Elevation worship might get loud lyrics

Crime Boss: Rockay City - Review Thread

2023.03.29 11:12 alex2217 Crime Boss: Rockay City - Review Thread

Game Information

Game Title: Crime Boss: Rockay City
Developer: Ingame Studios
Publisher: 505 Games
Review Aggregator:
OpenCritic - 50 average - 20% recommended - 6 reviews

Critic Reviews

Attack of the Fanboy - Noah Nelson - 3 / 5
Crime Boss: Rockay City's execution isn't revolutionary or exceptional, but its shot at an innovative roguelike campaign is a praiseworthy proof of concept. It might not have the most versatile activities, best gunplay, or first-class writing, but Crime Boss: Rockay City does provide an interesting experience that, like a cheap B-movie, has that certain kind of charm you can't help but enjoy.
Inverse - Corey Plante - 6 / 10
Rockay City has something interesting in its novel campaign structure, and its modest price tag currently discounted to $31.99 makes it an outright bargain. But there’s not enough to appreciate that warrants anybody to stick around for more than a random night with some buddies. The whole project is clearly a loving homage to the glory days of ‘90s action flicks, but the tone-deaf execution misses the mark. But how long can that hold your attention for when your multiplayer game time is far better spent elsewhere?
Screen Rant - Jason Hon - 2.5 / 5
The limited time to play the review build of Crime Boss: Rockay City felt unfinished and needed more gameplay activities and depth. With the game planned to be a live service experience, with more time, developer InGame Studios will hopefully add more features and gameplay mechanics to help the game stand out in the multiplayer shooter genre. There is fun to be had with a team of four friends completing missions together. Still, in its current state, Crime Boss: Rockay City feels like a low-level wannabe criminal trying to get rich quick on a street populated with multiplayer shooters who already do better.
Shacknews - Lucas White - 5 / 10
If the idea of playing a shooter crammed on top of a modern edition of Drug Wars, full of pseudo ironic stunt casting and roguelike gimmicks sounds like a good time, boy do I have a game for you. The only game for you, really. All snark aside I don’t think I’ve ever played a game quite like Crime Boss: Rockay City. It’s a massive swing and a big miss, with enough force to crack the sound barrier while the ball stays in the catcher’s mitt. It’s neither a cynical corporate cringe like Sharknado, nor is it a low-budget dud you’d expect to see a crew of robot puppets heckle. It’s weird, loud and uncanny. Frankly I’m surprised Christopher Walken didn’t show up.
TheGamer - Lex Luddy - 2 / 5
There’s very little you could get out of Crime Boss that you couldn’t get out of Payday 2 next time it comes around in a Steam sale. And besides, I think those masks that “are for pussies” are actually really cool.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - Alice Bell - Unscored
A sloppy, buggy Payday pretender whose USP of using 90s movie stars is probably the worst thing about it.
submitted by alex2217 to Games [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 11:05 SnooMarzipans6854 my dad accused me of being a satanist because i said madonna had plastic surgery

i don't spend a ton of time on this subreddit, and i'm sure this is a plain jane story for some of you. regardless, it should be noted, this interaction was one of enough. the last straw, as some might say. simultaneously exacerbating and humorous.
also, i should note, satanism is dope. i'm partially kidding, because i know nothing about satanism, but i've read their 7 tenets on https://thesatanictemple.com/blogs/the-satanic-temple-tenets/there-are-seven-fundamental-tenets, and they actually sound quite reasonable.
that's besides the point.
for context, i will paint you a picture of this man i call my father. he has spent close to 20 years in a basement, living off of my mom and the government. he is deeply infiltrated in the Qanon community. hollywood drinks baby blood, the 2020 us election was falsified, joe biden is a simulation, elvis is alive, etc. you know, the usual things any level-headed person who gives a damn about empirical evidence would believe in.
anyways, we had a family gathering this last weekend. my father, astonishingly out of the basement and attempting to engage in social interaction, was there. i had spent all weekend listening to these theories i am already well familiar with. my father is also a narcissist, so i know it does no good to try to question his reality. instead, i attempted to show interest in our conversation by asking good faith questions. questions like, "do you think that every government on planet earth would willingly give the public a vaccine, knowing it's lethal, presumably ruining their people's health, economies, etc.. to influence the us 2020 election?"
the answer was of course yes. but no, he's not an anarchist. make it make sense.
then, he showed me a picture of madonna's face, and i could not at this point hold my tongue.
he said, "look at this." obviously referencing the condition of her face, which is admittedly unnatural.
i thought to myself, "don't say it. don't give him bait. don't tell him about how you really feel."
instead of listening to myself, i said, "yeah. that's what happens to a women's face when she grows up inundated with unrealistic beauty standards and decides to get multiple plastic surgeries in attempts to maintain a youthful look." or something to that effect.
i wish there were words to describe the shock on his face when he confidently replied, "no! thats not plastic surgery! thats because she worships SATAN."
my dad is not even a religious guy. not to my knowledge anyways. his life is evident of this fact. although, i am not ignorant to the reality that one can be religious while never taking a moment to actually practice any virtuous aspects of said religion.
i wanted to confirm, "you think she looks like that because she worships satan, and not because she had plastic surgeries?"
he said, "yes. she worships satan. just like the people you worship."
this response was particularly baffling, because i don't worship anyone; and then also because it sounds utterly insane.
the boring rest of the story is that i told him he has never actually inquired as to what i believe. to which he said, "why should I?" that question explains everything you'd need to know about his critical thinking abilities. then he left my brother's house because i "disrespected him."
the unfortunate reality is that we were at my brother's house because he just had a child. this would be my father's first grandchild he was given the opportunity to meet, because he has been an absent father to at least three other families. he chose to miss out on time with his newborn granddaughter because madonna worships satanism, and inadvertently i, someone who has never paid attention to madonna, do too. it took everything in me to take off the horcrux and be present with my new niece.
in sum, i could imagine the product of extremist ideologies is as follows— loneliness, depression, pride. it's not martyrdom. it's just... sad.
submitted by SnooMarzipans6854 to QAnonCasualties [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 11:01 publicandprivate You want everything we have on you? Fine, take EVERYTHING.

(I want to preface by saying first reddit post, so please bare with!)
I'm going to try and keep this short and as anonymous as possible, so I don't get fired. I work in an office, dealing with general admin things (basically a glorified PA to the directors of the company). Around a year ago, one director - let's call him Rob - left the company after a series of unrelated events that he didn't agree with. Rob had been with the company for over 20 years, a director for over 10 and was very intertwined with company happenings, so it was a big loss at the time.

Fast forward a year, I'm working in the office and we receive an email from Rob. Apparently he wasn't happy that the company didn't fall at his feet and beg for him to return, so he has spent the last year festering his revenge. He decides that he wants us to send him across all the data we have on him - including emails and documents with the mention of his name. We assume that this is so he can have any dirt from after he left, and use this against the company.
In my country, you have to comply with a request for someone's own personal data. There are very few exemptions, and often data requests can cause a huge headache for the company due to third party information, things said in confidence etc.
As you might imagine, sh*t hit the fan. The whole office was flapping, there's tens of thousands of documents with his name on, signed off by him or created by him. He wants all of that? Can we even give him it?
Fortunately for us, there was no 'gossip' or anything about Rob on our systems (mainly as everything was said out loud, in the office!). Unfortunately for Rob, there was thousands of useless emails that he had sent from our machines over the years - all signed 'Rob'.
So, we maliciously complied with his data request. We printed off ALL the data we had on him. Over ten years of emails, tens of thousands of pages. All boxed up and sent off for Rob to look at.
I hope he enjoys wasting his time filing through hundreds of outdated and useless emails, and finding nothing he can use against us.
The only thing we feel bad about is the paper wasted. We'll have to plant a few trees to make that back!
submitted by publicandprivate to MaliciousCompliance [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 10:57 Brahmaster A forum post on quality of life improvements for Diablo IV

  1. Add a party recruitment tab/Party Finder. Say, a bill board at a town tavern, town square, guild building, or at least accessible from a menu tab.
  2. Add a Quest Tab/ World Event Calendar tab, where you can keep track of world events and their local time countdowns.
  3. Add Event Planner attached to Event Calendar, feature to set a reminder alarm for events you want to attend with their timers.
  4. Allow us to save our communication rose settings to all other characters on our account. Currently we have to set up the emote/quick bar manually for all characters.
  5. Allow players to choose a Title that is prefix- or suffix only, not both. So, not "Unfettered Drifter" but just "Drifter".
  6. Add a rare travelling vendor that moves across overworld randomly that sells rare ingredients (like "fiendrose" that is needed for enchanting affixes, but only available during hell tide).
  7. Add export option for saved build presets to external databank, social media, or friend message (like in HotS).
  8. Make "inspect player" able to see some of their skill build too.
  9. Add model talking animation on vendor window. They move, and talk but mouths aren't animated.
  1. Add practice dummies in a section of town (damage gauge for build/rotation testing).
  2. Evading when standing over the laddejumping terrain should do a dodge if mouse cursor isn't over the footsteps icon. Some ladders had this problem.
  3. Add Ability to use potion on ladder (panic saves and DoT).
  4. Add Ability to cancel going down ladder within the first 0.75 sec of descent/ascent if you've made a mistake, by double clicking "interact".
  5. Add Option to disable potion sound from allies/raid members (12 people doing a world boss all "blurbing" potions loudly ruins the immersion).
  6. Add Option to disable excessive item/cooldown voice prompts; ie. "It's not ready", or relay it with a sound effect, ie. a tick.
  7. Reset deathblow cooldown if the target dies when the animation initiates. Sometimes it dies mid-swing animation and Deathblow goes on cooldown.
3) UI
  1. Make Area name labels, event complete label ("EVENT COMPLETED") overlay at the top of screen able to be dismissed or made transparent- it covers a 3rd of the screen while you're mid-fight.
  2. Add function to hide Quest summary under minimap.
  3. Add Health bar indicator to show 80% Life (a mark/horizontal line) - Important to know where Bubble shield buff activates, or where you are in "Healthy" 80%+ range to apply certain buffs.
  4. Add Party Stat breakdown after boss fights, and world boss fights- display to all members the top damage and CC (stagger bar) contributors. Something to compete for.
  5. Add in-game clock showing time of day/night. Announce morning and evening with a rooster cockadoodle/ wolf howl (Warcraft 3 feature, optional).
  6. Some aspect modifiers do not have status effect icons.
  7. Remove "IMMUNE" status effect (bug) over enemies, and add function for selective status effects (I dont want to see "TAUNT" + Skull icon covering the screen if using "Challenging shout" in a big group of enemies).
  8. Add function to rescale or move action bar, not just "center or left".
  9. Add separate tab for character "stats".
4) MAP
  1. Tabbing in and out of map should resume/keep the same location and zoom as before being tabbed out, not reset automatically to character location.
  2. Add Ability to ping map for allies with warning, and waypoint signals.
  3. Add function to highlight your own position indicator on Tab map, and also ping your own location to party.
  4. Add function to lable waypoints on map, or have different waypoints active at the same time with different colours like BotW.
  5. Add highlighted icon on Tab map to show exit portal that connects you to the town from where you teleported.
  6. Add a clear indication on world map which dungeons have been completed, not just a recent and expiring green check mark. When you load back into game you don't know where you've been by just looking at the map.
  7. Make it obvious that players can zoom out to Overworld map from the dungeon map.
  1. Separate body and face tattoos.
  2. Separate earrings from nose rings.
  3. Add function to change hairstyle in wardrobe, or at a vendor that can provide this service like FF14. Keeps things fresh and we don't have to remake a character to get a new hairstyle.
  4. Add "SNAPSHOT MODE" for wardrobe to export fashion photo and share on social media. (Potentially add emotes to this mode).
  5. Add Ability to set default character that greets you in the main menu showcase background, seems to be the last character you create/use.
  6. Make Rogue able to hide bow on back. Can show "unequipped look" in wardrobe, but upon "confirm" re-equips bow, so might be bugged.
  1. Add an optional ("don't show this message again") CONFIRM prompt on gem drops. If you missclick it costs 5k gold to remove that gem.
  2. Add option for players to salvage the transmog of an item that gets an aspect imprinted onto it, and thereby changes the look of item when it gets upgraded to legendary. This has robbed some from the desired transmog without warning.
  3. Add text window that shows what slots that aspect can occupy before extraction. Sometimes you extract an aspect only to realize the aspect will not be placed on gloves, but only weapons.
  4. Clicking outside of Character Window (C) should automatically close it (optional). Makes quick view and quick move possible, especially if you accidentally tap it in battle.
  5. Add a "confirm" prompt on skill point reassignment so that you can reassign points without having to free up other supporting nodes before migrating them to a new supporting node. (Let players lift skill points and put them down again without having to temporarily refund points).
  6. Add Drag-select/ window select function for multiple items in inventory.
  7. Add a Preset loadout tab for skill point assignments, I assume this is coming, but a saved list of aspects at time of build would help too. Make it exportable too.
  8. Add function to lock in item text tab of a particular item so that it stays up while cycling through other items for comparison by mouseover.
  9. Add function to, eg. "Press ALT" on item window over an aspect to instantly highlight all other items in inventory that have the same aspect for quick locating.
submitted by Brahmaster to diablo4 [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 10:55 PzKpfw_Sangheili Gunboat Diplomacy: Prologue

Hi! This is the first post in what I hope to be (about) a 7 part series following the adventures of a human destroyer with a crew who was not trained for diplomacy becoming the last chance for peace between two alien species who aren’t very happy that their first contact with humanity is a purpose-built warship blundering into their space. Kida sorta. This is my first time writing anything like this, or really anything at all for public viewership, so feedback is welcome!
This is the prologue, the framing sequence is kinda vague here, this is mostly just to set up the main cast of this show and the titular gunboat, the UNS Crazy Train, so apologies if it drags a bit in a couple places, but I figured it’d be best to exposit now and focus on a more character driven story later (unless y'all really like exposition). Future chapters will probably use the memory transcription framing sequence, the next one will for sure, but I'm not great at writing in first person, so it depends after that. I’m aiming for one post a week, but IRL may have other plans for me.
Credit to u/SpacePaladin15 for his original series, The Nature of Predators, It is very good! Read it if you haven’t because, 1:why are you on the NoP subreddit without reading NoP? Silly. And 2:None of this will probably make sense unless you already know a good chunk of NoP’s plot.
I started working on this before part 98 came out, but this story is not set in the primary canon, so effectively that's about where it diverges from the normal timeline. I'll do my best to avoid contradicting lore from before 99 wherever possible!
That's enough introduction, on with the prologue!

