Lumber liquidators toms river new jersey
That town in central New Jersey near the shore.
2015.02.23 02:14 Stepstool100 That town in central New Jersey near the shore.
This is a subreddit for the town of Toms River and what is happening in it. Exit 82!
2010.11.22 23:35 hypo11 South Jersey
The "other" New Jersey you never hear about. Don't be an asshole. Join our discord at https://discord.gg/NgyR3F8gYn
2012.09.25 03:26 dave2daresqu Ocean County College
The Unofficial Subreddit for Students of Ocean County College in Toms River New Jersey
2023.03.25 02:20 FitInvestigator5945 A PERSON OF NUMBERS VOL 2
SHIESHA JOHNSON'S BIRTHDAY YA'LL
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO SHIESHA JOHNSON.
9:15PM EST - 9:45PM EST
(SCENES NUMBER SEVEN AND EIGHT)
SESSION NUMBER FOUR: 500 POINTS PAST THE NEAREST ZERO POINT.
500 POINTS PAST ZERO.
SCENE #7: WE SEE. THE COMPUTER. TYPING. WORD PAD. INTERIOR. HOME. HOUSE. DAY. INTERIOR. SHOT.
SUNDAY 5PM BUY UNTIL TUESDAY OVERNIGHT CHECK FOR MORNING
AUDNZD AND NZDUSD
BUY UP UNTIL 500 POINT MARK POST ZERO POINT. AFTER THE ZERO POINT IS POST ZERO POINT
SELL DOWN u/500
PT MARK OR MK UNTIL ZERO POINT
BUY UP u/THE
ZERO POINT UNTIL THE 400 PT MARK
SELL DOWN u/400
POINT UNTIL THE ZERO POINT
BUY UP u/THE
ZERO POINT UNTIL THE 300 PT MARK
SELL DOWN u/300
POINT UNTIL THE ZERO POINT
BUY UP u/THE
ZERO POINT UNTIL THE 200 PT MARK
SHOULD BE AROUND WEDNESDAY NIGHT THURSDAY MORNING BY NOW RIGHT?
WEDNESDAY THURSDAY OVERNIGHT MIDNIGHT, AUDNZD NZDUSD WENT BACK AND FORTH FROM ZERO POINT TO 200 PT TO ZERO POINT TO 200 PT AS OF THURSDAY AFTERNOON 3PM EST
SELL DOWN u/200
POINT UNTIL THE ZERO POINT
IF NOT USD PAIRS...LIKE AUDUSD NZDUSD
IF AUDNZD OR OTHER FOREIGN ON FOREIGN
BUY UP u/THE
ZERO POINT UNTIL 500 POINT
RIDE 500 POINT DOWN. SELLING. TO ZERO POINT.
NEW WEEK BRO! CONGRATULATIONS. YOU'RE PAID BRA!
30 TRADES LIQUIDATED PER DAY. 30 ENTERED AND EXITED DAILY. 30 OPEN AND 30 CLOSE. 50% RETURNS MINIMUM PER DAY. STRIVING FOR 100% DAILY RETURNS.
SUNDAY BUY. REMAINING % OF 500 PTS UP. FULL LEVERAGE. DOUBLED THE BALANCE. ONCE.
SUNDAY SELL. 500 PTS DOWN. TO ZERO PT. FULL LEVERAGE. DOUBLED THE BALANCE. TWICE.
MONDAY BUY. 400 PTS UP. FULL LEVERAGE. DOUBLED THE BALANCE. THRICE.
MONDAY SELL. 400 PTS DOWN. TO ZERO POINT. FULL LEVERAGE. DOUBLED THE BALANCE. FOUR TIMES.
TUESDAY BUY. 300 POINTS UP. FULL LEVERAGE. DOUBLED THE BALANCE. FIVE TIMES,
TUESDAY SELL. 300 POINTS DOWN. TO ZERO POINT. DOUBLED THE BALANCE. SIX TIMES.
WEDNESDAY BUY. 200 POINTS UP. FULL LEVERAGE. DOUBLED THE BALANCE. SEVEN TIMES.
WEDNESDAY SELL. 200 POINTS DOWN. FULL LEVERAGE. DOUBLED THE BALANCE. EIGHT TIMES.
WEDNESDAY MIDNIGHT OVERNIGHT THURSDAY MORNING
BUY UP. UNTIL FRIDAY. AND OR. 500 POINT PAST ZERO POINT. 11AM EST FRIDAY. SELL TIL 4PM EST. 4:30PM EST. 4:45PM EST. SUNDAY. 5PM-8PM, BUY TOWN. BUY CITY. BUY AVENUE. BUYER'S BLVD.
SO THIS IS THE CHEAT SEE. WHAT YOU JUST SAW. YOU ALSO SAW. THE CALCULATIONS. THE CALCULATIONS OF THE PROFITS. IT'S CALLED THE BATTING AVERAGE PEOPLE. THE BATTING AVERAGE. AN EXTREMELY EASY CONCEPT. THE BATTING AVERAGE. ONE'S BATTING AVERAGE. WHAT IS YOUR BATTING AVERAGE? IN WHATEVER YOU DO BEST? WHAT ARE YOUR VOLICITY'S STATISTICS? IN REGARDS TO CURRENCY TRADING. AS THE PITCHER. A PITCHER. YOUR TEAM'S PITCHER. WHEN PITCHING AGAINST THE MARKET BAT. CAN YOU STRIKE OUT THE MARKET? WILL YOU STRIKE OUT THE MARKET? YES YOU WILL. FOR YOU CAN. AND YOU WANT TO. YOU DO WANT TO STRIKE OUT THE MARKET DO YOU NOT? THEN WHY ARE YOU HERE. IF THE ANSWER WAS NO. IF THE ANSWER IS YES. YOU'RE THE WINNER. OF ALL WINNERS. WINNER WINNER. CHICKEN DINNER. THE CALCULATIONS OF THE BATTING AVERAGE. NUMBERS GET PLUGGED IN. WHEN CALCULATING PROFITS. BASED ON. BATTING AVERAGES. PLUG IN THE BATTING AVERAGE OF 1000%. MULTIPLIED BY. THE INITIAL INVESTMENT. $100. $100 TIMES 30. $3,000. PER WEEK. EACH TRADING ACCOUNT. IN EACH BROKERAGE ACCOUNT. ON EACH TRADING PLATFORM. $100,000. IS NOT. SO FAR. FROM THOSE CRUNCHED. NUMBERS. WELCOME TO BREAD TRADERS AND BREAD HOLDERS. WELCOME TO. BREDBREADTRADERS. BREDBREADHOLDERS. WHERE WE. LIKE OUR NUMBERS. CRUNCHED. IN RETROSPECT. WHAT WERE WE SUPPOSED TO DO? WITH ALL OF THIS MONEY? ALL OF THIS MONEY!. OH BOY. THERE'S ABOUT TO BE. A BUNCH OF MONEY FLOATING IN THE PERSONAL CYBERSPACE. THE PERSONAL MILLION. WE'RE GOING TO NEED ONE MILLION PEOPLE. TO KEEP IN A BRIEFCASE. INSIDE OF A SAFE. THE EMERGENCY MILLION. WHAT KEEPS THE MILLIONAIRE STATUS. FLIP ALL OF THE OTHER MILLIONS AVAILABLE. WE NEED BILLIONS PEOPLE. THE BILLIONS. WE NEED THE BILLIONS PEOPLE. OR CAN YOU JUST NOT DIG IT? IF IT'S DUG. TUG ALONG THEN. WE ARE ON OUR WAY TO A BILLION DOLLARS PEOPLE. THE TECHNOLOGICAL REVOLUTION. HAS ESCALATED PEOPLE. NANO TECHNOLOGY. IS HERE. BIO METRICS. IS THERE. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE? IS EVERYWHERE PEOPLE. CYBER SECURITY IS JUST ALONG THE RIVER BEND. ROBOTICS IS NOTHING NEW. COMPARED TO BIONICS. WITHOUT BIONICS. MYO ELECTRIC PROSTHETIC INDUSTRIES. ARE OF LITTLE IMPORTANCE. MYO ELECTRIC. BIONICS. ROBOTICS. ALL CONNECTED. THRU INTERFACES. OF SUPPLY AND DEMAND. YOU'RE JUST NOT READY FOR ME. THE WORLD ISN'T READY FOR ME. FOR I AM. THE CASSANDRA. OF WALL STREET. DOUBLE. DOUBLE. DOUBLE. DOUBLE. DOUBLE. FIVE DOUBLE CHEESE BURGERS. HOLD THE BURGER, HOLD THE BREAD. CONDIMENTS ON THE CHEESE ONLY. MAKE THOSE TRIPLE CHEESE.
5:52PM EST - 6:25PM EST
LEAP YEAR BABY BABY!!
SATURDAY FEBRUARY 29TH, 2020
EVERY CHILD BORN TODAY WILL AGE FAST SLOWLY
TODAY. IS SATURDAY. LEAP DAY. THE 2020 LEAP YEAR. JUST GOT HOME FROM CHURCH. THE FOREX MARKET. OPENS. TOMORROW EVENING. AT 5PM. EASTERN TIME. SUNDAY. WE WILL BUY. UNTIL 8PM. THE NEW YORK SESSION. OPERATES BETWEEN. THE HOURS OF. NOON - 8PM. THE BUY WILL LAST FOR THE LAST THREE HOURS OF THE NEW YORK TRADING SESSION. EVERY TRADING SESSION. IS NAMED. AFTER THE FINANCIAL CAPITOL. OF THE CONTINENT. ASIA'S FINANCIAL CAPITOL. IS TOKYO. LONDON. IS EUROPE'S FINANCIAL CAPITAL. SYDNEY. IS AUSTRALIA'S FINANCIAL CAPITAL. THE 8PM SESSION. COULD BE LABELED. THE SYDNEY SESSION. SO. THE SYDNEY SESSION. IS DEFINITELY WHERE THE GOING IS GOOD. I LOOK FORWARD TO TOMORROW EVENING. I AM SO GRATEFUL TO GOD. I AM SO GRATEFUL TO GOD. FOR GIVING ME LIFE. EVERY DAY SO FAR. FOR SUCH A LONG TIME. I DO NOT TAKE THESE MOMENTS FOR GRANTED. I APPRECIATE THE OPPORTUNITY. THE OPPORTUNITY TO CONDUCT BUSINESS. SPIRITUAL BUSINESS. THERE IS REAL - REAL SPIRITUAL BUSINESS. GOING DOWN RIGHT HERE. RIGHT NOW. SUNDAY. UNTIL 8PM. BUY. FOREIGN ON FOREIGN. AUDNZD. USD PAIRS ARE EITHER. LAGGING OR SPED UP. TO THE NEXT SIDE. THE FOREIGN WILL HIT FIRST. SO TRADE FOREIGN ON FOREIGN. IN ONE TRADING ACCOUNT. EACH BROKERAGE ACCOUNT. CAN HAVE TEN TRADING ACCOUNTS. SIGN UP FOR THREE TO FIVE BROKERS. HAVE FAMILY DO IT AS WELL. FRIENDS AS WELL. BUSINESS PARTNERS. INVEST YOUR PROFITS. FROM YOUR TRADING ACCOUNT. INTO THEIR TRADING ACCOUNTS. TRADE FOR THEM. WHOLE HEARTEDLY. EARN THE SAME AMOUNT. YOU EARNED FOR YOURSELF. FOR THEM AS WELL. NOW BACK TO SUNDAY. 