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2023.03.29 12:23 prajnene Narcotics Scanner Market By Industry Trends, Share and Analysis By Forecast Period
The global narcotics scanner market size
is projected to exhibit excellent growth prospects on account of the increasing menace of drug trafficking worldwide, observes Fortune Business Insights™
in its report, titled “Narcotics Scanner Market, 2021-2028
”. Drug and substance abuse is a deeply rooted socio-economic issue that most countries are being forced to grapple with. According to the World Drug Report 2020 by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), approximately 269 million people around the globe used drugs in 2018, up 30% from 2009, and more than 35 million people suffer from drug-use-related disorders and conditions. One of the major reasons for this growing hazard of drugs is the extensive smuggling of contraband substances across borders, especially in the US, Europe, and South & Southeast Asia. Narcotics scanners have proven to be instrumental in curbing the rampant illegal transport of drugs and other health-deteriorating ingredients and materials. These devices are playing a vital role in ensuring public health worldwide.
The global narcotics scanner market size was USD 6.20 billion in 2020. The market is projected to grow from USD 6.32 billion in 2021 to USD 9.92 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 6.64% in the 2021-2028 period. Competitive Landscape Introduction of Advanced Screeners to Boost the Narcotics Scanner Market Growth
Leading developers of narcotics scanners are focusing on launching advanced and sophisticated screening devices to support drug control operations of law enforcement agencies. These companies are also making targeted investments towards expanding their global market footprint by introducing next-gen scanners in emerging economies. List of Key Players Covered in the Narcotics Scanners Market Report
- Metrohm India Private Limited (India)
- Smiths Detection Group Ltd (The U.K.)
- LaserShield Systems Inc. (The U.S.)
- Aventura Technologies Inc. (The U.S.)
- Bruker Corporation (The U.S.)
- Chemring Group PLC (The U.K.)
- Leidos Holdings, Inc. (The U.S.)
- Safran SA (France)
- FLIR Systems Inc. (The U.S.)
- OSI Systems Inc. (The U.S.)
By product type, the market’s segments include handheld scanners, tabletop scanners, and walkthrough scanners. Based on technology, this market is divided into ion mobility spectrum technology, contraband detection equipment, and video scope inspection system. On the basis of end-use industry, the market has been grouped into airports, law enforcement, defense & military, public transportation, and others. In terms of geography, the market has been segregated into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East & Africa, and Latin America. What Does the Report Offer?
The report contains a rigorous study of all factors and trends driving and shaping the size, share, and revenue of the market. Further, the report supplies a microscopic examination of the hindrances obstructing the growth of the market, as well as provides a careful analysis of the market segments. Additionally, a detailed assessment of the competitive landscape and regional prospects of the market are also incorporated into the report. Information Source- https://www.fortunebusinessinsights.com/narcotics-scanner-market-104053 Driving Factor Illicit Production & Distribution of Drugs amid COVID-19 to Bolster Market Growth
The COVID-19 pandemic has had catastrophic economic consequences, pushing millions of people, who were on the brink of poverty and deprivation prior to the pandemic, over the edge. UNODC’s World Drug Report 2020 states that economic hardship triggered by the coronavirus may lead to a large number of people resorting to illegal drug-related activities to secure their livelihoods. Furthermore, the same report also highlighted that drug markets have grown and expanded in Asia Pacific, particularly Southeast Asia, remaining relatively unaffected by the pandemic. The coronavirus has, therefore, heightened the need for narcotics scanners as smugglers are finding new routes to traffic contraband substances across borders. For example, the UNODC reported a significant increase in the usage of maritime routes to smuggle heroin into Europe amid the pandemic, as trafficking via land routes has become riskier in recent times. Thus, rising drug production and supply activities in the midst of the current health crisis will necessitate the deployment of effective technologies, which favors this market. Regional Insights Stringent Border Controls in the US to Aid the North America Market
North America is expected to dominate the narcotics scanners market share during the forecast period due to the growing stringency of border checks in the US. Law enforcement agencies across the US have been utilizing the capabilities of new-age screening technologies to prevent the illegal peddling of drugs, especially from Mexico, in the country. The thriving underworld drug industry in Asia Pacific has forced authorities in this region to rapidly deploy drug-detecting devices, such as narcotics scanners, and curb trafficking activities. In Europe, the high rate of drug smuggling from Central Asia and North Africa will escalate the demand for drug analyzing tools and technologies in the coming years. Industry Development
- June 2020: Viken Detection announced an initiative called VALOR, an acronym for Viken Assisting Law-enforcement in the Opioid Response. Under this program, the company will provide its HBI-120 handheld X-ray imagers to local police departments for free or at very low costs to aid their efforts in fighting the country’s opioid epidemic.
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2023.03.29 12:18 JulioCesarSalad I’m amazed and thankful when employees take a really nuanced and comprehensive approach to our travel. Today I was *not* gate upgraded to first because the agent wanted me to have a view of the National Mall and monuments when flying into DCA
Copy pasted from my email to [email protected]
I boarded the flight in C+. Once I was in the jetway I checked the upgrade list and saw I was number 1 with 1 aisle seat available. I took my C+ seat, which was a window.
After boarding the gate agent swung by and found me, he let me know I was on the upgrade list and he lagged me several times at the gate to see if I wanted to take the upgrade, but I didn’t hear the pages as I wasn’t at the gate yet.
