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The Upper East Side, Manhattan

2014.12.14 04:36 fantasia_burrito The Upper East Side, Manhattan

All news, reviews, happenings of the Upper East Side

2020.07.28 18:03 Welcome to The Upper East Side

Hey Upper East Siders

2009.11.02 04:43 Captaintripps A little wonder in Northwestern Queens.

We are a neighborhood of 170,000 people in the most-diverse county in the United States. This is a highly-moderated sub.

2023.06.02 13:50 Cute-Peaches Tips to 36* Abyss without whaling, by a non-whale (only welkin buyer but F2P options)

Tips to 36* Abyss without whaling, by a non-whale (only welkin buyer but F2P options)
Well, hello, fellow player!
I read a lot of comments of people complaining on how difficult this abyss is. As much as I agree with all of you, I got a little overboard and tried multiple combinations until it worked a little too well - I finished with 17 seconds remaining.
The key to this abyss is either CC, Aoe strong dps dmg and Xiangling+Bennett.
With this team, it took me five times only; and I can try to help you do a budget one if you don't have these characters:

You can also use Nahida insead of the Traveller to make it work; I tried the budget one to see if it would still be doing big numbers and it is.
Keep in mind that Childe, Wanderer and Kazuha are min-max to make them extremely good because I either main them or I really love the character.

All my important builds are here too. I will not recomment the same characters in both floors.
--- x ---
First Half:

. Childe can be replaced by Ayato or a really good Yelan/Xingqiu (need good RNG for Yelan/Xingqiu and they need to hit like a truck).
. Lumine can be replaced by Nahida (I changed because I wanted to try) or Collei.
. Kazuha can be traded for Sucrose.
. Kokomi can be replaced by Barbara.
Keep in mind that, again, I did not whale for any of these characters - I simply saved enough for them and farmed their domains for too much time. Skyward Harp / Viridescent Hunt / Thundering Pulse / Aqua Simulacra / Blackclif Warbow are all good options.
I tried with my Boyfriend's Childe (who is not C4) and it worked well enough to pull this floor I think.

--- x ---

You want to make sure you have a pretty solid AOE DPS or EXTREMELY good CC. Both would be great.
I chose Childe because I am a Childe simp because he is my main and his Aoe helped me so much. I don't have a lot of DPS builded characters - I have three perfectly builded and two somewhat for the abyss and that's about it.
Childe has HoD artifact box available for you if needed - his new artifacts are a pain to farm, so I am still using his HoD build which is awesome because it does its job.

PSA - Kazuha and Lumine run with +180% ER. Kokomi uses R6 Thrilling Tales for buff porpuses, so she needs to be the one you use before your DPS IN EVERY ROTATION.

-- Examples of characters that I think it will work instead of Childe for AoE//DPS dmg - keep in mind that I do not have most of these so I cannot try them out for myself.
. Ganyu reverse meld.
. Kaveh or Nilou Bloom Team (I am not sure if it does its job, although I really think it can).
. Mono Geo Team + CC.
If you go with Bloom, you want to apply as much hydro as possible - Childe/Kokomi/Xingqiu/Yelan must be in your team, at least one of them. You can try Mona, although I do not think she will do the job.

-- Examples of characters that you can use to CC any enemy on the first Half:
. Sucrose - just slap a bunch of EM VV pieces (artifact box might help) without caring too much on the substats and you are good to go,
. Kazuha, for obvious reasons,
. Anemo Traveller - It is a little tricky and I think it is the worst option you can come up with (because Dendro Traveller with any hydro dps unit is amazing and underrated), although you can still try,
. Venti - Keep in mind that Venti and Childe do not work well in this abyss together. Unless you use all the time his melee range dmg and you have C6 Childe.

Second Half:

. Wanderer can be replaced by any fast dps who is not hydro, cryo nor exclusive single target - Xiao, Cyno, Raiden, Yae Miko (maybe), Keqing (maybe).
. Layla can be replaced by Diona perfectly fine, Zhongli, Baizhu, Tohma or Kirara (maybe, I did not test her shield long enough). I recommend Layla, Diona or Zhongli tho. If you have a DPS that doesn't suffer from stagger like Wanderer, you can either try Raiden as sub dps or Qiqi for heal.
. Xianglig cannot be replaced.
. Bennett cannot be replaced. If you do not have bennett, try using Klee as a support with thrilling tales and placing her bombs near abyss cryo hearld (really good RNG is needed) or Lisa with thrilling tales. You will need a good shield or Diona healer for this to work. Barbara is not recommended (you can try Kokomi if you have another option for her on the first half).

Wanderer also works if you have solar pearl or widsith with him!
I'll admit, I genuienely though this team could not work well at all. Yet, it hit like a truck.
Wanderer is only here to apply damage as fast as I can while Xiangling, Bennett and Layla recharge their bursts between his skills; extremely high remanding ER team.
PSA - None of these characters, except Wanderer, run with less than 190% ER. Bennett and Layla use Sac Sword (you can change for a favonious if you have at least 50% crit rate) and Xiangling can either run with The Catch R1 - R5 (F2P option) or any 5 stars you end up having laying around, really. Deathmatch is really good on her too.
You want to start with Bennett burst > Xiangling Burst > Xiangling skill > Bennett Skill (if it activates twice due to his sac sword, even better) > Layla Burst > Layla Shield > Wanderer spam.
The rotation is kinda wonky - just have fun trying to figure it out tho, it can be a little difficult to understand without the proper ER.
When you take out the abyss mages, you should have at least Bennett burst - use it the moment it pops up to be ready to use all the time. You don't care if the shields are up yet; Wanderer (or your dps) will do the job to finish them fast enough.
Weak side of this team:
. Wanderer dies all the freaking time.
Be ready to scream at him. All the time. He's a freaking paper - then, you should use his passive in your favor. Run! Run mid-air while he hits the enemies. Make sure Layla has the shield up; the moment it does not, run and change asap and do everything again.
If you have a really good WandereDPS that can hit like a truck really fast...
. You don't need a good Xiangling. Mine sucks. Her talents are 7 or less. I never ever used her before this abyss, basically. I slapped everything I had laying around from Yoimiya, Hu Tao and Klee and just call it a day. 4PC crimson or 4PC emblem is perfect. I just leveled her up to 70 - 80 just yesterday!
. You don't need a good Bennett. You need an average one that hits pyro, has a lot of ER. Just make sure he has Nobless Oblige.
. You don't need a good Layla. Slap a bunch of 2pcHP% + 2pcHP% or 4pcTenacity and you are good to go. If you have any HP weapon, even better. If not, it will work. Mine is only lvl80.

-- x --
It can take a few attempts but you can do it!! :) And if not, that's fine. These are just a bunch of primogems and I love challenging myself with the few characters that I have. Do not stress over 50 to 150 primogems. It is not even a single wish. Your happiness is more important than a gacha. :)
Feel free to check out my profile and builds - 718623462 IUD (Europe). If you want, Akasha System has (almost) all of them. The ones I don't have there are really garbage (Lumine isn't that great either but oh well).
I am the type of player that saves for 8 months for a Childe/WandereYoimiya rerun and just grabs constellations of the ones I main. I am not a collector nor build every single character. That is why I can do the abyss a little easier - my Childe took me an year and half to be like that and it is not complete yet.
Any questions, please do! It took me way to much time and it is not done properly, but I tried my best :)
Hope it helps~
submitted by Cute-Peaches to Genshin_Impact [link] [comments]

2023.06.02 13:49 Slushy69420 People are fucking crazy. Fuck you too

People are fucking crazy. Fuck you too submitted by Slushy69420 to InstacartShoppers [link] [comments]

2023.06.02 13:49 Alive_Data2528 Why is everyone so defensive of SA?

I think to myself, there was a post not long ago saying the worst SA expat is one that makes the country look like a shithole and that the grass isn't much greener on the other side.
These are stupid things to say since SA is literally, statistically one of the worst places to live. The fact that you believe the nature is beautiful and the weather is nice , is fucking ridiculous.
Our unemployment rate is unimaginably high, almost no one comes close to SA's youth unemployment. It's also very apparent that 30-50 year Olds don't give 2 shits about the youth. I've had multiple people go out of their way to explain to me that they won't give me a job because they hate the young generation.
Yet they don't know how to switch on their PC without a 20 year old.
I can write 500 books on all the issues in this country. The grass is greener in many countries, im so sick of people saying that it's not always better overseas. No shit, if you go to India, Argentina, Russia then of course you won't have a better life. People who want to leave SA want to LIVE we at least want a park to bloody walk in thats clean and safe. I felt I wanted to leave this country when I was 12 and I think the same at the age of 22. Nothing has improved till this day.
I wish I had power to make food for my family, the power is off from 6-8am when everyone wakes up and eats breakfast, and power off again from 4-8pm when everyone comes home and has to eat.
The guy defending this country is literally leaving as well. What a joke honestly. If you make R60k a month then of course you'll think this is a great place to live. The youth makes R6000 a month. Wtf do you do with R6k a month?? And then these older people who own companies act like R6 k is an astronomical amount of money just because you are in your 20s.
All this shit was already happening BEFORE the pandemic and BEFORE the war. People who are 50 waited 30 years for this country to "get better" Guess what... you waited your whole life just to see it get worse.
ALL my family members are out of SA and all of them refuse to even come visit because of how much better it is where they live now. My aunt is retired in canada and the government pays her more than enough every month to survive. Wtf does our government do right? I can't name one thing. At least in a different country you can AT LEAST say SOMETHING is functional.
Also the entire world is fucked right now, trying to defend SA right now is stupid because almost EVERYONE is suffering from the war + pandemic.
After everything kicks back to normal we will still sit with power issues, water issues, race issues, unemployment, horrible education, horrible currency, corruption etc, etc, ANC.
While someone in Canada, UK, US, Australia, Netherlands etc, has a stronger currency, you can get a job there, you can make dinner, you can go for a walk, hell in some countries you can go study for free, sometimes they even pay YOU to study.
Despite being able to factually prove this is one of the worst places to live people will still say "it's pretty here" " it will get better" #I'mstaying This false belief that somehow your wonderful version of SA is going to happen someday. In what century??
You live once and you want to live like this because you have some pride in your country? What has SA ever done for you? Fuck all. It shoots us all in the ass everyday while our government decides what colour their 25th Landover should be.
This false toxic positivity some people have is so infuriating because it's gonna hold us all back even more if you refuse to acknowledge the issues at hand. And if all the youth can't get a job that pays a living wage, then this country WILL sink Zimbabwe style. That is how an economy works, a new workforce is suppose to come out every single year.
submitted by Alive_Data2528 to southafrica [link] [comments]

2023.06.02 13:45 Igoagainandagain Tempering expectations for Oppenheimer. What should we realistically expect?

Oppenheimer seems to be one of those films whose potential performance is hard to pin down. Predictions seem to be ranging from sub $200 million to 600 million.
Personally, I think some people are overestimating Nolan's drawing power. This isn’t to say he doesn't have any, far from it, I would say he is second only to James Cameron in terms of pull when it comes to directors. How much pull? Let's look at some of his original IP films post TDK.
1) Inception (836 million)
2) Interstellar (701 million)
3) Dunkirk (525 million)
4) Tenet(363 million)
Now, some people have pointed out how films have had progressively decreasing boxoffice since TDKR, but I think that's a wrong takeaway from these grosses. One shouldn't expect a war film to gross as much as a sci-fi action movie or a superhero. Now, I'll ignore TENET as it's a pre-vax covid re-release, so it's not really fair to judge its performance compared to other films in the genre but let's look at the others.
1) Dunkirk is the highest grossing ww2 movie and the second highest war movie(after American Sniper).
2) Inception is also in the upper echelon of what you can expect in a mind-bending sci-fi like this ( in the same tier as The Matrix Reloaded or Terminator 2).
3) Interstellar similarly is also amongst the highest grossing in the non-action space sci-fi flicks (The gravity, The Martian and Contact).
What this shows is that Nolan's pull can help his films accomplish top-tier grosses you can expect in a particular genre/sub genre. Now, his films are not going to be the extreme outlier of a particular genre like say Avatar in sci-fi/action or Avengers Endgame but it'll be in the upper half of the genre. So, Since Oppenheimer is a biopic let's look at some of the highest grossing biopics.
1) Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) - $910.8 Million.
2) American Sniper (2014) - $547.4 Million
3) The Greatest Showman (2017) - $435.7 Million
4) The King's Speech (2010) - $427.3 Million
5) The Wolf Of Wall Street (2013) - $392 Million
6) Catch Me If You Can (2002) - $352.1 Million
7) Schindler's List (1993) - $322.1 Million
8) Green Book (2018) - $321.7 Million
9) A Beautiful Mind(2001) - $316.8 million
10) The Blind Side (2009) - $309.2 Million
The Bohemian Rhapsody is the extreme outlier of this genre and I think we safely ignore that. And not all biopics have the same potential. Some elements that can work in favour of a biopic.
1) It's about a famous musician(Bohemian Rhapsody, Rocketman, Elvis)
2) It's inspiring (The Kings Speech, The Blindside, Gandhi,Schindler's List- Yes, I know the holocaust is horrific, but Schindler's Story, in particular can be viewed as inspiring).
3) It's about a scientist (Imitation game, A Beautiful mind).
While Oppenheimer being American can help boost the domestic box office, he is not fresh in the public's mind like Chris Kyle was(American Sniper did 350 million at the US box office). A performance like American Sniper is unlikely. Based on what we know so far, It's not an inspirational story as the second half of the film is supposed to be about Oppenheimer's trial that lead to his security clearance being revoked. Nolan and crew have described this as more of a "thriller"
Looking at the rest of these films, Oppenheimer is most similar to A Beautiful Mind and The Imitation Game(not in the list but grossed a good $233 million). But both of them are PG-13 while Oppenheimer is R-rated and has a longer run time to boot.
So, if Nolan delivers a critically acclaimed film, it should realistically gross north of 250 million and in a generally optimistic scenario gross around $350 million. A gross between $250 to $350 million shouldn't be considered a mark against Nolan's pull because as I said at the start of this post that his pull can help his films gross similar amount to some of the highest grossing films of their particular genre which in this case are The Imitation Game and A Beautiful Mind. If it's a run away success then you expect A King's Speech tier success.
Anything higher like $500 to $600 million that many here are talking about would require a one of a kind level of performance which I don't think is possible considering the competition, run time and the R-rating. Again, If it happens I'll be happy as I like Nolan but I just don't think such a performance is likely. If anything, I'm making this post to pre-empt any potential backlash if it happens to make a perfectly reasonable amount a movie of this king can make.
submitted by Igoagainandagain to boxoffice [link] [comments]