8PM YOU SELL AUDNZD. SELL IT AT THE 500 OR 600 POINT MARK ABOVE THE NEAREST ZERO POINT. THE ZERO POINT CLOSEST TO THE 5PM MARKET OPEN PRICE POINT. CATCH THE PERCENTAGE AVAILABLE AT 5PM. OF THE 500 POINT RISE. THEN SELL. DOWN TO THE ZERO POINT. THE USD PAIRS. WILL DROP LOWER. THAN THE ZERO POINT. PAST THE ZERO POINT. BY THE WEEK'S END. THE USD PAIRS WILL DROP TO THE 700 POINT MARK. UNDER THE ZERO POINT. ALMOST 1000 POINTS. BELOW THE 8PM SELL POINT. TEN CENTS PER POINT. $10 PER TRADE. WITH $100 IN LEVERAGE. TEN TRADES AUDNZD. AUDUSD. NZDUSD. COLLECTIVELY. DEFINITELY. EVERY TIME IT BUYS. IT BUYS AT A LOWER HIGH. SELLING AT. LOWER LOWS. THE CURRENT LOW PRICE. IS LOWER THAN THE PREVIOUS LOW PRICE. LOWER LOWS. HIGHER HIGHS. LOWER HIGHS. HIGHER LOWS. IT IS CRAZY WITHIN THE LAND OF THE LOWS. SUNDAY. BUY. TO THE 500 POINT MARK. PTMK. THEN SELL. TO ZERO POINT. THEN BUY. TO 400 PTMK. SELL TO THE ZERO POINT. BUY UNTIL THE 300 PTMK. SELL TO THE ZERO POINT. BUY TO THE 200 PTMK. SELL TO THE ZERO POINT. BUY. TO THE 500 PTMK. THIS SHOULD BE THURSDAY TO FRIDAY. ONCE IT GETS TO THE 200 PTMK. THE USD PAIRS. WILL TANK TO 700 POINTS UNDER THE ZERO POINT. AS IN. 300 POINTS. $3 PER TRADE. $5 PER TRADE. EVERY DAY. YOU HAVE TO SWITCH. THIS IS THE SEGUE ALERT. CAN YOU HEAR THE PARAMETERS SCREAMING? THE PARAMETERS. STOP LOSSES. TAKE PROFITS. BUY STOPS. SELL STOPS. SELL LIMITS. BUY LIMITS. MARKET EXECTUTION. PENDING ORDERS. MARKET EXECUTION. IS HOW I LEARNED. PRESETS. PARAMETERS. ALL OF THE ABOVE. LEARNED IT FROM. IML. IMARKETSLIVE. I ONLY STOPPED IML. I PREFERRED TO LEARN BY DOING. WITH THE $300 PER MONTH FEE TO LEARN. I TOOK MY $300 AND SAW HOW THE MARKET OPERATED MYSELF. IT'S BEEN. THANK GOD. TWO SEASONS FROM TWO YEARS. THE BATTING AVERAGE IS TIMES FIVE IN PROFIT. PER TWO BROKERAGE ACCOUNTS. WITH THE MARKET OPENING TOMORROW. IN THE EVENING. I AM ABLE TO TRADE FOR ANOTHER 120 HOURS. WHILE I START A NEW JOB ASSIGNMENT. FOR A NEW TEMP SERVICE. GOD ANSWERED MY PRAYERS. WITH THE SPECIFICATIONS OF THE DESIRE. THE OVERNIGHT SHIFT. PREFERRABLY STARTING AFTER SUNSET. OR RIGHT AT SUNSET. OR RIGHT BEFORE. I GET OFF OF WORK AT 7AM. BY 7AM I'M OFF OF THE CLOCK. GIVES ME THREE TO WRITE. RECORDING THE WRITING SESSIONS. ON AUDIO. THIS WEEK IS THE TEST. OF THE STRATEGY. STRATEGY TESTING. FOR 120 HOURS. STRAIGHT. CONSECUTIVELY. SIMULTANEOUSLY. WITH WORKING TWELVE HOUR DAYS. ROTATING SHIFTS. I AM GRATEFUL. I CAN USE THE EARNED INCOME. TO PAY BILLS ON TIME. THEN IN ADVANCE. UNTIL THE TRADING IS TESTED. THEN ONE CAN PAY ALL OF THE BILLS OFF. IN ADVANCE. FOR MONTHS AT A TIME. THEN INVEST THE MAJORITY OF PROFIT. 80%-90%. IN PROFITS GET REINVESTED. THE ONLY TO DO IT. REINVEST IT PRIMARILY. INITIALLY. INTO THE FOREIGN STOCK EXCHANGES. EVERY COUNTRY. HAS IT'S OWN CURRENCY. EVERY COUNTRY HAS IT'S STOCK MARKET. MAYBE NOT EVERY COUNTRY. OTHER COUNTRIES. MANY OTHER COUNTRIES. THE REALLY DO. SO. IF YOU KNOW WHERE TO LOOK. WITHIN THE STOCK EXCHANGES. INDUSTRY WISE. MARKET WISE. YOU CAN CAPITALIZE. YOUR EARNINGS. PLACING YOUR TRADING PROFITS. INTO YOUR STOCK HOLDING PORTFOLIOS. THIS IS HOW YOU CONDUCT. THE CAPITAL GAINS TAX. WHEN YOU START. WITHDRAWING TRADING PROFITS. FROM THE BROKERAGE ACCOUNTS. FOR EVERY DOLLAR. 60 CENTS WILL BE TAXED AT THE 15% RATE. THE REMAINING 40 CENTS. WILL BE TAXED THE NORMAL. WHAT'S THE NORMAL RIGHT? THE 33% RATE. THE EMERGING TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRIES. THIS IS WHERE YOU PLACE YOUR TRADING PROFITS. I SAY THIS. MY MOTHER GOT ME INTO CURRENCY TRADING. THANK GOD. THANK MY MOTHER. THANK GOD FOR MY MOTHER. I NEEDED THAT. I WAS WILLING TO PLACE THE EARNED INCOME. INTO STOCKS AND CRYPTO CURRENCY. TRADING FIAT AND CRYPTO CURRENCY. WOULD ALLOW ME TO HOLD FIAT AND CRYPTO CURRENCY. CONVERTING FIAT CURRENCY TO STOCKS. EMERGING TECH STOCKS. CONVERTING CRYPTO CURRENCY. TO OTHER CRYPTO CURRENCIES. FROM RIPPLE XRP. TO ANOTHER ALT COIN TO ANOTHER ALT - COIN. TO ANOTHER ALT - COIN. CAPITALIZING. ON THE TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES. OF OUR DAY. EXACTLY WHAT OUR PARENTS. DID NOT DO. WE MUST BREAK THE MOLD. OR I WILL HAVE BROKEN IT. BY MYSELF. LISTEN UP PEOPLE. THE TIME HAS COME. TO GET PAID. REALLY. I'M TALKING REALLY PAID. I'M TALKING. REALLY - REALLY PAID. PEOPLE. THE TIME HAS COME. TO GET REALLY - REALLY PAID. I DON'T WANT TO HAVE ALL OF THIS FUN BY MYSELF. I WILL HAVE MUCH FUN. BY MYSELF. WITH ALL OF THIS MONEY. BUT. AND THIS IS A BIG BUT. THE BIGGEST BUT. YOU EVER DID SEE. IN YOUR LIFE. YOUR WONDERFUL. PROFITABLE. PROSPEROUS. LIFE. IN WHICH YOU LIVE. WHOLE HEARTEDLY. NOTHING CAN STOP YOU. IF I'M THE BIGGEST EARNER. IN MY FAMILY. AS THE YOUNGEST SON. OF THE YOUNGEST DAUGHTER. WHEN YOU ARE TRADING. USING THE STRATEGY. ONCE IT'S PROVEN. YOU MAX OUT. THE EQUITY. ON EACH BUY SET AND SELL SET. THE SET OF BUYS. THE ROUND. THE SET OF SELLS. THE SWING. THE QUARTER. THE HALF. CURRENCY TRADING. IS A SPORT. THE SPORT A LIFETIME. THE SPORT OF MY LIFETIME. I USED TO WRESTLE. FOR FIVE YEARS. NOW I WRESTLE THE FOREIGN MARKETS. I PLAY CHESS. WITH CLONE ACCOUNTS. ENOUGH ACCOUNTS FOR EVERY PIECE. ON THE CHESS BOARD. BOTH SIDES. $10 IN EACH PIECE. NOW WE PLAY CHESS. SO WE CAN BEAR HUG THE STOCK MARKET. THE POINT IS. I AM GIVING YOU THE FOREX STRATEGY. AS IS. AT THE MOMENT. REFINING IT DAILY. WEEKLY. MONTHLY. YEARLY. THIS IS YEAR TWO FOR ME. HEAVY PRESSURE. IT WAS. TO TOUCH YEAR TWO. ON THE WAY TO EARNING TWO MILLION DOLLARS. SO I CAN STASH ONE MILLION DOLLARS IN STOCKS. SO I CAN STASH ONE MILLION IN ALT COINS. AND REMAIN A MULTI MILLIONAIRE.
2:26AM EST - 2:54AM EST
SUNDAY MARCH 1ST, 2020
TO EVERYONE WHOM DID NOT WANT TO BE
THE LEAP YEAR BABY.
HALF A DOG YEAR BABY
SCENE #10: STARING. AT THE COMPUTER. I REALIZE. I AM CREATING NEW PROFESSION FOR MYSELF. I AM CHOOSING THE MONETARY LIFESTYLE LEVEL. I WANT TO LIVE AT. LIVE IN. LIVE BELOW MY MEANS. IF THE MEANS ARE TWO BILLION DOLLARS. THEN LIVE THE 100K LIFESTYLE FOREVER. JUST ENJOY THE 100K. RE INVEST THE MILLIONS. THEN YOU HAVE BILLIONS. WHILE MAKING MORE MILLIONS. RE INVESTING THE MILLIONS. EARNING MORE BILLIONS. HANDLE ALL LIFETIME FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS. THEN LIVE A ONE MILLION DOLLAR LIFESTYLE. THE TWO MILLION DOLLAR LEVEL. ACTUALLY. NYC MINIMUM WAGE IS $15 PER HOUR. TWO FULL TIME JOBS IN NYC. $1,200. $906. 40 HOURS OVERTIME. FROM BOTH JOBS. COMBINED. $2106. PER WEEK. I AM GOING TO BE EARNING WAY MORE. I WILL HAVE FOLDERS WITH $2,100 IN THEM. FOR EVERY EXPENSE. EVERY EXPENSE. WILL HAVE IT'S OWN FOLDER. IT'S OWN FOLDER. FULL OF MONEY. COLD HARD CASH. WE INTEND TO. BRING IN. AS MUCH PROFIT AS POSSIBLE. DUH. OR DOISKI. AS THEY SAY. IN FRANCE. TIMES 30. THE INITIAL INVESTMENT. TIMES 30. IN PROFIT. TIMES 50. IN PROFIT. NOW PLUG IN NOT SO RANDOM NUMBERS. $20. $40. $50. $60. $80. $100. $125. $150. $175. $200. $250. $275. $300. $350. $375. $400. $450. $475. $500. $1,000. $2,000. $2500. $2,750. $3,000.
