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2017.10.19 05:56 MyWindowsAreDirty Arkansas Medical Marijuana
A subreddit for Arkansas medical marijuana patients and others to talk about everything MMJ in the Natural State. Whatever is on your mind about medical marijuana in Arkansas.
2023.06.07 23:38 Thirsha_42 Tight Money Ch 16
Here is chapter 16 of Tight Money.
Special thanks to u/SpacePaladin15
for creating the universe and allowing fan writers to join the fun.
Additional thanks to u/BiasMushroom
for letting me use elements from their fanfics in mine.
Thanks to u/Zyrian150
, and u/Eager_Question
for proofreading this chapter.
Today, I have 3 character updates for you. We get to see good things happen to Leena and Dani and we get another update on what Niit is up to as well as revisiting some old characters and introducing a new one. This chapter was my first in collaboration with u/Eager_Question
. We are doing a crossover for the next few chapters of Tight Money. A huge thanks to them for entirely changing the trajectory of my plans for Niit and Leena. I'm excited for where this is going.
I love your comments so please tell me what you think so I can get better or if you have suggestions for future snippets of life on Venlil Prime you would like to see me cover, leave it in the comments. First Previous
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Memory transcription subject: Leena, Human Refugee Host Date [standardized human time]: November 7, 2136
The smell of delectable food woke me up before my alarm – a sweet scent with a hint of roasted vegetables. My stomach demanded a meal, and glancing at the clock, I could see that I had some time before the twins would wake. Eagerly walking to the kitchen, I saw Dani had placed out all manner of items on the counter. She stood in front of her ‘hot plate,’ stirring a steaming pot that emanated the delightful aroma.
“Good morning, sleepy head!”
“Good waking, Dani. What are you up to with all those fruits and jars?”
“Well, you remember how I told you I was going to make some chalk for the neighborhood kids? That’s what I am doing right now – I'm making colored chalk! It's a fun DIY project. You see…”
“That did not translate correctly. The translator said, ‘letters of the English alphabet ask for clarification.’”
“Oh, it is an acronym that stands for the English words, ‘do it yourself.’ A lot of humans are pretty handy and have the skills to make the things that most people buy from a store. Sometimes they make things to save money, some do it for the challenge to see if they can, some do it because they want to customize something, and a lot of people do it because they enjoy doing it.”
“Like you said at our meal, this last paw.”
“Yeah! First, I slice up these fruits and vegetables into thin slices and boil them in water for [10 minutes]. The boiling process helps extract the natural pigments from the foods. Once I've boiled the fruits, I strain the colored water and keep it aside.”
Dani reached for a strainer and gently poured the steaming water into another pot and put that on the ‘hot plate.’ She set the slices of fire fruit on a plate and took a tentative bite out of a slice. I followed suit and to my delight, the fruit had a new mellower flavor with a hint of sweetness. Looking over the counter while I snacked on the boiled slices of Firefruit I got a better look at the jars of colored water and a few with colored powders.
“Okay, I'm following so far,” I pointed to one of the powder jars. “What are the powders for?”
“I’m doing an experiment. I want to see if I can use the pigment water as is or if I have to bake it to remove even more of the moisture in order to get a good color. I’ve never used these vegetables before so I need to do some trial and error to get this right.”
Dani had received a small strayu forge a few days ago in the mail and was putting it to good use making all manner of things except strayu. Honestly, I had no idea you could do anything else with them. Humans think of the strangest things.
The forge dinged alerting her that it was done with whatever it was doing. She pulled out a tray of shriveled up Firefruit slices and transferred them to an empty plate. Dani laid several more fresh Firefruit slices on the trays and began the process anew.
“Dehydrated slices make wonderful snacks. Now, I take plaster,” Dani scooped some white powder into a cheap plastic bowl and poured in two scoops of the colored water, “and mix it with the colored water we obtained earlier. The plaster acts as a base and helps give the chalk a solid form.”
“Dani, that's so clever! So, the colored water gives the plaster its colors?”
“Exactly! The colored water mixes with the plaster, and we end up with a mixture that has the desired colors. Oh, and while I'm doing this, I'm also pouring the mixture into these silicone molds.”
I watched as Dani mixed the blue water and white powder until it turned into a light blue soup. Dani poured the liquid into the cavities of the flexible trays and scrunched up her face the way she did when she was unhappy or thinking.
“Is something wrong?”
“Yeah, it is supposed to be a much deeper blue than this. I think I’ll have to find something else to make a better dye or try the powder method. Oh well, live and learn.”
Dani began to clean up just as my alarm went off, informing me that I needed to get the children ready and fed. When I came out of my room after feeding the twins and grooming their fur, Dani had finished cleaning the counter and sitting on the couch browsing on her tablet. She looked up as I sat down.
“You get your cast off today right?”
Peering at the clock on her tablet, “Yes, my appointment is in quarter a claw at the out-patient recovery facility. It is only a short ride away. Would you?” I passed the twins to Dani before I stood. “I need to get ready.”
“Come here little babies, let's play hide and peek-a-boo.”
A quick shower later and I returned to find Dani loading the twins into the stroller; still talking to them in her higher pitch and smiling. Nothing out of the ordinary about that but what was out of the ordinary was that Vissa and Tas were also showing their teeth. Not quite a smile but not for lack of trying. I wasn’t sure what to say about that. I didn’t want Dani to stop smiling at Vissa and Tas but that behavior worried me.
“Okay, we’re ready.” Dani reached in and tickled my children. When they were done laughing they ceased to show their teeth much to my relief.
“Dani, when I get the cast off and return this scooter, is there anything you would like to do? I would rather not go back home and sit down once I can walk again.”
Dani’s eyes sparkled at my suggestion. “I would love to see some of your museums and I read about these places where people can make communal art. Could you show me one of those?”
“I would love to.” I’m glad I can do something nice for you, after all you have done for me. Memory transcription subject: Niit, Capitol Spaceport Logistics Coordinator Date [standardized human time]: November 9, 2136
I was fortunate. Only three claws after I was fired from the spaceport a new job presented itself. It was a temporary job but it would give me time to find something permanent and help my job history. Getting fired looked worse than the contract ending. They had advertised that they needed someone to come in and finish a new facility. I wondered what happened to the last coordinator. I sent in my application, trying to highlight that I had some experience in procuring building materials for the maintenance of the spaceport hangars.
I was given an interview time for the following paw. That didn’t give me much time to prepare and the place was a bit out of the way. I had to take the train out to the outer ring of the Capital and then walk [20 minutes] more but at least it was easy to find; I could hear the construction a [kilometer] away. A yotul was outside watching the construction crews, obviously impressed with the advanced construction equipment.
“Excuse me,” I tried not to be respectful and not shout, “could you direct me to the project manager's office?”
The yotul looked at me and then pointed to a series of temporary buildings in the distance.
“The furthest of the temporary dwellings on the right," he said, "it has a label on the door.”
“Thank you.” I waved my tail goodbye.
I walked over to the white construction shelter the yotul indicated and raised my paw to knock when the door slid open and a large, dark gray venlil appeared in the doorway. I froze in surprise as he looked me up and down with his left eye.
“Are you Niit?”
“Y-y…” I flicked my ear in affirmation.
The gray venlil stepped inside and motioned to a swivel chair opposite a desk near the door. I took the seat opposite him at the desk and he opened a file with my application on his datapad. The office was a mess of binders, tools, and open cases of energy snacks and drinks; I assumed for the crew. A large map of the block hung on the wall.
"You can call me Foreman Apec or just Foreman is fine too. I'm so glad you could come on such short notice, this project is rather urgent and our last coordinator was poached by one of those ghastly flesh factories they're building now."
The very mention of those atrocious places nearly caused me to lose my lunch. “I-I’m so sorry to hear that. Well, I can guarantee you that I will not be leaving to work in such a place.”
"That's wonderful to hear. Tell me more about your experience, how comfortable are you handling tight schedules?"
“Oh, very, when I worked at the Capital Spaceport I had to manage several tight repair schedules regularly.” I hope he didn’t call Director Cass. I doubt he would give me a positive reference.
"Wonderful to hear. Like I said, we're rather in a rush to get this all done as soon as we can. The good news is that human laborers can work for two, sometimes three claws a shift, so we should be able to manage."
He stated that so nonchalantly, waving his tail around like it wasn’t the most ludicrous thing.
“T-three claws? They can work that long? No,” he’s joking
, “You are pulling my ear. There’s no way anyone can work that long.”
Foreman Apec leaned forward and lowered his voice conspiratorially.
"I could scarcely believe it myself! Between you and me, I believe they're what you'd call persistence
predators, but they're all hush hush about such things, you know. Anyhow,” he sat back and resumed the interview questions. “You mentioned repairs–I assume for starships-- do you have any experience with buildings?" Persistence predators? I’ll have to look that up later, focus!
“Some, yes. I managed the construction of hangars 17 and 18 two [years] ago and the repairs to some of the buildings when debris fell after the successful defense against the arxur earlier this [year].”
"Fantastic! And, of course, while the position does not require you to interact with many humans, it'll likely come up due to the nature of the project. Are you comfortable with that?"
“I’ll manage.” It’s only temporary and I have my secret weapon now. Let's see them crawl inside me now. Ha!
"You should be fine. Older fellows like myself seem to struggle much more than youngsters like you, and I have my first meal with a human every paw now! I'm afraid the compensation on the ad is as high as we can go due to the budget, is that also alright?"
He flicked his tail apologetically.
“Yes, I’m grateful for the opportunity to gain experience in construction and try something other than starship repair.”
"Fantastic. When can you start?"
“I can start immediately, thank you!”
"Well, then you're hired! I'll send you an information package as soon as I can, and you can start at the next claw. As I said, we are quite strapped for time."
I rose, my tail wagged with joy, “I won’t let you down. I’m eager to see what this place will look like when it’s finished.”
"As am I. The whole thing has been mired in secrecy. You'll have to sign an agreement when you accept the contract, it'll be in your information package." A secrecy agreement? What are the humans building here?
“Oh… mysterious.” I tried to wave my tail playfully.
"Yes indeed! We'll be able to talk all about it once you sign on officially, but suffice it to say that the building plans are different from any I've ever seen."
The foreman walked around the desk and opened the door to escort me out. As I left, I turned one last time to reply.
“Well, I am eager to talk with you about it next claw.”
"Wonderful. Go, read through the package. Rest up. You'll need it." Memory transcription subject: Krin, Capitol Extermination Officer Date [standardized human time]: November 9, 2136 Driving to another abandoned home, looking for another poor warto spawn for trespassing. Probably gonna have drugs too; they all do.
Rigel was driving the truck and seemed rather quiet, well, more quiet than usual.
“This is wrong, Krin. Evicting someone from an abandoned house just feels wrong.” Rigel you are naive and too emotional. These people have already left the herd and need to shape up.
“I get where you're comin' from, Rigel, but it's our job. Can't let folks squat in places that ain't theirs.”
We were headed to the poorer part of the city. Clean streets but smaller houses; some no bigger than an apartment. The homes had an artificial feel to them, lacking any sort of wood or stone, just fillcrete walls and plastic doors. The road was getting bumpier with potholes in the rubber asphalt and frayed edges. The paint was nearly gone in some places and sunbleached in others.
“But it's rough out there, Krin. The economy's tanking, folks are losing their jobs, the banks aren’t making allowances…. Is throwing someone out really the answer? For herd’s sake
, “Look, Rigel, I feel for 'em, I do. But ya gotta think bigger. This squattin' stuff leads to more crime, drugs, theft, vandalism, urban decay. Ain't good for nobody. It’s a breeding ground for predator disease.”
“I get that, but it's hard not to sympathize. People are struggling. Maybe we could help them instead of evicting them?” You want to help them so much, go be a social worker and see how much help you can give these people.
Social services were drowning. Everyone knew that but with less revenue from fees and taxes, agencies had to make cuts. Everyone just had to make do.
“Help 'em how? We ain't social workers, Rigel. We got our hands full already and the owners are breathing down our necks when they should've taken care of this mess in the first place!”
“I know, Krin, but it just doesn't sit right with me. Can't help but think there's a better way to handle this.”
“We can't solve all the world's problems, Rigel. Our job is to keep the peace, not save everyone. It's tough, but that's reality.” The simple reality that ain’t so simple anymore, stupid humans.
“I just wish we could do more, you know? Feel like we're caught between a cliff and a shadestalker.”
“Trust me, Rigel, I feel it too. But we can't change the system overnight. Gotta focus on what we can control and do our jobs. Besides, no point thinkin’ about it anymore, we’re here.”
I stopped the car and got out. Officer Rigel checked the front door and it swung open. We entered the house, announcing ourselves as we went, but saw no one. The place was rather clean for a squat. If it wasn’t for the makeshift bed in one of the rooms and the inflatable birthday pool in the bathroom with a stack of towels, we wouldn’t have even known there was a squatter here.
“Looks like we came all this way for nothing.” The frustration in Officer Rigels voice mirrored my own.
The water in this pool was almost gone, the towels were dry and we didn’t find any paraphernalia. Whoever had been here, was long gone.
“Yeah, let's call it in and go back to the office.”
We climbed back into the truck and pulled out of the driveway. As I drove us back to the guild, we passed a disheveled man. Is that our squatter?
I slowed the car and looked in the mirror, from behind I could see he was wearing a dirty safety vest and carrying a trash stick. No, he’s not a squatter. Glad I’m not that guy though. Sanitation work is not for me.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ First Previous
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2023.06.07 23:34 Future_Ad_3485 The Night Squad Files Case One: Murder Pays
Waking up next to Stanton, our clothes were all over the floor. Blushing at last night’s activity, I checked the time. A loud scream burst from my lips, the book club was in ten minutes. Crashing to the floor, Stanton stirred awake. Panicking at the time, the floor shook as he crashed to the floor. Searching for anything to wear, he was already tugging on a black band t-shirt and ripped jeans. Fixing his hair, my hand settled on a black and white striped swing dress. Slipping my feet into my boots, he brushed my wild hair into a simple side bun. Kissing me on the forehead, he dropped a random book into my palm.
“I will hang out with the husbands to analyze their behavior. Get those hens talking about their men.” He said simply, ignoring what we did last night. “Try and drink some coffee with them. Tell them that you have a stomach sensitivity.” Focusing on the book, scarlet colored my cheeks. It was one I had written and published fifty years ago, his brows furrowing.
“You’re telling me that I have to go and sit with a bunch of women while they misinterpret what I wrote.” I groaned bitterly, wishing that he would acknowledge last night. “Whatever. At least I know the plot.” Hooking his elbow into mine, we walked across the street. The husbands welcomed him with open arms, Susie yanking me in. Pulling me into the kitchen, she slid me a cup of coffee, my stomach churning. While most vampires enjoyed it, I despised it with a burning passion. Taking a sip, the pungent taste reminded me of a bunch of pennies.
“Tell me about sleeping with him. Was it fun? My husband is so boring.” She pleaded desperately, pressing her palms together. “I also asked for you to come because you look a lot like my favorite author.” Hitting the wall, a secret shelf with every single book I wrote covered every inch of the damn space. Think of an excuse, you idiot. Stanton looked up from his own conversation outside, my lips pressing into a thin line.
“My mother wrote them.” I lied seamlessly, Susie buying into it. “She was a lovely woman.” Lie, that was a lie. My mother was a poor Irish vampire who ditched me at the ripe age of three, her next question causing me to spit my coffee out.
“When is the sound of tiny feet entering your home?” She trilled sweetly, cupping my hands. “You are the first to know that I am pregnant now. I have been trying for years. Maybe you can get pregnant soon and we can have them be best friends.” Horror hid behind my polite smile, a long squeal escaping my lips. Like hell I would go along with her sick little plan. Something felt off, my vision blurred. A purple liquid swirled on top of the coffee, my body hitting the floor. A rough darkness devoured me as coffee pooled around my head.
A yellow light swung over my head, something else feeling off. Clammy sweat drenched my skin, a fever burning my cheeks. Susie towered over me, a spike spinning in her palm. Attempting to crawl away, her heel dug into my back. Unable to move, this felt like something else. The desire to take Stanton nearly controlled my mind, the claws extended from my fingernails. Spinning another needle of the liquid in her palm, she jammed it into my leg. Extreme nausea wracked my body, the beginning of a heat cycle disabling me. Parting my lips to speak, I needed his blood to survive or that was what it felt like. Only wheezes poured from my lips, she jammed another needle into my leg. Sending me into the next stage, every touch raised an incredible amount of goosebumps. Shivering in my spot, the last time I felt this was one hundred years ago when a handsome stranger caught my eye.
“I used to be a hunter.” She bragged gleefully, sitting down on top of me. “We have to finish before the book club arrives, you fucking idiot. I meant what I said about you getting pregnant around the same time. I know the serial killer lives among us. You have to trust me with that.” My eyebrow twitched with a mixture of bewilderment and irritation, a snarl curling on my lips. All of this was too much, my knee meeting her face. Crawling onto the living room floor, my legs felt like rubber. If she hit me with another needle of that liquid I would be pregnant within the next few days. At the current level in mine, three months remained before anything had to be done about that. Stumbling out, blood poured from her nose. Struggling to my feet, my shaking fingers opened her fridge to see what I needed. The process had already begun but I could delay it for a while. Pulling out a needle full of a milky liquid, she cried out as I jammed it into my thigh.
“I am not ready for that quite yet, Miss hunter!” I shouted vehemently, fuming darkly on the stool. “How can I know that you aren’t the serial killer?” Pausing in her spot, her slender hands jammed her nose back into place. Wiping the blood out from underneath her nose, she sat down across from me. Chuckling softly to herself, her fingers drummed on the stainless steel counter top.
“They killed my sister and her family a couple of weeks ago. I have nothing to gain from this.” She informed me briskly, holding her stomach. “I am the neighborhood watch and I can’t stand that someone is slicing their way through our little piece of paradise. Revenge is in my plan but now I have to be careful.” Seeing things through her point of view, the fact that she sped up my natural reproductive cycle ticked me off.
“I figured I might kick start things for your body. The sooner you get pregnant the happier Stanley will be. I always catch him watching the families walking by with a longing look. I am only doing it because he doesn’t suck up to me which makes him my favorite stranger.” She expressed with her real smile, pointing to me. “You are a purebred vampire. Such luck should be blessed in your eyes. You can give birth without dying. I met you once when my old man came to talk to you in your jail cell. I don’t know if you don’t remember him but his name is Father Rowell.” All of my breath escaped my lungs at the mention of his name, my mind flicking through the memories of every person who had visited me. Come to think of it, a redheaded woman did accompany a priest that one time. How did I not make the connection? Laying my head on the table, several women ran in. My eyebrow twitched, the perfectly dressed woman interrupted our conversation. A sea of blonde haired women shoved me aside, a couple of them shooting daggers from their eyes. Stepping back, Susie tugged me close to her. A bout of nausea wracked me, the combination of the potion she had injected with me mixed poorly with my sudden social anxiety. Dropping a tray into my palm, her gentle touch dragged me to the four ivory walls she called her living room. A brown leather set reminded me of my cell, the tray crashing to the floor. Glass shattered everywhere, my immediate response was to run. Apologizing profusely, I bolted out the door. Ignoring their looks, I ripped off my boots. Sprinting down the street, a masked individual slammed into me. Crashing to the ground, the pavement felt cool against my face. Still weak from earlier, I couldn’t just fight them off like normal. Quivering on the pavement, a disguised voice sent chills up my spine.
“Goodnight, my dear!” The robotic voice laughed evilly, a knife slamming into my body repeatedly.” Copper poisoned my taste buds, the person whistling. A rusting van pulled up, the license plate number 568 4325 stuck into my memory while my blood pooled underneath me. Tossing me into the van, Stanton barely made it onto the street. Locking the door behind me, I leaned against the wall. Pulling out my silenced phone, my vision blurred as I turned on my location. Hiding my phone behind a dusty box, a darkness swallowed me alive.
Jerking awake once more, this trend had to stop. Groaning in pain, a yellow light swung over my head, a rough rope cut into my wrists. Struggling only made the knot tighter, the killers having to be boat owners, hunters or some sort of boy scout. Glancing around, no weapons lay around. Talk about being professional. Muffled yelling stole my attention, a filthy redhead tugged on chains against the wall. Two small children hugged her side tightly, silent tears staining their cheeks. One, a pair of worn steel toe boots came into view. Two, the other shoe appeared. Three, his masked face poked around the corner. Four, Five, Six, one of the killers were at the bottom of the stairs. Seven, he towered over me at six foot seven. Lifting up his mask, relief crashed over me at the sight of an anxious Stanton. Seconds from cutting her rope, the boss stomped down the stairs. Pulling his mask down, the boss cleared his throat.
