Picnic table metal legs
Rules for exercising: Walking Part 1.
2023.03.25 03:04 catschr0dinger Rules for exercising: Walking Part 1.
“Just going for a walk Em. I’ll be back soon!” I hollered down the hallway as I stood on the edge of the doorway, leaning on the front door with my keys in my hand.
“Alright, I’ll get started on dinner. How’s salmon sound?” My wife called back from the lounge room.
“Sounds delicious love!” I said, swinging on my jacket and walking out the front door and shutting it. I strolled down my driveway and onto the footpath. Turning around the corner to make my way to the walking track near my house, I inhaled a big breath of fresh night air. The sky was clear, and I had a stellar view of the stars. I felt so calm and the neighbourhood felt so serene. Ambling down the road, I nodded hello to anyone passing by me.
A couple blocks away from my home and only 50 metres from the walking track, I saw a guy who looked to be in his early-mid 30s dressed up in the most vibrant and flashy activewear I’ve ever seen. Even though it was mostly dark at this point, I was able to make out every detail simply due to how gaudy it was. It was like someone had taken a picture of normal sports clothes and turned the saturation up by 100%.
As I was ruminating on how in the actual hell this guy had bought clothes this bright, he almost walked head-on into me. I did an awkward shuffle to my left to let him pass by me, raising my hand in greeting.
He barrels past me, almost knocking me over. I stumble and regain my balance, straightening up and swiftly turning around, only to see him turn the corner. Slightly surprised by how fast he was walking, I try to push the rude encounter out of my mind, brushing imaginary dirt off my jacket. My hand caught on something, and I dug around in my jacket’s pocket only to pull out a crumpled piece of paper.
I unfolded it to reveal what looked like a rule set. Uneasiness crept into my stomach and I got a strange sense of deja vu. For the life of me though, I couldn’t imagine what could even make me feel deja vu like this. And then I remembered the creepy swimming pool rules and that Reddit post. I’d managed to forget them, but it looked like the rules weren’t done with me yet.
How’d this even get in my pocket anyway? The man in impossibly bright active wear who’d brushed past me earlier had barely touched me for more than a second. There was no way he’d managed to put that in my pocket, but there was no other explanation.
I honestly don’t know. I have no idea why this piece of paper immediately filled me with dread and why I was reacting so strongly to it. I’m normally a pretty level-headed person. I sank down onto the curbside, my legs feeling unsteady. I started to read it.
Hey, to whoever’s reading this. I’m sorry I can’t explain this in person, but I can’t take the chance that you may be someone who means me harm in disguise. That’s why I thought up this (genius, if I do say so myself) system where I write the rules down and print them out to hand around to anyone I see walking. Copy the rules if you get home and make as many duplicates as you can to hand out to other people. Of course, keep one for yourself, remembering these off by heart isn’t ideal.
- Wear the brightest and most colourful clothes you can, it hurts their eyes to look at you. (Yes, that’s why I look like a parrot.)
- Try not to walk alone (unless you’re experienced like me), you seem like less of a target that way. And if they do attack, it’s 50/50 whether they go for you or your friend. I like those odds a lot more than death, don’t you?
- Keep your walks of a medium length. Don’t stay out for too long, and don’t be too short. Try to find that sweet spot in between. Making it too short makes them act desperately, they think their meal’s getting away which makes them more likely to attack and thus, it is more probable for you to die. Too long, and they get bored. Plus, who has time for a long walk?
- Don’t run at any point. This turns your walk into a run, which has a different ruleset. I can’t help you there, sorry. I’ve never run (for a hobby) before.
- Have a shower before walking. If you’re sweaty, you smell more appetizing.
- Walking to your car, or across the street to visit your neighbour isn’t considered a ‘walk’. In my experience, it seems to be that walking for 300m or longer starts the ‘walk’.
- You may run if you are within 100m of your home (and something is chasing you. No use starting up a ‘run’ for no reason). Any further and your walk turns into a run as I said before.
- Learn to speedwalk. There are times when you need to get away fast, but can’t run. Watch some professional walkers on YT or something. There’s also the Olympic event, I find it more entertaining to watch than some rando on YouTube. But definitely watch how to get the proper form first for speedwalking, though.
- Trust your gut. Good advice for life, really, but goes doubly for walking. If you feel like something’s off, it probably is. And best you end your walk early than face the consequences of seriously misjudging a deadly situation. Better safe than sorry, as I always say.
- Don’t listen to music or podcasts. You need to be attentive at all times.
- Try not to seem nervous. They read body language very well and this just makes them itch to hunt. They’re predators and any skittish behaviour immediately makes them classify you in their head as prey.
- Don’t mistake them for dumb, big predators. They are very intelligent, for one and are much, much more than some stupid carnivore. Thinking like that’s just underestimating them, and misjudging them is such a dumb way to go.
Hope this helps you out and I wish you an awesome life stranger. Stay safe.
The paper shook in my hands and my vision blurred. I buried my head in my hands and felt my fear begin to overwhelm me.
“Why?” I murmured. “Why me? Why’d this have to happen to me? Why is this even happening?’’
Shaking my head to clear my mind, I tried to focus. Breaking down wouldn’t help me. I needed to figure out how to get home safely. The rules had probably kicked in by now - I’d definitely walked far enough - and walking home would probably be a death sentence in my state. I wasn’t focused, and I knew I could never follow the rules properly like this. I was only a couple blocks from home though, so maybe I could make a break for it? I could probably maintain a sprint that long. And if I couldn’t, I was sure adrenaline would be able to pick up my slack.
A stupid idea in retrospect.
Taking a few deep, calming breaths, I managed to compose myself. Forming my fists into a tight ball, I rubbed my eyes to clear them. I inhaled one more time and sprung to my feet, ready to run. Dancing on the balls of my feet with nervous energy, I realised that however anxious I was, I couldn’t let it show. Forcing my tense shoulders to relax, I spun on my heel to face back towards my house. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of two eerie glowing orbs, just observing me. How long had that thing been there? Had it been there from the start? Or had it only just appeared?
Had it always been there and I’d just driven past it on my way to work every day without the slightest clue?
These thoughts managed to shatter any semblance of composure I once had. It wasn’t hard, honestly, I was so tense and wired that even breaking a twig could’ve caused me to snap and lose my cool.
I ran. I ran for all I was worth, and then some. I flew home, absolute terror fueling each step I took. I’ve never run that fast in my life, and I doubt I will again. I was tiring fast, after all, I’ve barely run since high school, when I heard frantic stomping behind me that was almost like human footsteps but way too heavy for it to be that. I definitely could have been imagining them, but somehow I don’t think I did. I increased my speed, finding an extra reserve of energy deep within my body and pumped my arms even harder, my legs working overtime. It seemed to work for a bit. The footsteps faltered but then doubled in speed. Despite my best efforts, the plodding footsteps behind me seemed to be gaining. Whatever it was seemed to realise that too, and it slowed minutely, matching my pace so neither of us was gaining on the other. It was toying with me. It knew I couldn’t keep this pace up for much longer and that it had all the time in the world. I swore those footsteps sounded almost predatory.
I almost lost hope then. I almost stopped running and just gave myself up to it. But I didn’t. I couldn’t. I won’t do that to Em. I resolved to keep running until my inevitable end.
Somehow, someway, I made it to my street. I skidded around the corner and almost fell over when I saw what greeted me. Construction workers. Shit.
In my ignorance and desperation to get away, I’d ignored the rules for running. And in doing so, I’ve cornered myself between death and… death. I was completely screwed. I needed to run past the construction workers (that had definitely not been there when I’d left so they were 100% of the supernatural kind) to get home.
My shoulders slumped. I dropped to the ground in absolute despair. This was it. I’d never see my wife again, never see her smile or laugh or groan in familiar exasperation at one of my puns. Never get to eat that piece of cake I was saving for later. Never experience the rest of my life, or even return to my monotonous office job.
I lay on the ground, all the fight sucked out of me. I waited for whoever would get me first, the thing chasing me or the construction workers, whatever they really were. I kept waiting. At one point, I wished that one of them would just hurry up and get it over with. I hated the suspense. After a while, I just lost all sense of time, wallowing in a pool of self-pity, laid out on the ground. At some point, I think I came to the realisation that at least, the thing that had been chasing me earlier was gone. Maybe it was afraid of the construction workers and didn’t dare approach closer than I already so stupidly had. I didn’t really care, as long as it was gone.
And as I came to my senses, an ominous clanking and rattle of hammers, drills and various other tools filled my ears and drowned out any other sound. I realised that this had been playing in the back of my head the whole time I’d been on the ground and I’d just been tuning it out. Now, all I could hear was the clang of metal on metal. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t tune it out as I’d previously been able to do. And now that I was aware of it, it had some kind of hold over me. I couldn’t ignore it to the slightest degree.
I stumbled away, cradling my head and blocking my ears, wishing desperately that the sound would just. Go. Away.
I felt unsteady, almost like I was drunk. I stumbled about walking in a random direction, not caring where I ended up. I don’t know for how long or how far I walked, only that I wanted those godawful sounds to stop. My head spun and I collapsed on the ground, the sounds of a hammer striking a nail still ringing throughout my head.
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2023.03.25 03:03 kayenano The Villainess Is An SS+ Rank Adventurer: Chapter 3
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Juliette Contzen is a lazy, good-for-nothing princess. Overshadowed by her siblings, she's left with little to do but nap, read … and occasionally cut the falling raindrops with her sword. Spotted one day by an astonished adventurer, he insists on grading Juliette's swordsmanship, then promptly has a mental breakdown at the result.
Soon after, Juliette is given the news that her kingdom is on the brink of bankruptcy. At threat of being married off, the lazy princess vows to do whatever it takes to maintain her current lifestyle, and taking matters into her own hands, escapes in the middle of the night in order to restore her kingdom's finances.
Tags: Comedy, Adventure, Action, Fantasy, Copious Ohohohohos.
Chapter 3: Kingdom In Debt
There were more empty chairs than usual today.
Dinner was becoming a rather solitary affair, wasn't it? In my memories, I could hear the grandstanding and the laughter as my brothers and sisters fought, argued, laughed, and did something that was a mixture of all three.
That was many years ago now.
A tragic thought, considering I surely wasn't old enough to be able to look back on times gone by. Yet time ran swiftly for royalty. Especially at dinner.
I placed my napkin down on my plate, satisfied at a meal shorn of any wonky carrots, if not the crumbliness of the sweet potatoes.
The plates belonging to my mother and father were long cleared. Clarise was dining alone in the observatory, dabbling as she did in her trinkets and toys. The rest were working. Dinner, still. But working dinners nonetheless.
My eldest siblings were enamoured with politics, and were thus exempt from our mother and father's fussing. Even without being given the choice, they would dine with the daughters and sons of the Ducal Houses.
Already, there were rumours of factions as influence ebbed and flowed between them.
I didn't believe any of it, of course. In other nations, other kingdoms, perhaps. But not this one. House Contzen did not do in-fighting. Except when Roland let out the most abominable of smells while sharing a carriage with Tristan. Then there was blood. Usually when Mother put a stop to it.
Otherwise, we were well behaved … if not exactly normal.
Yes, even for someone as far removed from normality as I, even I could recognise that what I was seeing in front of me was not normal. And I was not referring to the untouched confit de canard braised with hot oranges. No, that was just eccentric. And disgusting. Please don't ever make it again.
No, what I knew was not normal … was the 14 layer cake that was threatening to either touch the ceiling or collapse the table beneath its weight.
“Did you enjoy today's gratin dauphinois de patates douces, dear?” asked Mother, beaming with excitement as she lowered her teacup. She'd finished drinking it over ten minutes ago. “The spring harvest is truly bearing fruit this year. Everything was delectable.”
Next to her, Father gave a chuckle as he toyed with an orange from the fruit basket. I wondered if that's why they all tasted somewhat shrivelled up.
“The stewards say that this year's yields will be our finest yet,” he said. “The markets will be teeming with people from all across the continent for our seasonal wares.”
I cocked my head and gave a puzzled smile. Wasn't that what the stewards said last year? And the year before last?
If so, it'd mean that quantity was truly no replacement for quality. What good was more food if I could only stomach less of it? The bourguignon d'agneau was overdone, the gougeres were dry and the oeufs en meurette were the consistency of tepid pond water. How could I live in these conditions?
Why, if I didn't know better, I'd almost say that the food tasted ... old
. It's a wonder I was still alive!
“That brings joy to my heart,” I replied, pushing my semi-emptied plate away. A maid immediately scooped it up and retreated to the kitchens. “Our beautiful kingdom can only be made richer still by the presence of so many curious visitors experiencing the fruits of our labours.”
“Well spoken, my dear. Wealth begets wealth. Ours is a prosperous land. And it is only both wise and fair that it's enjoyed by people from across every realm.”
My father smiled with unabashed enthusiasm. I couldn't help but smile in return. Even though I knew that we were simply avoiding the main subject here.
The extremely gaudy 14 layer cake smothered in cream and strawberries.
“Mother, Father.” I let out a small cough. “The cake. I can't help but notice that the maids began assembling it during dinner.”
“Oh, goodness, did you notice?” said Mother, looking sheepish. “I hope it didn't ruin the surprise. I actually hoped that the construction process would have been rather more discreet.”
“No, Mother, they were very discreet. Why, when the topmost layer began toppling over, I barely noticed as three of the maids locked arms to prevent a collapse, while another utilised a halberd from the wall to lodge it back into position.”
My mother let out a sigh of relief.
“Good, good. Then I suppose it hasn't all been to waste.”
“That would depend. The question needs to be asked. Why, Mother and Father, do we have such an extravagant cake prepared?”
“For you, of course!”
Both Mother and Father smiled at me. I smiled back, as all my tutelage taught me. I was quite proud of this. Because inside, I wasn't smiling. Oh no. Not at all. I was peering down a chasm as wide as the ground once this table inevitably collapsed under the weight of this cake.
Because as certain as the fact that all the maids had conspicuously retreated from the hall, a cake on a day where no cake should be served was the guillotine for my good, if slightly strange day.
“I see.” I swallowed. Hard. “Thank you. It looks wonderful.”
“You're very welcome, dear. The strawberries are your favourite variety. And the cream was only whipped minutes before the cake was assembled.”
“Yes, the gleam is very enticing. However, I must apologise. The occasion has completely evaded me. If I may be so bold as to ask, why are you gifting me with such a luxurious cake, topped with my favourite strawberries and freshly whipped cream?”
My mother elbowed my father, who elbowed my mother, who kneed my father, who shouldered my mother, who headbutted my father.
“My dear,” said Father, his eyes spinning slightly. “Do you remember Duke Hallingsey?”
“I do. He visited two years ago. His beard left a strange trail on the floor as he walked. I could not tell whether it was hair or something living inside it.”
“That's the fellow! And what do you think about his son?”
“I'm afraid I didn't meet him. He was, if I recall, too busy introducing himself to the statues in the gardens. Should I ask them if he was charming?”
My father's smile quivered momentarily. I couldn't tell if he was struggling to maintain his forced expression, or if I'd simply said something to actually amuse him.
“Darling,” said Mother. “Duke Hallingsey's son is a worthy match for you. Although it's true that in the past he was known for his eccentricities, he has been tempered into a fine young man. Just as you are a fine young lady. All we're asking for is a meeting.”
“Just a meeting?”
“Just a meeting. And also marriage plans.”
“I see. Thank you, Mother and Father. It's as you say, the son of Duke Hallingsey is a fine match. I will, of course, consider this meeting in due course. Once I've made my decision, I'll inform you immediately.”
I nodded, smiled, and rose from my—
Rose from my—
I looked down.
Hmm. Interesting. I wasn't rising from my seat.
Despite my legs clearly working to eject me from this chair, the fact remained that I was firmly stuck to it. Only the chair itself moved, its heavy wooden frame budging by approximately half an inch as I forced my muscles to push against what felt like a wall.
I smiled at my parents.
“Why am I stuck to this chair?”
Mother leaned forwards and cut a small slice of cake. She placed it over a plate, considered me, then began nibbling on the end instead.
A wise choice. Offering me the cake would have been offering me a weapon.
“A troll caravan visited the villa earlier. They touted us a new invention created by the greatest minds of the Mage's Guild. The traders called it … what was it, darling?”
“Yes, that's it. Super glue. Its efficacy is stunning, wouldn't you say? It creates an unbreakable bond between almost any material. Why, we even managed to fix the crookedness of your grandfather's portrait. It no longer tilts on its own.” Crank. Crank. Crank.
I scraped the chair across the marble floor as I forced it to move one chair leg at a time.
“Yes, highly impressive,” I replied. “Almost as much as your attempts to marry me off.”
“Really, dear!” said Mother. “There could be worse matches. If Duke Hallingsey's son isn't quite your cup of tea, then there's also—”
“Neither Clarise nor Florella are married. And Roland and Tristan's engagements are indefinitely postponed.”
“Your brothers and sisters are working hard to secure the future prospects of this kingdom in their own ways, dear. It's not necessary for them to remove themselves from a table they may still use for their advantage.”
“I can do that when I'm older. The same as them. Why is this being discussed now? What is this about? This is quite clearly out of the blue. Your last attempts to marry me off at least came with a hint of subtlety.”
“Oh? You actually knew?” Mother's eyes lit up with triumph as she turned to Father. “You see? I told you she wasn't tone deaf to social nuance. She was just being difficult.”
“I'm not tone deaf and I'm not difficult,” I said, continuing to noisily slide my chair towards the nearest door. “Now, why are we, and I mean the both of you, suddenly seeking a marriage arrangement for me?”
My mother looked at my father. This was all the bad news she was willing to give.
“We're bankrupt,” he cheerfully said, before accepting a piece of the cake being offered by my mother. “Gosh, we overpaid for these strawberries, didn't we?”
“Dry as a wicker basket. I told you so, darling.”
“I apologise. Next time, do ignore me if I try to go with my gut instincts. You need to be more incessant.”
“I try. But you've failed so much with your gut instincts that you're always convinced the next will be correct.”
“Well, a streak has to break at some point, doesn't it?”
I slammed my palms down on my thighs. I could hear the glue setting even further. My regret was deep.
“How are we bankrupt?! Do you mean to say that we're … that we're … poor?!”
Father nodded as he slid a crystal glass of amber wine towards himself.
I almost fainted on the spot. Although I wasn't sure how much of it was due to physical exertion. Chairs were remarkably heavy.