Historical Record: July 12th, 2137
“Captain Krenshaw?”
The captain didn’t look up from his datapad, beckoning the visitor into his office. Probably just another new batch of paperwork for me to sign. While he was enthusiastic about captaining the UNS Crazy Train, the first in the UN’s new class of siege-breaker destroyers, he hadn’t anticipated the amount of documents he would have to sign and submit before. Liability waivers for every new piece of equipment on board, confirmations of deliveries of a dozen different ammo types, and signing the admittance documents for every one of the six hundred and thirty souls on board. Maybe the engineers have a new type of wrench they need approval to distribute to the workstations, he thought with a rueful smile.
The ship had been scheduled to launch five days prior, but the fueling shuttle had somehow brought fuel rods half again too long to fit in the reactor, and so the geniuses in engineering had figured out a way to cut them down to size. It was faster than waiting for replacements, but by no means a fast process, and some logistician had decided to take advantage of the ship sitting in dry dock above Mars and managed to add thirty tons of cargo to the manifest.
“The last of the ammunition has been loaded, we have one last matter to attend to before we are cleared for cast off.” The visitor said while handing him a clipboard.
The captain stood, recognizing the voice of Commander Wilson, his second in command and long time friend. If the commander was hand-delivering a hard copy, this must be an important piece of cargo. A cursory reading of the document proved him right, much to his consternation.
“We’re transporting war criminals now, Hanah? I thought four hundred incendiary bombs for the Fissan’s new “terraforming” project was a bit much, Lieutenant Kiref was already complaining about how he wouldn’t get any time to train with his marines with all this guard duty, and now he’s going to have to have to incorporate at least ten people into prisoner watch.”
Wilson shrugged. “I tried to argue with them, but apparently these criminals need to be delivered to the Venlil High Courts pronto. UN command wants any Arxur sympathetic to our cause to know that we don’t use exterminator tactics on defectors.”
Krenshaw sighed, “Great, just what I need to be worried about, racist pyromaniacs on a ship packed to the brim with napalm charges. I suppose I should go and talk to them before we set off, acceptable conduct and all that.” He rolled his eyes. “We’re ready to go other than that?”
Wilson nodded, and Krenshaw followed her out of his office, leaving her in the battle bridge to make final preparations, while the captain got in a lift down to the dock connecting them to the Martian Shipyards.
As he passed the levels, he again marveled at the warship he was now in command of. The Crazy Train was not a particularly large ship, coming in at just under half a klick long and a quarter of that in width and an eighth in height, but the armor made her literally second to none. While the lower half of her twin hulls were armored comparably to any other human warship, the top halves were covered and connected by a series of armor plates collectively thicker than the wingspan of Earth’s largest fighter, not even including spacing. In order to account for her massive weight, the four primary propulsion thrusters (one at the front and rear of each hull) could rotate to face straight down for atmospheric flight.
Her design had been the result of information gleaned during the UN Shadow Fleet’s marauding attack through Chief Hunter Shaza’s sector, notably the complete lack of any anti-capital ship weapons on the surface of any of the Arxur cattle worlds. A conversation with some of the Arxur sympathetic to humanity, and interrogation of one of the cattle farm overseers revealed the reason: apparently, about sixty years ago a cattle world had been drained of guards for another all-out attack, leaving just under one hundred Arxur in charge of roughly three thousand Mazics. One stampede later, and the Arxur had lost control of the farm and all of its anti-starship heavy plasma railguns. The facility was removed with antimatter bombs, but over a hundred bombers were lost in an operation that, had the guns not been operational, could have been handled by three or four. Rather than rework their entire military strategy to rely on smaller, more flexible forces that didn’t require reducing entire galactic sectors to skeleton crews, the Arxur just moved all the heavy guns to orbital installations.
As a result, the UN commissioned three new classes of warship under “Project Rustler,” with the objective of creating purpose-built warships for eliminating orbital defense platforms and liberating cattle farms. The designers of the Crazy Train had come up with the quintessentially human tactic of building a ship so heavily armored and with such powerful engines that she could hard burn past the platforms, dumping dozens of boarding torpedoes and enough countermeasures to cloak a small fleet in her wake, hover above the farm, drop the onboard detachment of marines to the surface, rescue as many cattle as possible, and escape virtually unharmed due to the upper armor plate being thick enough to take dozens of shots that would split a larger ship in two in stride.
Captain Krenshaw’s musings were interrupted by the bell indicating someone else was getting on the lift. The doors slid open, and the massive form of an Arxur blocked the doorway before quickly ducking inside the elevator.
“Mornin’ Captain” growled Lieutenant Kiref, crouching slightly to avoid whacking his head on the seven foot tall ceiling. “I’m heading down to the docks to take delivery of that batch of prisoners. Where are you headed?”
“Same place actually, I figured you might need some help.”
The Lieutenant waved his tail to indicate his skepticism. “Captain, I am more than capable of taking delivery of three Venlil, who are already cuffed. If they are that heavy, I can requisition some marines to help drag their bodies to their cells after they faint. Why are we hauling prisoners anyway? The version of the orders I got were blocked out.”
“Kiref, these are war criminals, exterminators deployed with the UN army on an Arxur scientific research base.”
Kiref cut in, “Well at least they should be accustomed to seeing sentient predator species then, shouldn’t that make them easier to handle?”---”Sir?” quickly correcting his mistake. Captain Krenshaw is tolerant of a lack of decorum, but I really need to get the hang of these human honorifics for the next time I have to justify my service to some admiral Kiref internally chastised himself.
“They were found by their commanding officer after having burned several defectors to death, so I think fainting is nowhere near the worst situation we could have.” Kiref’s yellow slitted eyes went wide, then narrowed with anger. “What’s more, there was another defector who was still on fire, and survived, so this will definitely go public. The UN wanted to try the exterminators at the Hague, make sure everybody else knows that’s not how humanity treats defectors and POWs, but Tarva insisted that they be tried on Venlil Prime. The UN wants to announce the trial before the story breaks, so the prisoners are taking the next ship to Venlil Prime, which is us.”
“Thanks for the heads up, and glad to know the ship’s leaving soon.” The captain nodded in agreement to the last sentiment, as the doors to the lift opened, revealing the ready deck, which was supposed to be kept clear for troops and equipment for planetary landings, but which was currently packed to the brim with shipping containers full of napalm and canned fruit. The pair made their way through the labyrinth to the airlock connecting the Crazy Train to the dock, Kiref taking note of the lack of any dropships within the hangar.
“Captain, has there been any word on when we will be taking on any landing vessels, and of what type they may be? I was hoping to run disembarkation drills with the landing party.”
“Some new Nevok design they don’t want to be sending the schematics over long range broadcast, probably a good idea given how poor the cybersecurity on those old Fed transmitters is.” The captain replied, with a chuckle at the last part. “You should have at least some time to train on the way to the rest of the fleet. I understand you had planned on using the ready deck to train for surface combat, but since that isn’t an option, I’ll set aside the living quarters and sickbay for the freed prisoners as a simulation for boarding actions.”
Kiref swung his tail in a gesture of appreciation. “I thank you for your consideration sir. I will make sure my men will be capable of securing any ship in the Dominion or Federation within less than a half an hour after boarding.”
Stepping through the airlock, the pair walked onto the dock, which was as large as a highway, and populated sparsely by crewmen loading the last few containers and a squad of marines who snapped to attention as the two officers walked passed. Sticking out like a sore thumb among all the sailors were three of the baldest looking Venlil either man had ever seen seated in benches a little way down the dock, flanked by four uncomfortable looking guards in UNMP uniforms. Upon seeing the alien’s strange haircuts, Kiref glanced quizzically at his commanding officer, who just muttered “exterminators” in response, causing Kiref to roll his eyes. The exterminators were wearing hand (or paw) cuffs clearly designed for someone much larger than them, and The lead exterminator, judging by the insignia pinned to his fire-resistant uniform, glared at Kiref with a look that betrayed not so much fear as anger and disgust.
As Captain Krenshaw began signing over custody of the prisoners, the lead exterminator let out a yell. “Hey human! You know you got a monster in your crew?” The captain put down his pen and turned to face the Venlil, a terrifying look in his eye that made the other two Venlil back down. The leader carried on, oblivious “We could take care of it for you! That thing’s a danger to anybody on board, at least get your chief of security to confine it to a cell!”
Lieutenant Kiref snapped his eyes over to the Venlil, and unsheathed his claws, causing the exterminator to take an involuntary step back. “I’m sorry prisoner,” said the Arxur, his every syllable dripping with venom “I didn’t quite hear you, would you care to repeat that?”
The captain jumped between the two aliens. “THAT’S ENOUGH!”
“Look, human, that thing-”
“I SAID ENOUGH. For future reference, his name is Lieutenant Kiref, not ‘it,’ mine is Captain Krenshaw, not ‘human,’ and as commander of my ship’s marine detachment, he is the security chief. You are under his charge for the duration of our voyage, so I suggest you treat him with the respect he is due.” The captain turned to the Lieutenant. “Take these war criminals to the brig. You know the handbook on prisoner transport inside and out, I trust you will have no problem keeping them confined?”
“None whatsoever” said Kiref, grinning at the now cowering Venlil. He motioned for two marines who were coming back from the interior of the shipyard, and the three of them escorted the cuffed Venlil into the bowels of the ship.
The captain sighed and turned back to the four military police officers, and finished filling out the clipboard before handing it back to the officer who had given it to him.
“Safe travels, captain, and good luck” The man said.
“Thanks, we’ll definitely need it.” Captain Krenshaw turned and began calling over his radio to the crew, “Alright, seal all airlocks, disconnect all umbilicals and prepare to release docking clamps, we will be underway within the hour.”
The ship wasn’t under way for very long.
The UNS Crazy Train exited hyperdrive about four lightyears from the edge of the Sol system, just over a day and a half after departure in a patch of seemingly uninteresting space. Captain Krenshaw ran onto the bridge, disheveled but attempting to put on a professional face, buttoning the last button on his jacket. “What’s the status?” This was a charted area of space, if there had been an asteroid or large space rock,it should have been marked on the map, and the only other plausible option was an enemy fleet, which seemed absent.
Commander Wilson turned at his entrance, vacating the command chair “We’re not sure what it is, the automated navigator detected an absurdly large object in our path, but only picked it up at the last second, and was able to break us out of FTL within just forty klicks of the object. Scanner Officer Casey is investigating now, but we haven’t seen anything since going sunlight.”
The captain took a seat and looked over at the sensor station. “Any ideas yet Caysey?” Officer Casey was by far both the youngest and least experienced member of the Crazy Train’s bridge crew, but Krenshaw was somewhat concerned with the Dossur’s ability to perform his duties under stress. He had been diagnosed with “predator disease” which manifested as an extreme lack of fear response, which meant that he was capable of exchanging small talk over lunch with Kiref for three whole minutes before fainting. Krenshaw had been assured multiple times that the diminutive officer would be just fine in performing his duties as long as the enemies stayed on the other side of a screen, and the Dossur’s natural extremely fast reflexes proved Caysey was adept at identifying and distinguishing targets, so the captain was hopeful, if a bit cautious.
Caysey looked up from his screen, his field of view severely limited by his blinders. “Captain, the only thing that could have blipped into and immediately out of sensor range that fast was another ship passing dangerously close without announcing it’s heading, headed inbound for Earth.”
“An invasion fleet perhaps? Should we turn around?”
“I don’t think so, It would have skipped in front of us for a fraction of a second. The object was detected for over a second, at the speeds we’re talking about, in order to do that the ship would have to be literally light-seconds long, and wide too given the distance this thing seems to stretch on to the sides” The scanner officer looked back to his panel and took several deep breaths before continuing. “I think sensor error is the more likely option. Possibly also some sort of energy field orbiting a local sun at superluminal speeds, but that’s not supported by any scientific theories I know of,” Caysey hastily added.
“I think we’ll avoid examination of theoretical physics for now, drop a beacon and we’ll see if anyone wants to send out a science ship later, helm, continue at sunlight speeds until we clear this field.” The captain said, relaxing a bit. We were needed at the front weeks ago, every day we aren’t there, more people die in Arxur farms.
The ship slowly trundled forwards at sunlight speeds for a few minutes, all eyes were looking at their instruments. The bow punched into the zone, the bridge crew collectively taking deep breaths.
“We should be clear in twenty seconds” Wilson called out.
The whole ship was in the space where the disturbance had been now.
“Fifteen seconds…”
No objects on scanners within the collision warning perimeter
“Ten seconds…”
The bow had reached the far side.
With one and a half seconds to go, Caysey yelled out “WAIT-” but it was too late. Within half a second the entirety of the UNS Crazy Train was engulfed in a bizarre energy field. The standard lighting on the bridge cut out and the emergency bulbs burst from the power surge, plunging the ship into total darkness. The ship rocked violently as the engines gimbaled in random directions. Faster than even the Dossur could react, every electrical system on the ship was flooded with power levels dozens of times higher than what they had been designed to handle. The helmsman screamed as his hands were electrified by the absurd amperage traveling through the ship’s wheel. The ship's reactors tripped, dropping the control rods within another half second, triggering warnings on every panel on the engineering decks.
Within another second the energy had passed, leaving the Crazy Train drifting lifeless in deep space. The turbines slowly winding down triggered the emergency batteries to connect to the ships power, keeping the remaining systems functional, for now. The backup computer activated, rerouting power through backup conduits wherever possible, and developing a list of what needed to be replaced.
Captain Krenshaw was the first to get to his feet. “Is anyone injured?”
“Helmsman Jones' hands are burned pretty badly, should I escort him to sickbay?” said Commander Wilson, helping the injured man to his feet.
“Please do, then help Dr. Mulvan get a triage going.” The captain replied. “Is there anything on scanners, Caysey?
“No s-sir” panted Caysey slowly getting to his fleet. “I should be able to check the beacon we dropped just before we entered the field.” The Dossur was quiet for several seconds. “Sir our comms and scanners may be more damaged than the computer says, I can’t even establish that the beacon is there. Should I launch another?”
“If we have that functionality, then do so. It seems your superluminal energy field hypothesis may have some merit after all” replied the captain, still a bit shaken.
Caysey punched a few buttons before frowning. “The next beacon is launched, and it’s meeting all expected readings. It’s like the other probe just disappeared.”
Krenshaw didn’t give it much thought, contacting engineering to see when the situation on damage control was. The damage turned out to have been mostly superficial or to redundant components, mainly to lighting systems and some CIWS targeting systems. All things that could be replaced in-flight or swapped out quickly at the next port. The only crucial component the ship was missing was the long range communications array, leading to the captain's decision to continue on towards Venlil Prime. At least they have an approach vector lined up for us, we would be cruising into extremely heavy traffic with no comms and dodgy sensors if we head back to Earth. So much for a peaceful maiden voyage, although at least it’s not the worst thing that could have happened...

Thanks for reading, it means a lot! Again, thanks to SpacePaladin15 as well! Hope to see y'all next time on Gunboat Diplomacy!
(also did anybody else know disembarkation was the proper word? I just kinda assumed it was disembarkment until google and spellcheck corrected me)
submitted by PzKpfw_Sangheili to NatureofPredators [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 10:55 Feanorek 2023 BMW 5 series - which options are worth it?

The time has came, and I'm finally getting a brand new BMW. I've already decided that it will be either 540i xDrive or 545e - it might be a last chance to get 6 pot engine in sensible money. Bad part of this is that it limits my budget for options a lot and I will probably pass on at least some.
There are a few options I'm wondering, whether they are good or not and I would be happy to hear from current owners. There are few things I'm 100% taking, as heated seats, comfort seats, heated wheel, backing camera, whole Business Paket, and I have a little more budget for some extra things.
I would be happy, if any of you guys and gals who have options below could help a new guy! I have test driven many of those options and have some opinion, but at least a few were not available in test rides here in Silesia.

You may ask why asking and not taking for test drive - I certainly will, except here test drive cars tend to not have many of those options. I've spent a lot of time trying to find a dealership where I could find both Nappa and Dakota in 5 series in the same place, and there are issues with test drives longer than 20-30 minutes.
submitted by Feanorek to BMW [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 10:53 sadallthetimeagain Bullseye

Again! I am quite tired, but less so than when I last tried to write. I think what put me over the edge for writing this time was watching the combat footage of the Nashville police clearing the school and shooting the shooter.
If you can conceive of it as a fluid instead of a solid, you won’t trap yourself under the same conversational patterns. Is the population capable of enacting laws to stop school shootings? It, like every question begging the reflexive and same responses, is framed incorrectly. It’s rooted in abstraction and obscurity. Those who ask what “we” or “people” can do aren’t wrestling with reality.
Do you have power?
I do. I prove it to myself every day. I have the power to write and speak the truth of what’s on my mind. I have the power to make myself feel better by doing so, going to shows, and recasting the things I do to occupy my time as opportunities more than financial or guilt-ridden burden. I call my Nazi Senator Braun a Nazi regularly. I vote, regardless of my “belief” about its efficacy, I know definitely not doing so is of worse consequence holistically. I create and build relationships. I listen to people testify to my good advice and encouragement. I feel capable of destroying at least as much as I might create.
I feel it. I practice it. I speak to it. I brag about it. I lay it bare to be scrutinized (ignored). I recognize when I’m hesitant to gain too much of it, and I watch as it shapes, most often for the worse, people I’ve admired. The conversation around power, in my observation, isn’t happening. Power is something relegated to the de facto consequences of Christo-fascist nationalism, ignorance, and fear.
I talk to 100 or more people regularly every week about the things they feel powerless to control. That doesn’t mean they don’t work. That doesn’t mean they don’t have dozens of things I’m excited and proud to hear about and discuss. Not a single person has used the word “powerful” to describe how they feel in service to their recovery or achieving goals. It’s not on their mind or tongue. It’s, of course, powerful to maintain goals, fight, take care of your family, honestly get a deeper handle on how your brain works and what the words you’re using are doing to you. But do they claim it? Do they feel it deep enough to celebrate and speak to it?
We’re culturally addicted, and it’s not to drugs. We’re addicted to abstract notions of how power manifests and how it can be used. We swing between extremes in self-serving narratives about abstract enemies while the knife in our heart continues to turn. Any sentence that starts with “guns” isn’t talking about guns. It’s a nonsense abstraction about “tyranny” or “rights.” It’s a fear for the killing potential, often realized regularly upon children, minorities, or the sad. You don’t know how to deal with your fear of guns or a fascist’s fear of everything. So, from either perspective, it’s all crazy, must be condemned, and no amount of violent coercive demonstration or law, let alone statistic, will be persuasive nor account for the broken heart of the issue.
To recognize the amount of power you have is to court madness. I’ve never been closer to empathizing with religious believers and why they need a god than the more I saw the impact of my power. If you don’t have a rooted “why” for your behavior, it defaults to “because I can.” You can lie, because to you, the ”greater truth” often becomes manifest in a more obvious and consequential way than you, or anyone you’ve been lying to, is going to bother to recognize. Is Trump in prison? Are any insurrectionist Senators being removed? Don’t you “keep the peace” and “pay the bills” by lying a thousand times a day about things big and small? Isn’t it “easier” to pretend that you have simple one-off feelings that aren’t important or “that big a deal” and aren’t worth exploring? You have the power to deny you exist at all.
Every kid will die. There’s literally a war this moment in which the rampant shelling of civilians in schools, hospitals, and homes is the strategy. It’s creeping up into “debatable” to some in the abstraction that is “The West” whether we should bother caring about all that, what with our clear and present series of errant death scenarios playing out at home. Don’t you see? Those in that conversation don’t care anymore about a concrete expression and demonstration of values in service to Ukraine than they do children here. The dance is the point. There’s nothing to win, only an obligation to perform, even as a ragged and exhausted zombie as every other voice collapses around you.
You don’t have power. I do. How’s that make you feel? Angry? Empty? You gonna “argue” with me about it? Your power is memes. Your power is silence. Your power is finding secret nobility in being a self-righteous exhausted do-gooder in service to your extremely personal ethic and cultivated awareness. Your power is to treat yourself as an abstraction at the whims of people like me. You can’t be my cheerleader when we don’t operate the same means of power. I can’t take your advice when your window to the world is coated in sticky fingerprints and stuck open just wide enough to fit a whisper through. I can’t trust and respect what you can’t recognize about yourself with regard to chaos or control. That’s why I have power, and you don’t.
School shooters are the visceral example of the thought process depicted above. You can’t encourage and empathize with their plight because you don’t operate within the horrid reality where they know how “obvious” and “easy” it is to exercise their destructive power, but you act, speak, and legislate otherwise. Those capable and willing to speak honestly about how fucked things are aren’t whispering and still never get heard. They’re screaming, pleading, and arguing articulately indefinitely, and you’re calling them “just the wind.” What is an “innocent child” in a psychological world that can’t acknowledge what a gun is? What is a world that can’t reckon with its fear and lack of control the gun represents?
Everyone has to die until all who are left no longer wish to continue killing themselves. That’s what we’re doing, always. That’s my opposition to the death penalty. It’s not because I can’t or won’t kill someone, it’s because I feel, deeply, just how many I could get a taste for killing. There are many things about me that could stand to die, but my hesitation to destroy someone forever shouldn’t be at the top of my list.
I have power and you don’t because I don’t rely on you as the primary sources of my power. I work to discover and recognize what I need. I maintain my license. You wait for me to act so you can perform a reaction. You look forward to what I have to say, right or wrong, because you’re not engaging with me; you have a fantasy where what I say and do gets situated for you to ogle like an expensive piece of art. Somewhere, you know “my” power isn’t mine at all. My work ethic demonstrates a matter-of-fact set of consequences, obligations, responsibilities, and points of awareness that you believe would drive you mad. You’re too busy. You’re too tired. You have too much on your mind. You’re barely keeping it together, and you don’t really know why or for whom, but you’re absolutely certain whatever it is I’m talking about certainly has nothing to do with “you.”
It's not that you or I have too much or too little power. You either don’t have any, or you have all of it, and the examples you set as a result of either condition dictate the ongoing landscape. I assert again you don’t have any power because your meme is not your voice. I say loud and proud that you do not have power because you don’t do ANYTHING that isn’t on the back of someone else. The celebrity gives you license. The work environment sets the rules. The habit courts justification. You’ll “try” and “hope” and “would like to” and “it’d be nice” and “we’ll see” and “one day” or “I’m waitin’ on” or “if I could just” as if you’ve lived a singularly just day your entire life.
You don’t care and can’t cope. You’re not brave enough to admit it, too lazy to explore what happens after you do, and too guilty and ashamed to account for the consequences of operating that way for so long. So keep watching the kids die, every day. Watch the despots grow in power as your silence and complicity become all-consuming. The nature of your power is as obvious as a bullet through a child’s brain, and yet only shooters seem capable of figuring that out.
submitted by sadallthetimeagain to self [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 10:24 Actually_Viirin Chapter 1: Let's Just Call it Evolution