2023.06.02 13:42 thegamerjedi Mythicals

(I've had this concept for a while and wrote a few versions for the first episode, settling on this version, I haven't wrote a lot so would love feedback on this, I want to execute this idea as well as I can)
Mythicals Ep1: The world's worst thief
Narrator: Welcome to the continent of Nova.A continent made up of seven separate islands with each one of having its own unique,biomes,climates,properties and laws.But this continent isn't perfect.40 years ago a strange race called mythicals appeared.They were similar to humans in every aspect except one.They had strange abilities called Zanes.With these Zanes,the power went to the mythical's head and they tried to take over the continent,starting a race war between the humans and mythicals.The humans won the war through sheer numbers.Mythical population dropped 75% and are now discriminated and oppressed by humans.
A young man is seen running along a white stone road.He had short,straight,black hair,wide red eyes and pale skin.He had a dirty grey trench coat,a black shirt with tears in it,black ripped jeans and grey boots.
Narrator: Meet Hiroshi Kita,an 18 year old,down on luck,mythical thief.
Hiroshi turns around and spots three people dressed in medieval knight armour chasing him.He smiled and continued running,soon running into an alleyway,the knights running in and cornering him.
Hiroshi: Come on guys,can't we talk this out?
The first knight draws a sword and slashes at Hiroshi.Hiroshi's chest becomes transparent as the sword goes through him.His chest turned back to normal as the sword left his chest.
Narrator: Hiroshi Kita,his Zane is called Umbra.It allows him to turn his body into a shadow form,the only issue is due to not having much mastery over this Zane,he can only transform one body part at a time.
Knight 1: He's a mythical!
The second knight took out a large axe
Knight 2: This will knock my mythical kill count to 15!
The second knight swung his axe down but Hiroshi quickly dodged backwards,the axe slams into the ground.Hiroshi smiled and jumped onto the axe handle.
Hiroshi: Thanks for the help fellas
Hiroshi jumped off the axe and onto the first knight's head,then the second one and then the third one before jumping towards a window sill.The third knight pulls out a revolver and quickly shoots at Hiroshi's head.Hiroshi turns his head into a shadow before climbing through the window,turning his head back to normal.The knights look up at the window sill,knowing they won't reach.They start leaving.
Knight 3: Who's gonna tell Akuhei?
The other two knights put the fingers on the helmet where their noses would be.
Knight 3: Come on guys,when did we start doing that?
Meanwhile Hiroshi made his way to a sewer cover in a dark alley.He smiled and lifted the cover up before climbing in and closing the cover.He walked through the sewers before reaching a metal door.In front of the door was a giant man.
Hiroshi: Hey,Duke,you gonna let me in?
Duke looked down at him and shook his head
Duke: Only the best thieves in the continent are allowed in here and as we all know,you've been ranked as the worst thief in the continent,so unless you can get a big score,you're not in so scram.
Hiroshi sighed and started walking away,leaving the sewer.
Hiroshi: Asami might know something about a big score,they have connections all over the continent.
Hiroshi ran off and soon entered an abandoned theatre outside the town.He looked around and saw someone on stage with short pink hair,pink eyes,a masculine body and peach skin.They were wearing a white tank top and black shorts.Hiroshi smiled and jumped on stage.
Hiroshi: Hey Asami!
Asami smiled and quickly hugged Hiroshi
Asami: Hold on a sec,you only come here when you want something,what do you want?
Hiroshi sighed,smiled and scratched the back of his head.Asami gained an annoyed expression as they crossed their arms.
Hiroshi: Ok,to be completely honest,I need to know about a big score.
Asami: How big?
Hiroshi: Big enough to get me into the largest thieves guild in the continent?
Asami: Going big aren't we?Well I can only think of one place nearby…
They walked past him,transforming into a femine figure as they did,their voice becoming more femine as well
Asami: Would be the nearby Mythical Hunter's Headquarters but you wouldn't be mad enough to do that,right?Right?
Hiroshi: Thanks Asami!
He quickly ran away
Asami: He's gonna get himself killed.
Hiroshi located the Mythical Hunter's Headquarters and climbed over the walls at nightfall but quickly went unconscious before he could get over the wall.He woke up in a dark room with someone standing in front of him.They were tall with shoulder length brown hair,narrow green eyes and light brown skin.They were wearing a black tank top and grey cargo pants.Hiroshi was bound by rope at his ankles and wrists.
Hiroshi: Who are you?
Daichi: Name's Daichi Gushiken and you're staying here while I go stop the Mythical Hunters.
Hiroshi: But why did you capture me?
Daichi: Can't have a lowly thief like you getting in my way.Some of these guys are strong enough to topple towns.
Hiroshi: Then why fight them,just run!
Daichi: Because if they aren't stopped,they'll try to topple the human government.
Hiroshi: Won't that…
Daichi stared down at Hiroshi as Hiroshi's eyes widened in shock.
Hiroshi: That will start another war!
Daichi: Exactly, and now you understand why I need to stop them.
Hiroshi: But how can you stop them alone, do you even have a Zane?!
Daichi: Nope, I'm just a regular human.
Hiroshi: How do you expect to win against people with Zanes that could take down entire towns if they wanted too!?
Daichi: Well, I've got methods.If humans won the war against the Mythicals, why can't I beat one?
Hiroshi: The humans won through numbers!Everyone knows that!Try them on me and see if you win!
Daichi shrugs and unties Hiroshi. Hiroshi stands up as the both of them put their fists up. Hiroshi throws the first punch, aiming for Daichi's head. Daichi slides to his left before kicking Hiroshi in the back of the knee, causing Hiroshi to fall onto one knee. He then elbows Hiroshi in the neck, knocking his opponent to the ground.
Daichi: What's your name, thief?
Hiroshi: H-Hiroshi Kita.
Daichi: Well Hiroshi Kita, listen to this message from Daichi Gushiken. Stay away from Mythical Hunters unless you want to get hurt,so leave the saving to everyone else.
Daichi leaves Hiroshi on the floor as he leaves the room. Hiroshi clenches his fists before slowly getting back up a few minutes later, wiping tears from his eyes as he ran out of the room. Meanwhile, Daichi had infiltrated the Mythical Hunters HQ. He was sneaking through hallways as he took out any knights in his path, soon reaching a large wooden door and pushing it open. On the other side of the door was a large man, muscular build with crimson hair,narrow eyes, peach skin, and sharp pointed teeth, wearing black tracksuit bottoms.
Daichi: You're dying, Akuhei Heru.
The man turns around and smiles.
Akuhei: Well if it isn't the famous fighting champ. Come to try and take down the strongest fist fighter in Nova?
Daichi: Not only will I try, I'll succeed.
Akuhei: You think ye worthless human body with ney a Zane can beat me perfect form with the fourth most powerful Zane in the World?!
Daichi quickly punches Akuhei in the gut, causing him to stumble backwards.
Daichi: Never underestimate the power and dedication of the human spirit.
Akuhei: Ye be training, this should be interesting!
Akuhei swings his arm at Daichi and sends him flying into a wall, cracking the wall and causing books to fall off a bookshelf. Daichi falls to the floor and before he can get back up, Akuhei grabs him by the neck and slams him against the wall again. He lifts him up higher with his right arm as he walks over to a desk. He goes to swing Daichi down on it but Daichi quickly pulls a knife out of his pocket and stabs Akuhei in the arm. Blood trickles down Akuhei's arm as he drops Daichi. Daichi lands on the desk and looks up. Akuhei goes to slam his left fist down on Daichi. He quickly rolls backwards off the desk as Akuhei slashes it in half. Daichi stands back up only to see a fist flying towards him.
He quickly ducks as the fist hits a set of steel armour behind him, the punch flattening the chest piece. Daichi quickly grabs the sword from the set of armour and goes to swing it at Akuhei's right arm. Akuhei rips the knife out of his right arm and swings it at the sword. As soon as the knife connects, both blades shatter. Daichi stumbles back as Akuhei just steps towards him and smiles. Akuhei lifts both fists up and swings down towards Daichi. Daichi rolls to his left as the fists hit the ground, cracking it. Daichi quickly rips a piece of wood off the desk and stabs it into Akuhei's left arm. He quickly grabs another piece of wood and stabs Akuhei in the back of the knee forcing him to fall down.
Daichi (in head): This is my chance to end him!
Daichi quickly runs and shoulder bashes into Akuhei, making him over and falls out of a window, shattering the glass. Daichi slowly gets up as blood trickles out of the side of his mouth. He turns to leave when suddenly a piece of glass flies into his leg, Daichi falls forward and onto the shattered desk, causing some pieces of stray wood to stab into his shoulder. Daichi yells out in pain before looking out the window and seeing Akuhei climb through.
Akuhei: Did ye really think that I wouldn't grab onto an edge?!
Akuhei limps towards Daichi as Daichi tries to desperately crawl away. Trying to grab onto anything to pull himself forward. Akuhei grabs his leg and a red glow emanates from his hand. Akuhei's injuries heal before blood spurts out from Daichi's arms and knee.
Narrator: Akuhei Heru.His Zane is called Contagin! If he manages to touch anyone he can transfer any injury,illness or ailment to the person he touches!
Akuhei: Ye really thought ye could beat me!?
Akuhei lifts Daichi by the leg and throwing him through the doors he came in. Daichi lands on the ground as blood trickles out of him.
Akuhei: Ye are as foolish as ye are weak!
Hiroshi: Back away!
Suddenly Hiroshi smashes through a window and kicks Akuhei in the head, causing him to stumble back against a wall, his nose begins to bleed as he smiles and glares at Hiroshi.
Akuhei: Perfect,yet another lamb for me to slaughter!
Daichi: Run you idiot!
Akuhei throws a punch at Hiroshi's head but Hiroshi quickly turns his head into a shadow and the punch goes through. Another punch connects with his stomach which sends him into the air. His back hits the ceiling before he starts falling towards the ground. Akuhei smiles and quickly punches Hiroshi mid air and sends him flying down the hallway. Hiroshi lands on the ground and tries to slowly stand up, he was coughing up blood.
Akuhei charges at Hiroshi and quickly kicks him in the gut. Hiroshi slams into the wall as the wall cracks. Akuhei grabs Hiroshi and throws him in the air before sending a barrage of punches at him before grabbing his leg and slamming him into the ground. Blood trickles out of Hiroshi's mouth as he coughs.
Glass shatters and Akuhei quickly turns around. He sees a hole in another window and Daichi laying there next to it. Akuhei charges towards Daichi but something suddenly wraps around his leg. He looks down and sees a rope with a kunai tied around his leg. He turns around and sees Hiroshi still on the ground while holding the rope. Akuhei smirks and quickly swings his leg forward. Sending Hiroshi flying and out of the window in the room Akuhei and Daichi were fighting in as the rope snaps.
Hiroshi(in head): Is that it? Is this where I die? Not even getting close to my dream? I don't want to die here but I can't do anything to save myself, I'm too hurt.
Tears swell up in Hiroshi's eyes as he falls towards the ground. His eyes close as he feels himself land in someones arms. He can feel himself be gently placed on the ground and his eyes open slightly. His vision is blurry but he can make out the shape of a woman looking over him.
Hiroshi: An angel?
Hiroshi passes out due to his injuries. Meanwhile Akuhei gets surrounded by vines which pin him to the ground. The faint sound of footsteps can be heard and the vines vanish. Akuhei stands up and looks around only to see Daichi is gone.
submitted by thegamerjedi to writers [link] [comments]

2023.06.02 13:37 princessjared Dog’s coughing getting worse and worse. Are we on the right track?

In March, my dog (male, 10-11 year old chihuahua terrier mix) started coughing. At first, it was irregular enough to make us think it was random and would go away but we’re now several months into this and it’s gotten much, much worse.
On a good day, the cough sounds like a goose honking which I would call a dry cough. On a bad day, it’s a very wet cough where you can hear all types of mucus or phlegm or something in his lungs. Usually the coughing session, which last about 15-20 seconds each time, ends with him gagging like he’s trying to throw something up but nothing usually ever comes out. We’ve noticed his coughing is worse at night but he will still have coughing fits throughout the day. The worst night had him coughing what felt like every 20 minutes and it woke me up so many times that I let him sleep in my bed and I went to sleep on the couch. Two nights ago though he coughed up mucus and blood. His breathing is starting to sound very wet, labored, and his chest rattles. Last night it seemed like he was struggling to breathe. He’s starting to look so exhausted throughout the day from spending his night coughing. Before this (even at 10-11) he was still playing and running around with us like a puppy and full of so much spunk (just sleeping a little bit more), but now any sort of playing will immediately lead to a coughing fit.
We’ve taken him to the vet 3 times now. It wasn’t taken seriously the first time (this was back in April). But the second time he got prescribed heart worm meds (he doesn’t have heart worms but it was just in case) and some sort of antibiotic. The heart worm medicine didn’t seem to do anything but the antibiotic drastically decreased the amount of coughing fits he would have. As we tapered off of it, his coughing has continued to get worse.
We took him back this week and got some x-rays done as well as a blood test. His white blood cells are extremely high. The x-ray came back showing some sort of unusual wispy-ness on his lungs on the right side of his body. The vet said that he thinks it’s a pulmonary edema or pneumonia (we originally thought collapsed trachea). He sent for a second opinion and that person thinks it’s a mass. Not sure how relevant it is but the vet asked if he regurgitates after eating; usually not with food but if he drinks too much water which happens pretty often he’ll regurgitate it back up. The vet said he looks good otherwise (good color and whatever it is in the X-ray doesn’t seem to have spread). Next step here is a CT scan and some more tests but we’re unable to do this until Monday. We got prescribed different meds from this visit and it doesn’t seem to have helped the cough much but he does seem to have more energy now.
I guess I’m here posting this because Monday seems far away and my boy is clearly progressing worse and worse. I just want to make sure we’re on the right track and not racing against time. I’m also curious of any other opinions other vets or someone with a similar experience may have and if they recommend anything to ease this experience on my dog? I love him so much and it’s really hard to see him like this.
Please let me know if not allowed but here are some videos and photos of my dog, x-ray, and coughing. CW: I included a photo of the coughed up blood towards the end.
Thanks. And I know Reddit isn’t a substitute for taking him to the vet.
submitted by princessjared to AskVet [link] [comments]

2023.06.02 13:31 ParaMorph Need some advice on oral min and oral fin

Hello, i would not class myself as a norwood 7 i would say i am a norwood 6? with a hairline? Dense sides and back inch of a hairline all the way across my head midscalp has pretty much died off due to wearing a headset every day for 10 hours a day for work for the past 8 years and crown you could write an 8 on it and put me in a corner pocket.
Now, while i say its bald as hell. Its a weird scenario to my eye it is bald, but to the touch and someone looking close at it. the entire scalp and mid scalp it feels like there is short stubby hair there when i run my hand back and forth. and it feels like an actual good amount,
They are just clear and small. I have the worst personal care for supplements you can think of in a person due to mental health. I genuienly leave my home to the outside one every 2 weeks for maybe an hour but its right inside to another building.
And in total i get MAYBE 20 minuets of sunlight per week and thats pushing it sometimes. I was prior on 50k IU Vid d a week for my vit d levels.
about 2 years ago my midscalp was actually very good but i noticed it starting to go the more i wore the headset. The headset sits DIRECTLY where the majority of the hair i had left was and rubbed my head into oblivion. But like i said above the hairs are very clear but you can feel them to the touch when you rub your hand on my head.
The expectations i have of getting a flowing lock of golden hair is beyond unimaginable, but if i could turn a norwood 6 into a norwood 4 or even a difused thinning 5 i may very well do it if it means i can get rid of this god awful bald crown on my head and SMP for density
So my main question is Since there are a few telahealth websites offering Oral fin and min now Is this something i should just give it a go and what could go wrong type thing?
Im going to be taking supplements as well to generally try and get my health back on track and try going outside. Im working with my therapist to try and slowly work my way into being outside more.
submitted by ParaMorph to tressless [link] [comments]

2023.06.02 13:13 Charming_Educator612 UPDATE: I accidentally caused a war between my family and my brothers wifes family with one innocent text message.