“The truth is that the previous years have been rather difficult for the kingdom, dear. The promised crop yields never materialised. Ships have ceased to trade at our ports owing to the pirates in our straits. Rival criminal syndicates plague the capital and monsters stalk the open roads, all the while our soldiers must stand vigilant against the continued skirmishes on our eastern border. Our forests are beset with unfathomable snow and a hole into the abyss has been discovered in our mines. Oh, and Duke Valence is in open revolt. Really, it's been one thing after another. We've done what we can do stifle the effects. But there is only so much we can do. Our vaults are now empty. Would you like a slice of cake?”
I stopped skidding forwards, then slowly, twisted my chair around.
This … This sounded awful?!
“Why didn't I hear about this before?!”
My father smiled kindly at me.
“There was no need to tell you, dear. And in truth, we may well have not needed to. Your brothers and sisters are securing alliances, loans and deals as we speak. There are promising winds, if nothing more. If all goes well, then perhaps this marriage proposition is not needed, after all.”
My arms fell to the chair's sides.
My brothers and sisters. So they knew. But of course they did. They were the shining stars of the kingdom. And what was I, but a princess in her tower?
I thought back to the days of sloth I enjoyed. To the scandals and the villainy I read about in my books. To the countless hours I'd spent tending to the apple trees, napping in the grass and shooing away any force of nature that dared disturb me. I … well, I did not regret a single moment of any of that.
But I did feel terrible. I wasn't a help. I was a burden.
This … This cannot be allowed to continue!
I am Juliette Contzen … and I refuse to be poor! I had ... I had living standards to maintain!
“I understand, Mother, Father. Please rest assured that I'll devote all thought towards restoring our family's … no, our kingdom's finances. As your daughter ... and as the 3rd princess to the throne, I solemnly promise that I will not permit our noble country to fall into the throes of destituteness.”
The expressions on my parents' faces were brighter than even my sword, which had lit up the orchard as though I were wielding a star.
In that moment, I knew what I had to do.
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2023.03.25 02:59 coalflints This is censorship! RE4 was only popular because of the panty shots!
2023.03.25 02:32 YukiteruAmano92 There Will Be Scritches Pt.90
---2681 Terran Calenda32 years BF---
The lid closes, sealing me into the coffin sized space.
I take a few moments to run a final diagnostic on my four artificial limbs. All returned values are nominal.
The parts of myself that I have to worry about are those still made of flesh
The only sign that I’ve been accelerated to a whole number percentage of the speed of light is the slight shudder that the infiltration pod’s internal inertial dampeners are not able to compensate for and the vacuum light turning from green to red, indicating it’s not safe to exit.
My suit is sealed and pressurized around my organic head and torso, so it’s not as if I would suffocate
… No… I’d just harmlessly splatter against the side of those monsters’ ship!
… I don’t give a damn about my worthless life
but I do
give a damn about making those scum pay
for what they’ve done
… So I can’t die yet
… not until old Auntie Terra has seen a return on every
she’s invested in me!
I know what I am… I know what the Phoenix Brigade is…
Little more than suicide the long
A home for the hopeless
… a promise of the opportunity for some
satisfaction before death.
Is it ethical… hell
Am I going to take every
advantage of it… hell
The light turns green and, a twentieth of a second later, the lid is blasted from my pod and me a long with it.
I’m thrown a full 17ft in the air and, once I’ve judge that I don’t need to brace myself against impact with the ceiling, I turn my attention downward.
The idiot xenos still have their ugly faces turned to the 8ft long missile that just crashed into their gun deck and not at the 6’7’’’s worth of black, durasteel death
that just burst from it.
None of them are close enough for me to hit on the way down but I’m able to calculate exactly
which direction I need to dash when I hit the ground.
I touch down and the ten retractable claws on my synthetic legs rip through the flimsy metal of the floor as I bound toward the largest and closest xeno here.
Its chest has the consistency of butter
as I plunge the durasteel claws of my flattened right hand through it, point first.
The xeno sack of shit (I’d guess to be no more than 300lb, despite looking like it should
weigh more than a ton
) hits the deck and I’m already decapitating the one next to him with the edge of my palm.
The next one at least has time to draw its kinetic pistol before my fist punches a six inch hole in its weak plastic chest plate.
The final two scream, uselessly, as I surge towards them on all fours then smash their heads into eachother, silencing them.
I cast around, scanning for any hostiles I missed. Finding none, I shorten my legs and lengthen my arms to suit quadrupedal locomotion better before flying from the room.
My mechanical arms and legs are well within their tolerances as their claws tear into the deck for traction.
The same can’t be said for my organic hip and shoulder joints which are screaming
protest at me for subjecting them to this much strain.
“Alkawa! Tarra na!” shouts a gardenworlder in a language my helmet can’t decode for me.
Its friend looks at it
instead of me
, an opening that I exploit to turn its head into a splatter pattern on the wall.
The one who noticed me has a quarter of a second to scream before I kick it to the ground and sever its head with a stomp to its neck.
I continue sprinting through the halls of the flagship that’s currently locked in battle with the dreadnought I was just shot from, about half a lightminute away.
My plasmadaggers stay in the compartments in my thigh cavities.
As much as they are useful tools for cutting through thick doors and the like, they have a major drawback when used against organic matter in confined spaces; the steam they generate hampers visibility.
Plus, their hardly
more effective than just using my clawed hands!
Wherever I come across one of the monsters, I dispatch it with ruthless efficiency.
The sympathy that the rest of Terra squanders
on these wastes of life is utterly infuriating to me!
aren’t here… and I am
will see no
sympathy from me!
I know that I’m approaching the Bridge from the map my helmet is feeding me when I round a corner and am confronted with a hastily erected barricade.
I dive back behind cover as a volley of kinetic and laser fire is levelled at me.
The wall panel behind where I was standing is crumpled and scorched by the barrage, though, given the overall quality of xeno construction, that doesn’t necessarily mean much
I activate a miniaturized camera in my left index finger and slide just that finger around the corner.
The feed is displayed on the inside of my helmet and allows me to examine the fortification I’m about to assault.
It’s about 50ft away, down the hall, and made of what looks like office furniture.
The lip is around 10ft from the ground with a dozen or so xeno heads and weapons poking out over the top.
It takes me 1.4 seconds to choose a route of best approach from those my helmet suggests, deactivate my fingercam and break from cover.
I tear down the hall at a speed no
one could ever
match using biological limbs.
I’m obviously not fast enough to dodge lasers or kinetic pulses… but I don’t actually need
to be… All I
need to do is move my body out of the way faster than those moronic xenos can aim their guns!
I’m still hit a few
times but it doesn’t do much more than buffet my body a little and make a few scorch marks in my armor.
When I’m practically point blank, I launch my self into the air.
Even though I have more than enough power to clear the top of the barricade in this weak gravity, I intentionally aim to clip the top of it with my body, my judgment being that flimsy xeno office furniture won’t stand up to the momentum of 500lbs of man and durasteel and that the impact will likely produce a blast of shrapnel like pieces that will eliminate some
of the work of putting these fuckers down.
My gamble pays off.
The one standing nearest catches a shard in the neck and falls.
Three more are hit in less vital areas that will still be partially incapacitating.
Crossfire kills as many as I do over the next few seconds until the ones left have the sense to draw their swords.
A tall one brings a screaming edge down on me but my hand shoots up to catch its wrist, uses its blade to parry the blow following from the other side, a fifth of a second after, and kill two more who happened to be standing close enough before folding the big one’s arm back on itself, impaling it on its own weapon.
and the remaining ones begin scrambling to get away… None of them do…
Dropping the head of the last of the barricade force onto the ground, I shorten my arms and extend my legs, making my way through the thick clouds of steam to the door of the Bridge.
It doesn’t open for me, obviously
(even xenos aren’t that
stupid) but, by the method of stabbing my claws into the seal, I’m able to gain enough purchase to leverage my enormous mechanical strength to force it open.
As I do I hear a round of pulse fire and enter the room to see the second to last of the Bridge crew slumping into its chair, its head reduced to pulp.
The only xeno left in the room, who neither died on the barricade nor spared me the effort by doing the job for
me, is a 15ft tall, white furred, six legged creature that looks like a giraffe.
It’s four empty hands are raised up with the palms facing me.
“We surrender, Terran! We surrender
!!!” It pleads in a language that’s been decoded enough that my helmet can translate it for me “There is no
It screams as I close my fist and swing a right hook into its left clavicle.
I only hit it with enough force to crack the bone and bring out a bright goldenrod color bruise but, from the way the impact buckles
its body, its spindly left foreleg very clearly breaks as well!
8ft of neck pass me by as the creature falls to the ground.
When its head is around a foot above mine, my left hand shoots up to grab one of its ossicone horns.
Suspending its head level with mine, I speak “Surrender
?! You want to surrender
!?!?!?… Don’t make me laugh
!… Did my wife
get the chance to surrender?! Did my daughter
I’ll give this giraffe thing credit: It’s braver than most who find themselves in its position. It hasn’t evacuated it’s bowels or bladder (or equivalents) that I can see and, while it’s clearly terrified and in agony, it’s still able to answer “I… would guess not
… Though I couldn’t say for certain without knowing where they served…”
“Where they served
…? Where they served
?!?!?!… Oh, let me tell
you where they ‘served
’! My wife served
as a technician at Clear Smiles Dental
Office!… My daughter served
as a fucking KINDERGARTNER
at Blue Spruce Nursery in New Aspen! Her name
! She was six
! She liked to fingerpaint
!… New Colorado had barely heard the War
had been declared when you showed up to rain fire
down on our cities
… You have the wrong
man… I have never been
to New Colorado and did not participate
in its decimation!” the giraffe thing interrupts.
“And yet HERE you stood
!!!” I scream “Until moments
ago you stood
here, commanding a fleet
fighting for the proposition that Terrans have lost our existing
privileges for nothing more than being frightening
to you!!! You commanded forces dedicated to the genocide
people! You wear this uniform… and you claim innocence
!?… As far as I can see, every single xeno in this fleet is just as guilty for what happened to my home as if they did the deed themselves
“I’m only doing what I’ve been told
! I would have been shot
if I had refused!” bleats the creature.
“Ah… so… you were only following orders
…(?)” I hiss, causing it to obviously realize that it said the wrong
thing “…the last
defense of every evil
being ever confronted with their crimes!” my visor retracts, revealing a burned, mutilated face “Orders
to me!… Your orders
cost me my arms, my legs, my city, my friends, my family, my LIFE
!… Do you have any idea
what that’s like!?”
…” admits the thing.
“Is that so
…? Well then, allow me to give you a taste
of it!” I say, my visor closing.
Dragging him by his ossicone, I stride to the panel in the center of the room. He whines protests and questions but I’m not listening.
I identify the port that I’m looking for and a cylindrical plug extends from the heel of my hand.
I jam it into the port and a moment later a computerized voice plays that my helmet is able to translate as saying “New Commander recognized.”
I look to the creature who’s command I just usurped for his reaction.
Confused is my guess…
I drag it to the bowward window and hold its head so it can see what’s about to happen.
“Computer; Target all Galactic Union ships in range!” I command.
Over the translated pleading and begging of the giraffe thing who seems now to realise his situation, I am able to discern the computer saying “Commander; that has been flagged as an action that bears significant tactical disadvan…”
! Target all GU ships!!!” I interrupt.
“All ships targeted, Commander.” announces the computer, its tone neutral, while the thing that’s horn I’m holding frantically and futilely attempts to countermand me.
!!!” I scream.
The xeno shields (the only thing that allows them to stand up to our barrages) are all concentrated forward, so their flanks are entirely exposed to their own flagship.
The thing weeps as space is illuminated with the burning ships of its comrades.
---2714 Terran Calenda1 year AF---
My durasteel claws gouge marks into the stones beneath my feet as I watch my marks walking, 100ft below me.
Though they are heavily guarded, none of their guards are armed.
Carrying weapons on the xeno capital world is strictly
against their laws.
An advantage of operating outside
the law is that I can
‘The Terran representative to the xeno parliament and the half sister of the arch traitor will be nice
little feathers in my cap!’ I think to myself, as I leap from the edge.
Thank you to my brand new Patreon
Next First Dramatis Personae
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2023.03.25 02:31 miniuniverse1 Correlation between various review websites and leg performance at the Box Office (2022)
After seeing some people across various subreddits saying that IMDB was very unreliable to indicate WOM, I decided to compile every movie in 2022 that (1) made over a million dollars domestically, and (2) had a IMDB, Rotten Tomatos, Metascore, and Cinemascore. I then compared them and found their r squared value to see the correlation.
- Imdb: 0.17575
- Cinemascore: 0.103527
- Rotten Tomatoes: .015399
- Metascore: 0.003014
Keep in mind that even though IMDB is the top of the list, the r squared value that is needed to be of significant correlation that I found was 0.7+. So what is the conclusion of this investigation? None of the websites don't really help indicate legs, at all, and if there is a perfect way to determine WOM and legs, its not through these websites. (At least for 2022)
Note I had to change the cinemascore one so F=0 and A+=12, and all the multiplier is only domestic.
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2023.03.25 02:25 Uvblue420 Skinwalkers In Michigan
Skinwalkers in Rural Michigan
I recently purchased a 10,000 lumen flashlight to illuminate the surrounding woods as I walk my dog in the evenings. I have been hearing some strange noises at night, and I figured it would be nice to see everything that boxes me in as I walk Max, my dog. But boy was I wrong. I should have been afraid of what can't be seen outside the veils of my iphone flashlight. What was to be exhumed by my flashlight terrified me to my core. This happened a week or so ago, November, 2nd 2022, Harrison Michigan. The evenings were approaching abruptly now. It was only 8:30pm when I decided to take my golden retriever on one last shit walk before I got settled in for the night. At this time, in rural Michigan at least, it’s pitch black. I cursed underneath my breath as I opened the door and peered out. Fuck, chilly and dark. God, why haven’t I moved south yet? Max was timid this evening, which was so really unlike him. Very strange. The darkness emanating from outside my house poured in like a disease. It was void of any color. Upset about not replacing my porch light, I pulled out my new amazon special, this week it was a 10,000 lumen flashlight. Feeling its expensive metallic body in my hands felt exonerating, and the excitement to use it overthrew any bad vibes Max was giving. He whimpered as soon as the door opened, he then put his tail between his legs and shivered. I scoffed at his weak tendencies here, this was so unlike him. I turned this ungodly bright flashlight on and showed it forward. “For fuck sake look Max, nothing to be afraid of y-” I was cut off. My mouth gaped at what was in front of me. Shown in the powerful beam of the flashlight was a contorted lanky humanoid figure. It slumped down from a standing position and got on all fours like a person miming a frog. Then it jerked its head up and sniffed the air. Animistically. It turned its head and bored its stare right into my eyes. Then it darted into a bush on the edge of the woods. The edge of the woods that surround my entire house. I heard leaves crackle and watched the skin colored creature dissipate into them. I focused the beam of my light directly onto that bush. It was incredibly bright and the bush appeared like high definition from the immense light, especially in contrast to the oily blackness that surrounded me. The bush shaked ominously, like a predator was inside, shifting around. A familiar feminine voice came from that bush. “Please help me… oh god please help… help… help mee…” And the leaves rustled again. Max whimpered in terror and got between my legs. I grabbed the baseball bat that I kept beside the front door for just such occasions and held it beside my head in a “ready to whoop” gesture, the other hand on my flashlight. I shakily started towards the bush from my door. Max bolted inside, leaving me completely alone. “Helllppppp meee” the voice cooed. The soft feminine coo of the voice crackled a little this time. Yeah, almost as if something was masquerading as a female, and luring me in. I was about 6 feet away by now, I could feel the blood pulsating in my temples. Goosh flesh ran down my body. “Helllpp,” deeper voice “Meeee!” An elongated ashy white arm flung towards me at ankle height. I instinctively stomped down on it. I heard cracking and sloshing from underneath my shoe. I stepped directly onto its wrist. I heard a shriek from inside the depths of that bush and the hand sprung up like a trap being set off. The strength possessed by this creature was unreal, it slung me to the ground and began to reel me into its bush where it resided. I screamed, smacked the arm with the bat as hard as I could and then lost control of the bat. It fell next to me as I was dragged closer to the bush, now my feet were inside the leafy abyss. The voice turned into my mothers voice. The clawed hands grasp on me tightened with tremendous strength and the nails dug into my skin through my pants. “Help me Nathaniel. Your mother needs help. I can't walk.” Yeah alright. I shined my light into the bush. What I saw still makes me tremble. It was my dead mothers face there alright, but atop an ashy white skinned humanoid skeleton with backward joints. The arms bent unnaturally opposite of how they should, the legs were bent like a frogs ready to pounce. The eyes were milky white, but were extremely intelligent and they gazed into my consciousness. With all of my force, I horse kicked my deceased mothers face and heard a massive crunch as my heel connected with her masqueraded nose. A profane yelp of pain blasted into the darkness of this B.F.E. where I lived. The grip on my leg loosened just enough from the blow for me to break free. I shot upright and turned to the door. I dropped my flashlight in this madness and couldn’t give a shit less. It could keep it for all I fucking cared. I bolted towards the door, and as I reached the halfway point I was Illuminated by a blinding bright light from behind. Almost like a spotlight beamed right onto me. My. Fucking. God. That thing had my flashlight and was pointing it directly at me. “Helpp… Nathaniel. Help me son.” The light started to bob up and down. Whatever was holding it was lurking closer and closer to me, and was gaining on me much faster than I was to the door. So much for not being able to walk. I ended up winning the foot race miraculously. I jumped inside my door and slammed it behind me. I heard a loud thump into the door immediately following its closure. My mothers late voice came again, beckoning me. “Son. You know your mother has taught you better than this. Let me in. Please, my son.” The light shone through the window at me, blinding me. Seeing spots and now disoriented, I fumbled myself up and managed to lock the door. Max was at the furthest point possible from the door, glaring at the door trembling in fear. Three solid knocks from the top of the door frame. Then the light was gone and I heard a metallic clunk, the thing must have dropped the flashlight on its retreat. The light now was gleaming off a huge tree. I watched a tall skinny humanoid creature with long contorted ligaments jerkily run towards that tree. His legs bent opposite of how our legs do, and same with the arms. Then it bent down in the same erratic way that it moved, and got onto all fours as it approached the tree. It paused a second and peered up the trunk. His head swiftly snapped to my face. Its now black and sunken eyes stared into my soul. I froze in terror as it climbed that trunk, with its face directly bored into me mind you, like squirrel. Scurrying right up it, never leaving contact with my eyes. The light undoubtedly should be blinding his vision, but the sense of intelligence of it knowing my existence was uncanny. Light didnt hurt it. As it ascended it smiled at me, a predatory grin. It disappeared into a purple dot that was still in my vision from when I was blinded by the flashlight. As I moved my head to try to see the creature, I watched tree leaves russell and saw no more of it. Yet. I locked the doors that night and cleaned up Max’s accidents from not going out. At night as I was asleep, I was awoken by my mothers soft voice from right outside the bedroom window. “Let me in Nathaniel..” Then directly following this motherly imitation came a 10,000 lumen flashlight beamed into my face. I heard the window slowly open, but I was blinded by the light.