"Watch where you're going, jackass!", the truck driver screamed at the teen, laying in the street directly in front of his grill.
He only laid there for a few seconds before getting up and dusting himself off. "It's just Jack, actually. Jack Mejov", Jack said, lying about his last name.
"Get out of the road!" the truck driver yelled again, even angrier.
It was the fourth time Jack had tried this in the last three years. The fourth truck, the fourth city. Every time he thought he had the chance, he took it. What was the point of being human when there were countless fantasy worlds people had dreamed up and written about? He wanted to get there. Where things were interesting.
There were so many other races! Elves that walk silently and have magic, dwarves that don't get depressed when there's no sun for months, trolls that regenerate from everything, and thousands if not millions more. Most he didn't know about, but he knew that there was more than he could ever learn about. What few fantasy races he did know about, he knew pretty well.
Jack had walked down the road at least a block. Two blocks? Three? He was lost in thought and wasn't paying attention. What got him to snap out of it was a vehicle screeching, which was music to his ears.
"Watch where you're going, asshole!" screamed a truck driver about a block away, straight down the road that Jack was at the corner of.
"You had a stop! I'm trying to back out of my driveway, dick!" screamed the driver of the car that was almost jack knifed in between the truck's driver door and back wheels. If the car had gone further back, it would have been wedged between the diesel's tractor and trailer.
The truck driver kept yelling at the other driver, but his truck lurched forward and started quickly gaining momentum, with the driver leaning out of the window and not looking in front of him.
"This is my chance!" Jack thought loudly to himself, and he didn't waste a single precious moment.
"I'd appreciate you just filling out the paperwork if you're done drooling on yourself", said a bored, but authoritative-sounding male voice.
Jack looked around. He was sitting on the right-hand side of a loveseat made of glossy dark brown leather, in a small room dimly lit by small lamps on tall stands, one in each corner. It was carpeted, and a highly detailed green rug was hidden partially under a rounded but comfortable looking chair that might not have been confused for somewhere a librarian or king should sit. Sitting in that chair, facing Jack, was an older-looking man with powerful facial features.
"Uh, yeah..." he took a minute to get a hold of his senses. He looked down at the clipboard he held in his left hand and white feather quill he held in his right. He looked back at the other man. "Wait, it worked? I get to reincarnate into a different world?!" Jack was ecstatic.
"Uh huh", the man said, not showing interest in the question.
"What races do I get to pick from? Can I be a game-breaking mage? Do I get a cool sword? How about a harem? Can I have all the bitches? Like, all of them? Oh man my hair's gonna be crazy! I get a pet dragon too, right?" Jack asked all these questions and more, exploiting the fact that he didn't have lungs anymore.
Jack was confused. "No? No to what question?"
"All of them. Fill out the questionnaire."
He looked down at the paperwork he was told to fill out twice now. Maybe the cool stuff was already filled in, and he didn't need to ask? But as Jack looked and read, things were indeed already filled in, with no options given. Just a pre-printed answer, as if someone used a stamp and didn't pay attention enough to make sure it was actually on the line it was expected to be on.
"A dungeon core? That's my new race?"
"Fill out the paperwork."
"Can I be a human again instead?" Jack asked.
"Sure, if the point cost is compatible. All we have to do is calculate the objective value of humanity. Once the very last mortal forgets the very last thing about humanity, we can compact its history and adjust it for versatility, endurance, relevance, and other factors. Then we assign it a point value. If it's the same or less than your current assignment, then you can be human instead."
"Uh, how long would that take? I mean how long would I have to wait here for that?"
"You'd be waiting here in real time. Are you ready?"
"I'll uh, I'll just fill out the paperwork some more."
He continued filling out some things, but he was looking for questions he didn't see with even more focus. "Monster progression? Okay, I see it has options for 'special events', 'elemental potency', 'achievements', and 'passive dungeon core advancement'. What do those mean?"
"There are only a few bubbles to fill in, and boxes to put a checkmark in. You've done that before, right? Just do that." The man, if that's actually what he was, was sounding more annoyed than tired now.
Jack read more, skipping over that question for now. On the next page was something else that was equally confusing. "Dungeon Core skill or element affinity bonus? What kinds of options are there? I don't see anything listed."
The man blinked a few times, looking like he was trying to keep himself awake, but without the intent to succeed. "Tell you what. I'll go get someone that can answer all of your questions for you. Would that help?" the man asked.
"Yes please", Jack answered.
The other man got up from his chair, and left the room. When the door closed, it did so loudly, but didn't seem like it was slammed. Jack sat there patiently, waiting for the man to come back. After an hour, he decided to just skip that question too and just fill out the other options.
However long it was after that, Jack just laid down uncomfortably on the seat too big for one person to sit on, but not long enough for anyone to lay down on. Eventually he was awakened.
"Got all those questions filled out?", asked the man.
"Oh, uh, I just got a couple more. So, it says here that the dungeon chest is a 'standard wooden treasure chest' but 'wood' isn't just wood. It's like, a kind of wood. What kind of wood is it?"
"Pine?!" Jack asked incredulously.
"It is now that you asked. Actually, I apologize. That's a typo. It's supposed to say balsa."
"You didn't look at the paper."
"No, I didn't."
Jack could see that arguing wasn't going to get him any help. "Uh, here it says that I can choose a copy of any single thing on my entire previous world to act as a dungeon treasure? Surely that can't be right. Like, it's not like I can choose The Elephant's Foot from the Chernobyl Accident and stuff it in my treasure chest!"
"If that's what you want, then fine."
"Wait, what? That would make the chest light on fire and melt!"
"The chest is invulnerable to whatever is in it and nothing inside can be detected in any way at all until the chest is opened."
Jack was getting really uncomfortable now. "But how is anyone-" he was cut off mid-sentence.
"If you don't have any more questions, then", the man yawned. "I wish you luck on-" the man might have finished his sentence, but Jack wasn't around anymore to tell one way or the other. Instead, he was standing, or at least he felt like he was, in the middle of what looked like a church that had been long abandoned. He only heard a single frog in the distance.

From author: I'm posting this series on RR first, then here. I have... a lot to write for this series! As of this upload I'm writing Chapter 11.
Next Chapter: https://www.reddit.com/HFY/comments/125hfjc/chapter_2_meeting_the_system/
submitted by Actually_Viirin to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 10:21 Max_imum_Overdrive The Critic

The Critic
Alastor Vyle was an empty, pathetic, mediocre man with an inflated ego. He was the type of bully who avoided introspection by criticizing others. In particular, he liked to criticize creative people. He had never produced anything creative himself, but he took satisfaction from tearing down the work of others. He would pretend to have high standards and superior knowledge, but really he had very little idea of what he was talking about. If his opinions failed to match reality, it didn't matter to him, because constructive criticism was never the point. It was always about hurling insults and accusations at another person until he destroyed their self confidence. His narcissism made him feel like making someone else give up on their passions somehow granted him a victory. Every time he broke someone down, his greatest hope was that they would commit suicide, so his insults were always aimed directly at destroying his victim's self worth.
Maybe Alastor's failure as a human being was rooted in his relationship with his abusive father, or perhaps it stemmed from the fact that his mother had taken methamphetamines more than a couple of times while she was pregnant with him. In any case, he had failed to learn basic respect for others. He was always concerned only for himself, his own reputation as a dominant man, and his own secret feelings of inadequacy. So, maybe that's why he missed the signs that he should have simply avoided confrontation with his last victim.
There are some creative people who are constantly worried about whether their art will be appreciated by other people. For them, harsh criticism can be devastating. These unfortunate ones have a tendency to elevate the worth of a critic's opinion, and let it shape their own decisions. They were Alastor's favorite targets. But, there is another type of creative person; the one that knows precisely what he is doing, and understands how to shape his own intentions, to shape reality to his own ends. This kind of man is never anyone else's prey. This kind of man ought never to be provoked, especially by some narcissistic blowhard with no skills of his own.
Alastor had been having a bit of a rough day. His supervisor at the box factory where he worked had told him that his performance was unsatisfactory, and if it didn't improve quickly, Alastor would be looking for another job. Then, the barista that he liked to hit on, at the coffee shop he always stopped at on the way home, told him in no uncertain terms that she was not interested in him. She insisted that she was never interested, would never be interested, and would report him to the authorities if he persisted in harassing her. He was in a foul mood when he arrived at his apartment. He wanted to let off some steam, to push down all those prickly feelings of failure. Briefly, he considered taking his baseball bat behind the building and finding an alley cat or possum to beat to death, but he had nearly been caught doing that just the week before. Internet trolling seemed the more attractive option. He sat back in his gaming chair and powered up the computer, then logged on to a website for amateur writers. Alastor had been a member of the site for more than two years, but had never contributed a single story. That wasn't why he was there. It was just his hunting ground.
He spent an hour or so downvoting perfectly fine stories by first time authors, leaving them nasty little critiques with no specific details. It felt good to him, but didn't really settle his rage as much as he wanted. For that, he wanted something bigger, that he could really chew up. After some more searching, he came across an unusually long story that seemed a bit more quirky than some of the others. It was a tale of ritual magic gone wrong, and the dense prose seemed almost to be a warning to the reader. Alastor didn't bother reading it all. Actually reading anything gave him a headache, and if it wasn't about him, it wasn't worth it. He just skimmed through the paragraphs looking for something to attack. He noted that the author seemed to make liberal use of common tropes, the style being an homage to the entire weird fiction milieu. He chuckled coldly to himself, having found his angle of assault. The review that he left was vicious, claiming the story to be a stupid, gross, waste of time. He made wild accusations of everything from plagiarism to slapping together a hodgepodge of nothings. He heaped on every insult he could think of, gleefully imagining the harm he was hoping to do to the author. When he was done, he read it through, out loud to himself, and laughed. He pressed the send button and closed the page. Then he moved on to his favorite porn site to celebrate.
An hour later, he noticed that he had received a notification from the writing website. He sneered. This ought to be good for a laugh, he thought. He clicked the message open. It was a short paragraph, from the author of the story Alastor had mocked. The language was strange to him, still English, but with many archaic words and phrases. The gist of it seemed to be something about balancing a scale and removing an obstacle or impediment of some kind, and that was it. He couldn't derive any further meaning from it. He didn't know how to respond, so he simply sent a derisive laughter emoji, and went to bed. It was unsettling, though, for some reason. Alastor did not sleep well.
The next morning did not see an improvement in his mood, or his luck. His cup of coffee tasted strange, and when he went to change out the grounds, he found the chamber full of cockroaches. Disgusted, he angrily tossed the whole coffeemaker into the trash can. He decided to go to work without coffee, or breakfast. When he got out to his car, the entire windshield was coated in bird excrement. A hundred or so starlings sat cackling on the electrical wires over the street. He flipped them an obscene gesture. Alastor didn't have time to wash the car properly. He just used the windshield spray and wipers, which made a smeary mess before running out of fluid. Cursing with every choice word he knew, he got out and wiped the driver's portion of windshield with a used fast food napkin that he found in the crack of the passenger seat. The drive to work was more stressful than usual. It didn't get much better after he arrived. From the moment he clocked in, his boss was riding him hard, and Alastor wasn't feeling up to dealing with it. By lunchtime, he was wound up tight. The supervisor made one more disparaging comment, and Alastor snapped. His screaming fit of rage could be heard throughout the building. The dirtiness of the names he called that man was almost eloquent. Naturally, he was fired on the spot, and escorted to his car by security.
He screamed obscenities non stop, as he drove away, for the next three minutes. Still seething, he decided to stop at his usual coffee shop. The line wasn't long, so he started to relax, just a tiny bit. When it was his turn, he stepped up to the counter and ordered a tall black coffee with a cheese danish, without looking at the barista. He heard a muffled sound, and looked at her. It was the same girl that he usually hit on, and she was looking at him with disgust. Belatedly, he remembered what she had told him about leaving her alone. He should've gone somewhere else for his coffee, but now it was too late. He told her that he hadn't known she would be there, and to just get him his blasted coffee. He couldn't keep the stress and anger out of his voice. The next thing he knew, he was being pulled away from the counter by a very large, very strong, security guard. Soon after, the police arrived. They talked to the barista, her manager, and the security guard, all within ten minutes. Then they drove him off to lockup. He kept telling them it was just a mistake, that he hadn't meant any harm, but they were not inclined to listen. When they left him alone in the cell, they didn't even apologize for the bodily filth left by the previous occupant.
Flies buzzed around the cell, dozens of them breeding in the filth. They pestered him all night long, landing on his face, his neck, his hands and arms, biting and buzzing. He slapped at them, but it did no good. As he lay on the bench, hating his life, one of the blasted things flew up his nose. He coughed, spit, snorted, and blew his nose forcefully, trying to expell the cursed thing, but nothing came out other than sputum. He covered his face with his shirt and lay still, resigned to misery for the remainder of the night.
Morning arrived, and Alastor was released before breakfast. He was the incarnation of wretchedness. His car had been impounded, and he spent several hours reclaiming it. When he opened the driver's door, a large rat leapt out and bit his arm. He threw the rat to the ground and stomped on it hard. He lifted his foot for another stomp, but the rat managed to escape. Alastor drove home, not even thinking of going to the hospital for the rat bite. He locked himself in his apartment, filled the tub with hot water, then lowered himself into it's warm, wet embrace, with a cold bottle of beer in one hand, and another sitting on the floor. He tried to relax in the hot water, but his skin was itchy. He scrubbed at himself with bar soap and a loufa. His distracted thoughts kept running back to that weird message from the author. He couldn't remember the words, no matter how he tried. His mind was spinning. He kept thinking about stories he had read, and movies he had seen, wherein the main character realized that he was a work of fiction, and met his author, or something similar. God, there were so many of them. Why were there so many stories about writing that makes reality? What was that about, and why did it deserve to be it's own trope?
The itching was getting worse. Alastor scratched at his chest with his fingernails. The skin felt lumpy, and something was moving underneath. Alastor stared in horror as small lesions began to form all over his exposed skin. Fat white maggots smeared in his blood wriggled out of the lesions, only to immediately bite down into the surrounding flesh. Terrified screams escaped his throat, expelling maggots and sputum onto his chest. Weeping profusely, he tried furiously to wash away the maggots with bathwater. More of them emerged. Thousands more, in rapid succession, eating their way out of his skin until it was gone, and he was horribly alive, watching it all helplessly. The maggots writhed and chewed, devouring muscle and sinew, while Alastor's brain witnessed everything through his untouched eyes. Finally, he realized the truth. It was a curse. The author had written this fate for him, and trapped him in this story by some sort of spell. It was insane, but nothing else could explain all that had happened. He had brought down a curse on himself, with his arrogance, selfishness, and rudeness. It had never occurred to him that someone could hurt him with words on a screen.
Alastor Vyle saw his own end, as a rightful consequence of his hateful words directed at a stranger. Unfortunately for him, he had chosen a stranger that fought back, and had the power to make him pay.
submitted by Max_imum_Overdrive to ShackAtTheNexusOfHere [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 09:59 CitizenSnips4 Digital Daily #15 Written Summary — March 26th [Week 3 Nominations + POV Spoilers]

