Flight reacts

The Walking W

2019.11.17 20:27 TII_KIING The Walking W

Official Subreddit for Youtuber, Streamer, and basketball player Flightreacts, AKA "The Walking W" twitch.tv/flight23white @flight23white on twitter and instagram
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2020.05.12 18:14 BakiSaitama Flight23Reacts

That’s my typa community FTC We need to make this an official subreddit of Flight so he can react to this You can post all your flight thins here
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2013.05.26 20:09 SuperSeany100 KSI

Anything related to KSI.
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2023.05.29 16:55 cruisingNW Foundations of Humanity 26 (First Impressions) - an NoP fanfic

Foundations of Humanity 26 (First Impressions) - an NoP fanfic
Thank you u/SpacePaladin15 for establishing the Nature of Predators Universe, and for allowing Fanfics to flourish!
Thank you again, u/Braquen, u/Acceptable_Egg5560, u/Liberty-Prime76 and u/BiasMushroom721 for proofreading! This is my side of the Nature of a Giant crossover!
Huu boi this got to 34k characters, so had to split the chapter. Hooray making a backlog!
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Memory transcription subject: Valek, Venlil tourist
Date [standardized human time]: Sept 11th, 2136. Middle of 3rd Claw
I thought of happy memories of the last time my class and I had visited, “I couldn’t figure it out last time, but I was just a pup with a bunch of other pups back then. I know it has something to do with reattaching lines in the right configuration, but every time I got close--”
A black mass. A yawning, toothy pit! Hungry barks! “Teeth! TEETH! PREDATOR!”
I could see the beast’s gaping maw crawling forward to swallow me whole! I couldn’t let it get me! It would eat me! I couldn’t stop my momentum; I just kept getting closer to the inky void and gnashing teeth! I collided with the predator and thrashed and flailed against its wild mane, before my back legs found purchase and I launched myself back from whence I came.
Maeve’s voice shouted from behind just before her arm wrapped around me and halted my retreat, “What the hell, Valek? There’s no Predators he-EOLY SHIT!”
Finding sanctuary against my mate, I found my voice once more. “Big! Teeth! Call the Exterminators! Help! Teeth!” I thrashed in Maeve’s arm, trying to scratch at my prowling assailant.
A voice echoed from near the threat as another form appeared. “What happened?” A human? Another threat? He’s near the predator! He was looking at us! “Y’all okay?” His head turned toward the beast. “You okay?”
“I’m fine! Mostly surprised!” It imitated a Venlil with its movements, but I knew better! “It’s okay! I’m not here to hurt you!”
It was toying with us! Trying to get us off-guard! “Don’t eat us!” Protect your mate! “She’s dealt with Predators already! You’ll be sorry!”
I suddenly felt Maeve shake me. “That’s enough, Valek; get a hold of yourself.”
Get a hold of myself? Doesn’t she realize the threat? The-
“You forgot to say I should be set on fire, or that I’m a freak of nature.” I heard the beast say, now grabbing the edges of the hallway. “In case you need suggestions for insults.”
My voice faltered as I tried to understand it. The words were there, but my mind just couldn’t accept them. Maeve fell silent above me, but continued to hold me fast.
The other human brought itself beside the giant, “Oh my! ‘Nother human! Howdy there!” He raised his hand to his head, touching two fingers to his forehead, then flicking them in our direction. A gesture of greeting.
My ears snapped to the human as I tried to reconcile the friendly gesture amid my panic. Maeve, however, was undeterred and floated past me, coming closer to the monster. Alvi held my shoulder, and supported us against a nearby rope.
“Wow! You… You’re huge!” She had that same wonder in her voice that she always had when she found something new.
In response, I heard the familiar whistle of a Venlil laugh. It was coming from the… it’s a Venlil? “Yes. It’s a condition.”
Maeve continued her approach. She didn’t look the least bit afraid. Even though her arm remained in a cast; a cast given to her by the last predator she tangled with. But continue, she did. “I didn’t know Venlil could display gigantism! That’s incredible!”
I blinked. Gigantism? The translator was unhelpfully vague, something about making things big. The giant seemed similarly confused, “I’m sorry, my translator didn’t quite get that. Display what?”
Maeve reached back to us and I took her hand, and Alvi’s in my other, before she pulled us with her along the corridor. “Gigantism. It’s when a tumor grows on the pituitary gland controlling growth hormones, which causes it to overproduce. It can cause people to grow extremely tall.”
The creature’s confusion seemed to grow, though its body wobbled along with its tail; excitement? “Humans have Marklen-Jauntes syndrome??” Maeve asked for clarification before it continued, “Marklen-Jauntes Syndrome, named after twin giants. Its symptoms are basically exactly what you described!”
Maeve clapped her hands together with a quiet snap, “Oh! It sure sounds like it!”
The giant pushed off from the doorway, and Maeve pulled us into the boxy junction. Their conversation faded in my ears as the realization hit me. It was a syndrome. A medical condition. Maeve had moved to float around the giant as she and the other pair began talking in earnest. I felt Alvi squeeze my paw. “Valek. You okay there?”
My ears fell in worry, “I… I don’t know. I mean look at it! How can Maeve not be terrified of that?”
Alvi ran her paw through the fur on my shoulder, “I think she may have seen worse by now.”
The memory of those shadestalkers on the ground, and Maeve’s shriek of furious pain on the wind sent a chill down my spine. “But shouldn’t that make her more cautious? Make sure that doesn’t happen again?”
Alvi tapped the tuft of her tail against me, a lilt of humor on her voice, “If Maeve were cautious, do you think she would have joined the program? Or came to the Berrypatch?”
I pulled Alvi tighter against me; she was absolutely right. My attention drifted back to their conversation; they were talking about the medical issues of giants. I fully focused on what they were saying as Maeve was finishing her thought,
“... Hopefully, with the Venlil's help, that will change!"
The giant’s ears fell in...shame? It has shame? “You would have to keep it secret. If it was known it was to help giants, the Venlil might refuse.”
Hold on, we would gladly help! “W-we wouldn’t!” The giant’s eyes and ears focused on me, while Maeve and the other human turned to face me. "Our people wouldn't keep secrets like that just because they're big! We may not be the ones in the clinic, but we would gladly offer medicine and equipment.”
The giant let out a deep huff, as if I told a bad joke! “Sir… I’m guessing you haven’t heard of me. Is that correct?”
“N-no?” My tail curled around Alvi and I at my admission. “Should I…?”
The giant’s massive tail swayed behind them, “I guess introductions are in order. My name is Tarlim.”
“The Venbig!” The human announced with a flourish while he slowly floated past ‘Tarlim’s’ front, while the latter whistled in amusement.
“Yes. The ‘Venbig.’ And the Texan there is Jacob.” I saw his tail wag at the name. A sign of fondness for a friend. “May I know who all of you are?”
“I am Maeve, a pleasure to meet you,” She nodded, as she shifted her grip on the rope to reveal Alvi and I behind her. “This is Valek, my exchange partner,” I reflexively flicked my ears in acknowledgment, “And this is Alvi, a close friend of ours.”
Alvi hadn’t moved much beyond floating. She had one eye turned to stare fully at the giant, but otherwise seemed to have locked up, as she had before.
The giant, Tarlim, returned our greeting with a polite bow as he steadied himself on some overhead netting. “Good to meet you. Now, the reason I asked is this: I was imprisoned in a correctional facility before I was able to escape.”
Escape?! I exclaimed, in thought and in voice, “Y-You escaped??”
The giant tried to deceive us, but it couldn’t keep its condition a secret! I put myself between it and Alvi, “Get away from him! He’s dangerous!”
Maeve tried to be kind, “Valek if he’s here I would hardly think-”
But she didn’t know what that meant! We made a promise that we would teach each other about our people, even the bad parts. I had to warn her about it! “Correctional Facilities are where we put dangerous Venlil! People with Predator Disease who have shown themselves to be a threat to the Herd! We try to teach them how to live with the Herd, but if he escaped? He's gotta be dangerous if he had to break out!” I kept the threatening beast in my sight as I put myself between them and my herd.
The beast crouched threateningly, Fixing me with a predatory stare as its ears locked onto me, “Dangerous? Do you know what they put me through in there? The people running those places are monsters!”
“They help people!” I protested, amazed that someone could see their own care as harmful. “They treat people so they are safe around the herd!”
“Oh, HA!” The beast’s face cracked in an angry snarl, “You must feel so safe when we’re strapped into chairs and electrified! Or jammed into rooms where the only safe floor is too small for everyone! It must be soooo perfect to hear about that!”
“Th… That…” They WHAT?! No! “No! Even if that were true, it would be to teach you to stick together! They… They wouldn’t do something like that if it didn’t work!” …right?
A tiny voice spoke behind me, but the beast bore down on my senses, “Stick together! Suuuure!” It’s tail lashed behind it. It was going to pounce! “That’s why they tried to kill me for making sure more people could fit in the Circle! And obviously the electric chair was for proper fear response! That's why they commissioned a chair with enough voltage to fry me from the inside out!”
“Electric chair? You were in an electric chair?” That same tiny voice. Alvi’s words pulled me from my maelstrom and I reached for salvation. I needed Maeve.
“Yes!” The Giant had turned his attention to Alvi as I flew towards my human. “I have been put in that-”
“I saw you on the TV!”
I was wrapping myself around Maeve when Alvi said that. She… saw him? He was on TV? All of us had fallen silent to watch her, including the giant.
“Which part?” It asked with a heavy breath. “The final judgment? The election debates?” I heard a whimper coming from its throat. “When… when my father…?”
Father? It had a father? Wait, why is that a surprise? They were born, so they must have had one.
Alvi spoke with what kindness she could, “I don’t remember much. I was still just a pup when the trial started, but I remember seeing your photo on the TV. My parents didn’t let me watch it after that. I started to research it after I moved out, that’s when I saw the Chair.”
I heard the giant growl. “That Brahking photo! They were so proud to hold me up even though I couldn’t!” Their attention swung back to me. “I don’t suppose, mister Valek, that was also justified?”
I stood tall at the challenge. This… They would not get past me. “I…! I don’t know about any photo! My Family doesn't have a TV, just a radio.”
They flicked their ears dismissively, before bringing them back to Alvi. Was it… kinder? When it was addressing her? “So you saw the chair.” They sighed. “It was only shown after the trial was done. Then you had to have seen what that management did. Instead of letting the place be investigated, they drove all the inmates outside so they could cause chaos! And slipped away while everyone was trying to figure out what happened!” It whistled a derisive laugh, “What about the crimes revealed? Producing and testing drugs to sell on the streets? How the sessions were altered for higher voltage? Oh! And do I even need to mention what happened to the women there?”
Its eye never left me, and I shrunk beneath it while Alvi spoke behind me, “No. No you don’t. What happened there was terrible, there’s no grooming that!”
“Worthy of the Arxur!” It huffed again. “What a title for that place. And you know what the worst part is?” It pointed directly at me with its primary claw; the insult clear in its seething voice. Singling me out as outside of the Herd. “I was in there because of that! Not some test, not Predator Disease, just stupid people Scared. O-Of. My. Size!!”
The rage in its throat was broken by its sobs, as its eyes bubbled with gathered tears, unable to fall for lack of gravity. This thing was crying? It had family, and it cried from remembered pain?
Maeve pushed off of her line, and drifted to the giant, her hand curling around their pointed claw and putting its paw back to their chest. Her words were quiet, a sharp contrast to the giant’s anguish. “I think that’s enough of that. I’m sorry that we had a rough start. We were in the wrong, and it wasn’t, and isn’t, ok for us to react like we did.”
We weren’t wrong! Look at it! How can we be wrong to be careful around something that could eat us without a thought?
I bet your dad thought the same thing.
The thought stopped my heart and flared my wool. When I saw it - No. Saw Him. - when I saw him I scratched and kicked, and I came out unscathed. He hadn’t so much as taken a single step toward us. Only talking. What happened? Why was I so afraid…
Maeve’s voice continued as my thoughts swirled, “We… are sorry for what happened, and want to make it right. I don’t want to intrude any more on your day with your partner, but can we treat you to something here? Valek tells me they have really good fried veg? I’ve never had Venlil Tempura before.”
Why is this familiar? What about this fear… The Meetup.
It-He… Tarlim? Heaved and hacked against waning sobs, barely croaking, “Y-You…you can’t make it right,” the words were only a whisper; barely captured at this distance. “This, all this, just made you more afraid of me. E-Every moment would be forced and shamed. Not genuine.”
This is the same fear I felt when I met Maeve. The same fear that was wrong. Fundamentally and completely. This fear…
Maeve answered without pause, “I think we could surprise you. But I won’t press it. Before I let you go, I’d like to end on a good…noooote…” Maeve checked her empty pockets, as her voice grew a more boisterous timbre, “ah man, I left my pad in the locker. Anyway, you’re way fluffier than the average Venlil, aren’t you? Well, humans have recorded something else called Hypertrichosis; Jacob may know it as Werewolf Syndrome. It manifests in humans as rapid and thick hair growth over their entire body! Jacob can show you when you get back to your pads. ”
Tarlim’s tail thrashed in distrust, but it-NO! HIS! ears fluttered, giving away their conflict. Maeve turned away and pulled herself back down the corridor we came from, scooping up Alvi and I as she passed. But I pulled away from her hand, meeting the eye of the giant.
Nothing about this fear is real. Who I am and what I do is MY CHOICE, and I had the gall to forget that.
“I reacted to you the same way I reacted to seeing Maeve for the first time - well, her hair, anyway. I’ve tried to be better, but I mess up sometimes. I’m… I’m sorry I messed up with you.”
I pushed off down the hall, and met my herd before we continued on.
“Wait!” We found our anchors, and turned to meet the bellowed plea. Tarlim dried his tears on his wool, before looking back at us. “There's a food court near the arcade.” Barely a pause as Tarlim took another breath; the same one I take when I make a Choice. “If we see each other there maybe… maybe we can start over…”
My mouth cracked in a human smile, and my tail swayed at the invitation. “I think I’d like that.”
Tarlim returned our kindness as we floated back down the corridor.
I wanted to just get back to having fun. I had come here with Maeve and Alvi to get away from reactions like that! Not… Not Be the reaction! This was- this was a vacation! Please just…
Breathe.
In. and Out. The Paw is not gone. We can make this work.
“Hey, Valek?” It was Maeve. My love, and my Choice. Her mask met my eye as I spun to meet her. “Are you OK?”
“I will be. I’m sorry for how I reacted.” I feigned a joyful flick and invited them to follow, “Come on! We can take another path and find something fun that way.” I floated ahead of my herd and led the way.
I checked behind me at the next turn and they were following a distance behind. Alvi showed her concern with her tail, while Maeve was unreadable through her mask. It was ok, we can put this behind us once we find something else to occupy us.
Well that was a disaster.
The Maze was more of a problem then I expected it to be. The maze itself was easy enough, but the ‘puzzle rooms’ turned out to be all of the rooms, but they were randomly activated. Sometimes we would fly into a room and it would shift color, pulling the supports into the wall and starting to list the game rules. The last room before we got out kept shifting the gravity, so by the time we made it to the exit we were exhausted in mind and body. Well, Alvi and I were. I don’t believe I had seen Maeve so energized.
“Wanna go again?!” Her voice was bubbling with sarcasm, and she couldn't contain her mischievous cackle when Alvi and I met her mask and signaled an emphatic No! In unison.
She pulled Alvi against her and asked her to hold on, quickly doing the same to me. She pushed off from the Maze exit to the open air in the center. She did the same kick as back in the maze and we started to spin, at which Maeve let go of the two of us to slow our inertia. We spun there together, holding paws and hands, before I spoke into the space between us.
“I’m sorry that I ruined the day. I thought we could go back to having fun, but I spoiled the mood.”
Maeve spoke first, “It’s alright Valek,”
Then Alvi, “It may not have been the best start, but he offered to try again.”
Maeve squeezed my paw and met my eye, “And I look forward to it. That's all we can really do: move forward.” She pulled us back into a tight hug, “Thank you, both of you, for a wonderful day.”
An angry gurgle bubbled up from our embrace, and Maeve continued, “But I could really do with a proper meal. Valek, you mentioned something about fried veg?”
I pulled away and looked around at the various signage, pointing at the exit we had entered from. “The food court connects with the Visor Arcade, so we can go out the way we came in.”
“Alright! Alvi, you hold on, and Valek? Don’t.”
“What?”
Maeve kicked her legs again and set us spinning quickly, before flinging me in the direction of the exit, and she and Alvi the opposite way. I may or may not have squealed in terror during my hasty flight.
I was able to catch a support line as I passed. I looked out to see that Maeve had done the same, and was just pushing off to come my direction; Alvi was completely wrapped around her torso, like she was caught out in Galetime.
My tail thrashed behind me in admonishment when Maeve was in ear-sense. “You evil woman! You could have killed me!”
I could hear her - no, Alvi! - giggling as they floated over! She was having the time of her life! Maeve defended herself breathlessly, “Oh, come on, that was barely a brisk walk. I knew you’d correct yourself, that’s why I threw you instead of Alvi.”
I hit the pad and opened the bulkhead as they met me, Maeve barely correcting against a passing line to float cleanly through the threshold. Alvi disengaged once we were all inside. “Also because I’m her favorite.”
I flattened my ears in playful anger while she stuck her tongue out at me, and Maeve spoke up from the button. “Now, now, children, I love you both equally. One is just a little more biblical than the other.”
A little more religious? What?
“But I think it is time to come back to earth.” her hand hovered over the button while Alvi and I found our supports.
A button pressed, a growing hum, and our feet met the floor … Eventually. We had forgotten to remember that the floor was White, so we all collapsed on the semi-soft ground head-first. Thank the Sun for padding!
“Okay!” I heard Alvi comment, “Seems we’ve been re-educated on where the ground is.” She stood, shaking her wool. “Wish it hadn’t been a crash course.”
Maeve cackled from the floor as I stood, “HaHa! Multilingual pun! I love it!”
She was still giggling when we walked over to help her up. We were just dusting ourselves and flattening errant tufts when the exit hatch opened, and we stepped outside.
Alvi was last to step over the bulkhead, nearly tripping as her paw caught its lip. Having recovered, she asked, “Anything else you would like to do before lunch Maeve?”
Maeve took a quiet breath as we all waved an excited goodbye to Shishi, cold can of Sprunk in paw. “Speaking from experience, if we wanna do VR, and I kinda do, eating before may be unwise.”
Having reached our locker, I waited for Maeve to don her burka, “The Visor Arcade is on the way, and I’d love to show you this quick sightseeing game. It’s pretty basic, but it will show a few other Federation Homeworlds too!”
Maeve’s voice lit up, and I regretted that her eyes were hidden, as I knew they were shining! “I can see More worlds?! Yes, please! Let’s do that!” Maeve bounded forward almost to around the corner. “Uh… Where is it?”
I flicked my tail teasingly, “It is where we are going. You shouldn’t go running off, you know how strangers are.”
Maeve stood at the corner with her good hand on her hip, “Well then be a good boy and lead the way!”
I could feel my snout quickly blooming.
Oh, that’s not fair.
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submitted by cruisingNW to HFY [link] [comments]


2023.05.29 11:10 Matt_NZ Polestar Experience as a Model 3 owner

I was up in Auckland this weekend and with a bit of time to spare before my flight home I thought I'd go for a drive to have a nosey around the old neighbourhood I used to live in. Since I'd previously set up a Mevo account I figured I'd hunt down one of their vehicles for the task. Anyway, one of the vehicles available was a Polestar, which as a long time Model 3 owner, I had been curious about taking for a test drive. I ended up driving it for around 2.5 hours before leaving it at the airport for my flight home. This particular Polestar was a 69kWh Standard Range FWD variant with almost 16,000km on its odometer.
Driving dynamics felt fine but, it felt like the take off power is artificially restricted. While I have a Performance Model 3, even the RWD version I've driven previously feels like it has more instant power than this car did whereas the Polestar feels like it's trying to ease you into the power. I guess some people might prefer that but isn't that why I have an accelerator pedal, so I can control how much I want at a given time? It also felt like you go from having not much to suddenly being given all of it, which doesn't feel as smooth.
When it comes to the interior, I can see why some say that it feels claustrophobic. From the outside, it looks like a large car but when you get in you feel crammed in. All the windows feel like they're tiny and you don't get a lot of vision out of them, including the front window. The front dash feels like it's sitting too high and cuts into your visual space. It feels like you need to rise your seat up, but I already had the seat at a height where it was starting to become an issue for head clearance. I've heard some say that the centre console is quite wide but I didn't find it to be an issue, but the location of the cup holders means that if you and your passenger both have a drink you no longer have an armrest since you have to lift away the centre armrest to access the cup holder. The material used for the centre console also felt and sounded like cheap hollow plastic and I believe it was the source of one of the rattles that this car had when driving on chipseal. Whatever material they use on the seats also felt "cheap". Having clipper cut hair on the sides of my head, my hair felt like it was poking between the weave of the fabric on the head rest and due to the type of fabric used, I could constantly hear the scratching noise of my hair rubbing over it. Overall, the interior felt less premium than my Model 3 interior.
I thought the infotainment system was great though, even though I mostly used it for navigation. Having Google Maps built into the car was great. Most importantly, it was responsive and it didn't feel laggy like a lot of other touchscreen systems do. Although the navigation is displayed on the dash cluster, out of habit I kept finding myself looking at the main centre screen instead.
Over the 100km I drove, I did get to do a bit of playing around with the driver assistance features. On the motorway it felt good and felt like it was actively keeping in the lane rather than ping ponging between the lane lines like I've experienced in some other vehicles. However, it seemed to struggle with even the slightest bend in the road, even on a motorway. There's a very slight corner on the Southern Motorway just beside the City Impact church before Sylvia Park, however it was almost touching the left centre line while I was in the right lane passing someone at around 105km/h and I felt like I had to take over to prevent it going further - even my passenger was nervous. I did confirm that it was indeed on lane keeping mode, and this happened a few times on the motorway at slight bends. In comparison, these kind of bends on a motorway are nothing for the similar system in my Model 3 (known as Autopilot), which I had driven on this stretch plenty of times prior to moving away. On some slightly rural roads out near Whitford I kinda gave up on the lane assist feature as it was pretty clear that it just can't cope with corners. Sure, it's probably more of a motorway feature and so is Autopilot but, the latter at least does a decent job of non-motorway roads in most scenarios, only really requiring assistance from the driver in sub-80 corners.
However, its TACC feature was very good at reacting to slowing to traffic (no last-minute heavy braking) and maintaining a following distance. One thing that it seemed to struggle with was maintaining a speed going downhill, where at some points it was going almost 5km/h faster than the set speed. This was surprising given how good its one pedal driving is when manually driving so I'm not sure how maintaining a speed going downhill was a struggle for it. I actually had to take over due to there being a speed camera at the bottom of one of the hills because the runaway speed was probably high enough that it would snap me. Again comparing to my Model 3, it holds a speed very well - I don't think I've ever seen it deviate more than 1km/h, even on a steep downhill road. On the topic of speed keeping, it would have been nice if it would also react to the speed signs that it reads or at least give the option to be able to change the current TACC speed to the new speed limit.
I could cover other various feature but overall, I'd say it's a nice car but to me it just seems that the Model 3 does things better in most categories, including price. I was left wondering why you'd pick a Polestar over a Model 3 and I guess the one thing it has going for it that might be appealing to some is that it's not a Tesla.
submitted by Matt_NZ to nzev [link] [comments]


2023.05.29 10:35 Youbixo Background Fetch , React Native

Background Fetch , React Native
Hello everyone,
I am currently encountering an issue with my React Native application, specifically related to the background fetch functionality. Initially, I was able to successfully run the application in the background and display data automatically in the widget screen. However, after a day or more, the background fetch functionality seems to stop working.
I have tried to investigate the problem and identify the potential causes, but I am still struggling to find a resolution.
I don't know if not working in TestFLight , or must to push him in app store or somting like this

https://preview.redd.it/400n5p7vdq2b1.png?width=602&format=png&auto=webp&s=4c49886b8f19fcd4b1d80b0f137b9baf766c1948
submitted by Youbixo to reactnative [link] [comments]


2023.05.29 10:11 ItCouldBeWorse_1 Needing some help with the thoughts.

