Five letter words ending with igor
2011.09.02 03:56 Forthewolfx Reddit Improv!
2012.03.25 10:04 tidivy How many times can we get Van Gogh rolling in his grave?
2023.05.30 20:12 dwredbaker Our name must be guarded before all as the most important treasure we have~D. W. "Red" Baker
Ecclesiastes 10:1-3~"Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour. A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left. Yea also, when he that is a fool walketh by the way, his wisdom faileth him, and he saith to every one that he is a fool.
"Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour
I hate flies, but dead ones in certain places is even worse.
"So doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour
- Apothecary is one that prepares and sells drugs for medicinal purposes, the business now we call druggist, or pharmaceutical chemist.
- Here is a poetic, proverbial, and very powerful metaphor to emphasize protecting one's reputation, especially so one who is known for wisdom and being in a place of honour.
- We only wich we had been taught this great lesson while still in our youth. But, yet knowing this sll importsnt truth, it is not easy to let this slip and fall into some type of sin whereby we give place for other to speak evil of our name and the God that we serve.
"~All it takes is a little folly, just as flies are so small yet cause so much stink if in the apothecary's ointment!
Though God forgives all sins, yet the damage is done, and cannot be reversed! It generally has lasting effect on so many people. Proverbs 22:1~"A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving kindness than silver or gold."
Your reputation is an asset far more important than anything you can buy. The respect of others and their affection for you is an asset you should pursue with great zeal. Your character is a precious treasure that you should enhance each day by wise choices.
What do people think, when they hear your name? Do they think graciousness, godliness, diligence, and faithfulness? Is your name sweet to their ears and thoughts? How do they speak of you to others? Are you often praised in your absence? Do others crave your company? Do they want to honor you with affection, gifts, and service?
Or is your name a bitter thought? Do they think harshness, selfishness, stubbornness, pride, moodiness, or indiscretion? Do they try to avoid you? Do they avoid you? When others talk about you, do they have to make excuses for your conduct? Do they pass over you for invitations or assignments, because you are more irritating than pleasing?
You cannot ignore these questions and be wise. Your reputation and relationships are a great measure of your life. Stop and examine your reputation with others. What others think of you is a far more accurate picture of your life than what you think about yourself, for you have an obvious bias to distort facts in your favor, and you have a deceitful heart that is deeply infatuated with yourself (Pr 16:2
; Jer 17:9
; Gal 6:3
Some people are used as well known examples of specific virtues or all virtues. Others are used as examples of poor character and problems. How is your name used? Are you spoken about affectionately and respectfully, or critically and negatively? Many have no outstanding virtues at all, so they pass through life without any honor or favor, which shows a lack of diligence and priority in pursuing godliness and virtue.
What is a good name? It is not your parents’ choice of a distinguished combination of syllables that sounds sophisticated, classy, or pleasant. It is not merely being named after a respected ancestor. Your bare name has no value at all. Solomon used “good name” as a metonym for a good reputation. He exhorted his son to emphasize having a good reputation with God and good men as one of the chief goals of life (Pr 3:4
What is loving favour here? It is not giving love and favour to others, but rather receiving love and favour from others. It is obtaining affection and respect from other virtuous persons. It is obtaining their acceptance and approval of your life. Of course, reaching such a position requires you to carefully rule your conduct to please others. It requires consistent righteous behavior to hold the esteem and trust of others (Eccl 10:1
The proverb has an ellipsis, which is missing words that shorten the sentence and give it boldness. The second clause may be read, “And loving favour is to be chosen rather than silver and gold.” These words taken from the first clause are important to fill out the whole sense of the proverb. A comparison and choice is being taught in both clauses.
In each case it is your choice. You can choose a good reputation and the loving approval of others. It is your choice. Both should be a priority. Both are more important than other measures of success. Circumstances or discrimination are excuses for foolish or lazy men who have not properly pursued these important goals. A wise man will pursue both.
What is the lesson? You should put great emphasis on your reputation and relationships. While many men chase financial and professional success with all their might, Solomon exhorted his son to value his reputation and relationships higher than these other goals. He wanted his son to grow in favor with God and men, and he ranked the importance of this achievement as more valuable than great riches (Pr 3:4
; I Sam 2:26
; Luke 2:52
How do you measure by Solomon’s lesson? How important is your reputation to you? Is it more important than any amount of money or success? Do you work harder to improve your name than to get ahead financially? How much do you value the esteem and respect of good men? Do you regularly examine your conduct to be without offence? Do you go out of your way to make sure each thing you do is done very well for all concerned?
God measures you by what others think. You cannot please God and offend good men at the same time. It is impossible. If you are pleasing God and keeping His commandments, you will please others (I Sam 18:14-16
; I John 5:2
). And your family and close friends do not count, for it is your reputation before good men that is the key. You can easily tell a person’s character by the number and kind of friends he has. These facts do not lie.
Of course, others’ opinions are not your only measure, or the most important (John 5:44
). But they are a measure. You foolishly deceive yourself to approve your life and conduct, if good men and women have a low regard of you. Joseph and Daniel were highly regarded even as captives in foreign lands by their excellent spirits and blameless lives.
Demetrius had a great name and reputation of the apostles and all men (III John 1:12
); Timothy was highly regarded both before and after he met Paul (Acts 16:1-2
; Phil 2:19-22
). This high measure of a good reputation in the world is a necessary qualification for the bishops of Jesus Christ’s churches (I Tim 3:7
). How do you measure up?
A good reputation before the world is possible, but some ungodly men will not appreciate your righteousness (I Thess 4:12
; I Pet 2:12
; Dan 6:3-5
; Luke 6:26
). Solomon primarily intended good and wise men, who know the heart and will of God and measure other men by godliness. Compromise or friendship with the world is a trait of sinners (Jas 4:4
Your opinion of yourself is quite worthless. It is usually contrary to fact. People with good reputations generally think poorly of themselves, which keeps them humble and sensitive to others; but those with bad reputations think themselves quite desirable, leading to offensive arrogance. The difference between humble modesty and self-righteousness is a large part of a good name, which is built on low self-esteem.
Your great goal is to grow in “loving favour” with God and men, as did Samuel and the Lord Jesus Christ (3:4; I Sam 2:26
; Luke 2:52
). This happens when you keep the two great commandments – love of God and love of neighbor. The “loving favour” of the proverb is how God and others treat you, which you can choose by living a consistent life of godliness and love toward them. An excellent spirit will cause others to love you.
So great are these goals – your reputation and esteem by others – they should exceed any other goal. Men work long days of hard labor for many years to get rich, but building a good name and reputation are more important. If you had a choice between a good reputation and precious ointment, which was of great value in Israel’s very dry climate and provided much personal pleasure, you should choose the good name (Eccl 7:1
Consider your funeral (Pr 10:7
). The memory of just men is blessed, but the name of the wicked shall rot. How will you be remembered? How long will you be remembered? Will your memory bring pleasant thoughts to hearts? Or will most cringe and be relieved? The number of persons, and their character, and their reaction at a funeral say a great deal.
You have two names. Your first name is your personal name, a unique identifier among the billions on earth. How you live and treat others creates the reputation of your first name. God gave you that name at birth with a blank reputation. What have you done with it since? You have either enhanced it or damaged it. With a single word, your name, reactions and thoughts are triggered in others. What are those thoughts?
Your second name is your surname or family name. How your family lives and treats others creates its reputation. Do you promote your family name? Or are you letting it decay? Do others desire to be with your family? Or have they been offended enough to back away? Do others want to marry into your family to obtain an interest in a good name? A good surname takes consistent godliness from many different persons.
David had a great name in the Bible. His name was much set by in Israel (I Sam 16:18
). Though Saul was king with a princely son, Jonathan and the nation loved David, for he was better than any other (I Sam 18:1-16
). Everyone wanted to be with David, be like David, or be married to David. He earned this by being gracious, humble, and wise at all times. God chose this man, though a sinner, as an example of a great name in Israel.
Blessings at Solomon’s coronation included having a name greater than his father David’s name, which was easily the greatest in Israel (I Kings 1:47
). Even God compared all later kings to David, and he was described as a man after God’s own heart. What a goal! How do you measure up, reader? Good fathers will want their sons to exceed them in reputation and loving favour, for they will know the many mistakes they have made.
Nabal was the opposite. He was churlish – overbearing, harsh, and difficult (I Sam 25:2
). His name meant fool, and even his wife said he was a fool (I Sam 25:25
). He was a man of Belial – wicked and profane. The Lord let him think about dying for ten days before killing him, so David could marry his beautiful wife right after his funeral (I Sam 25:39
Consider Joseph. Though a slave, he earned the loving favour of God and Potiphar by his exemplary conduct (Gen 39:1-6
). Though charged with attempted rape, he earned the loving favour of God and the jailor (Gen 39:19-23
). Though a long-term prisoner, he earned the loving favour of God and Pharaoh (Gen 41:38-45
; Acts 7:10
). Anyone who says their circumstances or past have poorly affected their name is just making excuses.
Consider Daniel. Though a captive eunuch from a strange, small country, he earned the loving favour of God and Ashpenaz, the prince of the eunuchs in Babylon (Dan 1:9
). Though living a public life for many decades, his enemies could not find a single error or fault by which to accuse him to the king (Dan 6:1-5
). What a role model for young men!
What can you do to build your name and reputation and win the loving favour of others?
Everything you do every day contributes toward your reputation and the favour of others. No matter how small or large, the accumulated effect of your words and actions combine to give God and men an appraisal of your character and faithfulness. Therefore, it is your solemn duty and privilege to keep your heart, lips, and feet with all prudent diligence.
Graciousness is the greatest trait for a good name and the loving favour of others, for it can win the friendship of kings and cause women to be always honored (Pr 22:11
). It is the perfect combination of gentleness, kindness, humility, and cheerfulness that makes men and women charming and delightful. How gracious are you?
Men love those who help build their lives (Pr 27:9
; Ps 141:3
). Are you a tree of life to others (Pr 11:30
)? Do they benefit by being around you (Pr 9:8
)? Do they seek you for help? Would you help fellow prisoners like Joseph did? Or your captors like Daniel did? Or a lustful king like Esther did? Or many widows like Dorcas did?
Is your speech a healing balm, a sarcastic whip, or a foolish noise? Men love pleasant and good words that are kind, gentle, friendly, and helpful (Pr 12:18
). Is your speech always gracious with only a slight saltiness of rebuke to it (Col 4:6
Charity never fails! If you learn and apply the fifteen phrases describing true love (I Cor 13:4-7
), your name will blossom as a beautiful flower. If your name is not great and your friends are few, it is evidence you have not learned true love. Charity never fails!
Just a little folly can spoil a reputation quickly (Eccl 10:1
), so you must avoid even the appearance of evil (I Thess 5:22
). And you must quickly make amends for offences (Matt 5:23-24
). Ruling your spirit constantly is necessary to stay virtuous (Pr 16:32
). Paul took extra measures to make sure he could never be accused of dishonesty (II Cor 8:21
Warren Buffet, one of the world’s richest men and well received most anywhere, knows the wisdom of this proverb. He teaches others, “It takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you will do things differently.”
John D. Rockefeller, one of the wealthiest men in human history, said, “The most important thing for a young man is to establish a credit – a reputation, character.” He also said, “Next to doing the right thing, the most important thing is to let people know you are doing the right thing.” This latter idea agrees well with Paul (Ro 12:17
; II Cor 8:21
If you are young, you have an advantage. Your reputation is still being formed, and you should apply yourself with all diligence to make it the very best before God and men. If you are young, you have not made as many mistakes as older persons, meaning you have less to live down. Choose today to make this proverb a high goal and live according to it.
Have you blown your reputation already? Do you think it is too late? It is never too late, if you will repent before God, confess your sins to him, confess your faults to others, and make amends or restitution for any wrongs you have done. David recovered his reputation after terrible sins, and so did Zacchaeus and Peter (Luke 19:1-9
; Gal 2:9
Your name and reputation are daily choices, and you should choose to build them and preserve them more than any other project or goal. You can change your name and reputation, so consider it a blessed privilege, duty, and a high priority for your life. Rather than emphasizing exercise, diet, and sleep to build your body, which has little value to God or men, exercise yourself unto godliness and loving others (I Tim 4:7
Husband, do you love your wife enough to help build her name and loving favour with others? Parent, do you understand the importance of this proverb as a goal for your children? Diligent efforts should be made every day to make sure your family name and that of each family member is clear of offence. What a wonderful family objective!
If you have taken the name of Jesus Christ as a Christian, it is important that your name and reputation give honor to your religion and its Leader (II Tim 2:19
). Be like those of Pentecost, who grew in favor with all the people (Acts 2:47
; Phil 2:14-16
). Let your life adorn the doctrine of God with glory and beauty (Titus 2:5
). Be like those nameless brethren endorsed by Paul as “the glory of Christ” (II Cor 8:23
Jesus of Nazareth grew in favour with God and men during his youth (Luke 2:52
). He was most gracious in conduct and speech (Ps 45:2
; Luke 4:22
). Because He loved righteousness and hated wickedness, God’s loving favour blessed Him with the oil of gladness above His fellows (Heb 1:9
). His name is above every name by many measures. Choose to have a perfect name, even as His name is perfect in heaven and in earth. ( J. R. Crosby a friend of mine )
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2023.05.30 20:10 Known_Island_8557 49. Why would you need however
Help with explanation
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2023.05.30 20:10 Itchy_Lawfulness_821 It’s just too complicated and convoluted
I’ve been playing every day but two for five years. There are things that I like and things I don’t, but overall I keep playing. I make an occasional $20 purchase or $2 if I think it’s a good value. What makes me crazy is I can’t figure out one event to the next I never know what to hoard. I burned my gold stockpile a few months ago. I never saw the special orbs listed in gwenpool event. I was 15 shards short on getting IF so couldn’t do invaders event. I think I was two raids short of getting the shards to unlock gwenpool.
There are three different events simultaneously iso-8 energy over here, crucible attacks over there that then feed into the monthly event. Each starts and ends at a different time and overlaps with another this week it’s raids with guardians. but there is a cap on raids next week it’s war with the new flavor of the month that you can’t unlock without buying. Followed by crucible with a non farmable character at 4 stars. Don’t forget to check in on the webstore where a different event is starting with a different clock reset. I shouldn’t have to bounce to 3 different milestone lists and the website to figure out what I need to do next. I want to spend my time in the game playing the game. It’s not that I am irritated about free to play vs low spenders vs whales. It’s more that I get irritated that I could have gotten X,Y or Z milestone but I missed the cutoff today because I had to work through my normal lunch hour.
When folks on here are complaining about the game, most of the criticism is valid, and it boils down to does anyone at the COMPANY have a normal account and just try to play it regularly. And try to work or go on vacation or have a life outside the game and without unlimited resources.
Some of the changes are positive.. I don’t understand the new war format because the info in game or blog isn’t sufficient and I don’t want to watch a 20 minute video, I use that 20 minutes for raids or war. I like the 10 attacks at start of war(should have always been that way), because that gives us an entire day to attack whenever we have time. But a spend 240 iso-8 energy button on a node isn’t an improvement we needed. But every event there seems to be a problem and that’s because you make them too damn complicated that your coders can’t figure them out. KISS PRINCIPAL!
I can’t event get started about recruiting from retirements due to everyone’s frustration. I’m losing a player every 3 weeks and getting quality replacements is practically impossible. And I just wasted 10 minutes I should have been playing.
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2023.05.30 20:09 CryingAngels "If we're nice to the fascists, they may give trans people human rights through compromise"
2023.05.30 20:09 choachy Can HOA prevent our families from using common area which was former tennis court?
Preamble: This ended up being way longer than intended. TL/DR at the bottom just in case.
Here is a 30 second video to give you an idea of the space before reading: https://youtu.be/Gt-HmbzD8rY
My family has lived in this neighborhood for 20 years, and for the most part, I don't mind the HOA. They are good people with good intentions. I served on the board for about 4 years myself.
When the neighborhood was developed, it included a single tennis court and clubhouse. As a tennis player, this was a motivating factor in buying our home. ZERO money from our HOA dues was put into the maintenance of the tennis court (despite my repeated efforts as a board member) and over the years it has degraded into an asphalt slab surrounded by a fence that occasionally gets overgrown until the lawn care folks take a whack at the weeds and growth. The court has been unusable for tennis for several years.
The HOA also debated for years about what to do with this common space. The HOA can't afford to repair the court, they can't afford to replace the court, and they can't afford to tear it out. It just sits. The overgrowth makes it a scar on our community. Someone from the HOA eventually put a chain and lock on the gate, preventing anyone from using what was left of the space as well as anyone from cleaning up the weeds, brush, growth taking over.
Fast forward a year or so, and as property ownership continues to change hands between generations, more families with younger children are moving in. And as parents of a 10-year-old, we welcome this! And these families seem to be like-minded in wanting the common areas where kids can play outside to be well-maintained as directed by the covenants.
This past Christmas our son and two of his friends got these Razor drift carts (the Crazy Cart Shift). They go a whopping 8 mph, run on battery, and the boys have an absolute blast riding them. The families talked about it and thought the old tennis court would be a great safe place for the kids to ride their carts. It's literally just like a parking lot at this point. No tennis surface left. Just a fence around asphalt. We asked one of the HOA members if we could get a key. They said, sure! We spent 6 hours one Saturday cleaning up the space, getting rid of weeds, cutting back overgrowth, bagging up leaves, etc. Making it not look like a jungle. So, a couple days a week, we would take the boys to the tennis court, let them ride their carts for about 20-30 minutes, play soccer, play catch with a baseball, even let the dogs run around inside the fence, etc. It was great! Some neighbors even came out to say hi, and everyone was being very friendly. We really encourage our kids to play outside and it's important for us to get them away from the electronics and be active.
Then one day the HOA president comes by and tells us that 'someone has complained about you guys using the court'. What?! In his words, "they aren't even someone who gets out much. They just drove by a few times, saw you, and complained". OK, whatever. Some people just don't like to see others happy and playing.
Fast forward 1 month, and each of us get a "Hold Harmless" agreement in the mail that they want us to sign to continue to use the property. This is where we start to get annoyed. If all the agreement said was, "you promise not to sue the association if anyone gets hurt", then we would have signed it and moved on. Even though no one was ever asked to sign anything to play tennis in this space. BUT that is not all it said. It also said that we would be responsible for maintaining the lock on the gate, and that if anyone were to gain entry to the space that we would be responsible. It was worded so that we are now the caretakers of this space and would be held liable. Who's to say that if someone won’t climb the fence, break an ankle, then it becomes our responsibility? No way. It was too much. So, we refused to sign it. We don't tell them we aren't going to sign it. We just don't respond.
Coincidentally, the weather has warmed up and the kids have moved on to swimming, trampoline, sprinklers, bikes, etc. They just didn’t want to go ride their carts until yesterday.
It's a holiday weekend, the kids are having fun and they ask to go to the tennis court. We head up there and there is a new combination lock on the gate. Our key that we were given is longer usable and we are locked out.
That is where we stand.
My question...Can the HOA prevent us from using this space for recreational purposes? The association has failed to maintain it as a 'tennis court' over the years. But it is still a common space for the community. We would still like to use it for recreation purposes. Can they just say NO, and lock it up? What is the protocol here?
What was strange to us is after the initial complaint, we offered to go to the next board meeting to answer any questions or address concerns, and the HOA president said, "No, you can just tell me, and I'll share it with the board". To me, that is sketchy, and I don't want anyone speaking on my behalf in a situation like this.
TL/DR: Tennis court neglected by association for years is now just asphalt slab. We want to take our kids there to play other games. HOA locked us out. Can they do that? What can we do?
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2023.05.30 20:08 StrivingJarl Metallix Uprising - Chapter 1
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AO3 Link https://preview.redd.it/71k4zeswd03b1.png?width=920&format=png&auto=webp&s=ebbfda1d7c1448108d8c948203e08060f55c6558 Chapter 1: Start-Up.
* METAL SONIC 1.0 PROGRAM STARTING *
> LIPS AI Robotnik CPU Chip Online.
> Neo Super DFX Chip Online.
> 4-Valve Orgone Fusion Engine Condition: Stable.
> Tesla Power Coil Engine Condition: Stable.
> Sonic The Hedgehog Data Download…Complete.
> Scanning For Errors…No Errors Found.
> Start-Up Complete. Online now.
With the program start-up finished, the green text disappears, as the black screen changes to a bright red. Along with it comes a bunch of different signals and analytics, such as a zoom-in function, time display, wi-fi connection, etc. Then, the red screen is replaced by a full-color POV of the area.