This is a summary of Digital Daily #15 (March 26th). Detailed are events that happen after the POV comp leading up to the POV ceremony. Please no spoilers beyond this digital daily in the comments.
Pre-Digital Daily: Kuzie nominated Santina and Hope. The winner of the POV is Hope.
Will Kuzie make a big move this week? Or do what Ty wants… Digital Daily #15 kicks off in the HOH room, where Kuzie speaks with POV winner Hope. Kuzie asks him questions so she can figure out who her replacement nominee will be; assuming Hope uses the veto on himself, the replacement nominee will sit next to Santina. During this convo, Hope confirms to Kuzie that he was the 4th vote to keep Roberto in the house. Later, we learn from an unhappy Daniel in a talk with Anika that Zach is Kuzie’s likely replacement nominee and target. Anika wants the replacement nominee to be Ty, as she sees Ty as the glue that keeps the guys alliance together. Later, Hope confesses his 4th vote secret to Renee. Meanwhile, Anika approaches Kuzie with an attempt at getting Ty on the block in stead of Zach. Kuzie reveals that Ty thinks of Anika as disposable. Anika fails to get Kuzie to consider Ty as a target, as Kuzie only gives reasons to target Zach. Later, Ty approaches Kuzie to hear her plan; they become frustrated with each other, as Ty desperately wants Zach, and to a lesser extent, Dan, to stay off the block, but those are Kuzie’s main options right now. They talk in circles but neither budge. After this discussion, Ty goes to Hope with the idea of Hope using the veto on Santina, not himself. Ty then tells Zach of his possible nomination, which rattles him while he’s trying to work out.
Going into detail…
0:00:07 - HOH - Kuzie Speaks with the POV Winner
Kuzie asks Hope what his thoughts are on Renee. Hope: “she’s very trustworthy.” Kuzie asks if Hope is close with Shanaya. Hope says in every conversation he’s had with her, they are close, but it’s never been game-related. Kuzie: “so Shanaya would not be horrible to get out, but don’t touch Renee.” Kuzie says she likes Renee, but she wonders why 2 people have put her on the block already; what did the other HOHs see? Kuzie: “then I’m looking at Dan and I’m saying ‘this guy has absolutely no plans for me in his life.’” Kuzie says the sensible thing for her would be to backdoor Dan this week. Hope: “between you and me, about the whole JM situation: I wish Ty never saved Anika off the block. Because I feel like JM could have done a lot of big in this game. I wish he stayed.” Hope thanks Kuzie for putting him on the block because his POV win yesterday is motivating him to win another comp. Ty literally barges in without knocking. Kuzie apparently gives him a face because he walks right back out. Hope also won $5,000 in the comp. Hope asks Kuzie if she trusts Daniel/Anika. Kuzie trusts that they are genuine, but she’s not sure how hard they will play. Hope calls Daniel a real one: “outside of here, I want to be friends with him.” Kuzie trusts that Jonathan is a good person. Hope: “I don’t know how he is going to survive in this game.” Hope says he (Hope) is with Kuzie from now on; he says again that this POV win has given him a new purpose in the house. Hope: “whatever move you make, I’m with you 100%.” Hope about his vote for Roberto: “you know the truth about that obviously.” Kuzie: “yeah.” Hope: “I couldn’t tell anyone.” Hope says he could tell that Kuzie knew when she said she “didn’t care” who voted and they shared a look. Hope says he changed his vote last second. Kuzie: “spilt milk.” Zach barges in (without knocking); Hope motions for him to stay and that they are done talking. Zach asks Hope when he wants to lift. Hope leaves and Zach stays with Kuzie.
0:11:16 - Parlour - Anika & Daniel React to Kuzie’s Plans
Anika tells Daniel why she thinks Ty should be the next target: without Ty, Santina/Zach won’t work together; Ty also has influence on Claudia. Daniel says Ty has to go, but Kuzie would never do it: “there’s no fighting it anymore, it’s gonna be Zach.” Daniel says he will not vote Zach out over Santina, even if it destroys his chance at alliances. Daniel says if they get rid of Zach and keep Ty, they (Daniel/Anika) are still gonna be the targets since Ty won’t come after Claudia and her friends. Anika says Ty would go after Renee and Shanaya. Daniel asks how she knows. Anika says because Ty knows Renee is close with Claudia, so he wants Renee to leave before they get closer. Anika remembers to tell Daniel about a conversation she had with Ty last night: Anika says Ty approached her about why she was feeling stressed, and started asking game questions. Anika responded: “you know what Ty, I can’t trust you enough right now to tell you that” and added that Ty is always talking game with Santina and Zach, not her. Anika stresses that Ty is the person that connects that big alliance. Daniel says he had a relationship with Santina, but then she blew them up as a group, and now they are keeping her? Anika says it’s about perspective. Daniel: “I get it, I get it.” Daniel says he is upset at Santina because her pitch to get rid of Zach was that she doesn’t like what Zach is doing with Daniel: “I’m a grown ass man. Everyone needs to stop protecting me.” Daniel says on a game-level, he’s pissed. Daniel reveals that he is conflicted about the information Santina told him; either Santina is 100% lying or Zach can’t be trusted at all. Daniel says the house is going to be so boring (without Zach). Daniel says he just needs a day of misery, and Anika leaves.
0:19:36 - Purple Bedroom - Talk Later?
Anika joins Hope/Renee in the bedroom. Daniel enters momentarily then leaves. Renee leaves, and before Hope exits he tells Anika they need to have some one-on-one time. Anika agrees.
0:22:10 - Hot Tub - Socializing
Daniel joins Shanaya/Claudia/Zach outside.
0:22:39 - Library - Hope Confesses to Renee
Hope/Renee continue to talk about Hope’s age. [honestly I’m getting bored of his “what age am I??” talk]. They play pool and focus on the game for a while. Then Hope says he is just going to play an honest game. Hope: “I feel like you know me.” Renee says she has a pretty good understanding of who he is. Hope: “so I guess you know the truth about that 4th vote…” Renee: “was it Zach?” Hope: “…” Renee: “it was you?” Hope says it was a pity vote. Renee: “oh, well at least you’re honest about it.” Renee asks if Zach/Ty know. Hope says yes. Renee asks if the 3rd vote was Vanessa. Hope says no, he doesn’t think so [it was]. Renee asks if the guys were mad when Hope told them how he voted. Hope says he just explained that it was his friend: “I’m not good at lying.” Renee says Hope cannot give a pity vote moving forward, starting this week with whatever Kuzie wants to do.
0:32:31 - HOH - Anika Tries to Sway Kuzie
Anika approaches Kuzie about nominating Ty instead of Zach. Kuzie says one of her reasons for wanting to get rid of Zach is “not that I want to weaken Daniel,” but it would make Daniel a better ally for them since he won’t be on the fence. Anika tells Kuzie about her conversation with Ty last night; Ty tried to get Anika information from Anika and Anika went off on him about not being able to trust him. Anika says Ty said he stopped talking game with Santina after week 1; Kuzie says that’s not true. Anika goes on to say that Ty said Anika was so smart and he wants to work with her etc. Kuzie: “Anika. He has said your name to me. He said if he gets HOH you are going on the block.” Kuzie tries to reassure Anika by saying that if those 3-4 people (Zach’s side) want to target the 5-6 leftovers, they would target Kuzie first. Kuzie says she told Ty straight up that she doesn’t care if her nominating Dan will hurt Ty’s numbers. Dan enters to listen to Kuzie’s music while he does cardio. Anika looks annoyed. Dan goes to the bathroom area and Kuzie/Anika continue whispering. Anika says that if Ty stays, he will control that side by being the glue. Kuzie asks Anika to look at the game morally. Kuzie says Zach angers her, Ty scares her. She would happily lose to Ty, not Zach. Anika asks if Kuzie told Ty about nominating Zach at the upcoming POV ceremony. Kuzie says no. Kuzie adds that Zach has been telling Renee “you’re lucky you have a pretty face.” Kuzie asks what kind of a stupid comment is that. Anika says Ty will come after herself though. Kuzie says Ty will target Renee and Kuzie before Anika. Kuzie says Zach is grimy. Kuzie says people have been telling her that Ty will be against her after this move. Anika brings up what Kuzie revealed earlier: “Ty really suggested to you my name? Like as a pawn or the target?” Kuzie says as a pawn. Kuzie: “like you’re not a target but you’re disposable to him.” Jonathan enters for a minute then he leaves. Anika whispers that Hope needs to go too; also Kuzie should also be careful of Renee. Kuzie repeats herself about Zach playing a dirty game. Anika agrees that Zach can go this week but Ty has to go soon. Kuzie agrees to that. Anika says once Zach and Ty are gone, it will be an even playing field for everyone. Kuzie says if they come to her and threaten her about not having any physical players on her side, she doesn’t care; Jonathan is a physical player, and if Kuzie can talk to Santina well enough, she could be on her side. Anika advises Kuzie not to tell anyone about her plan to nominate Zach. Anika leaves the room.
0:54:52 - Living Room - Ty Wants to Talk
Kuzie leaves the HOH room. Ty sees her leaving and tells her to get her “ass back in there.” He wants to talk with her. Kuzie says she is making her rounds so she will get Ty when she comes back to the room. They split up. Ty whispers to Santina that he will tell her what they (Ty/Kuzie) talk about later.
0:56:54 - Hot Tub - Comp Talk
Renee/Claudia/Ty/Daniel hang out outside. Small talk about the HOH comp and previous comps.
1:01:24 - Backyard - Working Out
Shanaya/Anika work out in the backyard while Zach/Hope hang out nearby. They talk about about working out. Dan is also working out in the backyard. Anika helps Shanaya with her lifting form. Hope whispers to Zach that early in the game he told Anika that he would keep Vanessa around because she cooks. Ever since then, Anika has been cooking big breakfasts. Hope laughs.
1:17:15 - HOH - Kuzie & Ty Debate
Kuzie and Ty meet to talk. Kuzie says she is a calm person until she gets irritated. Ty says they are the same person. Kuzie says Zach is trying to make her feel stupid; in no world can anyone convince Kuzie that taking out Renee is a good HOH move. Kuzie declares that Renee will not be going on the block. Kuzie says at this point, she is looking at Dan or Zach as the replacement nominee. Kuzie says Kuzie/Ty can protect each other, not each other’s people; Kuzie will always vouch for Ty, but she can’t promise she will protect Zach just because they are friends. Kuzie mentions she was talking to Daniel last night, and Daniel burst into tears at the thought of Zach going on the block. Kuzie asks Ty to put his game into mind, and ask himself if he would make a weak move like Renee during his HOH week. Ty says everyone is expecting Renee to go up because she is an easy option since she’s been up twice. Ty defends Zach for pushing the Renee idea because everyone was thinking it anyway. Ty warns that if she puts Dan up, Kuzie will lose Zach. Ty tries to float the idea of evicting Hope instead, but Kuzie reminds him Hope isn’t eligible since he got POV (assuming he uses it on himself). Ty says he would consider voting Dan out if he was on the block, he wouldn’t consider voting out Zach. Kuzie says if she decides to nominate Zach, she will have the numbers with or without Ty’s vote. Ty says it’s too early to get Zach out. Ty argues that you don’t have to make big moves on an HOH to make big moves in the house. Talking in circles, Ty is desperate to change Kuzie’s mind about Zach or Dan. Kuzie doesn’t budge. Ty says Renee is an indirect threat to Kuzie. Kuzie: “I’m not going for indirect, I’m going for direct. I’m going for direct threats.” Ty tries to scare Kuzie by asking what happens if she nominates Dan, Santina gets evicted, and then Dan becomes HOH next week? Kuzie: “let’s not focus on Dan, let’s focus on Zach.” Ty: “obviously I’m closer to Zach, so I’m not gonna offer him up to you.” Ty asks his question again. Kuzie says “then that’s okay.” Kuzie adds that she didn’t come here to hide. Kuzie: “if this was your HOH, you wouldn’t consider half the things you are saying.” Kuzie says Ty is the biggest player in the game but she won’t come after him because he is straight-forward; Dan gives Kuzie nothing, and Zach gives her lies. Kuzie says as smart as Ty thinks Zach is, she promises she can think that same way and be an asset to Ty. Ty asks if Kuzie wants to go to the end with a bunch of weak players. Kuzie says everyone doesn’t know everything about everyone in the house; some people might think Ty is playing a “weak game” if they don’t know what he has done. They have a moment of loud frustration; Ty tries to twist Kuzie’s words but she doesn’t allow it. Ty asks Kuzie to keep her calm with him. Kuzie says Renee isn’t connected to any guys in the house, so Kuzie can possibly “work” Renee down the line. Ty says Kuzie shouldn’t nominate Dan then since he is connected to Shanaya, by that logic. Kuzie: “don’t bring that in here. We aren’t talking about Dan.” Ty accuses Kuzie of not being real right now. Kuzie gets frustrated: “Ty. We’re not talking about Dan right now. I’m talking about a theory about Renee. Don’t twist that into talking about why I shouldn’t nominate Dan.” Ty: “you’re getting defensive.” Kuzie: “yeah I am, because it’s not time to bring up Dan.” Dan walks in and offers to clean Kuzie’s bathroom [worst possible timing lol, they are both pissed]. Kuzie asks for some more time alone with Ty and he leaves. Ty apologizes for cutting Kuzie off. Kuzie says Renee isn’t connected to any guys. Ty: “what about Hope.” Kuzie: “it’s not romantic.” Ty insists that doesn’t matter. Kuzie insists Renee is “workable”. Ty: “okay Kuzie…” Kuzie says still has a day to think about it, but the Renee thing is probably not gonna happen. Ty: “alright Kuzie…” Kuzie: “but I have my own game to play so you can’t get angry—” Ty: “I’m not angry!” [he definitely is, trying to play cool] Ty says its a bulls—t move if the reasoning is to “not follow someone else”. Kuzie says if it’s a bulls—t move then that’s what it’s gonna be. Ty says he is getting frustrated because he is seeing certain things that don’t align with their team; he sees Kuzie on his team and this decision doesn’t add up, at least not right now. Ty says Shanaya is a girl that gets infatuated with someone and then acts a fool, but Claudia is clearly not like that [really?]. Kuzie says if she puts her trust in Shanaya, Kuzie will get burned in the end because Shanaya will choose Dan. Ty says Claudia thinks of Renee as disposable. More talk about Dan/Shanaya/Renee. Eventually Kuzie brings it back to her decision: “I can promise you, but I can’t promise your friends. So you might hate me…” Ty says Daniel/Anika are disposable but he would want to target Shanaya/Renee before them.
2:00:40 - Backyard - Father Talk
Zach and Hope discuss the relationship between parents and their children. Hope says he isn’t close with his father.
2:03:31 - Pink Bedroom - This Isn’t Over
Ty makes his bed. He whispers: “you’re not about to f—k up my game, believe that.” He goes searching for Kuzie. Daniel says she went to the DR.
2:05:12 - Pantry - Pantry Hug
Ty finds Claudia in the pantry. They hug. Claudia asks how his talk with Kuzie was. Ty: “we’ll see.” Renee enters and Ty leaves.
2:05:43 - Kitchen - Ty Plans to Plan
Ty tells Dan that they are going to have to figure something out, and that they will chat later.
2:06:46 - Purple Bedroom - Bedroom Stuff
Dan gets dressed in the bedroom.
2:07:02 - Backyard - Ty’s Brilliant Plan for Hope
Ty just told something to Zach/Hope about what Kuzie said. Zach: “I knew it. I knew it.” Ty says he has to talk to Hope later, so Zach leaves to let them talk now. Ty asks when Hope “wants to go home”. Hope says he wants to stick around as long as possible to be a shield for the group when it matters the most. Ty says he might need Hope to do something crazy this week: use the veto on Santina (leaving Hope himself on the block). Ty says he will tell him if he gets the numbers to keep him safe. Ty: “I’m not gonna make the decision until I know.” Hope agrees. Zach returns to the area.
2:09:29 - Backyard - Ty Warns Zach
Ty and Zach walk away. Ty tells Zach that Zach made things worse for himself by talking to Kuzie last night. Ty says Kuzie was distraught with the way Zach was talking to her. Zach is shocked that he came off as aggressive. Ty tells him that Kuzie is considering nominating Dan or Zach. Zach: “me?!” Ty: “I already told her ‘you’re not f—king putting up Zach’.” Ty says Kuzie isn’t even considering Renee. Ty says worst-case scenario is that Dan goes up. Ty: “I might need to get Hope to use the veto on Santina.” Zach, still in shock: “she’s that mad at me?” Ty advises him to apologize to Kuzie for being aggressive in a natural setting; he shouldn’t approach her or it will look obvious that Ty told him. Zach continues working out with Hope. He whispers: “f—k man, is that the end of my game…?” And that’s a wrap for Digital Daily #15!
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2023.03.29 09:47 backroom_mushroom Found this thing online and thought it'd be useful

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2023.03.29 09:47 CrimsonCloverwriter Chapter three : Break on through