12:41PM EST - 1:41PM EST
SUNDAY MARCH 1ST, 2020
THE MARKET OPENS TODAY. SUNDAY. 5PM EASTERN TIME. MARKET OPEN. FOREIGN CURRENCY MARKET. STOCK MARKET OPENS. TOMORROW MORNING. 10AM THE MARKET IS ALREADY OPEN. STOCK MARKET. MONDAY THRU FRIDAY. FOREIGN CURRENCY MARKET. SUNDAY THRU FRIDAY. BASICALLY MONDAY THRU FRIDAY. HALF FRIDAY. HALF SUNDAY. FIRST HALF. SECOND HALF. DURING THE NEW YORK SESSION. IN MY MIND NOW. ONE YEAR AND A HALF INTO TRADING AND HOLDING. CURRENCY AND STOCKS. CRYPTO AND DIGITAL CURRENCY. DIGITAL ASSETS. I'M REALLY IN IT. THE DIGITAL ASSET GAME. DIGITAL ASSETS. THEY ARE REAL. THE WORLD IS DIGITAL. HAS BEEN. THE LIFETIME OF ME. I WATCHED THE WORLD GO. MORE AND MORE. DIGITAL. FROM. THE MOMENT. I COULD REMEMBER. NEVER ONCE DID IT OCCUR TO ME. ASSETS. THE VERY SUBJECT ON INTEREST. BUILDING ASSET PORTFOLIOS. GAINING ASSETS. INVESTING IN ASSETS. NOT ONCE DID IT OCCUR TO ME. ASSETS THEMSELVES. WOULD GO DIGITAL. A VERY SIMPLE CONCEPT. NOW. THE CONCEPT OF A DIGITAL ASSET. IN RETROSPECT. WOULD BE CONFUSING. TO ANY AND ALMOST EVERY ONE. PERIOD. NO ELLIPSIS. IN ITSELF. THIS IS A SIGN. OF WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE. WHEN EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES. PRODUCING STAGGERING INCOME. RETURNING. ON ALL INVESTMENTS. IT MAY TAKE. MILLIONS OF PEOPLE. YEARS TO CATCH UP TO. THE DIGITAL ASSET. MAYBE THE SUCCESS OF THE DIGITAL ASSET. WILL COMPEL SOME. TO ENTER SOONER. THE BEST TIME. WAS ACTUALLY. A VERY LONG TIME AGO. NOW IS THE BEST TIME. NOW. THIS IS THE MILLENIALS SECOND CHANCE TO GET IN ON THE TECHNOLOGICAL TIMELINE. AS A MILLENIAL. I HAVE TO FAULT MYSELF. STARTING AT 18. GRADUATING HIGH SCHOOL. IN 2008. THE YEAR OF THE DIGITAL ASSET. I HAD A JOB. IWAS INVESTING IN OPPORTUNITIES. LEARNING OF FAUCETS OF BUSINESS INDUSTRIES. FROM THE START. STUDYING CURRENCY HISTORY. LEARNING OF FOREX. DIDN'T LEARN ENOUGH. TO KNOW. BY 20. APPS WOULD BE OUT. ALSO FOR TRADING. MAKING IT HOW I TRADE NOW. SEGUE. THE APPS. WHEN APPS CAME OUT. INTERNET BROUGHT E-COMMERCE. INTERNET BROUGHT A FULL BOOK'S WORTH OF THINGS TO LIFE. WITH THE INTERNET. COMES E-COMMERCE. INTERNET COMMERCE. IF INTERNET COMMERCE. IS GOING DOWN, BEFORE INTERNET MONEY. DIGITAL MONEY. INTERNET CASH. WEB CASH. THEN WEB CASH. WAS IN FACT. INEVITABLE. SO INEVITABLE. THE POWER BROKERS OF THE COMPUTER AND INTERNET REVOLUTION. ALL SAW INTERNET MONEY AS INEVITABLE. SOME DID. THE BEST ALWAYS. THERE ARE PEOPLE OUT THERE. STILL ALIVE. WHO HAVE BEEN AWAITING DIGITAL WEB CASH FOR DECADES. SINCE THE BIRTH OF THE INTERNET. SINCE E-COMMERCE. E-COMMERCE WOULD EVENTUALLY. NEED IT'S OWN DOLLAR. THE E-COMMERCE DOLLAR. NOW KNOWN AS THE BITCOIN. THE BLOCK CHAIN TECHNOLOGY. THEY WERE WAITING ON THE BLOCK CHAIN. THE BLOCK CHAIN DOLLAR. WHERE WE. AS THE MILLENIALS. COME INTO PLAY. WE WERE 20. I WAS 20. CLASS OF 2008. 20 YEARS OLD. WHEN THE SMARTPHONE. APPLICATIONS. MOBILE COMMERCE. NOW IT IS M-COMMERCE. I HAVE NO M-COMMERCE STOCKS. ON MY WISHLIST DASHBOARD. I WILL RESEARCH SOME SOON AND CATCH UP. I WILL CATCH UP TO AS MANY YEARS AS I CAN. I WILL HAVE THE PORTFOLIO. RESEMBLING A PORTFOLIO SET UP TWO DECADES AGO. TO ACCOUNT FOR THE PREVIOUS DECADE. WHILE ACCOUNTING FOR THE NEXT DECADE. EVER SINCE M-COMMERCE. SMART PHONES. APPLICATIONS. THE BALL HAS BEEN IN OUR COURT. AS MILLENIALS. AS ADULTS. EXPERIENCING THE TECHNOLOGICAL TIMELINE. M-COMMERCE IS STILL A GOOD PROFIT MARGIN. IT IS THE FIRST. AFTER BLOCK CHAIN. AFTER THE BITCOIN. BTC. THE DIGITAL ASSET. THEN M-COMMERCE. WE HAVE TO KEEP EYES ON THE BLOCK CHAIN TECHNOLOGY. M-COMMERCE. THE FUTURE OF M-COMMERCE. FUTURE OF APPLICATIONS. FUTURE OF SMART PHONES. THAT'S EASY. TIES INTO FIVE G DATA. FIVE G TIES INTO VIRTUAL REALITY. FULLY IMMERSIVE VIRTUAL REALITY IS ON ITS WAY. FIVE G TIES INTO AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE TECHNOLOGY. THE SELF DRIVING. REVOLUTION. IS HERE PEOPLE. TESLA. TESLA. TESLA. THERE'S THIS ONE COMPANY. 10M SHARES FOR $1000. I'M BUYING ALL OF THEM. I WONDER WILL THE PRICE GO UP? I JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE. MY FAMILY IS GOOD. GUCCI. GUCCI. GU. MY MENTOR. THEN I CAN ENJOY THE MONEY. IN MY MIND NOW. I HAVE TO GET USED TO. A NEW FACT. THE FACT. MONEY ISSUES ARE DIFFERENT NOW. NOT THE SAME MONEY ISSUES. EVEN NOW. YOU SPEND MORE TIME DISTRIBUTING THE FUNDS. IN YOUR HEAD. THAN SPENDING THEM. ON YOURSELF. YOU'RE GOING A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF MONEY. ONCE YOU GET THAT. HELP THOSE YOU LOVE. IT IS A PROMISE YOU MUST KEEP TO YOURSELF. IT'S BEEN A LONG ROAD. YOU MADE IT VERY FAR. YOU HAVE TO PLAY YOUR PART. THE MILLIONS DON'T MATTER IF YOU COULDN'T USE IT. TO BETTER OTHER'S LIVES. GOD HAS GIVEN YOU A GIFT OF ECONOMICAL EXPANSION. ALL YOU HAVE TO DO. IS AIM THE GIFT. AT YOUR DESIRE. WHO YOU ARE HELPING. IF YOU HAVE AN EARNING POWER OF $100K PER MONTH. YOU CAN USE THREE MONTHS INCOME PER YEAR. TO HELP THOSE YOU LOVE. THREE MONTHS TO HELP STRANGERS. GET YOU STRAIGHT WITH THE OTHER MONTH'S. AFTER THE $2MILLION.
6:51PM EST - 7:41PM EST
SUNDAY MARCH 1ST, 2020
SCENE #12: THE ZERO SUM GAME
SCENE #12:. YOU DOWNLOAD [FREEWALLET.ORG](https://FREEWALLET.ORG) APP. OPEN AN ACCOUNT WITH YOUR FACEBOOK. YOUR GOOGLE PLUS. YOUR PHONE NUMBER. DOWNLOAD DOGEWALLET APP. FOUR CRYPTO WALLETS. RIGHT THERE. COINBASE. THE FIRST CRYPTO WALLET. THE OFFICIAL BITCOIN WALLET. DOWNLOAD E-TRADE APP. SIGN UP FOR E-TRADE. GLOBAL ACCOUNT. TWICE. INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNT. THREE TIMES. JOINT ACCOUNT. IF MARRIED. OR NOT. ROBINHOOD ACCOUNT. STASH ACCOUNT. INTERACTIVE BROKERS. FXCHOICE. TRADERSWAY. THIS IS THE SET UP YOU NEED. TO TRADE CURRENCY. WHILE BUILDING
submitted by FitInvestigator5945
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2023.03.25 00:08 next3days For anyone looking for something to do this weekend, here's some ideas....
There's a lot going on this weekend and even better the weather forecast looks great with 60s and 70s and only a little rain on Saturday morning.
Here's 35 local events you can enjoy at Virginia Tech, in Blacksburg and throughout the New River Valley: 1. Pink Moon Peach Milkshake IPA Release Moon Hollow Brewing, Blacksburg Friday, March 24, 2023, 3:00 - 10:00 PM Admission is free. Beer and food are regular price.
Moon Hollow Brewing presents the Pink Moon Peach Milkshake IPA Release in support of the local Pink Boots Society. This year’s blend contains Loral, Eukanot and HBC 586. A heaping dose of lactose, peach purée and vanilla bean also help create a rich and delicious brew. $1.00 from each pint is donated the Pink Boots Society Blue Ridge Virginia Chapter. This helps the chapter continue to put on educational, community enriching events. The Pink Boots Society aims to assist, inspire and encourage women and non-binary individuals in the fermented/alcoholic beverage industry to advance their careers through education. Food will be available for purchase from Countryman Jamaican Grill. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685855 2. Root Down in Concert Rising Silo Farm Brewery, Blacksburg Friday, March 24, 2023, 6:00 - 9:00 PM Admission: Free
Root Down is a jazz trio based in the New River Valley. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=684803 3. College Softball: Chattanooga vs. Virginia Tech Tech Softball Park, Virginia Tech Friday, March 24, 2023, 6:00 - 8:00 PM, Saturday, March 25, 2023, 12:00 PM and 2:00 PM (Doubleheader) Admission: Free
Watch the Virginia Tech Softball team compete against non-conference opponent the University of Tennessee Chattanooga in a three game series. No tickets are required for Hokie Softball games. Parking is available behind the outfield at Tech Softball Park and enter along the right field side of the stadium. Stands open one hour prior to the start of the game. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685859 4. Music Theatre: "Book of Mountains and Seas" Moss Arts Center at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg Friday, March 24, 2023, 7:30 - 9:00 PM Adult Tickets (based on seat location): $25.00 - $55.00 Virginia Tech Students with ID and Youth 18 & Under: $10.00
A daring new music theatre work by composer Huang Ruo and puppeteer, designer, and director Basil Twist, "Book of Mountains and Seas" is a modern take on ancient Chinese creation myths that are relevant to our current climate change struggle, featuring the chorus of Ars Nova Copenhagen alongside massive puppets and striking lanterns. The work is sung in Mandarin with English supertitles. Book of Mountains and Seas is inspired by the ancient Chinese compilation of early myths of the same title, which was first transcribed in 4th-century B.C. Book of Mountains and Seas is a 21st-century adaptation and expansion of four of these tales. The work contains timeless codes about the universe, creation, planet, nature, life, human ambition and fate, the relationship and interaction between mankind and the planet. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=678174 5. Will Easter & The Nomads in Concert Dogtown Roadhouse, Floyd Friday, March 24, 2023, 8:00 - 11:00 PM Admission: $8.00
Will Easter has one of those voices that is like a home-cooked meal for the soul. Will has the cool throwback rock edge of Tom Petty with the modern folk-Americana appeal of the Avett Brothers, but with something hard to put your finger on that could only be born out of the shadows and peaks of the North Carolina mountains. One iteration through a chorus and you’ll find yourself humming along, by the second time around you’ll be singing out loud, ready to hit the repeat button. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=684795 6. Juxtaposition A Cappella Spring 2023 Concert: Time For A Hoedown Haymarket Theater (Squires Student Center), Virginia Tech Friday, March 24, 2023, 8:00 - 9:30 PM Virginia Tech Students: At the Door: $7.00 Non-Students: $10.00
Juxtaposition A Cappella presents their Spring 2023 Concert titled "Time For A Hoedown". Juxtaposition will be performing seven new songs including their entire ICCA set. Juxtaposition is an all-male Virginia Tech A Capella group that was established in 1994 and has since produced seven albums and been awarded numerous awards and honors. They enjoy performing their wide repertoire of 70's, 80's, 90's and current hits. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685879 7. 2023 Ramp N Roads Eastern Elementary/Middle School, Pembroke Saturday, March 25, 2023, 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM Admission: Free
Renew the New presents the 2023 Ramp N Roads where volunteers will be cleaning up litter from highways and byways, boat ramps, and river & stream access points. Be prepared to pick up litter off road in ditches and over the banks. Each volunteer will be assigned a team who will be led by captain when they arrive at Eastern Elementary/Middle School. These captains will lead the on-site clean up and will provide any needed safety instructions. There will be no buses running this year. Each volunteer will take their own car or carpool and convoy to one of the planned cleanup areas. There you will be given gloves and bags to use. Each volunteer is asked to return to Eastern Elementary at noon where they will receive pizza for a to-go lunch and a t-shirt. Volunteers need to sign up in advance. This is a rain or shine event however pick up along roadways will be suspended during active rain if it happens. ReNew The New is a volunteer organization committed to stewardship of the of the New River flowing through Southwest Virginia. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685871 8. Yoga On Tap with Blacksburg Yoga Collective Rising Silo Farm Brewery, Blacksburg Saturday, March 25, 2023, 9:30 - 10:45 AM Suggested donation of $15.00-$20.00.