I am reposting cause I thought I just needed to vent but I think I need help with everything going on in the brain.
Well 2 and a half years of a relationship has ended yesterday. I will start off by saying I know that this is only my side of the story but no matter how much I sit here and try to be logical I don’t understand what I did to deserve this. Well let’s just say this relationship wasn’t the best looking back on it. We broke up a total of 3 times (probably should have been just 2). The first time was a month into the relationship. I have a really hard time with liars and she knew this. I stated at the beginning I could not be with her if she was a liar. Well one month in we took my sister trick or treating for Halloween, afterwords we were supposed to go to a party. We ended up deciding not to go and after a night of chilling she decided to go home. She texted me when she got “home” that she was home and she was going to bed. She ended up going to the party without me. After some investigation on my end I found out nothing really happened and she even slipped up and told me she went to the party about a week after. Well after a couple weeks apart we talked and ended up getting back together. Fast forward about 2 years now we were never perfect but I loved her and it always seemed she loved me. Well she ended up getting pregnant and told me after she had told her friend and cousin and apparently someone else. When I found out/she told me, she said she already has the abortion planned and is going the day before our anniversary. I reacted the only way I knew how to I offered her money to help with the situation and didn’t protest. I was truly gutted and destroyed on the inside. Over the next couple weeks I tried my best to shower her with love and affection. She ended up getting the abortion and I ended up “forgiving” and moving past it for the sake of our relationship. A trip was planned shortly after the abortion by her family to go the a wine tasting vacation right after Christmas. Well she invited me since it would be a family + significant others trip. A month goes by and I hadn’t heard much about the trip so I decided to ask while we were eating dinner “what time do we leave for the flight?”. I was then told actually since you don’t really like wine I invited my friend to go. This ended up with us getting into an argument over the fact that my feelings have consistently been hurt and not thought of. This leads to break up number 2. She contacts me a month later stating that she was wrong and that she hopes I can at least forgive her. We eventually agree to be exclusive to each other and not be officially dating but work on us. Well that eventually lead to us getting back together and honestly the 5-6 months we were back together were amazing until the last month. I struggled in school and stopped going to the gym and my mental health took a very bad turn. I told her about my mental health being awful and she seemed supportive. When I told her that was Sunday night, Tuesday my mom called me and told me she was diagnosed with breast cancer (we later found out it is stage one) and my thoughts just got even worse. My ex and I ended up going out for dinner the following week and we talked more about everything. I ended up saying that I would rather self pleasure then to have intimacy with her right now. I understand how hurtful this is and how insecure it could make someone feel. While this doesn’t make it right I was emotionally distraught. I understand that sounds like an excuse I simply wanted to explain my lapse in clear judgement. Well all seemed fine till I started to notice a decline in our conversations which wasn’t completely abnormal but we had talked about it before and were “working” on it. This sparked break up number 3 we eventually broke it off after she called and said she couldn’t forgive me even though it was a mistake and she couldn’t see me the same (this is referring to the intimacy comment). Then she said she wanted to break up but then back peddled and decided on a break. I told her the next day the break wouldn’t work and that we are better going our separate ways since I need a partner that will stick with me through thick and thin. I understand that I am not perfect and may not have been the best boyfriend but I don’t believe I deserved this. Thanks for reading I just needed to get this off my chest.
submitted by ItCouldBeWorse_1 to BreakUps_Help [link] [comments]


2023.05.29 10:10 ItCouldBeWorse_1 I’m needing help with my thoughts.

I reposted this cause I thought I just needed to vent but honestly I need to help.
Well 2 and a half years of a relationship has ended yesterday. I will start off by saying I know that this is only my side of the story but no matter how much I sit here and try to be logical I don’t understand what I did to deserve this. Well let’s just say this relationship wasn’t the best looking back on it. We broke up a total of 3 times (probably should have been just 2). The first time was a month into the relationship. I have a really hard time with liars and she knew this. I stated at the beginning I could not be with her if she was a liar. Well one month in we took my sister trick or treating for Halloween, afterwords we were supposed to go to a party. We ended up deciding not to go and after a night of chilling she decided to go home. She texted me when she got “home” that she was home and she was going to bed. She ended up going to the party without me. After some investigation on my end I found out nothing really happened and she even slipped up and told me she went to the party about a week after. Well after a couple weeks apart we talked and ended up getting back together. Fast forward about 2 years now we were never perfect but I loved her and it always seemed she loved me. Well she ended up getting pregnant and told me after she had told her friend and cousin and apparently someone else. When I found out/she told me, she said she already has the abortion planned and is going the day before our anniversary. I reacted the only way I knew how to I offered her money to help with the situation and didn’t protest. I was truly gutted and destroyed on the inside. Over the next couple weeks I tried my best to shower her with love and affection. She ended up getting the abortion and I ended up “forgiving” and moving past it for the sake of our relationship. A trip was planned shortly after the abortion by her family to go the a wine tasting vacation right after Christmas. Well she invited me since it would be a family + significant others trip. A month goes by and I hadn’t heard much about the trip so I decided to ask while we were eating dinner “what time do we leave for the flight?”. I was then told actually since you don’t really like wine I invited my friend to go. This ended up with us getting into an argument over the fact that my feelings have consistently been hurt and not thought of. This leads to break up number 2. She contacts me a month later stating that she was wrong and that she hopes I can at least forgive her. We eventually agree to be exclusive to each other and not be officially dating but work on us. Well that eventually lead to us getting back together and honestly the 5-6 months we were back together were amazing until the last month. I struggled in school and stopped going to the gym and my mental health took a very bad turn. I told her about my mental health being awful and she seemed supportive. When I told her that was Sunday night, Tuesday my mom called me and told me she was diagnosed with breast cancer (we later found out it is stage one) and my thoughts just got even worse. My ex and I ended up going out for dinner the following week and we talked more about everything. I ended up saying that I would rather self pleasure then to have intimacy with her right now. I understand how hurtful this is and how insecure it could make someone feel. While this doesn’t make it right I was emotionally distraught. I understand that sounds like an excuse I simply wanted to explain my lapse in clear judgement. Well all seemed fine till I started to notice a decline in our conversations which wasn’t completely abnormal but we had talked about it before and were “working” on it. This sparked break up number 3 we eventually broke it off after she called and said she couldn’t forgive me even though it was a mistake and she couldn’t see me the same (this is referring to the intimacy comment). Then she said she wanted to break up but then back peddled and decided on a break. I told her the next day the break wouldn’t work and that we are better going our separate ways since I need a partner that will stick with me through thick and thin. I understand that I am not perfect and may not have been the best boyfriend but I don’t believe I deserved this. Thanks for reading I just needed to get this off my chest.
submitted by ItCouldBeWorse_1 to BreakUps [link] [comments]


2023.05.29 10:06 ItCouldBeWorse_1 I’m more disappointed then heartbroken

Well 2 and a half years of a relationship has ended yesterday. I will start off by saying I know that this is only my side of the story but no matter how much I sit here and try to be logical I don’t understand what I did to deserve this. Well let’s just say this relationship wasn’t the best looking back on it. We broke up a total of 3 times (probably should have been just 2). The first time was a month into the relationship. I have a really hard time with liars and she knew this. I stated at the beginning I could not be with her if she was a liar. Well one month in we took my sister trick or treating for Halloween, afterwords we were supposed to go to a party. We ended up deciding not to go and after a night of chilling she decided to go home. She texted me when she got “home” that she was home and she was going to bed. She ended up going to the party without me. After some investigation on my end I found out nothing really happened and she even slipped up and told me she went to the party about a week after. Well after a couple weeks apart we talked and ended up getting back together. Fast forward about 2 years now we were never perfect but I loved her and it always seemed she loved me. Well she ended up getting pregnant and told me after she had told her friend and cousin and apparently someone else. When I found out/she told me, she said she already has the abortion planned and is going the day before our anniversary. I reacted the only way I knew how to I offered her money to help with the situation and didn’t protest. I was truly gutted and destroyed on the inside. Over the next couple weeks I tried my best to shower her with love and affection. She ended up getting the abortion and I ended up “forgiving” and moving past it for the sake of our relationship. A trip was planned shortly after the abortion by her family to go the a wine tasting vacation right after Christmas. Well she invited me since it would be a family + significant others trip. A month goes by and I hadn’t heard much about the trip so I decided to ask while we were eating dinner “what time do we leave for the flight?”. I was then told actually since you don’t really like wine I invited my friend to go. This ended up with us getting into an argument over the fact that my feelings have consistently been hurt and not thought of. This leads to break up number 2. She contacts me a month later stating that she was wrong and that she hopes I can at least forgive her. We eventually agree to be exclusive to each other and not be officially dating but work on us. Well that eventually lead to us getting back together and honestly the 5-6 months we were back together were amazing until the last month. I struggled in school and stopped going to the gym and my mental health took a very bad turn. I told her about my mental health being awful and she seemed supportive. When I told her that was Sunday night, Tuesday my mom called me and told me she was diagnosed with breast cancer (we later found out it is stage one) and my thoughts just got even worse. My ex and I ended up going out for dinner the following week and we talked more about everything. I ended up saying that I would rather self pleasure then to have intimacy with her right now. I understand how hurtful this is and how insecure it could make someone feel. While this doesn’t make it right I was emotionally distraught. I understand that sounds like an excuse I simply wanted to explain my lapse in clear judgement. Well all seemed fine till I started to notice a decline in our conversations which wasn’t completely abnormal but we had talked about it before and were “working” on it. This sparked break up number 3 we eventually broke it off after she called and said she couldn’t forgive me even though it was a mistake and she couldn’t see me the same (this is referring to the intimacy comment). Then she said she wanted to break up but then back peddled and decided on a break. I told her the next day the break wouldn’t work and that we are better going our separate ways since I need a partner that will stick with me through thick and thin. I understand that I am not perfect and may not have been the best boyfriend but I don’t believe I deserved this. Thanks for reading I just needed to get this off my chest.
submitted by ItCouldBeWorse_1 to heartbreak [link] [comments]


2023.05.29 09:02 baltic_dragon F-16C: The Gamblers

F-16C: The Gamblers

https://preview.redd.it/q8w0iwt2yp2b1.jpg?width=1920&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=fc5be83e204e5df34897d3128bea1285e09e1c80
Screenshot from the upcoming campaign for the F-16C, recreating a famous sortie in which coalition aircraft destroyed over 100 IS fuel trucks. It is true that I spend most of my time on the Strike Eagle, but I do work on other projects as well.
One thing I am trying to do for all future campaigns - having learned my lessons with DCS poorly handling missions that rely on AI too much - is to make them as bug-resistant as possible, while still fun and realistic. For the Gamblers that means less aircraft in the packages, but more versatility, as others will react more to your actions (as an example: if you miss with your bomb run, you will have an option to attack again or ask your wingman to do so - which may have implications on later parts of the sortie, where you can run out of bombs). I also found a way to keep track of who shot what and can tell when your flight is Winchester and should RTB.
Shaping up to be a fun campaign! Estimated release - towards the end of this year.
submitted by baltic_dragon to hoggit [link] [comments]


2023.05.29 03:10 Altruistic_Bike_1555 First time flying with my son, any advice?

My son (18 months) was diagnosed a few months ago. He has his good days and “bad” days. In a little over a week we will be taking his first flight to see his grandparents. I’m a single mom and will be the only one handling everything on this trip.
I’m nervous about how he’s going to react to the pressure change for sure. Idk if there are any accommodations I can ask for (flying American Airlines). I spoke with a rep and they said I could ask to board early but there’s no way I want him stuck for 45 min in one seat on a plane… sounds like a bad time.
If anyone has any tips and tricks for traveling I would love to hear them. We haven’t been given a “level” yet since he is so young.
submitted by Altruistic_Bike_1555 to Autism_Parenting [link] [comments]


2023.05.29 01:56 ThrowRA_101023 WIBTA for backing out of wedding?

Okay, I (26F) am a bridesmaid at my friends wedding in Europe in 2 weeks. Me and her are not super close, we used to be years ago but drifted naturally so I was (pleasantly) surprised to be asked to be a bridesmaid but I accepted as I thought it was really nice of her to ask. I haven’t seen her for over a year as she lives in a different country but before that I didn’t see her for about 2 years as well but we kept in touch online. In the past 2 months a lot has happened in my personal life, my partner of 7 years left me suddenly and I started anti depressants two weeks ago. The wedding is very soon and I feel terrible but I really don’t want to go for the following reasons:
-emotionally, I am not in a great place and there will be a lot of triggers at the wedding. I am anxious about how I’ll react and that I won’t be able to put on a brave face for multiple days away from my support systems at home right now
-I know no one else going, which will exacerbate the above point
-it’s not in my home country- it’s an 8 hour flight so I’ll be gone for a week
-it’s costing me $3.5k, at a minimum- the bride has not offered to cover anything so I’ve paid for everything (flights, accommodation, dress, accessories, hair and make up, I will be covering all transport to and from venues when I’m there and it is definitely expected that I give a wedding gift which is to be money)
Up until a couple months ago I was happy to go and had got my dress. But things really did come crashing down. And in the last week I’ve had to move home which was extremely painful. So when I agreed to be a bridesmaid my life looked very different. The money side of things would have always been there but some of it would have been split with my ex and it would have been a happy occasion and trip for us to go on together. I also thought the bride would cover something, or even contribute to the dress or hair and make up seeing as she wants me in the bridal party. Maybe I was naive or should have asked her outright what she was going to cover but lesson learnt there. Nearly everyone I’ve told has been shocked she hasn’t even offered to cover something but as I’ve never been a bridesmaid before I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect.
Right now I can cancel flights and hotel and not lose anything as they have free cancellation, so can get about 3k back.
But ultimately i just don’t feel excited about it, it feels like a chore (which it shouldn’t!) or like a job that I’m paying to do. I feel an obligation to go, which I guess I do have as a bridesmaid, but honestly I feel like I need to put myself first (for once). I gave so much to my ex and I’ve been really emotionally tired for the past year, trying to support him as best I could, which meant putting my needs on the back burner . I know this isn’t my friends problem but it’s really affected me and made me think I need to do what I want to do more and not be such a pushover. And right now I need to heal and honour my emotions. But I feel shit about it.
WIBTA if I back out of the wedding?
submitted by ThrowRA_101023 to AITAH [link] [comments]


2023.05.29 00:40 RandomAppalachian468 Don't fly over Barron County Ohio.

