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Camp Redwood is running out of counselors! These children ARE NOT CHILDREN. Update: So, you're telling me it's NOT 2018?

2023.06.07 21:01 Trash_Tia Camp Redwood is running out of counselors! These children ARE NOT CHILDREN. Update: So, you're telling me it's NOT 2018?

Welcome to Camp Redwood!
Are you ready to fight to the death with age regressed forty year olds with the faces of adorable little kids?
How about coming to terms with your entire life, or at least five years of it, being one big fucking lie?
We are so excited to announce our 2018 group! Where you will undoubtedly FIND yourself here. Your true self.
The self you did not know existed.
SO, jump in that military bunker, grab that blunt object to fight against our little campers disembowelling our counselors, and get yourself down to CAMP REDWOOD. WHERE WE START EVERY DAY WITH A CAMP REDWOOD SMILE.
Apply now!
Application end date: 05/02/2018.

It’s been a tough few days.
So, I think I will be posting this update in two chunks so I can get everything down and clear my head. I am alone right now.
Yes. I am the last survivor of Camp Redwood 2023 (?). I’ve been unsure how to start this and end this because I really just want to get into the meat of what has been going on.
But… I must ask. I have to.
What year is it?
That doesn't matter right now. I'll continue where I left off.
Teddy did leave us alone in the end. But his screams were still haunting me hours after the thing with his voice had left. I don’t even think I could call it his voice.
It sounded like him but there were pieces of him missing. Like someone had reached into the boy’s mind and pulled out the skeleton of his consciousness, the bare bones of his being—and cruelly stuffed him into a metal shell.
That is what Teddy sounded like.
He sounded like a wounded animal, confused why he was alive. Terrified. I now know what he is the product of. Teddy is a victim of horrifying, unethical experiments our campers have been forcing on kidnapped counselors after taking over the camp. Have you ever heard of the sound of crying which isn’t human?
That is Teddy. He is the product of forcing life into the dead, and leaving it to suffer with its consciousness. Which, in my opinion, is a fate far worse than death.
You’re probably wondering where my two companions are.
Well, that is why I am writing this.
I want to tell you what happened so I can wrap my head around it myself, and choose between killing all of us and sending these psychopaths to hell, or coming to terms with our truth and fighting back. Well, it’s their truth. I wouldn’t say it’s mine. It took us three whole days to get the guts to risk leaving Allison’s secret bunker inside her cabin, and attempting to find a way out of this hell-hole. Harry and I were the ones to do it, leaving a still-not-completely-himself Rowan to guard our safehouse. I didn’t want to leave him alone for a multitude of reasons but due to Harry actually having a soul and a semblance of empathy, I was overruled.
Despite being heavily under the influence of age-regressing animal crackers which had mentally turned him into a toddler, Rowan was still himself to a degree. Which meant he was back to being our leader. I was sceptical at first, because no matter how many times he insisted he was in fact okay, I couldn’t seem to shake off the feeling that the childish parts of him, the warped parts of his mind which had turned him into a child, were still there.
Even if they were very subtle. I caught him doodling on his clipboard, and much later on, singing to himself with an odd smile on his face he had successfully gaslit Harry and I into believing it was just a coping mechanism. Say what you want about Rowan Atlas, he is damn good at swaying your opinion. Even when we were 100% sure Rowan was not his original self, the guy we had both met at the start of camp.
It was almost like him having two minds. The mind of a child, and the mind of a teenager.
For example, he still ordered us around and attempted to take back his role of leader— which had at least secured some normality back into our lives. But he also hated loud noises, and freaked out every time one of the littles tried to get in. There was also the incident we had agreed not to talk about, because talking about it meant facing the fact that our friend was no longer himself.
It was a hours after Teddy left us in peace. Harry was sleeping, and I was on the cusp of slumber, slipping through more files. Rowan had been oddly quiet. Which wasn’t a Rowan thing. Whether he was mentally a child or a teenager, he was still being loud and obnoxious. I sat up to find him cross-legged, playing with something.
I thought it was a worm at first, but no. It was exactly like what I found at the start of this, an eye attached to a nerve. But this time it was undoubtedly human, and now Rowan’s plaything. When I questioned him, he said he was “studying” it. Though there was definitely a difference between studying something and playing with it. The scary thing was, he saw no wrong in it, holding it in his hands and stripping off the metallic pieces cruelly attached to it.
In the end, I took it from him and stamped on it. Rowan didn’t have the reaction I was expecting. Because he was still hiding behind the façade that his mind hadn’t been warped by de-aging animal crackers.
If that wasn’t bad enough, Eleanor Summers had given me a 24 hour deadline to hand over the boys, and we were well over the limit so an ambush was likely imminent.
I still had so many questions. Why were Rowan, Harry and Carmel so important while the rest of us were seen as nothing but spare parts?
That is what the little bitch said. Now physically eleven years old with the mind of a deranged forty year old scientist, Eleanor told me I was nothing to them but spare parts. God, it’s so weird calling her what she is after looking after her kid self, her fake self, for weeks.
Little Eleanor with her golden pigtails and obsession with teddy bear picnics was in fact a complete fucking sociopath. That much of one in fact, that her and her equally psychotic colleagues who engaged in these experiments had been regressed into little kids inside a rehabilitation camp (Nicknamed: Project Spearhead) which was supposed to fix them and had failed spectacularly. Because they’ve taken over. And this time? We’re the fucking lab rats.
The counselors here at Redwood.
I had seen her adult self being interviewed by mysterious Agent Lemrac, a face behind Project Spearhead, the girl who was far too young to be an agent, and have that kind of authority. Also, someone with a soul—who had a clear biased opinion against the experiments.
Part of me wondered if Lemrac still existed. Maybe she was behind the odd phone calls we kept receiving on an old fashioned rotary phone. With Eleanor’s deadline in mind, the two of us made our journey quick. It wasn’t hard to leave the camp itself. There were guards in the form of Callen and Olive, brainwashed and turned into the kid’s muscle, but they were easy enough to get past as long as we distracted them with something shiny.
They were mentally six-years-old so literally anything grabbed their attention.
I quickly realized my mistake once we managed to escape the camp—Harry in front of me, with me lagging behind. We moved slowly, ducking behind trees and throwing ourselves into the dirt. Very cloak and dagger. It didn’t take us long to slip into the woods. Just past the lake were the exit gates to Redwood which led to a road.
Not exactly civilisation, but I would take it over having my body taken apart for “parts” in these so-called experiments.
When we got to the gate, however, I realized I had given the adults too much fucking credit.
Whoever was in charge of Spearhead clearly did not care about lingering survivors, as long as they were successfully cutting us out from the outside world. And that’s what the giant wall I found myself staring at was, an impossible foot monster towering over us and cementing my earlier thoughts. We were screwed. The woman on the phone had made it clear we were being abandoned, and yet some of me naively held onto them maybe still rescuing us.
“Fuck.” I didn’t know what to do, but kicking the damn thing felt like the right thing. I did, and then regretted it half a second later.
This thing was impenetrable. Impossible to climb unless we had a fucking death-wish.
Blinking at it through fraying sunlight blinding me, the thing almost resembled a mirage. It stood under the sun, a giant roadblock completely blocking us from any form of help.
The sun wasn’t helping, scorching through my shirt. I swiped at my sweaty forehead, unable to resist a frustrated scream I had to muffle-gag with my hand. I risked a look behind us. Thankfully, we were around ten minutes away from the main camp. The lake was nearby glittering under a late afternoon sun, and all I wanted to right then was to wade into the shallows and let the murky water swallow me up. The little shits couldn’t swim, maybe I’d be safe.
“Fuck!”
“This is bad.” Harry Carlisle broke the silence after my frustrated cry. With his eyes glued to the wall, he took off his hat and ran a hand through dark brown curls which were catching the light of the sun, setting strands alight across his forehead. None of us were in great shape after spending days hunkered down in a secret bunker. Harry was no exception.
His short sleeved camp Redwood shirt was still covered with vomit, discoloured with days’ worth of sweat stains and lack of showers.
He bent over, grasping hold of his knees. “What do we do?” I could tell by the tone of his voice he was freaking out, and I didn’t blame him. But Harry was still on my mind.
His signature was undoubtedly all over every Project Spearhead file, despite him repeatedly insisting he had nothing to do with it. At that moment, I could almost believe him. The boy looked exhausted and frustrated, pained.
He surprised me by slipping to his knees and burying his head in the dirt and screaming into rough soil. I was struck, then, by the sudden memory of flames. I had been sitting around campfires for weeks at Redwood, but this one didn’t feel like it took place at camp.
Instead, it felt more personal. I could almost see it, flickering orange sparking at the backs of my eyes and the sour taste of beer in my throat. Like the memory was trying to push itself to the surface. This moment felt nostalgic and yet close—as if it had happened yesterday. Like both the past and present had entangled in one.
If I concentrated I swore I could hear the murmur of voices, phantom laughter in my head and a cool night breeze grazing my cheeks.
“Earth to Josie?”
I snapped out of it quickly. “You’re asking me?” I kicked the dirt again. “I thought Rowan was our camp leader.”
Harry lifted his head after a moment, his eyes flicking to me. “You know he can’t make rash decisions right now.”
“Exactly.” I said. “We both know he’s not back to his normal self. He’s both right now. A little kid, and a teenager.” I shuddered. “I’m sorry, did I forget to mention our so-called head counsellor was playing with a human eye like a fucking cat?”
“Mm."
“Well, why aren’t you taking it seriously?”
Harry’s gaze skated the horizon, cotton candy colored clouds blurring into twilight. “Becauuuse the sun is going to your head.”
I could practically hear his eyes rolling. Rowan took three strides towards the wall and pressed his face into rough brick. “So, this is it, right?” He muffled into rough cement. “We are really going to die at fucking summer camp.”
“I’m going to die,” I corrected him. “They want you two and Carmel because apparently you’re special.”
Harry made a scoffing noise into the wall. I was starting to think he was setting up camp there, planning to tell all of his grievances to the cement. “Oh yeah, because that’s a good thing? You’ve seen—no—heard what they’ve done to Teddy and the others, and you think them wanting us for something else is special?” his voice broke a little. “I’d rather have your fate.”
The boy’s words made me realize how little I was compared to the others. While they and Carmel were part of some grand, psychotic scheme, I was just needed for extra bulk. “Why don’t you talk to your friends?” I said, after letting the boy throw several punches into the soil. I wasn’t going to comment on his hits being surprisingly strong enough to shake the ground.
Harry didn’t look at me after calming down, resorting to tracing the earth with the toes of his shoe. “Who?”
"The CIA."
I was surprised by his retort, even if it was equally sarcastic. “Oh, you think I’m in the CIA?” He stepped closer to me, his breath in my face. “In case you haven’t noticed, this is bigger than the CIA. Whoever is in charge of this project is way higher up.”
“So, you’re admitting you’re a sleeper.”
“No, that’s not what I—”
“Then what?” I demanded, cutting him off. “Why are your fingerprints quite literally all over this?”
Harry folded his arms, his expression darkening. "You're still talking about this?" He groaned. “Josie.” He planted his hands on my shoulders. “I am not a spy, okay? Yes, my writing being on those documents was weird, but we’re also dealing with animal crackers which turn us into littles.” His lips curved into the slightest of smirks. “I’m pretty sure it would be easy for a group of scientists to use my writing as some kind of red herring. They’re trying to turn us against each other, obviously. And that’s not going to happen.” He squeezed my shoulders and I felt momentary comfort. I was so tired.
I hadn’t slept properly in days in fear of Eleanor coming to smoke us out—and the urge to just sink into the boy’s chest was suddenly overwhelming. Luckily, I had self-control. I took a step back, and he dropped his arms. “That's sobering, yes,” I said. “But I’m still going to try waking you up with those trigger phrases we found.”
When he tried to speak, I shook my head.
“Like it or not, you’re our only way out.”
I had made it clear several times to the two of them that I had no intention to use the trigger phrases we found taped to the back of the door in the bunker, when searching for more intel. But the more I was really thinking about it, if there were sleeper agents capable of taking down a group of forty-year-old tweens, I had no choice but to at least try. Because it was either that, or I gave the littles what they wanted. The boy’s. Whatever they needed, Rowan, Carmel, and Harry were the keys to their plan.
We needed a miracle, and those trigger phrases were our best shot.
Harry, of course, was against this idea.
He did that thing he always did when he scrunched up his nose and curled his lip. It reminded me of a toddler not getting their way. I saw it exclusively when the littles were taking advantage of his piggybacking service. “Josie, I’m not a fucking spy!”
"You could be." I said stiffly. "And until we figure out what is going on with you, I don't trust you. You said it yourself. Your writing was all over the kid's files, so at some point, regardless of you remembering or not, you have been part of this project.”
“So, why did you bring me out here?” He inclined his head. “You don’t trust me and yet you bring me on your little mission to find an exit.”
I shrugged. “I was partly hoping we would be attacked and your natural instincts would kick in.”
“So, I’m your lab-rat?”
“Partially.”
Harry did the scrunchy-nose thing again. “What the fuck, dude?!”
He looked like he was going to argue before deciding against it. Instead, he slipped on his raybans and gestured behind me with a sigh.
"We should probably get going before those little freaks come looking for us and realize we’ve left our safehouse.” I didn’t know how to explain and put into words that to survive we had to try everything—and if there was a slither of a chance that Harry really was some kind of sleeper agent, I was going to take advantage of that. I hadn’t forgotten about Carmel, Callan, and Olive. Rowan too, no matter how screwed up he was. I was counting on getting all of us out. I turned on my heel and started to head back to camp. I didn’t look at him because doing that would make me weak.
“Right. Let’s go.”
There was something going at the camp when we got back. I was startled by an intense blue light illuminating from the lunch cabin, and I had half a mind to turn and run. Then the screams started. Just like Teddy, they sounded both human and not, a horrifying mix of man and machine wailing for death. I found myself paralysed, crouched behind Cassie’s cabin, their phantom screams rattling my skull sending my thoughts into overdrive. “Josie.” I felt warm fingers wrap around my elbow and pull me back. Harry was thankfully there, dragging me away before I could expose us. It was enough to snap me out of it. Enough to drive me into fight or flight.
When we made it back to Allison’s cabin, Rowan was sleeping. He had conked out halfway through a pack of gummy worms. I spent the next few hours going through each trigger phrase written on the yellow sticky note we found taped to the door. I figured if we were going to try and wake Harry up, he would have to be restrained in case he was triggered to hurt us or even himself. “Is this really necessary?”
“Yes.” I said, squinting at the third trigger phrase. The two of us were sitting cross-legged in front of each other. Harry, breathing heavily, and me, trying to make myself calm. Harry pulled gingerly at the jump-rope restraints we had managed to loop around his wrists. I was expecting something out of him, but all I got were his wide eyes staring back at me.
The latest phrase was twisting my brain. It sounded like a kid’s book. I took a deep breath.
“Green Tigers Do Not Live Independently.”
Harry didn’t move, making a deal of blinking rapidly back at me. “No, I mean,” he gestured to his arms pinned behind his back. “Why did you have to make them so tight?"
“Because you’re a spy, dude.” Rowan had woken up, intrigued by my attempts to wake up a possible sleeper. He was pretending to go through the Eleanor Summers footage again, but the boy was clearly invested in what we were doing. Sitting slumped in the spinning chair, he leaned his fist on his chin. There were various things about Rowan I wanted to point out, but I was too scared to. The tips of his fingers were still stained red, and I had no idea if it was new or old. Rowan Atlas used to be the one guy at camp I used to think looked older than he was—and acted older than he was.
Instead of taking part in camp activities, he chose to sit on a branch and read pretentious classics. Yeah. He was one of THOSE guys. The slight stubble on his chin would definitely get him served alcohol, and his intelligence and quick-thinking would easily sway you if you were sceptical. Now he was the complete opposite. Maybe I was imagining things, but he had definitely gotten younger in the face, even if it was just a year or two.
I am not talking about his appearance, however. Rowan’s mentality was drastically different from the guy who held crisis meetings and ordered all of us around like we were his own children. This guy had a certain childish twinkle in his eye when I happened to catch it, a twitch in his lips which was constantly a wide smile like he was constantly seeing butterflies. Before being force-fed animal crackers, the guy had maintained his hair and hygiene no matter what happened. Now, he looked like he’d been dragged through a forest. Literally. There was still grass and leaves caught in his sandy hair, his camp Redwood shirt torn in odd places.
He yawned, curling up on the chair, apparently getting comfy. “No hard feelings, but we gotta keep you under investigation. Like Josie said, your name was all over those shady documents.”
Even his voice was different. I couldn’t call it a squeak, but it was close enough to one.
“I’m not a spy,” Harry grumbled, ducking his head. “I think I would know if I was—what, some kind of government agent?”
“That’s the whole point of them,” Rowan, still with lingering childish traits, winked at him. “They don’t know either.” He raised his hand and mimed the finger guns, protruding them into his temples and pretending to pull the trigger. He adapted a storytelling tone, lowing his voice into a whisper. Like he was talking to the kids.
“They can live their whole lives without realizing.” I could tell from his tone he was getting excited with the idea of sleeper agents. Maybe it was a kid thing. Rowan sat up straight with wide eyes. “Cruelly brainwashed by a secret organisation at a young age and turned into super soldiers, these guys have no family. No friends.” His gaze flicked to Harry, his lips twitching into a teasing grin. “Only the insatiable urge to kill and follow orders. They don’t have brains to feel or emotions. And that?”
He did a dramatic spin on the chair. I could tell he was revelling in the look of horror on Harry’s face. “That is the most dangerous thing about them. The inability to have free will. Because what happens when they come face to face with people they used to love? People from their old life?”
With both of us enthralled in his speech, the boy smirked. “They kill them. Family members and friends. With one simple order? BAM.” Harry jumped, and I am ashamed to say I did too. Rowan blew his imaginary finger guns. “With one single and yet perfect headshot, it’s allll over. There’s blood EVERYWHERE. There’s brains!” He giggled. “Brains! And it’s like, sooo gross.”
With the way he kept adding to his story, getting progressively more excited and practically vibrating in the chair, the boy was reminding me more and more of my little sister. Which terrified me. Because if this was him back to himself, was this his new normal?
“Rowan, stop.” It took every ounce of my being not to yell at him. “You’re acting like a fucking child.” I was frowning at a sign on the wall warning us to ‘mind our head’. It wasn’t even a low ceiling, and yet that was the fourth time I had seen that sign.
Harry looked mildly horrified. Usually, he was the one who told the ghost stories. I could tell even he was questioning his own identity at that moment, and I paused interrogating him with phrases. “I’m sorry, but who out of us ate our weight in animal crackers?”
“Against my will.” Rowan yawned again, doing another spin on the chair. I had to turn around and shoot him a glare. “That’s the second time you’ve thrown me being turned into a kid in my face. Which is not fair. Did I ask to be stuffed full of poison?"
“Well, you didn’t exactly fight against Eleanor.”
“I was tied up, asshole—and I’m pretty you were in la-la land at that point.”
“I’m allergic to peanut butter, so no,” Harry rolled his eyes. “I snapped out of it when my body reminded me.”
“That sounds like a you problem, dude.”
Harry groaned, tipping his head back. “Holy shit, Rowan. You used to be cool and now you’re like an annoying little brother.”
“Touché.”
“Shut up. Both of you.” I found my voice, grabbing a pen and scribbling out the first line of trigger phrases which were a no-go.
“Rowan, annoyingly, is right.” I said, ignoring the guy’s noise of glee. If he kept spinning around on that chair, I was going to kill him.
The blur of movement at the corner of my eye was driving me mad. Focusing on Harry, I took a break from the trigger phrases for a moment, poking him in the cheek. It was supposed to be light-hearted, but the guy looked offended.
“For the third time, we can’t ignore that at some point you have signed off on all of those files, which means you were part of Spearhead.” I shrugged. “I’m not saying you are, but we have to be smart if we’re going to survive against a group of deranged scientists.”
Rowan chuckled. “What she saiiiiiid.”
"Why aren't we paying attention to the guy who clearly has allegiance to those freaks?” Harry stuck out his tongue at Rowan, which was surprising on multiple levels. Wasn’t he supposed to be the normal one? “Aren't you their favorite counselor?"
"I was literally mind controlled by preservatives, asshole," Rowan shot back. "And I'm not the only one. You and Carmel are on their radar too."
"Yeah, but we’re not the ones playing with eyes.”
"I'm too tired to argue with you." The boy responded in a yawn, cuddling into the chair armrest like a cat. “Also… you’re a noodlehead.”
“Ignore him.” I told Harry. “Just focus on me, alright? You have to look at me.”
“I am!”
“It’s time to make the donuts.” I articulated it perfectly.
Harry surprised me with a laugh. “That one can’t be real.”
“It is. Shush.” I cleared my throat. “The strawberry moon will rise in July.” When nothing happened, I frowned. “Maybe I’m not saying them right.” I peered at the next one, mentally speaking it and then muttering it to myself to get an idea of the tone.
“Or,” Harry shrugged, pulling at his restraints. “I’m just spit-balling here, but maybe I’m NOT a secret government sleeper agent after all?”
“Be mindful of the deep ravine.” This time I practically shouted it in his face, only to get his wide smile in return.
“Josie, this isn’t working.”
“It will.” I was growing increasingly more frustrated. “Just try and listen to them, okay? Don’t push them out.”
I tried one more time, leaning close and scrunching up the sticky note in my hand. Harry’s expression stayed stoic, though from the contortions in his forehead and the twitch in his lips he was trying so hard not to laugh. “It looks like it will rain tonight.”
I was surprised, then, when Rowan jolted in the chair suddenly. He lifted his head, his eyes wide. I was seeing him back to his usual self for the flicker of a second, his expression contorted with fright, lips curling into a scowl. “Do you guys smell that?”
“Smell what?” I sniffed the air, but there was nothing which was out of the ordinary. I had grown used to the combined stink of our body odour.
Rowan wrinkled his nose. He sat up straighter. “That.” He whispered. “It smells like… burning.”
I opened my mouth to ask what he meant before Harry went stiff suddenly. I sensed his entire body seem to brace itself. His eyes hardened. “Untie me.” He said in a croak.
When my shaking hands went to the boy’s restraints, his were balled into fists. I glimpsed muscles bulging through the back of his shirt and forearms. His demeanour reminded me of an animal growing territorial. “Something is… wrong,” he said in a sharp breath. Harry’s frightened eyes found mine. “Wrong.” He said again, blinking rapidly. “Something is...wr–wrong. ” When I pulled the last of the rope from his arms, Rowan shocked me with a piercing cry which sent him tumbling off of the chair, his trembling hands planted over his ears, lips carved into an O.
His eyes were wide with terror, with agony I couldn't understand. Childish terror. Which catapulted him back to his real age.
Before I could hesitate, I was crawling over to him, attempting to snap the boy out of it. But he was inconsolable, his eyes almost unseeing, his body contorting with every shriek. It took me a moment to realize Harry was the same. But instead of a piercing shriek of a scream, he was wailing into his knees, as if to escape something.
His body seemed to jolt left and right, like he was being electrocuted. When I saw glimpses of sharp red pooling between his fingers and down the back of his neck, something sickly crept up my throat. Rowan was somehow worse, his whole face contorting like it was it's own separate being, rivulets of intense red dripping from his nose and mouth, and staining his hands desperately pressed over his ears.
It was a synchronised cry, I realized, after concluding that no matter what I did, I couldn't save them.
It was a sound only they could hear, a high-pitched screech like a dog-whistle which was only affecting them. It was the kids, I thought. Surely. If they could disembowel counselors, I was sure they would have no problem engineering a sound which would only affect certain people.
Stumbling back, I had two choices. I could either try and help them, try and block out this phantom noise slowly killing them-- or I could leave them and find a safer place. With that choice in my mind, I barely noticed the phone begin to ring under Allison's desk.
That same old fashioned trilling rang in my head, and I managed to reach under and grab the receiver, my heart in my throat. "Please." I managed to squeak out, trying to ignore Harry, who was trying to rip out his hair, his eyes rolling into the back of his head. I saw the whites, blood vessels popping one by one.
When he crumpled to the ground, I thought he was dead. But his wails continued into the floor, and I wanted them to stop. I wanted him to die because I couldn’t stand hearing him screaming for help which wasn’t coming. I couldn't help them, and it was killing me. The kids were clearly trying to smoke us out, this time targeting the boy’s. Still though, I had my secret weapon. The Spearhead project.
"There are three of us left," I panted down the phone. "You have to help us. I am at Camp Redwood. You need to get us out of here. Do you hear me? You need to get us out–"
“Attempts to fix the current situation have been unsuccessful, Miss Greenfield," the woman with the British accent's voice came through in a rush of static, cutting me off. Her voice was monotone, and I wondered if she was in fact a programmed bot.
"All efforts for manual activation have failed from the disaster zone. The signal appears to have been sabotaged. I repeat. The E.485 frequency has been sabotaged. Designated models 0115, 0116, and 0118 are now officiated as being faulty and are no longer needed for protocol 9AXC5. Please stand by for standard protocol deactivation. Thank you for your service. Agent Salta. Agent Elsilrac. Agent Lemrac.”
My grip loosened on the phone, and I felt my legs started to give-way. "You're the one doing this to them?”
When Rowan dropped to his knees, blood dripping from his nose, my stomach jumped into my throat. There was no way. I figured it was an attack from the kids, but I was wrong. Instead, this sound, this frequency, was coming from the phone.
I thought back to the video footage. Agent Lemrac interviewing Eleanor Summers. Harry's signature on the paperwork. “Can you… say that again?” I heard myself say in a breath. But the dead ringing tone was already clanging in my skull, a robotic countdown laced within the static. I grabbed the pen I had been writing with, scribbling those names down, my hands shaking.
“Preparing emergency shutdown protocol. Thank you for your service, Agent Salta, Elsilrac, Lemrac.” The voice continued, which was just another stab in the gut. I heard Salta before. I heard Lemrac. But writing them down, I realized what they meant.
Salta.
Elsilrac.
Lemrac.
I was a fucking idiot. No wonder the littles wanted them and Carmel— why they were so important to their plan. Slowly, I could feel myself start to crumble. The phone slipped from my clammy hands, but I could still hear the woman beginning an emergency shut down.
I didn’t feel the impact when my knees hit the ground, but I did start to sense something twisted and sour tickling the back of my nose and throat. By the time I had noticed it, it was already choking the bunker. But somehow, I didn’t care about the stars in my eyes or my own blood being projected onto my hands with every wet sounding cough exploding from my lungs. I could still hear their names, and every time I said each of them, more and more of me shattered.
Atlas.
Carlisle.
Carmel.
“18…”
“17…”
“16…”
“15…”
Laying on my back while my head spun, I was partially aware the boy’s screaming had cut off.
Instead, they were just sitting there, eyes wide and unseeing, the blankest I had ever seen them. There was so much blood running down their faces, and I imagined something rooted inside of them tearing their minds apart from the inside. Letting out another strangled cough, which was definitely biological warfare courtesy of the kids, my gaze flicked across the bunker, taking everything in. The paperwork we had been going through. The chair Rowan had been spinning around on. The ropes Harry’s arms had been entangled in. I was frowning at the walls, and then the ceiling.
“Please mind your head when you step down the stairs.”
Drinking in the words slowly, my cotton candy thoughts imploding into one blurry mess.
But then I was a little more awake, this time turning my gaze to the wall where the same sign had been taped to the wall. Please mind your head when you step down the stairs. And… there it was again, taped to the desk, and underneath the laptop. Hidden in plain sight. It had been there all along, and yet I only realised when I wasn't thinking about it, when my mind was being suffocated. Something seemed to snap inside of me, and I sat up, driven by pure adrenaline. With one hand pressed over my mouth and nose, I forced myself into a sitting position and dragged myself to Harry, whose head was lolled at an unnatural angle, his eyes closed.
Part of me wanted to smash up the phone, knowing what these bastards had done to their sleeper agents now they were no longer usable. The boy almost resembled a doll. Was this the so-called sleeper which had been planted inside Redwood? Empty eyes, empty everything. He was like a shell with a human face. No better than Eleanor's experiments.
When I grabbed hold of his arms, I had to hold him steady, his body cut from these puppet strings which had held him. “Harry.” I could barely speak, my voice more of a croak. I knew he was awake and aware, but a singeing, almost burning smell was coming from directly inside his head as blood ran from his nostrils in shades of red and pink. Now I knew what the burning was when I pressed my face against his and sucked in a lungful of poisoned air. It was him. He was a defect being set alight from the inside. “You need to look at me, okay?”
When he didn’t, instead crumbling in my arms, I struggled to hold him upright. Twisting my head to Rowan, he seemed in a better state—kind of. At least he was still sitting straight.
My last words were barely audible. “Please mind your head when you step down the—” no sooner had the words left my mouth before the sounds of footsteps coming from above, the unmistakable murmur of giggling getting closer and closer. Harry dropped to the ground like he had been severed from his puppet strings.
I wasn’t aware when I slipped to the floor, whatever had filled my lungs finally taking its toll. Through flickering eyes, I could see our barricade being blown through, the ground rumbling beneath me, throwing me into something warm.
Rowan.
His body was curled up against the wall, haemorrhaging from the ears.
It was only when I was truly taking in the stink curling in the back of my nose and throat as Eleanor Summer’s mechanical grin popped out of nowhere, when I realized I had smelled it before. I had choked on it before. The circle of kids looming above me let out a shrill squeak of, “Found you!” while I found the dark, and beyond that, a memory I thought was a dream.
Firelight flickered in the backs of my eyelids. The blur of orange and shadowy smoke was mesmerising. I stared real hard at the fire like I was told to, at smouldering shades of yellow and orange colliding, thick black smoke billowing into the air while our faces illuminated the circle. I tightened my grip on my beer, swallowing another mouthful. It was cheap shit, but had just enough burn to get me tipsy. I felt good at that moment. Relaxed.
My head was starting to spin, but it was the good spinning, like I was going round and around on a carousel. I wasn't sure why I felt apprehension at the moment.
It was just a game, right? So, why did I want to jump up and go home? Why did I want to squeeze my eyes shut? Milo's words rattled in my skull as I squinted into the fire. "Come forth, those who are no longer with us." Ghosts weren't real, I thought dizzily. They couldn't be.
Not when science and logic existed. However, when the flames began to grow increasingly more erratic, I couldn't resist leaning forward, and... there. Something warm crept its way up my throat.
There was a shadow twisted in the smoke, a very human-like thing stepping directly from the trees, from the hollowed darkness I had been too scared to fully take in-- finding solace in flickering and illuminated sparks spitting from the fire. The others started to murmur to each other as the thing took a step out of the trees. Clea shuffled back with a cry, and Milo and JJ turned twin shades of sickly pale. It was a guy.
Older, by maybe a year. Shaggy reddish hair tied into a loose ponytail. His clothes were a simple leather jacket and jeans, but looking at his face, he was bruised, every part of him exhausted and battered. His eyes, when I caught them, were nothing but twin pools of oblivion glaring back at us.
"Holy fuck." Milo hissed out. “I didn't think that would actually work!" Downing his beer, he whooped. "Alright! Name, age, occupation, and..."
His lips quirked into a grin. "How you died, man!”
The guy inclined his head, his mouth curling into the start of an amused smile. "I'm not a ghost, Jackass."
His British accent was jarring.
"And?" Milo leaned back, crossing his legs. "Play along, bro. Or I call the cops and tell 'em a grown ass man is fucking with some minors."
"But he looks our age," Clea hummed. "And he's kinda cute."
"I don't give a fuck," Milo's eyes were hard. "State your truth, or I get my dad on the line."
The guy rolled his eyes, raising both arms like he was surrendering. "Samuel Joseph Wilder," he surprised me by responding. Now that I looked at him, this guy definitely was not dead. Unless dead people carried a gun latched to their belt, and a cheap iPhone sticking from their jeans pocket. "Nineteen years old." He shrugged. "I guess you could say I'm an ex-student."
He paused, and I caught emotion flicker across his face, his hands balling into fists. "I was killed– no, murdered, by my town."
Milo leaned back, cracking open another beer and taking a sip. Clea leaned closer to him, her eyes wide. “Playing along, huh? I like it. State your truth."
The guy nodded, lowering his arms. His dark eyes flicked to each of us, drinking all of us in. “I just escaped from a secret government facility doubling as a summer camp which has converted half of my town’s kids into mindless super soldiers.”
There was a pause, before Clea burst into nervous giggles. Milo cocked his head. “I said state your truth, not plagiarise The Hunger Games.”
Ignoring Milo, the guy turned his eyes to me. "Josie Greenfield?" He took a step forward before seemingly deciding against it. I didn't move or speak, my heart in my throat. I didn't have to reply. This strange boy continued, his lips curling. "You're going to die tonight, Josie."
At that moment, I realized why I had been feeling nauseous all night. Why my mind had been anticipating something all day, and why, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't brush off his words. Maybe part of me was expecting this.
The stranger's tone was too cold to ignore, the state of him too real to brush off as a joke.
Suddenly, it was just me, him, and fate itself glaring down on us, my life as I knew it exploding into nothing in the charred remains of the dying fire.
His voice echoed in my head, collapsing into white noise, when I noticed how truly inhuman he looked. I fully took him in, illuminated in firelight. "If you don't get the fuck out of this town, you are going to have the same fate as me."