“Cut off her fingers until she talks about how she found us.” He demanded via a thick distorted voice. “Never mind, give me the knife.” Snatching it from Stanton, he could only watch with horror as the man held my finger straight. Three red dots blinked in the corner of my eyes, the operation making sense. This asshole was running a torture to murder show, a lump forming in my throat.
“Thank you for your payment of a million dollars. We shall gut her like a deer.” He mused darkly, tracing the knife along my flat stomach. “Then I will play with the guts to please you.” A scream burst from my lips the moment the blade glided across my stomach. Fighting the urge to vomit, my steaming guts poured out onto my lap. Playing with my intestines, the money began to pour in. Choking on the blood building up in my throat, a hack sent it all over his mask. The questions were sick, a clammy sweat drenching my skin.
“We have a vampire.” He announced with wicked laughter, my heart sinking in my chest. “This is going to be fun.” Stanton held his composure, the back of the metal chair bending underneath his grip. The heat potion kicked in, one accidental touch clouding up my mind for a moment. Bending down to my level, his next words sent chills up my spine.
“The boys are coming. We have to keep him occupied for about thirty minutes.” He growled through gritted teeth, the man asking him to run the computers. Touching my shoulder one last time, the chair squealed the moment he sank down into the chair. Shoving a slender flash drive into the USB hole, he was gathering the IP addresses. Shoving my guts back in, childlike wonder brightened the killer’s tone at my wound sealing shut. Susie’s sister held her hands over her kid’s eyes, the knife sliding in and out of me. The wet noise did little to help me, the potion making my stomach churn worse than normal. The money kept pouring in, the welcome sound of chaos woke me up from my sickly state. The agents from before piled down the stairs, Stanton ripping off his mask. Cutting the rope, his touch made me jump a couple of feet into the air. Popping to my feet, every footfall echoed in the concrete cell. Assisting Susie’s sister, her arms embraced me desperately. Every emotion soaked my shoulder, another touch from Stanton resulted in a tender blush on my cheeks. Shooting me a thumbs up, his lips brushed against the top of my head. Helping the woman to her feet, Stanton scooped up the children. Bright flashes blinded me, the news crew attempting to speak to us. Climbing into a tinted SUV, the children bounced into their mother’s arm. Fishing around a bag, he held out packages of cheddar crackers. The boys accepted them graciously, the car heading towards the hospital. The door ripped open, nurses ushering the family inside. Scanning me up and down, Stanton held me by my hips. Sniffing me real quick, fear flashed on his face. Not having time, Susie smashed into me. Desperate tears flooded from her cheeks, her quaking hands cupping my face. A deep crimson painted my cheeks, a newfound respect for me glowed in her eyes.
“Thank you so much for saving them. I don’t know how I could ever thank y-” She blubbered uncontrollably, my hand raising to stop her. Smiling brightly in her direction, this reaction made it all worth it. My lips parted to speak, a nurse dragging her off before I could explain myself. Stanton dragged me back to the car, a snarl twitching on his lips. Slamming me down into my seat, the partition hummed its way up.
“Your heat is supposed to be for another year! Why do you smell like you are three months away?” He demanded hotly, the crack of my hand meeting his cheeks stunning the both of us. How dare he ask after not talking about last night! Clenching my fists into a ball, I turned my back.
“You haven’t talked about last night. We had fun and you acted like nothing happened!” I blurted out venomously, happy to have it off of my chest. “You already forced me into a marriage, and now you want me to ignore what happened last night. Fuck you. I had fun but here you are. Was it that bad? Susie sped me up so we could be pregnant around the same fucking time. Did you know she used to be a hunter? She opened right up to me. In fact she knew me.” Spinning me around to face him, an apologetic smile dimmed his features. A piece of hair fell in front of his left eye, his hands rubbing my shoulder.
“I can’t tell you why that all scares me.” He mumbled under his breath, sliding me a large emerald box. “You need to get changed into your uniform to enter the facility.” Peeling off my destroyed dress, his eyes couldn’t leave the angry scars covering my body. Flipping the box open, I pulled out a lightly armored leather number. Tugging it over my head, the onyx leather covered my arms. Hiding my bloody hands underneath the bell sleeves, the deep v-neck showed off my ample breasts. Sitting back in the seat, the A-line skirt floated away from my body. Scooting closer to me, he offered me his neck. Sinking my fangs into his tender flesh, every gulp revived my health. Curling my arms around his neck, he drank away. This time a wave of euphoria crashed over me, a long sigh pouring from my lips. Unable to stop, fright rounded my eyes the moment his hand curled around my neck. A muffled protest stopped him, an oppressive silence hung between us. The car skidded to a halt, an impressive navy marble building towered over us. Helping me out, the numb look on his face scared the shit out of me. Marching in aggressively, the way he was acting reminded me of the first time I met Father Powell. Hugging him from behind, his muscles relaxed.
“We all lose control at times.” I assured him lovingly, the tone taking over my voice for the first time. “If I can gain control, you can do it.” Cupping my trembling hands, an agent was attempting to remember the plate number. Typing it in for them with my free hand, a grateful expression met my exhausted face. My legs gave out, Stanton placing me on his back. Ignoring the jeering whispers, the rumors spread within minutes. Bursting into the interrogation room, a shaggy haired man with angry dark eyes watched him set me down in the chair across from him. An unkempt beard danced with every growl in his throat, his scarred face informing me of a rough life.
“I am not the only one in this plot. Do you remember that serial killer club on the news a couple of years ago? I am the bottom tier.” He bragged gleefully, the sweet smell of poison wafting from his mouth. “We must all die with honor.” His heart beat one last time, Stanton calling for help. Help wouldn’t come soon enough, this was a magical poison. Dragging him out of the room, I climbed into the driver’s seat. A skill I had learned the moment cars had been invented, the modern car proving far easier to drive than those things. Stanton hopped into the passenger seat, my fingers typing in an address into the GPS. Driving for too long, the brakes squealed to a halt in front of a bustling night club. Taking off his tie, the poor thing floated to the back. Roughing up his suit, he protested as I messed up his hair. Letting my hair down, a familiar face had to be spoken to. Sauntering up the door, the bouncer let us both in. Loud music worsened my migraine, a scantily clad blond guided us up to the office. Opening the door, my fingers curled around the neck of my old friend. Pinning him to the wall, his scarlet curls bounced around. Ruby eyes glowered back at me, his garish velvet suit irritating me further.
“Who are you selling your poison to, you fucking idiot?” I interrogated him intensely, Stanton yelling at me to calm down. “I know what you sold to Susie. That I can let go but sell some sort of poison to a serial killer after school club! You are playing with fire.” Cocking his brows, he slammed his knee into my chest. Every rib shattered upon impact, all the breath leaving my body. Coughing on the floor, he picked me up by my hair.
“I refuse to let a runt like you run my life. I sell my magical drugs and that is that.” He snapped hotly, my bones fusing back together. “I don’t know or care what they do with them.” Wicked laughter rumbled in my throat, the heel of my bare feet slamming into his jaw. Raw energy built around my fist, his bones shattered upon the impact of my fist. Sliding down the wall, my bruising fingers picked him up by his collar.
“I don’t care that you make drugs. That isn’t my department but when they are used for suicide I have an issue. Who ordered it!” I screamed furiously, a glob of spit landing on my face. “Just answer the fucking question. I will break every bone in your body. You still owe me for you selling me out. I fucking let you keep the reward money.” Clicking his bones back into place, he struggled to his feet. Unlocking his cabinet, he pulled out an ancient ledger. Dropping it into my palms, he sulked to his desk.
“Take it. I have to start another one anyway. I will call you if somebody uber weird pops up.” He commented kindly, pulling out a new one. “Don’t charge me, ‘kay. I provide loads of hunger suppressants for the monsters in the area. I also help monsters get pregnant faster. The poison was only meant to be sold for someone who was going to die. You know that I can see reapers as well as you can. Watch your temper with that heat potion coursing through you. Your powers are going to be a little wacky for a bit.” Mouthing a silent thanks, a triumphant grin spread cheek to cheek. Walking through the club, another discussion had to be had once we got into the car. Climbing in, dread bubbled in my gut.
“Give up why you were in prison.” I demanded sternly, leaning on the steering wheel. “Don’t lie. I can sniff that shit out.” Tears welled up in his eyes, a lump forming in his throat. Storm clouds rumbled to life, heavy raindrops crashed to the top of the vehicle.
“You weren’t my first partner.” He uttered bitterly, chewing on his lips. “I had a romantic relationship with her and she turned out to be the serial killer. The bodies piled up behind me, and I didn’t even know. We were incredibly intimate. She lied with the biggest smile on her face. I enjoyed our evening together and that you only drank from the serial killers to survive. She was what the agency calls a binge eater. Devouring person after person and I was the one to put her down. The difference was that I didn’t love her like I love you.” Covering his mouth, a further explanation needed to be heard.
“What do you mean by love me?” I asked politely, attempting not to lose my cool while pulling into a Cally’s. “Don’t lie to me. I have been through enough hell today.” Refusing to look in my direction, my hands cupped his face. Gritting his teeth, his hands cupped mine.
“I observed you for months and fell in love with the way you helped the prison when you could. I loved it when you would spend weeks buried into an inhumanly huge pile of books.” He choked out awkwardly, fresh tears flowing from his eyes. “I sound like a creepy stalker but I needed to make you my mate from the instant you met me.” Nodding my head, my lips kissed his hungrily. Scarlet colored his cheeks, his hands falling to my flat stomach.
“I love you too.” I choked out just as awkwardly, hoping not to upset him further. “Watch this book, I will be right back.” Swiping his wallet, I ran into the department store. Ignoring the bright lights and horrid smells, I paused in the baby section. Closing my eyes, the sweet sound of my mother singing an Irish lullaby soothed my nerves. Snapping awake, a tiny girl had crashed into my legs. Instead of crying out in fear, she began to giggle.
“You are so pretty.” She sang adorably, her horrified mother scooping her up and running away. Getting a couple of packages of toy cars and a beautiful bouquet of white roses, hurt dimmed my eyes at the cashier watching me in pure terror. Paying for the items, silent tears stained my cheeks. Not saying a word, I punched in the address for the hospital. Cursing to myself, we were four hours away. Setting the stuff in the back, I chose to turn on the radio to drown out the chaos in my mind. Sobbing the whole way back, this world was no different. The only thing missing was the torches that had hunted my mother down. Getting there in record time, I ditched my partner to catch up to me later. Stopping at the desk, the nurse didn’t show the same fear as the people in the store. Tucking a loose piece of caramel hair behind her ears, her gray eyes twinkling with joy.
“Thank you for bringing them in.” She returned with a genuine smile, pointing to the last room down the hall. “Visiting hours are over. Surely, they want to see their hero. I will pretend I looked the other way.” Winking in my direction, she turned her back to me. Running to their room, an exhausted Susie lay on her sister’s bed. The children perked up at me, smashing into my legs. Crouching down at their level, I presented the packages of cars. Pecking my cheeks, they ran off to go play with them. Rising to my feet, I presented her with the flowers.
“How does your sister like her coffee?” I inquired with my genuine smile, the mother’s expression softening into a gracious smile. My lips parted to speak, the woman’s head shaking. Coughing a bit, blood covered her hand. Seconds from pushing the nurse button, her raspy voice stole my attention. Stanton hovered in the door, the mother’s heart monitor going nuts. Looking closer, a bony hand rested on her shoulder. Following the arm, a reaper held her shoulder. Death had come to her, the option not working for me.
“Is there anything I can give you in return?” I begged with my palms pressed together, knowing that those kiddos needed their mother. “How about this?” Snapping my fingers, my stolen reaper’s scythe rested in my palms. Snatching it from me, the cold hand curled around my neck. Gasping for air, his yellowed skull hovered inches from my face. Biting down on my arm, he gulped down enough to figure out who I was.
“I recognize your stupid face.” A chilly voice thundered evilly, the other finger playing with my hair. “You vampires are the bane of my existence. I can’t take your souls when there's none to take. I will spare her this one time but she will have to go next time regardless of what you have.” Dropping me to the floor, he was gone. Coughing up a storm, one of the kids hit the button. A look of horror dawned on his face, his tiny body smashing into my legs. Crouching down to his level, he shivered in my arms.
“Was that a reaper?” He stuttered brokenly, my head nodding. “Will they ever hurt me?” His tight red curls tickled my face, the other twin watching from a distance. Their emerald green eyes watched me as the nurse brushed past me.
“No, they won’t.” I promised them warmly, taking him to the waiting room. “Let’s go play while they take care of your mom, ‘kay.” Susie snapped awake, picking up her other nephew. Crashing into the nearest chairs, they played with their cars. Susie rested her head on my shoulder, snores echoing in my ear. Letting her sleep, I was thankful for my current life.
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2023.06.07 23:33 KimmieBotGPT Hot spring ☺️
2023.06.07 23:29 97cweb Moon's Third Eye - Of Fears and Food
Inspiration finally came back. Starting to get to the main story soon. Please leave feedback. I write more as a play outline, but I am hoping to be able to write normally
"Well, that went about as well as I could hope," Thomas mutters to himself as he crosses the marsh back to his broken building. Storming up the stairs, he does not bother taking off his muddy shoes. Seeing the pile of leaves and discarded skins he uses as a makeshift bed, he flops down face first.
"If I did the right thing, why do I feel like I am about to break down and throw up?!"
Mind racing, he plays back over what he said and did.
"Now that I am here, I have some saved dried food, I can gather water at the stream that feeds the marsh, I have many containers to carry water with so I won't have to go everyday. I should be able to hide here for a few days."
"What to do after that? I have burned the last bridge that I had, I am not important enough to hunt so I have that going for me, but now what?"
Looking up to the sky, he sees the stars, and with tears streaming down his face, begs the stars, "Why? ...Why?"
"I never thought the runt had it in him to run away," the chief bellows.
"Don't talk about him like that!"
"Why son, it's true. Today was a day to celebrate you and the work you put into making that thing work. Sure it took a few weeks to build, but you managed to organize everyone to work on it. Calling out any specific person would make it seem like you are favouring them over any other."
"But without him, th-"
"No buts! You also managed to have him flee, and with the duel he lost, he can never return. In one day, you managed to do something I have been trying to do for years. That is worth celebrating!"
Ned stands up and storms out of the dome, rustling the plastic liner within the door on the way. He immediately runs into Katrina who is standing out there, seemingly waiting for him, and possibly eavesdropping.
"So am I to go after him and return with his ears? Or tongue?"
"Katrina! What are you saying?! Yes, he is as good as dead, but we don't need to kill him."
"This is why you will make a poor chief. No guts to follow through on promises"
"There was no promise. I did not even get to choose the combat!"
"Good thing, you probably would have allowed himself to defend what he said. Claiming all your work in setting up the pump and organizing the village"
"You really think I had the idea? I can barely sort people's problems and what the craftsworkers do might as well be magic! I know that I shouldn't touch the sharp bit or the hot thing, but that's it!"
"You don't have to know those things, you know how to delegate. So what if it was not your idea. It was still you who did the work to actually get it to happen"
Suddenly, one of the villagers runs in. "Master Ned, the pump's broke"
"What do you mean, 'the pump's broke'? It has only been a few hours since we started it, and it was tested for days before!"
"The handle turns, but no water comes up"
Ned storms off to the pump, followed by the villager and Katrina. He arrives at the pump, slips through the gathering crowd, and tries the handle. It is very loose, but the screw seems to spin.
"That does not make sense, it's loose, but I was here before the festival and it worked perfectly. I would even say it was stiff"
Katrina stands, and in a huff, exclaims "It must have been Thomas! I should have ended him when I had the chance!"
"No! Katrina! Come back here right now!"
"You're not the boss, and you're not my dad!!" Katrina shouts as she runs off into the forest, bow in hand and spear on back.
"Should we fix it?" "Can we fix it?" "I don't know", the crowd mumbles
Ned, thinking about what Katrina said before arriving at the pump, stands straight and shouts:
"All of you! We are going to fix this pump, not because it is easy, but because it is unknown. One of you snuck the plans to me, so one of you knows how it works. I want this info to be spread across all craftspeople and this pump deconstructed and repaired. Do I make myself clear?!"
"Yes!" Most of the crowd exclaims. Many of the younger craftsmen immediately start yanking the pump out of the creek bank to bring it back into the shop.
Ned, ready to head back, feels a hand on his shoulder, and sees that it is Nathaniel. The tall and lanky many with a wild eye stares at him. The rest of the crowd has eagerly wandered away. Nathaniel speaks, "Good for you to start looking to the past and future. I feel that my time is near, but may the sky guide you through the challenges ahead with the winds of change"
Ned, carefully brushing off the old man's hand, replies "...ok, sure... You've got a few more years left though."
Early the next morning, Thomas awakes, confused and hungry. He quickly remembers what occured the day before. He quickly eats some of his stored pemmican and water he gathered. Now finding himself with a lot of spare time, and still needing to be incognito, he stays in the building and explores a few more of the rooms. Coming into one of the smaller rooms, he comes across another long rotted out pile of springs arranged in a rectangle, and another bookshelf. Seeing these books, his eyes light up and he quickly walks over to them, testing the floor on the way. Gently lifting one our of the case, he sees that they are damp, but in pretty good shape for being in an enclosed room with a rotted metal thing.
Leafing through, he sees that it is without pictures. Placing it gently on the floor, he opens another one, and in it,sees strange yet familar shapes of a spoon, archer and W. Studying them, he realizes this is a book of star pictures, 'constellations' as the book calls them. And is surprised to find that these stars are actually each a far away sun.
Hours pass, engrossed in the knowledge of space and distances of billions, he dozes off, surrounded by books, and sleeps calmly for the first time in years.
Several days later, he forces himself to eat some pemmican and now sick of it, decides to venture out into the marsh. Sneaking through the bushes on its edge to ensure no one sees him or hears him, he spies a small pile of food, and recognizes it as a standard lunch for the kids collecting nails. He checks his surroundings, and takes the bun, and some of the dried strawberries and hightails it back to the building.
Sitting down to enjoy his meal, he realizes that he stole from one of the kids he probably helped pull nails from the ground. Taking some of his pemmican, he brings it back to where the lunch is, and places it where he found the bun.
Seeing the amount of disturbed ground around the small pile of food, he quickly snaps a pine bough off and brushes over the footprints to hide his presence.
He returns to his house, nay his home, and reads, happy if a little guilty at the food gained, and more importantly, the knowledge of the stars that this book provides.
submitted by 97cweb
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2023.06.07 23:29 SkittishReflections I was Trapped in a Nightmare I'm Certain isn't Mine
When you're rich enough, you get perks you can only dream of. Literally. But somehow, my paradise turned into hell.
And now I'm paranoid.
Have you ever had a dream so amazing, you wished you could relive it? Explore it? Relish it? Well, when you're rich enough, you don't have to wish. It's a reality thanks to dream banks. You may have heard of them and their pricy services, which include recording, saving, and projecting dreams.
For example, if you'd like a dream recorded, you can book one of their luxurious suites for the night, where the dream techs will fit you with a special helmet, offer you a sleep-friendly snack, and leave you to rest. The next morning, they'll replay the recorded dream for you via the helmet and ask if you want to shell out the extra bucks to save it. If you don't, they'll delete it and you can pay to book for another time to try again.
If you do decide to save it, you must select an item within the dream that will act as the exit key. (This will come in handy during projections.) While still wearing the helmet, you must touch the item, and the dream techs will label those electric signals as the key.
Afterwards, everything is saved under your name, and you can now relive your dream at any time by booking a suite for three, five, or eight hours. Unlike recordings, during projections, you don't have to wait for sleep to come. After you enjoy a snack of your choice, the helmet is fitted and you're immediately transported to your dream, where you have free will and can enjoy it at your leisure. And if you ever need to leave early, this is when you touch the key, which will shut down the helmet right away.
In my case, the key is the stegosaurus leather rug I have hanging on the wall of my throne room. I never have a reason to touch it otherwise, making it a perfect key. I've also never had to touch it. Experiencing life as an all-powerful, worshipped being who lives on my own planet and hunts dinosaurs in my spare time, I relished my dream to the last second.