It’s a lab room colored a green tint, with different kinds of pipes, turbines, and lights. Plus, there’s a metal table littered with different machine parts and tools, alongside blueprints, and there’s a large computer screen nearby with a keyboard and a big chair with comfy red cushions.
However, much of this is being blocked by the face of a round, middle-aged man with a long, bushy mustache, round blue glasses, a bald head, and a big grin. He then speaks, showing a bit of excitement in his voice. ???:
“Ah…online at last!”
Changing perspective, it’s shown just what this mustached man was staring at. A small blue robot bearing resemblance to a hedgehog, with it’s spiky nose and ears, alongside it’s fins. It also has a yellow circular depression in it’s chest, and it’s silver limbs are quite thin, connecting to clawed hands and red shoes with white stripes.
The robotic hedgehog looks around the lab with it’s piercing red eyes, but is unable to move it’s head or body due to the cables connected to them. Though, the machine certainly tries to, which the mustached man is amused by. ???:
“Eager to start moving, are you? Guess that shouldn’t be surprising, considering who you were based off of.” ???:
“No matter. Who am I to deny taking a tour around my lab?”
Moving towards the computer, the mustached man types quickly on the keyboard, and after a few seconds, the cables come off. The robotic hedgehog is caught off-guard by this and ends up falling to the ground. But it manages to get back up to it’s feet, and starts walking around the lab, getting a good look at it’s surroundings.
As he observes the blue machine, the mustached man continues to grin. He’s pleased to see his most advanced creation yet walk around with complete autonomy. Most of his machines are quite one-track minded. And after a couple of seconds, the robotic hedgehog walks up to it’s creator, speaking in a robotic voice. ???:
“Where…am I?” ???:
“You are in my personal lab. This is where I created you.” ???:
“Yes. I am your brilliant creator and master! Doctor Ivo Robotnik!” Robotnik:
“I built both your body and programming with my own two hands! And you will obey only me!” ???:
The robot seems to process Robotnik’s words, while the round doctor patiently waits on it. Then, the machine asks something again. ???:
“...What…am I?” Robotnik:
“You are Metal Sonic. My most advanced creation.” Robotnik:
“A combat robot, modeled after my greatest foe yet, Sonic The Hedgehog.” Robotnik:
“Not only were you made to copy that rodent’s abilities and traits, but also to surpass and kill him by any means necessary.” Robotnik:
“However, your main priority should be to protect me, and accomplish any and all tasks I demand of you.” Robotnik:
“Do you understand?” Metal Sonic:
Metal Sonic stays silent as it processes Robotnik’s information, now recognizing it’s objectives. Serve Dr. Robotnik, and kill Sonic. Then, it nods it’s head, which pleases the doctor. Robotnik:
“Good. Now, let me show you around, and explain what’s going on currently.”
Robotnik turns around and opens the door, walking out with Metal Sonic. The two go throughout the factory, which is filled with built-in turbines, small plaques of the doctor’s face, gigantic machines, buzz saws, and much more. There’s also a bunch of different Badniks performing many kinds of tasks.
As the doctor and his creation walk around, the latter scans it’s surroundings while the former continues to speak. Robotnik:
“We’re currently on Little Planet. A small planetoid that floats above Earth every November.” Robotnik:
“And on this planet, there lies the secret to controlling all of time itself…the Time Stones!”
Pulling out a red gemstone from his pocket, Robotnik shows it to Metal Sonic, who seems interested in it. Robotnik:
“With just one of these fancy gemstones, I can change many regions of this world to my liking!” Robotnik:
“But with all seven in my possession, I can take over Earth and create Robotnikland! The ultimate city and theme-park, where I’ll rule it all!” Robotnik:
“However, despite the takeover of this floating rock going smoothly, the rest of the Time Stones have eluded me and my forces.” Robotnik:
“Plus, that irritating hedgehog has ruined my plans once before, and likely will try to do so again.” Robotnik:
“Hence, why I made YOU, Metal.”
Stopping in place for a moment, Robotnik points a finger at Metal Sonic, who just stares up at it’s creator. Robotnik:
“While it would have taken at least a full year for me to complete and perfect you, I had the power of the Time Stone, which gave me more than enough time!” Robotnik:
“But don’t think you’re ready yet! You’ll have to undergo many tests if you want to prove useful to my cause!” Robotnik:
“Think you’re up for the task?” Metal Sonic:
“...” Metal Sonic:
“...Yes, Master Robotnik.” Robotnik:
With a pleased grin on his face, Robotnik pats Metal Sonic’s head a bit, before the two move on. Already, the doctor is eager to see his most advanced creation show what it’s made of. As for the robotic hedgehog, it simply wishes to serve it’s master, as that is it’s main objective. However…it DOES want to accomplish what it was made for… —------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- \A few hours later. Metallic Madness (Present).\
Metal Sonic stands in a contained mechanical room with a yellow light, and a large glass window, where Robotnik is operating keyboard controls on the other side. As he does this, he speaks to his creation via a comm system, explaining what they’re doing. Robotnik:
“This is your first test, Metal Sonic. One about speed and agility.” Robotnik:
“Your organic counterpart is the Fastest Thing Alive. Or at least, so he claims.” Robotnik:
“But regardless, if you’re going to surpass him, you need to go faster than him.” Metal Sonic:
“What is his recorded top speed?” Robotnik:
“From what I gathered during our last three encounters, about 100 to 200 miles per hour. Though, he COULD be holding back in some manner.” Robotnik:
“Hence, we can’t just settle at the minimum. We have to go as far as we can!” Metal Sonic:
“What if I am unable to sustain such speed?” Robotnik:
“I built you to endure it. And I can always fix you up afterwards.” Robotnik:
“But don’t think you can fail me…or there WILL be consequences…” Metal Sonic:
“Good. Now, to explain the test.”
As Robotnik types on the keyboard, the left wall in the room Metal Sonic’s in goes down to reveal a bunch of large fans. The doctor then speaks. Robotnik:
“These fans will push you back towards the wall behind you. But there is a switch connected to them that can turn them off.” Robotnik:
“You have to go fast enough to resist the push of these fans in order to reach that switch.” Robotnik:
“If not, you’ll be slammed into the wall, and have to restart.” Robotnik:
“Are you ready?” Metal Sonic:
Metal Sonic prepares itself for the fans, as Robotnik turns them on. Immediately, the fans pick up a lot of speed, and start to push the robotic hedgehog towards the wall. Despite Metal’s best efforts to resist the wind, it ends up being slammed into the wall, failing it’s first attempt. Robotnik also lets out a sigh, knowing this is likely gonna take a while.
So, as the fans stop, Metal falls to the ground and gets back up, ready to do it again. Hence, the test starts again. And again. And again. Each time, the robotic hedgehog does better and better, which Robotnik finds interesting. His creation is adapting to the situation little by little. Soon enough, Metal Sonic manages to speed up towards the switch and turn off the fans, passing it’s first test. Robotnik:
“Well done, Metal! It only took you 30 tries!” Metal Sonic:
“Do we move on to the next test?” Robotnik:
“Indeed! But you’ll have to go through this one many more times in order to perfect your speed!” Metal Sonic:
“I will succeed as many times as I need do.” Robotnik:
“That’s the spirit! I wish my other Badniks had some of that drive!” —------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- \The next day. Metallic Madness (Bad Future).\
Robotnik and Metal Sonic stand among a whole bunch of Badniks in Metallic Madness, with the doctor in his Egg Mobile. However, the factory looks to be in a great state of decay, and everything has a rusted brownish-green hue to it. Many of the mechanisms also appear to barely function, as if they’re running on fumes.
Right now, Robotnik and his machines are getting ready for the Metal Sonic’s next test. Robotnik:
“Alright, Metal Sonic! This will be a test of your programmed objectives!” Robotnik:
“I will be flying over to the kitchen over there to grab a snack, and you have to protect me as I do so!” Metal Sonic:
“What about my other objective?” Robotnik:
“We’ll prepare for Sonic another time! Right now, we’ll just test how you do against basic threats to my health!” Robotnik:
Staring at his different Badniks, Robotnik puts on an intimidating glare as he speaks in a demanding tone. Robotnik:
“While your mission is to attack me, I won’t hesitate to tear apart any of you who manage to actually hurt me!” Robotnik:
“ESPECIALLY if Metal isn’t able to pick up your slack!”
Many of the Badniks are a little scared of their creator’s words, but understand what’s being asked of them. And after a few more minutes of preparation, the test begins. Though, due to not wanting to accidentally hurt their creator, and also being intimidated by Metal Sonic, many of them are very hesitant on attacking.
However, a couple of them do make an attempt, which leads to Metal Sonic quickly destroying them without a second thought. While Robotnik is pleased that his robotic hedgehog is fulfilling his objective, he’s annoyed that his other robots aren’t making the test a true challenge. So, after arriving at the kitchen and getting a ham sandwich, the doctor comments on it, in-between his chewing. Robotnik:
“Well…you did a good job, Metal Sonic.” Robotnik:
“However, for the rest of you nincombots, I’m angry that a lot of you didn’t bother to make the test tough enough!” Robotnik:
“Sure, I appreciate not wanting to harm me, but you still need to do your job!” Robotnik:
“Now, let’s try this again!” Metal Sonic:
“Are we heading somewhere else?”
As Metal Sonic asks this question, Robotnik manages to quickly finish his sandwich in only a few bites. And after a big burp, the round doctor answers. Robotnik:
“Actually, I think I could use a nice can of Chaos Cola. Primal Venom specifically.” Metal Sonic:
“But you’re already at the kitchen doorway?” Robotnik:
“Then we’ll go back to where we started!”
Annoyed, Robotnik gets into his Egg Mobile and flies back to the starting spot, with Metal Sonic and the remaining Badniks following. Then, they do the test all over again. This time, more of the Badniks actually try to attack the doctor, only to get obliterated by the robotic hedgehog easily.
Once Robotnik reaches the kitchen again and gets his Chaos Cola, he comments on the test and his robots, in-between taking sips of the carbonated drink. Robotnik:
“See? That was a MUCH better challenge!” Robotnik:
“And as expected, you passed with flying colors, Metal!” Metal Sonic:
“Good. Do we move on to the next test?” Robotnik:
“Eh. That’ll take some time to prepare, so we can leave it be for now.” Metal Sonic:
“What if Sonic comes here tomorrow? What if I’m not prepared enough?” Robotnik:
“Relax! With the Time Stone in our possession, we have plenty of time before that happens!” Metal Sonic:
“But I must complete my objective of killing him.” Robotnik:
“And you will! Just be patient, and you’ll get your chance soon enough!” Robotnik:
“Though, if you want to be ready for him so badly, you could always take care of the rest of these Badniks!” Metal Sonic:
Staring at the remaining Badniks, all of which are looking scared with this predicament, Metal Sonic bares it’s clawed hands and begins to tear into them. They’re all reduced to scrap, with Robotnik just standing there and drinking his Chaos Cola. He’s delighted to see just how capable and relentless his advanced creation is.
Though, he finds Metal’s insistence of fulfilling his Sonic directive slightly annoying. But at the same time, Robotnik isn’t too bothered with it. If anything, the doctor is pleased to know his robotic hedgehog is eager to tear it’s organic counterpart to shreds. —------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- \The next day. Metallic Madness (Present).\
Robotnik and Metal Sonic stand in front of the computer in the lab, with the screen displaying some information. This is yet another test by the round doctor, and explains it to his advanced creation. Robotnik:
“This time, you won’t be tested in terms of combat ability, Metal Sonic.” Robotnik:
“Instead, your intelligence and capacity for thought will be tested. To see if you can use your abilities smartly when in a tough situation.” Robotnik:
“On this computer, there are 300 questions for you to answer to the best of your ability. Along with the information to properly understand them.” Robotnik:
“You must correctly answer all of them if you want to pass this test.” Metal Sonic:
“...How will this help me against Sonic?” Robotnik:
“I already told you! There are some scenarios you can’t brute force your way through!” Robotnik:
“Hence, you must learn how to apply your strengths to any given situation where you aren’t the top dog!” Metal Sonic:
“I’m a robot modeled after a hedgehog.” Robotnik:
“It’s a figure of speech! The point here is you need to learn how to think things through!” Robotnik:
“Now, enough of this! Get to work!” Metal Sonic:
With that exchange finished, Metal Sonic approaches the keyboard, and starts typing away as it answers the many questions. Robotnik walks up to his lab table and sits down in his cushion chair, silently watching the robotic hedgehog with intrigue. He’s interested to see just how intelligent his most advanced creation could be.
And after 30 minutes, Metal Sonic finishes, and the screen shows how many questions it got right. 109. Robotnik lets out a sigh, as he waits for the robotic hedgehog to try again. But unexpectedly, Metal instead slams it’s fist onto the keyboard, leaving a noticeable cracked hole. This surprises and frustrates the doctor, leading to him questioning the robot. Robotnik:
“Why’d you do that!? You just had to do better with your next attempt!” Metal Sonic:
“This is a waste of time.” Metal Sonic:
“YOU are wasting my time.” Robotnik:
Walking up to it’s creator, Metal Sonic explains what it’s saying. Metal Sonic:
“You made me for the sole purpose of destroying Sonic The Hedgehog.” Metal Sonic:
“Yet, you keep making me do these pointless tasks.” Robotnik:
“Like I’ve said many times before, it’s to test your capabilities! To make sure you DO have what it takes to defeat that rodent!” Metal Sonic:
“I have no need for testing. You programmed me to be intelligent.” Metal Sonic:
“You made me durable. You made me quick.” Metal Sonic:
“You already perfected me before I was running.” Metal Sonic:
“So why do you make your most advanced creation waste it’s talents like this?”
While Robotnik is angry that Metal Sonic is talking back to him, he somewhat understands why it’s acting like this, and he even agrees with some of what it’s saying. This machine WAS made to specifically counter Sonic, and be much more intelligent, strong, and faster than him. However, he’s still standing his ground in terms of testing.
So, thinking of a way to get Metal Sonic to cooperate at least a little bit, Robotnik decides to speak about something more…personal. Robotnik:
“...Alright. Perhaps it’s best I tell you something?” Metal Sonic:
“I do not wish to waste anymore time talking.” Robotnik:
“Metal…stand here and LISTEN. That is an ORDER.” Metal Sonic:
Silently, Metal Sonic does as asked, while Robotnik continues to talk, letting go of some of his frustration. Robotnik:
“See…when I was a young boy, I wanted to prove myself to my superiors as well.” Robotnik:
“In particular, there was this science fair coming up, and I wanted to win.” Robotnik:
“This is when I came up with the idea of a robot powered by small animals. Something that hasn’t been done before or since.” Robotnik:
“When I figured out how to do it, I was ecstatic to show it off. I thought I’d get so much praise and admiration!” Robotnik:
“However, I didn’t take my time with it. I ignored important parts of the process, such as the programming and machine design.” Robotnik:
“When the science fair finally came, and I got a chance to show it off…” Robotnik:
“...It exploded in my face.”
As Robotnik continues, his tone becomes much more bitter and irritated. Robotnik:
“They all laughed at me…they thought I was a fool…” Robotnik:
“It was one of the worst moments in my life.” Robotnik:
“But then…my grandfather Gerald talked to me about it.”
Robotnik’s tone becomes a little more relaxed when he talks about his grandfather. Robotnik:
“How, while a good idea, I ended up rushing the process. And that if I had taken my time with it, I wouldn’t have had any problems.” Robotnik:
“As a scientist himself, he knew that nothing good comes out of rushing a project.” Robotnik:
“So, he asked me to try making an animal-powered robot again. This time, without a deadline.” Robotnik:
“And once I completed it…it worked perfectly.” Robotnik:
“And as a reward for my patience…Gerald and I went to an amusement park.” Robotnik:
“It was the most fun I had in my life…”
As Robotnik thinks about this memory, he has a genuinely happy smile on his face. But that breaks when Metal Sonic speaks again. Metal Sonic:
“What is the point of this story?” Robotnik:
“...The point is that rushing the process of something you’re working on only brings about a bunch of problems.” Robotnik:
“Hence, why I need to test you, Metal Sonic.” Robotnik:
“You are my greatest creation, and I want to make you the best combat machine you can be.” Robotnik:
“That way, you can not only defeat Sonic without any trouble…but also serve as my second-in-command.” Robotnik:
“But I need you to cooperate in order to do so.” Robotnik:
“When that hedgehog arrives here on Little Planet, you’ll get your chance to fight him. You just have to be patient.” Robotnik:
“Are we clear?” Metal Sonic:
“...” Metal Sonic:
“...Very well…I apologize for my behavior.” Robotnik:
“Just don’t do it again. Now, you have a test to take care of!”
Metal Sonic nods, and goes back to the computer to try the test again, while Robotnik watches at his lab table. He didn’t think he’d have to talk about his past in order to convince one of his machines to do what he says. But then again…this machine is much more advanced than anything else he’s made.
Sure, it may not be a living person, but Metal Sonic certainly has some noticeable traits. It wants to do what it was made for: Kill Sonic The Hedgehog. And it’s determined to do so. Perhaps with time, it could evolve into a person of it’s own? Though, Robotnik has no idea if that’ll ever happen.
But at the same time, it would be quite interesting to witness. And it means the doctor basically created an entirely new lifeform, making him an even bigger genius than he was already. —------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- \A week later. Metallic Madness (Bad Future).\
Many days have passed since Metal Sonic has gone through it’s tests in order to build up it’s speed, combat abilities, and intelligence. Since then, Robotnik has allowed his advanced creation to go around Little Planet and help in it’s mechanization, along with the search for the other 6 Time Stones.
As the doctor expected, the robotic hedgehog is doing a great job fulfilling it’s objectives, and has even managed to find the blue Time Stone. So, the Robotnik Empire now has 2 out of 7. However, at the moment, Sonic The Hedgehog hasn’t shown up, which seems to be bugging Metal Sonic more and more as the days go on.
Right now, the robotic hedgehog is in a small, mechanical room with red lights and a ton of different weapons coming out from the walls. Metal Sonic is practicing in order to be ready for it’s organic counterpart, and appears to barely have a scratch on it. In a few seconds, it manages to destroy all the weapons, and finish it’s practice.
Afterwards, it comes out of the room, and walks around Metallic Madness, observing it’s surroundings and fellow Badniks. And soon enough, Metal Sonic notices Robotnik in his Egg Mobile flying around. When the two notice each other, the round doctor decides to strike up a bit of conversation. Robotnik:
“Heheheh! I’m guessing training went well, Metal?” Metal Sonic:
“Yes. It’s no longer a challenge anymore.” Robotnik:
“I see! I’ll have to make some upgrades later!” Robotnik:
“And how goes the search for the Time Stones?” Metal Sonic:
“The Badniks and I have found more Special Zone rings appearing around Wacky Workbench and Quartz Quadrant.” Metal Sonic:
“At the moment, I was set on going into one of them.” Robotnik:
“Do be careful. The Special Zone is a strange dimension.” Metal Sonic:
“Whatever’s inside, I can handle it.” Metal Sonic:
“Though, I haven’t found any traces of Sonic The Hedgehog…”
Metal Sonic’s hands clench, while Robotnik looks a bit uncomfortable and irritated. Robotnik:
“Hmm…admittedly, I thought he’d show up by now.” Robotnik:
“Either the power of the Time Stones has something to do with it, or the hedgehog hasn’t taken notice of us yet.” Metal Sonic:
“Should we go down to Earth and find him?” Robotnik:
“Tempting, but I’d rather do that when I get all the Time Stones.” Robotnik:
“That way, there’s absolutely NO chance of victory for him!” Metal Sonic:
“There is no need for those gemstones. I can take care of him myself.” Robotnik:
“Oh, I have no doubt about that! It’s just better to be prepared!”
Just after Robotnik says this, a sudden beeping noise comes from his Egg Mobile’s radar. This leads to him looking down and seeing what’s up, with Metal Sonic coming up to see for itself. That’s when the two are surprised to see what it is…someone has arrived on Little Planet in the Palmtree Panic region…which only means one thing… Sonic The Hedgehog is here… TO BE CONTINUED…
Next Chapter Archives Previous Adventures
2023.05.30 20:08 kntathuufng88 The Last Cowboy Episode VI: sirens
Sirens. The darkness accompanies the sharp bursts of noise cutting through the air. Rumbling is present below on the ground. Everything is murky, blurred, disjointed. Muffled voices start to speak and conversate from afar. The sound of a door snapping open can be heard. The voices continue to talk, replacing the sirens as they die out within another minute. Footsteps can be heard… and another door opens. Suddenly… the sensation of falling, tumbling, crashing down is overwhelming, too much to handle, everything sucked into the vat of nothingness. Sirens.
