Sherwin williams porch and floor paint

We Redesign Rooms

2012.09.01 19:59 IotaGamer We Redesign Rooms

Welcome to DesignMyRoom!

2023.03.25 11:44 TheCouchPatrol09 Request job back or move on? [WA]

About a week ago I started my first day at a fiberglass lamination boat building job. Pay was actually way better than I’d ever received, and it was offering training to inexperienced employees looking to enter the fiberglass lamination trade. Guaranteed benefits, PPE, ventilated indoor room, relaxed work environment, plus a foot in the door to a job market I’ve never considered working in before. Most want experience.
When I got there, I was given a tyvek suit, gloves, told to tape up my boots, and sent out onto the floor to do whatever anyone told me to do. Problem was, I didn’t have a respirator, so I was being gassed out by three stations within ten feet of each other spraying paint, catalyst, and resin respectively in heavy doses. That, and the fact that I would be torn in multiple directions by multiple people trying to get me to do different tasks and then getting upset that I was doing someone else’s task. I tried to explain that I didn’t feel good, pretty much everyone went (from behind respirators), “Tough, get used to it.” Long story short, by the end of the day, I felt so ill that I called the very next day and said, “This job isn’t a good fit for me, I won’t be returning to the work site,” to HR, who simply said (verbatim), “Ok, bye.”
It’s been several days now and I can’t help but kick myself for literally throwing away the best paying job I’ve ever had simply because I didn’t put my foot down about PPE. They said they’d get me a respirator in a week or so, but the entire reason I called the next day was because I couldn’t fathom feeling that ill at the end of every day for a week or two, not to mention the possible long term repercussions.
Should I call or email HR back and explain this, considering they didn’t ask why a new employee was bugging out after one day? Or, should I just move on and try for something else?
Thanks in advance.
Also, am I entitled to the full day of work’s pay that I did that day? If so, how do I go about getting comped since they didn’t have my direct deposit info yet?
submitted by TheCouchPatrol09 to AskHR [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 11:41 ghostdeep88 H: plans W: junk or leader bobs

Any offers welcome, specifically looking for lead, springs and crimson flux

Recipe: disease cure (ash heap)
Recipe: nuka cola dark
Alien Jacko lantern
Animatronic clown
BOS knight uniform
BOS officer uniform
BOS soldier uniform
Balloon arch
Barbed sheepsquatch staff
Barbed wire fence x3
Bear arm x2
Behemoth boss plushie x2
Bouquet of star balloons x3
Brahmin grill
Brahmin plushie x2
Cave cricket tube
Chally the moo moo backpack
Classic Jacko lantern
Cuckoo clock
Cultist backpack x2
Electrified sheepsquatch club
Electrified shepherds crook
Glass covered shepherds crook
Heavy sheepsquatch club
Evil Jacko lantern
Grim reaper vault boy cut out x2
Horned shepherds crook
Mirelurk king tube x2
Mobster jacko lantern
Peppered tenderizer mod
Plastic fruit bowl
Plastic fruit wreath
Poisoned sheepsquatch club
Radioactive barrel
Raw cement barricade
Red rocket gas pump wall light x3
Red rocket gas station lamp x3
Salty tenderizer mod
Scorchbeast plushie x2
Sheepsquatch club x2
Sheepsquatch shard***
Shielded lining BOS underarmour
Shielded lining casual underarmour
Shishkebab extra flame jets
Sledgehammer heavy sharp rocket
Sledgehammer heavy spikes rocket
Snallygaster plushie x2
Surprised jacko lantern
Switchblade serrated blade
Tattered curtains x3
Ultr calibrated shocks***
Ultr emergency protocol x2
Ultr optimised servos
Ultr overdrive servos
Ultr welded rebar
Vault 76 rug
Vault boy Jacko lantern
Vintage water cooler x2
WV state bird rug
Wall mounted fan x9
Wise mothman throne x2

Nuka plans

Bottle bot x3
Bottle and cappy balloon statue x3
Bottle and cappy hoop jump statue x3
Bottle and cappy painting statue x3
Bottle and cappy walking globe statue x3
Cappy and bottle cowboy cutouts
Cappy clapper x3
Cappy plush
Cappy smasher paint x2
Circus bench
Circus cube x2
Circus see saw x2
Circus stairs x2
Circus stilts x2
Cupid cappy sign x3
Desktop nuka launcher x2
Floor safe x2
Nuka Cade posters x3
Nuka cola ad barrier x3
Nuka cola balloons x3
Nuka cola bottle kiosk x3
Nuka cola crate stalls x3
Nuka launcher model
Nuka launcher ornament x3
Nuka launcher posters x2
Nuka launcher snowglobe x2
Nuka world cowboy duster x3
Poker set
Sheriffs hat x3
Spin the wheel ornament
Spin the wheel snowglobe x3
Titan plushie x2
Tomb stones
Townsfolk cutouts x2
Tunnel of live poster x4
Tunnel of love snowglobe x3
Walk safe
Western mural
Wild West show entrance sign
Wild West show posters x2

Recipe: Brahmin burgers
Recipe: carnival pie
Recipe: fried radroach on a stick x2
Recipe: fried scorpion on a stick
Recipe: gulper stuffed foot x2
Recipe: yao guai pastry
submitted by ghostdeep88 to Market76 [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 11:24 borhen48 First car 2007 Honda fit

Hi everyone, So basically I'm beyond noob with cars and I'm looking to buy my first one. All I want is a car that will take me from point A to point B and won't require major repairs over the next two to three years. Below is the description of the car : - 5000$ in Canada - 118000km. - Second owner. - Front and back brakes redone 2020. - New battery 2022. - Some paint scrapes. - Brand new floor mats.
Experts of this group please advice. Thanks in advance.
submitted by borhen48 to whatcarshouldIbuy [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 11:01 Traditional_Fly_2653 Venting

I started frequenting a local restaurant several years ago. The hip music, utilitarian ambiance, and delicious food were all enjoyable, but it was the chef who made the experience complete.
He was a suave individual at this point, with the ability to charm anyone. He was a force.
Enamored, I began working with him in an on off-capacity through his then photographer, a close friend of mine at the time whom I’d assist on shoots. He graciously helped me with offsetting the cost of my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary party at the restaurant, and in return I resigned his website.
I believe it was that Christmas Eve, of 2019, when I was invited to his house after being included in a lovely family dinner. I was plied with alcohol, copious amounts of cocaine, marijuana, and an apparent erectile dysfunction drug in order to have a sexual encounter with he and his wife (?).
This recurred once more on a night where I confided in him that my mental state was not well. He invited to pick me up and take me to his house. Thinking we were going to have a chat on the porch, no. Again the cocaine and grab my dick game. I repeatedly expressed that I'm low on hormones and had no interest, but that didn't seem to matter.
Eventually, I asked to leave and was driven to my driveway, but had become so intoxicated with drugs and lust, I returned. This time it continued to the point I was passing out during the process. I recall him telling his girlfriend what it was he wanted: for guys to shoot all over his face.
During this time, I began spending more time with the wife not wife. Dude knew I was highly discontent in my current job, and offered to take me on doing marketing, IT, and other professional related work.
That idea evolved into me being there for weekend brunch, “just to open the doors and babysit,” as described at the time by said dude, and working a couple of office days in between. I was eager to accept. Ignoring past transgressions.
First few months working there, I got texts from him telling me how I much I was missed when not there. Then I was told not to sit there, or there, or there, not to be friends with people, to not look certain ways, and to not do certain things….
I was knowingly abused by the staff for at least the first 6 months I was there. I told dude this repeatedly. He did nothing.
The reality of my position became me being the only floor manager around for the majority of the entire week, week after week – the owner and gm both constantly not present, off boating or going to magic game with the season tickets he wasted his money on – but it was still expected the duties I signed on for would still get completed.
But I wasn’t allowed to use my laptop in the dining room during service, and I was told to remain in the dining room. Even when there was no one present.
The two immature chefs he employed at the time berated me from day one. They have no respect for the drunken,rso'd out fool who punches holes in the wall.
Their behavior trickled through the entire staff and it grew their anger with the owner so much, that when I had to order his takeout food, usually during rush time bc why not, they would throw shit around the kitchen, bitching about why this motherfucker can't feed himself or his family. I dissented all of this. But their point stuck. He was pushing limits and testing people at the wrong time and for no reason.
... So much more to continue with
submitted by Traditional_Fly_2653 to restaurants [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 10:49 oneearth01 Best places to visit inHaridwar

The sacred city of Haridwar offers a colourful and fascinating blend of culture. Being one of the seven holiest cities in India, Haridwar often bustles with devotees. It propitious location near the holy River Ganga has made itgain more popularity.
Har Ki Pauri One of the most popular places in Haridwar, Har Ki Pauri is a ghat, which was built by King Vikramaditya. It is believed that Vikramaditya ordered for this ghat to be constructed in the memory of his brother Bharthari. The most famed spot here is the Brahmakund, which is thronged by devotees from all over the country. Another major attraction of Har Ki Pauri is the evening Aarti that is organized each evening with great zeal. It is in fact one of those events in Haridwar that one should not miss out on. After the Aarti, devotees float Diyas inn the River Ganga, which looks stunning in the evening light.
Bharat Mata Temple Swami Satyamitranand Giri laid the foundation of Bharat Mata Temple, which is situated on the bank of Ganga that flows through Haridwar. It is one massive and unique temple in Haridwar and is dedicated to Mother India and has deities of historical legends. The temple complex is an 8-storey structure with each floor dedicated to different Gods and mythological heroes. While on the first floor there is a statue of Bharat Mata, on the second floor there is a temple (Shur Mandir) that is dedicated to the renowned heroes of India. The third floor is known as the Matri Mandir and is dedicated to the achievements of women such as Radha, Mira, Savitri, Draupadi, Ahilya, Anusuya, Maitri and Gargi. The fourth floor is devoted to saints from various religions, including Jainism, Sikhism, and Buddhism and this floor is called Sant Mandir. On the sixth floor, an assembly hall with walls depicting the symbolic coexistence of all religions practised in India and paintings portraying the history and beauty of various provinces are kept. The various forms of the Goddess Shakti can also be seen on the sixth floor. The seventh floor is dedicated to all the incarnations of Lord Vishnu and the eighth floor is the devoted to Lord Shiva.
Chandi Devi Temple Built by King Suchat Singh, Chandi Devu Temple is perched on Neel Parvat. To reach the temple one has to trek 3kms from Chandighat or have to take the cable car. According to legends, it is the same place where Goddess Chandi killed Chanda-Munda, an army chief of the Demon Kings Sumbha and Nishumba. It is also believed that the main deity in the temple was established by the great saint Adi Shankarcharaya in the 8th century.
Bara Bazaar Situated on the Railway Road, Bara Bazar is a popular shopping place in Haridwar. Since Haridwar is a religious town, all you can expect here are the items that are required in a Pooja (Worship). However, at Bara Bazar you are likely to find handicraft articles as well; these in fact can very well be taken back home as souvenirs. Rudraksha seeds, churan (digestive powders) and a variety of sweets made from milk can also be brought from the shops in Bara Bazar. Ayurvedic medicines are also quite a popular buy in the market.
Bhimgoda Kund/Tank Having historical importance, the Bhimgoda Kund/Tank is situated about 1km from Har ki Pauri. Legend have it that while proceeding to the Himalaya, the Pandavas stopped by to drink water here in Haridwar, and Bhimgoda is the place where Bhima drew water from the rocks by thrusting his knee (Goda). It is a major attraction in Haridwar and is visited by many people all through the year.
Chilla Wildlife Sanctuary Popularly known as the Rajaji Wildlife Sanctuary, Chilla Wildlife Reserve is located at a distance of just 18kms from Haridwar. This wildlife reserve in Uttarakhand is home to many wildlife species like Elephants, Tigers, Bears and Small cats. It is enriched with a variety of flora that results in making this 249 sq km wildlife sanctuary quite scenic. This wildlife sanctuary surely proffers an exhilarating and memorable experience for both nature and wildlife lovers.
One earth hardwar low budget hotels in haridwar is situated on the Delhi-Rishikesh National Highway NH 58 near Dudhadhari Chowk in haridwar. It is an ideal destination with contemporary decor and chic elegance for pilgrims as well as for both leisure and business travellers, with the Har Ki Pauri 7 km, Kali Mata Mandir 7 Km, Kankhal, a town famous for Mansa Devi and Chandi devi temple and Sati Kund 4 kms away and the Saptarishi Ashram only 10 kms.
submitted by oneearth01 to india_tourism [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 10:48 MinimumQuiet993 How to Prepare Your Home for a Painting Project: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you’re planning a painting project for your home, there are a few key steps you’ll need to take to ensure that the project goes smoothly and that the final result looks great. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you prepare your home for a painting project:
  1. Choose your colors: First things first, you’ll need to decide on the colors you want to use for your painting project. Take some time to browse color swatches and samples to find the perfect shades for your home.
  2. Clean your walls: Before you start painting, you’ll need to clean your walls thoroughly. Use a mild detergent and warm water to scrub away any dirt, grime, or grease that may have accumulated on the walls over time. Allow the walls to dry completely before moving on to the next step.
  3. Remove any obstacles: Make sure to move all furniture, decorations, and other items away from the walls you’ll be painting. Cover the floor with drop cloths or old sheets to protect it from drips and spills.
  4. Repair any damage: If there are any holes, cracks, or other damage on your walls, you’ll need to repair them before painting. Use spackling compound and sandpaper to smooth out any rough spots.
  5. Tape off trim and edges: To ensure a clean and professional-looking paint job, you’ll need to tape off any trim, edges, or other areas that you don’t want to paint. Use painter’s tape to create straight lines and protect these areas from drips and smudges.
  6. Prime your walls: If you’re painting over a dark color or if your walls are stained or damaged, you may need to prime your walls before painting. This will help the new paint adhere better and provide a smoother finish.
  7. Paint your walls: Now it’s time to start painting! Use a roller or paintbrush to apply the paint evenly to your walls, working from the top down. Allow the first coat to dry completely before applying a second coat if necessary.
By following these steps, you can prepare your home for a painting project that will give your walls a fresh, new look. With a little bit of effort and attention to detail, you can achieve beautiful and long-lasting results.
submitted by MinimumQuiet993 to u/MinimumQuiet993 [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 10:32 Elandtrical Dyson vacuum attachment for porches with rough surfaces

Apologies for the clumsy title! I am looking for a vacuum attachment for my cordless dyson that can handle my porch floors. The surface is a grit/rough paint that will probably destroy my normal hardwood attachments. Also can't wait for the end of this early pollen season!
submitted by Elandtrical to CleaningTips [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 09:37 blackcardallas Closer look of Dallas City With Black Car Service Dallas

Closer look of Dallas City With Black Car Service Dallas
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One of the things that set the Black Car Service Dallas apart from other transportation companies is its fleet of vehicles. They offer a wide range of vehicles to choose from, including luxury sedans, SUVs, and even limousines. All of their vehicles are well-maintained and kept in pristine condition, ensuring that you arrive at your destination in style and comfort.

