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These 25 companies donated $13.5 million to anti LGBTQia2s+ politicians
2023.06.07 21:52 Natural-Researcher27 These 25 companies donated $13.5 million to anti LGBTQia2s+ politicians
2023.06.07 16:13 swan0 [Review] Fortress Festival
I went to Fortress Festival in Scarborough this weekend just gone and had a blast. There's some discussion going on here
but I wanted to do a write up specifically for those who couldn't make it. I've included links to respective bandcamp pages and all of the band pictures/videos are mine!
First of all... The Venue
After driving almost five hours to get there and checking into the BNB, walking up to this
was quite an experience. Right on the sea front, Scarborough Spa is made up of multiple rooms. The entire festival took place on one stage in this room
. There was a bar at the end and another in a quiet room downstairs (which also doubled up as a great place to charge your phone). Carling, Madri, Caffreys, Aspalls, and a couple others on draft. Cheapest pints were £5 and there was a lovely Fortress reusable cup
you could get for £3. Made the mistake of doing this straight away on Friday and having to carry it around for the rest of the day. There was also a lovely Fortress ale for this event but it ran out pretty sharpish. Also worth noting that staff were incredibly friendly, from the local security + bar staff to the festival organisers themselves.
The only food on offer were things like sandwiches and pots of salad and pasta behind the bar. I'd heard they wanted food trucks but couldn't get them in due to a wedding going on on the Saturday. Apart from a couple of hours during the wedding, there was a great big balcony
with a fantastic view of the sea
and plenty of places to perch.
Entering the venue was super easy, hand in the paper ticket and receive your wristband. I'd heard of a few people forgetting their ticket but apparently confirmation of purchase was enough to claim your wristband which was nice. IN the entrance foyer there was the Fortress Festival merch stand as well as a few others. One who's name I didn't get were selling tons of pins and patches, then there were records and tapes from Onism Productions
and Dark Earth Records
. If you know any of the other companies there let me know! The band merch was just inside the main room and there was some great stuff on offer. I left with a Nemorous t-shirt and a Panopticon tour t-shirt as well as a copy of Kentucky, which was kindly signed by Austin Lunn after I bumped into him in the crowd. That really made my weekend. The Music Friday
The important bit. Friday kicked off at 2pm with English BM band Andracca
and what an opener it was
. Crowd was disappointingly light for them and I felt a little bad but it was
the very first set of the entire festival. They still earned some new fans, myself included. Great energy and intensity.
Next came another English BM band - Andartar
. Heavier than Andracca but similarly great intensity
. I knew I'd stumbled upon a brilliant festival already at this point. Another pic
. Lighting was great throughout the whole fest.
Slight change of pace next with Devastator
, a black thrash band from Derby. First pit of the weekend starts, even if it only consisted of around 6 people. They got a great reception and put on a good show and their set was 30 minutes, same as the two before.
Then we get to our first jaw drop of the festival. The Sun's Journey Through The Night
. One man band from England recently nominated for Metalhammer's Song of the Week. Incredible performance and highly recommend them. Nice theatrics with the horned skull mask
and just fantastic energy from everyone involved
. I also got a drumstick from them, cheers! Wode
come next. 40 minute set this time. Manchester black/death metal. Loved his vocals
Then we have Finnish pagans Havukruunu
. Setting the 'atmospheric' tone for the rest of the evening with a nice intro. Place was looking full now, though it was amazing how spacey the room felt. Should also note the crowd was really chilled and friendly. Great set
, loved the bassist's bullet crown
Time for the headliners. I say headliners
because they both played for the same amount of time and both felt like they had the right to finish the first day off. So - an hour's set from the magnificent Can Bardd
from Switzerland. Beautiful atmospheric folky black metal
, many people said they were their favourite band of the weekend. Great set and, as you can see
, the place was really alive
. Popped out for a smoke and thought 'what a place
To finish off, Saor
from Scotland. First time hearing electric bagpipes
which was a fun experience. Just like every other one that day it was a brilliant set, the crowd were really into it and I especially enjoyed the flute
(?). Frontman Andy engaged spoke with the crowd a few times. Devastated to find out from someone that he was a Rangers fan but seemed a nice guy. Nice view leaving the spa
. Day 1 over, time for this fucking incredible kebab
. So good.
Made the 30 minute drive to Whitby before the festival kicked off, mostly to see Dracula's gaff
. Impressive place but cost £15 to get in - FYI, you can just walk in through the exit in the gift shop...
Made it back to Scarborough Spa - which was once again looking ravishing
- just in time for the post-black metal openers from Birmingham, Lunar Mercia
, at 12:30. Really nice sound
and lovely vocalist who I'd spoken to the day before.
Next we have Nemorous
. Basically Wodensthrone v2 as it's made up of mostly ex-members. Started amazingly, finished amazingly, but suffered a very unfortunate snapped guitar string in the middle that seemed to take an AGE to restring. The crowd was totally sympathetic but you could feel the frustration from the entire band, I can't imagine how disappointed they were. Think they only managed around four songs but they did a great job and I went and bought a t-shirt afterwards. Visceral vocals and first keyboardist of the festival.
My personal highlight of the weekend came at the end of Nemorous' set. Just before they started I checked in at the Panopticon stand and got myself a copy of Kentucky. £80 on Discogs currently but they were selling them for £35. That alone made me very happy, but, whilst watching Nemorous, I noticed a familiar face. There was Austin Lunn from Panopticon, the reason I bought the ticket to this festival, going ham at the barrier
(the guy with the hair, obviously). Once the set finished he very kindly signed my copy of Kentucky
after I frantically searched for a marker pen and got a photo with him. He stuck around to chat for a few minutes and was one of the nicest musicians I've ever met. So enthusiastic and asking loads of questions. My weekend was made and absolutely nothing could've ruined it at that point.
I missed Wyrdstaef and Glemsel, though I hear both were great, so I could take my merch back to my lodgings before I got stuck into the rest of the day.
After a short break and a few beers I got back in time for Ard
. Described as 'Monastic Northumbrian doom', Ard is the project of Mark Deeks from Winterfylleth. As a one man project he was naturally assisted by the rest of Winterfylleth! This was a real change of pace from the black metal we'd been listening to since early Friday afternoon and he did thank everybody for sticking around for him 'even though there were no blast beats'. Really enjoyable set
, from Scarborough itself, with the drummer being the organiser of the festival, Gary. Really been enjoying their most recent album 'Antediluvian Dreamscapes' and they were a class act
. In case you haven't caught on, everyone at this festival was fucking great. Really loved the vocals here.
Here we have one of my biggest highlights of the weekend and a band I've not stopped listening to since I left Scarborough. Afsky
, from Denmark. They rendered me absolutely speechless. Sure, the wood and the torches and the industrial fan were a nice touch
, but they played with an intensity I hadn't seen to this point. The sound was amazing and the screams were just top drawer
. As you can see in this video, it was way busier on the Saturday
. Room was packed but, like Friday, far from cramped. I've listened to them every day since Saturday and I finished one of their albums on the drive home. It was getting real misty at this point
. Eldritch powers or smoke machine, who can say?
Penultimate act of the day, English black metal darlings Winterfylleth
. Mark Deeks from Ard back behind the keyboard this time. I'm a fan of Winterfylleth and it was my first time seeing them but I wasn't really blown away. They were good, I think I just expected them to be better. Or maybe it was the anticipation of Panopticon around the corner... either way, there was a better pit this time
as well as a few corpse-painted balloons floating around. Very kvlt.
Finally, my time had come. I bought my ticket for Fortress the moment I heard Panopticon were there. One of my favourite black metal bands, with Kentucky being one of my favourite albums of all time. At this point, around 21:30, I hadn't had a pint for about 2 hours to avoid needing a piss and losing my spot at the front. I got right to the barrier, which was insanely easy, and waited it out. Soundcheck took a little while and the whole fest was probably running a solid 15/20 mins behind. Think Austin Lunn spent more time trying to balance his 'Commonwealth of Kentucky' flag on his amp than actually doing the soundcheck, not that I was complaining. And then we were off
. They were fucking amazing in every way
. I was emotional. So much Kentucky material, including the wonderful little folky bits. Austin wasn't satisfied with the sound at the start and kept asking for more guitar, not that it interrupted his flow at all. Though, the string instrument they were using (fiddle? violin? idk) could've definitely been a bit louder. Austin's vocals were fantastic but I was utterly blown away by their keyboardist
, who's name I don't know. Guitar work was fantastic
and at times it sounded just like the studio album.
Austin did an impromptu meet and greet afterwards, just jumped down from the stage and started to chatting to people. Really phenomenal set. Sadly it was the end of the road for me, as I couldn't stay for Sunday's lineup due to work, but I had had an incredible time and finishing with Panopticon was a moment I'll never forget.
I heard Sunday was also good, though I think it would be fair to say the lineup was slightly weaker. Heard great things about Abduction and Cenotaphe, though I've heard a few things about Bolzer having a nightmare with soundchecking (as in it took fucking ages and he had a go at the sound engineer - and someone may have heckled him?) but I can't say much more as I wasn't there. A friend did say they were really good once that got out of the way. Final thoughts Favourite sets
: Panopticon, Afsky, The Suns Journey Through The Night. In that order. Best pint:
Caffreys. What a drink. Don't see much of that down south. Best moment:
meeting Austin Lunn and getting him to sign my Kentucky record. And that kebab.
Fortress is one of the best festivals I've ever been to. Not because it was flashy or had the best lineup or anything like that (though Panopticon puts it up there for me), but just because it was so well organised and chilled. Everyone was super friendly, there was zero hassle, the venue was incredible, and all the bands delivered. They've already confirmed they're going again for 2024 and they're moving to the bigger room at Scarborough Spa which holds 1800 and looks awesome. It's going from 3 days to 2 days (Saturday and Sunday). Here's their Facebook page
and there's a forum
with plenty more pictures and discussion and links to other black metal gigs in the UK, worth joining.
There's nothing new here for people that did go, but I'm hoping it'll be an enjoyable read/watch/listen for some who didn't and it may entice you to buy a ticket for next year. I've got no affiliation with the festival, just a new regular! Thanks for suggesting I do a write up, ScarlyLamorna
. Thanks to anyone who reads my wall of text. I'm not a writer or anything of the sort, this is just some personal musings with some action shots. Also, if anyone went Sunday and wants to add a write up, please do!
Feel free to ask any questions/request any more pics or videos.
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2023.06.07 15:04 Anon_Headspace Family members moving in
😮💨 I need to get it out. And i apologize in advance for this lengthy post. Found out that my gma's caregivers haven't payed their mortgage in over a year. The wife (my aunt) who was supposedly left in charge of the finances, hasn't paid the mortgage, electricity, water, etc. For the last 12 - 18 months. My aunt left about a month ago and they dont know where she is. They had the sheriff come with a letter stating that the house is going up for auction on the 26th of June.
My dad, husband and I are to take time off of work and drive to Oklahoma, pack them up and bring them and their 4 animals here to NC. There is SOOOOOooo much trauma, unhealed emotional abuse all throughout this side of my family. I am silently freaking out, cause this place has finally started to feel like home, after packing up all i owned and moving across the country, a little less than 10 months ago. I have done so much work with my dad, and we have gotten to a good place of understanding and healing. I am scared I am going to start all over again. I know fights will be inevitable, between dad, uncle and gma. They are all very stubborn and prideful. And because my dad has forked out a lot of $$$ to help them, I know that's all gonna come up.
I am trying to be optimistic about the situation. I believe that in the long run this can be beneficial to all of us, but it is going to be a bumpy road. My gma won't have to live in an abusive home and I get to see her everyday!
But the quick change, and all the unknown factors are creating a cloud of distress. 🌩
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to mentalhealth [link] [comments]
2023.06.07 08:04 notsoniave I need to pull the trigger, but I love my life, and my wife.