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2023.03.25 02:23 RuleOk1687 My life is so unbelievable
When I was very young, my father was an alcoholic. He got sober when I was very young but I remember staying at grandma's house a lot and picking daddy up from jail.
I was restlessly bullied in grade and middle school, as well as the beginning of high school. I had a plan to kill myself, but one person who was a true friend at the time told the school counselor and I got the help I needed.
I began to separate myself from the bullies and made new friends. I smoked a lot of weed and drank a lot of alcohol. I woke up to a "friend" having sex with my unconscious body. his girlfriend found out and I became a slut and a homewrecker. I began experiencing panic attacks, often.
After high school I had no clue what I wanted to do so I attended community college and got a general associate degree in arts and sciences. I decided to party a lot and made the decision to move 12 hours from home at age 22.
I was still into drugs to cope. My neighbor sexually assaulted me and locked me in his apartment until he forced me out after forcing himself on me. I told my male roommate what happened and he was ready to kill him but I decided to pursue a protection order instead. At that time in that state, because I didn't reside in his apartment, they couldn't do anything to help me. I avoided him and tried to break my lease so no avail. I came home from work one night and found my rapist sitting at my kitchen table with my roommate standing over him. My roommate told me to go to my room and lock the door and call 911. I heard commotion, I peaked out my door while on the phone with 911 and saw blood everywhere. Once police and ambulance arrived I learned my rapist broke in and was waiting for me to get home but my roommate beat me there. He assaulted my roommate. My roommate was okay and rapist got arrested.
After that event, I moved in with my boyfriend because I was terrified to go home. My then boyfriend was very sick. I didn't know until I witnessed it. He had schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. He became extremely abusive. He threatened death to me, once locked me in a room for 3 days, pointed a gun at me, pulled the trigger anf then laughed when I flinchdd because it wasn't loaded. I finally had enough, told him I was leaving, we fought. I asked to go smoke a cigarette. He told me it's cold and to smoke inside. I went to grab a cigarette when I heard a blast. I look And he shot himself through the heart. The rest is a blur, I spent hours being questioned by police and ultimately released. I was so messed up and began using opiates and heroin to numb the pain.
I got in a relationship with another heroin addict. I got sick of living that way and went to rehab half dead. My ex refused to get help so we broke up. I went back to college to get a bachelor's degree in social work. I found out a year after our breakup that my ex killed himself.
I completed college and graduated Suma Cum Laude with perfect grades. I got a job helping domestic violence victims. After covid Iost that job. I ended up moving and finding a new relationship. I got a job in the mental health hospital.
One night on the last leg of my 12 hour shift, I began experiencing excruciating pain, couldn't stand up straight and kept tripping over my feet. I went home thinking I was just exhausted. Only the next morning, I couldn't walk at all. I was hospitalized and diagnosed with a degenerative neurological autoimmune condition that has left me permanently disabled on the right side of my body and I now use a crutch or crutches to walk. I found a wonderful job in my field that has literally saved my life.
I'm only 34 years old. If anyone who knows me reads this, they'll know who I am and I don't care. This is my story. If you read this far, thank you. I just needed to share my life story.
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2023.03.25 02:13 Alternative_Name_446 The Unstoppable Sophie! - Great Lore 1#
Heroine Status: Good Traits:
- She say what she want
- She put the others above herself
- Always on the morning, she take a long walk
- She always keep training
- Her lover
- Being a hero
- Action movies
- When her lover does not pay attention to her
- Dogs (slowly starting to like)
Carrots Favorite drink: *insert drink\
- Enhanced Strength
- Enhanced Durability
- Enhanced Speed
- Enhanced Reflexes
- Enhanced Stamina
- Enhanced Agility
- Enhanced Hearing
- Enhanced Leg Strength
- Enhanced Smell
- Master Martial Artist
- Master Acrobat
- High Pain Tolerance
- Indomitable Will
- Enhanced Instincts
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2023.03.25 02:07 Flimsy-Hedgehog-3520 I had ChatGPT roleplay an anthropomorphic cat. I thought it nailed the borderline emotional manipulation at the end.
2023.03.25 02:07 Saturdead The Drainpipe Siren
The summer I turned 10 was the best time of my life. For years I’d had trouble making friends with other girls, and out of nowhere I was accepted into a group of boys. We would ride our bikes everywhere, play games, and sit up all night just talking about superheroes. I loved it, and I started enjoying coming to school.
That summer was the first summer we went to Everett’s cabin. We biked up there with his dad and spent three days hiking, fishing, telling stories, building a treehouse, and chowing down on hot dogs. It was amazing, and probably the first time in my life where I truly felt like part of a group.
For the next few years, we went back up there every summer. Sometimes we’d get another member, sometimes we’d lose one. People came and went, but we biked up there every summer nonetheless.
They became my best friends. I was one of the “original members” alongside Everett and Sam, but one year we had Lewis, another year there was Owen, and so on. But me, Everett, and Sam? We were always there. The originals.
By the time we all turned 14, there was another girl joining the group; Sam’s girlfriend Josslyn. I’d had some trouble getting along with other girls, so I was a bit hesitant about having Josslyn come along. But I was hilariously wrong. Within a couple of weeks, Josslyn became my best friend. She was like the sister I never had.
The year we turned 16 was the last time we would go there as a group. By then, everyone was growing up. Some were going to college; others were getting a job. Hell, Sam and Josslyn had just broken up and could barely be in the same room. Spending the summer in Everett’s cabin became one of those things that you just stop doing. We promised we’d go back there someday and celebrate summer the right way, knowing full well that would probably never happen.
And then, nothing. And as with all names and faces, they started growing distant. We kept in touch every now and then, but Sam, Everett and Josslyn all went on with their lives. I did too.
That was until a few years ago, when we all turned 30.
By then, Sam was about to move out of state. His startup company had gained some traction, and they were moving their main office. He was hitting the big leagues.
Josslyn was planning a move to Scotland. She’d met this guy at the university that she fell head over heels in love with, and the two of them’d had a long-distance relationship for close to a decade.
Everett, well, he’d tried to play the family man. He had a four-year old son and a two-year old girl with a woman who was divorcing him. Oof.
And me? Well, I wasn’t dealing with my aging very well. I’ve had anxiety all my life and haven’t celebrated a birthday since I was 14. I can barely look myself in the mirror, horrified of the possibility of seeing a grey hair. I’m a bit of a hypochondriac, truth be told, and I imagine feeling all kinds of cramps and pains because of my age. And yes, I know 30 isn’t that old. Doesn’t matter.
But that summer, Everett sent us a message out of nowhere. His family was selling the cabin, and he figured one more trip down memory lane would do us all some good. The whole area was being sold off to a logging company at the end of summer. Personally, I just think the divorce was getting to him.
At first, I wasn’t going to accept. But after seeing both Sam and Josslyn agreeing to come, I couldn’t say no. Maybe it would distract me from turning 30.
So one sunny day in late June I drove down from Morgantown back home to Juniper (WV), not knowing what to expect. I figured I might get a nice weekend out of it.
And as I met up with Sam and Everett, it was as if nothing had changed. They hugged me. We laughed, we joked around, and we laughed some more. Everett had rented us mountain bikes. I got the blue one.
Sure, they looked a bit different. Sam had put on a few pounds and had a thick pair of glasses. He was already sweating. Everett, who used to have dreadlocks, had this short and neat office-type haircut, and his eyes looked darker. But that was all just appearance; they were the same guys. Same humor, same smiles, same favorite superheroes. Wonderful.
We stopped at the supermarket. I was comparing beef jerky prices when Sam walked up to me.
“Josslyn went on ahead,” he explained. “The roads are all dug up, so we’re taking the tunnel.”
“The Rosewater tunnel? By the railroad?” I asked.
“Yeah,” nodded Sam. “Shouldn’t take long. Josslyn is already up there.”
Made sense to me. Josslyn was the outdoorsy type. She was probably up there making a fire by rubbing sticks together or something. But just in case, I bought myself a Firestarter. You never know.
And then we were off. Riding bikes with the same people, down the same roads. Sure, it all looked different, but it really wasn’t. After all these years, I was still just me and the guys. For a moment, I felt this surge of optimism; like everything, somehow, might turn out all right.
Everett took point. We followed a trail deep into the pine forest, sweating under the summer sun. The canopy was a blessing, hiding us from the afternoon heat. It took us a bit over an hour to find the railroad tracks. We followed them north. Sam was sweating like he’d never even seen a bike before.
Then we got to the tunnel. The old Rosewater tunnel wasn’t long, but it was old. Everyone knew about it, but it was the kind of place that parents refused to let their kids go near. The place was probably covered in mold. Still, biking through it wouldn’t be a problem. You could feel the draft coming through.
The tunnel had a slight curve to it, so we couldn’t see the other side. Still, Everett took point and howled with joy as he entered. The echo bounced off the walls, reaching into the mountain. Sam followed suit, shrieking just as loud. We dove deep into the dark with the rhythmic thumping of the railroad tracks beneath us.
Our bike lights shone as bright as they could, but the tunnel swallowed them. It was getting colder and colder, almost to the point of my breath showing. Little dust particles danced in the weak light. The sound of spinning bike chains and thumping wheels echoed, and the air tasted like old moisture.
Suddenly, Everett stopped. Then Sam. And soon, I could see why.
We were in the middle of the tunnel, and there was something covering the ground.
We were all standing there dumbfounded. Snow? In late June? That didn’t make a lick of sense.
“That’s just weird,” said Sam. “Let’s keep going.”
“Wait,” said Everett.
He stepped off his bike and walked around for a bit. I leaned against my handlebar, feeling the weight of my backpack. I hadn’t even noticed how out of breath I was. Everett leaned down, looking at the snow.
“What’s up?” Sam asked. “We going?”
“Yeah, yeah,” nodded Everett. “It’s just… I dunno.”
“Like… where’re the tracks?”
“You’re sitting on ‘em” I added. “What’s the deal?”
“No, Josslyn’s tracks.”
Now I could definitely see my own breath. And Everett was right, the snow was undisturbed. Josslyn couldn’t have come through there, unless the snow had recently settled. But what, an inch and a half of powder snow in late June, in less than a day? Nah.
Everett got back on his bike.
“Let’s just keep going.”
We biked through the snow. About ten minutes later, we got to the edge of the tunnel.
It’d collapsed in on itself.
The ceiling had caved in and filled the entire tunnel with a steep slant of solid rock chunks. It didn’t look recent either.
We just turned around. There was no reason for us to keep pushing forward, so we decided to just go back out and follow the (if somewhat broken) main road instead. We had bikes, we could go pretty much anywhere. Still, I couldn’t help but notice how Everett seemed a bit distraught. We all were.
On our way back through the snow, I got the sense that something was off, but I couldn’t put my finger on what. But right then and there, I was just happy we were leaving.
Except we didn’t get far.
The path we came in through had also collapsed.
“Did we make a… a wrong turn?” Sam asked. “I thought this… this was just a straight line.”
“It is,” said Everett. “This, uh… this doesn’t make sense.”
“I didn’t hear anything,” I gasped. “I didn’t hear a goddamn thing.”
“This is old. There’s dust. It didn’t just collapse, this is… ,” insisted Everett.
“So we must’ve gotten turned around somewhere,” smiled Sam. “So we backtrack.”
It took us about 45 minutes to move from one end of the tunnel to the other; but both ends were definitely collapsed. How we entered in the first place was mind boggling. It didn’t make sense.
At some point, we just stopped. We stepped off our bikes and sat down. Sam used his phone as a flashlight, illuminating the dancing dust particles. The air tasted stale.
“No bars,” Sam said. “Tunnels suck.”
“It doesn’t make sense!” groaned Everett. “We got in, we can get out!”
“How?!” I asked, throwing my arms out. “I’m not seeing any exits! It… it fell!”
“That’s impossible!” spat Everett. “There would be a… a goddamn ear-bursting pressure! There’d be so much dust we… we wouldn’t be able to breathe! And there wouldn’t be goddamn snow all over the ground!”
We tried to get our phones to work. We tried moving the rocks, but the thick moisture in the air had frozen; making them all stick together like bricks and mortar. There was no way.
We wasted hours, and the temperature just kept dropping. I’d started shivering, and Sam’s breath had frozen into little icicles in his beard. Everett paced back and forth, trying to come up with a plan.
The snow was either expanding, or we kept coming back to it. Either way, it was everywhere. And the temperature kept dropping; fast.
At one point, that strange feeling in my stomach came back to me. I removed my bike light and used it as a torch. I noticed something in the snow.
I could see our tracks. Both from our bikes, and our shoes. But there was something else; a slight impression. Two thin parallel lines, running next to the wall. They twisted and turned at times, but I couldn’t make out what it was supposed to be. I called Sam and Everett over to help me, but we suddenly got distracted.
Somewhere deep in the tunnel, I heard something.
“You should be helping me.”
It came from further in. Without a doubt in my mind, and after all these years, I could still recognize Josslyn’s voice. We tried to pinpoint where it came from, but the tunnel made it impossible.
“Joss?” Sam called out. “Joss, you there?”
Nothing. We looked at one another. It took Everett a few moments to even attempt to accept this.
“Joss!” Everett finally called out “Josslyn!”
We looked for her. I could feel myself growing more desperate as the air got colder. My teeth had started to chatter, and no amount of rubbing my arms changed a thing. My hairs were standing at attention, as if listening for warmth.
Sam and Everett kept calling out to her, but we got no response. And all over the snow I kept seeing these two parallel lines, just barely scraping the top of the snow. Either they’d been there for a while, or whatever was making them were something extraordinarily light. But there was no way of telling where it came from.
I have no idea how many hours we spent walking up and down that freezing tunnel. At some point, we all gathered in a circle and wrapped ourselves in sleeping bags. I tried to use my Firestarter, but we didn’t have much to burn. We piled up some of our extra clothes and spent the better part of an hour setting it on fire. It burned for less than ten minutes.
At some point, we just stopped trying. Our hands were raw, and I started having cold sweats. We’d turned off the lights to save on battery, but my restless eyes kept moving. I could feel myself going cross-eyed, my mind confused by the pressing dark.
There was too much ground to cover. There might be some side tunnel that we might’ve missed, but we were losing hope. I didn’t know what to make of it. Sam and Everett had gone through several cycles of arguing, making a desperate effort, being anxiously hopeful, and then back to arguing. Now they were just quiet.
I would’ve preferred an argument.
“You… should be helping me.”
We all looked up. It was distant, but not as distant as last time. I could hear Sam shuffling as he got up. He called out to Josslyn again and again, but there was no response. Sam was growing more and more desperate, and his screams got louder. At some point, he stopped calling out to her; he just screamed.
The arguing started again as Everett tried to shut him up. But I heard something. I looked up, concentrating on the sound. There was a slight reverb, like the sound bouncing off something metallic.
I put my bike light back on and looked up, letting the bright cone answer my question.
There were drainpipes running along the ceiling of the tunnel.
“Some… some kind of drainage, or a run-off,” said Sam, looking up. “That’s gotta… wait. This wasn’t at the entrance.”
“So it started further in,” I said. “Maybe there’s a maintenance area.”
At that, Everett got up.
“Yeah,” he nodded. “Yeah, that makes, uh… that makes sense.”
We followed the pipes, and I couldn’t help but notice that the parallel lines in the snow that seemed to be going the same way. They were roughly following the way the pipes were running in the ceiling. Sam and Everett didn’t seem to notice.
“There might be another way out,” said Sam. “Like a… maintenance entrance.”
“Yeah,” agreed Everett. “They can’t have people running in and out of here when the trains are coming, right?”
My stomach turned. The stress was getting to me. I wasn’t usually the quiet one of the group, but crawling around in the dark just weighed my entire mind down. It wasn’t supposed to be cold. It wasn’t supposed to be dark. We were supposed to be making hot dogs by the cabin.
There was a faint tapping sound. Something banging against the pipes, somewhere up ahead. Sam and Everett pushed forward.
And there it was. A maintenance door.
We all got excited. We ran up to it, and the moment Sam put his hands on the handle, I shouted at them to stop.
They just looked at me, barely illuminated by our combined electronics. I could see the parallel lines running in the snow leading into the maintenance door. I pointed it out to Sam and Everett, who didn’t pay it no mind. Sam thought it was water drops from condensation. Everett didn’t care.
It couldn’t be water drops. It was too cold, and too consistent. Something in me screamed at me to just… not go further. This was bad.
But the door flung open, and we stepped inside.
There was an awful smell in the air. Chemicals; mostly ammonia. It took some time getting used to, but we pushed on. There was a small corridor leading us further in, branching into maintenance tunnels that were so small that we had to move sideways to fit.
We explored, as a group. We couldn’t find an obvious way out, but we could make an educated guess. We just had to find a way that pointed us either straight forward, or straight back; following the curvature of the Rosewater tunnel.
At one point, we hit a dead end. As we turned back, I was suddenly first in line. Then we heard it again.
“You should… be helping me.”
This time it was just down the hall. It was so close it chilled me more than my freezing breath. And for a split second, I could swear I saw something move just at the edge of the light. Something that retreated into the dark with a rhythmic sound. And it was leaving behind those strange parallel lines in the frost-covered floor.
We got back to one of the maintenance hubs. The drainpipes coalesced, leading us further in. We stopped for a while, as Sam was out of batteries.
“They will come looking for us,” said Sam. “We should just go back and wait.”
“We’ll freeze,” I said. “It’s absurd, but we’ll freeze.”
“She’s right,” agreed Everett. “We… we gotta push.”
“Then I go second. I don’t have a light.”
And as we turned around, there was Josslyn.