The Blacksburg Yoga Collective presents Yoga On Tap with an energizing and uplifting flow. Flow with Blacksburg Yoga Collective in the beautiful settings of the Rising Silo Saturdays. These Kundalini-inspired, donation-based Yoga and meditation sessions focus on therapeutic movements and various breathing techniques aimed toward collective wellness. Meditate, chant, and move together to ease stress, manifest positivity, and improve our awareness and focus. Admission includes the class and a post-yoga non-alcoholic beverage from the brewery. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685840 9. 2023 Warm Hearth Village Arts & Crafts Fair Warm Hearth Village Center, Blacksburg Saturday, March 25, 2023, 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM Admission: Free
If you love unique, beautiful, locally handcrafted gifts and art, then attend the 2nd Annual Warm Hearth Village Arts & Crafts Fair. The show will feature high-quality artisanal goods from both artists on our campus and throughout the New River Valley. Handmade items for sale will include pottery, woodworking, home goods, accessories, soaps, candles & more. The Huckleberry Cafe will be open for grab-n-go refreshments. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=683666 10. Free Wine Tasting Vintage Cellar, Blacksburg Saturday, March 25, 2023, 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM Admission: Free
Vintage Cellar presents Free Wine Tasting every Saturday from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Join them for a decadent wine tasting at our free wine tasting. They will teach you all about the regions and grapes from the wines as you taste. After the tasing, grab a bottle or glass and enjoy it with some food from their kitchen. Must be 21 or older to participate. IDs required. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685724 11. Open Virginia Tech Football Practice Lane Stadium, Blacksburg Saturday, March 25, 2023, 11:45 AM - 1:00 PM Admission: Free
Fans are invited to attend the open practice to get an early look at how the Hokie's 2023 football squad is shaping up. Gate 6 will open up at 11:45 AM for fans to enter. Note: It is prohibited for fans to take photos and videos when the Hokies are on the field. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685711 12. 2023 Beliveau Bridal Expo Beliveau Farm Winery, Blacksburg Saturday, March 25, 2023, 12:00 - 4:00 PM Admission: Free
Bring your friends and family and visit with the area's leading wedding professionals on display to plan your perfect wedding in an elegant venue. Wedding vendors such as florists, musicians, photographers, bakeries and more will set up in our Great Hall to talk to you about their services. This is a great opportunity to meet many of the vendors in one afternoon. Food and wine will be available to purchase throughout the entire event. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=684117 13. Women's Lacrosse: Boston College vs. Virginia Tech Thompson Field, Virginia Tech Saturday, March 25, 2023, 12:00 - 2:00 PM Admission: Free
Watch the Virginia Tech Women's Lacrosse compete against ACC conference opponent and #7 ranked Boston College. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=684297 14. Program: Vegetable Gardening Meadowbrook Public Library, Shawsville Saturday, March 25, 2023, 1:00 - 2:00 PM Admission: Free
Want to grow your own vegetables, but aren’t sure where to start? Join Dr. Emma Patterson, VCE Volunteer Master Gardener, to find out more about planning a vegetable garden, caring for it, and keeping it going through year’s end. Free seeds and soil testing kits will be provided. For ages 12 and up. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685348 15. 2023 Oyster Dinner Drive-Thru Riner Volunteer Fire Department, Riner Saturday, March 25, 2023, 2:00 - 6:00 PM Admission: $15.00
The Riner Volunteer Fire Department presents their Annual Oyster Dinner Drive-Thru featuring fried oysters, baked beans, slaw and dessert. Tickets can be purchased in advanced at Eagle Express, Riner Food Center and Village Barber Shop. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685387 16. Delta Chi's Into the Wild Benefit Concert featuring Audio Fever and The Red Ferns The Milk Parlor, Blacksburg Saturday, March 25, 2023, 2:00 - 5:00 PM Ages 21 & Over: $9.00, Ages 20 & Under: $12.00
The Delta Chi Fraternity at Virginia Tech presents their Into the Wild Benefit Concert featuring music from Audio Fever and The Red Ferns. Proceeds from ticket sales will go towards the V Foundation for Cancer Research. The Red Ferns is a groovy guitar band based in Blacksburg and Audio Fever is a Blacksburg based band as well. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685882 17. March Flashlight Tour St. Albans, Radford Saturday, March 25, 2023, 5:30 - 7:30 PM Admission: $15.00
Join St. Abans for their March 2023 Flashlight Tour which includes a little history and paranormal in one. This is a guided tour. Take a walk through the dark halls of St. Albans Sanatorium and join them for a flashlight tour of the building. Hear all the chilling tales of what paranormal investigators, and the public, have encountered within these 120 year old walls. A little bit of history, a little bit of paranormal. Tickets are available online in advance and will be sold at the door provided tickets are still available. Comfortable shoes and a flashlight are recommended as there will be lots of walking and many dark areas. Dress accordingly as the building is not climate controlled. You must be 18 years of age (16 if accompanied by a parent or legal guardian). Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685883 18. March's Beans and Banjos (Final Event) Meadowbrook Public Library, Shawsville Saturday, March 25, 2023, 6:00 - 8:00 PM Admission: $5.00 requested donation
The Shawsville Ruritans and The LINC Letter presents March's Beans and Banjos and the final event of this series. Nothing lasts forever, not even Beans and Banjos. March's Beans and Banjos will be the last. Instead of having a couple of bands the organizers are inviting everyone who's ever played or sung at Beans and Banjos to come out and jam to play Beans and Banjos out in style. Beans and Banjos has been going for at least 14 years. Enjoy a dinner of beans, cornbread and desserts. Organizers ask for a donation of at least $5.00 to help keep the LINC Letter publishing. The LINC Letter is the non-profit community newsletter for Eastern Montgomery and is distributed to residents of Alleghany, Elliston, Ironto, Lafayette and Shawsville, Virginia. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685325 19. Amelia Empson in Concert Rising Silo Farm Brewery, Blacksburg Saturday, March 25, 2023, 6:00 - 9:00 PM Admission: Free
Amelia Empson plays a variety of Indie-Folk and Americana covers and originals from the Appalachian Mountains with talent far beyond her years. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=684804 20. Salsa Night 2023 Beliveau Farm Winery, Blacksburg Saturday, March 25, 2023, 7:00 - 11:00 PM Advance Tickets: $12.00, At the Door: $15.00
Join Beliveau Farm Winery for a dancing experience with your loved one, group of friends, or come single; you are bound to have a good time no matter what. Lessons begin at 7:00 PM and the event lasts until 11:00 PM. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685126 21. 2023 March of Ales Mardi Gras Celebration German Club Manor, Virginia Tech Saturday, March 25, 2023, 7:00 PM - 12:00 AM Admission: $50.00
The Blacksburg Junior Women's Club (BJWC) presents the 2023 March of Ales Mardi Gras Celebration featuring unique beers for tasting, along with wine and a signature cocktail. Coffee, water, lemonade, hors d’oeuvres and desserts will also be available. Guests will enjoy entertainment by a DJ, dancing, and a live and silent auction. The auctions feature an extraordinary variety of items donated by local businesses and individuals. At the end of the evening, discounted Uber service will be available to guests. Tickets will be available for purchase at the door if the event is not sold out in advance. All money raised at March of Ales is used to fund service projects and donations throughout the year. The funds have benefitted groups and causes such as Special Olympics, Salvation Army, Ronald McDonald House, Montgomery County Christmas Store and many others. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685695 22. WUVT's Jazz Night with Copy Cat Syndrome and Yung LZRD Odd Fellows Building Lodge #20 (Wilson Avenue), Blacksburg Saturday, March 25, 2023, 7:00 - 10:00 PM Admission: $6.00
Join WUVT for a night filled with the sweetest jazz melodies provided by Copy Cat Syndrome and Yung LZRD. Copy Cat Syndrome is a fusion trio performing jazz based in Blacksburg, VA. LZRD is a jazz band from Blacksburg, VA. Entrance to this event is ticket only (sold online) with a maximum of 50 being sold. Doors open at 6:00 PM and the music starts at 7:00 PM. WUVT-FM 90.7 Blacksburg is the New River Valley's only source for independent, alternative programming. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685887 23. TechNotes Spring 2023 Concert: TechNotes Lightnin’: Feeling the 50s Haymarket Theater (Squires Student Center), Virginia Tech Saturday, March 25, 2023, 7:00 - 8:30 PM Advance Tickets: $5.00, At the Door: $7.00
TechNotes presents their Spring 2023 Concert titled "TechNotes Lightnin’: Feeling the 50s". Enjoy a night full of new songs and old TechNotes favorites and chances to win epic raffle prizes. TechNotes is a co-ed A Cappella group at Virginia Tech that performs at various events throughout the year. TechNotes was founded in 2010. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685878 24. Caroline Owens & Company in Concert Floyd Country Store, Floyd Saturday, March 25, 2023, 7:00 - 10:00 PM General Admission: $15.00, Reserved Seating: $20.00
Caroline Owens is a 2X IBMA nominated Bluegrass and Gospel artist. She has performed alongside many of her heroes such as Alison Krauss, Suzanne Cox, The Isaacs, Larry Gatlin, Darin & Brooke Aldridge, Lorraine Jordan and many others. And, has made quite a name for herself in the North Carolina bluegrass community. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685713 25. Hoppie Vaughan & The Ministers of Soul in Concert The Floyd Center for the Arts, Floyd Saturday, March 25, 2023, 7:30 - 9:30 PM General Public: $15.00, Students: $10.00
Don't miss your chance to see the long awaited return of Hoppie Vaughan & The Ministers of Soul. It will be a fun, funky night of soul. The diversely talented Hoppie Vaughan is all about the soul! He is a blue eyed soul singer, song writer, guitar and bass player. Besides performing solo, he is the front man for Hoppie Vaughan and the Ministers of Soul based out of Roanoke, VA performing classic soul, R&B, blues and funk. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685712 26. Three Band Concert with Kenny Vaughan, Sullivan Smith & Stray Lions and Friend of the Three Southpaw Cafe & Community Space, Blacksburg Saturday, March 25, 2023, 7:30 - 10:00 PM Admission: $5.00
Southpaw Cafe & Community Space presents a Three Band Concert with Kenny Vaughan, Sullivan Smith & Stray Lions and Friend of the Three. Friend of the Three is a band based in Virginia that performs adult alternative, pop and rock. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685881 27. Stand-Up Comedy Show Lost In Taste, Christiansburg Saturday, March 25, 2023, 10:00 PM - TBD Admission: $7.00
The Cosmic Comedy Club returns with performances by comedians Sage Delong, Derek Budd, Julia Goyer, Tony Rodriguez, Jermaine Callando and hosted by Andrew Gustafson. Recommended for ages 18 & up. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685853 28. 2023 Hot Diggity Dog Day (Fun for Your Dog) Beliveau Farm Winery, Blacksburg Sunday, March 26, 2023, 12:00 - 6:00 PM Admission: Free
Bring your pup and come have a day at Beliveau Farm Winery annual canine event. There's 165 acres of dog fun for your furrr-ever friend to explore and relax. Fresh air, dog parade, lots of outdoor space. Beliveau will have food and drinks for purchase throughout the day. With every hot-dog sold, they are donating 20% of our proceeds to the Montgomery County Humane Society. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685322 29. Community Quilting Bee: Rotary Cutting Fabric Blacksburg Library, Blacksburg Sunday, March 26, 2023, 1:00 - 3:00 PM Admission: Free
Blacksburg Library presents their monthly Community Quilting Bee with the the topic "Rotary Cutting Fabric". This month atteneeds will learn how to use a rotary cutter and ruler to make accurate fabric pieces. Everyone is welcome including beginners. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685349 30. Book Club: The Winemaker Blacksburg Wine Lab, Blacksburg Sunday, March 26, 2023, 1:00 - 3:00 PM Admission: $40.00
Join the Blacksburg Wine Lab for the Wine Lab Book Club tasting & discussing featuring "The Winemaker" by Noah Gordon. About The Winemaker: Josep Alvarez is a young man in the tiny grape-growing village of Santa Eulália, in northern Spain, where his father grows black grapes that are turned into cheap vinegar. Joseph loves the agricultural life, but he is the second son, and his father’s vineyard will be inherited by his brother Donat, the firstborn. He yearns for a job growing grapes and for an opportunity to marry Teresa Gallego. In Madrid, an assassination plot, conceived against the political leader of Spain by men of wealth and power, creates a storm of intrigue that sucks into its vortex a group of innocent young farm workers in Santa Eulália. How Josep’s life is changed drastically by these events, and how, ironically, they gradually turn him into an inspired vintner with an evolving vision of life, is the fascinating story of "The Winemaker". During the Book Club, enjoy four fantastic Spanish wines to taste. Chef Bryan will create a pairing board of house–made Spanish tapas, cheese and charcuterie to accompany the tasting. Reservations required. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685385 31. Willard Gayheart and Ricky Cox performing "Old Favorite Songs of the Blue Ridge" Floyd United Methodist Church, Floyd Sunday, March 26, 2023, 2:30 - 3:30 PM Admission: Free
The Floyd County Historical Society presents an encore performance of Willard Gayheart and Ricky Cox performing "Old Favorite Songs of the Blue Ridge. Ricky Cox’s friendship with Willard Gayheart also goes back 35 years. This shows in the programs they present together, harmonizing and appreciating one another’s contributions as they delight their audiences. Willard is a pencil artist from Southwest Virginia. He is originally from Eastern Kentucky, working mostly from the theme "Nostalgic Glimpses of the Appalachians". His works are positive images of Appalachian Culture, presenting the region as a place alive with interesting personalities. Besides his artistic talent with the pencil, Willard is also an accomplished bluegrass musician having played as a member of the bluegrass band The Highlanders. Ricky Cox has been entertaining and educating many of us for decades. Throughout his teaching career at Radford University he shared the history and culture of our region through his music and writing, earning a number of special recognitions along the way. Ricky contributed his photographic talents to the second of two books featuring Willard Gayheart’s drawings. Note: The event was originally scheduled for Sunday, March 12th, but had to be postponed due to inclement weather. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685328 32. Blacksburg Community Band Spring Concert Blacksburg High School Auditorium, Blacksburg Sunday, March 26, 2023, 3:00 - 4:00 PM Admission: Free
The Blacksburg Community Band presents their Spring Concert conducted by David McKee and Associate Conductor, Dean Chiapetto. Christiansburg High School's band director, David Miller, will be guest conducting. Jefferson Ritchie will solo on trombone. The Blacksburg Community Band, Inc. is an all-volunteer community organization formed in 1989 under the auspices of the Department of Parks and Recreation in the Town of Blacksburg. The ensemble is open to individuals of all ages and ability levels from the New River Valley and surrounding areas. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685314 33. Helping Hands Fundraiser with Spaghetti Dinner and Live Music Belview United Methodist Church, Radford Sunday, March 26, 2023, 4:30 - 7:30 PM Donations Appreciated
Join Belview United Methodist Church for some fun and great fellowship all while helping support a wonderful mission. Help them fund their Helping Hands Pantry by enjoying a spaghetti dinner starting at 4:30 PM, silent auction, raffle and live music from Eddie & Sherry Richards and Spoken For beginning at 6 PM. Belview's Helping Hands Pantry supplies clothes, personal care items, cleaning items and household items to those in need in Montgomery County, Radford, Dublin, Giles County and Pulaski and other surrounding areas. The Silent Auction starts at 1:30 PM and ends at 7:30 PM with over 40 items to bid on. There are over $2,000 in prizes for the raffle. Raffle tickets are $5.00 each, $10.00 for three or $20.00 for seven. Donate a pack of diapers, pull-ups or Depends and get three free raffle tickets on the day of the event. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685880 34. Indian Run Stringband in Concert Palisades Restaurant, Eggleston Sunday, March 26, 2023, 5:00 - 7:30 PM Admission: Free
The Indian Run Stringband from Blacksburg, VA plays fiddle and banjo foot stomping dance tunes and sings traditional songs with old time harmonies perfect for dancing the two step. From dance tunes to the blues, the Indian Run Stringband plays with love and abandon. They make old-time music fresh and new. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685310 35. Virginia Tech Percussion Ensemble in Concert with Guest Artist Michael Burritt Moss Arts Center at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg Sunday, March 26, 2023, 6:00 - 7:30 PM General Public: $15.00, Seniors: $12.00, Students & Youth: $10.00
The Virginia Tech Percussion Ensemble, under the direction of Annie Stevens, performs a concert with guest artist Michael Burritt who is one of his generation’s leading percussionists. He is in frequent demand, performing concert tours and master classes throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia and Canada. He has been soloist with the United States Air Force Band, Dallas Wind Symphony, Omaha Symphony, Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Ju Percussion Group (Taiwan), Percussion Art Quartet (Germany) and the Amores Percussion Group (Spain). Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685872
Have a great weekend and thanks for reading!