Places to Visit in Dallas With Black Car Service Dallas

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden: This 66-acre garden features stunning displays of seasonal flowers and foliage, as well as special events throughout the year.
The Dallas Museum of Art: The DMA has a collection of over 24,000 works of art from all over the world, including paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts.
Klyde Warren Park: This park is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike, offering free yoga classes, concerts, and other events throughout the year.
The Perot Museum of Nature and Science: This museum features interactive exhibits and hands-on activities for visitors of all ages to learn about science and technology.
AT&T Stadium: Home of the Dallas Cowboys, this stadium offers guided tours and is also used for concerts and other events.
The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum: This museum offers a comprehensive look at the presidency of George W. Bush and his time in office.
The Bishop Arts District: This neighborhood features unique boutiques, galleries, and restaurants, making it a great place to explore and shop.

What is the Luxury Life of Dallas?

Dallas is home to a thriving luxury lifestyle scene, with a variety of high-end shopping, dining, and entertainment options available. Here are some aspects of luxury life in Dallas:
Upscale neighborhoods: Dallas has several upscale neighborhoods where luxury living is the norm, including Highland Park, University Park, and Preston Hollow. These neighborhoods are known for their beautiful homes, manicured lawns, and tree-lined streets.
High-end shopping: Dallas is a shopper's paradise, with several high-end shopping destinations, including North Park Center, Highland Park Village, and The Shops at Legacy.
Fine dining: Dallas has a thriving food scene, with many high-end restaurants offering gourmet cuisine and fine wines. Some popular fine dining restaurants in Dallas include The French Room, Abacus, and Fearing's.
Luxury hotels: Dallas has several luxury hotels, including the Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas, the Ritz-Carlton Dallas, and the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek. These hotels offer top-notch amenities, including spas, fine dining, and luxurious accommodations.
Private clubs: Dallas has several private clubs where members can enjoy exclusive amenities and networking opportunities. Some popular private clubs in Dallas include the Dallas Country Club, the Crescent Club, and the City Club.
Dallas is a vibrant city with plenty of interesting places to visit and a thriving luxury lifestyle scene. Visitors to Dallas can explore historical landmarks like The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza and the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, as well as enjoy upscale shopping, fine dining, and luxurious accommodations. With its beautiful neighborhoods, high-end shopping destinations, fine dining restaurants, luxury hotels, and private clubs ,Black Car Service Dallas offers a luxurious lifestyle that attracts both locals and visitors alike.
submitted by blackcardallas to u/blackcardallas [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 08:39 ShadowDragon8685 [Ace is the Only Sane Pirate 12]The Avaricious Runaround