We could barely make out her shape at first. She looked taller, and her hair clung to her face like she’d crawled out of a cold bath. She just stood there, barely keeping herself upright. Sam and I stood there in shock, but Everett burst into action. He sprinted forward towards her.
In a whiplash-like motion, Josslyn was pulled back into the dark. She didn’t make a sound.
I noticed two things.
One, that her legs didn’t move.
And two, that her feet barely touched the ground; leaving parallel lines in the frosted floor.
Everett rushed after her, screaming her name over and over like a desperate parrot. I was right behind him, and Sam was trying his best to keep up. We ran, seeing whiffs of her hair disappear further and further into the darkness. She was moving, fast, and we could barely keep up. Just seconds later, as we came to a four-way junction, she was gone.
Everett fell to his knees, panting. I stopped short of tripping over him.
“She… she’s here,” Everett panted. “S-something’s wrong.”
I spat and tried to stay in motion to keep my sweat from freezing. The salt stung my eyes.
“Why… why is she doing this?” he asked. “What’s going on?”
“Wait,” I said.
I turned around.
We backtracked. We tried to mentally map those labyrinthian halls, but we just came up with dead end after dead end. Sam was gone. Disappeared into the dark.
And somewhere, far ahead, we could hear something again.
“Yooooouu~ should be… helping me.”
But this time, in Sam’s voice.
Sam’s broken, drawling, drawn-out half-voice. It made the drainpipes reverberate, shaking with excitement.
This time, we turned the other way. We couldn’t keep getting pulled further and further in. We made a silent agreement that whatever was in there was something we didn’t want to see. We had to keep going, and once we got out, we could help.
“We… we have to follow the pipes,” said Everett. “They have to lead outside at some point!”
“Or they’ll just… just lead us further in!”
“We can’t keep running in circles! We pick a path, and we stick to it!”
He grabbed my shoulders. Even with barely functioning light, I could see the panicked size of his pupils. I nodded. Whatever it took for us to stick together.
We must’ve walked for hours. And finally, it opened up into another junction. This one with only two adjoining corridors. But by now, we’d moved around so much there was no way to tell what was north, south, or in-between. We could only guess.
“You pick,” said Everett.
And I did.
We followed one of the halls, and I could hear my footsteps growing louder. The echo was increasing. Moments later, the halls opened into a kind of hub area where all the drainpipes coalesced. It was much large than expected, with solid concrete walls and floors. Dozens of pipes lead us here.
Everett was about to rush forward when I put a hand on his shoulder. I looked around for a bit, but he brushed me off and kept going.
“Wait!” I called out, pointing.
There was something up ahead.
It was impossible not to recognize Sam. His body hanging limp, inches off the ground like a stringed-up puppet.
His skin white as snow, with icicles hanging from his beard and hair. He didn’t move.
“You shooooould… be helping me,” his body groaned, without ever moving his mouth.
The shadows behind him moved.
The very dark of the room; it moved.
And at that moment, I realized there was something oil-slick and dark slithering along the pipes; holding Sam up like a ventriloquist dummy.
“Sssssshould. Sssssshould be.”
I could see Josslyn’s bike, snapped in half and thrown into a corner. Strange flowers grew along the edge of the wall; like little sunflowers, frozen and blue.
I could see Josslyn’s backpack torn open and thrown across the floor. The hot dogs, trampled and abandoned. And there at the very edge of my light, I could see Josslyn’s frozen hair splayed across the concrete in a pool of frozen blood.
Unnatural hands crawled across the drainpipes, causing a rhythmic thumping. And just as the horror of this vision sunk into me, my mind exploded into panic. It was like watching through my eyes like a passenger, surrendering completely to whatever power would get me out of there. My mind lit up the world with fear, as a real and tangible threat started coming our way; and it was dragging Sam along.
I bolted back out the door. Something was right behind me, but I didn’t know if it was Everett or… that Sam-thing. I didn’t care. I didn’t care the slightest.
I turned a quick corner. Everett followed. The Sam-thing couldn’t keep up, and whatever held him just tossed him aside. I could hear his body shattering like a gypsum statue; his body frozen solid.
Another corner. A quick turn.
I tripped on my own feet. I fell, and Everett fell right after me. We ended up on our sides, lying face-to-face. Something in my elbow broke, and I couldn’t get up.
Then, Everett stopped. I did too. I held my breath, waiting for whatever pain there was to come. Everett looked at me, slack jawed.
His breathing stopped. A long mosquito-like appendage had extended down from the drainpipes, piercing the back of his skull, like popping a water balloon. It was sucking out his warmth, making his skin lose its color. Eyes sinking into his skull, freezing. Nails and tongue turning black. Skin cracking like porcelain. Membranes shriveling into nothing but dry meat.
“Yooooooou~ “ it started. “… yoooOoou… heEeeeeEelping me. Help. Helping meeeee.”
I couldn’t look away.
But as my light dwindled, all that was left was the cold of his touch, and his words; frozen in time.
“Shhhh… shhhhoooOo… should be. Be. Be.”
As my light went out, all that was left was one desperate plea. And for a moment, it sounded just like him.
“Helping me. Helping. Helping me. Helping… me.”
I must’ve stayed there for hours, growing colder by the minute. I just lay there, listening to him slowly learning how to talk with Everett’s body. My tears had frozen my eyelids shut, and my shivers had subsided to a deep throbbing pain.
At some point, Everett was lifted off the floor. And as a cold spike poked against my skin, I realized I could barely feel it. I was too cold.
The creature must’ve thought the same thing, as it left me there. I had no warmth left for it to feast on.
I was no longer interesting prey. I’d accidentally strained my elbow as I fell, and I could barely feel my legs. Further and further away, I could hear the rhythmic thumping as the creature moved along the drainpipes. The pleas of what remained of Everett grew more confident, and distant.
At some point, it wasn’t interested anymore. I fumbled down corridor after corridor, trying to keep my eyes open.
And out of nowhere, the tunnels just seemed to... open up.
On the other side of the Rosewater Tunnel, the light blinded me.
The sun of late June promised me that I was finally safe.
Now, this was all about… five years ago. Law enforcement insist that we were “urban explorers” who messed up. There had been reports of rockslides near the Rosewater Tunnels, and they figured that Sam, Everett and Josslyn got caught in it somewhere deep in the abandoned side tunnels. They didn’t take any other report or indication of wrongdoing seriously. That I had frost burns in late June didn’t seem to bother them.
I’ve been holding off on writing this story as it was technically open for investigation until last September. They finally closed it, officially classifying it as a kind of spelunking expedition gone wrong. They swear they’ve investigated the tunnel, but I have yet to see a single squad car anywhere near it.
I don’t think this is over.
I’ve since left it all behind. The town, the people, the past.
And whatever future I have left, I will cherish.
submitted by Saturdead
to nosleep [link] [comments]
2023.03.25 02:04 ItsEsmeJones [M4A] A King in Chains [Fallen King x Slave][Friends to Lovers][Yandere Fallen King Dragon Speaker][Loyal Slave Listener][VERY SPICY][Obsessed][Fantasy][Magic][Flirting][Seduction][Confession][Snapping][Calm]to[Furious][Dominant][Protective][Possessive][CW: Spice/Mentions of Torture/Genocide]
Context: Long ago, the Dragon King, Xayd, turned mad and nearly tore the kingdom in two. His younger brothers sent him to a prison-like cavern with only one person to tend to him... you. Over the years you've brought him his food, you've grown fascinated with him. What you don't realize is that he's grown just as fascinated with you.
Setting: The Mad Drake's Prison
Tags:[M4A][Fallen King x Slave][Friends to Lovers][Yandere Fallen King Dragon Speaker][Loyal Slave Listener][VERY SPICY][Obsessed][Fantasy][Magic][Flirting][Seduction][Confession][Snapping][Calm]to[Furious][Dominant][Protective][Possessive][CW: Spice/Mentions of Torture/Genocide]
Usage: You may tweak or record this script. Gender flipping is OK! Please credit me if you use this script in any of your projects. If you would like to use this script for a paywalled recording, please note:
Monetization: All forms of monetization are OK with me! Youtube, Patreon, etc. I would appreciate being able to listen to the recording, if possible. Let me know if you have any questions. Thank you! Check out the rest of my scripts by using the Script Directory, if you'd like :3
[Scene opens within a prison-like cavern]
[SFX: A wheelbarrow trundling over the ground/general cave ambiance]
[As you do every day, you push a wheelbarrow deep into a cavern that serves as a prison for its lone prisoner… the Mad Drake. He stirs as you approach with a yawn and a lazy smile]
[X] “Ooh, and here is my little Mouse, bringing me my meal for the day. I’ve heard tale that my name or, well, ‘the Mad Drake’ has been in the mouths of the royal family again, hmm? Are my little brothers growing paranoid that I may burst into the throne room and just… kill them?”
[X] “Oh, come now…Sweet little servant. You always bow to me, address me as ‘Your Highness’... Darling, look at me. While I may have once been the dragon King, I am now a simple madman in rags, being appreciated by a sweet little mouse in chains just…like…mine.”
[He smiles that twisted, calm smile]
[X] “I think they look garish on us both, to be honest… But what is a dragon to do, hmm? I’d need someone brave enough to approach me. Brave enough to help me get this oh-so-pretty collar off… so I feel myself again, of course.”
[To your surprise, he seems to ease]
[X] “No… No, little one, don’t. As much as I’d love my freedom, I know there are things eating my sanity, little by little… I don’t feel mad, you know? Perhaps that is what makes it so frightening for some, hm? I just seem so damn… reasonable until they do something to make me angry…”
[X, chuckling quietly] “Hmhmhm, no, no… It’s not you who would make me enraged, no! It’s THEM, my sweet little friend! THEY’D run in to kill me, and you could very well be caught in the crossfire… killed… I can’t have that.”
[X] “...I suppose my reasoning is somewhat simple. You have treated me well, these many long years of imprisonment. You talk to me reasonably, you sneak me food that doesn’t have maggots in it, you tend to me after they beat me for information… For all of my crimes, for all of my callous behavior and favoritism towards pleasure, you… I don’t know.”
[He smiles. It seems genuinely affectionate]
[X] “Hm… You know, I have taken so many lovers across my long, long life. All so much fun, such a thrill in one way or another, most of them trying to violently murder me after we had a night of torrid sex. My libido is quite high… Insatiable, really…”
[He leans forward, eyes lidded and just a little breathy]
[X] “...I’ve had to use my imagination these last few years to get by.”
[X] “Hmhm, what am I saying? I’m saying that I’ve been obsessed with you since Day…oh, three. Mmhm. Day three of my traitorous brothers sending a sweet little human down to serve the Mad Drake. Ooh, just the thought of touching your skin for just a moment…”
[A shudder goes through his large form but he continues to stare at you like an amused, lecherous cat]
[X] “Ooh. Those little legs are all locked. Hmhm. I don’t mean to tease you, my dear. After all… I’ll always be collared here, only able to stare, obsess, and imagine… Mmh, I bet you’re beautiful. Especially with all those scars, glinting like jewels in the torchlight. You look like a porcelain figure that was broken and then mended with gold.”
[SFX: The wheelbarrow trundling along over a stone floor]
[He watches idly as you carefully push the wheelbarrow into his containment field, tail swaying from side to side]
[X] “M’aww… Did I make you nervous, little Mouse?”
[X] “Ooh, you think a King like me shouldn’t desire a lowly servant? Well, I’m not a King anymore, am I? And even if I were…”
[SFX: Him shifting forward/the chains rattling]
[X] “I have no doubt in every depraved corner of my mind…”
[SFX: The wheelbarrow crashing ovethe meat hitting the floor]
[You jump in alarm as he moves closer. Though he isn’t in his full form, he’s still incredibly imposing, even crouched on the ground. He makes eye contact with you from the floor, tongue rolling out slowly]
[X] “...That I would make you my favorite, and only, concubine…Mmh, pardon me for a moment. Sssllp, mmh. All of this good boar shouldn’t go to waste. Not even the ahh, blood I’m licking clean from the floor…”
[SFX: The Listener’s heartbeat escalating]
[X] “...Am I trying to seduce you?”
[He studies you for a moment, tongue and face bloodied]
[X] “Hmm… I suppose that depends on if it is working or not, doesn’t it? Hmhm, your face! Oh, it is sweet… No, I suppose I should behave myself. If they find out you care for me, so, then they’ll no doubt have you killed, or worse… No. I want you to stay safe.”
[He chuckles, rising fully at long last with a stretch]
[X] “You seem surprised that a noble, even an ex-noble, would care more about a slave’s safety than their own benefit, no matter how temporary. Does that notion confuse you?”
[X] “Hmm. Me, too, to be honest.”
[With that, he settles before the spilled meat and gets to eating]
[X] “Mmh? Yes, the meat is, mmph, delicious, as always. Would you like to join me? It’s not the most couth way to eat, but…”
[X] “Ooh, someone was starving… Literally, it seems. My poor, wee little Mouse.”
[X] “Shh… Do not apologize. It’s… Any time they punish me, I feel as though I should be angry, but all I feel is amusement. I can’t explain why it’s so funny that this is where it all led to me, but hearing that they’re harming you, now…”
[He growls under his breath. The cave rumbles subtly]
[X] “...Why do you apologize, my sweet?”
[He looks at you, unreadable, as you confess]
[X] “...When I asked you, years ago, if you were being hurt or not, you said no. You were…lying.”
[You bow to him again, pleading for forgiveness. When he speaks, at last, his voice is deathly quiet]
[X] “...Please take off the collar binding me here.”
[He’s still quiet, but his voice hits like a hammer]
[X] “Mouse. If you believe me to still be the rightful King, then I am issuing this command: take off the collar binding me here, NOW.”
[X, with a little scoff] “Why?”
[His eyes flash with a terrible power, beyond rage. Beyond madness]
[X] “Because I intend to commit a genocide in your name, my love.”
[X] “Shh, I won’t let them hurt you anymore. You don’t need to hide your rage from me. I know, sweetie, I know… Don’t worry. You won’t have to face your demons. You won’t ever have to admit that you fantasize about revenge.”
[He smiles ‘sweetly’]
[X] “You can just fantasize about me.”
[He lowers his voice to a whisper]
[X] “It will be the exact same thing, darling… because I will be your vengeance. Hmhm, ohh, FINALLY, some motivation! Hmhm, now I can finally get my glorious ass up and get to work on destroying everything my little brothers ever loved~. But, the collar…”
[X] “Oh, love… Yes, I know, it was incredibly rude of me to hide the fact that I could leave this silly little prison at any time were it not for the collar. All the other wards, spells, human sacrifices… Well, it certainly made them feel better, I’m sure. Me, I just wanted some time to think… and a quiet place to speak to you. If I’d known that they dared to lay a hand on what is mine… I’d have done this much sooner.”
[He reaches out and puts a claw under under your chin and tilts your head up to look at him]
[SFX: The Listener’s heartbeat escalating again]
[X] “...Don’t you ever lie to me again… alright?”
[X] “Hmhm… You’re so smart to curb that desire to argue with your King. To simply obey and accept that you are mine. No one else’s… and if I want to go to war over you, I shall… and I will expect you to be waiting in my bedchambers once I am done decimating everyone that has ever harmed you… What do you say to that?”
[X] “Mmh… ‘Yes, my King’. Good Mouse. Now… won’t you be a love and take off this collar? Pretty, pretty please?”
[SFX: Heartbeats growing faster]
[He lowers his voice to a whisper again, voice in your ear]
[X] “...Don’t be scared, my love… I’ll protect you. You’ve trusted me for years, now. Proven yourself loyal and loving and so… fucking irresistible. Please…”
[He pulls back enough so he can look you in the eye]
[X] “...Let me burn this kingdom to the ground… Just for you…”
[SFX: A magical hum and two metal pieces hitting the ground
[You shakily reach up around his neck and unbind the collar with what little magic you have left. The old device hums briefly before splitting in two and dropping to the ground. Xayd rolls his neck slowly with a few sighs]
[X] “Mmh… Oh, that feels so much better. That mark around my neck won’t fade for years… Thank you, my sweet little Mouse. No one has ever trusted me like you… and I will love you until it hurts, I am sure. Doesn’t that make you happy?”
[He smiles widely, regardless of your answer]
[X] “Wondrous. Now… Take my hand.”
[X] “There we are. Now…”
[SFX: His wings unfurling]
[X] “...Let us make our wedding bed in the ashes of a wicked world… Shall we?”
[You have no idea what lay ahead. Or if you’ll even survive the night. But you do know that, no matter what happens, he will never let you out of his sight again]
[To be continued]
Note: Curious to see how people react to this character.
submitted by ItsEsmeJones
to ASMRScriptHaven [link] [comments]
2023.03.25 01:57 MisterThinky How serious is the whole heavy metal component of years of daily Kratom usage? (2x10gr)
Like the title says: how serious of a health risk is this?
At this point my usage comes down to it being a great sleep aid for me and keeping me away from crazy restless legs syndrome.
the RLS is the main reason I can’t get myself to quit or decrease my usage. Which is fine by me.. unless it turns out after 10 years this shit has fucked up my health in a way.
I’ll go and read into the heavy metals myself as well but for now I’m asking you guys for your experience, knowledge on the topic and perspective.
submitted by MisterThinky
to kratom [link] [comments]
2023.03.25 01:46 ScotchandSong Questions that came to me from watching "Contested Roll!" Adventuring Academy's segment
Tl:Dr, I am curious and wanna ask for some insights to guage reddit's/the RPG community at large's preferences for a couple questions.
So, the segment, for those who haven't seen it, is a "debate" about the "hot button issues, the high stakes questions! (But not really high stakes. Incredibly low stakes. Everybody be cool, we're just having fun)" and yes, that is basically exactly how Brennan Lee Mulligan presents it. They've done metal dice vs. plastic dice, digital dice vs. physical dice, min-maxers being good or bad, experience based or milestone progression. It's a fun time and a great show, and I recommend it a lot to folks, but it made me think of a different couple of questions that are also not high-stakes, and I am curious what folks here might say. And also, of course, I am curious what other questions people think would work for this in the comments too.
Rules light or gimme the crunchy?
Generic/setting neutral or genre and setting specific?
Smaller tables or more the merrier?
Published adventures or homebrew forever?
Shorter campaigns and arcs or 1 big-long epic?
And finally, Convention play/organized games or only play with people you already know?
My answers will be in the comments.