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2023.03.24 22:18 SCArchbold I just moved back to my childhood town... People are going missing now, and I think it has something to do with the coal mine... [Part 1]
People have been going missing in my hometown ever since I moved back. And things don't really feel the way they did when I was a kid. I don't know if those two are related.
This has been really nagging at me lately. I had no idea where to post it to get some help or peace of mind. I just really need some support right now before I drive myself crazy over it. Maybe I'm overreacting because it's been a stressful few months since my parents died, or maybe someone can shed some light on the events that have been happening and show me that I am just being crazy...
I guess, I should probably start by introducing myself? My name is Jeremy Coleridge, as a kid I used to live in a very small coal mining town of about 7000 in a desolate area of the north called Calkirk. Picture every single midwestern small town Podunk you've driven to on your way to a bigger city, and you would be pretty close to what Calkirk looks like
I was there until I was about 17, when I decided to live with my aunt in New York, where I threw away a lot of money going into journalism which, if I have to be honest, was probably the worst decision of my life at the time. But, with my parent's kind of disowning me for not agreeing with their very strong religious devotions I kind of had no place to go. My aunt pushed me to attend college a year after I graduated high school because I really liked writing and investigation, so what better to study than investigative journalism right? Plus; she said I had to be in school if she was going to let me stay with her. Well, do you want to know how many investigative journalists are in New York?
The answer is: A lot.
So, a few grand down and four years of school wasted, I can’t get a job with that degree. I ended up living in a 2-bedroom apartment bunking with another dude while I work 50 hours a week between two part time jobs because that’s all anyone wanted to offer, and I was struggling. My aunt Clair moved back to Calkirk to take care of my mom who was diagnosed with some rare disease that she wouldn’t tell me about. Now, I’m 24, my mom passed away 3 months ago from whatever disease it was that she had gotten, my dad committed suicide the next day…
My aunt paid for me to fly back to Calkirk for the funeral and the Will reading. Being their only kid, I guess my parents willed me their small 3-bedroom one bath house in the town and with that, a small inheritance that basically would pay my student loans off and still leave me a few grand of left over money to put in savings. The life insurance my dad had from working at the Calkirk mine for almost 40 years paid everything off. I wouldn’t owe a cent on a single thing except my utilities and food.
I had to go back to New York for a few weeks to get my assets in order. I waited for my roommates to find some new, desperate fool to move in, sold my old buick, sent off the final check for my bank to cover my loan, flipped off one boss as I walked out of one job, and gave a respectable 2 weeks notice to the other, then I paid a company to pack up my small amount of crap I had and bought myself a plane ticket back to Calkirk.
Well, I say “to Calkirk” but as you may or may not know, a town of 7000 doesn’t usually have an airport so I had to fly into a city about two hours from there and get my aunt to agree to pick me up.
Two weeks living in the house, I got bored sitting in the place alone and decided to apply for a few jobs in town. I was able to score a job at the Calkirk Times. And being the only news outlet in Calkirk, business was actually booming. But when I asked my interviewer why the position was open, he said something that sort of freaked me out.
“Well, the last kid with your job stopped showing up a couple weeks ago…his house is empty, skipped town, no one can find him...”
I was basically hired on the spot, and I accepted immediately, call me desperate. But what my new boss said gave me a weird feeling… Everyone knew about everyone in this town. How could one of only three journalists go missing and nobody knows where he went?
When I met my new coworkers Abbigale and Tommy, they said the guy, Jim Remus, was an out-of-towner from Texas who came to live here with his girlfriend, a local girl we went to school with. They both went missing two weeks ago with no sign of them anywhere. Abby and Tommy, both thought it was way weirder than what our boss thought, he denied any articles even mentioning it. He even reprimanded Tom for asking another coworker about it, saying it was personal business and we shouldn’t be talking about it at work...
The second weird thing I experienced was a couple weeks after that, when I officially emptied my parents' pantry of all the nasty old people food they had. I decided it was probably time to go grocery shopping. I got home late on Friday night after writing a pointless article about news that had come out almost a week previously in bigger outlets, but people here ate up the content like it was breaking news so, who cares. I decided Saturday would be a better time to go grocery shopping.
Now, let me explain Calkirk a little better before the next piece of my story. Like I said, Calkirk is an old mining town in the Midwest part of the United States. I’m not saying where because I don’t want anyone trying to find it and something bad happening to them.
The town sits a few miles from the highway and has one main road with everything that’s not a house on it. Two gas stations, one on each side of town, two bars barely 3 blocks away from each other, the post office, the fire hall, the grocery store on one side, the K through 12 school on the other, then there are a few buildings with random business scattered between, a small vet clinic, a photo lab, a small coffee shop, stuff like that. The jail sat smack dab in the middle of town between the two bars. The town itself probably wouldn’t be visible from the highway if the factory wasn’t billowing out thick clouds of what I assumed to be coal ash and soot 24/7.
The factory was supplied by the Calkirk Mines and a tunnel delivery system had been made to transport coal to the factory from the mine about 15 miles away. The mine sat in a deep coolie with hundreds of trees around it, near a river, and a few long dirt trails in and out. the tunnel system was a long belt covered most of the way by piping. Inside, there's train cars that run almost constantly to the factory. With only small viewing ports for maintenance every so often. All of this knowledge was thanks to my dad working there for 40 years and a few take-your-child to workdays before he and my mom basically disowned me.
I should also mention before I get too far, since I came back here about 8 weeks ago, there have been three massive dustings, which the locals call “Ash events”. An Ash event in this town is when the factory spouts out way more of its black smoke than usual and the town gets covered in layers of black soot like material, it’s easily washed away with a hose and the fire department goes around each time and uses a low-pressure hose to rinse basically everything off. I remember these events from when I was a kid, but they never happened this frequently, at least not in my memory, or maybe it was washed off before I noticed.
It usually happened overnight and if you woke up too early, you'd have to wash off your own cars if you want to get anywhere. Part of the city ordinance was no one drives in town with their cars covered in the ash. It can be met with an almost $2000 fine. And, with the amount of police officers with not much to do all day, they were posted everywhere after a good dusting, so you’d be seen.
The first Ash event since being back home happened about two weeks after I got to town, two weeks before I got my new job. The second ash event two weeks after that got my dad's truck that I had parked outside so I could work on a dirt bike in the garage when I was bored. It happened the night I decided to go grocery shopping. The third one was just a week ago as I’m writing this...
Anyway, when I woke up, I could smell the ash in the air. It leaves this really heavy burning smell like someone burning ham bones with wool. It's hard to explain, but it's one of those smells you could remember from anywhere if you smelled it again. When I walked out, I already knew what I’d see, the dark dust caked on my dad's truck. I unraveled the hose in the front yard and sprayed the whole truck down before heading to the store to get there right when they opened. And yeah, I realize most people would look at this and say, that's weird, but for Calkirk, you kind of just grew up doing that. It's a generational habit, everyone did it.
In the store, I shopped for about two hours, packed a cart full of groceries and went to the registers to check out. Two older ladies were sitting at a small booth beside the windows sipping coffee. I recognized them as ladies that live in my neighborhood that would often have contact with my parents and I when I was a kid.
“Did you see Genie this morning?” I overheard one say, the other shook her head and made an exasperated face.
“I was just gonna ask you, haven't seen her at all!”
“That’s so unlike her…”
“Do you think…” There was a pause and the other shook her head.
I listened as they went back and forth saying how this lady always met them on Saturday mornings, every year for the past 25 years, she never missed a day.
I paid, I rolled my cart over to them and said, “I Uh, couldn’t help but overhear, you said your friend is missing?”
The women gave me a skeptical look then both suddenly perked in an almost robotic manner then one smiled, “Oh, little Jeremy Coleridge, you sweet little thing, when did you get back in town!”
I responded with “Like 2 months ago…”
“So sorry about your parents dear. Hope the town is treating you well.”
I nodded, but like a lot of crap in this town, their sudden change in attitude freaked me out.
I tried to divert the conversation back to the missing friend “So Genie…”
“Oh, I remember when you were just a tiny baby waddling over to my house for candies with your mom!” One spoke.
“Yeah, I did. But I want to ask about your friend…” I began again.
“Oh worse, as a kid he would follow my granddaughter for hours outside while they played.” The other said. She waved her hand at the other, “You two are about the same age, you should remember her, her name is Abbigale.”
“Oh and what about that time Marty found him playing in the mud puddle in the backyard.”
“Listen” I said abruptly over their talking. “I’m with the newspaper now. You said your friend is missing, have you gone to her house yet!? Have you checked on her at all?”
Their moods changed again, they frowned deeply, and went rigid for a minute as if they were really mad… Then they suddenly smiled again, big wide creepy smiles that really freaked me out.
“She’s fine Jeremy.” One said in a tight-lipped smile. “Just… resting…” her creepy smile widened, her lip twitched at the word ‘Resting’. Then, she shoo’ed me away with her hand without another word. My attempts to ask after were ignored as if I wasn’t even there.
feeling thoroughly unsettled, I left the store, packed my stuff in my truck, and drove it home. I put everything away and pulled out an old phone book my parents had in the house. The only Genie I knew was Genie Carlson. She worked at the school as a nurse for a long time before retiring. I found her number, dialed it, no answer. I dialed it again, same thing. On the third ring, the ringer was cut after 2 rings and flipped to voicemail, like someone had sent the phone to the answering machine. “This is Genie Carlson, Sorry I missed you… Please leave a-” but it cut itself off. The next call didn’t go through, I just got a “The number you dialed is no longer in service…”
Feeling thoroughly unsettled, I left the store, packed my stuff in my truck, and drove it home. I put everything away and pulled out an old phone book my parents had in the house. The only Genie I knew was Genie Carlson. She worked at the school as a nurse for a long time before retiring. I found her number, dialed it, no answer. I dialed it again, same thing. On the third call, the ringer was cut after 2 rings and flipped to voicemail, like someone had sent the phone to the answering machine. “This is Genie Carlson, Sorry I missed you… Please leave a-” but it cut itself off. The next call didn’t go through, I just got a “The number you dialed is no longer in service…” I thought it was odd that her phone would go off after I had just called it three times.