I’ve been hesitant to post this, but Im a crossroads so here we are. New to reddit, but have found these communities supportive in my lurking thus far. Will likely post this in a few different subs to get the different viewpoints. This will likely be lengthy so I apologize. Going to keep this somewhat vague to avoid ID. Wife and I are more mid to late 30s and both work in the same male-dominated industry. Have two littles, a toddler and one in elementary school. Due to working in this industry, she understandably has a lot of male friends, this has never really been a major issue in the past as I also know most of them. She works a side job that requires travel of 1-2 weeks a few times a year. A few years ago we were having issues and almost split up, this occurred right after and during one of her work trips and my Spidey senses went up about a guy that she works this side job with. I never had any concrete proof but was suspicious, apparently, the guy’s wife was suspicious as well because she called my wife one day to accuse her (I happened to be in the room when she received the call). I also found selfies of this guy in her photo roll. She denied everything. I heavily suspected an EA or possible PA (not sure if logistics of PA would actually be totally feasible at that time) Fast forward, our relationship is generally good, we don’t really fight, but there also is not a lot of passion either. Were kind of stuck in the roommate phase of busy lives and raising kids. Right before one of her work trips last year, she picks a fight over finances. I had run up a little bit of money on a card but nothing ridiculous and it would be paid off shortly. (this is a big deal to her, I’m generally the spender while she’s the saver). I acknowledge the issue and work to resolve it, she is nonetheless upset, but I felt that she made a mountain out of a mole hill. And honestly felt like she was picking a fight before this trip, while on the trip I got some shady behavior from her 0ne night that made me suspicious of her activities, when I brought it up back home she adamantly denied anything and made me the bad guy for accusing. Now for the meat and potatoes. We both end up having to travel for work unexpectedly for about 10 days, (me for my main job, and her for this side job) I left a few days before her, and our trips overlapped. They ended up being in the same area, we were staying about 40 minutes apart but were not able to actually stay at the same place due to work duties. I hadn’t seen her in about 5 or 6 days by the time she got there, things had been going generally well between us. Texting and calling while I was gone and she was home with the kids. The second night she was there I drove over and visited with her for about an hour at night, then did the same a few days later. Then around day 5 or 6 she became noticeably distant, texting and communicating changed drastically. She attributed it to bad wifi and cell signal. My spidey senses immediately went on alert. She was more concerned with getting a work out in after her shift than she was with spending any time with me. I finished my trip a few days before her and headed home, we had a family vacation planned for that week. I got home, spent 1 day with the kids (they were staying with her parents) then got on the road for our trip. I drove 3 days to our destination while she was still on her work trip. She then came home, and the next day flew with the kids to meet me and start our trip. While on our trip everything was generally pleasant. She however was behaving somewhat differently and heavily guarding her phone. (ie refused to plug it into car play to charge etc). She also got an early and unusually heavy period (claimed it was probably early from working out). My Spidey senses were on high alert, she flew home with the kids while I drove the car the 3 days home. We fought one day because I was trying to Facetime her at night and she declined my call, the next day she claimed to be asleep, but on whatsapp it will differentiate between a missed call and a declined call. Once I was home, things were just… off. My Gut was screaming at me. Finally, it got the best of me and I put a VAR in her car. This took a lot on my part because I truly believe in trusting your spouse. Well, low and behold I uncovered a definite EA with someone she met on her work trip who lives in another state. I kept at it for a few days waiting for a smoking gun. In this time I heard hours of their conversations in which she basically talked about how much she can’t stand me and complained heavily about our sex life (or lack there of). Then, a conversation I over heard she is complaing about me trying to initiate sex all the time, and states, “can I just get my period already” They guy then states, “well today is the 1 month anniversary, and you called me about a week later and said you’re not a daddy” They both laughed and she commented on how her period was super early “probably because I fucked with it” to which he replied, “Oh with the altoid?” And she said “yea”. So this was obviously the smoking gun. The two days after I heard this we had several family events planned so I didn’t want to ruin that for the kids, I came up with an exit strategy and was going to give her one chance to come clean or I was going to leave. Well, On night one I got drunk (trying to escape) and apparently started yelling about all this to her. I’m not typically a big drinker or ever get drunk, Im ashamed of this and obviously this hurt my plans, I somewhat remembered the drunk conversation but not all of it. She brought it up the next night and we discussed it, she denied everything. Claimed that he became a good friend to talk to and that nothing ever happened physical. That she just liked talking and venting to him. I’m not sure why, probably as part of the pick me dance I decided to believe her. I’m assuming that after my drunken conversation she called the guy and they got their stories straight. I Made her block him on whatsapp and from calling. I’m confident they’ve been NC. I called the guy and his story pretty much lined up with hers, said that the particular conversation was all just inside jokes, when I asked why the hell he would know when she got her period he said that she shared she was having some medical issue she was concerned with… I feel like I would have know about any medical issue…. As im typing this I realize what a beta simp I’ve become. The first 6 weeks or so after d day were good and the sex got better, I realize now that this was love bombing on her part. I tried to convince her to go to MC but she just swept it under the rug. After about 8 weeks or so we were back to status quo. Its now been some months and a recent tift between us has triggered this all back for me. I think I’m ready to leave, I don’t want to leave, I want it to get better. But I can’t live with someone who is capable of this. Additionally, during this time frame she has had a falling out with a different group of friends, this group of friends has accused her in social circles of previously having an affair (see the first time I was suspicious) and of drunkenly groping a guy on a girls trip. I’m pretty sure I know what the responses here are going to be, but I think I just needed to write this down to validate it. We have two family trips planned in the next 6 weeks. I’m going to tough it out through then so as to not ruin the kids summer break. After that I’m going to start IC. I think I’m ready to walk away, I want to stay in the worst way for my kids sake. And I truly do love her. I feel that she does love me, but clearly is not in love with me. Even if she didn’t have the PA as she claims, I don’ t think I should be with someone that would say the things about me that she did. Again, I know the answer here, I guess I just needed to write it down. It just so hard now, months later because things are generally pretty good, I just can’t get out of my own head. I love my wife and I don't want my kids to come from a broken home. Thanks for listening.
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2023.06.07 05:41 Glad-Bread6203 Ok, seeing a lot of similar resumes and getting asked for help a lot
That being said, here is mine, and I'll explain it as well how you should have your resume. Ok, as I have seen many of you do, don't add skills. They will either ask in the application or in the interview. Don't add school unless you have to fill space and don't have enough work experience. It should always be only one page and font should be similar size as mine so they can read properly. As well, simple information. Not complex, life is simple, they're going to look at it simply, don't overcomplicate. Company, position, limited responsibilities, and time. Professional profile, depends on the job you're applying, change it based on the job. Contact info, I put my address, you don't have to nor should you, and that's basically it. This isn't even all of my work experience, it's just what I could fit on one page. As far as coding experience or jobs, come up with a product, either an app, or a website, or something to show you know what you're doing and you can prove your work. But your product has to work. Make the information simple because they are going to briefly look at it. As well, you can dazzle them in the interview. But as well, in the interview, don't talk too much, just get your points across and get information to them that is key to the role. Also the top blackout is my name. Let me know if you have more questions. As well, best way to get jobs is how you conduct your self over the phone as well as in person. Don't bullshit, get straight to the point, don't be overagressive, but be competent and know what you're doing and what you want. Keep a professional mindset of doing what you came to do and nothing else, but be personable and listen.
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2023.06.07 00:40 Mikemarkle91 Radiator Hose Blown?
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My friend and I were driving a triton V8, 15 passenger van with a trailer running some errands at Home Depot. On the road doing 40, my friend (driving) looks over at me and says, “I’ve got nothing.” He had no power steering, no acceleration or anything. We coast into a parking lot with the engine steaming (not smoking) and pop the hood to hear a hissing sound. We put 2 containers of antifreeze and 1 gallon of water (because we thought we blew a head gasket or something, but the coolant fluid was bone dry.) after the gallon of water, we see this. Not sure if it is a blown radiator hose or something worse. Any advice? submitted by Mikemarkle91 to MechanicAdvice [link] [comments]
2023.06.06 20:01 Otherwise-Category42 Gotta get out of Florida for our mental health - can move anywhere in the US
My girlfriend (27f) and I (31m) are currently living in the panhandle of Florida and have had a rough couple of years, mostly because we hate it here. Luckily we have the opportunity to move in September, so we have decided to jump on the opportunity. We both will be working from home so we can move anywhere. Anyone who is willing to give us advice would be greatly appreciated!
We have only ever lived in Texas and Florida, but we aren’t opposed to trying somewhere with cold winters. We are nature lovers, in Texas we loved living in the Texas hill country with all of the hiking trails and swimming in the rivers. In Florida, we love the ocean, but unfortunately there are just too many negatives to living here. We have lived in both big cities as well as rural areas. At this point in our lives the big cities are too overwhelming for us, so we would prefer more of a small town/community type of living if possible.
Here are the main things we hate about Florida, to understand what we would like to avoid in the future. The tourism is too much, the people are extremely political, and trash is everywhere. Living here through covid was rough, as we were constantly harassed for simple things like wearing masks. Although covid is long behind us now, it left a very bad taste in our mouths, and we still just don’t get along with most people we meet here. Not to mention the nature other than the ocean is very swampy. We’ve gotten to the point that we don’t even go outside much anymore because it’s just not worth the hassle of battling the crowds of tourists or dealing with some of the local people. We used to be super adventurous and were always out and about before we moved here.
I’d also like to elaborate a little on the trash issue. I unfortunately suffer from pretty bad OCD and I’m a bit of a germ-a-phobe. It was never really an issue until we move here, but now it seriously weighing on me. We have found that the amount of litter on the ground in this area of Florida is insane, and seems to be getting worse every year. It covers our beaches, the sides of our roads, our parking lots, even trails in the woods. Some of it is really gross types of trash too, since we moved here there have been 2 incidents where my girlfriend or I accidentally stepped on a used condom, once at the beach and once in a shopping center parking lot. That’s when it really got to me, and now I feel like I can’t even enjoy the outdoors because I’m constantly staring at the ground.
We thought about moving back to Texas where we were happy before. We took a trip there, and found that a ton of people moved there the last few years. In some ways it seemed very different than when we left. We decided that trying something new sounds a lot more exciting.
We have currently been considering trying Colorado because of the beautiful nature and abundance of outdoor activities in the mountains. My girlfriend had family there growing up, and we’ve also been on a trip there so we have some familiarity with it. However, we aren’t sure exactly where in Colorado we should move. If anyone knows of somewhere in Colorado that is outside of the big cities, near or in the mountains, and clean please let us know. Also if anyone could weigh in on the litter situation in different areas of Colorado that would be great (both in the towns/cities and out on the trails).
We are also open to other states as well, most importantly just somewhere clean and surrounded by nature.
Any advice is appreciated! I think moving would be the biggest first step in getting our lives back on track.
Edit: A lot of people asking about our budget and rent/buy, should’ve included that!
We plan to rent for the first year then possibly buy after that. I want to see what happens with the real estate market this next year or so.
In Florida our rent is $2,000 a month, so would like to stay around there. I could go up to maybe $2,500 a month if the place was just perfect, like a small house in some land or something.
Also, my job is very stable so I’m not too concerned with having to find other opportunities, at least not for the immediate future.
And thank you so much for all of the responses so far!
Edit 2: Wow I didn’t expect this much feedback, thanks again everyone! Tonight my gf and I used the tool at wheremightilive.com. The 2 areas that gave us the strongest matches were to the southeast of Salt Lake City, UT, and a few counties in the NC/VA area near the Blue Ridge mountains. Both were mentioned by several of y’all, so y’all give good advice I guess lol. The Colorado areas we’ve discussed were a little lower, but still showed to be decent matches for us.
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2023.06.06 14:24 espressoBump Random questions about Virginia.
My wife and I just took a road trip from MA to NC. We traveled through Winchester, Harrisonburg, Lynchburg, and Danville.
- What kinds of jobs do these people have to afford such beautiful homes in very rural places? Is it an overflow from DC?
- How do they get food?
- Why is VA so clean? Does New England have more impoverished people? Our cities look a little grimier.
Thank you for having a beautiful state. I love cycling there and will continue to do so!
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2023.06.06 06:07 pushedover0323 Love of My Life Had EA and Plans to Leave
My WS (32) is the love of my life–I mean that. As in, I (43) don’t want to try again with anyone else. Not that I could trust another person after what’s happened. I met her nearly eight years ago–three years after I left my first wife, who emotionally abused me for ten years.
When I first met WS she was in a relationship. A few months later, I learned that the relationship had ended, so I asked her out. We moved in together after a year. We had been together nearly three years when we got married.
We moved to a new town for a job (mine) six months before the pandemic began. So…we ended up stuck in a town we didn’t like without any real local support system. Am I a bad person for saying some of the best days of my life occurred during the first two years of the pandemic? Usually, I spend more than two days with a houseguest and I want to run through a wall to escape. And let’s not get into my first marriage. My WS, though, is my favorite person without a doubt. I would easily give my life for hers. I love her. End of. We found ways to enjoy each other’s company, even though we traded depressive episodes and didn’t connect as much physically as a result.
But, you know, the internet can be a good place to meet people when the people in your area aren’t your cup of tea. Of course, you can spend too much time tapping away on your phone. Especially when you have ADHD, which you were just recently diagnosed with.
When my WS started disappearing into her phone more and more, I said something…quite frequently, to varying degrees of success. But she had found herself a good friend, and I tried not to be jealous. But the friend is not the AP…the friend of the friend is.
He befriended both of us. But by February of this year, WS and AP were more than friends. Now, I saw one discord message pop up on the PC one day that gave me pause, but I dismissed it because I, someone with severe trust and abandonment issues, trusted my WS. Whoops.
A bunch of people in our little friend group were planning on meeting up in early May. In early March, my WS told me that she had “had offers” from a couple of people. No, we aren’t in an open marriage. Yes, we had discussed the possibility of it in the future–but never concretely. The offers were from the friend and the friend of the friend. What gets me is that my WS told me like it was an everyday conversation topic.
So my WS eventually “realized” she had had an EA for at least a month. We went to CT. She went NC with the AP. Three weeks into NC, the fog lifted and she was pretty tortured by the shame. I insisted she start IC because shame is a nasty thing to carry around. Meanwhile, we’re talking boundaries, problems with the relationship that went unsaid, how to open the relationship, renegotiating where we would move etc. Now, in the end, I would have agreed to anything.
