Closest driver license office near me

Is State Tracking Rec Users?

2023.03.21 21:56 LonghairedHippyFreek Is State Tracking Rec Users?

I went to a dispensary for the first time today. They required me to show id which was expected. What wasn't expected was that they put it into some sort of machine. It didn't look like a scanner so maybe a drivers license card reader?
Also, something else I noticed was that there was a monthly allotment section on my receipt. Was a monthly allotment part of the Amendment for rec? If so, does this mean the state is tracking rec users via their drivers license? Or maybe they just haven't updated their software.
submitted by LonghairedHippyFreek to MissouriCannashops [link] [comments]


2023.03.21 21:55 candysweetheartz Help! Advice!

Advice/Process of moving to Italy for about 3 years from Canada
Hi there, this may be long but here is what I need advice on as soon as possible so I can get this all started.
So I’ve been hoping to move out of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, to Vicenza, Italy, hopefully by January or February of 2024, for about 34-35 months. Me (Canadian-24 yrs old) and my BF (American-25 yrs old) plan on staying together there, but I am assuming I of course will need a Visa of some sort, but dont know which one I should be applying for and when I should apply for it.
Some background info: We are both long distance at the moment, and he is in the US Army and is supposed to be stationed there November, 2023 for 36-months. I wanted to give him the months of november to january/february to find a home OFF the military post and settle in before I come, and so that I will have proof of a location to stay while I’m living in Italy.
The idea we have of moving our items seems logical, so I wont be having movers move all my stuff from Canada to Italy. We plan to have my items driven down to the States into a storage unit, so that he can tell the movers during his PCS, to get the boxes and furniture there and have it shipped to Italy, along his with his items. We chose to do this because it was a way cheaper alternative than having my things shipped off directly from my city.
My current job is a Medical Office Assistant, and am currently taking a nail technician course, so that in the future, I can possibly start my own nail business/work for myself. I gave this info because I was thinking it could help with determining what Visa I should be applying for ?
I wanted to know, should there be a medical travel consultation? Is staying there for 34-35 months possible? What information should I be gathering? How should the process work? Is there anything I should discuss regarding my banking? Current student loans that I am paying for? What considerations should I make regarding my drivers license.
Someone please help me out.
submitted by candysweetheartz to SchengenVisa [link] [comments]


2023.03.21 21:53 m80mike Don't Feed The Pumpkins


A rule breaking truck driver takes a forbidden detour.

Don't Feed the Pumpkins
I'm typing this as a record of what has happened to me. If someone should find me out here, where ever here is, this is what happened and who is responsible. Also, out of the dozens of vehicles bogged down in this field, mine is the Blue Jay 2013 Freight Liner. If I should die and it is recoverable, it should go to my son, John Grainger in Antioch, Illinois.
I left Litchfield Illinois around 2pm on Halloween with a last-minute load of pumpkins destined for the Antioch Walmart. Despite the fact I was once that told Illinois is the #1 pumpkin producer in the country the itself state appears to be in the midst of a shortage. I was due in about 8pm, but I was trying get in by 6pm and after unloading, I was going to visit my wife Carly and my son for Halloween. It was going to be the first Halloween in my son's life that I was going to be there for trick o treating. My wife was making a big deal out of it and John was 10 now, so, she said he would be “scarred with disappointment” if I didn't show now. So, I probably should have gotten better sleep the night before and sue me, I was gear jamming and popping go-pills like popcorn. Don't look down on me, don't be fooled, this is just the nature of the trucking industry. Everyone does it and I'm not afraid to tell it like it is.
Just after Normal on 39 I hit a wall of traffic. I could hear on the CB that there is a hazmat incident up ahead and they require special teams to clear it off. I, like the other truckers, get to gabbing on the radio, looking for shortcuts. To my surprise, after scrutinizing this route several times before, I was informed about a “gutshot” shortcut just ahead that could get in me into my destination at least an hour earlier, even with the fact I had sat in the backup for at least 45 minutes at this point. A second comrade in gears piped in and stated that the shortcut was closed. The first driver contradicted him and stated, he had used it two weeks ago, it was wide open country land you could go 70 the whole way, and the only town along the way had burned down in an industrial accident 30 years ago. The second trucker chimed in again. He said it was closed for tonight and only tonight and not to use it. I disregarded the second trucker, exited the interstate and followed the directions of the first trucker.
Well, Carly, you always said it would be this way. You always said, I needed to learn how to follow directions to not cut so many damn corners all the time. You always told me didn't put in the work, and the funny thing is, for the first time, on this drive, get there, I did. Sure, I cut all the corners, but I wanted to to put in the work. But you're right, I never put a second of effort in, and if this is how it ends, I suppose you're right, I never will. But I guess, one way or another, you're getting what you've wanted, what you text me, what you don't tell me about, and what I didn't care about. I was coming home for him and damn it, I know it won't hold up in court but I want my boy to get the damn truck!
Anyway, I found the road, 2 lanes clear to the sky, surrounded by corn and then pumpkin fields forever. My straight shot, I pushed 80 the whole way flying on cracked asphalt, diesel, and go-pills. Ahead, there were barricades and I applied the brakes and barely stopped in time. I got out and saw they were chained up with a padlock to concrete posts in the ground. In theory, I could blast through them but I would sustain serious damage. The ground was a bit wet so I didn't think I could cross the ditch and field and not get stuck either. The barricades were not official in the least. They had a sign on them made out of it mailbox stick-on letters which said: “Do Not Feed The Pumpkins”. As far as I could see from my cab and binoculars, there was absolutely nothing wrong with the damn road. I said hell and I knew it would take hours to reverse course and get back in time – in time to even unload much less make it in time to go trick o treating.
And I said it wasn't worth it. I didn't bother to call. I'd just show up now. Because it wasn't my fault. So I started back, turning around with great difficulty. I traveled back 2 miles and saw small signs for a rest area. I must have missed it the first time, too deep into the zone I suppose now. I needed to pee and probably eat a bit before starting a roundabout way back, so I stopped. It was a little old 2 story joint with a small dinner on the 1st level and looked like 4 or 5 small motel rooms on top and oddly an outhouse for a restroom. I want to emphasize the outhouse because that is how you'll find and catch this guy, the guy who did this to me. It was Bill Shaw of Shaw's Shack, who did this to me. It had a sign with the building, it too was made of stick-on letters and vaguely resembled a huge ransom note. It read “Yes! We are open! We are the only rest area for 67 miles and 1 of 2 “tombstones” for the late great town of Pumpkin Grove Illinois – the former pumpkin capital of Illinois. Ask Your host, Bill Shaw about the Pumpkin-beef-bean stew!
The parking lot had three vehicles in it, not including my own, a silver Prius, a grand cheeroke with wood panels, and an older model chevy pick up truck. I went inside. The dinner was small, set in a rustic décor with old license plates nailed to the walls. The cafe had eight counter seats and two smaller tables near the two windows. There were two witnesses to what happened that night, to what Bill Shaw did – at least partial witnesses. There was the older man with stringy white hair and octagonal glasses – unfortunately, I didn't get his name. There was that irritating millennial – All I remember is the metal crap in her ears and lip. Hell, if I die and John starts ever pulling that crap, I'll come back and haunt the crap out of both of you. Anyway, now, I wish I could remember their names or something else about them to put here. I didn't care about either one of them enough to remember.
I guess that goes for Shaw too. He was a bit taller as sometimes I couldn't see his face while sitting at the counter because of the low lights in the ceiling blocking his face. He had gray hair. Hell. That's it. Anyway, the old man said he was part of a historical society, said he spent the better part of his past two years tracking down anyone or anything about Pumpkin Grove. The college student – of course – it was college student said she was from the school newspaper, looking for a spooky story. When she asked me where I was from, I didn't respond.
Shaw came from the kitchen with two big bowls of the famous Pumpkin-beef-bean stew for first two. He seemed taken back by my presence for a bit before saying “howdy” and trying to get real friendly with me. He asked what media I was from. I told him I wasn't from no media and I was trying to get through the barricade up ahead. Neither of the other two seemed to know about the barricade. Shaw said he didn't know anything about it either. I was suspicious of him then because of the lettering on the signs. But I didn't push it. I wanted to eat and he said my choice was the stew or stew. So the stew seemed fine. He said he wished he had more time to chat with me but he promised to tell the story of Pumpkin Grove to the two others but I was welcome to listen and ask questions. I didn't say it but I couldn't care less, I was going no where fast and I needed to eat.
He started off by saying he and his wife are among a handful of survivors of the fire that consumed the town of Pumpkin Grove some 30 years ago on Halloween night. Then his story descended into a cross between a rambling fading nightmare and a ghost story. He said, without hesitation, fear of consequence or remorse that he was accessory to a murder in his childhood. Specifically, some 40 years ago, again on Halloween, he was friends with a small group of young men including one named Donnie, who was a little slow and had a slightly misshaped head. He was picked on a lot by the Gerst Brothers, notorious town bullies and teenage thugs of a bad seed thanks to their neglectful alcoholic single father. Long story short, he said, the Gerst Brothers lured Donnie, himself and another 2 boys out to a pumpkin field where they gave back Donnie's missing dog. Apparently they kidnapped the dog and wrapped every inch of it in duct tape a few days ago. They watched us try to peel and pull the duct tape off while the weakened, hungry, and thirsty dog whimpered away its last in the field. Unbeknownst to any of us, Donnie had a pocket knife and he lost it as the Gerst Brothers cackled around him and the dead dog. He leaped up as they laughed and sliced the vein on their necks. One of the Brothers died quickly while Donnie and the two others fought the other to death. Shaw said he just stood there, covered in arterial blood splatters, watching Donnie and the others finish off the Gersts.
Much of the town was shockingly grateful to hear the Gerst Brothers were dead and everyone was all too happy to sweep it under the rug rather than have 4 of their sons incarcerated for decades when they were needed to help with the town's bread and butter – the Pumpkins. So, they buried the Gerst Brothers in that field and grew pumpkins on their corpses and no one really talked about it. The town paid off their father, who was too inebriated most of the time to care and he gleefully drank himself to death on the payoff only about a year later.
I didn't have much of a reaction to the story. The historian on the other hand, was hesitant to stay and keep writing and he made a brief protest concerning whether or not the story was true and whether or not he could legally listen to it. Shaw said it was both true and legal. After all, there was nothing left of the town and the remains were long gone and he himself, would not bare witness to himself. The college student's dumb metal encrusted mouth was agape in a mix of horror and disbelief.
I was waiting, patiently, might I add, for my stew. Shaw promised it would be up soon. He continued the story, stating that the fields produced abnormally well afterwards and 10 years later he was visiting his parents with his girlfriend for the annual Pumpkin fest. It was just that the pumpkins weren't just more numerous and larger, or more resistant to the rains and the fungus, they were alive and nothing could keep them tame or from spreading wider and wider. And everyone thought this was great at first, the profits were never higher but then weird things began to happen. Equipment went missing and two farm hands were crushed by a wagon full of pumpkins tipping over onto them in what was at first called a freak accident. Shaw recounted how he took his girlfriend through one of the patches and the vines seem to wind and grapple her legs, of course, Shaw's folks passed it off as her not being used to the mud but Shaw said he knew better.
Shaw continued to describe that over the days that led up to Halloween, the Jack O Lanterns on people's porches and elsewhere began to do some unusual things. Things like seemingly move by themselves from dusk to dawn, changing the carvings of their faces slightly, or appearing to “jump” off a table onto the porch without damage or apparent cause. On the morning of Halloween, Shaw said that he found his black cat, Lucky, incinerated in front of a jack o lantern as if it had breathed fire on to it from its mouth though they had long ago blown out the candle inside.
After the cat burning, the elderly man from the historical society tossed his spoon in his bowl. Shaw asked if something was wrong. The elderly man got up to leave and he said it tasted like bitter cold bull and his story was bull and thanked him for nothing. After checking the remaining contents of his bowl of stew, Shaw chased him out of the door, to his car, asking him what direction he planned to go home. When he peeled out of the parking lot he was headed southwest. Shaw came back in and threw up his hands.
I tell nothing but the truth, he said, most people can't handle it. Part of me wanted to go, but I was cozy there, it was warm and the story, while bull to me at the time, was entertaining enough. The SJW sitting down the way looked exhausted, barely keeping her eyes open as Shaw finished out the story. In short he said, Donnie approached him at dusk on Halloween while he and his family sat on the porch eagerly awaiting trick o treaters. Donnie said the Gerst Brothers are alive in the pumpkins and that they planned to burn the whole town down tonight. Donnie said, he had to tell Shaw because Shaw wasn't supposed to die, he was supposed to watch.
I rudely stopped him and demanded more stew. I was still hungry and the stew was somehow unsatisfying. When he returned, he finished the story, stating the town was suddenly engulfed in flames and their house in particular with Donnie on the porch, flash burned to the ground like napalm from an exploding pumpkin. He escaped with his family and his future wife in the pick up truck sitting outside now.
The college student said she felt like she needed to lay down, that she didn't think she could make back to the campus to the north. Shaw attended to getting her one of the rooms upstairs. I stayed down stairs and went to the back for more stew. I rubbed my eyes intensely and felt as if I too should stay for the night. But in the tug of war between fatigue and dexrine, the dexrine was slowly coming out ahead.
Next to the stew was a cutting board and a knife and on it was some bluish whitish powder which I found peculiar. On floor was a bottle of medication. It was Insomnex – a sleeping pill I use when I'm coming off of dexrine. The stew was dosed.
I ran to my truck and pulled out my dexrine and my revolver. As I climbed out of the driver's side, I could see Shaw running out of the dinner with a huge kitchen knife. I ducked under the trailer and back out on his side and pointed the gun at him.
What the hell I asked as I slowly advanced on him with my snub nose pointed at his head. He dropped the knife. He said, I just wanted to puncture your tires, I had to do something to stop you. I know you want to go north and I know you might be crazy enough and your truck tough enough to smash the barricades but I can't let you. I can't let anyone else go through, he said hysterically. I asked the dumb question about whether or not he set the barricades and just as I previously suspected, he did.
I'm supposed to watch, Shaw cried. No one can get through tonight, no can be allowed to. I told him to shut up as he rambled on about how he and his wife took it upon themselves to ward off travelers on Halloween Night. Its a cursed road tonight, he said, we're cursed to stay here and this is the best we can do to stop it from spreading. Its been calling us for 30 years, he went on, we tried to walk away but it kept on spreading, the pumpkins, he said gritting his teeth in anguish.
Maybe it was the dexrine and the insomnex working together, hell maybe it was the stew by itself but I just started to laugh as I guided Shaw back into the dinner and proceeded to duct tape him down to the dinner chair to make sure he could not cause anymore harm to anyone else until the police arrived. I had some cash on me, I wasn't a criminal, I wasn't going to make it seem like I tied him up and dinned and dashed, I was in the right, I was doing the lawful thing. So I left him exact change, no tip for the food. In the process of making change for myself, I found the padlock key in the cash drawer, I was certain of it at the time as I waved it in front of Shaw and he gasped and thrashed behind the duct tape the hardest.
I got into my truck and gunned it north towards the barricades, which, as I suspected was easily opened with the key I confiscated from Shaw. I got on my CB and started making emergency calls to the State Police, I gave them my name, the location of the diner, and Shaw's name. I was in the middle of nowhere so it didn't surprise me when I got static and no acknowledgment. I had no bars on my cell phone either but that is typical of central Illinois.
I was going along about 70. The sun was almost down but I hadn't seen the moon yet. I turned on the radio and found a classic rock station. The song was Born on the Bayou from CCR. The opening riff perked me up and reassured me that I had done everything all well and all good. If things held, there was a chance, I could get my freight unloaded and see John tonight. I was eagerly tapping the steering wheel waiting to bust into “When I was just a little boy...” But just as the lyrics should have entered, the radio station seemed to have accidentally reset the song, it just started over.
The sun faded away entirely and yet no moon came up. The sky was so dark but I didn't remember seeing any clouds or expecting any for that matter. The song continued restarting itself, the same opening again and again. I flipped through the other stations and all of them had it playing. Eventually, the digital clock on my dash began to spin wildly like the LCD numbers on the tuner while in scan mode. The truck buffeted and shook side to side despite my headlights showing no cause for it.
To my shock, ahead, in the distance was single traffic light. It was went from green, to yellow, and red, as any other traffic light but there were no lights or towns on this road. I slowed to 40, then 35 then to 30 as I entered an unnamed densely populated area with small buildings, stores, and houses and one traffic light. I came to a stop at the light and I looked around, locked my doors and tried to glimpse where I was. Where ever I was, I felt, I felt like I shouldn't be there. There were dim orange lights in some of the rooms of the houses at the edge of the intersection.
I looked up at one of the windows and I saw a figure with large head in the window. I couldn't believe my eyes at least not until the figure turned to face outward. It was a jack o lantern, a classic one with a black glow where the eyes, nose, and mouth sat. It was held up right by a thin vine structure that seemed to grow and stretch as it stuck its head out of the window and let out a barely audible shrill whistle and stared directly at me.
I gunned it. I blew the red light as the town seemed to collapse into nothing by dark green swelling pumpkin vine and a sea of glowing jack o lanterns in my side view mirrors. I hit the radio off because all I could hear on it was that whistle filtering through. I drove and the mass of jack o lanterns grew in the mirrors. I glimpsed the left and right windows and the plains were glowing black with more pumpkins rolling and creeping towards the road.
The road began to warp and bend as I started to red line my truck. The buffeting side to side became difficult to control as the engine groaned. I couldn't explain how the road began to shift nor how the moon, blood orange began to circle around me from horizon to horizon. Aside from the moon, I thought I was making progress as I couldn't see the vines nor the hundreds of blacklight pumpkins swirling after me.
The moon slowed and dipped down and I started climbing a hill. As I crested, the moon filled the entire windshield and more. It spun and then settled on a black light pumpkin face and bore down on the cab.
I don't know what happened next but I woke up in my cab. The was engine smoking. All I could see was mud and putrid rotten pumpkins as far as I could see. My Blue Jay was sunk up to the cab down in mud, vines and rot. It wasn't going anywhere in it without some serious assistance. To my right and left I saw dozens of other vehicles, most of them at least ten years old, also up their doors in mud and rot. Swarms of flies were visible all around in the boiling midday sun. I'm not really sure how long it has been or what time it really was because the clock on my phone is broken and simply reads as 99:99. I don't know what day it is. I have no cell signal and no radio.
Carly, I need to be honest with you. I cheated on you. Maybe a dozen times. I did it before I thought, before I knew you were doing it to me. I can't live by the rules of trucking, or marriage or anything. It is the road and you command it and that is the only rule. But now, I'm worried I've broken my last rule. I have no food and no water. There is no road here. There is only rule of a blazing sun with jack o lantern face that never sets. I fear that in time, unless I find help or help finds me, I will be feeding the pumpkins.