Didn't thought I'd give an update but many interesting things happened.
So after my brothers visit his wife and him went to honeymoon. And the way the weddingparty went might have been even worse than I imagined. What happens now is incredible. When I said in the main post that two fronts had formed, I only meant that metaphorically, of course, but it's no longer that. While nothing much interesting happened in the first two days afterwards the terror started as soon as my brother and his wife went on their honeymoon.
My mom and my dad visited me and told me how the wedding party escalated and they were so close to physical violence. I thought it was funny at first but this truly bothers me. I also wanna point that you did a great job at convincing me its not my fault but hearing my parents side still gave me a bad feeling in my stomach.
However like I said the terror started shortly after they went to their honeymoon. And when I say terror I mean that my SIL's family found both my facebook and instagram account and started spamming me with hateful messages. I received insults and hateful messages from various different accounts who all had one thing in common. They all had somewhat of a christian theme and all of them had the same last name. So it wasn't hard to find out whose accounts it was. Mainly because I don't know my SIL's family at all. I only know her and I know her parents were homophobic christians.
But whatever. They not only started attacking me they also found the account of my boyfriend over my account because we're linked as a couple and started to send him the same messages. the messages contained on one side typical bigot stuff like: "you're burning in hell for your sins". One even called me and my boyfriend "two devils in disguise". The other side were just blatant insults. You get the idea. I called my parents and told them what they are doing. Then I sent a text message to my brother with screenshots of the messages his wifes family sent me to which he replied that I "shouldn't disturb him with that during his honeymoon as I already destroyed his wedding party".
I couldn't believe it. He was just like them. He did sent me an apology AFTER my mom told me she called him. But none of this is the main reason I'm giving you this update this early.
Because I got a call this morning from an unknown number. I hesitated because I thought it was one of them. And I was right but it was none of the people who insulted me. I heard a womans voice who introduced herself as the half sister of my brothers wife. She said it didn't went unnoticed what her family was doing and she wanted to apologize for them and that she understands how I must feel because she also has the problem that she can't come out. I asked what she meant and she said that she was into women but that no one in her family knows and after seeing how they reacted towards me she's even more scared to let anyone know.
I told her I'm not going to tell anyone in her family about this and that I don't blame her for her families actions. She thanked me and hung up. I don't know why but I have this feeling she only did this to protect her family from being reported. My mother wrote to me earlier that she wants to report the insults and the harrassment of these people and that she demands for my brother to divorce his wife or she will disinherit him from her will because "thats not how she raised him". A little radical in my opinion but I understand where she's coming from.
This entire thing escalated so much its unbelievable. Thank y'all for your support on my first post.
submitted by Charming_Educator612 to TrueOffMyChest [link] [comments]

2023.06.02 13:12 HolyDictatorFelixDoy Expansion of the Felodon Empire up to the discovery of the Grand West

Expansion of the Felodon Empire up to the discovery of the Grand West submitted by HolyDictatorFelixDoy to worldbuilding [link] [comments]

2023.06.02 13:08 SideLive8305 AITA for cursing my sister to never pass her board exams?

Me (24f), my sister and my mom was my dad’s second family. At first we were living at the Capital and years later, my half sister (16f) demanded for our dad to bring us (me, my sister and my mom) to the province, she thinks that we are living in luxury at the capital, which wasn't true because we were living paycheck to paycheck. To prove that, dad decided to have us live together in the province. At first, my HS (6 years older) was a quiet kid and we really got along.
Years later and I graduated from highschool, my mom decided to work abroad to support me for college, so I studied at a University in the city, few hours away from home and I had to leave my younger sister behind. I rented a room near the University. While attending classes, I was suddenly ignored and bullied by my classmates, causing me to frequently absent and fail my subjects. I didn't know why they changed until one of them told me that my HS told them that I was having my ex boyfriend come to my rented room everyday and I was not a virgin anymore (mind you this is in a conservative country and I was 16 that time, and my ex boyfriend was living a plane ride away, he also had conservative parents so no way we were seeing each other). They ignored me because they thought I was this liberated girl and they did not want to associate with that. The news spread to the whole department. I didn’t understand why would HS even do that, so I went back home and confronted her, she asked me why was I studying in the city while she stayed in the province to finish her degree. I told her that MY MOM was the one paying for my studies and that was the reason she went abroad in the first place, (HS thought that our dad was paying for my studies, he was only paying for my meals). she sees this as an unfair treatment then started lashing out. She told me and my sister that if it weren't for my prost!tute of a mother, she would have been in a happy family and she would have finished her degree in a university at the city. What made it worse is my grandma was on her side and called my mom a homewrecker, (I was 16 my younger sister was 12 while HS was 22) I was livid. I left home with my sister and never came back, and acrdng to my cousin, my grandma and HS were mad at me for leaving home. All of these resulted to me going through depression and almost un*living myself, I was 16 and taking care of my sister by myself for the first time in my life and the only family I had was turning their backs against me, saying I was a prost!tute just like my mom.
Around this time, HS was reviewing for her board exams to get her license, and I cursed her every night that she will never get the chance or get close to passing EVER. After 8 years and around 3 takes every year, she still can’t pass. I felt guilty for her but I also feel like I’m not to blame since I'm not the one taking the exams. I think this is her karma. Am I the asshole?
submitted by SideLive8305 to AmItheAsshole [link] [comments]

2023.06.02 13:02 RoseBlack2222 When It's All About To End

Part 1

Never trust someone who can easily get themselves out of danger to protect you from it.

August 14, 2052, freshwater sources have been depleted in the Middle East. Scientists are working to find a solution amidst rising acid levels in the ocean.

"What are you looking at?"

Carlo stared up from his phone. Jerell was rummaging through the pantry for something to fix and settled on some instant pancake mix.

“Just some more news. Shit’s bad across the globe.”

“Yeah, there’s no getting away from it unless you’re like Glen Dalton.”

Carlo sneered.

“That greedy piece of shit. You know, the other day I read that he and some other rich fucks were designing something so that they could escape the climate crisis.”

“Who said that?”

Jerell put their iron skillet on the stove and turned on the heat.

“A most likely now former employee of his, but his pr team must be monitoring things twenty-four-seven. The post was taken down within minutes. Luckily, I thought to get a screengrab of it.”

“So what are they coming up with then? Underground bunkers?”

“Could be, the poster said they were eavesdropping on some meetings.”

Jerell put some mix in a bowl along with cold water and stirred as Carlo went on.

“I’ll never understand the mentality. How can they think spending the rest of their lives cooped up won’t make them insane?”


“Yeah, probably. I’ve also heard that Chipotle has been closing down stores in what they refer to as nonprofitable areas.”

“So in other words, high crime?”

Carlo chuckled. Jerell put some batter on the skillet.

“Our location might not be far off. Maybe we should start job hunting.”

“Where? If they’re shutting down that means other businesses will be too.”

“Well, that’s another bridge to cross then. Maybe all of us should see about getting transferred.”

They had their pancakes drizzled in syrup with some cups of black coffee. When they were through eating, they brushed their teeth and then went out to the bus stop. During the ride, which was packed they had to listen to people ramble on about gas prices.

“The whole world’s gone to shit and that’s still all people seem to care about,” Carlo thought with an eye roll.

He exchanged a glance with Jerell who judging by his expression was thinking something similar. Not much had changed in the past two years other than their workload. On the plus side, they’d been making some traction with their music. It was slow, but progress nonetheless. The same could be said about Mona’s writing as well as Irene’s art.

When they reached the store, they found Mona sleeping at the back desk with her head over some papers.

“Did she spend all night here?” Jerell asked.

“Looks like it.”

Carlo lightly shook her shoulder. She gasped and sat up.

“Oh fuck,” she groaned, “what time is it?”

“A few hours until we open,” Carlo informed her.

She rubbed her temples, then opened a desk drawer, containing a Five Hour Energy. She cracked it open and downed it.

“What were you working on?” Jerell asked.

“Some paperwork Fred was supposed to do.”

“He coming in?”

“No, he’s on vacation, again.”

They had their work cut out for them. Irene arrived as they were about to open. The day went as usual, being busy yet monotonous. Something rare then occurred. The store slowed down. In fact, there were no customers.

“Okay, does anyone else feel freaked out right now?” Carlo asked.

“It is weird,” Mona agreed, “but we should just be thankful for it. By the way, I was wanting to talk to you all about something.”

When she had their attention, she went on.

“I was wondering if any of you wanted to collab?”

Jereall answered.

“I mean, we’d love to. How exactly would this work, though? I mean, me and Carlo are on music, Irene has her art, and you have your stories.”

“Well, I was thinking maybe I could give you guys a story to write some lyrics about, and then Irene can make some background art.”

Irene spoke up.

“I’d be up for it, but where would we find the time to put this all together?”

“I say we brainstorm now, then we can each work on our own parts and eventually put it all together.”

They agreed and the impromptu session began. The genre they decided on was a mix of dark fantasy and horror. They knew that they needed to get it done whatever they were making before their enthusiasm wore out. Mona would be the first to work on it, making her story. After that, she’d present it to the others so that art and a song could be made of it.

Elsewhere, trouble was brewing. Glen Dalton was not having a good day. During the past two years, he’d been having trouble quelling his workers. Sure, bribing politicians was easy enough, and so was convincing the general population of his greatness. However, getting people who were working under him to see the same view was more challenging.

Why was it so hard for them to fall in line? He’d provided jobs for them which was more than most people got these days. Not to mention, he always made sure they had long hours so they could afford to pay their expenses. Nobody was grateful. His parents worked hard to establish their empire and when it fell to him he was smart enough to hire people to help him manage.

What followed was supposed to be him enjoying his life. Instead, there was hardly anywhere he could go without encountering the parasites, be it his ingrate employees or the shoe kissers. At least he wouldn’t need to worry about dealing with them for too much longer, according to his hired researchers. In public, their opinion was the actions of his businesses and the climate crisis were in no way related. In private, they were constantly messaging him that the planet would in all likelihood not be fit for human life maybe even sooner than they were able to predict.

This had been the case for a while. Therefore, he hired engineers to work on a means of him escaping the coming disaster. It was something he intended to keep under wraps if not for one of his ex-employees. Although his social media monitors took it down almost immediately, many saw it, and the damage was done. It wasn’t his fans turning on him that he was worried about.

He knew that no matter what he did he would always have their loyalty. Rather, the more pressing concern was that the information would cause his opposers to throw caution to the wind and try to take him out along with his associates. Despite this, he was confident his people would finish things before everything reached a boiling point. For the first time that day, he allowed himself to smile. In his experience, patience paid off.

In the coming months, things would get far worse than anyone could’ve foreseen. While a lot of this could be attributed to the Dalton factories releasing gases into the air, it wasn’t something people needed to concern themselves with. No, they were more worried about who wanted to marry who or how someone chose to present themselves. Obviously, these things were far more important than the habitability of the Earth. People tended to have this ability to ignore an issue even as it stared them in the face.

However, some were fully aware of what was to come and no matter how hard they tried to get others to see it, they just wouldn’t. Others knew this was fruitless and so instead chose to prioritize their quality of life over quantity, what little they had to work with. The group that was especially good at this were artists. The reason being they possessed the unique ability to turn pain into drive. Such was the case for Mona and the others.

The project was slow to come together. When it did, it turned out better than they imagined. Mona’s story was set in another world full of gods and monsters. Someone tried to rebel against them and failed. Their punishment was an endless loop. They were sent to the deepest darkest part of the world.

Climbing out of it was possible. Unfortunately, every time they reached the top a monster controlled by the gods knocked them back down. Carlo and Jerell wrote lyrics detailing the rebel's pain, not only physical as the skin peeled to the bone with each climb but also mental of coming so close to freedom only to have it snatched away. Lastly, Irene painted the rebel on their back, haven fallen yet again and reaching a scabbed and bloodied arm toward the light. When it was all put together, they uploaded it where they could.

The reception for it was better than they expected. While there were some who did not care for it, others praised the creativity of the music and art. Mona saw more comments on her story from people who read it because of the song. It was the first and last major thing any of them would accomplish. They were okay with that.

Within the next year, things truly fell apart between natural disasters and scarcity. As mentioned, Glen Dalton had a means of escape and now was the time to use it. He was riding in his private jet. Every so often, he would glance out the window, seeing the fires of retaliation both figuratively and literally speaking. It took a while, but even his most loyal fans turned on him in the final moments, not that it mattered.