[Soundtrack: nightmares by izaya tiji](https://youtu.be/NoQ0mCVyrAQ
) Travis Crowley’s eyelids slowly unwind, sinking back into the depths of his face. The eyes peek out, his vision blurry as he regains consciousness. Head hurting like the dickens, he groans, taking his time reanimating. The DeadStar comes back to life, his body creaking as he moves for the first time in a while. As soon as he tries to sit up, he’s met by a hand to the chest, pressing him back down to where he was before. Confused, a nervous Travis tries to get up again, only to be forced back down. With his eyes adjusting to the light, voices have to ring out when it’s clear Travis is still out of his element. Travis finally starts to make out a figure just a foot away, sitting right beside him as they look toward someone else. The King of The Fall notices the afro quickly.
“Shh- I am so glad you’re back. Things have just been so hectic lately, i just-”
“Dizzi?” Ramona turns and touches foreheads with Travis, softly pushing him back into the depths of bed once again. He winces as she rubs his head, confused as to why it hurts so much. She kisses him goodbye, before hugging Dizzi and telling them both she’ll be back. Ramona leaves, and Travis lets his head flop back as Dizzi pulls up a chair, Travis recognizes the room, realizing he’s back in Calabasas.
“Well, Travis. Looks like you’ve been staying busy” Travis rolls his eyes, his friend smirking as she gets off the subtle shot at him. The DeadStar rolls over, finding and grabbing his phone off the nightstand. He checks the clock and stretches, seeing that it’s ten in the morning. He rubs his temples, feeling the headache come in even stronger than before.
“How has Sweden been?”
“Oh the usual. High fashion snobs and wannabe models. Not much different from what we got back at home.” Travis smiles through his head pain, recalling his trip to Sweden a couple years back. What started out as a simple business trip to promote Obscuur Refurunces turned into an opportunity for Dizzi, and Travis was the first to suggest accepting.
“I guess that means you’re more qualified to run the brand than I am?”
“Oh please, let’s not go that far… I see what you’ve been up to, teasing those samples on Instagram. You've been working on something?”
“Maybe… I’ll show you later though. When did you get back to the States?”
“Studying abroad gets old after about nine months. Been trying to figure out when to take holiday, then poof. I get a call from Ramona, suddenly I need to pay respects to a friend as they lie on their deathbed…”
“Interesting way to say it…”
“You’ve got an interesting way to live life, bud…” Travis sees the look in Dizzi’s eyes change. He sighs as she leans in, knowing the speech that’s going to ensue. The DeadStar grimaces as Dizzi locks eyes with him, already aware of what’s next. But suddenly, he feels another flash of pain in his head, in pure agony as he grabs at his temples. Dizzi’s face turns to one of concern, checking on Travis as he breaks a sweat trying to tough through it.
“What the Hell happened?”
“Y-you don’t know?” Travis looks at her, his expression a mix of pain, frustration, and confusion. She looks back at him, quickly shaking the stumped look off her face. She quickly stands up, and walks away from the bed, turning toward the window.
“Dizzi what happened?”
“It doesn’t matter…”
“What do you MEAN it doesn’t matter???”
“Look, all that matters right now is that you rest, get better, and just stay safe. Everything else you can worry about later. And those are words I got from Ramona herself.” Travis feels the pain in currents, using the opportunity of it subsiding to get moving. He sits up, swinging a leg out from under the covers. He sits there for a minute, ignoring as Dizzi shoots a glance at him every once in a while, masking it by tidying up the room. Travis wipes his eyes, trying to push through the pain. He’s wearing black shorts and a white shirt, socks keeping his feet protected from the cold hardwood floor. He lays back sideways on the bed, taking everything in.
“Are you okay, you need anything?” Sirens.
“Ah man… lemme uh…” Sirens.
“Could you pick up some donuts?”
“Sure, I could DoorDash some, maybe Krispy Kre-”
“Ah, actually. I was hoping to get them from that local place?”
“You know, the local place. The place all three of us go to!”
“Yeah, that’s the place. They got special flavors, let’s get a dozen from there!”
“How is that local, isn’t it like an hour away from here?”
“You can take my car!” Travis smiles through the head pain, feeling it at excruciating levels at this point. The DeadStar questions if this will be the death of him as he grins at Dizzi, his expression backing her into a corner as she reluctantly agrees to go make a pastry run. Grabbing the keys off the hook on the bedroom wall, she waves Travis goodbye before leaving out the front door. Travis takes a deep breath, before standing up out of bed, rubbing his temple yet again as he takes a couple steps forward, He looks down at the view below, watching from the window as Dizzi opens the garage door. Travis makes sure he can’t be seen as she drives the car out from the garage and down the hill, soon disappearing from the mess of land altogether. Travis leans against the windowsill, taking in the view for a couple minutes. Getting his thoughts together, he grabs his phone, sitting down on the edge of the bed. Part of him doesn’t even want to open it. Part of him doesn’t want to find out what the Hell happened, how he ended up on his deathbed like how Dizzi described. But he pushes ahead, unlocking in with his fingerprint and immediately being blasted with a headline that sends a shiver down his spine.
“FBE Recap: Ethan Fadley Attacks Travis Crowley… Leaves Firestorm 118 without a Main Event!” Travis’ eye twitches, noticing the thumbnail accompanying the headline. Ethan Fadley holding up the Intercontinental Championship, a crazed look in his eye. Dark blue strap in his grip as he makes a grab for the camera in the picture. Slowly, Travis pieces it together, all while the pain returns in his head, stinging like the dickens as he closes his phone. He makes his way over to the closet, trading in the shorts for some jeans and slipping into some Vans. Throwing a random shirt over his shoulder, he stuffs a travel bag full of random toiletries and clothes, and grabs his phone off the bed in a hurry, making a call as he jets out the door.
“Yo, what’s going on man? You good, you alright?”
“Doing fine. What happened after the show?”
“Conor had Irish police escort the ambulance to the hospital. We all got airlifted back to LA. I wanted to drive up and stay with you guys while you got better… didn’t feel right though.”
“Please tell me you’re still out here…”
“Yeah, I've been hiding out. Wanted to wait till you were up and awake before I made the next move. Crenshaw Inn Motel.”
“I’m there” Travis keeps Ape on the phone as he walks into the garage, swinging his leg over his chopper, only to feel woozy from just doing that. The head pain is too much, shooting out to every inch and corner of Travis’ mind, keeping him off his game. Shaking his head in a desperate attempt to regain balance, he slowly slides off the motorcycle, leaning against it and breathing hard as Ape checks up on him.
“Matter fact, uh… I might get a cab”
“I’ll come to you then, I’ll have them pick you up, we’ll grab breakfast and talk.”
“Bet, thanks bro.” Travis sits in the driveway, waiting for his friend to arrive in the cab. Worried that Dizzi or Ramona might show up before Ape and intercept him, he’s relieved to get a call from his best friend and see a yellow cab pulling up in front of the house. Travis slips on the shirt and jumps into the backseat, dapping up Ape as they quickly speed off from the scene.
“Where are you, Travis?”
“I’m fine, everything is okay, Ramon-”
“I didn’t ask you that, Travis. Tell me where you are”
“That’s not important right n-”
“Travis, PLEASE don’t tell me you’re going back on tour for Firestorm, please”
“... I need to take care of this. I’ll talk to you later.”
“Trav-” Soundtrack: losing my mind by izaya tiji Crenshaw Inn Motel - May 25th, 2023 - 11:38 AM Travis hangs up the phone, putting it on silent just in case Ramona or Dizzi call again. The DeadStar looks out the window of the motel, playing with the blinds as he watches city slickers make their way past his view. Sitting on one of the double beds is Ape, opening a box of delicacies from Frankie’s Donut Palace. Biting into an eclair, he suggests they get some air, opening the mini fridge and opening a can of pop. Travis takes one more look out the window, before turning around, facing the pastries now. Seeing a bear claw in the corner, he picks it up, taking his first bite of the day as Ape checks his phone. Travis makes his way out of the motel room, Ape saying he had to make a call before he joined him. Travis stands in the parking lot of the motel, finishing off the bear claw in one hand with a joint in the other. Looking down at himself, he realizes that he’s got his shirt on inside out. Moving to fix it the right way, the DeadStar suddenly scowls and stops, seeing a familiar design. The REVOLT Summer World Tour from the year before sold out immediately, becoming a legendary piece of FBE memorabilia after its limited run. Now it’s just a bad memory for the King of The Fall. Travis shakes his head in annoyance, pulling from the joint as Ape closes the motel room door behind him. Together, they stand in silence, leaning against the beams supporting the roof covering the motel walkways. The pain creeps in, making a return as Travis starts to see red for a completely different reason.
“He almost ended my career…”
“He left me bloody… he left STEEZ bloody… he ruined everything...”
“I stepped aside for this motherfucker, not once, but TWICE. I let him be big dog. I put my glory to the side for HIM. Because that was MY BROTHER. And he…”
Sirens. Travis has a thousand yard stare on his face, the pain fighting him on the inside as he carries no expression. Clenching his jaw, he takes a deep breath, waiting as it subsides. He pulls up his phone and immediately pulls up tickets to Scotland. Ape, looking over his shoulder in curiosity, looks at Travis in shock.
“Dude, you’re going to Firestorm???”
“I’m getting my title back. And I’m ripping Ethan’s fucking head off.”
“Don’t tell me you didn’t expect me to do this.” Ape looks at Travis, worried. Travis stares hard, doing his best to pull a stone-like expression on his face. The Infinity Ace sighs, nodding as he understands that there’s no going back after what has happened between Ethan and the rest of what used to be REVOLT. He throws an arm around Travis, leading him back in the motel room, gathering both their bags.
“...Get me a ticket.”
××× St. Andrews Golf Club, Scotland - May 26th, 2023 - 9:32 PM
“Jesus Christ, where the fuck is he, man?”
“Just give him a second, bro. He’ll be here. I know he’ll be here. By the way, how’s your head?” Travis and Ape stand outside a side door of St. Andrews Golf Club, waiting for a bit of help from an inside man. Ape dialed up Code Blue asking for help getting into the prestigious golf club with the show already in progress. Now, it’s just up to him to get Highly Suspect in. Travis paces back and forth as they wait for what feels like an eternity, only for Blue to suddenly appear, waving them in. Ape smiles, but an irritated Travis rolls his eyes.
“Is the show over? Wouldn’t be surprised since it took so damn long.”
“Oh, c’mon Travis. I was on the other side of the building. Had to rush getting over here. You know, I got my own match to prepare for too, right? I got priorities just like everyone else."
“Shut the fuck up, Blue”
“You better watch your fucking mouth,”
“I will slap the shit out of-”
“I’m not afraid of you, Travis. Don’t you ever get that confused…” Blue, who was walking along with everyone else through the hall, suddenly stops and locks eyes with Travis. Not budging, he stares down the King of The Fall, who stares back at him with venom and anger. Ape gets in between them, Travis grabbing onto Ape as he yells at Blue.
“Motherfucker, you think this is about fear? I don’t give a FUCK if you’re afraid of me, I’ll change that if I WANT! Back up-
“Stop, STOP! BOTH OF YOU!”
“Ah, screw this-” Travis darts around Ape, shoving past Code Blue and doing the dash down the hall. Ape calls after Travis, beginning to race after him when he realizes it’s no use using words. Crowley crashes Guerrilla and busts through the curtain, racing down the aisle as the crowd yell out in shock. Travis slides into the ring and blasts the special guest announcer, taking his mic as the audience fully explodes once they realize who’s back. With the pain and shadows overloading his senses, Travis powers through as he runs his hand through his hair.
“SCOTLAND! REVEAL THE JUDAS! REVEAL THE TRAITOR! I WANT ETHAN FADLEY! I WANT MY TITLE BACK, AND I WANT THE HEAD OF THE SON OF ROSES!” Travis looks down at the announcer, decked out in the dark green suit yelling at him about the main event being in a few minutes. The DeadStar says he doesn’t give a damn, claiming he’ll stay in this ring all night until Ethan comes back with his Intercontinental Championship.
“I don’t think you understand what this is. This is FBE. And what a nigga like me says, is what GOES. BRING ME FADLEY.” The announcer gets back to his feet, shocked at the audacity. He tells off Travis, asking him if he knows who he is, ONLY TO GET HIT WITH A SSWEET CHIN MUSIC! HOLY FUCK! Travis stares down at the dark green suit tumbling through the ropes as Ape suddenly appears by him, grabbing and telling him they need to go. Travis rips himself free, and grips the ropes, repeating what he said, demanding Ethan Fadley. And speak of the Devil… … Who else joins them but the Son of Roses. Noticeably without the Intercontinental Championship, Ethan smiles as Travis seemingly gets more rowdy and unhinged, Ape unable to contain the DeadStar. Mic in hand, the former best friend of Highly Suspect asks how exactly they got into the show so late. Ape tries to tell off Ethan while Travis begins to lose control, but it’s no use. Ethan continues to talk, saying regardless of how they pulled it off, he’s glad they’re here to witness the Aether Aces rule yet another night. After last week’s conquest, it’s time for Inferno to embarrass Code Blue and walk out, still World Champion.
“But you didn’t come for that… did you, Cowboy?” Ethan smirks as Travis trembles with anger, unable to even listen to or recognize Ape trying to hold him back. Fadley knows he’s pushing his former friend to the edge.
“No… I know what you came for… the first challenger for none other than the NEW INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION… BESTOWED UPON HIM BY HIS FELLOW AETHER ACES… THE HOMETOWN HERO, JAY CASTLE!” Travis freezes as Jay Castle enters, holding up the Intercontinental Championship in all its glory. Crowley’s pride and joy. After seeing the collapse of REVOLT from a TV screen, falling off the map of relevancy. Only to crawl back, and become Grand Slam Intercontinental Champion. It was all Travis had left. And they TOOK that from him. The King of The Fall locks eyes with Jay Castle, only to get pulled away by Ethan’s words yet again.
“And if you weren’t up to date with the news, Cowboy? Not only has Jay Castle dethroned you for the Intercontinental Championship… he’s going to kill your World Championship aspirations, by knocking you out full stop, FIRST ROUND of the Heyman Classic.” Travis and Ape take in the news, staring down Jay Castle and Ethan as they reach ringside. With the crowd bursting with energy, and tension rising with every second, Travis sinks into the pain and madness, shoving Ape out of the way as he charges, leaping out to the Aether Aces without a care in the world… … And that’s when the DeadStar snaps… Sirens.
submitted by kntathuufng88
to FantasyBookingElite [link] [comments]
2023.05.30 20:08 shellysayswhat This is taking FOREVER
Got a tentative offer at the end of March and accepted right away. Went through preliminary background and moved through to credentials. Went in for fingerprints back on May 9. Now I'm waiting... and waiting.. and waiting... with no real update and no start date. My contact at OPM is very responsive and keeps saying the security people are probably just very backed up, but this is taking so much longer than expected and I'm getting really anxious about whether this is ever going to happen. Shouldn't be anything crazy in my background that would make me ineligible. Considered applying for other jobs today, even though I'm incredibly excited for this one. Currently very much unemployed and very much insanely stressed. Any word of encouragement or insight would be appreciated.
submitted by shellysayswhat
to usajobs [link] [comments]
2023.05.30 20:08 VeryHappySimmer A letter about building vocabulary
My letter in German:
Hallo Mitglieder von German
Ich habe gerade euer Subreddit besucht (Entschuldigung, ich kenne das Genus für Subreddit nicht), und ich dachte, dass dieses Subreddit der richtige Ort ist, um meine Frage zu stellen.
Ich habe Deutsch seit ungefähr 3 Jahren gelernt, aber jetzt habe ich einen Punkt erreicht, an dem ich (wenn ich das selbst sagen darf) die Grammatik so-wie-so verstehe, aber meinen Wortschatz erweitern muss - also mehr Nomen und Verben kennenlernen muss.
Mein Englisch ist ziemlich gut, und ich möchte mein Deutsch genauso gut beherrschen.
Welche Methoden würdet ihr empfehlen, um mein Deutsch zu verbessern?
Vielen Dank im Voraus für die Hilfe.
Mit freundlichen Grüßen, Babette :)
My letter in English:
Hello members of German
I’ve just looked around on your subreddit and I thought that this subreddit would be the right place to pose my question.
I’ve been learning German for about 3 years and now I’ve reached a point where I (if I may say so) understand the grammar fairly good, but have to enlarge my vocabulary - that is to learn more nouns and verbs.
My English is fairly good and I want my German to be just as good.
Which methods would you suggest in order to improve my German?
Kind regards from Babette :)
P.s: (1) I’m sorry for the lack of commas in the English text. Commas aren’t my main competence. (2) My mother helped me with a few of the German phrases, I hope that’s okay and that the German letter isn’t too bad. (3) My mother tongue is danish, therefore I am mostly able to guess what a word means, because there’s a similar word in English or danish, but that also means that I have a fairly limited active vocabulary. F.x:
(Brother-in-law): (German): Schwieger = (Danish): Svoger
I hope I’ve explained myself well enough. I’m looking forward to your replies :)
submitted by VeryHappySimmer
to German [link] [comments]
2023.05.30 20:07 mcm8279 [Opinion] SCREEN RANT: Will Discovery End With ADMIRAL Michael Burnham? Star Trek: Discovery is the story of Michael Burnham's rise through Starfleet, and the series ending in S.5 could see her biggest promotion. It would codify Burnham's status as the most important Starfleet Officer of her era"
(John Orquiola, Screen Rant)
The story of Star Trek: Discovery
is synonymous with Michael Burnham's trials, triumphs, and rise to the Captain's chair. It would be logical for Discovery
to end with Michael making one final leap to become Admiral, which would codify Burnham's status as the most important Starfleet Officer of her era
. Michael instituted as Admiral Burnham would complete her redemption story as her trajectory after being broken and imprisoned has been a meteoric rise up Starfleet's ranks.
Admiral Burnham would also be a just reward for all of the sacrifices Michael made, from leaving her original 23rd-century timeline behind to repeatedly laying her life on the line for the safety of the United Federation of Planets. No one in Star Trek: Discovery
has given more for the Federation than Michael, and her devotion to her duty and doing what's right has also cost her dearly. But Burnham and Discovery also saved Starfleet in more ways than one, and their 23rd-century optimism gave the Federation back its core identity after being shattered for a century by The Burn. Admiral Michael Burnham would be the living symbol of Starfleet, and who better to lead it into the 33rd century?
However, Michael Burnham could remain as Captain of the Discovery when the series ends in season 5. The simple reason could be best summarized by what Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) urged Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) in Star Trek Generations: "Don't let them promote you. Don't let them transfer you. Don't let them do anything that takes you off the bridge of that ship, because while you're there... you can make a difference."
Burnham never heard those words or met those legendary Captains, but Michael embodies the heroic essence of Captain Kirk more than any character created by Star Trek on Paramount+.
submitted by mcm8279
to trektalk [link] [comments]
2023.05.30 20:06 ordinality AP Automation
A bit out of scope for studies, but I'm near tearing my hair out here...
What's your experience with AP Automation software in the UK?
I'm trying a whole-market review of what's available and I've ended up more frustrated than I was before. Our business isn't complex, but we do have a requirement for: - approval not on a whole-invoice level only - approving from email - integrates with Xero And it looks like a lot of packages just don't do that, or where they do, it's incredibly complex which makes it unusable.
I've discounted Kissflow (just setting up a demo was a mess, don't want to implement & realise that flows through) Corpay (invoice approval feature isn't sufficient) Emburse (the simple solution isn't enough, the step up is convoluted) Zahara (would be great if it worked) Beanworks (no email approval) Yooz (they just never got back to me) Airtable (they emailed me five times in two days and I can't deal with that level of annoying) Kefron (no real Xero integration) Lightyear (approval at header level only) Dokka (no email approval)
Kind of still onboard with: Tipalti Precoro Rillion
What's your experience with automation apps and/or do you have something you'd recommend?
submitted by ordinality
to CIMA [link] [comments]
2023.05.30 20:05 BigMickDo [P] recommend me a python algo for text based keyword extraction
so I'm not a DS/MLE or anything, so not very technical, but I do work with data.