Theo Plesha
submitted by m80mike to ChillingApp [link] [comments]


2023.03.21 21:52 Tilkshake Got a ticket/citation for running a red light and having trouble with the online payment system, any one familiar it?

A couple of weeks back I ran a red light and a cop stopped and gave me a citation for it. I thought it was yellow at the moment but I'm not going to fight it. The issue is I can't pay for the costs of the citation at the moment (laid off a few months ago). I actually got 2 citations from the officer, one for running the red and one for not updating the address on my driver's license. I moved in with my girlfriend a little over 7 months ago and still had my parent's house on my license. So, those two tickets together equal about $300.
I am not seeing anywhere on the PA courts online payment site if I can sign up for some sort of payment plan. It only allows you to add the charges to your cart and check out and pay for the full amount. Does anyone know if I have to call in to do this or something? I can provide a picture with some details of the ticket here: https://i.imgur.com/sG3mqBQ.png
This is the website I am using: https://ujsportal.pacourts.us/PAePayFC
I am a bit worried because it's now been more than 10 days since the citation was issued, and based on what I understand there may be an arrest warrant filed for me if I don't pay.... which is definitely not what I need right now haha. Has anyone had any experience with this? Just looking for any general tips so appreciate any insight you can provide.
submitted by Tilkshake to PennsylvaniaLaw [link] [comments]


2023.03.21 21:51 candysweetheartz Advice/Process of moving to Italy for about 3 years from Canada

Hi there, this may be long but here is what I need advice on as soon as possible so I can get this all started.
So I’ve been hoping to move out of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, to Vicenza, Italy, hopefully by January or February of 2024, for about 34-35 months. Me (Canadian-24 yrs old) and my BF (American-25 yrs old) plan on staying together there, but I am assuming I of course will need a Visa of some sort, but dont know which one I should be applying for and when I should apply for it.
Some background info: We are both long distance at the moment, and he is in the US Army and is supposed to be stationed there November, 2023 for 36-months. I wanted to give him the months of november to january/february to find a home OFF the military post and settle in before I come, and so that I will have proof of a location to stay while I’m living in Italy.
The idea we have of moving our items seems logical, so I wont be having movers move all my stuff from Canada to Italy. We plan to have my items driven down to the States into a storage unit, so that he can tell the movers during his PCS, to get the boxes and furniture there and have it shipped to Italy, along his with his items. We chose to do this because it was a way cheaper alternative than having my things shipped off directly from my city.
My current job is a Medical Office Assistant, and am currently taking a nail technician course, so that in the future, I can possibly start my own nail business/work for myself. I gave this info because I was thinking it could help with determining what Visa I should be applying for ?
I wanted to know, should there be a medical travel consultation? Is staying there for 34-35 months possible? What information should I be gathering? How should the process work? Is there anything I should discuss regarding my banking? Current student loans that I am paying for? What considerations should I make regarding my drivers license.
Someone please help me out.
submitted by candysweetheartz to immigration [link] [comments]


2023.03.21 21:50 Jaderian Neighbor who thinks he owns the town got arrested.

Ok so this isn’t a recent story and occurred during the pandemic. A few things to note. My next door neighbor is the wealthiest person in the neighborhood as far as we know. Before the pandemic he was a reasonable guy and i never had a problem with save 1 party that got a little out of control. But for context I will start this story before that day.
This neighbor who we will call jack lives in the house next door to mine with his long term girlfriend, let’s call her Stacy, she’s a gem of a person. Since before my FIL gave his house to my wife he would hold crazy parties at his house. These parties would happen every weekend He invited us to one when we moved in and we went to be polite but it wasn’t our thing so we politely declined. He was still a reasonable guy and would say “come on we’ll have a blast. But the wife and I would use our kids as an excuse and politely decline. He converted the first floor of his house into a night club complete with indoor swimming pool.
One party will alway stick out to me as the day we saw a tow truck remove a car from a brick wall. The driver was ok but the party it’s self had was massive. It looked like he invited the entire town. The next day he asked me if I would help him move a couch. The couch was thrown into the pool. I helped and we had a laugh about it. As I said even with some of the wildest parties not a bad guy. He at one point helped me clear out some trees that fell in the woods behind our houses. It was the pandemic that caused him to go off the deep end.
My town was spared the worst of the pandemic. The schools shut down before the orders from the state. Many businesses did the same. Jack however did not stop his partying. His parties were shut down several times until one day it looked like the entire police force showed up. They arrested everyone. They were all let go but the parties were over and the good fun loving guy was gone. He organized a protest with his friends and got a bunch of others who hated masks and went to the town hall. It was closed and they tried the country office. For some unknown reason they went after a supermarket and harassed the workers. I think it was on Facebook and YouTube, but I may be confusing it with other such protests. Why these people chose to harass grocery stores is beyond me. Well he ended up getting arrested again.
We were still on speaking terms at this point. That would change when he an a buddy of his decided to race their over priced cars through town. We got into a heated argument about it. And he took offense when I pointed out that the only reason he isn’t in jail is that he’s rich. Not my proudest moment.
More recent events include calling the police on anyone that is having work done on their house. Calling the police when anyone parks on the street. Sending lawyers to town hall to disrupt the meetings. And most recently parking 10 junk cars on the street with flat tires, wrapping a chain around a piece of construction equipment and putting up a very vulgar sign.
Oh and his girlfriend usually comes over to apologize for his actions. I am surprised that she hasn’t broken up with him. She is the one to apologize for his actions and will offer to pay for any damages. They are still together from what I know but I haven’t seen her in a few weeks.
My neighbor is the pinnacle of the entitled rich a-hole in my opinion.
submitted by Jaderian to EntitledPeople [link] [comments]


2023.03.21 21:50 TheDrungeonBlaster Street Dreams #7: Keep it Quiet

“Alright, shitheads, before we drop, we’re running our way through the plan: our first step entails high tailing it to the center of the building; by my count that means we’re going to have to crack two separate high security gates to enter. The second step will be the simplest—get into the Supervisor’s office; two guards will be outside door, with another pair of patrols in the hallway at all times. We gas the joint, put ‘em out, then use their fingerprints to crack into the office. Finally, we’ll nab the plutonium and jet towards the windows. And remember: above all else, we keep it quiet, I don’t want to have to kill anyone tonight,” I explained.
“Sounds good, boss,” Krieg said, sarcastically.
“One more thing: while we’re inside, I’m in charge. I won’t repeat myself; if I have to say something twice, the second time I’ll say it through a barrel. We clear?”
Whitney rolled her eyes.
“Crystal,” Krieg snarled.
Rain hammered the plascrete, as storm clouds rolled in above Satellite Valley. Every inch of space not consumed by buildings, or the road had been converted into solar panel storage. Thousands of new cameras had been installed throughout the district a month ago, after a heist turned into arson and threatened the entire of the district. The skyway was surveyed by a veritable net of bulky, square combat drones, each of which possessing full access to the security network. I hated working in Satellite Valley.
Locust’s corporate tower was a mighty sentinel of automated aggression, eagerly overlooking the city, waiting to its payload of robotic death upon whoever was foolish enough to be made an example out of. The obsidian spire was framed with lines of streaming neon lights. An immense sign read, ‘Locust Munitions and Automotive,’ perched atop the building like a ridiculous square hat. I glanced to the security monitors atop the enviro-dome: no threat level increase. That in itself was a damned miracle; anytime a vehicle entered from outside the district, the threat prediction algorithm would do a routine threat level increase. Marcel and Maggy must have figured out a way around it, but how?
Finally, we reached the parking garage. The doors opened, but Marcel and Maggy never said a word. I left a credstick on my seat, nothing much, only a couple thousand; it was the least I could do—they’d seen me through so many hard times.
The garage was quiet. I compressed the button on a localized jammer as we all stepped out. The cameras sputtered for a moment before continuing their rotations. Marcel had dropped us at the bottom of the garage, a block away from the maintenance entrance. Krieg and Carol fell into formation, flanking me on either side; Whitney followed a few feet back, with Ursa and Monitor taking up the rear. With a thought my HALO readied my guns. I selected non-lethal rounds, watched the drums spin and clicked on my norepinephrine regulator. This was it; chances like this came along once in a career. This much plutonium would be enough to fund a retirement—if I ever decided to retire.
“Alright, team, load up non-lethal rounds, keep it quiet and stay in formation; on my mark!” I said, drawing both guns.
Whitney’s cufflinks cast sparks to the ground; tasers. Figures, she’d never had a stomach for murder, not outside of the man in her basement who she apparently intended to torture to death. I suppose the world had changed both of us. I could see it in the way she moved: she was leagues above were she’d been before we’d all went our separate ways. She was a professional now.
We wove through the shadows, careful to avoid stepping out of line. The cameras wouldn’t give us away, everything organic in a ten foot radius of the jammer would be masked, refracted like it was never there. Unfortunately, even with the best gadgets the risk of human intervention was still present. I slipped on my rebreather as we crested the garage’s slope. A small door situated between two separate webs of piping and wires sat across the room. The maintenance entrance. I flashed a fabricated security pass and the door slid open.
I emerged into a narrow corridor, the walls lined with hissing pipes and loose valves. We shifted into single file. Humidity drenched the room, accruing on the walls like hackers on an open HALO channel. The heat was nearly unbearable. I couldn’t help but think of how vulnerable we were. I let out a short, crisp whistle and started hustling forward in a quiet jog. All we could do was move fast and hope none of the staff had to leave mid-shift. Finally, we reached our destination: an automated door that chirped a synthetic sounding, “Good morning!” as I flashed the fake security pass.
Immense glass frames were laced throughout the metallic black hallway. The scent of industrial cleaner hung in the air, and the walls were decorated with surrealist art depicting melting faces, distorted objects and psychedelic landscapes. The group slid to a halt as something robotic whirred into the distance.
Carol’s eyes flashed to me, begging for permission.
Unsure, I slowly nodded back. Her cyber-shell tensed up, assuming a crouched position with her head covered by her arms. Her eyes were empty. I’d never seen anything like it; what the hell was she up to?
I waited with bated breath as the whirring slowly drew closer. I pointed my SMGs, but Krieg glanced at me, shaking his head. Finally, a security droid rounded the corner, taking point beside Carol. Whitney rolled her eyes.
The stairs were impossibly wide, apparently designed as the workers primary avenue of transportation, despite the intricate elevator system present; Locust reserved luxuries like elevators, breaks and days off for the higher ups. We clung to the shadows as we ascended the stairwell.
“Hey, what the hell are you doing here?” a guard called out, rapidly levelling a hand cannon towards the group.
Krieg’s finger reconfigured itself, firing a pair of darts into the guard’s neck. He hit the ground almost instantly.
“Poor bastard should have just pretended like he never saw anything and went about his—” Ursa started, before a rocket pierced his chest, detonating from within.
A hail of gore rained down upon the crew. We were helpless; there was no cover, no tactical advantage to be found. I clicked the guns over to lethal, enabling explosive rounds. Whitney dove forward. The shooter launched another missile, landing square in Krieg’s chest. Despite the obvious damage, the cyborg endured, his arms reshaping into miniguns as he bellowed a war cry.
And just like that, the run went loud.
View Poll
submitted by TheDrungeonBlaster to Novacityblues [link] [comments]