On remote islands, he and others had something worked on, ships to be exact, paid for generously with government funding. Of course, that meant he’d have to rub elbows more often with people he didn’t care for. That was a small price to pay, though. When he arrived, others were also there. It wouldn’t be long before the launch would commence.

Elsewhere, it wouldn’t be long before the rest of humanity would have to spend their final days. Most chose to do this with family and friends. Others, elected to have solitude. Mona and the others chose to spend their time left with each other and their families. They decided if they were going to go out anyway it may as well be on a happy note and so they gathered what little they possessed and threw a celebration.

The air was heavy with fumes as the rockets launched. Mona and the others were at Irene’s home, sitting together. Whatever differences divided people finally didn’t seem to matter.

“I don’t think it’ll be much longer,” Mona wheezed.

The end was a frightening thing and drugs helped. Among them was a bong which she took another hit from. She passed it to Carlo who lit it.

“People really enjoyed what we did,” Jerell smiled.

“Yeah, I just wish we could’ve done it sooner,” Irene replied.

“Better late than never,” Carlo said after blowing a cloud of smoke. “Still, it would’ve been nice if we had time to make something else. Can someone hand me the chips?”

With them were also snacks. The goal was to finish as much as they could.

“It’s a shame,” Carlo continued. “There’s a lot of places I wish I could’ve gone.”

“Jamaica?” Jerell suggested.

“That’s one. What about you?”

“I always wanted to see Japan.”

“Rome for me,” Irene interjected. “What about you, Mona?”

“The ocean.”

They were losing strength. In an effect similar to hypothermia, their minds were elsewhere. They passed away only hours later along with their families. Each one of them smiled as their imaginations made them experience their hearts’ desires. They were able to go happily. It would not be long until no living life would remain on the planet.

Glen Dalton and the other elites were in stasis as their ships were drifting through space. Before going into their slumbers, the ships connected to each other to form a moving city. It was powered through several means, mainly solar. Failing that, kinetic energy would also work for a while. The plan was to travel to an Earth-like planet and establish a new society. In order to manage everything, several AIs were created.

As tends to happen, however, things rarely go according to plan.

Author's Note: Finally, I'm able to get this next part out. I won't lie. This was a bit of a struggle to write, but the next part which hopefully should be the finale is where things will really pick up. Anyway, I'd you enjoyed this post, you can check out my links. The first shows where to support me. The second shows my list of stories and the last shows the articles I have written.
submitted by RoseBlack2222 to Odd_directions [link] [comments]

2023.06.02 13:00 superkilometerfilter Highest Mileage Car – The Most Interesting and Impressive Models

Highest Mileage Car – The Most Interesting and Impressive Models

If we look at the odometer of the highest mileage car of all time, we’ll be astonished, to say the least. Only one vehicle managed to break the records, yet other cars are also quite impressive. Their mileage exceeds what we perceive as normal substantially. These days, we frown upon the cars that have more than 200,000 miles on the clock. But for top mileage car and its counterparts, this number was simply an insignificant part of the journey.
These vehicles drove across the US, collecting mileage without flinching an eye. Is mileage as important as we believed? We’ll figure that out below.


The most mileage car that reached all-time highest mileage is the 1966 Volvo P1800. The last reported mileage was 3.04 million miles, which is really hard to process. An average vehicle will last around 300,000 miles if we’re lucky. Somehow, the owner of the Volvo P1800, Irving Gordon managed to maintain the car for a whopping 3.04 million miles.
Not surprisingly, the 1966 Volvo P1800 and its owner hold the Guinness World Record. According to Irving, the secret to making the car last so long is regular maintenance. He changed oil and transmission fluid frequently to enhance the lifespan of the vehicle.
Truth be told, P1800 isn’t an ordinary vehicle either. Volvo created a real beast with this one. It was designed for long road trips and that’s exactly what Irving used it for. In other words, the combination of the caring owner and the characteristics of the car itself made it possible to cover 3 million miles without any trouble.
After hearing about P1800, I’m sure you’ll start believing us next time we emphasize the importance of regular maintenance.


Even though no one managed to break the record set by Irving and Volvo P1800, other cars also exceeded everyone’s expectations. Below, you’ll find the list of the best high mileage cars that crossed the 1 million margin with ease.

1976 Mercedes 240D

Even though the 1976 Mercedes 240D didn’t manage to beat the longest-range Volvo P1800, it came quite close. The owner of the 240D was a taxi driver who used the vehicle both for personal and business purposes. He hit 2.85 million miles in 2004. That’s when Mercedes recognized it as their longest-lived car and saved a special place for it in their museum. In return, the owner of the 240D received a brand-new C-Class. Sounds fair, doesn’t it?

1979 Volvo 245 GL

Yes, we have yet another Volvo on this list. This time it’s their 1979 245GL. Even though it doesn’t have a special story attached to it, it’s still quite famous. With its durable components and indestructible design, 245 GL easily made it to 1.63 million miles. The company that owned this vehicle claims that they didn’t do anything special apart from following regular maintenance schedules. Maybe purchasing an old Volvo isn’t that bad of an idea after all.

1963 Plymouth Fury

Next, we have 1963 Plymouth Fury with 1.62 million miles. Unlike other vehicles on this list, the Fury was the least fortunate out of all. It would surely beat the Guinness World Record in 1999, but it was hit by a truck. The Fury didn’t survive and failed to break the record.

1963 Volkswagen Beetle

We wouldn’t necessarily expect a Volkswagen Beetle to be a reliable top mileage car. Yet it surprised us in the best way possible. The 1963 release of this model lasted for 1.61 million miles. However, the owner didn’t achieve this result with the original engine. In fact, he had to go through 7 motor swaps to make the vehicle last. If you’re not sure whether the engine replacement is worth the money or not, take a closer look at the Volkswagen Beetle.

1983 Lincoln Town Car

Another remarkable model on this list is the 1983 Lincoln Town Car. This fella traveled 1.3 million miles throughout its life. The owner claims that they didn’t have to do any major repairs. We don’t know if that’s true or not, but we know that they really loved driving.

1991 Chevrolet C1500

1991 Chevrolet C1500 is relatively new compared to other models, yet its owner still managed to reach around 1.29 million miles. He drove around 200 miles every day to deliver seafood. Such a long commute is the main reason why his C1500 managed to cross the million-mile mark.

1966 Mercedes 250SE

Finally, 1966 Mercedes 250SE accumulated 1.28 million miles throughout its life. It’s quite different from the newer Mercedes models that break down quite easily. However, even the 250SE had to go through major repairs to cross the million-mile mark.


Owning the best mileage car in world is beneficial as it makes you famous, stays by your side for a long time, and turns driving into a fun and enjoyable journey.

It makes you and your vehicle famous

Crossing even a 500,000-mile margin is a great achievement these days. Imagine managing to rack up over 1 million miles! As soon as you exceed the life expectancy of the vehicle, you’ll become a cool guy among your friends. But as you achieve unimaginable numbers, you’ll surely become famous. Unfortunately, you might have a hard time achieving those results with newer releases.

A top mileage car is a life-long companion

A car with the highest mileage is a life-long companion as it lasts for decades. Sure, you’ll have to maintain it religiously, however, your investments will pay off. But if you prefer changing cars frequently, this might even be a drawback.

It makes driving challenging and interesting

If you’re someone who is always looking for challenges, then turning your car into the highest mileage model could be an interesting thing for you. Why own an ordinary car when you can have one of the most famous models?


Alternatively, owning a high-mileage vehicle can have multiple drawbacks, including the risks of breaking down, difficulties connected with reselling, and expenses.

You don’t know when it’s going to break down

The most mileage car ever recorded will be quite old – you won’t be able to rack up 1 million miles on a vehicle that was released in 2020 or 2021. Therefore, you won’t be able to predict when something will break down. Unpredictability is probably one of the major drawbacks of the highest mileage vehicles.

You might have a hard time selling it

According to Forbes, the sales of high-mileage cars have increased during the last year. However, it still doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to sell the highest mileage vehicle easily. Plus, the famous cars that made history are already in the museums. Therefore, beating existing records and making a name is already a challenging task. Reselling such a vehicle is even more difficult.

It can be quite expensive to maintain

As we’ve seen above, the best mileage car in world made it so long because the owner maintained it religiously. Even though regular maintenance is crucial one way or another, such cars require even more attention. If you skip changing the oil or neglect the signs of damage, you won’t be able to keep the car for so long.


As a rule, people manipulate mileage with the help of various tools. Even though we’re amazed by the highest mileage models, people are still reluctant to purchase cars with high mileage. Trends might be changing, yet we can blame that entirely on Covid-19. The chances are things will be back to normal in a year or two. Consequently, people still manipulate mileage to increase sales.
Mileage correction tools and mileage blocker devices are the main units they use. The former enables you to change mileage entirely, while the latter stops recording additional km. These two seem equally effective, yet things are quite different in reality.
To be more precise, the mileage blocker is more effective as it doesn’t leave any trace. Its performance is impossible to detect even with a diagnostic tester. It’s an ethical tool that manufacturers created for testing purposes. Conversely, the effects of the odometer correction tools are quite easy to discover.
You should remember that odometer clocking is an unethical business. It’s not the worst thing in the world if you have legit reasons, however, it can be illegal in certain states or countries.


You can use the mileage blocker to test the performance of the best high mileage cars. Since these fellas require a lot of attention, we need to be extremely cautious with them. Buying a tool such as a kilometer stopper can be a great solution.
It will help you check the performance of the engine or other components in a controlled environment. But it’s important to find a model that actually delivers desired results. Finding a high mileage blocker for sale is essential for safe and effective operation.


It’s interesting to explore the highest mileage car and the models that came close to its records. Not only are they impressive, but they also show us a different perspective when it comes to mileage. However, it doesn’t mean that odometer figures aren’t important. Even the owners of the highest mileage vehicles admit the importance of regular maintenance and repairs. Thus, mileage manipulation still lingers on the automotive market.
submitted by superkilometerfilter to u/superkilometerfilter [link] [comments]

2023.06.02 12:59 reNENCEL I feel like the reason for me having CPTSD is so stupid

I was recently diagnosed with CPTSD and I hate it, the reason for which I've been diagnosed it and I started going to therapy seem so stupid to me and the fact that I let this happen to me makes me feel extremely weak
The sory is kind of complex but basically I discovered that one of my best friends had been involved in pedophilia, I tried talking to him but he refused to acknolewdge having done any wrong. When everyone else found out he then tried to put the blame in me.
He ruined my reputation overnight by stating that I was the pedo and used out of context screenshoots of me privately venting about problems I had have through the years with friends and acquaintances of mine to try and undermine their trust in me, he even exposed when I talkted to him about a sexual experience I had in which I felt coerced to have sex, and he told everyone about that, including my ex, to make me seem like a slut or something I guess.
Luckily it didnt work with most people but still was an incredibly stressful night and I did lose my boyfriend and a bunch of friends over this. I also received that night and for days to come plenty of hate messages telling me to kill myself, that I should be thrown in jail and my exboyfriend even said that the thought of having been with me made him want to throw up. I didnt have enough mental strenght to fight the slander.
I must say that in the past, when I was much younger, I did date a pedophile without knowing he was one and that has always made me feel dirty and kind of an accomplict to a criminal (even though I didnt knew shit and I reported him to the police afterwards)? I wont know how to describe it, but that somehow made things worse.
I know it was a stressful situation but there are people out there who have had much worse experiences, the worst thing it happened to me were some hate messages from people I appreciated, does some else also feel like his trauma isnt justified?
submitted by reNENCEL to CPTSD [link] [comments]

2023.06.02 12:57 Royal_Failure_123 Chest pain every morning for the past week and a half. It goes away in the afternoons.

Hi, I am 31yrs old, 216lbs, 6ft tall, and a male. I do vape as well. My diet has been poor as I’m going through a rough period in my life with increased stressors such as possible divorce and some other things. I am a Marine and Army veteran in the US with PTSD/ various nerve damage in my lower and upper back and neck. I stress a lot and I take medication for it. I have sleep apnea (use a CPAP) related to both PTSD and possibly my weight gain over the last decade. I was 180 in 2018 and 145 in the Marines at the start of 2010. Currently I take Bupropion at 300mg (PTSD) and Synthroid at 15 micro grams (for mild hypothyroidism). I sleep between 9 and 10pm to 5:30am every day. Recently for about a week and a half/ almost 2 weeks I have been having pain in the right side of my chest. The location is towards the right of my sternum and left of my pectoral. I feel it when I inhale deeply. It is sharp and sudden but goes away after exhaling. Periodically I can feel a lighter pain in the area when not breathing heavy or inhaling at all. It tends to go away completely by mid afternoon though. I have also not used my CPAP since February as I’ve been going through a lot like I mentioned earlier and been lazy about using it at night.
My wife, an ER nurse of 20yrs, has suggested costochondritis as she believes it’s muscular pain from movement.
I will eventually contact my VA doctor if this continues more. But I would like your thoughts on this and what I’ve described. Please and thank you.
submitted by Royal_Failure_123 to AskDocs [link] [comments]

2023.06.02 12:48 PsychologicalPilot55 Unpopular opinion Max Bowden overrated by fans

I know this is an EastEnders fan forum. I think I am the only person not impressed with Max Bowden acting. The press and the public reaction to Bowden acting is ridiculous. It just looks like PR. He isn't that good an actor. In fact, I think Max Bowden overacts. I think Bowden does a poor job in the gay romantic scenes with costar Tony Clay. They don't got chemistry at all. I don't believe Ben & Callum are a gay couple in love they look like two straight male actors getting a pay cheque. Tony Clay has phoned in his performances lately. Tony Clay looks bored and not satisfied. I see two young straight men uncomfortable kissing another man. The kisses between Max Bowden & Tony Clay are terrible they look so uncomfortable doing it. They just want to get it over with. Look at how Ravi kisses Denise or Linda kissed Mick. Even the lesbian couple Suki & Eve performance better the kissing so much better. I believe Suki & Eve are in love and a couple. Their kisses are so passionate they do an amazing job. You see the difference. An actor is supposed to make audience believe their characters are gay. I don't see this with Max Bowden or Tony Clay. The kissing is terrible the actors lips are tightly closed. I can tell they are straight actors playing gay men. By contrast, Harry Reid who is also straight in real life his Ben Mitchell character I believe is a gay man. Harry kissed other men passionate with lips wide open. Kate Oates it appears trying to make Max Bowden the next Danny Miller. In fact, I think Harry Reid Ben Mitchell performance much better. Harry's Ben was more human, more empathetic, and I had sympathy. Check Harry Reid performance when his first boyfriend Paul dies just incredible acting . One thing I respect about Harry Reid is how professional he was on and off camera. I am not going to get into details because people can use Google read the articles online themselves. Max Bowden behaviour on EastEnders set not professional at times. Max Bowden is obnoxious he can't take criticism online well. Getting criticism online is part of the job being an actor. It isn't personal. People got a right to say they don't like Bowden performance. Max Bowden definitely gets preferential treatment on the show by the producers. Max Bowden put in the spotlight because the producers at BBC think he can win show a big award. However, this is another summer Ben Mitchell character get spotlight. It just seems unfair to the young male actors in Bowden age group. Harry Reid never got the respect from the British media and fans. Harry Reid is a gentleman on and off the camera. Harry also a better actor and much believable playing a gay character than Max Bowden. Just my opinion.
submitted by PsychologicalPilot55 to eastenders [link] [comments]