The whirring blades of my MD-902 throbbed against the warm evening air, and I smiled.
From 5,000 feet, the ground flew by in a carpet of dark forests and kelly-green fields. The sun hung low on the horizon in a picturesque array of dazzling orange and gold, and I could make out the narrow strip of the Ohio River to my left, glistening in the fading daylight. This time of year, the trees would be full of the sweet aroma of fresh blossoms, and the frequent rains kept small pockets of fluffy white mist hanging in the treetops. It was a beautiful view, one that reminded me of why being a helicopter pilot trumped flying in a jumbo jet far above the clouds every day of the week.
Fourteen more days, and I’m debt free.
That made me grin even more. I’d been working as a charter pilot ever since I obtained my license at age 19, and after years of keeping my nose to the grindstone, I was closing on the final payment for real-estate in western Pennsylvania. With no debt, a fixer-upper house on 30 rural acres all to myself, and a respectable wage for a 26-year-old pilot, I looked forward to the financial freedom I could now enjoy. Maybe I’d take a vacation, somewhere exotic like Venice Italy, or the Dominican Republic. Or perhaps I’d sock the money back for the day I started a family.
“Remember kleineun, a real man looks after his own.”
My elderly ouma’s voice came back from the depths of my memories, her proud, sun-tanned face rising from the darkness. She and my Rhodesian grandfather had emigrated to the US when they were newlyweds, as the violence against white Boer descendants in South Africa spiraled out of control. My mother and father both died in a car crash when I was six, and it had been my grandparents who raised me. Due to this, I’d grown up with a slight accent that many of my classmates found amusing, and I could speak both English, and Afrikaans, the Boer tongue of our former home.
I shifted in my seat, stretched my back muscles, and glanced at the picture taped to my console. Both my parents flanked a grinning, gap-toothed six-year-old me, at the last Christmas we’d spent together. My mother beamed, her dark hair and Italian features a sharp contrast to my father’s sandy blonde hair and blue eyes. Sometimes, I liked to imagine they were smiling at me with pride at how well I flew the old silver-colored bird my company had assigned to me, and that made the long, lonely flights easier to bear.
A flicker caught my eye, and I broke my gaze away from the photograph.
Perched in its small cradle above the controls, my little black Garmin fuzzed over for a few seconds, its screen shifting from brightly colored maps to a barrage of grey static.
Did the power chord come loose?
I checked, ensuring the power-cable for the unit’s battery was plugged into the port on the control panel. It was a brand-new GPS unit, and I’d used it a few times already, so I knew it wasn’t defective. Granted, I could fly and navigate without it, but the Garmin made my time as a pilot so much easier that the thought of going blind was dreadful.
My fuel gauge danced, clicked to empty, then to full, in a bizarre jolt.
More of the gauges began to stutter, the entire panel seeming to develop terrets all at once, and my pulse began to race. Something was wrong, very wrong, and the sludge inside my bowels churned with sour fear.
“Come on, come on.” I flicked switches, turned dials, punched buttons, but nothing seemed to fix the spasming electronics. Every gauge failed, and without warning, I found myself plunged into inky darkness.
Outside, the sun surrendered to the pull of night, the sky darker than usual. A distant rumble of thunder reverberated above the roar of my helicopter’s engine, and I thought I glimpsed a streak of yellowish lightning on the far horizon to my left.
Calm down Chris. We’re still flying, so it must just be a blown fuse. Stay in control and find a place to set her down.
My sweaty palm slid on the cyclic stick, and both feet weighed heavy on the yaw pedals. The collective stuck to my other hand with a nervous vibration, and I squinted against the abyss outside.
Beep.
I jumped despite myself, as the little Garmin on my panel flared back to life, the static pulling aside to reveal a twitching display. Each time the screen glitched, it showed the colorful map detailing my flight path over the ground below, but I noticed that some of the lines changed, the names shifting, as if the device couldn’t decide between two different versions of the world.
One name jutted out at me, slate gray like most of the major county names, appearing with ghostly flickers from between two neighboring ones.
Barron County.
I stared, confused. I’d flown over this section of southeastern Ohio plenty of times, and I knew the counties by heart. At this point, I should have been over the southern end of Noble County, and maybe dipping lower into Washington. There was no Barron County in Ohio. I was sure of it.
And yet it shown back at me from the digital landscape, a strange, almost cigar-shaped chunk of terrain carved from the surrounding counties like a tumor, sometimes there, sometimes not, as my little Garmin struggled to find the correct map. Rain began to patter against my cockpit window, and the entire aircraft rattled from a strong gust of wind. Thick clouds closed over my field of vision like a sea of gray cotton.
The blood in my veins turned to ice, and I sucked in a nervous breath.
Land. I had to land. There was nothing else to do, my flight controls weren’t responding, and only my Garmin had managed to come back to life. Perhaps I’d been hit by lightning, and the electronics had been fried? Either way, it was too dark to tell, but a storm seemed to be brewing, and if I didn’t get my feet on the ground soon, I could be in real trouble.
“Better safe than sorry.” I pushed down on the collective to start my slow descent and clicked the talking button for my headset. “Any station, this is Douglass Three-One-Four-Foxtrot, over.”
Nothing.
“Any station, this is Douglass Three-One-Four-Foxtrot, requesting emergency assistance, over.”
Still nothing.
If the radio’s dead, I’m really up a creek.
With my hand shaking, I clicked on the mic one more time. “Any station, this is—”
Like a curtain pulling back, the fog cleared from around my window, and the words stuck in my throat.
Without my gauges, I couldn’t tell just how far I’d descended, but I was definitely very low. Thick trees poked up from the ground, and the hills rolled into high ridges with flat valley floors, fields and pastures pockmarking them. Rain fell all around in cold, silvery sheets, a normal feature for the mid spring in this part of Ohio.
What wasn’t normal, were the fires.
At first, I thought they were forest fires for the amount of smoke and flames that bellowed from each spot, but as I swooped lower, my eyes widened in horror.
They were houses.
Farms, cottages, little clusters that barely constituted villages, all of them belched orange flames and black pillars of sooty smoke. I couldn’t hear above the helicopter blades, but I could see the flashes on the ground, along the road, in between the trees, and even coming from the burning buildings, little jets of golden light that spat into the darkness with anger.
Gunfire. That’s rifle fire, a whole lot of it.
Tiny black figures darted through the shadows, barely discernable from where I sat, several hundred feet up. I couldn’t see much, but some were definitely running away, the streaks of yellow gunfire chasing them. A few dark gray vehicles rumbled down one of the gravel roads, and sprayed fire into the houses as it went. They were fighting, I realized, the people in the trucks and the locals. It was horrific, like something out of war-torn Afghanistan, but worse.
Then, I caught a glimpse of the others.
They didn’t move like the rest, who either fled from the dark vehicles, or fired back from behind cover. These skinny figures loped along with haphazard gaits, many running on all fours like animals, swarming from the trees by the dozens. They threw themselves into the gales of bullets without flinching, attacking anyone within range, and something about the way they moved, so fluid, so fearless, made my heart skip a beat.
What is that?
“Echo Four Actual to unknown caller, please respond, over.”
Choking back a cry of shock, I fumbled at the control panel with clumsy fingers, the man’s voice sharp and stern. I hadn’t realized that I’d let go of the talking button and clicked it down again. “Hello? Hello, this is Douglass Three-One-Four-Foxtrot out of Pittsburgh, over.”
An excruciating moment passed, and I continued to zoom over the trees, the fires falling away behind me as more silent forest took over.
“Roger that Douglass Three-One-Four-Foxtrot, we read you loud and clear. Please identify yourself and any passengers or cargo you might be carrying, over.”
Swallowing hard, I eyed the treetops, which looked much closer than they should have been. How far had I descended? “Echo Four Actual, my name is Christopher Dekker, and I am alone. I’m a charter flight from PA, carrying medical equipment for OSU in Columbus. My controls have been damaged, and I am unable to safely carry on due to the storm. Requesting permission to land, over.”
I watched the landscape slide by underneath me, once catching sight of what looked like a little white church surrounded by smaller huts, dozens of figures in the yard staring up at me as I flew over a nearby ridgeline.
“Solid copy on that Douglass Three-One-Four-Foxtrot. Be advised, your transponder shows you to be inside a restricted zone. Please cease all radio traffic, reduce your speed, climb to 3,000 feet and proceed north. We’ll talk you in from there. How copy, over?”
My heart jumped, and I let out a sigh of relief. “Roger that Echo Four Actual, my altimeter is down, but I’ll do my best to eyeball the altitude, over.”
With that, I pulled the collective upward, and tried my best to gauge how far I was by eyesight in the gathering night, rain still coming down all around me. This had to be some kind of disaster or riot, I decided. After all, the voice over the radio sounded like military, and those vehicles seemed to have heavy weapons. Maybe there was some kind of unrest going on here that I hadn’t heard about yet?
Kind of weird for it to happen in rural areas though. Spoiled college kids I get, but never saw farmers get so worked up before. They usually love the military.
Something moved in the corner of my eye, and I turned out of reflex.
My mouth fell open, and I froze, unable to scream.
In the sky beside me, a huge shadow glided along, and its leathery wings effortlessly carved through the gloom, flapping only on occasion to keep it aloft. It was too dark for me to see what color it was, but from the way it moved, I knew it wasn’t another helicopter. No, this thing was alive, easily the size of a small plane, and more than twice the length of my little McDonald Douglass. A long tail trailed behind it, and bore a distinct arrow-shaped snout, with twig-like spines fanned out around the back of its head. Whatever legs it had were drawn up under it like a bird, yet its skin appeared rough and knobby, almost resembling tree bark. Without pause, the gigantic bat-winged entity flew along beside me, as if my presence was on par with an annoying fly buzzing about its head.
Gripping the microphone switch so tight, I thought I’d crack the plastic, I whispered into my headset, forgetting all radio protocol. “T-There’s something up here.”
Static crackled.
“Douglas Three-One-Four-Foxtrot, say again your last, you’re coming in weak and unreadable, over.”
“There’s something up here.” I snarled into the headset, still glued to the controls of the helicopter, afraid to deviate even an inch from my course in case the monstrosity decided to turn on me. “A freaking huge thing, right beside me. I swear, it looks like a bat or . . . I don’t know.”
“Calm down.” The man on the other end of the radio broke his rigorous discipline as well, his voice deep, but level. “It won’t attack if you don’t move too fast. Slowly ease away from it and follow that course until you’re out of sight.”
I didn’t have time to think about how wrong that sounded, how the man’s strict tone had changed to one of knowledge, how he hadn’t been the least surprised by what I’d said. Instead, I slowly turned the helicopter away from the huge menace and edged the speed higher in tiny increments.
As soon as I was roughly two football fields away, I let myself relax, and clicked the mic switch. “It’s not following.”
“You’re sure?”
Eyeing the huge flapping wings, I nodded, then remembered he couldn’t see me. “Yeah, I’m well clear.”
“Good. Thank you, Mr. Dekker.”
Then, the radio went dead.
Something in my chest dropped, a weight that made my stomach roil. This wasn’t right, none of it. Who was that man? Why did he know about the thing I’d just seen? What was I supposed to—
A flash of light exploded from the trees to my right and shot into the air with a long finger of smoke.
What the . . .
On instinct, I jerked the cyclic stick to one side, and the helicopter swung to avoid the rocket.
Boom.
My world shook, metal screeched, and a dozen alarms began to go off inside the cockpit in a cacophony of beeps and sirens. Orange and red flames lit up the night sky just behind me, and the horizon started to spin wildly outside. Heat gushed from the cockpit door, and I smelled the greasy stench of burning oil. The safety belts dug into my shoulders, and with a final slip, the radio headset ripped free from my scalp.
I’m hit.
Desperate, I yanked on the controls, fought the bird even as she spun toward the ground in a wreath of flames, the inky black trees hurtling up to meet me. The helicopter went into full auto-rotation, the sky blurring past outside, and the alarms blared in a screech of doom. Panic slammed through my temples, I screamed at the top of my lungs, and for one brief second, my eyes locked on the little black Garmin still perched atop my control panel.
Its screen stopped twitching and settled on a map of the mysterious Barron County, with a little red arrow at the center of the screen, a few words popping up underneath it.
You are here.
Trees stabbed up into the sky, the belts crushed at my torso, glass shattered all around me, and the world went dark.
Copper, thick, warm, and tangy.
It filled my mouth, stank metallic in my nose, clogged my throat, choking me. In the murkiness, I fought for a surface, for a way out, blind and numb in the dark.
This way, kleineun.
My ouma’s voice echoed from somewhere in the shadows.
This way.
Both eyes flew open, and I gagged, spitting out a stream of red.
Pain throbbed in my ribs, and a heavy pressure sent a tingling numbness through my shoulders. Blood roared inside my temples, and stars danced before my eyes with a dizzying array. Humid night air kissed my skin, and something sticky coated my face, neck, and arms that hung straight up toward the ceiling.
Wait. Not up. Down.
I blinked at the wrinkled, torn ceiling of the cockpit, the glass all gone, the gray aluminum shredded like tissue paper. Just outside the broken windows, thick Appalachian bluegrass and stemmy underbrush swished in a feeble breeze, backlit by flashes of lightning from the thunderstorm overhead. Green and brown leaves covered everything in a wet carpet of triangles, and somewhere nearby, a cricket chirped.
Turning my head from side to side, I realized that I hung upside down inside the ruined helicopter, the top half burrowed into the mud. I could hear the hissing and crackling of flames, the pattering of rain falling on the hot aluminum, and the smaller brush fires around the downed aircraft sizzling out in the damp long grass. Charred steel and burning oil tainted the air, almost as strong as the metallic, coppery stench in my aching nose.
They shot me down. That military dude shot me out of the sky.
It didn’t make sense. I’d followed their orders, done everything they’d said, and yet the instant I veered safely away from whatever that thing in the sky had been, they’d fired, not at it, but at me.
Looking down (or rather, up) at my chest, I sucked in a gasp, which was harder to do that before.
The navy-blue shirt stuck to my torso with several big splotches of dark, rusty red. Most were clean slashes, but two held bits of glass sticking out of them, one alarmingly bigger than the other. They dripped cherry red blood onto my upturned face, and a wave of nausea hit me.
I gotta get down.
I flexed my arms to try and work some feeling back into them, praying nothing was broken. Half-numb from hanging so long, I palmed along my aching body until I felt the buckled for the seat belts.
“Okay.” I hissed between gritted teeth, in an effort to stave off my panic. “You can do this. Just hold on tight. Nice and tight. Here we go . . .”
Click.
Everything seemed to lurch, and I slid off the seat to plummet towards the muck-filled hole in the cockpit ceiling. My fingers were slick with blood and slipped over the smooth faux-leather pilot’s seat with ease. The shoulder belt snagged on the bits of glass that lay just under the left lowest rib, and a flare of white-hot pain ripped through me.
Wham.
I screamed, my right knee caught the edge of the aluminum ceiling, and both hands dove into a mound of leaf-covered glass shards on the opposite side of the hole. My head swam, being right-side-up again enough to make shadows gnaw at the corner of my eyes.
Forcing myself to breath slowly, I fought the urge to faint and slid back to sit on the smooth ceiling. I turned my hands over to see half a dozen bits of clear glass burrowed into my skin like greedy parasites, red blood weeping around the new cuts.
“Screw you.” I spat at the rubbish with angry tears in my eyes. “Screw you, screw you, screw you.”
The shards came out easy enough, and the cuts weren’t that deep, but that wasn’t what worried me. On my chest, the single piece of cockpit glass that remined was almost as big as my palm, and it really hurt. Just touching it felt like self-inflicted torture, but I knew it had to come out sooner or later.
Please don’t nick a vein.
Wiping my hands dry on my jeans, I gripped the shard with both hands, and jerked.
Fire roared over my ribs, and hot blood tickled my already grimy pale skin. I clapped a hand over the wound, pressing down hard, and grunted out a string of hateful expletives that my ouma would have slapped me for.
Lying on my back, I stared around me at the messy cargo compartment of the MD-902. Most of the medical supplies had been in cardboard boxes strapped down with heavy nylon tow-straps, but several cases had ruptured with the force of the impact, spraying bandages, syringes, and pill bottles all over the cluttered interior. Orange flames chewed at the crate furthest to the rear, the tail section long gone, but the foremost part of the hold was intact. Easily a million-dollar mess, it would have made me faint on any other trip, but today it was a godsend.
Half-blind in the darkness, I crawled along with only the firelight and lightning bolts to guide me, my right knee aching. Like a crippled raccoon, I collected things as I went, conscious of the two pallets of intact supplies weighing right over my head. I’d taken several different first-aid courses with some hunting buddies of mine, and the mental reflexes kicked in to help soothe my frazzled mind.
Check for bleeds, stop the worst, then move on.
Aside from my battered chest and stomach, the rest of me remained mostly unharmed. I had nasty bruises from the seatbelts, my right knee swelled, my nose slightly crooked and crusted in blood, but otherwise I was intact. Dowsing every scratch and cut with a bottle of isopropyl alcohol I found, I used butterfly closures on the smaller lacerations that peppered my skin. I wrapped soft white gauze over my abused palms and probed at the big cut where the last shard had been, only stopping when I was sure there were no pieces of glass wedged inside my flesh.
“Not too bad.” I grunted to myself, trying to sound impassive like a doctor might. “Rib must have stopped it. Gonna need stitches though. That’ll be fun.”
Pawing through the broken cases, I couldn’t find any suture chord, but just as I was about to give up, I noticed a small box that read ‘medical skin stapler’.
Bingo.
I tore the small white plastic stapler free from its packaging and eyeballed the device. I’d never done this before, only seen it in movies, and even though the cut in my skin hurt, I wondered if this wouldn’t be worse.
You’ve gotta do it. That bleeding needs to stop. Besides, no one’s coming to rescue you, not with those rocket-launching psychos out there.
Taking a deep breath, I pinched the skin around the gash together, and pressed the mouth of the stapler to it.
Click.
A sharp sting, like that of a needle bit at the skin, but it didn’t hurt nearly as bad as the cut itself. I worked my way across the two-inch laceration and gave out a sigh of relief when it was done.
“Not going to bleed to death today.” I daubed ointment around the staples before winding more bandages over the wound.
Popping a few low-grade painkillers that tumbled from the cargo, I crawled wriggled through the nearest shattered window into the wet grass.
Raindrops kissed my face, clean and cool on my sweaty skin. Despite the thick cloud cover, there was enough constant lightning strikes within the storm to let me get glimpses of the world around me. My helicopter lay on its back, the blades snapped like pencils, with bits and pieces of it burning in chunks all around the small break in the trees. Chest-high scrub brush grew all around the low-lying ground, with pockets of standing water in places. My ears still rang from the impact of the crash, but I could start to pick up more crickets, frogs, and even some nocturnal birds singing into the darkness, like they didn’t notice the huge the hulk of flaming metal that had fallen from the sky. Overhead, the thunder rumbled onward, the feeble wind whistling, and there were other flashes on the horizon, orange and red ones, with crackles that didn’t sound quite like lightning.
The guns. They’re still fighting.
Instinctively, I pulled out my cellphone, and tapped the screen.
It fluttered to life, but no matter how I tried, I couldn’t get through to anyone, not even with the emergency function designed to work around having no service. The complicated wonder of our modern world was little better than a glorified paperweight.
Stunned, I sat down with my back to the helicopter and rested my head against the aluminum skin of the craft. How I’d gone from a regular medical supply run to being marooned in this hellish parody of rural America, I didn’t know, but one thig was certain; I needed a plan. Whoever fired the missile could have already contacted my charter company and made up some excuse to keep them from coming to look for me. No one else knew I was here, and even though I now had six staples holding the worst of my injuries shut, I knew I needed proper medical attention. If I wanted to live, I’d have to rescue myself.
My bag. I need to get my go-bag, grab some gear and then . . . head somewhere else.
It took me a while to gather my green canvas paratrooper bag from its place behind the pilot’s seat and fill it with whatever supplies I could scrounge. My knee didn’t seem to be broken, but man did it hurt, and I dreaded the thought of walking on it for miles on end. I focused instead on inventorying my gear and trying to come up with a halfway intelligent plan of action.
I had a stainless-steel canteen with one of those detachable cups on the bottom, a little fishing kit, some duct tape, a lighter, a black LED flashlight with three spare batteries, a few tattered road maps with a compass, a spare pair of socks, medical supplies from the cargo, and a simple forest green plastic rain poncho. I also managed to unearth a functioning digital camcorder my ouma had gotten me for Christmas a few years back, though I wasn’t sure I wanted to do any filming in such a miserable state. Lastly, since it was a private supply run from a warehouse area near Pittsburgh to a direct hospital pad in Ohio, I’d been able to bring my K-Bar, a sturdy, and brutally simple knife designed for the Marine Corps that I used every time I went camping. It was pitiful in comparison to the rifle I wished I had with me, but that didn’t matter now. I had what I had, and I doubted my trusty Armalite would have alleviated my sore knee anyway.
Clicking on my flashlight, I huddled with the poncho around my shoulders inside the wreck of the chopper and peered at the dusty roadmaps. A small part of me hoped that a solution would jump out from the faded paper, but none came. These were all maps of western PA and eastern Ohio. None of them had a Barron County on them anywhere.
The man on the radio said to head north, right before they shot me down. That means they must be camped out to the north of here. South had that convoy and those burning houses, so that’s a no-go. Maybe I can backtrack eastward the way I came.
As if on cue, a soft pop echoed from over the eastern horizon, and I craned to look out the helicopter window, spotting more man-made flashes over the tree tops.
“Great.” I hissed between clenched teeth, aware of how the temperature dipped to a chilly 60 degrees, and how despite the conditions, my stomach had begun to growl. “Not going that way, are we? Westward it is.”
Walking away from my poor 902 proved to be harder than I’d anticipated. Despite the glass, the fizzling fires, and the darkness, it still held a familiar, human essence to it. Sitting inside it made me feel secure, safe, even calm about the situation. In any other circumstance, I would have just stayed with the downed aircraft to wait for help, but I knew the men who shot me down would likely find my crash site, and I didn’t want to be around when they did.
Unlike much of central and western Ohio, southeastern Ohio is hilly, brushy, and clogged with thick forests. Thorns snagged at my thin poncho and sliced at my pant legs. My knee throbbed, every step a form of self-inflicted torture. The rain never stopped, a steady drizzle from above just cold enough to be problematic as time went on, making me shiver. Mud slid under my tennis shoes, and every tree looked ten times bigger in the flickering beam of my cheap flashlight. Icy fear prickled at the back of my neck at some of the sounds that greeted me through the gloom. I’d been camping loads of times, both in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, but these noises were something otherworldly to me.
Strange howls, screeches, and calls permeated the rain-soaked sky, some almost roars, while others bordered on human in their intonation. The more I walked, the softer the distant gunfire became, and the more prevalent the odd sounds, until the shadows seemed to fill with them. I didn’t dare turn off my flashlight, or I’d been completely blind in the dark, but a little voice in the back of my head screamed that I was too visible, crunching through the gloomy forest with my long beam of light stabbing into the abyss. It felt as though a million eyes were on me, studying me, hunting me from the surrounding brush, and I bitterly recalled how much I’d loved the old Survivor Man TV series as a kid.
Not so fun being out in the woods at night. Especially alone.
A twig snapped somewhere behind me, and I whirled on the spot, one trembling hand resting on the hilt of my K-Bar.
Nothing. Nothing but trees, bushes, and rain dripping down in the darkness.
“This is stupid.” I whispered to myself to keep my nerves in check as I slowly spun on the spot. “I should have went eastward anyway. God knows how long I’m going to have to—”
Creak.
A groan of metal-on-metal echoed from somewhere to my right, and I spun to face it, yanking the knife on my belt free from its scabbard. It felt so small and useless in my hand, and I choked down a wave of nauseas fear.
Ka-whump. Creak. K-whump. Creak.
Underbrush cracked and crunched, a few smaller saplings thrashed, and from deep within the gloom, two yellow orbs flared to life. They poked through the mist in the trees, forming into slender fingers of golden light that swept back and forth in the dark.
The soldiers . . . they must be looking for me.
I swallowed hard and turned to slink away.
Ice jammed through my blood, and I froze on the spot, biting my tongue to stop the scream.
It stood not yards away, a huge form that towered a good twelve feet tall in the swirling shadows. Unpolished chrome blended with flash-rusted spots in the faded red paint, and grime-smeared glass shone with dull hues in the flashes of lightning. Where the wheels should have been, the rounded steel axels curved like some enormous hand had bent them, and the tires lay face-down on the muddy ground like big round feet, their hubcaps buried in the dirt. Dents, scrapes, and chips covered the battered thing, and its crooked little radio antenna pointed straight up from the old metal fender like a mast. I could barely make out the mud-coated VW on the rounded hood, and my mind reeled in shock.
Is . . . is that a car?
Both yellow headlights bathed me in a circle of bright, blinding light, and neither I nor the strange vehicle moved.
Seconds ticked by, the screech-thumping in the background only growing closer. I realized that I couldn’t hear any engine noises and had yet to see any soldiers or guns pointed my way. This car looked old, really old, like one of those classic Volkswagen Beetles that collectors fought over at auctions. Try as I might, I couldn’t see a driver inside the murky, mold-smeared windows.
Because there wasn’t one.
Lightning arched across the sky overhead, and the car standing in front of me blinked.
Its headlights slid shut, as if little metal shades had crawled over the bulbs for a moment and flicked open again. Something about that movement was so primal, so real, so lifelike, that every ounce of self-control I had melted in an instant.
Cursing under my breath, I lunged into the shrubs, and the world erupted around me.
Under my shoes, the ground shook, and the car surged after me in a cacophony of ka-thumps that made my already racing heart skip several beats. A weather-beaten brown tow truck from the 50’s charged through the thorns to my left, it’s headlights ablaze, and a dilapidated yellow school bus rose from its hiding place in the weeds to stand tall on four down-turned axel-legs. They all flicked their headlights on like giants waking from their slumber, and as I dodged past them, they each blared their horn into the night in alarm.
My breaths came short and tight, my knee burned, and I crashed through thorns and briars without thought to how badly I was getting cut up.
The cheap poncho tore, and I ripped it away as it caught on a tree branch.
A purple 70’s Mustang shook off its blanket of creeping vines and bounded from a stand of trees just ahead, forcing me to swerve to avoid being run over, my adrenaline at all-time highs.
This can’t be happening, this can’t be happening, this can’t be happening.
Slipping and sliding, I pushed through a stand of multiflora rose, and stumbled out into a flat, dark expanse.
I almost skidded to a stop.
What had once been a rather large field stood no taller than my shoestrings, the grass charred, and burnt. The storm above illuminated huge pieces of wreckage that lay scattered over the nearly 40-acre plot, and I could just make out the fire-blackened hulk of a fuselage resting a hundred yards away. The plane had been brought down a while ago it seemed, as there weren’t any flames left burning, and I threw myself toward it in frenzied desperation.
Burned grass and greasy brown topsoil slushed underfoot, and I could hear the squelching of the cars pursing me. Rain soaked me to the bone, and my lungs ached from sucking down the damp night air. A painful stich crept into my side, and I cursed myself for not putting in more time for cardio at the gym.
Something caught my left shoelace, and I hurtled to the ground, tasting mud and blood in between my teeth.
They’ve got me now.
I clawed at the mud, rolled, and watched a tire slam down mere inches from where my head had been. The Mustang loomed over me and jostled for position with the red Volkswagen and brown tow truck, the school bus still a few yards behind them. They couldn’t seem to decide who would get the pleasure of stomping me to death, and like a herd of stampeding wildebeest, they locked bumpers in an epic shoving match.
On all fours, I scampered out from under the sparring brutes, and dashed for the crumpled airplane, a white-painted DC-3 that looked like it had been cut in half by a gargantuan knife blade. I passed a snapped wing section, the oily remains of a turbo-prop engine, and a mutilated wheel from the landing gear. Climbing over a heap of mud, I squeezed into the back of the ruined flight cabin and dropped down into the dark cargo hold.
Wham.
No sooner had my sneakers hit the cold metal floor, and the entire plane rocked from the impact of something heavy ramming it just outside. I tumbled to my knees, screaming in pain as, once again, I managed to bash the sore one off a bracket in the wall.
My hand smeared in something gooey, and I scrabbled for my flashlight.
It clicked on, a wavering ball of white light in the pitch darkness, and I fought the urge to gag. “Oh man . . .”
Three people, or what was left of them, lay strewn over the narrow cargo area. Claret red blood coated the walls, caked on the floor, and clotted under my mud-spattered shoes. Bits of flesh and viscera were stuck to everything, and tatters of cloth hung from exposed sections of broken bone. An eerie set of bloody handprints adorned the walls, and the only reason I could tell it had been three people were the shoes; all of them bore anklebones sticking out above blood-soaked socks. It smelled sickly sweet, a strange, nauseas odor that crept into my nose and settled on the back of my tongue like an alien parasite.
Something glinted in the beam of my flashlight, and my pulse quickened as I pried the object loose from the severed arm that still clung to it.
“Hail Mary full of Grace.” I would have grinned if it weren’t for the fact that the plane continued to buck and roll under the assault from the cars outside.
The pistol looked old, but well-maintained, aside from the light coating of dark blood that stained its round wooden handle. It felt heavy, but good in my hand, and I turned it over to read the words, Waffenfabrik Mauser stenciled into the frame, with a large red 9 carved into the grip. For some reason, it vaguely reminded me of the blasters from Star Wars.
I fumbled with a little switch that looked like a safety on the back of the gun and stumbled toward a gap in the plane’s dented fuselage to aim out at the surrounding headlights.
Bang.
The old gun bucked reliably in my hand, its long barrel spitting a little jet of flame into the night. I had no idea if I hit anything, but the attacking cars recoiled, their horns blaring in confusion.
They turned, and scuttled for the tree line as fast as their mechanical legs could go, the entire ordeal over as fast as it had begun.
Did I do that?
Perplexed, I stared down at the pistol in my hand.
Whoosh.
A large, inky black shadow glided down from the clouds, and the yellow school bus moved too slow to react in time.
With a crash, the kicking nightmarish vehicle was thrown onto its side, spraying glass and chrome trim across the muddy field. Its electro-synth horn blared with wails of mechanical agony, as two huge talon-like feet clamped down on it, and the enormous head of the flying creature lowered to rip open its engine compartment.
The horn cut out, and the enormous flying entity jerked its head back to gulp down a mass of what looked like sticky black vines from the interior of the shattered bus.
At this range, I could see now that the flying creature bore two legs and had its wings half-tucked like a vulture that had descended to feed on roadkill. Its head turned slightly, and in the glow of another lightning bolt, my jaw went slack at the realization of what it was.
A tree trunk. It’s a rotted tree trunk.
I couldn’t tell where the reptilian beast began, and where the organic tree components ended, the upper part of the head shaped like a log, while the lower jaw resembled something out of a dinosaur movie. Its skin looked identical to the outside of a shagbark hickory but flexed with a supple featheriness that denoted something closer to skin. Sharp branch-like spines ranged down its back, and out to the end of its tail, which bore a massive round club shaped like a diseased tree-knot. Crouched on both hind legs, it braced the hooked ends of its folded wings against the ground like a bat, towering higher than a semi-truck. Under the folds of its armored head, a bulging pair of chameleon-like eyes constantly spun in their sockets, probing the dark for threats while it ate.
One black pupil locked onto the window I peered through, and my heart stopped.
The beast regarded me for a moment, making a curious, sideways sniff.
With a proud, contemptful head-toss, the shadow from the sky parted rows of razor-sharp teeth to let out a roar that shook the earth beneath my feet. It was the triumphant war cry of a creature that sat at the very top of the food chain, one that felt no threat from the fragile two-legged beings that walked the earth all around it. It hunted whenever it wanted, ate whatever it wanted, and flew wherever it wanted. It didn’t need to rip the plane apart to devour me.
Like my hunter-gatherer ancestors from thousands of years ago, I wasn’t even worth the energy it would take to pounce.
I’m hiding in the remains of the cockpit now, which is half-buried under the mud of the field, enough to shield the light from my screen so that thing doesn’t see it. My service only now came back, and it’s been over an hour since the winged beast started in on the dead bus. I don’t know when, or how I’m going to get out of here. I don’t know when anyone will even see this post, or if it will upload at all. My phone battery is almost dead, and at this point, I’m probably going to have to sleep among the corpses until daylight comes.
A dead man sleeping amongst friends.
If you live in the Noble County area in southeastern Ohio, be careful where you drive, fly, and boat. I don’t know if it’s possible to stumble into this strange place by ground, but if so, then these things are definitely headed your way.
If that happens . . . pray that they don’t find you.
submitted by RandomAppalachian468 to nosleep [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 23:36 RangerFrank Deathworld Commando: Reborn-Vol.7 Ch.158- New This, New That.