You see, I’m flying to DCA. My C+ window seat is on the port side, the side that gives you a magnificent view of the Lincoln and Washington monuments, the White House, Georgetown university, and the Capitol.
He could have upgraded me without checking. But he saw in my profile I preferred window seats and he knew the route I was flying. So he wanted to ask me.
I thank him for being so proactive and so understanding of the entire situation. He was right! I preferred to keep my port window in C+ for this specific flight because of the view welcoming me home!
Thank you sir, I appreciate it, and I will land at home with a smile.
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2023.03.29 11:39 CommercialREF Best War General/Warrior To Live
Best Warrior to ever live in my opinion would be Khalid Bin Walid,
Historians describe him as the best with the sword, reading stories about him and how he was able to defeat large number of armies despite being outnumbered will always mesmerize me, he was also a tactical genius in the battle field knowing the flanks and routes of his enemies but he never wanted to be a general despite all of this,
This is just little information out the top of my head I just wanted to share, if anyone wants to know more about how fearsome of a warrior Khalid was I suggest you watch the video , ‘ Khalid Ibn Walid a profile of a warrior ‘ it’s on YouTube the speaker is Dr, Roy Casagranda and the way he speaks and explains in detail of how astonishing Khalid was as a warrior is amazing,
If anyone wants to also share stories of how great of a warrior he was please share!! - I would also love to know the stories of other great generals/ warriors who lived in the past and how did damage in the battle field , please share! - thanks and have a wonderful day my English isn’t the best so sorry if I made any grammar mistakes.
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2023.03.29 11:26 demfrecklestho Weekly schedule (March 27 - April 2)
We’re faced with an emptier week compared with previous ones, but the wait will be rewarded with one of the biggest races of the season awaiting us on Sunday: the Ronde van Vlaanderen, aka the second monument and the biggest of the Flemish races.
|Race ||M/W ||Rank ||< ||M ||T ||W ||T ||F ||S ||S ||> |
|Dwars door Vlaanderen ME ||M ||1.UWT || || || ||x || || || || || |
|Dwars door Vlaanderen WE ||W ||1.Pro || || || ||x || || || || || |
|Vuelta Bantrab ||M ||2.2 || || || ||1 ||2 ||3 ||4 ||5 || |
|Route Adélie de Vitré ||M ||1.1 || || || || || ||x || || || |
|GP Miguel Indurain ||M ||1.Pro || || || || || || ||x || || |
|Volta Limburg Classic ||M ||1.1 || || || || || || ||x || || |
|Tour of Thailand ||M ||2.1 || || || || || || ||1 ||2 ||(+4) |
|Ronde van Vlaanderen ME ||M ||1.UWT || || || || || || || ||x || |
|Ronde van Vlaanderen WE ||W ||1.WWT || || || || || || || ||x || |
|Trofeo Piva ||M ||1.2U || || || || || || || ||x || |
- Races in bold offer live coverage
- Races in italic span across multiple weeks
- R = Rest day
Ronde van Vlaanderen
Sunday’s Tour of Flanders is the second monument of the season, and undoubtedly one of the biggest classics of the year… if not the biggest! Especially for Belgian fans, it is considered a near-religious event. It’s a Flemish cobbled classic like the ones we’ve had in the past few weeks… but it’s longer (250 kms for the men, 150 kms for the women), tougher (16 cobbled sectors for the men, 10 for the women) and it has infinitely more prestige than any other race held in this area so far; sadly, it is also the last big Flemish classic, but this might add a layer of entertainment as it will be the last chance to leave a mark for riders who have failed to perform until now.
The men’s course starts in Brugge, and it takes 100 kms to reach the Flemish Ardennes area where all the cobbled sectors are found; the women’s race starts closer to the action, with the first cobbled sectors less than 50 kms into the course. Except for this, the two courses are rather similar and share several key points: the Koppenberg
, a short but notoriously difficult cobbled climb coming with about 50 kms to go, and the Oude Kwaremont
combo: these two iconic cobbled roads are tackled one after another near the end of the race, and from the Paterberg’s summit it’s a tense 13 kms-long run to the finish line in Oudenaarde. However, unlike- say- the Poggio in MSR, it’s such a tough race that the decisive move could come just about anywhere, so it’s well worth watching from far out.
In the men’s event, Mathieu van der Poel
has been the absolute protagonist in recent years- winner in 2020, a close second in 2021 and winner again in 2022. Last year’s win came after a ballsy gamble- he was in front with Tadej Pogačar
but the two nearly came to a standstill before the line, as neither wanted to tow the other to the line. This allowed the chasers to catch up with them… but MvdP still won the sprint at the end. In the women’s race, SD Worx (unsurprisingly) had strength in numbers, and this allowed Lotte Kopecky
to bring some joy to the home crowds.
Dwars door Vlaanderen
The penultimate Flemish classic is Wednesday’s Dwars door Vlaanderen, whose name roughly translates to through Flanders
. Compared to other Flemish classics, I’d argue it is a bit less coveted as it was a late addition to the men’s World Tour, and it isn’t even WT for the women; most of its prestige comes from its “last call before de Ronde” calendar spot… which it acquired in 2018, when organizers FlandersClassics successfully lobbied to oust the Three Days of De Panne from this privileged calendar spot.