I’m going to go out on a whim and say it’s… not 2018 and I’ve been at Camp Redwood for way longer than I realized?
More tomorrow, I hope. I’ve got nothing else to do. I still need to tell you how I ended up here.
submitted by Trash_Tia to nosleep [link] [comments]


2023.06.07 03:20 Personal_Hippo1277 Clio Token Size As Text Size By Tier Comparison [Mega Text Wall For Enjoyers of Scrolling]

When I was brand new to NovelAi I had no idea how 2048 tokens really looked as text. So for anyone looking at the tiers, trying to decide how many tokens they want for Clio with the new update, I've tokenized Part of The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald (public domain since 2021).
That way new users can more easily visualize what the AI's maximum context is for each tier. According to the UI Clio uses the NerdStash Tokenizer, as different tokenizers will convert text to tokens their own way.
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In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.
“Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”
He didn’t say any more, but we’ve always been unusually communicative in a reserved way, and I understood that he meant a great deal more than that. In consequence, I’m inclined to reserve all judgements, a habit that has opened up many curious natures to me and also made me the victim of not a few veteran bores. The abnormal mind is quick to detect and attach itself to this quality when it appears in a normal person, and so it came about that in college I was unjustly accused of being a politician, because I was privy to the secret griefs of wild, unknown men. Most of the confidences were unsought—frequently I have feigned sleep, preoccupation, or a hostile levity when I realized by some unmistakable sign that an intimate revelation was quivering on the horizon; for the intimate revelations of young men, or at least the terms in which they express them, are usually plagiaristic and marred by obvious suppressions. Reserving judgements is a matter of infinite hope. I am still a little afraid of missing something if I forget that, as my father snobbishly suggested, and I snobbishly repeat, a sense of the fundamental decencies is parcelled out unequally at birth.
And, after boasting this way of my tolerance, I come to the admission that it has a limit. Conduct may be founded on the hard rock or the wet marshes, but after a certain point I don’t care what it’s founded on. When I came back from the East last autumn I felt that I wanted the world to be in uniform and at a sort of moral attention forever; I wanted no more riotous excursions with privileged glimpses into the human heart. Only Gatsby, the man who gives his name to this book, was exempt from my reaction—Gatsby, who represented everything for which I have an unaffected scorn. If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life, as if he were related to one of those intricate machines that register earthquakes ten thousand miles away. This responsiveness had nothing to do with that flabby impressionability which is dignified under the name of the “creative temperament”—it was an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person and which it is not likely I shall ever find again. No—Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men.
My family have been prominent, well-to-do people in this Middle Western city for three generations. The Carraways are something of a clan, and we have a tradition that we’re descended from the Dukes of Buccleuch, but the actual founder of my line was my grandfather’s brother, who came here in fifty-one, sent a substitute to the Civil War, and started the wholesale hardware business that my father carries on today.
I never saw this great-uncle, but I’m supposed to look like him—with special reference to the rather hard-boiled painting that hangs in father’s office. I graduated from New Haven in 1915, just a quarter of a century after my father, and a little later I participated in that delayed Teutonic migration known as the Great War. I enjoyed the counter-raid so thoroughly that I came back restless. Instead of being the warm centre of the world, the Middle West now seemed like the ragged edge of the universe—so I decided to go East and learn the bond business. Everybody I knew was in the bond business, so I supposed it could support one more single man. All my aunts and uncles talked it over as if they were choosing a prep school for me, and finally said, “Why—ye-es,” with very grave, hesitant faces. Father agreed to finance me for a year, and after various delays I came East, permanently, I thought, in the spring of twenty-two.
The practical thing was to find rooms in the city, but it was a warm season, and I had just left a country of wide lawns and friendly trees, so when a young man at the office suggested that we take a house together in a commuting town, it sounded like a great idea. He found the house, a weather-beaten cardboard bungalow at eighty a month, but at the last minute the firm ordered him to Washington, and I went out to the country alone. I had a dog—at least I had him for a few days until he ran away—and an old Dodge and a Finnish woman, who made my bed and cooked breakfast and muttered Finnish wisdom to herself over the electric stove.
It was lonely for a day or so until one morning some man, more recently arrived than I, stopped me on the road.
“How do you get to West Egg village?” he asked helplessly.
I told him. And as I walked on I was lonely no longer. I was a guide, a pathfinder, an original settler. He had casually conferred on me the freedom of the neighbourhood.
And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.
There was so much to read, for one thing, and so much fine health to be pulled down out of the young breath-giving air. I bought a dozen volumes on banking and credit and investment securities, and they stood on my shelf in red and gold like new money from the mint, promising to unfold the shining secrets that only Midas and Morgan and Maecenas knew. And I had the high intention of reading many other books besides. I was rather literary in college—one year I wrote a series of very solemn and obvious editorials for the Yale News—and now I was going to bring back all such things into my life and become again that most limited of all specialists, the “well-rounded man.” This isn’t just an epigram—life is much more successfully looked at from a single window, after all.
It was a matter of chance that I should have rented a house in one of the strangest communities in North America. It was on that slender riotous island which extends itself due east of New York—and where there are, among other natural curiosities, two unusual formations of land. Twenty miles from the city a pair of enormous eggs, identical in contour and separated only by a courtesy bay, jut out into the most domesticated body of salt water in the Western hemisphere, the great wet barnyard of Long Island Sound. They are not perfect ovals—like the egg in the Columbus story, they are both crushed flat at the contact end—but their physical resemblance must be a source of perpetual wonder to the gulls that fly overhead. To the wingless a more interesting phenomenon is their dissimilarity in every particular except shape and size.
I lived at West Egg, the—well, the less fashionable of the two, though this is a most superficial tag to express the bizarre and not a little sinister contrast between them. My house was at the very tip of the egg, only fifty yards from the Sound, and squeezed between two huge places that rented for twelve or fifteen thousand a season. The one on my right was a colossal affair by any standard—it was a factual imitation of some Hôtel de Ville in Normandy, with a tower on one side, spanking new under a thin beard of raw ivy, and a marble swimming pool, and more than forty acres of lawn and garden. It was Gatsby’s mansion. Or, rather, as I didn’t know Mr. Gatsby, it was a mansion inhabited by a gentleman of that name. My own house was an eyesore, but it was a small eyesore, and it had been overlooked, so I had a view of the water, a partial view of my neighbour’s lawn, and the consoling proximity of millionaires—all for eighty dollars a month.
Across the courtesy bay the white palaces of fashionable East Egg glittered along the water, and the history of the summer really begins on the evening I drove over there to have dinner with the Tom Buchanans. Daisy was my second cousin once removed, and I’d known Tom in college. And just after the war I spent two days with them in Chicago.
Her husband, among various physical accomplishments, had been one of the most powerful ends that ever played football at New Haven—a national figure in a way, one of those men who reach such an acute limited excellence at twenty-one that everything afterward savours of anticlimax. His family were enormously wealthy—even in college his freedom with money was a matter for reproach—but now he’d left Chicago and come East in a fashion that rather took your breath away: for instance, he’d brought down a string of polo ponies from Lake Forest. It was hard to realize that a man in my own generation was wealthy enough to do that.
Why they came East I don’t know. They had spent a year in France for no particular reason, and then drifted here and there unrestfully wherever people played polo and were rich together. This was a permanent move, said Daisy over the telephone, but I didn’t believe it—I had no sight into Daisy’s heart, but I felt that Tom would drift on forever seeking, a little wistfully, for the dramatic turbulence of some irrecoverable football game.
And so it happened that on a warm windy evening I drove over to East Egg to see two old friends whom I scarcely knew at all. Their house was even more elaborate than I expected, a cheerful red-and-white Georgian Colonial mansion, overlooking the bay. The lawn started at the beach and ran towards the front door for a quarter of a mile, jumping over sundials and brick walks and burning gardens—finally when it reached the house drifting up the side in bright vines as though from the momentum of its run. The front was broken by a line of French windows, glowing now with reflected gold and wide open to the warm windy afternoon, and Tom Buchanan in riding clothes was standing with his legs apart on the front porch.
He had changed since his New Haven years. Now he was a sturdy straw-haired man of thirty, with a rather hard mouth and a supercilious manner. Two shining arrogant eyes had established dominance over his face and gave him the appearance of always leaning aggressively forward. Not even the effeminate swank of his riding clothes could hide the enormous power of that body—he seemed to fill those glistening boots until he strained the top lacing, and you could see a great pack of muscle shifting when his shoulder moved under his thin coat. It was a body capable of enormous leverage—a cruel body.
His speaking voice, a gruff husky tenor, added to the impression of fractiousness he conveyed. There was a touch of paternal contempt in it, even toward people he liked—and there were men at New Haven who had hated his guts.
“Now, don’t think my opinion on these matters is final,” he seemed to say, “just because I’m stronger and more of a man than you are.” We were in the same senior society, and while we were never intimate I always had the impression that he approved of me and wanted me to like him with some harsh, defiant wistfulness of his own.
We talked for a few minutes on the sunny porch.
“I’ve got a nice place here,” he said, his eyes flashing about restlessly.
Turning me around by one arm, he moved a broad flat hand along the front vista, including in its sweep a sunken Italian garden, a half acre of deep, pungent roses, and a snub-nosed motorboat that bumped the tide offshore.
“It belonged to Demaine, the oil man.” He turned me around again, politely and abruptly. “We’ll go inside.”
We walked through a high hallway into a bright rosy-coloured space, fragilely bound into the house by French windows at either end. The windows were ajar and gleaming white against the fresh grass outside that seemed to grow a little way into the house. A breeze blew through the room, blew curtains in at one end and out the other like pale flags, twisting them up toward the frosted wedding-cake of the ceiling, and then rippled over the wine-coloured rug, making a shadow on it as wind does on the sea.
The only completely stationary object in the room was an enormous couch on which two young women were buoyed up as though upon an anchored balloon. They were both in white, and their dresses were rippling and fluttering as if they had just been blown back in after a short flight around the house. I must have stood for a few moments listening to the whip and snap of the curtains and the groan of a picture on the wall. Then there was a boom as Tom Buchanan shut the rear windows and the caught wind died out about the room, and the curtains and the rugs and the two young women ballooned slowly to the floor.
The younger of the two was a stranger to me. She was extended full length at her end of the divan, completely motionless, and with her chin raised a little, as if she were balancing something on it which was quite likely to fall. If she saw me out of the corner of her eyes she gave no hint of it—indeed, I was almost surprised into murmuring an apology for having disturbed her by coming in.
The other girl, Daisy, made an attempt to rise—she leaned slightly forward with a conscientious expression—then she laughed, an absurd, charming little laugh, and I laughed too and came forward into the room.
“I’m p-paralysed with happiness.”
She
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laughed again, as if she said something very witty, and held my hand for a moment, looking up into my face, promising that there was no one in the world she so much wanted to see. That was a way she had. She hinted in a murmur that the surname of the balancing girl was Baker. (I’ve heard it said that Daisy’s murmur was only to make people lean toward her; an irrelevant criticism that made it no less charming.)
At any rate, Miss Baker’s lips fluttered, she nodded at me almost imperceptibly, and then quickly tipped her head back again—the object she was balancing had obviously tottered a little and given her something of a fright. Again a sort of apology arose to my lips. Almost any exhibition of complete self-sufficiency draws a stunned tribute from me.
I looked back at my cousin, who began to ask me questions in her low, thrilling voice. It was the kind of voice that the ear follows up and down, as if each speech is an arrangement of notes that will never be played again. Her face was sad and lovely with bright things in it, bright eyes and a bright passionate mouth, but there was an excitement in her voice that men who had cared for her found difficult to forget: a singing compulsion, a whispered “Listen,” a promise that she had done gay, exciting things just a while since and that there were gay, exciting things hovering in the next hour.
I told her how I had stopped off in Chicago for a day on my way East, and how a dozen people had sent their love through me.
“Do they miss me?” she cried ecstatically.
“The whole town is desolate. All the cars have the left rear wheel painted black as a mourning wreath, and there’s a persistent wail all night along the north shore.”
“How gorgeous! Let’s go back, Tom. Tomorrow!” Then she added irrelevantly: “You ought to see the baby.”
“I’d like to.”
“She’s asleep. She’s three years old. Haven’t you ever seen her?”
“Never.”
“Well, you ought to see her. She’s—”
Tom Buchanan, who had been hovering restlessly about the room, stopped and rested his hand on my shoulder.
“What you doing, Nick?”
“I’m a bond man.”
“Who with?”
I told him.
“Never heard of them,” he remarked decisively.
This annoyed me.
“You will,” I answered shortly. “You will if you stay in the East.”
“Oh, I’ll stay in the East, don’t you worry,” he said, glancing at Daisy and then back at me, as if he were alert for something more. “I’d be a God damned fool to live anywhere else.”
At this point Miss Baker said: “Absolutely!” with such suddenness that I started—it was the first word she had uttered since I came into the room. Evidently it surprised her as much as it did me, for she yawned and with a series of rapid, deft movements stood up into the room.
“I’m stiff,” she complained, “I’ve been lying on that sofa for as long as I can remember.”
“Don’t look at me,” Daisy retorted, “I’ve been trying to get you to New York all afternoon.”
“No, thanks,” said Miss Baker to the four cocktails just in from the pantry. “I’m absolutely in training.”
Her host looked at her incredulously.
“You are!” He took down his drink as if it were a drop in the bottom of a glass. “How you ever get anything done is beyond me.”
I looked at Miss Baker, wondering what it was she “got done.” I enjoyed looking at her. She was a slender, small-breasted girl, with an erect carriage, which she accentuated by throwing her body backward at the shoulders like a young cadet. Her grey sun-strained eyes looked back at me with polite reciprocal curiosity out of a wan, charming, discontented face. It occurred to me now that I had seen her, or a picture of her, somewhere before.
“You live in West Egg,” she remarked contemptuously. “I know somebody there.”
“I don’t know a single—”
“You must know Gatsby.”
“Gatsby?” demanded Daisy. “What Gatsby?”
Before I could reply that he was my neighbour dinner was announced; wedging his tense arm imperatively under mine, Tom Buchanan compelled me from the room as though he were moving a checker to another square.
Slenderly, languidly, their hands set lightly on their hips, the two young women preceded us out on to a rosy-coloured porch, open toward the sunset, where four candles flickered on the table in the diminished wind.
“Why candles?” objected Daisy, frowning. She snapped them out with her fingers. “In two weeks it’ll be the longest day in the year.” She looked at us all radiantly. “Do you always watch for the longest day of the year and then miss it? I always watch for the longest day in the year and then miss it.”
“We ought to plan something,” yawned Miss Baker, sitting down at the table as if she were getting into bed.
“All right,” said Daisy. “What’ll we plan?” She turned to me helplessly: “What do people plan?”
Before I could answer her eyes fastened with an awed expression on her little finger.
“Look!” she complained; “I hurt it.”
We all looked—the knuckle was black and blue.
“You did it, Tom,” she said accusingly. “I know you didn’t mean to, but you did do it. That’s what I get for marrying a brute of a man, a great, big, hulking physical specimen of a—”
“I hate that word ‘hulking,’ ” objected Tom crossly, “even in kidding.”
“Hulking,” insisted Daisy.
Sometimes she and Miss Baker talked at once, unobtrusively and with a bantering inconsequence that was never quite chatter, that was as cool as their white dresses and their impersonal eyes in the absence of all desire. They were here, and they accepted Tom and me, making only a polite pleasant effort to entertain or to be entertained. They knew that presently dinner would be over and a little later the evening too would be over and casually put away. It was sharply different from the West, where an evening was hurried from phase to phase towards its close, in a continually disappointed anticipation or else in sheer nervous dread of the moment itself.
“You make me feel uncivilized, Daisy,” I confessed on my second glass of corky but rather impressive claret. “Can’t you talk about crops or something?”
I meant nothing in particular by this remark, but it was taken up in an unexpected way.
“Civilization’s going to pieces,” broke out Tom violently. “I’ve gotten to be a terrible pessimist about things. Have you read The Rise of the Coloured Empires by this man Goddard?”
“Why, no,” I answered, rather surprised by his tone.
“Well, it’s a fine book, and everybody ought to read it. The idea is if we don’t look out the white race will be—will be utterly submerged. It’s all scientific stuff; it’s been proved.”
“Tom’s getting very profound,” said Daisy, with an expression of unthoughtful sadness. “He reads deep books with long words in them. What was that word we—”
“Well, these books are all scientific,” insisted Tom, glancing at her impatiently. “This fellow has worked out the whole thing. It’s up to us, who are the dominant race, to watch out or these other races will have control of things.”
“We’ve got to beat them down,” whispered Daisy, winking ferociously toward the fervent sun.
“You ought to live in California—” began Miss Baker, but Tom interrupted her by shifting heavily in his chair.
“This idea is that we’re Nordics. I am, and you are, and you are, and—” After an infinitesimal hesitation he included Daisy with a slight nod, and she winked at me again. “—And we’ve produced all the things that go to make civilization—oh, science and art, and all that. Do you see?”
There was something pathetic in his concentration, as if his complacency, more acute than of old, was not enough to him any more. When, almost immediately, the telephone rang inside and the butler left the porch Daisy seized upon the momentary interruption and leaned towards me.
“I’ll tell you a family secret,” she whispered enthusiastically. “It’s about the butler’s nose. Do you want to hear about the butler’s nose?”
“That’s why I came over tonight.”
“Well, he wasn’t always a butler; he used to be the silver polisher for some people in New York that had a silver service for two hundred people. He had to polish it from morning till night, until finally it began to affect his nose—”
“Things went from bad to worse,” suggested Miss Baker.
“Yes. Things went from bad to worse, until finally he had to give up his position.”
For a moment the last sunshine fell with romantic affection upon her glowing face; her voice compelled me forward breathlessly as I listened—then the glow faded, each light deserting her with lingering regret, like children leaving a pleasant street at dusk.
The butler came back and murmured something close to Tom’s ear, whereupon Tom frowned, pushed back his chair, and without a word went inside. As if his absence quickened something within her, Daisy leaned forward again, her voice glowing and singing.
“I love to see you at my table, Nick. You remind me of a—of a rose, an absolute rose. Doesn’t he?” She turned to Miss Baker for confirmation: “An absolute rose?”
This was untrue. I am not even faintly like a rose. She was only extemporizing, but a stirring warmth flowed from her, as if her heart was trying to come out to you concealed in one of those breathless, thrilling words. Then suddenly she threw her napkin on the table and excused herself and went into the house.
Miss Baker and I exchanged a short glance consciously devoid of meaning. I was about to speak when she sat up alertly and said “Sh!” in a warning voice. A subdued impassioned murmur was audible in the room beyond, and Miss Baker leaned forward unashamed, trying to hear. The murmur trembled on the verge of coherence, sank down, mounted excitedly, and then ceased altogether.
“This Mr. Gatsby you spoke of is my neighbour—” I began.
“Don’t talk. I want to hear what happens.”
“Is something happening?” I inquired innocently.
“You mean to say you don’t know?” said Miss Baker, honestly surprised. “I thought everybody knew.”
“I don’t.”
“Why—” she said hesitantly. “Tom’s got some woman in New York.”
“Got some woman?” I repeated blankly.
Miss Baker nodded.
“She might have the decency not to telephone him at dinner time. Don’t you think?”
Almost before I had grasped her meaning there was the flutter of a dress and the crunch of leather boots, and Tom and Daisy were back at the table.
“It couldn’t be helped!” cried Daisy with tense gaiety.
She sat down, glanced searchingly at Miss Baker and then at me, and continued: “I looked outdoors for a minute, and it’s very romantic outdoors. There’s a bird on the lawn that I think must be a nightingale come over on the Cunard or White Star Line. He’s singing away—” Her voice sang: “It’s romantic, isn’t it, Tom?”
“Very romantic,” he said, and then miserably to me: “If it’s light enough after dinner, I want to take you down to the stables.”
The telephone rang inside, startlingly, and as Daisy shook her head decisively at Tom the subject of the stables, in fact all subjects, vanished into air. Among the broken fragments of the last five minutes at table I remember the candles being lit again, pointlessly, and I was conscious of wanting to look squarely at everyone, and yet to avoid all eyes. I couldn’t guess what Daisy and Tom were thinking, but I doubt if even Miss Baker, who seemed to have mastered a certain hardy scepticism, was able utterly to put this fifth guest’s shrill metallic urgency out of mind. To a certain temperament the situation might have seemed intriguing—my own instinct was to telephone immediately for the police.
The horses, needless to say, were not mentioned again. Tom and Miss Baker, with several feet of twilight between them, strolled back into the library, as if to a vigil beside a perfectly tangible body, while, trying to look pleasantly interested and a little deaf, I followed Daisy around a chain of connecting verandas to the porch in front. In its deep gloom we sat down side by side on a wicker settee.
Daisy took her face in her hands as if feeling its lovely shape, and her eyes moved gradually out into the velvet dusk. I saw that turbulent emotions possessed her, so I asked what I thought would be some sedative questions about her little girl.
“We don’t know each other very well, Nick,” she said suddenly. “Even if we are cousins. You didn’t come to my wedding.”
“I wasn’t back from the war.”
“That’s true.” She hesitated. “Well, I’ve had a very bad time, Nick, and I’m pretty cynical about everything.”
Evidently she had reason to be. I waited but she
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didn’t say any more, and after a moment I returned rather feebly to the subject of her daughter.
“I suppose she talks, and—eats, and everything.”
“Oh, yes.” She looked at me absently. “Listen, Nick; let me tell you what I said when she was born. Would you like to hear?”
“Very much.”
“It’ll show you how I’ve gotten to feel about—things. Well, she was less than an hour old and Tom was God knows where. I woke up out of the ether with an utterly abandoned feeling, and asked the nurse right away if it was a boy or a girl. She told me it was a girl, and so I turned my head away and wept. ‘All right,’ I said, ‘I’m glad it’s a girl. And I hope she’ll be a fool—that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.’
“You see I think everything’s terrible anyhow,” she went on in a convinced way. “Everybody thinks so—the most advanced people. And I know. I’ve been everywhere and seen everything and done everything.” Her eyes flashed around her in a defiant way, rather like Tom’s, and she laughed with thrilling scorn. “Sophisticated—God, I’m sophisticated!”
The instant her voice broke off, ceasing to compel my attention, my belief, I felt the basic insincerity of what she had said. It made me uneasy, as though the whole evening had been a trick of some sort to exact a contributory emotion from me. I waited, and sure enough, in a moment she looked at me with an absolute smirk on her lovely face, as if she had asserted her membership in a rather distinguished secret society to which she and Tom belonged.
Inside, the crimson room bloomed with light. Tom and Miss Baker sat at either end of the long couch and she read aloud to him from the Saturday Evening Post—the words, murmurous and uninflected, running together in a soothing tune. The lamplight, bright on his boots and dull on the autumn-leaf yellow of her hair, glinted along the paper as she turned a page with a flutter of slender muscles in her arms.
When we came in she held us silent for a moment with a lifted hand.
“To be continued,” she said, tossing the magazine on the table, “in our very next issue.”
Her body asserted itself with a restless movement of her knee, and she stood up.
“Ten o’clock,” she remarked, apparently finding the time on the ceiling. “Time for this good girl to go to bed.”
“Jordan’s going to play in the tournament tomorrow,” explained Daisy, “over at Westchester.”
“Oh—you’re Jordan Baker.”
I knew now why her face was familiar—its pleasing contemptuous expression had looked out at me from many rotogravure pictures of the sporting life at Asheville and Hot Springs and Palm Beach. I had heard some story of her too, a critical, unpleasant story, but what it was I had forgotten long ago.
“Good night,” she said softly. “Wake me at eight, won’t you.”
“If you’ll get up.”
“I will. Good night, Mr. Carraway. See you anon.”
“Of course you will,” confirmed Daisy. “In fact I think I’ll arrange a marriage. Come over often, Nick, and I’ll sort of—oh—fling you together. You know—lock you up accidentally in linen closets and push you out to sea in a boat, and all that sort of thing—”
“Good night,” called Miss Baker from the stairs. “I haven’t heard a word.”
“She’s a nice girl,” said Tom after a moment. “They oughtn’t to let her run around the country this way.”
“Who oughtn’t to?” inquired Daisy coldly.
“Her family.”
“Her family is one aunt about a thousand years old. Besides, Nick’s going to look after her, aren’t you, Nick? She’s going to spend lots of weekends out here this summer. I think the home influence will be very good for her.”
Daisy and Tom looked at each other for a moment in silence.
“Is she from New York?” I asked quickly.
“From Louisville. Our white girlhood was passed together there. Our beautiful white—”
“Did you give Nick a little heart to heart talk on the veranda?” demanded Tom suddenly.
“Did I?” She looked at me. “I can’t seem to remember, but I think we talked about the Nordic race. Yes, I’m sure we did. It sort of crept up on us and first thing you know—”
“Don’t believe everything you hear, Nick,” he advised me.
I said lightly that I had heard nothing at all, and a few minutes later I got up to go home. They came to the door with me and stood side by side in a cheerful square of light. As I started my motor Daisy peremptorily called: “Wait!”
“I forgot to ask you something, and it’s important. We heard you were engaged to a girl out West.”
“That’s right,” corroborated Tom kindly. “We heard that you were engaged.”
“It’s a libel. I’m too poor.”
“But we heard it,” insisted Daisy, surprising me by opening up again in a flower-like way. “We heard it from three people, so it must be true.”
Of course I knew what they were referring to, but I wasn’t even vaguely engaged. The fact that gossip had published the banns was one of the reasons I had come East. You can’t stop going with an old friend on account of rumours, and on the other hand I had no intention of being rumoured into marriage.
Their interest rather touched me and made them less remotely rich—nevertheless, I was confused and a little disgusted as I drove away. It seemed to me that the thing for Daisy to do was to rush out of the house, child in arms—but apparently there were no such intentions in her head. As for Tom, the fact that he “had some woman in New York” was really less surprising than that he had been depressed by a book. Something was making him nibble at the edge of stale ideas as if his sturdy physical egotism no longer nourished his peremptory heart.
Already it was deep summer on roadhouse roofs and in front of wayside garages, where new red petrol-pumps sat out in pools of light, and when I reached my estate at West Egg I ran the car under its shed and sat for a while on an abandoned grass roller in the yard. The wind had blown off, leaving a loud, bright night, with wings beating in the trees and a persistent organ sound as the full bellows of the earth blew the frogs full of life. The silhouette of a moving cat wavered across the moonlight, and, turning my head to watch it, I saw that I was not alone—fifty feet away a figure had emerged from the shadow of my neighbour’s mansion and was standing with his hands in his pockets regarding the silver pepper of the stars. Something in his leisurely movements and the secure position of his feet upon the lawn suggested that it was Mr. Gatsby himself, come out to determine what share was his of our local heavens.
I decided to call to him. Miss Baker had mentioned him at dinner, and that would do for an introduction. But I didn’t call to him, for he gave a sudden intimation that he was content to be alone—he stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way, and, far as I was from him, I could have sworn he was trembling. Involuntarily I glanced seaward—and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far away, that might have been the end of a dock. When I looked once more for Gatsby he had vanished, and I was alone again in the unquiet darkness.
II
About halfway between West Egg and New York the motor road hastily joins the railroad and runs beside it for a quarter of a mile, so as to shrink away from a certain desolate area of land. This is a valley of ashes—a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens; where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke and, finally, with a transcendent effort, of ash-grey men, who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air. Occasionally a line of grey cars crawls along an invisible track, gives out a ghastly creak, and comes to rest, and immediately the ash-grey men swarm up with leaden spades and stir up an impenetrable cloud, which screens their obscure operations from your sight.
But above the grey land and the spasms of bleak dust which drift endlessly over it, you perceive, after a moment, the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg. The eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg are blue and gigantic—their retinas are one yard high. They look out of no face, but, instead, from a pair of enormous yellow spectacles which pass over a nonexistent nose. Evidently some wild wag of an oculist set them there to
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submitted by Personal_Hippo1277 to NovelAi [link] [comments]


