carved with many curves and curls. Set near the crossguard was a citrine gem.
“Time to rip off a rich fellow,” Kartho said, tearing the flyer off the board and signing his name on the blank sheet of paper behind it, signifying he had claimed a job.
After leaving the Meadowbirds’ headquarters, Kartho made a beeline for the district where Falcon’s mansion was. It was a residential district near several merchants’ districts, all of which sold high-end items. When he got there he was almost disgusted by how decadent the homes were. The houses were enormous. Each of them were made up of multiple wings and towers. The grounds for each home were wide and sprawling, each of them gated. Guest houses and servants’ quarters were also present. Many of the homes, though not all of them, had private guards stationed at the main gates. Falcon’s home was one that was guarded.
“Paranoid son of a gun,” Kartho said as he observed it from the opposite street corner. The guards briefly glanced at him, but he moved away before they could get suspicious. A block away, he paced, thinking of how he could get in. His grounds were somewhat lacking in thick vegetation, which meant less cover. He was also sure that all entrances and even most windows would be guarded.
“-think the event will be a smash hit.”
A voice spoke from around the corner. Kartho barely heard half the sentence before he turned his attention toward it. Two human men in fine clothing were walking together down the street.
“Ah yes,” said the other man. “Old Archibald hasn’t hosted a party of this caliber in several months. I hear everyone who’s anyone is going to be there.”
“Will Falenias have the gall to show his face?” asked the first man. “His business took a tanking recently. If he had any decency he’d stay away from this.”
“He is certainly not coming,” the second man replied. “I spoke to him yesterday when he came begging to me to help bail him out. He said something about sequestering himself in his office for the next week to find a solution to his financial problems.”
“As well he should,” said the first man. “If he has any desire to remain in high society-“
But Kartho was no longer listening. He dashed down the street and away from the two men. He had an in to Falcon’s house. He was going to impersonate Falenias and crash the party.
It didn’t take long to find out who Falenias was. Kartho visited the nearby merchant districts asking about him. He was the leader of a guild that was falling on hard times due to corrupt business practices. His face was featured in the Port Jona Times a handful of times in the last month alone. Kartho returned to his room at headquarters and stood in front of his mirror along with a photo of his mark. He spent the next hour or so applying illusion magic to himself. He grew his hair so it fell to his shoulders and changed it from black to bright flaming red. His skin reddened slightly, and his irises changed to bright amber. He pulled on his ears until they elongated and pointed, looking perfectly elven. He even managed to increase his height a few inches. He estimated Falenias at six feet, two inches. He then finalized his facial features and transformed his clothing into finery befitting the event. Once he was sure he was done, he twirled around once.
“Mr. Falenias, I presume?” he asked his reflection. He wasn’t sure what Falenias sounded like, so he hoped others wouldn’t notice. He also hoped that the elf’s status as a disgraced businessman would mean nobody would want to be seen with him, so nobody would approach him for a conversation.
When the time for the party had approached, Kartho wandered into the wealthy district and approached the main gate of Falcon’s mansion. Already a large crowd of partygoers was walking past the guards. When it was Kartho’s turn, one of the guards approached and put his hand up.
“Name?” he asked.
“Falenias,” Kartho uttered, trying to sound as self-important as possible.
The guard muttered and looked at a sheaf of parchment he was holding.
“Says here you declined your invitation.”
Kartho scoffed. “So I’m not allowed to change my mind?” he asked condescendingly. “Do you know who I am? I make more in a day than you do in a year. Now let me through!!”
He shouted the last part. The guard, taken aback, jumped a bit and gestured for Kartho to enter the grounds. He smugly turned his nose up at the guard and walked in.
The grounds were well-lit, with large electric streetlights dotting the landscape. As he saw from outside the gate, Falcon’s lawn was flat and featureless. There were several benches, walkways, and reflecting pools, but other than the odd shrub here and there, there was nothing in the way of cover. Partygoers mingled about, munching on tiny hors-d’oeuvres and drinking expensive drinks through tall thin flutes that looked like you couldn’t even get a buzz from one.
“This party sucks,” Kartho muttered under his breath. That didn’t stop him from grabbing three drinks and a handful of snacks when the servers came by him.
“Loading up on free stuff now so you don’t starve later?” asked one of the guests. Kartho just snorted and glared at him before chugging his drinks.
After a while, Kartho meandered into the mansion itself. The entryway was as obscenely huge as he imagined it would be. A grand staircase was in front of him. Below it was a massive bronze statue of a falcon, easily the size of a full-grown Amazonian. The floor and pillars in the room looked to be made of solid jade and marble, respectively. Above him was the most intricate chandelier he had ever seen. More guests were crammed in here with even more servers laden with countless items.
In the brighter light, many guests turned toward him and sneered. Kartho thought to himself that people really hated Falenias right now. After a few minutes the sneers subsided. It seems nobody wanted to even associate with him, as he predicted. Anyone he approached turned away or even walked away. This was good, he thought. Nobody would think to follow him or distract him.
Finally, he had thought it was time to slip away. He walked to the nearest server and cleared his throat.
“Excuse me,” he asked. “Where’s the little elf’s room? I do feel I’ve had a bit much to drink.”
“Right this way, sir,” said the server, gesturing for Kartho to accompany him.
The server led him away from the crowd and down an empty hallway to a closed door.
“This is the powder room, sir,” the server said. “I’ll wait out here to escort you back to the party when you’re finished.”
Kartho thanked him and entered the room, shutting the door. He waited about thirty seconds before knocking.
“Excuse me,” he said, “but I think this toilet might be broken.”
He opened the door for the server, who walked in. Kartho closed the door behind them and stood behind the server as he walked to the toilet.
“Looks fine to m-“ the server began. He couldn’t finish, as Kartho hit him over the head, knocking him out.
“Sorry, buddy,” he said, “but I need your face.”
Kartho muttered an incantation and the features of Falenias melted away, returning him to normal. He examined the server for a few seconds and applied another spell, transforming him into the server, clothing and all. After locking the door behind him, Kartho stepped out into the hallway. It was empty as before.
Kartho strode confidently down the hallway, looking around for the room in the newspaper photo. He opened a few random doors but couldn’t find the room in question. He read that Falcon was a bachelor, having only servants and guards in the house with him, so there was no risk of stumbling across a family member. He did encounter a few other people, but none of them paid him any heed, assuming he was just part of the staff.
He was going down a corridor on the second floor of the main wing when he could hear someone yelling behind him.
“Berriss!!” called the voice.
Kartho turned to see another server walking quickly towards him.
“Where the heck were you?” he asked. “I need you back outside serving drinks. You don’t get paid to take a stroll through the house.”
“Sorry,” Kartho replied. “Mr. Falcon just said he needed me to go get his, um, spyglass, from his treasure room. But I got lost.”
The other server shook his head. “A year here and still getting lost? You know I only hired you as a favor to your parents, right? Keep doing this and I’ll have no choice but to let you go. Third floor, east wing. Get it and get your sorry self back to the party. You’ve got five minutes.”
The server bounded away. Kartho went the opposite direction, back to the east wing and up the stairs.
Once he got there, the room was easy enough to find. It was bigger than he thought, with every wall covered in shelves stocked full of every item Falcon had collected over the years, save for one which had a giant set of glass double doors opening to a balcony. The items ranged from simple things like wooden figurines to solid gold magical contraptions. Sure enough, the sword was right where it was in the photo. Kartho opened the glass case and hid it away in a pocket in his clothes.
“What are you doing here?” yelled a voice.
Kartho turned around. Falcon was standing in the threshold of the doorway, a venomous look on his face.
“This,” Kartho said, pulling out a small pellet and slamming it to the ground.
The room was instantly filled with pitch black smoke. Having memorized the layout of the room beforehand, Kartho made a beeline for the double doors and slammed through them. He quickly bounded up the roof, running across it until he was away from the treasure room.
The guards must have seen the glass shatter, because all of a sudden they were scattering across the grounds like ants at a picnic. Kartho removed his disguise and crouched on the edge of the roof, looking at them, his vantablack clothing keeping him safer.
“Crap,” he spat. “Can’t do an unnoticeability spell either. Not while they’re actively looking for someone.”
He scanned the grounds looking for an opening, but the guards were too well-dispersed and it was too well-lit for him to get away without being seen.
“Guess we’re doing things the sloppy way tonight,” he said, and plummeted off the roof onto the ground. He sprinted full-on for the edge of the grounds, heading straight for the fence. He could already hear voices yelling behind him. He ducked as he heard a whistle, a crossbow bolt missing his head by less than an inch. When he got to the fence he pulled himself up and over in one motion. Quickly he bounded into the street, turning random corners and hoping the guards wouldn’t chase him beyond the grounds. He managed to make it back to the merchants’ districts without incident. Thanking his lucky stars, he took the long way back to headquarters in case he was being tailed.
Kartho entered the main doors of Meadowbirds HQ and slammed the sword down in front of the guild member in charge of job progress that day.
“Got the sword,” he said, doing a two-finger salute. “The spirits can rest easy.”
The guild member took the sword and handed Kartho his payment of fifty gold. He pocketed it and walked away. He joined his party, each of them enjoying a large mug of ale and a huge plate of food. They cheered and raised their mugs to him when they saw him.
“All successful jobs today then?” Kartho asked.
The rest of them nodded and smiled. Kartho recanted the events to them, and they stared, wide-eyed. They chuckled at a few of the parts.
“Sounds like a fun time,” Shade replied. “A bit less messy than my job.”
“Why?” asked Kartho. “What happened on your job?”
Previous Chapter: https://www.reddit.com/redditserials/comments/10pthew/len_in_the_outlands_port_jona_arc_chapter_16/
First Chapter: https://www.reddit.com/redditserials/comments/ukahtf/len_in_the_outlands_fledgling_arc_chapter_1/
submitted by Darunkie to redditserials [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 05:24 SmallRefrigerator63 Been on multiple SSRIs and SNRIs, nothings working. Got rejected from an endocrinologist yesterday. Doctor upped my Cymbalta from 60 to 90mg today.

I'm 22 years old and have been on medication combination of Mirtazapine 30mg and Cymbalta 60mg for the past 5 weeks with no success. I was on escitalopram (progressed to 40mg over time) from June 2020 until about 5 months ago. It worked for just over 2 years, I felt awesome. Stopped working however in September last year. My doctor agreed to help me taper off Lexapro with Mirtazapine and try something else. Since then I have tried multiple SSRIs and SNRIs. All with bad side effects. Then my doctor prescribed Cymbalta finally as he was worried about the lengthy withdrawal time. He said give it some time before it kicks in. I had read good things about it so I was hopeful. Past 5 weeks the medication has done absolutely nothing except increase the brain fog. After a 2 year break from Uni (due to online from Covid) I started back up 3 weeks ago. I've been experiencing noticeably worse brain fog (concentration and memory are shot), increased dark existential thoughts and worst of all the crippling anxiety. I find myself start to sweat and blush when talking to anyone in class. I don't drink or take anything other than the medication I am prescribed. My GP recommended I got some blood tests. Free testosterone came back at 136 and then 210 two weeks later. My doctor two weeks ago referred me to an endocrinologist, he said "in my experience I haven't seen someone unable to get on trt with levels like yours". So I was hopeful, until yesterday. My dad came in with me, I explained my situation to the endo and he said "you are too young. In a few years time from now you're going to come back and blame me for being infertile" laughing and looking my dad in the eyes. I broke down in tears in front of him. I explained if going on trt made me feel better but it meant I couldn't have kids I would make that decision any day of the week. I understand it means I would have to take it for the rest of my life. I am willing to make that sacrifice. He said "I think you need to go to a hospital" my dad was quiet just consoling me. He further said "I've got a really good psychiatrist you can see who will be able to work closer with you and sort your medication out. I think this is what you need. In my experience mood and testosterone go hand in hand with each other. If we can get your mood right I guarantee your testosterone will go up. But take a blood test next Monday. Then one 4 weeks later and then another 8 weeks after that and if your levels are still at a similar range you can come back and we will look at injections twice a day". I'm thinking, wtf is going on. I'm after a once per week injection of Enanthate or Cypionate to combat the depression and anxiety, get rid of this shitty brain fog and get my life back. I saw my family doctor desperately today after crying all night last night feeling hopeless. He said he can't give me T and that the endo messaged him expressing his concern, and if I go to more endos they'll likely say the same thing. He proceeded to print out another 30mg script of Cymbalta and said cut the mirtazapine in half tonight and add 30 mg to your 60mg dose of Cymbalta, hopefully you'll experience less brain fog. Come back next Monday in 3 days, we'll see how you're feeling and hopefully I will have heard back from the Psychiatrist. If things get worse, I'm in on Sunday.
I would never take my own life. But I feel like I'm only existing for my family. The thing that was keeping me going was the idea of getting on trt. Couldn't give a toss if I can't have kids. Better cognition and mood etc, it would be worth it. I'd jab myself 10 times a days if I had to, to feel better. I'd be able to get off these shitty medications too. Going to a hospital is off the cards. I've just got a new job over the weekends and I'm studying every other hour of the day.
If anyone has any advice, I'd really appreciate it.
submitted by SmallRefrigerator63 to Testosterone [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 05:06 abd1a The National Minimum Wage is Dead in the U.S.