CoverVol.1PreviousNextMapsWiki+DiscordRoyal RoadWebNovelTapasKo-FiFandom/wiki
Good afternoon party people.
As a reminder, I will be going on vacation starting tomorrow. I will be gone and away from my computer and duties, so tomorrow's chapter is coming today.
There will not be a chapter Monday, June 5th. I'm uncertain if I will post at all during the week of June 5th. It all depends on when I get back and how I feel after a long plane flight.
Regardless of what I do, we will return to our regularly scheduled posting starting June 12th.
I'll miss you all, and I hope you all have a wonderful week. And for those of you in the state, I hope you enjoy having Monday off.
And for those of you who just can't wait...well...buy me a drink and get some chapters on Ko-Fi >:)
---
Kaladin Shadowheart’s POV
I finished buttoning the top button on Mila’s coat and stepped back to appreciate just how well it matched her school uniform. I had to say. I had done a great job without even meaning to.
She looked positively adorable in all red with her little hat. Even her ears poked out from the top, and now that her hair had grown more, it really helped fill her face out. She looked up at me with piercing blue eyes and an expectant look. I couldn’t help but chuckle and pat her on the head.
“You are too cute for your own good,” I told her.
A smile bloomed on her face, and she hugged the hand patting her. “Daddy is even prettier!”
Prettier, huh? Should I be happy that I’m pretty? I think I should. Better to be a pretty daddy than an ugly one, I guess.
“Are we ready to go?” I asked the person standing in the doorway with a smile on her face.
Mila ran over and hugged Sylvia. “Sylvia is pretty too!”
Sylvia stroked Mila’s hair, and her smile brightened even more. “Thank you, Mila,” she said softly. “Let’s go, shall we? We don’t want to be late for our first day of class.”
Today was the first day of school, so we were all dressed up in our school uniforms. It had been a long time since I donned the red and gold jacket of Forward University, not since I had reunited with my family. In that amount of time, I had missed a lot of school as well as essential tests and such.
It was a shame, but to be honest, I didn’t exactly need to attend classes, nor did I need to graduate. As far as I was concerned, my family came first, and I fully intended to accept whatever consequences came my way, even if that meant expulsion from the university.
However, that never came to pass as Bowen explained that all was well. Students missing class for important reasons was common enough and wouldn’t negatively reflect on them if they had sufficient proof and explanation. But that meant I had to make up all those tests, which was a hassle and something I didn’t want to do.
In the end, Bowen suggested that I simply take the tests I missed. If I passed them, then there was nothing to worry about, and I could continue with my studies as if nothing had happened. Apparently, Forward University did offer advanced placement tests in specific scenarios. After all, it would be useless to have a student take a class they didn’t actually need.
Either way, I’m not looking forward to it, even if I can pass the tests with ease.
“Hey, what is Professor Garrison doing here?” Sylvia asked as we made our way down the stairs.
Professor Garrison was at the front door, talking with my parents. He looked apologetic as he lowered his head after speaking a few times. Our eyes met, and he gave me a quick nod of greeting as well. Come to think of it. I hadn’t parted ways with him amicably the last time we met.
I didn’t mean to do that to him. Professor Garrison had always been good to me, and I appreciated him as a person, friend, and mentor. But at the time, I couldn’t let him threaten my family like that. I had my priorities, and I wasn’t afraid to handle those who wanted to threaten my family, even if they were friends.
“Good morning, Professor,” I said with a friendly nod.
“Good morning, Kaladin, Sylvia, and Mila. I’m sorry to bother you before classes, but I thought it would be best to do this now…I should have come sooner, though,” he said, regret laced in his voice.
I looked at my mother, and she just smiled softly and tilted her chin down. I figured they must have already talked and apologized. If Mom and Dad weren’t mad, then neither was I. Besides, I understood where he came from. It would be hard just to let the person who killed your comrades walk around, even if it was years ago.
“I’m sorry for my outburst in class at that time. I shouldn’t have acted so harshly toward you or your mother. And I definitely shouldn't have drawn my weapon. I’m sorry, Kaladin,” Professor Garrison said with a bow.
I patted the man on the shoulder and just smiled at him. “No need to worry. It appears that everything has already been forgotten and forgiven. And I never harbored any ill will toward you, even after that event,” I told him.
Professor Garrison slowly looked up at me. His green eyes were wide behind his glasses, and his eyebrows were high on his face. He looked genuinely shocked at something.
“Is something the matter? Is there something on my face?” I asked as I wiped at my cheeks.
Professor Garrison shook his head like he was clearing his thoughts with force. “No, no, not at all. I was just a little surprised, that's all.” Then he started laughing, and he even grinned. “It’s been so long since I’ve seen or talked to you, Kaladin. You seem like a completely different person now. No, maybe I should say you’ve finally grown up? No…that’s not quite right either…huh,” he mused with a shrug.
“Hopefully, in a good way?” I asked.
“Yeah…definitely in a good way.” His eyes turned to Sylvia, and he raised an eyebrow. “In a good way?”
“In the best way,” she told him.
Is that so? I think I’ve changed a little, hopefully for the best. If I got any worse, things would probably get ugly fast.
Professor Garrison nodded to himself in satisfaction and then chuckled. “Alright, you three, get to class. I'm going to stay here and talk to your parents for a bit. I might be a little late, so let everyone know for me.”
“Yes, Professor,” I said with a grin.
Mila and Sylvia said their goodbyes and see you laters, and we made our way outside. Forward University was buzzing with energy today as students and staff walked around campus. Even in the early morning hours, the place was truly alive for the first time in months.
We walked through the teacher and staff homes until we reached the main pathway. There were so many students out and about the walkways were actually shoulder-to-shoulder. But as we approached a four-way intersection, there was suddenly a massive traffic congestion of bodies.
Everyone was oohing and awwing as they talked amongst themselves. I followed their eyes and looked up at the giant statue that had been erected in the last few weeks in the new park that had been built. I didn’t pay much attention to it because, frankly, I didn’t care…but now I wish I did.
I gawked at the black marble statue in embarrassment. It depicted what could only be described as me, wearing fancy armor and driving a spear into a Dragon’s skull while I sat atop it triumphantly.
Never in my life had I expected to see me…like that. That’s not even how events played out. My spear never went into the Dragon’s head, and I never stood tall over it. The last time I checked, I was dying while being crushed inside of a rock face.
I really hope there are no statues of me anywhere else…
“Sylvia…remember when I asked if you knew what was going on here…did you lie?” I asked in disbelief.
Sylvia giggled to herself as she looked up at the statute. “I did, sort of. I never imagined it would be taller than the trees.” She tilted her head to the side to look at me. “I think they did a fantastic job. They really caught your general vibe and got your face almost perfect. I probably would have made you a little more handsome, though…maybe make your hair a bit longer.”
I sighed deeply. It was true. Whoever sculpted my face had done a good job at replicating it, which was better than them screwing up and making me look like a fool or too much like some fantasy hero. At least they didn’t have me yelling to the heavens or grinning like a fool. The expression was best described as stoic, which was appropriate considering the event and the number of people that had lost their lives.
“Wow…Big Daddy,” Mila mumbled to herself.
“Please don’t say that out loud, Mila,” I begged.
Then it started.
“Hey, is that him?”
“It is him, right?”
“Yeah, that’s Voker—”
“No, that’s Kaladin, you idiot.”
From there, the voices picked up exponentially, turning into a single block of loud noise. I felt all the eyes in the general vicinity flick toward me as the information of my arrival spread through the crowd. It didn’t help that I was taller than the average person which meant it was easy to spot me in a group.
“Let’s just keep walking,” I muttered.
Thankfully the crowd of onlookers did not impede our walking. They even parted to the sides to let us through, which was both good and bad for various reasons. Mila tightened her grip on my hand, most likely nervous at all the attention she was getting.
Instead of just leaving her be, I picked her up, and she instantly held onto me tightly. I personally didn’t care about fame or the attention. People have gawked at me for as long as I can remember in both of my lives, so this was nothing new. However, it clearly upset Mila, who only had bad memories of large crowds staring at her.
Sylvia and I hastened our pace to class, leaving the onlookers behind us.

“Wow, he actually came to class for once. It’s a miracle,” snickered Varnir.
“Indeed, it has been some time since we have all been together, has it not?” Sylas said thoughtfully.
“I suppose it has been a long time since all of us have been in class at the same time. Even Jen is back with us,” Ren said with a warm smile.
I almost forgot what it was like to be in this class…it’s good to see everyone is happy and healthy again.
Jen had put back on some healthy weight and looked far better than she had during winter. Some color had returned to her face and hair, and she smiled as she sat next to Tsarra. It was also nice to see that Tsarra wasn’t hiding under one of her spells. Perhaps Jen and Varnir would slowly whittle down her shell.
There was a solid thump as Professor Garrison dropped a stack of papers on his desk. He stared out at us, and the entire class went silent. The Professor let out a deep breath and walked to the front podium.
“It’s good to be back, everyone. I hope all of you had a wonderful, rest-filled winter break with your friends and family. I also hope that you did some studying,” he joked with a grin.
A few students groaned in annoyance, but Professor Garrison continued with his trademark smile. “So…we have much to talk about today. As you all know, today is the first day of classes despite there being no lecture. So for that, I welcome all of you to your final year here at Forward University and congratulate you all for being in Class Onward. As your teacher, I am proud of every single one of you for the trials you have overcome this previous year. We all know just how difficult of a year it was…”
The Professor trailed off for a moment before heading to the chalkboard and writing down a name. “As you all have heard, the tournament with Sandervile is being hosted in Luminar this year, which means we are going to be incredibly busy these next few months with training. Of course, those of you who have no intentions of competing will not be forced, but those of you who are interested will have to compete in the school’s preliminaries to be selected, as is tradition.”
That applies to everyone but me. As the sole person who received a golden ticket so to speak, I’m exempt from this preliminary, which is nice.
Professor Garrison pointed at the name on the board. “I’m sure you are already aware of all this. His and Her Majesty have changed this year's venue to the coastal city of Flumare. I’m sure this came as a surprise to many of you, and rest assured. It was a surprise to us as well. We only learned of this change around the same time I’m sure most of you did, especially with the addition of Saber Academy and with Tel’an’duth joining us this year. And I’m here to say that for contestants who qualify, nothing will change. The school will house, feed, and equip you free of charge, as they have done every year. For the students who are interested in traveling to the venue, the school is offering free tickets as well as free passage to the city. However, lodging is another matter that has still yet to be resolved. I’ll release the information as I get it but don’t worry too much. I'm sure we will figure something out.”
A few students whispered amongst themselves. But what the professor had said was true. For the first time ever, Tel’an’duth was sending students to the tournament, which was as historical as it sounded since this entire tournament was devised to raise and nurture students to fight against Tel’an’duth.
But now the times are changing. And Queen Maxwell was making her moves.
The professor moved to his desk and grabbed a giant scroll. He unraveled it and laid it across the board for all to see. “Now, this is probably what most of you have been waiting for, our new student standings.”
He gave us a few moments to look over the list. In all honesty, there wasn’t too much of a drastic change overall. However, the top five students had changed significantly, and everyone else sort of moved to reflect that change, staying within one or two spots of their previous ranks.
It was also nice to see that Jen had actually stayed the exact same. It was probably due to the Dragon incident keeping her out of school for so long. If she were to be punished for that, it would have been a heartbreaking penalty.
But…there was a new number one on the board…which I didn’t think was necessary.
“I’m sure that there are very few of you who have complaints about the new number one student. Honestly, giving reasons as to why he shouldn’t be number one would be hard. Well, maybe besides his constant absences,” Professor Garrison said with a grin as he winked at me. “Academically, Kaladin has achieved top marks since his arrival last year, only ever stumbling in his Beastmen language studies. And as for his merits outside of the class and in physical examinations, what else is there to say? Please, everyone, give a clap for our new number one student.”
The class erupted into claps and a few cheers as everyone turned to me. It was a relief to see that people weren’t in an uproar over it. Which I thought would happen since I had missed so much school. But perhaps I had just become too much of a figure to be denied that spot.
I even looked at Lin, and she just winked at me. She had no qualms about relinquishing the position she had maintained all these years. However, I did feel somewhat bad for dethroning her.
“Daddy is number one!” Mila said as she sat up in my lap and hugged me.
Well, this isn’t so bad.
“Now, now, then. We will go over the top five as it has changed the most. Linnetia Paine, although you are now second, I hope you are not discouraged in the slightest,” he said as he eyed Lin.
Lin bowed her head graciously. “Being second to the Dragonslayer is hardly a downgrade. On the contrary, perhaps it’s even more of an upgrade. I have no problems with my ranking, and I am more than happy to congratulate Kaladin,” she said, her voice kind yet firm.
As expected of the next head of the Paine family. I almost forgot that Lin was a noble now.
Everyone clapped at that, and Professor Garrison continued. “Congratulations to Arene Maxwell for successfully holding onto the third-ranked position. In such chaotic times, I believe that shows just how much you have grown.”
Ren bowed her head while everyone clapped for her. “Now, to our new fourth-placed student, Tsarra Tel’an’duth, congratulations on your new ranking. You have by far improved the most out of any previous student. Even though you were not officially recognized for your act of bravery against the Dragon, the school has decided to do this much for a hero. You have also shown incredible growth in your magic, officially reaching the mage rank of Grandmaster. And as to be expected of a princess, your academics are outstanding, and the school has even published your book on illusion magic.”
The room erupted into clapping once more, and I watched Sylvia put a hand to her chin. “She wrote a book? That’s impressive,” Sylvia muttered quietly to herself.
“Is it that surprising? I think she is more than capable of that,” I told her.
“I guess we have two very different images of her then,” Sylvia whispered.
Tsarra, at first glance, seemed to be a shy, introverted girl. And that was because she was. Although she had changed steadily since I met her, her nature was still much the same. However, she became a completely different person when it came to reading books.
And it turned out it wasn’t only reading books she was passionate about but writing them too.
I turned in my seat and clapped for her, but Tsarra looked about ready to explode. Her face was redder than her hair from all the attention. I was afraid she would burst a blood vessel with how hard she clenched her jaw.
Well, some things change. And some things don’t.
“And, of course, another congratulations is in order to our new fifth-ranked student, Varnir Shadowstone. Varnir, you are easily the second most improved student in Class Onward, only falling short of Tsarra slightly in academics, which you have improved greatly in and in outside achievements. However, your prowess in your physical testing has improved dramatically. Once again, congratulations, Varnir,” Professor said, his voice full of praise.
“Hey, look at that! I almost caught up to you,” Varnir said with a chuckle as he hugged Tsarra by the shoulder.
If Tsarra wasn't embarrassed already, that was enough to kill her. I watched as the air around Tsarra wobbled and warped, and she disappeared completely in a blink of an eye. It was amazing that she lasted that long in the first place.
Sylvia grumbled some things under her breath about beating Varnir on the first day of school but still being ranked below him, and surprisingly, even with the clapping, Professor Garrison heard her. “Sylvia, I imagine many people are confused as to why you are only ranked eighth. It’s no surprise that you played a critical role in the Dragon incident, and many people, including myself, owe our lives to you. I think I speak for everyone when I say thank you for saving us. Also, your physical prowess is something to remark on. If we based rankings solely on that, you would be in the top five, no questions asked. However, we take more into account. To be honest, your academic abilities fall short of the class average, which is nothing to be ashamed of. And if rankings were to be recalculated today, your outside achievements would have doubled even more considering your involvement with Dragonheart Foundation. Regardless of your rank, we should all congratulate President Sylvia of the Dragonheart Foundation, who will give us a speech tonight at the school banquet.”
Everyone in the class clapped loudly for Sylvia. It seemed that despite her being a Vampire, many students felt that she had done something remarkable, which was the absolute truth. Sylvia deserved all the praise and more.
“Congratulations, Miss President,” I said with a grin.
“Shut up…” she whimpered, her ears burning red.
“Sylvia is number two to Daddy!” Mila squealed as she rolled off my lap and into Syliva’s arms.
Sylvia looked surprised for a moment but hugged Mila back, the two of them touching heads. “I guess being second to Daddy is okay…” Sylvia muttered.
Professor Garrison took a swig of water and let out a deep sigh. “Sadly, we don’t have time to go over everyone’s rankings today. We would be here all day if we did. For those of you who have complaints or want to know how you were ranked, please head to the counselor's office. They will give you your breakdown there.” The professor clapped and put his hands on his hips. “Now, onto the next and hopefully last article for today. I would like to welcome three new students to Class Onward. And before you ask, I understand that it’s a bit late to be accepting new students into our class. And the school agrees. It’s best to consider these three as… short-term transfer students with exceptional skills and circumstances. Although they will not graduate with you, they may just become teachers one day, so please treat them well and warmly welcome them to our class.”
Everyone clapped once more as the door to the room opened. I was clapping as well, only to stop in surprise. I’m sure I had a dumb expression on my face as I watched the two familiar faces walk in. I had no idea they would attend Forward University, let alone join the class. They had somehow managed to keep this a secret.
The first to walk forward was none other than Padraic. The young Dwarf looked dashing in his gold and red jacket. He left the jacket hang open, exposing the black dress shirt underneath.
He had his trademark grin as he eyed me across the room. I’m sure he was positively reveling in my surprise. And I had a feeling he was about to say something outrageous in an attempt to embarrass me.
Professor Garrison motioned for Padraic to introduce himself, and the Dwarf cleared his throat as all eyes turned to him. “It’s good to meet all of you and all that good fun. My name is Padraic Whitehelm, and to be honest, I’m really only here to use the forges and the school’s resources, and since I had to take classes to do so, I figured I would join the class with my brother from another mother and my two future fiancees. So uh…yeah, that’s it, really.”
Oh, he boldly declared that. At least his embarrassment was targeted at…wait…two fiancees? Who's the second? Did I miss something?
I thought that as I looked back at Jen. Much like Tsarra, she was beside herself as she hid her face in her arms. It seemed she wanted to run away. I scanned the room for the second so-called future fiancee, but it didn’t seem like anyone was reacting to that statement, so I had no idea who it was.
The class clapped somewhat awkwardly but was more or less mumbling to each other. Padraic’s brazen entrance no doubt shocked quite a few students. But that was Padraic for you. He never cared what others thought of him.
Professor Garrison chuckled awkwardly to himself. “Well, that was something. But a little background on our new student is that he not only passed the entrance exam but tested in the top one percent of advanced mathematics, not only in this class but the entire school. Padraic here also impressed both the forge and smithing teachers, earning their respect with a single demo. As well as being an Opal adventurer with three years of experience.”
With a little more context, it seemed that assuaged anyone’s worries, and they put more excitement into their applause. I had no idea he placed so high in math, but Padraic was always good at it. Even back in the day, he took to math faster than Cerila. But that was only when he was actually focusing and not goofing around or teasing me…
And good for him on impressing two teachers at Forward University with one demonstration is definitely something to be proud of. He did make my new bow, which was expertly crafted.
Next up was also a surprise. She looked stunning in her uniform, and it was hard to look away. Her long snow-white hair flowed down to her hips as her new jacket fit snugly around her upper body, accentuating her athletic and curvy physique. And her white and gold skirt was—
“Why is her skirt shorter than everyone else’s? What’s with that crap?” Sylvia growled in a low voice as she glared down at Cerila.
It’s uh…true…Cerila’s skirt, for some reason or another, was shorter than the norm. And it only exposed her long toned yet pale legs even more as she chose to wear short white socks.
I felt Sylvia’s glare turn to me in my absence of a response, but I just kept my eyes forward, fully intent on not meeting her gaze. I felt that no matter what I said, I would be wrong. And it would only open me up for criticism. So the best course of action was to say nothing.
Cerila went over to the board and quickly chalked up a hand that was leaving a head, as well as her name. To an untrained eye, it looked to be as if she drew someone saluting followed by her name in Human. But it was actually a depiction of someone signing hello.
And it was accurate as well as being well drawn. I guess years of drawing on that tablet are coming into play.
Once she was done, she turned around to face the class and repeated the motion for the sign. From there, Professor Garrison took over. “First of all, please welcome Cerila to the class. Although she can’t hear any of you, the gesture still has meaning for her.”
The class looked confused, and a few people muttered to each other, but after a pointed glare from the teacher, everyone quickly gave a round of applause to welcome her. “As some of you have guessed, Cerila is deaf and can not hear you, but that does not mean she can’t talk to you. And although you may think of this as a hindrance, Cerila has lived her entire life this way and has not only adapted but flourished. She passed the school’s entrance exam and tested out of master-level language classes for both Elvish and Human, being able to read and write fluently to the level of a translator. Not only that, Cerila is fluent in a completely new language called Sign Language. As a result, she is able to communicate in everyday conversation with others despite not verbally speaking a single word. She also shows martial prowess that is to be recognized, as she has achieved the adventurer rank of Topaz in only three years. For those of you who are unaware, that is an accomplishment beyond what a normal person is capable of, especially someone so young.”
Upon his further explanation of Cerila’s exploits and achievements, the room did a collective nod of approval and gave her one more final applause. Cerila flashed a stunning smile at everyone, and with Padraic next to her, the two of them walked straight up the steps and toward me.
“Are they really going…what a pain,” Sylvia grumbled quietly to herself.
Sure enough, the two took open seats to my left, with Cerila right next to me. She smiled brightly at me and even let out a noise that was the same as her giggling. she asked.
I told her.
Cerila was about to sign to me again, but I poked her as Professor Garrison cleared his throat loudly. “Now then, would the final student please introduce himself?”
The third student had been quietly standing to the side. At first glance, he seemed…odd, and I found it hard to tell how old he was for some reason. He wore the school uniform just the same as everyone else, and as a tiger Beastmen, he didn’t appear to have overwhelming physical size but was a rather average build. His tiger-like ears poked out from his long hair that was poofed up while being the color of brownish dried blood.
But the oddest thing about him was those dark-tinted glasses he wore over his eyes…they seemed almost like sunglasses, which was weird since we were indoors and the room could hardly be described as bright.
The Beastmen had a proper air about him, almost like a noble, which was all but confirmed as he dipped into an elegant bow straight out of a book on manners.
“My name is Malachi Talgan, and I am the crown prince of the Principality of Nul. It’s an honor to be here,” he said in a velvety smooth voice.
Malachi also took his glasses off, exposing his unswirling Vampiric blood-red eyes to the class. But unlike Sylvia, who possessed entirely crimson eyes, Malachi’s eyes were like that of a half-moon of red, leaving the rest of his iris a dead-looking white color. Of course, I only had two other Vampires besides Sylvia to compare to, but Malachi’s eyes had far more red than the Vampire who kidnapped me and even more than the Vampire diplomat I saw in Sandervile.
And did he just say his last name was Talgan?