2023.06.06 22:12 Ok_Confection2588 Need to vent about Medicare and SSDI

Hi I hope everyone is having a much better day/week than I am. Anyways, I was approved for SSDI in February of this year and it has been anything but a smooth process. Am I grateful that I got approved for government disability? Yes. Am I frustrated with the system? Hell yes.
So when I got approved for SSDI I also got approved for $22,000 in backpay. Yay! Money! Oh wait you're going to have to jump through hoops (figuratively speaking) to get that money. I'm saying this as it is June 6th, 2023 and I have yet to receive my backpay. I have spoken with my lawyer multiple damn times and she always says wait until this date then you will get the money only to not receive anything on that date. So I finally called Social Security on the phone and asked them nicely and politely what is going on with my backpay. So the federal government employee had no fucking clue as to what was going on with it. Honestly it's such a fucked up system. She told me to call the Nebraska office (the state I live in) so I did that this morning and they knew almost nothing as well and kept giving me pathetic excuse after pathetic excuse as to why the government hasn't given me the backpay yet. Told me to call back in three weeks if I haven't received the money. That is problem number one.
Problem number two has to do with fucking Medicare. So I got approved for Medicare through SSDI and it was a good thing since I have been kicked off of Medicaid because my parents decided to set up a mutual fund for me when I was young and now I have to much money to my name. Money that I have no fucking access to for some reason. Anyways, Medicaid was great. They covered everything with no copays or expenses for me and there were plenty of medical providers who accepted that form of medical insurance. Whereas it's difficult to find medical providers that accept Medicare or Medicare Advantage plans. I had no problem with finding a mental health therapist when I was on Medicaid but now it is impossible literally impossible to find a good mental health therapist since I am on Medicare/Medicare Advantage. Like I don't care so much about the copays of $35+ now that I have a part-time job but the fact that it is so damn difficult to find a mental health therapist while on Medicare/Medicare Advantage is insane.
Sorry for posting this rant. I know not everyone will agree with what I have said but I don't care. I am just fed up with the disability system and I needed to vent in a place where I feel safe to do so or I was going to end up in a meltdown or go clinically insane.
submitted by Ok_Confection2588 to AutisticAdults [link] [comments]


2023.06.06 15:36 YaaliAnnar NoP: Lost and Found (58)

First Previous
Memory Transcription Subject: Vichak, venlil school principal
Date [Standard Human Reckoning]: 2136-10-23
I told my vice principal that I didn't come to this predator planet for a vacation, so I need some knowledge or study results to bring home. Johan, my possible future brother-in-law, suggested that I could perhaps observe a human school. Keristian, the human coordinator for the refugee apartment, assured me that he had contacted an elementary school and came up with a schedule. For now, he told me to familiarize myself with the amenities in the apartment.
Besides their blocky design, human apartments had the same general functions as venlil ones. The staff provided us with a stepping stool to account for the larger dimension of the furniture, but other than that it has all that we needed.
Well... we could use a full-body dryer.
I found some alien features too in the apartment, such as the artificial pond, which humans use for recreation. They call this activity 'swimming', something that translates into "moving in water". Their First Contact package insisted that they came from arboreal lineage. Yet, their movements in water betrayed a hidden skill. After considering it, it made sense in a way. The water in their world is teeming with life, and they would benefit from aquatic hunting skills.
Adjacent to this 'swimming' pond, the apartment also had a gym. We have gyms back in the home world, but here on Earth, a wide range of humans frequented them, not just their armed forces personnel. They perform a variety of body movements such as lifting and putting things back down or running on a conveyor belt.
Does this dedication to simulated hardship serve as a means to channel their inherited predatory aggression? They didn't turn themselves from savage beasts into civilized people without some way to temper that excess.
We expected to meet a lot of gojids in the apartment, but it felt sparser than I had imagined. Keristian explained that the gojids here had entered into employment within the Capital. A large number had secured work on the farms. Some had brought seeds from their homeworld, which they planted back in the camp. After the human experts determined it safe enough for Earth, they transplanted the sprouts to one of the farms around the city.
I wondered if any venlil plant species had established themselves on this foreign soil. After Timür explained the concept of invasive species, I realized that I misinterpreted their cautious approach as predatory territorialism. On the other paw, the unspoiled wilderness that I witnessed on my journeys to and from the camp made me appreciate the inherent beauty of preserving such a wild landscape.
Some other gojids chose careers in logistics, serving the complex system that kept the goods in the region moving. Right now, humans directed most of their effort into alleviating the ruined cities. Some of the gojids had even volunteered to help the human, despite the presence of arxurs in the affected cities.
For our last meal of the day, we had gojid dishes made out of earth ingredients. I have to admit that I have not tried gojid cuisine before, but it grew on me just like human cuisine did.
The midday heat on Earth felt milder compared to the scorching intensity of a Deep Day in Venlil Prime's sunward section. Unlike our homeworld, where night temperatures could plummet beyond freezing, Earth's night felt comfortable.
I spent my first night on Earth sitting on the rooftop garden of the apartment. The blanket of darkness that stretched all around us sparked feelings of unease. However, the glimmering towers of the Capital provided a comforting backdrop, their lights twinkling like terrestrial stars. One of the staff members commented on how the city's light pollution obscured all but the brightest celestial bodies.
The staff member was a human after all and would do insane human things like complaining about their city not being dark enough.
Nevertheless, humans did appreciate the necessity of artificial lighting. As night fell, we could illuminate our room with the voice command, a comforting alternative to the deep night outside. I shuddered at the thought of enduring a night in such complete darkness.
Yesterday, I decided to explore the downtown capital to familiarize myself before I visited the school today. Mom insisted on tagging along and Keristian wanted Sukma, his aide, to guide us. We wanted a self-guided exploration, so as a compromise, the human equipped us with wrist-worn devices. These gadgets allowed him to track our whereabouts and also functioned as a means of payment. While the coordinator insisted we needn't worry about finances, he explained a rough price guide to prevent any possible exploitation.
Humans, in stark contrast to the lone arxurs, put heavy importance on socializing. While we waited in the station, the rhythmic cadence of Bahasa, their local language, filled the air. Thanks to Vani's provision of a language model, I could comprehend their dialogues, and snippets of human conversations drifted toward my ears.
"Do you see those domba?"
"Shhh... don't call them that. But yeah... I thought we had just one here?"
"Maybe Vani's relatives came to visit?"
However, even with the additional language model, my translator couldn't decipher all of their voices. Vani informed me that Bahasa serves as a trade language for the region and they had a plethora of other tongues that our translation device has yet to have the data for.
Once aboard the train, the humans adopted a collective silence. Being surrounded by humans aboard the train felt daunting, but this discomfort came from me standing out in this setting. I would feel the same on any other planet inhabited by a different species, carnivorous or not.
When we came to the downtown station, we plunged right away into an endless sea of humans.
Timür's unapologetic display of his face had acclimatized us to humans. We learned to perceive them not as threats but as just xenos with weird faces. It also helped that the humans in our vicinity maintained a respectful distance. However, they almost always locked their curious gaze onto us, averting their eyes when they figured out that I noticed them from my peripheral vision.
Distinguishing individual humans posed a challenge due to their similar appearance, but I soon learned to note the distinctive fabric of their clothing and the accessories they adorned.
The bustling capital of Nusantara presented us with new experiences and opportunities to learn about human culture. Mom and I took full advantage of our time there, immersing ourselves in the vibrant atmosphere provided by the city.
We first stopped at a local market, a bustling hive of activity that operated around the clock. Here, we observed humans haggling over the prices of fruits and vegetables, inspecting textiles, and purchasing a bewildering variety of cooked foods. The rich aroma of exotic spices and prepared meals filled the air.
We had a pleasant experience in the market until we stumbled onto the flesh section. Mom caused some embarrassing commotion when she vomited at the sight of the flesh.
So we decided to visit something less challenging and found ourselves going to museums and galleries. The tour guides in each institution we came to explained the history of this island while showing a collection of historical artifacts and artworks. It offered a captivating glimpse into the ancient human civilizations that once inhabited this region, and their struggles and triumphs.
We decided to have our last meal of the day in the city. With many of the buildings crammed in the city center, the place we had access to the open air lay at the top of the building. We watched the sun setting on the horizon.
As we ate through a platter of addictive fritters, Mom said that we venlil did construct similar dense settlements. Her explanation surprised me at first, as I almost forgot that Mom used to work as a civil engineer. She then explained that dense arrangements for habitats like this only made sense in colonies that lacked land or breathable air.
Humans seemed to have other motivations. They prefer gathering close to one another, creating bustling metropolises to allow for large swaths of untouched land for their wildlife.
So today, having learned to navigate the urban labyrinth of the Capital, I bid a temporary farewell to my mother at the outskirt station. Her exploration of this city would take her further out, where she would visit one of the human agricultural facilities. On the other paw, my destination lay at the heart of downtown.
Once I arrived at the downtown station, I switched on my visual overlay, allowing it to project directional instructions across my visual field. It painted a pathway to my destination through the tunnels and covered walkways. The direction landed me in one of the city's gargantuan towers.
The visual overlay translated the name of the school in venscript. Since humans write horizontally, the resulting translation turns a quarter circle. The sign above the entrance says:
"State Elementary School #1"
Number one? I suppose in a city this big, they did need more than one school. Under the sign, I spotted a human figure standing. She waved her arms and I could tell that she had waited for me. When I got closer, I made out the warm and inviting expression on her face
"Hi, I'm Andin, and you must be Principal Vichak?" Her voice sounded melodious and soft for a human. The human clasped her hands in front of her and bowed.
"Hi Principal Andin, nice to meet you," I replied to her with the same gesture. "I can't wait to see your school."
"Excellent! Follow me," she said. Her billowy one-piece dress twirled around her when she turned around.
Andin led me through the lobby and toward a balcony overseeing the heart of this educational facility, an internal atrium spanning three stories in height. The humans embedded the school inside one of their superstructure, and due to the lack of outdoor space, this architectural feature provided a simulated outside area where young humans could engage in physical activity and socialize. A synthetic material replicating grass covered the atrium's floor. Simulated sunlight streamed projected from the ceiling bathed the area in warm daylight.
An assortment of colorful play structures and exercise apparatuses dotted the periphery of the atrium. I presume they provided the students with ways to release those predator energies. Balconies jutted out from each floor, giving educators an overview of the bustling space and enabling effective supervision during playtime. The classrooms and learning spaces surrounded the atrium. As we walked past, I noticed that several of the glass panes had turned opaque.
"I read from the sign that this is an Elementary School. How old are your students?"
"Our elementary school caters to students from the first through fourth grades, so they are between six to ten years old. However, we sometimes admit older students. For instance, we have a few twelve-year-olds in the fourth grade."
Something felt a bit off from her answer. "What's next for them after this?" I probed.
"After completing their time here, students move on to four years of middle school, followed by another four years of high school. During high school, they can choose a specialization before they move on to university."
Her response left me flabbergasted. "Twelve years of education?" I said in disbelief. "It takes a full twelve years to complete education here?"
"Uh... yeah. That's pretty much the standard timeframe for education all over the planet. Just... how long does it take for you to finish your mandatory education?"
"Seven years," I responded. "By the age of thirteen, kids can start two years of vocational school and most venlils started working at fifteen."
Andin's eyes widened, "Wait, you have children working full-time at fifteen?"
"No, they're not children. They're adults." I realized that humans might have different lifespans. "What's... your age of majority here?"
"In this country, people can vote at the age of seventeen. But in our local culture adulthood starts at twenty." Andin explained.
"Alright, maybe we have a different lifespan?" Andin suggested, echoing my thought. "What's the typical lifespan of a venlil?"
"The average life expectancy hovers around ninety years, although many people live past one hundred," I explained. I wonder if perhaps humans live much longer? I didn't expect predators to live long, but humans tend to defy the norm.
"We had the same lifespan," Andin admitted.
"Wait... what?"
"Maybe we have a different education system?" She suggested again. Andin offered me her pad. "Feel free to observe any class that interests you. Here you can see the schedule for today." The contents had been translated into Ventongue. It presented a timeline of various subjects that took place throughout the day.
As my eyes skimmed over the list, one caught my attention. "Can you explain physical education?"
"In this class, we teach children how to exercise." she explained, "In fact, a PE class should begin now."
An adult human arrived on the field, followed by human children chattering and making all sorts of kid noises. They sounded just like venlil juveniles. At the command of the teacher, the students aligned themselves into a tidy grid pattern. A rhythmic melody started to play, filling the atrium with an energetic ambiance. The teacher at the front began to move in sync with the music, demonstrating a series of actions that the children mirrored.
"What are they doing?" I asked, intrigued.
"They're warming up to prepare for the activity ahead."
They performed various movements, the fluidity and synchronization of which appeared almost like a dance to my venlil eyes.
Once the 'warm up' concluded, several large, blocky objects rolled into the atrium. With a series of arm gestures from the teacher, these objects positioned themselves around the area. Some expanded to form rudimentary structures complete with roofs, transforming the atrium into some sort of tiny city.
The children gathered in a circle. Following a brief, excited chatter, they each presented a hand, some with palms facing upward, others showing the backs of their hands. According to some unspoken rule, those showing the backs of their hands stepped back, causing the circle to contract. This ritual continued and I figured out that the group with the most members excused themselves until one kid remained.
"Ah, it seems they're playing 'Hide and Seek' today," Andin commented, watching the unfolding scene with a warm smile.
"Hide and Seek? What's that?"
"One child plays as the 'cat' while the others will play as the 'mice'," she explained, her expression turning somewhat hesitant. "Ah... perhaps this wasn't the most appropriate activity for you to observe."
My translator didn't quite capture the nuances of 'cat' and 'mice', but I gathered they referred to Earth animals. The child designated as the 'cat' stood in the center of the atrium, standing near a pole with their eyes covered, while the 'mice' scattered, seeking shelter behind the fabricated structures and blocks.
The 'cat' began a loud countdown. Upon reaching zero, they removed palms hands from their eyes and commenced their search. A realization struck me as the 'cat' started prowling around.
"This... is," I murmured, taken aback by the implication of the game. "You're simulating a hunt."
From time to time, the humans can't help but remind me that despite their friendliness and civility, they had a history as predators.
"Well... yeah, when you put it like that…" she paused. "But, the children didn't see it as a hunting simulation. I mean… I doubt that none of them will become a hunter when they reach adulthood. Most of us nowadays don't hunt."
"I understand." I looked down and the cat had found a mouse, chaos ensued as the two of them rushed to the pole. The mouse touched the pole first and laughed. "You humans do need an outlet for your aggression to maintain a civil society."
"What? No…" Said Andin. "We have Physical Education to encourage a habit of fitness."
"So, you don't feel the urge to get violent, sometimes?"
"Most of us don't. Those with that kind of urge receive treatments so they don't harm themselves or other people."
I looked down at the human children below. Despite their concerning activity, they looked like they enjoyed it.
"But if this display makes you uncomfortable, we can see other classes."
I looked at the pad, where another class intrigued me.
"You have an art class? In elementary school?"
"Yeah, it encourages creativity… you don't have art classes?"
"No, those with the aptitude will go to art colleges after they graduate from school."
"Oh…" She gave me a look that I think signifies pity? "Are there other things you don't see in Venlil school?"
"The English class seems interesting. I noticed that most of your people can speak in English when needed."
"Heh, that one is contentious." She chuckled. "English is waning now, and people proposed that we teach our kids Chinese, Hindi, or Swahili for the foreign language class. I take it… you don't have a foreign language class?"
"We do, but… like art school, you learn it at the university level, usually as part of a Foreign Relation Studies. Because foreign languages are spoken by other species."
"Interesting." Again, she gave me that concerned look. "So, do you want to see the art class or the language class?"
"Art class. I think."
"Sure, let's go," Andin said, guiding me down the stairs toward the art classroom.
Upon entering the room, chaos greeted us. An eclectic array of children's artwork adorned the walls, showcasing vibrant landscapes, portraits, abstract shapes, and depictions of what I assumed were various earth creatures.
"Ah, Principal Andin," the art teacher greeted us with an inviting smile as we entered. "And we have Principal Vichak as well!"
"Meet Harta, our art teacher," Andin introduced me.
The moment we entered the room, a sea of young faces turned towards us. It felt like a forest of eyes scrutinizing us.
"Children, say hello to our visitor today, Principal Vichak."
"Good morning, Principal Vichak!" They speak in harmony. The children then refocused on their tasks, their hands returning to their brushes and colored pencils.
Some students here worked alone, while others collaborated in small groups. In one corner, I spotted a screen displaying 3D artwork, sculptures made from what looked like recycled materials, clay, and even intricate artwork made of folded paper.
"Today we have a free-form class," Harta explained. "With your visit, I asked them to make something about our two species."
Several children gathered around a large screen at one end of the room, using it to sketch out their designs before replicating them on canvas. They drew scenes of humans and venlils with a level of technical skill and creativity that amazed me, considering the young age of these kids. In one section, busy children molded a piece of clay, their tiny hands trying to create something that looked like a venlil.
"But how do you evaluate their work?" I asked, confused. "And for that matter, how do you grade students in the Physical Education class?"
"In this school system, we don't include art and physical education to determine if a student has what it takes to continue to the next grade," Andin clarified.
"We do give individual feedback to each child," Harta chimed in. "We aim to ensure their personal growth and development, not just their academic achievement."
"Indeed," Andin asserted, her voice reflecting a sense of profound conviction. "The role of the school has evolved over time. These days, we don't work just as a hub for academic instruction, but as a second home where children learn essential life skills. We work hand-in-hand with parents to nurture these young minds, helping them develop into thoughtful and responsible individuals."
This notion brought back memories of my own school back on our homeworld. People would often refer to our school as a "nursery" due to our additional class on socializing and communication. I remember Renata, the human psychologist stationed in our homeland, said that my school had the basis of a well-rounded education. Here I learned just how more "rounded" we need to be.
Throughout the day, we ventured into different classrooms, each offering a snapshot of the subjects covered in human elementary education. The STEM classes felt lackluster by my standards. However, I soon appreciated their teaching approach which encouraged students to arrive at their conclusions.
On the other hand, the social studies and citizenship curriculum appeared more intricate, which made sense, given the complex social structures of the human race, a species as varied and divided as the primitive yotuls.
Midday brought a meal break, during which I had the chance to mingle with some of the other faculty members. I learned that a significant portion of the adults currently abstained from food and drink, on account of what they called the "fasting month". Andin observed the fast as well, but she kept me company in the cafeteria despite her abstinence from eating.
"Are you sure it's alright for me to eat while you're fasting?" I asked, somewhat.
"Of course," she assured me, her face warmed by a gracious smile. "Self-restraint is a fundamental aspect of being human."
Self-restraint, a quality I found woven into the fabric of human nature. Despite the invasion hurling their world into chaos, humans displayed remarkable restraint, refraining from lashing out in anger.
Post-meal, our educational exploration resumed. The sheer number of classes devoted to non-academic skills struck me. For instance, they had a class dedicated to environmental education, where they instructed young learners on how to care for their planet. Another class, called Health and Wellness, focused on areas such as hygiene, nutrition, safety, emotional well-being, and mental health. My visit coincided with a session of "meditation", a peculiar human practice to calm themselves. When I observed the children sitting in tranquil silence with eyes closed and serene music enveloping the room, I realized that they do have a method of quelling aggression, by nurturing a peaceful disposition.
The complexities of human pedagogical methods began to dawn upon me. The length of their educational journey lasted longer than ours because of this multifaceted curriculum. They didn't focus just on the injection of academic knowledge, but they also introduced human development in theirs. Even their academic lessons went beyond feeding students with facts and figures. Instead, they encouraged a more gradual learning pace that fostered independent thinking.
Such an extensive approach to education daunted me. Could we even implement such a model in our venlil school? Considerable obstacles lay on our path, given the expectations of parents and our society at large, who were accustomed to a quicker, more streamlined education.
In any case, my day reached its conclusion, and my time to depart came. When I bid her farewell, Principal Andin provided me with a binder filled with artwork created by the students, along with personal messages for me and the students back at my own school.
I had time to reflect and consider as I walked toward the downtown station. I recalled how Andin and Harta viewed the institution not as a place of learning, but as a secondary caregiver, working hand-in-hand with parents to nurture the holistic development of their young ones.
On my way to the station, my mother called. She informed me she would be coming downtown so we could share a last meal of the day together.
"How did the farm tour go, mama?" I queried, eager to hear about her day.
"It was enlightening," she replied, leaving me curious about her experience. "And what about your day?"
"Oh, mama," I began, a sense of excitement rising in my voice, "I had an extraordinary day."
Afterwords: Humans with their 22nd century education.
Somehow this is the longest chapter I have ever written. Also note on my update schedule. I'm posting update on every date divisible by 3. That means some updates can appear 96 hours later when the last post is on 30th and the month ends in 31st,
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2023.06.05 20:15 Prophet_Rykar [OC] Humanity's Spirit