The minimum wage, a policy that is meant to provide a wage floor, has been slowly but surely killed. It was set at 7.25$/hour back in 2007, taking effect in 2009. It hasn't been touched since, and there is no prospect of it being raised anytime soon, right now it has lost almost 50% of it's value, and even if inflation drops back down to the 2% target next year and stays there, its value will cummulatively continue to slide downwards. The fact that so few people make 7.25$/hour, and that most people make more, now even a few dollars more, is a demonstration of how this bedrock policy, that people shed blood and tears to establish as a floor for the working class, has been killed, and that fact can even be pointed to as basically a justification for how unnecessary the policy is ("Look, see, the market is setting wage levels, we don't need this archaic mechanism to create a national wage floor, everyone is above minimum wage cuz they work so hard and employers reward that! They *could* be paying a wage that would leave you in dire poverty, but they are paying above the minimum, so no need to even worry!"). It is meant to function as floor, if it's so low that it's laughable and might as well be an 1$/hour, then that isn't a national minimum wage. Nearly half of states still use the minimum wage set at the federal level, the other half have state minima that are higher, but again, this is not a national wage floor for a national working force.
Of course all Democratic candidates in 2020, and eventually Biden supported raising it and included it in the American Rescue Plan, but the pesky Parliamentarian (who can be over-ruled by the VP who is President of the Senate herself, or over-ruled with a simple majority of 50 plus the tie-braking VP) said it didn't meet the rules of budget reconcilliation. Biden and Harris made it immediately clear that was that, Bernie and a few others tried to get a floor vote, and they still couldn't get the unanimous support of the 50 Democrats in the Senate to support the bill (which planned an incremental rise to 15$/hour in 2026!), so it died, not much since then (Biden makes noises, hoping emloyers will pay 15$/hour, again, that's not a national wage floor). Womp, womp. The fact that a whole section of the U.S. political system (one half, the Republicans) can on top of that just dismiss it out of hand and don't even have to pretend to support it is also troubling.
I haven't seen any groups or outlets point out that the result of not raising it for so long is that a long-held ruling class dream (ditching the minimum wage) has essentially been realised, there is no longer any meaningful national wage floor- the minimum wage is not just not livable, it might as well have been repealed. Between that, and the reintroduction of what are essentially piece rates (app workers/gig works, accounting for more than a third of new jobs in the post '08 recovery), the growth of temp work, and the overall explosion in jobs outside the standard employee/employer relationship where one works for an hourly wage or salary, we can see the outlines of what is to come. Capital's decades long crisis of profitability, and the contradictions created by previous attempts at medium term fixes (expansion of consumer credit and financialisation, investing money into the China's productive bases) are getting dangerous for the ruling class, and in any case have not solved the long term problems. If you thought the last 10 years in terms of declining living standards and working conditions were bad, just wait. Now they need something beyond the 10 million status-less persons confined (by their lack of legal right to work) to a few small sectors of construction and personal services economy working for small capitalists (contractors, private families, independent single site restaurants, etc) as a hyper-exploitable layer, they need a large enough section of the working class as a whole to work for as little as possible to get things going. This is always the goal, make no mistake, but it's mitigated by other factors such as class struggle, indivual bhx of prospective employees, the consumer economy, etc. The upheavels of a discontented society in a delegitamised state (Trump, Jan 6, Summer 2020) will make them think twice before doing anything obvious, but in drips and drabs, and with essentially no organised working class left to fight or provide analysis (the union movement has been hollowed out and anyway except for the 1930s and 70s was ultra-complacent, "Leftists" think Capitalism is bad cuz bad people greedy + the original sin of YTness) to indicate it's happening. It'll look like more of the same since the 1970s, but I think we're talking a qualitative leap in the degradation of working conditions, formal and social wage, etc.
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2023.03.24 04:51 hoborg5450 My prior post

I asked my prior question to the sub knowing full well that the replies would just be a bunch of vague complaints about the product and unhappy investors. People with no investment, but glad to jump in and criticize the product. I can't think of one stock sub I go to bash the stock or explain to strangers why I think something else is better. We are so fortunate to have so many altruistic people coming here to tell us this innovative product/company isn't very good. I hate META stock and I never go to a META sub or chatroom to bash it.
No one had any sort of reasonable response or explanation to my question. The people bashing it don't look at data, earnings call, PHC presentation and people genuinely don't even have accurate information about how the product works, what is in the pipeline and how it will only improve substantially over the competition.
It's odd to see a stock sub where apparently so many investors seem to be cheerleaders for the competitors. You don't have to blindly love everything about the product and you can have reservations about certain things, but this place is filled with disinformation. For anyone that is actually invested and genuinely believes the product is superior to the competition then this post is for you. These stock subs are filled with short sellers, hired internet posters that work on behalf of short sellers and then you can't forget there are crappy people with axes to grind and shit to spew all over the internet out of spite.
They make false claims and give half truths. If I was an insulin dependent diabetic I would use this product without a doubt.
Accuracy: SENS is more accurate based on MARD results and doesn't have the erratic results issues that the 2 week products may have as they near the last couple days of their life.
BS narrative: "I can just get a new Libre or G6 and insert into my arm with no issue and never have to see my doctor, it's so easy!" - Reality- Every 10-14 days you stick another needle in your arm and the first 24 hour accuracy of the device is not as reliable (go look it up morons). I assume you finger stick to make sure results are correct?!?! Multiply that over the number of insertions over the course of a year and that's about 25-30 days you cannot fully rely on the results of your CGM. With Eversense that only occurs twice a year.
BS narrative: "My sensor is just a needle stick and no doctor or procedure involved and I don't have to go to the doctor" Reality- If you're a type 1 or 2 diabetic requiring CGM then I hope you make it a point to see your doctor. You're at risk for a number of health conditions and complications of diabetes. AND those potential complications are NUMEROUS. A minimally invasive in-office procedure every 6 months during regular visits should be no problem given the issues affecting the diabetic community.
BS narrative: "I have to get lidocaine and something inserted into my body with eversense whereas the 2 week products are just a quick pinch in the arm" Reality- You literally have a needle sitting in your flesh attached to a sensor which basically has to be strongly adhered to your body. Imagine a hard fall or hit to the device and the needle would tear through your flesh. Also, many people that use the 2 week adhesive products GET LARGE RINGS of skin irritation across their arms. And you have to have the strong adhesive to keep a needle in place in your arm. Those aren't issues with Eversense. The only thing on your skin is a sensor attached to a much gentler patch that doesn't have to be strongly affixed to the arm. LESS IRRITATION.
BS narrative: "I just don't like the idea of having something in my body with the Eversense" Reality - With the two week products you LITERALLY have something IN YOUR BODY and all the electomagnetic waves and sensor issues. That is one of the most unbelievable arguments I hear. As though it only applies to Eversense.
BS Narrative: "I don't see any commercials for Eversense product and that somehow affects a diabetics decision making" Reality - it's a company in early phases of growth. Multi-million dollar commercials would crush the balance sheet right now. Furthermore, that is an issue with company size and possibly creating debt and has no reflection on the quality of the Eversense product.
False narrative: "Well even if it is better or the longer duration sensor free versions of the product come out then Apple will just take over with their external non-invasive glucose sensor" Reality - As far as I know the skin sensors have to deal with sweat, inherent biological parameters of different skin thickness, pigment, hairy arms and a host of challenges with something that freely moves across the skin and uses light to evaluate glucose levels. They would have to apply for FDA approval if the results are going to be used for monitoring of patients with diabetes and using results for medication decisions. That hasn't even begun as far as I can tell.
Upsides of Eversense: Easy to remove sensor for a truly "naked shower", accuracy, LASTs for 180 DAYS, lacks the issues with repeat insertions and poor accuracy for 24 hours every 2 weeks, will likely be pump integrated in the next year, doesn't have the anecdotal issues reported by 2 week users of erractic results toward end of life every two weeks, every six months is a simple procedure and forget about it, easier for people traveling, none of the large skin rings of irritation that can happen with 2 wk CGM users.
CON: The only con I can think of is daily calibration of the product. If it goes to weekly calibration then it is basically superior in every way. People don't understand lab medicine. All lab platforms, whether the large machines in the lab or those used for point of care, require daily quality control and periodic calibration/verification. All assays have issues with deviation from their linearity, precision and accuracy and require techniques to keep the test functioning appropriately. Short sighted people that don't understand this basic flaw with all biomedical devices don't understand that even if the competition tried to extend duration they would have to be able to verify quality of results. SENS actually understands and maybe takes the process too far for an in body user, but a diabetic concerned with their health and safety should respect and understand this.
Finally, go to the Investor Relations section of Senseonics and you will see the recent investor presentation in conjunction with PHC. I honestly can't understand how a diabetic patient wouldn't be thrilled for the current and upcoming 365 day products. Anyway, the a$$hole bots, promoters of the competition, hired stock bashers and short sellers can please go back to your favorite stock subs for your favorite products. Let's get people in this sub that actually invest in SENS and actually believe in their investment and have useful information.
submitted by hoborg5450 to senseonics [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 04:44 rpworker31 My Hips are so messed up. Just need some positive vibes

My latest MRI just showed: left hip- 1 labral tear and bursitis. Right hit- 1 labral tear, 1 make tear with tendonitis and bursitis. I had no idea it was this bad and I've suffered with chronic pain but the past 2 months my hips have been killing me. It's like a different beast. I'm 33 and I'm sad that all this is happening. I want to live life and everytime I try, it gets worse. I know my hypermobility has alot to do with it but it just sucks. Could use some encouragement and support. Thank you all!.
submitted by rpworker31 to ChronicPain [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 04:32 lolpolice88 Moe mai ra e te rangatira, beautiful, dauntless Georgina Beyer (Te Āti Awa, Ngāti Mutunga, Ngāti Raukawa, and Ngāti Porou). Staunch intelligent Rights fighter, world's first Trans MP

Saturday 25th March, 10.30am, Albert Square, Auckland & Sunday 26th March 1.30pm, Civic Square, Wellington there are defences for Trans rights against a 'Penny Patero' a British Right Wing Neo Nazi Grifter. Our Labour MP's have capitulated to hate that incites murder, by letting this vile bitch in, hoping to catch a fantasy middle ground vote and use Patero to drive votes to their allied Parties in Parliament - when what we all wanted was the guts Jacinda had and no more playing games with murderous, scumbag altwhite supremacist, incel, neonazi, right wing vermin. Kia ora Jacinda for not grasping for power and potentially turning in to a Helen Clarke who fucked all Maori over with the Foreshore Pakeha theft for her dead British Queen & her race & reinvaded Tuhoe under an American War of Terror environment hoping to win racist coloniser votes. Fuck National, ACT, TPU, the colonial church cults, altwhite scum and any cunt who supports them. Lets hope decent journos dont platform them like they did those colonial canadian scum. We all know the dying talkback radio scum will. Labour needs to grow some guts and deal to these right wing terrorist networks who forced theirs & our best leader out, the right wingers already fought dirty and scored violent hits. You have the power, grow some guts. Maori Party & Greens are standing strong but we all shouldn't have to waste our time fighting the obvious. Get organised to vote & advocate for better & throw these bigots in the bin. These shitty trolls dont care about women, else they'd be in America fighting for womens rights or elsewhere, they're part of a global right wing hate movement clawing away at power through media & digital means, which needs more than local performative gestures and offloading on to others. Ian Mucks, Peter File, Fuckerberg are all getting the data and power without a fight, given a chance for a clean break everyone flocked back for attention just like they wanted and Peter File is about to fuck the NHS good. It's the plan they have for all of us. Jacinda ought to be a beginning to a more confident and articulate step up past the drama of shit throwing right wing noise and on to a wider aim.