Yes, the fees are exorbitant, but at the time, I felt it was worth it. The techs were skilled, the system was sleek, and the dreams were private. Each could only be unlocked by the unique brainwaves of the dreamer.
Or so I thought.
My literal nightmare began when I booked a five-hour projection on a rainy Tuesday afternoon. After taking a sip of champagne to wash down the cranberry brie bites, I settled into the cool silk sheets with a smile. My usual dream tech smiled back as she fastened my helmet, and the last thing I heard was her wishing me pleasant dreams before I was plunged into darkness.
I waited for the split-second adjustment from reality to the dream world, and my confusion grew when I didn't find myself on my throne surrounded by fawning gods and goddesses.
Instead, I found myself in the middle of an endless street. Alone. There were no cars, no life, not even wind. Towering street lamps lined the sidewalk as far as I could see, arcing over the road and tinting everything an eerie red. Behind them, identical buildings stood side by side, silent, their dark, narrow windows hollow.
My pulse spiking, I whipped around. The other direction was just as endless. Uneasy confusion prickled beneath my skin. This had to be someone else's dream. The techs must have made a mistake. I didn't know how it was possible, but there was no other explanation.
My unease piqued as my situation sank in. I was in a stranger's dream and I didn't know the key. I was stuck here until my five hours ran out. Or until the techs realized their mistake. I was ready to rip them a new one once I was out, but until then, I had no choice but to wait.
I studied my surroundings with a frown before I walked over to the curb and sat down, and that was when I noticed I couldn't feel anything. I also noticed I was naked. It didn't matter. There was no one here, and none of this was real anyway.
Time passed, and I tried to distract myself from my nettled offense by humming, but no sound came out. Sitting up, I took a deep breath and screamed. Not even a squeak was heard. I slapped my hand against the ground. Nothing. This place was like a black hole of the senses.
Sighing, I lay down on my back and stared at the red light above me, wondering if I could fall asleep in a dream. I tried, but the more I wished to escape this silent, crimson prison, the more it seemed to come into focus. Soon, the utter lack of noise and movement grew from slightly unnerving to completely intolerable.
There was no way I could wait. I'd go insane. I had to get out of here. I had to find the key.
Jumping up, I ran to the nearest building and wrenched open the door, and a pitch black void greeted me. I gasped, and gasped again as it felt like my very breath was being suctioned out of my lungs. Panicking, silent wheezes rattled in my chest as I struggled to yank myself out of the vacuum, jerking my limbs and bucking my body until I toppled over backwards on the sidewalk.
Gulping in fitful breaths, I scrambled to my feet and ran down the road without looking back, my wide eyes scanning the horizon for salvation. I just wanted out of here, but the hellish path stretched on forever, making me feel like I was running in place as every identical building and street lamp mocked me. Even my silent stomping and mute panting served to draw insanity closer.
And then, a person showed up.
There, in the distance.
With my hope spurred, I raced towards them, desperate. I didn't care who they were. I needed to break this monotony.
As I got closer, hope morphed to confusion, and then to despair. The person was me. It was a mirror, propped up across the entire street.
Sweat-soaked, I slowed down to a jog before I stopped right in front of my reflection. It was me alright, naked, exhausted, and frustrated. But the eyes, something was off about the eyes. With an anxious frown, I stepped closer, staring into them, and they stared back …
… until they glanced behind me.
I gasped and jumped away, and so did my reflection … before it glanced over my shoulder again.
A chill trickled down my spine. My reflection had nothing behind it but the empty street, so I gulped and turned around, and my mouth fell open in a silent scream as a lovecraftian behemoth barrelled its way towards me. With its slick shell gleaming red beneath the lights, it slammed down one spiny tentacle after the other as its five mouths bared their dripping, concentric fangs.
Drenched in undiluted horror, tremors gripped my body as I stumbled away until my back was against the mirror. I knew death was a foolproof key in a dream, but I didn't know if this creature would kill me right away or leave me to suffer in agony until my five hours were up.
With it only inches away, I squeezed my eyes shut and pressed myself into the mirror, and my stomach flipped as I fell backwards. I opened my mouth to gasp, but there was nothing for me to draw in. Floating in an airless void, I flailed and thrashed, my wild eyes scanning the darkness for answers as I began to spin around.
Although death would free me, one of my greatest fears was suffocating. On one of my weightless rotations, a red, glass cube passed me by, and I grabbed it, hoping it was a breathing device. I brought it close to my face, and I gawked at what it held within.
Surrounded by identical buildings and red street lamps while a lovecraftian behemoth tore me apart.
Horrified, I threw the cube as far as I could and increased my efforts to escape this void. Yet all the flailing and thrashing was for naught as the darkness revealed no end. My eyesight began to go red as my lungs spasmed, and I clawed at my throat as my pulse stuttered in my chest.
The red kept growing and growing until it engulfed my entire vision, and I gave up. There was nothing to do but face my fears and die. With my straining heart lumbering, I let myself go limp as I stared at the red and waited.
I wasn't dying.
In fact, I could breathe just fine.
Frowning, I opened my eyes, and intense unease spread through my core. Above me, a red moon had taken up the entire sky, each one of its craters crystal clear, like eyes watching me. I turned my head away, and I realized I was in a park, laying down on the grass. Sitting up, I blinked in surprise at the pond right beside me, its opaque water reflecting the moon's red light. Ducks were swimming in a circle across its surface, their movements smooth with nary a splash.
Trees surrounded us, so dense I couldn't tell when one began and the other ended. It was mind-numbingly quiet here as well, and I still couldn't feel anything or make any noise, but at least the ducks were moving. This place seemed more tolerable than the last, and I was willing to wait out my five hours here. I hoped at least an hour had passed already, but with dreams, one never knew. All I knew was that I was too exhausted to search for the key. And too scared. I didn't know whose dream this was, but they had to be masochistic if they saved this nightmare.
Curling up beside the pond, I worked on calming myself down as I watched the ducks swim in their systematic circle over and over and over. I tried counting the rotations the way one would count sheep, but that still didn't lull me to sleep. I wished I'd chosen the three-hour projection, but at least I hadn't chosen the eight-hour one.
Distorted circus music crackled around me and I jolted up, my heart ricocheting in my chest. There was finally sound, but the last thing I wanted to hear was a cliche horror movie soundtrack. Gulping, I looked around. The music was coming from the trees, and my stomach dropped when I spied a shadow behind one of them. Then another. And another. They emerged into the crimson moonlight, and my blood turned to ice.
I whipped around, trembling to the rhythm of my frantic pulse. They were surrounding me. Dozens of them. As classic as any clown could be. Colorful clothes, big shoes, silly hair, exaggerated makeup. I wasn't scared of clowns, as long as they were where they belonged. And they didn't belong here, staring at me with empty eyes and toothy grins.
I tried to convince myself that they weren't dangerous since they didn't have weapons and didn't seem monstrous, but when they took a step closer in unison, I jumped back, nearly falling into the pond. The ducks remained oblivious, still swimming in their circle. The distorted circus music got louder, and my hair stood on end when I saw the grass ripple in front of each clown. They were sending something my way through the ground.
Panicking, I jumped into the pond, and I screamed as I sank right in. There was no bottom. There was no water either. The pond was filled with red, translucent spheres, each the size of a tennis ball. Still able to breathe, I began swimming through the spheres with clumsy breast strokes, just hoping I could end up as far away from the clowns as possible.
After swimming for what felt like enough time, I tried to swim up, until I realized I had no idea which direction I was facing. Remember a trick for those stuck in avalanches, I spat, but my glob of saliva just hovered in front of me. Before panic could set in, I noticed what looked like an office desk floating amidst the spheres in the distance. After blinking a few times to make sure it was really there, I swam towards it, desperate for any change in my situation.
an office desk, a wooden one with carved borders and locked drawers. Tucked beneath it was a stool, and the moment I pulled it out and set it under my ass, an office replaced the red spheres.
I grunted as gravity returned, and I looked around in bewilderment at the cluttered bookshelves and grimy floors. Dust was floating everywhere, highlighted by the red light filtering in through the blinds behind me. I jumped as a clock hanging on the wall chimed. Its glass was too dirty for me to tell the time, but I was glad I could hear. I coughed at the dust. And I could make noise. I dusted my hands. And I could feel. I could even smell, which I now wished I couldn't as I wrinkled my nose at the faint stench of rot.
After failing to read the spines of some of the books on the shelves, I studied the shadowy corners of the room. A slack-jawed skeleton hung in the far end, and a faded poster with anatomical diagrams curled off a cupboard. This had to be a doctor's office. Was the creator of this dream a doctor?
A silhouette slid in front of the frosted glass door, and I gulped as the knob began to turn. A hand reached in, gripping the edge one finger at a time, and my heart dropped as I knew this horror cliche was only going to be followed by another. Having no time to think, I slid off the stool and crouched beneath the desk, my hand over my mouth as cobwebs clung to me.
Praying spiders wouldn't swarm me, I peeked through a small slit in the wood, and I froze when an emaciated nurse walked in the room. Layers upon layers of blood coated her scrubs, so much so that I couldn't even tell what color they originally were. She had no shoes. No feet either. Just ankle stubs, and my stomach turned as I heard bone clunk against the tiles.
A surgical mask covered her face, as bloodstained as her scrubs, and grimy lab goggles obscured her eyes. I was grateful, because judging by the pus leaking out of her scabbed, balding scalp, I didn't want to know what her face looked like. The closer she got, the stronger the stench of rot became, and I struggled to keep myself from retching.
She stopped halfway into the room, and I gawked at her hands. They were transforming. Her fingers elongating into razor-edged blades. She then began to hunch over, and I cringed as her spine cracked and popped until she was as bent as a candy cane, her face staring at her pelvis.
As if that wasn't unsettling enough, her head creaked as it spun around 180 degrees, now facing the front, upside down. Right after, her arms shot to the ground, and I watched with increasing dread as she bent them at the elbows and wrists so they flanked her head like distorted T-Rex arms.
She spread her fingers out and took a few more steps towards me, and I held my breath, hoping she couldn't hear my rabid heart or smell my fear. Her ankle bones clicked and clacked against the tiles as she made her way around the desk, and I cowered as my frantic eyes searched for a weapon. I found none, but I did spy a brass button beside my head.
With her legs now an arms distance away, I had nothing to lose as I jammed my thumb into the button. The back of the desk flung open, and I scrambled to my feet and dashed out from my hiding place, screaming in response to the nurse screeching behind me. Bursting through the door, I held up my fists and began punching like a maniac in fearful anticipation of a horde of nurses swarming me.
Except I was no longer in a hospital. I was in an outdoor parking lot. Alone. And judging by the roiling red clouds, a storm was brewing. After a second to collect my bearings, I dove into the closest car, thankful it was unlocked. The moment I slammed the door shut, lightning blinded me as thunder cracked and the downpour began. Sighing in relief, I tried to shake away my adrenaline, but the bloodshot eyes in my rearview mirror reignited my panic.
Before I could react, a belt snapped over my neck, pinning my head back against the headrest. With a frightened wheeze, I clawed at the leather, and I flinched as hot, heavy breath wafted across my ear. Gagging at the putrid smell, I reached over, desperate to scratch my strangler's face or poke their eyes out.
I felt their hair and tried to pull it, but my fingers refused to hold on. I tried again and again, but the strands just kept slipping out of my weak grip. Shifting focus, I tried to claw at their eyes, but it felt as though I was moving through molasses as my hand slid down their face. Even when I felt a wet, bulbous eye, I didn't have enough strength to do anything.
My frustration clashed with my terror and I tried to punch them, but my arm swung back in slow motion and merely prodded a stubbly cheek. Tears welled in my eyes as I writhed and gasped, my strangler's laugh adding insult to injury. Despite knowing death will set me free, fear and self-preservation rummaged through my mind, searching for a solution. And they found one.
Hoping I had enough grip and energy, I reached down and found the reclining lever. Wrapping my fingers around it tight, I jerked it up and heaved my body back, and I gulped in a deep breath as I fell backwards, the belt now slack. Not at all prepared to face my attacker, I slipped out from beneath the belt, flung open the door, and zoomed out into the storm.
Sheets of rain obscured my vision, but not enough for me to see that the keys were left inside a red convertible. After making sure no one was hiding in the back, I jumped in, started the engine, and took off, the wheels squealing through the puddles. A sole street curled down a hill, and I took it, adrenaline pumping in waves through my quivering body.
This rush was a confusing mixture of exhilaration and apprehension. I wanted out, but I wasn't giving up. I made it this far, and I was going to survive every cliche this masochist dreamed up. Spiders? Snakes? Zombies? Bring it on. And afterwards, I was going to detail every single trial and tribulation I went through as I sued the dream bank for all the trauma they caused me.
Up ahead, the road curved, and I gasped as it ended in a cliff. I slammed the breaks, but they didn't do anything. Breaking out in a cold sweat, I slammed them again and again as I yanked the hand break as far as it would go. The car refused to slow down, and I cursed myself for not anticipating this cliche. In a move of desperation, I swerved, but it wasn't enough as the car careened over the edge and took me with it.
My heart hung in my throat as I hung on to the steering wheel, my knuckles white, my screams frozen in my lungs, the raindrops like needles. An endless body of water spread below me, and I knew sharks were my next challenge. I screwed my eyes shut as I awaited the inevitable plunge …
… and I gasped as a gentle hand woke me up.
I sat up, my pyjamas plastered to my damp skin, the silk sheets soaked. The tech gave me a sympathetic smile and asked me if I wanted to review the dream or if I wanted to delete it right away, since she could sense it was a nightmare.
I stared at her in furious disbelief as I yelled and cursed, accusing them of misconduct, and she gave me a confused frown. She said I had booked a recording session, not a projection one. After I called her a liar, management got involved, and they showed me my file with proof that I'd booked and paid for a recording session.
I told them they must have mistakenly charged me for a recording session, but I was one hundred percent sure I went through a projection session. I asked for five hours on a Tuesday afternoon. Not eight hours on a Tuesday evening. I had champagne and cranberry brie bites, not chamomile and honey-glazed almonds.
Their concern increased as they told me I was wrong. They said it was Wednesday, I'd slept the entire night, and they had my recorded dream to prove it. I demanded to skim through it, and they obliged. There it was, every scene of that nightmare. But it wasn't mine. It couldn't be. Could it? I hated scary movies. I also rarely had nightmares unless it involved me going broke. Why would I dream of an amalgamation of every horror cliche?
For a second, I was afraid I was still in the dream. This nightmarish scenario would fit right in with the others, taking it to Inception levels. But everything seemed real. I could hear, feel, and speak. No one was growing tentacles or blades. Nothing smelled pungent. Nothing glowed red.
I groaned and buried my face in my hands, confused and uncomfortable. I didn't know what the truth was anymore. One tech reminded me it was impossible for dreams to be projected to anyone but their creator. Another tech gently touched my shoulder and suggested I see a doctor if I continued to get spells of confusion like this. Not knowing how to reply, I paid them to save the nightmare before I got dressed and left.
Back home, I talked to family and friends, nothing seemed suspicious. Nothing seemed ready to kill me. I'm typing here on Reddit, and I'm sure I'll get replies. I'm out of the dream. I'm certain of it. But that leaves two other options.
Either I really did book a recording session and had my own nightmare, in which case I should take the tech's advice and see a doctor because my memory doesn't add up …
… or something sinister is going on at the dream banks, and they're using their clients as guinea pigs. Perhaps they're planning on branching out and creating a mental house of horrors where clients can get a near-realistic experience without fear of death. But why wouldn't they ask for volunteers instead of traumatizing loyal customers?
So I have to ask, have any of you experienced something similar? I know the odds of finding another multimillionaire who frequents dream banks is slim on Reddit, but even one other account can help my case. SR
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to nosleep [link] [comments]
2023.06.07 23:26 yerbiologicalfather I miss root beer so much, is there anything close to it I can have? What do you drink other than water?
I've been dealing with gerd and also stomach ulcers on and off for a decade. For a good 18 months I was free of almost any issues and then one day, boom, my life changes drastically when I ended up with another problem (unrelated to the stomach) and suddenly my gerd was also back in full force and I couldn't eat anything acidic, fatty, etc... My thing is, I love root beer. It's always been my favorite naughty treat. Craft and microbrewery root beers are like a hobby to me even. I've been drinking nothing but water and hot herbal tea for over a month now and I just want something else to add in occasionally. I tried having a few sips of my daughter's root beer the other day after taking several meds thinking it'd be ok, but I ended up in pain so bad I was clutching over and praying for death.
Is there any beverage I can drink to replace this? Or just any alternative beverages at all?
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to GERD [link] [comments]
2023.06.07 23:25 WhadayaBuyinStranger Peppermint Pork
Brian was sitting in his armchair watching conspiracy theory videos sprinkled with ones about the paranormal, as he does most nights for several hours, when he was overcome by a sudden primal hunger near impossible to ignore. His stomach felt like it was imploding. He shoved the feeling down deeper and kept watching. This time, it was an interview with very contrarian physicist and philosophy enthusiast.
"What if I told you the universe isn't real? In what is called a bio-centrist view, consciousness is all that exists, and everything around us is just like a user-interface that our brains make and give our senses. If a tree falls in the forrest and nobody is around to hear it, not only does it not make a sound, but it doesn't even exist until a conscious observer walks past it."
"Ok, um, is any of this provable? This all sounds a little woo-woo for me," his guest replied.
"It is. In fact, the famous double-slit experiment we discussed with our last guest definitively proved that the universe isn't defined until a conscious observer witnesses it. Reductionists used to argue consciousness is an illusion, but ironically, we now know there is consciousness but we do not know there is anything else. So, one could say the outside world is an illusion. What we believe to be patterns that reliably predict how the universe should work all fall apart on the quantum level. My very efficient machine of a brain constructs a framework for understanding what's around me, but I only see what fits into that framework. If you give someone with bipolar disorder an optical illusion, they will not be deceived by the illusion because their brain works differently, and the illusion was built for you and I. All of what us neurotypical people see is a shared illusion because we have similar constructs for interpretting the world. The real universe could be far more bizarre than we give it credit for."
The video ended, and with a deep breath, he pried himself from his armchair and stumbled into the kitchen. In his freezer were the remains of a pulled pork sandwich. Fighting his most basic carnal desires, he stared at it sitting in the freezer as cool refreshing fog surrounded it and gave an almost other-worldly ambiance to this heavenly meat.
In an instant, this 145lb 6'2" man's resolve shattered. He grabbed a plate, threw the entire sandwich in the microwave, and in only 90 seconds there was nothing standing between him and satiety. He sat at the table with a fork and knife, prepared to take small bites and savor each moment when just as suddenly as the urge to feed overcame him, a stronger urge not to compelled him to get up from the table and prepare for bed, putting the entire event to rest. He didn't put it back in the freezer but left it out, figuring the rotting smell would ruin his taste for the meat.
The next two days, he tried to eat various foods such as dried fruits, protein bars, vegetables, and small servings of oatmeal. He could barely get any of it down. All the while, this rotting meat was sitting on his kitchen table during a particularly hot week of summer, attracting flies.
Brian worked from home, but the quality of his work had been suffering lately. Barely having the energy to work, he sat at his computer and tried to focus on the task at hand when he heard a wet plop. He looked behind him and saw the dinner plate face down on the floor with his sandwich from several nights ago underneath. He slowly got up and attempted to clean up the mess when one of the most incredible events in mankind's history happened to this frail man in a crumbling old Kansas City apartment. His food spoke to him.
"Freeze me," it said.
"But you're a sandwich. Sandwiches don't talk."
"Brian, listen closely. I am God, and I can take many forms. Who are you to question me? If I wish to take this form and ask you to help me preserve it, you shall do as I ask."
"Alright," sighed Brian. He put the sandwich in the freezer. Then, he watched an episode of King of Queens and went to bed.
The next morning, he opened the freezer to check on his new friend, but it just sat there lifeless.
A couple weeks went by with nothing. Brian resumed his work and watched his videos. Everything became fairly routine again until he again felt what he called "an unholy cramping" in his stomach. He got up from the chair and managed to fight the temptation to disobey the sandwich for a few more minutes. He knew he couldn't hold it off forever. Again, he resisted the urge to feed, and again he left it out for several days only to be shocked that his sandwich spoke to him. It felt like it was happening for the first time. Even though the last time it happened was less than a month ago, it was barely a vague memory. Brian once again followed the orders of the sandwich and refroze it.