No sooner had Najia sat down at a dingy canteen on the scrap facility than her datapad received a call from Yorilos. She hadn't even gotten her coffee yet, and thought that was supremely unfair. "Anyone wanna bet he natters on without stopping to let me interrupt?"
There were no takers, and she propped the datapad up, connecting the call. Yorilos's face appeared, in the cockpit of the ship she had 'liberated' for him. "Excellent!" he exclaimed without preamble. "Now, Protectyon is exorbitantly expensive, but I suppose we will not need an entire unit to conduct your research. It might be our best course of action to approach the CEO of Northriver Company directly. We might be able to buy a small sample from him... If we can find him, that is. It is well known that he occasionally likes to flaunt his enormous wealth. A fellow trader just spotted him taking his most prized possession out for a pleasure cruise. I have sent you the coordinates of his last known location. Start from there."
He terminated the call, and Najia sat back, blinking. "Did he even stop to breathe?" Marta snorted. "That guy apparently sucks wind with his asshole, since he sure as hell didn't take any in through his mouth!"
Najia snorted, laughing and covering her face with her palm. Ace looked at Marta in disbelief for a few moments, as she worked out the idiom, then let out a high-pitched, almost strangled trill, hanging her head. "Y'all know I'm right," Marta hammered the point in. "He is longwinded, yes. And also, unfortunately, an idiot," Ace declared. "Well... Yes, but why in specific, this time?"
"I hope for his sake he is fantastic in the bunk and willing to pursue a career in prostitution, because he is clearly a homeworld-raised true believer in nonsense," Ace spat. "He actually believes 'the invisible hand of the free market' will result in equitable distribution of goods and wealth?!" She let out a shrill trill. "In Avarice and Windfall no less!" Marta snorted. "Yeah... He'd better be planning to be a boy-toy." She rolled her eyes. "Does he really think that the CEO of a monopoly is just going to sell us a tiny sample of what's making him filthy rich so we can take it away, analyze it, synthesize it, and start competing with him?" "Apparently he does," Najia said with an exasperated sigh. "That's kind of... Frightening, actually. Though chasing this fellow down might be something we'll have to do eventually, but for now... We might as well just buy a load."
"Protectyon is not ordinary cargo," Ace pointed out. "I do not know the specifics, but I do know that it requires special cargo-handling equipment. The Rakers know this. They guard the nature of this equipment with some skill. Between that, and that the only market for the stuff is here in Windfall, it is not a substance of any value to a pirate... Presumably, small containers for transporting small quantities are available to those in the know, of course." "Of course... But in this case, I think the best move is to make use of my checking account," Najia said. The waitress arrived with coffee in a cheap metal mug, which Najia took gratefully, as did the rest of her party. They were sitting at a table next to Robin and the party of crew she had brought with them. Najia took a drink of the coffee, and grimaced immediately. "Don't like it, spacer," the waitress asked with a smirk as she handed out the others' drinks. "Took me by surprise. Tidebreak serves it sweet enough to curl eyebrows." No sooner had she said that, than the waitress sat a bottle on the table with a heavy, dense thunk. Najia poured it in, and nodded; it was some kind of yellowish syrup or synthetic honey. "Thank you," she said. "Sure, whatever. Your ship brought a load of food here - and not even like, the stuff the fuckin' Viggs 'let us' have, at extortionate rates. So, there's that, spacer." The waitress turned and hurried away. Ace snorted. "Not very grateful, was she?" She had, apparently, missed where part of the plan had been to have Takio's personal Baku deliver a load of food, which she supposed had transpired while she was asleep.
"These people are... Prickly. I can understand that," Najia said. "Anyway, I'm just going to take the simple route on this one: buy one of the condensate ships, load it with the stuff at market value, and have it fly it to the headquarters... For 'upgrades' of course." She grinned.
Ace trilled softly at that. "Upgrades indeed." She fiddled with the datapad in her hand as Najia and the others started to do likewise, and after a few moments, found what seemed to be a saved-game in progress. It looked like a sketch of a space station, but it struck her as being a puzzle game, and probably an 'indie' one at that, given the godawful user-interface. She quickly worked it out of course, because a pirate's mind is slippery by necessity and a Teladi's mind is primed to calculate a dozen variables at once, and then she could dig into the meat of it. It looked like a space station, but it was one built on an impossible scale; an absolute megalith of a station, an absurd and ridiculous monolith seemingly built to construct the most basic and common of Commonwealth construction materials, but in absolutely absurd quantities. There was a rider on it, too; and that seemed to be the objective of the game, or at least of the current level; adding a mixed population of Terran, Argon, and Teladi workers, and the requisite inputs to feed them all, enough to run the entire station and then some.
The datapad in her hand chirr-uped, and Ace saved and closed the progress she had made in the game, finding that a new report had been filed by the professor they had hired for, frankly, enough money to probably have employed the entire Empyrean Curs. She skimmed the summary - short, consise and to the point - and trilled softly. "Interesting development," she noted. "Your starship professor is making yet more inroads." She looked up at the human magnate. "Apparently he found a project starfighter that someone had been preparing in one of your hangars."
Najia chuckled. "A project starfighter?" She took the datapad. "Paramerion...? Hmph. Looks like someone stripped down a Kallis for speed and narrowness, judging by these stats." "Could be fun," Marta pointed out. "For someone who likes to fly, that is," she added, grinning at Najia and Ace.
Najia chuckled, and then shook her head. "Might even be just the thing for chasing down this Northriver fellow, if we assume he's going to make himself difficult to catch up to. According to the Professor, it's currently a one-off, but they should be able to extrapolate the plans and build more, if desired. Seems that it actually was based on some early, unproduced Kallis prototypes." "I'll have it sent out to the Avarice Necessities supplier," Najia added. "Meanwhile..."
A high-importance alert hit her datapad. She frowned as she read the report; one - then two - then three - of her freighters in Windfall were reporting being harassed by the Vigor syndicate. That was new. She scowled at that, snarling.
"Trouble," Ace asked. Under the table, she curled her tail around Najia's calf, and Najia rubbed her eyes. "Trouble," Ace repeated; no longer an interrogative, but a statement. "The Vigor syndicate have apparently decided to start harassing ships carrying food," she noted, wrathfully. "That you have gone so long without them doing so is the anomaly," Ace pointed out. "They are not shy about that they use force to enforce their monopoly on food in Windfall and Vigor," she added. "And was this not the fight you intended to wage anyway?"
"Yes," Najia hissed angrily. "But the timing is wrong." She rubbed her eyeballs, seething. Her ships were reporting that the Vigor syndicate were being very aggressive; not quite at the point of shooting openly at them - which would go poorly for everyone concerned frankly - but they were harassing them openly, shaking them down for bribes or even demanding they drop cargo, as well as conducting "police" inspections for "contraband" - meaning food and water. "Then what do you plan to do?"
Najia grit her teeth, closing her eyes. She focused on the feeling of Ace's tail squeezing her calf, and seethed, but calmed herself. "Comply... For now. Set up some goodwill by selling them energy cells again." "Again? They're probably angry you cut them off in the first place," Ace noted, and Najia snorted. "Probably." Najia let out an annoyed hiss of breath. "Well, we'll deal with it." She drummed her fingers in annoyance on the bare metal, cafeteria-style table. "The time is not yet. Not yet... Yet." She cracked her knuckles, one-by-one. "First, we need to chase down this Protectyon stuff." She started fiddling on her datapad. "I'll just place the order and have it sent to the HQ. If Boso Ta can't work with that, well... I guess we'll try it Yorilos' way and chase down this Northriver."
"It might be worthwhile to approach him now in any event," Ace suggested. "The Northriver company are, as you might imagine... Well-connected, with the Vigor Syndicate." Najia pursed her lips and frowned, but nodded. She looked around the dingy cafeteria, and sighed, nodding, but sighed again, heavily. "You can't fix everything, Ninja Taco; and what you can fix, you mostly can't fix in a day," Marta said, softly. "Let's just... Let's try Ace's idea."
Najia nodded, with a heavy sigh. She covered her head with her hands for a few moments, and let out a huff. She needed a bit of breathing room, time to think, time to plan. She looked around, and drummed her fingers on the table. "Let's finish our business here, and head for the Necessities station," she said. "We'll give the Raleigh I bought time to make it to the HQ, and the Paramerion time to get here... Then we'll use it, as it's apparently speed incarnate, to chase down Northriver and see what he can tell us about Protectyon, or the Syndicate, or both." She looked around; there were no particular objections raised. Ace snorted softly at her. "I and 'Chipmunk' are laying low; it matters little to me where we do so or what other activities we engage in whilst doing. Besides, I wonder what this station looks like."
Najia grinned at her.
Scant hours later, Ace was in the co-pilot's seat of the Baku as it arrowed in to land, alongside the Radiant Afterglow that had been shadowing them the whole time. The station was a mammoth; Ace had been expecting some kind of small way-station. It had absolutely gargantuan solar arrays pointing at the nearby star; the number of docks and piers was, frankly, grossly excessive, to the point that Ace reckoned it could easily hold the entire ship population of Avarice. There were massive personnel accommodations, and all the things she had seen that made Takio's constructions so awe-inspiring. "The number of docks and piers you have here is mind-boggling," Ace commented as the ship landed on one of the Terran-style disk docks. "It defies description. I cannot imagine why."
Najia smiled weakly at her, leaning out to look out through the expansive flight-deck window. "Quite simply? I wanted there to never, ever, ever be any question about whether or not a ship in need of safe-habor from the Tide could find it here. And yes, we're buying the Protectyon stuff - at quite ridiculous prices - to keep the place safe." She pointed at a massive, triple-pronged module along the station's 'spine.' "The Breakers built that, and the storage for it. They're effectively a 'black box' to us since part of the deal there was that we didn't poke around inside, but the thing keeps working, and we've isolated them from outside comms to ensure that stays the case."
Ace snorted. "I'm surprised you agreed to refrain from reverse-engineering them." "Well, we did. Of course, we lied," Najia said, with a grin. "I don't believe in letting other people keep technological secrets from me. But we're not, you know, cutting our way in or anything... Sometimes, you have to move slow. Besides, nobody would bat an eyelash at me commissioning another Raleigh and stocking it with some Protectyon, right?" "Right," Ace said, chuckling. She glanced up at the station. It was massive. She glanced down at the time-table; the Paramerion would arrive in approximately sixteen hours. "This place is huge. I might have to look around."
Najia smiled at her. "Feel free. You want to come with me to chase down this Northriver character? I think I'm going to give this prototype a test run myself." Ace trilled. "That sounds fun. Sure."
The Avarice Necessities Supplier station was a mammoth. Ace had explored it thoroughly; it had all the amenities one might expect of a space station, which was surprising in Avarice space. Unsurprising to her now, was that the prices were absolutely rock-bottom. Not quite giving the stuff away at cost, but close enough. It was, Ace mused, a good way to make inroads with the Rakers, though she suspected that Takio was doing so out of beneficience as much as anything else. She seemed positively furious that the Syndicate were exerting control over food and water; absolutely furious.
That, Ace realized, was something that set her apart. To her way of thinking, it was only to be expected that the party which had the power to establish a monopoly on such basic necessities should do so, to further increase their power and wealth, exploiting that position to enrich themselves. Takio clearly did not see it that way. It was an affront to her; and she was clearly plotting the Syndicate's downfall over it. Ace mused these musings both before and after she took a nap, in a surprisingly-affordable lodging room she took on the station. The amenities were in fact made in the same style and materials as those Najia had established for herself back on her headquarters station. The shower, in particular, was an absolute luxury to Ace's mind; there was no time- or pressure-limiter, no charge for the water use, and, as with the showers on her ships, featured a slick slatted floor instead of an obvious drain and a bench. All available at such a rate that anyone who landed here could afford to stay without difficulty. Neither were there any other tiers of accommodation available; there were no 'suites' above and beyond what she slept in, nor were there the expected squalorus hostel dormitories she had sometimes been able to avail herself of in her youth - at prices that sometimes exceeded that of the individual suite she enjoyed. The only other forms of room available were doubles and quads for pairings or parties sleeping together, and 'accessibility' rooms for persons with mobility or other issues.
Ace had found this so surprising, in fact, she had chatted up the clerk at the lodging module. Apparently, Takio Enterprises had taken some simple shortcuts in their design process, by not doing the design work themselves; they had simply followed Segaris traveler-accommodation regulations and made use of a common Segaris habitat module design. The prices were set low because the station was, ultimately, self-sufficient save for the reliance on Protectyon, and it was largely viewed as a public service.
The difference between this station and the one they had left hardly any time at all before was striking. The Terran construction techniques Takio used were incredible, of course; but it also spoke to their intents that they were effectively leaving money in the pockets of persons who would pay higher prices for what they were offering and gladly. Of course, she mused, it wasn't entirely utopic. It couldn't be. she had found a tavern and lurked, and certainly she had caught the (metaphorical) scent of black-market trade. The number of employees at the station was enormous, surely there would be those who could be bribed. There was certain, she knew, to be a thriving underbelly in illicit goods or services; though it seemed that there was an effort to minimize this, by the simple expedient of making the most commonly-smuggled goods and most commonly-criminalized services legal, mostly in the Teladi style; Ace saw vending machines which dispensed packets of Space Weed and found a local-net exchange board which purported to connect medically-checked and cleared prostitutes with clients; tangential to that was a heap of information about prostitution - both practical and, she saw with a little digging, historical and philosophical - as well as resources for those looking to get into that trade, beginning with reporting to medical for an examination. There was also a stark warning that pimping, or abusing a prostitute in any way, carried a summary sentence of execution. Ace's eyes shot up at that. She ran a few searches to see what cut Takio Enterprises was taking for this, but couldn't find any over and above presumably the rental price of the lodging rooms involved.
It almost seemed clinical, but, she mused, on the balance, if this environment had been available to her when she was trying to figure out what to do to avert hunger, it certainly would have seemed a far more attractive option. Her primary reason for shying away from prostitution as a career, had been the fear of winding up the property of a pimp. Ace ruminated on this, whilst staring out the window of a tavern, at the star, through the solar panel array, when she got the message that the Paramerion had arrived.
The craft itself looked very much like many of the Terran ships Ace had seen in recent weeks, sitting in the pretty purple trim that Takio had ships meant for herself painted in. It was even sitting in a bay next to a Tsurugi superheavy fighter, which made her take a double-take; clearly they had wasted no time in producing the starfighters!
Ace looked between the two. The Paramerion was short dorsal-to-ventral, as most Terran small craft were, but this one took it to an extreme. It was elongated and somewhat narrow, though it could have, she thought, been narrower still without the side-mounted wings that served no purpose she could discern immediately, save to be wings. "They're for atmospheric flight," Najia explained. "Most Terran S- and M- craft are at least capable of it; most Argon, too, for that matter. Most Teladi... Even the Drill, which the Baku is based on; and of course the Baku itself. Though, admittedly, the flying shoe does rely a lot more on thrusters," Najia said; she was standing by the ramp into the Paramerion, watching Ace's gaze.
Ace trilled softly and nodded, joining Najia in the cockpit. It was roomy enough; the cockpit design seemed to be wholly-copied from the Kallis. That made sense, as they were apparently related designs. She looked around, and tapped on the holographic auxiliary console at the rear of the cockpit, to the side. "Shall I navigate for you?" "Unless you'd rather fly," Najia said, smiling at her. Ace took a moment to think on that, and shook her head. "I'll fly the way back, if all goes smoothly. It's your ship, you should take it. Where is Marta? Is she not coming?"
"She's already in the back. There's what the original designers of these classes euphemistically refer to as a 'bunk-slash-engineering-access' behind us, in front of the power plant. It's so tight I don't think anyone could even masturbate in there, but you can sleep in there... If you're desperate. Personally, I'd just roll out a sleeping mat in the dockpit," Najia said; this got a louder trill from Ace, as Najia took the chair. "Right, I've already done the preflight... Let's see what she can do."
Northriver was, allegedly, in the same sector - Avarice I - and finding him was a minor challenge. Ace operated sensors whilst Najia piloted; the ship seemed to have very desirable piloting characteristics; agile and responsive without being touchy or prone to over-maneuvering. Swift, but not prone to sliding. She looked forward to her own turn at the stick, as they narrowed in on the alleged location of Brantlee Northriver.
Finding him was little challenge - then Ace swore softly. "Is that..." She had another ship on the fighter's sensors, and brought up its details. Sitting a hundred klicks from Astrid, apparently the ship of Northriver, was J.P. Morgan's Knife. Ace hissed softly. "Does he... Really..."
"Does he really expect this guy to give us a sample to reverse engineer?" Najia groaned. "Fine, fuck it. If we don't ask, he will, and Yorilos is about as good at negotiating as someone who goes to a flea market, sees a pair of sun-shades at a stall, talks the proprietor down two credits and walks away feeling like they're John Pierpont Morgan." Ace trilled softly at that. "Is that whom his vessel is named after? Who was this person?" Najia snorted. "We'd have to interrupt the history lesson to run for cover from the Tide," she said with a grin, looking over her shoulder. "Suffice to say he was a human industrialist from a very long time ago, who managed to amass one of the smaller fortunes of his era, but who wielded power and control of money to substantially more effect than the actual wealth he personally had. He formed banks, you see; once, he helped to fend off an impending bank run that would have caused a financial collapse, by assembling a large number of a nation's most powerful bankers in his mansion, and locked them in his library, telling them that they would not be leaving until they had worked out a scheme to avert the crisis."
Ace trilled, watching as the little fighter closed on what she was reading as some kind of yacht. "That sounds like something you might do," she pointed out. Najia snorted, looked back at Ace, and chuckled. "I think I should take that as a compliment. J.P. Morgan was an asshole, like pretty much all of the wealthy and powerful persons of his time and era... Or, any era, to be honest. I... Never expected to find myself wielding clout and power like Morgan's, let alone enough that I probably eclipse him. It's... Kind of overwhelming, to be honest." "And yet, you persevere," Ace retorted. "By any measure, you could take what you've amassed now, retire to a sector of your choosing, build a monumental space station of your own design, and live a life of indolence until the money ran out. A Teladi could take your wealth and live out the rest of her life, even. Yet, you are building warships and lodgings fit for well-off individuals and affordable to the hardscrabble. By Teladi reckoning, Najia, you are insane."
Najia blinked at that, half-snorting. She had cut the travel drive and was approaching the lazily drifting yacht, and took the moment to turn her chair halfway, looking to her side at Ace. "Do you think I'm... Literally mad?" Ace peered at her, and shook her head. "No, I do not. Many Teladi might assume it to be so," she said, with an ambivalent sway of her hips and a shrug. "... I believe that you are acting to a set of principles and convictions that are, however, utterly alien to most Teladi understanding. You seem as if you intend to seize Windfall and Avarice outright. Yet even if you did, you would not squeeze the Rakers on food prices the way the Syndicate does. I do not understand where you are coming from," Ace said, swaying her hips again. "But... I feel I can trust you. And from there, confidence. Heads-up," she added, cautioning Najia. "We are close enough you had best comm them, lest they think you're about to attack."
Swiveling rapidly back to face forward, Najia did just that, signaling the yacht she was approaching of her intent to communicate. Moments later, she recieved a reply. "Yes, what is it you want?" Brantlee Northriver had a grating, abrasive, and smug voice; he was also dressed, she thought, ridiculously, wearing what looked like a desaturated blue jacket trimmed with excessively gaudy, and gaudily excessive amounts of gold, with some kind of absurd half-hood thing cupping the back of his head. It was some long-ago futurist's vision of what a far-flung spacefuture clergyman's robe might look like crossed with a business suit. Najia knew that her own sense of fashion was questionable, but even she immediately recognized the outfit as disgustingly ugly, and radiating both wealth and contempt. Her impression was realized as he continued, "I sure hope you have a good reason for approaching me. I am quite busy, you see?"
Najia mastered the urge to ask if he was busy receiving fellatio from someone under the console he was sitting at, because she could see absolutely no other possible activity he was invested in; she also mastered the urge to just shoot the smug off his face. She instead smiled at him, schooling herself into 'businesswoman' persona even though he made her skin crawl on an imager; and, of course, she would have to try to talk a sample out of it, because she knew that Yorilos was listening in and would certainly swoop in and somehow make things stupider if she didn't. "Mr. Northriver, you may not have had time yet to notice my minor operations; Takio Enterprises is expanding into Avarice. The name of Northriver and its Protectyon is on every set of lips within three jumps as a potent defensive measure against the Tide. I wished to obtain -"
"What, just a sample?" Northriver leaned forward, towards his camera, smirking - no, smugging - at her, adopting the 'Thinker' pose, briefly. "Such a small quantity won't get you far, if you want to protect yourself from the Tide. Can't afford more, eh?" For a moment, Najia toyed with the notion of making an offer to buy Northriver outright, just to wipe the smug off his face, but he continued to smug audibly at her. "Oh, well, since you seem to be new around here, I'll allow it. Once." Brantlee turned to look out his cockpit window at Avarice, which illuminated him brightly. Looking away and up was probably his 'best side;' it was the only posture in which she had yet seen him that looked anything other than 'contemptable.' "To get you hooked. Am I not charitable?" He immediately resumed his contemptuousness, then turned back to face her and made it all the more stark. "I will even cut you a special deal, how about that?" His expression clearly communicated his contempt and belief that he was superior. "Merely twelve and a half thousand credits for the sample you so dearly desire; my first, last, and only offer."
Najia wanted to say something scathing in return, she really did. Or simply to lock her cannons on his admittedly-very-sexy yacht and take the sample at cannon-point. Or to flip him the finger. Instead, she schooled herself to merely raise her eyebrow skeptically; forcing herself to maintain 'The Businesswoman,' who was too refined to rise to the bait. But she also had neither time nor patience to haggle over what was, frankly, a trivial sum to her bank account. Hell, she knew for a fact that Ace could buy the sample and wouldn't lose much sleep over it, just from what Ace had made in the last several days with her. "It seems your proposal can only be agreed to," she said, bringing up the financial transfer function on her console and sending the sum required.
Smugly, Brantlee grinned at her. "Here you go. I hope you leave as a satisfied customer!" Ace quickly tapped a message that appeared on her console. 'He's jettisoned an XS cargo pod.' The Teladi deftly located it for her on sensors, targeting it for her, as Northriver continued, "Oh, and by the way - don't for one second think that you can use this sample to engineer a competing product. It won't work. Northriver products are just too ingenious!" Northriver positively crowed it at her, and once again Najia had to master the urge to lock weapons upon him, but she did, at that moment, privately vow that, by means fair or foul, she was going to gain possession of his yacht if only to spite him. "Run along now," he added, smirking. "I have much more important matters to attend to," he clarified, sanctimoniously smiling, ending the comm channel and turning the yacht away, entering Travel drive.
"Let me bring that pod aboard," Ace muttered, manipulating the tractor controls, and comming the multipurpose space in the back. "Marta, if you would kindly suit up -" "Way ahead of you, Ace," Marta answered her, popping up on-screen already wearing a light pressure suit, in the airlock. "Get it over here and I'll grab it, make sure it doesn't jostle or anything. Mass?" "Considerable, but not more than a large human such as yourself can handle. Volitility is not known, but it cannot hurt to be over-cautious."
Najia smiled to herself as she heard Ace, unprompted, begin collaboration with Marta. A part of her cynical and intellectual side tried to argue that Ace was a pirate, and probably always would be a pirate at heart, but she was quite simply too fond of the reptilian spacer to listen to that part of her anymore; her oldest friend and her newest could be coming together. Then another comm popped up, and she resisted the urge to groan aloud. She let The Businesswoman fade; frankly, Yorilos didn't rate it, and they were (sort of) collaborators on this anyway. To her surprise (and pleasure), when he commed her, he immediately voiced her own opinion, "I wonder if being obnoxious is his deliberate business strategy?" Najia laughed, heartily, slumping back in her command chair and grinning brightly, shrugging. "I don't think so. I think it just comes naturally to the git."
Yorilos looked momentarily nonplussed, presumably by her vernacular, then said, "No matter. It will make it all the more enjoyable when we pull the rug from under the Northriver Company." "We are in absolute agreement about that," Najia said. "I want to wipe the smug grin off his face." She glanced down; her airlock indicator had closed, and she flicked up a view of the inside. Marta was carefully securing a container roughly the size and volume of a ubiquitous 205-liter shipping drum, though it wasn't one. "I've just taken the sample aboard." "You want to take it back to the headquarters yourself? Go ahead," Yorilos said. He cut the channel, and Najia blinked at the suddenness.
"... Well, that was... Abrupt," Najia said, looking back to Ace. "It was. I cannot believe that you paid twelve and a half thousand for the sample." Najia shrugged. "I mean... It's highway robbery, considering that a commercial volume costs just about twice that and is twenty cubic meters in volume whereas that sample is maybe two. On the other hand, you heard him; he wasn't in the mood to negotiate. What should I have done? Shot at him?" "Yes." Ace trilled, then huffed, shaking her head. "No. As cathartic as it would be, your plans are too long-term to have simply taken it from the wretch by force." She shook her head. "I suppose you had little choice," she conceded, "if you are to continue Yorilos' scheme."
"I'm kind of eager to set Boso Ta loose on this stuff myself," Najia said. The revolving door to the back cycled, and Marta walked in, looking flushed with exertion. "Thanks, Marta," she said. "You can thank me by you securing the damn thing in the 'hold,' Marta said, snarkily.
Najia nodded, and swiveled her chair all the way. "Sure. Thank you. Ace, you're up on stick," she said, standing up. "Let's just fly this thing straight home; I bet we can make it before dinnertime with us flying," she said, smiling at Ace. Ace trilled softly. "That sounds like a challenge. Accepted." She slid past Marta and Najia, slaloming between them, and took the stick, keying in a course for the Takio Enterprises headquarters. "We should recall the other ships, yes?" "Yes; good thinking, Ace. Thank you. I'll handle it from the back, after I've secured this barrel."
Ace and Najia made great time returning to the headquarters; they flew close to recklessly, causing Marta to comment that she was glad she was flying with them, for if they got themselves killed flying that way, she wouldn't have to hear about it. They arrived at the headquarters to little fanfare, and Marta peeled off as soon as they arrived, pleading the need to go and look into something she had arranged previously. "Well, shall we talk to Boso Ta?" Ace asked, looking up at Najia. They had gone to Avarice in an overnight journey by-the-numbers, stayed for less than a day, and were now back where they had started. "And hope that this back-and-forth bears some fruit?"
"I would very much like that," Najia agreed. The container had already been sent to the lab, and she squared her shoulders up, heading for the lift with purpose.
The door to the laboratory opened, and Najia's jaw dropped. "How," she said, flatly, quietly, as Ace all-but plowed into her backside. Ace slid around her side, looking into the lab, and let out a chuff of disbelief.
Yorilos was standing beside Boso Ta's tank.
Ace resisted the urge to hiss in surprise, and reached up, patting Najia's back. "I do not know," she confessed. "Perhaps he made use of an anomaly and was quite lucky. Or perhaps he has modified his hauler in ways unimaginable and is an outright daredevil pilot." Najia shook her head, and squared up, entering the lab. The elderly professor was nowhere to be seen, but it was late at night; he was likely in bed. So she went to the interloper, approaching Yorilos. "Yorilos, hi... What are you doing here?" She wasn't even going to ask how. That was his secret and his alone.
"Ah, yes. I really hope we can find a way to make the Protectyon more affordable for everyone in Avarice," he explained, as he peered around the laboratory. That, she thought, didn't exactly explain her question; presumably he intended for her to infer the answer. Somehow. Najia shook her head and smiled, nodding to him. "Alright." She climbed up the stairs, after a glance back at Ace, who had become fascinated by the new addition of a lot of bonsai trees in the laboratory's little greenery display, and greeted Boso Ta with a wave, to which the Boron responded with one of his own. "Hello there! Ah, excellent, the Protectyon sample has been delivered, and we may begin. Thank you kindly!" Boso Ta seemed to examine a computer tablet held in his... Tentacles? Flippers? Manipulators. He made a few deft strokes. "I have added the Protectyon Research to our agenda, and listed the required secondary materials. Feel free to initiate the research at any time convenient to yourself!"
With that abrupt declaration, Boso Ta swam upwards through the hatch in the laboratory tank, presumably to his personal lodging suites. Najia blinked, rocking back on her heels and looked back at Ace, who looked at her with the cocked hips that Najia had intuited was a definite shrug. "You'd think I didn't own the place," Najia muttered to herself, "the way almost everyone just... Is so... Curt with me." "You could put them in their place the way a pirate lord would," Ace suggested. "Or, if having a beating administered is too vulgar for your preferences, do what a capitalist might do and threaten them with penury."
Najia snorted. "Yeah... I think I'd rather just live with being curtly spoken to than be an asshole." "So be it. Your ways do allow for others to become... Familiar with you," Ace said, giving a vibrato trill. "For better, and for worse." She smiled at Najia, and Najia smiled back. Ace was toying with a small bonsai tree, and watched as Najia checked her datapad, then clucked her tongue.
"A lot of things we don't have on-hand," Najia muttered, "mainly because what Boso Ta wants - for this research project, and others - are Commonwealth-base, and we're not. That's not a huge problem, I'll just ask Tsukiko to set up a PO for a useful quantity of said commodities. For now -" The tank was suddenly filled again with Boso Ta. "Assistant, you simply must do something about this irksome vessel!"
A moment of silent passed. Najia pushed down the urge to be catty or snarky at Boso Ta, or outright hostile. She took a deep breath. "A... Vessel? Is irking you?" "Yes yes! Somehow, it is managing to distort the station's sensors, preventing me from witnessing a solar event in the Great Reef Nebula. I suggest you take care of this annoyance before it manages to disrupt even more observations!"
Najia took in a breath to respond, but Boso Ta had already vanished again, with such rapidity that even Yorilos seemed to be watching him dumbstruck. Yorilos also made a cocked-hip gesture, and then walked out. Najia watched him go, and snorted. "If he has even half a brain, he's going to ask Boso Ta what resources he's asking for and then try to get ahead of the purchase orders," Najia noted. "I would." "As would I," Ace agreed. "Would you like me to take care of this... 'Irksome Vessel' for you?"
"Bored?" Najia asked, grinning at Ace. "I wouldn't say that I was bored," Ace said, reaching out and squeezing her hand. Najia squeezed back. "But it seems that Boso Ta will not likely let the matter drop."
"Alright. Let's take care of it." Najia rolled her shoulders. "I can do this admin stuff from a ship as easily as my apartment study." She headed for the lift, neglecting to let go of Ace's hand; Ace likewise kept the hold, accompanying her. They almost ran into Marta coming out of it. She had a big grin on her face, and Najia pursed her lips. "Okay, what have you done," she asked.
"Oh, not much, just had a warship commissioned to keep close-to-hand in case we get in trouble and need some biggish guns fast. She's done, come take a look." Najia looked down at Ace, who trilled loudly at her. "Either you pay her too well, or you trust her entirely, if she has such authority in your name." "Jealous," Marta asked, smirking. "Yes," Ace admitted frankly. "Shall we?"
Najia sighed and laughed. "Fiiiine."
The bridge of T.E.S. Koshirae was the common standard Terran capital module, and very shortly, Najia, Marta and Ace were standing in it, shaking hands with the woman standing at the captain's post, who was wearing a stylish jacket in a decidedly non-Terran style, tights, and comfortable looking sneakers. "I'm sorry," Najia said, with a smile. "I'm afraid you have me at a disadvantage."
"Kevlin, ma'am; Selaia Kevlin. I'm a shipyard specialist." Her accent was distinctly neither anything Solar that Najia recognized, nor Segaris. "I'm surprised you're even aboard yet; we're only about to put her through space trials."
Najia snorted. "Not even the shakedown cruise, huh? You're not from anywhere I've been, are you?" "No ma'am." Selaia looked Asian, with her hair up in a tight bun. "I'm from Argon Prime. I found myself in Grand Exchange as crew on a freighter, saw the amenities on offer on your headquarters station, and jumped ship for a job here."
Najia nodded. "I see..." She grinned. "Are you spying on me?" "I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you, ma'am," Selaia responded back, in the age-old joke. Najia laughed in turn.
"Right. Well, stand down for a while," she said. "I appear to have been talked into taking her out personally." "Ma'am!" Selaia stepped aside. "The, err, owner has the bridge!" she called out, fumbling through something approximating military protocol, as Najia stepped up, looking over the console. Najia grinned. "Alright. Nifty little ship. Ace, take the helm," she said. "Take us out."
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2023.03.25 08:36 Florestarosa The Underwater Pineapple