Two weeks later, friend group trip upcoming, the AP broke NC. Poor pitiful him…he’s so lonely and doesn’t know if he should come on the trip. My WS had an IC appointment two hours later. According to WS, they’ve been talking about her avoidant attachment style, childhood trauma, and begin “good selfish.” (Second full session, mind you). 1.5 hours later and she said she wanted our relationship to end.
The next week, we went on the friend trip. I stayed one night and had to leave because I just couldn’t be there. The result? WS and AP had two days together. They spent most of their time together but allegedly did not sleep together. FWIW, I’m still more inclined to believe that than not.
After the trip, my WS went to stay with her friend (who lives with her parents) for three weeks. She had a great time and got to visit her AP at least once. Meanwhile, I was home going through hell. When she got home from “getting space,” there was obviously no change in her decision. She’s moving up to where friend and AP are as soon as she can find a job.
WS and AP are “just friends” now. Not that it matters, she says, because our relationship is over. She feels bad that I hurt and “takes responsibility” for it, but won’t do anything tangible because–again–to her, the relationship is over. WS and AP are always chatting on discord, one on one or in group chats that I’m not a part of. I’m pretty sure they talk on the phone nearly every day.
Some other things: AP is allegedly in an open marriage of some sort. WS cannot verify any of the particulars with me and doesn’t think that’s a problem. (I’m working on finding a way to contact AP’s spouse.) However, from another friend, I know that AP has had at least one EA prior (about five years ago)–and it definitely happened before the opening of his marriage. I have shared this fact with my WS. Doesn’t appear to matter.
We are dumping the CT at my decision because they’re useless. I have been seeing an IC as well. They are pretty solidly of the belief that a) I’m not crazy and b) my WS won’t be out of the fog for about six months. They say six months because their theory is that the limerence likely rests more with the AP, and that’s about the amount of time it will take this serial cheating scumbag to move on.
Meanwhile, I’m simultaneously suicidal and trying to find a new job in a place that I want to move to. A place we wanted to move to prior to the EA, actually. Who will get a new job and move on first is anyone’s guess. I can afford to live here on my own if I have to, but she cannot.
I know our first relationship is toast, but I still believe in her. For better or for worse. I’m doing my best to hang in, knowing nothing I say or do will make a difference with my WS right now. And, yes, she’s getting all the cake. I can’t be distant–it will not happen. It isn’t me, and I can’t/won’t do it.
So, yeah, I know I’m SOL. For now or for always–we’ll see. I am doing my best to work for R, be it now or down the road. I’m also hoping I’ll be able to forgive by the time she figures out what she’s done. Or, at the very least, I’ll find out what all the times she said she’d love me forever and never leave me no matter what really meant. In the meantime, I could really use some support. Thanks in advance.
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2023.06.05 20:55 StinkoModeeTrucker Rating each city/area I've been to
Sandusky OH 10/10 I know Sandusky is not a major city but it's my favorite place in Ohio and I have lots of great memories here, some cool lighthouses and obviously cedar point
Beaufort NC 10/10 again another water front smaller area, lots of fun things to do and made many memories here over thr last 12 years I've been going there, lots of cool shops as well.
Traverse city MI 10/10 Ohioans all hate Michigan and vise versa but yet again another water front area with lots of fun things to do.
Chagrin Falls OH 10/10 This place is really awesome, everything is walkable here theres shops and restaurants everywhere and also The creator of Calvin and Hobbles based it on this town.
Cincinnati OH 9/10 Cincinnati is the best of the 3 C's in my personal opinion, lots of preserved historical areas, Cincinnati tops Columbus in mostly everything according to US N&WR, I will probably move here to go to collage in around 2 years
Pittsburgh 9/10 Downtown Pittsburgh is a very fun experience and it's very walkable, the water front is really great as well, I haven't been here in around 5 years but I enjoyed it.
Charlotte NC 7.5/10 I never really got to explore Charlotte but the part I went to was pretty nice but legit kinda boring, the reason i felt it was boring is because there is not much real culture left in Charlotte, its all been taken over by nissan altimas with dented bumpers. there is some high crime rates in Charlotte but the majority of it was alright. it's a pretty good place overall but I wish it had some of its original culture left.
Columbus OH 7/10 Columbus is the most midwest feeling city in Ohio, everyone moves to Columbus for work and collage mostly and that's why personally think it's the most boring of the 3 C's, there is some cool neighborhoods like German village that are similar to Cincinnatis historical homes. But theres 100s of new genfrcation building that dont have the same downtown feel as it should. Basically when people think Ohio they think Columbus.There is a new Intel plant being built in Columbus which will bring some more money to the states economy.
Richmond VA 7/10 I haven't explored Virginia as much but I have been to Richmond, it was a pretty good place. Richmond has excellent food and some cool historical homes. Outside of the city is just your basic american metropolitan area but overall it's alright.
Akron OH 7/10 My hometown and current place of living, there has been a lot of improvement over the past 10 years to akron and there is lots planned for the next coming 5 years. Akron has the beat metro parks in the state and also has The CVNP starting at merriman Valley. Our downtown is pretty small but very walkable and there restaurants and bars everywhere, what we need downtown is more stores but the main income goes to The restaurants downtown. We also have lots and lots of old homes, my personal favorite style is the tutor style house. All down portage path and merriman road are all all historical homes. The worst parts of Akron (east side) are basically the average neighborhood in Cleveland which I why I think akron Is 100% a better place than Cleveland. Basically if you got rid of the shitty cleveland like east side it would give akron a giant boost.
Winston salem NC 7/10 This city reminded me of akron a lot, the metropolitan size of it is basically the same, the downtown isn't as fun in my opinion but Akrons isn't all that either. I stayed in the worst area to stay at in winston salem tho (hanes mall) but I wad only there at night so it wasn't all day. If I where to move somewhere out of state it might be here just because I got used to it so easily and have family close in SC. Pilot mountain is also worth visiting and has some great hikes and views, you can see the phallic building of WS from the peak lmao.
Norfolk VA 6.5/10 the area we stayed at here was legit pretty dangerous, my grandma booked a hotel in the shittiest neighborhood at a days inn, but I still am a huge fan of naval shit so this place was awesome. There's tons of boating stuff to do here and some really cool miltary equipment to look at. Honestly if we didn't stay in the worst part of this place it probably would of gotten a 7 but maybe I should try it out again.
The rest will be posted later after this
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2023.06.05 18:13 JGRFan11181920 UPDATE: Thomas Hatcher, front tire changer on the No. 43 team who was injured on pit road in yesterday’s @NASCAR Cup Series race, was treated and released from St. Louis University Hospital last night. We are relieved he is resting and recovering at home in NC.
2023.06.05 15:38 Guilty_Chemistry9337 File 001- The Burnt Figure
On the morning of December 8th, 1941, enlistment offices all across the United States began to be filled by young men eager to enact revenge for what the Empire of Japan had done at Pearl Harbor. The offices would stay busy for a long, long time. It was a dangerous job, with life and limb at serious risk, and many more young men would join the Army and Navy by conscription. Lesser celebrated, and likely they’d have it no other way, were whole second armies of support personnel. These would be nurses, middle-aged clerks too old and or fat to fight, surveyors, engineers, and merchant sailors.
Some would be spies or intelligence men working for the Office of Strategic Services. Others were mysterious ne’er-do-wells, scoundrels who were very good at the procurement of various goods. Some would be anthropologists and translators, eager to help obscure native communities deal with the technologically advanced war tearing the island worlds asunder. Some would be entertainers for the USO, there to help with morale, doing what they were best at, whether it was telling jokes or dancing beautifully. Others might be war correspondents, to communicate, in a highly censored way, what was going on to the folks back home. Then there were the bean counters. Everybody overlooked the bean counters.
Many of the combat veterans, and even some of the non-combat personnel, would never make it home again. Others made it home, but only after being maimed and scarred in body and mind. Yet most would make it home. All of them would have stories to tell, though many would never tell their stories. There was a culture of silence during the war, ‘loose lips sink ships.’ It wasn’t just a catchy phrase, people took it to heart. It became a habit. Even long after the war was over people kept their lips zipped shut.
And yet, there were still millions and millions of stories, and some of them would be recorded. They might be memoirs committed to paper years later. Then again, many of these people kept diaries. They would write home every chance they get. Officers as a regular part of their duties were constantly writing up reports. Every single one would end up being read by someone, somewhere, and passed up the chain depending on its importance, or filed away if the chain ended there. With every battle won or lost, extensive analyses were conducted on what went right and what went wrong, and how we could do better. Actions of bravery were written up for recommendations for medals or promotions. Every serious infraction meant a court-martial, and court martials left transcripts. Bitter denouements and protests were written when it was felt officers weren’t living up to their duties, and in these cases, the lips were zipped especially tight, but the reports themselves were poured over. Every location where the U.S. went, whether it was the location of a battleground, a ranging area for artillery, site for a depot, or a road used to transport was thoroughly mapped and described in detail.
Then there were the bean counters. How many 20 mm shells does it take, on average, to knock down a Val dive bomber? How many pints of A-positive blood should be stocked in a forward field hospital? How many gallons of ice cream are needed to keep a company of Marines in good fighting spirit? The bean counters might not know, but they recorded everything down just in case you wanted to sift through the data, and a lot of people did. The data would end up having a massive contribution to the war effort.
Last were two groups of material that were never meant to see the light of day. The sort of thing that ought to be recorded, but then hidden away only for the purview of top men. The first is information you might expect would cause classification or a cover-up. Disastrous friendly fire incidents. Accusations and or confessions of war crimes. State secrets involving intelligence on enemies and allies both.
Then there’s the other tranche of material. The stuff that defies explanation. Secrets from the hidden corners of the earth that were never meant to be revealed until some young farmboys from a country far away showed up in places where they were never supposed to be.
The following provides an example.
Excerpts from the personal diary of Second Lieutenant Yvette Morgan, Army Nursing Corps, 231st Hospital Group, Normandy region of France, July and August 1944. Aged 20 at the time of writing.
Note: Most American personnel in WWII were restricted from keeping personal diaries for counterintelligence purposes. It was not uncommon that this restriction was flaunted, particularly among personnel with the luxury of a little bit of privacy. Lt. Morgan seems to have understood the purpose of the restriction, and so the redactions in the following excerpts are her own. A careful eye will note she’s made a couple of errors, which is why censorship should be left to the professionals.
July 30th, 1944- Just got off the truck and finally made it back ‘home.’ Just spent all ‘day,’ helping set up the field hospital. We’ve commandeered a high school in the little town of St. A. I think it’s going to work out pretty well. There’s a gym with a tall ceiling and high windows, which means good natural lighting, so we’re setting that up as an operating room. We’ve got about six beds in each classroom, which is just about the number you’d like. The corridors are nice and wide enough to handle gurneys, and there’s plenty of room out front for the ambulances. I don’t think we could have found a better location outside of a purpose-built actual hospital.
The real work starts tomorrow. Well, today, I guess. They ought to be taking patients right about the time I’m writing this. I drew the short stick, and now I’m stuck with the overnight shift. That’s my luck for you. Back home that would have meant at least it would be pretty quiet, but I don’t think that’s going to apply to this kind of duty.
“Home” is actually this nice little old cottage they’ve set me up with, and four other girls. It’s in the tiny commune of L. It’s actually about ten miles from the hospital, not far from the sea. Every shift they’re going to drive us back and forth in these trucks. Seems like an awful waste of gasoline to me, but what do I know? The whole reason they’re doing this is because the hospital’s technically in range of German artillery, and they like to keep staff like us out of harm's way when we’re not needed. I suppose we won’t be in range much longer anyway. That said, Capt. G says the front line’s been stalled out for a while. He says it’s slow going with all these enormous hedgerows they grow everyplace around here. I never knew they could grow so big, they must be hundreds of years old. I thought the poplar windbreaks they started growing back home after the Dust Bowl were impressive, but they’ve got nothing on these things. We can still hear the guns, though. They’re a long way off, and kind of sound like thunder, though you can tell they’re not because the sky is perfectly clear. At least, I hope, they’re mostly our guns.
The morning’s still a little chilly, but it promises to be a warm day. I’m going to have to get used to sleeping through it. After long last summer is really here. The cottage itself is lovely. I can’t help but wonder about the people who really make this home. There’s a delightful flower garden in front and just the most precious herb garden right outside the kitchen window. When I get married and we have a home, I’m going to insist on one just like it.
The other girls? Well, what can I say. 5 of us all sharing this little place, at least we’ll be working different shifts mostly. I’m sure we’ll get by swimmingly.
July 31st- Just got back and finished breakfast for dinner. Part of me still wishes I were at work. If I were at a civilian hospital I still would be. Funny how the military insists on sticking to the scheduled shift and they order me to go home and get some sleep. I might get used to such regimentation.