2023.03.21 21:45 Joiede-vivre Solo remote working from Chania

I will be arriving this Friday 24th March in Chania, where I will be staying until the 21st Apr. I am traveling alone and don't have a driver's license.
I got into this habit of going somewhere for 1-2 months during this time of the year, while working remotely. This year I started in Cyprus with some friends and decided to come to Crete as the flights were quite cheap.
The purpose of this post is just to get some advice/tips/recommendations during my stay, as well as hopefully find either locals, tourists or other remote workers who would like to hang out in Chania, and even discover the island together. If that's you, I'd be happy to hear from you via DM. I am a 34 yrs old queer guy living in Berlin, into music, events, cooking, and travelling. Pretty easy-going person who loves to chat, share a good laugh and go on fun adventures, looking for the same :)
If you have tips for me I would love to hear more about:
Plus whatever information you could have for me that would make my stay enjoyable! On weekdays I will be working until 6pm, but will be free over the weekends. I am a bit worried that I'll get bored as I'll be staying for quite some time, so I would be very happy to be proven wrong :)
submitted by Joiede-vivre to crete [link] [comments]


2023.03.21 21:34 MarlimThePhoenix From The Ashes: Prologue

Memory transcription subject: Sergeant Marlim, Extermination Officer of the Krakotl Colony: Valanar.
Date [Standardized Human Time]: September 8th, 2131
I slowly stand up, pain flashing through my skull as I grip at my head. My fuel tank on my back protected me from the falling debris... falling... debris... "Fuck." The first words to leave my beak since I abandoned my post, the Arxur raid, the failing defenses. The raid was upon us and we were losing badly, most of us didn’t even have times to get to the bunkers or shelters, let alone set up our defense plans. A surprise attack that cost my fellow exterminators their lives, and they were left behind where they had fallen. At some point I left the officially established objective, now my only goal was to save my family.
I let go of my head and look around, seeing only debris which had fallen around me from a building that had collapsed. The fuel tank really must have protected me from being crushed, and it was still sealed. A sigh of relief escapes my beak, filtered through to speakers in my respiration mask. I pick up the nozzle, gripping it as I slowly begin to trail my way through the ruins, was I out for long? Things had seemingly gotten quiet, where were the screams? Where was the gunfire? All I could hear was in the distance.
I trudge forth, avoiding any streets; anytime I came near one, I could see the bodies. My respiration mask filters out the smell of blood and death, but not the purple splashes across the street where the bodies were gone now. The grays must have moved past this area, a blessing hopefully, one that would work in my favor as I picked up my speed.
I needed to get home, I needed to protect my son, I needed to rescue my son. I knew the layout of this city pretty well after being an Exterminator in it for two years of my life. However, I rounded a corner into a lone gray ripping apart a body with its claws and teeth, swallowing what it could. I had made the wrong turn. Fear causes my feathers beneath the flame-resistant suit to fluff up as best they could, only making things more uncomfortable in the long run. A problem for future-me to deal with.
I could go around, but the thing's senses would pick me up. How it hadn't yet I don't know, too engaged in feeding? There was so much blood, and so many ripped-apart corpses, how many of my kind had the damn predator eaten? Were there other nearby predators who had their fill?
Despite the panicking thoughts in my head, another part of me responded, pulling up the nozzle and pressing down on the valve trigger as a spray of fuel shot out and down the side street. The gray was 100 feet away, I had time. Even as the gray roars out at the ruined meal of my fallen kind, it stands up and holds a claw in front of its snarling monstrous face to prevent me from spraying it directly in the eyes with the fuel. The predator starts running forth, heading to the weapon left behind at the first body gray's had torn apart.
I wait, letting it get closer as more fuel leaks and coats the side street, soaking the fallen and the predator down to the scales. Then just as the gray scrambles for its weapon, I pull up my pistol, a heavily-modified standard-issued plasma pistol. I had the advantage, all I needed as it aimed down at me. My pistol already aimed fully at my target, I fire.
Bright hot plasma shoots out, hitting the predator. The heated shot ignites the fuel as the monster screams and roars, in pain. He flails, trying to put out the flames, but the spreading flames of the spread-out fuel just ignite the whole side street in flames. I let my plasma pistol lower, watching as the Arxur collapses to his knees in the flames.
My first kill and it felt... Awful. The smoldering flames, the crackles of the flames as the Arxur's cries quieted… they were quiet enough now to be silenced by the roaring flames. Even through the respirator, I could smell the scent of burning flesh and feathers... My stomach turned. I was broken out of my inner guilt by the loud sound of steps heading toward me. Even if they could be fellow Exterminators, I can't take the chances. I head into what was a store, now slowly catching fire. I hear gunfire erupt around me as I dive down behind shelves of products, bullets tearing out around me as I shelter in place.
Growls and barks of sharp orders are given as I head toward the back. How I wasn't hit, I don't know. Maybe the smoke and flames were good concealments, or maybe I can thank whichever god decided to look out for me. The gunfire stops as I reach the backdoor, racing through it and into the storerooms to head out the back. Then I stop, a lesson ringing in my head: "Predator deception."
If I was a predator, I would be letting them come to me. My steps are slow as I look at the back door. It’s already been opened as if it was opened for me. I do not stop, still taking caution as I take off the fuel tank. I grab it by the handle before I head to the door. I holster my pistol and with both my talons gripping the fuel tank, I chuck it outside through the door as best as I could.
Gunfire rings out as I fall back, just one bullet could end me here and now, and I won't be risking it. I head back into the store room, now free of the fuel tank. I start to rip myself and my wings free of the flame-resistance suit. I grab onto a shelf, quickly clambering up the wooden stock shelves of the store room before I hunker down on the topmost shelf. Once again, I coolly pull up my plasma pistol, aim, and fire.
I knew the Arxur would be coming inside for me, but the hunters had become the hunted. The gunfire had stopped and as soon as my plasma shot through the door it nails the dropped fuel tank, rupturing it with the mark of glowing metal. Barely a second later it detonates, and I bring my head down onto the shelf itself as cries and roars of pain combined with the sound of metallic bits impacting wood and wall tell of my success. I holster my pistol as I spread out my wings and give a couple of strong pushes to slow my descent as I feel myself reach a decision.
I am going to press my advantage. I turn and the talons on my leg scratch the ground as I rush out through the partially exploded doorway. I run through, a roar, a growl, the Arxur too wounded to get back up as I rush past them and around a corner.
I keep running until I am sure I’ve evaded them before I extend my wings out and take off with a couple of strong pushes. I keep low, between buildings. It’s dangerous but provides cover, and by flying I will reach my home in no time.
As I reach my street, it’s obvious the Arxur has been through here. Bodies, blood, and homes were broken into. Silence. I make my way to the door of my home, swooping upwards onto the elevated walkway that connects to the platform that my raised home is built upon. The door is wide open, giving me pause. I unholster my pistol as I lean in and listen. I hear the sharp cracking of bones and tearing of flesh: another Arxur. A pit forms in my stomach. I knew my mate is likely dead but my objective-focused mind keeps me from straying too far from the path. I have to save my son if he is still here. I look around the walkway, only finding a fallen Incineration Exterminator a couple of feet away. My tool cabinet is open right next to my front door. I look past the walkway as I leap off of it and extend my wings forth.
I catch onto a window frame and carefully use my talons, gripping anything I can to climb around my raised home far above the ground. I slowly make my way around the corner of the house, looking through the window to find my mate dead. However, the door to the room of my unhatched son is still closed. A feeling of hope and love rises into my chest as I continue onward, heading to the next corner. With a little jump onto the rain channeler, I manage to get around the corner and to my son’s hatchery. Opening the window, I make my way inside the hatchery.
The incubation unit is on, humming, and warm. The egg inside is a healthy blue color, with no cracks and no evidence of tampering. I check over for any traps just in case, I knew the Arxur were brutally cunning. With myself satisfied I took the mobile incubator, which closely resembles a backpack for a good reason, and unplug it as I turn it on, I gently remove my unhatched son, lowering him into the mobile incubator before I seal it and strap the bag to my back. The humidity won’t be ideal but it's a temporary solution. I head to the window, slowly climbing out before I drop, unfurling my wings as I fly upwards.
My thoughts turn to my mate, she and I were not in a loving relationship, hell it was my father’s idea… However, at the end of the day, the Arxur in there had killed her and in all likelihood would have eaten my son. Anger rises and burns in my chest as I slowly turn back. I glide down to the walkway as I couldn't help but think, my son was now deprived of the one thing my mate and I cared about, we might have been arranged, but she was so excited to raise him. Now she won’t get that and a part of me can’t help but feel anger, hatred, a burning hatred. I knew what had to be done.
I close my door, gently, and quietly, I would roll the tool cabinet in front of it before I engage its breaks, I then head to the fallen exterminator, picking up the fuel tanks and the nozzle as I start to spray down the front of my home, before shoving the nozzle as best as I could through a shattered window and empty the fuel tanks into this grave. I hear the Arxur getting up, investigating the smell of fuel and with a couple of flaps back to the walkway, I turn.
I’m aiming my plasma pistol by the time I land and as soon as I do, I send a couple of shots into my home the fuel-soaked building ignites, fire spreading quickly as the fucking monster within tries to force his way out through the front, the front had quickly became enveloped in flames and anyway else out would be just a drop hundreds of feet below.
The drop is what the Arxur takes, burning, on fire, the shattering of the window is all that alerts me to it as he falls, disappearing through the smoke that covers the ground beneath my neighborhood.

I feel nothing.

I feel nothing as I take off, heading somewhere else.

I feel nothing when I reach a nearby bunker broken open.

I feel nothing when the raid reaches an end and the rescue fleet shows up.

I feel nothing when I leave.

I feel nothing when my father congratulates me, a hollow thanks anyways.

I feel nothing as I sit on the ship to Nishtal.

I feel something when, within the incubator, I can hear chirps, and the egg starts to gently rock back and forth.

I feel love and hope again.
submitted by MarlimThePhoenix to NatureofPredators [link] [comments]


2023.03.21 21:33 AccursedChoices Golden Goose Starts!

Deserter
Seed: ULGLWELYAN
Random Crisis
Beginner
Beginner
High Funds
///From starting location, near himmelswacht, run north by north east to gemmenstein, the closest friendly city. you will path directly next to shipwreck which is located in the mountain range due south of gemmenstein. /// Hopefully having a random crisis doesnt mess it up?

Hedge night
Seed: MEKCHJSGLZ
Nobles at war crisis
beginner
beginner
high funds
///The shipwreck for this one is visible if you are standing on the "ruffmuir" zone marker, during the day. It is just northwest of the ruffmuir zone label. Ruffmuir is located due west of helviktorn, and south of harkenstead. ///

Let me know if any additional info is needed to make these enjoyable for you guys!
submitted by AccursedChoices to BattleBrothers [link] [comments]


2023.03.21 21:31 Scarred-Temple This is the only thing that I worry about when driving for Rideshare Companies.

This is the only thing that I worry about when driving for Rideshare Companies.
I live 2 minutes from where this man was stabbed.
submitted by Scarred-Temple to uberdrivers [link] [comments]


2023.03.21 21:29 slightlyassholic [The Great Erectus and Faun] 404 Universe Not Found Pt. 3