I know there are merits to both on all of these, and I reemphasize this is low-stakes, I'm just curious to hear what folks think makes a great game for them.
submitted by ScotchandSong
to rpg [link] [comments]
2023.03.25 01:38 Vlaedx I Found Undeveloped Film. They Belonged To a Dead Hoarder Part 2
“I refuse to step inside the dark room again. Not after what happened a couple of days ago. At least not yet” I thought, while sitting in my room with the events still fresh in my mind. Before I begin telling you what happened since, I just want to thank you all for the advice in my last post. I honestly didn’t know how to approach this situation but with your guys’ help, I had somewhere to start.
It was the day after the incident. I hadn’t told anyone what happened, but I knew I wanted to talk to Felix. I had so many questions for him. He must know something. While I was at work, I was thinking a lot about the old man that used to live in the house. I realized that this entire time, Felix and I just referred to him as “the guy” or “the old man”. I guess I never cared to know his real name.
I thought that if I knew his name, I could just google him and find some information. Coincidentally, as I was driving home from work, my phone rang. Incoming call from Felix. Just seeing his name on the caller ID screen gave me shivers. The incident in the dark room flashed into my mind and I forgot what I planned on saying to him. I answered one handed and spoke, “hey man, what’s up?”
“Hey John, I’m alright. You doing anything today?”
I replied, “um. No not really. Listen, do you remember that film from the box in the boiler room? I know this is gonna sound crazy but-”
“I need some help at my house again bro. Trying to get this done asap and today’s the only day I’ll be able to work on it until next week”. Felix sounded like he was in a hurry. Before replying, I thought that maybe I could explain the situation better in person. I felt like I’d sound like a lunatic over the phone.
“Yeah, that’s fine. I’ll be there soon. Before you go, I gotta ask you something”.
“Make it fast cause’ I gotta go, man.”
“What’s the name of the guy that used to live in your house?”
“Uh...” Felix paused for a few seconds, “I can’t remember right now. Just be here in an hour or two”.
“WAIT. Wait. Are you at the house right now?” I asked.
“Can’t you like, check his mailbox for some old mail or something? It’ll say his name there”.
Felix sighed, “Why do you want to know it so bad?”
“I’ll explain it to you later. It’s a long story. Sorry if I’m interrupting you.”
Felix said, “alright, hold on” followed by a loud thud. It sounded like he dropped something.
A moment passed before Felix spoke again. “Okay his name’s Travis Rice. Gotta go now. Let me know when you’re here”.
I got home and made myself dinner before going to Felix. While I was eating, I searched “Travis Rice Obituary” on google on my phone. I scrolled through a few Travis Rice’s until I found one that was from my town. The first thing I saw was his picture. A smiling old white man with gray hair and a wrinkly face. Then I read his obituary.
“Travis Rice. May 1931- July 2022. Mr. Travis was an outstanding member of his community, and a true American”. After reading the rest, I gathered that Travis served in the U.S military during the Korean War in the 1950’s. He has three daughter’s and two sons. His wife had passed away 4 years ago. He did volunteer work even at an old age and even was a teacher for a while. I won’t lie, I did not expect his obituary to be so positive. This whole time in my head I assumed he was some maniac cult leader who never threw away any of his junk.
Once I finished reading, I noticed that there isn’t a cause of death anywhere. I guess some obituaries can choose not to include that.
I arrived at Felix’s house, and it was almost turning into sunset. The trash container Felix had rented was still outside, but it was nearly empty. I wondered if it would get completely full again. The front door was slightly opened, and I let myself in. I walked around the main floor looking for him. The living room didn’t look too bad now that it was empty.
Once I entered the kitchen, I called Felix’s name. “What! I’m here” he replied as he popped out from behind the old fridge. He scared the sh*t out of me. “Jesus Christ... What are you doing there?” I said with my palm on my chest.
“I’m putting the hand truck behind this old fridge. It has to go. This thing smells like a dead person”. He spoke.
“Well, what if there IS a dead person in there?” I said, “Let’s open it”.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you”, Felix said while placing his hand on the fridge door.
“Why not? I just want to see what our guy Travis kept inside”.
“Alright, but don’t open it until I say”. Felix took his hand off the door and walked to the other side of the house. “Go ahead”. I opened the fridge door slowly and peaked through. No light bulb turned on so I couldn’t see inside. I opened it halfway and an incredibly foul odor hit my nose and I almost threw up. There wasn’t a dead body chopped up into small pieces, but there was a half empty bottle of expired milk, expired steak, cheese, and other stuff that was probably there for at least a year.
As soon as I slammed the door shut Felix started walking back. “Ha! See, I told you I wouldn’t do that. Next time just listen to me. Come on, let’s put this thing outside”.
Felix and I continued to clean the house. I really wanted to explain the dark room incident to him, but the entire time I was thinking, “how do I say this without sounding like I’m insane?” I concluded that there just wasn’t a way to say it without sounding crazy, so I just did it.
“Hold on, Felix. Let’s pause for a minute. I have to tell you something”.
“Remember those two rolls of film that I showed you the last time we were cleaning this house?”
“The ones from the box downstairs?”
“Yeah. Here’s the thing. I really need you to just believe everything I say, okay? Even if it sounds super ridiculous. Everything I am going to tell you is one hundred percent real. I swear I am NOT lying.”
“Okay, okay, John just tell me. Look, I’ll believe it if I believe it-”
“IT’S TRUE... Alright, whatever, I’m just gonna start. So, the day after I found the film, I went to develop it in my university’s dark room. I- I heard and felt something. It wasn’t human. It- it was like some kind of beast-”
“What did it look like?”
“I DON’T KNOW. I was unrolling the film in complete darkness. I didn’t see what it looked like”.
“Why would you do it in the dark, though?” Felix asked. I was getting frustrated because I didn’t feel like explaining the process of developing film.
“BECAUSE- BECAUSE there can’t be any light in the first step, only the rest of the process. I only heard its footsteps. It blew strong blows of air on me anytime I moved. I thought it was going to attack me, but I turned the lights on just in time”.
Felix just stood there looking me dead in the eye, confused as ever. “What the hell are you talking about?” I lowered my head into a face palm and sighed deeply.
“I mean, seriously, what are you on, man? You think you summoned a demon or something?” He said. “So, did you even get to develop the film anyway, or what?”
“No” I said, “I was too freaked out. I just put the film in its canister and left it in a drawer. I swear I’m telling the truth. I just wanted to see if you knew anything about it”.
“Yeah, no, I have no idea what you’re talking about. So, is that it? Are you done with this whole picture's thing?”
I replied, “Well, I don’t want to relive that experience. At the same time though, I really want to know what those pictures look like. If I’m going back to the dark room to finish, I at least want to take someone with me”. We looked at each other for a few seconds.
“...Let me guess, you want me to go with you?” Felix asked. “Yes. I do”. I spoke.
Felix took a breath, “... I mean, I guess since you’re helping me clean this place up I might as well. It’ll have to wait though. I won’t have time until next week”.
“That’s fine” I said, “I can wait”.
Fast forward to Monday. Felix and I agreed to meet in front of my university in the morning. We walked together towards the art department. We went up the elevator and walked down the end of the hall to where the dark room was. Being in front of that room again was so unnerving. I almost didn’t even want to step inside anymore.
Noticing my hesitation, Felix moved past me and entered the dark room, and I followed.
I had my phone flash again as I quickly switched the light on. I did not want it to be dark again. Thankfully, the next steps in developing the film could be done with the lights on. Felix was standing with his arms crossed.
“Alright, so now what?” he asked. I replied, “I have to set up all of the chemicals and then take the canister out of the drawer that I left it in”.
“Don’t you want me to help with anything?” he asked.
“No, you’re mainly here so that I’m not alone”.
I set up the chemicals as it said in my notes. Pre-soak, developer, hypo-clear, Photo-Flo etc. They were all lined up in beakers in the sink. Then, I went to the drawer that I left the canister with film in. It was still there. I brought it over the sink where the chemicals were ready.
“Here goes” I said out loud. Felix moved from the corner of the room to a few feet away from me. I poured the first solution in, agitated the canister for its required time, and then poured it out. I repeated this step for each chemical solution. Nothing bad had happened yet. The lights were on, Felix was watching over me, things were good.
“So how do I get this demon to show up? Should I turn the lights off?” Felix chuckled. I shook my head and rolled my eyes. If only he knew what I experienced that day.
Fast forward now to the last step of the process. I just had to take the film out of the hurricane film washer and put it to dry.
I took it out and unrolled it. As soon as I stretched it out, my eyes went directly onto the film. “FINALLY,” I thought, “I can finally see what these damn PICTURES ARE”. I held the film up to the fluorescent ceiling light and the negatives were visible now. They were tiny, black and white, but I couldn’t tell what the pictures were of.
The negatives on the film were so unrecognizable. After a few seconds of me trying to figure out what I was looking at, I decided I needed to bring out the light box. A light box is a box that shines white light at the top. Film is placed on top of the light box, and it lets you see the pictures clearly.
"Hold this. Don’t touch the strip of negatives, just hold the top part”. I handed Felix the unrolled film while I looked for the light box. I found it in a cabinet and grabbed it. I then set it on a station and plugged it to the wall. I flipped it on, and it shined brightly.
“Okay, let me see the film” I said to Felix.
“What the hell am I supposed to be seeing?” I looked over and saw he was trying to look at the negatives using the same ceiling light I was using.
“Dude, just give it to me so we can see them on the light box”. He handed the film to me. This was it.
I placed the beginning of the film on the light box, and it showed the first few pictures clearly.
FIRST PICTURE: The first picture was taken from the inside of a house. You could see out the window where there is nothing but trees.
SECOND PICTURE: A landscape of a small lake. A bird is hovering over the water.
THIRD PICTURE: A blurry unexposed shot of a stack of books.
Half of the pictures were like this. Just normal boring pictures of random stuff. “You made it seem like we’d see something cool or crazy. These are just boring ass pictures, man,” said Felix.
I was pretty disappointed so far. I almost wanted to just stop and start cleaning up. Until about the sixteenth picture.
SIXTEENTH PICTURE: A picture of a forest. Many tall trees were in the picture plane. The trees in the center were a different shade than the rest. Seems like it was taken at night, and the photographer was using a flashlight.
“Hey, what’s that there?” I whispered. “What?” asked Felix. In picture number sixteen there was a figure in between the trees. It was hard to see but I thought I saw a silhouette of something humanoid.
SEVENTEENTH PICTURE: This picture was similar to the last, except now, that figure was closer to the camera. I could see a more distinct shape. It definitely wasn’t human. It had an animal shape with a long neck.
“What is that? A horse?” said Felix. I started sweating.
EIGHTEENTH PICTURE: Now the creature was CLOSER. It was an animal or beast. I’ve never seen a creature like it before. It showed its side profile. Its body still hidden behind the trees. The creature was about 15 feet away from the camera. We could see its face. The head was shaped like a goat and horse at the same time.
“What is this thing? Do you know what animal that is?” I turned to Felix. He was wide mouthed now. More disturbed and shocked than I was. “Felix?”
“... I uh... I think we should stop looking now,” he said nervously. I was taken aback. Why would we stop now?
“...Are you okay Felix? What’s wrong?”
He didn’t respond. I continued looking.
NINETEENTH PICTURE: The creature was IN THE AIR. The ENTIRE body was visible, and it took up the whole picture plane. It had claws for hands that were stretched out. Its legs had hooves and its body was long. On each side of its body were long blurry blobs. They looked like wings, but its motion was blurred. It had no pupils in its eyes and its mouth was opened disturbingly wide.
“WH- WHAT IS THIS?” I yelled. Before I could keep moving the film to see the next picture, I felt a hard shove and I fell to the ground. Felix was standing over me with a shocked and worried face. He snatched the film off the light box and started crumpling it.
“FELIX WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT FOR. Wha- what are you DOING!” I yelled at him.
“No one was supposed to know...” he said softly while looking at me dead in the eyes.
“...Know what??” I questioned. He started walking toward me. I was freaked out and discomforted and I kept scooting back while on the floor. Felix put his hand on the table nearest to him and picked up a pair of scissors. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING???” I screamed.
He was only a foot away from me before all the lights suddenly went out and it was completely dark. I felt like I had just died but I heard a familiar noise.
“What the hell?” Felix’s voice said in front of me.
“No... God. Please, no,” I thought, with tears in my eyes. The ground started to shake rhythmically.
“WHO'S THERE?” Felix yelled out. I heard things cling and clang as they started to fall to the floor.
I was still sitting on the floor. I looked up. The only thing I saw in the void of black darkness was two red dots.
“JOHN. WHERE THE F*CK ARE YOU”. I heard shuffling. “WHAT THE F*CK?!”
The two red dots went up, then swiftly dragged down and I heard a disturbing *CRUNCH*. Felix let out a blood curdling scream. What followed was a mix of crunching, Felix’s crying and screaming, and more things falling to the floor. All I could see was those two red dots moving violently around the darkness.
And then, Felix stopped screaming. All I could hear was the gnashing of teeth. I thought that I was next. My adrenaline kicked in and I made a dash for the light switch. The floor shook as I ran. Thank the stars, I flipped them on. I looked behind me. There wasn’t anyone with me anymore. Felix was nowhere to be seen. On the floor where he was standing was the crumpled up roll of film.
I stood there in silence for at least a half hour, not knowing what to do. The crumpled up film was in my hand. I uncrumpled the film and put it back on the light box.
NINETEENTH PICTURE: The creature was once again far away from the camera but still in the air.
TWENTIETH PICTURE: A wide shot picture of the forest. Seems like the photographer got out of the forest.
TWENTYFIRST PICTURE: A picture of a house. Likely the same house as the first.
TWENTYSECOND PICTURE: A closer picture of the house. A silhouette was peeking out from the side of the house.
TWENTYTHIRD PICTURE: A zoomed in picture of the silhouette. It’s a person. I can’t see their face.
TWENTYFOURTH PICTURE: A man is standing next to the house. I recognized his face immediately. It was Felix.
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2023.03.25 01:35 babyxxpigeon17 A Niagara vacation
It was so terribly cold. Snow was falling, and it was almost dark, when out of the blue, my wife called me at work. "We're going to Niagara Falls for the weekend. I got us an awesome deal!"
We had both been working at our first "full-fledged" jobs for a year and had reached that moment after graduation when you suddenly realize you can't make that impact on the world your student enthusiasm once promised. At first, I just sighed. It was the dead of January, and I had already expended all my energy on a week of inconsequential stress. I just wanted to collapse on the couch for two days. Sarah felt a similar weary exhaustion. I could tell. Her tone was more hopeful than excited, but she had dreaded the routine we were sinking into and was trying her best to pull us free.
I looked to the ceiling and adjusted my telephone headset. At that time I was working at Stats Canada on the tele-query desk. I took a deep breath and, as convincingly as possible, said, "Sounds good." I don't think she bought it, but we went nonetheless.
This was Niagara Falls before the casinos when there was a very distinct off-season. When we got to the hotel, we were given the details of our "lovers' special". One dinner to be used either Friday or Saturday, two breakfasts, a roll of tokens for the arcade, 10% off some "4D" movie ride experience, and a 2-for-1 coupon to Max Tussaud's. I guessed it was Madame's nephew? We also got a bottle of sparkling wine in our room and chocolate treats on our pillows. I was impressed. It sounded good.
When we got into our room and saw the "bottle" of wine - basically an aeroplane-sized glass and half - and the chocolates - "fun wrapped" Oh Henry's left over from Halloween - we both started to laugh. The tone for two wonderful days had been set. We decided to cash in on our dinner coupon right away.
The restaurant off the lobby had hopes of being better. There were huge panoramic windows that promised a view of the gorge. Unfortunately, they had some winter moisture problems that day, and it felt like we were defrosting amid the dripping streaks and foggy patches. The decor was your standard booths and tables though the "romantic" lighting was unique. Dollar store battery-powered tea lights were lodged inside thick tumbler glasses and shed a muted pleasantness in a "what a great idea for a craft" sort of way. I had a feeling they were created by our waitress since she was the one who always seemed to be fussing with them. Only one other couple was in the dining room, so she attended to us immediately.
"Can I get you something to start?"
"Sure." "Thank you, that would be nice." We both responded simultaneously.
"And what would the lady like this evening?"
Sarah smiled at the flattery. "I think I'll have a glass of white wine." She glanced over at me to see my reaction. This was a subtle cue of the mood to follow. Diet Coke was usually the beverage of choice. She didn't normally drink alcohol. One glass numbed her nose and made her giggle far too easily. When she did drink, however, it meant she was comfortable with my company and open to anything to follow. I raised my eyebrows in a debonair way.
"And for the gentleman?"
"Do you have Foster's on tap?"
"Yes we do."
"I'll have a pint please."
Sarah smiled at the happy memories I invoked. At university, Foster's was my signature beer. It was at a time when Crocodile Dundee was a known name, and Australia was inexplicably cool. 15 cent buffalo wings and a pitcher of Foster's was the Tuesday night special at the London Arms pub. There the Classics Club would meet and, as a group, circle the wagons and drink ourselves into extroverts.
As soon as the waitress left, Sarah smiled at me. She reached out and held my hand across the table. With my gaze on hers, she slipped her foot from her shoe and slowly began sliding it up my pant leg.
"I got a pedicure this morning." She announced seductively.
I nodded and pretended I didn't notice her invitation. "What colour?" I asked.
"I'm not telling." She teased. "You'll just have to find out later." Her devious little smile was gorgeous.
"Mmmm. I can't wait."
When the waitress returned with our drinks, we immediately retreated to our personal spaces as if we had been discovered by the chaperone. Sarah opened the menu and began to salivate at the variety.
"Can we add an appetizer to the package dinner?" Her question seemed innocent enough.
"You're on the package?" Our friendly waitress disappeared, and we were no longer a lady or a gentleman. She ripped the menu out of Sarah's hand and took mine before I had even opened it. She then scurried to her podium and brought back a tattered, grease-stained, photocopied page that we had to share. We both burst out laughing.
The waitress was flustered that we were not as bothered as she was. "The drinks are NOT included!"
"What choices do we have?" I asked, expecting the usual chicken or fish. I had been on many packages before with my parents.
"Coffee or tea." The waitress snapped.
Sarah and I looked at each other in amused disbelief.
"I'll have coffee please." I didn't even flinch at the ridiculously limited package. I was eager to get my order in early.
"And I'll have the tea!" Sarah followed my lead. "Can I have some milk with that?"
"Yes." The waitress snarled.