DDV is a fairly standard Flemish race- it takes place in the area to the south of Gent- the same as Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, E3 Harelbeke and the Ronde van Vlaanderen- and it features 10 cobbled sectors for the men and 9 for the women. Most of them are in the last 50 kms, after the Knokteberg
, a short, punchy hill which is often a pivotal point in this race. Mathieu van der Poel
is (again) the defending champion in the men’s race, whereas the always cheerful Chiara Consonni
won the women’s race last year.
Route Adélie de Vitré
At long last, the French calendar will finally reach Bretagne on Friday: as you may know, the region is one of the most passionate (if not THE most passionate) about the sport in the whole country, and it is set to host plenty of events throughout the year. As with most races held here, the Route Adélie
takes place on mostly flat rural roads, although it is not necessarily a sprinters’ race: last year we had a tough edition of this event, marred by bad weather, and Cofidis’ Axel Zingle
emerged victorious. Fun fact: this is probably the only race named after a brand of ice cream, made by one of the event’s main sponsors.
GP Miguel Induráin
If you prefer mountains to cobblestones, this is probably not the best week in the calendar for you: Saturday’s GP Miguel Induráin
might be a much-needed fix. It is a one-day race held in Navarra, northern Spain, not far from where the Tour of the Basque Country will be held the following week.
The race is named after five-times TdF winner Induráin, who hails from this same region; he was regarded as a formidable “jack of all trades” kind of rider… and the course seems to reflect this: it has several short climbs and fast descents, so it can play out in many different ways. The course has been changed regularly in the past, but the 2023 course is largely similar to the one used for the past couple of years, with many short hills along the route and the last categorized climb, the Alto de Eraul, summiting with 10 kms to go. Warren Barguil
won last year.
Fun fact: among past winners of GP Miguel Induráin, we can find Induráin himself, although the race had yet to be named after him.
Volta Limburg Classic
Saturday’s Volta Limburg Classic
is a one-day race taking place in Limburg province, the southernmost part of the Netherlands, with some brief spillovers in Belgium too. Unlike the rest of the country, this area is quite hilly, and this race includes plenty of short climbs: it’s Amstel Gold Race territory, although this race’s course is easier overall. Despite its potential status as a prep race for the Ardennes classics, this race usually has a fairly low-tier startlist, with most classics-type riders and teams busy across the border- there will be four WT teams at the start. There’s a women’s race held alongside the men’s- albeit on a shorter circuit: despite sometimes having a better startlist than the men’s race, it is not part of the UCI calendar.
The race shouldn’t be confused with the Ronde van Limburg
, a flatter race held across the border in Belgium… although coincidentially the two events had the same winner last year, Arnaud De Lie
Tour of Thailand (stages 1-2)
The Covid-19 pandemic took a heavy toll on the Asian calendar over the past few seasons, and things are just now getting back to normal. There’s a race that never stopped, though: The Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorns Cup Tour of Thailand
… I hope you’ll forgive me if I call it Tour of Thailand
for the sake of brevity.
The race begins on Saturday and is set to last six stages overall, after which a women’s race will begin. Unlike previous editions of this race, the stages won’t be concentrated to one small region within the country: the riders will move around, forming a crescent-moon-shaped loop to the north of Bangkok. There’s one thing that has not changed, though: the course of the race is largely completely flat except for a punchy climb next week. After the men’s race wraps up, a women’s race will take place too!
The race is ranked 2.1, meaning that WT teams could participate in theory… although in practice, not even ProTeams will be visiting here. Last year, Polish continental team HRE took part in this race, and took the overall with Alan Banaszek
, now at HPH; this year, the startlist will be mostly made up of Asian teams with strong Belgian conti team Tarteletto the only visitor from elsewhere confirmed so far.
- New exotic race alert? New exotic race alert! The Vuelta Bantrab is a new stage race in Guatemala, taking place from Wednesday to Sunday, and simply named after its main sponsor, a local bank. The five days will feature plenty of climbing and racing at altitude, with stages 1 and 4 looking the hardest on paper. The startlist is entirely made up of Latin American teams (most of them from the host country), but it will be worth keeping an eye on this race’s results as Colombia’s Team Medellín should bring both Oscar Sevilla and Superman López here!
- The only other .2 race this week is a U23 event, Sunday’s Trofeo Piva. It is the first of many events held in the Alpine foothills near Treviso, one of Italy’s cycling hotbeds, and it’s a fairly challenging event, as it course consists entirely of many laps of a hilly circuit, with a shorter, very steep climb right before the finish line. It is named after a local bank which was the event’s main sponsor for many years, and the name stuck even if said bank doesn’t exist anymore. The defending champion is Italian Martin Marcellusi, a second-year pro at Bardiani.
- GCN will provide live coverage for all the biggest races: Dwars door Vlaanderen (men and women), the Ronde van Vlaanderen, the Volta Limburg and the GP Miguel Indurain. In the US and Canada, the Flemish races should be on FloBikes, which has an exclusive deal with organizer FlandersClassics.
- The Route Adélie will receive a livestream on the organizers’ FB page.
- The Thai national broadcasting service will broadcast the Tour of Thailand live, including via internet livestreams.
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2023.03.29 11:18 NoTexture2237 how can you skydive with this fella?
2023.03.29 11:07 Seiver123 I recently came back to WoW and wanted to share my impressions. Here is my experience with DF M+ so far.