2023.06.02 12:47 JoshAsdvgi THE GREAT MEDICIME DANCE



The Tsis-tsistas people have danced the great medicine dance for a long, long time, longer than anyone can remember or even imagine.
The dance represents the making of this universe and was conceived and taught to the people by the Creator, Maheo, and his helper, Great Roaring Thunder.
It portrays the making of the sun, moon, and stars; of rain, wind, and snow; of Grandmother Earth and the blue sky above her; of the mountains and rivers; of all living things, big and small.
The dance is performed especially in times of starvation, distress, and widespread death.
This, our most sacred ceremony, was brought to us by the Sutai medicine man Horns Standing Up, under the guidance of the Creator himself.
Long ago, when the earth and the people dwelling upon it were young, our tribe was starving.
The earth itself was starving, for no rain was falling.
Plants and trees wilted.
Many rivers dried up.
The animals were dying of hunger and thirst.
The Cheyenne had nothing to eat except some old, dried corn and their dogs, which used to carry their packs in those days before we had horses.
There were not many dogs remaining, and very little corn.
So the people left their old hunting grounds, left the land which had nourished them for generations, and started off in search of food.
They went north, where the drought was less severe, but found little game and no buffalo at all.
One evening they came to a stream in which water still flowed.
The leaders and old chiefs sat down beside this stream and sadly watched the thin, weary people pitching their tipis.
Then it came to the chiefs, as in a vision, what ought to be done.
They ordered all the men to go to the women, each man to the woman he felt most attracted to, and beg her to give him something to eat.
The men did as they had been directed, and each chose the woman who was to feed him.
Among the warriors was a young medicine man.
He went up to a beautiful woman who happened to be the wife of the head chief.
She set a bowl of dog soup before him and waited for him to finish eating.
Then he said: "I have chosen you from among all women to help me save our people.
I want you to go north with me, as the medicine spirits have commanded.
Take your dog teams and bring supplies for a long journey-now, right away!"
Though she was the chief's wife, the woman did what the medicine man had asked.
She was ready to travel in no time, and the two left unobserved in the dark of night.
Two days and one night they traveled without stopping, urging on the dogs who carried the travois with the tipi poles and hides and other things needed for survival.
At last they rested.
The man told the woman to put up the lodge and to prepare two beds of soft, fragrant sage for them to sleep on.
He said: "Make the tipi face the rising sun."
He also told her that Maheo, the Creator, had sent him a vision revealing that the two of them must go north and bring back the great medicine lodge, Maheo's symbol of the universe, and with it a sacred ceremony which they would teach to the Cheyenne.
"In my vision," he said, "Maheo promised that if the people accept and perform this holy ritual, the rains will fall again and the earth rejoice, the plants will bring forth green leaves and fruit, and the buffalo will return."
And so they traveled, the woman every evening pitching the tipi facing east and preparing the beds of sage on opposite sides of the tipi, the man sleeping on his bed, the woman on hers.
One night she said: "How is this? You made me run away with you, but you never approach me as man approaches woman.
Why did you make me go with you, then?"
He answered: "We must abstain from embracing until we enter the great mountain of the north and receive the sacred medicine dance.
After we emerge from the mountain, I shall embrace you in a renewal-of-alI-life ceremony by which people will continue to be born, generation after generation, through the woman-power of perpetuation."
At last they came to a vast, dark forest from whose center rose a cloud wreathed mountain reaching far into the sky.
Beyond the mountain they' saw a lake of unending waters.
They came to a large rock at the foot of the mountain, rolled the rock aside, and discovered an entrance.
They went inside the mountain and, closing the opening behind them, found themselves in the mountain's great medicine lodge, which was wonderful to behold.
Today the medicine tipi which the Cheyenne put up for their sun dances at Bear Butte is an imitation of that sacred mountain lodge.
The young man and the woman heard voices coming out of the mountaintop-the voices of Maheo the Creator and his helper Great Roaring Thunder.
Instructing them in the holy ways to perform the sacred ceremony, Maheo spoke for four days.
Then they had learned all there was to know about the dance, the Creator, said:
Now you will leave and teach the people what I have taught you.
And if they perform the ceremonies in the right way, they will be favored for generations to come.
The sun, the moon, the stars will move again in harmony.
Roaring Thunder will bring soothing rain and winds.
Corn and chokecherries will ripen again.
Wild turnips and healing herbs will grow once more.
All the animals will emerge from behind this mountain, herds of buffalo and antelope among them, and follow you back to your village and your people.
Take this sacred hat, and wear it whenever you perform the sun dance.
With this will control the animals-the buffalo, the antelope, the elk, the deer-who give themselves to the people for food.
The Tsis-tsistas shall never be hungry again, but live in plenty.
Put on this sacred buffalo hat as you leave, and Grandmother Earth will smile upon you forever.
And so the young medicine man of the Sutai and the good-looking woman left the mountain through the secret passage.
As they rolled the rock aside and emerged, buffalo without numbers streamed out of the
mountain behind them, and the earth brought forth green shoots.
Herbs and plants sprouted under a gentle rain, and the earth was like new, glistening in freshness.
Thus the man and woman walked sacredly, clad in buffalo robes painted red, and the medicine man wore his horned cap.
Their dogs walked before them, dragging their travois poles, while behind them followed a thundering herd of buffalo, and after these came all manner of animals, male and female, big and small.
At the day's end the man and the woman put up their tipi and lay down on their beds of sage to rest, and all the animals settled down to rest also.
And at some time during this journey back to their village, the man and the woman did lovingly what was necessary- to ensure renewal and continuation of life through woman-power.
Each morning during their travels, the man sang the sacred songs which the voice of Maheo
had taught him.
At last one evening they arrived near the stream where the people were still camped, awaiting their return.
The medicine man and the woman did not go into the village at once, but spent the night outside.
In the morning the medicine man put on issiwun and entered the camp, accompanied by the woman.
He told the people of all that had passed, told them that he had brought them the knowledge of the great medicine lodge and the great sacred dance, the songs and ceremonies that went with it, and above all, issiwun, the sacred buffalo hat which had the
power to control the wandering of the animals.
He told the people that if they performed the sacred sun dance, they would have plenty of buffalo to eat and would never suffer hunger again.
The people put up the medicine lodge according to the young man's instructions, painted their bodies in a sacred manner, and sang the right songs.
The children made clay figures of buffalo, antelopes, and elk and brought them into the lodge as a symbol of life's renewal
Since then, whenever the little figures are placed inside the Medicine lodge during the dance, some of those animals will come near to gaze upon the sacred tipi, and some of their animal power will linger on.
In the same way, our old friends, the Sioux people, fasten the figures of a man and a bison,
both cut from buffalo hide, to their sacred sun dance pole.
Then an eagle will come in and circle above the dancers to bless them.
Thus the Tsis-tsistas people performed the great medicine ceremony for the first time, and all was well again.
And the people named the young medicine man Horns Standing Up, because the sacred hat has two horns at each side.
-Told by Josie Limpy and Mrs. Medicine Bull, with the help of an interpreter, at Birney, Montana, in 1972.
submitted by JoshAsdvgi to Native_Stories [link] [comments]

2023.06.02 12:44 JoshAsdvgi The Great Bird, the Red Rat and the Ball Post

The Great Bird, the Red Rat and the Ball Post

The Great Bird, the Red Rat and the Ball Post
A Story from our Ancient Migration from the West
(We have tried to preserve the speaking style of the two old ladies who often told this story)
At one time in the ancient days, when the Muskogee people were coming from the west to the east on their long journey to the Sun's home, they camped at one particular spot for a while.
A very large and strange bird would come almost daily.
With its bow and arrows, it would kill one of the people and take it off.
Now this went on for a long time and it caused much consternation among them.
What are we going to do?
How are we going to protect ourselves from this great being?
And, almost every day this great bird would come and kill someone to take away.
They supposed for food for its young but we really do not know why it was occurring.
Finally, they made a large form in the shape of a woman out of reed, vine and cattail.
They put thistle blossoms on it as soft hair and made it into a very beautiful structure.
They set it up by a tall post where the bird came regularly.
After a while, the bird came again.
Seeing this wicker form, it took it away and was gone for quite some time.
Sometime later, the bird returned and left the form back by the post.
Out of it climbed a small red rat.
Now the people looked astonished and discussed among themselves, "what is this, we have never seen a small rat of this type and color."
So they took council with the rat, supposing the bird to be its father.
"Yes the bird was my father" said the rat.
The people carefully explained their predicament, their plight.
And the rat, not being welcome in the house of its father, said "well I will help you and you will help me."
So together they decided a manner in which they could kill this bird.
When next the bird came and landed on the tall post, quietly, quickly the little red rat scurried to the top of the post and swiftly gnawed the string from the bow of the giant bird. Now, the bird could not fire its bow and kill anyone, nor defend itself.
The people swiftly killed the large bird and when they did, they burned the bird and noticed that the bones were red on one side and blue on another.
They took note of all these things and even noticed where they had thrown rocks and their spears to kill the bird.
They decided to commemorate that event always but they did not want to hurt each other hurling rocks and spears at a tall post.
So, a thoughtful old man made two very small leather rocks; and, to them he attached a long, leather cord.
"This is the tail of the red rat that scurried to the top of the post to help us kill the great bird that was killing our people.
We shall remember the bird and how it was killed with the help of the red rat.
And so, this is the origin of the single pole ball game according to some old ones with long memories.
It is a game that the people learned during their long migration from the west.
This is the game that resulted from them defending themselves from that giant bird.
This is also why you see a fish atop some of the ball posts.
It is because some birds fish for food for their young and themselves.
That giant bird of old came and landed on a fish atop the tall post.
Oh, did I fail to mention that the people had put a large fish atop the post to attract the bird to come and see the woman made out of wicker and take her away?
This is the origin of the game balls and why we have a little string on those balls.
That is the rat's tail to remind us always of the rat's help at a time of need when the people where moving from the west to the east.
It also reminds us that at times, even the smallest of creature can be of aid to the larger beings!
To this day, our ballgame aprons are always red for one team and blue for the other.
This is how some of the old ones have told it to us.
submitted by JoshAsdvgi to Native_Stories [link] [comments]

2023.06.02 12:42 NovelAd4436 Job Offer and Salary Negotiation - Job in Villach

Hello Leute,
First of all apologies for doing this in English. Although I speak little german, still there will be some mistakes, and in the end I do not want any miscommunication and that's why English.
I am already in the salary negotiation stage in a really big company in Villach for an Electronics Engineering Position (:D You know which company it is). The job ad says it pays the salary according to the collective agreement and this job ad falls under group F-G. F has a minimum salary of 3409 Euros per month brutto and G has minimum of 3921 Euros Brutto(https://www.feei.at/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/minimum-salaries-white-collar-workers-2023.pdf). Me, a Masters Degree Graduate (Soon to be Graduate) from a public university in Germany, Falls under which category? F or G? How is this classification basically done? Is it the same process as what IG Metall Does?
Now I can understand that these salaries are Bare minimum what the company has to pay. Which means there is still room for negotiate. So I am still unaware of what a fresh graduate can ask for during the salary negotiation. What is the trend in salary for a masters Graduate? Although I will be a fresh graduate, I would still have a collective experience of about 1.8 years in the relevant field that I am selected, in the form of Multiple Internships, working student roles and Master Thesis. Does these count as 'Experience' with regard of salary negotiation?
And I would like to get some insights about Villach :D I am an Indian, who has been living in Germany for the past 2.5 years (East side in Thüringen). I can speak conversational german with a lot of grammar mistakes, yet I can hold conversations. But my job is completely in English. How would be the life in Villach? I obviously like nature/calmness than a City. I am more of outdoor person who likes to roam around in Bike, and also I play cricket professionally :D. In the end, is it really worthwhile to shift from Germany to Austria.
Any inputs for any of these questions would be really helpful. Thanks a lot in Advance :)
submitted by NovelAd4436 to Austria [link] [comments]

2023.06.02 12:40 Schectis94 Singapore East 400Ms FIX!

Hi all! I wanted to extend this knowledge on to all of the other Albion Online users who frequently log in from OCE to see latency levels reaching 400+ on the Singapore East server. As you know this game does not have well optimised servers, so it is left more on the players side to take measures to ensure optimal latency and make sure the game is playable.
For some, the issue doesn't and hasn't ever existed, for others it's a day-to-day dreaded experience. This includes mobile users and PC/
No more! I have a solution for you. Unfortunately before I introduce it, I want to give a pre warning that it is not a free service. However it is worth every dollar & cent if you experience latency or play on other games that do not have OCE servers.
It's called ExitLag. There's currently an Open Beta test for Android and is free for the first 3 days. For PC the program is official, and still offers a 3 day trial, it doesn't ask for a credit card either.
Install this on your device and find Albion in the supported games section. Select your server, and click the optimise button.
It will send up a temporary VPN service and enable specific routing to optimise your connection to that server.
I tested it. From 450ms average down to 90ms average.
Nuts. I can actually enter red zones now without feeling too vulnerable to compete.
I've also heard that it is an ISP issue and that some people have also solved this through contacting their ISP and requesting them to open the routing for you, drastically reducing your latency.
Thanks for reading & enjoy Albion Lag-free :)
submitted by Schectis94 to albiononline [link] [comments]

2023.06.02 12:37 DurableDurian ESFP Narcissistic (?) father clashing with me

F18 INTJ here. For a bit more context, my mum is stay at home + INFP and from east asia, while my father is working + ESFP and south asian. I'm not the highest in emotional intelligence, but haven't really struggled with social cues etc., so I'm neurotypical as far as I know. My parents' marriage is a bit rocky with a few mentions of divorce over the years, but they're hanging in there.