Something's missing. People (and entities) are starting to notice.
First Previous
***
Far across the multiverse in a tavern that, depending on one’s point of view, may or may not have actually existed, Zeb, Petunia, Bethany, Bergamot, Cleve, and Zilandrial sat at a large wooden table.
“Thank you, Shauna,” Bergamot said as a buxom woman in a low-cut peasant dress filled their mugs with a “magic” pitcher of beer that never ran dry. “You don’t have to serve us, you know.”
“Oh, I know,” Shauna replied brightly, “but I am a barmaid. Besides, I am not giving up my magic pitcher!” she added with a laugh. “The next batch of stew should be out in a second.”
“If it is as good as this bread…” Cleve said, holding up a thick, floppy piece of flatbread.
“Better!” Shauna exclaimed. “The pantry keeps filling back up with the best stuff! It’s almost a shame to make stew out of it, but the “fancy” chef went to the “fancy” place. We just figured out the roaster thingy, so we’ll be serving roast fowl as soon as the first batch cooks!”
Shauna paused and took a big drink from her pitcher.
“It turns out that you just had to talk to it. Weird… But no weirder than anything else, I suppose. You guys want to wait for the roast fowl?”
“We shouldn’t tary,” Zeb replied, “We don’t know how long this blessed peace will last.”
“Maybe it’s over?” Bethany the Tinker, now reunited with her beloved hat, asked.
“One can hope,” Zeb shrugged as he drank deeply from his tankard, “but I’m not delaying my repast, and neither should you. When you have fiends like Pantsu and F10w3rchy1d in play, things can get much worse than they already are.”
“Worse?!?” Bergamot exclaimed in horror.
***
Melinda the Stalwart was starting to believe that she should have stayed in bed today.
It was supposed to be her day off! Yeah, things were starting to get “weird,” but with all of those high-rated champions running around up north, it was probably going to get handled pretty quickly… and she was tired of chasing around after their scraps.
Her copper-rated ass was sitting this one out. The fact that everyone had gone gank-crazy just further confirmed that she had the right idea.
So, she decided to head back to the royal city of Raven’s Peak to take advantage of the richer and more powerful adventurers running off to the north, leaving all the armorers, enchanters, alchemists, and publicans in town behind.
It was nice not constantly getting shoved out of the way by stronger champions and ignored by shopkeepers far more interested in their gold than her silver for once.
It started out as such a lovely day, too!
She awoke in a lovely bed at the Blade and Wand, her absolute favorite inn, and a place where it was nearly impossible to get a room without a reservation or a lot more status than she had. There, she enjoyed a wonderful breakfast, at a discounted rate no less, and then went out for a day of crowd-free shopping!
It. Was. Bliss! There were no lines, and all of the storekeepers and craftsmen were all too happy to not only serve her and her meager purse but actually take time to chat!
Then, for lunch, she decided to visit the main branch of the adventurer’s guild, where she had an honest-to-gosh hamburger and fries along with some cider. After that, the plan was to get some training or maybe buy a buff or two…
Well, that was the plan, anyway.
What actually happened was that her wonderful burger, which she could never get under normal circumstances (they were always sold out before a copper-rated nobody could get their coppers taken), was interrupted by the most unholy screams she had ever heard inside or outside a dungeon.
She barely had time to stand before the doors to the guild offices exploded outward, and a demon covered in spikes and flames charged into the main hall.
That looks just like the guildmaster, was about all she had time to think before the fiend was on her.
***
“What’s happening?!?” Melinda cried in terror as she hurtled through absolutely nothing.
(Shh bby is ok)
“H-hello?” she called.
(😊)
“W-who are you? What happened to me?”
(Shh bby is ok)
“Am I… Am I dead?!?”
(is ok)
“Oh, it is definitely NOT okay! Who are you, and what the hell happened?”
The bedbug sighed with exasperation as it bounced off an invisible barrier again.
It had taken too long. The soul was starting to wake up.
Before much longer, it would start to get wiggly. It hated it when they began to wiggle.
Not knowing exactly what else to do, it let out a little ping.
It was answered by thousands of its kind! They couldn’t get through either, so they were having a rave! Awesome!
With a happy little (woo!), it zipped off towards the largest concentration of pings dragging an increasingly indignant Melinda the Stalwart along whether she wanted to or not.
***
“Hahaha!” Tawdry laughed into a prepaid “burner phone” her parents didn’t know about. “I can’t be-lieve you got me fucking grounded, you skank!”
“You’re still grounded?” Claudia snickered, “You diminished that badly?”
“It’s my parents. I managed to talk them down to a week without brain fucking them too hard. Besides, this cell is a lot nicer than the holes you used to stick me in. I’ll just do my time and be done with it. Besides, it will give our friends time to leave town since someone can’t manage to find a freaking truck.”
“First of all, fuck you,” Claudia laughed, “Second of all, thanks for getting that bastard to show up in a park and chase you across all of that nice soft turf. We got a lot of data we didn’t have before.”
“Like what?”
“Like its estimated mass, tire treads, a few lovely material samples where it nailed a park bench while trying to kill you… oh, and confirmation that it actually materializes and dematerializes. We can only assume the little bitch does the same thing. Too bad you couldn’t actually lay hands on her.”
“She was slippery, okay?” Tawdry chuckled.
“Hey,” Claudia said, “before Evika and her party ganked you, did they say anything about whom they were working for, or did they mention a little blonde girl named Petunia… or Pantsu?”
“No, they just said hi and blew my head off. Oh! Stephen did say that David finally confessed to Evika!”
“Took him long enough,” Claudia laughed, “Think he has a chance?”
“I know he has one,” Tawdry replied, “Evika’s gonna drop those drawers any second.”
“Good for her.”
“You said that Robert the Golden Peckerhead got sent back?”
“Yeah, and he is not adjusting well,” Claudia replied, “We have him in a ‘special’ inpatient facility where we are keeping the people with ‘issues’.”
“You got a lot of ‘patients’?”
“Not as many as you would think,” Claudia said, “Not everyone is happy about things, but there is something to be said about not having to sleep with a dagger under your pillow.”
“True that,” Tawdry replied. “High school is a pain, but being able to go out for pizza without an enraged wife (or husband) trying to shank you is nice.”
“Careful,” Claudia laughed, “Enraged spouses here might have a gun. You might want to go easy on the adultery this time around. There is also no magic contraception, and cure disease potions aren’t for sale in every town.”
“Ugh, don’t remind me,” Tawdry groaned. “Doesn’t really matter, though. I might as well be a nun these days.”
“You can’t be diminished that much!”
“I am not into kids, and any man worth screwing isn’t into jailbait. I’m the exact opposite of screwed… Speaking of, you did mention a possible trip to Denmark?”
“Aren’t you grounded?”
“I won’t be next week!”
“And how will you explain your sex tourism to your folks?”
“Let me worry about my folks,” Tawdry replied, “You worry about that plane ticket!”
“I’ll see what I can do,” Claudia replied with a chuckle.
Natasha! Come down for dinner!
“I’ll be right there!” Tawdry yelled.
“I gotta go. It’s taco night…”
Tawdry grinned.
“Speaking of tacos, did you get that camel toe fixed yet?”
“And just when we were even, too!” Claudia laughed. “Your little suggestion has everyone looking at my snatch… including me, and I know it’s bullshit!
“Ha! Is your new fuck toy looking?”
“I have no idea what you are talking about.”
“Detective Martin! I know you have a thing for that whole world-weary crusader vibe. And don’t think I didn’t see you checking out his ass, either.”
“I have the same problem you do,” Claudia sighed, “worse even. The sort of man I like certainly won’t be messing around with a ‘kid’, even if I am ‘legal’.”
“Yeah, you do like them a bit crusty, don’t you? How about finding some rich asshole who is having a mid-life crisis?”
“I will repeat myself. The sort of man I would like isn’t interested… and won’t be for years.”
“Meh. You’re not giving yourself enough credit… and giving them far too much of it.”
“Well, Slaker turned me down cold… goddamn chain of command…”
“No! You tried to give it up to Slaker?”
“Wouldn’t be the first time…”
“No way! I need details, all of them!”
“Well…”
Natasha! Dinner!
“I have to go,” Tawdry said, “but this is not over!”
***
Vroom? an old Peterbilt truck revved as it sat in a remote corner of a truck stop in the middle of nowhere.
“Still nothing,” the little girl huffed. “How can an entire universe disappear?”
VroomVroom?
“Let’s hope not,” the girl replied, “Even so, he wouldn’t abandon us!”
“What?” the spirit asked with alarm.
“Oh, it’s nothing,” the little girl replied.
“Doesn’t sound like nothing.”
“Okay,” the little girl replied, “There is a remote chance that our boss has had to… um… cease operations and relocate. It hasn’t happened in a really long time, but it has happened.”
“Does that mean that I’m stuck?!?”
“No, of course not. It just means we might have to wait until we’re collected.”
Vroom.
“He won’t forget us!”
VroOoom…
“Hey! Don’t even start talking like that! We’ve done good work for the boss on several worlds. He won’t just discard us!”
“What do you mean, discard?”
“Just watch your anime, weeb,” the little girl snapped. “He hasn’t abandoned us, and he won’t forget us. He’s just… um…”
Vroom.
“I don’t know, alright!” the little girl replied angrily, “I have no idea where those others came from. All I know is that we didn’t squish them.”
VvvrOom.
“If he had another team, I would know about it!”
Vroom?
“I just would, okay! WE AREN’T GETTING REPLACED!... I’m… I’m going to get some air, maybe a Coke or something.”
The little girl threw open the door to the cab angrily and hopped out.
“Hey!” the spirit yelled, “See if they have any audiobooks!”
***
We’ve been abandoned… the little girl thought to herself as she prowled the truck stop trying not to panic.
She had to keep it together for Truck-Kun… and their new companion. If she fell apart, Truck-Kun would, too, and who knows what the spirit would do. He was two seconds from making another run for it as it was.
She paused by a rack of dusty old audiobooks on CD. Now that wasn’t something she had seen in a bit.
Thankful for the distraction, she started perusing the titles. Some of them were things she hadn’t already read (or listened to).
She grabbed a few for herself and then started looking for something appropriately nerdy for her new guest.
She might have murdered them in cold blood, but that was no reason not to be a good host.
She was so distracted by her own troubles and the audiobooks that she didn’t notice that she was being followed until the guy’s shadow fell around her.
She then became aware of his oily aura and smiled.
All work and no play…
“Hello, little girl…”
She looked up at him with an innocent expression and doe-like eyes.
“Hi.”
***
Truck-Kun quietly ground his gears as he watched a beat-up RV pull onto the highway.
Vroom, he grumbled as he put himself in gear and started to follow.
“What?” the spirit asked.
About half an hour later, Truck-Kun pulled over next to an RV that was parked on the side of the highway.
The door opened, and the little girl hopped out, holding a paper bag.
Vroom, the truck revved disapprovingly.
“Such a nice man,” the little girl said impishly as she plopped into the driver’s seat, and the truck drove away.
“Are those bloodstains?” the spirit asked as he pointed at the bag.
“What answer would you prefer?” the girl asked as she pulled out a half-filled fifth of vodka and most of a pack of smokes graciously donated by the nice man in the RV (it wasn’t like he was going to be needing them).
Vroom.
“I know I quit,” the girl replied as she put one in her mouth. “Give me a break. My nerves are shot.”
Vroom.
“Yes, shot enough to smoke menthols!”
The little girl lit up and drew heavily on the cigarette, exhaling a lovely smoke ring.
Vroom!
“So, crack a window!”
Vroom! Vroom! Vrooooom!
“You can’t smell, and you know it! So please, cut me some slack. I’ve had a bad day,” she said as she turned up the bottle of vodka like it was Juicy Juice.
Vroom!
“I know you’ve had a bad day, too,” the girl said as she wiped her mouth, “Want me to get you some fuel treatment at the next stop, maybe some starting fluid?”
Vroom.
“Okay, and a new air freshener, maybe some of those fuzzy dice you like? Deal?”
Vroom!… Vroom?
“As a matter of fact,” the little girl said as she pulled out a wad of bills. “the nice man did keep his cash on him.”
Vroom! the truck revved happily.
***
“Jesus!” Gary Martin, formerly Detective Martin, winced as he looked inside an abandoned old RV the following day.
“Say what you want about her,” Claudia Smythe said as she ate a corn dog. “but she is thorough.”
“We think the girl did this?”
“Matches her MO,” Claudia shrugged as she flicked the corn dog stick aside. “And we have surveillance footage at the truck stop. The asshole was talking to someone small, the cameras didn’t get a good shot of the kid, and eyewitnesses state that he was in the company of his ‘daughter’ when he left.”
“You said this was her MO. She’s done this before?” Gary asked.
“She rolls guys like this for their pocket change. We’re not sure if it’s how they finance their operations or if she just does it for fun, but this is the third one this year.”
A well-dressed and very young man in sunglasses approached the pair.
“Sir Lark,” Claudia said without turning around. “We have an ID on this guy yet?”
“Boris Veetch,” the young man said. “a registered sex offender with an active warrant for skipping out on his parole.”
“Yeah, she likes those,” Claudia shrugged. “Nobody will mourn his passing. He was easily ensnared, and he probably was carrying cash.”
“And she is professional bait,” Gary shrugged. “He was slime, but I’m not sure even he deserved what happened to him, though. What sort of monster would do something like this?”
“You just answered your own question,” Claudia replied, “a monster.”
“If you think this is bad," Lark said as he started photographing the scene, "You should see what a pack of goblins will do if they get the chance."
“Considering what we now know,” Claudia said with a shrug, “this trail is beyond cold. Even if they couldn’t do the whole disappearing act, they could be in any of several states by now. We’ve lost them… again.”
She looked over at Gary.
“Just as well,” she added, “We need to get you processed and briefed… agent.”
She smiled.
“Welcome to the Temporal Protection Agency.”
***
Deep within the deepest dungeon on Asteria Prime, a monstrous giant of a spider fidgeted uncomfortably.
“H-hello… boss,” it said nervously, “T-to w-what do we owe the honor of your visit?”
Frostie smiled an icy smile that filled the giant spider with horror.
“Oh, I was just in the area and thought I would give my friends here,” she said, indicating The Great Erectus, The Herald, and Cuddles, “a tour.”
“O-of c-course!” Log’Sharingoth LXXXIII stammered as their legs twitched miserably. “W-would you like a guide?”
“That would be lovely,” Frostie smiled. “Where’s Pantsu? I think she and The Big Guy over here would get along famously.”
“S-she isn’t available, boss.”
“Not even for me?”
“I-I apologize,” Log’Sharingoth said nervously, “but she isn’t here right now?”
“Well, where did she go?”
“I-I’m not sure, boss…”
“Okay, how about Nova?”
“S-she’s not here, either.”
“Shai-Vai-Loshara?”
“Um…”
Steve?
Log’Sharingoth made a whining bubbling noise as they shrank away.
“Why don’t you just tell me who is missing and exactly what the fuck is going on?” Frostie said with an angry gleam in her eye.
***
“…and I don’t know where anyone is!” Log’Sharingoth wailed miserably. “And everything is going wrong, the players almost rioted, and the physics engine threatened to quit! I didn’t know what to doooo!!!
“And at no point did it occur to you to call me?” Frostie asked with a frightening edge to her voice.
Pantsu told me not to!!!
Frostie let out a long-suffering sigh. Of course, the current Log’Sharingoth wouldn’t go against Pantsu. It was horribly unfair to expect otherwise.
“I’m not going to come down on you because of what she did,” Frostie said a bit more gently. “However, since I now clearly know something is amiss, anything you can tell me will be of great value.”
“I-I’m not in trouble?”
“Not from me,” Frostie replied, “and Pantsu won’t be giving you any problems after I’m done with her.”
Frostie paused.
“So, this glitched Pantsu, where is it now?”
“Pantsu had me send it to Tartarus! I’m sorry! But she said to!”
“Sounds like the only sensible thing she’s done thus far,” Frostie replied.
“I didn’t want to, but she told me to do it!”
“Oh, don’t worry,” Frostie shrugged, “sounds like the perfect place for it. Wait. She told you?”
“Yes, Boss!”
“That means you have a line of communications?”
Log’Sharingoth’s multiple eyes all widened with fear.
“Y-yes?”
“Call her and tell her to give me her location… now.”
“Y-yes boss…”
Log’Sharingoth fell silent for a few moments.
“Um… Boss?”
“Let me guess,” Frostie said, “You can’t reach her, can you?”
“No, Boss.”
Fine,” Frostie grumbled. “We do this the hard way. You’ve done a great job, considering everything.”
“I have?” Log’Sharingoth asked hopefully.
“You have,” Frostie said reassuringly. “Keep doing what you’re doing, and I’ll send a crisis response team to help out in the meantime.”
“A… A crisis response team?” Log’Sharingoth asked fearfully.
“You didn’t think you were getting off Scot free, did you?” Frostie laughed as she and her companions disappeared.
“…Ssssshit,” Log’Sharingoth hissed as she stalked off into the shadows.
***
The hominid looked around at their new surroundings.
Everything was white. The floor was white. The walls were white. The furniture was white…
Even the plants were white…
And everything was spotless.
“Interesting décor,” he said after a few seconds.
“They like to keep things tidy,” Frostie replied as she took a seat on one of the white couches.
“They?” the ape-man asked dubiously as Cuddles slipped one of her tentacles into The Herald’s hand.
He gently gripped it, causing Cuddles to suppress a delighted squeal.
“Playtime is over,” Frostie said in a matter-of-fact tone. “I’m calling in my real operatives.”
“Jesus!” The Great Erectus exclaimed as a spotless white door opened, and a short, slender blue male amphibian-like biped in a white tunic bearing a three-headed dog embroidered with platinum thread walked in.
“You never told me you had… them!
“Oh, you are familiar with their kind?”
“Those little monsters are responsible for the death of entire universes! Every time there is a parallel manifestation of those… monsters… entire galaxies die.”
“They can be a handful,” Frostie said pleasantly, “But I’ve found them incredibly valuable over the years… for that very same reason. These do come from much more reasonable stock from a much more reasonable ancestor... Maybe 'reasonable' is pushing it a little,” Frostie added with a laugh. "Reasonable for one of them, at least."
The blue amphibian smiled pleasantly and blinked his huge amber eyes, their pleasant hue replaced with a whirling madness of color.
“Hello, Hades,” Frostie said with a smile. “It has been quite a while. How have you been?”
“Bored,” Hades replied. “I trust you have come to alleviate that?”
“Most definitely,” Frostie replied. “Awaken the others…”
“…It’s time to hunt.”
submitted by slightlyassholic to HFY [link] [comments]


2023.03.21 21:22 Adomanzius We encountered something in the ocean that defies explanation.