In the late 23rd century, the skies darkened with the arrival of the Nokrians. A reptilian race known throughout the galaxies as conquerors, destroyers of civilizations, and relentless expansionists. The first contact had a single, chilling message. Surrender or be eradicated. Humanity spread across Earth, Mars, the belt, and the solar system's farthest reaches bristled at the ultimatum. A united response was sent back. "We are the children of Earth. We do not surrender!" And so, the war for Earth began.
The Nokrians had underestimated humanity, viewing them as a young race scattered, technologically inferior. The aliens had crushed such civilizations before. But humankind was different. Beneath the diverse flags, languages, and planets, the fire of unity roared. Human technology, while less advanced, was innovative. Adaptive tactics and strategies changed quickly and unpredictably.
The first defining battle took place in the inner belt of Jupiter. Earth's combined fleet clashed with the Nokrian Armada. The alien cruisers dwarfed Earth's vessels, and their plasma weapons tore through our hulls. The Nokrians watched as dozens of human ships turned to stardust, confident in their victory. But humanity had a secret weapon. Its spirit. The spirit dared to dream, innovate, and resist against all odds. And amid that bloody battle, it shone brightly. Following a hasty, desperate plan, the remaining human fleet utilized Jupiter's powerful magnetic field to create a slingshot effect, hurtling smaller ships with tremendous speed toward the Nokrian Armada.
The Nokrian Shields, designed to absorb direct high-energy attacks, could not adapt to the bombardment of these human missiles. The loss they faced was unexpected and disheartening. The mighty alien Armada was forced to retreat, leaving the humans to celebrate their first victory. That day, the message of humanity echoed across the solar system. "We do not surrender!"
On the Nokrian's home world, supreme warlord K'rul watched in disbelief as reports streamed in. "So, you're telling me we lost our greatest superweapon because humans rammed a flagship into it?" The room fell into an uneasy silence. Humans were meant to be weak and insignificant. Yet they had just dealt the Nokrians a heavy blow. Despite this unexpected setback, the Nokrians remained disdainful of humanity. They saw this victory as a fluke, a lucky shot.
Commander Xok'rath received an order from the Nokrian High Command as the war entered its second year. An all-out assault on Earth aimed to crush human resistance once and for all. Closing his eyes, he remembered a phrase from an ancient human text. "The calm before the storm." The storm was indeed coming, but who would prevail in its wake was a story yet to be told. With a final look at Earth, he ordered his Armada to advance, leaving the future of humanity hanging in the balance. A cliff on the horizon of a story yet to unfold.
"Operation Thunderbolt? I must admit humans come up with interesting names," Commander Xok'rath muttered. Starring at the holographic plans of an Earth-based counter-strike against his armada. He found it difficult to understand how a young and fragile race could put up such a fight. His second in command, Virox, watched the hologram with narrowed eyes. "Commander, have you noticed? These humans fight differently compared to the other races we've conquered. They're more... reckless." "Yes," Xok'rath replied, a hint of curiosity in his voice. "They seem to have a remarkable capacity for taking risks and performing under extreme stress. There's a term they use" Adrenaline." Xok'rath said. Virox tilted his head. "Adrenaline?" "Yes," Xok'rath said. Gesturing at a display, an image of human anatomy diagram appeared, highlighting the adrenal glands. "It's a hormone triggered by stress or danger significantly enhancing their physical abilities. It allows them to perform feats that seem impossible." "Like flying their ships directly into our Armada," Virox murmured, understanding dawning in his eyes. "Yes," Xok'rath nodded. "Like that." Their discussion was interrupted by the ship's automated alarm. Operation Thunderbolt had begun.
Reports started pouring in, and Earth's smaller but highly maneuverable attack force began strafing runs on the Nokrian fleet. From Earth's surface, missiles arced, their brilliant trails illuminating the dark void. Nokrian shield generators sparked and faltered under the sheer onslaught. The human ships danced among the Nokrian Armada. "Incoming! Brace for Impact!" Xok'rath's command echoed through the ship as the Earth missiles found their target. The ship shook violently, the powerful shield failing under the human's relentless bombardment. "Damage report!" Xok'rath demanded, clutching onto the armrest of his command chair. His scales bristled with tension. "Shields down to 17%; we have hull breaches in sectors 7, 9, and 12." A junior officer reported, panic evident in his usually steady voice. "Initiate evasive maneuvers and get those shields back online!" Zok'rath ordered, his mind racing. No enemy had ever breached a Nokrian command ship's shield. Yet, here were the humans achieving the impossible again.
Meanwhile, on Earth, General Maya Serrano watched as Operation Thunderbolt unfolded. Despite the high stakes, she couldn't suppress a small smile. They were showing these arrogant aliens the true might of humanity. Serrano was a seasoned veteran, having served in the Solar Defense Force for three decades. She'd fought against pirates and led exploratory missions into unknown regions of space, and now she was helping to defend against an alien invasion. Her strategic mind was behind Operation Thunderbolt, a daring high-risk counteroffensive designed to exploit the Nokrians' overconfidence.
Back on the Nokrian command ship, the situation was dire. The shields were failing. casualties were mounting, and to Xok'rath's disbelief, the human force showed no signs of relenting. Instead, their attacks became fiercer, their maneuvers more daring. Suddenly an urgent message flashed on the command screen. It was from the Nokrian Supreme Warlord K'rul himself. His statement was brief and to the point. "Fall back to high orbit," "Regroup," "We will not be defeated." Xok'rath stared at the message, his mind swirling with questions. "Fallback?" "Regroup?" These were terms not often used in Nokrian warfare. He looked back at the holographic display of Earth, its blue and green hues seeming to pulse defiantly. "Commander your orders?" Virox asked, his eyes reflecting the unease rippling through the command ship. Xok'rath took a deep breath. A newfound respect for humanity hardened his resolve. "We follow the warlord's orders, full retreat to high orbit." "But make no mistake, Virox, this is far from over. We've awoken a giant, and we must brace for its wrath," said Xok'rath.
As the Nokrian Armada began retreating, the humans watched from their home world, ships, and colonies. They had won this round. Their defiance, unity, and sheer audacity had pushed back the invaders. If only for a while... But they knew this was not the end; the war was far from over. The Nokrians would return more determined, more desperate. Humanity would have to be ready, for they were the children of Earth, and they would not surrender!
The lights flickered in the makeshift lab as a beacon of hope emerged. On a remote outpost on Titan, Doctor Elena Petrova, humanity's leading quantum physicist, made a breakthrough. A radical new technology project, Quantum Lattice, is an adaptive energy shield that could neutralize the Nokrian's plasma weapons. News of the breakthrough spread like wildfire, the anticipation mixed with caution; after all, the security was untested in actual combat.
They needed to be more unified on the other side of the war line. In the Nokrian High Command, disagreement festered; some commanders like Xok'rath argued for a more cautious approach acknowledging the human's unpredictability. Others, like the fiery Z'tran, scorned such caution advocating for overwhelming direct force.
Back on Earth, another development was taking shape. Lieutenant Isamu Takashi, one of the few survivors of the battle of Jupiter, was chosen for a mission most deemed suicidal. Utilizing his combat experience, survival skills, and the new adaptive camouflage suit. Isamu was to infiltrate the Nokrian mothership, gather intelligence, and if possible, sabotage their operations. Leaving behind a tearful goodbye to his family. Isamu steeled himself for the task ahead. He was not just a soldier but a symbol of human determination.
Meanwhile, Project Quantum Lattice was fast-tracked for field deployment. The prototype was to be installed on the USS Vengeance, a newly commissioned cruiser. Captain Amina N'dour, an experienced and unyielding officer, was given the helm. Her task was twofold: test the shield in battle and buy enough time for Isamu to complete his mission. The USS Vengeance embarked on its maiden voyage equipped with untested technology. The moral of the human forces was... Palpable. On the Nokrian side, tension mounted as descent grew. The war was about to take an unexpected turn.
Onboard the Nokrian mothership, Commander Xok'rath studied the report of increased activity among the human forces. A chill ran down his spine; he felt the wind of change, a shiver of uncertainty. He turned to his second in command, Virox. "Prepare the fleet for an imminent attack and enhance security on our ship. I have a feeling... the humans are up to something." And thus, the stage was set the pieces were moving. As the USS Vengeance ventured into the dark abyss, Isamu descended onto the alien ship in his stealth shuttle. The entire solar system held its breath. Unbeknownst to them, they were on the brink of a new chapter in the war for Earth. A turning point was on the horizon, and with it, the tides of war were about to change.
Deep within the heart of the Nokrian mothership. Lieutenant Isamu Takashi navigated the labyrinthine corridors, and the calm hum of alien technology resonated in the walls. Contrasting starkly with the pounding heartbeat echoing in his ears. Invisible under the cloak of the adaptive camouflage suit, he slipped past patrols, moving like a phantom. His objective was clear, gather intel on the Nokrian's capabilities, identify weaknesses, and if possible, sow chaos within their ranks. But first, he had to reach the core command center.
Meanwhile, far from the silent tension of the alien vessel, the USS Vengeance found itself in the throes of battle. The Nokrian vanguard had descended upon them like a swarm of metallic hornets, but humanity had its own sting. "Activate the Quantum Lattice!" Captain Amina N'dour ordered. A shimmering energy net bloomed around the ship absorbing the volley of plasma beams from the Nokrian fighters. The cruiser seemed to glow in a lattice of light before the glow subsided, leaving the USS Vengeance unscathed. In the silence that followed, a cheer erupted on the bridge; The Quantum Lattice worked.
Then, on the Nokrian mothership, Z'tran, a high-ranking commander known for his aggression, stormed into the war room. Reports of the failed attack on the human ship had just arrived. Z'tran blamed Xok'rath for the failures, his words slicing through the tense air. "Your caution has cost us, Xok'rath. These humans... they are not as weak as you believed." A heated argument ensued, voices echoing through the chamber. Z'tran's accusations held weight among those frustrated with the human resistance. The room split, tension escalating until Z'tran, by force of numbers, wrestled control of the Armada. His first order was a resonating call for the destruction of the Earth.
During the power struggle, Isamu found himself at the heart of the command center. He had gathered precious intel, learning about Z'tran's intended all-out assault. Unfortunately, he transmitted the information to Earth before an alarm blared around him. His cover was blown, and his heart pounded in his chest as he found himself surrounded and trapped at the center of the enemy hub. His eyes darted, calculating escape routes, but it was too late. The Nokrians closed in; their alien faces were grim, and weapons were drawn.
Back on Earth, as the data from Isamu started streaming in, they also received his final message. "I've been compromised; proceed without me..." The transmission cut out abruptly, leaving a haunting silence in the command center with the enemy closing in. Isamu steeled himself; he was cornered, outgunned. His chances looked grim, but he was a symbol of humanity, and he was not going down without a fight. And thus, the climax of the War for Earth began with a lone spy's fate and humanity's future hanging in the balance.
The alien corridors were bathed in a harsh red light, the alarm blaring relentlessly. Lieutenant Isamu Takashi, cornered and outnumbered, faced the approaching Nakorians with a defiant glare. He knew he wouldn't walk away from this fight. His hand found the tiny remote in his pocket. a last resort. A beacon to call down hellfire upon his position. He pressed the button. An explosive blaze erupted from Isamu's location, cascading through the Nokrian mothership. Isamu's final act, a daring sacrifice, destabilized a significant part of the alien Armada. It was a tragic but necessary act that the human fleet used to their advantage. On Earth, his sacrifice echoed through the ranks. Isamu's bravery was a catalyst, igniting a resolve deeper than any battle plan.
As Z'tran's all-out assault descended upon Earth, the planet's defenses were pushed to their limit. But inspired by Isamu, the humans held their ground. The Quantum Lattice technology fends off the relentless onslaught. "Remember Isamu!" Became a rallying cry that surged through the human ranks. Each ship fought with a tenacity that was a testament to their fallen comrade.
The Nokrian Armada, vast, began to falter before the stubborn human resistance. And then Earth's forces unleashed a trump card. Within the bowels of these human ships, engineers and scientists worked relentlessly. Exploiting the data gathered by Isamu. They discovered a critical flaw in the Nokrian shield system. A resonant frequency that could disrupt their energy matrix. Timing their attacks to the millisecond, they fired burst after burst. At this frequency, The Nokrian Shields flickered and, with a final, resounding blast, failed. The Armada was left exposed and vulnerable. Humanity pushed, and the Nokrian forces began to crumble.
The victory was not without cost. wreckage of both Human and Nokrian ships littered the Battlefields. The Earth, though protected, was scarred by the relentless bombardment. But amidst the destruction, humanity stood tall. They had faced annihilation and emerged victorious. Both races were left to pick up the pieces in the aftermath of the war.
On Earth, a Monument was erected in Isamu's memory, a testament to the spirit of humanity. In the Nokrian home world, Z'tran's recklessness was held responsible for their defeat, leading to a shift in power. As the dust settled, the galaxy watched in awe. A species they had considered insignificant had bested the most fearsome conquerors known. Their story was one of resilience, bravery, and unity. However, with the end of the war came new challenges.
The knowledge of humanity's existence had reached far corners of the galaxy. Allies and enemies alike turned their attention to the small blue planet and its colonies, intrigued and wary. But Earth stood ready. The war for Earth had changed, unified, and strengthened them. No matter what the future holds, one thing is sure. Humanity would face it head-on, as they always had. Because they are the children of Earth! And they will not surrender!
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2023.06.05 19:44 Kamy54 Medicare vs Medicare Advantage. My findings as I enter retirement.

A few things I have found out since I have been researching the original Medicare vs. Medicare Advantage. I’m in no way saying that Medicare Advantage is bad. Some people prefer the Medicare Advantage plan over the original Medicare.
  1. Medicare Advantage is a private insurance. When you sign up for Medicare Advantage, you are walking away from the original Medicare.
  2. If you sign up for Medicare Advantage, and you are under 65, when you turn 65, you will be able to get back on the original Medicare with a medigap supplement. If you are 65 and older and you are on Medicare Advantage, that’s when it gets difficult to enroll in a medigap supplement plan with the original Medicare. You will have to go through underwriting, and if you have anything preexisting, you more than likely won’t be able to get that G supplement on the original Medicare. Plan G covers everything that Medicare Part A and B cover at 100% except for the Part B deductible of $226. This means that you won’t pay anything out of pocket for covered services and treatments after you pay the deductible.
  3. When you enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan you are essentially selling your traditional Medicare coverage to a private insurance company.
  4. If someone tries to sell you “Medicare,” ask them if it is Medicare Advantage Plan.
  5. Insurance brokers make a commission of $600. to enroll new members in the Advantage plan. They make $300. To enroll you in the original Medicare. ** I was just informed that insurance brokers do not get commission when they enroll members in the original Medicare.
  6. With an Advantage plan, you could have a yearly out of pocket as high as $5,000 to $10,000. With the original Medicare with a G supplement your out of pocket is $226. a year, plus your monthly premium payment, depending on what plan you choose.
  7. If you enroll in Medicare Advantage, you still pay the Part B premium amount, which is $164.90. The $164.9 is automatically taken out of your Social Security check.
  8. If you are enrolling in Medicare Advantage, ask your agent/broker what happens if you travel out of state, and you need to seek medical attention outside of your network. With original Medicare, there is no network, and you have coverage in all 50 states.
  9. With Medicare, you don’t need prior authorization for a given service. Your doctor makes that decision. (I think you may need authorization with ambulance services though.) With Medicare Advantage, you need prior authorization to receive a service, and the insurance company makes the decision whether to approve or deny the service, not the doctor.
  10. When you see a table set up at Walmart with a sign that says, “Sign up for Medicare here.” That is Medicare Advantage. Medicare does not do that. The original Medicare will never call you to sell you anything and they will never visit you at your home. The calls and spam mail are from Medicare Advantage. TV ads with Joe Namath and J.J. Walker aren’t from Medicare. That’s a private insurance called Medicare Advantage.
  11. If you see anything referring to a Medicare Part C plan, that is a Medicare Advantage Plan. That is not the original Medicare.
  12. Read the fine print on Medicare Advantage’s vision and dental plans. Vison and dental are not included in all Medicare Advantage Plans.
  13. If you have the original Medicare, you don’t need to renew it every year. Medicare Advantage will also renew automatically each year unless Medicare cancels its contract with the plan, or your insurance company stops offering the plan.
On YouTube, subscribe to Medicare School, Christopher Westfall and Medicare on Video. Watch their Medicare vs Medicare Advantage videos. These videos are extremely informative to keep you informed while entering the retirement phase.
Anyone, feel free to correct me if I've misstated anything or if you have anything to add to this post. I'm still learning and trying to gain knowledge to educate myself on this complicated subject.
submitted by Kamy54 to medicare [link] [comments]


2023.06.05 09:46 rokbsklwzqarhyaqak72 Create an Unbounded Development Environment: Use Infatica GitHub Agent to Enjoy Global Resources

In today's rapidly evolving technological landscape, software development has emerged as a key driver of innovation and progress. And to succeed as a software developer, having access to the right set of development tools and resources is crucial. One such tool that can help software developers to create an unbounded development environment is Infatica GitHub Agent.

Infatica GitHub Agent is a powerful tool that enables developers to connect to a global network of resources, thereby enhancing their development capabilities. With Infatica GitHub Agent, developers can access thousands of public repositories and extend their development skills to new horizons. This means that developers no longer have to restrict themselves to their local resources or limit their access to global resources due to geographical constraints.

Another advantage of Infatica GitHub Agent is that it provides developers with an easy-to-use and intuitive interface. This makes it easier for them to navigate and explore the vast array of resources available on the platform and leverage them to their advantage. It also ensures that developers spend more time on coding and less time on navigating complex interfaces.

Infatica GitHub Agent is also committed to ensuring that the code developed by its users is secure and protected. This means that developers can collaborate and share their code with other developers around the world without having to worry about security breaches or compromising their intellectual property.

In conclusion, Infatica GitHub Agent is a powerful tool that can help software developers create an unbounded development environment. By providing access to global resources, an easy-to-use interface, and robust security measures, Infatica GitHub Agent is a must-have tool for all serious developers who want to stay ahead of the curve and create cutting-edge software.
submitted by rokbsklwzqarhyaqak72 to u/rokbsklwzqarhyaqak72 [link] [comments]


2023.06.04 21:29 HotEntranceTrain The Future of AI Trading

AI is transforming the trading and investing world. AI refers to the use of artificial intelligence, predictive analytics and machine learning to analyze historical market and stock data, get investment ideas, build portfolios and automatically buy and sell stocks. AI trading offers hedge funds, investment firms and stock investors a number of advantages, such as:
AI trading is not a single concept, but rather a range of different types and applications. Some of the key trends and developments in AI trading and investing are:
AI trading technology is revolutionizing the way investors trade, providing them with unparalleled access to market insights and decision-making tools. However, AI trading also comes with some challenges and limitations, such as:
AI trading technology is providing investors with an advantage in the competitive and complex trading landscape. However, AI trading is not a magic bullet that guarantees success. Investors still need to have a clear understanding of their goals, risk appetite, time horizon, budget and preferences. They also need to keep abreast of the latest trends and developments in AI technology, as well as the market dynamics and regulations. AI trading is a powerful tool that can augment human intelligence, but not replace it.
submitted by HotEntranceTrain to AItradingOpportunity [link] [comments]