I, at least, remembered where Genie lived from my childhood and decided I’d pay her a small visit before going about the day just to make sure she was okay. I mean, maybe she was sick or something and just stuck in bed, or maybe she fell and needed help? Maybe she didn’t have a life alert, she for sure did not have a cell phone, and I think she was a widow, and all her kid's left town when they turned 18. So, if her friends hadn’t checked in on her she could have been lying there alone for lord knows how long needing help.
When I got to her house it was really dark, and quiet, the only way I knew it was still her house was the name inside the mailbox lid said “Carlson”. I knocked on the door, waited for a bit, but nothing happened.
“Ms. Genie! Ms. Genie! It’s me, Jeremy Coleridge! Jan and Cals son!” There was no answer. I looked in the little window in the door, but it was dark. I stepped to the side and looked into the front window and found an empty house. Her porch had signs that the Ash Event was never cleaned up properly, but the blanket of ash was disturbed by boot marks that weren’t my own. I tried the door handle, it opened, but almost like something pulled it open from the inside.
The house was completely empty, except for large boot marks made of the black ash from the porch leading into the entryway. And a few small blood splatters on the wall beside the stairs. It was eerily quiet; the house didn’t creak the way old houses were supposed to creak. There didn’t even seem to be wind around me. The whole area, inside Genie's house and outside, was just still and silent.
Before I took another step, I called the jail and asked if they could send a cop. I told them that it looked like something weird went down at Ms. Genie’s. They told me to wait outside and not touch anything. So, I turned right on my heel and planted myself on the step of the porch. I pulled out my phone to distract myself from the scene behind me. It didn’t keep my leg from shaking though…
Sheriff Nixon showed up about 10 minutes later. He was old, looked like a corpse himself, but he had been the Sheriff in town since before I could even remember. He was always super friendly and had a smile on his face, even now while responding to a potential disappearance.
“Little Jer Coleridge. My, my son, you’ve grown.” He patted my shoulder hard, almost threw me off balance.
“Hey Pat… I think something happened with Genie Carlson…” I pointed to the door, thinking he would be more surprised than what he was.
“Now, why would ya‘ think that, son?”
I told him I saw Ruth and Beth Anne at the grocery store saying they hadn’t seen her today. I even told him about them saying she was “Resting” and how they smiled the whole time, not acting like they were really bothered by it at all.
“Well, let’s just take a look here then. Wait out here.” He went inside with a flashlight, looked around for a few minutes then came back out. He clicked the lock behind him and shut the door.
“Well Jer, looks to me Genie moved out.”
“Without telling Ruth and Beth Anne?”
He nodded and his face suddenly smiled widely, the same way Ruth and Beth Anne had done at the grocery store earlier in the day when I kept pressing them to tell me about Genie. “Looks like it.”
“But the boot prints, and blood…”
“Probably a movin’ accident.”
I shook my head at him, trying to talk some reason into him. That didn’t make sense at all. “Pat… Genie is in her 80s. Why would she just leave without telling anyone? Genie has been going to the store every Saturday for 25 years, she hasn’t missed a single day, she wouldn’t just leave without…”
“Now son…” Pat grabbed onto my shoulder and squeezed hard, causing me to pause. He raised an eyebrow at me. “I think you’re reading too much into this. I bet Genie was needin’ a change of pace in her old age, didn't want to hurt herself with the goodbyes.”
“Pat, I don’t think she’d…”
His voice suddenly dropped into an angry tone “Son, I think you’re meddlin’ in people's personal business too much.” He titled his head closer to me. One of his eyes twitched at me, just like how Ruth's had at the grocery store. “Think you need to take your investigative head and go home, forget what you saw here.” He then smiled brightly as if he didn’t say anything and patted my shoulder again. “Nice seein’ ya Jer.” He walked back to his patrol car then tilted his hat at me “I’m sure I’ll be seein’ you around, son.”
I mean, Am I the crazy one? I seem to be the only one who cares that Genie Carlson is missing... Ruth and Beth Anne don't seem to be bothered, and it seems like Sherrif Nixon couldn't be bothered. And that's not even getting into the guy and his girlfriend who went missing a few weeks ago...
I think I am going to look into it and see if I can track Genie down at least, to make sure she is okay. I have resources at work that could maybe help me. So, I'm going to check those out when I take my next break. In the meantime, I have to get back to work, But I'll post an update if I find anything out.
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2023.03.24 21:53 EldritchEggoWaffle WARDEN OF THE WEAVER - PART 62: "A HARSH WORLD; HOPE EVEN IN DARKNESS"
Wings worked against wind, as the squad continued their aerial sprint.
In spite of their best efforts, they couldn't close the distance soon enough. They were still much too far from the city to gain any new insight into the attack--too far away to do anything, too far away to even know much of anything.
High Knight Von and Sergeant One-Wing led their respective squads onward, roaring through the air over the high grasses. Locust Spire was just on the edge of the horizon now. Within view, but still out of reach. Already, Von could feel that something was very wrong in the great Jikkellian settlement. Nagging dread in the pit of her gut gnawed at her as she drove forward. For a while, the wind carried with it the smell of smoke and ash. However, now those scents had dissipated, almost as if the wind had suddenly changed directions. The orange-red glow of flame had settled over the city like a corona, when the grand Spire of jade jutting up from the city's skyline first became visible. Now, the glow had softened to the point it may have no longer have been there at all.
And the Spire itself--the city's namesake, and jewel of Jikkellia--did not seem quite right. Von couldn't quite say why, but it seemed somehow... different; wrong; changed in some way.
What was going on? Was this what Lord Vellnoth was trying to tell them?
Come to think of it... what HAD Lord Vellnoth told them? Aside from ordering them to release the Amphibian and the suspected terrorist, there really hadn't been much information relayed, had there?
Von found it strange. She could hardly recall what the Gardener In Green had said, at all. She would've assumed something as life altering as speaking directly to the God of all Jikk would have left a greater impression on her. She'd assumed it would have inspired her mind, rekindled her soul. As it was, the event had hardly done more than leave her confused, feeling like a lost hatchling who'd just been introduced to something they didn't understand; some concept or experience they needed an adult to explain.
Her mind quickly turned from looking inward, to gazing out at the grasses stretched before her. Just ahead. There was movement.
Von glanced over to her right at One-Wing, but the frown on his face told her he'd already noticed the same thing she had.
High Knight Von drew her sword. Like clockwork, every Knight and Spire Watch behind her followed suit, drawing their own weapons. One-Wing was the last to unsheath his blade. He'd only just readied it when the sound and heatwave of an explosion broke out behind them.
The entire rear flank was taken out in a single strike. The remains of those soldiers caught in the blast were sent hurtling to the ground like small blackened meteorites.
"Post-Six!" Von called out.
The soldiers followed their orders--and their training--falling into a new, defensive position. Or, at least, they began to take up the Post-Six formation. They were interrupted partway through by a second explosion.
Where the fuck were the blasts coming from?
More body parts and scorched remains rained down to the landscape below.
"Ground!" One-Wing bellowed.
What was left of their rapidly thinning squad dropped altitude, coming down for a quick landing.
Von frantically scanned the surrounding grasses as she came to a landing with the others. She saw no one. There was no cover, and it was midday. There wasn't anywhere to hide, yet she still didn't see a single soul.
"No one move," said a commanding voice behind her.
Every head swiveled around, to face the assailant.
Von saw one, then three, then six seperate figures appear behind the soldiers. From the corners of her vision, more appeared. She could hear others, by the sound of their bootfalls and the clanking of their armor.
High Knight Von and her entire squad were completely surrounded.
The figures were Nerthran; mothmen of the Jagged Fields Kingdom. A lot of them. Von counted at least fifty, if not more. Ordinarily, Nerthran wore silver robes of fine silk, as part of their customs. These particular mothmen were wearing their robes, but had opted to don silver chainmail overtop the garments--or, in some cases, even steel plate. They wielded exotic-looking weapons. Crecent-shaped waraxes and ornate katanas; elaborately crafted claymores and thrusting blades shaped like wedges of pie. Even their more familiar arms--their longswords, daggers, and polearms--had been crafted in a way that would have intrigued even the greatest Jikkelian blacksmiths. Yet, of all the weaponry these mothfolk wielded, none stood out more than that of the one who'd stepped forward to call out.
The mothman called out a second time, shouting a single word: "Hold!" He held his unique weapon in both hands, gripping it at the center. It was a cold black color; as cold and black as a Lich's heart. It was as long as the mothman was tall. He held it at a tilt so that it crossed his body diagonally, like a large dark strike-through on a warning symbol. It was shaped like a staff. At both ends, it split off into two prongs like a serpent's tongue.
Now, Von began taking notice of the emblems on the breastplates, gauntlets, and bracers of the foes before her. They showed a symbol; a streak of silver running through a pair of moth wings, crossed by two blades. Her mind searched for meaning. After a moment, recognition finally set in.
Stonewing Pillar Mercenary Band.
They were ruthless criminals and sellswords, well-known in Jagged Fields but infamous even in Jikkellia. She'd never dealt with them personally, but she'd learned about them while undergoing the political and diplomacy training required to reach the rank of High Knight.
Bad news. That's what they were.
Von raised her sword. "You're interfering in official business!" This hardly encapsulated the scope of their crime (especially after launching a direct attack) but it was all she could think to say in the moment.
The mothman smiled. "Actually, you're all about to assist us with our business."
One-Wing scoffed at this. "What makes you think we'd do that?"
His smile broadened. "What makes you think you have a choice?"
They had a single goal now: reach the statue before the worms reached the surface...
Quijj took the lead. Councilor Lemma informed him she had wings of her own and therefore did not require his assistance when it came to flight (and also that if he continued treating her like a stack of lumber he needed to carry around, she was going to smack him silly). Quijj did not argue. The Councilor flew right behind him. And right behind her--bringing up the rear--was Flower-Seed. It was not a position he was particularly fond of--what with the worms on the loose and all--but he certainly wouldn't have wanted to be in front, either. Last wasn't as good as being in the middle, but of course, Flower-Seed was a gentlemen and Lemma was one of the city's honored leaders. So, back of the pack it was for ol' Flower-Seed.
They rushed up through the narrow hole in the cavern tunnel with a furious speed that would have made even a hive of Hellflies envious. The tunnel ended at an old well that had fallen into disrepair. In actuality, it had never really been used as a well to begin with. The 'fallen into disrepair' part--as the Councilor had explained--was just a story the Jikk of the city had always told one another. It was the sort of story that had been told so many times, for so many years, no one really questioned it or gave it a second thought. The truth of it was the Council of Three in Days Now Gone had decided to build a false well to cover the hidden entrance to the old city. It was sort of an emergency entrance, should one ever be needed.
If only those Jikk of the distant past had known their secret tunnel would not be used as an emergency entrance, but rather, an emergency exit. If they had known this, then perhaps Quijj, Flower-Seed, and Councilor Lemma could have avoided the problem they currently faced; *the fact that those same long-dead Jikk of yesteryear had elected to board up the false well so as to keep any hapless citizens or curious younglings from inadvertently stumbling upon their secret drop shaft to the old ruins.
Quijj had grunted something about this not being an issue when the Councilor broke the news of this "minor problem." Flower-Seed was fairly certain the old tavern keeper would have grunted the same grunt of reassurance, no matter what the Councilor had said. Quijj was painting himself more and more as the kind of Jikk who would take a sledgehammer to a door, if his key didn't fit. Grunting all the while.
When they reached the end of the shaft, Flower-Seed already knew what would come next. His hunch was confirmed when Quijj cautioned them to cover their ears. Flower-Seed now saw what would follow quite clearly in his mind. And how had he not seen this coming? Of course the crazy old bastard was going to blast his way out. Because of course he was.
Quijj was a valuable ally to have at a time like this, but once the smoke cleared, Flower-Seed hoped he would never again find himself in any dire situations with Quijj again, anytime soon.
Or ever again, if it could be helped.
When this was all over, if he made it out alive, Flower-Seed decided he was going to curl up on a nice warm cot by a hearth someplace, and sleep for about four straight Sun Cycles. Maybe even five. Six, while he was at it. Why not? He would certainly have earned it, if he managed to survive all of this chaos and bedlam.