Matangireia S2 Episode 2: Georgina Beyer RNZ

Georgina Beyer knows all about breaking barriers – becoming the first transgender MP in the world. But what is her biggest regret as a Māori MP in Parliament?
“A disaster, an absolute nightmare… it was one of the largest proposed confiscations from Māori, in modern times”.
The former Labour Party MP describes the fallout over the Foreshore and Seabed legislation to Matangireia presenter Scott Campbell.
Beyer never shies away from the painful path she took to becoming one of New Zealand’s most trailblazing politicians.
Beyer’s list of achievements are extensive – a drag queen, a sex worker, an actor, an activist, a Mayor, and a MP.
In fact, when elected in 1999, she was the world’s first transgender Member of Parliament, becoming known for her bold and colourful exterior.
But her story is one of pain, adversity, and fear – and it’s also one of courage and bravery.
Beyer was born George. Her biological father was a policeman who was sent to jail, leaving her mother to fend for herself and two young children.
Raised by her grandparents, until her mother remarried, she describes life in the Beyer household as “mildly well-off”. Her stepfather Colin was a barrister and solicitor.
From around four years old, Beyer started to secretly express her feminine side through theatre, dressing up and acting.
“If I was caught or discovered, or anything like that, it would be dealt with physical punishment, corporal punishment – beatings, hidings, things like that, to beat it out of me.”
At 16 years old, George became Georgina, but the abuse followed her from home to the streets.
As a sex worker, she was confronted daily with physical and verbal abuse from members of the public.
“It drove me to suicide… to attempt suicide on three times, in my young life,” Beyer said, “I had been pack-raped in Sydney in 1979, which was a terrifying, horrifying experience, and the law didn’t defend me.”
Georgina Beyer as a child Photo: Supplied / Georgina Beyer
After working in a gay night club in Auckland, she moved from the glitzy lights of Karangahape Road to conservative back blocks of the Wairarapa.
It was in Carterton Beyer’s career in politics began.
Working as a part-time radio announcer (alongside Paul Henry, who she later beat in the 1999 General Election), she decided to run for council.
She missed out, but she tried again, and again. Eventually becoming a councillor and, in 1995, the Mayor of Carterton.
“I’m the Mayor, okay, where’s the handbook on this job?” she said, “There isn’t any, but I now was in this position and I thrived in it, absolutely thrived in it.”
Being eloquent and not afraid to speak her mind, Parliament beckoned next.
Standing for the Labour Party in 1999, Beyer won the safe blue seat of Wairarapa with a majority of 3,033 votes. She was the first transgender woman elected to office.
However, in 2004, she faced one of the toughest challenges of her life. To choose her party, or her people.
“Oh, a disaster, an absolute nightmare”.
The Government, under Helen Clark, had just announced the Foreshore and Seabed legislation, effectively removing Māori claims to ownership over beaches and waterways.
The news came as a shock to the Labour Party’s Māori caucus.
“We were all quite taken aback that an announcement had been made, with no consultation with anyone in the Māori caucus.
“At the end of day, it was one of the largest proposed confiscations from Māori in modern times”.
One by one, the Māori caucus “fell into line”. The last three to do so were Beyer, Nanaia Mahuta, and Tariana Turia.
Beyer didn’t hold a Māori constituency and felt she had no mandate from Māori to speak up strongly on their behalf like the rest of her Māori colleagues.
“I was just so torn, but actually I didn’t have to be steeped in tikanga Māori to understand that this was wrong, wrong, wrong.
“I vowed and declared from that time on that I would never be torn between who and what I am as far as my heritage is concerned, and political expediency”.
So, what did she think of the former Prime Minister Helen Clark?
“I was never very close to Helen, at all, really,” Beyer said.
"I was not within her inner, outer, or extra-outer circle, really. I was just a cannon fodder backbench MP”.
She became further isolated when she asked to abstain from the vote.
“I can almost pinpoint my beginning of the end of my political career in Parliament on that Foreshore and Seabed thing. I felt defeated and I felt impotent.”
But that wasn’t the end.
She stayed for another two years traveling to Parliaments across the world to talk on gender issues.
Reflecting on her story today, she’s proud of the road she’s taken.
“You can’t live in your victim-hood all the time, you can’t wallow in it, you gotta learn from it. Move on and change it and change what created that."
“And I hope I’ve been able to do a bit of that”.
In 2018, Alex Casey spoke to Georgina Beyer, the world’s first transgender mayor and MP, about her extraordinary life.
This interview contains references to sexual assault and suicide, please take care.
Sex work and politics are pretty much the same trade, according to Georgina Beyer at least. During her time as an MP, she would strut through the halls of parliament, calling her comrades to arms by asking them if they were all ready to “get out on the streets and sell their butts”. They didn’t seem to fancy that comparison very much. “Look, honey, you’re soliciting yourself either way,” she told me over the phone, chuckling. “One’s just for votes, the other for money. One advertises on billboards, the other advertises in the back pages of The Dominion Post.
If there was anyone who could speak to the overlap of these very specific sets of skills, it’s Beyer. The world’s first transgender mayor who went on to be the world’s first elected transgender member of parliament, as well as a former sex worker, screen actress, and kidney transplant survivor, she’s lived a thousand lives to get to where she is today – right now, she is in the Wellington suburb of Kilbirnie, on the phone to me, an ex-Wairarapa kid who grew up under her groundbreaking reign back in the late 90s.
I asked her how things have changed for the LGBTQIA+ community in her lifetime. “When I started transitioning, I quickly realised that it was a cruel world for people like us. I had to go down avenues I would never have considered.” Unable to get a ‘real’ job, or any benefits outside of claiming a “psychosexual disorder” for the sickness benefit, she felt like she had no choice but to join the sex industry. “It was a brutal time, but there was a strange camaraderie in that nobody else would support us, not even our government institutions.”
One night in Sydney in 1979, Beyer was sexually assaulted by a group of men. “People asked me why I didn’t report it to the police. As if the law was going to protect me? A Māori tranny prostitute? Yeah, right.” Following the traumatic attack, Georgina found herself depressed and near suicide for months. “Once I got out the other end, it gave me a real fire in my belly. That shouldn’t have happened to me. That shouldn’t happen to anyone without being taken seriously.” She swore that she would try and change attitudes by example, which meant living a proud, public life as a trans woman.
It was the goal of visibility that drove Georgina to pursue a pre-politics acting career, including the 1985 film Jewel’s Darl, where she played a trans prostitute. “For the time, that was quite unusual, to look at people like us not as caricatures, but real people with real lives.” Although she burned all of her old belongings the night she transitioned, Georgina didn’t completely erase what she calls “the other parts of me”. “Men tend to forget that I can still access the same psyche as them. If they want to come down hard with the firm, staunch, brow-beating thing, well, I can play that game too, baby.”
Decades after her time working in the sex industry, Georgina found herself campaigning for prostitution reform in parliament. Given her own experience, she was shocked at some of the misconceptions held by the public around sex work. “They thought it was all deviants and not their husbands, their brothers, their uncles – it’s ordinary people.” As, unsurprisingly, the only former sex worker in the house, her speech to the chamber changed the minds of three MPs, passing the legislation that would decriminalise sex work. “It was the thinnest bloody margin you could have, but we got there in the end.”
So how in the flaming hell did a conservative, white, scarecrow-festival-hosting, mid-90s Wairarapa vote to become one of the wokest places in the world? “I think I was just a breath of fresh air. What people responded to was honesty, being straight up, being approachable – I would go to everything from a bloody party in a woolshed to judging sheep races out at Castle Point.” Carterton became known for something more than daffodils, and the more traditional locals slowly learned to “look beyond the end of their noses.”
When she made the decision to run for Labour in the Wairarapa in 1999, Beyer didn’t actually think she had a chance in hell of winning. She wasn’t being humble – nobody else did either. Although she had been the mayor of Carterton for five years, the Wairarapa was a National Party stronghold, and her opposing candidate was a plucky, popular radio host by the name of Paul Henry. He questioned her ability to be “serious person” because she was trans. “I thought I’d just have some fun and kick a few butts” Georgina recalled. “Bugger me! Look what happened!”
Georgina won with a 3000+ vote majority, making Paul Henry officially kicked in the butt and making her, officially, a “serious” public figure. Local attitudes had evolved, best summarised by the elderly farmer who had previously voted National all his life. “This year I’m voting for Georgina Beyer,” he was quoted in her documentary Georgie Girl, “because she’s a damn good chap.” Did she mind the misgendering? “If that was the only way a conservative 80 year-old farmer was be able to absorb and accept me, then I’m happy with that. That’s still progress.”
Although she has regrets from her eight years in parliament – her stance on foreshore and seabed was a “mistake” that marked “the beginning of the end” of her political career – Beyer stands by her contribution to the Civil Union bill and prostitution reform. “You have to remember: law is easy to change, attitudes throughout a country are not. It takes generations and role models to show the nation that we’re not the horrible, demented, crazy people they might think we are.” The work is far from done yet, with Beyer’s latest focus on applying to the Waitangi Tribunal to get Takatāpui included in the Human Rights Act.
I asked Beyer if she still encountered prejudice in her life, or the hangover of trans-exclusionary attitudes from fellow women. “People still regard the gender thing as being relatively recent in our modern history, but we’ve been around for millennia. Fa’afafine. Takatāpui. When you have words in languages to include us, that should send a message that this didn’t happen last week.” What about the TERF mindset that still lingers in some modern day feminists, that reckons trans women aren’t real women? “It’s an old, lazy argument. Don’t worry about us encroaching on your world. We’re just trying to improve our lot in this life, just like the women’s movement did for you.”
To anyone, young or old, who might currently be questioning their own gender identity, her expert advice is to access professional information as soon as possible, and to seek out like-minded groups of people in the community. “You are going to need people to give you moral support, who think the same as you and know what you are going through. Don’t be afraid, there are far too many young trans people who are dying through suicide because they feel like this world isn’t built for them anymore.” Georgina paused for a moment as her voice cracked.
“It is, baby. It is.”
Although she has now retired from the political sphere, Beyer remains inspired by young LGBTQIA+ activists continuing the fight for access to healthcare, work and education. She admits that she never thought trans and gender issues would ever be taken seriously in her lifetime, and quickly slipped back into that same, rousing cadence that made her speeches so famous in the chamber. “I have spent the better part of my life trying to make things better for this generation. My faith now lies with this younger generation to stand on my shoulders, just as I stood on the shoulders of those who went before me. I’ve done my bit to move the needle, now it’s your turn.”
As for everyone else? “They need to just shut up and let us get on with being who we are.”
Where to find support
OutLine NZ – Freephone 0800 OUTLINE (0800 688 5463)
Rainbow Youth – Phone (09)3764155
InsideOUT – Phone 027 331 4507
Gender Minorities Aotearoa
submitted by lolpolice88 to Maori [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 04:31 Trash_Tia Three years ago, I was a research student working on a remote island. We were out of lab rats, so our professor used us instead (Part 2)