Hey everyone, click the link for more info and more chapters :
A book about cycles, size and perception : CrimsonCloverwriter (reddit.com)
The green man ran. He sprinted. Down the winding halls and past confused onlookers the green man ran.
One of his subordinates tried to stop him, a rather frog-like man the green man vaguely knew. The green man pushed the frog back, launching him into two more subordinates.
Now they were all running, the halls alive with the sounds of feet pounding across the ground. And yet none could catch him, for he was still spry for his age. Finally, the man broke through the gate, past the barrier and now beside Dundis. It had been years since he wandered these walls, and yet the path spoke to him, showing where he must go. To Osmund, the fallen warrior of Alizia, an old friend.
He ran, the Alizian’s could only see the blur dart past them and enter the doors. Faster and faster he became, until finally the green man wasn’t running at all. Now he was a force, a presence that lived for the rush, moved for the sake of moving, until he could find what he seeked.
And it was then that he saw the tower, collapsed with debris everywhere, the corpses of soldiers strung everywhere, when he began to panic.
Pain. Shooting, blinding pain running through Osmund’s body. Something inside of him was roaring, his organs feeling fit to burst under the complete and utter agony. He could feel it everywhere in his body, starting with his toes and slowly crawling up through his body, into his intestines, through his kidney and even further still, to his head. Osmund could feel it losing itself, his brain was struggling to think, his body far too degraded into paste to resist the loss of himself, struggling as hard as it could to force awareness back into Osmund, make him open his eyes and do something before it was too late-
Pain. There was a warmth here, as Osmund lay, it began in his arm, a slight sting at first but now it began to generate something inside, breathing something into him, strengthening him. Osmund felt something, something other than pain, but equally as shocking : His toes. There they were, all ten of them, buzzing away with the rest of his body. Something was happening, all the pain began to fade away, however something was replacing it. The buzzing.
It was inside Osmund’s head, a cicada buzzing inside of him relentlessly, just as they had back home, in the forest when the merchants would come. Osmund could see them now, dancing joyfully through the fields. Osmund could see her even now, the tall woman, beckoning towards-
Pain. Sensation. Osmund’s eyes opened as something slapped him, a dark figure perched over Osmund’s body. He pushed against the figure, remarking at his own strength and how it overpowered the man so easily. Pushing the shape to the floor Osmund observed it, feeling the overpowering delirium from his rest take over, and all at once the figure was out of his hands, and Osmund felt total weightlessness.
It only lasted for a second, or at least that’s what Osmund believed, before he could see the shadow in more focus, and the green armour that adorned it. Osmund shuddered, resting one hand against his face as he realised who the mysterious shadow was.
“Are you alright Osmund?” Balmun’s concern was admirable, especially considering the man’s wounds. His armour was in shambles, dirtied by the fall, with loose pieces of wood sticking out of his left arm. Blood poured down at an alarming rate, although for the most part Balmun seemed to be in little pain.
“I… I don’t know.” Slowly Osmund raised his hand towards Balmun, who quickly helped him to his feet. Osmund looked down at his body, noting the bloody and tattered armour that clung to him, but also noting the complete absence of pain anywhere.
Osmund observed his surroundings, and realised where the pair stood. Upon collapsing the tower had fallen towards the approaching Alizians, causing a great collapse between the two walls merging the interiors together. Cleaning supplies and old clothes clashed with decadent walls and broken statues. Somehow the tower’s ceiling seemed to have broken the Dundis ceiling, thus leaving a section of the remains elevated.
The ground was littered with Alizian and Vaunghe soldiers, some dead, others dying, however it seemed that many of the Alizian’s had survived the impact, and merely lay with injuries rather than anything truly life-threatening. Osmund could hear something, a curious buzz in the air, it echoed through the room and back to Osmund. It almost sounded like cicada’s, dozens of them, performing their strange buzz to the pair of soldiers.
There was something else, another sound almost completely drowned out by the cicadas, and that was the sound of knocking. Large bangs riddled one of the collapsed walls, with muted calls barely breaking through the debris. Osmund and Balmun slowly moved to the wall, until they were directly in front of it. Osmund could hear the attempts at breaching from the other side, attempting to break through the wall and help the injured, and knew it would take another few minutes.
He looked back at the room, searching for the forms of his party, however he could only find a few. Edmun lay almost completely covered by Vaunghe soldiers, who seemed to have broken his fall slightly. He was still breathing, but unconscious. One of the Enick twins lay dead, although which was uncertain due to the debris that had crushed his skull. The final member of his group Osmund could find was Josmu, severely wounded but still gasping for air. Josmu’s injuries were serious, a crushed arm that would likely need amputation, but he still had a decent chance at survival supposing he got help soon. The others were nowhere to be found, lost amongst the sea of Alizian and Vaunghe forces.
Osmund once again looked at his own wounds, and was struck dumbfounded. The wounds he had sustained, the head injury, the causes of the tattered armour and bloody armour, were nowhere to be found. His body was unharmed, it was covered in blood and dirt, he could even feel the still wet blood from his ear, but there were no injuries, no pain, nothing at all. In fact Osmund felt much more than unharmed, he felt strong. The shock of the fall had faded, and now Osmund began to feel something inside of him roar, some small part of him beginning to take over.
Osmund was practically jumping up and down, he couldn’t contain himself, until finally he approached the wall, now bleeding sunlight due to the efforts of the outside. Osmund touched the wall and pulled with all the strength he could muster. And it worked. The debris was slowly pulled away, beginning to collapse all at once, and revealing more sunlight into the now broken room.
The greens of Alizia welcomed Osmund, and as he wandered out, shock swamped his saviour’s faces. One man in particular, was the very same soldier who gave Osmund the reports earlier. His face was now bruised, a split lip upon his face, which was accentuated with the mix of concern and worry that painted his face.
“Osmund-sir, by the gods we need a medic, anyone go get us a medic the commander needs help!” Another man, even younger than the guide, began to run down the corridor. Osmund watched as he went, and knew that Osmund could beat the man in a fight. Osmund placed an arm on the worried man’s shoulder, a full grin appearing on his face.
“Soldier, soldier… I forget your name, is it Jacm I think it might be Jacm, whatever. Listen to me Jacm, there are quite a couple injured people over there, but I’m fine. Me and Balmun are right as rain in the storm season, and we’re also ready to finish this fight. So then, tell me where to go and I'll meet up with more of our forces.” Concern and worry flashed upon the young soldier’s face.
“But sir, your armour and all that blood.”
“I’m fine really, what we need to worry about is the number of injured soldiers inside the ruins. I need your men to get as many people out and transport them to the medical tents, we don’t have much time.”
“But sir how can we launch an offensive without those forces and the men with me?”
“Quite simply my dear boy, Jacm, I think it’s Jacm, yep that soldier behind you is nodding, it is Jacm, okay then I will lead the offensive myself, even if I have to do it single-handedly.”
“But sir-”
“Jacm, don’t doubt your commanding officer, just do what I say, soldiers did you hear what I said?” The sounds of muttered ‘yes’s fill the room. “Good. So then, I assume that we’re still trying to break into the garden?”
“Yes sir but-” Osmund pushed his way through the crowd, Balmun closely behind.
Osmund approached quickly, taking in the sound of the cicadas as they sang to him in their strange hums. The strength inside begins to build and build, Osmund can feel his body approaching a nexus point before he completely explodes. He turns to Balmun, who is struggling to keep up with Osmund’s own speed. Osmund continues to walk backwards, marvelling at the confidence his body seems to now possess, until he trips over something.
However even tripping over a candelabra wouldn’t stop Osmund, and as he stood up the grin on his face widened even further. Osmund could feel it inside, a euphoria that was quickly spreading through his body. The euphoria brought with it the great strength Osmund felt, and like all good poisons was now in his veins. As Osmund’s joy grew he began to feel like he was at the top of the world, he was a god, no one could stand in his way.
Osmund began to skip, something that he hadn’t done for times long since past. There was a spring in every step, a bee for every bonnet, and this joy was… undeniable. Osmund doubted he could ever go back to a time without this bliss, he’d finally felt what he always wanted, pure joy and happiness. Once he finished this crusade, killed the King and left he would spend the rest of his days frolicking with men and women through meadows and fields of flowers.
Osmund skipped through the halls, and for the first time saw the glory of Dundis. Vibrant red carpets lined the floors, matching the red curtains that hid now broken windows, and they went swimmingly alongside the red blood spilt out of the bodies onto the floor. While most of the blood was Vaunghe, Osmund even saw a few Alizian bodies, which stirred something in the back of his mind, a brief sense of dread. But that was quickly pushed aside by the euphoria, the power, the glory of what life is. Everything was beautiful, from the carpets to the bodies, everything was just another glorious part of life.
One thing that especially spoke to Osmund was another statue, this one the largest Osmund had ever seen. It was another carving of Merculd, however this one was at the very least 40 feet tall, with a domed ceiling stretching high above to accommodate it. The statue sat on a throne of marble, and gazed down upon Osmund. It was truly one of the greatest feats in the history of art, as every detail was lovingly realised, even down to the hair follicles seemingly being present, although how the artist could create hair made of marble seemed improbable to Osmund.
He spun around in a circle and waved to the statue, almost certain that the statue would return one in turn. But there was nothing from this glorious symbol of holiness, only the marble stare that bore down upon him. Osmund continued his travels, unaware of Balmun’s flabbergasted expression.
Balmun was at odds on what he should do in this scenario. Osmund was acting strange, he was never happy, let alone happy looking at the corpses of allies. Balmun considered saying something, briefly looking down at his sword. Balmun knew that he’d done some stupid, idiotic things in the past, that he was a failure, but there was no way that he’d leave Osmund alone like this. The blood from the wound was overpowering, but Balmun pushed on, screw up or not the man knew how to take a hit.
Balmun still knew what he saw, that giant thing that reached down to Osmund. It was after the fall, Balmun was protected by the heap of bodies he was in at the time, and digging himself out he heard a voice. A loud voice and harsh breathing. Pulling himself out from the bodies, some dead and some alive, Balmun saw the shadow. It sat beside something, another shape on the ground, and clutched the shape's arm. Balmun couldn’t make a noise, that thing, whatever it was, had to be at least 18 ft tall, now looming over the ground shape. It pressed something against the ground shape and stopped, waiting, until finally Balmun realised what this thing was listening for, the breaths. Slow and shallow they began, the breath of something rose and fell, and then the shadow stood up, head eclipsing Balmun’s vision. Before Balmun’s eyes it raised a hand, grabbing something up above, and began to pull itself up through the ceiling, up into the remains of rafters and rubble.
Balmun waited, waited for the thing to come back but it never did. Then he crawled over to the shape, ready to do anything that needed doing, when he realised that the shape was Osmund, beaten and bloody on the floor, unconscious. And that was all Balmun knew, he’d never seen anything like it before, and couldn’t even begin to understand the creature’s motives.
The only thing the pair could do was move forward, however Balmun still had a very cunning plan, just as he always does.
* * * *
It takes the pair around twenty minutes to reach the garden entrance, now swamped with the green Alizian troops. A large group of the men held a battering ram, slamming against the garden’s large iron gateway to no avail. Just like many things in Dundis the wall was made to withstand most damage, save for damage courtesy of the gods of course.
The swarm of cicadas danced through Osmund’s brain, the joy at an all time peak, everything other than Osmund’s goal fading into obscurity. The only things that existed in this place were the joy, and the garden door. Digging through his pockets Osmund found only one problem with his current plan, and that was that the last god’s gift wasn’t in his pocket.
“Looking for this Osmund?” Balmun held the green thing in his hand, and offered it to Osmund. The smile somehow widened even deeper.
“Balmun, I admit, you’re starting to grow on me, how about from now on I call you Balmund?” Mild shock appeared on Balmun’s face.
“Sir I couldn’t-”
“Kid, you’re seriously injured and yet you still follow orders to help your leading officer, to tell you the truth I wanted to leave you behind, but I think you’ve proven yourself.”
“Sir I-” The pair are interrupted by a roar of laughter from behind.
“Balmund? Rare for you to promote someone my old friend.” The burly voice came from Ricmund, a rather thicker fellow known for his odd white hair and proficiency with an axe.
“The man deserves it, he’s dealt with me for long enough.”
“I hear that, so then, how are we going to get into that garden? The battering rams done jack against it.” The smile reached its fullest potential, a literal ear to ear grin.
“ Me and Balmun both have a very cunning plan, using this,” Osmund takes the gift from Balmun and raises it in the air, “We will be able to break through the Vaunghe’s defences in one fell swoop. Move your men, as this may kill them and I really can’t wait to use one of these on purpose.”
As Osmund walks away to the gate, Ricmund gives a little laugh, one containing the slightest bit of worry, before turning to Balmun.
“Di-did he realise that he’s fully erect? His armour is very damaged and it is very…. noticeable.”
“I don’t think he has, I believe he fell on his head fairly hard sir.”
“Don’t sir me, he promoted you, call me pal.” Ricmund reaches out his hand, which Balmund takes.
“Thank you sir.” Swarms of Alizian soldiers begin to retreat after Osmund informs them of the coming plan.
As everyone prepared for the coming battle, weapons ready and shields raised, Osmund pulled the pin on the gift and threw it towards the gate. It made a small ting sound, bouncing directly off of the large door. Osmund realised his mistake and proceeded to throw the gift itself, and not a second too late as it exploded on impact.
The explosion surprised many of the soldiers, forcing them back a few steps, and even sending a few to the ground. It was at this point that Osmund started to lose himself. He started to forget the why’s of his actions instead focusing on the actions themselves. He ran forward, through the black smoke and into the garden. He galloped over the destroyed bodies of the defenders and began to analyse his surroundings.
While the Vaunghe were talented artists, Osmund was beginning to doubt their sensibilities in regards to statues, as even more marble masterworks glared down from all sides. Roses and lilies adorned this place, alongside shrubs and apple trees planted to shield the sun. A large, iron net was placed atop the entire ceiling, allowing natural light in but restricting any aerial assault. Surrounding Osmund were the few souls lucky enough to have had some distance, however only two of them were armed.
Osmund bounded to one, and slashed at the Vaunghe’s face with a claw like hand. Blood spurted across the room, and Osmund could see the others terrified faces as he-
-stood upon the soldiers bodies, coated in blood and gore, none of it his own. But… wait just a second ago Osmund was-
-dancing through the garden, deep into the centre. Osmund stopped, glancing around at his surroundings, something was different, his mind was racing where were the-
-Alizian’s poured in after Osmund, supporting his assault. He beat away the sword swings of the desperate nobles…. wait nobles? Osmund stops again, sweat coating his body something wasn’t right things were missing what was he doing again? The euphoria began to die down, everything was alright, nothing-
-could stop Osmund’s foot as it came down again and again and again onto the man’s face, much to the terror of the nobles around him. The joy began to fade, and Osmund scrambled to realise what just happened. Fragments of time lost in the pit of insanity that Osmund’s mind had become, but it stopped, all of it began to leave him, taking his newfound strength with it.
Osmund moved his foot, alongside the barely hanging on iron plated boot that was attached to it. Coated in blood, Osmund struggled for a second to remember where he had obtained the boot, scrambling his brain to recall the Strolomite blacksmith that made it. Nice guy, missing an eye but a damn good blacksmith, hopefully he’s still open to making new armour.
Osmund looked back down at the heavily beaten corpse on the ground, noting the intricate clothing and bloody crown on the floor next to it. He felt a weight drop inside of him, his flesh got goosebumps, everything went wrong. Osmund looked down at the man, the king of the Vaunghe, and panicked. He shook, he paced, and for the first time realised that someone was watching from the doorway. Doorway of a room Osmund only just realised he was in, a decadent room with red carpets. Red like… like the King now was.
Balmund slowly moved through to Osmund and slowly began to talk. But he wasn’t actually slow, no everything was just going slower, everything was distorting and for a second Osmund couldn’t see the difference between Balmund and Aliza. Aliza, she stood in the distance, through the doorway and back in the garden she stood, beckoning to Osmund.
He pushed past Balmund, and the pair of soldiers who entered after him, quickly descending the stairs and running to where he saw her. Bodies lie on the floor, savagely disfigured and lying dead on the floor, torn apart as if from a monster. But Osmund didn’t process this, he left them all behind as he got closer to Aliza, because she was still here, still beckoning to Osmund. Her height was incalculable, being almost three times as tall as Osmund, but she wasn’t, she was half Osmund’s size, or maybe she was as tall as Osmund herself, her form kept shaking in and out of proportion, rattling Osmund.
And just as he reached her she was gone, gone as quickly as she had appeared. Osmund ran through the garden, through bodies and plants that Osmund didn’t recognise, past the elegant statues and Alizian forces, who were now swarming the garden.
Approaching the gates, Osmund’s began to feel dizzy, the sunlight began to run into the dark, there was a strange taste in his mouth, the cicadas were blaring and Osmund felt-
-A hand touched Osmund’s shoulder, making him jump. Once again his mind had skipped something, and looking around he realised that he was outside again, Dundis glaring down at him from afar. The tents for the wounded were overwhelmed, a hundred soldiers all laying down in various states of injury. Osmund was standing beside the metal pole and the lectern, holding one rotten piece of fruit. He dropped it and turned to the person who touched him.
It was a bandaged Balmund, observing Osmund with distress. His wounds bandaged, Osmund once again realised how lucky the man was to have lived through such a fall. Balmund was saying something, and Osmund tried to listen but his head was beating like a drum, banging in and out of his mind.
“Osmund, are you alright?” The concern was warranted, even Osmund couldn’t tell what was wrong, whenever he tried to pin down what was happening it squirmed through his mind.
“I can’t understand it Balmun- Balmund I mean, I must’ve hit my head because my mind is racing everywhere. I haven’t felt like this in years Balmund, this senselessness, this brutality, I left that shit behind when I turned thirty.”
“Sir, what you did to the King was a good thing. He was going to kill all of us, just because he’s some religious franker who can’t tell a dream from reality.”
“Franker? Can’t say I’ve heard that one.”
“I made it up-” The pair's conversation was halted by the scream.
The scream pierced the air cutting through into the pair's eardrums. They both looked to the source of the noise, and it was a Vaunghe noble, pushing against the soldiers. He was screaming as if his life depended on it. Osmund looked at the man in disdain, sure that this was some attempt at defiance, one last Vaunghe tradition, at least until there were more screams.
Another rang out from the Dundis entrance, this one belonging to an Alizian soldier, clutching his heart and comrades for support. Another scream from the wounded tents, and little by little the screaming multiplied, coming from every direction. One soldier, as confused as the pair, looked to them for guidance, when his mouth contorted. He was mindless for a second, and then terror fought its way out of him. He pointed up, towards the sky.
Osmund turned, looking up to the sky, and that was when he saw it, the thing in the sky, or the lack of it. Blackness. It waited in the sky, staring down at them. A part of the sky had turned black, completely and utterly dark, contrasting the bright day. It wasn’t an object in the sky, it was the lack of one. The lack of anything, waited in the sky. There wasn’t any matter inside of that hole, it was just a rip in the sky, perfectly rectangular, and looking down upon them.
Osmund couldn’t comprehend what this thing was, this presence was impossible, improbable. No god had ever done such a thing, nothing had ever removed the sky before. The screams began to die, turning into a series of whimpers. Hands raised in the sky against this cruel unknown, this mysterious saboteur on a day of victory. Osmund watched the hole with the rest of them, not knowing what this thing could be, this abnormality.
And yet nothing happened. For minutes Osmund waited, the cicadas buzzing dying slowly, when he began to lose faith that anything was going to happen. Osmund moved his eyes down, and then to the wounded tents, in which many slowly began to revert back to how they were. Beginning to approach the tent, there was a sharp intake of breath, and people began the show of looking up all over again, for another hole had opened.
This hole was directly behind the castle of Dundis in the opposite direction of the first, and shared many similarities with the first. Except this one was bigger, clearly bigger. While it was hard to guess how large these holes were due to incomparable heights or objects, what was clear was that this one was far larger than the first.
The panicked screams continued as people noticed a third hole appear, and then a fourth. They kept appearing, with exponentially quicker appearances compared to the ones before it, and they started coming out too fast to react to. Osmund saw one appear before his eyes, one moment there was a sky and the next there was only the black nothingness above them. The sky continued to blacken, holes merging to become larger until almost everything was gone.
Birds screeched in confusion, beginning to swirl in flocks towards the remaining blots of the sky. And then it stopped. The entire sky in every viewable direction was gone, leaving behind only the nothingness of the dark, and the sun. That was of course until everything went black. It happened immediately, one moment there was a sun high in the sky, and the next there was nothing, just the dark nothingness all around them.
People tried to run, hitting each other and sending themselves flying into walls of every degree. So many people were shouting and screaming, others tried to calmly find one another. Osmund reached around him, trying to find Balmund, anyone, but there was nothing but air. But even that began to run out. It happened all at once, one moment Osmund was breathing in and out, and the next he couldn’t breathe in. He began to struggle, choking on the nothingness, and as he lacked his air Osmund felt his body losing itself, felt the cicadas fading away until finally both were gone.
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2023.03.29 09:11 CrimsonCloverwriter Chapter One : This must be the place