Anyway, I'm three months away from moving out for university (albeit still on their money), but full blown arguments have been occurring relentlessly. I'm currently sitting my final exams, and then I'll be going to uni from September in a new country. As a result, I'm stressed and nervous, and I'm pretty sure some rationality leaves my mind when I'm feeling anxious about this.

Every week or so, whenever we are talking, my ESFP father suddenly gets triggered and begins yelling and hurling hurtful words. This usually starts with him calling me stupid/idiotic/waste of time/ret***ed, and then blaming the east asian culture for it. If that wasn't bad enough, he blames my mum for making me into a mirrorred 'stupid' version of her, and throws a few unrelated verbal punches to her that are uncalled for. This goes into silent treatment for about an hour, then round 2 of yelling. Usually this resolves it with a few apologies from my side (which I don't mean, I struggle to understand his perspective 95% of the time), but today, he's staring out the window - I think he has reached existential crisis mode. It doesn't help that my father's relationship with his father used to be dry, and now consists of ass kissing and fishing for attention even though my father's meant to be a sensible man in his mid 40's...

To the more mature INTJs (compared to me), how do I deal with this, both in the short run and long run? And for those ESFP lurkers, please give me a hand and help me understand how the unhealthy version of you operate...

Edited TLDR: INTJ daughter vs unhealthy ESFP father. Only have 3 months left of living together, but I'm struggling to deal with his sudden outbursts. Help.
submitted by DurableDurian to intj [link] [comments]

2023.06.02 12:37 CervielWasTaken Moral Alignments for characters?

Tw, topics of abuse, war, disaster, mutating and child sacrifice Long post, im sorry for my bad english.
This might be weird question but recently I have been finally designing and improving importent characters in universe, and to do it, im doing these funny ,,meet my OCs'' memes... But they always need moral alignments.
I know only that main character is lawful neutral, and very morally grey. But... I have sort of problem with other characters. Can somebody help me with naming their moral alignments?
General universe concept, shortly, to get you into idea: Horror-Drama, with fantasy race called (but only called) vampires, being exiled and finding underground place, thousands of years its thriving hidden cyberpunk world, when planet earth is dying outside and humans are trying to break in, to avoid dying out from eco-disaster. In same time, vampires and some other races are struggling with mutating from radiation from crystals, that left from mysterious apocalypse that made antic underground race vanish. Vampires want to leave, and rebel, but king uses violence to silent them.
Now, to characters (btw, don't give me tips how to improve em much, this universe is just for fun of creation)
Main 1 - Shapeshifter dragon that failed fight with king and becomed his puppet, hiding in disguise of young vampire. Does not understends vampires but tries to. Has agression problems, but takes medicine that makes him calmer, but is still maniacal in fight, because, as dragon, this is what he is created for, his species was meant to kill during first undeworld's doom (tho, he didn't fought during it, he's way too young, it was many generations past him, its just insticts) Generally mostly protects vampires from mutants, that are big danger, but is also sadist in battle, mostly to enemies, such as humans who are trying to break into underground. Tries his best to protect others, and to actually do good... But also kills citizens that his king marks as rebels, because king brainwashed him into thinking its for good, because ,,they are breaking rules.''. Later, realizes its horrible, as requests are being worse and worse, but can't escape because of becoming too weak from meds, and possibility of dying, including being hunted by angry citizens and king himself. King made him not socialize much besides training army and talking with other importent in nation people, making him lack friends to turn for help. Depressed but hides it. Finally, kills king as that man tries to sacrifice his own (king's) daughter to ancient gods. In side story part, he tries to protect second dragon, from weaker breed, water one, healer. She's my friend's OC, and is generally endangered fauna part, shapeshifter too. That woman makes soldier dragon open up his eyes a bit, but also calms him down, finally becoming much needed friend to him, and later his wife. He's very protective to her, and causes whole change into terrarin by requesting labs to make more lakes and rivers and seas, for water fauna and flora, and to improvment of artifical water. Tries to do good but does bad, against his will. Tho, finally gets break from killing innocent, as king dies.
Main 2 - Opposite of first, wants revolution. When he was young, king marked his parents as rebels, killing them in process, on his very eyes, sending dragon main to do it (importent, dragon main was also younger here and didn't understood much from it). This made him grow bitter, anxious, before it growing into agression and hate for goverment and brutal military. He starts revolution, encouraged by older guy, who becomes his right-hand man. Its firstly pacifist, but as more citizens join, angry for blood of ones who harmed them, leader himself gets into agression. He gets corrupted by power and feeling fear of goverment, first time meeting such of big danger, but he's also ignoring innocent victims. Revolution starts vandalizing firstly, before burning warehouses with food (mistaking them for weapon ones), murdering head of propaganda media and, in end, causing civil war. It ends with many innocent victims, causing even main 1 to break down, calling main 2 to hipocryte and corrupted hero.
Now, to other characters.
King - Started as anxious and depressed prince, progressed into tyrannical and depressed, insane king, and this is stage where story begins. He generally wants better for people, but knows that humans will kill vampires and others. Mutation causes him to lose his temper and mind, making him more agressive, in pain and (sometimes) feral, and as story progresses, he's more and more abusive to his daughter, (mostly) dragon main and secretary. Manipulates dragon main and many of other military leaders, to create vision of holding control and making good, when he himself knows its not true and that what he does is evil. He hates himself deeply for what he has done, and knows that both world above and staying in underground means death, and that citizens won't listen to him, he already tried paciftist ways. He simply does not see way from this situation. When his cousin wants to create country himself, he's against it. Gets manipulated by leader of army, into thinking that these lands belong to him. In effect, said leader and his wife start war with south of underworld, killing even more citizens. Tries to create magical energy barrier by sacrificing his daughter to ancient godness.
King's Cousin/King 2 - Opposite of king, one that listens to his citizens and is much calmer. Belives that they will someday escape, until sad news that it won't work. Still, he tries to make many festivals and give fun to his people, to brighten their days with all sorts of funny activites, creating nice place for them. As private person, he's a bit chaotic but in mostly good way. Is kinda this weird dude who loves to make others blush, by sending them compliments and smug remarks, but never steps too far. Has open relationship with his wife, that she herself suggested, because of them being not very compatibile with views in bed. Apart from it, they are loyal to each other and love their other half, might actually have most healthy relationship it this universe. When war breaks into his country, he makes sure everyone is safe, and tries to end it. Saddly, his wife dies in final battle, with general of Northern underworld killing her. With this, he becomes depressed, but still tries to keep everyone happy, in his now free country. Many years after war, he sacrifices himself, afraid that he will also mutate into something like his cousin, because of strong power that comes before mutation.
Leader of air forces - One of leaders that keep North in check. Victim of her father, who abused her and got into her mind, that only brutal man will be worthy spouse. Tried to heal by dating dragon main, but trauma was too much. In fact, with how polite he was, she got agressive and abused him mentally, making him feel unworthy of love. After this, she started to date General, who was known as big brute. She was victim of him, but tried to act like its okay, and brushed all people who tried to help her. She takes part in war with Southern Underground, not seeing issues with it. She generally wants profit and fame, because this is what she lost in her past, because of theatre where she worked as top actress burning up, wounding her and stripping her from everything she had.
General - Artifical made vampire-soldier, big brute with no reedeming traits. Personalization of my very own fear of war. He's brutal, sadistic and only cares about money, fame and beating weaker ones. Rules? Who cares, most importent is fun! Oh, fun will be murdering innocents? Who cares! This is his point of view. He also harms his wife, and most of other goverment leaders.
Scientist - She was head of royal lab, seeking potion of eternal life. Shockingly to others, she actually created it, and drinked it other day. It didn't worked as planned, making her much younger, both physically and, kinda, mentally, changing her into mid teen. From this time, she's object of jokes, but does not care. She generally does not care about most of stuff, including what happens outside lab. On request tho, she improved artifical sky and waters with her technology, creating ilussion of underground being outside world.
Media head - Man who only cares about profit and fame, again. Got into his role with boot licking to goverment and his manipulation powers. Spreads propaganda everywhere, to get money from hosting his tv program and silencing medias that support rebels, revolution or even speak bad about king. Is general jerk in private life. Victim of Revolucionists, who killed him.
Secretary - Probably my favorite character apart from dragon main. Man who was cheerful and full of energy as young, and was friend with (also young back then) dragon main, before accident in battlefield, when their both, as leaders, made mistakes. This mistake nearly costed his dear friend life, and he really blames himself, as much as dragon main blames himself too. With it, their friendship broke up progressivly.
In general, with where story is, he's old sad man, who retired from army to work on papers. He, as only character, knows that world above underground is dying out, and knows everything is pointless and that they all are doomed. Despite it, he secretly helps ones marked by king as rebels, helping them hide and survive. Yet, all his sucesses are also fails of dragon main, who is tortured mentally and physically because of it, and secretary gets even more sad because of it. He, as goverment part, hates goverment himself, and views them as villians, apart from king's cousin and dragon main, who he sees as misguided, either thinking about him as lost sheep or tool in hands of tyrant. In the end, for brief moment he becomes king, before princess becomes queen, and fires both general and air forces leader, and ends war with South. He, as only character here, dies peacefully, from old age.
Princess/Queen - Character that I pretty much need to work on. No, generally, im too focused on war part, im forgetting she exists- She's pretty young at start, being naive, and not knowing what her dad does. After king tries to sacrifice her, she becomes traumatized, but gets therapy. Still, wounds never close, and it has left marks on her mental health. With her becoming queen, she tries to fix all wrong doings of her father, completly changing how army worked, changing role of dragon main into just mutant-killing-soldier and creating alliance with her uncle, fixing all damage that has not been fixed. She sacrifices herself in end of her life, knowing that she is next in line to mutate into something too powerful to be stopped without problem, like her dad.
Others: ,,Fox'' - Revolution leader's right hand man. Old man who's dad, soldier, got killed when trying to cross border of underworld and surface, making ,,Fox'' deeply hate military and rules that king set. He has agression problems, and struggles with alcoholism. In general, wants anarchy and doom of goverment. With story progression, starts being more and more agressive in attacks on goverment, taking lead himself, and younger leader is too blind to see bad sides of it. With his death during civil war, leader is shaken, blaming goverment, starting worst part of war. Besides of being in rage and bitter, he has daughter himself, and tries his best to keep her life good, and quit alcohol for her. He wants to belive for better tomorrow for her, and is afraid she will get hurt by goverment, like his father did, dying because rule of not leaving underground.
Cez - Only character I will name here, because I have no nickname for them. Right-hand-person of dragon main, in slaying mutants. Generally cares about safety of people, and her leader's good health, both physical and mental. Likes to keep good atmosphere in their military group, tho might be seen as a bit of cold to public eye. Is bitter to king's rules, but does not go against it, yet complaining about sudden rule of killing revolutionists, but not supporting them anymore when they become too hostile.
submitted by CervielWasTaken to worldbuilding [link] [comments]