July, 2020.
Ever since my colleagues and I became unwilling test subjects in my psychotic professor’s experiments into awakening the supernatural, we have had multiple people trying to hunt us down. Whether they were renowned scientists desperate for the serum for themselves or random people obsessed with cutting us open and seeing how we ticked, these assholes didn’t care that we were human beings, that we were ex researchers ourselves.
They wanted us dead or alive, in pieces, or splattered across concrete. As long as they got that precious serum dripping from our frontal lobe, they didn’t give a fuck. There were varieties of hunters. Some of them tried to play nice with their own nefarious agenda, while others were completely fucking insane. Like the ones who saw us as a mistake; a curse sent from god to end humanity as we know it.
Yeah. They thought we were the next coming of the Antichrist.
Have you ever been stripped completely naked and forced to bathe in salt water for three days without food and water?
That is when I lost my will to fight.
I still remember the sensation of flames licking at my feet, rope wrapped around my wrists pinning me to a tree. They wanted me to admit I was a monster. That I was a curse from the devil and belonged in hellfire. I’ll spend this post elaborating on what exactly our professor did to us, and the burden forced onto our backs—but I will say it saved us at points. For example, the freaks who tried to cleanse us in salt water (and then burn us under a full moon) got their comeuppance. 2020 is probably a year in your lives which didn’t feel real.
You were locked inside and you probably compared what was happening to a movie. We had a similar problem. But while you were struggling through lockdown, trying to fight a wave spreading globally, we found ourselves with bounty’s on our heads. Because we were no longer human to these bastards, and to them? Anything went. Which was bad news for our professor who had fought to keep his research as private as possible, choosing to show only a select group with shiny money bags for eyes. It turns out, no matter how much you think you’re hiding something, it will always be leaked. And people will find out.
Bad people.
The kinds of people in all of my favorite movies as a kid. You know, the evil trigger-happy British guy obsessed with finding buried treasure? Him. But tenfold. I might have felt special about the multi-billion price-tag on me, but knowing all they wanted me for was to dissect and slice me apart like meat to the slaughter—yeah. I can’t say I was thrilled to have so many people after our little group. 2020 was the year when people stopped being human. Stopped trying to be human. All morality down the drain.
Of these certain groups trying to capture us, there was a specific one which I will always remember. Seth’s gang. I’ll remember them because it was the first time I realised my colleagues and I weren’t human anymore, and maybe the freaks trying to label us as The Devil’s Children were right. There were a lot of people after us, as I said. But Seth and his gang, however, just wanted us for the sake of gloating. After hearing of our professor’s experiments, these guys decided they didn’t want the serum, or the research.
They just wanted us. For what, I still don’t know. They weren’t scientists, or in the medical field. They definitely weren’t at the auction, I would have seen them. I’m pretty sure these were just ordinary guys seeing us as nothing but trophies to parade around. I don’t think they knew the significance of the serum, or the danger of it. They saw something shiny and thought to hell with it. Which, I guess looking back, was why we were always two steps ahead despite having 9mm Glock’s shoved in our faces. The hotel room we were being held in was a step up from the cage I had been trapped inside in the lab for the last several months.
It actually had air-con.
Sitting blindfolded on the edge of a queen sized bed wearing the same clothes which were practically glued to my flesh, the graze of cool air brushing the back of my neck and relieving blistering skin was euphoric. I hadn’t had a proper shower in weeks. Maybe months.
It was the first time in a long while I actually felt human. Even when my wrists were pinned behind my back, a slab of ductape suffocating my mouth and nose. Now, I wasn’t completely sure, but I wondered if there was a duct tape shortage on the island. After being kidnapped and held in multiple places, I had never been gagged with duct tape. It was always filthy clothing fashioned into a makeshift gag, or ties and shoelaces. I will never forget some asshole stuffing a pair of panties in my mouth.
Seth’s gang were the first to actually have duct tape and proper blindfolds. I sensed the front-man’s footsteps as he paced in front of us. Despite being blindfolded, I knew he had a gun tucked into his belt, a dagger strapped to his ankle, and a grenade for emergencies. I wasn’t sure what emergencies would justify blowing up a fancy hotel room. Next to me, Riss was practically vibrating with fury. She knew not to act on her fear, because when we did, bad shit happened.
But Riss was a different breed. She didn’t listen to me when we were human, and definitely didn’t listen to me when we were freakish experiments contorted into something resembling a human. No matter how many times I nudged her with reassurance, she inched away from me like I had the plague. “Project Mildew, huh?” The front-man had one hell of an aussie accent. Without my sight, the rest of my senses were expanding, igniting.
Smell. I could smell the stink of myself, body odour and filth caked into my skin. Taste. There was copper in my throat and coating my teeth and tongue. Every step the man made, I felt it prickling in my bones. I sensed him crouching in front of Kaian, who thankfully didn’t move. I was waiting for him to. If I concentrated, I could feel the air crackling with electricity, the hairs on the back of my neck and arms standing up. Just being shoulder to shoulder with my colleague allowed me to feel exactly what he was feeling.
And like Riss, the guy was dangerously close to blowing a fuse. Kaian wasn’t stupid though. If we did something, he knew the consequences of that something. And none of us wanted that. So, staying quiet and submissive it was.
“Alex Quincy’s diamonds!” The front-man flicked me in the forehead, and I had to squeeze my eyes shut to avoid going into sensory overload. He continued in a sing-song voice, his steps becoming playful, like he was dancing. Every so often I sensed his fingers wrapping around his 9mm. Maybe he wasn’t as stupid as I initially thought. “Project Mildew.” He repeated. “You looked better on camera.”
Riss scoffed under her gag. I don’t think this asshole understood that on camera we were still human. It’s not like I was planning on going to a fashion show, but the shorts and t-shirt combo I had been wearing for weeks were comfortable.
Another step. Holding my breath, I gripped the ropes entangling my wrists and prayed they were physical enough to be an anchor.
“The testers who became the tested!” He continued. “Ohhh, man. I’ve heard about you. You’re famous here. Professor Quincy’s human lab rats! And successful ones too! You’ve got a lot of eyes on ya, ain’t cha? Too bad we gotcha first. Yeah, that’s right. We got here first.”
The guy laughed, and I felt both Riss and Kaian start to tremble. Fuck. Not now. I had to keep them at bay, even when my methods weren’t exactly stellar. I had to keep them from plunging. The rope around my wrists wasn’t too tight, and I knew I’d be able to get out of it easily. But that would require strength and energy which was for sure a trigger. There were a lot of triggers. Anger and pain. Sometimes even happiness.
It turned out basic human emotions was what this thing thrived off, so to avoid us going nuclear I had to stay stoic. No matter how much I wanted to tear off this asshole’s face, I had to keep myself together. It only took one slip up before things got really fucking brutal, really fucking fast. I wasn’t surprised my colleagues were losing control. Seth was quite the character, almost like a cartoon villain.
“Damn. I’ve been looking for guard dogs, but I think we’ve found something better, aye.” His palmy fingers wandered where they shouldn’t have, grazing over my left breast and delving under my shirt, causing my body to seize up, and then relaxing slightly when he pulled off my blindfold.
Blinking rapidly, I found myself eye-to-eye with the guy who had snatched us from the lab and thrown us into the back of his truck. I only got glimpses of him during our kidnapping, thanks to the ski-mask covering his face. Now I was looking at a man who was maybe in his early thirties with a balding head and a vicious cartoon smile twisted with mania. His eyes glinted when I found myself shuffling back, my gaze flashing to the Glock strapped to his side. Seth pulled off the other’s blindfolds.
“Now, I don’t want any funny business, alright? I watched that conference, and I know what you can do.” He stuck the barrel of his 9mm into my right temple, and next to me, Kaian ducked his head. “I’m watching you sweetheart.” Seth’s smile widened into a sickening grin. “If you start any weird shit, I’ll blow your brains out.”
I did my best to nod, and he ripped the tape off of our mouths too.
“Alright!” Seth straightened up, eyeing us like we were hunks of meat. “Nice to meet cha! I’ll be looking after you guys from now on.”
“Looking after us?” I spoke up, my voice gravelly. “You mean you’ll be cutting into us and selling our brains on the black market.”
Seth laughed like a fucking hyena. “What?” He scratched the back of his head with his gun. “Nah, that’s fucked up. We just want dogs.”
The man’s smile dampened, however, when his gaze settled on Kaian. Gesturing to my colleague with his gun, he scowled. “What’s wrong with him? Did Quincy rip out the guy’s tongue?” Before I could answer, Seth crouched in front of Kaian with narrowed eyes. “You all spoke at the conference,” he murmured. “Sure, your professor forced you, but you introduced yourselves. All of you did, even your fourth."
His smile curled. "All except him."
A shiver ripped its way down my spine when Seth shot out a finger and pointed at my colleague, and my mouth started to dry up.
Kaian was perfectly reading his lips, every word curled under his tongue, his eyes flicking back and forth to drink in each one, and each word brought more heat, brought more goosebumps pricking on my arms and legs. Kaian’s body pressed against mine was overheating.
I could feel the sensation coming over my body, like a wave of pressure. Riss made a squeaking noise, and I concentrated on Seth—who didn’t seem to notice it. I’ve come to realise, whether you are a human, an animal, or a badly fucked up experiment created in a lab, it doesn’t matter what you are capable of. If you initially appear weak and powerless, the stronger will single you out. Seth was enjoying himself so much he didn’t realise the skin in his cheeks start to crack from all the moisture being sucked from the air. Kaian didn’t move or speak, and that seemed to thrill him even more.
“Speak.” Seth snarled, leaning closer until he was inches from my colleagues face.
“He’s deaf.” I gritted out.
Seth’s eyes darkened. “Deaf, huh? He better be worth it.” Kaian didn’t flinch when the man grabbed him by the hair and yanked his head back. He was completely stoic, like a puppet severed from his strings, allowing the asshole to stick his Glock between his eyes. I noticed the air move slightly around us, blurring and then coming together. It was a blink and you’ll miss it moment, and I had spent months being taught how to notice it. “Three and a half million dollars each, hmm?” Seth said in a breath, dragging the butt of his gun down my colleagues face, grazing it across the flesh of his neck. “I don’t remember paying for a fucking mute. You can learn to talk, kid."
Again, Kaian didn’t even acknowledge the man, and that infuriated him even more. “Hey!” Seth grabbed his jaw, forcing Kaian to look at him. “Are you fucking listening to me? Open your mouth. You either speak or you die. Like I said, I didn’t pay half a million each for a mute.”
Riss must have noticed the significant change in the air and temperature. Between the two of us, it was our job to stop Kaian from plunging.
“You didn’t spend shit on us.” She spoke up with a hiss. Riss was already panicked, and that wasn’t good. “You took us from the lab while everyone else was at the auction because you couldn’t afford us. Which makes me wonder how you afforded this fancy five star hotel."
I had to swallow a yell. I wanted her to stall, not give the guy a reason to start going trigger-happy.
Seth’s narrowed eyes found Riss’s. “Your professor and I had an agreement, sweetheart,” he said. "How 'bout I blow your brains out, huh? Since you like speaking out of turn. And I don’t like my doggies speaking out of turn.”
As Seth moved closer to her, I sensed Riss freaking out. It was too early for her to start the plunge, but she was the most unpredictable out of the four of us. Just like when she was human, her emotions were all over the place. Still though, she maintained a scowl and refused to move when Seth was practically eye to eye with her, hot breath grazing her cheeks. The man prodded her in her right temple. “I bet you’re filled to the brim with all that fancy ass Quincy serum." He dragged his filthy finger down her cheek, and she squeaked. “I’m pretty sure I can just crack you open and take it for myself.”
“Then…” Riss swallowed, choking on her words. I nudged her again, this time enough to shake the bed. But she wasn’t looking at me, her eyes starting to lose vacancy. Next to me, I knew the same thing was happening to Kaian.
But I wouldn’t look at him yet. If I did, I would lose it myself. “Then you’ll be losing valuable cargo.” I was surprised when her lips broke out into an equally psychotic grin. I had no doubt the plunge was taking hold of her. She leaned back almost casually, and the air seemed to move around her, seeping into her skin and taking an unyielding hold. "Considering the crazy lengths you took to capture all of us, I doubt you want that. You're all bark with no bite, asshole."
“Riss.” I said through my teeth, at the exact same time as the air-con behind us blew a fuse and crashed to the ground. “Shut up.”
The plunge started slow, but even when it was barely a prickle in the air it was already beginning its slow purging of every particle.
I watched a mosquito that had been in mid-flight towards the fancy looking lamp on the nightstand bleed into invisible folds of energy which were becoming progressively more visible to the naked eye the more my friends plunged. I could see it perfectly. Like the world around us was beginning to splinter apart. Ignoring Riss, who could stand up for herself, Seth’s attention went back to Kaian, who couldn’t. Or at least that was his façade. Kaian had been labelled the most dangerous out of all of Quincy’s experiments. But it wasn’t just because of the plunge.
“I’m talking to you!” Seth prodded my colleague’s chest, and a wave of heat slammed into me, stealing my breath away. I watched, knowing it was all going to be over in matter of seconds. The front-man grabbed my colleague by the collar of his shirt and yanked him violently to his feet. “You’ve got two seconds to speak,” He spat, before slamming the butt of his gun into Kaian’s head. “Speak, or I give you a frontal lobotomy.” Seth continued in seething breaths, and got closer and closer, failing to notice he was already losing. But so were we.
His lips split into a grin. “Speak, or I start asking questions. Like why I bought four of you— and there are three of you.” He poked the metal prongs sticking from Kaian’s head. I liked to call them horns to make them sound cooler. But in reality, they were agonising when I was human—two pieces of metal drilled directly into the top of my skull. They had been a part of me for a while, but I wasn’t going to forget how they had been forcefully inserted into my skull. While I screamed. “Three. Little. Freaks.” Seth’s lips were practically kissing my colleague's temple.
He prodded the metal horns, and Kaian’s lip twitched. “Without their fourth.”
That struck a chord in both of them—and I knew if I didn’t do something, like right then, a fate worse than death awaited all of us.
"Leave him alone.” I found my voice tangled in my throat. But I could barely bring myself to speak. I felt like I was being fucking suffocated by two separate energy’s around me slowly but surely ripping atoms apart. In the corner of my eye, things were starting to melt into the ground, disappearing completely. The carpet in the room was suddenly singed black, and the wave continued, slicing off the tips of my hair I had only just managed to grow back. “He can’t hear you, asshole.” I said through lingering breaths. “Professor Quincy said he was deaf.”
"Deaf?” Seth let out a belly laugh. “He's my new guard dog and he's expected to fucking bark.” His lip curled,” Now. Speak.”
A second went by.
Then another.
Absent-mindedly, I licked the taste of rusty coins from the corner of my lip.
“I said speak!” Seth slammed the butt of his gun into my colleagues face again, but this time his words broke apart in his throat. I sensed every individual letter shattering into pieces when his body was flung back by an invisible force. I knew that invisible force. I knew the phantom fingers wrapping around his throat and slamming the man into the wall until he was screaming, begging, his feet hovering several feet from the ground. Kaian didn’t even have to pull apart his restraints.
Riss was already screaming, turning to my colleague. Her hands were free, and she was signing desperately. Don’t. Her eyes were wide, lips twisted. Because she knew exactly what would follow. Seth, somehow, managed a spluttered laugh between broken teeth like tiny yellow chicklets sticking from his mouth. “Oh, you don’t like that do you?” More brilliant red spurted like a fountain, and yet the asshole kept laughing. “Look at you! Quincy didn’t hold back on you did he?”
I’m not saying my colleague enjoyed crushing Seth’s windpipe without even lifting a finger—but that is exactly what I am saying.
With a simple incline of Kaian’s head, the front-man was rupturing from the inside, choking on organs erupting into his throat.
And like it thrilled him, the idea of death, the idea of dying at the hands of a supernatural force, Seth continued to roar with laughter.
My colleague was pressing pressure points which shouldn’t be pressed. Especially pressure points in a genetically fucked up man whose trauma had turned him into the wildcard of our group. The amount of shit we had all gone through inside Quincy’s lab was enough to send us into insanity. Except my colleague, according to Quincy, hadn’t responded correctly at the beginning. And being a researcher myself with rabbits before I became a lab rat, I knew the only way to get results was to cause pain.
I never initiated that pain in the rabbits, but I was an enabler. I watched my professor torture these subjects to make sure they were prepped and ready for the serum. Maybe our karma was that the exact same happened to us. But to Kaian, it was on a much larger scale. I was never briefed on what exactly happened to him during the months from March to June. Though it was obvious he had had it the worst. I didn’t know why. I didn’t understand why his brain was different, or maybe he was more resilient. He had been better at fighting it.
Kaian hated two things. Being kidnapped and said kidnappers mentioning our fourth member. And it was those things which made him plunge. Which made him lose all sense of humanity and morality and emotion, essentially turning him into a mindless beast. That was one half of the plunge. “Do you want me to say his name?” Seth coughed up spattered scarlet, and I could already see what was happening to him. Kaian had done enough damage externally. Internally, however? That was another story.
Internally, I sensed every organ starting to peel apart and splinter, bursting into nothing. It started with pressure on his heart which was slow and dragged so he felt everything. Then the brain began to expand. When blood ran in sharp rivulets from every orifice, and Seth screamed, howling like an animal, I looked away, just in time for the rest of the man’s body to pop like a balloon, and a chunk of his skull to land right in front of me. Riss started screaming, and I was half aware of a slight taint of warm blood like paint splattering the side of my face.
When I twisted back to look at him, his body was still hovering without a head, a skeletal hand lifting and waving at us.
Riss dropped to her knees, her head in her hands, trembling, and I followed her, trying to get some semblance of control.
“It’s been a week.” Riss whispered, sobbing, swiping at her eyes with bloody hands, making them worse. “Oh god, what if… what if I was right? What if we’re too late? I knew this was… this was a bad idea. But nobody listens to Riss. I knew he wouldn’t come. Fuck. I knew it.”
“Calm down.” I said. “Concentrate on happy birthday, okay? Do you want me to sing it with you?”
Riss spluttered. “We’re going to dieeee,” she sang. “Can you feel it? I’m plunging, Wren. God, it feels so fucking good.”
She knocked her head into the wall with crazy eyes.
It took exactly half a second for our brains to decide whether we were going to fight it or give in to it.
“Hey. Riss.” I spoke in reassuring hisses, grasping her shoulders and forcing her to look at me. “Happy birthday.” I choked out. “Three times. It has to be three times.” When she didn’t respond, I shook her until her cloudy found mine. Riss was plunging. Like Kaian. The blood vessels in her eyes had popped, her lips cracking apart. If I concentrated, I could see her bare knees starting to melt into air, wisps of her hair starting to disintegrate. “Do it, now!”
I shrieked when Kaian finally let go of the man’s body, and it hit the ground in front of us like a bad joke. “Happy birthday.” I said the mantra over and over again, shaking my colleague until she was responding. “Three times, Riss. Right now.” When she shook her head, screeching, I grabbed her hands and entangled her fingers with mine. “I’ll start, okay? And you follow me.”
To my surprise, Riss nodded—and for the fraction of a second, my colleague, or what was left of her, stopped bleeding into visible particles which were now around us, like a glistening wave of ocean water enveloping us. “Happy birthday to you…” I whispered, squeezing her hands tighter, relieved when she repeated the verse. When I was sure Riss was anchoring herself, I turned to Kaian who was sitting cross legged in front of the mutilated body.
My gaze went to the door. It would only be matter of time before Seth’s goons figured out something was wrong, and the last thing I wanted was them to walk in mid-plunge. “Happy birthday to…” I continued, allowing Riss to fill in a name—before focusing on my other colleague. I’m not exaggerating when I say Kaian was covered head to toe in blood, like it was his canvas, like he belonged in it. It was too late for him. I could already see that in his vacant and foggy eyes and playful smile that he had accepted the plunge.
“Gross.” Kaian signed, pulling a face. He turned his nose up at mutilated flesh and bone, and I had a hard time looking him in the eye.
I exhaled out a breath.
“Kaian.” I spoke and signed calmly, but my skin was prickling and scalding. I could feel the flesh on the backs of my hands peeling off. “Happy birthday.” I made sure to emphasize every word clearly, even when I knew he could read every word from my mouth without even trying.
He started to shake his head, and I glimpsed that panic, the trauma of the last several months starting to bloom behind his eyes.
“No, you have to do it.” I hissed out. “Look around you.” I signed. “If you don’t do it, we’re going to plunge.”
I was practically slamming my hands together with frustration, but he shook his head, his gaze going elsewhere.
“What if I…” He paused signing, his lip curling, “Like it?”
Do you know when you know something is wrong but you keep shoving it to the back of your head until you can’t ignore it anymore?
Yeah, this was one of those moments.
I loved Kaian. I loved him like a brother. But there was something about his face, the way he delved his fingers into startling red pooling on the carpet, that made me want to get as far away from him as possible. Swallowing hard, I shook away the thought and grabbed hold of his hand.
Once I did, the air around us wavered, and flesh on his cheeks started to flake. “Happy birthday…” Riss, who was sitting with what was left of her knees pressed to her chest, choked out a sob, “This isn’t working… Wren. This isn’t fucking working. I can’t.. I can’t fucking do this.” When she beat the floor with crumbling fists, the whole room jolted. The ground beneath us shook, and Kaian shot me a panicked look. Even plunging, he was still scared.
And I didn’t blame him.
After telling Riss to continue, I managed a smile and signed, “Earthquake.”
My colleague’s lips split into an unusual grin, and he mouthed the words, “Yeah right.”
With steely eyes, Kaian’s smile faded and for once he actually looked serious. “Jem.” He signed. “I don’t think he’s coming for us.”
Ignoring a conversation I really didn’t want to have, I focused on the body. “Check his pockets,” I signed back. “We don’t have much time.”
I pulled out a passport, some Indonesian currency, and an old plane ticket.
Checking his phone didn’t help. I was just reminded the boarders were still shut, and this asshole had a whole group chat gloating about his so-called guard dogs.
When I lifted my head, Riss’s wild eyes were flickering around the room, drinking in parts of reality being sucked away.
Her mouth became lopsided, lips drooping like my colleague was having a stroke from the pressure building around her.
See, I describe this in a lot of detail like this lasted around five to minutes long. But no, all of this happened in the space of around two minutes. When footsteps sounded outside, and Kaian’s head snapped to the door, his eyes darkening, a sour paste crept up my throat.
Professor Quincy didn’t just take away our humanity. He twisted us into something resembling an animal inside a human body.
We spoke and acted and felt like humans. But once a stranger was nearby, or footsteps on territory we had unknowingly snatched as our own, we turned feral. I already knew Kaian was a whole new level of unpredictable and unhinged after what the experiments had done to his brain—but seeing what he was capable of even before the plunge, I froze.
The world was coming apart around me and I was plunging, but I couldn’t move. I watched him get to his feet, his fingers curling into fists at his sides. The footsteps were closing in on us getting louder and louder, and Kaian could sense every vibration. I could tell with the way his lips twitched, a whole new darkness clouding his eyes and stripping away what was left of his humanity. I had seconds.
There was no use in happy birthday
I remember jumping to my feet and diving on my colleagues back, bringing him to the floor like a lion would a deer. When the two of us hit the ground, I watched Riss rupture in front of me, her face glitching, becoming moving static, before her body followed. “Seth?” The voice caused Kaian to attempt to wrench out of my grasp, but I had a firm hold of him. The first three weeks of being inhuman, I was taught how to kill people. Kill my fellow subjects.
Apologising profusely into hair which smelled of blood and dirt and Quincy’s lab, I struggled to keep myself from plunging, knowing the room was already half gone, and I was going to get caught in it anyway. “I’m sorry. Fuck. I’ll make it up to you, okay? You should have sang happy fucking birthday, but you are so goddamn stubborn,” I sobbed with what I hoped was reassurance. I knew he and Riss and Jem would do exactly the same to me.
“So fucking stubborn.” I couldn’t help myself, nestling my face into his hair and heaving in breaths while my skin started to peel away.
“Just take a deep breath and close your eyes, okay?” I whispered into his flushed skin. “We’ll find him, Kaian. I promise you.”
He stopped struggling, and for a moment I thought my colleague was actually listening to me before the ceiling began to crack apart.
The ground rumbled again, and I lost my grip on the guy before forcing him onto his back and straddling his legs. Just when his free arm was flying out with intention to send me crashing into the back wall and ending all reality in that room, encompassing us, I snapped Kaian’s neck.
And with the last of my energy, I fucking screamed while my own flesh melted from my face while the plunge enveloped us both.