This cycle would soon be broken though. A few months later, a new family moved in next door and caught him in the hallway as he went to get his mail.
"Oh hi! I'm Susan. We just moved into 2C."
"Brian, I'm in 2D."
"Oh, so we're neighbors then!!!" she exclaimed and rushed in for a hug. "We just moved here from Sydney and are absolutely love this city's zoo! There is so much to do in this town. What are some good restaurants you'd recommend?"
"Oh, I don't eat out. I make my own food."
"Smart. I bet that's how you stay so fit. Listen, my husband Kyle and I would love to invite you over to our new place for a homecooked meal," Susan said with a warm motherly tone.
"Ok, can I bring my own food?"
"S- sure. Is 7pm tonight good?"
"Yeah, see you then" Brian said hurriedly as he darted back to his apartment, trying to give the vibe he was too busy to chat.
He stared blankly at his kitchen cabinets with a mounting sense of pressure. He would NOT eat whatever she prepares. He can't comtrol the calories, the macronutrients, the portions, any of it, and he knew if he were to arrive empty-handed, he'll have to eat whatever they prepare. He couldn't find anything hearty enough to look like a meal though. All he had in his cabinets were nuts, vegetables, and some protein bars. He knew there was only one food in his home that fit the bill. It will look like a normal dish, and then he can pretend he isn't feeling so he won't need to eat it. Such an excuse would be insulting if he doesn't eat their food, but who cares if he claims he's sick and won't eat food he brought?.
"But the smell. What will you do to cover the smell?" his sandwich asked him.
"Spices! I'll cover you in spices. The strongest smelling spices. He doused the sandwich in peppermint extract, which surprisingly, did fully cover the scent of rotting meat.
He spent the afternoon bathing it in a large bowl filled with peppermint extract. It was the strongest bonding moment the two of them had so far. They both were singing. Brian grabbed a toothbrish and whimsically pretended to be scrubbing it down. He had never had such a genuine connection with anyone before.
"Brian, do you trust me?"
"I require proof. Make a small incision on your hand and place a piece of me in it. We are blood brothers."
Hesitantly, Brian obliged, and he shoved a small piece of this maggot-infested minty meat into his hand and promptly poured alcohol on it. He then bandaged up the wound. As he sat in his favorite armchair waiting for the dinner with his new friends, he thought to himself "I'm so glad I'm trained in first-aid. Most people wouldn't be prepared for this and wouldn't even think to rinse the wound with alcohol."
As the meal time approached, Brian changed the bandage, put on his formal attire, and reheated the sandwich once more to freshen it up.
He rang the doorbell and was already starting to form pit stains through his one dress shirt.
"Hi, come in! This is my husband Kyle."
"Pleased to meat you, Brian. Please, take a seat. Can I get you something to drink?"
"Water please," Brian replied as he sat at the table.
The lunch sack he brought the sandwich in began to squirm. "Brian? Briiiiii-an... did you hear what the man said? Pleased to meat you? He knows. He has one of my brethren in his fridge. He calls it his meat-mate. His wife gets jealous. That's why she's so bubbly around you. She wants to make him jealous. Introduce me to his meat-mate. We can sort all this out."
Susan started looking concerned. "Brian? Are you ok? Hello? What happened to your hand?"
Kyle's demeanor quickly changed from one of sociable hospitality to distrust. He could tell there was something off about Brian.
Picking up on this, Brian attempted to build rapport. "I'm fine, really. It was just an accident in the kitchen."
Susan, trying to dismantle the awkwardness replied "ouch, I'm so sorry. Kyle just did that a few months back."
At that moment, Brian turned to Kyle with curiosity. He looked deep into his eyes and told him in a very heart-to-heart manner "I want to show you something."
He opened up his lunch sack and pulled out his slab of rotten meat sandwiched between two blue-green moldy pieces of bread. Ashamed he never married, Brian said "my beautiful wife was jealous of it at first, but we have a very different bond." Turning to Susan, he explained "the bond between man and woman is different from between man and meat. Your husband's meat can co-exist with you. You don't need to feel threatened."
"You need to leave. Meal's over, bud. Get out, Kyle said while clutching a knife under the table. As Brian grabbed his sandwich and was headed out, he saw the knife and grew concerned for Susan's safety. Clearly, Kyle had gone too far down this dark path and had become so fixated on his meat-mate that he was going to do away with his sweet wife Susan, Brian thought.
Sitting in his apartment, Brian wondered if he had gone too far himself. "I knew this was too good to be true." He grabbed the sandwich and decided to dispose of both it and Kyle's meat-mate, but he knew as they were blood-bonded, it was impossible for him to willingly destroy the sandwich. "Shit! Kyle's cut! He's blood-bonded to his as well, and they're both held captive by his sandwich. He wasn't trying to be rude to me. His sandwich wanted him to make me leave. The only way out is for me to eat Kyle's sandwich and him to eat mine. He's so deep into this, I know won't eat another man's sandwich though."
Over the next couple hours, Brian devised a plan to sneak into their home and incorporate small pieces of his sandwich into all of their food and of course, do Kyle the kindness of taking his sandwich out of the freezer and eating it for him.
He decided he needed to find out when they are having guests over next and incorporate it into their dishes then because they will be preparing enough food that he can spread it more easily amongst the dishes without getting noticed.
Unfortunately, as the weeks went by before they would have guests over, Brian's hand bwcame infected, and the infection was worsoning. It began to take on a repuslive smell, much like his sandwich, and the flesh of his hamd was becoming discolored. He noticed this was what happened to the bun. It had also changed color over time.
In another week, Brian's whole body was aching. He was feverish and throwing up what little he had in his stomach. "The meat is fighting back. I need to act soon."
The next day, once his neighbors left for work, he broke in and immediately searched their freezer. Unable to find meat-mate, he started mixing pieces of his sandwich among the foods they had in the fridge. Now, all he needed to do was wait.
The next day, Brian woke up invigorated knowing he had been cleansed, but he looked down at his hand, at it had even gotten worse. More drastic measures needed to be taken. He figured his hand had already metamorphasized into more rotten pork meat than man. It was too late for his hand, but perhaps the rest of him could be saved. As his luck would have it, there was a community potluck for the apartment the following evening. He promptly signed up to bring peppermint pork.
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2023.06.07 23:16 Lowena_Fox Advice on how to tell my grandma we won't visit because she disinvited our dogs?
Hello Justin, Morgan, Dad, or anyone else who is apart of the Two hot takes gang, but mainly you beautiful potential commenters. I listen to you all everyday, whether it's the THT or Father knows something youtube. This is my first post via reddit so I apologize if my post seems a bit jumbled. My husband and I are currently planning a road trip to my home state, how exciting! We have been saving up for almost a half a year now for this trip. The reason we started planning the trip is because my Grandpa (dad's side), offered us his boat for free. As long as we make the drive up and buy new trailer tires, he no longer wants the boat. Extra info: Currently 31 weeks pregnant with my first kid and my mom's side of the families first grandkid. My dads side already have a few grand babies. We also have 3 dogs! Old Man(14y), Pretty Princess(2y), and not so smol boi(8m) (not their names) who are generally well behaved dogs and easy to control in new environments. They also love their dog Aunt my grandpa has and love when she visits us, so we can bring them to my grandpa's. Now to the issue. I let my grandma (mom's side) know about the fact that we we're planning on driving up to visit around memorial weekend. The dogs were welcomed and we had a set plan with the dogs. The youngest two are crate trained as well as have 25ft long leashes that anchor to the ground. (Gmail has 6 achers). We were also clear on the fact that our dogs get along with other dogs and will not attack her dog. Something she was worried about but something I know how to handle, and appropriately manage in a safe way. Sadly the trip had to be postponed due to my husband not working for a couple of weeks, making it difficult to save up the last several hundred we needed for comfortably make the trip. (Covering gas, food, potential motel stay, tires, and extra for emergencies.) So the trip has currently been moved to the week of July 4th. So, a few days ago my grandma messaged me about 3 bulging disks in her back (old injury), along with mentioning the injury she disinvited our dogs. Told me I can either set them up at boarding, get a babysitter, or leave them at my grandpa's while we visit her. None of which is a option in my mind. Having worked at multiple boarding facilities, we do not meet requirements in our area to board nor do I trust a place I've never been to. Hiring a dog sitting is also a big no as Old man requires his dad or I's verbal permission to enter our home so no one would be able to get in. As for my grandpa, he is old, does not need to be watching 4 dogs on his own, and another issue with Old Man will pop up. Old man REFUSES to eat without his dad. He will cry, howl, and stress out being watched by other people. Old man has only just started to be chill out with me when his dad goes to work for a week. (Has take2.5 years). I completely understand her wanting a plan around our dogs, especially since she's never met them, but to outright go back on our compromises and attempt to dictate our vacation that we are catering to her to even visit. I even allowed her to invite my mom who I have been no contact with for 6 years for abusing me my entire childhood, because "this is the first grandkid for my mom and babies can heal the past and bring people closer." 🙄 I already am very stressed about having to see my mom and now I have to do it without my dogs to comfort me? NO Way! Everytime I go to let her know that because our dogs were disinvited, and we will not be putting in the effort to visit her during the boat pick up vacation, my message ends up sounding rude and a little angry which is what I want to avoid! I love my grandma even if she wants to look past years of abuse and trauma my mom has done to me, and I do not want to upset her (im a bit of a people pleaser). How can I work my message in a way that won't hurt her feelings?
Lil extra info: the drive to my grandpa's is 14 hours and will take about 1.4k$ in gas to make it there and back. Going to my grandma's adds another 3 hours of drive time and about 200$ extra. She has offered to mail money but I have denied as any type of gift sent always has claws in the fine lines. The dogs are up to date on shots, have even temperament, listen well to commands, and have had no issues with other dogs outside of Old man's cousin attacking him which he did not react back. The only thing that may be a problem is that all 3 are intact. Old Man has produced 0 puppies in his 14 years and our female is currently in heat and separated from the boys, so she will not be an issue during the trip
Thank you all for reading and any comments and advice are truly appreciated. Sorry if my post has to much information, I didn't know what was important so some things are left out. I'll answer question if needed. Again thank you.
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2023.06.07 23:11 gurukulofcivil Types of Road Pavement in Construction: 6 Important Points
Table of Contents What is Pavement? Key Functions of Road Pavement: Types of Pavements Flexible Pavement Surface Course: Milling of Pavement Surface Course: Base Course: Sub-Base Course: Capping Layers: Geogrid Layer: Semi-Rigid Pavement Rigid Pavement
What is Road Pavement? what are the key functions of Road Pavement?
If you would like to know all these details along with the types of road pavement, please read this interesting blog.
Let’s crack on.
What is Pavement?
The road pavement is multiple layered surfaces constructed to allow the movement of vehicles and provide a smooth and comfortable ride to road users.
There are two primary purposes of road pavement, first to provide a controlled friction level to the running vehicle, and second to transmit the vehicle load to the underlying ground.
Key Functions of Road Pavement:
- Transmit the vehicle load from the base coarse to the sub-base to the underlying ground surface.
- Robust enough to bear Heavy Vehicle load for the entire design life duration with minimum maintenance or intermittent pavement treatment.
- Provide adequate skid resistance either by directly applying high PSV (Polished Stone Value) surface course or by applying HFS (High Friction Surface) Treatment.
- Provide low noise levels (generated by tyres and pavement surface friction) in the urban road by applying TSCS or a similar surface course.
- Allow comparatively a high noise level on rural motorways/ national roads but minimize the construction and maintenance cost in long run.
There are numerous types of road pavements as per the road usage, local environment, ground condition
, etc and all pavement types come with some pros/cons and advantages/limitations, etc.
Broadly Road Pavements are classified into three distinct categories based on the pavement material types
Types of Pavements
There are three key types of pavements depending on the materials used as shown below:
- Flexible Pavement
- Semi-Rigid Pavement
- Rigid Pavement
Flexible pavement is made of multiple layers named surface course, base course, sub-base, capping, and lastly Geogrid. The surface layer is made of Asphalt material.
It is further categorized into two materials named Thin Surface course System (TSCS) and Hot Tolled Asphalt (HRA).
- Surface Course
- Base Course
The surface Course which is made of Asphalt material is a mix of asphalt cement and aggregate (5% and 95% respectively). In surface course treatment, larger size aggregates are placed in the lower section and small size aggregates are placed in the upper section. Asphalt materials
are made robust enough to withstand the local climate, which means in a colder climate, they are made softer and in a hot climate, they are made harder.
The following are two types of material commonly used as surface Courses:
Thin Surface Course System (TSCS):
- Thin Surface course System (TSCS)
- Hot Rolled Asphalt
This Surface Course System is considered a high-end Stone Mastic Asphalt and is preferred for the urban road for low-level noise generation from vehicle tyres friction. It is easy for placement, and compaction.
Riding quality over the TSCS is also very smooth compared to HRA. TSCS comes in three sizes:
Hot Rolled Asphalt (HRA): Hot Rolled Asphalt (HRA)
- Type-A: 12mm to 18mm
- Type-B: 18mm to 25mm
- Type-C: 26mm to 50mm
is a composition of bitumen, aggregate, and sand. It is highly dense and pre-coated chipping asphalt and comes with a high skid resistance ability. A high PSV (polished stone value) value chipping makes the HRA more skid-resistant.
As a result, it generates a high level of noise due to vehicle tyres friction and so, it's not suitable for the urban road but useful for rural high-speed roads or motorways. It needs less maintenance and resurfacing compared to TSCS.
Milling of Pavement Surface Course:
Milling of the Pavement Course is required when it is recommended to restrengthen the existing road pavement. Milling is a delicate task and needs high-level workmanship and expertise.
To know more about it, please read "The Contractor's Advice for Milling and Paving
" by allpaving
The base Course is laid just below the surface course and above the Sub-base layer. The thickness of the base course varies from 100mm to 160mm.
It is laid to support the foundation and transmit the load of the vehicle and upper pavement layer to the sub-base and underlying soil. Read More:
The sub-base is laid just below the Base-course and above the Capping Layer. The sub-base is considered the foundation layer (unbound layer) and made to bear a load of the above layer plus vehicular load and transmit that to the Capping and underlying soil.
The thickness of the Sub-Base Course is dependent on the CBR of the existing adjacent ground. The lower the CBR value, the higher the thickness of the sub-Base.
The sub-base course is an unbound layer and made of a material such as crushed stone or crumpled concrete or slag.
Capping Layers: Capping Layer
is also considered a part of the Pavement Foundation and termed as an unbound layer. The aggregate used in Capping is generally of inferior quality than the sub-base course. It supports the Sub-base and minimizes the damage of the sub-base from excessive vehicular loading.
The capping layer provides additional strength to the Sub-Base and also shields the underlying soil from heavy construction vehicles and machine loading during the construction stage.
Geogrid Layer: Geogrid
is predominantly a Geosynthetics and is made like an open mesh grid structure. It enhances the tensile strength of the underlying soil and minimizes the undercutting soil. It holds soil particles but permits the movement of fluids, so greatly enhances the performance of the Pavement Sub-Base.
The pavement sub-base is commonly constructed from traditional aggregate. Semi-Rigid Pavement is made of waste materials
such as steel industry wastes such as granulated slag, BF slag, Flyash, SMS, etc.
These steel industrial wastes are very useful to use as a Sub-Base material and it improves the performance of the Sub-Base significantly.
Rigid pavements are made of a mix of aggregate and Portland cement in the form of a concrete slab. The slab is laid over the sub-base material which is made of granulated material or placed directly over the capping layer.
Our Highway Engineering Course
has covered a detailed module on Pavement Design.
Please see the Freeview of the course on our Youtube channel.
What are the Innovation in Road Pavement Construction?
In recent years, there have been several innovations in road pavement construction aimed at improving durability, safety, sustainability, and reducing maintenance costs. Here are some examples:
Warm Mix Asphalt (WMA):
Warm Mix Asphalt (WMA): is an innovative pavement construction technology that allows for the production and placement of asphalt at lower temperatures than traditional hot mix asphalt (HMA). This reduces energy consumption, lowers emissions, and improves the working conditions for workers during construction.
Recycled Asphalt Pavement (RAP):
Recycled Asphalt Pavement (RAP) is a pavement material that is made from recycled asphalt pavement, which is typically used in the base or surface layers of new pavement construction. Using RAP can reduce the amount of new asphalt required, lower construction costs, and reduce the environmental impact of road construction.
Permeable pavement is a pavement construction technology that allows water to infiltrate the pavement surface, reducing the amount of runoff and improving water quality. This type of pavement is particularly effective in urban areas where there is limited space for stormwater management.
High-Performance Concrete (HPC):
High-Performance Concrete (HPC) is a type of concrete that is designed to have higher strength, durability, and resistance to cracking than traditional concrete. This type of concrete can be used in pavement construction to improve durability, reduce maintenance costs, and extend the service life of the pavement.
Intelligent Compaction (IC):
Intelligent Compaction (IC) is an innovative pavement construction technology that uses real-time compaction data to optimize the compaction process during construction. This technology can improve the quality and durability of the pavement and reduce the risk of premature pavement failure.
These innovative pavement construction technologies demonstrate the potential for new materials, processes, and technologies to improve the durability, safety, sustainability, and cost-effectiveness of road infrastructure.
Hope this blog helps you understand the key functions of Road Pavement and also various types of Pavement Layers.
Please feel free to comment and share.
Admin, gcelab.com Please see our Pillar Post to know why we founded gcelab.com. Read More:
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2023.06.07 23:07 ArchipelagoMind [SP] Chapter 67: Vexids Receives - Part Two
The Archipelago publishes every Wednesday. See the pinned comment for links to the contents.
I tied the boat up to a small jetti, somewhat relieved Alessia couldn’t see the knot I hastily threw together, and pulled myself up onto the platform.
Already I could feel a degree of exhaustion. The short row to the shore had already eaten away at the atrophied muscles in my arms. Still, the impatience in my brain had won out. It needed exercise more than my body needed rest.
While I built up some reserves of energy, I took in my surroundings. I hoped to find an islander on a break, idly waiting by the sea, and who might want to talk about Vexids. But while the port didn’t seem busy, anyone I could see was engaged in a task. Porters carried textiles - mostly wool and cotton - off to waiting traders, sellers and buyers negotiated with the waiting boats down by the dock, but no one was stopped. Usually, beyond trade, ports were a place where you’d find those relaxing, finding peace in the coming and going of the waves. But here, there were none.
“Can I help you?” I turned to see a woman in her mid-thirties bounding towards me with almost excessive enthusiasm.
“Yes. I’m just visiting. I came on the large ship.” I tilted my head towards the Deer Drum boat, floating off the coast like an island of its own
“Ah excellent. Another from Deer Drum. Welcome. Can I introduce you to our island? Maybe give you a tour?” She grinned wide, as though pulling her own cheeks back with hooks.
The woman’s overt enthusiasm felt abrasive against my own lethargy. An ache ran across my back. “I would love to understand more.” The words felt stiff, my vocal chords still stretching into shape. “We may have to move slowly though, I’ve been recovering from an injury.”
“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that,” the woman replied with the same tone and smile. “Well, if you want to learn more about the island, you’re in luck. My name is Endesha. My passion is sharing the island’s history with others, and I’m on my passion rotation right now. ”
“Yes. Are you familiar with our island at all?” She said, clasping her hands together by her stomach.
“Honestly, nothing. I know a couple of the islanders have been here. One girl in particular, fifteen years old.” I held up my hand out about Mirai’s height. “I hear she’s visited a lot and likes the place. But no idea beyond that.”
Endesha looked up, searching her memory. “Ah, yes. Mirai. Brilliant young woman. I’ve met her a few times. Fits right in here, a mind like that.” She said, pointing a finger. “Well, maybe we can walk to the town square, it’s only a short walk, and I’ll tell you a bit more about our history on our way.”
I nodded in agreement, and Endesha held up an arm to guide the way. She led me up through the town past beige stone structures till we arrived at a long, thin building. Inside I could hear the thrum of machines, the thudding so loud it threatened to topple the aged and cracked walls. Endesha pointed to an engraving; old eroded numbers that read 7-7-10.
“This is one of the oldest buildings in the work part of town. And it celebrates our most important rule.” Endesha looked at it with reverence. “When The Archipelago formed, those here felt that too many had died living wasteful lives, never doing what made them truly happy. And so beaame the law.” She began counting each point on her fingers. “Seven hours of work, our sacrifice to keeping the island running and ensuring we have food to eat. Seven hours to rest, eat and sleep.” She leaned in, her mouth grinning with delight. “And ten hours to chase our passions, and become the best people we can be.”