I say this as if I’m not completely exhausted and overwhelmed. I’m sure I’ll sleep tonight. Today, whatever. As I’d suspected, we had our first wounded in during the morning shift. Most of them had been through the Mobile Advanced hospital and had been at least looked over by a doctor. Plenty had already gone through an initial surgery, just to stabilize them, close gaping wounds, and tie off arteries. It was really crude stuff, but I suppose that’s the point. Our doctors opened them back up and fixed them up properly. There were a few walking wounded, shrapnel wounds, and nasty burns we were able to help out too. I feel glad to be part of such a great team. I spent the first half of my shift assisting in two different surgeries. Then the last half attending the wards.
I had hoped that would be more peaceful. Our boys are so brave, even when you can tell they’re really broken up over what they’ve been through. And yet it wasn’t meant to be.
I mentioned that St. A.’s was within range of German artillery. Well, there was an attack last night, early this morning, I’m still not used to the schedule. They didn’t hit the hospital. They hit the other side of town. It was loud enough to shake all of the windows, and even the ground shook. It scared the daylights out of me. Some of the boys yelled too. A couple of them fell out of their beds and tried to hide underneath. I can’t imagine what it would be like to go through that a second time, let alone time after time, day after day like our boys.
I was just starting to get things settled down and everything squared. Then there was commotion. A bunch of orderlies, then nurses, then doctors running around the front main hall. We were expecting wounded. They’d hit an old medieval church on the other side of town. The Church of Saint Adalthred. There had been a platoon of soldiers sleeping there. Now they were bringing the survivors in.
I had never done triage before, though I remembered my training. You divide the patients into three groups. The group that needs surgery absolutely immediately if they’re going to live. The group that can wait for surgery. And then there’s the group that will die regardless.
There were two young men that were in the last group. The first had a massive open head wound. The strange thing was he was perfectly conscious and capable of speaking, despite the injury. There was just nothing that we could do for him. He was alert for about an hour, and then he simply passed away. Is it horrible to think that was something of a mercy?
The other suffered terrible burns, and apparently some of the blast as well. After the triage, I was assigned to care for him. The doctor had estimated over 90 percent of his body suffered burns in the third degree. The kind of amount that really makes you question your faith. I’ve seen burn patients, but not when they get first arrive like this. His eyes and ears were gone. A strange thing was, he wasn’t screaming like we’d expect burn patients to do. The doctor said his vocal cords were burnt out, but his lungs were relatively free of smoke damage, and he didn’t have that horrible cough. The doctor said it was like “he’d inhaled flame.” He was simply silent. He’s not expected to last the night. Day, I mean. I suppose I won’t see him again. I suppose that’s mercy too.
I mentioned yesterday that I think a school building serves as a fine hospital in a pinch. I’m not sure about that anymore. It’s the ventilation. There isn’t any in the school. Fumes from the ether linger everywhere. So does the stink of infection, no matter how much we fight it. And that last patient. It was like he was roasted. Literally. I thought I’d be sick.
August 1st- The truck ride back is starting to become my favorite part of the day. This one was a long one, despite being the exact same length as all the other shifts. We’re really packed now. The minute we get one patient ready for transport back to England, another takes his bed. They say the war might be over before Christmas. I hope. Don’t know how I’ll be able to keep up this pace for so long.
The little old priest whose church got blown up by the Germans came around to volunteer at the hospital. Poor old thing has nowhere else to go. He’s helping us roll bandages, working the autoclaves, and helping the chaplain out with the prayers. He seems to be helping with morale, god bless him. Particularly the chaplain’s. The priest doesn’t speak English and the chaplain doesn’t speak French, but they both speak Latin well enough to get by. I’ve never heard it spoken before. I grew up Lutheran, and it seems so strange. I’m a long way from home.
The burn patient is still alive. I was really surprised when I got in and found out. Apparently so are the doctors. Of course, I’m attending him again and was asked to change his bandages. Most of the rest of his skin that hadn’t already sloughed off last night did so while I was changing them. I didn’t see any sign of infection yet, though of course, we all know what’s coming. Other than that there wasn’t much I can do. He’s started letting off this low moan. The doctor said he was not really conscious. I can’t imagine he would be, he’s still getting so much morphine.
He was already bleeding through before my shift ended, so I thought I’d do the next shift a favor and take care of it a second time on the same shift. This time the doctor had me place his arms over his chest and belly, and bandage them all together. Also, he had me bandage his legs together. The doctor said that if there’s a miracle and somehow he manages to pull through, it will be because he somehow beat the infection. And if he’s going to have any chance at all then we’ll need to minimize his contact with bandages until can receive grafts. When I was done he ended up looking like a mummy, right out of the pictures. I don’t think it will matter much, and neither does the doctor. But we have to keep trying.
August 2nd- Just got back. The burn victim is still alive. It’s so strange. It’s all I can think about now. When I first got in I went straight to his room. I was absolutely shocked, it was gruesome. His bandages were positively soaked through. There was more red than white. I was just about to chew out the girl on the shift before me. I thought that nobody had changed the bandages since my last shift, but then she told me that she’d just changed them two hours previously. I couldn’t make head or tales of it. So I just got to work changing them myself. It felt so odd, the way the other patients in the room were looking at us. Like they knew there was something off about the whole thing. The patient’s moaning is getting louder too. It must be so unnerving to the others sharing the room.
Then, of all things, Maj. P and Col. S came in to observe. I haven’t seen either of them since we started setting up the hospital. They don’t usually stay up so late. They were washed up and decided to help me bandage the patient. As if they weren’t just there to observe me, but wanted to be a part of it too.
Sure enough, after only a couple of hours, the bandages were soaked through again. I’ve never seen such terribly bleeding. I asked the doctor if it could have possibly been hemophilia. It’s something I’ve only heard about but haven’t seen. He only shook his head like he was sure that it wasn’t. Yet he also looked even more confused than I was. We’ve been giving the patient transfusions. But at this rate, I just don’t know where it’s all coming from.
I know I shouldn’t be writing this sort of thing down, but the doctor confided that he’s thinking of reducing the morphine, maybe the patient will be more lucid. I don’t know how the doctor expects him to communicate with his vocal cords destroyed, or what he could possibly have to say even if he could talk. Well, it’s not my place to decide. I think he knows more about what’s happening to the poor man than I do.
It was all just blood too. In the bandages. No pus at all. I don’t know how he’s not becoming infected.
August 3rd- There’s a great deal of strangeness happening at the hospital. I saw the General’s staff car the moment our truck pulled around to drop us off, the little flags on the front gave it away.. Instead of starting my shift, they asked me to come back to Col. S’s office. My first thought was that I was in trouble, and they’d somehow find this diary. Both Maj. P and Col. S. were there, along with Gen C. who’d driven down from Corps HQ with a couple of his staff. There were also two men from what might have been regular Army, except they wore two long dark coats. I didn’t get their names.
Apparently, they’d all been there for hours and were wanting to debrief me. Well, it sure was intimidating, but they just wanted me to tell them what I’d seen. Fair enough. The patient was burned all over his body. He probably should have died the first night but hasn’t. There’s an awful amount of bleeding which I can’t account for. There’s also no pus or smell of infection, which also didn’t make sense. I told them about how he’s been given large amounts of morphine, though I didn’t say what Cap. H had said about reducing it. No, he had never been capable of speaking since brought in. No, he hadn’t been wearing his dog tags, but between the blast, and the length of time he’d been burning, he must have stripped everything off. Surely they were back in the rubble of that church. Then they thanked me and told me I could go back to work.
Well, I’d just about had it. I stood up and demanded that if they knew something about my patient that they weren’t telling me and that if they did I could take better care of him, well then they had better tell me. I think I even swore though I didn’t mean to. Maj. P almost laughed and Col. S just gave me that stupid patronizing smile. Told me I was already doing everything that I could, and that they were proud of me. He’s a good man, but I’m getting really sick of this Army “that’s on a need-to-know basis” crap.
Rest of the shift was just the usual. Strange how it's become the norm now. No, there was something else. The burn patient was in his room by himself. They’d moved the other beds out. They didn’t tell me why. Probably because his moan’s getting worse. And raspier. I still don’t think he’s out of the morphine stupor though.
Alright, it’s later the same day, the second. I’ve just woken up and had a serious chat with Kathy, the nurse from the second shift, and she’s had a lot to talk about. Rumors are swirling. I don’t know how much of this is true. My gut instinct? It’s all true.
Those men in the long coats? The rumor is they were Army Intelligence. That didn’t make a lick of sense to me at first, but then it started to come together. It turns out there were supposed to be 30 men, including the C.O., in that church that night it got shelled. Nobody else. Except when they added up all the survivors (who’ve moved on to the front), all the wounded that were taken to our hospital, and those who died, which took a while to count, then it all added up to 31 men. So somebody was there who wasn’t supposed to be there, and nobody knows who it is. They think they’ve got all of the dog tags accounted for, which might have been why they asked me about it when I came in later that night. And the one person they can’t account for seems to be the burn victim.
So they didn’t know who it was. Nobody from the St. A.’s was missing. None of the French Resistance were around that night (apparently Intelligence asked them? How else would they know?). So it's really suspicious and they were worried he might be some kind of spy or infiltrator. They still don’t even know why that church was shelled in the first place.
So they started asking questions of that poor old priest who’s been volunteering. We know because they let the chaplain sit in with him, but it seems both of the intelligence guys spoke fluent French. They asked him if there were any kind of acolyte or initiate or whatever sort of junior clergy he might have could have been there. He said no, and anybody who might have was accounted for and healthy. He asked if there was anything valuable that could have been stolen, or maybe he feared could be looted (would our boys do that?). Well, he didn’t think so. There was the holy font, which was an antique, but there were many like it and it was hardly easy to move. There was the Bible at the altar. It was very old and had great sentimental value, but again it would have no value to thieves. There was the tomb of St. Adalthred himself, which was priceless to his community but was a part of the church itself. Why the church had been built in the first place. Impossible to steal.
Then they asked the priest to come and view the patient. Perhaps seeing his proportions, perhaps it might have helped him recollect a similar person he’d seen lately. I understand why they did it. He, the burn victim, does seem shorter than any soldier I’ve met, skinner too. I wish they hadn’t, though. The chaplain said the priest had cried over seeing all those bloody bandages. There wasn’t a point, because the priest said he didn’t recognize him. The strange thing was, the chaplain had said that the priest's behavior seemed really strange. Like they got the really strong sense that the priest was being cagey, and lying to them. Not that he recognized the figure per se, but that he was thinking of something that he wasn’t telling them. He also insisted on saying a prayer over the burnt figure before he left, and they let him.
When I asked why they’d moved all the other beds in the room, Kathy said a little while after the priest had left the burn victim had started screaming, really bad. The other patients asked if they could leave the room, and because of the mystery, Col. S. agreed to it so they could isolate the burnt man. He was only calmer when I arrived later because they’d given him more morphine. When Kathy told me how much my jaw hit the floor. That part has to be baseless rumor.
August 8- I’m back in England. I’ve been too worked up to write, and worried, of course. After it happened, they put me in a truck, drove me to L. to pick up my things, and then I was on a Skytrain back to Cornwall. I guess we stopped at the cottage as a courtesy, it was on the way to the airfield. I was worried they’d find this diary, but they never searched. I don’t think they know what to do with me. I’m not sure what they should do either. They might just send me home, I suppose. I wouldn’t protest that. I just want to get on with things.
So. That night. The 4th.
I’ll start when I get off the truck. That moment when you hit the ground after jumping out of the bed is so sharp like it just sets your whole day. Like a starter pistol at a race. Something about it seemed off just as I was walking towards the door. Now I get in, and the front gallery, ever since that night of the triage, is a pretty empty place. But somebody was waiting for me, and it was Col. S. He came right up to me the moment he saw me. What an upside-down experience.
He starts leading me down the side hall, towards the back of the hospital/school where his office was. So of course I expected he needed to talk to me about something in his office. Only it turned out it wasn’t his office anymore. I thought something was off when I saw two armed guards on either side of the door to his often. Almost as soon, I heard the screaming.
I have just enough time to puzzle together what’s happened when Col. S walks right in, me in tow. They’d moved the burn patient to Col. S’s office, and he’d cleared out. The reason was obvious. The patient was screaming. Really, really loud. It hurt my ears in such a small office. The office was as about as far removed from the rest of the patients as they could move him. His bandages were soaked through, totally bright red. Jet red? Is jet red a thing? If you saw him, you’d say it was. It looked like they had been in the middle of starting to change his bandages, or just about to finish. Because there were parts of his flesh that were exposed. I didn’t realize it at first, and could only tell because of the texture.
I was just staring at him for a while. Jaw wide open. Then I looked at Col. S. He had been watching my reaction. He had such a sympathetic look. I asked him “How long has he been like this?”
“For hours,” he said. Like he was apologizing.
“How much morphine did you give him?” I asked. He was a doctor in his own right, of course. He didn’t get a chance to perform much surgery now that he’s the administrator, but I don’t think that ever leaves you.
He looked like he was about to cry.
“Lethal?” I asked.
“More,” he whispered.