2023.06.04 21:21 Prophet_Rykar [WP] Humanity's Spirit

In the late 23rd century, the skies darkened with the arrival of the Nokrians. A reptilian race known throughout the galaxies as conquerors, destroyers of civilizations, and relentless expansionists. The first contact had a single, chilling message. Surrender or be eradicated. Humanity spread across Earth, Mars, the belt, and the solar system's farthest reaches bristled at the ultimatum. A united response was sent back. "We are the children of the Earth. We do not surrender!" And so the war for Earth began. The Nokrians had underestimated humanity, viewing them as a young race scattered, technologically inferior. The aliens had crushed such civilizations before. But humankind was different. Beneath the diverse flags, languages, and planets, the fire of unity roared. Human technology, while less advanced, was innovative.
Adaptive tactics and strategies changed quickly and unpredictably. The first defining battle took place in the inner belt of Jupiter. Earth's combined fleet clashed with the Nokrian Armada. The alien cruisers dwarfed Earth's vessels, and their plasma weapons tore through our hulls. The Nokrians watched as dozens of human ships turned to stardust, confident in their victory. But humanity had a secret weapon. Its spirit. The spirit dared to dream, innovate, and resist against all odds. And amid that bloody battle, it shone brightly. Following a hasty, desperate plan, the remaining human fleet utilized Jupiter's powerful magnetic field to create a slingshot effect, hurtling smaller ships with tremendous speed toward the Nokrian Armada. The Nokrian Shields, designed to absorb direct High energy attacks, could not adapt to the bombardment of these human missiles. The loss they faced was unexpected and disheartening. The mighty alien Armada was forced to retreat, leaving the humans to celebrate their first victory. That day, the message of humanity echoed across the solar system. "We do not surrender."
 On the Nokrian's homeworld, Supreme Warlord K'rul watched in disbelief as reports streamed in. "So you're telling me we lost our greatest superweapon because humans rammed a flagship into it?" The room fell into an uneasy silence. Humans were meant to be weak and insignificant. Yet they had just dealt the Nokrians a heavy blow. Despite this unexpected setback, the Nokrians remained disdainful of humanity. They saw this victory as a fluke, a lucky shot. Commander Xok'rath received an order from the Nokrian High Command as the war entered its second year. An all-out assault on Earth aimed to crush human resistance once and for all. Closing his eyes, he remembered a phrase from an ancient human text. "The calm before the storm." The storm was indeed coming, but who would prevail in its wake was a story yet to be told. With a final look at Earth, he ordered his Armada to advance, leaving the future of humanity and nutrients hanging in the balance. A cliff on the horizon of a story yet to unfold. 
Operation Thunderbolt. "I must admit humans come up with interesting names," Commander Xok'rath muttered. Staring at the holographic plans of an earth-based counter-strike against his Armada. He found it difficult to understand how a young and fragile race could put up such a fight. His second in command, Virox, watched the hologram with narrowed eyes. "Commander, have you noticed? These humans fight differently compared to the other races we've conquered. They're more... reckless." "Yes," Xok'rath replied, a hint of curiosity in his voice. "They seem to have a remarkable capacity for taking risks and performing under extreme stress. There's a term they use" "Adrenaline." Virox tilted his head. "Adrenaline?" "Yes," Xok'rath said. Gesturing at a display, an image of a human anatomy diagram appeared, highlighting the adrenal glands. "It's a hormone triggered by stress or danger significantly enhancing their physical abilities. It allows them to perform feats that seem impossible." "Like flying their ships directly into our Armada," Virox murmured, understanding dawning in his eyes. "Yes," Xok'rath nodded. "Like that." Their discussion was interrupted by the ship's automated alarm. Operation Thunderbolt had begun.
Reports started pouring in, and Earth's smaller but highly maneuverable attack force began strafing runs on the Nokrian fleet. From Earth's surface, missiles arced, their brilliant trails illuminating the dark void. Nokrian shield generators sparked and faltered under the sheer onslaught. The human ships danced among the Nokrian Armada. "Incoming! Brace for impact!" Xok'rath's command echoed through the command ship as one of the earth missiles found its target. The ship shook violently, the powerful shield failling under the human's relentless bombardment. "Damage report!" Xok'rath demanded, clutching onto the armrest of his command chair. His scales bristled with tension. "Shields down to 17%; we have hull breaches in sectors 7, 9, and 12." A junior officer reported, panic evident in his usually steady voice. "Initiate evasive maneuvers and get those shields back online!" Zok'rath ordered, his mind racing. No enemy had ever breached a Nokrian command ship's shield. Yet, here were the humans achieving the impossible again.
Meanwhile, on Earth, General Maya Serrano watched as Operation Thunderbolt unfolded. Despite the high stakes, she couldn't suppress a small smile. They were showing these arrogant aliens the true might of humanity. Serrano was a seasoned veteran, having served in the Solar Defence Force for three decades. She'd fought against pirates and led exploratory missions into unknown regions of space, and now she was helping to defend humanity against an alien invasion. Her strategic mind was behind Operation Thunderbolt, a daring high-risk counteroffensive designed to exploit the Nokrians' overconfidence. Back on the Nokrian command ship, the situation was dire. The shields were failing. Casualties were mounting, and to Xok'rath's disbelief, the human force showed no signs of relenting. Instead, their attacks became fiercer, their maneuvers more daring. Suddenly an urgent message flashed on the command screen. It was from the Nokrian Supreme Warlord K'rul himself. His statement was brief and to the point. "Fall back to high orbit," "Regroup," "We will not be defeated." Xok'rath stared at the message, his mind swirling with questions. "Fallback?" "Regroup?" These were terms not often used in Nokrian warfare. He looked back at the holographic display of Earth, its blue and green hues seeming to pulse defiantly. "Commander, your orders?" Virox asked, his eyes reflecting the unease rippling through the command ship. Xok'rath took a deep breath. A newfound respect for humanity hardened his resolve. "We follow the warlord's orders, full retreat to high orbit." "But make no mistake, Virox, this is far from over. We've awoken a giant, and we must brace for its wrath," said Xok'rath. As the Nokrian Armada began retreating, the humans watched from their homeworld, ships, and colonies. They had won this round. Their defiance, unity, and sheer audacity had pushed back the invaders. If only for a while... But they knew this was not the end; the war was far from over. The Nokrians would return more determined, more desperate. Humanity would have to be ready, for they were the children of Earth, and they would not surrender.
The lights flickered in the makeshift lab as a beacon of hope emerged. On a remote outpost on Titan, Doctor Elena Petrova, humanity's leading quantum physicist, made a breakthrough. A radical new technology project, Quantum Lattice, is an adaptive energy shield that could neutralize the Nokrian's plasma weapons. News of the breakthrough spread like wildfire, the anticipation mixed with caution; after all, the security was untested in actual combat. They needed to be more unified on the other side of the war line. In the Nokrian High Command, disagreement festered; some commanders like Xok'rath argued for a more cautious approach acknowledging the human's unpredictability. Others, like the fiery Z'tran, scorned such caution advocating for overwhelming direct force. Back on Earth, another development was taking shape. Lieutenant Isamu Takashi, one of the few survivors of the battle of Jupiter, was chosen for a mission most deemed suicidal. Utilizing his combat experience, survival skills, and the new adaptive camouflage suit. Isamu was to infiltrate the Nokrian mothership, gather intelligence, and, if possible, sabotage their operations. Leaving behind a tearful goodbye to his family. Isamu steeled himself for the task ahead. He was not just a soldier but a symbol of human determination. 
Meanwhile, Project Quantum Lattice was fast-tracked for field deployment. The prototype was to be installed on the USS Vengeance, a newly commissioned cruiser. Captain Amina N'dour, an experienced and unyielding officer, was given the helm. Her task was twofold: test the shield in battle and buy enough time for Isamu to complete his mission. The USS Vengeance embarked on its maiden voyage equipped with untested technology.
The moral of the human forces was... Palpable. On the Nokrian side, tension mounted as descent grew. The war was about to take an unexpected turn. Onboard the Nokrian mothership, Commander Xok'rath studied the report of increased activity among the human forces. A chill ran down his spine; he felt the winds of change, a shiver of uncertainty. He turned to his Second-in-Command, Virox. "Prepare the fleet for an imminent attack and enhance security on our ship. I have a feeling... the humans are up to something." And thus, the stage was set the pieces were moving. As the USS Vengeance ventured into the dark abyss, Isamu descended onto the alien ship in his stealth shuttle. The entire solar system held its breath. Unbeknownst to them, they were on the brink of a new chapter in the war for Earth. A turning point was on the horizon, and with it, the tides of war were about to change.
Deep within the heart of the Nokrian mothership. Lieutenant Isamu Takashi navigated the labyrinthine corridors, and the calm hum of alien technology resonated in the walls. Contrasting starkly with the pounding heartbeat echoing in his ears. Invisible under the cloak of the adaptive camouflage suit, he slipped past patrols, moving like a phantom. His objective was clear, gather intel on the Nokrian's capabilities, identify weaknesses, and, if possible, sow chaos within their ranks. But first, he had to reach the core command center. 
Meanwhile, far from the silent tension of the alien vessel, the USS Vengeance found itself in the throes of battle. The Nokrian vanguard had descended upon them like a swarm of metallic hornets, but humanity had its own sting. "Activate the Quantum Lattice!" Captain Amina N'dour ordered. A shimmering energy net bloomed around the ship absorbing the volley of plasma beams from the Nokrian fighters. The cruiser seemed to glow in a lattice of light before the glow subsided, leaving the USS Vengeance unscathed. In the silence that followed, a cheer erupted on the bridge; The Quantum Lattice worked. Then, on the Nokrian mothership, Z'tran, a high-ranking commander known for his aggression, stormed into the war room.
Reports of the failed attack on the human ship had just arrived. Z'tran blamed Xok'rath for the failures, his words slicing through the tense air. "Your caution has cost us, Xok'rath. These humans... they are not as weak as you believed." A heated argument ensued, voices echoing through the chamber. Z'tran's accusations held weight among those frustrated with the human resistance. The room split, tension escalating until Z'tran, by force of numbers, wrestled control of the Armada. His first order was a resonating call for the destruction of the Earth. During the power struggle, Isamu found himself at the heart of the command center. He had gathered precious intel, learning about Z'tran's intended all-out assault. Unfortunately, he transmitted the information to Earth before an alarm blared around him. His cover was blown, and his heart pounded in his chest as he found himself surrounded and trapped in the center of the enemy hub. His eyes darted, calculating escape routes, but it was too late. The Nokrians closed in; their alien faces were grim, and weapons were drawn. Back on Earth, as the data from Isamu started streaming in, they also received his final message. "I've been compromised; proceed without me..." The transmission cut out abruptly, leaving a haunting silence in the command center with the enemy closing in. Isamu steeled himself; he was cornered, outgunned. His chances looked grim, but he was a symbol of humanity, and he was not going down without a fight. And thus, the climax of the War for Earth began with a lone spy's fate and humanity's future hanging in the balance.
The alien corridors were bathed in a harsh red light, the alarm blaring relentlessly. Lieutenant Isamu Takashi, cornered and outnumbered, faced the approaching Nokrians with a defiant glare. He knew he wouldn't walk away from this fight. His hand found the tiny remote in his pocket. A last resort. A beacon to call down hellfire upon his position. He pressed the button. An explosive blaze erupted from Isamu's location, cascading through the Nokrian mothership. Isamu's final act, a daring sacrifice, destabilized a significant part of the alien Armada. It was a tragic but necessary act that the human fleet used to their advantage. On Earth, his sacrifice echoed through the ranks. Isamu's bravery was a catalyst, igniting a resolve deeper than any battle plan. As Z'tran's all-out assault descended upon Earth, the planet's defenses were pushed to their limit. But inspired by Isamu, the humans held their ground. The Quantum Lattice technology fends off the relentless onslaught. "Remember Isamu!" Became a rallying cry that surged through the human ranks. Each ship fought with a tenacity that was a testament to their fallen comrade. The Nokrian Armada, vast, began to falter before the stubborn human resistance. And then Earth's forces unleashed their trump card. Within the bowels of these human ships, engineers and scientists worked relentlessly. Exploiting the data gathered by Isamu. They discovered a critical flaw in the Nokrian shield system. A resonant frequency that could disrupt their energy matrix. Timing their attacks to the millisecond, they fired burst after burst. At this frequency, the Nokrian Shields flickered and, with a final, resounding blast, failed. The Armada was left exposed and vulnerable. Humanity pushed, and the Nokrian forces began to crumble. The victory was not without cost. Wreckage of both Human and Nokrian ships littered the battlefield. The Earth, though protected, was scarred by the relentless bombardment. But amidst the destruction, humanity stood tall. They had faced annihilation and emerged victorious. Both races were left to pick up the pieces in the aftermath of the war. On Earth, a Monument was erected in Isamu's memory, a testament to the spirit of humanity. In the Nokrian home world, Z'tran's recklessness was held responsible for their defeat, leading to a shift in power. As the dust settled, the galaxy watched in awe. A species they had considered insignificant had bested the most fearsome conquerors known. Their story was one of resilience, bravery, and unity. However, with the end of the war came new challenges. The knowledge of humanity's existence had reached far corners of the galaxy. Allies and enemies alike turned their attention to the small blue planet and its colonies, intrigued and wary. But Earth stood ready. The war for Earth had changed, unified, and strengthened them. No matter what the future holds, one thing is sure. Humanity would face it head-on, as they always had. Because they are the children of Earth! And they do not surrender! 
submitted by Prophet_Rykar to humansarespaceorcs [link] [comments]


2023.06.04 19:53 Saint-Andros A Lesson in Scionics Sound the Drums Chapter 9

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Big thanks to u/Killsode-slugcat and u/cliche_-_bartender for helping me with proofreading and editing.
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SUBJECT-DESIGNATION: Admiral Marcus Miller
LOCATION: Earthen Orbit, Atlantic Citadel
DATE: EARTH-TIME [Wednesday, August 23, 2186]
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I stood above Earth, gazing down upon her bright blue brilliance from the comfort of my personal quarters.
It was odd to think that just five hundred years ago, humanity had been scared of the darkness that lingered at the forest’s edge. I couldn’t imagine that those born during that time could have ever imagined the heights which we would rise to. My only hope was that our vast distance from the ground of primitivity wouldn’t lead to a devastating fall.
Already it felt like a lifetime ago that my crew and I had braved our own dark forest—the endless expanse of space beyond our system’s heliopause. Now we knew of the devils that rested at the edge of those shadows. The fires of Sol and the shield of our Oort cloud were all that now stood between us and them. At least in the process of our journey, we had met another group of weary travelers. We now knew that we were not alone.
The reaction to our discovery of the Khimrox—or perhaps their discovery of us—had actually gone over quite well with the global population, though some fringe groups chose to remain skeptical for reasons I couldn’t fathom.
Following the acceptance of the Khimroxian people as refugees, I was rather quickly promoted to the position of admiral. Despite it being an honorary title for the time-being, it was one that I wore with pride. Besides, considering how things were currently going among the leadership of the UEN, it was my guess that we would soon need all of the fleet commanders we could get.
Being separated from my crew though, it was certainly an ordeal. For over a year, we had trained and prepared for our journey aboard the Challenger, all the while forming a strong bond—the bond of a crew. It was them who had kept my mind from plunging into the hopeless darkness that threatened to envelop my mind back aboard the ruined wreck of our exploratory vessel.
Liz and Garth had been reassigned to finally fulfill their true calling as biologists. Together, they dove head-first into in-depth studies of Khimroxian anatomy and physiology. Sid had opted to assist in the deconstruction of the Ignis, allowing its analysis by a team of scientists that included Lee. As far as I was aware, they had so far produced staggeringly impressive results in regards to potential military applications. Jake was probably the wisest among us, choosing to enter an early retirement, which I quite honestly considered the smartest move. Each member of the Challenger had essentially become an influential celebrity overnight. If any of us chose to, we wouldn’t need to work another day in our lives.
Nia had taken an extended leave of absence following our return and chose to take up temporary residence within the Khimrox colony. Darius was perhaps the only one that had stuck with me. Due to my request, he was to be the chief navigational officer of a brand new fleet that had been promised to me—an experimental UEN fleet by the name of Vengeant Dawn.
Though word hadn’t yet officially been released, some part of me could sense the storm approaching on the horizon. War was coming. The only questions that remained were when and how it would be waged, one of which we were currently working to answer.
Some remained skeptical, but me, I had been waiting since the day I first heard of that wretched name, the one which hid behind a thin and lustrous coat. They would pay in blood for what they had done to our Khimroxian friends and to all of the scion species that they considered beneath them.
Speaking of those pricks… I turned from the window to look back at the objects of interest.
We had already begun to install improvements and replacements for our own technology from what we had researched so far. The holo-table of my room was one such improvement.
Atop it, hovered three ire-inspiring figures—the bastards of the Orion Arm.
One was what looked to be a molluscoid. Twelve long and winding tentacles stretched from its body. The creature’s skin could possess a wide variety of colors, but this one took on a dark shade of blue. Atop its head—or back, I still wasn’t entirely sure—was a large circular shell that spiraled backwards. The shell itself was fairly reminiscent of an ammonite, with the notable exception of its golden sheen. A green pair of eyes with slitted black pupils could be found at either side of its face. At the end of each of its limbs were a strange bunch of contraptions that were barely recognizable as the manipulators they were. To support its spineless body—and perhaps its brazen cowardice—was an exoskeleton which covered the length of its tentacles, allowing it to rise to an ironically respectable height. The Dodektopi.
The second was a shape that made no sense according to what little we apparently knew regarding the formation of life. The figure of flames was somewhat humanoid in shape, but distinct enough to separate it from ourselves. A frenzy of dancing plasma licked across the surface of its shape, occasionally whipping out from its body in flares of solar activity. Centered within the fiery specter’s face was an unfamiliar symbol forged out of a sleek black metal that did not burn with the being’s body. Its hands and feet that connected the body were made of similar steel and seemed to hold the shape together with the help of the head. The Novari.
Last but most certainly not least was a chillingly familiar shape. It was an ancient and terrible legend made manifest. The draconic figure before me bore ebony-black scales. A wicked pair of gold curling horns rose from the tyrant’s skull, covered in rings of that black metal that wrapped around them. Cryptic runes—whose mere existence denoted their ancient nature—were etched into the bone of these very same horns. Surrounding its head were countless quills that reached back behind the skull. From its oddly placed back pair of shoulders sprouted leathery wings that curled around the body, nearly encircling it in a hug. A long tail whose spiked end was covered in yet more of those sleek black rings fell behind them. The creature wore nothing more than a red ornamented kilt, bearing the same symbols as those etched upon its body across the sashes which held it in place. Its imposing physique was proudly put on display and an amber pair of greedy eyes rested behind its black maw of terrible teeth.
At the second and frontward pair of stubby shoulders, a shimmering pair of auric arms, engraved with yet more of those runes. I could have recognized their design anywhere. They bore an uncanny similarity with those utilized by our Khimrox friends. The three primary differences between those of them and those that belong to our friends were the sheer quality of the design, the notable exception of their shimmering sheen and their lethal talons that had been sharpened to a shining point. The Aeryvyn.
The terrible triumvirate mocked me with their mere presence, but I couldn’t tear them away from my sight. It’s fortunate that something else did it for me.
A ping that rained from the speakers in my ceiling heralded the incoming message. “All UEN personnel with alpha clearance please report to the briefing room.” Two more times, the soft and purposefully inoffensive voice repeated itself.
With a sigh, I shut off the display and marched to don the new garb that matched my position. When my door slid open, I saw several others stride through the long hall of yet more doors that matched my own.
The familiar scent of ozone had been a relief following the unnaturally clean air of the Ignis. That ship was no longer the home of the Khimroxian refugees, so I had little care for its continued existence. By now, it was a skeleton of alien alloys.
Our straight, gray walls and steel-vented floors were showered in warm light. Compared to the Ignis where the too-white surface where wall and floor blended together, the scenic viewing ports and recognizable craftsmanship felt like the warm embrace of a long-lost friend.
Speaking of friends, I wonder if I’ll see Saffan. Weeks had passed now since I last saw the captain-ambassador. His new position ensured this was so.
A stream of gray-coated senior staff flowed through the doors to the briefing room. At the entrance, a full complement of soldiers outfitted with Styx suits stood guard. That generation of armor would soon be outdated in comparison to the schematics I had seen prepared.
My heart warmed involuntarily as I entered the room. Saffan’s bright eyes of perpetual wideness stared back at me. I shouldered my way through the convening crowds of admirals. Each spoke with a weight of self-importance that I couldn’t have cared less for.
When I finally reached him he called my name. “Marcus!” The captain extended a hand. Wait, what? I wasn’t sure whether to be more confused by his use of the gesture or his new set of arms. They were admittedly simple compared to the prior pair and they were coated with a blue shine that matched his eyes. The digits no longer took the shape of those reptilian claws, instead forming an approximation of human fingers.
The hands locked perfectly with my own. “Saffan, good to see you again. How are things going?”
“Wonderfully. Though I must say, you humans seem to have more countries than you know what to do with.” Saffan folded his arms. “I’ve visited thirteen nations already and I still have over a hundred that have sent me visitation invitations.”
A scoff escaped my throat. “Yeah, that’s us for you. Needlessly overcomplicated.”
I took a step forward and placed a hand on a brilliant blue arm. “And these! When did you get these?” Saffan practically beamed at my inquiry.
“Elizabeth and Garth actually helped design them! They’re exceptionally lightweight compared to my last pair and they can fold to not hinder flight.” As he said this, the two artificial limbs pressed up against his body as he fully folded his wings in a similar manner. With both arms and wings folded, he would have looked like a great horned owl if not for the obvious discrepancies of his size, his horned head and the swirling patterns that covered his wings.
“That’s enough about me though, how have you been? What have you been up to?”
“Ah, not much,” I said, rubbing the back of my head. “Paid the family a visit a week back for the first time since the Challenger. For the most part though, I've been training on the battle sims these last few weeks. If I’m to be an admiral, may as well try to play the part.” Saffan slowly nodded. I got the feeling that he too sensed the approaching storm.
“This family of yours, I’d love to meet them some time.”
“Oh, I’m sure they’d love to meet you I…”
“Attention!” The stern sound cut me off. The rippling chorus of speech died down almost immediately as the call demanded our undivided focus. I could’ve recognized that voice anywhere.
“Thank you for joining me, my friends.”
“You’re a smart bunch of people, so I’m sure you’ve gotten the sense for what’s been going on by now.” Redd took a deep sigh and looked around the room at the entirety of the UEN navy’s command structure.
“Ever since the Khimroxians arrived, we’ve been faced with a choice—a choice that must not be taken lightly.” The captain turned our way and gave Saffan a nod.
“When the brave souls aboard the Ignis saved the crew of the Challenger, they showed the true character of their people. They were faced with hard decisions—for our people and theirs—but they chose to push forward and in so doing, saved not only the lives of those aboard the Challenger, but all of Earth from falling subject to their lords. After due deliberation with the council-members of the United Earthen Nations, we have decided to follow in the footsteps of our friends and take such a risk.”
“As of right now, we are at war with the Alliance of the Aurum Arm.” The room fell into deafening silence.
“Each member-state of the UEN will alert their people in due time, but for the moment, not a single word heard within this meeting must be uttered outside of this room.”
Admiral Sturm, the very man who had been my commander not all that long ago, spoke up. “With all due respect, Director, we don’t have the means to wage such a conflict.”
“That's why we’ll create the means. For once, I’m glad to say something good came out of the Kuiper War.” This derived a few nervous laughs from the audience. “With the production facilities appropriated from the Aedavis Corporation, and a few adjustments, we have the potential to create the most powerful fleet of human-made ships to ever enter space.”
“Unfortunately however, we do not have the means to reproduce the white hole drives utilized by the Aurum vessels, or even the dark matter used to stabilize the damned things.”
“Saffan, this is where you and your people will come in. If we are to stand a chance of waging war on such a scale, we will need intelligence and lots of it.”
“As difficult as it may be, we need information; without it, we’re dead in the vacuum of space. We will need volunteers to go behind enemy lines and retrieve plans, schematics, layouts, anything that we can get a hold of that may provide us an advantage both strategically and technologically. Would your people be willing to go to such lengths?”
All eyes in the room turned to the ambassador-captain. “I—I don’t know. I will consult with them, but do I have your permission to speak freely about what you have told me?”
The aging man rubbed his orange-brown beard. “Yes. Yes that would probably be for the best wouldn’t it. Very well, just do your best not to allow it to reach other ears.”
“Yes sir.”
“As for the rest of you, allow me to detail the plan we have so far.”
“Though most of the security council members are not tacticians, they have agreed to the plan that I and a few of my most trusted consultants have prepared. Right now, the nearest sector with a habitable planet is known as Mortamis. This was the last jump point for the Ignis before it intercepted our distress signal. The tentative plan is to begin our expansion across their territory with the capture of this world to act as the staging grounds of our forces. However, until we receive more information regarding the exact layout of their defenses, we cannot commit to such an invasion.”
“From there, we will split up the UEN fleets into separate groups across the Orion arm and take out these tyrants by bleeding them of their most precious resource. Scions. Every world we take is an addition to our numbers, our production capacity, and our ability to fight.”
“Our end-goal is to capture the planet-capital of the alliance, Petris, and demand liberation of all species under control of the Aurum Alliance.“
“We do have a few major concerns however. According to the information provided to us by the Khimrox, a majority of Aurum vessels contain some form of scionic crew complement. Under no circumstances unless express consent is given by the command admiral of the fleet are we to attack a vessel with the intent of destroying it. We must first weaken and disable the ship’s defensive systems before boarding and liberating the captives.”
“I know that this flies in the face of all conventional battle tactics, but this is no conventional enemy that we’re fighting here. If we do not adapt, we will fail and all of humanity will be forced into scionship.”
“Keep in mind, this is a very brief version of our prepared plan. Each and every aspect of it is subject to change. We will discuss this in further detail later, but for now, that is all. Any further questions?” Once again, silence. “Very well then. This council session is now adjourned.”
Other than the shuffling of feet exiting, all was silent. We had known it was coming, but to hear it confirmed…
“Marcus.” The director approached, placing a heavy hand on my shoulder. “Go ahead and join Ambassador Aeax, why don’t you? Might help some of those Khimrox to see a human face that they’re familiar with.”
With a snappy salute, I responded with, “Yes sir.” His words were certainly a surprise, but a chance to join the Khimrox that had saved us was not one I would pass up easily. He may as well have just given me a week of leave considering the excitement that bubbled up within me.
Together, I and Saffan made our way to a nearby shuttle bay headed directly to the Khimroxian colony. Surprisingly, I hadn’t yet paid a visit to the settlement placed within the province of Hunan, but I had seen some images on several media platforms.
The trip was a quick one. Our transport plunged into the atmosphere, kicking up flames all around the outside of the cabin. Soon enough though, the flames of our descent died out and were replaced by the darkness of night.
Even with the slight turbulence, Saffan seemed deep in thought as his eyes stared at nothing in particular.
“Hey, you good?”
That seemed to snap him out of it. “Wha—oh yes, sorry.” A look of focus still remained on his face. For a moment, he continued in his silence before posing a question. “What if my people decide not to volunteer? This entire plan could fall through in an instant.”
“You don’t give your people enough credit, my feathered friend.” Saffan gave me a narrow-eyed look before letting out a cluck of a chuckle. “Redd was right in what he said. I’m sure your people will make the best choice for all of us.”
“For both our sakes, I can only hope that you’re right.”
Our Harpy gently sailed over mountains and treetops, slowly sinking to a stop within a secluded area of trees that were foreign to me.
Only I and Saffan left from the Harpy’s bay and stepped off onto the tarmac. Behind us, the cargo-door closed with a hiss. As we stepped out from underneath our cover, light droplets of water pattered against my skin.
Seconds later, the Harpy’s thrusters kicked in and the ship took flight. The heavy hum and glow of burning hydrogen accompanied the bird as it flew away. In mere moments, it was gone, though the distant boom of it breaking the sound barrier was audible enough.
Looking around, I saw a few of my fellow men and women unloading supplies from a parked Harpy onto a militarily designed transport truck. Dimly lit orange lamps shone down and around us, illuminating nearby hangar bays with their closed doors and rounded ceilings of corrugated metal.
“Let’s get going. I’m sure you don’t want to stay in the rain long.” The rain was enough to notice, but it wasn’t unpleasant. I gave a brief nod and we set off on the nearby road.
Though clouds of rain covered us, the light of the moon joined us as we walked to the village. The setup looked pretty standard from what I knew of modular UEN architecture. It was clear however that great care had been put into its construction. The rain kept most of the residents indoors for the time being, but through the windows of nearby buildings, I saw the illuminated interiors of cozy hostels where families and friends gathered together.
We passed another Khimrox while wading through the rain—one who held its head and horns high, walking with a cheery gait despite the gloomy weather. Compared to the stale and oppressive atmosphere aboard the Ignis, the settlement brimmed with life, even amidst the darkness of both night and storms.
Saffan led me forward to a quaint home with a metal awning that covered the railed porch. We walked up the steps and Saffan rapped on the door with his cobalt colored knuckles.
I hoped for Nia’s sake that her time away from the military had treated her well. Lord knows she deserved some respite. The door opened and Nia's face peeked out to greet us. “Saffan! Marcus! What are you two doing here?”
Saffan answered as I silently sat by. “Oh we were just passing through. Thought it might be a good idea to stop and pay you a visit.”
“Well don’t make yourself strangers. Come on in!” Saffan sat behind as I walked forward and gave his whole body a shake. Droplets flew from his body and slid off his slick feathers.
The home was a simple one, consisting of a main living room joined together with a kitchen. In the back of the home was a short hall leading to a middle door that stood between a pair of two others. In the living room, perched Tokieran, the same physician who had plunged into my mind to extract our language.
Immediately, he rose from where he rested and turned to face Saffan, “Captain!”
“Can’t be a captain without a ship, Toki.” The former captain waved away the words with a hand. “Saffan will do.”
“Oh. Uh, well, it's good to see you again, Saffan.”
“Likewise my friend. I’m certain you haven’t seen much of me considering your position during our time on the Ignis. It’s a shame we didn’t brush wings more often. You seem like a fine fellow.”
As the two avians got to talking, Nia gave me a light punch on the shoulder. “So, how’ve things been going for you admiral?” It was at this moment that I realized I was still in full military dress. Rather sheepishly, I pulled the hat from my head.
“Fine.” I muttered “You?”
A smile met her face. “Best I’ve felt since I enlisted.” She gave a look towards the two conversing Khimroxians. “It's still hard to believe any of this is real sometimes, ya know?”
I nodded. “Yeah. The Challenger, the Ignis, all of it. Feels like a dream now.”
Nia’s eyes stayed upon the owl-folk. “One of those dreams you don’t really want to wake up from.”
I gave a grunt of agreement. “I only wish all of the Khimroxians could share it with us.” This turned her towards me. Her smile curved down somewhat and she gave a slight nod.
What the hell. She’s going to learn it soon enough anyways. Rubbing the rim of my hat, I spoke softly. “Maybe soon, that will be possible.”
“What?”
“The council’s declared war.”
Her eyes snapped to mine, the smile fully gone. The room fell silent. I hadn’t hoped the others would hear me, but those Khimrox had an impeccable sense of hearing. I shouldn’t have expected any less from them.
All eyes turned to me. “The Aurum Alliance is a threat to humanity, the Khimrox, and all of the other scions that we haven’t even met yet. I think we both know this was inevitable”
“No, I get it, it's just… Wow.” The woman ran a hand through her black, tied-back hair as she heaved a sigh.
This facade dropped almost immediately and Nia’s mouth turned into a wonderfully devilish grin. After a few light chuckles, she said, “Better late than never I suppose. Those spineless sons-of-alien-bitches’ll never know what hit ‘em!”
The expressions on the faces of both Saffan and Tokieran showed no less resolve. Even the formerly jumpy physician proudly displayed a newfound sense of will. “The triumvirate operates under the expectation that we won’t fight back,” said Toki. “They see us as little more than animals and It's time we took full advantage of that fact.”
“Couldn’t have said it better myself,” remarked Saffan.
If these willing warriors were in any way representative of the entire Human-Khimroxian collective, the battle against these golden tyrants would be over before we knew it.
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submitted by Saint-Andros to HFY [link] [comments]