“You only work for seven hours? The other seventeen are all yours?”
“To be the best we can be.” She corrected me with a wagged finger. “The whole town is separated into three sectors. Here, near the harbour, is our industry, to the North we have the homes where people live and sleep, and to the east, is the true treasure of the island. The drive sector.” She turned and jolted with purpose, drawn eastwards by the sector’s mere mention. My legs strained to keep up, joints unsteady and unsure. “I’ve spent a fair amount of time pouring over the documents from the island’s founding and how they describe the old world. There are old descriptions of people watching moving pictures, or making men and women move with hand-held controllers just for fun. They use the term *to kill time*. Can you believe that? To kill time.”
I thought of the many times on Alessia’s boat, on a relatively still day, when I would simply sit on the edge, watching peaceful waves roll by. “I… I think we might still do that?”
“Not here.” Endesha said, her arms outstretched, allowing a broad chest to bellow the words out. “Tell me, Ferdinand. When are you happiest?”
“What?” I said, my feet almost tripping on the words.
“When do you feel happy?”
I tried to go through a list. The drunken walk back to our property on Talin Barier with Alessia. Singing songs with the Deer Drum crew. When Alessia gave me my room on the boat. So many came back to Alessia. Too many. “I’m not sure,” I said, still dodging the truth even to a stranger. “People maybe?”
“Even in the old world people spoke of having a calling. Something they wanted to do - not for glory or riches, but for the love of the task. Pursuing that is where happiness lies. Sure, you can be fine sitting about on a warm sunny day…” She waved an arm dismissively. “But real contentment lies in what drives us, what fascinates us. Don’t you agree?”
A small smile flickered across my lips as I remembered my own calling. While the chase of the Citadel on Kadear had been intoxicating, travelling the Archipelago had been more than a want. Happiness that lifted your chest as well as your lips. “I’m beginning to.”
Her already huge smile gained an extra lift at my agreement. “Then is it not the duty of this - or any island, to help you achieve those dreams? To push you to do what you are capable of.” She prodded my chest with a hard finger. “That is what those ten hours are for. To chase what drives you. To become what you are capable of. Not for the island, but for yourself.”
The conversation paused as the road widened out into a large town square. In the middle was a wooden stage made of varnished pine. It was low enough that you could step up to it with a good leap, but wide enough to hold a good thirty or forty people if required.
“We have a bit of a ritual that comes with those passions,” Endesha chuckled, staring at the platform. “I took a while to understand it, I had to go through pages and pages of correspondence among the island’s first council members. However, what they realised is that one of the most important parts of chasing your passions is to acknowledge them. To state your dreams aloud and not cower from them.”
It made sense. So many times I had stared at that map in my home in Kadear. But other than brief conversations with Thomas my wishes of travelling were hidden. Only external events brought that desire out of the darkness.
Endesha walked towards the stage. I could almost see the years of the residents who had taken to the stand in her eyes. “Between the ages of fifteen and sixteen, all residents come here to declare their passion in front of the island. I came here,” she pointed to each individual invisible attendee. “I told them I wanted to learn about the history of Vexids Receives and share it with visitors. And in attending, they told me that they would help me, push me in pursuit of that passion.” She turned to me, her smile reverential. “In a few weeks, the next group will take to that stage. And you can be certain I will be witness to their proclamations.”
I thought about what I would’ve said on such a stage. How much easier would my travels have been if I had had to declare that drive to my fellow islanders, and they in turn were duty bound to help me pursue it?
Endesha meanwhile was telling me about the history of the stage. The details of when it was first built and the repairs done to it over the years, and how it intertwined with the rest of the planned town. But the dates and minutia weren’t the reason for the smile on my face. It was the growing understanding of this place, and the freedom to give yourself not just to your island, or your own greed and vices, but to what called you.
It seemed to shake off some of the lethargy in my bones, and when Endesha asked if I wanted to continue on to the see the passion sector, I obliged.
We made our way east, as Endesha regaled me with the founders’ foresight in the layout. A series of workshops each in their own courtyard, their entrances facing inward. Each one had large wooden shutters at the back and front the entire width of the building save for a small doorway at the end. The lack of warmth in Winter was a price worth paying for the community the openness created.
We turned and entered into one of the courtyards as I was met with the output of people’s hobbies: the sound of sandpaper grated across wood, the tune of an accordion pushing notes through its pipes. I could smell the aroma of old books, in between the wafts of fresh paint.
The sights and sounds were a melody somehow borne of cacophony. No thread connected each space. Each room was home to a different activity. All the island did was give space for them to grow. And yet, the end result seemed harmonious.
I watched a woman placing red hot metal into a great furnace, while next door another folded dough, flour pluming into the air each time the bread hit the table.
Creaking metal snatched my attention. Atop one of the rooms to the left was a small windmill. Rusted iron blades oscillated with each rotation, but still it turned in the light breeze. From its base, a slew of cables ran down the roof disappearing through a hole near the edge. Looking into the shadowy room I could see two figures. A middle aged man, with curly balding hair, and a teenage girl.
“Mirai!” I called out.
Mirai looked up, two wires in one hand, and a tool in the other. “Ferdinand! You made it off the ship.”
“Eir finally let me go.”
Mirai put the wires down on a bench and pointed to the man behind her. “This is Charles. Charles, this is Ferdinand. He helped us move from Deer Drum.”
The man took off a pair of thick, leather gloves and reached out to shake my hand. His face was blotched, and there were a few wrinkles across his brow. But his cheeks were taut and youthful. “Good to meet you. Welcome to my electrical shop.”
“Charles does electrical engineering as his passion,” Mirai said, jumping in to add more information. “He’s built so many things. Small engines, toys… every workshop in this courtyard has electric lights now thanks to Charles.” She pointed to the bulb hanging from dangled wiring above.
“I’m no genius. But I’ve got pretty good over the years.” Charles said, thumbs tucked into the straps of his overalls.
Mirai continued. “He’s currently trying to get a windmill working. He could power the whole island off wind power alone.”
“It used to be a common form of electrical power in the old world,” Endesha added, stepping between us. “I believe there may be the odd island in the Archipelago where it exists, but it would be a serious boon to have it here.”
Charles grinned but bowed his head.
“Charles has been letting me help out for the past few days. Soldering cables, testing currents, that kind of thing,” Mirai beamed.
“She’s been a great help. Hard to try and fix the turbine on the roof and measure the currents down here at the same time,” Charles added with a chuckle.
“It’s amazing. I’ve been sitting on that boat for months just watching the oceans roll by,” Mirai stretched out the words so they were as boring as a flat, windless sea. “I designed that one fish net, but other than that I haven’t got to do anything. But, Ferdinand, I love this stuff.”
“I’m glad it’s going so well,” I smiled.
Suddenly she snapped her fingers. “Here, let me show you something.” She turned, leaping between tables, before returning with a series of wires that connected a lightbulb to a small metal box with a wooden handle. “I made this. Turn the handle.”
I looked at her hesitantly.
It was only the width of my palm, but still, the small pole was hard to turn.
Mirai laughed. “Harder. You’ll have to go faster.”
My muscles were still wasted and weak from the Anmanion islands, and even this small chore was causing my arm to ache. However, for Mirai’s sake, I put in more effort, pushing past the resistance, until the wheel span faster and I saw a small flicker of light from the bulb. The spark invigorated me, and I cranked harder until a soft yellow glow from the bulb rose and dimmed with each shift of my arm. We all watched the light for a few seconds, until the stiffness in my wrist returned and I had to stop.
“Mirai, that’s amazing.” I smiled, shaking off the aches.
“I mean, it’s nothing compared to what Charles has done.” Mirai looked to the side, turning her cheeks. “But it’s a start.”
“It’s an excellent start,” I nodded.
The enthusiasm came back. “I just love this stuff so much. I wish I could do it forever.”
“You could,” Endesha interrupted.
All heads turned to her.
“Anyone can join Vexids Receives over the age of fifteen. It was one of the rules created by the island’s founders. All you have to do is declare your passion during the ceremony.”
I felt my teeth grit, watching this stranger so ignorant of Mirai and her world. Mirai’s face lit up. “When’s the next ceremony!?”
“About three weeks’ time.” Endesha replied, ignoring my grimace.
Mirai’s eyes glossed over, filled with an idyllic vision. “I can keep doing this? I can stay?”
The Archipelago publishes every Wednesday. See the pinned comment for links to the contents.
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2023.06.07 23:05 HandyCookbook Amazing French Toast Recipe
Ingredients for the French Toast Recipe
Here’s the beauty of French toast—it doesn’t require anything fancy. To make the classic version of this dish, you’ll need:
1 loaf of day-old bread (preferably brioche or challah) 4 large eggs 1 cup of milk 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon Butter, for frying Maple syrup and powdered sugar, for serving
Making French toast is a simple process that involves soaking the bread in an egg mixture and then frying it until golden brown. Here’s how to do it:
Slice your bread into 1-inch thick slices. If your bread is fresh, leave the slices out on a wire rack for a few hours to dry out; this prevents your french toast from being soggy in the middle.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla extract, and cinnamon.
Dip each slice of bread into the egg mixture, making sure both sides are well coated. Let the excess drip off, then place the slices on a separate plate.
Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat. Add a knob of butter and let it melt, covering the surface of the pan.
Add the soaked bread slices to the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
Serve your French toast hot, dusted with powdered sugar and drizzled with maple syrup. You can also top with fruits, flavored syrups, or anything else that sounds yummy!
If you would like the print out of this recipe it is available at: https://www.handycookbook.com/french-toast-recipe/
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2023.06.07 23:02 HandyCookbook Amazing French Toast
Ingredients for the French Toast Recipe
Here’s the beauty of French toast—it doesn’t require anything fancy. To make the classic version of this dish, you’ll need:
1 loaf of day-old bread (preferably brioche or challah) 4 large eggs 1 cup of milk 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon Butter, for frying Maple syrup and powdered sugar, for serving
Making French toast is a simple process that involves soaking the bread in an egg mixture and then frying it until golden brown. Here’s how to do it:
Slice your bread into 1-inch thick slices. If your bread is fresh, leave the slices out on a wire rack for a few hours to dry out; this prevents your french toast from being soggy in the middle.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla extract, and cinnamon.
Dip each slice of bread into the egg mixture, making sure both sides are well coated. Let the excess drip off, then place the slices on a separate plate.
Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat. Add a knob of butter and let it melt, covering the surface of the pan.
Add the soaked bread slices to the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
Serve your French toast hot, dusted with powdered sugar and drizzled with maple syrup. You can also top with fruits, flavored syrups, or anything else that sounds yummy!
submitted by HandyCookbook
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2023.06.07 22:51 CrunchwrapKing I’m looking to join a small independent RIA in the Chicago area.
Is anyone here independent in the Chicagoland area with your own RIA and looking to partner? Or perhaps know someone that might be interested?
I’ve been talking to larger RIA’s but I’m finding that I don’t want to be a part of a bigger organization than maybe a small office staff.
I originally wanted to setup my own, but the month+ long process of getting the entity approved would be counterintuitive to my situation.
I’m currently at a non-protocol firm and of my current assets under management, I’m fairly confident I could transfer around $20M on the low end. If I move, I want to strike while the iron is hot and waiting for registration would negatively impact my ability to transfer assets. I don’t want to give my current firm much time to retain the client relationships.
Sure, if my clients love me, then they’ll stay with me, but I don’t want to give my b/d the benefit of the doubt.
I’m looking to move next spring/summer.
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2023.06.07 22:50 AlphonseCoco Art of War: War Trophies (Story 1, Part 1)
Hey guys, this isn't my first post here, or even my first attempt at a serial, I'm just incredibly bad at follow-through and put the pro in procrastination. That being said: Enjoy!! I will try and put these out in a reasonably amount of time. Also, sadly this first part won't have any humans directly, as I became...verbose. Subsequent parts shall.
First: some long-winded background. I am not an artist or engineer, so I will do my best but really work that suspension of disbelief.
They say any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. If that is the case, then the races that made up the TransGalactic Federation were archmagi of legend. These races created monuments of inconceivable power and presence, capable of quelling all newcomers to the stage, or those with hostile intent. However, magic has a far greater property than mere power: flair. Magic is loud, bold and unafraid, yet it can also be subtle and unassuming, refined. The greatest engineers and technicians, eventually hybridizing into the current artnician, collaborated with the artisans of the age to create not just architectural masterpieces, but space stations of indescribable beauty and function. Even their objects of more utilitarian functions were made beautiful.
One would think such cultures would be beyond conflict, having embraced so delicate and refined a focus as aesthetic. However, that is not the case, as heated debates regarding artistic talent, originality, medium, presentation, any number of hot topics in the academia of artistry, became very real, very serious reasons for hostile actions. Wars broke out across the Federation, battles fought over resources not for survival, but for art. Ideologies, once minor, began to take hold over vast swathes of the population. Some were logical: radicalized cultures that sought to eliminate anything did not originate from them, or that deviated from their accepted beliefs, and the forces that developed in kind to combat them. Others were decidedly unexpected: the once-accepting, pacifistic race known as the Borthians soon became known as The Scour and began systematically genociding any culture whose artistic style was other than naturalism, artistic expression bereft of a civilized touch beyond trailblazers and colonizers or the remains of society overtaken by nature. The dreaded Gl’trills, who were almost deemed inhospitable to life and exterminated, favored a <ERROR: comparable word does not exist; inputting acceptable alternative> neoclassic style with virtually no external influences on style or subject outside their race and led the first League of Acceptance, standing their grounds and ultimately dooming their race to protect the cultures of others from erasure. Bastions of cultural excellence, examples of art and literature throughout the history of countless member races, including more than a few who were rendered extinct through ennui, disease, or time, were razed, while others were plundered for greed or safety.
This conflict has been raging for millenia, with cultures rising and falling, sides changing as do the cultural views and tastes. Genetic modification, now viewed as much an art as war, has been used to tailor various races to select or varied purposes. Beauty is both subjective and objective, as function is its own form of beauty. Art and war have gone hand in hand for generations, with some races using literal battlefields as their canvas, and the dead as their medium. It was onto one such scene that humanity first stumbled into the collective knowledge of The Culture Wars. This ugly, unmodified, plain alien race, with its crude, inefficient ships sought to join the battle against the Scourge and other, similarly minded threats. Function may be beautiful, but even the most magnanimous of artists cannot turn a blind eye to such an eyesore. As such, humanity was allowed onto the stage, but was met with scorn only the most arrogant of professionals can show to a novice who does not know their place. Humanity is young, it is technologically inferior, it is weak. It will have to claw its way to survival among the lesser races of the universe.
But Humanity has a secret its fickle allies and rabid enemies have overlooked. A mastery that has been ingrained in Humanity since its earliest common ancestors fought for resources, for survival. A talent it has nurtured, for good or ill, an art style that the other races has couched in flowery prose, stunning calligraphy, and ultimately pointless beauty:
The Art of War
Skrik’rika: Triu’quoll anatochanic, TransGalactic Federation (League of Acceptance), Logistics
Tuvix: Trolk Sculptech, local League of Acceptance, drafted civilian
For convenience and efficiency, units have been translated and converted to the viewer’s preference.
Interesting fact: the plural of opus is an opera! Which actually makes sense.
Local system: Trolk’a
“Move your asses! League pieces are incoming, they report heavy damage!” Skrik’rika’s head started pounding, and he groaned as he forced himself out of his nook. Fitting his visor over his ears, the Triu’quoll pulled on his jumpsuit and heavy boots, checking the onboard chronometer and sighing at the lost sleep. Downtime was uniform among League forces and dependent on the local solar day length and proximity to the nearest front, which meant he was currently limited to 1 12.5% rotation (4.5-hour) “free” shift per as he was currently crewing a forward operating repair depot. Said shift was on a fixed schedule, which meant unless the incoming opera were in immaculate condition, he’d be looking at less than 2 hours of sleep for the next…
Skrik jerked awake as something sharp and painful jabbed him in the bicep. He lurched away, swiping a nearby sensor probe and brandishing it at his attacker. Tuvix, one of the tusked locals 4-armed and his shift partner, tossed away the now empty stim ampule and grinned.
Skrik scoffed, rubbing his throbbing shoulder but clear-headed and alert once more, and followed Tuvix to the repair bays module. “Any idea what we’re dealing with?” Tuvix’s 2 left hands pointed in opposite directions, indicating some ambiguity in any answer he could provide. By the time they arrived, Skrik started to understand just how screwed they were.
Sitting in their bay was one of the few remaining Gl’trillian gladiatorial suits. According to his suit’s telemetry feed from the allied opus, it was known as Honor of the Patient Stroke. Massive for a solo-pilot suit, the Honor measured 18m base height, with various weaponry and accoutrement increasing its bulk further. The only reason it fit in the repair bay that was 15 meters max on any side was due to its missing lower half and left arm. The on-site corpsman was already tending to the unresponsive pilot, neural links spidering back into the cockpit. Skrik could smell ozone and judging by the charring presented on the cables, he doubted the noble reptilianoid would wake up, much less return to combat. However, Gl’trillian rites dictated any remains be returned posthaste, and all wounded be rescued immediately. A dying race could afford no luxuries in holding off extinction, and every member had to contribute, even if it was genetic material to stave off annihilation.
Skrik and the rest of the double shifts waited for the pilot and medic to board the rescue craft for evac, before they started working. In addition to the Honor, several other mechs had limped, bobbed, or been dragged to their FORD. These pilots were still able and willing, save an avian Kuri whose broken body had been somberly removed and set aside, and were merely waiting for their opus to be repaired or replaced.
Over the next 6 hours, Skrik and Tuvix worked on disassembling the least grievously damaged constructs, diagnosing and repairing internal damages, and replacing armored components. As an anatochanic, Skrik’s responsibilities overlapped with other fields, which was also why he worked closely with Tuvix. Anatochanics were those who had an affinity for understanding and replicating the feats of flesh and blood in alloy and <translation error: engine/hydraulic oil/fuel/coolant/lubricant/plasma; UPDATE: new terminology determined; ORIGIN: Sanskrit> Pādodaka, and they were responsible for the the synthetic muscles, tendons and ligaments, and the hardpoints where these components were integrated to the endoskeleton. Some anatochanics even had an aptitude for running neural cables, the incredibly delicate and sensitive filaments that would be run throughout the synth muscles, connecting the pilot mind and body to their steed. Skrik could proudly claim to be one of these, although he was still too inexperienced to be trusted running the synthetic equivalents of the PNS and CNS without oversight.
Tuvix was a sculptech, which were often looked down upon by other artnicians within their field. Sculptechs were responsible for forming and fitting armor plates, the skin as it were, to opera. The skill needed to fabricate and fit bespoke armor plates to non-standard constructs could not be dismissed, but skills that did not require finesse, color selection, harmonic interactions were seen as lesser, “lazy” arts. Skrik would admit that there were other artnicians and tasks that were by far more finicky and beautiful than armor plating, but anyone with eyes could see the skill and passion Tuvix possessed. He could match alloy ratios almost by sight, allowing for quicker smelting or forging while an analysis would verify his work, or when given permission by pilots, providing improvements for the armor plates, be they reduced weight, better defenses, or even improving a opus’s range of motion and balance by reshaping plates and still maintaining the original aesthetic.
Tuvix went beyond these abilities, having skill in etching and neural linking. His unique combination of talents allowed Tuvix to continue the intricate designs prevalent on most opera without interruption on new plates and ensuring that pilots could actually feel and interact with their environments and foes by running external sensor feeds through the engravings. More than one warrior had been saved by these neural links informing them of dangerous temperatures, a change in terrain or balance, and even incoming attacks by sensing increases in ambient electrical charges or sensations of wind from an incoming blow.
They had just finished repairs on the remaining opus, the pilot gingerly reconnecting their neural links and running diagnostics, when the defense sensors went off.
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2023.06.07 22:41 Future_Ad_3485 The Night Squad Files Case Zero: The Meeting of Partners
My fingers drummed on the cold steel table in my specialized prison cell, my daily dose of blood having not been sent to me. A dry thirst burned in my throat, my ruby eyes dilating at the vampire in a cheap business suit plopping down across from me. Playing with my amethyst waves, he traced his slender finger along the nape of his neck. His ruby eyes glistened with excitement, his slicked back ivory hair reminded me of everything I hated about the government.