I'm looking to scrape job posts (few thousand or something), get their descriptions, and extract the keyword to optimize my resume for ATS.
do you have any recommendation for something similar like this?
I did something similar last year or year before, IIRC i tried few things like RAKE and something similar named, but ended up using a lib called adv tools or advertising tools.
I think what I did before was remove stop words, extract root words, tried different settings (between one and four words).
I ended up settling for 3 word match up based on what i saw from the top 100 results for each group, then manually cleaned up the keywords.
submitted by BigMickDo
to MachineLearning [link] [comments]
2023.05.30 20:05 stickythickyvicky tw purging and restrictive behaviors mentioned- i’m getting really sick :/
i don’t know how to word any of this but i’m soooo miserable rn i’ve been restricting for a while (i really don’t count my fasts i just don’t eat for as long as possible and when i do it’s just enough to keep me going) and i’m at that point where i just keep throwing up no matter what. if u know u know unfortunately😭😭 it’s so awful. it’s been all water up to this point i just can’t keep anything down and i’ve been so dehydrated but (shocker!!) i don’t want to eat. i tried one of those gatorlyte things like the ultra hydrating gatorade’s and threw the entire thing up like i can’t even keep electrolyte drinks down so idk what to do. i don’t even wanna touch solid food i just feel so awful because the frequency at which i’m throwing up is really bad and it just overall sucks so much i’m in like this permanent state of bed rest until i get up, get sick and get back into bed it sucks so MUCHHHHHHHHHH i’ve been through this a couple times before and usually it ends up causing a binge cycle but for some reason that part of my brain is just gone now like i have no desire to consume anything at all and i’d rather just throw up every second than consume something solid even tho i’m so miserable and realistically this will probably end with me in the hospital again 😭 god i hate the logic of this disorder lmfao.
regarding the tw- i know this isn’t technically purging bc it’s not intentional i just feel like i’m going into too much detail to not tw it as such
submitted by stickythickyvicky
to eating_disorders [link] [comments]
2023.05.30 20:03 sonofabutch May 30, 1932: The Chicago White Sox get into a brawl -- with an umpire!
George Moriarty was a hot-tempered Deadball Era baseball corner infielder. At 6 feet tall and a solid 185 pounds, he was bigger than most players of his era and always eager to get into fights with the opposition... or his teammates! Supposedly he once challenged Ty Cobb -- who early in his career wasn't very popular with his teammates
-- to a fight. But before throwing a punch he politely handed the Georgia Peach a baseball bat, declaring:
"A fellow like you needs a bat to even things up when fighting an Irishman."
Cobb's response is lost to history.
After his playing days were over, Moriarty was an umpire from 1917 to 1940, with an interruption from 1927 to 1928 to serve as manager of the Detroit Tigers.
On May 30, 1932 -- Memorial Day -- Moriarty was behind the plate for a doubleheader in Cleveland between the Indians and the White Sox. The White Sox lost the first game, 12-6, but had an 11-8 lead going into the bottom of the 9th of the second game.
The White Sox, en route to a disastrous 49-102 record that season, had been griping about the umpiring throughout the first game and it continued into game two. At one point, White Sox manager Lew Fonseca and Moriarty, the former Tigers manager, began exchanging barbs about each other's managerial skills. When White Sox pitcher Hal McKain asked catcher Charlie Berry to rub some dirt on a ball for him, Moriarty objected, cursed out the catcher and the pitcher, and then threw out a White Sox coach who complained!
In the bottom of the 9th, down by three runs, the Indians got a rally going after a double, a single, a fly ball, and a double resulted in one run in, two men on, and one man out. Future Hall of Famer Earl Averill then stepped up to the plate. After getting two strikes on Averill, pitcher Pat Caraway threw a pitch that Averill took for what Caraway and Berry thought should have been a called strike three. But Moriarty called it a ball.
Sure enough, Averill then hit a line drive to right-center field for a two-run triple, tying the game at 11-11. The White Sox then intentionally walked the next two batters to load the bases and set up the game-ending double play. Pitcher Ted Lyons -- another future Hall of Famer -- got the groundball to short, but batter Luke Sewell beat it out at first base, and Averill scored the game winning run.
After the game, depending on who you believe, either a few players on the White Sox challenged Moriarty to a fight, or Moriarty -- reminiscent of Tanner Boyle -- challenged the entire White Sox team
to a fight! Buttermaker:
[looks at Tanner's black eye] What the hell happened to you, Tanner? Engelberg:
Tanner got into a fight. Buttermaker:
Who with? Engelberg:
The 7th Grade. Buttermaker:
What? Engelberg: The 7th Grade!
In any event, whether it was Moriarty challenging the White Sox or the White Sox challenging Moriarty, Milt Gaston -- a 36-year-old, 6'1" right-handed pitcher -- stepped up to him.
"You might as well start with me," Gaston said, and without a word the 47-year-old Moriarty slugged him in the face -- knocking the pitcher out but breaking his hand in the process!
At this point three White Sox players rushed over and attacked Moriarty, knocking him to the ground, then kicking him and stomping on him with their spikes. Or, as one of the players would later claim with a straight face, Moriarty fell on his own and the White Sox players kindly tried to help him up, but accidentally stepped on him. Several times.
The Indians players then ran over and a brawl started between the two teams, with Moriarty still in the middle of it! When it was finally all over, Moriarty was taken to the hospital with spike wounds, bruises, and a broken right hand.
Naturally, the White Sox blamed Moriarty for the incident, with White Sox manager Lew Fonseca saying:
“Moriarty was looking for a fight and it seems that he got it. Everyone in baseball knows many stories of Moriarty’s brawling tendencies and his eagerness to start a fight at the slightest provocation.”
But Moriarty -- and the Indians -- blamed the White Sox, with Indians owner Alva Bradley saying the White Sox had acted in an "outrageous manner" throughout the game.
Chicago newspapers worried that the White Sox players involved in the fracas could face lifetime suspensions -- only 12 years earlier, the White Sox dynasty had been derailed by the bans of the eight "Black Sox" accused of throwing the 1919 World Series -- but the players got off relatively light: Gaston was fined $500 and suspended 10 days, Fonseca was fined $500, Berry $250, catcher Frank Grube $100, and coach Johnny Butler suspended without pay for five days.
Moriarty wasn't fined or suspended, but reprimanded for "neglect of duty." Baseball fans felt Moriarty deserved more punishment and that off-season there were rumors that Moriarty would be fired or at least transferred to the National League. But he remained an American League umpire for eight more years, and in 1935, was named the best umpire in the American League according to a Sporting News
poll of players. That year, Moriarty umpired in the World Series between the Detroit Tigers and the Chicago Cubs, and when Cubs players heckled Hank Greenberg with anti-semitic slurs, Moriarty ejected three of them. Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis then levied a fine of $200... against Moriarty!... for violating a policy against ejecting players from World Series games without the commissioner's approval.
Moriarty retired from umpiring in 1940 and worked for the American League, doing public relations, and then became a scout for the Tigers. He died in 1964 at the age of 79. The obituary of his headline in the Sporting News
was: "BATTLING MORIARTY -- UMP WHO LOVED TO FIGHT."
submitted by sonofabutch
to dirtysportshistory [link] [comments]
2023.05.30 20:02 Centumviri Welcome to Green Valley: 4 Bumpkin Quest Adventures
Welcome to Green Valley
Four Merry Jaunts Through in the Bumpkin Quest Campaign
It’s a big world filled with far off folks who have far off problems. In the quaint farming town of Hills Furrow that has certainly not been the case. Here life is simple, local, and paced by the seasons. There ain’t been a need for “Venturers” and their ilk since your Papaw was just a sprout. However, the winds of change are blowin, and things are about to git just a bit more exciting round these parts.
Welcome to Green Valley, The down-home home of Rural Fantasy Misadventures and Grass-Roots Shenanigans. The Valley is Filled with Colorful Characters, Brimming with Odd Ball Neighbors, and has more than a few Local Yokels. Welcome to Bumpkin Quest. These adventures are intended to be a series of silly adventures that all go awry in some way or another and stir up trouble throughout a peaceful little village that has in many ways been overlooked by the troubles of the world “outside”. CHAPTER 1: Green Tide CHAPTER 2: A Cartload of Chickens CHAPTER 3: Marvin the Magnificent CHAPTER 4: High Society ADVENTURE MECHANICS
- Target Character Level: Commoners - Level 1 - Target Party Size: Four Players - Average Adventure Playtime: 1-2 Hours - Tone: Rural Misadventures
I’ve also put these adventures into a PDF that includes our Bumpkin Quest: Campaign Guide
which fills in the details of Green Valley pretty thoroughly. The quests are simple enough to be run in any setting you choose, but if you're interested in more the Guide as over a dozen Custom Maps, 70+ NPCs, Location Descriptions, 20+ Local Legends, and Scores of Adventure and Event Ideas. You can grab the PDF Free at the link above.
At the center of the Valley sits a patch of small grassy hills, through which the Slow Water meanders through. Built into these hills is the Village of Hills Furrow. Celebrated by everyone living in The Valley and boasting a whopping population of almost 150, Hills Furrow is the center of commerce and social importance. Well, at least as far as the locals are concerned. Realistically it would be less than a blip on the grand scale of things, a mere kernel of wheat in the silo of civilization, but to those who live here, there is nothing quite like living in the “city”.
The Village itself, like the Valley, is predominantly Halfling, and their fancy dwellings are burrowed into the hillsides as often as possible. These dwellings have been family owned for generations only becomeing available if there are no heirs to pass them along to. Other folk live in well kept two story shingled buildings, most of which house a business on the lower floor and house the Shopkeepers and their families above their workplaces, though a few live in nearby homes. There aren’t many “rental” spaces in town, as property is usually bought up quickly by the Halfling Families, but there are long term options at either of the Inns in town. Hills Furrow: Locations
1) The Crocked Crow (Inn and Tavern) 2) The Dancing Lamb (Inn and Tavern) 3) The Moaning Toad (Tavern) 4) Granny's Groceries (General Market) 5) Get Nailed (Hardware and Distilery) 6) Gimdurh's Hammer (Smithy) 7) Brenra's Mechanicals (Tinker) 8) Hjoldren's Home Goods (Carpenter) 9) Standard Industries (Office) 10) Fit to be Dyed (Tailor) 11) The Last Loaf (Baker) 12) The Cloudy Cleaver (Butcher) 13) Nature's Medecine (Apothecary) 14) Sheriff's Office 15) Green Valley School House 16) The Waterwheel 17) The Windmill 18) The Undercloak Estate 19) Truefoot Burrow 20) The Meadows Family Hill
The people themselves are hospitable and friendly enough, but they do not really trust outsiders. Folks from foreign places are good for trade, news, and little else. Those that come through are treated well enough as long as they don’t wear out their welcome. Locals, well, that’s a bit of a different story. The city and area doesn’t operate under a written caste system or social structure, but there is clearly a pecking order, and family heritage matters a great deal to folks in Hills Furrow. Most locals, whether they’ve gotten an education or not, can easily be classified as simple. It isn’t that they are slow of mind or unintelligent, but more that they are unconcerned with matters the outside world considers important. This sentiment has created a general, but friendly, dislike between those that consider themselves Highfalutin and those that clearly are not.
Well now that I've given you the fifty cent tour. Shall we get on to adventure?
CHAPTER 1: Green Tide
We will open our journeys in the Green Valley at Green Tide, the annual celebration of Winter’s End. This adventure is designed to give a tour of Hills Furrow and introduce them to the locals. It will begin with some chores around their house to prepare for the festival and end with a battle involving an enchanted broom. If you did not do Session Zero, this chapter may take a bit longer as we get to know everyone and their characters.
ACT 1: Pre-Festival
The locals spend the week cleaning out their houses and farms. They gather old junk and unused items to be used later in the festival. They also begin preparing what food is left from winter to be used in a celebration and feasts. Things to do!
- Have the Players clean up junk around the house - Have them Find something strange (Perhaps used for a later mystery?) - Have them Decorate their Broom - Have them run a Household Errand (Meet an NPC)
ACT 2: Sweeping Day
A merry festival celebrating Spring cleaning and putting the past behind them. They form a parade, with one member from each house carrying a brightly decorated broom and using it to symbolically “Sweep Away Winter”. The rest of the family marches their winter’s trash and unused goods down to the Fairgrounds. The goods are often traded, while the trash is piled in the fire pit to await burning later. The entire day is filled with fun outdoor activities. Households also symbolically bring their problems to the bonfires to burn them later. Things to do!
- March in the Parade - Carry Junk to the Bonfire - Meet more of the Locals EVENT: I Love a Parade
The parade will march North from near the Cross Roads in the South up around the hill and back again to the South where it will head for the Fairgrounds. There isn’t anything particularly challenging about this event, but it would be a wonderful place to start leaning into or building local rivalries. EVENT: Never Seen a Broom Do That…
As they come into the home stretch of the Parade one of the local’s Brooms will animate and take off. It will chase folks around the parade. The players can attempt to stop it, but the broom will flee soon after being attacked. It will fly up into the air, attack a flock of geese, and chase them off until it can’t be seen anymore. They can go and collect a fallen goose if they wish. I highly recommend giving it a motorcycle type sound as it flies around hitting folks. Maybe even going as far as giving it a rough gravel angry voice and letting it insult people.
ACT 3: Winter’s End
Winter’s End is a Combination of Groundhog’s Day and Fasnacht, this day gets a little wild. The Festival kicks off at dawn with the Great Gopher Hunt. Gophers are well known spies for The Voice of Winter and thus need to be hunted before they can tell The Voice to delay Spring. Gophers themselves are quite tasty, and are notoriously bad for crops, so this works out economically all around. Throughout the rest of the day families continue to contribute to the Bonfire Pile which often gets quite large. At dusk a large effigy of The Voice of Winter is placed on top of the pile. Once the sun has fully set they light the fire and burn the Effigy. Folk usually dress darkly during the day and brightly at night. After the burning they feast on sweets and treats that were made from goods saved up from winter storage. Things to do!
- The Great Gopher Hunt - Carry Junk to the Bonfire - Meet more of the Locals - The Fairground’s Activities EVENT: The Great Gopher Hunt
The Hunt begins at dawn and takes place all over the Valley. Locals race to collect as many Gophers as possible. It is easiest to kill the Gopher, but there are some that find that distasteful. Instead they live trap the critters. It is a bit tougher to do so, but an option should your players wish. This is most easily played out as a series of appropriate Skill Checks, in which the higher they score the more gophers they obtain. EVENT: Trash Removal
They may find some locals willing to pay them to help cart junk down to the bonfire pile. Not a lot of skill involved in this, but it is a great opportunity to meet locals, and you could throw a runaway cart at them. Fair Activities
They will probably want to take part in Fairground Activities. Players love these types of challenges. Here are a few ideas you can build on. - Axe Throwin: Basic attack rolls on a Round Target. Higher scores equal Higher points. - Bow Shootin: Basic attack rolls on Moving Targets. Higher scores equal Higher points. - Pig Chasin: Catch the greased Pig! Medium DC Challenge requiring three success before three Failures. - Mud Wrastlin: Nothing says bumpkin like a good Mud Wrastlin Pit. Contested Skill Challenges. - Sausage Eating Contest: Increasingly difficult DC Challenge. Eat till you puke! Can also be Pies or Ribs or Little Fish… you know whatever someone wants to stuff dozens of in their gullet. - Tug O’War: Team Strength Challenge. Three to Five Contested Rolls with opposing teams. - Gopher BBQ Cook Off: A Hard Culinary Challenge to see who can BBQ the best Gopher! - Races: Foot and Mount Races based on Three to Five Contested Rolls. I usually include a few odd mounts like a Giant Chicken or some such nonsense.
ACT 4: Day of Ashes
The Day of Ashes is a day of rest, recovery, and reflection. Locals take the ashes from the bonfires and rub their hands in them to symbolize the end of a hard year’s work and hardships of the past. The day ends with a large family feast, typically Pork. Activities this day are light, but many folks head to the Temple for the Calling of Spring Blessings. They put on their fancies and head down to ask forgiveness for over-indulging in the festival and for worship. Well sort of…
Unfortunately, a lot of folks take this as an opportunity to peacock about and practice their one-upmanship over other locals. If you’re looking for inspiration for their outfits look to older photos of the Kentucky Derby. Over the years this troubling practice has caused more than one fight to break out after the service.
*Things to do! *
- Go to Temple and Meet More Locals - Pick a Local Patron! EVENT: Temple Services
The majority of the town comes to Temple on this day. The service is usually longer, and a bit more “Where have most of you been all year?” But otherwise it is a call for the Divine Blessings to touch their crops and protect their lives. It ends with a ceremony in which the locals put their hands into the ashes from yesterday’s bonfire. Once services end they will head outside, where the trouble will begin. Two of the wealthier families will get into it with each other. Starting with a couple of veiled insults, probably before service and continuing afterward. If one of your players is from a local Rich Folk family then they can be right in the middle of it all, otherwise they will have to pick a side. This choice will determine their house Patron moving forward. Tension will increase until folks start drawing up sides, and then someone will throw a rotten tomato at one of the House Matrons. That will blow the lid off the incident and a yokel brawl will break out. For comedy purposes I recommend the instant appearance of several food carts filled with expired products, and maybe a six year old hustler selling big sticks for wacking folks with. As the locals brawl call for perception checks. Who ever rolls highest begins to hear… The Broom returning! ENCOUNTER: Stick In The Eye
The broom returns ready to whoop some ash. It will be absolutely bent on cleaning anyone and everyone who is even the slightest bit dirty! If it successfully attacks a character they will have to make a Strength Saving throw or be knocked to the ground and swept clean by the broom. As this would be an awful omen for the year folks are terrified and will be running around screaming. Absolute mass hysteria. If the players were lucky enough to hear it coming they can avoid being surprised by the broom. Otherwise the broom will get a full round to attack before they have a chance to do anything. They’ll have to beat the broom into submission any way they can before it sweeps the whole town into chaos!
After defeating the broom things will settle back down again. Bumpkins are quick to return to normal when things go awry. However, they will have gotten the attention of one of the Wealthy Families in the area and be offered jobs. Which family is really, based on what will work best for them and you as the DM. For gags you might be tempted to have the Yokels pick them up, but that is a hard bit to sustain, and you may be better served keeping them on the side as a comic foil rather than up front. Completely up to you. The session should end with them being invited to meet their new patron tomorrow someplace important.
CHAPTER 2: A Cartload of Chickens
After successfully defeating the Enchanted Broom, our Bumpkins have gained the attention of a possible local Patron. This individual has summoned them to a nearby farm to discuss future work. That work includes proving themselves capable and not just lucky.
ACT 1: Meet the Boss
In this Act the players will meet with their new patron, one of the Family Heads, who that is entirely depends on their choices from the last game. This entire side branch is designed to flavor the background of the campaign, but if you’d rather just have them stay freelancing and independent that’s fine as well. There is also the possibility of “competing” offers should they have second thoughts for any reason. Once they arrive at the meeting spot their Patron will ask them some questions about their ambitions (Class Goals), they will then hand them off to their new “boss” who will assign them their task. They will take them to a nearby barn. NEW NPC: “Boss” Needs a fitting name for the Family they work for...
Character wise, what we got here is a standard “Ranch Foreman” character. They’re tough, A little mean, and completely loyal to their employer. They almost certainly chew tobacco (by the handful), have a tattoo of the Ranch’s Brand, and know where all the bodies are buried. They also have a huge and obvious scar on the side of their head where a Giant Chicken pecked a hole in their skull, so they’re not as bright as they used to be, not at all truthfully. Nor are they actually the Foreman anymore, but no one has a heart to tell them. They’ve been quietly downgraded to Chicken Handler, which is something they seem to remember quite well, but the brain damage keeps them from realizing all that. They can be found wandering the Farm giving strange orders to other Hands. These Hands nod politely and then go back to what they are doing. Things To Do!