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I've now played 4 IDs of DF S1 M+. I've pugged all of it but made some friends along the way that I've played more than one key with (none of them was above the socre of the keys i was doing at the time)
This is my progress over the weeks: Waotan-Blackrock if someone doesn't trust ppl on the internet ;) [also number of timed runs not updated on the image]
Some rules I have for myself: Say "yes" if you have time. Stay nice and relaxed. Don't let blame get to you and see if there really is something to do better next time. Ask for feeback if you're not sure why some situation went bad. Ask good ppl "wanna do more" after a key. On mistakes ask yourself what you could have done to save it (even if the easy answer is something someone else could have done)
Here is what my conclusions on the weeks are: Week 1:
I didn't knew the new dungeons and only new the old once from memory. I was very low ilvl form leveling and a couple of heroic dungeons. I was also still a bit wankey on rotation and keybinds (You don't learn to much while leveling).
It was easy to get into keys up to lvl 6ish because ppl were farming Valor still after that it was a little slower but still doable to get significant score upgradres every key. I met noone who was interacting much (appart from a flamer from time to time). Alomost all the keys I did were timed and ppl got angry if one wasn't. Week 2:
This week felt way easier from the getgo (more gear, other affixes, more knowledge, etc.) and I got lariat crafted because someone told me to. I thought I could do 20s for sure but it was impossible to get invited to one. I got alot of ilvl upgrades due to valor upgrades. (about 404 at the end of the week if i remeber correctly). There were much more toxic ppl in this range and I started to notice when other ppl did poorly. I certainly felt like i mostly get the "bad players" in my grps and in my mind it was because im low ilvl and score (maybe even the true reason). This week felt by far the worst to me. I had much more depletes then the previous week and meeting nice ppl was very rare. Week 3:
This week again felt way easier than the previous one and somehow I got into 20s better. I also met a couple of nice ppl I played more with and got some slight upgrades that way. My goal at that point was to get all the portals in this week. The grps for 20 keys were very hit or miss. There are some blasters at 2700-2800 but many "dead weights" aswell. I stared to notice that there seemed to be a conection between bad players and flamers. None of the better players stared to flame the max was a bad comment from them. Most of the flame happend after the flamer did a "upsi" himself. I noticed that ppl become VERY picky in who to invite to their keys and wait forever to get the right ppl. Week 4:
Pala got changed a little and felt a little stronger. At this point i feel pretty save with rotation and keybinds and also know the dangers of most pulls. I'm not sure about optimal routes and skips that are common so I mostly still do "press W routes" and they seem to still work well in this key level. The players I met at this range are way nicer than in 20s. I see a big change in ppls skill and behavior in going from 20 to 21. It's a bit harder to get into upgrade grps but still very doable. I also spend most of the time (maybe 60% of keys) with ppl I met before in discord and get many new ppl for the friendlist. This week was by far the most fun for me cause I could talk with nice ppl and depleting wasn't always met with anger. One strange thing i noticed is that healing needed is (for the most part) way lower in 21s then in 19s
2023.03.29 09:31 TightAsF_ck WorldRemit Free Cash for Sending Money To Your Own Foreign Currency Account
is a digital payments service that allows you to send money around the world.
Right now, they have two offers:
- 1. Refer-a-friend - get an extra £10 to send when you transfer £75 to another country/currency. > For some strange reason, the first page you click through says £10. But once you sign up, it says £25. It's £10 you get.
- 2. The Alternative BeerMoney Way: Topcashback - get £31.50 cashback for a £150 transfer.
I sometimes send money to friends abroad (using Wise), or sometimes need to send money to my own Wise account in other currencies. With this offer, I got the bonus for sending some money to my own international account (although I only got £20 via the old offer).
Whichever way you want to do it, steps are below!
__________________________________ How to get your bonus
__________________________________ Step 1 - Get a foreign currency Wise Account.
You will need:
- Get a Wise account using a link in the latest Wise post.
- Open a foreign currency account on Wise (I used by New Zealand Dollar, NZD, account)
- Get your bank account details (if yours is a new Wise account, you will need to deposit £20 and KYC).
- The NZ bank name (Click on Your NZD Account Details, and then the question mark to reveal the bank name. For mine, it was JP Morgan Chase.
- Your account number (remove all dashes).
- The bank Switch Code. For JP Morgan Chase in Auckland, the switch code is CHASNZ2AXXX. Check your bank here https://wise.com/gb/swift-codes/
If you do not have a Wise account, you may wish to use a link from the latest post. Click here to search for the latest Wise offer post
Step 2 - Get a World Remit Account & transfer >£75 (£150 for Topcashback)
- Sign up to WorldRemit using the WorldRemit refer-a-friend link:
Code: REFER53BDTH5FBMVV (if required) Or for a bigger bonus, sign up to Topcashback:
Search here for latest Topcashback sign up bonus)
- Enter the transfer amount on the WorldRemit homepage.
I sent £75 to to NZD (converts to ~140 NZD), by bank transfer.
- Add your recipient bank details on the next page.
If sending to yourself, enter your name, the bank name, the bank account number, the SWIFT code, and the branch location. I entered "0" for the phone number.
- Add your personal details on the next page.
Name, telephone number etc.
- User the promo code 3FREE to remove the £0.99 WorldRemit transfer fee.