2023.06.04 16:13 WritingDrakon (EODAT Ch.5 REPOST) brewing legacies, and oversized weapons

(Hey everyone! Finally out of the shadow realm! Im reposting chapter five here as it got wiped last time, 6 is still percolating away in my head, but in the mean time, enjoy! Comments are appreciated!)
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https://www.reddit.com/HFY/comments/13o95ds/eodat_ch4_whats_old_is_new_again/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=android_app&utm_name=androidcss&utm_term=1&utm_content=share_button
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4-LOM rolled up to the holotable, the aging shipbuilder looking over the various fleet and division commanders.
4-LOM was an old Mk1 astro robot, his main body was a sphere, with four mechanical arms extending from his body, two large and bulky, and the other two smaller, more nimble and accurate, more dexterous, with a cylindrical lower body leading down to his treads, which were angular, tank like in shape, designed for heavy lifting. His head was flat, with a duo of square optics, a set of welding shields flipped up, ready to flip down when and where needed. His backpack was open, with tools sticking out, ready to be grabbed and used.
Looking around, he noted that the Saurians had their Admiral, a middle age Rox, their massive, tyrannasauric form still managing to tower over most of the others, even in holo, while Serano stood next to him. Nearby, Hota sat, nursing a coffee, rubbing his head, while one of the chief science officers hologram glanced at him nervously.
Another door entered, and a Mk12 frame entered, standing at the table. At first glance, the frame looked pristine, but 4-LOM wasn't fooled. He wasn't a shipwright for nothing, and he could see the pitting under the paint where plasma weaponry had uselessly splashed off, taking with it little layers of metal with it. Despite how new the frame looked, it was clear it had seen some action, recently as well, judging by the fresh coat of paint.
More holograms of fleet officials, and the bridges, or representations of their ships, flickered in above their shoulders. Serano looked like he had an old sailing ship floated there idly, a representation of the Enterprise. Some had wasps, while one captain had a cartoonish Barbus fish, with an old style white sailors cap and a belt of dynamite.
And then a small black hole flickered into view in front of his faceplate, making him roll back with a start. Getting a good look at the now pulsing black hole, he seemed to frown, one of his welding shields rising higher to simulate a eyebrow raise….. "Horizon? Is that you, little lass?" He said, with a thick, Scottish accent as his other shield rose up to join the other in shock.
The holographic black hole bobbed up and down in the air, two arms extending out from its corona and spun, as if to represent it, no, her, spinning in happiness. For a moment, 4-LOM was silent, before he began laughing, reaching up, even as his servo passed through the holo. "Ach, what I wouldn't give ta be in the Link with ye, lassie! I'm glad ye survived." He said, as the little ever hungry representation of the ship spun around him, before it shot off, floating near the Mk12, who looked at it.
The 12s head tilted more, as it listening to what the ship was saying, while 4-LOM felt a bit of possessiveness flair. Horizon was one of HIS creations, his and his wife's. Their ships were like children for them. Rolling over, he mentally began preparing a bit of what his wife would call the shovel talk, something they used to do with Captains that took on their vessels……
"Did you need something, Grandfather?" The machine said, domed head snapping to his, taking the wind out of his sails, and stare blankly at the taller, thinner machine.
Behind him, he heard Serano chuckle behind him, even as the Rox raised an eyeridge, while the Saline sat his mug down and placed his head in his hands.
"Grandfather- oh. I see…." He said, gaze turning flat as he gave a glare at Horizon. "I see the little gremlin is still able to make me short a fuse or two. Void knows Maria's hair turned white before she had to move bodies due to someone's antics." The little black hole pulsed sharply, as if squawking. "Would have appreciated a warning she made herself a captain…. Lassie, ye best be teaching him self preservation instincts." Catching the snort from the Rox and the sigh from Serano.
Slowly, his head turned around to face the two, one shield twitching, and finally saw Hota looking up with a flat look. "Too late on that one. I'll pass you the after action report later, AFTER the meeting." Serano said, hiding a smile. "If you want a first hand account, ask Hota. From what I understand, he had a front row seat for the Chaos the two caused."
She wasn't a little ship anymore, she wasnt- ah kriff it all. She was still his little lass. He'll talk with her later…preferably with Maria there…..after he grabbed his wrench and had a….. talk….. with whoever was their crew.
/------------------/
All the admirals and fleet commanders were soon in place, Asimov standing to the side, near the Admiral Serano, Horizons representation floating next to his head as his own panned about, looking at the assembled species. Several robotic ones, not Astro Robot series, called Glinch, looked at him curiously, while he picked out several different….Saurians, a few Roxes, several Trikes.
Several were pale, white skinned humans, bald, be they male or female. Clones, like himself, but with organic bodies, accompanied by nat-born humans, and several more advanced Astro Robot series units, these ones looking everything from near human, to large and bulky, armed with cannons, inbuilt missile launchers on their upper arms, and massive treads, or slimmer, almost skeletal ones with modules that could be swapped out at a moments notice.
"I appreciate ye all for coming on such short notice" 4-LOMs voice said, cutting over the gentle hubbub of the side conversations. "I had hoped that we wouldn't be facing them again, but here we are." The robot said as one of his smaller limbs tapes a command into the console, pulling up images of Everwatch stations current…condition. "Those of yeh from Federation space are more familar of the old stories, battle videos and the like. The Demons, as the Human Federation calls them, have been returned. It's only thanks to the work of Representative Hota that we have this information….. and had stumbled across an old Ace that had woken back up in time for this chaos." 4-LOM said, nodding to the Saline, getting the attention of his compatriots, who he shook his head to.
"Our opponents are equipped with biotech vessels, and are known for appropriating technology to forcibly integrate it with their own. Which means keep an eye out for a worse hodgepodge of weapons than a pirate vessel after its crew hits a pound of Spice and then gets drunk at a star port." 4-LOM said dryly, as various, old, images of the vessels and a few of the newer ones. "That being said, expect the sheer firepower jammed onto each of these ships to be on the higherside. However, they need long recharge periods, likely due to whatever power source used overloading, or the capacitor banks running dry and needing to recharge. Don't be fooled, they do have some form of biological armament, acid spitters, spike launchers, the works." He said, as images flicked up organic turrets, tentacles, and what looked like maws.
"As of right now, several of our larger vessels are being inspected and repaired, resupplied, and upgraded as needed. Several older vessels are being pulled out of mothball for the same reason. All civilian vessels are being drafted for emergency roles, receiving refit with hardware that will allow them to fight in a pinch, though their primary objective will be escorting transport ships and acting as emergency evacuation ships. We won't be expecting them to fight, but we need every ship we can get."
An image flickered into view of what amounted to the humans old museum of warships and deep space vessels, revealing it to be a hive of activity. Many other races had laughed at humanity for keeping their old vessels, rather than scrapping them, but now, now there was a reason why humanity had.
"Patrol fleets are to be at least one Saline Sensor ship, two to three Buckler class Trike Shield Bearers, one Rox Artillery ship, one Vohle capable human vessel, Two human PT ships, and three Raptor Swift claws." 4-LOM said, "these things aren't to be taken lightly. Sensors pick them up, call it in and engage. Stall for time if needed for reinforcements to arrive. Intercept fleets are to consist of five Trike Aegis class Shield Bearers, six Swift claws, one Rox supercarrier, three Rox artillery ships, two Saline Auxiliary ships, one Saline Medical cruiser, one Human Vohle Super-carrier, eight human PT ships, two Human Iowa class destroyers." The elderly bot belted out, making several Captains and admirals wince. Those weren't lightweight ships. The 'patrol' fleet could have been considered a planetary invasion force.
Before anyone could make any arguments or questions as to why the fleets were set to the Human classic of 'Maximum Overkill', and before any more ridiculous fleet deployments could be called out, a slightly panicking human sprinted into the room. "Sir! Confirmed hostile assault on Tisan-4" the human said, breathing heavily. "The Demons made planet fall, looks like a small invasion force that had left before the incursion field went up."
4-LOM stared….and then sighed. "Well, Caliburn had been itching for a fight." He sighed and placed a servo over his optics.
/-----------------------------------/
WARNING: Hostiles detected. Match confirmed; species D-65.
Threat level:Apollyon. Combat systems:unlocked.
That was what appeared on the Colony Managers terminal as alarms screamed across the Colony, alerts screaming on PADDs, sirens spinning as bunkers opened up.
An aging Wargen bared his teeth as he rapidly tapped at his terminal, as the younger human clone stood grimly at her manager's terminal.
"Civilians are filling out the bunkers, tunneling charges are set and ready to clear escape routes." The elderly, wolf like Wargen said, his muzzle splitting into four as he spoke, one part vertical, the other horizontally. "Colonial militia are manning hard points and connecting to systems now."
"Understood." The Colony manager said and let out a long breath, before opening the PA system. "All hands, brace for Activation procedure. I repeat, all hands, brace for activation procedure." She said, before securing herself in on one of the chairs, even as the commander buckled himself in across from her, even as terminals all around them flickered and the building shuddered and shook, new lights came online all over.
"And the other races call our alliance insane for building the bunkers" The Wargen muttered under his breath as the command room became a flurry of activity, sensor teams working together in an attempt to get data on their opponents. "Our people are safe. That's what matters, commander." The clone said softly, looking at her long time friend, even as the hidden defense system of the Colony woke up.
/------------/
Outside, the demonic army approached, on a slow, steady March, disgruntled at the lack of organics they had found to use. They needed biomass to fuel their war machine, to create their bases, their armies, their ships. And while they didn't care much about the sheer number of ships they lost during planet fall thanks to the orbital defenses, they needed to deal with the local defense computers. There had to be a way to broadcast an all clear signal and allow their other ships past.
Before them sat a large, fortified structure, looked like a massive cathedral, really. The irony was not lost on them as ports on the castle-like structure opened up, and began spitting metallic shells at them, exploding after punching through their infantry, leaving craters behind, destroying more of their forces.
The ground shook as their massive siege beast began forming from the splattered biomass, like some strange, oozing horror, slowly forming into a quadropodic creature.
The beast was mostly just a giant mouth in legs, with a long, worm like body lined with eyes, teeth, spikes, and tendrils, flinging said teeth at the structure.
Warlord Gistle ground his teeth as he stared at the cathedral as it held its own, his forces decimated by the attempted rain of metal. Said rain changed to one of scalding plasma as the castle changed tactics to try and burn the bodies to prevent them from forming additional, stronger units.
"Battle lord." Hissed one of the smaller battle chiefs said, as they stepped up next to Gistle. "The Seekers have not located where the miserable Frails have hidden themselves. Our efforts would be best put to entering the fortress ahead." The chief said, pointing at the massive fortress as the siege beast brushed off the weapons fire.
"No need, we will be inside soon en-" Came the guttural voice of the Warlord, before it was interrupted by a computerized voice, echoing out.
"THREAT ASSESSED. ASSUMING COMBAT MODE."
There was a rumble, everyone grabbing onto the stablest thing around them as the ground tore apart, the siege beast stumbling back, as the building tore up its own foundations as steam hissed out, and part of the building lifted up, and then slammed into the ground, and then the other side, slowly pulling itself up….and up…and up……
The structure wasn't a structure. Not any more. Towering over them, looking like a massive hunchback stood the cathedral, it's towers opening, revealing to be cowling around massive artillery cannons. It's arms, once covered with flat pillars, opened up to reveal a set rotating barrels, slowly spinning up, and a bulky duo of MAC batteries on the other arm. Sticking off the side of its upper arms were smaller hardpoints, each turret armed with four barrels, small and accurate, sniping ground units with horrifying accuracy, the soft metal shells ripping away to reveal their incendiary cargo held within steel mesh, allowing the coilguns to spit them out rapidly.
The head section looked like a sphere with three optics in a triangular formation, around a cannon that locked onto the siegebeast and whined, arcing brightly, before it fired, a bright flash seen as the cannon went off, it's round leaving behind a trail of fire as it raced through the air, punching through the beast, making it howl, and began trying to heal the injury that pierced it, ripping open a hole below it.
It's bipedal legs were thick, armored, and just as equally armed, it's lower legs armed with rotary cannons that spun, the lower pair foring a heavy stream of plasma, one barrel firing and then cooling as it spun, the others keeping the pace up, while above them, physical artillery was spat out, helping pierce armor for the plasma to scorch and burn to uselessness. More cannons sat on the sides and back of its legs in, taking aim at the surrounding armies, making sure to add on their screeches of rage.
Hanging off the underside of the platform that held the Cathederal sat more turrets, each swiveling around and adding to the chaos, their mini MAC armament chattering as they fired, picked a new target and fired again. On the top of the platform were AA cannons, taking aim and firing into the air, altering the timing of their rounds so that they acted as impromptu artillery, while more cannons, on four turrets, covered the monstrosities back, preventing them from sneaking up behind it, as if the cannons on the back of its legs weren't enough to cover it.
"TARGET ACQUIRED."
Warlord Gistle hissed in shock. The Frails had been LIVING in a Siege beast of their own!? Hidden partially underground, deceiving them to make it seem as if it was nothing more than a fortification!?
"Have all expendable units merge with our Siege beast, NOW! if the frails continue to pick our forces off one by one, they will never be able to reinforce our beast after they fall!" Gistle roared, even as around him the battle chiefs barked out the orders……..
/-------------/
The massive machine stared down at the hostile forces as they turned into a thick, biological slurry, short of the Demons themselves, and oozed towards the horror before it.
The monster seemed to absorb the substance on contact, growing larger and larger with each passing moment, howling and hissing.
He could feel his crew cursing in their heads, humans and otherwise, lighting the slurry up with plasmafire, burning some of it, but not enough. Caliburn agreed with them, as his Plasma getting cannon spun up, the five barrels glowing brightly, the heatsinks by the ends of the barrel glowing as the machine poured plasmafire from the barrels, searing into the beasts body, burning it up as it grew, stunting its growth heavily, and forcing it to consume more biomass to make heavy, chitenous armor, layers burning away under the assault.
Caliburn could feel the dust coming off as his gears spun, and he stepped forward, swinging the glowing arm as it cooled down, making the horror screech as he spun his upper body to add to the force of the blow, digging the glowing heating into the beast's face and knocking it back, buying time for his crew to deal with the horrific slurry around them, which still tried to fuse with the horror, chasing after it with a single minded determination.
As his upper body slowed down and he was facing forward again, he saw the beast setting up, snarling. His other arm came up, and he could feel his capacitors burning as he began firing his MAC arm at it, the massive, vehicle sized slugs punching into the beast, knocking it back farther, punching holes in the chitin it tried to grow as armor, making it hiss and move rapidly, trying to put distance between itself and the machine.
Unfortunately, the beast had the advantage in land speed, as it had four legs, while Caliburn only had two and lumbered slowly forward, his aging systems relishing the taste of combat after so long. And now he had far better weapons then a simple crane arm, like he had last time he fought a creature like this.
Because the beast had put distance between itself and him, it managed to absorb the last of the biomass, and began bounding forward, it's maw open, teeth spinning like some sort of Cuisinart….
A target he couldn't miss. His head cannon barked again, not as powerful as last time, but this time, he wasn't trying to rip it apart from the inside. The shell detonated on contact with the teeth, shredding them, tearing into the soft flesh within, making the beast howl and close its maw, it's chitin armor weathering the plasma splashing off, hardened to withstand the smaller weapons fire his crew spat at the creature.
His arms pulled their shrouding back around them, as he drew back and swung, hard, again using his body spinning to his advantage, striking the beast, the heavy weight of the heatsink and the weapon itself burying the shroud covered arm inside, the end opening up. Unfortunately, thanks to the partial shrouding, he wouldn't be able to spin his cannon, but all he needed was one shot inside it, and let it fly, ripping his arm out as it howled, smoke billowing from its new hole it tried rapidly to heal.
The tendrils it had tried to dig into his arm burned away as he kicked it up from below and began unloading both arms, fully unshrouded, the heat coming off both of them making steam hiss up into the air, as the beast took a heavy slug and then a plasma bolt, one after the other, deep into its stomach, sending it onto its back.
Loud popping sounds were heard as its limbs reoriented, allowing its former belly to become its back, the holes sealing slowly as it circled the walking cathedral, even as Caliburn scanned it, his upper body following its every movement. His command crew were breaking down every schematic and scan he gave them, working hard to figure out a way to kill the horror.
In the mean time, Caliburn and his crews would do their damndest to stall the beast and continue on their current plan. Burn it down, slowly.
He could feel his crews tracking the retreating demon forces, listening to the mental chatter within him as the artillery crews happily worked together to figure out their path, searching for the enemy command position, even as sensor crews watched as the rapidly approaching flood of biomass and machinery charged for them, some of the artillery crews already letting loose N-4 shells, the 'super-napalm', as the crews nicknamed them, impacting and exploding, burning into the biomass, unquenchable, even as the biomass attempted and failed to smother the burning substance, only serving to make it worse, melting the weaponry it carried with it.
The only reason why the crews could get away with it was because the biomass wasn't near the Bunkers exits or near infrastructure. Or Burnable items.
Command soon had a viable target, a sort of brain mass it had, separated throughout its body in a vain attempt to make sure it could still operate when a few of them were destroyed.
Several had been burned away by the plasma bolt going off inside of it, but many more remained, and it was attempting to make more/replace the burned away ones. They needed to eliminate the command signal….
Jubilation and grim satisfaction bloomed in his sensor and artillery crews, as he felt the mad scramble for bunker busting shells, before they were let loose into the air. Even as he blocked a tail strike from the beast and managed to crush its head under one foot, letting his landing engines ignite for the first time in decades to burn the creature more, his crews targeted the command bunker, shelling it with deadly accuracy, smoke rising from the hill they were tucked away behind in the distance, making Caliburn burn with satisfaction and praise for his crew.
/---------------------/
Gistle ran as fast as his hooves could move him, teeth barred as he snarled.
Around him, their command temple shook and shuddered, veins bursting, cables arcing wildly as the biomass contracted involuntarily or simply sagged, turning to biomass.
"Warlord, they are heavily shelling our position, we won't be able to retreat at this rate!" Hissed one of the Battle Chiefs at his side, hissing in fear, even as he snarled at the Pitiful, compared to him, creature. "We won't be taking everyone, only the essentials. The Everlasting King must be notified of this development. King be damned, the frails took the time to prepare for our arrival again." He growled as he came out to a hanger area, and ran into a small, fast ship, even as the others ran into larger, bulkier, slower ships.
Soon, the chitin that served as the door opened, and they shot out, erratically flying, trying to avoid the artillery shells, and now AA fire joining the fray.
He kept close to his compatriots, using them as a living shield as he twisted the small vessel around, smirking as he dodged the fire while they took it..
They were almost to space, soon, they could tear a Gate and get the fleet-
Reality tore open above him as a massive ring shaped vessel pushed itself into real space, disgorging hundreds of smaller vessels, bearing down on their positions, others engaging the floating fleet around them with aggressive assault runs, the sudden appearance in the system allowing them to have the element of surprise.
Weapons fire began filling the space around f them, tearing at their vessels faster then they could repair them as little, frail vessels zipped in and out of line of fire faster then they could shoot, track, or react, unloading slugs, plasma, torpedoes in a flurry of activity before diving away, allowing their munitions to wreak havoc amongst them.
Already, the larger vessels were disabled before Gistle managed to sacrifice one, smirking as it warped, it's biomass fueling the Gate, as he flew through, hoping he was in friendlier territories, unaware of a sensor torpedo flying in behind him.
/------------------------/
Down below, on the surface, Caliburn flung back his opponent again, arms blazing as he shelled it.
It was bigger then it had been, managing to absorb the biomass from the surviving landing ships and the remains of the command center they shelled out. It's armor was thicker, and was flinging out dozens, hundreds of calcium spikes, spitting its unknown energy weapons, only to splash off his shields, for the energy weapons, and his ar.or foe the calcium spikes, even as his weapons screeched.
The beast had holes all over its chitenous armor, from his shells punching in, or his artillery crews shelling the beast, his plasma following close behind as he sought to burn the creature out from the inside, going so far as to ram his plasma cannon inside and unload it, the rotating barrels helping tear it up from the inside as the heat sinks burned it.
Ships began dropping down from above, doing strafing runs, dropping smaller caliber explosives, distracting the beast as he tore another hole in it by spinning his upper body, one shrouded cannon arm striking the beast and ripping in, just as a gunship fired a Cleaner into it, just before it healed.
A burning flash of light, a horrific scream from the beast as it howled, body jerking as the explosive did its job…. Before it swung down, still alive, though just barely, it's armor shattering rather then buckling on the next strike from Caliburn, a facsimile of a uppercut, before the barrels let loose again, even as the plasma cannon dumped bolt after bolt into its lower body, searching for, burning the neural clusters as he found them.
The beast wrenched itself away from his grasp, snarling as it looked at him, the beast snarling as it tried to heal from the most recent injuries.
Caliburn felt his crew snarling back, his cannons swiveling around as they gave their response in munitions as he lumbered forward, the ground shaking from his steps and the escape ships erupting out of the ground around them, his rotary cannon screaming as it fired, the MAC on the other arm barking as he hit it again and again as it charged forward.
The beast no longer cared for its injuries, all it cared was to take the metal monster before it down, spitting acid out of it as it tried, and failed, to blind the machine, even as said machine swung its smoldering plasma cannon up and brought down the burning barrels down on its head, smashing it into the ground, pinning it there as it's crew continued shelling it out ruthlessly.
Caliburn refused to let the beast survive, he refused to let the thing get to the civilians. His crew snarled their agreement as the beast tore the pinned head off its body, even as it burned away to nothing, and tried to charge again, blindly, only to smash against the MAC arm and receive a pair of heavy slugs to the neck stump for its troubles, sending it somersaulting back, trying to reform its head.
It was much, much smaller now, now matching Caliburns size, due to all the biomass loss, it's head reforming as it snarled.
Caliburn seemed to roll his pauldrons and twitched his MAC, as if saying 'come at me'. The beast howled and charged forward, razor sharp tentacles erupting from its sides, whipping about wildly, only for turret crews to blast the tentacles off at the base, and for his artillery crews to shell it down from above, flattening it into the ground again with explosive shells.
Again, the beast began pulling itself out of the ground, only for another strafing run from aircraft , this time dropping standard napalm canisters onto the beast, making it howl as it healed around the canisters, and began burning from within.
It thrashed and writhed, tail and body whipping about, even as Caliburn kept firing, not letting up, shells puncturing the chitin bubble it was trying to form around the napalm to contain it, keeping it burning into the beasts body.
At last, the beast tried to fling itself at Caliburn, thinking that it could at least burn out the mechanical monster with it, only for Caliburn to swing and strike it, flinging it away again, the beasts body unable to get back up, and laid there, slowly burning away at last……………
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2023.06.04 14:55 Sufficient_Pitch8367 cccccc

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2023.06.04 05:46 KDAMiningClub Kadena Mining Club Real Mining, Real Rewards