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2023.05.28 22:27 throwaway31072003 Resume Feedback

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2023.05.28 17:52 Cheesypower Wings of Freedom - Part 12

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Even almost a week later, Yegel was still soaring on the hope from that day. A weight on his eyes that he'd never even noticed had been lifted, leaving him more alert and awake, the whole world more vibrant and colorful.
Of course, the morning after had brought clarity- and an additional helping of stress. Having had the time to calm down and examine it, he was realizing that the fact he now saw humans as people was dangerous- especially with such an important and dangerous screening coming up. If he accidentally sympathized too much in one place, or had a reaction that he would never have had before...
...He still couldn't bring himself to regret it though. Even the fading of his emotional high hadn't erased what felt like an important revelation- that he no longer thought of humans as predators with interesting quirks, but as real, actual people, with true empathy and sapience. They were still predators, still alien in ways he couldn't understand- but now, that didn't feel like the same kind of impenetrable barrier that it used to be.
Still, now he had to be even more careful going forward- regardless of it being the truth, nobody else would believe him about a predator species being fully sapient and civilized. If anything, trying to convince anyone would get him institutionalized- and he was already fighting far too hard to keep himself out of those nightmare-makers for as long as he could manage. At least with humanity being extinct, the topic was unlikely to come up, but he hadn't made it this far in life without preparing for even the unlikely.
Caution was still warranted though, and so he'd been spending his time preparing and watching the manifests for incoming ships- so when he saw a group of scowling figures approaching him from behind at lunchtime, it was less of a shock and more the realization of inevitability.
Exterminators. Just what he needed to deal with today.
Sighing quietly, he fought down the rising panic and instinctive urge to run, and instead pretended not to notice the approaching officers- running never did any good, and trying to fight back or protest would lead to... retaliation.
Their timing was just the worst though- he'd been looking forward to having lunch with his friends, and taking a chance to decompress and relax. He'd been meticulous so far this week at maintaining his stress- other than his newfound indulgence in forbidden predator media- so it wasn't like he was scrambling to calm down. However, he really could use every bit of patience and composure he could get.
The grasping hands roughly pulling him out of the lunch-line, however, clearly didn't care about that, immediately starting to goosestep him through the cafeteria, regardless of the whispers and stares now coming their way.
"Lieutenant Yegel," a vaguely-familiar voice barked harshly as he was shoved forward, "your presence is required immediately. You are coming with us."
A bit late to give him a warning, wasn't it? Especially since he wasn't resisting in the first place. It was just theater to them- reciting something because they were supposed to, despite the outcome having already been determined. It was better to just not antagonize them-
"You know," he couldn't stop himself from saying, "If you wanted a date, you could have just a-"
A massive fist slammed into him, burying itself beneath his ribcage. The words died in his throat as all his air was forcefully expelled, his talons leaving the ground as he bent double over the grey three-toed paw.
"Quiet, predator," the Takkan ground out, slowly removing his forelimb from where it had been buried in Yegel's gut. "you'll only talk if our boss deigns to let filth like you waste our air, got it?"
Wheezing in reply, Yegel fought to try and recover the air that had been forcefully driven out of him, the exterminators yanking him by his wings and dragging him onwards. Perhaps it was good that he hadn't eaten yet- nothing there to have upchucked other than the vile spittle now burning at his tongue.
Guess he must be a new transfer, Yegel thought offhandedly, glancing up to see them approaching a familiar eating area. That would be a useful distraction from the main threat. Fighting down the pain through bitter familiarity, Yegel did his best to relax his feathers and his mind- he'd need all of it for this next mental sparring match.
Ornate doors covered in intricate patterns were thoughtlessly slammed open as the Exterminators dragged him into the private eating area, the shift between industrial flooring and soft, luxurious padding making his dragging talons catch on the delicate textiles. Vibrantly detailed paintings hung amidst sprawling vines imported from Nishtal, cast in cool, fluorescent light that made their rich colorings shimmer as he was dragged by. Even the tables and chairs were carved in the old Krakotl fashions, padding clearly intended for nesting rather than the utilitarian perching of the seats in the mess-hall.
It wasn't perfect though- spots of dull gray industrial walls poked through gaps between the wood, and the carpet was peeling in places, revealing the dirty standard flooring beneath. Despite the valiant attempts, any further inspection made it clear that this was all inserted after this area had already been built- a veneer of elegance plastered over a crude, utilitarian base.
Unfortunately, he did not get the chance to indulge in the comfortable seating, instead receiving a sharp blow between his wings that pushed him to the ground, heavy feet planting themselves on his back and neck to pin him to the ground. Iron grips continued holding his wings, pulling them painfully above his back, where they felt moments away from getting dislocated. Dragging in a rasping breath, his eyes roved to the two exterminators now aiming their flamethrowers at him, a young krakotl female whose adult patterns hadn't even fully come in yet, and a grim-eyed Gojid with distinct scarring, who at least looked somewhat professional as opposed to his partner's obvious anger and twitching trigger.
"Oh, fer Intala's sake," a familiar wheezing voice groaned in exasperation. "Can't trust you Grucknut-heads with anything, can I?"
The Krakotl tottering into the room was puffing what rough, stringy feathers he had left in irritation, a walking cane thunking on the floor as he hobbled over to a table decorated in a carving of two krakotl in flight- though from this angle, it looked more like they were plummeting to the ground. The skin around the geezer's eyes was wrinkled and gathered into such heavy bags that he seemed to be squinting at all the world around him- though Yegel certainly didn't miss the cold, calculating glint buried deep within his eyes.
"Off!" He barked, clacking his way over to where Yegel was pinned, angrily thumping his cane against the very confused Exterminators pinning him down. "Off him, you nut-skulled lunks! Bad enough you can't remember simple instructions, now you make me correct your messes meself? Off I say!"
In the face of the irate elder, the befuddled Exterminator's grips on Yegel loosened, finally letting his wings fall slack enough to make his chest stop feeling like it was stuck in an industrial compressor. Gratefully sucking in air as his rapidly-bruising side twinged, he looked up to find the his crotchety savior kneeling next to him, one wing resting on his cane as he creakily settled into a crouch.
"Sorry about the fuss," he wheezed, flicking his tail angrily at the young krakotl who had been moving forward indignantly. "Ask them to invite somebody to mealtime, and they go and pull this." A shaking wing reached out, offering it's grip to Yegel. "Up you come, boy. I'll not have you eating off the floor like some animal."
Yegel eyed the shaking hand, before planting his wings on the ground, fighting through the pain until he'd pushed himself onto his talons through his own strength. A glimmer of something oily flashed behind the old man's squinting eyes as he watched the display, snorting in amusement when Yegel reached out and pulled the Elder to his feet instead.
"Wasn't much of a request," he commented, carefully ignoring the angry shuffling of the people he knew had flamethrowers trained on him. "I don't suppose you're just wanting to make another sales pitch, are you Geezil?"
"Hah!" the old man barked, toddling over to a cushioned seat, "Always so blunt, Yegel. Straight to business, every time!" The younger krakotl female stepped forward, gently helping the grumbling man into his seat, where he sighed and immediately settled back into the cushions. "Ah, don't worry, got more to say than the usual this time- but first, got a special something for our meal."
With a flick of his wing, he signaled several servers to quietly enter the room, carrying a wide array of dishes and platters that were quickly and efficiently distributed to the relevant tables- both for the old man and Yegel, and even for the other exterminators, who glanced warily between the food, Yegel, and the officer watching everything with a hawkish stare. None of them seemed brave enough to decide what to do- or to stop Yegel as he began moving forward.
Yegel carefully pulled out his own perch, keeping his own movements slow as he settled into the admittedly-luxurious seating. Commander Geezil, the one in charge of the base's Exterminators- and probably one of the oldest individuals still serving within that institution's ranks. He'd heard the rumors about this being an unofficial forced retirement- storing him someplace out of the way when they couldn't make him quit- but he'd come to know the old man too well to believe it. He'd chosen this post himself- and Yegel still couldn't figure out why.
"Sir," the young krakotl started, giving Yegel the stink-eye from across the table, "I must ask what you are doing- you are well aware that he's-"
"Accused, girl," the codger interrupted, frilling his feathers derisively, "by a bitter fleet commander with a record of incidents from his troops longer than his crew-lists- and a penchant for lashing out at those he thinks insulted him." Seeing her shrink back at his harsh tone, his tattered feathers smoothed back down, a shaking wing reaching out and gently patting her shoulder. "Ah, it's politics, grand-daughter- a vile game of inflated egos and pointless posturing. It's like a courtship dance with a Duerten- unpleasant, filled with angry words, with a result that's unpleasant regardless of success or failure- but if you try to skip out, you're liable to lose an eye or worse, hehe."
"Still," she insisted, though much more hesitantly now, her eyes not quite as harsh as they flicked over at him, "with a list of incidents this long, however justified, you must admit it is a clear sign of a violent, unstable nature. If he were to suddenly lash out..."
"I've personally reviewed each incident," the commander snorted, swirling an eating utensil through the bowl in front of him. "Didn't find a single one where he were in the wrong. Besides, were we really concerned about his mind, we got a perfectly good doctor right on-base." His gimlet eyes turned to Yegel, the corners of his beak turned up in a smirk. "You're familiar with her, of course?"
"Indeed," Yegel admitted, keeping his wings at his side despite the tightening of his stomach as the smells of the meal assaulted him. Everything the old man was saying was already known between them- and while it might be simply for the benefit of his new underling, Yegel knew better than to assume there wasn't a different, less obvious purpose. "I've been screened by her multiple times- just like the doctors back on Nishtal, got clear marks across the board."
Her expression was twisted, clearly unwilling to accept that but unable to think of an adequate rebuke for it. "All the same," she started, shifting her wings to roll the fuel tank for her flamethrower from side to side, "I'm uncomfortable with this- it's dangerous to be eating with a predator, especially alone. Just because we're in the room doesn't mean we'll be able to react in time."
The old man's features wrinkled as he scowled, beak half-open, when Yegel jumped on the opportunity. "Actually, I agree," he stated, taking a bit of mischievous glee in the way their expressions popped in shock. "I would feel much safer if someone was sitting with us, to keep me safe."
Beak dropping open, her gaping expression twisted between shock and indignation as she choked at such blatant disrespect- but whatever retribution she thought to unleash was cut short as the old krakotl burst into loud, wheezing laughter, his bony wings thumping against the table as he howled in glee, making the dishes rattle dangerously. His laughter echoed through the room, to the visible discomfort of every other exterminator, half of them sinking back down from where they'd half-risen from their seats.
"Cheeky to the last, you are!" he barked, clutching his chest as he giggled dry, crackling chortles. "Ah, you have a point- best you sit with us, my dear- get introduced with- with this handsome young fella. Yegel, this is Lialu, daughter of my firstborn, and as you can see, the unfortunate inheritor of the branch up his bum." Lialu squawked indignantly, raising a wing as if to smack his shoulder in retribution, but her eyes flicked to Yegel as she paused, slowly settling back into a tense at-ease stance. "You might be working together someday- and if things go well, maybe a little more than that, hehe!" The sour twisting of her cheeks showed exactly what she thought of that idea.
"I'm flattered," Yegel droned dryly, "but I think if she hasn't even gotten her adult patterns, then that's far too dangerous for me."
"As if I'd be interested in such a disgraceful troublemaker in the first place!" she snapped right back, wings half-raised in a gesture of disgust. "tarnishing my career so early would be pointless- and I have no interest in such distractions anyways!"
"Bah, you're fourteen already, better that you start looking for a partner now," the geezer griped, ignoring the way she rolled her eyes uncomfortably. "This work's dangerous, girl- you can't plan for the future as if it's guaranteed, or else you'll find you've missed out." His eyes went a bit glassy and unfocused, staring off into the walls in an melancholic reminiscence. "Regret's a heavy thing to bear, and the years are never kind..."
The two younger krakotl shifted uncomfortably as silence fell, glancing between each other uncomfortably as he lapsed into old memories only he could see. Yegel was silently thankful for the break- these gaps in the old man's train of thought were the only thing that made these conversations manageable.
Unfortunately, Yegel's stomach decided to interject by gurgling it's frustration at being empty, snapping the greying elder out of his thoughts as his gaze snapped across the table. Yegel fought back the urge to flinch, if only barely- and even that was enough for the old man's eye to sparkle with something that made Yegel's skin crawl beneath his feathers.
"Ah, I've been distracting you with my yammering, haven't I?" the Head Exterminator apologized, gesturing grandly towards the array of filled dishes. "Go on, eat up boy- you've got a busy day ahead of you after all!" His wrinkled wing-hand receded from gesturing, and patted the young female on the shoulder. "You too, grand-daughter- gotta keep your calorie intake up to maintain those muscles- gear's heavy, and always getting heavier!"
Whatever his tone and attitude might have suggested, Yegel already knew that it wasn't a request. Gritting his beak, he delicately scooped up a bowl of thick, viscous algae, and methodically poured some into his beak.
Silty and clinging to his tongue, Yegel knew intellectually that this was a high-quality blend- that the consistency and density of the meal spoke of great care taken in the growing, filtering, and preparation of this dish- completely unlike the usual clumpy, soil-tainted slop served in the cafeteria. It was the sort of dish that must be incredibly expensive, even ignoring how far they were from anywhere of any importance- a culinary treat most on the base would have fought fiercely for a chance to try.
Yet as he consciously swallowed it down and discreetly clinked the bowl down on the table, all his tongue could taste was ash and flamethrower-fuel.
"Good, isn't it?" Geezil prompted as his grand-daughter also set her own bowl back down. "Straight from Nishtal, that is, grown properly in the pools, instead of them techno-vats they got on this here base. Reminds me of when I met Laila, you know- or rather, when I first worked up the gumption to ask for her time..." The old man chuckled to himself, his eyes staring off into the distance once again. "Stars, she was beautiful- and me a strapping young lad, straight from academy- big-headed from training, yet a fumbling mess with the other sex. Took me far too long to even make a pass, and longer still to make it official- kept finding excuses, when I really was just scared she'd say no!"
Yegel suppressed the urge to sigh, and found himself sharing a commiserating look with the exterminator who clearly had been through this rambling story almost as often as he had. Maybe he'd entertain the idea of bonding with her over it, if only he wasn't painfully aware of how strongly she and her friends wanted to reduce him to a pile of charred carbon. At least he wasn't suffering alone.
"You know, we got some side-eyes because of our difference in age- I was a fresh recruit, and she had been in the service for twelve years," Geezil confided absentmindedly, a dreamy expression on his face even as his granddaughter blanched and leaned away. "Ah, but we made it fine, found our happiness- and you should too!" he shifted, refocusing on his two unwilling guests. "Ten years made no difference, and you've a difference of what, five years? Not even that!"
Yegel inhaled deeply, letting his chest fully expand as he held back the surge of emotion that would certainly have worn through the elder's patience if let loose. Releasing the air in a deep sigh, he wrangled himself back into a restrained, controlled frame of mind. "Is trying to play matchmaker with your grand-daughter the only reason you arranged this meeting, sir? Because I stand by my utter lack of interest in her."
"Ah, you know it's not, you stiffneck," the old man grumbled, shifting around in his seat as he picked through his own spread of food. "You're a perfect fit for the corps, and we both know it. You got enough fire in you to want to fix the rot in society when you see it, and a good head on your neck as well- just gotta give you the training to aim it right, if you know what I'm saying." His cane reached out and tapped Yegel on the side jovially- and Yegel winced as his bruised ribs ignited in fiery pain, unable to stop a strained hiss from escaping his beak as he bent in place from the automatic tightening of his muscles.
Immediately, the entire room fell deathly still. Where once the silence had been uncomfortable but tolerable and interspersed with the inane sounds of clinking dishes, now it was an oppressive, choking claw squeezing around everyone's neck, unbroken by even a single breath of air.
"Barum." Geezil's flat, quiet statement whipped out through the stillness, a single cracking note that made the Takkan flinch in his seat. There was no waver in the old bird's voice now, only a cold, hard surety that made Yegel's feathers itch. "I was very explicit in my instructions. Was I not?"
"The- the predator resisted!" Barum tried to protest- though the waver in his voice clearly made it more of a plea. "With how dangerous he's proved to be, I had to-"
"Dangerous?" the drawled interruption made the hulking, thick-skinned exterminator flinch back from the dull-feathered bird barely half his size. "I see no injuries on any of you. There has never been an injury from officers bringing him in to me. I... was quite clear about wanting him brought here unharrassed." A single beady eye bored into the towering gray alien, making him shrink into himself under it's heat. "Do I lie?"
"S-sir please!" Sweat glistened on the Takkan's thick grey hide as he cowered back, his seat clattering to the floor as he stumbled. "It- I apologize, I swear I thought it was necessary! It won't happen again, sir! Please!"
Yegel knew what was coming next- the tightening of Geezil's beak and raising of the feathers on his back were a sure sign of how furious the old man was. All he had to do was sit back quietly and let it play out, and it would be both a distraction that bought him time, and retribution for the unnecessary blow he had taken- and was probably going to need to see the doctor for after this- if he was in a position to visit her, of course. Geezil's eyes were hard and cold, focused on his subordinate- getting between him and the subject of his ire would only earn him trouble... and yet, as Geezil's beak opened, he simply couldn't stop himself.
"While this is all quite engaging," Yegel interjected, refusing to flinch back as every eye in the room snapped towards him, Kalina's expression one of open shock while Geezil's screwed up in barely-contained fury, "but you said there was more to this meeting than making another recruitment pitch to me, yet all you've actually given besides that was an attempt to get me to go out with your grand-daughter." His confidence faltered as wrinkled eyes tightened, glaring holes into him, but he rallied himself and carefully considered his next words. "While your... repeated offers are actually quite flattering, I am quite happy with what I have managed to make for myself, without accepting favors or handouts- from anyone."
Geezil hummed to himself, maintaining his glare as the silent room held it's breath, before his jaw twitched upwards into a satisfied smirk, his eyes glinting as the granite in them faded into a smug satisfaction of having found what he was looking for. The entire room relaxed as he leaned backwards in his perch, Barum falling to the floor and trying to muffle the sounds of his heaving for breath. The gentle clinking of dishes and silverware once more filled the room in a very deliberate attempt at making noise, covering up the previous tension with artificial ease. Kalina was giving Yegel a look- not the pure disgust from earlier, but something confused, as if he were a particularly perplexing puzzle-game, or a problem that had suddenly reached an unexpected solution.
"You really can't help yourself, can you," Geezil noted approvingly, glancing over at his grand-daughter's reaction before nodding at Yegel- and making a jerking motion at Barum, who gulped and pulled himself off the floor, quietly hurrying his way out of the room. "So, I uh..." the light in his eyes faded, his beak clacking shut as he rapped his talons against his perch. "I, uh, huh... hmmm. There was, actually something else... Bother me, where were we? I can't remember..."
"I believe," Yegel commented dryly, fighting to keep his own breathing even, "That I was once again saying how content I am with my current position, and that even this doctor being imported just for me isn't enough for me to leave everything behind and run into the Exterminator Corps."
"Ah, right, right," he nodded, snagging on to the lead Yegel had thrown him, before pausing and looking out over the room. "I do respect what you've managed on your own," he finally admitted, setting his bowl to the side, "But this time... this doctor, he's not exactly playing fair. This is politics, the nasty sort- where he's going to do everything he can to make you disappear. Unless, of course..." reaching into his own pouch, he shakily produces a holopad that he slides over to Yegel, displaying a series of documents- and a prominent line for signatures. "You take an alternative. Sign up, and it'll be our own docs who do your eval- and you'll clear their tests just fine, I think. Might not be your ideal career path- but I'm loathe to let such a promising young man get screwed by Old-Molts with thin egos and sharp talons."
Yegel's first instinct was to push the pad away, to reject it like he usually did- but now, he paused, expression screwed up in conflict. A part of him was tempted- severely tempted- to accept- the part of him that was still terrified of the looming threat, that wanted to run somewhere-anywhere- and hide until this whole twisted situation just went away.
Was he being selfish, rejecting an offer like this? Wouldn't the right thing to do be to accept and guarantee he stayed alive, like Jelliba and Kallik so desperately wanted? Why take the risk, when safety was right here, just a signature away- something that would guarantee him the chance to see what Jelliba's final design would look like, to see Kallik climb through the ranks like Yegel knew he someday would? Was it pride that stayed his talons, or was he simply afraid of change?
"Seriously?!" his granddaughter hissed, clearly taken aback, unaware of Yegel's silent internal debate as she rounded on her grandfather angrily. "That's why he's here? So we can just ignore his entire history of warning signs, just because you like him? With a record like his-"
"-He'd fit right in," he finished for her, eyes narrowed in a disappointed glare that had her beak snapping closed as she shrunk back into her perch. "I know you ain't seen most of it, Lialu, but most of our recruits aren't exactly got glistening feathers. Heck, lots of our older recruits got worse on their record! It's half the point of the training regimen, to file down the burrs in their talons, make something useful from them."
File down the burrs... Was he really willing to accept what that entailed? What parts of himself would he need to sacrifice, if he went down this road? What would he become, on the other side of whatever training they had in store for him?
Would he still be Yegel?
Inhaling deeply through his beak, Yegel grasped the pad, which felt far heavier than it should... and gently slid it back over to Geezil.
"If I accepted now, that would practically be an admission of being sick," Yegel breathed, his heart pounding heavily within his chest. "I... am going to see this through- I will pass this evaluation, no matter what he throws at me- and then!" Finally, he looked Geezil in the eye, firming his own resolve as he squared his shoulders. "Then, and only then, will I consider your offer."
Geezil watched on, the burning tongues of some dark flame flickering behind his ancient eyes. When Yegel stood strong, his feathers crinkled into an amused display, even as he shook his head in mock disappointment. "Ah, you really are a fine young lad," he sighed mournfully, rapping his cane against the table. "Are you sure? The doctor arrived only an hour ago in port- this is your last chance, before we have to take you to your evaluation. And without anyone having requested the extra security of one of my officers, why, this might be the last time we see each other!"
Ah. So that was the old geezer's game. Yegel pushed down the rising surge of fear, quivering in his perch as he forced himself to meet the elder's gaze. "Then I'll go ahead and invite you myself- I'm more than happy to have an audience to me proving my innocence."
The old bird's beak twisted into an ugly grin. "I am sure you do. Lialu, go ahead- consider this a learning experience for the future, hmn? Now, I won't waste any more of your time- so off you go!"
The scraping of seats being pushed out was all the warning Yegel got before he was grabbed and pulled from his seat. "Hey, hey, gentle with him, you hard-headed brutes!" Scoffing, Geezil pushed himself back in his seat, glaring at his Exterminators as Yegel was unceremoniously dropped.
"So, you planned this all out in advance, didn't you?" Yegel guessed, pushing himself to his feet- and wincing as his side twinged in pain, reminding him of the rapidly-swelling bruise.
"Dunno what you mean," Geezil denied in faux apology, as his granddaughter gaped between the two of them, clearly lost on what was happening. "Figured you needed a chance to make the right choice- or failing that, a decent last meal." Waving his wing in disappointment, he gestured towards the door- which Yegel found himself getting rapidly pushed towards. "Good luck, lad- I hope to see you again someday!"
"Don't worry, sir," Yegel snapped back, shouldering away from his escorts and refusing to look back. "I'll be back sooner than you think."
The doors slammed shut behind his escorts, reflecting the young female's confused, conflicted gaze as she strode alongside him- Yegel felt a moment of pity for the young girl, who the geezer had clearly thrown into the deep end on purpose. Hopefully she caught onto the game soon, otherwise she'd end up as somebody's tool- though maybe it was already too late for that.
Stomach roiling at the thought of what lay ahead, Yegel couldn't help the feeling of regret for not taking the escape offered to him- sure it wouldn't be ideal, but he owed it to the people most important to him to make sure he stuck around a little longer. Why he'd rejected it... he couldn't quite put it into words, only a feeling that it would have been... wrong, somehow.
The cafeteria murmured again as he was led through the mealtime crowd, catching the panicked gazes of his friends across the room. Kallik was halfway out of his seat before Yegel carefully gestured back, tapping his wing against his throat- and watching his friend slowly settle back down, Kallik's eyes growing focused as he turned and strode towards a different exit, vanishing into the distance as Yegel was dragged through a set of doors out into a cold, grey hallway.
Clenching his gullet, he carefully felt out around Kallik's gift- safely stored within his throat. The creeping tendrils of terror within his mind were growing stronger, but he chose to have faith in his friend- and resolved to make sure his efforts were not wasted.
He'd find a way through- he just had to keep moving forward.
///
one week earlier...
Once he'd had the chance to compose himself, Yegel returned to his viewing- he wanted to see what happened next, after such a massive shift in the struggle now that Eren had actually earned them a victory.
Despite that, Armin's narration pointed out that too many lives had been lost for any celebrations to be in order- a sentiment that Yegel understood, but... well, he wasn't as surprised to to see it from the humans anymore. Imagine, it wasn't long ago that he'd have been expecting them to revel in the carnage like other predators, uncaring of the toll in lives- yet here they were, deeply affected by the loss of so many friends and comrades, and instead of being baffled by it, Yegel completely understood their response.
Oh, and they'd taken advantage of their unique situation to even capture two of the smaller titans, presumably for study- which, given Eren's sudden new powers, was probably something that needed more study than initially presumed. Thankfully the restraints seems pretty extensive, so hopefully they could keep the monsters contained- but still, imagine being the poor soul tasked with keeping them locked down! Hopefully it wouldn't take long for them to get what they needed and dispose of the creatures.
Of course, with victory came the morbid task of cleaning up the aftermath- and not in the way anyone else in the Federation would believe if he told them. Gathering up bodies as respectfully as they could, instead of devouring them on the spot? He'd be hard-pressed to convince anyone he was telling the truth!
Wait... Marco?!
When did Marco die?! Yegel thought he'd gotten away after saving Jean! Maybe it was in the push to get Eren to the gate? Geez, and Jean was the one to find him- Marco had been so supportive of him, despite Jean's fear and self-doubts, always willing to give a word of encouragement and affirm Jean's place as leader... and now he was gone, with Jean being forced to help the cleanup crew's by giving Marco's details...
The female doctor brought up something Yegel hadn't considered- that the reason for the urgency of their cleanup was because of the risk of an epidemic breaking out. The dead had been left too long, and now there was a risk of a secondary disaster if the humans didn't hurry. Yegel had never really considered something like that- meat was meat to predators, wasn't it? The Arxur never seemed to mind eating bodies they stumbled across, so he'd somehow assumed that diseases like that weren't a concern for predators.
Just another area where the humans proved their difference from the greys, he supposed.
Thankfully, the camera hadn't focused on Marco's corpse for too long, so Yegel was able to contain his urge to gag, focusing in on Jean and his emotional response- and how expressive human faces were, even when covered by face-masks to protect themselves from germs and contamination. Of course that was when the scene shifted to Sasha and Connie, helping to clean up a massive ball of... flesh... that apparently titans upchuck when they're too full, since they don't actually have a digestive track... and a closeup showed a human mouth inside, still opened in a silent scream...
Yes, hello wastebin, been a moment since we last met, how have you been? Don't mind me, just emptying my stomach again!
...Yegel didn't like Sasha- she was clearly the most "predatory" of the humans- but at least here, the disgust and horror on her face showed that there were lines even she wouldn't cross.
Even Annie, the stoic female who never seemed to show emotion, was shaken- standing over a body, apologizing over and over again, before Reiner pointed out that contrition did the dead no good, and that they needed a proper burial. So the humans buried their dead? That was kind of similar to Gojid traditions for honoring the dead, burying them in vast family crypts.
But, why did the scene shift to a fire burning? What were they-
Oh.
So that's what those grey flakes that had been falling everywhere were. Yegel had kind of been wondering about that.
So, they didn't even have time to give proper burials to everyone.
That...
Yegel forced himself to take a deep breath, rubbing the sides of his head as he exhaled. He'd say it was similar to Krakotl death rites, purifying the body to drift through the divine winds of Nishtal, to be carried away to Intala's realm, but... in this context, it clearly must have been desperation and urgency rather than a matter of respect.
...Intala, please watch over them.
...Thankfully, the perspective then shifted back to Eren- who was now locked up in a cell deep underground, and chained to a bed. Understandable precautions- his powers were clearly still volatile, and the last thing the humans needed to deal with was a rogue titan wandering around.
Commander Erwin and Captain Levi were outside his cell, watching him. Erwin asked if he had any questions- which, well, Yegel obviously had several, but Eren was still disoriented from waking up. Which made sense, given how much using his power seemed to take out of him- he must have been exhausted after carrying that boulder for so long.
Erwin proceeded to ask about the key that had held such importance- and the secret that was apparently hidden beneath Eren's house. Eren confirmed, and Levi scoffed about how it must suck to have your dad and your memories MIA at the same time- unless it was just a cover story. Which- was a reasonable concern, but... was that what Yegel sounded like to other people?
At least Erwin confirmed that they knew Eren had no reason to lie- and proceeded to ask Eren what he wanted- what his intentions were. After all, to reach the cellar, they'd need to seal the breach in the other wall like they'd done in Trost- which required Eren's special power. Apparently they'd even conjectured that the Colossal and Armored titan must be like Eren- titans piloted by people?! Which did make sense- the Bad Humans probably had an easier time developing and using titan powers, since they weren't trying to fight or resist their predator instincts. That also would explain their motive- killing all the good humans would mean the bad humans would win, and be able to rule as dominant predators like the Arxur did.
...Was there a group of good Arxur once, that lost their own fight with the Arxur Yegel knew?
NO. No, that was impossible- there was no way the greys had ever had anything good within them- they were monsters through and through! Good Arxur? Ridiculous- just because humans were an insane enigma that broke every rule as if they were intentionally trying to didn't mean the same applied to other predators!
Unless of course, the good Arxur had all been killed-
No. NO. Yegel was not going down that path of madness! He was not!
...
...Erwin expanded on his statement, saying that was why he asked Eren's intentions- because Eren could save "us," presumably meaning the good humans. Eren initially said he didn't know- but then his past, his memories, all flooded through his head- his inner voice angrily declaring that he would stop this with his bare hands! When Levi pressed for an answer, Eren looked up with a downright deranged grin- and declared that he wanted to kill all the titans- every last one.
So that's how Eren turned out different- he'd aimed his instincts towards the monsters, and become obsessed with wiping out the titans, instead of wanting to consume humans like every other titan did. That said something about Eren's mental fortitude- and why he still had difficulties with his power. Actively twisting your instincts like that must cross a few wires, leaving him needing to actively learn things instead of simply doing what came naturally.
Levi seemed to like that answer, a gleam entering his eyes as he approached Eren's cell and announced that he'd take responsibility for him. Not that he implicitly trusted him, but that he trusted his abilities to kill Eren if necessary. He offered Eren congratulations, officially welcoming him as a new member of the Scouting Corps- and told Erwin to let the higher-ups know.
And then announced that, despite this meeting, Eren wasn't out of the woods yet- as he was going to stand trial, where they'd need to argue against him simply being killed.
Because of course it couldn't be that simple.
submitted by Cheesypower to NatureofPredators [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 15:05 resurrective Chapter 17 – The trial of heart