Switch the promo code toggle, and enter the code.
- Choose how to pay on the final page.
I paid using my debit card.
Step 3 - Receive your NZD and your £10 voucher from WorldRemit, or your cashback from Topcashback.
- If you went the World Remit route, you will be emailed your voucher for £10 off your next transfer as soon as the payment has been sent fully. Use to send another payment to your Wise account.
When I did this, I set up my payment on a Saturday, and the transfer was finalised two days later on the Monday. I received my voucher alongside confirmation of the transfer.
- Your transfer of NZD may take another couple of days to appear in your Wise account.
My transfer was sent on a Monday, and appeared in my Wise account on the Wednesday>
If you go the Topcashback route, it might take a while to receive your cashback. Terms state that the Amazon voucher will be emailed within 90 days. I would imagine the cashback takes about the same amount of time.
My £75 (sent via World Remit), turned into £73.86 (received into my Wise account) after fees/exchange rates. So I spent £1.14 to get the voucher from WorldRemit!
After sending the £10 voucher, it will be worth ~£8 beermoney!
__________________________________ Links WorldRemit no ref, no bonus link WorldRemit refer-a-friend terms
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2023.03.29 09:17 jellomellow000 I’m new to driving and keep almost killing myself
But I don’t have any other choice but to take this leap of faith each day. My parents were neglectful and sheltered me horribly. The kind of cult weirdo sheltering behavior that makes peoples jaws drop when I tell them the story. So, they did not prepare my siblings and I for adulthood in the slightest. I’m 24 but have the life experience of a kid. My driving skills as a result are also very poor. They did everything they could to cripple me emotionally and financially but I finally got away! Finally.
I recently left. Packed my shit and ran. Would be homeless if not living with my step sister. But she’s very busy with work and not my mom. She can’t help me other than provide a roof. So for me that means “fake it ‘till you make it” This city is so different from my small town. My only driving experience thus far was 3 minutes down the road to my old workplace. That’s it.
Now for the very first time, I’m merging onto 70mph freeways by myself in rush hour. Driving in the dark. Driving hours back to the family home to pick up more of my stuff. But I keep missing exits, taking wrong turns, I almost ran a red light, I keep getting honked at. At night, I can’t see shit. I keep missing vital turns, then Google maps mocking me “proceed to the route” dude I can’t see it! My eyes are bad, I can’t tell what signs say until it’s too late. But I can’t afford to see an eye doctor.
I’m stressed as hell. It’s only a matter of time before I freaking kill myself because no one taught me what to do at a roundabout or how to merge across multiple lanes going 70+ miles per hour. I can’t freaking see at night and my cars lights are dim as hell. I can’t afford a better car or to fix the messed up lights. I can’t afford lessons. I barely have enough money at the moment. At least I can be proud that I somehow have made it out of Columbus OH during peak rush hour 3 times now in one piece. We are notorious for jacked up roads and deadly rush hour. I make it very late to my destination, but alive.
Holy crap, I’ve done it so far. But it’s beyond exhausting learning the ins and outs of driving in real time. I know, it’s stupid, but all I’ve got left is stupid. Buses won’t take me far and they’re NOT safe here either... not about to get groped again.
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2023.03.29 09:14 Moore007OH Hello Meat-Eaters, Any Cattle Farms Around Charlotte?
Back when I lived in Columbus, Ohio, my parents used to team up with 3 other families and they would go out to nearby farms (sometimes as far as 2 hours away) and buy a whole cow/bull/beast for $2k to $3k depending on the size of the beast. They would get it slaughtered and split 4 ways and they would pay abt $500. Each family would come back to Columbus and pack the already neatly made cuts into the freezer. That beef would last a family of 4 for 8 months to a year! I recently moved to Charlotte and was wondering if anyone knows and can recommend some nearby farms that can cater to such deals. They can even be far out as long as they offer great beef at a good price. Any leads, anyone? Please help. :)
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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.
“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.
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2023.03.29 09:04 Helpful-Departure-43 Best VPN For Gamer In Poland
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2023.03.29 08:20 Ambivalent_Warya Central Bank of Somalia (CBS) leads the country's commercial banks to adopt International bank account numbers (IBAN)
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For More: Techrish Solutions
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2023.03.29 07:39 Former_Accident_2455 Airport bus from Incheon Aiport to Fairfield by Marriot Seoul
Does anyone know if there is a Airport bus from Incheon Aiport to Fairfield by Marriot Seoul ?
I searched Google it shows me bus number 6008 will get me from Incheon Aiport but on the airport bus website airport.kr
, I cant find bus 6008 anymore.
Thank you in advance
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2023.03.29 07:23 hillymunster ACH - I'm still looking for advice?
My clients provide me with authorization to draft their monthly invoice via ACH. They provide me with their name, bank account number, routing number, etc. I am PULLING their money from their account and depositing in to my operating account. Our bank charges $50/month plus $1 per draft (I think it's $1 or about). This doesn't sound bad but I draft over 200 people per month. It adds up. Is there another option?
I appreciate the recommendations before, but options like BlueVine or Melio won't work. These "free ACH" bank/companies require the client to connect their bank with Plaid and initiate the transfer on their end. My clients are specifically giving me ACH authorization so they don't have to pay every month or take any action.