We stood there silent for a few moments. Then he explained the situation. The only people allowed in the room would be doctors. Myself, and he explained I was the nurse with the most experience with him, and that I was the one he trusted the most. I’d have no other duties this shift. The chaplain was allowed in, and the priest. Also, the two guards out front, and that was it. He told me “The men from intel will be back, and a couple of spooks. We’ll figure it out then.” I had no idea what he meant by that, but I just nodded.
Well, the chaplain was there, though he looked a total mess. And it turned out the priest had stayed late but had gone home, exhausted.
So I did my duties. Changed bandages. Changed IV bottles. There were two chairs in the room, one for me and one for the chaplain. With only the one patient sometimes I’d wait. We couldn’t really chat. The screaming was too loud. I don’t think either of us got used to it.
I suppose it was about 3 AM. Mom used to call that the witching hour. Around three it started to change. The screaming that is, the cadence of it. Is that the right word? He started screaming words. Very garbled, but words. That was when I remembered the doctor had said his vocal cords had been destroyed. Had he been wrong? It had to be. Both I and the chaplain were standing over him then. The chaplain whispering prayers. Sometimes we’d look at each other like maybe the other knew what was happening. There were no answers.
The words started getting clearer. Not that we understood them, but they kind of sounded like they were French. Both I and the chaplain thought he, the patient, was becoming lucid. The chaplain opened up the door and told the guards to get the colonel, also to send somebody to find the priest. I suppose anybody could have translated, or so I thought at the time, but getting the priest sounded right.
Well, the colonel wasn’t in, but Maj. P. was. He spoke a little French, but he couldn’t understand the words. I’m still glad he was there. As a witness. I’m glad me and the chaplain weren’t the only ones. It was like the patient was chanting.
It was, maybe ten minutes after the major arrived. The screaming just stopped. No words. Just heavy breathing. Hyperventilating maybe. It occurred to me then that the bandages had become soaked through again. I’d been there the whole time. Watching. Only now had I noticed. He was glistening. The bedding was bloody too, of course. It was everywhere. And then…
Then it happened.
I had been facing another direction. But there was a sound. Like a massive, loud inhalation of are. There was this bright light, like when a lightbulb is about to short out. Except I felt the heat, and I turned. The patient had burst into flames.
I screamed. I think the chaplain and major did too. The two guards ran in. Maybe they sent somebody else to fetch the priest. They just yelled and weren’t able to do anything else. In a normal circumstance, I think somebody would have fetched an extinguisher. Except the patient suddenly sat straight up in his bed. We were positively paralyzed. He was screaming again, and all we could do is watch. His bandages and bedding all burned away. Only then he stopped.
There was this man before us. He had no skin. No eyes. Glistening red, and patches of black where the ash still clung to him. He looked at us. Looked at me. There were two black holes in his face, above the hole for his nose, and his mouth, lips burned away and teeth missing. But the holes for his eyes… I could feel him looking at me despite having no eyes.
Then he spoke. It was French again, at least I thought. I couldn’t understand it. Full sentences. Raspy, but clear. No sign of pain or duress. Yet it was authoritative like he was in full command of his faculties.
I don’t think it lasted long before the priest came rushing in. The priest said something like “sortie” and then the Major told us to get out, the chaplain and I.
We did and closed the door behind us. The two guards were further down the hall, clearly rattled.
We could hear the priest and the burned man talking. Clearly, through the door. The burned man was distinguishable by the rasp in his voice, the commanding tone. Yet as we listened, there was something off. The burned man’s French was different than the priest’s French. It was like they didn’t understand each other. It was like they were speaking two different dialects, and I didn’t realize until I heard them both being spoken next to each other.
There was a pause of silence. And then the priest started speaking in Latin. I saw a look of relief on the chaplain’s face when the burned man responded, also in Latin.
The two spoke, the burned man and the priest. They went on and on, me not understanding any of it. The burned man seemed to calm, the priest becoming more anxious as they went. Then I turned to the chaplain again. His attention was totally focused on the closed door, but he was listening to the priest and the burned man talk.
He was shaking, and pale as a ghost. I’ve seen men shake. I’ve seen them shake from the effects of blood loss and shock. I’ve seen them shake because they’ve been mad from war. I’ve seen them shake from hypothermia and hypoglycemia and drug overdoses. I’ve seen no end of fear in their eyes. Fear as they’re going under anesthesia, or having their limbs removed, or knowing they’re about to die from their wounds.
I’ve never seen a man so afraid or shaken than that chaplain on that night. And all because he was able to follow that conversation in Latin.
The door suddenly opened. The priest waved us aside, looking more determined than I’d ever seen him. We pressed ourselves against the wall to get out of the way. The burned man followed him. Silent. Walking. We watched them walk down the hallway. The guards turned and fled. Then the priest and the burnt figure turned the corner, and that was the last that I saw of them.
I remember looking back into the room and seeing the Major, slumped in a chair, hands covered his face. The smoke from the burning bandages and bedding still hung in the air, sweet and strong and foul due to the lack of ventilation.
The two men in the long coats showed up. There were also a couple of men in suits. Civilians, I guess. They sort of took charge. Then they just put me on a truck, didn’t even ask me any questions.
And that’s what happened.
I’ve been on this base for a couple of days. They seem to be giving me a lot of freedom, they let me go into town yesterday. I went to a library. It wasn’t a very big one, but I guess it didn’t need to be. I found a hagiography. Or, I guess, a sort of encyclopedia on the subject of saints.
There was a very small entry on the subject of Saint Adalthred. Very little was known about him. He’d been a saint in early medieval France. He’d preached to royalty. The Marrowvingians I think it said, I don’t know what that is. Like all saints, he’d performed three miracles. Like all saints, he’d been martyred. He’d been burned at the stake. His last miracle had been his own resurrection.
I don’t know what to do with this diary. I never should have started it, and yet I think it’s important that I did. I think I’m going to turn myself in and give it to them. I suppose they’ll court-martial me over it, send me home. I don’t want to go home, but maybe I deserve it. At any rate, clearly, there are higher powers than me at work here.
All of the documentation by the U.S. during the war was massive. All of the officers, nurses, spies, bean counters, and everybody else contributed to the pile. This was long before the digital age, or even microfiche, so the sheer scale of the paperwork is hardly conceivable. It could have been measured by the cargo holds of liberty ships.
After the war, the Army and Navy needed someplace to store it all. Any of it could have had unforeseen value, and destroying it was never an option. In 1951, with the Korean War raging and threatening to exacerbate the document problem, the Department of Defense decided to build a massive new warehouse archive to store it all. In 1956, the Military Personnel Records Center was finished. Ostensibly the archive was meant to store personnel records, but the military being the military, and the warehouse being of such a huge scale, it housed other records as well. Records such as the nurse’s diary, records of things unnatural. Supernatural. Only to be seen by top men.
One of the items discussed during the facility’s construction was the inclusion of a sprinkler fire prevention system. There was a concern that such a system could leak, and cause water damage to all the important documents. So the archive was built without one.
In 1973 the building burned down, taking millions of documents with it. The cause was never officially determined. At the time, and for many years after, the biggest problem was the bureaucratic nightmare it caused for millions of veterans and collecting the benefits they were entitled to.
To a very small community, namely us, the damage was a travesty. That’s the purpose of this project. To retrieve the documentation, study, and catalog it, this entry is only the first example. Naturally, the question arises- how do we retrieve these files if they were all destroyed in the fire? Well, that’s on a need-to-know basis, Lieutenant, and you don’t need to know.
Author's Notes: The War Files is meant to be an on-going series of horror stories set in and around WWII, and the very real Archive Fire. Maybe it would make a good podcast? This was sort of a pilot episode and thought it would fit the theme of this month's event. If you liked the story and want to read more, I'll probably post them either to my subreddit EBDavis
or my substack ebdavis.substack.com
submitted by Guilty_Chemistry9337
to Odd_directions [link] [comments]
2023.06.05 14:17 northshore21 Looking for the best compromise for two people opposite tastes
Any suggestions are appreciated!
We're in our 50s, kids are adults with their own cars. My husband would like to see me in a "nice car" but I'm looking for something he'd be happy with too. He likes cars with power (V8s); he's a big/tall guy. Generally speaking we're part of the last owners club and drive cars until the very end.
Location: Northeast USA
Price range: under $25k usd if possible
Lease or Buy: Buy or Lease
New or used: Used
Type of vehicle: Luxury-ish but not necessary, maybe SUVs, convertibles
Must haves: Reliability and longevity, not crazy insurance payments is important to me. I'm not looking for expensive repairs.
Desired transmission (auto/manual, etc): Auto
Intended use: Daily use, occasionally long drives in potentially snowy conditions with salt on the roads.
Vehicles you've already considered: pretty open but looking at car rental car sales (Budget, Enterprise, Avis, etc)
Is this your 1st vehicle: No
Current vehicles. 07 Honda Pilot, 09 Chrysler 300C? 300S?, it's the one with Hemi?
Do you need a Warranty: not necessary
Can you do Minor work on your own vehicle: (fluids, alternator, battery, brake pads etc): Yes, but we're likely going to pay someone
Can you do Major work on your own vehicle: (engine and transmission, timing belt/chains, body work, suspension etc ): No
Additional Notes: I love my Honda Pilot but he generally complains about the car not having enough power. I plan on keeping the Pilot for his local Home Depot trips so he's not ruining my "new" car.
submitted by northshore21
to whatcarshouldIbuy [link] [comments]
2023.06.05 07:36 JoeSchmoe440 Gunman shot by Ocala Police officers outside a Home Depot
2023.06.05 05:32 spaghetticourier Gosh pa, Home Depot made my life tough as nails today.
Jeysus it was a mess, I paid to rent a chainsaw so I can cut a tree limb my insurance company wanted me to take care of. The stupid thing won't start. I look up the manual online (the rental came with zero documentation, real classy) and from what I could tell it just wouldn't. I call em up, they ask me if I pressed every switch and told me just to bring the thing in.
Im angry but I was taught respect. They didn't give me a busted chainsaw on purpose, so I drive up there and they confirm it won't work(I got to keep my man card there, 😅) they give me a new one. It runs!
I take it home, get the tree limb down. I turn it off to xlimb down the ladder, go to start it again.
I check gas and oil, press every button while tuggin on the cord, try locking and unlocking the blade...nothin.
Worst part is the limb was blocking a road leading to a different house, it was too heavy to move easily, so I had to use my hand saw to trim off the longer branches and get it out of the way. It's still just a giant tree limb sitting next to my fence so thats great. Could have been worse.
I have had a life long fear of heights and ladders, but I bought a house last year and I had to buy a ladder accept that I would have to climb it.
It's been a tough year. And Home Depot selling me crap equipment didn't help me at all today, but I got the tree limb cut and my insurer will be pleased.
Update: returned the saw this morning, they had two diff guys try to start it. Second got it running of course so I couldnt get a full refund, but they did give me 20% off. Ended up only paying $30, which is still better than the $350 I was quoted from a trimming service.
submitted by spaghetticourier
to DadForAMinute [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 22:44 CT-3446 The Drones Return to Train Days!
2023.06.04 22:22 Ludosleftnipplering Ugh, WHY?!?!
So, I've never posted before but my heart is in my mouth and I don't want to bother OH with this as he's away for work. We've been NC with MIL and most of her clan for what will be 12 years in July. She claimed that she could "no longer have a relationship with (OH) whilst (Nipplering) is on the scene". When she uttered those words, OH and I had been together 7 years, married for 1 and we had 2 children together. At first we had some calls from her family, I had a rather spectacular letter sent my way and one by one they pledged their unwavering support for MIL and dropped us. GREAT!!! OH did receive a card at the beginning of the pandemic that essentially said "thinking of you, stay safe" (no mention of me or kids) but it's mostly been peaceful since then....... However, a couple of weeks ago I was sat outside the house in my car, getting myself together to go to the gym. I look up and there's a car creeping down the road, driver looking at houses as if to see house numbers or to recognise something. At first I thought it was a delivery driver, we get a lot at our door wanting the next street....then I get a closer look and although I couldn't see her face (thank you windscreen glare!) ITS HER!!!! She seems to notice me in the car but not recognise me (I change my hair often), she raises a hand and pulls round me and sits outside a neighbour's house for a moment. I wait, give my head a wobble and tell myself I'm mistaken. I expect the person to get out of the car and knock on a door but they don't, I'm watching in my rear-view. My eldest is in the house, I consider calling them but don't want to upset them. I then watch the car pull away and again, park up outside another neighbour's house, nobody gets out. At this point my anxiety and anger are boiling but I sit tight and wait until the car, eventually pulls away. I go to the gym and let off steam. On the way home I see the same car parked outside the hotel my IL's always stay at when they're in the area and almost rear-end someone cause I'd convinced myself I was wrong. Later that day I told OH what I'd seen and my suspicions and he said it was probably her (his gran has done similar by turning up in our town or in places he's worked) but not to worry as he has my back, she's nothing to us and it's not like they live locally...... So WHY?!?! now that he's left this evening for work, am I sat here having heart palpitations and struggling to breathe?!?! I know I shouldn't let it bother me, I know she's a coward and won't actually face me, so why the hell am I shaking?!?! UGH!!!!
submitted by Ludosleftnipplering
to JUSTNOMIL [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 21:53 throwRAbasilplant Thinking about selling my mtb hard tail. Worried I'll regret???