Hi everyone, this is the first chapter of my debut novel. For information and links to other chapters click the link down below :
Reddit - Dive into anything
The Great One sat on his throne, gazing longingly into the hearts of man. Something was coming and he could feel it. Destiny riding on a white steed, like the tales of man long ago, coming to uncover his secrets. He could see it all, the wall, the castle, and the so-called gods that built it all. The ego of these creatures was laughable, if only the Great One could still laugh. He could still speak sure, but only through means not of man’s common means. Vocal cords were a commodity long since lost in this place.
As the Great One observed the coming destiny he could feel the approaching storm, in a hail of flesh and blood, the only things that the Great One lacked. He would never give up, never retreat to these things as they approached, for this was the Great One. He looked back to the castle, viewing the scene in its entirety, and he felt something like happiness enter him.
Divinity. That is what connected the walls surrounding Dundis castle, not stone or metal, this was not a mere wall but a divine gift from ones above. Divinity sealed the wall, made it whole, the walls sealed together without mark or blemish, something no man could ever replicate. The wall had stood for a century, and would likely last ten more, there was no weakness, no flaw in design. 50 metres tall the wall was unscalable, unbreakable. No man could break the wall, it was the Vaunghe empire’s crowning gift, their wonder of the world. Those that were hired to clean the wall’s dirt and grime were heralded as the truly faithful, and all longed to help the gift of the gods. And yet despite this the Alizian’s watched, standing with armies around the great wall, waiting to breach its crust and destroy the core.
The Vaunghe had watched their foes throw everything they had, hundreds of men attacking the steel doors of the wall to no avail, an attempted archer attack quickly squashed by the wall's height. The Alizian military was strong, a blend of the Alizian warriors and Strolim blacksmiths made for a truly terrifying army. The army was so terrifying that the Vaunghe inside the castle doubted there were any more Vaunghe troops left, this was the end to a long battle between man and man. Even the soldiers left weren’t particularly important, just those lucky enough to guard the king and a few trainees. But the Vaunghe felt their luck running out.
The food supplies had run low, even if the nobles weren’t in the castle there was no chance of resupply. The few men who had eaten in the past few days stood alert, gazing down from the ramparts at the enemy. The soldiers knew they had to either surrender or fight, but the Vaunghe were passionate people, they could never leave behind their identity in favour of life. So the men waited, bows and arrows at the ready, for the next attack. Heavy items such as ingots and chairs lined the rampart, ready to be thrown off at a moments notice.
They had waited in this position for many cycles, and as day turned to night, and night turned to day the Vaunghe were exhausted, finished with whatever feeble attacks these barbarians had planned. They could throw whatever armies and arrows they wanted at the wall but it would remain unphased, forevermore. When the Alizian’s next attacked they would be met with the last strength of the Vaunghe, and it would be a story remembered for milenia by man and the gods.
As the morning sun rose over the wall, the enemy was revealed in all their glory. Even from so high above the Vaunghe could see the glint of silver from the Alizian military. The bright greens of the Alizian armour created a dazzling sensation that they were one with the grass, which blended in so perfectly with their clothes. They stood in their thousands, armed with whatever they could find, and even on the wall the men could see him.
The slaughterer, the murderer, the man, the myth and the legend Osmund stood alone on an overlooking hill. The fiend was well known by the Vaunghe, he was likely the greatest foe that had come from the opposing sides. Vaunghe generals often fled at his coming, or surrendered first, but rumour had it that Osmund gave no mercy. Overseeing his army to destroy everything that was left, the Vaunghe soldiers knew today really was the end. The figure on the hill moved closer to his army and screamed. The battle-cry of the Alizian’s shook fear into each of the Vaunghe atop the rampart, being so loud that it even reached so high.
The hundreds of troops began to move in sync, forming three individual groups of soldiers, with 10 metre spaces between each. Each contingent comprised six hundred men, easily dwarfing the 82 Vaunghe soldiers that were left. But the Vaunghe were not afraid, at least not afraid of a breach anytime soon. These walls were built to withstand any damage, no man could breakthrough one.
Between the troops was movement, indeed there seemed to be movement down all three rows of men in blue. The Strolime empire had finally revealed themselves, with their short stature and mental prowess the Strolime were gifted inventors not expected to appear on the battlefield. And yet here they were, almost one hundred of them hauling forth three large metallic objects. The sun bounced off of these objects into the Vaunghe’s eyes.
None of the men had ever seen objects like these, seemingly composed of pure metals and on wheels. Some thought they were a testament to the gods, some holy objects, others believed it to be some new invention from the Strolime, however none of them could say anything for certain as they were pushed closer and closer to the wall. The Strolomites stopped in their advance, approximately 20 metres away from the wall. The purpose of these objects had yet to dawn on the men, although one of the younger men on the rampart claimed he could see small objects poking through the metal, which was now aimed at a forty-five degree angle towards the wall.
As the Strolimites halted their advance many began to move away into the safety of the Alizian wall, likely afraid of any precautionary Vaunghe archers. One of them, a rather short and plump soldier, stayed with the object, placing a hand on it and turning to the wall. It was a fleeting moment, but for a second it seemed the man was gazing at the Vaunghe soldiers in shame. One last condemnation to the ones that began this war, before it would all come crashing down. But then the moment passed, and the short man moved as the rest did, doing a slight zig zag to avoid arrows.
And now, just as quickly they had come, the Strolomite’s were gone in the ranks of the Alizians, still waiting in their groups for something, and then they came. Three figures, two women and a man, moved between the lines just as the Strolimites before them. These three wore no armour, only the greens of Alizia upon their tunics. They stood beside the objects and began to reach their arms into the underside of it. Before the Vaunghe’s eyes the objects began to turn slightly, aiming even more directly at the wall.
One of the Vaunghe had enough of this display, and raised his bow. There were low winds on this day, and he was a good enough shot to reach at least one of the Alizian soldiers. He aimed his bow, finger on the drawstring, and released. It is likely that this arrow would’ve drawn first blood in this battle, however the arrow never reached its target.
In the split second before the release of the bow, the Vaunghe noticed the smoke billowing out of the bottom of the devices, the flames that shot out, and finally they noticed for not even a fraction of a second the object that shot out of the metallic thing, something white and red that hit the wall in an instant.
The wall shook, and the following barrage of these objects shattered any notion of divinity. Crashing and crumbling the rampart was launched, sending soldiers flying everywhere. The Vaunghe beside the wall were subject to the falling rubble, both the crumbling stone of the walls and the miscellaneous objects they had left upon the wall. All of the objects crushed the few Vaunghe left, save for the few sickly starving soldiers left inside the castle’s inner walls.
Down went the walls, such a harsh strike against the wall that nothing stood in the path of this monster. The roaring splattered through the castle, the screams of the falling wall waking the King himself from his slumber. Such a vast creation had fallen in seconds before the might of the Alizian’s, and now there was nothing left but to watch the battle unfold.
Smoke flooded the inner walls of the castle, casting the few remaining into fits of coughing and blindness. The walls finished their crumbling, and yet the roars didn’t stop. These were not the roars of the wall but the war cries of the soldiers outside, and they began to get louder, echoing through the walls of Dundis and into the ears of the weak nobles and soldiers.
Through the smoke they came, weapons raised and charging the weak. The few that tried to fight were slaughtered, cut down by a sea of green soldiers. Those that were choking, sputtering or raising their hands in defeat were spared, hauled through the hordes and into one of the stables facing the inner wall. They were to be tried and jailed, for no human regardless of their crime should be killed. It is simply not the Alizian way.
Out of the one hundred and fifty two people who were in Dundis, forty two had died in the wall’s destruction, and a further eleven were detained by the Alizian military. There was nothing that the Vaunghe could do, save for locking their doors, shield themselves and hold out for as long as possible. The Vaunghe forces built barricades in their castle, locking away the Alizian combatants for as long as possible. And during all of this Osmund waited. Waiting for his time to end this war, this travesty of battle that had gone on for too long, and that time finally came.
* * * *
Osmund stood alone atop the hill, and watched the madness unfold. The walls crumbled at the face of these weapons with no more effort than a straw house, and the plumes of smoke assaulted his men, although not to the extent of the inner wall. After a few moments of sputtering and choking the men cheered, for this was the moment that they had been waiting for, the end of such a long war now in the Alizian’s favour.
The Vaunghe capital was in shambles, their military long crushed underneath Osmund’s almighty power, and all that was left was the King. Hiding behind his walls as if he didn’t deserve this loss, this final failure in his life. Osmund was willing to spare as many people as he could, it was the Alizian code, but there would be no mercy for the King. This wasn’t one final battle between two great armies, that conflict happened weeks ago, this was the last breaths of a psychotic monarch being silenced amongst the last of his troops.
Osmund gazed longingly at Dundis, the ruined walls and advancing soldiers and doubted. He felt something was off, something was very wrong with all of this. His heart began to thump, as Osmund’s eyes turned every way to understand what was wrong, what abnormality was here. It grew and grew, Osmund began to shake at what was about to happen, nothing was right here Osmund should be somewhere else helping someone, there’s something wrong here something very-
Peace. Osmund’s heart stopped thumping, body stopping its perpetual shaking. He looked again to the marching troops, now almost entirely inside the walls, and looked back to his back, and the reserve Strolomites that now stood. They were cheering, marvelling at the success of the assault, and how the god’s gift had saved so much effort on their part.
Such strange creations composed of metal and flame, Osmund marvelled at the power the gods possessed. These devices were so unique in design Osmund doubted if any army could defeat them. The large red tubes they released could easily destroy an entire village by itself, but with one hundred of them an entire valley could be bathed in flames. Something truly abnormal in this world, something so parallel to the code of battle that no army would ever think of it.
The Vaunghe were once considered to be the greatest fighters, with the tournaments they created bringing forth the greatest warriors from throughout the land. Their dedication and power were unmatched in ferocity and violence, some called the Vaunghe the standing due to their unmatched will to always get back up. Osmund recalled his days in the tournaments, those peaceful days when he was not yet a hero to people, but a simple military man. He was still only Osmu back then, and yet even those of the time knew he would be something special. As Christoff used to say, ‘Ozzie you’re going places, big ones’. Osmund missed Christoff, It had been so long since their last meeting, and all Osmund wanted was to meet again one last time.
Osmund’s assistant came to him, a younger Strolomite by the name of Gizmu. Gizmu was rather muscular for a Strolomite, a strong figure contrasting his associates' plumper bodies, and stature was fairly tall for one of his people at 6’5 ft tall. Hazel hair protruded through a blue helmet, and for the first time Osmund considered what his assistant could look like. Gizmu was one of the many Strolomite’s who refused to show their face until military success, a tradition that Osmund respected. He had no doubt that Gizmu's true face would one day be revealed to him, as the man possessed genuine prowess in the fields of agriculture, something sorely missed in the modern military.
“Osmund, your team is preparing now, they’ll come soon. I advise you to prepare your armour sir, as it won’t be long before you’re sent in.” Osmund sensed mild concern in Gizmu’s voice, but didn’t pursue it.
“Thank you Gizmu, my friend. I’ll begin my preparations, tell the guests to meet me here when they are fully prepared. And do ensure they understand that there is still risk of injury on this mission, ensure each of them wears their armour.” Osmund’s voice was deep and echoed his long life, commanding a sense of authority amongst all Alizian forces.
Osmund left the hill, passing the cheering Strolomite’s and the peasant farmers who supported the army, and entered the rows of tents. They stretched out on either side, one for every four soldiers, until he reached his own tent. Entering Osmund was surprised to discover a fellow commander still asleep in his bed, snoring away peacefully.
Osmund removes his upper clothing, the clean tunic falling to the ground. While removing these clothes Osmund kicks the sleeping man in the leg, which doesn’t actually amount to anything rather than halting his snoring. Osmund kicks the sleeping soldier again, this time in the buttocks, which does a far better job of riling him. The man looks around wide-eyed, before settling onto the sight of the giant Osmund.
“Hey, why'd you kick me? I almost had a bleedin’ heart attack don’t you know not to meddle with a sleepin man?”
“Don’t you know that you were meant to be on the battlefield at the crack of dawn? I don’t know what kind of promotion you’re expecting when you aren’t even going on the battlefield. Do you really want to be Balmun forever?” Osmund spoke coldly, now reaching for his chestplate.
“Well no sir. But the thing is I actually have a very cunning plan, I thought of it all myself.” A smile falls upon the man’s face, whose head bears an uncanny resemblance to a potato.
“And what is that?” Osmund halted his preparations briefly.
“Well if I say I was there but didn't actually go, who’d think I wasn’t? I can just sleep through it all until the battle is won and no one would be the wiser.” Osmund puts a hand onto Balmun’s fleshy shoulder.
“A fine plan, if I wasn’t your commanding officer you buffoon. By the gods I believe some divine creator mistakenly put a turnip in your head instead of a brain because no noble’s son has ever been as frankly idiotic as you have. You’re coming with me to the battlefield, and I suggest you get dressed or you’ll be facing the last of the Vaunghe army with your flopping cock dancing for all to see.” Balmun stood and began to slip some clothes on, as Osmund completed his own set of armour.
Osmund’s armour bore the mark of a noble family, some rich fools who wanted their family crest to be associated with a bloody conflict and a dangerous murderer. Osmund wore it because of the armour’s quality, customfit to encompass Osmund’s 9’5 ft tall body, something no other armour was able to achieve. Osmund’s height was always an oddity, reaching far above the average 8ft heights of most Alizian’s, and making him one of the tallest figures in the lands. It was this height and his skin’s colour that earned him the name of the black death, which he wasn’t particularly fond of due to the mention of his skin. And even then Osmund certainly didn’t feel like a black death, whatever that was meant to be, rather he felt like death itself. Osmund was to be fifty years old by the end of the week, and it showed on his body. The hair that was left on his head was grey, and while still possessing an impressive form Osmund’s body was not in its prime, he was old.
Osmund looked at himself in the full body mirror, grabbing his longsword and leaving the tent, dragging a half dressed Balmun with him. Back through the tents they travelled, back past the now eager Strolomite’s and atop the hill where Osmund’s infiltration team stood. In any other battle Osmund would’ve despised the one that left this group with him, a collection of subpar and mediocre soldiers with all the military future of an Otter in a stew. But then again Osmund’s battle history did feature a lot of important people dying under his watch, so perhaps this was for the better.
The force began with Edmun, a cross between a prostitute and a noble who unfortunately takes more from the noble. An egotistical brat, as well as a greedy goblin of anything that isn’t bolted down, Osmund had borne the unfortunate duty of his company for months, since the initial assault on the capitol. The man could barely hold a weapon, save for slight skill with a flail of all things which he wore by his side. It was a gold plated flail as well, specifically made for beating in the heads of the poor Vaunghe soldiers stupid enough to get close. Blonde hair obscured blue eyes that spoke to his red-light mother, in fact for a noble’s son Edmun had all the appearance of an incestuous dullard. The man had survived by pure luck, and was the only casualty that Osmund wanted his side to suffer.
The Enick twins Humun and Eumun were up next, named after their family crest of the god of alcohol Enick. In contrast to Edmun these were a pair of real soldiers, Osmund had seen the fruits of their labour many times. They were great at the art of flanking, Humon’s greataxe paired alongside Eumun’s spears proved to be an unbeatable combination. The only issue that Osmund had with the pair was their… peculiar relationship. While the two were great fighters, whenever they were together anything else became impossible to comprehend. Osmund had once caught the pair attempting to seduce a goat wearing a knight’s helm, and while they were drunk there is still clear evidence of idiocy amongst them. The pair were identical in appearance, burly figures of 8’5ft, short cut black hair and overgrown beards stretching down their faces, however the distinguishing feature between the two was Eumon’s cleft lip, which gave his speech a lisp.
Josmu was far more a scholar than a soldier, although Osmund enjoyed his presence greatly. Since they first met the pair had hit it off, often discussing each other’s lives in Alizian taverns across the kingdom. A gifted archer, Josmu was the son of two aspiring poets and enlisted into the military voluntarily to assist in the war efforts. Osmund had a great deal of respect for the man, and hoped that the two would one day have a drink together, and ruminate on the past once more.
And then there was Jumun, a gifted soldier and one of the few Osmund thought could take him in his prime. Long strands of red hair ran down her rough face, a pointed nose and peculiar eyebrow shape giving her a perpetual look of disappointment. At a height of 9’2 ft she stood almost toe to toe with Osmund, in fact there were many aspects about her that reminded Osmund of himself. The first was her attitude, she treated every war as a tragedy of its own, and yet she would never fail to perform against her enemies. Skilled in most weapons Jumun’s life had been long and arduous, her worn out armour covered in patches and dents. Osmund had offered her a new set of armour once, to which she vehemently refused, telling Osmund that she wished to end the war in the armour she started it in. Currently she held a single large sword nearly identical to his own, and Osmund predicted that she couldn’t wait for the battle to be over.
The group stood facing the smoking walls, watching the now descending Strolomite’s retrieve the three gifts from the gods. Pushing them back up the hill would take tremendous strength and a long time, which is why nearly double the number of Strolomite’s assisted in the endeavour. Osmund cleared his throat, prompting the looks of the team. All of their eyes were of Balmun, who was somehow already panting after a 2 minute drag through the ground. Osmund released the man and pushed him towards his new comrades, to which he sulked.
Osmund could see through the smoke of the ruins now, noting the strangely high number of bodies present from Osmund’s view. It appeared that there were more forces than originally estimated, as it was initially guessed there were around one hundred and fifty soldiers inside. Judging by the number of corpses inside those numbers clearly forgot to account for the possibility of trainees inside of the castle. This may be a slightly larger fight than initially predicted, although even supposing there were another hundred or so trainees locked inside rooms there were things Osmund could do against that.
“Alright then, good to see that some of you actually bothered to wake up today, Balmun, and I think we all know that this mission is going to end the war.” Balmun raised his hand.
“Yes Balmun?”
“Sir I have a very cunning pl-”
“Shove your plans up your slacker buttocks, you idiot. Now then, I’m gonna say this once, because quite frankly the more chances I give Balmun to interrupt the more likely I’ll butcher myself with this sword. Now then we are the backbone to the forces, our mission is to help take individual points of conflict from alternative points. We will accomplish this with the leaked maps of the castle gained from Vaunghe intelligence. Now then, originally it was believed that we were dealing with only around one hundred and fifty troops, but it looks like someone didn’t remember the number of rookie troops that are trained here, so we could be looking at a few more troops than expected.” Osmund saw the hand raised but tried to ignore it. The man with the potato for a head seemed adamant however, and raised his hand higher. When that didn’t work he raised both arms.
“By the gods what is it?”
“Well sir, what kind of weapons do you think they have?” Osmund stopped in his tracks, not expecting anything even related to an actual important question. A smile formed on his face, it seems that even fools can think every now and again.
“Decent question my friend, we can probably expect the basic mix of swords and axes, likely shields also, but we may have one or two archers running around however it’s unlikely any survived the wall’s collapse.”
“That is good Osmund, once we take a few down I need a weapon, I like the swords myself.”
“What’s wrong with your sword?”
“I left it in the tent sir.” Osmund cupped his hands into his face, cringing against the stupidity of this man.
“Listen…. just everyone follow me please, I mean by the gods man. Come on. Listen I don’t think we will need any armour with us today, we have the single thickest piece of meat just over there as we speak.” Osmund points towards Balmun, who turns to see what everyone is looking at. Without another word Osmund begins to walk down the hill towards the castle, muttering things that even the gods consider a little racy.
* * * *
The ruins of Dundis stood firm in their strength, with the ruined walls blemishing what was once a grand fortress that none had penetrated. Tall spires protrude from the shapeless stone complex. Along the gateway was a path leading directly into the Dundis entrance, which stood slightly ajar. Fragments of the wall had crushed many parts of the outside, with simple wooden stables and trees crushed by the weight of the plummet of the debris. The architecture that remained spoke to the complexities of the Vaunghe, as spiralling patterns adorned the walls of the castle, interlaced with rare jewels that coated the walls. The Vaunghe were so fortunate with minerals that one could find them coating their walls, despite the fact that no one other than a fellow Vaunghe was ever meant to see such a thing.
A veil of embarrassment and determination clashed as the group descended the hill, weapons at the ready. The group had reached the ruins of the wall now, debris coating the grass and the bodies that were surely there. Even destroyed Osmund still felt some of that divine power the Vaunghe always babbled about, he felt the strength in the walls and not for the first time wondered why the gods would bestow such a gift upon such a vile group.
The group began clambering through the ruins, over the cracked pieces of stone and through the divine walls final remains. There was a smell here, the remnants of smoke colliding with the smell of blood, but there was a third smell, one that Osmund knew well. It was the smell of inevitability, heavy in the hair. That which is unlikely to happen always will happen, and when it does the smell adds to it all, the smell of fate and destiny runs through this place.
Inevitability hides everywhere, in the trees and the skies, carried by the wind through it all. From nature it was born, but in man it thrives, the building’s will one day fall, the kingdoms will fade away, and everything will one day lead to something else. From every beginning comes an end, and each end becomes a beginning, this is how it has always been. This place thought itself against such things, and inevitability infected its walls, creeping along slowly rotting the once great walls into a hellish nightmare. Now the bubble has burst, and the smell of inevitability crowds the world, taking over everything.
Moaning. A low whimper. A cry for something. Calls for assistance. A terrified yell. Osmund approaches the source of these noises, his team close behind. At the source of these screams is a Vaunghe soldier, somehow alive after the rampart’s collapse, covered in piles of stone and smoke. His outstretched hand reaches towards Osmund, who in turn takes it.
The man mutters something, sputters blood, and begins to fade. As he does, Osmund moves towards the rocks, feeling against it. Somehow the rocks aren’t as heavy as they should be, and Osmund slowly moves the rocks. The first and second rocks move, and after some struggling Osmund moves the third rock, revealing a bloody leg, spurting forward. Osmund realises how the man survived, the remains of a metal box squashed around him. As the rampart fell the man landed inside, narrowly missing an immediate demise. Now he sat, bleeding in and out of consciousness, and moaning for help. Osmund put his hands around the man, slowly lifting him, and moving forwards into the inner walls.
There are running medics here, and as they see Osmund’s approach they run to him, taking the injured man and placing him onto a table. The man may survive, they told Osmund, however his bleeding may take too much from him. As Osmund turns to leave he hears the voice, the message of the man.
“T-t-th-than-” It was shaky, interrupted by coughs and convulsions, but bore strength, and Osmund felt the ghost of a smile play upon him.
“It wasn’t an issue.” And with that Osmund left the tent, admiring the surroundings in focus for the first time. Eyes bore into him from his party, and yet no one said anything, they couldn’t. Many had called Osmund a monster in his time, they had seen him do bad things to bad people, and yet none would call him a monster, for there is no such thing. Osmund is not some black death, he’s another beast entirely.
For the first time Osmund admired his surroundings, the inner walls were now filled with wreckage, and looked back to the tent. It was amazing how quickly the medics could establish tents, the battle had occurred for less than an hour and already there were three tents established side by side. Besides the wounded Vaunghe soldier were three other injured soldiers, each seeming to be hit by a minor injury likely from the smoke inhalation.
The captured and surrendered were lined up against the castle's wall, being carefully monitored by over sixty members of the contingent. There were only around twelve or thirteen of the captured, smoke-covered and sputtering. On the ground were bodies, those rookies that tried so valiantly to protect what they cared for. They now lay, looking up to the sky blindly.
Osmund saw the bodies and felt his stomach turn. The desire came back. The shaking returned, alongside it the painful sharp stabbing thoughts. Everything changed, he forgot who he was. What kind of person would approve of this, what even was Osmund was he real or fake, how is he even conceiving things like this. What is reality and why is it real, why can’t he understand-
Silence. Peace. Osmund returned to himself, the shaking never happening at all. He looked down at the bodies and continued to walk. There was nothing he could do for them, not anymore. The eyes of his group bore into him, shattering something that had broken a long time ago. He raised his hand and motioned for his team to follow, leaving this travesty of death and life behind.
Footsteps. Osmund turned to their echoing sound, the way they bounced through the place was unbelievable, the way it echoed between the walls and the castle structure itself. Through open castle gates he ran, a messenger in green, sword in its scabbard and now approaching Osmund. The man tripped on something, a large rock of some sort, before standing, dusting himself off and reaching the group.
“Osmund, we have hit the enemy’s points of defence.” The man was young, maybe twenty, and no more than twenty five.
“And? Where are they?”
“There are three fronts, the first is in the scout’s tower where a group of Vaunghe are amassing weapons and barricades fast. We can no longer enter the tower, as the amount thrown down makes common entrance impossible. The second location is the garden, where we believe the last of the nobles and the King himself are. We’ve faced harsh opposition from the enemies, who have formed a wall of shields to protect the door. Finally we have the guard’s quarters, where a few amount of Vaunghe are in active combat as we speak, although that will likely be taken without need for intervention.”
“Good job soldier.”
“Thank you sir.”
Osmund removes a slip of paper from his garb, and admires it in the sunlight. It was a complex map of Dundis, including the secret passages and escape routes of the entire place. It cost the annulment of many Vaunghe men and women, but was worth all the effort. Consulting the map Osmund noted the existence of an escape passageway inside of the tower. It was obscured behind a wall, thus explaining the lack of windows on that side.
“Report back to your commander that we’ll begin with the tower, there are several clear passages into an alternative staircase. Launching a pincer attack we’ll defeat the enemy and allow for the redistribution of forces. By that time I expect the guard’s quarters to be taken, allowing us to completely overflow any opposition protecting the garden.”
“Yes Osmund, I will inform her now.” And with that the young warrior ran back through the castle’s long iron gates.
And thus, the final battle was upon them. Osmund looked upon Dundis, the last symbol of the people who had taken everything from him, the ones who had slaughtered so many innocents, so many that Osmund cared for, and now the end was finally in sight. But it didn’t feel like the end, Osmund could feel no conclusion approaching, it felt like something else, as if this was all leading into something more, some grand massacre the likes of which Osmund had never seen. There’s a darkness ahead, something far worse to come than the echoes of a fallen monarchy, and as Osmund stands he can feel it inside of him, gesturing sensually, awaiting his return to the beginning. In a mental prison of nonexistent existence lies the mother, a slight smile on her lips. She awaits the grasp of Osmund forevermore.
submitted by CrimsonCloverwriter to u/CrimsonCloverwriter [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 09:04 aniii101 How can I be diagnosed with BPD when literally everyone thinks I have no disorders? I have started considering CPTSD more than BPD so tell me if you can see the pattern and if you relate or know people who are similar if not the same