I need a service that allows me to input name/routing/account number every month then DRAFT / PULL the money from the clients' accounts and immediately deposit it into my account. Is there a free or low cost option? I feel like I'm missing something. In my industry, ALL ACH payments are free for the customeclient; they are not charged like they are for a credit card payment. So I feel like I'm missing something - are they using a system I haven't become aware of? Or cutting a check for each client with the routing/account number and somehow processing it? I don't know. Any input would help. The fees are killing us, especially because we do not pass them on for ACH. No one does, so it wouldn't be OK if we did.
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2023.03.29 07:07 ScottOld Guess that’s the whole city awake now, heard this from here
2023.03.29 06:41 Concernedmicrowave I'm having issues with my solid works install. I'm trying to install a student license on my personal computer. It keeps asking for an SNL server, which it can't find. After I click through this, it goes to the download page but it doesn't complete the download, just gets stuck.
2023.03.29 06:34 Pokerfacer270 (Almost) Scammed
I received an email last Friday saying that I passed an initial screening for a company I did not remember if I applied to. Regardless, on Monday, I followed up since I was desperate to get a job after graduation. I was given a pdf of questions as my "interview" and I was accepted a couple hours later. I only found out recently after giving my routing number to my checking account and my driver license as proof of identification that I found out that I was close to being scammed. I was mailed a check of a large amount to buy supplies, but (thankfully) the bank did not take it the 3 times I went saying that it needed to be marked as "issued" by the issuer. I am transferred my funds out of my checking account and will close it and reopen a new one tomorrow. I am not sure if I am able to, but should I try to get my DL number changed as well? I am not sure what someone can do with my DL number, but the silver lining is that I did not give my SSN.
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2023.03.29 06:20 yousureimnotarobot Misunderestimated
A one-shot. Vote (the pointy thing upwards) and enjoy!
The Xeno looked like he should be sitting on a Cathedral somewhere pissing rain down on the tourists. He also wouldn’t shut up
“I told you, I’m not a fucking engineer, pilot, Superman or whatever other weird ideas you have about humans. I’m a Xeno Paleoarchelogist and I’m wearing the wrong pants for a pirate attack. My grant doesn’t cover it and neither does my health insurance.”
The crests on his annoying companion raised in surprise, “Well I have no idea what that means but it must be useful! I have better pants that you may borrow if that would help?”
Warren held on to his chair tightly as another explosion rattled his teeth. Twenty minutes ago he had been enjoying the peace of a dull commute with a good book. Now he was in serious shit with nothing but whatever the Xeno equivalent of a nerd was. He should have known from the way the guy had lit up like it was his fucking birthday on sitting beside a ‘real’ human on his trip into the dark.
When the shaking calmed down he looked at his unlikely companion, “I study history, your history, everyone's history and see what matches up with ours. In particular, I study the utilisation of fire in prehistory as an indicator of future galactic development.”
He might as well have been speaking in pig-Latin and asking for a donation for the rebuilding of Pompei for all the Xeno seemed to understand.
The Xeno seemed to be considering something and then spoke in a sudden burst as if he was afraid the universe might interrupt him, “I am Ni’urn, Senior-Second Programmer of the Third-Shift of Numbers of Importance and I also study. I study combinations of numbers and I recommend the best ones. I cannot be captured by pirates! My department would be horrified!”
This was the problem with dumb translations since Warren heard ‘office geek that lived in a basement’ when he was actually being told, “I am the Second in Command of the third sector of our planet's military: space. I study patterns of warfare within the galaxy and our local space and recommend countermeasures to deal with foreseen problems. My death or capture will result in confusion and possible overreaction by our military.”
What Ni’urn heard from his new human companion was, “I am a human specialist responsible for fire and I am without my equipment.”
The obvious solution was to find some way for the human to utilise his skills in fire, a most useful thing in a battle with pirates.
Ni’urn ran the numbers in his head, “We are on a civilian ship from the In’Tec people. They make poor ships but cheap. Since your people stopped their previous activities I must think that they are unfamiliar with important things like escape pods since we have not been offered one. My projections indicate that this ship was probably refitted from a pirate vessel. Do you concur?”
Warren looked around at the slightly squashed cabin and took a wild guess, “Sure, why not? If these guys were pirates then either they are still working with them or they might have held onto some of the systems they used to use. No one gives up firepower if they can help it. I’m not sure how that helps us!”
Ni’urn added that to his numbers, “I concur. It is a most useful insight. We have just under eighteen minutes before the ship either surrenders to slavers and thieves or fails completely and explodes so I propose we seek to take immediate control of the vessel. I have sufficient understanding to undertake to pilot the vessel and you will be responsible for finding and using the weapons you believe they have concealed. Do you concur?”
Warren was still struggling with the ‘Eighteen minutes until we die’ when the Xeno grabbed him and pushed him forward towards the door. He thought the creature had been driven mad with fear and decided to chance it on his own. The Xeno had babbled something about Escape Pods so he pulled open the door and began running. He no longer cared where he was running to but he was damned sure of what he was running away from.
He was nearly back to rational thought when someone suddenly appeared in front of him and raised a weapon towards his face. Warren needed those brown pants really badly but he was moving too fast to stop so he tried to drop his head, just as the much-abused ship's systems flickered and the gravity went offline for a second.