March 2020.
It was on the 17th day of captivity inside a cell made of glass panes meant to keep in rabbits, when I met an unlikely visitor. There comes a time when giving up is better than screaming until you have lost all of the breath in your lungs, and your throat feels like sandpaper. I hadn’t eaten in days, and what was left of my meals, curry and mash potatoes, painted my cell walls—a real work of art if I concentrated and imagined carving shapes inside congealing potato and day-old curry.
So far, I had tests. I had tests which were an invasion of privacy which I will not expand upon. I had tests where my professor’s gloved fingers ran over my scalp and marked places where he was going to insert the same headset on the rabbits. He didn’t listen to my cries.
He didn’t tell me where my colleagues were. I was nothing to him. I was a subject stripped of my rights. So, I was doing the little I could to protest. Even if it was small, I was refusing to eat. I knew subjects had to eat to stay healthy—to get results. The piece of shit wasn’t going to get much further if I died of starvation after days of no eating. How sad. I was on my second day of refusing to eat, and my gut felt like it was folding in on itself. To combat this, I sat against clinical white walls with my knees pressed to my chest, and my head buried in my lap. I ignored the rumbling of my stomach and my aching joints, the weird squiggly lines in my vision when I bothered lifting my head.
It’s weird. In that cage, I was the coldest I’ve ever felt on an Indonesian island. I didn’t remember the temperature affecting the outcome of the rabbit subjects, but maybe it was different for humans. Still though, I had my solace. I imagined standing in glittering water, bioluminescent plankton washing over my bare toes. I imagined the full moon bathing the sky in warm light, and it was enough to make me feel safe— even so far from home. Far from normality. If I squeezed my eyes shut, and envisioned wading deeper into the shallows, until the water was lapping my thighs, I could calm myself and tell myself to breathe.
Then the water was at my waist, the panic subsiding. Neck deep, ice cold water filling my mouth and suffocating my nose. But if I thought past it, if I plunged myself into the deep, I could trick my brain into imagining that I was escaping, swimming across the wide expanse of ocean. All the way back home to my family.
I was brought out of my imagination when a scratching noise pulled me back to my senses, and I was back inside my cage.
Lifting my head, I searched for someone. But there was nobody there.
“Over here, genius.”
The voice startled me. It wasn’t quite a voice, more of an attempt. Though I could definitely make out the language bursting out. When my eyes swivelled, I found myself staring at a blur of white. I squinted.
No, not just a blur of white. It was Subject Fifteen. The rabbit which had stolen Jem’s heart, and possibly taken control of his mind.
For a moment I tried to blink myself awake, but no matter how many times I pinched myself, the rabbit was still there, pressing its tiny face against glass, and I can see blood staining its fur. Initially, I thought he was a hallucination until I blinked, and he was still very much there.
He was part of reality, lightly smushing its bloody mouth against glass panes. The sight of dark red tainting its fur twisted my gut, and I had a thought which suddenly wouldn’t leave me alone. If the serum did that to the rabbits, what exactly would it do to us? “Well.” Fifteen’s beady eyes found mine, and I swore its rabbit mouth twisted into a grin. It's voice mimicked both me and my colleagues, the perfect imitation of us. I could hear all of us, even the professor, in every curl of its words.
It wasn’t just intelligent, it was something else—something fucking monstrous. Which should have been put down.
No. It never should have been a subject at all.
I slowly crawled towards it and held my breath. I must have looked pretty fucking funny to Fifteen. I was the tester who had become the tested. The one who wore the lab-coat, to the rat forced into light blue scrub like clothes sticking to me. I can’t say I wasn’t curious, though. Baffled.
I was inches from a fucking talking rabbit, and the last time I checked rabbits weren't supposed to talk. Their mouths haven't evolved to form words. But somehow it was figuring out speech. Fifteen was learning fast. That terrified me. After several attempts at speech, it had almost fully mimicked a human’s expression. It cocked its head, and in Jem’s voice, asked,
“Well? How does it feel to be the one in the cage?"
“You’re not real.” I told the rabbit which sounded like Jem.
To my shock, it laughed, and its bloody mouth almost formed a snarl. “Are you sure about that?”
I crawled over to the screen, pressing my hands against glass. “How does…” I licked my lips. “How does what feel?”
The rabbit’s eyes followed me and I shuffled back, a sour paste creeping its way up my throat. “You were always my least favorite,” it murmured. Its nose twitched. “I think you humans call it karma—- and whether you believe in it or not, every action must have an equal reaction.” It moved closer, pressing its face against the glass. I noticed the fur around it’s mouth was stained red. “You drilled into my head, Wren. You hurt me day after day and hid behind a sense of morality that you were a good person because it was for the good of the human race.” Fifteen edged closer. “I wish I could feel sorry for you. I wish I could feel the sympathy you humans use as a pathetic fucking barrier. But aren’t you just… the cutest?”
The thing was mimicking my own words from the start of the experiments. I had pressed my face against the plastic cage, peering at Subject Fifteen, who was hiding in the corner. Quincy told me to turn off my humanity, but that didn’t stop me as seeing them as cute little fury bunnies. It never crossed my mind that Fifteen could hear exactly what we had been saying.
I thought back to a few months back when I had picked it up from its cage and nuzzled its fur. “Aww! Isn’t he just the cutest?”
Fifteen knew the exact moment I gave up, my hands slipping from the glass. It gestured to the band aid uncomfortably sticking to my scalp.
“Nice horns.”
“You have intelligence.” I whispered through a sob. I leaned closer. “Quincy. You need to tell me what he’s doing to the others.”
“You already know what he’s planning to do, Wren.” The rabbit chuckled, lifting a paw in a mocking wave. “Why are you asking me, hmm? What if I am in fact an illusion? You’re not eating. Your mind has been played with. Are you sure you are really speaking to a talking rabbit?”
It cocked its head. “How do you know I’m not Jem?”
“Or Riss.” It’s voice twisted into hers, and then the professor’s.
“I’m losing my mind.” I whispered, pinching the flesh on my bare thighs. “I’m losing my fucking mind.”
“Maybe.” It said, “or you’re witnessing the consequences of your actions. You did this to me if you remember. I told you to stop hurting me, but you didn’t hear me, Wren. You never heard me. Only him. And when I was strong enough, I made him force you to finally listen to me.”
Jem, I thought hysterically.
“You little—“ I slammed my hands into the glass, unable to resist a snarl when it turned to hop away. “Hey! Wait! What did you do to Jem?”
“I didn’t do anything,” the rabbit responded in a scoff. “Your professor, however… have you ever heard of teleportation?”
I stared at it blinking rapidly, until it laughed. “No, not that kind! I mean the new kind. I’m talking about what Quincy is trying to perfect.”
“What do you mean?”
“Think about it.” The rabbit’s nose twitched, “What you have been working on and researching—what if it was possible in humans?”
I shook my head. There was no way. If professor Quincy wanted to test on us, it would likely be psychokinesis which was possible in rabbits.
“That’s impossible.” I managed to grit out. “With rabbits it’s one thing, and it’s barely even stable! With humans… it’s...”
It’s barbaric.
The rabbits which went through that procedure and survived… their brains were drastically altered. They were never the same.
That’s what I wanted to say.
I trailed off at the thought of forcing a living and breathing human to shatter apart into atoms and forcefully moved from one place to another. I remembered Subject 12. The tiny little thing coming apart slowly, piece by piece, a mixture of fur, blood and bones filling its cage.
No way.
There was no way my psycho professor would attempt it in humans.
The rabbit hopped away. “Huh. Well, you’re dumber than I thought. I guess I’ll be going if you’re just going to look at me like that.”
When I thought it was going to leave me, the furry little shit twisted its head. “Do you want to know a secret?”
It hopped right over to the glass. “Come closer, and I’ll tell you. I want you to get really close so I can see how adorable you are.”
Too desperate to feel humiliated, I swallowed a shriek and pressed my ear to the glass.
“Jem was the first.” The rabbit started to say but was cut off by the speaker above me crackling, a familiar voice slicing into my ears.
“Good morning. I will be with you shortly. I would like you to raise your hands above your head. I will be administering a gas.”
At the corner of my eye, Fifteen was disappearing behind the corner, and I let out a frustrated hiss. “Professor Quincy.” I managed to force my voice into professional, despite the rabbits voice in my mind. Jem was the first to what? I hadn’t seen either of my colleagues in weeks— or heard from them. I swallowed hard. “Professor Quincy, Subject Fifteen is on the premises and is showing signs of heightened intelligence!”
The rabbit tskked. “And to think I was going to help you. Good luck with the experiments. I will have a front row seat.”
Before it left me in puddling static however, the rabbit didn’t hesitate to drop a bombshell which sent me crumpling to my knees.
“Oh, yeah! I forgot to say.” Subject Fifteen’s words slammed into me as I was choked once again with gas filling my mouth and nose.
“Jem was the first to die.” It said in a sing-song symphony of all of our voices, “And you don’t even know the best part!”
submitted by Trash_Tia to TheCrypticCompendium [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 04:11 KaptinSalazoo I played every Ace Combat games and more in a months long marathon.