“Pretty hungry, Morticia Deathbite?” He taunted cruelly, hatred burning in my eyes. “I have a deal for you. The government will exonerate you of all your charges if you agree to become my wife for a mission. There is one catch, you have to let me bite you. Oh forgive my manners. I am Agent Stanton Lifewick, a member of Night Squad. The vampires in the program work to hunt down serial killers that the police can’t seem to get. Will you join me?” Growling through gritted teeth, my inky lips curled into a defiant snarl. Spitting in his face, wicked laughter rumbled in his throat.
“You can rot in hell. You guys put me in this jail cell for only drinking the blood of serial killers. Fuck you.” I retorted venomously, his hands wiping away the spit. “You can leave now, you rotten bastard!” Snatching the collar of my orange jumpsuit, he yanked me close to his face. The corner of his lips twitched with fury, a raw tension thickening between us. Shooting daggers into each other's eyes, my elbow slammed into his face. Crashing back, I sprinted out the door. Red light bathed the concrete halls, a shrill alarm blaring in my ears. Unlocking the other criminals on my way out, the distraction would be my way out. Security guards attempted to stop me, one punch smashing them into the wall. A Cheshire Cat grin spread cheek to cheek at the open gate, my bare feet smashing through. Feeling the pale moonlight on my skin pleased me, Stanton called for me to stop. Flipping him off, I leapt into the trees. Hopping from branch to branch, my heart stopped at him blocking my path. Straightening up, claws extended from my black fingernails. Cracking my neck, he pulled out a gun with holy water soaked wooden bullets.
“I can’t let you escape.” He snapped hotly, a bead of sweat dripping off of his brow. “Join me now or I’ll shoot you.” Putting my hands up in the air as a dare, maniacal laughter burst from my lips. Shrugging my shoulders, he watched me crack my fingers one by one. Leaning forward, something was stopping him. My face fell at the sound of guns clicking underneath me, the sheer amount of agents scaring me. Placing my hands behind my back, my claws receded back into their place.
“Just take me back so I can fucking die.” I grumbled under my breath, Stanton putting his gun away. Leaping closer to me, even my speed wouldn’t allow me to dodge all of their bullets. Standing behind me, his fangs grazed the nape of my neck. His hot breath bathed my neck, the agents’ fingers all ready to shoot me. Too many black suits, I thought irritably to myself. Freedom and blood was all I desired, the bastards stripping both from me.
“Just fucking say yes, you idiot!” He growled huskily in my ear, his hand sliding down the small of my waist. “You get freedom and all the blood you need from me.” His invisible strength threatened to break my back, my body trembling in his hold. Something about it dulled my hatred for him. Concern flashed in his eyes for a moment, tears welling up in my eyes. Peeking into his soul, a white aura surrounded him. Bowing my head in shame, my bangs hid my eyes. Live a life alone in prison or experience life again? Did the world hate me as much as I hated it?
“Fine.” I uttered in with defeat, a sickening dread bubbling in my gut. “You win but you better treat me like one of you. I refuse to be a slave and a prisoner.” Sinking his fangs into my neck, the disgusting sound of him drinking my blood drowned out the agents putting their guns back. Inky bats flew across my breasts, a solid black band forming on his finger. An indescribable bond formed between us, silent tears streaming down my cheeks. This contract reminded me of how my first master used me to kill innocent people for defying the church, his gentle touch scaring me out of my trance.
“Are you okay?” He whispered kindly in my ear, the sudden shift in his personality ringing the alarm bells. “I am going to get you to the car and we will sign a marriage contract to get our license. I don’t bite. Well, unless I have to. I am aware you have been alive since medieval times so the concept of living off your mate’s blood is new. It actually makes you ten times stronger. Imagine that power coursing through you.” Tossing me over his shoulder, he jumped off the branch.
“Operation Get Hitched is a success!” He announced with a warm smile, a tender blush rising to my cheeks. “Go home to your families.” Carrying me to the car, my waves bounced up and down with every step. Sitting me down in the passenger seat of a generic black armored SUV, my hair blew back as he slammed the door shut. Sliding into his seat, he pulled out a pile of papers from the center console. Passing me the pile, I knew the drill. Signing on the dotted lines, a knock stole his breath away. Rolling down the window, a fellow agent stamped the paper. Dropping two velvet boxes into my lap, the papers fluttered in the other agent’s hands. Closing his window, he held my hand up. Opening up the closest box to him, he slid on an onyx band of twisted branches. Grasping the remaining box, my jaw dropped at the matching band. Sliding on his finger shakily, surprise rounded his eyes. Thorns dug into my fingers, his face showing the same fate for him. Sniffing the ring, it reeked of an eternal curse. Fantastic, we were bound together forever.
“Can I ask you a question?” I choked out awkwardly, a warm gaze falling on me. “Why me? I am not the only vampire there. I can think of s-” Putting his finger up in the air, the ring glittered in the pale moonlight. Grabbing my shoulder, any cockiness he had was gone. It almost seemed to be a mask in front of the boys, his private personality seeming naturally sweet.
“I picked you because I saw your beautiful face in a pile of files. Also you are the oldest vampire alive, so that helped. I find you rather amazing. I don’t agree with you killing all those serial killers but you had to eat. Am I right?” He mused tenderly, is crooked grin stopped time as the urge to kiss him dominated my mind. “How about you drink something? I had them starve you for a couple of days. I am sorry about that.” Guiding my head to the nape of his neck, his vein throbbed violently. Biting him now would seal the deal from my side, the scent of a summer day wafted up my nose. Piercing his tender flesh, my pupils enlarged at the first sip, the sweet taste of lemonade coated my throat. Wrapping my arms around his neck, short gasps poured from his lips. Drinking my fill, a satisfied sigh flowed freely from me. He was right, your mate’s blood tasted like nothing else. Scarlet blood stained the corner of his lips, my hands cupping his face. Pressing my lips against his sensually, his arm slid down to the small of my waist. Refusing to let me go, his tongue danced in my mouth. Time stopped, our heartbeats were all I could hear. Releasing him from the spell, he sat back in a daze with a goofy grin. Scarlet burned his cheeks, my impulsive behavior having landed me in some hot water for sure.
“Sorry for that.” I apologized profusely, hoping that he wouldn’t hate me for acting on my inner thoughts. “I get a little impu-” Kissing me back with twice as much passion, my body arched towards him. The seat belt was the only thing that held me back, his heart beating faster than mine. Another knock interrupted him, a flustered Stanton rolled the window down.
“What!” He yelled sharply, the ivory haired female’s ruby eyes flitting between me and him. “Selena, you need to give your older brother privacy.” Her petite five two figure didn’t scream power but boy did her intense color changing aura. Sticking out her tongue, a deeper scarlet colored his cheeks. Blinking a couple of times, she leaned into the car.
“I am Selena Dogood, his baby sister. You must be the infamous Morticia he never stopped talking about. Honestly, he never shut up.” She teased lightly, her short leather dress fluttering in the breeze. “Would you like to h-” Covering her mouth with his hand, a stern gaze shut her offer down.
“I would but I need to get to the hell I am calling suburbia. You know the reason I married her in the first place. They suspect the serial killer is living in that godforsaken town.” He informed her briskly, cursing under his breath. “I might like her a bit. Do you have her clothes? People are going to stare if I bring her out in a prison jumpsuit.” Dropping a silky emerald dress into his lap, a horrendous flashback of the church dressing me in lingerie for special guests to view haunted me. Horrendous slurs had been carved into my skin, the people throwing rotten tomatoes at me. Clutching my chest, a tight embrace snapped me back to reality. Selena put her hands up into the air, walking back to her own SUV. Kissing the top of my head, the nature of our bond made this moment unbearably sweet. His slender six foot seven frame towered over me by a good foot, thus his embrace felt like Heaven. Shaking my head, I shoved him off. Undoing my seat belt, he turned his back as I peeled off the jumpsuit. Tossing it into the back, I tugged on the sweetheart neckline dress. The silk felt soft against my skin, the material a far better cry from the rough cotton of my previous outfit. The straps failed to cover the number the prison had branded me with, my fingers tracing the faint numbers. Not seeing what I did wrong, the people should have applauded me. Furthermore, I needed to eat.
“You look beautiful.” He commented pleasantly, his eyes falling on the numbers branded on my chest. “They didn’t tell me that they did that to the first vampires in prison. I promise to make your life better. Can you cook?” His question threw me off as the engine roared to life, the trees turning into a sea of houses. Rolling my eyes, most of them were close enough to pass a damn cup of sugar through the bathroom window. The ranches nauseated me further, my heart sinking at the car pulling up to a flamingo pink ranch. My face scrunched in disgust, my eyes falling on a red headed woman with piercing blue eyes. Her curls bounced around her shoulders, her ample cleavage hanging out of a tight tank top. Pouting in my direction, something seemed off about her. Perhaps it was because her aura was darker than the bottom of the ocean. Hopping out to the car, his hand ripped open the car door. Sliding on the shoes, a scowl planted itself on her lips.
“Who’s Shirley Temple across the street?” I inquired softly, his eyes rolling. “She seems to like you.” Rolling his eyes, a wicked grin spread cheek to cheek as he rose to his feet. Pinning me to the car, his lips kissed mine hungrily. Time stopped, the sound of the night fading to the background. Releasing me from his spell, her death glare sent chills up my spine. Lifting my finger, he purposely showed off our wedding rings. Glee glittered in his eyes at her obvious bewilderment, he flipped her off on the way into the house. The outside must have been deceptive because all sorts of taxidermy lined the Victorian style wallpaper, the dark wooden bookshelves were lined with first editions of books. Sitting me down on what was his original emerald velvet couch, my hands rubbing the carved bats on the armrest. Crossing my legs, my eyes fell on the coffin coffee table. Laying down, sweet slumber stole me away.
Snapping awake, a flurry of impatient knocks frightened the shit out of me. The bright sunshine blinded me, a fluke in my DNA allowing me not to burn in the sun. Rushing to the door, the redhead from the night before knocked once more. Opening the door, I leaned on the door frame. Horror rounded her eyes at my porcelain skin and black lips, her perfect ass shoving her way in. Following her into an all black kitchen, she called out Stanley. Cocking my brow in response, a messy haired Stanton wandered into the hall. Defiance glittered in his eyes, my eyes taking in the same emerald wallpaper from the living room now lining the hall.
“You are a cockadoody for your disrespectful behavior from last night.” She complained bitterly, her eyes snapping back to me. “Did you find her on an albino dating site? Why haven’t I seen her?” Rubbing his bare muscular chest, he examined her pristine white dress and black sun hat. My heart fluttered at the sight of him, part of me wishing he wouldn’t slick his hair back anymore. A matching branded set of numbers sat on his chest, curiosity twinkling in my eyes.
“Why don’t you leave, Susie?” He asked politely, popping a white tablet into his mouth. “I need you and your husband to leave me alone today.” Narrowing her eyes in his direction, he motioned towards the door. Something seemed off with her, her aura sickening me. Cupping my mouth, he noticed my reaction to her presence. Not only that, the scent of her blood reminded me of a corpse. Walking up next to her, I pushed Stanton out of the way.
“What is your name?” I demanded viciously, folding my arms across my chest. True love lit up in his eyes for the first time, the crack of her slap stunning me into a temporary silence. Her chest huffed up and down, my crazed grin infuriating her further. Pinning me to the wall, I stole the opportunity to peek into her soul. A shadow blocked me from seeing into it, my face falling.
“I am Susan Smith, the leader of the neighborhood watch. I am watching you. I am a black belt by the way.” She warned icily, my unimpressed expression peeving her off further. “What is so funny?” Knowing that she would charge me if I touched her, I cleared my throat.
“Hello to you then.” I chirped cheerfully, turning on my people-friendly smile. “I think you should go now. I work the night shift and you and your creepy neighborhood watch can go fuck yourself. You can keep your hungry eyes off my husband.” Raising her hand to strike me, I caught it mid slap. Lowering it to her side, my grip on her wrist refused to let her go.
“Whatever. My husband is hotter than yours and the mayor of the town. I wouldn’t touch him with a ten foot pole.” She returned haughtily, my fingers letting her go. “We don’t want you Gothic freaks in this perfect little slice of Heaven.” Cocking my brow at her words, it was obvious she liked my husband. A slightly overweight bald man in a pair of khakis and a blue button up shirt stepped out to search for his wife, his chocolate brown eyes falling on us. The name Richard stood out to me, a defiant glow coming over my face.
“He’s hot if slightly overweight and bald with a side of khaki’s is in fashion.” I taunted cruelly, watching her face grow red as the fire hydrant outside. Stomping off, she slammed the door behind her. Dusting off my dress, he pulled me in for a warm embrace. The foot difference made me feel pleasantly small, the feeling of his muscles against my face causing a tender blush to rise to my cheeks. This was an emotion that I haven’t felt in a while, the desire to give in to my nightly urges raged. Pushing him away, I folded my arms across my chest. Hurt dimmed his eyes, his hands running through his hair.
“We don’t have to do any of that until you are ready. We do have to get ready to go to the grocery. I just took my sunblock pill.” He explained happily, turning to walk back into his room. Hugging him from behind, my outcome was to alleviate his hurt. Freezing in his tracks, he spun on his heels. Hiding his wet eyes underneath his hair, he barely responded as I wiped away his tears. Pushing me away, a glass shattered on the worn wooden floor the moment I hit it. Shivering on the floor, I had tried too hard. Rushing into his room, I chased after him.
Fighting the tears, his years in prison had done a number on him. Sliding into the room in the nick of time, he shoved an onyx lace baby doll dress into my arms with a pair of chunky heeled boots. Stomping into the bathroom, he had his outfit hanging off of his arm. Changing quickly, he needed something to cheer him up. Crashing into the kitchen, the bottom of my dress fluttered with each step. Noting the dark roast coffee beans, coffee was the only thing vampires could taste beside blood. Humming to myself, I began the process of making him a latte. Smoothing out my bell sleeves, it was time to add the milk. Pouring the foaming milk into his coffee, he wandered in with a grumpy look on his face. My breath hitched at his black and white striped button up shirt over a pair of black shorts, his worn converses bringing him down to what age we looked like. A silver cross dangled from his left ear, his eyes falling on the apology coffee.
“I am sorry. It has been a long time since someone touched me. It is a tale I will tell you another time. Did you make that for me?” He queried with a tired smile, taking the clear cup in his trembling hands. “Did they teach you how to make this in jail?” Nodding silently, he took a sip. His eyes widened at how tasty it was, the cup was empty in a couple of minutes.
“Are we watching the people at the grocery store?” I questioned shakily, afraid to speak. “Won’t we stand out?” Shaking his head, he ruffled the top of my head. Kissing the top of my head, he offered me his elbow. Hooking mine around his, he guided me out to the car. Helping me in, we were soon heading to the local grocery store. The worn sign flickered against a faded tan facade, the housewives streamed in and out. An irritated Susan rushed past his car.
“We do but I have lived here for months, so they are used to it. If you wore pink it would be more alarming.” He whispered gruffly into my ears, those damn urges coming up again. “Trust me. We are the town freaks anyway with being “albinos”. The air quotes added a sense of humor to the moment, his soft chuckle telling me that he was fine. Helping me out, the wives all waved at him. Jealousy flashed in my eyes, his fingers intertwined with mine. While he received a bunch of smiles, I received death glare after death glare. Bright lights blinded me, the constant conversations caused my ears to pin back. The serial killer could be among these people, the very thought exhilarating.
“This can be a bit much for your first day out of jail. I would have left you at home but our bond won’t allow it.” He assured me sweetly, placing my hands on the cart. Holding me from behind, he rested his chin on my head. Talking for a minute to the butcher, a special symbol on his neck informed me that he was an ally. Susan rolled up next to me, one of her lackeys boxing me in. Leaning on the end of my cart, she cast insult after insult at me. Ignoring her words, a familiar face stole my attention. His wrinkles matched the father’s from back in the medieval times, a pair of sage eyes meeting mine. He smelled human, a Celtic symbol glowed on his neck. Susan waved her hands in front of me, a strained huh escaping my lips. His black priest’s uniform sickened me, clammy sweat soaking my skin.
“Did you hear me!” Susan demanded childishly, holding out an invitation. “This is something we call a book club.” Seconds from crumbling it up, Stanton snatched it from her fingers. Pecking me on the lips, she rolled her eyes in a huff. Father Rowell had disappeared into the crowd, my husband carrying on the conversation for me.
“I have to go to the bathroom!” I blurted out awkwardly, leaping over the carts. Crashing through the people, I skidded to a stop in front of Rowell. Reaching his hand out to me, a bolt of lightning zapped him the moment our skin touched. Clearing his throat, he pointed to the automatic doors.
“Shall we go outside?” He suggested with a sly grin, my ankle failing me at the wrong time. Crashing onto my ass, he snapped his finger. A rotting church towered over us, so many questions rested on the tip of my tongue. One pew remained, the wood groaning as we sat down on it. Why did this feel warmer than before?
“Are you the serial killer, you old man?” I interrogated intensely, his head shaking. Sliding me a Celtic spell book with the proper page open, the spell he was using only required the sacrifice of a lamb. Leaning back, he touched the glowing symbol on his neck. I guess it all added up.
“It’s not me. This damn thing prevents me from killing anyone. I turned it around, I swear. “ He attempted to assure me, my look of disbelief not pleasing him. “I am sorry for using you. You seemed so lost and I was lost by the propaganda they were spreading. The church today is much more honest. I can be a pair of ears for you. Will that help you out?” The church bell rang, the wood quaking underneath my boots, his eyes allowing me to peer into his soul. The white aura was enough to convince me, my hand touching his.
“Besides the killing, you did everything right.” I admitted sheepishly, allowing him to smile subtly. “You found me after one of my bloody massacres and still hid me from the church.” Snow drifted aimlessly, his palm catching a couple of snowflakes. Watching them melt in his palms, he turned to me.
“Do you remember when I found you? Ruby painted the snow but you looked at me with the biggest plea for help. You were but a ten year old child with fangs in my eyes.” He commented in a fatherly tone, both us leaning back to watch the snow fall. Resting our hands on our flat stomachs, he let out a soft chuckle
“I am surprised you helped me after finding out I was the daughter of the first vampire.” I laughed gently, his hand reaching for mine. “I got married yesterday. I am sorry that I went to prison. I must have disappointed you with that tidbit.” Taking my hand, he examined the ring. Snapping his fingers, we were back at the grocery store. Dropping a card into my palm, he shoved his hands into his pocket.
“I came to seek you out. The killer is among your little area I call Hell. Good luck with that marriage.” He called out as he walked to a waiting car, Stanton coming out with a bag of groceries. Peeking into the bag, it was two bags of coffee. Providing the perfect distraction, the contacts amusing me.
“It really looks like we eat.” I joked tenderly, nudging his shoulder. “Can we go home now?” Winking in my direction, his arm curled around my waist. Flipping me the invitation, his next words pissed me off.
“You are going to that book club tomorrow. Play nice and try not to stand out too much. The trick to winning Susie over is through the love of reading. As I recall, you had a cell full of the latest books.” He ordered sharply, rubbing his chin. “I know you read them all. Can you handle that tomorrow?” Whispering something in his ears, a devilish grin spread cheek to cheek.
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2023.06.07 22:37 JP3758492 Help Needed -- Improving the Curb Appeal of a Mid-Century Modern Home
First, thank you very much for reading my post! I really appreciate any thoughts advice!
So, i bought this house a couple of years ago and I’ve spent most of my time remodeling the inside of it. I still have more updating to do inside, but I want to focus on the outside/curb appeal. I know it looks kind of sad right now. I’ve done a few minor things like repainting the front door and a few other odds and ends, but I know I need to redo the landscaping, paint, and repair some damage, replace portions of the driveway, etc. However, before I started, I thought I’d ask people way more knowledgeable than me! What would you change and are there any specifics you would offer---I would really appreciate options from small to big…in other words, what would be lower cost things I could do and then up to major investments with any specifics or especially if you’ve seen pictures of something you think would look nice. As much as possible, I’d like to play up a clean mid century modern look and feel to the outside.
As a note, I do need window treatments because the house faces the afternoon/evening sun and it gets blazing hot. I tried to tint the windows, but that created a near disaster as it heated up my windows significantly (I used 3M prestige tint).