We had been checking weather reports tirelessly for two weeks, until we finally found our spot. The following week should be nothing but sun and smooth winds, so we tentatively decided that to be our slot. Our small crew consisted of me and my friends Josie and Frank. Josie’s dad owned the boat (and he still needed to sign off on our plan), so we had to reserve it ahead of time, and make sure that we got it back in pristine condition, on the dot, and preferably with a nice coating of wax or whatever they use to make boats shine like candied apples.
Monday arrived and the weather was still solid, and Josie’s dad had reluctantly signed off on our plan, so we decided not to wait any longer and take it out the next day. The idea was to have a two day mini-cruise; just us hanging out on the boat and maybe docking it for the night at a nearby town. Although Josie’s dad was a hardass, he had taught her how to drive and maintain the boat since she was a kid, so really, the worst thing that could happen is that we wouldn’t have enough snacks.
Me and Frank met at the parking lot, and saw Josie standing on the boat at the end of the dock. Her dad was with her, lecturing her about some winch or other, Josie rolling her eyes next to him, barely maintaining her attention.
“He really can’t leave her alone even for a couple days, can he?” Frank asked, keeping his voice low as we stepped on the long dock.
“Josie or the boat?”
Frank chuckled, then quickly returned his resting poker face as we reached the boat, Josie’s dad turning around as he heard the planks creaking under our feet.
Before he could say anything, Josie ran up from behind him and said “Hi boys! You brought the food and snacks and the five gallons of vodka, I assume?”
“Aye aye, Captain!” we replied in unison. It was Josie’s dad’s turn to roll his eyes.
“Well, I’ll leave you to it,” he said to Josie, starting to walk down the small ramp down to the dock. “And remember, two days, no more. I expect you to bring her back in one piece.”
“Sure thing, dad!” That was Josie’s way of saying yes, yes, yes, I get it already.
Josie’s dad gave us a stern look followed by a slight nod as he walked past us. He never really liked me or Frankie, a bunch of hooligans, as he’d once called us when we were kids. For the record, me and Frankie didn’t like the guy either, so at least the feeling was mutual.
After her dad was out of earshot, Josie yelled “Are you ready kids?!” putting on her damndest pirate voice.
“Aye Aye Cap-TAIN!” we screamed and sprinted up the ramp and into the boat.
After an exchange of hugs we unloaded our groceries into the mini-fridge below deck, then met up with Josie, who was already sitting inside the helm. “Ready to leave, crew?” she asked. “Let’s rock this boat,” Frank replied. The amount of bad jokes this early in the morning was surely a great indication for what the rest of the day held.
It wasn’t long until the shore behind us was gone, the tranquil open sea spreading out in all directions. Josie seemed to know where we were going, but at that point I could no longer discern what direction we had even come from.
Me and Frank sunbathed and joked around on the deck until Josie emerged from her cocoon-like cockpit. “Sorry to interrupt your hi-LARIOUS hijinks, but I’d propose we have some lunch soon.”
Like destiny, the word lunch produced a unified grumble from both me and Frank’s stomachs - the universal horn of yes please, food please, now please.
“We can stay here for a while, then we could start heading towards the town,” Josie said.
Feeling bad that she was doing all the heavy lifting, I asked her “You need any help? It’s your boat, and us your honored guests, so don’t be afraid to command us, cap’n!”
Please,” Josie replied, “when I get a chance to drive this boat, I take it. Dad’s been hogging it like crazy all summer. Besides, it’s not like you guys even know what half of the things on this boat are called, let alone what they’re used for.”
“Well, that’s the driver’s seat,” Frank said, pointing at the helm.
“That’s called a helm, my dear. Frank - you just earned yourself the honorary job of heating up our lunch.”
“This ain’t no Ford Prius, I see,” he replied as he got up and started to take lazy strides towards below deck.
“Toyota,” I said.
“What?”
“Prius is Toyota. Not Ford. Come one, let’s go make lunch for the captain.” I got up to follow Frank, nodding approvingly to Josie.
We had cheap microwave meals for lunch, seeing as the boat didn’t have a stovetop or an oven. For some reason - maybe it was the soothing sounds of the ocean lazily slapping the boat, or the warm afternoon sun - the food defied its low expectations and tasted great.
Afterwards we had a little siesta where I almost fell asleep until Josie said “Shall I take course towards the town, then?”
Through a straw hat laid across his face, Frank mumbled “Aye aye.”
“You sure you don’t need any help?” I asked Josie one again, but she was already jumping into the helm, excited to get back at it. “You guys just take a chill, I’ll get us where we need to.”
As the motor’s soothing hum returned, I got myself a bag of chips and sat on the deck, watching the horizon. Frank still had the hat on his face, which either meant that he didn’t want to be bothered, or that he’d fallen asleep. Either way, I was happy to just sit under the sun as the boat slowly rolled towards our destination, cutting a line into the flaccid water behind us.
“Shit, Shit SHIT!” Josie screamed. I must’ve fallen asleep, and as I got up the half eaten bag of chips crushed under my foot.
“What, Josie? What’s wrong?”
“What’s going on?” Frank parroted as he stood up, the hat falling beside him.
“There’s a fucking storm coming,” Josie said as she frantically pressed buttons, her eyes darting across the dashboard of the helm.
I turned around and looked at the horizon. Dread filled me as I saw an infinitely wide wall of dark clouds spread across the sky, making contact with the water in a misty gray curtain. I noticed that the ocean was no longer level, for it was rippled with small waves that thumped the sides of the boat in eager anticipation.
“I thought it was supposed to be nothing but clear skies,” Frank said. He’d walked beside me, taking in the horror beyond the horizon.
“Ex-fucking-actly, Sherlock. It came out of fucking nowhere,” Josie snapped, holding the wheel tightly in her right hand as she fiddled something with her left.
“Okay, Josie, I know this might sound stupid, but bear with. Why are we going towards the storm?” I asked, trying to not seem disingenuous as I turned around to face her.
She gave a sigh, stopping what she was doing and looked me in the eyes. “That’s where the town is. It’s the closest place to dock right now, and the storm’s moving faster than any I’ve ever seen. If we go back it’ll catch up to us and we’re fucked. If we go through it, we’ll spend the least amount of time inside it, giving us at least a chance.”
“A chance at what?” Frankie asked.
“A chance at getting out of here.”
“Any port in a storm, I guess,” I said, trying to lighten the mood, to which Frank gave me a concerned look.
The air had turned cool, so I went and changed to warmer clothing, Frank doing the same. Coming back up to the deck, I saw that the storm had moved closer. A lot closer. Josie instructed us to put on life jackets and to stay below deck, not to come out unless she asked us to. We put on the puffy orange jackets and promptly hunkered down below deck. The increasing waves were already rocking the boat uneasily.
“Are we gonna die?” Frank asked, his voice whimpering as he looked up at me from the opposite bench.
Although the question had already burrowed itself into my mind as well, I replied “No, NO, man, we’re not gonna die. Like Josie said, it’s just a quick ride through and then we’re back on dry land,” hoping that my words held even a sliver of truth.
In a matter of minutes, the sky turned dark and the boat started jumping on waves, like a rollercoaster rapidly going up and down and up and down. The rain tore into the boat like a machine gun as thunder sounded from across the way, lightning flashing the sky white erratically. Frank’s lunch quickly escaped his stomach, coming out in an arc of brownish green vomit that splattered across my legs and the floor. I was too scared to care, and he was too frightened to apologize.
The storm kept getting worse, the waves becoming larger as evidenced by the deeper dives and longer ascensions. Water was constantly slamming the deck, some of it trickling down to our feet. Through the two small windows the cabin had, it was near impossible to know whether we were on top of the water or under it, or which way was up or down. Although the storm was loud, I could still hear Josie cursing and screaming as she battled the waves and tried to keep us afloat, which was the only indication that she hadn’t been swallowed into the depths below. Frank was sweating bullets, his face a pale white. I wasn’t doing much better either, the words it’s gonna be ok it’s gonna be ok repeating in my mind.
Slowly the storm started to ease up, the waves thinning out and the rain becoming only a slight patter. Neither Frank or me said anything, though, not wanting to jinx it before we were safely back on land. Soon, the boat’s rocking lessened severely, and I could see sunshine coming through the windows.
“Hey guys, you okay? You can come up now,” Josie yelled, her inflection hesitant but calm.
Frankie apologized for the vomit as we got up and made our way up the steps. Josie was standing at the front of the deck, tumbling through her soaking wet hair with her fingers.
“Ho-lee shit, did we just survive the fucking apocalypse?” Frank asked rhetorically, his eyes darting between me and Josie.
“Josie! You okay?” I asked.
“Yeah, yeah… I’m fine,” she replied, waving her hand like nothing abnormal had happened at all.
I walked up next to her and said “We got through it, didn’t we? Now just let’s get ourselves back on land, eh?”
“Yeah, well, that’s the problem.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, look,” she said, holding her hand out at the pale horizon, like she was presenting it on an invisible platter. “Where’s the town?”
“What do you mean where’s the town? We got through the storm, so shouldn’t we be able to get through to it now?”
“That’s the thing. It should be right in front of us.”
“Where’s the storm?” Frankie yelled from the back of the boat.
“What do you mean ‘where’s the storm?’ We just went through it” Josie yelled in annoyance, still peering at the horizon.
“For fuck’s sake, come here,” Frank replied.
Josie looked at me and rolled her eyes, then started walking towards Frank as she gave a long sigh. I followed tepidly behind her.
As we reached the back of the boat, I realized what Frank had meant. There was no storm, nor clouds, or even residual waves. “What the fuck,” I exclaimed under my breath, right as Josie started sprinting around the boat, looking in all directions, her head swiveling in frantic motions, her hair throwing beads of water around like a dog drying up after a swim. A minute later she joined us, panting, and said “It’s all just water. There’s nothing on any side. We’re in the middle of the fucking ocean, the storm’s gone, there’s nothing.”
“Shit, shit, shit…” Frank muttered as he started to tap his foot on the deck, holding himself in a tight hug as he shivered in his wet clothes.
I turned to Josie. “Well we shouldn’t be far off from something, right? It’s still day, and even with the storm we couldn’t have gone too far.”
I could see that Josie was tired. She looked like she had aged about ten years in the last twenty minutes. “Okay, okay, you’re right. Let me just check some things and figure out where to go.”
Josie left for the helm, leaving me and Frank to stare in silent horror at the lazy, blue ocean that seemed to stretch infinitely in all directions.
After a long minute Josie called to us “Guys… you better come check this out.”
She was staring intensely at the dashboard of the helm as we arrived.
“Okay, so good and bad news. Which first?”
“Good, please.” Frank replied, recovered from the worst of the shivers.
“Okay, so the good news is, uhh,” she began, still fiddling with controls as if to double check her suspicions “the boat seems to be in running condition. There’s no damage to anything that would prevent us from going forward.”
“So what’s the problem then?” I asked.
“Check your phones.”
“What?” me and Frank said in unison.
“Check if you have a signal, internet, anything.”
“Shit,” Frank said. “Yeah, mine too,” I replied as I looked at my phone and saw that there was absolutely no signal or internet.
“Yeah, I don’t have a signal either - just had to check. And it doesn’t stop there,” Josie said, “compasses, readings, all of that - it’s shot. I can’t navigate us anywhere, and I have no idea where we are.”
Frank started to freak out and walked towards the front of the boat, his wet shoes squishing as he stomped angrily. “Fuck, fuck, FUCK. What the fuck do we do?”
“Well, as I said, we can still move. The only question is where. I have a faint idea of where the sun was when we first headed out, and I suggest we try to mimic its movement back to the dock,” Josie said to me while keeping her eye on Frank.
Frank was now squatting on the deck, his hands gripping his neck as he stared down at his feet.
“That sounds smart. Then if we see the storm again, we can recalibrate. We should probably be hitting land at some point, right?” I said to Josie.
“That’s my logic, at least.”
“You with us Frank?” I asked, turning to him.
“Yeah, yeah. I guess that sounds smart,” he replied in a solemn voice under his breath.
“Need any help?” I asked Josie.
“Take care of Frank,” she said quietly. “The best thing we can do is stay calm.”
Josie revved up the engine and turned the boat around carefully as she mapped out our approximate direction, and then we left towards a horizon that was no different from the others, guided only by the sun’s approximate movements.
As Josie manned the wheel, me and Frank cleaned up below deck and dried our clothes. As we were finishing up, he said he’d stay below deck, as he needed some time to think.
Looking at the sun, the day was slowly turning to evening. It was summer, so we still had daylight for a few more hours. I went up to Josie to see how she was doing.
“Frank’s below. Said he needed some time to think. I don’t blame him - this is indeed a bit fucked up, isn’t it?”
“Logically, we should hit land at some point,” she replied, her eyes fixed on the horizon, her presence distant.
“How are you doing, Josie? You just pulled us through hell. I know you don’t need help with the boat, but I’m just saying -- I’m here if you wanna talk.”
Josie sighed and turned to me. “Thanks. I think right now what I need is to get us safely back home. Once we’re back you can buy me a beer and then we can talk.”
I nodded, and then turned my head to look at the horizon. Noticing something in the distance, I said “Josie, uhh, what’s that?”
She turned her head back to survey the ocean.
In the distance there were small, dark peaks rising from the ocean, like the tips of underwater mountains rising above the water. They’d appeared seemingly out of nowhere.
“I -- I don’t know. But I think we’re gonna see soon enough.”
I stayed with Josie as we approached the peaks. As we got closer, it was obvious that there was no land between them. Instead, they shot up from the water in thick spirals that tapered off the higher they reached. As we got closer we could finally realize their true size. Although some were smaller than others, most were the equivalent of tall office buildings, some reaching even higher. They spiraled and twisted in the air, arcing like blades of grass in the wind, and it seemed like they could fall down at any moment, but they did not move or shake in the slightest. There must have been twenty or so, and they all looked similar despite their differences in size; dark, mostly smooth yet also scratched, like charred meat on a grill.
“You have any idea what these are? They look like… trees or something, except they don’t have leaves or branches,” I said to Josie.
“Never seen anything like it. Must be some rock formations or something. Maybe there’s an underwater volcano that bursted lava out and it solidified -- I really don’t know. But those should only happen deeper in the ocean, far away from land.”
I heard Frank coming up the stairs. He looked better than he had before, his step lighter. Although I’d been afraid he’d been brooding, I guess having some time to think really did help.
As he saw the spiraling towers, his face turned into a twisted and confused half-frown as he said “What the fuck are those?”
“We don’t know,” I replied, “but it’s the only thing we’ve seen so far.”
Soon the closest spiral towered just a mere two hundred yards away, its wide shade casting upon the boat. From a distance it had been hard to decipher the dark structures, but upon closer inspection, it was clear that their anatomy was… abnormal. Stretches of surface material were mostly smooth, but all of the spirals seemed to have slight craters that were formed above the rest of the exterior. It looked like they had been bombarded by meteors of differing sizes, although even if this had been the case, how had they not been immediately broken, I do not know. They were beyond any logic I could muster.
“So, anyone know what we’re looking at?” Josie askied, surprising both me and Frank - she was usually the one to know things, us just tagging along for the ride.
“No clue, captain,” replied Frank as he stared upwards in dismay at the towering spiral.
“Still no,” I said.
Suddenly the boat’s end shot up, followed by the front, ascending us a good ten yards in mere seconds. Frank and I were knocked down on the deck, but Josie managed to hold onto the walls surrounding the helm. The boat kept rocking as waves hit us from behind. I slowly stood up with my knees bent for support, and went to help out Frank who was still laying on the deck, his eyes wide in panic.
Once I’d gotten Frank up, Josie had already managed to make her way to the back of the boat. We held onto the railings along the boat’s edge and walked as fast as we could through the oceanic turbulence to catch up with her. Once I saw what had produced those waves, I wanted to get back to land more than I ever had before.
In the distance tens more of the spirals had emerged from the ocean, some even larger than the ones we’d seen. They dripped with water, and some were covered in green algae. Somehow they’d been quiet, merely disturbing the water as they’d shot up.
“We need to move! One of those things could shoot up under the boat and sink the whole fucking thing!” Josie screamed, running back inside the helm as the waves slowly calmed down and became smaller. I leaned on the railing to see if there was something underneath us - not that there was much I could do, even if I saw a gigantic spiral shooting up from the depths.
The water beneath the surface was unmoving, holding an abyssal darkness. It seemed as if the light penetrated less than it had before, and what was deep below was nothing but pitch black shadowlands.
Just as I was about to disembark and head towards Josie, something moved in the water. I craned my neck farther over the railing to get a better look. It looked like two large masses were separating from each other, unearthing a ravine.
Josie had gotten the boat moving, and we were starting to turn towards an opening between two of the spirals. As the boat circled, I got a better view of what lay below. The ravine widened, and inside it I could see a dark, whitish yellow mass peeking through. As Josie cranked us up to speed the yellow mass had opened up into a large, oval shape that seemed to span across the ocean floor. Its center held a deep, dark circle that sucked in light as if it were a black hole, twisting all things inside of it.
Then it closed up. I sighed in relief, hoping that no more spirals would emerge.
Suddenly it opened up again in a furious motion, wider than before, into a perfect circle. Then it hit me - it was an eye, larger than anything I could think of. Although we were moving at full speed, it was so gargantuan that we weren’t making any headway.
It had blinked.
“Josie? Frank?” I screamed as I turned around and saw Frank on the opposite railing looking down at the water, witnessing the same thing I was seeing.
Frank turned to me, his face a washed white, and his mouth slightly agape. “They’re tentacles. They’re fucking tentacles, look!” he pointed at one of the bigger spirals. “They have fucking suction cups and all! Shit, SHIT!
As if on cue, the tentacles started to return to the water, splashing as they did so, producing strong currents in the water. The boat was immediately caught up in the chaos, going up and around huge waves and being dragged by the water’s shifting volume. Frank sprang below deck, and I followed him. From the small round windows I could see one of the gargantuan tentacles dropping back into the water, the boat just barely missing its tip and almost sunk by the shifting ocean.
Josie ran inside with us and exclaimed “The storm is back! It’s fucking back! I can’t maneuver the boat worth shit!”
As she closed the door behind her, we were flung to the side, my ribs hitting one of the cabinets, producing a painful crack. I could hear the rain start to scratch at the boat, and soon we were engulfed in darkness, the rain gunning down on us through the waves. The boat rocked and swayed worse than it had before, and at some points I was sure we’d gone under, buried into the deep sea, never to see the sun again. We held on to whatever we could as water trickled through the sealed door and started pooling up on the floor.
Slowly, but steadily, the storm started to pass, the boat regaining its level status along the water. The darkness outside faded into a dark red. Once it was possible to stand with relative ease, we emerged from the cabin and walked up to the deck.
“Everyone okay?” Josie asked.
“I think I’m gonna --,” Frank replied, and promptly ran to grab the edge of the railing and vomited yellow bile into the water, his stomach empty of food from before.
“My ribs got a beating, but I don’t think anything’s broken, “ I said. “What about you?”
“I’m fine. Just some bruises. Look,” Josie said, walking to the other side of the boat.
On the horizon, we saw the evening sun illuminating a crimson glow behind a small town some 500 yards away.
“Frank?” Josie called out.
“Yeah?” he replied through thick phlegm that sounded like it was stuck to his throat and running down his nostrils.
“We made it.”
We docked at the unfamiliar town and found a small hotel - probably the only one there - just a quick walking distance away. Once we got our phones dried off, Josie’s seemed to be the only one that still worked. As she looked up our location she nearly dropped the phone on the ground.
“I -- I don’t know how, but we’re quite far from home,” she said, her voice produced in quick breaths.
“How far?” Frank asked.
“Some 480 miles away.”
We checked and double checked her phone, but she was right: somehow we’d ended up nearly 500 miles down the coast into a small fishing town.
We were so tired that we decided to get some sleep before giving the bad news to Josie’s dad. The next morning Josie called him up and explained the situation, giving him the simple version: a storm had hit us, and after we got out we’d arrived here. I could hear the screams he gave her through the phone - apparently he was sure we’d driven the boat all the way to this ghost town in the middle of nowhere and docked it here, just to spite him. Josie didn’t respond to him much, only apologizing and telling him to come pick us up.
A day later he arrived, furious with us - and especially Josie. Once we showed him the boat I thought he was going to burst into a thousand tiny pieces, for I’d never seen a man so angry before. Although I think he overreacted, it was true that the boat was in shambles. There was water damage throughout the interiors, most of the equipment was shot, and large scratches were present along the exterior’s white paint.
Josie begged him not to drive the boat back home, but he insisted, not hearing a word her daughter was saying. We drove his car and arrived home that night.
As promised, me and Josie went out for a beer a few weeks later after her dad had settled down enough to let her out of the house. We went through the events of the trip in great detail, confirming to each other that it really did happen - although we disagreed on one thing.
Josie still thought that the spirals were just magma turned rock, and the whole thing was just extremely bad luck. According to her, we got held up by a superstorm or hurricane that moved our boat on top of an active underwater volcano, and then got hit by that same storm later as it moved across the ocean at miraculous speeds. Her theory was that the storm moved us along with it, making it possible to traverse such tremendous lengths with ease.
But Josie didn’t see what had been underneath us. Her theory was that the ‘eye’ I saw was simply lava cooling down as it emerged from the ocean bed. But she hadn’t seen it blink.
Frank of course seen it as well, but I haven’t heard from him much after the incident. According to his mom, he’s been cooped up in his room, drawing yellow circles on black pages. He’d told her that he needed some time to think.
submitted by Adomanzius to nosleep [link] [comments]