I really got into mtb'ing first. I biked all the time with friends when I lived in FL. I moved several years ago and slowly have turned into more of a gravel/road biker.
I live in NC so there is fantastic opportunity to mtb but I just haven't. One downside is some seasons it's just much harder to get out. Also the rain stays longer and shuts down trails all the time.
Back home in FL I could bike basically every day all year.
I only road my mtb maybe 2 times last year. It's $1k collecting dust. While I know if I really wanted to I'd get out way more, I just don't. Mtb is big where I live but I guess the convenience of road/gravel is winning out for me.
My gf sort of pushed back on the idea of selling. Since I would be happy to have it the few times I took it out. But even when I get the urge I'm so out of practice. Last year I whiped out hard with a buddy in Knoxville.
I think I may just sell it. I live in an apartment and have limited space. But I also know everything is just going up and if I decide later I want mtb I'll be shelling out more cash then before.
Truth is I'm focusing on gravel/road. Trying to work on my endurance and using a trainer on busy days.
Oblivious a stranger can't tell me what is right for me, but any feedback?
submitted by throwRAbasilplant
to cycling [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 18:41 StarWarsNerd7 Sublease - July 1st through October 1st (3 months) in Huge DTLA Penthouse Loft w shared Bathroom and rooftop access
[Housing] Large Private Room in Massive Spacious Loft - $1200 - Westlake near DTLAHello, we had good luck finding our last roommate on here a year ago, so let’s give it another shot! Looking for a sublease to fill my room in our massive (4000 sqft) 5bedroom penthouse loft in Westlake, available from July 1st to October 1st. Please consider reaching out even if the dates don't match up perfectly, the constant roommate search is inevitable. Rent for the available room is $1200, comes with a massive bedroom (fully furnished - bed, couch, tv, iMac), and an isolation booth for recording VO/vocals. Utilities averaging $50/mo. Security deposit is $600.
We're four roomies ranging from mid twenties to mid thirties. One is an actor, one is in law school, one is a podcast/livestream engineer, one works retail in vintage clothing, and I am a freelance producer and recording artist. I built a small professional studio in my room that you would have full access to (see pics). My room is especially friendly to recording artists and producers.
Pics here: https://imgur.com/a/8va3BII
From our two private patios, we have a panoramic view of Los Angeles from the Hollywood Sign thru DTLA down to LA Live and everything in between. There's a stage in the living room where my roommate hosts bi-weekly shows under the instagram handle: thelullabyloft
These events take place in the common area, they are professionally recorded and live-streamed, and we have a cap of 30 people in attendance (typically we average 15 people). I strongly encourage you to get involved with these events! They are great networking opportunities, and my roommate is always looking for an extra hand to help run them if you are available/interested
Important facts:- Shared bathroomParking is included, but not in-building. It's one block away in an underground lot by the Home Depot with a security patrol.
- Internet is $10 a month
- Our work habits are a mix of WFH and not. The apartment is big enough where everyone has their own space to isolate, but also collaborative if you come out into the common area.- Laundry is in-building on the 3rd floor, paid via app
- We have both men and women as roommates; just no couples or pets please. Other fun facts:
- We have a ping pong table.
- The loft is so large I can forget people are home for hours at a time.
- Nearby Food:- The best Indian spot in LA is two blocks away (Bombay Beach) and also will deliver you groceries if you want.
- Two of the best taco tents you'll ever visit are within a block. If you get tired of those there's another four to choose from that are also great.
- Langer's is a short walk down the road.
- There is a Metro bike-share kiosk directly outside of the building.bus stop right outside our spot and closest metro is 8 min walk- You can walk to the grocery store on 6th/Union.
- It's Westlake, so manage your expectations about the area. We've never felt unsafe in the 4 years we've lived here.
- The room is available for 3 months from July 1st - September 30th. However, even if your availability ranges outside of these dates, I still encourage you to reach out! If I can’t find anyone for next month - - I’ll still be looking for August. Also, with 5 roommates at the loft - new rooms open every so often… so I could keep you in mind for a later date if something opens up!
Pics here: https://imgur.com/a/8va3BII
If you're interested, please PM me with a little about yourself (work, hobbies, etc). I will contact you to schedule a video chat and or phone call, and then set up an in-person tour if it seems right. Thanks, and looking forward to hearing from you.
submitted by StarWarsNerd7
to LAlist [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 04:00 Kazevenikov Cryptid Chronicle - Chapter 31
Thanks and Credits in the Comments Section due to LONG chapter.
Chapter 31: A Whale of a Tale and it’s All True
“IT’S FUCKING J-POD!”
Kalai watched in shock and awe as the two humans collectively lost their minds, hopping up and down and letting loose a series of high pitched vocalizing as she, Papa, and Mama Sakalbi stared in confusion at the two ecstatic aliens.
Andy turned and ran back to where Kalai and her parents were still staring in amazement and held his hand out, face alight and happier than she’d ever seen him before. “Binoculars! Quick! I want to see who’s out there!” Mama Sakalbi tentatively held them out, and he took them with a nod of thanks before rushing back to the bow. Kalai started as he jumped up on the bow and balanced against the roller horns to spot the black and white whales that were swimming fast towards the net.
“Eyes on Mama Shachi! Look, over there, see her?” Kalai approached cautiously as Andy pointed in the direction of a cluster of porpoising black shapes that were coming nearer.
“Eyes on! I got Grammie Slick out there too; the WHOLE POD’S HERE!” Jackie cut loose an undulating cry and waved her hands as little geysers of water and air shot out from the water on the other side of the net.
Kalai nearly jumped when a miniature version of the Orcas from the clone tank at Headquarters breached the water, leaping almost twice her height into the air before splashing back down in a massive wave.
“Look at that! Butterball’s getting some good air these days!” Andy crowed as he hopped back down from the bow and passed the binoculars to Jackie.
“Butterball?” Mama Sakalbi asked as she and Papa joined them. Kalai stared as the Orcas formed a line and charged at the middle of the ‘S’ bend in the net before diving down in front of it, sending a wave that pushed the corks back. She saw the spouts and the dorsal fins rise again for another charge at the net.
“He’s the baby, only about four years old. Grammie Slick’s taking the family hunting, see how they’re flattening the net out? We’re about to have a great fucking day
!” Andy took Jackie’s shotgun and took it back to the cabin as Kalai and her parents crowded the rail.
“What are they doing?” Mama Sakalbi’s question was directed at Jackie and the woman turned to answer with a gigantic smile.
“Herding! See the ones circling around the net?” Jackie pointed to the two dorsal fins that were almost invisible in the fog that was starting to burn off in the morning sun that had started to clear the eastern mountains. “They’ll be starting to round up small schools of salmon once they’re done turning our net into a reef. Right now, they’re running along the line and probably seeing what they have to work with.”
Mama Sakalbi did a double take, “You must be joking, that level of intelligence would almost be-”
“Human?” Jackie interrupted with a smile, “Yeah, that’s our original teachers out there. We learned to fish from them
“I was going to say ‘sentient’, but I take your point. What I want to know is, what are they doing
?” Mama Sakalbi gestured out at them, with a bewildered look on her face.
“They’re using the net as a sea wall. Thing is, the net’s hard to see in the water, but the fish can feel it. They’ll put their heads into the net, but that doesn’t catch them. They’ll try to swim around it so that’s why we put an ‘S’ bend. That’s where most of the fish get tangled.” Andy returned and picked up the explanation. “See in the center of the line? That fin with the black and white little checkmark behind it? That’s Grammie Slick, the Matriarch. She’s around sixty now, and grew up out here LONG before you all came down. They don’t always do this, but I guess with you all keeping the fishing fleets docked, she saw the net and wanted a big meal for the family. They’re going to keep pushing the net until it’s in the shape of a crescent and herd a bunch of small schools into a big baitball with pickets to keep the fish pinned in the middle. You watch, there’ll be salmon jumping all over in the middle as they school up.”
“That’s when you’ll see them charge up the center and take big old mouthfuls of salmon. It’ll be a smorgasbord for ‘em!” Jackie pulled up Andy’s omnipad and started recording.
“Wait, but you hate seals for competing with you for food, why are you this excited about Orcas who take so much more?” Papa asked as he also took out his omnipad and started recording as the pod of Orcas finished repositioning their net just as Andy described.
“Because they’re using the nets as a reef to trap the fish! See? Look! There they go! The wolves are out scaring every salmon in the area here!” Kalai dug her own omnipad out at Andy’s words and watched as the dorsal fins sank below the waves, with only a faint and fading wake to tell where they’d gone.
“Now watch ‘em set pickets! They’re going to start patrolling the outside of the net. When they get enough salmon in the middle, they’re going to charge. When they do, watch the entire
middle section of our corks go under from the salmon trying to get away. They get whole heaping mouthfuls of food and we get a full
Kalai watched the Orcas swimming in circles around the net like Helix Sharks, and felt a pang of fear seeing the big predators that seemed so gentle and inquisitive in the tank. “But what if they get caught in the net?”
Jackie suppressed a laugh before sweeping an arm out at the net. “I’ve never seen that happen before, and I haven’t even heard of it happening before… at least not here in the Salish Sea. All our Orcas grew up around these nets, so they’ll either avoid them or use them like they are right now.”
“I think it’s because they can see them and the fish can’t. Either way, we’re in for a show!” Andy patted Kalai on the back before pushing Kalai and Mama Sakalbi forward.
For a long while, the surface was calm, save for the circling Orcas as they all watched. Then, by degrees, there was movement on the surface of the water as fish the length of Kalai’s arm started to jump and kick in the baitball. Kalai watched, fascinated, as Orcas seemed to appear and disappear along the edges but never approached the middle of the net.
All the fins disappeared from the surface and an eerie stillness settled over the water. Suddenly, the water in the middle of the crescent erupted, with hundreds of fish shooting out of the water and a sudden surge that hit and pushed the corks outward before they sank completely out of sight. Jackie and Andy started vocalizing those strange undulating cries again, raising their fists in the air before shouting something in their language. From as best as Kalai could guess, it was encouragement as the Orcas started breaching and jumping. In those moments, Kalai could catch glimpses of their mouths full of salmon.
Kalai watched as the terrified fish swarmed towards the net, and watched as many seemed to jump over it and swim away as the Orcas gorged themselves on the enormous school of salmon they had trapped. It was an awe inspiring sight to see, and Kalai lost herself in the moment watching the amazing display of symbiotic hunting and fishing between them and the Orcas.
The engine of the boat turning over broke the spell they were all under as Andy moved the boat at a dead slow pace back towards the net. “Alright, let’s haul it in and reset for ‘em! Jackie! Get on the bow with the billhook!” Jackie whooped in agreement and gently pushed passed Kalai to grab a long pole with a small metal hook at the end.
“We’re gonna have to work fast. They’re hungry, and we all want salmon today,” Andy called over the sound of the engine as they approached the giant buoy that marked the end of the net. “Doc! Open that hatch back there and watch your step! Mrs. Vaida, stand clear in the cabin; I want no accidents today, and three on deck’s going to be a crowd with how many fish we’re going to be taking in. Kalai, I want you back in the-”
Kalai shook her head as she put her omnipad away. “I can do it! Let me help!” she was riding the high feeling of watching the Orcas, and seeing Andy and Jackie preparing to go to work while she was to be just a passenger galled her.
Kalai saw Andy give Jackie a look that she couldn’t quite interpret. “Alright, but you’ll work with me picking fish. Jackie, you’re on the Drum; trade places with me!”
Kalai saw Jackie huff and give Andy a piercing look as she handed off the billhook. “Watch out for jellies, they tend to explode,” the native woman muttered to Kalai as she took over at the net drum’s controls. Kalai was about to volunteer to grab the line with the hook, given her longer reach, but Andy had already leaned almost all the way over the side. Kalai had a momentary scare as Andy seemed to dip forward, seemingly in danger of falling overboard, until he seemed to almost levitate himself using his lower legs back into the boat and pulled the line over the roller horns. She stood there for a moment, unsure of what to do when Andy braced a foot against the side and began to pull on the line and feed it back towards Jackie. “Way, haul away, we’ll hang and haul together! Way, haul away, haul away Joe!”
Though she didn’t understand the words, Kalai knew a sailing song when she heard one and didn’t wait for any instruction. She moved forward opposite Andy and lent a hand, pulling the heavy line in to the cadence of his chant. After two verses, Kalai heard the whine of hydraulics and the slack in the line behind them went taught.
“Stand back! Here we go!” Andy called to her and the line began pulling the net back aboard. Kalai looked back to see that Jackie had wrapped the line around the center pole of the drum, with the wheel turning to pull the line and net in out of the water. A small set of guide poles that moved when Jackie twitched the controls kept the line evenly distributed on the drum as the first corks and the dripping wet net began to appear out of the water.