Renowned for his courage and groundbreaking discoveries that furthered along our knowledge of the mysterious sea, he became known as "The Underwater Pineapple," otherwise known as "Le Pinne Pomme" for short. Never again was he seen by his old world. Approximately two months ago, Le Pinne Pomme was born. Since his first adventure, his passionate love grew, and he knew his calling was to devote his entire life to the sea.
On his second journey, he discovered an underwater town. It was a smallish town, each house painted with magical pigment extracted from the eggs the sacred silemosils drop during their travels hither and thither. Silemosils are mystical octopus-like creatures that have a semi-transparent flesh decorated in spellspeckles which reveal unimaginable colors in the sunlight. These colors are a byproduct of the chemical reaction that occurs when sunlight activates their spellspeckle chambers, giving the silemosils the extraordinary amount of energy they need to glide easily through the water, which, for them, is a necessity, seeing as their hundreds of pinhead-sized mouths are made to feed on gloski, a unique variety of glowing amoeba with the sole purpose of providing silemosils with the nourishment they need. Gloski exclusively live in the depths of a rocky abyss not too far off from the town.
Acquainted with all of the townsfolk, and familiarized with every noun of the town, Le Pinne Pomme decided it fit to build a pineapple home on the outskirts. Little did he know his home rested above a cave, an extension of the rocky abyss.
As Le Pinne Pomme was resting comfortably on his bed for the night, he became queasy at the recollection of something uncanny during his interactions with the townsfolk. Earlier in the day, a wise lady cautioned him about an abyss near the town. Before he could respond, he was distracted by a group of youngsters eager to study this rare newcomer. Up until his drift he wondered what the wise lady was on about.
The next day, he went looking for the wise lady. Approaching each of the townspeople with his best description of the lady and a request for any information regarding the abyss she spoke of, everyone denied their knowledge. His suspicions propelled him to search for answers.
Le Pinne Pomme had been cooped up in his home gathering every piece of information about the sea he could get his hands on. After three months of leafing through every page of sea info he managed to procure at the library in the center of the town, the abundance of information he had absorbed finally assimilated. At that very moment, he beheld the apparition of a grand idea.
Swiftly, he gathered every page he had tossed around in his desperate search for answers. Clutching the papers, he dashed to the town's library, and upon his arrival he noticed an inquisitive crowd had followed him. The crowd was merely wondering why Sir Pomme was in such a hurry. When Le Pinne Pomme gave a brief explanation, and after seeing his determination, the caring crowd offered to help, and when the caring crowd offered to help, and after seeing their devotion, Le Pinne Pomme was more than willing to accept.
The group hurried into the library and assembled. Director Pomme appropriately assigned tasks and positions to the gentle devotees, based on his prior knowledge from his experience as a team member back in the time of his first adventure into the sea, and they quickly went to work. At some point Director Pomme had suddenly remembered seeing a lukiaplant near his pineapple home, and according to his research, this special plant lives above caves, as its roots must grow earthward and reach the bottom of the abyss, where it gets its nutrition from decomposed silemosils. If his calculations were correct, his house rests upon the cave of the rocky abyss. He knew his unrelenting desire to uncover the mysteries of the sea was boundless, and it will be written on his heart until his last.
Now appointed Leader, Captain Pomme's third journey commenced, and madness set deep within his soul as he prepared to face what could very well be the most terrifying creatures he will ever come to see. After casting about, the fresh team had finally found the entrance of the abyss, marking the location of the entrance with a small flag symbolizing their accomplishment. When the time came, the group thanked and waved their leader a most sincere, and emotional, farewell. For this was a journey Le Pinne Pomme knew he must experience on his own this time around.
Le Pinne Pomme descended 3 days into the unknown before reaching the rocky floor. He had lost track of time when the darkness was the only thing visible to him. However, the darkness was not all his senses perceived. Indeed, creatures of the deep kept small Le Pinne Pomme company during his downward journey. Contrary to his expectations, he was not chewed and digested, nor was he pierced and deceased. Halfway down the abyss, he encountered a most horrific sight, known as "The Legendary Malugmayut."
"The Legendary Malugmayut" is a story that has been told by storytellers and passed down in families for centuries:
"Once upon a time, in a mythical place unlike anything we have come to know, there dwelled an unfathomable seamonster, whose truth is barely to be told, known as "The Legendary Malugmayut." This humongous, despicable, and terrifying creature had been in hiding for centuries. There was once a fellow traveler with an unwavering determination to reveal the secrets of the deep. One day, he embarked on his long-awaited journey. He never returned to his home. The story after his departure remains forever untold."
Malugmayut somehow knew of this story, which is why he had never visited the town neighboring his home. He was scared of the storytellers and ashamed of himself, because his reputation had become his identity.
Le Pinne Pomme's madness kept him sane before the legendary monster. Though it seemed that their encounter was nothing more than a happenstance to his madness, Malugmayut believed in destiny. For the first time in centuries, he uttered words that shook every nook and cranny of that pocket in the sea. Le Pinne Pomme's madness was, too, shaken by the utterance, and his sanity recovered.
He had not been harmed, but he was drifting in and out of consciousness from the impact. When he came to, he could see only a turquoise sun surrounded by darkness, lighting up the creature's face, and casting its shadow on the wall painted with rainbow-colored swirls of seaplants and dotted with the eyes of the miniature fish of the abyss, camouflaged by the marvelous array of colors, reflective of the vastness of the mysterious sea.
The creature's face finally registered, and millions of bubbles floated toward the surface of the ocean. Every distant seacreature and plant suffered an intense recoil. Le Pinne Pomme knew that he was defenseless before this frightening monster.
After everything and every creature had calmed, Le Pinne Pomme intuitively understood that the creature did not have predatory or territorial intent, and he yielded his sane madness to the Malugmayut. A light bulb appeared, quite literally, and he realized that he knew nothing of life.
This wild creature was a beautiful sight. Le Pinne Pomme was humbled by awe. Despite Malugmayut's unusual form and appearance, there was a light in his eyes. Not the kind of light emitting out of Malugmayut's appendage, but a glimpse of hope in his presence reminiscent of a subtle gracefulness, perceptible to the sensing soul.
They locked eyes, and so did their friendship. What they saw in one another was an invaluable gift. A leap of faith they took, and great friends they became. They came to see that they had nothing to fear, and the thing they feared the most became most precious to them. Le Pinne Pomme never returned to his old homes. The pocket of the sea became his home, and the sea monsters his friends. Once again, the story was told.
submitted by Florestarosa to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 07:11 Glittering-Bowler696 Exterior Home Remodeling Ideas

Exterior Home Remodeling Ideas
Looking online for home repair ideas and Kitchen Remodelling in Cooper City suggestions is a great place to start. Not only is a paint sprayer a good tool to use, but it is also a smart investment if you plan on doing many home remodelling repairs and tasks in the near future or in the years to come.