Hello everyone,
I was going to write a life story thing about why I did this, but it would take too long and this post is already going to be pretty hefty. So I'll cut to the chase, over the last few months, I did an Ace Combat Marathon which also includes all the games I consider to be "Ace Combat Like". I did omit a few here and there, but it was either because they were too hard to obtain, too far from what I consider to be the Ace Combat formula or just not interesting enough. Now that it is over, I would like to tell you about my experience with all of these games, so, if you are interested, have a good read !


- English is not my native language and I am brain dead so if me no write good me sory.
- These entries are not reviews but simply a summary of how I felt about each game.
- Spoilers

Here are the games, in the order that I played them in :

Games that, in my opinion, constitute the main continuity :

Air Combat / Ace Combat 1 :
- Gameplay : Dated, but still very usable by modern players.
- Graphics : I mean... it's a 1995 game. But the emulator gave it a good coat of paint.
- Story : Just enough to justify the game happening, it's no big deal, we all know where the series goes later on. I just love the idea of an island-nation sized terror group having a giant air force, aircraft carriers, a supersized stronghold and a flying fortress (the first of the ace combat series).
- Music : Pure 90's juice, get ready to rock and synth.

Ace Combat 2 :
- Gameplay : Great for the time, it's completely servicable to this day.
- Graphics : A noticable improvement from the first AC, specially good with the right emulator settings.
- Story : Literally the same as the first AC but on a bigger scale, gets expanded upon in the remake.
- Music : In my opinion, the best from the PS1 series, Lode Stone is still stuck in my head.

Ace Combat 3 Electrosphere (Japanese version with english text patch, necessary since, for those who don't know, the international version got most of its content cut out.) :
- Gameplay : The best of the PS1 series, feels much more like flying a plane than in the previous ACs. Plus the special missions where you fly a stratospheric bomber, a parasite fighter or a hecking starfighter are something else.
- Graphics : Again, an improvement on the previous entry, although less drastic, the art style is the most noticable feature.
- Story : Who put planes in my metal gear solid story line ? My man went from zero story to a five branches storyline about revenge, corporatism and transhumanism in a cyberpunk universe with unique missions and 2d animated cutscenes.
- Music : Extremely... unique and hard to describe, it wouldn't be out of place in a horror game or a creepypasta about some haunted retroware.

Ace Combat 4 Shattered skies :
- Gameplay : Wierdly it's not too different from AC3 in my opinion, but hey, if it ain't broken, don't fix it.
- Graphics : The transition to the PS2 is truly impressive, it's just great to look at. Although, beware, it has some graphical issues with emulation.
- Story : Far less complex than AC3, but perhaps told with more style, it's more heartfelt and relatable. And of course, this is kind of where the strangereal universe is starting to become more established.
- Music : The first game in the series where the sky starts speaking latin, it establishes what the Ace Combat music style is going to be from then on.

Ac Combat 5 The unsung war :
- Gameplay : More or less the same as in AC4, perhaps a little bit more arcadey ? Great plane diversity though.
- Graphics : Maybe it was because of emulation and the UI but I felt like it was a slight downgrade from AC4, probably not the case though.
- Story : Kind of a balance between the war story theme of AC4 and the over the top sci-fi conspiracy vibe of AC3, most of the series will adopt this dynamic from then on.
- Music : Same vibe as AC4, with more latin singing for us to enjoy.

Ace Combat Zero The Belkan war :
- Gameplay : Similar to the two previous entries, although with more bossfights.
- Graphics : Also similar to the rest of the PS2 trilogy, it's not like there was much room to improve within the limits of the console's hardware.
- Story : Something something borders bad, buddy, funni country nukes itself, V2, it's time, bottom text. A good story that establishes a solid fundation for the strangereal lore.
- Music : The sky speaks latin, flamenco edition.

Ace Combat X Skies of deception :
- Gameplay : The engine was recycled from AC4 so it's similar, which is good, although everything is slowed down to help with the PSP controls.
- Graphics : About as much as you could squeeze out of the PSP for a flight sim, which is pretty neat.
- Story : A step back from previous entries, but more than enough to get all those good ace combat tropes in there, superweapons galore, conspiracy, zealous characters, the whole nine yards.
- Music : A suprising return to the PS1 trilogy vibe, probably to go easy on those poor little PSP speakers. Though it's not at the same level of quality; most of the ost would make Minasha Please, your freestyle dance teacher, go crazy.

Ace Combat 6 Fires of liberation :
- Gameplay : The first big improvement since AC3, with the notable introduction of post stall maneuvers. Also the scale of the missions are unprecedented thanks to the transition to the xbox360, with loads of units on both sides.
- Graphics : New platform, new graphics, and boy is it gorgeous ! Still very much holds its own to this day, although they had to pay for it with the diversity of planes, which is the lowest in the series.
- Story : Very similar to AC4, down to the presentation, but more clumsy. It's not bad by any means, just kind of average.
- Music : Back to the AC classic formula, although the most memorable ost isn't the final latin one this time, but the aptly named "Liberation of Gracemeria".

Ace Combat X² Joint Assault (The most based Ace Combat in my opinion) :
- Gameplay : Similar to the previous PSP entry, but even slower. (That's not to say easier, some bossfights are downright bullshit.) Also you can pilot WW2 planes and a 747 so 10/10.
- Graphics : A bit of an improvement on Skies of Deception, but yeah... still PSP graphics.
- Story : Set in the real world, but whith all the over the top absurdity of strangereal and somehow even more. How about a story where Jeff Bezos hires the entire Romanian army to become terrorists in order to mount the biggest insurance scam ever, supplying them with usual ace combat tier superweapons, but the Romanians betray him and try to found Romania 2 electric boogaloo in Khazakstan; but you stop them and now have to face your rival who breaks down in tears about his parents mid boss fight before you shoot him down in his guitar looking ass superfighter, ending the story by personally flying your jet under amazon HQ in San Francisco to explode Jeff Bezos with a Maverick missile to the face ?
- Music : About as bonkers as the story, a mix of usual Ace Combat epic score, throwbacks to the PS1 trilogy ost, stereotypical middle eastern music, and some sort of hard rock ? Seriously listen to "In the Zone", it's pretty representative.

Ace Combat Assault Horizon :
- Gameplay : The game feels like it's been developped by a 12 years old high on sugar and aderall, the first mission almost gave me an epilepsy attack and I'm not even epileptic. It's obviously a huge departure from the traditionnal ace combat gameplay, and there are cool aspects like the attack helicopter missions, but the rest of the game feels like it's on rails, which for a plane game is kind of an oxymoron. The "dogfight mode" is basically a roller coaster simulator, some missions like the AC-130 and the Blackhawk door gunner ones are ripped straight from call of duty; and the one strategic bomber mission is literally on rails most of the time.
- Graphics : More or less average for the time ? I had a hard time seeing behind the Michael Bay level of explosions and particles going off everywhere, everytime all at once. Although the plane destruction animations are kinda cool, they just get old fast.
- Story : Basically Call of Duty or a Tom Clancy novel but with planes, I suppose they were trying to one up HAWX which came out a year earlier ? Some funny elements are the main big friendly general being french and dubbed by someone poorly imitating a french accent; also the main baddies, the Russian rebels, use the litteral waffen SS division symbols for their units, what's up with that ?
- Music : Strangely pretty cool ? Lots of competent rock and epic scores, very intense, in keeping with the theme, but not bad by any means.

Ace Combat 7 Skies Unknown :
- Gameplay : Same basis as AC6 but improved, pretty much the best it's been so far.
- Graphics : Well, as the most modern AC, it's also naturally the best looking. Planes, effects, maps, art style, it's all great stuff.
- Story : Belka did it again, skynet edition. Also air force penal batallion sent on suicide missions with half the members convicted of relatively light offences and/or with investigations still pending, thanks OSEA, you truly are one of the democracies of all time. Overall the story is regular Ace Combat stuff, its highlights being, as often, the bonkers strangereal elements.
- Story (DLC) : Hunt for the red october, but lots of planes and also the characters are insane. 10/10
- Music : Back to good ol' latin choirs, latiner choirer, plus the usual cool epic scores, great as always.

Games that are outside the main continuity but I still consider to be Ace Combat games :

Ace Combat Assault Horizon Legacy+ (Despite the title, it's a remake of AC2) :
- Gameplay : Surprisingly great for a DS/3DS title, better than the PSP entries in my opinion. There are post stall maneuvers and a watered down, more digest version of Assault Horizon's dogfight mode.
- Graphics : Pretty good for 3DS hardware, it's obviously a huge improvement on the original AC2. Also there are some nintendo themed planes, it's pretty neat, now I know that if Luigi was a jet, he would be an F-35.
- Story : There is a story where there was almost none in AC2, so it's an improvement in my book. They gave your wingmen voice lines, and I love the fact that they made the original "Edge" Kei Nagase kind of a Tsundere. The best new feature is the added ACZero style special squadron bossfights, each being more absurd than the last, there's : Medieval LARPers in F-14s, Furry with anger issues, E-girl and her tier 3 simp squadron, Man who plays chess in his plane ; and finally, three fleshed out ZOE bossfights, where in the original AC2, ZOE was just kinda flying around, being an optionnal ennemy with more HP.
- Music : Most of the tracks were changed for a more modern aces combat feel, but there are some bangers in there nontheless.
PS : In the original release, mission 2, easy money, was mistranslated as easy monkey which made me die laughing because I have internet brain rot.

The Sky Crawlers Innocent Aces :
- Gameplay : As close as we'll get from a WW2 themed Ace Combat, and frankly, it's pretty good. The final boss is annoying and there is kind of a dogfight mode light similar to assault horizon legacy because of Wii controls, but other than that, they handeled a gameplay without missiles and with slow prop planes amazingly, while retaining the unmistakable Ace Combat flavor.
- Graphics : I'd say average for Wii hardware, the strong point being the designs and art style which is arguably more thanks to the original novel and animated movie, but the game renders is very well.
- Story : Set in the dieselpunk universe of the Sky Crawler, based on the novel series, the game's story still is more or less original as a prequel to the animated movie adaptation. The lore aside it's very much an Ace Combat story, with conspiracies, betrayals, sacrifices, superweapons, giant fortresses, ace duels etc. As for your main "rival", she's an unhinged tsundere immortal child soldier clone, make of that what you will.
- Music : It's mostly bangers, although not similar to any other Ace Combat game.