Introduction
As the Kadena Mining Club (KMC) continues to innovate and evolve, we are excited to provide an update on our current progress as well as some exciting new developments on the horizon. Building on Kadena’s groundbreaking blockchain technology, we remain committed to our mission of making mining accessible for all while harnessing all the benefits Kadena has to offer.
Recent Developments
Over the past few months, KMC has been hard at work, expanding our mining capabilities and enhancing the user experience for our community. With Kadena’s advanced technology, we have been able to achieve the following:
  1. Deployed 200 Bitmain ANTMINER KA3 totaling 33.2PH/s, of which 30PH/s power our customers’ NFTs. This significant milestone strengthens the security and decentralization of the Kadena blockchain.
  2. Upgraded our NFTs and NFT marketplace to Kadena Marmalade standard. This upgrade brings a multitude of benefits that not only enhance the current capabilities and attractiveness of our products, but also establish a solid groundwork for ongoing expansion and progress.
  3. Currently in development, the Technology Lab will introduce upgraded NFTs with increased hash rates and new art. Using the advanced Marmalade standard, this interactive and engaging product launch aims to deliver a real mining experience for our users, further solidifying KMC’s position as a leader in the space.
  4. Launched partner company Block Mining USA. Through Block Mining, KMC offers additional utility for miners with ASIC miner sales and hosting services. Our goal is to consistently provide some of the best pricing in the industry and to make mining easier for our community. Block Mining is set to be much more than a retailer of ASIC miners and will be instrumental in our push to grow enterprise adoption of Kadena.
The Kadena Advantage
Kadena’s cutting-edge blockchain technology has been instrumental in enabling KMC to achieve these milestones. Some key benefits of building on Kadena include:
  1. Scalability: Kadena’s multi-chain architecture and Chainweb technology provide a highly scalable platform. Gas fees are virtually non-existent on Kadena and users do not have to pay gas when interacting with our marketplace and NFTs.
  2. Pact: Kadena’s powerful and easy-to-use smart contract language, Pact, streamlines the development process, empowering our developers to create innovative features and applications that are safe for the KMC community.
  3. Marmalade: The advanced Marmalade NFT standard brings numerous advantages to our offerings, including concurrent listing of NFTs on multiple marketplaces, enforced royalties, and integrated NFT staking, all contributing to an enhanced user experience.
  4. Continuous Transactions: Kadena’s unique Continuous Transactions capability allows for efficient and scalable execution of long-running smart contracts. This paves the way for exciting opportunities as we explore the interoperability of Continuous Transactions and the Marmalade NFT standard.
Looking Ahead
As we look to the future, Kadena Mining Club remains committed to delivering innovative solutions and expanding our offerings to better serve our growing community. We believe that the unique benefits of building on Kadena will continue to drive our success and help us to maintain our position as a leader in the blockchain mining space.
Thank you for your continued support, and stay tuned for more exciting updates from Kadena Mining Club!
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2023.06.04 00:40 Teamspok HostSonic Review

HostSonic Review
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1- Customized Branding and Control:
HostSonic's reseller hosting plans offer you the opportunity to create and manage multiple hosting accounts with your own branding. This means you can establish a unique identity for your hosting
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HostSonic understands the dynamic nature of the hosting business. As a reseller or agency, you need a hosting platform that can scale alongside your growing client base. HostSonic's reseller plans provide the flexibility to easily upgrade or downgrade resources based on your client's requirements. Whether you're starting small or aiming for significant growth, HostSonic offers the scalability to accommodate your business needs.
3- Robust Infrastructure and Reliable Performance:
When it comes to hosting services, reliability, and performance are paramount. HostSonic's infrastructure is built on secure and high-performance servers, ensuring that your client's websites are always accessible and experience lightning-fast loading speeds. With HostSonic's powerful servers and advanced caching technologies, you can confidently deliver exceptional performance to your clients, enhancing their online presence and user experience.
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Security is a top concern for any hosting business. HostSonic takes security seriously by providing comprehensive protection against malware and cyber threats. With built-in security features, such as free end-to-end SSL encryption and regular backups, you can offer your clients peace of mind knowing that their data is safeguarded. By partnering with HostSonic, you can focus on growing your business while HostSonic handles the security aspects.
5- Dedicated Support:
As a reseller or agency, having reliable support is essential to address any technical issues or concerns promptly. HostSonic offers round-the-clock expert support to assist you and your clients whenever needed. Their team of hosting professionals is readily available to provide guidance, troubleshoot issues, and ensure a smooth hosting experience for you and your clients.

Hostsonic Pricing & Discount code


HostSonic offers a range of pricing plans to cater to different needs and requirements. Here is a detailed breakdown of their pricing starting from the sales page funnel, including mentions of promo codes where applicable:
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  2. OTO 1 ($37) HostSonic Premium: The first upsell is the HostSonic Premium plan, available at a price of $37. It offers additional features and benefits compared to the regular plan. Customers can visit https://warriorplus.com/o2/a/x0qy3d/0 to learn more and upgrade their hosting plan.
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  7. OTO 6 ($197) HostSonic Agency: The sixth upsell is the HostSonic Agency offer, priced at $197. It provides customers with agency-level features and capabilities, allowing them to offer hosting services to their own clients and manage multiple accounts under one dashboard. Customers can visit https://warriorplus.com/o2/a/x0qy3d/0 to learn more about the benefits of the Agency plan.
  8. OTO 7 ($78) Reseller: The seventh and final upsell is the Reseller offer, available at a price of $78. It is specifically designed for individuals or businesses looking to become resellers, allowing them to resell HostSonic hosting services and earn profits. Customers can visit https://warriorplus.com/o2/a/x0qy3d/0 to explore the Reseller program.
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Please note that pricing and availability of the offers mentioned above are subject to change. It is recommended to visit the respective URLs provided to get the most up-to-date information on the pricing and features of each offer. https://warriorplus.com/o2/a/x0qy3d/0

HostSonic Review Conclusion: Profitability and Business Opportunities Await ?


If you are ready to unlock the full potential of your online ventures? Look no further than HostSonic, the hosting platform that not only guarantees top-notch performance but also offers an irresistible opportunity for profitability and business growth. But beware, this opportunity won't last forever, so act now to secure your spot and experience the remarkable benefits that HostSonic has to offer!
With HostSonic's carefully crafted pricing plans and upsells, there's something for everyone. Whether you're just starting or scaling your business, HostSonic has got you covered. But here's the exciting part - you won't find these incredible deals anywhere else! Our exclusive promo code gives you access to jaw-dropping discounts that are reserved only for those who take action swiftly.
And that's not all. For those with a hunger for massive profits, HostSonic offers a golden opportunity for resellers and agencies. Become a reseller and tap into the lucrative hosting market. Imagine earning passive income by reselling HostSonic's state-of-the-art hosting solutions. The time is now! Don't wait until your competitors snatch up all the spots and leave you with regret.
There's more! Agencies, this is your chance to revolutionize your service offerings. With HostSonic's Agency offer, you can expand your horizons and provide unparalleled hosting services to your clients. Imagine managing multiple accounts effortlessly, all from a single, intuitive dashboard. Don't let this incredible opportunity slip through your fingers.
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2023.06.03 18:08 Curious_Ad_3579 s

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2023.06.03 17:37 Sufficient_Pitch8367 9

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2023.06.03 11:51 UKFostering14 Fostering Allowance: Empowering UK Foster Children for a Brighter Future

Fostering Allowance: Empowering UK Foster Children for a Brighter Future

UK Fostering
In the UK, foster children must be empowered and supported in order to thrive. In this blog, we'll look at the importance of the UK's fostering allowance and how it helps foster kids' overall growth and well-being. Fostering agencies in the UK provides both financial resources and advice to foster children to ensure that they have the support they need to flourish in their foster placements.
Financial Stability and Support:
Foster children in the UK receive the crucial care and financial stability they require from the Fostering allowance. It pays for necessities including food, clothing, extracurricular activities, healthcare, and education. Foster children can concentrate on their personal development, education, and general well-being without worrying about money thanks to the fostering allowance because it takes care of these fundamental necessities. Foster children can flourish and realise their full potential in a stable setting.
Encouraging Educational Opportunities:
A crucial component of a child's growth is education, and the fostering allowance in the UK recognises this. It makes educational resources including books, school materials, tutoring, and extracurricular activities available to foster children. Foster children can completely participate in their education, pursue their interests, and get over any obstacles they may encounter with the proper financial support. Foster children can flourish academically and expand their horizons thanks to the fostering allowance, which opens doors to educational opportunities.
UK Fostering: Supporting Foster Children Across the UK:
A reputable foster care organisation, UK Fostering is dedicated to helping foster children all around the United Kingdom. They make sure that the fostering allowance is supplied to effectively satisfy the special requirements and difficulties faced by foster children. In order to make sure that the fostering allowance is used wisely to the advantage of the children in their care, UK Fostering closely collaborates with foster families, offering continuing guidance and assistance. Their commitment to the welfare of foster children plays a crucial role in their growth and achievement.
Promoting Stability and Continuity:
Foster children benefit from stable and nurturing surroundings because of the UK's fostering allowance. It makes it possible for foster families to offer a constant level of care and assistance, minimising disruptions and fostering continuity. Foster children are able to maintain routines, access essential services, and feel secure in their placements because of the financial support provided by the fostering allowance. For foster children, this consistency creates the groundwork for wholesome relationships and successful outcomes.
Encouraging Social and Personal Development:
Fostering allowance contributes to the social and personal growth of youngsters. Foster children can take part in hobbies, athletics, and other social activities, which helps them feel more included and confident. Foster children are given the chance to pursue their hobbies, learn new skills, and form enduring relationships by providing financial support for extracurricular activities. Fostering allowance motivates foster kids to get involved in their neighbourhoods, build resilience, and improve their general well-being.
Conclusion:
Fostering allowance is an essential part of the British system of support for foster children. It offers opportunities for education, financial security, and social and personal growth. Fostering allowance is crucial for empowering foster children, and organisations like UK Fostering work hard to ensure that it is implemented properly. Foster children in the UK are given the assistance they require through fostering allowance to overcome obstacles, flourish in their foster homes, and create better futures. Every child has the chance to realise their full potential thanks to the continued commitment to fostering allowance, which is a crucial component of the foster care system in the UK.
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2023.06.03 01:14 Pyroski The War of 1839, Part IV Pine & Liberty

The War of 1839, Part IV Pine & Liberty
Battle of Massachusetts Bay
With the U.S. Navy strategically positioned in Narragansett Bay, Commanding General Winfield Scott collaborated with Rear Admiral Charles Stewart to implement an effective blockade strategy. The plan entailed Stewart undertaking a blockade of the Massachusetts Bay to sever the supply lines to Boston and Quincy. Scott and Stewart, both high-ranking military officials, believed that this tactic would not only diminish the morale of the opposing troops through deprivation but also establish a passage for the deployment of troops and vessels via the bay, facilitating a two-front invasion.
On February 9th, Rear Admiral Stewart initiated an attack, marking the beginning of a relentless naval bombardment. The assault commenced with the arrival of a formidable U.S. Navy fleet led by Commodore Matthew C. Perry. This fleet consisted of several warships, including steam-powered vessels armed with heavy cannons, and had the objective to displace the existing Yankee presence patrolling the bay and establish their own presence in their place.
The naval bombardment unleashed a relentless barrage of cannon fire and explosive shells upon the opposing ships and fortifications in the bay. The American warships strategically positioned themselves, utilizing their superior firepower and extended range to wreak havoc on the enemy's defenses. Under the command of Rear Admiral John C. Percival, the Yankee forces fiercely attempted to resist the onslaught, returning fire from their ship's cannons stationed along the coast. However, the overwhelming firepower and precision of the American navy proved to be a decisive advantage.
The intense naval bombardment took a toll on the ships engaged in battle. After four days of relentless fighting, on February 13th, Rear Admiral Percival ordered a retreat as U.S. ships swiftly filled the void, effectively establishing a blockade of the Massachusetts Bay. The withdrawal was necessitated by the overwhelming presence and continued firepower of the American Navy, ensuring their control over the strategic waterway.
Battle of Cambridge
strategy and focused on capturing Cambridge as a means to take control of Boston, Massachusetts. Cambridge's strategic importance stemmed from its proximity to Boston and its position on the opposite side of the Charles River, making it a crucial gateway to the city. Gaining control of Cambridge would provide an invading force with a foothold on the eastern side of the river, potentially facilitating easier access to Boston itself.
On Monday, February 20th, Winfield Scott began mobilizing troops along the borders of neighboring settlements, including Quincy, Watertown, and Allston. However, it wasn't until the 28th that Scott issued the order for troops to initiate an assault, once he had assembled a substantial force of 4,000 soldiers along the border. Meanwhile, armed with intelligence regarding the movements of the U.S. troops, Churchill anticipated an attack on either Cambridge or Boston and took defensive measures, including fortifications and deploying troops in both cities.
On the 27th, Scott held consultations with John E. Wool and Thomas J. Worth, informing them of his intended timing for launching the offensive. He designated Wool to lead an attack from Quincy and Worth to lead from Watertown. Wool would assume the role of commanding general for the battle, while Scott and Rear Admiral Charles Stewart focused on developing the strategy for the subsequent phase of the plan—the capture of Boston.
On the 28th, Major General Wool initiated his division's march towards Cambridge in an attempt to avoid detection by Sylvester Churchill's troops, whom he believed were deployed in the settlements between Quincy and Cambridge. To minimize the risk of exposure, Wool decided to commence the march early in the morning, navigating through rural and wooded areas to evade Yankee troops. Following the same tactics, Worth also set out towards Cambridge later as instructed.
In the late morning, Worth launched the assault by mobilizing artillery to weaken the defenses. However, the Yankee forces were already prepared and swiftly retaliated with a relentless barrage of fire upon the advancing troops. This intense exchange of fire between Worth's army and the defending Yankee soldiers persisted for nearly an hour.
Meanwhile, Wool's army continued its stealthy march through the woodlands and rural areas. Upon hearing the sound of gunfire in the distance, Wool deduced that the battle had begun prematurely and hastily directed the rest of his troops towards the source of the noise. Arriving nearly an hour into the battle, Wool's troops witnessed a fierce encounter between both sides, resulting in a stalemate. Nevertheless, Wool ordered his soldiers to target the Yankee soldiers with their rifles, creating space for Worth's men to fire artillery.
As the relentless barrage of artillery took its toll on the city's defenses, Childs, the commanding officer, ordered troops to reposition themselves further away from the crumbling defenses in anticipation of their eventual collapse. The troops followed the orders accordingly. Finally, around 3:00 P.M., the defenses started to give way, prompting Wool to command his troops to rush into Cambridge. However, they were met with a defensive line of Yankee soldiers who unleashed a volley of fire as soon as the U.S. soldiers entered the city. Simultaneously, Childs instructed soldiers to inform Churchill that both major generals had attacked Cambridge and to relocate troops from Boston to reinforce the defense of Cambridge.
Meanwhile, U.S. troops under the command of Major General Wool employed flanking maneuvers on both sides of the defensive line. Despite encountering difficulties in breaching the line, the U.S. troops persisted. After holding together for nearly two hours, the defensive line eventually collapsed under the pressure of the flanking maneuvers, leading to a breakthrough for the U.S. forces.
Illustration depicting the Battle of Cambridge, a fierce encounter between American and Yankee troops. The artwork portrays American and Yankee soldiers engaged in a fierce firefight.
With the significant breakthrough, U.S. forces swiftly advanced into Cambridge, pushing Yankee troops deeper into the settlement. Meanwhile, Childs made efforts to reorganize and create a diversion to buy enough time for Churchill's larger army to arrive. Eventually, as evening fell, Churchill appeared on the scene with the majority of his troops from Boston, adding 2,000 soldiers to their forces. This sudden increase in numbers enabled the Yankee forces to reclaim much of the territory in Cambridge that had been captured by the U.S. Army. Despite their success, the U.S. army's superior size and technological advancements prevented them from being entirely driven out of Cambridge.
As dusk approached, the battle persisted through the night, resulting in significant casualties on both sides. However, with a larger army, the U.S. forces fared better than the Yankees in enduring the losses, allowing them to gradually advance into Cambridge and reclaim lost territory. Throughout the night and into the morning, the conflict continued, with the darkness posing challenges for troops to coordinate tactical maneuvers. Consequently, engaging in intense hand-to-hand combat, the U.S. forces successfully pushed the opposition off the streets and deeper into Cambridge.
As the sun rose on the horizon, Sylvester Churchill made a bold move in an attempt to shift the course of the battle and thwart the advancing Americans from seizing what the commanding general deemed the final bastion of defense before they could effectively reach Boston. Determined to alter the tide of the conflict, Churchill issued orders for his troops to divide into smaller units, engaging in street fighting and employing guerrilla tactics. Churchill hoped that these strategic maneuvers would tip the scales of the battle in their favor.
Despite Churchill's optimism, Yankee tactics proved ineffective in impeding the U.S. invasion. Under the command of Wool, American troops strategically focused on maintaining a strong and unified front and countering the units employed by Churchill. The ambush and guerrilla tactics employed by the Yankees failed to overcome the superior size and strength of Wool's forces, leading to their defeat. Eventually, in the evening, as the city neared complete capture by American forces, Churchill consulted with his top military officials, including Major Generals Thomas Childs, Joseph Gilbert Totten, and Gideon Johnson Pillow, to negotiate a treaty with Wool. This treaty became the most notable agreement signed on the Atlantic Coast since the Second Siege of New Haven, which had occurred nearly a year prior.
During the negotiations, it was agreed that both armies would remain in a total armistice until a deal was reached. After intense discussions, the following terms were included in the final agreement:
  • Both armies agreed to refrain from engaging in any hostilities against each other in the region for a minimum of six weeks.
  • Prisoners of war from New England, captured during both the war and the previous Massachusetts campaign, were to be released and allowed to return to their homes. Wool advocated for similar conditions for American prisoners of war, but due to the presence of additional Yankee reinforcements in Boston and the Massachusetts militia, he ultimately withdrew his request, as he was concerned that these reinforcements could shift the balance of power in the Battle of Cambridge, should battle reignite.
  • The American army were to occupy the City of Cambridge and its buildings, as the Yankee army would withdraw.
  • That New England troops were allowed to withdraw from the city with their personal arms and equipment, including artillery and ammunition
  • Residents of Cambridge were permitted to remain in their homes and continue their daily activities without interruption.
The Boston Address
With the United Kingdom's agreement to join the war on February 6th, 1843, Samuel Cabot Jr. eagerly anticipated returning to New England to deliver the news. However, due to harsh weather conditions and ships already departing with letters and newspapers to inform Americans of this revelation, Cabot and his diplomats decided to postpone their voyage by a week, hoping for an improvement in the weather. Eventually, on February 13th, the diplomats set sail once again across the treacherous Atlantic Ocean, with Captain Nathaniel Brown Palmer resuming command of their ship, the "Columbia."
On Tuesday, March 21st, 1843, after several weeks at sea, the diplomats arrived at Massachusetts Bay, their intended docking destination since their departure. However, they were surprised to find foreign American ships occupying the bay, completely unaware of the ongoing armistice. Acting swiftly, the diplomats instructed Captain Palmer to redirect the vessels towards New Bedford, a port controlled by the Yankee navy. Previous attempts by U.S. forces, led by Admiral Mathew C. Perry to capture Buzzard's Bay had been unsuccessful. As a result, Rear Admiral Charles Stewart made the decision to modify the plan and forgo a coastal blockade of the region, as it was no longer deemed crucial. Thus, the diplomats successfully made an unplanned landing and found a secure harbor for their ship.
Upon receiving news of their impending arrival, which quickly spread throughout New England, the diplomats would be swiftly escorted to Daniel Webster's presidential office at the Hartford Estate in Boston, Massachusetts. Traveling via a stagecoach, they would soon reach their destination. As they arrived, they would be promptly ushered into Webster's office. Despite being aware of Britain's entry into the war, Webster anxiously awaited the arrival of his diplomats, as they had not arrived at the expected time.
The diplomats arrived to find Daniel Webster in an unexpectedly cheerful state, a stark contrast to his demeanor throughout his presidency. Webster had been burdened by a series of defeats in the War of 1839, Dorr's revolt, and the overall frustrations associated with his role as president. These hardships led Webster to seek solace in alcohol, resulting in alcoholism that became his coping mechanism for the grief caused by his presidential responsibilities. Furthermore, the weight of his challenges contributed to his depression, transforming him into a recluse who rarely ventured out of his office and spent a significant portion of his presidency consumed by excessive drinking.
Nevertheless, upon hearing the news of Britain's involvement in the war, Webster's spirits were lifted, restoring a sense of optimism within him that had not been seen since his presidential campaign. He eagerly, yet somewhat intoxicated, welcomed the diplomats into his office to engage in discussions regarding the Downing Street Conference, the negotiations, and the developments involving George Hamilton-Gordon, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and Prime Minister Robert Peel. Samuel Cabot Jr. relayed to Daniel Webster the concessions made on behalf of New England, which included a promise not to reinstate the Fugitive Acts, along with providing the intricate details of the conference(s).
On March 23rd, 1843 at the Federal States Hotel, in the midst of a challenging period for his administration, Daniel Webster, in an effort to regain public trust and address the critical newspapers that had emerged throughout his term, delivered one of the rare public speeches of the War of 1839. Throughout his term, newspapers critical of the Webster administration had become prevalent across New England. However, due to the Sedition Acts, these newspapers were eventually shut down. Moreover, the Federalists suffered significant electoral defeats during Webster's tenure, aware of the need to restore faith among citizens regarding the war and his administration, Webster took the opportunity to speak directly to the public, using his speech as a means to provide reassurance and address the challenges his administration faced.
Snippet of Webster's two-and-a-half-hour, "The Boston Address" speech:
[1] "Ladies and gentlemen,
I stand before you today, filled with the spirit of liberty and the burning desire to protect our great New England from the encroachments of tyranny and oppression. We find ourselves embroiled in a conflict of great magnitude, a war that will determine the very course of our destiny. Let it be known that this is no ordinary war, for it is a war fought not only with steel and powder, but with the indomitable will and unwavering determination of Yankee troops.
[2] My fellow countrymen, we gather here in the shadow of history, surrounded by the echoes of our forefathers who fought valiantly for the principles of freedom and justice. Today, we find ourselves faced with a foe whose arrogance knows no bounds, a foe that seeks to trample upon our liberties and extinguish the flame of independence that burns within every New Englander's heart. The United States of America, once our brethren, has once again forsaken the ideals of our Founding Fathers and has chosen to walk the path of oppression.
[9] Yet, let it not be forgotten that our cause is just and our resolve unyielding. Weeks ago, on the fateful day of February 6th, the United Kingdom, recognizing the righteousness of our struggle, joined our noble cause. The world now watches as the might of the British Empire stands united with us, against the very nation from which we once sought solace and support. This alliance is a testament to the righteousness of our cause, for it is not merely a battle of arms, but a battle of principles and ideals.
[15] This war is not just a struggle for independence; it is a fight against the abhorrent institution of slavery. The Fugitive Acts that have been passed by the United States have violated the very fabric of our moral conscience. They seek to rob men and women of their natural rights, to tear families apart, and to perpetuate an evil that stains the pages of our history. We, as New Englanders, must rise up against this injustice and prove to the world that we will not stand idly by while our fellow human beings suffer under the yoke of bondage.
[17] It is a fight to prove that New England is truly independent from America. We have defeated the United States once, and we can do it again. The blood that flows through our veins is the blood of patriots, of those who dared to challenge the status quo and forge a new path. We stand upon the shoulders of giants, and it is our duty to honor their sacrifice by preserving the principles they held dear. As we march forward, let us remember the sacrifices of those who came before us, and let their legacy guide us through the darkest of times.
[18] This war is not just about reclaiming our independence; it is a battle for the soul of our nation. It is a struggle to define the values and principles upon which our society is built. We fight for liberty, equality, and justice. We fight to ensure that the principles of our Founding Fathers are not trampled upon and forgotten. We fight to create a society where every person, regardless of their race or background, is treated with dignity and respect.
[21] This is a fight against the remnants of oppression and injustice. The Fugitive Acts, once passed by both the United States and New England, were a stain on our collective conscience. They sought to deny individuals their natural rights, tear families apart, and perpetuate the abhorrent institution of slavery. Recognizing the moral imperative to rectify this injustice, New England took a bold step forward and repealed these acts, paving the way for a more equitable society.
[22] Let us not forget the lessons of our past, for they shape the path we tread today. The New England Revolutionary War, fought with valor and determination, paved the way for our quest for independence. Our ancestors stood united against oppression, and their courage echoes in our hearts. And let us also remember the Hartford Convention, a pivotal moment in our history. It was there that our regional identity was forged, as we asserted our rights and voiced our grievances against unjust policies. From the fires of adversity, we emerged stronger, more resolute in our determination to protect our liberties and safeguard the interests of New England.
[26] Like their forefathers, in the face of adversity, our Yankee troops have shown a courage and determination that is unparalleled. They have weathered the storm of American aggression and stood firm in their conviction. They fight not only for the land upon which they tread but for the principles that make New England unique and distinct. They fight for the freedom of every man, woman, and child who calls this great region home.
[29] This war is not just a struggle for soveriegnity; it is a fight against the abhorrent institution of slavery. The Fugitive Acts that have been passed by the United States have violated the very fabric of our moral conscience. They seek to rob men of their natural rights, to tear families apart, and to perpetuate an evil that stains the pages of our history. We, as New Englanders, must rise up against this injustice and prove to the world that we will not stand idly by while our fellow human beings suffer under the yoke of bondage.
[31] As we engage in this epic struggle, let us not forget the sacrifices that have been made. Our brave soldiers have left their homes and families behind to fight for a cause they hold dear. They have endured the harsh realities of war, facing danger and uncertainty at every turn. We must honor their sacrifices by supporting them in every way possible, by standing behind them and providing them with the resources and care they need.
[34] This war is also a test of our unity and resilience as a people. We must put aside our differences and come together as one. We must recognize that the fight for freedom and justice knows no boundaries. It transcends political affiliations and personal interests. We must stand together, shoulder to shoulder, and show the world the strength and determination of the New England spirit.
[37] In this war, we are not alone. The international community watches as our struggle unfolds. The United Kingdom has joined our cause, recognizing the importance of our fight. We stand together, united in our commitment to freedom and justice. Our alliance sends a powerful message to the world that New England will not be silenced, that we will fight for what is right and just.
[41] We must also remember that the fight against slavery is central to this war. Slavery is a stain on the conscience of our nation. It is a practice that dehumanizes and oppresses our fellow human beings. We cannot and will not tolerate such an abomination. By fighting against slavery, we not only strike at the heart of injustice but also reaffirm our commitment to the principles of equality and freedom.
[43] As we engage in this great struggle, let us draw inspiration from the heroes of our past. Let us remember the battles fought by our forefathers, the sacrifices they made, and the triumphs they achieved. Their legacy lives on in us, and it is our duty to carry their torch forward.
[46] This war is not just about defeating the United States; it is about shaping the future of our region and our nation. It is about establishing New England as a beacon of liberty and progress. We have already demonstrated our ability to stand against the might of a powerful nation, and we can do it again. We have the strength, the courage, and the conviction to overcome any obstacle that stands in our way.
[49] In conclusion, my fellow New Englanders, let us remember why we fight. Let us remember the principles that have guided us throughout our history. We fight for independence, for freedom, for justice, and for the eradication of slavery. We fight to prove that New England is truly independent from America, and we fight to demonstrate our unwavering commitment to the principles of liberty and equality.
[51] As we march forward, let us do so with the knowledge that we are not alone. We are supported by the might of the British Empire, by the solidarity of our fellow New Englanders, and by the principles of justice and righteousness that guide our cause. Together, we will prevail. Together, we will overcome every challenge and obstacle that comes our way.
[53] May the spirit of our forefathers guide us, and may the determination of our Yankee troops inspire us. Let us write the next chapter of our history with courage, resilience, and unwavering conviction. The future of New England is in our hands, and we will forge it with honor and integrity. God bless New England, and God bless the cause for which we fight!"