To Ni’urn it appeared as if the human had sprinted at unbelievable speed from the cabin and when one of the pirates had dropped his camouflage to shoot him he had simply lowered his head and charged his assailant. He watched the pirate shatter as the human seemed to fly into him, its weapon thrown wildly and his armour crushed against the corridor wall. He hurried to catch up.
Warren took the blow to his head badly and felt blood begin to trickle into his eyes. Without thinking he pushed the blood away and leaned down to the Xeno he had crashed into. Shit. He couldn’t help him and didn’t particularly care but he thought he should not leave the creature with a weapon. He himself had never used one and had no idea of how the thing worked but maybe he could give it to someone in authority. Later. He began running again with the gun forgotten in his hand as the blood and pain narrowed his eyes. How fucking big was this ship anyway? The escape pods must be near the pilot, it made no sense otherwise.
‘Remarkable’ Ni’urn said to the dead pirate. “I have heard the human expression that you never know what will hit you but I didn’t realise it was literal.” He stepped over the corpse and followed his fire human.
The problem with running around like headless poultry is that it always ends badly for someone. Warren was finding that out the hard way as he found himself with a bleeding head, a raging headache and absolutely no idea of where he was on the ship. On the upside, no one seemed to be shooting at him or the ship. He stopped for breath and began to calm down and then he heard the footsteps. Someone was coming.
Ni’urn was growing more and more curious as his human friend threw himself forward into the maze of corridors without pause. If he was willing to entertain the thought he would have said the route that he was taking was…unusual, but it had evaded all the crew and pirates and he had brought them safely to the bridge. He had followed the thumping feet as they echoed down the shaky corridors and until then heard them falter and stop. Good, he had not been forgotten and his ally was obviously waiting for him to catch up.
He reflected that perhaps they hadn’t avoided anyone but that any enemy hearing the thumping human's arrival, seeing it covered in its lurid red blood and casually holding a weapon had simply gotten quickly out of the way.
On the bridge of the unfortunate ship the Beautiful Bounty
there were two very unhappy Captains. One of them was dressed slightly less formally than the other but they could not be mistaken for anything other than family, bickering in front of some heavily armed men, “I told you we had a human and a high-value target. The human is some academic, not a warrior, just a teacher. He’s not important. We need the local, the Command Staff guy. He’s the one making all the plans around here.”
The In’tec pirate laughed, “Really? Because I can see the same cameras that you can and the human has already slaughtered one of mine in cold blood, stolen his gun and is now tearing through the ship looking for the rest of us. He’s probably going to be outside the door in a few minutes. I’m done. I’m not fighting a human again. You weren’t there. Even if I kill him the rest of his kind will come looking for me and they never fucking stop! You do whatever the fuck you want but me and my men are out of here.”
The Captain of the Beautiful Bounty
seemed to shrink, “But I…I turned off the defences to do this. I’m screwed. I’ll spend years in a penal colony when they read the incident report. The local guy is really important...I’m fucked.” He seemed to realise that he had thrown his entire life into the toilet for nothing. If the pirates wouldn’t fight, his crew definitely wouldn’t and he didn’t want to face the creature alone. He looked at the vid as the crazed and bloodied creature ran towards the bridge, towards him.
The whole room heard and felt someone - something
- run heavily towards the door and then stop. Then silence.
The In’tec pirate shook himself, “Fine, you can come with us. Now.” He turned to the bridge staff and his own men, “Move or you stay to deal with that fucking mad species.”
He didn’t waste any more words, running to his breaching craft that was currently embedded in the bridge and followed by every crewman on the bridge. It was a well-practised manoeuvre for most of them and it took less than a minute for them all to pile through the joining fields.
Warren groaned when the annoying Xeno suddenly reappeared. He had tried to figure out the weapon but it wasn't made for humans, it was some weird thing that you obviously needed the correct training to use. He still held it in case he needed to hit something but then he wiped some more dried blood out of his eyebrows and finally realised he had been an idiot to the innocent Xeno, “Good to see you again. I’m afraid the ‘fight or flight ‘ instinct is strong in my people but I shouldn’t have behaved so poorly. Since we are both still here I assume the pirates are boarding? Do you have any suggestions? Are you uninjured?”
Ni’urn was pleased to see the human was alert and capable of intelligent questions.
What he understood was that his ally was pleased with his survival and looking for his understanding and preferred countermeasures. An admirable trait that was so rare in warriors. It still looked like a horror but that's aliens for you.
“I believe this is the correct door. I estimate that we will succeed if you enter first. When you have subdued the bridge I will then take control of the navigation and bring us to safety. You must find fire control and prepare to disable the pirate ship. They should not be permitted to rampage in the system or seek revenge against us.”
The human seemed to consider it for a moment and then handed him the weapon. Of course, he was probably feeling protective. This was a trait he had read about in his Intel reports of the species. They must be bonded in the humans mind. Well, that was slightly embarrassing.
Warren looked at the gun and gave up. He handed it to the Xeno, maybe he had seen them in the movies or done basic training. From what the nerd said they needed to take the bridge and then find the weapons before the pirates blew the ship up to cover their tracks. Another deadline. “Alright, you wave that thing around and let me take a swipe at anyone still standing. We are both going to die.”
Ni’urn assumed that that was some warrior's creed and tried to respond, “Indeed, but not today.” He pointed at one of the doors leading off from the corridor, “That is where we must go. I will open it and you will act. I shall endeavour to cover you with the gun but it is not recommended for use on a ship and would probably destroy vital systems should I try. I shall, as you suggest, ‘wave it about’.”