The black domes, they were pocket dimensions, which were completely detached from the material world. Bound to the stream of souls, flowing inside the ephemeral branches of the world tree, they presented a personal hell for each person cast into them. They are a limbo of regrets, the hell of one’s own making, places where the living meets the dead.
There’s only so many ways to elope them. One must either reconcile with the restless souls, or join them, succumbing to their rage and regret that they carried into their afterlife. After all, to even get there, one must possess unparalleled strength and resilience; and only those who had caused deaths and destruction on their path to greatness can even hope to get to this trial.
Freia, Flare, the First princess of Jioral. For some – a good friend, lover, and companion. For others – a nightmare embodied, a vessel of divine powers, a force to be reckoned with. She had many enemies: princes and princesses felled by her authority, treacherous servants and greedy nobles, the knights, who opposed her corruption, slavers and bandits, destroyed on her quest for redemption and restoration of herself… But there were more. Children she had burned, serving her kingdom, women who perished by the tides she conjured, men that had been torn apart by raging tornados of her making, elderly that were buried under the rubble she created…
And how did she oppose them?
“Flagella terram et vescere inimicis meis, o magnum tempestas ignis!” The sorceress chanted, spinning her staff above her head. Then, right before the raging mob reached her, she hid from them behind a vortex of fire. One move and this wave of heat would incinerate everything and everyone in this accursed realm. But…
TRAITOR!
DON’T HIDE FROM US, FLA-A-A-ARE!
COME TO US, SISTER!
YOU WERE NEVER ONE OF US!
USURPER!
GIVE ME BACK MY MOM!””
THE FALSE PRINCESS!
SUNNARI (die)!
THE DAUGHER OF A WHORE!
YOU SHOULD’VE ROT IN THE SLUMS!
Curses and jealousy, bitterness and hatred. The chorus of tortured souls surrounding the fiery boundary couldn’t be silenced even by the roaring flame. There couldn’t be any redemption.
“I’m sorry for all of you, who unjustly died by my hand!..” And even though there were people deserving their apologies, those who had to perish in favor of Flare’s political ambitions, those she sacrificed to appease her tyrannical father…
THEN JOIN US, FLARE!
PAPA! WHERE ARE YOU?! GIVE HIM BACK!
REPENT, BITCH! DISPELL YOUR WITCHCRAFT!!!
“But I won’t give in to you!” The pink-haired woman exclaimed, absorbing mana into her staff. “Furthermore, there’re those of you I will never regret killing! And there are those, for whom I must live! I MUST GET OUT OF THIS PLACE!!!” Then, she slammed the lower tip of her weapon into the floor made of the absolute darkness. Instead of wailing, being consumed by fear, guilt, self-loathing, and, ultimately, perishing, Freia sundered this entire “world”. One magical strike from her, and cracks of white and gold covered the entire dome. The wall of fire faded, but when the vengeful spirits rushed forward to maul their prey, they crumbled into piles of black salt. “I’m so… so sorry!” The girl lamented, kneeling near the remains of children, whose future she stole. “But I… I must move forward. I must save…”

Sparks and crackling, whistle and dazzling – time and time again the surge of lightning breached through the veil of darkness.
UO-O-O-O-O-O!!!” A guttural scream filled the oppressive silence under the dome. Eve Reese, so childish and bashful, so eager to prove herself, now wore a stone mask of indifference. “Nira-a-a (no-o-o)!!! Yuarmta (I won’t forgive you)!!!” Cornar yelled, held still by at least seven shadows, he had been tortured, killed, bruised, smitten by the raging element of lightning. No longer did the girl see him as a threat; no longer did she cower at the feet of her former husband. Maybe, Eve was condemned to getting back her memories as a means of punishment, something that would make her sympathize with this petty little tyrant…
Yuarm yau (I don’t need your forgiveness).” The Me-ua kahul spoke, looking at her crackling right arm, trembling with power and guilt combined. Not for forsaking her would-be-spouse, not for becoming Panakea’s pawn…
These souls, these loyal shadows – turned out, she never called upon them… until the very end. Her subjects, her brethren… Eve feared that if she let them out, they would tear her tyrannical husband into little pieces.
“Haa… Haa…” And now, she had to choose. To turn around and let someone else fix her problem, or… “Haa… HAA!!! HAA!!! HAA!!! SUNI (I’ll kill you)!!!
A Punch to the maw, to the chest, through the ribs, to the heart! He didn’t die! He couldn’t die here! This scumbag of a man, this monster just wouldn’t go away! No matter how much pain she caused him, no matter how many times she slit his throat, broke through his torso, shocked him with spells, cut him with magical light…
And what of Cornar?
A-A-A-A-A!!! A-A-AGH!!! HA-HA-HA-A!!! NA SHENBATA, SETOAN (you can’t get rid of me, woman)!!!” The son of Hakuo never relented. He relished in his immortality, laughed through the hellish torments Eve inflicted upon him. The skinned lion spotted a weakness in Eve’s heart, and he pressed at it, as if breaking the girl would get him back to the world of the living…
No, he wanted to take Eve to the world of dead.
“Gha-a-a-a… Agh-h-h…” The queen-to-be grabbed her forehead, her rugged breath not only siphoned all the focus out of her, threatening to cast the girl into a pit of despair, it also deteriorated her control over the mana she wielded. Unlike the city of salt, there was enough ambient magic to harvest here, but doing so would require skills, precision, and, most importantly, personal discipline and control over one’s own mind.
Praibi, orna Iblis (Drain yourself, my Iblis)!” The prince of Batnara shashu tribe provoked, feeling the grip of the shadows losing its strength. A little more, and he’d be free… A little more…
“Hm…” But Eve wouldn’t relent. She once again covered her arm in a coat of magical lightning. She would never surrender; the queen would never let anyone treat her like a slave ever again. Not after Keyaruga’s perseverance taught her a lesson of resilience. Not after his gentleness, however tainted by his wounds, showed her what true love should look like.
She took a swing, prepared to strike…
“…” But then, two winged shadows stopped her hand. Amda and Sana, they were barely recognizable in their spiritual forms… but Eve would never mistake her parents for anyone else. They couldn’t speak, yet they still communicated with their daughter through other means. Emotions, wishes, urges – they never wished such evil to befall their daughter, but what they hated even more – was to see their child descend into the same pit.
“I… I don’t… have to?..” They asked her to stop, to let them relieve her of that burden. “B-but!.. No! You will die!” The girl snarled, grabbing her parents in a hug. She knew what was to come – her mother, father – they wished to sacrifice themselves to drag Cornar back to the afterlife. But that… wouldn’t that mean she’d lose them all over again? Wouldn’t…
“…”
Yes! You’re dead! So what?! What do I?..” The feeling of pain and powerlessness engulfed the verdant woman. Barely had she found the strength to stand before her fallen tribe, before those who she desired to see the most now left her.
YOTJAR (finally)!!!” With Eve’s will getting weaker, so did the shadows of her ethereal court. Her tyrannical husband finally broke free, slamming and stomping her shadows, as they fruitlessly tried stopping him. Amda and Sana Reese hugged their child for the last time… and now they stood up to defend their precious daughter. That is… the least they could do.

Freia broke inside another dome. From the outside, they looked like bright constellations of stars, formed on the points of a massive, galactic-scaled pentagram. The personal chamber for each of the contenders. One was broken from the inside, collapsing inwards, into a black hole with an orange halo – this was Freia’s dome. There were four more. Two were dimmed, two still shone brightly. The Hero of Magic travelled through this empty space, lit by numerous distant stars. In her current form, things like speed, form, and time – none of them mattered, aside from her destination. And now, she had to choose one of the two luminous chambers.

What is true power? Does one determine this abstract concept by the weight one can lift with their muscles? Maybe it was the charisma necessary to lead the masses? Enough money to influence others? Authority earned or inherited?
“Well-well-well…” Whatever the answer truly was, Ellen had none of it right now. No strength to fight, no troops to hide behind, and certainly – those who opposed her now had little if any need of whatever amount of gold she now carried.
WENCH!
TANOUTUR (murderer)!
NEZAH (why)?!
MERA RIVARO (my life)!..
YAU MA (how dare you)!
YOU’LL PAY FOR WHAT YOU’VE DONE, BITCH!!!
Oh, they came for Norn. There were hundreds, if not thousands of them, some she could recall from her Murian and Teuteccain campaigns – the series of expansions past the great wall; others were the court warlords she and John unseated in her ascension; rebellious villagers too came to exact their revenge on the younger princess, after her demons decimated them; and there were the victims of Buranikka’s carnage. This was the mountain of corpses Norn Clatalissa Jioral used to climb onto the very peak of political power…
“Now then, what do you want from me? An apology? Maybe my penance?” Even now, surrounded by countless dead souls, whose entire being now revolved around their grudge, the girl wouldn’t let herself be crushed by their rage. Not mentally, at least.
DIE!
MAN WOR YAKSI (give me your eyes)!
SUFFER, YOU MONSTER!
I JUST WANTED TO LIVE!!!
And so, hundreds of voices began howling in unison. So passionate, so eager to share their hardships and aspirations, that Ellen actually started pitying them a little. So many words, so much pain in them.
“Haa… I guess, that something like this was bound to happen someday. Well…” Instead of listening to the rest of the traumatizing nonsense and wailing, the crimson-headed cutie just began… to simply undress. “I don’t have the power to struggle, I can’t break out of here, and all of you came here for me. So go on. Rape me, maul me, kill me, do whatever you want. I’ve already done everything I wanted.” Ellen, now naked and completely defenseless, stretched out on the ethereal black floor, looking into the endless black void above her. The raging souls now came closer and closer, dozens of faces now loomed above her, as their hands reached out to grab the fallen warlady and tear her apart. This… was the end.
Keyaruga, Setsuna, sister… I hope you won’t miss me too much.
And so, she closed her eyes. Time to finally die.