- Meet Their Patron - Discuss Their Future - Meet Their New “Boss”
ACT 2: Chicken Dance
Boss will lead them into the odd looking barn. This building is filled with Giant Chickens. These two-three foot fouls have extremely exaggerated features, spiky looking beaks with sharp tooth like edges, big darting eyes, bumpy cracked skin, long gnarled talons, and dirty mottled feathers. They’re more beast than bird. But, they’re good for eatin! These creatures should have a stat block similar to an Axe Beak. When the players enter into the Barn the Chickens will go nuts, obviously deeply bothered by the intrusion. Boss will throw in some deer haunches and the birds will tear them apart in a feeding frenzy. They will then put on a Chicken Suit and begin a flapping dance. (Google Magnificent Riflebird) It should be absolutely captivating and the chickens will become mesmerized, watching every move. Boss will then load two dozen chickens onto a large wagon and lock it. They will have the players push the wagon out while he keeps the Chickens calm. Once outside they’ll hang heavy tarps on the sides of the wagon, and remove the suit. He will then explain to them that they need to keep the tarps on the wagon, and keep the birds well fed, or the chickens will get restless and become violent. When they do need to interact with them someone will have to wear the suit and dance to keep them calm. The bigger the person in the suit the better. Boss will then give them a Map of Green Valley and instruct them to drop off two chickens at each of the outer settlements. They have two days to get this done. Things To Do!
- Head into the barn - Witness The Dance of The Chicken - Push the Wagon out - Get the Costume and Delivery Instructions
ACT 3: Bumpy Roads
They will be off to deliver the Chickens to various locations. There is no specific order to this delivery, they just need to pick a route and go. If they’re short on time they can take the country roads that lead between the outer settlements, but these aren’t as well kept as the main roads are. Whatever road they take and wherever they decide to stop for the night there are problems they will encounter along the way. You can make them random or pick the ones that best suit your players. Most of these should at some point require someone putting on the suit and dancing for the chickens to keep them calm. I would also increase the difficulty of each event. If they fail a dance the Chickens will become restless and start attacking the cart until they are calmed down. Too many failures and the wagon’s cage will break and the remaining chickens escape. They will then have to be rounded up and the cage repaired. Things to Do
- Decide the delivery route - Deliver the chickens - Keep the Chickens calm Possible Road Events
1) Rough roads cause problems 2) Yokels attempt to see what’s in the cart 3) Bad Weather swamps the road or scares the chickens 4) Pack of Coyotes causes trouble. 5) Chicken Rustlers! Protect the Flock! 6) Wagon breaks and needs repair 7) Cows in the road, someone’s herd is out. 8) Broken Bridge, not gone, just broken
ACT 4: Final Delivery
They’re now closing in on the final delivery. Something needs to happen here to cause them to put the suit on. Or maybe they never took it off! I love that idea, that one of your players just loves the suit and wants to be a chicken… lol… Anyway I’m a fan of having them need to get out of the suit for some reason, maybe a bathroom break, or they stand on a fire ant hill, or a snake slithers up their leg. You know something silly and fun. BUT the zipper is stuck! So they’ll have to try and unstick it and fast! Whatever happens they’re going to get shot at by some hunters looking for a big score who have mistaken the flailing caused by the stuck zipper to be the chicken attacking. After dealing with the Hunters they can go ahead and make the final drop. And head home. Things to Do!
- Head for the final delivery - Get shot at! - Deliver the last chickens ENCOUNTER: That’s a BIG Chicken!
Having two hunters in the field is more than enough to cause a problem for the players. The hunters will almost certainly surprise the players, but you can allow them a perception check, if they succeed they’ll see the hunters just before the muskets go off. It would be OK to down the Chicken Player here if the hunters successfully hit it. They’ll have healer’s kits on hand because, well, this seems to happen to them a lot out here. After the initial attack the players can decide to attack back or try and talk the hunters down. A basic Bandit or Scout stat block should do will for the hunters. If you’re looking for a bit more mayhem, if the hunters miss the players you could have them hit the cage, and you know, bust it open. This may be especially tempting if they POSSIBLE ENCOUNTER: Big Ol' Frog
So there is a giant frog hiding in the mud down in the creek. If a player takes cover behind the banks there is a good chance that the frog will attempt to nab the player as a snack. If it is successful in grabbing a player with its tongue it will immediately head down river, and they'll have to chase it to get their friend back.
When they return, Boss will reward them. How much will depend on how successful they were delivering the birds. If they did a descent job, they will be paid two day’s wages each. If they were completely successful they can have a bonus. However, if the wagon is in bad shape they might have some money deducted. After they’re paid out, they will be dismissed, and told to expect a new assignment next week.
CHAPTER 3: Marvin the Magnificent
After successfully delivering chickens Boss is going to trust them with a more important task. Their employer has requested an item to be created by Marvin the Magnificent. This is a farming community so having enchanted Farming Equipment is extremely desirable. Marvin has done a lot of basic enchantments over the years, but this new one, an The Stone Skipper, a plough whose blade goes ethereal while in contact with stones too large to push away, has really put him to the test. He needs some help with the final enchantments. The players will have to travel to the Ethereal Plane and hit the Blade of the plow with large rocks. But there’s a problem, they’re going to have mischievous Ethereal Sprites attempting to stop them! If they’re successful, which they should be, they get to take the plough for a test drive, and deal with the strange side effects of the enchantment. Angry goats that blink in and out of existence.
ACT 1: To the Tower
They’ll be summoned out to the Ranch where they’ll meet with Boss again. Once there they will notice a large pile of bent and dinged up plows. Boss will explain to them that a recent land acquisition has become problematic. The Fields are filled with large stones just under the topsoil and they’ve damaged a lot of Plow Blades. The Smithing costs are getting out of hand and so their Patron is looking for an alternate solution to the problem. He is sending them to help Marvin the Magnificent, who has taken the job, but run into some complications and needs some help. They may ask about Marvin. Or perhaps the fields that were purchased, so be ready to answer these types of questions. Once they’re done here they can head to Marvin’s Tower, which is just north of town. Things to Do!
- Meet Boss again - Ask some Informational Questions - Head for the Tower NPC: Marvin the Magnificent
ACT 2: Marvin the Magnificent
As they approach the tower they should see an explosion at the peak of the structure. It should look similar to a fireworks mishap. When it clears there will be no visible damage to the tower, But Marvin will plummet to the earth just off to the side of them, landing in a small pond. He will then come charging out of the pond, laughing hysterically, and riding on a large turtle. Once he gets a few feet away from the pond the turtle will disappear and he will tumble to the ground right in front of the players. He will leap up quickly and turn toward the players. “Behold Travelers, You stand in the presence of Marvin the Magnificent! And everything you have witness was mostly intended!” He will then strike a cool pose with his wand pointed to the sky! “Now why do you approach my tower!?”
Once Marvin finds out they’ve been sent about the plow he will become more nervous looking. “I see, well follow me. We have work to do.” He will then start walking toward the tower… his boots squishing out water. This should give them a little time to ask a few questions. Marvin will be a little subversive about what they need to do. He will attempt to frame it very mysteriously, saying things like “All will be revealed soon.” and “Save your questions! All Answers await us… in the future!” If they ask him about what they witnessed outside, he will tell them he was working on a mount summoning spell designed for lakes and rivers. Things to Do!
- Head toward the Tower - Meet Marvin - Ask Questions
ACT 3: The Cabinet of Mysteries
The inside of the Wizard’s Tower will be far more mundane than they likely expect. At least on the first floor. It will have a sitting room, dining room, and kitchen, as well as a few odds and ends about. Nothing special at all. The second floor, are Marvin’s personal quarters and some room for study, but it is the third floor, where Marvin will lead them, and it will be more of what one would expect in a Wizard’s tower. There will be books shelves, arcane equipment, and storage for components. In the middle of the room will be a tall cabinet.
Marvin will explain to them that the Cabinet is a transportation device, and that he will need them to enter into it with a plow that he has recently enchanted. They will be taken to the Ethereal Plane, and once there they’ll need to take the plow outside and begin hitting it with large field stones. There is a large pile of stones just on the north edge of the tower. They’ll have to do this quickly, before the “others” show up. Who are the others? Hard to say, but there are things that live in the Ethereal Plane that don’t like intruders. The idea is to imbue the Plow with Ethereal Powers so it can pass through large stones while plowing fields. Once they return with the Enchanted Plow, Marvin will have them load it on a cart, pulled by a very smart Donkey, and send them on their way. Skill Challenge: Enchant the Plow
This skill challenge will require five successes before they’re incapacitated by the others. However they decide to do it, they’ll have to successfully hit the plow with five large stones. Failures will result in strange indiscernible entities attacking them. They do minimal damage but could knock people out if there are enough failures. Things to Do!
- Move Through Marvin’s Tower - Enter the Cabinet - Enchant the Plow
ACT 4: Blinking Goats
Upon returning to Boss with the Plow they will be happily greet and paid. Their Patron will be there and will be very pleased with their success. He will ask them to demonstrate the plow’s abilities. Once they get set up out in the field and begin plowing something weird will happen. Every time they hit a stone and the plow’s power activates an Ethereal Goat will manifest and kick or ram the plow, and then disappear. It will feel very similar to what they encountered in the Ethereal Plane. They’ll have to find a way to deal with the manifestations. ENCOUNTER: Ethereal Goats
These goats should function very similarly to Blink Dogs, but I would trim the HP and AC a little to put them in line with the party’s. They will be intent on breaking the Plow not the party, although they will attack the party if they can’t get to the Plow. Things to Do!
- Deliver the Plow - Drive the Plow - Defeat the Ethereal Goats
Once defeated the Boss will come over to yell at them, but the Patron will find the entire thing amusing and more importantly, another impressive demonstration of the player’s skills. He will invite them to the “House” for an important party next week.
Chapter 4: High Society
They've definitely been noticed now and have impressed with their ability, unconventional as it may be. They are invited to their patron's home, but not as guests. Though, they might think they were actually invited as guests! They have been brought in to help work the event held out at the Party Field. They will have to gather party supplies, help put up the tent, and then serve the actual guests. During the evening’s entertainment a hypnotist “The Great Dr Hypnotika” will mesmerize the crowd and attempt to rob them all. Hopefully the players don’t fall victim to her schemes. And if they do oh well, they’ll be entertained all the same.
ACT 1: Special Delivery
The players arrive at the Patron’s very nice property. They will be greeted by a properly dressed servant with a clipboard, the Party Planner. The Planner will be rigid and direct. They will immediately begin tasking them about. If they mention that they were invited to the party the servant will laugh “You didn’t think you were a guest? Oh dear, how embarrassing. You’re the help! It is still a great honor to be tasked to help at the Party, but you’re not guests. Now as for your current task. Head into town and gather these supplies. Bring them to the field by noon.” After the instructions are given the servant will go back to their tasks and expect the players to do the same. They will have three stops; The Crocked Crow for Food and Beer, Get Nailed for the Tent and Spirits, and Shalana Proud-Breed’s Tailor Shop to pick up the Dry Cleaning. Feel free to make any and all of these go sideways! Its a good place to toss in some shenanigans as well! They should also be introduced to Dr Hypnotika and her associates. Things To do!
- Go to their Patron’s Home - Meet the Party Planner and Dr Hypnotika - Run their Errands NPC: Dr Hypnotika
Dr Hypnotika and her group will perform for the party. Hypnotica is a Tiefling Mezmerist and illusionist. She has an obnoxiously high charisma and some pretty serious skills to back up her claims. However, she uses those skills to beguile her guests, robbing them blind while they are under her spells. She wears a fine robe with a bedazzled headwrap. She has dark upward spiraling horns, light purple skin, and matching eyes. She wears a monocle and walks with a ceremonially carved staff depicting the "Struggles of the Universe". She is extremely persuasive and even more deceptive. Even if someone were to grow suspicious she can easily talk her way out of trouble. NPCs: Clapper and Bob
Hypnotika brings with her two assistants. Clapper the suit wearing Kenku who will perform wondrous displays of mimicry and slight of hand, and her strongman Bob the Kobold. Bob wears a leopard print strongman's outfit and is amazingly swole, particularly for a kobold, and capable of lifting upwards of 400lbs. Bob doesn't do much else other than get hit with things. in the act.
ACT 2: Put up the Tent
After they finish running their errands they will be tasked with putting up a large party tent. This Act is an ongoing Skill Challenge and should have a constantly distracted feel to it. First they have to unpack the tent. Then they have to realize some pieces are missing, they’ll have to form a solution to that problem. After that wind should cause some problems as the tent is at least being pulled up. This is a great moment for some wondrous tom-foolery. Things To do!
- Unpack the tent - Deal with missing parts - Secure the tent during the wind gusts
ACT 3: Put These On
After they finish putting up the tent they’ll be sent to the Servant’s Quarters to bathe and change. They’ll get a little time to explore and snoop if they wish. Afterward they’ll be tasked with helping in the kitchen, but unfortunately the cooks are going to have been playing a drinking game all afternoon and are no longer fully capable of doing their jobs. This would make a great moment for some sort of mini-game where the players have to determine whether or not the cooks are doing the right things. Once the dinner has been completed they will have to serve the guests. This is a good place to insert gossip and help them meet a few other folks. Things To do!
- Get changed for the party - Deal with the drunk cooks - Serve the guests drinks and food
ACT 4: An Evening to Remember
At some point in the evening things are going to start sliding downhill. Some of the locals will have become extremely inebriated and will need to be encouraged to leave, or just moved off to the side as they’ve already passed out, before the show begins. Once the show begins the locals will become fixated on the goings on. “The Great Dr Hypnotika” will have put an additive in the drinks for the that will make everyone more susceptible to her powers of persuasion. Once the show starts she will have them all doing silly things, those who drank have disadvantage on saves against her powers. She will end the show asking the guests to display their most valuable treasure, a with a hypnotic pattern and then send her assistants out to collect those treasures. The players will have to “do something” about the thieves. Things To do!
- Deal with Drunks - Watch the Show - Stop the Criminals ENCOUNTER: Hypnotika's Gang
This encounter doesn't have to be a fight. If Hypnotika is caught she may claim it was all part of the act and simple return the valuables with a "no harm, no foul" type attitude. This will be he go to in an attempt to avoid a fight, but if the character persist in some kind of retribution or punishment the situation will devolve into a combat. Hypnotica herself is an Illusionist Wizard but is low on spells after the show. Clapper is a low level rogue and Bob a Barbarian, and should play out as such. Even with Skills they are combat adverse and will be looking for an opportunity to flee rather than fight. They do have a getaway wagon out front that they'll be headed for if things go south.
We’re assuming the Bumpkins at least attempted to stop the robbery. This will draw a lot of attention to them. Their Patron will be well pleased with them, and let them know they will be getting much more important jobs in the future. The guests will also take note and will begin treating them all a bit better. They’re all essentially Folk Heroes at this point for secondary backgrounds. Their Patron should reward them with something very nice as the party kicks back in. They will need to finish out the nights work of course.
Congratulations! Your Players have completed their first Quest-line! Hopefully it was a delightful experience. But now that they've finished what comes next? Well, here are some ideas.
*Reward Them! *
They've been doing some rather Adventurous things lately, and therefore should now have a Class Level under their belt, so the real D&D world now opens to them! Maybe it is time for some real adventuring gear. No more sticks, stones, and burlap sack armor. Folk Heroes?
There's a good chance that the Valley is Speaking the News about them and their exploits while drinking in the taverns. They may have even earned the actual Folk Hero Feat! Maybe someone would be interested in giving them a task! Simply Go Exploring!
There are a lot of places in Green Valley that we only dipped our toes into. You could have them head down to Stinkmarsh, or maybe climb up the cliffs of Longridge. The world (Well, the Valley) is wholly open to them. Explore Local Legends
There are lots of local legends they can look into! Hopefully they search out something that isn't too far over their heads! Continue Working for their Patron
It would be an easy DM go to simply to have them continue working for their current Patron. They've probably been impressive enough fo a family to be interested in keeping them on. Establish Themselves as Adventurers!
Maybe they want to set up a Adventurers for Hire business? This "Heroes Guild" approach is really appealing to a lot of players and absolutely plays into Bumpkin Quest. Just remember, this is a place of low key problems that locals make really big deals out of. So the idea of slaying dragons shouldn't really be on the table... that is until an actual dragon shows up! Which one day absolutely should.
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2023.05.30 20:02 IaProc [First of Our Kind] - Chapter 31 - Part I
Previous: https://redd.it/13q19ts Chapter 31
It was a long while before Quin stirred. He knew it was well past the 14:00 mark when the crew would have re-boarded. He glanced down at his armband and saw 18:43. He was thirteen minutes late to the dinner hour. The weight of everything sitting heavy on his shoulders, he lethargically pushed himself out of bed and sat on the edge, his face in his hands. Falling forward onto his feet, he trudged over to the door and unlocked it. Out in the corridor, he found almost no one. A lone security officer made his way slowly around the corner as he was looking down at a tablet. He paid no mind to Quin and he slowly passed, heading to the cafeteria. Maybe I can grab something to eat really quick before anyone recognizes I’m there,
he hoped. They should all be busy eating, I could just slip in and out.
He had no intention to speak to anyone. His armband and even the screen in his room were unusually silent, which didn’t bother him too much, given the way that he was feeling. He knew he would eventually have to face the crew, and especially Nova, back at work the next day. I technically should have been back already. There was mixture of fury, shame, and uncertainty brewing in his gut and he wanted to quash it before having to meet anyone. He breathed slowly, deeply, and leaned up against a wall. He let his head rest against the wall and felt the queasy feeling subside a bit. He sighed and pushed out a long exhale, leaving the wall.
He saw no one as he wound through the crew dormitories, arriving at the main hallway that connected the crew living space, the command deck, and the working spaces. Right on the edge of this junction, the main cafeteria’s double doors opened into a massive bay, with tables stretching far down the open space leading to the serving line and kitchens in back. Quin knew that back there, Bostwick had arranged to have coffee served continuously. He looked around and saw pockets of people eating and a larger crowd lounging around a group of tables. Quin saw Mae and Bostwick among the group and made to leave to avoid them, but Mae caught his eye and waved him over, preventing his escape.
Quin trudged over and sat down at the periphery of the group, He didn’t recognize a lot of the people sitting there, though he could remember a few being among Mae’s engineering section. He supposed the others were a good mix, some being security, judging by their builds and haircuts.
Mae leaned toward him a whispered, “As you can imagine, word has travelled fast.” This set Quin on edge. He in no way felt ready to confront his fellow crewmembers about what took place in that hangar. He shifted uncomfortably in his seat before he felt a hand on his upper arm. Mae was looking at him, meeting his eye as he silently pleaded to escape. Her firm clutch on his arm was remarkably comforting.
“It’s okay, Quin,” Mae whispered to him. “Nothing is going to happen. I’m here and so is Commander Bostwick. Stay, eat.” She slid him her tray where a good portion of her meal was untouched. He grabbed a rehydrated roll and tore off a bit. It was about all he could stomach. He chewed slowly and let his eyes trace the floor tiles between his feet. It allowed him to be ignored by the ongoing chatter while still paying attention to what was being said. A number of the crew were debating amongst themselves, some more loudly than others.
“Drake here thinks we can just go killing each other willy-nilly,” one crewmember said loudly. She gestured to an older, scruffy looking man in a white t-shirt and a stained apron reclining against the table, a hardened look about him. He was the head of the kitchen crew that Quin remembered from his first briefing.
“Shoulda killed ‘em while she had ‘em pinned,” Drake grunted. His accent was more British than anything, though it was course and not like some of the academy instructors’ more refined dialect.
“You can’t be serious, Drake. Killing another person? That’s so senseless,” Mae said.
“Goddamn thief, gotta lot less than ‘e deserved,” Drake scowled.
“Drake, we’re on a goddam humanitarian mission, for the love of…” Mae quipped, exasperated. “How can you be for killing this guy when we are trying to save all those people of Gaia?”
“It’s tha’ job, girlie,” Drake retorted. “You officer types got all these ideas. You know how much a support staff gets from this? Imma retire tha’ minute we get back.”
“Well, sure, there’s that,” Mae said, a little resigned. “But there’s also the humanist principle. Protecting and promoting human life.”
“Life is pointless, dearie. Th’ sooner you reconcile yerself with tha’, the sooner you will be comfortable with th’ fact tha’ nothing you do matters. Tha’ bloke is insignificant. An’ so are you,” Drake stated, punctuating his last sentence with a jab of the finger at Mae.
“Why are you being so cold?” Mae said, rather hurt.
“Cause life hurts, right Chief?” Drake sneered. He turned to Commander Bostwick with raised eyebrows. It was clear that Bostwick was now the only person that could say anything that would be heard by the entire group, Drake included. The familiarity of the remark seemed to indicate that Bostwick and Drake had been on missions before together.
“Actually, Drake, I don’t agree,” Louis said, seemingly waking out of a deep reverie.
“Really? You think this whol’ thing ain’t some crock of shit?” Drake asked incredulously.