"Fantastic!" I enthused.
"Yes, great! I'm glad we got the package, Honey." Sarah joked.
The waitress stormed off and returned sometime later with our lettuce-only salads drowned in Kraft's Italian dressing and our chewy chicken dinners, which she had thoughtfully allowed to cool. She tossed the plates on the table and left us to peacefully devour our deal. We didn't see her again until we requested the bill. For some reason, we found it amusing to leave a generous tip, which of course, defeated the purpose of the package, but we didn't care. It was fun.
The rest of the holiday was marred with similar off-season products and services. The wax museum was only half open, so we couldn't see the pop stars of the seventies. I didn't think it was a problem, but Sarah pouted playfully. She really wanted to see young Bowie. Meanwhile, the arcade was particularly stingy about spitting out coupons. So much so that Mike, the scraggly-haired repair guy, ended up escorting us from game to game and repairing the devices on demand. In no time, he was acting like an old drinking buddy. He joked and laughed, then, out of the blue, revealed that working at the Niagara Falls Fun Centre wasn't his career choice, that his dream was to be part of a travelling carnival. He desperately wanted to see more of the world, he explained and socialize with a greater variety of "wildlife." Mike winked at Sarah to punctuate his meaning, then began advising her on which games to play.
Sarah was partial to Skee ball and clearly had career potential in the sport, but Mike quickly pointed out that the token-to-coupon payout was not the best. In a furtive whisper, he revealed that The Storm Stopper was your best bet, provided the arcade had left it on its original factory settings. He assured us the ones here were "cool." The game had lights that ran around the outside in opposite directions and you had to hit the button at just the right spot to win. It looked impossible, but Mike was right; if you calculated tokens in versus coupons won, it was the best deal. It only took a little practice to win a minor jackpot every 5 or 6 times.
We would cheer each win as if Toronto had won the Stanley Cup. I would give a quick fist pump and a full lung "Yes!" while Sarah would jump up and down screaming, "WhoooHooo!" Of course, in the end, when we cashed in, "Mike's secret" only bumped us up from a key-chain flashlight to a "deluxe" nail beauty set. Mind you, it did come complete with clippers, scissors, a file AND a cuticle scraper. Not only that, it was all neatly packaged in a paisley-patterned pink and green plastic vinyl case. Mike was so pleased to give us our prize and to be honest, we were thrilled to win it if only to see his broad chicletted smile. It was more of a trophy than a grooming set.
That night, I made reservations for us at a fancy Chinese food restaurant - the Bamboo Garden. When we arrived, we had half-expected renovations of some sort. Instead, the place was immaculate. Gentle pools teeming with goldfish highlighted the epic black and red Ming dynasty decor. Real candles flickered on crisp white tablecloths. Again, the restaurant was virtually ours. The reservations on my part were entirely unnecessary. In fact, as soon as we entered, they knew us by name and guided us directly to our table. A live lounge piano caressed the air, its notes danced vaguely around familiar harmonies until finally, as if prompted by our presence, a song emerged immediately accompanied by the velvet voice of oriental karaoke. It was our song remastered
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2023.03.25 01:32 amipal24 6th ed battle report: 1550pts - Dwarfs & Empire vs. Chaos & Skaven
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I used to play 4th edition WFB a lot with friends back in the 90s. Over the last couple of years, we've scoured our lofts and cupboards, and rediscovered miniatures and armies which have long lay dormant... And it all came arrived at this - our first game of WFB together in over twenty years.
1550pts total per side - Dwarfs (1000pts), Empire (550pts), Chaos Warriors (735pts), Skaven (815pts). Following the usual limits on units/heroes, the only additional rule is that all should be painted (alas, ill-health meant the Chaos Knights weren't).
And so, to war! Deployment
With the battlefield very similar on both table edges, picking a side was moot. Rolling lower than the forces of evil, the Dwarfs and Empire deployed first. The Empire's Fire Mage, general of that army, got Fiery Blast as his sole spell. Allied deployment, Rangers not yet placed (they'll go between Slayers and Warriors).
Chaos and Skaven kept their deployment quite tight also. The Chaos Sorcerer received Creeping Death, Pelt of Midnight, and Shades of Death from the Lore of Shadow. Chaotic forces deploy. Turn One - Allies
First turn goes to the allies. The Empire troops moved forward slightly, and the Dwarf Warriors wheeled around to protect the flank of the Rangers.
Shooting started with both artillery pieces landing well short of their targets. In fact, the Empire mortar scattered back and took out three people of the Free Company, and almost killed the Fire Mage! The Dwarf cannon was equally unlucky. Rolling low on the initial artillery die, the Rune of Forging was used to reroll... and the cannon misfired. Luckily the roll was high, and it escaped unharmed. Add to this a only one Skaven falling to the crossbows of the Rangers, and it was a very poor shooting phase all round.
The Fire Mage tried to cast Fiery Blast, but was instantly rebuffed. Uh oh. Turn One - Chaotic
With a call to advance, Chaos and Skaven forces began their long advance across the battlefield. Whilst most regiments moved down the middle, the Chaos Warriors took the opportunity to march around the cottage dominating the centre of the left-side of the table. Horns blare, drums beat... and the march begins. A different blue; a scarier blue.
For shooting, the Skaven Jezzails fired from the hill and managed to bring down a single Dwarf Slayer.
Onto magic. Creeping Death killed an Ironbreaker. Pelt of Midnight was then cast on the Stormvermin but the Dwarf Runesmith dispelled it.
Turn 2 - Allies
With the evil lines becoming clear, the Allies started to reorganise their lines to meet their foe. The Rangers reformed their lines to bring more crossbows to bear, with the Warriors and Slayers still guarding their flanks.
And the Empire regiments also moved around a bit. Nothing great, but still trying to blunt the charges of the forces of Chaos. Hold steady, lads! Empire pride.
The shooting phase was much more successful. The mortar landed a shot bang in the middle of the twenty-four-strong unit of Clan Rats, splattering eight of them! Similarly, the Dwarf crew of the cannon had also studied their range charts a bit more, and blasted a line of seven Stormvermin to mush. Instant-rat-jam.
With the Rangers having reformed, we moved onto the Magic phase where once again, the Fire Mage was unable to get through the combined dispells of Chaos and Skaven.
Turn Two - Chaotic
Once more, the units of darkness moved forwards, though still placed themselves far from the Empire/Dwarf line. This time, the Ratling Guns were left in-place, no doubt to rain terrible fire into the allied ranks. Lining up for a ruck.
However, come the shooting phase, neither did a thing - either missing the Free Company or failing to penetrate the Gromril armour of the Ironbreakers. Similar news from the Jezzails.
Magic was also a torid affair, with the Chaos Sorcerer unable to do much in the face of strong dispells.
Turn Three - Allies
With a yell of courage, the Empire Pikemen grabbed the opportunity to wrong-foot the Chaos Warriors and charged them. Elsewhere along the line, the rest of the force awaited the charges they knew would be coming next turn. On yer pike!
And now came another solid round of shooting. The Empire's Mortar opened fire, and lobbed a exploding shell towards the Skaven. It scatters, clipping (but not wounding) the Chaos Knights, and knocking over a few more Clanrats. Kaboom!
The Dwarf Cannon blasts the Stormvermin again, smooshing them enough to force them to run. And making their Ratling team leg it too. This was followed by the Rangers loosing (not losing...) their crossbow bolts into the Plaguemonks - nine shots hitting out of ten. Many fell, but they remained in play. Take aim!
Nothing happened with magic again, and the close combat between the Pikemen and Chaos Warriors was a stalemate.
Turn Three - Chaotic
The Pikemen charge was a mere prelude to this turn... where the Chaos Knights charged into the Empire Spearmen, the Skaven Clanrats skittered into the Ironbreakers, and the Plaguemonks poured forth their terrible miasma upon the Dwarf Warriors. Call the cavalry! Teeth on Gromril Medicate **this**
Shooting was once again poor from the rats, as was magic.
The Chaos Knights did some damage to the Spearmen, but not enough to break them. A similar story with their foot-bound brethren and the Pikemen. Over on the Dwarf's side of the battlefield, victories went to the bearded. The Ironbreakers smashed the Clanrats, forcing them to break. The Dwarfs tried to pursue, but didn't catch them. They did, however, arrive in very close proximity to the Chaos Sorcerer, who chose to flee. The Dwarf Warriors also won their combat against the Plaguemonks, who subsequently lost their frenzy.
Turn Four - Allied
Last turn, and with the Dwarf Warriors already taking the Plaguemonks head-on, the Rangers charged into the ratmen's flank. The Slayers marched forward, with the intend to get behind the Plaguemonks to prevent them from running anywhere; whilst the Ironbreakers continued marching forward. The Empire units were all fully-committed, save the Fire Mage.
Come the shooting phase, the Mortar lobbed a round towards the Jezzails on the hill, but was well-short. The Dwarf Cannon spied the Chaos Sorcerer lurking near the cottage... and landed a round just passed him, though blowing the roof of said dwelling. Who needs a roof anyway?
Another useless magic phase is followed by more close combat. Both the Pikemen and Spearmen lose their fights, as do the Plaguemonks, but all stay put.
Turn Four - Chaotic
With nothing to charge with, the movement phase quickly gives way to the shooting phase - again, another terrible result from the Skaven ranged weaponry.
Magic results in nothing either, but close combat proves decisive for the Chaos Warriors, who finally force the Pikemen to flee. Run away!!! End game
A substantial win for the forces of "good"! The Chaos-union lost 606pts, resulting in a VP win for the Empire/Dwarf alliance of 436VPs.
With most of the Dwarf force still intact, it would have been interesting to see where another two turns may have led... but it was a great re-introduction to the WFB world and the wonderful game that it is. Now to plan for future games, and get more units painted!
2023.03.25 01:15 Trashpotatolol H: Uny ap wwr heavy metal LA and RA W: Uny ap cav heavy combat RL Bol ap sentinel heavy metal legs
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2023.03.25 00:59 Secret-Tomatillo5044 Queen's Hound
(Vague and brief descriptions of sexual activity, viewer discretion advised)
David took one more look through the window before shutting it. He couldn't have anyone see what was going on. Jack quickly tossed the bound individual through the door. They grunted out of annoyance as opposed to fear. Jack, almost appearing scared, flung the key David gave him to the side and slammed the door.
“Congratulations, you're out of the dog house.” David grinned, calmly walking to the keys, bending down to be at eye level with the individual on the floor. Their look was more neutral than expected, but a tangible spark of malice was present.
“Aw, what's wrong? Don't like being on the floor? I thought you were used to that.” David remarked with forced doe eyes. The person looked away, trying not to engage with the brunette. David dragged them across the ground, sitting them on the couch. They began growling through their cloth gag, gradually wetting it with spit as David stood across from them with the world’s most condescending smile.
“I'd like to say that it's good to see you again, but we both know that would be a lie. I don't have many strong feelings for you, which I think goes for everyone in your life.” He chuckled, leaning towards them to remove their gag. As soon as it was removed they attempted to bite him, though he saw this coming and backed up.
“Ugh, why the fuck did you bring me here?” they spat, wriggling in their restraints.
“I brought you here to clean you up before we meet with Zander again. He's forced me into a deal where I return you so my info won't be leaked.” They rolled their eyes whilst groaning loudly, confusing David.
“Goodness, for someone who’s escaping captivity and torture, you sure aren't very grateful,” David remarked while pulling out a comb from a cloth bag.
“Because I'm not escaping shit! You're the one choosing to get me out of my situation, I don't even get the dignity of leaving because of my efforts!” David took out a folded pink blouse and set it on the table between him and his captive.
“I understand how that can be frustrating if I was in your situation, which I never would be since I would have escaped months ago. I'd be pissed at someone playing doll house with my life too. But that's the thing if you were truly as capable as you claim to be you wouldn't have to wait for my interference.” David walked off to the small kitchen connected to the living room, not paying attention to the specific ways his victim’s hands were moving.
“Please, until you're in my position you can't say that you'd handle it better than me. You can make as many flimsy predictions as you want, but the moment you step into my world your scenarios won't reflect shit.” David shrugged, pulling out a half-empty cup of iced coffee.
“I'd argue against that but I won’t bother since I know you won't listen. I could explain my reasoning in a myriad of ways and you’d still block it out.” The bound individual scoffed.
“Like your one to talk about listening to others. Last I checked, you're the one who's been trying to fix the same milk toast guy since high school no matter how many people tell you it's a waste of time.” David didn't respond, taking a sip of his drink.
“Yeah that made you shut your trap fast didn't it?”
David set his beverage on the table and approached his captive. Joining them on the couch in uncomfortable proximity.
“For a moment yes, but only because I needed a second to word what I'm about to say in a way you’d understand.” he smiled to the chagrin of the captive.
“Zander isn't some random former classmate, I selected him in the same way a breeder selects a dog. I evaluated many others before choosing him. To people like you, my pursuit appears meaningless since you aren't gaining the knowledge I am. If you knew what I knew, you wouldn't be able to resist going further either. I've seen into the mind of this man further than he has. I've run my hands over every inch of his psyche and molded him into a silhouette even closer to my affection. Ideally, I’d create the perfect entity and we'd repeat the process together on another, but I no longer have the time for that.” The bound individual stared dumbfounded. Taking a breath before replying, needing a moment to process the mountain of words that had been thrown at them.
“Wow, you must be the most talented gymnast on the planet for all the mental gymnastics you just did,” they stated bluntly.
“I gotta give you credit, that's the most sensible explanation someone could give for this. Not that it’s saying much since this is completely delusional.” David rolled his eyes, pulling out a pair of light jeans from the same bag as the blouse. The captive looked down at the completed outfit with disgust.
“Well, I described it in the most digestible way I could, but I suppose that doesn't matter since you don't want to give what I've said serious thought. Regardless, I still need to make you look presentable for this exchange. I assume you wouldn’t want me to dress you so I'll untie you and allow you to do it yourself, but don't try to run off because trust me I’ve prepared for that.” They looked down at the garments with disdain. David observed their expression further, there was a hint of sadness. He found it odd at first but soon understood what was wrong.
“I know it's stupid but do you have anything else I can wear? This stuff feels wrong to me.” They commented as David untied their wrists.
“I don't have a lot of masculine clothes in my wardrobe that I think you'd like but I can look. I know that this outfit doesn't reflect your current self but it's what I was provided.” The captive rubbed their wrists and began to free their ankles.
“It’s alright, honestly I didn't expect you to do anything especially after I insulted your logic, so this is a nice surprise.” They said, spreading their legs so they could sit more comfortably.
“I understand the importance of gender affirming clothing, you deserve to wear something that represents you.” Their eyes widened upon hearing the mention of their gender.
“W-wait you know about my identity?!” they asked defensively.
“Yes, and don't worry, I respect it. Jack filled me in on everything involving your gender identity including that your current pronouns are they/them and that your preferred name is Mad Dog. Though even if he didn't make me aware of that, I would have asked about it upon seeing your masculine appearance. Your completely flat chest and stubble didn't go unnoticed by me.” They calmed down, loosening their posture.
“Oh wow, alright, I didn't expect you to take that so well. A lot of people don't understand and just right me off. So I sort of expected the same from you.” David frowned while approaching them.
“That’s unfortunate, I know you have little reason to trust me, but at least trust that I won't purposely misgender or use the wrong name for you.” The feminine individual’s understanding in tandem with his appearance made Mad Dog have questions.
“Alright I trust you with that and it's appreciated but I have to ask. Do you see yourself as something that isn’t male?” David sighed, folding his arms and glancing at the floor.
“I don’t express it to anyone apart from Jack and Jackson, but yes. I see myself as a woman and feel most comfortable when I’m perceived as such. IIt’s been hard since Sophie has actively punished me for being the way I am. Even setting my injectable hormones on fire in front of me” Despite Mad Dog’s heavy dislike of the woman they couldn't help but feel sympathy for her in this instance. For a moment they were even tempted to say sorry, but they couldn't bring themselves to do it.
“Well you're out to me, and I’ll respect your identity as well. You might be a bitch but you still deserve to be addressed correctly.” She laughed, unfolding her arms.
“Hehe, thank you, Mad Dog, now help me get you something to wear.” She responded in a lighter tone than earlier. They followed her into her bedroom as she looked through her suitcase.
“Hmmm, I have a purple button-up, would you like that? I don't think my jeans will fit you well since your legs are noticeably thinner than mine, but you can try them on if you'd like.” They looked around the room as she spoke, as they expected, it was rather barren. They knew that David didn't stay in one place for long so it made sense that she never got time to settle in.
“Were you listening?” she asked, appearing at their side with the dress shirt in hand. They flinched at her sudden appearance, shifting their gaze to the item.
“Oh, nah I'm good just wearing my pants, even though they could probably use a wash.” They rubbed the back of their head, the grease in their hair becoming prevalent as they pulled their hand away.
“You could use a wash too, the stench that surrounds you is quite dreadful. If I was going off scent alone I would really think that you're a stray dog.” She joked, tossing the shirt back onto her bed.
“I'd like to say you're wrong but unfortunately you're spot on,” they responded putting their hands up, she giggled at the gesture.
“I’ll take you to the restroom and let you know what stuff you're allowed to use. I might be feeling merciful but I don't want you using my good shampoo. I won't see you after tonight but I live with my curls every day.” she remarked, poking her textured hair for emphasis.
“Heh, you know I’m starting to get why so many people fall for you. You’re pretty charming when you want to be. With a face like that, I'd almost call you cute.” She was suspicious of the partial compliment, questioning the motive behind it.”
“Awe, you're such a sweetheart, giving me half a compliment after I've shown you kindness.” she crouched slightly and patted her legs.
“Do you want a treat for doing the bare minimum?” She mocked. Mad Dog’s face turned sour in response.
“Ugh, I take it back, guess you can't take a win unless it goes in the exact way you want.” She adjusted her position and shrugged.
“In my eyes, the less you have to compromise the greater the victory.” Before Mad Dog could respond she started walking to the restroom, motioning for them to come along. Once they were inside, David hung up a fresh towel and opened the shower door. Turning the knob clockwise while describing how to adjust the temperature.
“See that 3 in one bottle? That's what I’ll have you use, I’ve never touched the stuff but I keep it as a last resort.” Mad Dog watched her as she explained everything, her body language was relaxed and inviting. Seeing her in such a mundane situation was fascinating. They wondered how someone like her could appear so normal.