2023.03.21 21:12 bostonshopper Update: After visiting Boston in October, the RMV is giving me until Friday to register my car in MA, or I'll lose my driver's license. The only catch? I don't live, work, or have an address in MA... so I can't get insured or register here. And the RMV won't call me back. Anyone got a contact?

Update: After visiting Boston in October, the RMV is giving me until Friday to register my car in MA, or I'll lose my driver's license. The only catch? I don't live, work, or have an address in MA... so I can't get insured or register here. And the RMV won't call me back. Anyone got a contact? submitted by bostonshopper to boston [link] [comments]


2023.03.21 21:07 maybe_I_knit_crochet Attorney to prepare Will

Good afternoon,
Does anyone have any recommendations for attorneys that create wills? I have the money to pay for the service, however, I am being ghosted by everyone I try to reach out to. I am just an average person and not someone with a large estate that will require many billable hours, so maybe that is part of the reason why I am having difficultly finding someone to help.
So far the closest attorney that didn't ghost me is halfway across the state and I would prefer someone with an office closer to the Cedar Rapids area. If anyone has had good experiences with getting a will prepared locally I would love to hear who you worked with.
Thanks in advance!
submitted by maybe_I_knit_crochet to cedarrapids [link] [comments]


2023.03.21 21:02 Maaaniq Narcissistic family member made me fail driving exam

I studied and practiced so much for this day, and her excuse was that she overslept despite answering my call to wake up. I hate this sabotage, and it’s already bad enough the place she made me schedule at again has awful employees.
A nice worker gave me the chance to take it again, but some bitter, aggressive old bitch decided to make my relative the passenger instead of a professional examiner. The rule was for them to not fucking open their mouth while the driver is active, but of course, she had to critic every move I made and fucking mess me up by opening her mouth. I tried to block out her yammering, but her distracting me almost messed up my parallel parking. idk what to do anymore….
I studied driving education for nearly two months: the history, road signs, laws in my state, and practiced the maneuvers. It’s almost unfair that such hard work can be diminished by one person
submitted by Maaaniq to raisedbynarcissists [link] [comments]


2023.03.21 20:58 Jayson_Bonz Finally understand being alone.

I'm an over the road truck driver. I spend 18 days out in the truck, and 3 at home. I've been doing this for over 16 years. So I'm used to being by myself. Today, it finally hit me what it is to truly be alone. Doing this job, you don't really meet people. You might have a conversation for a few minutes here and there with a stranger, but never really meet anyone. The only friend I had was my wife. I took 16 days off after she died, that is all I could take without missing a paycheck that I can't afford to miss. I just came back out this past Wednesday, got to go back home Sat and Sun due to being near home and no loads in the area. Back out yesterday. Today it really set in that I have no one to call and talk to like I did with her. I have my mom and MIL, and our 2 kids. But I can't talk to them for hours like I did with her. They have their spouses / other people they have to spend time with. I was always by myself in the truck, but she was always just a phone call away. I was by myself, but never alone. Now I am truly alone.
submitted by Jayson_Bonz to widowers [link] [comments]


2023.03.21 20:49 HicSvntDracones_4242 HAHA Ask for my drivers license.. & I'll notify the MBI!

HAHA Ask for my drivers license.. & I'll notify the MBI! submitted by HicSvntDracones_4242 to amibeingdetained [link] [comments]


2023.03.21 20:49 nonexistentgreen EN players - let's talk about cheating

So, Rank Match is coming to EN (in less than 12 hours as I’m writing this!). Maybe you’ve seen a few posts crop up on your twitter TL or randomly on this subreddit bringing up fear of cheaters. Maybe you haven’t and have only seen the ones saying “I’m no good, I’ll probably only languish in bronze” or something like that. But all the same, I think we need to treat with the topic.
Let’s talk about cheating. It’s rampant, and it needs to be recognized. It’s worth addressing. It’s worth keeping EN’s integrity as a server.
A little context, before I do: I'm a user from the community Sekai server (henceforth referred to as Sekaicord) linked on the sidebar. By habit, I am not a reddit user, and I apologize if this comes off too strong as a consequence. I understand this is a contentious topic, and I recognize that I might have perception bias if the only posts I see from here showcase the "worst" posts and not the actual "average" opinion on this — but, my impression is that, in general, this subreddit has a terrible track record when it comes to identifying cheaters, and an equally awful slate of defenses for their behavior. I'm writing this post not just to address some of these defenses, but also to open the conversation. The less we know about it, the less we can push the devs to take action on it. And likewise, the more we’re aware…
Some context for my viewpoints / experiences on the matter:
- I'm a Day 1 JP player, with 240+ Master FCs. I played EN from day 1 up until around Scramble, when the amount of external tiering drama got too much for me (and, if my handle on what happened during White Day is right, it hasn't gotten better). Level-wise, I’d be about Lv31-32 for FC skill and 26-28 AP-wise. Ask me for a handcam if you want. On Sekaicord I frequently talk to much better players — yes, even ones who can FC/AP 33+ songs (which are probably the most likely to get doubted). I asked a player with Lv34+ FCs (AMARA, 16bit, Intense Voice, Disappearance/END) to review this huge treatise before I wrote it out. I'm pretty confident as to their legitimacy and generally see some patterns that emerge as to why they are. I'll explain some of these here.
- I tend to give the benefit of the doubt to APs up to around Lv32 in the wild, but a lot of Lv33+ FCs tend to be more suspect for any number of reasons you can see from the co-op results screen.
- The atmosphere in Sekaicord around cheating is, as you can probably infer from my tone, highly distrusting. Cheaters are banned on sight once proof is established beyond doubt – so in fact, it surprises me that technically speaking, the rules on the subreddit’s sidebar don’t concretely penalize cheating!
But like many communities, it didn't start out like that. The dedicated gameplay channel was VERY happy to celebrate players' accomplishments (we used to have every 33+ FC pinned) and generally didn't ask for much proof — until Rank Match came on JP, and a player who we all thought was just insanely good got exposed (because JP caught and banned him). Here's the thing — he was a good player in his own right (i.e., Lv. 32+, but not good enough for the results he cheated), and the way he hid his results was much less blatant than some of the people later banned from the server for cheating, who… well, put in about as much effort as some of the cheaters that have been linked to me from here. This is how it goes for pretty much any community: break the established trust, and obviously nothing's the same afterward.
I will try to write this in such a way that it gives cheaters as few hints as possible on how to make their plays look more "legit"; I simply want to point out some of the common patterns that emerge when a cheater really is afoot (and which are never an issue for a legitimate player), and refute some of the more common defenses.
Another thing: yes, not everyone condescends to the level of some of these defenses I’ve written out. However, I’ve seen them appear enough in more or less these exact forms, unchallenged, that it’s worth quoting them in exactly the same way to give you an idea of what’s wrong with these viewpoints. This is not meant as a personal attack (moreso if you may have said something to these effects in the past); it’s simply an attack on the logic behind them.