2023.06.02 12:25 Rhion-618 Just One Drop - Ch 88

Chapter 88 - From All I Believed

Morning, Two days before Shel
Captain Setar suppressed a smile as she watched the Ops door close. “Well, that was interesting…Ce’lani is a little cranky.” The last vestiges of sleep clung to her as she settled down into the command chair. She felt worn out, but it was the cusp of dawn, and Pod Seven had only just turned over control. “Report on station?”
“The perimeter’s secure,” Jelki replied crisply, pulling up the map of the campus on the main screen. “Pod One is on station and reports twelve by twelve. Sgt Ma’reis is already complaining about janitor duty.”
“Ah, first pod problems.” Setar shook her head, rubbing her eyes and blowing gently on her mug of tea. “What about the objective?”
“The objective’s secure,” Re’lan piped up, already sounding chipper. The woman could have been priestess of Jrafell. Her unwavering cheeriness would have been a character fault if she weren’t so devoted. As it was, it was a damned penance for everyone else at this time of day.
Jelke finished running the obligatory shift change checks and stretched. Things wouldn't get interesting until breakfast, but watching the perimeter was a given. It didn't keep the curiosity out of her voice, as she cocked her head and glanced over. “What was interesting with Captain Ton’is, Ma’am?”
“Mm! Well… it appears she’s expecting a call from Professor Warrick today,” Setar drawled out, taking a moment to savor their reaction. “She felt a need to remind me she’s devoted to Hele, and that if Be’ona or I let her sleep through the call, she’s going to ‘fuck us up the ass with a lasrifle and pull the trigger’.”
Re’lan was probably blushing like a cadet, but Jelke shook her head ruefully. “I expect there's a ‘but’ in there somewhere, Captain?”
“Well, yeah, she said that’s where the rifle would go…” Setar sniggered before taking a long sip from her tea, and slid a bit lower in the command couch. Her eyes wandered to the traffic on the board. “She also made it clear what’ll happen if anybody listens in.”
Thoughtful silence descended. Setar almost counted to twelve before-
“We’re going to anyway, right Captain?” Jelke asked nonchalantly. “You know, for security’s sake?”
“Sergeant, that would be a base infringement of Captain Ton’is’ privacy, which is in fucking short supply for everyone in this bunker.” She rubbed her chin thoughtfully, watching the steam rise from her mug. “Deeps right we are.”
_ _ _
Lady Wicama regarded her guest with interest as their autocab plied its way about the outskirts of Prelitauri. While she’d been free and cheerfully able to accommodate Khelira’s request, Monsignor Santino Barcio, or Friar Barcio, as he preferred, was not at all what she’d been expecting. She supposed it was a matter of exposure…
The Palace had never quite been the same since Princess Yn’dara’s wedding. Yn’dara was one of those odd Royals who, though well-regarded, was seldom in the public eye. A perennial favorite of the Empress, indulging her unexplained absences passed as a matter of course for the Court. Widely known to be estranged from her mother, Princess Arduina, no one enquired either deeply or often, so when she suddenly resurfaced, her return would have equally passed without comment… if not for the wedding.
Yn’dara had shocked the entire Nobility.
While it was common for any woman to marry into an established family and become a kho, the wedding should have been singular for a Princess. Princesses didn’t marry into families, Princesses formed them. And while Yn’dara technically had done so, she’d taken on four unmarried women at the same time as her husband, who was a Human! Favorite or no, the wags in the court were agog that the Empress accepted Adam so readily! The Empress, however, had been adamant; Yn’dara and her family had her blessings, and were to be left alone.
However, time had proven to be on Yn’dara’s side as well as the Empress.
After a wedding seen across the galaxy, Yn’dara’s family settled into a life of public duty. They spent long trips away from Shil, and while quietly dismissed as ‘pleasure excursions’, her trips often showed the throne to the outer provinces. Although her public engagements were few, she’d become a vocal advocate of the Empress’ reforms against graft and corruption, and, gradually, the jealous mutters about scandalous excess and Human debauchery faded away. Her marriage remained an unusual footnote, but time had demonstrated the value of Yn’dara and her wives to the throne.
Then there was Prince Adam.
Rumor held the Prince had made a favorable impression on the Empress years before, at an event hosted by Yn’dara’s mother. While details had never been forthcoming, a more significant story about Adam wafted briefly through the ranks of the Golden Glaives.
Both stories had been effectively silenced, but Wicama knew who to talk to, and being Khelira’s guardian carried a certain clout all its own. Though that influence waxed and waned over the years, raising Khelira required being aware of events that could shape her future, and she’d proven herself to be discreet. Over time, doors had opened and words had flowed.
Time had been on Prince Adam’s side, as well.
As the years passed, she’d had an exposure to Prince Adam that few of the court and none of the public enjoyed. She’d been wary at first, but he’d been a good friend and mentor to Princess Khelandri before she joined the Marines, and however infrequent his presence, he always displayed a keen mind, a loving heart, and a steadfast duty to his wives. Privately, he absolutely doted on young Khelira and possessed a loyalty to the Empress that you could bend battlesteel around. The two got along famously - after all, he was a veteran.
Not Navy, mind you, but you couldn’t have everything.
And so, as Humanity began making forays upon the galactic stage, her first impression of the species had been favorable. She’d witnessed Adam mature into his role with the court, and while the issue of children remained unspoken, that faded as well. At the time, Yn’dara had been sixth in the line of succession. A year after the wedding, Kamaud’re became an adult, followed a year later by Khelandri, and the matter became largely moot.
As for a second impression on Humans, Khelira had provided enthusiastic reports about Thomas Warrick. While the Princess thrived at the Academy, Warrick seemed to be something special.
The absence of a father in her life had been a void that no woman could properly fill, but she’d done her best. Although she’d entertained a few qualms, as the months passed by, Warrick remained a positive influence. Khelira’s messages were infrequent by necessity, but she’d written about her distress over Warrick’s family and clearly been moved. Prince Adam carried his own scars, but what veteran didn’t? He hid them carefully around Khelli, and if Warrick had chosen not to, he’d provided a useful sense of perspective, instead. It was time for Khelira to grow up, and that meant facing the grist of differing opinions and ugly realities. That was what education was actually for, and Warrick seemed to be doing admirably well as a grindstone.
All of that was before the library incident, which settled her opinion once and for all. While erratic, irreverent, and capable of violence, Humans clearly could be a positive influence when channeled in the right direction. Yn’dara had shown what a good Shil’vati woman was capable of with Prince Adam, and Lady Pel’avon was following suit.
And at least the wags at the Palace wouldn’t speak of Yn’dara’s state wedding again. As a subject for spectacle, Miv’eire Pel’avon’s had put it to shame.
Still, it was good to see Warrick married. While Professor Ha’meres scandalous exploits had faded from the public eye, older wo… more mature women didn’t forget such things. The man had been a daring adventurer - and an inveterate gadabout - and an unmarried man around that many young women was too tempting for some girls. A wife or two… preferably more… resolved such idle fancies. If the Pel’avon ceremony had been somewhat… questionable in taste, compared to Adam’s, it remained legally binding. Warrick was willing to settle down, and by all reports his wife had a proper sense of decorum.
Human men seemed to be a trial from the Goddess, but hopefully she and her kho-wife could sort him with time, love, and kindness.
While exposure to only two Humans was not what she’d call a comprehensive sample, in both cases her impressions had been quite positive. And so, when Khelli asked her to escort a Human Priest about the city, she’d been entirely willing.
Thus far, it had been an enjoyable morning. While there had been occasional missteps, their conversation had been delightful as they traveled from property to property. Even so, she hadn’t expected to meet such a kindred spirit.
Admittedly she’d stammered a bit when he mentioned eating the flesh and drinking the blood of his redeemer. On the other hand, she compared it to the first time she’d bled into the ocean, mingling salt in her blood with the seas. He’d turned shockingly pale, so she changed the subject. It was a purely symbolic act to Drepna - just a cut on the thumb, for goddess sake...
She’d taken extra care afterwards. Barcio could be clearly a sensitive male, but diplomacy was part of her work. Even calling her role ‘work’ was deceptive. She’d raised Khelira in every way an Empress could not.
It was easy for other women to appreciate the prestige of her position, but few understood the depth of it - or the satisfaction.
During her career in the Navy, her flotilla had provided direct support for the Empress, and they’d come to work closely over three tours. After Khelira’s birth years later, the invitation came from the Royal Household to act as her guardian, and she’d never looked back. Competition had been fierce for the prestigious position, but applying had been the best move of her life.
Empress Kamilesh loved all her children and had spent as much time with each of them as she could, but her work was all-consuming, and after her husband’s act of… Well, the Empress had been there, but she’d born her pain privately. She had lost herself in her work for many years before recovering a semblance of her former self, and her absence had taken a toll on her children. Kamaud’re had taken it the worst. Khelandri had bounced back, while everyone doted on Lu’ral. Barely more than an infant, Khelira had been far too young to remember. Wicama had been there through all of it.
It was a good life, and the princess was a delightful girl. For Wicama, the absence of a man in her life was something she’d felt now and then, but she invested her life in Khelira. The Empress treated her as a member of the family in all but name… and in a very real sense, the child you raised was your child.
Looking back, some women might insinuate she’d given up her personal life to raise another woman’s daughter. They couldn’t have been more wrong.
She had her calling - just as Friar Barcio had his.
Yes, he was a priest, and his religious strictures were very unusual. A male priest in any of the Shil’vati faiths would never be placed under such restraints, and for a man to go unmarried was noteworthy…
But she understood having a calling. Oh yes, she understood that as few others could.
After discussing his needs, they’d set out to examine three properties around Prelitauri. The Friar’s individual requirements were deceptively difficult when taken as a whole. A complex coupling a generous auditorium, ample administrative space, and he clearly needed substantial grounds to properly convey a sense of aura. Such accommodations were seldom on the market, and since he expected his colleagues to arrive in weeks, his need was immediate.
Thankfully, urban renewal moved in waves. The tides of such fashions meant Prelitauri was once again an up-and-coming area. While difficult to find, three older structures had the potential to be suitable, and so it was that she’d enjoyed learning about her guest as they explored the tiny district.
The Monsignor spoke four other Earth languages fluently. He tended to break into his native tongue and hadn’t mastered contractions yet, but his Vatikre was passable and he listened carefully, seldom needing to ask about a word. After limiting her contractions when she spoke, their conversation flowed easily.
Barcio had shown little enthusiasm for the first two properties, but their conversation regarding other matters never waned. She expanded on her devotion to Drepna, Shil and the roles of each goddess while asking careful questions of his faith. His own inquiries proved thoughtful, and he was as avid in politely asking after her beliefs as explaining his faith.
After their second hour together, she’d taken the liberty of calling Prelate Hi’meta Merlamiss. As a priestess of Drepna’s second circle, Merlamiss had proven a valuable contact over the years. Well connected, she enjoyed a good relationship with many other prelates of the Divine Halls; she also got on well with Xinfess, the Rakiri’s Speaker of the Dark Mother on Shil. A meeting with Barcio would readily open doors for his group that might otherwise prove difficult to attain, and while Barcio’s accent strained now and then, it was clear the Monsignor and the Prelate shared a questionably low sense of humor.
Given a chance, they’d probably get on famously.
Certainly, that would be a blessing. Their hunt for a suitable facility had not gone nearly so well, and while Barcio had been conciliatory toward the first two facilities, she could tell he wasn’t taken with either. The last property wasn’t high in her expectations, so she found herself casting her head to the side when it swept into view and he clasped his hands in excitement.
”*È bella!* This is beautiful,” he exclaimed. “It reminds me a bit of my childhood home in Sacile!”
She looked out at the complex with its low gabled roofs, as their cab wound up from the entrance. Beside the drive, a small river meandered through the campus past the main buildings. She tapped the console to slow their ride and considered the place in a new light. “I’m… well, a bit surprised to be honest, Friar.”
“Please! We have been traveling for hours now, and I am not holding a service.” The Friar spared her a warm smile, before gazing back at the premises. “I would take it as a great kindness if you would call me Santino.”
“Very well - on the condition you call me Wicama.” It had been some time since anyone called her by anything but title or rank, and the informality was pleasant. Still, as their autocab closed on the end of the lane, she let such thoughts go and considered the location properly.
The buildings were low, sensible cubes, but that was largely an end to it. The architect had made some unusual choices in Helkam motifs that strained understanding. A long colonnade bordered the river, and that seemed nice enough, but the buildings! Forgoing purple was one thing, but they were beige! With unusual elements and the repressively bland color scheme, it was small wonder the clerk handling the property confessed that the space had lain vacant. Its original owners went into foreclosure. The exotic design had proven unable to attract interest, laying dormant ever since.
Barcio… Santino… seemed delighted, however, and she pulled up the specifications on her omni-pad. “This site has two smaller auditoriums besides the main one, while the central building has four floors. One is underground, but all the floors face an interior atrium.”
As the cab gently halted in the car park, she climbed out to hold the door but Santino had already scrambled out and was examining the gardens with evident interest. Tall stands of parago trees were losing the last of their fronds for the year, but she had to admit the grounds were substantial. Yesterday’s storm had left the morning air cold and crisp, lending the gardens an appealing aspect. Untended since the last owners, much could be done with them.
She had given up trying to escort the Friar anywhere after their first two stops, and now they fell into an easy pace side by side as they strolled toward the main building. She turned back to the property itself. “So, this reminds you of your home?”
It wasn’t exactly Helkam architecture - domes weren’t covering every possible surface - but the builder had clearly been nodding in that direction. A promenade wound to the entry, supporting white chevrons that arced into the sky. The bright morning sky shone through clever cutouts, making the unusual design at least look light, rather than oppressive and unappealing. With a decent renovation, the facility had possibilities, and the price was comparatively low.
“*Si!* Oh, not so much like home, but there is the sense of it. I was born near the sea, and this feels… similar.” He gave her a depreciating smile before rolling his eyes. “It may not please everyone who is coming, but ‘everyone’ is not here, so I am allowed some indulgence! Better to have something waiting than nothing at all. I confess, some of my colleagues thought we’d only manage when the bridge to Messina is finished.”
“You should not have been sent ahead alone! Surely your colleagues were not that worried about a poor reception,” she tutted. Priest or no, there were decencies about a man traveling alone to be observed. “You shouldn't need a bridge to find a place for your mission. I don’t know where Messina is, but I’m certain Prelate Marlemis wouldn’t stand for it!”
“Tch! Excuse my poor efforts! The older I get, the more I remember things like yesterday. Unfortunately, the yesterdays I remember so well were thirty years ago!” Barcio smiled wryly up at her as they walked. “The ‘bridge to Messina’ used to be a saying… People dreamed of building a bridge to Sicily, and it became something that never happened. My English friends would instead say ‘when hell freezes over’. *Un'espressione volgare*, but very much to the point.”
“Ah… I’m sure we can manage something, and this could be made presentable. Maybe change the beige to a pale violet?” she offered helpfully as she made it to the door first, holding it open. “The aura inside isn’t so bad.”
“You’ve said that several times, but I do not know what you mean?” He paused in looking around the entry, which had an open foyer exposing the two floors above and led out to the atrium beyond. “What is ‘aura’? I do not think I know the word as you mean it.”
“Aura is… Hmm…” Wicama paused thoughtfully and gestured at the atrium. The interior was in better shape than the grounds, and the architect had done something clever. Not yet noon, a bevel along the top edge filled the space with sunlight. “Have you ever walked along a beach and wanted to save a shell? When you are there, that is aura… When you take the shell home and think of the beach, that is aura, but… less focused. Diminished. You sense the beach because of the shell, but you are not at the beach. Places can have aura, but it is more than character. If you move through a place and find yourself experiencing it? That is aura.”