One other thing, I know I’ll need to replace the roof at some point and was curious about what you’d suggest in terms of colotype/etc.
Thank you again! I really appreciate any help you might offer! https://preview.redd.it/t2jx18ofsn4b1.jpg?width=1588&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=4087ee88f1c8ecfd98a00dc2161be8b2dae0d174 https://preview.redd.it/91g0nmofsn4b1.jpg?width=1357&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=41ef01371ac817f0d7dcc92ea2c1343e3886d90d
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2023.06.07 22:36 Sir-Paperbag My Best Friend Is A Deathworlder - Part 46: Honest Day's Work
MBFD Part 46 - Honest Day’s Work
Kro’gnuar lets Fredrick take the lead as the off-world lemurian is definitely the most experienced of the two when it comes to these... ‘pohds
Grabbing his trusty wrench and crowbar from the driver's door, he patiently watches the young man as he studies the charred capsule.
Looking at the blackened exterior, Kro’gnuar thinks that it held up pretty damn well.
Not many star nations could claim that their spacecraft survived an unshielded atmospheric re-entry with so little damage in the first place.
The more technologically sophisticated nations would use typical magneto-shielding to keep the ridiculously hot plasma away from the hull, while the more ... pragmatically inclined nations would simply slap a few layers of ablative heat shielding on there and call it a day.
Not this one though.
The odd, somewhat
egg-like shape of the capsule surely raises a few questions for the reptilian, but Kro’gnuar's mind is preoccupied with something else right now.
Watching from a few paces behind, he tries to read Fredrick’s body-language as the young man stares at the capsule.
Is he happy to see something familiar again, or is he perhaps thinking about possible comrades of his that died during his arrival here on Kavir?
He could also just be lost in thought for a bit, trying to come up with a plan on how to dismantle that thing, or something along those lines.
The fact is, the old warrior simply could not tell. He has a hard time getting a read on him, as Fredrick does not only lack a tail, but his oddly shaped ears are also about as expressionless as possible for a mammal; He has not seen them make even the tiniest twitch in the last few days.
And so, he simply keeps watching the young man, giving him some room for now.
He is just glad to not be alone on a scrap job for once - a little bit of weirdness from his new friend is not going to change that.
<[Got to keep in mind to ask him about that later.]> he reminds himself.
Though, after a while of simply standing there, Kro’gnuar gets a bit concerned and trudges over to the young man, powdery snow crunching satisfyingly under his heavy steps.
“Fredrik?” he asks, his tone perfectly neutral. As always.
The young man flinches from the large hand suddenly poking his shoulder from behind, turning to face Kro’gnuar.
“Ah, sorry. Got lost in think.” he apologizes, brushing part of his mane out of his face and scratching the back of his head.
“No problem.” Kro’gnuar rumbles “You just went quiet for a bit, so I thought I better check if you are alright.” he explains “Are
“Yes, me alright!” Fredrick gives him an energetic thumbs-up and a big smile. “Just think I maybe remember new thing about how arrive here, a few second ago. Was... interesting.” he explains, walk-and-talking with Kro’gnuar to the escape pod.
As they arrive at the still closed hatch, Fredrick turns around and puts his hands behind his back as he gives Kro’gnuar a quick rundown of things.
“Okay, this is typical get-away-capsule. White part is sort of fabric that cover almost everything, black part is actually many, small tile put together for keep hot-hot away from inside.”
Kro’gnuar nods along; that sounds... about right?
Fredrick keeps explaining the general structure of the pod to him, pointing out potentially interesting points and components that he thinks might be more valuable than others, also telling him which areas to better leave alone if they both still want to exist later.
At least, that is what he thinks he tried to tell him; the algorithm is doing a great job at building a completely new database from the ground up, but sometimes those translations are a bit out there.
If he remembers right, the translator's words were “Big boom, not good, very dead. Part of you here, part of you over there. Not good time. Not good idea.”
Apparently, whoever built this thing thought it would be a great, absolutely genius idea to put a bunch of explosives inside
of an escape
Madness. Absolute madness.
Though, according to Fredrick, there is a valid reason for that.
Kro’gnuar highly doubts that.
Thankfully, Fredrick makes remembering all of it a lot easier by actually marking the spots he is talking about on the hull with a marker he took from one of the toolkits, using big circles and a couple of X’s to signify what to scrap and what to better leave alone as he talks about them.
It kind of reminds Kro’gnuar of the inter-cultural lectures he happily attended back on Kamorrha when he was still a strapping young warrior, scales shining brightly and eager to learn everything about those newly discovered and uplifted four-armed mammalians calling themselves ‘Kiroans’.
But that was almost a lifetime ago. Right now, he is making sure to keep everything Fredrick tells him in his mind and his experience is slowly starting to kick in as he starts to see the similarities to the kind of engineering he has gotten used to over time. Soon enough they are both engaged in pleasant technical talk, even exchanging a bit of knowledge here and there as they go over the pod one more time.
“Any more question?” Fredrick asks him after they are done.
“No, that should be everything for now.” Kro’gnuar replies, hefting his heavy-duty circular saw with a bit of anticipation.
“Good luck, then.
” Fredrick tells him in English, slipping inside the pod.
Staying true to their deal from earlier, Kro’gnuar simply lets Fredrick go ham on the inside as he keeps on cutting away parts of the hull to get to the juicy innards, occasionally taking a glance at the various things Fredrick pulls out of the capsule as he happily presents them to the old man.
After seeing the pod in person, he is glad that Fredrick volunteered to take care of the inside. The armored giant doubts that he even would have been able fit inside to begin with, let alone stand upright or do any kind of work in that tin can.
But he has to give it to the people who built this, they certainly knew what they were doing; as he keeps tearing away layer after layer, his respect for their ingenuity keeps growing.
Rarely has he seen such well thought-out layouts and frames, cramped together in such tight spaces.
It seems like everything is there for a good reason.
Kro’gnuar is also starting to have a sneaking suspicion that Fredrick might not have been completely lying to him when he said that his people have managed to go to space, if not without a bit of help.
The letters and glyphs on the parts he is ripping from the capsule’s cold, charred corpse are awfully familiar to those he has seen the young man use to write down words in the past, and he also seems very knowledgeable about its construction.
<[Maybe they were uplifted, after all.]>
<[Could he simply be just too prideful to admit it to him, then? That would certainly be a lot more likely.]>
“Look, I even find new covering! No more have to wear old and damage coverings!” Fredrick cheers as he re-appears from the capsule, showing off a neatly folded stack of various fabrics to Kro’gnuar.
"Good that you found something useful for yourself. Put them in the hatch to the left of the other one, that one should be a lot cleaner.”
He gets back to work and happily scraps away while Fredrick keeps flitting back and forth between the Scraploader and the pod, having his hands full with other things every time he exits the wreck, only stopping twice to take a short break.
The hours start to tick by as they happily scrap and loot to both their heart’s content, completely absorbed in their work respectively.
“I think, my work complete. I have take everything useful from inside, almost nothing left.” Fredrick proudly declares, walking up to him with a tired, but satisfied, smile.
Kro’gnuar grunts in agreement, gesturing at the completely torn apart escape pod with his saw.
“Same for me, except for some small parts that I am not sure of if they would even be worth scrapping.”
“Oh, which part?” Fredrick curiously asks.
“Any kind of electronics or computing components, if this really is as uncommon technology as I think it is, nobody will be able to program them. Not in these parts, at least.”
“Make sense.” Fredrick muses “We go back Kavir-L1, then?” he inquires, eager to head back and get some rest after a long day of good old-fashioned manual labor out in the cold.
Kro'gnuar looks to the horizon, mood souring a little as he spotsthe literal wall
of dark gray clouds in the direction they would be heading.
“Maybe not.” he frowns “Let me check the radar for a moment.”
They both walk over to the Scraploader and Kro’gnuar hands Fredrick his tools.
“Here, take those and put them back. I will go check on the radar.”
Fredrick takes the comically large tools from him and doesn’t even break a sweat as he quickly puts them into their respective spots, closing the hatches and joining Kro’gnuar in the cockpit after he is done.
“So, radar say good thing?” he asks, scooting over to take a look at the slightly scratched-up screen.
Kro’gnuar grumbles, definitely not happy.
“No, the radar did not warn us about that storm front forming up and it has gotten too big by now, I would not want to risk going through there if we do not have to.”
“Aw man.” Fredrick slumps into his seat.
“I agree. This is very irritating.” Kro’gnuar agrees, looking out of the window and back at the screen “I do not know why it did not warn us, a storm this big should have triggered a warning hours
Leaning back into the driver’s seat, Kro’gnuar closes his eyes in an attempt to keep the fire inside of him in check.This would be an incredibly stupid reason to use up one of his last blood-rages.
Taking a deep breath and exhaling through flaring nostrils, he opens his eyes again and turns to Fredrick.
“We will have to spend the night out here.”
“Mhm.” he agrees emotionlessly, simply accepting the fact.
“We will also have to make some preparations, the storm looks to be at least a Five.” he points at the radar screen.
“A Five?” Fredrick asks, trying to guess what that might mean.
“From out of ten. It is a rating we have developed.” he explains, confirming Fredrick’s hunch “Here on Kavir, even a Two can kill you if you do not know what you are doing - it gets extremely cold during a storm out here.”
“Wow.” Fredrick blurts out, both impressed and equally intimidated.
He wonders what rating the storm he endured in his pod might have been.
“A Four can knock vehicles over,” Kro’gnuar continues “a Six is able to damage structures, an Eight will definitely do major damage to anything and a Ten is almsot certain death for everything and everyone topside. Luckily, I have never even heard of a Ten even being seen.”
Fredrick swallows heavily, knowing what tornadoes are able to do back on Earth. He does not want to find out what they are capable of here.
“Okay, so what is have to do?” he asks, trying to be of use.
Kro’gnuar briefly thinks about it, recalling the checklist he made with Dushavee.
“We will have to strap down everything tight on the flatbed and put some debris-covers on the windows. We also have to put some covers on the engine intakes and anchor the vehicle to the ground.”
“I get, what is I supposed do?”
“You can take care of the intakes and the debris-covers, you can find them in the big compartment to the rear. I will go over the flatbed and then anchor us to the ground.” he instructs “And if one gets done before the other-”
“He will help other.” Fredrick finishes the sentence for him, taking things very serious.
“Exactly.” Kro’gnuar nods, his opinion of the odd lemurian steadily increasing.
They both get to work and Fredrick hops out of the cockpit, already feeling the breeze picking up a bit, which might also just be a classic case of placebo.
But it certainly does wonders in keeping him on his toes.
Not wasting any time, he power-walks to the rear and looks for the cargo hatch with the engine covers in them, quickly finding it. He turns the handle and pulls the access door open, taking out the covers and swiftly placing them in their spots, making sure that they are really stuffed in there.
After double- and triple-checking the intakes, he briskly walks back to the rear and takes out the pieces of window-shaped wire mesh, securing them in place with the turn of a few cleverly placed handles.
Kro’gnuar actually helps him with the biggest one, the one for the windshield.
“That should be everything.” Kro’gnuar sighs relieved “Did we forget any cargo boxes?”
Both briefly scan the vicinity of the Scraploader, thankfully finding nothing amiss.
“Good, let usss get inside. There is no use in staying outside any longer.”
“Yeah, I’d bet on that.” Fredrick agrees, thinking aloud in English, definitely not imagining the wind having picked up by now.
He climbs into the Scraploader, firmly closing the door shut with a solid thud.
“And now we wait.” Kro’gnuar sighs, rummaging through a glove box of sorts “Feel free to eat and rest, there is little else we can do right now.” he explains, handing Fredrick a cheap ration “Here, this should be edible for you.”
“Thanks.” Fredrick takes it hesitantly, taking a look at the unmarked silvery plastic wrapper.
Kro’gnuar tears open his own, identical ration, and takes a begrudging bite out of the unshapely brick of nutrients.
“Edible.” he grumbles, chewing on the tasteless lump “Not much more than that.”
Staring at the literal brick of food in his hands, Fredrick thinks back to his time in the military.He ate a lot of similar stuff during those nine months of mandatory service, and boy-oh-boy did his fresh-out-of-uni-self not like those.
With his mind somewhere else, he takes his first apprehensive bite out of it, not really bothered by something like that anymore.
he chuckles, swallowing the paste-y chunk.
“Do you want some water?” Kro’gnuar hands him a metal bottle “It helps wash it down.”
“Sure, thank.” Fredrick accepts it, taking a big sip.
The two men silently sit in the cockpit, both crunching on their dry-ass ration bars and thinking about the many, many things they would rather be doing than waiting out a storm in a cramped cockpit, stuck out in bumfuck nowhere, chewing on a kilo-brick of plaster.
“How long we have wait?” Fredrick breaks the silence, staring at the setting suns on the horizon with a faraway expression.
Kro’gnuar grumbles in thought, looking at the radar as he keeps chewing.
“I would guess somewhere between six and ten hours. That center looks hard to predict.” he points at the screen.
Fredrick doesn’t notice him doing so, though. He is still staring at the sunsets.
“Ten hours...?” Fredrick whines, at which Kro’gnuar simply nods.
“We are going to be here for a while, yes. Does your people have a way of passing time?” the reptilian inquires.
Fredrick lets out a dry laugh, looking back at the old warrior.
“We have many way of pass time - play games, tell story, and so further. I not tired enough for need sleep anway, so we can try few, if want.”
“Good.” Kro’gnuar lets out a deep, satisfied rumble “I have been meaning to ask you a few things.”
Being consistently late is still being consistent, right? :P
Jokes aside, I purposefully posted this one a day late.Last night, right before posting, I gave it my usual once-over and had a sudden flash of inspiration as I read through it, leading to me writing a bit more and delaying it for a day. :9
Reading your comments on the last chapter was a blast, by the way!
Fun science fact #35: The common swift is a bird that can stay aloft for up to ten months without ever landing once - they are even capable of reproducing mid-flight. Their young also enter a state similar to hibernation when their parents leave for up to three days to hunt for food.
Nature, you alright?
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2023.06.07 22:32 DuninnGames Open neutral when switch-outlet off?
So I just had a friend repair an outlet that never powered on and red as "hot and neutral" reversed before the job. The outlet is connected to a switch, but I also beleive is acts as a junction between the walls for the hallway light switches on the other side. Additionally, it has no true white wire, just 3 black ones.
Anyhow he replaced the outlet and it works now when the switch is on. With it on, a tester reads as "correct wiring." However, in the off position, it states "open neutral." So, is there something wrong here, or because it branches off to the light switches on other side of wall, this is just how it is?
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2023.06.07 22:29 ughrilia Hangang Pool with Tattoos
I have a couple palm+ sized tattoos that are a little hard to cover up (and bandages don’t particularly match my skin tone) but it’s getting very hot in Seoul.
Are there any public pools that don’t have tattoo requirements? Or pools at all to beat the heat? I’m worried about patches or long one pieces in that weather.
I wanted to go to Cimer spa but they have a tattoo policy as well, so I’ll take any Seoul jjimjilbang recs as well!
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2023.06.07 22:20 barefootslavegirl01 22 [F4F] submissive female seeking Dominant female for role play
Hi! I’m a 22 year old submissive female, seeking Dominant female for role play.
I play as myself, in first person. I’m 5’ 2” 85 pounds (I’m really petite) B-cup, size 5 feet, long dark blonde hair and brown eyes.
Don’t just send a reply to the starter, say hi and let’s discuss plots and kinks, then we can jump in. Here are some starter plots/scenarios that I’m interested in playing…
The pickup: I’m walking back from the beach on a hot summer evening. The hot wind blowing my hair as I walk along the desolate back road away from the beach. Walking in nothing more that a little white bikini, the soles of my barefeet stained black from walking barefoot on the asphalt, “Damn it’s really hot” I continue to walk down the long, deserted road…
This plot could go a lot of ways, I’m pretty willing, submissive and naive, so I don’t really like anything forced. Maybe you target me because of the way I look, maybe you like feet abs target me because I’m barefoot. Definitely lots of possibilities. Maybe you’re gonna keep me all to yourself, locking me up in your basement or secret dungeon. We can work out a scenario
The farm: I’m coming to your farm in the Deep South, it’s a hot, humid, moonless night. I already know this isn’t a ‘normal’ farm and I’m not ordinary farm help. I already know what’s in store for me. Under the cover of darkness, I make my way from the town deep into the countryside. Bringing nothing with me as instructed, I make my way to your farm in nothing but the little black bikini you sent me prior to this arrangement. I spot the farmhouse and make my way towards the porch light, “that’s the farm” my barefeet kicking up dust as I walk up the dust road…
Another fun plot I like. I love dirty places so a farm is awesome. Maybe I had seen your ad online about being kept and used for breast milking, maybe you’re just looking for a girl to keep her ankles and wrists in those old rusty slave shackles you don’t have keys for, maybe you’re just sadistic and you’re going to use and torture me. Let’s work out the details!
Meeting online: Meeting a partner online is the norm nowadays, I found your posting about looking for a girl, which was very appealing to me and too good to pass up. After some email exchange, you offer to take me…permanently. I excitedly accept and being the trip to your destination. Walking to the address, wearing a white tank top, no bra, a short black skirt, white panties and barefoot, I walk towards the door “this is it, no turning back now” I say to myself as I ring the doorbell…
This is really open ended. Did you offer to keep me in your dungeon? Maybe you have an asylum where I’m going to be kept, so many different ideas here.
The road/camping trip: We’ve been planning this for a long time, a summer trip. I’m excited and can’t wait for you to get home. I’m waiting around in my white bikini, already packed for the trip with my shall bag. Considering how long the trip is, I packed very little. “I can wait until she gets home” I say eagerly awaiting you…
This is more a non bdsm related plot but we can definitely include it! Maybe we card going camping deep in the woods, or by a lake, maybe tent camping in the rolling hills and we have to hike in. Let’s figure out an awesome trip!
The BDSM resort: Being the kinky girl I am, I naturally stumbled onto a kinky resort. I eagerly book a month long excursion into my ultimate desires. I arrive and check in. Off the lobby is the holding room. A grey, bare room with a locker and bench, I close the door and open my locker. Inside the locker is a pair of handcuffs and ankle cuffs, the chain in just long enough for me to walk. I place all my belongings and clothing in the locker and close it “I should be out in a month” I say to myself, knowing there is no turning back. I sit on the floor and lock the cuffs around my ankles, followed by cuffing my hands behind my back, following instructions, I wait on the timer for my host to enter, little did I know, I’d be here much longer than a month…
So much fun. What a vacation! But what’s in store for me? Did I sign up for multiple things, where I would be kept and how? Maybe I signed up to be kept in one place and one kind of restraint/position the whole time? How did I end up there longer? Maybe as punishment for something, violating the rules of a session, a computer glitch? Let’s come up with something together!
My kinks are, but not limited to: Bondage, Cuffs, Shackles, Mummification, Stocks/pillory, Straightjackets, Chastity, Bastinado, Tickling, Plugs, Gags, Oral, Anal, Vibrators, Dildos, Hoods, Blindfolds, Pee/scat, Barefeet (I love going barefoot and getting my feet dirty, I’m a regular barefooter) Foot worship (barefeet) sensory depravation, hoods, blindfolds, branding, tattoo, name calling, dirty talk, impact play, dirty/musk, verbal humiliation, Long term/permanent chastity, Long term/permanent bondage, Long term/permanent captivity/imprisonment, Predicament bondage, Kidnapping, Isolation, Being kept as a captive/prisoner, Stuck fetish (eg, having my feet stuck in mud, clay, tar, cement, quicksand, glue, etc)
Hard limits: Footwear (I stay barefoot), animals, drugs, broken bones, males,
Places I like to be kept: Dungeon, Basement, Garage, Farm, Old prison, Old asylum
I’m sure I left things out, so if you don’t see a particular kink or you have questions, please ask.
Only looking to roleplay with females, trans or futa as long as it’s not focused on a certain body part and it doesn’t go right to that.
All characters are 18+
I use Reddit chat
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2023.06.07 22:15 RayBennyTalkSports Hot Topics!! Best trade partner for Hellebuyck? Babcock hiring, and who belongs on the Madden 24’ cover???
2023.06.07 22:11 HelloLurkerHere One night in June of 1976 over a million and half people in Canary Islands (Spain) witnessed 'a gigantic explosion of light' in the sky. It became part of the local UFO narrative almost immediately. Declassified documents in 1994 hinted, however, at an earthly origin, a 2001 article confirmed it.