Ace Combat likes, either competition or hommage to the franchise (mostly competition though) :

- Gameplay : It's competent, the game is fun to play overall, although the flight mechanics are far more basic than in AC6; its contemporary AC title, even though it was two years old at this point. They tried to compensate with gimmicks like some sort of flight assist tunnel thingy to reach your target, which is pretty useless except when the game makes it mendatory. Also there is the "flight assit mode off" which allows your plane to perform post stall maneuvers at the cost of stability, which would have been great if it didn't force your camera into a disorienting and immersion breaking far away third person view, which doesn't even track your targets half the time. That's bad considering you need it to beat some adversaries like ennemy aces. The plane diversity is huge but they all handle mostly the same. As for the missions, most of them are escort which is pretty frustrating, also some borrow pretty shamelessly from AC with their objectives and sometimes even their plots.
- Graphics : It's not amazing to be honest. The planes and cockpit models are basic, the maps are below the quality seen in AC6, same for the effects and particles. Some model look downright like they were made for the PS2. The artstyle kind of reminds me of G.I Joe, especially the fictionnal units like the baddie's tanks and their super warship, it's got this "toy" aesthetics. They even have a fictionnal superfighter to unlock at the end of the campaign, but it looks like an F-22 drawn by an eight years old.
- Story : It's exactly what it says on the tin, what if Tom Clancy had to write an Ace Combat story. So yeah it's big non descript bad guy attacks and you need to save murica' and thu prasidunt. Also the ghost recons appears so often the game might as well be an ad : "look at this other, better series I've made".
- Music : So unremarkable I didn't even pay attention to it, it's a generic action movie score, nothing more to say.

Unfortunately, I was unable to get HAWX2 to work due to server shutdown, thanks ubisoft, forcing games to be played online even in singleplayer was a great idea. Apparently the latest patch was supposed to make it playable offline but this somehow stil doesn't work. There was apparently a workaround using a crack which I was unfortunately unable to find despite giving my PC probably ten viruses, seven trojans and a dozen crypto miners trying to find it. Meh, not that big of a loss according to what I've seen on youtube and read online. The graphics even look like a downgrade from the previous entry somehow.

Air force Delta :
- Gameplay : Very similar to AC2 with slightly better stall physics, a shame when you know it came out the same year as AC3. The missions are what you'd expect from an actual ace combat titles with fortresses, fleets, aces and giant planes bossfights sprinkled in. It's noticably harder than Ace Combat but not for good reasons in my opinion. Your missiles have somehow even worst tracking than in AC, but ennemy missiles seem guided by god. The ennemy AI has absurd turn radius and is seemingly unable to stall. Mission timers are also very short, which results in a situation where actual air to air fights are better avoided unless mandatory to have a chance to finish the missions. Fun fact, I'm pretty sure the final mission of AC5 was inspired by one of this game's missions where you also have to save a city from a falling giant satellite by shooting its "wings" off.
- Graphics : I'm not exactly familiar with the graphics capabilities of the dreamcast, but it looked pretty good in my opinion, I liked how the plane textures were stylised rather than completely realistic.
- Story : You get a big star-wars like lore dump at the beginning and then a few elements dropped in during briefings. The execution is pretty sloppy, for example, you learn who the big bad is right before the final mission where you face him in a duel, whithout even knowing there was a big bad to begin with. The entire story is like this, with things dumped in front of you right before the relevant mission, it feels made up along the way.
- Music : Very arcadey, I kinda liked it. Though it wasn't as good as AC2's ost.

Air force Delta Storm :
- Gameplay : It's not bad overall, but the controls are cluncky, you feel like flying an airliner rather than a fighter jet most of the time. It alleviates some of the first entry's issues like bad missile tracking and overmaneuverable ennemies but barely. It's still much harder than any AC title. It also has this sort of "campaign map" with minor missions to play if you want to reach you main missions, with a grand total of two(2) copy pasted mini missions in slightly different maps at every minor checkpoints. Though some main missions have interesting level design, the final mission for example is literally the Star Wars six's attack on the Death Star two's reactor but with jets.
- Graphics : I'd say average for the OG Xbox, the game lacks a proper cockpit view but the incredible plane diversity makes up for it. Speaking of which, there are a lot of fictionnal fighter designs, some of them pretty goofy, but most are extremely cool looking and competently made. It's a shame there isn't a proper model viewer or display mode to admire them, the best you get is the replay mode which has a wierd striped filter making it hard to see clearly what's going on.
- Story : It's the apocalypse, two factions are at war over basic necessities and you're fighting for one of them, you win at the end. That's it. There are no characters, no story elements, nothing, you just fight and win the war. It's okay, I don't always need intricate conspiracies, character dramas and reflections about the nature of war and the human condition in my plane game. It just makes some missions extremely funny like one where you need to sink an ennemy fleet in a port while being careful about not hitting cruise ships. No world ending woe will slow down the cruise industry apparently.
- Music : Very unremarkable, even a bit obnoxious sometimes. You can rapidly get tired of hearing a generic electric guitar riff when epicly completing minor_mission_02 for the 65451th time in order to get where you need to go.

Air force Delta Strike :
- Gameplay : At this point, it's literally just ace combat gameplay, maybe a bit more nervous and responsive, which honestly I'm not complaining about. The plane diversity is incredible inkeeping with the serie's tradition, ww2 prop planes, cold war relics, modern jets, (many) prototypes (some of them so obscure I didn't even know about their existence), vtols, space fighters etc. As for the missions... where do I start ? How about fighting VTOLs and railway tanks in a giant cyberpunk metro network with a P-51 Mustang ? How about dogfighting gundams during a huge star-wars like space battle onboard a Mig-29 with a mini spaceship duck taped under it ? Or maybe a canyon mission where an evil scientist tries to kill you with an array of comically large fans ? I could go on and on, there are so many wild and wacky missions in between more tame and generic stuff to give you some room to breathe. Side note, there is a space elevator arc so uhh... take that AC7 ? The game's difficulty has reached a managable balance, but it's still overall harder than ace combat. Inbetween missions the game functions almost like a visual novel, it's pretty confusing and you can even get a game over for not knowing what to do, so I highly recommend following a guide to avoid needless frustration.
- Graphics : It's quite a bit below it's contemporary, AC5, in overall quality, but the level designs are often great. The general aesthetics is : generic gundam anime, with designs ranging from hilariously goofy to suprisingly cool. The entire non-mission part of the game is a 2D visual novel format with character designs that are pretty high quality and diverse. Although many designs are uh... cultured. More on that in the character section. There is finally a cockpit view in this entry of the series, for which they went pretty hard, with all of the many aircrat having detailed interiors. The plane's liveries are many and all cool looking in my opinion so that's also a plus.
- Story : This entry finally has a story, and oh boy what a story. The Earth democracy "not the USA" people are at war with the dictatorial evil space people who are secretly controlled by an alien god on Mars. The plot mainly revolves around the characters, with varying level of interest from the narration, but who's concept and behavior makes them wierdly unique and memorable. The story has a few different endings and branching storyline depending on what character you play, how often you play them and also some missison requirements, again, I advise following a guide. It's nothing mindblowing or complex but it certainly is striking, bold and memorable.
- Characters : Yes, I'm adding a section for characters because I can't not talk about them. There are the good guys you play as, delta squadron, composed of : Shredded pixy tomboy Ruth Valentine, Generic MC with sad backstory™ Ken Thomas, Cringe edgelord furry John Rundal (With the most hilarious dialogues in the game), Geriatric ww2 larper Jamie Jones, Funny anime fat man Rick Campbell, Double cheeked up fantASStic dumptruck owner Alex Levine, Divorced dad Holst Prendre, Rejected Jojo character Pedro Glankert, litteral child soldier Brian Douglas, incompetent but rich trust fund kid David Smith and his bimbo gold digger twin wingwomen Collette and Constance Le Clerc. Delta's officiers are : Captain clueless boomer Robert Williams, Staff Officer loli but she's a genius lab experiment kid so it's not creepy I swear Lilia Mihajlovna and operator wholesome overworked MILF office lady Amelia Johnson. There's also the chainsmoking alcoolic mechanic Bob Takayanagi and the totally legit and thrustworthy plane seller Harry Garrett. Finally there are the bad guys, early antagonist and supposedly invincible ace pilot who you just bully in every mission he appears in "Emperor" Sergei Kinski, Giuseppe Ferretti... thats it, Slimy starscream backstabber ugly bastard Leon Kleiser, iamverysmart escapee Donald Chan, Generic rival of the MC Albert Ungar, the MC's brainwashed waifu Ellen McNichol (Who you can turn back to your side if you shoot her down enough while playing as Ken. Make of that what you will.), big tiddy tanned gyaru tomboy noblewoman Francine Davout and her boytoy butler Jake Emerson, bratty femboy supersoldier Pierre Gallo and alien with a god complex "Navigator".
- Music : Unremarkable but servicable, not bad by any means but I doubt any will get stuck in your head... not for good reasons at least.

Project Wingman :
- Gameplay : It's pretty much Ace Combat but I mean... that's kind of the point. Also it's not a straight out copy, there are cool innovations and most important of all, it's very well done and fun to play. I should also mention, I have finished the entire campaign in VR and by the dust mother is it intense. The cockpits are extremely well done and immersive, being at the heart of such overwhelming action in VR is just something else. As for the missions, they're all fun, diverse and with good level design. Finally, the plane diversity is very good for such a small team working on detailed models with cockpits and multiple liveries, not counting the innumerable non graphic aspects.
- Graphics : I had to remind myself that this was an indie game, because appart for a few minor gliches here and there it's honestly incredible what they did whith what they had to work with. The fictional designs all look cool and very inkeeping with the Ace Combat theme. The effetcs were the most impressive, although they did go a bit wild with the whole orange magic energy near the end of the game, my retinas are still recovering.
- Story : Again, very faithful to what an Ace Combat story would be. Mercenaries, superweapons, conspiracies, war bad, and of course, insane characters (Special mention for Prez and Crimson 1). Also the lore is prettry expensive, the AC hommage did go as far as writing an entire alternate universe for your plane game. Overall it's well told, I like it.
- Music : Music is hard to make, music is expensive to make, but again, for an indie game, they managed to pull off something good. It's not the grandiose earporn fest that most Ace Combat are, but it's the best they could do and it's pretty neat. Also the sound design was another impressive aspect, big attention to details and lots of quality effects that really suprised me, specially in VR.
(PS : There is conquest mode, how neat is that ? It does wonders for the replayability of the game.)

This concludes my recorded journey through the skies, it was one hell of an experience and I hope I managed to convey some of it through this post. As for me, I will continue to play flight sims I haven't tried but outside of this marathon format. I have Star Wars Squadron, VTOL VR, Warplanes VR (ww1/2) and DCS lined up, I think I'll even give VR chat flight sim a shot, I've heard they've got some suprisingly great stuff over there. I'm not about to touch ground any times soon.
In the meantime, fly safe(ish) and see you in the skies !
submitted by KaptinSalazoo to acecombat [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 04:08 nullpointer_sam I bought a house and it came with strange rules Part 3