Many homeowners look for ways to save money and also search for creative ideas that they can put to good use in their homes. Home repair, home improvement, and design ideas found online can be a good starting point for people looking to give their homes a much-needed makeover on a budget.
There are 5 ideas for remodel your home:
  1. Bay Window: Replacing standard windows with a bay window can add new life to any family room, utilizing natural light and providing a more open feel. The damage design that caused bay windows to protrude from the outer wall gives the illusion of more space.
  2. Skylight: Integrating a skylight into your roof can enhance any room, from the kitchen to the bathroom. Utilising natural lighting sources cuts down on the need for artificial light, thereby saving you money.
  3. Porch: Porches are almost the cornerstone of southern living. The extra space provided by a front, back, or wraparound porch to enjoy those warm evenings watching the fireflies with family and friends can be very relaxing.
  4. Flooring: Give your dull wooden floors a new finish after all the traffic from being trod on throughout the winter. Or maybe this is the perfect time to take up the carpeting and lay some wood flooring down.
  5. Painting: Exterior painting is one of the most cost-effective ways to protect your home while also giving it a new and beautiful look.
These are the best ideas for creating a luxurious home. If you are thinking about remodelling your home, you can use these ideas.
Reliable Construction Group can provide you with more great ideas for your next Home Remodeling in Hollywood or room addition project. We specialise in a wide range of home remodelling services, including bathroom, kitchen, and home. If you want a new kitchen layout, a new vanity unit in the bathroom, or the addition or transformation of a new room for specific purposes, you can use our services. We provide the best Bathroom Remodelling Near Me that you can customise to meet your specific needs.
submitted by Glittering-Bowler696 to u/Glittering-Bowler696 [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 06:50 Jlemsey Hauntology

My mother disassembled our plastic Christmas tree several days ago
The ornaments, lights, and branches have been packed into my closet
But the core tripod pole did not fit, so now it's sitting out in my room
I imagine people would find it cumbersome if I brought them up here,
With its rings of pine fuzz and bulbous, undulating orifices for inserting the branches
I scraped it along the floor and it produced a baritone squeak with a brassy timbre
Like the noise in the beginning of Alberto Balsalm by Aphex Twin

The lights are off, my knees are close to my chest and I can feel the springs of the mattress pressing into my hip
My hair is still damp and sticks to my neck
The stub of my brain reaches for someone next to me with a phantom signal and I remember what it was like to be there
The warm, viscous air, the numb silence of my nerves, the absence of creeping impulse
But now I reach into the crevices beneath my sheets,
My sinuses rise into the clots of the pillow and I'm freaking out a little bit
An indistinct black splotch stands out in my peripheral - the Christmas tree
It appears truncated and unintimidating from so low to the floor,
And then, before I've had time to notice, it is gone from my mind

My friend Drew is the only person that I've ever let cut my hair,
And it was shoulder length and conditioned in a way that made it very soft
I remember sitting with him in a trail in the woods south of my house
There were gray, drooping branches with white blossoms, and soil and dead leaves on our clothes
I touched his back with my hand and kissed him
This only happened a few times, and we never talked about it

Last week, I ended up staying the night at his friend's house
It was evening and the porch light scattered over the stone panels on the exterior
Drew opened the door and led me downstairs; it was only the three of us
He started playing songs that he knew I liked on the speakers,
At one point, he mentioned that it had been a while since he'd seen me
And I said that it sucks that I'm so busy, but that we've been friends for a long time,
And that we have the kind of relationship where we can always pick up where we left off,
And he said he thought that was true

Later, in the early morning, my throat felt sore and my face was twitching
It was as if the carpet had exhaled its essence into the air
Drew announced that he was going to sit outside for a few minutes, and asked if anyone wanted to join him
I volunteered, and followed him out the front door
We sat on the steps of the porch and didn't say anything to each other
The neighborhood was entirely still, and pitch black except for streetlamps and the yellow sconce behind us
I couldn't see any clouds, nor stars, nor the moon
There was no house across the road, but a solid metal fence overlooking a forest and a small clearing
I heard the reverberations of the interstate, far away

The frozen air circulated under my T-shirt
My arms, legs and torso, which had up to this point been rigid and mute,
congealed into waxy surfaces that shifted and flaked away into the decompressed space
The skin of my lips and temples relaxed over the indents of my jaw and skull
I smelled the fermented stinging of cologne a little fainter than before
In that moment I was exhausted of any impetus to speak, touch or love
I was left alone with my gladness to be cold

I haven't spent time with him since this occasion,
More or less because I got busy again
But also because we’re not the same people we used to be
Still, there's an essence in him that I'd consider to be my best friend,
The ghost of my life
A black splotch in my peripheral that disappears at first light

1 2
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2023.03.25 06:25 Garmo738 Pre-building inspection tips

G'day cunts.
As a builder I end up doing a lot of building inspections for friends and family. It's a pain in my arse- if I take any money there's moral liability issues, but often I end up doing 10 or 15 housing inspections and end up with a 6 pack of beers.
As a consequence I've gotten real good at taking non-builders through the basic things to look out for, and I thought I'd share that with the group, for any of yous lucky enough to be buying a house in this climate.
Before we begin- this is a public service aimed at other builders in the same boat as me. Not you, you lucky bastard. Quit whinging about how hard it is looking for a house and buy your mate a bottle of lagavulin. Legally- you can definitely read this and skip an actual building inspection. Totally. Ive got a flair from reddit which is a govt recognized accreditation. I accept full liability. Email me @ [email protected].
Let's start from the top-
step back and look at the lines and planes of the roof. Any faults in the roof framing will be visible to the eye in sags in the top line or any plane. If it bends down in the middle of the top ridge or along any plane there are framing issues.
Penetrations: how many holes have been made for chimneys, HWC, TV aerials etc? The more things coming out of the roof the higher the risk. The older they are the more the risk increases.
Tin roofs: it's horribly expensive to pull the old lead washer nails up and replace them. The nails are a massive pain to pull without damaging the tin and the big washers are 2 bucks a pop. If it's nailed not screwed try to take at least half of a reroof (avg 30k in akl ish- plus insulation and hurricane ties while it's off another 10)
Tile roofs- concrete tile roofs last pretty much forever. Is it painted? Are there tiles missing? Cracked? Recently replaced? Tile roofs are heavy- check the planes and lines a second time to look for framing issues. They will show much more than in tin.
Downpipes: how many are there? How does the gutter look? Is there some fall? Is there mossy bits? Do they go into a storm or just discharge onto the ground? We'll get back to this with drainage.
Most building inspection companies have a waiver that they don't cover roofs- there's too much other shit to look at and it's too dangerous for them to clamber about- so the roof condition is perhaps the most important thing to judge for yourself.
Eave: does the building have a roof overhang? Eg the roof extends past the walls a significant amount? Preferably 600mm at least 400mm? No? Is it older than 2011? Only get it inspected if you think you can get 200k off the asking price.
Stick your head up into the attic. Is there paper under the tin? If tiles can you see any patches of light coming through? Is it insulated? With what? Can you see any evidence of water staining or rot?
Let's just get out the gate and say any 90s build external monolithic EIFTS or wtf it's called fake Spanish adobo no eave bullshit is a great buy. Can't go wrong. Probably a real bargain. Get in quickly! Skip an inspection!!!
Fibre cement pre 1988. Asbestos is the perfect building material. The Romans used to make napkins out of it. They'd finish dinner, wipe their face, throw them in the fire, and pull them out snowy white and ready for another meal. Asbestos also has excellent thermal qualities, electrical resistance, and longevity. They still pull Asbestos napkins out of the ground in mint condition. I cannot get enough asbestos in my buildings. I need more asbestos. It's flawless. Inject it into my veins.
Jokes aside- you can often pick up an asbestos clad house for a bargain. Theyre mint. You just can't change the floor plan without paying a fortune. IMHO you're more likely to have issues with a new fibre cement clad.
Windows: windows are the nasal cavities of the deadly virus known as leaky house syndrome. How is it transmitted? NO ONE KNOWS. But look at the gib inside under the corners of the windows. And the skirting. Pull back the carpet. How old is the house? Can I be fucked talking about flashings? Nah bro I cannot.
Framing: main thing to check for the layman is borer. When you've stuck your head up in the roof have a good look for it. Do the same in the sub floor. If the realtor is not looking whip out yore sledgie and knock a couple quick holes into the gib. They won't mind. Most realtors know the best way to patch a hole is a bit of A3 paper and some PVA. Trust me. I'm a realtor. Change my flair.
Mostly borer will start from the subfloor and work it's way up. You do hit the odd older house where the subfloor is something bug resistant and the cladding is miro and the walls are sapwood rimu and completely fucked. Get the sledge out bro. It'll be fine.
Pile Foundations- get under the house. First thing we're looking for is rot. Crawl all around. Get nice and dirty. Then come out again- you don't know anything about bearer spacing. You're wasting your time under there. Who's your builder he's a fucking idiot.
Concrete: if there's cracks in the slab or the blockwork then you've got some problems.
Drainage: ah Jesus paddy Drainage is fucking complicated. Again most building inspection companies AFAIK will have some sort of waiver cos they don't cctv the lines. I dunno. Kick a gully trap. Does it ring a little bit? Should be all good.
Plumbing: do a massive jobbie in the loo. Wipe like you're meeting cleopatra for lunch. See what happens. Hopefully some kind plumber will talk about butelyne pipes because I'm all out of fucks. Are they black? Butelyne is black. I think 80s-90s. That's all I know.
Electrical- open the board. Lick your finger and rub it around. I'm out of beers and this house is ugly. Just buy it anyway.
Disclaimer: this one's for my fellow builders. I realize I've done a shit job on this. It's the clients fault. Feel free to pile in with some help.
If anyone has any questions it's a six pack of beers per answer. Stay safe out there team and good luck.
submitted by Garmo738 to diynz [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 06:09 SubstantialBite788 I Need to Kill Myself in Your House

“I need to kill myself in your house.”
That’s how I was introduced to Mr. Mercury Lewis. He rung my doorbell, shocking me out of an already restless sleep, at three fifteen in the morning. I answered the door and that was the first thing he said, no introduction, no slowly getting around to it, straight to the matter at hand, pointing a pistol in my general direction.
“I’m not going to kill you, if you cooperate.” He walked in and motioned me toward the kitchen.
“Hey man, it’ll get better,” I poorly advised.
“No, it won’t, unless I do this. And I’m sorry for this, but the spirit wants you to watch.”
“Spirit?” Now I knew that this man had lost his mind. “What’s your name?”
“Mercury Lewis. I bought this house twenty years ago. A woman appeared on our doorstep. She introduced herself as Mary Williams. She insisted on coming inside to talk about life insurance. We told her we weren’t interested, but she begged, saying she was being watched and that she would get a nominal fee for at least getting in the house. My wife saw no harm in it, so we let her inside. She talked about life insurance for a little bit but it became apparent she had no clue what she was talking about. She asked if she could go get a drink of water. We told her where she could get a glass. She walked back to the kitchen. My boys came back in from playing outside with the neighbors. Mary Williams calmly walked back to the living room, stood in front of my family and shoved a butcher knife into her neck as hard she could, pushing it all the way through to the back side of her head. She fell back to the floor, writhing in pain, contorting this way and that, kicking our coffee table and knocking my wife’s snow globes on the floor. My boys saw everything. They were only ten and twelve. I don’t think they ever really recovered. How could they? I didn’t. My wife didn’t either. She took her own life.
He paused and looked down at the floor.
“We called the ambulance, but by the time they got there she had bled out and died. I tried to grab some towels and stop the bleeding. I didn’t know if I should pull out the knife or not. I won’t tell you what happened next, but you’ll see. And now it’s my turn. It’s a bargain. I do it and the spirit leaves my sons alone. You see sir… by the way, what’s your name?”
“Jeff,” I answered. “Listen we can get you help. There’s no spirit. Please, let me help you Mercury,” I pleaded, but he ignored me and continued talking.
“Well Jeff, you seem like a nice young man but the spirit in this house will never let you go. You belong to it now, unless you end it. I hope you don’t have family. I hope you don’t have kids or a wife. I didn’t want to be deceitful like little Ms. Mary. I’m here to end it. I walked here from my house. Left my car. I didn’t want anyone to trace my presence back to this fucking house. Take my advice, no matter how much you hate this house after this, don’t sell. No matter what you see, make believe you didn’t see it. Persist in your ignorance. If you act like nothing happened, then it will leave you alone, but if you leave, you’ll have hell to pay.” And with that last sentence Mercury Lewis put the gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger.
The top of Mercury’s head exploded, painting my kitchen window and ceiling dark red, textured with brain and bone, like a nightmarish Van Gogh creation. I didn’t have time to make my case. He made his explanation and did his deed without any indecision. I was in shock. I went to call the police, when all of the sudden the basement door violently flew open, banging against the chair molding. I heard footsteps, but didn’t see anyone. Mercury’s ankles lifted into the air and his body started moving towards the basement door as if being dragged. His body moved past me and I could feel a deep chill envelop my soul. Mercury’s head left a trail of blood on the kitchen floor. When his body cleared the basement door, it slammed shut. I could hear his head banging against the treads as he was dragged downstairs.
I was confused. Should I call the police or not? How would I explain his body being downstairs? Even if I cleaned the blood trail, they would be able to detect it, they would know I wasn’t being completely honest. Yet, I decided it was the right thing to do. I couldn’t explain everything, but neither could I live with not calling the police. I walked over to the kitchen cabinet where my cell phone was charging. As I went to grab it, the basement door opened again. A cool breeze began to flow. I was shivering with fear and a steady drop in body temperature. Something smashed the phone and shoved it off of the cabinet. It fell to the floor, and shattered the screen. The basement door slammed shut. My body grew warm and the environment was a little more comfortable.
I didn’t call the police. I never reported the incident. I did see on the local news that Mr. Mercury Lewis had went missing. His sons were putting together a group of volunteers to look for him, but I could tell they were disingenuous. They knew what he had done and where he had done it. They were playing out the last act of the play, putting the whole affair behind them. They would search about two more weeks and call it quits after that. I took Mercury's advice and tried to act like nothing had happened, but what worried me most was that he wasn’t the one who sold the house to me. How many more times will I have to endure this? How many more late night visits are scheduled and what the hell is in my basement?
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2023.03.25 05:55 XxRenKylio__ The poem

The poem submitted by XxRenKylio__ to Zhongl [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 05:23 tiltedsun What is your Dive Bar checklist?

Here's mine:
submitted by tiltedsun to DiveBars [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 05:01 Harbinger_51 I do a job for the government none of you know about. You should.

It was a beautiful day in the fall, and though being in the middle of nowhere in Ohio isn’t exactly my ideal setting for an assignment, it could have been worse. Opening my windows, listening to music, and getting a good whiff of country air is a nice contrast to being cooped up in cities like I’m used to. The sight of brown stalks of corn populating the miles of fields along the road was welcome, as was the cool and clean smell of the air. It’s a good thing these jobs don’t involve much interaction with people. Unfortunately, some level of interaction is inevitable.

On my way to this one, I got a speeding ticket from a cop at some little local department. Though I was, in fact, speeding, I got the feeling that he also didn’t so much like seeing a fed in his neck of the woods. The local police aren’t a fan of us, so I’ve come to learn. They tend to get suspicious of us, thinking we’re up to some top-secret mission behind their backs. I guess they would be right.

I kept driving down the gravel road until the navigation let me know my destination was coming up on the right. Turning down the radio as I approached, I glanced toward the empty fields and the woods that met them beyond. I then turned into the long dirt driveway leading to our civilians’ house and garage.

I rolled up and parked with my trunk facing the porch. Stepping out, I got another whiff of the fresh country air and looked at the area of operations that lay before me. I was surprised at the amount of land and space that I had at my disposal. Space is good for these jobs. Additionally, I was informed that there weren’t any neighbors close enough to worry about. I couldn’t have asked for a better setting.

After stretching and letting out a light sigh, I decided it was time to get to work. I pulled the keychain out of my pocket and unlocked the front door. It seemed like a nice enough place. It was certainly nothing worth complaining about given the conditions of houses I’ve faced in my previous assignments. I went back outside to my massive, government-issued vehicle and opened the trunk.

I pulled the first couple of duffel bags worth of equipment out and brought them inside. The kitchen was as good a place as any to set up. After making five or six trips of dragging heavy bags and boxes of my junk into the house, I went back outside to open the garage. Thank God we were able to catch this case early and the civilians were able to make it out in time. It also meant I got room in the garage to park this thing. All that remained in the truck was the large metallic box, but I wasn’t going to need that until later.

I shut the trunk and pulled my vehicle into the garage, closing it on my way out. I stepped back into the house where I changed from my suit to my gear. Wearing the suit all day annoys me but I suppose the higher-ups want us to look like good, “friendly” feds to the public. The public has no idea the kind of monsters we are.