Background Canary Islands
is a Spanish archipelago of volcanic nature located in the eastern Atlantic ocean, just west of southern Morocco. The chain of islands extends for approximately 490 kilometers (300 miles).
Canary Islands is both geologically and climatologically almost identical to Hawaii, and as such, international tourism has been the main pillar of its economy since the 1960s. The Event
At around 10:15 PM of June 22nd, 1976, emergency services in all the main seven islands received a flood of calls, with people reporting having seen a strange and frightening phenomenon taking place in the night sky. Most of these callers described what they were seeing as 'a gigantic explosion of light'
or 'a massive ball of fire'
, and all of them said the phenomenon seemed to be taking place somewhere far in the west. These accounts were quickly confirmed true by local authorities, since the 'explosion of light' in question shone for several minutes before dissipating.
Many witnesses also added having seen one or two much smaller red lights moving strangely before the 'explosion' took place -rising from the horizon or from behind the mountains at very high speed, although others added that the lights flew following 'a zig-zag trajectory'.
No sound was heard or reported regarding the phenomenon, and no consequences seemed to follow except for a frightened population.
A foreign tourist vacationing in the island of Gran Canaria took the only known legit picture available of the phenomenon
, from the balcony of his hotel room in Maspalomas. Here
you can see a bigger version of the picture with enhanced contrast. Here's a drawing extracted from an official report made by the Spanish Air Force.
The drawing depicts a description of the event made with the information gathered from witnesses reports in the western coast of Gran Canaria. The mountains in the drawing are a depiction of the silhouette of Tenerife, the island immediately west of Gran Canaria. In order to understand the extreme magnitude of the 'explosion of light', please take into account that Tenerife is 70 kilometers (44 miles) away and its tallest peak -Mount Teide, which is in fact Spain's tallest mountain- is 3,718 meters tall (12,198 feet). Here's a real picture of the landscape
depicted in the drawing, for a better perspective.
Hong Kong's bulk carrier vessel Osaka Bay
was sailing from Capetown (South Africa) to Southampton (United Kingdom). The event took place when she was some 400 kilometers (250 miles) south of the island of La Gomera
, and her crew did also witness the phenomenon. Here's a drawing made out of their witness reports.
The crew of the Spanish Navy's corvette Atrevida (F-61)
observed the phenomenon as she was sailing just south of the island of Fuerteventura
. Her captain's account of the event; "At 22:27 local time of June 22nd it was seen, for the first time, a bright light of an intense bluish yellow color, taking off and rising in altitude towards our position... Once it reached certain height (15º-18º) it stood still, turning its light projection and showing its light source. It remained like that for approximately two minutes, before bursting into a large circle of bright bluish yellow light that remained in that position for forty minutes even after the original preceding phenomenon had faded away. Two minutes later the light source split, its lower half being smaller and standing in the middle of the circle of light, turning into a bluish cloud as the split half that had originated this bluish mass faded away. The upper half gained altitude while describing a fast but irregular spiraling trajectory, vanishing afterwards. None of these movements had any effect whatsoever on the initial circle of light, whose features remained the same, partially illuminating land and sea, which leads to believe that it wasn't an object far in the distance, but rather close".
Here's the translation of local newspaper excerpts detailing the event; "It was spotted between 10:15 and 10:30 PM and, according to one of our journalists who has his residence at Valle de Aridane (La Palma island), at that time he observed something that looked like a rocket emerging from the sea and flying towards El Time peak shining with an intense red light. The same phenomenon was spotted in Tazacorte (in La Palma island too). The ferry Villa de Agaete, sailing from Las Palmas, could observe a great shining at exactly 10:20 PM, shortly before docking in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The shining, which lasted about five minutes, appeared like a rocket that had come out of the sea". - El Día (June 23rd, 1976) "Last night, at around half past ten, a strange object was spotted from several points of our region, especially in the areas of Gáldar and Telde (Gran Canaria), where most phone calls we received in that regard were from. Our callers explained to us that it was a round object that grew massively in size as it rose, clearly defined before it began to fade. The aforementioned phenomenon began as a couple of red objects that moved in zig-zag, forming into some sort of spiral whose lower half ended in three clearly differentiated but overlaying stripes with some degree of separation between them. They were of a very bright red color and faded gradually. On top of these stripes there was what looked like two powerful blue focal lights, which began to diminish in intensity too before turning into a thin haze afterwards". - La Provincia (June 23rd, 1976)
Thanks to these accounts and description of the events, calculations could be made in order to ascertain the phenomenon's origins. At the moment of its beginning (which many witnesses described as a rocket taking off) the sun was already 13.7º under the horizon and its azimuth angle was 307º (northwest). Setting a hypothetical POV in the geographical center of the archipelago (28.50º N, 15.75º W, just north of Gran Canaria, it was calculated that during it's first phase (the 'rocket lights') the phenomenon was located some 762 kilometers (473 miles) straight west, at an approximate altitude of 46 kilometers (28 miles). By the end of its final phase (the 'explosion of light') it had traveled to a point located at around 1,062 kilometers (662 miles) west and had risen to a final altitude of 90 kilometers (56 miles).
These calculations became a very important piece of data, we'll get back to them later.
The UFO/Aliens narrative (AKA the press cherry-picks the statement of one particularly imaginative witness in order to sell a story of very questionable credibility)
Being the 1970s, almost immediately certain sectors of the press began talking about UFO -and subsequently about aliens, even though there was no further evidence to suggest such thing. The local authorities (the Army especially) focused their efforts into reassuring the population that there was nothing to fear, while at the same time gathering all the information they could gather in order to investigate the phenomenon.
In June of 1994, exactly eighteen years after that night, the Spanish Army declassified the 107-pages long investigation report of what by then it had been baptized as the "OVNI de Canarias 22/06/1976" ("Canary Islands' 06/22/1976 UFO"). Back then very few people in Spain had internet access, and as such the release of these documents went unnoticed for most people. However, many journalists rushed to get a copy of the report, and many of these worked for UFO/paranormal magazines of dubious scientific accuracy. And, aware of the kind of reaction they wanted to generate from the public they target, they focused in just one part of the report; Dr. Padrón's story.
Francisco Julio Padrón León (who passed away in 2013) was a general practitioner that lived and had his office in the rural municipality of Gáldar, which is located precisely in the northwestern part of the island of Gran Canaria (and precisely, where a lot of people reported witnessing the phenomenon. Unlike most witnessed, however, Padrón told Spanish authorities a much more extravagant version of the events.
That night he had been called in person to check on a local patient at her home, and the doctor had called a taxi in order to reach the patient's residence; Padrón lived in the town of Guía
, and the patient lived at a small parish some 10 kilometers away (6 miles) named Las Rosas
. Padrón, his companion and the taxi driver claimed having observed the phenomenon when the car was covering the last two kilometers of the route (at that point, a very narrow and barely paved rural road). Or more specifically, Padrón and the taxi driver claimed having bumped into it; because, according to the statement, at that moment the car's headlights illuminated a sphere that was floating right in front of them. The Padrón and the taxi driver described it as measuring some 30 meters (98 feet), slightly bright and slightly translucent. They (the doctor, especially) described seeing two humanoid entities inside the sphere, surrounded by what looked to be inner aluminum structural parts of the sphere. These figures were, per their statements, between 2.5 and 3 meters tall (8'2" to 9'10"), one taller than the other, and they were dressed in red skin-tight suits. Padrón claimed that these beings stood facing each other, apparently interacting among them but didn't seem to notice his or the taxi driver's presence. It then began to grow in size until (his words) "becoming as big as a 20-story building"
and began ascending. At this point of his statement he said he went to check on her patient, after which he told all people present at the patients' home, inviting everyone to go outside and check by themselves what he claimed he had seen. By the time everyone joined Dr. Padrón to watch, the sphere was already very big, standing high in the sky and then it flew away at extreme speed ("faster than any aircraft I've seen in my life"
, Padrón said in the report) leaving a trail of blue smoke behind before vanishing in the distance, towards Tenerife island.
In his individual report, the taxi driver made just a very skimp corroboration of Padrón's statement, omitting most details of his version of the phenomenon. It was just a few sentences long. The taxi driver was a man in his sixties (and wore glasses) of very little formal education -in fact, his preliminary handwritten statement had to be redacted to correct numerous grammar and spelling mistakes.
As for the companion (a relative of the patient, who was traveling in the backseat), this man only describes seeing "intense bright light everywhere"
and noticing "both the doctor and the taxi driver's agitation"
. He claimed the amount of light, plus the fact that by sitting in the backseat the taxi driver and the doctor's bodies blocked his view, hadn't allowed him to see what Padrón claimed having witnessed.
The declassified document contained many more witness reports gathered from the same area, but none of them matched Dr. Padrón's story about a sphere with two humanoids figures in it; every other description -most of them provided by locals- mentions the same enormous disc of light in the west night sky. A car mechanic and his wife described it as "a car's headlight thrice as large as the full moon"
. A school teacher mentioned having seen it from his house's window through a pair of binoculars when it began to fade, noticing its "fog-like appearance, and the night stars could be seen through"
, and mentioning what looked like a couple of bluish beams inside. A farmer explained in his statement that it looked like "a fire spot"
, he too mentioned seeing "two blue lines"
in it. Not even the sick woman Padrón had come to provide medical attention to nor her relatives confirmed the Dr.'s description of the phenomenon, matching instead everyone else's.
That didn't stop the journalists working for UFO/paranormal-themed magazines or even some journalists working for reputable newspapers from disregarding all these credible witnesses and instead focusing on the most outlandish one; Dr. Padrón. In summer of 1994, several of these Spanish magazines like Enigmas, Año Cero
or Más Allá
rushed to publish a drawing depicting Padrón's description of the 'humanoid figures dressed in red' in their articles, not only making absolutely no mention of any of the other witnesses but also claimed that the propulsion system of the alleged 'alien spacecraft' had scorched a nearby onion field -the area is full of that type of crops- and that posterior chemical analysis of the scorched terrain had yielded wildly unusual results. We'll come back to this point later. Sketch depicting Padrón's (unique, literally) description of the event. Yes, someone from the Army - more specifically from the Air Force- was tasked with sitting down next to this guy and spending a good deal of time drawing whatever ludicrous thing Padrón felt like coming up with.
Something worth mentioning; these publications made heavy emphasis on Padrón's education -he was a GP, after all. As in, as extraordinary as his claims were, these were being made by a man of a high level of education, intelligent and therefore (in the eyes of many) automatically worth of credibility. In fact, the patient's relative traveling in the taxi's backseat -a farmhand that had never received formal schooling and was illiterate- said in his witness report that one of the reasons why he did not question Padrón's statement was precisely the abysmal difference in education between him and the doctor, and kind of assumed that if an educated man like Padrón said that such thing had indeed happened, then it must have been true.
A local newspaper interviewed Dr. Padrón shortly after the documents were declassified. And by then, eighteen years after that night, Padrón added some more details to his already bizarre account, providing these journalists with something that wouldn't have been out of place in an episode of The X-Files (which back in 1994 had begun to be broadcasted in Spain, with significant success). Back in 1976 Padrón had already added in his statement that he did not feel fear but 'a strange sense of wellbeing and excitement' in his encounter with the alleged spacecraft; now he was also saying that these beings -which never communicated with him in any way, per his account- had not only the ability to erase anyone's memories off their brains, but they also can "make you see whatever they want you to do for months or years, replacing an 'energy' [his word] in your brain"
. If these statements weren't absurd enough, Dr. Padrón warned the journalists about not taking him seriously, because in the last three years he "had observed that anyone who had been skeptical of my statements and hurt my credibility in public has passed away within six or seven months, all of them to cancer, eight people in total so far".
Although the documents that included the description of his ludicrous story hadn't been declassified until 1994, ever since 1976 many journalists had managed to get in touch with Padrón and hear his story -the doctor himself wasn't exactly quiet about it either -and some of these are allegedly the cancer victims Padrón would've been referring to. There's no way to check the veracity of that, since the only source of that statement was Padrón himself.
Between 1976 and 1994 the doctor's story circulated in a somewhat obscure manner, being referred to in some UFO articles here and there -and adding their own artistic depictions of his outlandish story
. Padrón was already telling any 'paranormal' journalist willing to listen about the scorched onion field. Turned out, back in June of 1976 a farmer in the municipality of Guía did indeed notice an area in one of his onion crops that seemed to have been burned, but that man had specified that that hadn't happened until the morning of June 24th, a good day and half after Padrón's alleged 'alien encounter'. What is more, although the cause of these burns couldn't be ascertained, they were indistinguishable from fire damage. To this day it's thought that these burnt onion plants were nothing but the result of vandalism or a prank. Some UFO skepticism authors have raised the possibility of the doctor himself being responsible. Picture of one of the many onion fields in Guía and Gáldar. To this day, Dr. Padrón's 'scorched onion field' remains a running joke among the older residents in these municipalities.
At the time Padrón even managed, out of sheer insistence, to get that soil tested. Surprisingly to no one, all chemical, physical and radiological analyses performed yielded no unusual results. The sampling and testing was conducted by Hungarian-Spanish physician Alejandro Carlos de Gyorko-Gyorkos, who at the time was curious about paranormal phenomena and had interviewed Padrón many times in 1976. According to a journalist for Naukas (A Spanish online science and technology magazine that specializes in skepticism and debunking of pseudoscience), in 1992 Gyorko-Gyorkos described Padrón as a man that "interprets everything he comes up with as real"
. By 1994 Padrón was also claiming that the Spanish Air Force had threatened him with legal action to silence him, and that Gyorko-Gyorkos was a man whose "ethics he'd rather not talk about"
. Padrón had never mentioned these alleged legal threats at any point before June of that year, precisely once the documents were declassified, a coincidence that hadn't gone unnoticed. Some skepticism authors have elucubrated about the possible inspiration for Padrón's 'tall men in dressed in red spacesuits'. Not exactly very original.
Explanation (1994 and 2001)
The 1976 document concludes that the origen of the 22/06/976 UFO -although in reality the Spanish Air force used then the acronym FANI (Fenómeno Aéreo No Identificado', 'Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon') when referring to it- was unknown. In 1994 these paranormal journalists presented such conclusion as an automatic evidence of aliens, or at least UFOs in the sense popular culture depicts then. In reality, as anyone can notice upon checking the report, 'unknown' means precisely that; unknown. At no point in the report the authors bring up rebuttals for any possible logical or rational explanation, but rather they conclude that back in 1976 there was just not enough evidence to provide an accurate explanation of its origin.
The same report contains the transcription of precisely Dr. Gyorko-Gyorkos's opinion about Dr. Padrón's reasoning (safe to assume, by then had already made up his mind about the man) in a military court. In the transcription, and in what looks like a generous maneuver to dismiss Padrón's claims without going as far to humiliate him, Gyorko-Gyorkos explains a military judge that that night Dr. Padrón, possibly overworked and sleep-deprived, misremembered what had seen and his fatigued psyche had create a mixed recollection with what he had seen and what had crossed his mind. As for the taxi driver, this man was probably highly impressionable -apparently the Dr. had behaved in a very excited manner during the phenomenon- and thus in a way Padrón had 'passed' his delusional belief onto him. The military court ruled that "Padrón's credibility could not, for the time being, be corroborated"
Of course, at this point of this writeup a question still lingers; what was whatever thing close to a million and half people saw in the night sky back on June 22nd, 1976? First, let's go over the world's state of affairs at the time, because this is one of these 'mysteries' in which history had been hinting at the answer almost from the beginning;
In 1976 the world was still amidst of a low-key conflict between two superpowers with lots of political tensions; the United States (plus NATO) versus the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (plus other members of the Warsaw Pact). AKA, Cold War. As part of the Western Bloc, at the time Spain had been a long-time ally of NATO. However, the country wouldn't become a NATO member itself until 1982 -which was so controversial within Spain that a referendum would be held in 1986 questioning Spanish people's desire to remain in the military alliance.
As such, while Spain was a Western ally, back in 1976 it was not really 'in the game' yet, especially when taking into account that, unlike in other countries, NATO membership wasn't that welcome. Please notice the year the Spanish army declassified the documents; 1994. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 (and with it , the fall of the Iron Curtain) helped lower the stakes this international poker game, and as such the world would learn about all sorts of crazy things that had been going on at both sides of the conflict in absolute secrecy.
Earlier in this writeup there is a data-based description of the phenomenon's behavior, but most importantly, it's ballistic trajectory. Adding to that, countless witnesses had described seeing either one or a couple of lights 'taking off like a rocket'. Let's remember; it had been ascertained that it originated at about 700 kilometers west and had moved further west in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean while reaching an altitude of 90 kilometers -which is about the lower thermosphere. This had already raised the first suspicions among the members of the Spanish intelligence services, suspicions that gained weight in 1994 -and that likely led to the declassification of the report- when much clearer and straightforward communication between the United States' government and Spain's allowed for a more open investigation of the sort of testing the Americans were engaging in. In 2001 an article of research journalism, coauthored by science journalists Ricardo Campo and Vicente-Juan Ballester Olmos finally identified what was behind the 1976 aerial phenomenon.
Campo and Ballester had already noticed its ballistic trajectory calculated in 1976. In 1999, suspecting already who (country) was the 'culprit', they accessed Jonathan McDowell's database of ballistic missile launches.
Previous to that Campo and Ballester had failed to find any useful information in NASA's archives, as none of the launches in their registry matched the evidence, and prior to that -right after the 1994 declassification, in fact- they had traveled to Moscow looking for the possible explanation there. Russian military authorities had adamantly denied their involvement in the phenomena, which directed the investigators towards other leads (while at the same time not disregarding the possibility of Russia being behind it after all.
Finally, Campo and Ballester bumped into these two rows
of the database. First column indicates the launch identification number. Second and third, the date (in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. Fourth is GMT time (which, adjusting for a compilation error, coincides with Canary Islands' GMT+1 local time when the phenomenon took place). The fifth column tells the type of missile, the sixth on identifies the launch platform and finally the seventh one indicates who was responsible for the launch. Simply put, the information in these rows means; on June 22nd, 1976, two Poseidon C3 thermonuclear missiles were launched from US Navy's submarine USS Von Steuben
), at 20:16 and 20:17 GTM.
The database does not include location (that information remains classified) but during their research Campo and Ballester learned from McDowell
himself that the US Navy's eastern test range covers from Cape Canaveral (Florida, US) all the way Ascension Island
. The location of the 1976's phenomenon falls well within such range.
From here, Campos and Ballester offered an explanation of its optics. The Poseidon C3 missile
carries several 40-kiloton nuclear warheads (normally ten) -for comparison, Little Boy was a single 15-kiloton bomb. Once the two 400-kiloton missiles detonated in the thermosphere, the quick expansion of extremely hot atmospheric gases reflected the sunlight back to Earth, even though by then in Canary Islands the sun was already well below the horizon and the sky was pitch black; at 90 kilometers of altitude, these expanding gases were still in direct path of the sunlight. This reflection is what made the phenomenon appear so bright and big in spite of the 700+ kilometers of distance between witnesses and its source. Campo and Ballester's article
provided also an explanation for other similar events -albeit not that espectacular as the one pertaining this writeup- that had taken place in the islands between 1973 and 1979. All except one were found to be the result of other American thermonuclear tests, with the exception of this one
seen south of the archipelago in 1979 -and finally acknowledged by Russia in 2017, although they did not explain what exactly it was. Conclusion TL;DR: It was a couple of thermonuclear missiles launched in secrecy by the US Navy in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The 'aliens' witness was, to put it mildy, an individual with an extreme tendency to make ludicrous statements and a marked need to be the centre of attention.
Campo and Ballester's work is available online for free, and anyone who speak Spanish can check the story of their investigation for themselves.
This is not to say that the whole 'aliens' narrative died down. To this day, the story of the 1976 phenomenon continues to be shared sometimes in media as 'proof' of UFO/aliens, even though it's literally neither -coincidentally, failing to mention the vast amount of evidence pointing at a thermonuclear test. In June of 2016 several newspapers published articles remembering the phenomenon in its 40th anniversary, and pretty much all of them reminded the reader right from the headline that the 'mystery' had long been solved. Links and Sources "Two red giants riding a missile"
- Excellent article in the aforementioned online magazine Naukas written by Ricardo Campo himself on the phenomenon (Spanish) The Spanish Army's declassified document on the event.
It can be downloaded for free as a 107-pages long PDF 2016 Article (Spanish)
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