There was no pain, nobody dragged the girl around, not even a single blow fell upon her. Ellen was… safe?
A-A-A-A!!!
UGH-H-H!!!
YOLA-A-A-A-A (it hu-u-u-urts)!!!
Slice and dicing, the ripping of flesh and clattered bones, “death” of a sort, dealt to the undying, torment for the tormented who themselves wished to inflict suffering upon her – someone kept the restless souls away from the princess. Someone precise, fast, and masterful with his tools of mayhem.
“Haa, is that you, Organ?” Ellen asked sullenly. Denied her excruciating retribution once more, she could only cover her tightly shut eyes with her palms.
“How did you know, Your Highness?” Indeed, it was him. As brutal as he was gallant, the deceased demigod was the only one out of these dead souls, who spoke to her, and not wailed at her like some sort of a beast.
“I know only two men, who’d come for me here, and the other isn’t so discreet, you moron.” The young general replied, opening her eyelids. The first thing she saw was the Champion of Jioral, covered in black blood. His prized amber eyes were no more, only black gaping holes were there instead. “Why’re you here? Do you want a piece of me for yourself?” The girl asked, still unwilling to stand up. Honestly, she felt robbed at this moment. This would be such a fitting end for her, but no! “Don’t tell me you’ve just barged in here to… Pff! PROTECT… me.” The second princess spat these words through her painfully clenched teeth.
“First things first, Lady Norn, I suggest you cover your shame and cease this indecency.” The warrior spoke, piercing and slashing the mob with his sword, impaling them with his hidden blade, tossing them back with his kicks. He was far from his prime form, and so, wounds and sores, cuts and lesions were left on him, as he, alone, overpowered dozens of raging men and women, keeping them away from the girl he swore to protect. Indeed… “Forgive me, princess, but I made a vow to your mother, and death is hardly a valid reason to…”
YAKS… (giv…) A-A-A-A!!!
“…to renounce my…”
DOKI-I-I (step away)!!!
“…loyalty to her!”
Despite everything, no matter the odds, Hawkeye continued to push back the angry spirits. He couldn’t dodge, as every missed blow could land on the lady, he couldn’t step back, as she needed protection more than any time in her life, and, certainly, sustained by this oppressive dimension, he couldn’t die. He couldn’t kill anyone, as they just rose anew from their own black blood, but the man couldn’t retreat.
“He-heh-heh-heh-heh-heh-heh…” The princess chuckled, curling her torso in order to sit up. It hurt her stomach, but the girl persevered nonetheless. “Why am I always surrounded by stupid stubborn men, who just can’t help but dingle their balls before me? Seriously, a dead man, upholding a promise to a dead woman, how much more ridiculous can this get?” The girl scoffed, pulling back her panties, bra, and whatever she left lying around, back on. After all, why even bother now? “Be honest, idiot! What do you want from me?”
“I came here…”
Slash, backflip, tackle, toss – Organ Trist twirled around his commander, pushing back everyone, who came too close to his prized princess.
“…to ask you, Lady Norn!..”
Shoulder slam, side-kick, a flurry of bloodshed embodied in the son of Artemis!
“…to save my…”
Stabbing enemies with that hidden blade, crushing their skulls with the handle of his blade, ripping their eyes out and tossing them away – however useless this double-sided brutality may seem, Hawkeye had purpose, skill, and, most of all, conviction, that allowed him to push the mob away.
“…daughter! Save Marianna!”
After all, what can be stronger, than a father, eager to protect his dear child?
“And you think keeping me alive will help you with that? You, moron, this bloated pigeon trapped me here! I have only one way out – fucking death!” The second princess, now properly clothed again, yelled however loud she could. Unable to comprehend the reasoning behind this idiocy, the girl just stood there, pulling her crimson hair. “Also, you’re severely mistaken! I’m not Norn! Norn’s dead! My name is…”
“…Elly! Elly-y-y!!!” Barely had the princess opened her mouth; before the dome had been breached from the outside. The Hero of Magic emerged above the ground. She levitated, using magical blue flames; she secured her sister by forming a wall around her, a barricade made from powerful ice spears. The sorceress even went so far as to send one into the undead Champion, it was one he easily avoided, though. “Step away from my sister, Organ!!!” The raging magician demanded, pulling her sibling towards her with a gust of mystical wind.
Ghh! Oh, hey there, Friea!” The fallen warlady spoke, bracing herself against the dizziness her brief flight had caused. Still, this didn’t look good. The last time those two met, Hawkeye severely injured the pink-haired girl, and she just wouldn’t live through it again, unless two gods appeared to help her. This time, though, it was her turn to be a deity-savior.
“Get away! You’ve bested me once, but this time, I can crash this entire realm down onto your head!” The Hero of Magic promised, putting her staff between her sister and her enemy.
“Aw shit, this just gets better and better…” The little genius lamented, nervously shaking her head. Not only was her glorified suicide rudely interrupted, but now this situation threatened to kill her sister as well. Still…
“Elly, Elly… Ellen? Ellen the Adopted?” Despite Freia’s expectations, Organ Trist was more interested in the new name she called Norn, rather than anything else, really. He already had his fair share of battles, after all. “Ho-ho-o! I guess, in the end, you really did become the better version of yourself! And the ‘brother’ in question – is that sir Keyaru?” The blinded man asked with the same smugness he once boasted with in his grandiose life.
“What’s the point of answering you now? Aren’t we just traitors to you?” The heroine replied with every bit of animosity she had in her. “Hold on, Elly, I’ll get you out of here.” Freia stated, charging her staff with the magic that shaped this entire “world”.
“Heh, aren’t you afraid of what that damn poisoned pigeon might do to you for breaking her rules?” The crimson-haired cutie scoffed, witnessing the entire black dome covering with cracks.
“I don’t care about her rules! All I want is to see you safe!” The sorceress spoke with even more defiance toward Caladrius than Norn ever had in her. If needed, she would challenge this feathered nightmare to a duel, anything, just to save her family.
“I see…” Hawkeye uttered, kneeling before the two girls. All that time, rather than monitoring Freia’s moves, his supernatural senses were aimed outside, to make sure no restless souls cross the fence of magic ice. But now… “I see your eyes, Princess Flare, they’re just like hers. I’m sure; you’ll make Lady Reeharoze proud of you yet.” Now, before he once again departs to the other side, there was one last thing to tell them. First praise, then a claim… “Lady Ellen, I beg of you. The life of Marianna now lies in your hands.” …and finally a plea. With all that said, Organ Trist crumbled, his body turned into black salt. And with it, the entire realm began to collapse in itself…
“Hold tight, Elly…”

And now, there was only one dark dome left. Arguably, the worst of them all, this particular world was to be the prison for Keyaruga… or his cemetery. No doorways to run into, no windows to jump from. He was alone, trapped with hundreds of those who were slain by his hand. Those poor bastards – the restless souls, their minds were so obsessed with hatred, and their grudge – powered by the sheer immortality of their ethereal blackened bodies. This was hell in its purest form. The question is – a hell for who, exactly?
YE-E-E-E-E-EAH!!! IT’S HEALING TIME!!!” Keyaruga snarled and began splattering blood all over the place. Everyone who was touched by that substance became horribly mutated – their heads bloated, their muscles strained so much, they crushed their very bones! “WHAT’S WRONG?! KILL ME!!! KILL ME NOW!!!” The man demanded, dancing around his would-be tormentors with his blade, blessing his foes with the exquisite gift of perpetual agony! Saber in his right hand, Georgius on his left, one complementing another.
Despite what the lad asked, nobody could bring him down. His immortal flesh defied any blade, his bones healed in an instant, his mad frenzy alleviated any pain.
He thought he could kill his enemies for the second and final time, give them proper death in the most excruciating manner. He was wrong…
DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! AGAIN! AND AGAIN! AND ALL OVER AGA-A-A-A-AIN!!!” The hero yelled chopping off heads and severing limbs! He killed so many, he couldn’t even count the slayings! He murdered the same people over and over, each time their agony being more exquisite then the last!
Kill a man once, he won’t even notice, his rage will only rise! Kill him thrice – he’d waver! Five – and the seeds of fear are sown. Ten – and he’s broken completely!
Keyaruga just couldn’t help himself, he hated these scum so much, he just couldn’t contain all his passionate hatred. It was so strong, that the feeling of pure, raw, primordial wrath transcended every possible modification he had put into himself.
A-A-A-A-A!!! UGH-H-H-H-H!!!” A soldier was weeping, hugging his boot. “S-S-S-S-SPA-A-A-ARE ME-E-E!!!
YO-O-OU!!! I remember you!” The healer spoke, raising the cretin by his neck. “My first kill! You watched me being raped, drugged… BEATEN!!!” The man yawped, slicing off his upper face with one nimble slice. “AND YOU NEVER!!! EVER!!! EVER FUCKING HELPED ME!!!” The lad, tainted by black and red blood, slammed the sentry into the ‘floor’…
A-A-A-A-A!!! PLE-E-E-EASE!!!” …and gleefully sliced off his arms, ignited sparked his left armored hand into a gauntlet of blazing heat!..
GU-GHH-GUU!!! UA-A-A-A-A-A-A!!!” And finally, cauterized the wounds, just so that the retard wouldn’t die too soon.
WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU LOOKING AT?!!!” The crazed avenger yelled, grabbing Leonard, so conveniently nearby, weeping. “YOU SAID, I’VE DONE NOTHING FOR THIS FUCKING KINGDOM?! I’LL SHOW YOU, WHAT I CAN DO NO-O-OW!!!
And so he did, the madman rested his two fingers on the sadist’s forehead. A second passed, and a purple spark had announced the richest form of suffering.
Oh… U-u… Uo-o-o-o-o-o… Khh…” Indeed, although it wasn’t as vocal as previous ones, Keyaruga was more than pleased with the result. He knew of a human having specific nerves, specifically for reacting to pain. And he just overloaded them. Toxic spiders, dangerous medusas, venomous snakes and scorpions – all of them could do that with their poisons. Hell, even Keyaruga could brew neurotoxins. But damn, this thing had one ultimate merit compared to all of those – the instant effect, so potent, in fact, that the victim can’t even cry out from the excruciating pain!
“He-e! That’s a neat trick.” The lad mumbled, approaching a maid, lying on the “floor” like an embryo. Flare’s bodyguard shivered and sucked her thumb, completely lost to this twisted world. Just one little touch… “Pam! You’re already dead!” Keyaruga sneered tapping his armored fingers by her temple.
Uh… Uh… Ugh… W… Wha-?.. A-A-A-A-A-A-AGH-H-H!!!” The woman grabbed her skull, but it was too late. All the blood, bile, and even marrow now came into her brain, bloating it, up until it burst in a fountain of black blood and shining entrails.
“Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!! I FUCKING LOVE IT!!!” The deranged healer laughed so loud, and his presence was so overwhelming now, that nobody even dared to come close to him, let alone attack, unless they wished to become a victim of a new twisted experiment. Oh, their fear, this agonizing panic! They’re giving me a fucking boner! I wanna fuck! I want a woman! Oh, this! This will do nicely!
And so, Keyaruga dropped his saber, unfastened his belt, ripped the dress, slapped that ass which he had found, grabbed it, pushed it in! The woman with a blackened tail was slowly dying of blood loss, but that barely concerned the lad. He grabbed her pelvis and began to move, so fast, so frantic, and so mindless, that no one could see a human in him. No-o, this was a wild beast, slamming his bulging cock into the defenseless female, too tired to react, let alone resist somehow. She wasn’t even tight, just barely warm, but even that was enough. A few minutes of such suffering inflicted on her, and he came, this was a brilliant orgasm, deeply perverted, and twisted to the very core…
Oh, that’s the fucking best! I love it so much!
Keyaruga grabbed her hand, wiped his penis with it, pull back his pants, and…
I don’t remember her. I wonder, who that is.
He pushed the body, rolling it to the back.
“Ha-a-a… Hello again, Kailia…” The mad lad recognized her instantly. An agent, sent to find and assist Eve Reese in her quest, hired by someone named Carol. But that alone wouldn’t be enough to get Keyaruga to brutally rape her. “You’ve killed my Norn, but I spared you. Heh, after Kali left, I tasked you to ward off whoever they sent after my Eve, but… It seems like you’ve failed. Really, really sad.” The healer spoke, resting his left hand on her dying flesh, recovering it in an instant. And just like that… “Oh, fuck!” She nearly stabbed him with a knife. Gods only knew where she got it from… “Sit still.” But then, Keyaruga just pressed his finger on her forehead, and completely shut down her limbs functions. He pitied her… but could do nothing for this miserable leopard woman.
“Haa… Damn, it’s getting boring here.” The hero lamented, picking up his weapon of choice. At this point, he just put it back in its sheath. Only then did he spot a couple of new faces in the crowd of weeping bastards. “You there! You don’t look like you should be here. What’s… wait…”
STAY AWAY FROM ME, MONSTER!!!” The woman cried, she was weeping into her man’s now tainted shirt.
Heh! He-heh! No-no-no-o! Oh no-o-o!” Keyaruga frantically shook his head, unable to believe what he just saw. This was the worst. This… “Anna! Kurt! What… What’re you even doing here?! I… I avenged you! You shouldn’t have…” His parents were there, they stood among the thugs, slavers, robbers, bandits, zealots, murderers… But they… they weren’t one of them…
You killed us, traitor. You raped my wife, after everything she’s done for you. You’re disgusting little shit!” The mighty harvester told him, pointing his war-scythe at the hero. The only thing that held him at bay, though, was his spouse, loudly crying with black tears pouring from her eyes.
“Heh… You… really think I’d…”
No. But you’ve proven it.” Kurt spoke with the coldest possible rage in his voice. Keyaru’s cruelty couldn’t be doubted, after all. Not after everyone he maimed this day. “I don’t give a fuck, what the hell is wrong with you, but I’ll slice your guilty ass as many times as I need.” The older man spoke, pushing Anna aside. And then, he lunged.
Kurt struck as a true warrior – he was swift, accurate, precise – his war scythe – basically a reforged farming tool, grazed Keyaruga’s torso, cut his leg, he even stabbed his foster son through his chest. But… there was no blood.
“Calm down, you two.” The hero demanded, stoically taking hit after hit, like the heavy glaive-like blade was nothing. While Anna crumbled to her knees, lost in her weeping, Kurt wouldn’t stop attacking. “You can’t kill me, I’m immor-…” Barely did the lad say so; before his foster father grabbed the handle in a wide grip, and just swept his head off with one precise strike.
NO-O-O-O-O-O-O!!!” Strangely enough, despite all of the delusions his parents had about him, Anna just couldn’t stand seeing her child being killed so brutally. “A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A!!! WHY-Y-Y-Y-Y-Y-Y-Y?!!!” As Keyaru’s head rolled on the ground, the thugs, at least those who weren’t affected by any of hero’s inventive afflictions, started to get rallied again.
You had it coming, you ungrateful dipshit!” Kurt spat through tightly closed teeth. He couldn’t watch, couldn’t face what he had to do with his adopted prodigy. Even if he was a criminal. Even if…
“I really did…” But the bastards weren’t enjoying the show for too long. Right when the healer seemed to fall, a new body started to grow from his neck-stump, the clothes, the pouches, the weapons – everything turned into ash just to materialize again on the proudly standing conqueror of death itself.
What devilry is this?” Kurt’s reaction was understandable. A mix of fear, anger, and disgust, was all over his tainted face. In turn…
KEYARU-U-U-U!!!” Anna just dashed forward to hug her child. No matter, how disgustingly atrocious his resurrection was, without even looking at the beheaded body that now lied nearby, the woman just went ahead and embraced the lad. She… didn’t seem to be in her right mind, even for a dead soul.
“Anna, I… I…” The shivers began taking a hold of him. His hands, his knees – they trembled so much, this simple touch he though he lost forever, this… This was enough to make him cry. “I’m sorry… I’m so, so, so, so-o-o sorry!..
DIE, FUCKER!!!
THAT YOU HAVE TO SEE ME DOING THIS!!!” Keyaruga yelled, grabbing Leonard by his wrist. Just a little pressure – and he dropped his sword, the weapon faded into nothingness. Then, the man pushed Anna back, punched his foe in the gut, and proudly showed his captive to his family. “Haa… He-heh! He-e-e… This… This is Leonard, Flare’s… right hand…” The hero spoke, this time trying to maintain his sanity, as his parents now cautiously looked at him. “I… I came from the future! I had to rewind time’s flow itself… Because Flare was evil, and he…” Then, the man put his hand onto the barely struggling imbecile, thus transforming him into Keyaru, the motionless child, whose entire mobility, except for breathing, was shut down for the ease of what he was about to do. “I killed Flare! And he took my guilt. Then…” Afterwards, the healer went ahead and summoned raging flames upon his free hand. Kurt and Anna watched motionlessly, as he placed the magic-shrouded palm onto his ‘own’ face, burned it, scourged the blackened flesh with the sorcery he ‘learned’ from Flare… “My trick was revealed, and he headed out to our village, looking just like me. The rest… you know the rest.”
And finally, Keyaruga dropped the motionless doll, unable even to cry out from the excruciating pain the Hero of Healing inflicted upon it. He then faced his parents, still shocked by such a display of merciless brutality, they couldn’t even properly reply, this entire spectacle of bloodshed, mayhem, rape, torture, demonstration of immortality, and now – proofs of metamorphosis – all of that left them utterly silent.
“Kurt, Anna… I’m so sorry I couldn’t save you… But I can’t let you, or any one of these fuckers keep me here! I… I have a family! Freia, Setsuna, Ellen, Eve – I so wanted you to meet them… But you can’t now. You… might not believe me, and I understand that.” The red-eyed lad uttered, as his posture slouched more and more, along with his fading bravery. “This is what it’s like to be a man! I must be strong! I have to be ruthless now, so that nobody would challenge me in the future!” The man added, now turning his back to his foster parents. He stood straight, he stretched his shoulders, took a deep breath, and… “LISTEN HERE, YOU FUCKING MONSTERS!!! WHAT YOU’VE FELT NOW IS BUT A TINY BIT OF WHAT I’LL DO TO YOU, ONCE I’M FUCKING DEAD!!! NOW YOU WILL GO INTO THE DEEPEST PITS OF HELL, AND WHEN YOU’RE THERE, PRAY I DON’T FUCKING DIE ANYTIME SOON!!! BECAUSE WHEN I FINALLY KICK THIS SHITTY BUCKET, I’LL FIND EACH OF YOU, AND WE’LL BE PLAYING FOR THE WHOLE OF ETERNITY!!! BUT WHY WAIT, WHEN WE CAN HAVE SOME FUN NOW, HU-U-U-UH?!!!
The speech was told, the impact made. His words were so zealous, so passionately intimidating, that the weeping fools now reached a whole new depth of despair.
GET US OUT OF HERE!!!
SAVE ME-E-E-E!!!
HE’S THE DEVIL!!! DE-E-EVIL!!!
UA-A-A-A-A-A-A!!!
KUUNDA (I’m so scared)!!!
HE-E-E-E-E-ELP!!!
And so, this entire crowd, this mob of immortal corpses, just ran away. Everyone, who could still stand on their feet, began fleeing in panic, trampling each other in the process. What they failed to notice, though, is that the dome is endless only for its main victim. Everyone else just came up against the invisible wall.
The Trial of Heart – its goal is twisted, to be certain. To pass it would mean releasing the dead souls from their grudge toward you. A saint would shift it to forgiveness, but the deranged avenger pumped so much fear in those criminals, that their hatred was replaced by the purest and most animalistic terror. Still, with the task done, the souls began to dissipate in a white light. They would finally be free…
REMEMBER!!! YOU’VE NOT SEEN THE LAST OF ME!!! WE’LL MEET AGAIN, YOU FUCKING SHITBAGS!!!” Unfortunately for them, though, Keyaruga’s long shadow still loomed above them all. And such, even in relief, the crowd continued to cry, to sob, to wail, to…
“Keya… ru…” But not all left because of dread. When the avenger turned around, his foster mother, crumbling into white flakes, stood on her tiptoes to give him a last kiss on the cheek. “You’ve grown… so much…”
And so, she faded. Kurt quickly followed, although it wasn’t forgiveness or benevolence that filled his raging soul. No, it was an impotent acceptance. He saw Keyaruga as a mirror, in which he saw himself, before he deserted the royal guard and found himself in Alban.
“Someday… you’ll follow my path…” And this was what the man spoke at last, dropping his war-scythe to the ethereal ground. With no souls to redeem in the most twisted of ways, the dome of blackness quickly turned insufferably bright.
The Trial of Heart had been passed.
submitted by resurrective to RedoOfHealer [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 08:50 EchoJobs TripActions is hiring Senior Frontend Software Engineer - Angular (flights) Tel Aviv, Israel Israel [Angular React]

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2023.05.28 08:11 EchoJobs TripActions is hiring Senior Frontend Software Engineer - Angular (flights) Tel Aviv, Israel Israel [Angular React]

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2023.05.28 08:01 EchoJobs TripActions is hiring Senior Frontend Software Engineer - Angular (flights) Tel Aviv, Israel Israel [Angular React]

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2023.05.28 01:35 qnkzh NT needing Aspie insights