I unpacked box after box of equipment and weapons. I loaded up my Glock 17 with its extended 30-round magazine just as I did with my standard .556 rifle. I checked the laser sights on both. All good. Next was my favorite, the.338 with the best scope you could ever ask for. It sure is nice having a virtually infinite budget. Perks of working for the US federal government I suppose. The final firearm I brought was my personal .357 magnum revolver that I kept holstered on my chest. I figure it’s never a bad idea to have one more gun, just in case. Maybe I should have brought more on this one. If things got too close, I always had my hunting knife. I sharpened it that morning before heading out.

The next few hours consisted of me going out into the woods near the house in various places and setting up dozens of my little cameras equipped with motion sensors. They were there to give me an idea of the location of anything that got brave enough to get close to the fields that surrounded the house, I would be able to know about anything that was coming to me. I didn’t take too much caution in setting them up. Things never get interesting until nightfall.

I returned to the house where I turned on my laptop and assured that all the cameras were connected and working. I could see every single one of them from there and would know if anything so much as moved. I then got situated on a chair by the kitchen table, where I opened the window and set up my .338 rifle to watch the fields with.

I suppose it would be worth mentioning why I’m out here, setting up fancy equipment in the woods and loading up an arsenal of guns while I’m alone in a farmhouse that isn’t mine. Let’s back it up.

March 1st, 2017, 3:33 am, Iowa

Dispatch gets a call from a local farmer. He claims to be looking at a figure standing still at the edge of a treeline on his property. The description given by the farmer was that of a man of average stature and build, clothed in a loose black or grey shirt and trousers and a large-brimmed hat.

The farmer tells dispatch that he had awoken abruptly roughly an hour earlier, unspecified as to why. He spotted the figure outside his kitchen window soon after. The figure had been standing near the edge of a row of trees. It was facing the house and hadn’t moved a muscle since the farmer noticed him. The farmer quickly retrieved his rifle and walked out onto his lawn, proceeding to brandish his firearm and tell the trespasser that this property was his and to leave immediately. The farmer, seeing that the man remained unthreatened by his warning and display of a firearm, retreaded back into his home to retrieve his phone and call 9-1-1 as he continued to watch the figure from his porch.

During this call, the farmer’s voice was noticeably nervous and frightened. The desperate tone and quivering speech continued to worsen as he went on explaining the situation to dispatch. Dispatch instructed the farmer to remain where he stood and not to approach the trespasser. Dispatch reassured the farmer that the police were on their way. A few quiet and uneventful minutes passed. Then, without warning, the farmer let out a horrified scream through the phone. The call was disconnected seconds later.

The police began their over 40-minute drive to the residence. Halfway to their arrival, multiple new calls were coming to dispatch from the farmer’s neighbors. They reported seeing a large stack of smoke coming from the farmer’s home, and the closest reported seeing the house on fire.

By the time police arrived, the house had burned to the ground. The fire department arrived shortly after but oddly enough, the fire had completely subsided. What remained was the charred crumbs of what was once a house. The firefighters that arrived on site were bewildered by how quickly the fire must have burned the house. There was no explanation they could fathom.

The police searched the nearby fields and woods for the farmer and alleged trespasser to no avail, however, their search was quickly called back upon the findings of the firefighters in the house. The man’s charred bones were found beneath the rubble but not as they should have been. It became clear after further investigation that the man’s limbs were ripped from his body before it was incinerated at an impossible speed. 4 .308 bullet casings were found where the porch of the house used to be. The rifle was found just outside of the house, unscathed despite its proximity to such a violent fire. Forensics confirmed that the rifle had fired these casings but the bullets themselves were never found.

This was the first, but far from the last.

October 28th, 2017, 11:07 pm, Montana

Dispatch gets a call from a rancher who spotted a woman in an old-fashioned black and white dress and wearing a linen cap. The rancher claimed the woman was standing amongst his cattle and not moving. The rancher expressed no panic or concern for his safety over the phone, but rather a concern for the woman in the field. The rancher also noted that his cattle kept their distance around the woman.

An ambulance arrived at 11:29. Paramedics found no trace of the alleged woman. They walked to the entrance of the rancher’s house and discovered his door to be unlocked and open. After calling for the rancher and getting no response, they stepped inside to be greeted by the corpse of the rancher, hanging from a noose in his stairwell. The man had no history of mental illness and none of his relatives or acquaintances had any reason to believe he was suicidal. Additionally, an autopsy report concluded that both arms were broken in multiple places as well as every finger as if they had been crumpled together by a great force. He could not have tied the noose himself.

November 29th, 2018, 2:06 am, Wisconsin

Dispatch gets a call from another farmer. He had spotted a woman in an old black and white dress and linen cap. The woman had been standing in the long driveway from the road to his house, lit by the lamp that covered it. She stood motionless in the cold, windy, and heavily snowing weather. The farmer and his wife were later found under a collapsed wall of their crumpled house with stones placed on top. They had been placed in a seemingly orderly fashion until there was enough weight to crush their bones.

This happens to be the first incident we have on record with photo evidence. A trail cam owned by the farmer and his wife a few acres away from the house caught a picture the night of the incident. It caught a picture of the woman exactly as the farmer had described. Black and white dress, white linen camp. It looked as though she had stepped through time from hundreds of years before and placed like a mannequin in front of the camera.

May 30th, 2019, Minnesota

September 3rd, 2019, Nebraska

January 4th, 2020, South Dakota

I could go on but the point is that these incidents have been happening more and more frequently and they aren’t stopping. We do know what they are, or at least what they’re supposed to represent to us.

Every single one of these “people” lived in North America during the witch trials. We don’t believe they were the ones who were executed. We believe they were the ones who made the accusations, the ones who got their neighbors killed, the ones who carried out the executions and now they’re back to kill again.

Luckily, my department picked up on these patterns early on and designated a team to deal with them. There are a few hundred of us. I am in the dark about what everyone does exactly. I haven’t met many but I do know that some find potential incidents, some investigate, some deal with the cover-up and handling the publicity, and then, of course, there are the ones you send in to eradicate the problem. That’s where I come in.

I am here to hunt them down, to put them back in their graves so it would seem. Sometimes I get here before they’ve claimed a victim, sometimes after. But their reign of terror comes to an end with me. They’ve never gotten away from me, and I have never failed an assignment. I didn’t plan on this night being any different.

A beep sounded from my laptop screen as an outline from one of the cameras lit up, indicating that the motion sensor detected movement. It had been quiet since I set it up, there was not even the slightest sign of wildlife. No deer, no squirrels, nothing. I leaned forward and intently examined the camera that had been triggered. There was nothing to see. Another sensor triggered. Again, the camera showed nothing. My eyes darted from camera to camera, looking for motion. Another camera triggered, though all that I caught sight of was a shaking tree branch. There was no wind today. Another. This time I saw it. A dog-looking figure darted across the camera in only a few frames, but I knew it was no dog.

I turned my attention from the cameras to the field in front of me, where the movement had come from. I got behind my rifle and looked down the scope to the treeline in the distance. My heart began to pound in my chest at an intense tempo.

I could feel the adrenaline kicking in while I scanned the edge of the field for movement. All that greeted me was the orange glint of the setting sun on the treeline and the tiny shadows of the little stumps of corn stalks in the otherwise empty field. It was silent. Not even a wind accompanied me this evening, though I can’t complain. It’s better for shooting.

For a few minutes, I continued to run my scope along the treeline, occasionally getting a peek with my own eyes. It was during one of these peeks when I noticed a color out of place, in between a couple of trees on the other side of the field—some sort of black-and-white spec that was there not a second before. I lowered my head down, back behind the scope, and centered it. As I steadied the scope, a man-like figure standing at the edge of the field came into focus.

It wore black, tattered rags of clothing that hung loosely on its rigid frame. It stood still, stiff as a board. Its eyes were fixed on something ahead of it. It took me a moment to realize it was focused on me. It didn’t move a muscle, not even blinking as it stared.

I came to my senses and prepared to do my job. I flipped the safety off of my rifle and centered my crosshairs on its chest. I began to breathe deeply, my finger on the trigger, ready to pull but I didn’t take the shot, not yet. I saw it start to move.

Even with the distance between us, my scope made the picture of this figure clear as day. The movement came from only one part of its body; its mouth. First, its crusty lips detached from one another and the mouth began to open. Steadily, it opened more, and more all the while the rest of its body and head remained fixed. Its jaw sank to what should have been all the more it could, but it didn’t stop. It fell further, dipping down below its chest, its skin like a stretched rubber band waiting to snap, though it didn’t, it kept stretching.

Still stiff as a board, the man-like thing remained with its eyes locked on me while its mouth sat open, impossibly wide. It stood still with its hanging jaw for a moment, a moment I shouldn’t have given it. Now I knew I had my target. I began to apply pressure to the trigger before I was stopped, shaken by a force.

A scream, like a choir of souls in despair being dragged off to hell, with the power of a thousand horns sounding the start of a medieval battle rung through the fields. Its volume caused flocks of birds in the nearby trees to fly away in a panic, its bass shuddered through my chest and left me too hypnotized to pull the trigger. I’ll never get used to hearing one of them scream.

“Here we go”

I muttered to myself, the only thought I could conjure from my brain at the moment.

Closing its mouth, it leaped forward and reached for the ground in front of it with its hands fixed like claws. As soon as they met the ground, the feet followed and planted themselves quickly so that it could boost itself forward once again. It had begun its terrible charge. All the while, its face remained fixed on me, rotting teeth exposed and clenched in rage. The speed at which it rushed across the empty field would make a deer running for its life look lazy in comparison, but I was the prey here.

Though my heart began to race at the sight of this abomination barreling toward me, this anomaly of hatred and hunger bound to flesh, I remained calm. I began to steady my breathing, taking control of each breath, in and out.

Inhale. Exhale.

Inhale. Exhale.

Inhale. Exhale.


The crack of the shot rang out through the dimming sky and the field before me, my response to its enraged scream. I remained fixed on the target, observing the spatter of blood as it shot from its back. It began to scream again, this time rapidly and desperate in tone. I quickly moved the bolt and chambered the next round, accompanied by the soft ring of the brass bouncing on the floorboards under my chair.

Although I managed to land a clean shot to the chest, it didn’t do much. It kept running, keeping on at its same speed. Though now it changed its direction and was running adjacent to my position in the house. It was trying to flank me. It wanted to find a way around my line of sight. I couldn’t let it.

Again, I took control of my breathing. Slowly, I drifted my rifle on the bipod until the creature came back into view. Its limbs pounded at the ground with speed and power as it propelled itself across the field. I’ll never get used to seeing one run either.

Starting behind it, I continued to move the scope, just fast enough to begin gaining on him, just fast enough to let the crosshairs catch up. Inhale. Exhale. The crosshairs slowly began to overtake it. Inhale. Exhale. Squeeze.

I chambered the next round quickly. This shot brought him to the ground, but it didn’t keep him there. After a short tumble, it rose and began to run again, this time back towards the woods it came from. Inhale. Exhale. Squeeze.

The third shot grazed its back. Frustrated, I chambered another round and took aim, but it was far too late. Before I could even begin to line up my fourth shot, it had taken one final leap from the field back into the treeline it came from.

I let out a sigh and hung my head in disappointment. I knew what I had to do next but I sure as hell didn’t want to. The last flickers of sunlight shone through the open window and lit my .338 rifle as I reloaded the magazine. I sat and stared blankly at the screen in front of me, hoping a camera would pick up some sort of movement that could clue me into wherever it ran off to. Knowing my luck, I shouldn’t have expected it to.

After coming to terms with reality, I stood up and grabbed my .556, slinging it around my body and letting it hang in front of me. I aimed it down, looking through its sight and testing its laser again before checking the chamber. Good to go. Next, I adjusted the night vision set to my head before picking up my .338 and heading for the door. As I stepped outside, I let out another sigh, this one of stress. Hunting these things at night, on their own turf is never as fun, nor as easy as finishing them quickly from a distance but what choice did I have? I just wanted to get it over with.

I flipped down my goggles and switched them on, illuminating the dark field in green and white. I began my long walk across. It took me longer than expected. The speed of that monstrosity caused me to underestimate the size of the field. Each step I took was slow and quiet. I didn’t want the crunch of my feet meeting the dirt and remnants of corn stalks to disturb my hearing. If that thing made a noise, I needed to hear it. If only I could have quieted my incessant heavy, nervous breathing too.

I was not even halfway to the treeline when I reached the first pool of blood, where I had shot it for the second time, and it decided to retreat. Bits of flesh were scattered about the ground, but I didn’t care to stop and look. Instead, I focussed on the blood I could see that led back into the woods.

Any experienced hunter has had to track a deer or two. It can be very frustrating. The trail isn’t always so clear, and you never know how far it has gotten. In my case, I knew this thing was still alive, and it was angry.

I continued my walk, splitting my attention between the blood trail on the ground and the treeline in front of me, scanning for movement and listening. If I was lucky enough, it would have gotten bold and tried to take me down in the field. Unfortunately, I’m not so lucky. Silently, I followed the trail until it met the woods. I stopped walking and calmed myself.

I didn’t want to go past those damn trees, but there was no avoiding it. I had a job to do. I extended the bipod of my .338 and lowered it to the ground before raising the stock of my other rifle to my shoulder. I took a deep breath and resumed my walk, now even slower and more cautious. At least now my heavy breathing would be drowned out by the sound of snapping twigs beneath my feet.

Immediately upon entering the woods, I spotted the next sight of blood. It came from a tree branch, its leaves covered in the dripping crimson liquid. I walked up to observe, only to notice more blood on the branch above that one. And the next. I noticed the pattern and followed each branch up, one by one, each with its leaves covered in blood. Suddenly a mass moved on top of the tree next to the one I was looking up at.

I swung my rifle up, pointing above me at the top of the trees. The mass turned and into view came two glowing eyes, like white lights in my night vision. It opened its mouth again to let out another deafening scream but I raised my rifle and took aim. Its scream was cut short by a bang from my barrel and the thud of the rounds meeting flesh. I was only able to squeeze half a dozen rounds off before it leaped away, to the tops of the neighboring trees.

I kept shooting as it jumped from one tree to another, though within seconds it was out of my line of sight. I charged through the woods after it and watched it leap impossible distances, shaking trees so hard I thought some might snap. All the while I kept trying and failing, to line up a clean shot. The ones I did manage to squeeze off were either misses or ineffective.

Even at the full-on sprint that I managed to sustain for a good few minutes, I was barely able to keep up. I almost abandoned the chase entirely before I saw an opportunity. There was a clearing ahead. A trail. The distance across was far too wide for it to jump. It took a sharp right once it realized this and began jumping from tree to tree along the trail. I rushed into the opening before kneeling to line up a shot. I followed it with my sights, tracking the timing of each leap, and letting t it land and leap once more before it settled on a new tree. I shot off two more rounds as it braced to leap again.