“That's good with me, I'm not picky about that kind of thing,” they spoke, removing their raggedy shirt. Her eyes widened at the sight of their nipple piercings and tapered abdominal hair. They smiled at her expression, she looked at them with an embarrassment they couldn't have pictured on her face.
“Jeez calm down lady, I know this isn't the first time you've seen nipple piercings.” they playfully winked, taking off their pants.
“I don't need to be calmed, trust me I've seen better. I’m just surprised by how comfortable you are.” Mad Dog removed their chest jewelry, a subtle smirk developing on their face.
“Nah, at this point my stomach is made of steel, it takes a lot to make me uneasy. Hell, you could see me with my whole cock out and I wouldn't care!” they jested, setting the metal pieces on the countertop. David was taken aback by the crude comment, awkwardly looking away.
“Oh, alright then, anyway I’ll let you get clean. Just don't take too long. Also, the blue washcloth is mine, use the red one.” She responded, trying to hold her composure after Mad Dog’s words painted a strange picture in her mind.
“Heh, I'll make sure to remember that and don't worry about me taking long, I've practically been conditioned into taking short showers.” David nodded, leaving them alone to tidy up. When the door was closed, the woman took a deep breath. Things with Zander were coming to an end whether she liked it or not. She flopped on her couch, allowing the festering dread inside her to take hold. She’d been bottling it up for those around her, but she couldn't take it anymore.
“This is it,” she told herself quietly, staring up at the off-white ceiling.
From the moment she got Sophie’s message about Zander needing to die, cracks began to form.
She couldn't be weak in front of Zander, especially not during their final showdown. She couldn't cry in front of him, she couldn't show how much she’d miss him, she couldn't hold him, she couldn't ask him what he thinks she should do after the game is over. The more she thought about the upcoming meeting the more she dreaded it. Whatever she’d say to him would be heavily condensed and sanitized, which hurt her in a way she couldn't explain. David put her hand in between the couch cushions to retrieve her lucky shirt. A striped tee she'd stolen from Zander’s room towards the beginning of the dare.
“I wish I could be weak around you, you don't understand how much I want to weep into you.” she shakily stated, hugging the cloth.
“I wanted things to end differently, I truly did, but I don't have a choice.” Tears began to develop in her eyes.
“You were so close to reaching me, the way you used your audience was impeccable! If given just a year or so more to live we could have finally been on the same level. Acknowledging the demented elements intrinsic to each other, but still finding happiness.” Water flowed from her eyes as she clung to the clothing item.
“It’s no use though, you’ll be gone before I can even explain any of this. Fuck, I wish I could just have a real conversation with you!” she threw the shirt to the ground, almost throwing herself off the couch along with it. Despite all the time she’d spent with him, she felt like she’d never spoken to him as herself. Come to think of it, she never spoke to anyone as her authentic self. Despite multiple people claiming to have strong feelings about her, in reality, they only felt that way about a fraction of her or a character she’d played. Once Zander was gone, she’d lose the closest thing to a genuine connection.
“No, no, no,” she sobbed, it was all crashing around her. Images of the things she’d done up to this point overlapped in her mind. Highlighting how much she’d put herself through to get to where she is. Years of planning, multiple human lives, all sacrificed for nothing. Each heinous act she’d taken part in was now a meaningless act of violence, making her no better than a bloodthirsty monster. She was content with being morally in the wrong, but she couldn't bear her efforts lacking purpose.
The faint noise of pouring water dissipated as she curled into a ball. She ignored it, sinking further into her sorrow. Zander had told her that she'd need to meet him at a particular time, but at this point, she’d lost track.
“Are you fucking kidding me?” Mad Dog rudely asked, kneeling before her with a towel tightly wrapped around their waist. She slowly turned to face them with a distraught expression. Barely processing their presence in the midst of her breakdown.
“These walls ain't that thick, I heard what you were weeping about.” She was upset with their insensitivity but didn't have the energy to respond.
“You’ve done nothing but destroy this man’s life and now that he can finally be free from the hell you’ve created, you're having a hissy fit!” they chastised, with more vitriol than she’d ever heard from them.
“At this point death is a sweet release! If you had even a shred of sanity or real feeling you’d be happy for him!” Her face scrunched up further, she was not equipped to handle their words. She just wanted to process in peace, but they wouldn't let that happen.
“God lady, why the fuck are you breaking down over this?!” they yelled at her, it was too much and she screamed throwing a pillow at their stomach.
“BECAUSE I CAN’T HAVE THIS ALL BE FOR NOTHING!” she shot up and pulled them closer to her by their hair.
“I CAN’T HAVE THE PAST SEVEN YEARS OF MY LIFE BE USELESS! I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I’M GOING TO DO AFTER THIS, SO AT THE VERY LEAST I SHOULD BE ABLE TO PROPERLY FINISH THIS! ” she screamed out, spitting into their face. They stared dumbfounded at her as she relinquished her grip. They’d heard about how skilled she was at faking feelings, but they could tell this was real. Regardless, they had little sympathy for her.
“There you go, admit what we both knew. You only care about him dying cause it's not what you’d envisioned in your sick little fantasy. All this pseudo-psychological bullshit is just an excuse to disguise what you actually are. A soulless sadist who doesn't have anything to her outside of fucked up games!” She sobbed, putting her hands over her face to catch her tears.
“YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT IT’S LIKE TO GO THROUGH LIFE SURROUNDED BY PEOPLE AND FEEL CONSTANTLY ALONE!” she screamed, a hint of venom developing in her tone.
“That’s how I have to interact with people! I can't feel them so I have to analyze and try my best to find joy! It's no secret I'm fucked up, but this is just how I function.” She responded, gaining some more composure. Mad Dog held back a smile when staring at her reddish face. Seeing the usually confident woman weakened satisfied them in multiple ways. Prompting them to continue prodding at her.
“You're still selfish for mourning experiences instead of people. Only giving a shit cause of what you can no longer get out of them.” David’s expression was grim as she gazed back at the long-haired individual.
“I never said I wasn't, besides you do realize that everyone mourns people for experiences right? Just like you’ll be upset that you can't spend time with a family member once they’re gone, I’ll be sad I won't be able to spend time with Zander. My relationship with him is not healthy by traditional standards, hell it's hardly a relationship at this point. But I’ll still miss the time we spent, and sulk over what was taken.” Mad Dog calmed their stance, sitting down at the edge of the couch. Their legs dangled near hers since they were facing toward her.
“You along with most people hate that I can't express real emotions, but when I finally do you get hyper-critical of my reasoning? I’m not asking for sympathy, I'm just asking to be allowed to feel. I don't think you’ll ever understand how crushing it is to sacrifice so much only to fail. Mad Dog, my mother is dead, I gave up the last of my family for this.” They looked down at her, the gleam in her eyes pulled at their heartstrings, a mix of sadism and empathy kicking in. On one hand, they did feel sad seeing someone in such a state, on the other, it was David King. A woman who had set them on a dark path by allowing Sophie to keep them captive. A woman with little respect for them, evidenced by her using them as a bargaining chip with Zander. In that instant, the desire to comfort was matched with the desire to humiliate.
“Okay, that was a pretty good act, you got me a little there honestly. Now, what do you want?” They inquired with a notable drawl.
“If you insist on staying, can I lay with you? I get that it's weird especially since you aren’t dressed yet, so it's fine if you don’t. I just need the feeling of being held” she requested quietly, with her knees to her chest. For Mad Dog, it was hard to say no when she, in their opinion, looked so pathetic. Secretly, they thought her desperation was attractive. So now that she was expressing the need to be touched, they took advantage of the opportunity.
“That's a lot of words to ask for a hug.” They kidded, making her crack a modest smile.
“But yeah, I can do that, at the very least you'll smell better than the last person I laid with,” they commented, trying to sound wholesome to hide their true intentions.
“And who was that?” she questioned, a slightly warmer tone emerging. They picked her up, throwing her over their shoulder. Enjoying the feeling of grabbing her. She was a bit heavy but they didn't complain.
“Hate to break it to you, but Zander, bro gets sweaty as hell during summer nights, meanwhile I have a high tolerance for heat. It was pretty awkward.” She scoffed, tugging on a bit of their wet hair.
“Ah, alright sorry for bringing him up. I know this ain't the time.” They opened the door to her bedroom and dropped her on the bed. The landing was a bit harsh but the plush of the mattress made up for it. The woman got under her comforter and Mad Dog joined her, wrapping their arms around her waist. Their damp body was cold but she didn't care, she just wanted to be held. They gradually got warmer as they stayed by her side and shifted their position. She was still crying as they cuddled her.
“Hey, it'll be okay, you're a skilled lady, you'll land on your feet,” they assured her as her body shook. Her heavy breaths were apparent, she was making them out of distress, but they triggered inappropriate images in Mad Dog’s mind.
“A woman as beautiful as you could probably start modeling.” they complimented, the words catching the woman’s attention.
“Really?” she asked softly,
“Of course! If I didn't know better, I'd start spoiling you the moment we lock eyes,” they playfully answered, wrapping their arms around her waist. She turned to face them, there was a shift in their demeanor. The way they spoke was almost sensual.
“You’ve spent a lot of time working, I say you just become a sugar baby. You're one of the few people in this ugly-ass world who’s hot enough for some rich dude to shower you with gifts.” they partly kidded, moving their arms up to rub her shoulders. At this point, she knew what they were doing. Still, she chose to hold off her comment since she was a sucker for praise.
“Thank you Mad Dog,” she replied, she was no longer crying, which Mad Dog had mixed feelings on.
“Hey, I want to apologize for what I said earlier, I should have left you alone. You deserve better treatment than that and I’ll make an effort to make it up to you.” They smiled, moving their arms to her lower back. Despite the sweet words, their tone was audibly sleazy. It was clear to David what they were holding back.
“Do you think I’m pretty?” she asked innocently, they took a deep breath before responding.
“Are you kidding me? You're so much more than pretty. You're smart, determined, focused, brave, and yeah, pretty sexy.” She smiled smugly, a distinct sheen appearing in her eyes. Confusion overcame Mad Dog as she began giggling.
“What, not used to hearing me say sexy?” The woman’s giggles soon grew into cackling. Mad Dog looked away from her, taking it as a reminder of her insanity.
“Hahaha! I’m sorry, I just think it's so funny that you're blunt about everything, but when it comes to this you feel the need to ease me in! You're so quick to say what’s on your mind, but now you’re trying to be a charmer. It's simply hilarious!” They let go of her and sat themselves up, though her position remained the same.
“What the hell are you talking about? I’m not trying anything, what led me to this point is simple. I made you feel worse when you were crying, felt guilty about it, and agreed to give you sympathy snuggles. That’s it!” Her expression turned serious as she twirled a strand of their long hair.
“You're not good at subtlety, I understand your entire scumbag strategy. First, you’ll try to break down my self-esteem by saying my feelings aren't valid. Second, you’ll swoop in and shower me with compliments so I’ll warm up to you. Lastly, you’ll apologize so you can look like a good guy and convince me to sleep with you. I might be vulnerable but I’m not stupid.” They rubbed their temples, looking down at her with a newfound resentment.
“Okay fine, maybe I saw that you were feeling down and took advantage of the situation. But it's not malicious, it's something to cheer you up. I think it would be a nice experience to take your mind off things. Not much room to use your brain when you're giving it right?” She cringed at their joke.
“Don’t waste my time with these lovey-dovey lies if you just want to get your rocks off. I get it, you think you’ll be such a badass for shoving your dick in the thing that ruined your life.” She pulled the blanket down, exposing the lower half of their body.
“You're a shithead, but honestly, I’ve slept with people worse than you. I’ll do this, but only because I want to see how long your weak ass will last with me.” She pulled off their towel and crawled to the lower half of the bed, pressing her head against their crotch. Mad Dog took a deep breath before she started stroking their genitals. The first few minutes were pleasurable but awkward.
They thought they’d feel strong having such a feared, well-respected woman sleep with them, but they didn't. Sure, physically it was stimulating, especially since this was the first time they were intimate since their bottom surgery, but outside of the catharsis that came with that, it was a rather dull experience. They thought she’d have a lot more energy than she did. David felt entirely neutral, it wasn't awful but there was no chemistry present. She could tell they were disappointed, which added to her annoyance. In truth, she was only doing this because she doubted that she’d get the opportunity to sleep with someone for a while. She never stayed anywhere long enough to form a relationship and her options were limited as a trans woman. There was a hint of additional bitterness knowing that Mad Dog had been in a relationship with Zander.
Why did they get to go on fun movie dates and hang out with his friends? She’d kill to have one more positive interaction with him. He was vanilla personified, which is what she loved about him. He was so malleable, just a couple of well-mixed ingredients and he’d be something entirely new. Still, the base of his identity was endearing enough on its own. The more she thought about him the more she wished she was being intimate with him instead. She never thought of him in a lewd manner before, but the idea was beginning to sound enticing. She knew he didn't have long, so wouldn't it be nice to pleasure him before his inevitable loss? It was morbid, but it was preferable to reality.
“God I miss you~” she murmured with her eyes shut as she thought of him. Mad Dog looked down at her with confusion. She laid on her back and pulled them in deeper, they shivered from the feeling.
She could picture it clearly, him gazing at her with a mixture of arousal and disgust. An ounce of frustration let out with each movement. The conflicting thoughts that would run through his mind were already enough to motivate her. It was such an intriguing prospect that she began to yearn for it. Almost entirely blocking Mad Dog’s presence from her mind, imagining her favorite little purebred instead. Mad Dog didn't know why she suddenly became so passionate but it didn't matter to them. They were getting a better experience so the reasoning was irrelevant in their eyes. The long-haired individual got harsher as they continued, getting animalistic with how they handled her. She said some strange things that didn't apply to them but it was easy to ignore in their lustful pride-infused haze. The bigger the reaction, the more successful they felt. Though, in the end, they had run out of stamina faster than her.
“Oh fuck, we did it.” they huffed, laying down in a sweaty heap. She got off them, stretching her back. Her bottom was sore, the fresh bite marks stung, and her skin was still reddish in certain areas.
“You're lucky I wasn't thinking about you, or else this would have ended a lot faster.” she snarled, hopping off the bed. They smirked, as unflattering as it was to admit, this was the best time they’d ever had.
“Yeah whatever, I put in work, and it paid off, so you could be picturing my ex for all I care.” they laughed weakly, coughing midway through.
“Good to know, 'cause that’s exactly who was on my mind,” she responded smugly, knowing it would upset them. Their laughter stopped, turning into a disappointed groan.
“Fuck lady, you seriously can't get this guy out of your head for a millisecond.” they chastised, she looked back at them while pulling a teal dress out of a bag.
“I’m not sure if you have the right to complain since you're the one who tried to emotionally break me down so I’d let you fuck me.” they darted their eyes away with a hint of guilt.
“Thanks to you both of us will probably arrive half an hour late, now get dressed.” she sternly commanded, her voice displaying the power they wish they’d gained from the experience long term. They got their clothes back on while she ironed her dress. Once the wrinkles were out she went into the bathroom to wash the smell of sex away. Mad Dog sat on the couch and flicked on the TV while waiting for her. As they channel surfed fatigue settled in, making them drift off to sleep.
In their slumber, they relived the day they met David. Up until this point they’d heard of her but had never interacted with her. When she came into their holding cell she appeared soulless, an unfeeling machine disguised as a human. Anger clouded over them when they saw her. If they weren't chained up, they would have lunged and bitten her face off like a rabid dog. Not because they hated her, but because they hated that she put them in such an inferior position. Throughout their life, they were forced to be a victim in many regards. So being the kidnapped love interest in a cage was the last straw. From that day onward, they promised themselves that they’d do something to assert power over her when she was at her weakest.
“Anything you want to say to me?” David asked, wrapping duct tape around their wrists. They jolted up, peering down to find that their ankles had gotten the same treatment.
“Oh, shit, we’re leaving now?” They asked sleepily, meeting her gaze again. She was wearing sleek dark makeup that complimented every one of her facial features. They were surprised by the elegance that radiated from her.
“Yes we are, and I’ll have to tape your mouth soon so if you have anything to say you have to say it now.” they frowned, there were a lot of things they wanted to say. They’d experienced so much emotional whiplash with her that it was hard to condense their thoughts into a few parting words. She rolled more tape, attempting to apply it to their face.
“Wait, I have something! They yelled, causing her to abruptly jerk her hands away.
“When this is over you should start focusing on yourself. Not Sophie, not psychology, not any crazy dares. I think your main issue is that you build your life around achieving goals or getting answers to questions that apply to others. If you spent some quality time finding yourself, I think you could not only be a better person but happier overall too.” She was speechless, she hadn't expected something so profound from them. The words cut deep, making her realize how little she knew about herself. Maybe that was the core reason why she didn't want to be alone, ‘cause if she was, then she wouldn't even have herself to keep her company. She fell into a slight haze while taking in their words, snapping back to reality when the roll of tape fell out of her hand.
“Oh shit,” she murmured, bending over to grab it. Mad Dog smiled at her moment of clumsiness, wishing they’d gotten to know that stripped-back, human version of the woman more. David ripped off the piece she first unraveled, applying it to Mad Dog’s cheek with embarrassment upon realizing how short it was. They let out a final snicker, finding her mundane error to be the most endearing thing they’d seen from her. David sighed while wrapping the multiple layers of duct tape around their head. Soon their face was replaced by a gray adhesive cocoon, with nothing more than their hickory brown eyes visible. Gazing into her reflection in their sclera, she uttered her final words to them.
“This whole night has been a roller coaster, and while I can't call you a friend, I can thank you for the experience. You made me address issues that have been festering for years, something I didn't think anyone could do. I might not like you, but I don’t hate you either. If you know anything about me, you know I love seeing people develop their own type of strength, which you’ve done. So for that, I give well wishes, goodbye Mad Dog.”
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2023.03.25 00:58 RADicalChemist Zirconium...the "female metal" 🤦
2023.03.25 00:51 jedimasta Any woodworkers out there? Need advice/opinion on legs
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I built a rather janky cabinet meant to sit on my dining room table, but it's increasingly become the center of attention for guests, and when we have a need for actual dining or other activities, I've got nowhere for the pinball table to go, so I need legs.
Real pinball legs are pricier than I would have imagined and even that not being the case, the table I've already constructed wasn't built with them in mind, so I'm forced to improvise. Trouble is, I'm barely passible when it comes to proficiencies with building physical things. I built the basic structure out of plywood and 2x4s. In each of the corners, I added these sort of feet to give the cabinet some height and minimize the amount of dining room table the cabinet came in contact with, so my idea was to create legs that those feet could set on/into and be bolted for security. Using two strips of plywood and short blocks for stability could something like this work?