Previous part
Hello again, I know it's been a long time since my last post and I'm sorry for the lack of update. I thought my story wasn't that interesting enough so I decided not to continue updating you with this, but recently y found out about one of those videos on youtube that narrates these stories with a robotic voice, the comments had a lot of people wanting to know more about what's happening to me with the house.
I was fixing some grammar issues before hitting the "Post" button when the book fell from the shelf, and then I wrote that sentence before standing up and reading the book. The cover was made of very worn-out leather, lots of hands may have passed through it several times to feel the texture. I opened it and read the title on the first page: "Around the world in eighty days" by Jules Verne.
Nothing happened during the first five minutes, and then the floor started trembling for a few seconds. Just when I thought that was it, it started again louder and harder with a whistle that almost broke my eardrums.
The book closed on my hands and silence returned to the room. After that, I had to sit down for a minute because I felt my heart was stopping.
The house didn't let that night slide either, I heard steps coming from the hall all night. They were lightweight and pointy, like the ones a woman with high heels would make walking down a wooden floor. It stopped after 1 am.
Now you know how that day ended.
I would lie to you if I say that I have been living in the house all this time along, but also if I say otherwise. Truth is, I took rule 9 and reach its limit most of the time staying most of the days of the month outside and spending no more than 2 days here. The first couple of months were easy, I slept in my best friend's house creating excuses for not being here: fumigations, paintings, repairs... You named it.
The rest of the time I took advantage of my work, some new clients were those elderly businessmen who prefer seeing someone face-to-face rather than a screen. Sadly, that contract ended and I couldn't come up with more excuses to not be here.
I kept writing about everything that happened to me since. You will find below an edition of the most interesting things that happened.
December 2nd / 2022
You know that feeling when you are returning back home or school after a long vacation. That moment when you are just turning the key of the door, knowing that time is over and your life must return to its normal course... But still, you can feel some sort of joy.
This is not my case. This is supposed to be my home, the opportunity to start my life in the best way possible... And there was me, a couple of minutes ago, standing, thinking about my options and creating ideas while getting closer to the door.
When I entered the house everything was exactly how I left it, with a little bit of dust. This time I came with some groceries, I had to eat during the week and think about what I was going to do with the house. Also bought some food for Brook, he saved my laptop and I never rewarded him.
I put my fingers in my mouth and let out a big whistle. For the first 10 seconds nothing happened, the sound echoed through the walls of the first floor and I was standing again in silence. Then I saw the big ball of hair, waving its tail, running towards me from the living room.
I walked to the kitchen and poured the bag of food into the named bowl. I had a weird mix of feeling while watching him eat.
A normal dog would have died without food or water, the most probable thing is that he was feeding up from moss creatures or the guests. I felt the same looking at the silver bell for the butler. Getting caught by them must be worse than any other creature here... at least they are on my side.
I left Brook to eat and started cooking myself some food. It was 4:33pm, and cooking and cleaning would take me at least 35 minutes, but the kitchen has a window that leads to the backyard.
Let me tell you, that thing outside has some sort of pressure on your curiosity. It knows that once you see it and recognize it you are done, the effort I had to make to not look at it last time was huge and I was only passing through for some instants. So I took the tablecloth and cover the window, it was an opaque white so I couldn't see through.
That worked very well. I didn't feel any curiosity about what was on the other side of the cloth while cooking, looks like the rule never contemplated blocking the view to the backyard. My day ended without any issues, I went upstairs and slept after some hours.
I wish I could end this entry here, saying that my arrival at the house was good and didn't have any problem at all. I must be crazy to think that this place would have some sort of patience... or that the entities would give me a day of grace.
The next morning I went downstairs around 8 am to make myself some coffee, and that's when I saw it. The floor in the kitchen was a mess, a giant puddle of that black substance coming from the insides of the lady when the Butler mashed her head on the bookshelf. The puddle had a trace leading to the backdoor of the house, on the way I saw some irregular scratches on the floor and the doorframe had these... handmarks. Whatever it was, it didn't want to go to the backyard.
The cloth was still hanging, and when I read what was on it the message was clear.
"Bach won't come"
January 1st / 2023
I hope you had a good new year's eve.
Normally, people use this date as an excuse to throw a big party, either with friends or family, creating the best environment to close a lap and begin a new one.
Yesterday, I spent all day at my friend's house. Everyone cheered when the bells rang, and his family hugged me and wished me a good year. After that I had to get home on foot, there weren't any drivers in that zone.
Turning the key front door key led me to the worst scenario I have ever been in. It's impossible to quantify the number of people that were inside the house, but more than 50 would be a good guess. Everywhere you looked at would see people dressed as aristocrats, everyone cheered and clapped after seeing me. A tall man, dressed in a red suit full of sequins and another of those ridiculous wigs came to me.
Then, the woman grabbed the man by the forearm and pulled him away.
I knew it was a matter of time before this turned into a disaster, but also didn't know what would happen if I left the house with so many guests inside.
During December I had lots of encounters with these guests, I was able to persuade them to leave the house 90% of the time, but the other 10% left... Well, I left it hands of the Buttler.
Nevertheless, I started hiding objects to use as weapons to defend myself in case I lost the bell or if Mr Bach decided not to help me anymore.
I slowly began to walk towards the large sofa in the living room, between the cushions was an axe I bought at a local hardware store, even asked the guy to sharpen the edge as much as he could.
The voices started to fade away and the eyes of the guest started to focus on me. I grab my backpack and pulled out the bell, the sound vibrated throughout the whole house, making the echoes the last noise I heard before complete silence.
The Buttler looked around the whole house, the guests were now standing still with their eyes fixed on me.
One of them ran towards me, screaming with that unhuman voice, but was intercepted by Mr Bach's glove, grabbing his face and throwing it against the chimney. All of the other creatures started screaming and contorting, the sound of bones breaking and appendages ripping away the skin almost drowned my whistle. Their mouths opened until the jaw was broken, showing now a set of endless sharp teeth.
Brook charged against one that was bout to get me on my back. After biting it, he shook his head breaking the tissues and spreading that black substance over the floor and walls.
I tried to maintain my position, Mr. Bach and Brook got my back so if I need to worry only to keep my front safe. But none of us expected one of those things to crawl through the ceiling, it grabbed me with those claws but I managed to hit it with the handle of the axe on the head. It threw me over the creatures, landing on the other side of the house near the kitchen.
A group of teeth and claws was keeping me away from my only chance to survive the night, and the only way to escape was through the stairs. I ran upstairs, the space was narrow so the creatures could only go one at a time.
I managed to get to the second floor after 50 steps, and without losing time I went through the hall as fast as I could. But one of the things managed to get me on my feet. I fell to the ground and dropped the axe, and then something happened. The door of the bathroom opened, hitting the creature and leaving it stunned for a few seconds. That allowed me to grab the axe and cut the arm that was grabbing me.
Now back on my feet I reached the window and jumped through the crystal. This time I fell on the couch immediately, where a white glove pulled me by the arm making me stand again.
I stood strong this time, taking care not only of my front but the things above me, grabbing my axe so hard that my hands started to burn.
I don't know how much we were there. An axe wasn't the best object to use as a weapon, but one good blow was enough to get rid of those things. However, two of them managed to wound me with their claws on the left shoulder and leg. But thanks to Brook and Mr Bach I had no serious wounds.
A beam of light went through the main frame, and the last howl was shut by a swing of the axe, beginning the first dawn of the year.
The first floor was filled with that black substance, the bodies were on top of each other making it almost impossible to walk through the living room. I collapsed on the couch, dropping the axe, which now can be used more as a hammer.
I wanted to cry, but my fatigue allowed me to only catch my breath while looking dead at the ceiling. Mr Bach approached with some bandages, helping me with my wounds.
Brook barked and waved its tail, he was also covered in that dirty stuff. I stood up and walked to the stairs, with hatred in my eyes as I was approaching a voice interrupted my thoughts.
January 12th / 2023
After almost two weeks new year's incident, things went pretty normal. I only had two encounters with the guests and both of them were easy to persuade. Whatever lies in the backyard have been more active after the incident with the curtain, before that It only appeared to be a person standing at the back but now moves through the place taking different forms.
This creature is the one I fear the most, it's the only one I don't have any plan for if it decides to become hostile. Following the rule should keep me safe from it, but I'm not so sure knowing that it's capable of entering the house whenever it wants.
I always prepare my dinner before 5pm and leave it inside the fridge, so when the time comes I only have to spend the necessary in the kitchen. I was getting used to its behaviour... and It noticed.
A couple of minutes ago I went downstairs to grab my food. On my periphery saw how it was moving in the backyard, I don't know if I focused on him more than necessary or if it decided to remind me of something... But without any warning, it ran up towards the window, I turned away and covered my eyes to avoid any curiosity.
I had to crawl to the stair. The curses weren't that creative, but I lost my appetite when that thing started to tell private things and secrets about me with my father's voice.
February 1st - 2th / 2023
Edit: These were two entries I wrote when my best friend came to visit me. Since I bought it, Johnny wanted to come and take a look around the house. As I mentioned before, I made lots of excuses to avoid it, but by that time I ran out of "good reasons" to say no.
February 1st / 2023
After showing him the first floor Johnny approached the stairs.
I supposed this was going to happen, I read rule No. 9 the day before and pondered about it and concluded that was more like a suggestion... But I rang the bell just to be sure.
That confirmed my doubts regarding the knowledge of Mr Bach about the rules and its entities.
He left the room without saying any more words.
I was counting Johnny's steps. I trusted his speed, so I didn't have to worry about that. After 17 steps we reached the second floor, he just said that the house looked smaller from the outside.
We entered the studio and he was amazed by the great library. Both of us started working on our laptops, talking from time to time to rest from the work.
10 minutes after entering, Mr Bach came. Holding a tray with cups and a plate with butter cookies.
Although I indeed had a raise it was not enough to pay for a Buttler, thank god Johnny did not ask any more questions about it during the day. I thought that would be a peaceful day, but suddenly a book fell from the shelf.
I was worried while reading the book, if Johnny decided to engage in talking it would have been impossible for me to keep focusing on the book. Some murmuring started to fill the room, like a main whispering about its suffering.
Johnny was looking around for some time and I prayed that he didn't want to ask any more about it, thankfully he didn't give it more importance and went back to his work. After some minutes the book closed and I returned it to its shelf.
The day ended without any incidents.
February 2nd / 2023
Throughout our life is normal to be disappointed by our friends. Everyone makes mistakes and sometimes we expect too much from the people around us, even more, when they are close to us. But... How can you blame them when they're victims of paranormal things?
Johnny came again to my house, he told me on the phone that they were going to paint his room today and he enjoyed working on my study. He always helped me when I need it, so I couldn't say no... Now I think I should have.
It is said that the most dangerous road a driver can face is the one he frequents the most. Confidence plays against them, he gets cocky and causes an accident. All of this was happening as I was pushing Johnny upstairs.
While we were running I warned him to not look into the rooms, but he did it anyway. I jumped first through the window, but Johnny doubted for a second.
Then, we both fell on the couches of the living room. Johnny was in shock, he couldn't stop screaming and asking questions, but when turned around I saw what happens when you doubt even for a second.
He couldn't feel it because of the adrenaline, but his back was all shredded. One second was enough for what lured in the stairs to lacerate through his clothes and flesh. It was a matter of time before he start feeling the pain... or bleeding out, so I rang the bell.
Mr Bach was ordered to treat Johnny's wounds, and so he complied. He told me Johnny was lucky, the cuts were almost irregular enough to be impossible to treat.
After some minutes Johnny was calmed, maybe because of the blood loss, so we could talk normally. I told him everything about the house, the strange rules that Alex gave me and the reason for all the excuses. For the first time I didn't feel alone, I was free of this burden and broke into tears.
Night came and I told Johnny he needed to leave. The last thing I wanted was him overnight here. After gathering his thing we went to the door, suddenly he hugged me and told me that everything will be alright.
That made me feel better, knowing that I wasn't alone anymore. I went upstairs relieved, I have been struggling with this burden all alone and I had my friend right there the whole time. That wasn't going to solve my problems but at least it will drop some of the weights off my shoulders.
Rule No. 9 states that people will forget about the existence of the Buttler and the dog... But there is something I must add tomorrow. The true danger of the house doesn't lie in the uninvited guests, the thing in the backyard or what lurks on the staircase...
1 New Message
Johnny: Jesus dude, It's still awesome that you have your own house. I love the study on the sec0ond floor, I feel more productive on it. Do you mind if I go tomorrow again?
March 23th/2023
I never thought I would say this... but I got used to the house.
Running upstairs has become very common, even though it only happens every other day and I even started to enjoy some of the conversations with the guests before... taking them out.
My last entrances to this diary have been two or three sentences, so there is no point in writing them here... but today something happened:
I was working on the study when a book fell. As I said, all of these things have become very normal to me, and in this particular case, I see this as a pause to relieve my mind. "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz", I took it and sat down starting from the beginning.
I usually put my phone on "do not disturb" mode while I'm at the study, this prevents me from distracting either by work or the reading sessions... And I think I will start leaving it outside of the room.
I may have looked away for two seconds, but that was enough to piss off that thing. A deafening roar filled the room, the wall behind me was destroyed by a wind rush and I was thrown out.
I landed far away, rolled through some fields and finally stopped near a tree. The sky was pitch black, barely illuminated by some flashes of lightning each second. Behind me was a giant tornado, heading towards my direction.
The room was up on a hill, it was like a surrealistic painting of a study built in the middle of a field. I ran towards it as fast as I could.
I felt the tornado's force pulling me while running uphill, and as I was about to reach the room I tripped with something and fell to the ground.
Some branches grabbed my shoes and a rotten hay face was emerging from the ground and looked back at me.
The tornado was getting closer, so I just untied my shoe and ran away. I jumped over the desk, grabbed the phone and the laptop and headed towards the door, hearing the room getting ripped as I was passing through.
I sat down on the floor, taking a moment to get my breath.
It was there when I read the message that almost cost my life.
[Unknown number]: Hey Samuel, it's Alex... We need to talk.
submitted by nullpointer_sam to u/nullpointer_sam [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 04:04 djakofalltrades Is this pattern off or am I just misunderstanding the numbers?

I’m shaping the neck of my bottom-up sweater. I understood the back panel, and shaped the neck no problem. However, I am having troubling picturing this in my head and want someone to tell me if I’m just overthinking.
Currently, I have 78 stitches on my needles and this is what the pattern is telling me to do:
Continue working in pattern sequence until front measures 201⁄2/22“ (52/56 cm) from cast on edge. Mark center 6/8 sts on last row for neck, with 28/32 sts on each side of markers. Note: Please read through this next section carefully before starting to knit. You will be shaping shoulders and neck AT THE SAME TIME and will need to keep track of bind off sts at each edge separately. Shape Neck: Next Row (RS): Work in pattern to neck marker, slip 28/32 sts just worked to waste yarn for left side; bind off center 6/8 sts, removing neck markers, knit to end – 28/32 sts. Right Side: Work 1 WS row, then bind off 3 sts at the beginning of the next RS row, work all WS rows in pattern as established, then bind off 2 sts at the beginning of the next 2 RS rows, then bind off 1 st at the beginning of the next RS row, work 3 rows even, then bind off 1 st at beginning of the next RS row. AT THE SAME TIME, when front measures 23/241⁄2” (58/62) from the cast on edge, shape right shoulder. Shape Shoulder: Bind off 9/10 sts at the beginning of the next WS row, continue to work neck shaping if needed, then bind off 9/10 sts at the be- ginning of the next WS row, then bind off 9/11 sts at the beginning of the next WS row. Fasten off.
I think what I don’t understand is why it is asking me to mark centre 6 stitches with 28 on each side of the markers when I have 78 stitches total. The math isn’t making sense to me. Please help!
submitted by djakofalltrades to knitting [link] [comments]