“Put your hoods up!” Andy yelled at her over the noise of the machines, and demonstrated the motion. “It’ll keep the water, seaweed and Jellies out of your face and eyes, and take this!” Andy tossed her what appeared to be a handkerchief and he mimed the act of tying it around her face like a mask.
“What about you? You’re sleeveless!” Kalai’s voice was slightly muffled from the cloth as she tied it around her face before pulling up both hoods.
Andy didn’t respond, except to grin at her as he leaned out to watch the net coming up out of the water before it got pulled aboard.
From behind her, Kalai heard Jackie start singing another human sailing song. It was a bit fast paced, and Andy joined in for the chorus. On the third time she heard it, she joined in too. “Blow ye winds in the mornin’, Blow ye winds, high ho! Haul away your running gear, And blow ye winds, high ho!
“Coming up!” Andy shouted as there were several loud thunks before six large salmon appeared in the giant fluorescent green tangle of the net. The drum stopped, bringing the fish to a halt as Andy pulled on the corkline and scurried his hands back and forth, gathering the net up as he did until he reached the first fish. Kalai watched in awe as he seemed to magically pull the fish from the tangle and shake it out onto the deck. The second one seemed to be resting on top of the tangle and he flipped it over the corkline and shook the fish out onto the deck.
“Just watch these first few. When you get a feel for how I’m doing this, jump in. Until then, slide these beauties back towards the stern. Jackie’ll pitch ‘em into the hold.”
Kalai nodded and watched Andy’s movements intently. It looked like sorcery, with how fast he moved his hands and zeroed in on a fish. As soon as he was done, he’d whistle to Jackie, who kept singing the cadence out to pull more of the net in, only to stop when more fish were pulled up and over the horns.
The song changed twice before Kalai felt confident enough to jump in. She almost got tangled in the net herself trying to pull out her first fish, but Andy gave the net a quick tug and she was free again. Maddeningly, the fish had simply fallen out of the net without any help from her, and she fumed just long enough for Andy to point to one that was closer to her. “Hoist up the thing, batten down the whatsit! What’s that thing spinning, somebody should stop it! Turn hard to Port! That’s not Port, NOW I GOT IT! Trust me, I’m in control!”
On the second refrain, Kalai managed to dig her first fish out and drop it to the deck. She let out a whoop, and Andy paused for a moment to give her a quick applause.
“That’s one, girl! There’s a thousand left if we’re lucky!” Jackie called out as Andy sang a verse and tackled another fish in the net.
“Keep an eye on the lead line; make sure it doesn’t go over the corks!” Andy called as Kalai ran down her second fish and was about to throw the excess net over the other side. She stopped, and Andy helped her get the fish without tangling the net.
It took until the end of the song for Kalai to find her rhythm, and soon she and Andy were running down fish in the net in a crisp and quick manner. Kalai felt like she could go faster, but Andy had cautioned her to keep pace with the songs, as there was still a lot of net to go. When Kalai spared a glance at the length of net still in the water, she saw that Andy wasn’t kidding. It looked like they hadn’t even really started to reel it all in. Ok, it’s hard work, but so is sailing, and he’s my size so I should be able to keep up with him. If he can do it, I can do it! “Haul away you rollin’ kings! Heave away, Haul away! Haul away you’ll hear me sing, We’re bound for South Australia!”
Andy was impressed. Kalai had jumped in without complaint, and she was very coachable. He could feel himself start to flag as they were starting to come to the last third of the net, but Kalai’s persistence, even though she was sweatier and more haggard than he was, kept him going.
The pile of salmon was almost as deep as their calves, and the deck was getting slick with fish slime. For that matter, so was Andy. In a momentary lull in the fish coming over the horns, Andy caught a glimpse of himself shimmering with all the scales that had flown off the fish as they scraped against the net to hit the deck, flopping. He took a big gulp of air and Kalai groaned as she straightened up, cracking her back as she twisted and bent to relieve her aching muscles.
Andy groaned a bit and looked back towards the stern. It was getting hard to see over the amount of net they’d pulled back in, but he could see Doc and Mrs. Vaida doing their best to help throw and shove the piles of salmon into the hold. Everybody’s getting their hands dirty today. Andy smiled and heaved a happy sigh. This, this is what I want. Being out on the water and doing good, hard work.
“SHIT, JELLYFISH!” Kalai shouted as she twisted away to hide her face behind her rain slicker hood. Andy blinked just in time as a wet squelching sound sent a spray of disintegrating jellyfish exploding all over the bow as the net bunched up and got squeezed together.
Andy felt it splatter all over his arms, neck, and face, before he felt it start to slide down his shirt to his chest. Almost immediately, he started to feel the burn. His arms, neck, and chest he could stand, but the blossoming pain on his lips, eyelids, cheeks, and most horribly the inside of his nose overwhelmed all his conditioned pain tolerance.
“FUCK!” Andy screamed. “FUCKING FUCKER! RIGHT IN MY FUCKING FACE! GOD FUCKING DAMNIT! FUCK!” Andy only barely avoided bringing his hands to his face. It was a hard fought thing to deny his instinct to try and scrape it off, but he felt his boots loose purchase and his feet slide out from under him. He hit the pile of fish that surrounded him hard. He was aware of Kalai yelling for her father and Mrs. Vaida, while Jackie’s braying laugh carried over everything else.
Andy felt Kalai trying to grab him, but her gloves were too slick to get a grip and all she did was spread the stingers more evenly over his arms. Andy kept his eyes squeezed shut as he heard Jackie start to direct the confused and panicking aliens.
“Hold your breath, cuz, vinegar incoming!”
Andy felt the bitter stinging splash as Jackie poured a steady stream of vinegar out from what he assumed was the giant jug he kept for these occasions underneath the little kitchenette in the cabin. Though nothing about the intensity of the burn changed, in the back of his mind, Andy knew that it was killing the stinging cells.
“Alright, Kally, take that bucket and fill it with seawater from over the side, then dump it on him.”
Andy sputtered a bit and spit as he scrabbled onto his knees. He steadied himself with one hand on the rail beside him and the other which found the corkline. He kept his eyes shut and growled as the burning spread from his hairline down to his navel. A sudden bracing splash of cold water nearly bowled him back over. Without warning, Andy hadn't had time to get a breath and he sputtered and yowled as the water soaked down under his rain gear.
Andy shook his head like a dog, whipping his braid back and forth before daring to open his eyes. “Son of a BITCH!” Andy growled as he got a look at Kalai holding an empty bucket, while Jackie was shoo’ing Mrs. Vaida and Dr. He’osforos away to give him some room.
“Jesus, quit your bawlin,’ you big baby, you’re acting like you’ve never been stung before!” Jackie called back to him as Andy ripped the gloves off his hands and plunged them over the side to clean off the stingers.
“It’s in my fucking nose you horse’s ass!” Andy shouted back as he splashed his face. A few strings of purple stingers fell into the water and Andy reared back aboard. “Ugh, get another bucket of seawater! I can still feel this shit!”
“Andrei, as a medical professional, I advise you to cease work and-”
Andy looked over as Dr. He’osforos spoke but waved him off mid sentence. “I appreciate it Doc, but I’ve had it far worse than this. There’s a brown and yellow bottle in one of the drawers under the bench that says ‘Motrin’. Get me the bottle or enough to tranq a cow, and I’ll go back to work just fine.”
Kalai let loose a piercing scream and Andy looked over just in time to see her rocketed herself backwards, dropping the bucket over the side. The Doctor caught his daughter before she fell into the hold, but he too had a look of fear plastered on his face. Andy and Jackie moved to the side to see what had scared her so badly, and the two of them couldn’t help but laugh out loud.
Grammie Slick and two of her daughters were there, sticking their heads out of the water with their mouths open, while Butterball was playing with the bucket.
Jackie laughed and stuck her hand out, rubbing the Orca matriarch on the snout. “Raggedy Andy’s fine, Grammie Slick! He’s just milking it for sympathy from these gullible hwun’eetums!”
“What in the Balance of Nature is going on here?” Mrs. Vaida’s shocked voice caused Andy and Jackie to look at her as she stared dumbfounded at the Orcas that were gathering alongside the boat.
“Oh they’re just saying ‘hi.’” Andy shrugged with a smile, despite the burning.
“More like ‘What the hell, cousins, you still got fish to pick. Quit loafin’ around and get another set in!’”
“Jackie, Motrin… NOW!” Andy growled at her. Jackie blew a raspberry at him before diving into the cabin.
“They’re pretty friendly, if you’d like to be introduced,” Andy held out a hand and motioned for Kalai and her father to step forward. Andy dipped his hand in again to make sure it was clear of any stinging cells, before he gently guided the hesitant Kalai to stick her ungloved hand out toward Grammie Slick.
One of the daughters blew a spout before sliding back under water, but Grammie gave a few clicks before briefly touching Kalai’s outstretched hand. “Kalai, this is Grammie Slick, Matriarch of J-Pod. Grammie, this is Kalai… a purple hwun’eetum.” Andy laughed a bit at the look of incredulity on Kalai’s face and the concern on her father’s.
There was a series of shutter clicks from behind Andy, and he turned to see Sakalbi snapping pictures as fast as she could. Kalai was clearly torn between fear and wonder as she held perfectly still and silent for Grammie, who was letting her touch her before she slid back under the water herself. Andy laughed as several clicks and whistles from the pod reverberated through the hull of the boat and he leaned back in.
“Alright, break’s over,” Andy called as he caught the flying bottle of pills Jackie threw at him. He popped two and swallowed them dry before washing the gloves off and putting them on. The extra rinse would have to wait, and he’d have to tough it out until they got back to shore. His boots squelched as he picked his way through the fish on the deck to get back to his station and nodded for Jackie to restart the drum.
It was another twenty minutes before the last of the net was pulled aboard and they were able to clear away all the fish into the hold. Andy stuck his head in and smiled. In a single set, they’d filled three quarters of it, and they had more than enough fish for the gathering and to feed another ten to fifteen families besides. The spouts and the clicks of J-Pod hanging around the boat, however, told Andy that they wanted their reef back and were still hungry.
Andy ordered them to prep the net for another set and helmed his boat again, only to bomb out in a straight line and let J-Pod take care of the fishing from that point on. Once they’d finished, Andy moved the boat out of the Orcas’ way and stood outside the cabin with Jackie while the three aliens crowded the bow, watching and recording the whales going to work a second time.
“Ok, I think we might get a moment to talk,” Andy muttered to Jackie in Salishian. “New orders from the Council. There’s going to be a raid.”
Jackie sucked in a breath and looked at him, all levity gone. “Cambrians, Militia, or the Dummy Bunnies?”
“Militia and the Interior.”
Jackie whistled softly in surprise as her eyebrows shot up. “Really poking the bear, cuz… When and where?”
“Uncle Willy wants us to hit the Militia Supply Depot out by Tanner on Saturday,” Andy growled quietly as he watched Kalai pointing to Grammie Slick’s dorsal as she swam out on the picket around the net.
“You mean the one close to the Snoqualmish?”
“Yeah. Full raid, we’re to hit it and take any supplies, especially military, that we can and destroy what we can’t. The messier we can make it the better. We’ll meet up with the Resistance on the old Bessemer Logging road by Hancock Creek and they get half for taking the credit. Me and Chuck’ve been assigned to ‘lead’ you.” Andy nodded and tried to flick some of the fish scales off himself, but got nowhere.
Jackie sat down on the rail with a groan before looking back up at him with a smirk. “You mean babysit on overwatch while we do the real work.”
Andy pursed his numb lips together and considered the ramifications of folding his arms on the jellyfish burns that had started to go quiet thanks to the Motrin. “Grandma and the Council want me to ‘get my hands dirty.’” He gritted his teeth in frustration.
“What? I’m sorry, that sentence made zero sense.” Jackie shook her head like she’d just been slapped.
Andy couldn’t keep the frustration and anger out of his tone when he spoke. “Apparently there are doubts about my loyalty to the tribe and whether or not I’ve lost my way.”
Jackie huffed in amusement. “Everyone knows the Council’s fucking stupid, but this is a new level of dumb. You got us land back, you got them to allow you to break the rules to feed our people, they’re fixing the fuck ups on our waterways because of you and they think you’ve gone to the dark side?” Jackie started laughing at the nonsense of the politics.
“Last time we talked, you thought I was playing with fire and-” Andy started to throw back at her before she snorted loudly.
“Results talk, cuz. Three of our Hatcheries returned, and my whole family drawing good money in Imperial Credits? Fuck, even if you had sold out, we need more Clan Heads doing the same thing.” She smiled as she nodded towards their guests on the bow.
“They still don’t trust that I know what I’m doing,” Andy growled as he folded his arms unconsciously and immediately regretted it.
Jackie snorted. “Of course they don’t. You didn’t talk to them or get their permission first. Hell, I’m surprised your grandma didn’t chuck you out on your ear for even suggesting that you should work for the dummy bunnies.” Jackie stretched and hopped up and around Andy to grab a water bottle. “But it’s working out. There’s land being returned, money in our hands, and food about to be on our table. You’re doin’ what a Chief is supposed to do.”