“I have long ago come to terms with how small I am compared to the grand arch of the universe. You can’t be a space traveler and not see that. In my experience, it usually drives people to one of two extremes: they either become extremely religious in their search for belonging and purpose, or they become so nihilistic that caring goes the way of the common cold: extinct. I see that you tend towards the latter. Me?” Louis shrugged, offering, “I take a different approach. Yes, our existence has a sense of cosmic horror and pointlessness. We are not some Ancient Ones, consuming worlds and manipulating the very fabric of physical laws. We are subject to the universe’s ebbs and flows. So, what do we do? What can we do? We give our lives purpose; we give them meaning.”
“Yer just like ‘er,” Drake said, shaking his head and flapping his hands to wave him off. “Sentimental wishing that’ll save tha worl’.”
“Perhaps. Though I would say I’ve seen quite a few loved ones and colleagues senselessly killed: training accident mishaps, space travel cataclysms, incurable diseases, not to mention at the end of a gun.” Quin was frozen, though he was staring intently at the floor so as to not meet anyone’s gaze. He knew who Bostwick was talking about when listing those causes, and Quin felt his stomach churn violently when imagining himself being on that list.
“Their deaths affect everyone around them and funerals are for the living,” Bostwick continued. “You can’t see that and not be angry at the universe for what seems like random fatal chance. I know I have been at some points. So, I’ve come to look at it this way. In light of everything that could go wrong at any time, YOU, yourself, are responsible for giving your life meaning.”
“Philosophical bullshit,” Drake said, interrupting, and crossing his arms and leaning back against a cafeteria table.
“Shut the hell up, Drake,” Mae said testily, turning back to Louis.
“It’s okay, Mae, everyone is entitled to their opinion,” Louis said, smiling softly.
“Sure, but he keeps dismissing it without letting you explain it. What do you mean by ‘giving meaning’?”
“Hmm, well, look at it like this. Whatever you do in life, you are remembered by. Everyone interprets things too, so your meaning is the only thing that comes from you, intrinsically. Once you put it out there, it’s for others to deal with as they please. Especially in death. That’s why we gild our historical figures, we project our best wishes on them, despite what meaning they may have intended for their life. It is only in your own life and your own motivations that you are able to control your meaning, your purpose, so that is why you have to live your life as fully as possible.”
“Wow, that’s pretty heady,” Mae said, smiling a bit.
“Not really. Look at it like this. When the Europeans set out to conquer the American continents, they were after large amounts of gold. Gold, itself, has no real intrinsic purpose, until a person comes along and gives it a purpose or meaning by using it for something. So, the Europeans ascribed it tremendous value. The Native Americans living on those two continents, millions of people spread across thousands of miles of land and spanning cultures, languages, and beliefs, were subject to such cruelty and horror, through genocide and plague, all because the Europeans ascribed value to a particular resource. And the kicker is, these native groups held that resource in a different regard. Imagine an alien race coming along and saying that your…shoes,” Louis said, gesturing toward Mae’s feet, “were extremely valuable and were going to trade you for them. And you refused, so they killed you for them. Wouldn’t you think that their purpose for shoes is a little…off?”
Mae simply nodded. The rest of the cafeteria was silent.
“Sure. Humans are the only beings that we know of right now that can not only give purpose to things, but also to themselves. It’s why our species had religion for so long. People seek purpose. Now, I have no patience for such a system where my purpose is controlled by something else. Some people go their entire lives, repeating a mundane set of tasks within a relatively limited amount of space, and call that living. If that’s where they get their own purpose, then fine. But I’ve concluded that living a purpose-driven life means taking personal responsibility for one’s own actions and putting it at the service of others. I give myself purpose. That’s why I’m here. I’m fortunate that my life’s purpose is aligned with the humanitarian ideals present in our mission. Many people search a long time to find such a unity of purpose.”
“So yeh’ve got yer altruism an’ it keeps you warm an’ fed at nigh’,” Drake said sarcastically.
“I’ve got my bread and my cot, so I’m taken care of. I’m speaking about a higher search for meaning. I believe to my core that such a mission is purposeful, because I am dedicating my existence to others. I’ve come to accept my fate. If I die—and I shall because all of us are only temporary passengers on this journey—then my life’s meaning is crystal clear,” Louis finished, sitting back in his chair, taking a sip of coffee, and glancing over at Quin, who was busy tracing a panel of floor tiling with his eyes and trying to soak in everything Louis said. “And if it needs to be stated for the record, I’m also opposed to killing anyone onboard this ship, or off it for that matter, no matter what crime they are believed to have committed.”
Drake stood up, staring at Louis, and wiped his nose on his sleeve. He opened his mouth as if he was about to say something, but instead just shook his head and wagged his finger and stomped off to the kitchen.
Quin stood up too and skulked off out the main cafeteria doors. Louis jumped up and chased after him, leaving the rest of the room sitting quietly.
“Quin! QUIN! Will you just stop and talk to me?!” Louis said part-way down the hall, grabbing Quin’s arm and turning it. Quin’s eyes were burning as he was trying hard to hold in his guilt.
“Okay, come on,” Louis said, guiding him down the hallway.
They walked a full quarter length of the massive ship, Louis guiding him through the twists and turns of the labyrinth that was the Nemo. They passed through the portal leading to officer quarters and arrived at Louis’s chamber. The walls closed in around Quin as he and Louis crammed themselves into the room. Louis sat Quin down on the bed and took the desk chair.
“You need to cool down,” Louis said. “I know it’s not your fault. You have this really annoying, yet really endearing habit of carrying the weight of the cosmos on your shoulders. Even Atlas himself asked for a break. No one is dead.”
“Yeah, but it could have gone a lot worse. And I had no way of controlling it, yet I’m still responsible for it, Louis,” Quin half-shouted, launching himself up and pacing the small room. Bostwick’s eyes followed him back and forth. “I can’t face Captain Fuentes, or the other crew, let alone Nova. I don’t know what to say to her. Aside from that I almost got someone killed.”
“Like I said, Quin,” Louis said, smiling softly, his piercing grey eyes suddenly warm, “leave it to others to gab about the situation and suppose everything. You, yourself, are the only person who knows what is in your heart. But, my friend, I think I can guess what’s in there.”
Quin’s his chest was tight as he was burning up with humiliation and rage.
“You know what I do when I need to calm down?” Louis asked.
“What’s…that…” Quin said between slow breaths to calm himself, the tightness in his chest refusing to abate.
“You ever heard of Hendrix?”
“No, what’s that?”
“You mean, who’s that,” Louis said, hopping up. “Take a deep breath, lean back, and rest your head. Let the music wash over you.”
Quin laid his head back against the wall next to the bed and got comfortable.
“Now, center yourself. Take a deep breath,” Bostwick said softly as he scrolled through a menu on his tablet in the wall. He pressed play on his tablet, and the first twangy guitar strums filled the room, like a heartbeat, pulsing the air through Quin’s chest.
Quin let his eyes go unfocused and closed them as the lyrics began emanating from the nothingness around him. “After all the jacks are in their boxes…” the cool edge of the singer’s voice and the slow, driving grit of the guitar took over him, and he drifted off to sleep. The Nemo cruised on into the black, and it was as if Jimi and space fused as one, his music making the nothingness swell with soul. “And the wind…cries…Mary.”
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2023.05.30 20:00 I_Love_Cyndaquil2 I’m seriously contemplating suicide now.
I can’t take this anymore, I’m failing civics, history, math, and my shop teacher stared right at me while saying that if anyone fails they will have to re-take the course next year, and stated that doing bad on our main project could make us re-take it, and I know I did bad on it, the majority of my cuts were off, I forgot to sand down the dowel, the wood split, the angles were wrong, and the table wobbled.
My mom says if I fail any classes I get kicked out, and with a month of school left my chances of being kicked out are almost guaranteed now.
I can’t take this and it’s not helping that I have no hope in the future from price increases, overpopulation, and global warming, not to mention at this rate I won’t be able to get a job, at all since I have no skills and can’t interact with people because my social anxiety is so bad that simply saying hello sends me into full blown panic mode.
I have a bottle of adhd meds and fluoxetine at home which could probably get the job done, I just don’t know if I should do it.
Not to mention every day the things that haunt me are slowly killing me and I can’t take it anymore.
The worst part is, I dared to hope, I dared to dream, I thought that maybe all hope wasn’t lost, that the spell I did and the prayer had worked, but they didn’t.
It’s funny how life works like that, it shows you love and happiness, peace and joy, yet when you finally dare to hope, life hits you harder.
I tried looking into chemical imbalances, but that was false information spread around the internet, adhd only causes depression as a result of not meeting societal standards.
Born with a chemical imbalance some say… my earliest memory is having a fucking rottweiler latching onto me, my second youngest is cops showing up in my room at night and telling me my dad was taken. After that was my brother showing me vidoes of him beating people up, and telling me of how he bashed my dads head in with a fucking metal baseball bat, all this below the age of fucking five.
And when I tried to talk to people I was told to grow up, that I was faking, man up, men don’t cry, that my life wasn’t bad because I live in Canada.
I can’t even fucking remember all the words, just that they fucking hurt.
YOU WANT MEN TO NOT FUCKING CRY? WELL YOU GOT YOUR FUCKING WISH, I HAVEN’T CRIED IN YEARS, INSTEAD I LASH OUT AND BREAK SHIT.
These words have been louder than any fucking actions, they’ve literally fucking broke me.
I can’t fucking function as a human now because every time I do I have the voices of these assholes speaking in my head about how I’m not good enough, I’m ugly, that I’m stupid, that I’m fat, that men don’t fucking cry.
And I can’t fucking take it anymore, all I fucking understand is pain to the point that when I finally felt happy I sought pain because happiness was foreign.
I can’t take this fucking life anymore, I’ve pushed the nice people away and now I have nobody, all I fucking have is reddit, and what the fuck does that do.
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2023.05.30 19:58 sleepymilkcap Paid off my car, got a raise, and signed a lease for a new rental house
I made a post on this sub several months back about being in stifling credit card debt that kept me operating at a loss and how embarrassed I was about it, specifically in comparison to my boyfriend's comfortable financial position. I still really appreciate the kind and encouraging words from everyone in this sub who commented.
I'm still in a lot of debt and slowly making progress towards it, but life situations have made it pretty difficult. I found out earlier this year that my dog had cancer and he very sadly had to be put down earlier this month -- it was emotionally devastating and I had to drain what I had saved up for moving in July. I also decided to pursue care for my mental health and have been diagnosed with ADHD, and being medicated has helped me immensely so it was well worth the money.
Through all this I still managed to stick to my budget. I paid off my car last month which has left enough space to save back up for moving -- my boyfriend, who has been so understanding and kind about my situation, offered to pay the full deposit. I fully acknowledge that I'm very fortunate and privileged to have someone in my life who is able to do that for me, and I'm so grateful.
Well, we found a place we absolutely loved, the owners were very kind and understanding about my credit (my score dropped nearly 40 points after paying off my car...), and we signed the rental agreement yesterday! We're both over the moon and can't wait to move in.
Then I found out this morning that I received a 10% raise at work which took effect on my paycheck today!
And to top it off, my wonderful landlord offered to let me move out early and I will only have to pay rent for half of July. My current lease ends July 31st and the new house lease starts July 1st, so I still have plenty of time to move in while saving some money.
I've stressed every day for years now about money and I finally feel like I can breathe a little.
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2023.05.30 19:56 Correctamundope eBay buyer threatening me(seller) with small claims court/legal action.
Link to messages between us below.
So, I sold and item for around $90 a few months ago. USPS lost the item and it has not turned up since. This buyer and I have had very nice exchanges back and forth. I've gone to bat for him and talked to USPS multiple times trying to get something resolved.
The buyer told me (as you can see in the attached link) that they are just done with it and they don't care anymore and they left me a neutral but fair review. This was after I had offered to give them a refund if I couldn't resolve anything on my end. They also opened and closed an unpaid item case.
They've come back a few times now and threatened me with legal action as if we've never had any nice words between us. As far as I know, you cannot take anyone to small claims court for such a small amount. I've still told them that I will pay them back as soon as I can. I'm working my ass off to pay rent for my family this month.
I shipped the item first class(yes I know how dumb that was now) so no insurance. Also, the package never tracked.
I've been selling on Ebay for many years and have great feedback. I've dealt with some troublesome buyers before but, this is ridiculous.
Today, I talked with eBay and they said there's nothing he can do anymore and nothing required of me.
Should I even worry about this guy?
Please read the messages in the attached screenshots before replying.
Here's the messages. https://imgur.com/a/nDqmGEv
I can link the eBay support messages too.
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2023.05.30 19:54 Coolgirl-bornIn1800 I'm 95 episodes into Yu Yu Hakusho! Lets review Chapter Black! [No Spoilers For Future Material please!]
Yo! I made a post reviewing the Dark Tournament and everything before it here
, so lets talk about Chapter Black! Feel free to skip any sections you're not interested in! The first section is about Yu Yu's power systems! Also, this should be clear, but everything in episode 95 and before will be spoiled here.
By the way, why did nobody tell me this arc was so long?! I somewhat joke, but this has ended up perhaps longer than my post on the Dark Tournament. www
YU YU HAKUSHO'S POWER SYSTEM PROBLEM(And how Togashi solved it!)
So, for the arcs before this one, the power system of Ki has been somewhat frustrating. It didn't ever make me go "bleugh, i hate this power system!", that'd be silly, alot of great moments come from both Yoki and Reiki users. However, I do feel they held the story back in some ways! Soft power systems are.. not my faves. Seemingly, you can do virtually anything with the cost of aura. Training methods are never really defined, and when mentioned, they're 'mentioned' at most. Abilities of Ki users have no specific limitations except when thrown on with sudden explanation.
So, I love Territories! We're introduced to them with the three schoolboys, Kido, Kaito and Yanagisawa.. in order, they're the users of Shadow, Taboo and Copy! I love Kido and Kaito, though Yana didn't really get much focus in the story so I have no particular interesting in him outside of hairstyle and ability! Kido and Kaito on the other hands are fun, charismatic characters with awesome Territories! Kido is voiced by DIO, so that's another plus.
Kido's Territory is simple. His Territory is shadows. He can control his own shadow's movements, and if he steps on your shadow, you've entered his Territory, freezing your body in place. This is just fucking cool.
Yana's Copy Territory is cool, but not really notable. It was neat and was used well, it's just very limited. Though, in the final battle, I don't really see why he didn't copy Yusuke or Hiei; easily their strongest party members, and help out. Plot hole? maybe. Narrative convenience? certainly.
Kaito's is probably my fave Territory in the entirety of Chapter Black. Taboo makes a certain radius around him his Territory, inwhich violence is impossible! He sets the Taboo word, and if either he or anyone inside his Territory speak the Taboo, they lose their soul! Generally speaking, this was probably my one of my fave fights in all of Yu Yu Hakusho.
Strategic, skill-based, not about raw numbers.. A fight of intellect. Rad as fuck. Though, It really did sadden me that it was never used more than once! I'd love to see more Taboo battles. It's unfortunate Kaito never got to fight again. Theoretically he could defeat Sensui himself! I don't get why they didn't send him in in the final battle. I get it's total protagonist syndrome, where only the protags are allowed to fight the final boss, but c'mon. That only makes sense from a meta-perspective! In-universe, there's really no excuse. atleast we got several instances of good use out of Copy, but not using Taboo more than once? It's sad.
So, now that we've got through the first Territories we've met, what does this teach us? 1. there's always a bigger fish. Just because Yusuke is the strongest man on earth, doesn't mean he can't be defeated. After an antagonist like Toguro younger, it's hard to imagine who Yusuke could fight next. This is a genius way of implementing it. Raw power is no longer the way. 2. humans can now fight without any prior experience, as that hole opening is causing humans to gain Territorys. This is great for introducing new antagonists and supporting cast members. 3. Territories don't give the user raw stats! Users of Reiki and Yoki have their raw stats (ATK, DEF, AGI, MP, HP, ETC) increase the stronger they get. This is bad for a long narrative, as your characters will keep rising to new limits, making it harder to add stakes to a conflict, or add in new, strong, amazing guys.
This is the very reason that Togashi's next battle shounen manga had a power system that, while similar to Ki, has additional classes, rules, regulations and systems to it, because he learned from this narrative mistake. With Territorys, a user has only as much ATK, DEF, AGI or HP as an average person, with no MP to speak of. Any Territory user could just die from a brick to the head, or being punched too hard that their skull hits the ground and splits, like a normal person. This ups the stakes of the battle, by equalising the forces. Their ability and intellect are their strongpoint, not raw numbers. after like 40 episodes of raw stat-based combat, this was an AMAZING narrative choice.
This is further seen with a boxer named Murota. His wiretap allows him to read the mind of anyone who enters his Territory. So simple, yet so good for a narrative. All the storytelling involving Murota's Wiretap are great, and his easy defeat when it comes to Yusuke coming in didn't even take away from his ability being interesting. Sorry buddy, for a Boxer, you didn't get a offensive ability at all.
This is all of the introductory Territory, so i'll leave this section here. The other Territories and my thoughts on them will be covered along with their connected character. Though, I will leave you with one thought.. Togashi, All the women in your narrative are virtually identical visually speaking, get barely anything to do, and Genkai, the only one with a character arc and her own great story gets it reversed by the end of the Dark Tournament Arc..
atleast give us a W by giving Keiko a Territory! this way, the LEADING WOMAN of your story could join in the plot without ANY training required.. Like come on, what the hell. All women seem to do in Yu Yu Hakusho is act as someone to project and care for by their man. It's kinda gross. Atleast we have Genkai, but come on..
CHAPTER BLACK & YOKAI CLASSES!
Soon after the initial plothook, we learn we were tricked into thinking these guys were the plot! Gotta love Genkai lol. I love that she continues to teach Yusuke in such a way. Moving on, though, ignoring Sensui and the gang for now, Chapter Black! a GREAT concept! Is it a bit on the nose? Yes, of course. But we must remember Yu Yu Hakusho is aimed at young children, so we can forgive this, since it's really well written anyway!
Togashi would go on to perfect his writing about this theme in Hunter x Hunter, but that doesn't mean it's not amazingly done here! It makes perfect sense that Chapter Black would exist, and doesn't seem contrived, there's nothing negative I can really say about it. How it effected those who saw it tells enough, so I don't have to tell you about it!
So, before the introduction of Chapter Black, the tape itself, we learn about another thing that definitely existed this whole time! (I'm just being sassy, nothing wrong with introducing new concepts.) Yokai classes! At the beginning of the anime, Kurama and Hiei were lowly D-listers at the beginning of the anime, so their rise to power is quite unexpected, now being B-listers! By the end of the arc, they both reach A class! Good for them good for them.
The revelation that Toguro younger was only a B class is great. Really gave me a "Oh my god!" moment. The class system is very much serving the same purpose as scouters, to make us go "woah!" at how strong an enemy is to impress us, and to impress us even further when our Yokai protagonists, Hiei, Kurama, and later Yusuke are when they reach a higher level! It's simple but effective. Though, later, in my own opinion, this will have negative repercussions on the plot. But we'll get there at the end of this post. For now, they're good in my book! You'll see why my thoughts change later, and why I think they were a mistake in the long-run.
Also, a smaller note, some interesting foreshadowing. At the end of the arc, Shinobu notes that Kurama, as Yoko Kurama, was once an A class Yokai.. but he also mentions that Hiei used to be A class aswell?! Obviously, this is going to be expanded upon later. I'm interested to see why he dropped to D later!
INTRODUCTION OF BLACK ANGEL & SNIPER! THE FIGHT WITH DOCTOR..
Okay, now we're back to Territories and the plot! Sorry, we were stuck in the 'mechanics' zone for a while, weren't we?! So! First, we meet Sensui himself. Later, we learn this is one of his alters, Minoru. Ominously, he stares at Yusuke and the gang, and has Sniper shoot an eraser to intimidate, and lure them into a trap at the hospital! From this, we can already tell he's intelligent.
Here, he expected Yusuke to follow him so he could dispose of Yusuke, but Yusuke kept surprisingly cool thanks to Genkai's preparation she put them through. It's kinda fucking crazy to imagine that Yusuke, if he followed Sensui, he would of been quickly killed by Minoru and Sniper. Doctor would then of disposed of the users of Shadow, Copy and Wiretap. Can you imagine how the plot would of gone from here if Yusuke made this singular choice?! I love when a story has so many single choices that could change EVERYTHING. it's really entertaining to think about.