You might help me understand my man more or suggest things that has been helpful to you before deciding to give up. Ill be pretty emotional in this vent but its just how I feel about us and not against Aspies in general. I also know you won't jump on him and bash him thoughtlessly unlike when I vent to NTs.
My husband is Aspie. And we weren't aware before. Only found out about it when I got diagnosed with Depression and PTSD. The diagnoses really helped us in a way but problems are still there. At first it was 100% hell. Later on, we found ways and it improved. Now, 50% hell.
Since I chose to stay, I've accepted I have to change my expectations and make an adjustment. Since he chose to stay, begged, asked for forgiveness.. I expected that he would commit his end of the bargain.
And I'm not expecting a normal relationship. Just give back 20% to 30% would be great - the most important ones - just enough for me to carry on. My requests: no cheating, try to not to lie if he can, do the small things he's reminded of and the most important: handle meltdowns in less traumatic ways.
He isnt expected to be a fully doting father. Every now and then (not daily), I'd remind him to say I love you or spend 30mins to play with them. For the kids sake, just so they can experience it. The rest, he can make it up through things he thinks he is best at (cooking or working) and I'll fill in on the other parts mentally or socially. Filling each other other's weaknesses as surely I have my weaknesses too.
He is not expected to socialize with family or friends. Or act accordingly when they are around. My family is understanding. His too plus they are scared of him. Socially we have been withdrawn. No PTA, friends' bdays, etc. If we do have one, he just stays in a corner and sleep or use his phone. Not expected to be something he is not. I used to lead a mental health group which he greatly approve of. When he is with them, he can be himself. A tribe of outcasts and with issues. No judgment. He loved it.
Sexually, not much. I pleasure myself. He said he is guilty of it most especially he has premature ejaculation. When we do it, he don't move at all. His fantasy is him sleeping and me taking advantage of him. So basically, I'm doing everything.
Romantically, he lacks in this. But I started to appreciate where he thinks he excels the most (cooking, working) Yes, I have needs. But I've lowered my expectations. Even if its not spontaneous and looks scripted, we just remind him of anniversaries, schedules cuddle time, etc. He thrives with prompts.
When he is great, he is great. As an individual, he has a lot of impressive side of him that makes me proud.
But here is where it gets recurringly problematic: there is a cycle. When he explodes, it's like traumatic, end of the world, chaotic type. He would despise, curse, threaten you, end it all until he communicated his anger and establish power. Then he would be okay and apologetic and renewed. We would pick things up then before we can breath again, he will explode again a week or month after. Backlogs of work, chores, emotions has piled up adding to the stimulants.
This has caused major trauma on me. Accumulated trauma because of lack of time and support to recover. Altered my brain entirely. I'm always hypervigilant, doubtful, cautious. At times it made me suicidal and lost myself. Ive lost so many dreams, opportunities and people. Logically, he gets it. But emotionally, he couldn't comprehend the full depth.
He can physically hurt me, threaten to kill us, leave in a traumatic manner even he has no money or slippers (says he will make a call but run away, run in public and make a commotion, nails the door to assure us he won't leave yet take them off when we are sleeping, etc), say insulting words, cancel important plans like graduation or check-up, break things like phone, desktops, etc.
He would be okay afterwards. But he rarely says sorry or make ammends. And be arrogant and think he didn't do anything at all or just too proud to admit anything.
If he would say sorry and say the same redundant plans, i have to accept it. Or else he will get angry or insult me or think that I'm being dramatic or living in the past.
He has cheated multiple times but no serious affair. He uses anger to shift the mood when he is being held accountable or if there is something overstimulating him. He lies but only lies if it will avoid or delay confrontations or consequences.
This has been happening even I'm pregnant, sick, post-surgery, in front of the kids and family, in public, during Christmas and other occasions.
There were many times that the situation permits me to do self-defense, call on the police or just shout back. But as long as I can, I'd try to be patient. I'd ask him first what he really meant before reacting (as misunderstanding is prone, aspies says something that can be different from NTs and vise versa) I'd give him few hours or days to chill down. I'd give in to his whims just to let things be finished. He says being a punching bag and shock absorber isn't okay. That I can call the police or fight back if needed. But when he is in that moment, the logical thing to do is just be a punching bag and shock absorber.
They say it's trauma bonding why Ive endured.. maybe. But its also because I know that its his sensory overload, fight-or-flight response, stimming, wants space, can't handle conflicts, express things differently, wanting to go back to his special interest, protecting himself by establishing power and authority, etc that makes him do that unintentionally affecting us. Unintentional but destructive. But it's not like he does it for sports or it pleases him. You get the gist. People insulted me when I mention this part because I'm defending the abusive.
Post-explosion, he would realize what he has done and will try to think of how to make it up (but never follows thru) He would even reach to the point where he will say extreme things like cuff him, tattoo his forehead with something, stab him, etc to pay for what he has done which isnt what I want. He gets frustrated too as he is also getting affected by the downtime of his explosions most esp with work as its his special interest. He feels guilty of the things we miss or lose. If its all lies just to appease me or the truth, it still gets my heart everytime. But right now, its all words, no action.
I just want to give him the type of routine that fits him. Time to himself where he can thrive in his bubble and special interest with less exposure on things that overstimulates him and with less NT expectations.. while me, I can do things for myself and be a parent and fill in on what he is lacking with the kids without feeling anxious of what can happen next or be weighed down with flashbacks and anger and trauma. I feel insecure that because of his meltdowns.. our relationship, current progress or plans can all go down to drain anytime due to ragequitting.
When he is in the moment.. even after all the things he asked of me and knowing what the consequences can be.. he can't just seem to commit. He will still be into his "traumatic" tendencies. Which affects my mental health BIG TIME and makes me rethink our relationship.
When I'm not okay, it would affect his bubble. When I'm okay, I can do a lot and he can do a lot as I'm the glue of the family. I've agreed to expect less but I dont like the traumatic meltdowns and conflict responses. Its affecting me and the kids long-term. If its just putting the noise down or no silk fabrics or forgetting a school event, those can be solved immediately, has little impact and easier to move on from.
Our kids are older now and is getting affected. Two of them are PWD (one is aspie) and they are witnessing this. I have duty to them too. They also see me as a victim. They have opinions about our situation that is hurtful yet truthful but it motivates me to stand for myself and be better.
Help? I dont mind straightforward thoughts.
submitted by qnkzh to aspergers [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 00:59 mikhailnikolaievitch Respect Ultimate Wolverine (Marvel, 1610)

Respect Wolverine

"Maybe your mutation isn't about healing at all. It's about surviving."
History: Years of torture and tampering with his memories made much of Wolverine's past a mystery. Though it's known he was a Canadian paratrooper during WWII, the man known as James "Lucky Jim" Howlett became one of the most influential figures in history when government experiments turned him into the world's first mutant.
Eventually renamed Logan, by the time he escaped the Weapon X program he became better known as Wolverine. He was given enhanced senses, an accelerated healing factor, and razor sharp claws. His entire skeleton was coated in an indestructible metal known as adamantium, and his memories were rewired to optimize their battle efficiency. He was the perfect weapon...and then he escaped.
Though he served Magneto's Brotherhood of Mutant Supremacy, Wolverine turned on Magneto to serve the X-Men as one of its fiercest proponents. Inspired by Xavier's dream, Wolverine never quite uncovered the secrets of his past, nor did he find much happiness in his present. But when he gave his life to save the world he proved his redemption, and survived in the memories of the X-Men who cared for him and the son that never knew him.
Source Key: Ultimate Marvel Team-Up = UMT Ultimate X-Men = UXM# Ultimate Spider-Man = USM Ultimate Nightmare = UN Ultimate War = UW Ultimate X-Men & Fantastic Four = X4 Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk = WvH Ultimate Power = UP Ultimate Origins = UO Ultimates 3 = U3 Ultimatum = UTM Ultimatum: X-Men Requium = REQ Ultimate Comics Wolverine = UCW 
Scaling - Apocalypse - Captain America - Colossus - Cyclops - Deathstrike - Gambit - Hulk - Iron Man - Magneto - Mister Fantastic - Nightcrawler - Rogue - Sabretooth - Spider-Man - Storm - Thing - Xavier

Physiology

Strength

Striking
Lifting
Throwing
Misc.

Durability

Concussive
High material reference
Low material reference
Scaling w/reference
Minimal reference
Gunfire
Long guns
Handguns
General
Piercing
Explosions
Heat/Electricity
Multiple Damage Types
Toxins/Poisons
Misc.

Speed

Against Superhumans
Against humans
Against objects

Claws

Guns
Robots
Vehicles
Special materials
Scaling
Misc. materials
Misc. abilities/information

Senses

Tracking
Detecting
Identifying
Statements
Misc.

Skills

Combat
Statements
Noncombat
Telepathic Resistance
Statements
Showings
submitted by mikhailnikolaievitch to respectthreads [link] [comments]


2023.05.27 23:41 richardr1126 Converted my React.js website to a React Native iOS App

Converted my React.js website to a React Native iOS App
Over the last week I took my React.js website tunetidy.com and converted it to a React Native iOS app. It’s a Spotify connected website that’s shows your listening stats and lets you sort playlists by fun criteria.
It was a interesting process, but overall was pretty easy to change the UI components from from React Chakra UI to React Native Base, also rebuilt from Class to Functional components.
I initially had to make the website with Class components because I was doing it for a project in my Object-Oriented design class, which required us to use Class design patterns. Stripping some of those patterns away has definitely improved the app, some Java based OO patterns just don’t belong in a React project.
It still needs some bug fixing, but if anyone wants to test the through TestFlight you can join the public beta.
submitted by richardr1126 to webdev [link] [comments]


2023.05.27 23:00 EddieMunson221 The complete Lottie Matthews Bible, S1

Lottie is an amazing character, played superbly in both timelines by Courtney Eaton and Simone Kessell.
When I saw talk about her in the last couple of days, I noticed so much misremembered and forgotten stuff from Season 1 and I realized I'd forgotten a lot too.
I sat down and re-watched every scene Lottie was in to give a complete chronological journey of her S1 character arc, which I hope will take less than 10 hours to read haha.
Undertaking this exercise also reminded me she's intrinsically a truly good person, with a big heart and great sense of humor.
Also a young person who was struggling without her medication post-crash and susceptible to persuasion.

Season 1.
Ep1 - 'Pilot':
  1. After Jackie scores a header, she gets embraced by Shauna and then Lottie, who wears the number 5 shirt, Tai joins the celebration. Lottie peels off and is hugged by Shauna, then by Natalie. Team give the "Buzz, Buzz, Buzz" chant.
  2. Lottie starts singing 'Shoop' in the locker room and all the girls join in. Lottie tells Jackie the coach wants to see her. Lottie then bitches to Tai and Van about Allie's substandard soccer performances. Lottie hesitates on Tai's plan to not pass the ball to Allie. When Tai breaks Allie's leg, Lottie comforts Allie by patting her head and holding her.
  3. At the party, Lottie motions to defend Natalie when Tai implies Nat is a slut. Lottie again acts as peacemaker and steps in between Tai and Shauna wanting to throw hands. Natalie tells Lottie she appreciates the fact Lottie only talks shit about someone when they deserve it.
  4. Lottie's family maid hands her the tablets for schizophrenia, Lottie takes one with OJ.
  5. Van tells Lottie it's so cool that her dad paid for a private plane, Lottie responds sarcastically that (throwing money around) is his only form of parenting. As the plane goes down, Lottie's sitting across from Shauna and is reaching around to try get her oxygen mask on.
Ep2 - 'F Sharp'
  1. As the plane is nearing impact, Laura Lee reaches around her seat for some support from Lottie, they grip each other her tight with both arms. After impact, Tai and Misty can't get the door open, until Lottie and Laura Lee get there to add weight to the push.
  2. Lottie and Misty pull Coach Ben from the trapped wreckage, while the other girls lift it up. Lottie is comforting Coach Ben, when Misty swings the axe to chop off his mangled leg. Lottie tends to the cuts on Van's face.
  3. Lottie finds one of her suitcases but can't find the one with her pills. She then runs over to a screaming Laura Lee, to move her away from the tree where Coach Martinez blood is dripping down. Lottie and the girls try create a net to catch Coach's body, if he falls.
  4. Lottie finds her pills and looks very relieved, but empties them into her hand and see there's only 6 left. She takes 1. Around the fire, Lottie confesses that she steals shitty clothes from T.J.Maxx and returns them to get T.J. bucks, everyone laughs.
Ep3 - 'Welcome to the Dollhouse'
Chronology note - Lottie has tops 2-3 days worth of pills left.
  1. Lottie holds Jackie's hand as the survivors link hands to pray for the dead. Lottie then reaches to hold Travis by his shoulder. Soon after, Lottie gets annoyed with Travis for taking so much food.
  2. Lottie votes on Jackie's side to stay by the plane, they lose the vote to Tai's idea to go to the lake. Lottie is grossed out by the smell of the dead bear they pass on the way to the lake, covered in maggots.
  3. Van is first to jump into the lake, followed by Lottie next. With everyone having fun, Lottie stares intensely at the hill and alerts the group to a reflection. Lottie looks very uneasy about it. When they get to the cabin, she still looks uneasy and hangs back outside.
  4. When it gets dark, Lottie is outside and doesn't want to go in. Tai confronts her about it. Lottie says she has a bad feeling about this, Tai said she doesn't believe in that shit and convinces Lottie to go in.
Ep4 - 'Bear Down'
  1. Nat wakes up from a nightmare, to see Lottie sitting bolt upright. Nat tries to reassure her but Lottie says she feels like 'bad things once happened here.'
  2. Lottie and Van are putting the cans up at the shooting drill, when Travis finishes shooting, they both run over and put them back up for Nat's turn.
  3. Lottie notices the symbol on the tree and goes to touch it, but gets interrupted by Jackie announcing she found the plane. Lottie reckons ""It" didn't want him (Cabin Guy) to leave (on the plane)".
Ep5 - 'Blood Hive'
Chronology note - Lottie has long since run out of her medication, as Tai says "Lottie has been acting crazy for weeks"

  1. Lottie is dancing with the girls to "This is How We Do It" and for a minute she looks relaxed and happy. When the music stops, all of the girls hear a creaking noise in the loft. Lottie sounds reassured when realizing the other girls heard it too. Lottie shushes the girls and her facial expression implies she still hears something but the other girls no longer hear it.
  2. Lottie is standing in the lake on her own, looking catatonic, when Jackie arrives and asks is she ok and isn't she cold. Lottie replies 'yeah, actually. I thought it'd be warmer', still catatonic.
  3. During the séance , Van passes Lottie the bowl and Lottie anoints an 'X' on her forehead with the deer blood/mud mixture, then passes the bowl to Mari. Lottie is having fun and laughing. The mood abruptly changes when Javi asks if they're all going to die out here.
  4. Camera pans in from outside the window, Lottie looks out and screams, just before the window blows open. Lottie keeps repeating "It wants" and tells Shauna "It's hungry". Lottie's facial expression quickly turns from fear to demonic laughter and she tells Shauna "It's in you already".
  5. Lottie starts chanting in French and Jackie is asked to translate but notes both she and Lottie actually suck at French. Lottie looks possessed and comes to a conclusion she must spill blood and headbutts the window. There's blood all over her face and hands and she's screaming. Shauna and Van are holding her.
  6. Laura Lee throws the Bible at her and Lottie snaps out of it.
  7. Lottie seems surprised that there's blood all over her face.

Ep6 - 'Saints'
  1. Flashback to Young Lottie, perhaps around 1985, in the back seat of her parents car and she starts screaming. Moments later a truck slams into a car up ahead. Lottie's mother and father argue at home, while Young Lottie eavesdrops.
  2. Lottie's mother believes it's possible there's things in this world we just don't understand and maybe Lottie had a premonition that saved them. Lottie's dad is insisting she is mentally unwell and needs a psychiatrist.
  3. Bonus foreshadowing: Van says she would "eat the crap out of a mouse right about now", Akilah says "eww gross".
  4. Lottie interjects that some animals actually live off their own vomit. Mari mocks Lottie's mental illness by saying "did the dead Cabin guy tell you that or do you just chat about blood and stuff?", Lottie replies" nah we mostly talk about Danny dumping you for his own cousin" (mic drop)
  5. As Lottie walks away, she sees a deer with blood on its antlers. Van comes over and asks if she's ok, Lottie says she is. The deer is not in picture when Van is there.
  6. Everyone is asleep, Lottie hears noises outside. Grabs a lamp and goes out. Lottie discovers Tai in a rabid state, eating dirt from the ground.
  7. Tai is frantic and trying to find Shauna, asks Lottie which way she went. Lottie asks "umm were you outside eating dirt last night", Tai instantly dismisses her as crazy and runs off.
  8. Lottie is now convinced that she imagined it and believes she's seeing things that are not real, so she turns to Laura Lee for spiritual advice. Lottie asks how the prophets in the bible knew they weren't just fucking crazy for having visions. Laura Lee says it's because they had faith and believed the visions to be real.
  9. Laura Lee leads Lottie into the lake and baptizes her.
  10. As Lottie is under the water, she hallucinates being in a tunnel/shaft and sees a deer. She follows the deer around a corner, up a candelit staircase. Lottie takes a smaller candle and lights a big central candle. Lottie wakes up and sees Laura Lee turn dark and screams for air.
  11. Lottie says she saw fire and light. Laura Lee convinces her that Lottie saw the Holy Spirit.
  12. A sick deer dies. Shauna cuts it open to see maggots. Lottie assumes this is the same deer she saw and asks Laura Lee for reassurance she's not crazy.
  13. Laura Lee assures Lottie that she has a gift.
Ep7 - 'No Compass'
  1. Laura Lee asks Lottie her thoughts on Tai's plan to go find help, Lottie says "I don't know". When Tai is asked what will happen if she's wrong, she replies "I don't know". Lottie tells her she does know (that she will die, if she's wrong).
  2. Laura Lee asks Lottie why she didn't tell Tai about her dream, Lottie reckons Tai wouldn't have listened.
  3. Lottie finds a bone in the dead deer that didn't burn. She hands it to Van and says it might keep her safe. Lottie tells Van about her dream, about red smoke and a river of blood. Lottie makes Van promise she won't lose the bone.
Ep8 - 'Flight of the Bumblebee'
  1. Lottie asks Laura Lee if she reckons Tai's group are ok on their trek, Laura Lee replies "it's in God's hands and have faith."
  2. Lottie is sitting on the deck sewing something, when Misty arrives back to get help for Van. They go search and find Van. Lottie puts her hand on Van to console her and gets blood on her own hands.
  3. When Akilah is stitching Van's face, Lottie can't bear to listen to Van's screams, so cups her hands around her ears.
  4. Next morning, Laura Lee wakes everyone up to make an announcement that she's gonna fly to get help. Lottie reacts like "what, you're gonna fly?". Laura Lee out-of-character uses the F-word "we're all gonna fucking starve", which stuns everyone.
  5. Everyone is cleaning the runway path for the plane, except for Lottie who is on top of the plane clearing branches.
  6. Lottie is leaning against the plane, arms folded. She hugs Laura Lee tight, just before Coach Ben begs Laura Lee not to do it. When the plane takes off, Lottie is maybe the only girl not smiling and cheering.
  7. When the plane explodes, Lottie runs into the lake, drops to her knees and starts to cry.
  8. Lottie lets out a silent "NOOOO" scream that is inaudible against the music.
Ep9 - 'Doomcoming'
  1. When Mari announces she has berry-booze, Jackie suggests a party and doesn't get an enthusiastic response. Lottie interjects 'we packed dresses, for the awards dinner' and comes up with 'doomcoming' as a name. Nat loves it.
  2. Lottie is on the deck making her antler masks, Tai asks her to pass the knife. Lottie passes it.
  3. Lottie opens up Laura Lee's suitcase and takes out her white dress, Lottie brings it close and smells it. Lottie wears Laura Lee's dress to the party.
  4. Lottie opens 'doomcoming' with a smile. Lottie has an even bigger smile of joy when Tai kisses Van. Lottie suggests a moment of silence and a toast to for Laura Lee.
  5. Jackie says all they need now is music, Misty asks for slow dance music, Lottie starts to 'ba-da-da-da-da' and the group follow her lead into the chorus of Seal's 'Kiss from a Rose'
  6. Everyone is high AF from Misty's magic mushrooms and Lottie says 'something's coming and we won't be hungry much longer'
  7. Lottie still tripping and says they need to go look for Jackie/Travis as "he doesn't belong to her". She sees blood on Jackie's dress and then kisses Travis. Lottie tells Jackie she doesn't matter anymore and locks her in the pantry.
  8. After chasing a half naked Travis, Lottie tells Shauna "you know what to do" and "It wants us to". After Nat intervenes, they both jump for the knife. Nat gets it. Lottie says to Natalie "It's in all of us. In him (Travis) and even you"
  9. Nat snaps at Lottie and says "that's enough of your weird bullshit, Lottie", to which Lottie giggles maniacally.
Ep10 - 'Sic Transit Gloria Mundi'
  1. Lottie wakes up outside, hungover, dazed and confused. When they get back to the cabin, Shauna asks has anyone seen Jackie. Lottie taps Shauna on the arm and points to Jackie. Everyone is bickering, then they hear a noise.
  2. A bear approaches the cabin and Lottie asks Shauna for the knife. Lottie calmly approaches the bear and stabs it.
  3. Lottie sits on a log beside Coach Ben, as Shauna is preparing the meat.
  4. Van suggests they say grace before eating and asks Lottie to say a few words. Lottie asks them to join hands and holds Shauna and Coach Ben's hand.
  5. Lottie says "For the gift from the wilderness, we give our thanks. To the spirit of the bear, who sacrificed so that we could survive, we give our thanks. And to the ancient Gods of the sky and the dirt, we give our thanks."
  6. Lottie appears in Jackie's death dream and offers her hot chocolate.
  7. Lottie, Van and Misty go to the shrine.
  8. Lottie places the bear heart down and kneels in front of it, Van and Misty do too, behind her.
  9. Lottie says "versez le sang mes beaux ami (shed blood my beautiful friends)
  10. And let the darkness set us free.
submitted by EddieMunson221 to Yellowjackets [link] [comments]


2023.05.27 22:21 Proletlariet Appa

Respect Appa

You've got to take care of yourself.
Sky bisons are a race of 10 ton mammals capable of manipulating air currents to allow flight. While they are quite large and powerful, they move through the air with a certain grace. It was through them that the ancient Air Nomads first developed the art of airbending, but just like the Air Nomads themselves the sky bison's numbers would dwindle over time.
As a calf, Appa bonded with the young Avatar Aang and the destiny of the two intertwined ever since. When Aang fled their home and became frozen for 100 years, both awoke to find the populations of the Air Nomads and sky bison alike were devastated. Appa soon became Aang and his friends' means of travelling the globe in order to save the world, and he was a loyal partner and trusted friend throughout.
Avatar: The Last Airbender Season & Episode = S#E# Katara and the Pirate's Silver = KPS Avatar: The Last Airbender The Art of the Animated Series =TAS Archived Nickelodeon Website = ANW The Search = TS 
Reference: 1. Nyla 2. Ty Lee 3. Mai 4. Aang 5. Katara 6. Toph 7. Sokka

Strength

Durability

Flight

Airbending

Teamwork

________
Think I forgot something? No, I didn't.
submitted by Proletlariet to u/Proletlariet [link] [comments]