DEFENSES:

(1) "Has it ever occurred to you that someone might just be that good? / Or maybe they're just that good?"
Statements like these are, to put it bluntly, passive-aggressive and condescending towards people who might have genuine grounds for suspicion. People weren't born yesterday; we're fully aware that people on the level of HPS, MaengZombie, nanoflower, REN, STK, SkisK… exist. (I've specifically excluded jack just because he's the low-hanging fruit and also to point out that if one’s only knowledge of a "good player" is jack, well… there’s a whole world out there).
But the reason people don't cast doubt on those players is because they have put in the effort to be deserving of that trust. Every one of the players I've mentioned has videographic evidence — YouTube, Twitter clips, the list goes on. They frequently compete to get world-first on APs, and they're well aware that if you do not have a video that shows your hands, your play means nothing. For example, tweets purporting to show world-firsts on Six Trillion Years and Overnight Story were, pretty much without exception, disregarded by JP players when the user was silent on the question of handcams.
(The first recognized AP of Six Trillion Years is from SkisK , at 1d 1h 19m after release.)
(A little aside: JP players can be pretty ruthless about cheaters. From the official JP Discord, I passed by this message of someone posting a Yaminabe AP tweet with no proof on release day and was (not) surprised to see a slew of X-to-doubt reactions -- and, as with the tweet above which I had to resort to Wayback Machine to show you, it was later deleted presumably after getting called out.)
I also want to be clear on this: this also means that a player you don't expect CAN come out of nowhere and stake their claim on an achievement, as long as they have the proof to back their claim up. Here's a good example: the maxed score on Arcaea's hardest chart, Testify BYD, was achieved by a player (005saikou) who otherwise wasn't known for any other world-firsts! And — you guessed it — he had an annotated video to back up his claim, commenting on which parts he thought was hardest, and other peculiarities of the chart.
There's a common counterargument to (1) that goes something like
(2) "Well, maybe some people just don't want to show their hands / dox themselves / don't know how to record / etc."
Let's do this point-by-point.
2a) "...don't know how to record / not everyone has a second phone or camera to record handcams with..."
The trial-and-error process required to reach the level of play we're talking about 99% demands the ability to record, review, and rewatch your play. Even if you're not going to post it, you almost certainly will have tried it at some point on the road to 33+ just for your own "where did I go wrong?" purposes.
This argument is also an insult to the intelligence of a player; recording ISN'T EVEN HARD. Recording is built-in on iOS. Recording on Android is as simple as typing "screen recorder app" into Google Play Store (or its equivalent, for Xiaomi and other no-Google builds) and downloading the first free option that doesn't have ads every 0.1 seconds. While screen recordings are less trustworthy than handcams because, well, you can’t see what the player is doing in order to get that result, they’re trustworthy enough in conjunction with players who, besides a recording, can talk about what, why, and how they do what they’re doing (more on this below).
As for handcams, please don't be intimidated by the fact that most well-known YouTubers have professional-looking, crisp 1080p setups: even a grainy 480p view is enough as long as it's clear you're not pretending to mash away while a bot automatically PERFECTs the 200BPM portions of Intense Voice. Google "handcam setups", or DIY one by cutting a slit at the top of a cardboard box and pointing a camera lens down while you play from the bottom (my preferred solution). I have seen players who record themselves using cheap $20 webcams not even clipped to anywhere stable, players who ask to borrow a family member’s phone or camera for a paltry five minutes… anything to be honest! For as many cheaters I’ve seen accused, I’ve also seen nearly as many people who put in the effort to be honest, which deserves a good mention.
Just about every case I know of someone who wasn't a cheater was willing to provide a handcam of some sort. It doesn't matter if they took 30 minutes, five hours, or three days — they came back and defended themselves. I've even seen it on the EN discord! The first instinct of a cheater, by contrast, is to either stay completely silent and let other people do the defending for them, or to get extremely defensive and use some of the many arguments here.
Incidentally, there are legitimate examples I know of of completely unknown players who pop up one day in Sekaicord with some godlike play, and the reason they were believed on the spot? Handcam.
2b) "...don't want to show their hands / dox themselves..."
I suppose nothing can be done about that, but on this point I'd like to point out that Sekai is hardly the first (and will not be the last) rhythm game community to have doubters. This is frankly small-time compared to osu! players doing this like it's a JOB. And that comes down to a fundamental truth about rhythm games: difficult skill-based achievements have always had value because people SHOW they can be done. Consequently, if there is no proof, there is no value; if you're willing to make an outrageous claim; you best be prepared to show some outrageous play, or risk it not being worth anything at all.
There are other ways to show you clearly did what you're claiming to that don't involve a handcam, mind you — but they involve knowing what you're talking about, describing the chart / your strategies in detail, and, well, generally a certain level of passion about the intricacies of the game that most cheaters don't really seem to have, because they're only really here for the one fleeting shot at attention (mentioned this above already; skip to “spotting cheaters” below if you’re curious enough to know how).
Moving on…
(3) "But they posted a recording of…"
Let me be clear on this point: I personally (and many others) are not wondering if they photoshopped a rainbow clear diamond on a song; anyone can do that in three minutes. I am also not wondering (and do not care) if someone has a recording of themselves scrolling through a list of songs with a shiny line of rainbow diamonds, because that doesn't really mean anything if they cannot demonstrate the ability to repeat it (and that a bot didn't do it for them). On this point, most players aren't so letter-of-the-law obsessed as to demand a recording of a re-AP (understandable: players like Mita Kousuke take months even to get a singular AP on What's up? Pop! and there's no guarantee the perfect moment will be caught on camera for most players) — I (and many others) just want to see a level of play that reasonably LOOKS like they can do what they’re claiming to have done. Put simply, I really just want to see someone’s fingers dancing where the notes are landing, not their hands flailing miserably against the glass screen while a bot does the actual playing.
What would "reasonable" look like? Take a look at the Mita video as an example. While he lists some of his current personal bests at the top, you'll find that the majority of these streams are him failing, sometimes incredibly early, sometimes amazingly -- but the overall level of play is high. Players who've just finished with a feat from the night before / day before / two hours / 30 minutes before don't "rust over". A few hours' rest (if necessary) for exhausted hands is almost always enough to show something approaching legitimate if the player in question is legitimate -- again, no one's asking for a second AP.
(4) "You're just jealous!"
And? So what if I am? Since when was emotion a valid reason to stop reading and avoid the possibility that even people driven by emotion can make valid points? But part of why this argument is unusually effective is because most aren't aware of the common patterns that drive cheaters, and so valid arguments are often dismissed as being down to jealousy if you're not aware of why some of these defenses for cheaters just don't stick.
Part of why I shared the context of where I come from with this was partly to dispel this argument. I've long since accepted that there are people much better than me, and I want to explain why people (who don't necessarily have that chance) react the way they do towards cheaters without resorting to ad hominems like this.
But never mind me. If me potentially being jealous is enough to discount it at my sub-33 skill level, then would you believe the distaste for EN cheating if it came from the world-first AP on Kusaregedou to Chocolate? Incidentally, I assure you he's got nothing to be jealous of: after all, he's going to Tokyo for Spring CS and rubbing shoulders with HPS and the rest of the Sekai gods.
(5) "It's just a game, why would anyone cheat on Sekai?"
If you've ever heard a variation of the common schoolyard boast (or jokes about it) "my dad works at Nintendo / Game Freak / Activision / [insert AAA video game company here]", the answer is: it’s for exactly the same reason immature people have lied since the dawn of society — attention and self-esteem. Of course they gain nothing from this, it is just a game, after all — but kids literally lie just to win arguments as petty and easily-forgotten as those in a schoolyard. Why would Sekai be the first skill-based game (of many, many rhythm games out there) immune to this?
(6) "It's just a game, calm down lol"
I genuinely struggled to write an answer to this without getting a bit irritated; I’ve seen this so many times in so many places for so many wrong reasons. But what’s wrong with being passionate about a game? What’s wrong with wanting the pastime you settle into after a stressful day of work or school to be a fair playing ground? Why shouldn’t a game be taken seriously when competitive PvP games fuel multi-billion industries, have university scholarships, and round-the-clock teams and sport scientists analyzing them, and ignite the passions of people just as intensely as any “traditional” sport?
“Because that’s esports, and this is just Sekai”? Here, tell me you can’t feel the room shake when Mita APs Brand New Day live on stream.
What’s wrong with being passionate about something in the same way others, you included, are passionate about things besides Sekai – enough to be offended if someone said this exact same thing to you? What’s wrong with wanting fairness for one thing and not another?
(7) "Trust the cheat detection!"
I hate to have to say this, I really do, but automated cheat detection for EN is TERRIBLE. It might not even exist. As evidence I'd like to point towards some of the more infamous cheaters: the T2 for Mesmerized by Mermaids in EN. There are some pretty damning threads from long-time tierers that have explained the point in much more detail than I could eloquently say. Now, this exact cheater was defended by someone using the exact same argument I'm about to reply to, and it's just as fallacious now as it was then.
Allow me to explain exactly why "trust the cheat detection" doesn't fly.
- T2, as the threads I've linked demonstrate, was clearly botting, and did so for the entire week the event ran. So why didn't the supposed "cheat detection" pick this up? Why was T2 allowed to play all the way until the EVENT ENDED? Why was the event title AWARDED to T2, denying the T4 (nara) the T3 as a result?
- The appeal to authority argument particularly disgusts me because of one thing: JP has had its own issues with cheaters of a different nature: those who share accounts so that they can tier 24/7 with no downtime. The example I know of is from Unnamed Harmony: not only did they outright admit to account sharing (and insinuated that the t2 who lost was probably also cheating), they weren't banned. I use JP as an example for this reason: JP, which actually, proactively bans botters in Rank Match, still has cheaters that are left completely alone. How then, can you expect EN to have better scrutiny when even botters need a public outcry and a LOT of angry support desk mails just to get one T2 banned? (oh, and come back, and get that account banned too, and admit to committing about 7k euros worth of chargeback fraud…) No offense, but EN can't even herd its official discord channels together; how am I supposed to believe they have time for botters?
T2 Mermaids is hardly the only example there is — only the most notorious one. But if even the cases of people high enough to be in the ranking spotlight take so much effort to call out (no thanks to people spouting uneducated defenses and convincing enough people), how much more botters who just roam the wilds with all perfects that show with 0 notes hit?
Put another way: why use a tiering cheater as an example for skill-based cheating when tiering skill boils down to whoever has the stamina to slap Envy for the longest time? Answer: they use the same tools. The person running around with an EmpErroR AP in public rooms may be doing it to show off, while a tiering cheater may be doing it so they doesn’t lose sleep or struggle the same way their competitors do, but the means are (almost) always the same: a machine does the work for them. And if the game isn’t banning one of them… how can you be confident they’re banning the other?
“Well, that was months ago! They’re better now, I hope!”
The proof is in the pudding. If you’re right, then I’d be happier than anyone else.

SPOTTING CHEATERS:

Besides the whole "they get really defensive" / [insert argument above] things listed above, there are a few more tells that really go a long way towards sniffing out a cheater, and I'd like to go over some of them here (since they didn't really fit naturally into the counterarguments presented above). I'll skip over directly critiquing their results in the case that a prospective cheater reads this and takes notes on how to avoid getting caught.
Now, a little disclaimer, for fairness: most of the posts I’m aware of don’t actually involve the cheaters themselves risking getting caught on here, and so the uses for such red flags may not be easily applicable. But all the same, they go hand-in-hand with the (fallacious) defenses for cheaters, and it’s important to know what you’re looking for when someone inevitably comes here asking why they got banned (for “no reason”) assuming EN is any trustworthy when Rank Match hits.
Keep in mind: each of these ALONE does not mean someone is a cheater — it's when red flags like these, ALONG with refusing to provide videographic proof, come together, that someone becomes more and more suspicious.
(1) Unrealistic timeframes for improvement
Let's not mince words here: the highest levels of Sekai are HARD. As in, it competes with "pure" rhythm games like Arcaea, Lanota, Phigros, Cytus, Dynamix, CHUNITHM, maimai, ONGEKI… levels of hard. Sekai itself is unusually hard for a popular rhythm game (sorry Tokyo 7th Sisters, no one knows you) with funny PNGs you roll and pay for, in a market where the closest competition (and therefore most people's previous frames of reference for existing difficulty) is Bandori or Enstars. And, well, no offense… but Bandori doesn't have six Hell or Hell SPs (and it took THIS long to release the 33+ specials…) and a release schedule that promises more every three months, like we're getting with Yaminabe and Jinsei. As for Enstars? Two years to release Awakening Myth and Seishun Emergency SP (and they’re only roughly as hard as ~32lv. Sekai charts).
What this results in are cheaters who grossly underestimate the time needed to get to Sekai's highest level. You might hear things like "i was up all night / week / month getting this omg my fingers are so tired". To use an example from sekaicord / experience: most players who commit to the improvement grind tend to find that they'll improve really quickly from 26 to 30 — and then hit a major wall at Lv31, where the difficulty then spikes exponentially. The average time it takes legitimate players to go from Lv31 to 32? Six months or more. 32 to 33? You'll be lucky or just insanely good if it takes you six months.
Anyone claiming to be the exception to this pattern, put simply, needs the proof. People are willing to believe someone’s good if they can see someone play good.
(2) Not recognizing patterns when questioned
An actual story about a banned cheater from sekaicord: they claimed to have AP'd Don't Fight the Music on Master, and immediately fell through when people started asking them about patterns from other charts, including Hibana and KING. The issue? They were told that those patterns were from Don't Fight the Music. This is pretty much self-explanatory: you'd at least be expected to know the charts you're claiming to have beaten!
But besides that, people who have pulled off such feats (hell, pretty much anyone) always has a devil of their own. Everyone has That One Pattern they find, and which they hate. And if you're a devilish enough little Pattern (hello Greenlights / Bitter Choco Decoration), you'll be so absolutely evil that everyone will know you, not the other way around. Someone who picks out a pattern that is pretty obviously free to someone actually at that skill level OR doesn't have a least favorite pattern at all tends to stink from a mile away.
(3) Low-quality / vague explanations and/or misuse/lack of terminology/jargon
A common trope in TV shows, video games, and so on is a smart character (usually a scientist) who launches into a convoluted explanation with a LOT of jargon you're not supposed to understand, before a character stops them and says you're making my brain hurt. While silly, this trope has some basis in the fact that people who are good at something tend to be really passionate about it, and often won't hesitate to explain in a lot of detail exactly how they pull off what they do. The same almost always goes for rhythm game players — it's common for people who have just conquered a chart in sekaicord to follow up their FC / AP screenshot with a long-ass postmortem of the parts they hated the most, the strategy that finally got them through it, and pretty much everything in between.
As a cheater, it would be pretty difficult to emulate this. There's no adrenaline rush as you get through the part that you've been struggling on for weeks, possibly months, no sitting down staring at a chart viewer cursing the disgustingly hard part, no detailed "L-R-L-R(index)-R(middle)" big brain strategy just to pass something extremely cursed. There is nothing to explain. Most often, you will get "i was just shaking throughout it's all so hard", "uhhh i just mashed as hard as i possibly could" “go watch a video instead of bothering me” without reference to a specific pattern, and almost no way to describe their solution in terms any reasonably practiced regular would be familiar with. Did you jack this part here? Two fingers or multiple? Is there a BPM divisor that helps you get the rhythm down on this?
Let's go back to the 005saikou Arcaea example I mentioned earlier. Pretty much anyone at that level will have thoughts about their own achievements, and which parts they found hardest to conquer; look at the pinned comment (translation of the CCs) on his Testify video and see just how detailed they can get. I'm not saying everyone has to get to that level of detail, but someone with practically nothing to say about their achievements AND no video either is a serious red flag.