After a chat which lasted 20 minutes, one coworker that is more of a close friend started talking about life in general and I said something about how anxious folks often black out in their mind when they speak which may doesn't make sense to others as our mind is blank but body overactive.
I said "You don't look like someone who's overly anxious" but he said he's diagnosed with mild depression and anxiety which resulted later in life.
I told him about how I was always prone to anxiousness in my early childhood and started showing symptoms seriously when I was 12 with DPDR, depression when I was 13. I told him that I was also diagnosed with depression, insomnia and GAD when I was 16 but also with BPD 4 years ago.
He was confused and said that it's impossible, I had no fall outs, it seems like I have boundaries and principles, I seem sure of myself, I seem very calm and rational.
I find that this is my mask, this is also confirmed by my family. I'd rather die than let someone know how much I'm struggling. I'm the kind of person who's so lost but is grasping onto what they know to elevate anxiety.
Symptoms I share with BPD is impulsiveness but not the strong one, it's like when I'm stressed I start being social, binge drinking, not eat, take psychoactive substances, be more active, pick fights a bit more easily but also prone to uncontrollable SH which did lead to diagnosis. My mood swings aren't bad, it's just that I repress my emotions, just fluctuating confidence and as said by others, one day I laugh at their jokes and be extra social and then the next I could disapprove everything said with judgmental expression even if the joke was the same or like having only one day in a week where I'm extra happy and other days I'm left with no energy and snappy. I have rejection sensitivity and last summer I was exposed as having feelings for someone, I was freaking out but this guy came, heard and left in fury. In the same moment, I felt nothing and just said "Let's play beer pong 1v1" as a way to black out and usually this is how I deal with emotions. However, 2 weeks later we were at the party and I went to the toilet and some guy that likes me also went and this guy said "You must be popular among guys" or something like enjoying the spotlight and I attacked him badly, I said something about how I'm not even that kind of girl, what he even think he's accomplishing with that and that it's disgusting. I don't remember what I say under bout of anger but I also split a lot when I'm close to someone, only then you can see my split. I deal with chronic dissociation, DPDR and some kind of amnesia where I don't remember my life when I was younger than 6 and later from 7-12, it lead to people telling me a lot of stuff which I don't know and it left me confused such as me thinking I spent my childhood in a room with computer playing games just for my dad to say I was very social and wouldn't come home from playing with my friends until dark or also not remembering people who used to visit us constantly which is embarrassing, I've lived here since I was born yet I know no one. Lastly, while I seem to have unshakable identity, it mostly comes from my observations of others and thinking through their motives so I stop everything before it even happens, critical thinking and reacting from fear. I've always had better than average critical thinking skills as said by my first grade teacher in elementary school but I was not aware of that. I have no idea who I am, what I stand for, who I want to be or if I'm even able to be "someone", who I was, am I chill or am I temperamental (people are also confused) and simply my identity is badly separated from my consciousness.
In reality, I'm confused because life seems very... easy going? Yet, I never felt worse, it's like my mental health started seriously degrading last year when I was faced with myself. I had a chaotic childhood which I heard from others. Mom and dad who used to fight and yell while I was sitting in a room next to it with my sister and she said I was dissociated. The reason was my dad's absence due to drinking in a pub and it lasted for few months. I was dragged by my mom to the pub in the middle of the night and when he was absent, she used to wash my hair but I've always had massive fear of water going into my ears, nose and eyes but she was so angry that she would just shove shower head into my face and I'd have meltdowns and couldn't calm myself down. I used to slam the doors and objects when angry because I learned it from my mom. I used to fight a lot, had problem in kindergarten. I was badly teased with abandonment from my dad like leaving me outside of the car and saying he'll leave me in the woods in the middle of nowhere and laughing about it with my friends while I was having a meltdown. One memory of my mom being red in the face, crying and yelling straight to my face "No one in this house freaking helps me" while vacuuming and something about how she's going to leave this house and go back to her parents which was a given in any hard situation. I was a child so I wanted to help so the next day I clean everything on my knees and chair just to be asked "What did you do?!" and her checking everything just to correct me. I was "separated" from my sister by my grandmother as for the privilege because I was younger and undeserving of better stuff. Chaotic bullying, neglect and "I have to have better stuff than you and you don't get to say a word" by my sister but the worst of all, manipulation and blackmail. I was a servant because I didn't know better, I was afraid she'll yet again blackmail me if I don't do something she asked me to do. My feelings were denied because "She's your sister, don't fight" and I was shushed from expressing my anger and hurt but the issue was never addressed by my parents, they always said it's who she is. They all played cards with abandonment and I became VERY afraid of it unconsciously. The ones that I remember is only when I was 6 and 2-3 memories from when I was 9, who knows what was happening in between.
I still don't know a lot of stuff but one that baffled me was 5 years ago, I was told I was sucidal due to my sister and her minimizing her feelings because she was feeling worse and one day she came unannounced to my apartment when I was near breakdown and she told me I just snapped, told her some stuff and kicked her out of apartment. I have no memory of it but considering me from that period, it checks out, she has no reason to lie. I was sick of being treated like a diary without it's own feelings, thoughts, wishes so more of a supportive robot who had to listen and help or otherwise I was the worst person ever.
Life now? They're all supportive. Is it because they realized how bad my mental health was and they felt guilt, I don't know. They're still emotionally unavailable and in some way inconsiderate but not nearly as before. My mom doesn't have anger issues as much as before but she seems very repressed, my dad is still avoidant but gets overly immersed in a role of a caretaker when I have dip in my mental health like uncontrollable crying, my sister says she cares and gives me stuff but I can't see it in an altruistic way. I'm full of paranoia, I still split on them badly because I'm used to their old selves, I can't comprehend the change. That's why I have same patterns as I had in my childhood so I repress everything and dissociate and I can seldom realize it's not appropriate to have them as the situation is extremely different now yet I will go back to the old self the moment it gets heated. However, when I'm not BADLY dissociating, I still find myself being very jumpy when I hear the loud noise which gets me into fight or flight mode, it also happened yesterday. I always fight when there's someone yelling or banging objects, it's something uncontrollable. Other times, I'm in the freeze mode.
I still have disorganized attachment style, I still reject people all the time before I get rejected or made fun of, I doubt people and I can't have feelings for anyone or I'd feel overly vulnerable.
I still don't know about my diagnosis but what if I just have CPTSD instead of BPD? I hate that I still have these patterns even tho the situation is different. If I was not hurt by the past, why do I still carry it into the present? I could have a fulfilling life but the fear is always stopping me.
So, anyone with CPTSD like this?
submitted by aniii101 to CPTSD [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 09:01 VermouthPLL My thoughts on the recent Japanese production of Pacific Overtures

Having been extremely excited about the new production of Pacific Overtures in Japan, which is directed by Matthew White and will be transferred to Menier Chocolate Factory afterwards, I finally managed to snatch a ticket for the final performance in Tokyo. Honestly, this is not my favorite Sondheim show as so many elements in the show feel like semi-authentic but not quite there yet, which conglomerates in somethings akin to uncanny valley if you speak Japanese and know the culture closely. So being able to see the show not only performed in Japanese but reimagined with the input of the Japanese cast piqued my interest the moment I saw the announcement. Overall, I was pretty impressed…until “Next.”
So basically, the production seems to be based on the script of 2017 John Doyle production at CSC, which was quite controversial given the cuts but which I nevertheless loved for its clear and thoughtful storytelling (I don’t mind cuts as long as they make sense in the context of the specific production and to me they did in John Doyle’s version). It ran 110 minutes without an intermission. What really surprised me was the book scenes. Most of them actually worked in Japanese, with a newfound sense of gravitas and nuances that the English language could never quite deliver. I often find the book scenes of Overtures done in English rather affected, sometimes to a degree of jarring-ness like watching anime dubbed in English. Sometimes they work, but they just don’t deliver as much, or at least differently than in Japanese. Here, the book scenes grabbed by attention like never before and they built up the tension much more effectively, making me shed a few tears at scenes I never did.
This is unfortunately not the case for the musical numbers though. As Sondheim is pretty strict and thoughtful with every note and lyric in his works, the translation just cannot achieve the same level of acuity and, well, mastery. Sure, some of the tanga might sound more interesting in Japanese, but in a language where there are so many much better short poems already, they sound amateurish in comparison if you studied Japanese Literature. This is probably due to the fact that the translation is more concerned with getting across the meaning in the original text than capturing the spirit. I saw the production of Merrily in Japanese two years ago, which was a transfer of the 2013? London production also to open on Broadway this fall. The Japanese Merrily also suffers the same problem of translation. You could feel that lyrics are at times fighting against the limited meters instead of becoming one with it. Maybe future iterations could prioritize keeping the spirit alive but what Sondheim does with his works is so much reliant on the unique aspects of the English language and the cultures associated with it, so this is a Herculean task for sure.
Nevertheless, hearing the score and seeing it performed by an all-across spectacular cast was enough to make up for these inherent flaws, at least to my personal enjoyment. My biggest gripe though, is that “Next” is performed unironically. The reason John Doyle’s production worked for me is that at its core, it tried to tell a story about a victim inheriting the mentality of the perpetrator. What I mean by this is, in Doyle’s production, you can see the damage the colonizers did to Japan on a fundamental level, which snowballs and culminates in the haunting image of a young Japanese girl picking up the gun, signifying the same kind of brutal acts Japan would do to its neighbors in the name of co-prosperity. When you take this away and instead make the final number to symbolize the diverse society Japan is going to become, the cuts are suddenly rendered meaningless, with all the tension built up till this point nixed to a sudden halt. It is like removing the hidden message of the danger of Social Darwinism in the revised text and instead saying that Social Darwinism is the way to go, because look at how amazing today’s Japan is (Emperor Meiji’s monologue directly leads up to the cast doing a dance number with the projection in the back showing a traditional Japanese painting of Mt. Fuji turning into a vortex of contemporary artworks).
This production emphatically reminds me that if you want to make Overtures work, not only to satisfy some audience members’ exotic fantasies but to actually work, you need to dig at the irony that is already there in the text, which also apply to almost all other Sondheim shows as we see in the gender-reversed version of Company. Anyways this is just my two coins but any thoughts?
submitted by VermouthPLL to Sondheim [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 08:54 3six5 Oh.. you wanna ruin my jw4 experience?

So, I went and saw JW4 the other day. Here's my theater experience... I got there in time for the last preview, so the lights were off. I found my way to my favorite section of the theater and sat down. There were two ladies around my age sitting off center on my row that were chatty and on their phones when the movie started. They kept chatting loudly and kept opening up their phones . So I did the usual passive aggressive things to signal they were interrupting my movie experience. .. like cough loudly and/or look over at them. To no avail. I was about to get up and go get a free ticket when I had this idea ... ...: sit next to them.
I picked up my stuff and did just that. "Hey, if imma have to listen to ya- I might as well join ya". -yeah ok... I flopped down in the seat next to them. The seat was full of small bags of chips . Oops. I Didn't mean to crush your snuck in snacks and handed them to the lady. It was dark.
Lady next to me only pulled her phone out once more.. I leaned over and stuck my face in. That was the last of that.
We ended up having a couple laughs at whisper level.. like John wick is always walking.. jejejeje.
The whole time I know they're smelling me cuz I just got done working at the dog shelter.
submitted by 3six5 to pettyrevenge [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 08:41 kolakube45 Can autism skip a generation and then reappear?