They were perfectly placed and its body tumbled in the air and crashed violently to the ground. Having lined up my sight, I squeezed the trigger again to hear the absence of a gunshot, replaced by the click of the firing pin in the empty chamber. I screamed curses at myself as I quickly exchanged magazines. By the time I looked up, the body was already gone.

I got to my feet and continued down the trail at a jog-like pace with my rifle at the ready. I was beginning to get frustrated more than anything. I’ve put dozens of these things in the ground before, I didn’t understand why was I having such a hard time with this one. As I approached a curve in the trail, I slowed my pace and brought the stock of my rifle back to my shoulder. I approached the curve from the outside of the trail, trying to get a clear view of what was beyond when my head violently snapped to the left.

My vision went suddenly dark and it took me a few moments to realize that I wasn't dead, nor was I unconscious. Something hit my night vision goggles and knocked them clear off of my head, breaking the mount they sat on. My eyes were only beginning to adapt to the dark when another object came flying towards my head, narrowly missing as it whistled forcefully past my ear. It was a rock, around the size of a football. I couldn’t help but glance behind me in astonishment at the object that had nearly decapitated me before turning my attention back to what threw it.

Sure enough, there it was. Standing behind the trees at the corner of the path. I let my anger take control and began to fire rapidly at its torso. My disregard for accuracy hardly mattered at this range. Regrettably, it meant I was now closer than I would have liked and it began to charge. I landed shot after shot. Blood spurted from its back and painted the tree branches and leaves that it passed as it barreled toward me.

Again, my magazine went empty. Instead of bothering to reload a new one, I quickly drew my Glock and continued my rapid fire on the beast. It broke into the clearing and fell to all fours before it leaped forward and ran as it had done in the field. It closed the distance between us in seconds.

A hand clenched around my throat and I was lifted off of the ground like a feather. It kept running, past the edge of the clearing and carrying me into the woods. I continued to pepper it at point-blank range with my pistol. Between shots, I could hear its hysterical laughter directed at my futile efforts. Its face smiled with a look of sadistic insanity.

I continued shooting until my magazine went dry and I was stuck with an empty gun. With nothing else I could do, I began to beat its face with the empty pistol. This seemed to piss it off. It violently threw me through the air. I felt my body snap dozens of branches before I met the ground and rolled uncontrollably.

Recovering quickly, I grasped the rifle still slung around me and replaced the empty magazine with a new one. It was mere feet away from me when I started to fire. I got a few shots off before it grabbed my arm. This time I whipped the barrel of my rifle up, clubbing it hard across the face. It let out a short, irritated scream. I thrust my barrel at the top of its head, knocking it back as it emitted another angry grunt. It reached up with its left arm and tried to grab the barrel before half of its fingers were blown off by my next shot. It recoiled its arm in pain before swinging it back at me.

Upon contact, my rifle flew out of my hands and the sling came undone from my body as it was thrown far into the woods behind me. I attempted to retreat before he grabbed me with his right hand, and what remained of his left around my neck. Again, I was picked up and it carried me, this time only a short distance to a tree. My back cracked as I was slammed into the bark.

It looked up at me and smiled again.

“We killed our sinners, we brought justice to our land. We brought justice for God”

I ignored its foul speech, lifting an arm and hooking it across the face with a firm punch. It had no effect.

“You are all sinners, and you will die for your sins as they did”

Again, I struggled and pummeled its face with everything I could muster but it still did nothing.

“Now go and burn in the lake of fire”

It shouted, before laughing with a dozen sadistic voices all coming from its mouth.

It opened its mouth and its jaw was once again stretched to what should be an impossible level. It lowered me until I was level with it. It moved its open mouth toward my head, shaking with rage. Its teeth now inches from my face. Its breath, foul. With my left arm, I drew my knife, slashing it across the chest before plunging it into its neck. I hooked a punch with my right arm that finally caused it to stumble. It wound up its own punch and let it loose. I narrowly escaped, ducking out of the way before its fist met the tree and went right through, splitting it in half before the wood tumbled to the ground.

I took this opportunity to draw my .357. He recovered from its punch and faced me, pulling the knife from its neck and letting blood spurt and gush. It stared me down as it slowly approached, ready to deliver its finishing blow.

Its head was shaking now, harder than ever in anger, its mouth hung open to half its capacity where it showed its rows of rotting human teeth. I raised my revolver and attempted to steady my sights but I was too shaky. I quickly collected myself. Inhale. Exhale. The front sight became level with the rear. Squeeze.

The recoil caused the gun to rise enough for me to get a look at the damage. I clipped its mouth, in the corner of its jaw. It hung open, with one side detached completely. It wailed in pain as it gargled its blood and crumbled to the ground. I aimed again, cocking the hammer. Squeeze. With the second round, I detached its jaw completely.

“Let’s see you bite me now, fucker”

I painfully muttered with anger. It dropped my knife and was now laying flat on its back, breathing heavily. I approached, cocking the revolver again as I did. It reached out with its mangled hand but I kicked it away before placing my barrel to its skull. Squeeze. And then silence.

After dragging the body back to the field, I spent the next few hours retrieving my lost and damaged equipment, as well as tediously finding every one of my cameras. I then retrieved my vehicle and drove it to the edge of the field. There was just one more thing to do.

I opened my trunk and pulled out the metallic box. I don’t understand why they make these things so goddamn heavy. I opened it and placed the corpse inside before securing the extremely heavy-duty lock. Next was the hole. It wasn’t easy digging after I had been roughed up and tossed around by an undead religious maniac with superhuman strength, but at least this was the last thing I had to do.

I finished digging the hole, placed the metal casket inside, and covered it up. From there, I collected my equipment, packed it up, and took off. Supposedly there’s a cleanup crew that comes in after we’re done with these missions and destroys any bizarre evidence.

I suspect they take the body as well. Where do they take it? What do they do with it? I have no clue but I’ve been strictly reminded to not ask questions on the matter and to just stick to doing my job. Still, I always find myself wondering.

What I have even more questions about is why these things exist in the first place. What the hell is going on? Why them? Why now? Has this been going on for longer than I know? Am I being lied to? What happens next, in the future, if this keeps going on? It’s only been getting worse. They’ve only been popping up more and more frequently. When does it end? Does it end?

I have more questions than I do answers but what I can tell you is that this problem isn’t going away anytime soon. It’s only going to get worse. There are only going to be more of them, not less. The death toll will only continue to rise. People are going to find out sooner or later. It might as well be now. Maybe we will stop them. Maybe this will all come to an end one day, or maybe we are the ones who are all going to meet our end. Either way, I’ll be there to see it.
submitted by Harbinger_51 to nosleep [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 04:36 PappyStrangeLife The Man from Capernaum