A brief conclusion

Why I took the time to write all of this is pretty simple: I would very much like if people were more aware of the players they're defending who don't deserve to be defended. Not only are there legitimate players out there much more deserving of your attention, but there's also a glut of illegitimate ones out there cruising along with the potential to make Ranked Match completely unplayable if we're just going to sit here and pretend it's not a problem. Perhaps you’re thinking it’s not going to be a problem for you if you only stay in Bronze / Silver / Gold / Plat. Good for you, but then that leaves Diamond and Mastery completely unplayable wastelands fit only for people who jump onto sites-that-shall-not-be-named for modded apps. Pretty much every time I talk to a JP player about EN and the prospect of ranked match, I universally hear back the words “cheating” and smell the implication that there’s no point to even touching it. There’s already so few legitimately skilled players on EN (let alone those who aren’t simply imported / previously JP players) and the last thing EN needs is to drive those players away.
Genuine question: If the playerbase is capable of raising enough of a stink to get an entire event memory-holed out of existence (I have not forgotten RMD), please tell me why it's not possible to push the devs to take action on people who will undermine the legitimacy of an entire game mode? It's easy enough to ignore if you're just running around co-op getting event points and can forget about someone who's not playing the game, but in a game mode whose basis is a fair and even competition between two players, surely there's some reason to get them to do something.
Call me jealous, salty, misguided, whatever you want, but if at the end of the day this post has you thinking a bit more critically about why people can be so suspicious of others (and why it's more legitimate than just jealousy), then writing it will have been worth something. Please, don’t throw these words by the wayside, and keep a more critical eye out for the people you meet, be it in ordinary rooms, on social media, or, well… on Ranked Match. If you could do something about RMD, you can do something about cheaters.
If you’ve gotten this far, thanks for your attention and time.
submitted by nonexistentgreen to ProjectSekai [link] [comments]


2023.03.21 20:43 SeizeThemMemes Visited by something, I think it's pretending.

Long story ahead.
It started when I was just a kid. I'm in my mid 30s now, but that's when it started. I'd like to preface most of this with an obligatory, to the best of my knowledge, I'm not making any of it up. Whatever definitive knowledge I think I've got is based on speculation and heresay. Nothing has identified itself at all, let alone directly. For my own sake, and the sake of related parties I'm going to edit all names from the story(ies). Especially since I'm not using a throwaway or anything. This is going right up on my personal account. I fabricate or hold back nothing this time. Ill be doing my best to cultivate as much accurate information as I can remember, but I'm getting old and don't remember as well as I used to. I can't even tell you how genuinely I consider religion, supernatural whatever, all of it to just be some stuff made up by white men to continue on with the patriarchy. I don't buy into ghosts or any of it.
It started as shadows. The feeling of being watched. My childhood wasn't that great, it was full of physical and emotional abuse from my mother. We lived in my step father's own childhood home, so it wasn't haunted by any ancient ghosts. It was a dark place though, with their history already blotting the air with it's thickness.
I guess before I really go on, I should explain that, too.
My step father was twenty something years older than my mom. So he was in his fifties during my teen years. He wasn't bad, he wasn't great. I guess technically speaking he was a bad step father. We didn't have much of a relationship, let alone a even bad "fatheson" one.
The home itself was an old New England starter home. It was small, as far as modern houses go. Three bedrooms total. One bath, a large basement spanned the entire length and width. By the time we had met him and moved in, he had already mostly paid the house off, buying it from his own parents. Outside of four years in the coast guard, He, his brother, and older sister had all lived there(while they moved away, he stayed)
Their family dynamic was dated, and weird. His mom and dad were the type to call each other "mom and dad" respectively. His sister, even after joining the navy and marrying an officer was required to maintain a joint bank account with her dad so he could have uptime decision making. She had her own creepy qualities when we'd visit. She collected Barbies, never opening them. That in itself isn't weird. Hell, I collect action figures myself. But she had a voice for some of her favorites, and they'd talk amongst themselves if she was in the room. My Step father's brother, was actually an inventor and invented something I can't remember anymore. He wasn't Bezos rich, but had a nice house in Florida when we'd visit. Mom and Step dad both always warned me though to be careful. He was on a lot of drugs.
My Step father himself was a weird man. He was never taught hygiene. And he was never really nurtured or loved, and unfortunately it showed. He didn't know how to do those things, either. He was a nice guy, but had no idea what to do from there. He grew up in the fifties, and as a kid, I just imagined that's why he was the way he was. From a different time.
The legacy of their combined tragic legacy lived on in a ghost that I do believe was in the realitively new house. We lived there total for twelve years with him, however the time is broken up into two different six year stints. Half way through, my mom for whatever reason, moved us out. We lived in a one room efficiency apartment together for exactly one year, before they reconciled and moved back in together. While we were moved out - we adopted a stray cat. Well, he adopted us. We actually found him the very first day we left him on our own. He was a white cat, nearly completely blind. He was just outside our motel door. We took him in with us. He was actually great. We named him Doofus, because he was kinda fun and goofy. He stayed with us the entire year departure, and was reluctantly allowed back with us.
My Step father was a dog person. Awkwardly so. He loved his dog(s). To the point where I'd still say he more made out with them, as a form of affection. It wasn't okay. I'm sure of that. Let me clear something up, while I say all of these negative things about him. It's not like that. While we don't have any sort of relationship now, I believe that's more us both healing from my mother more so than each other. But anyway, let's keep going!
Within a year after introducing the new cat into the house, he had himself quite the affinity for the basement. It was cool in the summer, and kept itself warm enough to be down there without freezing in the winter. It was my home base as a teenage boy in the late 90s, early 00s with AOL internet access. Doofus would often lounge around, and we'd leave him to his own devices while down there. He never disappeared and always came running when we'd shake his bowl of food. That first summer back though, we were, even my step father was, convinced he had worked his magic on a neighborhood feline friend, and had a litter of kittens down there. It wasn't the mousy cries of fresh babies. Certainly a meow that wasn't his though. We thought maybe he had found his way into the walls, or was simply stuck. Inevitably one day it happened with him fast asleep on his window perch in the kitchen. Finally my step dad fessed up what comes to be an important story.
When he was a kid, himself and his younger sister, found a cat. They, with some kind of sitcom understanding of how the world works, brought it home and tried to hide it in the basement to keep. Their father found it and brutalized the animal to punish them and simply disposed of it like it was nothing.
I can't stress it enough how… from that point on, things changed. The meowing from the basement stopped. Forever. It never happened again. However I never felt alone down there again, honestly.
I want to take another brief intermission to point out that at the current point in my life, I've been in therapy and anger management both. I haven't spoken to my mother in over seven years, and I'm barely any contact with my family at all. I had a very good therapist that helped me through my trauma with my mom as a child that continued into adulthood. Most of the information I'm going to share here, and continue to share here are things that modern medicine and science have since explained away. Sort of. I didn't just feel not alone while in the basement of my childhood home anymore, I felt actively pursued. Someone wasn't just always watching, they wanted to be known. I also started to experience night terrors that felt lucid.
I eventually moved out as soon as I could, and moved to Florida. Unfortunately my abusive mother followed. However, years passed from there. Through circumstance, I maintained a relationship with her. I was young and dumb, and didn't know how to set or enforce boundaries. Anyway.
Fast forward to my mid 20s. I had just ended a long term relationship with what was essentially my first "real-life" girlfriend. Things went sour the way things do when you're young, and I ended up moving back in with my mom and her now new husband. It was a very short stay, but while there I fell on hard times with my health. That's where the story here really takes an interesting turn.
Their house wasn't just bad, it was absolutely the worst. It was literally just a shack. The way some of those poor places in Florida are really like. I was home alone. I did have my own private bedroom. It was small, couldn't even hold my bed and the dresser. There was no door. It was an old curtain pinned to the outside wall. The illusion of privacy. It all went from easy enough to explain, to outright bonkers that day.
I was in bed. Doorway clearly visible. The sheet had been pinned to the space above it so it stood open for me to come and go easily. In the doorway was a teenage girl. Shoulder length brown hair. Conservatively dressed, yet modern. She didn't speak. It was over. She was gone.
The same girl came to me two or three days later, same setting. Just standing in the doorway. She seemed far less relaxed. Even agitated. She was holding something but I couldn't make out what. Whatever it was just wouldn't manifest, but it was important to her. Whatever that item was I can't help but feel like it'd all make sense now, but who knows. She stayed for nearly a full five minutes, fidgeting eithcthecitem before leaving. It was only a couple of more days before she came back again, but wasn't alone. An older man. Older then I was at the time, at least. He seemed like her father. They were bickering and fighting about something and she, in her tantrum disappeared. But he stayed and said nothing to me. He made no motion or charades. He did however glare at me this empty, menacing eyes and then vanished.
I didn't see the girl again until the night before I moved out. By this point, I had been drained of the small savings I did have. I was literally starving. Stealing food from Walmart just to keep myself going. I had aloowedcmy mother to drain me of everything. The apparition came to me that night, and the sensation was different. She glowed a warm orange tint. it felt like we were together forever. She still never spoke to me, but shared knowledge. She told me things about myself I didn't know yet. Actual, real life things that wouldn't come to fruition for over a decade, but they have indeed come true. Not even as a warning. It was a parlor trick to prove her abilities to me. I didn't see her again, for nearly 12 years.
It was last year she came back. I wasn't startled, she communicated like we were old friends. By just, giving me the information. I had probably six or eight months prior to that, reconnected with an old friend. The girl told me matter of fact my, "reach out. They aren't okay." Which was weird because we were talking mostly daily at that point again. I knew things weren't perfect but not being okay raised alarm bells. I reached out to find out their dog had passed just that morning. Again not a huge flex of their ability, just enough to keep me hooked.
I was bewildered at this point. I knew nothing of psychics or spirits or demons. Outside of what I seen on TV of course. I didn't even believe in that shit, but I love reading and learning.
Because of the history with my newly rekindled friendship, it was actually my childhood crush - the love of my life. That was actually the context of us becoming friends again. I wanted to work on fixing the things between us so we could be there again. The situation felt ripe by description for either Dr. Phil, or Lilith. Though I didn't know what that was even supposed to mean.
My own research and learning has brought me here, to you. This sub. This long story of ghost cats, and dark places, the meddling of what I thought was Lilith, but I believe to be something else entirely.
You see I've reached out to the girl who manifests. She hasn't been back, but I can still feel her around. So I've worked up the courage to confront her. I ask for identification, and my ears fill with this droning white noise and it'll eventually tell me that shes Lilith, but I'm not convinced. But from the difficulty in expression, neither are they. I believe it's something that latched onto my belief at first of it being Lilith and won't let up on that. I do believe it's "male" in nature. Has a knack for tricks, and knows that pretending to be something it isn't is bad for him, so he's trying to keep it under cover. I also don't think it's here to help me in any capacity. It clearly wants something either from me, personally, or is trying to use me as a vessel.
I think something masquerading now as Lilith has been involved in my life from the house I grew up. It didn't leave me alone, it learned to be less obvious and scary outright. But it's here. It's always here.
submitted by SeizeThemMemes to demons [link] [comments]


2023.03.21 20:43 graygoohasinvadedme Setting boundaries with new KTP + BDSM partnerships

I’m new here, though not wholly new to poly (in theory) or BDSM (in practice.)
There’s been a lot of sudden life adjustments and moving parts that are making me uncertain of how I feel and figuring out what appropriate boundaries are needed for my health and happiness. Note, I mention transitioning in descriptors only to give an idea of what current physical parts are at play.
I am 33(F/NB), demisexual, married to my partner of 8yrs (37MtF). It’s important to note that due to work conditions we live about 3hrs by car apart and have lived LD for 4.5 yrs. This past September, her nesting partners of 2yrs broke things off in a very negative experience. The relationship as a whole was not smooth and most times I was around them they acted as (imo) close friends and roommates rather than active romantic or kink partners. I do pretty okay living solo (with a dog) but my wife adamantly does not.
This led to my wife moving in with a partner of about 8mo ( in the same city, Molly (30MtF). They get along splendidly and I consider myself friends with Molly. My wife has also gained a boyfriend of about 2mos, Sam(25FtM) who seems okay. I am extremely slow to acquire emotional bonds so I’m moderately comfortable around him.
This is a very, very different dynamic than my prior experiences in a poly situation. My wife is overtly sexual and kinky with both partners. When I visit Molly and my wife’s home, there’s often light play in common spaces (light humiliation, service behavior, and physical intimacy like making out and groping.)It is a small home, 2 bedrooms, an office, and open space for general living/cooking. If all four of us are around, we are on top of each other and privacy is hard to come by. I currently feel like I’d be more comfortable if I had deeper bonds with my metas, but my discomfort over some things makes me disinclined to take long visits. There have been situations where a room is in use (for extremely intimate activities) that I have needed to access to grab work or health related items but I feel uncomfortable interrupting activities.
I need help understanding if my boundaries and requests are valid because I seem to be the only person who feels a need for these items. If anyone could help me workshop them I’d appreciate it.
submitted by graygoohasinvadedme to polyamory [link] [comments]


2023.03.21 20:41 indicafaery How do you change address and photo at the same time when sending off your license?

I passed today with 3 minors ✨ my driving instructor said I wasn't ready and asked me to move my test but I ended up doing it in my dad's car and I'm sooo glad I did.
I was in such a daze when the examiner told me I had passed that I forgot everything he told me after lmao.
I know I have to get a form from the post office and send my provisional license with my certificate.
But how do I change the address and photo at the same time?
Is there a part on the form to write a new address? And do I just attach the photo I want with it in the envelope?
submitted by indicafaery to LearnerDriverUK [link] [comments]