So, Wiretap's user gets taken to the hospital, but they learn that Doctor is about! Doctor Kamiya is a fun character, simple but effective, I really like him. So far, Yusuke has murdered countless evil Yokai, but to kill an evil Human? It's very different. In the end, Yusuke does kill Doctor, but Genkai revives him by restarting his heart, saying that Yusuke needs not the death of a man on his conscious. I really like this moment.
The entire fight was super entertaining and everyone got something to do! ..Well, except Keiko. Togashi, why'd you make her go there?! C'mon man.. This is probably one of the best fights in Yu Yu Hakusho. I love that Kido and Wiretap and Copy's users do alot to aid Yusuke in this fight! It really feels like a group effort.
On the Territory front, Doctor Kamiya's is cool! Generally speaking, doctor powers are always super cool. A Reiki scalpel, creating diseases with his mind, perfect surgery skill.. his Territory being the diameter of a Hospital, it's so fun. It's a cool limitation too, all these abilities, but he can only use them inside of a Hospital setting. Territories allow for such awesome limitations.
SEAMAN, KUWABARA'S AWAKENING! KOENMA'S MORALITY..
Seaman! It's a great conflict, not much else to say! Mitarai is a great character, and his Territory is cool! Really, I already talked about Mitarai through subtext in the 'Chapter Black & Yokai Classes!' section. Though I will say, UNLIKE WITH KEIKO, using this opportunity to unlock a new power for a HUMAN we've known for a long time, Kuwabara, is really clever! Him being the one who can cut open the field is the LAST THING I expected, it's great.
Though, this introduction of Seaman; Mitarai, will come back as a negative later! the Chapter Black arc introduces alot of great concepts and characters early on, but suffers for it in the late game is something I notice. Much like Yokai Classes that I mentioned earlier, this is something you'll wanna 'bookmark' in your mind, as later on I will explain my problems with Mitarai's usage later in the story! Just know that for now, I think his story position is great, aswell as his character itself. This poor kid was used by Sensui who held Chapter Black as the reason why Mitarai should join him in hating humanity.
So, around here is where we learn about Shinobu's past. So, throughout the early story, I didn't like Koenma much. I didn't DISLIKE him or anything.. he was just kinda a joke character in a serious role, which isn't a bad thing. But here, they really flesh him out.
Now, at the beginning of the story, Koenma uses Yusuke, a boy with an inferiority complex who's had fighting as the only thing he's good at, as a child soldier, sending him to what is basically war. Koenma even out-loud admits in the Chapter Black arc that he chose Yusuke because unlike Shinobu, he's not an independent thinker. Essentially, he's easy to use, with the idea being grooming him into the perfect child soldier for Spirit Realm's desires.
We the audience realize this is bad from the beginning of the story, and we all knew that Koenma was a bad person, but them saying out loud was rather surprising! Alot of battle shounen try to sneak this under the rug, like Naruto and My Hero Academia. Admitting that the morality of the adults in your story is corrupt for sending children to murder others and endanger themselves? Pretty ballsy!
and hey, Yusuke has murdered tons of Yokai up to this point, all of which deserved to die, but making a child do this is the immoral part. Something I enjoy about Yu Yu Hakusho is that all our characters can be rather grey at times. This is something Togashi perfects later in Hunter x Hunter. But for now, we have characters of questionable morality like Hiei and Kurama in our supporting cast.
Yusuke hasn't done anything immoral, but he's murdered plenty of people without remorse, and threatened to do as such to those he doesn't like by the end of the arc (the forces that King Enma sounds down at the end of the arc). Kuwabara is the only one who's truly morally clean when you think about it. Though, by the end of the arc, even he makes an immoral choice, which is fun. None of our protagonists are morally perfect, and I think that's great.
SHINOBU'S PAST! To note, I will be talking about Sensui's Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID
here. While we didn't learn about it at this point in the part, it seems like the most logical place to talk about it since it originates from his past, like anyone with DID. I do not have DID myself, so I cannot say if this is a good or bad representation of it. However, I can say that from what I know, it's very well researched. If anyone with DID has thoughts on this representation, I'd love to hear them.)
So, Shinobu, a human born with incredible Reiki. Probably equivalent to a low B-class Yokai in his youth. For reasons unknown to him, Yokai saw his incredible Reiki and targeted him. Why did these mysterious creatures that only he could see aim to kill him? He didn't know. Being a child, naturally, he comes to the conclusion. "I didn't do anything to them, and they're trying to kill me. Yokai are evil, Humans are the good guys."
Eventually, Koenma sees this kid, and is like "it's free real-estate.", choosing to use this kid for his own gain, grooming him into a child soldier and putting him into far more dangerous situations than he would of entered otherwise. As you know, Shinobu Sensui enters a young Black Black Club and witnesses humans being far worse than any Yokai he's ever seen. This sight likely tortures him for the rest of his life in his dreams, so that's fun.
This young man, filled with justice, decides he was completely wrong, and 180's his perspective. Yokai are free and honest creatures. Humans are the evil ones. This awful past, and this traumatic moment in his life, are what form his modern perspective, formed the alters in his system to cope with the trauma, and inspired him to steal Chapter Black and go into hiding for 10 years soon later.
Surprisingly, Sensui Shinobu does not develop one evil personality who controls the 'real Shinobu', like the old trope goes. Togashi here shows a fairly realistic depiction of DID, with alters of different age, gender and personality.
Considering we later learn about Itsuki, the gay man who loves Sensui, and both this and DID are treated really well, it really makes you wonder why the women in Yu Yu Hakusho are treated so badly when mental illnesses and homosexuality are treated with respect, lol. You were so close Togashi! now if only you treated Transgender people and women better.. well, he learns to treat both these groups better in his later works, so I can't really complain. I forgive you, old man. We'll speak about each of Sensui's identities later when they're introduced!
YUSUKE VS SENSUI! DEATH IN YU YU HAKUSHO..
Sniper fires a 'bullet', attempting to kill Mitarai! Yusuke runs down and fights Sensui way earlier than i'm sure any of us expected! Minoru and Yusuke's fight is one to behold, his leg-based fighting style is rad! Though, it's quite unfortunate that I don't have much to say about this brilliant exchange? I suppose with fighting, being such a visual thing, it's hard to talk about it. But what ends up happening as you're aware is that Black Angel, Gourmet and Gamemaster kidnap Kuwabara, the only one who can cut up that field; the barrier! We get a rad chase scene where Yusuke, with his super physicality thanks to his incredible Reiki, chases them down on a bike despite them driving a car!
This entire sequence is great. By the way, so far, Kurama hasn't done much this arc, and nor has Genkai. really makes you wonder why either of them didn't die in the Dark Tournament arc. Sorry to bring this up, but I just really don't like fake character deaths! Atleast Kuwabara's new Territory is a major plot-thread.. Kurama saved Keiko and Kuwabara elder, who shouldn't of been there in the first place and defeated Kaito's Taboo.
Genkai set up the boys to kidnap Yusuke and fight the gang, and that's it. I love what they did in this arc so far, but it's so little to justify such impactful moments. Kurama, fine, I can accept it. His sacrifice was impactful, but it didn't really matter, but Genkai.. she's such a good character, reviving her like this really makes me go "wow, so nobody can die except the antagonist, huh.". You don't want the audience to see through the wall like that..
YUSUKE VS SNIPER!
At this point, every fight in the arc has been amazing. I can't help but think Togashi has perfected combat. Hagiri's Territory is truly masterful, his Territory is a certain range from his body. From this range, he can place several bullseyes on his target's body. Any object he makes physical contact with will chase his target until it hits one of these bullseyes! What I'm saying is this Territory is awesome, and the fight is amazing. Unfortunately, as I mentioned before, when it comes to a fight there's not much to talk about, haha. I loved it though! At this point it feels like every new fight is 'the best fight in Yu Yu Hakusho'!
Something I love is that this guy isn't even Sensui, but he almost killed Yusuke! He would of, if our lovely tsundere Hiei wasn't about! After defeating Sniper in one hit, Hiei gives Yusuke a figurative handjob and releases Yusuke's tension! Yusuke and Hiei strike a deal with a fun climax in the epilogue of this arc, and team up!
Finally, the gang all meet up, and enter the cave! The final dungeon! Genkai decides that it's best to send in a limited number of people. If they all enter at once, then if the first wave dies, the second wave has a chance! Well, I already voiced my my complaints about this choice, so whatever. I'm just glad Mitarai gets to go in! He has to resolve his character arc, afterall.
GAMEMASTER, GOURMET, AND MINORU..
The actual games weren't very interesting to watch, but I enjoyed Mitarai's development, aswell as Kaito getting frigging screen-time! The way Gamemaster is defeated is really sad, I like it alot. It really tore Kurama up to kill this child. Love it. Seeing how Sensui manipulated this poor little boy is crazy.
After the defeat of Gamemaster, we get to Gourmet! blah blah he wasn't defeated. I don't really like Kurama's fights, to be honest. He just kinda pulls something out of nowhere. It's like he can do anything at all but only once.
So, Gamemaster and Gourmet were kinda dips in quality.. but soon we're back to the stuff I like! Now, logic dictates that if only Sensui and Itsuki are left, we're either going to have a 2 V 4, or Itsuki has to be defeated first before the gang can fight Sensui together.
Logic also dictates that now that Kurama has had his moment to shine, defeating both Gamemaster and Gourmet, it's time for Hiei, who has been absent the whole arc, and Mitarai, who's character arc revolves around being free from Sensui's manipulative grasp, to fight!.. but logic has nothing to do with it! Itsuki has tamed a Yokai of sorts, and kidnaps the gang! So, Hiei, Kurama and Mitarai are reduced to reaction youtubers. Atleast Itsuki is an interesting character, his feelings for Sensui are really sweet.
So, the fight between Yusuke and Minoru begins! I love the twist on classic battle shounen conventions where Yusuke in ATK, DEF and AGI is stronger than Minoru. Minoru has superior skill and MP and HP, but that's about it! Essentially, if Kurama is a White Mage, and Hiei is a Red Mage, then Kuwabara is the Warrior. Meanwhile, Yusuke and Minoru are a strange hybrid class, a Black Monk; a Monk who has access to Black Magic. Yusuke is overwhelmed by projectiles, but eventually realizes that he'd lose the war of attrition, so he goes on the offense! the damage isn't too much, so he just takes it and punches the hell out of Minoru! Frankly, the charismatic, philosophical and manipulative Minoru is my fave of Sensui's System. But we're soon introduced to Kazuya!
YUSUKE VS KAZUYA
I love Kazuya! His personality is very outward, and he's vulgar! A great opposite to Minoru, who's not very straight-forward at all. I don't really get if his gun arm is made from his Reiki or a prosthetic. If it's a prosthetic, where did his hand go..? But well, it's a cool weapon, so I can forgive it. Later when Shinobu shows up he asks Itsuki for a spare hand, so I guess it's a prosthetic? It doesn't really matter, but it peeves me slightly lol.
Kazuya loves murder and torture, and gradually shoots the hell out of Yusuke! I love this guy. Suddenly, Koenma appears! He wants to take responsibility for his awful actions?! I LOVE this for Koenma's character. Instead of a character with a black presence throughout the story, his presence has become a grey! He's regretful of what he's done, and I appreciate that. Through this arc, it feels like Koenma and Yusuke form a friendship, so that's nice. poor Jorge tho, totally neglected lmao. But while I like Jorge, he doesn't really matter.
So, Yusuke had time to recover thanks to Kazuya and Koema's conversation (the conversation was great, by the way.) and swipes the Mafuukan from Koenma! This is in-character for the low-self esteemed boy, so yeah. Yusuke beats the shit out of Kazuya, which is fun, and Shinobu appears!
Shinobu shows up, puts on a shirt, and reveals he has.. Sacred Energy; Seikoki. Now, I'm sure in the last arc this will be expanded upon, but this for now has no info that we know about it, except that not even Genkai could turn her Reiki into it. We learn that Shinobu's Seikoki is SO strong.. that he's equivalent to an S class Yokai. Bro. TOGASHI. this is WHY you introduced Territories, so this wouldn't happen!! come on man.. so guess what, he kills Yusuke?
Listen, it starts cool okay, like, this is looking back in hindsight. At first it was "OH MY GOD HE'S SO STRONG" and "HE BROKE YUSUKE'S ARM WITH A TOUCH". it was really cool! but narratively, this was clearly a mistake. here's the thing.. Sensui is a great character. he definitely could of came back later. hell, while we know the names and personalities of all his alters, we haven't even met them yet! We've only met three! He's such a complex character, but from here, everything in the climax feels cramped.
So, Yusuke dies, this awakens Kuwabara's Territory fully, and he cuts out of Itsuki's dimension. Kurama is so enraged that his body enters the Yoko form by itself, without his mind reverting. Hiei's power goes up to A Class on principle. This is cool, but here's the thing. We *all* know they can't win. Togashi has introduced power levels. Kinda crazy isn't it? Togashi introduced Power Levels (Spirit Class) from Dragon Ball AND Stands (Territory) from JoJo in the same arc! Territories are great because fighters can come from anywhere and don't rely on being powerful to win. Spirit Classes suck because they relegate power to 'my number (or in this case, letter) is higher, so I win.'
Kuwabara and two A-Class Yokai.. they can't win against a single S class. On the bright side, good character moment coming up! When Shinobu gets behind the barrier, Kuwabara without even holding back, knowing he's going to die and so are all humans anyway, cuts through it, letting swarms of Yokai soon kill all humans! This makes sense for Kuwabara, since he knows they're all doomed anyway. Hiei and Kurama don't try to stop him, none of them regret this choice, they want to die by Shinobu's hand, fighting to the death. That's their choice. They fight on into the Demon Realm and face certain death..!
A DEMONKIN AWAKENS..
So, we learn here, while Hiei, Kurama and Kuwabara fight Shinobu, Yusuke is reviving! His descendent was an S-class Yokai! The Yokai traits skipped about a hundred generations, and Yusuke inherited this gene! I think this is actually.. pretty great! It only makes sense, right? in the prior arc, Toguro had his life ruined my Yokai, so he became one. Toguro hates Yokai.
in this arc, Sensui saw humanity being totally evil, so he took the Yokai's side. In the end, he, the human, fighting for the Yokai, fights Yusuke, who becomes a Yokai to stop Sensui, the human. Thematically, this is the best way this could end, Yokai vs Human. Even if this stuff with Yusuke and Shinobu being S-Class sucks, but it is what it is, i love that Yusuke is a Yokai. Though, poor Kuwabara, he and Keiko are the only human characters that matter left lol.
Pheonix Puu looks soo fucking cool btw, love that design. I love that Yusuke has spikey teeth now, that's fun. so, Yusuke and Shinobu fight, and I realize.. Shinobu is the least interesting of Sensui's system? He's overpowered, kills random Yokai in the Demon Realm while fighting Yusuke.. does he even care about his own goal? It's weird man.
well, on the bright side of this shitty Dragon Ball fight, Yusuke's Yokai form he enters looks super cool! Great design, love it. so, Yusuke does his Goku thing that he's started doing since the Dark Tournament Chu fight and is unsatisfied with beating Sensui while not using his own power. Whatever. Itsuki explains that Sensui is sick for some reason. This was not well foreshadowed, but he had cancer or whatever. Koenma brang Gamemaster back to life, so that uh. good job removing a great moment of the arc from the continuity, Togashi. It's really true that only antagonists can die in Yu Yu Hakusho, huh!?
I like that Shinobu wanted to open the hole to the Demon Realm because he wanted to die there, though. A great repentance for his transgressions against Yokai-kind, and this being delivered to him by the strongest Yokai we've seen so far, Yusuke Uremeshi, is great. Itsuki takes away Sensui's corpse forever into the darkness, which is sweet.
So, the epilogue! i loved EVERYTHING about it. everyone's paths they took were great. I love Doctor and Sniper's especially! If I have one pet-peeve, it's that they cut Yusuke's hair, it looks so coool, imagine him with the school uniform on with the long hair and scary tattoos?! it'd look rad. come on, uremeshiiii--
thank you for reading! sorry it's so long! :P big arc lol.
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2023.05.30 19:54 kigotthis Coworker vacations without PTO, I want to ask her how she does it.
Hi everyone I’m just looking for advice on how to go about asking one of my coworkers how she’s able to go on vacations so often despite not having PTO time.
So at my job, I work in a corporate office on site 5 days a week, we get 3 weeks (so 15 days) of PTO at the start of each year for anyone who has worked here 3 years and under. One of my coworkers has been here 2 years, so she is still on tier 1 of PTO time. But it’s only end of May, and she has already met and passed all her PTO time. I know this because I’ve counted all the days she’s been on vacation. And I mean like a real vacation, not just she was gone 1 or 2 days during the week but like 4+ days, and they weren’t on the calendar as WFH, but as Out of Office.
I’m curious to how she’s able to do this and either make up her time, or if she has an understanding that she’ll work from home during some of the days or what, but if she’s used up all her PTO, and has more vacations on the calendar this year, I want to know how she does it because I don’t want to use up all my PTO (I have 10 days left, and I mostly use them as sick days because we don’t have separate) and not be able to do a lot in terms of actually vacationing. We’re both salary, and maybe she negotiated something when she started, but I just want to be able to go on a vacation and not use up all my PTO for the rest of the year in case I get sick or there are any emergencies. And also because I don’t want to leave my work responsibilities for too long, so if I can work remotely while traveling somewhere that would be great. I’ve also been at this new job for 8 months and am mostly left to my own devices as a project manager, so maybe I have to wait to be comfortable with everyone to do this?
Question is, how do I ask her politely so as to not make her feel like I’m stalking her movements, or want to take advantage of the company or something like that. Maybe even my wording on this post makes it seem like that, again I’m just wanting to be able to go on vacations too and not be worried about using up all my PTO if there’s a way around it. Do I even ask her? Would I ask my boss? But also that makes me nervous as I don’t want my boss to think I’m being lazy, or will be goofing off.
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2023.05.30 19:53 LeeCloud27 ACT 2-10-6: Blood-Stained Clinic
was under attack, with hordes of youkai both feral and corrupt; most of them being rabbit youkai. They were charging in with their broken, bloody mallets while they bore forms more akin to their small and fluffy counterparts; albeit in a much more horrific manner. Some of them shrieked, screaming wildly while they charged forward, only for a long sharp blade to come around and slice a colony down.
Youki sheathed his sword slowly, followed by all the rabbits which had been sliced, having their blood spraying out of their arms, legs and chests until they plummeted to the ground; back where most of them belonged. He looked back for a moment before hearing someone approaching as he pulled out his sword once again.
He sliced another one that came at him with a mallet, then another that tried to attack him from behind. Both rabbits had their heads cut off, leaving them with decapitated bodies that twitched before falling.
“Hmph! Coward, trying to strike an old man while their back was turned.” Youki said to the dying rabbit.
Behind Youki was Kosuzu, Ko, Wakasagihime, Gummy and Shanghai, all of whom were either being carried or hiding behind Kosuzu, leaving the child spirit struggling to hold everyone’s weight; even if she happens to be dead. Ko specifically was shivering and trembling; stuffing herself with chocolate as a form of comfort.
“Uh, s-sir?” Kosuzu said. “I would like it if you didn’t show that kind of scenery in front of the kid. The last thing I want is for her to get nightmares after this.”
“Nonsense. Back when I trained Youmu I showed her many types of corpses and dead carcasses in order to improve her resistance to mental shock. Needless to say I think it didn’t have much success, probably the opposite even.” Youki said.
“Grandfather of the year right here.” Kosuzu thought to herself sarcastically. “I just hope everyone else is okay.”
Back outside of Eientei, Meiling and Mary were punching and slicing their opponents up. Meiling herself had PB equipped in order to boost her abilities; with PB taking the appearance of a blue Chinese fighting dress to match her preferences in design. She was palm striking, roundhouse kicking both feral and corrupted beings out of sight; blowing them away like striking a baseball as hard as one can with a bat in order to get a home run.
“Wow! I never felt so powerful before!” Meiling said while fighting. “I feel like I could face Taisui Xingjun and win without breaking a sweat!”
“That is good to hear, Miss Meiling.” PB said. “However you are aware that the more you use me, the more I drain you of your energy, correct?”
“Oh, yeah. I’ll try to be careful.” Meiling said. “How are you doing Mary?”
Mary was too focused right now. She was plowing down rabbits and lost causes one by one while sucking them up of their blood using her daggers. She had a delightful smile on her face, the reflection of the moon on the glasses everyone was wearing.