The ability to hold the cabinet safely is the most important thing here, but I'd also, ideally like it to be modular, so I can remove the legs and store it, hence the bolts rather than screws or nails to the base. At any rate, to anyone with any knowledge of how wood works, would this hold the cabinet? I'm sure I'll have to think about adding horizontal bracers between the legs to keep it from swaying or snapping, but vertically, is this structurally sound? Please see the screenshots for a better idea of what I'm envisioning.
2023.03.25 00:49 ArchiveSlave Stained Glass Ch. 2: House Guest.
(All my stuff is here
Richelieu had other duties than to her faction and her faith- in this case it involved sitting in at a briefing involving the commander and some of the other shipgirls. This time it even included Implacable, seeing as she was a powerful carrier as well as... Everything else that she was. And Implacable wasn't really about to let her forget about all of those other things, seeing as she was practically making bedroom eyes at her from across the table while the meeting was going on. Richelieu's response was to cough into her hand while keeping eye contact.
Besides, there was a growing amount of evidence that's just generally how Implacable tended to look at people.
The saving grace was that it wasn't really about anything particularly urgent, just how fleet organization was going to change slightly with the current ocean situation, so she didn't miss anything despite Implacable's flirting. She had also already read the skirmish reports ahead of time, so there wasn't much need for her to go over them again in the same meeting.
Once the meeting came to its natural conclusion, Richelieu left with the others, but found that Implacable had decided to wait for her outside. She was smiling, and had her hands behind her back. "If it's not too much trouble, I'd like to borrow you for a moment. I'd like to think I'm more attractive than a meeting~"
The cardinal wasn't too surprised, now that she thought of it, but shrugged it off. "I think I can consent to your company, though I wonder what you might want me for."
"Despite what you might think, I'm mainly interested in talking to you, at least right now." She walked alongside Richelieu. "It's interesting seeing you at work, so serious all the time, but that makes me wonder what you're like when you're at home. Do you charge all of your hours to heaven?"
Richelieu pouted a little. "I know that you met me when I was cleaning up my church, but I do other things that don't involve the fleet or the faith. There are times when I am off the figurative clock."
Implacable giggled a little at that. "Now, don't get upset. As I said, I want to learn more about you, is all. And not in a way that involves me going through your garbage. In that matter I have some restraint. Besides, I'm not in a rush. We're going to be living at the same base for some time."
Richelieu looked over at her busty companion. "This is true, but you seem to be fascinated with me in particular. There are hundreds of shipgirls here, so I would be naturally curious about why I occupy your attention."
The royal carrier exaggerated the sway to her hips as she walked alongside the cardinal. "Hehe... It's hard to believe that you don't occupy more attention in the first place. You have to have some idea of how pretty you are- at least, I hope you do. If you don't then that's a shame, if you can't appreciate yourself."
Richelieu couldn't conceal a slight blush, but also knew that she had been given a non-answer. "I don't feel I have anything to be ashamed of when it comes to comparing myself to the other girls, but it isn't something I dwell on too much." She looked to the side a little. "I wear what I feel comfortable wearing."
"I've been shown pictures of the beach days here. You're at least comfortable enough to wear that swimsuit, so it's not as though you don't have a little pride." She paused a moment. "Ahhh... But that's not important really. All of the ladies here are so beautiful, that you have to look at other things to distinguish between them. Of course, when you say it like that, it sounds too much like a lament~"
Richelieu considered this. "...You know, if you are honestly this curious, I could invite you over to my home so you can see things for yourself."
The carrier's smile grew even wider. "Hehe, really? Just inviting me in, are you? Are you prepared for anything that might happen if you let me in your door?" She suddenly spotted something. "Oh, hold on, I want to get something."
Richelieu followed Implacable to a hot dog stand being run by Cleveland, who was trying to drum up some extra cash for some reason or another, probably related to some sports activity. Cleveland went right to work. "Just the biggest one?"
Implacable closed her eyes, and stretched. "Mmm~ And everything you can put on it."
Cleveland cheerfully went to work, and Richelieu went on with the conversation. "I don't feel I have any reason not to trust you. After all, you had all the opportunities in the world to make a mess of things the first time we met."
The carrier giggled. "Maybe just seeing you like that made me excited. It's not someone I see someone in your position be so hands-on. I know you weren't performing like that just because I showed up, anyone could've seen that display."
"As I said to you, it's something I feel is right to do, even if some Royals might consider what I was doing to be low work for a lady of high status." She nodded. "Sometimes you just need to seize things in your own grasp and hold on until the subject is finished."
Implacable smiled as she looked Richelieu up and down. "Isn't it exhausting to take on that much yourself? You are only one woman, with many competing for your attention."
Richelieu shook her head. "It can be exhausting, yet satisfying, and it also shows I'm not to be underestimated. I do have the stamina for it, anyway, as it would be strange for a battleship not to."
Cleveland eventually held out a loaded hot dog, the cruiser having turned beet red as her imagination ran away with what they were talking about. "H-Here you go!" She said in a voice loud enough to try to drown out her embarrassment.
Implacable smiled as she took the treat, and paid Cleveland what she was owed, the cruiser almost fumbling the money in her trembling hands. She then turned her attention back to Richelieu. "All right, we'll arrange for me to pay you a visit so you can show me what you do for fun behind closed doors. Until then~" She then slowly swirled her tongue around the tip of her hot dog, licking off some of the toppings before taking a slow, teasing bite off the end.
After she left, Cleveland dared to speak. "So... Were you, um..."
Richelieu sighed. "It wasn't about what you think it was."
Cleveland immediately bounced back to her usual self. "All right! So, will you be having anything?"
She looked up for a moment, and then back at Cleveland. "...I think I will."
After the fact, Richelieu decided to consult with Saint Louis.
The cruiser was something of a crusader, hoping that in some way, her efforts might well pave her way towards a promised land. In time she began to wonder if the part was in fact the promised land that she wished to earn by deeds of arms, and this made Saint Louis a rather contemplative sort of person, wondering what world she may have made when she finally laid down her lance.
So, she was precisely the kind of person one would ask what was on her mind, as there was so much on her mind at any one time she was bound to have an answer rattling around somewhere in there.
Richelieu found Saint Louis near the confession booth, patiently waiting for Le Terrible to show up, and the cardinal couldn't help but say something. "You were here only a few days ago, Saint Louis."
The cruiser nodded. "I am going out on an operation soon, so I felt it would be best to do any required penance beforehand. We are to trust in the protection of our faith, but also we do not know when we may be called back to His side."
"I see. I can't fault your way of thinking, but I have something else to ask. You have encountered Implacable, have you not?"
"Indeed." She said. "She has some ways about her that can test one's faith, but the only true response to a test of faith is to strive to ensure that it is not found wanting. I assume that because you're asking me this, you've had more than one encounter yourself?"
"More than that." She took a deep breath, and closed her eyes for a moment, opening them before adding her response. "I have encountered her a few times, and she seems to have taken a shine to me. She called me kind when we first met, but one can find many kind people and not automatically pursue a deeper connection."
Saint Louis put her hands in her lap as she remained seated, toying with her gauntlets. "You don't believe she's doing it to tease you?"
"If I believed she was trying to mock me, I wouldn't allow her to get so close. I would certainly do my best to steer her into other ways of behavior, perhaps even consult with her majesty, but I also wouldn't roll over and let things be done to me." She replied. "...I believe her desires are genuine, in that she's looking for some kind of connection."
"...Perhaps she is searching for her own promised land." She shook her head. "Maybe that's merely my point of view, your holiness."
Richelieu sighed a little. "The truth of the matter is that if she was merely looking for someone to sate her carnal urges, there are probably any number of people here she could merely ask and then be done with it in an evening or so, but she is more complex than that. I find myself being curious, so I think I will spend more time with her."
Saint Louis blinked. "There may be rumors, your holiness. Not that I mean to challenge your decision, since you have always acted with a certain amount of clarity, but..."
The cardinal shook her head. "It's not my fault if other people wish to misunderstand me. If they would like to believe I am being "corrupted" or "falling into sin" when I strive for greater understanding and compassion for others I don't entirely understand, then they will believe that. However, whatever others choose to believe, the truth cannot be changed."
"Of course." Saint Louis replied. "I'm sure you have considered this yourself. My own matters are of the lance and shot, so I will leave you to your own... But I will look to the living example of your compassion to follow in affairs that involve neither of those."
Richelieu took a moment to think about what else to say. "I'm just curious- do you have any opinion of your own on my choice?"
"I have already spoken my concerns, your holiness." She replied. "I will, of course, defend your honor if it must be done."
"I don't believe that will be necessary. You have a more pressing enemy to fight than our friends." Richelieu continued. "At the most, I think people may gossip for a moment, and then move on quickly to some other subject of interest."
"Of course." She said. "However, I am at your service."
"Thank you, Saint Louis."
Of all of the kinds of visitors that Joffre could have expected to see waltz into the Iris dorms, Implacable was not one of them. Her own attachment to the tenets of the Iris church demanded faith and patience in the face of unusual sights, to interrogate and understand what was placed in front of one in the world. Joffre's eyes narrowed as she wondered exactly what heaven wanted her to make of what was in front of her.
Implacable put on her teasing smile. "Come now, Richelieu knows I'm coming." She slid a finger into the upper band of her white stockings. "Or... Did you really want to have me all to yourself today? I don't want to disappoint her lovely holiness, so if I'm what you want, you'll have to wait your turn~"
Joffre frowned a little as she looked Implacable up and down, wondering exactly what to make of her. She claimed to be Richelieu's guest, but there was something about the way that the carrier presented herself that made the inquisitor twitch a little on the inside. Richelieu did urge patience with Implacable, but there were some things that triggered an immediate response. "...I'm not interested in keeping you from her holiness, but do remember to comport yourself well."
"I think it is clear that this is more of a casual visit, it's not like I'm beseeching her for some kind of ordination." She put her hands together. "...I have my own ways, you know."
"It appears you do." Joffre replied in a tone so flat it could be used for laboratory work. "...I'll ask you again to be on your best behavior in front of her holiness. Aside from that, you may go."
"Good day to you, then." And then she went on her way, without seemingly any care at all as she went straight for Richelieu's home, either oblivious or immune to Joffre's disapproval.
Richelieu had been anticipating this visit, so Implacable had been allowed to let herself in, as soon as the carrier closed the door she heard a voice come from deeper inside the house. "Come over here and have a seat, I have been expecting you."
The royal carrier passed through the living room and kitchen, noting that Richelieu was not especially a fan of opulence in her furnishings- it was built to be a place where the cardinal could find some amount of sanctuary from her duties to the faith. The cardinal's voice had come from a special sitting room, and a rather large one, too, and its purpose became immediately apparent as soon as she heard the meowing.
While cats were generally free-roaming sorts, Richelieu had a special room for her and any fortunate guests to spend time with her various cats in her off hours. Implacable didn't bother to count the number of kitties roaming around, but though there were more than usual, it wasn't an absurd amount. Richelieu wasn't someone who collected cats out of some state of trauma or madness- the cats were well taken care of and attended to, without a hint of neglect common to compulsive hoarders of animals.
Implacable took a seat on a free couch, and soon enough a coal-black cat hopped up next to her and began pawing at the bare skin of her thighs. She smiled at the touch, and pet between the curious kitty's ears, reaching over slowly so as not to spook the critter- she had a gentle touch meant to be appreciated by anything alive. "Hehe... Looks like this one knows what it wants~"
Richelieu smiled. "I think we're just going to take the fact that Lucifer was immediately curious about you as more of a coincidence than any sort of symbolism. He's fond of visitors generally, but so is Soumise, who will roll over- literally- for anyone."
"Mhmm..." She seat, easing the black cat into her lap, though the feline had enough dignity to act like it was his own decision rather than the inscrutable temptations of the creature occupying the couch. "You have amassed quite a few. Do they trouble you very much?"
"Not especially." She said. "...I wouldn't keep them nearby if they were truly a bother. My home is where I mean to relax after pulling my double duties as leader of the Iris here at Azur Lane.
"It's easy for me to see why you might want a group of little playmates close to home. After all, there are days and nights when a leader can't leave the office." She said as she started to tickle one of the Cardinal's fuzzy critters. "I should have expected something like this. You don't seem so uptight to believe that fun is a sin."
"We are allowed to have normal lives. Even someone in my position." Another of her cats, Ludovic, jumped up to seek attention from Richelieu, and she gladly gave it. "I am allowed to live outside of my position, but I think that is the same for all of us, seeing as we were originally conceived of as weapons."
Implacable giggled as she picked up and utterly spoiled the black cat that had found his way to her, taking her sweet time just to enjoy the presence of the friendly kitty. "Mmmm.... there are so many ways we can do things that involve more than just that, aren't there? I want to explore all of them, and I know I'd rather not do it alone."
"I figured as much." She said, idly petting the nearest cat. "I think that, at least, is something that we have in common."
Implacable idly played with a few loose strands of hair, wrapping them around one of her fingers. "Hehe, now you're making me use my imagination. Who knows what might come of it~"
Richelieu was at least partly aware of what was almost always on Implacable's mind at this point. "Speaking of imagination, you have chosen some... Unusual trappings for yourself."
"I am a woman of strong sentiments, after all." She freed a hand from cat-tending to stroke the inside of one of her thighs, all the while her eyes staying on Richelieu. "Faith, lust... More besides, but none of these are inherently sinful. After all, were we not also created out of faith and love?" She cooed a little. "Why not indulge in this new world?"
Richelieu managed to remain steady, glad she had practice keeping confidence as a leader- She could imagine someone less fortified folding under Implacable's wiles. She smiled somewhat. "I do believe that there are ways that both of us are intemperate at times. We are, after all, human."
The carrier's eyes brightened just a little, and Lucifer hopped away to find something else to play with other than the cardinal's guest. "Hehe, saying something like that so easily... But it's true... We all have so much to offer, especially to each other~. In fact, why don't I show you something."
Richelieu wasn't sure what would come next, but she had a hunch it would have something to do with Implacable's body. "Go right ahead."
"Hehe, watch carefully. It's just a rousing distraction." Implacable lay on her front, lounging all over her chosen couch like she was imitating one or more of Richelieu's furry friends. She smiled at the cardinal as she got comfortable, wiggling her hips just a little.
What followed next drew Richelieu's eyes for longer than she could have thought, because Implacable began to stretch in ways that the cardinal was only really familiar with when it was being done by one of the normal residents of the room. Implacable closed her eyes, and slowly pulled her knees underneath her, raising her ample rear into the air. Richelieu tensed and blushed as she got a peek at the rather minimal underwear that Implacable wore under the flaps of her dress, and then Implacable smiled, as she somehow just knew the effects that she was having on the cardinal by stretching out despite not being able to see them. She let her legs lay almost flat, and then she pushed herself up by her arms, doing a long back stretch that presented her abundant assets perfectly to her audience of one before slowly laying back down.
She wore that warm and teasing smile, and left Richelieu to say something... Or even say nothing if she chose.
Saying nothing was Richelieu's first choice- no one had ever made that kind of display to her on purpose, and it was a bit of a surprise that it was inside her own home. She took a quick, deep breath as she understood that anything erotic, anything at all, was as natural to her guest as breathing. The cardinal shook her head as she decided she needed to find words to respond so she didn't seem as off balance as she may have felt. "If there's anything you'd like in order to get comfortable, you are my guest. all I can ask is that you be reasonable."
"Ahhh... Well, I won't ask you for anything now, of course. I'm not here to make extra demands on my lovely hostess. I think I'm just going to enjoy this couch for a while." She slowly lay completely down. "Mmm... If there are things you will need to do, I'll let myself out, but if you need me for anything, then you know where I am. And if you want me to stay longer... I won't say no~"
"Enjoy this...?" Before she even had a chance to complete her thought, Implacable had followed through on a decision to nap right on the couch. Richelieu slowly stroked over the cat in her own lap, until he decided to run off and find something else to do, leaving the cardinal effectively alone with her napping guest.
Richelieu felt compelled to watch her. Taihou, while also lustful, tended to keep to herself when the commander wasn't involved, so having someone like this in her own home presented an opportunity to see someone like this up close and undisturbed. She watched Implacable slightly rise and fall with her slow breathing, and at that moment, she didn't seem that different from any other girl one might see sleeping at the base.
The cardinal blushed as she heard those moans come from the napping carrier, and saw Implacable's hips shift this way and that. As startling as it was, Richelieu couldn't help but wonder what pleasant but indecent dreams her guest was having. It wasn't as though such things were rare, but she wondered what they might be like for someone who had such heightened urges as that woman sleeping on her couch, and what realms of fantasy such a libido might take her to. It wasn't on her to ask, but...
Richelieu took off one of her gloves to try something. She reached underneath's Implacable's hood with one bare hand to gently stroke her hair, and that didn't wake her up, but it did draw a response.
"Anh~....!" Came the sharp moan from between Implacable's soft lips, the snoozing carrier slightly arching her lower back at the touch.
Richelieu's blush deepened a little, and she slowly withdrew her hand from her guest. Even after that, however, she couldn't stop herself from smiling at her dreaming guest. She was comfortable, and there was no reason to get in the way of that.
submitted by ArchiveSlave
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2023.03.25 00:40 sunnysideupegghead Is a landlord responsible for a broken bed?
My boyfriend and I have been living in a furnished flat for 6 months now (we’re on a 1 year tenancy) in England. When we moved in our property manager did not make a move in inventory and the flat was a mess (broken closet, dirt and grime on the floor, broken hardware in the bathroom) and we logged everything. It took a while to get everything sorted but it was eventually done. We also noticed our bed would slide around (we have non carpeted floor) and eventually a small dip in the middle of the bed started to form. Due to all the other issues taking a while to be sorted we decided not to report it as we did not think it was a huge issue. Yesterday night while in bed my boyfriend and I heard a pop and there was a massive dip in the middle. We have checked the bed today and noticed the metal legs (which was supporting the middle of the bed) have snapped off.
If we report this to the landlord would we be charged with breaking the bed? As we did not log it when we moved in and we are 6 months in our tenancy. Or would it be the landlord responsibility to replace it/fix it?
submitted by sunnysideupegghead
to LegalAdviceUK [link] [comments]