There was a brilliant flash of white and orange; a roaring, echoing BOOOOM which ripped through the entire shaft. A loud crashing, splintering sound rose from above. Heat and a gust of hot air hit Flower-Seed in the face.
Then, they were shooting straight up into the air, no longer inside the shaft. The midday sky was above them again, fresh air in their lungs and the city stretched out all around them. The three of them came to a landing on a patch of scraggly blue kaynarr grass. The scattered stone and wood shrapnel that had once pretended to be a well lay scattered about, near the place where they'd made their exit. All that was left of the false well was a dark round hole and a broken ring of stone no higher than Flower-Seed's shin. There were black iron gates closing in a section of scrubby looking Debbler trees. The backs of several houses ran along the gate on one side. On the opposite side, a large warehouse loomed over the trio of . They were standing in a fenced-in raindrop shaped lot that had clearly been set aside for the sole purpose of secluding the well. The droplet shape of the lot came to a soft point between two houses, where a narrow gap had been left. The three of them wordlessly made for the opening.
The Councilor took the lead now. As soon as they'd made it to the other side of the row of houses, she took to wing. Quijj and Flower-Seed did likewise. They flew over the streets and walkways of a rundown residential neighborhood. Flower-Seed saw only a small handful of citizens. They were huddled together in small groups, hugging one another or saying silent prayers.
"What did I miss?" Councilor Lemma asked, looking around. "Is the attack over? And... where in Vellnoth's Name did all these vines come from?"
Flower-Seed tried to answer, but couldn't. He wasn't sure he had an answer. His vision had told him of the threats below ground, but hadn't filled him in on everything above the surface. What he and Quijj had witnessed with the Drill Flies seemed too miraculous to retell.
Quijj grunted. "A savior."
"A savior?" Lemma asked uncertainly.
Flower-Seed nodded. They were flying side by side now. "Yeah." He smiled to himself. It felt good to smile. Even after all the devastation and death, the fact that there had been a savior...
He didn't have the words for it.
They cut across the city, reaching the Cobbler's District in what felt like seconds.
"There's the statue," said the Councilor.
They landed just before the carved jade depiction of the Jikk hero of legend: Kylo the Great. This statue was identical to the one that had been in Lo Syy Tett, in Proeliator Plaza. There was another in front of the City of the Wandering Moon, as well as a fourth statue in Irogon Nath. Or, at least that's what Flower-Seed had been taught as a youngling at the Learning Hall. Kylo the Great had been one of the founders of Lo Syy Tett and Locust Spire. A true hero of all Jikkellia. Or so it was said.
Councilor Lemma hurried over to the back of the statue. There was a crevice just large enough for her hand. She stuck the Y of her fingers into the opening. Her face took on a look of deep concentration. After a moment, a panel was revealed in the base of the statue. There were gears, dials, and a single lever.
"Who would have thought," Flower-Seed mused.
The Councilor got to work. She began turning the gears and dials. Her hands became a blur for a moment as she input the secret sequence. Finally, she pulled the lever. Beneath the statue, there was a sound like gravel spilling from a wheelbarrow. Then, there was only silence for a moment.
Slowly, the statue began to rise several inches from the ground. When it stopped, the panel snapped back into place.
"It's done," said the Counilor, breathing a sigh of relief. "I just hope we weren't too late." There was a sadness in her eyes however.
Flower-Seed offered a sympathetic expression. "A bit overwhelming isn't it?"
Lemma waved a dismissive hand. "No, it's just... the Advisors. I just hope they made it out."
"There was no choice," Quijj said firmly.
"Yeah," Flower-Seed agreed. "We had to seal it off. Otherwise, who knows how fast those things might've spread."
The Councilor nodded. "I know. I know. Still... E'Shesh. She tried to protect me. When they were going to place me under arrest. She stood in front of the knights."
They all fell silent.
After a few moments, the three of them began to glance around at one another. A knowing look crept across all three of their faces. In unison, Councilor Lemma, Quijj, and Flower-Seed all whispered: "The Jailer."
Quijj nodded, giving one of his usual grunts. "Uhh huh." His expression had darkened. The look in his eyes was downright frigid.
Flower-Seed shook his head. "I don't know why, but ever since we were down in the ruins... it's been as if a curtain was lifted, from inside my mind."
Councilor Lemma nodded. "I know exactly what you mean. A part of me was fully aware of The Jailer and his deeds in Lo Syy Tett. Yet... it was almost like... I wouldn't quite call it a trance--I wasn't under any spell, or hypnosis, at least not as best as I can tell--but rather... it's as if I held a kind of complacency toward everything. I can see now how truly horrendous that Jikk is. Him, and what he's been doing. But... he must have had some way of making all of us intentionally ignore the problem."
"Mind Mother," said Quijj. "That'd do it."
Flower-Seed eyed the tavern keeper. "Mind Mother? Are those things even real?"
"Oh, they're quite real," said Lemma. "And if that's the case, it would actually explain a lot. From what little I understand of them, those creatures secrete a psychic enzyme that lulls the minds of those around it. The longer it occupies an area--so long as it's well-fed and undisturbed--the wider its field of influence. The Jailer must have somehow compelled a Mind Mother to do his bidding, and influence the minds of Jikkellians in a way that would further his terrible cause."
Flower-Seed considered this. "But if we're about to realize we were being influenced now... does that mean this Mind Mother is dead?"
"Tough to say," said Quijj.
"Indeed," said Lemma.
Quijj grunted in what might have been alarm, or perhaps frustration. He was gazing up at the sky.
"What is it?" Flower-Seed asked. But he already knew. He saw it too now. "What is that?"
His mind was overtaken with yet another vision. He saw the entrance to the underground ruins, as it was being sealed off. Just before the large stone slab blocked the passageway leading down into the City Before The City, five Jikk leapt through the rapidly shrinkly gap and onto the street. Breathless, they collapsed to the stonework.
A fraction of a second later, something else followed in their wake. It did not land, nor did it collapse onto the street as the Jikk had. Instead, it shot upwards into the air. The stone slab closed what remained of the opening.
But it was already too late.
One of the Jikk lying in the street began to scream. Flower-Seed saw that Temporary Councilor E'Shesh had indeed made it out of the ruins before the entrance closed. She was lying on her back, looking up at the sky with a look of pure terror plastered across her face.
The thing that emerged from the opening ignored the Jikk, however. It continued to climb through the air, until it was high above the vine-covered rooftops and city streets below. It rose higher still, before slowing. It hung there in the sky for several seconds, before rocketing away. It was headed toward a confrontation. Flower-Seed could not quite discern the nature of this confrontation, only that it would decide the fates of a great many.
And somehow, the outsiders were involved. Specifically, the outsider who had served as Locust Spire's unexpected savior.
Flower-Seed only caught a brief glimpse of the thing in his mind's eye, but that had been enough to fill him with a deep, almost existential feeling of dread.
The worms. They had fused together to form a single being. High Knight Pyx's plate armor. The thing was using it.
A giant parasitic worm-thing in platemail. It was coming for the outsider. And there was no stopping it...
The vision broke away. Flower-Seed found himself on his knees with dark green blood dripping from his eyes and mouth. The vision had been too much for him. Whatever had altered his curse--whatever force, whether it be supernatural, or simply the blow he'd taken to the head at the front gates--it had amplified it to a magnitude Flower-Seed could not handle. The previous vision had nearly caused him to black out. This one had almost ruptured his brain. He wasn't sure how many more of these "visions" he could take. The next one might very well kill him.
He slapped his palms down on the sidewalk, gasping for air.
"Are you alright?" Councilor Lemma asked.
Flower-Seed shook his head.
"What is it?" Quijj asked with much urgency. "Vision again? Did you see a mothman?"
Flower-Seed shook his head again, then promptly coughed up a thick glob of blood onto the stonework. He tried to stand, but his legs were much too weak.
Quijj hurried over and hooked an arm around Flower-Seed, helping him up. "Easy now," he whispered.
"Worms," Flower-Seed said, almost choking on the word. "Worm man. Man made of worms. Headed for the outsider." He took a deep breath, and that seemed to help. Not much, but a little.
Quijj eased him into a sitting position, before releasing him. He drew his strange weapon, examining it a moment before turning to the Councilor. "Can you tend to him?"
"Where do you think you're going?" she said in a tone of reproach. Her hands were on her hips. She gave the tavern keeper a look that reminded Flower-Seed of the way his mother used to look at him as a youngling, on evenings when he'd been out causing trouble with his friends.
"To stop it," Quijj said matter-of-factly. He turned back toward the sky, using his weapon to point at a dark, fast moving dot in the distance. The worm-thing. It was traveling at a tremendous rate of speed, trailing away from the city.
"Alright. In that case, I'm coming with you," said the Councilor.
Quijj grunted in disapproval.
"Don't give me that. I'm the High Councilor, afterall. I have a sworn duty."
"I'm coming too," Flower-Seed said, struggling to his feet.
"You can't," Lemma said. "You aren't well."
"I'll be fine. C'mon. Besides... you can't just leave me here on the sidewalk by myself."
Quijj eyed them both a moment, before slowly nodding. "Fine. Just keep behind me."
"Don't tell me what to do," said the Councilor smiling warmly. "I swore to serve and protect my city. That includes every last citizen."
"Humff," Quijj grunted.
Lemma regarded Flower-Seed with some concern. "Can you fly?"
"I think so."
"Alright. Then let's be off."
Quijj nodded, grunting again for what may have been the hundredth time.
The changes still hadn't fully set in.
He scarsely resembled his former self. His body was similar to that of a Jikk's, but his wings were like those of a giant moth. And his body, his wings, his entire form was entirely comprised of vines and sunflowers.
Doka was still getting accustomed to his new form. He was still getting accustomed to a lot of things. Ever since the outsiders first arrived in Lo Syy Tett, Doka had gone through a transformation even his new body could not fully represent. Which was saying quite a lot, considering his new form was the direct physical manifestation of the personal and metaphysical journey he'd undergone. He had died for Gods' sake!
He had died.
He'd died, but there had been no White Staircase. He hadn't seen the face of his creator. He'd seen only darkness, before his soul took up residency inside the Moon Moth.
So much of what he'd believed his entire life had been a lie. It made him wonder what else might also be a lie. What even was the truth? Did such a thing exist?
He had DIED!
His mind kept shouting the words over and over like a chant, as if reminding him of this fact might spark some greater intuition, or reveal some hidden meaning. It did not. The reminder only compounded his confusion with a whole lot of noise echoing inside his own head.
He had died.
This was a fact he was still grappling with, even now. Really, it had only been his body that had died. His spirit, soul, and mind had remained. He was now in a kind of life after afterlife. It was beyond strange, in a way that caused his brain to ache if he thought about it too long.
What a journey it had been since the duel with the Frog.
Doka had been granted revelation and realization, one after the other, in a constant barrage of perspective-shifting events. He'd been shaken to his very core--changed in the most fundamental sense of the word. He'd become someone completely different. Yet, at the heart of it all, he was still him. He was still Doka. Just a far more enlightened, less xenophobic and ignorant Doka.
However, this enlightenment also allowed him to see the problem; a problem that had not yet come up, but would have to be addressed sooner, rather than later.
The problem was, he'd been granted revelation and realization, without any real reflection. He'd been transformed, but hadn't yet had even a single spare moment to contemplate the meaning of it all. He was experiencing the effects, without fully understanding the causes. He'd been changed without stopping to consider the ramifications of so much change, on so many fundamental levels.
These things troubled him, but they were Deep Troubles of the Long Term. There were other, more urgent troubles to deal with in the meantime.
Doka and the soft shell soared over the open grasses; a flower-moth-grasshopper-hybrid and a curtain of shimmering blue. Doka looked down at the sheet of water below him. David was stretched out like one great flat square, casting no shadow as he passed over the land.
"What's wrong, bud?" asked the soft shell, taking notice of Doka's gaze. "You alright?"
Doka stilled his thoughts. "I want you to listen to me, Soft Shell. There's going to be trouble up ahead."
"Uh, yeah. I know. That's why we're coming to the rescue, remember? Don't tell me you're getting nervous?"
It was still a bit strange to hear the human's familiar voice coming from the shimmering polygon of liquid. Of course, the two of them had encountered far stranger things than this, on their journey. Particularly in the Sands. Doka had an idea that if not for some doing on the part of the cloaked figure, both his and the soft shell's minds would have been permanently shattered by the experience.
Doka said, "I don't mean once we reach the woods. There is an ambush waiting for us, well before then. A group of mercenaries."
The human was silent a moment. "I can't detect anything like that. Are you sure?"
"Aye. I'm certain of it. They're concealing themselves from your Energies ability to discern their plot. I am able to see it because of my connection with things that lie beyond the mortal world."
"Alright, well... we'll just have to take them out quickly, so we can hurry up and save Artie and the others."