God said to Abraham, "Kill me a son"
Abe say, "Man, you must be puttin' me on"
God say, "No, " Abe say, "What?"
God say, "You can do what you want Abe, but
Next time you see me comin', you better run"
Abe said, "Where do you want this killin' done?"
God said, "Out on Highway 61"
The radio, a martyr’s relic from a bygone era, sounded half as faded as I was.
I reeked of vodka and middy weed. I didn’t care. This lonely stretch of highway belonged to no one as far as I was concerned, and you gambled taking the curves in the dark.
It was your fault if you choose to gamble with me. Least, that’s the way I saw it.
Texas felt so far away.
Well, Cowboy Dan's a major player in the cowboy scene
He goes to the reservation, drinks and gets mean
And he's gonna start a war
He's gonna start a warrrrrr
And he hops in his pickup
Puts his pedal to the floor
And says, "I got mine
But I want more"
Because Cowboy Dan's a major player in the cowboy scene
He goes to the reservation, drinks and gets mean
He goes to the desert, fires his rifle in the sky
And says, "God, if I have to die, you will have to die"
I hacked up what felt like part of a lung. My hand was stained, the oxidized rust of old blood mixed with a fresh coat of red, a fresco that highlighted a life poorly lived.
What happened to Bob Dylan?
Or was it Johnny Cash?
Wasn’t I just listening…
Gaps in time. I prayed I hadn’t taken the ketamine.
That was for later.
If you want proof time is just a strongly worded opinion, just slip into a k-hole.
That was for later.
My eyelids felt heavy.
There were no stars.
Endless pines, only shadowy outlines in the dark, still cover for the night’s starving predators, were all I could make out.
I just guessed at where the road kinked and turned and straightened.
I was playing a game with God, and I wanted to lose.
I wanted us all to lose.
“Dance, Dance to the radio
While the, Devil takes control,
Dance, Dance to the radio,
While the, Devil takes control…”
The warm hug of oblivion, a feeling like endless cookies and Saturday morning cartoons, began slipping its infinite arms around me.
Come and See, and I saw.
It was still the witching hour when I woke with a startled gasp. I could feel the claws of need, withdrawal, dragging up my arms, burrowing into my skin, making the back of my eyeballs vibrate.
Every day the need grew stronger, and every day, I killed off a little bit more of me.
One is too many, and a thousand is never enough.
I was in a ditch.
This wasn’t new or news. I tended to wake up in a lot of ditches. Beats Motel 6. Fewer roaches and you could smoke in every room.
My truck wouldn’t start.
Not even the wheezing gasps of a machine trying to cling to artificial life. Just a click and utter silence.
The battery couldn’t be dead. I checked my watch.
5:55 A.M.
I figured I’d tried to hit the eternal snooze button around 3 A.M. It had only been a few hours. Battery should be fine.
A cursory inspection showed no external damage. No blown tires, no misbegotten wires or missing spark plugs. Hell, it seemed like I’d just slowly cruised into this dark little corner of the universe.
It was as though the truck just gave up the ghost and said, "I’m done." The thirsty horse dropping to the ground in an endless desert, done with the death march.
I bear crawled up the small ravine and onto the highway.
A generous term for a lonely road in whatever the Hell backwater burg America had shit out here.
All I could see were outlines in the dark.
Fitting, I thought.
And then an explosion stole my vision.
Let there be light.
And there was.
And it was good.
Especially good.
Because it was a bar.
A ramshackle of a spot, dive joint meets biker meth hangout, from the looks of it, and it was just powering up.
Shit, if you couldn’t drink on Sunday morning, were we really free? Were we really God’s children at all?
I started ambling toward the light, my eyes adjusting to the deep gloom.
“The Man from Capernaum.”
Hell of a name for a spot in the middle of BFE.
Hell of a name.
Hell, I needed a drink.
My watch read 6 a.m. but it was 5 o’clock somewhere, and this place had electricity buzzing it had to pay for and didn’t much strike me as the sort of establishment that probably saw the law as anything more than a nuisance.
I sauntered up to the door, my black boots clicking loudly against the rotten wooden porch.
Into the lion’s den we go.
Unsurprisingly, it was empty as a church on Friday night. Why kill the Son if you can’t have the sin, after all?
But it was unlocked and music was softly crooning from somewhere.
“As I went down in the river to pray
Studying about that Good Ol’ Way
And who shall wear the robe and crown
Good Lord, show me the way”
Fantastic. No bartender and proselyting in a shit joint. That’s just what my migraine and itchy skin called for.
I considered hopping the bar and grabbing a bottle of Jack Daniel’s, but this struck me as a place where your head might become acquainted with a shotgun right quick and nobody would kick up much fuss.
I was going out, a lamb among wolves, but on my terms. I’d had enough violence. I wanted to feel the void swallow me whole, not feel a hole swallow my head.
Plopping down on an empty stool, I risked lighting up a smoke. Certainly they wouldn’t get bent out of shape over a cowboy killer or two.
And shit, who was there to kick up dirt anyway? A ghost town without the spirits, save the ones just behind the bar and out of reach.
The tantalizing fruit in the garden.
God, I need a cold one, now.
“Till armageddon no shalam, no shalom
Then the Father Hen will call His chickens home
The wise man will bow down before the throne
And at His feet they'll cast their golden crowns
When The Man comes around”
The hairs on my arm stood up.
That wasn’t the gentle croon of some A.M. gospel channel. That was someone singin’ in the bar.
In the furthest stool at the left end of the bar, a wild looking man sat, intermittently taking greedy gulps of amber beer and singing loudly, his other arm flailing frenetically as though conducting an unseen orchestra.
Ah, good, a ninja crackhead. That’s just what I need.
He looked over at me and I leapt from my chair and damn near outta my boots.
Ancient as the hills, this man looked like he’d just come down the mountain from communing with the darkness itself.
God damn.
A wild, grey, patchy beard splayed out in every direction, as though the hair itself was trying to escape the vessel that grew it.
The crown of his head was bald but the rest was shaggy white hair, matted in some places, errantly sticking up in others, as though it couldn’t choose between electrocution and submission.
He wore what looked like a white robe, but it was stained with all manner of mess. Copper, brown, yellow, black. Blood, shit, piss, and Heaven only knows what. A fetid robe of many colors.
Tattered, rudimentary sandals held in dirty feet with long, yellowed toenails.
The man reeked worse than sulfur. Worse than death. It was like the pungent stank of the human stain clung to him with reckless abandon.
He was chubby and withered and maddened.
But none of that held a penny to his eyes.
Orbs of the purest white, ringed with seared, blackened flesh around the edges.
Nothing but endless, empty white that somehow felt like it saw nothing but what we all couldn’t see. Nothing of this world but everything we hide in it. Our lies, the horrors behind the masks, what we do in the dark, this tattered, horrible amalgam we have the audacity to still call “a soul.”
Fuck this.
I went to run but found I had no will to do so.
My boots had become one with the earth, like the leather was finally gonna join the cattle that had to die for me to feel like a man.
A crash of thunder stole my hearing, a tiny whirlwind began lifting and smashing bottles from behind the bar.
The seals of the bottles came open, spraying spirits everywhere.
The bar was alight with white fire and a light blasted through the bar that would embarrass the Sun.
Then all was silent and still.
“Nice hooves,” the man said in a velvety baritone.
I looked down at my black boots and back up at him.
There is probably a drug cocktail somewhere in existence where, if mixed properly and taken with utter scientific precision, probably unlocks the gates to Heaven in the human consciousness.
I think I might have found the one’s that unlocked Hell’s.
The man wore a wide, warm grin. Authentic and inviting, the jovial visage of every TV grandfather. Creature comfort. He no longer looked like a raving maniac.
Far from it.
The man was now young, maybe late 20’s.
Golden, feathered locks elegantly curved just behind his ears.
A black cardigan, dark jeans, and new Grecian sandals graced a well-kept temple, a body of with seemingly perfect porcelain skin.
Sapphire blue eyes, pools of painful beauty, the kind that feels like a knife twisting your gut, looked at me with compassion.
I could smell lilac and some spice that seemed reminiscent of a world long gone by but made me what want to curl up with a blanket and read a good book by the fire wafted my way.
A single, marred tattoo of a small cross ran down the index finger of his left hand.
The man sat down and said, “why don’t you and them hooves join me, Pappy?”
I go by a lot of names to keep myself safe in this shithole world, but I hadn’t gone by my real name since I beat a kid black and blue in elementary school for mocking me for it and my daddy had told me he was proud of me. Put a cigarette out on the back of my neck later that same night after a few too many for causing trouble.
The duality of man or whatever the Hell the academics prattle on about, I guess.
“They’re boots,” I snarled, playing at bravery, bluffing like I did every day of this wasted life, hopin’ it might but him back on his heels.
I didn’t know if I was messing with some damned creature not of this world or was just higher than a kite and seeing nonsense. While the latter seemed far more likely, I wanted to prepare for the former.
“Sure,” he said kindly, “sure.”
I sat down on the tattered stool.
“Where’s the bartender? And how the Hell do you know my name?”
“Calm down, son. You look like you could use a drink of the old blood. Sure beats those poisons you keep sticking in that body we gave ya.”
A wine glass appeared before each of us, filled to the brim. The man, or whatever it was, sipped away, humming some forgotten hymnal.
“I ain’t much of a vino fan. Got any Irish whisky?”
He lifted his glass as though to toast me and said “Sure. And you certainly will need that later. For now, the grapes of wrath, as it were.” A soft chuckle left his lips.
I sipped the wine. No sense bucking the bull when you don’t know how big or angry it really is.
It tasted like nothing I had ever had before. An indescribable, wicked deliciousness.
It warmed me up and filled me with light and hope and covered up all the dark holes that had punched through me by others.
Even plugged the ones I’d punched myself.
The man took a small sip. “Sorry?”
“You said ‘the body *we* gave ya. *We*.”
It was only then I noticed he was crying.
There were no sobs, no audible gasps, no tremors or shakes, just slow, steady tears of blood dripping from those perfect blue orbs.
“Name’s Arah. I’m an Angel.”
Arah downed the goblet of wine, flecks of his bloody tears caking the glass’s rim.
“Behold, I send an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared.”
This obvious machination of my drug addled brain chuckled louder this time, a slight slur and anger tinging his words.
“I’m even less for all that religious babble than I am for wine. Though this shit’s pretty damn good, I gotta admit.”
“LIAR!” Arah screamed, shaking the whole bar. His eyes were wide and obsidian and his chest heaved heavily.
“Liar.” This, a quiet whisper.
“You spent your whole life in church.
You soaked up every hopeful word, every promise of redemption and fixing, and the truth of that still rattles around inside you.
You can stick all the needles you want into that arm so you can lie to yourself and take away the pain you were meant to bear, but you can’t lie to me. We see everything, for we are many.”
Arah refreshed his glass with a small flourish of his hand before downing it again, his disposition getting slightly wobblier.
“DRINK!” he screamed, and when the world stopped shaking and those eyes turned blue again, I sure as shit started pounding the fermented fruit.
Ain't the time to be picky.
“You aren’t having a bad trip. I'm having a bad trip.”
The endless tears of blood fell quicker, like a swift red river coursing from a deep blue waterfall.
Small pools of it began forming of the bar. A slight acrid smell was on the air, barely noticeable behind all the wonderful aromas.
I felt warm and real and firm. I felt human again. My glass had been refilled and I downed another.
Okay, so I was getting wasted with an angel. Admittedly a first, even for my winding and warped road, but getting blitzed on Jesus Juice sure beat pissing off some emotionally unhinged cherub motherfucker.
“I can’t find Him. I can never find Him.”
Slight groans left Arah’s lips and he gulped down another glass.
With a minor twitch, the glass flew and smashed against the wall.
A nanosecond, if even, after the sound of shattering, it reappeared anew, full of the deep blood wine, before him, and he slurped it down his gullet.
I was trying to keep pace with him.
Shit I could drink a fifth of whisky and make it home alive but something in this good good had me slippin’. A part of me knew I should be petrified to ask, but the rest of me was too faded to care.
“Find who? What brings you here, cryin’ tears in yer beers?”
Now I was the one slurring.
“Take them.”
I looked down at the bar.
A belt. A syringe full of something brown and beautiful.
All the gear.
And six shots of what I prayed was Jameson.
“But where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.”
Arah was slurring hard now, slowly spinning in his chair, laughing and crying.
“Have a taste. At least there’ still manna.”
I shot the whole thing and downed that beautiful Irish whisky. Warmth and light filled me up and stole me away from this putrid rock.
Somehow, as wrecked as I was, I felt I could see Arah all the clearer, like the Sun pushing out the remnants of a storm. His hands looked withered, and those blue eyes looked heavy and tired.
“I miss Him. God. Father.”
I began to mumble some apocryphal question, but a raised hand silenced me.
“We’re taking communion here, son, an act of contrition, of grief, celebration and loss. I’m not giving about to give you a seminar on the finer points of how you all bungled what we gave you and called it ‘religion.’ Just shut the fuck up and drink.”
We downed a glass of wine in unison, a broken human and clearly a broken angel, performing a ritual at the alter we were left with.
“You wanna know why I’m here drinkin’? I know you do. I can hear it rattling around in that little rat brain of yours, gnawing, gnawing, gnawing.
Well, here’s why. GOD LEFT.
You remember your Bible.
Like a schizophrenic mother when the voices just crept too far in, he drowned all his children in the bathtub. He felt regret.
You apes can’t come to terms with the fact that it isn’t cognitive dissonance to be perfect and make mistakes. Your binaries and absolutes are the pathetic crutches you rest on, the prisons you build for yourselves. You think you live in the grey but you don’t. You are the simple minded mistake of something far greater than you could possibly fathom.
Hell ain't nothin' but a door locked from the inside.
He was right to drown all of you, ya know.
You’re an abortion that didn’t take.
You’re the science experiment gone wrong.
You’re the motherfucking poisonous residue left over when the manufacturing process goes the slightest bit awry.
He TRIED. He gave you EVERYTHING. And you chased him away.
He wanted to put you all down. Wipe the slate clean. Shoot the wolf with the broken leg caught in the trap. Mercy. But He had made those fuckin’ rainbows, and He kept his word.
You all sit and pout and scream and gnaw and gnash and blow each other up. Always the same shit in this horrible flat circle.
"My god is real, your god is fake! "
You never once consider you’re all talking about the same damn thing, and more to the point, you're spend your entire lives debating His existence. What a catastrophic waste to be so far from the mark.
Is He real? Is He a fairy tale?
Is there a big bearded man with a sword in the sky or is it just what some primitive apes told themselves to explain the lights in the night sky, a mechanism of control and purpose in an entropic and meaningless world?”
I felt frozen listening to Arah rant.
Somewhere, between the distant sound of brutal words, I heard that radio kick on.
The Third Planet is sure that they’re being watched
By an Eye in the Sky that can’t be stopped
And when you get to the Promised Land
You’re gonna shake the Eye’s hand”
“You won’t.”
Arah spoke quietly and sipped and audibly sobbed.
“I…I won’t what?”
“Shake his hand. He’s GONE.
You all fight with words and books and swords and shells and atoms about whether he exists. It’s your relentless, simpleminded addiction to dichotomy. It would be so boring if it wasn’t so sickening.
You think He exists, and if He does, He is here and He loves you and hears your stupid little prayers about football and bone cancer and bank accounts and AIDS.
And if He doesn’t exist, well, it’s just a bunch of conmen working over some fools with a fairy tale.
Any of you shitbirds ever consider He exists and LOATHES you? That he cut the cord to that existential phone line and ain’t nobody on the other side of that line anymore?
You live in an infinite universe that is forever exploding and expanding. He exists outside of even that.
You think you’re special? You’re one tiny experiment among so fucking many, I couldn’t make the smartest mathematician in the history of this planet understand how infinitesimally numerically irrelevant you are.
The question isn’t, is God real or is it all a hoax, a self-delusion?
The salient question, Pappy, is whether He’s here. And He ain’t.
He kept his word and let you all live and fester and replicate and mutate like the virus you are. The fruit that ate itself.
But daddy split. Went out for smokes and He ain’t never coming back. Moved onto a new family. Just like He's done again and again and again. And I'm guessing will keep doing 'till He decides He got it right. Ain’t been here for a long time. Long, long time.”
6 glasses of wine appeared before Arah and he downed them all with lightning speed, spewing blood, sobbing and gasping and drinking.
His hair greyed and whitened and fell to the floor.
His nails began to decay and yellow.
The smell of shit and piss and bile crept up and began to make me nauseous.
“And you know who got really fucked? US. The angels.
God gave us instructions and we followed it. We knew what we had and we didn’t deviate. We did our duty. And He left us behind, too.”
Arah’s clothes began to whiten and dirty.
The enrapturing blue of his eyes began to fade, growing paler and lifeless. A wild, twisted beard and belly began to sprout.
“Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation."
Arah began shrieking.
"Fucking humans.
Arah leapt up and grabbed me by the throat, lifting me on high.
Fire scorched his eyes, leaving empty pale pools singed to a blackened crisp at the edges.
The wild, infested thing I’d seen before held me as though I weighed less than the judgment feather.
He was sobbing.
“I…I just did what I was told.
Do you know what Hell is? There’s no fucking lake of fire or torture rack with goats.
It’s this.
An endless existence having tasted God’s grace and love and then forever being separated from it, eternally searching for that one drug you know you can never find.
'Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss.'
This, this place, is Hell.”
All the opium in the world couldn’t save me from the stark terror of this celestial’s tortured judgment.
I was quaking and pissed myself.
“Now I got ya shakin’ in your boots. Nice hooves.”
He threw me and I slammed against the wall and I felt every ounce of wine and heroin and whisky spill out of my body and onto the floor.
In that moment, I felt the unmitigated suffering of absolute sobriety, and I’ve been sober every moment since.
This wild, unfettered thing inched closer to me.
It was only then I noticed the tattoo on his finger more closely. It was…clearer to me now. Everything was. That little cross on his finger was upside down as it faced me.
“What does your name mean, Arah? What did you do that made God leave all his angels behind?”
Arah opened his mouth and two snakes, one a viper, the other a colorful coral, slid out of his mouth and began encircling his head and neck, never striking, never squeezing, simply coiling infinitely.
Arah, this manifestation of man’s worst nightmare, leapt at me, blood spewing, snakes dancing, the bar shaking and burning and reeking.
Alas, Babylon, for me.
Inches from me Arah froze, held still by some unseen force, his mouth snarling words that only came out as unintelligible, wet squelches.
A voice from the bar’s door whispered a single word.
In the first tongue, 'Arah' meant ‘World.’
At the door stood an older black woman with the kindest eyes I’d ever seen.
She wore a bracelet of thorns and a dress made of every flower my mind could conceive.
Golden eyes flecked with amber looked at me lovingly.
She quietly sauntered up to Arah and shook her head wistfully, a disapproving but loving mother wishing her child would just behave.
“You would do well to accept your place here, Arah. The Father may be gone, but this is where you and your lot stay. It was not man’s fall that bound you here.
Tell him what you did...Angel.”
Arah fell suddenly to the barroom floor, all the strength clearly sucked out of him.
“I..I did what I was told. I followed the orders I was given. It was for Him, Uriel.”
Uriel tutted her tongue as though an impudent child had told her a silly, obvious fib.
“You can lie to yourself all you want, Arah, but you cannot lie to me.
You, who whispered endlessly to Herod.
You, who dwelt in Caligula.
You, who served Qin Shi Huang.
You, who sought refuge in Robespierre .
You, who possessed Mengele.
‘And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.”
Uriel helped me to my feet, brushed me off, and lightly put her hand on her cheek. It was the only moment in my life I knew what the word “home” meant.
“And you won’t lie to Man, either.
You remember the deal you begged for, Arah? Let remind you:
'They began to entreat Him, saying, “If You are going to cast us out, send us into the herd of swine.'
You had the gall to call his creation, however staggeringly imperfect, swine.
You got what you asked for, then.
And you will have it for all time.
Get behind me.”
Uriel picked me up as though I were a mere baby and carried me to my truck. She laid me gently in the passenger side and started the engine.
The radio kicked on.
I’m a rolling stone
All alone and lost
For a life of sin
I have paid the cost
Take my advice
Or you’ll curse the day
You started rollin’ down
That Lost Highway”
As she pulled away, I looked back at The Man from Capernaum one last time.
It was consumed in fire and the squeals of pigs shrieking carried through the cool night air.
“Do not pity him.
‘You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons.’
God may have left this world but let the Demon burn.”
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2023.03.25 04:23 floundervt Concrete floor prep for engineered hardwood install

We are prepping for engineered hardwood floor install. We just ripped up the carpet and nailer board and were left with a little glue and a lot of paint over spray. Next we need to use self leveler to get the floors flat and working tolerance. How and how much of this do we need to remove prep for the self leveler?
submitted by floundervt to Flooring [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 04:01 amyfriday Condo Owners - HOA rules for toxic fumes?

Seeking advice from condo owners in the area: do you have any HOA rules protecting residents from spraying toxic fumes? This past weekend, a contractor used a paint sprayer to coat cabinets with an oil-based primer WITHOUT ventilating the first-floor condo, and the fumes carried downstairs, upstairs, and into the first-floor neighbors' condos.
I'm looking for wording to add to our association handbook to protect against this kind of air pollution. Does anyone have similar rules in their handbook? I'd prefer not to reinvent the wheel or hire a lawyer. Thank you in advance!
submitted by amyfriday to RealEstate [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 03:52 Releigh17 How to repair basement floor

I have a house with water issues and a concrete floor. The prior owners painted the floor but the basement did not stay dry and paint is now patchy, bubbled and peeling in a lot of spots. We have mitigated the water issue and are looking to list the house for sale. How should we approach repairing the basement floor to a sellable condition? Do we need to scrape the old paint? Should we paint over the mess? All advice is appreciated.
submitted by Releigh17 to HomeImprovement [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 03:51 Cel_Studios Thoughts from a newcomer who just played through the series

It took me a while to get into Castlevania. I guess I always got the impression that the games were slow, and it didn't help that the first game in the series I tried happened to be Circle Of The Moon, the one with the insanely slow base movement. But when Bloodlines came out on Nintendo Switch Online, I decided to give it a shot and came away absolutely loving it. Since then, I started going out of my way to check out all of the 2D Castlevanias, and as of finishing Symphony Of The Night today (I couldn't really go in chronological order), I can definitively say that these games are great! I was really missing out. So here's some of my assorted thoughts on the games, without doing a clichè ranking or tier list or anything:
And that's pretty much it. I'm glad I gave this series another shot because I liked a vast majority of these games. Rondo and Ecclesia in particular are probably up there with some of my favorite games in general. You can definitely consider me a fan of the series.
submitted by Cel_Studios to castlevania [link] [comments]