All Warren heard was that the Xeno didn’t know how to shoot and the door was right in front of him. His plan to run into the pointy-end had been correct it seemed. He just nodded and pushed hard on the door.
Ni’urn was surprised when it shifted easily under the human's hand. Breaching the bridge was always notoriously difficult but the human didn’t even slow down.
Warren figured the various fire and damage alarms currently ringing through the ship had opened every lock, especially on a civilian ship that carried his people. Any engineer he had ever met would have melted it down for ballast if it didn’t. He opened the door to an empty room.
“Well, that was easier than I expected. Go do your thing and I’ll see what they have to play with.”
He couldn’t believe it, he wasn’t going to get shot. Whatever the pirates wanted they had taken and left. He was just a bystander but what the fuck… he watched the Xeno move with the fussy authority of someone that spends their days at this kind of shit. The guy seemed to grow a foot taller when he began programming or piloting or whatever the hell he was doing.
He found a panel on the Captain's console. It looked like it had been nailed on and it was definitely not supposed to be there. It had a big red button and a sign that read ‘Emergency’ in several languages but most of them were incorrectly spelled, something that always annoyed him. He hit the button and nothing happened. Surprise. Thirty seconds later he had pried it off to find a small screen and six buttons, four with arrows, one kind of beige and one red.
He hit the beige one and the screen seemed to flicker until another ship appeared. The pirate? There was no one else for a dozen light-years. It even came with crosshairs that suddenly turned green when it thought it was pointing at the right thing.
Revenge. His or theirs..who would ever know? He didn’t but he hit the red button anyway.
Ni’urn was struggling with the debriefing. “It is as I have told you: once I had informed the human of our predicament he acted immediately, killing the first pirate we encountered and seizing its weapon. It then evaded all opposition until it reached the bridge and waited for my instruction. Once we had breached the bridge he sought out the hidden weapons system and annihilated the pirate ship. I piloted us into safe space and he immediately disembarked and left for Earth space. I do not understand why you are having issues with this. It is plainly visible on the recovered files and I have no reason to lie about the event. I was hardly heroic, I took no part except the piloting of the ship once we were safe.”
The supervisor looked sympathetic, “You are aware of their XCC? Their central authority for any…events that take place outside their space. They report that the human, the one that you refer to as Warren, has no memory of any such details. Apparently, a Xeno ‘that was good with numbers’ looked after the whole thing. He has refused the bounty on the pirate ship and the salvage of the Beautiful Bounty.
Ni’urn didn’t have anything left to add, but he could read these
The supervisor continued, “The XCC has sent us the documentation signing any and all such claims to you. If the vast amount of money wasn’t enough, the humans have also offered you free transport and employment should you choose to move to their space. You cannot work in intelligence for us when a foreign power is taking such a close interest in you.”
The supervisor stood up and Ni’urn shakily followed, “It is the opinion of this commission that you will be transferred into Xeno relations and provided with a rebuilt Beautiful Bounty
as your ship. Your Captain papers and license have been issued along with the bounty on the pirates. Your ship will remain in the control of our fleet until your retirement and then will pass to you. Congratulations, Captain Ni’urn.” My Patreon, if anyone wants to support my writing and you can drop into my channel on Discord or buy me a coffee. Also Human Altered on Royal Road
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2023.03.29 06:14 PayPrestigious9156 Orientation tomorrow, any tips
So I got hired as fulfillment expert and my orientation is tomorrow. I bought a red collar shirt and have blue jeans. I have my passport and social security card ready, as well as bank routing and account number. is this all I need or am I missing something.
Also what should I expect tomorrow?
thanks a lot
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2023.03.29 06:07 Ok-Hat-4264 Columbus Ohio Business Brokers
2023.03.29 05:44 FelineFleshEater Predicting or "back of the envelope" empirical estimates for exchange current density of aqueous redox couples
Hi all, I know this question is really broad and vague. I've gone down a lot of rabbit holes and am looking for some new perspective.
For context, I'm trying to perform a screening study into the "order of magnitude" performance of different aqueous redox couples, where "performance" takes estimates of thermodynamic potential, some estimate of kinetic/mass transfer overpotential, and material costs, then gives a rough estimate of that chemistry's levelized cost of energy stored. There are MANY simplifications here, but for now, I'm stuck on that kinetic/mass transfer overpotential.
I have a series of aqueous redox reactions and the thermodynamic potentials they occur at. If we also know generic information about the chemicals involved in the reaction, number of electrons transferred, pH of the reaction etc. are there ways to estimate key kinetic performance variables like exchange current density, actual rate constant, or other relationships between applied current and kinetic overpotential? For now ignore other phenomena like mass transfer and the like.
My other thought was to perform some sort of low dimensional correlation/ML on a ton of exchange current density data on different reactions under different conditions. If I go this route, are there any convenient/relevant databases out there? What features would be key to train against?
Thank you! I know this is a complex question with many asterisks. Any justifiable order-of-magnitude estimate or even a reasonable range of exchange current densities that would encompass these types of reactions would work great here.
Edit: just to clarify, I'm looking for a "computational" way to estimate exchange current density to avoid having to run experiments for each redox couple.
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