President Daniel Webster addresses the citizens of Boston at the Federal States Hotel (United States Hotel) in an illustration capturing his lengthy two-and-a-half-hour \"The Boston Address\" speech. Standing atop a platform, Webster delivers his passionate speech, while the crowd erupts in cheers, energized by his fiery words. Meanwhile, within the hotel, the wives of soldiers protest the war's extension by throwing trash at Webster.
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2023.06.02 20:59 ra9rme Mastering the Early Retirement Transition: Critical Milestones You Can't Afford to Miss

Are you recently early-retired or getting close to your FIRE number? Are you concerned about missing a critical date or milestone on the path from early retirement to traditional retirement?
As someone who has gone through the journey myself, I wanted to share this guide I made myself to help me plan. I found it incredibly helpful to have all these milestones organized in one place, and I hope it will provide you with the same value.
50 - Catch-up Contributions for IRAs and 401ks: When you turn 50, you become eligible to make catch-up contributions to your Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and 401(k) accounts. Catch-up contributions allow you to save more money for retirement, beyond the regular contribution limits. You can find more details on catch-up contributions on the IRS website. NOTE: You can only contribute to IRAs if you still have earned income.
55 - Catch-up Contributions for HSAs: At the age of 55, you can make catch-up contributions to your Health Savings Account (HSA) if you're enrolled in a high-deductible health plan. HSAs offer tax advantages and can be a valuable tool for covering medical expenses in retirement. For more information about catch-up contributions, refer to the IRS website. NOTE: You don't need earned income to contribute to an HSA but you will need a high deductible plan.
59 ½ - No more 10% penalties for early withdrawal on IRAs: By the time you reach 59 ½, you are no longer subject to the 10% early withdrawal penalty on traditional IRAs. This means you can access your IRA funds without incurring the penalty. However, keep in mind that withdrawals from traditional IRAs are generally taxed as ordinary income. NOTE: If you need to access your IRA and 401k funds early, this is a great article explaining How to Access Retirement Funds Early.
62 - Earliest opportunity to start collecting Social Security: At age 62, you have the option to start collecting Social Security benefits. However, it's important to note that claiming benefits early will result in a reduced monthly payment compared to waiting until your full retirement age. The official Social Security Administration website provides detailed information on when to claim benefits and how it affects your payments. Visit the Social Security Administration for more information.
65 - Eligible for Medicare and no longer need to pay for ACA insurance: When you turn 65, you become eligible for Medicare, a federal health insurance program for retirees. Enrolling in Medicare can provide significant savings on healthcare costs, as it replaces the need for Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance coverage. Explore the official Medicare website to learn about eligibility and enrollment options: Medicare.gov.
65 - No more 20% penalties for non-medical use of HSA funds: Upon reaching age 65, if you are enrolled in Medicare, you are no longer subject to the 20% penalty for non-medical withdrawals from your Health Savings Account (HSA). However, it's important to note that non-medical withdrawals are still subject to income tax. The IRS provides detailed guidelines on HSAs, including penalties, on their official website.
66 or 67 - Full retirement age for Social Security: Full retirement age (FRA) for Social Security depends on the year you were born. It is typically between 66 and 67. Once you reach your FRA, you can claim your full Social Security benefit without any reduction. The Social Security Administration provides a helpful chart to determine your full retirement age based on your birth year.
70 - Maximum benefit for Social Security: Delaying Social Security benefits beyond your full retirement age can increase your monthly benefit amount. You can delay benefits until age 70 to receive the maximum possible benefit. The official Social Security Administration website offers detailed information on how delaying benefits can impact your payments. Visit Social Security Administration for more details.
73 - Start of Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) for IRAs: At age 73, you must start taking Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) from your traditional IRAs and employer-sponsored retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s. Failure to take the required distributions may result in substantial penalties. Consult the IRS website for more information on RMD rules and calculations.
Edit: Fixed RMD age.
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2023.06.02 17:43 CryptographerOk2258 Weekly Pastel Update 6/2/23

Pastel Community Update (June 2, 2023)
The next generation NFT focused blockchain. Certifiable authenticity. Permanent storage. Negligible fees. Build, secure, and scale your Web3 ecosystem with Pastel.
The Pastel Team has been extremely busy with a number of major development updates, partnership rollouts, and product releases. Check back here each week for new developments
Check Pastel channels for:
Weekly community snapshots shared across our various channels.
🐾 Quarterly updates released via our newsletter.
☎️ Weekly community town halls / AMAs directly with the Pastel team. Come prepared with your questions, comments, and feedback!
📣 Monthly Twitter Spaces with u/doodlestone and u/panthony
Key Updates:
🚨Contests🚨
Our team has been busy developing, testing & refining innovative network features like the Monet 1.2 release & SmartMint upgrade. To celebrate these milestones, we're launching exciting community events for everyone to enjoy! Check out what's in store for May: More info to come this week. Check our socials!
SmartMint Art Contest
-Are you ready to unleash your artistic talents and make a splash in the world of crypto art? Look no further! We are excited to announce the SmartMint Art Contest.
-By participating in this contest, you stand a chance to win fantastic prizes of up to 150 USDT, free mints, and so much more! To learn more about the contest and how to participate check out this Medium Article. CONTEST EXTENTION: JUNE 7th
Quizzo Discord Referral Campaign
-Exciting news! Introducing our Referral Challenge for our Bi-Weekly Quizzos in our discord! You have the opportunity to invite up to 5 friends to join our Discord and take part in any one of the upcoming 4 Quizzos. Earn additional rewards: $5 USDT for each referred friend, with a maximum of $25!
Check out this Medium article to learn more!
-We're kicking off the month of May by introducing our Bi-Weekly Quiz competitions, Quizzos! Put your Pastel knowledge to the test, covering videos, articles, & tweets. Learn more about our project and show off your expertise. We will be airdropping the top 3 winners PSL!
-Like solving puzzles? Don’t miss our Monet 1.2 NFT Puzzle Event to kickoff the Monet Mainnet Release! We’re giving away exclusive Pastel NFT Puzzle Pieces with corresponding PSL airdrops to those who answer daily Q?s! 🚀 Keep an eye out for additional NFT, PSL, & USDT bonuses.
🚨Twitter Space on the Current State of Web3 and NFTs🚨
Tune in to our Twitter Spacewith @blueznft. We will be diving into all things NFTs, ecosystems, marketplaces, and more. Don't miss out on this insightful discussion! #NFTs #Marketplaces #TwitterSpace
Pastel Network joined WOMENverse to discuss tech features that support empowering men and women in web3
We hosted an incredible conversation about on-chain infrastructure, the current market, and more! Listen to our Twitter Space with @endaomentdotorg
🚨Final phase of Monet 1.2 Testnet Release is now live🚨
Monet 1.2 represents a critical milestone among several other planned releases for 2023. This release brings substantial enhancements to our Supernode infrastructure, major updates to Cascade (our permanent NFT data storage solution), and Sense (our duplicate detection technology).
Specific upgrades include:
-Integration of Supernode Storage Challenges to Cascade -Activation of Cascade’s Self-Healing capability -Activation of Supernode Health and State Challenges -Stabilization of Sense Protocol -Release of the OpenAPI Gateway
More details on the specific features of Monet 1.2 and upcoming plans for the Mainnet release available here
Are you curious about the latest Monet 1.2 Test Net release? We've got you covered! We hosted 2 AMAs, Reddit and Discord where we answered all your burning questions. If you have more, please reach out to us on any of our social media.
🚨Collaborations🚨
In case you missed it, listen to our Twitter Space with BearBrains.eth (@NateBear). We discuss his exciting drop/giveaway, Brightz, and his journey in the Space.
Check out our latest artist spotlight! This amazing piece entitled “Nostalgia” was minted on SmartMint by @thealvinboss
Exciting artist collaborations are on the horizon with: @IanSoi_ @K_JRobotsCo, @Numo_0 @abahassanart
We are always seeking talented artists to collaborate with, so please reach out to us on any social media platform. Let’s create something amazing together!
🚨Pastel Progress🚨
-Reddit AMA- Always excited to answer the community. If yout still have burning questions, please find us on one of our socials
-Partnership with Astar Network: Pastel Network is excited to announce that it will be working with @AstarNetwork, a layer1 parachain in the Polkadot ecosystem. Learn more on Medium.
SmartMint on Twitter: It is our great pleasure to announce that SmartMint will now have a Twitter presence. The SmartMint twitter account has officially launched.
-Addition of Status Page: We recently released a Status Page so you can monitor the performance of our infrastructure & services in real time. Check it out here!
-Wrapped PSL:Wrapped PSL or wPSL exists to transfer tokens across platforms. wPSL is available on Uniswap. Watch our video and learn more here
-Pastel Testnet Faucet Release: Our Testnet Faucet is now live. The launch of this independent network enables users to obtain LSP (Pastel Testnet Tokens) to experiment with and develop in the Pastel Testnet environment. This gives users the ability to experiment with Pastel features without having to spend valuable PSL on the mainnet.
Learn more about Pastel's Testnet Faucet.
-Becoming a Supernode Operator: Become a Supernode operator today & gain increased credibility in the validator community & earn exclusive rewards from the foundation, such as PSL or NFT airdrops, in addition to receiving Block & Transactional Rewards.
🚨Cascade Protocol🚨
Cascade has numerous concrete advantages over competing systems such as IPFS & Arweave, particularly when it comes to censorship resistance, data permanence & data accessibility.
Check out our technical paper on Cascade, Pastel's storage layer. Cascade is an extremely powerful & robust storage system for true data permanence that is both completely decentralized & highly scalable. Learn more here.
🚨Sense Protocol🚨
Sense is a Near-Duplicate NFT detection protocol powered by the Pastel Network. Assess the relative rareness of a given NFT against near-duplicate metadata on networks like Ethereum, Solana, etc to prevent prevalent scams or theft. Try it yourself here and watch it work here.
🚨2023 Roadmap and Review of 2022🚨
Pastel released its 2023 roadmap, including a review of 2022. Pastel Network 2022 in review and roadmap for 2023 shows great progress made in the previous year and much promise for the year ahead.
🚨News and Developments🚨
-Pastel in the News
💡Anthony Georgiades joins KitCo News to talk about how Bitcoin benefits as businesses lose trust in the dollar
🥝Check out what Anthony Georgiades has to say about the market in this The Block article.
😁Anthony Georgiades talks about a possible financial crisis in this CoinDesk article
⌨️Co-founder Anthony Georgiades discusses Solana and crypto smartphones in this Fortune article
⚓Check out this Cointelegraph article where Anthony Georgiades discusses the importance of filling a market gap.
-Pastel News-
📱Check out our latest Youtube live video where u/panthony discusses Q1 NFT Trends & Pastel updates!
🖌️ Listen to our Twitter space where we host @Endaoment and discuss chain infrastructures and more
🍧Check out this Twitter Space with the @agoric and @kryha_io teams discussing decentralized systems
🌸Check out this Twitter Space with u/gameofskills discussing Web3 gaming and much more
💡 Check out this Medium article on how Sense is revolutionizing NFT provenance written by Ima-Abasi Pius Joseph
-Pastel Archive
🚧We released a Builder’s Guide for ecosystem partners integrating w/ Pastel. Come build with us here.
🌯wPSL or wrapped is explained in this video and
🚧Pastel is completely open-source. Check out what we are working on here.
🌀Testnet tutorial video
🏆Learn more about Sense and Cascade
🔦Want to try out Sense for yourself? Upload your NFT here to obtain the rareness score of your NFT.
📹Check out this youtube demonstration showing what happened when we compared OpenSea’s new duplicate detection system to Sense Sense Comp Analysis
If you have not done so already, please take a moment to join our growing community base:
🐓 Follow Pastel on Twitter
🙉Follow Smartmint on Twitter
👾Join Pastel's Discord Server
👽Join Pastel on Reddit
✈️Join Pastel’s Telegram
🖥️Subscribe to our Youtube channel
submitted by CryptographerOk2258 to PastelNetworkOfficial [link] [comments]


2023.06.02 12:54 Sudden_Share_2616 MBBS in Bangladesh: A Pathway to a Promising Medical Career

Are you considering pursuing a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree? Look no further than Bangladesh. With its affordable tuition fees, quality education, and internationally recognized degrees, Bangladesh has become a popular destination for aspiring medical students from around the world. In this article, we will explore the benefits of Studying MBBS in Bangladesh and provide you with valuable insights to help you make an informed decision.
Introduction to studying MBBS in Bangladesh
Studying medicine is a dream for many students, and Bangladesh offers a unique opportunity to turn that dream into reality. Renowned for its excellent medical education system, the country has emerged as a preferred choice for international students seeking affordable and high-quality medical education
Why choose Bangladesh for MBBS?
Bangladesh provides a conducive environment for studying medicine, making it an attractive option for aspiring doctors. The following factors contribute to its popularity:
Advantages of studying MBBS in Bangladesh
Studying MBBS in Bangladesh offers several advantages that make it an attractive choice for aspiring medical students. Here are some key advantages:
  1. Affordable tuition fees: Compared to many other countries offering medical education, Bangladesh provides affordable tuition fees. This makes it a cost-effective option for students who wish to pursue an MBBS degree without burdening themselves with excessive financial stress.
  2. Quality education and internationally recognized degrees: Medical universities in Bangladesh maintain high standards of education and are known for their quality teaching and research. The degrees awarded by these universities are internationally recognized and hold great value in the global medical community.
  3. English-medium instruction: Most medical universities in Bangladesh offer courses in English. This is advantageous for international students who are more comfortable studying in English and eliminates the need to learn a new language while focusing on their medical studies.
  4. Experienced faculty and modern infrastructure: The medical universities in Bangladesh boast highly qualified and experienced faculty members. These professors are experts in their respective fields and provide students with comprehensive knowledge and guidance. Additionally, the universities are equipped with modern infrastructure, advanced laboratories, and state-of-the-art facilities, ensuring a conducive learning environment.
  5. Cultural diversity and exposure: Studying MBBS in Bangladesh allows students to experience a rich cultural heritage and interact with a diverse student community. This exposure enhances cross-cultural understanding and prepares students to work in multicultural healthcare settings, which is increasingly valuable in today's globalized world.
  6. Clinical training and practical experience: Medical universities in Bangladesh emphasize practical training and clinical exposure alongside theoretical knowledge. Students have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in renowned hospitals and healthcare institutions, honing their clinical skills and preparing them for real-world medical practice.
  7. Safety and security: Bangladesh is a safe and welcoming country for international students. The government takes measures to ensure the safety and well-being of all students, providing a secure environment for their education and personal growth.
  8. Global career prospects: A Bangladeshi MBBS degree opens up a world of career opportunities. The degree is recognized by international medical councils and allows graduates to pursue further studies or practice medicine in different countries around the globe. This global recognition enables graduates to establish successful medical careers both within Bangladesh and internationally.
Studying MBBS in Bangladesh not only offers quality education but also provides a unique cultural experience, valuable practical training, and a solid foundation for a successful medical career. It is an excellent choice for students seeking affordable yet high-quality medical education.
Living and Accommodation in Bangladesh
When considering studying MBBS in Bangladesh, it is important to understand the living conditions and accommodation options available to international students. Bangladesh offers a comfortable and affordable living environment with various accommodation choices. Here's an overview of living and accommodation in Bangladesh for MBBS students:
  1. Cost of Living:
  1. Accommodation Options:
  1. Safety and Security:
  1. Facilities and Amenities:
  1. Food and Dining:
  1. Transportation:
  1. Local Culture and Lifestyle:
When considering accommodation options in Bangladesh, it is advisable to consult with the university's international student office or admission department. They can provide guidance and recommendations regarding the best accommodation choices based on individual preferences and requirements.
Visit us:https://www.mymbbsadmission.com/mbbs-bangladesh/
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2023.06.02 10:08 Financial_ED_101 Unlocking the Power of High-Yield Investments

Unlocking the Power of High-Yield Investments
“Discover the potential of high-yield investments as a pathway to wealth creation. Explore various investment vehicles that offer high returns and understand how wealthy individuals use debt to capitalize on these opportunities. Learn how to identify lucrative high-yield investment options”

Investing is a powerful tool for creating wealth, but not all investments are created equal. If you're looking to maximize your returns and accelerate your path to financial success, high-yield investments may hold the key. In this article, we will delve into the world of high-yield investments, explore various investment vehicles that offer high returns, and understand how wealthy individuals leverage debt to capitalize on these opportunities. By the end, you'll have a comprehensive understanding of high-yield investments and the strategies for identifying lucrative options.
Understanding High-Yield Investments
High-yield investments are financial instruments that offer the potential for above-average returns compared to traditional investment options. These investments typically come with higher risks, but for those willing to take on the challenge, the rewards can be significant. High-yield investments can include stocks and equities, bonds and fixed-income securities, real estate investment trusts (REITs), peer-to-peer lending platforms, high-yield savings accounts, and even cryptocurrencies and digital assets.
Types of High-Yield Investment Vehicles
  1. Stocks and Equities
Investing in stocks and equities has long been recognized as a pathway to substantial wealth creation. Companies that show strong growth potential and profitability can provide investors with impressive returns. However, it's important to conduct thorough research and analysis before investing in individual stocks, as they can be volatile and subject to market fluctuations.
  1. Bonds and Fixed-Income Securities
Bonds and fixed-income securities are considered relatively safer high-yield investment options. These instruments represent loans made to governments, municipalities, and corporations. Investors earn interest on the principal amount, making them attractive for risk-averse individuals. However, bond investments are not entirely risk-free, as they can be affected by factors such as inflation and changes in interest rates.
  1. Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)
REITs allow investors to participate in the real estate market without directly owning physical properties. These investment vehicles pool funds from multiple investors to invest in a diverse portfolio of income-generating properties. REITs often distribute a significant portion of their income as dividends, making them an attractive option for those seeking regular cash flow.
  1. Peer-to-Peer Lending Platforms
Peer-to-peer lending platforms have gained popularity in recent years, connecting borrowers directly with lenders through online platforms. Investors can earn attractive returns by lending money to individuals or small businesses, cutting out the intermediaries and traditional banking institutions. However, it's crucial to assess the creditworthiness of borrowers and diversify investments to mitigate default risk.
  1. High-Yield Savings Accounts
High-yield savings accounts offered by certain banks and financial institutions provide higher interest rates compared to standard savings accounts. These accounts are typically backed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in the United States, ensuring a level of security for deposited funds. High-yield savings accounts are a low-risk option for individuals looking for stable and modest returns.
  1. Cryptocurrencies and Digital Assets
Cryptocurrencies and digital assets have emerged as an exciting and volatile investment option. With the potential for substantial returns, they have attracted many investors. However, it's important to note that the cryptocurrency market is highly speculative and subject to significant price fluctuations. Thorough research and caution are essential when investing in this asset class.
Risks Associated with High-Yield Investments
As with any investment, high-yield investments come with inherent risks that must be carefully considered.
  1. Volatility and Market Fluctuations
High-yield investments are often more volatile than traditional investment options. Fluctuations in market conditions can cause significant price swings, potentially resulting in gains or losses. Investors must be prepared for market volatility and have a long-term investment perspective.
  1. Default Risk
Certain high-yield investments, such as bonds and peer-to-peer lending, carry the risk of default. Borrowers may fail to repay their debts, leading to a loss of principal or interest payments. Thorough due diligence and risk assessment can help mitigate default risk to some extent.
  1. Liquidity Risk
Some high-yield investments, such as real estate or certain bonds, may lack liquidity. It can be challenging to sell these investments quickly without incurring losses. Investors should carefully evaluate the liquidity of their chosen investment vehicles and consider their investment horizon.
  1. Regulatory Risks
High-yield investments can be subject to regulatory changes and legal risks. Government regulations or policy shifts can affect the profitability and viability of certain investments. Staying informed about regulatory developments is crucial for investors in high-yield assets.
Strategies for Identifying Lucrative High-Yield Investment Options
To maximize the chances of success in high-yield investments, it's essential to follow proven strategies:
  1. Conducting Thorough Research and Analysis
Before investing in any high-yield opportunity, it's crucial to research and analyze the investment thoroughly. Evaluate factors such as historical performance, management team, competitive landscape, and industry trends. This information will help you make informed investment decisions.
  1. Assessing Risk-Reward Ratios
Consider the risk-reward ratio of each investment opportunity. Higher returns often come with increased risks. Evaluate the potential rewards against the level of risk you are comfortable with, ensuring alignment with your investment goals.
  1. Diversifying Investment Portfolio
Spreading investments across different asset classes and investment vehicles is a key strategy for mitigating risks. Diversification helps to reduce exposure to any single investment and can enhance the overall stability of your portfolio.
  1. Seeking Expert Advice
Consulting with financial advisors or investment professionals can provide valuable insights and guidance. Their expertise can help you navigate the complexities of high-yield investments and make informed decisions based on your financial goals.
Leveraging Debt in High-Yield Investments
The concept of leveraging involves using borrowed funds to amplify investment returns. When used wisely, leveraging can be an effective strategy to enhance profitability. However, it's crucial to exercise caution and understand the potential risks.
By utilizing debt, investors can increase their purchasing power and access higher-yield investments that would otherwise be out of reach. This strategy can be particularly advantageous when interest rates are low, allowing investors to take advantage of the interest rate differential.
Before leveraging debt, it's essential to calculate the cost of borrowing, including interest rates, fees, and potential risks. Investors must have a robust understanding of their cash flow, repayment capacity, and risk tolerance. Prudent risk management is essential to avoid overextending oneself financially.
Case Studies of Successful High-Yield Investors
To gain insights into the world of high-yield investments, let's explore a few case studies of successful individuals who have capitalized on these opportunities:
  1. John Smith: Real Estate Mogul
John Smith started with a small real estate investment and gradually built a vast portfolio of income-generating properties. By leveraging debt, he was able to acquire multiple properties and benefit from rental income and property appreciation. Smith's success is a testament to the potential of high-yield real estate investments.
  1. Sarah Johnson: Stock Market Investor
Sarah Johnson diligently researches and invests in promising stocks with high growth potential. She focuses on industries she understands and carefully analyzes financial statements, industry trends, and market conditions. By diversifying her portfolio and taking a long-term approach, she has generated substantial returns from high-yield stock investments.
  1. Mark Thompson: Cryptocurrency Enthusiast
Mark Thompson recognized the early potential of cryptocurrencies and invested in several digital assets. Through thorough research and risk management, he identified promising projects and took calculated risks. Thompson's investments in cryptocurrencies have grown significantly, making him a successful high-yield investor.
These case studies highlight the diverse strategies employed by successful high-yield investors. While their approaches may vary, they all share a commitment to research, risk management, and long-term thinking.
Conclusion
High-yield investments offer the potential for substantial returns and can be an effective pathway to wealth creation. However, they come with inherent risks that must be carefully evaluated. By understanding different high-yield investment vehicles, assessing risks, conducting thorough research, and diversifying your portfolio, you can maximize your chances of success.
Remember to leverage debt prudently, considering the cost of borrowing and your risk tolerance. Seek expert advice when needed and stay informed about regulatory changes. High-yield investments require diligence, patience, and a long-term perspective.
Unlock the power of high-yield investments and explore the world of opportunities that can accelerate your path to financial success.
FAQs
  1. Are high-yield investments suitable for everyone? High-yield investments carry higher risks than traditional options, so they may not be suitable for everyone. It's important to assess your risk tolerance and financial goals before investing.
  2. Can high-yield investments guarantee consistent returns? High-yield investments are subject to market fluctuations and other risks. They do not guarantee consistent returns but offer the potential for higher profitability over the long term.
  3. How can I minimize the risks associated with high-yield investments? Diversification, thorough research, and risk assessment are essential for minimizing risks. Consider seeking expert advice and staying updated on market trends.
  4. Should I consider leveraging debt for high-yield investments? Leveraging debt can amplify returns, but it also carries additional risks. It's crucial to calculate the cost of borrowing and assess your financial situation before leveraging debt.
  5. What should I do if a high-yield investment doesn't perform as expected? Investments can be unpredictable, and not all high-yield opportunities will succeed. It's important to review your investment strategy, consult experts if needed, and make adjustments to your portfolio as necessary.
We have dedicated a full video to this topic on our channel, check it out here!!!
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