"No," Doka said firmly. "I want you to continue on without me."
"What? But why? It doesn't make any sense to split up. We'll be able to deal with them faster if there are two of us."
Doka shook his head. "You don't understand. They are the ones who attacked Locust Spire. This is personal for me. You can't be stalled in reaching the woods. Your mission is far too important."
"Is that their big plan? To keep me fighting them, just to delay us getting to Artie?"
"That isn't their intention, but that will be the result of their actions, regardless. They have another reason for wanting to defeat you and I."
"Okay? Well don't leave me hangin. What's the reason?"
"Retaliation for stopping their attack on Locust Spire, for one. These mercenaries will try and destroy anyone who stands in the way of their goals. They wish to sew chaos and confusion. Anarchy. They don't want us undoing any more of what they have done, or what they plan to do. I can sense a dark plot. They're working with agents of Pharoah Dowlmad."
"I don't know that name, but I get some pretty fuckin' evil views from it, for sure."
"That would be an accurate assessment. The leader of these mercenaries wishes to leave the valley. There is something beyond the God Shelves he seeks, which will grant him unyielding power. Even I cannot discern his full intentions, but these are the things I have been able to determine."
"I see. Well, I still don't understand why you have to try and solo these guys. Let me help you knock 'em around. We can--"
"No," Doka said firmly. "This really is something I must do on my own. Please try and respect my wishes."
Doka could almost feel the human's mind turning, formulating further protest. Then, it was as if the soft shell finally came to a conclusion. Perhaps, he finally understood that this meant something to Doka--that this was important; a meaningful step on the path to redemption.
At last, the soft shell relented. "Alright, alright. Fine. But if you get into any trouble... if it's more than you can handle, or you--"
"I know how I call out to you," Doka said.
The human sighed. "Okay. Then I guess we'll split up. Um... where exactly is this ambush happening, anyhow?"
"Start traveling northward. Your mind will tell you when to correct your course again. That won't delay your arrival any. You would have had to travel North for a ways,, once you reached the woods. You're just doing it a bit sooner than necessary."
"Alright. Will do. Just... be careful, Doka. Okay? Seriously."
"And you as well, soft shell," Doka said. "Gods willing, I will see you again soon."
Deskant was well-versed in the power names held in the In-Between. This was why he'd worked so hard to become a Named Enforcer of the Stonewing Pillar Mercenary Band, on top of his other titles and stations. Most of the mercs in evidence were only foot soldiers, or Prospects. Leader Rave hadn't wanted all of his best warriors away from Home Base, afterall. The Stonewings were far greater in number and power than they'd ever let on to nonmembers. In their line of work, it was always best to hide your hand. You didn't want your rivals (or even your allies) knowing your full capabilities. Which was exactly why Deskant was joined on his current mission by the lower ranking members and memers-in-training, mostly. However, this was not the case with all of the mercs here in the open grasses. There was Angus the Arsonist, Vizloth the Philter, Gondin the Foul Ozmon the Worm-Wielder, Ujak the Unhinged.
Then, of course, there was him. Deskant the Demolisher. This was a moniker he had earned after many years climbing and clawing his way up the ranks of the band. He now filled the role of Chief Communicator, as well as being Rave's Right Hand when they were away from Home Base (even if that title actually belonged to Xider, whenever Xider wasn't around--like now--Deskant was the one who stepped up).
Rave had dubbed him the Demolisher because that was exactly what he did. He demolished things; people, places, anything and everything in his path.
"Just cooperate and everything will be fine," Deskant said.
The she-Jikk in the plate armor only glared at him.
"Yeah, I don't like those worms either, but they're effective." He waved his hand toward the infected Jikk soldiers. "We'll remove the parasites and we won't release anymore on your city, so long as you keep doing exactly as we say."
Ozmon the Worm-Wielder stepped forward, clutching his strange club--a dark, polished thing which which looked more like two long, slender serpents twisted around a stick than an actual club--and nodded. "All be righted, once we've finished here."
The she-Jikk said, "We shouldn't be negotiating with the likes of you."
Deskant laughed. "Good thing this isn't a negotiation. It's a hostage situation. If you hadn't noticed." His eyes scanned the row of infected Jikk. Half their number were currently inhabited by parasites. The other half were standing behind the she-Jikk and the one who'd identified himself as their Sergeant. "Now, remember... when you see the outsider, you flag him down. That's all you have to do. Leave the rest to us."
"Uh, 'Skant?" Angus said uncertainly.
"Yeah? What is it?"
"They're almost here. I can smell 'em."
Deskant smiled again. This was just too easy. "Alright. Everyone out of sight. Time to do what we do best, fellas."
There was a collective cheer from the other mercs. The lot of them moved into position.
Zruu--Tri-Hook leader and newly appointed Chief of the Clawhook Bandits in the wake of Chief Xovvo's murder--felt the entire world shift with such remarkable suddenness, that for a moment, he was certain he'd lost his grip on reality. One moment, Zruu had been seated in the bridge of the Black Pyramid beside his fellow Tri-Hook members, Coldcradle and Fann. The next thing the new Bandit Chief knew, he was plopping down hard on his ass in a field of knee-high emerald green grass. He'd been watching a formation of Gliders appear through the viewing window of the bridge. Sky Pirates, he had no doubt. He'd been mentally scrambling for a course of action. His mind had of course first turned to the Pyramid's weapons system. However, just as he was about to suggest this to Coldcradle and Fann, all of a sudden, it was as if his chair had been pulled out from under him--and everything else around him ripped away, right along with it.
"What the FUCK?" Coldcradle bellowed.
Zruu saw his two companions in the grass, just a few short meters away. Fann was there beside Coldcradle, looking furious but saying nothing.
Zruu's eyes burned with rage. "My thoughts exactly." He looked up to the sky. The Pirates. They were up there in the Glider Pods. There were also small Gyff craft as well. Collectively, there were four dozen of the bastards. The Sky Pirates made up three seperate V patterns, while the Walking Stick Men flew in a straight row side-by-side. Together, they made what looked like three arrows and line segment. And there, in the patch of sky between them, was the place where the Black Pyramid had been. The place where Zruu himself had been, on the bridge of the Pyramid.
But the Pyramid was gone. And now, Zruu was down here on the ground.
It made no fucking sense.
"Uh, Chief?" Coldcradle said warily.
Zruu took his eyes away from the sky and leveled his gaze at the other Bandit. "What?"
Coldcradle pointed at something lying in the grass a few feet to his left.
Zruu cocked his head to one side. Then, he was back up on his feet in an instant. "Is that who I think it is?"
But he already knew it was. There, motionless on the ground, was the Vakk Onillcoth had sent as honorary reinforcement. Lequell's body was covered in so much blood, it barely looked like a body. Really, it looked more like a slab of meat glazed in strawberry jam. Zruu had never seen tickman blood before. He was mildly surprised to know it wasn't green, or yellow like many Insectoids. It was a deep maroon, much like his own blood.
Lequell's head was cleaner than the rest of him. Probably because his head had been separated from his body. It was sitting face up a few paces from his bloodied corpse. His lifeless eyes stared up at the sun. They'd gone a dull gray color, instead of their usual black.
Zruu had seen more dead bodies than he could ever recount. Seeing one more now meant about as much as any of the others had. He felt nothing for the Vakk he'd barely known. If anything, he considered him weak for dying so easily. And so soon before their mission was complete.
Zruu raised his boot and punted Lequell's head through the air. It shot up at an arc, before disappearing in the high grass. He turned to the other Bandits. *"What the fuck do we do now? How the fuck did we lose the fucking Pyramid?"
He kicked Lequell's body hard enough to splatter some of the blood, painting several blade of grass burgundy.
"Ziilkdamnit! Now I've got blood on my boot." He turned his foot sideways and attempted to rub the drying fluids off onto the dirt. This mostly worked, but there remained a streak of the stuff he couldn't quite wipe away. "Ziilkdamnit," he cursed again.
"Was it the Pirates?" Coldcradle asked.
Zruu glanced up at the sky. The Pirates had broken their formations and were now flying in a disorganized swarm. They were headed east. They didn't seem to have any interest in the three Bandits down on the ground far below them, from what Zruu could tell. "My gut says no. I think those Sky Pirates and Gyff are just as confused as we are. I have no fucking clue what just happened, but I can tell you one thing... we're gonna get Chief Xovvo's Pyramid back. I don't give a shit what it takes. If it costs all three of us our lives. We're gonna get that damned thing back."
"A Pharoah had to be involved," Coldcradle said. "They're the only ones who could pull something like this off."
Fann nodded his agreement. "That bitch Camaria, most likely."
"I don't give a shit," Zruu said. "Pharoah or no Pharoah. We're getting it back." He locked eyes with Coldcradle, then with Fann, before looking off toward the horizon. "But first... we're gonna keep heading where we were headed. We're gonna deal with the she-ant before we do anything else. We don't have the Pyramid now, but we won't need it. I'll kill her with my bare hands if I have to."
Coldcradle said, "Then let's get to it. Let's hunt that bitch down. For the Chief."
Zruu and Fann voiced a howl of agreement. "For Chief Xovvo!" they said together.
The three members of the Tri-Hook took to wing. The only thing on any of their minds was murder...
"What's the matter?" Flower-Seed asked. His tone was that of someone trying to hide the fact they were in a great deal of pain.
Councilor Lemma studied his face closely. The two of them were flying side-by-side over the city, with Quijj just up ahead. The elderly tavern keeper insisted on taking the lead, it seemed. It was just as well. Lemma had wanted to stay back with Flower-Seed to make sure he was alright. He definitely wasn't alright, but wouldn't admit it.
As much as Flower-Seed's condition concerned her, it was the scene down below--down on the city streets--that concerned Lemma the most. She turned back to the group of younglings she'd spotted.
She and Flower-Seed had a bird's eye view of what remained of Elgganath Parkway in the eastern part of Locust Spire. Just as they'd flown past one of the only large structures that hadn't been reduced to rubble here, they'd caught Lemma's eye almost immediately. There were close to three dozen in all. Younglings no older than adolescents. Some of them were sitting on the sidewalk with their heads between their legs. Some of them were embracing one another. Many of them were simply standing in place, looking up and down the street as if they had no idea what to do, or where to go. Several of them were huddled together, speaking in frightened voices.
Lemma slowed her acceleration to a crawl. Seeing this, after a moment, Flower-Seed did the same.
Quijj craned his neck to look back at them. "You alright?"
Lemma nodded. "Yes." And after a moment's contemplation, she added: "You can go on without me."
Flower-Seed opened his mouth to say something. Then he saw the younglings. He looked from the group below, then back to Lemma. Understanding dawned on his face. He slowly nodded. "Go on without me, as well." After taking a brief moment just as Lemma had, he said (somewhat hesitantly), "If you can manage on your own, that is."
Quijj nodded in response, giving them a grunt of aye, before flying onward.
Lemma and Flower-Seed hung there in the air, and watched Quijj disappear behind a row of vine-covered warehouses. Lemma sighed, turning to Flower-Seed. "The city just suffered a horrible tragedy. They need their leader."
Flower-Seed nodded. "I know."
"Especially the youth. They look completely lost. Without hope. The fire and the explosions are over, but now they need guidance to know how to pick up the pieces."
"I know," Flower-Seed repeated, punctuating the words with a gentle smile. "Well... what do ya say we get down there? See how many we can reunite with their parents."
Lemma returned his smile. "I just hope most of their parents are still alive."
Flower-Seed looked away. "Yeah." He shook his head. "Gods. What a harsh world this is."
"It is. But as long as I'm around, there will always be hope left. That's what they need to see. The Jikk of this city. They need to see the light of hope still shines upon them. Even in darkness. There is always hope."
Doka could sense the terrible power radiating off the figures just ahead. There was a Fragment User in their midst. As well as multiple masters of the Old Arts and Dark Channels.
And there was something even greater. He could feel it, like a vibration inside his brain.
As he drew closer, he saw the Jikk he was supposed to see, and the mothmen he wasn't. One of the mercs was utilizing a Cyphering technique to hide their presence. Doka could only see them through his connection with the Realms beyond life, beyond mortals.
Doka flew faster, closer, closing in on them.
One of the Jikk--a she-Jikk High Knight named Von, Doka saw--held up her arms and began waving at him. She was trying to flag him down. Doka had no doubt, this was what she'd been instructed to do. The Jikk weren't apart of this. They were only pawns, used by the mercs.
Doka dove down, came to a landing.
In his new form, he could speak to more than just the soft shell. He called out to the High Knight. "It's alright. I know you've done all you could."
The High Knight and the other Jikk stared back at him, stonefaced. Doka could see beneath their expressionless faces; could see through them. He could feel their desperation, their shame.
That was when the mercs sprang their trap...
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