“Mhm! *lodevole!*“I like this idea very much. It would be right at home in the Vatican. Not everyone understands a space can move the spirit, or lend power to a message.” He nodded thoughtfully as he cast his eye about the open space. “With the right advice, perhaps we can lead others to these halls.”
“Perhaps. If you tour the Palace, I hope you’ll allow me to show you about? A lot of the real gems are hidden from the public.” She watched as he wandered toward the double-helixed stairways bordering the room. Those were definitely Helkam; walking up one side without meeting someone coming down the other was an interesting experience… once. After that, they could be an absolute nuisance. Spotting the elevators, she called him back. “The nice thing is this place is inexpensive! That will pad out your funds for a good remodel.”
Wicama quietly thanked the Goddesses that the builder’s had the good sense to install normal Shil’vati-style elevators. The sides were open, granting a wide view out over the atrium. The grounds were terraced to create a small park; that could make the underground space bearable, and the plans made them seem spacious enough. Not to everyone’s taste, but pretty. “I feel bad for asking, but can you afford the building? If the price of the first two bothered you, we can find others.”
“I would not hear of it! Thank you for your concern, but we are economical with our funds, and were sent with a generous sum. This is an important venture to everyone involved,” Barcio clasped a hand over his chest, as he shook his head. “I can not thank you enough for your help! You have surely spared me weeks, and I might not have found something half so suitable. As it is, the grounds are enough to gain me converts. Father Roscio and Pastor Weber will surely plant a vineyard before the inside is half done!”
“It’s not a problem. I have plenty of time,” she replied, dismissing the matter as inconsequential. “I work at the Palace, but with the Court away and my daughter at school, I’m a bit at loose ends just now. At the very least, I insist on helping you through the paperwork. I wouldn’t put it past some realty clerks to try and overcharge you… Someone from outside Shil, that is. I’ll ensure they stick to the listing.”
“To someone not from Shil… or someone who is not Shil’vati, perhaps?” His head canted slightly to one side, but he smiled as he said it. “*Certamente!* I would not dream of preventing you, though Rabbi Kleinbaum will be bitterly disappointed she has nothing to moan about.”
“I hope you won't take this badly, as I’ve only met one Human.” Wicama gave him a smile. She was long past girlish uncertainty, and the Navy had taught her a generous measure of professional poise to go with her skills as a markswoman. “You aren’t what I expected.”
“You know the professore, then?” He sucked in a breath and pursed his lips. “I am still deciding what sort of man he is.”
“No, actually, I know another Human but I’ve not… I have not… met Professor Warrick.”
“So. You mean that I am not *un barbaro*? I am here to make sure that we are seen as something more than savage warriors, *capisci*?” He studied her expectantly. “While the Imperium is doing good work on Earth, some still live in want. The Imperium provides enough for all to survive, but not all live in plenty. We need to present ourselves well.”
”That seems like a very secular outlook.” She offered, as they rode up to the third floor. Barcio asked for an explanation of the word, and by the time they’d made their way through the first offices he had the idea.
“My church has not always troubled itself with such things, but our holy father is greatly concerned with such inequalities. He takes it upon himself to address such matters with the Governess, when their time allows.”
“Your church has a good relationship with her?”
“È straordinario! The Governess adores our food, and while she was adamant about taking quarters in the Vatican, she has taken pains not to disturb us.” He shrugged dismissively. “*Cosa sai fare?* It seemed a small price, and we have endured far worse.”
“I used to hear terrible stories about red zones on Earth, though the Humans I’ve met don't seem the sort. It is good that your… pulp?” She tried the word and was rewarded with kind laughter and a gentle correction. “It is good that your pope concerns himself with the full welfare of the people and works with your governess. Our prelates share the same concerns.”
“I thought the Empress was the head of your church? Now, I find you have many…” he groped for a word, frowning, and gave up. “*Questo accento è una prova di fede!* ‘Denominations’ is not the right word, but she is the one revered, yes?”
“Of course! The Empress has to show all of our virtues and none of our faults, but that’s part of her role. To favor any divinity over the others could cause divisions. She has her personal preferences, of course, but never lets them be known.” Wicama explained carefully. “It would be in poor taste.”
“And poor politics, I think?” Santino gave her a long look. At his height it was difficult, but he managed. “This makes sense to me now, that the Imperium leaves matters of faith alone. *Una benedizione inaspettata.*”
Despite the serious topic, his fervent reply brought a smile back to her lips. “It seems your pope considers politics as well as economics.”
“People will always defend economic theories which assume that growth will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice. This has never been confirmed by the facts, and expresses a crude trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system.” He said, stopping to clasp a hand over his cross. “Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting.”
“That doesn't sound like scripture.” She offered cautiously, as they made their way into a wider suite of offices on the second floor.
“*Esattamente* The words of Pope Francis, a good and blessed man who appointed me to my position. His successor, his holiness John Paul the Third, is much of the same mind.” Santino said quietly. “Our savior washed the feet of others and urged all to do the same. The hardest step is to be involved. To work together for change, as well as to pray. That is why I am here.
“*I pigri di cuore trovano sempre una scusa* Some Humans, they are yet angry with the Imperium. Now they have enough, they are bitter not to have plenty. For some there is never enough - the true poverty lies within their hearts,” Santino said a bit testily. “Our faith teaches us to find salvation in eternal life, but others? *Pigrizia!* They see it as an excuse from taking agency in themselves. Jesus washed the feet of others - he did not lay down and wait for someone to wash his!”
Wicama turned the unfamiliar metaphor over in her mind but decided she had the sense of it. “Sham teaches us that helping our families and one another is the same as helping ourselves. ‘The rising tide bares us all from the reefs’.” It was a matter of faith… but that was why it was faith in the first place. On the whole, it seemed like a mature perspective that explained the changes she’d seen in Prince Adam over the years. “You’re here to meet with others, but this seems as much about knowing yourselves.”
“*Sì, non è una brutta cosa avere umiltà davanti a Dio.* Human beings, while we are capable of the worst, we are also capable of choosing the good. Of rising up to make a new start. We are entering the galaxy.” He gestured out the window at the world beyond. “If not now… when?”
_ _ _ “So, when are you going to explain this masterpiece you four have been cooking up?” Marin asked. Sammi and Sam were barely awake but the twins had already arrived, bright-eyed and enthusiastic, and Marin cursed the resilience of youth. The room was acceptably warm, but Ayen had complained about the cold and used the excuse to slip back into bed. She was considering her options for joining him.
Somewhere, somehow, Sammi had found their rabbit pajamas again. “Sam, explain it to her? You do it better.” Sammi yawned, but Marin suspected it was an act. Once something got their attention, sleep was usually an afterthought.
“What, now?” Sam had barely stumbled into the room and blinked. Bleary-eyed and barely awake, he looked like he’d been ambushed, which was exactly the case.
“Pllllllleeeease…?” They sat back pulling the ears, giving their best Roger Rabbit impression. Luminous green eyes peered out at Sam, imploringly.
“Alright… I need coffee, but fine.” Sam trudged over to the kitchenette and poked listlessly at the instant coffee. It was getting perilously low, but Marin was sure he’d brought more on the ship. Eventually Sam gestured at the K’herbhal sisters with his mug. “So the girls want to create an artificial topological soliton. It's like a black hole, except where it isn't… It's sort of a kink in space-time.”
“Made you say kink!” Sammi grinned impishly and the girls blushed. Marin shook her head but paid attention. It felt far too early after another late night, but once everyone was up you had to hang on for whatever came next.
“So, what's that got to do with this… hole you want to use for power?” Marin raised her voice just enough to drag the conversation back on track.
“It’s more like a side effect. If it cuts the right angle, it goes into a realm of space-time we can tap for power. Think of it as an obverse of an energy drain, so it's like a white hole.”
“Let me guess.” Marin shook her head and grinned, holding up a hand to forestall the inevitable. “Except where it isn’t?”
“Ummm… pretty much.” Sam grumbled, blowing at his coffee. Marin glanced back at the twins. With Sam busy, the twins had gravitated to either side of Sammi. There was room left on the couch, and she wandered over to settle in beside one of them.
The Sams had been complaining for years about a lack of ‘focal power’ for their mass compression technologies, and while a rubber duck inside a diamond was impressive, they’d wanted to do something more - a lot more. She suspected if the twins were providing the means, then they already had something about to surface from the depths of their imaginations. Over the years she’d learned to pick a bit, rather than take their answers at straight value. “And if things don’t cut at the right angle? You remember how long it took to get rid of the Navy, when you started talking about making black holes?”
“It's not our fault they didn’t understand,” Sammi said defensively, crossing their arms and pouting at her before the rabbit ears fell over their face.
“Who didn’t understand what?” Akeimei yawned at the door. She cast a wink her way before wrapping her arms around Sam and gave him a quick hug. “What did I miss?”
“Umm… a parallel universe, if the math is right,” Sam mumbled from the depths of his coffee cup.
“What? Like identical versions of us?” Marin watched Akimei’s nose wrinkled at the smell before she slipped away from Sam. Slipped down beside her, they rubbed shoulders a moment. “Tell me, is there one where I get more sleep?”
“More or less identical… though it's not like you need to go into a parallel universe for that sort of thing. There’s already a ‘you’ out there somewhere right now, to say nothing of past and future ‘you’.” Sam scratched his cheek idly for a moment “It's just the math. The universe is so vast that there are exact physical cosmic twins of us out there somewhere, not to mention even more almost-twins.”
“Sam’s right!” Sammi perked up excitedly, bouncing on the sofa. “Then there are quantum cosmic twins - which gets weird because particles exist in multiple states and you’d sort of overlap… but the easiest one is probably just another us elsewhere in the universe right now! That's sort of the point where things are since the universe is bigger than you can imagine!”
“So exactly the same… or almost.” One of the twins giggled. “Just like us!”
“Pretty much,” Sam nodded, slowly emerging from the depths of his coffee. “Another you out there on another Shil, or another me on a whole Earth, even - just a little bit different.”
“What? Like an Earth that never met the Imperium?” Marin canted her head, tossing out the obvious. It was hard to remember her life before, and she didn’t want to contemplate the alternative.
“Oh, I don't like that idea.” One of the twins stuck out her lip. “We want to come to Earth!”
“Yeah,” her sister nodded, though she suddenly looked glum. “I don’t know if Professor Warrick would mind though. He’d be with his wife and daughter, there.”
“Oh…” her sister's face crumpled. “I didn’t think of it that way.”
“Well, don’t…” Sammi hugged them both a moment, though they held the first twin a bit tighter. “The point is, somewhere he’s with them right now!”
“Wow, I guess so.” she brightened. “Just imagine! A whole Earth that never met the Shil’vati!”
“I wouldn’t worry, sis.” her twin nodded. “I think Professor Warrick is pretty happy right now.”
_ _ _
“I am not happy about this!” Tom glared at his omni-pad before tossing it down in frustration.
Miv looked up at her husband.
“It’s an honor!” She tucked her chin in and gave him a long, considered look, “What is it that’s bothering you - really? It wasn't Monsignor Barcio. Are you certain this isn't the same sort of thing?”
“Yes, I’m sure!” he growled, looking away like a guilty child. “Alright, maybe… but this uniform is the silliest thing I’ve ever seen. I’ll look like a mushroom, and the hat only makes it worse!" Tom grimaced at the omni-pad accusingly, "They won’t take ‘no’ for an answer, so now I’m on the rolls as a Warden Captain - whatever that is - and this ceremony is ridiculous!”
“The ceremony is traditional. Very symbolic... Besides, they don't make wardens out of anyone below the rank of captain - I looked it up. You were one before, so it's appropriate to make you one instead of a Warden Major or Warden Colonel.” She smiled at him serenely. “Surely, it can’t be the worst thing you’ve ever done.”
He turned to wag a finger her way. “I’ll take that bet!”
“Worse than our wedding reception…?” She crooned, teasing him. “Or maybe pre-term night? I swear by the Goddess no one will pinch your ass, except for Lea and I.”
“Fine… “ Her smile grew wider as he grumbled, but he was calming down already and there wasn't heat in it. Still, he stubbornly clung on to the point a while longer. "It’s in my top five.”
“I’m sure you’ll survive, husband. Now then, I have meetings all afternoon, so why don't you finish reviewing the menu? You’ll feel better when all this is over and you can go back to cooking, chess, or starting that eeeyiy club… You might even give Ce’lani a call or message her?” She gathered her coat and smiled demurely, though it harbored nothing innocent. “If I’m not here you’ll have perfect privacy… Just don't promise anything you wouldn't promise to me.”
“It’s iai-do…” Tom groused, but he was already picking up his omni-pad.
She blew him a kiss and made her way toward the commons. Tom would probably stew a while, but he’d make the call.
There would be time to meet with Ce’lani on the common, before she had to come home for dinner.
_ _ _
Tom looked over the banquet menu as if it might reach out and bite him. The words stared up at him with perfect innocence.
Appetizer: Fruit and Cheese Platter - Slices of various cheeses and fruits on a platter providing a delicate mix of sweet, tangy and creamy to invigorate the dining experience. Serve with a selection of sweet and semi-sweet wines.
Soup: Choice of Tomato or French Onion Soup - Served with a piece of baguette and cheese.
Salad: Strawberry Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing -- an assortment of greens and fruit with a balsamic grain dressing to cleanse the palate.
Entree: Cornish Pasty - This herb-infused meat and pastry dish provides a counterpoint to the tangy taste of the salad and soup. Served with a creamy buttered mashed potato (a vegetable, humanely prepared!) with chives (also a vegetable). Served with a selection of wines or ales.
Dessert: Chef’s Sorbet Surprise - A sweet treat complemented by a palate cleanser, ending the meal on a piquant note.
His last call with Bherdin had been a trial and a half. Omni-pads were the definition of ‘high fidelity’, and hearing the little Shil’vati hyperventilate for ten minutes over the plan was pointless. At least Melondi had easier going with Vedeem on her side... one way or another this was happening.
As a final consolation, he relented on wearing matching suits. Bherdin frequently bemoaned Tom’s 'lamentable' fashion sense, and he perked up at that, promising to get him some appropriate formalwear for the occasion.
Privately, he suspected his Shil’vati friend was looking for a convenient alibi if a riot started.
In fairness, it probably wasn't a bad idea.
“Too late to use it myself…” he muttered. It wasn’t quite noon, and Miv was probably right. Instead of Chess Club or starting Iai-do practice or just cooking out at Human Food, he was stuck here at home. Miv’s place was bigger, but most of his stuff was still in boxes; it left him listless and climbing the walls. If this worked, at least things could get back to normal.
…Mostly normal…
He flipped back to the picture of the Warden uniform on his omni-pad. It was bad enough, but the hat made the whole thing look like a blue toadstool in silver filigree.
He swiped the picture away like an act of revenge, but didn’t toss the pad back on the table.
…Miv was right... and I promised to call Ce’lani…
Tom centered himself, pulling up the number. The universe was always in motion and a good Taoist accepted their part in what came. That was the lesson of ‘the Vinegar Tasters’, and it held true… The painting showed three men standing around a vat of vinegar. Each has dipped his finger into the vinegar and tasted it. The expression on each man's face showed his individual reaction.
The painting was an allegory for Confucius, Buddha, and Lao-tse. Confucius wore a sour look on his face. He believed life was out of harmony with the universe. As the second figure in the painting, Buddha had a bitter expression. Like the vinegar, life was painful and filled with attachments and desires that led to suffering. The last man, Lao-tse, was smiling at the taste. To him, harmony existed naturally and could be found by anyone at any time in any experience.
He thought about his buddy Dave. The old Marine would probably shake his head and tell him to ‘embrace the suck.’ It pretty much boiled down to the same thing.
Not that he was against calling. Miv and Lea had practically taken turns urging him on and giving their views on why it was a good idea. They hadn't harped about it, but he knew which way the wind was blowing. And Ce’lani’s message had been short, sweet in the literal sense, and the sound file she’d offered up had been…
…Pretty nice, really…
If he still said no, or decided he didn't like where this was going, they’d back his choice, of course. He didn't have a doubt in his mind… But with everything else in his life turned upside down, calling Ce’lani seemed like a calm in the eye of a storm.
…It's just a phone call. Leave the chaos at the gate…
He settled down on the couch to check his messages before giving her a call. It was nearly lunch…
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