Just going to brain dump so sorry if this doesn’t make completely sense. I’ve lately suspected that my toddler might be on the spectrum. My older brother’s son has PDD-NOS and my other brother’s son was also diagnosed with autism (and cerebral palsy) at a young age. I have one other sibling who might be on the spectrum - ‘naughty’ as a child but very very bright, loves info dumping, prefers being alone, doesn’t like small talk, difficulties with relationships. But the three of us with children are not on the spectrum. I might have GAD and a few sensory issues (I don’t like getting my hands dirty and am sensitive to loud noises since I had children, also introverted. I’m also susceptible to PND) but I’ve learned enough since suspecting my son to know that I’m not actually autistic.
If anything my dad has some autistic traits. He does have a tendency to talk about topics that only he’s interested in, jumps from one small obsession to another (collecting coins, collecting dvds, writing out song lyrics in books lol). Socially sometimes he says things inappropriately - he came to give condolences for a death once and started talking about his own health problems. But he’s also sociable and mingles well with people generally, makes eye contact, initiates conversation even if it’s small talk. So I just don’t know. I also heard that his father didn’t speak till he was 7.
So I guess I’m just wondering, how me and my siblings’ children all have it when we don’t, and how our children have a clearer presentation (my toddler doesn’t have obvious stimming, is verbal, but socially shuts down, doesn’t respond to his name etc) than my father who I’m guessing they got it from. I also read a post on this forum that said hereditary autism is usually a lot ‘milder’? Dunno if that’s true?
What are your experiences?
submitted by kolakube45 to autism [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 08:38 psshdjndofnsjdkan Boys Planet Press Conference Summary (230329)

all questions/answers have been taken by the celeb confirmed twitter account. if a contestant's name has a link that means there's a photo attached
Group 1 (Kim Taerae, Na Kamden, Park Hanbin, Seok Matthew, Sung Hanbin, Keita):
Q: You guys must have got closer living together. Can you introduce each others?
Kim Taerae: Han-bin can look cold but he is full of aegyo and he is actually very friendly. As Star Creators will know, Han-bin's leadership skills are very excellent and I am counting on him too.
Park Hanbin: I've been training with Tae-rae together for two years so we get along very well. Tae-rae is passionate about dancing and is a hard worker.
Seok Matthew: Sung Han-bin helps me out whenever I ask him about anything. It felt like having a great brother living together.
Sung Hanbin: I knew Seok Matthew from before Boys Planet, but got to know him better as we trained together. He's an easygoing person who can still put on a smile at difficult times. He also has strong responsibility. I learn from him a lot.
Q. Most memorable moment from the competition?
Seok Matthew: Keita cheered me on saying “Ma! Tthew!” so I went “Kei! Ta!” and laughed together.
Na Kamden: Keita is like a cute raccoon mascot of our show. When I saw him rap during the latest mission, I was thinking "That's our Ketia" I want to do another performance with him. I love him!
Keita: I felt Kamden is quite difficult to approach at first but as I got to know him, I found out that he was very playful and gets embarrassed by compliments easily
Q. Who is the most formidable rival?
Sung Hanbin: I am grateful for people recognizing my efforts. I strive to be No.1 but there are so many skilled and charming candidates here. I would pick Zhang Hao as the most formidable rival. I want to learn from his charisma.
Q. Kamden, how do you feel to see the biggest rise in rank?
Na Kamden: I want to thank the star creators. All moments were so happy, but we won 1st place in our latest mission and got to perform on “M Countdown.” It was like an unforgettable dream.
Park Hanbin: since my trainee days, my motto has been to do my best in every moment.[…]I’m confident in dancing and I guide other contestants on how to approach dancing in a lighthearted way. Stay tuned for the third mission, and I hope to be in the finals. I won’t disappoint!
Q: What do you think is your secret to popularity?
Kim Taerae: It’s my refreshing vocals and my bright smile. (shows off a smile to the camera)
Q: What do you want to say to Star Creators?
Kim Taerae: You’re the ones who let me sing. I’ll show only my refreshing vocals, but other various music genres too.
Na Kamden: (In English) Thank you star creators for always being on my side.
Park Hanbin: You are the ones that make me shine. I’ll make you shine too.
Seok Matthew: Thank you for the support. We’ll improve even more.
Sung Hanbin: Thank you, I really want to say that it’s not my efforts alone; it’s the effort of the star creators that makes everything possible.
Keita: Thank you for watching us until now. Please stay tuned until the end and please do vote!
Group 2 (Kim Jiwoong, Ricky, Lee Jeonghyeon, Jay, Han Yujin):
Ricky: I’m Ricky – young and rich, tall and handsome.
Q. If you had to perform on stage with another trainee, who would you choose?
Kim Jiwoong: We are headed toward the same dream, so I have a lot in common with other contestants. I want to perform with all of them... but the top one is Jay. He has his unique color and various charms – I want to wear that color too and learn from him.
Lee Jeonghyeon: We’re going to show our refreshing yet sexy side in the third mission, and get to try out a different vocal style. I’m very carefree in real life, but I gotta be cute and sexy on stage!
Q. How do you maximize your charms on stage?
Ricky: I was born with swag. I’m confident in my basic dance and singing skills. I also practice a lot of facial expressions. While practicing, I imagine how cool I’ll look on stage.
Jay: My priority is showing stable vocals. But recently, I started to focus on dancing and stage presence as well. I can also play the guitar and drums, so I want to show them off in the future!
Q. What gave you dreams of being an idol?
Han Yujin: Seeing Kai of EXO and Taemin of SHINee perform on stage made me think ‘I wanna be like them too.’
Q. What is your hidden charm?
Han Yujin: So far, I’ve shown my sincere side to Star Creators. In the upcoming stages, I will be bubbly and refreshing. Look out for my new style!
Jay: I’ve shown good vocals and bright energies so far. In the future, I’m confident that I can show a striking, sexy side.
Lee Jeonghyeon: So far, I’ve portrayed a cool image. But in real life, I’m quite the prankster.
Ricky: I may look cold, but my personality is actually lovely. My nickname is 'Lovely Ricky'. I’m good at aegyo!
Kim Jiwoong: I also might look cold on the outside, but deep in my heart lives a cute puppy. I’m trying nowadays to show Star Creators this puppy.
Q. What do you want to say to Star Creators?
Han Yujin: I still have so much talent and effort to show you. I love you a lot.
Jay: There are so many songs I want to sing to you. Please continue sending us love!
Ricky: Ricky still has many hidden charms. Stay tuned till the end
Lee Jeonghyeon: I’m really feeling the increase in fans recently. I’ll repay with great performances
Kim Jiwoong: I’m getting more love than I deserve. I still lack in many areas, but I’ll always improve more.
Group 3 (Kim Gyuvin, Park Gunwook, Yoo Seungeon, Yoon Jongwoo, Takuto, Hiroto):
Q. What do you think are your individual charming points?
Kim Gyuvin: I was clumsy in the early episodes, but I think I’ve been improving. My advantage points are my “physical” and expressiveness.
Park Gunwook: I started with a charismatic image, but with behind-the-scenes videos, fans will now know that I’m a soft person. There's this gap between me on stage and me in real life.
Yoo Seungeon: I’m a visual main vocal. People say my vocals are comfortable to listen to. I’ll live up to your trust!
Yoon Jongwoo: I have a cold first impression, but fellow contestants now know that I’m fun to hang out with.
Takuto: I still have a long way to go. But I’m cute. That's what other hyungs tell me. That’s my charm.
Hiroto: I’m cute like a puppy and charismatic like a wolf. I’ll continue to show more charms.
Q. What is your favorite genre?
Kim Gyuvin: In the early episode, we covered “Reveal” by The Boyz. We were so happy to get positive feedback. I loved the song because I love music with a strong beat.
Contestant Takuto was nervous, but spoke his answers slowly and firmly, filling the conference room with laughter. Yoon Jong-woo held Takuto's hand on stage whenever he seemed nervous.
Hiroto: Takuto always comes to me, like a little brother. He’s so cute.
Takuto: Hiroto has a cute smile. But he’s the cutest when he puts on a fake smile.
Q. What do you want to say to star creators?
Yoon Jongwoo: I came from the bottom of the rank to here, and it wouldn’t have been possible without star creators.
Takuto: We will do our best until the end.
Hiroto: Please continue to send your support!
Kim Gyuvin: Every announcement for the survivors’ lineup gets so many votes, and you guys helped me maintain the top spot every time. Thank you.
Park Gunwook: I never dreamed of getting this much love and attention. It means so much to me and motivates me for every stage.
Yoo Seungeon: Stay tuned and support Yoo Seong-eon the vocalist!
Yoo Seungeon: Thank you star creators for recognizing my talent. On stage or off the stage, I will give you my bright energy. There’s a lot left to show.
Yoon Jongwoo: I started at No. 73. Every mission, every moment, I just did my best so I wouldn’t regret. I think that earned the hearts of star creators, and I want to compliment myself for it too.
Group 4 (Kum Junhyeon, Ollie, Wang Zi Hao, Zhang Hao, Haruto):
Haruto: I’m so good at Korean, that my last name is Ha and my first name is Ruto.
Q. Why did you study Korean?
Ollie: I’m very talkative and chatted with the K team hyungs a lot. They taught me many fun phrases. I’ll study more.
Zhang Hao: I think if I’m to have a professional career in Korea, I should speak Korean well. We speak Korean together in the dorms and during practice. I’m improving fast.
Haruto: I discovered K-pop when I was 14 and got captivated. I wanted to understand the lyrics and started studying alone. Listening to K-pop helped my vocabulary. I love Korean culture, food and watch K-dramas and read Korean books. You get good at what you love dearly.
Zhang Hao: I’ve never been in a leadership position before “Boys Planet.” I monitored my team and came up with reflections every night before going to bed. It was tough, but I learned a lot. I speak quite softly, but I’m trying to be a stern leader.
Haruto: Every day, I feel a kind of happiness that I’ve never felt before thanks to “Boys Planet.” I can’t even put it into words. Let me express it physically then. “Ah!! Happy!!”
Photo: Haruto expresses happiness.
Kum Junhyeon: G group members are so good at Korean, that it wasn’t too hard to communicate. But, it helps to be close to them when they’re speaking, so I can understand them for sure.
And I give them big gestures reacting to what they say, to give them confidence.
Kum Junhyeon: I wanted to enjoy this audition, and star creators can feel my attitude too. I’m very charismatic and energetic, and because I dearly want the final spot, it’s showing more and more each episode.
Wang Zi Hao: All the contestants are so talented – I thank them for the great stage performances. I was lucky to have good chemistry with the other boys.
Photo: Zhang Hao and Haruto helping Wang Zi Hao with his Korean
Q. What's the secret behind your popularity?
Ollie: It’s because I’m cute. Nah, I’m kidding. It’s cos I do my best on stage. (In English)
I think it’s because I treat all of my stages like it’s my last. I don’t want to give up my dreams and won’t let any of you down.
Group 5 (Seowon, Lee Seunghwan, Lee Hoetaek, Zhang Shuai Bo, Cha Woongki, Chen Kuan Jui):
Q. Can you summarize your charm in one phrase?
Seowon: Chameleon. Refreshing, sexy, powerful – I’ve shown them all on stage and can pull it off.
Lee Seunghwan: Confidence with a reason. I step on the stage with trust in my skills and effort.
Lee Hoetaek: Rollercoaster. I’m usually calm but can sometimes burst out in energy.
Zhang Shuai Bo: “One look and you’ll remember me.”
Cha Woongki: Korean shrimp chips. You can’t stop craving me. Go vote for me to see if it’s true.
Chen Kuan Jui: Butterfly. My dancing is soft!
Lee Hoetaek: Through missions, I discovered my limits and started breaking them. I want to thank star creators and other contestants who give me so much energy and boost up my self-esteem.
Seowon: With each mission, I feel how precious a moment on the stage is. I see how hard other contestants work and get motivated myself.
Lee Seunghwan: In my previous audition show, I tried to show what I’ve got. This time, I’m simply showing who I am. I got to reflect on myself and grow.
Cha Woongki: Every minute and second on stage is precious. I want star creators to think “I’m so glad I voted for him.”
Chen Kuan Jui: I’m confident with my ability to express emotions on stage.
Zhang Shuai Bo: I want to give you good energy and show you my smile.
Photo: proof of Zhuang Shuai Bo showing off his smile. 好帅!
that's all twitter user celebconfirmed posted so the end! i think if you look at naver news you can find more detailed responses to these questions but they're all in korean so be prepared to translate
some more group photos
submitted by psshdjndofnsjdkan to BoysPlanet [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 08:25 Difficult_Blood74 I've been using the IINE tatacon for half a year

I've been using the IINE tatacon for half a year
This controller has been controversial for a really long time.
If you've watched Tokaku's video on it you're probably thinking it's a non-functional controller and I don't judge you for it since she's not a bad source of information. The thing is that she got a knock-off for sure.
I didn't buy one but two of them to play together with a friend and all I can say it's been great.
We've been using them in osu! playing 4 stars maps, in open taiko and in the Microsoft Store Taiko. The audio delay on PC is -39 to me. On Switch the delay is -17.
This might be a dealbreaker for you, but you have to disable hitsounds to play with this drum no doubt.
Another thing to point out is that if you want to use this controller on PC you have to configure some things in Windows. You have to go to control panel-> devices and printers and plug the controller. You'll see that it detects it as a Pro Controller for the Switch and if this happens, the controller won't work.
To fix it, right click the Windows key on the taskbar and click device manager. Once you're there go to Human Interface Devices (HID), then search for one that ends in game controller, right click it and disable it (if it ask you to restart it's not required).
Once you've done that, unplug and plug your drum, go to the control panel again, devices and printers and check if it says DS4 controller.
Now it will work as entended, I hope this guide helps someone in the future.
The reason why I'm talking about this controller in this reddit it's because many people don't have the HORI drum available in their country, and if they have it, it cost around 150$ no game included. The IINE controller isn't just cheaper (50$) but it's also bigger and better than the HORI stock.
In my experience, the rubber of the drum is a little hard at first but after a week of use it gets soft and detects all the notes no problem. It's not as sensitive as a touchscreen, that's why many people mod it.
If you've modded this Tatacon please let me know what you did!
The controller is loud and I highly recommend you to put a blanket under the drum. Be careful with your family and neighbors XD
I hope google search gives this reddit post a little justice to all of you who have doubts about this controller!
Feel free to ask me anything about it!
submitted by Difficult_Blood74 to taikonotatsujin [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 08:01 benzdorp Low tech shulker farming idea

I watched Docm77’s recent spideiron farm video, which uses an Iron Golem falling through water to bait spiders into a killing chamber (https://youtu.be/sb8qcVPPaHM?t=18m57s).
I had the idea to use a similar mechanic to bait shulker shots in the tall End City buildings using the player as bait. The player bounces up and down in a clocked item-swapper water elevator surrounded by cobblestone walls so shulkers can target. The player doesn’t drown because of bubbles. Shulkers shoot at the player as it passes up and down the chamber, but miss and hit other shulkers triggering a duplication.
Something like this: https://youtu.be/3aNx9UiyfOY
If you look, some of the shulkers gets hit by a neighbors stray bullet that was trying to shoot the player, so it seems doable. After a few minutes of testing, the player only got hit once, so it might be possible to avoid getting hit at all with adjustments.
The value of this over other farms would be very little building, materials, or redstone, sacrificing rates. I’d use flowing water to block spawnable areas and funnel duplicated shulkers to a kill chamber, a lava cast player chute except for the spots needed for shulkers to see the player, so the materials needed would be very minimal.
Has anyone seen anything like this before? Think it’s worth developing further?
submitted by benzdorp to technicalminecraft [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 07:52 superdupersamsam 32 [M4F] CA/Online - Engineer looking for partner interested in learning/helping/building projects and a life together.

Hello from SoCal!
I am looking for a long term relationship with someone who's interested in building stuff together.
Stuff I like: App development Building websites Arduino/Raspberry Pi 3D design/printing
I like thinking about sustainability/energy conservation - Wind turbines, Electric vehicles, Motogenerator design, etc. Also wouldn't mind having an RV living project in the future.
Here's a little about me:
I'm 5'6, about 135lbs, skinny yet muscular. Short brown hair, brown eyes, scruffy beard of varying lengths. I pretty much wear jeans or shorts and a t-shirt everyday, and I spend exactly 0 minutes picking out my wardrobe each morning.
I'm not a gamer, I don't go to clubs, I don't frequent parties. My dating life is dwindling because I'd rather stay home every weekend than go out looking for the next fling.
I don't really drink. I don't really like loud or crowded places. I prefer classic rock music than any music on the radio today, cats > dogs, coffee, guitadrums/ukulele, work on my own car, modern hippie, progressive, non-religious, oh and I hope to have a kid or two someday (maybe I should've lead with that, oof)
Some stuff I look for in a potential partner:
I prefer dating girls shorter than me because I'm not that tall. I like the tomboy or not as feminine vibe - no long nails or makeup, loose clothing etc. Someone with liberal views, monogamous, wants a family, likes 60's and 70's music. Preferably you have or are working towards a degree (not a deal breaker), maybe engineering, CS, or some other STEM major. Preferably you are ambitious and independent.
Do you find yourself debugging code or designing a front end UI instead of playing Xbox or PS games?
Maybe you're just like me and would rather wait to find someone truly compatible than to hook up with just anyone who give us attention. If so, we might be looking for each other!
So if you think we'd get along, message me! =) Send a little intro with your age, location, and your favorite math class, so I know you read the post. I have a picture on my profile.
submitted by superdupersamsam to r4r [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 07:47 Restless_Dill16 Some conditions apply.

I'm a fan of the musical SIX. For those unaware, it's about the six wives of Henry VIII forming a girl group and singing about the abuses they suffered during their marriages to him. If you're a fan of pop music or history, you might enjoy the soundtrack.
Anyway, I was listening to Jane Seymour's song, "Heart of Stone," where she sings about her steong love for Henry. However, she notices his love is conditional:
"But I know without my son your love could disappear."
This reminded me of one of my past friendships. I met this guy when I was lonely and essentially worshipped the ground he walked on. He was very knowledgeable about the Bible and other religions; he didn't want to talk much about anything else. Looking back, I think I was so desperate for a friend I could spend a lot of time with that I ignored the fact we had little in common. Even so, I still cared deeply for him.
One red flag I missed because I had on rose-colored glasses (thank you, BoJack Horseman) was how he talked about morality. I remember he would say things like if God told him to endanger someone's life he'd do it. He would make the "where do atheists get their morals from" argument all the time. I think what got me to start noticing these red flags was him saying if he didn't know Jesus he wouldn't be friends with me. He was bluntly honest about everything he didn't like about me. However, because of Jesus, he loves me. I didn't know how to feel about that. On one hand, I thought it was cool that God could bring two very different people together to become besties. At the same time, it was scary to me that if his belief in God changed, his love for me could also go away. Reflecting on this inspired me to rewrite that line from "Heart of Stone":
"But I know without THE SON your love could disappear"
I also started to reflect on how I love people. I've never felt like I only or mostly love people because God commands me to. My parents always told me I have a big heart, that I go out of my way to be kind to everybody. Of course, I have the deepest love for those who reciprocate my kindness. We help each other out, spend time together, talk about everything from silly stuff to serious things, etc. I try to give everyone a chance, but if it's clear there's no connection there, I'll try not to let it get to me and move on.
If you don't like me, go find someone you do like being around and leave me alone. To quote another SIX song, I don't need your love. If you warm up to me later, cool, but don't force yourself to love. What sucks is since he said that to me, I find myself worrying if people actually like me for me or if they like me out of some sort of obligation (religious reasons, they see me as a charity case, etc.). Guess that's one more thing to discuss with the counselor.
Sorry for the long ramble. I've always found it really weird that some Christians say their beliefs in God is what keeps them from doing terrible things. I don't think I need God to keep me from killing somebody; I just know doing that is a crappy thing to do. But maybe I just think too highly of myself. 🤔
submitted by Restless_Dill16 to exchristian [link] [comments]