Andy scoffed and started to object. “I’m no Chief-”
Jackie gave his shoulder a slap and grinned evilly as a starburst of pain and burning cut through the painkillers, shutting Andy up mid-protest. “You keep saying you aren’t, but that don’t make it true.” She resumed her seat as Andy fought the yowl of pain back so as not to give her the satisfaction. “I mean, case in point, what are you going to do with all these fish Grammie’s catching for us right now?”
Andy blinked a few times as he regained his composure and thought seriously about his answer. “We’ll pull fifteen for the gathering they got invited to… Then all the fish you can pack into the truck goes to the Exiles. The rest? I’ll call Chuck and get some folks from the Council to claim the rest and distribute it to the families that need it.”
Jackie deepened her voice and adopted a cowboy drawl. “He never eats until he sees the pots are full of meat in the lodges of the widows and orphans-”
“That’s Comanche Law, not Salish, and that’s from a John Wayne movie, you ass.” Andy huffed and Jackie giggled wickedly, flipped him off.
“Still haven’t refuted my point, cuz.” Jackie’s singsong voice caused Andy to glare spitefully at her, until she raised her hands defensively. “Alright, you’re not a Chief. So, Not Chief Tsu’titsi’uqw; you need to get your hands dirty and lead a raid. I’ll scrape up what we need and scout the target. You just meet up with us Saturday night at the Snoqualmish Casino and I’ll put a gun in your hands. Don’t worry, we’ll only get dirty enough to make the Council happy.”
“I’ll be a bit late; I’m escorting them to the Hwatcom Family Gathering on Friday.” Andy took a step back as Jackie stood up and twisted a bit to stretch out.
“No surprise there, grandpa’s an old school traditional Indian. They’re dummies, but they’re trying to do right by us, finally. Again, thanks to you, Chie-” Andy slapped the back of her head hard and growled at her, but she just started laughing, making him even madder.
“Alright, enough. Let’s get on the bow and not look like we’re sketchy Indians plotting to attack an Imperial fort.” Andy snarled, shoving her past him while she just kept laughing.
Andy stomped forward, aware of the wet sounds his boots made as he walked. Kalai turned and smiled at him as he moved to stand beside her and her father. “So how are they doing out there?”
“They just started their attack. This is fascinating! Their coordination, their ingenuity, and adaptation to human activity is astounding! I wish I had brought observation drones!” Sakalbi was glued to the binoculars and holding her omnipad up while she muttered observations into the speaker. Andy was content to watch as the pod put on a repeat performance and the net sagged again until they all came up and started swimming lazily around the net and the boat. All of them except Butterball and one of his older brothers. The two seemed to be getting into a jumping contest.
“He’s feeling a bit hyper. Must be nice to be full,” Jackie commented as the two whales took turns jumping out of the water and twisting in the air. Andy smiled and nodded and felt a hand go to his shoulder. He looked down and saw it was Kalai making eyes at him. Andy hid the grimace at the burn and gave her a wink.
“That one’s getting closer, should we be concerned?” Andy looked over at Dr. He’osforos and Kalai quickly moved her hand as they watched Butterball getting closer and closer with each jump.
Jackie hopped up and straddled the railing as Andy and Kalai shared a concerned look. Jackie hooked a hand around one of the roller horns and peered down into the water. “I don’t think so, I mean he knows we’re-”
The sudden appearance of a flying adolescent Orca only a scant few feet away from the boat right next to the lot of them cut Jackie off. Most of them only had enough time to watch the little playful bastard hang in the air for a moment before he twisted to almost shoulder punch the water as he came back down. Andy had just enough presence of mind to pull Kalai and her father down, and braced himself as the plume of water rose from where Butterball landed.
“Oh shi-” Andy heard Jackie say before water cascaded down on them and drenched them all, sending the boat rocking violently.
It took a moment for Andy to recover and he helped the two Shil back to their feet. “Quick check, is everyone alright?”
“HEY! WHAT THE HELL, BUTTERBALL! GRAMMIE! YOU HAVE A TALK WITH YOUR GRANDSON! HE’S GONNA GET SOMEONE KILLED ONE OF THESE DAYS!” Jackie screamed at the water, shaking her fist.
A camera shutter sounded and a dripping wet Mrs. Vaida stood, wide eyed in fear, staring out over the water.
Andy started laughing at the sight of his boss soaked to the bone, her hair and her fur a dripping mess. “That picture right there? You can title it: ‘Angry Native Woman Yells at Whale.’”
Kalai looked like she was on Krek’s doorstep. Akil’eas knelt next to her as he finished his examination and was looking over the readings on his omnipad. His daughter sat in front of the cabin on the little step, legs splayed out in front of her while she leaned against the railing on the side of the boat. Her father stood next to her as he finished a quick check of her vitals and her viral load.
“Unsurprisingly, you’re a bit elevated, but given your numbers over the last week, that’s saying that you’ve come back up to your normal levels.” Akil’eas had been worried. When they’d hauled in the net the second time, Kalai had stayed on the bow with the boy, Andy, while Akil’eas’d stood over the human woman’s shoulder and studied the controls.
Akil’ieas had also pitched in and helped fill the hold, but when he and Sakalbi could no longer stuff them in, they’d given up and stood out of the way. His old friend and colleague had spent the rest of the time recording, either the large predators that continued to circle and play around the boat, or the seemingly inefficient fishing practice of Andy and his people. No wonder he was so big, and his brother had been that strong. It beggared belief that their people worked at that backbreaking pace for so long, but there Andy stood, proud and tall at the end of it, while he and Sakalbi struggled to stay standing.
Akil’eas had to focus on keeping his hands from shaking and retrieved another water bottle for his exhausted daughter. Andy had them moving at a slow pace back towards a different harbor from the one they’d left that morning. They’d stopped briefly at the pier they’d started from to allow Jackie to disembark. The two humans packed all the fish that couldn’t fit in the hold up to Jackie’s truck and filled the bed of it without any help. She drove off with close to a hundred fish.
Now with the deck cleared, Andy told them they were on their way to the harbor most of his Band used. The trip had been slower going than the morning had been, but only because they were riding much lower in the water than they had been.
“King Triton’s farewell,” Kalai muttered looking up. Akil’eas followed his daughter’s gaze up to see a flock of white and gray seabirds calling out loudly as they kept pace with the boat as it headed towards the docks.
“It means work’s almost over. It’s a great sound, isn’t it?” Andy called out from the cabin where he sat at the helm.
Kalai shifted herself with great effort to look around the door to the cabin. “It sounds amazing.”
The smile Andy gave Kalai caused Akil’eas to have a pang of fatherly protectiveness, and only fatigue kept the scowl off his face. “Just wait, we’ll clean a few once we’ve off-loaded to the families. Fresh salmon tonight for everyone, and I’m cooking! Doc, we’d love to have you, too.”
“I’d love to but-”
Kalai grabbed his arm and stopped him. “Trust me, Papa, you don’t want to miss it.”
Akil’eas chewed his tongue for a moment, looking from Andy to Kalai. Sakalbi caught his eye and nodded emphatically. “Alright, if you’ll allow me to help. You must be exhausted.”
Andy beamed at Akil’eas, “You won’t hear me turn down free help.”
“Vaascon fellas don’t have no frills, Haul away, haul away! They’re plain and skinny as a lodthfish gill, And we’re bound away for Vaasconia!”
Kalai sat back and started singing between sips of water. Akil’eas sat down next to her and joined in the chorus for a Vaascon sailing song. It was strange to think that these humans also sang to their sea gods to placate them and coordinate the work. What else could you expect from a sailorman? Some things call to the soul across time and evidently even the gulf space and peoples.
“So heave him up my Turry Turry girls, Haul away, haul away! Heave him up and let the sails unfurl! And we’re bound away for Vaasconia!”
Andy’s voice joining in on the chorus startled Akil’eas and Kalai and they both turned to look back at him.
He gave them another wide grin, “I started learning some of the sail songs after Kalai told me about sailing on Shil.”
“Akil’eas, a word?” Sakalbi motioned with her head towards the bow and offered him a hand up. He followed her to the bow, leaving the two children singing together.
The harbor mouth was coming up fast, and between the noise of the engine and the net drum keeping them out of sight, there was some privacy. “I’ve heard some rumors about your feelings toward humans…” Sakalbi leaned against the railing, giving him the look that every teacher and professor had when questioning a belligerent student. When Akil’eas didn’t answer her, save to throw her back his own look, she continued. “Kalai is quite taken with Andy. It’s been quite a refreshing thing to see her come out of her shell.”
“It’s a vacation romance, nothing more.” Akil’eas felt his stomach clench and couldn’t stop himself from looking back.
“I don’t think so, Akil’eas. This is the first time I’ve seen her so on thorns and thistles around anyone, much less a male. She’s been very keen around him.” The smile she gave him was a bit galling, but he had to admit, he didn’t really know Kalai as well as Sakalbi and her spouses.
“He is… I’m sure he is a very nice young man, but as a fit consort for a soon to be Duchess? No, and I’ve yet to meet a human that is.” The thought of a human becoming the next Duke He’osforos was absurd. Sure there had been the occasional non-Shil Kho-liebhaberin or even the one Duke Aurar’ian He’osforos who was a Triki, but a human? “They’re far too individualistic and self centered to rise to the responsibilities of the Peerage.”
“That’s not exactly as large a sample size as you think it is, Leas. If you had Andy in your class, or on your crew, disregarding the fact that he’s human, what would your read on him be?”
Akil’eas locked his jaw and pursed his lips, defiantly. “I don’t know.”
“Come on, Leas, you’re better than me at reading people, and I’m damn good at it.” He hated how Sakalbi’s eyes flashed and her right ear would twitch when she thought she had the upper hand in an argument. He huffed a sigh and decided to play her little game, just to humor her enough so that she’d drop the subject.
“Dependable, fastidious and competent, judging by the state of his equipment and his boat. Self sacrificing, diligent, hard working, given what I’ve observed today. He’s got a temper, but it takes a bit to get there, and he’s carrying some pretty heavy emotional scars.” He’d not seen very much of Andy, but the old Sailing Master and Professor in him started to come out and assess the boy just as he would any of his students or junior sailors.
“That’s my read, too. Doesn’t sound so individualistic and self-centered to me. Blighted Nature, Leas, from what I’ve learned about him and his people, he broke with several of their traditions and customs to help us. He’s stuck his neck out far further for us than we would have for him and his people, for no other reason than to try and save his homeland. Were he an Erbian on Myr or even back home in Vaasconia, there’d be Groom-War over his hand.”
Akil’eas was a bit piqued about her statement, “What about your daughter? Kalai made no secret about little Sitry mooning after him, and her disapproval of their courtship.”
“She thinks she’s in love, and it very well might be that she is, but Kalai’s disapproval should tell you what it tells me, given your own rather astute assessment of the man.”
“HEY DOC! TAKE THE WHEEL, I GOTTA DRUM US IN!” Andy’s voice cut their conversation short as Akil’eas turned to look back around the drum. Andy waved him back as he slowed their approach to come in. “Take us to Dock 5, straight back and to port.”
“Straight back and to larboard, aye!” Akil’eas rattled off as he traded places with Andy at the helm.
Kalai heaved herself up to stand as Andy grabbed a large leather circle and ran forward to jump up on the bow. As Akil’eas piloted the boat into the harbor and made the turn, he saw a large crowd of humans gathered on the pier and the shore. As soon as they were in sight, he watched as Andy, standing tall, began to drum a beat and vocalize, projecting his voice over the water to those on shore. Akil’eas sputtered a bit in surprise as he guided the boat slowly towards the open mooring.
“That’s their call. His family’s song lets the people on shore know who he is and that he’s friendly.” Kalai looked back at Akil’eas before moving inside the cabin to stand next to her father. “All the families know it, but only he is allowed to sing it. It’s their version of a family crest and coat of arms. Elder Hwatcom taught us about those. There’ll be a reply in a second granting us permission to come ashore.”
There was indeed a response of drumming and singing from the assembly of humans as many started to crowd forward carrying what appeared to be coolers. Andy reappeared and took the controls back and reversed to kill their forward momentum as Sakalbi threw out their mooring lines to the waiting humans. Andy killed the engine and moved quickly out of the cabin to speak in a language that Akil’eas did not recognize. There seemed to be a bit of confusion from those gathered on the dock, but Andy opened the hatch to show the hold full of fish.
“Don’t thank me, thank them. Sockeye and Kings to all comers, courtesy of the Vaidas and the Vaida Warren!” Andy shouted happily in Vatikre as he pulled two giant fish out by their gills and handed them off to the applauding humans.
Sakalbi managed to shoot Akil’eas a smug look before she plunged her hands into the mass of fish and began helping Andy hand them out to the people.
Possible Late Post Due to Vacation. I will try to post on time, but it may be as late as 6/12/23
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2023.06.03 16:40 mkarias Mail Day - TLaw should have another great season
2023.06.03 11:37 bugging404 hmmmmmmmm