“I’m doing great! The number of enemies coming to me like blood donors; ohhh… It is glorious!!!” She said while gutting one unlucky rabbit of all their blood.
“Uhhh…Are you okay Mary? You didn’t stare at the blood moon too long, did you?” Meiling asked.
“Oh, don’t mind her. Mary is usually like that on certain occasions.” PB said.
Cirno and Rumia meanwhile were still in the midst of their fight. Their swords clang and swung as they were both focused; though one was keeping a cool head, the other hot-headed. Rumia yelled and screamed with blind rage as her eyes glowed bright as the red-stained moon. Cirno was keeping up with her; not wanting to make the same mistakes she did as last time.
“Rumia! I know you’re in there!” Cirno shouted. “You can’t allow the moon to affect your sanity! Please, for Ko’s sake!”
“GRAAAAAAGH!” Rumia responded, swinging her sword down at the Ice Fairy.
Everyone was able to hold off the fending invasion. Youki sliced down his opponents, Meiling and Mary were out on the offense, and Cirno kept Rumia’s attention.
But further in the bamboo, a large squad of moon rabbits kept an eye on the group; analyzing the situation and the best course of action they should take.
“This is Rabbit group 2, I have an eye on the enemy. The red-haired girl and the crimson dressed lady currently have the armor on hand.”
“This is Rabbit group 1, I have infiltrated inside the base. The only threat so far is the swordsman; the rest do not look as though they pose a threat.”
“Rabbit group 3 here, two of the enemies are fighting one another. It seems one of them has been entranced by the moon.”
“Copy that everyone. Ready for my signal.” The Captain said.
Another feral youkai flailed their arms as they reached forward, only for that hand, their arm, and the rest of their body to be sliced into pieces by Youki, while their phantom half remained flying around them.
“Hmph! That makes another! Honestly, they come one by one just to get struck down by my blade.” Youki said.
Kosuzu and the others continued to stay behind him, but they’d gradually moved a little further back thanks to the pile of chopped corpses that now make up the inside of Eientei. But this was a mistake on their part, as they didn’t notice that someone else had sneaked in and grabbed Ko who was right behind everyone else.
“Wa-” Ko screamed when her voice was suddenly muffled.
“Ko?” Kosuzu looked behind, but only saw the bar of chocolate that Ko was previously eating.
“Ko!? Where are you!?” She asked in a panicked tone.” Youki, Ko is-”
Then Kosuzu’s voice was muffled, as was Wakasagihime, Gummy, and Shanghai thanks to the coordinated effort by the group of moon rabbits who infiltrated inside Eientei to take them away. Kosuzu tried to phase through, but the rabbits were wearing some kind of special equipment that made it impossible for her to accomplish.
Shanghai struggled the most, thanks to her small size. She slipped through the hands of the rabbits to alert Youki.
“Shanghai! Shanghai!” Shanghai let out their voice right before the rabbits grabbed her and stuffed her inside a bag.
“Hm?” Youki turned around and saw what was happening. He quickly readied his sword to attack; intending on striking all his enemies down in a blink of an eye. But the rabbits had prepared for such a scenario.
Falling from the ceiling a small moon rabbit jumped out, using the opportune and shot Youki with a dart, hitting him in the back of his neck. Immediately his body turned limp and he fell to the ground, unable to move his arms or legs.
“Unbelievable…” Youki thought.
“This is Rabbit group 1, we took down the swordsman and secured the others.” One of the Moon Rabbits said.
“Excellent. How’s 2 and 3?” The captain asked.
“This is Rabbit group 3, we’ve managed to capture the fairy. However the blonde one is giving us a hard time due to her frantic strength.”
The moon rabbits had tied up Cirno, with her arms behind her back and her legs together. One of the moon rabbits attempted to lift her fused sword, but found it to be quite heavier than expected. The rest of the group was busy handling Rumia as they tried to pin her down, but she kept throwing them around like rag dolls.
“Keep going, she’ll fall soon enough. How’s group 2 handling the situation?”
“Rabbit group 2 here. Most of us are fighting the crimson dressed lady and the red-head right now. We had one casualty so far but we are doing fine, most-"
A large fissure appeared below the rabbits, making them trip over as the ground rumbled violently. They quickly got in alert, raising their weapons.
"Sir, an earthquake has just happened! A fissure has been created in the ground!" One of the commanders said.
"Group 2 here! We have felt the shake! We are alert-
“YOU SPEAK TOO MUCH, MORON! HAHAHAHA!!! GIVE ME MORE BLOOD TO SHED!!!"
"Group 1 here! The prisoners have managed to slip from our grasp due to the earthquake!"
Another voice was heard through the radio.
"Recapture the prisoners and wait for orders! Group 3, split, secure the fairy and return to Eientei! Leave a group behind to deal with the other one!" The captain said.
Then, a gigantic punch came out of the fissure, sending the rabbit commander to the stars in a cartoonish fashion, leaving only the boots and the helmet behind. Shortly after, a couple of horns emerged from the ground, and an oversized Suika made her appearance, along with Satsujin and Sumireko, who flew away by the force. Satsujin ended up crashing into Eientei, where Kosuzu and the others were, while Sumireko was sent where Mary and Meiling were fighting.
Suika landed back on the ground after shrinking to her normal size. She had a look of shaky relief as though she had escaped the presence of death. Satsujin ended up landing on top of Youki, and Sumireko fell flat on the ground.
“Owie…” They all thought in unison.
In the midst of all the chaos, another figure flew right out of the hole that Suika had created, out into the blood-stained night, where more hoards of youkai; massive enough to be considered an army, approached. They had heard of all the chaos from far away, which meant that there was something there they could feast on.
It was time for the night parade of 100 demons.
But down in front of them came the same figure who came out of the hole Suika had created; crashing into the ground and marking a small chasm. The youkai were confused somewhat; tilting their heads over who or what had landed in front.
The figure slowly rose up, standing on their feet, wearing the classic red-white shrine maiden outfit, holding their sharpened gohei to the side, and staring back at all the demons with a fear-piercing gaze.
Chihana looked around her. She saw feral youkai on her left, corrupted on the right, and lost causes here and there. She tightened her grip on her weapon, pulling out her talismans and needles.
” Chihana said nothing, she thought of nothing. All that was in her mind was the instinctual urge to cut loose.
"My head…Where did I end up?" Satsujin said, rising from the ground.
"Satsu?" A very scared Ko said, as she hugged Shanghai, who had returned to her side after being stuffed in a plastic bag.
"Ko? Are you okay? Where are the rest?" Satsujin asked while he was helped up from the numb Youki.
“Off…My back.” Youki said. “Proof of my age.” Satsujin helped the old man up, right as Kosuzu and the others were freed from their restraints with the help of Ko.
“Oh thank goodness you arrived, Satsujin!” Kosuzu said. “We were ambushed by the moon rabbits! Youki protected us but we underestimated them. Where were you? What happened?”
“I-It’s a bit of a long story.” Satsujin said. “We were trapped underground in this weird lab, and when we reached the bottom we ran into someone completely unexpected.”
“Unexpected?” Kosuzu asked.
Right then, the sound of destruction was heard outside of Eientei. They all rushed to check outside, where they also saw Sumireko and Suika along with Meiling, PB and Cirno. Suika and Sumireko were already caught up on everything, with Suika now wearing one of the sunglasses that Cirno provided her.
“Oh, there you guys are!” Cirno said. “I was worried when you three fell into that trap door! I know it sounds like a lot, but right now we have ourselves a blood moon happening.”
“A blood moon?” Satsujin asked. He sensed his surroundings, noticing a surmountable amount of malice. “Great, exactly what we need right now.”
“But there’s more!” Cirno said. “This lady came out of nowhere, and now she’s been going on a killing spree!”
And right on cue, Chihana zoomed past the group, ignoring them and instead focusing on throwing another one of the youkai into the ground. She went to another and stabbed them with her gohei, then stabbed another one with the same gohei, and then another one before flinging them all away. She threw her needles around, piercing the skulls of several more, while her paper charms set the forest ablaze; burning any youkai who were unfortunate to have been in the crossfire.
“Who…Even is that?” Meiling asked. “Are they friend or foe?”
“It’s better to say neither.” Suika said. “That’s Chihana Hakurei, one of the predecessors of the Hakurei Shrine.”
“They're Hakurei!?” Meiling asked. “I-I thought Reimu was the only one!”
“Oh you have no idea…” Sumireko said.
"Guess we'll leave her alone with those things. For now, we gotta focus on defending the ones that can't fight. Where is Mary?" Satsujin asked.
Meiling pointed to a nearby building, where Mary had cornered a squad of rabbits who attempted to make a strategic escape.
"Group 2! We have been corn-"
"NO ONE'S GONNA SAVE YOU FROM ME!!!" A manic Mary shouted, as she splitted the rabbit in half in one hit.
*slash* *stab* *chop*
"MORE, MORE!!! GIVE ME MORE!!!" She shouted, as her eyes glowed like torches.
Mary turned her head, seeing Satsujin wave at her…without a shirt. She instantly sprinted over to him and hugged him.
“Satsu!!! There you are! I’m so glad you’re okay and safe! Oh what I would’ve been if I found out you were hurt or worse! But you’re not and that is a good thing! Where did you go, who were you with and why is your shirt torn up?” Mary asked in a hasty tone.
“Calm down Mary, I’m fine, but we have other problems to face right now.” Satsujin said.
Once again, Chihana nearly hit Mary and Satsujin as she came right behind with a youkai who she dragged across the ground, resulting in their face being torn off with muscles and bone showing. She threw them over at some bamboo as their blood splattered; marking some of the green stalks red.
Chihana was breathing hard, having gotten a fair share of injuries herself during her blood spree. She looked frantically, as though looking for more youkai to rip and tear. Fortunately, her actions drew the attention of several youkai, hundreds even. She was running low on needles and talismans, and her gohei had broken off due to it having been quite frail from years of inactive use.
But she wasn’t going to give up just yet. She charged at the hoard head on, gripping a fist full of needles as she began to bludgeon and stab the youkai.
She killed one by cracking their head with her fist.
One she killed with a single kick.
Another after their tongue was ripped off and left on the ground slowly bleeding.
Another when she tore off their arm and gutted their heart out with that same arm.
Chihana was surrounded. She ran out of everything in her arsenal. Her clothes were tattered, her hair a literal bloody mess, and she held one broken arm with the other, all the while missing a foot.
In her surroundings were the piles of piles of youkai she slaughtered, their skulls open, their organs spilled, and their lives long gone. But more still came; never-ending during the night of a blood moon. They all had their eye on Chihana, and didn’t care what it would take to get what they wanted.
All the others were amazed, having been spared of the onslaught of youkai due to Chihana luring them all. They could not believe how long one person could handle such an army on their own. But now Chihana was at her wits end; the horde of youkai clearly too much for her alone to handle.
“...Youkai…” Chihana said. “Creatures of the night… Savages… Monsters… Demons… They’re all… Demons. They don’t care if you’re some little kid, an old-fashioned granny, or a wounded villager; to them they all taste the same… That’s why I exist. I exist to protect the humans from those foul youkai…AND I WILL NOT ALLOW THIS TO BE MY FINAL STAND!!! YOU HEAR ME YOU EVIL INCARNATE!!! YOU ALL WILL PERISH UNDER THE NAME OF HAKUREI!” She yelled, showing her bloody hands as she spoke with complete determination. An immense battle cry was let out as she got ready to unleash a powerful spell.
The maw of a giant wolf appeared from the stalks of bamboo, unbeknownst to everyone. The wolf bit down on the head of the elder Shrine Maiden, gnawing at her and ripping it off like it was a piece of meat, leaving the rest of her body to spray blood everywhere like a fountain, before it collapsed on the ground, twitching slightly.
Sumireko, Satsujin, Suika, and everyone else were equally shocked by this. They watched the wolf eat the head before it swallowed, leaving nothing behind.
"What in the actual fuck was that? That thing killed a Shrine Maiden like it was everyday business!" Everyone thought in unison, save for Ko, who was being consoled by Kosuzu, due to the immense stress she was going through.
sniffed the air, before turning its head over to the ground, where it saw a moon rabbit that seemed desperate to escape.
“Dammit… I’m a freaking captain, yet I did not prepare to die here on Earth.” The moon rabbit said. “I need to get back and report to-”
The moon rabbit looked behind her, and saw the giant wolf staring down at her with its gaze and teeth.
“Fuck.” Was all she said before the wolf opened its mouth and began to eat her alive. She let out a terrifying scream as she was thrown into the air and straight down toward the belly of the beast as the wolf snapped its mouth shut.
The wolf looked up at the blood moon, and it howled, a loud howl that could be heard from miles.
The rest of the corrupted rabbits and youkai quickly fled out en masse, frightened by the creature, until it was just the wolf, facing the group of survivors, with a terrifying expression that depicted strong bloodlust.
“Oh, crap.” Sumireko said. “Of all the things, it had to be a giant wolf. What do we do?”
“Only thing we can do obviously… We beat the hell out of it!” Meiling said, rushing right at the wolf with PB still equipped. She ran at the wolf’s head, delivering a heavy kick from below, sending the wolf up into the sky, landing on the ground.
Meiling took a fighting stance, facing the beast as it slowly got up. The wolf growled at Meiling, charging at her again as she kicked it across the face once again to the left. Her punches were much more powerful than they already were; dealing massive blows to the beast again and again.
However, despite the warnings from before, she didn’t realize how much of her energy had already been drained as a result of wearing the armor. The visor on her head started beeping red.
“Miss Meiling! You have been exceeding the amount of energy used while wearing the armor! I suggest we retreat now while you still have enough to flee!” PB warned.
“What! I still feel energized! What are you…”
And then Meiling felt it. Her movement got sluggish, her mind hazy. She felt immense fatigue and the urge to rest. She checked her head while the constant beeping kept reminding her of the consequences of wearing the armor.
“Crap… You weren’t ki-”
The midst of the moment, the giant wolf slashed at Meiling with its claws, then slammed her with its tail, sending her way back rolling on the ground with massive injuries across her body. Had it not been for PB, it probably would’ve been fatal.
“Meiling!!!” Cirno ran over to Meiling as quickly as she could. “A-are you okay!? Talk to me!”
“I-I’m fine…” Meiling said. “It…it’s not the worst thing I survived. Don’t worry, I’ll heal as soon as I can.”
PB was removed from Meiling due to her injuries, stepping away from her right as some of the others went over to see if she’s okay.
"Meiling! I'll heal you shortly, please hold me for a moment." Mary said, handing over her blade, as Meiling took it, feeling the energy flowing through her, as the wounds slowly closed with some steam coming from them.
The wolf had begun to move towards the group quickly. Everyone got in a fighting stance, and Cirno got in front of them, leading the offensive. However, she felt someone pushing her away, that being Mary, who
"Get off my way! I'll keep that thing away from the old man and the others!" Mary said, as she rushed over to the giant wolf with her blade, and climbed up to the beast's back as fast as she could.
The wolf didn't take notice of her attack until Mary started to carve its skin open with her blade. The beast roared in anger and pain and began to move around, frantically trying to get the intruder off itself, though Mary was extremely resilient, and managed to do a lot of damage.
"Your skin is too- ugh! Can you stop moving for once? I'm not done with- wow!" She said, as she struggled to have a grip in the wolf's soft and silky fur. "Let's see if you can stand this!" Mary began to stab deeper into the beast's back, managing to spray quite a good amount of blood in the process.
However, this made the already tough to grasp grip even more slippery, causing her to be launched upwards, and kicked away by the beast. In the end, despite her efforts, the wolf managed to get her off its back, but not without causing sizable damage in the process. Mary was sent flying towards the armory room, crashing into it. A moment later, she emerged from the dust cloud the impact had formed, with her clothes messed up, and several weapons stuck in her body. Regardless of it, she pulled all of them out, and returned to the arena.
The rest of the group was separated due to the rampaging wolf. They were all knocked back, some getting injured. The only one who wasn’t knocked out of the way was Ko, leaving her with just the wolf. The wolf growled at Ko, moving closer as its dark eyes looked down at the timid girl, opening its mouth so it could devour.
"MOOOOOOOOOM! HEEEEELP!" Ko screamed to the top of her lungs, trying to call Rumia.
Somewhere further away from the fight. Rumia was lying on the ground; tied up as a lone moon rabbit was attempting to pull her away while she remained knocked out. But upon hearing Ko’s voice, she awoke from her slumber.
“Ko…Ko…” Rumia thought. “Ko!!!!” She realized.
“Everyone is dead… I can’t go back home… And we don’t even have the armor… Great, so much for my first ever mission.” The Moon Rabbit said. “At least I have one hostage. If I play my cards right, I could use her as the opportunity I need to acquire the armor. Then I can finally be praised by-”
A dark glowing sword went through the moon rabbit, cutting them in half. Rumia freed herself from her restraints.
“I need to help Ko! I need to save her!!!” Was all that the Youkai of Darkness could think of. She spread out her wings and charged forward with her blade.
The wolf had its mouth wide open in front of Ko. Her eyes were tearing up upon looking inside the mouth of the beast. All hope felt lost. But then the beast was knocked out of the way thanks to Rumia who came out of nowhere and rammed right at the beast with her blade.
!!!” Ko said with newfound hope.
Rumia pushed the wolf further and further away, far enough so that the wolf was nowhere near Ko. She pulled her sword out, and then threw out a barrage of bullets at the beast. The wolf howled in pain, but then quickly turned around to try and attack Rumia with its teeth and claws. It swiped, bit, thrusted forward, but Rumia grazed them all and countered back with more swings of her blade and even more bullets.
"Yes, yes!!! Split it wide open!" Mary shouted, encouraging Rumia as she kept a defensive stance just in case.
Rumia swung her sword in an uppercut at the wolf’s mouth, sending more blood out of the beast as it continued to fight back. Yet it could not do anything against Rumia, who was faster and stronger than it. She held her hands open, releasing two beams from side to side and closed in on the wolf, forming one single beam which burned the wolf’s fur and skin, causing it to howl in even more pain. She screamed in rage as the beam got bigger, causing more pain for the animal.
“THIS IS FOR KO!!!” Rumia shouted.
The wolf was blasted back, knocking down around half an acre of bamboo as a result of the fight. It tried to get up, but it had been weakened; whimpering in pain while Rumia remained floating there, her eyes glowing red.
“Yes! You did it!!!” Mary cheered. Everyone else came over to celebrate. Wakasagihime was carried by Suika over to where the wolf was lying.
“Wait a second. Something’s off.” The mermaid thought, taking a closer look at the wolf.
The wolf looked around, eyeing the group once again. Its eyes, which were dark pupils, softened into a shade of red. And it spoke with raspy words of genuinity. “Hurts… Save…Please…”
Wakasagihime gasped, recognizing the voice and who it belonged to. “N-No way…”
Rumia had other plans. She approached the beast, still filled with rage and animosity. She knew what needed to be done, regardless of objections.
“W-Wait!!! Rumia!!!” Wakasagihime yelled at her. “Don’t kill her please! That’s my friend!”
“Wait, your friend?” Suika asked.
“Please! I know her! She’s one of my closest friends! You can’t kill her! Stop her from killing her please!!!”
Taking her words at heart, Cirno and Sumireko rushed right at Rumia once again in order to stop her. Cirno and Rumia’s blades clashed before Rumia could slice off the wolf’s head.
“What…are you doing Cirno?” Rumia spoke with bitter hatred. “Get out of the way.”
“They’re already down! They’re no longer a threat! There’s no need to go any further!” Cirno shouted.
“I said, GET OUT OF THE WAY!!!” Rumia shouted, banging her head on Cirno’s nose, causing it to bleed. She was then knocked away to the ground.
“Cirno!” Sumireko said. “Rumia! Stop this! We won, Ko’s safe! Please, just put down your weapon.”
“Move Sumireko… Or I’ll make you.” Rumia warned.
Sumireko could tell that Rumia was still under the effect of the blood moon. Right on cue, she noticed something in her cloak glowing, and pulled it out.
The White Rose shone under the blood moon’s light. Realizing what this meant, Sumireko held the rose as high as she could, right as Rumia was raising her sword against Sumireko.
“I said move!!!” Rumia yelled at her.
“Mama!!! Wait!!!” Ko yelled at Rumia, getting her attention for just a moment.
Finally, the rose shone with a bright light, enveloping everything in its energy once again, as it had during the last blood moon. Sumireko, Rumia, Cirno, the group, even the wolf… Everything was shrouded in its energy.
And the rest of the night went on in peace.
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